So I wrote about different kinds of reactionaries. I’m quite happy it created a lot of buzz, got thousands of visits, and a lot of links from people I didn’t know about. We all love to talk about ourselves.
Alas I’m not about to categorize our beliefs and let them be happily everafter. I want closure. I’m annoying like that.
So we all know what we hate. Liberalism. The equality cult. But what are we for?
Some people just want heavenly bliss:
If it means a choice between living in a traditional civilization geared toward the spiritual health of its citizens or living in a barbaric society geared toward the physical wellbeing of its inhabitants, I would choose the first, even sans penicillin. As has been said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Some care about their racial brethren:
Whites must return to quality learning, quality thinking, and quality behavior. This won’t guarantee prosperity- that is hard to come by these days for anybody- but it will provide dignity and self-respect, which a jet ski can’t.
And others want to maximize intelligence, people be damned. And they give links to what is coming:
Breakthrough in a theory of intelligence might enable a quasi human AI. (This is mindblowing shit)
The importance of the Higgs boson.
Experiment tries to build a perpetual motion machine.
What do these three positions have in common? Only that they regard the equality cult as working against their goals. The faith addicts believe that the equality cult breaks the authority of God and the religious hierarchy, which breaks the ground for spiritual health.
Ethno-nationalists believe that progressivism undermines tribal solidarity by outlawing discrimination and giving power to individuals who can’t handle themselves. Without the natural laws of tribal organization, hierarchy, a certain amount of xenophobia, patriarchy, etc. society crumbles in disorder.
Singularitarians believe that the equality cult is taking resources from intelligence maximization into caring for unintelligent animals which produce nothing of worth. They believe you need free markets to set up a system in which people are forced to behave rationally and maximize total intelligence, hence techno-capitalists. The sort of society that would result from rationalizing free markets is beyond the point. People suck anyway.
Now I focus on attacking techno-capitalists. Why? Well the traditionalists position is self-refuting. Sorry fellas. If you think that where there is an altar there is civilization, you have a pretty low threshold for civilization. You can keep your sanctimonious highs for yourself, and get stoned with your spiritual health.
Ethno-nationalism sounds good, very good really. But it is not feasible anymore. Nationalism isn’t some natural law of human societies. It is a particular historical phenomenon where modern polities acquired the means to fool their subjects into believing they were part of the same tribe. David Friedman has this paper on how you can derive the size and nature of a polity by its system of taxation. By depending on income tax, i.e. taxes on labor, states have an incentive to produce a cohesive, monocultural populace that will not want to migrate, i.e. deprive the state of their income taxes. Of course that’s not all the story, but you get the point. Nations were artificially made through massive state propaganda. States today have no incentive for that. They live off financial engineering. Ergo ethno-nationalism is not going to happen. QED.
So the only plausible way out of demotism is techno-capitalism. Now let’s see techno-capitalism from two sides.
One is the moral side. Techno-capitalism is in some sense a sort of religion, in that it postules a purpose for human existence. Nick Land put it square by talking of optimizing for intelligence. Humans are purpose driven animals, and the withering of traditional religion meant people just didn’t know what to do with their lives. What to strive for. Nationalism for a while became a good replacement, an even better replacement than the original, by channelling the most basic human purpose of them all: advancement of the tribe. Of course tribalism is zero-sum, and quite dangerous given the firepower of the industrial age. So after WW2 it was understood that human purpose was to be found in individual utilitarianism. Hedonism. It feels good, but few people can handle it, and if taken to its logical conclusion it destroys you, and society.
We still have no good alternative, but if you listen to what many intelligent people say, there is this common thread that the better people don’t seek pleasure. They seek truth. Why do we write blogs, and read others, spending hours and hours every week? Because we feel good by contributing to what we think is discovering the truth. In an amoral world, truth-seeking is one of the few places where an intelligent man can pursue the moral high ground. Well, truth-seeking taking to its extreme is intelligence maximization.
So the moral foundation of techno-capitalism is solid. It is hard not to feel excited reading those science articles linked above. And even if further technological progress might produce the AI singularity, bringing forth Skynet and Terminators, what is the alternative? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West? Or a “traditional civilization geared toward the spiritual health of its citizens”? Good luck with that. You can have intelligent people feeling good by discovering the truth, or you can have them beating each other in the sanctimony treadmill until they unleash the leftist singularity and go Pol Pot. There’s nothing in between.
In my view argument against techno-capitalism goes against the right half of the term, that is capitalism. The question is, does capitalism, and the concentration of wealth it produces, enable intelligent maximization? Or it does it inevitably degenerate in an unequal society where cronies become lazy and just use their resources to stay on top and keep everyone else in the bottom? What is hierarchy and does it always work? Are free markets self-sustaining? Leftism has momentum inherent to it, momentum which in the end brings over the leftist singularity. Does libertarianism have momentum though? Or is it self-defeating? My impression is that it is. I will try to elaborate in a later post. The keyword is Korea before 1910.