Archive for December, 2014

Chaos Patch (#40)

(Open thread, links …)

Some reactosphere highlights: Questioning secession, basedness and other values, racial double-binds, doomed boomers, a call to order, warfare in the progressive-style, Dugin on IR, deconstruction in the mosh-pit. Why capitalism really sucks (a response, in part, to this lamentable development?) — highly related. Propertarianism versus NRx (hard to distinguish from a tech-comm ‘correction’ of NRx). Bonfire of the sanities. The return of Satan (see also these). Thoughts on torture. Narrative games (link mania). “This ends the third cycle …” Fragmentation continues. Megameta.

A gateway to Silicon Valley Cyber-Apocalypticism. “In five years, an estimated 5.9 billion people will own smartphones. Anyone who can code, or who has something to sell, can be a free agent on the global marketplace. You can work from anywhere on your laptop and talk to anyone in the world; you can receive goods anywhere via drone and pay for them with bitcoins — that is, if you can’t 3-D print them at home. As software eats everything, prices will plunge. You won’t need much money to live like a king; it won’t be a big deal if your job is made obsolete by code or a robot. The rich will enjoy bespoke luxury goods and be first in line for new experiences, but otherwise there will be no differences among people; inequality will increase but cease to matter. Politics as we know it will lose relevance. Large, gridlocked states will be disrupted like any monopoly. Customer-citizens, armed with information, will demand transparency, accountability, choice. They will want their countries to be run as well as a start-up. There might be some civil wars, there might be many new nations, but the stabilizing force will be corporations, which will become even more like parts of a global government than they are today. Google and Facebook, for in-stance, will be bigger and better than ever: highly functional, monopolistic technocracies that will build out the world’s infrastructure. Facebook will be the new home of the public sphere; Google will automate everything.”

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December 14, 2014admin 25 Comments »
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Abstract Horror (Note-1a)

Robin Hanson on the Great Filter for TED. It’s too well done to hold back until next Friday. “Something out there is killing everything, and you’re next. … You should be worried.” (He has the nightmare smile down to a T.)

December 13, 2014admin 11 Comments »
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Take my eye off Anathema, and this happens:

It’s pulpy and narrative-driven, of course, but that surely has its place. Even within its limitations it helps to hold open the question — from which I’m far too easily distracted — what would an NRx aesthetic be? The thematic reflexivity is a part of that.

To be brutally frank, I’ve basically given up on the West as a source of continuing visual aesthetic achievement (symptom). Its global influence strikes me as radically toxic, promoting worthless pomo garbage wherever it gets its foot in the door, and whenever it tries to pull-out of its death spiral — to become neo-traditional — it sticks Roman columns everywhere and looks simply ridiculous. The last person who could get away with anything like that was de Chirico. Probably fascism wrecked it, as it did so many other things. Grumpiness aside, the importance of the discussion is undeniable. The consolidation which matters most takes place on the aesthetic plane.

ADDED: Huge twitter agitation about this, so I’m tacking it on, even though the connection is tenuous at best.

December 13, 2014admin 25 Comments »
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Deep State

This surely counts as a (Friday) fright night topic. Appropriately, it’s an undertow NRx theme already, although typically only casually invoked — almost allusively — as the necessary complement of the public state’s naked superficiality. Rod Dreher focuses upon it more determinedly than any NRx source I was able to rapidly pull up. (This would be an easy point for people to educate me upon.)

Dreher’s post is seriously interesting. One immediate hook:

Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral”

As a State Church, the Cathedral is essentially bound to publicity. Its principal organs — media and education — are directed towards the promulgation of faith. It tends towards an identification with its own propaganda, and therefore — in Mike Lofgren’s words — to the full manifestation of visible government. Perfect coincidence of government with the transparent public sphere approaches a definition of the progressive telos. Since Neoreaction is particularly inclined to emphasize the radical dysfunctionality of this ideal, it naturally presupposes that real government lies elsewhere. In this respect, NRx is inherently destined to formulate a model of hidden or occult government — that which the Cathedral runs upon — which inevitably coincides, in all fundamentals, with the deep state.

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December 12, 2014admin 72 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Web Junkie

This documentary movie is superb. It has China, cyberpunk saturation, metaphysics, horror, humor, and the most extreme immersion in absolute sarcasm as a strategy of elusive dissidence ever realized in any medium. Every dimension of production is executed brilliantly, and the screenplay is a masterpiece (it’s a text I’d be almost ready to kill for right now). It’s probably not an easy cultural object to get hold of, but it’s seriously worth the effort.


December 11, 2014admin 18 Comments »
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Every public institution of any value is based on distrust.

That’s an elementary proposition, as far as this blog is concerned. It’s worth stating nakedly, since it is probably less obvious to others. That much follows from it is unlikely to be controversial, even among those who find it less than compelling, or simply repulsive.

One major source of obscurity is the category of ‘high trust cultures’ — with which neoreactionaries tend naturally to identify. There is plenty to puzzle over here, admittedly. This post will make no serious effort to even scratch the surface of the questions that arise. Instead, it contends that the culture primarily commended for its trustfulness has been conspicuously innovative in the development of trustless institutions. These begin with the foundations of Occidental reason, and especially the rigorous criterion of logical and mathematical proof. A proof substitutes for trust. In place of a simple declaration, it presents (a demanded) demonstration. The compliant response to radical distrust has epitomized Western conceptions of rationality since classical antiquity.

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December 10, 2014admin 44 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Crack up

“Why oh why don’t those damned crackers just leave?”

If we’re already entering the ejection phase of neo-secessionism, it has to be a good thing, right?

December 9, 2014admin 16 Comments »
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Against the Ant People

The heated controversy running through biology right now — pronounced, at least, in its zone of intersection with the wider public sphere — seems like something that should be inciting fission within the NRx. The collision between Hamiltonian kin selection (defended most prominently in this case by Richard Dawkins) and group selection (E. O. Wilson) drives a wedge between the baseline biorealism accepted by all tendencies within the Neoreactionary Trike and the much stronger version of racial identitarianism that flourishes within the ethno-nationalist faction. Until recent times, proto-Hamiltonian hereditarianism has been strongly aligned with classical liberalism, while ideological racial collectivism represents a later — and very different — political tradition. Not so much as a chirp yet, though. Are people unpersuaded about this argument’s relevance?

On a slight tangent (but ultimately, only a slight one) Nick Szabo’s epically brilliant essay ‘Shelling Out’ is remarkable — among other things — for its profound biorealist foundations. It makes an excellent theoretical preparation for Jim’s paper on ‘Natural Law and Natural Rights’, which also draws productively upon John Maynard Smith’s game-theoretic model of the ‘evolutionary stable strategy’ as the natural substrate of psychological and cultural deep-structure.

This is an important opportunity to put down some discriminatory markers. Can we turf group selectionist ideas out of NRx entirely, or do we have to fight about it?

December 9, 2014admin 65 Comments »

Quote note (#137)

SoBL on the Running Man prophecy:

Here is the set up: 2017, world economy has collapsed, natural resources, food and oil are tapped, America had an economic cataclysm, the Big One hit California, a totalitarian police state (Cadre) exists with heavy security at airports, cultural activity is heavily censored except for the broadcast reality competition game shows. Most of America seems to live in squalid, third world conditions, there are political prisoners mixed in with regular prisoners, there are re-education camps, heavily armed helicopters are used to pacify rioters, but there is also a small number of people living a decent life with nice apartments, travel options, and spiffy clothes. There is a play on patriotism. Los Angeles has shiny towers and plenty of squalor with armed police members everywhere, resembling a Brazilian city. That is pretty horrifyingly close to today.

December 8, 2014admin 7 Comments »

Quote note (#136)

Fred Reed, on the media Balkanization tide:

Though I have spent a lifetime in journalism, I do not read a newspaper, not the New York Times nor the Washington Post nor the Wall Street Journal. Nor do I have television service.

Why? Because, having worked in that restaurant, I know better than to eat there. The foregoing media are quasi-governmental organs, predictably predictable and predictably dishonest. The truth is not in them.

Within the news racket, this isn’t news. More interesting is that a large part of the intelligent population agrees. We now have a press of two tiers, the establishment media and the net, with sharply differing narratives. The internet is now primary. The bright get their news from around the web and then read the New York Times to see how the paper of record will prevaricate. People increasingly judge the media by the web, not the web by the media.

ADDED: Another dimension of media agony. This also relevant.

ADDED: Mass media is over.

December 8, 2014admin 15 Comments »
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