Confucian Restoration

One of the many reasons to be suspicious about political activism on the Occidental off-spectrum right is the parochialism that feeds it. There is a global process that will settle what occurs in its broad structure, making local pretensions to decisive ideological agency simply ridiculous.

The fundamental economic outcome — and thus the fate of the world — is not ultimately controllable even by the central financial administrations of the major world powers (unless certain intriguing axioms of radical contemporary fascism are defensible), so the idea that extremely marginalized Western cabals are positioned to seize the political driving seat is so saturated in self-deception that it wastes everybody’s time. In addition, technological developments complicate all economic forecasts essentially, and obscurely. We cannot even approximately delimit what unforeseen technical breakthroughs could entail.

The geopolitical context is even clearer. The collapse of Islam, and rise of China, are re-organizations of the world so evident in their unfolding, so vast in their implication, and so inadequately thought, that they make a mockery of all political programs yet conceived. It is first necessary to know, if only in roughest outline, what is taking place in profundity — tidally, and inexorably — before determining an ideologically relevant act. The process comes first.

Already in Moldbug, and increasingly elsewhere, there are signs within some of the most thoughtful regions of the Occidental ‘reactosphere’ that could be interpreted as a pre-adaptation to an impending Chinese global hegemony (complementary to the decline of the West). The most recent is here. When we entertain speculations about the nature of ‘our’ envisaged reaction, it cannot be realistically disentangled from what the world will have become. (I’ve been dismissive of Moldbug’s “Call me Mencius” line in the past, not — I hope — vindictively, but out of the anticipation that we will increasingly be talking about the original Mencius, and the potential for confusion is already visible.)

From the (cultivated) Chinese perspective, the structure of world history is not defined through modes of Abrahamic eschatology, but with respect to deep rhythms of Confucian Restoration, describing a spiral, in which advance and return are synthesized. If the hypothesis of a continuing trend to a more Chinese world is — at least momentarily — granted credibility, then the present (second) epoch of Confucian Restoration is the key to historical intelligibility on a global scale.

Mou Zongsan could prove more important to us than any Western political theorist writing today. The restoration he conceives has the remarkable advantage of already taking place. He does not have to imagine what ‘would be nice’, and because he doesn’t, neither do we. Instead, we can explore what is in fact happening, even if from an angle that remains unfamiliar. An alternative order need not be extracted from the rot and ruin of the old.

The new Urban Future site should be going up in the next few days, re-focused by a division of labor with this blog. The dark thrills of collapse will still dominate here, but UF2 will devote itself to the lineaments of a restored civilization and a renewed modernity which are — from the perspective of Shanghai — much closer to ‘home’. When the threshold is passed, of course, I’ll invite you all over. It won’t be so rough over there, so please take your shoes off at the door.

June 10, 2013admin 44 Comments »
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44 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    From this Mou guy’s wiki:

    Mou is committed to the idea of moral transformation, whereby all individuals can transcend themselves to ultimately become sages.

    Let me remind you that Confucianism is about the perfectibility of man. The original Mencius was a hippy optimist.

    China will be doomed as long as clueless Chinese students flood the graduate schools of all the developed world. The Chinese obsession with education must stop. Once they get into their skinny skulls that it’s all about heredity, and they push for it with the same passion with which they teach their kids to memorize Tang poems at 6 months age, then China will dominate the world.

    But Confucianism? Give me a break.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Confucianism? Give me a break.” — Oh come on! What with the glib modernizers accusing it of authoritarian patriarchy (epitomized by foot-binding), and now this (“Mencius was a hippy optimist”), don’t you think there’s a wide-angle sense of Confucian culture that at least partially explains, for instance, Singapore? Anyway, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about it … [menacing chuckles]

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    I’ve always preferred Thailand.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Despite Mou Zongsan, I find Confucianism to be (intrinsically) the shallowest of the san jiao, philosophically speaking at least. Cultural attractiveness is a not an easy matter for objective estimation, but I’d rank them similarly in that respect, too. However, Confucianism is especially well-attuned to hegemony, tolerating systems of alternative ‘belief’ within an over-arching framework, and establishing a rational order of social prestige among teachings. It thus sets the ground for a creedal hierarchy, in a far more graceful fashion than ‘jealous’ Abrahamic belief structures — Marxism among them — are capable of. It is an intellectual structure for the civilized distribution of cultural power. I don’t think Buddhism is an impressive competitor in this respect — hence Thai politics.

    Confucianism tolerates Christianity more maturely than Christianity tolerates Confucianism. A tolerant Confucianism is still Confucian, a tolerant Christianity is confusion.

    Derek Reply:

    The Romans would often keep and raise young hostages (often well-born) from non-Roman tribes and states. The idea was that they would grow up and hold Roman values and end up serving Roman interests among their non-Roman co-ethnics. Of course this didn’t always work out. Arminius aka Herman the German was such a hostage and was raised as a Roman and trained as a Roman military commander. He ended up leading the Germans and giving the Romans one of their worst defeats at the Battle of Teuteborg Forest, which ended the Roman advance into Germania.

    I imagine there’s a similar motivation among US elites for having many international, and especially these days, Chinese students studying in the US and imbibing Cathedral values and disseminating them among the Chinese.

    [Reply]

    Nicholas MacDonald Reply:

    A case of the Cathedral buying the rope it will hang itself with?

    http://www.npr.org/2013/05/02/178783650/a-rhodes-like-scholarship-for-study-in-china

    (The title is ridiculous- this is a “Reverse Rhodes”, if you will…)

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 4:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Francis St. Pol Says:

    I take great pride in my parochialism. The alternative, of course, is Universalism.

    On a more serious note, on what evidence do you believe that China will really assume global hegemony? It does seem a plausible future, but you’re speaking as if the conclusion is foregone. Hegemony would seem to require more than high economic growth.

    I think you’re drastically overselling the “collapse of Islam.” Islam collapsed as a hegemonic force with the Ottoman Empire, its high-point arguably the Siege of Vienna. If anything, Islam is stronger as a cultural force now than it has been for the past hundred years.

    But despite these quibbles I actually completely agree with your overall point. We have to know what’s going on before we can even think about doing anything. Hence my comments on the investigation of things. And Molbug’s Antiversity.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I agree that all these trends are hypothetical, require sustained attention, and could end up looking quite different after careful analysis. My minimal point for now — is that they will matter (whatever is actually going on).

    The alternative to parochialism is cosmopolitanism (or, if you prefer, ‘cosmism’).

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Think cosmically, act parochially.

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    I may have to shamelessly plagiarize this.

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    No, I don’t think Cosmism necessarily implies -if I might mix my Greek and Latin- a cosmic polis (although De Garis certainly does). The merging of all cultures and traditions into one giant agglomerated global soup, seems like it is plausibly a net destroyer of Cosmos, Order and Pirsigian Quality. It’s trading a local decrease in entropy for a net global increase, just like Yudkowsky’s paper clipper AI. The Kantian ideal of Perpetual Peace was applied nearly perfectly to the “Common Heritage of Mankind” beyond the atmosphere of Earth. The result is boring stagnation. Perfect standardization implies the end of evolution, which is predicated on mutation (genetic or memetic).

    Cosmopolitanism is, I think, mostly a justification for the conquest and destruction of culture and their replacement with palatable alternatives (cf moderate Muslims, American chinese food). Incidentally, note De Garis’ antipathy towards anything about China that makes it distinctly Chinese in politics. I believe he goes on with some invective about the necessity for China to become a parliamentary democracy.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Any intelligent being wants to raise itself beyond the narrow stupidities of tribe, and every civilization of any value has found significance solely through the existence of such beings. Cosmopolitanism only homogenizes when it caters to the masses — i.e. evangelizes indiscriminately. The language of cosmopolitanism is mathematics.
    Chinese intellectuals — during the periods of that civilization’s flourishing (the Tang and Song most remarkably) — have been as cosmopolitan as any in the world.

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Isn’t catering to the masses implicit in the concept of the “polis?” If you postulate cosmic citizens, you must also postulate a cosmic civitas. Which is probably impossible presently, because we’re still all just primates. And tribes will always form -and fight- among groups of primates. But if we go all transhuman, sure, I suppose it could work.

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 4:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Hegemony would seem to require more than high economic growth.

    Indeed, did the Vandals conquer Rome, or Rome the Vandals? I’ve heard it both ways.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A visit to any major Western city, and then any major Chinese one, leaves little doubt who the Vandals are, and who the Romans (unless conspicuous indicators — such as educational achievements and crime rates — are to be entirely disregarded).

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    The Vandals are adopting Latin as for most business and technology purposes, and prefer to study in the Roman schools if they can get in. Currently they have better law enforcement… at the street level. The Vandals have most of the advantages that a nation that happens not to be trying to run a global empire would naturally have… but that doesn’t mean they have the creativity much less the domineering will to impose their culture on the rest of the world. To the extent that they might, it will only be because they have become Roman.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    All good points. China definitely has a creativity ‘problem’ — or at least question — prominently positioned in its self-reflective debates. Can it become more creative without becoming more socially chaotic? No one, I think, yet knows with confidence. But ‘become Roman’? Why? Rome and China were twin civilizations with much in common, and China is today in many ways more ‘Roman’ than the West.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Either you or I (or both) are mixing up metaphors here. By saying Vandals are becoming more Roman, I am attempting to say “Chinese are becoming more American”, i.e., if they do truly want to rule the world (which I happen to doubt)… which is something that only Caucasoids/Europeans, and then the English in spades, and then the Americans in spades-squared, have ever really been interested in**. It does no good to compare the current Chinese to the ancient Romans. Sure a lot of similarities, but all the cool Kids’ Empires have evolved quite a bit in the last 2000 years.

    **Of course, sure you can toss in the Mongols, but did they really RULE… or just collect tribute? There’s a fine difference ya know…

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 5:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Athrelon Says:

    Is China still meaningfully Confucian? There may be some deep structure of the culture left, and of course academics can still talk about it, but I’d imagine two generations of cultural revolution would have wiped out most of the praxis. Taiwan might still be the best backup of pre-revolution Chinese culture but it’s two orders of magnitude smaller, too small to re-seed the mainland.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Is Europe “still meaningfully” Christian? My assumption is that everyone here would say ‘yes’. Deep cultures don’t evaporate over night, and Confucianism demands very little in terms of belief.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    The new Urban Future site should be going up in the next few days

    Woo-hoo!

    Not much else to add. This post (in full), Thales and the linked Francis St. Pol post have all put me in a good mood (I’m sure you’re all turning kartwheels for me).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 6:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    “Who can hope to obtain proper concepts of the present, without knowing the future?” – JG Hamann

    There is a global process that will settle what occurs in its broad structure, making local pretensions to decisive ideological agency simply ridiculous. The fundamental economic outcome — and thus the fate of the world — is not ultimately controllable even by the central financial administrations of the major world powers (…) In addition, technological developments complicate all economic forecasts essentially, and obscurely. We cannot even approximately delimit what unforeseen technical breakthroughs could entail.

    Why not a collapse sufficiently drastic to plunge the world into the peace and safety of a neo-Dark Age? Parochialism redux.

    From the (cultivated) Chinese perspective, the structure of world history is not defined through modes of Abrahamic eschatology

    Perhaps the Chinese elites will one day perceive an advantage in adopting Christianity as their new state religion. (Fiendishly clever, these orientals.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Either is possible, certainly.
    The Chinese, it should be noted, already have an Abrahamic faith as their official state religion.

    [Reply]

    sviga lae Reply:

    Christian Atheism being a very different affair to Atheist Christianity.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s an insightful distinction.

    sviga lae Reply:

    Moldbug’s, not so much mine. Would that the West be in a position to sublimate the latter into the former.

    Christian Atheism – “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”

    Atheist Christianity – Generic social-democratic millennialism.

    Atheist Atheism – This space intentionally left blank. Domain of Matrix Lord PCs; reckoned in units of unharnessed negentropy and space-time manifolds.

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 7:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • James Goulding Says:

    I agree with everything here, apart from the prediction of imminent Chinese global hegemony. Firstly, the domain of politics is tending towards the supra-national. (This has good and bad points.) Secondly, the Polygon’s apparent incompetence is mostly due to internal conflict, or Machiavellism. If the Chinese élite were a threat to the whole Polygon, it would attend to this problem.

    A modulation from whines of reactionary catastrophism to deep rhythms of confucianism sounds great.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If this appears to be a “prediction of imminent Chinese global hegemony” it was poorly expressed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 9:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hud Says:

    Ethnic elites used to profiting from harvesting rural females for sale back in cities have, by motion picture technology, received so much power that they have managed to not only create a dysgenic situation where the best women are harvested for lives as urban concubines—they have made it impossible to replace those females by raising the cost of reproduction to the point that even in the richest countries women cannot have replacement children because their sociobiological environment stigmatizes the men with whom they might raise children as unworthy of reproduction. “The Alpha of State” has become the Head of Household, leaving vast populations sterilized.

    Outside of manifestly patriarchal cultures like Orthodox Jewry, Islam and some African tribes, the ethnies escaping this are seen by their women as not submitting to “The Alpha of State”, usually by being an immigrant to a foreign land and defecting, with the associated payoffs, from the culture to which they have immigrated.

    This is where Islam may blind-side Western elites and demonstrate the abject intellectual, moral and ethical bankruptcy of those elites. China may be able to intercede for a while, but they are ultimately doomed by their inability to impose patriarchy—with the resulting degeneration into the “Alpha of State” failure mode. The problem is, as can already be seen in recent social dynamics in China, the high male to female ratio is resulting in “empowered women”—and the Chinese don’t have the cultural resources to deal with this unless they quickly do an about face and start preferentially aborting male fetuses. Moreover, they are increasing their interactions with both Jews and India to the point that I expect it won’t be long before the combination of “empowered women” and invasion of parasitic cultures will undo them.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The prospects for eugenics in China are probably the best in the world.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 11:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    “Andre Gunder Frank asks us to ReOrient our views away from Eurocentrism–to see the rise of the West as a mere blip in what was, and is again becoming, an Asia-centered world… ”

    “A derivative observation is that Europe did not pull itself up by its own economic bootstraps, and certainly not thanks to any kind of European “exceptionalism” of rationality, institutions, entrepreneurship, technology, geniality, in a word, of race. We will see that Europe also did not do so primarily through its participation and use of the Atlantic economy per se, not even through the direct exploitation of its American and Caribbean colonies and its African slave trade. This book shows how instead Europe used its American money to muscle in on and benefit from Asian production, markets, trade, in a word, to profit from the predominant position of Asia in the world economy. Europe climbed up on the back of Asia, then stood on Asian shoulderstemporarily. This book also tries to explain in world economic terms how “the West” got there and by implication, why and how it is likely soon again to lose that position.”

    “We will see that the only real means that Europe had for participating in this world economy was its American money. If any regions were predominant in the world economy before 1800, they were in Asia. If any economy had a “central” position and role in the world economy and its possible hierarchy of “centers,” it was China.”

    “However, the very search for “hegemony” in the early modern world economy or system is misplaced. Europe was certainly not central to the world economy before 1800. Europe was not hegemonic structurally, nor functionally, nor in terms of economic weight, or of production, technology or productivity, nor in per capita consumption, nor in any way in its development of allegedly more advanced” “capitalist” institutions. In no way were sixteenth century Portugal, the seventeenth-century Netherlands, or eighteenth-century Britain “hegemonic” in world economic terms. Nor in political ones. None of the above! In all these respects, the economies of Asia were far more “advanced,” and its Chinese Ming/Qing, Indian Mughal, and even Persian Safavid and Turkish Ottoman empires carded much greater political and even military weight than any or all of Europe.”

    Frank, Andre Gunder. ReOrient Global Economy in the Asian Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 11th, 2013 at 3:06 am Reply | Quote
  • Derek Says:

    Ezra Pound was a fan of Confucianism and looked to Confucian humanism as an alternative to Western modernism. He believed Confucianism had possible solutions to what he regarded as a dehumanizing modern world of mass democracy, capitalism, and communism. He was also attracted to fascism out of the same or a similar impulse, as fascism attempted to, or at least claimed to, offer a middle or third way that protected against what it claimed were the dehumanizing excesses of communism and capitalism. Of course liberals have often drawn comparisons between Confucianism and fascism.

    Confucianism appears to be a form of rationalism and humanism that shies away from the totalizing tendencies of Enlightenment rationalism or Abrahamic religion. I imagine this is its strength and the origin of its stabilizing effect, as well as the origin of the traditional critique against it as promoting stasis.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    By hesitating to identify intellectual culture with dissent, Confucianism opens itself to Western accusations of stagnation. Insofar as critical scientific inquiry is concerned, these have not been historically without merit. Eventually, when chronically expressed as an inability to modernize (at sufficient speed), they came home and devastated the second great Confucian epoch — which had begun in the Song Dynasty. From the May Fourth movement through to the Cultural Revolution, an ethno-masochistic rejection of indigenous traditions completed the destruction of the country (making a second restoration necessary).

    The Western dissident intelligentsia is a far more morbid disease, however. Through historical irony, it consigns civilization into the hands of a culturally irresponsible revolutionary tyranny, whose slo-mo version is the Cathedral. Confucianism allows a sophisticated question to be developed concerning the relation of thought and power. The decadent Occident, by pitching this question into increasingly infantile modes of rebellion, makes a responsible resolution impossible.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 11th, 2013 at 7:35 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ Nick B. Steves
    ‘China’ is a geographical expression scarcely — if at all — more restricted than ‘Europe’. I doubt that the challenges of classical Roman administration far exceeded those of their Chinese contemporaries.
    Having said that, it is true — I think — that peoples of Occidental descent (Anglo-Americans in particular) have been far more expansionist in orientation than the Chinese. This is above all due to the maritime mentality, I believe, which true globalization depends upon. As far as continental expansionism is concerned, the Qing were quite remarkable (and in an exceptionally difficult geostrategic context).
    In any case, can a hegemon who is not instinctively attracted to conquest really be considered a bad thing?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Quite a bit more cultural and genetic diversity in Europe over a relatively compact space. That is not to say of course the China is utterly without it.

    A hegemon not instinctively attracted to conquest might be a very good thing indeed… if such a thing could exist. It sounds at least a little bit like a square circle I heard about once.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2013 at 12:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Orlandu84 Says:

    First, the post and the resulting conversations are excellent! I am always impressed with the level of discourse here. I sincerely hope that “Urban Future” promotes even better insight as we develop the anti-university.

    Second, I think that a key question raised above is how to define hegemony. Being a follower of Mearsheimer and Bobbitt, I know that politics is so complicated as to defy easy definition. Since I have not yet learned to be silent, however, allow me to give a definition of hegemony – the ability to maintain one’s own power and the ability to prevent others from being able to do the same. Now, the ability to maintain one’s own power makes one sovereign, i.e. in charge of something. The classic example of sovereignty is a count in his castle – he rules over anyone a day’s ride away and no one in that area can remove him from power. Now, what happens when more than one count exists in a certain geographic area? A balance of power develops. The counts divide the area up because they lack the ability to impose their individual wills upon the group. Now, when we discuss “balance of power” scenarios, we are admitting that none of the powers has achieved sufficient power to become more than sovereign. An interesting consequence of this definition is that one cannot be a hegemon during a power transition. One can only become a hegemon after the power transition. For the power transition (or war if you like that term) determines who is “king of the hill.” In other words, when the dynamics of power are changing no one has hegemony because no one has full sovereignty.

    Third, I think that we are currently in the midst of a massive power transition. The previous ways of exerting influence are loosing their effectiveness. The best way to make this point is to pose the following question: what organization (be it a company, country, or alliance) would be able to invade and successfully occupy its competitors? For example, could China right now invade and conquer India? Could it invade and conquer Japan? Could it invade and conquer the USA? I think that the answer would be no in all cases. In fact, most people would immediately point out that it would not gain anything from such a military action. For the Chinese government depends on its competitors (India, Japan, the USA) to continue being sovereign in China (the Chinese government uses trade and foreign investment to give the Chinese people more stuff).

    Fourth, corporations are being outpaced by individuals in the race to achieve sovereignty. My example would be Edward Snowden. Mr. Snowden is so powerful and dangerous that he is almost a sovereign in and of himself. Right now he is at war with the USG, and he is winning! All he has to do to win is remain outside of the reach of the USG. If he does that, he demonstrates the impotence of the current regime In other words, he has revealed the emperor to be not wearing clothes and has gotten away with it… so far. As I said before, during wars you don’t know who has more power because it is a struggle to determine who has more of the kind of power that you need. Of course, you can hope to predict wars based on current information. Those who can do that are wizards.

    Fifth, states might not be able to sovereign in the classic sense any more. If so, they would not be able to hegemonic either. My last two points are what lead me to this last point.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You’re right to seek more clarity on ‘hegemony’. In your clarification, you concentrate on its contrast from powerlessness, subordination, or vulnerability within a larger system. It could be tilted the other way, however, through its contrast with ‘dominion’. The classical origins of ‘hegemony’ (based on the status of Athens among its allies in the Peloponnesian war) aligned it with leadership, within a confederation of at least partially autonomous powers. The hegemon sets strategic goals, establishes high-level cultural norms, and takes responsibility for institutionalization at the most extensive level. This enables it to economize on the usage of hard power, and to establish policing norms in the place of violent subordination.

    Given this slant on the principle of hegemony, I’m not sure that the question of invasion and conquest is as relevant as you seem to suggest, but to play along, and invert your examples, could the USA “invade and conquer” India, or China? I doubt this could be done — if at all — at a cost that was compatible with its own regime survival. At a political level, America seems to have been deeply broken by the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a wretched little country with a total population comparable in size to that of a single Indian or Chinese city.

    [Reply]

    Orlandu84 Reply:

    To invert your inversion (if that is even possible), was Iraq an act of warfare or an act of policing? I think that regardless of how you define the US’s invasion of Iraq, it did not succeed. Without making this about Iraq (which I would really like to avoid doing), I am making the point that total war does not seem to be likely or even realistic at present. I am not claiming that a total war between nation states like WWII is impossible – just increasingly less likely. Accordingly, I think that the use of hegemon and sovereign have to be reinvented (or at least heavily modified) to convey anything meaningful since nation-states are no longer the key actors. Bobbitt calls the next kind of government “market states” since their existence depends on controlling markets.

    Here’s another thought experiment along similar lines. With regard to PRISM, who benefits the most? Do American citizens gain more security than they loose in freedom? Does the USG gain more ability to control events by undermining its own sacrosanct rule of law? Do the technology gain more influence by forcing the USG to require their assistance? All three questions can be answered in the affirmative concurrently without a lack of coherence.

    For me PRISM is an indicator of diminishing returns for the nation-state. In order for it to work, the Cathedral had to become dependent upon technology companies. At the end of the day, the technology companies have moved from cool companies that make people lots of money to being essential for the operation of the state. At the same time the people who most understand and use their technology are the ones who will be most likely to work against surveillance. Accordingly, nation-states have to rely increasingly on individuals who have more and more reason to use the state for their own reasons than to remain loyal to it and its ideology.

    The Cathedral works so long as it can convince the people that run it not to think too hard about what they are doing. As the Cathedral relies more on technology people, it relies upon people who do nothing but think about stuff. Since you cannot use Jedi mind tricks on mad scientists, the mad scientists will naturally undermine or capture the Cathedral. Accordingly, I predict that a likely future is for groups like Anonymous to gain sovereignty over certain areas of both the Internet and the globe.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I don’t think we’re arguing much, if at all. My usage of ‘hegemony’ is already supposed to be following the guidelines you suggest.

    admin Reply:

    “Since you cannot use Jedi mind tricks on mad scientists, the mad scientists will naturally undermine or capture the Cathedral. Accordingly, I predict that a likely future is for groups like Anonymous to gain sovereignty over certain areas of both the Internet and the globe.” — Your SF scenarios are always incredibly attractive (to me). I’d be far less depressed about Occidental trend-lines if I could persuade myself that a tight network of conspiratorial, amoral, technophiliac, power-crazed geeks would end up secretly overthrowing the sanctimonious neo-Puritan liars who are running things now.

    Posted on June 12th, 2013 at 12:21 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    “If you postulate cosmic citizens, you must also postulate a cosmic civitas.” — I don’t see why, some advanced cities will do. They’re called global metropolises, and their succession relays the history of civilization quite completely.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2013 at 1:52 am Reply | Quote
  • Nicholas MacDonald Says:

    @

    “All good points. China definitely has a creativity ‘problem’ — or at least question — prominently positioned in its self-reflective debates. Can it become more creative without becoming more socially chaotic? No one, I think, yet knows with confidence. But ‘become Roman’? Why? Rome and China were twin civilizations with much in common, and China is today in many ways more ‘Roman’ than the West.”

    Very interesting question. Isn’t this, at heart, the ideal compromise of neoreaction – Agrarian Traditionalist nations alongside Cosmpolitan-Technocratic city-states? The former maintain stability, tradition (and resource production), while the latter provides an outlet for novelty and innovation? This resolves Moldbug’s townie/brahmin conundrum- the townies get their countries the way they want them, and the brahmins get theirs the way they want, too (once said brahmins and townies are freed from Cathedral brainwashing, that is).

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2013 at 5:15 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ sviga lae
    The only place that does “Atheist Atheism” well is China. All of the sanjiao (Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism) are atheistic, without imposing the requirement to be cranky or superficial about it. (The state religion of Marxism, on the other hand, belongs firmly in the “Atheistic Christian” category, but unlike the Cathedralist version, it seems to be maturing into something innocuously nominal, comparable to conservative Episcopalianism: everyone gets to communist heaven some day — safely in the far-future — but God forbid that ‘fact’ should have any policy implications.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 13th, 2013 at 6:17 am Reply | Quote

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