Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Conflict

Nick Land yesterday said I was “conflicted”.

I guess I am. Running into writer’s block perhaps.

When you pursue a line of thought long enough you tend to lose track of where you’re going, and end up reaching conclusions you won’t necessarily agree with if you actually started thinking about it from scratch.

I do generally like to keep things simple, so let’s reboot and try to start again.

Why are we reactionaries? Because modernity sucks. In what way? Well, let’s count the ways:

1. Women are unpleasant, men are unmanly

2. Foreigners everywhere

3. Dysgenics

4. Corruption

5. Aesthetic taste has collapsed

Which can be summed up as a lack of asabiyyah in general. Reactionary thought is based in the idea that modernity is corrosive to asabiyyah  and thus will lead to societal collapse and general misery.

There are two lines of reactionary thought. One is the traditionalist branch, and the futurist branch.

Or perhaps there’s three. There’s the religious/traditionalist branch, the ethnic/nationalist branch, and the capitalist branch.

The religious want to go back to an idealized religious society, where a common faith provides asabiyyah . Go to the Orthosphere and take a look. I wouldn’t say they have any real-world model to push for. But hey when you have faith you don’t need empirical examples, do you?

The nationalist branch wants a mono-ethnic society, believing that a sense of kinship provides asabiyyah. Often cited models are Finland or Japan. A mono-ethnic society in which conflict is pushed outward so the ingroup can be more pleasant and cooperative. The time that Koreans spend hating the Japanese is time they don’t spend hating each other.

There is a certain overlap between the nationalists and the religious. There’s this idea that kinship by itself isn’t strong enough. And there’s this fascination with the Mormon model. Kinship is a very messy concept, and it’s not at all clear that people respond to kinship strongly enough. If it did, there would be no need for religion, right? Nicholas Wade wrote this book on religion being asabiyyah, having evolved as a necessary social glue.

The capitalist branch argue that asabiyyah depends on economic incentives, and smart government policy. The obvious model is Singapore. Moldbug used to be here. Not so sure he still is. Nick Land is certainly here.

The point is that you don’t need an ethereal sense of societal brotherhood if you let the market work properly. Asabiyyah will grow out of aggregate self-interest. You might believe that’s all that’s necessary, and be some anarcho-capitalist twat. Or you might believe that the government must ensure that people respond to economic incentives by working against tribalist psychological biases, which is what Singapore does.

If I had to say where I am, is the nationalist branch. But I used to be more on the capitalist camp. The capitalist argument is quite powerful: ethnic kinship is cool but the necessary corollary of it is National-socialism. Or socialism itself. We used to have more asabiyyah than now, but we also had no economic growth. For all the nostalgia for the Victorian age, who wants to go back there? Who prefers ethnic solidarity and purpose to modern medicine and technology? Reaction is based on a fear of where we are headed, certainly not on a dislike of how life is right now. Yes the proles have become barbarians, but they never were that pleasant anyway. Ethnic solidarity by itself is not necessarily conducing of scientific progress and economic growth. And those I agree are good things.

But the capitalism argument is to allow the market to do its bidding. But what is its bidding right now? In the last decades it has been towards a re-concentration of wealth. Plutocracy is coming back with force. And yeah the plutocrats have made a lot of good stuff. The argument goes that they might do even better stuff if the government wasn’t messing with their ambitions through socialistic regulations. Imagine all the economic growth they might unleash if they were allowed to employ the proles for peanuts! What’s wrong with slave camps if you get cheap cotton, huh?

Besides the hate and contempt I feel for the plutocrats (which you could say it’s just envy), the problem I see with plutocracy is that I don’t like the trends I see. For one I don’t see most plutocrats pushing for a system to maximize economic growth. What I see is them pushing for endless migration of cheap labor for them to use. Even if I didn’t care about the left half of the bell curve having their wages depressed, I do object to Brazilization of the whole world. It seems to me, and many of us, that the plutocrats aren’t fighting to expand human wealth. They are fighting to become an endogamic caste lording over the mongrel masses. They want to become the equivalent of the Mexican ruling class. They want to have their status guaranteed for generations. I don’t blame them, humans are status driven. The corollary of female hypergamy is that all men want to be the top dog. And even is there is no end to status competition, a caste system is the best solution. The only way to guarantee your status in the top is that everyone else is  biologically upwardly immobile.

And if that doesn’t work, what we are seeing is a hard push for the AI singularity. If you can’t have cheap labor to lord over, they’ll have no labor at all. Robin Hanson’s “ems” theory is positively apocalyptic. I don’t know how feasible it is, but we do have increasing automation these days. Of course the irony here is that we are automating productive processes with the end purpose of selling the products to someone. But if economic logic says that most people aren’t employable and so should have no income, then who are we selling all this stuff to? Why produce it at all?

People acquire stuff because, 1: they produce something in exchange, or 2: they can take it by force. Taking it by force might be old fashioned banditry, or sophisticated politics, where a branch of the ruling class funnels stuff to you with the hidden assumption that if you’re not given stuff you might become a violent mob. Of course the military significance of popular mobs today is close to nil. But most people haven’t noticed that yet. Our political arrangements are based on the military balance of the early 19th century. If you don’t give us democracy we’ll rebel à la 1848. But of course no popular uprising could succeed today if the state was willing to fight back. The military today does depend on the loyalty of the soldiery, which also feeds upon a sense of ethnic solidarity. But for how long?

At the end of the day, political systems don’t depend on productive capability per se, or in ideology. They depend on military technology. A lot of assumptions about the future are based in the idea that people won’t go to war anymore so it’s all about economic interaction. But it’s not, in the end it’s still about how has the bigger guns. Can a plutocratic Brazilianized US hold to their military superiority? Or will tight-knit Finland’s superior asabiyyah allow it to develop a superior automated army that allows them to resist USG interference? Or will capitalism reach the singularity, develop Skynet, be destroyed by it, and leave the world to the Mormons, Amish and Haredim who kept on breeding while everyone else enjoyed the Matrix being amused to their death?

In the end that’s all that matters.

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126 responses to “Conflict

  1. Nick Land April 10, 2013 at 10:58

    “A lot of assumptions about the future are based in the idea that people won’t go to war anymore so it’s all about economic interaction. But it’s not, in the end it’s still about how has the bigger guns.” — OK, but bigger guns come out of capitalism.

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 10:59

      Tell that to comrade Stalin

      • Nick Land April 10, 2013 at 11:12

        … who was largely armed by America (lend-lease), ripped off German weapons (the AK-47 was an StG 44, RPGs were Panzerfausts), and atomic techno-science passed on by ‘idealists’ (the Rosenbergs).

        • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 11:31

          Guns have to be big, they don’t have to be yours.

          And they don’t even have to be the biggest, just big enough really.

          As the Soviets proved and Chinese have confirmed recently, open capitalistic places aren’t very good at keeping secrets.

        • fnn April 10, 2013 at 17:33

          Go to the gun nut forms and they’ll tell you that the internal workings of the Sturmgewehr and the AK-47 are entirely different.

          Anyway, US capitalists built Soviet industry even before Lend-Lease:

          http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama/2010/08/life-lived-well.html#comment-53643
          (…)

          Incidentally, those same fascist-lovers in the American financial and industrial establishment built the entire Soviet military-industrial complex from the ground up from 1929 to 1941. The Soviet Union was able to defeat the Wehrmacht ONLY because of US technical assistance in the preceding decades. Who built the steel works at Magnitogorsk, Kuznetsk and Zaporozhe? Freyn Engineering of Chicago and Arthur McKee of Cleveland. Who designed and built 77% of Soviet oil refineries, 96% of the lubricating plants, and 91% of the cracking plants? American firms. Who designed and built the tractor factories that produced tanks at Kharkov, Stalingrad, and Chelyabinsk? Engineers from Ford and Packard. In 1944, Stalin told Averell Harriman that two-third of the large industrial enterprises in the USSR were built with American technical assistance. Those Soviet tanks that rolled into Berlin in 1945 were built in a US-designed and built factory, ran on oil produced in a US-designed and built oil plant, and were transported on a US-supplied rail system.

          The fact is that US assistance to the USSR before 1941 puts the supposed assistance to the Nazis totally in the shade. If we had supplied the Germans with the type of aid we gave the Soviets, the Swastika would be flying from the Atlantic to the Urals to this day. Strangely, the post-WW2 “War Against Communism” did a FAR better role of covering up treasonous US assistance to Stalin’s criminal regime than aid to the Nazis. This is because the American political establishment was ALWAYS in bed with the Soviets, not the Nazis. The political establishment’s successful efforts to distract people like you with talk of how the Rockefellers aided the Nazis would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

          http://books.google.com/books?id=dcAgT_2uiYgC&lpg=PP1&ots=g-OYQ0S6ZD&dq=

      • Nick B. Steves April 27, 2013 at 04:02

        In the end, evolution will favor the big gun hanging between your legs.

  2. RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 13:08

    I don’t really believe they are trying to Brazilize. It’s an error to cognize Brazil as some sort of fixed destination when it isn’t even stable ; it’s presumably rather dysgenic. So the end result is Eloi have to live in heavily guarded enclaves (while also undergoing dysgenesis themselves, how cheerful). In return for this they get what, Morlocks who are, in a few generations, of no utility without being outfitted with electroshock collars or something. I don’t really see the appeal. In the end the Eloi are going to want many, many miles of free space to drive around and have fun in, so what they will do will amount to (literal, plain old-fashioned, totally non-‘cyber’) secession.

    There are probably other end results possible to exist, but stably engineering them is just too complicated.

    Our Western rulers are basically just dumb, neurotic, and banal. I mean, they do understand how to be vicious and aggressive, about simple, old-school things like oil. Their IQs are OK-ish but they’re incurious and have limited depth of feeling and architectural instinct, that’s why we end up with this bizarro-neurotic, yet banal idiocy that doesn’t benefit even the hegemon (secular Jews) in the long run, or even the medium run. Jim’s description of modern Western history is pretty right, it’s a bunch of hysterics and hectics trying to outflank each other.

    All these drones and paralyzing sonic lasers and shit are probably less relevant than you think. This cool gear is going to make Eloi feel happy when half the world looks halfway like Monrovia (see the VICE short)? They DO like the Manhattan/Frisco vs Detroit/ mass incarceration setup. –But they WON’T like it when it is like five times more intense, dude! And no, they haven’t thought it through. They lack imagination, except only within their little spherules of hectic yammering. Accordingly, they’ll basically be like whoa, what the fuck just happened? That’s what they’ll be saying in 20-40 years (usual caveats about the modest possibility of a post-scarcity world apply).

    I really think they are starting to dislike it even now. Like you say, our lives ain’t too shabby. But everyone knows about the sprawling incarceration, for instance. (Over here. I know you don’t have it so much in Europe.)

    Also, in 70 years they (Eloi) will have zero fine cultural production if they continue with their dysgenesis and don’t achieve AI. This will be a plain fact of life visible to everybody.

    So basically you’re wrong. What’s the point of creating an endogamous caste that is rapidly shrinking, slowly worsening, and gazing out upon a (deepening and probably dangerous) earthly hell that it freely chose to create? Is that your idea of a good time?

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 13:15

      Not my idea, but it’s what they’re trying to achieve.
      Brazil is dysgenic but it has been quite stable for some time. The upper class isn’t migrating en masse so they must enjoy travelling in helicopters to avoid the Morlocks.

    • tmp April 10, 2013 at 13:52

      Nit: Morlocks were the overlords and the Eloi were lazy idiots.

  3. RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 13:21

    The real question is, can a forceful critic like us actually make anything better? It’s like you’re always saying, the problem is the implementation, the vested interests between here and there, etc.

    Will our insights be bastardized, fanaticized by others?

    I mean, if you and I could sit down with Mencius and Jim or something, no fanatics, and make a grand peace treaty, and have a Varangian Guard or something, that would probably work out OK. Actually, pretty darn well I bet. But how can we, or really anyone, restore order in a decent, halfway-humane process? It’s very hard to be optimistic. I mean, I can barely make a living and keep my apartment clean, man.

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 13:52

      You tell me.

      I wouldn’t be writing a blog if I were optimistic. In the end all we can do is reach an understanding on how close the shit is to hitting the fan, and plan our personal lives accordingly. After it happens then someone might listen to what we are saying. Probably won’t though.

    • BIGDOUG April 10, 2013 at 14:22

      the only way the plutocrats get displaced is by the man on the white horse–by force. only after, can we change anything for real

  4. George April 10, 2013 at 13:54

    The problem is, you don’t know what you want, and you don’t even want what you think you want. The Christian holds all the trump cards: meaning, purpose, truth, salvation. You atheist “intellectuals” have: meaning (lol), purpose (lol), truth (lol), damnation.

    It is easy to predict who will win this war. Why don’t you go enjoy another cocktail and leave civilisation to people who are actually in the game.

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 14:10

      You also have the trump cards of: failure, defeat, apostasy and death.
      I wish you all the luck kissing Qurans and the feet of gipsy criminals.

      And Simon, why change your name from a Biblical to a Greek one? Not cool.

      • George April 10, 2013 at 14:18

        I am rather easy to parse.

        I believe it is time to back up words with actions – NO MORE THINKING ABOUT POLITICS – I would like to quit blogs altogether but the intellectual isolation of the backwater fuckland that I am living in would be mentally devastating.

        Goodbye, spandrell. I may even become a good enough Christian to start praying for you soon.

  5. RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 14:17

    > Not my idea, but it’s what they’re trying to achieve.

    Naw, man, they just don’t even know.

    They don’t study.

    One of the weirdest things about America, that you might not know but that kind of affects/infects the world indirectly, is how perverse the incentives are for students. Everyone just crams for the monthly exam, semesterly exam. I got shit grades, boyo, shit. Truly bad. Then on the actual Exam of What You Actually Learned Like Permanently (the GRE), I waste everybody.

    I know that is simply not done in England — the placing of far more emphasis on grades than on culminative exams, I mean — and I don’t think y’all act that way on the Continent either. By the bye, hardly anyone ever notices or discusses it. Non-issue.

    Evidently, in Germany fairly ordinary people read long newspaper polemics between like fucking Habermas and Ernst Nolte about the real meaning and true perspective of the 20th century wars. That is pretty foreign to our whole mindset. And while Nolte’s existence is fairly scandalous in Germany, one simply couldn’t publish him at all here, whereas he is just-publishable as an op/ed in Frankforter Allgemeine Zeitung.

    > Brazil is dysgenic but it has been quite stable for some time. The upper class isn’t migrating en masse so they must enjoy travelling in helicopters to avoid the Morlocks.

    I mentioned before, it probably wasn’t on the European news much, but ~7 years ago it was this huge meme over here that Mexico was on the verge of sociopolitical collapse. It’s not Iraq but it is pretty wild out there. Well, so in the end it didn’t collapse, but check back in 20 years.

    The Brazilian favelas started as a mass phenomenon in the 50s-60s as I recall. Those people had once been peasants.

    Can’t give figures, but I think you are wrong, things probably are getting worse there in terms of, say, the pop fraction living in favelas, not to speak of allele frequencies . . . except things got better lately — economically — because of the raw materials boom (Asian demand). I hardly need add that 15 years of elevated aluminum prices doesn’t amount to much, ultimately, compared to mutation load. Probably makes things worse in the end, like having three beers before doing your chores.

    In any case, big picture, I’m sure the fraction living in favelas is now many times higher than it was in 1970 — so how exactly are you defining ‘stable’.

    It occurs to me that Asian demand may also be what averted social collapse in Mexico.

    Also I believe most ordinary Whites live in the north of Brazil and did not have many non-Whites around until recent decades. So they are experiencing the same racial changes as us. But there must have been plenty of ordinary Whites in Rio. Don’t know what their arrangements were (I fear I am ignorant of this entire subject, in fine), but I’ve posted at Foseti’s before about de facto residential segregation existing in that country. Like enforced, grassroots enforced de facto segregation. Not the kind of unenforced stuff found in US & EU.

    Anyway, there cannot be many who actually have the helicopters. I assume ordinary Eloi who need to get downtown in Rio just have bulletproof limos with plenty of guns and guards. Which equals 6.2x less utils than zooming it in a chopper.

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 14:36

      It’s not my impression that the average German, let alone Brit, is better educated that the average white American. You yanks have this complex about your education system. It’s not that bad at all.

      Brazil or Mexico may well go to hell in short notice, that doesn’t take from the allure of having ethnically distinct classes who remind you of your superior birth every day you see them mowing your lawn. I agree it’s not a conscious plan of the Western elite, but it does seem quite inevitable to me. The Indians had it right. Everybody likes castes.

      • BIGDOUG April 10, 2013 at 14:39

        i agree. I think the when race realism goes mainstream, it will likely result in a caste system for the west and for america in particular, rather than an ethnostate.

      • Thales April 10, 2013 at 18:50

        IIRC, the Indians had the caste system imposed upon them from lighter-skinned (natch!) guys from the Persian region. It sustained itself by being race-realist whilst hijacking the ancient heirarchichal bicameral psychology: religion.

        How are you going to introduce a caste system when the nominal religion of the land is universalist? To steal from Ben Franklin, a Restoration, if you can keep it — how are you going to keep it? How are you going to maintain the heirarchy? How do you sell this to the masses, their children and their grandchildren. Do you “sell” it with the point of a gun? The people on the bottom sure as hell won’t understand the reasoning — that’s why they’re on the bottom.

        This, it seems to me, is the critical unanswered question.

        • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 19:04

          It exists right now in South America.

          They are all Christian but the ruling class is whiter than the rest. They don’t seem to have much trouble maintaining the hierarchy. Well there’s always some asshole Chaves fucking it up but the whites are still doing good.

  6. RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 14:22

    Dude we are both on record as agnostics. And in fact I think about the ultimate meaning of life and stuff pretty regularly, thanks.

    • RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 14:29

      Ever notice all my posts about the little ethical system of yoo-dai-monism, eudaimonia being sometimes rendered as ‘blessedness’? Happen to know what a ‘daimon’ is? Alrenous and I disdain any sort of blustery materialism as much as you do, and so probably does Spandrell. So did Aristotle, who I guess you think is in the zeroeth circle of hell or something as per Dante. Well, I happen to like him.

      • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 14:31

        Don’t worry about Simon, he just likes being a dick. It’s his mission as a Christian. He’s a Dick for Jesus.

        • George April 10, 2013 at 14:39

          Do not blaspheme, spandrell.

          My commenting style is (was) like it is for a purpose. It gets a good gauge on a blogger’s psyche and lets me understand how they think. It’s merely an information gathering exercise, I have no online persona to nurture, nothing to gain or lose from it, but now I have all the info I need, and it has become quite boring.

          This is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

    • vimothy April 11, 2013 at 18:48

      “It is better to want to do good than to know the truth.”–Plotinus

  7. tmp April 10, 2013 at 14:38

    I just finished Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5000 Years” and it’s thrown a small spanner into my thoughts on these matters. The really hand-wavy key take-away is that the form of currency has huge social ramifications. Private debt based currencies (no specie) are what tend to emerge among free peoples. A given unit of currency is only as good as the web of social trust and credit-worthiness behind it, usually documented by a chain of endorsing individuals and institutions. This worked surprisingly well at financing even large projects and international trade. The idea of money as a pure commodity appears to be an invention of war waging centralized states and had to be forced on populations. It seems very possible that pure commodity/fiat money inevitably erodes asabiyyah. It seems the anarcho-capitalist option needs to divorce certain ideas about the nature of money and markets and be reconsidered.

    Anyway, there’s also a bunch of great bits of info in the book on how people used to deal with the “moron problem.” In 16th century England the first vagrancy offense got your ears nailed to the pillory. The second got you the death penalty. All over the world a slavery-like debt peon status was common. Jim talks about “slavery” but I think he really should use the term “peonage”. The book cites some interesting accounts of land lords assiduously keeping tally of their resident peons’ debts, knowing they’ll never be repaid.

  8. aidan coyne (@raptros_) April 10, 2013 at 18:24

    How would you fit Evola into this?

  9. John April 10, 2013 at 18:30

    Onething you may or may not know is that, the plutocrat that you speak of are increasingly not an inherited status. Many nowadays come from humble backgrounds and a few generations from now, their descendents may not do much better than the general population. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are giving most of their wealth away from the family and channeling them to none profit organizations. Their kids of course are not going to starve, but three or five generations from now, I will bet the brutal force of regression to the mean will meant that their descendents are no better than yours or mine. It used to take a lot longer because the rich folks used to keep all their money to their descendents, but even then, it was just a matter of time before poverty descend on at least some of the Rockefellers. One could never underestimate the capacity of the born wealthy to squander their fortune.

    With the modern world, everyone is capable of breeding. This means that any charity is going to contribute to the already strong dysgenic trend. When multiple ethnic groups co-exists, this is going to be exacerbated even more due to group identity politics. The brutal capitalist way at least slows down this trend. Any subsidy in the form of “liveable wages” will acceralate the spiral.

    • spandrell April 10, 2013 at 18:40

      How do you fit the zillion migrants that the plutocrats are bringing in?
      Those are breeding too, you know.

      Do you ever read anything I write, John?

      • John April 10, 2013 at 22:43

        I am just pointing out that the reason for the “Plutocrats” to push for immigration is not necessary to endow their descendents as the “upper caste”. It is driven more from the plain vanilla corporate profit motive, which, in the right condition, also drive the rising living standards for the general public. I am not saying that I agree with the immigration bit.

        Absent the immigration bit, Everyone according to his ability is not such a bad thing, especially when “slave labor” for the left side of the bell curve in the West has pretty cushy life styles compared to the vast majority of the world. Technology continue to come up to exploit even this niche. For example, it use to be, a check out person needs to be able to do calculation, or at least memorize some number system to enter the products in the cash register. Now, any moron can be a cashier. You just scan the item, and give change according to what the machine tells you. In some system, the coin part is even dispensed automatically. Suddenly, a lot more from the left side of the curve are qualified for the job of cashier. A Mexican working in the construction business in the U.S. is three times as productive as his conterpart in Mexico. All the high end restaurants in California uses Mexicans as chefs and just have either the owner or the top chef (usually white, some times Asian) be in charged of creating new menus. All the jobs are broken down to discrete operations that does not require a lot of thinking. You just need to be fast on your feet. Suddenly, they are finding out that you don’t need to have high culinary talent to be a restaurant chef.

        Life is not that bad “in the coal mine” :)

        • spandrell April 11, 2013 at 07:12

          I’m not saying they are consciously doing that to become Mexican oligarchs themselves, but that’s what will happen, and if you ask them they won’t mind it at all.

          What’s your point, that it doesn’t matter if 80% of the population has a 90 IQ because hey modern technology can make chefs out of anyone? Well go to Mexico and tell me how nice it is.

          • John April 11, 2013 at 22:15

            My point is that having “liveable” wages really does not help that much. My illustration examples uses Mexicans, but if the Mexicans were not there and the free capitalist approach is used, it equally applies to the low IQ natives. My point is that the capitalist approach has many virtues. As to the immigration part, I think, at least in the U.S. only a small subset of businesses really benefits (and therefore pushing) from more immigration. The agricultural sector, the services sector(restaurants etc.) and the high tech sector. These are relatively small subsets of industries.

            There are many other sources which ended up helping illegal immigration, including the natives who hire illegals for odd jobs. Businesses are just part of the problem.

            We must not throw out the baby with the bath water. I think free enterprise works, It is not inhumane like what you described.

    • Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 23:09

      hold the fuck on
      bill gates warren buffet et all are NOT

      let me repeat

      NOT NOT NOT

      “giving their wealth away”

      They will endow a foundation just like the carnagies, rockefellers, etc before them.

      Their families will enjoy… the only word i can come up with is: unimaginable, advantages for many generations because of this wealth.

      That is unless WE take it from them, or eliminate them.

      • John April 11, 2013 at 00:58

        There are foundations, then there are foundations. I think in the past, the goal of the foundation is more to ensure the survival of the descendents. I think for Bill and Warren, their goal is to change the world. As such, even if their desendents are on the board, they must contribute to the cause. What is more, you simply cannot have fifty descendents of Bill running a none profit. it will be run Microsoft style with someone at the top. That person may not be one of his descendents. I think I heard somewhere that Bill left each of his kids 10 million. while this ensure they won’t starve, I don’t think it leaves much to the third generation.

        If you read the book “the millionair next door” you will see that most millionairs are self made. This is because to even hold on to the vast fortunes, one must be above average in both genetics and upbringing. This is incompatible to the brutal reality that is revertion to the mean. It is even less compatible with the upbringing of the blue blood wealthy, who does fund raising and never work a day in his life. No matter how vast the fortune, unless each generation only has one kid, the exponential math will mean that eventually, a very large number of people lay claim to the money. Add to this the incompetance of the later generations, you will very quickly get to the point where each person does not get much from the trust funds.

  10. RS-prime April 10, 2013 at 22:47

    Well Evola falls under trad/religious/mystical/spiritual.

    And that’s what life will always really be about. Inarticulable affects. Elusive music. The best day of a year. The worst one. Life writ larger than life, life subtler and deeper than life . . .

    That’s what’s at the heart of tradition, and also, nationalism. Only I can’t take up a spiritual heritage focused beyond this world, and as far as I know neither could Evola.

    In a spiritual dimension nationalism, especially eugenic or merely antidysgenic nationalism, is about everything you hope for but can’t have. But other humans can have it — some of whom would appreciate it more, and on whose behalf you would be more happy, because they are more like you. In a pragmatic dimension the ethnocommunity is just a better place to live and to ensconse a family and give them a heritage and tradition, which means a resonance with other lives, with select works of art, particular wisdom and guidance. Since this is really all about vividness, the same animation found in high art or romantic love, or battle, we as virtuists or eudaimonists decline to conflate it with or reduce it to pleasure (which is certainly involved).

    What is capitalism? Per se, nothing special. You just need it to undergird your polity and world. Under circumstances known to date, your polity will need to compete well in it, if you want to be free. But it itself posits nothing in particular. People will always understand something you can’t quite put your finger on by the words Hellas, Israel, Persia, France, or China — remains to be seen whether this will be true of Singapore.

    • Alrenous February 7, 2014 at 11:32

      Inarticulable affects. Elusive music. The best day of a year. The worst one. Life writ larger than life, life subtler and deeper than life . . .

      This.

      This is vastly more important than any pet cause on either side, and doesn’t get discussed anywhere.

  11. John April 10, 2013 at 23:05

    “political systems don’t depend on productive capability per se, or in ideology. They depend on military technology”

    And what does military technology depend on? They depend on the economy, or productive capacity. Israel might be a pretty powerful military for its size, but they are no match for Britain, let alone the U.S. because they have got only a few million folks. This is inspite the fact that vast resources channelled by the Jewish diaspora heads to Israel every year from U.S. and Europe. The entire economy of Israel is less than the U.S. military spending. No amount of IQ can make up for this financial deficit. The U.S. rised to take over from Britain as the dominant world power not initially because we have better military technology, but because we vastly out produce them.

  12. Francis April 11, 2013 at 05:05

    Ethnostate + new mythology aimed at creating an upward trajectory for the quality of our people and eventually spreading the species off this planet.

    When you look at how easily Western Christian civilization was derailed, you should feel uncomfortable about the idea of having East Asia as the sole remaining bastion of science and culture in the world. Their civilization could go off the rails at some point, just like ours did.

    Humanity will be better off if a few other ethnic groups stick around as secondary centers of science and culture, even if they are much less powerful than China. Different ethnic groups think differently, so the next mind virus might not wipe out everybody.

    • spandrell April 12, 2013 at 03:36

      That means you need a certain degree of separation, so people can develop their own cultures. As of now, it’s either Cathedral or death, and countries all over the world are losing their smart people to Cathedral central.

      The present technology means that any dominant culture will control the whole planet. Unless we get fusion energy running so we don’t need a global supply chain anymore.

      • Candide III April 13, 2013 at 06:54

        Don’t pin your hopes on fusion. At least the known-to-be-practicable approaches result in power stations with capital costs 10x of equivalent nuclear power stations, and they cannot be made small — only the largest size is available.

        • spandrell April 13, 2013 at 10:50

          Japan just had some breakthrough, right?

          What’s the minimum economic scale you need to run a fusion plant? Korea? Italy? Japan? Or China?

          • Candide III April 13, 2013 at 12:07

            Japan or Korea probably can pull it off. It’s just that the capital costs are so extremely high that the venture makes little economic sense. And keep in mind that at the present juncture fusion power is not practical. At least 20-30 years of research is still required before a feasible technical plan for a working power plant will be available, and then it will take a decade to build and become operational. There is a lot of infrastructure to put in place too, deuterium extraction, radioactive waste management, repair and maintenance, production of replacement parts (the best materials don’t last long under the wasting neutron irradiation produced by fusion reactions). All this was well known by the 80s.

            As for news about breakthroughs, you know better than to put faith in science journalism.

      • Baker April 13, 2013 at 10:50

        We don’t need fusion energy (yet). Liquid fluoride thorium reactor is good enough to provide for our energy need for the foreseeable future and it is technologically feasible and much safer and cleaner than current generation nuclear power. We just need political will and economical incentive to industrialize this technology.

        • Baker April 13, 2013 at 11:07

          Oops. Didn’t notice that you were talking about global supply chain.

        • Candide III April 13, 2013 at 12:09

          Oh? What are they doing about corrosion? Molten fluoride salts are not exactly milk and honey.

          • Baker April 13, 2013 at 12:38

            I don’t have the expertise to answer this. From articles I’ve read corrosion is not considered an insurmountable problem. China is actively working on LFTR.

            Has fusion power solved the problem of requiring too much input power just to maintain the reaction, even if just theoretically? If the most optimistic estimate put a possible feasible design at 2050, I reckon in reality it would take at least 3x as long.

            • Candide III April 13, 2013 at 18:18

              Read a bit about LTFR. Sounds interesting, but nuclear reactors of any stripe are extremely complicated theoretically, technologically and managerially (both Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents were primarily caused by managerial failures). I daresay we could build and maintain them provided sufficient trained personnel and organizational capacity, but that’s exactly where our problems lie.

              Fusion power has been considered to be “feasible 50 years in the future” since the 50s. It’s a standing joke in the fusion physics community.

  13. Contemplationist April 11, 2013 at 05:14

    Nice, we are back to thinking!
    Well done.

  14. KK April 11, 2013 at 13:00

    The capitalist branch argue that asabiyyah depends on economic incentives, and smart government policy. The obvious model is Singapore. Moldbug used to be here. Not so sure he still is. Nick Land is certainly here.
    Of course Moldbug isn’t there any more. He has kids.

    A lot of Jews stay in the capitalist branch after progeny, though. Their blood isn’t usually as tied to soil as with the rest of us. The morality of a middleman minority.

    Or will tight-knit Finland’s superior asabiyyah allow it to develop a superior automated army that allows them to resist USG interference?
    Haha, no. We’re a bit too dependent on the outside world for our energy, for starters. The country gets so grim and frostbitten in the winter that us modern city leeches would starve by the thousands when the first oil pipe or reactor went offline.

    South Africa couldn’t take on The International Community, neither can we. A lot of things have changed since Winter War.

    Besides, you know us well enough to know that you wouldn’t want to live in a Finnish hegemony. We make the best adjutants. Generals, not so much.

    • spandrell April 11, 2013 at 13:07

      It wouldn’t be Finnish hegemony. Just reasonable autarky. Being able to do your thing without threat of invasion because you don’t accept enough Somali refugees.

      Say in 30 years or so we get fusion power running. That changes the energy dependence equation completely.
      Japan just started tapping methane hidrates in their sea bed. The first reaction on the internet was “So can we close borders now??”

      • KK April 12, 2013 at 12:13

        Yes, I hear what you’re saying. It’s an interesting era we live in when ‘doing your own thing’ is seen as a legitimate casus belli, but in a way that’s what it has always been. If you’re not explicitly aligned with the interests of a local hegemony or a great power, you’re against them. Us small fish rarely have a say on how much maneuverability we have to do our own thing.

        However, I’m not convinced that The International Community actually has the coherence, drive and self-belief to present a threat of invasion of a First World country at this point. Economic subterfuge yes, UN resolutions yes, NY Times opinion pieces certainly, occupation no. I sense a case of ‘world police fatigue’ among the good people, and there are too many cracks in that dam waiting to burst. FPÖ in Austria 15 years ago was alone. Now there are mini-FPÖs in all except the faggiest of nations.

        But the economic thumbscrews themselves would be enough to crush Finland, for example. Maybe some other places would be more resilient to that. Swiss cantons, Bavaria, Lombardia… the beating heart of continental Europe. If such a paradigm shift as fusion power were to occur, that number would grow.

        Long-term, I’m actually more concerned about intra-national fault lines. We may be past the point of no return for nation states built on a particular ethnic and cultural history (and their implied future), but I don’t have anything coherent to say about that yet. It’s just that over the course of this year, I’ve had some eye-opening conversations and observations on how deep the divisions go even here in Finland, which is usually considered to be one of the more unified in the world. I’m not talking about university girls signaling their status by liking faggot marriage on Facebook, I’m talking about grievances and feuds springing up from a century-old Civil War etc.

        It’s like Glubb noted: when the things are good, we get along. When times get tough, we start finding reasons to separate ‘us’ from ‘them’. Glubb wrote about empires, but the dynamic is there in smaller entities as well.

        • spandrell April 12, 2013 at 21:16

          Yes I think one of the most interesting parts of the future is how will modern technology affect ethnogenesis. Many European nations are disintegrating in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. When you aren’t allowed to do what nations do (go to war with the neighbour nations) you start hating your inside neighbours. People need to hate someone.

          • Nick B. Steves April 13, 2013 at 05:33

            People need to hate someone.

            The history of post-colonial Africa probably shows this best.

            • KK April 15, 2013 at 00:23

              I’d prefer a bit more nuanced claim than “People need to hate someone”. An in-group/out-group distinction doesn’t necessarily have to go that far.

              Having someone to beat on a football pitch (or at least someone to lose to) might be enough. I’m more than halfway serious with this idea btw, I believe that international sports have been a significant lightning rod to defuse potential conflicts after the second World War.

              How that squares with a world approaching a new Malthusian threshold, I have no idea. Maybe it doesn’t. People die in football matches only in Egypt.

    • Janon April 29, 2013 at 03:42

      Mencius Moldbug’s father is half-Jewish.

      • Janon April 29, 2013 at 03:44

        Sorry, meant that Mencius Moldbug is half-Jewish via his father. This was in reply to KK mentioning that Moldbug had moved away from the capitalist branch after having children whereas Jews are less likely to do so.

        • spandrell April 29, 2013 at 06:47

          Yes but he isn’t a nomadic banker. He does seem tied to that evil piece of land called SF. So I’d cut him some slack, when you start calculating coefficients of Jewness the arguments turn stupid very fast.

  15. Leonard April 11, 2013 at 14:50

    Why are we reactionaries? Because modernity sucks [in 5 specific ways] … Which can be summed up as a lack of asabiyyah in general. Reactionary thought is based in the idea that modernity is corrosive to asabiyyah and thus will lead to societal collapse and general misery.

    I disagree with this. It is true that modernity sucks in many ways. But it is also great in many ways. The reactionary believes that the suck mostly springs out of our political arrangements (democracy) and ultimately religion (progressivism). Whereas the good stuff — wealth, technology, etc — all spring from capitalism, and (key point) are likely to stop happening if politics keeps going as we predict. It is one thing to put up with modernity’s problems when you get to be rich and can separate yourself from most of the dysfunction, and have whiz-bang toys. It is another when you are poor and cannot avoid the dysfunction.

    I think that many reactionaries, and definitely me included, would not necessarily be reactionaries if we felt that the current balance of suckiness to greatness could be continued indefinitely. The problem is not that today is so disordered that it’s unlivable, it’s that it is unsustainable, and there is only one way to increase order.

    I agree that modernity is corrosive to asabiyyah, but I don’t see that as causing the societal collapse. Rather it is a symptom: I feel the causation is democracy –> “progress” –> social decay –> ~asabiyyah. So I’m still pretty “capitalist”, although I also do feel that a monarchist state can and would do a lot to foster social solidarity. Asabiyyah is valuable. As such it will show up on the bottom line, and our obese cigar-chomping shareholders will demand it.

    • spandrell April 11, 2013 at 19:36

      I agree that there’s something wrong with a mere romanticism of the past.
      I guess the way I see it is democracy is the consequence of the lack of assabiya in the elite.

      The problem with your dear Fnargl is that people are more envious than greedy:
      http://falkenblog.blogspot.jp/2010/03/why-envy-dominates-greed.html

      There’s no reason to maximize asabiyyah or functionality once you’re on the top.

      • Leonard April 12, 2013 at 13:50

        Perhaps you might write more about what you think the implications of envy being stronger than greed are. (At the societal level, I think this is quite true. And so democracy fails. But I do not think it is true in all individuals. I see no reason that an elite that is more greedy than envious cannot be found; indeed the salability of the neocameral share rather guarantees this.)

        In any case, my argument above was not to say that there would necessarily be much asabiyyah in the highest levels of state. Rather, that Fnargl would want his subjects to have it, because that makes them better (== more profitable) subjects. If a monoracial society is better, Fnargl can do that. However, I also happen to think that the neocameral state would culture asabiyyah in its apparat (if not the top levels), which would be basically a semi-progressive, noblesse oblige sort of thing. The people need us to rule them, because look at how badly they run their own lives! Our experts can make superior decisions! We must work hard together to build a better future! We must set good examples! Etc.

        • spandrell April 12, 2013 at 21:10

          I think the point is, any human Fnargl would have no need to constantly maximize gold output. He’d just want to be the top dog. And once you are, there’s no need to grow the economy anymore. See Chaves.

          • Leonard April 18, 2013 at 16:37

            Do recall the “human Fnargl” is actually a corporation. Its CEO may only want power, but he is constrained by the stockholders, who primarily want money. They probably would make low-cost laws to distinguish themselves as a class using the power of the state. But because shares are salable they will always tend to be held by men who value money more than other goals. Salability and the desire for profit is the key to the success of the joint stock corporation.

            • spandrell April 18, 2013 at 16:53

              Corporations are made of individuals. Shareholders will kill each other to get to be the top dog. It’s happened before.

              And no group makes access to power salable. You grab it tight so your kids inherit it. A Fnargl corporation could only work if it’s made of Fnargls. And there’s none of those.

    • JBP February 19, 2014 at 21:40

      “I think that many reactionaries, and definitely me included, would not necessarily be reactionaries if we felt that the current balance of suckiness to greatness could be continued indefinitely.”
      well, duh. you’d be conservatives, who do happen to believe that. As it is, part of the neoR creed is that this point in time cannot be held in stasis; we are headed for the ZA.

      But does the neoR wish for continued improvements in technology and a continued rise in the overall standards of living? (okay, pretty much a duh) Because that path could be threatened by the capitalist version of the neoR universe if the power distribution becomes top-heavy.

  16. Francis April 11, 2013 at 14:57

    Yes, I think that to some significant extent reaction is about the West’s miserable future, not the flawed but tolerable present. The present is worse than the past in many ways, but it is also better than the past in many other ways. Overall, it’s not intolerable. But nobody is going to like the future, not even the people who are busily bringing it about.

  17. Nick B. Steves April 11, 2013 at 22:08

    Or perhaps there’s three. There’s the religious/traditionalist branch, the ethnic/nationalist branch, and the capitalist branch.

    That’s an excellent taxonomy, Spandrell. Funny that I find myself with a foot in all three.

    • Contemplationist April 11, 2013 at 22:40

      Agreed

      There has to be synthesis, or at least something like seasteading that allows all the above factions to try their own ideals out to see what works out. Enough with top-down systems.

      • Nick B. Steves April 12, 2013 at 14:54

        It’s not top-down systems, per se that are the problem, but top-down systems that pretend to be bottom-up. IOW, politics are the problem. The strong and capable should rule the weak and inept, not to take advantage of them, but for their own (and everyone else’s) good. The aristocrat or oligarch is nature’s first and best humanitarian.

        • Contemplationist April 13, 2013 at 04:18

          Yes but different sets of aristocrats have different ideas of how to run things. It’s not enough to say they should rule. Different sets of aristocrats should be given their own domain to experiment.

          • Nick B. Steves April 13, 2013 at 05:31

            Well obviously getting the USG (and its clients and NGOs) out of the rest of the world’s business is a must. But I doubt we need seasteading colonies to properly sample for effective governments. The principles have been reasonably well-known for… oh… I dunno… 2500 years.

  18. Contemplationist April 11, 2013 at 22:42

    What about the WRM scenario – extensive shale oil, and natural gas basically renew the American empire for another century? Let’s not discount it simply because most reactionaries want the Cathedral to fall.

  19. Richard April 12, 2013 at 15:45

    Or perhaps there’s three. There’s the religious/traditionalist branch, the ethnic/nationalist branch, and the capitalist branch.

    You seem to be suggesting here that these are just tools, not necessarily desirable or preferable in and of themselves, for achieving a pleasant society, which is the end you have in mind.

    On the other hand, you also seem to generally imply in your writing that traditionalism or ethno-nationalism are preferable for their own sakes.

    • spandrell April 13, 2013 at 10:47

      ” imply in your writing that traditionalism or ethno-nationalism are preferable for their own sakes.”

      Do I? I wouldn’t like a religious and ethnically united place which wasn’t pleasant. Actually there’s many of those, and I nobody likes them.

  20. Richard April 12, 2013 at 16:05

    Nick Land yesterday said I was “conflicted”.

    Could it be due to your background or life experience?

    You speak 2 different exotic languages and have lived and worked in 2 different exotic locales. This isn’t to say that speaking exotic languages or living and working in exotic locales among and with alien peoples is necessarily “anti-reactionary” or whatever you want to call it, but it is more emblematic of modernity and cosmopolitanism than, say, staying on the family farm and working the land your family’s had for generations or something. Presumably you set upon this path when you were more liberal or libertarian minded or not preoccupied with issues of traditionalism, ethno-nationalism, reactionary politics, etc. But now that you have become more concerned with these issues, perhaps there is a bit of cognitive dissonance between these more recent concerns and your relatively “modern” lifestyle. I think this affects everyone concerned with these issues since everyone these days leads a relatively “modern” lifestyle.

    • spandrell April 12, 2013 at 21:04

      It’s kinda scary that someone can read so much from your writing.

      But you’re good. Yes I live everyday with the conflict of living as an outsider in a tribal society which I believe shouldn’t be accepting me in the first place. As a matter of principle, that is. There have always been exceptions. I guess I’m glad to be one.

  21. RS April 13, 2013 at 14:35

    What does WRM mean wrt shale and gas

  22. RS April 13, 2013 at 22:33

    My gut says Spandrell’s probably right about future US power. The elites don’t seem like much more of a solid femur of dominion than the imported proles do: as Jim and MM highlight, every cool institution is now more or less printing the dollar, which therefore suffers the tragedy of the commons. Kyle Bass suggests US elites will be inside witnesses to the financial downfall of Europe and Japan, and will grow some asabiyyah accordingly. I’m sure they will, for like five or six years, then what. The US will remain quite powerful but I think the Continent will be pretty strong, at least potentially. American soft power and ideological power will be beyond tarnished.

  23. RS April 13, 2013 at 22:37

    HE SHOOTS HE SCORES

    > I don’t really believe they are trying to Brazilize. […] In the end the [Morlocks] are going to want many, many miles of free space to drive around and have fun in, so what they will do will amount to (literal, plain old-fashioned, totally non-’cyber’) secession. […] I really think they are starting to dislike it even now. Like you say, our lives ain’t too shabby. But everyone knows about the sprawling incarceration, for instance.

  24. Greying Wanderer April 29, 2013 at 05:54

    “We used to have more asabiyyah than now, but we also had no economic growth. For all the nostalgia for the Victorian age, who wants to go back there? Who prefers ethnic solidarity and purpose to modern medicine and technology?”

    There was more innovation then than now and i’d say most innovation now (in the West anyway) is running on the fumes of what was built in the Victorian age – particularly the education system which has been slowly degraded from the bottom up since the 1960s.

    International capitalism feeds on endless cheap labor and cheap labor destroys innovation. Victorian Era National-Capitalism is the prime – almost only – source of medical and technological innovation.

    • spandrell April 29, 2013 at 06:36

      The education system stuff is overblown. Kids are no dumber than they used to be. I talk with my seniors and I don’t hear wisdom. Just the same crap.

      And I’d say the Victorians had a shitload of real cheap labor working for them. Labor didn’t get expensive until after WW1.

      • Greying Wanderer April 30, 2013 at 22:55

        “Kids are no dumber than they used to be.”

        I’m not saying they’re dumber. I’m saying they are worse educated. The simple test – which i’ve seen hundreds of times – is grand-parents better able to do mental arithmetic than their grand-children. 1968-er education is based on the blank slate. The only way an education system can be made compatible with the blank slate is to dumb it down so *everyone* can pass the same tests and that is gradually what has been happening in western education systems from the bottom up – that way because it can be imposed on the bottom but meets resistance at the top.

        “And I’d say the Victorians had a shitload of real cheap labor working for them”

        Enough? If enough then mass unemployment would have been the norm. There was never enough and mass immigration wasn’t an option hence more innovation than we have now and far more than we will have in the future if globalist capitalism wins.

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  27. thordaddy May 2, 2013 at 09:16

    Spandrell,

    You will come to realize in your moments of liberated censorship that there is only your individual solution for our collective decline. The white male liberal — the unwitting and unwilling core of the West — will either die off and the West goes with him or he will strive towards Supremacy as a white man. He will be an avowed white Supremacist and make his “neoreaction” particularly concrete.

    The ethno-religious-singularity is genuine white Supremacy.

    You cannot deny this conclusion.

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