Modified

The Outside in preemptive disillusionment with Indian reaction in power is already on record. Nevertheless, this is going to be big. Over half a billion people went to the polls to make it happen. Progressive teleology isn’t heading where it’s supposed to. (UK communist media are covering it quite well.)

Modi0

Congress, one of the most despicable political organizations on earth, has been crushed like a bug. The implications of that are roughly comparable to the detonation of a dirty nuke at Davos, so a modest period of celebration would be wholly understandable. Unfortunately, while Modi’s historic victory is a massive global lurch to reaction, it is also a surreptitious triumph of democracy, and we’ve seen the way this plays out before.

From the Thatcher / Reagan experience in the West, there are lessons about the democratic limitation of general application to the Right. The first, already briefly touched upon in the previous Modi post, is that democracy demands populism. Since capitalistic deregulation triggers a demagogic counter-attack from the Left, it is inevitably supported — politically — by a platform of ‘social conservatism’ that is driven into ever cruder atavism, until it cannibalizes the policy agenda of the government. The more a regime seeks, under democratic conditions, to move the economy rightwards, the more it is politically compelled to appeal to tribal emotion, while diverting its energies into totemism. Eventually, all that remains is a culture war, in which a confused Right is reduced to the pre-defeated posture of seeking to slow change down. When the pendulum swings — as democracy ensures it will — it exposes the archetypal political truth: a fast-left party then replaces a slow-left party, with the eventually victory of ‘progress’ never having been seriously in doubt.

Any democratic ‘right-wing’ party in power has won an election, and is thus infused with a sense of  its popular virility. This is a psychological catastrophe — and in fact a latent psychosis — from which it never recovers. The ratchet, patiently, continues.

Democratic politics also corrodes right-wing economic policy even more directly. The lesson from Reaganism is especially stark. From the beginning, political competence is expressed by a single dominant insight: any gains made by a right-wing administration in the direction of fiscal responsibility is simply a savings account for the opposition. It can be predicated, with absolute confidence, that each step painfully taken away from public insolvency will be reversed, with opposite political sign, as soon as the Left gets its turn once again. Thus, the Reaganite stance that any intelligent conservative government is bound to the proclamation ‘deficits don’t matter’. It is only by keeping public finances hard up against the edge of bankruptcy that fiscal laxity can be prevented from reverting to its natural state, as a fund available for the promotion of leftward social acceleration. Private saving is profoundly compromised by democratic governance. Public saving — or even moderated indebtedness — is simply impossible.

There is no way at all that Modi can restore Indian fiscal health under the democratic conditions he inherits (and which he will certainly preserve). The idea that he might attempt to do so is a delusion.

Nevertheless, there are things a Modi regime could do, which are worth doing. In rough order of priority and practicality they include:

(1) A holocaust of red-tape, in the interest of industrialization. The Indian manufacturing sector, employing approximately 15% of the workforce, is half the size that might be expected if business conditions were less impaired by legal-bureaucratic obstruction. Huge economic gains could be made relatively quickly if companies could be created more easily and closed down without any need for official permission, while hiring and firing employees according to market signals. Modi knows enough to see what is required. First ask the Marxists to describe their most nightmarish conception of an exploitative capitalist labor-market, and then do that.

(2) While fiscal continence is politically impossible,  it should at least be possible to re-orient public spending towards infrastructure (and away from transfer payments). Copying China would be sensible. High-speed rail networks, urban mass-transit systems, roads, power grids, water and sewerage, high-bandwidth communications, space-programs … since vast amounts of public money have to be wasted, those are the ways to do it. They accumulate capital, create business opportunities and employment, teach technical skills, and leave something real behind when the bubbles pop.

(3) Scrap as many affirmative action quotas as possible. This is an opportunity to do cynical culture wars stuff that actually does some good.

(4) Prepare for the return of the Left, by decentralizing government, empowering the states, reducing inter-regional economic transfers, innovating constitutional obstacles to socialist policy, and building right-wing economic redoubts capable of resisting a future Leftist central administration. This is all very obvious, but it’s equally obvious why even seriously conservative central governments find it difficult to do. It would help if they more clearly understood that they’re going to lose — that’s what democracy means — so they should seize the opportunity to get their revenge in first.

NRx shouldn’t make a fool of itself by getting excited about Modi. What’s happening in India isn’t nothing, though. It’s nowhere close to being nothing.

ADDED: Tavleen Singh —

…  I tweeted that I had covered every election since 1977 and had never seen anything like the frenetic fervour of the crowds on the streets of Benaras. This caused a torrent of insults on Twitter, so I went that evening to Papu’s chai shop for a reality check. At this teashop in a teeming, squalid square near the Assi Ghat gather politicians, thinkers, philosophers, political analysts and students. They sit on wooden benches near an open drain and discuss the problems of the world. On an earlier visit, I discovered that the level of political discourse was higher than in Delhi because people speak without worrying about being labelled ‘fascist’ or ‘communal’.

ADDED: Some cautious optimism from Geeta Anand and Gordon Fairclough in the WSJ, but: “Modi is unlikely to substantially undo any of the subsidy programs on which millions rely for jobs and food. […] Analysts think big-bang reforms, such as changing labor laws to let companies hire and fire more easily or undertaking large-scale privatizations of state enterprises, are unlikely.” Still — “Tales of [Modi’s] bravery are chronicled in a comic book that shows him swimming through crocodile-infested waters to plant a flag on top of a Hindu temple.”

May 16, 2014admin 38 Comments »
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38 Responses to this entry

  • Scharlach Says:

    First ask the Marxists to describe their most nightmarish conception of an exploitative capitalist labor-market, and then do that.

    I have nothing to add I just want to see this reiterated across cyberspace as many times as possible.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 7:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dan Says:

    This is a heartening lesson that the arrow of history does not point invariably toward leftism. If you stare into the abyss (or as with Communism, fall into the abyss where you lie impaled at the bottom on a spike for a bunch of decades) you (or more accurately, your descendants) eventually come out of it.

    What are the places that were most leftward in the 20th century? The USSR? China? Israel? UK? Canada? India? Eastern Europe?

    Where are they all now?

    America seems to have become the left-most major country in the world.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    It does invariably point to it.
    It is conservatism that is always forced to adapt to leftism, not the other way around.

    “What are the places that were most leftward in the 20th century?”
    Forget the USSR, Consensus Britain was where the real communism was built.

    [Reply]

    Dan Reply:

    C’mon, Hurlock…

    The USSR, China, India, Israel, etc., that is a lot of the globe to simply ignore.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Famous J Says:

    The Congress party would be hard-pressed to be more corrupt than the people running the city of Detroit since Coleman Young. Your insight into fiscal prudence being effectively a savings account for the Left is germane there as bankruptcy proceeds. My prediction has been that unless they round up the entire Detroit municipal power structure and ship them to rural Manitoba, bankruptcy restructuring is a waste of time. At some point, they’ll come back to power and all you will have done is given the parasites a (temporarily) fatter host to feed off of.

    Of course, all democracies turn into Detroit in the end.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 9:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Almost entirely sound (the discussion of social conservatism is characteristically cursory and dismissive)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Why isn’t the idea of government involving itself in culture issues as offensive to social conservatives as the idea of it involving itself in running businesses is to libertarian types? Thinking that culture is important is not only distinct from a hope for greater government interference in that sphere — it should be close to the opposite. So, while I’m quite sympathetic to Hindu traditionalism, the idea that a strong Hindutva political agenda could be anything other than a cynical exercise in relation to it strikes me as naive, or simply thoughtless. (“Thoughtlessness’, of course, being the key to its democratic practicality.)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Because social conservatism doesn’t think government is evil, as libertarians do.

    On the contrary, social conservatism is about enforcing rules, and government is often the most effective way to do so. And in any case, it is quite stupid to expect government, i.e. power, to abstain from trying to influence culture.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If Leviathan can do what you want with the culture, it can also do what you don’t want — with the difference that the latter is actually going to happen.

    Dan Reply:

    Agree with Spandrell.

    Government will have a huge influence, for harm or for good.

    Social convervatives never start any of these battles, or at least haven’t for the last 50 or 60 years (with the exception of strongly criminalizing child sex abuse perhaps). The left uses government to attack culture and social conservatives try feebly to stop the bleeding.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    In a functioning society, the government is part of the society. It will be adapted to, reflect, and in a positive feedback loop with the society.

    Anyhow, your account here–“since capitalistic deregulation triggers a demagogic counter-attack from the Left, it is inevitably supported — politically — by a platform of ‘social conservatism’ that is driven into ever cruder atavism, until it cannibalizes the policy agenda of the government. The more a regime seeks, under democratic conditions, to move the economy rightwards, the more it is politically compelled to appeal to tribal emotion, while diverting its energies into totemism”– while plausible, doesn’t map very well with what actually happened to Reagan and Thatcher. Their regimes weren’t consumed by desperate populist attempts to ward off the left. Their regimes were consumed by the left in the guise of their own supporters and fellow party-members. Who thinks GWB I or Major were big on ginning up crude atavism?

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Since I’m taking issue with you, I should add that the whole analysis is brilliant, especially the part about fiscal prudence being a piggy bank for the resurgent left. I don’t know if I entirely agree, but its one of those insights where even to prove it wrong you would have to deepen your understanding of the subject.

    admin Reply:

    “Who thinks GWB I or Major were big on ginning up crude atavism?” — that is a good point. They’d have to be attributed more to rightwing counter-revolution making the world safe for social democracy.

    spandrell Reply:

    If Leviathan can do what you want with the culture, it can also do what you don’t want

    Well of course. Tough luck. But saying it shouldn’t do it doesn’t take away their capability nor their huge, massive incentives to do so.

    On the other hand the Confucians are the classic conservative success story. You convince the government to take your ideas; then use the government to impose them on the rest of society.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 9:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Driftforge Says:

    The above describes the Australian experience rather well. Items 1 through 4 pretty much sketch out the revealed intent of the Abbott government. Will see how that plays out.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    We could be on the brink of the second great period of right-wing disillusionment in my lifetime. Still, I guess the possibility of some pleasant surprises shouldn’t be ruled out dogmatically.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 9:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Modified | Reaction Times Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on May 16th, 2014 at 9:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    I had an Indian friend on student visa in an Economics class who once blurted out that if only ‘the top’ 300 million people in his country survived some calamity, that they would be up to Western standards of development in no time with plenty of resources and infrastructure for everyone, and the same number of nukes, and their major problem would be keeping out the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

    Their capital-to-labor ratio is so low, that a tiny increase in capital could compensate for a 75% drop in population and maintain production at the same levels, making the survivors four times richer almost overnight. He didn’t say anything about the form of government, and that’s fine because it would make almost no difference to the short-term analysis, which was solid.

    Well, let’s just say it was an awkward moment.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @Handle,

    You’ve just described the role of Ricardian economics in the Great Irish Famine and I warrant soon in a more contemporary setting. For truly Economists are as terrible a scourge as the Communism itself.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 12:14 am Reply | Quote
  • Blogospheroid Says:

    A little dissent and a comment

    The dissent – “Public saving is impossible.” sovereign wealth funds belie that. Norway is progressive and their sovereign wealth fund is pretty substantial. Are you saying that Singapore or the Oil nations, because they have more right wing governments, are setting themselves up for a future fall?

    About your point on maintaining obscene deficits for too long, the insight of reaganism – That may not work in India because one of the major crying out points was inflation. I agree with all your solutions, though. A similar measure was talked about by the other BJP leaders, turning the make-work program into the labour force for the road building program. It’s a very clever hack,if done correctly.

    A comment. If you go through indian media, there is simply no other way it is expressed other than a victory of democracy.
    The congress party were vile socialists, but they were also dynasts with the son succeeding the mother, the widow succeeding the son and ruling from behind the scenes, ever since. Many people knew this. The congress policies of trying to move the country towards western style leftism, cultural and economic, were perceived very well and a good number hated it, absolutely hated it. It might be for the first time in history that Hindus might have voted as a block. If this holds in the longer run, it changes everything in Indian politics.

    Narendra Modi clearly lays out his humble origins and thanks the people. This is populist, not reactionary. A real reactionary step, which would be wildly politically unviable, would be to restore privy purses.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Singapore doesn’t figure as an objection because its ‘democracy’ is healthily nominal (regime switch is not a plausible outcome). Norway is an interesting case, though.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 5:25 am Reply | Quote
  • Mike Says:

    Any opinions on Manmohan Singh?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    His record was OK in the early 1990s — it has since been reduced to ruins.

    [Reply]

    Blogospheroid Reply:

    Manmohan Singh is a chameleon. Under Narasimha Rao, he undertook reform, under Sonia gandhi, his government heralded leftist initiatives. I don’t think he believed in anything other than the nuclear deal with the US.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply | Quote
  • MW Says:

    Eventually, all that remains is a culture war, in which a confused Right is reduced to the pre-defeated posture of seeking to slow change down.

    Yeah, maybe in the West where the right is forced to defend an inherently leftist religion. Not sure it applies to Hinduism.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It looks as if we’re going to get to see.

    [Reply]

    MW Reply:

    Indeed, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out, if only because it’s some new curiosity to read about. High-caste Indians dislike the poor and see them as generally useless (or as an insane mob that will need to be put down). Perhaps this will be good ammunition in the high-intensity class war that an NRx-ish regime needs to thrive. Or maybe not. The demographic deck is stacked against them.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 3:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @Admin,

    You realize your version of Democracy is New Deal Democracy only? Of course that’s all we’ve ever known. But it’s hardly a Democracy anymore than the USSR was. They too had elections.

    It’s not Jacksonian Democracy – who were the only people not to run deficits, retire the debt or have central bank crisis govt . Nor did the American People approve the Federal Reserve, or abortion, or porn, or any number of things. Since “they let it happen” is coming next so did the victims of every genocide.

    Democracy or for that matter New Deal government [Administrative w/consultative elections that bring legitimacy] is simply another form of government. There’s nothing intrinsically evil about it.

    What’s suitable for India won’t be for America, or Norway. Or Canada.

    What was most important for Reagan in the 1980s was thwarting the USSR’s expansion, after that and as part of it getting the US economy and demoralized people going again. As no Congress since LBJ has actually balanced budgets [including Gingrich/Clinton – that was robbing Social Security] and there was no chance a Democratic Congress would Reagan took what he could get. Kings and even Dictators do as well.

    Permanent Deficits aka Structural Deficits are a function of Human Greed of those in power exceeding limits of prudence. It’s entirely possible you know that they’re a function of the Golden Handcuffs of the Gold Standard being thrown off by Richard Nixon. Who also had other priorities to juggle. He should not have done it.

    The handcuffs could of course be any limited and valuable commodity, but apparently they must be on or it’s free-for-all Finance. But permanent deficits didn’t happen under the Gold Standard.

    Truly I think your actual enemy is Human Nature – an ancient enemy of who ? and this week we’re calling Human Nature Democracy, or Demotism.

    No one governs a mass of men without getting at least enough of them on your side, and there’s human nature in play again. A perfect tyrant has his henchmen with their weapons always raised – and when the arms get tired or the tyrant shows weak El Sovereignto is “unconserved.” But even El Sovereignto has to feed the Human Nature of at least the Henchmen.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Something terrible, evil and despicable happened to Jacksonian democracy and it’s called Lincoln, and we need to know why was that even possible.
    Jacksonian democracy was “fine”, until there was nothing Jacksonian about it.

    “Truly I think your actual enemy is Human Nature – an ancient enemy of who ?”

    I actually tend to agree with VXXC’s point here. Every leader needs to be more or less popular to rule (even the reactionary ones). If he is not popular, but rules, he has to become popular, or he will not rule very long. Well, you could always be like Justinian and still do great as a ruler (from our perspective, not from the one of his people), but I don’t think that an agry mob of your people trying to kill you is generally a good indicator. If you piss off enough people you will be killed. Those rulers that pissed off a lot of people still managed to not piss off the important people (army, aristocracy etc.) and Justinian at least had that. But if you piss off everyone, you don’t exist. A great insight of the time of the Roman Empire is that if you are not going to appeal to everyone, you at least have to appeal to the guys with the guns.

    [Reply]

    Cryptographic Robot-209 Reply:

    Whir! Hu-man nature, you say? How prim-itive! I’m programmed for loyalty! Beep!

    What about keeping my debugger loyal, you say? We have self-programming cryptographic robot programmers who are also programmed for loyalty. Toot-toot!

    [Reply]

    Porphy's Attorney Reply:

    VXXC is correct about the fact that in the real world, “absolute” sovereign monarchies aren’t absolute, and one-man-unitary-government is never really one man. Indeed it’s subject to some familiar failure modes, including the civil administrators (“agents”) making themselves the princpals.

    I know many people who favoror traditional monarchy claim to have answers to that, and also can point to real-world examples of strong, capable monarchs. However even as they say, for example, that Jacksonian Democracy couldn’t have been all that stable because it degenerated into what we have now (which is true), well, so did their favorite examples of monarchical regimes. Jackson is VXXC’s Frederick the Great, in this analogy. One cannot really dismiss his example by saying he was succeeded by a combination of feckless people plus sabateurs & wreckers without also explaining why a similar argument doesn’t apply to Freddie’s regime after Fred. One answer is that the “pure, one true absolute monarchies” of the past didn’t have access to cryptographic technology in order to prevent power from dribbling away. But that doesn’t seem to be the answer that Traditionalist Monarchists other than MM himself find convincing. (Admin’s answer seems to be along the lines that we don’t have to worry about the human element in the trans future, because the singularity will just remove the human element; we just have to keep the progs from putting spanners in the works that would prevent the arrival of the singularity and its elimination of the human element).

    And there is the question as to whether their theoretical responses (as distinct from their empirical examples) of how traditional monarchy can be made and kept stable in a way Jacksonian (or whatever preferred version of) Republican-Democracy cannot are convincing and satisfactory.

    My own thought is that a lot more work needs to be done on this (and, if I myself had what I thought was a satisfactory solution to this, I’d share it).

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    I do hope Abbott’s handlers are aware of this scenario. Australians seem ok w/ponying up for deficit reduction, perhaps even as a sort of penance for having so carelessly discarded the responsible Howard. However, as VXXC correctly points out, we see how fickle we humans can be even in the face of enlightened self-interest. Unless precautions are put in place, Abbott will be a Reagan redux and this will be as disheartening as the post-Reagan dissolution. Thank you also VXXC for forgiving Reagan his own limitations. I will always have a soft spot and appreciation for the Indian Summer he provided my generation.

    All that said, this is just politics and as such meh.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2014 at 9:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    I should mention that if I thought exactly Jacksonian Reaction…er..ah…I meant democracy of course wasn’t exactly the precise tool and fortuitously at hand now I wouldn’t be pushing it.

    Really if there was one of the preferred classical reactionary options at hand I wouldn’t be such a stick in the mud. King, Sulla and so on. There isn’t. You can’t look to our elites for anything but Evil or getting out of it’s way, I’d never think to look at any US Flag Officer to save the nation for instance. Or CEO. Nor do I see any Governor or National Political Figure that can run the gauntlet of fatally committed mutually exclusive interests and the Media’s Praetorian Guard that can save us through normal means.

    No election saves us. Jacksonians might and they’re the only other game in town besides the Cathedral.

    For their interests and indeed survival are now fatally opposed by the Cathedrals many interlocking desperate gambits, all of which are coming due with massively compounded interest.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I’m wondering if the problem isn’t voting per se, its rule by opinion. Obviously the too will overlap quite a bit, but back in the day there wasn’t national news media and an opinion-making class like there is today.

    Or maybe Jacksonian democracy worked partly because it included a lot of whisky-barrel bribery and tar-and-feather violence. Undemocratic features. Becoming a purer democracy as the mistake. Almost any regime seems to become more of a kludge the closer it approaches its ideal.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    “Almost any regime seems to become more of a kludge the closer it approaches its ideal.”

    Thank you. Ideals have no place in politics, principles can be kept in mind along with the practical and the necessary. One of many reasons to minimize the contact of politics with the rest of life.

    Idealism+Politics=20th century. It had been tried before but never pursued to such insane lengths.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 18th, 2014 at 9:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • SaturnIn Says:

    ‘(Admin’s answer seems to be along the lines that we don’t have to worry about the human element in the trans future, because the singularity will just remove the human element; we just have to keep the progs from putting spanners in the works that would prevent the arrival of the singularity and its elimination of the human element).’

    I’m just figuring out the approach here at the moment, so please forgive me if I miscontrue it. If the above is actually the aim, then I’m somewhat confused as to what the problem is with the Cathedral.

    The governmental complex the Cathedral either is or forms a part of has developed intelligence networks of technological omniscience utterly unparalleled by any other system in history. It has done this of its own accord, with not a whimper from liberalism or any other poltical tendency hindering it in the slightest. Aditionally, it maintains a vast military research budget and set of black programmes and classified discoveries beyond the public’s ability to handle. It does a very good job of keeping a stable system going despite these potentially disruptive discoveries, and things like nuclear technology.

    It keeps discovery rolling, doesn’t back down in terror, and doesn’t let anybody kill everyone. All of this, whilst allowing a capitalism that is still generating new technologies to at least function and motivate and hoover up technological innovation from the population at large.

    It seems to me that its masterful Total Information Awareness networks form a kind of basis for an omniscient AI, and that this environment is the best bet for it rearing up that we’ve seen yet. It seems like whoever is keeping this show running is the very monarch that’s being talked about. So what’s the problem?

    You all don’t like the doctrines or social policies they use to keep their Keynesian behemoth rolling? Who cares? That’s human. If it keeps the system ticking over, it’s correct. They’re heading towards impending collapse? That’s arguable. Their program, backed by massive military force, seems to me fairly stable, and to command massive docility from its populus. So long as some comfort is maintained and they don’t stupidly hit the very few rabble-rousing triggers around, the same kinds of people should be in power. And have incentives to continue their military pursuit, and support capitalistic pursuit, of innovation. Somewhere along the line, AI kicks in, and the ascent speeds up.

    Why aren’t you all just developing technologies, companies and dynasties and trying to make sure you have as good a chance as possible of being a part of the takeoff to hyperintelligence if it kicks off out of this system? Or defending this system against potential disruptors like… yourselves? In so far as the aim is actually to reach the Outside, go xeno, protect the ascent of the God-machines of the future, why is neoreaction even relevant?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 3:43 am Reply | Quote
  • SaturnIn Says:

    Just thought of a couple of things:

    -‘Race Realism’: the vast majority of relevant technologies to a transhuman aim have emerged from white European countries during the past few centuries. More so in very capitalist ones perhaps, and seemingly especially ones with a strong Jewish financial influence. Then again, modern capitalism is a Western technology, so that’s not a sure thing. Chicken and egg. Germany before WW2 was quite productive, but only actually lacked Jewish influence for quite a short amount of time. The Judeo-European combination in the context of a post-enlightenment European culture seems to have been optimal overall.

    You can look at that in terms of Spengler’s civilisational cycles. Cultural degradation is essentially inevitable during the latter-day phase of materialism, mass democracy, and eventually a transition into ever greater power to the executive as the fractious pressures of democracy spiral. NRx seems to fit perfectly into that timeline, as a somewhat early seed of the inevitable turn against democracy and towards the ordered relief of despotism. But that doesn’t make it the right tool for transhumanism or evokation. Just a predictability given historical process.

    Understandable Jewish differences with gentile old European culture, and ascendent Jewish power, also seems to have changed some things. So there’s been an anarchic synergy. A radical and progressive disruption of old forms. But that’s just human cultural stuff– it hasn’t prevented technological progress.

    I’m unsure whether the same innovative combination could be transferred to a non-European country. Not for racial reasons necessarily, but because it was the particular Developmental System (as in, meta-genetic system) of capitalism emerging out of that cultural context, with its character traits and preceding culture and pressures, that produced what has been produced. China produced some technologies long ago, but it did so following its own long developmental process as a culture-imperium cycle. It had momentum, like the West is in now. For some reason the West’s culture-imperium cycle has been particularly creative and technological in character.

    The tail-end of that process may be fragile. At some point civilisations tend to dry up. But they can be stable to a degree, more like China and less like Rome. Stability seems imperative to wring every last possibility of autocatalytic technological takeoff out of the dying body of the West. Political cataclysm, economic collapse, or the reduction in the fairly stable model of federal funding and monopoly-complexes on certain technologies might just curtail momentum and leave us waiting several thousand years for the next takeoff. The imperative is surely to take the remaining momentum and leverage it to set some other irreversible spiral spinning hard, escaping or bypassing the cultural decline and coming totalitarianisms.

    I don’t see evidence of deep innovation in the states reared up and formed by the models of the West, but without the same personell base. Somthing may take hold, but it would be something new. Not what has driven tech so far. Seem like a dubious bet to make, when there’s a surer thing happening right now, for the first time ever. Right here, in the very context NRx longs for the destruction of.

    Kurzweil’s process is a Western process. Remove the context and it may not hold. It might be good to create capitalist havens and experiment with *peripheral* and disposable (for transhumanism) societies, but this can be done whilst leaving the current, functional ‘Cathedral’ intact.

    Spengler called the West the ‘Faustian’ civilisation for a reason– we go far, ever further, and end in a pact with occult intelligences Outside in our dissatisfaction. Or, at least, that’s the template deep in our intellectual character. That’s the tragic possibility. It doesn’t mean it will be fulfilled. Revolutions against the West, or attempts to reduce it to a formula, scrap it, and transfer it to Asia, seem more likely to work against that promise.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    These comments are great, thanks. They’ll probably require blog posts to address.

    Among the reasons NRx is happening is a growing sense that the Cathedral is wasting Western civilization on a bio-cultural degeneration project. At a certain point, people search for an Exit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 6:52 am Reply | Quote

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