Mises or Jesus?

There’s been a lot of this kind of thing around recently. It’s mainly been arriving in a link storm from Wagner Clemente Soto, who’s too unambiguously Throne-and-Altar in orientation to identify as NRx or 333, so it’s probably an exercise in internal discipline taking place in another camp. Still, it’s difficult not to ask: Could this be the next fission pile building up?

Here‘s a link to Jörg Guido Hülsman’s (excellent) Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism, which seems to have provided the background citations for the recent round of attacks. (This agitation always takes me back to Der Zauberberg.)

ADDED: Or is it “Moses to Mises”?

ADDED: NBS provides a useful ‘Capitalism Week’ round-up.

ADDED: A (loosely) connected argument from Brett Stevens.

July 2, 2014admin 53 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn

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53 Responses to this entry

  • Orthodox Says:

    Later in his career, Mises would allow that Christianity could exist within capitalism, but only if the Christians kept their opinions to themselves, only if they were marginalized and kept apart from the political and economic orders.

    Mises doesn’t accurately describe Christianity in the passage cited. It’s quite ignorant, par for the course for an Enlightenment thinker of the Age of Reason. Although his comparison to Bolshevism would at least impress the Bimbo Pope, so there’s that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 1:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • handle Says:

    Did not the Pope himself recently complain that the communists had successfully stolen the flag of charity and social justice from Christianity?

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    yes, though it seems to be in the more nominal sense; people think of communists as being ‘charitable to man’ and ‘just’ instead of Christians.

    I’m not the pope, so I can just go with being uncharitable and unjust.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 2:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Henry Dampier Says:

    In context, the quote is more balanced than it seems, and Mises predicts today’s crisis in the Catholic Church ~100 years before it’s come to a head:

    http://mises.org/books/socialism/part4_ch29.aspx

    The Jews don’t come out of this particular chapter looking squeaky, either.

    “Today the Islamic and Jewish religions are dead. They offer their adherents nothing more than a ritual. They know how to prescribe prayers and fasts, certain foods, circumcision and the rest; but that is all. They offer nothing to the mind. Completely despiritualized, all they teach and preach are legal forms and external rule. They lock their follower into a cage of traditional usages, in which he is often hardly able to breathe; but for his inner soul they have no message. They suppress the soul, instead of elevating and saving it.”

    The thrust of the chapter is that there’s a tension in Christianity between how it has been practically applied by sovereigns and how it often also provides ammunition for subversives of all stripes.

    The Front Porch article is correct to point towards that section in Human Action as evidence for his secular worldview, but the punchy quote (with the distinction about ‘living Christianity’ explained) doesn’t quite explain it. The article is a better demonstration of the prefigured struggle for practical Catholic politics and the crisis of the Christian West as a whole than it is as a considered critique of the ‘last knight of liberalism.’

    I think the article over-states the influence of Mises in the popular right. The popular right is run by jingoists who live in the oral and visual worlds of radio and television. As far as I can tell there has been no attempt by the likes of Thomas Woods to ‘baptize’ Mises, and if anything, his views on various topics have been criticized far more by his fellow travelers (like, say, Mencius Moldbug) than by his rivals.

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    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 2:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    I love Austrian economics, but it always rankles when they make statements like – “[People] cooperate because this best serves their own interests”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Most of that is a straightforward effect of logically-systematized terminology — If charity is your motivation, it’s an ‘interest’, no less than accumulating gold is. A lot of the criticism seems to be demanding sentimentally-freighted vocabulary. That makes no sense. The language is deliberately neutral, because it’s not preaching anything. The only thing rigorous microeconomics explains is the effect of trying to get what you want in different ways — whether it’s a hamburger or the immanentization of the eschaton.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    When you say ‘people cooperate because it serves their own best interests’ as if it has explanatory power, but then define charity as a motivation and therefore an ‘interest’, you are engaged in massive amounts of equivocation and obfuscation.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    I don’t know if this is true – it depends on if Mises meant explicitly ‘monetary interests’ as in, profit in money. If he was using it nebulously though, his statement seems rendered a truism; you’re just simply stating that every transaction is motivated by a particular ‘interest’ – charity, Marxist ideology, getting rid of money, getting money, etc. But unless the transaction is involuntary it would seem pointless to make a big deal of saying, “people only do voluntary transactions because they are motivated by some interest of some sort.”

    In the former case the statement requires a lot of twisting to make everything come out to ‘money’, i.e. people doing transactions because they want money (despite the fact that they may actually be intentionally getting rid of money without the intent to get more from it) and in the latter case it seems to state something so obvious as to elicit the statement, ‘well, duh.’

    Michael Reply:

    OH GOD there volumes written about the motivation of charity from Theresa Avila to Mother Theresa and from every perspective imaginable trust me altruism can be not selfless

    Chris B Reply:

    I would prefer if they hade placed a simple “percieved” before “interest” to counter exactly what you criticise. Or would that be sneaking value judgements into the equation in your eyes.

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    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Jack Crassus Says:

    We all have a choice of which charismatic Jew to follow

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 3:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    So are we trying to say that Mises is the real reactionary? The one who wrote “for us and for humanity there is only one salvation: return to the rationalistic liberalism of the ideas of 1789”, as quoted in the article? Bah. No one who thinks of the French Revolution in such glowing terms has any right to the name.

    Just because the words “charity” and “justice” have been stolen by Cthulhu and his minions and made into excuses for chaos doesn’t mean that the ideas are worthless, or that they should (or can) be extracted from Christianity. The Christian faith supports justice and hierarchy, charity and frugality, mercy and just deserts. Just because the left wants to rebel and call it “justice” or support perversion and sloth and call it “charity”, and calls their entire rotten system the child of Christ doesn’t mean we should let them get away with it.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    Both and . . .

    Whether it’s because Christianity does indeed have a divine imprimatur or because the Bible is a hodgepodge collection of competing moral strands (or perhaps both), Christianity’s great strength is that it never allows a single moral impulse to become the common denominator of them all (no One Ring to rule them, because it’s supposed to be a One Person to rule them). Any verse used to rally the troops to one political side can be neutralized with recourse to some other verse. Traditionally, Christian morality seems, to me, a balancing act of virtues and vices. Lewis talks about this: secular Leftists pick a few virtues and vices they particularly like or hate, then ride them into the ground for no reason that they can give other than personal preference. They don’t accept the whole of the Christian canon, so they have no way to balance out their preferences with other divine injunctions, other obscure verses.

    That being said, I think we should exacerbate the hell out of this division, if division it is, because I really, really, really like seeing Christians put up against the wall, philosophically, of course.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “So are we trying to say that Mises is the real reactionary?” — Any attempt to depose the Throne-and-Altar types from the seat of True Reaction would be absurd. The relation of NRx to the Old Reaction, however, is irreducibly problematic (with one distinguishing feature of NRx being its far greater capacity for the toleration of difficulty).

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    Ah Progress, so its to be a stool then.
    and how exactly does that differ from neo jeffersonionism ?
    so are we too keep the throne and alters because we would be lonely without them or is there another reason.
    It seems to me Christianity is what done her in. now Im as nostalgic for the Tridentine rite and Round Table as the next guy but if you’re trying to build a civilization from scratch using as many parts from the one that fell apart as possible …, ARGHH%#^& where to start
    IT WONT WORK besides the wench is dead!
    Capitalism and HBD thats the foundation its a man not a stool it stands on two not three legs.now you turn to the enlightenment vs tradition you dont throw out reason because it overthrew tradition you fix it , all men are obviously not created equal but of course they knew that only a few got to vote in that republic so what happened was it democracy or too varied a citizenry was it the vast landscape the level of technology the judaic religion dig down thats what you clever quants are good at. enough with the D and D

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 3:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    @Henry Dampier

    From the same chapter:

    One looks in vain among them for men and movements such as Western Christianity has produced in each century. They maintain their identity only by rejecting everything foreign and “different,” by traditionalism and conservatism…. There was the same inertia in the polytheistic religions of antiquity and there still is in the Eastern Church. The Greek Church has been dead for over a thousand years.

    IOWs Mises mistakes a vigorous immune system for death, because the healthy religious culture rejects harmful innovations and foreign bodies while the cancerous, diseased host takes them on promiscuously. Surely the greatest compliment that can be paid to Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy, and (some) Jews is that they haven’t produced “men and movements such as Western Christianity has”.

    Mises does foresee that the cancer of liberalism will eat the Western Church alive in the next several decades. What he doesn’t see is that he himself is an agent of the cancer.

    [Reply]

    Henry Dampier Reply:

    I don’t entirely agree with your tone, but it is accurate to say that Mises attempted to save liberalism from itself and failed. Libertarians of today, in general, are also trying and failing to save liberalism from itself.

    Formerly dead religions are also showing signs of self-resurrection. As late as the 1970s, it would be accurate to say ‘Islam is dead as a living force.’ Today, almost no one would say that, because it has returned to life.

    I should think that the jury is still out on this one, but it does appear that liberalism is proving incapable of regulating its own mutations.

    [Reply]

    peppermint Reply:

    what does it mean to be a living force?

    Does it mean that Islam has many armies under its command? Okay, but who let the mudslimes into Europe?

    [Reply]

    Henry Dampier Reply:

    “what does it mean to be a living force?”

    It motivates historically significant actions. Of course, it’s subjective.

    The 9/11 attacks are a good example of historically significant acts motivated by a vigorous, living Islamic faith. The establishment of theocratic Iran is another good example. The collapse of the Iraqi government happening as we speak at the hands of theocratic guerrillas is another good example. The repulsion of both the USSR and USA by highly religious guerrillas is another such example. The politically significant (and religiously devout) Saudi monarchy, and its dominance in foreign policy since the establishment of the Carter doctrine, is another such example.

    Call them ‘green shoots’ for the muzzies. In the early 20th century, with the emergence of Ataturk and the socialist Arab nationalist regimes, it looked like Islam was on the outs as a political force. That has changed, and I don’t know what to tell you if you can’t perceive that.

    “Okay, but who let the mudslimes into Europe?”

    Dass raciss. The answer is the various European governments, faced with an unprecedented decline in birth rates, made the decision to import them (often as temporary guest-workers) in order to right their failing state finances, which were doomed to problems at the projected low rates of population growth. West Germany in particular took the lead on this policy, importing workers mostly from Turkey.

    It proved to be too difficult in terms of domestic politics to expel them. Internal leftism and the end of colonialism also made it so that highly influential bureaucrats saw that it was in their interest to promulgate an extreme, vulgar version of blank slate beliefs.

    Complicated. Yes. Mysterious? Not very if you take the time to examine the events in detail.

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    >mudslimes

    Let’s keep the slurs in 4chan.

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    hah, come on nyan. What’s the matter with ‘mudslimes’?

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 4:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • John F Says:

    “Did not the Pope himself recently complain that the communists had successfully stolen the flag of charity and social justice from Christianity?”

    What are you saying, that the Pope speaks for Christianity or something?

    But seriously, the hierarchy and sheer contingency of worldly existence has been recognized within Christianity since the beginning and continues to be by those Christians not bitten by the bug. Christian spirituality is a matter of salvation, not insurrection; and the theological virtues (e.g., Agape/Caritas) are virtues of the person and not of the state. This is Christian Theology 101 stuff. What “real Christianity” means for the state is primarily a matter of quality of citizen rather than of radical transformation of the quality of the state.

    Obviously, if the head citizens of a state are Christians seeking to personally act according to Godly virtue, questions arise: what does charity mean for a state actor? For a wealthy actor? For the military actor? The resolutions of these difficulties are matters for the Church, and to the extent that the Church is subordinated by modern, progressive, “Enlightened”, etc., influences, the more pernicious contemporary Christ-lite-ianity will become.

    So how’s that subordination going…

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/20/church-of-england-baptism-service-no-devil

    For the Christians: how is this subordination fought? For the pure Neoreactionaries: would there be anything to be gained by helping in the fight?

    P.S. since our host himself brought up imming the old esch., who here is familiar with Eric Voegelin’s writings? For my own curiosity.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    I listened to _Science, Politics, and Gnosticism_ on audiobook twice, but I didn’t understand a lot of it. I find the use of adjectives as nouns to be generally unhelpful, and Voegelin does that a lot.

    I am told that “gnosticism” is one of those words that means too many different things to be used safely without some kind of qualification.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 5:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • an inanimate aluminum tube Says:

    Reject both.

    Although to be fair, charity was probably significantly less problematic in a society operating at the Malthusian limit and where actions were, by necessity, limited to a local area.

    You’d just be keeping a (possibly legitimately unlucky) member of your tribe alive rather than subsidizing dysgenic reproduction on a planet wrecking scale.

    [Reply]

    Lurker Reply:

    Charity (grace) =/= charity (alms)

    While Charity may lead someone to offer charity to others in need, ultimately that is a byproduct of the divine knowledge which the name refers to (sanctifying grace/wisdom). A Charitable man chooses to give or be merciful in some cases because his love for God informs him that it is just to do so, but in other cases it is more just to admonish them for their sins instead. This should be fairly obvious if it is thought through; compulsory or coerced ‘giving’ is theft, and ‘aid’ which supports wrongdoing makes one necessarily complicit in that wrongdoing.

    I’m not entirely sold on the Catholic view myself; it is tied up with the idea that humanity is helpless to attain salvation without external support, which is only true for the most common human types. Still, it’s a far cry from the confused modern understanding of generosity which ends up bringing destruction to entire nations in its hunger for ‘feels’.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 7:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    So if we go along with Jim and define modern capitalism as a set of social technologies (double entry accounting, joint stock corporations, etc), can’t we have capitalism without the individualist metaphysics? Everybody has this picture of capitalism as individuals competing against one another for their own self-interest – some people like it, some don’t – but why accept it at all? Traditionalists can believe in joint stock corporations even as they oppose individualism, social atomism and hedonism. There’s a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, of rejecting the social technologies of capital along with the misbegotten individualist metaphysics, but it can be avoided.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Jim needs a new term, Capitalism is completely overloaded. But maybe he’s doing that on purpose.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Running away from words can easily become a continuous retreat, and not long afterwards a rout. Sometimes it’s necessary to dig in and hold the line.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    “Sometimes it’s necessary to dig in and hold the line” – so you think Capitalism should be a line in the sand? what would be the benefits and drawbacks to not doing so in your opinion?

    admin Reply:

    “… so you think Capitalism should be a line in the sand?” — It’s my line in the sand. It’s not a general rule, clearly, but I can’t imagine ever siding with the less-capitalist side in a fight (the mere thought is vaguely nauseating).

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    “but I can’t imagine ever siding with the less-capitalist side in a fight (the mere thought is vaguely nauseating).”
    Of course, Capitalism is life, wealth and power. What I meant was the usage of the term “capitalism” to describe the process of what we see as capitalism. I can see pros in keeping the term capitalism, and I can see major drawbacks. Especially given the massive flack it is getting since 2008, and which will get worse in the coming years. Maybe further down the line a name alteration will be necessary to outflank the Luddites of both left and right. It’s something that Hayek fiddled with in coining Catalactics if I’m not mistaken.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If I could see a name change as something other than a retreat under pressure, I’d be more sympathetic. (In my experience, people eager to give up words are usually wanting to give up something more than the words.)

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    I’m not suggesting one ‘give up’ the word, but rather, begin substitution of the word for a more clarifying term when we actually mean that clarifying term. Its use as a hammer against Marxists is great, but it doesn’t really exist. It’s like the word Christianity – “is he Christian?” means nothing, or if anything, something so broad as to encompass many things which are contradictory. And not only that, when you have people considering Mormons to be Christian, well — there you have it.

    Maybe I’ll just call you guys orthodox capitalists, it’ll be fun.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @Chris B: I made the same “don’t retreat from a reasonable position just because you’re under pressure” argument a while back in the context of changing the name of a church group. I used pop psychologist Anne Wilson Schaef’s metaphor of trying to wriggle into a girdle that doesn’t fit in order to accommodate people who are being unreasonable. If they claim to believe in reason, you’re better off taking Alinsky’s advice and forcing them to live up to their own standards.

    Does “catalactics” solve the problem, or does it just cause short term confusion to your disadvantage and start another cycle of semantic arguments in the long term?

    http://home.earthlink.net/~peter.a.taylor/ccg-name.htm

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    True capitalism vs actual, existing capitalism, eh?

    If you’re going down that route, do you lose the right to make fun of the people who used to talk about “true communism”?

    You can substitute “Christianity” for “capitalism” in the sentence above and it works just the same.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If it wasn’t for Hong Kong, that would be serious problem.

    scientism Reply:

    What if you’re wrong about the line? What’s the litmus test? Technology?

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 9:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Porphy's Attorney Says:

    Maybe it’s just me – it probably is – but stripped down, isn’t there a fallacy at work here?

    “Mises said something rubbish about Christianity or said favorable words about one of the most horrific revolutions in history, THEREFORE Misesian economics is rubbish.”

    Now, it might be sound to say: “Mises showed poor judgement about the relevance and strength of Christianity, and he showed poor judgement about one of the most horrific revolutions in history, and has views we are dubious about regarding the direction of future religious & ideological developments, THEREFORE we should examine his economics with great care.” That might work but then one goes to evaluating the economic arguments.

    On the other hand for the more economic-nihlistic trads to be dismissing Mises this way, then, I hate to say it, but they’re left with embracing Rothbard on the same grounds with which they dismissed Mises – because Rothbard wrote very favorably towards (traditional) Catholic Christian thinkers (and dubiously about many – though not all – of the more flamboiantly non-traditional/non-orthodox-Catholic figures and movements. (He had a soft place in his heart for Levelers, Diggers, Ranters, and like Dissenters, but otherwise was very solid on the Catholic Question, if that’s one’s bag).

    But I don’t think that’s really what’s at play here. Straws will be searched for and found in order to not just justify the Moldbuggian Absolute State, but to justify Absolutism Unbound: the Absolute State unshackled from the incentive structure Moldbug aimed at constructing to make that state livable for anyone who wasn’t in the in crowd. And of course discrediting real economics and replacing it with doppleganger economics (whether Schmolerite “Intellectual Bodyguard of the House of Hohenzollern” or what passes for “mainstream macro” today) is always a necessary element in justifying the expansive absolute state (and then people get surprised when it always ends up as a bloated, sclerotic Red Giant State, whatever the governing formula – and, of course, after an initial burst of dynamism in the early stage of the dynasty).

    [Reply]

    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    Since I gather that you’re responding to me, I wasn’t attempting to claim that Mises is rubbish all around, only that in a contest between Mises and Christianity for the mantle of The True Reaction, Christianity would win. On balance, I’m in favor of a libertarian economic policy, so it’s not like I’m trying to exorcise the ghosts of Mises around every corner, but Misean (Misesian?) economics cannot really claim to be reactionary per se except by the fact that progressives hate it.

    [Reply]

    Orthodox Reply:

    The whole point of capitalism and free markets is that the economy reflects the choices of the people. The solution to the problem of an insufficiently Christian society (if that’s your thing) is not government intervention in the economy, but exclusion of non-Christians from the society. Why would an European Jew be opposed to that?

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 11:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Drfitforge Says:

    What Christianity — and reaction — is not coherent with at all is the sense of capitalism where the economy is both the end and the means to that end.

    The concept of money as master is, and should be, rejected utterly.

    But also rejected is the notion of equality: to him whom much is given, much is required; to he who has, more will be given, to he who has little, even what he has will be taken away.

    Christianity is a rejection of both socialism and capitalism in the senses noted here. It exhorts generosity of spirit rather than forced redistribution, but also cautions against allowing wealth to exceed your capacity to bear with nobility.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 12:44 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Capitalism | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Salvation” of Ludwig von Mises and wonders whether reactionaries must choose between Mises or Jesus (or Moses) for their economic […]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 1:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Blogospheroid Says:

    I thought a fair amount on the capitalism vs reaction scuffle and returned back to one of my older cached thoughts about the structuring of firms.

    Regulatory and tax structures should favour the following structures in order.

    Consumer cooperatives 1- Corporations where all participants are paid in the product of the enterprise. Your equity share literally reads – This can be redeemed for X share of the product of Year A + X1 share of year B +…. .

    Consumer cooperatives 2- Corporations where all participants are paid in the product of the enterprise, but fixed amounts. Your equity share literally reads – This can be redeemed for X nails .

    Equity without retained earnings – Participants are paid in the coin of the realm, but return is uncertain, retained earnings not allowed beyond a certain period.

    Equity with retained earnings allowed – Participants are paid in the coin of the realm, but return is uncertain.

    Debt – Participants are paid in the coin of the realm, but fixed amounts.

    With extensive surveillance, consumer coops can be more viable in the future and their traditional disadvantages would be muted.

    But why this segue into corporate structure? The answer is quite simply, every corporate which pays back in the coin of the realm is a sleeping AI,a potential power, a competitor to all of humanity. If humanity wants to use cooperation usefully, it needs to be quite specific with what it wants.

    When you create a creature and tell it, earn more money, you are literally creating a monster. Only because it is weak, we underestimate it.

    Moldbug emphasized formalism. The way to balance formalism with friendliness is quite simply to formally never code anything with the supergoal as “become more powerful”(which is what earn more money effectively beocmes)

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 6:09 am Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    How to reconcile traditional Catholic teaching on usury with modern economics, i.e., wherein money itself is usurous, i.e., borrowed into existence, seems quite a pickle. It isn’t clear that the Church is bothering to do so.

    Get back to hard money, a thing whose market price is hard to manipulate, and then maybe there’ll be something to talk about.

    [Reply]

    chris b Reply:

    Gold price is being manipulated with futures dumping, and so is silver. Bitcoin and crypto currencies in general are the best bet, they have become a cross between the virtual nature of fiat, and the solid nature of commodities currency.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    An early realization for me was that both Capitalism and Communism/Socialism were “monetarist,” or used economic systems to control people through self-interest.

    Where Mises and libertarians are right it seems to me is in this one simpler fact: market regulation doesn’t work as well as setting ideals and letting the market fulfill them. People buy according to their needs, which include social needs.

    As a result, I think it makes the most sense to focus on culture. If we have a culture that values good things, people will demand good things from their products. This would create a number of effects, including most of those intended by “neocameralism.”

    On the other hand, if we impose too much of that culture through religion, it is likely that this will create an alienated group who find religion preposterous and also make religion itself a target for manipulation because it is inevitably centralized. The “Pope model” is dead, killed by advances in social manipulation.

    While I sympathize with the theologists who stand behind reaction, I think what ultimately defines a reactionary is a desire for culture and aristocracy. These alone are consistent among the ages.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @Brett Stevens: “On the other hand, if we impose too much of that culture through religion, it is likely that this will create an alienated group who find religion preposterous and also make religion itself a target for manipulation because it is inevitably centralized. The “Pope model” is dead, killed by advances in social manipulation.”

    Please elaborate, and please email me to make sure I see your reply. I’ve been toying with an essay on “How much can we copy from the Mormons?”, “we” being groups like the Ethical Culture Society, the Cult of Gnon, etc., who are trying to create a non-preposterous “religion”. Part of my view is that the Catholics and Mormons are less vulnerable to manipulation precisely because of their non-democratic (“centralized”) polity. Note that Moldbug specifically identified Richard Dawkins as a “Protestant” atheist.

    If the “Pope model” is dead (moral philosophy being done by professionals who are deliberately isolated from public opinion), you will save me a great deal of embarrassment if you can explain the error to me before I write more on this topic.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • chris b Says:

    @scientism
    “In my experience, people eager to give up words are usually wanting to give up something more than the words”
    Yes. That is true. I suppose a name change can be put in storage for usage in an emergency.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    If the dread of giving up ‘capitalism’ is so strong, maybe there’s a religious element.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    There’s always a religious element (in anything worth fighting for).

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 3:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • chris b Says:

    @ That was for @admin actually.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 3:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • chris b Says:

    @Peter A. Taylor
    It’s more a case of trying to get the trad reaction side of things to see capitalism as less about greed and bankers and all that nonsense, and more as a vital force which is inherent in humanity, as opposed to trying to accommodate people being unreasonable, because I don’t think they are being unreasonable per se, just not seeing it from the correct angle. But your points are valid.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 at 3:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mises, the liberal : Anarcho-Monarchism Says:

    […] and neoreactionaries all) is being talked about extensively at the moment (see here, here, and here).  Of course, this is nothing new.  Peter Viereck disliked Manchester liberalism, writing in […]

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 at 6:51 pm Reply | Quote

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