Dark Reformation Part 6: Levithan Awakes

(In Part 1, I claimed that modern life was rubbish. In Part 2, I looked at the problem with democracy as a system of government. In Part 3, I looked at the flawed belief system of progressivism. In Part 4, I looked at the “Islam Delusion”, I also outlined a framework for a possible peace treaty between Islam and the West. In Part 5, I outlined A system of government and a modern vision for “New Arabia.”

In this instalment I outline an “answer” to the problems that plague the West — Europe and America. While I only state the answer here, I will spend some time undertaking a “philosophical justification.” In the next instalment I will discuss political strategy.)

What can be done to reform the West?

What does the West need?

Answer: Competent secure authority.

What is a competent authority?

Answer: Before answering that question, we must answer a prior set of questions. These questions are:

What is the purpose of a state? Why do humans need a state — an organised political community? Why, individually and collectively, should people consent to the state? Why consent and obey competent authority within a state?

Answer: These questions are the fundamental questions of political philosophy. So here I will engage in some good old fashioned armchair philosophising. Here is my answer, it is concise, but I believe it to be more or less correct.

Humans are animals. The naked, individual human animal is not as strong as a gorilla, as fast as a cheetah, or as tough as an alligator. Humans, in their natural state, are weak. A naked, unarmed human —even an body-building male — has no chance in a fight against lions, tigers and bears.

Rousseau was wrong when he supposed (if perhaps he really did suppose) that humans in the state of nature were solitary. Humans are animals. They have been produced by the same process as all other animals — evolution by natural selection. (You can, for I cannot stop you, believe that God guides this process). Our closest cousins are Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas — all form troops, parties, coalitions etc. The Orangutang however, is a true solitary ape, and it is the more distant from us in terms of genetic ancestry. We have been selected to be social.

Humans are the “party-gang-species.” We are social creatures. Evolution (or God if you like) has made us this way. Human clannishness or tribalism is what has allowed humans to survive in competition with other animals, other predators. However, despite the fact that we can overcome other animals with intelligence, planning, teamwork and spears, the dark truth remains: the greatest enemy of man is man.

In a state of nature there is constant uncertainty. A state of constant uncertainty is no different from a constant state of war. Thus, life for the human animal, in a state of nature, is, as Thomas Hobbes described it: nasty, brutish and short. Competition among early humans is war. Men fight for biological reasons (food and females), psychological reasons (status, honour, resentment — mental states which exist for sound biological reasons — if not hedonic reasons). It is only later however, much later, that men fight for religious and ideological reasons.

War, is the grand-father of civilisation. War is a rapist whose bastard offspring is order, and whose grand-daughter is civilisation.

It is perhaps no accident that the ancient Greeks considered Athena to be the goddess of war, strategy and civilisation — for they are all connected. To win in war requires many things. It requires men ready to kill and ready to die. But it also requires numbers. Numbers require organisation. Organisation requires structure. Structure allows for the division of labour. The simplest of all human structures is the gang. A gang must have a gang-leader. The gang-leader provides structure. The gang-leader provides order. The gang-leader provides direction and purpose. In short, the gang-leader has power: power to command and control. To make rules, clarify rules and abolish rules. The gang-leader thus comes to have authority within the gang. The authority is more or less informal, based on fear, self-interest and the leader’s charisma. In time, if the gang survives, the process of selecting and obeying the leader becomes formalised and traditional. This is the origin of human civilisation.

How does war produce civilisation?

Answer:

War produces civilisation as a unintended consequence of competition. Gangs, bands, clans, tribes, nations and civilisations compete against each other. There are winners and there are losers. The survivors of the losing team are sometimes killed, in a blood rage or as a considered exercise of instilling fear among any potential rivals. Females however are absorbed into the winning “team”. This process (competition or war) —which is exactly like how other social animals behave — such as Chimps and Ants — is a constant ongoing one among humans.

When the population of humans grow, a division of labour becomes possible. War brings land, slaves and treasure to the victor. Furthermore, when you add in agriculture, writing, numeracy, and commerce — you get civilisation. As the population grows however, the management of the territory and people becomes impossible for just one person to effectively command and control. Thus a primitive bureaucracy is created and kind of feudal structure develops.

If the grand-father of civilisation is war (a rapist) — whose (bastard) offspring is order —then commerce is the mother of civilisation (who is a whore.) Commerce leads to even greater specialisation and complexity in a civilisation. It also leads to contact among different people, which leads to a mixing of customs, ideas, religions, etc. Successful commerce require many things. At the very least it requires order, security, law, contracts, property rights, with law enforcers and impartial judges to administer this system. Civilisation requires civilised men. Civilisation requires a “civilising process.” Family, education, moral values, religion and outlets for masculine nature — aggression, competition and status seeking is required to civilise men.

There are many different civilisations, both in history and today. Civilisation, as I define it, is a lawful state, or a state of law. Civilisation is a regulated human community. A lawful state, a regulated community, allows for greater trust. Trust allows for cooperation. Cooperation brings benefits. I assume that most — but, importantly, not all — humans enjoy this state of affairs. Humans, mostly, want civilisation. This I assume here for the purpose of argument.

Now that we have completed our little armchair philosophical anthropology, let us return to our questions:

What is the purpose of the state? Why consent to political authority?

The answer, the fundamental answer, the answer upon which any and all other answers are based on, is that the state exists to defend its people — people who self-identify as a political community — from all enemies foreign and domestic. You willingly and justifiably consent and cooperate with the state if (and only if) the state provide these services. No muss, no fuss. No divine right theory needed. No Platonic noble-lie needed. No veil of ignorance or original position required. The state — the formalisation of a coherent community into a political entity — exists to defend the life, liberty and property of its people.

I now want to change direction and examine the question of tax collection.

Why pay tax?

Everyone — well not everyone — pays taxes. People complain, but everyone more or less goes along and pays their taxes.

Reframe the concept of taxes as “protection money.” Does this sound odd and unsettling to you? It should do. I venture that philosophy professors would sweat the difference distinguishing a protection racket from the IRS.

We assume that coercion in life is, nearly always, unjustified. That is to say wrong (in the moral sense). Coercion is when person A uses threats against person B to have B do something that B doesn’t want to. Consider the following: A male rapist uses coercion — the threat of force (physical violence) or the threat of violence — in order to (you get the picture). The female, however, does not consent. She is not a willing party.

Everyone agrees (I hope) that a woman, faced in such a situation, is justified in taking any and all means necessary to protect herself.

A different kind of coercion occurs when a gang threatens a small-shop owner with property damage or a beating if she does not pay protection money.

The state sets (demands) taxes. It has the power to do that. It also has the power to take people who refuse to pay to court. It has the power to take away people’s money. It has the power to take away people’s liberty by imprisonment. It has the power to confiscate people’s property. The state has the power to do all these things.

Power can be illegitimate or legitimate — this we all assume. The question we must now answer is:

What makes taxing power, and thus the authority who wields taxing power legitimate?

Answer: the consent of the people or the voluntary choice of the customers.

How is consent achieved?

Answer: in the same way as all other agreements —by explicit, written, contract. The authority (or GovCorp) and the contractor create a written contract that clearly and explicitly, sets out the powers and prerogatives of the authority, and the rights and responsibilities of those who consent and contract with the authority.

Our key question was:

What is the purpose of the state?

Here is a slightly different way of answering this question:

The state is like business, the people are its customers, and the first duty of customer care is security (from all enemies foreign and domestic). The second duty is the protection of liberty and the protection of property. The enforcement of criminal and civil laws. That is the basic, fundamental duty of any state — the authority who commands and controls the machinery of the state.

Here, we now stand.

Here, our spade is turned.

Here we see, in a new light, why modern life is rubbish.

The West is not yet in a state of complete anarchy and collapse — at least not yet. What we have is Anarcho-Tyranny

We have anarchy because the criminals, the terrorists, the men of violence do as they will, and the rest of society suffer what they must. The police either cannot or will not enforce the law. The prisons are overcrowded, dangerous and drug-filled. Criminals and terrorists control the prisons. Criminals and terrorists control entire areas of cities.

We have tyranny, because the law-abiding, tax-paying, working members of society are milked by the state. Furthermore, people are unprotected by the state from criminals and terrorists, then demonised and lectured to by the state (and its supporters) for expressing dissent and dissatisfaction with these affairs. These same peaceful, productive people are increasingly living lives that are intruded upon by the state (and its supporters) in terms of speech regulations, thought suppression and association disruption. People who criticise and complain are demonised. They are often forced to recant their “thought-crimes.” Furthermore, many people, are forced to undergo political re-education. Sometimes people are just purged from their employment. Increasingly, critics are jailed, beaten or murdered.

It will only get worse. The source, the root cause of this problem (in ideological terms), is progressivism. Progressives engage in both a creeping, slow, stealth revolution and sometimes (as we see from history) an actual one — French, Russian and Chinese revolutions. Like religious fanatics, progressivists engage in a “holiness spiral” — (sectional struggles, inter-party rivalries) as to who is the most virtuous or pure. This “holiness spiral” produces just more irrationality, ever greater departures from prudence and social responsibility. Progressivism is intolerant. It is totalitarian. Like the Catholic inquisition, like Calvinism, like Communism or even parts of Nazism (earlier incarnations of progressivism), progressivism is socially destructive and politically suicidal. It destroys civilisation.

The clearest evidence of this suicidal stupidity is that progressives refuse to acknowledge a problem with Islamic terror and authoritarianism. They welcome a virtually unrestricted number of Muslims into Western societies. This has brought tremendously negative social consequences. The same progressives then invade Muslim countries and incite revolutions and rebellions. Who then resettle “refugees” in the West. Naturally, Muslims will vote for progressive parties, so it is all win-win. This all ties back into what I said about democracy in Part 2 (patron-client relationship).

Now, everything things should start to become clear: the systematic interconnected nature of the West’s civilisational crisis.

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4 thoughts on “Dark Reformation Part 6: Levithan Awakes

  1. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#124)

  2. I apologize in advance if anything I am about to say is offensive.

    I hate to say anything critical to a writer who takes the time out of his day to learn the dark enlightenment and write such a long and detailed summary of Moldbugs ideas. You have correctly summarized his writings. But I feel that in the effort to condense so much detail into a short space it come across as crass, disjointed, and a little manic. You don’t really smoothly transition between paragraphs at all. But it is a valiant effort.

    Are you an INTJ? Your ability to synthesize vast quantities of information sounds like it.

    Of course personal comments are irrelevant so here is my critique of your ideas.

    You diagnose Progressivism as the root cause of all problems. Moldbug himself may have formulated (or implied) this himself and then contradicted himself by saying that culture is downstream from power. If culture is downstream from power then progressivism cannot be the cause of decay—it can only be a symptom or an outcome. The cause must be democracy.

    Of course you know this.

    It is a common mistake in NRx for newcomers to focus on refuting progressivism. This is because democracy has trained all of us to think our opinions matter because we are all potentially voters (and as you have said it is a mind control system). It is hard to break yourself of that habit.

    The central realization is that ideology is the outcome of power, and not, as the left-wing worldview has it, power the outcome of ideology. I think you know this since you reference de Jouvenel.

    Nonetheless you focus (in terms of sheer volumes of words) on ideology—the effect, rather than the cause.

    Basically what I am saying is that although you know power produces ideology your focus on ideology gives the impression that you have not fully digested this fact and realized what is means. Moldbug was escaping progressivism and had to talk himself out of it. So he spends most of his time refuting the left and is then remarkably short on building his own ideas. You have replicated this mistake. You have focused on refuting the left and given only (from what I can tell) two cursory ideas for dealing with the problem; ‘New Arabia’ and ‘Competent Secure authority.’

    So basically it is this; what neoreaction needs is building new ideas and not criticizing left-wing ideas. We need to be on the offensive and not the defensive. We need to generate new thoughts and not just react against the left-wing thesis.

    So many great right-wing thinkers (F.A Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Lew Rockwell, Murry Rothbard, etc.) are short on creation and long on criticism. I see you falling into this pattern. We value your input. But we value NEW stuff even more. We need original concepts and we welcome you to give us your thoughts in as detailed a manner as possible.

    This is also what I am trying to do and I welcome you to join me and give me your feedback.

    My website is here:
    http://theanti-puritan.blogspot.com/2016/08/neocameral-future-chapter-3.html

    Like

    • Thank you anti-Puritian. I will take on board what you said. I need to improve my writing abilities, so I will pay better attention.

      As for criticisms, I accept them. You’re right. We need to make progress (aha!).

      I only discovered Moldbug four months ago. I was deep in writing a book, and it pretty much knocked me back several months. I was thinking of starting a blog for a few months, and I felt I had to start writing about neoreaction. In a way, this attempt is to try to get straight in my own head what I think. I apologise if it seems a bit shoddy. I actually was not intending to promote this blog until I had finished my series and went back over it and re-drafted it. I posted early because I thought that the feeling of actually posting something would give me the reward to keep going. Nick Land, however, somehow discovered this blog, and then others started seeing it.

      Two more things.

      Firstly, as to the cause of progressivism, I am a little agnostic. I make some suggestions that the “progressive” mind has a pychological component and a biological one as well. However, as to how and why progressivism has triumphed, I do very much accept that it has done so because of democracy, and that progressives seek power and are able to coordinate with each other in the taking of it.

      Secondly, I also wrote this series as an “entry” into neoreaction. For future articles, I intend to apply myself on more “practical” matters. For example, my final piece, which I hope to post within the week, will be about strategy. Then, I intend to look at the idea of the antiversity.

      I encountered your blog a few weeks ago, and I intend to read it in more depth. Furthermore, I intend to start working and building relationships with the NRX people. It is just that I wanted to get it all down first.

      Yes, I am an INTJ. How did you know? Was it the reference to typology?

      Thanks for commenting and see you soon.

      Like

  3. Different T says:

    Some de Jouvenel quotes in (somewhat) context to your claims…

    “The gang-leader thus comes to have authority within the gang. The authority is more or less informal and unthinking. Authority based on fear, self-interest and the leader’s charisma. In time, if the gang survives, the process of selecting and obeying the leader becomes formalised and traditional. This is the origin of human civilisation.”

    vs.

    “Man appears, a screaming bundle of flesh, the outcome of mating. He is utterly helpless, his existence hangs upon the nursing he receives.” (Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Pure Theory of Politics, Liberty Fund, 57)

    ———

    “How is consent achieved?

    Answer: in the same way as all other agreements —by explicit, written, contract. A written contract that clearly and explicitly sets out the powers and prerogatives of the authority, and the rights and responsibilities of those who consent and contract with the authority.”

    vs.

    “[social contract theories] are the views of childless men who must have forgotten their childhood.”

    Like

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