Dark Thoughts

Peter A. Taylor contributes this gem to the comments thread of Foseti’s recent democracy round-up:

Washington is not the dark heart of a pure nation. It is the dark heart of a rotting nation. That’s why the Dark Enlightenment is so dark.

April 7, 2013admin 23 Comments »
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Spanked

If only libertarians could get over their “creepy obsession with free market capitalism.”

[via Hotair]

April 7, 2013admin 6 Comments »
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Bespoke Singularities

When techno-commercial and left singularities seem too damn vanilla, it’s time to branch out. John Cussans (master of the shuffling undead) passed on this selection.

It’s frightening how many of them look almost uncontroversially realistic. The Outside in favorite (predictably enough) was the ‘Bilderbergularity’:

Billionaire overlords throw in the towel trying to run the planet, escape en masse to low earth orbit. People around the world breath a sigh of relief … before falling onto each other like zombie hordes.

[A Governmentularity / Fungularity mash-up would work well for me.]

April 7, 2013admin 5 Comments »
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Stockman Syndrome

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge relays it superbly.

ADDED: Peter Schiff on Stockman stomping.

April 3, 2013admin 13 Comments »
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Climate Change

Jim tracks recent ideological adjustments:

… the status of warmists has dropped to that of communists. The orthodox believers in official truth are anti anti communist but not pro communist, and the orthodox believers in official truth are anti skeptic, but not pro warmist. Before 2012 October, official truth was warmist. Now warmists are, like communists, merely another left faction.

Of course any left faction is automatically higher status than any non left faction, so warmists are still automatically higher status than skeptics, even when caught lying, but warmism is no longer official truth.

April 3, 2013admin 5 Comments »
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The Unraveling

A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for the candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship. — Macaulay [or the ‘Tytler Calumny‘ (thanks Matt)]

From the Urban Dictionary, Democracy:

1) A common system of government directed by the whims of mobs and marked by a low tolerance for basic human rights and common sense; primarily used to incrementally transition a government ruled by common law (Republic) to a government ruled by the political law of a few elite (Oligarchy).

As the slide continues, the perennial understanding of anti-demotic statecraft (and initiatory insight of the new reaction) appears to be going mainstream. Alex Berezow writes at Realclearworld‘s The Compass blog:

It’s been a rough few years for democracy. Despite that, Westerners always seem to assume that the most highly evolved form of government is democratic. The trouble with that notion is that, at some point, a majority of voters realize they can vote for politicians who promise them the most stuff, regardless of whether or not it is good policy or financially sustainable. And once that occurs, the country is (perhaps irreversibly) on a pathway to decline.

Whilst glibly insubstantial by Moldbug standards (of course), the article never retracts this initial premiss, and concludes with the suggestion that the whole world could profitably learn arts of democracy inhibition from China. Interesting times.

[Note: the two articles immediately below Berezow’s at the RCW site are ‘Is Cameron’s EU Strategy Unraveling?’ (by Benedict Brogan) and ‘Libya Is Still Unraveling’ (by Max Boot) — just noticed (consciously). Contemporary news: all unraveling, all the time.]

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April 2, 2013admin 33 Comments »
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Death on the Nile

Once Egypt goes down, I’m not seeing how it ever gets up again. It can’t feed itself, or do anything else recognizably productive. Mostly it lives off aesthetic capital inherited from the pharoahs. What exactly is it supposed to build a future from?

ADDED: Judith Miller on sprung Egypt.

March 31, 2013admin 35 Comments »
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Rabid and Goliath

It’s tempting to introduce a ‘sub-idiots’ tag, in order to do justice to this piece of blundering verbiage. It’s like watching a dead Siberian tiger being kicked savagely in the claw by a rabid dormouse.

Still, it gets one thing right. Democracy demands (immediately) that the GoP complete its abandonment of this awkward ‘capitalism’ business, in order to concentrate more fully on the touchy-feely stuff that people really care about.

March 31, 2013admin 15 Comments »
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Out West

The real (paying) job calls. For the last few days of March (and 1st April), I’m going to be ‘away’ on a research trip to Kashgar (Xinjiang). If connectivity isn’t a problem, ‘away’ might not mean much from the perspective of Cyberspace, but I’m expecting at least moderate disruption (most probably exacerbated by colorful ethnic distractions and horrible torrents of baijiu).

If anyone has any Kashgar questions, or information to offer, I’ll do my best to bend my investigations responsively. (I’m not thinking of using this blog as a platform for Xinjiang material, but that’s not a dogmatic commitment, if there’s any interest in the topic.)

[This short Kashgar profile by Ron Gluckman is over a decade old — it will be interesting to see how it has dated.]

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March 27, 2013admin 12 Comments »
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Reaction Points (#3)

Inspired by a comment from Nick Szabo, Federico passes on 20,000 words of Howard Scott Gordon’s Controlling the State. As a door-stopper, holding the constitutional question open, it’s hard to beat.

Steve Sailer asks why rigorous statistical thinking took so long to formulate. (The comment thread is excellent.)

In an interview with Nick Gillespie at Reason, Nassim Nicholas Taleb stumbles upon an under-appreciated aspect of Left Singularity: “The problem we have had in almost all Western countries is that nominally they say they are decentralizing, but effectively they’ve [given] more and more power to the central government. You want decisions to be spread out. Government debt is a result of centralization, and typically the cause of more centralization. It’s a very bad circle.”

At Occam’s Razor, Alfred W Clark works to spring Eugenics from the dungeons of thought crime. A seemingly untroubled Steve Hsu is just getting on with it. (Go China!)

Even the GoP-happy crowd at PJMedia are flirting with disintegration.

Edges of reality, charted.

Molestation Incorporated.

March 27, 2013admin 5 Comments »
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