Bloody shovel

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The Bow of the King of Chu

Google openly praises leftist terrorist supporters, Obama forces schools across the US to allow transexuals to choose the toilets they use. The West is fucked up. Yes, I know. The mission of this blog has been to explain in plain language why the Left exists, why it’s so crazy, and why it gets even crazier over time.

Part of that mission is to find similar instances of crazy political ideas in non-Western cultures. Sir John Glubb spent some time in the Arab world, and he seemed to have the same interests, so he produced a very interesting account on political madness in the Abassid empire, which looked fairly similar to contemporary leftism. I live in East Asia, and so I write a lot about East Asian history. I may end up making some money by selling my readers a fancy book with some stories. In the meanwhile, let me share another interesting anecdote.

The most fertile era of Chinese intellectual culture coincided with what came to be called the Axial Age. In China is the era between 550 BC and 200 BC, more or less. That’s the era of the Hundred Schools of thought. China was divided in many kingdoms, who each wanted a piece of each other. It was if anything more violent and chaotic that Classical Greece, which had similar dynamics; division, constant warfare, and amazing intellectual life.


This is of course the era of Confucius, Laozi, Sunzi and all that. Some of you may have some general idea about classical Chinese thinkers, but it’s also important to understand what was going on there. What kind of intellectual climate existed in that time. What happens when everyone is coming up with new ideas all the time? Think about it in contemporary terms. What happens when everybody and his grandma has his own ideas is… a whole lot of signaling spirals. See a small example. There was an old story about a king of Chu (Written wrongly as Qu in the above map, it’s the big brown blob in the south).


A King of Chu was out in the country on a hunting trip. He had a world famous bow, and the best arrows in the realm. So he was out there hunting dragons and rhinos (real story), when he dropped his bow. Lost it. The precious bow! His retinue was looking for it like crazy, but then the King told them to stop. “Stop looking for it. A Man of Chu lost his bow. A Man of Chu will find it. No need to search for it.”

To European ears this sounds like a pretty awesome king. A great loving king who cares about his subjects. He lost his precious, world famous bow. But it doesn’t matter, because he lost it in his territory. One of his subjects will find it, and use it for the good of his country. King or subject, we are all men of Chu, so who cares? What a great King. The stuff of legend.

The story soon became a cause of commentary across the other kingdoms in China. Every single one of the Hundred Schools had to publish their official stand on this story. What do you think of the King of Chu and his lost bow? It’s kinda like modern journalism, where everybody has to rush to publish their stance on every item of the news. Psychologists call this “common knowledge”, the social phenomenon where everybody is compelled to comment on something precisely because everybody else is doing so. This creates evolutionary pressures to reduce the total amount of information in society so that everything can be common knowledge and thus become efficient gossip, the fuel of human sociability. But I digress.

A modern nationalist would say that the King of Chu was an awesome king. But what did Confucius say about it?


‘The King of Chu is a humane king, but he’s still half-way. He could have said “a man lost his bow, a man will find it”. Why specify “A man of Chu”?’

The King of Chu wasn’t good enough in Confucius eyes because he dared put priority on his subjects, and not be equally nice to all humanity. Because Confucius, of course, was a humanitarian. A universalist. The King of Chu was a petty man who cared about his subjects, not about the entire humanity.

So basically, Confucius today would approve of Angela Merkel and Bryan Caplan. Thanks dude. No wonder he was never taken seriously by any of the dozens of kings of his time, and died a low-class civil servant. His universalism however was catnip for the nascent class of non-aristocratic bureaucrats, who developed it for centuries after his death. They loved this “we are above armies, borders, and that gruesome stuff. We care about righteousness and love, about what is right for all humanity”. This in 300 BC. Do you see now why the First Emperor burnt their books and buried the scholars alive after he unified the Empire?

As a bonus, guess what the Daoists had to say about the King’s bow.


“Why mention people at all?” That’s right. A bow was lost. A bow was found. It doesn’t need to be a man of Chu. It doesn’t need to be a man at all. It can be a snake, or a frog. Or a tree. We are all part of nature, maaan. Want some more weed?

This is explicitly recorded as the Confucians being more 公, more public minded than the King, and the Daoists being more public minded than the Confucians. If this is not a virtue signaling spiral, I don’t know what is. And again, this was going on 2200 years ago.



67 responses to “The Bow of the King of Chu

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  3. Nikolai Vladivostok May 22, 2016 at 03:53

    And like today, none of the commenters really meant it, though they may have thought that they did. If the king of Chu caught a peasant using his precious bow he’d have boiled him alive.

  4. Nik May 22, 2016 at 05:54

    The guy who actually lost the bow probably believed that his bow was only good because he was an excellent archer, and thus any bow he picked up became good as long as he was the one using it.

    But regardless, there was no guarantee that the bow would be found by a conscious man or animal. It might only be “found” by cockroaches who could neither recognize it nor use it. Thus, IMHO, the Daoists were the closest to the truth.

    And I don’t think the Daoists were in a virtue signalling cycle, although they might well have been intoxicated with drugs and mysticism.

  5. Karl May 22, 2016 at 07:43

    Nice to know that they also had a signalling spiral. Really interesting to know would be how they broke the signallig spiral? What was their new religion to solve the problem.

    Simply unification of the Empire and burying the scholars alive? That’s a tall order for present day Europe.

  6. Jefferson May 22, 2016 at 08:02

    Would have been nice to have a religion that prioritized his people above all the dirty neighbors…

  7. topynate May 22, 2016 at 14:34

    I’m familiar with “common knowledge” as that term is used in logic, but your definition sounds non-standard in the field of psychology as well. Google doesn’t turn up much. Any pointers?

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  9. Xiahou Dun May 22, 2016 at 18:35

    Thankfully nowdays Chinese people signal with wealth and money rather then trying to out do people morally. This moral signaling tends to be a north west European thing.

  10. Laret Luval May 22, 2016 at 19:53

    Pretty weird that you say Confucius is a universalist in this case, considering his school was vehemently opposed to the Mohist 兼爱 concept (though as for Confucius himself who knows?). Likely he didn’t want the king of Chu to give equal value to everybody, but rather he wanted the king of Chu to support the Zhou dynasty rather than claiming the kingdom for himself.

    • spandrell May 23, 2016 at 03:32

      The Mohists indeed were even more universalist than Confucius. Doesn’t mean Confucius wasn’t.
      The King of Chu was never a Zhou vassal, and to the extent that the Zhou held the fiction that it was; one can pay allegiance to the King of Zhou without wishing one’s bow goes to the subjects of a different lord! And the exact wording is 仁義而未遂. “Not humanitarian enough”. He didn’t say “The King of Chu is an evil usurper who thinks his kingdom belongs to him instead of the lawful King of Zhou”.

  11. Rhetocrates May 23, 2016 at 08:43

    Only tangential to your point, so I apologize, but I’m enough of an ass that I’m going to go do it anyway.

    I’ve been wondering why Christianity didn’t succumb to holiness spiralling previous to the time when it did. There are certainly other beginnings of holiness spirals in Christendom; the Albigensians and Gnostics of all stripes, etc.

    The initial success of many orthodox movements in Dark Ages Europe look like holiness signalling taking off, too – stories from Ireland, Britain, Frisia, etc. make good sense in that light. However, in these cases, there’s one difference.
    Holiness signalling for the Christ is expensive. At the very least you have to give up sex, and that doesn’t get you very far. Often you have to go much further – hair shirts, seclusion, dedicating your entire life to poverty, long pilgrimages, and often even death. It’s a very expensive signal.

    Second, it’s only formally recognized by the Church after your death.

    This remains the case for a good long while, until the Church is well established. Sure, bishops get a lot of perks, but they don’t actually get added to the list of Saints unless they’re being exiled and/or threatened with death.

    Then, intellectual movements start to take off. This culminates in the University. Now, you can do your holiness signalling relatively safely; go get a Doctorate or a Bachelor’s in Divinity and you’ll probably be invited to be a Bishop somewhere. Your name will be in lights in the Scholastic movement. You might even make it as a Saint, though that still usually requires things like celibacy and really long devotional hours. Still, your holiness score can get really high without being beatified.

    A couple hundred years of University life (quite active in Germany and France), and you get the rumblings of the Reformation, and everyone knows the story from there.

    To wit, to avoid holiness spirals in your religion, demand costly signals. Demand them from the beginning, not after the ratchet has started.

    • Rhetocrates May 23, 2016 at 08:48

      Of course there are some problems with this. The Circumcellions existed, though they seem never to have been extremely popular, and the list of their other heretical beliefs (universal communal property, free love, etc.) wouldn’t be out of place at Woodstock.

    • Jefferson May 23, 2016 at 17:46

      The printing press?

    • spandrell May 23, 2016 at 19:06

      Tangents are fine as long as they’re interesting.

      Holiness spirals in a pre-modern setting are generally self-defeating. The lack of modern communication makes it hard to spread beyond a local setting, and the lack of wealth makes any dysfunctional arrangement starve in a matter of years.

      Christianity was extremely prone to holiness spirals; weird splinter sects abounded from the very beginning. What were the gnostic, if not edgy signalers? The Circumcellions sound like they come right out of a story of Borges.

      What defeats signaling spirals is of course firm institutions. The Catholic Church had entrenched interests, it had the motivation and the wealth to stop any deviation of doctrine. People’s jobs were in danger. The Soviet Union post-Stalin basically shot everyone who deviated from the official orthodoxy, and for good reason.

      Mao was going to get purged by the Chinese Communist Party, and what did he do? Unleash the mother of all holiness spirals, destroying the party in the process, and taking absolute power in his person. Once Mao was died, the party bureaucracy rebuilt itself and made sure that a signaling spiral would never happen again.

      The problem with firm institutions is that, while they keep the peace, by keeping the peace too well they produce petty corruption. Eventually too much of it. Reading about the indulgencies, and the sort of debauchery that Luther protested again; the wonder is how nobody had come out to signal his opposition to the church authorities before. But of course the very authority of the Church that prevented the appearance of (or outright crushed) weirdos like the Circumcellions, also prevented complaints about institutional corruption.

      • lalit May 24, 2016 at 10:46

        Woah! Hang on a minute. Mao was about to get purged? I have never heard this before. Can you provide any references for this claim?

        • spandrell May 24, 2016 at 11:18

          After the Great Leap Forward failed, in 1962 Mao was forced to apologize for his “errors”, and he lost most actual power over government to Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping.

          They didn’t outright purge him, but he lost power, and overtime all of his legacy was being dismantled bit by bit.

          Then 1966 happen and he went all in against the party.

          I don’t have an English book with a succinct account of the era; but any reasonable textbook should give you an account. English Wikipedia on this topic is pretty badly written but the content is there if you look for it.

          • lalit May 24, 2016 at 12:37

            Thanks for the info. This is fascinating. Peng Dehuai, he seems quite naive. Military men don’t seem to do politics very well.

            • spandrell May 24, 2016 at 12:52

              Indeed. There’s the added detail that Peng Dehuai led the Chinese armies in the Korean War. Mao’s son and heir fought there and he died. Mao always blamed Peng.

              Everybody else today loves him for it. If Mao had had a suitable heir… China would probably still be like North Korea.

              • lalit May 24, 2016 at 12:56

                China like NK if Mao’s son survived? I have a few doubts. Would Kim-Il-Sung ever put Kim-Jong-il in Harm’s way? I doubt it. Mao is different from Kim there, isn’t he? I’m no fan of Mao, but for putting his son in harm’s way, my respect for Mao has gone up a little bit more. Fascinating, complex man.

            • spandrell May 25, 2016 at 07:38

              Mao Anying wasn’t sent as a foot soldier; he was a secretary for Peng Dehuai, he was supposed to be safe.

              That said, China has a tradition of dynasty founders being extremely nasty and neglectful of their children. They only think of them when they’re about to die and need an heir to take care of their legacy.

      • Jefferson May 24, 2016 at 17:02

        So how does a corrupt institution get reformed without unleashing revolution?

      • Rhetocrates May 25, 2016 at 07:33

        I agree with this as far as it goes, but I think there are still interesting questions that bear on our situation today. Namely, given that this analysis is true or true enough to be workable, how did the Church gain (and keep) power? After all, the early Church certainly didn’t have it, and even after Constantine’s official recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Empire, things were rough. You had Arians, you had Donatists, you had Montanists, etc. etc. all going around with serious bids to claim parts of the Empire’s wealth and religious devotion, and doing it by being holier than the established religion.

        So how’d Christianity come out on top? Especially when it was willing to flout the Emperor to his face on matters of national security like at the Council of Nicea?

        It’s s question that bears some thought. I’ll get back to you with any answers I come up with, but I’d love to hear what you think.

        • spandrell May 25, 2016 at 07:45

          Well, Niceans of course had the imperial favor at first, but not always. There where plenty of closet Arians and court intrigues between different factions.
          And of course the Germanic tribes that conquered the Western empire were Arian. Byzantium also had half the empire choosing Monophysitism agains the will of the court.

          I’m not an expert on the era, but it seems to me that Nicean Christianity was more useful for the establishment than other variants. Which is no surprise given that the other variants aroused precisely in order to fuck with the establishment.

          I guess you think there was some particular idea or tenet of faith of the Niceans that made them better at becoming the establishment; I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. It may just be institutional inertia, their power base in rich cities, or some combination of that.

          • Rhetocrates June 1, 2016 at 12:52

            Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you, but I’ve spent the time mulling over the problem.

            Firstly, I don’t think it’s obvious that Nicean Christianity was more useful to the establishment. Constantine was pulling for Arius, and a number of Nicean Christian bishops were exiled or imprisoned, even after the Council. The picture painted by the surviving sources is actually that a majority of the Empire sided with Arius. Of course, the surviving accounts are all orthodox, so you can take that with a grain of salt. Still, it’s what we have to go on.

            Getting back to the root question of what has historically allowed the Church to maintain power and crush holiness spirals, I think it also has to do with the idea of the ‘Deposit of Faith’.

            In brief, the idea is that the Church is intended to safeguard doctrine as defined by the Early Church Fathers and their documents, and that any development of doctrine beyond that is heresy.

            I think this is interesting even for non-believers because of the way it came about, and the possibility of replication in secular organizations. At first, the Church’s authority was almost exclusively about priestly heredity – that is, tracing the line of your ordination back to Peter’s ordination by Christ. This existed pretty strongly for at least five hundred years in the Church, and still exists to some degree even today (though much weakened).

            However, because of Roman oppression and the collapse, most of the actual documentation of congregational life was lost or became unreliable. This caused the Church to devote resources to the preservation and tracing of whatever scraps could be salvaged. This, combined with the historical-authoritative nature of the faith (Jesus came, was a real man, and said and did these real things) lead to the idea of preserving the Deposit of Faith (that which was handed down, near entirely, from the earliest Churches, viz. those which had most contact with the Apostles or with Jesus). Note the shift here away from personal authority in priesthood to a sort of corporate authority pinned directly to an ‘unchangeable’ object nevertheless defined by the Church – but not just those living members currently in it. It’s an appeal to history as authority.

            This, I think, gave the Church another standard around which to signal. The standard Leftward holiness-signalling would still take place, but members (and directors) of the Church could counter-signal around an easily-understood point, thus easily creating the identification of us vs. them, and that counter-signalling point is explicitly about preservation and invariance.

            I think you also see a sort of negative proof. Protestant denominations necessarily give up or damage the idea of preserving the Deposit of Faith, and it appears that (at least until recently, perhaps) Protestant denominations are more vulnerable to holiness spirals.

            Sorry that’s long and rambly. It didn’t quite come out how I meant it to, but I’m going to let it stand. Also, note none of this is intended to argue against the point that Christianity is naturally extremely unstable, with which I agree.

  12. Bill A May 23, 2016 at 19:24

    Pretty amazing that John Wycliffe avoided the gallows.

  13. Chuck May 25, 2016 at 03:44

    You could say the King of Chu was thinking too small. Why stop at one petty kingdom? Why not the whole world?

    • spandrell May 25, 2016 at 04:34

      Invade the world, invite the world, hire Confucius and give him a fat salary! The path to greatness.

      • Chuck May 25, 2016 at 22:32

        Some people (most?) always want more shit. They tend to claw their way into leadership positions because leaders get more shit. If modest men get into power, then your entire society might get knocked off by more ambitious societies.

        Nukes may change this somewhat. You could be Switzerland with nukes to keep the wolves at bay. But then you’ll be attacked in a different way. Economically, culturally, ideologically, etc. The crafty levantine merchant tribe is the master at this of course. First they bring irresistible business deals. Then they’re intermarrying will your elite and the game is up.

  14. dashui May 25, 2016 at 15:58

    oh hell yeah, i’m going to chu and find me that bow!

  15. ith May 26, 2016 at 22:28

    That reference got me to re-read Glubb’s Fate of Empires. He generalizes like crazy, but it’s a really enjoyable read.

    I wonder how much the tendency towards universalism in morality is a result of intelligence and education. James Flynn (who gave his name to the Flynn effect) seemed to think it was down to that based on his research on IQ. To him it was all a good thing, of course.

    • spandrell May 27, 2016 at 03:30

      In Chinese terms, universalism is the result of second sons of families not having inheritance rights, and finding out they can use their brains to make a living. That implies holding that brains alone should determine income.

    • spandrell June 1, 2016 at 04:26

      Heh. That’s nice of him.

      • lalit June 1, 2016 at 10:22

        Hold on! Not so fast. He also called Islam a religion of Love. Spandrell, your original prognosis of the Dalai Lama was right. The man is hopelessly trapped in the thought process of the cathedral. He is less of a Buddhist Pontiff and more a Harvard Liberal arts professor. An intellectual giant, he is not.

        • spandrell June 1, 2016 at 12:28

          Hey, he still didn’t have to say Germany should remain Germany. Even if it doesn’t compensate all the crop he’s been spreading for decades, that’s a nice thing to say, and deserves credit for it.

          • lalit June 2, 2016 at 06:19

            What I have against the Dalai Lama is his naivete. I believe he is a Sincere person though. The reason he empathizes with the Germans is that his own people, the Tibetans are being flooded by Hans in their own homeland. So he understands how it feels to be swarmed by foreigners in your own homeland and he understands that the average German does not like it. Had he not been in the situation, I doubt he would have figured it out.

            • deltakyklos June 2, 2016 at 09:08

              Perhaps another factor to consider: could it be that Africans and Arabs are not interested in Buddhism, as opposed to ethnic Europeans?

              • lalit June 2, 2016 at 11:00

                If that was the case, he would not keep defending Islam like an abused woman defends her alpha male abuser. The one thing the Dalai Lama is not interested in is Proselytisation.

              • spandrell June 2, 2016 at 11:34

                I’d guess the CIA just reduced his allowance due to the need for more funding for refugees.

  16. porphyrogenitus June 1, 2016 at 13:25

    One thing is clear for those of us paying attention at home: Christianity is neither a necessary nor sufficient cause of virtue signaling spirals.

    Nor are the secular-wonderful Chinese immune to them.

    They had this one, prior to Christianity even existing. They had the Maoist-era one. Now someone might reply: “That makes it unlikely they’ll have another so soon.” Except Spandrel has chronicled that they’re in real danger of having a Nationalist one.

    Nor is Islam a “help” in this – they had the Abbasid one, and they’re clearly having another one as we speak. If I had to choose between “Lets have our current one or lets join Islam so we can escape our current virtue signaling spiral and share in theirs” I would have difficult deciding which is better – taking arsenic or putting a gun in my mouth. Because the current Islamic Virtue Signaling Spiral is a horror show.

    Nor is “Lets Worship Our Genetic Code” an escape from purity signaling spirals, as some seem to think (“we’ll uninstall the legacy of Christianity completely, somehow, and simply adopt Darwininan Religion”). In fact, the encounter with Darwinianism seems to have had something to do with creating the secularized postmillennialism we call Progressivism (see G. North, “Millennialism and the Progressive Movement,” and J. B. Quandt “Religion and Social Thought: The Secularization of Postmillennialism”)

    It is true that by now progressive signaling is riven through all of the branches of Christianity (as well as all secular Western thought strains), the most resistant having finally succumbed to the general tide. But it’s not true that “escaping Christianity == escaping the death-spiral” – you may simply replace one that is even worse.

    To which someone will reply: “how can it be worse?” – no matter how bad things are, you can *always* make it worse. Abandoning the line that shaped our civilization for 2000 years and replacing it with something as vacuous and empty as a cult of genetic code will almost certainly produce fresh horrors. (“Yes, but they’ll be FRESH!” shout novelty-seekers. Well, ok, to that I have no response).

    • Rhetocrates June 1, 2016 at 16:07

      Backing you up here: as bad as our holinesss spiral is, it’s not causing our young men to blow themselves up in crowds of strangers.

      Of course, instead it’s causing them to knock off their personal sausages and go about in drag.

      Salami slicer tactics indeed.

    • spandrell June 1, 2016 at 17:58

      It can hardly be worse than the slow road towards Brazil and South Africa that we have upon us.

      • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 02:28

        You’ve commented on things that are worse and described them in detail.
        I hardly defend the course we are on, but some “solutions” are asinine – such as suggesting embracing the Islamist Spiral (that’s what they’re in) or that the Maoist virtue spiral wasn’t that bad.

        Things can *always* be worse. You actually know that. The goal should be to steer clear of the scylla of embracing something even worse while steering away from the course towards charybdis we’re on.

        I don’t think you’re so blind as to not know that, since you’ve chronicled it.

        • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 02:44

          “Asinine” was an ill-chosen word because it could be taken as directed personally.

          However “we’ll avoid Brazil by embracing Islam, say, which totally isn’t undergoing a virtue-signaling spiral and will involve us doing that instantly while simultaneously instantly cutting off migration by our new Muslim Brothers and not transforming into the political-economy of Turkey or Indonesia, much less Syria or Egypt as we avoid Brazilification” or “We’ll turn our backs on what shaped our civilization and embrace instead a Cult of Our Genes, and it will be totally immune forever to purity-signaling spirals” just do not seem. . .plausible in the least.

          Now, I like our people (under whatever definition of that you choose) and don’t want them to be displaced, either. But quite a lot of “solutions” are non-solutions. Which is why solving it is far more difficult than identifying the problem, and most of the solutions on offer suck hard.

        • spandrell June 2, 2016 at 04:34

          Signaling spirals are awful. The Cultural Revolution was really really bad. But they end. China survived Mao and now is doing pretty well.

          Brazil or South Africa never end. It never gets better. Our countries will slowly be filled with Africans until we’re Zimbabwe. This is worse than going communist or Nazi or Islamic and have wide crazy purges that kill, say, 20% of the population. At least long term. Short term of course the singularity might kill you, while in Brazil or South Africa you only get killed randomly by some dumb bugger.

          • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 14:50

            Not a bad point. But note that you’ll have to break the spiral to get out of it.

            You certainly won’t do it by converting everyone to Islam “hey, brethrin. Lets convert to Islam as the first step to. . .stopping the influx of those who will be our new Muslim brothers.” Now, I know that wealthy Arab states aren’t taking in rapefugees, but that’s because they have the excuse that their commitment to Islam is unquestionable. Thus they can afford to export it (by building the mosques etc). New converts won’t have that excuse. Islam is at least as terrible as Brazil, if you go by the political economy of Islamic countries.

            As for “I know, we’ll create a cult of our genes as a way of stopping the spiral!” – go ahead. Do it. Start worshiping your genes for reals (not the sort of pantomime that, say, Jared Taylor nudges *others* to do – even he can’t take this seriously to do it himself). Go ahead. Try to do it without cracking up.

            *singing* “My genes are some awesome genes.”

            Or maybe the cult of genes disguised as ancestor worship: “Praise be my mighty ancestors! Who brought us to the sorry state my invocation of them is meant to get us out of! Praise be! I reject two millennia of what they did and were, I abjure everything they believed and thought, everything that shaped them for two millennia! But praise be to them!”

            Or maybe the Old Gods! We’ll have a cult of the Old Gods! Many Odinites (who don’t really believe in it) claim that will be the true path – because they don’t want to realize that they’re taking their inspiration from NeoPagans who, in their origin, were, to a man, rejectionists of everything that shaped our civilization and wanted to be like the “indigenous peoples of the earth” and NeoPaganism was the path they took.

            It’s just a farce. Now, people embrace farces. But they don’t embrace them while lost in another farce (the of open borders xenophilia and Cult of the Other). You’d have to break that spell *first* – people (especially the powerful and fashionable) would have to reject that first. Which would mean rejecting the course we’re on now. But once you do that, there would be no reason to implant a new farce to replace the old one, as the spell would have been broken.

            But a point is: a lot of people want to deliberately miss the point, and view Christianity as inately and eternally open-the-frontiers. When in fact it was not. No, it’s the spiritual vacumn left behind by people becoming mere materialists (and then using the analytical simplification of seeing every person as identifiable by what they have in common with all other people. You can easily get to open-the-frontiers-everyone-is-the-same with, say, standard mainstream econ’s abstract assumptions. Caplain does, and he hates God too. Rawls did. Mill was only as religious as he absolutely had to be, and he set the tone. Etc). Sincere religion isn’t the problem. Insincere, lightly-held, formalistic religion-of-tolerance (c.f. Rousseau) is.

            But in the end what I just said, while *IMO* important, is beside the point since you’re advocating a futile path anyhow: no matter what you or the fine brothers invent here to try to fill the void, you won’t win converts to it among the people who matter *until* the spell of open-borders-cuckery is broken. As long as they’re under the grip of that, they won’t convert to any belief or ideology that rejects it.

            The spell has to be broken first. That’s the first step to a solution. But once that is done, it will be revealed you won’t need anything bogus to replace the last 2000 years of our heritage.

  17. spandrell June 2, 2016 at 15:25

    I don’t think you get it. People don’t suddenly come into beliefs and then start acting upon them. People do things and believe whatever is expedient to the degree that they need. Nothing else. The incentives aren’t there for people to embrace traditionalist Christianity, and so they don’t. I dont think they ever will. Even if some Christian Church were to start selling what everybody needs, the progressive state is programmed to not allow it.
    I think Islam has a non negligible chance. Slightly more than the altright, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

    • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 15:43

      1) I don’t believe things are “the only thing that matters is material incentives” – I doubt we’ll resolve this atm but I’ll make a slight attempt below.

      2) “Islam has a non-negligible chance” – sure, of transforming us not into Brazil, but instead into Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan (if we’re lucky), Algeria, Morocco, etc. (if we’re not). What Islam does *not* have a chance to do: keep us and what we are intact. Embracing Islam is exactly what it says on the tin: submission. Surrender. Fall. As covered in my post.

      3) Incentives are defined by what people see as in their advantage. Institutional structures can certainly alter and shape that, but people define institutional parameters (over time, and there is path dependence). Greif’s “Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy” is decent on this (though not perfect). What people see as in their interest is defined by what they value, and current mainstream theory simply takes those as given as a theoretical simplification and moves on.* As I pointed out, fashionable elites tend to be the ones who change the parameters and what most people value then trickles down from there (which is why I said you won’t get where you’re going by taking the path you seem to be highlighting, because first you have to get those people to change the idea of what is valuable. Then they will follow whatever incentives lead them there. If you believe values are *chosen*/selected by incentive structures that appeal to making them better off “under constraints” in which they find themselves, well then good luck explaining why people have decided on an obviously self-destructive course that we’re both objecting too. Perhaps the elites do want to be at the top of a Brazil-like pyramid. I often think that myself. But then what you need to do is round up an army to kill them – not install Islam, which is happy to have disgraceful pyramids of its own that we’re apparently abstracting out in asserting “We’ll have Islam and we’ll be fine we will be just like ourselves 50 years ago, minus the tendency towards cuckery that led us on the path to: cuckery”). I’m pretty confident that, however it works, it *doesn’t* work like *that.*

      *And the sort of people, i.e. constructivists, who do focus on where these values come from, tend to be even worse. I’m not advocating their path.

      • spandrell June 2, 2016 at 16:05

        1. I didn’t say *material* interests, and the fact that you quote me as if I did shows that you’re not understanding me.
        2. I assume that by intact you mean “kinda like 1950”, which is of course very, very different from what we have now. Islam is indeed surrender. But Islamic societies are in many ways more healthy societies than the West in 2016. If individually, Islam is a better deal for single men, as in Houellebecq’s novel, White Islam will happen whether we like it or not.
        3. I‘ve always thought, and wrote several times, that elites really want a Brazil-like pyramid. South America has been a basketcase for centuries but the elites like it very well. There’s some structural stability to a racially segregated aristocratic society.

        Sure if you could round an army and kill or remove the elites you could solve the problem. But you don’t have an army, and you don’t have the means to raise one. Not allowing enemies to raise armies is one of the basic functions of a government, and our goverments are pretty good at that. They even know when you complain on Twitter.

        Again, I never said “Islam is cool and great, the cure to our all problems, we’ll pray to Allah and life will be like in 1959”. I said that Western people today are more preoccupied in signaling their virtue by adopting black embryos, allowing men into women’s bathrooms, and welcoming fat Syrians into their homes. Life prospects for single white man are the worst they have ever been. The economy is tanking, marriage is a scam, and white men are supposed to atone for their very existence at every chance. Islam cuts through all that crap. For a young man today, conversion to Islam gives you dignity as a man, and a decent chance at an obedient wife. It’s not a bad deal given the alternatives.

        Again, I’m not converting. I’m happily married, have lovely children, and think Islamic culture is dumb and tacky. But if I were 18 today I’d probably think about it.

        • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 16:55

          1) You’re treating ideas as epiphenomenal (well, only in passages such as cited), that people believe what they have the incentive to believe, and incentive-response arguments such as that just are modern-materialist-based arguments. Of course it is also true that you suggest that embracing this or that idea will change incentives the other half of the time. But then you’re missing *my* point.

          Because if people just follow incentives, deterministically, and embrace only the ideas that fit what they are inclined to do, then if your analysis of the problem the West is in is correct (and on that I don’t disagree), then you’ll (we’ll) never get them to change their beliefs because they’ve embraced the ones they have the incentive to embrace (self-destruction).

          I agree with the you that suggests this is not actually the case. I disagree that Islam is “healthy” or “creates healthy societies” that we would want to spend an eternity in.

          2) I agree we don’t have an army. This point is so obvious that I didn’t think I had to state it explicitly.

          3) If those elites want a Brazil (or a Jordan, a Morrocco, a Iran, a Turkey – none of which I would say are healthy societies to aspire too. Certainly not with Salafism winning the Islamic-signaling spiral. And I don’t think these states are much different than Brazil in the sense that we’d be quibbling over the detail-differences in which their pathologies express themselves) AND if it’s not possible to persuade them otherwise or physically remove them, then what?

          I’d disagree that young Islamic men of middle-to-lower-class status have it so great. The details of their plight (for lack of a better term) differ from that of the mass of western men. Perhaps the romance of being part of a mob that has to commit sexual assault is attractive, or marrying a cousin and having her in a shroud is (if you’re lucky), but on the whole their lives seem pretty pathetic, as near-hopeless, which is why they find the allure of rather disastrous beliefs (such as Salafism, which *promises* then a rose garden they never actually get) attractive.

          Houellebecq’s novel is just that – a novel. One of its flaws is it takes the Imam’s vision of what young Moslem men will get as a factual description of what they in fact get (swarms of beautiful women devoted to the average believer, high-status, and so on). Now, it is true there are disastrous Western women who find Muslims attractive, but mostly it’s because of the frission of the other. A >>>WHITE MALE<<< who converts to Islam is less likely to win the favor of such a woman ("But Islam means their father or the Imam will force them to!" – maybe over the long term, once it is fully in place, the leadership of Islam will do that for you. Though I would say the typical Muslim man isn't given the prime options, and in any case we don't have 30 years because right now the Muslims are keen on keeping those spoils to themselves, not sharing them with people they will a) suspect of sincerity, at least somewhat and b) will tend to be at the bottom of the pecking order).

          What Islam does for the typical Muslim male (the mode, not the higher-status examplars) is so great that they need to grab women on the street or march into foreign lands to take the women of others. Status prospects for typical Muslims are only better in a land that is mostly Kafur. When most of the people convert to Islam, pickings are much slenderer, if you want to look at it in this sort of crass sense.

          "Islam cuts through all that crap." – vibrant economies are not really found in Islamic states. Oil fueled ones do have enough wealth to buy people off with gibs, but that's about it. Again, the prospects for the typical Muslim male is far from the vision of "four beautiful, servile wives at your beck and call." Islamic societies aren't like that at all, though I suppose enough people will delude themselves that they offer a better life. Now, I don't want to say much in favor of socio-economic conditions in the West but I will do comparative analysis: if socio-economic conditions were better in the Ummah, and prospects were better there (even absent war conditions), streams of them would not be entering the stricken West.

          Yes, the West is easy pickings for such migrants. But one of the main reason it is is because the West via-the-elites is still wealthy enough to put the migrants on the payroll through various programs (which, true, strip the average European or American of wealth and make our lives worse. This though is where Molly has a point). Yes, we're building a pyre of all the social and economic capital (and otherwise) that we built up over centuries, making the prospects for young men terrible. But Economic and social opportunity simply isn't *better* in Islamic areas, and it's only better for them in the west to the degree to which the elites are willing to enable them to engage in plunder of the native population (hint: a convert is still a native white).

          Which is one reason why Islam-in-the-west is clearly allied not to the Alt-Right but to the progressives. Joining Islam is not a route to removing prog elites (though ultimately Muslims will replace prog elites with their own – but it won't be by putting some of us in charge. Oh, not at all).

          • spandrell June 2, 2016 at 17:58

            Circumstances change, and so incentives chance, and so the inclination of people to believe this or that change. The ideas that come up also change. Some genius prophet may come up and start selling an amazingly compelling set of ideas that none of us can even think of today. It has happened before. But amazing ideas need to sell; and to sell they need to appeal to some already existing demand out there.

            Again, I don’t like Islam. I really don’t. But it has been around for a thousand years, spreading all over the world, producing tacky (to my taste) but stable societies. Jim Kalb has made the point several times. Islam works. You might not like it; but it’s not insane. Progressivism is insane. Salafism is quite insane too; but it’s no way as common as progressivism is in the west. It may not last that much longer.

            Turkey is not much poorer than Greece; absent EU subsidies, Greece would likely be poorer than the better half of Turkey. Islam doesn’t make you stupid. Bad genes make you stupid; it happens that on average Muslims have worse genes.
            Which is why they come to the West; dumb boys have heard that women in the West are easy, and they give you free money. In their own countries they are much better behaved. They have to.
            As bad as marriage prospects can be in Muslim countries; they are better than in the West today, and once you do get married, you are more likely to have an obedient wife which stays at home and gives you more than two children. You can’t get divorce-raped, a false rape accusation can’t destroy your life.

            I’m no expert in the muslim world; a careful analysis may agree with you that muslim countries really are worse for men in every single aspect, and the West even as it stands today is still superior. But that doesn’t matter. Nobody knows nor cares about the big picture. What matters is the individual white kid which gets approached by a Muslim proselytizer. When the Muslim sells you that Islam gives you dignity as a man, an obedient wife, absolution from white guilt, and perhaps a chance for glory as a jihadi in whatever; well that sounds pretty good. Not to you, not to me, but to a lot of average blokes it does. Increasingly so.

            The only good argument is that indeed, present Muslims in the West are really so racist that they refuse to proselytize to whites. But there’s plenty of race denalism in Islam and somebody is bound to work the market sooner or later.

            • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 18:48

              I’ll note that you invoke Kalb, who I also like, but who is a Christian Trad – not somebody giving up on it. It’s Progressivism that’s pathological.

              Islam is going through it’s own spiral as we speak. To the degree to which it is stable, it is the stability of stagnation. I’ll describe Islamic societies since otherwise they’ve remained abstract to the point of mythological:

              1) One (1) Islamic city-state that used oil wealth to make itself a destination for the cosmopolitan-transnational elite and which imports Filipina maids to clean rooms and get fucked.

              2) Islamic states that happen to have found themselves sitting on pools of oil, which they used to buy-off unrest at home and export their revolution abroad (rather than having it at home) (Most of Arabia).

              3) mid-tier semi-shitholes (Turkey, which actually seems to be getting worse, Iran, Jordan).

              4) complete shitholes (Algeria, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc – the entire rest of the Islamic world, in effect).

              Have I left anything out?

              Also, re stability; I recommend Blaydes & Chaney (2013) article on “The Feudal Revolution and Europe’s Rise” which tracks the divergence between Western Europe and the Islamic World. Political stability in the form or regime-overthrows is their primary variable.

              5) “Bad genes make you stupid” except that the Islamic culture is a partial contributor to bad genes (yes, genes are mostly inheritable, but cousin-marrying doesn’t do wonders for your genes, either). Plus: arguing that the Islamic world is doing so much better on the one hand while attributing their complete pathology to bad genes seems like an unfalsifiable argument to me, while otoh if better genes = better outcomes then clearly we’d be doing better than they are, and yet you argue that we aren’t. Our genes are obviously (I agree) better on such things as IQ. But the islamic world’s gene pool is not independent of the 13+ centuries of living under Islam.

              Also: to the degree to which Muslims practice Islam – that is, emulate the teachings and life of their Prophet, as contained in the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sira – yes, it’s pathological. Now, one way you could square the circle is to create a Nirvana-argument: “we’ll only do the best of Islam and avoid all the pathologies of Islam!” – well, nobody can argue against such a position.

              6) “a careful analysis may agree with you that muslim countries really are worse for men in every single aspect” – Note I didn’t say “in every single respect,” I did say it’s not a great deal overall. Their economy, as you implied in the post before this one, is inferior even to our current stage. Turkey might be doing “as well as Greece” but that claim isn’t exactly a winning argument (“Buh gawd they might even be doing better than Greece if Greece wasn’t gettin bailed out by more successful Western economies that we just poured shit on as being on the road to ruin” – which, I agree they are. But something that *might* be doing *slightly better* than a socio-economy that is furthest along the road to wrack and ruin is not exactly a thumbs-up, lets-pop-the-champagne-cork argument).

              7) “but to a lot of average blokes it does” – yes, a lot of people get duped by pretty-sounding lies when their lives seem like shit. They happily jump from the frying pan into a bonfire, and, say, run off to Syria to join ISIS and die for the Jihad after being promised they’ll be able to buy a pretty girl at one of the slave auctions. It does happen. Especially after being told for 16 years in Western education that Whiteness sucks and the Other is superior and Islam is wonderful and vibrant. Then, yes, when an Imam approaches you and promises you a better life, it has some appeal. People jump into the bonfire. People become “White Allies” of multicultralism under similar promises: they can join the apparently winning side and chant and shake their spears against lower-status, unfashionable whites! This is sold to innocent youths by the Last Evangel of Progressivism in schools, too, and wins converts among <<>> to this day (or there wouldn’t be the phenomena of AIDS Skrillex & Carl the Cuck); but I think we’d agree that in spite of the immediate appeal of such, it’s not the wise choice for impressionable youth. I argue: neither is Islam, whatever a salafist prothestizer might tell people.

              No: I kind of figure our job is to be more like Kalb and fight the lies. Attack the alluring lies. I think Kalb wrong in saying Islam is stable in a positive sense. It works as a machine of sorts, for reasons described above and in my previous post. But does it make the average individual’s life better? Or is it a demonic machine? I’d say it’s the later. It feeds off the corpses of conquered civilizations. It is quite possible it will cover the earth, and I suppose in that quasi-Darwininan sense it is “better,” but not in any sense I would say is worth having or in any sense that improves the lives of the adherents (after they become the majority-population in any region and thus don’t have enough dhimminis off which to feed, and thus has to eat its own, as it were; and the average male will be low-status, not high or even middle status).

              In closing: please let me know which subset of Islamic societies/states I left out that are flourishing (beyond the “best” of them being “maybe this one might be better than Greece, once you account for the gibs Greece is getting” sense). I’m not a total expert on Islam either so I might have missed a sub-category of Islamic states that are doing well (and not off the industrial civilization created by the West* buying the sticky black stuff under their feet).

              *again, I share your assessment of the course the West is on. What I disagree on is that Islamic societies, on the whole, anywhere, are on a higher level, except perhaps in the sense I mentioned above. But I doubt I’d argue that that sense is actually, in any way, better than Brazil – simply having a despotism that keeps the rabble in check by overt force except for the times they spasmodically blow a gasket is not *that* different from Brazil-like, though I do concede that some of the details, not entirely unimportant ones, are different, but IMO not different in an ultimately important way. Pakistan is not un-Brazil-like in its two-tier social structure, nor is Egypt, or Algeria, or Iran, or – well, care to name one that isn’t? It might be easier than listing all the ones that aren’t that different in this sense.

              • spandrell June 2, 2016 at 19:11

                Look, I don’t want to go on arguing the relative merits of Islam. You know that much about Muslim countries, probably less than I do. You’re not telling me anything I don’t know. However Muslim countries are, it doesn’t matter. If Europeans were to convert to Islam, that doesn’t mean Europe would become Jordan or Pakistan. Genes matter.

                My argument is twofold: Genes matter. Progressivism and its Christian allies are contributing to the replacement of white genes by arab, black and south american genes. I said Islam could help, improving the white birth rate and making whites more clannish and thus less inclined to give citizenship to foreigners.

                Second argument is a market argument: White boys have a very bad deal. Islam might sell them an attractive package. Christianity today is not selling a very good package. What do you have?

              • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 20:09

                On the last point: IMO a better deal since IMO theirs is fraudulent. But it means first going after progressivism. Remember: in the west, Islam is allied with the progressivism you (we) abhore. It is *not* allied with the right that resists progressivism. Now, on the part of Islam, the alliance is purely tactical-oportunistic. But a white boy joining Islam in order to avoid the Islamization of the west by importing adherents to Islam is an absurdity. Islam is manifestly *not* offering white youth “join Islam and we’ll join hands to resist. . .the importation of our brethren into your country.”

                Genes matter but Islam has helped (helped, contributed to) the crappy genes of Islamic nations. It’s not an escape/salvation for better genes. OtoH there are several good arguments that I’m sure you’re familiar with (whether you agree with them or not is another thing) that for most of the 2000 years that the west was Christendom, Christianity (and Christian – that is, not Islamic – marriage-and-family patterns) contributed to genetic uplift (while Islam did, well, not).

                Birth rate seems mainly dependent on development. The Islamic world seems to be tracking with the downward trend in birth rates. Birth rates in, for example, Iran, though once high, are sharply down. I agree that birth rates matter and indeed just the other day was telling someone IRL that a culture that isn’t replacing itself (with high enough birth rates) is a culture that wants to die. OtoH though it’s also true that, ironically, the greatest contributor to high birth rates seems to be impoverishment (low economic development) and ignorance. If birth rates are what primarily matters, the argument would be to ape sub-saharan Africa because they currently still have the highest birth rates in the world.

                So, IMO, birth rates aren’t the-thing-in-and-of-itself. Neither is Islam going to be a contributor to sustaining high genetics (given its track record – especially its track record compared to the now-loathed, not just by you but by actual progs, Christianity).

                I essentially made the same argument with respect to mainline Christianity above in one of my first posts in this thread. But I also explained and linked to what I thought were the reasons for that. Again, to invoke Kalb while rejecting Christianity root-and-branch as a source of the troubles is IMO wrongheaded. We’re probably on at an impasse on this though since I tend to be a believing Christian (rather than an instrumental one) (I say ‘tend to be’ because I’m a *bad* Christian. Not horribly bad in the sense of “I do degenerate things” but bad in the sense of practice, going to church, focusing more on spiritual rather than political things, and the like. If I was a better person I’d be hanging out in the Orthosphere).

                “If Europeans were to convert to Islam, that doesn’t mean Europe would become Jordan or Pakistan” – So you say, but this is that “Nirvana Argument” – Europe will simply take the “best” of Islam (whatever that is; I haven’t seen an argument that the Koran, Hadith, or Sira are great shakes) and reject the worst, and will adopt Islam as a means of rejecting. . influx of Muslims (in time enough to matter). Again: if that seems plausible to you, it absolutely does not to me.

                I haven’t said “genes don’t matter” – that’s a straw man. But of genes matter as much as you say they do, then would we be in the pickle we’re in? It seems odd to say “our superior genes will out but those with lower genetics have better societies, right now.” Which is (an admitted synopsis) of your argument.

                Again, you’re making a double argument. On the one hand saying their societies are *better* than ours in some sense (stability or whatever) which is why we’d be better off embracing their beliefs, and on the other saying “sure, their societies suck, I’m not saying otherwise, but it’s because they have worse genes than ours” (while we’re agreeing that our societies are on the road to ruin, at the moment, compared to what we had when we achieved that level).

                I’ll note that we achieved whatever might be called the apogee of our civilization when Christianity was still a vital force. Since the west has secularized (to the point to which most Christian denominations worship not Christianity, but progressivism – again, here we don’t disagree except perhaps in causal direction. IMO the collapse of genuine belief, attributable to a variety of causes which are not within every strain of Christianity, is at the root. I still recommend those two articles I mentioned above, the Quandt one and the North one). It’s since we’ve had a crisis of believing any of that sincerely and thought of it as perhaps only useful in an instrumental sense and we could just as easily adopt any belief (Islam, say; or NeoPaganism, or Gene-Worship) out of an instrumental sense, that we’ve had problems. Increasingly so as the crisis deepened.

                You might be right that it’s impossible to put the toothpaste back in the tube and in order to “survive” (IMO: not really, since it simply means the influx will continue, since there’s no reason to reject Muslims simultaneous with accepting Islam) we can do what the prog left also wants us to do, and reject everything that made us what we are as a big mistake.

                As for “selling an attractive package” there are times when it is true there is little to offer, if one is honest about it, except blood, sweat, toil and tears. This may not be a winning argument (progressivism advances with white college-educated youth by offering them an easy life and a rationale to blame others – not enough gibs! Free Education Now!) So do the Islamists – if it made their lives so wonderful, why are their lives so squalid (as you seem to agree their lives are)?

                To get out of the pickle we’re in – well, it might have been relatively easy to do if done a generation ago. At this point the rot is so bad that, from the point of view of incentive-response (which just is a materialist argument), anyone honest has little to sell. Only charlatans and hucksters have the advantage of offering a snake-oil elixir people will buy for that reason. Maybe candor will sell, though. Perhaps you (we) can convince enough people to buy an argument that for this generation we will have to pass through a trial – shaking off both Progressivism and the Islamic incursion will not be pretty or easy (at this point). But people do, sometimes, take up hard responsibilities. And actually, psychologists have found, the process of doing a difficult but worthwhile task is more pleasing, than success (utility-reward-on-success), which is actually merely what Mises described it as (the alleviation of unease) (after which, psychologically, we pursue some new task – or, if nihilistic, find ourselves empty).

                Being part of rebuilding civilization and helping it survive might be an offer enough. I don’t think many of us are part of this thing of ours because being aware (taking notice, perceiving, being “woke,” paying attention) gives us positive reward (makes us feel better than we otherwise would be if we simply remained blind) in the short term. But some people want to make things better and will undergo “trials” for the sake of honesty and being part of a worthy project. Throwing up one’s arms about the tide of Islam (which, as you said, you’re not running out to embrace, either) is *not* doing that. It is exactly what you agreed it was: submission. Surrender. Only pathetic people who hate everything that made them what they are would think of that as a positive turn that would restore their and their civilization’s self-respect and feeling of worth (that it is worthy of survival). I’ve said before and will say again now: if I were a progressive, I’d hate everything that made me what I am today, too.

                But if we’re not that, we shouldn’t simply say “well, we have nothing worth offering so Islam it is!” and wave at the youth as they embrace a historical enemy that is destructive of everything that make us, well, us. (Well, ok: aside from such a ultimately-vacuous thing as “But Our Gene Code” – if it’s all about our genes anyhow, which I doubt [though, again, agreeing they’re important and not at all wanting us to be extinguished], then Islam is superficial and we shouldn’t *have* to embrace it (see what I said about that, above – and in prior post).

                As for my part, I agree with the old adage that purple is the best winding-shroud. I’d rather go down in difficulty resisting this scylla and charybdis than simply go down like a heavy sack of shit (the way we’re apparently going). And the funny thing is, if you hold to that adage, you don’t necessarily go down at all (Justinian and Theodora didn’t, because they didn’t flee, on the basis of that argument).

              • Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 20:37

                “You’re not telling me anything I don’t know. ”

                Well, here’s one thing you may not have perceived. Your argument has passed through successive stages.

                1) Islamic societies are doing better than ours. Kalb says they’re more stable (a point made later to supplement this initial argument). Therefore we should seriously consider adopting Islam.

                2) Islamic societies are doing poorly. This is attributable to their genetic stock. Our genetic stock is better, so we will do better. Genes matter. But we’ve had our genes and they’ve had theirs all along and in #1 the claim was their societies are doing better and ours are not. Converting to Islam will be done simultaneous with rejecting the rising tide of Islam being imported into our lands. (This is implausible to me at least).

                3) Ok, the first argument isn’t real, because the second is, but we’ll shift to individual-incentives for white males to defect to Islam. They have those for the same reason they have to support progressivism (more of them convert to progressivism than have converted to Islam). Both offer the (false) promise of better deals. From progressivism, free gibs and an out-group to scapegoat. from Islam, free gibs, the lure (though not the reality) of bountiful pussy to every believer no matter how average or sub-average, and free gibs from the dhimmis, and a scapegoat (the non-believer that has oppressed Islam, so join the jihad against the kufar!)

                The right, by definition, doesn’t offer those things (the promise of free gibs and an external scapegoat). It’s at a market-disadvantage in this sense. It has candor to sell, and standing up for what we are and our heritage. Maybe this will lack appeal. I hope it doesn’t because IMO the hope we have is in this direction, not in offering the chimera of an easy path (that’s the Left – and Islam’s Salafist evangel’s – false promise. It doesn’t real but you’re right people might buy it before realizing that it’s bullshit. They bought progressivism, so why wouldn’t they buy Islam’s promises?)

  18. Porphy's Attorney June 2, 2016 at 15:33

    Second, separate-but-related point:

    “China survived Mao and now is doing pretty well.”

    Depends on how one defines ‘survived’ – there’s lots of Han so it’s fairly easy for the people to survive. Also all credit to the people who took over after Mao and abjured what he did (in fact if not always in rhetoric). Economically they’re doing pretty well (all the ZeroHedge caviats to the contrary notwithstanding: it’s abundantly clear that howevermuch fake, useless, wasted non-growth there has been, there has also been a lot of genuine economic improvement). But now lets turn to:

    “Short term of course the singularity might kill you”

    I infer from this that the costs of singularity are only being counted in the immediate, material sense. I think that while Han Chinese survive, a lot of damage was done to Chinese civilization – there were and are ongoing losses from the Maoist interregnum. But, while giving due credit to those who have governed after Mao and picked up the pieces, a fair bit of the civilizational losses-and-distortions have not been recoverable and may never be.

    IMO this is even more keenly illustrated by Russia: the losses inflicted by the Soviet period are not just in immediate lives and destructiveness. Again, all credit to Putin for trying to restore Russia and the Russians, but it is far less clear that Russians will survive. (This also, IMO, illustrates the limitations of “we’ll put a authoritarian leader in charge and he’ll signal the right course, and the people will follow” – at least so far, his success in restoring Russia and the Russians spiritually, for lack of a better word, has had limited success. It is quite likely they’ll end up being outnumbered by Muslims, too, despite Putin not being a “cuck”). Damage inflicted by the Soviet period has not gone away.

    Probably the less said about whether or not Germany (or the West as a whole) has done well in the wake of its experience with 1930s-45 Germany, the better. Even moreso perhaps the savage immolation of WWI (a generalized bonfire of civilization even if it does not fit well into a category of left-singularity. Unless perhaps a) one remembers the roots of nationalism weren’t in the right, but in the left, and b) is willing to attribute WWI primarily to nationalistic-driven forces. A case can certainly be made). In any case perhaps a debate between Millennial Woes and yourself on the long-term (century-thus-far) consequences of WWI would be worth having.

    IMO both those wars demolished a lot of confidence western people (back then still un-ironically known as “Christendom”) had in themselves and the worthiness of their civilization, and opened things up to opportunistic infections – including the Cult of the Other/xenophillia. What none of these events were: “as soon as it was over, it was over. ~fins~”

    No – those were civilization-battering catastrophes. Hopefully not civilization-destroying. We’ll see. Hopefully we as a civilization will listen to Taylor Swift and shake it off. But I doubt we’ll do it by rejecting a vital part of what has defined and shaped us for 2000 years.

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  20. akarlin June 5, 2016 at 03:21

    And Lord Shang commanded the man who found the bow to deliver it back to the King ASAP upon pain of death. (/jk)

    Anyhow what was the actual Legalist position on this story?

    • spandrell June 5, 2016 at 06:51

      Or perhaps offer a big reward. Lord Shang was also generous with his prizes.
      Haven’t found any Legalist comment. I should check the Han Feizi for hints at nationalism.

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