Nick B. Steves sent this along to keep the discussion moving forward:
[Click on the image to enlarge]
I guess this means I’m a techno-commercialist with one foot in the darker neo-reactionary shade: I find deep heritage and race-realism by-the-by if we’re being right-wing futurists here.
1) Deep heritage only gives more power tokens to the ethno-nationalists, surely?
2) Ditto for race-realism. Race-realism, stand alone is fine by me. It’s when it involves political programmes and conscious white-flight, and at an individual level, disdain for someone because their skin colour is not your own. Then I find it detrimental to my position.
A digress: something Jame Donald mentioned, and you did too when I mentioned my PHD. I know academia – from first hand – is saturated by The Catherdral; but I don’t think it is untenable to have a voice in the arena. I don’t think I’ll get kicked out or reviled if I make persuasive cases that go against the grain. If anything I believe I’ll be a breath of fresh air for them. At Warwick this is what happened. I turned some women ghostly white by going on my Stirnite rants, sure. Yet I was always brought into the fold when conversation arose in seminars, they just wanted an alternative take.
fotrkd Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 12:38 pm
I’m pretty sure deep heritage is left deliberately open to interpretation (elsewhere admin talks of “The deep order of society – whatever that is taken to be”) – neo-reactionaries all value ‘it’ but its precise nature is different depending on where you stand in the trichotomy. Each leg thinks it has the deepest heritage to fall back on. Sort of like this:
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation.
admin Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I think the point about deep heritage, and related matters, is that denying its importance (blank slating) gets things horribly wrong. The whole neo-conservative “let’s promote liberal democracy everywhere because they’re all just like us” fiasco stemmed from that. They’re really not all like us. It’s hard for me to believe that lesson still remains to be learned.
Libertarian attitudes, for instance, are massively conditioned by profound ethnic factors, making the emblematic libertarian “throw open the borders and it will all be great” position grotesquely self-defeating — only a very few cultures value economic freedom much at all, and most of those are being ripped to pieces as fast as practically possible. If a society is importing citizens (with political rights), it is simply madness not to screen them for cultural compatibility — the alternative is sheer hemlock-quaffing.
Talking about “skin color” doesn’t clarify anything. What makes a difference isn’t superficial appearance, but near-ineradicable cultural commitments (whether or not aligned to genetic traits), especially those fundamentally incompatible with the existence of a free society. The whole world is one giant screaming ball of unambiguous data when it comes to this — all that is required is permission to see.
fotrkd Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 1:34 pm
But this is the negative, anti-Cathedral bit everyone can agree on – stop destroying ‘our’ deep heritage. Whereas at some post-Cathedral time neo-reactionaries are going to want to restore or build upon ‘their’ positive heritage, which will involve not just importation (or lack thereof) but also stripping away or shedding (not just between the three groups but within them – when heritage is inevitably deepened once more).
fotrkd Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Sorry, didn’t finish that very well – I’m mentioning this not because it needs discussing pre-collapse but because I thought it might help Mark (as it helps me) to view heritage positively from his “techno-commercialist with one foot in the darker neo-reactionary shade” perspective. What various interpretations could a techno-commercialist give to ‘deep heritage’?
admin Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Specialization, the natural companion of fragmentation, addresses that, doesn’t it? It would almost be a shame to miss out on what the three extremes of the Trichotomy would achieve, if they each did their own thing without compromise — the experiment would be invaluable. Better though, if the full multiplicity included every imaginable hybrid and mixture, along with the pure strains, in order to acquire the largest possible library of lessons on what works (and what doesn’t).
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 4:02 pm
The extreme of uncompromising Christian traditionalism is manifested in the Amish. How well they would survive (and adapt) to an actively hostile host, which was once tolerant and protective, remains to be seen. Although Amish Mafia is probably a good bit fiction, I think there is more than a kernel of truth to the story. Even hardcore pacifists sometimes need “other means” to maintain order. Holy elders can wash their hands of violence, whilst hot-headed clan members carry out their implicit will. And order is good for business. The Amish are rich, they buy up “English” farmland and always pay cash. Not bad for some 2nd-rate German yeomen.
survivingbabel Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 3:31 pm
To your digression, we should all remember that the Cathedral is not a singular entity. It is an array of entities, each of which has its own unique part to play, and each of which has its own internal struggles. For instance, at Harvard, the beating heart of Cathedral is not the Gov department, but the Institute of Politics and the Kennedy School of Government. Professors and students in PoliSci can get away with all sorts of ideas that would get you permanently uninvited from all of the IOP networking events and dinner parties. This isn’t 1984 just yet, there is still plenty of subversion to be done, even at the highest levels.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 7:51 am
Right, so I won’t be hounded (that badly) at Goldsmiths after all…:) Seriously though, the ‘array of entities’ that you mention. They must buffer one another, right? (the media treats students and the left as synonomous – probably because they virtually are) Or am I getting too abstract…. But yes, I think my concerns here are personal. As I’m fast approaching enrolment, I’m a little worried that I’ll be singled out as ‘the enemy’.
First Ethnic-Nationalist sermon to the Techno-Commercialists: You may not be interested in tribalism, but tribalism is interested in you.
Is there a consensus on microeconomics?
admin Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 1:07 pm
Liberal Techno-Commercialists are self-blinding when it comes to tribalism, but the neoreactionary strain are not (by definition). Whilst extremely interested in tribalism, however, they do not — in general — like it, because no tribe has a monopoly of resourcefulness, or an absence of the opposite. Cross-cultural selection processes are much more thoroughly attuned to Techno-Commercial interests than tribal solidarity ever could be.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Hard to tell where to jump in, but this is as good a place as any…
The viewgraph was, as advertised, only a tool for discussion. I felt it had obvious holes because I do not personally grok either the “Techno-commercialist” or “Ethicisit” branches very well at all, and certainly not well enough to “capture” their essences in a few bullet points.
I am using the term “microeconomics” here to stand for something of which I do not know the name… Basically the idea that there is a reaction consensus on macroeconomics as it is currently practiced, which is that it is equal parts bunkum, snake oil, pseudo-scientism, and rent seeking. What we… well our ancestors… used to call “political economy”, which studies interplay of rational decision making (financial gain) with human psychology (value), is entirely missing from the mainstream narrative except as it applies to “microeconomics”… which is really just common sense, and therefore boring to professional economists, who want to play with the levers of big numbers.
Debt for a family is not exactly like debt for a nation. But there are some similarities, the most basic of which is marginal returns: Is that debt making you better off or not? “Microeconomics!” But professional economists treat it as though it’s a profoundly silly question. Of course, debt is good… it makes big numbers get bigger, so long as create ad hoc controls on other big numbers. I don’t know what to call that consensus, but I think it exists in reactionary circles… actually it is one of the least controversial areas.
Handle Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 12:29 am
I would just like to say to Peter A. Taylor that I am great admirer of your terrific essays. I hope to see you comment around these parts frequently. And you will always be a very welcome guest at Handle’s Haus.
Peter A. Taylor Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 3:19 am
“What various interpretations could a techno-commercialist give to ‘deep heritage’?” — one seriously interesting starting point is Gregory Clark.
fotrkd Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Being rushed out the door, but doesn’t a commitment to spreading the gospel and/or the finite resources of the Earth (lebensraum?) mean doing your own thing inevitably leads to not letting anybody else do theirs?
admin Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Ah yes, the Lebensraum problem — that’s why the Constitutional question in its broadest sense is inescapable. I agree it isn’t something to be shrugged off.
James A. Donald Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 3:39 am
Techno commercialists don’t think that there is any big shortage of resources, or going to be any shortage of resources, so long as technology continues to advance. Resource shortages are caused by greenies, much as famines are caused by communists.
Ethno nationalists, however, think that resources are short and getting shorter, which logically has the implication that you had better get rid of the other while there is still some resources left. Greenies agree, except that it is whites they want to get rid of.
The Copenhagen Climate Change conference could be paraphrased:
Harvard to China: Submit to us, and we will kill of the whites for you.
China: No thanks.
Harvard to China: We are really sincere.
China: No you are not.
But, in fact, they are sincere.
Excellent visual summary.
Minor typo: “hierarchy”.
A note on “Theonomists”
I used that term in deference to our gracious host. He has claimed elsewhere that it is accurate, and, in a sense, it is. But theonomy actually has a mainstream meaning that is quite far from what most Christian Traditionalists (e.g., Throne-n-Altar Catholics) believe. In the literal sense: that “God names” implying God orders the universe, life, human relationships, whatever, it is a perfectly inoffensive and accurate term. But theonomists proper are a lot more literalist than that. They believe that the Bible taken literally, especially the painfully detailed Mosaic law, has special clues for us, unseen for example by the Catholic church for 2000 years, on how to better order society. This is pretty silly stuff in my opinion. And while theonomists proper are pretty darn reactionary, it seems the vast majority of Christian reactionaries would not line up on very many of their unique points.
Handle Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 12:35 am
Better than ‘theosophy’:
The so-called Philosophy of India is even more blowsy and senseless than the metaphysics of the West. It is at war with everything we know of the workings of the human mind, and with every sound idea formulated by mankind. If it prevailed in the whole modern world we’d still be in the Thirteenth Century; nay, we’d be back among the Egyptians of the pyramid age. Its only coherent contribution to Western thought has been theosophy—and theosophy is as idiotic as Christian Science. It has absolutely nothing to offer a civilized white man.
-H. L. Mencken
admin Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 2:13 pm
On ‘Theonomists’ — this is an intriguing puzzle, but I’ll start with an anecdote. Gary North is the source of this, which I just tapped into. His background centrally includes religious influences which are for me so ‘gone’ that they actually shocked me into a state of neutral receptivity, lending the term ‘Theonomy’ a halo of positive associations that persist.
I’d be more than happy to change it, however, but working out a procedure for doing so is where the puzzle begins, because the term selects its own partisans. ‘Christian Traditionalist’ strikes me as almost undrinkably weak beer — at least once the lightning-strike of ‘Theonomy’ (= ‘God Rules’) is partially comprehended. Are most Christian Traditionalists in fact Neoreactionaries, or even serious reactionaries of any kind?
Still, stabilizing the Trichotomy as a common reference point requires that the most articulate extremists of each node are fully satisfied by the terms in which they are identified, so this should probably be considered work in progress regress …
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Well obviously, per the diagram, not all Christian Traditionalists are reactionaries. Nor are all Techno-Commercialists. Nor, in spite of what NPR would say… after pointing… and sputtering, are are all Ethno-Nationalists.
Christian Traditionalists who have awakened to which side their bread is buttered on, which is to say neither, trend toward reaction. It is hard for them to reject the entire liberal project. They were weaned on flag-waving. There are no greater patriots for the good ol’ USA than Christian fundamentalists. But rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft… and the brand of Christianity practiced by the Founders was quite far from their particular brand. Some awaken to uncomfortable truths… and come to love their country but hate their government… all of it.
Each leg of the trichotomy is an avenue in… to Reaction.
Theonomists (proper) are quite reactionary. But I am not one… and I am much more reactionary than them.
Is Ray Kurzweil a reactionary?
admin Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Do you think it would bore people to devote a post entirely to the question of Trichotomy tags?
Your initial remarks on the topic drove me to consider regularizing it as:
Theonomy; Ethnomy; and Technomy
… but that’s not heading in the direction you’re looking for.
My abstract systematization daemon is hassling for a set of names that click together neatly, rather than mere empirical designators (but that’s undeniably a non-traditionalist impulse in itself).
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 5th, 2013 at 8:28 pm
Well, the Peanut Gallery® has certainly been unbored with lesser questions than “Trichotomy tags”. The -onomy motif is strong one. And, as I said, if “theonomists” were not already an identifiable and peculiar protestant group, I wouldn’t object to the title at all.
How ’bout introducing a new suffix: ordo. Theoordinist, Ethnoordinist, and Technoordinist. The idea of “order” is actually stronger than “nomos” (naming). This has the benefit of introducing new and therefore unambiguous terms. Each group sees order implicit in nature and has a specialized metaphysical commitments regarding how that order arises. But we see and accept the truth before our own eyes.
I am personally more interested in The Sythensis. Areas of agreement and how deep that goes.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 5th, 2013 at 10:53 pm
It would really be interesting to create a true reactionary types test… not just a funny one. Something genuinely pseudo-scientific! It would measure how strong (totally disagree, disagree somewhat, etc.) you correlate to the three legs… and also the extent overall you are a (neo) reactionary. The trouble is separating them out because they are not really orthogonal axes in the actual soul of any person.
Oh Jesus wept. A lot to take on board. I’ll write a reply soon.
@fotrkd “Each leg thinks it has the deepest heritage to fall back on.” Thanks for that, does make it clearer.
@Land “The whole neo-conservative “let’s promote liberal democracy everywhere because they’re all just like us” fiasco stemmed from that. They’re really not all like us. It’s hard for me to believe that lesson still remains to be learned.”
Oh, I’m more than fine with that. Chua’s book reaffirmed it. I don’t find it at all controversial to suggest that there isn’t a one-fits-all political answer – and that ethnic heritage has a substantive part to play in this. If that’s what it means, I’m ok with it.
“near-ineradicable cultural commitments (whether or not aligned to genetic traits), especially those fundamentally incompatible with the existence of a free society.”
I agree – although on a person-to-person basis. If it was just about genetic traits, vetting for chaff would be ‘hey presto!’ done! I suppose I was looking at ‘deep heritage’ too narrowly
In response to Fotrkd’s question: What various interpretations could a techno-commercialist give to ‘deep heritage’? You mentioned specialisation. As in Smithian division of labour? I’m confused. Anyways, I’ll hae a look at Gregory Clark ASAP.
[…] Land provides this map of the Visual Trichotomy of the Dark […]
Hmm, I noticed that “globalist” shows up under techno-commercial. Does that refer to globalism as the term is currently used?
Or does it simply refer to some sort of trade and cooperation between various political entities spread around the globe?
The current system of globalism is another part of the Cathedral’s universalist madness, isn’t it?
I suppose perspectives may vary on this, depending where you live.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 2nd, 2013 at 11:20 pm
As I alluded above, I fundamentally do not grok Ethnicism/Nationalism very well, and Techno-commercialism even less. I therefore welcome concise bullet points which better define their “particular” (ha!) sentiments.
spandrell Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 3:54 am
The idea is that capitalist elites, be they European, America or Asian, all live hopping between NYC, Singapore and London, speak English, believe the same crap, go to the same schools, and really have no national identity whatsoever. Techno-commercialism don’t care about state borders, only about money. So they live where the money is, and that is in certain elite cities around the world, not any particular state entity.
Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 4:59 am
Right, but that’s pretty much what we have now, or at least where we’re heading. Transnational elites running the global economy to benefit themselves and their enclaves, at the expense of the rest of us. (Or at least at the expense of the middle class in the West.)
Techno-commercialists don’t have a major bone to pick with the current global economy?
That might be a very significant fault line between the different camps that is worth examining at some later date.
Outsourcing as a positive good v.s. the “deep heritage” of people in the West having jobs outside of the service sector.
spandrell Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 8:06 am
“Techno-commercialists don’t have a major bone to pick with the current global economy?”
As far as I can tell, our host here wants to it go further in benefit of detached global elites. He surely doesn’t give a crap about deep heritage, only inasmuch as smart elites should acknowledge it to subvert it more efficiently. It is all about optimizing for intelligence after all.
And yes it is a very significant fault line. One which inspired my recent posts.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 7:11 pm
Over at Occam’s razor I commented that perhaps the word that I was looking for was “cosmopolitan” not ‘globalist”. I think techno-commercialists are basically libertarian, i.e., classical liberals. The (neo)reactionary ones are those who, tho’ they remain libertarian, and to some extent deracinated, at heart, realize with their heads that particularity is (more or less) necessary for a well-ordered society… and a well-ordered society is good for business. So, like Eisenhower, they bellieve strongly in particularity, but they don’t really care “which one it is”. Who knows, maybe neoreaction is a step into particularity for such folks…
As a libertarian, I often thought a coalition with social conservatives might have been possible and certainly desirable whereby, if they agreed to non-interventionist foreign policy and anti-bailout fiscal-monetary policy, we would let them have their way at the local level on social legislation (abortion, marriage, drugs, gambling, public assistance to the poor, etc.). Heck, I could even live with established religion at the state level which, BTW, the 1st Amendment does *not* prohibit (i.e., “*Congress* shall make no law…”) and as actually prevailed in several of the 13 original states before the civil war.
Of course, I understand and sympathise with the libertarian line on consensual activity but I’m not going to the barricades for what are still essentially vices and I suspect plenty of local jurisdictions would legalize them anyway. Could techno-commercial reactionaries live with a re-confederated United States with 50 different varieties of religious and social policies as long as we had sound money and no troops on foreign soil?
This could also include various degrees of free ethnic solidarity and diversity with no Jim Crow or slavery but also freedom of private discrimination and voluntary self-segregation, as desired. Would that bring the Ethno-Nationalists on board?
It’s a matter of identifying what is most important, that we agree upon, and finding a way to accomodate each other where we disagree. To paraphrase our common hero Rodney King, can’t we neo-reactionaries all get along?
I really feel that technomarketists have so much less in common with the other two. It seems like technology is constantly resolving/imploding our petty human issues and replacing them with something else entirely. It’s an intrusion into the human, and soon we will kill off the human. In the face of this, theonomism and nationalism seem absurdly parochial (in all senses of this word) to me.
An ethno-nationalist milestone:
“How to commit genocide,” Deogolwulf
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 10:45 pm
Wow! I had missed that pearl from Deogolwulf. It goes in the Library (that we will enshrine once we are succesful). There is a guy who groks deep heritage.
fotrkd Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 11:00 pm
You made me peek. I thought Moldbug was long-winded. What is it with these (il)luminaries? What makes this information come out this way? And what does it mean if I like my esoteric knowledge served with ‘more matter [and] less art’?
fotrkd Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 11:21 pm
Don’t know why I wrote ‘(il)luminaries’ like that, but I found out something wonderful today regarding dark enlightenment. The French word “louveteau” (son of a mason) signifies a young wolf:
In the mysteries of Isis, which were practiced in Egypt, the candidate was made to wear the mask of a wolf’s head. Hence, a wolf and a candidate in these mysteries were often used as synonymous terms. Macrobius, in his Saturnalia, says, in reference to this custom, that the ancients perceived a relationship between the sun, the great symbol in these mysteries, and a wolf, which the candidate represented at his initiation. For, he remarks, as the flocks of sheep and cattle fly and disperse at the sight of the wolf, so the flocks of stars disappear at the approach of the sun’s light. The learned reader will also recollect that in the Greek language “lukos” signifies both the sun and a wolf.
But obviously the wolf is (more) strongly (today) connected to the moon (Luna). There’s lots more (e.g. yin and yang) that could be used to develop this, but the overriding implication (if you’ll allow me to skip the justification bit) is that the Dark Enlightenment is an essential re-balancing – an attempt to re-connect the moon (or the wolf) with the sun…
“Techno-commercialists don’t have a major bone to pick with the current global economy?” — The global economy is presently run as a Keynesian racket, and Techno-Commercialists do indeed have very major problems with it. The Bitcoin enthusiasm (building upon a ‘deep heritage’ of goldbuggery) is one clear indication.
Signs of a Techno-Commercially dominated world would include:
— Very robust private property rights, frictionless transactions, and minimal regulations
— Hard money (depoliticized, market-based, de-nationalized, deflationary currencies)
— Small efficient governments (consuming at absolute maximum 20% of economic product)
— Minuscule-to-zero welfare / redistribution expenditures
— Zero bail-outs, subsidies, industrial policy, or other such market distortions
— Simple, flat, consumption-oriented tax regimes
— Immigration systems entirely driven by economic considerations
That is not our world.
spandrell Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 9:10 am
All this is of no consequence to an ethno-nationalist. Techno-commercialists have no problem with globalization and mass migration, which of course are corrosive to national cohesion.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 10:18 am
Exactly. Which is why I don’t get this whole call for experimentalism/hybrids/admixtures and let’s all try and get along business. I guess I have my black-or-white goggles on..
vimothy Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 10:23 am
More to the point, the techno-commercialist perspective is inherently utilitarian and technological. Society can be rationally re-organised to maximise GDP (or whatever) — I would call that view mainstream. Then the issue is what mix of markets and state bureaucracy is most efficient, which is a purely technical question.
admin Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 12:49 pm
@ Mark W. — I think your take on this is strange — the Trichotomy is an explicit acknowledgment of disunity, so how does that come to look like a group hug?
Distinct but connected: What’s the strategy for pure strain Techno-Commercialism to win? I’m genuinely interested — especially if it looks nothing like a defunct libertarian fantasy.
admin Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 12:36 pm
“Techno-commercialists have no problem with globalization and mass migration” — they definitely have problems with the type of (Keynesian) globalization and (State-bolstering dysfunctional leftist) mass migration we have right now.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 6:05 pm
I only see them connected in their antipathy towards The Catherdral. I guess I was at the ‘defunct libertarian fantasy’ stage till I read ‘Suspended Animation’ and Stockman n’ co. Now I’m sort of butting my head against the wall – I didn’t realise to what extent we’re in the shit – so no – sorry – no cyber-capital epiphany as of yet. That’s what going back to uni is for, hopefully.
As for immigration, I’m probably a little laxed on the subject (but not liberal). I do understand where you’re coming from though. porous boarders means people who do not assimilate well, nor fit into a techno-commercial ‘mind-set’, nor exactly optimise intelligence.
admin Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 10:35 pm
“As for immigration …” the overwhelmingly most disastrous aspect is that immigrants and their descendants vote, to accelerate the destruction of capitalism (the California Effect), the interconnected tangle of population deterioration problems — achieved through strategically vandalistic immigration policy choices — become insoluble due to that. Their are some countervailing positives though, most importantly, immigration-driven social ruination makes socialism impossible (advancing the Left Singularity nadir point) — you can’t have the Scandinavian model without homogeneous Scandinavian populations (so you get “Mad-Max phase capitalism instead — hardly ideal, but preferable to the alternative from the TC perspective).
spandrell Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 4:49 am
That’s cute, as what I wrote when I was an 18 year-old libertarian.
Not really possible though.
“Then the issue is what mix of markets and state bureaucracy is most efficient, which is a purely technical question.”
Not that simple once you take HBD into account. Which is what distinguishes a techno-commercialist neoreactionary from a mainstream libertarian. Libertarians honestly believe that markets will maximize human welfare and happiness as defined by wealth, freedom and autonomy of the individual. A neoreactionary has no illusions about ‘happiness’ or ‘welfare’.
The Dark Enlightment knows enough cognitive science to know that happiness is having 10% more money than your neighbors, that most people don’t want to be free, that men and women’s reproductive strategies are inherently conflictive.
That’s why you optimize for intelligence: utilitarianism is wrong.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 10:59 am
vimothy Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 11:04 am
But changing the object of the maximisation problem doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Maximise GDP, maximise welfare, maximise utility, maximise intelligence — in any case society is a piece of technology that can be used efficiently (or inefficiently) to produce a given outcome.
admin Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 pm
If you’re not optimizing for anything, what are you doing?
vimothy Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 1:37 pm
Erm, well, right now I’m actually trying to solve an ODE. But in
general if we’re not trying to optimize, we’re not treating society in an
instrumental way. There’s no technical goal that society can acheive
in a more or less efficient fashion.
To me it looks like a (the) major difference between the mainstream
Keynesian macro regime (or whatever you want to call it) and
techno-commercialists is that techno-commercialism works —
i.e. produces the goals that both sides (sort of) agree on — whereas
mainstream Keynesian macro does not.
At least, that’s the techo-commercialist’s story!
admin Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
“… in general if we’re not trying to optimize, we’re not treating society in an instrumental way.” — if something is not being treated instrumentally, it’s being treated as an end in itself. Is the difference between an end in itself and a target of optimization really going to carry any weight? The distinction seems purely attitudinal and rhetorical to me.
Ok, so how are your basic bullet points — namely that inequality between individuals, genders, racial groups (population clusters), and components have a significant genetic component — actually incompatible with liberalism? Why need one become a “reactionary”?” I personally agree with both hereditarianism and liberalism, although not the PC variety of liberalism that exists today (and certainly not “progressivism”). I’m basically a Hobbesian, who sees government as a “peace treaty” between the influential parties within a society in order to avoid costly violence and war. Order is the most important value, but personal and economic liberties are beneficial values to bargain for, although all have externalities, including negative ones, which I don’t mind the state reigning in, even proactively through regulation. Additionally, while I would never say that I advocate “equal opportunity””, as no such thing exists, most of us who aren’t independently wealthy are subject to becoming impoverished (or being born into it) and thus we tend favor a social safety net and at least a “minimum level of guaranteed opportunity.” I’m currently attracted to the idea of replacing all current welfare with a basic income grant or negative income tax combined with a Swiss or Singaporean style health care system.
Life in societies like that of the U.S. (excluding the ghetto parts), Canada, Germany, Australia, etc., is pretty favorable for most of us, and I wouldn’t prefer anything that previously existed over it. Naturally, I’d like us to cast off our blank-slatist ideology and adopt a humanitarian form of “soft eugenics” in order to shrink the underclass. Such a thing was once advocated by liberals and even leftists. There’s no inherent contradiction between the two positions — egalitarianism is just the more fashionable view among liberals at the moment.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 2:57 am
Fair question, I s’pose. Reaction is adamantly anti-leftist, anti-liberal not so much. Does liberalism tend inevitably toward leftism? It would be nice to have one case at least where it didn’t.
But it depends what you mean by liberalism, I guess. One thing is certain: freedom and equality militate against each other. Inevitably. Oil and water, Kirk and Picard. If by liberalism, you fetishize freedom, and are willing to live with “disparate impact”… then at least you’re honest–you’re a libertarian, i.e., “classical liberal”. But you’re still going to have a helluva time creating a well-ordered society based upon such an abstract ideal.
If by liberalism, you fetishize equality. Well, then you’re just screwed. That’s pretty much been the story of the last two centuries. And that’s mostly what reactionaries, neo- or otherwise, are reacting against.
anonymous Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 7:55 pm
A common source of confusion is that “liberalism” refers to three ideologies: libertarianism, liberal-conservatism, and progressivism. Here in the United States, the term is popularly understood to refer specifically to progressivism, but the majority of us are proponents of one of the three branches. I suppose my Hobbesian views would make me a liberal-conservative.
Progressivism’s direct ancestor was not Hobbes, Hume or Burke, but Protestant Christianity. Modern progressivism is just a secularized form of the status game that their predecessors played, in which the *appearance* of altruism gains one points. As long as progressives can play this game without sacrificing their material comfort, they’ll continue to play it. Currently, the esteem that it gains them among their well-off peers probably adds to their economic security, even while it makes nations on the whole increasingly less livable by growing the underclass. Progressives have developed some pretty sophisticated methods of insulating themselves from the underclass for which they sympathize, for example, through their consumption of artisanal foods and beverages. There are neighborhood centers in my city full of organic markets, microbreweries and cocktail lounges, within which there’s not a prole to be seen. I would say that at the moment, their altruistic tendencies don’t force them to sacrifice much and that they actually live quite well. To defeat this tribe, you have to determine a way to make their game unprofitable. Another possibility is that hereditarianism might once again become the dominant economic paradigm, in which case they might once again take up the banner of eugenics on altruistic grounds. Their moral posturing would still be annoying, but at least their understanding of human behavior might have more of a basis in reality. And…of course, they’d still create demand for good food, beer and wine.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 10:26 pm
To defeat this tribe, you have to determine a way to make their game unprofitable.
Do that and you get to be King!
I think most of us agree with the assertion Progressivism is synonymous with Super Protestantism (Moldbuggery 101) but by gosh and by golly they’re slippery dogs.
Indeed progressives enjoy finer things: It’s good to be King, if just for a while. Oddly enough, reactionaries enjoy many of those same things. Perhaps our conviviality can convince them to relax the reigns… just a bit… here and there…
I smell roasted garlic wafting from downstairs… gotta go!
admin Reply:May 5th, 2013 at 8:12 am
“Life … is pretty favorable for most of us, and I wouldn’t prefer anything that previously existed over it.”
— The neoreactionary test is, if all technological factors were abstracted out, would the present time still compare favorably to the past? If you think that there has been socio-political progress worth celebrating since … 1920, 1866, 1831, 1756, 1688 … it’s your pick, then you can relax in the knowledge that you’re not a reactionary of any kind.
Where was “optimizing for intelligence” defined? It is quite far from obvious what that even means. Specifically how would it differ from the way that Mother Nature has already optimized us for intelligence, insofar as it leads to biologically favorable outcomes, which makes it a desirable trait… just like all the other traits that Mother Nature desires? Indeed, intelligence is (among other things) the ability to affect ones own evolutionary outcomes?
But intelligence is not the only thing that affects ones own evolutionary outcomes. Far from it. In fact, intelligence and all the stuff that goes with it (e.g., communication, abstraction, cooperation) is likely a relatively recent development. Impressive no doubt, but nowhere near as crucial to survival (and breeding) as our immune systems.
So why does “optimizing for intelligence” make more sense than say “optimizing for the propagation of genes”? or “optimizing for social cooperation”? Is it intelligent, in other words, to optimize for intelligence? Or only if all other measures of fitness are held equal? How will we hold newly de-optimized traits equal? Do we have enough intelligence to do so? Pure breed dogs almost always have adaptively disadvantageous traits relative to mongrels, ranging from mere shorter lifespans, to chronic health problems, to a complete inability to bear live young without caesarian section. How do we know optimizing for intelligence won’t have a similar effect on us? Wouldn’t that be stupid?
fotrkd Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 9:38 pm
Desperately trying to use admin’s holiday/real work absence to stay away from here but (i) intelligence and (ii) pure breed dogs really aren’t the model – try primitive sheep breeds or (better) wild animals.
Check this out…the Dark Enlightenment on Twitter:
fotrkd Reply:May 3rd, 2013 at 10:31 pm
The neo-reaction will be twitterised? (Now I am going)
Thales Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 1:05 am
In Twitterverse, Dark Enlightenment follows you!
I’d say they hinder capitalism when they vote (to hide behind the soft-left), yes. Doesn’t Moldbug mention something about them being a progressive-guerilla-arm of The Cathedral or something?
“immigration-driven social ruination makes socialism impossible.” I hadn’t thought of that!
I wonder what happens to Scandinavia down the road. Aside for the far-right, they seem so fucking passive that the South, (Malmo especially) is (has?) being turned into a south-eastern European drug ‘n whore house. The disproportionate amount of rapes on Scandinavian women by african/asian is ridiculous too. It’s like an inverse Game of Thrones. The wildlings are coming from the South, and the once proud vikings have been reduced to cowering eunuchs. My friend moved over there with his wife – even in light of all these changes, he has been converted to an ultra-left PCness of epic proportions. Disturbing.
“Mad-Max” phase capitalism. I’d be interested to know what that looks like.
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 2:58 am
Kinda like Mad Max I suppose.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 7:42 am
‘Mad Max’ is barely a bartering community!
Mark Warburton Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 8:53 am
My bad. I just googled it.
“Their are some countervailing positives though, most importantly, immigration-driven social ruination makes socialism impossible (advancing the Left Singularity nadir point) — you can’t have the Scandinavian model without homogeneous Scandinavian populations (so you get “Mad-Max phase capitalism instead — hardly ideal, but preferable to the alternative from the TC perspective).”
It pains me to say this, but Scandinavian socialism doesn’t seem to be particularly harmful to the production of science.
Scientific papers in 2011
United States – 310,206
Sweden – 18,645
Denmark – 11,787
Scientific papers per capita
United States: 0.000982
Scandinavian countries far surpass the United States in scientific papers per capita, but they’re also ahead of the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada (which are both well ahead of the U.S.), France, Belgium, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan (Japan is surprisingly low).
Among the listed countries only Switzerland surpassed the Scandinavian socialist countries in terms of scientific papers per capita, unless I missed one or did my math wrong.
This seems to match my intuition; a lot of smart people in the U.S. don’t feel they can afford to take the risk of pursuing a career in science, so they go into fields that are more focused on earning money.
If scientific papers are a valid indicator of scientific production then it seems like Scandinavian socialism isn’t a major threat to science. On the other hand, demographic replacement is.
Socialism is generally pretty terrible, but it doesn’t seem to work that badly in Scandinavia. I wonder if it is possible for Scandinavians to get rid of some of their maladaptive beliefs but not mess with their relatively functional economic systems?
admin Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Traditional Scandinavian society is scandalously functional in all kinds of ways, thus serving as an ominously attractive model for full-throttle Cathedralization. It’s more that a little ironic, therefore, that Cathedralism — as exempified garishly by the Malmo cataclysm — is tearing Scandinavian societies apart into rape-wracked, welfare-drained ruins.
James A. Donald Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 4:03 am
Saddam Hussein’s Whirling Aluminium Tubes Says:
It pains me to say this, but Scandinavian socialism doesn’t seem to be particularly harmful to the production of science.
The Journal Nature measures the production of consensus, not science.
By and large science has stopped, in the sense that most of what passes for science is post modern or ironic. Some technologies are advancing though most have stopped, some quite recently. I don’t see Scandinavians advancing technology.
Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Yeah, I agree with your idea that science appears to have mostly stopped. I’d have trouble defending it against tech experts though. Anyway, that’s why I think our task is to maintain / increase the possibility of scientific advancement in the very long term, rather than to expect that we’ll see major scientific advancement in our lifetime.
And I agree that most of what the Scandinavians are producing is pretend science. But they’re not the only ones producing pretend science, not by a long shot. And they do seem to do a lot of pretending for their size, which may indicate that some of that pretending could be re-channeled to more useful purposes. Still, if a country has only 5 million people I don’t expect too many news making discoveries from it at this point.
The reason Scandinavians are so politically liberal is because they are so personally conservative and that’s also the reason socialism can work among them. Heck, you can build a quasi-utopia on the basis of just about any rule ethos you like as long as you have high quality membership you can control and limit. As Steve Sailer pointed out this is why the wacko Burning Man communities are a success (albeit temporarily) and the Summer of Love and Occupy Wall Street failed as project denizens and the homeless encroached.
Unfortunately, despite their unique positive qualities, nordics also suffer from the universal tendency to project their attributes universally. If we don’t need the firm hand of social restriction and the un-mediated feedback loops of harsh consequences to foolish behavior in order to behave well, they seem to think, how dare we assume that others do? Suggesting that there may be any significant differnces between anybody and anybody else violates universal morality!
admin Reply:May 4th, 2013 at 1:17 pm
This cluster of insights captures the tragic structure of modern history very persuasively. The world’s most functional societies squandered their capabilities building the Cathedral, which seemed highly civilized whilst they were running it, but by the very nature of puritan-altruist Cathedralism they weren’t permitted to continue running it, and thus its universal truth was revealed, and it was horrible beyond imagination.
@Nick B. Steves
they are not really orthogonal axes in the actual soul of any person
Nicely put. This has just started to dawn on me (but I prefer to think of it all as technological programming, obviously).
@Nick B. Steves
Ordering (and its prefixes/suffixes) are thought provoking — especially because quite different deep understandings of ‘order’ seem to be at stake (with catallactic or ‘spontaneous’ order, for instance).
The ‘-nomy’ suffix, derived ultimately from (Gk) ‘nomos’ isn’t just about naming, but law (convention, vs nature or physis).
[…] General reactionary geekery here, here, here, here and here. I’m going to have to start posting more often, since there […]
As far as I can tell, our host here wants to it go further in benefit of detached global elites.
I don’t know about our host, but it seems to me that most advances come from white technologists and overseas chinese businessmen organizing production in Asia. Since the stuff gets built in Asia, I suppose you would call the technologists detached, and since overseas Chinese are operating on a passport from anywhere other than china, they are definitely detached.
So, looks to me that such technological advance as is still happening is largely coming from detached global elites.
spandrell Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 10:43 am
AFAIK our host agrees with you. Not contesting the point, just making clear your position for people who don’t understand it. You surely are aware that ethno-nationalists form a majority in the comments around the neoreactosphere.
Nick, how well does your techno-commercialism line up with Metcalf’s NeoFuturism?
“(0) Beyond the authoritarian mania of modernist econometric planning, and the nihilistic, self-referential third cycle damnation of the ultramodern NOW, NEO-FUTURISM tracks a double process: – (i) where the operational political, economic, and sociological codes of universalized humanity contract – to the point where, condemned to endlessly circulate in an interminable statistical survey, they finally collapse into a black hole where meaningless signs reduplicate themselves. This is the secondary process. The humanities in flames. (ii) The primary process: where the abstract, generic value of human intelligence migrates beyond the madreporic core of an organism regulated by the negative feedback of theses archaic codes – becoming increasingly artificial and synthetic at intense speeds, converging on a future in which it has already been rewired. Here the “medium is the message”: a viral mechanism acclerating the replication of more of itself. Runaway capitalism; anarchic, “headless” self-organization. Invasion from the future.”
admin Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 12:26 pm
That might be strictly unknowable. It’s certainly a question I’m going to be thinking about (in public). Quickly and crudely though, the Cathedral won. In the early 1990s it appeared (however absurdly) to be flaky, confused, and doomed to be ripped apart by the techno-market cyclone epitomized by massively decentralized consumer computing and everything that accompanied it. This ‘illusion’ was strengthened by the fact that the aspect of the Cathedral being encountered (by Metcalf among others) was the despicable ‘cultural studies’ apparatus of half-witted guilt-mongering and rotting marxoid rhetoric, clearly traumatized and intellectually broken beyond repair by (what looked to be) the death throes of the Keynesian order.
Instead the Cathedral won, the market retreated, technology got stuck … Facebook arrived …
Mark Warburton Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Great find, K-virus!
admin Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm
An exquisitely-judged contribution to neoreactionary unity.
Mark Warburton Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 2:52 pm
Luckily I’m not opinionated to the point of over looking such contributions! Beautifully scathing on the ‘cultural studies decay there, Nick. unknowingly psyching me up for my return to the belly of the marxist beast!’
A hole in the Spandrellian Trichotomy? Bad news for systematizers everywhere.
admin Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 10:24 pm
The Trichotomy is a structure or argument — do the PUAs represent an articulate pattern of dissent viz the three basic orientations already sketched? I have my doubts. If HBD isn’t allotted an angle of its own (because it’s shared between the three), it seems extravagant to treat the ‘manosphere’ differently. But then, the Trichotomy would look different if it was a piece of descriptive sociology rather than neoreactionary meta-philosophy.
Michael Soren Reply:May 6th, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Actuually the PUAs will likely remain poolside when the revolution comes/as the barbarians invade. I’m not sure that should count as *dissent* in the sense of serious opposition or resistance. No, the section of the manosphere that is truly reactionary are the beta restorationists. They may not be theonomically motivated but they would likely join with religious traditionalists to restore heterosexual monogamy as a normative standard. They could also easily join with ethnonationalist immigration restrictionists to prop up wages to where one parent’s income can support a homemaker and children. The hardcore PUAs might actually join with the Cathedral if they see this coming! What would the technocommercialists do?
Nick B. Steves Reply:May 7th, 2013 at 11:48 pm
But then, the Trichotomy would look different if it was a piece of descriptive sociology rather than neoreactionary meta-philosophy.
… not to mention the fact that we would have to come up with another name!!
spandrell Reply:May 7th, 2013 at 3:21 am
You can’t include everyone who has a blog and dislikes Obama, you know.
[…] are a few minor nips & tucks to the viewgraph I threw together for Nick Land the other […]
Updates to the trichotomy view-graph here… and yes it’s yet another new reactionary blog. Just find me a bandwagon…
fotrkd Reply:May 7th, 2013 at 9:34 pm
Blogs begat blogs begat blogs…
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[…] Nick Land and Occam’s Razor publish a visual trichotomy, plus “fusion,” by one Nick Steves: […]
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