Quote note (#220)

Scott Alexander in full-flood (in his own comment zone):

Okay, that’s actually a fair point. I don’t have all of this in one place yet, but I’ll try to give you a summary. And in honor of you accusing me of paranoid rants, I’ll try to present it in as deliberately conspiratorial and tinfoil-hattish a way as possible. I make no guarantees I will stand by any of this when I’m sober / when it’s not 3:30 AM. [I’m going to assume that’s an abbreviation for 3:33]


People naturally divide into ingroups and outgroups. Although the traditional way of doing this is by race or religion (leading to racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, etc), in modern America this is gradually being replaced by a more complicated division based on social class and political affiliation. Rural working-class people have become a very different tribe (“Red Tribe”) than college-educated urban people in gated professions (“Blue Tribe”), with different food preferences, sport preferences, entertainment preferences, dialects, religions, mores, and politics. These two groups are vehemently opposed.

(if you only read one link in this piece, read that vehemently opposed one. The rest are just citations; that one contains an important piece of the story that’s hard to summarize).

While politics is about equally split between them, the media and academia are almost entirely Blue Tribe.

To make the point about the media: a 2008 study found that 88% of contributions by people in the media went to Democrats; a 2004 study with slightly different methodology that limited itself to journalists found an even larger bias. Here’s a survey that finds that if journalists were their own congressional district, they would be the most liberal district in the country, much further left even than Berkeley, California.

To make the point about academia: a recent analysis found that 91% of Harvard professors who donated to a presidential campaign donated to Hillary (with the remainder divided between Sanders and all eight GOP candidates). Jon Haidt’s does a lot of work on this at heterodoxacademy and finds that there’s a 14:1 ration of liberals to conservatives in the non-economics social sciences. Meta-analyses in psychology, psychiatry, and economics all find that the personal views of experimenters affect what results they get; the psychology study, which quantifies the results, finds a very large effect size – larger than most effect sizes actually discovered in social science, meaning we have no idea how much of what we know is real effect and how much is experimenter political bias. On a related note, only 30% to 50% of experiments in psychology persist after replication attempts (other academic disciplines are as bad or worse). On a related note, meta-analyses observe clear evidence of publication bias in politically charged domains – for example, this meta-analysis finds that papers are more likely to be published as opposed to file-drawered if they support the liberal position rather than the conservative one. Also, lots and lots of people in academia, even the very liberal people, will admit this is true if you ask them directly. Haidt, Tetlock, et al (see previously cited paper) have found lots of horrifying things like journal editors saying explicitly and proudly they’d refuse to publish articles that support conservative ideas, or professors saying that other academics whose research implies conservative ideas shouldn’t be hired or given tenture.

So given the fact that our knowledge of the world is coming from a 90-percent-plus liberal group that’s working hard to enforce orthodoxy, and then being filtered and broadcast to us by another 90-percent-plus liberal group that’s working hard to enforce orthodoxy, our knowledge of the world is … about as skewed as you would expect from this process. To give just one example, every number and line of evidence we have suggests that the police do not disproportionately target or kill black people compared to the encounter rate (see Part D here and this study) but the conventional wisdom is absolutely 100% certain they do and anybody who questions it is likely to sound like some kind of lunatic.

Once again, I think of these political differences as secondary to (and proxy for) more complicated tribal/class differences, and these tribes/classes really really hate each other and are trying to destroy each other (remember, multiple experiements – 1, 2, 3 – find that people’s party/class/tribe prejudices are stronger than their racial/religious prejudices). So imagine an institution that’s 90% Klansmen, with all its findings interpreted by and transmitted through a second institution that’s 90% Klansmen, and consider how useful (or not) the information about black people that eventually reaches you through the conjunction of those two institutions will be.

Because the Blue Tribe’s base is in education and the opinion-setting parts of the media, their class interest is to increase the power of these areas. I don’t want to sound too conspiratorial by making it sound like this is organized (it’s not), but classes tend to evolve distributed ways to pursue their class interests without organization. In this case, that means to enforce credentialism (ie a system where the officialness of your education matters more than your ability) and orthodoxy (whether you hold the right opinions is more important than ability). We see the credentialism in for example the metastatic spread of degree requirements. You need a college degree to have the same opportunities as you’d have gotten from a high school degree in 1960. This isn’t because jobs require more knowledge today; there are thousands of jobs that will take you if you’ve got an Art History degree, not because Art History is relevant to the job, but because they insist on candidates having some, any, college degree. The Blue Tribe protects its own and wants to impoverish anyone who doesn’t kowtow to their institutions. For the same reason, we get bizarre occupational licensing restrictions like needing two years of training to braid people’s hair, which have been proven time and time again not to work or improve quality, but which effectively lock poor people (and people who just don’t do well with structure) out of getting liveable jobs.

The opposite of credentialism is meritocracy – the belief that the best person should get the job whether or not they’ve given $200,000 to Yale. In my crazy conspiracy theory, social justice is the attack arm of the educated/urban/sophisticated/academic Blue Tribe, which works by constantly insisting all competing tribes are racist and sexist and therefore need to be dismantled/taken over/put under Blue Tribe supervision for their own good. So we get told that meritocracy is racist and sexist. Colleges have pronounced talking about meritocracy to be a microaggression, and the media has declared that supporting meritocracy is inherently racist. Likewise, we are all told that standardized tests and especially IQ are racist and hurt minorities, even though in reality this testing helps advance minorities better than the current system. For the same reason, colleges are moving away from the SATs (an actual measure of student intelligence), to how well students do in interviews, how well they write essays, and other things which are obvious proxies for social class and tribal affiliation.

STEM culture and nerd culture is (was?) this weird alternative domain that had Blue Tribe advantages like education and wealth, but also wasn’t drinking their Kool-Aid – they took pride in being meritocratic, they didn’t care what college you went to as long as you were smart, and they were okay enjoying their own weird culture instead of following sophisticated trend-setters. The Blue Tribe was spooked, so they called in their attack arm, and soon enough we started hearing these constant calls in Blue-affiliated media and circles to destroy nerd culture (2, 3, etc, etc) because it is inherently misogynistic, racist, etc. It’s why we’re told that Silicon Valley is full of “brogrammers” and “techbros” (compare “Berniebro”, which everyone now agrees was a Hillarysphere attempt to smear Sanders supporters). It’s why we’re told that tech is “incredibly white and male” and “needs to get less white” and just generally has this huge and unique diversity problem – even though in reality it’s possibly the most racially diverse industry in the country, at a full 60% non-white. It’s why we’re told that there is terrible bias against women in science academia, when in fact anyone can read the studies showing that controlling for all other factors, women are twice as likely to be hired for tenure-track STEM positions as men [bad link] and academic science is not sexist at all. It’s why we’re told women fear for their lives in Silicon Valley because of endemic sexual harassment, even though nobody’s ever formally investigated if it’s worse than anywhere else, and the only informal survey I’ve ever seen shows harrassment in STEM to be well-below the average harrassment rate.

What’s happening at GitHub itself right now is actually a pretty good example. The old CEO was fired because of various accusations (later investigated and found to be false; the firing was not revoked). The new CEO has banned the term “meritocracy”, replaced workers managing their own affairs with a system of no-doubt-well-credentialled middle managers, and given lots of power to a “diversity team” that declares all remnants of the old company culture racist and sexist. According to Business Insider, there’s now a “culture of fear” and a lot of the most talented employees are leaving. People are saying GitHub made some kind of mistake, but I suspect all is going according to plan, the talented employees will be replaced with better-credentialled ones, the media will call everybody who left “techbros” who were suffering from “aggrieved entitlement”, GitHub will join the general Silicon Valley 2.0 landscape of open-plan offices and Pointy Haired Bosses, lather, rinse, repeat, and ten years from now bright-but-lower-class unsophisticated people without college degrees won’t be able to find a job in Silicon Valley any more than they can on Wall Street or anywhere else.

I am pretty darned Blue Tribe myself – I’m pro-choice, pro-fighting-climate-change, pro-gay, pro-transgender, non-religious, pro-higher-taxes-on-rich, pro-single-payer, anti-gun, ready-for-Hillary, etc – and after having watched the Republican debate tonight I can honestly say I’m terrified at anyone other than the Blue Tribe having power. But just as I can be proud of my Jewish heritage but also upset about the occupation of Palestine, so I can be proud of the Blue Tribe and not too happy about their project of crushing everybody else with an iron fist regardless of the collateral damage. Doing anything about this is a dauntingly large project, but my own comparative advantage is in picking apart some of the sillier studies they use to put a fig-leaf over what they’re doing.

(Prompt via.)

Content aside — as a note on sheer blogging execution — this is a freaking (double-tap) comment. It’s terrifying.

February 15, 2016admin 54 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

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54 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The two tribes compete because they want different types of societies. The Red Tribe wants function tied to reality; the Blue Tribe wants function tied to ideology. This reflects, in his interpretation, how the Blue Tribe makes its money: salesmanship, marketing, propaganda, etc.

    He enacts a sleight-of-hand here which is to avoid mentioning that equality and diversity make these tribal identifications possible, and that much of that is surrogate for saying what is actually meant. This arises because the Blue Tribe hates national culture because it has fixed values that compete with salesmanship.


    entrismo Reply:

    The Red Tribe is not analogous to NRx, nor to the alt-right, and is not characterised by truth-seeking or by alignment with reality.

    Some demonstrably untrue things that the Red Tribe believes might be
    – “abortion and birth control are always bad and can never be eugenic”
    – “the earth is less than ten thousand years old”
    – “democracy is a universal good and we should go to war to spread it”
    – “hard work is ten times more important than genetics when it comes to success”

    Moreover, Red Tribe products are often heavily marketed. Nascar, the Chik-fil-A hilarity, pickup trucks, Nickelback, the AR-15, child beauty pageants, Donald Trump, and American Sniper are some cliche examples.

    Lastly, Scott’s assertion is that the Blue Tribe hates Red Tribe culture, not all culture, but refers to Red Tribe culture as “American” and Blue Tribe culture as “universal”. This seems intuitively correct: to ISIS, feminism, raw-milk-and-kale enemas, and the social justice movement look as American as professional wrestling, apple pie, and covering the world in military bases.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 5:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#220) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 5:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    “Doing anything about this is a dauntingly large project, but my own comparative advantage is in picking apart some of the sillier studies they use to put a fig-leaf over what they’re doing.”

    So brave.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 6:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Anybody got the text of what he posted and then deleted on Tumblr? Something about IQ explaining 90% of everything, but that his leftist friends would crucify them if he said that.

    We should pull a Qin Ming on him.


    admin Reply:

    It took me the best part of an hour just to replicate this text. I’d have settled for a link, it it weren’t for that episode.


    Frog Do Reply:

    He did leave this up, though.



    spandrell Reply:

    Years ago I read that “Leftists are just people with an insatiable thirst for power”. Everything else follows from that.

    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 6:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bettega Says:

    This article by Joel Kotkin talks about these same tribes, but gives them different names, he speaks of “Yeomanry” and “Clerisy” instead.


    This must be systematized. Many people are speaking the same using different terms. I, for one, propose “kulak” to the Red Tribe/Yeomanry. It emphasizes it’s role as expropriation fodder.


    Skilluminati Reply:

    It also has the virtue of nagging Progressives into googling “Kulak” before the SERPs are dominated by Return of Kings / Breitbart fluff pieces.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 6:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Says:

    The case of Scott Alexander is an interesting one. He’s the rarest thing, a die hard leftie with inscrutable intellectual morals. No matter how much filth he uncovers, he never thinks about switching sides, but he also never thinks he might be better off if he stopped rummaging through filth. He’s a prototype for the techno-managerial elite of the future — able to think and see clearly, but still devoted to the cause.


    sobl Reply:

    I enjoyed how he admitted his side is performing bad deeds but he’d be damned to let the other side be in control. It fits 100% with something Spandrell wrote (wrt Merkel + the immivasion) how the memes have captured them so fully that they will drive the bus off the cliff because they have to. This also fits with his inner Chekist that he can gloat about with his bans.


    Thales Reply:

    “Leftism, suicide, autogenocide, and cosmocide.”


    John Reply:

    Yes, apparently the combined appeal of holiness and social status is too much to forsake, even when you are fully aware that team blue is driving civilization off a cliff.

    One thing I have yet to see Scott comment on is the outer party nature of the cuckservatives, who claim to represent team red, but push the team blue agenda post-election. Despite his admissions about the media and academia, he seems to still believe that politics is somewhat of a fair fight.

    Would also love to see him seriously tackle the JQ.


    Xavi' Reply:

    …..with that taken into consideration, the entire exercise or exposé if you will, is just braggadocios. A case study in the total despoilment of a targeted group, a factoid, mere observation, relegated to curiosity. Marveling at the, efficiency, of the subversion of truth, willful deceit, one would presume. The question then left to the sane reader is. What is to be done? The answer is obviously, “nothing can be done” . If those on the inside can break rank from time to time, present the evidence, even under pretense of “paranoia”. Scott is just showing us the obvious, that total victory has been achieved.


    ivvenalis Reply:

    Freddie DeBoer (lol) is another example, although he’s far more invested in rote Progressive ideology both psychologically and socially.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    How the heck could a guy whose half his readership knows his IRL name, 20% of his readership is SJW and not averse to doxxing, and hasn’t even finished the residency requirement in his profession yet, could switch sides? He is extremely vulnerable. What can he do if he gets witch-hunted, go practice in rural Ireland?

    This is why I am not even mad for banning me, quite possible that even tolerating my fairly hardcore comments could have infuriated some SJW types at him, and could have raised a career / livelihood danger for him.

    Compared to the precarious situation, and compared to his low-T, incompletely masculinized brain, he is being reasonably brave.

    SJWs gonna purge him sooner or later anyway, but I hope he finishes the fscking residency requirement first, at least.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 7:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mariani Says:

    lol Scott asked people not to link his comments in his very next blog post, I wonder why


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotesque Body Says:

    ‘The Red Tribe is most classically typified by conservative political beliefs, strong evangelical religious beliefs, creationism, opposing gay marriage, owning guns, eating steak, drinking Coca-Cola, driving SUVs, watching lots of TV, enjoying American football, getting conspicuously upset about terrorists and commies, marrying early, divorcing early, shouting “USA IS NUMBER ONE!!!”, and listening to country music.

    The Blue Tribe is most classically typified by liberal political beliefs, vague agnosticism, supporting gay rights, thinking guns are barbaric, eating arugula, drinking fancy bottled water, driving Priuses, reading lots of books, being highly educated, mocking American football, feeling vaguely like they should like soccer but never really being able to get into it, getting conspicuously upset about sexists and bigots, marrying later, constantly pointing out how much more civilized European countries are than America, and listening to “everything except country”’

    What colour are you if you find both sad and strange?

    Daily reminder that both are filthy loyalists, which near-comprehensively explains why they’re so weird and dysgenic (Blue Tribe don’t reproduce, Red Tribe reproduce a lot but without parental investment. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJMlaupGHTM


    Mike Reply:

    Low parental investment is typical of blue-tribe client groups, not red tribe.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    I grant that it applies to the Dalits and Helots as well, but

    “drinking Coca-Cola, driving SUVs, watching lots of TV, enjoying American football, getting conspicuously upset about terrorists and commies, marrying early, divorcing early, shouting “USA IS NUMBER ONE!!!”, and listening to country music.”

    co-occurs pretty reliably with delegating parenting to TV and the internet, unless we’re talking about old-money Optimate Red Tribe members.


    Mike Reply:

    Low parental investment doesn’t reliably co-occur with Vaisyas’ generally comfortably middle-class incomes. (Neither does driving SUVs, for that matter.)

    Watching TV – as Whiskey put it, TV is a “gay-female ghetto”, so I doubt red tribe watches TV much, apart from maybe sports (if it weren’t for cricket and tennis, I wouldn’t turn my TV on much, either).

    Getting conspicuously upset about threats is high-investment, ie. K-selected, behaviour.

    Vaisyas probably have more stable relationships than blue tribe, but because blue tribers don’t marry much, marriage and divorce statistics won’t reveal the full extent of it.

    I doubt listening to country music has much predictive value as a regressor for parental investment.

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    So essentially you claim that there aren’t a lot of working class people with conservative values who drive SUVs or watch a lot of TV in America.

    Mike Reply:

    I deny that red tribe has low parental investment patterns. Quite the opposite. (I find it extremely difficult to believe that parental investment and income are negatively correlated.)

    Anyway, it simply doesn’t match the known sociology of red tribe. They’re high-investment people.

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    I’d appreciate some data on the red tribe socioeconomics.

    Mike Reply:

    Well, according to you, they can afford SUVs.

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    While self-determination and sovereignty are now beyond the reach of conservative labour, SUVs are not.

    mdc Reply:

    NRxers like genetic determinism and parental investment as important determinants of social outcomes. This is incoherent.

    Evidence suggests that genetic determinism trumps parental investment. Red tribe isn’t making bad choices (or at least, not worse ones than blue tribe) it is just composed of lower quality people.

    Obviously, since if it had better beliefs and better quality people blue tribe would have been destroyed, rather than placed in power.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Also on reflection, Mike actually has a really good point. What SA’s describing isn’t by any means necessarily what the Red Tribe actually is, but the Blue Tribe perception (ie Alexander’s own perception) of the Red Tribe. SA is about as well-informed on actual Americans as I am on the Ainu of Hokkaido.


    Pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    >What colour are you if you find both sad and strange?

    Blue shades, blind eyes.

    Chronic unloyalty syndrome (ie, inability to deeply appreciate or attach to things, ie nominalism, ie autism, ie sociopathy), is a classic feature of bluetribesmen (which is one reason why they always get so confused and indignant if you say they are a member of a ‘blue tribe’).

    Love for the distant (who they have never met and are thus abstract) is how they rationalize their failure to love their neighbor (who are real and present). ‘Universal love’ is the expression of something incapable of love.

    Know your real enemy friend.


    Pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    Of course a critical mass of persons with chronic unloyalty syndrome is a vital precondition for getting a leftist singularity really kicked into high gear (‘uh excuse me, im a member of the HUMAN[INHUMAN] tribe, thank you very much’).

    Naturally, a person with little fellow feeling with his compatriots will concordantly have little compunction over throwing them under the bus to satisfy thirsting gods of memetic mutation that they may be eaten last. Communists killed a lot of communists, but nazis did not kill a lot of nazis.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 9:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mike Says:

    I find it remarkable, and more than a little sad, that SJWs managed to get around the meritocracy roadblock by simply declaring meritocracy to be immoral. And so the Overton window moved visibly left in less than, say, five years: as recently as 2010 you could fend off SJW rentseeking with “meritocracy”. That incantation no longer works.

    As for the rest of the Github saga, I suspect there’s two reasons for what’s going on there. First, women are suddenly attracted to tech because tech is now high status, and women are attracted to status. Blue tribe, however, is not the same thing as women: blue tribe’s rationale for the attack on Github is different, and I suspect Alexander is correct when he surmises that the blue tribe attack on Github (as the designated kulak for “nerd culture”, etc) is because they’re spooked by the lack of overt fealty from the tech sector.

    So, we see another example of a blue tribe’s interest overlapping/aligning with women’s interests. And of course it’s status- and rent-seeking on the part of women, ideological conformity on the part of blue tribe.


    Bettega Reply:

    I think they just want jobs. Having a lot of useless people in any country justify large bureaucracies in the government, but how can you justify a large bureaucracy of middle managers in a private company? Easy, use “diversity” meme to hire useless people and put in place a large bureaucracy to manage them. That way you and your friends get cushy jobs with their worthless degrees.


    ivvenalis Reply:

    Meritocracy as a defense against racism was always clearly an unprincipled exception given the reality of Disparate Impact. Which is exactly the grounds for it being declared racist.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    The GitHub saga has an even simpler explanation. Their business model is what, hosting a free software that anyone can host? And look at the whole of the Silicon Valley, it is not the once reliable business model of selling shrinkwrap software, not even $5 Google Play games (that happens mostly in Asia now), but hoping we don’t AdBlock all their ads basically. They offer great products and services but are not very good at making customers actually pay up. Hardly any vendor lock-in now, hardly any positioning for rent-seeking. Wonderful tech but as business models, as revenue generation models, less and less viable. I mean, YouTube could never make you pay for it, and they got their money by selling it instead of milking it? What kind of a business is that?

    From this angle, these companies that are technologically wonderful but from a business angle hopelessly naive *toys* that have no chance of cornering a part of the market and making users actually hand over regular sums to them, aren’t properly competitive companies in the old sense. Some kind of a magic fairy dust keeps them alive. Perhaps, excess capital desperately hoping for any kind of smart looking investment. Remember the dotcom bust?

    And this is why they can get away with not being meritocratic. Nobody is out to eat their lunch by being better, they don’t have a real lunch anyway, it’s all magic dust until we get the startup bust, dotcom 2.0


    mdc Reply:

    This is the problem really.

    If the latest and greatest thing is being made by nerds for fun, then given away for free (or for an infinitesimally small slice of a huge pie that just makes those nerds upper middle class for life and no more) that is threatening to a lot of peoples’ interests.

    Neither the government nor the owners of those businesses (competitors are blocked out because they can’t monetise – no lunch to eat) have any power over the customers, nor do the customers have much power over the businesses, nor does the government have any clear role to play in all this at all.

    It’s much closer to utopian socialism than we have ever seen on earth, which is very dangerous for the corporatist-type socialists who actually rule the planet.

    Look at the SJW sex harassment stuff: this is a direct (and more virulent) descendant of previous scares about “cyber-bullying”, violent video games, etc. etc., which were all fairly transparent exercises in trying to find a place for a massive regulatory bureaucracy to control the internet. Using actual real world problems as their hook didn’t really work, because the real world problems are tiny, but making that bureaucracy necessary to promote the holy ideology might work.


    Tentative Joiner Reply:

    >hoping we don’t AdBlock all their ads basically

    This probably isn’t the case. Today most venture-funded startups in the Valley, including GitHub and its direct competitors, appear to operate on a freemium SaaS (software-as-a-service) model. Their customers get a minimum level of service for free and are encouraged to pay up if they want extra features. SaaS naturally lands itself to lock-in, even if you can technically take your data and go elsewhere with it. GitHub in particular has a good degree of lock-in because it operates as a social network.

    I think the SJW rent seeking in technology mostly comes down to geeks as individuals being more vulnerable to it than others in charge of similar amounts of wealth. The stereotypical geek is a timid Brahmin who is less adapt at playing (or diffusing) games of holiness one-upmanship then his adversaries. (Paul Graham’s essay at http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html, a Silicon Valley classic, is interesting to read in this light.) If he was picked on at school he becomes especially vulnerable to victim politics.


    Posted on February 15th, 2016 at 9:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    This is where Neoreaction fell of a cliff and became a twitching retarded corpse. Moldbug covered all of this, and he did so from the frame of De Jouvenel (the only way it can be seen properly) in which unsecure power is what let this off the leash, and unsecure power is what keeps it going. If you have a political system which ingrains this conflict, then you have a foreverwar (democracy, repulicanism, constitutionalism etc) in which the power , and all those who make up power, are in constant attack mode against the middle, and anything else that is a threat to them. Of course, this doesn’t fit with the bog standard conservatism/ identitarianism/ progressive/ liberal/ libertarian or what ever background of the people that make up neoreaction, which they haven’t remotely shaken off, so it gets canned, but the insight remains, and mysticism is brought in to fill the gaps, or it is not explained and chalked up to a unsolvable mystery.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Who here is disputing MM and De Jouvenal?


    Hurlock Reply:

    Chris B’s imaginary enemies.


    Chris B Reply:

    Everyone pretty much. Once you get a grip on what Moldbug was saying, you can’t not see it. The whole Cathedral structure being a logical outcome of the pressures and incentives of those within the echelons of power if they are under unsecure conditions (in constant conflict due to absurd sham division of power – a solecism.) There is no political mysticism here, and no reversion to “It is just too complicated” etc. This is utterly lost on everyone connected to Neoreaction. Moldbug got to the point in ‘On Power’ where Jouvenel offered his solution and then instead went the other way and concluded logically that secure, non-conflcting power is the only solution. There is no consistent discussion about the effects of the systemic environment on power, there is no discussion on how to best formulated a governance structure in which the leadership is incentivized and acted on by the logical necessities of their position to act in ways which are beneficial to the civilization. Nothing. In fact worse than nothing, because Admin rejected this from the start and retrofitted marxism into it and started advocating “don’t tread on me” bullshit which plays to the Libertarian crowd . Total inversion. I expect the Hestia society will be in up in arms when they finish blogging about Star trek and Porn.

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    @Chris B,

    On the contrary. Before you can have the absolute, non-conflictual regime that MM advocated, you need to burn the Cathedral to the ground, tout court, and sow its foundations with salt so that it can’t grow back. This is why Outside In has basically evolved into “The Collapse Show” over the past two and a half year. In the absence of an absolute R.A.G.E. reboot, ‘don’t tread on me’, or as @admin as phrased it elsewhere, ‘a comfy sinecure’ is as good as you’re going to get.

    TheDividualist Reply:

    @Chris B, @Grotesque Body – the central issue with the Cathedral is precisely that it competes with itself. I mean, early versions of it were not too bad – roughly the Pax Britannica and Liberal Imperialism and all that. It simply cannot be secured. Because it cannot be secured, against itself, the members of it engage in constant power struggle through signalling holiness and smartness and this means they more and more ignore reality. This is absolutely central.

    Although the SJWs are too far down the mentally ill slope, I would say, theoretically, it would be possible to make something OK with even “freezing” todays liberals in place.

    Here is how it would work. 100 liberal aristocrats own a principality. They are as social-justicy as it gets. But as thing does not work out, as they are no longer interested in this type of signalling, they will reluctantly listen to more and more right-wing arguments. Slowly. It could take two generations. First they accept perhaps it is law and order, not addressing the social causes of crime. Then ten years later it becomes clear certain people’s kids are far more likely to become criminals. OK they are put in super strict schools. Things improve. And yet things refuse to improve even more. So now they listen to people who talk about heredity and so on.

    Freezing ideology at any level, even far-left, and not competing more leftwards, would result in rightwards movement as reality slowly dawns on them.

    The issue is, a liberal “freeze” does not seem possible at all.

    Erebus Reply:

    >Here is how it would work. 100 liberal aristocrats own a principality. They are as social-justicy as it gets. But as thing does not work out, as they are no longer interested in this type of signalling, they will reluctantly listen to more and more right-wing arguments. Slowly. It could take two generations. First they accept perhaps it is law and order, not addressing the social causes of crime. Then ten years later it becomes clear certain people’s kids are far more likely to become criminals. OK they are put in super strict schools. Things improve. And yet things refuse to improve even more. So now they listen to people who talk about heredity and so on.

    What you propose is profoundly dysgenic, and would result in a race of beige imbeciles within a mere handful of generations. Each generation would be more corrupt, base, and vile than the previous one.

    Viler than grandsires, sires beget
    Ourselves, yet baser, soon to curse
    The world with offspring baser yet.

    -Horace, Odes III, Poem 6

    Besides, something akin to what you’re proposing is playing out in Germany and Sweden right now. It has been referred to here as Project: Islamic Brazil.
    …Your “rightwards movement” might be towards Mecca, as people seek transcendental values the West, in its present weakness, can no longer offer.

    Posted on February 16th, 2016 at 2:28 am Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    It goes without saying, the guy is brilliant, and I’m grateful he is as candid as he is.

    A couple of random thoughts. In his “vehemently opposed” post he makes the point that “proximity plus small differences” makes for out-grouping and mentions “Freud spoke of the narcissism of small differences, saying that “it is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and ridiculing each other”.

    So what happens in situations when “proximity plus huge differences” is deliberately promoted and becomes state orthodoxy? Don’t the clerics in academia that are massively funded to pump multicultural policy and “identity-makeovers” of Western countries realize they’re dumping petrol on the fire? I mean geeezz, even John Kerry is waking up to the “near existential threat” to Europe posed by migrants (a theme NRx’ers have been discussing for ages). The only way to maintain any semblance of stability will be through the implementation of authoritarian-multicultural surveillance/police-states that spend more on internal security than external defense (sustainable?..dunno).

    A quick comment about the situation at GitHub: it isn’t all that unique, par for the course, I’ve seen it happen in other sectors. Usually a couple of techie STEM types get together with a wicked idea. Things take off and it’s a fun place to work with a flat structure, and you can get shit done and see your ideas realized. Then, like a mosquito is drawn to the CO2 emanating from a potential host, the professional management class swoops in (lawyers and the smooth spiky haired MBA-sycophantic-yes-men in shiny pressed shirts), and more recently the professional grievance-diversity-enforcement class (those that specialize in “make work” that only adds resource hogging inefficiencies). All of a sudden you’re spending hours in useless meetings, listening to people that love hearing themselves talk about absolutely nothing….throwing around the latest management buzzwords); a signal that it’s time to GTFO.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    ‘The only way to maintain any semblance of stability will be through the implementation of authoritarian-multicultural surveillance/police-states that spend more on internal security than external defense (sustainable?..dunno).’

    I’m not sure what else to say other than, yep, this is what’s happening.


    Posted on February 16th, 2016 at 4:24 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    Something to add – one way the Blue Tribe masks this all is pretending to wage a war in not only the Red Tribes but also on “the rich”, pretending “the rich” are the real social elite, the ruling class, that the Koch bros or Big Oil matter more than Harvard. This kind of argument lends itself extremely easily to becoming popular, if you look at the whole global history of Marxism, it is so popular that around the world, in less Westernized nations, even people with an alt-right-ish attitude and a hatred for Blue Tribe values buy it (it is surprisingly common in the non-Anglo alt-right-ish group to think something along the lines of gaymarriage and stuff like that is all about stripping people of identity and culture so that they become better consumer droids for the international capitalists.)

    I think Scott managed to not buy this largely because by economically, he is close enough to libertarian views even when he wrote a FAQ against it, has a generally good grasp on econ, and thus sees that moneyed interest cannot possibly be the highest ruling class these days.

    This is important. It seems even if people are Blue to the bone, if a grasp of econ makes them doubt if “the rich” are truly the ruling class, they will start suspecting maybe some other group is the ruling class. And that is how seeds of awakening are sown and the Cathedral is seen.

    This sounds important.


    Pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    I have personally found that economics are a rather durable method of insinuating shitlordism into the hermemetically sealed citadels of goodthinkers without triggering their crimestop reflexes. Everyone loves to talk economics, and loves to feel like they have correct understanding of economical processes. This is important because it implicitly moves the mind past mere ‘ideal states’, which is often signal fodder, and into ‘talking shop’. In a phrase, it opens them up to the idea of natural law, that being has certain tendencies above and beyond man that must be observed and which man (himself an aspect of being) ignores at his own peril.

    That, and gun policy funnily enough. Get someone interested in guns, and its like they change almost over night.

    Both tend to involve statistical arguments (and correctly interpreting statistics) which i do not think coincidental.


    Posted on February 16th, 2016 at 9:57 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    why some one would go to such great lengths to avoid contradicting himself. I think one must contradict himself in 1000s different ways, publicly privately and better simultaneusly. that is how Google AI plays Go, It plays 1000 games same time with Himself.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    “I think one must contradict himself in 1000s different ways, publicly privately and better simultaneusly.” – Svershov channelling the Chairman


    SVErshov Reply:

    ‘Live in such a way that one’s life diverges from any given principle’ Deleuze


    Posted on February 16th, 2016 at 5:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2016/02/17 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] breakdown on the social justice “conspiracy”. Related: On the Github gender bias study. Related: Sex and the […]

    Posted on February 17th, 2016 at 6:49 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2016/02/21) - Social Matter Says:

    […] Land spots Scott Alexander spotting the Cathedral—just about every last tentacle of it. Spandrell takes the psychiatrist to the […]

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  • Blue Tribe Totalitarianism – Wheat and Chaff Says:

    […] From a comment by Scott Alexander on his own blog, via Xenosystems: […]

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