Chain of Command Part 1: A Thought Experment.

 

This series is intended to be a thought experiment that will hopefully generate thought and discussion. The goal here is one of intellectual exploration. To open up the design space in the structure, purpose and operation of organisations for reflection.

The focus is on a group of problems regarding command, responsibility, selection, succession, removal, power and authority of a sovereign. Furthermore, a crucial theme will be on the distinction between Form and Reality.

One of the central problems that Moldbug’s Neo-Royalist philosophy will have to grapple with surrounds a problem-trike regarding a sovereign: selection, succession and removal.

Nick Land has a good piece here on this kind of thing, I have done some work here on problems of selection.

The problem here, specifically, will concern the problem not of selection, or succession, but of sovereign responsibility and possible removal, and the tension between Form and Reality.

Form is defined here as formal, legal, bureaucratic procedures governing and regulating human behaviour, specifically sovereign behaviour. (Yes, I hear you Reactionary Future, but I want you to consider the following problem.)

Reality is defined here, expansively, as actual human psychology. Specifically, human emotions such as fear, pride and anger. Furthermore, the reality of human coalition building, factionalism, lust for power, and the fact that humans bend, twist, subvert, abandon and work around rules and procedures for their own benefit.

The following thought experiment will try to present a hyper-formal picture of a “case” involving a corporate or organisation problem. The reader, however, is invited to offer a Real picture. That is, when I say XYZ formally, the reader is invited to offer up possibility ABC in Reality.

Throughout the experiment I will offer up various “branches” these are “possibility fulcrums” that if chosen create a path-dependent model.

For example, since SSF will be a military ship, paths and possibilities concerning a commercial ship will be ruled out.
(Branch:

Is the ship military, commercial, scientific, religious or something else?

How does each type, with their different purposes, make a difference, to the following problem?

I am going to select Military. Readers can consider other types for comparing and contrasting.)
However! It is this RULING OUT, it is what is MISSING, what other possibilities that exist, that I really want readers to consider and discuss.

With that mission statement out of the way, let’s describe the set up.

The Set Up: SS Fredrick.

The basic set-up is the following “science-fiction” scenario:

Space Ship Fredrick (SSF) has been transported, accidentally, via a wormhole to a place in space well away of any human authority, or civilisation. SSF is entirely alone, in deep space.

The reason for this set up, as with all philosophical thought experiments, is the attempt to get at the essence of the problem, to think logically, and to think about possibilities.
The Mission.

The mission, or the new mission, of SSF is to survive and make its way back to human space. That is now its goal: Survival and Return.
The Problem.

After, let’s say, one year, a problem develops with the Captain.

The problem is medical.

The Captain, according to the judgment of the ships’ doctor, is no longer capable of responsibly carrying out his duties as Captain; thus, the safety and survival of the crew is at risk.

(Branch: Why medical? Alternatives could be gross incompetence, criminal malfeasance. How would those make a difference? )

The medical problem, moreover, is not physical, but psychological.

Furthermore, the cause of the problem cannot be detected by any physical equipment.

There is no tumour, or trace of dementia. The claim rests entirely upon the judgement of the doctor; who,on the basis of his observation, testimony of the crew, and his reasoning (or pattern-matching) from medical principles, concludes that the Captain is suffering from “mental instability”. I use scare quotes to emphasise the “fuzziness” of this, and also not to get bogged down in irrelevant details discussing actual psychological problems.

The symptoms of “mental instability” in this case, to give a little description, is recklessness, irritability, paranoia, anger, callousness, cruelty, authoritarian personality and aggression. Furthermore, the “disorder” is progressive, and the symptoms will only become more pronounced with time.

Again, the core focus here is that the doctor’s judgment that the Captain is no longer fit for duty, and not the actual empirical details of actual mental disorders etc.
Let’s name this Problem 1: the doctor judges that the Captain should be relieved, and that the doctor intends to have this judgment enforced.

Problem 2 is that the Captain refuses the doctor’s request to relieve himself voluntarily.

Our problem, the problem we want to consider as “political engineers” is: What Should Happen? What rules, or procedures, should be in place to handle this conflict of 1 and 2?

Call that Problem 3: What Should Happen Formally.

However, we have Problem 4.

Problem 4 is the problem of thinking, designing and deciding the answer to Problem 3, from the standpoint as political engineers who are considering the Real, as opposed to the Form of Problem 3.

This outline of the “problem space” should be enough to wet your appetites.

As I will end, with outline the players.
The Players.

The Captain.

The Doctor.

The XO (Second in Command.)

The Provost Marshal.

The Commander (head of security.)

The Counsellor. (The ship’s mediator, psychologist, human resource person.)

The Chief Engineer.

Commissar General. (Head of supplies and acquisitions.)

The Chaplain. (Religious minister, and councillor).

In the next part, we will consider the procedure.

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Letter To a History Professor

We don’t’ write letters anymore, we email instead.

The other night I read this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/03/ayn-rand-is-dead-liberals-are-going-to-miss-her/?utm_term=.9b84fd9ec746

which then lead me to find this:

http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Was-Conservatism-/238345

which inspired me, of the cuff, to write this:

I was intrigued by your recent article in the Washington Post, and a few clicks led me to your insightful and instructive article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: What Was Conservatism?

I have filed it away, where it may, one day, be used to illustrate some of the principles of the Dark Enlightenment you glibly mentioned.

I’m curious to know how much you know of this-new-school-of-thought?

A scholar, such as yourself, would have no trouble grasping the principles, and since all the information you need is only a Google click away, it’s hard to imagine that you don’t know what is being talked about in the new salons of thought.

Honestly, I really enjoyed your piece. However, I enjoyed it in a way that I think you might not appreciate. I read, as it were, the text against itself.

I think the key question that a political scientist working in the manner of James Burnham’s Machiavellians: The Defenders of Freedom would ask is the following:

What is the purpose of conservatism in a communist country?

Did I say communist? Sorry, I meant Progressive, it’s easy to get confused — I think Harry Dexter White was confused, maybe Carol Quigley was confused as well.

If you don’t like the concept of “purpose”, then maybe “adaptiveness” is better.

For example, how much more adaptive, in terms of regime survival, would the Soviet Union be if it had an “outer Party”? A “controlled opposition” (in Lenin’s sense) that could be elected for four or eight years in order to let the proles vent a bit of steam.

Of course, all the while, the real power lies in the hands of the permanent government: the civil service, the judiciary, the military and the big State companies and, of course, the press — the producers of propaganda. Sorry, I meant Pravda.

Right now, in England, for example, a tremor of foreboding is starting to make itself felt because people are calling England-a-one-Party-State.

Naturally, the concept of a One Party State in a democracy seems like an Orwellian concoction, which it is. Even China can claim to be a democracy, though a People’s one.

So, to me, or Burnham, or Machiavelli, the dilemma for America — sorry, I meant USG: the United States Government — after 1933 and 1945 was that it was an empire abroad, and a oligarchy at home, where before it was regional power, and a “Boss Tweed” style political racket.

Augustus was never king; Deng Xiaoping never renounced Communism; USG never deprecated the democracy it once was, and shall never be again.

You see, professor, a reformer, as Machiavelli counsels, maintains the forms, but alters the reality, so as to not upset those lesser, jealous, petty, doctrinaire minds.

So what was the point of conservatism in a Progressive, Post-Democratic Country?

Job 1: The Task of Keeping up Appearances. Democracy, must be defended.

Job 2: Keep the Rabble Out. Police the Proles. Cook up some Crank for the oddball, IQ over 130 crowd. Keep the keen busy and out of political trouble. (According to Garry Kasparov, the Soviets promoted chess for this very reason.)

Job 3: Stand in, and take over, if and when the Democrats fail, then hand “power” back over again.

Job 4: The Washington Generals. The Beautiful Losers. The “golly” I wish I had of explained my economic plan a little better routine.

Job 5: International Mutt and Jeff. Hey Muslims! You better integrate with us and accept transsexuals in your daughter’s toilet, otherwise these scary, big, racists might…….

Is this accurate? Is it true? If a Chinese historian from the 22nd century is trying to understand American political history from 1945 to 2017 could this interpretation be a valid one?

Notice, that it need not assume, except for a few genuine sociopaths — the Machiavellians — that people like Nash are consciously practicing a strategy of systematic public deception.

Men like FDR did that or Walter Lippmann or James Warburg. (Isn’t it interesting that these men are all Harvard? Like Nash and like you professor.)

Why deceive? Why the need to to lie? Or manufacture consent? We can assume that when Nash wrote his book he did so with the best of intentions — for the good of the Republic, no less.

According to Burnham, who is working from Mosca, every political regime, and every political elite, needs a formula, a story, a fiction a “synthesis” by which power is held, justified and explained — to the proles.

All societies, organisations and states be they Monarchies, Aristocracies or Democracies are really just Oligarchies.

Power, however, is always attractive; as Alexander Hamilton said: “men love power”.

Men love power, and those who have it, if they are wise, guard it well. Augustus never claimed to be King, or dictator and he lived longer than his Uncle Julius as a result.

Power, like a wife, should be shielded from the eyes of other men (the Muslims have the way of it).

So in an oligarchy that pretends to be a democracy that task of manufacturing consent requires quite a bit of skill —especially if your product is something called “conservatism.”

What is conservatism?

As even your article acknowledges, American conservatism is a product that has been thrown together from three incompatible sources (anti-communism is actually redundant).

A Communist has only one goal: capture the state, crush one’s enemies, rule.

A progressive has only one goal: capture the state, crush one’s enemies (slowly and gently), rule.

A Conservative?

Arguably, the most important purpose that conservatives play in the oligarchy was to keep the racists down, the Birchers out, and smart one’s sedated by whatever pap that’s being pushed.

It is possible?

Well, consider the following by Edmund S Morgan’s Inventing the People:

Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are equal or make believe that they are not.

The political world of make-believe mingles with the real world in strange ways, for the make-believe world may often mold the real one. In order to be viable, in order to serve its purpose, whatever that purpose may be, a fiction must bear some resemblance to fact. If it strays too far from fact, the willing suspension of disbelief collapses. And conversely it may collapse if facts stray too far from the fiction that we want them to resemble. Because fictions are necessary, because we cannot live without them, we often take pains to prevent their collapse by moving the facts to fit the fiction, by making the world conform more closely to what we want it to be. We sometimes call it, quite appropriately, reform or reformation, when the fiction takes command and reshapes reality.

Although fictions enable the few to govern the many, it is not only the many who are constrained by them. In the strange commingling of political make-believe and reality the governing few no less than the governing many may find themselves limited — we may even say reformed — by the fictions on which their authority depends. Not only authority but liberty too may depend on fictions. Indeed liberty may depend, however deviously, on the very fictions that support authority. That, at least, has been the case in the Anglo-American world, and modern liberty, for better or for worse, was born, or perhaps we should say invented, in that world and continues to be nourished there.

Because it is a little uncomfortable to acknowledge that we rely so heavily on fictions, we generally call them by some more exalted name. We may proclaim them as self-evident truths, and that designation is not inappropriate, for it implies our commitment to them and at the same time protects them from challenge.

Just so, you might say.

Rand’s material served this function of control beautifully. Her work, to liberals, was horrific, but it was harmless. Not that she would have seen it this way, of course.

But now?

Cat-Bag-Out.

That wonderful phrase….what was it? I shall rewrite it: “There are no longer any gatekeepers, because there are no longer any gates.”

Was this, by any chance, an echo of Chesterton?

Conservatism failed for three reasons, all interconnected, all of which ramify each other.

1: The global and domestic breakdown in security, and the perception of such.

2: Economic mismanagement, crash, debt, depression, pessimism. Why work, if there are no wives to be had? And there are no wives, because there is no work.

3: The breakdown in informational control and security, thanks largely to the Internet as a medium and people like Drudge, Bannon, Milo and Mencius Moldbug as the messengers.

If 1 was failing, 2 could make up for it by bribing enemies, buying time and staging circuses.

If 1 and 2 were failing, then only 3 could maintain public control by exercising control of public opinion. Hence, the reliance on the “formula” or the “narrative”.

Napoleon said that “history is fiction agreed upon”. It is agreed upon because people speak the same language, are taught to believe the same things, because they were taught the same books.

And if the fiction is no longer agreed upon?

USG has been coasting since 1989. But now, after two decades of decadence, decay, distraction, delusion, death and destruction (at home and abroad), Democracy — “the Big Black” — has come back, and the intelligentsia don’t like it, they are disgusted and horrified, in fact.

What is the Dark Enlightenment?

What is the Red Pill?

What is the Cathedral?

Who are the Brahmins?

Great study questions. Can you answer them. And can you answer them and still maintain your career as a professor?

Heretics are no longer burned at the stake, but in the court of public opinion.

In truth, I’m not American. So I look at this colossus of a country with awe, envy and horror.

I wish I had your job — truly; nothing like the life of a scholar. But there is no work for men like me.

For years I trained for the priesthood, to become a professor. I did not believe in God, but I believed in America. I don’t’ believe in sin, but I believed it was wrong to care what country someone was born in. I believed in progress, but my eyes, my reading, my reasoning and, above all, my tortured reflections caused me to accept that all around me was regress.

I lost my faith. You see, I am one of those weird people who prizes truth. And truth, and the love of truth, can never be friends with dogma: secular or religious.

America’s — not USG’s — fight is still to come, the fight against itself.

Many will be sorry, but more will agree that it had to be done.

So I tremble for your country, for it is not just.

Democracy dies in darkness, or so the Washington Post has it. Though really it dies in a riot of song, sex, colour and violence. Froude wrote its obituary long ago:

Democracies are the blossoming of the aloe, the sudden squandering of the vital force which has accumulated in the long years when it was contented to be healthy and did not aspire after a vain display. The aloe is glorious for a single season. It progresses as it never progressed before. It admires its own excellence, looks back with pity on its earlier and humbler condition, which it attributes only to the unjust restraints in which it was held. It conceives that it has discovered the true secret of being ‘beautiful for ever,’ and in the midst of the discovery it dies.

Best

DR

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How Trump Won Part 12: Political Re-Education for Progressives.

In part 1, I talked about patterns.

In part 2,3,4, and 5 I talked about rhetoric, persuasion and propaganda.

As for the rest of this series, I have been talking about political patterns, behaviours and consequences, and how those patterns and behaviours are caused by the system’s design — the Modern Structure.

In short, the pillars of the structure — security, economics, and the formula/narrative — are decaying, even collapsing.

Hence Trump.

Political Re-Education for Progressives. 

The Daily Beast has a recent article recommending books for progressives to read in the age of Trump. I will suggest my own list for those progressives who are confused, angry and scared in the age of Trump.

 So here is a little (little!) curriculum that I have cooked up for the left-wing intellectuals and other high-status sympathisers who maybe wish to understand what’s happening and why. Perhaps, Jerry Coyne, Andrew Sullivan, Sam Altman, Ben Affleck, Virginia Heffernan and Sam Harris would like to take it up.

Sam Harris often says that he doesn’t want to be wrong a second more than he has to. A commendable attitude. Unfortunately, coming to the realisation that you are wrong — systematically wrong —  takes considerable work. Doubt is a slow, often painful thing.

I have tried to include a book for every month of the Trump Presidency. However, I cheated — a little.

Every ten books or so, I include a trilogy connected by author or theme. I also included books to read right up to the 2020 inauguration, and a bonus one as well.

Reading is hard, especially books that you believe are written by people who are crazy or hateful or something. If you can’t do it all, I will include a key list of ten at the end.

 The first ten books serve as a basic introduction to political science, political philosophy and political history.

James Burnham’s Machiavellians is a book that will cure you of whatever naïve idealism you hold about politics — a bad habit I had long persisted with.

Secondly, the “two cultures” of humanities and sciences are bridged via Pinker’s The Blank Slate, a gentle introduction to the reality of (gosh!) biology and politics.

The presence of Carlyle and Henry Maine should be read with a mind that considers what happened in the 20th century, which is discussed in Equality or Liberty (from a political-theory- historical standpoint).

The central question, regarding the 20th century is: who-was-right? Reactionaries like Carlyle, or progressives like Walt Whitman?

The disaster of the 20th century from a moral, historical and progressive viewpoint is examined in Humanity. This is a tough book. What happened to the Enlightenment in the 20th century? Give yourself a gold star if you finish this book.

John Gray, meanwhile, takes aim at the idols of humanistic progressivism in Straw Dogs; Gray argues that “humanism” is Christianity without Christ.

Demonic Apes, and Among the Thugs, is a study of male violence. The first is biological, the second social. It will cure you of whatever (social) creationism you have about violence.

Hans Hermann Hoppe surveys the failures of democracy from an Austrian economic and historical standpoint, a great book to top of the list.

Thomas Sowell’s trilogy, meanwhile, systematically examines left and right political visions and subjects the left-wing vision to rigorous empirical and historical critique. Conflict of Visions is descriptive and analytical; the subsequent books, which form the trilogy, is the critique.

Part 1: The Red Pills.

1: The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. James Burnham.

2: ***The Conflict of Visions; The Quest for Cosmic Justice; Visions of the Anointed. *** Thomas Sowell.

3: The Blank Slate and the Modern Denial of Human Nature.  Stephen Pinker.

4: Latter-Day Pamphlets. Thomas Carlyle.

5:  Popular Government. Henry Maine.

6: Equality or Liberty. Erik Von Kunheldt-Leddhin.

7: Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century. Jonathan Glover.

8: The Demonic Ape. Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson. Among the Thugs. Bill Bufford.

9: Straw Dogs. John Gray.

10: Democracy: The God that Failed. Hans Hermann Hoppe.

Part 2: The Problem with Islam.

To understand the challenge of Islam to the progressive, liberal, democratic West, and indeed, any non-Islamic civilisation, the following books are essential. The first is political science; the second is theological and historical; the third, meanwhile, is polemical and written from the standpoint of a liberal homosexual; the fourth, however, is written from a standard, centrist conservative; the last is from a leading liberal (communist?) on the liabilities of liberalism.

11: The Clash of Civilisations. Samuel Huntington.

12: The Legacy of Jihad. Andrew. G. Bostom (ed).

13: While Europe Slept. Bruce Bawer.

14: Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. Christopher Caldwell.

15: Terror and Liberalism. Paul Berman.

Part 3: Quacks and Nostrums.

An idiosyncratic and incomplete survey of economics and the problems of contemporary economic organisation is next.

16: Basic Economics. Thomas Sowell.

17: The Failure of the New Economics. William Hazlitt.

18:  Turbo-Charged Capitalism. Edward Luttwak.

Part 4: The Suicide of Albion.

The Decline AND Decline of England is our next topic, useful for Americans, because it mirrors, in a different way, their own moral and social decline.

After Virtue is a philosophical and historical work by an Irish, former Marxist now Catholic philosopher, Alistair Macintyre. Virtue allows one to see how the background  philosophical and historical context of modern Europe (1500-19xx) sets the stage for the moral, social, and political decay observed in the following books.

Peter Hitchens is a tough read for a progressive, he is an acquired taste, but no one can match his knowledge of England’s history of decline and the inside story of it was accomplished.

Easy Meat should be read with the picture of Mary Wollstonecraft and Emmeline Pankhurst constantly in the forefront of one’s mind. Feminism: from suffrage to child sex slavery in less than a century.

No one writes better about the miserable existence of the underclass and the culture that made them better than Theodore Dalyrample, meanwhile.

To my mind, the following books are utterly damming of the entire progressive project: the welfare state; the importation of Muslims; the breakup of the traditional family and the Fabian socialists who made it all possible.

19: After Virtue. Alistair Macintyre.

20: ***The Abolition of Britain; The Abolition of Liberty; The Broken Compass.*** Peter Hitchens.

21: Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal. Peter McLoughlin

22: ***Life at the Bottom; Mandarins and the Masses. The New Vichy: Why Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarians.*** Theodore Dalrymple.

Part 5: Progress: from Protestantism to Progressivism.

What is the connection between Protestantism and Progressivism? John Gray, in Straw Dogs, covered this subject haphazardly. Below, however, is a more detailed set of sources. Crevald’s Equality, meanwhile, is an up to date restatement on the problem of equality.

23: Puritan Origins of American Patriotism. George McKenna.

24: Authoritarianism Socialism in America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement. Arthur Lippow

25: The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation. Richard M Gamble.

26: Equality: The Impossible Quest. Martin Van Creveld.

Part 6: The Ruling Elite and the Great Progressive Cultural Revolution.

Social and class analysis, urban chaos and the intellectual caste is our next topic. It ends with a dated, but very relevant, historical blast against leftism by Leddhin.

I don’t see how a progressive, liberal, socialist, democrat – or whatever – can maintain a clean conscience after reading Bobos, Homicide or Slaughter.  (I would dearly love to hear any apologetics.)

27: Coming Apart. Charles Murray.

28: ***The Bobos in Paradise. David Brooks; Homicide: Life on the Streets. David Simon; The Slaughter of the Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing .E. Michael Jones.***

29: Middle American Radicals. Sam Francis.

 30: Intellectuals and Society. Thomas Sowell; Mau Mauing The Flak Catchers. Thomas Wolfe; Leftism Revisited. Erik Von Kunheldt-Leddhin.

Part 7: The Modern Structure, the Minotaur and the Making of Modernity.  

31: The following reading is on the big beast itself — USG. I also include one book on the EU. I special, bonus book I recommend reading is Philip Dru: Administrator by Colonel House, a one-time, key adviser to the prince of progressivism, Woodrow Wilson. Dru lays out a progressive fantasy of a progressive (communist?) dictator re-ordering society. (Whoops, did I say I fantasy?)

You will never be able to view politics, power, modern history or America, in the same way after grappling with the following books. I know I couldn’t. In a sense, the gestalt switch is akin to moving from seeing the world as All Things Bright and Beautiful to Red in Tooth and Claw.

32: On Power: A Natural History of Its Growth. Bertrand De Jouvenel.

33: The Ruling Elite. Gaetano Mosca.

34: Three New Deals. Wolfgang Schivelbusch.  As We Go Marching. John. T Flynn.

35: Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. Carroll Quigley.

36: The Managerial Revolution. James Burnham.

37: Public Opinion. Walter Lippmann.

38: Propaganda. Edward Bernays.

39: The Power Elite. Charles Wright Mills.

40: The Secret Team. Leroy Fletcher Prouty.

41: The Invisible Government. Dan Smoot.

42: National Security and Double Government. Michael J. Glennon.

43:The Great Deception: The Secret History of The European Union. Christopher Booker and Richard North.

Part 8: The Modern Crisis and the Age of Rage, Anxiety, Confusion and Disruption.

The following books speak, in many ways, to the anxieties, problems and delusions of the modern age; essential reading for understanding the “resurgence” of “populism.”

43: Eurabia. Bat Ye’or; The Colonisation of Europe. Guillaume Faye; Who Are We? Samuel Huntington.

44: Mediocracy. Fabian Tassano. We Are Doomed. John Derbyshire. Leviathan and Its Enemies. Sam Francis.

 45: Civilisation and Its Enemies. The Suicide of Reason. The Next American Civil War. Lee Harris.

46: War of the Words; Storming the Castle; The Three Conjectures. Richard Fernandez.

Then, to complete the circle, written many decades ago, is Burnham’s crisp, clear and devastating analysis of the pathologies of liberalism —what today we call progressivism.

47: The Suicide of the West. James Burnham.

If you’re lazy, however, here is the Short-Course:

1:The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. James Burnham.

2:On Power. Bertrand De Jouvenel.

3:The Power Elite. Charles Wright Mills.

4:Coming Apart. Charles Murray.

5:Democracy: The God that Failed. Hans Hermann Hoppe.

6:Mediocracy. Fabian Tassano.

7:The Clash of Civilisations. Samuel Huntington.

8:Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century. Jonathan Glover.

9:Authoritarianism Socialism in America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement. Arthur Lippow.

10:The Suicide of the West. James Burnham.

Hard reading for sure.

But if you despair, cheer your self-up with the following video and remember: the world may be yours but nothing lasts forever.

Vincent Hanna, Belfast. March, 2017

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How Trump Won Part 11:Sam Altman is Still Not A Blithering Idiot.

Sam Altman is still a not “blithering idiot”, though he is an idiot.

Altman:

We should all feel a duty to try to understand the roughly half of the country that thinks we are severely misguided. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb thinks Sam, and those like him — the intellectual yet idiot class are, well, idiots:

https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577#.y9c9e0mly

 Altman:

I don’t understand how 43% of the country supports Trump. 

Maybe if he actually tried to understand all these idiots:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2016

Altman:

But I’d like to find out, because we have to include everyone in our path forward.

That’s the problem right there, people don’t want your future:

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-flight-93-election/

Altman:

If our best ideas are to stop talking to or fire anyone who disagrees with us, we’ll be facing this whole situation again in 2020.

Altman’s tribe is well beyond talking at this point:

https://thefederalist.com/2017/01/31/prominent-leftists-now-outright-condone-violence-oppose-trump/

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/763086/Trump-protest-violence-left-wing-Nazis-right-wing

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/prominent-leftists-celebrate-anti-milo-yiannopoulos-violence-at-berkeley/

http://abcnews.com.co/donald-trump-protester-speaks-out-i-was-paid-to-protest/

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/18/politics/project-veritas-action-robert-creamer-donald-trump-rallies/

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/10/26/project-veritas-illegal-20000-wire-transfer-to-aufc-caught-on-tape/

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/18/politics/mike-pence-north-carolina-republican-office/index.html

Red tolerance:

http://www.unz.com/isteve/masked-mob-violence-sends-pro-free-speech-middlebury-professor-to-hospital/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=masked-mob-violence-sends-pro-free-speech-middlebury-professor-to-hospital

Watch this video.

Then this video.

These children of the revolution are the way of the future, and they are not much interested in dialogue.

Altman:

That kind of diversity is painful and unpopular, but it is critical to health of a democratic and pluralistic society. 

Diversity + Proximity = War:

https://heartiste.wordpress.com/diversity-proximity-war-the-reference-list/

Progress and democracy in the 18th century brought us the French Revolution, the Jacobins, the reign of terror, and the cleansing of Catholics in the Vendée; in the last century, progress and democracy brought the world the Nazis and Hitler; in this century, progress and democracy brought the world ISIS and Bagdadi.

Is there some kind of pattern here? Everywhere that democracy and progress occurs, mass movements, drunk on mass violence, always result.

Oh, by-the-way, I should say, in case you’re wondering, I’m not American and have never been to America – but I understand, it seems, America better than most Americans.

I live in country that is democratic and diverse, however. And things like this happened:

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

Or this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)

We call it the troubles:

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

The traumas continue long after the troubles end:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-31736737

Surely people like Sam Altman, or Jerry Coyne, do not want this to happen to their own country? Because it will be 100x times worse if it does

Altman, at least, appears to want try to understand why people voted for Trump.

He even went on a little trip speaking to a diverse group of 100 people, or something.

 I have no idea as to what his intentions were. Did he really want to understand, or was it simply an empty gesture, an act of virtual signalling?

One of the problems, in the West today, is that what people say, and what they really think are moving further and further out of alignment. This is all part of the distinction between form and reality, that Burnham and Moldbug drew attention to. The problem, however, is that if the people with power and influence conflate form with reality, they run the risk of crashing as a consequence — which was the fate of Hillary Clinton. The other problem, meanwhile, is that if you realise that 25% or 40% or 50% or even 75% of people in your society lie, or refuse to reveal what they really think because of the thought police, or because fascist thugs will beat or kill them, then you have a serious problem of social trust and coordination on your hands.

So this stuck out to me when reading about Altman’s little fact finding mission:

Almost everyone I asked was willing to talk to me, but almost none of them wanted me to use their names—even people from very red states were worried about getting “targeted by those people in Silicon Valley if they knew I voted for him”.  One person in Silicon Valley even asked me to sign a confidentiality agreement before she would talk to me, as she worried she’d lose her job if people at her company knew she was a strong Trump supporter. 

We know, with certainty, that it is not the KKK or the fascist, white something or other that is responsible for this Orwellian situation.

In America of 2017, like in Europe, you can pretty much say and think what you like. If you advocate for ending the human race because of the forests, no one will bat an eye lid. Argue that men and women don’t exist and that boys should be dressed in hot pants in high school, people will yawn.

However, contravene Holy Writ and you’ll be in trouble.

Trust and cooperation in society depends, in part, on knowing how people will behave because you can trust their public statements. You can trust their public statements because there is a history of public statements matching public behaviour. Nevertheless, the West, like modern China, or today’s Saudi Arabia, is shot through with massive, pervasive, public deception. A society with this condition, may be stable, but it is fragile, and subject to shocks and surprises.

One recent example of form not matching reality was expectations around the impossibility of Brexit. However, there are many other examples, as I showed here.

So, assuming that Altman is genuine, sincere and serious, the problem for him goes much deeper than the fact that he — like so many others — have no idea what motivates Trump supporters; the problem, for Altman, is the fact that he has no critical understanding of his own beliefs, and the motivations of other people who he sees as allies.

Sam Harris, a super-smart Brahmin, seems to have this same problem as well. Watch this exchange between a “liberal” and a “communist” whom he initially considered an ally.

That exchange is the same phenomenon that Moldbug pointed out: liberals can be anti-communist on Monday, sceptical on Tuesday — out to lunch on Wednesday —but supportive on Thursday, part communist of Friday, liberal on Saturday, and spiritual on Sunday.

If you are on the left, what exactly is the difference between Socialism, Communism, Liberalism and Progressivism?

The Progressives teemed up with Uncle Joe Stalin to beat the bad Germans. Yet, Uncle Joe killed more people than Uncle Adolf — and in peacetime too. What would an alternative history, however, be like if they teemed up with Adolf and beat the bad Russians instead?

Would such a thing even be conceivable?

Sure.

Roosevelt and Churchill could have let Adolf knock out Joe Communist, while they knocked out the Nips. Then, after Adolf and Joe were exhausted, they would either let one side win, or knock em both out with a couple of Fat Boys.

Does it really stretch the imagination considering USG’s strategic partnership with Mao’s China, or today with Saudi Arabia?

Muslims apparently have a saying: me against my brother; me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother and cousin against the stranger. The USG of FDR were, if not brothers, then cousins of the USSR of Stalin (Man of Steel). The Nazis, however, were the strangers.

Parade, riot or bomb under the banner of red flags and golden symbols, prepare for a good time; parade, riot, or bomb with red, white and black flags, meanwhile, then expect the hammer of God.

Isn’t this a fascinating little fact? Set up a Stalin fan club, and people will think you are maybe a little queer, set up an Adolf……

Sam Altman, however, is evidently smart, and obviously rich, so it is the most natural thing in the world to just assume that he, like so many others, are right when it comes to politics, history, and what OUGHT to be done: moving forward together.

Yet, he’s not only an idiot, but a moral imbecile.

Take just one example. I have already covered this argument here with Kristof, but I will restate it.

Altman writes:

But the executive order from yesterday titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” is tantamount to a Muslim ban and requires objection.  I am obviously in favor of safety and rules, but broad-strokes actions targeted at a specific religious group is the wrong solution, and a first step toward a further reduction in rights.

In addition, the precedent of invalidating already-issued visas and green cards should be extremely troubling for immigrants of any country or for anyone who thinks their contributions to the US are important.  This is not just a Muslim ban.  This is a breach of America’s contract with all the immigrants in the nation.”

This is a very bad argument; in fact, it’s not even an argument — just two paragraphs of assertions and non-sequiturs. I’m not going to waste time unpacking this, but I’ll get to the core of the issue: War, Violence, Poverty, Tyranny etc.

Here is my argument.

First assume that USG is a global empire, an empire based on guns, gold (paper alas) and progressive, rule by bureaucrat, oligarchy.

Assume, further, that these people are not responsible to anyone except themselves.

They are arrogant, dangerous, and deluded, like the Mandarins in ancient China.

However, as Trump’s election showed, the oligarchies’ security design is not perfect. Thus, the state they control can be captured by outside actors like, how ancient China was conquered by the Mongols.

If these outside actors — call em Neo-Mongols — wanted to bring death and destruction to third world countries, or even some first world ones, no-one-is-going-to-stop-them. No one.

Regardless if you view USG as rational or irrational, Neo-Mongol or Neo-Calvin, it is a deadly, destructive machine — should you take it on, like, say, flying planes into its skyscrapers, you will probably be destroyed one way or the other.

Now, with those background assumptions out of the way, here is my first premise.

19 Muslim hijackers, executing the first move in a grand strategy, provoked one war directly, helped cause one war indirectly and probably contributed to a chain or destructive revolutions (the Arab Spring) in the Muslim world.

The inference I draw here is that is that these events have given both sides — USG and Islamists — all the reasons they need to fight a perpetual war against each other forever. Tit-for-tat.

Now for my second premise.

Such a global war, in the final analysis, is one that the Muslim world is likely not to win. For even if, somehow, Islam — broadly defined How Trump Won. Part 1: Patterns, Persuasion and the Path to Presidency. — triumphs over the West, its thirst for conquest, and desire for revenge, will not be sated.

Thus, Israel, Russia, India and China will have to deal with the problem. I assume their methods will not be as soft (relatively speaking) as the West; retaliation, in the final analysis, will likely involve massive, direct, systematic state violence against the entire Muslim polity — if the conflict, or threat, begins to escalate beyond a certain point.

The inference I draw then is that if one were a Muslim, especially a young peaceful Muslim, or even a violent one, it would be wise to end the war with the West, and it certainly would be wise to not-actually-win-it.

Now, for my third premise.

USG’s war with “Islamic radicalism” as a result of 9/11, is responsible  for over a million Muslim deaths, many of whom were women and children.

Nevertheless, this war is very far from over; so, we must ask: how many more people, including Muslims, will die? Will two million be dead in 15 years? Will the number be 4 million in thirty? Ten million in fifty? A hundred million by the end of the century? Where will it stop?

What about their rights? How does perpetual war help them?

In case I am not making myself clear here, let me be explicit.

Here is my conclusion.

If America had barred all Muslims from America, or even just all Muslims from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, following Bin Laden’s declaration of war in 1996, then all those Muslims would be alive, and all those westerners as well, because Muhammad Atta would could not have set foot in the country — never-mind fly a plane into the World Trade Centre.

Would such a ban have been morally correct? Would it have been just?

As a consequentialist, I think it probably would be. I believe when historians write the history of this era they will be more sympathetic to my kind of reasoning that either Kristof’s or Altman’s.

If nearly three thousand dead Americans provoked the kind of response it did, imagine what the reaction would be like if thirty-thousand Americans die from a dirty bomb attack — a bomb built and deployed by a Pakistani student of Harvard, perhaps?

What would the response be, especially to the left and their “open-borders”, if a military base is attacked with Sarin gas and thousands of military men and women are slaughtered?

So, my question would be the following: if you want peace, tolerance and liberty, why support or tolerate policies that would, will, and now are, contributing to the rejection of those very values?

Of course, you can argue, like Noam Chomsky, that violence is not the answer, but that won’t get you anywhere. At best, you get what we have now, the world’s biggest, baddest military having to fight with two hands tied behind its back.

And when the soldiers die, or God-ever-forbid-lose, then you can bet your ass you will hear “stabbed-in-the-back” and it will be entirely correct.

However, if men like Altman, or Chomsky, or better yet, if institutions like the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times and Harvard argued, with all their passionate intensity, that permitting Muslim immigration is bad, stupid and harmful you can bet the house that they would win.

But they don’t. So, perhaps the most interesting and important question, historians of this period will want to ask and answer is why this is……

Now, here is my explanation.

The real point, to begin with, is that a rational discussion of the costs and consequences, and the reality of USG’s imperial politics, has not only been not discussed by people like Altman and Kristof or Harris  — they appear to not even be aware that such a discussion should or could occur.

(Such discussions, do, however, occur among the elites.)

It’s really very simple folks:

Nothing will contribute more to the mass murder of Muslims, than importing millions of them into the West.

One the one hand, the terror attacks, sexual assaults and the growing cultural anxieties in the West, to say nothing of the rise of “populism”, will further create the conditions, and the impetus for the centralisation of the state: the Minotaur.

On the other hand, it will allow for an endless number of wars across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia — a forever war abroad, and an endless police state at home: the triumph of the Minotaur.

But on the gripping hand, the “liberal” values that Altman, Kristof, Sam Harris, Jerry Coyne, Andrew Sullivan, Virginia Heffernan and Ben Affleck will all be stamped out by the Minotaur.

(The prospects of liberal freedom surviving in a time of war, and economic distress, have been covered before by earlier writers who despaired over what they were seeing in America in the 1930’s – and they weren’t talking about “America First.”)

And in the great, once long repressed, anger that will pour forth, Muslims and leftists will find themselves at the mercy of technocratic, scientifically planned, and expertly engineered industrial slaughter.

“We had no choice folks! We-had-no-choice.”

As Mao tells us: ” political power comes from the barrel of the gun.”

And who commands the guns? Who commands the troops? Who commands the gold?

The Jews!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have met quite a few people with guns, even fired a few myself, but I’m always careful to be polite — wouldn’t want anyone to have grudge right?

Speaking of Sam Harris, again, he may be bamboozled politically, but this bobo New Yorker is so blue pilled she may as well be a smurf.
For our future Chinese historians, here is how, non-ruling, Brahmins understand political reality in 2017:

That being said, conservatives and other assorted @$$holes are manifestly not marginalized, oppressed or less-privileged individuals or groups. They control the government of the most powerful nation on Earth, have done so for decades if not centuries, and show no sign of retreat (quite the opposite). They have taken over state and local governments across the nation and are eagerly destroying civil liberties, labor unions, the human right to bodily autonomy, the air and the water, the rule of law, living wages, the country’s standing in the world, public education, the insufficient social safety net, crops and coastlines, the wall of separation between church and state, the wall of separation between big business and government, and the lives of millions of innocent people, including children, here and around the globe. (This is not a complete list of grievances.)

 

(What’s fascinating about this is that she is 99% percent correct, it is just that she fails to grasp the actual source, structure and composition of power — a deficiency, no doubt, brought about by a lack of historical knowledge, thanks to the Cathedral.)

So this is why I think Sam Altman is an idiot, though not a “blithering one”.

He is an idiot, like Nicholas Kristof, because he assumes, without reflection, a received set of beliefs about politics that lead to war, poverty and tyranny.

Worse, however, is that Altman’s values and beliefs serve and advance the interests of USG (or the Minotaur’s) imperial policies. They will hate this fact, they will hate it because it is true.

The difference between me and Sam Altman, despite the fact he is American, and I’m not, is that he is super-rich, and I’m not; so, he uses his riches and his technology to promote what can only be described as evil: War, Poverty and Tyranny.

He may hope, then, that Jihadi John types never realise the role that people like him play in the bombing of Muslim countries. How many countries have USG bombed now anyway?

We have Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. And 8 years of it was under Obama.

Altman worries about the constitution. Was Obama’s actions in Libya, Syria or Yemen constitutional?

So what should someone like Sam Altman do?

What should we all do?

I think we should do nothing.

Recognise and accept that we are all slaves, some years a little more freedom, some years a little less – usually less and less.

Once the “noise and confusion” lifts from your head, like the fog of tiredness after dropping moda, you realise that your opinions about what the Minotaur should or should not do, how the Modern Structure should or should not be reformed is entirely meaningless, pointless, and vain.

The best thing men like Altman could do is to convince people to simply give up caring what happens in America, in the world, and in the USG.

The proviso being, however, that all men and women with power and authority: the military, the corporates and the politicos all come together and find a way to actually run the country, not like a country, but like a business — a business with a proper, normal management structure, and a formalised set of laws and rules.

Everyone eats; everyone makes out; everyone get’s a taste; maximise the “cut up, the money, the spread.”

In short, USG needs a Michael Corleone: to move from New York to Nevada; to move from the semi-formalised, cartel like, Mafia resembling, structure and management practices, to crisp, clear, sunny Corporate Governance.

America’s business is business. America is not a charity, a country club, or a fucking TV show, but a business.

Democratic Dissent.

So, I was mistaken, or really just joking, when I said that democracy was dead — it was in fact just dormant.

When the “black” beast of democracy awakens, however, it is a terrifying thing, as so many have now discovered. And it is only be getting warmed up.

Nietzsche’s “blonde beast” of…..profit and pleasure……. President Donald Trump!

King of New York!

King of America!

You see, Donald Trump is Democracy.

Trump exhibits all the virtues, and all the vices, though still rather mild, of Democracy.

Democracy, true Democracy, real, unmanaged Democracy, is a short and fragile, destructive thing.

A real democracy, sooner or later, will terminate itself in either the rule of the one, or of the few.

Donald Trump is therefore America’s last President.

How many more elections can America really go through?

1?

2?

3?

4?

Something has to give.

Let’s try to chart some possibilities for the future.

Possibility 1:

Trump carries on, he makes some changes, but his reform is “repealed and replaced” either by an “outer party” Republican restoration, or an “inner party” Democrat one. Thus, progress continues, indeed, it accelerates until…….

Possibility 2:

Trump carries on, however, the Cold War waged against him provokes move and then counter-move, until, at some point, a Rubicon moment occurs (maybe it already has), and a 4th gen civil war (as described in Cracked) occurs where either, after much death and destruction, a right-wing, nationalist, militarist, regime triumphs, or a leftist, authoritarian, militarist regime triumphs.

Possibility 3:

 Trump carries on, and the events described in 2 play out; however, a global, total war breaks out — perhaps because USG is distracted. What happens after that…….

 Possibility 4:

Trump carries on, succeeds in his reforms, wins re-election and reforms even more; thus, Bannon’s goal of “deconstruction of the administrative state” succeeds and the progressive left go down to defeat, as their institutions are systematically dismantled. The result is a regime that probably resembles Erdogan’s Turkey, or Xi’s China.

Whatever happens, the future, as Edward Luttwak mordantly points out, is basically fascist — whether left, right or whatever.

Triumph! — of the Minotaur!

Trump’s triumph was a result of his skills in persuasion; he triumphed as a result of a political class who are politically deluded and badly decayed; he triumphed, ultimately, because the Modern Structure is in a downward death spiral.

As Captain Willard said in Apocalypse Now: “The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away.”

They just did.

There is no road back to the past now road back to the past now — progressive or conservative.

Proceed to the final part.

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How Trump Won Part 10b: Moldbug Versus the Minotaur.

(Before beginning, you should read the earlier part here. )

Moldbug’s Mission.

The greatest intellectual of our age, Menicus Moldbug, and his project of “reactionary enlightenment” addresses the main problem in human life:

Violence.

Moldbug:

The basic idea of formalism is just that the main problem in human affairs is violence. The goal is to design a way for humans to interact, on a planet of remarkably limited size, without violence..

Especially organized violence. Next to organized human-on-human violence, a good formalist believes, all other problems – Poverty, Global Warming, Moral Decay, etc, etc, etc – are basically insignificant. Perhaps once we get rid of violence we can worry a little about Moral Decay, but given that organized violence killed a couple of hundred million people in the last century, whereas Moral Decay gave us “American Idol,” I think the priorities are pretty clear.

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted.html

Moldbug:

One of the main reasons I started this blog is that I don’t see how the BDH-OV conflict can end until a lot more people are willing to speak frankly about what’s actually going on. Wringing our hands in a vain expression of “unity” will not do the job – especially because some of the most interesting tropes of the conflict are issues on which, in my opinion, both sides are profoundly detached from reality.

In my opinion this euphemistic approach to what pretends to be a conflict of ideas and ideals, but is in fact an ordinary and rather tawdry case of communal violence, is inseparable from the disaster of democracy. As Clausewitz observed, war and politics are a continuum. Representative democracy is a limited civil war in which the armies show up, get counted, but don’t actually fight. The BDH and OV factions refrain – mostly – from inciting or participating in outright warfare, for one reason: it is not in either’s interest. If this ever changes, they’ll be at each others’ throats like Hutus and Tutsis.

….

Democracy, like all conventions of limited war, is fragile. It’s hard to establish and easy to destroy. One of my main concerns is that I think the principal check that keeps the US from degenerating into actual violence is the 75-year-old informational dominance of “responsible” broadcast and newspaper journalism. This system is dying. It is being replaced by people like Amanda Marcotte and Michelle Malkin. And their followers, if not them personally, seem to have enough pure, 24-karat hate stored up for ten or fifteen really juicy civil wars.”

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/05/bdh-ov-conflict_07.html

And that’s what happening isn’t it? The “Narrative” as Richard Fernandez calls it is busted. As the Turk said in the Godfather: “The Don, he was slipping. Could I have got to him 10 years ago?” Would Donald Trump even possible twenty years ago?

Moldbug’s claim that the Cathedral’s dominance over information was slipping has proved to be insightful and correct. For example, read the following two articles, one from the New York Times; the second from the Guardian. The articles are dripping with the kind of “formal” Orwellian speak that reactionaries diagnose and expose. See:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth

To me, who has now seen the (dark) light I see that the above articles demonstrate that Moldbug’s analysis has proven to be fundamentally correct by events. How? Direct democracies are unstable, prone to violence, and tyrannical; thus, indirect or party/caucus machines emerge to control the violent temper of people. However, these things shut out the Brahmin, bobo, intellectual middle-class types, never mind the fact that the caucus system is little better than direct democracy. Consequently, the Brahmin caste assert control of politics by capturing and controlling the production, distribution and supply of information: universities and the press. Thus, per Walter Lippmann, the Brahmin, progressive caste, engage in “manufacturing consent”.

They just lost their monopoly, however.

Nevertheless, and this vitally important, the fact that the Cathedral’s power is slipping should not fill anyone with joy. Why? Because it might, if not already has, usered in a Thucydidean Trap:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-real-thucydides-trap-will-red-blue-america-go-war-19063

Moldbug:

From the reservationist perspective, democracy is obviously the cause of democide – because the Age of Democracy is also the Age of Democide. The last major outbreak of indiscriminate mass murder in Europe was the massacre of Beziers in the Albigensian Crusade, which is easy to explain as a breakdown in military discipline, and whose memory also has suspicious links to the anticlerical Black Legend.

This was in 1209. (Possibly some nasty things also happened in the Thirty Years War. But defenestration is not democide. Nor is famine or the pest. And even if we admit that the Sack of Magdeburg was no picnic, it was again a failure of discipline – the opposite of Eichmann.)

Then, 780 years later, the association between popular government and democide opens with the French Revolution (if not with Cromwell’s plantation of Ireland), and continues to pop up everywhere. Every sovcorp which has ever committed democide has claimed to be the one true representative of the People.  Black Legend notwithstanding, significant cases of monarchist mass murder are hard to find.

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/how-dawkins-got-pwned-part-7.html
(Speaking of the “plantation of Ireland” you should read the following:

https://atlanticcenturion.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/planting-america-state-sponsored-demographic-change-and-the-precedent-of-ulster/

Could you imagine someone from the Guardian having to confront such a thing? Even if the above article is wrong in some matters, such as causes and intentions, there is no question that the phenomenon is real, the plans have been announced, and the rationale exists.

(I discuss the matter of “electing” a new people here, and here.)

Moldbug get’s at the fundamental core of the problem:
In other words, violence equals conflict plus uncertainty.
Violence of any size makes no sense without uncertainty.
http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted.html

The key question is how to remove that uncertainty. To remove uncertainty, means removing politics (in the pejorative sense). To remove politics requires removing democracy: restructuring both the design (hardware) of the state (It should be designed the same way the Apple corporation is BTW, which gave us Ipads, not inquisitions); secondly, it requires eliminating, not only progressivism from control of the state, but any kind of idealism as well, for that is a source uncertainty as well.

And why would anyone want to do that? Consider what Moldbug says here:

Actually, my daughter’s preschool is literally in a ruin – that is, a (nicely renovated) space which used to be part of a Catholic church.  (The preschool is the former convent.  The rest of the church remains a ruin proper.)  Where are the people who used to pray in this church?  They fled.  Why?  Because they were afraid for their physical safety.

I know, I know.  It’s gauche to even bring this kind of stuff up.  It’s not part of our consensus reality.  It’s not part of our consensus history.  When it comes to actual history, however, the global decline of security in the second half of the 20th century is (I assert) the salient phenomenon of our era. Much as the fall of the Roman Empire is the salient phenomenon of 4th-century AD Europe.  (Note that while our historians would desperately love to find one, just one, member of the exquisitely literate 4th-century AD European culture who would even mention that the Roman Empire was falling apart, no such luck.  It’s all wall-to-wall Prudentius and Sidonius.)

Consider our alien in Alpha Centauri.  His telescope is just a telescope.  He no speaka the English.   He is absolutely invulnerable to our most respected propaganda authorities and in particular has no way to read the great Harvard scholar Steven Pinker – truly a Prudentius for our age – who has discovered through elaborate statistical models that the 20C was not, in fact, the golden age of titanic mass murder and brazen petty crime, but the dawning of a new age of Aquarius in which all will have peace and prosperity.  (Even Pinker is a piker next to the Times, which has published at least 547 stories about NYC’s miraculous conquest of its blatantly managed crime statistics, and precisely 2 about the hospital statistics which show a parallel doubling in actual assault victims.  It’s always so easy to lie to those who want to be lied to – you hardly even need statistics.)

But his is an excellent telescope. So our alien can see the fact that many parts of all, and all parts of some, American cities that were thriving in 1950, have now fallen into chaos and ruin.  On the other hand, he can gaze admiringly at the thriving cafes of University Avenue in Palo Alto, Ausonius’ Moselle born anew, full of beautiful young people adoring the perfectly antialiased individual subpixels of their new Retina iPads.  Which of these phenomena will he find more relevant?  Which is the narrative, which the distraction?

Continuing the comparison to the fall of Rome, one of the interesting features we see is that while technological competence is certainly an indicator of a successful civilization, it is also a lagging indicator. Civilization produces technology, not the other way around.  When civilization falls, technology is not the first but the last thing to fall.  Yes, technology does decline in the fall of Rome.  No, it has not declined in our era – though its advance has certainly slowed a great deal.  But the centuries of European technology decline are 400-700 AD, a point at which surely any historian would admit that the Roman polity has already been going to the dogs for two centuries minimum.

Am I too hard on Sam Altman?  After all, he admits there’s a problem.  He doesn’t admit this problem – but isn’t his point basically the same?  That something isn’t working?  My America is going to the dogs and lies in ruins all around me.  His America has just turned the friction up too high on its hedonic treadmill.  But it’s the same, isn’t it?  Sort of?

Realizing that something in the 20th-century model of governance, as taught by the best and brightest of Harvard, Stanford, the NYT and other fine institutions of papally infallible veracity, isn’t working out quite right, is indeed a step in the right direction.  Everybody’s going to have their own particular beef.  Mine, as we’ve seen, is that 75 years of this rigorously scientific system of government has reduced what was once America’s fourth-largest city to a demon-haunted slum – and while extreme, this outcome is anything but an exception.

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/sam-altman-is-not-blithering-idiot.html

The slaughter of cities was not an accident – it was planned. See:

If the Minotaur can reduce several American cities to ruin in peacetime and convince people that it represents progress, is there any diabolical scheme that it is not capable of?

 

 

 

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How Trump Won Part 10a: Moldbug Versus the Minotaur.

The Panic

The Fear

The Panic

The Fear

The Panic

The Fear

The Panic

The Fear

The Horror! The Horror!

State making, in practice, is a bloody business. Britain, of which the United States may be seen as a philosophically consistent duplicate, had rough-cut the pattern of ‘separation of powers’ taken by the founding fathers as their constitutional matrix only as a result of repeated internal conflicts, of which its own seventeenth-century civil war was but the most politically explicit. For all its high-mindedness, however, the United States constitution is sprinkled with blood, not only that of the British redcoats who fought to deny the colonists their independence but also of the loyalists who opposed independence as an ideal. The reasons for which they chose to do so were complex, and by no means all were extinguished by Washington’s victory. ‘Sectionalism’ was one: the belief that the interests of any one region of settlement would not necessarily be best served by a sovereign government planted elsewhere on American soil. The dispersion of settlement, already vast in 1776, underlay that calculation. Its enormous extension during the nineteenth century lent that calculation renewed force. It was felt most strongly of all in the Southern states, bedded in their slave economies, which they were neither willing nor able to transform, which they knew were repugnant to their fellow citizens of other sections, and which they could defend only by a manipulation of the constitutional machinery which a growing majority of Americans thought alien to its informing principles. America was thus brought, in the 1860s, to confront an internal contradiction in its politics, of a sort all too familiar to the Europeans whom the New World denounced as sunk in sin, which proved to be capable of resolution only by the bad, old method of violence.

The Mask of Command: A Study of Generalship. John Keegan

Nietzsche said that the state is the “coldest of cold monsters.”

The Minotaur.

Why are people so scared of Donald Trump becoming President? And now that he has, why all the outrage, even from usually sober-minded people?

The obvious answer is that if he became President, Trump would be the most powerful man in the world. A man who literally had the power of life and death in his hands; indeed, he would have the fate of the entire human race in his hands – the fate of humanity in fact!

We have covered how the Cathedral manufactures hysteria and opposition to Trump here, here and here.

Nevertheless should we fear Trump? Should we fear what he might do?

Well, can anyone really be trusted with that kind of power?

More importantly, can we trust the democratic process to produce reliable leaders? And if we cannot trust this process, what can we trust?

People’s fears are not just over an nuclear exchange; it also extends to things such as “women’s rights” or “equality.”

The assumption seems to be that if the State giveth, it can taketh away.

Though this almost always false, there are one or two times a progressive reversal has occurred. Maybe one day, like in Iran, women will be forced to adopt the traditional style of clothing at the behest of the Supreme Leader. A return to this perhaps?

What we really have to confront is the Minotaur. For the power that Trump now wields, was prepared for him, incrementally, with the best of intentions and as a result of drift and mastery that no one person, or any group, is responsible for.

The Minotaur is not the State itself, though it is in part.

The Minotaur is the process by which power operates, how power grows, and why it does so.

We cannot run from the Minotaur, for it runs after you; fight it, even weaken it, and it will only grow bigger. Embrace it and you will likely be provided with comfort and ease, though never affection. Serve it, make it stronger, and you will be strong too — for a while, though the rewards of service diminish year after year.

Another way of looking at the Minotaur is that it is the ultimate system trap.

Either way, with the exception of a few great men of history, no one has any real executive control in government any more. Can anyone escape?

We are all slaves of the Minotaur, in other words.

 We have a new boss, however.

Yessa Boss!

Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election. It was, and is, a hostile takeover. His success has energised the defeated, his Presidency will mean an expansion of the state (its military wing anyway); much of the rest of the world now, however, exists in passive terror of what will happen.

Clearly, there is some kind of fear that Trump will act like an authoritarian, or a tyrant.

However, what if he just “enslaved” everyone?

What would that look like though?

What would modern slavery look like?

What is slavery?

Slavery can be defined as the ownership and control of one human by another.

To own something means that you have a legal right to control it, and to be compensated if someone damages it. This implies, of course, that the legal authorities have a duty to protect someone’s property: i.e. a slave.

To control something means that if you desire X and you do A then X will happen and you have the means to do.

So, if the master wants his slave to dig a hole in the field he tells him to do so. If, however, verbal commands are not enough then physical means can be employed such as whipping. Of course, threats of punishment may be enough, and the threats need not be of a harsh physical kind: threating to withhold food, or other comforts and pleasures, may be sufficient to motivate.

In a master/slave relationship there is a requirement that the master provide safety, shelter and food for the slave. In return, the slave is duty bound to obey the master in all things as per the legal contract.

Modern welfare states have legal duties to their slaves such as:

1: To not kill them, unless it is necessary in order to prevent a serious imminent crime against another slave.

2: To provide food, shelter, education, healthcare and employment, pensions and end of life care.

3: To provide care and support for any children their slaves may have.

Modern states, moreover, have — or rather assert — the right to:

4: Control the education, information, and the upbringing environment of young and mature slaves.

5: Decide what kinds of things its slaves are permitted and not permitted to say and to wear in public.

6: Decide what kinds of substances, and in what quantities, a slave may consume.

7: Control what their slaves can and cannot sell, to whom, and under what conditions.

8: Decide how much money their slaves must pay the tax collector.

9: Decide what age they can work at, what time they must stop at, and what age they must retire at.

10: Decide if they can have children and if they can keep them.

11: Decide if their slaves should be committed to insane asylums (mental health hospitals).

12: Command and Control their slaves in times of war, or national emergency. For example, states can draft slaves into the military, or the factory.

13: Decide on various punishments for their slaves who have broken laws set forth by the masters.

14: Execute their slaves for serious offences.

15: Can sell their slaves, if they are in prison, to other parties who aim to profit from the use of their labour.

Modern states, such as the United States, the European states and China have done all of the above.

They do not call the people slaves, they call them citizens; they do not call it slavery, they call it democracy, or socialism or something.

 The modern Western states have combined the worst elements of Orwell and Huxley into one, which is one of the reasons why the Western system is so much more resilient than Communism.

Nevertheless, whatever you think of the consequences, the structure is decaying, it is unstable.

Consequently, the capacity for mass murder and tyranny on a scale that dwarfs the 20th century exists. Mass conscription; total war; total control of minds and bodies.

We must understand how this monster came to be, how the process of power came to feed it, and what, if anything, can be done to stop it.

I am going to present some passages from two authors and two books that, thanks to Moldbug, have proved deeply (darkly) enlightening in understanding history, politics and democracy.

The two authors are Bertrand De Jouvenel and his book On Power: A Natural History of its Growth; the second is Erik Von Ritter Kuehnelt-Leddihn and his book Liberty or Equality.

The following extracts, with some commentary, is mostly from the first chapter of On Power which is titled The Minotaur Presented.

The Progress of Power.

The war through which we have lived has surpassed in savagery and destructive force any yet seen by the Western World.”

(Christopher Coker claims, correctly that each global war, which includes the Napoleonic war, has always been worse.)

In this war everyone—workmen, peasants, and women alike—is in the fight, and in consequence everything, the factory, the harvest, even the dwelling-house, has turned target. As a result the enemy to be fought has been all flesh that is and all soil, and the bombing plane has striven to consummate the utter destruction of them all.”

(In a democracy, since everyone is equal, everyone is an equal target.)

The war would have counted fewer participants, it would have wrought a less frightful havoc, had not certain passions, fiercely and unanimously felt, so transformed men’s natures that a total distortion of their normal modes of doing became possible. The task of stirring and sustaining these passions has been that of a munition of war without which the others must have proved ineffectual—propaganda. Savagery in act is sustained by savagery of feelings; this has been the work of propaganda.”

(Nazi Germany, The Allies, including the Communists, all used propaganda. Today, only the Allies exist, as does propaganda.)

“The most surprising feature of the spectacle which we now present to ourselves is that we feel so little surprise at it.”

(How telling. Just like today, with either drone strikes, operations in numerous countries, or indeed terror attacks in the homelands – nothing but apathy and indifference.)

In like manner, the enemy who, to render its bodies more docile, mobilizes the thoughts and feelings of men, must be copied by the other side, who will otherwise fight at a disadvantage. Thus it comes about that, just as duellists follow each other’s thrusts and feints, nations at war copy each other’s “total” methods.”

(The logic of conflict and competition. The escalation trap. The Hobbesian Trap.)

War is not necessarily, has not always been, what we see it today.”

“In the time of Napoleon only the men of military age were taken— and not all of them, for as a general rule the Emperor would call up only half a class. All the rest of the population were left, apart from having to pay war taxes of moderate size, to lead their normal lives.

In the time of Louis XIV less still was taken: conscription was unknown, and the private person lived outside the battle.”

For an explanation, then, of the evil which besets us we must look not to the actual events which we see, but to history.)

(When you think in terms of systems, behaviour A is explained by a prior cause B; however, the behaviours usually exhibit a pattern that can be seen over time – history. Just looking at the facts is not history, however.History is interpretation and explanation. A system’s thinker explains behaviour by explaining it as a result of the structure, design, purpose, incentives and feedback mechanisms of the system – which is what De Jouvenel does, as we shall see.)

What is the continuously operative reason which has made ever wider the area of warfare? (By “area of warfare” I mean, and shall mean throughout, the extent, whether more or less complete, to which the forces of society are sucked into it.)”

“the struggle to magnify itself is of Power’s essence,”

War in those days was always a small-scale affair—for the simple reason that Power was a small-scale affair and entirely lacked those two essential controls, the conscription of men and the imposition of taxes.”

“Only at the war’s end, when sacrifice had become second nature, was it possible to establish a levy permanently—the taille (poll-tax), as it was called—for the purpose of maintaining an army on a permanent footing in the shape of the orderly companies.”

(Appetite grows with the feeding. Soldiers need to eat, and for them to eat, they must be paid. For soldiers to be paid, there must be either taxes or plunder. However, once you have the means, because of an army, to tax, why would you ever want to get rid of it?)

“And now indeed Power had taken a big step forward.”

“How to do it? How increase the share of the national wealth which Power takes and converts into strength?

So long as it lasted, the monarchy never dared attempt the conscription of men. It always hired its soldiers for cash.

Now, its civil duties, which, by the way, it came to perform quite well, justified it in acquiring a legislative capacity—a thing unknown to the Middle Ages, but with possibilities of growth. This legislative capacity carried in its womb the right to impose taxes, though the period of gestation was to be a long one.”

To say that the monarchy did no more than increase the size of armies would be ridiculous. That it established internal order, that it protected the weak against the strong, that it raised the community’s standard of life, that it conferred great benefits on industry, commerce, and agriculture—all that is well enough known.

But, for the very reason that it had to make itself competent in the role of benefactor, it had to set up in concrete form a governmental machine—an executive, laws, a legislature—which may fairly be compared to a power house setting the governed in motion by means of ever more powerful controls.

And it is by means of these controls, operated from this power that Power has become able, whenever war is actual or impending, to make such exactions from its people as were never conceived by a feudal monarch in his dreams.

Therefore the extension of Power, which means its ability to control ever more completely a nation’s activities, is responsible for the extension of war.”

“When the people upset the Power of kings, it was, so they thought, of just these burdens that they were ridding themselves. It was the burdens of taxation and, above all, military conscription which they hated. That being so, it is not a little surprising to see these burdens grow heavier under an up-to-date regime, and most surprising of all to see conscription instituted, not by absolute monarchy, but as the result of its fall.

Taine remarks that it was the present threat and past experience of invasion and its sufferings which won the people’s consent to conscription.

The people conceived of conscription as an accidental and temporary necessity. But it became permanent and established when, after victory and peace had been achieved, the people’s Government kept it on. Thus, Napoleon kept it on in France after the Treaties of Luneville and Amiens, and the Prussian Government kept it on in Prussia after the Treaties of Paris and Vienna.”

( The epochal moment in American history is when USG became an Empire. And it became an Empire because of war. The New Deal and the Second World War was the bitch and bastard that fathered the Modern Structure. )

“As war has followed war, the burden of conscription has grown heavier.”

There it holds court along with the friend of its youth, its twin brother, that comes always just before or after it—with universal suffrage; both of them brought to birth at about the same time, the one bringing in its train, more or less openly and completely, the other, both of them the blind and terrible guides or masters of the future, the one placing in the hands of every adult person a voting paper, the other putting on his back a soldier’s knapsack.”

“How very strange! When their masters were kings, the peoples never stopped complaining at having to pay war. taxes. Then, when they have overthrown these masters and taken to taxing themselves, the currency in which they pay is not merely a part of their incomes but their very lives!

How do we explain this amazing somersault?”

“All that has happened is that the royal power house has been improved on: its controls, moral and material, have been made progressively more efficient so as to drive ever deeper into society and to take from it in an ever tighter clutch its goods and men.”

“This Power [said Marx] with its vast bureaucratic and military organization and its complicated and artificial mechanism, this frightful parasite which enmeshes as in a net the body of French society and obstructs all its pores, started at the time of absolute monarchy, when the feudal system, in whose overthrow it helped, was in decline. . . . The effect of overthrows of Power has been merely to improve the government machine, not to smash it. The political parties which in turn fought for Power conceived of the seizure of this vast edifice as the spoils of victory.”

“In later times its growth has continued at an accelerated pace, and its extension has brought a corresponding extension of war. And now we no longer understand the process, we no longer protest, we no longer react.”

Power has to thank the smoke-screen in which it has wrapped itself. Formerly it could be seen, manifest in the person of the king, who did not disclaim being the master he was, and in whom human passions were discernible. Now, masked in anonymity, it claims to have no existence of its own, and to be but the impersonal and passionless instrument of the general will.

But that is clearly a fiction.

(An adaptive fiction.)

By a fiction, or, as some would say, by an abstraction, it is claimed that the General Will, which in reality emanates from the persons invested with political power, emanates from a collective being, the Nation, of which the rulers are nothing more than the instruments; and the rulers are always anxious to drive this idea into the heads of their peoples. They well understand its usefulness to them in making their power or their tyranny acceptable.

(Hence the incentive to create “formulas” or engage in “manufacturing consent”.)

Today as always Power is in the hands of a group of men who control the power house.”

(All governments are oligarchies.)

“All that has changed is that it has now been made easy for the ruled to change the personnel of the leading wielders of Power. Viewed from one angle, this weakens Power, because the wills which control a society’s life can, at the society’s pleasure, be replaced by other wills, in which it feels more confidence.

But, by opening the prospect of Power to all the ambitious talents, this arrangement makes the extension of Power much easier. Under the ancien regime, society’s moving spirits, who had, as they knew, no chance of a share of Power, were quick to denounce its smallest encroachment. Now, on the other hand, when everyone is potentially a minister, no one is concerned to cut down an office to which he aspires one day himself, or to put sand in a machine which he means to use himself when his turn comes. Hence it is that there is in the political circles of a modern society a wide complicity in the extension of Power.”

(Another adaptive feature of democracy, but in terms of good governance one that is utterly damming.)

“a Power which was at once widespread and weak. But it is of Power’s essence not to be weak. Circumstances arise which make the people themselves want to be led by a powerful will. Then comes the time when whoever has taken hold of Power, whether it be a man or a gang, can make fearless use of its controls. These users quickly demonstrate the crushing enormity of Power. They are thought to have built it, but they did not. They are only its bad tenants.”

The power house was there before them: they do no more than make use of it. The giant was already up and about: they do no more than furnish him with a terrible spirit. The claws and talons which he then makes felt grew in the season of democracy. It is he that mobilizes the population, but the principle of conscription was founded in a democratic time. He is the despoiler of wealth, but democracy provided him with the inquisitorial mechanism of taxation which he uses. The tyrant would not derive legitimacy from the plebiscite if the general will had not already been proclaimed the sufficient source of authority.”

Democracy, then, in the centralizing, pattern-making, absolutist shape which we have given to it is, it is clear, the time of tyranny’s incubation.”

“Can anyone doubt that a state which binds men to itself by every tie of need and feeling will be that much the better placed for devoting them all one day to the dooms of war? The more departments of life that Power takes over, the greater will be its material resources for making war; the more clearly seen the services which it renders, the readier will be the answer to its summons. And will anyone be so bold as to guarantee that this vast mechanism of state will never fall into the hands of a glutton of empire? Is not the will to Power rooted deep in human nature, and have not the outstanding qualities of leadership needed for the handling of a machine which goes ever from strength to strength often had for companion the lust of conquest?

Here is Leddhin on the consequences that democracy, nationalism and collectivism ushered in for warfare:

Nationalism was always closely allied with modern militarism, which in turn has strong totalitarian, democratic and collectivistic implications. The principle of the French Revolution that all men have equal rights and hence equal duties, introduced conscription and thus paved the way to our total wars—Foch’s “wars of unrestrained conduct” (guerres aux allures déchaînées). James Bryce, several generations ago, had warned us that “the racial or commercial antagonisms of democracies are as fertile in menaces to peace “The optimism expressed by some democrats, especially those in the thraldom of Wilsonian expectations, was bound to come to grief. Georges Sorel had no illusions about aristocratic oligarchies having the least enthusiasm for fighting long-drawn-out total wars. And Anatole France, surely no reactionary, flayed the merciless and pitiless cruelty of democratic warfare, with its innate tendency toward unconditional-surrender formulas and struggles to the bitter end. Jacob Burckhardt added cynically that the male tendency to appear brave under the eyes of women was another element adding to the great collective savagery in collective warfare.

Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Liberty or Equality.

De Jouvenel on the future of leaders:

Now it suffices, as we have just seen and as the whole of history teaches us, for only one of the great powers of the future to produce a leader who will convert into sinews of war the powers taken for social advancement, and then all the others must follow suit. For the more complete the hold which the state gets on the resources of a nation, the higher, the more sudden, the more irresistible will be the wave in which an armed community can break on a pacific one.”

Compare that last paragraph about a “leader” with what Leddhin writes here:

Among modern authors the theme of the “charismatic leader,” as distinguished from the strictly non-democratic ruler, has been dealt with by Max Weber.Yet he was far from being alone in delineating and characterizing this contemporary phenomenon in connection with democratic demands. Others have successfully analyzed these populistic dictators, Burckhardt’s terribles simplificateurs, the “handsome fellows with the talents of non-commissioned officers”—a truly remarkable prophecy (but not quite as accurate as it seems; Hitler was never a non-commissioned officer, only a Gefreiter—lance corporal or p.f.c).

These nineteenth and early twentieth century vistas were not basically new. Aristotle knew only too well that the tyrants have to come—as stalwart defenders of the lower classes against wealthy, unpopular minorities (aristocrats, plutocrats, etc.). These tyrants have to be “regular fellows” (“ordinary, decent chaps”), and, as we have repeatedly emphasized, of the “leading” rather than the “ruling” type. In this as in many other respects they fit completely into the democratic pattern—as President Eliot of Harvard would have been forced to admit. President Wilson’s definition of a democratic leader is, actually, identical with that of a totalitarian dictator. The difference is in degree.

Not only Hitler but perhaps even Antonio Conselheiro, the half mad “counsellor” of the ecstatic backwoods revolutionaries in Brazil, were not simply personifications of the masses and hence “born leaders.” Involuntarily one is reminded of Goethe’s description of the “daimonic man” in the course of history:

The demoniacal element has the most terrifying aspects if it is strongly represented in a human being. I have had during my life-time the occasion to observe several such men, partly from a distance, partly close to. These men are not always exceptional either in intellectual capacities or in talents, and rarely in kindness. Yet they emanate a frightening magnetic force and exert an incredible power over all creatures and even over the elements. Who can tell how far such influence will extend? All the united moral forces are powerless against them, and the more intelligent part of humanity tries in vain to unmask them as simpletons or frauds; the masses are attracted by them. Seldom or never can one find several men of that type as contemporaries, and nothing is able to overpower them except the Universe itself, against which they have picked their fight. And it may well have been from such observations and remarks that that terrible sentence found its origin: Nemo contra deum nisi deus ipse.

The reference to the masses, who feel attracted to these leaders although the more intelligent people reject them, is highly revealing. Finally, especially dangerous is the influence exercised by “the demoniac” as formulated by Goethe on Burckhardt’s “awful simplifiers” preaching what Henri Hauser called fausses idées claires. The result of that is only too often Irving Babbitt’s “efficient megalomaniac” who—in the words of Burke—wants to “improve the mystery of murder.”

How prescient this reads in light of Donald Trump — who Scott Adams called the “Master Persuader” — loved by the masses and loathed by the “intelligent people”, who can, with a pen and telephone, order murder and mayhem (death by drone) anywhere in the world. Trump, nevertheless, will likely prove to be no more than a house spider compared to previous rulers of the masses. 

Really, it is what is in store for the future that should truly worry people, as Peter Hitchens writes here.

If all this is a bit abstract and confusing, then it can be sharpened by asking the two questions:

How much has democracy (governments based on the idea of representing the “general will”) contributed to war, total war, and tyranny?

If Democracy had not been imposed on Germany, like it was in Iraq (in both cases by America) would we have had the Nazi movement, or the ISIS one?

Churchill, who ought to know better than most, thought this very thing:

Reflecting in 1945 on what had led to the rise of Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill wrote: “This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Hapsburgs out of Austria and Hungary and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany.”

“By making these vacuums,” he went on, “we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/opinion/sunday/consider-a-monarchy-america.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

Democracy! What have you done!

In the next part, we will see Moldbug step into the lair of the beast.

 

Standard

How Trump Won Part 9f: Quack-Crack-Cracks-in-the-Circus.

Napoleon was always keen to know the price of bread in France because if the people had no bread they would have barricades instead. Here was a leader who kept his finger on the pulse of the people.

This is what France looks like today, and they are not rioting over bread alas.

We hear a lot about inequality today; we also hear a lot about populism -from France to England to America.

Why?

Why should all these countries – all at the same time are –  show the same symptoms?

Why did France have a revolution?

What did that silly bitch say about cakes?

Look at what this silly bitch says about coal.

Occam’s razor would suggest that the same effects are produced by the same cause.

Alas, from crime and terrorism to economics, America and Europe is a crack addict:

“If there is one overriding economic myth that plagues us today it is the notion that society can do collectively what we cannot do individually: get rich by living today at the expense of tomorrow. It is the doctrine of the political class, professional economists, and central bankers. It is monetary and fiscal hedonism masquerading as technical analysis. And, it leads to fiscal default. It is arguably the biggest untold story of our time, but you won’t hear about it from Hillary or Bernie or Donald.”

The Authors of the Present Misfortunes.

Who, Whom? Progressives or Capitalists?

Progressives will complain, however, that the current economic woes are actually a result of capitalism run amok. This is, at best, a half-truth. Naturally, one would expect this from progressives, since they believe that it’s their enemies who run the government and not them.

Trump’s election is a moment of black irony, now the Government is really in the hands of the capitalists. And what a reaction it has provoked!

Let’s clarify the terms then. This follows, from Undiscovered Jew’s helpful distinction:

Capitalism – In capitalism government actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all private actors, individual private actors are free to make successful or unsuccessful business decisions of any kind within this system so long as they do not violate its rules.

Libertarianism – Private actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all private actors, individual private actors are free to make successful or unsuccessful business decisions of any kind within this system so long as they do not violate its rules.

Liberalism – Government actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all economic entities, government actors make all individual economic decisions within this system for all economic entities.

For liberalism read Communism, Socialism and Progressivism. In short, any and all cases of production, distribution, supply, demand and consumption – and all the rules in between – can be, and very often are, decided by the government.

Take some simple examples. I cannot legally produce, supply or possesses LSD. Who makes this decision? Well, the government of course. Why have they made this decision? For my own health of course.

If I have shop, a bakery let’s suppose, and if some person wishes for me to make a cake that says Support Faggot  Gay Marriage, and I am a Muslim, who does not support such a thing, but Polygamous marriage instead, and if I refuse, which under capitalism or libertarianism would be be my right, then I will be taken to court – and I will be punished. Why? Because I have committed a sin crime of discrimination.

If I have a business, or a bank (is a bank a business?) and if that business or bank goes bust, then, under capitalism or libertarianism, I’m broke. However, under progressivism, If I’m very big, or very well connected, maybe I can get a bailout – by the government bank.

If an economy suffers a depression under capitalism, then the government does….nothing.

But under Progressivism…………

USG became an unlimited government, and progressively abandoned sound economic doctrine with the introduction of the New Deal.

Progressives are not socialists or even, yes, Communists, however. In fact, their economic doctrines are closer to, but not quite, fascist.

Progressives allow private ownership of the means of production and capital investment; however, progressives control the banks and bank lending policies, the fiat currency (which was once gold), interest rates, tax rates, employment and labour laws – which include affirmative action policies, minimum wage requirements and health and safety regulations.

The problem with progressive economics, which is the core epistemological problem with progressivism itself is presumption.

They presume to know things that they don’t know and cannot know:

Specifically, the first problem is that they have a fiat (paper) currency – this creates the conditions for all sorts of fiscal indiscipline;which, of course, is exactly what has happened, as we will soon see.

Secondly, the entire banking system is a house of cards with the practice of fractional reserve banking which is ethically, pragmatically and economically dubious. Essentially, it is this which creates bank runs.

Thirdly, the outsourcing of industry has – while enriching China say (a military, political and economic competitor of America) –  badly hurt the American middle-class factory worker.

Free trade polices justified this, as did, no doubt, many generous campaign contributions.

Nevertheless, the policy of economic nationalism would offend the post-national, Globalist, progressive class.

Fourthly, the importation of foreign, low-wage workers, which in the short term, may benefit the employer and consumer actually benefit over the long-term the progressives (or so they assume).

How?

By providing a vote bank: a permanent stock of voters – as well as a potential demo-army should the need ever arise to start a riot, or a civil war.

Of course, this is not to say a government controlled by the corporate rich would not do the same thing as well; after all, the Marxists did often talk about selling capitalists the rope…..

So how do we actually know who rules whom?

Is USG controlled by the Capitalists or the Progressives?

The answer lies in looking at USG as a system.

Systems have structure.

Political structure is the source of political behaviour. The consequences of such behaviour may take time to manifest, but the feedback loops created, and their effects on the system as a whole, will eventually manifest themselves – but perhaps only years later.

The consequences of fiat money, welfare socialism, outsourcing, immigration and massive levels of state and consumer debt are only now beginning to manifest themselves – yet these policies were formulated and implemented many decades ago.

Progressive structures are:

A: the universities which recruit, train and allow for social networking among progressives.

B: The civil service (the permanent government) who fine-tune the rules by which everyone else must play by.

C: The Federal Bank who set the monetary and fiscal policies.

E: The judiciary who upholds and enforces the laws. (Consider how many current Supreme Court Justices went to Harvard, never-mind the past, to understand how progressive USG is. Harvard is the State Church of America.

F: The Mainstream Press, who are staffed by university trained, middle to upper class progressive Brahmin/BoBo types. The patron saint of journalism is Walter Lippmann – one of the 20th century’s most influential people, and he was progressive to the core.

The capitalists have money, of course. They can contribute to campaigns, they can lobby, and they can give “advice” on the various laws and regulations. Who, however, are they contributing, lobbying and giving advice to?

The politicians. Politicians may, individually, be weak and transient – they are, however, strong in numbers. Political parties are basically cartels; needless to say, since 1945, they have all been, well, progressive and socialist of one kind or another.

The other thing is that, unlike the progressives who are a political movement, the capitalists are not a single, unified block. Indeed, they compete against each other. If one Corporation went up against the progressive state, who would win? Again, consider the resources that could be marshalled against a Corporation say that offered genetic engineering services, whose CEO was in favour of eugenics, and who believed that Jews were the master race and that Negroes – while often strong – are not very smart.

The Cathedral (the universities and the press), the judiciary, the politicians, the civil service  (the key parts of the Polygon) could all, easily, be turned into a laser against this man and his company. Again, who would win?

This is not just hypothetical concerning capitalists, but also countries as well (see this telling article).

Finally, the laws and culture of America have been drifting more and more to the left for nearly a century now. This is not an accident – it is a result of progressive control over all the major institutions, with the exception of the military, and some of the Corporations.

In 1917, with the First World War raging, who would ever think that men – who look like men – who claim, however, to be women, would be able to use a woman’s toilet legally and without outrage (at least from progressive quarters)?

Or, to take another example, consider that among the white underclass in England, teenage pregnancies lack any kind of social stigma, and the mothers are fully supported by the government with housing, healthcare and benefits. Unthinkable fifty years ago, never-mind a century.

Other examples include gay marriage, mass atheism, short skirts, female leaders and on and on and on.

The truth is the political system radically (but peacefully) changed in America with the New Deal, and with England’s 1945 welfare state.

These changes, which were revolutionary, occurred via the ballot box – not with bats, bullets or bombs. The means are different, but the changes were no less profound.

To understand the importance of the New Deal to the current American power structure and how it fundamentally altered the relationship between state and economics, I recommend the following four books:

1: Basic Economics. Thomas Sowell. Here is a  good overview of economics, but it also discusses the New Deal’s interference in the economy, which actually made the problems worse. When I first read about Roosevelt’s interference in prices and resource allocation I was shocked: this is what socialists and communists did. The results of such interference were shortages and waste – just like in communist countries.

2: As We Go Marching. John. T. Flynn. This book compares three “fascisms”: Italian; German; and American. The author claims, with some justification, though ultimately mistaken, that Roosevelt’s New Deal was “fascist.” (A further book to read on this topic is Three New Deals by Wolfgang Schivelbusch. You can read a review here.

3: The Power Elite. C. Wright Mills.This book was written in the fifties, and it remains a brilliant examination of the American elite and the nascent Modern Structure. The author’s central thesis is that, post New Deal and World War 2, America entered into a post-democratic state, held together by a triumvirate of three structures: the corporations; the political—bureaucratic machine and a permanent military and a military-industrial system.

Nevertheless, it is the political-progressive class who occupy the central position in this Dark Triangle. Again, they don’t just have a political party, but the press, the universities, the civil service and the judiciary – never-mind the support of the celebrities and other trend-setters.

4: The Managerial Revolution. James Burnham. The importance of James Burnham has been discussed earlier here, and here. You should also read the following two essays here and here (the first, is by Julius Klein, a “Harvard Whizz Kid” who has set up a new journal to lay out the “intellectual foundations” of the Trump Presidency; the second, meanwhile, is by “Dissident Right”, an excellent reactionary blogger.

Burnham, writing during WW2, claimed that something of fundamental importance had taken place in the American economy. In short, the old capitalist way which had unification of ownership and control of production changed to “managerialism.” The managers, who did not own the means of production, nevertheless, controlled it because of their technical or scientific competence.

According to Marxist theory, it is the capitalists who create the “superstructure” of politics, culture and religious expression because they control the “base” of production; however,  if control is now in the hand of the managers, then, following Marxist logic, the managers would create the new “superstructure.”

Klein does a fine job describing the consequences of manageralism for the American economy and political culture; however, we should see this change as part of the growing technocratic bureaucracy in politics and social engineering  described brilliantly  by Undiscovered Jew – an unaccountable bureaucracy that has brought so much dysfunction, decay and destruction to the Western world. See:

https://pragmaticallydistributed.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/how-comte-overthrew-marx-part-ii/

Here is how I summarised his thesis on his blog, using an Aristotelian analysis:

 Communism V Progressivism.

Formal Cause.

Communism’s form, or its decision structure, is either a dictatorship, or a small oligarchy (Politburo).

Communism, moreover, is a one party state.

The State, meanwhile, controls the means of production for (so it is claimed) the benefit of the proles.

Progressivism.

The form or decision structure of Progressivism, or the EU is…..What exactly? The decision structure is an endless series or processes and procedures, committees and consultations. No one is in charge; sectors of responsibility and control are unclear.

See:

http://www.euractiv.com/section/euro-finance/opinion/decision-making-and-disarray-in-the-eu/

Democracy, so far as it goes, exists, but the parties are largely meaningless; they exist to provide the illusion of people power.

Economically, Progressivism permits private enterprise but subjects commerce to stringent and constant interference to achieve aims such as “social justice”, “diversity”, “health and safety” “environmental safety”.

Material Cause.

Communism consists of proles.

Progressivism consists of Brahmins or bobos: the middle class.

Efficient cause.

Communism achieves power via revolution. Communism rules via top down command and control; its methods, beyond dictating, are force and fraud.

Progressivism achieves its aims firstly via electoral success; then, by constant bureaucratic expansion. Crucially, progressivism is able to reproduce and spread by *controlling* the universities and *infiltrating* the media which produces new “managers”. Progressivists rule by laws, regulations, and social-shaming and employment purges. However, it also jails thought and speech criminals, and uses (by tolerating) fascist (anti-fascist) gangs to break up dissenters.
Progressivism maintains power by subverting and destroying rival institutions and power centres, and by importing the third world. (*edited.)

Final Cause.

Communism.

Communism is the final goal of Communism: the “withering” away of the state.

Progressivism’s goal is…… Formally it is peace, equality, liberty and wellbeing, justice, happiness, dignity. Really, its goal is to perpetuate the rule by bureaucrat.

After the French Revolution, the left divided and evolved along two different paths: Marxist and Comtiean. 

Comte Won, and the Circus was born. 

Take the Credit but Never Take the Blame.

Don’t believe me. Take a look at the following then.

The above article is from a pretty hip progressive online magazine called Aeon giving us a little economic history tour.

The article was written by Marc Levinson, economist, historian and journalist. Levinson has master’s degrees from Georgia State University and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He has also earned a doctorate from the City University of New York.

I guess he knows what he is talking about then.

Here is how Levinson describes the shift from the post-war “golden age” to, well, let’s call it the gray age:

The shift came at the end of 1973. The quarter-century before then, starting around 1948, saw the most remarkable period of economic growth in human history. In the Golden Age between the end of the Second World War and 1973, people in what was then known as the ‘industrialised world’ – Western Europe, North America, and Japan – saw their living standards improve year after year. They looked forward to even greater prosperity for their children. Culturally, the first half of the Golden Age was a time of conformity, dominated by hard work to recover from the disaster of the war. The second half of the age was culturally very different, marked by protest and artistic and political experimentation. 

I cannot help but quote Moldbug who quotes Froude:

Perhaps Froude wrote the best epitaph for the system:

Democracies are the blossoming of the aloe, the sudden squandering of the vital force which has accumulated in the long years when it was contented to be healthy and did not aspire after a vain display. The aloe is glorious for a single season. It progresses as it never progressed before. It admires its own excellence, looks back with pity on its earlier and humbler condition, which it attributes only to the unjust restraints in which it was held. It conceives that it has discovered the true secret of being ‘beautiful for ever,’ and in the midst of the discovery it dies.

Moldbug then says:

In the arts of decadence – sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll – democracies excel. If only for these, the second half of the twentieth century will never be forgotten. We need not imagine the level of punitive austerity and reeducation that would need to be inflicted on Western society to make it forget the Rolling Stones and everything after. Possible, surely, but hard to recommend.

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/gentle-introduction-to-unqualified.html

Another way to state Froude’s thesis is to describe democracies as obtaining their energy by breaking the strong molecular bonds of their authoritarian predecessors.

Nevertheless, you will still feel warm for a while after the contents of your house have been burned in a Potlatch ceremony.

But eventually the cold will begin to bite:

The good times rolled on so long that people took them for granted. Between 1948 and 1973, Australia, Japan, Sweden and Italy had not a single year of recession. West Germany and Canada did almost as well.

Who takes the credit for this? Government, and their economic advisers of course:

 Governments and the economists who advised them happily claimed the credit.

Careful economic management, they said, had put an end to cyclical ups and downs.

Governments possessed more information about citizens and business than ever before, and computers could crunch the data to help policymakers determine the best course of action.

 In a lecture at Harvard University in 1966, Walter Heller, formerly chief economic adviser to presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, trumpeted the success of what he called the ‘new economics’.Conceptual advances and quantitative research in economics,’ he declared, ‘are replacing emotion with reason.’

Walter Heller’s reference to “new economics” is no doubt referring to Keynes and his General Theory. Did all economists at the time agree that “conceptual advances” had occurred, that with “quantitative research” the “cyclical ups and downs” had been put to an end?

Actually no. Here is a line by line refutation written all-the-way-back-in-1959.

The author of that refutation, Henry Hazlitt, was deploying, as a critical tool, the economic principles set forth by Ludwig Von Mises in his Human Action, which was written in 1949. They belong to the “libertarian” “school” of economics.

How did Walter Heller get to advise two American Presidents and lecture at Harvard, while Mises got to advise – got to advise who exactly?

Levinson, Hazlitt and Mises all concur that Heller is smoking crack; it is possible, of course, that Mises was also a gin soaked popinjay but that does explain why Heller “won” and Mises “lost.”

Is it possible that maybe Heller, like Keynes, simply got away it because he told the Presidents want they wanted to hear?

Let’s take one major example to see that when power and truth collide, power wins.

The Strange Case of Alan Greenspan.

John Rubino writes:

When the history of these times is written, former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan will be one of the major villains, but also one of the greatest mysteries. This is so because he has, in effect, been three different people.

He began public life brilliantly, as a libertarian thinker who said some compelling and accurate things about gold and its role in the world. An example from 1966:

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense – perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire – that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other…

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold [in 1934 under FDR].

(Ding! Ding! Ding! DR)

 If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.

(See here for Greenspan’s complete essay.)

That was before he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve. What did he do though?

He didn’t practice what he preached:

Awesome, right? But when put in charge of the Federal Reserve in the late 1980s, instead of applying the above wisdom — by for instance limiting the bank’s interference in the private sector and letting market forces determine winners and losers — he did a full 180, intervening in every crisis, creating new currency with abandon, and generally behaving like his old ideological enemies, the Keynesians. Not surprisingly, debt soared during his long tenure.

Then, after his long tenure as Banker in Chief he had this to say:

“Today, going back on to the gold standard would be perceived as an act of desperation. But if the gold standard were in place today, we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves,” he said.“[T]here is a widespread view that the 19th Century gold standard didn’t work. I think that’s like wearing the wrong size shoes and saying the shoes are uncomfortableIt wasn’t the gold standard that failed; it was politics.

Echoing his old libertarian self, this is what he said involving gold, debt and fiscal discipline:

We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line.”

Over in England, another Banker, Sir Mervin King, is saying the same thing; in the absence of gold, or some other stable foundation, fiscal indiscipline will occur. However, the following, from a review of King’s book, is a brilliant summary of the systematically flawed nature of progressive, Anglo-American economic systems:

King identifies a basic problem in the banking system that has again and again led to financial crisis. “The idea that paper money could replace intrinsically valuable gold and precious metals, and that banks could take secure short-term deposits and transform them into long-term risky investments came into its own with the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. It was both revolutionary and immensely seductive. It was in fact financial alchemy — the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense. Pursuit of this monetary elixir has brought a series of economic disasters — from hyperinflation to banking collapses.”

How exactly is this alchemy supposed to work? “People believed in alchemy because, so it was argued, depositors would never all choose to withdraw their money at the same time. If depositors’ requirements to make payments or obtain liquidity were, when averaged over a large number of depositors, a predictable flow, then deposits could provide a reliable source of long-term funding. But if a sizable group of depositors were to withdraw funds at the same time, the bank would be forced either to demand immediate repayment of the loans it had made, … or to default on the claims of depositors.”

….

Many have sought to salvage the alchemy of banking by resorting to a central bank. By acting as a lender of last resort, a central bank can bail out banks in need of funds to satisfy anxious depositors and thus avert the danger of a bank run. The alchemy of transforming deposits into investments can now proceed.

Though he was one of the world’s leading central bankers, King finds fault with this “solution.” A local bank can be rescued by getting money from the central bank, but the process generates new problems.

Like What?

[i]f banks came to rely on the Bank of England to bail them out when in difficulty, then they would take excessive risks and abandon “sound principles of banking.” They would run down their liquid assets, relying instead on cheap central bank insurance — and that is exactly what happened before the recent [2008] crisis. The provision of insurance without a proper charge is an incentive to take excessive risks — in modern jargon, it creates “moral hazard.”

Moldbug has said the same thing, though with more bombast and bravado:

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/straightforward-explanation-of-present.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/return-to-castle-goldenstein-gold.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/de-gustibus-non-computandum-or.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/maturity-transformation-considered.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/quick-explanation-of-fractional-reserve.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/gold-and-central-banks-game-theory.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/america-zombie-nation.html

The mainstream, however, is catching onto the cult that has collapsed:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/20/alan-greenspan-cult-of-expert-and-how-it-collapsed

The Schilling of Schiller.

Let’s return to our Aeon piece and Levinson’s take on Karl Schiller – a crack addict:

The most influential proponent of such ideas was Karl Schiller, who became economy minister of West Germany, Europe’s largest economy, in 1966. A former professor at the University of Hamburg, where his students included the future West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Schiller was a centrist Social Democrat. He stood apart from those on the Left who favoured state ownership of industry, but also from extreme free-market conservatives.

His advice called for ‘a synthesis of planning and competition’. Schiller defined his philosophy thus: ‘As much competition as possible, as much planning as necessary.’

To me, in 2017, when I hear “collective rationality” “synthesis of planning and competition” “planning” and “economics” I think three things: Socialism; Communism and Fascism.

Most fundamentally, Schiller believed that government should commit itself to maintaining high employment, steady growth and stable prices. And it should do this all while keeping its international account in balance, within the framework of a free-market economy. These four commitments made the corners of what he called the ‘magic square’.

The crack (quack) square.

Official Government Policy:

In December 1966, when Schiller became economy minister in a new coalition government, the magic square became official policy.

Following Schiller’s version of Keynesian economics, his ministry’s experts advised federal and state governments how to adjust their budgets to achieve ‘equilibrium of the entire economy’.

The ministry’s advice was based on an elaborate planning exercise that churned out five-year projections.

Five year plans – sorry projections.

In the spring of 1967, the finance ministry was told to adjust taxes and spending plans to increase business investment while slowing the growth of consumer spending. These moves, Schiller’s economic models promised, would bring economic growth averaging 4 per cent through 1971, along with 0.8 per cent unemployment, 1 per cent annual inflation and a 1 per cent current account surplus.Of course, he would add, wages and investment were private decisions, but he hoped that the government’s guidelines would contribute to ‘collective rationality’. 

To promise something is very different than to hope for it.

Schiller insisted that his policies had brought West Germany to ‘a sunny plateau of prosperity’ where inflation and unemployment were permanently vanquished.

No doubt, this made him feel very, very important. But:

Year after year, however, the economy failed to perform as he instructed.

In July 1972, when Schiller was denied control over the exchange rate, he stormed out of the cabinet and left elected office forever.

Schiller left with the West German economy roaring. Within 18 months, his claim that the government could ensure stable prices, robust growth and jobs for all blew up.

Boom!

At least millions of German didn’t starve, not like these poor chaps who did.

Levinson:

…. central banks and governments have a variety of tools they can use.

(Central banks are government banks. So what? How would you feel if you heard the phrase “Central Church”?)

 They can lower interest rates to make it cheaper to buy a car or build a factory.

(Just like Socialists, Communists and Fascists.)

They can lower taxes to give consumers more money to spend.

(Or they can raise them, or lower them for some people and not for others, in short they can do whatever they want.)

 They can increase government spending to pump more cash into the economy.

(This means the government uses its magic wand and manufactures new money, which allows the progressive welfare state to spend this “magic” money. Secondly, printing money is basically a tax on savers and spenders; thirdly, it is a source of malinvestment.)

They can change regulations to make it easier for banks to lend money.

(Yes. One possible and actual consequence of this is that banks are forced to loan to people they would, ordinarily, not loan to because they would be unlikely to pay back the loan. Connect this with fractional reserve banking and if you have banks that cannot get its return on loans and thus cannot pay back or give out the money it owes; then, as a result of people who fear losing getting locked out of their account you get a bank run.)

So-the-question.

Does this sound like Laissez-faire to you?

Who, whom?

Greedy capitalists. or foolish, presumptuous progressives?

The “greedy capitalist” types – the Austrians – are horrified by what USG has done to the economy, however.

Has America, however, ever been a laissez-faire capitalist nation?

The progressives “fatal conceit”, their fundamental mistake, is the presumption that bureaucrats know best; that humans are nothing but guinea pigs to play with in their social engineering experiments.

Quack! Quack! Crack! Crack!

Shakedown Clowns:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/trillion-dollar-bank-shakedown-bodes-ill-cities-12096.html

The Circus:

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/10/department_of_w.html

Turn on the Faucet:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-20/david-rosenberg-calls-multi-trillion-helicopter-money-stimulus-package

I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles:

https://mises.org/blog/looming-bubble-long-term-debt

Ignorance is Bliss:

https://mises.org/blog/ignorance-more-costly-politics-markets

Fuck No, You Can’t Keep Your Doctor:

https://mises.org/library/why-obamacare-will-fail-reading-list

Crash the Cash:

https://mises.org/blog/why-governments-want-central-bank-issued-digital-currency

Better Stash That Cash:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-06/mainstream-media-goes-all-promoting-cash-ban

We Woz Wong:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-19/bank-england-admits-qe-economic-benefits-are-temporary-more-effective-plunge-protect

Democracy and Economics Cannot Co-Exist:

https://mises.org/blog/why-social-welfare-programs-and-democracy-cannot-co-exist

Smash the Ivory Towers:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-06/economics-broken-and-there-no-internal-incentive-fix-it-5-reasons-smash-ivory-towers

You Can Bank on a Bubble:

https://mises.org/blog/bank-england-turns-more-easy-money

The Ice Berg:

https://mises.org/blog/two-arguments-against-fed-we-should-make-over-and-over

The Storm Gathers:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/19/fed-risks-repeating-lehman-blunder-as-us-recession-storm-gathers/

Deutschland Going Down:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/698305/Deutsche-Bank-financial-crisis-EU-Angela-Merkel

Bust:

https://mises.org/blog/what-next-recession-will-look

The Dead End:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-17/change-necessary-it-impossible-deutsche-bank-explains-why-world-dead-end

Do Not Resuscitate:

http://www.politico.eu/article/europe-health-care-systems-on-life-support-special-report-drug-pricing-medicines-public-services/

The End of Days:

https://mises.org/blog/we-cant-live-borrowed-time-and-borrowed-money-forever

The Clowns Gave Away the Circus:

https://medium.com/@MrMaitra/ft-how-the-west-has-lost-the-world-a-rebuttal-928f0fb8ac02#.vqaenfbxf

No Hope:

http://www.gallup.com/file/reports/198923/NoRecovery_FINAL_120516.pdf

The Lost Generation:

https://mises.org/blog/inflation-may-be-causing-long-term-rise-unemployment

The American Betrayal:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/15/exclusive-american-worker-forced-train-foreign-replacement-reveals-how-hillary-clinton-betrayed-him/

France, A Failed State:

https://mises.org/blog/france-wont-be-following-uk-out-eu

Suicide:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-15/5-urgent-warnings-big-banks-economy-has-gone-suicidal

Death of the Dream:

http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-death-of-the-american-dream-quantified/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-death-of-the-american-dream-quantified

The American Dream is Dead:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/opinion/the-american-dream-quantified-at-last.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=1

Hail! Hail! America, Chief of the Dead:

And this is what I mean by a “zombie nation.” It is not just the banks that need restructuring. It is the entire economy, because the entire economy is dependent on the continuous generation of new debt. This is the hallmark of the zombie. Beneath this soothing curtain of formaldehyde, it is not just Citibank that is insolvent and unprofitable; it is not even just GM; it may even be most American companies. Nobody’s profit margin is that wide.

America! Hail, chief of the dead. Alive you were the greatest, and death has barely touched you. You strode the world; you stride it still. Rule it, even – for of all dead things, you are the least dead. That furrowed brow is almost fresh. The frost upon it might well be sweat. That tan and bony fist still clasps its notchless sword.

But the scent is unmistakable. The beetles are already at work. Grosser fauna lurk. And what do we do? We do nothing. We serve a straw-packed corpse, nailed to a tall and ancient throne. Dead, festering, and nowhere near ready for the grave. And we smile as we go about our duties.

Mencius Moldbug. April, 2009.

October, 2016A Philosopher who Plumbs for Trump.

Here is philosopher, Daniel Bonevac, writing in the, yep, Washington Post why he is voting for Donald Trump:

Ask yourself: Are you better off than you were a decade ago? Is the United States better off? Is the world safer? Is this country on the right track? I am among the nearly two-thirds of Americans who answer no.

We’re in the seventh year of the slowest economic recovery since 1949. The proportion of working-age adults who are employed is the lowest in decades. Young African Americans face an unemployment rate of over 20 percent. The national debt has almost doubled; an American baby born today already owes more than $60,000. We’ve lost our Standard & Poor’s AAA credit rating. Cities and states face debt and pension crises of their own. Meanwhile, business profits and durable goods orders are down, productivity is sluggish and 2 percent growth is the new normal. Economic inequality has increased; incomes are down; prices are up.

The president’s signature “accomplishment,” Obamacare, is in a death spiral. Racial tensions are leading to riotsViolent crime is up sharply over the past 18 months. Life expectancy is falling for large segments of our population. The administration is conducting a war on fossil fuelsendangering our electric grid, while shoveling funds to green-energy boondoggles run by donors. The IRS, the FBI and the Justice Department are protecting political allies, punishing opponents and defying court orders. Title IX is used on campus to destroy due process and stifle speech. In the past 10 months, we’ve suffered terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., OrlandoSt. Cloud, Minn., and Burlington, Wash., leaving 68 dead. Europe’s experience shows that if we continue these policies, we will suffer many more.

The Middle East is in shambles. We gratuitously overthrew a stable government in Libya, creating a terrorist haven and getting our ambassador killed. We threw away victories in Iraq and AfghanistanSyria is a humanitarian disaster. We sabotaged Iran’s Green Revolution and halted sanctions, propping up and then funding with planeloads of cash a leading global sponsor of terrorism actively seeking nuclear weapons — all in a quest to reach an agreement so adverse to U.S. interests that it was not even submitted to the Senate. Iran is reportedly already violating it.

This is not bad luck. It results directly from policies of the Obama administration that Clinton wants to continue. The problem is not implementation, but deep inadequacies in her progressive worldview. It’s a worldview I encounter up close on campus, a worldview that intrigues intellectuals with its promise of rationality and tempts them with the possibility of power. As Dostoevsky warned, however, in practice, it indulges the moral narcissism of an elite and encourages disrespect for everyone else.

Progressives try to counter corporate economic power by centralizing political power in executive-branch agencies. They try to cure centralization with more centralization. But this leads to elitism and regulatory capture. When corporations, well-funded nonprofits or well-connected donors team up with government agencies, the rest of us lose. The federal government is the ultimate monopoly. The administrative state is largely unaccountable; you can’t vote the regulators out of office. Under the Obama administration, federal regulations have strangled some industries outright and curtailed innovation in others. No one voted to destroy the coal industry or stop enforcing immigration law. Clinton promises more of the same. She promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will remove the Bill of Rights’s safeguards against excessive government power. She shows contempt for ordinary people, their rights and their concerns, treating any who oppose her as enemies. Only Trump promises to rein in the excesses of the administrative state and return us to constitutional governance. He pledges to issue a moratorium on new regulations and to reduce “the anchor dragging us down,” the regulatory burden whose growth since 1980 has cost us as much as one-fourth of our gross national product.

Progressivism sacrifices the future for the present, and the present for special interests and personal gain. That is why economies stall and birth rates collapse in countries where progressive policies hold sway. Our economy works by allowing the market to channel accumulated capital to investments that fuel productivity gains and innovation, leading to technological advances, more affordable products, higher wages and increased opportunities. Trump’s tax cuts would increase investment, boost productivity and wages and increase innovation and opportunities for all Americans.

Finally, progressivism rests on an implausible view of international relations. It seeks to diminish the nation-state and the reach of American power. The Obama-Clinton policy requires us to push traditional allies away and seek relationships with avowed enemiesProtecting Americans from harm and maintaining state secrets are evidently a low priority. Trump would bring a much-needed dose of realism to foreign policy, restoring damaged friendships with Britain and Israel, restoring the integrity of our borders and protecting U.S. interests in international agreements.

Trump has been giving serious speeches detailing his vision on the economyforeign policycrimeimmigration and other central issues facing the country. He has been explaining policies that would strengthen the United States, revive the economy, and restore our social capital, especially in inner cities. Clinton, meanwhile, has been doing her best to distract us from the issues. Admittedly, Trump offers her many such opportunities. But our country’s direction is too important to decide on the basis of who is more vulgar than whom. Clinton’s policies portend nothing but a weaker economy, a weaker society and a weaker America. I want a president who’s on our side. I plan to vote for someone who can change course and return us once again to the task of making America great.

FUBAR

The mismanagement of the economy, likes with everything, would eventually provoke a reaction – it always does.

As Greenspan himself said, populism is a cry of pain. But the Progressives don’t care.

Hence Trump.

Again, as I argued here, the system produced Trump. Trump is a monster of the progressives own making.

Modern Government is a monster.

A Minotaur.

Fight back

and it grow stronger.

Run away

and it runs after you.

Next.

Time

We

Will

Look

At

Moldbug

Versus

The

Minotaur.

Standard