Joel Kotkin on the
In “The New Class Conflict,” I describe this alliance as the New Clerisy, which encompasses the media, the academy and the expanding regulatory bureaucracy. This Clerisy already dominates American intellectual and cultural life and increasingly has taken virtual control of key governmental functions, as well as the educations of our young people. [...] Although usually somewhat progressive by inclination, the Clerisy actually functions much like the old First Estate in France – the clergy – helping determine the theology, morals and ideals of the broader population. [...] Against such established and accumulated power, even a strong November showing by the GOP may have surprisingly little effect. Indeed, even with a Republican in the White House, the Clerisy’s ability to shape perceptions, educate the young and control key regulatory agencies will not much diminish. The elevation of the Clerisy to unprecedented influence may prove this president’s most important “gift” to posterity.
Kotkin throws in some misdirection, towards “Daniel Bell [who 40 years ago] predicted … [the rise to] ‘pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.'” You can judge the credibility of this intellectual genealogy for yourself.
(Link and title stolen from Stirner.)
If you want to break an economy, democracy is the solution you’re looking for. The crucial reference is to this paper (via Cowan), dedicated to the The $42 Trillion Question: Will Rapid Growth in China and India Persist? The economic consequences of socio-political ‘progress’ are spelled out about as clearly as anyone could want:
… nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth (more than the cross-country average of 2 percent) experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition. Among 22 countries in which episodes of large democratic transition coincided with above-average growth, all but one (Korea in 1987 with an acceleration of only 0.22 percent) experienced a growth deceleration. The combination of high initial growth and democratic transition seems to make some deceleration all but inevitable. The magnitude of the decelerations was very large: The median deceleration across the 22 countries was 2.99 percent and the average deceleration was 3.53 percent.
The phenomenon of demosclerosis is already theoretically well-grounded. It appears to be a more rapidly-acting poison than even its fiercest critics have acknowledged.
(Open thread, and links.)
Ebola! Stories from Nigeria (good) and Europe (not so good). Contagion math (and from Taleb). “The End of the World: it’s sooner than you think.” Ebola as a morbid cultural indicator. Oddness and lunacy.
Fertility transitions and dysgenics. (Related.)
Some (old) background to Singularity and time preference. There’s a lot more to discuss about technology, reaction, and time horizons at some point (given time).
Taking trolls seriously.
Dampier on van Creveld on sexual privilege. Mangan on masculinity and politics. Goddesses and man at Harvard. Phalanx: “… we envision a group of men meeting regularly to do things like the following: Go to church …”
Nothing lasts forever
Stolen immediately from T-Zip, this kind of crypto-nihilistic word game has an archaic classical pedigree, is (weakly) anticipated in the Odyssey, became an obsession among the Elizabethans, and contributed the engine of Heideggerian fundamental ontology. It still guides the Outside in reading of Milton, and no doubt much else besides. It hides a gnostic-skeptical metaphysics within a commonplace resignation. Zero, time, and camouflage are bonded in chaos. Make of it what you will …
ADDED: “The Austrian theory of the business cycle has never been a radical premise. It only stipulates that any workaround of the natural cycle of economic growth must come with ensuing costs. It’s a simple law: you can’t get something for nothing. A majority of economists believe the opposite. In other words, they believe in magic.”
As an advance upon a serious engagement with this remarkable paper:
Once the fertility transition to controlled fertility occurs in a population, its fertility generally continues to decline until it is below replacement. The benefits of the new pattern are increased material wealth per person, a reduction in disease, starvation, and genocide, and upward social mobility. The main drawback is the onset of a dysgenic phase that may end civilization as we know it.
(Admit it, you’re hooked …)
The cognitive cream of the human species is just smart enough to get an inkling of how stupid it is. That’s a start.
ADDED: Remember this?
This seems right:
Razeen Sally, a visiting associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, wrote this year in Singapore’s Straits Times that: “A global city is where truly global services cluster. Business — in finance, the professions, transport and communications — is done in several languages and currencies, and across several time zones and jurisdictions. Such creations face a unique set of challenges in the early 21st century. Today, there appear to be only five global cities. London and New York are at the top, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore, Asia’s two service hubs. Dubai, the Middle East hub, is the newest and smallest kid on the block. Shanghai has global-city aspirations, but it is held back by China’s economic restrictions — the vestiges of an ex-command economy — and its Leninist political system. Tokyo remains too Japan-centric, a far cry from a global city.”
It’s a striking indication of the extent to which the world order remains structured by the Anglo-Colonial legacy. However one would like to see the world run, this hub-net is an essential clue to the way it is run now.
There’s a remarkably bad-tempered argument taking place among racial identitarians at the moment (some links here), which makes the civility and intelligence of these remarks all the more notable. (For this blog, the Social Matter discussion was a reminder of the — similarly civilized — exchange with Matt Parrott that took place in the comment thread here.)
In case anyone is somehow unclear about the quality of the neighborhood White Nationalism finds itself in, or adjacent to, it’s worth a brief composite citation from the Andrew Anglin post cited above:
You [Colin Liddell] agree with Jewish agendas, which is why you would wish to obfuscate the fact that Jews are responsible for everything by claiming we shouldn’t blame the Jews for our problems. … The reason these two [CL plus Greg Johnson] are on the same side against me is that they share the quality that they have no interest in a popular movement, and despise anyone who would attempt to take that route. … I am, unashamedly, a populist. Every successful revolutionary movement in history has been populist in nature … Hitler was a populist.
While I have to confess to finding Anglin entertaining, I hope it goes without saying that this kind of thinking has nothing at all to do with NRx. In fact, revolutionary populism almost perfectly captures what Neoreaction is not. NRx is notoriously fissiparous, but on the gulf dividing all its variants from racial Jacobinism there can surely be no controversy. So the barking you can hear in the background serves as necessary context. (This does not count as an objection to the Neo-Nazis acquiring their own state, since that would make it even easier not to live among them than it is already. Unfortunately, it is not easy to imagine the separatist negotiations going smoothly.)
Asabiyyah is an Arabic word for a reason. Unlike many of my allies on the extreme right, I see no point at all in other cultures attempting to emulate it. The idea of a contemporary Western asabiyyah is roughly as probable as the emergence of Arabic libertarian capitalism. In any case, ISIS has it now, which means they have to keep fighting, and will probably keep winning. Asabiyyah is useless for anything but war, and it dissolves into dust with peace. The only glories Islam will ever know going forward will be found on the battlefield, and it is fully aware of the fact.
Baghdad will almost certainly have fallen by the end of the year, or early next. The Caliphate will then be reborn, in an incarnation far more ferocious than the last. Its existence will coincide with a war, extending far beyond Mesopotamia and the Levant, at least through the Middle East, into the Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, across the Maghreb, and deep into Africa. If the Turks are not terrified about what is coming, they have no understanding of the situation. This is what the global momentum behind militant ‘Islamism’ across recent decades has been about. Realistically, it’s unstoppable.
Eventually, it will bleed out, and then Islam will have done the last thing of which it is capable. No less than tens of millions will be dead.
Other, industrially-competent and technologically-sophisticated civilizations have no cause for existential panic, although mega-terrorist attacks could hurt them. Any efforts they make to pacify the Caliphate-war will be futile, at best. It is a piece of fate now. The future will have to be built around it.