Wednesday, May 4, 2011 68 Comments

USG: more Russian than the Tsar, more Muslim than Osama

Woodrow Wilson, April 2, 1917:
The autocracy that crowned the summit of her political structure, long as it had stood and terrible as was the reality of its power, was not in fact Russian in origin, character, or purpose; and now it has been shaken off and the great, generous Russian people have been added in all their naive majesty and might to the forces that are fighting for freedom in the world, for justice, and for peace. Here is a fit partner for a league of honour.
B.H. Obama, May 2, 2011:
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Of course I need not remind the reader that the international community is also more German than Hitler, more Egyptian than Mubarak, and more Libyan than Qadhafi. And that's not even to mention that there's more Ivoirité in Hillary's nail polish than Laurent Gbagbo's whole body.

Who says USG rules the world? USG is the world. Stand by for more peace and human dignity. Once in a while you've got to admit that Unitarianism is just fuckin' awesome.

68 Comments:

Anonymous Handle said...

It would be appreciated if you could draw a diagram of the full version of the path from the origins of Christianity to here. Something akin to the branching diagram in Wikipedia's memeplex article.

May 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Victor said...

What Kevin McDonald is to anti-semitism, Moldbug is to anti-protestantism, if such a thing may be said to exist.

May 4, 2011 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Handle, I think that was already done in "Liberty or Equality".

May 5, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Handle,

Also check out "Puritan origins of American Democracy", which is good until the 20th century.

May 5, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Handle said...

@TGGP, Josh:

Yes, of course, but I'd like to see MM's version, and, if possible, an extension from Erik vKL to present day. I think the pathways have taken other important twists and turns in the last 60 years.

May 5, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just looked up that Erik vKL diagram. It is terrible. I assume he gives a more indepth explanation within his writings? He just jumps from Calvin to other areas within that diagram.

What's needed is a complete graph theoretic approach of the left, or Christianity. Something like the book Sociologies of Philosophies by Randall Collins, which mapped out every single philosopher (western, eastern, and otherwise), since ancient times and their various interconnections. For example, here is the page for the Greek philosopehrs: http://books.google.com/books?id=2HS1DOZ35EgC&lpg=PP1&dq=sociology%20of%20philosophies&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

May 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

I like Handle's idea. If anybody is tech-savy and ambitious enough o start it up, a wiki of the American left might help put all the pieces together.


I find the late 1890s to 1932 confusing. I feel like I need to make one of those big boards with pictures and notes about all the different players like on the wire, but then my wife would probably send me to a shrink. So eventually, I just forget.

For example, yesterday I came accross a guy named Boris Reinstein. You may or may not have heard about him, but I found out from different sources that he

1. Ran along with Daniel DeLeon (of the SLP and Bellamyite Nationalist movement) for governonr as Lieutenant Governor for New York in 1904.

2. Married a Polish "anti-nationalist socialist" and wrote propaganda pamphletes for the Daily People, a high-end "scientific" socialist publication (more Detroit Wobbly than Chicago)

3. Accompanied the Red Cross mission to Russia (funded not by the red cross, but personally by William Boyce Thompson of the NY fed) in 1917 along with 16 industrialists and financiers compared to only 8 doctors and "hygiene specialists".

Here is an article by the nominal medical head of the mission on just how kick-ass Russia is:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9HRIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA21&dq=red+cross+mission+to+russia+1917&hl=en&ei=-_LDTZn9HsXn0QHDu-TMDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=red%20cross%20mission%20to%20russia%201917&f=false

4. Eventually ended up the personal secretary for Lenin.

5. He was in communication with Henry Kuhn at least as late as 1919.

I will have forgotten that this man existed in a week, yet he in at least a small way connects the Wobblies, the Nationalists, The Bolsheviks, the Carnegie foundation, JP Morgan, etc. etc.

May 6, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvfkk5D8-8o&feature=player_embedded

May 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Handle said...

After reading the collective self-righteous, holier-than-thou hand-wringing about the killing of Osama by the global Progressive alliance, and the admonition and contemptuous chastisement of the jubilation of the masses at the news, as well as the multiple Sympathy-for-the-Devil complaints about how it was inappropriate not to do our very best to bring the criminal to trial, I would add that these tut-tutting censurers are being even more Christian than Christ.

May 6, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now there is a zinger. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, Handle.

May 6, 2011 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>multiple Sympathy-for-the-Devil complaints about how it was inappropriate not to do our very best to bring the criminal to trial

There wasn't a trial because they don't have the evidence to convict him, and certainly don't want to go publicly digging through 9/11 looking for it.

>tut-tutting censurers

So opposing USG military executions is censorious?

May 6, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OBL was a minor league terrorist who worked for the USA with the CIA in Afghanistan and places like Bosnia and Kosovo and elsewhere. The USA today is of course the main terrorist. OBL is a piker compared to the various forces of the USA that have been unleashed upon this world. OBL himself is a product of the CIA's work with the Mujahideen back in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

This killing of OBL is like the Crips killing a Blood or one Mafioso taking out another.

The USA is the greatest terrorist regime in the world right now. It's a greater threat to national sovereignty worldwide than OBL and his group of extremists. It attacks countries without justification and kills innocent people by the thousands. Through the "Bush Doctrine" it tells us that it reserves the right to invade any state in order to engage in "regime change". The USA is a rabid dog that needs to be put down.

The hilarious thing is that liberals both inside and outside the USA thought that Obama would change this which is why he was given a Nobel Prize of Peace even before doing anything.

May 6, 2011 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Completely off-topic, but this 5-year old post from definite lefty Daniel Davies is pretty scathing on "progressives". Hat-tip to Chris Dillow.

May 6, 2011 at 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/02/16/socrel.srr003.full

May 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM  
Anonymous jkr said...

curious if anyone doubts killing of obl. stopped paying attn to it days ago when they decided no evidence would do.

May 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

I think the clearest thing would simply be a list of short propositions, a couple lines each.

Not to be rude but can anyone name what the various Christianity-leftism correspondances are, in 40 words apiece? If not, what are we talking about? Is there some rarified correspondance that can't be broken down in that way?

As I've said often, 'it is right and good to be really nice to everyone' is the only correspondance I perceive, and we can find it in many different teachings worldwide. I don't deny that, without being modified and limited, it is a harmful suggestion.

One time a Jew commented at GNXP that he considered Marxism to be largely derived from traditional Jewish morality. It escapes me what this deep genealogical relationship is. 'You should give alms the poor, and people should cooperate' is doubtless a Jewish teaching... and a teaching of everyone else. The genealogy of this idea tends not to be highly meaningful, because it gets independently invented many thousands of times. The genealogies of variants on the idea could be more meaningful.

You can't 'invent' something like 'be super nice' or 'be super harsh and selfish'. The whole nice or harsh/seflish thing is one of the inherent and elemental philosophical questions of animal life. It was already contemplated by erectines and chimps three million years ago, continuously up to the present day. You also cannot invent the idea that people in a polity should cooperate more. Since people are always thinking about that, it can't really be considered a patrimony of some ethnic tradition.

May 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool story RS, show me an example from nature of millenarianism, apocalypticism, or utopianism.

May 8, 2011 at 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jkr, various Islamic extremist groups have come out and said he has died, including al Qaeda themselves. Link here: http://occident.blogspot.com/2011/05/al-qaida-centrals-general-command.html

anyone that automatically believes there is some sort of conspiracy behind the OBL death is spergin' out hardcore. inb4 "the letters themselves are faked".

May 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Gyan said...

RS,
Read The Great Heresies by Hillare Belloc
for the history of the various heresies that have plagued the Church. It is a slim volume. Eschew the unreliable wikipedia.

It is true that Marxism is derived from Xinity since the Marxist thought was absent from non-Xian world, while the communist-type heresies have been in Xianity from almost the very beginning

Also the Socialist Phenomenon by Igor Shafarevich discusses the common themes of Christian heresies as relating to socialism.

May 9, 2011 at 2:04 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

RS,

It's a continuity, not a cipher. I say humans are a species of Apes and you say, "Oh, come on, Lots of animals have two eyes."

Have you by any chance read "The War for Righteousness"? That one pretty clearly shows the link between progressivism and the social gospel movement.

Also, what is important, IMO, is not, the "be nice" meme, but the anti-hierarchical, anti-authority, anti-propertarian memes which allow the network to evolve in the most ruthless, irresponsible, power-mad direction possible. It shouldn't surprise anyone that these should be attached to the near universal "be charitable" meme as a form of camouflage.

May 9, 2011 at 5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question as well for RS and others here, isn't Christianity making more than just an ethical claim though? Are they not also making a metaphysical claim? I semi-agree with RS that humanity's morality can probably be explained through evolutionary ethics, but it would seem to me that Christianity (and other religions), are also making a claim about what exists in the world, and what the future will be like, not just a claim about how people should act.

May 9, 2011 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who isn't?

May 9, 2011 at 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The universalized kin altruism of Christianity was promoted among Europeans by Paul and the other early Christian Proselytes who were Jews. Jewish religious belief, however, retained its tribal character, expressing both reciprocal and kin altruism. The result was an extended period of Jewish success in diaspora among Europeans in competition with holders of indigenous niches involving religious beliefs and inter-tribal trade. This successful displacement of indigenous religions and trade niches has continued till this day, including more recent innovations in religion such as Marxism, Ayn Rand's (Rosenbaum) philosophy aka “Objectivism”, Boasian anthropology/sociology, Freudian psychology, etc.

May 9, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Mencius Moldbug slouches toward my Straussian reading on Islam.

I can't quite explain what I find so funny in Yglesias' reaction to the curious nature of U.S patron-client relationships.

Zachary Latif rags on British colonialism, more specifically Lord Curzon.

May 9, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I will have forgotten that this man existed in a week, yet he in at least a small way connects the Wobblies, the Nationalists, The Bolsheviks, the Carnegie foundation, JP Morgan, etc. etc.

josh, with all due respect you are lost because you are getting absorbed with the origins of intellectual movements and figureheads rather than looking at macro-political trends and major political leaders.

There is little connection between Anglo-Protestant leftism and Communism or any other revolutionary socialist movement.

The Communist Party of the United States was an irrelevant nuisance party much like Ralph Nader's Greens.

The CPUSA had no influence over American policy so I'm baffled why you are looking for connections between American progressives and socialist revolutionaries.

Unlike America, Europe was besieged by an assortment of revolutionary socialist parties running loose had a realistic chances of gaining power throughout the 19th century.

In America, revolutionary socialism never enjoyed this level of popularity because America has never suffered class war tensions on a scale similar to Continental Europe.

Indeed, Anglo-Protestant leftism was consistently antagonistic towards Communism.

Granted, FDR was known to be highly sympathetic to Uncle Joe.

But after FDR dropped dead the pre-George McGovern Democrats were as gung-ho for rolling back Communist Russia as were the Eisenhower-Nixon Republicans.

May 10, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-10/saudi-women-to-get-behind-the-wheel-in-defiance-of-driving-ban.html

“It is a courageous campaign,” said Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi historian. “It feels so weird to consider such a human right a courageous movement. But it is in a country such as Saudi Arabia, which is trying to live against the current and life and history.”

May 11, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Strangely enough, Woodrow goddamn Wilson arrested socialists for opposing his war and had a "Red Scare" with J. Edgar Hoover.

Larison on support for "liberal democratic values" being associated with militancy.

May 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the relation between christianity and the "left" is immanence.

stop reading esoteric quacks like erik von trapp (who the fuck is this guy? the carroll quigley of the neo-nazis? twenty-five years of immersion in political theory and i've never once heard his name, until today) and, for that matter, mm. the entire "diagram" can be found in one philosopher, hegel. but you might want to also try some schmitt, who, btw, traced the modern liberal state form to agnosticism (in hobbes) -- not protestantism. de maistre, too, makes for a good toilet read.

May 12, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

UJ,

What figure heads? I don't know what I'm looking for, but it isn't presidents. Boris Reinstein seems more of a dependable rank-and-file international leftist than a figurehead of any import. Finding connections is fun in any case. Did you know Julia Ward Howe started the Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom. Neat-o, huh?

TGGP, are you familiar with Wilson's "aide-memoire" on the Decision to Intervene? Or Col. Raymond Robbins? What's up with that?

May 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's those goddamn jews! always repurposing the state!

somebody oughtta do something ...

May 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I agree with Victor and others that Moldbug's "Protestants are behind every leftist evil in the world since 1789" is getting stale.

Rather than being a consistent friend of liberalism there are in fact many instances where the Anglo-Protestants were on the conservative side.

Great Britain under Castlereagh's foreign policy guidance was joined at the hip with Metternich and the other royalist powers in opposing first Revolutionary France's attempts to export egalitarianism across Europe and then Napoleon's rule.

After the downfall of Bonaparte, Castlereagh again teamed with Metternich to found the pro-royalist Conservative Order which kept the peace in Europe for 99 years.

If anything, Great Britain was a more reliable opponent of revolutionary leftism during France's revolutionary and Napoleonic period than Tsar Alexander I was considering how the Tsar kept wavering back and forth between allying with Imperial France (the leftist power) and allying with the reactionary coalition led by the UK and Austria.

Also, would anyone care to explain what is Moldbug's beef with Lord Canning and Canning's endorsement of the Greek's in their war of Independence against the Ottoman's? How does Canning's policy on Greece prove Great Britain was a revolutionary leftist power?

I'm aware that Metternich opposed intervention in Greece because

(A) he felt removing Ottoman power from Greece would destabilize the Conservative Order in Europe by creating an inviting power vacuum in the Balkans and

(B) Metternich (along with Castlereagh) was paranoid about any form of ethnic nationalism because Napoleon had used ethnic nationalism to destabilize his imperial military opponents; with the greatest effect against Russia where pretty much every non-Russian ethnic group was itching to break away from Imperial Russia and to least effect in the Holy Roman Empire/Austria where Emperor Francis' Slovakians, Czechs, et al, were mostly content to be ruled over by the ethnically German House of Hapsburg.

Metternich's position notwithstanding, I'm not sure why Moldbug thinks supporting the Greeks was liberal, especially considering how Imperial Russia was most likely going to intervene with or without the blessings of The International Anglo-Protestant Conspiracy in defense of their Eastern Orthodox coreligionists and because the Tsars had been fighting the Ottoman's in a series of wars for a good 400 years and removing the Ottoman's from the Balkans would help neutralize an old nemesis of the Romanovs.

May 14, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

I think his perspective is that revolution is inherently antinomian, and thus leftist. Opportunistic uses of revolutionary ethnic nationalism are still dangerous.

May 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

insane. it's like saying augustus was antinomian -- and even prior to that, alexander, proto-liberal (and -napoleon) extraordinaire.

protestantism was only one manifestation of the formalization of a modern consciousness.

blaming any particular group for liberalism is always irrational -- as western history taken as a whole is the history of liberalism.

May 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's also missing the crucial dimension -- that the vast majority of protestants don't actually believe in or abide by their god.

the truth of protestantism is the neutralization of christian religion (via private freedom-of-thought), and its subsequent reorganization as an area of culture. the miracle, so to speak, is now said to occur in private.

but this is merely capitalism -- a fully rationalized slave morality.

mm doesn't seem to understand the distinction between "left" and "liberalism." if liberalism is ideally, "order without purpose," it is not "nomos."

May 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Contra what UJ thinks my opinion is, I think many commenters here are too concerned with ideas and not with movements of actual people.

Julia Ward Howe, who, I mentioned in a deleted comment, was responsible for the creation of the American Friends of Russian Freedom, was married to Samuel Gridley Howe, who "won the title "lafateyette of the Greek revolution". Then later went to Paris to participate in the July Revolution. Later he was a "conscience Whig" and a member of the secret six who funded the John Brown raid.


You can can play this game with so many WASP establishment figures, it has to be significant. "Satan's invisible world discovered". These people are never more than a couple of degrees of separation from each other and from important (revolutionary) events which they support with money and their control of the press.

May 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Opportunistic uses of revolutionary ethnic nationalism are still dangerous.

Mm, well, reactionary powers also have made use of traditionally liberal policies for opportunistic reasons but this doesn't disqualify those powers as reactionary.

Case in point, Tsarist Russia's intervention in Greece had both opportunistic motivations (securing Russia's Southern flank from Muslim mischief making) and ideological motivations (liberating Orthodox Christians, avenging the loss of Byzantium, etc).

May 15, 2011 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Julia Ward Howe, who, I mentioned in a deleted comment, was responsible for the creation of the American Friends of Russian Freedom, was married to Samuel Gridley Howe, who "won the title "lafateyette of the Greek revolution".

I don't see how these minor figures altered history.

There was enough support for the Greek war of Independence in Europe to ensure the Greeks would ultimately triumph even had no Americans at all been involved in promoting any pro-Hellenic propaganda organs (and I'm still not sure why it was wrong to support Greece, the Muslims weren't doing anything productive with country so what was lost to civilization when the Ottomans were kicked out?).

May 15, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

UJ,

These minor figures are merely representatives of a much larger class of people that religiously pursued emancipation of the world for a century and change. The SAFRF in particular was the driving force obtaining funding and support for Breshkovsky. What exactly would it take to get you to admit these people matter. Did you know Sun Yat Sen was baptized a congregationist. How many degrees of separation do you think we would need to get from the SAFRF to the American Presbyterian mission to China?

It's a network. And it became particularly powerful after its members became the driving force behind the tax exempt foundations.

May 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you have to keep repeating the obvious: the old Protestant-Progressive elite was never nakedly hostile to the traditional majority population like the elite of today.
How did the managerial-bureaucratic state and the popular culture transform itself in this way?

May 16, 2011 at 6:44 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

"How did the managerial-bureaucratic state and the popular culture transform itself in this way?"

Here's my half-baked answer:

The establishment was openly hostile to ethnic political machines. There was a movement from the turn of the century to at least the 50s to assimilate the ethnics. All sorts of tactics were used, Melting Pot parades, education, and all sorts of city planning/road construction/imminent domain/"renewal" crap which was done largely through federal monies directed by the foundations (mainly Ford).

The one that proved the most effective was using black war worker migration of war workers to break up ethnic communities with violent behavior and even simply knocking down "blighted" and "unhygienic" row houses to build war worker housing.

Forcible integration dispersed "ethnics" to the officially segregated and establishment-created suburbs which broke up traditional communities and served as the "engine of assimilation". This was so effective it was continued after the war in the south against the other hereditary enemies of the north, the segregationist redeemers.

When bringing the Civil rights movement to fight the "de facto segregation" of the northern cities, it was necessary to redefine the "ethnics" as simply "white", thus establishing in the minds of average Americans the power dynamic of an oppressed people fighting their oppressor, rather than a conquering force trying to destabilize a working-class neighborhood.

This of course worked like a charm, the ethnics fled the cities, and while Irish or Italian self-identification is still existent, it doesn't drive politics the way it once did. Unfortunately, along with the creation of a new and less nuanced version of "white" came the association of white with racial oppression.

So now it wasn't just the ethnics and southerners who were backwards, but all white people (except for the good white people who fight against the bad white people). Also, the replacement of white people at a national level can be seen as analogous to the replacement of ethnics at the municipal level.

So that's my story. I'm sure there are some holes if anyone wants to add/critique/tear it apart. I would also, like to add, as Mencius likes to point out, its not absolutely necessary that the people involved were actually thinking this way.

Much of this, btw, comes from The Slaughter of Cities by E. Michael Jones.

May 16, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

What exactly would it take to get you to admit these people matter.

You would have to demonstrate to me that removing these people would have changed any major events.

In general, I haven't seen a shred of evidence that removing any charitable foundation or any intellectual would have altered the course of history or the development of liberalism.

As far as I can tell from my observations of history, the ONLY things that really change history are decisions by political leaders and macro events like the Industrial Revolution, not philanthropies or intellectuals.

Let me put it to you like this, what was more decisive in the determining the outcome of the Greek Revolution, Samuel Gridley Howe's decision to join the Greek Revolution or the POLITICAL decision by Britain, Russia and France to militarily and diplomatically intervene on behalf of the Greeks?

Likewise, Anglo-Protestant progressive intellectuals didn't move the WASP elite to the left, it was FDR's political decision to create the New Deal that corrupted the WASPs and moved the country to the left.

If FDR had never existed, American domestic politics is likely to have been substantially different.

Had John Dewey never existed America today would look almost exactly like it does now because activists and intellectuals and philatropies are all INTERCHANGEABLE.

Macro events and political leaders are no.

Voltaire doesn't matter because there were other enlightenment philosophers who would have taken their place.

Louis XIV does matter tremendously because had he never existed it is plausible France would not have been as centralized aand powerful a state as it was in the 18th century heading into the French Revolution.

May 16, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Macro events and political leaders are no.

should be

Macro events and political leaders are NOT Interchangeable.

May 16, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

So many questions. How do you know what would change history? Do you have a machine to run perfect simulations of counter-factual histories?

Who makes POLITICAL DECISIONS and how? If you can alter these decisions, you have political power. Is JP Morgan a political leader or an interchangable philanthropist? The Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations creating the American Historical Association and essentially getting to decide what would be *official* history, the Rockefeller foundation essentially inventing field of social science at U Chicago and choosing its path with their funding influence, the bankers who elected FDR and wrote the Swopes plan; none of these had any impact on history? Aside from the industrial revolution, could you name a "macro event" that is apparently without human cause and effects history.


I have no knowledge of how important Howe's role in Greece was or why the Brits chose to intervene. The important part for US history is why Howe believed he was intervening and what he and his friends brought back to the US. You think the guy who funded the John Brown raid didn't influence history. Are you saying that American history would have played out the same were it not for the abolitionists. Would world history have played out the same if American history had played out differently?

May 16, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

UJ - Your use of Britain as an example of a conservative Protestant state needs some refinement. It must be remembered that within the Church of England there were always Catholicizing and Calvinizing factions - call them Cavalier and Puritan. The foreign policy of Britain in Wellington's time was Cavalier. It supported the restoration of the Bourbons in France, Spain, and Naples. Britain's cavalier rulers could do so, and be 'joined at the hip with Metternich,' because their Anglican Protestantism did not really have much disagreement over social and political questions with the Gallican Catholicism of the Bourbons or the residue of Ghibellinism present in the Gatholic parts of the old Holy Roman Empire.

The political balance in Britain changed with the Reform Act of 1832, and the political rise of the middle class, who were disproportionately low-church Anglicans or Nonconformists - heirs to the Puritans.

Whereas in the pre-Reform era, Britain allied itself with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, by 1850, Gladstone was execrating Britain's former ally in a manner essentially similar to that in which U.S. politicians of the second half of the twentieth century did the Diems in South Viet Nam, the white government of South Africa, the shah of Iran, Somoza in Nicaragua, etc. Gladstone's rise to the leadership of the Liberal party was built on an alliance with Nonconformity (in spite of his personal high churchmanship) that supported him till the end of his political life.

The English Nonconformists who supported Gladstone's hectoring and moralistic foreign policy have their parallel, not in the general Protestantism of old-stock Americans, but in the Congregationalism and Unitarianism of New England - the heirs to the Puritans on this side of the Atlantic. It's important to distinguish this kind of Protestantism from other varieties of it that prevailed elsewhere in the U.S. It was amongst these people above all that abolitionism, teetotalism, and finally the 'social gospel' replaced personal salvation as the doctrinal core of denominational belief.

At length, belief in Christianity became so attentuated amongst Protestants of this strain that it was simply abandoned by many of them. The life of Paul Blanshard is exemplary.The son of a Congregational minister, himself ordained a Congregational minister, he also became a socialist, and ended up a secular humanist - retaining nothing of his former Protestantism but its virulent antipathy toward the Roman Catholic church.

This element of New England Puritanism, supplemented by Pennsylvania Quakerism (the Quakers descend from the "Independent" faction of the English interregnum) has dominated the thinking of the U.S. brahminate for generations. Political correctness = secular puritanism.

May 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Some gay progressive blogger linked from Reason was lambasting Greenwald for being insufficiently devoted to all the progressive causes and saying some nice things about libertarians. The minor update at the botttom was the real story though, a years old post from Greenie laying apologists for illegal immigration. Certainly haven't seen any of that from his blog at Salon.

May 16, 2011 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

Fantastic debates, fellas.

UJ, what makes Napoleon leftist? Making Jews citizens, which is egalist and 'make everyone the same-ist'?

What else did he want to actually do - not just yack about - that was French Revolutionary?

You know, Nietzsche read him the other way. After unreservedly blasting and cursing the French Revolution as the trailhead leading toward utter ruin, he writes:

To be sure, in the midst of it there occured the most tremendous, the most unexpected thing: the ideal of antiquity itself stepped /incarnate/ and in unheard-of splendor before the eyes and conscience of mankind [...] Like a last signpost to the /other/ path, Napoleon appeared, the most isolated and late-born man there has ever been

What makes him reactionary in Nietzsche's eyes is that he was inegalitarian: he favored the 'supreme rights of the few' against those of 'the majority'. To him the supreme rights of the few are just because they do great things, and do even greater ones when granted pwoer and freedom; also (less important to him) because they run a nation/society well, whereas 'the many' run it ill.

The point about Napoleon is adjunct to Nietzsche's work, so he did not attempt to describe why he held this view of Napoleon.

I fear that a left-right debate about Napoleon might end as inconclusively as my left-right debate about fascism with Michael. I still retain the same view, largely, only I'm not sure it can be proven, and I definitely recognize that Michael's party on this question has deep points to make.

May 17, 2011 at 5:57 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Also, what is important, IMO, is not, the "be nice" meme, but the anti-hierarchical, anti-authority, anti-propertarian memes which allow the network to evolve in the most ruthless, irresponsible, power-mad direction possible. It shouldn't surprise anyone that these should be attached to the near universal "be charitable" meme as a form of camouflage.

Josh, fair point for sure. Pretty convincing, I have to admit.

May 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Just a question as well for RS and others here, isn't Christianity making more than just an ethical claim though? Are they not also making a metaphysical claim? I semi-agree with RS that humanity's morality can probably be explained through evolutionary ethics, but it would seem to me that Christianity (and other religions), are also making a claim about what exists in the world, and what the future will be like, not just a claim about how people should act.

I agree of course that Christian confessors make metaphysical claims. But our ultimate bone of contention is politics (in the broadest sense). Do those metaphysical claims alter human life in practice?

Specifically, do they exert effects on practical life that are different from the effects exerted by claims other religions make? Personally I don't know the details of the metaphysical beliefs of the ancient Greeks or Hebrews, or my own prechristian Nordish ancestors. I don't know all that much about Christianity, beyond salvation by works vs faith vs predestination.

Josh's point refers to what could be called an 'epistemological' claim of Luther's, as opposed to metaphysical. He said, as far as I understand, there is one god, maxiamlly revealed in scripture alone, but you have to interpret it for yourself, every man his own pastor; the latter is the anti-authority/heirarchy meme rightly cursed by Josh. What did Luther say happens if your interpretation turns out to be wrong? --Eternal torture, I presume? How wrong can you be and still be saved from endless hell fire?

May 17, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> salvation by works vs faith vs predestination

Or, is it works /and/ faith, vs 'faith alone'? Whatever.

May 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Cool story RS, show me an example from nature of millenarianism, apocalypticism, or utopianism.

Nazism? Bolshevism?

I accept that you might have a point. Perhaps my tone was a bit too swaggering, though it's good that I've provoked people to get detailed.

Hinduism (or at least Vedanta) speaks of a millenial-utopic future state, doesn't it? At the end, all things merge with the One? Or am I making that up?

How would you define these things? Do I err here:

apocalypticism - divine judgement of this world followed by everyone's moving to heaven or hell or something, and this world ending

millenarianism - a utopian (approximately perfect) condition of things caused by divine agency

utopism - utopism... but does utopia have to be human-caused, in contrast to the millenium?

Which Christians are apocalypticist? How does it alter political life? Does it make them not worry about, say, dysgenics, since the world will be over in 100 years anyway?

Wik says Judaism has an apocalypsism, but it sounds much more millenarian to me:

Jewish apocalypticism holds a doctrine that there are two eras of history: the present era, which is ruled over by evil, and a coming era to be ruled over by God.

The key question about all these things is whether they alter human action, politics.

May 17, 2011 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Also, the replacement of white people at a national level can be seen as analogous to the replacement of ethnics at the municipal level.

Why did the establishment oppose the ethnic machines in the first place, and why does it now oppose all Whites? Simply because those were other power centers? But why should the establishment not ally with these centers rather than attack them, unless It has some telos which they do not share.

> Unfortunately, along with the creation of a new and less nuanced version of "white" came the association of white with racial oppression.

You're saying there was a sort of inertia. The Est. disagreed with the ethnics about some telos and decided to crush them, and their anti-ethnic memes carried over to all Whites by interia. This seems a stretch. Why did they permit this inertia to run and run, until there is considerable question whether their own race will continue to exist unadmixed, as something more than a minority at the physical mercy of others? When they had previously been considerably racialist, like all normal humans (though maybe pretty far from being the most racialist of all human Ests)?

I propose instead this theory, of mutual ethnic conflict rooted in calamities of the 1600s and before - which takes on a life of its own, in the form of increasingly irrational/emotional or functionless/maladaptive mass action.

May 17, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Had John Dewey never existed America today would look almost exactly like it does now because activists and intellectuals and philatropies are all INTERCHANGEABLE.

You allow that 'political' (state) powerholders matter - you would do well, to make at least a little room for at least a few exceptionally potent and charismatic intellectual dynamos who extensively addressed politics, but never decided or helped decide what orders would be given to a serious body of armed men.

For example, Jesus, Paul, Luther, Darwin, Nietzsche.

I would suggest, from what little I've comprehended of him, that Marx was largely replaceable. He was definitely very smart, witty, very scholarly. But to a pretty large extent, votaries of socialism-communism could have taken someone else as their prophet. He had no staggering insights that were true, no staggering charisma.

That's much less true of Nietzsche. Several other writers had a much less contradictory and hesitant relationship to fascism or to what would be fascism - but none of them had a tenth of his horsepower as a thinker or propagandist. It's the same with 'cultural' anti-bourgeoisisms on the right and left, including cultural Marxism. The rightist ones were fascist and are now extinct, but the leftist ones remain are hugely important. Nietzsche created a huge proportion of that material, a notable exception being the 'master-slave dialectic' from Hegel.

The idea that bourgeiosedom is little other than boring, mediocre, and stultifying is now in the water, and I never questioned it til I came under various good influences. It radiates from Nietzsche >> D'Annunzio >> Mussolini, from N. >> Frankfort School where Horkheimer called him greater than Marx, from Nietzsche >> Hermann Hesse >> USA hippies.

Dewy? I once read some book by (about?) him - I've forgotten every last point of it.

May 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

Re: the Greek revolution, I have a feeling that for a true reactionary, anything Lord Byron supported is bound to be viewed with extreme suspicion…

May 17, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Bet you've never come across Bangladesh genocide revisionism. I certainly hadn't. And the author is an Indian Bengalik, from a family of pro-liberation nationalists. A sample aspersion toward the forces of revolt:
"The failure of the Awami League leadership in this respect – its inability or unwillingness to control a population it had incited, and encouraged to break the law – was matched by the failure of the regime to respond appropriately to attacks on life and property."

May 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

@Josh:
> Also, what is important, IMO, is not, the "be nice" meme, but the anti-hierarchical, anti-authority, anti-propertarian memes which allow the network to evolve in the most ruthless, irresponsible, power-mad direction possible.

This doesn't make sense to me. Property rights are a check on hierarchy and authority. The supposed anti-authoritarians are not really anti-authoritarian, they are only opposed to authority in the hands of people other than themselves. Once they get into power, they are prone to totalitarianism.

I'm an atheist, but right now Christianity is looking pretty good to me. Take a look at Dennis Mangan's recent example of identity politics. Compare this to Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." From my mostly particularist perspective, this sounds absurd, but what a nice contrast it makes with Alinskyite identity politics.

May 18, 2011 at 5:39 AM  
Anonymous rental mobil elf said...

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May 18, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Peter,

One thing that has affecte my thinking has been the concept of political property rights that I first read about from Nick Szabo. Whenever I think about property now, it is in reference to this paradigm. So, I am not 100% with you on property rights as a check to hierarchy. I see property rights as the outcome of a stable hierarchy.

In any case, when you come to power based on mass appeal to anti-propertarian ideals such as the sovereignty of the popular will, it makes it difficult to officially maintain property over the state. The totalitarian states you are talking about stem from the need to maintain the illusion of popular will by controlling the popular will or at least what is allowed to be expressed publicly.

I see this a couple of reasons for this. First, obedience beyond practical physical coercion is necessary for the maintenance of any state. Theories of "legitimacy" are useful in maintaining that level of obedience which appear to be natural in human beings. (I believe I got this simple point from De Jouvenel). Second, the main theory of legitimacy existent today is the sovereignty of the people. There are a number of way around this, such as saying that this group or that group suffers from "false consciousness" and that only the enlightened opinion free of illusions represents the true vox populi. That's kind of where we are in the US. "Scientific Public Policy". In any case, this situation prohibits an explicitly property based concept of the state as the sovereign property of a fixed individual or group of individuals. Individuals or groups must maintain the fiction that they are the servants of the people or else they will be replaced by other individuals or groups which represent the true will of the people. This means limited civil war, controlling popular opinion, and all of the other evils we associate with totalitarianism. The democratic state can't afford to delegate the war the legitimist state can.

In that sense the democratic state must always be anti-propertarian.

May 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Peter A. Taylor said...

@josh:
> One thing that has affected my thinking has been the concept of political property rights that I first read about from Nick Szabo.

Link?

> Theories of "legitimacy" are useful in maintaining that level of obedience which appear to be natural in human beings. (I believe I got this simple point from De Jouvenel).

Do you have a recommendation for something by De Jouvenel?

I hadn't been thinking in terms of "theories of legitimacy," but it sounds interesting.

May 18, 2011 at 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is with this board and marginal-crackpot literature?

if you want to learn about the concept of state "legitimacy," read max weber, from which the modern understanding of the concept derives. why read an unread remainder-bin-king like de jouvenal?

or why not oakeshott, strauss, and hayek? not esoteric enough to confound your friends?

May 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Peter,

Nick Szabo runs (ran?) the Unenumerated blog andi s a professor at GW. He writes quite a bit about Roman and English legal traditions quite a bit. Here is one quickly googled example.

http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2009/05/political-property-and-evolution-of.html

The only book I have read by Jouvenel was "On Power". Which is definitely recommendable, though maybe you should listen to Anon and read something else. I'll save TGGP the trouble of letting you know that he reviewed it on his blog.

Anon,

I don't know. I read it because Mencius mentioned it once a long time ago and it sounded interesting. I'm too ignorant to know what is obscure and what is canonical anyway.

May 19, 2011 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

The point of giving a link to my posts is so that I can see in the click stats that a comment thread is still being read.

I came across an essay indirectly and am glad I explored a bit more since quotes like the following are a good fit for UR:
"It was the sunset after a long day of harmony between Western capitalist democracy and Soviet communism. If you want to know how strong that harmony was, at the popular level—as opposed to at the level at which statesmen operate—try to get hold of a copy of the special edition of the American magazine Life which appeared sometime in 1943, and which was the best advertisement of the soviet Union that anyone has ever produced. Shining young faces in well-equipped classrooms, heroic feats of industrialization, prodigious works of art and music, and so on. Life magazine did it better than homemade Soviet propaganda ever could."
There's more on growing up communist and (to a lesser degree) Jewish, reactions to Kruschev's anti-Stalin speech, and how they regarded Protestants vs Catholics.

May 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what is with this board and marginal-crackpot literature?"

Which literature are you referring to that exemplifies this crackpot property? Most of the literature here is not on the Time Cube end of the wackiness line. The majority of the books mentioned here are usually scholarly. I think you are confusing psychoceramics with "fog facts" (literature that has been made public, but disappears into the fog of information).

May 24, 2011 at 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where else to put this, but I thought Moldbug might be interested that someone else on the internet is having a great time reading George Fitzhugh, although (I guess) for different reasons. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/in-defense-of-white-slavery/239454/

May 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Ron Potato said...

An author must be 'marginal' because he is not preferred by the university curriculum.

The books in the remainder bin are those not assigned as course-work, and read by the masses.

If you read only by recent popularity, and the authorized recommendations of your professors, your priests, you will ever be stuck in the present and its fads, an acolyte of the public religion.

May 26, 2011 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 26, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Jes%C3%BAs_Malverde

May 27, 2011 at 3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, here's something weird ...

I found this link on Mangan's:

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/search/label/Thailand

which is a series of posts critical of the international left and their tentacles meddling in Thailand.

Curious about some of the claims, I google something, and what did I come across? Well, not entirely sure, but it appears to be a counter-propaganda network against that blog. Including a blog here "outting" the blogger:

http://tony-cartalucci-critic.blogspot.com/

and a series of videos by a well-spoken British chap here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf27dVsM2Rg

May 27, 2011 at 4:07 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

An example of antidemocratic discipline in a networked world: "The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has banned the use of blogs, microblogs and other social web sites by Chinese military personnel."

June 3, 2011 at 9:11 PM  

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