Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade


Good old Mencken said:

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Well, as I always say, there are no mysteries in life. Reality isn’t strange, you just have a bad model. Not that I’m innocent of that mistake. I’m known of chanting how the truth will always prevail, even when most people obviously prefer bullshit, and have always done so. I, like Mencken, like Orwell, also used to pick my brains out about why people just didn’t see what is in front of their noses. I had a habit of pointing at the truth, and it never made me any friends.

Now I know why; you just can’t make friends with the truth. It’s like trying to buy stuff without money. To catch people’s attention you need conversational currency, i.e. you need bullshit. Controversy, nonsense, whatever gets people to talk and do things. Then you can watch them talk, and do things, judge their characters according to what they say and do, and choose your friends accordingly. Compared to that, the truth is of much more limited application. If there’s a wolf, knowing there is a wolf, and that wolves are dangerous is very useful. But if there are no wolves, who the hell cares if they’re dangerous? In the absence of wolves, talking of wolves is just signaling. Say you like wolves, and you come out as an animal lover. Say you hate wolves, and you come out as a creepy animal hater. Why would you hate wolves if you’ve never been close to one? You read they are bad for farmers? Oh who cares. Cree-py.

Let’s talk HBD. HBD is even closer than wolves. We have people of all races living together in the West now. The differences are beyond obvious. We have heaps of data. Most human traits are normally distributed in a bell curve, and averages differ between any population group which has been inbreeding for long enough. That applies to races, but also to a lesser extent to social classes too.

And yet nobody cares about the data. There are two positions on HBD: nanananana-can’t-hear-you denialism. It’s all in the head, all you need is better education.

And then there’s the Nazis: whites are supreme, the whiter the better, everyone else is scum, Asians have a smaller standard deviation, everyone else sucks, even southern whites suck too frankly speaking.

And that’s all there is. Well there’s a tiny minority of people who try to actually look at the data. But Nazis outnumber us 1 million to one. And denialists are of course the state religion, and have been so forever. Even Confucianism and Islam are denialist.

For good reason of course, genetic determinism is just not a useful idea. The elite wants to sell its product, which is that access to the elite depends on culture, and by the way we happen to sell that culture, and it’s not cheap. Saying that access to the elite depends on innate talent uncovers the fact that the culture the elite sells is just an arbitrary barrier to entry into a privileged social club, and that elite status is not earned through effort, and just a genetic fluke.

And nobody benefits from knowing about HBD. The poor don’t like to hear they are fucked up because they are born that way and their children will most likely be equally fucked up. And the talented don’t like to hear that their children will likely regress to the mean and not be as talented as they are.

Nobody wins from HBD. The Nazis win from a wrong interpretation. Sure, people differ and it’s genetic. We’re the master race and we should rule the world. Or even just good old nationalism we’re not superior, we’re just special, and yes in our eyes maybe just a tiny bit better than others, so let us have our countries for ourselves at least. That doesn’t quite follow from the data. You can’t derive modern nations from their genepool. But the countries are out there, so nationalism gets people excited. It gets people to feel superior, which makes them happy, gets them to organize, get together, maybe burn a refugee camp, or threaten some cuck politician.

The truth doesn’t get anybody moving. All it goes is get people pissed and depressed. That’s why we got Nazis out there outnumbering us in 2015. Nobody likes the truth, for completely unmysterious reasons. The truth sucks. We need a lie. A good one, that gets people moving in the right direction, and with enough appeal to beat denialism. Which is not easy: denialism is not a modern progressive heresy, it’s the default opinion of all human civilizations. A stable alternative is not gonna be easy. What have we got?


32 responses to “Truth

  1. Pingback: Truth | Neoreactive

  2. John December 28, 2015 at 21:54

    My thought is that, the truth does have its unique appeal and offers significant benefit to a certain subsection of humanity that is ready to accept it — pain and all.

    I mean we’re here, aren’t we?

    The benefit of truth is that it allows release. One can drop all the stress inducing ideology and cognitive dissonance and just live.

    So maybe rather than dream up the next great narrative, it might do more good to stay on the truth train, preaching to a very small choir, and just accept that the rest of humanity won’t be joining us until they’re good and ready, which basically amounts to what Buddhists, Taoists, and other mystical ilk have been doing for a very long time.

    • spandrell December 29, 2015 at 05:47

      The Buddhist and Taoist are bullshit peddlers, who sold fantasies to rich men for a hefty fee.

      The truth indeed has given me release. But now what? How do I get it to my children? Just to get my own children to accept it I need to frame it in socially acceptable terms. We need a narrative if only to subsist.

      • John December 29, 2015 at 18:18

        I think the race realist narrative has sticking potential. For one, it is utterly obvious to everyone whose mind isn’t poisoned with hate and motivated reasoning. Non-whites understand this just as well as whites, and there is mountains of evidence to back it.

        But it needs to be augmented with a co-narrative about the goodness and naturalness of difference and hierarchy, and the nobility and honor in accepting and fulfilling one’s role in the collective, especially if that role is among the lower rungs. The virtues of non-white races need to be played up just as much as their deficiencies. The shame and inferiority needs to be taken out of lower status levels as much as it can be and replaced with dignity.

        The narrative of minority benefit of white presence also needs to be fully developed. People need to understand what life was (and is still) like for African blacks in all black societies. Same for other groups. People need to understand the trade that was made by joining white civilization — they get to partake in white wealth, but at the same time have joined a hierarchy where their group’s position will always be subservient. The choice should be given, accept this natural hierarchy, or exit back to black/hispanic homelands.

        • spandrell December 29, 2015 at 19:18

          You need to prove race realism, even in your cheerful, nice version. But the only proof of race realism is genetic inheritance. That’s how races got to differ, by natural selection and genetic inheritance.

          Now try to sell genetic inheritance to any upper-middle class person. They won’t buy it. Why would they? It goes agains their sense of self-worth, as virtuous strivers who achieved their status by self-denial and grit.

          Getting all white people to accept race realism is the first step for talking to other races. But the white people who matter have no incentive. Besides their being married to a system which harshly punishes the very thought of it. A cold understanding of genetic inheritance just isn’t in the interest of any elite.

          • John December 30, 2015 at 01:55

            You could make the same “they have no incentive to change” argument about the previous era (every era really), but change did happen, because eventually, it always happens.

            These belief systems are more like fashions that blow in and out with the wind. Very few are true believers, they just conform for the sake of SP. The ideas don’t require “proof” until after the fact where narrative comes into the fold to reinforce and stabilize the system.

            I do think getting all white people to accept race realism is a change that is well underway, for reasons of survival. The main thing is figuring out how to make ideas high status that the left has been drilling as low status for decades.

            So it comes down to cleverly mocking the left and glorifying the alt right…which we can observe in glorious process on Twitter.

          • iFruit January 22, 2017 at 01:12

            “A cold understanding of genetic inheritance just isn’t in the interest of any elite.”
            (In another comment you say there are enormous drawbacks to knowing about HBD.)

            You use “understanding” and “knowing” for “acknowledging their understanding/knowledge” maybe?

            I mean, what drawbacks are there to knowing something, as long as you hide your knowledge and pretend what it’s most profitable to pretend?

            The only downfall I see in this behavioral pattern is you have to tell yourself that you are pretending, for fear of social costs/will for social benefit, which can hurt many egos a bit indeed.
            But it doesn’t look enormous.
            And as regards the elites, heck, they are totally aware of HBD, that’s how they can play divide and conquer, or design their other strategies to not lose their power and possibly augment it, is that not?

            Who’d manage well (from their point of view) people that they didn’t know well?

            Nevertheless, I admit that many “educated, intelligent white people” have interiorized the tattletale.
            Where I am not open to discussion is about the elite: they know, they can not not know, and the very attributes they need to be elite are the same you need to know.
            (Note: by elites I don’t mean the Kardashians, or Leonardo Di Caprio).

            • Karl January 22, 2017 at 15:41

              Knowledge get’s lost as soon as nobody repeats the knowledge so that other kann hear it. Just think how Europeans talked about “savages” and “primitives” in Africa. Read what Darwin wrote about the population of Africa.

              The old generation shuts up, doesn’t talk (except in most private conversations) and doesn’t write what thay know. Then the next generation simply does not have that knowledge That’s what happed to HBD. I fear that many of our rulers truly don’t know about HBD.

              • iFruit January 23, 2017 at 00:52

                Ok, but when you are speaking of things that it’s very easy to see and find out just by one’s own life experience and a modicum of deduction, you don’t need teaching.
                Actually, you need brainwashing from all sides for all life to not know what you SEE.

                Do you think the kind of people who get effectively brainwashed become political (or business, judicial, …) elite?

  3. Handle December 28, 2015 at 22:01

    “And nobody benefits from knowing about HBD.”

    Then again, when you look at who smart people marry and reproduce with, it’s kinda-sorta like they really understand HBD and care about getting good genes for their kids, and that doing this really pays off for them.

    It’s just that no one will accuse you of racism if your discriminatory preferences have a disparate impact in who you choose as a mate. You don’t have to admit to anyone else – or even yourself – what’s really going on, or the logic behind your choices or the aggregate sorting effect. You can hide behind socially-acceptable excuses of magical love connections and so forth.

    The reason you can hide is because everybody else knows they have to play the same game, and they have to preserve the same option-value of an opportunity for a little white-hypocrisy for themselves. They can only do that if they tacitly ‘agree’ to accept your bogus excuse if you’ll accept theirs in the future.

    The same thing is true for where to live. “Nobody benefits from knowing about HBD.” Again, they pay through the nose to select neighborhoods in a way indistinguishable from benefiting from choices informed by a knowledge of HBD.

    But in each of these cases, they can pretend they believe otherwise, and say they are looking for love connections, or good schools, or safe neighborhoods. They can blame the eventually obvious and stark statistical disparities on poverty or social injustice or something that is clearly not their personal fault, all while pretending (really self-deceiving) to align with the enlightened attitudes of high-status, right-thinking people.

    You could pose your assertion as the converse question too, “Is nobody ever harmed from not knowing about HBD?” The answer is certainly yes, in a constant stream of instances of overly nice and naively right-thinking people – mostly young – learning lessons the hard way. Most other people figure out ways to no be so mindlessly colorblind, usually resorting to socially acceptable vague language about gut feelings, but again, without ever having to admit to themselves that they are modern sinners, or to be accused by other people of committing intolerable sins.

    • spandrell December 29, 2015 at 05:43

      You can get all the benefit without knowing HBD, and only knowing some equivalent liberal subterfuge. One marries smart women because they can educate better your children. And one buys a house in a good neighbor because the good schools, end of story. If you believe that, as most people do, you get all the benefits of knowing HBD without the (enormous) drawbacks.

    • Jack December 29, 2015 at 12:13

      And in a future Progressive dystopia, Social Justice will demand “genetic equality”, so you can’t discriminate in gene choice; the government will decide your descendants’ genes for you, based on egalitarian notions. And why would you even want to retain the RACIST liberty to choose your children’s genes, huh, Comrade? Very suspicious and reactionary.

      What happens when Leftists discover HBD and proceed to attempt to eliminate the Human Biological Diversity via technology, genetic engineering, and coercion? Sheee-it.

  4. Pingback: Truth | Reaction Times

  5. Scott December 29, 2015 at 05:01

    I think I can honestly say that this essay, and other writings by Nock, changed my life. It seems relevant here.

    Isaiah’s Job

    • spandrell December 29, 2015 at 07:13

      Let us look at history, not the Bible. What happened when the Anciene Regime collapsed? Did the noble Remnant take over? No, the Jacobines took over and killed millions of people. What happened when after WW1? Did the noble Remnant take over? No, the Bolsheviks took over, destroying Russian culture forever.

      Preaching to an imaginary Remnant of good people who are waiting out there for good ideas is comforting but not quite accurate. The communists were all intelligent, junior elite people. Perfect examples of a Remnant. They had plenty of reasons to want change in society. But the Remnant also needs ideas to coordinate around. And the ideas that are best coordinators are never the truth, but some nice sounding bullshit.

  6. Thomas December 29, 2015 at 22:44


    You have deployed a high amount of energy and time trying to explain through social utility the utter cluelessness of the quasi-totality of Westerners concerning the (very crappy) destination they’re headed, and your effort is very respectable, but it ultimately fails to convince me. The reason for my skepticism about the “social dynamics” theory is that the creators of democratic elections in the West were well aware of all these issues, and designed the ballot process to be fully anonymous and indirect. Hence, in theory at least (but there is no reason, to my mind, for it not translating to practice), people can express their true opinions, without regard for taboos and ostracism. Through the election of representatives who act in their stead, they are also shielded from the direct consequences of their choices, much like executioners in Japanese prisons who can’t know whose lever killed the prisoner. All of this annihilates the fear of making “unconventional” or “immoral” decisions that would exist in normal conditions, such as a business of family meeting. Everyone is alone with his own conscience.

    But, as I’m sure you’re well aware of, the anonymity and indirect nature of ballots never translated into high results for the so-called “far right”, neither for libertarians, the only two political leanings that really oppose the Welfare state and the egalitarian status quo.

    I have a simpler, and far more boring, explanation for our conundrum: for neurological reasons that remain as yet to be discovered, but may be linked to the absence of a small module, only ~ 1‰ humans are able to think rationally. The rest cannot, even when they fancy themselves as “scientific” or “critical” (they just parrot the consensus views of their own ingroup/counter-culture).

    • Thomas December 29, 2015 at 22:51

      BTW, in France it is becoming more popular every year to try to get your child diagnosed as “surdoué” (gifted). Bobo French mothers have no problem at all with heredity and innate talent, but they do have a problem with the idea of racial inequalities. And also Marine Le Pen. She really is an evil, evil bitch, though nobody really knows why.

      • Handle December 30, 2015 at 02:35

        Ha, it’s true in the DC metro too. You can get rated as both “GA” (Grade Advanced) and above that “GT” (Gifted and Talented) and be put in what is, apparently, a legally approved equivalent form of the infamous ‘tracking system’ that used to be the norm just two generations ago. But when one looks into what it takes to get this elite credential one discovered that the bar is quite low. GA is really “above average” (say, 100-115) and GT is just “smart” (115 and above). Back when I was a kid, “Gifted” meant +2SD (130 and above). Now it is just a way to ensure that the bell curves remain segregated at the right points.

    • spandrell December 30, 2015 at 04:10

      Well we’re not saying very different things. You just assume people parrot the consensus. I’m telling you why they do. Not because they have faulty brains. But because their brains evolved to be sheep for a reason. And the presence of a mysterious rational module in a 0.1% doesn’t make much sense. Some very few people just have strange social dynamics that allow them to think for themselves.

      The secret ballot was designed to stop rich people from buying votes with cash and being able to track for compliance. The whole voting thing assumed that people would bother to learn about the issues and vote for the interest. But people don’t give a shit about anything at all besides their job where they must be productive enough to make money. Everything else is just play. See how people talk about sports. How many people know what they’re talking about? Yeah they look like they care about which player is best and which tactics works better, but it’s all bullshit. The point is to signal your team loyalty, your superior understanding and whatever.

      And sure, people do brag about their children being smart because of their genes. Communist politicians also take their children to private school. People can hold any sort of contradictory ideas as long as it’s beneficial. But that doesn’t mean they would accept a chance of consensus ideas. Communist politicians won’t accept that public schools suck. That would undermine their position. And nobody will accept that it’s all down to the genes because that would undermine the whole edifice of the state.

    • Spritney Bears January 22, 2017 at 00:57

      “I have a simpler, and far more boring, explanation for our conundrum: for neurological reasons that remain as yet to be discovered, but may be linked to the absence of a small module, only ~ 1‰ humans are able to think rationally. ”

      The rational module is there in at least 99% of brains, let’s say except the medically dull and below.

      The point is, normal brains also have a truth-shutting, and memory-perception-meaning-whatever else biasing module, that makes them use rationality when and to the point it is beneficial and not an inch farther.

      People who are immune to unbiased thought, perception, memory, … we are the sick ones, the ones with a faulty module.
      The right job for us is philosophy, art, or another of the lower sciences. (I don’t mean social sciences, of couz. As another entry of this blog says, the more social a “science” is, the more deception and self-deception are gonna come into play.)

  7. jshneider December 30, 2015 at 13:13

    > denialism is not a modern progressive heresy, it’s the default opinion of all human civilizations.

    Excellent insight. It’s just that the facts being denied are different in every society. Some mystics would even claim that denialism is the basic human condition. At least we’re blessed with the ability to easily see what the $other_group is in denial about.

    A question for the author: do you view the society described in Huxley’s “Brave New World” as progressive or reactionary? It feels kind of progressive with all that shallow sex and intentional ignorance about history, but they also have this explicit HBD with all babies engineered into different casts.

    • spandrell December 30, 2015 at 13:32

      Well Huxley wrote it as somewhat of a satire of the progressives of his time, but it’s hard to see Mustapha Mond as nothing but a hardcore reactionary who has finally found the recipe for political stability.

      Was Brezhnev progressive or reactionary? At some point the context is so removed from the origin that words lose their meaning.

  8. asdf January 2, 2016 at 05:43

    Seeing as Star Wars just came out, I think its worth talking about the single most hated thing in the prequels: miti-clorians. Instead of the force being something akin the the holy spirit entering your body because you let it in, its actually some genetic stuff that is highly heritable. The Jedi go from space monks to space eugenicists.

    This idea was universally hated by everyone, and its probably the same instinct that is behind not liking the idea of HBD.

    HBD had a short life in the elite, and mainly because it could be used to justify a small group of white dudes getting rich of colonialism/slavery. Most people have always hated it.

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  11. dernaw January 22, 2017 at 00:50

    “The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes.”

    Dear Mr. Mencken, it’s not all truth; just the truth that doesn’t happen to be useful or, as it is its bad habit to do, to be disadvantageous. Of course it’s almost all the time.
    In fact, even when it’s advantageous, an alternative imagined reality that is yet more so can be taken for reality by the human brain.

    For example, saying to somebody who did a good job that they did a good job may not have the expected outcome: they’re likely to believe they made an awesome job, and not enjoy your congratulations in the least.

    “Now I know why; you just can’t make friends with the truth. It’s like trying to buy stuff without money. To catch people’s attention you need conversational currency, i.e. you need bullshit.”

    = You can’t be in a group with independence and freedom. If we talk independence and freedom on a deep level, not even the ruler(s) can: they’ve got to adapt too. They have got to be liked, by the plebs, or at least by the aristocracy.

    There was a paper at MIT’s site where they “found” (lol, as if it isn’t immediately visible. But this is what our time’s science is for: to find things already known to be there) that in a group (think an Internet forum where the participants are habitual and know each other) the lowers change their verbiage and make it more similar to the uppers.
    I mean, we all noticed, when in school, that some schoolmates started to use frequently a particular foul word the dominant guy had introduced, didn’t we?

    Then they (as clueless as all monodimensionally thinking “scientists”) go on and say the finding is “surprising”.


    But there’s something else these forever-children missed (if the above SURPRISED them, they couldn’t have noticed the following): that the uppers adapt their language to the tastes of the group as well.
    And this adaptive process is always underway, it’s not something with a beginning and an end.
    If some new word/idea/fad/whatever introduced by the chief bully (ok, “leader”) doesn’t meet a warm reception, he’ll be very quick to notice it and, trying to make it not too visible, will, how to say, shelve it replacing it with better welcomed choices.

    I know of some out-and-out narcissist who is quite substantively more intelligent than their circle of lackeys. You know what? He consistently and without fail censors his own writing, dumbing it down and cleansing it from all subtleties, learned references, and so on that would not be apprehended by the reader admirers, in order to avoid the systematic (don’t understand -> wounded vanity -> need to declare that, instead, the not understood thing is “nonsense” [this is a term people of this psychological dimensions, the normal ones, love]).

    Receiving compliments and being admired (status) are so compelling a force that make him hide a good part of his intelligence (which he’s super-proud of, by the way).

    Of course it’ll take those MIT guys some 30 or 40 more papers and studies to find that language adaptation is a two-way mechanism, the bottom adapts to the top, the top adapts to the bottom.
    (I remember reading that the alpha ape is QUICK to “forget” he has suggested the whole group move towards a certain point if he notices they aren’t going to do it and switches to another proposal, still testing the waters, though.)


    Your choice of the term “Nazi” and use of it are very status-effective, lol.
    Other examples could have come to the mind of a less socially-aware guy, maybe maybe?
    And there are no Nazis today, while there are a lot of people, some even in good faith (some surely not) that use the “Nazi” slur for their own convenience.


    A change in power brings a change in the lies that become the new truth.
    History or politics, or anything social, have no room for truth.

    However, the illusion of truth is a motivator: as important as it is to bring up no truth, it is not to bring up the truth your blog entry is about (that there is no truth); put differently: people must not be made to hear any truth, but they must be made to believe they are hearing truth: this is how you motivate them.

  12. iPhone (will never get one) February 8, 2018 at 23:30

    My favorite recently chanced-upon quote on truth (it is a quote on truth without the word “truth”):

    it is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid (G. B. Shaw)

    Then we have Churchill: “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

    (Wartime is every social time; “social” is every time you are with someone else — which includes interactions between separate, in interplay inside “one” mind)

    Then from Schopenhauer:
    “You should know that foolish people are a hundredfold more averse to meeting the wise than the wise are indisposed for the company of the foolish.” On the other hand, it is a real recommendation to be stupid. For just as warmth is agreeable to the body, so it does the mind good to feel its superiority; and a man will seek company likely to give him this feeling, as instinctively as he will approach the fireplace or walk in the sun if he wants to get warm. But this means that he will be disliked on account of his superiority; and if a man is to be liked, he must really be inferior in point of intellect.

    Baltasar Garcian:
    There are occasions when the highest wisdom consists in appearing not to know—you must not be ignorant but capable of playing it. It is not much good being wise among fools and sane among lunatics. He who poses as a fool is not a fool.

    Mencken lied, or was ironical, saying “I don’t know why”, however.

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