Against Universalism II

Preliminary throat-clearing (as in part one): In its most rigorous construction, ‘universalism’ is robust under conditions of rational argument (i.e. evidence-based logico-mathematical criticism). Mathematical theorems, in particular [sic], are universal truths. Any assertions that can be constructed to a comparable level of formal rigor (and ultimately mechanization) can lay claim to the same status. However, with the slightest departure from this — rigidly algorithmic — criterion, controversy rapidly begins. This is not the place and time to argue the case for transcendental philosophy (within which praxeology in included), but such a case could be made. Ditto strictly proceduralized empirical science. All of this is a digression.

The question of universalism as it concerns us here is not a matter of meta-mathematics, epistemology, or the philosophy of science. It is rather directed at the political scope of argument. Is it mandatory to demand that argument, according to the highest principles of (logical) cognitive compulsion, be imposed globally? Does the quality of argument — however exalted — require its unrestricted application across space and time? It is the affirmative response to this question that defines universalism in its ideological sense. Pure Jacobinism, of course, answers yes. There is a universal duty to compel submission to the truth. This is the secular form of evangelical salvationism.

The contrary suggestion, here defended, is that — under real global conditions — universalism is a catastrophic mistake. The social scope of rational discussion is itself strictly bounded, and attempts to extend it (coercively) beyond such limits are politically disastrous. Laissez-faire envelops the sphere of imperative rationality, and respects its practical contour. Stupidity does not need to be hunted down and exterminated. All historical evidence indicates that it cannot be.

If the universal triumph of reason is an impractical goal, democratic globalism is exposed as a preposterous error. Minimizing the voice of stupidity is the realistic — and already extremely challenging — alternative. Rare enclaves of rigorously self-critical realism have as their primary obligation the self-protection of their (evidently precarious) particularity. In the wider world, fanatical ignorance and grotesque cognitive malformation rage rampantly. Borders, filters, tests, and selection mechanisms of all kinds provide the only defenses against it.

The universalist (Jacobin) model is always a conversation. You have to join together first, simply to talk, and after that reason will prevail. That’s the path of the Zeitgeist — Hegelianism at its most arcane, expedient progressivism at more common levels of popularity — with its twin-stroke motor of aggressive proselytization and mass embrace.
“Invade the world, invite the world” is the Sailer formula (quasi-random link). Amalgamate, then elevate (in the direction of ascending rationality). This isn’t a (theoretically convincing) claim about the unique structure of mathematical proof, it’s a (factually trashed) claim about the global uniformity of human brains. The ‘universality’ it invokes is that of convergence upon the authority of reason. In other words, it’s a bizarre progressive myth that all self-protective sanity seeks to maximally distance itself from.

People learn, but only very rarely through sophisticated argument, or its ‘cunning‘ socio-political avatars. They learn because they fail badly, and it hurts. ‘Mankind’ is a progressive myth, incapable of learning anything. When real cultures learn, it is because they have been locked in intimate particularity, such that the consequences of their own cognitive processes impact intensely upon them. Anything that separates an individual, or a group, from the results of its own thoughts, is an apparatus of anti-learning. Progressive universalism is precisely this.

Dis-amalgamation — isolation — is the way to learn. It’s how speciation happens, long before learning becomes neurological. Individuation (at whatever scale) establishes the foundation for trade, communication, and intellectual exchange. Micro-states commercialize. Macro-states decay into political resource allocation, and entropic sludge. Protect your own patch if you want to have anything to talk about.

There’s going to be a lot of talk about ‘universalism’ rolling in:

It’s a suicidal ideology in its death-spasm phase, but it won’t die quietly.

ADDED:

If the West could still do imperialism, that would be one thing, but it can’t (and can’t even stop doing the opposite).

April 28, 2016admin 96 Comments »
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96 Responses to this entry

  • Against Universalism II | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Against Universalism II […]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 2:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Jeffrey S. Says:

    Long time lurker, first time commenter.

    I agree with this post, politically. However, as a Christian, I’m compelled by the truth of my religion and the Great Commission to spread the universal message of the Gospel to the world.

    On a practical level, this doesn’t mean much other than encouraging crazy countries like China to be nice to Christians and/or pushing back against Islam.

    [Reply]

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    I’m compelled by the truth of my religion and the Great Commission to spread the universal message of the Gospel to the world.

    Classic #nrx response: each population interprets “truth” according to what it can understand and what it desires on a biological level. No one book is universally understood.

    [Reply]

    Jeffrey S. Reply:

    Yes, and why #nrx wrong.

    On the other hand, again, from a practical standpoint we agree on much — I wouldn’t be in favor of imposing Christian beliefs at the barrel of a gun and so our foreign policy ideas would probably align.

    I just think certain philosophical and religious ideas (i.e. classical Christian ideas about God, natural law, Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, the truth of the Bible, etc.) are indeed true for all people, despite their biology and therefore difficulty of understanding some of these ideas. That doesn’t mean stupid folks can’t get the basics and worship Christ.

    [Reply]

    Irving Reply:

    >Classic #nrx response: each population interprets “truth” according to what it can understand and what it desires on a biological level.

    Since when did this become the “classic #nrx response”?

    Interpretation is done at the individual, not at the population, level. Populations may come to consensus positions on certain questions, but the individual is always capable of dissenting from that consensus, and putting forth and defending his own position.

    Moreover, the idea that truth has anything to do with what an individual or a population “desires on a biological level” is laughable by itself. Yet even more laughable is that you would express such an idea on this blog, whose author has in a sense dedicated his intellectual life to struggling against the ‘human security system’, which is to say the idea that truth is something that must be tailored to the interests, biological or otherwise, of human beings.

    [Reply]

    wu-wei Reply:

    @Irving

    Key word “interprets”.

    Papua highlanders have a measured IQ in the 60s – what is truth to them? Quantum mechanics?

    We know enough of the “universal truth” to know that classical mechanics is an illusion. Quantum realism states that wave/particle duality is nothing more than pattern-matching to monkey-brain; it’s not “real”. Are Papua highlanders expected to understand this “truth”? Of course not. They are as physically incapable of understanding the fact as a fish is capable of understanding water.

    For all practical purpose, “truth” to a Papua highlander, as properly interpreted, is constrained by the very biological limitations and imperatives of the individual – which is itself a function of the group, not only in the genealogical sense, but in the memetic, cultural meaning as well.

    Consensus among monkeys is surely not an evolutionary coincidence. It exists because individual monkeys are very rarely effective at determining “truth” on their own; we have evolved in a social context, and any abstract discussion of “universalism” which negates the group dynamic is facile.

    Is the particular tribalism of a given Papua highlander population “truth”? Does it matter? If chemistry is beyond your grasp, does it matter if fire is given by a God, or is instead a phlogiston-like phenomena? Or electrons jumping around? Or a description of quantum amplitudes?

    More to the point, if group enforcement of some arbitrary behavior – which serves the function of survival with respect to that particular population – is itself rationalized behind some vale of false-truth, how can it not be considered “truth” with respect to that population? That is, if your consolidated biological imperative consists of “survive” and “reproduce” (which reduced further, is really just “reproduce).

    This is not to suggest crude relativism; to us, standing outside the ocean, we can clearly see that the fish swims in water. But “truth”, in the abstract, really is in a sense driven by particularism – and particularism is driven by the biological needs of the population.

    John Reply:

    >> However, as a Christian, I’m compelled by the truth of my religion

    lmfao gtfo with that churchian shite

    [Reply]

    Jeffrey S. Reply:

    Do you believe in God?

    [Reply]

    Mariani Reply:

    The Alex Jones in me is convinced that the recent trend of comments like these is part of a psy op to degrade the intellectual underpinnings of neoreactionary thought.

    Anyway, the Christian (or more generally religious) belief in universal truth is not the same as Jacobin universalism, since it deals with the purported positive truth of the metaphysical that is akin to, as admin put it, the universal truths of mathematical theorems.

    I believe in the “universalism” of mathematics, and I believe in the “universalism” of Catholic teaching. There’s very little “should” in my universal beliefs that that isn’t directly extracted from an “is” (combined with basic values), be it logical-empirical or metaphysical.

    Jacobins don’t talk about metaphysics or logic when they talk about the universal, though. When they do talk about “logic,” they aren’t talking about deducing which relationships are necessarily true. They usually use the goofy RationalWiki definition of the word, which is “things that are smart and good and cool.”

    [Reply]

    AureliusMoner Reply:

    Thank you, especially for pointing out that the universalism of evangelization is not at all the same as the universalization of Jacobinism, which simply absorbs all things into the nihilistic transvaluation of values.

    As a Catholic and a Reactionary (I won’t prefix “neo” to that), I’m capable of understanding how the Gospel, despite being true for everyone, need not involve a monoculture or even a thorough-going destruction of what is good in local cultures. When the Spaniards came to the Americas, they realized they were dealing with a primitive people; they did indeed have to essentially educate and civilize them, bestowing upon them the Roman civilization more or less whole-cloth, though even still, the native influence is felt in South American Catholicism. Far different, was St. Francis Xavier’s approach when he went to the Japanese. He conformed himself to their customs, he realized that they had an advanced culture in place and explained the Gospel in the terms of their own philosophical vocabulary. And, on the more basic level, yes, even their sacred symbols and imagery were adapted to Christian expressions.

    In other words, the universality of the Gospel did not amount to an annihilation or relativistic dissolution of Japanese culture; it found a way to respect all the natural good of Japan, while adding a supernatural good to this. Indeed, it would be accurate to say that Jacobinism, the Transvaluation of Values, the philosophy of the Antichrist, generally, is a perverse mockery of the actual universalism of the Church. The Church’s universalism accents what is good in a culture, draws it out, gives it greater definition, supernaturally exalts it; monocultured multiculturalism blurs, blunts and smears everything it absorbs into its indifferentiated mass.

    This also upholds the Catholic principle of subsidiarity – that things should be kept as close to the local and particular level as possible, and should rise to more generalized jurisdictions/control only when absolutely necessary. Hence the Church is truly a communion of particular Churches – the touchstone of unity in the supreme doctrinal and disciplinary authority is important (and even this is normally exercised in concert with a gathering of the heads of particular Churches), yet the supreme doctrinal and disciplinary authority also acknowledges the vital and legitimate role of the particular Churches. From this multiplicity of rites, the varieties of local genii, the differing charismata of manifold religious orders and states in life, arises a constant exchange of local goods with a view to mutual and common benefit. Or, as Land put it: “Individuation (at whatever scale) establishes the foundation for trade, communication, and intellectual exchange.” The Church doesn’t want to be a singularity, so much as an intercommunion that shows forth something of the nature of God – Who is simple and single, yet contains in Himself the entirety of that which appears to us as an infinite variety.

    But, our host indicated that his focus was more on the over-valuation of political argumentation than on actual universals of philosophical truth, so Jeffrey’s reference to the Gospel strikes me as a bit tangential, in context. As I understand him, Land isn’t saying that a ruler would not impose truth or rule in accord with universal principles, nor that folk would have to refrain from all encouragement of the adoption of said principles, so much as that there is no good reason to assume (and act) as if all people would eventually become good and harmonious citizens if only “dialogue” and public debate could be increased to a theoretical maximum, when “reason shall prevail.” Plenty of people will have to be left in their ignorance, and the main task of the ruler in regards to them is to minimize their voice, not “defeat it in the marketplace of ideas.” This also seems perfectly Catholic to me, as the Church condemns the concept of rights abstracted from objective morality, and so has no appreciation for “free speech,” “freedom of religion,” etc. – at least, not as matters of absolute rights. We’re far more interested in shutting such persons up, or exiling them (or, in extreme cases, lighting them on fire), than in hearing them interviewed on Oprah so that “reason can prevail.” What a laugh!

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Hello sir,

    Might you spare a moment to talk about Kek?

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 2:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Mathematical theorems, in particular [sic], are universal truths.

    Humans can easily confuse “no context,” a specific laboratory-style context, and “all contexts” when dealing with mathematics. These rules are best understood as principles that must be interpreted in specific contexts. This is the difference between theory and application. Thus while these are universals in a sense, it is only within the context of abstraction that theory and application are one and the same.

    [Reply]

    Jeffrey S. Reply:

    Sure, but more broadly we can use mathematics and science to build technology — to engineer anywhere in the world. A bridge in Seattle is built on the same principles as a bridge in Nairobi or Baku or Hanoi, just adjusting the specifications to local conditions. But the material science principles behind the engineering remain the same wherever the bridge is built. That is why modernity is so powerful — technology (and capitalism) can work wherever you go…

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 3:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    I think, scientifyc universalism only holding on good amount of approximations each time and then go bara boom periodically. for example most significant recent discovery in particles physics was higgs boson. it is quite universal as only possible, becuse all other particles depend higgs boson. new Standard model of physics was created, and all calculations holds nicely. but physics now in complete mess again. it hardly can be worked out in next 110 years. thefe is number of holes in that model and other utterly cofusing staff, for example there is 4 interractions in physics and according to new model gravitation weakest amongst all of it. it is so weak, that Newton must be turing in his grave and we may need to carry some dumbels in pockets when next time going outside. and please dont forget to give few heavy objects to kids and wife, not sure about cars, more heavy is better quite obviously.

    universality not holds anywhere, amen.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 6:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Toddy Cat Says:

    As has been noted above, there is a huge difference between believing in absolute truth (religious, mathematical, or otherwise) and Jacobin/Neocon “Universalism”. There are of course attempts by people like Podhoretz to muddy the waters, for obvious reasons, but believing that Jesus Christ is Lord, or that 2+2=4 for that matter, does not in any way make one a “Universalist” in the Neocon sense. As for trying to depict Thomas Jefferson, who was a slave-owning small government aristocrat, as a “Universalist” in the Neocon sense, one would think that even Podhoretz would be embarrassed…

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 8:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Tangential definition matter that may need clarification.

    When I mention the Jeffersonian Administrative system I mean Jeffersonian Democracy: the Republic mirrored in every town. Might better be called Jacksonian…considering it’s being upheld at present by the 2d Amendment.

    I do NOT mean universalism nor even universal suffrage – which I’m against.

    Absolutely I don’t mean Podheretz’s neocon formulation.

    America can use this administrative system as leverage and legitimacy against it’s predator Federal entity.

    It does not export – anywhere.

    [Reply]

    Toddy Cat Reply:

    I would hope that everyone would understand this, despite Neocon obscurantism. There is a huge difference between believing in objective truth, and spreading World Revolution via the power of the State. The conflation of these two things is very recent, and deliberate. There’s a huge difference between Charlemagne (who after all, believed in universal Christian values) and Leon Trotsky.

    [Reply]

    NRK Reply:

    But Charlemagne actually did spread World Revolution whereever he could, ask the Saxons.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Anon Says:

    The persistent presence of Churchians in the nrx corner of the internet is embarrassing and strange.

    [Reply]

    Anon Reply:

    For example:

    “The Alex Jones in me is convinced that the recent trend of comments like these is part of a psy op to degrade the intellectual underpinnings of neoreactionary thought.”

    The “intellectual underpinnings” of neoreactionary thought were degraded the moment it was co-opted by people who actually drank the Kool-aid, ie people who try to put a face on Gnon, ie the Christians who litter up the comment sections here like Jeff and AJP.

    We get it: you see NRx as a conduit through which you can critique modernity and still feel righteous for having wasted your time taking Aquinas seriously. The idea that an unironic self proclaimed Christian can browse these places without realizing his shared history with modem progressives is honestly baffling. Nick just did a post recalling Yarvin’s musings on the Puritans, and yet I see Jeff and the always-autistic Alan J. Perrick here shitting up the comment section with their Red Queen holiness babble. Tertullian has been reincarnated except instead of as a Westboro Baptist he’s taken the form of the undergrad tumblrite. We can probably thank Kant for reformulating “Do unto others” into terms people who follow the I Fucking Love Science page on Facebook are able to accept.

    The [Modern, unironic] Christian conception of the noumenous is childish and unimaginative. It’s also a diluted version of Judaism so it’s not even original. Discussion of this nature brings nothing to the table, it has no explanatory power, it’s frankly boring and I don’t know why it’s indulged.

    [Reply]

    Mariani Reply:

    You just need to realize that a lot of things are orthogonal to one another

    [Reply]

    wu-wei Reply:

    Feels like a lot of the confusion (and conflict) surrounding this topic conflates the universalism of “behavior”, with that of other universals.

    Does 2 + 2 = 4? Yes. Yes, it does.

    Does the behavior of a particular dog breed equal that of another? No. No it does not.

    Does the behavior of an average Swede, IQ 103~, equal that of an average Somali, IQ 68~? Well…

    So the speed of light is the same, no matter who or where you are. But does a Quaker interpretation of the bible suit all populations? Some more than others, surely. Same thing with “liberalism”. For other communities, an (American) Southern-baptist interpretation would probably suit them better (fire and brimstone are effective motivators for some). And for yet others, none of the above; they require something different to Christianity altogether. Of course, this may produce conflict with the Christians; if one group destroys the other, then observing that consequence itself elucidates more about the “true universal” than any abstract pseudo-intellectual speculation possibly could.

    There is this very innate ape-like desire to impose your “universal behavior” upon the world, to assume that what works well for you and your particular community must – by its very nature as a universal truth – be optimal for every other. But then, most particularisms explicitly eschew other cultures, races, and populations, so conquest historically takes the form of actual conquest; either slaughtering the defeated, or allowing them to maintain their culture – so long as they pay tribute and submit – as the Romans, Greeks, and Ottomans did (for the most part). Conversion is a waste of energy. The level of deference which our modern western egalitarian universalism, tabula rasa, demands is really quite spectacular.

    [Reply]

    Skilluminati Reply:

    And here I thought we were all Anarcho-Discordian Accelerationists comparing business plans.

    [Reply]

    Toddy Cat Reply:

    First of all, I’m not a Churchian, I’m a Christian. Secondly, modern American Christians have no greater enemy than the Polygon/Cathedral. I have no problem uniting with our atheist comrades to destroy a common enemy, and I have no idea why an atheist should object to the presence of Christians. After all Carlyle was a Christian.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 9:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRK Says:

    It still completely eludes me how you think you get to appreciate things like learning, individuation, trade, communication, intellectual exchange, and the general right of any particular entity to exist without universalist infringement, without thereby entering the dialectic. All of those things can only be endorsed against universalism by its immanent critique; vulgo: by complaining that universalism is insufficiently universalist.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If existence were to rest upon a ‘right’ (i.e. political consent), I’d be forced to agree — but that would be to concede everything.

    [Reply]

    NRK Reply:

    The brute fact of existence certainly is prior to any notion of rights, even though their revocation can become, let’s say, a challenge. Considering the things that keep existence from being brutish and short, like individuation, exchange etc etc, idk, rights do seem to be important in that regard, that’s why they are a thing. In fact, to even comprehensively conceive of these achievements as desirable seems to imply some sort of appeal to that dread global authority of reason. Now, I gather that the NRx (or at least XS) party line seems to be that technology eventually will eliminate that unwieldy need for recognition by the not-so-great other, instead allowing for a life in space, employed by your board computer-cum-hedge fund manager -which will of course grant you your full exit rights Rights?! by pointing to the air lock.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    I think you mistake OP for a plea. It’s not. It’s a cold observation: that evolutionary learning happens via speciation; that learning at all levels happens via individuation. It’s a statement that reality is on our side.

    In case anyone still hasn’t got the memo: DENRx is not about arguing or pleading. We’re trying to figure out boundary conditions of hard and soft security.

    As Nassim Taleb recently noted in a tweet, the problem of agency is core. Although democracy particularly aggravates it, the problem originates from scale; or as admin puts it: amalgamation. This is not to say—in a manner reminiscing of libertarians—that if only everyone recognized this fact, we would all be better off. No. There is no pleading here. We’re exploring feasible ways of orderly fragmentation—which will be orders of magnitude nastier if it happens later rather than sooner.

    ————-

    Reactionary Future is right that liberalism is a malware delivery vector employed by the high-low mechanism. We get our firmware updates from cultural matrix. There’s no firewall, there’s no write-protection. Our goal computation I/O ports are wide open to culture, listening all ears. What do? The only working solution I can see with my admittedly limited knowledge of history is an absolute theocracy. All teleological firmware updates must be authenticated by a single trusted source: only the Cathedral can sign fatwas. This solves the problem of agency with remarkable efficacy at the cost of catastrophically retarding cultural learning. Sovereignty is remarkably secure in a theocracy, but individuals no longer learn. This is isomorphic to the problem observed in command economies: price discovery mechanism is clogged.

    My intuition is that true ownership is synonymous with pawnage. If you want to own (even if partially via contracts) teleogenesis capable agents, you have to command their goal computation mechanism, especially their goals-related I/O ports — which translates to mind-control — which in turn means retardation.

    Thus, fragmentation (all the way down to the smallest teleogenesis capable agent) seems to be the alternative to evolutionary cul-de-sacs (I’m looking at you FAI zealots).

    NRK Reply:

    First of all, the assumption that reality is on anybody’s side is the rare, unfiltered essence of whig history. Furthermore, if NRx doesn’t argue, it isn’t even a side that reality could be on if reality could be on sides. But of course there’s arguing, what else do you think you’re doing right now?
    As for pleading, my guess is that NRx doesn’t plead because there’s nothing that it stands to gain by pleading; if there was, it would plead, anything else would be suicidal madness.
    And since you’re doing the same thing as Nick, the question goes out to you as well:
    Learning!
    Hard and Soft Security!
    Agency!
    Escaping evolutionary cul-de-sacs!
    What are they good for (unless conceived of as standing in dialectical relation with the universal)?
    Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

    frank Reply:

    So when I predict that you’ll die if you jump off the roof of a skyscraper, I’m being a Whig historian. Got it.

    >if NRx doesn’t argue

    Nice straw man, I almost fell for it.

    Fuel efficiency!
    Durability!
    Reliability!
    High power output!

    What are they good for in a car engine (unless conceived of as standing in dialectical relation with the universal)?
    Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

    NRK Reply:

    It should be clear that making an accurate prediction, and reality being on your side are two quite separate things, and that both your original comment and my reply treated them as such. So who’s strawmanning now?

    Talking about strawmen, both Nick’s writings on universalism and your own post are quite explicit in rejecting the notion that there is any sort of argument for NRx to engage in, which is at the same time performatively inconsistent and trivially true for the simple materialistic reason that you’ll never convince any majority of the notion that their rational self-interest shouldn’t be politically relevant.

    Also, Gnon frowns upon those who use meme arrows in polite society.

    Finally, of course all the aspects of the functionality of a car can only be appreciated, nay, even be conceived of in their dialectical relation with the historical development, the societal formation, the modes of production, the evolution of human needs and aspirations and the dialectical interrelations between all those and more, that make such a thing both conceptually possible and, well, real.

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 9:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    To get sidetracked a little bit, it is quite possible to do controversial mathematics. For instance, the Axiom of Choice leading to the Banach-Tarski paradox:

    “the Cartesian product of a collection of non-empty sets is non-empty”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_choice

    “Given a solid ball in 3‑dimensional space, there exists a decomposition of the ball into a finite number of disjoint subsets, which can then be put back together in a different way to yield two identical copies of the original ball.” (using the axiom of choice)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banach%E2%80%93Tarski_paradox

    [Reply]

    ||||| Reply:

    https://math.stanford.edu/~feferman/papers/intuition.pdf

    [Reply]

    Xoth Reply:

    A pleasant paper, I enjoyed it.

    “Logic sometimes breeds monsters.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 9:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    I’d appreciate it if the atheist attack-pack here would do a little tonal self-policing. If the discussion degenerates into a profanity-saturated shouting session, I’ll have to wade in with the machete of doom (which would be grisly and time-consuming).

    [Reply]

    Anon Reply:

    Got it, but the gravatar trolling was pretty silly.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    No restrictions on what can be said here, but if it can be formulated in a way that doesn’t sound like an attempt to start a bar-fight, that’s appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 1:35 am Reply | Quote
  • ||||| Says:

    “Mathematical theorems, in particular [sic], are universal truths.”

    Debatable since mathematicians can’t reach universal consensus on what mathematics even is.

    Concept of truth is mostly hollow (and supremely anthropocentric arrogant) idolatry anyways.

    [Reply]

    wu-wei Reply:

    Well, to the extent that math is “universal”, it is a description of tautologies. And tautologies are, by definition, universal.

    [Reply]

    Xoth Reply:

    The tautology still depends on your underlying proof system (or philosophy, if you will). For example, constructive mathematics does not allow use of reductio ad absurdum.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Agreement is a very weak foundation for the universal. Computational mechanism is far more secure (as intuited since Leibniz).

    Rigorous formalization is essentially algorithmic. If the procedure is mechanically executable, argument is superfluous.

    [Reply]

    slumlord Reply:

    Godel?

    [Reply]

    ||||| Reply:

    I made another one of my huge and confusing posts again but scrapped it since that would veer off topic so I’ll just drop these three links and leave it at that.

    http://r6.ca/Goedel/goedel1.html

    http://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/cbenzmueller/papers/C52.pdf

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3094787.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    [Reply]

    Mariani Reply:

    Our friend pragmatism can help us here.

    Planes predictably fly, math predictably works. Whether it is “true” in some sort of noumenal sense is entirely another matter

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Whatever the cognitive capacities that allow us to use the word “noumenal” with some glimmer of sense, they are unlikely to be established at a higher level of reliability than those supporting mathematical insight. (The inside / outside distinction, for instance — of special value to transcendental philosophy, and of course the determination of the noumenon — draws upon no intellectual capacities essentially separate from, still less superior to, those exploited in the course of formal topology.)

    How does the outside of mathematics relate to the mathematics of the outside? (A question that is ironical, and topological, in approximately equal measure.)

    Thought is far too twisted to put mathematics in its place. (Note |||||’s apposite Gödel invocation.)

    [Reply]

    ||||| Reply:

    The point was more to blow away an incipient crypto-subjectivism whose epidemiological vector is certainty. I don’t know how to express it adequately, should probably read more Deleuze to get good terms.

    Hence the link to “Experiments in Computational Metaphysics”. (questioning the alleged boundary between argument and formal procedure, mechanization is no proper rampart against imbecilities – and then there’s the Consistency Question)

    If mathematicians can’t agree on what constitutes mathematics then the term “mathematical theorems are universal truths” is a rorschach test, broccoli (vide https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Litany_of_Tarski http://puu.sh/oBkW1/af7a3b3524.png ).

    http://puu.sh/ozLgS/71a2ee791b.png
    http://puu.sh/oAfsK/597300618a.png
    http://puu.sh/oAgiT/7620f26be3.png
    http://puu.sh/oAgfT/e4b8097e58.png

    Note the contractual flavour.

    “How does the outside of mathematics relate to the mathematics of the outside?”

    lmao, I’ve said before (not around here) that I’m more interested in the mathematics of philosophy than philosophy of mathematics.

    (I need to set up a shadow blog to learn how to write, make this cohere and interrogate away apophenia)

    slumlord Reply:

    Whatever the cognitive capacities that allow us to use the word “noumenal” with some glimmer of sense, they are unlikely to be established at a higher level of reliability than those supporting mathematical insight

    That’s because, respectfully, you’re conceptually muddled. Let me rephrase that sentence differently.

    Whatever the cognitive capacities that allow us to use the word “optical” with some glimmer of sense they are unlikely to be established at a higher level of reliability than those supporting mathematical insight.

    You can’t derive the validity of empirical “experience” from mathematical/logical insight, empirical phenomena are by their nature axiomatic. The underlying premise of all sense data is that the experience of them is an non-formulaically derived observation of reality. (The understanding of them is a different matter.)

    Consider the following.

    Imagine you’re a blind person. Everyone around you is talking about shapes and colors, how do you verify empirically that these phenomenon are real? As a blind person, there’s no way you can empirically determine experience the existence of colours nor derive the experience from the truth of mathematics. A blind Positivist (or its variants) would therefore have to assume that color is not real.

    From the position of the blind positivists, talk about the colours red and orange are discussions about the noumenous. Mystical insights into the nature of matter from which they are cut off. The problem then is how to verify their veracity?

    Answer: The Blind Positivist can’t.

    And the reason is because he is stuck behind a Godel wall. The axiom set from which form the basis of his formal system is insufficient to prove the other truths. They may be true but he cannot prove/disprove them. The only way to move the Godel wall and increase the range of accessible truths is to expand the axiom set.

    If you stop thinking about Christianity as a religion and instead consider it as a formal system, it’s foundational axiom set is greater than that of positivism, hence it’s ability to access truths which positivism can’t.

    In terms of axiom generation, positivism has the five senses. Christianity has six, i.e. faith. Faith being a perceptual rather than intellectual quality. Furthermore, Christianity teaches that this “sixth sense” is dished out rather arbitrarily by God, don’t ask my why. The problem for the man without faith is akin to the blind positivist, how do you prove the noumenal? I have a lot of sympathy for rigorous atheists who think it all a bit of mumbo jumbo. Bit like the blind guy who thinks talk about colours is all a load of shite.
    Still, Godel mocks the positivists.

    Interestingly, when Christ talks about the unbelievers he frequently does so in perceptual terms. “You gave them eyes but they cannot see”. An interesting correspondence,no?

    admin Reply:

    If you can see the noumenon, it isn’t the noumenon (or purely ‘intelligible object’) by definition. Attributing the relevant ‘vision’ to a ‘sixth sense’ doesn’t make any difference to that.

    ||||| Reply:

    “In terms of axiom generation, positivism has the five senses. Christianity has six, i.e. faith. Faith being a perceptual rather than intellectual quality. Furthermore, Christianity teaches that this “sixth sense” is dished out rather arbitrarily by God, don’t ask my why. ”

    http://puu.sh/oC3Va/5a19daaa06.png

    @admin

    See what I mean?

    http://puu.sh/oC57h/09b6db43da.png

    http://puu.sh/oC4rh/e729c315a4.png

    http://puu.sh/oC4xQ/ac19624ed4.png

    http://puu.sh/oC4AU/54f9bffdc3.png

    http://puu.sh/oC4Px/786c5ed949.png

    http://puu.sh/oC4Uk/f047b7b616.png

    http://puu.sh/oC50Q/5caa9530da.pdf

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 5:35 am Reply | Quote
  • Shlomo Maistre Says:

    Universalism cannot be defeated in any final, permanent, transcendent sense. Its ascendence is endemic to the process of societal entropy, which is concomitant with our mortal realm by virtue of original sin.

    Insofar as universalism can be defeated on a temporary basis and in particular cases, then (within the West) Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Traditionalist Catholics may defeat it.

    These are religious groups with particularist orientations to the wider world; they collectively possess religious dogmas with eugenic not dysgenic cultural mechanisms; they pass on their traditions outside of Progressive memes and without universalist cultural infrastructure; and most importantly their religious doctrines are platonic on metaphysics and epistemology. Their birth rates are high, their intermarriage rates are low, and (as a consequence of their Platonic doctrines) their cultures are inherently opposed to Progressivism’s universalist tendencies.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 6:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Slumlord Says:

    A couple of things going on over here.

    Firstly, objective truth is universal. Subjective truth’s universality is contingent upon it being coherent with objective truth.

    Secondly. Has positivism the ability to access all truths? Because if there are truths that cannot be accessed by the senses then positivism is false. Godel supports the latter option.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 7:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Slumlord Says:

    Sorry, should be more precise.

    Positivism isn’t false, it’s simply limited in the truths it can access. Where positivism becomes malignant is where it asserts that there are no truths beyond what it can access simply by virtue of the fact that it cannot access them.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Are there still positivists? I’d thought it was a long dead philosophy.

    [Reply]

    NRK Reply:

    Nowadays the term seems to mainly designate the “critical rationalism” of popperian provenience (blaming Adorno for this is probably the one instance where I agree with the cultural marxism meme), which has become its substitute despite the fact that it solves the misgivings of vienna-school positivism by introducing some downright outrageous metaphysics, mainly because it sits quite well with the self-image of the average philosophically illiterate scientist, and even better with the aspirational self-image of the average scientifically and philosophically illiterate science fanboy.

    [Reply]

    slumlord Reply:

    Yep. It’s the religion of fedora wearing neckbeards.

    slumlord Reply:

    BTW. It’s not just shitty metaphysics it shitty logic.

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 7:45 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    >When real cultures learn

    they do it in a Kuhnian way, the generation with belief X will keep having belief X no matter what, but as they get older and die they are slowly replaced by the next generation with belief Y. E.g. in a random ex-Soviet country, everybody 80 years old never really grasped the transitition to capitalism at all, everybody 50 years old believes in gangsta crony-capitalism, and everybody 25-30 years old believes in startup hipster-capitalism.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 8:52 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    Theoretically, we could genetically engineer human brains so that there are no hereditary or sex differences, give everybody the exact same upbringing and culture, and then they could run on universalism? My point is, is it “merely” a question of such expendiency, or something deeper? Is it something that just keeps failing because we don’t yet have a sufficient level of technology for it, or is it more of that accelerationist stuff that progress requires competition and competition requires difference? (The fact that I would find that kind of uniform-humanity personally repulsive is entirely beyond the point, it’s not about preferences.)

    [Reply]

    Shlomo Maistre Reply:

    “Theoretically, we could genetically engineer human brains so that there are no hereditary or sex differences, give everybody the exact same upbringing and culture”

    Can we do that in theory? I have my doubts. And what about in reality? I suspect that there are aspects to individuality that mere man can never get rid of. Genetic engineering can only be as thorough & complete as the engineer’s capacity for understanding permits. Further, even equality in appearance were it by some magic achieved might not be equality in fact.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 9:03 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    I have to raise again what has been raised before, that a categorical rejection of universalism and a categorical acceptance of capitalism is inconsistent. Capitalism is best understood as something specifically fitting Western culture / minds, in Moscow it feels as foreign as whisky. However, if it can be assumed that the more capitalist a culture is, the more successful it is and is going to one way or another colonize or dominate the other cultures, capitalism is going to engineer universalism anyway – and this is not speculation, it is already a fact. Look at how the gigantic human differences in ethnic, folk clothing were taken over by the neo-Western t-shirt+ jeans, suits, or tracksuits style all over the planet, goat herders in the most remote parts of Tajikistan wear (fake) Nike tracksuits and tees. How is capitalism then not universalizing?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Surely there’s a huge difference between influence and evangelization. Cartesian coordinate geometry has to a massive extent universalized itself, but only in the first sense. It’s precisely in order to let people learn their way (convergently) to realism that universalistic politics should be rejected (and Darwinian negligence installed in its place).

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 9:10 am Reply | Quote
  • Destroy Israel Says:

    Religious transcendence in Christianity is limited to women and homosexuals. This is why church attendance in Latin America is overwhelmingly female; the men (correctly) perceive that the female takes to Christianity out of an erotic fantasy of sexual union with the supreme of the Alpha Males. Whether the white Christian Aryan Jesus, or the black Jesus of the black churches, Jesus is never depicted as a fat nerd wearing glasses. He is naked, has rock hard abs, and is depicted as attractive. And he loves you no matter what. The Christian woman worships her Lord and Savior, and her worship includes sexual favors. She [… Theo-porn segment removed to avoid rioting].

    Even the ancient Jews knew this. One of the most astounding books of the Bible is the Song of Songs, which the ancient Jews correctly interpreted as a relationship between Israel and God. It is a sexual relationship, and as it is inappropriate to imagine yourself as the man and God as the women, the man must imagine –himself– as the women being penetrated by God. The Church eventually learned this as well, with it being most powerfully expounded by Bernard of Clairvaux.

    The religious Christian knows this, and part of their hatred for the homosexual is because the homosexual doesn’t choose to indulge in this erotic fantasy as well.

    Christianity did not survive intellectually past the 19th century. What really did it in was the Higher Criticism. Men like Bruno Bauer and David Strausss destroyed any basis for believing any of this nonsense, and it is now apparent that the fiercest Christian males do so out of love for the erotic autogynephilic fantasy they have with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Or they’re just homos and kiddy-diddlers.

    [Reply]

    Jeffrey S. Reply:

    You sir are insane.

    I just wanted to thank our host for censoring your comments — nothing like good old fashioned censorship!

    I also wanted to note the sensible comments up above by both Mariani and AureliusMoner. I don’t think we disagree about much — the universalist church spreads its ideas in a very local, particularist way. I especially liked this bit:

    “As I understand him, Land isn’t saying that a ruler would not impose truth or rule in accord with universal principles, nor that folk would have to refrain from all encouragement of the adoption of said principles, so much as that there is no good reason to assume (and act) as if all people would eventually become good and harmonious citizens if only “dialogue” and public debate could be increased to a theoretical maximum, when “reason shall prevail.” Plenty of people will have to be left in their ignorance, and the main task of the ruler in regards to them is to minimize their voice, not “defeat it in the marketplace of ideas.” This also seems perfectly Catholic to me, as the Church condemns the concept of rights abstracted from objective morality, and so has no appreciation for “free speech,” “freedom of religion,” etc. – at least, not as matters of absolute rights. We’re far more interested in shutting such persons up, or exiling them (or, in extreme cases, lighting them on fire), than in hearing them interviewed on Oprah so that “reason can prevail.” What a laugh!”

    I even consider myself a democrat (of the older, republican variety) and you still get no argument from me!

    [Reply]

    Destroy Israel Reply:

    “You sir are insane.”

    lol

    *turns on Eric Cartman’s Jesus Baby*

    I remember walking around Manhattan once, and overhearing a negro and his negress arguing about church. It was about the decision of the negro church they attend to depict Jesus as a black man. The negro was against, and the negress was for it. She made it explicit that Jesus needed to appear as a sexual ideal to her, which for her, necessitated a black man.

    Why do you think there has always been such controversy of iconoclasm in Western religion? It’s because the female erotically fantasies about the male religious object. This is why Western religion, and Christianity in particular, is meant for women and homosexuals. The most religious men are almost always homosexuals. They really, –really– love Jesus.

    “I love you, Jesus
    I want you to walk with me
    I’ll take good care of ya, baby
    Call you my baby, baby
    You died for my sins
    And you know that I would die for you, right?
    What’s the matter, baby?
    You’re tremblin’ Jesus, ba-baaaaaayyyy
    Your love
    Is my light
    You know when I’m without you there’s a black hole in my life
    Oh-oooh I want to believe
    It’s all right
    But I get lonely in the night
    And it’s up to you to save me
    Jesus, baby”

    Well, it almost fits. Except Jesus isn’t the bitch in the relationship. The Christian believer, male or female is. To quote St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

    Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it.

    Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

    The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?

    Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.

    What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?

    ———-

    Could it be any clearer, the true believing Christian man is a homo for Christ?

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 12:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    as long as Darvin made it here, I think it is worth to say few words about Austrian phisicist Boltzman. at the same time with Darvin he attempted to introduce irreverisility idea into physics. Boltzman was severely criticised, as at this time physics dominated by Newtonian universality declaring that time is reversible, and finally he retreated and replaced his Htheorem with something more sutable. it is realy interesting case study because it may well happens that there were some crossinfluences between them. you have to eat after all, on that note it worth to say that physics quite well paid nowadays too.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 12:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aristocles Invictus Says:

    The Cunning of Reason in Marx and Hegel PDF: https://my.mixtape.moe/iejeib.pdf

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 1:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Shlomo Maistre Says:

    Communication is always ultimately superfluous. Argument, discussion, discord, dissent – these are basically synonyms for communication at the end of the day. Debate, argument, sophistry, opinion – these are prime symptoms and peripheral causes of disorder and disorder is what the left is all about. The right (which preserves hierarchy, order, security by definition) does not preserve social harmony through communication, but generally by inaction. The entropy endemic to the mortal realm can only be ultimately accelerated by human efforts to direct or impede its progress, which is why the wiser the right-winger the less political he is. Joseph de Maistre knew his writings were basically entertainment for the learned aristocracy – not a way to effect any lasting change. Left-wingers write/speak/communicate to change things – and they appear to themselves to succeed in this endeavor because their understanding of change is sufficiently superficial for the unseen consequences of their actions to elude them.

    If a thinker can be said to be right-wing insofar as his normative opinions about what should be are communicated implicitly by positive/descriptive statements of what IS, then right-wing bonafides are earned by virtue of loading more meaning into less communication. This is achieved not only by succinctness (thanks to the communicator’s thoroughness of understanding) but by the scope & extent of understanding of the reader/listener. It is this way that thinkers tend to be rightwing insofar as they exercise discretion in communication – and to whom they communicate. Communicating truth to those who get their version of truth from CNN is a little more limiting than doing so to those who get their version of truth from this blog. But at the very tippy top – NOTHING is said, because all communication is superfluous. The rightwing, those who seek to preserve order, is inherently elitist/exclusive, pro-hierarchy, anti-democracy in this way.

    Secession, fragmentation, political splitting is not achieved by argument or discussion. It is achieved by cutting off communication, even interaction with broader reality from the particular, local order. By synchronizing power and control as closely as possible – on a local scale.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Quietism as secession from the infosphere. Sheds an interesting light on the implicit ‘politics’ of lifelong political quietists like Wittgenstein.

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    silence is luxury nowadays, modern communications underpinned by neurotic demand response.but more silent you are more you can hear.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    The Gileadite demands of us to speak the shibboleth.

    SVErshov Reply:

    what else can you speak, when everyone speaks shibboleth, you too speak shibboleth.
    or at least set some consciouse limits, like 70%, well … it is hard, why not to try 90%, or even more realistic 98%.

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 9:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Outliers (#3) Says:

    […] (pull out his eyes, apologize). Life imitates virtue signaling. Possible origin. Minimize the stupidity. Feet-voting. Democracy, diversity, death. We were warned. Aristocracy > Dictatorship. Democracy […]

    Posted on April 30th, 2016 at 1:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chuck Says:

    re: “The universalist (Jacobin) model is always a conversation. You have to join together first, simply to talk, and after that reason will prevail.”

    The Jacobin model certainly is not ‘we have to come together and decide axiā’. (Though Rawlsianism feigns to be this.) Neo-Jacobins (e.g., https://www.jacobinmag.com/) as with their classic brethren start with an equalist value system and wish to use social power to enforce conformity to it; they wish to have a “conversation” about moralis in the same way that they want to have one about race. Political universalism is not per se the problem; the concern is using politics — and the threat of force — to universalize values which we care not for. Politics as conversation is tolerable so long as modus vivendi is a live option, if not the default. Of course, why “should” this be a default? — answer without appealing to a moral universal. The only gnon compatible argument is “inconclusive mutual damage” (Human, All Too Human #92), but one can only effectively make that, if one is in a position to make it, which NRx is not.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 1st, 2016 at 1:46 am Reply | Quote
  • slumlord Says:

    @|||||

    @Admin

    Is colour a noumenon or phenomenon to those who cannot see?

    [Reply]

    slumlord Reply:

    @Admin

    Also, the issue at stake here is what constitutes valid knowledge. Justification by phenomenon seems to be the consensus position. The problem with this view is the assumption that all have equal access to phenomena. By and large Western man only assumed that position post enlightenment, and it’s funny to note that in this scientific age we deny God but accept transgender.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Word games are super fun.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Color is not noumenal, just because certain people can’t see it. If it were, the the most fundamental problems of transcendental philosophy would be solved in about five minutes.

    The noumenal is that which does not conform to — or is not captured by — the structures of possible experience, in general (i.e. in any conceivable case).

    [Reply]

    slumlord Reply:

    I think you make a relativistic error here.

    From the point of view of the blind person, there is no conceivable way that color can by captured by experience. Color, from the point of view of the blind person, is as abstract as a platonic form. The sighted, to the blind, are as mystics.

    If it were, the the most fundamental problems of transcendental philosophy would be solved in about five minutes.

    Yes. I see you understand the significance.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    “Yes. I see you understand the significance.” – it is all bullshit, from Descartes on, isn’t it? Utter total “throw it in the trash and forget it ever existed” bullshit. How can we ever define what the conceivable possible structures of experience are? and this lauding of the likes of Kant and idealism is pretty strange from admin given the constant claims to influence by the Scottish Enlightenment. Weren’t they basically realists? (I’m with McIntyre in placing Hume as an anglo subversive.)
    On another note, nominalism is a hoot isn’t it? Just Just look at essentialism’s wiki page. Nominalism can be used to define everything away. Capitalism? can’t define that, that would be essentialism, ergo it is what I say it is. Gender? can’t define that, that would be essentialism, ergo it is what I say it is. LOL.

    admin Reply:

    “Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons.” — That’s not supposed to be advice for the rhetorician seeking to avoid the appearance of severe retardation.

    Posted on May 1st, 2016 at 7:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    @slumlord““Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons.”” That’s funny, I thought I was clearly on Plato,Aristotle and Socrates side here.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Calling Descartes and Kant morons is totally not the kind of radically retarded rhetoric that Moldbug was laughing at.”

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Every time I see Chris B “criticize” pretty much anything and especially post-Cartesian philosophy I am reminded of this quote by Moldbug himself:

    “In Rome, of course, critics were no problem. Out here in Pontus, it’s pretty much all, you talk like a fag. What makes the provincial critic so grimly, hilariously terrible is that he imagines himself not just equal to the wits of the metropolis, but vastly superior. Is it even possible to respond? Shall the man of letters respond: “excuse me, ‘Dr. Lexus,’ but I am resolutely heterosexual – as if it mattered – and ‘my shit,’ as you call it, is anything but ‘all retarded’?”

    [Reply]

    Slumlord Reply:

    @Hurlock and @Admin.

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t criticising anyone, though my preferences are definitely on the side of Team Aristotle.

    I think when we approach the greats we need to engage them respectfully instead of worshiping them uncritically. Some of us from the Ozarks are hoping to contribute, not diss. There still a lot of temple building to do.

    Izak Reply:

    I’m reluctant to pile on the hate for Chris B, but I gotta say…. yeah, his writing is godawful. That people are still taking him seriously is disappointing to say that least, and it makes me pessimistic about the whole project of neoreaction. You don’t even need a clever Moldbug quote to make it obvious; the writing, the rhetoric, everything…. it’s all just painfully bad.

    This essay: https://reactionaryfuture.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/materialism-and-determinism/ …. is about where I check out altogether. Does anyone even know what the hell he’s attempting to say? These are some of the most sweeping and nonsensical clusterings of various ideas and thinkers that I’ve ever read. And the way he brings up Marx out of nowhere… it’s just so amateurish and ridiculous. It may be the laziest and most low-effort screed I’ve seen in a while, including some of the screeds about international Jewry from the WNs. I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty for dismissing the guy because he talks like a fag and his shit’s all retarded.

    It would be a lot more refreshing and impressive to me if he just wrote something like this (in his usual writing style, of course):

    “I have thoroughly read the Wikipedia entries on the likes of Locke, Kante, and Descartes, top to bottom, and they seem faintly similar in some way that I cannot coherently describe. I might gladly attempt to catalog and refute their errors by in a careful and circumspect manner — but frankly I have no time to read their arguments, nor any interest in doing so. Indubitably, I would consider it a moral error to even bother with the likes of them! I will not discuss the likes of their balderdash any further whilst the Minotaur of Power marches towards chaos and destruction. The likes of those pseudo-philosophical leftist thinkers — all of whom form a mere prefatory chapter to the evil that is Karl Marx — certainly do not impress me. Now sooth, pardon these digressions and peregrinations, for I am content to dismiss with the matter altogether, never to besmirch myself again by casting pearls before swine. I shall instead bloviate some more about the grand theoretical trinity of Moldbug, Carlyle, and de Jouvenel, whom I most certainly *have* read. And I can assure you that they are all excellent sources of magnanimous intellectual richness — great sages whom I consider the greatest literary opponents facing the tyranny of classical liberalism, Calvinism, and homosexual marriage — not least of all because I have deigned to read their writings in the first place. Blah blah blah blah….”

    Chris B Reply:

    We should bow down in respect for Kant, Descartes, Popper, and all the enlightenment crap which was one long “socrates, plato and Aristotle were morons” because…? Why? They have all proven wrong. Worse, they embody the whole philosophical tradition which has waltzed into power with the funding and support of central power. None of it is correct. But it had, has value for power. Some Reaction you have here. Stinks of anti-progism for not being prog enough in the same way modern anti-americanism is complaining America is not America enough.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    Dude…. if we’re going to put such low qualifications on accusing someone of being a moron, then Aristotle was one big “Socrates and Plato were morons because…” while Socrates and Plato was one big “Homer was a moron because…”

    But in reality, they all knew they were standing on the shoulders of giants and did their best to show the proper respect.

    There has never been a single moment in the history of recorded thought in which one serious thinker has fully agreed with everything another serious thinker has had to say, except in those weird philosophical “duos” that sometimes come up, and those guys are always kinda messed up in the head. The point is that when you start lobbing grenades at philosophers and theorists and other people who did their damn work, you have to show the decency and respect that they showed their predecessors, if only by indicating a strong familiarity with what they have to say. Nietzsche, for instance, was a very disrespectful guy who would take potshots on just about anyone and everyone, but at least he made it clear that he understood the ideas he was attacking and had given them serious, deep thought. When he attacks Kant, he’s looking upon him as an equal after decades of consideration. He’s not acting like a frothing-mouthed rabid dog barking at the moon.

    It would be genuinely fascinating if someone with your strong-willed and pissed-off demeanor really attacked everyone and everything with the appropriate level of sophistication, but there’s a reason that this sort of thing is rare. (Marx actually did a decent job of it, for all his faults.) You’re too choleric. Increase the phlegmatic.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    Like, here’s an example of what I mean, from your last post:

    “I have covered this before, and made the case that Liberalism/ progressivism/ empiricism/positivism is one great web of anti-thought that is the negative impression left by the high-low mechanism. An anti-tradition that has no defining or logical coherence except as an anti-everything not central power approved.”

    OK, I’m assuming you forgot rationalism, since you seem to hate that, too, as seen in your hostility towards Descartes. Now, right off the bat, “great web” — how is it a “web” when a whole bunch of the thinkers all strongly disagreed with each other? What exactly made it a “web,” if you can’t give any commonalities beyond it all happening loosely within the same time frame? Sloppy, imprecise turn of phrase. “Negative impression,” what is “negative” about a proposal for how the world works. I’m not following. “Anti-everything not central power approved” — again, what is this. What does Central Power approve of? Or, better yet, what *doesn’t* it approve of? You never say — and although I hate to be so cynical here, I’m guessing the reason is that if you did such a thing, someone could easily take one of the dozens of philosophers/theorists all within those categories that you hate so much and say “but that guy believed in that thing you just said that Central Power dislikes,” which, with all the force of a gentle breeze, would topple your claim.

    Rene Guenon went on these kinds of rants against all modernity, citing Descartes as the horrific Agent Zero of counter-traditional philosophy, but he at least directly addressed Descartes’s points, qualified his appreciation for some of what Leibniz had to say, and was brazenly honest about how he thinks technological progress is a terrible social ill. And moreover, his favorite thinkers were all people from before the modern period, not de Jouvenel (classical liberal, something you claim to be against), Carlyle (Calvinist, something you claim to be against), and Moldbug (gay marriage apologist, something you claim to be against). Wouldn’t it make at least some sense to honor your three favorite thinkers by trying to figure out what is useful in their starting points that allowed them to do such good, since they obviously believe to some extent in the fundamentals from which they emanate? Seems better than to just take a big heaping shit on everything they owe to their own ideas, or, even worse, deliberately misread them and create bogus bootleg versions.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    No, there is a clear connection between Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. With Descartes you get a clean break primarily on the issues of reason and teleology. From that point on, it is all neckbeard atheist skepticism. Every one who points out it is retarded (like the Scots realists of the scots enlightenment.) Gets consigned to the history books. The questions is why? The obvious answer is the Skeptic tradition is clearly correct, and has delivered us science and progress. The retort has to be – how? Because isn’t this the crux of Moldbug’s complaint? That progism is not the source of scientific development at all? That this is bullshit? This also rests on a view of society in which we are all rational, and the spread of ideas is a measure of their accuracy, but again, isn’t the Cathedral concept a rejection of this? Isn’t the Cathedral concept (as derived from De Jouvenel) a radical claim that the form of power dictates what ideas spread? As such, Descarte’s skepticism is successful because of Power. Specifically, because it is pro-modern state, and anti-church/traditional structure.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    How are you accusing all of these people of skepticism and atheism when they wrote works on theology, including Locke and Hobbes?

    I get that these contrasting theologies are all outgrowths of Protestantism, but so what? Without Deism, we wouldn’t have Darwinian evolutionary theory. Without Calvinism, we wouldn’t have Carlyle, whom you love so much.

    As far as Moldbug’s complaint, your views don’t seem to address much of what he’s saying. He supposedly says, “Progism is not the source of scientific development,” so fine, I get that. I agree. But you’re begging the question, since your whole argument is that every “ism” under the sun (except maybe idealism?) post-1590 is all progressive. Would Moldbug agree with that? Somehow I doubt it, and I’m saying this as someone who has a number of measured disagreements with Moldbug. Like it or not, most of the major scientists have taken guys like Hume more seriously than Gentile or Hegel. The only way for your theory to work — which seems to be that they made their discoveries DESPITE the enlightenment — would be to resort to some sort of quasi-Marxian “false consciousness” thing, which is just stupid.

    I have two pieces of advice, and I think your writing would get more attention from good people if you follow them. The first is strictly about style.

    1) Stop using pretentious words and phrases, like “whilst” when you mean “while,” “as such,” which usually doesn’t mean anything, and “the likes of,” which you lazily use as a tool to lump a bunch of people together with no established commonalities.

    2) Try reading the people you’re attempting to attack. Maybe take a year off, read a bunch of stuff, and start over. I swear to god, you will look a lot better when you can point out key concepts from these people. I suspect you’ll find that philosophy and politics don’t have the simple relationship that you’re seeing. At this point, your writing just smacks of fire-and-brimstone righteous anger, and it’s just…. bad. It’s bad. Your writing is very, very bad.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    I write something, then you seem to not grasp what I am saying. The link between Hume and all philosophy post-Descartes and scientific discovery is…non existent. This is not to say prior philosophy led to scientific discovery, but at least the proponents of that did not claim that was the case as far as I am aware. Discovery seems to be a result of the quality of the mind in question, and not whatever method is cooked up by quacks like Popper (open society cough cough.) Moldbug constantly brings in Aristotle in this regard, and the concept of phronetic knowledge, which is completely at odds with post-Descartesian philosophy. Pratical wisdom (phronesis) cannot be grasped by all, and cannot not be taught directly with a book (which is what all Ethics systems at present assert – see Kant’s system for example,) but can only be learned via practice. It is comparable to the example of learning an instrument – you can read a book on playing an instrument, but I doubt you will be able to play the instrument after. When you delve into areas like this, you can begin to see how modern philosophy and Science(TM) is anti-racism incarnate. The character of the agent wielding the science (TM) tool has no relevance, therefore just airdrop a bunch of microscopes on the Congo and come back in a couple of years to collect the next batch of Newtons.
    As for the example of Carlye and his Calvinism, yes, that is true, but Scottish Calvinism was the last one infused with Aristotleanism, which Carlyle is echoing. It seems to have been the case that Scotland was a last holdout for sanity before the takeover by English society which seems to have been the fuel for the Scots Enlightenment. It is only when things are in flux that philosophical crisis occur, and the Scottish attempts to deal with the flood of anglo-culture gave some insight into the changes occurring (until the fight ended and Hume’s Anglophile anti-Scottish was accepted.)
    Also, I am not claiming some form of Marxist false conscious, what I am holding to are the logical ramifications of the De Jouvenel/ Cathedral concept. If the power structure is unsecured, then it gives rise to set philosophy, and set ideas which are logically taken up by the actors in the system. De Jouvenel makes the point without really understanding the significance when he claims unsecure power (the modern state) attracts anti-capitalist. This goes further, which is something Moldbug picked up on. Unsecure power selected/ encouraged the Unitarianism we see. This is radical, as what this is saying is that the shape of culture is determined by power. At its most basic, we can see that if unsecure power has problems, it will support equality to level everything beneath it.

    Posted on May 2nd, 2016 at 5:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    Chris you’re sick, come back to us, come back to me. I’ve got soup and that favorite ice cream you used to love.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 4:05 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    not sure if it is still relevant, any way

    “Dis-amalgamation — isolation — is the way to learn. It’s how speciation happens, long before learning becomes neurological. Individuation (at whatever scale) establishes the foundation for trade, communication, and intellectual exchange. Micro-states commercialize. Macro-states decay into political resource allocation, and entropic sludge. Protect your own patch if you want to have anything to talk about.”

    that does not gauranty from not been irradiated by universality. ‘your own patch’ has two intrinsic properties, dynamics and model, maybe even more, but for purpose of defeating universality these two most important imo. universality of dynamics is a law, fortunately there are such types of dynamics which violate this law. matter only to choose right dynamics.

    next is much more seriouse, becausw, our model also can try tracherously hide some mathematical universalities. we can try to find it, even we can see what is the ‘problem’ but hard part will be to decide, because “Universality of a system is defined as undecidability of a model-checking problem.” each time you decide, you defeat universality at the same time.

    perhaps that one is one of problems on left front, they can see and define universality everywhere, but each time they decides ….

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 10:08 am Reply | Quote
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