Quote notes (#84)

Eric X Li writing in the New York Times (!):

The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are considered God-given and therefore absolute or whether they should be seen as privileges to be negotiated based on the needs and conditions of the nation.

The West seems incapable of becoming less democratic even when its survival may depend on such a shift. In this sense, America today is similar to the old Soviet Union, which also viewed its political system as the ultimate end.

History does not bode well for the American way. Indeed, faith-based ideological hubris may soon drive democracy over the cliff.

ADDED: The Nation is concerned.

ADDED: Caviar Cons are also noticing that democracy is cooked.

May 20, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy


27 Responses to this entry

  • peppermint Says:

    …and the dam bursts. The long 20th century, 1890s to 2010s, age of progressivism, ends.

    Progressivism was about the inherent dignity of the single human, approached in an age of technological marvels, as an entire entity composed of interchangable parts.


    Posted on May 20th, 2014 at 1:31 am Reply | Quote
  • Quote notes (#84) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on May 20th, 2014 at 5:07 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    … and another one [paywall].


    admin Reply:

    The teaser is mouth-watering. Definitely a trend.


    Posted on May 20th, 2014 at 9:16 am Reply | Quote
  • R7 Rocket Says:

    Eric X Li left out one important thing, China is actually a nation, the US is not. The Chinese government will allow more freedom or less as long as it protects the interests of the (Han) Chinese and their civilization.


    VXXC Reply:



    Posted on May 20th, 2014 at 11:56 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Good stuff.


    If you find the guy around Shanghai do try to meet him for some drinks.


    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Dang. That was good.


    spandrell Reply:

    It was. I got curious and checked the guy’s chinese name, and turns out he writes a lot in China too.

    Funny thing is I found this: http://www.guancha.cn/li-shi-mo/2013_12_26_195040.shtml where he lauds Mao as the greatest leader of his generation.

    So he’s full of shit.


    VXXC Reply:

    Good work Sir

    Posted on May 20th, 2014 at 1:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • The dam breaks | peppermintfrosted Says:

    […] The dam breaks.  The two charges NRx levels at progressivism, democracy and HBD denial, are openly discussed in in the beating heart of the Cathedral; how long before the tainted blood reaches every cell?  The long 20th century, from the 1890s to the 2010s, the age of progress, is over. […]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 12:34 am Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    The mainstream media occasionally publishes this kind of opinion piece by a Chinese author. I think their willingness to do so is an extension of the way they usually handle anything from China: they see it as so bizarre, so at odds with what they consider normal, that they are incapable of taking it seriously enough to consider it dangerous.

    Before NRx was a thing, I got most of my anti-democratic fix from Chinese authors and the occasional Western academic who takes them seriously. It was always amusing to me that the Chinese output was frequently brilliant and rational (including much of what the government itself says about rights, democracy, etc) and yet the Western media reflexively groups it all under self-serving propaganda; they do not engage it at all.

    This has been going on for decades. For example, the “Asian values” debate of the early 90s, in which East Asian politicians and thinkers promoted a set of quasi-Confucian values, was summarily dismissed by Western academics as propaganda for authoritarian regimes. This is one of the best tricks of democracy: anything from a non-democracy is automatically tainted.

    The other two articles look like they might be genuine events but unfortunately they’re behind paywalls.


    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 12:37 am Reply | Quote
  • David Says:

    “Published: February 16, 2012.” I know you like time travel, but does this merit a ‘(!)’ as if it were hot of the presses?


    admin Reply:

    You’re right, it’s misleading. I fell prey to the Internet disease of time obliteration (assuming a link is something contemporary). Still, you can switch over the exclamation mark to the Brooks op ed — still works.


    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    The scary thing is that removing democracy in the cathedral will do nothing except remove the need for elections, and remove the pantomime of bipartisan politics. Take this quote from the NYT article –
    “The process of change would be unapologetically elitist. Gather small groups of the great and the good together to hammer out bipartisan reforms — on immigration, entitlement reform, a social mobility agenda, etc. — and then rally establishment opinion to browbeat the plans through. ”
    They already DO this, so how would democracy removal with the current lunatics in place do anything other than speed up Leftist singularity? Alternatively, they would just rule by survey most likely, thereby replacing the messy elections with another more efficient mechanism for claiming to be acting with the peoples will.

    Surely the Cathedral needs to go at the same time as democracy? There cannot be any crossover, can there?

    Another point regarding the Li article, would you agree that –
    “In its early days, democratic ideas in political governance facilitated the industrial revolution and ushered in a period of unprecedented economic prosperity and military power in the Western world.”
    or would you agree democracy was nothing more then an unfortunate side effect of capitalism operating on all of these aspects?


    admin Reply:

    Your final suspicions reflect my sense of it well. The distribution of the franchise during the Golden Age of British capitalism would not be counted as anything like ‘democracy’ today.


    Chris B Reply:

    I’m think I’m beginning to get an idea of your thinking regarding unhindered capitalism and neo-reaction being inseparable.
    Would I be going too far if I made the statement that you believe Capitalism is a force in itself that is operating via spontaneous order in a manner akin to genetic evolution. A teleology hurling towards making man redundant in the process via AI and robotics, and that to trying to stop it with luddite like communism and/or revived monarchy etc is both ridiculous and destructive as it creates chaos by virtue of trying to stop this spontaneous order.
    If this is a correct understanding, then this would mean that neoreactionaries must ultimately embrace nihilism of sorts (which would surely be what the neo now constitutes?) on the basis that Leftism is the desire to impose abstract ideals onto the world, while reactionaryism (in my view) is the acknowledgement that you can only work with how the world was, is, and is going to be – whatever that may be, something which eluded the reactionaries at the start of capitalism as they failed to understand this ultimate nihilism of capitalism which resulted in the paralysis of reactionaryism in the face of Marxism. They just did not understand Capitalism’s essence, and therefore had no answers.
    Or am I flying off into orbit here?


    admin Reply:

    “Flying into orbit” is a good thing, isn’t it?

    The one immediate question I have about your gloss (which I like a lot) is the significance of “nihilism” here. How is intelligence optimization nihilistic? It’s not that I want to reject this label out of hand — if at all — but the main arguments against IO are proudly parochial, i.e. “why should I care about intelligenesis if it doesn’t favor the proliferation of my DNA sequences?” There’s nothing to that objection that strikes me as obviously anti-nihilistic, if anything the contrary (since it explicitly abandons non-relativistic values).

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 2:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    I suppose I was being careless with language there. I agree the question of whether that would constitute nihilism is complicated, and relativist in relation to AI (personally I have no issue with letting things go, if no one had that attitude we would still be sitting around in caves chipping flint).
    Maybe a better way of wording it would be to say that neoreactionaries must accept that re -reactionaryism (such as Anissmov and his monarchism based on Evola) involving reestablishing pre-Capitalist forms of government and catallaxy is a false avenue and would constitute a form of attempted suffocation of Capitalism every bit as perverse as leftism, and that neoreactionaries must accept this, and accept that their relativistic traditions and norms may, and will most likely eventually, be made null and void – like enlightenment Monarchy has already be made null and void by Capitalism. It would involve a greater understanding of Capitalism as a force in its self which cannot be stopped like day and night, but must be accepted and embraced, and we must order ourselves around it. Your average neocameralist appears to understand this on some level, but would this be accepted in its entirety by neoreactionaries, as it seems counter intuitive on a superficial look?


    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 6:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chuck Says:

    “The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are considered God-given and therefore absolute or whether they should be seen as privileges to be negotiated based on the needs and conditions of the nation.”

    Morality is a temporary truce between factions of warring instincts; in the West, it pretends to be something more, thus the madness — productive at times, destructive at others — a delusion traceable back to Socrates i.e., Euthyphro dilemma: “And do you believe that there really is war among the gods?” (Yes — question reframed sociobiologically ) In the West, the egalitarian instinct is hegemonic; this itself is not overly problematic; what is is the delusion that it is not just one of many instincts having taken power. For good and bad, the Han do not currently suffer from this monomoralism.


    VXXC Reply:

    ““The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are considered God-given and therefore absolute.”

    That hasn’t been true of Washington for some time, it died a quiet death the last few decades.

    See my comments below on my Rights coming from other men [then they must die].

    It was you know in England that our American Divine Rights of Men were invented, if not by Jesus himself and even perhaps the Israelites.

    To argue to Americans we are subordinate without limits to other men is to ignore the main political thrust of Western Civilization since the Ancients. Not to mention the present reality when and where we live. But railing and screaming NO to reality is what differentiates NeoReaction from Reaction, also from brutal realities.


    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 10:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Still reading thru list above but 1st thoughts:

    *I remain predictable, which BTW means you’re still friends.

    *If my rights come from men please name these men. For these men must die or I am their slave.. We cannot breath under the same Sun.

    *I am far from alone in the above judgments.


    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 at 12:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:


    I hope you realize that The Nation like the rest of the elites and in particular the Spartacists are having an entirely self-referential and closed loop conversation. This article says nothing about anyone but them, they are unaware of the existence of the rest of Humanity most acutely their very neighbors.


    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 at 1:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Here is the Crux of other people’s problems with democracy put well by the Nation:

    “Such nostrums may be comforting, but they have become fatal to the left’s ability to win political victories and, if they do, to govern effectively.”

    Because if you don’t govern you don’t exist in their world. It’s sad they missed the one beyond it which is of course only recently taking notice of them.

    Right Wing Populism has never been bad for me and mine, nor do I think it will be in the future. Certainly given the stark alternative between rapidly decaying Leftist Elite Technocracy staffed by strangers who don’t consider me and mine Human, RW Populism holds no terrors for me or mine.


    Chuck Reply:

    According to Land’s (and Moldbug’s) underpants gnome logic :
    People are told how to vote.
    They are told, by the left-wing intelligentsia, to vote left.
    Therefore, if we get rid of democracy and hand over direct control to this (left-wing) intelligentsia,
    the problem will be solved.

    It strikes me as absurd.


    VXXC Reply:

    It is until you consider the levers over men are force and gain.

    It is until you consider self-preservation and preservation of way of life motives.

    From those viewpoints these recommendations aren’t absurd.

    You see they want the Cathedral themselves which requires it to be intact, they simply want it to be sane again. While oft acknowledging that it can’t be due to Left Wing Rachet. Moldbug has the out of sovereignty conserved and no violence as reactionaries never like anything but order. Uh huh. And Mr. Land whom I respect doesn’t think that possible but thinks Transhumanism is possible solution. While having the integrity to acknowledge that any sensible AI would decide our fate against us.

    Others think that bitcoin type mechanisms will serve to neatly take the power away from faillible humans and make it a software program. Written by sensible coders of course.

    And the quarrel with democracy is quarrel with human nature itself. Land of course admits this hence Transhumanism.

    I’ve said all this before.

    I’m the resident Jacksonian reactionary populist.

    NeoReaction has the power of incisive criticism and undermining the Official Progressive Religion and that IMO is what it’s talents are and what it should do…for you see they were all raised in the faith. I wasn’t.

    From the standpoint of solutions yes it’s absurd, unless there’s success at taking over the Cathedral from within…an openly stated goal by some.

    For Sir these are the banished white children of Progress, and that Sir is motive. Lift the exile and let us back in. Or revenge.

    Now I applaud anything that hurts the enemy, so I wish them only success.


    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 at 1:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:


    OK Brooks senses something at the animal level and reacts.

    Brooks also understands his own self interest.

    He is also as are nearly all of them unaware of a nation west of the Hudson/Potomac Rivers.

    The most interesting part is the Title: The Big Debate. The Big Debate is whether to do away with this pesky 3d wheel of democracy and simply hand all powers to the technocracy without any meddling by these Others called “The People”. AKA –Americans.

    As I’ve marked they are quite girding their loins to formally end this charade of democracy because they perceive mortal threats to their own existence. The voters will either choose certain bankruptcy and an end to power to get the last checks the machine prints…OR…they’ll possibly however remote choose a government that chooses solvency and sanity and again the result is the same in an end to power. Solvency requires losers in the elites.

    We’re simply being groomed for an EU style solution with the Fed as the Troika. It’s really at it’s core about the lack of money being the root of all evil, meaning they went hopelessly bankrupt in 2008 and the pyramids and Fiat Funnies are running out.

    $ M0 shot up 75% may 13-may 14. QE is ending even if they turn it back on full spigot.

    Be interesting how this plays out.


    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply | Quote

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