Back in my libertarian days I remember reading a piece (or was it an interview?) by David Friedman, about the future of freedom or something like that. He said that there are 2 mainstream wings of libertarians. There are those who think that what is needed to further freedom is a change in the culture, i.e. we need to persuade people into valuing freedom. And there are others who think that it is a legal problem, that what we need is more libertarian laws, a better designed constitution, etc. Then he said that both views were shortsighted because they fail to take into account the fact that statism may not be contingent, but a necessary by-product of states. That all bureaucracies, by their sole nature, will necessarily grow bigger and push for more statism. That the intrinsic structure of power will always push for more power. I was young and I thought this guy was a genius. What I failed to understand is how his conclusion didn’t make him stop being a libertarian. It certainly helped me grow out of it.
In a way this reminds me of a similar issue in the altright movement. We are the enemies of leftism, and at the present stage most of us writers and thinkers are mainly engaged in the analysis of the leftist hegemony. The Cathedral’s rule is so pervasive than rather than think “how do we get out?”, many of us are still mostly concerned with the “how did we get here?”. There are three mainstream etiologies of leftism circulating among us. Most famous, old, and simple is the Jewish Conspiracy theory, which is quite intuitive given that Jews have been always present in numbers in any revolutionary movement, from Austria, Russia, Germany, South Africa. Still a superficial analysis of history would tell you that we had leftists before Emancipation, and so some prefer to go further back and blame Calvinism and its utopian offshoots, foremost among them American Puritanism. The Reformation did break the old clerico-aristocratic order, and brought loony utopianism to the masses. Lastly then there are some race essentialists who channel Nietzsche and blame Christianity itself, for forcing its slave morality on the noble European stock. I’ll refrain from commenting about this, mostly because we have little data on the political theory of Valhalla. Still it is true that Christianity was the first religion to openly state the equality of all men. It brought the first Universal God, who superseded tribal deities.
Common among all these theories is the fault of Eurocentrism. Now, don’t get me wrong, Europe is cool, and it is the birthplace of most high political philosophy in the world. You could study only the history European political theory, ignoring all the rest, and you would know all that is worth knowing. But that doesn’t help us in the study of the origin and nature of leftism. Granted that modern leftism worldwide can be safely traced to European nations or groups, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist outside the West, nor that Western contamination is its only source. Western power is indeed the only source of political leftism, i.e. the use of state power to further leftist aims. But political leftism is not all there is, or it wouldn’t have flourished as it has. Leftism got his teeth because it is nourished by societal leftism, i.e. the equality cult. There is a Cathedral, and many small churches, but they were all born out of the faith of the people. People believed in equality before the United Nations Charter, before the Déclaration des droits de l’homme, before the Declaration of Independence, before Luther, before the Bible itself. It’s not the Jews, it’s not the Christians. It’s not women, nor is it fags. It’s not Lenin, nor Marx, nor Wycliffe, nor Jesus. It’s Gauss. It’s people.
There is a long new post at Razib’s GNXP, which would be funny if it weren’t so sad. He’s talking about his 10 years of blogging, and of particular interest is the paragraph where he writes about comments policy. Razib is quite notorious in the blogosphere for he being a dick with commenters he doesn’t like. When somebody writes something, no matter how polite, that he doesn’t like, he’ll quickly threaten to ban people and attacks them with quite an angry tone. His tone is really very unpleasant, and many people have called him out about it. It’s not that he curses or calls people names, but many people regard him as being a dick.
He defends itself of the charge, by arguing, as I understand it, that his blog isn’t a damn college canteen, and that he doesn’t have time for stupid people with no expertise on the subject just trying to seem smart. In other words, his time is limited; he writes most posts with holes in the argument, expecting people with real expertise to correct him on the comments. Meaning that comments which are not by experts on the subject, and don’t provide him with any knowledge, aren’t tolerated in his blog. He makes his policy clear in this two sentences:
I think most of the readership of this blog should keep their opinions to themselves on any given post, because they don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.
The reality is without aggressive supervision the arc of the human social universe seems to bend toward idiocy & group-think.
As far as blogs go, he has perhaps too high expectations of what blog comments are, but the fact is that very smart people do comment in his blog, and the average comments that smart yet un-expert people such as you and I write are a positive nuisance to him. My blog isn’t about science, so I can happily accommodate people nitpicking my logic or putting out some speculation of their own. But in real life I have experienced the same thing Razib is describing, and I too am very often regarded as an arrogant dick, who thinks he’s always right. Happens that I am. It is my cross that I happen to be knowledgeable at history and politics, topics that even average people enjoy talking about. I also strive to remind people to don’t talk about what they know nothing about. I also don’t curse or call people names, but they tell me there’s a certain look of contempt in my face. That created me many enemies at college, and also the odd gina tingle. I don’t enjoy being a dick, but sometimes you have to. Razib seems to feel the same way.
Now why should the writer of Gene Expression, which is the holy shrine of HBD in the blogosphere, where people should know what a damn Bell Curve is, need to explain himself about the objective fact that most people don’t know shit? I assume that he wrote this to explain further a point he made in a post earlier this week. There he writes in a less apologetic tone:
Over the 10 years of running my own blog(s) I’ve shifted in my own perspective and outlook. In the beginning I was rather laissez faire. But it became rather obvious that most people were either stupid or ignorant, or, they took advantage of the anonymity of the internet to waste other peoples’ time.
In real life most people are not worth deep engagement because they’re dull or incurious, or, our interests do not overlap (i.e., I’m incurious about their topics of passion). It’s no different on the internet. Sitemeter says thousands of people read the content on this weblog per day. The vast majority do not leave comments, obviously. I’m glad for that.
As you see he is saying the same thing: most people don’t know shit and I don’t have time to deal with their crap. You would think that people in GNXP of all places would be understanding, but there a commenter left a comment that stroke me as the most condensed example of popular leftism ever.
But surely blogging is about the conversation, a two way street? Otherwise it’s just a print model, talking at the audience. I know this is sometimes difficult or uncomfortable for bloggers, especially when people disagree.
While it’s true that there are many trolls out there, I fundamentally disagree with your assessment of humanity, e.g. people not being worth deep engagement. That strikes me as highly elitest. I think you might find that just about everyone has a story worth telling, experiences that are unique or that confirm profound commonality in what it means to be human – but you aren’t going to experience that if you assume everyone is dull or stupid, because believe me people will pick up on that very quickly in real life and make some assumptions about you in return.
It’s pure gold. It has every single point of leftist thought, all in one short comment. See how he 1. totally misunderstands the point: Razib likes the two-way street, he just doesn’t like every single pedestrian. Then he 2. signals his higher status in a totally uncalled value judgment: “I disagree”. Then the 3. all too telling spelling error, “elitest”. The 4. long-winded profession of faith in the equality cult: “everyone has a story worth telling”. And finally the failsafe, the leftist theory of evil 5. if people sound stupid is because they are withdrawing their expertise because you are a bad person who looks down on them.
As I was saying I am a real life dick, who looks down on people and disregards their opinions. I have heard people make the same argument as this dude at least 1000 times, in all countries and languages. The idea that everyone has a story to tell, that all people are interesting and fun, and that is your hardened heart that doesn’t let you share their humanity. Damn they told me so many times that my brain pulled a Goebells and internalised the shit, and I took a long tour to the Third World, trying to share the unique stories of the natives. It was fun for a while but after 10 minutes you can mostly guess what a 80 IQ is going to say.
Then I stopped trying, got in the internet and read about HBD and all that. It seemed so obvious, it was just proof of all I had already known since childhood. But why did everyone lie then? Why did everyone insisted that all people had their own unique-snowflake take on things, that everyone’s opinion was valuable? Is it the Cathedral indoctrination? You might say so, but it sn’t true. It can’t be, I’ve been around, talking to Lefebvre followers, Neo-Nazis, people educated under Franco and Salazar, to Chinese pro and anti-Communist, Japanese or Koreans. All these people have not been into Cathedral dominated schools, don’t read Cathedral-ish newspapers nor participate in Cathedral churches or NGOs. Yet they would still appeal to HNU when called out on their bullshit.
Japan is perhaps one of the nations less contaminated by mainstream Leftism in the world. It’s not free of it, the UN is there, the US embassy is there, and some pockets of the bureaucracy are undistinguishable from what you would find in the West. But the school system is old-school (pun unintended), racism abounds and is widely tolerated, women’s careers are blocked by a rather thick concrete-reinforced glass ceiling.
Last year Satoshi Kanazawa was Watsoned for saying that black women are unattractive, which is as easy to prove as 5 minutes spent googling porn videos. Well I wondered what would have happened if instead of the LSE, Kanazawa was working for a Japanese university. The news got back home, and I read the reactions in the popular forum 2chan. I was expecting that Japanese netizens would rally to defend their countryman for saying the truth against the Ministry of Truth. Big error. 95% of the posts were lashing him for being a dick. “That’s bullshit”. “He’s a scientist?” “That’s a matter of personal preference”. “How could he say that? Every one has its own taste”. “People like him make us Japanese look bad abroad”. “What a dick”. “Send him to Africa so he learns to respect people”. “I like them black girls!!”.
Poor fella couldn’t find solace even in his native land. And take my word when I say that 90% of Japanese people would say that Black women are hideous, look like men, look barbaric, surely stink, or that black pussies are just revolting. They wouldn’t tap a black girl even if their lives depended on it. Hell they are so picky they don’t even tap most of their own womanfolk. But Kanazawa couldn’t be excused, he had committed the worst of crimes: he had denied equality.
Political leftism produces long-winded texts and majestic declarations on the equality of all humans, justifying in religious or pseudo-scientific terms. But popular leftism is not really about faith. In sociological terms, is the manifestation of the desire for equal status. As Aretae would tell you, authority is evil. He couldn’t really answer why, but I’ll tell you. Authority is evil because it means that some people have more status than you. And people HATE HATE HATE that. It’s violating Jante Law.
There are tons of reasons why people would like to enforce equal status, or at least drag down those who would have more status than themselves. By any definition of attractiveness, or intelligence, the unattractive and unintelligent will always be a majority. The problem is that society can’t function without a hierarchy, and that enforced collectivism disables natural eugenic instincts (hypergamy, greed). As I see it, society used to function because collectivism was only enforced ingroup, while the outgroup was out of the status hierarchy. Peasants in a village will all be very vigilant about respecting each other and don’t let any neighbour get uppity. But the lord of the land wasn’t in their group, he was part of the aristocracy group, where themselves had their own status rules where they contained each other.
Democratic society destroyed all classes inside society, so we are all one big group. And inside each group, status disparities aren’t easily allowed. People’s instincts fly when they feel slighted by someone in the ingroup, and you see how democratic politicians, no matter how privileged their upbringing, all try to be “one with the people” who respect and understand them. This dynamics apply to any human group, and you see priests ganging up against “arrogant bishops” or the peer-review mechanism who effectively controls any eccentric scientist.
Still as much as people like to pull down those with superior status to them, they like to tread on others to feel superior to them. In a homogeneous nation state, you aren’t allowed to be superior to your countrymen, so all that energy is channeled against other countries. Why did people enlist en masse during WW1? To teach a lesson to those uppity Germans. The move towards world government and the deconstruction of nation states has pulled the collectivist instinct to an ever bigger scale. Now the ingroup is the whole world. No one is better than anyone else. The proposition is insane to begin with, but it didn’t do much harm while the real world consequences of it was that you had to be polite to your immediate neighbours, or towards your fellow peers in your nation’s court. In that scale it does what it was designed to do, human’s evolved collectivism as a way of tightening the bonds of the tribe. For the purposes of war against other tribes. Societal cohesion only makes sense if there are enemies to use it against.
But what would social cohesion do in a global village? Who would people gang up against? In the absence of real enemies, the collectivist instinct only flares up to put down the superior. Whitey. The patriarchy. The arrogant. The dicks! The oldest instinct of humanity today is only used to put down the arrogant. The People against the dicks. If you include feminism it makes up for a good metaphor.