Cold Turkey

Neoreactionary excitement has generated a wave of strategy discussions, focused upon Moldbug’s Antiversity model of organized dissident knowledge. The most energetic example (orchestrated by Nydwracu) can be followed here, here, and here. Francis St. Pol’s substantial contribution is here.

Beyond curmudgeonly cynicism about youthful enthusiasm, these concerns, and a strain of pessimism that accompanies the recognition that the Cathedral owns media like the USN owns carrier groups, is there any explanation for Outside in hanging back from all this, and smoking sulkily in the corner? If there’s a single term that accounts for our reluctance, it’s cold turkey.

Keynesianism is far from the only contributor to left-modernist degeneration, but it’s ruinous enough to account for the destruction of civilization on its own. The fact that it’s most realistically conceived as a symptom — of democratized politics, and still deeper things — doesn’t affect its narrative role. The important point, understood widely enough to be a cliché, is that Keynesian economics is an exact social analog of addiction at the level of the individual, slaved to what William Burroughs described as “the algebra of need.”

Money is made into a drug, and the solution to the pain of craving is to crank up the dose. However bad it gets, if you just scale-up the fix, the suffering goes away. Junkies can survive for a shockingly long time. Perhaps there’s no end to it (that’s a question for the Right on the Money discussion).

Outside the morgue, if there is an end — and every venture into neoreactionary strategy presumes it — there’s only one form it can take: cold turkey. To not be in the habit anymore, it is necessary to kick it. That’s going to be really nasty.

At the level of economic structure, the ‘blue pill’ isn’t just a comforting illusion, it’s a massive, deeply habitual, ultra-high tolerance (thanks Spandrell) fix,  radically craved down to the cellular level. Society has been doing this for a long time, and by now it’s mainlining crates of the stuff. People die of cold turkey. If not quite the worst thing in the world, it’s an overwhelmingly-impressive simulation of exactly that. Rational argument doesn’t get close to addressing it.

Sure, junkies lie all the time, but the lies aren’t the basic problem. ‘Correcting’ the lies gets nowhere, because nobody is even really pretending. When the junky lies, he knows, you know, everybody knows that the fundamental message is simply: I want more junk. He’ll say anything that gets fractionally closer to the next fix. Hence the circus of democracy.

The pusher laughs at rational argument. There’s some well-meaning type saying: seriously, think about it, this is really messed up. Then there’s the ‘pusher’ — which is already a joke — because people are crawling  to him on their knees. He doesn’t need to say anything. One more hit and the pain goes away for a while. That’s what matters. The rest is merely ‘superstructural’ (to go Right-wing Marxist on the topic).

There’s no way, ever, that from this deep in, one gets out before hitting bottom. The slide has to reach the limit, because short of that, the prospect of anesthesia trumps everything.

Western Civilization is a sick junky. It isn’t going to be argued out of its habit. First, it has to taste the floor. That’s just the way it is — ugly.

 

ADDED: Hooked.

June 17, 2013admin 52 Comments »
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52 Responses to this entry

  • fotrkd Says:

    Can I still build my ship?

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    It’s raining kinda hard, Noah. ‘might need to shave a couple cubits off the side to save time…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I wrote this (innocently, some time last year):

    Arks are emergency, embryonic-life-support vessels segregating the vital from the inhospitable external atmosphere. When conditions become too severe for human survival, the Judaeo-Christian solution is to build (arks) to escape the wreckage left behind. Reproduction is an emergency survival technique to cope with eviction from Eden. But it is at a cost: the eternal is suddenly locked up into an infinite series of finite beings, and memory and identity do not travel well on this voyage…

    Is admin essentially advocating a Judaeo-Christian response to current ‘insanity’?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Is admin essentially advocating a Judaeo-Christian response to current ‘insanity’?” — Your definition of Judaeo-Christian is so unusual that it strips me of all confidence to answer ‘no’. Still, I’m not yet convinced that JCs have a monopoly on the escape option.

    Thales Reply:

    I’ve of course seen the old cliche’ regarding the dearth of atheists in foxholes, but seeing it applied to lifeboats is somewhat surprising.

    Baduin Reply:

    Indeed not; the Zoroastrians survived the Ice Age in an underground artificial vault – a kind of survivalists superbunker – the Vara of Yima.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/zor/sbe04/sbe0408.htm

    http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/var33.html

    admin Reply:

    Can I book a cabin?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    ‘My’ ship was a little presumptuous, but of course – Meta Incognita here we come! Just need to tweak the plan to include cabins…

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 17th, 2013 at 8:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Junkies need a methadone clinic. (Figgerred Land is in bed and wouldn’t be able to clear the trackback for a while…)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    First, they have to want to attend the methadone clinic.

    Second, methadone is a substitute drug. Did you know heroin was the methadone of its day? (Don’t laugh.) It was designed to get people off opium. Well that worked, I guess …

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Sorry, I can’t see the word ‘methadone’ anymore without reading “method one”, Tobias’ misreading of a rehab center sign as an acting “clinic” and thinking all the “my life is falling apart” testimonies he saw were practice acting. Damn you Arrested Development Season 4!

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 17th, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • David Davis Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with Western society and civilisation that (a) removal of all the GramscoFabiaNazis, and (b) total abolition (as if it had never been) of socialism, will not fix.

    I don’t know why even intelligent and thinking people still say things like “Western society, with all its faults, is…” (insert something vaguely complimentary here.)

    When compared with all other societies, such as several extant ones I can think of but can’t name or my computer and children will be seized, Western society is the one everybody wants to live in.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Sure, Western Civilization would be fine if it could just kick the socialism.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 17th, 2013 at 9:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rocky Lazarus Says:

    I disagree that collapse is necessary. It might be, but it doesn’t have to be. The technological and military elites that I believe are most necessary to court are also the ones who are most likely to see the coming storm for what it is. I wouldn’t call myself an optimist by any means. I actually think that collapse is the likelier option. Still, I take heart from the fact that the technological and military elites, particularly in the Sun Belt do not seem to be fans of democracy. Let us hope for tanks rolling down the street, Thailand style, before the decay becomes too profound and advanced.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Let us hope for tanks rolling down the street …” I don’t think the US military is that stupid. It would be like Iraq x 10 against competent people.

    [Reply]

    Rocky Lazarus Reply:

    Conditions being right, it could be a welcome relief rather than an imposition. The one problem with this: The military has been more accommodating to sociopaths and criminals than in the past. See the gang graffiti in Iraq as an example of this. I, for one, would welcome a military coup d’etat in the name of the reaction as a caretaker government.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Breaking the place up would make a lot more sense. There’s no way that any mode of government in America today retains the long-term loyalty of more than 40% of the population.

    j. ont. Reply:

    Is there something somewhere about sociopathy and reaction being incommensurable?

    Posted on June 17th, 2013 at 10:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    why would the cathedral allow financial collapse yeah sure I used to take hope they would eventually then I realized no matter what happens they will simply adjust the computer screen as you pointed out china does not have carrier groups only USG so there will be no reverse suez. even if china had carrier groups it doesnt want to stop the game either oh USG and EU will reduce benefits and crack down when the times come.
    so what are we doing all this talk of fascism we all ready have fascism im not liking it corporatism and authoritarianism whatever been there done that and we cant even agree on who to repress.
    what about taking over a country like Uruguay I mean buying them oit offer to bring in 1000000 high income high intellect whites for a stated dividend to current residents plus a full partnership in return for a scientific state of the art state we could out think carrier groups make alliances with Russia and Israel
    they will never allow succession shy of revolution

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    I think what Michael is trying to say is something I’ve been saying for a while: don’t discount the Cathedral’s ability externalize the costs of its spendthrift ways to the rest of the world. To continue the OP analogy here, the Cathedral is not some street junkie, low-man on the totem pole. No, he is the Tony Montana of junkies with a giant snowhill of junk on his desk, all of it taken by force, and anyone who interferes with his operation gets to say “hello” to his little friend. Bluntly, the Cathedral would start WWIII and nuke the rest of the world if that’s what it took. Post-WWII was their Halcyon era, with devestated global competitors and and a holy righteously-expending domestic state.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 17th, 2013 at 11:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • raptros_ Says:

    assuming i’m right that nyd’s thinking the same thing i’ve been thinking, the argument is basically we need to be setting things up so that things go at least somewhat favorably for us when it’s time to take it all to the mats. no, not mats. pavement.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, and I hope this post doesn’t seem like an attempt to dissuade anyone from getting on with what they’re doing. It’s mostly a preparation for disappointment, in case anyone is taking this sort of thing (spotted by Handle) as a spur to unrealistic encouragement.

    [Reply]

    raptros_ Reply:

    nothing the populous does will ever be encouraging.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The ‘populous’ works (in a Lovecraftian way), but I think you mean the ‘populace’. Your reactionary disdain is nevertheless appreciated.

    raptros_ Reply:

    the (unintentiona) Lovecraftian reading is fitting here; – I am not experiencing disdain so much as terror.

    who knows what they’ll do next

    admin Reply:

    More non-encouragement.

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 12:10 am Reply | Quote
  • raptros_ Says:

    oh, nick, heads up – there seems to be a blog that’s scraping/reposting your posts: http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/cold-turkey/

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I don’t know if that’s Sean Gabb, but he’s one of my favorite people in the world.

    [Reply]

    Contemplationist Reply:

    Yes that’s Sean Gabb’s site and he’s one my favs as well. His book Cultural Revolution, Culture War was exactly the hard-hitting, no-BS analysis of what needs to be done that all libertarians need to be evangelized with.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 12:26 am Reply | Quote
  • Manjusri Says:

    I take it that Keynesianism is being used here as a shorthand for the complex of half-assed Keynesianism and democracy rather than actual Keynesianism, as the most Keynesian economy in the world today is that of China, which is probably as close to his model as you can come anywhere in the world- the only hole in the bucket being overspending by municipal and prefectural level governments (which are more democratic and less technocratic than the rest of the Chinese system). I have to dissent from the line that democracy and capitalism are innately incompatible; it strikes me that the one way to limit a democracy to sane spending is through the imposition of a gold standard and a market economy to limit the power of the state, but in the long run it would be hard to hold to such a system. A technocratic government like China’s, however, can apply stimulus and build reserves/pay down debt as needed, and this approach has smoothed over most of the crises China has faced in the last 30 years, as the country dealt with 1997 and 2008 without going into recession. In the democratic state, fiscal restraint in times of prosperity is difficult to impossible (the Clinton government and Republican congress in the US came the closest, but even their surplus only lasted a year before Bush began the spending orgy all over again). Nor was willy-nilly spending on patronage, ditch-digging and war necessarily what Keynes had in mind- he’s often misquoted as saying that this approach would work, but they forget the part where indiscriminate spending without value creation leads to inflation. Debt spending on productive industries and infrastructure, then paying off the loans when the recession ends, was what he really had in mind… but good luck with that. On the other hand, a neocameral government wouldn’t have any trouble with this.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Is China on crack? — that needs exploring in a more economically-focused post. (It’s complicated — yes, spending is dialed up to extreme levels, but no it’s not being partied away in transfer payments and household consumption).

    [Reply]

    Manjusri Reply:

    That’s true… China has a different problem: extreme moral hazard.

    If you notice how Chinese invest, when it comes to personal investments, they tend to be ultra-conservative and take a very long view; put them in charge of a company or a government office, though, and they’ll spend like there’s no tomorrow. This is because, as far as they’re concerned, there might not be a tomorrow for them- they can lose everything overnight by government fiat, so they have to act fast to grab their share. The only exceptions are the real private businessmen who have built empires so large that they’re more or less out of the danger zone- Jack Ma, Wang Chuanfu, etc.

    If the Sinosphere outside of the mainland is any indication, replacing the current state property regime with a real property regime, and handing out the remaining government shares of the SOEs to the princeling families that have de facto control, could change this orientation dramatically.

    A Chinese Chaebol system, essentially.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That sounds sensible, but tricky. The Western presumption in favor of transparency doesn’t necessarily travel very well. Opacity can be a survival strategy, especially in China. The ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is one reflection of that.

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 3:10 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Evolutionary psychology is the closest thing to a sanctimony cold turkey therapy. You can’t be holier than thou if we have good mechanistic explanations for social behavior.

    No wonder they fight it so hard.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Yes, genuine “progress” has come, and will come, from eugenics. All mating is either eugenic or dysgenic.

    That knowledge is like Kryptonite.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This will be circulating around the ‘sphere soon, if it isn’t already.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    broken link.

    btw, 15 year old created a cancer strip with 90% accuracy.
    >en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka

    James Watson said this in 1971: “You can only go ahead with your work if you accept the necessity of infanticide. There are going to be a lot of mistakes.”

    Steptoe and Edwards did get private funding and today we have Octomom.

    northanger Reply:

    tweaking the genome to tweak regression toward the mean. or something.

    btw, fantasy baseball has some pretty sophisticated regression analysis.

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 4:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    A former state dept employee, prof, and current Phd student discovers the Cathedral, and writes an article entitled “Seeking Value or Imposing Values?”: http://www.nas.org/articles/seeking_value_or_imposing_values?utm_source=June+2013+Newsletter&utm_campaign=June+2013+NAS+News&utm_medium=email

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 9:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    induere christum

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks for the broken link notification — fixed.

    I’m still hunting around for some ‘induere christum’ background …

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    should’ve posted here
    http://www.xenosystems.net/gnon-theology-and-time/#comment-6159
    Girard & Dodd made me think of that.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    there is some technical language here. and some interesting gematria suggests i do a post myself. but the idea here, just realized, does involve… regression toward the mean. god gave his only begotten son (why?)… then, something about the son is “imitated” or “put on”…

    northanger Reply:

    let me know if you have problems downloading PDF.

    The Pauline Formula “Induere Christum”: With Special Reference to the Works of St. John Chrysostom
    Leo Joseph Ohleyer
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Mg9WAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Induere+Christum%22

    PREFACE. St. Paul, as is well known, originated a number of typical phrases, aptly styled formulas, by which to express concisely and comprehensively the great truths of the Christian religion. These set forms of speech occur most frequently in connection with the Apostle’s Christological teachings. Some of the Pauline formulas have received exhaustive treatment at the hands of scholars of note… One of the most striking and important of these formulas, which has not yet found a solution, is “Induere Christum.” The present treatise is an attempt at a solution.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls? The annihilated soul cannot be distinguished from God.

    northanger Reply:

    don’t know transversal of Genesis 3:21 — John 15:4 maybe. anyway, the most amazing bell curve ever.

    The foundation of Christianity in a man is for him to become a disciple of Christ: its complete superstructure is to be a disciple of Christ. —Johann Bengel, Gnomon of the New Testament [John XV.8]

    northanger Reply:

    John Brown (Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, p.403): ‘Ye shall show that ye are my disciples.’[30]

    [30] “ἐμοί—mehi vel mei. Fundamentum Christianismi, fieri discipulum Christi; fastigium, esse discipulum Christi.”—Bengel [Gnomon Novi Testamenti]

    “fieri discipulum” only appears once in “The Pauline Formula”, p. 15.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realized_eschatology

    Realized eschatology is a Christian eschatological theory popularized by C. H. Dodd (1884–1973) that holds that the eschatological passages in the New Testament do not refer to the future, but instead refer to the ministry of Jesus and his lasting legacy.[1] Eschatology is therefore, not the end of the world but its rebirth instituted by Jesus and continued by his disciples, a historical (rather than transhistorical) phenomenon. Those holding this view generally dismiss “end times” theories, believing them to be irrelevant. They hold that what Jesus said and did, and told his disciples to do likewise, are of greater significance than any messianic expectations.

    apologies for putting this in the wrong post.

    admin Reply:

    @ Northanger, Fotrkd
    Can you guys please shift this lively conversation to the right comment thread?

    northanger Reply:

    we’re done!

    Posted on June 19th, 2013 at 2:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Manjusri Says:

    Right… this is why a system more like that of South Korea (families own the companies and are responsible for losses, and the government tells them what to do) might be more appropriate to a Confucian culture, and why it would be better to hand ownership to the princelings themselves rather than throw everything on the stock market. Opacity is only part of the problem, and probably not the biggest; the biggest is lack of a sense of individual responsibility. If the family name is riding on the success or failure of the organization, that’s much more impetus to run it well. While civic duty may work in a country with a healthy European style civil society (note that I say healthy; this doesn’t apply to many countries these days), without it you have to appeal to clan duty.

    Do this, and China will produce ten times as many major international brands as SK within a decade and a half. May 100 Samsungs bloom…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s an attractive vision — my guess is that the handing “ownership to the princelings themselves” part is where things could get politically uncomfortable. Humans aren’t wired to accept the logic that it’s better for someone — anyone — to own and run something well, if the alternative is collective incompetence. The whole King Solomon baby-chopping threat seems kind of relevant to the psychological obstacles. (Moldbug’s formalist restoration would suffer from the same irrational resistances.)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    The families would fight each other ruthlessly. The economy would grow, but the cohesion of China as a whole would disappear quite fast.

    A marvelous scenario as I see it, but not likely.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 20th, 2013 at 3:59 am Reply | Quote

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