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Shelter of the Pyramid

Moldbug’s ‘Royalism’ (or Carlylean reaction) rests upon the proposition that the Misesian catallactic order is, like Newtonian mechanics, true only as a special case within a more general system of principles.

He writes:

Here is the Carlylean roadmap for the Misesian goal. Spontaneous order, also known as freedom, is the highest level of a political pyramid of needs. These needs are: peace, security, law, and freedom. To advance order, always work for the next step – without skipping steps. In a state of war, advance toward peace; in a state of insecurity, advance toward security; in a state of security, advance toward law; in a state of law, advance toward freedom.

Alexander Hamilton (Federalist #8) pursues a closely related argument, in reverse:

Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for their repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.

This pyramidal schema is ‘neat’, but by no means unproblematic. Like any hierarchical structure operating within a complex, reflexive field, it invites strange loops which scramble its apparently coherent order. Even accepting, as realism dictates, that war exists at the most basic level of social possibility, so that military survival grounds all  ‘higher’ elaborations, can we be entirely confident that catallactic forces are neatly confined to the realm of pacific and sophisticated civilian intercourse? Does not this mode of analysis lead to exactly the opposite conclusion? Self-organizing networks are tough, and perhaps supremely tough.

There is nothing obvious or uncontroversial about the model of the market order as a fragile flower, blossoming late, and precariously, within a hot-house constructed upon very different principles. The pact is already catallactic, and who is to say — at least, without a prolonged fight — that it is subordinate, in principle, to a more primordial assertion of order. Subordination is complex, and conflicted, and although the Pyramid certainly has a case, the trial of reality is not easily predictable. An ultimate (or basic) fanged freedom is eminently thinkable.  (Isn’t that what the Second Amendment argument is about?)

February 24, 2013admin 7 Comments »
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Saving grace

“Mencius Moldbug has a typically shapeless piece on me [says Lawrence Auster] in which he pays me extravagant compliments which have precisely zero content. I defy anyone to say what Moldbug’s 2,600 word article means.”

Please let it not mean that Moldbug is on a journey to the cross.

February 22, 2013admin 28 Comments »
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Odd

Wtf?

February 22, 2013admin 8 Comments »
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Barnyard banter

The Hoover Hog interviews HBD* Chick.

February 21, 2013admin 38 Comments »
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American Wu Wei

“Coolidge made virtue of inaction” writes Amity Shlaes, on The ‘Scrooge’ Who Begat Plenty:

It is hard for modern students of economics to know what to make of a government that treated economic weakness by raising interest rates 300 basis points, cutting tax rates, and halving the federal government — so much at odds is that prescription with the antidotes to recession our own experts tend to recommend. It is harder still for modern economists to concede that that recipe, the policy recipe for the early 1920s advocated by Coolidge and Harding, yielded growth on a scale to which we can aspire today.

ADDED: Derbyshire’s take.

February 20, 2013admin 1 Comment »
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Flavors of Reaction

Once it is accepted that the right can never agree about anything, the opportunity arises to luxuriate in the delights of diversity. Libertarianism already rivaled Trotskyism as a source of almost incomprehensibly compact dissensus, but the New Reaction looks set to take internecine micro-factionalism into previously unimagined territories. We might as well enjoy it.

From crypto-fascists, theonomists, and romantic royalists, to jaded classical liberals and hard-core constitutionalists, the reaction contains an entire ideological cosmos within itself. Hostility to coercive egalitarianism and a sense that Western civilization is going to hell will probably suffice to get you into the club. Agreeing on anything much beyond that? Forget it.

There’s one dimension of reactionary diversity that strikes Outside in as particularly consequential (insofar as anything out here in the frozen wastes has consequences): the articulation of reaction and politics. Specifically: is the reaction an alternative politics, or a lucid (= cynically realistic) anti-politics? Is democracy bad politics, or simply politics, elaborated towards the limit of its inherently poisonous  potential?

Outside in sides emphatically with the anti-political ‘camp’. Our cause is depoliticization (or catallaxy, negatively apprehended). The tradition of spontaneous order is our heritage.  The New Reaction warns that the tide is against us. Intelligence will be required, in abundance, if we are to swim the other way, and we agree with the theonomists at least in this: if it is drawn from non-human sources, so much the better. Markets, machines, and monsters might inspire us. Rulers of any kind? Not so much.

 

 

February 19, 2013admin 17 Comments »
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Twisted Times (Part 1)

An expedition into (and through) time-travel begins at Urban Future.

Comments welcomed here.

February 17, 2013admin 16 Comments »
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Preliminary mumblings

It’s a little early to tell what this will turn into.

It begins as a ramshackle refugee camp, necessitated by the failure of Urban Future to provide:
(a) stability, (b) continuous scrolling, and (c) an adequate platform for comments. As things develop, other basics (such as a blogroll) can be expected.

For the moment, longer posts will go up on UF, with a link here for discussion. Is that sounding like a satisfactory medium-term solution? (Not to me either.)

In addition to this supportive role, Outside in will have a few specialized functions, as:

(1) A sandpit for unconsolidated thoughts on time-related topics

(2) A depository for brief commentary and links (from the perspective of harsh neo-reaction)

(3) A flotation chamber for fragments of morbid fiction

If that doesn’t look repulsive enough yet, we’ll see what we can do …

 

 

 

 

February 17, 2013admin 13 Comments »
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