Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Western and Eastern Political Thought

A while ago Steve Sailer wrote that he saw a market for a book on Confucianism, and someone nice mentioned me on the comments out there.

Now I could write plenty about Confucianism, but I think any exposition on the history of Western political thought by me wouldn’t be very deep. I know enough, I think, but not enough to fill a book and sound like an expert.

Which sounds like a good chance for a collaboration. Any expert in Plato and Aristotle and Aquinas and Rousseau and Hobbes and all those guys? Maybe even the contemporary ones I don’t know much about. We could discuss for some time and then cook up a book together, then split the earnings, of course.

If anyone’s interested leave a comment or send me an email.


46 responses to “Western and Eastern Political Thought

  1. JB April 4, 2017 at 22:53

    The confucian missionising prophesied by Ku Hung-ming begins…

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  3. Agnello April 4, 2017 at 23:13

    How confidant are you that Rousseau and Hobbes belong on that list?I would suggest that they are an example of a failure mode in Western Thought,rather than a development of it.I suspect that your intended readership probably would agree,at least once it was put forward.
    How much expertise are looking for?
    I could contribute to a such a discussion,but “expertise” would be a little generous a description of my talents,I am afraid.Certainly after the scholastics,at the latest, I lack the patience to pretend that anything useful has also been popular or well known.
    You may need a great deal less help than you think,though – if you confine your analysis to classic Greek and Roman thought,on the one hand,and to classic Chinese thought,on the other;better still,to the political classics.As an example-Aristotle wrote that man is,by nature, a political (lives in a polis – usually translated as ‘city-state’) animal.He also claimed that The Political Question is “How ought we to order our lives together?”
    Confucius said….

    • spandrell April 5, 2017 at 00:05

      Enough expertise that the typical reader doesn’t start nitpicking the whole thing after a few pages.

      Expertise in the scholastic is valuable though. I’ve little idea about them.

      • realist April 5, 2017 at 14:38

        I would suggest adding Schopenhauer to the list, a complete nutcase but a great mind and gives you plenty of pointers, arguments and counter-arguments into all Western Philosophy from Plato/Aristotle up to Kant and early 19th century (couldn’t do better, died in 1860 :-) )

        • spandrell April 5, 2017 at 15:06

          I was raised on Schopenhauer. I love the guy. But he’s a philosopher, not a political thinker.
          And very sui generis.
          I actually think his theory of ethics is really good and commonsensical, but it wasn’t very influential, was it.

          • realist April 6, 2017 at 11:21

            Actually Schopenhauer was VERY influential in many domains up to may be mid 20th century but it doesn’t appear so because he his rarely explicitly quoted/referenced (early smells of political correctness :-) )

            • Howard J. Harrison April 6, 2017 at 12:13

              @realist: Schopenhauer early promoted political correctness? Or early political correctness discounted Schopenhauer? I didn’t quite understand, sorry.

              • spandrell April 6, 2017 at 13:03

                Political correctness forbade mention of Schopenhauer. Nietzsche was quite explicit in considering himself a student of Schopenhauer, but other than that, officially he wasn’t take that much seriously, besides admiring his late age cranky wit.

  4. Curt Doolittle April 5, 2017 at 02:35

    You can’t really compare apples and oranges because while Sun Tzu Confucius and Lao Tzu are so dominant in Chinese civilization, and the Hindu myths so dominant in theirs, and the semitic conflationary texts (law, epistemology, religion) so dominant in theirs, the west maintained deflationary truth and deflationary and competing institutions, each with their own literature. Where in the west the legislative, common, and natural law is our most important philosophy if not religion. We teach it as a craft or science. We solved politics (Markets for commons) but no other peoples did. We solved high trust society, and no other people did. Yet the philosophers – all but a few of whom are little more than authors of moral fiction, and a good lot of them pseudoscientists, pseudo-rationalist, and outright fictionalists – and the church – which took credit for everything regardless of who produced it, and mastered the art of supernatural fiction – are what our rather sophomoric classes seek to inform them.

    Durant was right. Having mastered the philosophers, we find there is nothing there. The wisdom about ourselves that we seek is in history not philosophy. The record of man’s nature is in the common law, not philosophy. And the record of the eradication of our ignorance is in the sciences. Most past philosophy, like current social science, appears (particularly among the germans) to have been entirely vacuous.

    That said, it is hard to say no to:
    1 – Aristotle/Aurelius,
    2 – Machiavelli/Durkheim/Pareto/Hayek,
    3 – Bacon/Locke/Smith/Hume/Jefferson,
    4 – Galileo/Newton/Darwin/Maxwell.
    5 – The Greek tragedies, Dostoyevsky, Checkov, and Nietzche.
    6 – The Greek and Roman myths, the whole corpus of Christiandom’s myths that survived christianity as folk myths of the hearth. And perhaps most importantly homer, and the entire european (including Russian) great myths that evolved from that set of myths.

    • spandrell April 5, 2017 at 07:54

      We solved politics hahaha.
      You’re kidding, right? You sound like an interesting guy, but come on.

      Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the conclusion, most philosophy has nothing there, history is where it’s at.

      • jamesd127 April 5, 2017 at 09:44

        It did not stay solved.

      • Curt Doolittle April 6, 2017 at 06:29

        I’m serious. Politics: a market for the production of commons. Where we define Commons as a market good that one is prohibited from consuming(harming,transferring) (Usus, Fructus, Abusus), and where any given use (Usus) may be limited in any conceivable way. No one else came close.

        The West:
        Sovereignty requires decidability in matters of conflict by natural law (non imposition of costs and therefore non-incentive for retaliation). This leaves no other method of cooperation available other than markets in everything: association, cooperation, reproduction (marriage), production (goods services, information), production of commons (goods, services, information as multiplier by externality), and production of polities. Sovereignty is acquired (wild, slave, serf, freeman, citizen, sovereign (peerage) through service to the commons. Manorialism delays marriage and childbearing and staves out the underclasses, with vigorous use of hanging, as a means of killing off those that survive manorialism, the vicisitudes of agrarian seasons and resulting harvests, the plagues, and wars. And upward redistribution of the proceeds of production allowed downward distribution of middle class genes.

    • Howard J. Harrison April 5, 2017 at 13:53

      Doolittle writes, “We solved high trust society, and no other people did.” I suspect that this is an important point.

      Doolittle agrees with Spandrell: “Durant was right. Having mastered the philosophers, we find there is nothing there.” Harrison answers: Except for the mind-body problem. Except for the nature of mathematics. Except for lots of things. Leibniz, Goedel and Weyl were right, which means that Plato was more or less right. Peterson is interesting, thoughtful, smart and honest, but (as I believe) in certain respects wrong.

      Regarding Durant: Durant was a liberal. I do not say it to smear him, for liberalism had more to recommend it in Durant’s generation; but Durant implicitly credited the blank-slate theory of human nature, more or less. Durant just assumed that any reader sufficiently cultivated to be reading his books would agree with him and all goodthinkful people regarding human nature, but his assumption makes his monumental histories hard to swallow today.

      (Once again, as Doolittle illustrates, Bloody Shovel has the best commenters in the blogosphere.)

      Regarding Spandrell’s Confucian book project: the American Paul J. Cella, III, would make an excellent coauthor. Unfortunately, Cella is in good standing with the respectable U.S. Right; and while he is smart enough to see that the new hard U.S. Right is not all wrong, he is also smart enough to maintain a prudent distance. Still, Cella has publicly almost admitted that he reads and likes Steve Sailer. Of late Gen X vintage (that is, now about 40 years old, I believe), Cella is a good man and a better writer, and he has a significant journalist-level knowledge of the subjects of which you speak.

      • spandrell April 5, 2017 at 15:04

        Are you in contact with the guy? If you can pitch it to him I’m more than willing to work with him. But I’m pseudonymous and will continue to be so.

      • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 7, 2017 at 00:30

        Mind-body problem is a fake problem. Nature of mathematics is very simple once you understand language. Both “problems” are due to platonist confusions.

        • jamesd127 April 7, 2017 at 01:01

          Agreed. If you finitize math (express all infinities in terms of arbitrarily close or arbitrarily large finite approximations), it becomes apparent that maths is the theoretical physics of empirical experiments that are easy to do. A line, said Euclid, has width but no breadth, but he also said that a line was a line of sight, a physical thing. And Einstein also said a straight line is a line of sight.

          • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 7, 2017 at 15:09

            Yep. Experiments on the nature of discreteness and discrete interaction, ubiquitously available to all sufficiently advanced minds capable of language.

            Logic is simple too: naming consistency (law of identity), delineation uniqueness (exclusion of the middle) and delineation consistency (non-contradiction) of the categories referred to by the names. If you want decidability (actionable testimony), you need to be able to discern inside from outside, consistently . And the only way to establish correspondence (between stimuli) in fact, between an action and another (like between vocalizing the symbol ‘bread’ and holding or pointing to a bread) is to demonstrate them in conjunction, consistently and uniquely (hence naming consistency, delineation consistency and delineation uniqueness).

        • spandrell April 7, 2017 at 12:28

          Philosophy is fake news.

        • Howard J. Harrison April 8, 2017 at 00:42

          Mind-body is fake? Well, that was easy. I am glad that we got that straightened out.

          Incidentally, if mind-body is fake, then no one understands language.

          So, try this: what is a triangle? If you and I are discussing triangles, are we two even discussing the same thing?

          Plato says, yes, we two are discussing the same thing. The triangle is a form.

          • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 12, 2017 at 20:08

            “then no one understands language.”

            I don’t think that follows.

            “are we two even discussing the same thing?”

            It’s about decidability. What is the decision problem this concept pertains to, and what is the method, the list of actions we use to decide it? How do we draw a line, in fact? How do we calculate angles, in fact? The actions determine commensurability, and commensurability is the best you can do. If you can’t reduce the difference, the discrete information by which you discern (decide), to a series of intersubjectively reproducible actions, you can’t know if *there is* a difference. That’s the best you can do. That’s language.

            • Howard J. Harrison April 13, 2017 at 02:23

              Ludwig, you and I differ essentially in perspective. If St. Thomas has not persuaded you, then how can I?

              Let me just answer your questions. My answers are too long to interest many readers (and anyway this is an old comment thread no one except you and I are still reading), but here we go.

              You speak of decisions and decidability. A decision is not a material thing but is an instance of a Platonic form. Concepts and methods are likewise instances of forms. Certainly lines are (though they are typically material things, as well). Perhaps you would make some or all of these artifacts of language, but language exists to speak about things. That about is a peculiar preposition, isn’t it?

              That about is partly what the Platonic forms are, well, about. Because language, in your conception insofar as I understand it, isn’t about anything. And if it isn’t, then what are you and I (who after all are now using language) even talking about?

              Peterson would say that all this just approximately works. I get that. I don’t even think that Peterson is wrong in the main; nor do I think, in the main, that Peterson contradicts Plato (even if he thinks that he does).

              How do we draw a line? I am not sure. By some combination of experience, instinct and reason, I suppose.

              How do we calculate angles? That depends. The angle at which, say, a Bessel function intercepts the axis is normally calculated by pure reason. The angle a surveyor finds in the field is (or before the GPS age was) calculated using machined instruments; whereas the use of that angle can implicitly rely on a Taylor series, which (I would say) is Platonic on the face of it.

              I dispute that commensurability is the best you can do. There is nothing commensurate in the arctangent series 1 – (1/3) + (1/5) – (1/7) + … = pi/4, or in Euler’s rule exp(i*pi/2) = i. Is that just language? (Reuben Hersh, a professional mathematician, more or less says that it is just language, so you’re in good company there. I have read Hersh’s book, which I liked, but wasn’t convinced. I’m still with Goedel: these are forms.)

              “Discern” does not actually mean “decide” as far as I know. Also, I would say that, when you start using adjectives like “intersubjectively,” you’re in trouble. Such an adjective seems to me to serve little purpose but to obscure the question. Anyway, “inter” implies two distinct, coherent things of some kind; and “subject” implies, well, a subject. All of this is rather Platonic, is it not?

              Regarding “a series of … reproducible actions, [without which] you can’t know if there is a difference,” the whole mathematics of special functions is against you. If you assert that generating functions and asymptotic series are language, then I think that you are just saying that everything nonphysical is language—which rather than revealing anything useful merely forbids me to speak of language in any sensible way.

              That would be my view in any event.

              I do not say any of the above with the purpose of triumphing in debate. Such triumph would be empty in a blog like this. I’m with Gnon. However, if the above answers any of the questions you have posed, there it is. Thanks for asking.

              • Howard J. Harrison April 13, 2017 at 02:49

                Ludwig, it was unintentionally obnoxious of me to speak of asymptotic series. Please pardon. As an engineer, I did graduate work in wave mechanics, so I was always into Abromowitz’s & Stegun’s Handbook of Mathematical Functions, but no one else cares about that.

                Someone might note that (((Hersh))) and (((Abramowitz))) are, well, Jewish. Goedel is not. Hersh’s conclusions do seem to me vaguely redolent of Kabbalah. Hersh is a good egg, but it seems to be hard for Jewish writers who write on esoteric subjects to avoid that trap.

                Anyway, you can probably think of some plainer examples than mine. It’s just that my time studying Abramowitz & Stegun (and studying a Russian Soviet named Lebedev) is partly what made a Platonist of me, so that’s what made me think of this weird thing they call a Bessel function. If I am going to debate, though, then I shall have to come up with better examples than that.

                • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 14, 2017 at 07:16

                  “By some combination of experience, instinct and reason, I suppose.”

                  See, this here, is the root of the confusion. There are precise lists of instructions (or you can construct them) for every tangible thing we do in this reality. If there’s no list, there is no telling apart, no discerning. Example: How do I tell if ghosts exist? By interACTING with them. If there is no conceivable way to interACT with them, then the concept ‘ghost’ is empty.

                  Thus, a concept pertains to reality, only to the extent that it is operationalizable.

                  You talk about forms. But what would be different, if there weren’t any forms? What difference does the concept ‘form’ make, in fact? What decision problem does it solve? What are the actions I can reproduce, to see for myself, the effects of ‘forms’ per se? See, even if you have a Platonist conception of things, they make contact with reality, precisely when they are translated into lists of actions. Like, say, ‘velocity’. You can conceive of it as a form, but, we only ever use it, in reality, as a name for the acts of measurements via reconstructible instruments, for the commensurability we get thereby. Why? Because it’s the only way to decide objectively.

                  “Could you fetch me the blue one from the basket of eggs?” I ask. You bring an egg. How do we decide if you’ve accomplished what I’ve asked? We both check the color of the egg. And it works, because we both have the same innate color perception circuitry; and our culture has established, through repetition, an association between auditory stimuli ‘blue’, and visual stimuli, generated from retinal cells with a certain spectral sensitivity (or due to a relative spectral difference) . What if I were color blind? Then I could construct a device that measures wavelength in the visible light spectrum with acceptable enough error margin, and let that device display the information, in a way that would be DISCERNIBLE by me. In other words, decidability is given by a series of actions we can both reproduce. You can think about the name ‘blue’, as if it’s a transcendent thing. But in reality, you treat it operationally, which is indeed, the best anyone can do.

                  Information is discrete. At one point, you have to decide what is inside, and what is out.

                  • spandrell April 15, 2017 at 11:54

                    You’re good. Very good. Send me an email some time.

                  • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 17, 2017 at 07:35

                    Done. (It might get marked as spam)

                  • Howard J. Harrison April 25, 2017 at 06:06


                    I have read your last comment. It’s mostly very coherent, materialist, Spandrellian. That’s how one ought to make that argument.

                    But none of it means anything if your philosophy is right. Your philosophy contains no principle of meaning, but only principles of “perception circuitry, … auditory stimuli” and the like. You speak of an egg, but your philosophy establishes no principled boundary between you and the egg!

                    How do I tell if ghosts exist?

                    I don’t know. I don’t have an opinion.

                    But what would be different, if there weren’t any forms?

                    In my understanding, these four things would be different: (i) my mind would not exist; (ii) your mind would not exist; (iii) the discussion we are right now having would not be about anything; (iv) and even if it were, the discussion would be about a different thing to you than to me.

                    If you answer, please take care not to implicitly redefine my word “mind”! I mean something specific by that word (which I would explain, but you probably already know).

                    What decision problem does it solve?

                    Moral ones, at least.

                    You can conceive of it as a form, but, we only ever use it, in reality, as a name for the acts of measurements via reconstructible instruments, for the commensurability we get thereby.

                    See my earlier answer re commensurability. If that didn’t convince you, then that’s the best I can do.

                    We both check the color of the egg. And it works, because we both have the same innate color perception circuitry; and our culture has established, through repetition, an association between auditory stimuli ‘blue’, and visual stimuli….

                    Spandrell, if you’re still reading here: what Ludwig writes about the egg is true; but it is beside the point.

                    Eggs are not cultural. They’re eggs. So I insist.

                    Ludwig disagrees.

                    You can think about the name ‘blue’, as if it’s a transcendent thing. But in reality, you treat it operationally, which is indeed, the best anyone can do.

                    Okay. You’re on stronger ground with the blue. “Transcendent” is not the word I would have chosen, but I’ll go with it. However, think of a triangle. A triangle logically has 180 degrees. (If you here mentioned the non-Euclidean triangle, you would only further bolster my point.)

                    And triangles are pretty basic. Mathematics of the more advanced kinds makes the Platonist’s point ever clearer, as even the anti-Platonist Hersh admits. As Weyl and Goedel agreed, mathematics makes a lot more sense if one just admits that its proper findings are objectively, immaterially true.

                    Ludwig: I believe that you think that your materialist philosophy adequately accounts for everything for which it needs to account. However, your point re ghosts is a red herring (or it attacks a straw man; it attacks an argument I do not advance), and your other points (in my opinion slightly confusedly) partly flow from that. I believe that materialist reductionism is a false necessity. Such reductionism rules out the immaterial, and then strains and stretches to accommodate all teleology as some sort of circularly defined pragmatic adaptation. Platonism, properly understood, accepts material things (like an egg) and immaterial things (like the class of all eggs) both as they come to us.

                • Ludwig von Neetgenstein April 14, 2017 at 07:17

                  I could declare things to be ‘flaberblusters’. But, what would that mean? Can I ever observe this flaberblusters? Language is only meaningful to the extent that it ultimately compiles to HUMAN ACTION (which actions must be reproducible by other humans, hence intersubjectively reproducible, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to establish unit of decidability, and would fail to communicate).

                  “Is that just language?”

                  Of course it is. You’ve just written it. These are just names for lists of actions, and you want to believe there’s a transcendent thing beneath them. There’s no ghost in the shell. Observe the contact point with reality, the point at which language becomes useful, names are irreducibly matched to HUMAN ACTION, in other words, the point at which we decide. You’ll see that this point is both necessary (without it, we can’t tell sense from nonsense), and sufficient, to endow words with content.

                  “what are you and I (who after all are now using language) even talking about?”
                  Recipes and reports. “Do x, then do y, then do action z. I promise that you’ll get result r.” We incrementally improve our language (scientific method) to get better at this. Language is coupling action (like, the action of fetching the blue egg) with cheaper action (corresponding vocal symbols) to obtain cybernetic discounts. It works by creating associations between different stimuli, and we constantly improve it (from the day we’re born) by refining scope and limits (for decidability). It is very much like a programming language, where symbols in that language are compiled to machine instructions (in the case of (truthful) human language, they’e compiled to human actions). It’s just that programming languages are designed top down to suit specific systems, whereas human languages emerge as consensus on naming intersubjectively replicable (ordered) actions (which correspond to instructions).

                  “the whole mathematics of special functions is against you.”

                  Nope. Just understand them as programs. Note that any mathematical concept that is applicable in engineering, necessarily becomes so by being operationalized. Let me give you an example.

                  Cantor’s diagonal argument works by treating binary sequences as Platonic objects (which don’t necessarily need to be constructible in this reality) and by assuming that you just can compare two binary sequences, without having to construct the method by which you achieve that comparison.

                  Here’s a reality check: how do I know these objects (binary sequences) are not akin to ghosts? I don’t — until I can do something with them in reality, like, describe them, as in with programs. This is a really subtle point. Very smart people miss it. Thinking that you’re thinking about a sequence is not enough. Without a real description, you don’t know if the problem of its construction is decidable. If it’s undecidable, the object’s existence and non-existence are the same, as far as anyone can tell.

                  Same with the problem of comparison. How do you decide if one sequence is distinct from another? The thing is, even with constructible sequences (constructed as programs), their comparison is undecidable, which is why you can’t enumerate them.

                  But does this all matter? How do we tell Cantor’s reasoning is not contentless? Hint: it isn’t used in engineering or to build anything real.

                  • Howard J. Harrison April 25, 2017 at 06:56

                    Being an engineer, I don’t know much about Cantor, sorry. That is, I know who Cantor is, and I vaguely remember that he had something to do with a person named Zermalo or Zermelo or something, but that’s about it.

                    Here’s a reality check: how do I know these objects (binary sequences) are not akin to ghosts?

                    Hm. One may not know.

                    I don’t — until I can do something with them in reality, like, describe them, as in with programs. This is a really subtle point. Very smart people miss it.

                    Well, if I am still missing the point, at least you say that I may be very smart, so I acknowledge your courtesy! However, is your point not testable? If you could show me an abstract mathematical result, acknowledged by professional mathematicians as being a correct mathematical result, which experience nevertheless flatly contradicted, then would that not strengthen your point?

                    Is the logic of man the ape so unerring? Or instead, rather, does man—if he is made in the image of God—not possess a God-given faculty (I do not say an immaterial faculty) of rational association to certain forms within God’s mind?

                    Oh, I’d better knock it off. Spandrell says that philosophy is fake news, so this isn’t a philosophy blog, is it? Anyway, heck, I’m just some engineer, an amateur Aristotlean-Thomist patzer. It’s not as though I actually knew what I were talking about.

                  • Howard J. Harrison April 25, 2017 at 15:21

                    I inadvertently failed to answer your last question:

                    How do we tell Cantor’s reasoning is not contentless? Hint: it isn’t used in engineering or to build anything real.

                    I do not know.

  5. Pingback: Western and Eastern Political Thought | Reaction Times

  6. JB April 5, 2017 at 04:07

    You could just cheat and translate Liang Shuming’s comparative overview of Western and Eastern cultures…

  7. Agnello April 5, 2017 at 04:39

    I must beg to differ with you Curt – If one is looking for equivalents to the Chinese classics in the West,then one must look at works which represented a consensus around which our institutions were built.
    While many of those in your lists certainly enjoy the aura of infallibility today,they are foundational to the West only in the sense that they filled the void left by rejecting Western history during the Enlightenment…
    Considerer,instead,Roman Law, which enjoyed a status in ancient Rome not dissimilar to the esteem which rabbinical Judiasm accords the Torah and,when eventually codified by Justinian, formed the basis of the entire concept of rule of law in Europe.
    Or,the works of Homer and the Greek version of the Bible,which together enjoyed,in the Eastern empire, the kind of status that Shakespeare’s plays and the King James Bible had in Victorian England – only that status,in New Rome, lasted for a thousand years.
    That is to say,an educated,upper class Roman did not just know Roman Law- the twelve tablets,the law of Rhodes,subsequent legislation and case law – a failure to know it,ipso facto, excluded one from being an educated or upper class Roman.
    Similarly,knowledge of Homer and the Septuagint – including the New Testament – was a prerequisite,and not an accomplishment, of higher education.
    Of course, European natural philosophers were settling arguments with the formula, “The Master says…” – followed by a quote from Aristotle – up through the Renaissance and the Enlightment.
    Our religion,and our myths, are certainly important to understanding our history and culture – and our Science has much to commend it;On the questions of politics and sovereignty,there are comparatively few authoritative sources.
    Those sources are as important to understanding the West in Russia as in England or Italy, and as important in 1800 A.D. as in 800 or 80.
    Other works,while widely known, were not authoritative or normative in the same way.At one point in time,every one who was literate might have read Aeschylus’s ORESTEIA ,but today, every one who has a television has seen Empire Strikes Back – we do not require one to watch the latter before they can attend school or hold government job,however…..

  8. Jefferson April 5, 2017 at 22:02

    The quality of comments in this thread is astonishing. I hope that most of these good folks haven’t wasted time on my prattle.

    If I could add anything that might be of value, recruiting someone who is not just knowledgeable in the subject matter, but practiced in distinguishing between status-required knowledge, versus status-assisting knowledge would be beneficial. I am finding that in the Orthodox Jewish community, knowledge of the Oral Law is status-required, but that deep understanding mostly comes from the Written Law.

    Also, a bunch of folks smarter than me have recommended Aristotle.

  9. i(NTP) April 6, 2017 at 03:23

    I think that book would sell well, very well, among Sailer’s readers… :)

  10. grey enlightenment April 6, 2017 at 15:51

    We could discuss for some time and then cook up a book together, then split the earnings, of course.

    How many copies would such a book sell? A coupe hundred at most? Political philosophy is a tough sell.

    “We solved high trust society, and no other people did.”

    that would be America…So maybe some mix of consequentialism, religion (Weber and the Protestant work ethic), a combination of divine and positive law, private enterprise, etc. Maybe Alexis de Tocqueville, Edmund Burke. It’s a mix of many things, but it is not existentialism and moral nihilism. no jean-paul sartre

    • spandrell April 6, 2017 at 19:10

      I got about 10k readers, surely I can muster more than 200 to buy an engaging book.

      • StAugustine April 7, 2017 at 12:16

        I went to a “self-published artist-authors using gofundme” seminar, and I kept my notes. These guys were artists, so they needed to have good quality pictures in the printing – a text only book I assume would have a much lower cost. The two authors in question: the one guy had a book of 365 crappy drug-induced child-like drawings he did in his underwear, 1 a day for a year (great…). He raised $11200 from 220 people, needed $8000, found a printer via Alibaba. The other guy was a pro artist with his own gallery who wanted to print a book of sketches and paintings he had made of an imaginary island. He needed $4000, got $6000 from 70 people, printed it locally (he needed to be more sure of quality). I think I got the numbers associated to the right people because the underwear painter had a bigger online presence. I asked about their hit rates, and they mostly agreed: 75% of the money came from their contacts, and they got about a 10% success rate from their contacts (personal, or online following).

  11. vultus decipi, ergo... April 12, 2017 at 01:01

    Sailer’s market-sight talent is grand.

    [Off-topic, funny things observed]

    At least 90% of people who regularly angrily complain about “refugees” and are human-biodiversity-aware don’t know that several NGOs based in several countries (although many have common origins, or, at any rate, seem part of a network) are proactively ferrying “refugees” from Africa to Greece/Italy, dealing with the transportation in full detail, of course with equally proactive co-operation of the receiving countries’ navies + coast guards.
    Of the 10% who are aware of that, most wonder what it could mean.


    It’s government, babies. Governmental decisions put to effect. What should they do, ask the populations’ opinion? Share their plans? Lol. Anybody who has had a wife, or a serious girlfriends, already knows how troublesome sharing and agreeing is. Well, those who govern know that too, very clearly.

    A silly UK politician expressed his view that “the people” should be “made aware of the economic and demographic realities” and what they demand in terms of immigration. But he was a fly in the amber of deception. His colleagues know their trade.
    You can make people do what you want, or let you do what you want, but you can tell them none of that.

    I wish I had that politician’s email, as I’d be eager to know how many millions are to be imported in the next decades, how they will be allocated, and if possible other details. Because I am a curious type. I have seen estimates in the 30-40 millions range.
    In all sincerity, I can’t subscribe to this program being wrong, as I don’t know the underlying rationales, goals, and possible problems it is meant to deal with.

    Maybe they are doing a right thing. What is beyond argument is they are doing right to not inform the people.

    Meanwhile, surveying “alt-right” blogs in relation to the reactions to Trump’s about-face on Syria is almost like taking a Ph. D. in psychology. What a range of reactions! And predictably, nobody who can dispense with all illusions, nor anyone with some sense of humor.

    It is too taxing for the ego to accept powerlessness. They see that elected official don’t govern at all, but admitting it would mean dispensing with illusions, first of all the illusions of mattering. Therefore, it can’t be done; self-hallucination serves much better.

    Syria strike swayed by heartbroken and outraged Ivanka.

    See? Those high have sense of humor, and of irony. It’s more distinctive than, say, silken handkerchiefs.

    I have read that the clearest sign of mental superiority is superiority in imagination (which would explain the resentment many programmers and other tech people show towards people who can think). Now, sense of humor and irony are two pretty reliable ways to measure imagination power.

    And looking at an item of news like that, and many others, from their very wording to the actual content, you see that those above have sense of humor and irony.
    Wherewith you see the “alt-right” blogs and magazines unequipped.

    Moreover, with no sense of humor and irony, how do you enjoy a good play?
    Take for example the well-known miniature tracts by MacDonald on the “self-deception” of a certain people. When you have read the first ten lines and noticed 2, more often 3 instances of abrupt self-deception on the part of MacDonald, what do you do?

    I mean, there are more than 250 million Christians in the USA, and you see these guys write pieces on the “war on Christams” allegedly done by some 500-1000 people from another group in the country.

    Same as for nationalism.
    Approximately 280 million people in the USA and 300 million Western Europeans have no idea, nor the wish to have any, about what the very name “nation” means, and, well, who’s making that happen?

    A small group of people, say a few thousands, whose names end in -Stein, -Witz, -Baum.


    MacDonald is worth reading however, to behold how skilfully he circumnavigates the logical, factual islands, and continents, that show how what he uses as foundations to lay his claims is, well, unfounded.
    He self-deceives at any step (it’s obvious he is in good faith). At many of those steps, he points out somebody else’s self-deception, confidently.

    Why is it so hard for these people to accept that the world isn’t changed by a cabal of behind-the-scenes puppeteers. The world is a ball: it rolls.
    People with different degrees of intelligence and co-ordination, and determination, adapt more or less well to the ball’s trajectory.

    Another funny one is Buchanan, who too knows, and wants to inform us, that some 1000-2000 people writing schoolbooks and working for the media in the USA have erased Christianity.

    I think at the root of the need to find false culprits for the changes brought about by history itself, is the delusional need to believe they can be reverted.
    If there are culprits, then maybe forcing them to stop wrong-doing will restore the previous system configuration. Why shouldn’t it?
    Short after the culprits are needed, they are invented and found!

    Humor and irony are your armor and shield in front of this, and all the rest, which isn’t unlike this.
    Too bad they are untrainable and unteachable abilities.

    You still feel alone, though, and maybe bother some blog owner with spam, unwittingly.
    Sorry if this is the case, but it’s really not easy to have nobody with whom to talk sense.
    They are all busy manufacturing illusions, pieces of delusion, … self-therapy, not truth search.
    Eventually, you pretend a comments section is “somebody”, and vent it out.

    Meanwhile, you may want to check the story of Claes Mård and Nayana Gulstad out.

  12. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2017/04/09) - Social Matter

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