Weekly Moldbug

There may be no post at UR, but there’s a nice discussion between Mencius Moldbug and Lawrence Auster at Auster’s place. Here’s a preview of Moldbug’s line of argument:

Eating certain kinds of foods to excess can cause certain kinds of cancer. However, if you already have cancer, you should not expect to cure it by eating less of those foods. Liberalism causes nationalized medicine. However, if you already have liberalism, you should not expect to cure it by repealing nationalized medicine. . . .

In reality, I would argue, America is still burning through cultural capital that very much dates to Tudor England–and before. Well before. The candle has been burning for quite some time, and is now quite short. It was originally very tall! . . .

Your [i.e. Auster's] parody of my remedy is: to repair government, first heal society. My [i.e. Moldbug's] remedy is: to heal society, first repair government. . . .

The natural order of government is not a secret. Aristotle knew it. It is natural for children to respect and obey their parents. It is natural for parents to guide and support their children. It is natural for the poor, weak, and ignorant to respect and obey the wealthy, strong and powerful. It is natural for the wealthy, strong and powerful to guide and support the poor, weak and ignorant. . . .

Because your conservative vision of the defeat of liberalism is in fact modeled on historical events in which liberalism prevailed over conservatism, it is a fantasy that can never succeed. Decay is an entropic, progressive process that feeds on itself. A little decay leads to a lot of decay. A little fire leads to a lot of fire. . . .

In the ruined house (picture America as an old mansion in Detroit), Powerline wants to start by cleaning and sanding one floorboard. This inspiring act will spread to the next floorboard, and so on, and eventually the house will be clean and new. Destruction works in this way. Renovation does not. You would like to remodel the kitchen. The whole kitchen! And the result will be–a ruined house in the slums. With a state-of-the-art kitchen. . . .

If you can think of any historical example of a decayed state being restored without effective personal government, I would love to hear it. I know of no such thing. And I am hardly an expert on everything and everywhere, but I do know a good bit of history.

Think of how those who lived in the age of Augustus saw the restoration of Augustus. The transition from Republic to Empire ended an age of bad government which had lasted for the entire lives of those then living, and began an age of good government which lasted for the entire lives of those then living. Does America deserve anything less?

The discussion is also pretty funny. My favorite part is from Auster: "Mencius sent a 700 word long extract of Carlyle which was too long for a discussion. You can read it at the link." Heh.

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