Archive for March, 2015

Greatness

The problem with greatness is that nowhere near enough of it comes along to rely on. To assume it, therefore, is a prospective vice, even if it is (retrospectively) indispensable to historical understanding. It would be more convenient for everybody if it could be ignored completely. This is one of those moments in which it clearly cannot be.

LKY0

The important things to note about Lee Kuan Yew have all been said innumerable times before, and again in the last few days. He was a Neoreactionary before anybody knew what that was, an autocratic enabler of freedom, an HBD-realist multiculturalist, a secessionist Anglospherean, and the teacher of Deng Xiaoping. Right now, it’s tempting to be glib in proclaiming him the greatest statesman of modern times — but he almost certainly was:

In the 1950s and ’60s, Lee traveled from Sri Lanka to Jamaica looking for success stories of former British colonies to emulate. Fortunately, he chose different models instead: He decided to study the Netherlands’ urban planning and land reclamation, and the oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell’s management structure and scenario-led strategy-making. Singapore, it is often joked, is the world’s best-run company. Lee is the reason why. […] … Now the yardstick is not personality but institutions. Lee Kuan Yew-ism, not Lee Kuan Yew. This is why the 21st century belongs to him more than to icons of Western democracy like Thomas Jefferson or even Jean Monnet, the founding father of the European Union.

There are some interesting obituary pieces out there that are definitely worth a look, but mostly even the sympathetic Western media thinks it knows better (1, 2, 3, 4). It really doesn’t.

ADDED: “The evolution of Lee’s racism …”

ADDED: Spandrell and Jim on LKY.

March 23, 2015admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Sentences (#14)

John Derbyshire cites (with great approval) this sentence from Oscar Wilde:

I have never come across anyone in whom the moral sense was dominant who was not heartless, cruel, vindictive, log-stupid and entirely lacking in the smallest sense of humanity.

(I’d prefer to see the same point made less moralistically.)

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March 23, 2015admin 7 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#54)

(Open thread + links)

Sovereignty and legitimacy (NIO’s Schmittian meditations continue). Neoreaction and nihilism. A necessary absurdity. Semantic communion. Selective warfare. Leftists of the right, and corporate leftism. Sustainable virtue. Questioning the Puritan thesis, and nationalism. Colonialism‘s bad rap. SRx stuff. The epistemic damage of distrust (and trust). On soft revolution. Diversity and social capital destruction. Yuray and Brinker on the Anissimov book. Fragged Fiday. Secession trawl (related). New blog (and also … this). Weekly round-ups.

Indubitably: “The truth is that the Dollar is strong this time around not because the U.S. economy is booming but because Europe and Japan (the [largest components] of the Dollar Index) are intent on crashing their currencies” (via), and more (on the “deflationary tide”).

“America’s Middle East strategy is what exactly?”

Alexander reviews The Machinery of Freedom.

The Razib Khan affair (1, 2, 3, 4). Hood on the ‘hood. Cathedral auto-cannibalization watch (1, 2, 3). Hate central. Facepalm fodder.

The meaning of Soumission.

An arms race to AI. Cybersecurity chat.

Patterns of Pi.

Critique. Elements of life. The Cathedral.

March 22, 2015admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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Political Correction

It’s increasingly hard to find anybody of even moderate articulacy (other than professional propagandists / unapologetic communists) with a kind word for democracy these days. Marc Faber, it turns out, hasn’t. Here he is in conversation with the (re-animated) Daily Bell:

Marc Faber: I hope so, but this is one of the problems of democracy, that you have dynasties, and so I’m increasingly leaning to the question whether actually democracies function nowadays.
Daily Bell: Indeed, it would be hard to find a functioning democracy. Can you point to any at this point?
Marc Faber: That I don’t know but everybody thinks that every dictator is evil. In Asia, we’ve had very fast growth in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore under non-democratic regimes. Even today in Singapore you have some kind of democracy but not a true democracy. In Hong Kong we don’t have democracy; it hasn’t ever been there for the last 150 years. […] I don’t know. I’m just saying that to sit there and say democracy is the best system in the whole world is maybe not the correct view.

March 21, 2015admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy
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Military Determinism

“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy,” wrote George Orwell. This is a familiar — and important — argument. (ESR rehearses a slightly different version of it here.) A powerful case can be made for the printing press as the catalytic technology of modernity, but it is the musket that most unambiguously obliterated feudal power at its core, ushering in the age of the armed citizenry — nationalism, revolutionary armies, and the popular will as a matter of serious strategic consideration. Democracy smells of gunpowder.

This raises, by implication, the suggestion that the gathering sense of democratic crisis is a symptom, whose underlying cause is a transition in the military calculus, no less profound than the one that convulsed the world in the early Renaissance. If the infrastructure of democratic advance is the strategic centrality of the armed populace — as epitomized by massed infantry — its horizon will be marked by the technological disconnection of military power from ‘the people’. What are the features of the political landscape opened by the rise of robotic warfare?

Robots are capital. They consummate a trend that has bound hard power to industrial capability throughout the modern age. As they become increasingly autonomous, the popular-political matrix in which they have emerged is increasingly marginalized. Loyalty — a deep place-holder for the assent of the citizenry — is formally mechanized as cryptographic control. The capital autonomization that has spooked the modern world for centuries escalates to a new, immediately self-protective, and ultimately sovereign stage. Mercenaries have always required an ancillary political binding, because people are only weakly contractual, and loyalty cannot — in the end — be purchased. Robots present no such restriction. They conform to an order of unbounded techno-commercial power.

Whether one approves of the Ancien Régime‘s demolition by gunpowder matters little (if at all). The case of impending robotic warfare is no different, in this respect. The strategic dominion of the people is entering its twilight. Something else happens next.

March 20, 2015admin 53 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Ace Torches the Popcorn Stand

Forget the headline, which is just a pretext — this post is really something. A couple of highlights:

They think that our desire for a better America will draw us to vote for the Least Worst candidates. […] But many of us now feel like the Communists, or the hardcore paleocons: There really is not a large enough difference between the two parties any more to bother oneself in terms of emotional and financial investment any longer. […] Either way, we will have some form of repressive, unresponsive socialism in this country; what should we care whether the National Welfare Depot is painted in Red or Blue? […] I’m not coming back. I’m done. For the past ten years of my life, I’ve made arguments, some of which I knew to be false, to defend and apologize for the GOP; I see now that I was a fool to do so.

And:

Here’s Some Truth: We all know this, but being Part of the Team, I felt obligated to lie, because I figured you expected me to lie, even though you didn’t believe it. […] So yeah: The GOP is never repealing Obamacare or even trying hard to do so. They will make false efforts at doing so which they can present to voters as a Good College Try, but aw shucks, we couldn’t quite do it. […] It’s a relief to no longer have to propagate this obvious, feeble lie. […] I know very few of you believe the GOP has much intention of repealing Obamacare, but, being a Republican, I have previously felt the need to present The Official Party Position even knowing it was total bullshit. […] I’ve known it was a lie for a year, which is why I hate when it comes up on, say, the Podcast. What am I supposed to say? Am I supposed to pretend the GOP is going to repeal it? […] So they’re not. They never were. […] It was always a lie.

If there was ever a moment to stoop to a ‘wow, just wow!’ this might be it.

March 19, 2015admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn
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Twitter cuts (#14)

Pure serendipity:

March 18, 2015admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote note (#156)

This strikes me as exactly right:

The Labeling is sort of like using the magic word NI on “conservatives”, because after being called racist, sexist, or some sort of “phob”, the “conservative” starts groveling, and abandoning the debate at hand, proceeds to prove his street “social justice” cred to his leftist masters (Oh yes my most high and precious masters, I adore minorities and diversity, and worship at the altars of Womyn and Molok and Kaos and Demos and I fully partake in all the sacraments of Great Progressivism™, just remember how many times have you seen X apologizes for Y, or I’ve got nothing against Z, my friends/family members are Z, or H are the real Z-ists). On the other hand, leftist that meets a neoreactionary, whether online or offline is terrified (so much it seems, that word ‘neoreactionary’ has become a new label), despite actual power and influence of Neoreaction being less than null (and the power of the Left total). The scare comes from Neoreaction’s memetic immunity. Neoreactionary is immune to the Labeling, in fact, for a neoreactionary it is a badge of honor, and therein you can imagine the terror of the leftist when his weapon not only doesn’t work on his enemy, but actually strengthens his enemy.

March 17, 2015admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Twitter cuts (#13)

As a myth of advanced modernity, this does a lot of work:


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March 16, 2015admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane
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Chaos Patch (#53)

(Open thread + links)

Universalism can really mess you up (closely related). Celebrating intersectionality. The case for moralizing gods. On the separation of property from violence. Hurlock has had enough? SoBL searches for his spot. Alrenous trawls himself. Yuray on Nrx. Against usury. Google’s Left Singularity. Comfort kills. Peak peace? The chain of being. Metarounds.

“As a political system, modern bureaucratic democracy exists to suppress volatility, which is to say to suppress the flow of accurate information about real conditions in society, which must come through dynamism and variation.”

When depressions last cured themselves. The distributism debate. The golden rule.

A full 20% of Americans don’t even think there’s going to be an apocalypse.

Propertarian convergence continues. Will the Anglosphere eat Europe?

Churchill’s dark side. Racistest of them all. White-on-black violence. Why conservatives are scared. Millennials aren’t cooperating with the narrative. The Hitler brand.

Designer babies (and see this). PIE kinship. Pinker exposed. No awkward questions please.

March 15, 2015admin 49 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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