Thursday, March 28, 2013 62 Comments

The path to (dark) enlightenment

What is it like to be a Muslim?  "If a lion could talk, we could not understand him."  The truth is that a (genuine, not "moderate") Muslim (or Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Scientologist, etc), though unlike a lion he may speak perfectly good English, is someone who has grown up inside his faith and knows nothing else. You cannot understand him, because the only word he wants to use is "everything."

(I also except those, several of of whom I know, who grew up as rationalists but have made a rational decision to convert to orthodox religions, the mustier and more arbitrary the better - generally because the alternative more and more proclaims itself, per Chesterton, not nothing, still less Reason, but the Whore of Babylon in full professional attire.  To these friends, Babylon-worship, essentially idolatrous (and speaking to Maimonides' point that idol-worship is self-worship) seems unsatisfying for a grownup, but utterly unacceptable for his children.  But still - these people are not genuinely religious, though their kids will be.)

A genuinely Muslim Muslim cannot tell us anything about Islam, as the chick within the egg (even a talking chick) can tell us nothing about eggs.  The concept of "egg" is not meaningful for her - or to put it differently, it is equivalent to her concept of "universe."  Her universe is two inches in diameter and glows soft-white about half the time.  It's warm, well-nourished, and really rather pleasant.

And perhaps yet there is a point at which she realizes - in some obscure chick-language - "I am in an egg."  Her universe is not the universe.  It is just an egg.  What a pity, to live one's whole chicken life inside an impenetrable sphere, two inches in diameter!  To be... in fact... to be crushed, in fact, by the pressure of my own growing wings.  Already I can barely open my beak.  Why was I even born in this egg?  With wings and a beak?  Why, inside an egg, would I even need a beak?  But wait -

For there is one brief moment in which the chick can conceive the concept of an egg.  The moment before, egg is universe.  The moment after - egg is eggshell.

An eggshell is not an egg, nor will it ever be.  I'm sure everyone reading this was once a good 20th-century liberal.  Yet we find it a serious, even impossible, struggle, to explain the liberal mind.  What, this eggshell?  A millimeter thick?  Flattened with a footstep?  And missing its entire top, whence I dragged my scraggly ass out and sat shivering till my down dried off?  This, a universe?  My universe?  Elizabeth Bishop:
I said to myself: three days
and you'll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world,
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
As a small fortunate Internet miracle, you can see Charles Stross in precisely this evanescent moment - scarcely daring to look to see what it is he is:
Please don't deny that you are a believer in this revolutionary ideology — and it is revolutionary; so much so that Republican Democracy, Fascism, and Communism are just minor doctrinal disputes within it. It's okay to admit it here; I'm a supporter of this ideology, too. None of us are supporters of feudal monarchism; we're all the inheritors of the early Jacobins. Which makes us revolutionaries.

But it's important to understand that virtually the entire mainstream of political and social discourse today is radical and revolutionary by historical standards. (Hell, the concept of sociology itself is a construct of the revolutionary philosophers.) This is not an historically normative set of touchstone ideas to run a society on. We're swimming in the tidal wave set running by an underwater earthquake two centuries ago — and like fish that live their entire lives in water, we are unable to see our circumstances as the anomaly that they are, or to know whether it's all for the best.

And, as Oliver Cromwell put it, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."
Indeed.  Unfortunately, it's one thing to "see what it is you are" three weeks after laying.  Or three days before seven.  Slightly different when you're pushing fifty.  But better late than never, eh?

Again, as survivors of this insane murderous cult (we can say one thing for the Jacobin of 2013 - none of his works has ever been released in human leather) that ate the planet, we all find ourselves wondering how to get our friends out of their eggs.  Our difficulty is that we do not understand eggs and have no memory of escaping from an egg - only from an eggshell.

While there is no easy answer, I can't help but think that this moment in which the chick sees the egg is an essential part of the solution.  The truth is that some will escape and some won't.  Probably, most won't.

But it seems almost inevitable that once anyone understands that he's inside an egg, his next step will be to figure out what his beak is for.  An egg is an eggshell.  The world outside it is kind of big and certainly scary.  How easy to fall off, into black, turning space!  And yet, it's pretty boring inside an eggshell...

62 Comments:

Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Yes, it is time to discuss tactics for defeating the left.

The dictatorial bureaucratic left needs abnormally high levels of propaganda to keep people either thinking their eggshells are universes or, at least, keep them tolerating their eggshells. They need this volume of propaganda because they have failed on ALL issues, great and small, except abortion. And only then they are right for the wrong reasons.

Whether it be micro-policies such as flourescent lighbulbs, to macro-policies such as non-white immigration, the policies of the bureaucratic left have proven to be failures on almost every single issue. The volume of propaganda has exceeded that of both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia combined because the Nazis and Soviets chose to concentrate their lies on only major issues. Lying about dangers of occasional second hand smoke would have never occured to even the most sadistic guard of those fallen regimes.

To beat them, we need to stop worrying about beating their politicians and instead work to defund the Cathedral. With every drop in Cathedral efficiiency, it becomes harder for left to keep all their lies from convincing a politically significant number of Americans that the eggshell is on fire and has to be abandoned.

I recommend suggesting MOOCs for college credit to state officials to automate out of existence the jobs of as many liberal profesors as possible since the newspapers are imploding thanks to the internet. Use the college tuition crisis as a method to crush the progressive left. If there are mass layoffs of professors, the Cathedral will suffer an immense blow to its propaganda machinery.

Their lies are like a bicycle: They have to forever keep peddling to remain standing. If they stop peddling they lose balance and collapse on themselves.

March 28, 2013 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Gnostic said...

Beautiful metaphor. Any concrete ideas?

I took a stab at it.

March 28, 2013 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

So this is Moldbug's Good Friday post.

March 28, 2013 at 9:36 PM  
Anonymous ShardPhoenix said...

"If it cannot break out of its shell, the chick will die without ever being born. We are the chick - The world is our egg. If we don't crack the world's shell, we will die without ever truly being born. Smash the world's shell. FOR THE REVOLUTION OF THE WORLD!"

(Not that Revolutionary Girl Utena is exactly pro-traditionalism.)

March 29, 2013 at 1:12 AM  
Anonymous failed child prodigy said...

is someone who has grown up inside his faith and knows nothing else

This is why real Muslims -by MM standards- are only left in mountainous Afghanistan, real Christians in tropical Africa, real Buddhists in tropical Burma, and so on. ALL the world is now moderate Muslims, bull dykes with priestly collars, and Steve-jobs Buddhists.

No one believes, everyone keeps worshiping. Like no one believed in Santa and everyone worshiped him, but several months ago. God's existence doesn't depend on you believing in him, so to speak. This is what zizek would call 'symbolic order', MM prefers 'consensus reality', yonder at the last psych it is called 'the matrix'.

Liberals also [using the American terminology], all know they are wrong, in all cases they are proven to be wrong. Like a catholic knows that a piece of wafer cannot be the body of god, who is a jewish zombie and who is and is not his own father, nevertheless inquisition does not accept "It's just a wafer" as an answer; speaking out scientific differences between races may get your sphere of job opportunities smaller than an egg shell.

If renouncing the religion of the times is so liberating, why all the heathens are congregating mostly online, and anonymously or pseudonymously at that, so secretive like a swingers club?

The world you are inviting the worshipers of the whore has really neither joy, nor peace, nor help for pain and only possibly certitude. And you cannot get them there by reason alone.

March 29, 2013 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Handle said...

I searched that Cromwell link for the word "bowels". Found six (!) uses. One involved the intestines of Jesus, yet none were as quoted.

March 29, 2013 at 3:20 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Hmmm...
"The ONLY word he wants to use is everything".

This is what I call kicking God out the door and having him come back in through the window.

The word "everything" is pretty totalizing, but then... the word "only" has its own dark brilliance...

As does the recourse to the simple present in this text. The simple present is a time outside of time... an anhistorical time, thus, one which is true for... all, and in all circumstances. That is what the simple present accomplishes when we speak it, as I am doing right now. It generalizes, and eliminates the particulars.

I really don't think there is any more uniformity among believers than there is uniformity among the SO CALLED non believers.
Because the non believers believe in that most consummate of all the bourgeois ideals : lucidity. (Think.. ENLIGHTENMENT)

Several years ago, in France, I watched a second generation Magrehbin immigrant young woman with a baby in a stroller get on the bus, and walk past a not second generation Maghrebin immigrant woman bus driver, without saying a word.
The young Magrehbin French woman was wearing a tchador, in black from head to toe.
And the woman bus driver got a little tense at such dismissive arrogance.
Young Magrehbin French woman : "but I don't have to say hello to you on the bus, I have my.. rights, and I paid for my ticket."
I call this a clash of cultures.
Because the young French woman of Magrehbin extract is a product of French Revolutionary culture unbeknownst to her. Islam does not give a flying.. f about women's rights, for example. Islam is not a culture of rights to begin with. (Judaïsm, and Christianity are not cultures of rights either...).
So... there are no pure Muslims, no pure Jews, no pure... liberals.
We are all.. impure, right, Undiscovered Jew ?
And all the ablutions in the world will not get us back to a pure state...
WW2 arose out of this problem. Adolf Hitler tried to tackle it, and was obsessed with the status of a Judaism which was not confined to the simple practice of mitzvahs.
And really... belief is much less ? of a problem than you might think.
When you have 2000 years of religious culture behind you, it can really be rather irrelevant what you, as a tiny.. ANT believe.

On resistance..
I am now resurrecting our old latin words, like in French "expliquer", dusting them off, and breathing new life into them, so that people can hear where they came from, literally. Etymology.
If you don't try to understand the words a little bit, then they will.. USE you ? SPEAK you ? even more than you would like to... believe, with all your... lucidity.

Comes to mind Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy, too, where Pullman recognizes the importance of not looking... God ? in the face ? in order to avoid being burned to a charred crisp by so much brilliance ?

How about a little darkness, for a change ?
"Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast." "Macbeth, Act II, 36-38)
We need to dream during the dark hours of our sleep, and less... during the light hours of day...

March 29, 2013 at 3:23 AM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

a Christian is someone who has grown up inside his faith and knows nothing else. You cannot understand him.

I object to that. As a precocious twerp who was converted by the Asimov to be a seven year old Atheist while living in the Deepest Dixieland, and who later converted full throatedly to Catholicism at age 18, I ...

I except ... tho who grew up as rationalists but have made a rational decision to convert to orthodox religions

Ah. Wait one....

the alternative ... proclaims itself, per Chesterton, not nothing, still less Reason, but the Whore of Babylon in full professional attire. To these friends, Babylon-worship, essentially idolatrous

Yes, exactly.

still - these people are not genuinely religious, though their kids will be

I'm not sure I agree (although I do, perhaps, agree a touch).

In my case I did not merely don the mantle of Catholicism as a reactionary stance; I took it up because I believed in the absolute existence of human rights. The Cathedral, despite all its protesting about immigrant rights, LGBT rights, environmental racism, etc., does not. Acolytes of the Cathedral love to point out that rights are socially constructed, "contingent" (G__, I hate that term), and amenable to revision by the majority (by which, they mean of course, the majority as properly guided by the Cathedral dominated media and channeled through the organs of the Cathedral such as a representative democracy where the representatives are all "reasonable" people, and the laws are all reviewed by a 5/4, or better yet, 6/3 Supreme Court).

Once one believes that it is wrong to, for example, torture an infant to death over a course of days, one must ask why? What is the essence of this invisible thing called "rights" ? Where does it come from?

The Brights tell us that rights are an illusion, and evolutionary adaptation designed to make us cooperate and increase the reproductive fitness of our shared genes.

This is sufficient for many.

The corollary is that it is moral and acceptable for me to torture an infant to death as long as I don't share many genes with him. Or if I can get away with it without having my reputation in the tribe harmed. Or, basically, if I want to.

This is the same illegitimate and unsatisfying answer that a Bright at the other end of the political spectrum, Ayn Rand, gives. We should not lie because it creations complications and is not in our own utilitarian best interests.

Rand is also silent about the objective existence of rights and their origins.

( Just as one must be tempted to place a pistol against Peter Sanger - excuse, me - Peter Singer's head and shout "The sanctity of human life? Quod erat demonstrandum!" by the sheer insanity of his position, I find myself always tempted to abduct a Bright to a small shack in Montana or the basement of a pawn shop in a Tarantino movie and explain "Four of us have voted, and through the democratic process and a living constitution, we've redefined your rights. Now bend over." )

Once one accepts the existence of rights as something other than a hallucination or a social fiction, one has already crossed the - ahem - Bright line and accepted that something other than baryons and bosons as existing. If there's more to life, the universe, and everything than dumb matter and standing waves, then one is morally compelled to ask "what?".

That, for me, was the beginning of my path to Rome.

I do not have a statue of the Virgin Mary in my front yard, nor do I hoist drinks with proles at the local Knights of Columbus bar, so I'm not certain if that makes me "genuinely religious". On the other hand, I do attend Mass and take communion - except when I'm in a state of mortal sin.

YMMV.

March 29, 2013 at 4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They need this volume of propaganda because they have failed on ALL issues, great and small, except abortion

"Universally catastrophically wrong except for one thing" -- sounds like you need to re-examine that "one thing".

Because they are wrong there, too.

March 29, 2013 at 6:24 AM  
Anonymous survivingbabel said...

@TJIC

"Once one accepts the existence of rights as something other than a hallucination or a social fiction"

Rights are a social fiction. This is reality, not a moral stance. Rights, like laws, require enforcement to have meaning, and enforcement requires strength. MM: "The strong rule the weak." If the Catholic Church grows in strength so that it can prevent infant torture, it will do so. Until that point, the infants will go on being tortured. If you must stop the infant torture, stop relying on social fictions and start seeking out strength. Otherwise, submit to your infant-torturing overlords. There are no other choices.

March 29, 2013 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Dear MM,

What is to be done?

***Smash the f*cking eggshells.***

It's not a chick - it's an adult that made choices. And is accountable.

It's not a child. It's an adult full of reason and responsibility.

They aren't actually muttering around real remorse. Insect psychopaths who played with the fate of Billions in social experiments don't have remorse.

They're afraid. They've still got animal instincts..and sense their fate. A Fate Just, Necessary, and unavoidable. If it's not us - it will be something far worse.

Yes I know smashing eggs is messy..I've done it.

Worry not for the long run. However no action..no voice.

VSSC

March 29, 2013 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again..FEAR is not REMORSE, or Repentence.

Stross would do it all again. He said so. They all would. They forsee that which they avoid above all - consequences.

And in any case - Who Cares?

VSSC

March 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger DR said...

"The volume of propaganda has exceeded that of both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia combined because the Nazis and Soviets chose to concentrate their lies on only major issues. Lying about dangers of occasional second hand smoke would have never occured to even the most sadistic guard of those fallen regimes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany

March 29, 2013 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Art Mirrors Art said...

See also Kyle Bean's What Came First?
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8231/8600558115_46d65922c3_b.jpg

March 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I wasn't aware the Third Reich campaigned against second hand as well as first hand. Come to think of it, it's ironic that for someone associated with the right Adolf had more nanny state/micro manager tendencies than Uncle Joe. And it was his micromanagement of the war that contributed so much to his defeat.

Still, you have to agree the Nazi and Soviet sovcorps both devoted most of the energies of their propaganda organs primarily toward major state initiatives compared to the bureaucratic dictatorial regime misruling the West.

March 29, 2013 at 4:58 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I see Moldbug is finally putting the French Revolution under the microscope. Thanks to Carlyle he now sees the Revolution was essentially as degenerate as the Russian version. Both the USSR and the Revolutionary Republic were dedicated to violent expansion of leftism, the destruction of Christianity (a bigger no-no in the late 18th century than the late 19th century because the European conservatives were more religiously devout than they would be a century later) and the overthrowing of European monarchs. Even the word Communism itself is a mere derivative of the Communes of Revolutionary France.

There is one major difference between them, though: The French Revolution was the only major violent leftist insurgency that had the support of the middle class participated in. Afterwards, the extreme left would have to rely on blue collar workers and unions to be their primary base of electoral support. Marx and other revolutionary writers bemoaned the fact that the middle classes showed no indication they would coalition with the hard left as they had done in 1789.

March 29, 2013 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There were two 'Reigns of Terror,' if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the 'horror' of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves."

March 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, ye oldie cracker markie-twain. A despicable prophet-apologist of the DC Cathedral.
That passage is the very reason I despise his massmurder apologising cracker guts.

The Popish Sauromatian

March 29, 2013 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

In Twain's defense, that Catholic Church's killing of thousands over a thousand years did stack up against the French Revolution. The Inquisition killed about 1200 over 345 years (and that was an effort by the Spanish crown, not the Church), quite a paltry sum next to Chicago hood rats. In one decade the major ghettos of America probably kill more than the Catholic Church managed in 1000 years. No wonder they fell from power.

March 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ TJIC

nor do I hoist drinks with proles at the local Knights of Columbus bar,

Well why the hell not?

Bring them into dark enlightenment with you.

March 30, 2013 at 2:48 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

You know, when you start thinking about this, you have to wonder...
who is actually hoisting drinks, or trying to hoist drinks with the "lower" classes ?
Have you ever tried... fraternizing with people who do not come from your social spheres ?
Eating with them, for example ?
Having a conversation ?
What happens then ?
Who gets up and walks away first, for example ?
(It may not necessarily be you...)
So much... salon talk going on over the Internet...
Is this the way we are supposed to be "changing the world" ?
On fiction... if we were less hung up on fixing the world without end, absolute TRUTH, we could understand how necessary fiction is for our existences to be meaningful.

March 30, 2013 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger Charlie Stross said...

I suspect Moldbug misapprehends my path ;-)

March 30, 2013 at 4:03 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Please don't deny that you are a believer in this revolutionary ideology — and it is revolutionary; so much so that Republican Democracy, Fascism, and Communism are just minor doctrinal disputes within it. It's okay to admit it here; I'm a supporter of this ideology, too. None of us are supporters of feudal monarchism; we're all the inheritors of the early Jacobins. Which makes us revolutionaries

theres something called the genetic fallacy or something

March 30, 2013 at 4:19 AM  
Anonymous Euro2cent said...

> Moldbug is finally putting the French Revolution under the microscope

He's been doing that for donkey's years. He even figured that Cromwell was a bad apple.

What he's shy of is figuring that it was comrade Martin that begat comrade Oliver, and also the rest of the Frenchie buggers, not to mention the founding daddies of the most perfect state ever (according to the best public opinion money can buy).

March 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Dystopia Max said...

Euro2, might I ask, as an American, why the Church lost France, while America, despite having a bunch of French sympathizers and salon-ites in its leadership, did not lose Christ?

Might it have been because the Most Catholic Country In The World saw that the Catholic Church at the time was, indeed, putting its faith in Human Institutional Structures(TM) instead of Christ, and thus its servants of Satan labored mightily to build, maintain, and serve more powerful human institutions instead of Christ? If your closest sons and daughters perceive the true God you worship so completely and reject your authority so utterly, what other conclusion is there?

This is why us evangelical Protestant bibliolaters have arisen and persisted-for while the words and formal philosophy of Luther and Calvin rarely, if ever, escape the lips of your average American conservative, the verses of the Biblical canon do. The most general and effective protection against Cathedralism is to build no material cathedral...except in the hearts of men. It was Solomon, not David, who fell into internationalist idolatry through the increasing of his wives and the twisting of his wisdom, and if we have no lasting kings in our countries it's because we never let the True King and Master of Creation rule in our hearts!

Happy Easter, and may Christ the King rule again in the hearts of men!

March 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

@Moses:

You're a fool if you think Twain was specifically and solely referring to Inquisition.

To help you understand the import of Twain's passage, here's a modern example:

There were 30 million deaths in the great famine in Maoist China from 1958-1961. This makes almost a third of the oft-cited 100 million death toll of Communism in the 20th century, the largest single chunk. However, if we compare China's success in reducing mortality rates to India, we see that

"...had China's lower mortality rates prevailed in India there would have been about 3.8 million fewer deaths a year around the middle 1980's. That indicates that ever eight years or so more people in addition die in India - in comparison with Chinese mortality rates - than the total number that died in the gigantic Chinese famine..." (Amartya Sen, "Indian Development: Lessons and Nonlessons," Daedalus Vol. 118, No.4, 1989. p. 384).

Before anyone brings up any "HBD"related points about comparisons between the populations of India and China, note that the Indian state of Kerala, long under Leftist rule and in sharp contrast to the rest of India, experienced declines in mortality rates similar to China (ibid., p. 388). Furthermore, life expectancy in China underwent a sharp downturn following the market-based reforms of Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s (ibid., pp. 385-87). Other countries, such as Sri Lanka and post-1975 (Communist) Vietnam have made similar strides in mortality reduction through investments in health care (ibid., pp. 376, 380-82). These facts indicate that it was the policies that Maoist China implemented that caused the reductions in mortality rates, not population differences.

Reactionaries and liberals alike shed crocodile tears for the 30 million Chinese who died in the Great Leap Forward, but 30 million people every eight years died as a result of India's tiny steps forward, an atrocity "which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves."

March 31, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

He's been doing that for donkey's years.

But he's focused in on it more than ever.

What he's shy of is figuring that it was comrade Martin that begat comrade Oliver,

What makes you think he's not working on it right now? But it'll be time consuming. Luther would have to be traced forward to explain the next five, or so, centuries. The Council Trent itself could be taking up three volumes of ecumenical revisionism and papal apologetics.

Might it have been because the Most Catholic Country In The World saw that the Catholic Church at the time was, indeed, putting its faith in Human Institutional Structures(TM) instead of Christ, and thus its servants of Satan labored mightily to build, maintain, and serve more powerful human institutions instead of Christ?

The Revolution wasn't exactly kind towards the church. The Jacobins murdered priests and nuns with as much relish as any Bolshevik. They even abolished the Christian calendars with a new humanist/atheistic one, something not even the Russian Communists a century later would do. If the Revolution was a friend of Catholicism then I'd hate to see who their enemies were.

March 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Name/URL said...

I suspect Moldbug misapprehends my path ;-)

Oh, well, that's helpful and illuminating.

Jesus fucking christ.

March 31, 2013 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Reactionaries and liberals alike shed crocodile tears for the 30 million Chinese who died in the Great Leap Forward, but 30 million people every eight years died as a result of India's tiny steps forward, an atrocity "which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves."

LOL, what stupitidy.

The mortality rate decreased despite the oh-so Orwellianly named Great Leap Forward's 30 million deaths, not because of it. Japan also enjoyed a decrease in mortality over the same period, and they did it under capitalism and without 30 million deaths thanks to Communist agriculture policy.

March 31, 2013 at 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

@The Undiscovered Jew:

"The mortality rate decreased despite the oh-so Orwellianly named Great Leap Forward's 30 million deaths, not because of it."

That's exactly what Sen's paper says, you moron.

March 31, 2013 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

And nothing I said could rationally be interpreted to contradict that. I said Maoist China's investments in health care (like Sri Lanka's and Vietnam's) caused the decline, not its collectivization policy. And if you think I was trying to excuse or justify the crimes of Maoism, you missed my point spectacularly.

As for Japan, it was an already industrialized country with a relatively low mortality rate (except for the war) to begin with, so it's not a good comparison. If you bother to look at the statistics, you'll see that Japanese mortality was already low and steadily declining before WW2, then took a sharp turn upward during the war, then took a sharp turn downward to where it was, and continued steadily declining. If we compare China to Japan after 1950, we see, with the exception of 1958-1961, a much more radical decline (which makes sense seeing as how it had further to go), continuing all the way until about 1980. This is why it's more useful to compare China to India, or Sri Lanka or Vietnam to India, or Kerala to the rest of India.

Read the paper I cited before you shoot your mouth off again.

March 31, 2013 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My recommendation for any alt-rightists out there is to do research on exit counseling and recovering from cults. The situation isn't exactly analogous but it's still useful.

April 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@2terrs
And what in the world has India and China have to do with the scurrilous lies of the previously mentioned Cathedral-prophet jacobin murder apologist cracker?

April 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And if you think I was trying to excuse or justify the crimes of Maoism, you missed my point spectacularly.

Then make your point clearer next time.

I said Maoist China's investments in health care (like Sri Lanka's and Vietnam's) caused the decline, not its collectivization policy.

Ok, investing in health care improves mortality rates in developing nations. So what, then?

April 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

'Then make your point clearer next time."

Exercise reading comprehension next time.

"Ok, investing in health care improves mortality rates in developing nations. So what, then?"

So why is the 1958-61 famine considered a tragic crime against humanity, but the hundreds of millions who died because India and many other nations failed to invest in health care not?

"And what in the world has India and China have to do with the scurrilous lies of the previously mentioned Cathedral-prophet jacobin murder apologist cracker?"

By analogy, why is the French terror of 1793-95 considered a tragic crime against humanity, but the centuries of poverty, hunger and oppression before the Revolution are not?

And, out of curiosity, why do you keep calling Twain a "cracker"?

April 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because he's a cracker, that's why. A mass-murder-whitewashing cracker.

Do you need an explanation of the concept of "craker"?

NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION! Dumbass cracker.

The Popish Sauromatian.

April 3, 2013 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous two terrors said...

@anonymous 6:56

Why did you (attempt to) answer my last, utterly trivial question and not the earlier substantive ones? Do you have anything remotely non-retarded to say?

April 3, 2013 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooo,

What's your G-scale? Or you're just a no bennies farmhand?

Or, gasp, you engage in this imbecility for free?!?

Why on Earth would anyone engage your imbecilic nonsequitur Big-Lie nonsequitur of a cracker?

The Popish Sauromatian

April 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous two terrors said...

Didn't think so.

April 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous two terrors said...

Although, if you're going to write nonsense, I don't think it's too much to ask that you write grammatical nonsense.

April 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

So the aim is to produce the largest possible population? By all means, let's keep going till we have a trillion people in highrises on the planet, all shitting into each others' mouths.

April 3, 2013 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

@5371
"So the aim is to produce the largest possible population?"

Obviously not. The aim is to increase overall quality of life and decrease overall human misery. Population growth beyond a certain point increases human misery. However, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that investments in education and health care decrease birth rates in the long run.

But lets unpack your question a little further. If the goal is to decrease population, famine and revolutionary terror work at least as well as, and probably better than, high mortality rates due to malnutrition and preventable disease.

Come on, reactionaries. Step it up. De Maistre would be ashamed.

April 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> By analogy, why is the French terror of 1793-95 considered a tragic crime against humanity, but the centuries of poverty, hunger and oppression before the Revolution are not?

Basically because the people who suffered in the one case, were a considerably higher quality of people on average than those in the other case. A fair fraction of these 'oppressed' were themselves quite vicious and cruel, others less so.

If Tallis dies, or the painter of the Elizabeth I Armada Portrait, this is worse than other people dying. Ten people? I don't know. A lot of people.

I don't dogmatically wave away what you say about Mao ; I find it interesting. Of course there could be any number of variables in Kerala, so I don't think you have exploded HBD or anything. Anyway I think you know very well that it is in general true.

April 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Kerala, long under Leftist rule and in sharp contrast to the rest of India, experienced declines in mortality rates similar to China

Being under leftist rule (though 'harsh' hard leftism less so) correlates with advancement/development partly just because it makes people 'nicer' (more rejective of domination).

I mean, time was, life was hard so no one cared about slavery, then, with life getting easier, people directed moral anger against slavery. John Donne inveighed against the unjust dispossession of Ameroids in 16-whatever, but he was a heck of an outlier.

Maybe that never happened in Kerala but it might be part of it. Anyway you are probably aware that India, considered as such, has a less coherent history and a more differentiated population structure and cultural structure than China. It has more internal HBD than Han people have.

April 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

"Basically because the people who suffered in the one case, were a considerably higher quality of people on average than those in the other case."

That's about the only answer an honest reactionary can give, so I thank you for giving it. It's what every reactionary going back to Plato would say: "Some people are better than others." I disagree, but I think it's important to see that this is where the issue lies.

"I don't think you have exploded HBD or anything. Anyway I think you know very well that it is in general true."

If "HBD" is the thesis that there are average differences between human populations, I think it's trivially true. I was merely trying to show it's irrelevance to the particular fact I cited.

April 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

So why is the 1958-61 famine considered a tragic crime against humanity, but the hundreds of millions who died because India and many other nations failed to invest in health care not?

Because the slower deaths of millions in India were the result of developing world poverty not political malice as was the case of the Great Leap.

By analogy, why is the French terror of 1793-95 considered a tragic crime against humanity, but the centuries of poverty, hunger and oppression before the Revolution are not?

Again, the poverty of pre-18th century Europe was usually the result of pre-existing technological, medical, and economic primitiveness, not the conscious result of elite decisions.

April 3, 2013 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

"Because the slower deaths of millions in India were the result of developing world poverty not political malice as was the case of the Great Leap."

The slower deaths over a hundred million Indians resulted from the decisions of India's political leaders, outside of Kerala and a few other places, to prioritize other things ahead of human development. I don't know if that count as "political malice" or not, but in any case, telling a mother that her stillborn infant didn't result from "political malice" is rather cold comfort.

"Again, the poverty of pre-18th century Europe was usually the result of pre-existing technological, medical, and economic primitiveness, not the conscious result of elite decisions."

The French Revolution, through the expropriation of Church property and Napoleon's ratification of this expropriation, created a permanent property owning peasant class in France. If this had been done earlier, untold numbers of people would have been spared poverty and needless suffering. The fact that it wasn't done earlier was a conscious result of elite decisions, or indecision.

April 3, 2013 at 9:36 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

Not so, land ownership was much more widely distributed in prerevolutionary France than in contemporary England.

April 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

@RS

My reference to Kerala wasn't intended as a knock-down refutation of the hypothesis that population differences are responsible for the differences in post WW2 development between India and China, but as one data point among several in a cumulative inductive case against that hypothesis. I also mentioned Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and it turns out we can also use Bangladesh as an example, even though it is significantly poorer than India. See Section 2 of the following article:

www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/may/12/quality-life-india-vs-china/

As I mentioned, we can also do an intra-China comparison by looking at mortality rates from 1949-1979, and from 1979 on, after Deng's faction had overthrown the Maoist Gang of Four. As Sen writes in section 5 of the article linked above:

"[T]he economic reforms of 1979 greatly improved the working and efficiency of Chinese agriculture and industry; but the Chinese government also eliminated, at the same time, the entitlement of all to public medical care (which was often administered through the communes). Most people were then required to buy their own health insurance, drastically reducing the proportion of the population with guaranteed health care....

...The change sharply reduced the progress of longevity in China. Its large lead over India in life expectancy dwindled during the following two decades—falling from a fourteen-year lead to one of just seven years.

The Chinese authorities, however, eventually realized what had been lost, and from 2004 they rapidly started reintroducing the right to medical care. China now has a considerably higher proportion of people with guaranteed health care than does India. The gap in life expectancy in China’s favor has been rising again, and it is now around nine years; and the degree of coverage is clearly central to the difference.
"

Here's another article by Sen and his collaborator Jean Dreze, with a handy chart comparing India to neighboring countries along several development markers.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?278843

April 3, 2013 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

@5731

Yeah, the point is that it became more widely distributed after the Revolution, with good results for the peasants.

Of course, as Marx pointed out, this eventually turned the peasants into a reactionary class, loyal to the bourgeoisie who had carried out the Revolution that had given them their land.

April 3, 2013 at 10:06 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

The point is that you considerably misunderstand the revolution if you think it happened because of extreme inequality and was all about those who had previously had nothing getting something for the first time.

April 3, 2013 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

But I don't think that. I think the Marxian interpretation of the French Revolution is basically correct: the bourgeoisie (which by definition "has something"), after developing itself economically, seized political power in alliance with the peasantry and urban proletariat.

April 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

You may not think that, but it's the Dickens-Twain interpretation of the revolution which you started by defending.

April 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

@5371

I never endorsed or defended any historical interpretation of the French Revolution until my last post. The brief passage I quoted from Twain was meant to convey they idea that refusal to take action to alleviate suffering should be seen as a political and ideological crime in the same way that terror and politically caused famines are seen as political and ideological crimes. This applies to the French Revolution in the following way:

If the Revolution alleviated suffering, then we should compare the crimes of the Revolution to the pre-Revolutionary crime of allowing that suffering to continue.

It doesn't matter whether suffering in prerevolutionary France was greater or less than other societies. We're talking about an intra-France comparison here.

April 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

If the Revolution alleviated suffering, then we should compare the crimes of the Revolution to the pre-Revolutionary crime of allowing that suffering to continue.

What suffering did the Revolution alleviate?

April 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors (The Cathedral Strikes Back) said...

"What suffering did the Revolution alleviate?"

I've already alluded to one major reform: the nationalization of the idle land of the Church was sold off at public auctions and eventually made its way into the hands of the peasants, greatly expanding the class of land owning peasants. For those peasants who already owed their own land, the abolition of feudalism freed them from the taxes, tithes and services they had been forced to render.

Indeed, you alluded to this yourself when you said

"The French Revolution was the only major violent leftist insurgency that had the support of the middle class participated in."

It didn't just have the support of the middle class, it was the creation of the middle class. The Revolution of 1789 was largely responsible for the creation of a sizable rural petite-bourgeoisie. The petite-bourgeoisie, as Marx noted, served as the shock troops for the suppression of the workers' revolutions of 1848 and 1871. The reason they served in this capacity was out of their loyalty to the bourgeois revolution of 1789, the reason for their existence.

Beyond the specifics, the 1789 Revolution was the first step in almost every major advancement in human life since then. The advancements in human development in China that I cited would never have happened had the Bastille never been stormed.

April 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

post hoc - not necessarily propter hoc.

April 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

You guys forget that the Catholic Church in France was controlled by the monarchy to a very great extent.
The monarchy consolidated its control of the country by destroying the Catholic Church as a counter power.
The revolution destroyed feudalism that the Church was involved in ??
The monarchy had already done wonders to destroy feudalism, and succeeded in doing so under Louis XIV.

April 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Decrees

April 7, 2013 at 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kill 'em papist mofos. Kill 'em idolatrous, autodafe runnin, child rapi scourge of the world!

Just kill'em.

The Popish Sauromatian

April 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Two Terrors said...

@the popish sauromatian

are you 12?

April 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang them, shoot them, gas them, drown them (has popery been any trouble in France last 200 years, hmmm?), sent them to Vorkuta.

I don't care.

Just wipe those dirty, scourge of the Earth, insult to Reason, scurillous papists of the face of Mother Gaia.

The Popish Sauromatian

April 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM  

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