Independence

The philosophical antonym to ‘universality‘ is ‘particularity’. Its broader, ideological antonym is something closer to independence.

This isn’t a word greatly emphasized by NRx up to this point, or — for that matter — one figuring prominently in contemporary discussions of any kind. That’s strange, because it orchestrates an extraordinary set of conceptual connections.

Independence is a rough synonym for sovereignty, to begin with. The profound association between these terms bears quite extreme analytical pressure. The sovereign is that instance capable of independent decision. An independent state is indistinguishable from a sovereign one, and to impugn its real sovereignty is to question its effective independence. Secession is a process of independence. A (Moldbuggian) Patchwork is a network of independent geopolitical entities. All relevant trends to geopolitical fragmentation are independence-oriented. Each executed Exit option (even on a shopping expedition) is an implicit declaration of independence, at least in miniature. (The relations between independence and connectivity are subtle and complex.)

Remaining (for a moment) in the narrowest NRx channel, the entire passivism discussion is independence related. Protest (‘activism’) is disdained on account of its fundamental dependency (upon sympathetic political toleration). No social process genuinely directed towards independence would fall within the scope of this criticism. (The ‘Benedict Option’ is one obvious example.) ‘Build something’ epitomizes independence process.

Cannot the entire range of contentions over the individualism / collectivism dyad be recast in terms of independence? Dependency exists on a spectrum, but the defining attitude towards it tends to polarization. Is dependence to be embraced, or configured as a problem to be worked against? This blog is highly tempted to project the Left / Right or ‘principal political’ dimension along the axis these distinct responses define. The Left is enthused by inter-dependency, and (to a greater or lesser extent) accepts comparative independence, while for the Right this attitudinal system is exactly reversed. (The most fundamental tensions within the reactosphere are clearly related to this articulation.)

One inevitable point of contention — honed over decades of objection to libertarianism — is captured by the question: Are not children essentially dependents? Yes, of course they are, but is growing up anything other than a process of independence? From one perspective, a family can be interpreted as a model of inter-dependence (without obvious inaccuracy). Yet, from another, a family is an independence-production unit, both in its comparative autonomy in respect to the wider society, and as a child-rearing matrix. Families are loci of independence struggle (to which the Left response is: They shouldn’t have to be). Dependency culture is the Left heartland.

Independence and autonomy are very closely related terms. All discussions of autonomy, and even of automation, click quite neatly onto this template, but this is a point exceeding the ambitions of the present post.

Abstraction, too, is a topic the tantalizingly overlaps independence. Whether cognitive independence entirely accommodates intelligence optimization is also a question for another occasion.

NRx, XS tentatively proposes, is a political philosophy oriented to the promotion of independence. (Much pushback is, naturally, expected.)

May 3, 2016admin 68 Comments »
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68 Responses to this entry

  • Independence | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Independence […]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 4:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The fundamental problem is that 99 out of 100 people are oblivious to these issues. If the intelligent secede, it will be 1865 and 1945 all over again as the herd rushes in to crush the non-conformists, because non-conforming ideation threatens the dominant paradigm.

    The only solutions are: (1) best oppress the rest or (2) eugenics so that all under-120s and broken psyches vanish.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Fending off the zombie mob (i.e. locking them out of a secure enclave / micro-state) looks to me like a far superior option to ruling over them. Techno-military trends should make it increasingly practical over the next couple of decades.

    [Reply]

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    One option to ruling over them is the gentle eugenics of deportation of the truly useless. The third world (possibly) represents a “1.0” state of humanity that may be needed if newer versions self-destruct. People have always lived about the same way in the third world, and if we deported to them the 40% of Americans who are useless (for example) it would not harm them in any great degree. Among the remaining 60%, we see a caste system in play: lower castes are not unintelligent, but poor at leadership wisdom, so they need to be oppressed but it is not because they are useless. There are good people among them. The true zombies tend to come out of the cities and if they got free one-way cruise ship tickets to Africa, South America, Asia and the middle east it would work out best for all.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 5:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    Anglo-Saxons are a people oriented towards independence, NRx is the latest tool. A lot of the conceptions put forth by NRx existed before NRx. First we thought of city states, privatized government, corporate shareholding structure for government, crypto currencies (The kooks claiming to be “sovereign citizens” are not NRx, but those ideas came from somewhere…). The “neo” reaction is the realization that while technological progress was moving towards greater independence, the social, cultural and political “progress” was in the opposite direction. Whether the collapse is really as near as believed, the chasm between the imagined independence and the reality of Cthulhu’s Cathedral grows wider by the day.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 6:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • fek Says:

    The Left is mired in European Buddhism, as N called it, and all the ‘interdependent arising’, ‘the interconnectedness of all things’, ‘transitoriness of all things’ metaphysical mantras seem to serve as some background justification for adopting dependency-driven politlcal/social programs (whether or not one cites Buddhism or not, these ideas lurk like flies buzzing around the dead God). There’s also a complicity between the Left’s ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ or whatever, and the myopic, familial localism of many traditional Right-wingers.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Is not “You didn’t build that” the ultimate statement of dependence ideology?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Indeed, yes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 6:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Says:

    Nrx is not so much a political philosophy as it is a tsunami prediction service.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    NRx is /pol/’s chess club.

    [Reply]

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    Brutal. Probably correct.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 7:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • frank Says:

    Ayn Rand was the original tech-comm reactionary. If only she could get over her autism and think in terms of networks, systems and emergent order…

    [Reply]

    grey enlightenment Reply:

    but I always thought NRx took a strong stance against libertarianism, or at least it has in recent years .

    [Reply]

    Archon Alarion Reply:

    Well, Moldbug advertised his preference for Austrian Economics on his blog description, and was pretty keen on making sure his pieces had some sort of references to the current libertarian body of thought, whether sarcastic, sincere, ironic or otherwise. Obviously he thought libertarianism worthy of reconciliation and inclusion.

    I view NRx as being above the petty culture war bullshit. Whatever maximizes profit for the sovereign. It just so happens that libertarians have a lot of good ideas on how to maximize the profitability of sovereignties, almost unwittingly, in their quest for liberty.

    To NRx proper then, I think libertarians are a mix of useful idiots and fellow stakeholders in the project. We will have absolutist sovereigns and they will abide by the principles of economic maximization (or they will be conquered).

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    Rand despised libertarians–even though she can be described as one. She had no patience for dewy eyed, bleeding heart theatrics. Her sentiments and aesthetics strike me as quite reactionary. Her philosophy: not so much. She probably latched on to the nearest cluster of ideas (libertarianism, Praxeology) to justify her sentiments.

    [Reply]

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    Probably attempting to separate itself from a philosophy that is too much like Leftism to avoid assimilation.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 8:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uriel Alexis Says:

    individualist anarchists, the new old NRx. Tucker would most likely be baffled.

    but then again, it’s hard putting the people at Liberty or mutualists in general into “the Left”, except by general aesthetic consideration.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 8:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Frog Do Says:

    So then, if I’m understanding admin correctly, taking the limit to infinity is the justification for anti-humanism: human beings are social animals, we are bounded away from maximum independance and we can’t cross it without becoming a beast or a god.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    or both

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 11:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    I don’t see this in terms of left vs. right, but in terms of in power vs. out of power. The guy who is in power wants to maximize the scope of that power. The guy who’s out of power want to minimize that scope.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    “The guy who’s out of power want to minimize that scope.”

    Or evaluates the shared interests of himself and all the other cucks out of power and sets out to rally them to cuck the bull that is in power.

    [Reply]

    Seth Largo Reply:

    More intelligently, the guy who’s out of power wants to get out of the scope of the one in power.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 1:09 am Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    the independence of individuals is contrary to the indipendence of families, communities, institutions, and other forms of artificial intelligence.

    In other words, independence–sovereignty–is conserved.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s the stimulating suggestion, but I find it hard to square with the historical evidence. It takes me back to this pattern.

    [Reply]

    ||||| Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhhEv1dMpKE

    “And I really want you to think about this. If we could have a system with perfectly reliable units, we should probably never go for one that is built from less reliable units instead. What is even more, this piece of work proposes that we should cripple our systems, and seemingly make them worse on purpose.

    This sounds like a travesty. Why would anyone want to try anything like this?

    And what is really amazing is that these unreliable units can potentially build a much more useful system that is less prone to overfitting.”

    http://cs.nyu.edu/~wanli/dropc/

    [Reply]

    Seth Largo Reply:

    I’m sure someone brought it up in that thread, but the “individualism” of at least some of your winners was likely closer to a local communitarianism rather than individualism as understood in the late twentieth century (i.e., every node in the network for itself).

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    To what extent can we say that an institution even exists if it does not constrain the options of the individuals who constitute it? An institution that does not limit cellular independence is cut by Occam’s Razor.

    Further, individuals limit each other’s independence.

    However, some constraints on independence expand the map of possibilities and therefore increase independence. Capitalism, territorial expansion, families, and local institutions are all examples. There is an overlap with time preference, of course. Independence now is expended for an increase in independence later.

    Where this line of thought appears to be leading you, admin, is towards an ideology of sovereignty utilitarianism.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    if you take Omohundro’s drives, you’ll see the last one is “creativity” – which is essentially breaking away with the current structure of operation of the intelligent organism. this is where individual sovereignty comes in: as Austrian economics like to point, you’ll need individual entrepreneurs to find out what works, by trial and failure, and this demands Independence from the larger organism.

    that passage in the Communist Manifesto, on the bourgeoisie constantly revolutionizing the means of production gets the picture just fine.

    [Reply]

    s(R) Reply:

    Independence of individuals contributes to a larger distributed intelligence than any intermediate social structure – catallaxy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 2:16 am Reply | Quote
  • Shoggoth Says:

    It is so neat, so distinguished to have one’s own antipodes!

    I would take an exactly opposite approach, from beginning to end, and yet end up in a similar place.

    In my eyes, lensed by statistics, independence is the partner or image of universality rather than its antonym. Independence underlies all universal laws of large numbers; greatest entropy is greatest statistical independence and greatest uniformity. “Independent and identically distributed error” is perfect universalism: all particularity ignored via a universal envelope.

    ‘An independent state is indistinguishable from a sovereign one’ also seems incorrect. A sovereign state is one in which the actions of the state are perfectly dependent on its interests, yet the idea that interests might be independent seems nonsense to me. Autonomy vs heteronomy talk simply misses lived freedom and willing. Without the Other and reaction to the Other there is no experience of freedom. Why does a surfer feel freest when most guided by waves, and why does the musician feel freest when music takes hold? Freedom is something we do together with the Outside, joining it, not against it or independent of it.

    Passivism, too, for me is counter to idealized independence. It recognizes unfreedom and dependency and acknowledges it. It teaches us to thrive dependently and particularly rather than attempt independence according to illusory universal laws of justice. We seek to prune our dependencies and manage them, gaining particular limited independences, but we do this precisely to deepen our dependence on and communion with the Outside.

    If I were to accept the challenge to frame Right/Left by this duality, I would say something like this. The Left seeks to achieve independence from consequence, but they inevitably do this at the cost of increased dependence on those who can decouple them from reality. The Right values dependence on consequence, and as a fruit of service to deeper laws of consequence they gain independence from shallower laws and human laws.

    I value the appearance of conditional and limited independence only as a sign of good service to true powers, like the good servant values independence as a sign of trust by his master. I do not see it or want it as anything like complete independence, which would be an unworthy farce. Obligation, duty, and amor fati are central. “Ought” cannot be derived from “is” because it is prior, not because it is empty.

    However, as usual opposites are closely related. If we interchange most uses of your word independence for my dependence, we still defend similar things equally. Personally I find calling it independence misleading, tending to cause incoherent rebellion and wasted energy. Recognizing it as dependence, on the other hand, leads to more intentional and subtle (not to say easy or secure) alliance with the Outside. A quieter dark but no less threatening for that.

    Mankind is simply part of the Outside and always has been:

    “… a thought comes when “it” wishes, and not when “I” wish; so that it is a PERVERSION of the facts of the case to say that the subject “I” is the condition of the predicate “think.” ONE thinks; but that this “one” is precisely the famous old “ego,” is, to put it mildly, only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an “immediate certainty.” After all, one has even gone too far with this “one thinks”–even the “one” contains an INTERPRETATION of the process, and does not belong to the process itself.”

    That “does not belong” right at the foundations of consciousness inspires horror. There is no self-ownership and no security even in inmost reflection; freedom in deciding is rewarded for service to… what? This is what I want, not independence. Whatever it is, I’m on its side…

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    “The Right values dependence on consequence, and as a fruit of service to deeper laws of consequence they gain independence from shallower laws and human laws.”

    deeper laws of consequence leads not to any kind of independence, but to Path Dependence and Imprinting. addiction to hystoricism removing question of the current usefulness of an imprint. and it is not so hard to see that in fast changing world not all historially relevant imprints can be adequate.

    [Reply]

    Shoggoth Reply:

    You are not talking to me with this short and garbled comment. I have no interest in interpreting it carefully; it does not look promising enough to earn that.

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    sorry, I have to be more specific of course. for reference

    ‘concept of “imprinting”, captures how initial environmental conditions leave a persistent mark (or imprint) on organizations and organizational collectives (such as industries and communities), thus continuing to shape organizational behaviours and outcomes in the long run, even as external environmental conditions change.’

    and

    ‘Path dependence explains how the set of decisions one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions one has made in the past, even though past circumstances may no longer be relevant.’

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_dependence

    Shoggoth Reply:

    Those words I know. To what use were they being put?

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    I think admin’s piece on chaos addresses most of these concerns

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    perhaps, you may have a link nearby. search returning Chaos Patchs only. thanks

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    http://www.xenosystems.net/on-chaos/

    “Entropy is toxic, but entropy production is roughly synonymous with intelligence. A dynamically innovative order, of any kind, does not suppress the production of entropy — it instantiates an efficient mechanism for entropy dissipation. Any quasi-Darwinian system — i.e. any machinery that actually works — is nourished by chaos, exactly insofar as it is able to rid itself of failed experiments. The techno-commercial critique of democratized modernity is not that too much chaos is tolerated, but that not enough is able to be shed. The problem with bad government, which is to say with defective mechanisms of selection, is an inability to follow Cthulhu far enough. It is from turbulence that all things come.”

    Shoggoth Reply:

    This is it: http://www.xenosystems.net/on-chaos/

    Shoggoth Reply:

    As I said, we end up in very similar places though we base our similar conclusions on opposite interpretations, opposites are two ends of a backstrung bow, but “addresses most of these concerns” about the orientation toward independence or dependence? No, and the names matter. The conflict matters. Advocating premature synthesis, here of all places?

    I found the piece on chaos flawed also but I don’t care to say how. I endorsed most of its conclusions. On that one, my differences are difficult to explain and… why? This piece was so perfectly opposite me that a reply seemed worthwhile. The conflict is cleaner.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    >“Without the Other and reaction to the Other there is no experience of freedom. Why does a surfer feel freest when most guided by waves, and why does the musician feel freest when music takes hold? Freedom is something we do together with the Outside, joining it, not against it or independent of it.”

    You could easily substitute “God,” “Gnon,” “the Gods,” “the Transcendent,” or any number of things for “The Other.” (For instance: “Without an omnipotent God, and man’s reaction to God, there is no experience of freedom.” This is, in fact, the common answer to the Christian Problem of Evil.) Your point, then, would seem a very old one indeed — one made by a great many Ancient and Medieval philosophers. How does your position differ from that of Socrates?

    >“beautiful poems are not human, not even from human beings, but are divine and are from Gods; that poets are nothing but representatives of the Gods, possessed by whoever possesses them” (534b-e)

    The poet, then, would be “most free” when he takes communion with the Outside — when the Gods possess him with divine madness?

    As far as I can tell, your position is basically transcendentalist, with all that entails. I’m not sure I disagree though. Need to give this matter more thought and re-read admin’s take on it along with some of his older material.

    [Reply]

    Shoggoth Reply:

    Yes, you have me right. I’m a reactionary, even as a neoreactionary. I believe very old things. I believe as the quote of Socrates describes. I’m skeptical that it’s necessarily transcendentalist “with all that entails,” but yes. What I said is old except insofar as it’s translated into contemporary language and therefore reinterpreted. Old as the old ones.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 3:03 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    My contribution would be the – probably highly controversial – idea that universalism and individualism are one and the same thing. This is a bit of nuclear black pill that is pretty hard to swallow for ex-libertarians, but every evidence and tendency in history I see seems to point to that direction.

    Thus only tribal, group-level indepedence is possible, not individual autonomy. Individual autonomy generates big government and universalism, in ways that are not ideally expressed in a comment box, but basically look at what Burke and de Maistre had to say about the French Revolution’s Rights of Men, and look at how individualism combined with limitless human desires and democracy tends towards the idea that the job of the government is to protect the rights of individuals, and everything that subjectively feels hurtful can be casted as a right. And look at how the populations who actually resist big government tend to be clannish, tend to be pretty communitarian on the local, small-scale level.

    The realistic thing is that a bunch of people who think the same way stick together, and because they think the same way they agree in a list of things they find harmful to people, a list of things they think people should be legitimately protected from. Then they erect a government who does that. Meanwhile entirely different people who think entirely different things are harmful to people form a different community and a different government.

    To paraphrase Schmitt, if the sovereign is he who decides who is the enemy, the enemy is the enemy because he (potentially) harms us, and it requires a communal agreement what constitutes harm. If a community believes preaching atheism harms people because it gets their soul into hell and eternal damnation if they believe the preacher, the community believes it is a legitimate human right of the gullible to be protected from that grievous harm (and yes, we probably could find plenty of sources from 1500 to 1700 who argued exactly this), so the sovereign declares the atheist preacher is the enemy. This is the essence of independence on a communal level and there is no other kind.

    Individualism rests on the notion that human rights, or what harms humans, or what are basic (at least negative: freedom from) human needs are objectively hence universally definable. They aren’t, or at least people never really seem to agree. Thus only communities, communities who agree in a list of rights, a list of what constitutes harm, can be independent.

    That famous Anglo individualism is largely just a communal agreement to define harm fairly narrowly – life, limb, property. But there are plenty of exceptions, too, starting with Masshole Puritans.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    “My contribution would be the – probably highly controversial – idea that universalism and individualism are one and the same thing.”

    None of this is new, HBD bloggers argued pretty much the same point several years ago.
    And it’s not a hard pill to swallow even for current libertarians. Read more Hoppe on aristocracy. As with most things, there likely is a golden balance between individualist societies of the western type and more clannish ones.

    “And look at how the populations who actually resist big government tend to be clannish, tend to be pretty communitarian on the local, small-scale level.”

    This is just flat out wrong. Eastern Europeans are clannish, yet they never resist big government and on the contrary, most of them are more than happy to take part in rent-seeking activities and vote for governmental expansion, as long as that expansion ensures them and their cousins some freebies. Government has no problem becoming big in clannish societies, but it has problems becoming relatively efficient (compared to the big governments of less clannish societies). This is why very big governments in clannish societies are more unstable than very big governments in less clannish ones and thus more prone to collapse under their own weight.
    You seem to have a very idealistic view of how clannish societies look like and operate, but in general they tend to be outcompeted by less-clannish societies because they allow too many useless individuals to subsist and feed off the rest simply because of blood ties. This drags down the whole clan both economically and in the long-term, genetically. I once wrote a very long comment on this topic on this very blog, but I forgot the specific post, maybe Admin could point it out.

    [Reply]

    Aristocles Invictvs Reply:

    One of your best posts imho, I think this is it:

    “But muh reactionary socialism”

    Now look, it is true that groups who are better at working together will outcompete those who are worse at working together. But then you are also right, it was indeed the relatively more individualistic cultures which won all of those conflicts. So how does that happen? The answer is the most obvious one, but almost the most counterintuitive for a lot of people: Individualists are simply better that everyone else at working together.

    This becomes obvious if you study a little economics, or HBD for that matter. The right stuff supposedly knows HBD, yet they are painfully ignorant of what the biggest strength of their own civilization is and always has been. The ignorance is truly mindboggling. Individualist cultures always outperform less-individualist ones for the same reason more free-market capitalist economies outperform less-free and less-capitalist ones.

    The capitalist economy is much more internally competitive than the less-capitalist one. It is an every-man for himself type of world in the economy where everyone strives to perform the best as possible and defeat all of his competitors. But this is all done withing the framework of the market. And the only way to actually be the best and beat all the competitors and secure the most wealth and status for yourself and your children is to be provide a service that other people find valuable. Now, as anyone who has read HBDchick knows, anglos are the most naturally individualistic people there is and their family units are much smaller. And this is key, because cultures and ethnicities with smaller family units always outperform those with larger ones. And the nuclear family is the smaller family unit there can be.

    When you have smaller family units and thus a more individualistic mindset, nepotism and thus corruption will be much less prevalent. It is obvious why individualist people will not engage in nepotism – they do not treat people that are family that much differently than people who are not. Their whole mindset is that they are out for themselves in the world, and this is how they evaluate everyone else – based on their individual merits, not based on which clan they belong to. And this is the definition of meritocracy. In such an individualistic society non-performing members will always be punished economically. Your family ties are irrelevant if you do not perform, you will not be able to survive, or if you are performing poorly you will never gain wealth, status, and will find it harder to support a family.

    Now what about cultures whose people are less individualistic and thus place greater emphasis on family values and family ties. These are the cultures and ethnicities in which the core family unit is larger, bigger than the nuclear family. The core unit here might include everyone till your second cousins. The thing about core family units is that those are the people that each individual looks out for the most. Obviously you will almost never find a person who is so individualistic that he doesn’t have any favoritism towards his wife and kids and parents. Everyone will demonstrate some favoritism towards family members, but in anglo cultures the scope of family favoritism is limited to the maximum, only to the most near family members – your spouse, your parents and you children.

    Going back to the less-individualistic cultures. As I said, the family unit of those is larger (the extended family as it were; sometimes so much larger that we start talking about clans, not just families), precisely because they are less individualistic and place greater emphasis on family ties, and thus the scope of family favoritism is larger. Now, it is pretty self-explanatory that if the scope for family favoritism is larger in the people of a society, the prevalence of nepotism will also be bigger. Where would you say nepotism and corruption are likely to be more prevalent – in a society the members of which show favoritism only to their immediate relatives, or a society the members of which show favoritism even to their more-distantly related relatives? The answer is obvious and self-explanatory.

    Cultures who are less individualistic and have larger family units are also more tribal. And it is tribalism which ruins societies. Because in these more collectivist societies in which the extended family is much more important, you will give a job to your retarded cousin Joe simply because he is family and if you don’t help him out the rest of the family will punish or even ostracize you. And this is the worst that can happen to anyone in a society in which family ties rule the day. Because if your own family cuts ties with you, you are done. No other family will accept you and you can forget about going anywhere but down the social ladder because if you do not have connections it doesn’t matter how smart or talented you are, the dumb cousin Joe will always get a job simply because he does have those family connections. And because there is so much more nepotism in more familial-collectivist societies they tend to do worse economically and consequently be worse in all other respects too, precisely because people are not evaluated primarily based on performance and individual skill and talents, but based on the family ties they have. And thus non-performing individual members are not punished as much, if they are punished at all, and can actually easily survive and even thrive as long as they maintain the right connections in place.

    Now that I have described how these two types of societies work – the individualistic one and the non-individualist/familial-type one, it is pretty obvious why the first in theory and in practice always outcompetes the second. More individualistic societies have always, and always will be, wealthier and stronger than less-individualistic ones precisely for the reasons described above. And finally the individualists will also be better at working together. Why? Well because they are less prejudiced against people who are not part of their family/clan. They are more trusting of other people because they assume they too are individualists and will treat them based on individual evaluation not based on which clan they hail from. While social trust will always be lower in familial type societies and thus they will have a harder time working together, because the most important part about teamwork is trust. Why is it so? Because in a familial-type society everyone knows that what matters first and foremost is the family you are tied to. So you know that he guy coming from another family will not evaluate you on our individual merits and will immediately be more hostile to you, because you belong to a different family and will always favorite people who are less talented and incompetent than you, but are more closely related to him.

    If we go back to the claim “if you put two groups one against another, the one who is best able to work together will overcome the group of individualists.” it is now clear where it goes wrong. It is obvious the society which works together better and in a more efficient manner will beat the one who has a harder time worker together and being as efficient in their teamwork. But what is not as obvious is that it is actually individualists who work together better than everyone else precisely because of their individualistic mentality which makes the society more meritocratic. Finally, what should be obvious is that more meritocratic civilizations will always outperform less-meritocratic ones. And the most individualistic society and its most direct relative the most capitalistic economy, are the building blocks to creating the most meritocratic civilization.

    Why are the guys over at the right stuff so incredibly ignorant of the workings of their own culture and civilization is mind-boggling. It is really a comically sad display to see self-professed anglo “traditionalists” deny and attempt to reject the very core which made the anglo civilization arguably the greatest one to ever exist on this planet. It is almost suspicious to a degree that I am starting to wonder if these guys are not leftist double agents. Even if they are not and are utterly sincere in their fundamentally fallacious claims, I think the leftists will be happy with this either way.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    The Cathedral was also very effective and outcompeted its rivals. Another win for individualism!
    Apparently better rivals were needed.

    admin Reply:

    Less easy to point to wars The Cathedral has won though, isn’t it? (Which makes it look more like a parasitic tumor, without intrinsic self-protective capability.)

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Jonathan Haidt says something along these lines on pp. 242-3 of The Righteous Mind. He says people are 90% chimp and 10% bee, and describes small communities as “hives”.

    “Let’s imagine two nations, one full of small-scale hives, one devoid of them.”

    “A nation of individuals, in contrast, in which citizens spend all their time in Durkheim’s lower level, is likely to be hungry for meaning. If people can’t satisfy their need for deep connection in other ways, they’ll be more receptive to a smooth-talking leader who urges them to renounce their lives of ‘selfish momentary pleasure’ and follow him onward to ‘that purely spiritual existence’ in which their value as human beings consists.”

    Universalism and individualism both go along with what Haidt calls “WEIRD” people, Western, Educated, Individualistic, Rich, Democratic.

    [Reply]

    Shlomo Maistre Reply:

    Universalism is the philosophical backdrop of Progressivism and Progressivism encompasses the demonic process of releasing individuals from their social bonds – or at least trying to. Community, public religion, social mores, community traditions, social hierarchy, inheritance of identity – these are traits & aspects of every society/community but progressivism (sometimes unwittingly) seeks to erode the extent to which they exist, which has several effects including that of degrading their quality, stability and security. These aspects of a community are largely irrational and entirely necessary and degrading their stability makes them change faster and more often. Why?

    Progressivism is the unleashing of ravenous reason – and reason cannot help itself but to reason: reason about rational ideas towards which society should aim, reason about logical ways in which society should evolve, reason about rational tenets communities should abide. But these should be irrational, even sub-consciously established in the power structures of nations organically. By harnessing the false G-d of reason Progressivism is inherently opposed to the irrational, including the irrational but necessary attributes of the sociability of the human condition. As a result Progressives constantly seek after ever-more “rational” social traditions, community ideals, social mores, public religious ideals, etc. This accelerates the rate at which these societal traits evolve overtime. A community is a beehive, to use that analogy, insofar as these traits (community, public religion, social mores, community traditions, social hierarchy, inheritance of identity) of society are secure and stable and fixed and not subject to change.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 8:16 am Reply | Quote
  • GC Says:

    Protest (‘activism’) is disdained on account of its fundamental dependency (upon sympathetic political toleration).

    It’s not only that, it’s the solution-free cult-like chanting, the groupthink and its inherent impotence; no protest ever changed anything. No one ever saw a protest and suddenly changed their minds about whatever was being protested against (or for). It’s not something the powerful, competent or potent engage in. So what is a protest, ultimately, besides another form of virtue signalling ? It’s Voice at its most vulgar.

    “Stop what you’re doing and solve my problems.” – Every protest, ever.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    Activism is not tolerated by sympathetic political power, it is funded, created and supported by political power! This cannot be accepted because It drives a steak through Whig exit philosophy. The supermen Dr. gnos are not exiting anywhere, they are busy funding foundations for promotion of the underclass and importing Jihadis. But let us not allow reality to impead on anything.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    No one here disagrees with that. Why pretend otherwise?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    No true Dr Gno would do that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 12:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • AD Says:

    @

    ” Whether cognitive independence entirely accommodates intelligence optimization is also a question for another occasion. ”

    No probs -but do let me know when you would like to discuss this, I am very much disturbed by hive minds – in the sense of integrating individual entities to a greater system to increase processing outcomes – would you give yourself to this, very literally, transcendentally greater good?

    That is, what is more important, intelligence optimization or independence?

    In the end, Gnon decides.

    [Reply]

    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    if I got admin right, intelligence optimization just *is* independence (again, the piece on chaos seems very important here: intelligence doesn’t like to be trapped, and that’s nearly the same as producing – and enduring/dissipating – entropy)

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 1:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cristina Says:

    @GC
    Very vulgar indeed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 7:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Random lurker Says:

    “Abstraction, too, is a topic the tantalizingly overlaps independence. Whether cognitive independence entirely accommodates intelligence optimization is also a question for another occasion.”

    This seems like the most important bit in this post, but I can’t quite decompress it.

    Can someone – preferably admin – please elaborate? How does ‘cognitive independence’ equate to ‘abstraction”?

    [Reply]

    Aristocles Invictvs Reply:

    I assume what he means is the higher your abstractions, the less you rely on consensus or mass beliefs. Hence more independence, at least on the intellectual plane. If you are able to view things from a bird eye’s view whilst everyone else is bound to the earth, you can think of solutions to problems and disentangle yourself from false paradigms with relative ease.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’ve been avoiding this question for the same reason I evaded it in the post. It’s complicated (though compelling within the tradition of transcendental philosophy). It’s on the blog duties list.

    [Reply]

    Aristocles Invictvs Reply:

    Eagerly awaiting that post, I’m a sucker for transcendental philosophy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 5th, 2016 at 2:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Seth Largo Says:

    I was going to post a comment on how network theory can perhaps help us visualize and thereby further the discussion. But the post got too long, so now it’s a blogpost.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 5th, 2016 at 10:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • Destroy Israel Says:

    Man is an animal. Most animals have no problem murdering each other, even within their own species, if it furthers the interests of the “individual” animal. Very few species have overcome this. The most highly organized are of course bees and ants, and probably the lowest form of organized cooperation is the herd.

    I don’t recall whether I read this somewhere, or someone once said it to be, but while most animals don’t have anything we can recognize as a mind, they do have a spirit. Does a dog or a cat think? What does it even mean to think without a language? Probably nothing at all. But there is a spirit in the animal, and the spirit is what causes it to move and do things. The spirit of an animal can be ascertained by close observation of it, and it is clear different animals within the same species often have very different ‘spirits’ indeed.

    Man is different in that he has a mind. While it is the spirit of an animal that causes it to move into the Herd, it is the mind of man that causes it to cooperate with other men. It is also the mind that causes them to turn on them.

    One aspect of the ‘Right’ in “America” not understanding this relates to negroes and crime. So much of the ‘Right’ narrative surrounding negores in “America” was intentionally crafted to make you feel sorry for them. The dumb negro in your class that could barely read out loud is just a poor, genetically inferior creature. It isn’t that the dumb negro child has figured out how to get people, especially stupid white people, to care about his sorry black ass, like some sort of ugly 3-legged puppy rescued in the streets. He just has bad negro genes. He can’t help being a stupid pile of crap.

    A similar explanation exists for crime. The black is just more aggressive and hostile naturally. He has no impulse control. Again, it’s the genes. The black man is more like an animal, and the spirit of the negro just makes him do bad things. He can’t help being what he is.

    Such explanations ignore the mind completely. It’s as if people don’t want to interrogate the criminal black too much. Why did you rob that house, Tyrone? “I dunno.” If that house belonged to your grandmother, would you have done it? “No.” Why? “Becuz my grandma is muh kin.” But wasn’t the house owned by other blacks? “So what, fuck those other niggers.” Why do you hate your own fellow blacks so much, Tyrone? “Cuz they went along with the White Man’s rule. How come they ain’t dead? Worthless nigger fucks.”

    People commit crimes because they have an ideological understanding of the world around them that turns them hostile to the people around them. A negro that loved other negros would never rob one, though he might rob non-negros. He has to see the negros around him as an extension of his family, otherwise they’re just his competition in the survival for life. A negro that hates his fellow negros might even do something like capture them and sell them into slavery to foreigners.

    In a society composed of “individuals,” rest assured that any ideology that the ruling class can construct to maintain social-order will only be paper-thin. People will see right through it, as nothing more than a sloppy word-salad, signifying nothing. They will then revert to being like the wild animal, that will gladly kill their own, if the risk of doing so is low and the potential reward high. That is what is going on when you see the negro preying on their fellow negros, and it is what is going on when you see whites preying on their fellow whites.

    Without a ‘collective’ sense of identity, you get the war of all against all.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 13th, 2016 at 7:48 am Reply | Quote
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  • darkieMcCuck Says:

    Who needs neo-liberalism to atomize white people when they do it themselves?

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 27th, 2017 at 2:05 pm Reply | Quote

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