Posts Tagged ‘Ratchets’

Sentences (#29)

Charles Hugh Smith:

The net result of the Ratchet Effect and the impossibility of reform is this: it’s cheaper and more effective to let the system collapse than squander time and treasure attempting reforms that are bound to fail as vested interests will fight to the death to retain every shred of power and swag. (Emphasis in original.)

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November 7, 2015admin 9 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Collapse
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Quote note (#131)

Mises in prophetic mode:

The course of events in the past thirty years shows a continuous, although sometimes interrupted progress toward the establishment in this country of socialism of the British and German pattern. The United States embarked later than these two other countries upon this decline and is today still farther away from its end. But if the trend of this policy will not change, the final result will only in accidental and negligible points differ from what happened in the England of Attlee and in the Germany of Hitler. The middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last. It is a method for the realization of socialism by installments.

If the test of prophecy is that it ages well, this one is doing fine.

November 17, 2014admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Ratchets and Catastrophes

Perhaps all significant ideological distinctions — at the level of philosophical abstraction — can be derived from this proposition. For the progressive, it represents the purest expression of history’s “moral arc“. For the Conservative (or, more desperately, the Reactionary), it describes an unfolding historical catastrophe. For the Neoreactionary, it indicates a problem in need of theorization. Moldbug lays out the problem in this (now classic) formulation:

Cthulhu may swim slowly. But he only swims left. Isn’t that interesting?

In the history of American democracy, if you take the mainstream political position (Overton Window, if you care) at time T1, and place it on the map at a later time T2, T1 is always way to the right, near the fringe or outside it. So, for instance, if you take the average segregationist voter of 1963 and let him vote in the 2008 election, he will be way out on the wacky right wing. Cthulhu has passed him by.

Where is the John Birch Society, now? What about the NAACP? Cthulhu swims left, and left, and left. There are a few brief periods of true reaction in American history — the post-Reconstruction era or Redemption, the Return to Normalcy of Harding, and a couple of others. But they are unusual and feeble compared to the great leftward shift.

The specific Moldbuggian solution to this problem, whether approached historically through the Ultra-Calvinism Thesis, or systemically through the analysis of the Cathedral, invokes a dynamic model of Occidental religious modernization. The irreversible bifurcations, symmetry breaks, or schisms that lock Western modernity into its “great leftward shift” correspond to successive episodes of cladistic fission within Protestant Christianity (abstractly understood). The religious history of modernity is constituted by a degenerative ratchet (as touched upon here, 1, 2, 3).

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September 2, 2014admin 72 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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