Bloody shovel

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Epistocracy and Moral Intellectualism

Ever since it became obvious that Trump had a chance of winning, the junior minions of the Cathedral, those mediocre status-seekers waiting for breaks on the status hierarchy so they could scavenge some point for themselves, started to come up with some long-winded arguments against democracy. Which was a lot of fun to watch.

Less fun to watch was the particular argument that they came up with. We need “epistocracy”. The rule of those who know. That’s mean to exclude those Trump voters. Those are ignorant. Shouldn’t vote. Only those who know, those who are not ignorant, should vote. Hence epistocracy.

This is a fairly old idea, obviously, and it reflects a very old and basic misunderstanding that the Western philosophical tradition has about knowledge. We tend to think that knowing more stuff makes you a good person. Socrates used to say that evil people were just ignorant of the good. If we only could teach them, have them understand, they will quickly and resolutely change their evil ways.

But that’s bogus. Knowing a lot doesn’t mean shit. If you can even measure that properly. The question is what you do with your knowledge. Of course ceteris paribus it’s better to know stuff than to be ignorant. But we’re talking politics here. The wise guy isn’t necessarily the good one. Evil is not about ignorance, evil is about evil. Lack of empathy, selfishness, impulse control, whatever. Evil is a personality trait, most likely inborn or socialized in early infancy, and very hard to change. Only changeable through constant social pressure to make sure the guy can’t do evil even if he wants to.

The same goes for meritocracy. Yeah, we have the smartest guys on top. We have exams to guy to elite universities, to get to high places in the civil service and the top companies. So what? Are smart guys better people? Look at Wall Street. Look at China. They invented meritocracy. I’ve written about some examples of the top mandarins at the Imperial court. Were they good people? Surely some were. But many others weren’t. And an evil smart guy is a formidable man. Look at the crap Google or Starbucks is capable of coming up to justify anti-white discrimination or tranny rights. Smart guys all of them.

Which is precisely the problem. Dumb people have weaker imaginations. They only have cognitive capacity to see the real world around them and barely deal with it. Smart guys can signal their social desirability by coming up with long and convoluted chains of utter and complete madness, and still survive, leading normal lives. You don’t necessarily want those guys playing politics.

The real issue in running an organization isn’t smarts, or knowledge. It’s competence, loyalty, and commitment. Skin in the game. All those journalists have neither competence, nor loyalty, nor commitment. Their skin is in another game, the con-game they’ve been running since they invented the newspaper and started agitating against the traditional order in old Europe. No, we don’t need epistocracy. We need the rule of the good, the competent, the loyal.

 

 

 

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19 responses to “Epistocracy and Moral Intellectualism

  1. Pingback: Epistocracy and Moral Intellectualism | Aus-Alt-Right

  2. Jefferson December 12, 2016 at 03:08

    Do you think that density/urbanization is morally corrupting? I had pretty much the same conversation with my folks this morning (knowledge and intellect are useless), and it seems like morality is contingent on rural/mountain folk who live in close contact with Gnon’s feedback mechanisms. I’m sorry if I’ve brought this up before; saying “people need to be good” just seems to end with “good” traits and behavior being twisted to mean “good for the ego” traits and behavior.

    • spandrell December 12, 2016 at 03:51

      Well I’ve lived both in very remote rural areas, and in massive cities. In my experience big cities make it easier to get away with some kinds of immorality; but in general people in big cities are more polite and well-behaved; less able to count on family/tribal support if they want to screw someone.
      Today nobody lives in close contact with Gnon’s feedback. Rural life is easy too.

  3. JC December 12, 2016 at 05:10

    Technological progress and human nature both tilt politics leftward, and only a sufficiently right wing religion can counteract these — there’s no other strong enough rightist schelling point. Islam is the only one existing that can do so. Where is our new religion?

  4. Pingback: Epistocracy and Moral Intellectualism | Reaction Times

  5. Laret Luval December 12, 2016 at 14:09

    Morality is relative to an ideology. From that perspective, of course indoctrination relative to a morality m will make people “good” with respect to m. And if you genuinely believe that your doctrine is truth, then you conclude that knowledge makes people good, like Socrates.

    Competence, loyalty, and commitment make people “good” in a different sense, which might be independent of ideology. It makes people more effective and objectively high-utility to the species.

  6. Karl December 12, 2016 at 15:30

    “We need the rule of the good, the competent, the loyal.”

    I agree, but there a some problems in getting them in power. Even worse, it all depends on perspective. We are ruled by fanatic believers (in progessivism, equality etc.) who think they are good, are competent in their goal of abolishing our civilisation (including the European peoples who created it).

    Competence might be measureable, but then again, it depends on perseptive and goals. For example, Merkle is compent in abolishing European culture inside Germany. There are people who honestly think she is good, saintly even. And loyal? To whom? Arguably to the people migrating from Africa.

    We Need a New Religion (or maybe a Revival of Christianity). Even a sinner who believes in a healthy Religion would be an improvement to a fanatical believer in progressivism..

  7. Pwyll December 12, 2016 at 17:47

    What makes the whole thing even lulzier is that someone did some data crunching and concluded that in an epistocracy, Trump would have won an even larger victory: http://www.pleeps.org/2016/11/14/would-clinton-have-defeated-trump-in-an-epistocracy/

  8. rcglinski December 12, 2016 at 21:04

    Another one for the “this would have been plainly obvious to everyone 500 years ago” file I suppose. Have you come across The Dissenting Sociologist yet? It’s preaching to the choir around these parts, but still pretty interesting. Here’s a choice example:

    https://dissentingsociologist.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/in-defense-of-sheeple/

    In part:

    But this pathology [Leftism] can’t be blamed on “priests”. Again, if it’s any consolation to Nietzsche, the Modern experience was just as catastrophic and tragic for the priestly as for the aristocratic men. Both types were rendered socially unemployed and unemployable with the ascension of the depersonalized and pathologically bloated totalitarian machinery of Leviathan, which first bulldozed both castes concurrently, and then substituted a set of fake, bourgeois impostors and usurpers for each one. The person of the King was replaced by the depersonalized State ensemble of Constitutionally divided powers administered on behalf of a fictive “public” by no-one in particular. The social function of the landed aristocracy was divided between a faceless standing army (the counterpart of the faceless bureaucracy) and cronyist “capitalist” plutocrats who seek rent from the State as opposed to the soil. As to the social function of the Church, the various duties of pastoral care were eventually divided between the welfare-State and a loose congeries of secular, and overwhelmingly Leftist, media propagandists, irresponsible professors and educators, pettifogging lawyers and insubordinate activist judges, professional busybodies at the non-profits and foundations who make whole careers out of bothering other people, arrogant know-it-all doctors, scientists, and other “experts” who weigh in on every social issue without always knowing what they are talking about, the psych industry, feminist viragos and scolds, and the hordes of unsubsidized, half-literate SJWs who swarm like blackflies throughout civil society. This complex is often termed “the Cathedral”- but it is a foul parody of the real thing, a travesty (right now, literally: it views men who choose to dress and live as women as especially holy, twice-born figures).

  9. JC December 12, 2016 at 23:44

    I’m glad I no longer have to look at that dumbshit Richard Spencer do a heil hitler salute every time I go to your website.

  10. Walter Alter December 15, 2016 at 18:04

    Comments to my buddy on this article:

    Seriously excellent article. But he misses a couple of ideas… 1. The cause of evil in humans is childhood trauma. Freud goes on at length about narcissism and sadism and hysterical blindness. 2. Evil is obviously a survival positive trait when conditions go south and it’s every man for himself, which is often in human history. Problem is, insecurity can become chronic even in the absence of threat and result in wealth _hoarding_ and theft. 3. Evil actually teaches evil. It’s a class of psychologoy or a collection of memes that seek persistence.

      • Steel T Post December 17, 2016 at 16:25

        “The cause of evil in humans is childhood trauma” is Freudian, but Stefan Molyneux is (was?) big on it too. But it’s been heartening watching Stefan change his tune this last year on some things; at least he’s honest enough to shift opinion in the face of reality.

  11. Waddaya ayaddaW January 12, 2017 at 02:02

    “,The junior minions of the Cathedral, those mediocre status-seekers waiting for breaks on the status hierarchy so they could scavenge some point for themselves, started to come up with some long-winded arguments against democracy.”

    Lol, maybe we are talking of the same guy.

    The guy looked in wild need of attention and social recognition.
    I pointed it out to him, but I’ll admit I couldn’t word it as well as you (“junior” makes a big difference, and needs to be there).

    “This is a fairly old idea, obviously, and it reflects a very old and basic misunderstanding that the Western philosophical tradition has about knowledge. We tend to think that knowing more stuff makes you a good person. Socrates used to say that evil people were just ignorant of the good. If we only could teach them, have them understand, they will quickly and resolutely change their evil ways.

    But that’s bogus. Knowing a lot doesn’t mean shit. If you can even measure that properly. The question is what you do with your knowledge. ”

    You hurt culture every time you talk of classical philosophy, nonetheless!
    I mean, who more than Socrat. underscored the importance of wisdom over naked knowledge?!

    If there’s a responsible for the RECENT confusion between knowing and understanding, it is the mad intellectual egalitarianism of our day.
    Have you noticed women’s grades go up and men’s fall?
    That’s because they don’t ask REAL questions in school now, rather they ask you to recite what was in the book, by heart, and if you can very quickly.
    This is a 20th century phenomenon and has nothing to do with Western philosophy’s idea of knowledge.

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