Bloody shovel

We shall drown, and nobody will save us

Hypergamy

Average is Over indeed.

 

Nick Vujicic, motivational speaker born without limbs, enjoys beach getaway with wife and son

  • Melbourne-born Nick Vujicic has a rare condition called tetra-amelia syndrome
  • After a suicide attempt at the age of ten, Nick turned his disability into a motivation to spread the Christian gospel to all corners of the world
  • Met his wife in 2008, married her in 2012 and welcomed baby boy Kiyoshi the following year
  • Inspirational story of determination, love and the human spirit

 

A story of Bravery of Love

 

Now I could use this bizarre piece of news to start a rant on modern women. Or perhaps to make fun of the PUA movement of men worldwide who can’t get laid, while this guy without limbs has landed a hot wife. Agnostic would start a rant on how evil and depraved Asian women are, willing to marry any disgusting white men to gain notoriety.

None of this would make much sense. Because there’s nothing particularly modern, or Asian, about this phenomenon. I always remember first reading about the original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. A guy without limbs is quite seriously weird, and I can’t help a grin when thinking on how they manage to have sex. But hey the guy’s face is not half ugly. But Conjoined Twins from Siam, in the United States in 1840? That’s seriously weird. Yet they got married! To two women, that is. Sisters, actually. And they had a huge bunch of kids!

Determined to start living a normal life as much as possible, the brothers settled on a plantation, bought slaves,[6] and adopted the name “Bunker”. On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates.

Their Traphill home is where they shared a bed built for four. Chang and his wife had 10 children; Eng and his wife had 11. In time, the wives squabbled[7] and eventually two separate households were set up just west of Mount Airy, North Carolina in the community of White Plains – the twins would alternate spending three days at each home. During the American Civil War, Chang’s son Christopher and Eng’s son Stephen both fought for the Confederacy. Chang and Eng lost part of their property as a result of the war, and were very bitter in their denunciation of the government in consequence.

You can’t make this shit up.

There was also a story in Reddit lately of a guy with two penises. He tells his life story, of continuous tremendous sexual success. If I remember correctly he claimed to be in a relationship with a couple, man and woman. They were already a couple when he got in, the guy allegedly was straight until he met him, then suddenly felt inescapably attracted to his double dick. Go figure.

Jim has a good post on Trannies, and how fucked up in the head they’re are. What’s worse is a LW minion coming in the thread to defend trannies because, you know, they have feelings and stuff. That would be easily dismissable as just an annoying troll, if the smart kids at LW hadn’t made a huge public party of just how fucked up in the head they are all are. Party held in the home of Scott Alexander who is banging (or being banged by) a tranny.

I presume everybody knows Greg Cochran’s theory of a homo germ; some brain parasite that makes people’s sexual wiring go awry. He knows his genetics and his math better than I do, so I’m always willing to listen to him. But it seems to me that sexual taste in (some) people is, for some reason, prone to deviancy. Being famous and owning a plantation will make any woman willing to have sex with you. And the plethora of paraphilias which exist in men is just too disturbing to describe in detail.

At first thought it seems that liberal society exacerbates the range and intensity of paraphilias. But that may be just because we have better data; or just that people don’t care about sexual mores as much as they used to. Then again this doesn’t disprove a germ theory; it might just be the case that there’s a whole lot of germs around. Who knows. I don’t think I really want to know.

World War T in Japan

I thought I might as well focus this blog in showing how East Asia is as fucked up by progressive norms as everywhere else.

The best way to understand this is to read the Japan Times, AKA the official paper of the Cathedral occupation forces. But that’s likely to get you depressed. I don’t read it either, just stumble upon some news stories once in a while.

This one is big: Osaka court approves adoption of 3 year old boy by a single transexual.

That’s right, some dude had sex change surgery, changed his legal identity to a woman (that’s legal here), and adopted an abandoned boy. He applied for approval and it was granted! Think about that for a second.

There are two clues to this story. One is that Osaka is the hotbed of everything crazy and evil in the Japanese government. Besides being the biggest center of organized crime, Osaka houses the only real criminal slum in the country (Airin). It is also home to 100k+ Koreans, who have a strong hold of the local welfare payment system, so they get a lot of free money.

Osaka’s local administration is so corrupt, there are stories of Chinese organized crime bringing old people to Japan under false pretenses of being left-over babies from WW2, applying for housing and benefits, and being granted upon arrival, no questions asked. The welfare pimps get a cut on it (presumably giving a cut to the local bureaucrats), and business goes on.

The second is that the highest density of leftism in Japan is in the legal system. It’s of course nowhere close to the West; most judges are still quite conservative, the death penalty is still on force and applied consistently, police and prosecution get a (sometimes too much) free hand in prosecuting people. But then there’s the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations which is a Cathedralist front if I ever saw one. Fortunately Japan never had a Warren court.

The Japanese attitude towards sexual deviants is quite interesting. On one hand the homosexual community per se is pretty much non-existent. There is no religious based antipathy against sodomites, but there is practically no gay community, and sodomites, while existing, are quite discrete. They are not shown on TV and have little to zero media exposure.

Who does get exposure is transvestites, mutilated or not. There are several famous cross dressing dudes, some so famous they are making millions in product promotion! For some reason the Japanese find transexualism amusing, but have a revulsion towards sodomy between men. If you want to take the D in the ass, you might as well pretend to be a woman. I guess it’s understandable.

What is not understandable is giving cross-dressers legal identity as women, letting them marry, and adopt children. Note that the adopted child is a 3 year old boy. I wonder if transexuals or homos ever adopt daughters.

 

Declinism

So the Japanese government has officially announced it’s considering bringing 200,000 immigrants per year, in order to stave off demographic decline.

They have announced it as part of the Growth Strategy driving this marvelous thing they call Abenomics.

I don’t need to say how misguided this idea that bringing migrants from wherever is going to result in economic growth. It should be obvious that in the civilized world, actual economic growth is impossible. Not gonna happen.

Now some might bring up the old Paul Erhlich/Julian Simon debate on Malthusianism. Julian Simon won that debate, and proceed to write a series of upbeat books exhorting us to have faith on Human Ingenuity.  You see, people always come up with good ideas, and everything turns out ok.

The Erhlich/Simon debate was about resources, with Ehrlich saying they would run out, and Simon saying we’d found more of them. What’s funny is that nobody treated Human Ingenuity as a resource. Something that also may be depleted. I haven’t read his books, maybe Simon thought better extraction techniques would end up discovering more Human Ingenuity? It’s not hard to make the metaphor on education and mining.

Leaving that aside for a moment, if you take human ingenuity as a standard resource, it is clear that it’s production has been declining for a while. Just take a look at the birthrates. Even without considering differential birthrates between the different sectors of the Bell Curve. Assuming a soft-HBD position where racial differences are obvious, but class differences aren’t: the smart races are breeding less. Countries such as Japan and Germany are losing population fast, most others will follow suit very soon.

If the engine of economic growth is human ingenuity, and I have no reason to doubt it, we are now producing less of it. Exponentially less. Now somebody tell me how we can produce economic growth. It’s mathematically impossible.

Now you might say that we are using our resources badly. We can produce economic growth, even with decreasing resources, by using them more efficiently. There’s something to that. We have a much greater population than 18th century Austria, yet we aren’t producing better music. We aren’t producing better plays than Classical Athens. We aren’t building better buildings than Christopher Wren, or better paintings than Renaissance Italy. And that’s with orders of magnitude more human resources.

Of course all of the above refer to art, which is hardly equivalent to economic growth. A parallel argument is often made about technological progress up to 1950.

Optimists all over argue that our economy can still be optimized to produce economic growth. Some arguments are mere drivel, such as those like Average is Over and other government shills. Some other are more thoughtful: autonomous cars, new sources of fuel, stronger materials.

Yet all these new technologies which are just-around-the-corner are quite complex indeed. And common sense would tell you that complex technologies should be harder to master with diminishing human ingenuity. A seemingly common thread to all these revolutionary technologies is that they’re awesome enough to gather attention and be reported by the New York Times, yet a closer look tells you they’re not quite ready for primetime, and they may never be so.

Elon Musk, who apparently knows a thing or two, said that autonomous cars might get 95% close, but never 100%, which means they will never really replace human drivers. What that means is that self-driving software will be a gimmick. We won’t have robo-cars replacing our taxi and bus fleets, nor will robo-trucks revolutionize the transport industry.

I was reminded of this when reading recently on methane hydrates in Japan. Methane Hydrates are methane molecules trapped in the sea bottom, forming a sort of ice. It turns out Japan has loads of the stuff around their coasts, enough to make them energy self-sufficient.

Which is very good but you need to get the ice out of the ocean, and that’s quite tricky. Tricky enough that the trial extractions which started in 2013 had to be canceled after massive failure. As it is, it is likely that gas extraction will never be cheap enough to make it cheaper than just buying the gas from Qatar or Russia. Which doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try, having a way to extract resources, no matter how expensively, is always useful. But a 10x or 5x increase in fuel prices would have a big impact on living standards.

Machine translation also was always hyped to be 5 years away from translating a phone conversation on real time. Google Translation does a reasonably good work with news articles from European languages and Chinese, but it’s still far from perfect. And it hasn’t been improving much in some time. To the extent that language depends in common cultural assumptions and context, it’s fair to conclude that machine translation will never translate a phone conversation on real time, or be good enough for non technical texts. So, similarly to the autonomous cars, it’ll stay a partially useful gimmick.

If we can’t crack these sort of issues, somebody tell me why is it likely we are going to develop a super-human AI, or gene writing, or space colonization. Especially given that we have declining stocks of human ingenuity. Smart people are being produced at a rapidly declining rate. And so there will be no economic growth, and less technological progress.

That is, unless we can pull out the equivalent of a Renaissance Florence, or Baroque Vienna: making more with less. Doesn’t seem likely though.

Extrapolation fail

I have a love-hate relationship with statistics. On one hand I was never particularly good at math. But I was always fascinated by statistics and all the easily accessible truth they provide. I always loved Googling some figures and making people shut up.

Of course then I grew up (which is a great thing, highly recommended to everyone out there), and I realized that statistics are more truthful than just making shit up, as people are always prone to, but they’re not the whole truth. Actually statistics is what you do when  you don’t know the whole truth, and you need to take the long way to infer something about the situation. The point is that as useful as statistics can be, the whole truth is obtained by actually understanding the background and the mechanism of some phenomenon. Compared to that, stats is just cheating. Reading some figures is of course much easier than taking the trouble to understand the whole picture, and so stats are prone to produce hubris in the reader.

One effect of that hubris is the pervasive belief in trends. Somebody makes a graph with a line that goes up or down more or less linearly during a given period of time, and next thing you know there are tons of ink spilled writing about it, and trillions on government budgets assigned to deal with that inevitable trend. The best example of course is Global Warming. Somebody made a graph that said that From 1920 to 1980 temperatures globally were rising. Next thing you know the British Government is actually unable to deal with menial problems common to Egyptian and Chinese Civilization 4000 years ago, like floods, unless they can officially link it to global warming. No I’m not making this up.

Of course the truth is that the temperature trends do not continue forever.

I am not interested in entering this debate about which I know little about, but I do happen to read things that may apply. On the Cambridge History of Ancient China, they point out how North China since the beginning of the Holocene well into historical time (the Han Dynasty, 200BC), North China was much warmer, full of subtropical flora and fauna, and tons of bones have been found of animals that are only found today well into the south. The point out that that’s why North China was able to sustain such dense and wealthy neolithic cultures. Unlike today, in which North China is very cold.

This blind belief on climate trends comes from the fact that we just don’t understand how climate actually works and what affects it. So we get some data, cherry pick some to make a graph, and then think we know something that we don’t.

Another good example of blind belief on statistical trends is Moore’s Law. Computing power is increasing like crazy. So we make a graph with transistor count or FLOPs or whatever. Yup, going up. Which means that given enough time, we’ll have computer which are smarter than people, which means that a point will be reached where this smarter-than-humans will make ever better computers themselves, accelerating progress and unleashing the great Singularity where a god-like AI will rule over all humans!! And that AI will know about us in the past and punish according to our present deeds, so you better give away all your money to Shlomo so he can run a swingers club and screw your girlfriend!

No I’m not making that up either.

Of course all this crap comes from not understanding what actually drives Moore’s Law. Transistors don’t make themselves after all. They are developed through a quite complex process, which I don’t presume to understand. Jim appears to understand it though, and he says Moore’s Law is dying.

Rather than believing in Moore’s Law, I prefer Stein’s law. That which cannot go on forever, will stop.

Perhaps the most important trend for reactionaries of every sort is demographic trends. All people started as babies, so who is making the babies and how many of them is very important. I’ve written often on this blog about fertility and what drives it. I think I have a good hunch about it, but the fact is we don’t know for sure. That doesn’t stop people form looking at the fertility rates, drawing a graph and writing a whole book about it.

That’s what David Goldman, with his stereotypical evil scholar face, did on writing about Islamic birth rates. Islam is collapsing!! He wrote. Birth rates are falling and will soon converge with those decadent white goyim and disappear! Then he looked at the sky and felt Yahveh’s spirit comforting him.

Now while I am not driven by Jewish chauvinism like Mr. Goldman, the idea of the arab demographic pressure disappearing did appeal me as a European. The idea of Arabs overrunning Europe has made me lose more than one night’s sleep. I thank Mr. Goldman for curing that ail from me.

What I don’t appreciate is his misleading. One good thing about the internet is that you don’t have to take people’s word on things, you can actually go and look for the data yourself. And Wikipedia is full of very good demographic data on every country on earth.

Back on my last post on fertility there was a discussion on muslim birth rates, and the example of Iran came up. Iran is famous for its precipitous fertility decline, going from 6.5 in the 80s to below 2 in 2000. Check it out here. The discussion went on about the evil Cathedralist-satanic influence that made Iran women stop making babies for their husbands. At that moment I received an email by some Joshua Stern that linked to this article pointing out how it wasn’t a spontaneous influx of evil leftism that cut Iran’s fertility rate. It was a covert government operation of thousands of make-shift abortion wagons going around the country to make women stop having babies because the country was running out of water and food. Take a look at Google Maps satellite view and you’ll find it hard to find some cultivated land in that desolate desert landscape we call Iran.

So yet again, understanding the actual mechanism beat handily a superficial look at statistical trends. By the way this courteous reader, Mr. Stern proceeded to delete his email address and disappear forever. Which is a pity as I was looking forward on more fruitful correspondence. Oh well.

Anyway this counter-climatic explanation about Iran’s fertility rates made me think about the rest of the Arab world. What’s driving their decreasing birthrate? And so I took a look at all the Wikipedia pages on fertility. And what I saw didn’t look pretty.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2127.html

Saudi Arabia has seen a fertility crash, from 7 in the 1980s to 2.17 today.

Kuwait hit bottom at 2.24 in the 2000s but has since picked up and 2014 estimate is 2.54.

Iraq kept 5+ fertility up to recently but seems the occupation has done some good (!) and it’s currently at 3.5.

The Emirates had gone sub-fertility for a while but it has now picked up and is now at 2.36.

Jordan has been declining steadily from 7 in the 1980s to 3.16 today.

Egypt has been declining steadily from 5 in the 1980s to 2.86 today. They’ve been unable to feed themselves for decades though.

Tunisia hit bottom at 2.02 in 2002, then picks up to 2.15 in 2011, CIA gives 2.00 for 2014.

Algeria was 4.5 in 1990, 2.81 in 2008, then picked up to 3.02 in 2012, CIA gives 2.78 for 2014.

Morocco was 5.5 in 1980, 2.19 in 2010, CIA gives 2.15 for 2014.

I don’t know you guys, but what I’m seeing here is not collapse. What I’m seeing is a fertility correction given the massive pressures that overpopulation is having on what is very arid and unproductive land, but the populations are not declining, and if anything fertility is stabilizing above replacement rate. Given that none of these countries is seeing much economic growth or increased Westernization, further culture-induced fertility drops are unlikely, and if anything the next Islamic Revival movement might compel them to start a new Arab baby boom.

Meanwhile Germany has been losing native population for 42 years straight, at an increasing pace.

The Rothschild’s paper, The Economist, never the pessimist, nevertheless have started to raise the alarm about global demographic trends. It turns out that black Africans are still pumping out as much babies as they can, not using all those condoms sent by the Melinda Gates Foundation nuggets. Cell phones and internet access are also having no effect.

What cannot go on forever must stop, and so African demographic expansion must stop. There’s no food in the world for 2 billion Africans, let alone 3 or 4 billion as they would hypothetically produce at this rate by the end of the century. And so they will starve, one way or another. The glass-full backside of overpopulation, the “demographic dividend”, produced a lot of wealth when it happened in Western Europe back in the days, or in China in the 1990s. But of course the demographic dividend is a statistical concept. Figures on a graph wasn’t what made Europeans or Asians productive, it was the particular product of their own culture, their biology, the technology of the day, and only then, the economics of having a lot of young people around.

But of course nobody is interested on what’s actually driving Africans to have 7 babies per women. As nobody is interested in what’s actually driving Arabs to have on average less than 5, but never less than 2 children. As nobody really wants to know what’s the deal with the climate. All we want is data to write a book, an article, or a government memo so I can sound smart, get a promotion or make some money.

The Internet

I shut down my Twitter account last week (didn´t see the point really), and the blog’s being slow too. But don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.

What the hell am I doing you say? Well I’m busy. I found the best site in the internet.

Real History.

I was chatting with Slittyeye on HBD, looking up pics of weird tribes on Google Images, when I stumbled upon the best fucking site on the internet. I came upon this link, which has pictures of albino Dravidians (!). Real cool pics.

 

 

 

 

1Capture

 

And you go further and there’s lots of other really cool pics. Terracota warriors! Ainus! Yamamoto Isoroku! Backward Koreans!

 

By the way I’ve been planning forever to write a post on how primitive and just massively fucked up premodern Korea was, in spite of its IQ and traditional mores and monarchy and proximity to China, but I can’t seem to find objective sources on the topic. I guess I’ll just run a bunch of pictures of their ugly totems, badly clothed women and downtrodden cities and call it a day.

I have a weakness towards historical photos, and this Real History guy has a whole lot of them. And he isn’t just running an image search and pasting everything, no, the dude has taste. Look at his choice of historical artifacts:

So what’s this guy’s deal anyway? Is he a college professor, running a website interpreting world history through the lens of his underappreciated philosophy? Like Friesian.com, the website that educated me while I wasted my time in the local high school. People say the Internet is harmful to society, and they may be right. But if it wasn’t for Friesian.com I would be still reading the local sports paper talking all day about soccer with my schoolmates. So fuck society, thank you Internet. And thank you Mr. Ross.

Back to Real History, what does the best image collector on the internet want to transmit through his website?

Legitimate Black researchers, (as opposed to those who do it to gain favor with the Albinos and thus make money), must out of necessity, try to reconstruct history by bits and pieces. The Albinos have after all, had over 200 years to create their false paintings, statues, and false translations of historical documents.

The task of parsing their lies from the truth is indeed daunting. But every now and then, we uncover an artifact so revealing, that it answers many of our questions, such as; What race were the Holy Roman Emperors? What race were the Inca? Who was the last Black Spanish King? When did the Spanish start depicting Jesus as an Albino instead of a Black man? All of these question have been answered by a painting of the Inca king list, painted circa 1800 in Peru.

Wow. Say again?

When visiting the Chinese governments Website, one would note that the Chinese still imply that they descent from Peking Man (Homo-Erectus), of course this is racist nonsense. A genetic study done by researchers from all over the world: China, Japan, U.S.A. U.K. and other countries, and published in 2001; definitively answered the question of Chinese origins. The findings were that the original Chinese were 100% pure Black African, with absolutely no outside admixture – But here again, we are talking about the original Black Chinese, modern Chinese are quite different.

Oh.

it it is impossible at this time, to say definitively what the hierarchy of ancient western Rome was like, (from artifacts, we know that the Eastern Empire was ruled by Blacks). What little that we do have of artifactual evidence, suggests that like the Eastern Empire, the Western Empire was also ruled by Blacks. This painting of unknown provenance and period, may well be fanciful, but we feel that it accurately depicts the hierarchy of the Western Roman Empire.

I see.

Was Charlemagne a Black man? At this point there is no way to know – and that information is not likely to be forthcoming. But it appears that contrary to what Whites say, the Franks were probably a “Native” NOT Germanic people. As such, Charlemagne would have indeed, probably been a Black man. But because Whites have so interwoven European history with lies, there are really no safe assumptions, and no safe place to start.

(…)

But there is no ambiguity about Charlemagne’s successor as Holy Roman Emperor: Otto I, he was most certainly a Black man!

You hear him! No ambiguity.

I could go on for years with outlandish quotes, but you better go look yourself. And you should, no, must take a look. Because the guy is good. He’s spent some serious time and effort in this shit. Hundreds if not thousands of good photographic material, and a pretty impressive command of human history. He gets most of it right, except all the good guys being black and the evil albinos.

Still, I’m glad there are energetic black history geeks out there who put the effort to learn website design, and have the willpower and talent to do heavy research and gather all those awesome pictures. If I put all that effort on my blog I’d be Ezra Klein by now.

Given the standards for blacks in American universities, I take it this guy must be some PhD, or perhaps got tenure in some Ivy League place? Well he deserves it. Tell me he doesn’t deserve the presidency 100 times more than the empty suit of Obama. I mean just look at this collection:

 

 

 

To finish this post with a more serious point, and to link it with the start, there’s a lot of strange people in the internet. And there’s not much use to talking to them. People believe what they believe and will continue to do so, whether we have Twitter, Wikipedia, NRx, or whatever it is. So I say we relax, read books, think over some tea or coffee, or a cigarette, or some weird nootropic pill, and write leisurely on our blogs.

 

Groupthink vs whips

I started my blogging career with what I still consider one of my best posts, where I said that human history is very easily explained if you take into account the fact that (most)  humans are just plain dumb. Learning is hard, really hard. And it should, animals don’t learn if they can avoid to. It takes domestication and industrial amounts of drilling to make an animal learn some behavior. It follows that it takes domestication and quite large amounts of drilling to make people learn some behavior.

While this sinking ship called neoreaction is, if only etymologically, an anti-modernist, declinist crowd, the very fact that I’m here writing a blog instead of just copying and pasting quotes from old books, means I regard myself as having some new insight that wasn’t available to my forebearers. As I said earlier, cognitive science is full of true and powerful insights on how people think and why they do so. We now know not only of cognitive “biases”, often constructed as surmountable errors, but the very architecture of cognition. Reading through Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind should be a good replacement for years and years of degrees on ethics and moral philosophy, which I now visualize as an industrial sweatshop of rationalization hamsters run by an evil medieval bishop.

While I very much admire the aesthetic sense of traditional societies, the fact is pre-moderns weren’t strangers to evil, crime, and sheer ideological nonsense. While comparisons are often made on the degree of evil and nonsense of past and present, I think a reasonable position is to say that it’s pretty much the same. And that is necessarily must be the same. People are full of shit, and leaving aside technological differences which may amplify or expand it, the underlying process is the same. And it must be the same, as cognitive science teach us that brains work like that they do, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Back to Haidt, you gotta give it to the guy that he proves in himself the truth of his book. He writes how people’s morality is based in fact-free, a priori intuitions reached by emotion and sloppy thinking, and reason is a language based coating applied after the fact to rationalize one’s decision with one’s peers. He makes the point here in this EconTalk podcast. But all this awareness of how moral intuitions work doesn’t stop him from saying out loud how he agrees with Paul Krugman’s economics even though he knows nothing of the subject! I just couldn’t believe he’s so lacking of self-awareness. Perhaps he’s just advertising his cognitive dissonance as promotion for his book. Think my thinking is fucked up? Buy my book and you’ll know why!

Anyway it seems clear that the default mode of thinking for humans is groupthink, and the content of that groupthink is computed with a complex algorithm taking into account one’s peer group, the loyalties one owes to whom, who has more status and what utterances fit better with the religion that one has been painstakingly drilled into since infancy. Jim Donald linked to an eerie example of unified TV propaganda here, although that was engineered. Uncouth Reflections links to this piece on the global warming inquisition, and this looks spontaneous. Plain horizontal transmission. Why bother thinking when you can parrot the line? Thomas Schelling of all people has enough brains to think for his own. But he won’t.

Now we could read that and lament how far down we have come, how science has been corrupted, people are more evil than they used to, independent thinking has disappeared, etc. But it wasn’t that much better in the past. Most big ideological debates in history can hardly be described as being fair and thoughtful. Groupthink and witch-hunts on spurious grounds are hardly new. You may say that mass media means that the scale of groupthink has changed; people used to parrot whatever was popular in the local parish; now they parrot the central propaganda organs of the government. But that’s been known for almost 100 years. The Rebellion of the Masses touches on the subject, and Goebbels made an art of propaganda almost 80 years ago. Nihil sub sole novum. The content might change, but the underlying mechanism hasn’t changed. It can’t change.

So what do we do about it? My previous post argued that groupthink might be universal, but the degree of what Handle eloquently termed “conversational homogeneity” is culture-specific. Groupthink is a coordination mechanism, but it’s not the only one. You can also coordinate people from above by using a long whip with spikes on it. People can also coordinate because of loyalty, carefully cultivated over years or generations, producing a sense of duty that doesn’t necessarily involve parroting the same opinions as anyone else. Both of these alternatives seemed to have a common defect; they scale badly. Whips with spikes (or machine guns) can only control so many people, and there’s the issue of quis custodiet ipsos custodies. Loyalty production is also a very slow and intimate process, which can be accelerated by technology or specific triggers (the threat external aggression mostly), but is generally very hard to sustain.

Groupthink on the other hand might be more efficient as a coordination mechanism. It seems to be part of the fundamental mechanism of the brain that deals with socialization, which is a big part of being human. One of the great triumphs of recent science has been the gradual overturn of Chomsky’s theory of language. Chomsky famously wrote that children can’t possibly learn language and its grammar from the little input they hear or eavesdrop from their surroundings. Ergo, there must be a module on the brain that specifically deals with language. He then stretched the theory, saying that if there’s a specific language module in the brain, i.e. in all human brains, that module works the same for everyone, so there’s a single universal grammar in all human brains, and all actually existing human languages are just a surface representation of that. Rivers and oceans of ink ensued in order to devise models for translating all human grammars into that mystical universal grammar we all share.

Cognitive science has been slowly proving that there is no particular language module in the human brain. Instead, language is processed in several different areas around the brain, located in mostly the same areas in most people but not necessarily. The corollary is that there is no separate language module which behaves differently from the other modules; but that brains only have one single way of functioning, learning in all different cognitive areas is all based on the same learning processes, and the structure of language just mirrors the way brains work in general. Meaning people actually think of time as if it were an object moving towards oneself (the time comes, then is past), and categories are remembered as prototypes full of detail (say, cats have 4 legs and meow, or black people are big and dangerous), from which certain specimens might differ in some characteristics without contradicting the category itself (a mute cat with the 4 legs cut off is still a cat, a mellow black midget is still a black person).

Coordination mechanisms must also work the same way. Pain avoidance makes you obey the guy with the whip; friend-foe identification makes you gang up with your tribe. And basic learning processes produce the “beemind”. Everybody’s conservative about what they know best, but what about everything else? Then you just use general, off-the-shelf learning processes, i.e. drilling. Drilling needn’t be always forcible; hear the same thing a thousand times, and you’ll assimilate it without even paying attention. The general consensus has a way of making itself known. Japanese people call it kuuki, i.e. air. You’re supposed to “read” the air, and avoid saying or doing anything which doesn’t fit the groupthink of the moment. A related, if wider concept is the zeitgeist, which is just a description of the general patterns of groupthink of a society.

Asking people to use rational inquiry to make up their own values is not only implausible given the cognitive ability of most people; it’s plain impossible because human brains just don’t work like that. People’s opinions aren’t “found” through the use of reason, and they aren’t purely a function of hereditary disposition either. Values are picked up from society, and different societies allow a bigger or smaller Overton window, and within it more or less heterogeneity of opinion, depending on their particular mix of coordination mechanisms. Then again the preferred coordination mechanisms might be genetically determined, but I’m skeptical. The Chinese used to be quite a tolerant bunch. Then Mao happened.

Common sense would lead to an Aristotelian arrangement, where a society uses a balanced mix of all coordination mechanisms, whips, loyalty and groupthink, so no single one predominates. This mirrors traditional Chinese statecraft, which was a varied mix of Confucianism and Legalism. Confucianism argues for rule by example; the rulers must be virtuous, promote loyalty and obedience and kindness of all that. Of course that doesn’t work, and that’s where Legalism comes in, where actual whips with spikes, and many other torture mechanisms were used to control the people. Legalism also had a groupthink aspect in that non approved books were to be burned and their authors be killed along their families. That that only happened twice in all their history is a testament to the strength of Chinese statecraft, that it seldom felt the need to enforce groupthink.

But I’m rambling already. Thoughts?

Groupthink

Nydwracu linked to this Tweet over here, which I found quite amusing.

Often the decline of Western Civilization is linked to the increasing numbers of foreigners in our midst, and often there is a tacit assumption that the decline is linear: the more NAMs the worse the decline. Well that doesn’t explain why Whitopias like Vermont or New Hampshire were so overrepresented in this last example of retarded celebrity worship.

For some reason this table reminded me of this video on bloggingheads.tv:

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/1345?in=31:56&out=47:06

I saw this clip years ago, and always wanted to write about it (there’s a draft lost somewhere in my wordpress dashboard with the title: The Enemy), but it always pisses me off so much that I just can’t come with any coherent writing, besides calling the guy a revolting douchebag (tell me those “yeahs” don’t remind me you of Bill Lumbergh) and the woman a vapid whore.

Special attention should be paid to 31:10 when they start talking about James Watson. The douchebag starts saying how when he wrote about it, people (more knowledgeable than himself) would tell him that Watson was right and there’s plenty of scientific basis for saying black Africans have genetically low IQs, and the vapid whore says “Really?!”. If she were 20 years younger she’s say “OMG Wow, just wow”. You get the picture.

Of course all this comes down to the concept of groupthink. Why do intelligent white people show outrage towards James Watson when they don’t really know shit about the facts? Groupthink.  And why do old-stock Yankees in New Hampshire and Vermont retweet like crazy a selfie of a bunch of actors in the Oscars? Groupthink.

Now, Groupthink is a quite well established concept in psychology, although it suffers from serious neglect, as it doesn’t fit the zeitgeist, or more accurately, it goes against the basic Christian concept of individual sin, and its bastardized Enlightenment idea of the autonomous individual. A good recent takedown of the idea of individual rationality was published in the last annual question at Edge.org here.

The problem with groupthink is that we tend to think that it is correlated with  IQ, as more intelligent people are less prone to groupthink than less intelligent people. Nobody’s surprised at Africans penis theft panics, or Indians dying in hundreds in some temple stampede. People are sheep, and dumb people more so. But that doesn’t explain a lot of things. It doesn’t explain why it was Vermont retweeting that retarded Oscar selfie rather than California or Florida. There’s something else.

The obvious answer is that there’s something about Yankee culture that produces more groupthink than other cultures. Tocqueville famously wrote about how all those free and independent republican Americans were so much sheepish than the old world peasant subject of feudal lords and ancient superstitions. There are only so many ways to solve the Coordination Problem. You can have a strong and unequal hierarchy, which keeps people subject by force and custom even if they complain and joke about it. Or you can abolish all hierarchy and make people free and equal, but how do you coordinate them then?

Groupthink, i.e. mutual surveillance, periodic witch-hunts, frequent rituals to confirm the social bonds of the village (and check who’s not as enthusiastic as the others).

It’s a tough choice.

Monarchy and Monarchs

After all the praise that my Monarchy post got, I started to suspect that people hadn’t really got the point. And while I am quite proud of it as a piece of storytelling, I wasn’t praising monarchy as a system or anything like that. My suspicion was confirmed when Habsburgian transhumanist monarchist Michael Anissimov linked to the post in Twitter. Well if he liked it I’m sure I didn’t make my point clear.

The point of the story was that the Japanese monarchy is a sham, and has been so for 13/14 of its history. Actual imperial rule lasted, at most, 100 years, after which it was co-opted by the Fujiwaras, the Heikes, the Genjis, and so on. The fact that the Imperial family was never actually deposed Chinese style has more to do with the ineptitude of the early shoguns and sheer inertia later.

Now one might make the point that even if the official monarchy was a sham, to the extent that the shoguns exerted personal rule they were running a monarchy themselves. Which is quite true. What’s amusing is that the pattern of takeover of political power by the father in law not only happened to the Emperor himself, many shoguns also fell into it. So the Emperor loses actual rule to the Genji shogun, who is himself a puppet of his Hojo father in law. This puppetry chain never went further than two links though. But anyway, yes of course the shoguns were monarchs too, and the Tokugawas run a very real monarchy for 250 years.

What’s ironic is that while the Tokugawas were monarchs by right of conquest, and run the best unified administration Japan had never seen, that didn’t help their legitimacy in the long run. In the end, the national studies scholars ended up arguing that Japan only had one legitimate monarch which was the imperial family, the Tokugawas were usurpers inasmuch as they ruled in place of the emperor, so the best monarchs that Japan had ever had were evil usurpers and had to go. Funny thing is after the Meiji revolution which ostensibly was started in order to restore personal rule by the Emperor, the system that resulted was a broad oligarchy where not only the Emperor didn’t have personal rule, but monarchy as a system ceased to function. The revolution was led by the peripheral provinces of Satsuma and Choshu, but not by their feudal lords; it was a broad movement mostly led by junior samurais. So they installed a Privy Council with the elders of the revolution, told the Emperor what to do, and got themselves busy monopolizing the army and bureaucracy.

The restoration of monarchy of 1868 was actually the abolition of monarchy. Of course that didn’t go unnoticed, but the thing is nobody in Japan has never argued for monarchy per se. Japan has and has never had monarchists. What they have is legitimists. Nobody ever thought that the young samurais should have put their feudal lord as the shogun, and run the government as a monarchy. No, to the extent that the Emperor was legally the seat of sovereignty and the commander of the armed forces, the actual constitution of the government was of no concern. The only real problem was that the Emperor didn’t actually have the reins of power.

Funny thing is that the revolutionary elders couldn’t hold to power that long, as resentment to exclusive rule by a bunch of provincials was widely resented. So they were forced to set up a parliamentary system, and elections. The franchise was tiny at the beginning, but as you might suspect it grew rapidly, and Japan had universal suffrage by 1928. The revolutionary elders held to their Privy Council dearly, but eventually they died, and once they did, the government ceased to be controlled by this noble oligarchy, and political parties were formed. 4 decades after the glorious revolution which restored power to the legitimate emperor, not only had Japan abolished monarchy, it had an electoral system of political parties running the country. How the hell did that happen?

There was no wide consensus in Japan towards the moral necessity of parliamentary politics, elections were the result of internal conflicts among the elite, and the official ideology of the country kept on being that Japan was a glorious monarchy under the personal rule of the great Emperor descended from heaven. Yet somehow they got free press, political parties, universal suffrage and massive pork distribution to the parties’ patronage networks. All this happened against the official and popular ideology of the country. How did this happen? The Jews! No, no Jews in Japan. It just happened, for many reasons which are enough to fill many books, and of course there’s a large bibliography on the subject. Now the vast majority of people can’t care less about the dissonance between the written Constitution and the actual constitution. But there’s always someone who’s going to notice that something looks fishy.

In Japan the focus of discontent was the army. The army was full of overzealous dim kids who had their head filled with propaganda on boundless loyalty to his majesty son of the Goddess. And when you’re being asked to die for this ideal, well you might as well take it seriously. And so the movement grew, also fueled by many popular intellectuals in the big universities. Their goal was again not restoration of monarchy qua superior political arrangement. They were legitimists, and wanted personal rule by His Majesty. Starting in the 30s they made a lot of noise, and in 1936 they attempted a massive coup, killed a bunch of millionaires and government ministers, and asked the Emperor to stand for them and assume power.

The coup itself was quite successful, and the Emperor (Hirohito by then) could plausibly have joined the coup leaders and change the system. But he didn’t, and his rationale was one of the best comebacks in 20th century history. “They want me to assume personal rule? They killed my dear ministers! I want nothing to do with this people, call whoever’s in charge and crackdown the coup as fast as possible.”

Point being that the law says the Emperor already has personal rule, he just happens to appoint ministers to help him with the task. The coupists had killed the dear ministers he had personally appointed to run his country! Hirohito was many things but he wasn’t stupid. The coupists were instantly discouraged, the crackdown proceeded nicely, and those who weren’t apprehended obediently killed themselves.

The lesson here is that Hirohito could have got personal rule but he didn’t want it. Japan had a massive state apparatus to promote monarchy as the heavenly mode of government, but the heavenly ruler himself couldn’t be bothered to uphold this. Which of course was a very smart move on his part. Hirohito got to enjoy his sham monarchy until his death in 1989 (!), and he even got to visit the USA, quite a feat after the ruckus of WW2. After his visit he run the first press conference ever, on which he had to answer an untactful question about the Hiroshima bombings. Hirohito had the nerve to say: “Well these things happen during wars, and while I’m sorry about the people in Hiroshima, I think it couldn’t be helped.” You can see how nervous he got when answering it. “Ehm… uhm… well…”. By the way the latter half of the clip is about an unrelated question, he isn’t laughing about the nuke.

I guess my point is that Monarchy doesn’t happen because you want it to happen. Japan very much wanted it to happen, but it didn’t. One part of it is that there are some structural prerequisites for monarchical rule, say the size of government, military technology and whatnot, and modernity seems not to be very conducive to autocratic rule. And the second point is that many monarchs just can’t be bothered to rule themselves. Recently there is a lot of talk about sociopathy, and how some people are innately driven by their personalities to seek power to a quite irrational degree. Well it follows that not everyone seeks power, and many monarchs don’t. It’s hard enough to keep power when you want it, imagine when you don’t even want it. This of course isn’t just a problem of modernity, although the conveniences of modern life for non-kings probably make it worse. But monarchs not bothering being monarchs are a very old problem.

Let me introduce another lecture from the Chinese history series by Yuan Tengfei.

I’m always being misunderstood. People say I hate the Ming Dynasty. That’s a huge misunderstanding. It’s not that I don’t like the Ming Dynasty. What I don’t like are the Ming emperors. Why? As I said earlier, the Ming Dynasty is full of both tyrants and lousy emperors.

During the Ming Dynasty, which lasted 276 years, emperors didn’t attend court even once during 121 years. Emperors didn’t attend court for almost half the dynasty. They had their own hobbies. And these hobbies of theirs can hardly be said to be very sophisticated. A majority of the emperors were lewd and vicious. Awful in both arms and letters.

Say the first horrible emperor, Zhengde. There’s a famous play now on his life. Well this fucker was bored in his palace, so he went out often. He was actually fooling around, seducing people’s daughters and sisters. The Zhengde emperor ruled for 10 years. What he liked most was to go fooling around. In Tiananmen there are this two columns, with two weird animals on top. It’s kinda like a dragon and a lion mixed, anyway this thing’s called Hou. These Hou’s have names: one is “hope lord leaves”, the other is “hope lord returns”. If the Emperor is constantly out of palace, doesn’t attend to the administration, “hope lord returns” starts to cry. “Come back boss, the palace needs you, lots of stuff to do”. If the Emperor is constantly in the palace, fooling around with his concubines, doesn’t know of the hardship of his subjects, and the big problems of his land, then “hope lord leaves” cries. “Boss, come out man, the people are suffering, stop fooling around.”

During the Ming Dynasty these two Hous were extremely busy. This one cries, then the other one, alternating like crazy. In the Zhengde era, I suspect that “hope lord returns” cried so much it lost his voice. The Emperor was constantly out. Thing is when the Emperor goes out he has to organize security, has to file for it. The Emperor thought it was a hassle, so he disguised and left without asking. Once he left for the North, hearing that in Datong there are lots of hotties. No idea, but anyway, all he did was going out in disguise and looking for women. Rumor has it he was once detained and sent to the county sheriff. I’ve no idea how he explained who he was to the county sheriff. “I am the Zhengde Emperor”. “Your Majesty, aren’t you satisfied with all your concubines? You come out to seduce women?” He also died doing that, he was fooling around with women and fell into some body of water, they picked him up but he got a fever and died at 30.

So he was constantly fooling with women. He also had one other hobby, he liked to play war. He didn’t like to wage war, he liked to play war. They even gave him the temple name “Martial Emperor”. He often went around the Great Wall with a small team of armored soldiers. If they found some Mongolians, the armored soldiers would run into them and kill them. Victory in battle! No matter that those weren’t Mongolian soldiers, just some herders. Who cares.

And he also felt his title, “Emperor” was too short. Too boring. If you see the titles of ancient ministers, they’re all very long. Some had even 200 letters. Just like today, “consultant to the State Council, March 8 red banner, awarded May 1st workers price, especial expert recognized by State Council”. Back then they had all their titles together, if they printed a name-card they’d have needed an A4 sized paper, both sides. Look at all the titles of Li Hongzhang, it never ends.

The Emperor really envied that. All those names, damn that sounds fun. But I only got one, “Emperor”. Not cool. I’ll give myself a title. I’ll be “Pacifier Lord Martial General”. And some commandery lord or something. The ministers couldn’t stop laughing. He also changed his name. He had a name, Zhu Houzhao, but he changed it to “Zhu Shou 朱寿”. [Pun is the surname Zhu 朱, which means Crimson, is homophonous with 猪, meaning pig. And Shou 寿 means "long lived", is homophonous with 瘦, meaning skinny]. Pigs should be fat, but he was a skinny pig.

The Ministers were just ashamed. Emperors are lords. Generals are subjects. You can’t be both. You can’t call your mother in law dear sister. It doesn’t work like that. Can you just stop? Why would you be a general anyway. The Emperor answered “I cut an enemy officer’s head among millions of soldiers.” The Ministers just had it. “Why don’t you try then, huh. Even the Dynasty founder didn’t brag about that. Let’s see if you can make it.” So the Emperor showed them what he meant by cutting an enemy officer head among millions of soldiers.

So in a huge square, a thousand Ming soldiers, sabres in hand, bows stretched, surrounding a Mongolian prisoner, tied to a horse. The Emperor rushed in, and cut his head off in one blow. This was “cut an officer’s head among millions of soldiers”. Leaving aside if this guy was an officer, even if he was you’re fucking tying him. And this millions of soldiers are your soldiers. So the Emperor comes in and bahm, head cut in one blow. “You see, awesome huh? That’s why I’m a general. At least I can handle a sabre.”

Just fucking ridiculous. He died young after 10 years. The evil emperor left no issue, so they grabbed his cousin to succeed him. The Jiajing emperor. This one was even more awesome. A professional Daoist priest. He ruled for 45 years, second longest of the dynasty. He succeeded at 15, lasted 45 years. 30 years he didn’t attend court. What was he doing? Daoist alchemy! Elixir of immortality. All day making elixirs in the palace. One year worth of Alchemy ingredients was 200,000 silver taels. You can’t make elixirs burning wood, you gotta burn wax, white wax. All day making elixirs. When meeting his ministers he wore Daoist attire. You call him “Your Majesty” and he gets angry. They had to call him “True Man“. That made him happy.

He also didn’t bother with the government. In the rare case he did, nobody could understand his edicts. Why? Heavenly Script! The Emperor was a True Man. If you can understand what he says he’s not a True Man anymore. His edicts were all extremely short. If you could understand what it said, the Emperor thought your heart was in tune with the True Man. Why do you think in that era the great evil minister Yan Song grabbed power? That’s because he could guess what the Emperor meant.

For example there was a minister who received an edict from the Emperor. Said:” What do your teeth and virtue have in common?”. The minister was baffled. Oh damn what does it mean? What to do? Go ask Mr. Yan, he’s the only one who can guess this stuff. Of course Minister Yan doesn’t do it for free. He takes his translation fee. With these little fees he got to be immensely rich. Yan Song took a look at the scroll and said: “The Emperor is asking you who is the oldest of you and Wang De (德 De=virtue)”. Teeth being code for growing old.

Next day this minister goes to the Emperor and tells him the whole story of him and Wang De, who’s the oldest, who was born in what month and all that. The Emperor was very happy, hey, you can read Heavenly Script? Promoted! Why was he able to read it? Minister Yan taught me. Can he not be loyal to Minister Yan? That’s the kind of lousy emperor he was.

When he died, his son took the crown. Longqing Emperor, actually quite good, one of the few good emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately he wasn’t lucky, after 7 years he died. The Wanli Emperor succeeded. The Wanli emperor got the throne at 10 years old, was 48 years ruling, longest emperor of the dynasty. The Ming Dynasty perished at the hands of Wanli. During 48 years he didn’t attend court for 30 years, and it is said he only left the Forbidden Palace once in all this time. Where did he go? Changping, the imperial tombs. He went to check his own tomb.  A great heart he had. Generally speaking, the imperial tomb can’t be finished while the Emperor lives. If you finish it, it’s like the handing over of the keys, you can come in and live there. Not very appropriate. But the Emperor’s tomb was finished and he went himself, and took people to go see it! Very happy he was. “Very nice, very nice, I’ll live here then!” Then he had a massive feast in the palace. Very big heart.

He never left the palace, day after day hoarding money and fooling around with the concubines, arguing with the ministers. After so long he finally dies, and his son the Taichang Emperor succeeds. 29 days and he dies. Probably the shortest lived emperor in the history of China. He probably got too excited. “About time! My father took 48 years to kick the bucket. At last I get the throne. Let’s get to choose concubines, fast!”. Dead in 29 days. After he died, his son succeeded, the Tianqi Emperor.

Now this guy was something. Famous carpenter. Normally emperors go to court. He went to his workshop, saw and axe. The Emperor’s bed and throne were all made by himself. Helping reduce the burden of his subjects, day after day making models of the palace. It is said that his skills were so good, he once made a folding screen, very high quality one. He made it and called an eunuch, and ordered him to go out and sell it for 10,000 taels of silver, no bargaining. So the eunuch grabs the screen and goes out, in less than 2 hours he comes back with a note for 10,000 taels. Which means the stuff was real good.

So imagine if the guy is busy every day doing this sort of stuff, can he bother ruling the country? And so the great evil eunuch Wei Zhongxian grabbed power. He monopolized power, even killed the concubines of the emperor and their children. The Emperor didn’t give a shit, he was busy all day in his little kingdom of art.

When he died after 7 years, his brother the Chongzhen Emperor  succeeded. The 17  years of Chongzhen were really hard. He skimped on food and sleep, sleeping at 12, waking at 3 or 4 to deal with governing the country. But as they say, when the building is falling, you can’t support it with one column. Later when Li Zicheng conquered Beijing, the Chongzhen Emperor hanged himself at Mei Shan, he was frustrated. “I didn’t deserve to see the dynasty fall! I’m not like Liu Shan of the Shu, or Yang of the Sui. I did all the best I could!” Well tough luck, it’s a pity he had to have all those son of a bitch ancestors he had. And so the Chongzhen Emperor, while doing his best, saw his dynasty fall, gathering the compassion of many.

If you’ve read the previous posts on this series, you will remember that the Ming Dynasty saw the strengthening of imperial power by abolishing the figure of Chancellor, giving the Emperor himself the duty to administer the government directly. Which surely must have fit Zhu Yuanzhang and his direct successors. But eventually some Emperors stopped bothering, and instead of having a proper government to fall back in, what happened is that a random minister or eunuch would grab power for himself. Which isn’t that different from having the Chancellor abuse his powers anyway. This tells you that the system doesn’t matter, the law doesn’t matter. As Moldbug said, a Constitution is either false, if it doesn’t reflect the actual working of government, or superfluous if it does. As it happens, all Constitutions are first superfluous, then false, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Now of course you might say that it doesn’t matter if monarchs are real or not, what matters is that having a monarchy, even if it’s a sham and it doesn’t hold real power, has X benefit because of the effects of the institution on the national narrative, promoting an ethos of loyalty or whatever. If you really think that you need to go for a trip to the UK. Or read the Daily Mail for a week.

Noli me tangere entryists

Peter Turchin recently published his research, which says that the trigger for civilization wasn’t a certain geographical situation, or a critical mass of food or other resources. No. Spontaneous civilization didn’t happen. War happened, masses of horse riding bandits happened, and settled farmers had to pull their shit together to confront them. Hence, civilization. It is through outsider attacks that people learn to coalesce and organize.

If you need more close evidence, look at the state of neoreaction these days. For some reason the mainstream internet media has noticed that there are evil reactionaries on the internet, and suddenly progressives over the internet are finding the need to proclaim their unconditional condemnation of Emmanuel Goldstein. Everybody was getting agitated, and just when the hate wave was subsiding, the follow-up came: entryism.

So the progs are out to infiltrate the Dark Enlightenment, to make Moldbug into an antiracist antisexist saint, whose points were all about improving governance in order to benefit women and minorities. Oh well, Moldbug was never very focused on HBD or  sex realism, although I do remember him linking to Roissy. And hey he’s half-Jewish, so if Polansky can be forgiven for ass-raping a 13 year old, Moldbug can surely be forgiven for advocating the restoration of the Stuarts.

What remains of course are the scared rank-and-file of neoreaction closing ranks on seeing hordes of little progressive bitches flood into our blogs filibustering our comment threads with cherry-picked statistics taken from Scott Alexander’s FAQ, and pointing how World War T hasn’t finished yet so how can you talk about the leftist singularity? There’s so much to do!

Under Peter Turchin’s theory, when under attack a group naturally grows asabiya, and part of the (for lack of a better term) exogenic ethno-genesis process is defining who we are. Which is a good question we have been asking for years, without a good answer. What do we stand for? Outside sympathizers like T. Greer asked us to drop the whole movement thing, and scatter so our political radicalism doesn’t taint mainstream scientists who do research on topics we agree with. Given that we live in an era of witch hunting where public heresy will lead you to poverty and ostracism, guilt by association is understandably scary.

But the thing is this gestalt that we call neoreaction doesn’t stand for anything in particular. That’s not what this is about. Neoreaction is not an advocacy movement, it’s an analysis movement. What draw us together is our willingness to see reality for what it is, and to see how exactly did civilization decay to the point that it has.

That’s why we have techno-futuristic anti-nationalist exiles together with open admirers of Hitler, staunch Christian conservatives with 6 children with poolside nihilists who pump and dump our sisters and daughters for pleasure. Yes we’re all in it and we get along mightily well. Why? Because we (mostly) agree in (most parts of) reality. As GLaDOS said in a pretty good thread on LessWrong:

Watson was right about Africa. Larry Summers was right about women in certain professions. Roissy is right about the state of the sexual marketplace.

Democracy isn’t that great. A ghetto/barrio/alternative name for low-class-hell-hole isn’t a physical location, its people. Richer people are on average smarter, nicer, prettier than poor people. The more you strive to equalize material opportunities the more meritocracy produces a caste system based on inborn ability. Ideologies actually are as crazy as religions on average. There is no such thing as moral progress and if there is there is no reason to expect we have been experiencing it so far in recorded history, unless you count stuff like more adapted cultures displacing less adapted ones or mammals inheriting the planet from dinosaurs as moral progress. You can’t be anything you want, your potential is severely limited at birth. University education creates very little added value. High class people unknowingly wage class war against low class people by promoting liberal social norms that they can handle but induce dysfunction in the lower classes (drug abuse, high divorce rates, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, more violence, … ). Too much ethnic diversity kills liberal social democracy. Improving the social status of the average woman vis a vis with the average man makes the average man less attractive. Inbreeding/Out-breeding norms (and obviously other social norms and practices too) have over the centuries differentiated not only IQs between Eurasian populations they have also affected the frequency and type of altruism genes present in different populations (visit hbd* chick for details ^_^ ).

These are things we broadly agree on. Add to it the historical speculations of Moldbug on how progressivism evolved, which is still controversial but I think we might say the broad consensus is that the Jews aren’t totally responsible, that progressivism is more or less a descendant of Puritanism (with more or less Jewish input), and that’s what unites neoreaction. A common diagnostic, of sorts.

But we aren’t an advocacy group who is trying to come up with some utopia to sell to the masses and gain status for ourselves. No, the left is about What should be done! Oh we should start a 21st century Oneida Community in Berkeley so I can fuck with all my school friends while we talk about how biased conservatives are! Oh, we should go to Africa and shit on the beach with blacks so I can go back home and shame my friends for not going to Africa! Or eating in the floor with Indian peasants and rationalize it as being healthier! Holier-than-thou through advocacy. So much for sola fide.

Advocacy is what leftists do. Neoreaction is not about advocacy. Of course we do think about how to cure progressivism and build a new society from the ruins of it, but as you might imagine there’s little agreement. That’s part of why the community is so alive: we’re constantly bickering with each other about how this or that isn’t good or feasible. Nick Land says smart people should just beat the fuck out and take their brains abroad where they’re welcome; Michael Anissimov says we should restore the Habsburg monarchy and fund transhumanist research. Obviously both agree very little, and honestly I don’t agree with either. But leftists don’t understand why anyone would go in the internet and write without trying to form a conspiracy to change society and raise their own status. So suddenly neoreaction is all about Monarchism. Yes we’re a Dark plot to abolish democracy and put ourselves as kings and enslave all the black lesbian neuroscientists. Why else would we have a blog, huh?

And so we are undergoing the natural asabiya-genesis process that happens when you’re under attack, but we also see that we already have all the asabiya we need anyway. We aren’t running anything besides our blogs, and we (mostly) believe democratic politics are part of the problem, so we aren’t planning to organize to participate in the political process. Of course the movement is maturing, and some initial attempts of community building are already starting in the US. To the extent that some actual real life communities evolve out of this, they will have to decide their own rules and advocacies. Henry Dampier has some good ideas over here. Communities, if they happen, will be different, some will dislike each other, and the whole thing will splinter.

But that’s cool, because this isn’t about doing anything. Neoreaction is above anything an intellectual movement that seeks to know what humans are really about. I’d say we’re pretty fine close to it. For the most part the conclusions aren’t pretty, and the way out doesn’t seem easy. Some have joined fundamentalist communities and live a life of deep religiosity. Some are working for the Cathedral and not giving a shit. Some are building ethnic communities out of scratch. Some are staunch patriarchs while others are enjoying the decline poolside.

None of this matters to neoreaction because neoreaction is not a government agency. It’s a research center. We’re here to see what reality is and what it teach is, in short, that humans are evolved apes, with mammal brains, with innate biases and tendencies, all of them inheritable and variable between individuals, groups and races. That everything that the powers that be teach us is false, and that they lie to each other too. Well we don’t lie to each other. That’s all we have in common, and all we can have in common. And it’s enough. When the entryists come in, we’ll know who they are, because they’re the ones lying. We have the best shibboleth there can be.

Babies

It’s hard to argue that modernity sucks when people are so mesmerized by their iphones and air conditioners, but there are some aspects of modernity which are quite easy to argue against. One being the aesthetic violence it inflicts on all of us with ugly architecture and the public promotion of sexual deviancy. And the other being low fertility. Funny how we live in the greatest era of all time, we are the smartest and holiest and happiest people the earth has ever seen, yet people can’t seem to be bothered to have children.

Now the problem of low fertility is like the fall of the Roman Empire, everybody discusses what caused it, and there are hundreds of theories out there, yet none seems to fit quite right. And that’s a problem, because we’re supposed to to do something about it. The causes of the Fall of Rome aren’t really that important (unless you think they might be useful to avoid the collapse of Western Civilization), but measures to raise the birthrate are a common policy problem in all modern countries. And yet we don’t really know what’s causing it, so most policy measures to raise the birthrate simply end up being a way to signal support and issue pork to whatever group has the upper hand in representing women with the bureaucracy.

The country most affected by low birthrate is Japan, not because it’s the lowest in the world, although it’s close, but because the process started earlier, so Japan is already losing population (although I think Germany is losing native population too). The Japanese government has been discussing the issue for decades, which of course hasn’t helped a bit to solve the problem, but has produced tons over tons of studies and graphs and statistics of all sorts. The official population forecast graph is this:

What is says up there is that with current birthrates, by 2050 Japan will have a total population of 95 million, 8.2 million young, 49.3 million middle aged, and 37.6 million old people. And while 95 million people is still a whole lot of people for a country with barely 100k km2 of inhabitable land, well having 8 million youngsters against 37 million elderly is not good. Not good at all. Especially when those 37 million get pensions and free healthcare, and have a tendency to live up to 90 years old.

Now my first instinct is say: well stop paying the damn pensions. Especially when right now 60% of the assets in the country are owned by old people (at present 20% of the population). The average savings for an elderly household today in Japan is over 30 million yen. Yes I know they paid their money to the pension fund but they don’t really need the money. And while it’s grossly unfair to deny them a pension which was promised to them because the government spent it in pork for their cronies, surely it’s more unfair to tax the dwindling young generation back to the stone age. All to raise funds to pay for the n eye surgery for 85 year old grandma.

But of course all politics are local, bureaucratic gridlock is what it is, politicians and bureaucrats are themselves increasingly old so nobody will touch the sacred pensions and healthcare. But the question remains: how do we pay the damn thing. To their credit, the bureaucracy has started to cut pensions and is talking on rising the retirement age. But of course they are also raising taxes everywhere they can. And then there’s the big project. Raise the population!

To raise the population you need to: 1. Bring immigrants, 2. Put unemployed people to work, or 3. Raise the birthrate. As you might expect, the American embassy, the business community, the QUANGO lobbies et al. are extremely busy in trying to promote immigration to the country. “Japan is not for the Japanese”, said the infamous Hatoyama Prime Minister, the son of a billionaire, Stanford educated, self-proclaimed freemason. Thankfully he didn’t last long, and the bureaucracy has been very prudent about bringing immigrants. In the heyday of Japanese manufacturing, factory labor was lacking so Japan started a Gastarbeiter program to find workers. But instead of muslim Turks they had the sense of bringing back Brazilian Japanese, the descendants of Japanese emigrants who were sort sorta pushed out of the country in the poor postwar days.

It didn’t work out very well, as many non Japanese Brazilians got in, and even the purely ethnic Japanese Brazilians had absorbed Brazilian culture all too well. It’s a known problem in the country that the Brazilians refuse to learn the language and manners, are not stellar workers and pretty much a pain in the ass. Once Brazil started booming again a decade ago the government was fast in getting them to go back home, with mixed success.

After Japan run out of foreign kin to bring back to work, well it could only look for real foreigners. The bureaucracy pretty much delegated the whole idea to the business community, whose idea it was from the beginning. So Japan started a “training visa” system, which bring foreigners to work in farms or factories across the country with a special visa which ties you to your workplace, where they pay you whatever they want, not subject to minimum wage laws. As it I’ve heard of average wages of 300 yen per hour, which is between half and a third of the local minimum wage.

What’s funny is that officially the system is not a guest worker system to help local industry. It’s a “skill training project”, which ostensibly teaches Japanese technology to third world people, so they can go to Japan, learn the stuff and get the fuck back to their countries. So they will introduce all those marvelous Japanese methods they have learned and promote goodwill with Japan in their countries. Right. As it is most people under this system were Chinese, but with higher wages in their homeland and bad relations between the countries the Chinese have been decreasing precipitously, and with Abe anti-China foreign policy, the focus is now on building friendship with Southeast Asia, so it’s all Vietnamese and others coming now.

Still the numbers are quite small, with around 150k in total. They are trying to bring some more to build stuff for the Olympics, but there’s this little problem with over 10% of the “trainees” going “missing”, i.e. going to work in the underworld, usually employed by local mafias. Many are forced to, to pay for the mafias who arranged their going to Japan in the first place. And you can’t pay the mafia loans working for 3 bucks an hour in a farm.

I used to get very riled up about all this talk on bringing immigrants to Japan, but I reached the conclusion that there’s not that much to fear. The Chinese aren’t coming anymore, so they can’t take over, and who the hell is going to come anyway? Most of Southeast Asia has sub-replacement fertility already, so it’s not like they have that many people to spare, and the working conditions in Japan aren’t that spectacular. Working in Japan is notoriously harsh even for the locals, imagine how they treat a Vietnamese or Indonesian 85 IQ peasant. It seems the Japanese nation might be saved by the sheer nastiness of their business community and the very fortunate distance from Africa. Maybe the Japanese Islands were chosen by the Sun God after all.

Anyway so migrants aren’t paying the pensions, what about the unemployed? Well there’s a million hikikomori who are either autistic, borderline autistic or so messed up emotionally they just won’t leave their rooms. So who else can we use? Well who but Japanese women! Again I guess the American embassy has been telling the Japanese bureaucrats that the 70% of Japanese women are working. Only 70%!! How dare Japan not put 100% of all its women to work? And so it sent the Huffington Post to create a Japanese version to shame the Japanese bureaucrats into putting their wives into offices so they can have sexual fantasies with their bosses. And young Japanese women are even more willing to stay at home than their elder sisters, no doubt because they have seen how pathetic the life of the working woman usually is.

Still, Mr. Abe needs American support for his militarization program so he has to play ball with American feminism, and he has announced a Great Plan to put woman to work. They are also pushing for a law to put a quota of women in corporate boards, so big bosses can give their wives and mistresses a job and double their vote power. What’s not to like? Of course the problem is that women don’t work because they don’t want to work, and the usual policy to put them to work is to put more money into public daycare. Because mothers are just craving to leave their fluffy tiny babies to some education major dumb girl and go sit their asses in an office for 12 hours a day. The good life.

And anyway, just do the math. How many foreigners, and women working does Japan need to be able to pay their pension obligations? At least 10 million foreigners and 200% of women. Not gonna happen. It doesn’t add up. It’s just stupid American pressure and excuses for pork. The only long-term way out is raising the birthrate. And raising it big. Japan has very extensive stats on the problem, and the fact is that the overwhelming majority of married couples have 2 children.

So why is the birthrate in the 1.30s? Because 30% of people never marry. The herbivores and their spinster counterparts are legion, and growing. Now making those people have sex, marry and have children is a whole different problem from setting incentives to raise the birthrate. I won’t go there, although most of you might imagine what should be done about them.

So the issue is how to get married couples to have more than 2 kids? Now that’s a problem. It’s a huge problem. First because the average age of marriage for woman is now 29. And children out of wedlock are still taboo in most of society here. Are people supposed to have 5 kids starting at 30? Not very feasible. So the issue is getting women to marry earlier. Which means that men would also marry earlier. And that isn’t a very good sell.

Still, when you see all the stats on fertility rates around the world, any objective analysis tells you that the best indicator for low fertility is women education. Even Kuwait, Iran or Saudi Arabia have seen their birthrates plummet once they took their girls to school. While Afghans who treat their women like cattle while they bugger 10 year old boys have their womenfolk churn 7 kids on average.

One can imagine many mechanisms for women education lowering the birthrate. Women reading too many books doesn’t seem conducive to them marrying early and submitting to their husbands. But then there’s a deeper psychological reason which I just came upon while seeing my wife with my kid. I have a lovely child which is cute and fluffy and adorable and the best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-me, I won’t bore you with the details. My wife is staying at home as she always wanted, and I’m happy she does.

Still for all our conservative inclinations the fact remains that babies are a huge pain in the ass. It’s still totally worth it and I hope to have many more pains in the ass like this one, but it’s a lot of work. Not just a lot of work but it’s just disrupting of all the life rhythms you have grown accustomed to (the darn thing insists on going for walks every morning, in winter). Of course you could just call me and my wife lazy (as my mother does), and you’d be right. People always tell me my baby is the best behaved and best slepeer they’ve ever seen and that I have nothing to complain about. Still sometimes it just gets into your nerves.

I came back home one night and gave my wife some work of mine I wanted her to help out with. I expected her to complain about being tired and all, but to my surprise she accepted eagerly and was instantly focused on the computer. Then without looking back she just said: “you play with the baby” and put herself to work. Now as I was telling you she loves staying at home and has no intention of ever going back to work in an office, but she cherished that little piece of office work I just gave her. She was at ease. It surprised me how comfortable she just seemed.

Then it struck me: it shouldn’t surprise me at all. My wife had gone to school for almost 20 years, then worked in an office for several years too, doing office work which isn’t that different from school work. For 20 years her brain changed its wiring to optimize itself to do what it was asked to: work with a piece of paper or a computer screen and process information. And if you’re good at school, as my wife was, means her wiring got very deep. Doesn’t mean she enjoys it, but she’s good at it. Aren’t we all?

Now compare that same stuff we’ve been routinely doing for 20+ years of our time with taking care of a baby. Yes that’s supposedly also hard-wired in women’s brains, and it’s quite a sight to see how naturally it comes to them. Still many parts of child rearing go against everything you’ve been doing for a very long time. Is it a wonder that some women prefer work to marrying early and having babies? It’s probably just inertia.

Now compare that to a woman 200 years ago, or probably an Afghan today. You have a bunch of siblings, some of whom may die but most of whom will not, and since you starting walking and talking sense you’ve been put to work in the household. Ever since you can remember there have been babies in the household, and as a girl you’ve also taken part in taken care of them. You might have gone to school to learn your letters and numbers but you’re much more familiar with babies than you are pencil and paper.

Then in your teens if you’re in Asia, or your mid twenties in Europe you are married off, and have babies right away, which is what is expected of you. You take care of your babies with some other women helping out, but still you know what do you because you’ve been doing it your whole life. That’s what women do. You’re hard-wired for it and soft-wired too.

Compared to that the modern woman is far more accustomed to writing bullshit papers for school and having fun in her free time than she is about playing with babies 24 hours a day without any real leisure at all. I guess that’s part of the rationale behind the bureaucratic push for expanded daycare worldwide. But the fact that your baby is annoying on occasion doesn’t mean you’re willing to leave it 12 hours a day with some complete bureaucrat stranger who is likely to have some weird theories from her days in university.

Any reasonable calculation to get Japanese (or any industrialized country in a few years) population growing again would need the average married couple to have 4 children. It’s not going to happen. Not even Mormons do that. And yes I know the optimistic evolutionary theory that people who like babies will inherit the earth. I’m sure they will given a 500 year timeframe, and that’s assuming the heritability of “liking babies” is very high. But mid term we’re going to hell before we solve this.