Quote note (#226)

It would be gratuitously provocative to summarize this as ‘Conrad on HRx’ — but still. Here he is, in The Secret Agent (Chapter VI), exploring the thought-processes of the unnamed aristocratic “lady patroness of Michaelis” (an anarcho-communist):

It was as if the monstrosity of the man, with his candid infant’s eyes and a fat angelic smile, had fascinated her. She had come to believe almost his theory of the future, since it was not repugnant to her prejudices. She disliked the new element of plutocracy in the social compound, and industrialism as a method of human development appeared to her singularly repulsive in its mechanical and unfeeling character. The humanitarian hopes of the mild Michaelis tended not towards utter destruction, but merely towards the complete economic ruin of the system. And she did not really see where was the moral harm of it. It would do away with all the multitude of the “parvenus,” whom she disliked and distrusted, not because they had arrived anywhere (she denied that), but because of their profound unintelligence of the world, which was the primary cause of the crudity of their perceptions and the aridity of their hearts. With the annihilation of all capital they would vanish, too; but universal ruin (providing it was universal, as revealed to Michaelis) would leave the social values untouched. The disappearance of the last piece of money could not affect people of position. She could not conceive how it could affect her position, for instance.

Conrad understood why Tories are even less trustworthy than Whigs.

March 4, 2016admin 19 Comments »
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19 Responses to this entry

  • Quote note (#226) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on March 4th, 2016 at 8:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Dale Rooster Says:

    The HRx stuff reminds me of conservatives who say, well, at least the progressives have good intentions, unlike all those degenerate, selfish, retarded, dorky libertarians. Degenerate, degenerate, degenerate.

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    Ahote Reply:

    You left out ‘autistic’.

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    Dale Rooster Reply:

    ah yes. I knew I was missing at least one slur. thank you.

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    Gentile Ben Reply:

    In my experience libertarians do tend to resemble Stevie from the above novel.

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    Posted on March 4th, 2016 at 3:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • cryptonymous bill Says:

    “I will/let us make a world of my/our choosing.”

    Tory, whig, liberal, libertarian, reactionary, radical – all the same. I won’t say this is where it goes wrong, only that choice comes with certain necessities.

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    Posted on March 4th, 2016 at 4:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ahote Says:

    Traditionalist Conservatives were proto-Marxists. Some repented. Most remained deluded romantics a la Don Quixote. Being a deluded romantic during the Romantic era was understandable. Being deluded romantic today is unreasonable. Unlike our quixotic friends however, Amish have actually put their money where their mouth is.

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    vimothy Reply:

    Should that be contrasted with neoreaction’s post-Marxism? With history as a naturalistic-fact?

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    Ahote Reply:

    You should take it up with admin, he is the proprietor of the LandBrand®. I’m but a simple Christian reactionary… albeit sane one, a realist with no romantic pretensions… but I finally got to understand why Hayek went guano whenever someone called him conservative.

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    Posted on March 4th, 2016 at 5:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • Seth Says:

    Conrad has made appearances here before. Systematically exploring his insights is just one more thing that needs to get done.

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    Posted on March 4th, 2016 at 11:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Other than the romantic angle I’m not seeing how this applies, even subtly, to HRx. Unless the term is indeed merely a straw synonym for vain stupidity.

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    admin Reply:

    You don’t think extreme anti-modernist aversion to industrial innovation, leading even to a perverse alliance with — or at least indulgence of — communists, is something we’re seeing?

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    Ahote Reply:

    With this kind of “law of supply and demand is evil” claims coupled with ceaseless kvetching about bourgeoisie and other things it’s really hard to see how is traditionalist reaction any different from Khmers rouges.

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    Mark Citadel Reply:

    This isn’t really what was said. On the contrary, it is only an acknowledgement of negative externalities emerging even from markets which have reached Pareto optimization and thus have no inefficiencies. Communism addresses these negative externalities through centralized, heteronomic party control, and with this being entirely inorganic, it ends in utter disaster. The Reactionary conception is instead that these negative externalities can be tempered by strong cultural, religious, and customary norms and structures. Via this method, satisfaction of demand can be extracted from a ‘free market’ while limiting greatly the deleterious effects of man’s fallen nature which promise to lead him astray in his economic life, unless kept in check.

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    Ahote Reply:

    Externalities only exist where property isn’t enforced (which is especially prevalent in democracies where commons are unowned, but it isn’t just commons that is affected by externalities, it’s also owned land). For example, state grants to factories dispensation to pollute for a fee, but pollution violates the property of people whose land those externalities affect – dispensation is those landowners’ not the state’s to give. As for fallen nature, it promises to lead him astray in any aspect of his life, up to and including religious, not just economic, so…

    Mark Citadel Reply:

    Hence the problem of freedom of religion.

    To give an example of where capital ought be subservient to higher concerns, we might look at cheap foreign labor. If a private individual stands to gain more from the importation of low-wage laborers than using his own kin, then why shouldn’t he do so? I would hold that he should not do so, because his own private economic interest should be overcome by an ingrained preference for his own (something arational). In this instance, the government does not need to set up a bureaucracy to manage labor and ensure that foreigners are not replacing natives, the people do this already through their own desirable prejudices. Foreigners who enter the country will find no work. I don’t find any parallels to Communism here. More just common sense.

    Ahote Reply:

    Immigration clearly falls into tragedy of the commons category. What is the kind of immigration that we saw in the monarchical age, when commons were owned? Well, only the immigration of the highest quality people, examples include Rascian kings importing german mining and smiting experts, and Russian emperors importing top foreign scientists (like Euler and Bernoulli). Corps look out for their own interests, just like everyone else (for example, Vatican has no reasons not to favor mass immigration into the USA, and every reason to favor it).

    Posted on March 8th, 2016 at 9:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ahote Says:

    Apparently Communism would have been right-singularity if not for “equality” part. Don’t do Reaction kids – it rots your brain!

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    Hurlock Reply:

    If I didn’t know better I would blame that brain fart of a post on Carlyle’s influence, but since Moldbug exists, I know that reading Carlyle does not turn you into an imbecile, so I have to conclude that the author of that piece is simply an imbecile anyways, which is something I have in fact suspected for quite some time.

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    Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 8:07 pm Reply | Quote

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