Morality

There is far too much pointless moralism on the Outer Right. It’s a form of stupidity, it’s counter-productive, and it wastes a lot of time.

Naturally, if people are able to haul themselves — or be hauled — to any significant extent from out of their condition of total depravity (or default bioreality), that’s a good thing. To argue the opposite would be full-on Satanism, and we wouldn’t want that. Lamenting immorality, however, is something to be done quickly, and comprehensively, before moving on — without looking back. Man is fallen, naturally selected, and / or economically self-interested, and this is a basic condition. It’s not a remediable flaw, to be thrashed out of a mud-spattered angel. (No faction of the Trichotomy has any grounds upon which to base moral preening.) Realism is, first of all, working with what we have, and that’s something approximately Hobbesian. There’s social order, and there’s homo homini lupus, and in fact always some complexion of the two.

Anybody motivated to improve themselves is already doing it. As for those not so motivated, moral exhortation will be useless (at best). At its most effective, moral hectoring will increase the value of moral signalling, and that is a worse outcome — by far — than honest cynicism. It is worthless, because it is incredibly cheap, and then worse than useless, because its costs are considerable. A ‘movement’ lost in moral self-congratulation has already become progressive. Having persuaded itself of its worthiness to wield power, it has set out on the road to perdition. We have seen what that path looks like, and even given it a name (the Cathedral).

It is by empowering moralism that modernity has failed. This is not a mistake to saunter complacently into again.

November 10, 2014admin 67 Comments »
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67 Responses to this entry

  • peter connor Says:

    Indeed. I have been forced to all out mockery of my friends in the conservative movement whenever they fall into the trap of IMPROVEMENT OF MAN. As I point out, Man collectively is exactly who he is, depending on genetic response to locality, for reasons found good and sufficient by the forces of Natural Selection, which is a purely mathematical process. Man individually may differ….

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 3:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aeroguy Says:

    Seeing as how man is a slave to his ego (despite our egos being puffs of evolutionary smoke), we really want means of signaling superiority. Especially since we don’t hide the need for hierarchy. So how do we channel this energy to pursue ego gratification productively rather than the usual channels of delusion and counter productive norms?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    As a civilization, mathematics is the best channel of this kind. To the extent it can be used as a wider model, it should be.

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    vxxc2014 Reply:

    In the context of our current situation, to model off mathematics is not wise. I may be misunderstanding you. It’s a cryptic comment of course.

    Mathematicians modeling civilization have enough status, they’re called economists and they are mad.

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    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 4:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Complete Agreement and well said.

    I should mention I was disposed not to like the post based on 1st sentence, so well done.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 4:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Can you give an example of what you consider to be legitimate moral pleading, as opposed to hectoring?

    I am trying to distinguish among (1) a legitimate attempt to enforce current social norms, (2) a serious attempt to modify the current social norms in a generally beneficial way, (3) a vague sense of distaste or approval, and (4) an attempt to raise one’s social status through fraud of some sort.

    Proposed examples: Rewarding the employee of the month with conspicuously attractive parking spot might be a form of legitimate moral pleading? Accusing someone of hypocrisy, for playing by the rules while simultaneously advocating that the rules be changed, is moral fraud in my view (e.g. saying that collecting Social Security while criticizing it is hypocrisy). Is that what you mean by hectoring?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    My ambit here is restricted to online NRx discussion, so somebody more focused on a broader range of practicalities might be better suited to answer that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 4:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    Progressivism isn’t moral and isn’t a form of moralising. Progressivism is just another expression of the liberal exhortation to “leave people alone.” Progressives, like liberals, believe that people should be left to pursue their own good. It’s just that while liberals focus on supposed institutional constraints (church, state, law), progressives add moral/cultural constraints (racism, sexism, etc). But these are still seen as constraints on the freedom of the person. The free person, freed of these constraints, does whatever they want.

    There’s no moralising here. In fact, that constraints themselves are viewed as moralising and moralising is explicitly rejected as backward and irrational, a feature of outmoded religiosity (modern religiosity is private, internal). The problem with bigotry, according to the progressive, is not that it’s immoral but that it’s unreasonable, arbitrary and harmful. Of course, progressives still use a subset of moral language and claim to be good people, since they’re human beings and cannot do otherwise, but they have a highly impoverished conception of virtue.

    This is something NRx tends to get completely back to front. Since so many are still committed to some form of libertarianism and libertarianism is all but identical to progressivism, the temptation to view progressivism as a kind of interference in people’s lives, rather than the fullest expression of the logic of non-interference, is difficult to resist. The alternative is to recognise that this descent into madness started with the likes of Hobbes (or earlier) and reject the whole ugly history of liberalism.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Bowden would disagree

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    Meow Mix Reply:

    Hobbes was a liberal?

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    scientism Reply:

    The notion of a “state of nature” and the social contract are two of the most important misconceptions that led to liberalism and everything since.

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    Porphy's Attorney Reply:

    The usual way of conceiving of Hobbes as a liberal is as a philosophical liberal: he takes the self-interested individual, outside any social context (i.e. a family) as the basic unit of analysis. He then posits how they would/ought to choose a social order to advance their individual self-interests.

    It’s the “invididual-outside-society” component that ultimately leads to the descent into what we have here.

    The more traditional way of looking at it, pre-Hobbes, would see such a project as entirely wrongheaded: even if one valued liberty or certain facets of liberty, the idea of even for thought-experiment purposes abstracting people from society and positing a state-of-nature where they construct a social contract as individuals with no social connection and histories would seem misguided.

    Note also one facet of this that most (not all) of the “outer right” tends to miss: individuals, in the tradtition Hobbes arguably started are identified by what they have in common with each other – not what makes them distinct from each other.

    So this also leads to all sorts of misguided collectivism/interchangabl-ness, and ultimately to foundational egalitarian universalism.

    So yes even Hobbes is at bottom a philosophical liberal and as the implications of the foundational elements of his system worked its way out, it led to what we have here.

    (This tends to be a strong reason why anyone in the outer right tends to have more affinity for pre-Enlightenment philosophers, at least with *their* works updated and worked out: Aristotelianism, Scholasticism, Platonism, et al are better building blocks).

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    Izak Reply:

    The other way of understanding Hobbes as in the family of philosophical liberals is by appreciating and recognizing his Christian ideas, particularly about eschatology. This is a very overlooked aspect of Hobbes’s overall plan for what the leviathan was really meant to do in the bigger sense of things.

    Hurlock Reply:

    The whole of this is so backwards, that I don’t know where to start.

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    Mike Reply:

    Indeed. He’s given us what basically amounts to progressivism’s description of progressivism.

    [Reply]

    WowJustWow Reply:

    Behold the motte.

    John Reply:

    Ahh yes, the progressive doctrine of freedom through totalitarianism and equality through special privileges for sacred groups.

    Urban IX Reply:

    @Scientism

    I’m inclined to agree with the sentiment of this comment, although I don’t agree with the specifics (libertarianism and progressivism are not essentially the same). I don’t see the problem with the Left being one of moralizing, but one of moralizing the wrong morality. The classical liberal sentiment is still strong amongst many Anglosphere outerrightists (I suspect it’s a feature of anglosphere culture).

    Although I don’t support an excess of useless (albeit gratifying) self-congratulation, moralizing serves the function of reinforcing a group’s values and norms. It isn’t completely worthless.

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    Erebus Reply:

    I’d be surprised if you could find one living Progressive who agrees with your statement as you just wrote it. Most, I’m sure, would vehemently disagree.
    …To say nothing of progressives from the earlier 20th century, who, upon hearing this statement of yours, would stare at you, slackjawed, in disbelief.

    (…To say nothing of even earlier progressives — the likes of which, in the early 19th century, even Poe railed against. “Leaving people alone” has never really been their thing…)

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    Progressive rhetoric is full of the language of non-interference: don’t judge, don’t shame, don’t tell people how to live their lives, who are you to decide what’s right and wrong, don’t impose your beliefs on others, etc. It expresses itself in terms of rights and the violation of rights. It takes itself to be defending people’s rights. Like liberalism, it generally expresses itself in juridical rather than moral terminology: rights, harms, fairness, justice, equality, etc. The goal is for individuals to come to terms and not for anyone to be held to an external (moral) standard.

    It’s moral language is marked by a comparative paucity. Their only virtue is tolerance. They see the rest of morality as backwards, arbitrary and subjective. If you think homosexuality is wrong, that, to the progressive mind, can only mean you find it disgusting. If you think homosexual advocacy damages society, the progressive is at a complete loss. As I believe Jon Stewart once put it: “Do ‘gay rays’ emanate out of a gay marriage and ruin all the other marriages? How does that work?” What could account for this kind of radical inability to understand moral language other than having a deeply flawed and impoverished understanding of right and wrong?

    [Reply]

    Urban IX Reply:

    I would argue that progressivism is tolerance+equality. Where as liberalism is just tolerance.

    Erebus Reply:

    Progressive language today strikes that “tolerance” chord pretty often. As you’ve mentioned yourself, it also strikes different chords: “Oppression”, “inequality”, “privilege”, “fairness”, “justice”, and so forth. On the whole, the tune they make doesn’t sound like it has much to do with non-interference. At least, not to my own ears.

    Let’s not forget that the progressivism is an old movement. Having examined their history, which goes back a couple centuries and which can be written in spilled blood, do you genuinely believe that they hold “that people should be left alone to pursue their own good”?

    It’s true that the modern progressivist’s conception of what constitutes morality is narrow and small-minded. At the same time, it cannot be disputed that the progressivists are modern society’s primary moralizers, now that the pulpits stand empty and our preachers have left the role. Perhaps these two facts go hand in hand; as Schopenhauer once said, “one must meet the requirements of the people according to the measure of their comprehension.” Do you think that a lofty and brilliant conception of morality would be comprehended, let alone appreciated and followed, by the masses? I don’t. So some take religion, but their numbers are dwindling in the west — and the rest, by and large, take the teachings of our secular, “tolerant” theocracy.

    scientism Reply:

    @ Erebus

    Yes, the spilled blood is a consequence of these views. Once you see society in terms of voluntary obligations, you have an apparent justification for all sorts of projects of social reform and the various movements throughout the last few centuries have been a consequence of that. Most aspects of society are non-voluntary – there’s no question of having a choice or consenting to them – and trying to fit everything into that model makes society look arbitrary and unjust. Modern history is the story of how we’ve systematically attacked various institutions, relationships, norms and practices on the grounds that they’re impositions on the sovereign individual. Just think of the kinds of non-voluntary commitments we’re born into: familial relationships, standards of conduct, gender roles, social hierarchy, inheritance of wealth/status/genetics, etc. These are the things that have been attacked, because they have been viewed (wrongly) in terms of consent. So state authority has been attacked, parental authority has been attacked, gender roles have been attacked, religion is now a matter of personal choice rather than universal standards of conduct, morality is opinion, etc. This is all a direct consequence of the liberal philosophical tradition.

    Was Enlightened Reply:

    “Progressive rhetoric is full of the language of non-interference: don’t judge, don’t shame, don’t tell people how to live their lives, who are you to decide what’s right and wrong, don’t impose your beliefs on others, etc”

    This strikes me as a Jedi mind trick, not a serious part of their belief system.

    Tell a prog about human biodiversity, or point out that women really are different from men, and let me know how that not judging/not shaming stuff works for you.

    Meow Mix Reply:

    Yeah guys, Hobbes was totally down with equality and abstract individualism yo (puts on fedora, hits blunt).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    @Scientism Only in weird NRx would that be considered anything other than a leftist — and in fact straightforwardly Marxist — argument. It’s exactly the same as this guy’s diagnosis, as far as I can see.

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    You can’t just compare a man to a gay French communist and leave it at that. What part did he agree with, exactly? I’m intrigued.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m reading his To Live and Think Like Pigs right now, and it could be a statement of the Rx-wing of Neoreaction without significant modification. The disaster is all about atomization, blame the Anglos for that, Hobbes started it, markets are yucky, we want our organic communities back

    I understand this from a communist.

    scientism Reply:

    @admin

    Thanks for the link. It looks crazy but interesting.

    To be sure, I don’t think markets are yucky, although I think individualist social ontology is a bad account of markets and basing policy on it leads to bad outcomes. The alternative to liberal individualism, in my opinion, is not some kind of identity-based collectivism, but the careful recognition of the pre-existing, non-voluntary relationships, practices, norms, etc, that make up a society; in particular, I think familial relationships need to be given greater prominence. Have you read Ruiping Fan’s “Reconstructionist Confucianism”? His criticism of individualism, account of familism and moral defence of markets is closer to where I’m coming from. My claim is more that what has passed for laissez faire is not really laissez faire, because it’s generally attached to a revisionary, reductionist social ontology. I think we could do capitalism and politics better – without the social atomisation, etc – if we were more sensitive to social ontology. More descriptive, less revisionary. Communism is the most flagrant expression of the revisionary instinct I’m criticising here, since it seeks to reorder the whole of society.

    admin Reply:

    I’ll follow up that recommendation with great interest. Thanks.

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    Progress wants to leave people alone.

    Why does this Progress that wishes to leave people alone not leave people alone?
    Anywhere, about anything. For instance – You dictate our toilets size, forcing us to use toilets that don’t properly flush. A Diktat forced on all the World, and a perfect symbol for Clinton’s government. If nothing else survives the Dark Ages you’ve summoned dysfunctional toilets will.

    And why does this benign Progress cost more money than exists, fight so many increasingly and deliberately inconclusive wars, and why does it kill so many people?

    Your Progress is a Party of one. If it’s Dutch Treat for a change I applaud it. You of course didn’t bring up money, but it’s a bit of a concern for those of us not on the taxpayers dime.

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    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    The Outer Right, and, to the extent that it does not occupy the entirety of it, neoreaction a fortiori, is convinced that excessive moralizing is the occult force behind much of what ails modernity. It is, in other words, safe and (among friends such as these) completely uncontroversial to point to the failure modes of morality. Morality ought (heh, heh) to make us fitter. When it fails to do so, it is not proper morality, i.e., that which is the will of gnon, but something else. Moralism, Puritanism, Pathological Scrupulosity, Da Joos, perhaps.

    But the ease with which we indict the clear failures, does not extend, as far as Admin would like, to judging moral thought by association with the pathological modes. Yes, pathological altruism is bad. Altruism is probably not. How do you know when altruism becomes pathological? By measuring the pathology. How do you the exact right amount of altruism? A priori, you probably don’t. Does the existence of pathological altruism indict all altruism as suspicious? On the contrary, none of us (LITERALLY) would be alive without it.

    Gnon may very well have longer timelines that you…

    There is a sweet spot for morality. Clearly, we can know where it’s not, but none of is qualified to say certainly where it is. Because we’re not gnon.

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    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    we have not yet gnon far enough

    “I am compassionate because I adopted a child from africa”

    “One cannot be compassionate if one does not let the gays have their love”

    “Compassion is letting in (millions of) strangers freely to the country.”

    “We must end poverty, it is the only right path”

    “We must always love and never hate at all”

    As we proceed, you may find yourself reading these statements in your head with a lisp, this is normal

    “Do not force your beliefs on anyone! That’s wrong.”

    etc etc etc

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Morality” isn’t the target of this post (even remotely). The title is therefore a little confusing, admittedly. (It was meant as a fish-hook.)

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Harumph… well it sure fooled me.

    I took some issue with this rather unnuanced statement:

    Anybody motivated to improve themselves is already doing it. As for those not so motivated, moral exhortation will be useless (at best).

    Sort of a No True Scotsman, but in reverse. Anybody sufficiently strongly motivated to improve themselves is already doing it in spite of perverse incentives. And meanwhile perverse incentives get perverser, if we don’t happen to give a fig about their effect on the insufficeintly strongly motivated. I’ve a strong prejudice against perverse incentives, which far outweighs any loathing I might feel for the working and lower classes, and how such incentives meet up against ordinary people with little power (by design, another perverse incentive) to change them. That seems strikingly like morality, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a waste of time.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m finding it hard to understand your point here. You’re saying that moral exhortation on Twitter overcomes structural perverse incentives? If not (because that would surely be ridiculous), what are you saying?

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Contending for social systems in which “moral exhortation” is a prominent, hopefully mostly tacit, feature seems worth at least some effort. Even on the twitter. Obviously, real life beats twitter, but you morally exhort with the army ya got on the fronts yer at.

    If you have some specific conversation where silly moralizing has derailed, or sunk the SNR of, an otherwise important conversation please point to it. And I’ll tell you whether I agree with that assessment of not.

    admin Reply:

    It’s exactly the last type of conversation I’d bookmark or memorize, of course, since it is entirely devoid of substance from my PoV. The next time one happens, I’ll try to remember to give you a shout out.

    Alrenous Reply:

    Much as ‘social’ justice means not-justice, ‘pathological’ altruism means not-altruism. If altruism itself were truly bad, it wouldn’t need the modifier. (Generalize point to taste.)

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    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 5:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nyan Sandwich Says:

    This seems like a solid point, but dangerously disconnected from anything concrete. What do we mean by “morality” here? Butts may be hurt, but can you give examples of pointless moralism in NRx?

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    Rasputin Reply:

    Such as Michael Anissimov’s righter-than-thou moral posturing against the Manosphere (even if it speaks to evo-truth), which you wrote a very elegant response to; or his attack on Justine Tunney, Bryce, Nick Land, Moldbug, etc, etc, for not being sufficiently “of the right”. Not that there weren’t sometimes other issues of substance upon which his attack was grounded, but moral posturing was often a large part of it.

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    Izak Reply:

    From my own admittedly incomplete perspective, I’d say the bigger problem than moralizing is that “outer right” people tend to turn everything into a gigantic dick-swinging contest to see who’s more right wing than the other guy. Usually it involves coming up with an ad-hoc definition of “right wing,” followed by the declaration, “So in conclusion, I’m more right-wing than you,” to say nothing of the actual concepts being discussed. The flip-side is when people say, “This seems like prog thinking” rather than explaining why that’s so terrible. I’m not sure this primarily a moral issue; it seems more like a basic problem of competition in general, with the secondary problem of seeing “right-wing” as a signifier for absolute good rather than a denotative, neutral term designed for clarity.

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    Rasputin Reply:

    Exactly. For instance, Moldbug was explicitly of the opinion that Neo-Nazism is pathetic because it has no chance of succeeding (which he considered a good thing) and that people who self-identify as such are in general low IQ scum. So he gets called an entryist by the righter-than-thou status whores who seem to think that attacking the right wing credentials of the most prominent member of the Reaction their own members will magically increase in size.

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Morality | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 7:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Not be a smartass, but a Realist must accept that most people are Moralistic, and there are good and real reasons for why Man is fallen, naturally selected, economically self-interested, and moralistic.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Also for flatulence, but that hasn’t been proposed as an NRx virtue. (Sorry if that looks like a meta-clever response to “smart-ass” — sheer coincidence.)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    I’m quite ashamed to say I hadn’t made the association.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 4:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    Is outer right referring to the outer right of NRx, or is it referring to the entirety of the outer right (as in all of NRx)?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Contains NRx, but extends further. (In this context, it’s mostly referring to beyond-the-pale right Twtitter.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 10:11 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    O/T well tangent — Admin I don’t have time to investigate now, but look at this, caught my eye.

    ==Single theory of reality based on Quantum gravity?==

    “The most exciting discovery in physics could come about thanks to telecoms satellites. Is a single theory of reality in sight?”

    http://aeon.co/magazine/science/the-search-for-quantum-gravity/?utm_source=Aeon+newsletter&utm_campaign=81fb9a4b7b-Daily_newsletter_11_November_201411_11_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-81fb9a4b7b-68705005

    I’m not vouching for it I don’t have time to digest. But worth checking if underlying reality is firming up (for now).

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 12:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • soapjackal Says:

    (testing what dictation software and vodka wil do together)

    To start:

    Scientism gets it completely wrong. Progressivism is moralizing. It’s hard to detect because most everybody who runs in these circles exhibits a form of government bond morality. The moral systems described by a rightist will not be able to detect the moral systems of the bonobo. A bonobo will not be able to understand its moral systems as moral systems it will describe them as objective reality. I use the references to great apes who liberally. This is not to say that these terms represent reality perfectly however they act as functional placeholders.

    I would be wrong to say that scientism gets it 100% wrong. When you reference is that the progressives are human beings but they have no conception of virtue he is accurate. This is because most of the Western perceptions of virtue occurred when humanity was switching from a chimp moral system to look upon moral system. That is to say switching from a 100% hierarchical military structure based upon rape and exploitation to a matrimonial system with focus on private property and trade with a major emphasis on hierarchy instead of a negative view of such. Virtue being developed in such an environment especially before classical virtues: courage, temperance, wisdom, and justice. These virtues are meant for a militaristic government bond society a society which is meant to produce civilization. Almost telogically. Its almost as if the purpose of such a fixation on the family unit is to generate civilization.

    It is through the context generated by scientism and Nick be Steve’s that I see a critique of what admin has said.

    > “Morality” is the target of this post (even remotely). The title is therefore a little confusing, admittedly. (It was meant as a fish – hook.)

    The entire post seems to be about morality. Let’s review what you said:

    1) you give hook in order to draw in moralizing individuals.

    2) you state that if individuals are able to be moral that is a good thing. You then state that if people can’t be moral and that’s the way of life. You then state that being realistic is being pragmatic. Apparently that brand of pragmatism is a specific brand of Hobbesian is. You then describe the Steppenwolf. Homo Homini Lupus. I have read Herman Hesse before. If you have read Steppenwolf, then you already understand the message behind that book if you haven’t read that book, and I expect you haven’t given this statement, then he probably should probably read that fantastic work. It is his most critiqued work but it is one of his greatest. Then you state that there is a complexty between the Hobbesian and the Steppenwolf dichotomy.

    3) you say that moral individuals are already motivated to be moral and that moral exhortation is useless. You then say that the best one can expect from discussing morality is moral signaling. The worst is some form of a self-congratulatory circle jerk. The then seem to suggest that any formal morality circle jerk is progressivism. Finally your train of logic arrives the conclusion that cathedrals are formed from morality circle jerks.

    4) basically the end of your article affirms that you said in the previous three paragraphs. What you said is thus: empowering morality is modernity and that has failed so we should probably stay away from this particular course

    You’ll have to excuse me if I think that this is an entire post about morality. It may not speak upon the specifics of morality, which is its weakness, but it seems suggest that the entire post is about morality.

    Before I really make my true critique someone else already said it better.

    >I’d say the bigger problem than moralizing is that “outer right” people tend to turn everything into a gigantic dick-swinging contest to see who’s more right wing than the other guy. Usually it involves coming up with an ad-hoc definition of “right wing,”

    The no true Scotsman style signaling system is always in place. This really should have been what your potion and about. It is a fantastic critique. If I can signal that I am more virtuous than X than I am the man. It’s very very easy to do this online rather than in meat life. In meat life it’s very hard to hide if one has not been virtuous. If I am on Twitter it’s extraordinarily easy for me to state my inner courage. When I am in a bar fight putting myself between eight 250 pound bald maniac and is slightly tipsy friend in order to save the friend I cannot be signaling for I am doing.

    This is not what you were saying at all in your post. Your post does not seem to have any purpose beyond poking at those who have the inherent desire to discover moral claims. Now I know a few on Twitter that are likely to play the “VP Dick swinging contest” and I can understand your frustration. Of course what you wrote doesn’t at all deal with this problem.

    What you wrote seems to state that any conception of morality will inevitably lead to progressivism. Similar to the thought that any variant of Calvinism will lead to progressivism. This is a name.

    I can completely understand that neoreaction has no good grasp of metaphysics or morality. That such discussions have gone by the wayside. However I feel that your post does little to alleviate this problem. Instead it just adds to the problem. After reading a multitude of your works I do not feel that there is a lot of ethical weight being pressed on this discussion. It seems that this is signaling as well, that in the end you are merely stating that morality and moral signaling is something that is beneath neoreaction.

    Neoreaction is all about politics. Not the left right dichotomy but the real politics i.e. power. Power in politics are all about morality. I do not feel that is false to say that neoreaction is all about a specific kind of morality. The major moral focus the neoreaction seems to have is that of a true system of metaphysics. Especially a incredibly high level of commitment to a better system of epistemology that is in place. However I feel that the ancient philosophies had it right. That the focus on virtue, morality, ethics, and the right way of action are the foundations for the rest of philosophy. Aesthetics, ontology, epistemology, and all the rest come from the right ways of action.

    I appreciate all the work you put in to your blog. I wish, I really do wish, that I had more time and energy to comment more. There are at least seven or eight rough drafts of large comments I wish to add to certain discussions. That said there are quite a few posts, such as this, that you make that do not fix anything. Moreover they seem to be poking at a beehive in an attempt to create drama. I am no fan of this.

    I can understand that is one without a blog, such as myself, that such an attitude is almost hypocritical. I still feel that your claims in your post are without merit. That your post is nothing to help and instead is designed to hinder. I wish I did not feel this way but I do.

    I really do hope that in the future such discussions of morality could be more productive but I am not holding my breath for the present. I will continue my work on Khmer Elizabeth, as that is more likely to happen in the near future that my work on education, and I hope that my efforts to really improve the core tenants the neoreaction are really just efforts in parallel with others who feel the same.

    klick klick.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I need to sleep on this. Except to say, homo homini lupus has a far deeper ancestry than Hermann Hesse (or even Schopenhauer, who is my immediate source).

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Moar vodka, pls.

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    Normally, I can’t find a thing to disagree with Scientism on, but this time I will have to go with Soapjackle. Progs are utterly morally obsessed. Their entire rhetoric and basis of being may be centered around the call to be free from *something*; be it Fascism, patriarchy or general oppression (I recall Dugin making this observation regarding Liberalism before), but this is moralizing.

    Take racism for example, this is policed and works on moralising – to be racist is immoral and should make you feel bad. What makes Progism so utterly retarded in this area is that its moral system has all the sophistication of one created by a six year old. The moral system is set to work either one step, or two steps removed from any given situation at best. As a result for example, they will, and do, claim that discrimination against people based on race is bad. Then stop. The thought process or analysis in a moral sense does not go any further. Unless you come to disproportionate impact, then we have a two step process. Discrimination is bad, unless discrimination at point B it is to correct a discrimination at point A. Then it is ok. Then stop.
    I have yet to come across a more sophisticated moral system within progism. And when you think about it, this is not that surprising. Any sophisticated moral structure based on major religions is derived from books which have either been written by one, or more, very intelligent individuals who clearly had the ability to apply rational thought. Progism is democratic to it’s core and mob based. Is there any specific individuals and writings which could be said to constitute the core of progism? Marx? Gramsci? Did they provide coherent analysis of how to create societies, or how interconnecting issues and concepts could be brought together in a coherent moral system? no…God no. All they did was write dribble complaining about financial intermediaries in the market and cry about hegemonic oppression on the basis that people would just spontaneously create hippie communes afterwards – because all evidence clearly shows that would happen.(sarc).
    Progism morality is mob based, lowest common denominator, unsophisticated dribble. But the issue is that mankind needs morals, and morals are captured and maintained by whomever is in power. I don’t think you can leave this issue aside, or someone else will capture it and use it to obtain power.
    As a side point, you could argue that the current violent thrashing of the Islamic world and the inability of progism to make headway is because they have been unable to get to the moral system of Islam. It’s not attuned to it in anyway shape or form, and therefore is unable to obtain legitimacy.

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    When does morality become so unsophisticated that it stops being morality? For example, the reason progressives say racism is bad and stop at that, I’d argue, is because they see it entirely in terms of harm. When you make racist remarks, they claim, you’re either hurting someone or could potentially hurt someone. Sometimes they’ll argue that “harmless” racism (jokes or satire) is actually harmful because it encourages others or creates an environment in which others are more likely to engage in harmful racism. The whole outlook is quasi-causal. It’s like they’re telling you to stop punching someone or stop waving a gun around (their arguments against racist humour are similar to their arguments against toy guns). They have to establish a harm because in the context in which they justify their actions, you’re only allowed to intervene to stop one person from harming or coercing another. So they have to establish some kind of psychological or economic harm or “disenfranchisement.”

    It just seems odd to say that a group that’s characterised by such an epic lack of sophistication in moral thought has moralising as a defining feature.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Sufficiently sophisticated moral reasoning has an end: stable, well-understood rules.

    Insufficiently sophisticated moral reasoning simply leads to more and more moral reasoning, which is a feature not a bug to those who wish to be seen as more moral.

    scientism Reply:

    @ Nick B. Steves

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s quantity vs. quality. Progressives are prolific in their denouncements, even if they’re morally shallow.

    forkinhell Reply:

    @ Nick B. Steves

    Are you using the judgement “sufficiently sophisticated” in a moral sense? If not you’re obviously demurring to a higher system (in which case morality is weakened); if so, how do appeal to the progressives’ ‘highest” morality (which views your own as retrograde)? If the ratchet always moves left a sufficiently sophisticated morality can never hope to win out.

    Chris B Reply:

    @scientism This needs further discussion. Seems to me that you are correct in that progs avoid and act in opposition to morals and moralising, but only in the context of recognised religious moral systems (as I think soapjackel was pointing out) Maybe this is anouther aspect of their success at sliping under the radar and forcing their religion on the west, whilst getting away with claiming it is not. I think it’s still moralising, but you have a point regarding the way they present it. Really needs further analysis. Suprised the religious trad are not all over this.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    A vicious cycle here.
    The Sophist develops rhetoric to evade or vitiate a moral system, for their personal gain. In this case Catholicism.
    However, Sophists mainly live among each other, and the evasion system can be generalized. As a result, the Sophists develop more ‘morality’ in an attempt to control each other. In response, they develop more sophisticated ways of evading responsibility. In response, they develop more controls…

    The religious trad stopped being competent some time ago. The world was theirs to lose, and they lost it.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    It bothers me a lot that by changing input style, an apparently different person can emerge. (E.g. writing longhand versus dictation.)
    Obviously there is a best person to choose. In my case it is the most accurate. But since the apparent person is a function of the input style yet all measurements must use some input style, I know of no way to check which is most accurate.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 3:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Your Confucian rejection of the Is-Ought distinction means that almost everything you right is inherently moralizing, as long as you’re serious about it. Is this a call for more frivolity in these precincts?

    [Reply]

    forkinhell Reply:

    Not quite ignoring your Freudian tautology (sorry), I think what admin is doing, along with choosing a bad title, is pointing to the negative effects of moralising – i.e. the creation of more puritans/fascists/sanctimonious progressives. Convincing people that a moral conviction is right is more dangerous than trashing morality wholesale, as it leads to the spreading of the progressive gospel (just in a different-to-current form). Moralising has an awful tendency to be universalised, to the extent that changing a progressive opinion (moral) doesn’t alter the underlying altruistic thought process. All in all, it’s a point I agree with/take on board. And yes please to the frivolity appeal.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’d argue, in contrast, that moralism is a creature of the Is/Ought distinction (hence its unique combination of imperative tone with epistemological vacuity).

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    “combination of imperative tone with epistemological vacuity”

    This sounds like a definition of “sanctimony”, as you were using it here.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 9:29 pm Reply | Quote
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