Meditations: Sub Specie Aeternitatis
Meditations: Humanity and Human Nature
Meditations: Crime And The City
Meditations: The Cathedral
Meditations: (Thought) Crime And Punishment
Meditations: Memetic Evolution
Meditations: Power and Democracy
Meditations: The Islamic Invasion
Meditations: Men and Modernity
Meditations: Freedom And Technology
Meditations: Mencius Moldbug
It is true that, while I merely observed the behaviour of others I found little basis in it for certainty, and I noticed almost as much diversity as I had earlier among the opinions of philosophers. Hence the greatest profit I derived from it was that, seeing many things which, although they may seem to us very extravagant and ridiculous, are nevertheless commonly accepted and approved by other great peoples, I learned not to believe too firmly those things which I had been persuaded to accept by example and custom only; and in this way I freed myself gradually from many errors which obscure the natural light of our understanding and render us less capable of reason. But, after spending several years studying thus in the book of the world and seeking to gain experience, I resolved one day to study also myself and to use all the powers of my mind to choose the paths which I should follow. In this I was much more successful, it seems to me, than if I had never left either my country or my books.
René Descartes. Discourse On The Method Of Properly Conducting One’s Reason And Seeking The Truth In The Sciences
Descartes launched modern philosophy by starting to doubt. He noticed that some of what he had been taught as a child by his teachers was mistaken. He was keenly aware — as were other roughly contemporaneous philosophers such as Montaigne, Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume — of religious and political factionalism, superstition and enthusiasm ( today’s dogmatism and extremism). Descartes set out to establish — once and for all — the foundations of knowledge and to create a procedure for arriving at knowledge.
Descartes failed. However, his motivating reason and problem still persists today more than ever.
Today, in the 21st Century, we are confronted with various dogmatisms and extremisms, absurdities and monstrosities. We confront radical divergences in belief, values and practices, and curious convergences and conformities. Our own dark experiences of the world, and the darkness that we read about in the newspapers and the daily horrors we watch on TV, no longer match what the optimistic, progressive pundits, columnists, professors and politicians say.
Descartes, like Leibniz, wanted to secure the foundation and basic procedures for knowledge because they assumed that, by doing so, it could create the basis for peace.
Descartes’ procedure was premised on the assumption that all of his beliefs could not be trusted, they must be expelled and only allowed back into his system (the web of beliefs) if they prove themselves at the bar of Reason.
Descartes ask us to entertain the possibility that we are living in a dream, or that some malevolent entity is systematically deceiving us. How could we ever confidently claim to know anything? How could we refute this possibility?
Imagine, like Descartes, if you where to throw out all of your beliefs, or your fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, ethical and political beliefs; then, try to imagine how you would create a new web, a new system, based on secure foundations and correct procedures.
How would you do it? What foundations could you begin with? What sources could you trust? What rules of reasoning could you use?
Imagine being a young woman in Saudi Arabia. You have been brought up in Islam your entire life thus far; then, suddenly, you have access to the Internet. You want to not only evaluate your own — imposed — beliefs; but to learn knowledge about the world as well. How would you do it? Where would you start?
Imagine being an 18-year-old boy growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1970s; you distrust your school, your newspapers, radio and TV set, how could you come to a position to judge the truth, goodness and beauty of the Communist system?
Or, imagine growing up in America or Western Europe in the early 21st Century. You trust your teachers, you trust your professors, you trust your media — the New York Times and the Guardian newspaper. Yet, you begin to see and experience things which do not match the description of reality as presented by either of them.
If you began to suspect your beliefs – about facts and values – and the reliability of your sources – the various “truth services” how would you begin to try to find the truth? If your goal is to build up an accurate and as comprehensible a picture of the world as possible, how and where would you begin?
Part of the reason why Descartes’ procedure could not work was that his attempt — his individualistic a priori method — could not, by necessity or practicality, account for most beliefs or could ever hope to do so.
Most of our beliefs, be they in science, theology, history, economics, are received. That is, we acquire our beliefs from what we assume are trustworthy sources: teachers and schools, professors and universities, journalists and media outlets – the “truth services” and “servers of truth”.
Once we raise the possibility of global or hyperbolic doubt — that we are being systematically deceived — or even if we raise more local and particular doubts — bias, group think, self-interest, ulterior motives, poor reasoning — it begins difficult to stop our ship — our system — from taking on too much water and sinking.
The ancient philosopher, Sextus Empiricus; the French philosopher, Montaigne; and the Scottish philosopher, David Hume, all recommend, in their different ways, custom and habit as the solution to the problem of scepticism. However, given a brief inspection of history, and current events, we cannot, practically speaking, turn off our critical faculties and the search for truth; because, to rephrase Leon Trotsky, you might not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.
Furthermore, those of us, who have a genuine interest in such things as civilisation, order, peace and liberty, and or family, tradition and faith, cannot ignore what even a moment’s glance at the newspapers reluctantly tells us — that some ugly, stupid, crazy things are happening.
So, we must think; think long and hard; think before acting — but act we must.
The only way out of this epistemological darkness is the faith that reason can lead us to the truth. Faith, which is to say hope, that by acquiring facts and by applying logic, we can begin to build a plausible picture of the world.
Our axiom, our assumption, is that something exists, something is real – that reality rules. Whatever our hopes, whatever our desires, there is a way the world is – reality – and in order to avoid decay, destruction and death, we must discover what the rules of reality are.
Meditations: Sub Specie Aeternitatis
“It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future – sub specie aeternitatis.”
Viktor E. Frankl.
There are three ultimate metaphysical conjectures: three final metaphysical possibilities; three grand philosophical systems.
God over Nature and Reason; Nature over God and Reason; Reason over Nature and God.
First, there is a God. God is pure mind, timeless, immaterial and not bound by any physical law — his will is law. God created the cosmos for the purpose of realising human consciousness. God created man and man’s consciousness for a purpose. The human purpose is to know, love and obey God. Man has free will because man’s consciousness is immaterial, and thus his soul is immortal; morality is objective, absolute and certain. If man is good, then God rewards him with an afterlife.
The problem is evil. How can we know that God is good if we see and experience and read of so much suffering, so much waste, and see so much faulty design? We cannot rationally conclude that God is good, which, emotionally, means there may as well be no God.
Second, there is only Nature. There is matter and energy, time and space, Fermions and Bosons. Everything is physical, natural, blind, purposeless and algorithmic. If it can be understood, it can only be in terms of what physically exists, how it exists and why: it can only be understood using facts, logical reasoning and empirical hypothesis testing —which results in systematic theory building. Physics has no need of God. Biology has no need of God. Morality is an adaption, based on genes, in order to get us to survive using emotion. There is no free will; consciousness is a “secretion of the brain”; values are things we need to satisfy our natural, psychological and social desires. There are no— unassumed — duties, there is no meaning to life. Death is final. The Universe will end in darkness. All life will be extinguished.
The problem is nihilism and egoism, selfishness and despair. Life has no meaning —and given all the suffering, the personal frustrations, all the lies, cheating and aggression, never mind the vicious follies of other people — why bother? If one does bother with anything, is the only thing worth doing is whatever serves one’s own ego?
Thirdly, there is Reason. Reason is the originating, ordering and guiding principle in the Universe. Reason consists of neither mind nor matter, God or Nature, but something else, something, fundamentally mysterious. The Universe is gradually unfolding towards something: consciousness. Consciousness is the cosmos “gradually waking up” to itself. There is then, fundamental order and harmony in existence; physical harmony, but also moral and aesthetic. Humans are either the end point of cosmic evolution or the conduit by which a new form of consciousness emerges — artificial super-intelligence, perhaps. Humans are the rational animal, we have free will, moral duties and obligations. Yet, there is no life after death, no ultimate reward.
The problem is reliability. Is it true? Is it believable? Perhaps only a few philosophers have ever believed this. Is it, however, possible to build and sustain a civilisation with this system?
These conjectures, appear to be, in the first and final sense: our ultimate human set of choices and decisions.
Each one has costs and consequences. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, whether it be in terms of facts and logic; personal meaning and moral and spiritual worth; or, proving coherent and attractive enough to sustain societies and civilisations.
However, in light of these ultimate or first possibilities, how would they address, or how do they fit with global and existential catastrophic risks? What do they say to war and genocide? How do they speak to the possibility and, perhaps, growing reality of civilisational decline?
Take God first. You can place your trust in God and that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. So, there is very little to worry about then, let’s go back to our gardens. Another way of looking at this possibility is that God will destroy the earth — Armageddon. If so, well, I have no idea what to do. However, if a nuclear fireball erupted in London, Washington, Tehran or Mecca, millions of people would rejoice in this spectacle of death as a sign that the great times — the end times — are at hand. Indeed, many individuals, with too much time and knowledge on their hands — could work to hasten it — accelerating Voegelin’s “immanentized eschaton” — which, rather than being the kingdom of God, is the abyss of Death.
Reason, the view that the cosmos exists to realise consciousness is troubling for two reasons. Firstly, it is too optimistic — like with God — if we assume that humans are the pinnacle of cosmic evolution — that it is our destiny to be. Clearly, this invites hubris. Secondly, this belief may lead us to create something — a super-intelligence — which threatens our very existence.
Nature — blind, algorithmic, amoral purposeless — is, at least with this problem, the most prudent view. Essentially, we are on our own. There are traps, and if we fall into them, no one is coming to help us. There is no human destiny, there is no God. There is no intrinsic benevolence to nature. Man must, therefore, rely entirely on his wits.
Science, technology and our history provide dark materials for us to meditate upon. It is possible, though not necessarily probable, that human life, indeed, all life, will perish this century. Or, is it possible, and how likely, that some development — nuclear war, a self-replicating, cancerous-like nano-machine, or an artificial super-intelligence — will end human life, or civilisation as we know it?
Furthermore, such possibilities, if realised, preclude others, and that is, in one sense tragic. Humanity could populate the Galaxy; billions and billions, maybe, even, one day trillions of sentient creatures — artificial or natural — could exist and flourish. A disaster — a war, an asteroid strike, or a totalitarian world government — could close off those possibilities forever.
R.G. Collingwood said (in a much different context to the meaning of this quote) that: “the task of 20th Century philosophy is to reckon with 20th Century history.” I first encountered that quote in Jonathan Glover’s Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century. There, Glover meditates upon the central fact of the 20th Century: the intentional, systematically organised slaughter of tens of millions of people; entire countries regulated and disciplined for war, or for some preposterous set of millennialist dreams and delusions.
What role, however, should philosophy play in this century — the 21st?
The role of the philosopher is to keep the consideration and exploration of possibilities open: intellectual, moral and practical. To understand how things, in the widest sense, fit together, in the broadest possible sense; to understand the many traps that confront the survival and flourishing of human life, and to help the realisation of some possibilities and not others.
This is my vision. This is how I think; it is a combination of historical, philosophical and cosmic perspectives. However, as we advance, blindly, and with increasing trepidation, into the new millennium, I sense that things are not well. I see trends and patterns that are disturbing. I read and learn things that indicate that the lights are beginning to go out. Dark possibilities are increasing in their plausibility and probability. Signs of stress, fatigue and mass madness are beginning to emerge, grow and advance.
These trends and patterns are familiar to those acquainted with history. History is philosophy teaching by example, and history is a horror story.
What do you think? How do you think? Do you think about the things I think about? What do you read? What have you read?
Today, like with early modern Europeans with the printing press, we have access to information that was impossible to the vast number of men and women as short a time as only thirty years past. Before, we had only the newspapers, the TV, radio, and a few library books. Now, we have this thing called the Internet. We have a chance, perhaps only fleetingly, to understand things that those with power do not want us to know.
Sun Tzu said: “all warfare is based on deception”; to which we can add all power too. Like with our example of a Muslim girl with the internet, Communist Boy with Party Propaganda and early Modern Europeans with the printing press, we have the means to see alternatives and therefore have the means to begin to doubt the received beliefs that have been given to us.
We have a chance —perhaps for the last time, before the boot stamps on the human face forever — of gaining knowledge, understanding and wisdom about our world.
Shall we then embark upon this vast ocean of possibilities? The ocean is wide, the waters deep, the days ahead, dark and frightening. There is no guarantee that we shall see dry land again, but look behind you — the army of death approaches. Shall we?
The possibility, however, if we embark on the quest for knowledge and understanding, is that what we will learn is dark, disturbing and dispiriting. We will encounter decay, death and degradation on our way, with no necessary hope of either redemption or salvation. We will have our illusions destroyed, our optimism depleted, and many of our hopes defeated — to no end except that we did our iron duty and followed the argument wherever it lead us.
The possibility is that by doing so – studying, questioning, doubting and reflecting – we begin to react against the beliefs and values that we have been given. Our responses to what we read, see, hear and consider is one of mounting horror and confusion. We encounter lies; we encounter those who proclaim their virtue, yet it only masks their viciousness. We react to the fact that we start to understand that our institutions are corrupt, insane, lethal and entirely unaccountable.
Reason leads us to reaction. That is the possibility you must consider. A reaction that places you entirely at odds with the majority of humanity, and, most pertinently, the powers that be.
A Reformation beckons……a Reactionary Reformation.
We have two possibilities. Firstly, that our received beliefs and values are true, good and necessary; that they have resulted from reason. Secondly, our received beliefs are a product of power, of competition, of ideological struggles for power; of deluded beliefs and destructive desires that out competed reason and truth.
Will you take a step towards trying to resolve these possibilities? And then begin – your descent, into dark, unthinkable, madness?
Meditations: Humanity and Human Nature
“Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.”
When you study history, philosophy and the beliefs of people today, you see a pattern. You see that people in the West tend to fall into two groups concerning their beliefs and values regarding humanity and human nature.
In one vision, man is fundamentally good, peaceful, altruistic and innocent. The task of civilisation, therefore, is to relax all the rules and regulations, impediments and restrictions on man’s nature — then, as sure as the sun rises, man’s peaceful, naturally cooperative nature rises also.
Equality, justice, peace and the control of society in the hands of the educated, enlightened, benevolent elite, is the political vision that emerges from the view that humans are naturally good and peaceful.
In this vision, Humanity is both fact and value. It is a fact that man is good, it is only society that is evil. Progress is progress towards rediscovering our inner Humanity.
Consider the following set of questions, if the answer is yes, then your probably a subscriber in the above vision of Humanity.
1: Do you believe all humans are equal in respect of their moral worth, intellectual, physical and moral capacities, and that they deserve equal material benefits because outcomes should be equal as a consequence of this fact?
2: Do you believe that violence never solves anything? Or, in a related sense, do you believe that the cause of violence is ignorance, oppression and injustice?
3: Do you believe that the reason that “gaps” exist between men and women, or different countries, religions, ethnic groups and individuals is because there is one group that is “privileged” or has designed unjust laws for their own benefit?
4: Do you believe that democracy (power to the majority) is self-evidently morally right and proper? However, somewhat paradoxically, do you believe that, at the very least, 50% or maybe 40% of your fellow citizens are ignorant, vicious, cruel, hateful etc., and that power should be put into the hands of the educated elite who manage democracy?
In the second vision man is neither good nor bad — he simply is. Man is by nature sometimes lazy, greedy, vain, selfish, stupid and violent; but also, sometimes, capable of cooperation, nobility and self-sacrifice. He may not necessarily be made better, but he can be trained and disciplined. He can be made to be civilised.
Order, hierarchy, property, liberty, trade, self-discipline, family and faith are the standards in this vision. If these values, and the institutions that arise from them, are cultivated and maintained then civilisation – lawful, peaceful, prosperity – flourishes.
When we look at humans, contemporary politics, and history, we see humans reliably forming themselves into, roughly, these two groups — the party of plebs, priests, intellectuals and the power-hungry versus the party of kings, aristocrats and the middle class;
Those who hold the first vision, following Thomas Sowell, we can say that they hold to the Utopian vision. The second, meanwhile, hold to the Tragic vision. These are just labels for the phenomena, however. Throughout history, and even in today, we have many labels for this basic dichotomies: Christian V Roman; Protestant V Catholic; Left V Right; Communist V Capitalist; Democrat V Monarchist; Progressive V Liberal; Progressive V Reactionary.
What is the cause of this pattern? And do any of these beliefs and values — from both sides — hold any relationship to reality? Is this pattern simply one of culture? Or, does it have something to do with psychology and biology?
The first task is to understand this animal, this hominid, this human.
Meditations: Crime And The City*
“Thin Line Between Heaven and Here”.
Bubbles. The Wire.
Do you live in a city? If not, why not?
Can you walk, in the city where you live, at anytime and anywhere without fear of being stopped, harassed, or injured by other humans?
If the answer is that you can walk, without fear of injury, then what city do you live in? Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai?
If the answer is no, then what city do you live in? Los Angeles, Chicago or Detroit? What about London, Paris, Marseille or Nice? What of Malmö? Amsterdam? Stockholm? What about Cologne?
I assumed that you were a man, now assume you’re a woman and ask yourself the same question again.
On foot, and alone, do you fear anyone or any group?
Who is stopping you? Who is threatening you? Do they wear uniforms? Are they agents of the state?
Then who are they?
Do you notice any patterns or trends with these urban predators?
Where do they come from? Why are they here? What do they want?
Finally, as Captain Willard keeps asking in Apocalypse Now: “Who’s in command here?” Who or what is responsible for you not being able — on foot and alone — to travel the streets of your city? Now, what do the politicians, police, press and professors say about this? Do they say anything? Do they deny it? If their denial runs contrary to your experience, then why do you think they deny it?
Meditations: (Thought) Crime And Punishment
“The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.”
Is there any question, any voicing of doubt, or a publicly voiced disagreement of either a set of facts or values that would not only lead to you losing your job, not even only your liberty — but your life?
How many things do you believe are true, good, beautiful and useful, but you keep these beliefs hidden for fear of the legal, political, economic and social consequences?
How many times, in your life, have you held something back, and uttered a socially expected platitude because you feared the consequences?
Who is stopping you? Why are they stopping you?
Again, is there any pattern, any consistent system of thought, any dogma, any “Party line” any creed, that is being violated by the voicing of your opinion?
Can you name three things that could get you fired? How many things could you possibly say that could end with you (if you live in Europe) in jail? Name-just-one-thing that is an automatic death sentence — if you don’t profess to believe it?
Can you name three public figures — an intellectual, a novelist, a business person or a politician — who have been fired, or threatened or killed because of what they said?
Finally, is there any connection — any pattern, or a set of similar people involved — with the questions of the last two meditations?
Meditations: The Cathedral**
“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.”
Let’s consider a little consciousness raising exercise that Free Northerner has designed.
Think of one thing that you know deeply and systematically. It could be something in theology, history, economics, politics or military strategy. Now, think back or even go and spend a day — or a week, a month or a decade — reading what dominant media centres, such as the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, are saying. Take a look at what professors in Harvard or Yale or Oxford are saying on your chosen subject. After this, listen to your political representatives; what are they saying on the same subject? What are they saying — but what are they not saying?
Do you have any children? Consider the one area you know about — Math, English, Science or History —now ask: is it being taught accurately and competently?
Do you think that these institutions and sources of information are accurate? Do you think that the way they reach their conclusions are reliable? What are they assuming? What are they not assuming?
Do you think that, maybe, there is a build-up of Frankfurtian style “bullshit” in our “truth services”- the Press, universities, political parties and schools?
Do you think they are right? Or are they wrong? Are they ignorant, lying or simply just bullshitting?
Now recall, that this is just for one subject, however.
Now, widen your eyes, broaden your vision, and consider the possibility that other topics have become equally degenerate: that the profusion of lies, bullshit and propaganda holds sway on many, maybe all, subjects right across the spectrum: philosophy, science and economics.
Free Northerner asks:
“Then consider how you, and most everybody else, becomes informed about things they don’t know of.
This is where the “horror sets in.”
Rene Descartes sat in his room, contemplating the possibility that he was in a dream or that he was being deceived by an evil demon.
Are you sitting in your room? Are you contemplating what is true, good, beautiful and useful? But how can you trust the sources of your beliefs? You believe many things that do not rely on directly seeing, hearing, touching, or tasting; you acquire these beliefs and values from somewhere? Where? Your teachers? Your professors? The New York Times? Harvard?
What if, thinking like Descartes, you were being systematically presented with a false, distorted and manipulated presentation and interpretation of reality?
Perhaps you imagine that there is some man, somewhere —a Golem like Goebbels — sitting in the depths of Harvard University controlling everything. No. Consider the possibility that the uniformity of opinion you see — from the NYT to the Guardian to Der Spiegel, to Harvard, to Oxford, from Antony Blair to Francois Hollande, From Justin Trudeau to Angela Merkel — on many questions of facts, values and practices are uncoordinated by any central administrator, yet there is strange consistency. Furthermore, these patterns are predictable because they are moving in a certain, understandable direction. No one person is in control; there is no official book, no set of doctrines, or uniforms; no one key prophet or messiah or philosopher. Yet —there is a systematic set of social, political, institutional and philosophical connections to these facts, values and practices.
But —no designer.
Yet — there is no prime mover.
No Pope, no Cardinals.
Yet — there is a Cathedral.
Meditation: Memetic Evolution
What requires special explanation in the normal view are the cases in which despite the truth or beauty of an idea it is not accepted, or despite its ugliness or falsehood it is.
The meme’s eye view purports to be an alternative to this normal perspective. What is tautological for it is:
Meme X spread among the people because X is a good replicator.
Dan Dennett. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
We have two possibilities.
The first possibility is that there exists in what could only described as The End Of History. The end of History is the End Of Men. The end of history is the end of Heroes, of struggle, of competition, of strife, of war, violence and oppression.
The End Of History is either God’s Or Reason’s successful unfolding of a cosmic plan: Progress to Providence. The Kingdom Of God Or Reason Realised On Earth.
The second possibility is that the first is nothing but sophistry and illusion. Evolution is action, and action is evolution. War, competition, struggle, Heroes and Great Men, will not go away because Nature has not stopped her blind, immoral, algorithmic and purposeless evolution.
Progress is a myth. The claim that history bends towards justice is nonsense.
Yet, it moves.
Hegel thought that there were patterns and a coherent process in history: that it was culminating towards freedom. This process was fundamentally a process of ideas.
Marx, standing Hegel on his head, thought that there was a pattern to history, and history was proceeding towards freedom; however, it was not ideas that were guiding this process — it was the material and economic conditions that drove history.
Darwin, who was contemporary of Marx, discovered that the complexity and forms of life were a result of natural selection: variety, competition and heredity. Those organisms that survived and reproduced would have their characteristics passed on to the next generation.
Karl Popper, meanwhile, had a theory of intellectual progress and an ideal society — an open one. In the open society ideas, theories and arguments competed against each other on grounds of free discussion and debate using facts and logic and, ultimately, empirical falsification. Those theories which withstood testing, those conjectures which survived attempts at refutation, would survive and reproduce throughout the open society.
The first possibility is that we live in an open society. And, as a result, the political and economic systems, the “dominant” moral and ethical values and practices, the cultural mores are thus those beliefs, values and practices that represent the end of History: the True the Good and the Beautiful.
Where do people get their beliefs, values and practices from? We have family, peers, schools, churches and universities. We have newspapers, TV, radios and books.
These are the structures by which a message is broadcast and repeated. However, these structures broadcast and repeat different messages. A mosque, for example, broadcasts a different message from a Church. A Baptist church, moreover, broadcasts a slightly different message from an Anglican one.
China’s People’s Daily broadcasts a different message, a different set of beliefs, values and opinions than the New York Times. They have a different house styles, editors with different goals and priorities, owners and regulators with different visions and desires.
Do you think that the visions and desires with those who own, operate and work in newspapers, TV, radio, schools and universities are philosophers only interested in the true, the good and the beautiful? Or, is it possible that they are self-interested, given the fact that they have power and influence, in using their position to change things — to have impact, to make progress?
Is it plausible that the men and women who work in these institutions are all selfless, lovers of truth?
Alternatively, is it possible, given the human desire to “fit-in”, to help, to get ahead, win recognition and become rich, might, even possibly, provide a systematic set of incentives — rewards and punishments — to think only certain thoughts, write only certain things, ask only certain kinds of questions, and pursue only certain kinds of theories, stories and policies?
Surely, you must agree that it is possible because we know that it is true; at least, with respect to institutions both in our time and others.
Consider, for example, that the philosopher, Dan Dennett, has something called the Clergy Project. It involves ministers who have lost their faith yet, given the fact that their life is based on being a minister, they are trapped. The words they say to their congregations are, technically, lies. They are tragic — yes — but they are shams.
The Soviet Union had, for decades, people who mouthed the platitudes and went along to get along — but did not believe a word of it. Their jobs, families and freedoms depended on their conformity to the party dogma.
The Catholic Church, however, suppressed and hid a child abuse scandal because it was detrimental to their image and reputation.
In Popper’s open society, the selector is reason. In a managed society, it is power that is the selector.
Consider variation —the first principle of natural selection. In a school, university, or newspaper there will be a stock of different beliefs and values. Thus, there will be competition to get one’s beliefs and values believed and valued.
This could be done by facts and logic — open debate. It could also be done by refusing to hire, firing and refusing to publish or print someone’s work; it could be done by, in the usual human fashion, of forming “schools’ —tribes and gangs — then excluding those who are different or by out-competing other tribes and gangs for power and influence; it could be done by shunning, ostracising, shaming and bullying; it could be done by sending people to academic disciplinary committees or review boards; it could be done by arranging for protests and “no platforming” (refusing to allow a speaker to speak at a conference); boycotting and in the final analysis, by physical intimidation and violence.
We know this can be true because it has been true. In Islam, apostates are murdered. Catholicism had the inquisition. John Calvin, of Geneva, burned heretics. Nazi Germany burned books, fired academics and journalists, and closed down rival political parties.
So, we have two possible explanations. On the one hand, we could explain the fact of cultural change and the widespread and coherent intellectual conformity by claiming that these people’s beliefs are tracking what is true, good and useful. Or, we could explain this datum by explaining them as tracking that which is useful to winning and maintaining power.
Those beliefs and values that are useful to build coalitions, win and keep power in a democracy, weaken one’s political enemies, will be selected, those that do not — will be suppressed, attacked or minimised.
The reasoning we are employing here is abductive. We are seeking an explanation that best accounts for the data. The grounds of assessment for an explanation are simplicity, coherence, explanatory power and testability.
Firstly, it does have explanatory power. As a hypothesis it can cover and explain significant cultural changes that have occurred in the West since the Protestant Reformation, but, in particular, the recent decades in Western history. Let’s take one example.
Why are Muslims in the West?
If you were to look at the numbers of Muslims in Europe prior to 1946 and then look at the number in 2016 — seventy years later — one would notice that the change, across the West, is in the matter of millions. If you were to send a person from the 1940’s to London, or Bradford, or Marseille they would probably claim that the Muslims had invaded and conquered the cities and country.
Now, how would a historian explain this? They could explain it as a consequence of the fact that importing millions of Muslims into a country is true, good and useful. Or, they could explain it as a consequence of power.
Recall the claim that there are two groups of humans. Those who hold the Utopian vision, and those who hold the Tragic one.Which, in the last century went under the name of Left (Socialist and Communist) and Right (Liberal, conservative and frequently Christian.)
Firstly, Muslims and the Islamic faith are intrinsically hostile to the Christian faith. Strike one. Secondly, as with all immigrant groups, Muslims overwhelmingly vote for the left. Strike two. Muslims are comfortable with using violence and thus will use violence against the enemies of the left and the enemies of Muslims. Strike three. The worse it gets, the better it will be. The more Muslims kill, the more a response is demanded – by the state. Thus the growth and power of the state increases — which benefits the left (who believe in the power of the state). Strike four. Since Muslims and some other immigrant and ethnic groups do not always do well in employment, the state can then implement diversity and equality quotas. This serves two purposes; firstly, it effectively bribes (patron-client relationship) the Muslims and other ethnic minorities. Secondly, it weakens the group cohesion and independence of institutions and services by forcing them to come under the control of the state. In terms of public discourse, anyone who disagrees, can simply be branded a racist. Strike six and seven.
This is just one example and there are many others. So,the hypothesis can certainly explain some of the more mysterious and irrational things that have happened in the West.
In terms of simplicity, first, we need to define what is meant by simplicity. It means that a theory should be preferred if it explains ABC by using X as opposed to a theory that explains ABC by X&Y. The reason is that you want to get to the essential cause and if you can remove Y and still get ABC then Y is superfluous.
The main rival, as opposed to power, for the changes in Western culture, is the progressive one: the changes came about because they were true, good or useful (in getting the true and the good).
Let’s grant that each explanation is equal in simplicity. An open society and facts and logic leading to progress or a society where rival groups, ideas and people compete for power to pass on their beliefs and values.
We can call the first: rational selection. The second: power selection.
Now, let’s score them equal in simplicity. However, when it comes to coherence we see a decisive winner. Recall the meditation on thought crime above? Notice that people get suppressed, fired, jailed or killed for what they say and believe (see notes below).
The laws surrounding hate speech, and examples of their use, are a decisive refutation of the idea of the open society. Furthermore, laws that suppress speech are effectively sterilising the ability of these ideas to get selected and passed on — memetic genocide, in other words.
Two to one. Finally, we have testability. A test would be this: will a left-wing progressive party ever adopt, tolerate, or value anything which threatens their power? That is the first test. The hypothesis of power requires a negative.
The second test is the following. The hypothesis predicts that, all else being equal, society will become move more and more progressive. As their grip on power increases and as they maintain control of the institutions that broadcast and repeat messages or memes ( via schools, churches, universities), and as more immigrants come in and the next generation of immigrant children come into adulthood — then their democratic and institutional power will increase, because they have more voters and supporters. Thus, society will move in an ever more progressive direction — until it collapses.
The third test is that any evidence that contradicts the left’s beliefs and values will be suppressed or ignored, or the messenger will be smeared — or killed.
What do you think? Is it reason or power that explains “progress”?
The core of the belief in progress is that human values and goals converge in parallel with our increasing knowledge. The twentieth-century shows the contrary. Human beings use the power of scientific knowledge to assert and defend the values and goals they already have. New technologies can be used to alleviate suffering and enhance freedom. They can, and will, also be used to wage war and strengthen tyranny. Science made possible the technologies that powered the industrial revolution. In the twentieth century, these technologies were used to implement state terror and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Ethics and politics do not advance in line with the growth of knowledge – not even in the long run.
John Gray. Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions.
Do you consider yourself an educated person?
By “educated” I mean, half-ironically, that you went to university and got a degree in the humanities.
If you were to summarise, in one word, the sweep of history, over the last five-hundred years, what would that word be?
Would it be progress by any chance?
Progress from what to what?
Progress from injustice to justice? From slavery to freedom? From oppression to liberation? From poverty to plenitude? From war, violence and instability to peace, security and order?
Do you agree? Is this a good approximation, of what the educated man or woman believes today?
One-hundred years ago, just before the outbreak of the Great War, liberal writers were arguing that global commerce and liberal norms had eliminated war. (See Christopher Coker’s The Improbable War.) Today, we have Stephen Pinker arguing the same.
One slogan, you must have encountered, is that after World War 2 the victors said: “never again.” Thus, the United Nations and The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights was designed and declared — declared not discovered (an important distinction). It was the beginning of the post-war era.
Yet, has war or genocide, or mass movements drunk on slaughter disappeared?
Post-colonial Africa saw slaughter, war and genocide – decade after decade – in the post-war era. We had the Chinese Cultural Revolution; Pol Pot’s collectivised killings, we had the genocide in Bangladesh and the genocide in Indonesia. In the 1980’s we had Iran and Iraq fighting a grinding war of attrition that killed hundreds of thousands of men. In the 1990’s, after the break-up of the Soviet Union, we had ethnic and religious slaughter in Balkans. We saw a genocide in Rwanda and a devastating state-induced famine in North Korea.
Also, in the 1990’s, we saw the emergence of Al Qaeda — an international Jihad group — which declared war on America and the West. In 2001, we saw the Twin Towers collapse because two commercial airliners smashed into them — an act of religiously inspired suicidal aggression.
In response, the United States Government (USG) launched the War on Terror, invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq. Yet — more than a decade and a half later — America and increasingly Europe, is not safe from terror. In fact, they are more at risk now than a decade ago.
The Middle East is today a killing field. The so-called “Arab Spring” that — starting in Tunisia — sparked a violent and destructive chain of events, that has no yet run its course.
We saw a revolution in Egypt which went, predictably, from the military allowing the mob to rule which brought the theocrats to power, only for the wheel to turn full circle with the military coming back in to control the country again — with all the deaths for nothing. Libya, meanwhile, collapsed into a vicious civil war, helped along by USG and its allies (France and the United Kingdom, most notably). In Syria, there was an uprising against Assad, which soon turned into a total war, involving chemical warfare, indiscriminate bombings, mass executions, and ethnic cleansing. Several hundred thousand people have now perished. The chaos and anarchy that the uprising unleashed saw the rise of the Islamic State, and the return of the Caliph. The Islamic State held vast swathes of territory and ruled the land and the people according to Sharia. As a result, Christians suffered genocide, as did the Yazidis. Notably, for our progressive, emancipated age, sexual slavery was practised on captured girls — a fate, as we shall see, will one day come for Western women (it has in fact already, see below). IS then either planned or inspired numerous terror attacks in France, Germany, America, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia. The chaos is far from over.
Russia has returned. Russia rejects the Western-led “global consensus”. A strong leader — Vladimir Putin — has taken Russia in a nationalist, culturally and religiously traditionalist direction. A direction that is explicitly contrary to the West. Russia has militarily asserted itself in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine and, most recently, Syria.
China, meanwhile, is positioning to be the dominant Asian power. It is a rising power, while USG looks more and more like a declining one. It is a classic Thucydidean trap. China’s neighbours — Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand and Australia are growing increasingly nervous — Japan especially, who recently changed its USG imposed pacifist constitution in order to build itself up.
Moreover, despite their troubled history, Russia and China are increasingly partnering up. The nightmare for USG and Europe is Russia, China, North Korea and disparate Islamist groups and nations — despite their fundamental differences — aligning with each other.
If this is progress, then this is what we have progressed to.
While a full on, total war is not, and never will be inevitable, the grounds are there, and a few accidental events, or just one foolish mistake by one of the players, could result in global devastation.
Arguably, the first global war was between revolutionary then Napoleonic France and Tory England. The battle-deaths from that series of wars range in the hundreds of thousands. Just over a century later, millions of men were slaughtered in a second global conflict. A few decades later, close to fifty million people perished in a total world war. Soldiers and civilians were slaughtered alike: men, women and children.
The next global war could very easily top that by a wide margin.
The truth, however, is that, with respect to the West and Islam, a world-wide conflict already exists. USG has conducted operations in not only Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria but Pakistan, Libya and Yemen. Islamic Jihadists have conducted operations across the globe, against all the major powers: Beijing, Bangkok, Bombay, Beersheba, Bamko, Beslan, Berlin, Brussels, Boston and San Bernardino; meanwhile, in France, there has been a devastating attack in the Bataclan club — were club-goers were tortured and then executed; moreover, an attack on Bastille day in Nice, saw a Jihadist in a truck run-down men, women and children indiscriminately. Islamic Jihad is now a world-wide phenomenon, and it does not look like it going to burn itself out anytime soon.
All progress is change, but not all change is progress.
The first question is: will violence intensify, with a further loss of freedom, prosperity and social trust, or will it recede? If it recedes, how will that be accomplished?
The second question is: supposing the West is truly progressive —in a moral and political sense —what if Islamists, Russia and China do not want to be part of it?
What happens then?
“The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good.”
Take in your hand a copy of you national newspaper, your local paper, read them, and ask yourself after every story concerning crime: what would the Duke of Wellington, or Lee Kuan Yew do?
Here are some of the examples that I see from my local papers.
People being attacked and threatened in their homes by men with guns.
Priests threatened by paramilitaries.
Churches, Chapels and other cultural heritage buildings have been vandalised or fire-bombed.
Police officers and prisons wardens fear assassination by either shooting or car-bombing.
Businesses are exploited by paramilitary gangs for protection money. (This does not appear in the papers, but it is self-evidently true — “the street knows.”)
Suicides are increasing, especially for men and even for boys.
Sectarian tensions have not gone away. “Peace” has brought a mixture of disillusionment, resentment and simmering hostility, along with depression, nihilism, alcoholism and drug abuse.
A “violent peace”, more in line with what Sam Francis called Anarcho-Tyranny.
My country is, of course, Northern Ireland.
Now, this is what I see in England.
I see a growing gap, between the multi-cultural, metropolitan centres such as London — which includes the news and entertainment media, politicians and civil servants, and the white working and middle-class. I see increasing political drift and impotency among the ever-growing incompetent, gormless politicians which marches in lock-step with growing voter apathy.
I witnessed Brexit: alarm, surprise, rage and resentment and bitter confusion on both sides.
I witnessed the assassination of an English politician — Labour. The first, discounting the IRA, for well over a century.
I see the return and rise of “far-left” socialism to the Labour Party. This will, in all likelihood, mean their electoral irrelevance.
I see that the Tory party — the conservatives — are a sham party; they are nothing, if not New Labour. The Conservative party, like the Republican Party in America, have failed to conserve anything.
I see numerous, failed, Islamic terror attacks in England.
I see that the prisons, which house terrorists or Muslim petty criminals, are nothing but recruiting centres and training sites for radical Islamists and potential Jihadists.
I see, also, that probably thousands of girls have been raped, gang-raped and enslaved by Muslim men in places such as Rotherham, Rochdale, Bradford and Oxford.
I see that the police, social services, politicians and journalists knew what was happening, but “turned a blind eye.”
I see, among the White working underclass, nihilism and despair, hedonism and indolence.
I see the destruction of the family, childless fathers, and entire generations living on welfare.
I see the chaos and incompetence in English schools; I compare that with, not only my own experience teaching in China but in comparing statistics of school performance around the world and understand that English schools — like American schools — are failing their students badly.
Then, I look at Europe.
I see Greece reduced to a beggarly state.
I see riots and protests in Spain.
I see riots and protests in France.
I see riots and protests in Germany.
I see that France now exists in a state of emergency. Soldiers are out on the streets. Yet, they cannot protect or take the necessary actions to provide security.
Ask yourself, if soldiers are seen in the streets does that not suggest that something has gone badly wrong with your society?
What would Wellington do?
What would Yew do?
Meditations: Power and Democracy
People go funny in the head when talking about politics. The evolutionary reasons for this are so obvious as to be worth belabouring: in the ancestral environment, politics was a matter of life and death. And sex, and wealth, and allies and reputation…. When, today, you get into an argument about whether “we” ought to raise the minimum wage, you’re executing adaptions for an ancestral environment where being on the wrong side of the argument could get you killed…. Politics is an extension of war by other means. Arguments are soldiers. Once you know which side you’re on, you must support all arguments of that side, and attack all arguments that appear to favour the enemy side; otherwise it’s like stabbing your soldiers in the back – providing aid and comfort to the enemy.
Elizer Yudownsky Politics Is The Mind Killer.
If you are a believer in progress, then how do you explain what I observed, and what you can observe as well, what I wrote in the last Meditation?
If we live in a more progressive age, then how is it even possible for Trump, Farage, Le Pen and the Alternative For Germany party to have done so well?
Does this not show a set of societies showing signs of stress? And who caused that stress? Who created the conditions for these people and their parties to emerge? The thesis brings forth its anti-thesis; it was the theory and practice of the left, over the last seventy years (at least) that has brought this forth. History abounds in unintended consequences.
Is your only answer, by way of reply, like the Communists and Islamists, is that we are not yet progressive enough? Really?
Consider that Western society has been steadily getting —depending on when you start the clock —progressive for a nearly a century — FDR’s New Deal in 1933, England’s since 1945, (maybe we should start it in the 1960’s; or, we could start the clock with Martin Luther — or should we, simply, go all the way back to Jesus?)
Does history have a meaning? Or is it simply a cycle, and an arms race?
Progress makes sense if there is a God, directing human affairs.
If, however, there is no God directing human affairs, then it is a blind, purposeless working out of events according to natural laws.
If we are advancing towards justice, then whose justice is it? Where does justice come from? From God? From Nature? From Man?
Islamists say, we must get back to the Koran and the Prophet. Marxists, I presume, say we need to get back to Marx. What do you say? Of course, you say “we are not going back, we are going forward!”
Advance! Advance! Advance! (Avanti! Avanti!Avanti! — the slogan of Italian Socialists.)
What, however, is it that you want to advance to?
The End of History? Progress to Providence? God’s Heaven On Earth?
How well has that ever worked out?
Whatever it is that progressives want, it means having power. And to have power means having the power of the state. Once you have the power of the state, then you have, at your disposal, all the different types of power:
4: Moral (via the media, universities and, ahem the “bully pulpit” (a reference to the American Presidency’s ability to lecture others).
5: Conceptual. (The ability to hire court intellectuals who justify your goals, that your plans are true, good and useful.)
6: People or mass power — the voters.
Why, I ask, would you choose democracy?
Something is either true or it isn’t. A count of heads, or a show of hands, will not settle the matter.
A policy will either bring greater security, liberty and prosperity or it won’t. The wishes and hopes of the majority will not alter that fact.
Something either works or it doesn’t. The will of the people never enters into it.
A ship is guided by its captain. An army is commanded by its marshal. A company is run by its executive. A football team operates according to its manager’s decision. A school is run by its principal. A film (the great ones anyway) is directed by its auteur. In virtually every human organisation, power and responsibility is vested in one person. It has operated throughout history, and throughout all cultures. Why should we think that Western democracy can subvert that truth? Sovereignty is conserved: someone always rules.
If power is put into the hands — truly into the hands of the people — then you get mob rule (Plato’s drunken pleasure cruise); you get the tragedy of the commons at best and Hitler’s Germany at worst. If, however, democracy is “managed” by the “party elite” —political hacks and unaccountable civil servants, you get Brezhnev and Dilbert. If you add this along with the Cathedral: the media, the universities and schools, you get what we have now: the monstrosities of Washington and Brussels.
The trouble, however, like with former Communist countries, (which the West is starting to resemble), is that the illusion of democracy must be preserved. The sham-practice of voting and listening to the people must be kept up — otherwise the true nature of the Modern Structure (Liberal Democracy) appears in all its oligarchical largesse.
Thus, we come to central political problem: unsecure power.
In a democracy, you and your group must compete for power. The aim is to win and keep power. But power is only a means to an end. However, what if it simply becomes an end in itself? What if, making the hard but necessary choices — on the grounds of facts and logic — are sacrificed for short-term gain and popularity?
Now, imagine if you had all that power forever?
Now, imagine the other team winning. Imagine them winning absolute power. Yes, we are six years old again: “how would that make you feel?” Scared and angry, I presume.
Fighting out of fear is one of the reasons for organised violence. Do you ever consider that democracy actually exacerbates that fear?
And when, from your own progressive perspective, you consider the other side extreme — remember that they see you exactly the same way. This is the tribal trap.
Do you ever consider that democracy is a cause of organised political violence?
Weimar Germany was a democracy. So was post-Saddam’s Iraq. Northern Ireland had voting and the rule of law, but it still experienced a low-level civil war. Pre-civil war America had elections, the Presidency, a Congress, State and Federal government, yet when it came to it — on slavery and state rights — both sides went to the gun and not the ballot box.
An IRA man once said, with an “Armalite in one hand, and a ballot box in the other.”
When the stakes become high over some issue — then democracy comes to resemble nothing more than the violent actions of competing tribes. Then, if we are particularly unlucky we see mob violence — Like Rome, with the gangs of Milo and Clodius. Finally, if you are very unlucky, you may be part of mass murder — victim or perpetrator or both.
Lee Kuan Yew thought that “humans are vicious”, and that they “need to be restrained”.
Is it possible that democracy unleashes, rather than restrains the violent, tribal, vicious aspects of human nature? If that is true, or even if it isn’t, don’t you think it’s worth spending an hour, or a day, or even a week — or a lifetime meditating upon it?
Tens of millions of people died in the Twentieth-Century from political religions and the human disposition towards tribalism. It was madness unleashed upon the earth. Can we be confident it won’t happen again?
2:190-93 Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage…if they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evildoers.
On September 11th, 2001, something important, something new, strange and terrifying happened.
I was fifteen at the time, hearing about it on the radio, my first thought was: “wasn’t the towers attacked before? Muslims, I think.”
Quite quickly, it was claimed that Osama Bin Laden was responsible. Who are these people, what do they want, why did they do what they did? Those were the questions I asked myself.
My first thought was not to apply some theory or pre-conceived opinion —certainly not what the media or commentators were saying — but to know what these men said and wrote.
You must know your enemy. You must listen to him when he speaks. More importantly, you must listen, if you can, to what he says and does among his own people — when he is not speaking and acting for the benefit of outsiders.
Is that how you reacted? Or, did you follow the papers, the commentators and the professors? Did you say it was because of economic despair, or colonialism, or because of Israel?
I had questions, and I read anything I could read on the subject, but eventually I found the resources to actually hear what these people said and believed.
How would you explain Islam to someone entirely ignorant of it?
Here is how I would explain Islam.
There is a God. And one day, for some reason, God ordered an Angel — Gabriel — to tell a man — Muhammad — to tell other people what to believe, what to value and what to do. At first, Muhammad was only listened to by a small number of people. Then, he acquired a following. Then, the dominant tribal powers got worried and they tried to stop Muhammad. Eventually, Muhammad fled with his followers and turned to banditry and raiding. All of these actions were justified by revelations from God; which was only revealed privately to Muhammad. Eventually, Muhammad and his companions became powerful through conquest. After much struggle, Muhammad and his army took Mecca. Sometime after that, Muhammad died — but Islam continued.
The central pillar, the most notable and important principle in Islam (practically speaking) is Jihad. First preach, and if the infidels don’t convert, demand a tax and for them to submit and be subjects on sufferance. Thirdly, if they have refused that — kill, conquer or convert them using any and all means necessary.
This command —to conquer — is final, absolute and forever. It applies at all times, and in all places, for all Muslims everywhere. The command is to convert the entire world to Islam.
That is the central point of Islam. That is its formula, its purpose.
This is different from saying all Muslims believe and practice this. That is an empirical question, to be judged according to evidence of testimony, reports and observations. My claim concerns theology, or its ideology.
Recall the Meditation On The Cathedral? Well, I know Islam. But ask yourself, how often do you see something like that presented in the New York Times, the Guardian or hear a professor talk or write in the way I just did?
We advance from theology to history. How did Islam come to control land and people from Spain and Morocco to India and Xinjiang China?
Was it A: preaching and teaching like Buddhism and early Christianity?
Was it B: by fire and sword?
Islam is a distinct, and incompatible, set of beliefs, values and practices from any other system: Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Communism or Liberalism.
All Muslims may be peaceful, but some Muslims are more peaceful than others.
You might not be interested in Jihad, but Jihad is interested in you.
If Muslims are there, then, as sure as spring follows snow, Jihad will be there also.
Every living thing, every system must be able to identify and classify other entities into one of two boxes: friend or foe.
Are these people a threat? Or is this a friend, or a potential one?
I believe the judgement is clear. It does not take great study, it only requires an open-mind, some intellectual honesty and an ability to read.
Reaching this judgement could be undertaken in less than a fortnight — perhaps even just a single day.
The question, then, is: why do politicians, professors and journalists, and so many others, refuse to make this judgement?
That was how I discovered the Cathedral.
Meditations: The Islamic Invasion
How We Can Coexist — as if one of the foundations of our religion is how we can coexist with infidels! And if they had clarified to the West how the Muslim is to coexist with the infidel, based on [Koranic] verses and Hadiths, then it would have been a blessed enterprise.
As to what distinguishes Islam from other faiths, this they shy away from mentioning or calling attention to. Even more, they efface it, fearing lest the wrath of the West fall upon us. The Islam preached by the advocates of interreligious dialogue does not contain [the doctrine of] Loyalty and Enmity; nor does it contain [Offensive Jihad] nor boundaries established Sharia — since it is these doctrines that worry the West most. And the West already possesses certain knowledge that these fundamentals are the point of conflict with Muslims and not the other principles.
Osama Bin Laden. Moderate Islam Is A Prostration To The West
In 2015, I saw an invasion of Europe by Muslims — more than a million strong pour in, welcomed with open arms by the European elite. I see not women and children (though there are some), but young men, from as far away as Afghanistan and Eritrea – not refugees from war in Syria.
And I knew what was coming.
The results: mass sex attacks (and individual rapes), terrorism, rising social tension, and the inevitable growth of right-wing parties.
I consider the future consequences. I look at the demographics of Europeans and compare them with Muslims. I consider what the sons of these immigrants will grow up to be. I consider the possibility of stalled growth, financial crashes along with robotics and automation putting millions of people out of work. I consider the basic, incompatible values of Islam and Western progressives. I know that attempts at “integration” regarding Muslims have failed, are failing and will — likely — fail. I understand the rage and resentment that Muslims feel growing up in a fundamentally different and hostile culture.
By hostility, I do not mean hostility from the so-called right-wing but from progressives. It is their ignorance and indifference to Islam that is itself hostile. It is both their blithe indifference to the violent crimes that Muslims perpetrate and the fundamental threat they pose to life and liberty of just about everyone — including other Muslims. Finally, and most ironically, it is their glib assumption that not only will Muslims “integrate” — but that they must.
To understand how monumentally stupid this is, consider the following. Imagine a pious Muslim father, who has no interest in either Jihad or forcing non-believers to accept Sharia, being told that one day his sons and daughters may grow-up to be gay, or lesbian; have multiple sexual partners outside of marriage; drink alcohol or indulge in drugs; become an atheist or even convert to Christianity — or marry a Jew. Now, imagine, the final assumption (really both a wish and a command), spoken with absolute self-assurance, that not only is this “tolerable” but that it is good, even desirable — indeed, necessary.
If you believe — truly believe — in God, an afterlife with heaven and hell in which unbelievers and sinners are punished, the possibility that your children will grow up to be unbelievers and sinners is the worst possible thing you can imagine. Indeed, the threat of this becoming real is more ethically serious than if someone was actually threatening to kill your children — because the afterlife is forever — and ever.
Even without the assumption of the afterlife and immortal souls, this basic difference in values is the primary ingredient of potential conflict. Indeed, it already is a factor today. Again, here we see a Thucydidean trap: this time with a rising and resentful group of people — Muslims — and a declining, and increasingly fearful and angry group of people — Europeans.
I see change, I see big changes coming — but I see very little grounds for hope.
If you believe in progress, if you call yourself a progressive, if you value equality, liberty and fraternity, tolerance and the peaceful mixing of cultures, do you not, even a little, consider that the practices of England, France and America over decades, may well result in the exact opposite of those things?
History is philosophy teaching by example. From history, we have many great and noble experiments and campaigns for “justice” producing nothing but horror.
Martin Luther, who got the first Reformation going, grew to fear and loathe what he started. The French revolutionaries brought about the reign of terror. The Russian revolutionaries brought about mass death, gulags and famine. The Nazi experiment — the will to “create mankind anew” — brought about the very opposite of their goals: conquered by both liberal democrats (ouch) and Communists. The Chinese Communists, under Mao, ended in hunger, poverty and death. The neoconservative movement — militant progressives — pushed Iraq into sectarian slaughter and chaos. The democratic uprising of the Arab spring, brought about the very opposite of their aspirations — except, so far, for Tunisia, but even there, to quote Zhou En Lai: “it is too early to tell.”
In reality, however, the Islamic invasion was allowed by the political elite; allowed not for humanitarian motives – but for reasons of power; to control their own society, and to use Muslims as a vote bank.
And that, in my view, renders virtually all western governments illegitimate. Thomas Hobbes argued, and I have always agreed with this, that one’s obedience and allegiance to the sovereign power is justified only so long as it protects your life, liberty and property. Since western governments have not only failed but wilfully abandoned that basic premise, then I see them as as tyrannical.
That is how I became a reactionary.
“Take his advice. Don’t apply. It would be great if you lot just went away; white, middle-class men. We’d just walk in, wouldn’t we?”
“Is that not a racist comment?”
The Duke of Wellington said: “To begin reform is to begin revolution.”
Wellington was not a fan of revolution, whose result produced his eventual enemy — Napoleon.
But, what do you do, if you have no choice?
What do you do, when you think that very bad things are happening and that it will only get worse?
As have most “educated” people of my generation, we don’t think of ourselves in terms of race, but in terms of culture. To think of myself as a white male is the very opposite of what I was taught; what I imbibed from my teachers and culture. I still don’t, or rather don’t want to — and I observe that feeling, curiously. However, if people start classifying you in this way, and if they intend to do you harm on the basis of that classification — like the Nazis classifying Jews — what choice would you have?
I may be a student of philosophy, a naturalist, an atheist, a libertarian, a consequentialist, a dilettante practitioner of Zen, and an equally akratic Stoic; a person deeply interested in different cultures and peoples, a lover of science-fiction and spicy food, but if, at the end of the day, my identity is that of a white male, and that I am intrinsically guilty by virtue of white original sin — what am I to do?
I consider the example of Detroit, the example of South Africa, and Rhodesia. I watch, listen and read the “Social Justice Warriors”. I pay attention to the politicians in government, and I feel fear and anger.
The problem can be crystallised in the following manner: I have no Israel. My Christian friends have no Israel. White people have no Israel. Libertarians and other lovers of freedom have no Israel.
Furthermore, as you shall see, conflict, tension and strife promote the growth and power of the state. Problems occur due to bad decisions of politicians — decisions that are downstream of professors in universities — and the “solution” to these problems is giving politicians more power.
Thus, people like me find themselves trapped. To fight back, to become tribal, to become that which my self-appointed “enemies” consider me to be — is only to feed the monster. To run, to head for the exit, only postpones the inevitable day of reckoning, for the monster is greedy and always hungry.
Putting it all together — the Islamic invasion; the system of sexual slavery; government mandated equality and diversity; leftist double standards; the examples of white flight in America; the lethal hostility and resentment on the part of some people within some groups; the persecution of Christians and the mass importation of (sometimes violent) immigrants — the conclusion is that the political elites (progressives) are carrying out a slow genocide against lower and middle class whites and Christians.
The definition of genocide is as follows:
By “genocide” we mean the destruction of an ethnic group…. Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups….
Let’s go slow.
1: “Destruction of an ethnic group.” Check.
2: “…genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation.” Check — though there have been incidents of Islamic mass killings against non-Muslims in Europe and America.
3: “A coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” Check.
4: “….objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions.” Check.
5: “…culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.” Check. Check. Check and Check. (See notes for the evidence).
The crime of genocide should be recognized therein as a conspiracy to exterminate national, religious or racial groups. The overt acts of such a conspiracy may consist of attacks against life, liberty or property of members of such groups merely because of their affiliation with such groups. The formulation of the crime may be as follows: “Whoever, while participating in a conspiracy to destroy a national, racial or religious group, undertakes an attack against life, liberty or property of members of such groups is guilty of the crime of genocide. (“Genocide”, American Scholar, Volume 15, no. 2 (April 1946), p. 227–230) Raphael Lemkin.
The key here is conspiracy, or coordination. The conspiracy is what reactionaries call “high-low alliance.” Because of the unsecure power of democracy, the elites (progressives) must gain and maintain power. Thus, they enter into alliances with the Low against the Middle. The Highs main strategy is to import huge numbers of foreign migrants who are hostile to the host country and who will replace the white Middles and Lows. The Lows chase out the Middle from their villages, towns and cities. The Low carry out terror and sexual attacks on the Middles and Lows of the white, Christian group. Furthermore, the government and media intentionally exclude — in a greater and greater way — whites from positions of power and influence; their social, cultural, religious and racial coherence is broken down and eliminated. Their culture and identity is mocked, trivialised, disrespected and marginalised. The Highs thus set different groups off against each other. Furthermore, the tensions and violence that arise from this policy, allow the government (Highs) to implement hate speech laws which can be used against anyone who criticises the government. It is a win-win strategy for the Highs. It is also known as divide and rule.
A second definition of Genocide:
Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article 2 CPPCG)
(The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. (Resolution 260 (III). Article 2.)
Two new things to notice here. Firstly, mental harm. The Islamic invasion, terror and sexual violence results in mental harm — literally terror in the populace. It is the government (Progressives) that are responsible for this, because they brought them in and then allowed them to run amok. Secondly, they have imposed measures to prevent births. It is a fact that white Europeans and Americans are in demographic decline. This is due to a number of coordinated actions: feminism, abortion, the pill, easy divorce, welfare, the high cost of living, and a growing culture of Antinatalism (resulting from beliefs about climate-change and overpopulation.) Regarding the last line about the forceable transfer of children from one group to another, this occurred in England where there was a decades long conspiracy of preying upon white children and forcing them into sexual slavery; the police and government agencies were aware of this, but they did nothing until they were forced to intervene because it could no longer be hidden.
Serious claims, require serious evidence. I invite the reader to see below where I provide evidence.
Meditations: Men and Modernity
In the future that globalists and feminists have imagined for themselves, only a few people will actually do anything worth doing…. “In the future that globalists and feminists have imagined, for most of us there will only be more clerkdom and masturbation. There will only be more apologizing, more submission, more asking for permission to be men. There will only be more examinations, more certifications, mandatory prerequisites, screening processes, background checks, personality tests, and politicized diagnoses. There will only be more medication. There will be more presenting the secretary with a cup of your own warm urine. There will be mandatory morning stretches and video safety presentations and sign-off sheets for your file. There will be more helmets and goggles and harnesses and bright orange vests with reflective tape. There can “only be more counseling and sensitivity training. There will be more administrative hoops to jump through to start your own business and keep it running. There will be more mandatory insurance policies. There will definitely be more taxes. There will probably be more Byzantine sexual harassment laws and corporate policies and more ways for women and protected identity groups to accuse you of misconduct. There will be more micro-managed living, pettier regulations, heavier fines, and harsher penalties. There will be more ways to run afoul of the law and more ways for society to maintain its pleasant illusions by sweeping you under the rug.
Jack Donovan. The Way Of Men.
Richard Dawkins, in his book the God Delusion, talks about the moral Zeitgeist. He says, more or less, what Martin Luther King and Barack Obama said: “that the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” Francis Fukuyama’s entire book is based on Hegel’s notion of Geist becoming realised: secular, capitalistic, liberal democracy.
Does this Zeitgeist mean that men —white, Christian men in particular in Europe and America, but also Muslim men, Jewish men and African men — must exit the scene? They are no longer needed or useful, in fact they are despised in might be the progressive, feminine, utopia.
Men built the world, only to hand it over to women, gays and, to use a modern term “beta-males”. What is this world? It is a world in which strength, mastery and honour, exclusive male-groupings, competition, family, work and dignity are being eroded; replaced by a culture of hedonism, wage slavery and perpetual adolescence. It is a culture in which men and manly virtues are derided and degraded. Say what you like about Muslim men, but this is what they are fighting against – deep in their hearts. Unlike Christians, Muslim men do not turn the other cheek; they turn up with the sword and put their enemies to it instead.
In Apocalypse Now, one of the Generals briefing Captain Willard says: “There is a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and the irrational, and good does not always triumph.” Men have both the fury and fire of Ares, but also the rational, civilised virtues of Athena – the yin and the yang. In the words of Jack Donovan, there is the “way of the gang” that is “the way of men”; nevertheless, there is the way of the family, that is the way of women. In the past, there were mixtures of both — as was necessary. Today, both are in decline and the decay of our society reflects that fact.
We have entered the age of women. The West is now a matriarchy – the rest of the world, the Islamic world most notably, is not.
But if, as it now looks ever more likely, the current system — the Modern Structure — breaks down, (ironically at the height of female power) then man’s nature and the need for that nature will reassert itself once more.
Meditations: Freedom And Technology
To those who think that all this sounds like science fiction, we point out that yesterday’s science fiction is today’s fact. The Industrial Revolution has radically altered man’s environment and way of life, and it is only to be expected that as technology is increasingly applied to the human body and mind, man himself will be altered as radically as his environment and way of life have been.
Theodore Kaczynski. Control Of Human Behaviour. Technological Society And Its Future.
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
Are we free? Metaphysically, we don’t have free will. It is an idea — derived from theology — that is illogical, empirically dubious and, in fact, an illusion in terms of first person experience.
Thomas Nagel, in a moment of refreshing intellectual honesty, describes our sense of agency extending out to a vanishing point.
Owen Flanagan, quoting John Dewey, said that men do not fight for metaphysical freedom. I am sure they don’t — they fight for political freedoms, instead.
They fight for hearth and home; for friends and family; for honour and loyalty, and for fear, gain, and glory.
Today we seem to consider ourselves freer. True technology has liberated us from much drudgery, but is technological development always compatible with human freedom and human values?
Freedom, not simply that of non-interference from other people, but freedom from those alien, external, algorithmic technological processes and incentives which create and shape our background political, social and economic conditions and thus our choices.
It was man who made technology, now it is technology that makes man. We spend years of our lives in schools, learning mostly useless knowledge; years of our lives in pointless work because the logic of technological capitalism says we must; we spend years of our lives slaving away to “buy shit we don’t need.” We may well find ourselves dying in a ditch because of a war spurred on because of technological arms races.
As we move more fully into the 21st-Century, an array of alien, terrifying and, indeed, exciting new technologies are emerging.
Will it one day be possible to create synthetic, genetically designed humans?
Will it one day be possible to read minds, memories, dream and thoughts?
Will it one day be possible to actually control another human beings thoughts, and therefore their actions, via an electronic implant? (We can already do this with cockroaches).
Will, one day, all humans be tracked, observed, drugged and trained and put into a position that some central authority decided — perhaps by some supreme Artificial Intelligence?
Does it not seem to you that the idea of human agency is simply a myth, or a delusion; that in reality, we are subject to forces beyond our control? Above us stands an array of Gods directing our fates: biological imperatives; political imperatives; financial imperatives; technological imperatives. These “gods” set imperatives which must, because of competition for scarce resources, either be obeyed and thus we find ourselves enslaved, or defied and thus crushed by the competition.
We are trapped. The tragedy of the commons; the red queen’s race; the tribal trap and the Thucydidean trap.
Technology keeps the game going. But we must run faster and faster to stay in the same place.
The growth of science and technology allows for ever greater control over humans by the state. The tragedy is that no one intended it to happen. It just did. Technology, capitalism, and war have their own imperatives; humans either choose to ride the tiger (upgrade, compete, kill), or they will be conquered or replaced by groups that are riding the tiger instead.
Eventually, we might even create something that will be the last thing we ever create: a super-intelligence. Is such a thing possible? How many ways could it go wrong? Could we ever control it? What are the consequences of it going wrong?
Do think about this? Do you think about the endless possibilities of humanity? Our expansion into space? Do you worry about our decline back into the dirt? Technology can allow us to soar with the birds, with the sun on our backs, or it may capture and drag us, like a black spider suddenly and remorselessly, into its burrow.
Humanity can ascend into the heavens, or descend into hell. The dark truth is that we have no real control over either possibility. We are not responsible (we did not control the causes of our conditions); nevertheless, we must take responsibility (goal-directed behaviour).
But who is this “We”?
Meditations: Mencius Moldbug
“The history of ideas since 1789 is an endless record of mass murder in the name of the people.”
“The main problem in human affairs is violence. The goal [of formalism] is to design a way for humans to interact, on a planet of remarkably limited size, without violence.”
“Democratic politics is best understood as a sort of symbolic violence, like deciding who wins the battle by how many troops they brought.”
“The entire intellectual system of the West was corrupted by its twentieth-century connection to government. Public opinion reflects press opinion, press opinion reflects academic politics, and academic politics are driven by power-struggles in which the attraction of the state is clear.”
“The essential idea of leftism is that the world should be governed by scholars.”
“The state is simply a real-estate business on a very large scale.”
…”taxation is not theft. Taxation is rent.”
“Good government as good customer service”.
Who is Mencius Moldbug?
Well, he’s American, An ethnically Jewish atheist, apparently a child prodigy, a former student of Brown University, a programmer by trade and an amateur historian, philosopher, social critic, political theorist, poet, and a Neo-Royalist reactionary — in his spare time. In short, he’s a crazy, polymath genius.
When I learned he was Jewish, and started reading his work, I tutted to myself: “Here we go again!”
Moldbug, AKA Curtis Yarvin, could well end up in the Parthenon (Greek alas) of great Jewish thinkers like Jesus, Paul, Maimonides, Spinoza, Marx, Freud, Ayn Rand, and, well, thinker-doers like Lenin and Trotsky.
Moldbug is not for everyone. Indeed, he is intentionally obscure and cryptic. Furthermore, I thought, more than a few times, that he might well be pulling off sort of elaborate intellectual prank. Moldbug’s work is, nevertheless, a class A intellectual drug. Fortunately, when I first encountered him, I had developed an extremely strong constitution. My reading in philosophy, science fiction, and the words and deeds of great men — Carlyle’s heroes (I had read Carlyle, Moldbug’s hero, on Muhammad) — had prepared me for Moldbug; plus, I just love a good bit of clear, crisp and true crime-think.
So, in a not-so-planet-sized-nut-shell, what the hell is this guy saying?
Moldbug’s main concern is preventing mass murder. He thinks that all our other problems —moral decay, inequality, forest depletion —is trivial by comparison. Democracy is an unsecure form of government. It produces uncertainty because power is unsecure (it changes hands) and uncertainty produces friction. Friction or competition can either be peaceful, but under certain conditions, it can produce organised violence, i.e. the Roman Republic of Caesar’s time; the French Revolution; Weimar and then Hitler’s Germany; Iraq, and what America and Europe is starting to look like now.
Secondly, and here Moldbug is following James Burnham, he makes a distinction between formal and real meanings of political institutions and texts. For example, a formal meaning is the stated or public meaning of a text or institution; the real meaning, however, is how the institution or person actually operates or what they really intend.
For example, Augustus Caesar was never, what most people today would imaging, Emperor. Augustus did no more, than “restore the Republic.” He observed the ancient customs, paid the Senate respect; yet he was, in reality, the absolute ruler. He had legal power, and his power was justified over the years by a slow, careful, piecemeal process. Augustus, nevertheless, had absolute power: he made all the key decisions.;that was the reality or real meaning of Augustus’s Rome. In other words, the formal meaning surrounding Augustus was not the same as the real meaning of Augustus’s power and purpose.
USG is a constitutionally limited republic. Or, now, it mostly refers to itself as a democracy. In a democracy, power rests ultimately with the people. The government is there to serve the people and execute their wishes. That is the formal meaning of America.
The real meaning is different, however. Moldbug often coins new words and phrases. In the following, I will select one of his lesser known terms.
In America, as in all Western democracies, we have three groups. Firstly, we have Tribalists. Tribalists vote for…..the tribe (there are many tribes). They might vote along racial, religious or ideological lines, but it is self-interested in the sense that they want power, or have influence over policy that benefits their tribe.
The second group are Populists. Populists vote for “common sense” things like what’s good for the nation, and what’s right and proper, and what America “really” is (as they imagine it from the Constitution).
The third group are the Institutionalists. What they vote for is to continue the system; however, and this point is central: their real task in democracy is to keep the Populists from getting control of the government. The Institutionalists are believers in elite, “responsible” government. What this means is that responsibility is what the New York Times, Harvard and Hollywood considers it to be.
Power in the United States is distributed among the universities, the Press, civil service, judges, NGOs and foundations, political parties and, lastly, politicians. These groups, most notably, universities, the Press and foundations provide the intellectual justification and propaganda for the regime. Meanwhile, it is the civil service, the true (and unelected and unaccountable) government that really runs the country. This is the real meaning of power in America.
The Democrat party is the “inner party” in America. When it wins the election then everything runs “smoothly” which means the civil servants get on with running the country. If the Republican Party, the “outer party”, wins the election, then a little bit of friction exists between the civil servants and the Republicans.
The purpose of the Republican Party (and conservative intellectuals) is to act as a controlled opposition (whether they know and accept this or not) for the Democrats. The Republican Party exists to control and appease the populists, and to serve as a temporary release valve for the Democrat Party. Moldbug, once quipped that how useful it would have been for the Soviet Communist Party to have had a controlled opposition. Thus, the idea of democracy in America, and even more so in Europe, is a sham.
The next claim by Moldbug is also of central importance to his work.
Moldbug claims that the Institutionalists form an alliance with the Tribalists to beat the Populists. (This is called the “high-low” alliance.)
Thus, there is, at least, a three-way group competition for power in America (a triumvirate). The ruling powers are, of course, the Institutionalists, and the Populists have little if any power. Firstly, they are, despite their declining numbers, the majority. Furthermore, they have the guns. Finally, it is they who operate the military – which allows them simply to slow the rout, but not reverse it.
This leads us to one of Moldbug’s other key claims. USG has, not one, but two, competing governments: the Blue state and the Red state government. Red state is, essentially, the Military. Blue state is everything else, but its “global headquarters” is the State Department, its “intellectual headquarters” is Harvard University.
Like with the first Triumvirate of Rome, this system is fairly stable, though Moldbug ( his key writings are from in 2007-2009) writes that the system is starting to decay — which happened in Rome with the death of Crassus. Indeed, I am pretty sure than Moldbug said somewhere that by 2016 when Hilary is becoming President, America will only have a few more years to go.
The next major plank in Moldbug’s system is the Cathedral and its practice of Lysenkoism.
Moldbug charges the Cathedral with not only promulgating lies and propaganda but also engaging in, what is in effect, religious persecution. He calls it religious persecution, because, non-ironically, he claims that the beliefs of the modern-day progressive movement (who populate it) — from Chomsky to Obama to Charles Strossel — are memetic descendants of Protestantism — Puritan Protestantism to be exact -the Puritanism of Calvin and Cromwell. Thus, Moldbug claims that today’s progressives are today’s version of modern mainline Protestantism.
He claims that American Protestantism (especially the Eastern, Northern variety) evolved because of the separation of church and state, which caused the memes (or beliefs and values) to “mutate” in order to get into power, so as to continue their reproductive cycle (“infecting” or “enlightening” minds).
Evidently, he considers this to be a disaster.
Moldbug does not just engage in criticism, however. The man proposes an entirely new, and somewhat untested political system, he has called it, as he does with many of his key concepts, a variety of things, but I shall refer to it as Neo-Royalism.
Neo-Royalism is, in essence, a combination of two kinds of governance: an absolute monarchy, and the joint stock corporation. The purpose of a Government is to provide good customer service, by doing so it turns a profit. Thus, it has no incentives to do “stupid shit.”
How does Moldbug’s plan to get this system — which he calls the New Structure to replace the current one, which he calls the Modern Structure? In short, he plans a Restoration — regime change.
Of course, my presentation here is grossly simplified for you, the reader, to grasp the essential points.
Moldbug is basically what you get if you cross Murray Rothbard and Thomas Carlyle; Mises with Machiavelli and Mencius (the Chinese one); Bertrand De Jouvenal with James Burnham; and, lastly, Frederick The Great with Lee Kuan Yew.
Like Hell, or Auschwitz, the Cracker Factory has a simple slogan inscribed upon its gate: Escape is racist. That is why the expression ‘white flight’ – which says exactly the same thing – has never been denounced for its political incorrectness, despite the fact that it draws upon an ethnic statistical generalization of the kind that would, in any other case, provoke paroxysms of outrage. ‘White flight’ is no more ‘white’ than low time-preference is, but this broad-brush insensitivity is deemed acceptable, because it structurally supports the Cracker Factory, and the indispensable confusion of ancient (or negative) liberty with original (racial) sin.
Nick Land. The Dark Enlightenment.
The first line of Nick Land’s Dark Enlightenment is: “Reactionaries head for the exit.”
But what if there isn’t any?
What about those people who are left behind? Those people, who have no interest in politics or the schemes of any one group and who simply wish to be left alone, work their job, and raise their family? What about them?
All progress is change, but not all change is progress.
As I grow older, as I read more, and after I read Moldbug, what I feel, at times, is an awful sense of despair and nihilistic emptiness. Personally, I had a great life — working in China. But I was compelled to come back.
When I was 11, I read about World War 2. A book, created by The Times newspaper, included every campaigns in the conflict, as well as considering the political context of the war. What struck me, as an 11-year old, was the scope and intensity of the violence involved and the global scale of the conflict. It was almost inconceivable. What I tried to imagine was how the soldiers felt: fear, exhaustion, moments of panic and exhilaration. I asked myself: could I do that if needed?
Who can truly know what one could do in such a situation? However, I resolved to myself, that if ever such evil arose again — I would be ready to oppose it. I understood, from history, that many far-sighted people knew the threat that the Nazi regime posed — but most did not, or choose to ignore it. These people – the liberals and the socialists because of their idealism, false optimism and moral cowardice, not to mention the fact that the democratic populace would be displeased — allowed Germany to fall to the Nazis, for the Nazis to rearm and then, step-step, abolish the restrictions placed upon it. To me then, as an 11-year old, the Nazi threat required cool, calculated decision. It required leadership that was capable of taking tough, but necessary, actions. It required leaders who would take pre-emptive action against threats in order to deter them. That leader, was, of course Winston Churchill for Great Britain. But it was too little too late.
And now, as an adult, I see the same things happening again – With Islam, and with the progressives. My life, thus far, has been, by sheer accident, free of war, poverty or disease. Intuitively, what I felt, growing up, was that we lived in the relaxed sunshine of previous conflicts. Here, I refer to the Second World War, the Cold War and the “Troubles” within my own country. I imbibed, via my culture, the sense that, yes some things are bad, but they are getting better. So, I was a former believer in progress, in the sense that it was real: moral, political and intellectual. I thought that we were moving into a time of more freedom, more happiness, more opportunity and more rationality. Nevertheless, I also recognised, if only quietly in my mind at first, that progress could reverse; that it is contingent, intermittent and reversible.
Now, I see this as not only wrong, but a dangerous delusion.
Sometimes, in my despair, I wish there was a God, or something: something transcendental and inspiring; something that gives you a spring in your step, and a feeling of confidence in your chest – a sense of meaning and purpose. In essence, a sense of reassurance, that, whatever happens, there is a rock that will not yield to the waves.
But I cannot believe it. I may not have a purpose set by God — but I do have principles.
And the first principle for me is truth. There will be no lies. No falsehoods. Here, I mean explicitly both an ethical and political principle. I try to live my life as truthfully and honestly as I can in terms of what to believe and why.
In politics, as in every human endeavour, I believe the first policy is to the facts. You must see reality as clearly as possible; you must root out bias, cant and special interests. No matter how dark or how depressing the truth is, decisions need to be made on what-is-real. Because —and here is my faith —my deeply held conviction is that if you sacrifice truth, you will be led, premise by premise, to sacrifice justice, goodness and whatever is beautiful in this world. One of they key lesions that I take from history is that mad, mass movements of slaughter are all based on nonsense, lies and delusions.
Many reactionaries are religious. I am not. I no longer have any interest in debating metaphysics with Christians. What I intend to do, here, on this blog, is provide a naturalistic version of reactionary philosophy.To show that, religious and naturalistic reactionaries have a similar basic structure of arguments, despite having different premises and overall purposes. That will be my tradition. Before I discovered reactionary thought, my influences were Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Wellington, Napoleon and Lee Kuan Yew.
Perhaps, it is time, to consider Martin Luther —the inspiration for the name of this blog.
Thomas Carlyle, in his lecture on Oliver Cromwell (see On Heroes), claimed that modern European history (up to his time) consisted of three acts.
The first act was Luther’s reformation. It broke the authority of the Catholic Church; it split Christendom forever; and in the gap he created, it allowed in progressive thought. This thought, as both Moldbug and Nick Land argue, is always moving in more and more progressive arcs. Land call it the “ratchet” – society only move in one direction, the left’s or the progressive direction: egalitarianism. (What was Lurther’s reformation if not theological egalitarianism?)
The second act, according to Carlyle, was the English Civil war – Cromwell’s rebellion in the name of parliamentary powers against the divine right and absolute power of the king. (I would add that the American revolution – or rebellion – was the coda to that war.) Thus, democracy was created.
Carlyle’s third act was the French Revolution. Carlyle’ considered this the apotheosis of Luther’s reformation. It was liberty, equality and fraternity, it was democracy, and it was death and destruction.
History does not end, however.
The fourth act was the Great War, the physical and spiritual death of Christendom; the end of monarchy and the reform of Europe into republican democracies.
The fifth act, was Fascism and Communism, mass, democratic movements that were Utopian, passionate and deadly. Between them, tens of millions perished.
The sixth act was the battle between social democracy and communism. Communism collapsed, and as a result, the Western social democracies declared itself triumphant and that history was over. However, a thesis brings forth its anti-thesis – Islam.
The seventh act is the struggle between Progressive Western democracies and reactionary Islamic Jihad. Furthermore, the West finds itself now challenged and in conflict with reactionary Russia and China. Today, we exist amidst a great power struggle.
The Dark Reformation is one which seeks to turn Martin Luther on his head. While I admire the man’s courage, tenacity and integrity, and without involving myself with his theology, the consequences his reformation had (which he is not morally responsible for) has been disastrous.
A book I read, many years ago, was A.C Grayling’s Towards the Light, a progressive philosophical history.
Here, at Dark Reformation, I say: “Towards the Dark.”
Towards the dark truths of human nature, metaphysics, politics and history.
As a reactionary I say:
“Here I stand, I can do no other.”
(In Part Two we will look at democracy. In Part Three we look at the Progressives. Then, in Part Four and Five we look Islam. From Part Six to Nine we consider Reactionary Philosophy. In Part Eleven we will look at what can be done. In Part Twelve, we will consider Neo-Royalism. In Part Thirteen, we will consider Reactionary Virtues and Principles.)
** Inspired by Free Northerner’s Creeping Horror. ( http://freenortherner.com/2014/01/10/creeping-horror/)
The following is a set books, articles, and essays that the reader may wish to pursue in order to see for himself the things I speak off. I am eclectic. I drawn upon numerous sources from across the political spectrum, in order to build up as broad and accurate a vision as possible. Needless to say, I don’t endorse everything below. I challenge the reader to read the following, or peruse the articles I have curated, and not think that something has gone seriously amiss with modernity.
(Books denoted with an asterisk are recommended, two asterisks are highly recommend; three are essential reading.)
1: A Brief History Of Crime. Peter Hitchens.***
2: The Cameron Delusion. Peter Hitchens. **
3: The Way Of Men. Jack Donovan.*
4: A Conflict Of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. Thomas Sowell. ***
5: Life At The Bottom: The Worldview that makes the Underclass. Theodore Dalyrample. ***
6: The Toxic Cult Of Sentimentality. Theodore Dalyrample.
7: The New Vichy Syndrome: How Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism. Theodore Dalyrample.***
7: Turbo Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy. Edward Luttwak.
8: Submission. Michel Houellebecq.
9: Fight Club. Chuck Palahniuk.*
10: Suicide Of The West. James Burnham
11: Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.Nicholas Eberstadt.
12: Coming Apart. Charles Murray.**
13: The Blank Slate: the Modern Denial of Human Nature. Stephen Pinker. **
13: The Improbable War: China, the United States and the Logic of Great Power Conflict. Christopher Coker.*
14: The Clash Of Civilisations And The Remaking Of A New World Order. Samuel Huntington. ***
15: Who Are We? Samuel Huntington.
16: Something For Nothing. Brian Tracy.
17: The End Of History And The Last Man. Francis Fukuyama.
18: The Next American Civil War. Lee Harris.
19: Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century. Jonathan Glover. ***
20: The View From Nowhere. Thomas Nagel.
21: The Problem Of The Soul: Two Visions of Mind and how to Reconcile them. Owen Flanagan. *
22: Existential Catastrophic Risks. Nicholas Bostrom (ed). ***
23: Our Final Century. Martin Rees.
24: Super Intelligence. Nicholas Bostrom.
25: Straw Dogs. John Gray. ***
26: Black Mass. John Gray.
27: False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism. John Gray.
28: War: What is it Good For? Ian Morris.
29: On Power: The Natural History of its Growth. Bertrand De Jovenel. ***
30: Democracy: The God That Failed. Hans Herman Hoppe. ***
31: The Machiavellians: Defenders Of Freedom. James Burnham.
32: Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal. Peter McLoughlin. **
33: The Legacy Of Jihad. Andrew Bostom (ed). ***
34: Human Nature After Darwin. Janet Radcliffe Richards.
35: The Anatomy Of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime. Adrain Raine.
Of these thirty-five books, if you were to read seven books I would recommend: Theodore Dalyrample’s Life At The Bottom; Straw Dogs, by John Gray and Clash Of Civilisations by Samuel Huntington. Thomas Sowell’s Conflict Of Visions. Then, Democracy by Hoppe and On Power by de Jovenel. Finally, I would recommend Existential Catastrophic Risks by Nicholas Bostrom.
Articles and Essays.
Moldbug’s blog — Unqualified Reservations — which contains his numerous essays on history, economics and politics can be seen, more or less, in full here:
His writings are often obscure and complex, his tone, meanwhile, is one of lacerating sarcasm and scorn. Yet, he has, in my view, the most interesting and realistic understanding of the modern condition — the Modern Structure — than anyone else. The entries below, are not Moldbug’s main work (which I will introduce in the next parts), but they address the topic of violence, insecurity, decline and disaster. I highly recommend the following to get a feel for his work:
6: http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/sam-altman-is-not-blithering-idiot.html (This post inspired the Meditation on Crime and the City)
Other Reactionary Sites: (I don’t necessarily agree with the following views, but the reader may wish to look further into a new school of thought that Moldbug has inspired.)
Crime, Violence, Insecurity and Social Breakdown
Below is but a sample of crime in the modern West; it contains both statistics and impressions. It is not just crime, but how it concentrated, and the effects on social trust and wellbeing. Furthermore, the ineffectiveness of the Modern Structure is the real issue, not necessarily that there was less crime in the past (which appears there was) but that the state, despite all its resources cannot maintain basic law and order.
Some key resources:
1: Crime In The UK. (Read on for Child Rape and Enslavement.)
(Crime rates, murders, and prison population has greatly increased over the last century in the UK)
Many politicians claim that crime, in the UK, has fallen. But has it? Can we trust the media and the government? Especially when, as we shall see, mass-rape and child enslavement took place for years and was covered up. The intrepid, Peter Hitchens, is on the case however, but first:
(Can we trust crime figures, however?)
(Can we trust reporting on crime?)
( Is crime rising?)
( One should read Peter Hitchens’s Brief History of Crime. Hitchens claims that crime reporting is fraudulent. Here he quotes police officers who say that there has been fraudulent behaviour.)
( More evidence of “juking the stats”.)
(Hitchens responds to police critics here on crime.)
2: Crime is Rising in the U.S.
3: Political Violence in America. This is explained by the “high-low” strategy.
(Political violence, especially against conservative, Republicans and Trump supporters has been witnessed in this election.)
(Good stats on crime, examples of political violence against trump supporters.)
Proof of the “high-low” strategy, at least in the UK:
4: Cops And Criminals.
(Blacks commit more crime than anyone — proportionally and in raw numbers. However, this article is rather mendacious. Quotes “activists” who use the null hypothesis that crime rates by blacks and death by cops (who can be black, of course) have no correlation. Yet, roughly the same number of white people are killed by cops (in fact it is more). The article asserts that there is racial bias; however, it does not take into account police psychology. Officers may be more alert and scared interacting with blacks because, statistically speaking, blacks are more likely to be aggressive. However, given black resentment against cops, they are more likely to be aggressive and threatening. Thus, this problem, is, in part, a vicious circle. Remember that, this summer, many cops — five in one night in particular have been killed by black criminals and black terrorists.)
(See what police officers in Chicago really think. Warning, it is not pretty. This is what I mean by taking into account police psychology.)
Further: See Heather Macdonald’s War On Cops.
4: Breakdown In Europe and America.
( Police out in force. Armed police out in the streets. England does “not” have armed officers; however, they recently increased their number of armed officers because of Islamic terrorism.)
(One of many example of low-level crime and violence in France — despite fact that France is in a state of emergency.)
( Black rapist. Woman was giving him some change.)
Finally, see: http://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/Race-and-Faith.pdf A book written by Trevor Phillips, former Czar of Equality and Human Rights. Reading closely, you can see that England is headed for major social disruption. I.e ethnic and religious violence.
5: Northern Ireland
Moldbug helped me reframe my understanding of my own country. I think, however, the best description of Northern Ireland should come from Samuel T. Francis, and his concept of anarcho-tyranny, which was applied to the U.S but can be equally applied here:
What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through “sensitivity training” and multiculturalist curricula, “hate crime” laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny.
(Prison Officer killed.)
(Catholic Police Officer Killed.)
(Catholic Priest threatened by Paramilitaries.)
6: The Need for Private Security Will Grow in the Future.
( compare with South Africa and Belfast.)
See Hans’s Hermann Hoppe’s The Private Production Of Defence.
Child Rape And Sexual Slavery In England
Start here for a report — in only one location — for systematic sexual violence against white children:
“This was happening in Oxford – the city of dreaming spires. If it was happening there, the ramifications for all cities are huge.”
The report notes that white children were deliberately targeted. Article claims that the children were “enslaved”.
(Note the behaviour of the perpetrators.)
Cites numbers, 300 girls, mentions it is maybe higher — 700 children. Mentions that one victim was branded. Mentions slavery. Mentions that they had their school uniforms on when they were raped.) Slams council and slams police. Mentions failings of the social services.)
(Police are slammed. Claims that it is a nation-wide problem. Victim says it is a white wash.)
( Mentions that victim was burned with cigarettes. Mentions that a victim — a child — was doused in petrol. Mentions that Rotherham is “owned” by Pakistanis I.e Muslims. ) Mentions numbers, of crimes —since 1987)
(Article mentions that 1000 children were possibly raped — a conservative estimate. The children were trafficked around country.)
( Police inaction and dereliction of duty —even when they caught a man in bed with a14 year old. Girl was threatened violence.)
From the report:
“gang of three brothers, their uncle and two women were found guilty of 55 serious offences, some of which lay undetected for almost 20 years. They targeted 15 vulnerable girls, one as young as 11, and subjected them to brutal and degrading acts between 1987 and 2003 including rape, forced prostitution, indecent assault and false imprisonment.
Allegations by victims that those found guilty – Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain, their uncle Qurban Ali and their associates Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies – were able to commit crimes for so long with apparent impunity are now the focus of two separate investigations into the police.
It can now be reported that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched 55 separate investigations into how South Yorkshire police dealt with victims, in one of the biggest inquiries into potential neglect of duty and corruption in recent policing history.
The police watchdog said that 46 misconduct notices had already been served on 26 officers, and warned the figure could increase. It is understood that more than 50 officers are being investigated. Complaints cover “a range of allegations from a failure to act on reported child sexual exploitation to corruption by police officers,” it said.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is also undertaking what it described as the “largest criminal investigation of its kind in the UK” into grooming and sexual exploitation in the South Yorkshire town, with 9,000 lines of inquiry.
The NCA said it currently had a total of 23 designated suspects but added that it had “hundreds of potential suspects still to investigate”. So far it said it had identified and recorded 57 serious sexual offences.)
(Several officers were named in the case. One, PC Kenneth Dawes, was arrested last June on suspicion of misconduct in public office. He has denied any wrongdoing.
One of the victims in the trial said she told him of abuse she suffered at the age of 13 or 14 years of age but that he did nothing and his failure to act on her complaint meant she did not have any confidence to report continuing abuse.
( Another officer named in court, PC Hussain Ali, died following a road accident the day he was put on restricted duties in relation to allegations of misconduct, neglect of duty, and corrupt practice. Among the complaints being investigated was an allegation that he asked one of the victims in the trial out on a date.
The same woman, known as Girl J, also accused him of being involved in a corrupt no-prosecution deal with Arshid Hussain.)”
(The corruption must run deep.)
This report is tough on the police. However, they were only following “orders”. Which is to follow the “Party” progressive PC line.)
“Shaun Wright, Labour’s South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, who was Rotherham’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services from 2005 until 2010, is refusing to resign. He apologises unreservedly for the grotesque abuse that 1,400 children or more may have endured on his watch, but he says the scale of the abuse has come as a surprise to him. The chorus of voices raised against him, which includes the leadership of his own party, is, rightly, swelling. He should have gone at once. His lack of leadership, his reluctance to ask difficult questions or to intervene proactively, allowed the exploitation itemised in Professor Alexis Jay’s grim report on Tuesday to grow from what an earlier investigator called gang abuse for personal gratification into “financial and career opportunities” for young, mainly Asian, men. His failure to take responsibility now, in the face of the evidence, suggests a dangerous reluctance to address what went so damagingly wrong for so many vulnerable young women. No wonder some of them have now launched a class action against the council.”
( Shaun Wright, a labour politician, clearly did not fulfil his duty.)
“But the clearest lesson is that nothing, at all, must come before the need to protect the vulnerable, and those who fail must be held to account.”
“… the Labour council was sensitive to the reputation of its Muslim community. But it led to a terrible misjudgment: the subordination of the safeguarding of abused and exploited children – who were mainly, but not only, white – to the protection of the standing of one particular community. When the then Labour MP Ann Cryer, the anti-forced-marriage campaigner, began reporting accounts of young Pakistani-heritage men hanging about school gates in 2003, she was bitterly criticised.”
(In the next section we will understand, thanks to Menius Moldbug, why the Labour Party would not want to sully the “reputation” of Muslims.)
Some consequences of the “Islamic Invasion.”
(Merkel is a disaster. Also this article shows the problems with democracy.)
(Life on the streets of Europe.)
(Recall Lenin’s “the worse it gets the better it will be.” Violence and instability allows the state to centralise power, and prevent the loss of power.)
The Cathedral, Mind Control, Intimidation, Censoring and Progressivism
I will introduce, in greater detail, Moldbug’s concept of the Cathedral later, however you can start here:
(Modern day ex-communication.)
( Progress keeps “progressing” This is the “left-ward” ratchet. It begins in universities where students are radicalised, then they go on to occupy positions of power and influence in society. However, in order to signal “virtue”, to gain status, the next generation must be even more “Progressive.”
( Very good by Greenwald, who is a leftist. So, this is rare evidence of “evidence against interest”. This is the Cathedral. Total consensus by media. Elite exist in a echo chamber.)
(Cracks in the Cathedral. Sanctimony here. Excellent example of the elites losing control of the message.)
( A truly tremendous example of lying and misdirection. The Cathedral at work.)
( Thomas Sowell discovers the Cathedral.)
(What Leiter does not realise is that he is just like them.)
( Read 16 then read 17 and understand what I mean.)
(Openly declaring bias against Trump.)
(Good notes on progressivism.)
(Racial segregation and diversity.)
Jews Are In Danger
Christians Are In Danger
The “War” On White Men and Women; Genocide and the “High-Low strategy.”
(The following sample links are disturbing. As I said above, my education and cultural set of assumptions assumed that *we* were a “post-racial” society and one based on equality. The following offers a disturbing look at a systematic attempt to put “Whites” in a minority or genocide them. I will explore this issue in greater depth later on. However, see if you can read the following and not think, just a little bit, that something very bad is afoot….
Before reading the following links, I recommend you start by reading Moldbug on the subject of diversity:
( Grade A evidence that the UN (the Global Elite) are out to undermine European societies. ““The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states” – Peter Sutherland, the UN’s special representative for migration (and by coincidence a non-executive chairman of the Goldman Sachs International)””
Follow up: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18519395
( America divided, Whites on the way out.)
( birth rates falling in U.S.)
( positive discrimination in London.)
( white genocide.)
(White genocide. High-low strategy.)
(Democracy is fundamentally broken.)
10: Steve Sailer has done some extensive work on this subject. He has coined the phrase “invade the world, invite the world.”
(High low alliance.)
(Good data here.)
( high-low strategy.)
(Good article on democratic problems. How parties rig the system.)
(Excellent. Describes the “Cathedral.” The power grab. The end of the West. Sees revival from religion. Great quotes.)
( people don’t want immigrants.)
(Life is bad)
(Invasion. Cannot defend their borders or their people. But, they don’t won’t to. New customers.)
(Loss of control. Also, quotes by the Progressives.)
( Mark Steyn was “right”.)
( A great anecdote about Merkel. )
(400 trained terrorists. Aiming to step up attacks and overwhelm .Europe.
(Good overview of aviation targets. )
( good numbers here on immigrants. Taking skilled labour.
( Colonisation, sharia. Women. )
Who is George Soros? What does he want?
(A Key Piece.)
(Pretty damming proof.)
( Soros, uses migrants to create new “opportunities”.)
( Soros. )
Because of Moldbug, I discovered an American called Lawrence Auster. Auster, is a Paleoconservative Christian. His views, are, as you might expect, well out of the mainstream. Nevertheless, since I am devoted to understanding and building as systematic and synoptic a vision as possible, I present Auster because he gives a genuinely alien, interesting and excluded view of modern America:
(Auster on Multiculturalism and immigration.)
( Auster with an extended piece on Immigration.)
(A post on Modern Britain and political correctness.)
( A collection of news stories of Black on White violence — extremely shocking.)
(Auster on liberalism and democracy.)
For a paleoconservative look at the UK, I would recommend Peter Hitchens. He has an extensive archive. The reader can start with the following:
Migrants, Muslims, Rape and Feminists.
( A “bride trekker” was raped and murdered. A sad, but accurate, “symbol” for Progressive western women.)
(Wisdom v foolishness. )
( Swedes are outnumbered. Gangs and violence.)
Men, Women, Feminism And Modernity
( An interesting perspective: modern love and sex from a male point of view.)
( The “Red Pill” from a female perspective.)
For a “heretical” take on the subject of male and female intelligence see:
Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke on Gender and Science.
(A perspective on modern sexual culture and politics from a Pick Up Artist. Ribald, vicious, funny, and completely unPC.)
( Another perspective on modern relationships and hypergamy. )
(Hypergamy and the sexual free-market.)
Culture, Decline, Economic Malaise and Future Political Trends
(The Cycle Of History. Is this our future?
(An excellent article. This crystallises, in a very sober way, the crisis of America.)
(Is the West finished?)
4: Globalism In Trouble
(It is all going downhill.)
(America in trouble.)
(On the mismanagement of Obama.)
( Excellent take on the Venezuelan failure, which is a failure of both democracy and socialism..)
Predictions, Possibilities and other Links:
( Great analogy. Elegantly written.)
(An economic disaster looms.)
(Quotes from the FT. The writer clearly shows that U.S. Democracy is extremely unhealthy.)
(They followed the rules, they worked hard and saved, but they lost everything.)
U.S Soldiers want a coup:
( People getting angry at elites and their failed strategy.)
( Describing the conflict between populism and globalism)
( Describing the conflict between populism and globalism, which is “populists against “institutionalists”)
(Democratic deficit or what?)
( very good on European delusion.)