Archive for the ‘Collapse’ Category

Twitter cuts (#75)

Rallying the futurist constituency for a change of direction. (Any positive Trump expectations are the part of this that will age least well.)

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August 4, 2016admin 90 Comments »

Quote note (#263)


… what we’ve seen from a wide range of writers and analysts in the days since the Brexit vote is not necessarily worry. It is shock. Fury. Disgust. Despair. A faith has been shaken, illusions shattered, pieties punctured. This is what happens when a life-orienting system of belief gets smashed on the rocks of history.

The name of that shattered system of belief? Progressivism.

(Only half-way through the year yet.)

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June 28, 2016admin 40 Comments »
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Quote note (#261)

Brexit in context:

As soon as the focus returns to why the UK bailed in the first place the proper sympathy will shift from the poor Britons in a flimsy rowboat to Europeans still trapped on the Titanic. […] As Ross Douthat observed in Twitter: “the actual disaster isn’t the vote, it’s the eight years of policy that made it thinkable.” Brexit is not the disaster. The disaster is what they’re rowing from.

This (from the same Fernandez piece) also stands out:

Brexit, for all its drama, was merely a warning. The basic demand is for a moderation of the centralizing tendencies, unchecked immigration, runaway political correctness and metastatic government that have characterized the West in these last decades. That’s the bottom line.

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June 25, 2016admin 45 Comments »
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This comment thread makes it vividly clear what’s at stake in the Cathedral vs. Alt-Right grudge match. It’s Frankenstein against his monster.

(No way China doesn’t end up inheriting everything, on current Occidental degeneration trends.)

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June 18, 2016admin 136 Comments »

Quote note (#259)

Western Civilization, rotting from the head:

There’s a new religion exploding on the campuses of American universities and colleges, says Thomas Cooley professor of ethical leadership at New York University, Jonathan Haidt. And if it isn’t stopped, it might just be better to shut them all down in the next 10 or 20 years. […] The religion of fundamental social justice sweeping across college campuses is so alarming, intense, and dripping with such extreme liberal fundamentalism, says Haidt, it has created an existential crisis for American academia while punishing heretics with public shame. […] “There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space] of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting blasphemy and this is where we are,” Haidt warned an audience about the religion at a lecture billed “The American University’s New Assault on Free Speech,” organized by the Manhattan Institute in New York City this week. …


“This, I believe, is an existential crisis for our universities. Our universities simply cannot function if this keeps going, and the reason why is pretty obvious,” Haidt explained. […]
“Human beings are incredibly irrational, biased, imperfect creatures. We are really, really bad at following the truth wherever it leads. The brilliance of some of our classical liberal institutions, especially science at the university, is that it institutionalized disconfirmation. […] “We in science, we don’t really see the truth unbiasedly. We each put out our models, our theories, we try our hardest to prove we are right. And other scientists say ‘no, you didn’t see, this is wrong’ and then we have to defend it. That’s the way it works, institutionalized disconfirmation. It has made us as a species as a culture vastly smarter than we could be if we were just individuals deciding things for ourselves,” he continued. […] “So science, this is very precious, universities are very precious. They only work if you have enormous protections for institutionalized disconfirmation. If I say something, if I publish something, I have to know I’m accountable for it because somebody, if I say something stupid or wrong, someone will challenge me and that is gone,” he said.


June 15, 2016admin 43 Comments »

Quote note (#257)

Greer on America’s multi-dimensional military procurement fiasco:

… Military procurement fraud is as old as war, and overinvestment in the latest fashionable gimmick is tolerably common as far back as historical records reach. Every nation’s political and military establishment has to contend with both, and most manage to keep them within the bounds necessary to ensure national survival. Those nations that don’t restrict them in this manner normally go under, and this mode of failure is particularly common in the declining years of great powers.

Those of my readers who’ve read up on the last years of vanished empires — the Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman Empires, Romanov Russia or Habsburg Spain, and so on down the list of history’s obituaries — know the results already: the imperial state reduced to a massive but fragile shell, invincible in appearance but shockingly vulnerable in reality, resting ever more unsteadily on a crumbling foundation of ineffective or broken weapons, decaying or abandoned facilities; a political leadership blithely unaware of the gap between its fantasies of invincibility and the reality of accelerating systemic failure; a high command too busy feathering its own nest and playing political games to notice the widening cracks; and a dwindling corps of servicepeople, overworked, underpaid, and demoralized, who nonetheless keep on struggling to prop up the whole brittle mess until the inevitable disaster sweeps their efforts aside once and for all.

(The lead up through a wreckage landscape of developmentally-retarded, death-star priced, radically dysfunctional weapons systems is not to be missed.)

June 9, 2016admin 33 Comments »

Sentences (#55)

Collapse traps people:

You have to know when to leave.

Most don’t, and won’t, of course.

(Treat this as a promissory note on an installment of provocative skepticism viz the ‘eventually its necessary to stand and fight, or even take things back’ proposition that haunts NRx like a chain-rattling ghost, now more than ever, in the shadow of the impending Trumpenreich. Zombie-fighting-types can assume that the tacit XS stance (“flee you fools”) is at least as infuriating as they would expect it to be.)

May 24, 2016admin 17 Comments »

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.)

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May 4, 2016admin 23 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#60)

Assuming that the Mandate of Heaven is always the real principle of regime legitimation, this looks like an interesting status quo problem. If the present world order is working, it’s doing a conspicuously poor job of advertising the fact — especially to Western populations.

April 16, 2016admin 12 Comments »

Quote note (#238)

A Fernandez classic (concluding):

In seeking to become the masters, the Western political elite has become the slave of ideas they can’t even name, yet which oppress them like a dream weight, holding them down, making everything impossible. In an ending filled with irony, a Western Left that declared that nothing was out of bounds, which boasted it would achieve its goals by any means necessary, finds itself in a strait-jacket of its own device, unable to lift its own feet, quivering in fear before third-rate desert bandidos and a Russian thug.

Today, the Western heritage is being stripped by a dying left to pay for a lost wager for the soul of history. Yet, however hard it plunders the Western left is going down and the only question is how much else goes down with it. If the current crisis corresponds to the tremors that heralded the demise of the Soviet Union, it may only be a few preference cascades from interesting times.

April 14, 2016admin 7 Comments »