Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

It’s your fault for resisting

In my last post I mentioned that Western countries are signaling themselves into annihilation due to the spill over effect of upwardly mobile people wanting to show themselves as being upper class, i.e. not proles. Others have called that Goodwhites signaling they are not Badwhites. Same thing.

There’s a recent article in the New York Times that unintendedly makes the same point. It’s about how Sweden has run out of means to actually accept more refugees, but it can’t stop signaling virtue so they just can’t stop getting more. If you’re in a charitable mood, you might think sounds like a reactionary is very skillfully trying to use progressive rhetoric to make the case for closing the borders. But note this part:

The government’s slow response to all of this seems baffling. But the seeds of the current debacle were sown earlier, when immigration became an untouchable centerpiece of Sweden’s politics. For the past five years, the nationalist Sweden Democrats party has been the only force opposing the country’s refugee policies. Born in the late 1980s through the fusion of an anti-tax populist party and a neo-Nazi activist group, the Sweden Democrats have grown exponentially since entering Parliament in 2010. Their rise has nonetheless been condemned and hotly contested by a mainstream weary of seeing the country’s reputation for tolerance tarnished. Far from introducing new restrictions to immigration, the Sweden Democrats have caused the political establishment to entrench itself: Any move to restrict immigration is now seen as a concession to paranoid nativism.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called the Sweden Democrats “neo-fascists,” and like all other mainstream party leaders — on the left as well as the right — he has refused to communicate with them. But on the heels of his administration’s about-face on its own immigration policy, his past attacks on the party seem awkward. When members of the Sweden Democrats began criticizing his policy months ago for its blindness to logistical and economic pitfalls, he dismissed them. The party also argued early on that money for humanitarian purposes would be more efficiently and equitably spent through foreign aid than immigration, and he disregarded their argument as a convenient excuse for a xenophobic agenda. He may have been right, but so were they.

And therein lies the problem. The real nightmare for Swedish politics is not that it now includes the kind of continental-style far-right party it once thought itself immune to. It is rather that mainstream forces have surrendered all critical perspectives on immigration to a party with which they can neither collaborate nor bear to see affirmed. Had a transparent and dynamic public discussion been taking place in Sweden during the past months — a discussion that acknowledged both the need for human solidarity and the limitations of the country’s infrastructure — a more sustainable immigration policy might have emerged. Instead, it seems ill-fated policies will not be altered until the country brings itself to the brink of collapse.

And that’s the thing. Critics from the right often point out how powerful leftists don’t have to actually suffer the consequences of their decisions; they are isolated in their wealthy neighborhoods, and don’t even have to interact with any of the foreigners they are bringing in. All this humanitarian rhetoric is just an abstraction.
But everything is an abstraction. The FDA don’t suffer personally the consequences of their decisions. Well they do eventually, if somebody gets cancer. But that’s far removed from the decision, and it’s all in the realm of possibility. But that’s not the way politics work. Human groups don’t make decisions like that. It’s not what, or how; politics is about who and whom, who is your friend and who is your foe, who is a useful associate and who isn’t. The left is a social club. A social club which allots status points according to allegiance to some abstract ideological principle, which changes all the time.

By making an opposing social club, and going public on its opinions, that constraints the freedom of action of leftists. Leftists can take any sort of position as long as they frame it in a plausibly deniable way, and they agree to go on with it. But by, say, forming a party called Sweden Democrats to argue against everything that leftist have been doing until now, you put them in a bind. Agreeing with the enemy makes you lose your position completely. If they are right, you have no reason to rule. So no matter what you must double down on everything you do, lest you help your enemies undermine you.

But follow that to the logic conclusion. If Sweden, or France, can’t make good policy because that would undermine their own legitimacy; then under a democratic system of open debate, all governments all the time will find themselves in the same situation. If having an opposition prevents you from doing good policy then we should not have oppositions. Democracy doesn’t work. I didn’t say this; the New York Times did. Not that I disagree.

It also follows that the only way of achieving meaningful political change is through the completely replacement of people in power. A coup. That’s the only way. The politicians can’t just repudiate all they have been doing for decades and admit they’re wrong. They must double down, or else. So they must all go. Every single one of them. In other times, the top politicians would be the ones doing the speeches, and in case of a change in policy they could be made to “take responsibility” and step out. But today in the era of social media everybody is doing political speeches. Everybody has committed itself to a hundred causes every year. Facebook, Twitter, constant garbage on TV and the Internet are semi-forcing you to take a stand on a dozen causes every day. Changing your opinion in any of those is giving ammunition to your enemies to undermine you. So even low level bureaucrats, college students, everybody who’s been talking politics in public must double down on whatever madness they have been committing themselves to. Which is why the leftist madness has been accelerating as of late. Everybody is in the game now.

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29 responses to “It’s your fault for resisting

  1. Pingback: It’s your fault for resisting | Neoreactive

  2. Karl November 16, 2015 at 21:18

    This and your last post nicely explain why the middle got into this signaling madness and will continue with it. What I don’t understand is why even the upper class and the rulers of Europe got into it. Well, in part I do. A member of Parlament is only middle class. The same is true for most members of government. But wealthy independent people? They have no need for signaling, nor can they advance any careers by it.

    In Germany what little opposition there is comes to a significant extent from the upper class. Sarrazin is probably the most prominent example. This example also shows that even wealthy people have something to lose, e.g. the freedom to leave home without a bodyguard. The ANTIFA is becoming an extralegal police force in Germany. (By the way, do you think that the ANTIFA is only signaling?)

    So my present assumption is that a large part of the upper class is simply silent. They have no need for signaling, so they don’t do it. Actual opposition is tough, most people aren’t up to it.

    Anyway, my point is that I doubt that most serious decisions are made by groups. I’d rather assume that there is a (official or inofficial) Boss and the rest of the group goes along with his decision. But maybe that is not true. I find it hard to believe that noone has a agency.

    Moreover, in all this signaling madness there must be a large number of true believers. The ongoing Invasion of Germany is only possible because a huge number of people actively and competently work to support it. The logistics of feeding, housing and distributing 1.5 million people all over the Country can only work with active support (people competently doing assigned tasks and jobs). Somebody who is only signaling, but not believing, could simply make mistakes (intentionally). Somebody who for signaling reasons volunteered to help, could simply claim to be too busy or ill to keep up the volunteer work.

    • spandrell November 17, 2015 at 04:11

      You assume that signaling is conscious and insincere, but that’s not how it works. Effective signaling must be sincere if you want to avoid being discovered. So the easiest way is to unconsciously believe the stuff. True believers are signaling too even if they don’t know it.

      • Karl November 17, 2015 at 19:41

        OK, I understand. So there is sincere signaling of the believer. This is, at least presently in Europe, vastly more common than concious and insincere signaling. If I look at history, I have to assume that many (most?) totalitarian ideologies started out with sincere signaling and at some point more and more people lost faith in the ruling ideology. Then they had to keep signaling and fake being sincere or be killed. I’ve never been in North Korea, haven’t experienced national-sozialism or stalinism, but I assume most people did (eventually) not believe in the ideology any more.

        The interesting question then is what makes people loose faith?
        a) increased personal costs of sincere signaling. Of course, this can’t happen once the ideology has gotten a good grip on power. Ridicule and shaming might be the best thing we can do get someone out of the present madness.

        b) repeated collisions with unpleasant reality. It takes a lot of repeated unpleasantness to cause someone to loose faith in the present madness. Being robbed, knived, beaten up or raped once is not enough for the average person. It is usually explained away as an “isolated case”, “a bad individual(s), which are present in any ethnic or religious group” etc.

        c)? Anything else? Any ideas?

        • spandrell November 18, 2015 at 02:17

          c) An alternative. That’s the only thing that works.

          When did people lose faith in Christianity? When they had something else which could get them higher status. That is, the elites in England and France started doing science and classical learning, and old Christian faith become low status, not keeping up with the new scientific knowledge trends. Eventually progressivism developed as an alternative, and everybody started signaling allegiance to progressivism instead of to Christianity.

          We need a new religion.

          • Rasputin November 18, 2015 at 19:54

            I would like to see some form of Singularitarianism, filtered down from the elites, going mainstream.

            Progressivism minused God from Christianity, Singularitarianism builds God from the wreckage of progressivism.

            What other option is there, realistically, to provide a theonomic solution to an existential crises?

            In the meantime, align strongly with Russia and China, in the hope that they can erode the Cathedral’s vice like death grip on conferring status.

            • spandrell November 19, 2015 at 11:26

              Religion doesn’t need to have any strong logic. The Koran is retarded, yet Islam has kicked ass for centuries. Christianity doesn’t make a lot of sense either. Hell, we could all just convert to Mormonism and call it a day.

              We need something that makes white male fathers cool again, and everybody else very uncool; so that everybody’s SP radar makes them want to be a white male father.

              • Karl November 19, 2015 at 19:02

                I agree that we need religion that replaces progressivism. I’m not sure that it has be a new religion. I fear that Islam has the potential of replacing progressivsm. I don’t know how many converts there are in Europe, but I’m convinced that every single one of them rejects progressivism.

                The other possibility that I see is that progressivism some mutates and replaces itself. An important difference between a pseudo-religion like progressivsm and any of the old, real religions like Christianity, Islam, Hiduism etc. seems to be that progressivism lacks an anchor. The real religion have scripture. Progressivsm has what? Feelings?

                Of course, scripture can be interpreted differently or parts of it simply ignored, but my point is that real religions change much more slowly because there is scripture on which everybody agrees. So religions are replaced by a different religion or pseudo-religion.

                A pseudo-religion can change on a whim. At least I don’t see what could keep it from changing or rather mutating

                Moreover, I think progressivm has already exhibited several mutations. The present form is different from communism and national-socialism. Couldn’t it do so again within a few years?

              • Candide III November 23, 2015 at 15:21

                We need something that makes white male fathers cool again, and everybody else very uncool; so that everybody’s SP radar makes them want to be a white male father.

                Indeed, but there is a catch here: if everybody includes everybody, then e.g. women will want to become male fathers (penis envy) enter the workforce, the military etc. Has to be a mostly-separate ladder for women where mothers and grandmothers would also have quite a lot of status.

            • Candide III November 23, 2015 at 15:26

              Russia is completely retarded and China’s status ladders outside CCP proper terminate in the Ivy League. Look where those people send their offspring to study.

          • Janet Baker November 30, 2015 at 15:53

            Funny you should say this, that we need a new religion. Is opening for my new phi sci fi novel Run. You can read the first chapter where a transgendered Obama makes the announcement. https://malapertpress.wordpress.com/

    • spandrell November 19, 2015 at 19:15

      If a religion (Christianity) can morph into a pseudoreligion (progressivism), we aren’t solving anything, are we? Even nominal Christians have lesbians as priests now. The text doesn’t matter if people suddenly agree it doesn’t. You can read anything into it.

      Islam indeed is a possibility, but we’ll all agree it’s not an ideal scenario. Giving high status to arabs by default is a pretty bad idea. Pork is nice and a most efficient protein source in much of the world. And the signaling dynamics of Islam are just wrong. Scholars have high status for coming up with crap and be loud about it. And it’s not even progressive proof; transgenders have legal status in Iran.

      • Karl November 19, 2015 at 19:57

        No, my point wasn’t about a solution. Just a remark that the situation is desperate and the possible changes that I see will be changes for the worse. And also that change can happen more quickly than the need for an alternative religion at first glance suggested to me.

        True Christianity evolved into progressivsm, but on time scale of many generations. I expect (fear) significant change with the present generation.

        • Karl December 19, 2015 at 12:19

          Spandrell, I think there is a contradiction in your reasoning. One the hand you say that we need a new religion. On the other hand you argue ” If a religion (Christianity) can morph into a pseudoreligion (progressivism), we aren’t solving anything, are we?”.

          The problem of morphing seems to be inherent in any religion or pseudoreligion. I fail to see how a believe system might be immune to morphing.

          So the problem of having a religion or pseudoreligion that enables a lasting society has to be solved anew every now and again. Maybe not by every generation, but the problem will keep comong back and demanding a solution.

          If so, then the new religion might well be an old one and the problem solved by a Reformation. Sola scriptura might work time and again to produce change. Change that leads back to a Situation that will over time evole into the problem we are presently facing.

          • spandrell December 22, 2015 at 00:56

            You can only get so far with abstractions. Any idea system can morph, sure. But surely they don’t all morph in the same way? It’s harder to become a progressive agitator in a Confucian culture than in a Christian one.

            Christianity as of now it has a huge baggage of progressive history. I guess it’s in the realm of possibility to get the Pius X society grab power, purge everyone else, and run a reactionary revolt where everything goes back to the XVI century. I just don’t see it very likely.

            In game-theoretical terms: is it harder to get people to commit to a restored Christianity, or to a new religion? Atheists might find it easier to commit to a new religion. Good Christians of course would never convert, and stick to Christianity as it moves right.
            What would liberal Christians do? The sort who have been fighting good Christians for decades?
            You gotta take all these factions into account to see what has better chances of working out in the long term.

      • oogenhand November 19, 2015 at 23:51

        So you WOULD convert to a religion that gives European men the first pick of hot women, preferably those of Arabs?

      • Janet Baker December 7, 2015 at 15:22

        Some of us are fighting the morphing of Christianity into a nonreligion. It is focused in the rejection and fight against Vatican II. I invite you to fight, too. I guess the best place to start is your local SSPX chapel. The population there is quite a mixed-up bunch at times (some of them think Ronald Reagan is a saint, for example) but the theology is pretty reliable, as I can determine it. The fight we fight is the same ole same ole, that is, with words, with our reason. It’s a poor tool with progressives because they’ve abandoned words and reason, they literally will change definitions of key terms whenever they feel like it, but it still works among most people, especially those who must make a living manipulating real objects and thus know the necessity of using words to explore actions first, to consider possibilities first.

  3. Pingback: It’s your fault for resisting | Reaction Times

  4. a boy and his dog November 17, 2015 at 00:06

    From a game theory standpoint, doesn’t this imply that any signaling strategy with too much support will get out of equilibrium and be quickly replaced by an opposing signaling strategy? Like the aftermath of the French Revolution when Jacobins were being beaten in the streets.

    • spandrell November 19, 2015 at 11:23

      The Jacobins got beaten because Robespierre overreached. The next step for all prominent Jacobins was certain death; so of course they went the other way and started beating Jacobins. But the Directory didn’t have any coherent ideology of their own; and they had a fair amount of trouble trying trying not to get outsignaled by the aristocratic right.

  5. jamienyc November 19, 2015 at 03:27

    You make some good points, but please note that this kind of suicidal altruism only happens in the countries with majority European (more precisely, north-western European) population and their descendents. Personally, I’m impressed by Kevin Macdonald’s explanation of European uniqueness in terms of weak distinction between in-group and out-group. When such population becomes convinced that their own culture is morally bankrupt (decline of religion, rise of destructive ideologies such as Marxism, etc.), it unleashes a “paroxysm of altruistic punishment” against its own society – that’s why it’s difficult to escape the impression that many of the groups inside the western societies hate the host society and want it destroyed (far left, feminists, LGBT, eco-fear-mongers, etc.). Again, this only happens in the west…

    • spandrell November 19, 2015 at 11:21

      Nah, it happens abroad all the time, and it’s happened in history. Not as bad of course; modern wealth can withstand the type of madness that would’ve starved an ancient culture in weeks, but there’s no essence to Western European culture that makes this happen.

  6. Toddy Cat November 19, 2015 at 18:49

    This is probably the best refutation of democratic theory that I’ve read in a while.

  7. Dystopia Max November 19, 2015 at 20:19

    Nice to see you coming around to Moldbug’s “Change In One Step” policy.

  8. Pingback: Democracy Works unless There is an Opposition | Junior Ganymede

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