Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Interview on Bioleninism

A few weeks ago, a great artist who runs the blog Parallax Optics was kind enough to ask me for an interview on Bioleninism, to follow up on a great piece he published recently where he interviewed the man responsible for the Twitter account Woke Capital. That interview was great, and I had never done an interview before, so I thought it could be a good idea to try this new format. As it happened, the interview went great, and I very much enjoyed the process.

What follows is the whole text of the interview for those who missed it up at Parallax’s. Let me use this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy year end holidays. 2018 has been a quite eventful year. Hopefully it has been good for you personally as well (unlikely if you’re invested in the stock market, but nobody’s perfect). A lot has been going on in the reactionary sphere, much of it good. Bioleninism has become a widely known concept. Here’s for a great 2019.


Bioleninism has widely been acknowledged as perhaps the most important contribution to reactionary discourse in recent years. It represents a coming together of several strands of your political analysis / theory. How did you first arrive at the concept of Bioleninism, and what specific influences / texts helped shape the theory?

Well, it’s been a year now, and my episodic memory is pretty bad, so I can’t really trace my thought process that clearly. I remember I had been discussing with some fellow reactionaries about the “Crazy Glue” concept, the question of what on earth it is that sticks the many different parts of the modern left together. The coinage comes from Steve Sailer, and his idea was that the different factions of the left, the “Coalition of the fringes” he calls them, are united by hatred/envy of white people, especially white men. I tended to agree with that formulation, but it’s very rare that I disagree with Steve Sailer at all.

This fellow reactionary, though, pointed out that hatred only takes you so far, you can’t really run a political coalition on just hatred. You must deliver some goods, even if abstract. The way he put it is that the coalition of the fringes is united by their very reasonable assumption that whatever social status they enjoy today in Western society is due to political power of Progressivism; and that if Progressivism were to fall, they’d all be back picking cotton, or barefoot in the kitchen, or freezing in the shtetl. It is this rational fear that keeps strange people like gays and Muslims together on the same side of the political divide.

It made a lot of sense, and it got me thinking. Not all leftists hate white people per se; even if they do today, I remember a time when they didn’t. They could feel some envy and resentment, but hatred? After all, what is hatred? Hatred like any emotion is motivated by something. Hate is useful when directed towards targets which you can fight and plausibly win. There’s no point in hating someone who can crush you and make your life miserable. So, hatred towards white people today seems to have been orchestrated from above, it’s the result of a political campaign. That got me thinking about what kind of power or mechanism got this coalition together; the history behind the Left. That has long been one of my core interests.

I also remembered 10 years ago when I used to read Lawrence Auster’s (RIP) blog. He used to have a commenter, a Canadian anarchist Jew, who would write to Auster and tell him how he got Muslim associations to sign up for gay marriage and other leftist causes, which had to be completely abhorrent to any Muslim. But he did, in a very business-like way.

At the time I was listening to the Revolutions Podcast, which is somewhat pozzed, of course, but explains in a very realistic way the complete and utter mess that liberal politics was in the early 19th century in Europe; how every little splinter group was out there fighting for himself, with no organization or loyalty whatsoever. I also had in mind some stuff I’d been reading on old Chinese imperial politics, how the court used eunuchs and minorities to keep the very fragile imperial governance working. The collapse of imperial politics in 1911 led to another complete mess as the Chinese gentry failed to build a cohesive movement, and China remained divided until the half-assed Leninism of the Kuomintang, and later the proper Leninism of the Communist Party, built a cohesive state by privileging the unprivileged.

So, comparing in my head the experience of building a workable polity in China from scratch, with how the left evolved in the West since 1950, two words just came to me. Biological Leninism. I put that as a title and started writing my post. I write like Houellebecq writes: no plot, no plan, just start writing semi-unconsciously and see what comes out of it. Sometimes it works great; other times I just start to ramble and have to rewrite again and again. It took me months to finish that one, and I was not too satisfied with how it came out. But it was very well received, which was great.

Central to Bioleninism, is the insight that humans are hardwired to seek status more than they seek happiness / comfort. Therefore, as a powerholder, your best strategy to ensure ongoing loyalty is to promise individuals / groups an uplift in status, tied to the success of the Party, which exceeds what they would have ‘naturally’ achieved within a merit based social order. Can you expand on the role of status as a currency within the Bioleninist system?

Status is well understood, we all know how it works, as it’s the basic input of social life. But it’s not a very well defined term, there’s still work to do there. Status basically means whatever motivates people in any society once they have ensured the basics of survival. You could define it as “that which makes people want to become your associate and give you preferential treatment”. The particulars depend on the culture you live in. If you live in a commercial society, status is mostly about money. If you live in a hunting band, it’s mostly about hunting ability. If you live in a magical cult, it’s mostly about ability to summon the spirits. If you live in a communist society, it’s mostly about political favor. And so on.

If you’re King, who do you want as minister? The Duke of Orleans, who has more money than you do and a plausible claim to the throne if (God forbid) something was to happen to you? Hell no, you want a guy who is going to follow your orders, someone reliably loyal. And who is going to follow your orders? Somebody who has no better options than following your orders. It’s quite simple.

If you’re in a free capitalist society, with freedom to acquire and dispose of wealth, status is going to be linked with the ability to earn wealth in the market. That is not a good situation to be in if you’re the King; you basically have no power over people’s behavior if the status assigning mechanism goes through the economy and not the state. Over time, the states of the world figured this out, and either went Leninist, thus abolishing the market altogether and controlling access to status from above; or they went hybrid, like in the West. The West allows a private economy, through which a lot of status is assigned; but the economy is heavily regulated, so the state gets a say in who gets what amount of money. And of course, there’s also a wide propaganda system which includes the press, mass media and education. What we call the Cathedral (or the Polygon or whatever), in short. We can also just call it The Left.

The Left isn’t formally the state, it’s its own network which overlaps heavily with the permanent arms of the state proper (i.e. the bureaucracy) but is also larger than the state. It also spills over to other entities which aren’t formally part of the state, but which are under its influence. Say education. Some of it is part of the state, i.e. public, but a big chunk is private. It doesn’t matter, the social networks of public education workers are connected to private education workers, and so they all have the same opinions, marry each other, promote each other, etc. The same applies to the media, and increasingly to sheer capitalism companies, as we are seeing with Woke Capital. Managers of big companies have been integrated in the same social networks as the bureaucracy and so they are basically the same social class. Again, they marry each other, have the same opinions, etc.

A lot of critics have said that Bioleninism is not real, the most wealthy and highest status people are still white men, black people are still poorer on average, etc. And of course, to the extent that in the West we still allow market forces, we still have a merit-based allocation of status. But everywhere else, wherever the Cathedral has any decision power: in public propaganda, in entertainment, in government hiring, in education: all of those are completely committed in giving status to everyone but white straight healthy men, in direct proportion to how different they are from white straight men. They give status in the form of hyping up in propaganda and cultural broadcasts they control (black surgeons on TV, female pilots, women with hijab in fashion ads, black history month, gay pride, whatever), and in preferential hiring for highly-paid sinecures and positions of influence. Again, that used to be mostly getting hired for some make-work job in the bureaucracy, or some professorship of Grievance Studies, but now they’re increasingly moving into the corporate world, HR being a well-known reservoir for politically connected people.

Does Bioleninism function primarily by raising the status of low-status groups as a whole, or only the members of these groups who ‘officially’ join / pledge loyalty to the Party? Do you perceive a two-tier effect, whereby it raises the status of those who join the Party, but those that possess the inherent qualities of the group also get raised up / receive the benefits of protected characteristics, as part of a halo effect?

It does both, indeed. Black history month isn’t about any individual black person; gay pride isn’t about any prominent gay Party member. But the Left doesn’t have infinite resources. It can’t give a job to every black person in America, let alone on Earth. It can barely scrap enough to give each woman an Obamaphone to get her to vote on election day. But that’s the good part of the trick: you don’t need to actually pay cash to every single voter, in a Bueno de Mesquita sort of system. You can pay them with propaganda, telling them white people owe them because of slavery or colonialism or implicit bias, praising them 24/7, teaching in college about some Timbuktu pile of mud being the world’s first University, or women having invented whatever. You as a person of a low-performance group may not have a fancy job and make 6 figures, but the people with the megaphones are shitting on your enemies on TV, and that sort of effort merits loyalty. You’re certainly gonna vote for that guy and not for the guy who says you should be picking cotton or eating sand in Arabia. It’s a modern twist on the idea that the meek will inherit the kingdom of God. And who knows, maybe some day you do get that fancy job, or if you’re eloquent you can leverage your oppressed status© into YouTube fame or something. Maybe a seat in Congress!

You have described Bioleninism as a top down phenomenon, just like Leninism. Can you expand on the mechanics / incentive dynamics of the High and Low against the Middle, and why the Cathedral selects for loyalty over competence / ingenuity?

In any hierarchy, your enemy is the guy immediately below you. Because he wants your place, and he’s close enough to come get it. A good example of this is dynastic politics. Who’s the king most afraid of? His brothers, as they could take his place. The Ottomans famously had a period during which they enforced fratricide before any succession. The very existence of brothers was too big a risk. Chinese dynasties alternated between sending brothers far away to the provinces and keeping them under a form of house arrest in the capital.

To the extent that keeping your own position (your social status) depends on the loyalty of your underlings, everyone, everywhere, selects for loyalty over competence. No manager is going to hire a guy who’s going to take his place and make him lose salary or status in the company hierarchy. No company owner is going to hire a guy who is likely to end up starting a competing company and put him out of business. No way. He can be a genius who’ll make all the money in the world; but as a manager a subordinate’s loyalty is the foremost concern. Only once loyalty is secure you can start to select for competence. So again, the ideal subject is not a genius. It’s a genius who has nowhere else to go. There’s a curve between loyalty and competence but it bends to the side of loyalty. It’s better to have a mediocre 50% guy (provided he gets the job done) who’s gonna stick with you, than a smart 70% guy who’s gonna run to your competition. I’m sure many readers have seen versions of this phenomenon happening in their workplaces.

Same reason why every housewife wants a 40-year-old Honduran nanny instead of a 20-year-old Ukrainian, too. Given how human sociability works it’s a miracle that competence gets rewarded at all. Once I understood this I stopped wondering why it took so long for humanity to develop science and industry.

How does the problem of Imperium In Imperio animate Bioleninism? To elaborate further, Moldbug discusses at length the problem of divided sovereignty – divided Power does not want to stay divided, it has a centrifugal attraction, pulling it back together, like the shattered pieces in Terminator 2. I wondered what your thoughts were on the problem of divided Power / Imperium In Imperio specifically in relation to the structure of Bioleninism: how the problem / fact of the divided, mendacious, un-formalized nature of Power in the West gave rise to something that looks like / is structured as Bioleninism?

It animates Leninism per se. In a way, it’s the fundamental problem of politics. The way I described it in the original post was as the vengeance of Absolutism in an era of demotic politics. Power doesn’t want to be divided. Power wants to be absolute. That’s not only because there exist sociopaths among us; there’s a perfectly innocent yet powerful motivation for power to want to be absolute. See, in my view the fundamental law of the universe is status-conservation. People don’t want to lose status. Hence the guy in power doesn’t want to lose power. Ever. And his children don’t want to lose status either. In order to achieve status conservation for himself and his family, he pretty much needs to have power forever. In order to do that you have to stop other people from taking you out; which is hard to do, as they also want power themselves, again, sometimes out of sheer greed, but sometimes because they need to hold a more defensible position in order to achieve status conservation for their families. So, given enough time, power always tends towards concentration.

Given the restrictive mess that was feudalism, Absolutism was a way of doing away with all restrictions to monarchical power. When lesser nobles, merchants and country lawyers beat absolutism in Europe, they came up with liberal constitutions which made the division of powers into the basic principle of government. The result was completely unworkable, any decision by one power got blocked or stalled by the others. But given that all the powers of the state were occupied by the same sort of people (i.e. country lawyers), things got done by informal networking. I’m quite sure that this informal bypassing of legal limitations on power was what motivated Marxists to focus so much on “class consciousness”. It’s a really powerful thing, and Marxism-Leninism learned the lesson and engineered their own ruling class by giving poor people a class consciousness of their own. The Soviet Union and China then formalized the whole thing with a Communist Party, which controlled every single state organism and also gave privileged access to power for people of working class and peasant pedigree. Every single part of the government was controlled overtly or covertly by a party cell, and you just couldn’t get to high places in the Communist Party if your family was high status in 1910. Communists had a double layer system to make sure that central commands always went through. Power wasn’t divided.

Going back to the last question; Bioleninism is a top-down phenomenon insofar as it’s basically a personnel policy. Leninism in general is, fundamentally, a particular way of hiring people for your organization, and Bioleninism a variant of that. But Leninism didn’t come to exist in a top-down way; it was the result of a viral, memetic evolutionary process where power-hungry people tried to come up with effective ways of capturing more and more power. After a lot of trial and error, Leninism came up with class-struggle, and that not being a workable strategy in the wealthy West, slowly people started scraping the bottom of the barrel, hiring and promoting spinsters and gays and blacks and Muslims and whoever was unhappy with their status in the wealthiest and happiest society in human history.

Now every organ of state power, private corporations, religious denominations and every branch of the military, has a bunch of blacks and lesbians and transsexuals as political commissars to ensure that any order from the movement gets implemented faithfully. How is that different from Communist Party cells?

It’s less formalized than classical Leninism because it didn’t arise out of a complete break up of the old society, like in 1917 Russia. Bioleninism just slowly creeped little by little and colonized existing institutions without destroying them outright. And yes, they’ve had plenty of elite help, and increasingly so, but the elite didn’t come up with the process itself as a sort of Elders of Zion conspiracy. These kinds of processes can’t be accurately described as either top-down or bottom-up. It’s a combination of both: people on the bottom are trying out ways to agitate, the organizations which are able to command loyalty survive, while others don’t, in a classical bottom-up evolutionary process. People on top are watching for good organizations to invest in, so to speak, and they will integrate those which have survived the bottom-up competition into their top-down machines. So, there’s a bilateral flow of interaction concerning what kind of political organization is going to work better.

The Coalition of the Fringes, mobilized by the Elites, self-conceptualizes / propagandizes as a Coalition of the Oppressed. How does Bioleninism relate to SJW activism, victimhood culture (sensitivity to slight combined with appeal to authority) and slave morality, as historically conceived?

There’s a great article by this blogger called Devin Helton where he talks about “offense-bullying”. In the old days, peasants were meek people whotrash talked each other constantly; they had thick skins. It was the aristocrats who were extremely thin skinned and challenged you to a death-match (a duel) if you went so far as to diss their choice of shoes, or whatever. They were full of righteous anger at any slight to their honor. Interestingly, there’s an old quip of Chinese imperial bureaucrats, you may kill a bureaucrat, but you cannot humiliate him. They meant it. 士可殺不可辱.

Why were they like that? Because they could be. Being thin skinned is a signal of high-status, basically. An aristocrat must signal that he’s high-status, and thus untouchable, by making a fuss over anything, lest the peasants forget whom they’re talking to, the anger signaling confidence that you could make good on your threats by having access to higher authorities, or just more armed men. We all know that person who goes around saying “Do you know who I am?” in a menacing tone.

It’s no wonder that it’s now Bioleninist troopers who go around wailing in righteous anger at cross-dressers being refused to go to the female toilet, or packs of young, or tall, fit black men complaining that white women look at them in fear when they’re alone with them in an elevator. What they’re doing is signaling access to power, e.g. the ability to get physically violent without police intervention. Why are Antifa so in-your-face evil, shouting menacing slogans with a grin on their faces, and moving around the streets like they own the place? Because they effectively do, to the extent that law enforcement has double standards and they basically go unpunished.

They play this double game where they appeal for Christian charity (slave morality, if you will) from biologically high-functioning people, but at the same time use the support of state violence to engage in open extortion and random violence. Christian charity of course was its own power-play against the Classical-era pagans, who weren’t into charity at all; Greco-Romans worshipped strength and heroism. Being nice to children or slaves or lepers was, besides a reasonable way of seeking recruits, also a way of shitting on everything that the Romans thought holy. Now the (modern equivalent of) slaves and the lepers are asking for more than charity, they want power itself, and who’s going to come out and argue against that?

“Point deer, make horse” is the near epiphanic, central pivot in the first Bioleninism essay. How does your reading of Eastern thought, politics and history influence your understanding of Western thought, politics and history, and vice versa?

I would say my experience with Eastern peoples helped me in two ways. First, it gave me the detachment to look at my own history and culture in a more objective way. A great way of getting to really understand a concept is to try to explain it to a random Chinese person. You need to translate it into their language and explain the context in a way that makes sense to someone who shares absolutely no part of your cultural background. It’s hard, but it’s also very liberating. It forces you to come up with a narrative which is both simple enough to keep someone’s attention, and makes actual logical sense, but it has to be almost pure logic. The only words you can use are those that are very down to earth, common-sensical, limited to universal human nature. Short words any random guy who hasn’t read the same books you have can understand. A random Oriental doesn´t know anything about Abrahamic religion or liberalism, so throwing words like “reason” and “liberty” around makes little sense to him. At most, if he’s college educated he’s learnt a few sentences to pass the college entrance exam, but he’s long forgotten it.

The other way, and one trait of Asians I really like, is just how cynical and goal-oriented they are. To a large extent, discussing politics is just not done at all in Asia, unless you happen to work in politics or the media. That was boring, but also refreshing, coming from a European environment where everybody feels they must have a strong opinion on everything, from the price of bread to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Any abstract discussion of politics or philosophy in Asia is usually derided as a sophomoric attempt at showing off. Try to talk about anything not involving immediate money or gossip and you’ll soon get interrupted. “So what?”, “Your point?”, “What’s it to you?”. A common Japanese quip when you use some uncommon word is, 言いたいだけでしょ“you just want to say that word”, implying your vanity makes you feel good at using weird words that make you feel superior or high-status, but they’ve got you all figured out.

And they’re right. It got me thinking. What’s the point of all those conversations which don’t concern personal, immediate interests? It didn’t take long from that realization to finding signalling theory, and suddenly it all made sense.

Note that most of what we call Asian “philosophy” is also very down-to-earth, preoccupied with how to run a government, or how to live a good and content life. That’s just how the people are, and I still believe that they are genetically incapable of caring about metaphysics and the pointless abstraction it so often encourages. I like that trait in them, but I also think it’s deleterious to their building strong, cohesive polities. It’s not that they don’t ever peddle in bullshit or that they can’t be brainwashed; the suicidal Imperial Japanese Army and Maoism obviously happened, but Asians are always only so far from caring about their own personal interest that they need really tight, often cruel, discipline to keep them going. The old guilt/shame dichotomy doesn’t quite encompass it, but it’s not wrong.

How is Bioleninism to be distinguished from Tokenism – how do Bioleninists reify / exercise their claim on Power in a way which is qualitatively / structurally distinct from political mascotism?

I get this objection a lot. “Blacks or transsexuals or whatever don’t actually have high status. They’re just given powerless sinecures and it’s still white men calling the shots.” Well I wouldn’t mind one of those powerless sinecures with six-figure salaries for myself and my buddies. And one wonders how the demographics of the ruling class look in places where Bioleninism has advanced the most, like the USA, if you accounted for Jewish people. How many non-Jewish, non-gay white men are in positions of power in the USA? Not a lot, and its decreasing fast. 

Mascotism does happen but it’s not a stable strategy. At some point, younger generations are going to ask for and get actual positions of influence; and we are seeing this right now. No lack of female CEOs, of black congresswomen. The USA just got its first Somali. To some extent Bioleninist commissars are all likely to become tokens or puppets of some sort; but that’s only because they are dumb and lazy by nature. At some point we’ll get a high-energy black Muslim woman and it’s gonna be bad.

What confluence of political factors / dynamics served to give Bioleninists the “whip-hand” in contemporary Western societies?

Well, basically it was the defeat of Communism in the West. The “invisible hand of power-grabbing” (invisible hand of politics I called it in the third essay) came up with Socialism early on in the West, during the Industrial Revolution, using the (quite reasonable) resentment of the working class of the time. When that didn’t quite work out, after the working classes lost their resentment once mild-socialism became prevalent in the 1930s, and the boom times of WW2 made everyone rich, any aspiring agitator had to come up with some other resentful group. The first one was women; that had already arisen in the 19th century, and they got the vote mostly before WW2, but feminism was only developed thoroughly after WW2, when socialism wasn’t selling well, and the sexual revolution was throwing women into the open sexual market and the workforce, creating industrial amounts of usable resentment.

Gays and other sexual deviants also came out the sexual revolution, and they’re resentful by the mere fact of existing. I’ve written extensively about that: it must be hard when all the people you’re really attracted to find you disgusting.

And then obviously the foreigners. Third worlders came to the West to supply the cheap labor that the mild-socialist policies of Western governments were supposed to abolish. They soon became very useful to leftist political machines. Foreigners by definition are a low-status group in any society; unless the king protects them personally. That happened often in history; it’s basically the reason Jews still exist at all. Foreigners are weak, awkward, and so are loyal to whoever has the power to protect them.

Once all these groups were in place and had been agitated properly by the press and the academic establishment, basing a political coalition on giving official status to these people against the majority of, well, normal people, wasn’t a hard decision to make.

Do you regard the intersectional tensions at the heart of the Coalition of the Fringes as ideologically / politically stable in the long-term; or do you perceive the hotbed of contradictions as too inherently unstable to endure / govern as Power becomes further consolidated in Bioleninist hands?

I get that a lot. “Muslims and gays can’t get along, come on”. Well, they seem to be getting along quite happily in Leftist parties all over the West. I do imagine they’ll end up in conflict, but only after they’ve seized complete power. When all leftist parties in the West have become basically leaders of one-party states, then sure, the factions will start fighting each other. But in a one-party state you can unleash violence very easily. The early Soviets fought each other a lot too. Then they were all purged. And then purged again. And then Stalin came and unleashed the mother of all purges. I don’t know if Biolenin or Biostalin will be brown gay men or black lesbian disabled women; but I imagine violence will happen in due course. But they have to win first. While they’re still following the rules of liberal democracy they will stay put. They have to.

The concept of Bioleninism is simultaneously Essentialist, it draws on the explanatorily power of aggregate HBD forces; and Constructivist, it explains how political coalitions are socially constructed according to group-incentive dynamics. How do you conceive the inter-relationship of Essentialism and Constructivism in relation to Bioleninism, and which is the more dominant tendency in your thought?

I’m not an academic person but I think this is not a helpful way to put it. If there are two different academic cliques, one the “essentialist” and the other the “constructivist”, and I have to choose which one Bioleninism belongs to; then we’re doing something wrong. This is not a useful game to play; unless I’m gonna get tenure and a six-figure salary for choosing the right team? Am I?

I’m both Essentialist and Constructivist. I think reality is a thing, it’s out there, and it’s the same for everyone. That may map to “essentialism”. There’s real stuff out there and it has properties. IQ is real. Race is real.

But again, I’m a linguist. And language is constructed; it’s the result of social agreement. The only reason the sound string /dog/ forms the word “dog”, and that the word “dog” is used to refer to a certain animal is perfectly arbitrary and can be perfectly called a social construction. Every single word, every single part of grammar, every single linguistic pattern is like that. Every single “concept” is like that. It’s not completely arbitrary, and world languages have much in common, because there’s only so many ways to use language to form a society which is conducive to human existence. So, there’s an evolutionary process limiting how arbitrary social constructions can be. That applies to language (most languages – but not all! – have categories such as noun and verb), and to any other social institution. No human society that we know of (before modern Anglosphere) has had 20 “genders”.

To a large extent you could say that reality is non-constructed, but human perception, or at least public signals of perception (which is all we know. No matter how many MRIs you take, you can’t really know what’s going on inside somebody’s head, you only know reliably observed behavior), is all “constructed”. If only because going against social consensus is likely to get you killed or ostracized at some point, so you better follow the flow.

Then again, all political systems based their rhetoric on being objectively aligned with reality, following natural law of some sort. Constructivism as a theory arose as a way for the left to undermine Western society. It worked because constructivism points at a very real phenomenon: the fact that human knowledge is mostly mediated by other humans and not the result of any direct contact with nature. The right wing to a large extent is still trying to fight that fight, so they’re still pushing objectivism.

But that fight was lost many, many years ago. I’m one of the few, or at least one of the first, rightist writers who have been using constructivist arguments. Not only because they’re true; but also because they’re useful. Useful to undermine the present power structure. Let’s face it: we are not in power anymore. We’ve lost. Decades ago. Leftists are in power, they have a solid (if extremely flawed) theory behind them, and constructivist arguments can help destroy that.

You have been amongst the most insistent and articulate advocates of the need for a New Religion as a central / system of Schelling Point/s around which reaction could begin to build a parallel status system / coherent opposition to Bioleninism / progressivism. Which religions do you see as primary candidates to reboot, or would you prefer to work from a tabula rasa?

My idea was to start from scratch. Hence “a new religion”. I do understand now that it’s much easier to just co-opt or make a fork of an existing religion: that way you can attract a lot of people without implying they were completely wrong all their lives. But I honestly don’t know what’s going to work. At the beginning I thought the success of a religion depended on the ideas, it was a problem of ‘design’. I now tend to think that a sufficiently charismatic (and evil) prophet can get literally anything running, by sheer force of personality and tight discipline, however absurd the ideas may be.

That said, I’m just not a very religious person, and neither a very social person, so I probably won’t be involved with any of that. But at some point, I’m quite sure it will happen. It may be Zensunni, or the actual rebirth of a Deus Vult Crusader Catholic Church. Or something completely new.

If Bioleninism continues to proceed unabated, what do you see as its failure mode? Will it die of inherent contradictions, as Marxists fantasized capitalism would; or collapse of internal entropy and get overrun by external enemies; or ease up on adverse counter-selection dynamics, let competent people run things again, and transition to a neo-feudal oligarchy; or do you have faith in narratives of decentralization, fragmentation, Patchwork or neocolonialism; or do we face the eternal current year, on repeat, forever… or perhaps you envisage an End Game even more hideous than the possibilities I’ve highlighted above?

The scary thing about Bioleninism is that it has no alternative. Leninism existed for decades in Russia and China; but the obvious material success of the capitalist West provided a clear alternative. And at the point where internal contradictions went too far, Leninist countries could always say: fuck this, let’s just go Western. And that’s exactly what Soviet Union elites did. China took a middle way, but it basically dismantled much of its own system. Xi Jinping has been working hard to rebuild it, but he doesn’t have the old proletariat to man his system, so he’s basically running it on enforced sycophancy and internet surveillance. It doesn’t look very sustainable and cohesive to me, at the very least after the man dies.

Bioleninism has no alternative. Nobody in the West can get fed up with Bioleninist dysfunction point at one country and say: let’s do that! Well, there’s Japan and other wealthy places, which have not inflicted third world mass-immigration on themselves. But Japan still has big problems with feminism and sexual deviants. The fertility rate tells you it’s not a healthy society. And it just passed a law to finally bring mass migration of third worlders. At any rate, neither Japan nor anyone else has a solid, working non-liberal political theory to base their politics on.

On the right we may have many ideas of what to do, but we don’t have a clear, existing, successful example to point out to normies as a thing to emulate. Leninism died because Russians did have that. Let’s do America. We don’t have that. At some point Soviet Leninism became lower status than American capitalism. Right now, Bioleninism is the most high-status system in the world.

Taken to its logical conclusion, it will die of internal contradictions. As I said previously, at some point a Biostalin is going to come up and start purging people. Once he has complete and uncontested power he may change the Bioleninist theory by fiat to let competent people back into positions of power. At least the minimum number of competent people necessary to keep things running for another day. That’s a likely scenario. Slow, very slow decline. Collapse is also possible: Stalin was, after all, a very gifted man, and odds are the Bioleninists won’t be able to come up with one.

Then again, we might also see an ersatz Bioleninist rise to power. One of those Scott Alexander guys, who are perfectly smart and healthy straight white men but completely exaggerate any teenage trauma into a full-fledged mental illness, if not outright cause themselves a mental illness through excessive psychiatric medication, in order to fit in with the wider Bioleninist coalition of actually innately dysfunctional people. It’s no coincidence that reports of gender dysphoria and myriad mental illness are growing fast among young white people. Especially women: they know what our society demands, where status is, so they adapt themselves to it. Blacks and Muslims will protest that these guys are fake, that white people are all evil no matter how fucked up in the head, but odds are they’d lose in a frontal confrontation. So, look forward to the Dictatorship of depressed incel programmers. I’m only half-joking.

As for Patchwork and total fragmentation, the idea is cool and all, but I don’t see how the military equilibrium works for that. Ethnogenesis is in the end mostly a function of military technology. Fragmentation would be bloody, very bloody. And at the end of that war, I don’t think we’d get all that many polities after all. But I could be wrong.

Parts 12 and 3 of Bioleninism can be read at Bloody Shovel.

26 responses to “Interview on Bioleninism

  1. Pingback: Interview on Bioleninism | Reaction Times

  2. maieuticinitiate December 28, 2018 at 00:08

    What a way to end the year.
    Gnon bless you, man. I hope Bioseph Soylin takes a while to appear.

    • Samuel Skinner December 28, 2018 at 17:34

      Better sooner. The longer we wait, the lower the T, the more sadistic cruelty and the less of an intact society there is.

  3. Samuel Skinner December 28, 2018 at 17:32

    Status is your ranking in the pecking order. It determines who you have power over and who has power over you. It sets which people you are allowed to inflict pain and suffering on and which ones other members of society will intervene to stop.

  4. J December 29, 2018 at 05:59

    Reposted from Twitter:
    I want to discuss your comment about thin-skinnedness being a high status trait. In particular, I’m recalling a study on bullying in which the highest status kids did not engage in bullying, but the ones who were close to the top but not highest engaged in the most bullying. Would it be correct to say that thin-skinnedness is a trait not of truly high status, but of insecure moderately high status, people who feel that they need to stomp on others to maintain their tenuous position?

    • iWeird January 5, 2019 at 15:40

      The caseology of bullying would be multiplexed.
      Insecurity-soothing bullying is a common form of bullying, yes.

      Then you can bully because you are (or have been or were) bullied in your turn.

      You can bully out of the correct or erroneous (it may be either depending on a couple of variables) that it will moisten the female you have set your sights on.

      It’s not a linear, one-cause phenomenon.

  5. Karl December 29, 2018 at 13:22

    I doubt that bioleninism has no alternative. At present, I’d point to China and say let’s copy that. (Of course, I know nothing of China, but so do my fellow Europeans to whom the idea would have to be sold). Another alternative that might be tried is copying a Muslim country with a leader like al-Sisi or Erdogan. Sure, right now copying Egyt or Turkey would not be alluring to a the average European or US citizen, but Western culture and standards of living are decaying. So sooner or later the situation in Egypt or Turkey might look relatively good.

    I also doubt that a presently working alternative is a requirement for trying something different. A historical example, e.g. a Western dictator, might also be an alternative that could be sold to supporters. Another point is that alternatives to a present rule have been implemented without precedent, e.g. the republic after the French revolution, communism in Russia or natioal-socialism in Gemany.

    • Samuel Skinner December 29, 2018 at 16:36

      Bioleninism isn’t an ideology, it is a direction you go in to gain and hold power. It is new in so far as technology and wealth allow ignoring competency and reality to a degree previously impossible.

      As for the alternatives…
      China is a one party state. Left wing parties throughout the developed world are attempting to copy that through the importation of voters. Getting a right wing one party state has the same problems as forming a military dictatorship.

      Egypt and Turkey are pozzed. Since 2000 Turkey TFR has been between 1.8 and 2.3; Egypt 2.6 and 2.6. Trend for Turkey is downward with a bump up 2008/2009; Egypt downward bump up 2009/2010 and large bump up 2014/2015/2016.

      The difference is Egypt has a female literacy rate of 65% while Turkey is 92%.

      “A historical example, e.g. a Western dictator, might also be an alternative that could be sold to supporters.”

      The people don’t matter, only the elites.

      “Another point is that alternatives to a present rule have been implemented without precedent, e.g. the republic after the French revolution, communism in Russia or natioal-socialism in Gemany.”

      Those weren’t without precedent. The French republic was based on what the US did several years earlier and Nazism copied the Bolshevik party state and earlier German traditions. Communism was new, but the autocracy has a long Russian tradition.

    • spandrell December 30, 2018 at 22:53

      Who the hell follows Chinese or Muslim fashion in the West? Not a lot of people. Compare that with the old Soviet block in the 1980s.

  6. Bartolo December 31, 2018 at 14:50

    “Charles”, an American Christian reactionary who reads and reviews books on his (very recommendable) website thewortyhouse.com and intends to (at some point) write a book with practical, actionable advice on how to restore the West to greatness (I have done my best to characterise him), thinks the parallel drawn between Leninism and Bioleninism is bollocks:

    “There has been a recent vogue among some on the fringy Right to ascribe the success of Communism to a supposed appeal to low status people in Russia and elsewhere, offering them higher status in exchange for loyalty to Communism. (The purpose of this analogy is to offer a parallel to today’s Left, which supposedly offers higher status to people who, due to biology or oppression, are low status. This is, apparently, called “Bioleninism”; I’ve run across it in my examination of some of these fringes.) As a historical analog, it makes no sense, and like so many ideas on the fringy Right, such as those of Mencius Moldbug, it seems to appeal to those who have no real grasp of history. (On the other hand, as a secondary explanatory device only of today’s Left, it actually isn’t bad at all. It’s the claimed historical analogies I object to as false.)
    … And as Service notes, and is commonly noted in histories of the Bolsheviks, massive funding for their activities was provided by high-status people who were either ideologically sympathetic or simply as an insurance policy. Such examples could easily be multiplied. Certainly, some Bolsheviks came from humble circumstances, but all successful societies, of whatever political stripe, have mechanisms for bringing the most talented into the running of society. Typically this is through the Church or through the military; some, like the Ottomans, are better at it than others. But to suggest that what drove Bolshevism’s initial success was low-status individuals getting back at those who lorded it over them is bad history. True, within a few decades it was mediocrities all the way down, but that merely shows a poorly organized system, or one inherently defective, not one that appeals to low-status people. … No, what the Bolsheviks offered was heaven on earth, and to each man, the most important driver of human action, transcendence, the ability to participate in the formation of this heaven. In Trotsky’s own words: “Man will become incomparably stronger, more intelligent, more subtle. His body will be more harmonious, his movements more rhythmical, his voice more musical; the forms of daily existence with acquire a dynamic theatricality. The average human type will rise to the level of Aristotle, Goethe, Marx. It is above this ridge that new summits will rise.” ”

    Just like Peter Turchin likes to dismiss the Bloody Shovel / Bueno de Mesquita naked-self-interest-based explanations in favour of more culturally-oriented models, Charles, who is big on spirituality, stresses… well, spiritual factors. FWIW, and speaking as someone who, according to Charles, cannot have a good grasp of history, I think all those theories/explanations are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. Monocausal theories are almost invariably junk (think of Emmanuel Todd’s delusion that **his** family type theory is the key to unlocking the universe and all that’s in it). There is more here: https://theworthyhouse.com/2018/12/29/book-review-trotsky-a-biography-robert-service/

  7. Bartolo December 31, 2018 at 15:14

    To catch Charles’ drift:
    “Transcendence is a far more powerful driver than status seeking, and it is that which explains the lure of Communism through the past century. No doubt the modern Western Left, with its obsessive focus on emancipation from imaginary oppression, offers increases in status, and a complete divorce of status from merit, more so than formal Communism did, but that is not its main attraction. Such emancipation is a type of seeking after transcendence, even if it has more immediate benefits for some, and it is the collective belief in being able to remake the world to achieve “new summits” that provides the dynamo inside the Left, which is fundamentally a religious belief. I am not sure, given how central this urge is to human nature and the grip it clearly maintains on so many people, how to destroy that dynamo. Probably by providing and drawing people to an alternate, more powerful, religious belief, something that the spiritually decayed West has failed at through the past century.”
    – Charles

    • Samuel Skinner December 31, 2018 at 19:27

      If he explained what the difference between Transcendence (where you become higher status them everyone else in history) and status seeking (where you become higher status) is, it might be possible to analyze, agree or rebut his position.

      “It is simply not true that Russian Communism recruited primarily from the lower status castes of Russian society. If that were true, it would have been peasants who dominated Communism, and actual peasants never wanted anything to do with Communism. Rather, it was people like Trotsky—intellectuals on the make and on the rise.”

      Russia’s last election before Lenin took over gave overwhelming peasant support to the Socialist Revolutionaries who were previously members of the Second International.

      The leadership is, in Jimmian terms, priests. Spandral is talking about the foot soldiers- the people who spontaneously set up a Bolshevik party in a town, shot the rich people and looted their homes.

  8. Spandrell January 1, 2019 at 00:32

    It’s all so tiresome. “Transcendence”. Give me a fucking break.

    • Charles January 1, 2019 at 17:10

      Spandrell’s “response” is non-responsive, and therefore not worthy of response. To answer Mr. Skinner, briefly I would say that the difference between seeking transcendence and seeking status is that they are opposite—seeking transcendence is a search to feel like one has a higher purpose not measured by how others feel; seeking staus is a search to feel superior to others by measuring oneself against them and them finding you superior, or at least you feeling superior to them.

      The peasantry did vote heavily for the SRs in the 1917 election to the Constituent Assembly (not the Bolsheviks, or the Mensheviks, though). But they had no interest at all in status, or the SR program. They cared about one thing, and one thing only—land reform. That proves my point (for which I gave several other pieces of evidence). Most of those peasants later supported the Whites; they most definitely did not “spontaneously set up a Bolshevik party” in town. (Bolshevism was straight Marxism; peasants were bourgeoisie.). And if they, by some chance, did set up a party, it was for land, and had nothing to do with status.

      • Samuel Skinner January 2, 2019 at 16:36

        I wasn’t implying the peasants were Bolsheviks, but that the peasants were communists. They didn’t back the Bolsheviks because the Bolsheviks were an urban movement.

        • Charles January 2, 2019 at 16:56

          I think that’s not true. They voted SR, but that’s not Communist, and in any case, as I noted, they were single issue voters with no other interest in the SR program. (Hence the “Greens” in the Civ War, when the peasants didn’t join the Whites.)

          I meant to add yesterday that I entirely agreed with your statement that “technology and wealth allow ignoring competency and reality to a degree previously impossible.” This is the major problem for getting a reality-based program started, whatever the specific matter at hand.

          • Samuel Skinner January 3, 2019 at 20:20

            SR were members of the 2nd international and the left wing of the SR joined the Bolsheviks. They were commies.

            • Art January 7, 2019 at 00:11

              Yes, they were commies. But that is still consistent with what Charles is saying – peasant votes were in support of SR’s land reform, not their ideology.

              I think “biostalinism” is a better term for the theory that explains socialist bureaucracy and power sharing much better than it does the socialist revolution.

    • Charles January 1, 2019 at 17:43

      More expansively on transcendence vs status, and at the risk of being boring, here from my review of the book “Milk” is my breakdown of why any given public policy may be advocated by a given person:

      “1) A detached, purely objective analysis of alternatives has led to a conclusion the advocate has concluded is best for society. Let’s call this the “philosopher-king” reason for public policy advocacy. (We can ignore for current purposes whether one can accurately determine what is “best for society,” as well as distortions to and failures of objectivity such as confirmation bias and tribalism, together with logical fallacies such as appeal to authority, to which “experts” are particularly prone, but which don’t change that the reason for choosing a position is objective analysis.)

      2) Money. This can mean direct payments, in the sense of corruption. But it more typically means that the advocate will economically benefit if a particular public policy position is adopted. What I mean here is not public policy effects that lift everyone; that falls under #1. I mean individualized benefit—for example, job promotions, grant money from the government to the advocate, or even things like luxury travel to conferences relating to a public policy. This also includes simple economic security, such as job security—ensuring continued employment that might otherwise be at risk. It also includes third-party benefit, such as that resulting from nepotism.

      If you asked a random person on the street, this is the only one of the drivers here that would likely be named. But it is probably the least important, despite what economic determinists and Marxists tell us. Sure, everyone wants money, but I think it’s rarely the most important driver of why someone desires a particular public policy.

      3) The desire to feel superior to other people. This is a mostly overlooked driver of a huge amount of human action. Human nature being what it is, we all want to feel superior to others, and even better, to be recognized by others as superior, and even better, to be publicly so recognized. (See, for example, C.S. Lewis’s famous metaphor of the “inner ring.”) One way to achieve feeling superior is advocate a public policy and attribute a moral component to it, which necessarily implies that the advocate is superior and those who oppose him are morally deficient and therefore inferior. (Fame is part of the feeling of superiority—technically, it’s not the exact same thing, but for these purposes I think the desire for fame and the desire to feel superior can be lumped together.)

      The desire for superiority can be narrow—Professor X may want to feel superior to Professor Y in his same small department. Or it can be broad—Person X may want to feel superior to vast swathes of the deplorables in society as a whole. The refrain “we’re doing this for the children” is perhaps the best indicator that the real reason behind a policy position is the desire to feel superior.

      4) The desire to control and have power over other people. Again, this is a mostly overlooked driver of human action. It is highly pleasurable to most people to push others around, whether they admit it or not. Bullying is the most commonly remarked upon manifestation of this tendency, but it occurs everywhere in human relations, and in political systems—see, e.g., Orwell’s depiction of Communism in Animal Farm. Pushing others around is often justified by the pusher as doing something “for their own good,” when it is really the psychological good of the advocate that is being advanced.

      5) The desire for transcendence—for meaning in one’s life. This is often the most important reason anyone does anything, and public policy advocacy is no exception. The advocacy itself may provide the meaning—“I am doing something.” But the advocacy itself may be a second-order effect. That is, the advocacy itself does not provide transcendence, but a particular person may find transcendence through a larger frame, of which the advocacy is merely a manifestation. For example, religious belief may dictate a specific public policy, such that advocating the policy is implementing the framework that gives the advocate’s life its meaning. A pro-life activist is not given transcendence simply by fighting against abortion, but because that is part of a larger framework giving his life meaning.

      Religious transcendence is easy to understand and identify; the two things necessarily go together. Thus, the innate nature of the human desire for transcendence is best seen not in religion, but in religion substitutes—notably Communism, but that was (and is) only the progenitor of a wide range of mostly left-wing religion substitutes, including environmental extremism and certain brands of feminism. As Chesterton did not say, but should have, “When man ceases to believe in God, he does not believe in nothing, he believes in anything.” “

      • Samuel Skinner January 2, 2019 at 16:49

        3 and 4 are the same. Morality is simply a framework to justify socially acceptable uses of power and control so claiming moral superiority has the dual function of protecting oneself and opening the target to attacks by third parties.

        5 doesn’t work. Lets take the Iraq war- anti-war organization exists to protest war, Obama comes into office and staffer comes in to find everyone else has gone. Certainly no meaning in pacifism. You can claim they find meaning in serving the left, but ‘I find meaning in serving people who give me status and money’ is not different from ‘I do this for status and money’.

      • spandrell January 2, 2019 at 18:57

        “Meaning in one’s life” is a bad way of putting it. Life isn’t a word in a dictionary. What people want is purpose in life. And “purpose” here means an easy-to-follow plan which a credible goal of attaining status.

        The point of theory is to make things simpler, not more complicated. Humans don’t have a need for “transcendence”; they have a need for status. Any focus in religion assumes the wide swathes of humanity who were never religious are non-human savages. They are not. Religion is just one particular way we have of messing with status-seeking feelings in our society.

        That people **claim** to act out of a need for “transcendence” says more about what people say that what people do.

  9. Howard J. Harrison January 1, 2019 at 02:43

    I hope that you never stop writing, Spandrell. One always looks forward to the next installment. The interview went fine.

    I still believe that you remain mistaken at this point, though:

    > … It’s the result of social agreement…. Every single “concept” is like that.

    Ironically, you yourself had inadvertently introduced the right answer earlier in the interview:

    > A great way of getting to really understand a concept is to try to explain it to a random Chinese person.

    That’s better.

    > I’m one of the few, or at least one of the first, rightist writers who have been using constructivist arguments. Not only because they’re true; but also because they’re useful. Useful to undermine the present power structure.

    This is a new thought to me. Interesting. You might be right, but see what you did there? “They’re true,” you write; and to clarify, you juxtapose, “They’re useful.” As though the true and the useful were distinct.

    When challenged at the last point, a representationalist might salvage his perspective by an artifice of definition, defining truth to be a kind of evolved usefulness. Obviously, my view is that the representationalist errs, but I can hardly blame him. He had little alternative.

    I suspect that your own philosophy would feel more stable to you if you experimented with resituating the philosophy upon an old-fashioned Platonist foundation. You do not wish to do this. I get it. I think that I even understand why. But I still believe that you might, for your philosophy has much to recommend it and brings nothing (as far as I can tell) that contradicts Plato except, perhaps, your prior conviction that Plato cannot be right.

    Anyway, good interview.

  10. james January 3, 2019 at 02:54

    Great interview thanks.

  11. iWeird January 5, 2019 at 14:56

    An alternative word for “status”, which I find more descriptive, is “ranking”.

    That said, very very good interview, with a lot of precise formulations made.

    The interviewer says: “hardwired to seek status before happiness/comfort”.
    “Happiness” is a vague, chameleon-like term best avoided in such arguments.
    A lot of comfort comes from status so, again, it’s a bit tricky to separate the two.

    I once read a psychology paper saying the human mind runs 3 tasks:

    1) Resource acquisition and maintainance
    2) Social recognition acquisition and maintainance
    3) Self-esteem acquisition and maintainance

    With all the obvious links and overlap between the three.

    This is the most precise formulation I think, and all-covering inasmuch as the extroverted side of humanity is concerned.
    Which leaves out only some inward things and weird people and their minds’ tasks (a part of them anyway), like philosophy (the pursuit of truth), pure science (the pursuit of truth).

    A weird non-extroverted type may enjoy reading deep literature on a car parked by the seashore for hours. I don’t see where this falls in that 1) 2) 3) partition.
    The pleasure principle, and pleasure possibly stemming from things outside of 1 2 3, should be added for a more complete picture. However, this is psychology, and, I guess, no longer politics.

  12. Gabriel M January 6, 2019 at 09:04

    and that if Progressivism were to fall, they’d all be back picking cotton, or barefoot in the kitchen, or freezing in the shtetl

    That’s what a lot of America Jews believe (actually, that’s an understatement, they seem to believe that they would be physically exterminated by Nazi mobs), but it’s not true. The deplorable conditions of Ashkenazi Jews in 19th century Eastern Europe was a temporary blip caused by a rise in religious fanaticism coinciding with higher literacy rates among Christians and the decline in fortunes of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth/rise of the Russian empire. Even here though, Jews were far from being low status. There’s a reason that Hassidic Jews to this day walk around in the garb of Polish gentry. In general, Jews have done pretty well in a wide range of societies, all of them enormously reactionary by our standards and if being a big moneylender who can walk into the king’s court whenever he wants while openly flouting the official religion isn’t high status, I don’t really know what is.

    Same with the gays. It’s definitely possible to make them low status, perhaps even desirable, but far from being low status in the British empire, they essentially ran the public (i.e. private) school system as a mafia. Probably the majority of officials in the Indian civil service had been bummed by some homo before they were 16, despite this theoretically being a very severe criminal offense. Again, high status.

    Turning to today, the American elite isn’t made up of dumb blacks and people with bipolar on twitter. It’s made up of high IQ brahimn, east Asians, Jews and WASPs increasingly admixed with each other, who have an enormous capacity for hard work (not necessarily productive work, but hard work, the most successful ones sleep for 4 or 5 hours a day – I can’t function for more than three days straight without at least 7 hours.). Whites do fine, unless they are Scots Irish with an IQ below 100. Now, I like dumb whites and think they should be given good jobs and decent wives, but there’s no sense in telling them they would be running society if it weren’t for Bioleninism.

    With that said, Bioleninism is not a completely useless concept. It it doesn’t describe a political reality, but it does describe a political formula . The American elite claims, and substantially believes, that it acts in the interests of dumb and dysfunctional people in the same way that the Soviet elite believed it acted in the interests of industrial workers. This leads them to do a lot of dumb stuff like inciting blacks to riot and burn down their neighborhoods over the right to assault police officers. So it’s important to understand this stuff, but not get taken in by it. That biploar pansexual mudblood who spends on day on Twitter schooling people isn’t an exec at Google, zhe has no status outside of an internet forum that feeds zheir depresson, and zhe probably can barely pay zheir rent. It’s not impossible that the logic of Bioleninism will lead the the American elite to make so many concessions to NAMs that the whole system breaks down, but that wouldn’t prove that Biolneninism is actually an effective tool of political cooperation, quite the reverse.

    In short, Moldbug already said it ““That’s right. America is a communist country. For workers and peasants, read: blacks and Hispanics.” In the new version of UR, someone has added a note to this, trying to reconcile your theories. You are right that ‘biologically inferior people’ is more accurate than ‘blacks and hispanics’, but on everything else he is right.

Please comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s