Posts Tagged ‘Order’


Sometimes it still seems to work.


June 2, 2016admin 7 Comments »

Order and Value

A piece of machinery that reduces (local) disorder has value. It might be a functional police force, a catallactic economic arrangement, or a sociopolitical mechanism implementing dynamic geography (or Patchwork, 1, 2, 3, 4). Others might be listed. Any complex adaptive system works like this (until it ceases working). Since Schrödinger, it has been taken as an abstract definition of life. In certain strands of philosophy, it has also been taken as the complete, rigorous meaning of a machine (as counterposed to a ‘gadget’ – which works only within a larger machinic assemblage). Only by exporting entropy does anything of even minimal complexity get to continue its existence. The production of order is functionality in its most elevated, teleological sense.

A piece of rhetoric which merely celebrates order, as something nice to have, is worth nothing in itself. “We want order” is the “give us free stuff” slogan of intellectually degenerated reaction. When examined closely, it is indistinguishable from political pan-handling. (Democracy has taught everyone how to beg.) It is unlikely that even the most radically degraded libertarian would be shameless enough to consider “wealth is good, poverty is bad” anything more than an expression of sub-comic emotional incontinence. “Order is good, chaos is bad” is a slogan of exactly equivalent merit. “We want order” is just “we want money” at a superior level of generality. Monkeys want peanuts, but we are reluctant to dignify their hungry hooting with the label ‘political philosophy’.

Entropy dissipation is a problem. It might quite reasonably be considered the problem. Any serious social theory is respected insofar as it elicits the question: So how is entropy dissipated? The main current of Anglophone intellectual culture focuses tightly upon it, in a broad lineage from Newtonian mechanics, the Scottish Enlightenment, the science of heat, classical economics, and Darwinian naturalism, into theories of complexity, distributed systems, dynamic networks, and productive multiplicities. Spontaneous order is the consistent topic. ‘Spontaneous’ means only: Does not presuppose that which it is tasked with explaining. If the genesis of order is not being theorized, order is merely being assumed, and then consumed. The difference is between a supply side problematic (“how is order practically produced?”) and an empty demand (“we want more order”). The former is industrial, the latter simply tyrannical, when it is anything at all beside vacuous noise.

Unless a pol-econ. theory can contribute to an explanation of the production of order (dissipation of entropy), it is wasting everyone’s time. “But I really want order” is just silliness. It’s astounding that it could ever be thought otherwise.

March 7, 2016admin 48 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

Twitter cuts (#36)

(Not sure what I think of the color scheme, but in every other way perfect.)

November 27, 2015admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Coordination

Quote note (#165)

The conclusion to a typically thoughtful, reality-infused Athrelon post:

Ayn Rand’s fantasy of Galt’s Gulch imagined a small number of natural aristocrats noticing that they kept the ungrateful world alive. Feeling their strength, they said “screw the peasants,” seceded from civilization, and the country began to collapse. The reality of the Weak Galt Hypothesis is that the peasants say “screw the aristocrats,” secede from civilization, and the country does not collapse.

(The ‘Weak Galt Hypothesis’ is shaping up as a remarkably solid NRx building block. See also this.)

May 10, 2015admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

Trust Webs

The systems of governance native to the Internet Epoch are going to emerge out of this. Anybody who is trying to build institutions today, of whatever kind*, would be wise to immerse themselves in the way this stuff works. It will take time to shape the order of the world, but it isn’t going away. The same can very much not be said for the nation states of the Gutenberg Era, whose recession is already unmistakable.

Virtually speaking, there is nothing serious left for the Westphalian state to do. Of course, anybody expecting these relics to die tidily is almost certainly deluding themselves. Making the Westphalian order set the world to the torch. Its unmaking is unlikely to be much easier.


Continue Reading

February 11, 2015admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Seasonal Order

Tech-Comm NRx approves of this message:


(To replace ‘arrest’ with ‘instant execution by our private security drones’ would be a tweak worth considering. The ‘change’ sign in the background is a nice touch.)

December 21, 2014admin 7 Comments »

Mandatory Mixes

On the Outer Right, where questions of order and disorder are undergoing incremental rigorization, the theme of entropy is becoming ever more insistent. It is already approaching the status of a micro-cultural tic (and this is a positive sign). On the Left, in contrast, and utterly predictably, entropy is a zealous cause. If spontaneous social sorting reduces disorder, then the progressive mind immediately concludes it has to be stopped:

… we should promote ever greater diversity. But the magic of the melting pot wasn’t simply the fact of its jumble; it was that various groups were compelled to interact, share ideas, discuss their differences and learn from their disagreements. […] … America’s social architecture was uniquely adept at incubating a range of collaboration. The fact that we couldn’t get away from one another fueled the nation’s dynamism. […] That’s no longer true. The principle of “live and let live” has led us to look away when coming across someone unfamiliar. We should undoubtedly celebrate victories in the fight for individual rights. But if tolerance is driving balkanization, we need to recognize that the American experience has changed at its root.

The fact that such things are now being said, with some panic-driven directness, strongly suggests that the progressive homogenization hoped for isn’t advancing through social automatism. If elective differences are to be suppressed, they will have to be deliberately crushed. It could get rough.

The preferred social solution of this blog is free association — to mix with discrimination, spontaneously, and variously. Selective hybridity is not homogeneity, or anything close to it. Sadly, and grimly, however, in the titanic clash between an anti-discriminatory (universalist) Left and an indiscriminate (ethno-segregative) ‘Right’, such sensible procedures of dynamic social differentiation are increasingly derided as incomprehensible subtleties, and drowned out.

Order is not uniformity (but non-random difference). As cries for mandatory homogenization are raised everywhere, discriminatory variation will need places to escape, to defend, and to hide.

September 9, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations