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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tribes and Jobs

With all the late talk about median wages falling and the rich getting richer, it seems capitalism is becoming unfashionable again. Now I don’t define capitalism by any economic or policy parameter. I define capitalism as the system that supports and gives status to business owners. When you see students demonstrating against “capitalism”, they aren’t arguing against private property. They won’t share their precious iPhones, will they? They’re cool about people owning stuff. What they don’t want is status linked to the amount of property you own. I think this theory applies to the golden age of the labour movement a hundred years ago.

As a non billionaire with little interest in sleeping 4 hours a day and donating millions to sodomy activists to become one, I am naturally inclined to sympathise with the anticapitalists. Not only wages are going down, hours are going up,  and the poor fuckers who can still find a job are caught in a rat race of who is able to outwork others and lick more ass while convincing themselves they love it. It’s harsh.

So the push for higher taxes on rich people and higher median wages is understandable, if simplistic. But that’s only one part of the picture. As easy as it is to blame everything on business, workers are a handful themselves. I have some experience at the owner side of business, and it is my impression that average people just don’t want to work. They want a job, of course, somewhere to go every morning, meet people and get paid. But they don’t want to focus on what work really means, i.e. making money according to a plan.

People are tribal, meaning that people are most comfortable belonging to groups of 20-100 people. The human brain spent millions of years living in tribes, and it has evolved to socialise in them. Of course tribes were made of kin, but in my experience people are still quite comfortable among non-kin, as long as the numbers are tribe-like. So when people find themselves in a tribal-ish environment, say an office, the tribal instincts start up. Which means that people start to think of the office as the place to socialise. They gossip, fool around, help each other, make up shit, fight over that shit, flirt, reject, status-whore. What they won’t do is work, unless forced to.

The early industrial firms had total authority over their workers, so they could force them to work hard as much as they wanted. If you decide the amount and conditions of payment, all without any binding contract and with an army of miserable peasants waiting for the same job, it’s very easy to force people to work. But people protested, and with help from dissenters from the elite, they formed unions.

Now what unions do is enforce the idea of the workplace as the social gathering of a tribe. Thing such as higher pay and shorter hours might come to be through labour competition, and there is evidence that unions weren’t instrumental on that. What unions did enforce though was controlling who gets in and out. Deciding the membership of the tribe is the most important function of it. And unions were extremely zealous about it. Today in large swaths of Europe all employees have what amounts to life tenure. In Japan the once violent unions dismantled themselves after they achieved employee tenure.

Of course there’s an economic rationale to job security for life. But people could equally push for deregulation of the job market so as to be able to change to better jobs. But most people don’t want to change, even if they get more money. Most people want to stay in the same job for the rest of their life, and enjoy the tribal-ish social life it provides. Some business owners oblige to this sentiment, and they happily function as the head of the tribe, who cares about his employees. But that seldom works. What works is focused hard work and zero tolerance for bullshit. Which means that ceteris paribus a non-unionised business who can fire people at will and force them to work like slaves will always outperform a cozy company where people go to chat and feel good.

Most bosses are assholes because they have to be. They must break up the tribal mood of an office if the company is to make money. Still the myth of the patriarch-like company owner who cares about its employees like his own family and caters to its needs while simultaneously providing public goods with his business dies hard. Japan’s business culture is pretty much based on this myth. It worked for a while, when the war generation, already acculturised into selflessness, went into business. But the kids these days have to be trained in-house, which means endless meetings, dinners, parties, company trips, all to install loyalty into the tribe. People are forced to work endless hours just to make them understand that the company is the tribe, which is above their wife and kids. All that lost time end up eating up most of their time and thus their productivity.

Europe has achieved some kind of balance, but many business owners aren’t playing ball. If employees get tenure, they simply refuse to hire, which explains the huge unemployment rates everywhere south of France. The US though gives little heed to the tribal ideal of business. The American myth is the hard working man who builds a business and makes it work, making a lot of money in the process. He has no need to provide psychological comfort to his employees. That is a huge advantage, which explains much of American’s economic power. Unions did a lot of harm back in the dark days of new deal fascism, but they are mostly dead now. While discrimination regulations are a huge burden, you still can fire non-black males at will, which keeps them productive, and they’re the only ones that work anyway.

The lack of tribalism in American business culture made a vacuum in the market which is eagerly filled by thousands of churches, NGOs, internet forums and all those whacky political associations. American political culture sounds way more partisan (tribal) than most other countries, perhaps because it is.

If Automation does as advertised and keeps destroying most present business models, it’s not only the danger of unemployment that we must care about. Even employed people will lose a semi-tribal environment in which they were comfortable, and someone else will have to fill this void.

Affirmative Action in 1910

I think one of the most important contributions that the reactionary blogosphere has done is disproving the common conservative myth that things in the West only started to go awry after the 1960s. While it is true that the counter-culture destroyed traditional religion and ethnic loyalty and brought anti-racism, feminism and welfare transfers, none of that came from a vacuum. The Left has been around a very long time.

The more you read the more it seems that the powers that be have been leftist forever. I owe to Jim Donald the great insight that imperialism was a leftist phenomenon, as opposed to the earlier colonialists. Imperialism happened when the Left nationalised the colonialists’ property, and introduced enlightened rule by state bureaucracy where ad-hoc arrangements had prevailed. Over time, as always imperialism became the status quo, a.k.a. the right, and the sanctimony rat-race advanced making anti-imperialism the new leftist cause. But don’t let that deceive you.

Imperialism was opposed as the evil mechanism of oppression and exploitation of foreign nations. Which partly was, because it’s the only way of making a profit out of the dominion of lands very far from home. That’s how the colonies started, but the shift into state led imperialism didn’t make them more profitable. The Left isn’t about making money, it’s about losing it.

See this testimony from a young man who migrated to Shanghai in 1910, aptly called Jim. He writes in a letter to his father:

China is

The town is not at present prosperous, and one reason for the bad times now existing is that the Chinese cheat the foreigners in every conceivable way, and also in every inconceivable way, and if caught, which is seldom, are fined $5, or get a week’s imprisonment and immediate re-employment on release Even in prison they are generally better off than out of it. The penalty is so small that they consider the reward well worth the risk, corporal punishment being now abolished.

Should a foreigner, bowever, be discovered trying to cheat a Chinaman, he is awarded a long term of imprisonment which means ruin, of course; and if he happens to be a German, an American, or a Britisher, he is lucky to escape with his life.

Anarcho-tyranny, anyone? I’m sure this kid wasn’t for corporal punishment back home, but the reality of race conflict is a bitch. If it were 2012 he would have started a blog and linked to all of us.

This muddled state of affairs is principally owing to the fact that all Chinese have to be tried at a place called the Mixed Court, which title it has acquired because everything about it is so mixed up that no one understands what to do.

Any Chinaman can bring a suit against a foreigner before that foreigner’s Judge or Consul, but in cases where a foreigner has an action to bring against a Chinaman his only resort is the Mixed Court. The Mixed Court is designed to form a happy medium between the law of nations and the abominable, muddle-headed corruption of China. In this Court sit a foreign assessor of the same nationality as the foreign litigant whose case is down for hearing, and the Mixed Court Magistrate, a Chinaman, who is chosen by the native authorities on account of his uncompromising Chineseness. The judgment of these two arbitrators must coincide, and the time of the Court is mostly taken up by the Chinese Magistrate’s efforts to make the foreign assessor’s judgment coincide with his own. This can never happen until China has an army and navy sufficiently strong to make the Powers see the force of her arguments, whether they are reasonable or the reverse. Chinese arguments being usually the reverse, her only hope of getting the better of a discussion is by force, even as we did in the days of those persuasive debaters. Raleigh, Drake, Clive, Phip and Dampier.

The Germans, Americans, and British consider it their duty to administer justice tempered with mercy, not to say generosity, to the man who is lodging a complaint against any of their nationals, a diplomatic arrangement of which the wisdom is apparent to all who happen to live at home. As the Chinese idea would appear to most distinctly favour their own nationals in the Mixed Court, the whole arrangement is a hopeless failure, and like every other hesitating concession of a higher civilization to a lower obstructive to advancement by reason of the activity of opposing forces.

120 years after Macartney refused to kowtow to the Chinese Emperor, after having beaten them in war and taken their territory, the British administration in Shanghai had devised Affirmative Action for the 95% majority of Chinese in Shanghai. Which is bad enough, but why would German and American judges do the same? It’s not like they were part in smuggling opium and waging war against China. Little guilt to feel. Yet they appeased and favoured foreigners against their own kin.

And this isn’t about nationality or some sense of guilt about taking their land. Not even mercy for the poor native masses. It’s about race:

The Japanese is the only foreigner who can indulge in a misdemeanour with impunity, as in his case drunkenness and an assault on the police are only punished by a severe caution and perhaps $1 fine.

(…)

Not that I have a word to say against the Japs, for nothing could be farther from my intention, but they do love themselves with such an all-absorbing passion that they have no sentiment to spare for other races.

See how law enforcement was lenient toward non-whites just for the kicks. It is uncalled discrimination against whites. And against any concept of order and good governance. The fact is those judges got a bigger kick out of being nice to the downtrodden Chinese peddlers than from creating an orderly and wealthy city. This in 1910, 10 years before Lothrop Stoddard wrote his magnum opus, Affirmative Action was well established in Shanghai.

I recommend others to read old books, not only to gain more knowledge, but because it is comforting. It’s bad enough that your country is insane, but what really irks is the sense that things used to be alright and only we are getting screwed. Well let us rest assured, things have been bad for a long, long time.

Do read the whole thing.

Who built whom

So last week there was quite a brouhaha over Cathedral priestess Elizabeth Warren telling businessmen that they couldn’t have made money if the state hadn’t helped. All business minded people in the US have risen in righteous outrage. Which is amusing. I mean the kind of speech that Warren gave is common sense in Europe. It’s drilled to schoolchildren. Nobody cares to contest its truth. But in the US there is a sizable population that grew up with Wild West movies and others who grew up reading Ayn Rand, which is the teenage jewish version of Nietzsche. And they won’t tolerate this insult against the individual drive.

tax farmers

But she’s right, isn’t she? Roads were there, courts are there, police is around. Not sure I agree about the value of the state-educated workers, but still, what’s all the fuss about? Of course it’s not about the objective fact that the state is everywhere so there’s always a rationale for collecting taxes. Any reader of history knows that states are little more than sanctimonious stationary bandits, but the fact is they build the infrastructure. Of course all the brouhaha is not about the reasonable point she makes, it’s about the wording. “You didn’t build that”. For business owners, whose status and self-regard depends on their having built something, well it sounds demeaning. And demeaning it was meant to be. Warren’s words were precisely chosen to lower the status of business owners, and raise those of the workers of the state. This kind of status disputes are the ones who get emotional very fast, and this one did.

But there is little substance to it. The point Warren was making could be useful to argue for higher corporate taxes, but those are high enough in the US already. The speech was made to capitalise on the growing sentiment of enmity against billionaires in the US. The economy is bad, the bankstas are scamming the whole country, and various developments mean that for the bulk of the population upward mobility is all but dead. Actually tens of millions will soon drop from the middle class, all while those pesky billionaires keep on adding to their wealth. They must be put in their place. If only rhetorically.

It has been my perception since long ago that the key to happiness isn’t friendship or love or self-actualisation. The real soma in human society is upward mobility. If people think there is a way for them to rise in status they will shut up and take it. If the economy is good people just shut up and put more hours to try to make it. But when it isn’t, and the usual social ladders aren’t there, people rush to the last resort: Class Struggle.

Class Struggle tells you that if the lower status people gang together, they can take power from the elites, and then they become high status. Upward mobility! Yes it’s violent, messy, and it never works out well. But it is the last hope for many people, which explains why communism never seems to die out. It can’t, it is a parasite that flourishes in a fundamental part of the brain.

Marx famously called religion the opium of the masses. Opium is sort of soothing and relaxing. Well he came up with something even better. Class Struggle is the cocaine of the masses. It wakes you up, it makes you move. It’s catnip for the proles. And it’s here to stay.

Women and Bell Curves

A lot of stuff has been going on these days, but I want to go back to talk about women.

A big part of the success of the altright blogosphere is the synergy between HBD and the Game movement. Roissy owes his fame for joining Steve Sailer with Neil Strauss, and making his point with very good writing. The basic idea is that much of our behaviour is biologically determined, and if evolution made different populations distinct genetically, it also did that to sex.

It is a great point, perhaps one of the most important discoveries ever. It changed my life in a way that neither Ovid nor Stendhal did, and I’m sure it did the same for thousands of people. “What do women want?”, asked Freud. Now we know.

But if the message that men and women are biologically different has got through, people have a hard time keeping a little perspective. So you see every day on the “manosphere” how people complain at the same time that people women are sluts and that women won’t sleep with them.

Well you can’t have it both ways. We have to understand that not only men and women are different as groups, there is also variance among them. People are different, and even though human societies assign different roles to each group, that often ignores biological variance.

In my last post commenter Red reminds us that, at least in Europe, every village had a village slut, or a handful sluts, with whom men could satisfy a momentary urge without affecting much the social peace. It’s hard for the parents of the slut, but that’s how it is. If most human traits are distributed normally, I have no reason to doubt that women’s sex drive could be mapped more or less like this:

The cutoff is probably closer to the extremes, but I just got a random pic from Google images and you get the point anyway. You might see that the problem that most young men face today is that they all want an easy lay, but the providers of easy lays are limited. Check for example Roosh’s travelog. He has fucked so many sluts that he can see one from a mile away, and he’s tired of them. So he desperately wants a normal girl who will sleep with him, and is pained that he can’t find one, some of the time at least. Just imagine that, a normal girl who won’t sleep with a total stranger who is in town for only a week! Which is the Groucho Marx joke upside down: he only want to join the clubs that won’t have him as a member.

Of course women are guilty of the same thing: they all chase the alphas, but those are in short supply. Again, for easy imaging:

We call this phenomenon hypergamy. In the same way we might call the young men’s mating strategy eukopogamy, Greek for easy coupling (yeah I just made the word up).

But of course the mysteries of women’s mating strategy aren’t only reduced to hypergamy. There are many other things that we are just starting to uncover, or at least we are the first to name them in Greek. For example we have hybristophilia, where women are attracted to cruel and brutal criminals. This instinct is separate from the alpha-seeking hypergamy, because if Ted Bundy was relatively good looking and manly, the 77 year old Josef Fritzl doesn’t get attention for his Alpha attitude.

Of course this doesn’t mean that all women are depraved serial killer fans. My guess is that the distributio of hybristophilia is also like this:

That’s why you might ask a random woman at your office or school, and ask her about all those love letters that Charles Manson still gets, and she says she can’t understand it. Well she probably can’t. Or she’s just a damn liar. There’s also a Bell Curve for that probably.

Related to all the graphs above is another of the puzzling traits of woman that the manosphere is trying to raise awareness of. Which is the fact that some women like to suffer violence. It’s funny that saying that openly is a cause of criminal prosecution in many places, while Fifty Shades of Grey is the fastest selling book in the history of mankind, but hey, that’s how hamsters work. Any non muslim man today, hell all men today are sure to feel disturbed when they read news that as much as 50% of all women have frequent rape fantasies.

But that again doesn’t mean that all women are masochists who want you to give them a black eye every odd day. Let’s say that the pain seeking distribution is something like this:

My conclusion about rape fantasies is that women don’t want to be raped by any creepy random dude. They just enjoy thinking that some uber alpha is so obsessed with them, but they are so virtuous, that he might have to just force his way into them. Those fantasies seldom include dark and smelly alleys and dumb black crack smokers as is often the reality of rape. Still if evolutionary psychology has any weight to it, women in the evolutionary environment were treated harshly and had all the odds of being kidnapped and raped by some neighbouring tribe. So the Stockholm Syndrome must have had some adaptative effect.

Preaching morality in a blog or its comment thread is easy and that’s what conservatism is mostly about. But we in the altright blogosphere should strive to attack liberalism not by using an older brand of magical thinking, but by harnessing the power of reality. Saying that women must shut their legs tight and all strive to be virtuous wives and daughters is as deluded as saying that all men should be noble husbands and fathers and work honest jobs.  It’s not going to happen, and it never really was like that. There is a great deal of ruin in a nation. A smart society is the one that while repressing the extremes also lets some steam get off from time to time.

Inclusiveness is evil because it forces mainstream society to people that don’t belong to it, and don’t really want to be in it. It starts by forcing the mores of the mean into the extremes, and when that fails (it always does), it forces the mores of the extremes into the mean. Of course that works even worse. It won’t last.

Nice unintended consequences

My last post on Nick Land’s bionic catharsis of reactionary politics was received with a healthy dose of skepticism. After all it there is a very thick moral wall against tampering with human nature. How would it be done? Who would fund it? What would the government do about sucha  project?

But it seems that the gears of history have started moving.

The American director of the World Swimming Coaches Association is insinuating that China might be genetically modifying their athletes to win olympic medals. That’s right, people are so pissed at Chinese swimmer girls’ performance that Chinese are accused of inventing a whole new dimension of cheating. Most people laughed it off, but think about it.

It is common knowledge that many technological advances are owed to warfare, as nations in war squeeze their brains to seek some advantage over their enemies. Sports are also commonly understood as a form of ritualised warfare, where people can satisfy their desire for competition and combat without shedding blood. And we also know that Chinese are famous for taking ritual very seriously, Confucianism being basically about rituals in all social situations.

Following this line of reasoning, it doesn’t seem implausible at all that the new era of human genetic enhancement were to be developed as a byproduct of Chinese cheating practices at world sport competitions.  Next thing you know they’ll develop a bionic eye to better cheat at their University entry exams.