Undiscovered Countries

After (re)reading Adam Gurri’s critical analysis of the core problem of Neoreaction (a tragedy of the political commons), read the surgical response by Handle. The calm intelligence on display from both sides is almost enough to drive you insane. This can’t be happening, right? “In a way, it’s a bit sad, because I can guess that Gurri’s article will be the zenith and high-water mark of coverage of neoreaction which means it will only get worse from here on in.” Enjoy the insight while it lasts.

My own response to Gurri is still embryonic, but I already suspect that it diverges from Handle’s to some degree. Rather than defending the ‘technocratic’ element in the Moldbug Patchwork-Neocameral model, I agree with Gurri that this is a real problem, although (of course) I am far more sympathetic to the underlying intellectual project. Unlike Gurri — who in this crucial respect represents a classical liberal position at its most thoughtful — Moldbug does not conceive democracy as a discovery process, illuminated by analogy to market dynamics and organic social evolution. On the contrary, it is a ratchet mechanism that successively distances the political realm from feedback sensitivity, due to its character as a closed loop (or state church) sensitive only to a public opinion it has itself manufactured. As the Cathedral expands, its adaptation to reality progressively attenuates. The result is that every effective discovery process — whether economic, scientific, or of any other kind — is subjected to ever-more radical subversion by political influences whose only ‘reality principle’ is internal: based on closed-circuit social manipulation.

Democracy is thus, strictly speaking, a production of collective insanity, or dissociation from reality. Moldbug’s solution, therefore, can only be an attempt to re-embed governance in an effective feedback system. Since it is already evident that democratic mechanisms, rather than providing such feedback, reliably deepen dissociation, reality signal has to come from elsewhere. To return to an adaptive condition, governance has to simultaneously disconnect from popular opinion (voice) and reconnect to a registry of actual — rather than ideologically spun — performance. The communication medium for the uncontaminated feedback required by sensible government is exit traffic within the Patchwork (comparable in its operation to revealed consumer preference within marketplaces).

The great difficulty that then emerges — casting the entire Neocameral schema into question — is the requirement for an ‘undiscovered’ or ‘technocratic’ leap, from an environment of progressively decaying discovery or selection pressure, into one in which discovery can once again take place. Neoreaction confronts a very real transition problem, and Gurri is quite right to point this out. Handle is no less right when he insists that the ‘conservative’ option of accommodation to the democratic social process in motion is profoundly untenable, because discovery deterioration is essential to the democratic trend. Maladaptation to reality ceases to be correctable under Cathedral governance, and recognition of this malign condition is the defining neoreactionary insight.

If we stay on the train we will be smashed into a consummate insanity, but to leap is technocratic error (unsupported by discovery). As for prevarication: The intensification of this dilemma can be confidently expected from the mere continuance of the democratic process, dominated by the degenerative politics of the madhouse, and scrambling all social information. It is in this precarious position that the task of a rigorous evaluation of the Neocameral schema, along with its prospects for renovation or replacement, has to take place.

“… it will only get worse from here on in.”

 

February 14, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

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15 Responses to this entry

  • VXXC Says:

    Great post.

    But still conflating the Cathedral with Democracy. I will admit Democracy in America failed. It failed under the very new deal that establishes the Cathedral. It was then placed in a consultative role. The bankruptcy of 2008 forward combined with the ascent of the terminally mad to power then ends even the consultative and farcical role of voting, the mask has been dropped. Administrative government is not democracy.

    I’m not merely being stubborn or pedantic. Democracy is still quite sacred to a great many people, most in fact.
    They are in mourning. This is a problem for the Cathedral and an opportunity for it’s enemies.

    As I commented on Handle he who fires on the Constitution is attacking Sumter, Pearl Harbor and Manhattan in one volley and kicks over the largest Hornets nest in History.

    I fail to see what is gained by continuing to attack a corpse, that now that it’s been discovered dead is being mourned. There are more mourners than nice white ladies to consider the sentiments of….speaking of stubborn pedantry.

    The Feedback loop to insanity and closed circuit manufactured opinion is dynamite. Perhaps it should be placed under enemy positions rather than ..our own?

    Technocratic leap of faith and Exit as reality feedback mechanism. Why? Why do it if it’s even possible?

    This goes to a point I’ve been making for awhile. This isn’t a systems engineering problem. It’s a people problem. To wit our elites are vile, nihilistic, craven, insane and evil psychopaths. The only systems that contain such people are graves or prison cells. That’s quite ancient. There really are no Human Technocratic systems once you work in them, there’s people and there are rules and processes. There is politics. There was nothing wrong with the American Republic or Democracy in America. There was nothing fatally wrong with the New Deal had it remained under a competent and average elite. Superheroes not needed. It’s mistake was the lack of check except their own virtues, which Democracy had been able to correct when it had power.

    The Elite people at the Helm went evil and insane 30 years after democracy was gone. And all the other Patricians failed, all the Tribunes failed, everything failed at the same time. We call this “the 60s”.

    By the way if one doesn’t like Managerial State’s lack of feedback mechanisms try dysfunctional monarchies like the Hapsburg’s. Forever Broke for instance. The Holy Roman Empire’s Constitution beyond codification, and so on.

    And why if I understand this do we want to use exit as a feedback loop (to psychopaths admin) to save the Cathedral again? Why ?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 14th, 2014 at 9:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Noir Says:

    You say: ” On the contrary, it is a ratchet mechanism that successively distances the political realm from feedback sensitivity, due to its character as a closed loop (or state church) sensitive only to a public opinion it has itself manufactured. As the Cathedral expands, its adaptation to reality progressively attenuates. The result is that every effective discovery process — whether economic, scientific, or of any other kind — is subjected to ever-more radical subversion by political influences whose only ‘reality principle’ is internal: based on closed-circuit social manipulation.”

    In other words the present Neoliberal Cathedral is postmodern dream as cannibal zombification: a society feeding on its own illusions – a utopian system of enslavement that finally fulfills Kantian imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” And, of course, as you’ve suggested in your first critique of Kantianism in A Thirst For Annihilation where you remind us that the enlightenment project … was the royal road to the first truly vampiric civilization in which death alone comes to rule (112)”. Are we not now in that world? Do we not see the vampires of capital everywhere? Is not the internalized fascism of the neoliberal an inverse relation to the external cycle of national socialism, a mirror image of its broken dream of absolute control?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 5:23 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    it is a ratchet mechanism that successively distances the political realm from feedback sensitivity, due to its character as a closed loop (or state church) sensitive only to a public opinion it has itself manufactured

    Sounds like a royal court full of eunuchs.
    Oh wait you’re not the monarchist.

    Still to the extent that a system ostensibly designed to avoid the eunuch-filled-royal-court problem, by having free press, opposition parties et al. who allow contrary opinions, it didn’t take much time to end up coming up with a convoluted mechanism to recreate the isolated court full of eunuchs who prevent opposition voices from reaching the court, and ostracize any part of the public who dares defy the court ideology.

    Singapore also is very well run but it still qualifies pretty well as a closed loop insensitive to contrary voices, although it probably has better performance benchmarks that others.

    But isn’t that the real difference really? Singapore probably has benchmarks which measure the economy productivity of the realm, while the US promotes people according to how good they are at upholding the state religion and how much money they can rally to progressive causes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 5:59 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    The focus on “systems” is the fallacy of reason again. The central error of the Enlightenment and what doomed it in fact – although not inevitably. The Enlightenment was destroyed by Men who used the tool of rationalization, what reason actually is when applied to politics.

    As these Men were Nihilists who sought power – which wisely they were shut out of – all their rationalizations were and are mere strategems to do HARM and PROFIT from gaining POWER.

    WHO = Nihilists
    WHOM = Humanity at large.

    Any focus on systems when leading or managing Men will lead to more horrible errors and suffering. Systems are for pyschopaths and MBA’s, the difference between them being degree of commitment. You can’t program people, all this talk of feedback loops is error and nonsense.

    Singapore happened because of men. One man stands out.

    America happened because of Men. Many stand out in it’s 400 turbulent history. The Founders did good and built something just strong enough drawing from English and American History to endure the test of Time. The legacy Republic is still here. It wasn’t “doomed” more than any other creation of men.

    The New Deal was absolutely men. Resolute Progressives with a True Leader on the side of the New Deal, flailing eunuchs deserting the ramparts of the Republic on the other.

    The Progs will not fall because their “system” is flawed. If they fall it will be that the Defenders are weaker than the attackers. Whoever the attackers end up being.

    The men, MEN MEN who replace the New Deal State will be a combination of the strongest and the luckiest.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    “Systems are for psychopaths.” I like the alliteration. T-shirt slogan?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    What is the “system” and what are the “feedback loops” of the British Political “System” ??

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUIA40uLlKw?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 10:43 am Reply | Quote
  • Little Hans Says:

    “The communication medium for the uncontaminated feedback required by sensible government is exit traffic within the Patchwork (comparable in its operation to revealed consumer preference within marketplaces).”

    Exit, fine. What about entry though? How can you set up the patchwork in way that doesn’t make the impossibility of entry a barrier to exit.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Commercialization ensures that resources — including human resources — get to exercise exit pressure. Beyond that, I doubt it’s possible to go.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    Pressure can be contained, and what about humans who aren’t resources (the “dire problem”)? And even if commercialization ensures exit pressure, what ensures commercialization?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The “dire problem” is dire, meaning probably insoluble. (I’m less generally pessimistic than you, but that doesn’t mean I have to be a total idiot.)

    Commercialization has some significant capability to promote itself.

    Axel Mckibbin Reply:

    One word: invitation

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    The horde currently ravaging Germany was invited too.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 12:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @Admin/Kevin

    The Dire Problem isn’t so dire or so much of a problem. They start getting hungry and cold they’ll find a job.
    Moldbug only thinks it’s Dire because he’s imagining them trying to code or learn LISP.

    I don’t think frankly people who over-fret about these things have much experience running things and making things happen. Or for instance – camping. You know..make your own fire? Take a job as a roadie or carny or something for a summer that involves labor and understand it can be done and needs to be.

    This is why the 19th century American Aristo’s sent their sons out West.

    If it’s your idea of a dire problem – you really aren’t qualified to rule. NOPE.

    There’s all kinds of jobs out there folks.

    Mind you it will also get less dire and less problem if the dire don’t have their important but not mentally demanding jobs taken away by immigration. OTAY?

    But what about the Violence !?!? . Be Violent in response, dammit. Again – not qualified for Aristocracy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 5:11 pm Reply | Quote
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