Friday, September 13, 2013 267 Comments

Technology, communism and the Brown Scare

It's with mixed emotions that I see the Brown Scare starting to really rise up and kick ass in my own dear field of hackerdom.   "The enemy at last in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off..."

Brown Scare?  Or dare I say... #BrownScare?  But what else to name America's ginormous, never-ending, profoundly insane witch-hunt for fascists under the bed?

For there's nothing new here.  At the height of the lame, doomed "Red Scare," the Brown Scare was ten times bigger.  You may think it was difficult making a living as a communist screenwriter in 1954. It was a lot easier than being a fascist screenwriter.  Or even an anticommunist screenwriter.  (Same thing, right?)  And as any pathetic last shreds of real opposition shrink and die off, the Scare only grows.  That's how winners play it.  That's just how the permanent revolution rolls.

Not that valiant philosophical efforts haven't been made, such as this one, to distinguish between witch hunts and witch hunts.   Apparently Popehat, though he claims to be some sort of a legal scholar and definitely has strong and (more unusually) sincere opinions about free speech, has never heard of Red Channels or Faulk v. AWARE.  It's not clear whether he (a) thinks the Hollywood blacklist was a fine idea, (b) believes it was enforced by the FBI, or (c) considers it laudable to purge fascists but horrible to purge communists.

(Update: with eerie, beautiful historical fidelity, Anil Dash channels Red Channels:
There was also a pretty dogged pitch for his film, which will get all kinds of warm huzzahs from the intersection of atheists, pacifists, communists and Jews.  I was pretty amazed that he went for it. He flat out said that he wants his film to be funded and wasn't sure if it'd be possible after all of his, and I replied that it realistically wasn't going to happen without the say-so of someone like me, and I wasn't inclined to give some producer the nod on this. 
On reflection, I'll be explicit: If you're a producer, and you invest in Dalton Trumbo's film without a profound, meaningful and years-long demonstration of responsibility from Dalton beforehand, you're complicit in extending the film industry's awful track record of communism, and it's unacceptable.
It is also wonderful to see the enormous cognitive load which besets the liberal mind when asked to decide whether it's the overdog or the underdog.  All the CPUs max out, the fan goes crazy and the case could cook an egg.  The whole post is worth reading - in the author's own humble words, it's the very image of "positive, ambitious, thoughtful, inclusive, curious, empathetic and self-aware.")

Memo to Popehat: most of what we call "McCarthyism" was a matter of "social consequences."  Besides, the social consequences work for one and only one reason: there's an iron fist in the velvet glove. Being sued for disrespecting a privileged class - excuse me, a protected class - is not in any way a social consequence, but rather a political one.  Hey, while we're chatting, could you remind me exactly how Warren Court jurisprudence derived the "protected class" from "equal protection of law?"  I know the theory, actually - but it'd be fun to see you explain it.

Of course, ain't nothin' new here.  For quite some time in America it's been illegal to employ racists, sexists and fascists, and mandatory to employ a precisely calibrated percentage of women, workers and peasants.  Because America is a free country and that's what freedom means.

But "technology," defined broadly as anything new and cool that happens in California, has been in practice exempt from these restrictions.  The elite, especially a productive elite, always enjoys a special level of tolerance.  I once asked a Googler: which population, from his unscientific experience alone, does Google employ more of?  African-Americans, or Serbs?  "You must be joking," he said.

Google, of course, claims the fact that it would rather hire out of East Bosnia than East Palo Alto is a competitive trade secret.  Well, I suppose.  Curiously enough, Apple, Yahoo, and Oracle share the same secret.  Ha, ha!  Is it a secret to you?  It's not a secret to me!

You know, Goog, once you start lying, there's really no end to it.  For one thing, even if your enemies ignore lying, defensive evasion, and other telltale "beta" behaviors, they still own you.  They've just decided not to eat you just yet, maybe in the hopes that you're still getting fatter.

So in a way I actually like to see the #BrownScare getting big in Silicon Valley, because I think there's a lot of potential for opposing it here.  A lot of wasted potential.  Which will probably remain wasted, but why not try, eh?  Dear fellow geeks, there's no need to get purged.  Your predator, though powerful, is not complicated, and not that hard to hack if you're careful.  Indeed, properly organized, you may even be able to overcome him.

It's actually not hard to explain the Brown Scare.  Like all witch hunts, it's built on a conspiracy theory.  The Red Scare was based on a conspiracy theory too, but at least it was a real conspiracy with real witches - two of whom were my father's parents.  (The nicest people on earth, as people.  I like to think of them not as worshipping Stalin, but worshipping what they thought Stalin was.)  Moreover, the Red Scare was a largely demotic or peasant phenomenon to which America's governing intellectual classes were, for obvious reasons, immune.  Because power works and culture is downstream from politics - real politics, at least - the Red Scare soon faded into a joke.

As a mainstream conspiracy theory, fully in the institutional saddle, the Brown Scare is far greater and more terrifying.  Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn't be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the '50s.  Indeed it's not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of Americans, perhaps even a million, are employed in one arm or another of this ideological apparatus.  Cleaning it up will require a genuine cultural revolution - or a cultural reaction, anyway.  Hey, Americans, I'm ready whenever you are.

The logic of the witch hunter is simple.  It has hardly changed since Matthew Hopkins' day.  The first requirement is to invert the reality of power.  Power at its most basic level is the power to harm or destroy other human beings.  The obvious reality is that witch hunters gang up and destroy witches. Whereas witches are never, ever seen to gang up and destroy witch hunters.  By this test alone, we can see that the conspiracy is imaginary (Brown Scare) rather than real (Red Scare).

Think about it.  Obviously, if the witches had any power whatsoever, they wouldn't waste their time gallivanting around on broomsticks, fellating Satan and cursing cows with sour milk.  They're getting burned right and left, for Christ's sake!  Priorities!  No, they'd turn the tables and lay some serious voodoo on the witch-hunters.  In a country where anyone who speaks out against the witches is soon found dangling by his heels from an oak at midnight with his head shrunk to the size of a baseball, we won't see a lot of witch-hunting and we know there's a serious witch problem.  In a country where witch-hunting is a stable and lucrative career, and also an amateur pastime enjoyed by millions of hobbyists on the weekend, we know there are no real witches worth a damn.

We do not see Pax Dickinson and Paul Graham ganging up to destroy Gawker.  We see them curling up into a fetal position and trying to survive.  An America in which hackers could purge journalists for communist deviation, rather than journalists purging hackers for fascist deviation, would be a very different America.  Ya think?

Whereas the real America, the America in which a journalist little more than an intern, with no discernible achievements but a sharp tongue, a Columbia degree and trouble using MySQL, can quite effectively bully one of the most accomplished hackers of his era, not to mention a way better writer - this is the remarkable America that we live in and need to explain.

This phenomenon of spoiled children systematically bullying their elders and betters reminds us, of course, of Mao.  But still more, of Plato.  Do they still read Plato at Columbia?  Ha, that's very funny.  Plato!  Gawker may not know Plato, but Plato knows Gawker:
Yes, he said; that is the way with him.
Yes, I said, he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he-is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.

Yes, he replied, he is all liberty and equality.
Yes, I said; his life is motley and manifold and an epitome of the lives of many; --he answers to the State which we described as fair and spangled. And many a man and many a woman will take him for their pattern, and many a constitution and many an example of manners is contained in him.

Just so.
Let him then be set over against democracy; he may truly be called the democratic man.

Let that be his place, he said.
Last of all comes the most beautiful of all, man and State alike, tyranny and the tyrant; these we have now to consider.

Quite true, he said.
Say then, my friend, in what manner does tyranny arise? --that it has a democratic origin is evident.

Clearly.
And does not tyranny spring from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy --I mean, after a sort?

How?
The good which oligarchy proposed to itself and the means by which it was maintained was excess of wealth --am I not right?

Yes.
And the insatiable desire of wealth and the neglect of all other things for the sake of money-getting was also the ruin of oligarchy?

True.
And democracy has her own good, of which the insatiable desire brings her to dissolution?

What good?
Freedom, I replied; which, as they tell you in a democracy, is the glory of the State --and that therefore in a democracy alone will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.

Yes; the saying is in everybody's mouth.
I was going to observe, that the insatiable desire of this and the neglect of other things introduces the change in democracy, which occasions a demand for tyranny.

How so?
When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cupbearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs.

Yes, he replied, a very common occurrence.
Yes, I said; and loyal citizens are insultingly termed by her slaves who hug their chains and men of naught; she would have subjects who are like rulers, and rulers who are like subjects: these are men after her own heart, whom she praises and honours both in private and public. Now, in such a State, can liberty have any limit?

Certainly not.
By degrees the anarchy finds a way into private houses, and ends by getting among the animals and infecting them.

How do you mean?
I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom, and the metic is equal with the citizen and the citizen with the metic, and the stranger is quite as good as either.

Yes, he said, that is the way.
And these are not the only evils, I said --there are several lesser ones: In such a state of society the master fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors; young and old are all alike; and the young man is on a level with the old, and is ready to compete with him in word or deed; and old men condescend to the young and are full of pleasantry and gaiety; they are loth to be thought morose and authoritative, and therefore they adopt the manners of the young.

Why not, as Aeschylus says, utter the word which rises to our lips?
That is what I am doing, I replied; and I must add that no one who does not know would believe, how much greater is the liberty which the animals who are under the dominion of man have in a democracy than in any other State: for truly, the she-dogs, as the proverb says, are as good as their she-mistresses, and the horses and asses have a way of marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen; and they will run at anybody who comes in their way if he does not leave the road clear for them: and all things are just ready to burst with liberty.

When I take a country walk, he said, I often experience what you describe. You and I have dreamed the same thing.

And above all, I said, and as the result of all, see how sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority and at length, as you know, they cease to care even for the laws, written or unwritten; they will have no one over them.

Yes, he said, I know it too well.
Such, my friend, I said, is the fair and glorious beginning out of which springs tyranny.

Glorious indeed, he said. But what is the next step?
The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy --the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.
Or so we can only hope.  I have a bad feeling Plato may be too optimistic here, however.

In any case, from Plato's dialogue we see how the witch-hunter can invert the reality of power and presents himself as the underdog, fighting back against the gigantic and all-encompassing conspiracy of witches.  This fantasy is expertly constructed and appears quite real to the casual observer.

The primary technique is to present the natural order of human society, which the revolution has in fact totally overthrown - an order in which the young respect the old, the inexperienced follow the accomplished, and dogs obey their owners - as the existing order.  The professional witch-hunter, who is in fact a petty bureaucrat, a tool of power and a bully for hire, appears to himself as a sort of daring rebel against the great conspiracy.  Moreover, because this natural order both used to exist, and is always striving to spring up against Horace's pitchfork, it can be portrayed as the ruling order with great fictional nuance and detail - even after a half-century plus of permanent revolution.

Furthermore, if you can present a natural force as a human force, it is possible to attribute almost infinite power to the witch conspiracy.  Jews, for example, cause droughts.  It's easy to see how strong the Jews are - it hasn't rained for a month!  Throw the Jews down the well!

In this particular case, it's an observation only slightly more obvious than that the sky is blue - especially for those of us who are grownups not born in the 1990s, with, like, wives and daughters and stuff - that (a) geeks are born not made, and (b) a Y chromosome is a major risk factor for geekiness.  In other words, we are not equalists.  We'd certainly love it if everyone was equal (hopefully leveling up, not leveling down).  But we're not insane and don't argue with reality.

For example, I'm a geek and I'd love it if my daughter was a geek too.  She isn't.  Not only is she more girly than me, she's more girly than her mother (who has an EE degree).  She's reading Lemony Snicket in kindergarten, but she's not a geek.  A friend of mine has a daughter, about the same age, about as smart, who is a geek.  I wish my daughter cared about numbers, planets and dinosaurs.  For all I know, my friend wishes his daughter was a walking Disney Princess encyclopedia whose dolls can improvise an hour-long soap opera.  We can wish all we want, but that's just not how it is.  If I tried to impose my ideal daughter on the real person who reality decided would be my daughter, I would be a bad person and a bad parent.  And that's why I'm a realist, not an equalist.

When the witchfinder can attribute the consequences of meteorology, biology, or any other department of reality to a human conspiracy, there is no limit to the proto-divine authority which the witch-cabal then assumes.  To rebel against it seems almost as daring and hopeless as a rebellion against God himself.  How romantic!  How empowering!  Smash the great conspiracy of differentness, without which we would all be gloriously the same!  Throw the Jews down the well!

A great technique.  But like all propaganda methods, it wears off.  Most people, most of the time, especially in an old worn-out post-democracy like our own, are extremely tired of politics, political philosophy, conspiracy theories, and the like.  It's not exactly that they disagree with the party line.  But it no longer excites them.  It still excites a ruling minority, of course, and quite vociferously indeed.  (The Gawker comment threads, like those of every other party-line board, are full of amateur bullies who derive great apparent pleasure, if not profit, from piling on.)

What the bully needs is to provoke mild approval, from the vast majority of ordinary, decent people who don't care about politics or power and are really not involved with the game at all.  It's this abuse of common decency that offends me most about the witch-hunting process.  The ordinary observer does not, really, believe in witches - or disbelieve in them, either.  Rhetoric about black cats, third nipples and secret meetings with Satan doesn't make much impression on her at all.

But what she knows is that Goody Hannah is a strange, mean old lady with no husband and a snippy tongue, who smells funny and sleeps way too late in the morning, and once yelled at her when she was a little girl.  Left to her own devices, our decent observer would never think of reasoning from this to the proposition that Goody Hannah needs to be drowned.  On the other hand, when the crowd (consisting mostly of decent observers) is about to drown Goody Hannah, she's not exactly about to speak up and stick out her neck.  For a strange, mean old lady with no husband and a snippy tongue?  That no one speaks up, of course, is no more and no less than the witchfinders need.

Clearly, everyone should be nice and no one should have a snippy tongue.  We often hear the word offensive.  What is an offensive person?  In a word, an asshole.  Everyone who hears this word (including Popehat - especially Popehat) should stop and think: is it illegal to be an asshole?  If so, why should it be illegal to be an asshole?  If not, why should it not be illegal to be an asshole?

Curiously, two thousand years before anyone had even heard of a "microaggression," a bunch of old white guys called "the Romans" considered this issue and concluded: de minimis non curat lex.  Literally: "the law does not concern itself with trifles."  Or metaphorically: no.  No, it is not, and should not be, illegal to be an asshole. 

Think about the logic of a world in which it's illegal to be an asshole.  Or at least, in which one is liable for being an asshole.  Anyone could sue anyone else, at any time, for being an asshole.  In this world, "you dick" isn't an insult.  It's a tort.  It's a factual claim that, if proven true by a court of law, pays damages.

Of course, we know the Romans were a bunch of ignorant heteronormative dicks.  The Greeks, too!  Plato, Socrates, Aristotle... morons!  Ah, how far we've come.  But really, why shouldn't Spicoli be able to sue Mr. Hand?  Who really was a dick, wasn't he?  Why should anyone be allowed to be a dick?  Why should that be okay, in our tolerant society?  To be a dick?

A legal system in which insolence is a tort has never, so far as I know, been tried.  In general, sages and jurists for all the world and time have agreed that, though it is not nice for people to be not nice to each other, the desirable goal of enforcing universal sweetness and niceness is simply not one within the reach of human jurisprudence.

For one thing, the courtroom process relies on witness testimony, and even with eyewitnesses it is often difficult to establish who hit whom.  Imagine a lawsuit between two people, each of whom accuses the other of being a dick, but who were the only people in the room.  It's preposterous.  No, clearly - the problem of giving dicks their just reward, which is neither jail time nor monetary damages, but simply social exclusion, is best left to Popehat's "social consequences."

Or so a bunch of dead old white dicks believed.  I mean, what the fuck, right?  Obviously, dead white dicks are going to believe it's okay to be a dick.  Duh.

But a legal system in which rudeness to certain people attracts the attention of the law... this system is by no means unusual in human history.  Nor is it universal.  But it's certainly the norm.  It's really the Enlightenment system of uniform legal protection that's unusual.

Here's an example of the normal historical approach - from a non-Eurocentric context:


In old Japan, it wasn't illegal to be an asshole.  It wasn't even illegal to be an asshole to a samurai.  But it was illegal to be an asshole to a samurai - if you weren't a samurai.  See how it works?  You might say the samurai were a sort of protected class.  A system not at all unique to old Japan.  Always and everywhere, "microaggressing" against the protected class is hazardous to your health.

There was even a word, dating back to those same Roman dicks who gave us this "de minimis" bullshit, for a system of law that assigned certain people special rights.  This set of rights varied - but in almost every case, the right not to be offended (by those outside the subset) was the first and most basic.  The word, in fact, was privilege.  Meaning, in Roman dick-speak, private law.

Type it into the searchbar.  Somehow, you still get:
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis.
I don't think I need to mention what the America of 2013 has done to this word.

Hey, America - just to let you know - the language I speak, English, is actually older than you. (Not even counting the Roman bits.)  Hopefully it'll outlast you as well.  Maybe not.  But when you rape it, you rape my brain.  And you know - unlike some people, I guess - I really don't get off on that.  Just to let you know, America.

As for the actual reality of a two-tier legal system, I don't mind it that much.  Really, it's historically normal.  For an example, consider this now classic tweet:


Whom is it illegal to offend?  Well, for example, Pax (and his 50 re-tweeters - who should all also, of course, be investigated!  Any junior-league Matthew Hopkinses out there?  Gosh, Gawker has interns, don't it?) was satirizing Mel Gibson.

Were Mel Gibson King of America (not my ideal outcome - but perhaps still preferable to present conditions), this would constitute actionably offensive speech in the form of lese-majeste.  (Which is still a thing in Thailand, doncha know.)  Or, if America was a Christian country, this would be actionably offensive speech in the form of blasphemy, because Jesus is the Son of God and wouldn't just let Himself be ambushed from the rear like that.  Or...

But naturally our decent observer, pushing down again on the ducking stool as Goody Hannah struggles for air, cackling and shrieking exactly as a witch would, has no more conception of these power dynamics than a cat of tennis.  All she knows is that someone has said something offensive.  Which is true.  Since she's not interested in the political patterns of who does and doesn't have the right not to be offended, her decent, good-natured desire that everyone should be nice to everyone else gets captured by the strong and used as a weapon against the weak.

The world we live in is an awfully sick, cruel place, isn't it?  Well, we are all basically chimps.  You may not be interested in Power - but Power is interested in you.

But we're still missing something...

Because in any of these absurd hypotheticals, Pax is insulting the governing class - the king, clergy, etc.  It is always a crime to insult Power, and we can take it for granted that Power has been insulted here.  And yet - we know who, specifically, has been actionably disrespected.  It ain't Jesus and it ain't Mel Gibson. It's African-Americans and prostitutes.  Or worse, women who dress like prostitutes - sadly a much larger set.  Fine - African-Americans and women.

But it's really not possible to contend that African-Americans and/or women are American's governing class.  This simply does not compute.

Which leaves us, for all our historical wisdom, at a sort of dead end.  What we're seeing here has never been seen before.  The privilege of not being offended, the most basic and customary privilege of nobility, after centuries of desuetude has been reinvented and regranted.  But the grantees have no resemblance to any traditional noble class.  Not only are they not a ruling class, they don't even seem... especially... noble.

Fine.  We have to go deeper into the rabbit hole.  You know that hit of acid?  The one you've been saving?  For special emergencies?  Yo.  It's time.  Come back in an hour when your tongue gets big.  (Not that there's anything really new here, of course, for the hardened UR addict.)

While I really have no brief for the Wachowski siblings, and the sequels prove there really is such a thing as accidental genius, genius remains genius and The Matrix is its work.  You can't watch this scene too many times, especially if you're on acid:


Out here on the right edge of the sane world, not quite yet in the ocean of madness but close enough to hear its cold black surf, there's a lot of talk about this Red Pill.  We of course live in the Matrix, or rather the Cathedral - I'm glad to see this label catching on, though "Matrix" would do just as well.

But is there actually a Red Pill?  That will cure all this nonsense and explain everything, once and for all?  Acid is great, of course, but alas it does wear off.

I'd like to believe the Red Pill is UR itself.  (There are a lot of blogs that get 500,000 views; there are a lot of blogs that get updated.  There are not a lot of blogs that get 500,000 views while not getting updated.)  But one would have to admit that it's a pretty big pill.  Keanu is going to be here all day and he'll need more than one glass of water.

No. I think I've chosen my candidate for the Pill itself.  And I'm going to stick with it.  My Pill is:
America is a communist country.
What I like about this statement is that it's ambiguous.  Specifically, it's an Empsonian ambiguity of the second or perhaps third type (I've never quite understood the difference).  Embedded as it is in the mad tapestry of 20th-century history, AIACC can be interpreted in countless ways.

All of these interpretations - unless concocted as an intentional, obviously idiotic strawman - are absolutely true.  Sometimes they are obviously true, sometimes surprisingly true.  They are always true.  Because America is a communist country.  As we'll see...

Obviously, as a normal American, or at least a normal American intellectual, this Red Pill strikes you as hilariously and obviously ridiculous and wrong.  You cannot even begin to process it as a serious hypothesis.  It is simply too stupid.  Right?  Right?  Bueller?

I know two ways to answer this laugh: the fast way and the slow way.  The fast way: agree and amplify. "That's right.  America is a communist country.  For workers and peasants, read: blacks and Hispanics."

It may change to rage, fear, denial, whatever - but that laugh will suck itself right back down into the lungs.  That's what happens when you get punched.

You can follow this punch (only punch if you need to, of course) by explaining to your erstwhile mugger why he laughed.  More or less the rhetorical equivalent of kicking him when he's down.  As with the punch, only deliver the full treatment if it's really necessary.  Always be willing to accept surrender.  Ideally, you'll give your man a hand and he'll stand up and switch sides.  But of course, when it's time for the rhetorical ground-and-pound, it's time for the rhetorical ground-and-pound.

The laugh got emitted because one of the simplest ingredients in your standard Blue Pill is a trio of parallel antibodies that convert the Red Pill, in three different ways, into harmless idiotic strawmen.  Obviously, growing up in the Cathedral, we've all received an enormous lifetime dose of Blue Pill.  Before we capture and study these antibodies, we can go no further.

The first and most important antibody converts the RP into the perfect strawman:
America is a Communist country.
Note the capital C.  Generally, the majuscule proper noun implies not the general idea of communism, but the specific entity that was the CPSU - and its various satellite organs, such as the CPUSA.  Hence, today, we read:
America is secretly ruled from a secret Faraday cage under the White House by KGB Colonel-General Boris Borisov, who sometimes emerges in blackface to appear as "Barack Obama."
For example, Nazi Germany was a fascist country.  But Nazi Germany wasn't a Fascist country.  Nazi Germany was a fascist country because Hitler's political system was generally similar to Mussolini's.  But Nazi Germany wasn't a Fascist country - because Hitler wasn't a secret agent secretly working for Mussolini.  Get it?  Come on, of course you get it.

With the small 'f', our sign signifies a political system, ideology or movement, by its objective characteristics.  With the big 'F',  it signifies a political party, organization or regime, by its nominal identity.  You might find it hard to generalize this distinction to an earlier letter in the alphabet, if you are stupid, or haven't taken any semiotics classes.  Otherwise, it ought to be easy to see that though every Communist is a communist (adherent of the political system, ideology or movement), not every communist is a Communist (card-carrying disciple of MOSCOW!!!).  I mean, duh.

This narrative of international subversion is the most effective kind of propaganda strawman - a strawman that you can actually get your adversary to adopt.  An essentially nationalist, and utterly misguided, interpretation of the Communist Menace was the staple of the American right for the entire 20th century.  Indeed it still sells books.  Not bad books - but never perfect.

Historically, the subversion narrative of classical anticommunism is ridiculous as applied after 1989; generally wrong as applied after 1945; accurate in a sense between 1933 and 1945, but still generally misleading. (Alger Hiss is not Aldrich Ames; broadly speaking, the Americans involved with the Soviet security apparatus during the FDR period, including most likely FDR himself, saw themselves, correctly, as the senior rather than junior partners in the relationship - and considered their actions, though technically unlawful, unofficially authorized and the highest form of patriotism in spirit.)

The basic problem with the outside agitator Commie subversion narrative is that it's way too optimistic.  Were communism some exotic pest, it would be easy to eradicate.  Perhaps we could find some kind of microscopic wasp that kept it in check in its strange foreign homeland.  Indeed, the usual pattern with an invasive species is that resistance to it is strongest in its actual homeland.

For example, when we look at John Reed's short dramatic life, we see several epidemiological hypotheses - pick one:
  • The Russian and Mexican revolutions have no connection; similarities are coincidental.
  • There is one revolution, inherently Russian.  It spread, through America, to Mexico.
  • There is one revolution, inherently Mexican.  It spread, through America, to Russia.
  • The Russian and Mexican revolutions are connected via somewhere else - maybe Brazil?
  • Communism is as American as apple pie.
Of course, nationalist rhetoric - of a particularly virulent anti-American kind - was an essential ingredient in both the Russian and Mexican revolutions.  If the origin of these revolutions is essentially foreign to the countries they devastated, it makes perfect sense that the lady would have no alternative but to protest too much.

It's not foreign to ours, however, which explains why communism has only mildly devastated America.  No gulags here!  The home of the screwworm is also the home of the screwworm-eating wasp.  Unfortunately, one can't really rely on the wasp to eradicate the screwworm.  But it keeps the screwworms relatively sane, honest and under control, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.  It's a good thing because it's a good thing.  It's a bad thing because it makes it a lot easier for us to deny we have a communism problem.

When the story of the 20th century is told in its proper, reactionary light, international communism is anything but a grievance of which Americans may complain.  Rather, it's a crime for which we have yet to repent.  Since America is a communist country, the original communist country, and the most powerful and important of communist countries, the crimes of communism are our crimes.  You may not personally have supported these crimes.  Did you oppose them in any way?

The national guilt is especially strong, since our nation is anything but contrite.  Unlike our gelded pet Germans, we still believe in our national ideology of mass murder.  We ourselves are not murdering anyone right now, at least not a large scale.  But we did in the past, and we still believe the same beliefs that made us accessories, before and after the fact, to Soviet atrocities on an epic scale.

If the 20th century taught us anything, it taught us that it's not just the triggerman who's responsible for political murders.  The Schreibtischtäter has also his place in the dock - and behind him stands the howling mob.  And Mission to Moscow was not a flop.  Your grandparents watched it (mine did, anyway), and laughed and clapped.  Across the Atlantic they were laughing and clapping to Jud Süss.  Man is Caliban, everywhere.

Consider one of America's most revered 20th-century writers.  I mean, of course, Ezra Pound.  No I don't - I mean Ernest Hemingway.  According to George Plimpton, Hemingway liked to have a few daiquiris and then go watch Che mow down political prisoners with a machine gun.  Hem and Che both remain cult heroes worshipped by cool people everywhere.  Hey, what national guilt?  It's all cool, right?

Heck, if the Nazis had pulled it out, we'd wearing Reinhard Heydrich T-shirts instead.  Power, victorious power, is always and everywhere adored.  Its crimes?  Well, the winner always has some good excuse.  Who ever was prosecuted for Allied war crimes?  What war crimes?  Bueller?

Cured of that antibody yet?  There's actually a second one:
America is a communist country.
is trivially translated, certainly if you're a communist (and we're all communists), to (in communist jargon):
America has achieved communism.
Achieved!  Who said anything about achieved?  The Soviet Union was a communist country.  Right?  Did it achieve communism?  Did it even claim to have achieved communism?  Of course not.

Obviously, a communist believes that when communism is achieved, social, political and economic equality will be achieved.  In the Soviet Union, there were enormous social, political and economic inequalities.  In America, there are enormous social, political and economic inequalities.

Of these inequalities, a communist would say, with Boxer - we must work harder!  An anticommunist would say: of course you can't achieve these goals.  Communism creates enormous destruction while failing to advance at all toward its stated goals.  That's kind of why communism sucks so much.

Moreover, it would seem obvious that, by taking the stance not that the failure to achieve communism means that communism doesn't work, but the stance that the failure to achieve communism means we haven't worked hard enough to achieve communism - you may not have chosen the best counter-argument against an anticommunist who irrationally persists in calling you a communist.

Yes - America, original homeland and sole remaining capital of communism, is also the nation of hedge-fund billionaires in the Hamptons.  Actually, if you look closely, you'll see that for every libertarian billionaire there are ten "progressive" ones - with about twenty times as much money.  But hypocrisy, too, is as American as apple pie.

But probably the most sophisticated antibody to AIACC is the dualist interpretation of communism.  The dualist believes that there are two kinds of leftism in the 20th century: moderate liberalism, which is as meek and mild as a spring lamb and wants nothing more than to rectify "social injustice," and radical communism, a criminal deviation which sullies the name of the moderates by, you know, murdering hundreds of millions of people.

This antibody is easily recognized as the logician's friend, No True Scotsman.  No true Scotsman would massacre political prisoners.  If Scotsmen are found massacring political prisoners, they are found not to be true Scotsmen.  The fallacy is subtle - it is fallacious only because the distinction is manufactured as a consequence of the test.  For example, if we discovered that Highland Scots committed massacres and Lowland Scots did not, it would not be No True Scotsman, because the Highland/Lowland distinction exists objectively prior to the massacre/no-massacre distinction.

It's an interesting exercise to try to construct a meaningful and objective prior distinction between an American communist and an American liberal of the mid-to-late 20th-century.  For example, we could look for a partition of the social graph.  Perhaps liberals hate communism so much that they never invite communists to their parties?  Or fire them, for communist comments on Twitter?  We do see some partition between the moderate and extreme right - but if anything, it's the extreme left that tends to socially exclude the moderate left.  But not with enough consistency to make a good test.

What, for example, is a "progressive?"  If the anti-communist liberal (as opposed to the anti-Communist, ie anti-Soviet, liberal - a very real phenomenon) was a real phenomenon, and viewed communists the same way he viewed Nazis, for their remarkably similar human rights offenses, we'd expect him to avoid communist political terminology.  For much the same reason that, as cool as that glyph looks, you'll never ever see a swastika in an Apple ad.

Whereas actually, codewords like "progressive," "social justice," "change," etc, are shared across the Popular Front community for the entire 20th century.  They are just as likely to be used by a Cheka cheerleader from the '20s, as a Clinton voter from the '90s.

The dualist constructs his Scottish strawman as follows: Jimmy Carter is a vegetarian intellectual; Felix Dzerzhinsky was a cold-blooded killer.  Therefore, it is absurd to refer to both using the same label, for the same reason it is absurd to imagine Jimmy Carter snuffing out kulaks and reactionaries with a bullet in the nape of the neck.  Thus we create two categories of "progressive," the "nice progressive" (who sounds like NPR) and the "nasty progressive" (with a bad Slavic growl).  And thus, since "communist" means "nasty progressive," and there are no executions of dissidents and hence no nasty progressives in America... it is absurd to consider America as a communist country.

True.  On the other hand, it is also absurd to imagine Rudolf Hess (a rather Carter-like personality) shooting anything larger than a rabbit.  No doubt, if the Nazis had won the war, the whole Holocaust thing would be considered an unfortunate (but understandable) aberration of Himmler and Heydrich.  (Hitler never put it in writing, very much for this purpose.)  No true Nazi would do any such thing.

And indeed, most Nazis never hurt a single Jew.  And nonetheless it does not seem at all illogical to maintain a monist interpretation of both Nazism and fascism, which does not separate fascists or Nazis into "nice" and "nasty" and exculpate the former from the crimes of the latter.  Indeed, much good ink is shed over the guilt of the innocent gullible Hitler voter.  Who'd never even heard of Auschwitz, much less approved of it.  But guilty he remains, eh?

No one at Gawker is shooting anyone in the nape of the neck.  On the other hand, no one at Gawker has the option to shoot anyone in the nape of the neck.  So we can't really know whether they would or they wouldn't, can we?  There sure does seem to be quite a bit of hate out there, however.  My guess is that most wouldn't, but some would.  And isn't some all it takes?

So - now that we know what American communism isn't, let's look at what it is.  Then we'll see what it gets out of purging people.  Then we'll see how to dodge the purge.

Of course, communism is an ambiguous term and we can define it in any way.  One of the easiest ways to see why America is a communist country, for instance, is to define communism as a cultural tradition, essentially a religion, which is transmitted through early nurture like a language.  Although languages are not, of course, encoded in our genes, they have an evolutionary history like that of genetic traits.  Englishmen are related to Germans, English is related to German.

Language and dialect diversity hasn't done well in the 20th century, but political and cultural traditions have taken the biggest hit of all.  Both worldwide and in America, the set of belief systems is far narrower in 2013 than in 1913.  Broadcast technology kind of does that.  Political and military developments have, of course, played a role as well.

What this means is that if you look for Americans in 1913 who have the same basic worldview of an ordinary American college student in 2013, you can find them.  But you can't find a lot of them.  The cultural mainstream of 2013 is not descended from the cultural mainstream of 1913, most of whose traditions are entirely extinct.  Rather, it is descended from a very small cultural aristocracy in 1913, whose bizarre, shocking and decadent tropes and behaviors are confined almost entirely to exclusive upper-crust circles found only in places such as Harvard and Greenwich Village.

What were these people called?  By themselves and others?  Communists, generally.  Though when they wanted to confuse outsiders, they'd say "progressive" - and still do.  But poking at this paper-thin euphemism, or any of its friends - "radical," "activist," and a thousand like it - is "Red-baiting" and just not done.  You've got to respect the kayfabe.

For example, my favorite example of a culturally ancestral aristo-American is Thomas Wentworth Higginson.  Higginson is best known for discovering Emily Dickinson, which may have been the only good deed he did.  But as a young man, he made pioneering strides in terrorist finance as a member of the Secret Six.  (If you have to get your balls groped at the airport, it's because America isn't your country.  It's John Brown's country - you just live here.)  In the 1890s, he worked hard to promote revolution in Russia.  Some friends Russia had!  And as an old man, Higginson helped Jack London and Upton Sinclair start the Intercollegiate Socialist Society; which later became the awesomely named League for Industrial Democracy, which really should have been a band or at least a nightclub; which begat the SDS; which begat (shh!) B.H. Obama...

Clearly, this is the authentic American tradition, unbroken and unchallenged.  Accept no substitutes!  And in fact, you can go to Google and read T.W.'s writing, and observe that for the most part it's fresh as a daisy and could be read on NPR tomorrow, without shocking or even surprising anyone.  In short - this is who we are.  Of course, we can go back to No True Scotsman, or any of our other fallacies, and argue that there's some sort of transcendental difference between a "socialist" and a "communist."
But really, why bother?  It's just obvious that we're all communists now.

But what is communism?  A tradition, sure - but what is in the tradition?  Why does it work?  Why does it rule?

In the terminology of the father of modern political science, Gaetano Mosca, communism is a political formula - a pattern of thinking that helps a subject support the organized minority that governs him.  Typically a modern political formula allows the subject to feel a sense of political power that convinces him that he is, in a sense, part of the ruling minority, whether he is or not (usually not).  Since humans, and in fact all great apes in the chimp lineage, are political animals evolved to succeed in hierarchically ruled tribes, feeling powerful is deeply satisfying.  Communism works because it solves this problem, more effectively than any other political formula in wide distribution today.

When it comes to the formal governance process proper, of course, few are actually in the loop.  Just as pornography can stimulate the human sex drive without providing any actual sex, democracy can stimulate the human power drive without providing any actual power.  But one of the problems with American democracy today is that it's far too constant.  It's like a single page ripped out of Playboy, pinned up in your prison cell.  Fifty years ago it was still enthralling, even though your forebrain may have known it was meaningless.  But eventually even your hindbrain figures out that it's just a piece of paper with some ink on it.  And it sure doesn't help that your forebrain knows the real lady in the picture, while real and actually female, is actually on Social Security by now.

Witch-hunting on a purely informal basis, Popehat's "social consequences," scratches the political perfectly, because of course here is actual power - the power to harm other human beings - being exercised by ordinary people who are not mysterious DC bureaucrats.  Never, ever understate how fun it is to just chimp out for a minute.  If you mock it, it's because you've never had a chance to be part of the mob.  You can condemn it as a vile, base passion, which of course it is - and a human passion as well.  We really all are Caliban.

But we have an angelic nature too, and our angelic forebrains need a cover story while the chimp hindbrain is busy biting off toes and testicles.  Pure sadism is enough for the id.  It's not enough for the ego.  This is why we need communism.

And what is communism?  As a political formula?  Perhaps we can define it, with a nice 20th-century social-science jargon edge, as nonempathic altruism.  Or for a sharper pejorative edge, callous altruism.

What is callous altruism?  Altruism itself is a piece of 20th-century jargon.  We could contrast it with the original word for the same thing, obviously too Christian to prosper in our age: charity.  When we say charity, of course, we think of empathic altruism.

When we think of charity, we think not just of helping others - but of helping others whom we know and love, for whom we feel a genuine, unforged emotional connection.  For whom we feel, in a word, empathy.  Understandably, these people tend to be those who are socially close to us.  If not people we already know, they are people we would easily befriend if we met them.

Dickens, no stranger to genuine empathy, had a term for nonempathic altruism.  He called it telescopic philanthropy.  Who is Peter Singer?  Mrs. Jellyby, with tenure.

So, for example, in classic Bolshevik communism, who is the revolution for?  The workers and peasants.  But... in classic Bolshevik communism... who actually makes the revolution?  Nobles (Lenin) and Jews (Trotsky), basically.  To wit, the groups in Russian society who are in fact most distant - emotionally, culturally, socially - from actual workers and peasants.

Similarly, the most passionate anti-racists in America are all to be found, in early September, at Burning Man.  Everyone at Burning Man, with hardly an exception, is highly altruistic toward African-Americans.  But, to within an epsilon, there are no African-Americans at Burning Man.
 
But wait, why is this wrong?  What's wrong with nonempathic altruism?  Why does it matter to the people being helped if the brains of their helpers genuinely light up in the love lobe, or not?  Loved or not, they're still helped - right?

Or are they?  How'd that whole Soviet thing work out for the workers and peasants?

Heck, for the last 50 years, one of the central purposes of American political life has been advancing the African-American community.   And over the last four decades, what has happened to the African-American community?  I'll tell you one thing - in every major city in America, there's a burnt-out feral ghetto which, 50-years ago, was a thriving black business district.  On the other hand, there's a street in that ghetto named for Dr. King.   So, there's that.  And since we mentioned Mrs. Jellyby, what exactly has a century of telescopic philanthropy done for Africa?

Are Gawker and its ilk genuinely interested in bringing women into technology?  Do they genuinely like either (a) (other) women, or (b) technology?  Because it would sure seem, to the uneducated observer, that the actual effect of their actual actions is to scare women away from programming careers - on the grounds that, if they so much as master MySQL, they will be instantly raped by a pack of Satan-worshipping "brogrammers."

Do you know what women who actually want to help other women learn programming look like?  They look like this.  Sexist, check.  Probably illegal, check.  Recognizing that women are different from men in more areas than the chest compartment, check.  ("Men's rights" activists, shut the fsck up!  If you were real men and not communist pussies, you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you.  Only one thing makes right - that would be, of course, might - and whining that you're taking it in the tail, though taking it in the tail you are, is anything but a way to create that.)

(UC Berkeley when I was a grad student there had an excellent program, very similar, also (in practice) women-only, called the "CS Reentry Program."  I was ill-disposed to respect this program and the people in it, but reality quickly convinced me otherwise.  It was later done away with, for exactly this reason - communism has to pretend to be gender-neutral.  So it can't actually just help women by, you know, helping women.  That would involve appreciating women for what they are.  Which is obviously illegal in a communist country.  Similarly, once while decoding a Victorian book I told my daughter that in "the old days," many girls went to schools where there were no boys.  She looked at me as though I'd told her that in the old days, the whole world was made of chocolate.)

Can men be assholes to women?  Can women be assholes to men?  Well, actually, it's usually men who are assholes and women who are bitches - though not without exceptions.  But broadly speaking, can everyone be assholes to everyone else?  They can.  They are.  And if you're genuinely mentoring a younger person, with genuine empathy and a genuine interest in their genuine success, what you say in every case is: life is full of assholes.  When someone is an asshole (or a bitch) to you, ignore him and have as little to do with him as possible.)

Once you learn to recognize the distinction between empathic and nonempathic altruism, you'll see it everywhere.  Empathic altruism - charity - is simply good.  Nonempathic altruism - communism - is simply evil.  There's not a whole lot of gray area between good and evil.  Evil motivations can certainly, by coincidence, produce good results - but this is an accident, which has little or nothing to do with the supposed "good intentions."

Consider our late lamented "Arab Spring," a true "spring surprise" that is creeping closer and closer to having killed a million people.  As Stalin said, of course, a million people is just a statistic.  You need a visual.  I like to work with Olympic swimming pools full of blood.

And why did the Arab Spring happen?  It happened because our dear State Department incited revolutions across the Arab world.  And why did State do that?  They did it with the full-throated approval of the American people - all the American people, from left to right.  As far as I can recall, UR and David Goldman were the only two pundits condemning this enormous crime, which has produced exactly the results we expected.
 
And what were the American people thinking?  They were in a pure state of callous altruism.  They thought, we'll help our little brown Arab brothers by supporting them in their enlightened democratic revolution.  Mrs. Jellyby could not have expressed it better.

When you are motivated by genuine charity, and your charitable efforts backfire and actually harm the recipient of your help, you feel guilt and sorrow like nothing else.  You're a witness to a horrific motorcycle accident.  You run over to the man on the ground, pull his helmet off, hug him and give him CPR.  Unfortunately, he would have been fine, except that you just severed his spinal cord.  How do you feel?  Is your reaction: "oh well, at least I tried?"

How did the American people react when their Arab experiment didn't go so well?  I'll tell you exactly how they reacted.  "Oh well, at least we tried."  And then they changed the channel.  And that's what's wrong with callous altruism.

Of course, I'll be guilty of this same crime myself if I harp too much on the "women and minorities hardest hit" line.  What's really wrong with callous altruism?  It's a damned lie, that's what's wrong with it.  It steals charity's good name and makes Randroids condemn charity and communism in the same breath.  And all for stupid political power, with which it does nothing.  I'm a grownup and don't need political formulas.  Order me to respect the Party, I'll respect the Party.

I'll tell you what the real emotion behind the Arab Spring was.  Actually, Beavis can tell you better.  "Fire is cool," said Beavis.  Fire is indeed cool.  Americans were bored and needed some better CNN.  They wanted to see shit burn.  Shit indeed burned, and is still burning.  Which was cool.  So they got what they wanted.  Not too different from the crowd in the Colosseum, just less honest about how they satisfy their very simple chimp/human needs.

And it's not just sadism that motivates callous altruism.  Another source of venal satisfaction is that when you help people, or appear to help them, you become a patron.  You gain ownership over them.  When you help overthrow the dictator of Egypt, for example, you become in a sense the new government of Egypt.  The old dictator was a strongman - the new dictator is a weakman, because he owes his job to someone else.  That someone is you - the collective you, but you nonetheless.  If you decide you don't like your weakman, it's easy to find another weakman.

The fear that someone, somewhere, is exercising power over someone else, is one of the most basic cues of the callous-altruist mentality.  Let me kill the master and free the slave.  Out of altruism!   Not sadism or ambition, of course.  My hands are pure.

But slavery is simply dependence, and the default state of the newly "freed" slave is to be dependent on his new master - you, because you killed the old master.  So your sadism itch is scratched, because you get to kill; and your ambition itch is scratched, because you become a slavemaster.

(A slavemaster?  You may not tell your dependent what to do all day.  But if you pay him to do nothing, he is still your slave - you may not ask him to work today, but you could tomorrow.  He would have to obey your commands or starve.  In other words, he's a slave.  And of course, there's one thing you've surely bought - his vote.)

When Higginson and friends tried this experiment in the 1860s, roughly a fourth of the slaves died as a consequence of the operation.  Not to mention all the other people killed.  Naturally, since America is a communist country, this episode - which might under other regimes be viewed as an outbreak of mass criminal insanity - is considered one of the most glorious in our glorious history.

And this is why you don't want to be a part of the lynch mob.  Even if you think there aren't enough women programmers and there should be more.  It is not your forebrain that lusts for power.  It is your hindbrain.  Forebrain... must... control... hindbrain.

As for the mob's victims, who already understand this stuff - there's an easy way to not get purged.  Don't play the fool.  What is attacking you, though it seems like a frivolous phenomenon, is anything but.   This is an active volcano which has claimed hundreds of millions of lives.  Just firing you is a small, small thing for it.  Just destroying your life - very easy.  Don't mess with it.  If you can avoid a fight with it, do.

And if you can't, don't be defensive.  Attack.  If possible, attack in depth and preemptively.  (What do you think I'm doing here?)  One of the things that this evil machine is capable of, for example, is covering up hatefacts - realities that embarrass it or contradict its narrative.  Your goal in attacking it is to embarrass and contradict it, creating a counter-narrative that it cannot incorporate into its own entertainment product.  If you succeed, you will be covered up as well - which is exactly what you want.  So the purpose of your attack is not to draw attention, but to avoid attention.

And finally, I have one last message for Gawker itself:

At long last, bitch, have you no decency?

267 Comments:

Anonymous Thermo said...

Insightful as usual, but you let your rhetoric run away with you here:

We do not see Pax Dickinson and Paul Graham ganging up to destroy Gawker. We see them curling up into a fetal position and trying to survive.

No, we see Pax Dickinson standing up like a man and refusing to recant or grovel, and God bless him for it.

September 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are Gawker and its ilk genuinely interested in bringing women into technology? Do they genuinely like either (a) (other) women, or (b) technology?"

I don't know about (b), but the answer to (a) is a resounding "no." You haven't truly known the meaning of the word "frenemy" until you've observed the gossip habits of twentysomething female journalists.

September 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

I didn't see anywhere where Popehat said he disapproved of McCarthyism.

I've mentioned before that your use of the word "communism" is idiotic, and might as well say it again. There's an expression: "If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck". Stalin's Russia & Mao's China look like each other in many important respects. Such as mass murder, rather than discrimination lawsuits. The United States doesn't. The idea that communism is harmless because it's native is, again, idiotic. Native-born political ideologies are completely capable of fouling up their nations. Your points about determining who has power are fair enough, but are dragged down by being tied to your retarded bilge on "communism".

September 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Puzzle Pirate said...

"Stalin's Russia & Mao's China look like each other in many important respects. Such as mass murder, rather than discrimination lawsuits. The United States doesn't. "

The United States is most certainly a mass murdering regime. The pogrom started in 1973 and at last count in 2008 the number was 50 MILLION dead.

The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

You can find my source for the 50 Million number here

September 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah well there was an open letter over on Gawker..
==============================

"I think you will find with the problem with merely writing East Germany into Statute is you know..you have to *BE* East Germany.
It's easy enough to intimidate academics, they selected through generations in America and frankly millennia of History for cowardice and shirking.
Now marching Academia or government off PC Campus-stan into actual real life [which they wisely avoided] and America in particular is going to prove ever more difficult.
What's fascinating is a moment's reflection and you would have known this...but your own internal dynamics [who you are] make this impossible.
Well. This will be interesting....you realize I hope tyranny is the actual peak of governance. It's not like running the campus diversity council. You must you know succeed. Failure will have consequences. "

September 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

M^2 owes an apology to Communism for comparing it to Western liberalism; that is the ruling liberalism not the silly rump party known as the CPUSA.

FDR's America and Monnet's "Europe" share traits with Communism because of convergent, not divergent, evolution. And it is the Western left's core processes that give them away as a sui generis form of government.

D.C. and Brussels function differently enough from Communism to warrant their being classified as a distinct species of leftism.

Let's count the ways they part with the the Reds:

1) The utopian/millenialist "end stage" of totalitarian bureaucracy (the EU and USG) isn't the same as Communism's.

Communism has the Worker's Paradise where the state melts away and man enters a post-class agrarian state of harmony with nature.

Progressivism's end state is not agrarian; it is a high tech Brave New World-ish future where all facets of society are effectively managed by bureaucrats who risen above politics. This idea was championed by Max Weber and Auguste Comte and all the other sociologists who thought rule by a managerial clique would abolish government corruption.

Naturally, the utopian fantasy government bureaucrats could ever be immune to corruption was as doomed to failure as the belief the prole could become immune to class interests. Both failed, but they do not have the same origins.

2) There is no dictator in dictatorial bureaucracy as there is in Communist dictatorship.

The bureaucracy is the tyrant independent and superior to the actual head of state.

The technogarchy of Weber, Dewey, Monnet, and Comte is an independent branch of government which not even the executive can bring to order.

Under Communism, the civil service merely implements the will of the Soviet Premier, or, if the Premier is weak, the Politburo.

3) Communism's state machinery choked up because of corruption; the Cathedral and the EU are choking because of the complexity of their chain of command.

The AFL-CIO is recoiling at the realization Obamacare will eat their health benefits too.

Their pleas to Obama to be granted an exemption have fallen on deaf ears because Obama is more a figurehead. A real Soviet tyrant would have no trouble carving special exemptions for favored stakeholders by fiat, and any government bureaucrat who said no would be buried under cement.

The stakeholders in the DC and EU apparatus, liberated to act independently of elected political leaders do not have to worry about executive retaliation because they have spent decades building a complex and untraceable line of government agencies in order to create power and jobs for themselves.

With no leader who has the power to tell them he has enough government agencies to suit his purposes, the Cathedral and EU have tangled up the chain of command to the point where it's getting harder to tell who's calling the shots in DC.

Is our Syria intervention being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood? Or Foggy Bottom bureaucrats who want another hopeless third world population to govern over? It's all getting impossible to tell.

September 13, 2013 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

4) The Communist revolutionaries stopped waging internal revolution once they seized power; the Western liberals continue to push the revolution into every imaginable area of life despite having won long ago.

After 1917, the Soviets worked to maintain support for the new system because the new system was their system if for no other reason than they had to provide some minimal level of stability to hold back popular support for a counter-revolution.

Although I can't bring myself to say Brezhnev was a conservative, we must give him credit for accepting his role as caretaker and not pushing the victorious revolution into off the wall directions.

Communist Russia had no time for trifles such as gay "rights".

The Monnet/FDR arrangement is, er, queerer, because their mode of governance is still acting the role of revolutionary despite being in power.

The Western left keeps driving upheaval forward with worse and worser ideas because the bureaucracies have no central command to alert them the Comrades won and now it's time to stop fucking around and start governing.

September 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

If you're going to quote Ken at Popehat make sure you also read Clark at Popehat.

http://www.popehat.com/2013/09/11/pax-dickinson-thought-crime-public-shaming-and-thick-liberty-in-the-internet-age/

I note that he actually cites Unqualified Reservations in the second sentence.

September 13, 2013 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Ave Maria said...

TJIC, I believe it possible that Mencius began writing this post on 9/10 and before that follow-up post was made on 9/11. (Remember the Alamo!)

September 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger C.J. Caswell said...

As a historian let me tell you: this country has been communist, as you put it, for a very long time.

There is no doubt that a certain breed of this empathetic communism runs through every culture, as concern for other people is a moral tool in any cohesive group. The problems revolve around the scale and the responsibility.

With the scale, good sense should tell anyone and everyone that thinking you know a situation well from a distance is foolish and that people's relationships should be expected to be chiefly parochial.

With responsibility, there will always be a war of perspective focused around who gets credit and blame, but I would be highly encouraged to live among a people who actually had the capacity to acknowledge when authority figures dealt with situations well. As it stands, they seem only capable of rage in the event of things going poorly. Egoism, I guess: when life is good, you take the credit, when it isn't, you fire off blame.

September 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

500,000 hits on UR ... im bout ready for some Dark Enlightenment University. Maybe start as a annex of Singularity U.?

September 14, 2013 at 1:18 AM  
OpenID deconstructingleftism said...

I have said why I think America is not a communist country-

http://deconstructingleftism.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/one-communist-two-communist-red-communist-blue-communist/

http://deconstructingleftism.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/the-evil-heart-of-liberalism/

Briefly, Puritanism is a much older and more sophisticated system than communism. That it makes us of communism for its own purposes does not conflate the two.

September 14, 2013 at 1:18 AM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Moldbug: "But one of the problems with American democracy today is that it's far too constant. It's like a single page ripped out of Playboy, pinned up in your prison cell. Fifty years ago it was still enthralling, even though your forebrain may have known it was meaningless. But eventually even your hindbrain figures out that it's just a piece of paper with some ink on it. And it sure doesn't help that your forebrain knows the real lady in the picture, while real and actually female, is actually on Social Security by now."


Betty Boop, what a dish. Betty Grable, nice gams.

September 14, 2013 at 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Democracy is 1830-1933.

Why do we blame the people for elite sins?

Oh, cuz they're the people. And if elites sinned, they might be accountable.

By said people. Who even in their debauched by popular culture [made popular by elites] can smell..Fear.

The City of Atheist God is rank with it...

September 14, 2013 at 5:40 AM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

@ Ave Maria



TJIC, I believe it possible that Mencius began writing this post on 9/10 and before that follow-up post was made on 9/11.



I'm sure you're right; I'm not criticizing him, merely pointing him towards another point of view.

September 14, 2013 at 6:04 AM  
Anonymous whatever said...

You really need to start making up your own terms instead of reusing the original ones in almost but not quite the original meaning.

Communism has a widely accepted, straight-forward, non-ambiguous definition. It's a system where the government (or public through the government... like there is a difference) owns the means of production. And America is not a communist country.

Can it have a plethora of other Soviet-like features? Sure. Since your write a lot on the topic, you could even get to name them. Why not exercise that privilege?

September 14, 2013 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

The anger of the Patriots spread up and down the 13 colonies. In New York they were active in destroying printing-presses from which had issued Tory pamphlets, in breaking windows of private houses, in stealing livestock and personal effects, and in destroying property.[8] A favorite pastime was tarring and feathering 'obnoxious Tories.' Recalcitrant Loyalists might be treated to a punishment common in the army, that of making Tories ride the rail in painful fashion.[9]

Expulsion of the Loyalists

September 14, 2013 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Steve Johnson said...

Communism has a widely accepted, straight-forward, non-ambiguous definition. It's a system where the government (or public through the government... like there is a difference) owns the means of production.

The United States runs on fiat money. The printer of that money owns everything that's for sale for money.

It only hasn't chosen to exercise the option to take possession of absolutely everything yet.

Even if you don't buy that reasoning the USG clearly controls the means of production through regulation and its privatized forces of thought police and regulation enforcers (lawsuits). How is that not ownership? Because the USG doesn't run the day to day? There's a difference between communism and stupidity.

September 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God save us from Nitasha and all the Nitashas.

September 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

I thought you meant black-on-white murders and mass displacements.

September 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous r said...

And of course, long-time Moldy commenters TGGP and TUJ proceed to go straight for the No True Communist line that the Sage of San Francisco demolished at length in the article above.

No wonder Curtis Fūzǐ stays out of his comments these days.

September 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Attack. If possible, attack in depth and preemptively. (What do you think I'm doing here?)"

Good question. What exactly are you doing here? Exposing and attacking an entity that is unjust?

Errr:

"If you were real men and not communist pussies, you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you. Only one thing makes right - that would be, of course, might"

You fight "communism" because it is wrong, but MRAs are wrong to fight feminism because...because...might is right? Wrong is right? Satan is your pal?

This is a nontrivial error. Perhaps I'm having a spell of goyisher kop, though, so maybe a Moldbugista can entryistsplain to me the apparent contradiction.

Cheers!

September 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Puzzle Pirate said...

"The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

I thought you meant black-on-white murders and mass displacements."

That's a good angle too.

September 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That "you won't get funded if I don't give the nod" line chilled me. I'd been hoping that the brogrammer witchhunt that's been going on recently was just something to occupy the Silicon Valley hangers-on, while the real entrepreneurs and investors carried on doing their thing.

I note that the best angel investor in the Valley (Paul Graham) and arguably the best VC (Marc Andreesen) both seem to hold quite non-progressive views, but keep them to themselves. There was a humorous brouhaha a few years ago where Andreesen revealed he was voting Republican and the Valley was shocked - shocked! - that someone with "capitalist" in their job title would do such a thing. And of course Peter Thiel, who's an unapologetic James Bond supervillain and UR reader. (All three are also brilliant thinkers, and any pieces of their wisdom you can find online are worth scouring in depth).

So yeah, I was hoping there was an elite of tech godnerds above the petty squabbles of Anil Dashes, but it seems not. Though I still think Anil might be overconfident about his actual influence. I see two realistic scenarios:

1. The Cathedral has always had an influence in Silicon Valley, but it's metastatized, and the best and savviest entrepreneurs have learned to work around it. Gawker media could tell the world that Mark Zuckerberg is the reincarnation of Hitler, and Facebook would still have a billion users. "It's not the critic that counts" etc etc.

2. The Cathedral is making a desperate push into SV, and the misogyny thing is their beachhead.

Scenario 2 is much worse for Silicon Valley, but potentially better for the world.

It's bad for SV as there's a very real chance the Cathedral will kill it dead. The Cathedral won't intend to kill the Valley, but as it's almost impossible to build a billion-dollar tech company while retaining the mindset of a good little progressive, they're going to scare off the very best people. There will still be plenty of smart programmers and competent founders moving to North California, but the best entrepreneurs - the 0.01%, the Zuckerbergs - will learn to stay away.

Where they will end up is unknown. The dream is that they all move to some neoreactionary seatsead, but that's somewhat unlikely.

September 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

No True Communist

Chill, bro'.

My angle is the Western left's thinking processes are crazier than the old Sickle & Hammer crew. Crazy enough to warrant their being classified as a category of liberalism distinct from Communism.

Don't they qualify?

If Stalin, somewhere, up there in the clouds, is looking down at the West right now, do you think he'd view the Davos oracles as kindred spirits? Or space cadets from an alternate dimension?

I'm betting the later because their platform's nuttiness goes beyond anything Uncle Joe could have dreamed of, no matter how much in the tank FDR was way back when.

For example, Roissy sezzz ze progs have finally come around to "lookism"; discrimination against the ugly in favor of the beautiful.

Would Stalin would have wasted time on something as absurd as this?

WWSD - What would Stalin do? He did many things, but lookism, racial diversity, green energy and all the rest were not among them.

September 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Marcus Crassus said...

Write a goddamned book. People still hand out Chomsky's brain droppings after all these decades. Unqualified Reservations is due to be shut down as a hate-blog any year now. And linking people to the Gentle Introduction is just about as polite as telling a person to go read Eliezer's sequences, or to f**k themselves.

September 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous r said...

You're right TUJ I didn't really read your comment closely due to my exasperation with TGGGGGGP's retarded bilge about "mass murder" (which I have carefully reread to confirm that it is, in fact, retarded bilge). My apologies.

September 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I was about to get to this point M made and which you just brought up:

It's bad for SV as there's a very real chance the Cathedral will kill it dead.

Who says the brogrammers have to intentionally attack the Cathedral?

SV is on track to unintentionally kill it before it can kill the Valley.

Specifically, SV is set to torpedo two core Cathedral processes: the newspaper industry and academia.

The brogrammers have sent newspapers into a revenue death spiral. High quality mini tablets are the final nail in print media's coffin because the over 55 demographic can hold them more easily than the flagship models.

And then there's the decisive strike: Online education.

The tech industry will devastate the university system as soon as online classes are accepted for undergrad credit.

The only barrier to their adoption has been the monopoly power four year schools enjoy to grant college credit.

But the monopoly is about to break. The tuition crisis will drive legislators to mandate public colleges accept online classes for credit.

Introducing lower tuition into the academic ecosystem, even if only at public colleges, will force layoffs of professors because neither public or private schools will be able to lower costs to compete with online alternatives without throwing off deadweight. This means hundreds of thousands of layoffs of tenured faculty.

September 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

Undiscovered Jew: online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

Asking for a uni degree is done to keep the riff-raff out. You don't need the Red Pill to see this - only a pair of eyes.

Wake me up when the 'MOOCs' are able to charge six figures. Or even five.

September 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UJ: Good point.

Going one level deeper, the Cathedral in its current form is adapted to the mass media age. Broadcast technology. One, max two viewpoints for the proles to hear on any given topic.

If TV and newspapers are modernist, the internet is postmodernist - you can find hundreds of ideologies and sub-sub-ideologies, even on a mainstream website like Reddit.

The classic cathedral debating strategy is: "there's two perspectives on this issue. Perspective 1 is held by close-minded bigots. Perspective 2 is held by open-minded intelligent people." That doesn't fly in an age when smart people can read many perspectives on a given topic.

I saw Anil Dash barge into another comment thread recently (this was on Facebook) - the editor of Wired was having a fairly abstract discussion about whether the new wave of internet feminism was poststructuralist or whatever. Anil then barges, tells everyone to check their privilege and (classic prog move) that it's their responsibility to educate themselves. No engaging with the existing conversation at all. It was pretty cringe and makes you realise that progs are not all that bright, they only think that they're smarter and more enlightened than other people. Again, it's a mindset they've learned because they're used to controlling the media and the message, and can't adapt to a platform where everyone gets an actual say.

That said, it's not all peaches and cream. The internet has also bought us Gawker media, Tumblr pansexual demiromantics, and Twitter lynch mobs. New technology changes the game for everyone - there's no telling which side will adapt best. But it's certainly impossible to imagine a purely offline UR getting 500k readers.

Education is another exciting area. I think Peter Thiel knows what he's doing with his 20-under-20 program. Save the Alpha++ Brahmins from Cathedral indoctrination, and very quickly academia becomes *uncool* for regular Brahmin kids.

September 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

I've always regretted engaging Anonymous, but first time for everything right? Gotta give it a chance?

"This is a nontrivial error. Perhaps I'm having a spell of goyisher kop, though, so maybe a Moldbugista can entryistsplain to me the apparent contradiction.

Cheers!"


(Also I'm a fan of this Moldbugista entryistplain thing.)

There's multiple levels here.

-

First, the contradiction is real, not apparent. Moldbug talks a lot about God and how lying is evil and stuff, ("It's a damned lie, that's what's wrong with it.") then runs his mouth about how might = right.

Apparently I have to mention: if you assume might = right, then right and wrong are meaningless. There's only can and can't.

Unfortunately, it would seem Moldbug is not interested in fixing these contradictions. Let me remind you that implementing a contradictory ideology is impossible.

-

Second, no contradiction, not even any apparent one. Moldbug said as much: it's an attempt to be so odious to proggies that it must be ignored.

He's doing it because - to venture too many inferential steps away - he just can't see himself doing it with another guy.

He's said he would be Catholic if he could be. Doubtless, he would also be progressive if that were on the table. It's just not.

-

On the gripping hand, the fact remains that MRAs are full of shit.

It's right there in the name - activist. Activism is evil. It's trying to remedy a theft by revenge-stealing.

They're opposing a fundamentally demotic/communist prospiracy using demotic tactics and strategy. They say that feminism is philosophically bankrupt and evil - only, they don't oppose democracy, which is at least as, if not more philosophically bankrupt. And indeed the founding father of feminism. Even if the MRM somehow miraculously achieved their goals, it would only lay the groundwork for a feminist revival.

Moldbug could probably explain this better than I could. Won't, though.

-

For level 3.5, MRAs, in particular this one's summaries, are a useful source of once-commonly-known facts. Though, I can't safely vouch for the usefulness of any of these facts.

September 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Death tolls aren't the final say in determining a government's sanity or insanity. Kill counts are bound by circumstances. They're a flashing indicator, sure, but they must be viewed in the context of neighboring variables.

The Nazi death toll is lower than Communism primarily because the Third Reich's opportunity to cause mayhem was constrained to a 13 year window.

Had Germany won, the Nazi plan for the colonization of Eastern Europe would have gone ahead. By the time the mass starvation, enslavement and expulsions of Slavs to German penal colonies in Siberia were complete, WWII's killings would approach the 200 million mark. And that assumes a victorious Hitler wouldn't have woke up one day and decided to exterminate another occupied population such as the French.

Take another example; Cold War Chile. Allende couldn't rack up corpses as much as he would have because he was brought down by Pinochet. If Allende's regime had survived, his murders would certainly have exceeded the general's.

September 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MRAs are cute. At least the ones that try and justify themselves (to feminists) by saying: "we just want _equality_. You guys have gone too far and now want women to be superior to men".

It's admirable that they're appealing to a higher principle over emotion, and this argument has intuitive appeal to those of a libertarian/classical liberal bent. But, empirically, "equalist" feminism inevitably leads to socialist feminism. Once you think about it enough, you're either a reactionary traditionalist or a radical feminist. There's no consistent middle ground.

(I cheer on successful career women and female entrepreneurs despite being a gender essentialist. My view is based on the idea that Northwestern Europe has always supported strong, independent women, a consequence of monogamy, small nuclear families, and genetic selection for middle class character traits (thrift, patience, hard work). So there's that).

Anyway, point is there's always a few proto-reactionaries in any MRA community.

Also, another thought on progressives, media and technology.

The canonical personality of broadcast media is patronising. Being patronising doesn't work as well online, where it manifests as snark.

The canonical personality of online media, in contrast, is pedantry.

If you understand the difference between these two mindsets, their patterns of interaction become predictable. 'Derailing', for example, is what happens when "you sit down and let me educate you" meets "let's debate random minutae".

September 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

Asking for a uni degree is done to keep the riff-raff out.


The reason every job everywhere requires a university degree is that in Griggs v. Duke Power Company, the Supreme Court ruled that any test that has a disparate impact on protected classes is illegal to use for employment.

But it's still legal to require a university degree.

It's true that in a world without the Griggs decision, having gone to a Cathedralist college might be considered evidence of political reliability. But then again, I was a minor officer in my college's campus Democratic Party.

What to expect the Cathedral to do about the problem of dodging the Griggs decision with cheap MOOCs? I think in a few years there will be talk of how MOOCs need better outreach towards underserved communities. Probably including threats and incentives regarding accreditation.

Oh, and does anyone remember why educators stopped openly opposing integration? It happened because it was illegal for them to. Probably the same language as the hostile environment law under which it is illegal to knowingly employ a racist, but I don't know.

Regarding the legality of employing racists:

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/harassment.cfm

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, an agent of the employer, a co-worker, or a non-employee.

The victim does not have to be the person harassed.

...The employer will be liable for harassment... if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

September 14, 2013 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

They're a replacement for professors. The political impact of wiping out so many tenured positions would be enormous since the left relies heavily on universities to physically organize liberals, brainwash students, and churn out "research" that always promotes ever more progressive social engineering.

As for status-signalling, only the top 20 (more or less) non-engineering schools have enough brand name recognition that they can get away with charging exorbitant tuiton.

Online education won't take down these schools. But they may not have to. If scores of humanities professors and departments below the top ~20 schools are ruined, the remaining schools simply won't be numerous enough to make up for the lost political influence and volume of propaganda generated by lower ranked liberal schools like University Boulder Colorado, UNC Chapel Hill, etc.

There's plenty of non-elite private schools that will be jeopardized.

September 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

That said, it's not all peaches and cream. The internet has also bought us Gawker media, Tumblr pansexual demiromantics, and Twitter lynch mobs.

The liberal websites depend on the reputations of the mainstream liberal house organs. If, like Newsweek, the old Cathedral behemoths go belly up they Gawker and similar must compete on a level internet playing field where the barriers to entry are miniscule.

As far as broadcast media goes, Silicon Valley very much wants to gain control of television programming. Although a la carte programming seems off the table, there is movement towards offering "genre" bundles where similarly related channels, like sports and family, could be bought at a cheaper price without the "all or nothing" bundle we have today.

If the bundle breaks up, the broadcast nightly news will suffer a ratings drop because they only have millions of viewers because of old habits and because the alphabet broadcasters are the first few channels in everyone's bundle.

If consumers can buy smaller bundles, networks will have to tone down the propaganda to keep segments of viewers from cancelling.

Notice that the casts of HBO's shows are much whiter than regular shows because HBO has to convince viewers to fork over extra cash and stay a subscriber.

September 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Silicon Valley's lobbying/bribery might is sufficient to hold off the Cathedral long enough to enter the credentialing and TV markets and, intentionally or not, cause severe damage on the Cathedral.

As MM pointed out, they already get the EEOC to look the other way on their quota mandates.

September 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

r, there is a definition for "Scotsman". There is not only a definition for "communist", there is a manifesto and multiple political parties. Mencius wants to use the term "communist" to refer to things which do not fit the definition, are not officially capital-C communist, and don't match the duck-type. Even linguistic descriptivists believe you can use a word wrong, and I claim he is doing so here.

I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter), has a series of recent posts showing that the Puritans and other settlers of New England (along with their descendants) were/are not responsible for modern liberalism. A mitigating factor is that it doesn't seem intended to be taken seriously, but is somewhat akin to Stirner saying "our atheists are pious men" or Marx calling him "Saint Max" in reply. There also is something to David Hackett Fischer's identification of "ordered liberty" with New England and its Puritan founders, but ordered liberty isn't liberalism, and (contrary to Clark) Lincoln wasn't a totalitarian.

September 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

The Undiscovered Jew: perhaps you misunderstand; the status signal in the case of the usual university is 1) "I can fuck around for four idiot years" and 2) "Watch me douse $100K with gasoline and light it."

MOOCs make for decent IQ test replacements (until the results begin to actually matter, and people start paying unemployed Chinese physicists to take the online tests) but there is no substitute for the pyre.

September 14, 2013 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Nicholas James said...

One omission that warrants raising:

It might have been hard to be a fascist screenwriter, but it wasn't very hard to be a fascist scientist brought here by the OSS.

September 14, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think socialist is a much better word than MM's preferred communist, even if for no other reason than the fact that communism and Communism are perhaps more closely associated with each other than MM would care to admit. The statement "America is a socialist country" is a much more plausible one than MM's preferred red pill, though (for that reason) it increasingly lacks the shock value of the latter.

However, this is only a quibble over words, as MM's communism is probably indistinguishable for my (and his) socialism.

The real howler in MM's analysis is his claim that socialism triumphed over against all the other competing ideologies in the 20th century because it did the best job of satisfying certain "chimp" impulses in the masses.

That can't be right.

I have another theory.

Socialism triumphed in the 20th century because its adherents controlled the new instruments of mass propaganda that were coming on the scene, whose true political power was not widely appreciated until socialism had already won. Moreover, the elite adherents of this new ideology were not motivated by some primitive "chimp" impulse but by a sophisticated religious one. Socialism is not simply a political ideology but a politico-religious ideology of sorts. In particular, socialism is what you get once Western Christianity has been thoroughly secularized. Yes, socialists have stopped believing in God, but they have not given up the hope of His kingdom, in which people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will live together in peace and prosperity in a heaven-on-earth renewed world. They have not given up on this hope in the least!

This is why the body count racked up by socialism doesn't phase socialists, who see themselves as trying to realize humanity's ultimate destiny (or at least its highest ideal). In the end, the sacrifices will always be worth it, because the end that they are working towards is so wonderful.

But why then are Blacks are a protected class in the here and now?

They are a protected class because they are an important source of political power for socialism in America and elsewhere. For the most part, Blacks can always be counted on to vote for the socialist candidate with the greatest and highest consistency than any other group. Why? Because they are the group most easily manipulated by the socialists who control the organs of mass propaganda. In making Blacks a protected class, socialists are merely protecting one of their most reliable sources of political power (i.e., one of their golden gooses). In the final analysis, socialists are not interested in advancing the interests of Blacks as such but their own socialist agenda, and that requires power, which Blacks help to provide. Hence, their status as a protected class.

September 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Martin S. said...

Thanks to Moldbug, I've searched but any thoughts on Rieff?

"For that reason, in Rieff’s view, therapeutic ideology rather than communism represented the revolutionary movement of the age. Communism inverts religion but accepts, at least in theory, the idea of a social order that embodies certain moral commitments; therapeutic society, on the other hand, stands both against all religions and for all religions. That is, it refuses to engage religious claims on their own terms, to take them seriously as a “compelling symbolic of self-integrating communal purpose.” It represents the absolute privatization of religious doctrines, absorbing them as potentially useful therapies for individuals. “Psychological man,” remarks Rieff, “will be a hedger against his own bets, a user of any faith that lends itself to therapeutic use.”

Indeed, compared to the emergent Western rejection of all “moral demand systems,” Rieff notes that communism was, in a certain sense, conservative. Americans, on the other hand, had been released by the anti-cultural doctrine of the therapeutic to be “morally less self-demanding,” aiming instead to enjoy “all that money can buy, technology can make, and science can conceive.” (This comparison helps explains why self-publicists such as Christopher Hitchens have been able so easily to “switch sides” in our culture wars; their fundamental allegiance is to the globalization of therapeutic remissiveness, and they realize that that goal is now best served by Western secular liberalism.)"
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/pieties-of-silence/

September 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FDR and the New Deal Coalition was anti-Puritan:

http://racehist.blogspot.com/2013/09/new-deal-coalition.html

""The New Deal coalition [. . .] united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: Catholic immigrants, Jewish intellectuals, southern gentlemen, black sharecroppers, Appalachian mountain folk, Texas stockmen and California hedonists."

Excerpt from Albion's Seed:

Old Folkways and the New Immigration

Even as the old sectional politics reached their apogee in the 1920s, a major transformation was taking place in the ethnocultural character of American society. As late as 1900 nearly 60 percent of Americans had been of British stock. The old English-speaking cultures still firmly maintained their hegemony in the United States. But that pattern was changing very rapidly. By 1920 the proportion of Americans with British ancestry had fallen to 41 percent. Still, three-quarters of the nation came from northwestern Europe, but other ethnic stocks from eastern and southern Europe were growing at a formidable rate.

As always when threatened from abroad, the four Anglo-Saxon cultures joined together in the 1920s to restrict the flow of the new immigration. Every region voted as one on this question—so much so that the immigration restriction bill of 1921 passed the Senate by a margin of 78 to 1. The House of Representatives approved it in a few hours without even bothering to take a roll call.17

By these measures, Congress succeeded in reducing the numbers of new immigrants during the twenties. But the ethnic composition of the United States continued to change very rapidly by natural increase. By 1980, the proportion of the American population who reported having any British ancestors at all had fallen below 20 percent. Nearly 80 percent were descended from other ethnic stocks. The largest ethnic stock in the United States was no longer British but German. Many other minorities were growing at a great rate.18

In the northeast, the new and old ethnic groups found themselves increasingly in conflict on cultural questions. In a New York referendum on pari-mutuel betting in 1939, for example, communities settled by Yankees before 1855 united in their opposition. The new immigrants were equally solid in support. The lines of conflict between the older communities and the new immigrants were sharply drawn on these issues.19

[19 On pari-mutuel betting in 1939, John L. Hammond found zero-order r values of negative .523 for communities founded by Yankees before 1855; for immigrant populations the correlation was a positive .700 on the other side. He reported similar patterns in voting on state lotteries in 1966; The Politics of Benevolence, 169.]

cont.

September 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New Deal Coalition: Ethnic and Regional Cultures

The new immigrants were slow to move into positions of leadership in the United States. A complex system of discrimination by licensing, quotas and covenants kept their numbers small in prestigious professions, the strongest schools and the best neighborhoods. But by 1932 their voting strength made a powerful difference in American politics and produced a major realignment of ethnic and regional groups which put Franklin Roosevelt in the White House.

During the Great Depression, the sufferings of southern farmers and northern workers created the basis for a new coalition which was destined to dominate national politics for nearly twenty years. This New Deal coalition united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression. The political economy of laissez-faire and the Protestant ethic had been discredited by the Depression. The “noble experiment” of ordered freedom in national prohibition was regarded as a social disaster. This was a period when “puritanism” became a pejorative term in American speech. Descendants of the great migration were ridiculed as absurd and pathetic figures in Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

The old Republican coalition still remained strong, especially in the northern and midland rural regions which had been settled from New England and Pennsylvania. The states of Maine and Vermont voted Republican in every presidential election but one from 1856 to 1960.20 Republican candidates also ran strongly in the parts of the old northwest (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin), in the many northern plains states (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas), and in the Pacific northwest state of Oregon. In the depths of the Depression, the old Republican coalition still remained the strongest single culture in American politics. But the growing pluralism of American society now made it impossible for that cultural bloc to dominate national politics as it had done from 1860 to 1932.

The New Deal coalition was a response to this development. It united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: Catholic immigrants, Jewish intellectuals, southern gentlemen, black sharecroppers, Appalachian mountain folk, Texas stockmen and California hedonists. All joined in one movement improbably led by a patrician Democrat of New England stock from New York.

The various groups who supported Roosevelt all believed that the national government should play a larger economic role. But they did not share the same moral values and cultural purposes. The policies of New Deal reflected this diversity of cultural origins. It was an American middle way, “slightly left of center” in Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite phrase—a series of pragmatic experiments designed to preserve the capitalist and democratic fabric of American society by increasing public intervention in the material life of the nation. At the same time, the New Deal also opposed public legislation on questions of private morality. It abolished national prohibition, and rejected the moral activism of the Republican coalition.

Here was the central paradox of the New Deal—material intervention and moral non-intervention. It increased the economic role of government, but diminished its role as the instrument of any single system of ethnic or regional culture. The south received strong material support, but was not required to change its folkways. The ethnic cultures of new immigrants in northern cities were given economic aid in many forms, but legislative challenges to their culture were abandoned. The cultural hegemony of the Republican coalition was finally destroyed."

September 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Heraclitus the Obscure (Formerly Anonymous) said...

Alrenous entryistsplained: "yadayadayada..."

Fine, I now have a suitable UR comment section handle, cool?

My reading of the canon of evil isn't what it should be; I've only seen the might is right assertion seriously advanced in, well, The Protocols, that tooootally bogus yet stunningly prescient hoax.

So I did some more googling on the matter & came up with this Ragnar Redbeard fellow - what an amusing entryist nom de plume. Our friends at TOQ have a nice review of his work:
“Ragnar Redbeard” was a pen name, but whoever he was, he was an extremely well-informed, erudite person, albeit with a rather florid literary style which might be off-putting for some readers.

Sound familiar?

September 15, 2013 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Found on my E-Mail yesterday :

"There is still time to receive your FREE bumper sticker "Love is the law. Support equality in marriage today."

Here is my comment which summarizes my reaction to the above :

What's to say ? In the face of so much folly, perhaps we might try.. humor, the humor of countless Jewish rabbis on the eve of the pogrom, rather than weeping, or gnashing of teeth.
The world has ever been thus. When we were younger, more naive, more utopian, we thought that, thanks to our untiring activism, our good intentions, sometimes even... our faith, we could change it.
But now, we have finally observed and digested that it will ever be equal to itself, and deaf to our efforts to "improve" it.
Let's try cultivating an elegant melancoly, rather than a shiny cynicism...

September 15, 2013 at 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

Fine, I now have a suitable UR comment section handle, cool?

Just spiffy. It just means the first anonymous I don't (yet?) regret engaging immediately picked a name. The correlation between namelessness and drooling idiocy remains startlingly strong.

-

What's TOQ stand for?

-

"The Protocols, that tooootally bogus yet stunningly prescient hoax."

The British conquer the entire world, twice, and people are still scared of the Joos.

Being scared of ze Germans I kind of understand, since the British are for the most part a variety of German. If Germany wasn't almost landlocked the British might have had to work for their empire.

Who made modern Israel? The British, motherfuckers.

-

"I've only seen the might is right assertion seriously advanced"

It's not even well certain Moldbug seriously advances it. It might just be about knocking fools upside the head when they think right implies might.

September 15, 2013 at 7:01 AM  
Anonymous SMERSH said...

Have you seen the state of Britain recently?

It's dead, Jim.

September 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Re: Pundits who opposed the Arab Spring, you missed Debbie Schlussel. (Though maybe Israel-bloggers like Caroline Glick and Schlussel don't count in MM's tally).

She's great. Whether you agree or disagree with her in the comments section, eventually she'll call you an anti-semite. It could be a drinking game, but you have to wait a few weeks to drink. Make it a shot of laudanum and absinthe.

September 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

due to my exasperation with TGGGGGGP's retarded bilge about "mass murder"

Now, now.

TGGP plays an important role; he serves as UR's calm, zen-like Hideki Tojo to Moldbug's raving Adolf Hitler.

And I mean that as a compliment.

To both of you.

September 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter),

What is it you find useful in his blog.?

His genetics entries are just copy-paste jobs of already published material with amateur commentary. GNXP and Dienekes provide better analysis of genetics papers and they even do their own original work.

When n/a veers towards politics or history he's been caught lying or wrong on plenty of facts, as all anti-semites are. His count of Jewish CEOs and Jewish representation at elite schools includes partial Jews like Ballmer (half Swiss). Nor does he mention the fact most self identifying Jewish college students are have one non-Jewish parent.

If he wants to include partial Jews as half-Jews then he should be comparing them to the overall population of full Jews + partial Jews; at least 5% of white American have enough Jewish DNA to qualify for Israeli citizenship compared to full Jews being 2.5% of all white Americans.

But since he's a liar, he avoids those inconvenient facts.

And his main historical thesis, Jewish liberals defeated WASP conservatives, was already debunked.

While Moldbug is wrong that a majority of pre-FDR WASPs were liberals, he's right that post-war WASPs were overwhelmingly either liberal or squishy Rockefeller Republicans.

n/a on the other hand is wrong about pre-FDR Jewish elites driving the country left.

They couldn't have because they were rightists.

Before the New Deal, Jewish elites were conservative German American Jews who were assimilated into plutocratic WASP conservatism. The Loeb, Fischer, Warburg, Schiff, Guggenheim and other elite Jewish American families leaned Republican.

It was the minority of progressive WASPs that ultimately corrupted the majority liberal WASPs and pulled post-WWII America to the left by the 1970s. The Jews and Catholics from the Great Wave migration assimilated into a WASP elite that was already leftist by the time they reached the upper echelons of power.

Adlai Stevenson, New York mayor John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller and the Rockefeller family, George Walker Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ned Lamont, Senators John and Lincoln Chaffee, Howard Dean III, Ned Lamont, Episcopalian Maine Senator Angus King, Governor William Weld were the leftist representatives of post-war WASPism. Not a Coolidge among them.

In the 1950s, Murray Rothbard recalled how he was shocked at how few WASPs there were in the early National Review movement.

The Supreme Court was majority WASP and Jew free from 1969-1994. From 1994-2009, two WASPs, John Paul Stevens and David Souter, made up 50% of the High Court's liberal justices.

Elite liberal WASPs have been prominent among recent liberal presidential candidates and wildly overrepresented compared to their overall share of the population. The two Bushes, Howard Dean, John Kerry (half-WASP half-Jewish).

Mitt Romney (a Mormon who assimilated into elite norms) is the only remotely conservative WASP candidate, and only because his religion immunized to the loopiness infecting the high Church Protestant denominations.

September 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

FDR and the New Deal Coalition was anti-Puritan:

Heraclitus, the article doesn't quite say what you and n/a suggest/hope it does.

By "anti-Puritan" the excerpts from Albion's Seed mean laissez-faire economics more so than culture.

Secondly, while the voters for the New Deal certainly consisted of those groups, the leadership of the anti-conservative WASP progressives was led by the minority of liberal New Deal/progressive WASPs.

None of those voting blocks, except Jewish intellectuals, were influential enough to provide important leadership to the progressive movement.

And while there were Jewish progressives, the Jewish intellectuals of the time leaned towards pro-WASP conservatism as did most WASP intellectuals.

September 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The Albion's Seed extract was weak. You're making it all too easy for us.

Keep doing what you're doing, antisemites and paleocons, because you're great for Jewish interests.

As long the "smartest" antisemites, the paleoconservatives, are historical illiterates who think neo-Confederate revisionism will in any way appeal politically to WASP conservatives (What Wasp conservatives??) then you're obviously too stupid to get traction since you don't know you're political audience.

Appealing to both WASP sensitivities with defenses of the pre-war South is sure to generate as much success as Carthaginian apologetics would to first century Roman elites.

Keep talking about issues you know nothing about, keep debating better informed Jewish apoligists on the internet, keep defending Muslims against Israel, keep generating lies that can easily be debunked with a Google search, and anti-semitism will earn the current success it deserves long into the future.

September 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By "anti-Puritan" the excerpts from Albion's Seed mean laissez-faire economics more so than culture.

The excerpt from Albion's Seed clearly talks about culture, so I'm not sure why you're disputing this:

"Even as the old sectional politics reached their apogee in the 1920s, a major transformation was taking place in the ethnocultural character of American society. As late as 1900 nearly 60 percent of Americans had been of British stock. The old English-speaking cultures still firmly maintained their hegemony in the United States. But that pattern was changing very rapidly."

"In the northeast, the new and old ethnic groups found themselves increasingly in conflict on cultural questions."

"This New Deal coalition united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression."

"In the depths of the Depression, the old Republican coalition still remained the strongest single culture in American politics. But the growing pluralism of American society now made it impossible for that cultural bloc to dominate national politics as it had done from 1860 to 1932."

"The New Deal coalition was a response to this development. It united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: "

"[The New Deal] increased the economic role of government, but diminished its role as the instrument of any single system of ethnic or regional culture."

"The cultural hegemony of the Republican coalition was finally destroyed."

September 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

PS: Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Two Hundred Years Together called for both Russians and Jews to take responsibility for the “renegade” members of their communities who supported the October Revolution.

I agree with Solzhenitsyn that Jews should accept responsibility after the Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Georgians and others accept their responsibility for supporting the revolution.

The Slavs and other ethnic groups of Imperial Russia will be apologizing any day now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Hundred_Years_Together

The second volume covers the post-revolution era up to 1970 when many Jews left Russia for Israel and other western countries.[8] Solzhenitsyn says that, despite the presence of Jewish Leon Trotsky, the 1917 February and October Revolutions were not the work of Judaism. Solzhenitsyn says that the Jews who participated in revolution were effectively apostates splitting from the spirit of tradition.[1] Solzhenitsyn emphatically denies that Jews were responsible for the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. At the end of chapter nine, Solzhenitsyn denounces “the superstitious faith in the historical potency of conspiracies” that leads some to blame the Russian revolutions on the Jews and to ignore the “Russian failings that determined our sad historical decline.”[9]

Solzhenitsyn criticizes the “scandalous” weakness and “unpardonable inaction” that prevented the Russian imperial state from adequately protecting the lives and property of its Jewish subjects. But he claims that the pogroms were in almost every case organized from “below” and not by the Russian state authorities. He criticizes the “vexing,” “scandalous”, and “distressing” restrictions on the civil liberties of Jewish subjects during the final decades of the Russian old regime. On that score, in chapter ten of the work he expresses his admiration for the efforts of Pyotr Stolypin (Prime Minister of Russia from 1906 until 1911) to eliminate all legal disabilities against Jews in Russia.

In the spirit of his classic 1974 essay “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations”,[10] Solzhenitsyn calls for the Russians and Russian Jews alike to take responsibility for the “renegades” in both communities who supported a totalitarian and terrorist regime after 1917. At the end of chapter 15, he writes that Jews must answer for the “revolutionary cutthroats” in their ranks just as Russians must repent “for the pogroms, for…merciless arsonist peasants, for…crazed revolutionary soldiers.” It is not, he adds, a matter of answering “before other peoples, but to oneself, to one’s consciousness, and before God.”[11]

September 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Albion's Seed extract was weak. You're making it all too easy for us.

Keep doing what you're doing, antisemites and paleocons, because you're great for Jewish interests.


Are you suggesting that Albion's Seed is some sort of anti-Semitic tract?

The author of Albion's Seed, David Hackett Fischer, is a professor at Brandeis University and he was awarded the Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute in 2006. I don't think Fischer would be a professor at Brandeis and receive such awards if he was putting out anti-Semitic tomes.

September 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Albion's Seed clearly talks about culture,

The primary issue was how the culture failed in the runup to the Great Depression. The antidote to this Puritan mentality was New Deal economics, not a cultural New Deal. The cultural changes the New Deal wrought were initially minor compared to the fiscal ones.

September 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Punditarian said...

Growing up in the sixties, in a communist-sympathizing milieu on the North Shore of Long Island, I was raised on "No True Scotsman."

Point out that the Soviet Union was a horrific hellhole, and we were told that what they had was "not true communism."

Point out that Red China was a sink of famine and tyranny, and we were told that what they had was "not true communism."

And so on. "True communism" could only be established in an advanced industrial society, such as the United States, where when the apparatchiks seized power, everything would be different. That would be "true" communism.

Nowadays we hear the same thing about Islam, of course. Misogynistic honor killing? "Not true Islam." A tribal relic.

Jihad warfare? "Not true Islam."

And so on.

September 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Are you suggesting that Albion's Seed is some sort of anti-Semitic tract?

No, you misinterpreted the passage to make it seem it supported anti-semitism.

Just as you misinterpreted Two Hundred Years Together.

Do you deny the political leadership of the progressive movement was WASP?

September 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The primary issue was how the culture failed in the runup to the Great Depression. The antidote to this Puritan mentality was New Deal economics, not a cultural New Deal. The cultural changes the New Deal wrought were initially minor compared to the fiscal ones.

The extract is pretty clear that the primary issue was cultural conflict and changing demographics. The dominant culture represented by the Republican coalition was declining demographically relative to the "disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition". This allowed the New Deal coalition of the disparate cultural groups to obtain political power.

September 15, 2013 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

There also is something to David Hackett Fischer's identification of "ordered liberty" with New England and its Puritan founders, but ordered liberty isn't liberalism, and (contrary to Clark) Lincoln wasn't a totalitarian.

IIRC, the early Puritan settlers briefly experimented with a quasi-Communist economic schema before abandoning it because of poor results.

September 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly in the excerpt from Albion's Seed supports "anti-Semitism"?

September 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The primary issue was how the Protestant ethic affected economics:

that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression. The political economy of laissez-faire and the Protestant ethic had been discredited by the Depression.

September 15, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I think socialist is a much better word than MM's preferred communist, even if for no other reason than the fact that communism and Communism are perhaps more closely associated with each other than MM would care to admit. The statement "America is a socialist country" is a much more plausible one than MM's preferred red pill, though (for that reason) it increasingly lacks the shock value of the latter.

Socialism was a less extreme version of Communism. It settled for large scale, but not complete, control of the means of production.

19th century conservatives like Bismarck adopted socialism in some spheres to try to defuse support for full scale Communism.

The EU and New Deal states are crazier than Soviet Russia. They therefore deserve a separate classification.

Limousine liberalism looks more like Huxley's Brave New World with it's emphasis on social therapy and constant state interference and social conditioning by bureaucrats in every aspect of life.

How about "Technocracy".

September 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The primary issue was how the Protestant ethic affected economics:

That's clearly not the primary issue of the excerpt. Anyone who reads the excerpt can plainly see that the primary issue is cultural conflict and demographic change. Most of the excerpt talks about cultural conflict and demographic change. The Great Depression gave an opportunity for the "New Deal coalition [which] united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition" to obtain political power.

September 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

TGGP,

While the Puritan's were conservative, it is the post-Protestant nations of the Anglosphere as well as Scandinavia and Northern Europe that have been hit hardest by Nanny State liberalism.

The post-Catholic and post-Orthodox Christian states, by contrast, were hit with the, now defunct, hard left revolutionaries.

The evidence that even nanny state liberalism was "transmitted" from the United States to Europe is iffy since there were already nanny state liberals in prominent positions before WWII. Keynes, the British Fabian Socialists, etc were more the cousins of American progressives than the Leninists.

September 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While the Puritan's were conservative, it is the post-Protestant nations of the Anglosphere as well as Scandinavia and Northern Europe that have been hit hardest by Nanny State liberalism."

Not coincidentally, these are the most outbred populations in the world.

"The evidence that even nanny state liberalism was "transmitted" from the United States to Europe is iffy"

Convergent evolution perhaps?

September 15, 2013 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TUJ,

"Limousine liberalism looks more like Huxley's Brave New World with it's emphasis on social therapy and constant state interference and social conditioning by bureaucrats in every aspect of life."

I respectfully disagree. In Huxley's vision of the future, the world is scientifically managed even to the detail of growing/developing people according to an elaborate system of classification, where people of different types are assigned to different tasks appropriate to their type. Hence, the great difference between Huxley's world and our own is that the former embraced an elaborate system of scientifically informed discrimination whereas ours has (at least outwardly) adopted a radical egalitarian ethic. In short, Huxley's world is more like the one depicted in Gattaca than our own.

However, Huxley did get a number of things right. For example, he correctly predicted that the world would become increasingly technological in its management and hedonistic in its values. In particular, life might seem to be little more than a vain pursuit of pleasure to certain romantic types. Perhaps more impressively, Huxley correctly predicted the eclipse of nationalism and the dividing of the world into regional economic zones.

September 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Clark from Popehat said...

@ The Undiscovered Jew said...




I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter),




What is it you find useful in his blog? ...


His genetics entries are just copy-paste jobs of already published material with amateur commentary. GNXP and Dienekes provide better analysis of genetics papers and they even do their own original work.

When n/a veers towards politics or history he's been caught lying or wrong on plenty of facts, as all anti-semites are.



You're confused about who you're talking about.

I am not, and have never been, an anti-Semite. I've also never blogged about genetics.

September 16, 2013 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger DR said...

@TGGP

"I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter), has a series of recent posts showing that the Puritans and other settlers of New England (along with their descendants) were/are not responsible for modern liberalism."

Racehist isn't factually wronge, he's just attacking a strawman. His evidence on this matter is that modern day people with Anglo last names vote Republican. The Moldbug thesis, orthogonal to that, claims that the culture of modern-day progressive thought is descended from the culture of the Puritan settlers.

Descendants of Puritans are no longer culturally Puritan and have been mixed in with genetically and culturally with the rest of America. How many people with Puritan last names are even aware of the fact? The political inclinations of modern-day assimilated Puritan descendants is only very weak evidence to political inclinations of their forefathers. Evidence that must be weighted against the much stronger historical narrative.

It would be as if I claimed that modern-day philosophy largely descended from Ancient Greek culture. Then you tried to refute that by showing that people with Greek last names are actually underrepresented as Philosophy majors.

September 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger DR said...

On the subject of Puritans and progressives, my sense is that the role of the Mid-Atlantic Quakers, Mennonites and other Peace Churches are getting overlooked here. If we're backtracking to the 1860s, they were more prominent abolitionists than the New England Puritans.

September 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

"Puritan" is not identical with "Calvinist." The Protestant work ethic and other totems of Calvinism were under attack by other strains of Dissent from the time of Roger Williams. In the end, the Unitarians defeated and swallowed first the Congregationalists and then the other denominations.

September 16, 2013 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger the inquisitive neurologist said...

Hi, this may be a bit against the rules of propriety, but I'd like to link to something I wrote and posted on a list I frequent. It is of relevance to the gist of Moldbug's post, in that I tend to see American leftism as an adaptation of jerks to succeed in power struggles under local circumstances, which makes it similar to communism - but then, perhaps, the metaphor of America as a communist country is a bit too narrow. It's more like "America is ruled by hypocritical jerks - you are not surprised, are you?". I think I am not saying anything new to UR, in fact I seem to have recreated some of the common tropes around these parts. Anyway, here it goes:

http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/2013-June/077788.html

September 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Not coincidentally, these are the most outbred populations in the world.

Are they?

The Brits and Scandis should be among the more inbred Europeans because their geography has, relatively, segregated them from other white ethnic groups.

The most outbred population of Europeans would be those who lived on the open plains, i.e., the Central and Eastern European Slavs with their mix of German, Scandinavian, native Slav and maybe some Southeastern Euro and Caucuses DNA. They're also the group of Europeans with the healthiest sense of culture and nationhood.

But I'm not sure outbreeding or inbreeding makes much difference in European politics.

The French are also very outbred; a near 50-50 split between Southern Europeans and Germanics. But their politics has been a basket case since 1789 except for those periods when they were ruled absolutely by two Genoese: Napoleon 1.0 and Napoleon 3.0.

The outbreeding issue seems to be a non-sequitor. As long as inbreeding is outside of the third cousing (because within it leads to diseases) Outbreeding and inbreeding from the Darwinian perspective are only good or bad IF the traits being combined are beneficent.

Outbreeding with blacks, for example, confers almost no evolutionary advantages (except maybe some improvement in athletic ability which is wildly outweighed by all the negatives) to non-blacks.

Pan-European breeding, by contrast, could lead to beneficent trait combinations. In Brazil, model scouts prefer models who are Northern-Southern Euro hybrids.

In Huxley's vision of the future, the world is scientifically managed even to the detail of growing/developing people according to an elaborate system of classification,

Ironic you mention that as Sir Julian Huxley, a relative of Aldous, was once chairman of the British Eugenics Society.

For example, he correctly predicted that the world would become increasingly technological in its management and hedonistic in its values.

That aspect has played out.

The dream state of US progressives, British Fabians and interwar Euro-Federalists was "rule by scientific/academic experts" who were above politics. I must note, though, the founders of the European Union, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman and others tended to be Roman Catholic.

The Marxist end state of history wasn't a scientific nanny state/technocracy. It was supposed to be the melting away of government and man reaching peace with an agrarian state of existence.

September 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

On the subject of Puritans and progressives, my sense is that the role of the Mid-Atlantic Quakers, Mennonites and other Peace Churches are getting overlooked here.

President Nixon was a Quaker and he gave us Affirmative Action. But, to be fair to him, he was cynical and street wise enough to know AA wouldn't level the playing field. He just offered it up as a way to get the blacks to stop rioting, which sort of worked.

He did give us many other state interventions aside from AA; price controls, the FDA, the EPA, and so forth.

September 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The Protestant work ethic and other totems of Calvinism were under attack by other strains of Dissent from the time of Roger Williams. In the end, the Unitarians defeated and swallowed first the Congregationalists and then the other denominations.

Protestantism without Christ, in other words.

September 16, 2013 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

Protestant Christianity without Christ = Protest = The Left

September 16, 2013 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Clark from Popehat, I was contrasting you with a totally different blogger who goes by the nym "n/a". He's a nordicist who writes about genetics/anthropology.

The Undiscovered Jew,
Copy-pasting academic papers is one of the things I like about n/a. I'm not an academic and wouldn't normally know about that kind of stuff if he, Razib and Dienekes didn't bring it to my attention. How to count people with partial Jewish ancestry is a question without an obvious answer (maybe fractions?). I don't know what the most authoritative number is for percent of the population with partial Jewish ancestry.

Fischer himself thought the Mid-Atlantic culture (known for commerce) might have had the most impact on our present. I don't know how much of that we can attribute to features of the Quakers themselves, I don't think they comprised a majority within the Mid-Atlantic for very long.

My understanding is that Nixon promoted AA to divide the Democratic coalition, with labor unions being expected opponents of it. I'm not aware of him endorsing the findings of the Kerner commission. It appears he hated Kerner for it.

Regarding modern liberals being intellectually if not literally descended from Puritans, it's vacuously true if we consider all Americans to be intellectual descendants of the settling/founding generations which included Puritans. n/a has presented evidence that there is continuity among the Puritans or New England settlers associating them conservatism, and that many (most, it seems to me) of the examples that have been brought up of Puritans as formative in modern liberalism actually have an immigrant/southern background and generally resented conservative Puritans/Puritan-descendants. One could argue that the actual descendants of the Puritans ceased to be intellectual representatives of their ancestors while newcomers of a different religious background somehow claimed the mantle of intellectual inheritance. It would just be quite a stretch.

September 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Racehist isn't factually wronge, he's just attacking a strawman. His evidence on this matter is that modern day people with Anglo last names vote Republican. The Moldbug thesis, orthogonal to that, claims that the culture of modern-day progressive thought is descended from the culture of the Puritan settlers.

He's not addressing a strawman there. He's addressing a different claim - the claim that "Puritan" genes correlate with leftism.

He's addressed the claim that "the culture of modern-day progressive thought is descended from the culture of the Puritan settlers" in other posts.

It would be as if I claimed that modern-day philosophy largely descended from Ancient Greek culture. Then you tried to refute that by showing that people with Greek last names are actually underrepresented as Philosophy majors.

No. It would be as if you claimed that Greek genes correlate with contemporary philosophy and then he showed that Greek last names are underrepresented.

He's addressed claims analogous to the claim that "modern-day philosophy largely descended from Ancient Greek culture" in other posts.

September 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since America is a communist country, the original communist country, and the most powerful and important of communist countries, the crimes of communism are our crimes. You may not personally have supported these crimes. Did you oppose them in any way?"

Why are Jews always doing this? You did this with the Nazis too. I'm genuinely curious.Nazi Germans were white,Nazi Germans were socialists therefore the nationalists of every country with mostly white people in it, are Neo-Nazis and America is complicit in Germany's war crimes. So goes the jewish reasoning. You know, if you'd said that before we tried them you'd have been on your own, and you certainly wouldn't have got yourselves a country out of the deal. I don't know how jewish people feel about it, but we whites don't like to help a guy out,give him a gift, then have him bad mouth us all over the place.

Now you all are doing it with the Soviet Russians, trying to make the crimes of Communists the crimes of America, and probably all other white countries next. It'll be hysterical jewish paranoiac reports of neo-Soviets all over the world next.

Why do all of you jews have to make everything about yourselves all the time? Leave it alone. We don't blame Israel or all jews for the jews trying to collapse Germany's government in the 30's or jews trying to take over Russia with Communism or the jews that were fomenting civil war in Spain.

So why can't you all just live and let live too?

What is it in your poisoned semitic souls that makes you pick and pick and pick at things until sores come up on them? To ruin what was perfect, or at least good enough,with your constant picking?

September 16, 2013 at 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nazi Germans were national socialists..." Sorry bout that,typo.

September 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger DR said...

@TGGP

"it's vacuously true if we consider all Americans to be intellectual descendants of the settling/founding generations which included Puritans"

It goes far beyond that triviality. If you look back to the early 19th century the Puritans had much greater ultimate influence than the other parts of the country. Look at this the map of the election of 1832:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PresidentialCounty1828.gif

Clearly we can see the divide between Puritan New England and the rest of the country. The latter supported Jacksonian Democracy and the Puritans were ardent supporters of Whig-osity. Here's the Jacksonian vision of the future centered around the spoils system, strict constructionism, laissez-fairre economics and no central banking. That pretty much sounds like what you might hear at a Ron Paul rally.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonian_Democracy#The_philosophy

The Whig vision in contrast: "The Whigs celebrated Clay's vision of the "American System" that promoted rapid economic and industrial growth in the United States. Whigs demanded government support for a more modern, market-oriented economy, in which skill, expertise and bank credit would count for more than physical strength or land ownership. Whigs sought to promote faster industrialization through high tariffs, a business-oriented money supply based on a national bank and a vigorous program of government funded "internal improvements," especially expansion of the road and canal systems. To modernize the inner America, the Whigs helped create public schools, private colleges, charities, and cultural institutions. Many were pietistic Protestant reformers who called for public schools to teach moral values and proposed prohibition to end the liquor problem."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_(United_States)#Whig_issues

Central economic planning: check. Fiat money: check. Federal infrastructure programs: check. Public schools: check. Prohibition: check (both tried historically with alcohol, and ongoing with drugs). All pushed by as Wiki herself describes "pietistic Protestant reformers" (read: Puritans).

It's Henry Clay's world, we're just living in it. Any reasonable person who grew up in the early American republic fast-forwarded to today would conclude that the Whigs utterly crushed their enemies. I can't think of one strain of modern American progressive thought that doesn't have
roots in the Whig-ish ways of the New England Puritans.

To pretend that other religious-cultural factions of the early American republic, like say the Scotch-Irish, had anywhere near resembling the impact on the longterm trajectory of the US is just ignoring the evidence.

September 16, 2013 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Ivan Jankovic said...

For those who question Moldbug's theory:
Which part of the following ten-part plan you don;t get:

"Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.]"

Is there anything here that is not either already "achieved", or supported by all the right- thinking people of America?

September 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Nah said...

It's bad for SV as there's a very real chance the Cathedral will kill it dead. The Cathedral won't intend to kill the Valley, but as it's almost impossible to build a billion-dollar tech company while retaining the mindset of a good little progressive, they're going to scare off the very best people.

Eh, I dunno, I lived in SV in the late 1990s, and I met plenty of good little progressives working for tech companies.

September 17, 2013 at 2:05 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Ivan Jankovic, 2 & 10 seem like the only ones that have been achieved. 4 is close, but the Fed has a monopoly on money rather than credit. Credit is still a big (private) business. The economic model of the U.S is really closer to fascism than communism, but I don't think it's all that helpful to compare it to fascism (it's just extremely unhelpful to call it communist).

September 17, 2013 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

TGGP: come on, with the revolving door between bankers and government in addition to regulation you've got to give him #4.

September 17, 2013 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

Certainly the Whigs won, but then split fighting over the spoils--the extent to which the profits the corporations gained by exploiting the national markets created by federal projects would have to be shared with the Cathedral administrative class in bureaucratic empire-building.

The Republican Party is essentially the party of the corporate managerial class; the Democratic Party is the party of the government managerial class. All other party positions and coalition-building strategies flow from this distinction.

September 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger DR said...

@Alexander Irwin

Spot on.

After the consolidation of Whig party post-Civil War, New England goes from being at the revolutionary vanguard to being the establishment. The New England Whigs, now the core of the Republican Party, find themselves increasingly under attack from new forces on the left.

The election of 1892 offers an excellent breakdown. Here we have a three-way contest between Grover Cleveland (a pre-war Democrat in the Jacksonian tradition), Benjamin Harrison (a straight-line Republican and the grandson of a founding Whig), and James Weaver (a anti-business progressive proto-FDR Populist).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1892nationwidecountymapshadedbyvoteshare.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1892#Results

And we see that by 1892 New England has moved to being firmly centrist and establishment. The South is both simultaneously to the left and right of New England. It draws higher support both for Cleveland and Weaver. The heart of left-wing progressive support is now the frontier plain states, Weaver draws his biggest support from from these states. New England prefers their president not too-right, not too left, classic old Whigs.

Weaver's only a minor player, but Cleveland is the last national political from the Jacksonian tradition. As we all know in 1892 the future belongs to the Populists. And this is how New England and the descendants of the Puritans go from being the scions of liberalism to conservative Republicans. The country pivoted over them on its march to the left.

To draw it all back, this is why racehist's arguments are wrong. Modern-day Puritans support for the Republican party doesn't indicate a historical conservatism, because the origin of the Republican party is in radical (for its time) progressivism. Puritans just retained their original loyalties.

A good analogy is the Cultural Revolution. Racehist would try to argue that if an area/group was targeted by the Cultural Revolution, then it must be anti-communist. Yet many of its enemies were old-guard hard-line Communists, who bitterly fought Chiang Kai-Shek. But as so often happens, the original revolutionaries often find themselves flanked from the left by the next iterations of the "permanent revolution".

September 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

And William Jennings Bryan brought the Populists into the Democratic fold, harnessing populist resentment of corporate excesses into a Progressive platform which would give us the Wilson-Roosevelt managerial state.

See _Inherit the Wind_ for the Progressives' retrospective view of Bryan and the other last-ditch Calvinists of Progressivism.

September 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Ivan Jankovic said...

TGGP,

I said:

"Is there anything here that is not either already "achieved", or supported by all the right- thinking people of America?"

So, however we assess the extent of factual realization of the ten part program (I think you are too cavalier to America), do you want to suggest that abolition of inheritance, or nationalization of transport or any of the ten is not supported by the "right-thinking people"?

When it comes to fascism vs communism comparison in the context of America, that is just nice illustration why Moldbug is essentially right and you are wrong: every single of the ten items from the Manifesto equally applies to fascism...and to all right thinking people in America in 2013. So, Moldbug says, although in a slightly clumsy manner, that it is not at all helpful to insist on those artificial distinction without the real content (Fascism vs Communism vs American "democracy" in 2013).

September 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Ivan Jankovic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Ivan Jankovic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

However much of a Communist agent FDR was (and, oh boy, was he Joe's best spy; BSF, Franklin!), the true philosopher kings of the "post-Christ" Protestants within and beyond the United States were Auguste Comte and Max Weber, not Marx & Engels:

Abolish Social Studies

Born a century ago, the pseudo-discipline has outlived its uselessness.

http://city-journal.org/2012/22_4_social-studies.html

Why promote the socialization of children at the expense of their individual development? A product of the Progressive era, social studies ripened in the faith that regimes guided by collectivist social policies could dispense with the competitive striving of individuals and create, as educator George S. Counts wrote, “the most majestic civilization ever fashioned by any people.” Social studies was to mold the properly socialized citizens of this grand future. The dream of a world regenerated through social planning faded long ago, but social studies persists, depriving children of a cultural rite of passage that awakened what Coleridge called “the principle and method of self-development” in the young.

---

In 1912, the National Education Association, today the largest labor union in the United States, formed a Committee on the Social Studies. In its 1916 report, The Social Studies in Secondary Education, the committee opined that if social studies (defined as studies that relate to “man as a member of a social group”) took a place in American high schools, students would acquire “the social spirit,” and “the youth of the land” would be “steadied by an unwavering faith in humanity.” This was an allusion to the “religion of humanity” preached by the French social thinker Auguste Comte, who believed that a scientifically trained ruling class could build a better world by curtailing individual freedom in the name of the group. In Comtian fashion, the committee rejected the idea that education’s primary object was the cultivation of the individual intellect. “Individual interests and needs,” education scholar Ronald W. Evans writes in his book The Social Studies Wars, were for the committee “secondary to the needs of society as a whole.”

The Young Turks of the social studies movement, known as “Reconstructionists” because of their desire to remake the social order, went further. In the 1920s, Reconstructionists like Counts and Harold Ordway Rugg argued that high schools should be incubators of the social regimes of the future. Teachers would instruct students to “discard dispositions and maxims” derived from America’s “individualistic” ethos, wrote Counts. A professor in Columbia’s Teachers College and president of the American Federation of Teachers, Counts was for a time enamored of Joseph Stalin. After visiting the Soviet Union in 1929, he published A Ford Crosses Soviet Russia, a panegyric on the Bolsheviks’ “new society.” Counts believed that in the future, “all important forms of capital” would “have to be collectively owned,” and in his 1932 essay “Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order?,” he argued that teachers should enlist students in the work of “social regeneration.”

September 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

@TGGP, who wrote: "Ivan Jankovic, 2 & 10 seem like the only ones that have been achieved. 4 is close (...)"

And so is #3, abolition of the right of inheritance. At present we have a 40% estate tax on estates over $5 million, to which is added any estate tax levied by a state. Formerly, state death duties were deductible under the Federal estate tax, essentially a tax subsidy to the states from the Federal treasury (like that still in effect for state income taxes). This has now been abolished. My state levies a 16% estate tax on estates over $1 million. Thus government gets a majority of all a decedent's assets over $5MM. We're more than half-way towards the #3 goal of Marx and Engels.

Five million dollars is still a substantial amount of money, but it hardly makes one a tycoon - and bear in mind that most estates, when they come to be inherited by the next generation, are apportioned by gavelkind unless the testator has specified other arrangements. Entail and primogeniture, the great legal means by which the estates of the British nobility were kept intact, were abolished long ago in the U.S.

A substantial majority of the fortunes exceeding $10 million in the U.S. were accumulated during the lifetimes of their possessors, and are not inherited wealth. The combination of gavelkind inheritance and estate taxation at the Federal and state levels have assured that the transmission of inherited wealth past the second generation is well-nigh impossible. If the third plank of the "Communist Manifesto" has not been realized in full, present laws have assured in practice that the second generation won't inherit more than enough to be marginally more comfortable than the canaille, while "shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves in three generations" will be the norm.

Further to your comments about MM's use of the word "communist": Would you that the Peoples' Republic of China as it is ruled today is a communist country?

Surely it is not communist in the sense it was under Mao. It has in many respects a more vibrantly capitalistic economy than does the United States. Yet it is still a one-party state, ruled by a Communist party. Its billionaire entrepreneurs and its largely unregulated market economy coexist in practice with a ritualistic lip-service to the memory of Marx and Mao. Its communism is the theoretical pretext for the exercise of social control by its rulers. Its actual form of economic organization is irrelevant to this.

Just so, the 'communism' of the U.S. governing class pays a similar ritualistic lip-service to such shibboleths as 'diversity' and 'equality' even as it feathers its own nest. Both in China and the U.S., the regnant ideology of egalitarianism is a pretext for social control, and for the displacement of a previous elite by the present one. The myth in the U.S. is that the old elite somehow still holds power, while the intelligentsia/managerial class who actually do hold power are the courageous champions of the Peepul.

What the present U.S. and the Chinese elites have in common is that both have risen to power on the basis of an ideology that made its centerpiece bashing the old bourgeoisie. In that sense, both are true heirs of Karl Marx.

September 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

n/a has presented evidence that there is continuity among the Puritans or New England settlers associating them conservatism, and that many (most, it seems to me) of the examples that have been brought up of Puritans as formative in modern liberalism actually have an immigrant/southern background

Pre-Great wave immigrants like German American Jews and some ethnic Catholics had assimilated into WASP conservative norms.

The Great Wave immigrants provided FDR's winning voting base, but they weren't the brain behind the operation. The John Dewey's, the public school and Social Gospel advocate Lester Frank Ward, and others were overwhelmingly of old New England stock, although, to be fair to the WASPs, most were still conservative industrialists when the minority of progressive WASPs began to overpower them.

There were quite a few Southerners who joined the Yankee progressives. John B Watson of behavioral psychology was a South Carolinian. Woodrow Wilson was born a Virginian.

September 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Progressivism could be considered tech and modernity friendly while Marxism is primitive and agrarian.

September 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

@TGGP, who wrote: "Ivan Jankovic, 2 & 10 seem like the only ones that have been achieved. 4 is close (...)"

And so is #3, abolition of the right of inheritance. At present the Federal government levies a 40% estate tax on estates over $5 million, to which is added any estate tax levied by a state. Formerly, state death duties were credited against the Federal estate tax, essentially a tax subsidy to the states from the Federal treasury (not unlike the deductibility of state income taxes from Federally-taxable income). This has now been abolished. My state levies a 16% estate tax on estates over $1 million. Thus government at the Federal and state levels gets a majority of all a decedent's assets over $5MM. We're more than half-way towards the #3 goal of Marx and Engels.

Five million dollars is still a substantial amount of money, but it hardly makes one a tycoon - and bear in mind that most estates, when they come to be inherited by the next generation, are apportioned by gavelkind unless the testator has specified other arrangements. Dividing $5 million or less between two or three heirs does little more than provide each with a small nest-egg.

Entail and primogeniture, the legal means by which the great landed estates of the British nobility were kept intact for centuries, were abolished long ago in the U.S. A substantial majority of the fortunes exceeding $10 million now extant in the U.S. have been accumulated during the lifetimes of their possessors, and are not inherited wealth. The combination of gavelkind inheritance and estate taxation at the Federal and state levels have assured that the transmission of substantial inherited wealth past the second generation is well-nigh impossible.

If the third plank of the "Communist Manifesto" has not been realized in full, present laws have assured in practice that the second generation won't inherit more than enough to be marginally more comfortable than the canaille, while "shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves in three generations" will be the norm.

Further to your comments about MM's use of the word "communist": Would you say that the Peoples' Republic of China as it is ruled today is a communist country?

Surely it is not communist in the sense it was under Mao. It has in many respects a more vibrantly capitalistic economy than does the United States. Yet it is still a one-party state, ruled by a Communist party. Its billionaire entrepreneurs and its largely unregulated market economy coexist in practice with a ritualistic lip-service to the memory of Marx and Mao. Its communism is the theoretical pretext for the exercise of social control by its rulers. Its actual form of economic organization is irrelevant to this.

Just so, the 'communism' of the U.S. governing class pays a similar ritualistic lip-service to such shibboleths as 'diversity' and 'equality' even as it feathers its own nest. Both in China and the U.S., the regnant ideology of egalitarianism is a pretext for social control, and for the displacement of a previous elite by the present one. The myth in the U.S. is that the old elite somehow still holds power, while the intelligentsia/managerial class who actually do hold power are the courageous champions of the Peepul.

James Burnham, more tha seventy years ago, observed in "The Managerial Revolution," that Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany, and FDR's America were developing along parallel paths. What the present U.S. and the Chinese elites have in common is that both have risen to power on the basis of an ideology that made its centerpiece bashing the old bourgeoisie. In that sense, both are true heirs of Karl Marx.

September 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

G. M. Palmer, no a revolving door is not the same as nationalization. It's pretty much the inevitable result of a regulatory state, since people within the industry will have enough experience to be regulators. Nationalized industries behave very differently from regulated ones.

Ivan Jankovic, maybe I have a different view of "right thinking" but I don't think most "right-thinking" people want to abolish inheritance. They might want to tax really rich estates (don't tax you and don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!), but mostly just if they're ignorant of how ineffective estate taxes are at transferring revenue from the rich. And nobody advocates nationalizing the transportation companies.

Fascism was much less prone to nationalizing industries than communism. I don't know much about their policies regarding inheritance, credit and other stuff. It is interesting to note that the government partially backed down in the face of insurance companies who demanded they be permitted to compensate the victims of Kristallnacht! Your point that the "communist" features of the U.S are shared by fascism is absolutely correct though, which to me is more evidence that the word "communist" is a distraction.

Crawfordmuir, the estate tax is indeed excessive, but it mostly just results in lawyers crafting trusts ahead of time to shield assets from taxation. That's why the revenue from the tax is so low (also because it's targetted at such a narrow class).

You can head over to Foseti's blog for my take on whether China is communist. As for whether it's more "vibrantly capitalist" than the U.S, it's poor and engaged in catch-up growth. There are some organizations that compare regulations between countries, as far as I'm aware China is not that light on regulation. Hong Kong might be a different story.

Burnham's argument about managerialism is more persuasive than Mencius' about "communism". The remainder of the 20th century seemed to discredit Burnham, Schumpeter & Galbraith, perhaps unjustly.

September 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

TGGP, I am quite familiar with "lawyers crafting trusts." No matter how skilled they may be, the ability to avoid estate taxation by means of such devices as Crummey trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, family limited partnerships (in all of which I have been a beneficiary or grantor) and similar structures, is quite limited. The gift tax gets what the estate tax does not (that is why the law refers to it as the "combined gift and estate tax." The only way it is really possible to shelter assets is by allowing appreciation of an asset to take place after placing it in some sort of irrevocable trust. In such a case, preservation of value is achieved at the expense of loss of control.

In any event, ultimate taxation is deferred only for one generation. Assuming the beneficiary does not lose or squander the asset transferred to him by such a method, it will become taxable when it is in his estate. He cannot preserve the appreciation by which he benefitted for his heirs.

The preservation of control and value at the same time is well-nigh impossible. It is well known that very few family businesses make it to the third generation of family ownership, and the estate tax is one of the principal reasons for this. The estate tax demands liquidity in a taxable estate, and part of the usual planning process is to divest illiquid assets (such as farm land or a closely held business) during the testator's life, so that executors can pay the tax without
having to sell them under the duress of the tax deadline (it ordinarily must be paid within nine months of the decedent's death - meeting the qualifications for extended payment is almost impossible).

OF COURSE the revenues are small, and the class subject to the tax is small - the point of it is not to raise revenue, but rather to destroy the bourgeoisie and to prevent the emergence of an upper class based on inherited wealth. This quite obviously serves the purposes of the managerial class/nomenklatura, which owes its existence to the divorce of ownership of financial assets from control of the "means of
production."

September 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Chevalier de Johnstone said...

"Culture is downstream from politics"? Are you mad? This is complete bullcrap. The only possibility is the other way around.

You state, correctly, that power works, but then you wrongly conflate "power" and "politics". You do not even understand what "politics" is! Politics is the method of use of power. It is not power. Power is potential; politics is kinetic. They are two different things. The use of power - which is politics - must necessarily be according to some purpose, some teleology. This is defined - always - by culture. It is culture that produces politics out of power.

This obvious truth is embedded in the very word! "Politics" is that having to do with the governance of the polis. The polis is the polis because of a common culture - if you don't want to read Plato read de Benoist.

For goodness' sake Moldbug how can you be so smart and yet so unbelievably obtuse? I swear half the time I think you must be doing it on purpose.

September 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger DR said...

""Culture is downstream from politics"? Are you mad? This is complete bullcrap. The only possibility is the other way around."

1940 Adolf Hitler was the most popular man in Germany. In 1950 he was the most hated. What happened was not a spontaneous cultural awakening, but a hard transfer of power. Culture is indeed downstream.

September 18, 2013 at 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Of these inequalities, a communist would say, with Boxer - we must work harder!

>you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you

Got it Boxer. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. They should stop whining and work harder, and take it up the ass like a man! Yup.

September 18, 2013 at 4:28 AM  
Anonymous n/a said...

TUJ,

"Lying" is not defined as "failing to aggressively interpret facts in pro-Jewish light, as perceived by pushy, inept half-Jewish self-deputized internet monitor".

As I've pointed out before:

"On an aggregate basis, it seems sensible enough to count partial ancestry based on whatever proportion it happens to be..."

Where that would make sense yet where I don't recall hearing too much niggling of this sort: in discussing, say, the Jewish proportion of Nobel prize winners. Quantitative traits will tend to reflect aggregate genetic proportions.

But there's nothing that says identity is diluted in direct proportion to genes, or that minority and non-minority identities are on average equally salient in people of mixed background.


As a half-Jew, your identification as a Jew and obsession with defending Jews online is a case in point. Mencius "is it good for the Jews" Moldbug's (albeit less twerpish and more effective) behavior offers a similar example.

September 18, 2013 at 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Barnabas said...

Hey Undiscovered Jew, if you think that all true communism is centralized under a strongman you need to read Vaclav Havel's The Power of the Powerless. He describes "post totalitarian" communism in great detail.

September 18, 2013 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

TGGP:

Because it is less transparent it's wholly different? Hardly. You end up with an oligopoly instead of a monopoly but that's not much of a difference (and, as MM was saying is the "inoculated" American version of communism anyway).

September 18, 2013 at 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this Pax Dickinson was part of the lynch mob against Mel Gibson.
And Paul Graham is a FWD.us contributor who wants more nitashatikus and anildashes in Silicon Valley.

>As for the mob's victims, who already understand this stuff
These ones don't. They were part of The System. They just wanted to be edgy.

They violated the first ever rule in any struggle: DO NOT COOPERATE.
(Not that they were struggling against anything.)

They should have known better, in the light of what happened to the Right Opposition. (Hint: Grovelling doesn't save you.)

Or any other opposition. Sailors crushed Provisional Govt, Trotsky crushed Kronstadt rebellion, Stalin's henchman crushed Trotsky's brains.

(Before some idiot says dash -and possibly the other one, I don't care- are natural born citizens, you are an Idiot and you don't get the point.)

(This is not a WN or a nativist post. I am not american or european or live in either.)

September 18, 2013 at 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Barnabas said...

The Puritan = communist meme is parroted constantly but I have never seen it supported well. It really looks like a bunch of atheists and non-practicing Jewish intellectuals want to let atheism and Judaism off the hook by blaming Calvinists. The argument always seems to be based on geography. I would argue that leftists seized the infrastructure built by the Calvinist (universities) in the same way Christians seized the infrastructure of the Romans.

How could you construct a more air tight case against Calvinism? How about showing some significant leftist thought in the writings of the core thinkers of Calvinism such as Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, or Richard Sibbes? Do any leftists of note cite any of these men? Are they admired or at least less hated than other Christians by the leftist establishment?

Calvinism is certainly not dead; in fact there is a resurgence of Calvinism in the American Evangelical church right now. Are current Calvinist thinkers prone to leftist thinking more so than other Christian churchmen? Can you find support for leftist causes or thought among men like R. C. Sproul, J. I. Packer, John MacArthur or Mark Dever? Are these men embraced or at least less hated amongst the leftist establishment? While these men are not as free from the taint of egalitarianism as I might like, you would have trouble finding any modern day Christians outside of an Amish community with more conservative ideas on gender roles. The only Christian thinker I’ve found alive today who even begins to speak honestly about race would be Doug Wilson (he terms himself a Paleo-confederate and leans heavily on R. L Dabney), he is also Calvinist. I found this helpful if somewhat pointing and sputtering summary of Wilson from a left Christian and anti-Calvinist perspective. If you can find another living Christian author who calls abolitionists “bloodthirsty”, I’ll send you a dollar.
http://trisagionseraph.tripod.com/wilson.html
You might note how the author believes that only a Calvinist could hold such erroneous beliefs on slavery.

Finally, who are the Christians of today who support the liberal establishment? Who are their friends and who are their enemies? What seminaries are they coming out of? What books are they recommending? It’s not the Calvinists. That’s not to say that you can’t find liberal Presbyterian churches. They are in the PCUSA and they are generally not speaking and writing but are quietly sliding left and dying off like the other most liberal Protestant denominations.

September 18, 2013 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

Barnabas, see above. "Puritan" does not mean Calvinist, it means, "The Church of England is not far enough from Rome, and I know how to fix it."

Calvinists were indeed the largest faction of Puritans, but once they had achieved their noncomformist state in America they became conservative, as other Puritans--most notably the Quakers and Unitarians--continued to push the Overton Window further and further Left.

September 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

Central tenets of Calvinism are the doctrines of predestination and election. Pressed to their logical conclusion, these end in antinomianism, as satirized in Hogg's "Confessions of a Justified Sinner."

There is a great deal of such antinomianism amongst the leftist intelligentsia today. I suggest that discussions about ethnicity and ancestry miss the point - it is really their intellectual genealogy, not their flesh-and-blood genealogy, that is at issue.

Santayana said a century ago that the New England liberalism of his day was merely Puritanism bereft of its Christianity, in which only Puritan fanaticism and smug self-righteousness remained. There is a great deal of truth in this remark, exemplified by people like Thomas Wentworth Higginson (as cited by Moldbug in his essay). Such people were the product of a "crisis of faith" in New England that was comparable to that which took place in much of Protestant Europe at about the same time. The phenomenon originated in this country in the controversy between Trinitarians and Unitarians which ultimately led to the disestablishment of state support for Congregational churches in Connecticut (1818) and Massachusetts (1833).

The American South never underwent a comparable crisis of faith, and a theologian like Dabney could maintain a Calvinistic posture that was in continuity with historic Calvinism. He was, as has been pointed out above, not a Puritan. It's also important to note that the denominational climate in the South was not as favorable to the development of Unitarianism or antinomianism as that in Congregational New England. Presbyterian rather than Congregational polity made it
easier to maintain theological discipline. Also, Baptists and Methodists made up a larger portion of the Protestant population in the South, and while both were influenced by Calvinism, they differed with it on important issues. Baptists believe in free will, not in predestination; that is why they do not practice infant baptism, but baptize only those who have reached an age of understanding. Methodists adhere to an offshoot of 18th-century Anglicanism and reflect the latter's Arminianism.

September 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

@TUJ, who wrote:

"Mitt Romney (a Mormon who assimilated into elite norms) is the only remotely conservative WASP candidate, and only because his religion immunized to the loopiness infecting the high Church Protestant denominations."

Whatever do you mean by "high Church Protestant denominations"?

"High church" and "low church" are terms that have a strictly limited application within the Anglican communion. Historically a high churchman was someone like Laud, Sancroft, or Ken, who believed in the legitimacy of hierarchy in the polity of the church, the authority of bishops, the special status of the clergy as distinct from the laity, and the essentially sacramental character of Christian worship.

In the early nineteenth century, "high church" came to be associated with the Oxford Movement, in which Pusey, Keble, and Newman (before he "went over to Rome") were leaders. This, in addition to holding the beliefs of the seventeenth-century high churchmen, stressed a revival of pre-Reformation ritual practices, in particular a more strongly Eucharistic emphasis, with all its "smells and bells," vestments, and so forth. Later adherents even adopted doctrines and practices that had come into use in the Roman Catholic Church after the Reformation.

This, and this alone, is what is meant by "high church." It is meaningless to apply the term to other Protestant denominations. There, at best, we can find analogies - e.g., the Swedish Lutheran Church is in some sense "higher" than most other Lutheran confessions, because it retains an episcopacy that is arguably continuous with the apostolic succession, and its clergy wear a form of chasuble for the celebration of the Eucharist. However, we could not sensibly call any Presbyterian, Congregational, Methodist, or similar Protestant denomination "high church" in any sense.

It is also worth noting that New England and the Northeastern U.S. are not historically strong areas of Anglo-Catholic practice within the Episcopal Church. There are a few outposts, e.g., the Church of St. Thomas in New York City, but the real hotbed of Anglo-Catholicism in the tradition of the Oxford Movement is in the upper Midwest - the "Biretta Belt." Its center of gravity is De Koven, in Wisconsin. Episcopalians in the Northeast and South tend to be "Broad Church" if not "Low Church."

Finally, ritual practice has no correlation with social or political outlook. Some high churchmen are very conservative politically, particularly those in splinter "continuing Anglican" groups that split from the ECUSA over the ordination of female priests, or ECUSA's consecration of an overtly gay bishop. On the other hand, there are many ritually very high churchmen in ECUSA who are quite liberal on social issues.

September 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

Leftist members of a high church parish are entryist termites--and they have nearly totally consumed the Episcopalians and are well on their way with the European Anglicans.

That said, to Catholics and the Orthodox, the distinction between High Church and Low Church Protestants is mostly a rough assessment of how far the denomination in question has strayed from orthodoxy.

September 18, 2013 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

This story out of Sweden proves post-Christ Protestant nanny statism needs to be given a separate category from Communism; the Reds weren't 10% as crazy as America's limousine liberals and Europe's champagne socialists:

Public masturbation not a crime: Swedish court

http://www.thelocal.se/50214/20130912/

A man who openly masturbated on a Stockholm beach has been acquitted of sexual assault in court after it was ruled he was not targeting a specific person, with the prosecutor saying it's "okay" to play with yourself in public.

The incident occurred on June 6th at the Drevviken beach when the man removed his shorts and began masturbating close to the water. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault.

The Södertörn District Court has now acquitted the 65-year old in a judgement which stated that it "may be proven that the man exposed himself and masturbated on this occasion".

However, the court added that no offence had been committed as the masturbating man was not pleasuring himself towards a specific person.

Public prosecutor Olof Vrethammar told the Mitti newspaper that he wasn't planning to appeal the ruling.

"For this to be a criminal offence it's required that the sexual molestation was directed towards one or more people. I think the court's judgement is reasonable," he said.

When asked if it was now acceptable to masturbate in public if you don't direct it towards a specific individual the prosecutor said it was "okay."

"The district court has made a judgement on this case. With that we can conclude that it is okay to masturbate on the beach. The act may be considered to be disorderly conduct."

In another recent judgement a 15-year-old boy was acquitted after being previously charged with sexual assault. The teen had thrown his underwear into a lake and stood naked in front of two under-age girls.

The Södertörn District Court said that his behaviour did not have a sexual undertone and the charge was dismissed. Both the girls had requested the boy be charged with molestation.

September 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

"On an aggregate basis, it seems sensible enough to count partial ancestry based on whatever proportion it happens to be..."

If statistics on partial Jewish ancestry aren't readily available, then you ought to compare full Jews to the fully Jewish population, for whom there are better stats.

So, for example, since ~50% of self-identifying Jewish college students have only one gentile parent, then only 10-15% of the Ivy League is fully Jewish vs 2.5% of white Americans being full Jewish.

Yet, you lump the halfies in with the racially pure Ashkenazis to prove a pro-Jewish bias in Ivy admissions because, you're interested in the truth.

Sure.

Just like you and your ilk told the truth about Two Hundred Years Together being a masterpiece of anti-Judeo Bolshevist history when in fact the book was fairly pro-Semite.

Would you at least be magnanimous and admit that it's time for the Slavs to be held to account for causing Communism, like Alexander S does?

"failing to aggressively interpret facts in pro-Jewish light, as perceived by pushy, inept half-Jewish self-deputized internet monitor".

Pointing out anti-semitic lies is of course pushy. We apologize for daring to question your paranoid dogma with facts. Or not.

or that minority and non-minority identities are on average equally salient in people of mixed background.

Half-Jews are genetically part of the majority because they aren't physically distinguishable from goyim whites, except for very high rates of neoteny.

What other "mixed minority" population looks 100% white?

Would you, for example, racially classify Alison Brie as a subversive minority?

September 18, 2013 at 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

Doesn't all this fondness for sexual license in modern leftism trace back to Marcuse's "Eros and Civilization," with its frankly-expressed hope that the notionally repressive "patriarchal family" and "procreative order of sexuality" might be replaced by the open embrace of "polymorphous perversity"?

Even the more obvious pop-culture sources for sexually licentious behavior, e.g., Hugh Hefner's "Playboy philosophy," would not have gone so far as to defend the conduct described - it would just have sniggered at it, as at a dirty joke. For ideological justification of it, we must look to the Frankfurt school.

September 18, 2013 at 7:31 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

"Lying" is not defined as "failing to aggressively interpret facts in pro-Jewish light, as perceived by pushy, inept half-Jewish self-deputized internet monitor".

If my defenses are so inept, then we expect the prosecution should have no problem easily answering these questions:

1) You just linked to a study that shows Ashkenazi Jews are over 60% European and Caucuses. And this was with a suboptimal reference population; a wider sample of European and Middle Eastern ethnic groups, like Greeks, Anatolian Turks, and Germans, should have been selected.

Even so, if Jewish DNA has less and less connection to the original Israelites, then how can Jews be pursuing an ethnic strategy against whites if Ashkenazi have only minimal genetic continuity with the original Jews?

2) Most Ashkenazi Jewish DNA originates from Greco-Roman converts. If AJs are pursuing an ethnic strategy against Europeans then why did Judaism ever seek converts in Europe?

3) If liberal Jews are liberal because they're motivated by anti-white tribalism then why are the most racially motivated Jews, the Orthodox and Russian immigrant ones, more conservative than white goyim?

4) If liberal Jews are liberal because they are pursuing a racial tribal strategy to destroy whites then why are liberal Jews outmarrying into the broader white population at a rate of 50%?

5) If liberal Jews have different agendas and motivations from liberal whites then please list the motivational differences between liberal Jews like Stephen Breyer and Ruth Ginsburg vs liberal WASPs like John Paul Stevens and David Souter.

6) If German American Jews were conservatives then how could Jews have been responsible for pushing America to the Left during the New Deal era?

You'll have no problem shooting down these "inept" defenses.

Impress us...

September 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Doesn't all this fondness for sexual license in modern leftism trace back to Marcuse's "Eros and Civilization,"

Kinsey's sex reports predate Marcuse's book.

September 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Whatever do you mean by "high Church Protestant denominations"?

The major Protestant denominations in the Northeast.

September 18, 2013 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Hey Undiscovered Jew, if you think that all true communism is centralized under a strongman you need to read Vaclav Havel's The Power of the Powerless. He describes "post totalitarian" communism in great detail.

The main structural difference between the now (nearly) extinct Marxist regimes and the technocrat left juntas in DC and Brussels is the later have given control of the state to the civil service. Communist agencies only acted within the strict parameters laid down by the premier or politburo. They were certainly never allowed to become a rival source of power.

Never before in history has the bureaucratic apparatus been allowed to operate independent of the will of the executive leadership until the New Deal and European Union.

September 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"Kinsey's sex reports predate Marcuse's book."

Indeed they do - but Kinsey did not advocate sexual license as a matter of ideology.

At most, sexologists like Kinsey and Magnus Hirschfeld pleaded for tolerance of sexual acts "between consenting adults in private." How quaint that now sounds! Flaunting abnormal sexual behavior in public as a sort of political act has its origins in the ascendancy of the New Left, whose godfather was Herbert Marcuse. We must remember that he was not only the dissertation advisor of Angela Davis, but also a source of inspiration for Tony Kushner.

September 18, 2013 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"The major Protestant denominations in the Northeast."

If you believe that Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists (lots of them in Rhode Island), Lutherans (lots of them in Pennsylvania), or adherents of any other Protestant denomination besides Anglican/Episcopalian can meaningfully be called "high church," you are merely displaying ignorance. I am a cradle Episcopalian and have never in my life heard such a description applied to any Protestant outside the Anglican communion.

September 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger DR said...

"I am a cradle Episcopalian and have never in my life heard such a description applied to any Protestant outside the Anglican communion."

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

September 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

What appears in this comment section is how "we", Americans, Europeans, are still struggling in reaction to what we perceive as repression from our religious heritage.
Undiscovered Jew, the structural difference between socialist (not communist..) European states like France, the so called... NOT socialist states like the U.S., and the previous Communist regimes you cite resides in the importance, not so much of the executive as an idea, perhaps, but in the recognition of a flesh and blood person who incarnates some form of power/authority, and a possible legitimacy for this power which has been attached to a patriarch in our civilization for quite some time now.
So... we are pitting a shadowy bureaucracy with diluted responsibility, where multiple, mechanized, and undifferentiated.. robots ? partake of a purely ideological power that is... structural, and nothing more, against a single flesh and blood person who concentrates power in his own hands. The divine right paradigm has the advantage of making that person into... a symbol, opening up on another higher authority, and legitimacy, and as such, acts as a restraint on the abuse of power at the hands of a lawless individual.
On the subject of public masturbation...
This is kind of funny. I don't know if I would feel uncomfortable watching some guy jack off these days. Would I feel that it was directed against me ?
I tend to feel that... it is something that needs at least... a limited audience....to be appreciated. Even the greatest musicians, when they play for the masses in the streets disappear as consummate artists. That is what "the mass" does to deaden our sensibilities...
Limits between "private" and "public", anyone ?
Why do we keep pompously calling for somebody to defend our sense of outraged.. honor on such questions ?
One of Racine's characters says "cachez-moi ce sein que je ne saurais voir" (hide that breast that I shouldn't see).
Isn't it ridiculous to imagine the law pontificating on such things, as Mencius says ?
Nothing like trying to legislate everything under the sun to bottom out the law for you, right ?
As a woman, I don't particularly look forward to the backlash that American feminism is unleashing in our world.
At least I have the comfort of knowing that there have always been women who have got by, in the past... with, or without feminism, moreover.
Frenetically beating on some drums gives one a headache, right ??

September 19, 2013 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Thought you might like to know, Undiscovered Jew, that Elisabeth de Fontenay, French philsopher with a Jewish mother and Catholic father, and a few people in her family swallowed up in the camps, has credited the events of WW2 as being very important in the consolidation of a once again strong Jewish identity...
The Jews as a people.
But then we know that one of Judaism's major contributions to the world is the very idea of "people"....

September 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM  
Anonymous Nah said...

The main structural difference between the now (nearly) extinct Marxist regimes and the technocrat left juntas in DC and Brussels is the later have given control of the state to the civil service. Communist agencies only acted within the strict parameters laid down by the premier or politburo. They were certainly never allowed to become a rival source of power.

Never before in history has the bureaucratic apparatus been allowed to operate independent of the will of the executive leadership until the New Deal and European Union.


Meh. The "independence" of the American bureaucracy is overstated, and the obedience of the post-Stalin bureaucracy is understated. The main difference is that the pretense of a two-party system in the USA adds some extra friction because Inner Party bureaucrats don't want Outer Party administrations to succeed.

Still, I bet Brezhnev and Gorbachev moaned that "the Ministry of X drags its feet and won't do what it's told" just as much as Bush and Obama do with respect to the Department of X.

September 19, 2013 at 3:31 AM  
Anonymous Barnabas said...

Crawfurdmuir:
So Calvinism leads both to antinomianism and to smug self righteousness? You can't have it both ways. Your other assertions about Calvinism would be easily refuted by reading any of the Calvinist authors I listed. You also misunderstand the doctrine of paedobaptism if you think that its related to predestination.

September 19, 2013 at 4:34 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Testing the thesis here.

September 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

Barbabas, try reading Hogg's "Confessions of a Justified Sinner," and you will see how developments of Calvinism led its protagonist both to antinomianism and to smug self-righteousness.

Let it be said that these cannot be deduced solely from the words of Calvin's "Institutes," but people being people, they read meanings into words that their authors probably did not intend. That schism begets schism is inherent in the very origins of Protestantism, and is why Protestants are now divided into numerous denominations - like one of Prince Rupert's drops, the initial break led to its shattering into hundreds of shards - whilst Catholicism and Orthodoxy remain intact.

The reasoning goes thus: if there is predestination, there is election. In other words, some are destined for damnation, and some for salvation, from the beginning of time. And if a person is destined for salvation, there is nothing he can possibly do to change that, no matter how badly he behaves. So, if he knows himself to be among the elect, he can sin as much as he pleases, God's purpose in allowing him to do so being beyond human understanding. Further, he may do so with the full consciousness of his elect status, above other mere mortals who, though they be apparently quiet and inoffensive, will nonetheless go to Hell. Hence, antinomianism and smug self-righteousness are combined in one, as in Hogg's protagonist.

Santayana, to whom I made reference earlier, said that the New England liberalism of his day was merely Puritanism or Calvinism stripped of its Christianity. Now, of course that's not the same as the pure original Calvinism of the "Institutes," nor the same as the Calvinism of Increase Mather, nor that of Sproul, Packer, and other modern Calvinist thinkers whom you cite. Nonetheless, it couldn't have developed as it did without Puritan Calvinism as a point of departure. I hope you can understand that I am not attacking Calvinism as such, but rather a deviant development that arose from it.

As for infant baptism, I tried to describe why Baptists and other followers of the Zwinglian branch of Protestantism reject it - as a consequence of their belief in free will (which, if you ever talk to a Baptist who is well-informed about his denomination's theology, you will know is one of its central tenets). It is not I who "misunderstand the doctrine of paedobaptism" - I have not said, and will not say, what my understanding of it is. What I have done is to try to explain the reason why Baptists and others in their faith tradition believe in adult baptism. Any misunderstanding, from the Calvinist point of view, is theirs.

September 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

@ DR, who wrote: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Church_Lutheranism"

Thank you for the link. I DID note that there was an analogous phenomenon to the Anglican high/low church continuum within Lutheranism, in that the Swedish church, as a peculiar artifact of its history, retained an episcopacy that was arguably within the apostolic succession, and some ceremonial aspects that made it notionally "higher" than other Lutheran confessions. This has been noted in the U.S.-based ELCA, which is a merger between the former LCA and ALC denominations. The LCA had a large number of ethnically Swedish adherents and a "higher" ceremonial and sacramental approach than did the ALC, and as I understand it there has been some ongoing difference between the two factions within the merged denomination.

If the term "high church" has been applied to this, it is understandable, and perhaps useful, but it is nonetheless purely derivative from the Anglican usage, which has existed since at least the seventeenth century.

Moreover, using this terminology in a Lutheran context is fundamentally distinct from TUJ's application of it. The Lutherans are apparently using it in reference to matters of church polity and ritual.

TUJ is using "high church" to refer to what we used at least to call "mainstream Protestantism," including Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, and northern Baptist denominations which never followed a set liturgy, which diminished the Eucharist into an infrequent observance of purely commemorative character, which repudiated the historic order of bishops, and which could not in any sense of polity or ritual be described as "high." His usage suggests an ignorance of the term's meaning.

September 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

"Doesn't all this fondness for sexual license in modern leftism trace back to Marcuse's "Eros and Civilization,""

"Kinsey's sex reports predate Marcuse's book."

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

" Sex-Pol stood for the German Society of Proletarian Sexual Politics. Danto writes that Reich offered a mixture of "psychoanalytic counseling, Marxist advice and contraceptives,""

This was the early 20s.

September 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Margaret Mead's hoaxes had impact as well.

September 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree that America is communist.
...
To parrot a comment made (on this blog IIRC) regarding Eretz. Amerika is the land run by and for Cracker. And the Cracker is doing fine.
The Popish Sauromatian

September 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Kartik Agaram said...

I've been reading this blog as a sample of articulate, out-there opinions, but this is just icky -- your incredibly misleading quote of Anil Dash:

"There was also a pretty dogged pitch for his film, which will get all kinds of warm huzzahs from the intersection of atheists, pacifists, communists and Jews... If you're a producer, and you invest in Dalton Trumbo's film... you're complicit in extending the film industry's awful track record of communism, and it's unacceptable."

Original:

"There was also a pretty dogged pitch for his startup, which will get all kinds of warm huzzahs from the intersection of MRAs, Bitcoin fans, NSA critics and Redditors... If you're a venture capitalist, and you invest in Pax's startup... you're complicit in extending the tech industry's awful track record of exclusion, and it's unacceptable."

Whatever funny joke it is you're making with the startup vs film thing, it's totally hidden in the semblance of a direct quote. I don't care either way for Anil Dash, but now I wonder what other misquotes you've made and all the subtle ways you've misled me. I'm unsubscribing.

September 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It steals charity's good name and makes Randroids condemn charity and communism in the same breath."

Straw man. Rand never condemned charity:

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/charity.html

September 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

If you believe that Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists (lots of them in Rhode Island), Lutherans (lots of them in Pennsylvania), or adherents of any other Protestant denomination besides Anglican/Episcopalian can meaningfully be called "high church," you are merely displaying ignorance.

I thought I had seen WASPs called "High Church" Protestants outside this blog. And it was to the denominations where elite WASPs concentrated and which are now the most liberal - Episcopalianism, Unitarianism, etc - that I was referring to. But I'll defer then to your superior knowledge of Protestant theological tenants.

At most, sexologists like Kinsey and Magnus Hirschfeld pleaded for tolerance of sexual acts "between consenting adults in private."

It wasn't much of a leap from their ideas to get to sexual hedonism.

And I'm still not clear on what is unique about Marcuse and his Frankfurt mates; wasn't everything they wrote more or less the same as all of their contemporary and preceding social revolutionaries, many of whom were much more famous than the Frankfurt School?

September 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

This was the early 20s.

Engels had toyed with an even earlier version of cultural and sexual Marxism just before his death in the late 19th century.

Europe's interwar era (which Moldbug has unfortunately neglected; so much of the WWII and post WWII era can't be fully understood without understanding Europe immediately after WW 1.0) was much more deviant than Americans suppose. Part of this has to do with the fact 1920's America was still 1890s America.

Interwar Europe, on the other hand, was not the Europe of 1913.

Across the pond there were other unsavory movements than just Communism and Nazism. Europe then was a toxic stew of occult societies (one of which Hitler may have briefly belonged to during his wandering years), loss of faith in Christianity, existentialism, modern art, Fabian socialism, materialistic hedonism, pan-Europeanism (which laid the foundations for today's grotesque European Union) and similar.

Segueing back to whether Marxism is distinct from Western limousine liberalism, although Engels and future Marxists dipped their toes in the early sexual revolution, their experiments were often halting compared to the Western variety.

Marxism has usually been very hostile to homosexuals; Michel Foucault left the French Communist party because of their homophobia. Communist Russia vigorously denied the fact Tchaikovsky was gay, and, for all I know, Putin's textbooks could still be saying the same.

September 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Still, I bet Brezhnev and Gorbachev moaned that "the Ministry of X drags its feet and won't do what it's told" just as much as Bush and Obama do with respect to the Department of X.

I don't agree at all.

Gorbachev was in a different predicament because he was presiding when the Soviet elite was getting ready to close shop.

Aside from Gorb, the other post-Stalin Soviet premiers like Brezhnev never had to deal with a Civil Service to the extent Republican presidents had, unless they had some conflict of interest with other senior politburo members.

The slow moving Brezhnev didn't suffer half the insubordination and sabotage from the Soviet bureaucrats, media, and universities that Nixon had to endure from "his" bureaucrats. If he had, Leonid would have squashed them in no time.

Even inner party presidents like Bill Clinton were harangued by the Cathedral for not being extreme enough.

In the DC and EU systems, the civil service is acting as a rogue, out of control power source. The Communist agencies were mere servants who served at the pleasure of a clearly traceable hierarchy.

Nothing like this arrangement has ever existed.

September 19, 2013 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"Marxism has usually been very hostile to homosexuals; Michel Foucault left the French Communist party because of their homophobia. Communist Russia vigorously denied the fact Tchaikovsky was gay, and, for all I know, Putin's textbooks could still be saying the same."

Yes, but... communists often advocated different positions outside the Motherland (the "dar-ul-Bolschewismus"?) than they did within it. This is a phenomenon noteworthy in respect to many issues, not least of which is homosexuality.

Guy Burgess, a real flamer, was a communist, and despite his well known propensities, both sexual and political, managed to do a great deal of damage to the West as a Soviet spy. When he defected, he was given a comfortable berth in Moscow, sodomitic predilections notwithstanding. Similarly, Anthony Blunt, cy-devant KCVO, keeper of the queen's pictures, and fellow of the Courtauld Institute, was as queer as a three-pound note, a loyal communist, and successful Soviet spy. Among others he recruited to his cause, Philby was apparently heterosexual, Maclean was ambiguous, and Michael Straight (later of the "New Republic") probably bisexual. Harry Hay was a loyal communist, as well as a founder of the Mattachine Society.

September 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever funny joke it is you're making with the startup vs film thing, it's totally hidden in the semblance of a direct quote. I don't care either way for Anil Dash, but now I wonder what other misquotes you've made and all the subtle ways you've misled me.

If you were a regular reader of this blog, you'd know that Moldbug does this quite often. The replaced words are meant as a jarring comparison. This is a common rhetorical strategy in Western history.

You being misled isn't the problem. The problem is: a) you haven't bothered to go read all the sources Moldbug links to (the major problem with asshats on the comment's section of this blog, see Barnaba's comment above about not seeing any evidence about puritanism, even though Moldbug has consistently linked to scholarly literature backing up this fact, e.g. The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism, or Foseti's link to Nordhoff's book in the OP of this comment section), and; b) Missing the point of the enantiosis rhetorical device that juxtaposes the current predicament where critique of communism and its various subspecies is completely lacking, while hunting for witches everywhere.

I'm unsubscribing.

Nice slacktivism bro.

September 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

I have been contemplating this very questions for a long while. The "red pill" I constructed:

"Every cause is an effect of prior causes"

It seems mundane but if you encounter a leftist offering the standard, orthodox fare on the current state of black america being the product of "a legacy of slavery and oppression" and respond with "what caused that?" You will be greeted with stunned silence. Or furious handwaving. Well, if the state of black america is the product of evil-done, evil is always a product of intentional willing, then "slavery and oppression" are uncaused. That is a first cause.

there is a reason why I am not the first to note that "exclusion" is to leftists what original sin is to christians.

September 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Barnabas said...

Anonymous:
Your beef with me is not that I don't read enough Moldbug, its that I don't exclusively read Moldbug. You might note that while Moldbug refers the reader to that book, his original source citation is to a Time article from 1942. I don't know that I've read everything on this blog but I've spent many hours here an I've never seen Moldbug dig into any Calvinist source material. I do.

September 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Barnabas:

As Carlyle himself was raised 'a strict Calvinist', there may not be any left-wing gotcha / bad seed / fatal flaw to be found in Calvinist theology. And MM argues from history, not theology.

September 20, 2013 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

@ Barnabas, who wrote: "I've never seen Moldbug dig into any Calvinist source material. I do."

I will echo the previous poster in his point that Moldbug argues from history rather than from theology - adding, perhaps, from the history of theology.

As an example: Unitarianism in New England was the outgrowth of the Congregational polity of its Calvinist churches, which followed the pattern of English Puritanism rather than of Scottish Presbyterianism. The Congregational polity meant that there was no means of maintaining doctrinal conformity amongst the churches. They could, without anyone to gainsay them, vote on the nature of God every Sunday if they so chose - and as a consequence, by the early nineteenth century, many of them had adopted Unitarian doctrine and installed Unitarian clergy. Largely as a consequence of the irreconcilable difference between those who remained strictly orthodox Trinitarian Calvinists and those who had adopted Unitarian beliefs, the state legislatures of Connecticut (in 1818) and of Massachusetts (1833) withdrew taxpayer funding of the Congregational parishes in those states, which had persisted from the time of the first Puritan settlers in the seventeenth century.

Now, we cannot blame Calvin for Unitarianism - he after all caused Servetus to be burnt at the stake for professing it. Nonetheless, the situation which came about in Connecticut and Massachusetts could never have happened were it not for the polity of their churches. These followed the original form of organization advocated by Calvin, rather than modifying it as Knox did in Scotland, or acknowledging the value of the historic order of bishops, as Whitgift, Abbott, and other Elizabethan/Jacobean Anglican prelates did, although they were otherwise largely sympathetic to Calvinist doctrine.

Hence, in this sense, the present Universalist-Unitarian denomination could not have come into existence without New England Puritanism (a branch of Calvinism), and it is in a valid historical sense an offshoot of it.

Just so, the "Brahmins" and the "Cathedral" to which MM frequently refers, are offshoots of New England Puritanism. They are the heirs of the New England liberalism that Santayana called Puritanism devoid of Christianity, a sort of deGodded Calvinism. My old friend M.E. Bradford used to refer to the left's "secular puritanism." It combines everything that sensible men from the time of the earl of Clarendon to the present have found repellent about characters like (say) William Prynne or John Pym, with a complete absence of anything resembling their redeeming characteristics.

September 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your beef with me is not that I don't read enough Moldbug, its that I don't exclusively read Moldbug.

No, you've missed my point. My point is that you haven't bothered to read more than Moldbug, especially the primary and secondary sources he links to. That is my beef.

You might note that while Moldbug refers the reader to that book, his original source citation is to a Time article from 1942. I don't know that I've read everything on this blog but I've spent many hours here an I've never seen Moldbug dig into any Calvinist source material. I do.

You mean like McKenna's The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism where he spends much of the time talking about the Calvinist influences (starting on page 9, and throughout the book, had you fucking read it). Or Gamble's The War for Righteousness? Or Zweig's The Right to Heresy: Castellio against Calvin that Moldbug explicitly mentions in one of his main sequences?

Autistic nerd jackasses come to this blog, and construe Moldbug's thesis as, "HURRR, THE DUDE IS JUST QUOTING A TIMES ARTICLE. TIME TO DEFEND THE HIPPY JESUS MOTHERSHIP." How about, again, digging into the actual sources Moldbug names, and taking aim at those sources? Those are the scholarly arguments. Half the time, the libertarian autistic-nerd and catholic-beta coalition spends their time nitpicking bullshit points by our blog narrator, rather than take on actual scholarly arguments written by serious researchers. McKenna's book is published by an academic press for Christ's sake.

For comparison's sake, I just did a quick search with Google's blog search for McKenna + Moldbug + Puritan. You know how many hits there are? Four.

This is the reactionary-sphere in a nutshell. Arguing with each other over blogposts, rather than discussing well-researched literature.

September 20, 2013 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Ezra E. said...

this post is longwinded garbage

amerika is communist ... please hahaha

what the hell is wall street?

if amerika is communist why didnt occupy succeed?

September 20, 2013 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Ricky Moore said...

To back up Anonymous, Rand never condemned charity or benevolence; in fact one of her critiques of altruism, that it conflated the issues of benevolence and self-sacrifice.

Morever, altruism is a word whose 'telescopic' meaning is NOT a product of the 20th century, but of August Comte, who invented the term itself. Rand's usage of this term is utterly consistent with the Comtean and Communist meaning, and (as Anonymous has pointed out) there is no inconsistency involved in her opposing altruism and being in favor of the virtue of benevolence.

Rand isn't exactly a top-drawer technical philosophers, but her own views were clearly and widely articulated enough that you should have been able to avoid this kind of very common error/stereotyping.

September 21, 2013 at 4:16 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Yes, but... communists often advocated different positions outside the Motherland (the "dar-ul-Bolschewismus"?) than they did within it.

But the champagne socialists are promoting all sorts of nutty policies withing their own borders.

In domestic politics, the post-Stalin Communist leadership's failures originated from maintaining policies they inherited from the Revolution.

They didn't invent entirely new failed policies that went beyond the imaginations of the 1917 leadership.

The Western elite, by contrast, is always looking for some new area where they can screw up, whether it be AGW to light bulb bans.

Guy Burgess, a real flamer, was a communist, and despite his well known propensities, both sexual and political, managed to do a great deal of damage to the West as a Soviet spy. When he defected, he was given a comfortable berth in Moscow, sodomitic predilections notwithstanding.

Russian Communist homosexuals, if they were in Russia, kept it behind closed doors. The Politburo didn't their glorify homosexuality to the public.

September 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Deception-History-European/dp/0826471056

Booker and North have done yeoman work in exploring scores of original sources related to the modern European Union. Most impressively, they have returned to the 1920s, when the contemporary notion of "European Union" began. They note that an element of deception has been present since the very earliest years of the project, demonstrating that the idea's early exponents believed that their utopian ideals, whilst admirable, ought to be realized without the knowledge or participation of the member countries' peoples. In fact, Booker and North reveal that a strong tendency of the strain of Unionists which created the present Brussels regime has been to shun democracy by creating a supranational authority with no meaningful accountability to the people, whilst simultaneously subverting individual states' national sovereignty.

September 21, 2013 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Another difference between classic Communism (and its variants and predecessors like Mutualism, the Jacobins, etc) and champagne socialism are the constituencies the two made appeals.

The principle voting base for the Reds was the working class. Their rhetoric was clearly aimed at blue collar laborers, and these appeals were sincere enough. When Proudhon said "He who has iron has bread", there's every reason to believe he was expressing his true views.

Even former aristocrats like The Iron Felix and the prince of the anarchists, Kropotkin, felt enough kinship with the proletariat to renounce their royal privileges and go live among the serfs.

The Davos liberals, and their late 19th century progenitors, always targeted another group: the "educated" managerial classes, the civil servants, academics, sociologists, researchers, and experts.

It was they who would sweep aside the corrupt ancien regime with a new scientific, utopian technocratic regime run by "perfected" bureaucrats.

The disastrous results of this misrule is plainly visible to any observer of Late New Deal America or the European Union.

September 21, 2013 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

More than anything else, it's the Davos liberals complete disconnect from reality on almost every issue that truly separates them from the Communists.

Der Moldbug gloated about the course of the Arab Spring going exactly as he predicted.

But compare the Davos meddling in the Arab Spring with Soviet interventions in the Middle East. When, for example, Russia tried to pull Arab dictators like Nasser into their sphere of orbit, nobody at the Soviet foreign ministry thought for a second Muslim Arabs could be turned into the Swiss.

But Davos Man did and does.

If Davos is getting things totally, 110% wrong much more consistently than the Cold War Kremlin, then how sure are we that we're looking at the same species of government?

September 21, 2013 at 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

gloated about the course of the Arab Spring going exactly as he predicted

While I much respect Moldbug this prediction wasn't exactly rocket science. Lots of stock cathedral conservatives predicted this outcome.

September 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

TUJ writes: "But the champagne socialists are promoting all sorts of nutty policies withing their own borders."

And Communists have always encouraged them in doing so. As Winston Churchill writes in "The Gathering Storm":

"It is part of the Communist doctrine and drill-book, laid down by Lenin himself, that Communists should aid all movements toward the Left and help into office weak Constitutional, Radical, or Socialist governments. These they should undermine, and from their falling hands snatch absolute power, and found the Marxist state."

TUJ again wrote: "The principle voting base for the Reds was the working class. Their rhetoric was clearly aimed at blue collar laborers, and these appeals were sincere enough."

Yet Lenin himself wrote that, left to its own devices, the working class would never rise above "mere trade-unionism." Marxism was ALWAYS a political faction led by the intelligentsia, and the latter did not hesitate to "pull rank" and assert their superiority if the working class started to have ideas of their own. Lenin's suppression of the typesetters' union in Petrograd was one of the earliest examples of this phenomenon.

Consistency of action and adherence to abstract principle, especially in their actions in non-Communist countries, was never a strong characteristic of the Bolsheviks. Lenin himself famously said his only principles were "Kto? Kogo?" (i.e., who benefits, and at the expense of whom?). Communism is an ideology in which ends justify means, so consistent means or abstract justifications for them are of no real importance - they serve only as pretexts to motivate others to help install Communism.

Thus it is not inconsistent that we find Willi Munzenberg stirring up the useful idiots about the supposedly unjust treatment of Sacco and Vanzetti, when at the same time the Cheka was hauling dissidents into the cellars of the Lubyanka and silencing them with a bullet to the nape of the neck; it is not inconsistent that the CPUSA sent its lawyer Leibowitz to Alabama to defend a gang of
black adolescents (the "Scottsboro boys") in a sensational trial on charges of capital rape (they escaped punishment) while at the same time Stalin was carrying out show trials of persons who had aroused his suspicions (and were executed).

It is not inconsistent that Stanley Levison and Hunter Pitts O'Dell, who had cosmetically severed their ties with CPUSA to provide a veneer of plausible deniability, became the principal handlers of Martin Luther King, or that Rosa Parks attended a Communist front called the Highlander Folk School, before those worthies were vaulted to fame in the struggle for the civil rights of negroes, even as Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush the civil rights of Hungarians. It is not inconsistent
that the CPUSA acted as a conduit of funds to the movement against the Vietnam war, and the left in this country waved the bloody shirt of the rioters killed at Kent State, even though Soviet tanks had rolled into Prague and done far worse to the Czechs.

John Derbyshire points out in his recent book "From the Dissidenf Right" (p. 113) that "Back in the 1920s when it was starting up, the South African Communist Party marched under banners reading: WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE FOR A WHITE SOUTH AFRICA." Yet it is not inconsistent that the same South African Communist Party, under the leadership of Joe Slovo, worked actively with the ANC towards the end of the period of white rule.

All of the apparent inconsistencies are harmonized under Lenin's slogan Kto? Kogo? Who's doing what to whom? The end is to install the communist intelligentsia in power - the means, whatever it takes to do so.

September 21, 2013 at 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

I suspect that some of the greater vagaries of the western left-wing intelligentsia today would not have taken place were the old Soviet Union still there to enforce discipline as it was (for example) during the period of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Then the Soviets could and did pull on the leashes of their pets in Britain and the U.S., whose previous howling about the atrocious fascisti obediently fell silent. Today, there is no leaah, and the former pets have become more willful and uncontrolled - but they are still the same beasts they always were, and still wear their old master's collars.

September 21, 2013 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger left blank said...

@The Undiscovered Jew
"I'm betting the la[t]ter because their platform's nuttiness goes beyond anything Uncle Joe could have dreamed of, no matter how much in the tank FDR was way back when."

You're comparing oranges to orange trees. It's like calling the Pope Catholic, or Louis a Frenchman, or Steve Jobs a fan of Apple.

Uncle Joe and Fireside Frank were not really communists. They were the gods -- the manifestation of the Cause and not its supporters. The communists were and are the Believers. The communists are culpable for the sins of their gods, not because the gods share an ideology with the Believers -- or are even capable of taking the Cause seriously -- but because the gods could not have accomplished anything without the full support of the Believers. It is a fool's errand to distinguish religion from its gods.

I don't think No True Scotsman as it is typically used is actually a fallacy.

There are many tests to distinguish between highly intelligent sociopath who join a cause because joining it is profitable and the people who join a cause because they actually identify with it. (Are they capable of feeling empathy, even for their own children? I.e. do their facial expressions react to seeing pain in someone who is related to them in the same way that any non-sociopath would react to seeing pain in a person related to him/her the same way? This is something that can easily be measured.) The behavior certain kinds of people display is utterly incompatible with most ideologies. For instance, a true Catholic would never deign himself worthy to be the Pope given the knowledge about himself that he would have first hand access to. (And Pious most certainly was aware of his own fallibility as he spoke Ex Cathedra.)

The actual fallacy that should typically be pointed out when someone is calling No True Scotsman, is an attempt to treat the effect as though it were not a byproduct of the cause. There could be no Pope without true Catholics.

There is more than one reason to become a Communist. You might become a Communist because you believe in the Cause, or you might become one because you realize that joining the Cause helps the cause that you do believe in (namely, Rhett Butler). However, distinguishing between the two kinds of people is almost a matter of pedantry. Psychopaths are a fact about the world. That many of them are highly intelligent is also a fact. That highly intelligent psychopaths are incapable of actually being believers is also a fact, but whether they will join the cause, whatever it is, is merely a question of whether joining the cause is expedient for them. What the Cause empowers them to do as a result of their power is a property and fault of the Cause. In Uncle Joe's case, it was committing atrocities. In the present, it's garnering applause for inventing new forms of idiocy. Uncle Joe's estate and modern America can be called by the same name, because they are both Fruitlands supersized, transcendentalism implemented on a grand scale by many Believers after the great success achieved by implementing it on a small scale by the original Few...

September 22, 2013 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger left blank said...

@whatever

"You really need to start making up your own terms instead of reusing the original ones in almost but not quite the original meaning."

Progressivism is a mutation of the Communist mutation of the Socialist mutation of the Transcendentalist mutation of the Quaker mutation of the Lutheran mutation of the Roman mutation of the Christian mutation of the Pharisaical mutation of the Mosaic mutation of Mesopotamian monotheism.

The original Progressives were all communists building on communist thought. Calling progressivism, "communism" is utterly fair. Just because most people are used to thinking mammals aren't reptiles doesn't mean that most people are right. Calling progressive "communists" is no different from calling humans "great apes." Cladist naming schemes occlude phenotypical distinctions for the sake of genetic clarity; whereas, the more common phylogenetic naming schemes obscure genetic information in favor of obviating phenotypical differences. Mencius is employing cladist epistemology to make a reactionary argument, and in so doing he is using the word "communist," appropriately, given context.

September 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger left blank said...

@Anonymous

'''
"Attack. If possible, attack in depth and preemptively. (What do you think I'm doing here?)"

Good question. What exactly are you doing here? Exposing and attacking an entity that is unjust?

Errr:

"If you were real men and not communist pussies, you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you. Only one thing makes right - that would be, of course, might"

You fight "communism" because it is wrong, but MRAs are wrong to fight feminism because...because...might is right? Wrong is right? Satan is your pal?

This is a nontrivial error. Perhaps I'm having a spell of goyisher kop, though, so maybe a Moldbugista can entryistsplain to me the apparent contradiction.
'''

Wrong as in the opposite of "correct and true" not wrong as in the opposite of "just and moral."

The statement "As a human, I am naturally endowed with rights" is too absurd to even be false. It is akin to the statement "As a human, I have a soul." You have to do a lot of explaining for the phrases to develop enough meaning to be anything other than a political password that could not possibly be either true or false given that it references things that are ill-defined.

Once you do go to the trouble of imbuing these phrases with meaning, they become false. What could an "inalienable right to life" be besides a statement of immortality that cannot be taken away? Basically, if you have to claim that you have a right, it means that in actuality you don't have it. I have as much as a right to help learning things as do to being a velociraptor. Either something is true about me (I have the might to enforce what I want to be true), or it is false and I am just complaining and trying to make my complaining sound more legitimate by wrapping it in the meaningless but mimetic language of fundamental rights.

Fighting is not a matter of doing what is "morally right" either. It's silly to fight injustice when injustice is an ill-defined concept. It's a matter of tactics.

Hyenas never attack a cheetah that demonstrates its willingness to fight back. They only attack cheetahs when it's obvious that the cheetah is too tired or too wounded to react. Moral: if you know that there is a scent of blood on you, demonstrate that it comes from your knowledge of how to use your teeth, and not from the opposite.

September 22, 2013 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Ricky Moore said...

I think Left Blank's 'sociopath' theory is more a product of moralizing than fact. The reality is, just as those gullible proles can eat the shit they regurgitate without complaining, most politicians are little more than relatively ordinary people with some talents for administration and social manipulation. 'Sociopath' and 'psychopath' are therapeutic-statist myths in the first place, the notion that a personality can be 'sick' is metaphysical crankery. Also, the notion that a lack of empathy is a 'bad thing' is moralizing, not a fact about reality.

The fact is that the more people stand to gain the better incentives they have to believe in the flagship ideology, and if they have to cut corners in implementation they can always justify it as 'for the greater good'. There is zero evidence that Joseph Stalin was not a communist, even if he was a paranoid, controlling prick of a Communist.

I think that libertarians and conservatives like to ascribe these 'sociopath' motives to politicians they don't like because they're incapable of processing how arbitrary their normative standards are. If God is dead, everything is permitted. Well, God was never alive. Deal with it.

September 22, 2013 at 1:14 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Consistency of action and adherence to abstract principle, especially in their actions in non-Communist countries, was never a strong characteristic of the Bolsheviks. Lenin himself famously said his only principles were "Kto? Kogo?" (i.e., who benefits, and at the expense of whom?). Communism is an ideology in which ends justify means,

The topic is how Communists ruled their own countries and ran their own policies and how this differs from the postmodern West, not how they subverted policy in non-Communist states.

To the extent Soviet Russia was able to successfully incite mischief in Protestant nations, they only got away with it so long as the progressive/Fabian/proto-EU establishment supported their goals.

When progressive policy didn't align with native Communist parties (such as the first 25 years of Cold War containment), then the Communist parties were irrelevant nuisances.

There was never a real chance the Cathedral would allow the CPUSA itself to seize power in America anymore than they will allow Ralph Nader to become president.

When there was a conflict of interest between the progressive West and the Soviet East, the progs were happy to beat back the Reds into their own sphere. Truman, Ike, JFK and LBJ all used arms to check Russia when needed.

This was not the case in non-Protestant continental Europe. There, undiluted Bolshevist politics was a real threat to the ruling regimes. The threat of Communism expanding deeper into Western Europe was why Truman and Ike supported the military juntas in Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

September 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Now back to domestic Communist politics vs Western technocracy;

Lenin himself famously said his only principles were "Kto? Kogo?" (i.e., who benefits, and at the expense of whom?). Communism is an ideology in which ends justify means,

"Who, whom?" is a meaningless phrase that's idolized and bandied about by simpleton paleocons who reduce everything to brute force / me vs. them dynamics, the enlightening Crawfurdmuir excepted.

Lenin's quip can be applied to any power relationship in history. It therefore tells us nothing about whether the Davos elite falls under the same category as the Soviet elite.

September 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

'Who, whom' answers nothing.

What does help is the following:

Communism is an ideology in which ends justify means,

The end goal is useful at determining whether Communism and technocracy are distinct phenomena.

If we look at what the ideal technocrat utopian and Communist end states are, then the case for putting technocracy in it's own category becomes stronger, regardless of how much overlap there is between the means.

Looking at quotes from Engels in the following article, the split between the the hard left and the bureaucratic left originates from the split between the Jacobins and the Utopian Socialists of Saint-Simon from roughly 200 years ago.

1) Engels wanted to abolish capitalism immediately. Saint-Simon and Comte liked capitalism only to the extent capitalism could be used by the state to fund the welfare, regulatory, and social reform ponzi schemes of the "wise".

2) The end stage for Engels was the melting away of the state. For Comte, the end stage of history is the "scientific" state where bureaucracy, sociology, and "reformers" reign supreme. To have utopian bureaucracy without a state is inconceivable to Davos man.

3) Then as now, utopian socialists wanted expansive nanny state manipulations. Engels scoffed at this. To Engels and others, there was no need for the Communist state to "concern itself with trifles" because the proletariat would become their own aristocrats once they had been liberated from the class system.

September 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The Administration of Things: A Genealogy

1)

Like Sieyès and Condorcet before them, Comte and Saint-Simon believed it was up to a class of experts—scientists, industrialists—to work out a new doctrine capable of bringing enduring social and political stability. The scientists would turn their observational skills onto the social and political realm, revealing its laws of development. The industrialists would then reconstruct institutions in such a way that their operations were in harmony with these laws. Unlike Sieyès and Condorcet, however, these postrevolutionary thinkers adopted what Baker has called a “theocratic” understanding of knowledge. Any deviation from rationality became a kind of heresy. “No one is so insane as to set himself up, knowingly, in revolt against the nature of things,” Comte argued (101).

He had supreme faith in the power of knowledge.

2)

Engels envisioned this revolution as a final spasm of sovereignty:

When, at last, it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society—the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society—this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not “abolished”. It dies out [absterben, also translated as “withering away”]. Ibid., 268.

Engels’s account of this process differed in significant ways from Comte’s. When Comte argued that the government of persons would be replaced by the government of things, he meant that an arbitrary government would be replaced by a lawful one, where law was understood in the “true and philosophic sense” given it by Montesquieu. This distinction was either lost on Engels or ignored by him. He understood things not as the subject of government (Montesquieu’s “many things govern men”) but as the objects of government. Once class domination had come to an end, once the state had died off, the only task left would be to administer things and conduct production. Engels had thus reformulated the formula. For Comte, the challenge consisted in deriving necessary relations from the nature of things, a problem best left to experts. For Engels, by contrast, expertise was not an issue. If anything, the formula represented an attack on the idea of expertise. It went without saying—indeed, he left it unsaid—that the proletariat would know how to administer its things once given the opportunity.

September 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

3)

This was the version that worked its way into twentieth-century Marxism. Lenin offered a careful
explication of Engels’s text in The State and Revolution (1917) in an effort to differentiate his position from the other socialist parties and factions. They had used Engels’s absterben to argue against political revolution; it was simply a matter of waiting for nature to take its course. But Engels, Lenin argued, intended no such thing. He was offering a forceful argument for violent revolution. Bukharin and Preobrazhensky elaborated on the theme in their influential ABC of Communism (1920). In abolishing the old institutions, the revolution had sought to establish a state in which the whole working population—regardless of race, sex, creed—could participate in their administration. True, recent events had shown that this wasn’t always effective; even the “best of comrades” had much to learn. But experience, gained from the continuous rotation of functions, would soon solve this problem. “As soon as all the healthy adult members of the population, all without exception, have come to participate in administration, the last vestiges of bureaucracy will disappear. . . . The government of men will be replaced by the administration of things—the administration of machinery, buildings, locomotives, and other apparatus. The communist order of society will be fully installed.” Nicholas Bukharin and Evgenii Preobrazhensky, The ABC of Communism (London: Merlin, 2007), 188.

September 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Behold Satan in the form of the utopian bureaucracy:

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02677/eurozone_2677158b.jpg

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10320516/Who-do-you-think-youre-kidding-Mr-Schauble.html

September 22, 2013 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

So this is why Communism never adopted the nanny state. They were working off of different assumptions about human nature.

In the 19th century, Engels said revolutionary states would have no need to micro-regulate the citizenry with recycling regs, bicycle-helmet laws, and the like because the proletariat is an aristocracy in waiting. Once they've overthrown the class system they'll decide on their own whether they should recycle or not.

Rather than concern themselves with actuarial science, the best of comrades should spend their days on the big issues; nuclear programs, inciting revolution overseas, assassinations, spying, keeping the gulags nice and frigid, etc.

Both the 19th century positivists and monarchists said Engels was nuts. The proles won't know what to do with themselves without an elite. When 'liberated' they'll just spend their days munching on potato chips and watch Sports Center.

On this point, the utopian bureaucrats were less wrong. The proles have no hope of ever becoming an aristocracy. True.

Where utopian bureaucracy fell apart is over the assumption the bureaucrats could be transformed into a perfect ruling aristocracy.

Making these pencil pushers an independent and unaccountable branch of government has resulted in the bizarre situation we find ourselves in where we have an elite that has failed on almost every issue imaginable, including dietary policy.

September 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Link to the article.

http://www.west86th.bgc.bard.edu/articles/the-administration-of-things.html

September 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

While I much respect Moldbug this prediction wasn't exactly rocket science. Lots of stock cathedral conservatives predicted this outcome.

But few Davos apparatchiks got it right, and those are the ones making the decisions.

September 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

@ Ricky Moore

As someone who almost married a highly intelligent person with a category B personality profile, i.e. sociopath/borderlin/narcissist/histrionic, I assure you that it is not metaphysical gibberish. That said, politicians are probably no much more sociopathic than the average person.

September 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

In other words, personality disorder simply cannot explain The Cathedral, that's correct.

September 22, 2013 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Undiscovered Jewboy,

Move to Israel, jewboy.

September 22, 2013 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Ricky Moore said...

@Asher: You are married to a person with an unusual personality. Your wankish circular logic proves nothing. 'Sick minds' is gibberish on a conceptual level, and there is no physiological evidence to support any of the claims of the psychiatric frauds. Your willingness to repeat some shit your wife's psychiatrist told you just proves you are gullible and ignorant of what you speak. K, bye.

September 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

TUJ - I wonder if Marx and Engels really believed in the eschaton they predicted, or whether it was all persiflage designed to persuade the proles to install the intelligentsia in power in place of the bourgeoisie.

We must always watch what people do as well as what they say. Do Pat Robertson, Jack van Impe, or the authors of the "Left Behind" series, really believe that the Apocalypse foretold by St. John is upon us? I suggest that a look at how they invest their portfolios will more truly reflect the "secrets of their hearts" than does anything they say.

In similar fashion, did any of the Bolsheviks, from Lenin and Trotsky right up through Gorbachev, truly believe that the state was going to wither away, and, that as Marx prophesied, "In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner..."?

Absolutely nothing in the conduct of the Kremlin leadership from 1917 through 1991 suggests that anyone took this seriously. Their expectation was that the "dictatorship of the proletariat" (i.e., the rule of the nomenklatura) would continue for the foreseeable future.

The rule of the nomenklatura is the continuing goal of the Davos set, as it was of the old Soviet leadership. All the egalitarian balderdash and utopian promise is put up to engage the bungled and the botched in their cause. The only thing sincerely felt by both classes is expressed in their constant deprecation of the old bourgeois and aristocratic elites. They are united in their hatred of and envy for them, and continue to beat that dead horse even though it is not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

September 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Asher said...

@ ricky Moore

It would be nice is you managed sticking to stuff I actually said. First, we agree that the phrase "sick mind" is gibberish and I, if you notice, never used it. Second, I am married, now, just not to that woman. Further, category B personality disorders are not really unusual - I don't have any mental disorder and my personality is far more unusual than hers. As for the diagnosis, she's never seen a psychiatrist and I noticed that there was something very strange in some of her interactions with her environment. In most people there is a continuum between various folk psychological descriptions nice/mean, shy/outgoing, etc. She had some odd behaviors that simply didn't even relate to any such continua I had ever encountered.

So, I went about doing research on my own. I don't want to go into the details but there were some phenomena in her behavior that simply do not relate to any sort of description that one sees in most people.

Simply saying "unusual" is simple handwaving. My suggestion is to stop taking Thomas Szasz so seriously - as a former enthusiast of his I know the stench well.

beyond that, I have a brother with some sort of schizoid personality disorder. A year ago he had a good business, healthy physique and no history of alcohol or drug abuse. Five months ago he was with me on a jobsite and called 911 to tell them he had seen a jetliner get shot out of the sky over Puget sound by aliens.

At 27, that's simply not an "unusual personality". something in his brain went haywire and the most logical explanation is something organic. I still don't call his a "sick mind" but he is obviously not in control of his faculties without anti psychotics, either.

I suspect that the category a personality disorders are an affect of rapid increases in intelligence over the past 2000 years or so. Not sure, just an educated hunch. we do know that accelerated selection can have deleterious side effects and intelligence, in some populations, has been rapidly increasing over the past couple millenia.

September 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM  
Anonymous some other anonymous said...

>The statement "As a human, I am naturally endowed with rights" is too absurd to even be false.

A statement may not make sense, to you. But you are putting that statement in a context when deciding whether it makes sense. More concretely: Law of the cell is nonsensical in the context of particle physics. It is also very true. There are always truths that do not make sense simply because that are just out of your scope. It's like Godel's incompleteness theorem.

>Basically, if you have to claim that you have a right, it means that in actuality you don't have it.

Comments here reek of teenage angst, nihilism, sophistry. Apparently you do not have the maturity or the education; either of which would help; to grasp a systemic reality. 'Right's exist and they work.

>Hyenas never attack a cheetah that demonstrates its willingness to fight back.

Why the cheetah is alone in the example? Why are it is hyenas that attack a cheetah, and not other cheetahs?

>Moral:.......

If there is no just or unjust, but only able&unable and correct&incorrect, how can there be a moral to any story?

September 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> If there is no just or unjust, but only able&unable and correct&incorrect, how can there be a moral to any story?

Re-map morality from "the set of actions one deems moral according to system X" to "the set of actions that are able to be performed, correct, and *desirable* according to person Y" and much of the phenomenon is preserved. Rights are then merely the categories of courses of action taken by individuals, and can classified by the methods of their enforcement: (1) negative liberties are actionable by individuals in the absence of social enabling (e.g. right to the freedom of speech), while (2) positive liberties require not only a lack of restriction but active support from societal infrastructure, e.g. suffrage. The morality of this latter category is thus contingent on the local standards of morality of the ruling portion of the society in question.

September 23, 2013 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger DR said...

All democracies are communist to some degree. The most profitable and valuable enterprise in any nation is the state. The NPV of USG's ability to tax dwarfs GE, Apple or ExxonMobil. And who "owns" the state? Historically the ruling family (or families). In modern times "the people" do.

Full communism is "the people" owning all productive enterprises. But if you're a democrat you're already half-way there, since you concede that the people must own the most profitable enterprise.

September 23, 2013 at 4:42 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

In similar fashion, did any of the Bolsheviks, from Lenin and Trotsky right up through Gorbachev, truly believe that the state was going to wither away,

In the beginning? Of course. It's easy to say you'll give up power before you get it.

Lew Rockwell and his crew say the state will whither away and be replaced by capitalist statelets. Do you think they're being disingenuous?

September 23, 2013 at 4:51 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And by Darwin's beard, didn't Comte look like the faceless Brave New World bureaucrat of today?

Exhausted, sunken eyes, ghostly white face seemingly drained of all blood and personality by a vampire.

Marx and Engels, with their exorbitant beards, at least looked vigorous enough to pick up the Kalashnikov, wage war against the industrialist pigs, and then head to Cuba for cigars with Fidel.

Comte?

He has the beaten, corpse-like aura of the DC government worker or the Brussels EUrocrat.

Feast your eyes on this beauty and then tell us the utopian bureaucrat and the Communist are the same species,

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Portrait_of_Auguste_Comte_by_Louis_Jules_Etex.jpg

September 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The rule of the nomenklatura is the continuing goal of the Davos set, as it was of the old Soviet leadership.

Not really. The assumptions about human nature the proto-Davos elite worked off led them to different end objectives.

From the very beginning the utopian bureaucrats agreed the proletariat needed an enlightened elite.

And the state would definitely not be abolished; the state must become bigger, pettier, and more intrusive than any Bolshevik would have dreamed.

Different objectives, different methods in power (the Soviets do not concern themselves with trifles, but the Bureaucrats do!) means different breeds of animal.

September 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Lothar The Curious said...

Couple questions:

1. Why monarchy in lieu of a sufficiently tweaked democracy? If the problem with democracy is the unwashed masses then fine, don't let them vote. Men over 30 who contribute to society and who pass tests affirming their literacy, numeracy, etc. Make it more like a shareholders meeting where some clown with one share doesn't get an equal vote with Warren Buffett who owns 10 million shares & is invested in the outcome.

Democracy seems to be working better in Singapore. Rhodesia had an interesting system: A Roll for those who met qualifications & contributed to the fisc, and B Roll for the rest. Germany (boo!) had a similar system to elect their legislature in the late 1800s IIRC.

You're smart people who know all this, so what's the explanation? Why not elect a leader every 15-25 years & screw the legislature?

2. I hear the word aristocracy a lot around these parts but never meritocracy. Why not? I'd guess the answer is that given heritability, aristocracy is largely a shortcut to a meritocracy.

If there is a better forum for these sorts of question I'd be thankful for a link to it.

September 23, 2013 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger DR said...

@Lothar

"1. Why monarchy in lieu of a sufficiently tweaked democracy?"

Take your analogy of democracy to shareholder capitalism. And keep moving in that direction, until you literally get there. There you have Moldbug's proposed system of government Neocameralism. Have a look:

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/12/neocameralism-and-escalator-of.html

"I hear the word aristocracy a lot around these parts but never meritocracy. Why not? I'd guess the answer is that given heritability, aristocracy is largely a shortcut to a meritocracy."

Again, your line of thinking hits the nail on the head. Aristocracy is a simple and clear system to administer. Simply protect clearly enshrined property rights. (Whether those property rights are too land, financial wealth or even legal privileges). Such a system already takes you very close to pure meritocracy. Aristocrats have a strong incentive to manage their property and capital well. Ergo competent, intelligent, hard-working and talented people will be highly sought after.

The most talented people will tend to end up acquiring quite a bit of their own property, even if they come from nothing. The meritorious over time become the aristocratic. The system is not perfect, they'll be more than a few idiot billionaire scions running things, instead of wisely outsourcing management to the meritorious. But such an approach will certainly cost dearly.

In contrast systems optimized for meritocracy contain virtually none of the cross-benefits of aristocracy. Aristocracies have clear and well-defined rules that minimize corruption and conflict. Meritocracies in contrast require a vast and complex machinery to select its rulers. This machinery has a lot of different parameters, each of which can have subtle and profound impact on outcomes. A lot more effort is devoted to rent-seeking the system, which leads to a lot more corruption and a lot less productivity.

If I Mr. Burns owns 10,000 acres of farm land and he dies aristocracy is quite simple. Check who his heir is and give it to him. There's not much you can do to change that absent a complete overhaul of the system. In contrast in a meritocracy we want to give it to the best farmer. Now we have some sort of exam, but the people from Nebraska lobby for a lot more sections on corn, the people from California for a lot more sections on viniculture.

September 24, 2013 at 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"Lew Rockwell and his crew say the state will whither away and be replaced by capitalist statelets. Do you think they're being disingenuous?"

I do. The state will always be necessary. How it is constituted may vary, but given human nature, there will always be disputes for courts to resolve, thieves and murderers for sheriffs to catch, and once caught, gaolers or executioners to punish them. There will always be barbarians at the frontiers for an army to fight. It is unlikely that any of these functions can be fulfilled entirely on a contractual basis by private enterprise in competitive markets.

September 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

Lothar writes: " I hear the word aristocracy a lot around these parts but never meritocracy. Why not? I'd guess the answer is that given heritability, aristocracy is largely a shortcut to a meritocracy."

Aristotle divided forms of government into three types, and two varieties of each type. Monarchy and tyranny were respectively the good and bad varieties of rule by one person; aristocracy and oligarchy, the good and bad varieties of rule by a few; timocracy and democracy, the good and bad varieties of rule by the many.

What you propose as a "tweaked democracy" is actually a timocracy, i.e., a form of government under which the franchise is limited to persons whose attributes suggest the possession of the virtues necessary to govern well, such as maturity, education, ownership of property or regular contributions to the public fisc through taxation. The problem with timocracy is that we had one once in this country, and abandoned it in stages as it became apparent that it served the advantage of one or the other factions in our politics to extend the franchise to increasingly less qualified persons. Timocracy, "tweaked democracy," is thus shown by long experience to be inherently unstable because of its susceptibility to such manipulation.

What distinguishes aristocracy from oligarchy is that aristocrats possess specific virtues, arētē and philotimia. Arētē signifies a sort of disinterested capacity for judgment, while philotimia is the love of honour, specifically in respect to honesty and fidelity - a willingness to keep promises even when doing so is personally inconvenient. The distinction between aristocracy and meritocracy (as the latter is commonly understood) is that aristocracy is based upon an excellence of morality, whereas meritocracy is based on excellence of skills.

The two do not always coincide, though they often do. It seems to me that anyone who could master the skills exemplified in Castiglione's "The Courtier" could legitimately be described as a meritocrat. However, we see in today's nomenklatura a group of people whose merits, as certified by Ivy League schools, Congressional confirmations, partnerships in high-powered law firms or investment banks, etc., are not complemented by the possession of arētē and philotimia. They constitute an oligarchy.

An Aristotelian monarch always comports his rule in accordance with law and tradition, and is a just and merciful ruler. The tyrant, on the other hand, is not necessarily a cruel ruler, but is one who has seized power without the sanction of law or tradition. There is a strong element of mob rule - the type of democracy Aristotle compared unfavorably to timocracy - often seen in the elevation of tyrants to power. Hugo Chávez is a recent example of an Aristotelian tyrant.

It is observable throughout history that both timocracy/democracy and monarchy/tyranny most often slide into a condition of oligarchy. The single ruler eventually has to delegate responsibility to agents, who soon enough pursue their own agendas and become oligarchs. On the other hand, in governments by the many, elected and appointed representatives of the people eventually become bosses rather than servants, and constitute an oligarchy in which they dictate to their nominal constituents.

Thus, inevitably, we shall have rule by the few as an end-state, regardless of the point at which we begin. From my point of view, at least, it is far more important that they have sound morals than that they have high skills. The latter is desirable, but the former is a necessity. We need only look at much of the modern world to see the results of rule by highly-adept but amoral oligarchs.

September 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Urgal Florborg said...

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/deeper-than-god-ronald-dworkins-religious-atheism/?ref=opinion

How amusing, The New York Times publishing an article supporting Moldbug's theory of belief classification. Why, indeed, do atheists believe in religion?

September 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DR Said:
I do. The state will always be necessary. How it is constituted may vary, but given human nature, there will always be disputes for courts to resolve, thieves and murderers for sheriffs to catch, and once caught, gaolers or executioners to punish them. There will always be barbarians at the frontiers for an army to fight. It is unlikely that any of these functions can be fulfilled entirely on a contractual basis by private enterprise in competitive markets.

Have you read up on polycentric law? Not meaning to use 'google this' as an argument, I just think you would be interested.

September 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my bad, thats directed towards Crawfurdmuir

September 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"Why, indeed, do atheists believe in religion?"

I think that for some, atheism is indeed a religion.

A person who is merely indifferent to the claims of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc., and is content in his indifference, neither seeking out conflict with believers, nor propounding his own reasons for it, probably can be said to have no religion.

However, atheists of the stripe of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Christopher Hitchens, or Richard Dawkins, who engage in public disputations with the believers of other religions, publish books promoting their points of view, and other similar activities, could be said to have a sort of religion of their own.

There is no requirement that a religion posit the concept of a Supreme Being. Buddhism does not.

Moreover, there is no empirical evidence for or against the existence of a God or gods. Science, though atheists often claim it is on their side, has nothing to say about the issue, A categorical statement that "there is/are no God/gods" must be taken on faith, as surely as must a statement that God or gods do exist, and both statements require a faith in their truth.

Organizations like the American Association of Atheists and the Secular Humanist Society have regular meetings (services), speakers at those meetings (preachers), function according to an agenda (order of service), officers and by-laws (hierarchy and canons), publish books and pamphlets intended to persuade others of their views (tracts), engage in recruitment activities (proselytize), provide disciplinary measures for persons in the organization who have made themselves somehow unpopular with their fellows (excommunication), and exhibit many other features that parallel those of religion. We may as well describe them honestly as such.

September 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

"Polycentric law," in which providers of law overlap in their jurisdiction, appears to me to be quite like the system that prevailed during much of the European middle ages. There, some law was provided by the local lairds or squires, who had rights of infangthief and outfangthief, pit and gallows; some by the Church, particularly in matters of "family law"; some by royal courts in which the pleas of the crown were heard (except within lordships of regality); etc. The dominium utile of property might be held and recorded in a variety of ways; as freehold of the crown, freehold of a superior (subinfeudation), copyhold, and a variety of tenures by service, some noble (e.g., knight service) and others not (e.g., socage).

Further, while these rights were usually vested in a particular way, they were not always so - the rights normally vested in barons might also be held by cities or towns, e.g., the "liberties of Halifax" or the "liberties of the Savoy." They might also be held by a church, a monastery, or as a perquisite of the office of some prelate, during the duration of that office.

The result of this arrangement was a patchwork-quilt of overlapping jurisdictions, between which conflict regularly arose. However, this never meant that the state did not exist. The activities of the state - dispute resolution, the pursuit and punishment of criminals, the defence of the realm - went on then, just as they do today. It is even a question whether they were carried out more or less efficaciously than they are now.

September 24, 2013 at 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The state will always be necessary. How it is constituted may vary, but given human nature, there will always be disputes for courts to resolve, thieves and murderers for sheriffs to catch, and once caught, gaolers or executioners to punish them. There will always be barbarians at the frontiers for an army to fight. It is unlikely that any of these functions can be fulfilled entirely on a contractual basis by private enterprise in competitive markets."

I don't know. As state will lose more and more of its legitimacy, what will future hold? Automatic weapons and easy information dissemination seem to have a large equalizing effect between "state" and "private groups" - however formed.

TPS

September 24, 2013 at 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if by "state" one means "organized coercion". isn't "the state shall endure for ever" tautological?
TPS

September 25, 2013 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Kummant said...

I've got a red pill for you:

The Chemical Weapons Convention is anti-democracy.

I like this one because it is obviously indisputable, unlikely to have occurred to most non-extremists, and shows in one line the lunacy of holding democracy as an absolute ideal.

September 25, 2013 at 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wikipedia article on the Red Scare is poorly written according to the standards of the website, e.g. "his ignited a battle over control of history books that still wages today between those wanting to use the ungodly power of the federal government and its armies of bureaucrats to redistribute wealth in the name of basic Christian charity (think Barack Obama) and Americans who believe in a free market and limited federal government (think Glen Beck)." A different source, equally reflective of your understanding of the subject as would be a properly edited Wikipedia article, would be greatly appreciated,

September 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I do. The state will always be necessary. How it is constituted may vary, but given human nature, there will always be disputes for courts to resolve, thieves and murderers for sheriffs to catch, and once caught, gaolers or executioners to punish them. There will always be barbarians at the frontiers for an army to fight. It is unlikely that any of these functions can be fulfilled entirely on a contractual basis by private enterprise in competitive markets.

Correct.

And add that under a hypothetical anarcho-libertarian scenario, private enterprises would become states the moment they fill the vacuum and take on the roles of states; legal arbitrator, provider of public services, defense, etc.

But don't make the mistake of thinking just because you see the flaws in Lew Rockwell's logic that Rockwell doesn't believe his own theories.

September 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

He may believe his own theories - but that wasn't really the question. The question originally was, did the Bolshevists believe their own theories?

I still have seen nothing to suggest, in their entire record from 1917 through 1991, that any of them ever believed that in the foreseeable future the state would wither away and that there would not be a need for the "dictatorship of the proletariat," a.k.a. the rule of the intelligentsia/nomenklatura.

You wrote: "From the very beginning the utopian bureaucrats agreed the proletariat needed an enlightened elite."

And so did Lenin - as proved by his remark that the proletariat, left to itself, would never rise above mere trade-unionism. Bolshevism was predicated on the leadership of an intelligentsia.

The end stage of Marxism-Leninism was not the withering away of the state, but (as we saw in Poland under Jaruzelski, and as we are seeing in China today) an authoritarian dictatorship propped up by military force. And if you don't believe that is the end stage here, then why has the U.S. government bought billions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition? Ça ira aussi ici.

September 25, 2013 at 6:44 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

1. Why monarchy in lieu of a sufficiently tweaked democracy? If the problem with democracy is the unwashed masses then fine, don't let them vote. Men over 30 who contribute to society and who pass tests affirming their literacy, numeracy, etc.

The America of the founding fathers failed to maintain restrictions on the franchise because it was too restrictive in an age where the middle class was rising to the fore.

If memory serves, George Washington was elected when less than 5% of the American populace could vote.

But by the time of Andrew Jackson most white men without a criminal record could vote. Some jurisdictions had already given women the franchise.

If the founders had begun with offering the vote to the top ~70% of the white population, they could have kept voting restrictions going well into the 19th century.

2. I hear the word aristocracy a lot around these parts but never meritocracy.

Who says monarchies weren't meritocratic beyond the lines of succession?

Monarchies gave royal titles, government posts, and honours to low born stars like Isaac Newton, writers, and all sorts of Renaissance masters.

September 25, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

He may believe his own theories - but that wasn't really the question. The question originally was, did the Bolshevists believe their own theories?

If Rockwell can think the state will wither then why not the Reds?

I still have seen nothing to suggest, in their entire record from 1917 through 1991,

When they were out of power prior to 1917, their theories consistently said the state would dissolve naturally once class distinctions had been erased.

By contrast, when the totalitarian bureaucrats were the outer party in the 19th century, their ideals always insisted the state would remain and become more powerful and scientific.

And so did Lenin - as proved by his remark that the proletariat, left to itself, would never rise above mere trade-unionism.

Yes, but Lenin the theorist (who preceded the Lenin the politician) thought that after class distinctions had been overthrown, in the long run the state would dissolve. Now, when he was in power, he probably get around the cognitive dissonance by thinking that his predecessors would be the ones who gave up power in the distant future.

Just one more snort of the Tsar's crack and he'll quit and go back to normal. This one's the very last snort, Lenin promised himself.

And if you don't believe that is the end stage here, then why has the U.S. government bought billions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition? Ça ira aussi ici.

Where'd I say USG isn't what the progrs wanted?

I've said from the beginning the current therapeutic mega-bureaucracy is what the progressives wanted from the very beginning and, in part, it's this that distinguishes them from the Communist states.

September 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And Deng's China is no longer Communist in any meaningful sense.

It's a crony capitalist dictatorship that didn't bother to officially dissolve Communism as Russia did.

September 25, 2013 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Crawfurdmuir said...

" Now, when he was in power, he probably get around the cognitive dissonance by thinking that his predecessors would be the ones who gave up power in the distant future."

Having one's predecessors give up power in the distant future would be quite a trick.

September 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

When an honest version is finally written it will be noted as an irony of 20th century history that although totalitarian bureaucracy succeeded in destroying both Nazism and Communism it was the extreme rightist Hitler who was a greater nanny stater than Stalin.

September 25, 2013 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

"And Deng's China is no longer Communist in any meaningful sense."

Communism as practiced means that the country's GDP is allocated in accordance with the priorities identified by the Party, with varying degrees of private ownership permitted, again, as determined by the Party "in the interests of the People/Revolution/Nation. The fact that the CCP has persuaded its population that the interests of the People/Revolution/Nation require the allocation of production to the princelings and party cronies indicates only that the CCP is now practicing the same form of Communism as the USA.

September 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Alexander Irwin said...

"When an honest version is finally written it will be noted as an irony of 20th century history that although totalitarian bureaucracy succeeded in destroying both Nazism and Communism it was the extreme rightist Hitler who was a greater nanny stater than Stalin."

What's ironic about Austrians expecting a more systematic organization of society than Georgians?

September 25, 2013 at 8:56 PM  

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