Wednesday, September 28, 2011 57 Comments

Occasional discourse on the hate question

Choose well your language! In a glass
Shaped like history, the focused eye
Is utterly pitiless. Our century,
Rich in indestructible paperwork,
Is also a regular El Dorado

Of unintentional and/or black humor.
Measure yourself therefore not just
Against peers but before descendants.
Some Chateaubriand waits, "charged
With the vengeance of nations," armed

In time's mail with an icepick wit.
You'd be advised not to resist him.
To serve him, indeed, as you can
Across some golden gulf of fools.
Alas, there is no book. To start,

Serve the gods and obey the ancestors,
And call a thing by its actual name.
What then hate? First and foremost,
Hate is the word in quotes - "hate."
A marvel of our age, a marvel even

Of all the human story; a Saturn 5
Of the art of public enlightenment;
Your very Sumerians had nothing on it.
We do see other contemporary work,
Like "change," but what comparison?

Just a huger sound, whacking you
In the liver like a ton of heroin.
You might not be sure about "change" -
You know how to feel about "hate."
We won't try to change that. We'll

Just seal it in a bag of quotes, and
Carry on with the mere word itself.
Hate is like color, an abstraction
Made concrete by mere diffraction.
And only a binary monochrome:

Resentment and contempt, brackets
Of the spectrum of personal status.
If your time zeppelin lost sync
And you had no idea when you were,
You'd set the controls for any age

Which had abolished contempt, under
Great penalty of law, tamen usque
Recurret - and worked indeed the week
Of Sisyphus with Virgil's pitchfork -
And, with the very same hand, yea

In the very same word, did adore
Fondly as a hand-cupped chick,
Seed and water, reap and thresh
Year upon year, revere even
As some proto-man served a fire

He could steal but not yet set,
A secular coal in a shaman's box,
Nestled in grass and eiderdown,
Bane of wolves and cause of soup,
Heating caves and branding knaves,

A ruby defined as life itself -
Resentment, the last god found
Living in America. Observe yon
Castle; well-made as any other;
Its stones are marble coffins,

As in any age; indeed no age
Seems made without its tower,
But each defined by choice of grout.
What is this mortar of power? What,
The gunk between the ashlar? What,

You should ask. You learned all about
Those old forts of contempt, whose
Lime was white with human chalk -
But nothing mixed on site is pure.
White on inspection is always gray.

And gray is black, the tensed wire
Between our stones, which takes its own
Prey in its own way. If hate was not
A hazardous material, it would not hold
One stone upon another. Do you find it

To a fresh eye noxious? Have patience,
For men have always mocked the stacks
Of stone that lock their eyes in place.
But marble without mortar is rubble,
And life without lords soon terrible.

Timeless mind in temporal man
Is the only ideal; the soul is free,
The meat must serve. And please note:
When mind and man divide, the
Tongue and fingers remain in earth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poetry again >_<

The mob demands prose!

September 28, 2011 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Avery said...

I am reminded of "This Perfect Day" by Ira Levin, where parents actively teach their children the word "fuck" and encourage them to have play-sex from age 12, ensuring sex will never be dirty-- but the word "hate" is so terrifying it stops all conversation and might even summon authorities.

September 28, 2011 at 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

>The mob demands prose!

Careful there, you know what la canaille gets, don't you?

September 28, 2011 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

But marble without mortar is rubble,
And life without lords soon terrible.

Well there you go, right?

Contra Anon, this bit of verse does very well what MM's prose often doesn't: that is, give a perfectly distilled soundbite a la Don Colacho.

Also, "In a glass/Shaped like history" may be the best poetry MM's given us to date (also, it would make the best book title for these poems, CGY).

September 28, 2011 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

I know from reading more cultured commenters that our host is a meticulous craftsman. Although I can't fully appreciate this, I think the medium frees him to create layered turns of phrase which even a philistine can enjoy and ponder fruitfully. If nothing else, it forces you to think harder than prose, always a benefit.

Wouldn't mind some prose personally, but then, what else is there to say? The analysis has been given, the solution hypothesized. Current events are surreal, and perceived through fog. Perhaps he is trying to raise the ratio of elitists in his readership.

September 28, 2011 at 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Careful there, you know what la canaille gets, don't you?

Pew pew?

Careful now, down with that sort of thing!

Less QQ moar Pew Pew!

But if we really believed in that, we wouldn't be here QQing, we'd be out Pew Pewing.

September 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

>But if we really believed in that, we wouldn't be here QQing, we'd be out Pew Pewing.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven"

Ecclesiastes 3:1

September 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Anonymous More Anon said...

"Our century,
Rich in indestructible paperwork,
Is also a regular El Dorado"

Wouldn't "immortal" work better than "indestructible"? Or is that an overused poetic word? "Deathless" would work if "pitiless" weren't so close by.

It'd be fun if some talented commenters remixed Moldbug's poetry for the rest of us.

September 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

"... First and foremost,
Hate is the word in quotes - 'hate.'
A marvel of our age, a marvel even
Of all the human story; a Saturn 5
Of the art of human enlightenment;
Your very Sumerians had nothing on it.
You might not be sure about 'change' -
You know how to feel about 'hate.'
We won't try to change that. We'll
Just seal it in a bag of quotes,
And carry on with the mere word itself."


The ritual politically-correct denunciations of "hate" - the word in quotes - are as formulaic as an Ash-Wednesday commination, and the people who utter them are themselves proficient haters. How could they not be? They are too angry and self-righteous to be anything else.

"What is this mortar of power? What
The gunk between the ashlar? What,
You should ask. You learned all about
Those old forts of contempt...
... If hate was not
A hazardous material, it would not hold
One stone upon another..."

Can this not have been written in deliberate inversion of Preston's and Webb's "cement of brotherly love and affection..."?

September 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous negro bolshevik suffragette gangsta rap said...

Pretty as always. I wish I had a better ear than I do...

The ritual politically-correct denunciations of "hate" - the word in quotes - are as formulaic as an Ash-Wednesday commination, and the people who utter them are themselves proficient haters. How could they not be? They are too angry and self-righteous to be anything else.

Of course we are. Hate, in appropriate doses, is a healthy mechanism of moral regulation like guilt, pride, &c. But that doesn't mean that we're incoherent - "hate" just refers to a certain species of political enemy (you, and of course you know this; otherwise you wouldn't resent it so much.) Being autistic about other uses of the letters and phonemes here is as silly as "how can you be pro-life and pro-death?" or the like.

Of course as Nietzsche said (best, if not first) it's best to pick worthy enemies. That's the tragedy of liberalism's success; you and I can tilt romantically at windmills (i.e., it) or have street brawls with each other for old times' sake, but liberalism can only steel itself against the most pathetic threats imaginable - hence the farce of the war on terror, the general depoliticization (in the Schmittian sense) of society and hence its moral shriveling, &c.

September 28, 2011 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Alrenous said...

I hesitantly propose that MM just wanted to write poetry all along, but would rather be understood, and so first needed to lay the groundwork in prose.

How does one learn to write poetry? Is it by reading, same as usual?

September 29, 2011 at 1:26 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

any oldie on cement.

"Our works were fine, but not always true,
And we doubt the ground they lift is even.
In our defense, we wished no more than you,
Some hardy things for our careless children."

September 29, 2011 at 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

By the way, Mr. Anon QQ: are you playing League of Legends these days? If so, we should play.

September 29, 2011 at 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...

Always thought of pew pew as Eve talk, seeing as how it has the lazors and the pew pew sound effects.

September 29, 2011 at 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Paul Milenkovic said...

Is it just me, or do other people find "Walt" over at Richard Fernandez's "Belmont Club" to be annoying?

September 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LN: Nah sorry I'm not playing League of Legends.

For better or worse I'm not able to spend as much time gaming as I used to. >_<

September 29, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Mencius has before claimed the problem with Congress is it's lack of responsibility for anything. Matthew Yglesias (who thinks far too many positions are open for election) attempts to argue against Peter Orzag's complaint about "too much democracy", only to come to a similar conclusion and cite the democracy-free ChiComs as an example of a government that behaves responsibly!

And since the evils of the State Department are a popular theme here, a former FSO in Iraq on what Foggy Bottom is trying to restrict him from publishing.

September 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous josh said...


I don't know whether I should mention this or not, but what the hell. I'm using my real name anyway. That man is my next door neighbor.

September 30, 2011 at 3:10 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

September 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

I guess you'd better be careful not to say anything really offensive now that you are so easily identified. If you had merely said "neighbor" we'd have to sift through any number of Joshes in the neighborhood.

September 30, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

This book may be worthy of your consideration, I find it quite fascinating and it's mercifully readable. Especially if you want some knowledge of Germanosphere thinkers and their intellectual genealogies, though there is plenty of Anglo stuff as well, and also pre-WWII American Black nationalism. I'm not sure this volume is the source of blinding insights, and it's compendious in nature, but it's a really nice encyclopedia of sorts.

October 2, 2011 at 3:04 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I'm going to respond to some points Gabe made in the preceding MM entry.

TUJ, if we were living in the late 1850's, your objection to focusing on the abolitionists would make more sense. But now, the rapacious industrial North having won and destroyed the South for base reasons, they create a guard
against any insurrection in the minds of all citizens by insinuating that all objection to domination by the USG is a coded call for the reinstitution of race based slavery or genocide.

I wasn't denying the moral cloak of abolitionism has been used by DC since the AAPW1860-5 - that is, the American Austro-Prussian War* of 1860-1865, also known as the American Civil War which eerily resembles the Austro-Prussian War* of 1866, AKA, the German Unification War - to justify the North's invasion of the South. Certainly, the victorious Northern Industrial interests were no more going to sympathize with the Southern side anymore than Roman historians were inclined to say a good word about Carthage after the Third Punic War.

My point was simply that abolitionism and the abolitionists were not politically potent enough in the run up to the AAPW to bring the war about.

The Abolitionist party did not cause the war, any post-1865 propaganda and Yankee moral preening notwithstanding.

The war was caused by the Republican party and Democrat parties being unable to resolve fundamental economic conflicts of interests over issues that included, but were not limited to ,slavery such as the issue of free trade where the North was protectionist and the South was pro-trade.

And opinion that Lincoln only used freeing the slaves as a moral fig leaf is the consensus view among 19th century European diplomats. From Lisbon to Moscow, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was universally jeered by European capitols as a self serving mask designed to hide the fact Lincoln (who was himself at least as racist as any Southron plantation owner, if not more so) was going to war to satisfy the crude Northern manufacturing interests of the Republican party, just as the South was going to war for their own crude economic interests.

The British, who used their mighty Royal Navy to end the black slave trade (and which earned them eternal the gratitude of the African people) in particular laughed at the notion that 'Honest Abe' was some sort of abolitionist humanitarian.

October 2, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The German Austro-Prussian War (which is not to be confused with the American Austro-Prussian war of 1860-1865):


The Austro-Prussian War (in Germany known as German War, Seven Weeks War, Unification War,[2] German-German War, German Civil War or Fraternal War) was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the other, that resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states. In the Italian unification process, this is called the Third Independence War. In English it is also commonly known as the Seven Weeks' War.

The major result of the war was a shift in power among the German states away from Austrian and towards Prussian hegemony, and impetus towards the unification of all of the northern German states in a Kleindeutschland that excluded Austria. It saw the abolition of the German Confederation and its partial replacement by a North German Confederation that excluded Austria and the South German states. The war also resulted in the Italian annexation of the Austrian province of Venetia.


For centuries, the Holy Roman Emperors who mostly came from the Habsburg family had nominally ruled all of "Germany" — the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, however, the territory of Central Europe was split into a few large states and hundreds of tiny entities, each jealously maintaining its de facto sovereignty and independence with the assistance of outside powers, particularly France. Austria — the personal territory of the Habsburg Emperors — was traditionally considered the leader of the German states, but Prussia was becoming increasingly powerful and by the late 18th century was ranked as one of the great powers of Europe. The Empire was formally disbanded in 1806 when the political makeup of Central Europe was re-organised by Napoleon.[3] The German states were drawn into the ambit of the Confederation of the Rhine (Rheinbund) which was forced to submit to French influence until the defeat of the French Emperor.[4] After the Napoleonic Wars had ended in 1815, the German states were once again reorganized into a loose confederation: the German Confederation, under Austrian leadership.

In the meantime, partly in reaction to the triumphant French nationalism of Napoleon I, and partly as an organic feeling of commonality glorified during the romantic era, German nationalism became a potent force during this period. The ultimate aim of most German nationalists was the gathering of all Germans under one state. Two different ideas of national unification eventually came to the fore. One was a "Greater Germany" (Großdeutsche Lösung) that would include all German-speaking lands, including and dominated by the multi-national empire of Austria; the other (preferred by Prussia) was a "Lesser Germany" (Kleindeutsche Lösung) that would exclude even the German parts of Austria and be dominated by Prussia.

The pretext for precipitating the conflict was found in the dispute between Prussia and Austria over the administration of Schleswig-Holstein. When Austria brought the dispute before the German diet and also decided to convene the Holstein diet, Prussia, declaring that the Gastein Convention had thereby been nullified, invaded Holstein. When the German diet responded by voting for a partial mobilization against Prussia, Bismarck declared that the German Confederation was ended.

There are many different interpretations of Bismarck's behavior prior to the Austrian-Prussian war, which concentrate mainly on whether the "Iron chancellor" had a master plan that resulted in this war, the North German confederation, and eventually the unification of Germany.


It was later at the convention of Gastein that the Austrian alliance was set up to lure Austria into war.

October 2, 2011 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I also want to debunk the idea Lincoln was motivated to fight because of abolitionist sentiment because the implication is that the North was a leftist power.

The 1865-1932 North was a conservative power in the sense that it wanted to preserve Northern economic domination of the re-unified American states. The Northern WASPs were simply interested in economic interests and they did a great job turning America into an economic juggernaut during the Gilded Age.

The WASPs, on balance, favored a US government that stood out of the way of industrial tycoons, and their interest in setting up a liberal Nanny State was limited to a minority of Progressives.

It is only after FDR corrupts the WASP business elite by making them the managerial stakeholders in the Progressive/Nanny State do the WASPs become leftist.

Also, the "Progressive" nanny statism that Moldbug rails against is not limited to the Anglo Sphere nations, but is part of a broader Protestant leftism that still dominates much of Northern Protestant Europe.

The Scandinavians and citizens of the Low Counties love their meddling, bureaucratic, feminist-multicul-gainist nanny state just as much as any Harvard professor, if not more so.

October 2, 2011 at 6:35 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Btw, I pointed out in the previous thread that, after having read a bit of Metternich and noticed how his condemnation of Napoleon as a leftist is surprisingly absent, that I then realized why Metternich still felt a longing for the enlightened despotism of Napleon I much as we in the West will all soon be longing for the even more enlightened despotism of Moammar Gadhaffi I of Libya, the favorite of Emir Moammar al Moldbug, Sultan of San Francisco.

It turns out that Napoleon, between 1805 and 1812, had actually defected to the conservative cause (which was exactly what the Jacobins feared the foxy old military man would do) and handed over his empire to the reactionary powers.

The transfer of power was arranged by Metternich (though Metternich later denied this idea was his, much as Pierre Trudeau denied having supported Adolf Hitler after Stalingrad. But Trudeau was not the only one fair weather friend of the Fuhrer...)

Does anyone want to guess how this transfer of Gaullic N Class political shares occurred between Napoleon and the reactionary powers (hint the transfer of shares was publicly announced)?

October 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Also, it's amusing when a self-styled reactionary
chides his confreres for not being orthodox, or something. Please do that more often.

Btw, I am not a reactionary (what is an American reactionary, btw? Metternich called himself a reactionary but the current reactionary blogosphere doesn't appear to me to bear any resemblence to the reactionary politics of the old conservative Jedi master).

I am simply a pretty conventional American libertarian who has integrated HBD into his political positioning.

I don't really have any problem with Ronald Reagan's presidency and policies except for those that involved race and immigration.

October 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> was universally jeered by European capitols as a self serving mask designed to hide the fact Lincoln

But aren't self serving masks causally efficacious? Further up in your post you talk cause of the war. Are we debating what it is that caused the war, or what it is that the North really cared about? Whatever they cared about, most people seem to say there was increased debate about slavery from ~1830.

October 2, 2011 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> It turns out that Napoleon, between 1805 and 1812, had actually defected to the conservative cause (which was exactly what the Jacobins feared the foxy old military man would do) and handed over his empire to the reactionary powers.

Exactly as I told you at the time, boyo. Just kidding, all I did was passively repeat Nietzsche's opinion of Bonaparte to you ; I didn't actually have any well-founded knowledge of the subject. Now you have edified us with the real knowledge.

I hope you will eventually reveal how this transfer of Gaullic [sic] N Class political shares occurred, if no one guesses right, because I think you already asked for guesses last time. All I know is Napoleon tried to cut a deal with the Czar at some point. The Czar was kind of into it but they never consummated their political affections. Who knows what kind of mysterious feelings and intuitions determine these things in the end? We all try to guess at what these things are really all about. Pity it didn't work out, maybe they could have, like, obviated our decrepitude, or maybe not.

October 2, 2011 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Are we debating what it is that caused the war, or what it is that the North really cared about?

I was debating whether the abolitionist movement was a major cause of the war.

Some were arguing that the moralizing of the abolitionists are proof the majority of pre-FDR WASPs were liberal progressives.

I countered by pointing out the abolitionists were a fringe movement within the Republican party and weren't strong enough to cause the war on their own.

The Republicans went to war with the South, not to liberate the slaves (Lincoln's views on about the black race rivaled any plantation owner), but simply to knock out a competitor in a pretty naked (but non-liberal) military power play, much as the German Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck, knocked his competing brethren in Austria out of control over the new Germany.

Liberal sentiments about the human rights of black slaves were only a peripheral reason the North went to war.

The actual cause was simply to advance Northern corporate interests, which conflicted with the South.

Whatever they cared about, most people seem to say there was increased debate about slavery from ~1830.

The debate mostly revolved around how moving black slaves to the West would take jobs away from Northern white working men.

Yes, moral arguments also were debated, but the moral issue by itself wasn't enough to get the two factions to fight. If the only argument between the North and South had been over the rights of the slaves, some peaceful resolution could have been found as other slave holding nations in the 19th century (such as Brazil) were able find.

Even the South realized the slaves would be eventually freed, if for no other reason than the rise of mechanization would obviate the need for inefficient slave labor.

The consensus (which was supported by Lincoln) was that the slaves, while deserving of freedom, could not live among white people and would therefore have to be moved to another country or colony (either in Africa or Latin America) rather than remain in the US.

The Confederates, had they either won or been allowed to secede, would most likely have expelled most or all of their slaves later in the 19th century as the South industrialized with trade from the pro-Confederate British and French.

October 2, 2011 at 9:28 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I'll give you all a few days to figure out how Napoleon's defection to the conservatives occurred. Around Sunday this week perhaps.

October 2, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

I guess one could say, "great, you're a libertarian - but how will you effect libertarianism, isn't that the crux of the matter?"

But one could ask me the same about my beliefs. --Or Mencius, about his.

October 2, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

Well, I admit that tariffs and econ were important. If you think the significance of abolitionism is equivocal, I guess I can see that, depending on what you mean. For I must confess that I initially read 'slavery as a cause' for 'abolitionism as a cause' in your post this evening -- which is obviously a severe mistake when there are self-interested reasons for opposing slavery.

--Or, is self-interested abolitionism of free wage workers a legitimate form of abolitionism? That question is semantical, but the important thing is to distinguish between self-interested opposition to slavery and moral opposition to the same.

Based on my little knowledge, I would tend to assent to the view that self-interested opposition to slavery was more important. Isn't that why free men got out there to waste each other in 'Bleeding Kansas'? At the same time, the moral and self-interested opposition would perhaps be rather synergistic, even if the moral stuff was not so significant per se. All this, of course, in context of the struggle to maintain a balance of power in the Senate and in general.

October 2, 2011 at 10:13 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

Your comparison to Germany, from Napoleon's invasion to Bismarck's wars, is very interesting. I actually knew about almost all of that stuff (a wonder, as I know a deal less European history as you), but the comparison did not occur to me. Even though I've heard people say Lincoln was part of the age of nationalism, I never thought of actually comparing it to any European countries.

October 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger James A. Donald said...

The Undiscovered Jew said...
"It is only after FDR corrupts the WASP business elite by making them the managerial stakeholders in the Progressive/Nanny State do the WASPs become leftist."

If you read old books, leftist domination is pretty obvious all the way back to the mid nineteenth century. Early American leftists were worried about vigilante justice, the oppression of women, age of consent, and the oppression of negroes.

And that is what the mid nineteenth century WASP business elite were worried about, or purported to be worried about.

Their successors today have substituted date rape for age of consent, since age of consent has already been raised to absurd levels, but apart from that, it is still much the same people saying much the same things.

October 2, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

Does anybody know if there exists a good history on the business plot?

October 3, 2011 at 3:18 AM  
Anonymous josh said...


The abolitionist crusade was necessary to mobilize the mob on behalf of the oligarchs. They didn't invent the abolitionists, but they certainly used them. It's likely many even convinced themselves of the rigtheousness of the cause when it became useful. Look at the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic or the Secret Six.

Each argument had its time and place and emerged when it was most useful. The arguments on behalf of white laborers in the west made certain that the new states would be populated by Yankees and would allign politically with the Yankees. This would ensure dominance in the legislature and therefore the maintenance of the tariff. After Dred Scott, the emergence of Slave Power conspiracy theories emerged. When it became necessary to conquer the South, people weren't willing to kill for the cause until they were worked into a religious fervor. Again, it helped if the oligarchs actually believed there own bullshit.

This had consequences just as it had consequences when American oligrachs tried to use the radical movement in Russia (another fringe movement that couldn't have attained power by itself). Once you put people in a position of power, its not that easy to control them. Do you think Sumner didn't matter at all? After the war, the commericial elite was permanently entangled with the reformers (tycoons had wives, you know).

October 3, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Anonymous josh said...


I've been researching Bellamy Nationalism for a while and I came across something from your pet topic, Jewish assimilation. At the risk of derailing the thread, here is the first Unitarian Jewish Rabbi. If you read his bio and look at his connections, its pretty clear this guy mattered.

October 3, 2011 at 6:24 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Forgot the link: Solomon Schindler

October 3, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward Bellamy's cousin, Francis Bellamy, who created the Pledge of Allegiance, was basically a racialist national socialist.

October 3, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

TUJ, with respect, you're debating whether abolitionism was a major cause of the war all by yourself. Ain't no middle school social studies teachers in these parts.

I am going to guess you're talking about the Louisiana Purchase, the Haitian revolt, and the general wrapping up of French power in the New World. Napoleon's actions there probably wouldn't look good to The People, who find vicarious fulfillment in their country's empire. But the treatment of the Haitians may have been even worse for his standing as a man of the Revolution. I am unsure of the degree to which the masses of the French Revolution would embrace the Universalist stance on race relations, but their leaders seem to have done so, for the most part.

Losing The People would leave him vulnerable, and since he wasn't an ideologue, but a narcissistic pragmatist, making nice to the reactionaries was no problem for him as long as they didn't get in his way. As they were pragmatic also, and knew what they were doing when it came to government, it was a win-win.

October 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Zimri said...

Did my comment get deleted? I had a point here last night that the South would not have "expelled most or all of their slaves later in the 19th century".

I'll just restate my argument: if a tiny island like Barbados wouldn't ship all its blacks overseas, then there was no practical way that a majority-black state like Mississippi was going to do it.

TUJ is also not considering just how class-obsessed (never mind race) the Southern gentry is. They do NOT want their sons to go prole. If they kicked out their labour force, that's what would happen. Who else are they going to drag over to work in the fields - Irish? Gujaratis?

Nope, I'm afraid the path of least resistance in Louisiana is the same as it was in Barbados. The victorious whites'd move to the nice parts of the area. Like the white Bajans cluster around the Platinum Coast now.

(Apologies to MM if he thought my original comment was hateful or something, that wasn't my intent.)

October 3, 2011 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Our host has mocked Kant's plan for perpetual peace. Steve Pinker says the historical evidence of this century and previous ones supports Kant.

October 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Zimri said...

TGGP: I did a search for "Africa". I found this: "For one thing, knowledge replaced superstition and ignorance: beliefs such as that Jews poisoned wells, heretics go to hell, witches cause crop failures, children are possessed, and Africans are brutish."

I'd say that Unamusement Park (amongst others) has laid out an airtight case that Africans really are brutish, perhaps not by leopard standards but certainly by the standards set by Pinker's university Harvard. I don't recall that many date-rapes there have resulted in fistulae, for example.

Which leads one to consider: what else hasn't been noted in Pinker's essay? Violence has been going down markedly in North America, Europe, and East Asia since, oh, the 1940s. But how about in Africa since the 1940s? in the Caribbean? Or maybe it's only "violence" if it's "colonialist", and mere "crime" and "disobedience" when it's not. Do tell, Dr Pinker; as a servant of non-political scholarship.

Anyway I expect an uptick in "worldwide" violence in the near future. The Near East has been remarkably quiet these past few decades. Not so much now.

October 3, 2011 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Alrenous said...

I find the Pinker link neat and useful. That said...

"Until about five thousand years ago, humans lived in anarchy without central government."

False dichotomy.

Also, the assumption that the state helped rather than hindered the decline of violence is unwarranted. We don't know which it is. Looks like Pinker has a rough case of pro-State sophistry.

That said, I think Pinker's data could be used to derive the right answer, I'm simply claiming nobody's done it yet.

Even if I'm wrong about that, it predicts that states will be abolished as well, just as the death penalty was, precisely because of their vast latitude to commit violence.

"in which he suggested that democracy, trade and an international community were pacifying forces."

Trade implies international community, and it offsets the damage done by democracy.

That and real democracy, as defined by the people's votes affecting government, is also on decline.

"a Leviathan, namely a state and justice system with a monopoly on legitimate use of violence, can reduce aggregate violence by eliminating the incentives for exploitative attack; by reducing the need for deterrence and vengeance (because Leviathan is going to deter your enemies so you don't have to), and by circumventing self-serving biases."

That may be true, but it doesn't rule out the fact that better alternatives exist.

English Common Law was also originally decentralized and highly effective.

Pinker's logic is blinkered in several other ways, but these are the most important.

October 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing prehistoric and nonstate societies with settled agricultural civilization is stupid since violence is more necessary for survival in the former due to carrying capacity.

So it looks like the data he bases his claim on is homicide in England and Europe, which is stupid because in the past this probably included duels and one on one fights to settle disputes, for honor, etc. They included somewhat voluntary contests that ended in death. Modern violence is more random, involve gang beat downs and attacks, etc. They're of a different character.

October 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

"In 18th century England there were 222 capital offenses on the books, including poaching, counterfeiting, robbing a rabbit warren, being in the company of gypsies, and "strong evidence of malice in a child seven to 14 years of age." By 1861 the number of capital crimes was down to four."

That brought Carlyle to mind. I propose an intellectual cage match between him, Pinker, and whoever IOZ is. I'm sure he would enjoy this:
"We take it for granted nowadays that war is something that happens only in poor, primitive countries. That, too, is an extraordinary development; war used to be something that rich countries did, too."

And our host surely enjoyed this:
"However, the number of civil wars—both pure civil wars within a country (green) and internationalized civil wars (orange), where some foreign country butts in, usually on the side of the government defending itself against an insurgency—increased until about 1990, and then has shown somewhat of a decrease as well."

Maybe he's right, but let's keep an eye on that trend. Also, this almost got me fired because I couldn't stop giggling:

"Feminism has been very good to men, who are now much more likely to survive a marriage without getting murdered by their wives."

It's worth noting the "real meaning" of all this, given away in the preceding quote and in the identification of Pinker's preferred explanation: literacy (read, education). Appease, accommodate, and educate. Also, this:
"A final kind of evidence is the demonstrable effectiveness of international peace-keepers, who use a kind of soft power on the international stage to keep warring parties apart."
So our host is still correct. All things considered, there are much worse masters than the Universalists. But they are still believers in the end of history, which means it's nice to have mostly oceans as neighbors, and if you're in Europe, leave. Final money quote:
"People will be tempted to rise above their parochial vantage point, making it harder to privilege their own interests over others."
Of course it will, the temptation will prove too strong. But then, someone will inherit the earth. Will it be the meek? Not before the Eschaton.

October 4, 2011 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

God dammit, I had a long comment responding to folks and blogspot ate it with a complaint about null cookies.

October 4, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Moldbug isn't deleting comments. Blogger is just screwed up at the moment.

October 4, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Nobody has guessed correctly to my question: How did Napoleon (who began his career as a fairly radical Jacobin) officially and publicly defect to the conservatives between 1805 and 1812?

I'll give some more hints (Remember: deadline is Sunday, and when I give you the answer you'll kick yourself for not knowing it because it's so simple and obvious):

1) The agreement was to transfer Napoleon's political shares to the conservative powers in exactly the same way stock shares exchange hands today.

2) The agreement did not involve a treaty. From the perspective of the royalist powers, what Napoleon gave them was better than a treaty because the deal was one they knew Napoleon would never break.

3) The agreement (which was not hidden from the public) gave Napoleon something he needed and couldn't attain through warfare.

What did Napoleon I do?...

Btw, I also want Moldbug to try and guess (even if he doesn't respond in the comments or in a blogpost) because the answer is related to a broader point I want to make to MM regarding how Westphalian royalism differed from the royalist nationalism of the second half of the 19th century.

What was it...

October 4, 2011 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Alrenous said...

Blogger's also been eating my comments with null cookies. I hope it gets indigestion.

Though seriously it's my fault for trusting blogger.

More anti-Pinker philosophy: States have reliably arisen from a state of nature. They are states of nature, or at least directly implied by them. Even if his interpretation is as right as it can be, States are some unfortunately middle ground in a natural progression.

October 4, 2011 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> The agreement did not involve a treaty.

An explicit treaty wouldn't be very subtle now would it - not very Francaise!!


> From the perspective of the royalist powers, what Napoleon gave them was better than a treaty because the deal was one they knew Napoleon would never break.

Cuffed him to suitcase nuke, like that dude in '24'?

Covert scrotum ring?


Spared the life of an honest but unhappy young ortolan?

October 4, 2011 at 11:24 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

is this from a book or something?

October 5, 2011 at 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I come here for new ideas, and I find the trial and execution of the "Lincoln waged war to free the slaves because he was a nice man" strawman.

If people (and you KNOW who you are) were required to quote someone who felt that Lincoln waged war to free the slaves because he was a nice man, before asserting that Lincoln was a mean man and/or waged war for another reason, this argument would never happen. Because no one over the age of ten believes that Lincoln waged war to free the slaves because he was a nice man.

So I'm bored and I'm leaving.

October 5, 2011 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

is this from a book or something?

Not really. It's just a well known and mundane fact of Napoleon's reign from 1805-1812.

If it isn't obvious what it was he did, then it's only because you don't understand the context of how Westphalian governance was organized.

The Westphalian system is a system of elite institutions, or institutional oligarchy, not crude authoritarianism or late 19th century European nationalism.

Keep guessing everyone (including Moldberg, assuming he can keep the hordes of rampaging homosexual negroes at bay with his sawed off shotgun long enough to read his comments section)...

October 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that when he started installing his family and generals->marshals as kings and princes all over the place? Including himself? You know, with actual recognized titles and the like?

So the agreement would be that he and his associates, the products of a revolt against a king, would become kings themselves?

As such, they wouldn't have quite so much interest in fomenting rebellion and the like? They'd be accepting the international power structure and in return the power structure would accept them?

He converted his political (popular) "stock" into royalist stock?

You can't really go around extolling the rights of the man and so forth if you have a title you want to transfer to your children, right?

He'd just be another king, and so supported the idea of kings, regardless of whether or not he went to war with kings.

This arguably saved his life the first time the British had him: you don't kill kings. Even the second time around they still poisoned him, for the same reason.

Do I get a cookie?


October 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

1804, not 1805, was the watershed year in Buonaparte's reign. It was in 1804 that he foiled several royalist plots, e.g., that of Cadoudal, to depose him, and caused the abduction and execution of the duc d'Enghien. He used these plots to justify the reintroduction of the monarchical principle, and, abandoning the title of First Consul, crowned himself emperor on the second of December.

1805 may be significant as the first full year of Buonaparte's monarchy; he abandoned the Jacobinical calendar at the end of it, though the customary names of the days of the week and the Christian holidays had been restored since the concordat of 1801, which re-established the Roman Catholic church in France.

October 6, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home