Quote note (#152)

Blasts of sanity on immigration from Ed West (snippetized):

Even if the number of British emigrants equals the number of newcomers, there is a social cost to migration. Few argue about the social aspect because opponents of change know it feels unpleasant and racist and supporters understand it’s widely unpopular; so instead the former and latter both focus on economics and European immigration, a proxy debate of lesser importance in the long term. […] Migration statistics therefore do not necessarily reflect what people fear about migration. Firstly the question of net migration is partly irrelevant, since in one sense Britain has a problem with emigration, and the large number of highly skilled Britons leaving the country is disturbing.

… there are significant differences in migration from rich and poor countries. It would be far more useful if immigration statistics were broken down into movement from developed, developing and less developed countries. As I have previously stated, there is no such thing as an ‘immigrant’, and lumping them together makes no logical sense. […] … Immigration from Germany is an economic benefit and brings virtually zero social cost, and the flow of movement runs both ways (more Brits are on benefits in Germany than vice versa); so why bother lumping migration from Germany in with, say, Pakistan or Bangladesh where migration is almost entirely one-way and the risk of ghettoisation and other social costs is high[?]

… the social cost is underplayed because much of the Conservative Party belongs to a sort of Utopian Right on migration, believing what matters is whether an immigrant (economically) contributes to the country. […] Actually what matters is what his or her children and grandchildren do, since this is where the problems of alienation really begin. …

March 5, 2015admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations


37 Responses to this entry

  • Quote note (#152) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Quote note (#152) […]

    Posted on March 5th, 2015 at 1:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#152) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on March 5th, 2015 at 6:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wade McKenzie Says:

    “… the social cost is underplayed because much of the Conservative Party belongs to a sort of Utopian Right on migration, believing what matters is whether an immigrant (economically) contributes to the country. […] Actually what matters is what his or her children and grandchildren do, since this is where the problems of alienation really begin.”

    Actually, what matters is that “immigrants” are of another race, nationality, country and/or homeland. “Immigrants” of any sort–be they Germans, Pakis, Caribbeans, et al.–have no business being in England. England is a country, the homeland of the English people, and not a mere economy and administrative district mapped out on the isle of Britain.

    A country is not an economy. An economy is a part, not a whole. The whole of which it is a part is a country. I gather that, for neoreactionists, “country” and “economy” are more or less synonymous–or, perhaps more accurately, they just don’t care about the idea of “country”. But here in the United States, we’re living in the aftermath of a long-term project to treat a country as if it were a mere economic and administrative zone, lacking all rootedness in race or the land.

    For those who are disturbed about the sociopolitical character of the present-day United States, where the “American” is someone without roots or home who ostensibly transcends race, tradition, motherland, and even sex (read: “gender”)–in other words, homo economicus–the economic imperative of America ought to be equally disturbing.


    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    People suffer the consequences of their actions and decisions you already invited them in now you’re going to have to do something productive about it.

    I definitely agree that a country should get to keep its character.


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    “People suffer the consequences of their actions and decisions you already invited them in now you’re going to have to do something productive about it.”

    Well, what I would like to have done about it is to cast out the “immigrants”–all of them–not favor “economically productive immigrants” (read: whites) over “unproductive immigrants” (read: blacks and browns). Thus I take issue with the above-quoted passage from Mr. West, which the noble proprietor of this website characterizes as “sanity”.

    I mean, it goes without saying that if I were forced to choose between having a bunch of Germans or a bunch of Zulus being imported to my hometown, I’d prefer the former. But I’d much more prefer my hometown being left as it ought to be–a home for my own–and that means treating my hometown as something more than an economic waystation.

    “I definitely agree that a country should get to keep its character.”

    If you agree, then you must further agree–contra the spirit of your first sentence–that economic considerations must be strictly subordinated to those of a “characterological” nature, because it is the emphasis on political economy that ensures that a country neither ought to, nor will, “get to keep its character”.


    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    Because in my opinion all epistemology not constructed for decision making is garbage. The point is to get something done. It’s just having an argument in the dark. For better or worse there are people who have lived generations and probably have the same right to it*.

    My aunt is not white and lives in England her greenhouse is bigger than most people’s houses and she earned it. Why should she have to leave? She considers it her home country and not her ethnic groups home country.

    * Definitely not my call.

    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “epistemology… constructed for decision making”, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live in a country where “epistemology… constructed for decision making” is the central imperative. In fact, I’m inclined to surmise that the contemporary West–right now, as is–is a sociopolitical order oriented by an “epistemology… constructed for decision making”.

    In nuce, this would be my argument against neoreaction–in point of theory and fact, it isn’t really different from what we have right now. In both neoreaction and the contemporary democratic West, the “economy” is the central concern and it’s that concern that drives all the modern silliness that neoreaction is supposed to avert. If you want to avert that silliness, you have to have a different concern.

    “The point is to get something done.”

    The point is rather to *be* something. When one’s society is oriented by an “epistemology… constructed for decision making”, then one is nothing but a worker/consumer in the “labor pool”–fungible with every other worker/consumer therein. It doesn’t matter whether one is man or woman, Jew or German, white or black, hetero-, homo- or trans-sexual–all that matters is being a productive and fungible worker/consumer in the global economy.

    “My aunt is not white and lives in England her greenhouse is bigger than most people’s houses and she earned it.”

    If your aunt isn’t white, then she can’t be English and has no business dwelling in England–no matter how big her greenhouse may be. England is not–nor ought it be–a waystation for maximal economic productivity, but rather a homeland for the English people. Being English and thus living in the English homeland is a right that can never be “earned” since it depends entirely–and properly–on the womb out of whence one came.

    Aeroguy Reply:

    What’s interesting is that the individual colonies did have their own character as soverign states but with the establishment of the constitution the states became mere economy and administrative districts within the federal whole. There is an impulse by those who seek power to establish larger and larger holds. Much of the PTB are an international caste with little use for boarders between lands under their control. Given NRx affection for patchwork, making states small enough to potentially represent only a single ethney seems compatable with you. The main conflict being TechCom affection for cosmopolitan city-states. Minimum standards and commitments as barrier to entry vs making sure English and Welsh stay in their own cities.

    England for the English, so I presume Scotland for the Scots and Wales for the Welsh. What about the Cornish? Also how does the intermarrying that occurred between Normans and Anglo-Saxons factor in? The original Anglicans and Saxons interbred enough to be one people but there still exist Normons, Bretons and French. A certain amount of Norman, Breton, and French ancestry has been mixed into the modern Englishman, but how much is too much? Is it determined by genetic analysis or by genealogical analysis, after all we inherit more genetic material from some grandparents than others. Our host has a Scottish grandparent, can he still be considered English? Compared to genetics is his choice to expatriate himself a greater or lesser factor in deciding his Englishness? How much acculturation is required or is it purely genetic? Would an American who happened to be genetically indistinguishable from a modern Englishman be allowed to return even though he was fully Americanized culturally? If he died would his infant son be allowed adoption by his English cousins?

    I’m asking in all seriousness, I want more than a bumper sticker slogan, I want to know exactly how you think this should work. I also assume you write off the possibility of a Virginian People like Thomas Jefferson as impossible given the complete mongrelization of Americans, my Maternal Grandmother alone was Irish, English, French, and German. The genetic composition of a people is a dynamic thing, would you make a nation composed of clones if you could, or would you tolerate genetic engineering instead, how far would you go?


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    There’s a fair amount with which I agree in your comment–it could even be said that I agree with the *spirit* of your comment.

    Let me reiterate my primary point, which I may or may not have made clear. Neoreaction is ostensibly a “reaction” to the manifold and manifest silliness of contemporary politics and culture. My point is: modern political and cultural silliness is ultimately derived from the raison d’etre of modernity, which is economics–the rational and efficient provision of material goods and services via uninhibited science and technology. When a civilization makes the rational provision of material goods and services via uninhibited science and technology its central imperative, then it’s only a matter of time before perverse and ludicrous phenomena like transsexualism or the ideology of racial equality emerge and are taken seriously.

    The economic imperative of modernity is traceable to the architects of modernity–philosophers like Bacon, Hobbes, Locke and right on through to Adam Smith. My understanding of neoreaction is that it seeks something like a return to the “pure” principles of The Wealth of Nations. I contend, rather, that the principles that inform Adam Smith’s work are precisely what have brought us to this point of Western decadence, degeneracy and decline.

    Please don’t think that I’m trying to propose a “solution” to this problem–I not sure there is a solution, because I’m not inclined to think that what has befallen the West is the result of conscious decision-making. Yes, of course, decisions have been made along the way–decisions that I wish had not been made–but they were made on the basis of political and philosophical horizons that can only be transcended by the most rare of men, if at all. The origin of those horizons themselves may be mysterious and beyond human capacity and they necessarily restrict the scope of all decision-making.

    That neoreaction comports itself as a “solution” to the problem of Western decline is objectionable on two grounds: 1) As I say, the problem may not be soluble; and 2) Even if it were soluble, neoreaction in my view couldn’t possibly solve the problem because it is animated by the same spirit of political economy, liberty, science and technology that has given rise to the problem in the first place.

    I only dwelt on race, nationality, country and homeland as examples of non-economic political imperatives. Yes, I infinitely prefer a race-based polity to a political economy a la Adam Smith or Ayn Rand, but I grant all the complexities to which you point having to do with race and nationality vis a vis contemporary mongrelization and miscegenation. Again, I think mongrelization and miscegenation, etc. are what flow from liberal or libertarian political economy.


    Aeroguy Reply:

    If NRx has a solution it’s news to me, I think of it more as a school of thought, something that might someday produce solutions. The TechCom aspect does place great emphases on economics but counting myself among them we recognize that modernization was in part a result of the merchant class supplanting the noble class (and the priestly class supplanting the merchant class in more recent times). TechComs do come from post-libertarians, but there is good reason we’re not libertarian. I don’t see any clamor here about the importance of maximizing GDP, rather there is far more talk of maximizing intelligence. Granted our host makes allusions to the capitalist machine as if it were a superorganism hopefully evolving beyond the point of requiring human parts, though as a means of producing greater minds, were it a mouth without a brain to match I doubt he would speak fondly of it.

    You will find agreement here about the non-fungibility of humans at all levels, we like discriminating by race and many like discriminating by class even more. I admit there isn’t much talk here about citizenship but I suspect my own sentiments might be echoed, that full citizenship should be a difficult thing to earn with many restrictions on eligibility including birth, race, class, ability, accomplishment, and commitments. Visas (with limits on freedom) for those who can earn them issued not at the pleasure of merchants or the righteousness of priests but by the wisdom of nobles seems like an option a sovereignty should have. Further phenomena like braindrain on foreign countries have benefits that go beyond the economic.

    Wealth is but a means for the pursuit of the highest art, science, and philosophy we can reach (which is why we talk so much about maximizing intelligence). Culture, blood and tradition are important too, but important like wealth is, as a means for guiding the pursuit of ever higher art, science, and philosophy. Culture, blood and tradition are only as good as the art, science, and philosophy from which they were built. There has been quarreling over what matters most, some insist that blood in of itself is to be valued higher than art, science, and philosophy, I started with the assumption that you were one of them.

    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    “modernization was in part a result of the merchant class supplanting the noble class”

    You might say that “the merchant class supplanting the noble class” is precisely that to which I object. Not necessarily because I’m an apologist for the nobility; but rather because–of all the classes that might claim title to rule–the merchant class is the least deserving, as the imperative of making money is base and ignoble. If you disagree with me, then we disagree.

    My concern is that the central imperative of society be a noble one. If, as you say, wealth acquisition is worthwhile for the sake of art, science and philosophy, then that means that the central imperative of society ought to be art, religion and philosophy–not money-making. But surely you’ll grant that the central imperative of, say, modern America isn’t art, science and philosophy–but rather money-making (or, more accurately, living well materially).

    Now, if we grant the noble social and political imperative of art, science and philosophy–what polity might we point to as the supreme example thereof? Is it not ancient Athens? Now, ancient Athens was relatively wealthy vis a vis its fellow poleis–but it was woefully dirt-poor by comparison to the modern world. The present-day Nigerian hinterland is probably wealthier than fifth-century Athens. So how exactly did “wealth” contribute to Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Socrates, Xenophon and Plato?

    Likewise, Sparta was dirt-poor even by the standards of the time–and certainly without the artistic, scientific and philosophic achievements of Athens. That didn’t prevent Socrates, Xenophon and Plato from admiring Sparta more than their home polis and it doesn’t prevent Sparta’s noble example from shining brightly right on down to our own time.

    Having said that, I agree with much of what you’re saying and it may well be the case that I’ve misunderstood neoreaction–though like many here, I’ve done my due diligence over the years reading Moldbug. But please don’t forget that my comments on economics took flight from the original post which had to do with importing the “right kind” of immigrants–the economically useful kind–a sentiment which the noble proprietor of this website graced with his approval. For my part, I’d rather prospective immigrants–be they economically useful or economically useless–stay out of my or anyone else’s homeland.

    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    Btw–I substituted “religion” for “science” in one of my iterations of the phrase “art, science and philosophy” above–a freudian slip, no doubt! But that reminds of an objection that I wanted to make to something else you said.

    “(and the priestly class supplanting the merchant class in more recent times)”

    I think describing the ruling class of the modern West as “priestly” is, at best, a figure of speech. I think the merchant class is still in power, so to speak. In my view, all this quasi-religious (note the necessary “quasi”–it isn’t really “religious”, in fact it’s philosophic) stuff about equality, dignity, liberty, rights, etc. is just the ideological “superstructure” of modernity’s economic imperative. If you don’t begin by granting, for example, the right to self-preservation (as did Hobbes) then you can’t argue for a sociopolitical imperative of massive material improvement via unrestricted scientism and technologization. And from the right to self-preservation it is but a hop, skip and a jump to the panoply of ridiculous rights and entitlements of contemporary society. But I maintain that, absent the underlying imperative of society-wide material improvement (i.e. economics), said panoply would never arise.

    Would that we really did have a priestly class in power!

    Erebus Reply:

    Interesting discussion.
    A minor point: Sparta was not especially poor by the standards of the time. Lacadaemonia was, and still is, exceptionally fertile. And male Spartans — Spartiates — were a sort of aristocratic class; they were exempt from manual labor, they were expected to bear arms and act heroically, and there were more than a few slaves and Helot serfs for every Spartiate. (These slaves and serfs were often hunted and murdered for sport every Autumn, in a sort of Spartan holiday. At the same time, the prospects of a Helot revolt truly terrified the Spartans; they were often afraid to leave their lands and march to war because of it.)

    Spartan frugality was more a matter of custom than of poverty.

    Anyhow, carry on. This comment thread makes for an interesting read…

    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    Erebus: Perhaps you’re right that I exaggerated the “poverty” of ancient Sparta. I was thinking of Thucidydes’ contention that future visitors to the ruins of Sparta would underestimate the extent of Spartan power, due to the relative lack of impressive monuments; whereas future visitors to the ruins of Athens would overestimate the extent of Athenian power due to the abundance of impressive monuments there. In any event, Sparta was less “wealthy” in the relevant commercial sense than was Athens.

    But my real point was that, by the standards of today, both Athens and Sparta were poor. Nevertheless, they were arguably the greatest countries of which we know–completely absent the devices and systems of modern science, technology, rights and liberties.

    Posted on March 5th, 2015 at 6:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Izak Says:

    That very last sentence is always the argument I use whenever people try to justify Mexican border-hopping on economic terms. Sure, that guy might be awesome when he’s fixing your roof or whatever, but without a doubt, his kids will be lazy as hell and devoid of meaningful identify, too Mexican to fit in with an upwardly mobile or hardworking American crowd, too American to feel accepted back in Mexico.


    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    There’s plenty of mexicans that don’t care for mexico or feel any affinity for it in the bay area. They call themselves Californian and are decent. They’re engineers.


    Scharlach Reply:

    I’m Californian and half-Mexican myself, so I’m generally less bearish on immigration de la Sur than most around here, but even I wouldn’t go THIS far. Meixcan engineers crawling all over Silicon Valley? As Fred Willard said . . . “I ddooooon’t theeeeenk sooo.”

    Unless you’re talking about Conquistador Americans, which is perhaps more believable.


    Izak Reply:

    Interesting, OK. This is more to my understanding of things.

    But if there is a subculture of Mexicans (and Latinos, more broadly) in California who are assimilating well, socializing their kids well, and doing good work, I’d be willing to reconsider some opinions. I just need to see the proof.

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    I did not say every Mexican is an engineer I just know a lot of them from my area. There are a lot of diaspora peoples that nobody would recognize as mexican. Sure there are a lot but moving away from these sort of blanket statements is necessary. I know a lot of mexicans that definitely do not qualify.

    Izak Reply:

    In the East Coast, where I hail from, what I’m describing is largely the case. Any good thinker should willingly and readily acknowledge the exceptions to a rule, this is true. But he should also, in equal measure, resist the urge to let the exceptions replace the rule, provided the rule still deserves its label.

    Posted on March 5th, 2015 at 8:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    She* I heard they need to do repairs and she would like to live in something of similar quality. The actually accomplished family would love to see your ass off.


    Posted on March 6th, 2015 at 1:52 am Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    I hate to spam but I’m feeling extra petty I offer you a challenge versus me and the best male in your family or perhaps the integral of mine vs yours for total human accomplishment + wealth property and all for seeeee a decade or two? I’ll be here for a while for a significant amount of money.

    Before you get too caught up she is a girl and she is paying for all that she has the background her white upper class boyfriend that I just called especially doesn’t care and we had a good laugh.

    In a reasonable timeframe for a young man such as myself years and as a member of the actual cognitive elite I will purchase multiple homes in multiple countries that is expected for some one like myself. Get ready to respect my property rights peasant.


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    SE: It would seem that I have offended you–and for that, I’m genuinely sorry. I certainly didn’t mean to; indeed, I’m grateful to you for having taken the trouble to reply to my comments and giving me the opportunity to reply to yours.

    As to your proposed “duel”, comparing the net worth of the most affluent member of your kinsmen against the most affluent member of mine: I’m more than willing to grant you the victory! I assure you, I come from a family of the most humble origins and as for myself–I’m a bigtime loser, I’m afraid.

    But, again, my point was and remains that one’s “net worth” or economic productivity can never justly entitle one to live in a homeland or amongst a kindred that isn’t one’s own. Such things do of course happen in today’s world, but not justly.


    Darth Imperius Reply:

    Do you know how pathetic you sound friend? You admit to being a “big time loser”, yet you whine about how “unjust” it is that you can’t have a homeland among your kindred. If you want such a thing, you need to *fight and win it*, not put on pathetic displays of the oppressed white man — no one respects that. The last time I checked, the world operates according to “might is right”, not “white is right”. You sound like the depressive white racialist version of the social justice whiner to me. Buck up, take some testosterone if necessary, stop acting like the world owes you something, and go and take what you want like a man!


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    “Do you know how pathetic you sound friend?”

    Well, I’m certainly willing to entertain the notion.

    “You admit to being a “big time loser”, yet you whine about how “unjust” it is that you can’t have a homeland among your kindred. ”

    Whether something is unjust or not has nothing to do with whether I’m a success or a failure.

    “If you want such a thing, you need to *fight and win it*”

    I agree. But whether or not I or my people ever fight for a homeland, I’m not under any obligation whatever to like or desire an alternative state of affairs.

    “The last time I checked, the world operates according to “might is right”, not “white is right”.”

    White intelligence is a species of might.

    You see, this is why every non-white race on the face of the earth is doing the best they can in the present age to adopt the Western way of life. The contemporary Western way of life is deeply flawed in my view, but the fact remains that the world at large isn’t trying to adopt a non-white way of life.

    As you say: might makes right.

    “You sound like the depressive white racialist version of the social justice whiner to me.”

    While I’m certainly sympathetic to “white racialism”–for the very simple reason that living in a racially homogenous society (which, in my case, would necessarily be white) is simply better than living in a multiracial one–my purpose in this comment thread wasn’t to emphasize white racialism, but rather to oppose cosmopolitanism.

    Posted on March 6th, 2015 at 2:31 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    @Wade McKenzie

    If you think that the love of money is the primary root of evil in the US, I urge you to read either my essay, “The Market for Sanctimony”; or Bryan Caplan’s book, _The Myth of the Rational Voter_. If only the behavior of voters were that close to being rational!



    vimothy Reply:

    Wade McKenzie didn’t claim that love of money was the root of all evil. He claimed that (if you will) love of money is not the root of all good. Therefore, the final analysis of the benefits of the immigration of this or that group to England can never be whether we end up with more money or with less. What’s more, arguing with contemporary pig philosophers over what maximises quantity of swill is not exactly a radical response to our problems. If radicalism (relative to the present context) is what you seek, then you should refuse the pig’s destiny altogether.


    Posted on March 6th, 2015 at 1:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Here’s my review of The Myth of the Rational Voter:


    Note the quotation from Jamie Whyte:

    “Modern politics is just as you should expect it to be when votes are cast by ignorant people taking advantage of a low-cost source of emotional gratification.”

    I also like Tyler Cowan’s insight that we can think of political parties as vehicles for encouraging and exploiting voter self-deception. If only political behavior were rationally venal!


    Posted on March 6th, 2015 at 1:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    @ Wade McKenzie

    I know I will regret wasting my time on you, but I think it is important to call out OBSCENE BULLSHIT when I see it. For the purposes of this comment I will simply focus on your misinterpretation of history.

    1. You are comparing wealth in absolute terms across historical periods with 1500 years between them (Athens, present day USA) and then you look at whether that is somehow correlated with the quality of art, philosophy, culture, etc. That is retarded and gives no meaningful information without controlling for a dozen of other variables.

    2. Even assuming your comparison is meaningful you are still wrong. There is no inverse correlation between absolute wealth and civilizational quality observable throughout history (it is absurd that I even have to argue this point). Rome in the 1st century B.C. to 1st century A.D. has a quality of the arts, philosophy and general culture if not at the same level, then very close to the Athenian one a few centuries earlier, while at the same time being several times richer. Same goes for Europe in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

    3. If history has taught us anything it is that relative wealth (relative to the historical period) is ALWAYS positively correlated with great achievements in the art, philosophy, science, etc.
    When Athens was at its historical zenith it was the richest greek polity and one of the richest polities in the world at the time. When Rome was leading the world in philosophical, cultural and artistic achievements in the late republican-early imperial period it was the richest polity in the world. When Europe was at its civilizational zenith in the period from the 16th to the 19th century and was leading all of the other world in developments in the arts and philosophy it was also the economically richest continent in the world. You will not find an exception to this rule – when a given polity has the highest quality of art, culture and philosophy in the world, it is always in the top richest polities at the time in relative terms.

    If this is not enough, here’s little homework for you. Go read a book, on history, and try to find a historical example of a polity which was both a leading one in cultural achievements in its era and was one of the poorest economically, in relative terms, compared to all other polities at the time.


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    “If history has taught us anything it is that relative wealth (relative to the historical period) is ALWAYS positively correlated with great achievements in the art, philosophy, science, etc.”

    If this were so, then the United States of America would be responsible for some of the greatest achievements in art, philosophy, science, etc. in world history. Perhaps you believe that, but we’ll have to part ways on that score. In fact, if what you’re saying were true, then the USA would simply be one of the greatest countries of all time–right up there with ancient Rome. Speaking as an American myself, I’m afraid I disagree.

    As an example of a glorious society that rigorously de-emphasized “wealth creation”, I’ve already cited ancient Sparta. But given the fact that I don’t set any store by material “wealth” accumulation–nor do I necessarily set any store by “great achievements in the art, philosophy, science, etc.” (I was responding to another commenter on that line)–it may well be, from the standpoint of my perspective, that there have been excellent sociopolitical orders that never became historically famous.

    It’s interesting for me to consider the reactions that my anti-economic sentiments have aroused. Some have responded sympathetically–and I feel a general kinship and affinity with all those who have, whatever remaining disagreements we might conceivably have. Others have responded with a certain hostility–and I think this goes to show that “neoreaction” is, at least in part, animated by the same spirit of political economy, scientism, high-finance and technology which already animates all of present-day Western (and thus, global) civilization.

    Why bother with “neoreaction” when you can just have Americanism?


    Hurlock Reply:

    “If this were so, then the United States of America would be responsible for some of the greatest achievements in art, philosophy, science, etc. in world history. Perhaps you believe that, but we’ll have to part ways on that score. ”

    Here’s the thing. It is not about “believing” in it. There are such things as historical facts. How about you try looking at them for a change?
    Will you deny the literary achievements of American authors in the past two centuries? Poe? Hemingway? Lovecraft? Twain? Etc.? The question here is not whether they are better than ancient authors. Considering the massive differences in their style such a comparison will of course be arbitrary and depend on your personal taste. But the mere fact that they are comparable in fame and historical significance tells us enough.
    The scientific achievements of Americans in the past two centuries are blatantly obvious to anyone who has opened any history book ever (I am not crossing my fingers that you have done so of course). If you don’t believe me, once again, go read a book.

    “political economy, scientism, high-finance and technology which already animates all of present-day Western (and thus, global) civilization.”

    And the bullshit continues to flow.
    If western civilization nowadays was all about maximizing material wealth and economic efficiency, we would see it maximizing material wealth and economic efficiency. We do not observe that. What we see, is western civilization hamstringing its economic efficiency in order to satisfy the dictates of a political doctrine. If western civilization was about maximizing economic efficiency it would not have welfare programs in place. If western civilization was about maximizing economic efficiency it would not have gender and ethnic quotas for businesses. If western civilization was about maximizing economic efficiency it would not have a minimum wage. If western civilization was about maximizing economic efficiency it would not have food stamps. I can go on…

    The fact that contrary to what would be the case if your thesis was correct, western civilization does have everything listed above in place. Which means that it is far from maximizing economic efficiency. It is maximizing something else entirely. Looking at all those policies which hamstring economic efficiency we observe that roughly all of them are part of a single political/ideological/pseudo-religious program…(if you have any business at all on this blog, you should know what program that is)


    Wade McKenzie Reply:

    “If western civilization was about maximizing economic efficiency it would not have welfare programs in place.”

    Hey, I’m all for ending welfare programs.

    And while we’re at it, let’s end the imperative to maximize economic efficiency as well!

    Posted on March 6th, 2015 at 5:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aeroguy Says:

    I think we may be talking past each other. Coming from a definition of wealth as the value of goods or services it’s rather broad. Though it does have a weakness, value is subjective. Money is in many ways egalitarian, which is a weakness. Value is placed on status markers, status objects are a form of monetization often fueling counterproductive consumption. Advertisements, most are just brainwashing and contribute to a misallocation of resources, they should be heavily restricted. Restricting ads qualifies as market interference yet it could dramatically improve allocation of scarce resources. We should admit that resources spent branding throwaway consumer baubles and distraction devices is every bit as misallocated as food stamps being traded for cigarettes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but we allocate scarce resources to produce stuff that better men know is garbage yet we insist on calling it wealth. Wealth as a merchant defines it doesn’t necessarily encompass what we would call good. If wealth is to be maximized then it should be more narrowly defined and encompass the good things GDP misses. In practice the exchange of the most valuable things never involves an actual monetary transaction and are entirely unliquidable, calling such things wealth seems to make to word wealth overly broad to the point of meaninglessness.


    blogospheroid Reply:

    I think in Murray Rothbard’s books an idea is expressed : By producing that which is measurable in large and growing quantities, capitalism makes the intangible actually more precious purely by comparison.


    Posted on March 7th, 2015 at 7:14 am Reply | Quote
  • Wade McKenzie Says:

    More than one commenter in this exchange has articulated the notion that what matters–both at the sociopolitical level and at the level of the human individual–is something like economic productivity. In other words, societies and men are to be evaluated as to their place in the rank-order according to a criterion of economic productivity. One commenter has even suggested that the present-day USA is comparable to ancient Rome–in terms of artistic, spiritual and philosophical greatness–because, back in the day, Rome was the wealthiest kid on the block and so is the US today.

    This is very far removed from my own conception, wherein a man’s or a country’s spiritual greatness has little to do with economic considerations and a wealthy economy might even inhibit its prospect of excellence. After all, the contemporary West is supremely wealthy and spiritually disgraceful. How great might ancient Athens or Rome have been if they had eschewed the acquisition of wealth? Wealth effeminates.

    As someone new to these precincts, I must say that I am surprised by what I take to be the “multicultural” character of this neoreactionary school of thought. I assumed that, in the expression “dark enlightenment”, dark was a reference to moral evil–not skin color. But in this very exchange, more than one commenter has exhibited an indifference to considerations of race–and one even celebrates the apparent demise of white supremacy.

    The primacy of economics–multiculturalism–science and technology. How does this differ from the modern world in its present form? Neoreaction as a school of thought seems to me to be modernity stripped of all sentimentality, but modernity stripped of all sentimentalism is still modernity–and thus neoreactionism isn’t really reactionary. It isn’t modernity’s sentimentalism that’s offensive (it is, so to speak, a mere epiphenomenon) but rather modernity itself–that is to say: the primacy of economics–multiculturalism–science and technology.


    blogospheroid Reply:

    Dear Sir,

    Neoreaction is , if anything, trying to look at reality without biases. If you feel neoreaction is “americanism”, then I guess you’ve not read neo-reaction enough. A part of this exercise is admitting and acknowledging your enemy’s successes.

    Americans have been successful in science and technology. They put a man on the moon and started a revolution that’s going to end up with nearly everyone on earth having the power of a circa 1990’s computer in their hands. Admitting this does not make anyone weak.

    Americans have been successful in protecting / regenerating the environment. Admitting this does not make anyone weak.

    Modernity has not been unsuccessful in philosophy either, I think. What do you think about Douglas Hofstader, Derek Parfit or Judea Pearl? For eg. Having an actual definition of causality after all these years of philosophy sounds like a pretty big deal to me.


    Posted on March 7th, 2015 at 6:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    I find myself in basic agreement with Wade, or what we perhaps might broadly call the Japanese view. What’s the point of ceding your patrimony to third-world replacements again? Even if they’re Saudis looking for a nice summer house, and far, far richer than you. Even if your doing so might save the holy welfare state for a few years (though on the other hand it might not). No, I rather prefer starving or dying of lack of treatment in some NHS barrack in my old age if it comes to that.


    Posted on March 7th, 2015 at 7:12 pm Reply | Quote

Leave a comment