Archive for May, 2016

Sentences (#51)

Nationalism is far more of an Alt-Right than an NRx priority, but this was still an absolute jaw-dropper:

Globalists are motivated by humanitarian impulses. For them, the rights and well-being of the world’s people supersede the rights and well-being of the American populace. Indeed, as writer Robert D. Kaplan has observed, the liberal embrace of universal principles as foreign-policy guidance “leads to a pacifist strain … when it comes to defending our hard-core national interest, and an aggressive strain when it comes to defending human rights.” (Ellipsis in original, XS emphasis.)

Sacrifice only for matter of zero (or negative) self-interest, then. Looking back, it’s going to be hard for people to understand how this was ever politically saleable.

ADDED: They still think they can sell it, though.

May 5, 2016admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Ideology
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Quote note (#244)

Gregory Hood on George Hawley (on Paul Gottfried?) on the Right / Left distinction:

Hawley has to not only describe the history of the American conservative movement, but define what he means by “Left” and “Right.” Hawley easily dismantles classification schemes based on a person’s view of human nature or the old “individualism vs. collectivism” canard. Borrowing from Paul Gottfried, Hawley says, “The political left will be defined as containing all ideological movements that consider equality the highest political value.” In contrast, the Right is defined as: “[E]ncompassing all of those ideologies that, while not necessarily rejecting equality as a social good, do not rank at the top of the hierarchy of values. The right furthermore fights the left in all cases where the push for equality threatens some other value held in higher esteem.”

One realistic outcome of this classification scheme:

… this means thinkers as diverse as Murray Rothbard, Wendell Berry, Pat Buchanan and Alain de Benoist can all be meaningfully characterized as on the “Right,” though they have little else in common. It also implies action – you are only on the Right if you are part of something which “fights the left.” […] Though Hawley does not say this, this suggests there are many “Rights,” as each right wing movement has its vision of The Good, The Beautiful, and The True it will fight for. We can talk about the Islamic State or Polish nationalists as both being “right-wing,” even though they would gladly slaughter each other. Though every right wing movement will hold its own source of excellence or morality as supreme, in truth there are as many as there are peoples, faiths, and ideologies.

This isn’t the sort of question that’s going to be definitively settled, but the criterion sketched here has an impressive flexibility.

(XS still likes this. Some previous Right / Left remarks and linkage here, and here.)

May 5, 2016admin 73 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Sentences (#50)

A newsflash from Tyler Cowen:

European countries that refuse to share the burden of high immigration will face a financial charge of about €250,000 per refugee, according to Brussels’ plans to overhaul the bloc’s asylum rules. (XS emphasis, link is behind a paywall.)

There’s a narrative-collapse aspect to this proposal, isn’t there?

(Thanks to Nydwracu for the tip-off.)

Continue Reading

May 4, 2016admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Collapse
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Independence

The philosophical antonym to ‘universality‘ is ‘particularity’. Its broader, ideological antonym is something closer to independence.

This isn’t a word greatly emphasized by NRx up to this point, or — for that matter — one figuring prominently in contemporary discussions of any kind. That’s strange, because it orchestrates an extraordinary set of conceptual connections.

Independence is a rough synonym for sovereignty, to begin with. The profound association between these terms bears quite extreme analytical pressure. The sovereign is that instance capable of independent decision. An independent state is indistinguishable from a sovereign one, and to impugn its real sovereignty is to question its effective independence. Secession is a process of independence. A (Moldbuggian) Patchwork is a network of independent geopolitical entities. All relevant trends to geopolitical fragmentation are independence-oriented. Each executed Exit option (even on a shopping expedition) is an implicit declaration of independence, at least in miniature. (The relations between independence and connectivity are subtle and complex.)

Remaining (for a moment) in the narrowest NRx channel, the entire passivism discussion is independence related. Protest (‘activism’) is disdained on account of its fundamental dependency (upon sympathetic political toleration). No social process genuinely directed towards independence would fall within the scope of this criticism. (The ‘Benedict Option’ is one obvious example.) ‘Build something’ epitomizes independence process.

Cannot the entire range of contentions over the individualism / collectivism dyad be recast in terms of independence? Dependency exists on a spectrum, but the defining attitude towards it tends to polarization. Is dependence to be embraced, or configured as a problem to be worked against? This blog is highly tempted to project the Left / Right or ‘principal political’ dimension along the axis these distinct responses define. The Left is enthused by inter-dependency, and (to a greater or lesser extent) accepts comparative independence, while for the Right this attitudinal system is exactly reversed. (The most fundamental tensions within the reactosphere are clearly related to this articulation.)

One inevitable point of contention — honed over decades of objection to libertarianism — is captured by the question: Are not children essentially dependents? Yes, of course they are, but is growing up anything other than a process of independence? From one perspective, a family can be interpreted as a model of inter-dependence (without obvious inaccuracy). Yet, from another, a family is an independence-production unit, both in its comparative autonomy in respect to the wider society, and as a child-rearing matrix. Families are loci of independence struggle (to which the Left response is: They shouldn’t have to be). Dependency culture is the Left heartland.

Independence and autonomy are very closely related terms. All discussions of autonomy, and even of automation, click quite neatly onto this template, but this is a point exceeding the ambitions of the present post.

Abstraction, too, is a topic the tantalizingly overlaps independence. Whether cognitive independence entirely accommodates intelligence optimization is also a question for another occasion.

NRx, XS tentatively proposes, is a political philosophy oriented to the promotion of independence. (Much pushback is, naturally, expected.)

May 3, 2016admin 68 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Quote note (#243)

Andrew Sullivan (in the early stages of a piece that is certain to draw a lot of attention):

Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated in all hues.” […] This rainbow-flag polity, Plato argues, is, for many people, the fairest of regimes. The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — with shame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema. But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. …

There was a time, not so long ago, when people used to chatter about ‘late capitalism’ — but now it’s 2016.

May 2, 2016admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy
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Chaos Patch (#112)

(open thread + links)

From the reality of virtue to virtual reality. “Perfect monarchy, then, tends toward market perfection.” Spiritual security. Against WN and 1488. Parable of the Raft. Path-finders. Neoreaction a Basilisk (a view from outside). Douthat article responses from Spandrell, Nydrwracu, Bateman — and Douthat. Darwinian overlords. Stop the tech-comms. The weekly round, plus outliers.

Sean Gabb on Jews (recalling). The left/ right divide, neoliberals, libertarians, and transhumanists. Dalrymple on decay. Against the arc. Stuck in cartoons. The calamity in the Vatican.

Rain is good.” Cash in the cross-hairs. Internet-thrashed publishing. Fixing stuff. Entrepreneurial earnings. The origin of slavery, and Silicon Valley feudalism.

Austria lurches right (1, 2) (meanwhile, in Hungary). Portugal teeters. Belgium looks on the bright side. Venezuelan death rattles (1, 2, 3). Iraq crumbles. Killer submarines. Inscrutable signals from China (plus, and comment). Undead history. Hang on to hegemony (despite the heartache).

Trumpenführer panic report (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). “… don’t be surprised if the election of Donald Trump turns out to be greatest coup in Zionism’s history” (wait, what?). The Left, hard times, and annoying celebrities play their part. Who, whom. Trump’s foreign policy (1, 2). Revivalism.

Popcorn catastrophe. Owned SJWs (video). Candace Owens bites back (1, 2, 3). Atheist privilege (and response), and, also. Hugo Hell-storm (also). Hatin‘ on Tyson. Holocaust meta-revisionism. Poe’s coup. Satanic rage.

Over the cliff. Magnetosphere collapse. Winter is coming. Hacker mayhem.

Human Varieties top ten. Delicate to a fault. Intelligence genomics update. Natural born killers. HBD on the Left. More mystic racism. Why is Westeros white?

Smashing the Standard Model. The cosmic web. Graphic solar system catalog. Feynman for free. Fertilization effect. Spark of life. Conservative concerns about gene editing. The hidden Antarctic.

Cybernetic supremacy. Chinese robots (1, 2). AI Angst. Faster. Bitcoin stuff (1, 2), military blockchains, and smart contracts. The Wikipedia oligarchy (see). Where to make trillions. Rocket pr0n (video).

Psychedelic weirdness. Solitary immersion. Super-myths. Cranked-up civets. Theo-cosmic meditations.

May 1, 2016admin 27 Comments »
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