There’s a seemingly irrepressible enthusiasm to discuss Outside in speech codes, so let’s do it here (please). For the precursor exchanges on the topic, see here, and here.

I only became a methodical Moldbug reader in 2011, so I cannot pretend to have followed the degeneration of the Unqualified Reservations comments section in real time. What I did see, making my way back through this blog, was the rapid collapse of its comment threads into an open cultural gutter of no conceivable interest to anybody with a three digit IQ — a situation that hit nadir and remained there. We are talking about what — even inactive — remains arguably the most important blog in the history of the medium. If anyone wants to suggest that its accrued commentary is a model to be emulated, they are encouraged to make the case, for the entertainment value alone.

At the other extreme of cognitive ambition, is 4chan/pol/, a veritable sewer of senselessness, where the idea of an intelligent conversation is an absurdity from the start. This is a discussion forum that revels in its own crass vulgarity. It too is a negative model, to be deeply appreciated for the lesson in degeneracy it provides.

My default assumption is that everything tends to ruin, unless actively tended. UR shows what a naked laissez-faire policy leads to, if crudely interpreted as confidence in self-correcting bohemianism. Spontaneous order requires dynamic entropy dissipation merely to survive.

This blog is not a commons. It welcomes visitors who add value, tolerates those who do no harm, and ejects agents of degradation. Up to this point, policing here has been very light, but there is no firm principle behind that. If it becomes necessary, the full panoply of police powers will be exercised without the slightest liberal qualm, and these are potentially considerable. Insofar as the space of this blog itself are concerned, they are in fact effectively unlimited. Occasional demented goblins seem to derive great satisfaction from provoking crack-downs. If these individuals are deluded enough to think that inciting such responses represents some kind of cognitive dissonance here, by driving a departure from the generally tolerant policy in place, they are very much mistaken. The only rigid principle here is absolute (local) authority. Gibbeting goblins poses no ideological contradiction whatsoever. There should probably be a great deal more of it, the more random and graphically brutal the better, just to make this point. (This auto-suggestion is being taken under advisement.)

A more difficult problem is posed by the right vulgarians, at least superficially. Their intentions are not, it appears, disruptive. They merely seek to crank down the general tone of commentary here to a more popular level, with direct rhetorical offensiveness to progressive sensibilities considered a positive factor. I have to confess to finding some of these visitors likable, but their objectives will not be tolerated. With the conclusion of this discussion — at the latest — the desired tone here will be imposed, by whatever mixture of selection, editing, and scolding is required. This is not a negotiable matter.

The first Chaos Patch here drew an analogy between a blog and a virtual micro-state. Considered at a sufficient level of abstraction, the principles of governance are basically identical. Authority is absolutely concentrated, guided by the incentive to maximize the value of an estate, which only subsequently introduces pragmatic policies of extreme laissez-faire tolerance, since freedom maximizes productivity. People here are basically free to say whatever they like, with the understanding that scum will be ejected without apology or reservation. Anyone tempted to explore the limits of tolerated scumminess has profoundly misunderstood what is going on here. Once again, this is not disputable beyond the norms of tolerated disputation. Scum have no rights here, whatsoever, and the only definition of scum behavior that matters is that decided by the government or local sovereign power (and that’s me).

So what counts as scum behavior? Basically: classlessness or incivility. There are absolutely no limits being set on the ideas that can be promoted by visitors here, as long as they are presented with some minimum of decorum. Vulgarity, slurs, abuse, snark, and scum rhetoric in general, on the other hand, is not acceptable. Intelligent or humorous comments that cross some of these lines will not be suppressed, if their transgressions plausibly serve a higher cultural purpose. Sovereign Admin alone decides each problematic case with absolute discretion, perhaps drawing upon advice from other respected commentors where appropriate. Yes, this is an elitist dictatorship (duh!).

August 20, 2014admin 34 Comments »


34 Responses to this entry

  • Izak Says:

    A few thoughts:

    – I’m getting the feeling that people want comments sections to be “fair,” so we’re getting into discussions of principle rather than practicality. There should ideally be no principle established except for the decisions/whims of the admin as law (for any site). There is no need to run a comment section like a constitutional republic or with some sort of aggregative law structure like with the Lombards or whatever. I’m reiterating the comments of the main post on the penultimate paragraph, but they bear repetition. The problem with wheezy political types is that we want clarity and rationality established through logical principle. We may have to revolt against that instinct (as surely we probably do all the time in day-to-day interaction). I get the sense that this site’s admin is revolting against his own instincts when he entertains the thought of amping up the random and graphically brutal bans. For that reason, I endorse it.

    – If there really, really needs to be some sort of justification/rationalization established for a ban, it should be rooted in blatant classism as opposed to IQ prejudice, the latter only being an incidental. The trolls who tell nigger jokes (or whatever) say, “But you’re getting mad at me out of a need to impress the progressives! You’re just as progressive as they are!” It seems to be that hoity-toity political types of all stripes speak very differently from lower-class ones. As I mentioned in the other thread, Enoch Powell was loved by uneducated skinheads, but they in all likelihood would not be able to hold a good 15-minute conversation together, and Powell probably wouldn’t care to try to have one. Banning people has nothing to do with progressivism. It has to do with establishing a basic caste structure of discourse. (Case in point: the White Nationalist “mantra” is a great thought-stopping propaganda device for the working class above all else. It should be encouraged as a form of low-level artillery on HuffPo comments sections. But it should be completely invisible on comments sections of intellectually serious blogs. As far as I know, Greg Johnson from Counter-Currents understands this and does not allow “the mantra” on his comments section.)

    – If there needs to be any final justification, it’s good to keep in mind the basic observation on the difference between the effect of hearing vs. reading, recording and not-recording. I’m usually a classless scum in normal life and make all sorts of offensive comments to everyone. Good times are had by all. When you speak and hear these comments, there is an ocean of difference from reading them in published text form.


    admin Reply:

    Three great points. Number two is especially helpful — I hope everyone treats it as an authoritative appendix to the post.


    Alrenous Reply:

    There should ideally be no principle established except for the decisions/whims of the admin as law (for any site).

    I agree, but add that warnings should be issued in most cases. “Incidentally, I want you not to do this.” Allow a polite resolution before resorting to technological force. Polite solutions are more flexible but, being backed by the tech, just as powerful. Though of course subject to =>

    The problem with wheezy political types is that we want clarity and rationality established through logical principle.

    Neon Hillism’s prescription is designed to deal precisely with this impulse. The logical principle is cost-effectiveness. If it’s effective, stay and tolerate. If it’s not, then don’t. The principle can deal with any arbitrary input. Even itself; the principle is recursive. Is it cost-effective to try to change the object-level principle to be cost-effective?

    If there really, really needs to be some sort of justification/rationalization established for a ban, it should be rooted in blatant classism as opposed to IQ prejudice

    Neon Hillism has a recursive principle here too. It prescribes moderating to taste and only taste. Is class to Admin’s taste? As immediately above, yes. However, it is policy due to taste, not taste due to being good policy; where taste and policy conflict, taste should win. Insofar as it is objective, it is used because Admin has a taste for objectivity, or a taste for the objective principle the policy upholds.

    Taste has the advantage of being of good taste to at least one person. Policies requiring willpower by contrast need to be shown to be worth the cost.

    The first policy also applies here. If you don’t like Admin’s taste, either politely tolerate it* or politely leave.

    *(Assuming negotiation fails you. I should not have to mention this, but I do.)

    the White Nationalist “mantra” is a great thought-stopping propaganda device

    I don’t know what that is. Success. If only I could say the same about e.g. POTUS.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 4:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • ReactionaryFerret Says:

    You’ll have no argument here. I’m just surprised that this isn’t already an established, albeit unspoken, rule around here; the quality of comments on this blog have been among the best I’ve read. I had just assumed you were already filtering out the “lowest common denominator”.


    admin Reply:

    Strangely, not much brutality has been needed up to this point. Every so often though, it seems necessary to remind people that the comments here aren’t a populist debating chamber.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 4:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    Admin has created his next NRx T-shirt:

    People are basically free to say whatever they like, with the understanding that scum will be ejected without apology or reservation.


    j. ont. Reply:

    Not dissimilar to Kant: “Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!”


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 4:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    /pol/ has virtues.
    For one, the noise level is Gnon’s way of teaching you discretion. You must think for yourself, because there’s no alternative.
    Second, you can and are even encouraged to call out dumbasses for being dumb. This means if you say something dumb, you won’t be met with polite demurral. (Of course, if you say something particularly smart, you won’t be met with polite agreement either; see the first virtue.)
    Third, Admin has previously suggested frothing mad commentators go blow off steam somewhere else. /pol/ is a perfect place to do so – it richly deserves it. That said, don’t link xenosystems on 4chan, that’s just mean.
    Fourth, 4chan has the most hilarious trolls. To understand them properly, though, requires an appreciation of the fundamental ludicrousness of the human being.
    So, fifth, which depends on the fourth, it teaches you to take yourself and your topic as seriously as it warrants – namely, less than you do now. /pol/ as a whole will not noticeably react to any argument, no matter how strategically sound. This is a reflection of the world at large. You post for keks or Gnon will smite you. I believe a lighthearted, essentially Buddhist approach to discourse is not only good, but critical. If you want your ideas to work for you, you must go out and work them yourself. If you’re not doing that, you’re at play – formalize, admit you’re just playing around. (And have fun.)

    It is inherently a mood-killing place, though. The trolls there mainly want to tear you down, and they practice a lot so they’re good at it. Anyone with a shred of human empathy should expose themselves to 4chan only on a restricted schedule. For that reason I would very much like to see 4chan’s virtues ported away from the inherently vicious format.


    MLR Reply:

    I haven’t enjoyed a comment section this much since the old days of IOZ and early UR. I appreciate the effort admin takes to keep it that way.

    And I think the observations you make here, Alrenous, are a useful counterpoint to thinking about discourse in different ways – and, Gnon help us, keeping it in different places, as appropriate …


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 5:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    You should let people say whatever they want.

    As long as its in Attic Greek, classical Latin, 古文, or Assembly.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • Funeral Mongoloid Says:

    Personally, I find the sewers of senselessness to be sublime. I recently watched a porn video of a young black dude fucking an old white bespectacled grandmother in the ass. The comments beneath were full of typos, wrong English and appalling grammar, but no less profound for that. You may disagree, but I think such examples of 21st century cultural practice are worth fifty Mencius Moldbug blog posts. Anyone who has written a book about Georges Bataille should know what I’m getting at.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 6:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Funeral Mongoloid Says:

    Bataille would have approved of trolling. He would have understood immediately that it is ‘violently opposed to all dignity.’


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 8:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    trolling can be really great fun, but its properly aimed at propagandists. but if even a liberal has a cogent argument i think one owes a cogent response maybe more so they being so rare.
    im really surprised this is an issue here i think i could count on off the top of my head the commenter s here i have wondered if it was just a dozen of us.
    im not sure what could possibly be censured ideologically after all we are the dark ones how its said and how its supported is important i think whats wanted is a “safe” place to intelligently discuss ideas no matter how horrid as long as the intent is to work out not incite or proselytize


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    Thanks Land. I’m glad you’re around.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 9:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    You need a Gibbet Hill (I’m going to bed now).


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 10:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Max Says:

    I know how it sounds to say so, but this is pretty much exactly what I was hoping to incite.


    fotrkd Reply:

    [Golf clap]


    admin Reply:

    Oh, I believe you (unreservedly).


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 10:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • nyan_sandwich Says:

    Hear hear!

    All hail admin, acting in this moment as prophet of the True Emperor.


    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 11:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    The above should only pose a problem when I’m commenting drunk…


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 12:10 am Reply | Quote
  • RorschachRomanov Says:

    In honor of our dear Moldbug, I entitled a video after his (in)famous “Open Letter.” A humble tribute or shameless advertising? You decide.


    Chris B Reply:

    I keep forgetting to check up the channel. I vote it gets linked to reactiontimes if possible.


    RorschachRomanov Reply:

    I appreciate the vote of confidence. Unfortunately, at least as far as political philosophy goes, the great majority of my videos have been on the issue of antinatalism- the logic of Modernity pushed to its, as yet to be realized, conclusion.

    I do plan of shifting away from said issue and engaging political philosophy more exclusively.


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 4:13 am Reply | Quote

    Hear, hear gents, tallyho!

    I shall come up with a macro that replaces the “faggot” string with something more appropriate, scientific, and courtly like, “le fascis,” which has the added bonus of being both French and Latin.

    Since we are also raising the bar around here, when I call for politically based murders I shall also make sure not to reference those nasty low class Germans, and instead refer to something edgy and cyberpunk like this:

    Slaughtering people on an industrial scale is low status and prole. While slaughtering people under the guise of continental philosophy is cool, edgy, and certainly becoming of a King and their courtiers.

    I certainly look forward to this new era of discourse and trolling.


    admin Reply:

    Where has anyone here suggested that “Slaughtering people on an industrial scale is low status and prole.”? You’re bringing your own moral neuroses along with you. Mass human die off is probably our favorite topic.

    You can explore or advocate any kind of planetary of even super-planetary atrocity you like here. Just do it calmly and politely. Those are the rules. If you can’t accept them, there’s the whole of the rest of the Internet to play in.



    Firstly, if I calmly and politely send information to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of State Security about your various political affinities, and to domestic Chinese Maoist youth groups about your forays into China, and your thoughts on reactionary politics, that would be ok?

    And what about if I calmly and politely send information to various domestic British militant left wing groups about your new found political views, so that if you flee China, you’ll be walking back into a hornet’s nest? What if l also send information to British Islamist extremists about your Islamic posts?

    Generally, what would happen if I calmly and politely sent information to the FBI, CIA, MI5, or whatever other western domestic intelligence organizations I can, that show you as a leader of a new “fascist” online political movement (after all, this is what our proud and investigative journalists think you all are, and who can argue with them), so that no matter where you go on the planet, you’ll be on a list.

    Granted that I calmly and politely state this on your blog, is that ok?

    Or would you ban me?

    TOP KEK.


    admin Reply:

    Have you pitched up here just to be randomly bad-tempered? If you find this blog irritating, just ignore it. Is it really that hard? (I find it easy enough to ignore you, when you’re not sitting here hissing in my drawing room.)

    … and the steganography is super-clever. You must be proud.


    You are here to accelerate mundanes.

    I am here for the glory of the nine angles and the coming age of sinister endarkenment.

    admin Reply:

    That’s fine. I’d appreciate you doing it less obnoxiously.


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 7:43 am Reply | Quote
  • Antisthenes Says:

    [Comment redacted – admin.]


    admin Reply:

    Oh come on, stop doing that. Impersonating sovereign authority is a serious offense.


    Antisthenes Reply:

    Okay, I’ve had my fun now.


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 8:39 am Reply | Quote
  • Hard Right Says:

    I’ve always found Max to be rather amusing, but then I’ve been spending a lot of time on Chimpout lately.


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 11:09 am Reply | Quote
  • kgaard Says:

    I’ve been commenting a bit less on neoreaction blogs of late because I keep running into nuclear-level snark that is so insider-y I can’t even understand what the fuck they mean. Being naturally well-mannered I assume I have said something egregious. But lately I have been drawing some of the snark-ers out and find that more often than not they are wrong on some basic level. So I have come to the conclusion that a lot of this convoluted rudeness is an attempt to shut down legit debate, claim victory and be the top dog without having to actually debate the point in question. I think from here on, whether I am right or wrong on a specific point, I am going to press the issue and see where the snarkers really stand.


    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 3:19 pm Reply | Quote

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