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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Psychologies of scale

As addicted as I am to the internet, there’s always stuff you miss. A commenter in Mangan’s posted this awesome clip:

This is some video. It’s hilarious, yet sad. Disturbing. They should use this video in psychology classes. It’s a short feature video on the human psyche.

There’s this alpha (for lack of a better word) doing his stuff, not giving a shit about anyone. Then some other smart beta kid senses the coolness and wants in. During a long while it’s just them 2 dancing, while everyone else looks indifferently from a distance. I’m sure the second kid was starting to get nervous. Then, bam, a big group joins in, and once there’s a critical mass of dumb dancers, EVERYONE jumps in. Just look at the sheer numbers of young fat sheep clumsily running towards the action, desperate to share a piece of cool. I wonder how long it lasted.

Now, my first reaction to the video was “teenagers really are stupid”. But then I saw this posted on Chalupas’. Some funny resume by a web designer. Big deal. Well look at his fucking twitter feed. The lame resume has “gone viral”, meaning that everybody inane website in the world has made a news article on “the best resume ever”. Best ever, mind you. Well now the resume, which is as good as the above video’s dance (quite cool actually), is everywhere. He’ll probably get a good gig by some Dilbertian soulless corporate manager who gets his news from Business Insider.

I imagine the process was similar to the video. The guy puts the website online. Nothing happens. Somebody notices it, puts it in his blog. Days later some bored intern in some news website needs to put some content to justify his non-existant salary, so he puts a link and clicks on the promotion algorithm which automatically writes the article: BEST (insert here) EVER, GONE VIRAL NOW MUST SEE). Next thing you know the guy is on Forbes.

Another guy went through the same process, but in the wrong way. Aleksei Vayner killed himself after his video resume, arguably the most douchy video ever put on Youtube, went viral and he became the laughingstock of the high-fly financial world he so eagerly wanted to get in. He probably was up to no good anyway, but internet bullying is a scary thing. He really didn’t see it coming, for some reason. It is my impression that Russians have a less developed BS sensor than other peoples. Dostoievsky went mad after realising that law wasn’t based on divine morality. Tolstoy honesty thought that peasants were the salt of the earth. Vayner thought he could brag his way into the ruling class.

That people are sheep is nothing new, and the political consequences of it have also been known for a while. Which reminds me I still haven’t read the copy of The Rebellion of the Masses in my Kindle. The economic consequences of the sheep brain have also been studied and applied for decades, which Adam Curtis’ brilliant documentary can tell you about. Now the internet is using massive scale to harness sheepness into new business models. Social marketing! It basically amounts to killing foresight and low time preference. All so some rentiers up there can make some returns out of their capital. It’s hard time to be a detached introvert.

On Genteels

You know time differences suck when you see an interesting post such as this, but by the time you wake it already has tens of comments. As I’m late to participate in that thread I might just as well write a post of my own. The topic does merit a long one. I’ll try to play Arnold Kling on this one.

If there’s anything to the reactosphere, it is two pillars: HBD and evolutionary psychology. Both argue strongly against multiracial societies. The latter tells you that humans are tribal, and all societies work in the illusion that we are all part of the same tribe. The former that different tribes have become so different that there’s no way they can regard themselves as one tribe.

The realisation is very liberating, as you stop being confused about why different people behave differently. It changes your expectations and makes live so much more understandable. However when thinking on the big picture, HBD and evo-psy are extremely scary things to know. For, what is one to do with the minorities already present? It follows that they can never be integrated. Ever. It’s impossible. As impossible as people growing wings. It can’t happen.

The corollary of this is very scary, and that’s in my opinion the reason (or the overt reason, for I think there’s a covert and more important reason) for the extreme hostility it causes in liberals of all colors. Racism is evil because if it were true, it would be the cause of great evil. Because you would have to undo multiculturalism by separating people again. Nobody wants to do that. It’s messy. It’s nasty. Isn’t separation the official basis of evil for modern liberals? All these New-Age crap they put on movies about how “good is about connection” and “bad is about separation”? You can imagine how that makes me feel as an introvert.

Undoing multiculturalism is such a messy thing that not all reactionaries agree with it. It is an important disagreement. It also shows why there’s no “reactionary movement”, beyond a group of people who have found the pattern in the lies that the establishment is telling. In the end, as you can see at Foseti’s and Thrasymachus’ that, as it couldn’t be otherwise, the disagreement is being framed as class struggle.

If HBD were to go public, there’s three possible scenarios, and all have historical precedents.

1. Removal (Best case: the Greek-Turkish population exchange. Worst case: Yugoslavia, Ruanda.)

2. Separation (Best case: Chinese and Indians in Malaysia. Worst case: South Africa’s Bantustans.

3. Hierarchical integration. This is what Singapore does, and Rhodesia used to do.

As I was saying Removal and Separation are out of the question. They both require either war or a massive restructure of the state and society. It’s beyond messy. It’s pretty much unthinkable, and the mere argument is illegal and prosecutable in much of the developed world. Let’s call them both the nasty solutions.

Which takes us to the 3rd point. That’s the cool solution. Foseti has been arguing for Hierarchical Integration. Jim also has written something similar. I’m not aware of any specific arguments on this topic by Moldbug but I have many reasons to think he would be for it. The idea is that minorities make as much trouble as you allow them to do. Beyond any genetic proclivity to violence and disorder, there are ways of taming any group of people if you have a proper system set to the task. Another way of putting it would be that anyone can be made to work if the incentives are set right. That’s the lesson that Foseti takes from independent Rhodesia. And that’s also pretty much the lesson of Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew is hailed in the reactosphere not so much for his economic governance than for his much publicised argument on “in multicultural societies people vote for their tribe, so that’s why we don’t do democracy over here”. That sentence alone was what made him the hero of the HBD circles.

That sounded like an argument for separation, and the three nations of Singapore (Chinese, Malay and Indian) do tend to keep to themselves and generally live close-by to their own kin. There is little inter-marriage, which the government seriously discourages (think of how messy the statistics could get). Still most people would be surprised at the level of mingling that happens in Singapore. Now I’m no expert in Singapore’s ethnic policy, but I know what I’ve seen. Lots of work units are integrated, and you see the three peoples hanging out together quite often. The elites of each race mostly speak English as a common language, so they have lost their tribal identity. They look very civil and well adjusted. In short, Singapore is playing a complex game of carrot and stick, setting incentives to individuals from all tribes to assimilate not to the majority (Chinese) culture, but to the state (English) culture, through which they can get status and good money.

Foseti must have seen that and feel that hey, why can’t we do the same? Keep the low performing minorities tightly controlled, doing their stuff while sucking up the assimilable ones into our elites. It does produce a fairly pleasant environment without the traumas of removal or total separation. Blacks aren’t the issue, see Rhodesia was able to do the same thing with way more blacks than the US has.

For that he is called a Brahmin, a Cathedral sellout. The point is he’s too married to the system, which is why he argues for a cool solution. Nasty solutions are for people with nothing to lose. Who cares about total upheaval if you hate society? Hell, bring it on. But it’s hard to feel that way when you have kids and a nice job.

Anyway Psychoanalysis is just a sophisticated way of applying ad-hominems, and ideas should be taken at face value. Class struggle is coming back in force, and in the end all humans care about is status, so it’s hard to make friends across class lines. Words are being thrown around, such as Genteel reactionaries. Still, before starting again with false-consciousness and materialistic sociology I think we must look at the issues more closely.

Let me first disclaim than I am not a white nationalist. Not because I don’t think that the world would be better off with more whites and less of the others. I do yearn for the racial ratio of 1900. The thing is nationalism as a sociological phenomenon has some particular dynamics, and white nationalism is just not feasible. Ask hbdchick for details.

There are several arguments against Hierarchical integration. First is, even if different tribes they can be put to work with strong law enforcement and smart incentives, the fact is that in average they will always perform worse than whites. Which means that if you have anything like a free market, different tribal groups will end up doing working in different occupation ladders. Yes the right tips of the Bell Curve might integrate, but those are the sellouts. The mass of the tribe will become servants or doing cheap and unpleasant jobs. You will get a caste system, but without Hinduism to comfort you. That’s not stable.

The fact that Singapore pulls it off is simply because Indians and Malays psyche’s balance their notable inferiority towards the local Chinese with their outstanding superiority towards their tribal cousins in India and Malaysia. Low status sucks but it trumps deprivation. Also Singapore’s Chinese have basically dismantled their cultural heritage. The old overseas Chinese institutions were all destroyed methodically after the Civil War. The result was the creation of the ideal British colony, sans Brits. English is the national language, Mandarin is encouraged as useful for business, but most people are bad at it. It’s hardly a wonder that Singapore produces no culture whatsoever, in contrast to Hong Kong, a way nastier and messier place, but the centre of a huge music and cinema industries.

The Singaporean model of race relations, aka the cool solution is proposed as the adult counterpart to the nasty solutions. But in the end they are both the realisation of HBD in the political sphere. And that has to be nasty by definition. HBD short-circuits the status assigning systems of any society. It kills wishful thinking, but it kills a lot more in the process. Genteels are deluded if they think that people can be made to be comfortable in their inferiority, and working-class people are deluded if they think that HBD stops at the race level. The taboo on HBD has as much to do with race as with the slippery slope that continues thereafter. I’ll write about that in a later post.

Cognitive elite redux

Jim will like this one:

A scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate.

From the Telegraph.

The guy in question is George Church, professor at Harvard School of Medicine. Take a look at him.

Some preacher circa Massachusets 1680

Well the guy does look insane. But don’t take my word for it. See his rationale for wanting to clone a Neanderthal.

“When the time comes to deal with an epidemic or getting off the planet or whatever, it’s conceivable that their way of thinking could be beneficial. They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force. The main goal is to increase diversity. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity.”

What’s with this guy? Perhaps he’s taking blue pills to cure his narcolepsy? As Moldbug says, he started with blue weed and is now with blue heroin. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity. Holy crap.

Now I’ve heard many theories about the diversity cult. The Jewish conspiracy to prevent the emergence of another white majoritarian movement. The Earl Raab quote. That makes some sense. But cloning long dead humanoids to increase diversity? Because they might help treat epidemics! Well, how are all those diverse tribes around the world been doing with their medical research? Any Rohingya Alexander Fleming lately? I think its pretty obvious that diversity causes epidemics. Ask the Amerindians about it.

I guess it’s simpler than that and this guy is just an attention-whore. Judging by the sheer amount of pictures he has on Google Images, yes he looks like the kind of guy who’s just so glad of having met himself. Narcissist academics. Perhaps in 200 years, the story of the decline of Western Civilisation will be summarised with those two words.

It is a sad world we’re in, where the only way to get some media attention is to announce some new scheme for dividing and conquering your own society. Fortunately we have another narcissistic academic who makes good arguments against the diversity cult. He’s not doing too well though.

UPDATE: There’s a lot more on an interview he gave to Der Spiegel. After reading it I’m inclined to cut the guy much more slack. If only because of the horribly smug attitude of the Stasi-descended Spiegel journalists. People, if you think the American Cathedral is bad, you should come see the Northern Europe branches.

It seems the guy is just an almost stereotypical mad scientist with a lot of ideas, and is genuinely curious about how Neanderthals would behave. That’s legit, I can’t say I’m not curious myself. I’m also inclined to think that his diversity nonsense is just a trick to deflect a Cathedralist inquisition. It’s not working though, see how the Spiegel interrogates him on his faith. He doesn’t have one, so he’s toast.

Yellow Peril

They say that the internet and modern capitalism in general is producing so much stimuli that humans all around are becoming numb, developing tolerance towards normal things, and craving ever stronger stimuli. I admit it happens to me. The blogosphere has made me too numb to read normal sources of news. I am no longer satisfied with The Economist, or the Telegraph, or Instapundit. No, I need Moldbug, I need Steve Sailer, I need controversy.

And for Chinese news, I need Global Times. But the Chinese version. That’s hardcore. Those are the ones pushing daily editorials saying “If Japan keeps pushing us we will bomb their asses”. Or “The Great Leader of North Korea renews their strong-as-iron friendship with the Chinese People.” Global Times is kickass, doesn’t pull their punches. It’s like reading newspapers from 1942. And it’s state run, so you know it’s not some keyboard fighter, some yellow War Nerd. No, its director Hu Xijin is a smart, thoughtful man, who just happens to want the best for his country.

He just scares the shit out of me every once in a while. I was just reading their editorial on the War in Mali, which China has approved. It says in the article that China has 2000 nationals living in Mali.

Wait a minute. 2000 Chinese? In Mali? Are you fucking kidding? China has more merchants in the ground that France has soldiers. What are they doing there?

In a way, it’s good news because they might be trying what Francis Galton argued back in the day and colonise Africa with their thrifty genes. But on the other hand we are seeing 5th columns of a huge scary nation establishing themselves in every country on earth. Even freaking Mali. Here’s hoping that the century-old nationalist project in China fails, and the Chinese devolve into their clannish selves. Then they can take over Africa as they please. It did much good in SEA.

In praise of Draco

Most Honorable commenter Handle said in a recent comment on how he finds Japanese culture superior:

The near-universal level of courtesy, honesty, politeness, pleasantness, efficiency, work-ethic, competence, intelligence, self-motivation, willingness to, “go above and beyond the call of duty,” and genuine consideration for the customer, even for a foreigner to whom they show considerable patience, has been an extremely agreeable experience for me.

This is a very common feeling for all those who stay or live in Japan for any period of time. It happens also to a lesser degree in other Asian countries, such as Taiwan, Singapore, and  South Korea. The reasons for the courtesy, pleasantness, and the simple prevailing sense of order that one feels in Japan are varied. Some are genetic, some are based on long rooted tradition. But some are pretty simple and straightforward.

Perhaps the best time spent while on college was when I went to the library and rented Lee Kuan Yew’s memoirs. It’s a huge book, hefty and dense too. I skipped class for a week to read the whole thing. Fascinating stuff, I learned a lot. Much of it is about the history of the Chinese community in Malaya, how they fought the Malays and each other. But the most interesting part was the bits where Lee Kuan Yew confesses his political influences.

Lee had just got into college when Japan invades Singapore in 1942. The invasion was a shock for everyone, Singapore supposedly being an impregnable fortress, symbol of mighty Britain and whatnot. Well the Japanese Army got hold of it in just over a week, and lost no time in making themselves the lords of the place. Lee tells in his memories how after the British Army lost, the colonial population was shocked, but also sort of excited. See, whitey has been defeated. Whites were the epitome of authority, they were so awesome that they seemed to create order semi-magically. But now they lost, and to those Japanese which kinda look like us. What followed was that the most uppity and thuggish of the Chinese, Malay and Indian youths starting looting and wreaking havoc in the place. The Japanese were too busy torturing British soldiers to pay attention to the situation on the streets, but they soon noticed, and didn’t like. Lee Kuan Yew tells how patrols of Japanese soldiers went to the streets, and arrested the strongest, most proud looking youths they saw on the streets. No questions asked. They just singled out the young males who looked like trouble. They took them to a close beach, killed them, decapitated some and put their heads on pikes on the main streets of Singapore.

No more lootings or any kind of disorder.

This, along with other targeted massacres of local donors to the resistance movement in China and other enemy civilians are together called the Sook Ching massacres (meaning Purge in the local dialect). The official narrative is that the Japanese massacres of Singapore civilians gave the locals a sense of nationhood, as they were targeted as a political entity separate from their British rulers. The British inability to protect the civilians made them lose legitimacy to govern them ever again, which paved the way to the independence of Singapore. Kinda sounds like the Mandate of Heaven.

But that’s a load of rationalisation crap, of course. Lee Kuan Yew is so fucking awesome that he had the balls to be honest in his memoirs. He says that the Japanese massacres in Singapore told him a lesson that he would find very useful in his future political life: violence works. And overwhelming violence works faster. The Japanese were harsh, cruel devils. But damn did they impose order. Not a leaf dared to move without permission in occupied Singapore. The young Lee must have felt some admiration for the Japanese way of administration because he spent the rest of the occupation learning Japanese to serve as a translation for his new masters. He later was outspoken in his defence for Deng Xiaoping’s actions in Tiananmen square 1989.

I recalled this episode when reading the Japanese news a while ago. Japan today is fortunately a different place from 1942, but it would be false to say that all has changed. Behind the facade of polite, honest, pleasant people you see, there’s a very unpleasant world of bullying, harassment and unreasonable rules.

A 66 year old man in Osaka was arrested after stealing a 10 yen coin from a nearby temple’s offering box. He was taken to court, and sentenced to 1 year in prison. The judge said that yes, 10 yen is a pittance, but it’s money nonetheless, and theft is a crime, so to jail you go. He had been sentenced in first instance to 20 months, which the appeal reduced to 1 year. The news went viral and netizens all around the country were amused. The most common comment was “1 year for 10 yen, that’s some cheap hotel he found”. Indeed.

Law in Japan can thus be very draconian. Don’t think it’s harsh but fair: there’s plenty of stories of policemen raping underage girls and not even being expelled from the force. Corruption is pervasive, if quite petty (it’s a scandal if you steal 1 million yen), and the yakuza are present to an almost comical extent. Still the argument can be made that compared to law in modern western countries, where muggers, robbers and thugs of every kind aren’t even taken to court because there’s no enough prisons to hold them, Japan is in comparison a more just place. It certainly is more orderly and pleasant, if perhaps not more happy and fun. That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make.

Why China isn’t our hope

Seeing that the Cathedral has led the West into hopeless decadence, where women work while men clean, kids order while parents obey, foreigners rule while natives submit, deviancy is cherished while normalcy is derided. Yes, we are in deep shit.

But wait!, some say. Nature abhors a vacuum. The West is fucked, but someone will take our place and set things right. That’s what evolution does. While the West is busy giving billions to gangsta rappers, fag designers and bastards on welfare, the Chinese are working hard, stoically building their industry, thriftily saving their money to invest in the long term. Oh Yes, the Chinese are the real deal. They’ve been for long, right? 5000 years. Their thrift and industry will bury us, and inherit the earth.

Well, hold your horses. I know the pictures of all those dark, muscular peasants building those awesome skyscrapers climbing bamboo scaffolds without helmets makes for an impressive picture. Way more wholesome than the white working class fatsoes parading their 200lbs bags of blub in Walmart to buy some more light beer. But that’s not the whole story.

You can understand a lot of a country by looking at their celebrities. They represent what a country values in their people, what the nation regards as the people to respect and imitate. This is particularly true in China, where the media is state-owned and strictly controlled in a top-down fashion, not a loose coordination like the West. The celebrities that make it in China are there because the party wants them there. Period.

Well allow me to introduce one of the most famous singers in China. Han Hong 韩红.

Now I strongly recommend:

DON’T LOOK AT THE VIDEO. JUST LISTEN.

Listen at the female voice. Isn’t it lovely? What a voice. Perhaps you’re imagining a sweet, lovely Chinese maiden.

Now look at the video.

And look at some pictures.

Edmond Honda?

Yes, that’s a woman. Well it’s a gross, beastly lesbian ogre. Probably the ugliest lesbian this side of Michael Moore. And yes, she’s big in China. Huge. She’s on TV every other day, and she’s been for more than a decade. She is a towering presence in Chinese show-biz, and is known for her insatiable appetite towards hot startlets. She used to fuck Vicky Zhao. Ugh.

Funny thing is she’s Tibetan. Now Tibetans are known in the West for having achieved the incredible feat of transforming Buddhism into a savage slave-owning theocracy. But in China they’re just one of many (55 to be exact) backward tribes. Now Chinese tribes are very literally backward; they have been inside China for centuries, and most of the more enterprising tribesmen simply took a Chinese name, took up farming or commerce and integrated easily into Han society, which never really cared much about race (Cantonese look indistinguishable from Vietnamese, while people in the Northeast resemble their neighbouring Koreans and Mongols). The tribes that exist are made of those tribesmen who were too dumb or just too stubborn to assimilate to civilisation.

As such they are a pretty useless bunch, but China is very much Soviet in their generous treatment of minorities. They upkeep their identity, and try to give them some national exposure. But on what? Minorities aren’t very good at building rockets, or managing businesses, or making research. But they surely must be good at something! Well, they can sing. In the same way that blacks are superior singers and dancers, minorities in China are pretty good singers. They might as well be; it’s all they do most of the time while the Han build skyscrapers. So China has made it public policy to promote minority singers and give them some spotlight on national TV. Of course they sing in Mandarin; they thus join their native cultural talent and blend it in vibrant harmony with the nation in the common language.

Hence the Tibetan Han Hong. But surely they could have found a better looking Tibetan girl? Somebody less taxing to the eyes? And someone who is not obviously a sexual deviant? Perhaps the most jarring thing about Western Progressivism is their public promotion of homosexuality. Reproduction being the most basic function of living organisms, it is also a major incentive focus of behaviour. Society depends in men being men, women being women, and in them achieving a division of labor and character that makes them desire each other and form families. Men work so as to get women they like, and women work so as to have children by men they like. If you disassociate sex from family formation, you get men that aren’t men, women that aren’t women, sex being something you do at home while staring at a screen, and the genders despising each other, creating vast amounts of depression, misery, PUAs and feminist blogs.

Well, China isn’t replacing their people with lower IQ foreigners, but they allow minorities to outbreed the Han. They also don’t allow fags to marry, but they give high status and influence on national TV. I’m sorry but I don’t see these people saving mankind.

Asian Cognitive Elite

If Singapore is the darling of us Law and Order types, Hong Kong is the darling of libertarians. A hot and smelly piece of rock in the fringe of China, a poor fishing village whose wretched people weren’t allowed to step on the ground, thanks to the power of laissez-faire and low taxes become a cultural and economic powerhouse.

As different as Singapore and Hong Kong are, they both are an excellent example of the power of low taxes. They basically live off the money that people deposit there to avoid taxes elsewhere. So they need banks. Lots of banks. Not surprisingly banks in Hong Kong are pretty efficient. They also give you credit without asking many questions. Of course it helps that they have a healthy Triad ecosystem to collect outstanding debts when necessary.

Anyway, I sent an email to my bank in Hong Kong, for some minor matter. They replied very promptly, and solved the problem. Very nice. Then I saw the signature of the clerk who processed my question.

Best regards,
Chanel Lau.

Yes, that’s right. Her name was ‘Chanel’. Chinese people often take English names, which in many cases they choose themselves. This chick (I hope she is female) chose for her the name ‘Chanel’. Soon enough we’ll see little Pradas and Guccis. I predict in 2 years I’ll stumble upon Lacoste Fong. Or Dior Chen. Zara will be a prole name.

On Immigration

Arnold Kling is a smart fella. He reminds me of those girls who being pretty themselves, always go out to bars bringing a huge fat and ugly friend. They thing they look hot in comparison, and they do. But their friend is so disgusting that no sane man is going to approach anyway.

It seems he realised the problem and he now has a blog of his own. Again there’s something girly about it. He says he started the blog because he “missed being part of the blog conversation”. But most of his posts are short, dense and controversial, but he rarely responds to comments. So much for “conversation”. He’s very good though, probably the best economist blogging out there. But there’s also something quite unpleasant about the guy. He sounds like me when I’m in a bad mood. Cold and dismissive.

Economics can be defined in many ways but let’s say it’s the study of the interaction of humanity and natural resources. That is a very important matter, and that’s why economists today are held as the high priests of the modern world. They study important stuff. Yet so many of them really don’t understand the implications of their discipline. There is a shibboleth to determine whether an economist actually has a smart worldview, or is just another narrow-minded academician. Immigration. Sadly Arnold Kling can’t pronounce his palatals.

See his post on immigration. For all his talk on being charitable towards other people’s worldviews, he sternly dictates opponents of immigration are dead wrong. How so? He doesn’t say. Kling is big in the power of competition, so presumably he understands that immigration is the only way to bring competition to the political world. Countries that don’t perform well will see their citizens leave, so they would have to reform and perform properly to attract people.

Economists are big, real big on this kind of invisible-hand arguments. They forget an important value which is time. Yes countries might want to reform to avoid having a brain drain. But that might take forever. Or it might not happen at all. Or it might entail nasty consequences. The competition principle in the old days worked like this: country A is efficient, country B is not. Country A senses the chance and invades country B, kills the men, rapes the women and enslaves the children. Competition! Performance! Instead of invisible hand you might call it the visible sword. Or battle-axe.

Of course he doesn’t go into HBD, which I can understand given he blogs with his real name. Very smartly he does rephrase the HBD objection to immigration, saying that conservatives consider immigrants as barbaric, which is a reasonable objection. But it seems that the growth of barbarism doesn’t bother Mr. Kling. Perhaps he thinks it’s solvable? Just takes time and education? During the years he has been known as quasi accepting HBD, so it doesn’t seem likely that he thinks barbarism can be completely resolved. Yet he doesn’t think that it is a sufficient argument against immigration. The likely answer is that he likes his bubble as much as his pal Caplan. Who cares if barbarism is 5000km away or 50km away if you just don’t have to deal with it?

But anyway, let’s accept his argument about the competition principle. Immigration gives some needed stimulus to the economy. It puts people to work, for fear of being displaced. Protected industries tend to lag in innovation, so protected countries or individuals might do the same. It’s a fine argument. Competition is important. But does he really understand what he wants us to compete with? I’m not an expert but I think there’s a real lack out there for a good theory of economic  competition.

Economic competition is seldom the domain of individuals competing in a level field. Aristoteles famously said that man is a political animal. What he means it that people are social. Some more than others, I might add. In the realm of the Asperger’s plagued economics profession, competition is about some individuals knowing more than others. In the real world, people form bands, then clans, then tribes, and use them to outperform others economically. Why are Jews so successful? In fact why do Jews exist at all? Most tribes of antiquity perished. But Jews thrived, even abroad. Why? Because they are a clan. Jews specialised in international trade since antiquity. Clans aren’t particularly efficient when all you do is subsistence farming, but trade is all about trust and information. And clans work very well in that. That’s why most trade was monopolised by minority clans until recently. Indeed it’s not that clans went into trade. You might understand it the other way around, traders around the world formed close-knit clans to stave off competition. Overseas Chinese were mostly farmers who didn’t have clans as such; but living abroad they had to become traders, so they just made them up by joining people who happened to have the same surname (even if not related at all). The morale is that organised groups will always outperform non-organised groups.

By allowing foreign cultures to mingle in the same land, you are giving them the incentive to specialise in any given market and make it their own ethnic fief. Jews famously own various industries in the US. The blogosphere is full of disgruntled software engineers complaining how Indian bosses only hire Indian employees. Old Chinese-Americans are acculturated but what about new immigrants? Of course they prefer to do business with their own kind. It goes beyond nepotism. Transaction costs are bad enough in a homogeneous nation, imagine having to deal with people removed thousands of years from your own.

Even if you ignore the problems with low-performing immigrants (and that’s ignoring a lot), high performing immigrants have problems of their own. The logical conclusion of free immigration is quite obvious to those who know any history. The land which has absorbed most immigrants during history has been India. It has been settled and invaded dozens of times mostly from its western borders. What happened when all those different cultures mingled in the same land? Did it produce a healthy competition ecosystem where smart and entrepreneurial individuals thrived? No. It produced castes. Profession cartels where people specialised to the detriment of society as a whole. Clans exist because they work. Individualism is the product of a very particular culture, in a very particular environment. It’s a minority because it is unnatural. Man is a political animal, and it does business in a political way. Keep bringing people all over the world and  you’ll see what happens.