Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Burma’s dead, long live Burma.

Says Thrasymachos that he’s fascinated with Walter Russel Mead. I must admit to share some of the fascination. It’s like watching a train wreck. I can’t help admiring the mess, and wondering how each piece of broken steel is entwined to the other. Thinking how on hell did the toilet end up between rows 11 and 12, surprisingly keeping its shape intact.

A good source of reactionary recruits is a sober analysis of recent foreign policy. Of Moldbug’s Cathedral, perhaps the most conspicuous part is the US State Department. National policy is subject to many emotional narratives and historical constraints that, on the whole, are quite understandable and acceptable at face-value. But any careful look at, say, US foreign policy before and after WW2, and a good perusal at contemporary sources is the fastest way to lose it. The sheer madness of it all shows that Progressives are just out of their minds.

And they still are, which also proves the Cathedral is still the same animal. The fact that a homo US ambassador was publicly murdered on the streets of Benghazi should be proof enough. But there’s always more. Going back to Mr. Mead, he likes to focus on those topics with more potential for bringing good news, say, 3D printing, or autonomous cars, or East Asian policy. A recent news hotspot is, of course, Myanmar.

See this masterpiece of foreign policy journalism, this awesome sentence destined to be studied in all International Relations undergrad courses for posterity.

Good news from Burma: the ethnic Mon minority rallied on Tuesday without any of the violent pushback from the central authorities that characterized similar expressions of democracy in the old days.

The headline, eloquent enough is: As Burma Opens, Its Minorities Seek Rights, Independence. Which is to say, as Burma Opens, Burma Disappears. Or, as Burma Opens, the Burmese lose their country. But that’s Good News! It doesn’t come to WRM that some things are just not meant to be opened.

I blogged before about how Myanmar is fucked for good. In the Junta times, the Chinese were taking over everything, and topping it with outright demographic invasion. As well as the Junta was having it, they didn’t want to be eaten up by the Chinese, and in a desperate measure they surrendered to the USG, thinking they’d at least maintain control of their nation. Hah. As bad as the Chinese political system is, one thing they manage quite well is ethnic policy. Ethnic minorities in China are allowed to keep their outward identity, but the economic incentives are set up so you’d better speak Chinese and behave Han if you want to eat more than sticky rice once a day. It goes without saying that hardcore religious groups (Tibetans and Uyghurs) aside, all other minorities have lost 95% of what makes them distinct.

But now Myanmar is the bitch of the International Community, so it has to abide by USG norms. Which means that any self-styled nation, tribe fetish or mental diseased group gets immediate rights to their own land, sovereignty AND an eternal flow of subsidies to compensate for the psychological distress caused by them having a bigger, better organised, more coherent neighbour. See, the Cathedral’s ethnic policy doesn’t encourage ethnogenesis or discourage it either, it just freezes it on time, and then applies the equality principle. Kinda like their view of evolution. They’re not against it, they just want it to stop. Now. Retroactively if possible.

Let it be said that I have no particular goodwill towards the Bamar people. I think it’s cool that the Mon (the original inhabitants of all continental SEA) are still around, and if anything I’d push for Shan state to be given back to Thailand. I just think it’s not really fair that just because the Bamar got into imperialism just 200 years later, now they have to lose their country. The Thais got into that business just at the right timing to completely assimilate the Mon and any other annoying tribes before British and American busybodies had time to get in the frontier, convert the tribes to Christianity and encourage guerilla war against the stronger tribes in the lowlands.

What is there to gain? What does the world gain in giving sovereignty  to the Kachin? Or the Rohingya? The Kayan women deform their necks with metal rings to avoid rape and capture from neighbouring (stronger) tribes. A desperate attempt to cling to their tribal identity.  Methinks they’d be better off by assimilating to the majority. But God forbid they are coerced into anything!!

Of course the Cathedral per se doesn’t have a master plan that includes Mon autonomy and Rohingya independence, although George Soros probably has a good plan to profit on any contingency. But the only real plan is the status-whoring of the droves of QUANGO and international civil servants who, like the missionaries 100 years earlier, just need people’s lives to mess with and justify their jobs, and the gutless hacks such as Walter Russel Mead who make money by sucking up to any stupid idea the USG comes up with.

The sociology of dysgenia

Via Vox Day

Although the fact is not widely known, the ratio of male-to-female undergraduates in the United States was about at parity from 1900 to 1930. Male enrollments began to increase relative to female enrollments in the 1930s and later as GIs returned from World War II. A highpoint of gender imbalance in college attendance was reached in 1947 when undergraduate men outnumbered women 2.3 to 1. But starting then and continuing until the present in an almost unbroken trend, female college enrollments have increased relative to male enrollments.

The feminism angle is funny, but I think there’s something more important to it. We all know that higher education is deleterious to female fertility. Probably the most harmful factor of them all. Well in 1900 elite women were already forsaking their beauty and fecundity to play the status game by learning some inconsequential knowledge to annoy their peers with.

It follows that the Western elites’ mores have been dysgenic for quite a while then. Which made me think a lot in how little we know about the real mechanism of eugenics. Genetics is hard, statistics also makes little sense most of the time. You’d think that Steve Sailer, the man who pretty much started this HBD genre, would have a firm grasp on the theory, but he had a post a while ago on Regression to the Mean, and neither himself nor his (quite smart) commenters couldn’t make sense of one each other.

We know quite well that intelligence is inheritable. We also know that different races have notably different IQs, and that variance inside one race is also surprisingly low. Swedes, Spaniards and Serbs have very different societies, some great, some very fucked up, yet their average IQ is pretty much the same. If you define eugenics as good breeding in a general sense (not just intelligence), well the different populations of Europe aren’t that disimilar in health or beauty.

Yet we also know that the IQs of different classes of one population are also quite different. The correlation is by no means 1, but rich and powerful people tend to be smarter than the average. What most of us amateurs think is: some races are smarter than others; some classes are smarter than others. Ergo there must be some eugenic mechanism going on with both. How races evolved is a matter for anthropologists to speculate about. But how classes evolved is much closer to us, we have history and sociology to analyse it.

But what does history tell us? In a chat with Nick Land we were talking about how the Chinese evolved their 105 IQs. The standard model is that the mandarinate selected smart people through the civil exam, rewarded them with riches and the right to polygamy. They outbred the peasants, so their children raised the average IQ of the nation. It is very similar to the standard model for Ashkenazi IQ: the higher status for smart rabbis.

But that makes no sense at all once you take into account that neither South Korea nor Japan had a mandarinate at all, yet their IQs are equal, if not superior,  to the Chinese. Korea was a tightly run slave plantation run by hereditary aristocrats. And Japan was a land of savages until the 600s, civilised fast, but shortly after devolved into civil war and hardcore military feudalism. It’s hard to find more different societies than those three, yet they still produced descendants which are very much indistinguishable in their brain structure, to the extent that their migrants to America are pretty much equivalent.

We don’t know how populations evolved their IQ, and we surely don’t know how the elites evolved theirs anyway. There’s a line of thought out there about why elites deserve their power by their superior breeding. I am guilty of it too. Hell I am guilty of saying that the very structure of a society in highly unequal classes is a positive mechanism to ensure eugenic evolution. That the vastly superior status of the elite motivates people to strive and develop merit enough to join the elite, so good genes would concentrate on the top, producing excellence.

That was a reaction to the lousy middle-brow culture of the post WW2 years. But it is also a very stupid, simplistic model. Eugenics is about breeding, and the fact ist that elites, defined as the people who own the most property in a given society, don’t breed eugenically. Propertied classes have, since the dawn of history, and probably since the dawn of property itself, been subjected to social dynamics which don’t necessarily favor good breeding.

For one, through the vast majority of time in history, elites have arranged their descendants marriages thinking on the accumulation of property. For obvious reasons. Capital wants to accumulate. Of course it has the problem that if capital accumulates, in the end all the property is owned by a handful of families, who marry each other generation by generation. Which is textbook inbreeding. That’s what happened to many noble houses in Europe. Hardly an example of biological excellence. Many perished through simple inbreeding depression.

Elite families also engage in pointless status competition. Which leads them to things such as send their sons away to be sodomised at Eton, or  sacrifice their daughters fertility by taking them to university as seen at the head of this post. But I think there a stronger, and indeed much more powerful dynamic in elite relations that leads to dysgenics. Gender relations.

Elite marriages usually are a family affair, carefully arranged by both families. The thing is, the status of each of the spouses depends on the family they belong to. To be more precise it depends on the status of the family as perceived by the particular spouse. It might happen, and indeed happened quite often, that a wife had superior status to her husband due to her family background. But of course we here know that a successful marriage, and indeed any successful heterosexual pairing depends on the undisputed status superiority of the man.

But then again what is status? Women perceive status in a different way from men. Women are more familial, and tend to have a higher opinion of themselves than any objective appraisal. That is particularly true of elite families, who raise their daughters to be refined yet insufferable snobs, conditioned to think and regard everything as a status game. It follow that for the real leisurely elite, gender relations were, and are, extremely dysfunctional. Which are not conducive to high fertility. Indeed, besides Gengis Khan and the early emperors of each Chinese dynasty, all the data I’ve seen shows that most elites this side of Rome have never outbred the plebs.

I always thought that regression to the mean was the statistical reflection of the fact that successful men tend to take pretty but dumb wives, that elite men prefer to fuck their obedient maids than their annoying wives, and that smart women either pair up with the bartender to loosen up or become cat ladies. Real assortative mating has never existed for any long period of time, and that is because there are large societal and psychological barriers against it.

Eugenics is a great idea, and perhaps it’s not as complex as I make it to be here. But the fact remains that for all we speculate, we know very, very little about it. And of course the zeitgeist is unlikely to allow proper research to be done. But we need better data.

Subjective Value

From the always great Daily Mail:


Dr David Matlock, a controversial Beverly Hills cosmetic gynaecologist, invented ‘The G-shot’

Creating value for consumers

Creating value for consumers

Say what you will, but the Mail does know how to choose their pictures. They could as well not write the article at all.

It has always bugged me that libertarians assign a moral dimension to wealth, i.e. wealthy people deserve their superiority because they have earned their wealth by producing things that people buy. A related mantra is that all trading is good for both sides, by definition, else the trade wouldn’t happen. Ergo free trade is a moral imperative and you are worse than Hitler and Gengis Khan combined if you are against it (cf. Caplan).

It also bugs me as a linguist that in recent American speech, the word “value” has changed meaning. It doesn’t mean that something is good, or worth it. Now it means that it has a good cost performance ratio. That something is “Good value” now usually means things that are cheap but actually quite nice to use.

It looks like Sapir/Whorf, and of course Orwell, were on to something when they theorised that language shapes thought. Decades of economicist nihilism has destroyed the meaning of the word “value”. Note that it hasn’t become subjective. It has ceased existing at all.