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Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Spectre of Nationalism

After some lazy Youtube pastes, I guess it’s time to write something interesting about Brexit. You’ll have to forgive my delay as I was too busy getting drunk in celebration. Or in despair. I don’t know.

The ghastly forces of nationalism are sweeping now across Europe, liberals say. “Racism is out of the bottle”, they say. The European project, the liberal world order is in danger, they say. Oh yes, yes it is. And they are right to be frightened.

Perhaps people out of Europe don’t know, but in Europe, at least in academic circles, the EU is talked about as an almost godly institution. The most successful piece of institutional engineering in human history. A professor of mine had almost tears in his eyes when he talked how the EU “went against entropy”, fighting all odds in integrating all European states into a superior, sacred institution of peace and prosperity. And then some Nigel Farage with goofy shoes comes and takes 60 million Britons out.

Naturally all the bien-pensant are horrified. Truly, really horrified, horrified as if a zombie just showed up at your window. The EU in Europe is worshipped in a way probably similar to how the early Catholic Church was worshipped in the early Middle Ages. It must have looked like a miracle that while myriad Goths and other barbarians completely destroyed the Western Roman Empire, the Church not only survived, but thrived with a very sophisticated organization across the whole of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. That the Christian Church was able to conserve some modicum of civilization in those times was truly a miracle. It must have seemed that truly God was with them.

God thus appeared to be with the EU in the decades after WW2. 70 years of peace. Increasing economic and political integration. If you’ve read your European history it’s certainly nothing short of a miracle. Of course the 70 years of peace might have something to do with the US Army garrisoning most of the continent, but you’re not supposed to notice that much. The key to becoming a leading scholar in human society is selective noticing. It’s more important to figure out what not to know, than what to know.

But anyway, indeed the EU was an impressive enterprise. Whatever model of government you have, everyone agrees that people in general don’t like to give away power. Whether you think parliament rules, or the people rule, or the permanent bureaucracy rules; it doesn’t matter who calls the shots, whoever does it is supposed to like doing so, and on principle wouldn’t want to give it away. But in Europe they did. Little by little European nations were stripped of their power and they all celebrated it.

While the actual integration followed a very complex set of carrots and sticks; it helped that the EU project had a very good rationale. Europeans had been slaughtering each other for centuries. That had some good things; it gave incentives for research into bigger ships and stronger cannons. That research trickled down into the civilian economy and eventually gave us the industrial revolution. China invented gunpowder, but by the 1500s it had to rely in Portuguese cannons to defend itself, because in China research into cannonry just didn’t pay. The huge Middle Kingdom didn’t fight wars, only rebellions every many decades, and those didn’t require cannons. China was into gun control, and they were pretty good at it. Europe wasn’t into gun control. In Europe it was war all the time, for whatever reason. Eventually the slaughter got so out of hand during the 30 Years War that the Peace of Westphalia was signed.

Henceforth European states were to respect sovereignty. That is, you don’t wage war because of what some other king has done in his country. You don’t do that. Kings have the right to do whatever the hell they want inside their country. Even religion doesn’t matter. The idea was good. But it still didn’t work; European countries kept finding excuses to slaughter each other and went on developing more advanced weaponry all the same. Eventually Europe invented the mother of all weapons: Nationalism.

Academics recently like to talk about “institutions”. Others like to talk about more abstract cultural traits. “Social technology” as some call it. If someone is still around in 200 years to write a World History of Technology, Nationalism will be there written as the foremost political technology ever invented by humankind. Nationalism destroyed the Ancien Regime. It revolutionized politics and war. It changed the world forever.

In the tribal, pre-state era, a “band of brothers” would ride to some foreign area, fight the local men, grab their gold and women and share it amongst them. If for some reason the bros didn’t want to go back, they’d go to some area, kill the local men, and take their land (and gold and women, if any). This went on forever. Analysis of ancient DNA is just telling us the story of how many populations have been completely replaced repeatedly over time. When states formed, however, this dynamic changed. A king doesn’t mind beating a neighbour and taking its gold, or perhaps the land. He’s likely not that much in need of taking their women. But at any rate he has no interest in emptying the land. A king wants taxes; he doesn’t care who pays them, whether his tribe or someone else’s. In fact a king is, more likely than not, not of the same tribe as his soldiers. So it’s not in his interest that the tribes that he rules over gain more land and thus more power. Eventually some tribal lord might rally his tribesmen against the king.

No, no. The way for a king to secure his place on the throne is to play divide and conquer on his own subjects. Ideally there will be no tribes whatsoever; the people will be separated into nuclear families, forbidden from worshipping ancestral gods. Their only social obligations will be with the state, i.e. the king. That was the gist of the Shang Yang reforms in 360 BC, what Solon did in Athens, what the Roman Senate did to its people, shuffling the tribes every few years. The Catholic Church did mostly the same to the Germanic kindreds in Western Europe. It was wildly successful, and produced what we understand as Civilization. Which is good.

So when a King has to fight a war, he pays for his soldiers, in hard cash. If he can’t he doesn’t go to war. No more bands of brothers, no more fighting for the tribe. No more exterminating neighbors. That’s bad for business. Of course it still happened, if the foreigners were uncivilized themselves and one couldn’t expect much tax from them short term. Still, the incentive was to take the land with the peasants untouched.

Nationalism was in essence a return to the emotional state of pre-state tribesmen. Soldiers weren’t expected to fight for cash, or for traditional bonds of vassalage. Soldiers fought for their country, for the homeland. For the tribe. A pretty massive tribe, tens of millions strong. Pretty weird tribe if you ask me; but people ate it up. Nationalism was wildly popular. It of course didn’t come out of a vacuum; the printing press, universal schooling and improved transportation did change cultural interaction so that people inside the same country ended up having the same degree of cultural uniformity as a 1,000 BC tribe.

But of course Nationalist War has the same incentives as Tribal War: kill off the men and take their land for good. We call that now ethnic cleansing. Nationalist people are committed to their nations. They won’t pay tax to a foreigner; not as much as a countryman would. Remember French rule of the Ruhr? And besides, industrial economies make turnover much easier: you can ship millions of your own people to the vacated territory in months, and they’ll start producing right away. So there’s no downside to removing the foreigners.

Nationalist War was gruesome stuff. The Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil war, the Franco Prussian war, World War 1. Of course the scale of these wars weren’t just due to nationalism, much of it was just superior technology; better weapons, better transportation. And bigger populations. World War 1 gave us machine guns, gas and air bombing, killing millions in months. After World War 1 there was an attempt to blame nationalism and stop it right there. But it didn’t work. The opposite happened: Mussolini perfected Nationalism, and then Hitler took it to its logical conclusion. Total, industrial tribal war. With ethnic cleansing of enemies as its explicit mission.

We all know how that ended. The conclusion was that Nationalism was bad. And it wasn’t an unreasonable conclusion. It makes a lot of sense. Nationalism had, if not caused, certainly aggravated World War 1. Why did all those millions of young men volunteer to be slaughtered by machine guns in Northern France? For the glory of their nations. Why did Germany wage war against the first, second and third most powerful nations on Earth at the same time? To gain lebensraum for the German nation. Why did Italy, of all people, dream of taking Dalmatia, Albania, and run a colonial empire in Africa? Certainly not for the juicy tax revenue that those territories would bring to the state! It was all because of a stupid nationalist signaling spiral where the most popular kids were those who came up with the wackiest plans for the glory of the nation.

And so it was deemed, again not unreasonably, that Nationalism was bad. After World War 1, when the same conclusion was reached, the popular idea among the elite was that we needed World Government. No small part of the impetus behind the global communist movement that consumed the elite of the Anglosphere was the idea that communism was a good path in order to achieve World Government: communism could out-compete nationalism for support of the working class masses. Read on that time, H.G. Wells, Keynes, all those were really into World Government.

Alas, again, Nationalism won that battle by morphing into its more evolved form, Fascism, that great innovation of Benito Mussolini. Mussolini was an old school socialist who after WW1 found out that the post-war evolution of socialism  into a World Government cult wasn’t going to fly. He had been in the war, he had seen the power of nationalism. So he invented nationalist socialism, and man, he hit the jackpot. Fascism swept over most of Europe in no time.

The elite, i.e. Western governments and their financial elites kept holding their World Government dream, though. Even F.D. Roosevelt, who borrowed a trick or two from the fascists, appeared to have been a very devout member of the World Government cult. After WW2, however, the Anglo-Soviet split made all dreams of World Government impossible. I guess we have Stalin to thank for that.

The dreams of World Government shattered, the only feasible alternative was to do try a local implementation in the US-occupied part of Europe. And so we got the EU. European nations were to disappear and integrat into something bigger, so they would stop waging war against each other. Again this was a good idea. War is bad. World War 2 was horrible. But dismantling the nations is easier said than done. By any account, in pure Marxist theory, the Soviet Union should have dismantled all its constituent “nations” and run a purely communist paradise of the workers. And yet what we got was Lenin’s “theory of nationalities” and a hodgepodge of national republics. In fact some backward tribes which could have been easily dissolved had instead Soviet anthropologists and linguists sent to standardize their languages and document their culture. Even abroad, the Soviets didn’t dismantle East European nations, they just occupied them, defanged them, but kept the nations neat and separate.

The thing is, European integration is a very dangerous idea; more dangerous than the original founders perhaps ever thought. In theory the EU was supposed to abolish all legal borders, dissolve national governments and rule the whole continent from a unified government. Ideally all Europeans would speak one language and follow one set of rules. You certainly can’t have a common market if the local bureaucracies can’t communicate with the center, and workers aren’t willing to move to different regions because of language barriers.

But imagine that: a truly unified Europe. I used to like the idea, and that should tell how utterly dangerous it is. For better or worse, the apparatus of modern nations was built by nationalism. It presupposes nationalism. Modern states have unified laws, unified school systems, unified media industries. Modern states, by purpose or by accident, unify the culture of their subjects. Modern states create nations. A unified Europe would create a unified European nation. And what would that European nation be about? What do Europeans have in common? Their biological heritage and their history. That is, the white race and Christianity.

Wow wow, wait a second. The mere thought of a unified Europe of 800 million people, organized around its common bonds of Race and Christianity is… dangerous. It’s dangerous to particular peoples who I will not name to avoid my comments section filling with retards. And it’s dangerous to the whole world, really. The last time Europeans were proud of their race and religion they went on a rampage across the whole world, where not a square mile of territory was left undisturbed. You could say European colonization was good for them; that we brought them civilization. Well, the locals are apt to disagree, and even if it were true, the locals today would rather not have the process repeat itself again. Susan Sontag said the white race is the cancer of human history. A cancer it’s not, the other races are still around. But the white race no doubt was a straight, strong, painful punch in the face for other countries.

And so European integration can’t happen. It can’t work, because we don’t allow Europeans to bond around the only thing they have in common. Instead we feed them a diet of bullshit about how Europeans are bounded by European values of tolerance and human rights. Which doesn’t make any sense. Europeans went along for thousands of years without any appreciation for tolerance and rights for women and minorities. Our very parents weren’t into all this tolerance and rights stuff. Were they bad people?

Any ideology is going to produce winners and losers; if only to the extent that an individual’s nature fits the ideology better or worse. If you’re into the quiet contemplation, any society that gives high status to monks is going to be a good deal for you. If you’re into booze, feasting, fucking and fighting; you’re gonna become very fond of Viking society. If you’re into tea, poetry, war and can’t stand women, you’re probably going to enjoy Islam. Ideally any ideology is going to evolve into a set of memes that give status to productive and upright people who help in the upkeep of civilization, and give low status to harmful people, but not so low they rise in violence.

Europeans today are supposed to base their identity on their tolerance and support of human rights, i.e. their obedience to the latest academic fad. Who wins from this arrangement? People who are by nature into tolerance and obedience to the latest academic fads. Those get to be elite. If you’re not into tolerance and have no inclination to support the latest academic fad no matter how absurd; and you can’t fake it well enough, well you’re not going to be elite. Who’s going to be elite? Women. Phonies. Clintons. Those are doing ok.

But what about men? Normal, average men, who like booze, like fighting, like competition, have no appetite for intellectual bullshit and little ability to fake it? Well modern Europe doesn’t like you. No status for you. And no status doesn’t mean what it used to be. In the old days you could be a brute, despised by the Church and by polite society. But you had your society, you could be a brute peasant with a peasant job and a peasant wife and kids. Not anymore. We don’t have classes now. Peasant women go to the city to try to get into polite society. There are no peasant jobs anymore; and to the extent that they are, they are done by actual Asian peasants in their homelands or in yours.

For the average men it is beyond obvious that Nationalism was a better state of affairs. Yes, you were likely to be sent to Northern France and be killed because your stupid generals had decided you were to be sent as cannon fodder until the enemy machine gun run out of ammo. Which it never did. But still, you had status. You had dignity. You had a society which told you you were awesome; a society where your natural inclination for typical manly stuff: loyalty, bravado, physical exertion, absurd penchant to fight because of stupid differences, were deemed to be noble and sacred virtues.

But not now. A woman uses her natural inclination for nagging her husband to no end; and she’s a great woman exercising her rights and using her intellect. A phony uses his natural inclination to make up some arcane bullshit about human rights; and he’s a great intellectual. A normal person uses his powers of reason to notice something obvious about human nature; and he’s a heartless bigot.

Nationalism evolved as an ideology in the era of mass politics. In those days, power was decided by who could assemble the biggest mob, the biggest army, the biggest electoral coalition. Nationalism was organic marketing. It was a very good sell. Progressivism isn’t a good sell. It was a relatively good sell when World War 2 had killed so many millions that Nationalism didn’t sound such a good idea; and when the economy was growing so much that a life of endless hedonism and pandering to every whim sounded completely feasible. People don’t notice their social status while life is getting better.

But life isn’t getting better any longer. And nobody remembers World War 2. Progressive society is rigged against native men; is it any surprise that they’re turning back to Nationalism? Progressives believed their own lies. They were too slow. The old European nations had to be destroyed before this happened. But they couldn’t pull it off. The EU as this sacred, precious project of order created out of entropy; but the old national states had their own bureaucratic elites, and surprise surprise, they haven’t really surrendered that much power. Most importantly they haven’t surrendered their money. To this day the EU budget is 1% of Europe’s GDP. Yes, EU nations were trolled into joining their currencies into the Euro; but they’ve been haggling between each other ever since about every single issue of economic policy.

The only way to get the Euro to work was for Germany to pay everyone off; make the local bureaucracies of every single country of Europe be better off by taking German’s money that by holding on to their national turf. Pull a Song Dynasty. But stingy Germany wouldn’t do it. Germany couldn’t do it. The German electorate just didn’t want to. And why would they? Germany is perhaps the most anti-nationalist nation in Europe. Kids are taught untold times how evil the German nation has been and how nationalism is the worst thing ever. Holding the national flag is a semi-criminal act.

And for good reason! World War 1 was stupid and it wrecked the whole continent for good. World War 2 was even stupider and it basically wrecked Germany forever. Nationalist spirals are a bad idea and Germany shows it better than anyone else. But you can’t dissolve a nation by telling her so. You have to actually dissolve the nation. And the EU didn’t do that. Germany is still Germany. It has 80 million Germans who speak German and have a common culture. You can tell them that their culture is tolerance and human rights; but it’s not; their culture is the German language and the myriad little German habits that they have in common. And to destroy that you have to stop teaching the German language and physically dissolve the people among others. Like Stalin did when he sent the Koreans and the Chechens to Kazakhstan. Heck, even that didn’t work, as his successors reversed the policy.

Bureaucratic inertia has allowed the European nations to subsist way beyond the expiration date of Progressivism. Progressivism only works when the going is good. Now it isn’t that good anymore, and people can fall back into their good old Nationalism. Yes, Progressives have the state apparatus. They have modern technology that makes preventing and crushing riots much easier than before. They have their massive unproductive schooling apparatus that keeps young people loyal to Progressivism until well in their mid 20s. And they have tens of millions of foreign barbarians in European soil paid to defend the state.

But as I pointed out, those foreign barbarians are a double-edged sword. Yes, they will fight Nationalism. They have nothing to gain from a nativist restoration. But Progressivism isn’t being that good for them either. They came here too late. The economy isn’t good anymore; so all progressivism has to offer them is taking their women and children out of their authority. Given that offer they might as well fall back into their tradition, i.e. Islam. Which is backward, not very fun, and likely to get them killed if they take it seriously; but it at least gives them status as men.

Neoreaction, the alt-right, the manosphere, religious traditionalism; all we have in common is the realization that contemporary society is rigged against the average man; and if men withdraw from society there is no way to maintain civilization. Which is why civilized people do not have children. Why the economy is declining. And why old ideologies are rising back all across the world. China just sent a warship into Japanese waters. Muslims are fighting their enemies across the world. England just voted to leave the European Union. Donald Trump might become the President of the United States.

I’m not into Nationalism myself. I know the history and it’s all pretty stupid. I assume that the smarter Muslims aren’t into Islam that much either. But we’re not given the choice of a perfect thing. Politics is the art of the possible. And all the possible alternatives aren’t looking very good these days. Interesting times ahead.

 

 

Rhetoric

Is a lost art.

It shouldn’t be though. In the age of Youtube, good speeches are more relevant then they used to be. Such a complete punch in the face to the liberal order as Brexit only happened because a big chunk of the British elite was able to make its case with this kind of eloquence.

We got much to learn.

Breakdown

Congratulations to the English. Well done.

 

Watch how Mr. Farage didn’t even know the final result of the referendum; but he was already calling not only to leave the EU, but for dismantling the EU and meddling with continental politics. Oh, Englishmen. Will you ever mind your own business.

But anyway, well done.

Divide et Impera

Half Sigma posted this video, and it made me think.

 

Yes, damn Muslims. Damn them all. They’re out to get us. Yes, they are indeed. But think about it for a second.

Obviously the Cathedral would want Muslims to convert to progressivism. Either outright, by becoming good atheist communists as good white people. Or either by watering down their religion, becoming the brown equivalent of white cuckservatives, who many are still Catholic or Protestant, but still accept every tenet of the Progressive faith with a lag of 2 or 3 years. You can be a Muslim as long as you accept gaymarriage, as a progressive activist boasted years ago at Larry Auster’s blog.

But look at those Muslim men in the video. Do they want to be progressive? Do they want to become good feminist men? Hell no. They aren’t buying that. But why not? Being good Muslims in their banlieus isn’t doing them any good. Our good progressive bureaucrat overlords apparently really don’t get why these Muslims are so obstinate.

Surely part of it is that they’re tribal, hostile, aggressive men, who like to fuck with Europeans and show their hostility because it’s fun to fuck with foreigners. That’s what men have done since time immemorial.

Surely part of is that they’re Muslims, and Islam has its jihadi tradition. It is a noble thing to fight for Islam and kill infidels. You get status points just by claiming to want to kill infidels, even if you don’t really have the guts to do so. There’s the signaling spiral aspect to it.

But none of that would matter if there were good incentives for them to assimilate. If it was crystal clear that they would enjoy a better, richer, more fulfilling life by becoming good progressives, well by definition they would.

But if you’re a young, tribal, hostile, Muslim young man, you see around you at your European neighbors. And do you want that? Do you want to marry a feminist that can divorce you at whim? Do you want to have women in the office who you aren’t allowed to make fun of? Do you want to spend the rest of your life working some lame office job in which you can’t promote your family and friends, send your kids to some lame progressive school where they will be taught to be disobedient and whom you will seldom ever see after they graduate? Hell no. Modern European lifestyle is a bad deal.

Muslims in Europe have no qualms about breaking Sharia when it’s good for them. They have no qualms about drinking alcohol and harassing white women in the street. They’d very gladly forget about Islam if they got to drink fuck and be merry. But that’s not what progressivism offers. What if offers is constant temptation of scantily clad women around the street, and yet at the same time the threat of complete destruction if you ever fall into that temptation and the woman happens not to like it.

What is now known as the “alt-right” is a composite of many different movements. I once wrote about a very diverse bunch of how Christian traditionalists, outright fascists, libertarians aware of human biodiversity, futurists and pick-up artists all started to become friends in the internet, and nobody really understood why. The only common is the realization that modernity is a bad deal for men. Progressive honchos have started to understand that, and now openly attack men as “brutes”, and blame Islamic terrorism on “toxic masculinity”.

They have a point. The basic thing that keeps Muslims attached to Islam is their toxic masculinity. Because they realize that Islam is a better deal for men. It’s not a good deal in general; Muslim countries are in general basket cases, and Islam itself is in some part to blame for it. But at any rate, for the average men there’s absolute no good reason to abandon Islam, even nominally. Becoming progressive will only get you called a “brute” and openly discriminated against, likely killing your chances of reproducing and much social status. Of course second and third generation Muslims are more religious than their parents.

Michel Houellebecq noticed this and it led him to write Submission, where he trolled modern progressives by arguing that Islam is a good deal for people like him. I wrote something similar myself, if from another angle. But of course it likely won’t happen, because Muslims don’t want it to happen. Any political conflict has a racial angle; Muslims very much enjoy their hostility to white men. And the more hostile Muslims are to white men, the more white men fall into the trap of considering modern progressive culture as their turf. See how White nativists are using slogans about Islam being bad for women and gays. Or Gaving McInnes making out with Milo Yiannopoulos. I don’t know if it’s NSFW but it’s frankly revolting.

The more hostile Muslims are against Europeans, the more progressive can get away with, the farther left the leftist singularity can advance, as White men close ranks around the only thing they’re allowed to close ranks around: progressive denigration of men. Which again drives Muslim men into further hostility, as they see what assimilation would require of them. This means the Left has absolutely no incentive to crack down on Islamic extremism. Until it gets out of hand. If it ever does.

Science and Truth

http://www.cnet.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-45b-initiative-makes-investment-andela-facebook/

The start up presently trains prospective developers in Nigeria and Kenya. “We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Andela’s mission is the close that gap.”

Says he. I wonder how does he know.

Maybe he found at reading one of these papers while at Harvard?

Names

This has been going around. Guess I should say something. I really don’t know how to comment on that pile of nonsense. I might as well let the sages do it for me.

子路曰:「衛君待子而為政,子將奚先?」
子曰:「必也正名乎!」
子路曰:「有是哉,子之迂也!奚其正?」
子曰:「野哉,由也!君子於其所不知,蓋闕如也。名不正,則言不順;言不順,則事不成;事不成,則禮樂不興;禮樂不興,則刑罰不中;刑罰不中,則民無所錯手足。故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。

Confucius and his disciples were gathered at the master’s house. One of his disciples, Zilu, asks the master.

Zilu: The Duke of Wei has asked for your opinion in how to rule his realm. He’ll call you for an audience any time. What will be the first thing you tell him?

Confucius: Oh, that he must fix the names.

Zilu: What? That? Oh come on, master, what does that even mean. “Fix the names”. I don’t get it.

Confucius: Shut up, you stupid brat, and listen. It is like this. If the names aren’t correct, what you speak becomes nonsense. If you speak nonsense, you can’t get things done. If you don’t get things done, you can’t get the rituals to work. If the rituals don’t work, the law isn’t applied as it should. If the law isn’t applied as it should, the people can’t make a productive living. When a ruler names something, he must be able to make sense when talking about it. And when talking about it, he must be able to do what he means.

My translation. Philosophy of language was a hot thing in China in those days. The topic was “names”, not “words”, but of course it’s the same thing. Words are just names we put to things. Names we put to things for a reason. That reason should be to make communication more smooth, to make society work better.

Alas it works the other way around too. If you mess with words, if you use them in ways which don’t make communication more smooth. If you lie and manipulate and make up bullshit constantly; well society goes to hell. But making society go to hell through the purposefully wrong use of language is a common profession in our days. Certainly it’s the bulk of the work done by most of the academic establishment.