Discrimination

Bryan Caplan has had two epiphanies, which sum to the conclusion that — bad as tribalism is — misanthropy is the real problem. His ineradicable universalism betrays him once again.

It matters little whether people are uniformly judged good or bad. Far more important is whether such judgment is discriminating.

The central argument of Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals is clarifying in this regard, not least because it explains how radical mystification came to dominate the topic. How could there ever come to be a moral quandary about the value of discrimination? Considered superficially, it is extremely puzzling.

Differentiation between what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ requires discrimination. This is a capability no younger than life itself, which it serves as an indispensable function. As soon as there is behavior, there is discrimination between alternatives. One way leads to survival, the other way leads to death. There is nourishment, or not; reproduction, or not; safety or predatory menace. Good and bad, or the discrimination between them (which is the same thing), are etched primordially into any world that life inhabits. Discrimination is needed to survive.

The very existence of archaic hominids attests to billions of years of effective discrimination, between safety and danger, wholesome and putrid or poisonous food, good mates and less good (or worthless) ones. When these elevated apes differentiated between good and bad, appetizing and rotten, attractive and repulsive, they found such discriminations sufficiently similar in essence to be functionally substitutable. When judging that some food item is ‘not good for us’, a person is ‘rotten’, or the odor of a potential mate is ‘delicious’, we recall such substitutions, and the primordial sense of discrimination that they affirm. There can be no long-term deviation from the original principle: discrimination is intelligence aligned with survival.

Two contrary developments now present themselves. Firstly, there is a sublimation or sophistication of discrimination, which might be called cultivation. Abstract concepts, modes of expression, artworks, delicate culinary flavors, refined behaviors, and exotic elaborations of sexual-selection stimuli, among innumerable other things, can all be subtly discriminated on the ancient scale, supporting an ever more intricate and extended hierarchy of judgments. The reflexive doubling of this potential upon itself, as captured by the ‘higher’ judgment that to discriminate well is good, produces a ‘natural aristocracy’. For the first time, there is a self-conscious ‘Right’. This, at least, is its logico-mythical ur-form. To divide the good from the bad is good. Order, hierarchy, and distinction emerge from an affirmation of discrimination.

Because the Left cannot create, it comes second. It presupposes an existing hierarchy, or order of discriminations, which is subverted through a ‘slave revolt in morality’. The formula is simple enough: to discriminate is bad. Following from this leftist moral perversion, as its second-order consequence, those who do not discriminate (well), but are in fact discriminated against, must be the good. In the new moral order, therefore, to be bad at discrimination is good — or ‘universalist’ — whilst the old (and now ‘evil’) quality of good judgment, based on competent perception of patterns and differences,  is the very quintessence of sin.

Lawrence Auster’s thinking, which would not usually be described as ‘Nietzschean’, conforms to the conclusions of the Antichrist perfectly in this:

We thus arrive at our present system of mass nonwhite immigration, multiculturalism, racial preferences for minorities, the symbolic celebration of minorities, the covering up of black-on-white violence, and antiracism crusades directed exclusively at whites. Under this system, whites practice assiduous non-discrimination toward the unassimilated, alien, or criminal behavior of racial minorities, while practicing the most assiduous discrimination against their fellow whites for the slightest failure to be non-discriminatory. This is the system that conservatives variously describe as “political correctness” or the “double standard.” However, from the point of view of the functioning of the liberal order itself, what conservatives call the double standard is not a double standard at all, but a fundamental and necessary articulation of the society into the “non-discriminators” and the “non-discriminated against”—an articulation upon which the very legitimacy and existence of the liberal society depends. [Auster’s emphasis]

The racial pretext for this righteous diatribe is not incidental, given the prevailing sense of ‘discrimination’ in Left-edited languages. Caution is required, however, precisely because vulgar racism is insufficiently discriminating. All generalization lurches towards the universal. The abstract principle of Leftism is, in any case, far more general. The trend towards the Left-absolute is entirely clear, and pre-programmed: no state of human existence can possibly be any better or worse than any other, and only through recognition of this can we be saved. Do you sinfully imagine that it is better to be a damned soul like Nietzsche than an obese, leprous, slothful, communist, cretin? Or worse still, in Bryan Caplan’s world, that one might design an immigration policy on this basis? Then your path to the abyss is already marked out before you.

It does not take an exceptional mastery of logic to see the inextinguishable contradiction in Leftist thought. If discrimination is bad, and non-discrimination is good, how can discrimination be discriminated from non-discrimination, without grave moral error? This is an opportunity for Rightist entertainment, but not for solace. The Left has power and absurdist mysticism on its side. Logic is for sinners.

Two hanging questions:
Can Left and Right be rigorously distinguished in any other way?
Isn’t Christianity, as Nietzsche insisted, inextricable from this mess?

August 9, 2013admin 60 Comments »
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60 Responses to this entry

  • Mark Warburton Says:

    Yes. This needed to be written. Nietszche is multi-faceted prophet.

    Ressentiment is bad – but, apparently, effective. Seeing as it trumps discrimination to such an extent these days. What really sparked my total conversion to the Right was Jonathan Bowden’s interpretation of a right-wing Nietszche. The whole master/slave good/bad good/evil stuff is more telling than ever. It really is a prime currency of the cathedral.

    [Reply]

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    Nietzsche is under-appreciated in reactionary circles, perhaps because Moldbug ignores him. Maybe this is because Nietzsche feuded with Carlyle and was slightly anti-semitic. But Nietzsche’s realism is a powerful antidote to liberal idealism, and his critique of Christianity serves as an able critique of its successor the Cathedral.

    The big question that Nietzsche asks reactionaries is if Christianity has any place after a return to an organic political order or the construction of a more perfect order under the leadership of Moldbuggian radicalism. Is Christianity the source of the rot? Is liberalism inevitable, once you have Christianity?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I agree, but I also think these questions collapse down to further, obscure depths when explored. For instance: “Is Christianity the source of the rot?” What is this really suggesting? It’s quite clear that Nietzsche was inclined to biological rather than spiritual causality, and that the human dross he despised was not primarily defined by its ideas, but rather, its characteristic ideas provided symptoms of physiological decadence (feedback complications no doubt impinge at various points). Insofar as Christianity is identified with the ‘slave revolt in morality’ therefore, it is because it was able to uniquely disarm the superior types, leading them to acquiesce in their own dispossession. An ‘idea’, then, that is able to reverse the natural order of social hierarchy for millennia — making the ill-constituted, incapable, wretched and degenerate the moral center of the world. What kind of magic is this? It seems almost miraculous enough to count as a confirmed religious phenomenon …

    [Reply]

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    Two characteristics of Christianity immediately jump out at the Reactionary:

    1) The history of Western civilization is the history of Christian civilization. Western culture cannot be separated from Christianity, and its growth is coincident with the growth of the Christian church. Christianity appears to have had a civilizing, Romanizing influence on the peoples of the West, causing them to develop a literate high civilization earlier than they otherwise may have.

    I often discuss this point with atheist anti-Christians who get upset over Christianity’s presence in Western culture. It is as if they are getting upset over water being wet.

    To the extent that the pathologies of modern culture are resisted (i.e. dysgenic breeding), they are most often resisted in Christian communities.

    Moldbug often makes similar points. It comes from his love of Carlyle (who himself offers Christian rule as a model for society). We see it in comments like this:

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/12/four-tough-questions-for-secular-right.html?showComment=1293731949380#c5367282579367411040

    2) The pathological ideas of the modern left clearly have their roots in Christianity. Egalitarianism, and even a perverse aristocracy of pity (where the worst are first and the best, last) are seeded by Christ’s doctrines. There are too many other parallels to go into here, and Moldbug clearly traces the modern lineage from Christ to Howard Zinn.

    Christianity is both a blessing and a curse. It is a brilliant philosophy that contains the seeds of its own undoing. But the whole history of western civilization has not been as pathetic as its final coda. Even its latent egalitarianism has not been a total wash. In modern times, it has lead to dysgenic breeding and Marxist class conflicts. But in the past it has allowed a meritocratic society to grow where talented people of low birth and low social class had the opportunity to put their talents to work for society. This is a hallmark of effective civilizations across the ages.

    Can we do better than Christianity? I’m not sure. But I worry that going back to a Christian world, as conservatives wish, will lead to us falling right back where we are.

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 9:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Lou Finch Says:

    It might be that the age of Man is over, and the time of the Orc has come.

    Power trumps logic, and if the latter has any influence on events at all it is as a form of rhetoric.

    I predict that popular enthusiasm for Cultural Marxism will only ever diminish by the same process that popular Marxism did.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 9:38 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    This is great – wonderfully distilled. I was initially – for some reason – reminded of Bill Hicks at his most scathing (also picking up the Christian element):

    [Someone in the crowd yells “Freebird”] Please quit yelling that. It’s not funny, it’s not clever; it’s stupid, it’s repetitive, why the fuck would you continue to yell that? I’m serious. [The same man yells something back] “Kevin Matthews”; okay, what does that mean, now? Now, what does it mean? I understand where it comes from, so do you. Now, what does it all mean? What is the culmination of yelling that? [The same man yells back again] Jimmy Shorts: he’s not here, he’s not gonna be here. Now what? Now where are we? We’re here at you interrupting me again, you fucking idiot. That’s you. You see, we are here at the same point again where you, the fucking peon masses, can once again ruin anyone who tries to do anything because you don’t know how to do it on your own! That’s where we’re fucking at! Once again the useless wastes of fucking flesh that has ruined everything good in this goddamn world! That’s where we’re at. Hitler had the right idea! he was just an underachiever! Kill ’em all, Adolf! All of ’em! Jew, Mexican, American, White, kill ’em all! Start over! The experiment didn’t work! Rain 40 days, please fucking rain to wash these turds off my fucking life! Wash these human wastes of flesh and bone off this planet! I pray to you, God, to kill these fucking people! [Someone yells out “Freebird” once more] Freebird. [Falls back] And in the beginning there was the word, Freebird. And Freebird would be yelled throughout the centuries. Freebird, the mantra of the moron.

    But then I arrived back at Stengers:

    The survival of philosophy as a creation of concept may well look like a futile question when considering the massive problems of the future. However learning how to pick up the arrow, at a time when all marginalist evaluations seem to point towards a threshold beyond which stupidity will prevail, is also learning how to resist the wisdom that would propose to renounce trust, to renounce believing in this world, in this life.

    So… I need to learn some theological discrimination (i.e. how to make a fucking decision). And I think I need to go away to pace it out by myself (“do not proceed in the name of anything, even of Artaud. Especially not Artaud !” – that would after all be betraying what I’ve learnt from Rabelais (which is surely aligning with survival, no?)). I’ll know by 2015 if at all (pretty sure that’s right) – not sure if that helps you or not. But I apologise for the hissy fits (and will – hopefully – spare you anymore). I’d like to call it ‘To be continued…’, but you’ll know better than me.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Both of those quotes are amazing.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yes, and not incompatible. Leave it with me.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 11:07 am Reply | Quote
  • Pillow Says:

    Coincident with anti-discrimination are increasingly vague internal characteristics contrary to all appearances: gender (internal sex agnosticism) and Totoro/Precious (internal non-monstrosity agnosticism), etc. Non-discrimination, taken seriously, makes it impossible to speak at all, not merely to distinguish between this and that, existence and nonexistence (increasingly discriminatory vocalization [the shrinking semiotic fields of hyenic howls] as uniquely-human language genesis). Shutting-up will not happen, for obvious reasons. What this means, then, for the west, is speech about unseeable essences, gaping infinities behind every forehead, essential dark side of the moon to every object, etc. Per TLP, narcissism is unrealized identity. Forcing those of unrealized identity to interact with feedback-prone realism is of course deleterious for the maintenance of their delusion. Thus, the narcissist wants nothing more than to interact with the similarly unrealized. The desiring-production loop of narcissist-essence gets larger with each revolution: the narcissist serves only the creation and consumption of greater and greater unappeared essence, feeding greater unappeared identity, and so on, and we find the word pulling farther and farther away from the world. Anti-discrimination is in the interest of many identities’ self-preservation, and the hugbox is terribly, terribly soft.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 11:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Christianity is obviously extricable, since there are a number of Christian sects, thinkers, philosophies, and individuals who have extricated themselves from it.

    But Christianity as a whole has not extricated itself. Even so, certain differentiations between good and bad are more central to Christianity than the ‘don’t judge’ teaching, which is probably why the Left is so anti-Christian.

    Your formulation of the difference between Left and Right leads to an interesting reformulation of Conquest’s 2d Law, one which is self-evidently right. Every organization that does not explicitly exclude sooner or later ends up inclusionary. You may be on to something.

    [Reply]

    vimothy Reply:

    But the inclusionists _do_ exclude…

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    On the basis of iwhose not inclusionary, sure.

    Put in terms of Conquest’s Law, one subset of ‘organizations that are not explicitly right-wing’ is organizations that are expliciftly left-wing.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Synthesis with the language of ‘inclusion’ is helpful, as long as it is undertaken carefully. Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore are all remarkably ‘inclusive’ in the specific — and highly-functional — sense that they can absorb outside elements within a strictly hierarchical framework. The problem begins, I believe, with indiscriminate inclusion — for instance with the promiscuous distribution of political rights to people whose proper mode of inclusion should not in any way involve such things. Sailer has an excellent article on ‘Fiat Citizenship’ up at Takimag that gets at the same issue from a different angle.

    vimothy Reply:

    For more of the same, Jacob Rees-Mogg is caught meeting the sinister Traditional Britain group.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Not much sign of a practical program there,but the wine is probably good.

    [Reply]

    vimothy Reply:

    Lauder-Frost (who not only has an aristocratic sounding name but is also by some accounts a minor criminal) has been giving some amusingly unapologetic interviews:

    But Mr Lauder-Frost, who campaigns to reintroduce what he calls “traditional” values into the Tory Party, refused to back down on his views. Speaking to BBC London’s Vanessa Feltz show yesterday, Mr Lauder-Frost said of Mrs Lawrence: “We do not feel there is any merit in raising such a person to the peerage. She’s a complete nobody. She has been raised there for politically correct purposes. She’s just a campaigner about her son’s murder.

    “It’s ridiculous. She has made countless anti-English comments over the last 10 years. She’s no friend of the English people.”

    Referring to the 1999 Act of Parliament that removed most hereditary peers from the upper House, he added: “They have kicked out people who have sat in the House of Lords for 1,000 years consecutively, father to son, father to son, all that experience of running the country. We’re filling the House of Lords with spivs.”

    The Traditional Britain Group supports halting immigration and leaving the EU. Yesterday, Mr Lauder-Frost, who lived in Zimbabwe when it was under white minority rule and known as Rhodesia, went further – saying that anyone living in the UK who was not of “European stock” should be offered “assisted voluntary repatriation” to their “natural” homeland.

    When it was pointed out to him that hundreds of thousands of British citizens from ethnic minorities were born in the UK, he retorted: “As the Duke of Wellington said: ‘Being born in a stable doesn’t make you a horse’.” Asked whether he considered his views to be racist, he replied; “I have said nothing unpleasant about aliens at all.”

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 6:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    “Logic is for sinners.”

    Then let us sin, and let us sniff. Me sniffs left corpse already leprous and beginning to die.

    me sniff yer all over-thinking this…

    Reactionary political philosophy is fascinating, finally a breakout from the century long trough.

    All Hail Moldbug.

    What is significant is the politics of Reaction . Reaction in the USA [all I’m concerned with] is a small but intelligent faction of the Court party that perceives the party is ending. Hence the logical [but only from the view of the court] search for a Just King to save the Court . This means something, this faction despairs from within the Citadel of the Court. It may come to nothing, but it is very new, and if their masters were not lower Church Vogons they’d be alarmed.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This point makes less of an impression than it might, because it’s insufficiently focused. You’d be more on target if you explicitly aimed at neo-royalism, which — thanks to MM especially — has a certain vogue within the new reaction, but certainly does not comprehensively dominate it. If you want to sweep in the secret army of American institutional entryists — which would be harsh, but I can see the entertainment value of the ensuing argument — you’re still only talking about certain influential factions. (I’m laboring the point because this blog is missed entirely by your critique — as are, for instance, Jim’s, Spandrell’s, and Scharlach’s — so it’s difficult for me to rise to the bait.)

    I think an ultra-modernist anti-democratic constitutional republicanism will ultimately command the reactionary soul — or at least distinguish reactionary neos and paleos definitively — so your diagnosis is more supportive than oppositional, even if it isn’t being set up like that. Monarchy was the inadequate first-draft of a mechanism to capture natural aristocracy for social order. The ‘Robber-baron’ capitalism of late-nineteenth century America was a superior, if still undeveloped, alternative. The ‘knights’ of capital, however, have yet to unambiguously and self-confidently seize the state, and re-forge legitimacy on a Social-Darwinian basis — that’s what the new reaction (and even ‘neocameralism’) is ultimately about.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    It is probably not sharply focused. [I wasn’t aiming at any blog]

    I was more musing until I came to the politics of reaction. There I am pointed. Perhaps I should explain – philosophy or ideology is what Marx did. Politics is what Stalin did. “a small but intelligent faction of the Court party.” I’ll stand by that. Their politics are Sir their interests.

    That is significant. Part of the Court Party breaks off completely and begins to mutter, mutter, mutter the most dangerous mummers. Hmmm. Hmmm.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m prodding because there’s an original and intriguing thesis here, which some additional concreteness would reinforce.

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    I like where you are going. An American political order must be based in American ideas, and the idea of monarchy is anathema to Americans and it always will be. Let universalism remain a fault of the left – each people must work out their own salvation. In white America, the captains of industry and the idea of a republican order have the respect of the people. We must work with the materials we have.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Apparently Todd claims that areas where the absolute nuclear family prevails are disposed to constitutional oligarchy. So you may not be pushing on a rope (I, myself, am not yet convinced.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 9th, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    From the evolutionary-Hegelian perspective of Ken Wilber, however, things look completely different. For him, Left multiculturalism is the political manifestation of consciousness having evolved beyond the confines of tribalism and ethnocentricity, and having thereby attained a more expansive, “worldcentric” view.
    However, problems arise when the Left – failing to appreciate just what a rare and elite attainment worldcentrism actually is – seeks to apply worldcentric policy to egocentric or ethnocentric populations. In Wilber’s words –

    “Typical multiculturalists claim to be non-elitist or anti-elitist. But the capacity for postconventional and worldcentric pluralism is a very rare, very elite accomplishment. One survey found that only 4% of the American population actually reach this highly developed stage. So multiculturalism is a very elite stance that then claims it is not elitist.
    Multiculturalism embraces the noble drive to treat individuals equally and fairly, but than ignores the developmental process that allowed it to embrace universal pluralism in the first place. … It then cannot explain why the Nazis should be shunned. If we are really multicultural and all for diversity, how can we exclude the Nazis? Isn’t everybody equal?
    The answer, of course, is that no, not every stance is equal. Worldcentric is better than ethnocentric, which is better than egocentric, because each has more depth. Nazism is an ethnocentric movement based on a particular mythtology of race supremacy, and from a worldcentric perspective we judge it to be inferior.
    But the typical multiculturalist cannot allow this judgment, because they confusedly deny distinctions between moral stances altogether – all stances are equal, no judgments allowed!
    All this is actually doing is contributing to the retribalization of America, by encouraging every egocentric and ethnocentric fragmentation and grievance politics, the politics of narcissism. All stances are equal means every preconventional and ethnocentric shallowness is given encouragement.”

    In other words, the Left’s main problem is that it doesn’t fully realize how superior it is.
    Not an assertion heard often in these parts.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This teleology raises my hackles, predictably. Submersion into every more expansive collectives is progress?

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Wilber never speaks of “submersion” – rather his shtick is all about the emergence of successively more inclusive modes of consciousness. As each successive mode “dis-identifies” with the previous mode (i.e. detaches from an exclusive identification with it), so ground becomes figure, condition becomes element, and subjective self-sense becomes more expansive.
    He claims experiential evidence for this is obtainable through the practice of meditation, which is something he has been engaged with for most of his adult life (indeed, so proficient at meditation has he become that he can be seen on YouTube actually stopping his brainwave activity while wired to an EEG).
    Of course, whether or not meditative experience can in any way be considered predictive of future social transformation is clearly very much open to question, and could only ever be decided on the basis of large scale social research.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

    http://www.dubrovnik-peace-project.org/sci/maharishi_effect.htm

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    My first thought was to quote …actually stopping his brainwave activity while wired to an EEG straight back at you, in a ‘that tells you everything you need to know about the left’s utopia’ kind of way. But the example actually lays out the left-right dichotomy in the starkest (or simplest) terms. What do you want to align with? Heart or head?

    John Hannon Reply:

    Well obviously what Wilber would want to align with is the integration of heart and head (indeed – in line with his Hegelian instinct to seek the integrative synthesis of absolutely everything – he has even founded an “Integral Institute”).

    BTW, that “Maharishi Effect” link is in no way meant to indicate that I give the research any credence – it’s just here for entertainment.
    I wouldn’t trust a Yogic flyer as far as I could throw one.

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    Psilocybin mushrooms will get you there quicker. We’re like, all the same man.

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    Why do the non-discriminators allow discrimination against some groups? It turns out their rhetoric doesn’t match reality. Their idealism is only a mechanism to gain power in the specific political environment in which they evolved. They speak universalism, while acting out the Marxist class struggle, now reflected in the spectrum of gender, sex, and race.

    Discriminating against ethnic majorities in favor of ethnic minorities is a winning strategy in countries with declining majority fertility and high immigration. The presence of majority-group universalists only helps speed their ascendance to power.

    The true believers in universalism are nice, as they provide a smoke screen for the reality of the power games.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 10th, 2013 at 12:14 am Reply | Quote
  • Lou Finch Says:

    @John Hannon

    Or, it could be that the rhetoric of the New Left (seeking to justify its ascent to power by unceasingly attacking the power of its opponents as unjust) is fundamentally self-contradictory.

    The moment the pigs start to run the farm is the moment they start to resemble humans.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 10th, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Can Left and Right be rigorously distinguished in any other way?

    If we use the entropy scale, yes.

    Isn’t Christianity, as Nietzsche insisted, inextricable from this mess?

    There is, of course, a perennial risk of the No True Scotsman fallacy. Nothing I can do about that.

    But the anti-discrimination bug arose very late in the evolution of Christianity, and only in quite specific sects. That this bug subsequently took over the entire West, and the remainder of Christianity with it, cannot now be used to indict Christianity broadly for any special crime. Interestingly, a fraction of Christians, in a wide variety of sects, seem to be immune from this very bug, at rates higher than the general population.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Isn’t the entropy scale isn’t measuring the same phenomenon, with a trend to systematic non-discrimination explaining the mechanism?

    The Christianity argument isn’t going to be concluded any time soon. Despite it’s potential to irritate, it brings out the best in both sides, when conducted calmly. Certainly, a general indictment doesn’t move anything forwards at this stage. From the Christian side, the argument that the plunge into demented Leftism has coincided with a collapse of the traditional faith is — at the very least — a point that can’t be easily skirted around. The contrary case, that Christianity coincided with an egalitarian moral inversion (and the promise that “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11) is also acute.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Oh, I don’t think so. If you favor order (Right), if you believe order is good for everyone (probably even the disorderly), then you won’t care very much about disparate impact. Even if you care a little about it, you’ll never trade a bit of order for less disparate impact. But if you care only about disparate impact (Left), then almost no amount of disorder will dissuade you from your goal. (You might ride the brake a bit to keep things from getting too out of hand to quickly, but the general direction is assured.)

    Well, there is no doubt that the seed of the egalitarian heresy lies within primordial Christianity, but so do the seeds of many potentially disordering heresies… Progressive Christianity had many false starts long before the Reformation. I think the landing of Progressive Christianity on a substantially empty continent, where competing memeplexes were either weak or non-existent, was the big game changer.

    The cure for Progressive Christianity remains the cure for all such heresies: A Magisterium, with the power to carry out its will on earth, which cannot be, and importantly cannot ever have been, wrong on any important doctrinal matter. It kinda nails your theological foot to the floor. It’s pretty anti-progressive, but it didn’t stop the development of Universities or the Renaissance, inter alia (nor did it really try).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Discrimination separates, or sifts, reducing entropy. If there’s another way to practically build and sustain order, I’ve no idea what it could be. So I still maintain that defining the Right through order (vs entropy), is just to re-state its alignment with discrimination, only with another — and entirely compatible — emphasis.

    On Christianity, natural modesty forces me to concede that I’m unlikely either to destroy the faith or brew up a contagious new heresy tonight. The more reactionary Christianity gets (I’d say “the more traditional” but that would be rolling-over too pathetically), the more educational it becomes. The Puritans had got quite seriously out of control before arriving in America though — and Savonarola was already burning Botticellis and casting anathemas on the institution of private property in the 15th century (then good Pope Alexander VI burnt his commie ass).

    [Why don’t we have Pope Alexanders anymore? Enough of this Benedict and Francis nonsense. A Pope Attila is someone we could all get behind.]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Well that’s some big-D Discrimination there, but yeah, I guess that is a reasonably comprehensive way of looking at it Rightism. But within the ordering there can still be a modest motivation for levelling, to spread the opportunity and wealth so to speak, but only within the constraints of low entropy. For example, yes we want high average wealth, good for everyone. But it is not, I think, anathema to the right to suggest that we’d like even more to have high average wealth plus lower variance.

    Indeed the Puritans were a pestilence in Europe. They would have I think been wiped out, just like all the other “progressive” Christians before them. It just so happened that the Western Hemisphere had recently come onto the market (for which we may thank Catholics I might add), and at a price that couldn’t be beat. Europeans thought they had gotten rid of their problems, but it only made them a bigger threat in the long run.

    Lesson: Kill, don’t banish, your heretics. It may improve the quality of your heretics, but it keeps them much more rare.

    Alexander, that’d be great. Hey, I’d be happy with a Pope Pius XIII. Either way, playtime will be over.

    vimothy Reply:

    Hey, I’d be happy with a Pope Pius XIII.

    How about a Pink Tutu?

    fotrkd Reply:

    The Christianity argument isn’t going to be concluded any time soon.

    Slightly tangential, but I’ve been trawling, well hunting – all the way back in Chaos Patch #1, where you asked:

    “Maybe at the lowest depths of the chaos patch should be a rage pit?” — Are you aiming for a nine-circles model?

    Did I miss something critical there? Can you dive down to different depths? Asking is somewhat futile, but it would make sense in a [face palm] kind of way. [Thinking…]

    P.S. Some pulp fiction for you:

    The place was no more the Valley of the Shadow of Life, but Life itself—a surge of dæmonic energy out of the deeps of the past. It was wild and yet ordered, savage and yet sacramental, the home of an ancient knowledge which shattered for me the modern world and left me gasping like a cave-man before his mysteries.
    John Buchan,
    The Dancing Floor

    Kind of like that?

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 10th, 2013 at 1:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • asdf Says:

    Nietchze already got his shot with the Nazi’s. Let the guy rest. He was only ever reacting against leftism, not building something his own.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Weak. Argumentum ad Hitlerum is inherently contemptible (even without the Nietzsche mis-spelling).

    [Reply]

    asdf Reply:

    Not really. I’m with Bruce Charlton. Nietzsche is just the third level of nihilism.

    1) Liberalism (truth is subjective)
    2) Materialism (truth is only what we can prove scientifically)
    3) Vitalism (truth can be found in raw emotions)
    4) Destruction (pure nihilism)

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/nihilism.html

    Nazism is a #3 reaction against #1 and #2. And it ended in #4, with Hitler ordering the destruction of his own country as punishment for failing him.

    Playing No True Scotsmen with Nietzsche is like arguing with some university Marxist about how we never had true communism. If we’ve never had true communism that true communism probably isn’t possible. Academic ideas never survive real world politics intact. Experiments in that direction have been disastrous.

    At least Nietzsche understood his philosophy could lead to monstrous evil. His fanboys don’t even understand him.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The Seraphim Rose article is probably the most philosophically sophisticated contribution to Christian apologetics of recent times. It is not reasonably interpreted as an excuse to stop reading Nietzsche. I also think that you are failing even to try to distinguish between what Nietzsche prophesied and what he advocated, with the historical relations between Christianity and nihilism being a significant part of that unthought area. Nietzsche told us that, and how, nihilism was happening, far more than he himself brought it about. His implication in the later politics of the Third Reich is, in that way among others, complicated. This is also true of the the Marx / communism relationship — since it is scarcely realistic to think that Marx conjured leftist insanity out of thin air. (My problem with Argumentum ad Hitlerum is that it is normally used as a lazy form of dismissal. If it’s part of actually thinking about something, it’s unobjectionable.)

    Posted on August 11th, 2013 at 3:11 am Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    I read all the comments and tried to think of something entertaining to say. I did find a book today that I am excited about that compares progressives and Nazis, and all other idealists, to Gnosticism. It is called: “Science, Politics, and Gnosticism,” by Eric Voegelin. This guy seems to have written about some of MM’s ideas in the 1950s.

    Here it is.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 11th, 2013 at 3:32 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Hmm… Right, eenie meanie, minny mo over (for now)… It’s all binary (obviously). Discrimination at the absolute limit makes no sense. The evidence goes on forever. That’s the human (or my) limit. The present. So how can I make an intelligent decision? You can – presumably – find out if you are an Angel or a Demon and see everything as past or future, dying or just beginning. Have a tug of war about it all (I speculate). But theologically or morally that structure again makes as little sense as Calvinism (it is Calvinism or Lynch’s White Lodge / Black Lodge – maybe I’m still stuck inside..). To rebel (i.e to reject) is to demand (not unreasonably) judgement (Bunyan frets about the unpardonable sin); Satan’s error is in recognising – by challenging – a hierarchy. But to obey – to somehow submit to the binary ‘good’ – is to concede to stupidity and suffering. Both ‘choices’ – siding with intelligence via an act of faith (a gamble), or ‘love’ within a fucked up logic – are contradictory. On this twisted path the only way out is to stay where I am and wait (or work – crap, it is Bunyan)… because I can only make a decision from within nonsense…

    I’ll stop there and look again at how this seems another time. I don’t know what it means in terms of what to do – overthrow the law of excluded middle?! Secret plan? Who needs busting out again? Anyway, I hope I haven’t caused offence. Jung’s Pleroma felt important… balance (a pilgrim’s narrow path..) (etc… etc.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Offense to whom? All the Bunyanites that hang out around here?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    You think I’ve misrepresented him?

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 11th, 2013 at 2:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Red Powder Says:

    A random thought directly from my drug-addled brain.

    When Nietzsche attacked Christianity, he was really attacking Protestants. Does that make him an ally of the Catholics?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You might find some ammunition in Rudolf Otto if you want to pursue this (appropriately) “drug-addled” thesis.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 13th, 2013 at 12:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    …and speaking of discriminination…

    A disturbing thought was imparted to my brain by one of our NYC-area Orthospherean Meetup members last night: What if google glass could do pattern recognition (perhaps with location filtering) on every face you see and record likes and dislikes all for you to observe in privacy of your own near-field vision?

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 15th, 2013 at 5:33 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @VXXC;

    @ admin – concrete reinforcments.

    well we’re on the internet. I don’t attend reactivity meetups. However if one did I think one would be rather reinforced. Dept of [sic] money, No such agency, and so on…

    No one I know including kin likes working in Washington. I know one person who liked it, who said if you’re not corrupt you’re in the wrong place. He left awhile ago. Good instincts that fellow.

    What does American web neo-reaction want? I’ve said it before with varying degrees of vehemence – the corner office, to keep the party going, a court that needs a king to continue. This is cynical, and also betrays fear. FEAR. Now FEAR is a real lever. As is MONEY and POSITION. This is different .

    The vehemence comes from me being a plebe in heart as well as birth. I want no such thing. We have rule of elites, it’s ruinous. Absent thawing out of New Dealers placed in cyrogenic freeze 70 years ago we’re not likely to get good elites, the apples are rotten in both tree and barrel. Everyone went to the same schools.

    And also that I feel they are missing an opportunity. American plebes are ANGRY and ARMING. The official stats is 46,500 firearm background checks a day. 324 a minute. For a 5 year average. I don’t know if Ghangzhou Fried Chicken will let you see it, but the most popular ammo on the web [cheaperthandirt.com for instance] is OUT OF STOCK. All brands. Mind you they are finally catching up again, and the shelves are beginning to stock again with hardware. Software remains scarce. For some reason a nationwide shortage on little itty bitty .22 continues. There’s speculation it’s being hoarded as alternative money. The speculation was Forbes.

    If the people are this angry, alienated, arming, and not voting [established] then our political impasse reflected in Congress does not bode ending peacefully. I posted months ago elsewhere they lack only Tribunes. I don’t mean elected officials. That’s laughable. If you’re not laughing the firewall is blocking the Republicans.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Guangzhou Fried Chicken doesn’t block out any information from anybody who takes the trouble to access it, all it does is crank up the PITA factor in a kind of statistical filtration. Certainly, the arming of the American populace is a story that I have been following with extreme interest. The distributed stocking of ammo as a form of durable currency only adds to the significance of the process.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    I was in Walmart in upstate NY Appalachia a couple of months ago, where I was raised.

    They had no .22. A man so obese he was in a cart to motor around remarked he had 19,000 rounds of .22 and would get more if they had them. I don’t quite understand it, I suspect perhaps money beyond mere hoarding.

    The rumor was the Seneca Indian reservation had under the counter bullets.

    They’re good at such businesses. Gonna get better, Cuomo closed their casino.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 15th, 2013 at 10:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    @Cimon Alexander

    Thank you for that link. Two thoughts:

    1. You don’t have to be a monotheist to appreciate Adam Smith’s “impartial spectator” from _The Theory of Moral Sentiments_, but the two ideas sure dovetail very nicely.

    2. I have been trying to rationalize to myself that God is some sort of a LaGrange multiplier, a cognitive trick that makes it easy to take constraints (e.g. other people’s responses) into account when trying to solve an optimization problem. Moldbug seems to have thought more deeply about this than I have.

    I like the Oriana Fallaci story.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 22nd, 2013 at 12:19 am Reply | Quote
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  • Mark Citadel Says:

    As an Orthodox Christian myself, I would say that the political ruminations are irrelevant if Christianity is true. If Christianity is false (and indeed no other theology is true), then it is fair to debate the politics of Christian order on the basis of their political virtues or deficiencies. Irf you want to ignore nihilism, that is.

    But if Christianity is true, it does not matter what political assessments you make, a planned society necessarily must revolve around its truth, and it is up to you to make it work. Criticisms that Christianity is the root of modernism don’t seem entirely coherent to me. Rather, I would link modernity’s evil instead to widespread wealth and access to knowledge and competing anti-religious explanations of physical reality (along with other more minor factors).

    We know that the striving for equality is really just a power shift, putting those who were previously below, on top. But I don’t see any reason to think this threat just magically emerged because of environmental factors during the Enlightenment. Rather, I think this element has ALWAYS existed, but it took a long time for the situational requirements to line up precisely to the point where it could take root in society at large. It was a domino effect. Once it happened to one civilization, because global communications were beginning to be realzied, it was inevitable that it would occur in other nations. The only reason modernity began in Christendom was simply because Christendom was European, and thanks to history and geography, Europe was destined to be the center from where distant and disparate parts of the world would be influenced from with the advent of modern technology, imperialism, and commerce. Had Christianity been an Asian phenomenon, I very much doubt the center of modernity would have shifted to China.

    [Reply]

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    I’m raised orthodox, Latin Rite Catholic.

    And at this point Catholic and indeed Christianity need to provide us with a plan for survival or begone from us Satan. Apparently Judas is now in charge.

    Absolutely everything is surrendered without a drop of blood. Fucking loathsome.

    We are already as a faith morally extinct, the cowardice of Christian leadership is so staggering it begs the question is God saying it’s time to get a new faith. It’s loathsome. That’s just on moral grounds.

    And apparently our plan for all this is craven surrender, to nominally weaker and more loathsome foes. Obama for instance isn’t Hitler, Stalin or the rest.

    And if you haven’t been in life or death moments where death was being bought by men then this be assured is what’s irrelevant – questions of FAITH. SHIT. Life, survival more important than faith.

    “political ruminations are irrelevant if Christianity is true.” oh yes? If you haven’t been at point of death be careful of what’s irrelevant.

    Christianity will find something to offer but degrading deaths, or degraded existence that impresses no one but fills anyone and everyone with contempt and loathing, or it will be replaced by a man’s faith.

    This is a dying faith, never mind religion.

    [Reply]

    Mark Citadel Reply:

    You misapprehend me. My point is very much specific, in response to a debate over Christianity’s practicality as a locus for society. My point is that if it is true, then ANY other concerns are irrelevant, and you must simply adhere to it and force it to work.

    Think about it like this, if Christianity is true, then an INFINITY awaits beyond this life. For the Christian who has put his faith in the Messiah, death is NOTHING. Death is merely the end of earthly existence in our physical bodies, and who we actually are, our souls, will live forever in paradise.

    Now, dwell on that a second and think about what it means. Is that not fantastic? Is that not something that renders all earthly inconveniences meaningless?

    But the message was not that Christians should endure humiliation and persecution with the faith in the afterlife making us content. Not at all! I am a reactionary, and not one opposed to even the most radical methods of attaining victory, not because I wish to make the best of life but because I wish to SERVE THE LORD WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

    My own life is not something I am incredibly concerned about, because I have absolute faith in God. I wish to use this physical existence to further God’s desires for this world, to be His instrument, to work for a reactionary society through which not only will we be pleasing to the Lord and spare many from His wrath, but by His mercy and justice will actually provide a livable existence in this life to those who will follow us.

    I do not say to sit and meditate, I say to fight. But I say it not for my own selfish wants of the flesh and mind, but for it is God’s will, and His will be done.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 29th, 2014 at 3:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    As long as one musters Sir, his reasons are his own.

    By all means.

    Sure I’ll fight for God, my God, my people’s Catholic God. My Irish Catholic God. Along with everything else for all is to be destroyed.

    In Truth our actual priorities as Catholics -ethnically as well as Faith – are really Family, God, Country/Community. What’s important to Catholics [if they’re still kicking and fighting] is Families and a Just, sane and tolerable regime to raise them in. Catholics are very tolerant of so many different types of regimes they have only to let us be Catholic. We remember Rome, we remember the Dark Ages, we remember digging out of the Dark Ages.

    The current regime will not let us be Catholic, indeed it’s been obvious who these people are and what they want since the 1960’s. It was obvious to a small boy in the 1970s, this must be why I enlisted at 19. I would have enlisted at 12. The current regime wants us all gone, as well as Christianity, Whites, Europeans.

    Someone should have looked up Transformation in 2008, in African politics that means genocidally wipe the Whites from Africa. Which the American Left has been saying about Americans for decades. We were given long and ample warning.

    They only way they win is if we don’t fight. May I recommend you begin with getting your own gang. If military or police is an option for you then understand those sacrifices pay off at times like these. There’s no little clique quite like the one with cops and vets in it, this I will attest to, but it had to be earned.

    Muster. That’s all that matters. Take stock of what we have, not what’s wished for or the Ideal regime…work with what you have. Good luck.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 1st, 2014 at 12:20 pm Reply | Quote
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