Randoms

– The sociology of reaction (and a Moldbug ebook). Note, if you read nothing else, read the questions at the end.

Paleo retiree:

In case you were in any doubt about what our state religion now is: A too-big-to-fail bank has just ordered me, a random ATM user, to “unite behind diversity.” If I’ve got this right, I’m not being urged by a fellow citizen to stand up to the Powers That Be in order to demand our rights. Instead, I’ve been commanded by a top-down soul-crushing part of the Plutocracy to stand WITH the Powers That Be in order to stifle dissent and impose a trendy and unrealistic ideal.

Anomoly UK:

It is better that reactionary views are completely driven out of mainstream politics, as that preserves the distance between reactionaries and politicians. There can be no victory through gradual change: adoption of any reactionary ideas must be accompanied by total rejection of the old formula. If reactionary views are banned, that is better still, since it draws that clear line between the present body of thought and the next.

– Just when I think Radish can’t do anything cooler, it totally outdoes itself.

Spandrell: “If the past is a foreign country, reactionaries are patriots of that country.” That’s pretty good for a one sentence description.

Heh.

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131 Responses to Randoms

  1. Chevalier de Johnstone says:

    Mired in its well-meaning but Progressive-defined opposition to Progressivism, Radish completely neglects Deneen, Orthosphere, or any of the other unapologetically judeo-christian reactionaries who “preach” exactly those things that made the past such a foreign country in comparison with our secularized modern world.

    This is what happens when you focus on how much you don’t like the way things are rather than defining how you would like them to be; it is an effect of letting the present secular Cathedral define the terms of engagement.

    • Foseti says:

      I have some sympathy until you write “secular cathedral”. That’s a pretty big misunderstanding of the cathedral.

      You can legitimately argue that it practices a perverted and illegitimate form of religion (I’d agree and sympathize), but you can’t argue that it’s not religious.

    • It’s not done Chevalier… KB (Karl Boetel, aka. Radish) does that alot… get’s a piece of it out on Friday (in like Hawaii time zone) so he can claim it came out on “Friday”… This buys him some time for the remainder of the issue… which, given the quality and as far as I can tell only one dude working on it, is probably a decent excuse.

      He has and I quote “Futurists, Scientists, Formalists, Racialists, Masculinists, and Traditionalists” planned. So far only the first 3 are populated.

      Be patient… it will be interesting to see who he includes. I know he has several other I would think an Orthosphere group card would be shoo-in… Bonald, Kalb, Proph, Kristor, Sellanraa, and Roebuck will probably be like learned Elves or something. Charlton deserves a card too, although he is too idiosyncratic even to classify (Unicorn?). (I hope, if he ever reads that, he realizes I mean it with highest regard!!) Auster deserves one too… he’d have to be a ghost I guess… a Jewish/Anglican/Catholic bachelor bohemian one I guess. Do they have ghosts like that?

      • And Foseti’s absolutely right, the fertile plain that separates Christian and non-theist is nothing compared to the death-defying cliff that separates Reaction from Progressivism. They are in fact locked in a war (that Progressives don’t know about yet) to be authentic versions of Christianity and Non-Theism.

      • Samson J. says:

        Just when I think Radish can’t do anything cooler, it totally outdoes itself.

        Flattered, eh? Well, colour me unimpressed. I’m glad to see that the very first comment here (Chevalier’s) echoes exactly what I was thinking: Christian traditionalism is mighty conspicuous by its absence from this list. Such an omission, or snub, is a juvenile move, and if Radish won’t at least make peace and common cause with this branch of the reaction, then I’m not very optimistic for the future of his movement.

        Update: I wrote the above before reading Nick’s comments. I’ll reserve judgement till later.

        Charlton deserves a card too, although he is too idiosyncratic even to classify

        I’m curious to know what makes you say that. One reason I enjoy him so much is that he basically thinks exactly the same things as me about everything, in addition to coming off as a genuinely nice and decent man.

      • Bruce Charlton is, first, a professional scientist, eminently skeptical and rational, even so far as to be skeptical and rational about skepticism and rationalism. All good. Profoundly and hard-headedly good. But then he’s sort of fallen into Christianity… in a manner not unlike Auster, he’s adopted a religion he was not (apparently) native to. So he’s… what? A disaffected Anglican (what better Church to be disaffected of?) with deep Eastern Orthodox sympathies… (I thought he was EO) and he’s spent several years now cozying up with Mormonism… which is about as un-Angligan and un-Orthodox as you can get… and why? Mostly because they are just so gosh-darn adaptively successful (back to the sciency-hat). So there is this unsettling (and unsettled) alliance between scientific rationalism and Christian mysticism in a single soul. It’s just strange… Good strange… but strange all the same.

      • VXXC says:

        No Religion, no rule. As the Cathedral could tell you they’ve been desperately trying to replace it for decades. From one fashion to the next. You’d have the Devil trying to replace Christianity – which still lives in peoples hearts – with something else.

        While we’re on the subject of Rule: What is Neoreaction’s concept of DUTY? This would be to something other than yourself.

      • josh says:

        Good question. Can one be a “neo-reactionary” without being some kind of a formal realist?

        Foseti. have you read the Abolition of Man yet? It’s short.

      • nickbsteves says:

        While we’re on the subject of Rule: What is Neoreaction’s concept of DUTY? This would be to something other than yourself.

        Although I would not presume to speak for my secular right/reactionary fellow travelers, I get the distinct impression that most of them are fine with organic societies and therefore the organic duties that arise in them. I’m not sure you have to go all the way down the metaphysical hole to arrive at, at least serviceable concept of, duty.

    • JamesP says:

      I’m not anti-jew but the term “judeo-christian” is simply ahistorical.Jews only became a significant cultural influence around mid to late 19th century.Just use christian reactionaries.

      • Foseti says:

        Edgar Lee Masters used “Hebraic-Puritan” a lot, which I think is quite good (I’m also not anti-Jewish for the record).

    • Chevalier does bring up a good point about the reaction: what about the next circle out… and Deneen and the Agrarians and the folks over at Front Porch Republic are in that next circle out. That sort of “Reactionary Radicalism” was my last stop on the rightward-express before I found Moldbug and took the damn pill. There is a lot, I think, they and the DEC would agree with… but there not too big on scrapping the whole constitution thing… yet.

    • Chevalier de Johnstone says:

      The secular is not anti-religious, this is a misunderstanding propagated by the anti-Church trend of the French Revolution and its heirs. This intellectual trend wrongly conflates “religion” with “church”. To be secular is simply to be concerned only with temporal matters of this world: flesh and property and the present existence. Thus the secular Cathedral does not recognize an extraterrestrial, atemporal hierarchy of morality, but only a sort of utilitarian hedonism. This is, of course, religious; it is simply not theistic.

      The term “secular Cathedral” points to this misinterpretation, juxtaposing something commonly thought of as anti-religious with something commonly thought to represent religion. This highlights the fallacy of deeming the secular to be non-religious, which is a progressive, Enlightenment-based trend: the false belief that something secular is automatically unaffected by myth, belief, or culture.

      The secular Cathedral is deeply religious, but devoid of any theistic guidance: it is democratic without defining the demos, and thus predictably trends towards the lowest common denominator of human behavior. I use “secular Cathedral” in contrast to the idea of a true Cathedral, which is formed via a holistic marriage of the myths, beliefs, culture, and history of a people. The recognition that these are external to any single or group of individuals at any point in time, whether this is recognized as “theistic” or not, is what separates this Cathedral from the secular one.

      As de Maistre says, where you find an altar there you will see civilization. This is not a statement that the Christian Church is the foundation of civilization, but that all civilizations are at their core founded on a collection of cultural myths, and any collection of cultural myths breeds a civilization. They differ in what they sacrifice on that altar and to what or whom the sacrifice is offered.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Half sigma has really gone downhill, especially since changing his name to lion of the blogosphere. He frequently posts advice like, “go to an elite college”. Well thanks!

    • josh says:

      One tends to be sympathetic with anyone who recognizes the obvious about race, but HS was never anything more than a twit.

  3. bedrich says:

    A reactionary among conservatives:

    “You’ll grow out of it, young man,” he said soothingly. “Time is the best cure for such youthful distempers.” He turned to Mr. Morse. “I do not believe discussion is good in such cases. It makes the patient obstinate.”

    “That is true,” the other assented gravely. “But it is well to warn the patient occasionally of his condition.”

    Martin laughed merrily, but it was with an effort. The day had been too long, the day’s effort too intense, and he was deep in the throes of the reaction.

    “Undoubtedly you are both excellent doctors,” he said; “but if you care a whit for the opinion of the patient, let him tell you that you are poor diagnosticians. In fact, you are both suffering from the disease you think you find in me. As for me, I am immune. The socialist philosophy that riots half-baked in your veins has passed me by.”

    “Clever, clever,” murmured the judge. “An excellent ruse in controversy, to reverse positions.”

    “Out of your mouth.” Martin’s eyes were sparkling, but he kept control of himself. “You see, Judge, I’ve heard your campaign speeches. By some henidical process—henidical, by the way is a favorite word of mine which nobody understands—by some henidical process you persuade yourself that you believe in the competitive system and the survival of the strong, and at the same time you indorse with might and main all sorts of measures to shear the strength from the strong.”

    “My young man—”

    “Remember, I’ve heard your campaign speeches,” Martin warned. “It’s on record, your position on interstate commerce regulation, on regulation of the railway trust and Standard Oil, on the conservation of the forests, on a thousand and one restrictive measures that are nothing else than socialistic.”

    “Do you mean to tell me that you do not believe in regulating these various outrageous exercises of power?”

    “That’s not the point. I mean to tell you that you are a poor diagnostician. I mean to tell you that I am not suffering from the microbe of socialism. I mean to tell you that it is you who are suffering from the emasculating ravages of that same microbe. As for me, I am an inveterate opponent of socialism just as I am an inveterate opponent of your own mongrel democracy that is nothing else than pseudo-socialism masquerading under a garb of words that will not stand the test of the dictionary.”

    “I am a reactionary—so complete a reactionary that my position is incomprehensible to you who live in a veiled lie of social organization and whose sight is not keen enough to pierce the veil. You make believe that you believe in the survival of the strong and the rule of the strong. I believe. That is the difference. When I was a trifle younger,—a few months younger,—I believed the same thing. You see, the ideas of you and yours had impressed me. But merchants and traders are cowardly rulers at best; they grunt and grub all their days in the trough of money-getting, and I have swung back to aristocracy, if you please. I am the only individualist in this room. I look to the state for nothing. I look only to the strong man, the man on horseback, to save the state from its own rotten futility.”

    “Nietzsche was right. I won’t take the time to tell you who Nietzsche was, but he was right. The world belongs to the strong—to the strong who are noble as well and who do not wallow in the swine-trough of trade and exchange. The world belongs to the true nobleman, to the great blond beasts, to the noncompromisers, to the ‘yes-sayers.’ And they will eat you up, you socialists—who are afraid of socialism and who think yourselves individualists. Your slave-morality of the meek and lowly will never save you.—Oh, it’s all Greek, I know, and I won’t bother you any more with it. But remember one thing. There aren’t half a dozen individualists in Oakland, but Martin Eden is one of them.”

    – Jack London “Martin Eden” 1909

  4. Francis St. Pol says:

    Jack London is undeniably one of the great reactionary writers. Which is amusing, given how socialist he was. I do believe he intended the above quote from “Martin Eden” as satire:

    “One of my motifs, in this book, was an attack on individualism (in the person of the hero). I must have bungled, for not a single reviewer has discovered it.” (Jack London in a note to Upton Sinclair)

    But he’s either such a poor satirist or such an excellent one that his writing often does a better job of vindicating that which he intended to mock.

  5. SOBL1 says:

    Recruitment of individuals into the cathedral doesnt seem too complicated to figure out. Our top tier unis are fantastic filtration systems.

    Besides the very powerful Soros, the man I’d nominate for a powerful cathedral individual is Robert Rubin. In charge of the CFR, n Harvard’s board, and leads or led for decades what is best described as a economic mafia technostructure (wall st banking).

    • josh says:

      Also David Rubenstein, Richard Haas, Martin Leibowitz, Judith Rodin, Lloyd Blankfein, David Rockefeller Jr, (maybe) Jamie Dimon, Timothy Geitner, David McKean, Dr. John Hood.

      There isn’t as much of a center of gravity as there once was.

      • SOBL1 says:

        Interesting list. I strongly agree on Rubenstein. I do think that the key individual representing an economic interest changes over time as the model of business changes, and Dimon seems to be the top dog of the newer banking interest. You listing Blankfein strengthens Rubin’s case. The SOB cultivated Blankfein after GS bought the commodities trading firm Blankfein worked for. Rubin also placed Geithner in different positions of power. Geithner’s a career technocrat, seemingly always doing someone else’s bidding. Geithner is a member, but I’d place someone like Larry Summers above him.

      • josh says:

        I would have listed Summers, but something about allowing himself to be made a fool of made me not.

  6. Vladimir says:

    Just when I think Radish can’t do anything cooler, it totally outdoes itself.

    Am I really the only one who finds these recent trends (of which this is only the most egregious instance) worrisome and embarrassing?

    The first problem is the nerdy and juvenile image this stuff projects. Serious adult men don’t spend their time fantasizing about themselves as fantasy roleplaying magic heroes and whatnot. This kind of stuff will attract the wrong kind of people, i.e. nerdy kids who think they’ve found some new hip geek cool thing that makes them feel self-important, and repulse those whom you would want to be your readers and commenters, i.e. intellectually serious people who are accomplished in real life and can offer knowledgeable, mature, and original perspectives on life and society. (I’m not at all agaist humor, but the relevant test is whether the given attempt at humor would strike the latter kind of people as witty or as embarrassingly nerdy.)

    The second problem is the combination of self-congratulatory tone and a forced pretense of unity, agreement, mutual respect, and uniform intellectual quality. Some of the people on this list are overall quite brilliant; others are generally mediocre thinkers who ocasionally say something interesting; yet others have, to my knowledge, never written anything remarkable. (And I’ll be charitable and stop there.) Similarly, a large percentage of these people would never agree to be considered part of the same intellectual milieu as others (in some cases to the point of open hostility and contempt), and it’s quite pathetic and disingenuous to portray them all as one happy and self-congratulatory family.

    Just recently I was wondering if the recent upsurge in interesting blogs would fizzle out in a similar way as the one from several years ago, in an atmosphere of general dispiriting and tiredness. It looks like this one might instead end up in a different but even worse failure mode, by becoming just another persistent contrarian attractor, hopelessly short on both intellectual standards and the status and image it projects towards the rest of the world.

    • Erik says:

      No, you’re not the only one. I mentally phrased my concerns about the Radish cards in terms of fanfic – a literary genre which constantly struggles with the tendency of degenerating into shout-outs, remixes, mashups, in-jokes, and eventually vanishing up its own arse.

      • Konkvistador says:

        The social effects of HPMOR on the LessWrong community seem the best argument on nerdy popularization. However. MIRIs funding and organization have never been better.

        Funding and actual paid research is I think the best next step. This cannot be done without proles. Though as Libertarianism shows us many of the dynamics Vladimir describes ruin that as well.

      • Konkvistador says:

        I just noticed it wasn’t obvious that I disapproved of the social effects of the Harry Potter rationalist fanfic on LessWrong from the comment. I do.

      • Francis St. Pol says:

        I truly cannot understand why Yudkowsky chose to write a fanfic in the HP universe. His other, more creative, fiction is vastly better writing.

    • One problem is that people with a keen concern or intuitive grasp of status and image are probably underrepresented amongst those interested in iconoclastic politics and the blogosphere.

      Ideally, everything (in politics, and life) would be left to high-powered, intellectually serious people, but there don’t appear to be many of them around.

      Three hypotheses present themselves—bearing in mind that structural changes (i.e. what deep processes alter the composition and incentives of the entire blogosphere?) are of vastly more import than individual discussions.

      1. Internet politics is a diversion, and will not lead to or change anything, due to lack of money, and lack of interest amongst smart and accomplished people.

      2. Internet politics will have an effect, but only when some change occurs, such as an influx of money, or higher levels of social discrimination amongst the relatively middle-aged and highly intelligent participants. These changes could perhaps be expedited by fairly small-scale innovation, e.g. in blogging software.

      3. Internet politics will have an effect, and this is consistent with a near-total disregard for most of the participants’ image and status amongst conventional society. One might point to e.g. the almost deliberately low standards of 4chan and “Anonymous”, whose culture has at least manifested in large-scale meatspace protests.

      In favour of #1, I would add this quote that really struck me from H. Scott Gordon’s book, Controlling the State:

      In evolving the constitutional structure that accomplished these ends, the Venetians resorted very little, if at all, to the writings of classical or medieval political thinkers. Renaissance writers who commented upon the finished constitution of Venice made frequent reference to revered authorities such as Aristotle, but the “wise ancestors” to whom Contarini attributed the merits of Venetian government were not writers on political theory or architects of utopian states; they were practical men of quotidian politics who built the constitution piecemeal, responding to immediate problems as they perceived them.

      Highly calculated political contrarianism could, perhaps, be generally futile.

      In favour of #3, I would point out that Moldbug’s first couple of years of high status behaviour, Nick Szabo’s always impeccably high status behaviour, etc., seemed to attract rather few people who are not inevitably and uncritically interested in weird politics.

      I find this question interesting mainly because I’m becoming inclined towards #1. One thing I would say in defense of overtly low-status image (but certainly not low intellectual quality) is that on the Internet, pomposity also seems to be a failure mode, perhaps due to the ability to banish critical responses and diverse perspectives. See e.g. majorityrights.com or the worst excesses of LessWrongian singularitarianism—they take themselves too seriously. Also, to play low-status in image can be a Schelling fence against attempts to play high-status in ideology.

      • Vladimir says:

        Independent of any questions of broader impact, the more basic issue is what will happen with these forums where one can presently find interesting contrarian discourse on ideologically sensitive topics. My main concern is that this stuff from Radish is a step towards replacing genuine high-quality discourse with mindless intellectual hipsterism, while at the same time making these blogs repulsive to serious and accomplished people who could make interesting and original contributions.

        Another problem, or rather another aspect of the same problem of incipient intellectual hipsterism, is this attempt at some big-tent community building, where everyone is supposed to be patting each other on the back and feeling self-satisfied at how cool and awesome we are. One thing I always admired in the late Lawrence Auster, whatever his flaws may have been otherwise, was his absolute unwillingness to budge one millimeter in the name of intellectual frienship and coalition-building, and to criticize ruthlessly and unhesitantly anyone whom he disagreed with. While I would certainly like disagreements on these blogs to be more agreeable than Auster’s style of discourse, I still infinitely prefer his approach to self-important mutual flattery about how we are cool because we are Heroes of the Reaction(TM) with Magical Powers.

      • Foseti says:

        I’m not sure we’re trying to get taken seriously by serious people.

        Plus, as my dad always says, “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

        Or as Nicolas Gomez Davila said, “As long as they do not take him seriously, the man who says the truth can live for a while in a democracy. Then, the hemlock.”

      • The value of coalition building, to put it bluntly, is that a big tent could bring in money, and all the slackers who might be tempted to do pedestrian but useful research tend not to be rolling in disposable income. However, that is one thing, and content-free hipsterism, posturing or mere stupidity is another.

        I could be wrong about the potential for such a project. (Indeed, I am drifting towards #1.) But I have an unpleasant vision of the blogosphere in 10 years, unchanged but with different faces, and having made no substantive, endogenous intellectual progress at all. It seems a shame to let such an easy research opportunity go begging.

        So, my optimistic interpretation of this wave of mutual, virtual appreciation is that money could be the unit of caring. Larry Auster might, in these circumstances, have alienated useful individuals. Otherwise, I agree, and frankly a lot of the Internet discourse (including mine, of course) is absolute tripe conducted in an atmosphere of intellectual laziness. I guess the real problem is when a critical mass of participants are unable to discriminate the Internet’s inevitable bursts of static and kipple from discussions that have potential to be a little more elevated.

      • Highly calculated political contrarianism could, perhaps, be generally futile.

        Seems to have been mighty successful for the eighteenth century left.

      • Vladimir says:

        One thing I always admired in the late Lawrence Auster, whatever his flaws may have been otherwise, was his absolute unwillingness to budge one millimeter in the name of intellectual frienship and coalition-building

        I am happy to focus on what we agree on, while politely mentioning what we disagree on.

        Given general agreement that our society’s current course is fundamentally wrong and disastrous, and that turning back the clock to last year or last decade is both impractical and insufficient, all other disagreements are not all that serious.

        The only serious disagreement is the blame-the-jews crowd, and my disagreement with them is not about all the bad stuff done by so many Jews, but that blaming the Jews only rolls back the clock to 1950 or so, which from the point of view of a reactionary is only marginally different to being a commie.

      • nickbsteves says:

        One thing I always admired in the late Lawrence Auster, whatever his flaws may have been otherwise, was his absolute unwillingness to budge one millimeter in the name of intellectual frienship and coalition-building, and to criticize ruthlessly and unhesitantly anyone whom he disagreed with.

        You should’ve seen his bewildered family members at the reception after his funeral. He had hurt them too in various ways over the years. Larry Auster was a tireless propagandist, who stayed on message all the time. There must be 10 million words in his archive, and most of them indispensable. But he was not a uniter.

        The Brain Trust™ of The Reaction® needs ivy-covered walls around a place to meet. Fine, point taken. And we’re not all going to be in it. Most of us don’t even want to be in it. Vlad wants to be in it. Well, apply. From what I’ve seen you’re qualified, but I don’t make those decisions.

        But for God’s sake, keep the windows open up there. As Frost points out, you can’t very well run a Reaction® on brainpower alone. (Nick Land’s working on that I guess, but until then…)

    • Samson J. says:

      Am I really the only one who finds these recent trends… worrisome… ?

      The first problem is the nerdy and juvenile image this stuff projects.

      Emphatically agreed now that you mention it. From this angle, the propaganda poster piece that Radish did was far better, and one of the reasons why is that it came off as adult. The gestalt impression it conveyed was of a movement that serious people would gravitate towards. We should remember that like teenagers eying adulthood while pretending to despise grown-ups, non-reactionaries are drawn on some level to our philosophy even if they try and suppress the urge – but only if we remain serious and sober. Not that there isn’t, as you say, an intelligent style of humour.

      Serious intellectual Christians are aware that modern fathers’ attempts to be “youth group cool guy” have been a disaster for the church. It will be the same with reaction.

      If there’s a counterpoint to be made to all of this, in favour of Radish’s most recent piece, it may be that we should remember who his target audience is, and the title of his magazine: the Club for Young Reactionaries, which I take to mean college-students-and-slightly-older. Considered in that light, it may be an acceptable style.

    • VXXC says:

      Vladimir,

      What about Intellectuals ability to govern impresses you so? As the subject is governance. They’re an unmitigated century long disaster that is reaching it’s climax now in America. They also are seemingly born with mens rea and can’t wait to sell out. And they’ve produced a governing class that I swear cannot be redeemed. That’s as people, never mind govern.

      The lessons of the last century will at least serve posterity well, intellectuals must never again be allowed near the levers of power.

      Looking around I have come to understand why the Vandals destroyed writing, they saw what it did to the once virile and mighty Romans.

      If Radish can move people to ACT, which is what’s needed, or at least persuade Batista’s Troops to stay in their barracks, then God Save Radish. Radish GETS IT.

      Honestly wouldn’t you rather be ruled by this fellow and indeed Tweed risen then this current ruin of mad children?

      http://www.panarchy.org/plunkitt/graft.1905.html

    • spandrell says:

      What exactly do you expect to happen in the blogosphere? A sudden revelation of divine political truth appears, and all thoughtful and intelligent adults simply come to accept it, so voila, all international organizations are dismantled and De Maistre is canonized?

      This place is growing which means that some amount of hipsterism is unavoidable. If we can make eugenics and antidemocratism cool, what’s not to like?

      • spandrell says:

        Also it’s not like Auster achieved anything besides forming a microcult of housewives and their husbands.

      • Vladimir says:

        Spandrell,

        What exactly do you expect to happen in the blogosphere?

        My hopes are very modest. I simply hope that a few more smart and interesting people might get engaged in honest and insightful discussion about all these topics where the mainstream is hopelessly mendacious and delusional. This would solidify and expand the insight and discussion found on these blogs, which is worthy in its own right, and also an absolutely necessary condition for anything more that might ever come out of this entire intellectual milieu (whether it’s otherwise possible or not).

        Take for example this blog. Our host here is someone who has a fairly rare insider perspective on the way USG works, and quite possibly the only person in this position who is willing to discuss its inner workings in such a straightforward and honest way, and without the usual self-serving pious lies and rationalizations. This is tremendously valuable, if anything because it shows the rest of us that, quite probably, we didn’t go crazy when we came to similar conclusions ourselves — not to mention the value of a constant stream of interesting commentary and analysis from such a unique perspective.

        It is only because of such individuals that this whole neoreactionary intellectual circle is capable of generating worthy output and not degenerating into (or being in the first place) just another wacky internet sect. To preserve and expand this value, we need more such people, i.e. those who have serious real-world positions, experiences, and accomplishments, but who are nevertheless taking a dissident view of the system. These are the only people able to give us a confirmation that we’re keeping a solid grasp of reality, along with original perspective and insight of their own. And they will most definitely not be attracted by juvenile hipsterism and self-satisfied circular flattery, but only by offering a genuine opportunity for honest and serious discourse.

        Moreover, there is absolutely no way any contrarian ideas can ever be “made cool” in today’s world. The Cathedral has an absolute iron monopoly on manufacturing cool, and trying to counter its propaganda machinery with your own attempts at “cool” is like challenging all the demons of Hell hoping that you’ll scare them away by saying “boo” loudly. Forget about it. And at the same time, such attempts at non-Cathedral-approved cool and hipsterism will attract certain kinds of people — but these are exactly the kinds of people you want to avoid, i.e. those attracted to contrarian positions and symbolism out of sheer social maladjustment, who are likely to contribute nothing of positive value.

        On the whole, it may well be that I’m over-optimistic when I hope that a few more smart and accomplished people who are deeply sick of the system’s mendacity and dysfunction could be attracted by offering them venues for open and honest discussion. But at the same time, hoping to attract followers by inventing some kind of alternative cool hipster image and symbolism is just silly. Even if it works, the result will be just another horrible den of crackpots and maladjusted youngsters.

  7. spandrell says:

    Vladimir,

    I do agree that insiders such as Foseti or Handle (or Moldbug through his father) are of great value because of the first hand information they bring forward. Our theory is good enough, but empirical proof of the madness of modern politics is lacking, and has more persuasive power than any theoretical construct we can come up with.

    You sound very Hansonian when you want more (high status) federal workers and less (low status) maladjusted youngsters around, lest your association with them lowers your own status.

    I personally was a socially maladjusted youngster, and though I wasn’t conscious of it, probably came to contrarian positions because of it. My thinking evolved and I no longer parrot contrarian points for the sake of getting back at society, but of course most of my fellow teenage contrarians of the time are still libertarian doomsters.

    Thing is, most people most of the time aren’t detached rational thinkers, and no matter how smart you are, well adjusted, status-conscious people will never turn against the system when doing so might kick you out of the status ladder. In the end mendacity and dysfunction are a matter of values, and well-adjusted people by definition are those who share the Cathedral’s values.

    I don’t know how many Fosetis, Handles or asdfs are out there, and what caused them to turn against the Cathedral, but I’m sure they all have personal things going on that could make them count as ‘maladjusted’ in your book.

    Not to say I’m not scared of the Dark Enlightenment being invaded by the likes that populate Zerohedge comment threads, but Radish trying to make us cool is not enough to cause that.

    And as I said, Auster’s implacable stance against “self-satisfied circular flattery” with other bloggers only produced an even smaller self-satisfied circular flattery cult with his own groupies. Hard to tell if it was intellectual integrity or mere egomania.

  8. Vladimir says:

    Foseti,

    I’m not sure we’re trying to get taken seriously by serious people.

    Well, whom do you want to have reading your blog and commenting on it? People able and wiling to discuss seriously the topics that you write about, or people for whom it’s an image-building exercise that strokes their maladjusted sense of self-importance? Wherever these two kinds co-exist for a while, the latter will always eventually drown out the former.

    You’ve managed to create a blog that currently has some of the most interesting original content to be found anywhere, and also a magnificently good comment section. And now you’re saying that your goal is not to be taken seriously, but merely to provide fodder for some silly collective exercise in self-congratulation and hipsterism?

    Plus, as my dad always says, “fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”

    The really pathetic thing here is that this is fundamentally not a joke. The basic message of crude flattery and self-flattery is entirely earnest, to the point of being acutely embarrassing.

    • Foseti says:

      Two points:

      1) the guy writing radish really gets it. He gets it better than a lot of people “in the movement”. I’m less concerned with style than with substance, and he’s got substance.

      2) I’m much more pessimistic than others about what we can reasonably achieve. I view progressivism as much more resilient than others. Cars are aflame in Sweden and the cops are doing nothing. And most swedes are completely fine with that! That’s incredible.

      • Samson J. says:

        I’m much more pessimistic than others about what we can reasonably achieve.

        Then why do you write all this stuff? I never thought I was an extreme optimist(!), but it’s beginning to seem that I am, comparatively speaking. Maybe I’ve been a Christian for too long, because I don’t understand people who don’t believe in hope.

      • Foseti says:

        Don’t you think that writing to save the world is – in itself – fundamentally progressive in nature (not to say wildly presumptuous)?

      • Vladimir says:

        As I already wrote, I have no grand ambition — merely to continue having these few little corners where we can have a sane discussion, with high-quality participants, about topics where the repectable mainstream is seriously detached from reality. (And, if possible, to attract occasional new high quality participants to this discourse, while avoiding getting drowned out by low-quality ones.) My main point is that these recent trends towards puerile intellectual hipsterism threaten even this modest and reasonable goal.

        Now, maybe we don’t even share this basic goal, and you would in fact much rather participate in this incipient circle of Reactionary(TM) Cool. In this case there’s nothing to say except to acknowledge this disagreement. But if you think that these two goals are compatible, I think you’re very much wrong. Take this simply as a warning against an ominously plausibe failure mode of this blog that you’ve managed to build up to such a high level of quality (of both content and audience).

      • Foseti says:

        Fair enough. However, I still think intellectual agreement is the most important variable.

        The problem with hipsterism is that it tends to be accompanied by the dumbing down of the message. Radish may be guilty of hipsterism, but his other writing is as substantive as anyone else.

      • Handle says:

        That the only point to writing and blogging must be goal-oriented, must be about “accomplishing something in this world for society” (basically “Tikkun Olam” is the fundamentally progressive idea.

        Foseti wrote a post a while back, “We all speak progressive.” We all think progressive too – no matter how much we think we’ve overcome it. And Orwell taught us how influential mushy political language can be on our ability to think clearly. It’s so, so hard to discipline your thinking to purge the influence of faulty concepts that are deeply embedded in our terms and grammar.

        David Friendman’s been on a heroic tear recently going after the “Bleeding Heart Libertarians” and their embrace of “Rawlsian Social Justice” with its unsupportable maximin assumption and vague talk about “minimally decent lives”. He has asked them, time and again, to just simply define clearly what they mean. All of their attempts dissolve into either evasions or incompetence. It’s hard to tell the difference.

        They will not or they can not. But that doesn’t discourage them in their beliefs for some reason. These are, supposedly, other “academic libertarians” who can speak the same language as Friendman and, purportedly, share a good deal with him philosophically. So, what’s the problem.

        The problem is that they don’t think they have to defend themselves. They think “having a special concern for the poor and using state coercion to ensure they are entitled to live minimally decent lives” is the default presumption that anyone else should have to argue against.

        That writing should be about a hope of being able to “do something” is a similar notion – a default presumption that has infected us like a mind virus so sinister it makes us think that the immunized are the sick ones.

        Personally, I am more optimistic than Foseti, though this is largely a matter of temperament, and empirically I’ll stipulate he’s got the better of the friendly argument. My view is that it’s fun to pretend we might be able to do something – even if it’s just an enjoyable pipe-dream – but that we shouldn’t take that fantasy too seriously. More important, especially in the short term, is to enjoy each others company and exchange of ideas. Whatever happens beyond that is pure gravy in my opinion.

      • Foseti says:

        (I’ve also enjoyed David Friedman’s exchange. He’s just dominating them – it’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Their argument basically amounts to, “we have no logic or coherence, but we *care* so deeply.”)

        The funny thing about optimism is the more of it you have, the less happy you seem to be.

        From blogging, I’ve gotten: a better attitude about life (for example, I’m much more family oriented, which has made me a much happier person); my family’s changed what we do (my wife’s not working, which was a much more obvious decision post discovering the reaction, and which has clearly been the right decision on every level (except financially)); we’re healthier; the whole world makes more sense; I’m constantly reading great things and discovering fascinating ideas; I’ve met great people; and I’ve organized my own thinking. The list goes on. Nevertheless, I constantly take shit in the comments when the subject comes up because I’m not doing this to save humanity from itself. Fuck that. Basically everything’s better and I’m having fun. If that’s not good enough, I don’t know what is.

  9. Glopknar says:

    I am going to be in SF in a few weeks, and would like to buy Mr Yarvin lunch while I’m there. Unfortunately I cannot find any way to contact him. If anyone has his contact info please send it to glopknar2@gmail.com, thanks kindly.

  10. Vladimir says:

    Spandrell,

    You sound very Hansonian when you want more (high status) federal workers and less (low status) maladjusted youngsters around, lest your association with them lowers your own status.

    It’s not (or at least not primarily) about my own status. The simple fact is that a federal worker probably has something interesting and original to say about how USG works. The maladjusted youngster almost certainly doesn’t (but is likely to be eager to ramble and distract nonetheless).

    It doesn’t have to be a civil servant, of course. For insight into different areas of contrarian social theory, other kinds of people may well be more competent. But, aside from some very rare exceptions, a certain level of status and accomplishment in real life is nearly always a necessary condition for one to have something worthwhile to say.

    Not to say I’m not scared of the Dark Enlightenment being invaded by the likes that populate Zerohedge comment threads…

    There are also many other kinds that are even worse. And I already detect their increased presence since this recent popularization of the “Dark Enlightenment” meme, including on this blog.

    • asdf says:

      Vlad,

      At the end of the day it matters what you really want to do with the knowledge. Foseti is on record saying this is mostly a pleasant distraction for him. Something to let some steam off after dealing with true believers all day. He’s said that he would abandon it at the first sign of pushback from the Cathedral. So what is the point really?

      Foseti hasn’t gotten pushback precisely because his blog doesn’t threaten anyone. If it did he would get Richwined. However, he’s stated that being faced with that he would renounce his ideals and endorse whatever the Cathedral wanted if it meant keeping his position which he uses to provide for his family. One can easily see him firing Richwine if he worked at Heritage if he had to choose between himself and his ideals.

      The simple truth is that in a Cathedral controlled world anyone with power will either be a part of the Cathedral or stay out of its way. That’s how you get power.

      I see no reason why someone not being a part of the power structure means they can’t know what they are talking about. The ideas are what they are. All it really adds is confidence. When one is out of the power structure one is susceptible to the argument that the only reason they believe X is because they aren’t a part of the power structure. However, if you become a part of the power structure and still realize X is true then such an attack no longer works on you. X was always true. The question then is whether you really believe in X or if your willing to renounce X to remain a part of the power structure. It’s a question of character.

      I’ve had times in my life where I’ve had to put my career on the line to fight for what’s right. There is no shortage if people out there that will say something it wrong. There is a shortage of people who will do something about it, which is what you need. Assuming this is anything more then entertainment.

    • survivingbabel says:

      But, aside from some very rare exceptions, a certain level of status and accomplishment in real life is nearly always a necessary condition for one to have something worthwhile to say.

      Which is, of course, the shibboleth with which the Cathedral continually brutalizes the opposition. “Your opinion is wrong, just look at all these Harvard PhD’s who disagree with you! Shut up and take it!” (See the clamor to have Jason Richwine’s PhD revoked; someone who believes in HBD can’t be allowed to have Cathedral imprimatur, after all.) In fact, not believing, or not being able to fake belief, in Cathedral narratives makes it very unlikely that a person in 2013 will have status or accomplishment.

      I genuinely respect your contributions, but your posts on this thread veer awfully close to genuine concern trolling. Is the reactosphere currently drowning in puerile memes and inveighed rants? From whence this need to prematurely proscribe what is “acceptable” reaction? “I know it when I see it” may be close enough for government work, but personally I’d like to see you make a case that “participant respectability” is a.) a current problem, or a problem likely to become current soon, b.) definable in non-Cathedral-poisoned terms, and c.) the proper way to run a reaction.

      The “serious people” are not likely to come around these parts, regardless of the level of discourse. The “serious people” are conditioned to run from anything that even smacks of reactionary thought. The “serious people” would like nothing better than to see our ideas outlawed. There’s precious little status to be found here… unless, of course, we somehow prevail. This is a seriously long game (generational game), and Nick B. Steves gives the best advice I can think of: procreate.

      • Samson J. says:

        your posts on this thread veer awfully close to genuine concern trolling.

        Not remotely. Not in the slightest. I see Vladimir making a serious, adult, very important point, and a few others ignoring or misunderstanding what he is saying, or failing to see why it is important. It’s a terrible portent.

        I’d like to see you make a case that “participant respectability” is a.) a current problem, or a problem likely to become current soon, b.) definable in non-Cathedral-poisoned terms, and c.) the proper way to run a reaction.

        I can’t fathom why you think this would be a difficult case to make. It’s not that we need “respectable” people per se; it’s that anybody with anything interesting to say, and the strength of personality to effect change in real life, has probably achieved things in life that mainstream society considers “respectable”.

        The “serious people” are conditioned to run from anything that even smacks of reactionary thought.

        No, they aren’t, not all of them, not all the time – you are displaying overly black-and-white thinking. Lots of us are what I would call “serious people” with serious jobs. (At least, I thought so until today.)

      • Foseti says:

        I agree that Vladimir is making a serious point. However I think Radish’s understanding of the issues (which seems much deeper than many others – including some serious thinkers) outweighs the concerns.

        Everyone has a different style. Just ignore the ones you don’t like. Any movement above a certain size will have people with different styles.

        I don’t think we should start censoring each other, as if we were a bunch of libertarians.

      • survivingbabel says:

        @SamsonJ

        I can’t fathom why you think this would be a difficult case to make.

        So make it.

        It’s not that we need “respectable” people per se; it’s that anybody with anything interesting to say, and the strength of personality to effect change in real life, has probably achieved things in life that mainstream society considers “respectable”.

        This is simply a restatement of Vladimir’s assertion. Please define “interesting”, and what “achievements” you are envisioning.

      • Vladimir says:

        survivingbabel,

        Which is, of course, the shibboleth with which the Cathedral continually brutalizes the opposition.

        If you want to play that game, I can just point out that you’re basically accusing me of failure to practice the values of tolerance, inclusivity, sensitivity, and egalitarianism, because I’m arguing that some people are smarter and more insightful than others — and that this will necessarily correlate with their real-life status and accomplishments.

        I agree that people who are successful thanks to their sly and ruthless loyalty to the regime ideology are neither worthy of admiration nor can be engaged in honest discussion. I also agree that the fashionable kind of elitism where one is supposed to hate and despise one’s lower-class countrymen while pretending to be a magnanimous egalitarian is disgusting and despicable. But this doesn’t change the fact that the sort of people who can contribute to an intelligent and insightful discussion of the sort practiced here is almost exclusively a subset of people who have achieved a solid level of status and accomplishment recognized by the society at large.

        Is the reactosphere currently drowning in puerile memes and inveighed rants?

        To extend this drowning metaphor, currently I find that it’s covered in unpleasant ankle-deep water where until recently there was comfortable dry and solid ground. If the water rises much further, I will lose interest and be gone long before it reaches the knee, let alone the neck. I don’t know if this will happen for sure, but these early signs are worrisome at the very least.

        The “serious people” are not likely to come around these parts, regardless of the level of discourse.

        As I explained in another comment, the key for creating insightful discourse (as the first step towards anything more that might be even theoretically possible) is to attract serious and accomplished people who are nevertheless disturbed by their accurate perception of problems with the system.

        This is a seriously long game (generational game), and Nick B. Steves gives the best advice I can think of: procreate.

        It’s a hopeless strategy by itself. As long as they have the intellectual and moral hegemony, they will convert your kids.

      • To extend this drowning metaphor, currently I find that it’s covered in unpleasant ankle-deep water where until recently there was comfortable dry and solid ground.

        Not seeing it. Radish can generate a silly laugh, and also point us to deep wisdom, both. His persona is a student. He is supposed to be puerile.

        Is he a student? Maybe, but not everyone in the Dark Enlightenment is what they seem, and even if one of their identities is what it seems, they are apt to have some more identities up their sleeve in case of emergency.

      • It’s a hopeless strategy by itself. As long as they have the intellectual and moral hegemony, they will convert your kids.

        Not necessarily and almost surely not if you homeschool… even if only through 8th grade. The entering college (or HS) freshman will be fully formed enough not to be indoctrinated in the “affective” domain. They’ll see the bullshit for what it is. I have three kids (so far) at or above HS level, and none of them are Cathedralized… and I’m no great shakes as a parent or educator.

        I really cannot imagine having to do something like this. ‘Course I would if I had to, but still…

      • survivingbabel says:

        @Vladimir

        If you want to play that game, I can just point out that you’re basically accusing me of failure to practice the values of tolerance, inclusivity, sensitivity, and egalitarianism, because I’m arguing that some people are smarter and more insightful than others — and that this will necessarily correlate with their real-life status and accomplishments.

        Not at all, Of course there are people who are smarter and more insightful, but I’m arguing that you can’t simply assert that “smarter and more insightful” and “real-life status and accomplishments” necessarily go hand in hand, or even strongly correlate. Given the current state of Western “intellectualism”, universities, and the press, the burden of proof is higher than simply reasoning that the correlation ought to exist.

        But this doesn’t change the fact that the sort of people who can contribute to an intelligent and insightful discussion of the sort practiced here is almost exclusively a subset of people who have achieved a solid level of status and accomplishment recognized by the society at large.

        If it’s a fact, then surely you can expound upon it and offer some supporting evidence. For starters, please define what you think of when you say “status and accomplishment”. From my (admittedly unique) perspective, the Cathedral structure is specifically designed to prevent true dissenters from achieving status and accomplishment. Of course, I’m not expecting you to accept the Cathedral’s definitions, but, for serious reactionary intellectuals, there’s no path to “status and accomplishment” down that road. (Incidentally, this is the major reason I support James Goulding’s call for funded reactionary research.)

        As I explained in another comment, the key for creating insightful discourse (as the first step towards anything more that might be even theoretically possible) is to attract serious and accomplished people who are nevertheless disturbed by their accurate perception of problems with the system.

        I would love to hear some actionable ideas on this front. I am friends or friendly acquaintances with numerous “serious and accomplished” thirty-somethings, several with national platforms, and a couple with the ear of the President. Do you think they arrived in those positions without fully investing themselves in the existing system? Yes, STEM professionals and disaffected FIRE workers may find what we have to say appealing, but is there any hope of encouraging public intellectuals to take us seriously? (This is a serious question, not meant as rhetorical.)

      • Survivingbabel,

        I should clarify that to encourage “reactionary intellectual” as an identity is a bad idea. Ideally, people who do research would be competent enough in meatspace, although not necessarily in academia, and see this as an important, exciting weekend job.

        On the other hand, I have to say that “insightful discourse” in blog comments sections will always be underwhelming, whoever participates, so the level of cynicism in these comments is inconsistent. Also, a movement that quite truly can’t integrate young and enthusiastic people (and I’m not necessarily talking about “Radish”) won’t get far—again, unless one’s hand slips off the cynicism dial. “Reaction” seemingly has no potential to achieve escape velocity, and that’s why I’ll have to bid this virutal milieu adieu.

      • survivingbabel says:

        @James Goulding

        Once, there were four men carrying a couch up several flights of stairs. After one flight, the men were sweating and fatigued, but still able to carry the couch. After two flights, one man looked at his fellows and said, “Gentlemen, there is little hope that we can carry this couch up these stairs. I must therefore quit this endeavor in search of one with a greater chance of success.” After he left, the other three men could no longer life the couch, and there it remained.

        Was the first man correct in his prediction?

  11. My hopes are very modest. I simply hope that a few more smart and interesting people might get engaged in honest and insightful discussion about all these topics where the mainstream is hopelessly mendacious and delusional. This would solidify and expand the insight and discussion found on these blogs, which is worthy in its own right, and also an absolutely necessary condition for anything more that might ever come out of this entire intellectual milieu (whether it’s otherwise possible or not).

    This is an excellent point to raise; to reiterate my point above, however, it seems unlikely that the nerdy, juvenile and mediocre attractor within “Reaction” is due mostly to simple epistemic errors on the part of people like Foseti, which could be rectified by this discussion, in contradistinction to vast, formless things that could only be tackled, if at all, with serious effort at their root.

    Why are there few mature, intelligent and directly experienced participants? (I doubt anyone disagrees that these are preferable to juvenile, unintelligent people, and those with no special insight into the workings of our polity.) Is it because blogging software is too structurally inclusive and egalitarian, or because blogs have an incurably nerdy aura, or a problem less easily solved?

    Could it be because high-powered, intelligent and mature but dissatisfied people are, due to self-interest, the tolerability of stable Brezhnevism, or lack of youthful enthusiasm and subversive inclination, rarely inclined to devote time to the blogosphere (especially since it became clear that it cannot overpower the mass media megaphones)?

    Another possibility is that the identification of new political science and game theory with Reaction and right (à la Moldbug) rather than ultra-libertarianism (Szabo, Friedman) or something quite new (Occupy the Cathedral?) is the worst candidate of an admittedly bad bunch, because not only does the Cathedral monopolise status (whilst also being kind of grey and awful in most people’s eyes, I’d say), but things that identify as “right”, and overtly countenance inequality, authority, tradition etc. have been consistently losing for hundreds of years. Sensible people steer clear of loser ideologies.

    Updating towards your beliefs as usual, if the prospect of meaningful progress (funded and directed research, not blood from the stone of internet comments threads) within this intellectual milieu is so very remote, this suggests to me that the way in which new political science and game theory is to be produced shall be another, perhaps (if anything) leftist milieu that has yet to crystallise.

    • Vladimir says:

      The idea of funded, organized, and directed research seems unworkable until we’ve solved the fundamental catch-22, namely that such an institution could avoid the failure mode of Conquest’s Second Law only by explicitly labeling itself in a way that would imply unacceptable reputational damage for the people affiliated with it.

      In contrast, there does seem to be a significant number of people who would be willing and able to contribute to a high-quality intellectual forum anonymously and informally. They would do it not just for fun, but also as a liberating excursion into reality and normality, and away from the all-pervasive mendacity and ideological conformity. I think there are in fact large numbers of smart and accomplished people — a tiny minority to be sure, but still a large absolute number — who are deeply disturbed by their accurate perceptions of some perverse and malignant aspects of the system, but who cannot (or dare not) systematize the reasons for their discontent into more coherent and decisive contrarian ideas. For these, a forum of this sort could be a powerful and successful attractor.

      Of course, the hard problem is how to establish a forum as a Schelling point and popularize it among desirable potential participants, while keeping away people who have zero or negative value to offer. I have no idea if (let alone how) this could be done as a planned project, but one of my latent hopes in recent years has been that the blogosphere might eventually somehow solve this problem spontaneously. (Consequently, observing the sad failures of various forums that were tremendously interesting in their heyday has made me sensitive to the first signs of inevitable decline — which, together with my long-running fondness for this blog, has prompted the concerns I expressed in this thread.)

  12. Francis St. Pol says:

    Vladimir,

    As an admittedly maladjusted youngster, how would you suggest I make myself useful? I know I haven’t the depth of experience to really be of much use in the way of intellectually original insight. And yet I would very much like to do what I can to help the Dark Enlightenment win. Is the Sophmore caste entirely superfluous to the grand project?

    • On the basis of the accurate information in this comments thread, surely: seek out a better and more feasible project, that doesn’t have to invoke the fabled enthusiasm of CEOs and top-level bureaucrats for reading and commenting on blogs, hold up objective failures as a model, or attach itself to a miasmatic memeplex that veers between abominable attractors.

      • Francis St. Pol says:

        Ah, so give up then. That sounds dull. If the DEC’s path towards victory lies solely through blog comments, then you’re right, things seem hopeless. But if the goal appears good and the plan appears weak, surely the solution is to strengthen the plan rather than abandon the goals.

        My question is not “Why should we fight?” My question is “How can we win?”

    • nickbsteves says:

      As an admittedly maladjusted youngster, how would you suggest I make myself useful?

      I realize you weren’t asking me, but having more than the average number of children and raising them well in a stable home would go a long way.

    • Vladimir says:

      Well, for start, I certainly second Nick’s advice below.

      As for intellectual activity, I’d advise you (or anyone else) to wait until you’re at least 25, and preferably even longer, before you try making active contributions to public discourse. (Unless maybe you can show some extraordinary signs of maturity and accomplishment before that.) In the meantime, read a lot (if you’re hanging out here, you probably already know what), avoid getting indoctrinated as best you can (feeling cool and self-important because of your views usually means that you’ve failed at this), and by all means work on accomplishing something worthy professionally and maintaining social connections with smart and accomplished people in real life. (The latter is important, besides obvious reasons, as a crucial reality check.) If you persist in all this, it will tremendously increase your chances of maturing into someone who has an interesting and original perspective to offer.

      • Francis St. Pol says:

        This is excellent advice. Thank you. I completely agree with you that personal self-improvement is my highest value vector of contribution. I’d like to think that I’m doing a reasonably good job at this, but certainly could always do better.

    • VXXC says:

      Enlist in the Army or Marine Corps. Valuable skills.

  13. reakcionar says:

    I believe one can learn a lot from the libertarian movement. Being cool, popular and getting nerdy college coeds blushed with witty humor could get ones blog more visitors, and might interest some people deeper in the subject. It might even recruit some fierce new warriors. But much more likely, you’ll become just a pathetic imitation of Nick Gilespie.

    So the basic question is – what kind of people you want around? A few dissidents like Hoppe, Gottfried, Gabb, Derbyshire…? Or hundreds of ReasonTV nitwits who find divine right monarchs hip this summer? Or even Stormfront kids who look for something just a bit more intellectual than the latest Landser record? Are you sure you want to set a trend of Friedrich the Great tattoos and “Carlyle is my homeboy” T-shirts?

    Personally, as a reader and an admirer of this whole DE thing, I’d rather see the whole movement become completely autistic and paranoid, and see only the glimpses of discussions on some top-secret forums that might somehow reach me, than see it fall into the old maybe someone will like us this way trap.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it can continue in paralell, like any thing else, there will be people who are into it because it’s cool and people who are into it because they are into it

      personally i think we have enough high brow intellectuals (i don’t consider myself one) and it’s time to start looking for some more hooligans

      • reakcionar says:

        What will you do with the hooligans?

        Imagine that in 5 years you get an army of 100 000 skinhead-type of soldiers, blindly following whatever you or anyone else tells them to do. What would you do with them? Tell them to march on Harvard? Hang Chomsky in Times Square? Build a secret hideout while trying to purchase a small nuclear device somewhere in the ex USSR?

        This reminds me of the libertarians doublethink problem with power – yeah, the State is evil…through war, conspiracies, lies and propaganda it created it’s territorial monopoly on violence, taxation, producing money, education and healthcare, and now it’s completely controlling our lives… However, once we explain basic economics to people, the State will realize it’s wrong and disperse.

        Let me give you just one small example of the true power of the Cathedral comparing to the “power” of hooligans – a few years ago gay parades in the Balkans were regularly met with protests by right wing or conservative population, they were stoned by football hooligans and condemned by the majority of the population with “why can’t they just keep it in their bedrooms?” attitude. There were literally 2 policemen for each participant in the parade, in order to prevent a bloodbath. A few years later – not that there is no stoning, there isn’t even a protest. Every hooligan who knows that he can get away with kicking someones head in at a Saturday night also knows that it’s dangerous to mess around with the LGBT crowd. Hooligans aren’t too clever, but they sure know who the top boys are. They know that there won’t be a cop who will see him as just another kid on the block who got in trouble, there won’t be a weak judicial system to tell him he’s a victim of society, there won’t be just a night behind bars and return to everyday life in the morning. He’ll get a nice good beating, trial for a hate crime, probably lose his job, and also – earn the condemnation of not only the educated, cool and hip people around, but also the older guys from the stadium, who now get nicely payed as doormen in the most hip gay clubs in town.

        This process is not at all finished, and the rule of the Progressive Clergy is far from absolute, but the question stands: if the Cathedral is successfully taming the wildest east European maniacs, why do you think the situation would be any different in the West?

      • What would you do with them? Tell them to march on Harvard? Hang Chomsky in Times Square?

        Do a creeping coup, similar to that that the fascists performed in Japan, and Mohammad Mosaddegh performed in Iran.

        Hanging Chomsky would not do much good. Hanging Romney would work.

        In recent elections, the Republican Candidate has always been the member of the Republican party most prominent for “bipartisan legislation” that moves the US left. Actual opposition would remove the appearance of democracy. Once the Cathedral discards appearance of democracy, a couple more hangings would reveal that who ever has the largest number of serious and sincere believers, is likely to rule.

      • Imagine that in 5 years you get an army of 100 000 skinhead-type of soldiers, blindly following whatever you or anyone else tells them to do. What would you do with them? Tell them to march on Harvard? Hang Chomsky in Times Square? Build a secret hideout while trying to purchase a small nuclear device somewhere in the ex USSR?

        First, at the very first, you build in them a high degree virtue. Perhaps you do with a martial emphasis, but virtue is the key. You’ve already presupposed they will do as told, then they should happily accede to virtue. Then… and only then… you have them all move to NH (or AK) and help to vote the state out of the Union, and later install a retired and sympathetic virtuous colonel as Personal Executive.

      • asdf says:

        reakcionar,

        This raises a good question. There are only three ways to defeat the Cathedral:

        1) Win an election & destroy the bureaucracy (this would require an overwhelming electoral landslide by a candidate that was also heavily and publically committed to reactionary policies and willing to disband/pack the supreme court and/or call for a constitutional convention).

        2) A military coup.

        3) A revolution.

        I can think of no other way of defeating the Cathedral that would stick in any way. In all three I see Cathedral members being removed from power, possibly killed.

        All three are also incredibly unlikely and fraught with massive risks that make a negative outcome far more likely then a positive outcome. What do you think is more likely to come from those things, a well functioning reactionary government or something like Nazism.

        I don’t have a lot of hope for any kind of reactionary victory. As an individual you can decide to support or oppose the Cathedral, but your decision will likely be meaningless in terms of changing the world. Really, the only reason to oppose the Cathedral is if you think its damaging to your soul not to, and the only way you’d believe that is if there was a next world that was more important then this world. If you believe otherwise victory over the Cathedral is incredibly unlikely while adverse effects to yourself are very likely.

        I can’t really think of a reasonable (not pie in the sky idealism) path to a reactionary government. My opposition to the Cathedral comes from the fact that anytime I’ve acted for, with, or in accordance to the Cathedral and its ideals it has made me mentally and physically ill to the point of suicidal thoughts (hurt me right down to my very soul). So I reject the Cathedral on a personal level, regardless of whether I think the rejection is leading anywhere.

      • reakcionar says:

        @ James A. Donald

        Let’s imagine that those skinhead soldiers become disciplined warriors, completely loyal to you personally.

        1. Are those soldiers of any value whatsoever if they are not on the US soil? Would a coup in any other country survive the pressure from the existing USG?

        2. Do you think that a coup that is completely outside the US army could achieve anything, or would it first require some degree of infiltration? In other words, is there a chance that your 10^5 soldiers meet 10^7 soldiers with better logistics?

        @ Nick B. Stevens

        You would use an army to achieve the reactionary cause by voting? And then USG would shrug their shoulders and say: “Oh, OK, whatever.”?

        @asdf

        I don’t think winning elections is a real possibility for the DE. It’s more probable that we see a jewish lesbian being elected as a Pope than a USG that doesn’t believe in democracy. There is a chance of Cathedral winning Vatican, but I see no hope of a democratic movement moving the Cathedral one inch. Coup, revolution – there might be some hope in that… but mostly I share your desperation. If there is a hope, it’s in dusty old books and dark corners of the Internet… as long as they are truly dark and obscure.

      • >Do you think that a coup that is completely outside the US army could achieve anything, or would it first require some degree of infiltration?

        Mohammad Mosaddegh’s creeping coup was completely outside the army.

        He maintained the outward forms of a democratic transition – though anyone that did not cooperate was apt to wind up mysteriously killed by mysterious fanatics. He managed democracy from outside it and above it, rather than openly overthrowing it.

      • nickbsteves says:

        You would use an army to achieve the reactionary cause by voting? And then USG would shrug their shoulders and say: “Oh, OK, whatever.”?

        Once one US state successfully secedes with little or no loss of life, the USG empire will crumble. The productive will break off, leaving the dysfunctional to care only for itself.

      • asdf says:

        I do not consider any kind of election likely. Keep in mind I don’t just mean winning. I mean winning:

        1) An overwhelming legislative landslide
        2) While openly running on reactionary platform
        3) Stating openly that they plan to make wholesale changes that are beyond current legislative protocol (constitutional convention, etc)

        Any electoral victory in which these are not true would be hollow.

        For such a thing to occur what Bruce Charlton calls a “mass repentance” would have to take place. I don’t see a “mass repentance” happening. In any era most people do what comes easiest. Going along with the Cathedral is what comes easiest. My observation of other people is that they do not share my innate and strong revulsion at Cathedral principles, and I don’t expect that to change.

        The military coup and revolution only require a smaller number of supporters, and the hope is that once the system is fixed people will naturally become reactionaries. This is, again, just a long shot hope. When Sulla took over Rome, killed the Marians, made himself dictator for long enough to re-write the constitution, and then retired he thought he had changed things. His grave wasn’t even cold before his reforms started to fail. Coups and revolutions are bloody affairs that end in disaster far more often then an improvement of circumstances.

  14. […] – Frost has some good thoughts on the reaction.  I’d add that we should have a sense of humor, remember just how intractable progressivism is (cars are on fire in Sweden, their government is doing nothing about it, and the vast majority of Swedes seem totally cool with it), write mostly for ourselves.  (Related discussion in the comments here). […]

  15. […] kerfuffle in the comments thread over at Foseti‘s over the latest from […]

  16. […] meta on all that meta. Veteran DEC über-commentator Vladimir started the ball rolling with poignant questions about “nerdy”, “juvenile”, and “self-congratulatory” […]

  17. […] This remarkable thread has pushed my beliefs in the direction that the comet ought to lose its tail and zoom over to a different part of meme-space. […]

  18. mittelwerk says:

    to paraphrase strauss: if you must choose between the republic of letters (respectful academic disagreement, eclecticism) and the sect, choose the sect;

    if you have to choose between the mass party and the sect, choose the sect.

    resist pussification. don’t just become another franchise of catastrophist comicbook-collector faggots (like the other team)

  19. Vladimir says:

    survivingbabel,

    Status and accomplishment is not synonymous with being an ideological commissar of the system. People whom you describe as “STEM professionals and disaffected FIRE workers” are still much closer to the top than to the bottom percentiles by all mainstream ranks of social status. What’s more, there are quite a few people who are ideologically conformist only in an unthinking, social-autopilot way, and who are still basically honest and decent persons with whom constructive dialogue is very much possible. (And who often do perceive accurately that something is horribly wrong with their particular field of accomplishment and expertise, in a way that can be an excellent dialogue-starter, as I outlined above.)

    But more fundamentally, there are some simple truths that I really don’t see how you, or anyone else, could deny:

    1. The present system is quite meritocratic in the way it awards intelligence, even if you completely avoid any career paths that require active ideological conformity and status-whoring. Almost anyone smart (who doesn’t have some awful defect negating this advantage) will somehow find a way towards a decent level of social status and accomplishment.

    2. You are extremely unlikely to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the institutions of the modern world to have interesting insight about them unless you have had some insider experience with them (or at least social connections with people who do). For example, it’s impossible to have original insight on how academia manufactures official science unless you’ve seen the inside of that particular sausage factory.

    There are some exceptions, i.e. people who can mine interesting insight purely from public information. But they are vanishingly rare.

    3. Last, but not least: people who form internet fellowships based on some kind of shared online-forged identity tend to have all kinds of bad qualities. Forums beset by such people inevitably degenerate into a worthless morass, where style reigns over substance and the venue is swamped by contributions of people who are there for the image, not because they have anything interesting to offer.

    • > 1. The present system is quite meritocratic in the way it awards intelligence, even if you completely avoid any career paths that require active ideological conformity and status-whoring.

      This is absolutely not true: To get into a high status university you have to believe or plausibly pretend to believe in all sorts of amazingly stupid stuff, and increasingly they cannot find anyone who plausibly believes and also scores high in the LSAT, so they are evading the LSAT, pretending to have a high LSAT intake when in fact they do not.

      The LSAT is an IQ test, except that it is a fair IQ test that does not define the average female to be equal to the average male, so, is producing ever more politically incorrect results. That universities are openly or furtively ignoring LSAT scores even of white applicants tells us that accepted applicants are dumb and getting dumber.

      Some indications of elite stupidity: The world bank staff do not know the difference between a positive feedback loop and a negative feedback loop. Obama’s speechwriters and fact checkers do not know the differences between the maldives and the malvinas. Our elite cannot tell the difference between the Grand Mosque of Oman and the Taj Mahal, even though their only points of similarity is that they are both white and both have domes.

      I know all these things. I would expect just about anyone I talk to to know all these things. If anyone does not know these things, I conclude he is a idiot, who should be relegated to hewing wood and drawing water.

      So our elite are all idiots.

    • And another example: Recall the elite reaction when Sarah Palin gave an accurate account of the ride of Paul Revere.

      These people just don’t know shit. Now one might say that the reason they are ignorant about Paul Revere is because they don’t want to know about dead white males, except that dead white males owned slaves, but what is the excuse for not knowing the difference between a positive feedback loop and a negative feedback loop? That kind of ignorance indicates not just lack of education, but stupidity.

      Since we no longer have job openings for hewers of wood and drawers of water, most of our elite should be flipping burgers under adult supervision.

    • > For example, it’s impossible to have original insight on how academia manufactures official science unless you’ve seen the inside of that particular sausage factory.

      Well I have seen the inside, but everyone who has read a fair bit of the Climategate files has now also seen the inside.

      Smart people from inside the Cathedral provide immense value to the reaction, but increasingly the Cathedral does not trust smart people, and so the number of smart people inside the Cathedral is rapidly diminishing.

      As I am fond of remarking, Michael Mann, author of 140 Peer Reviewed and Edited books, (capital letters signifying immense awe and respect) got an interdisciplinary degree, and an interdisciplinary degree is what elite universities give stupid ignorant people in place of failing them. The fool attempts a disciplinary degree, and if he simply cannot do it, cannot even fool those who want to be fooled that he is doing it, cannot even fool himself that he is doing it, he switches courses to an interdisciplinary degree.

      Even before the climategate files came out, we had figured out what was going on from the outside. We did not need insiders, because stupid people just are not very good at concealing what they are up to.

    • >2. You are extremely unlikely to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the institutions of the modern world to have interesting insight about them unless you have had some insider experience with them

      I do have insider experience with the scientific community, and gained absolutely no useful insights from that, other than that grants tend to be embezzled, and that studies of supposedly endangered species, on rare occasions when the study is actually performed in the wilderness rather than in the groves of academe, tend to wind up as hunts where supposedly endangered species get shot, and frequently eaten or treated as trophies.

      On the other hand, the fact that the entire scientific community continued to defend the hockey stick curve until October 2012, every scientist and every journal kowtowing, indicates that the majority of the scientific community are either dumb as toads, or else, more likely, the commissars enforcing political correctness upon them, the science bureaucracy, are dumb as toads.

    • asdf says:

      Vladimir,

      “I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”

      [From the Preface]”
      ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

      If your willing to accept a certain level of emasculation, helplessness, and dream crushing purposelessness anyone with the right IQ can be upper middle class. Is this something to be proud of?

      To be an upper middle class professional at most large institutions means being an accomplice with the Cathedral daily. Let’s take a simple example from my life. I was working on healthcare reform as an actuary. I was reviewing a rate increase for a transgender rider. The rider was going to be added to the health plan and increase the cost 0.25% for every single member of the health plan. It paid for the surgery and hormone treatments for freaks to get their genitals mutilated.

      What would have been the correct, manly, reactionary response? I should have marched in there, explained that this was not insurance since it was in fact a controversial elective procedure that people planned for rather then an adverse medical event they couldn’t predict, and that it was wrong to force everyone in the health plan just trying to get health insurance to pay a little more to subsidize other peoples choices. When my boss refused, which I knew she would, I should have either quit or at least refused to do that particular filing. But I didn’t. Yes I was already engaged trying to get my corrupt boss fired and didn’t want to muck it up. Yes I was already looking for another job. Mostly though, I was just tired. Tired of the whole thing. I didn’t want to have another fight I knew I would lose. This buck was broken.

      Look, I’ve done nothing but fail upwards the last 18 months. I’m making 35% more money. And that is correlated with my degradation as a human being. I see no reason to believe that financial or status success aids in making someone the kind of person that will actually fight for reactionary results. My climb up the ladder (any ladder, money, women, status) is correlated with the life and fight going out of me.

      The average 90 IQ manual laborer has a better knowledge of HBD then the Harvard professor, and he acts on it. Of what use is intelligence if it does not correlate with virtue or courage.

  20. VXXC says:

    A bias for pure and purer thought over action, and History will quite overtake you. And again why pray are Americas “proles” arming in at arms race speed?

    Perhaps they need Tribunes? As I’ve suggested.

    Radish has a poster of “NO, not every Fool gets the Vote.” I think that one would resonate with the “proles.”

    “Ideally, everything (in politics, and life) would be left to high-powered, intellectually serious people, but there don’t appear to be many of them around.” ==>>>You mean like NOW? Or perhaps the 20th century?

    Reaction: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

    Uh NO. The problem with Intellectual government isn’t bad ideas – although it didn’t help. The problem is intellectuals aren’t cut out to govern. I think Plunkitt covers it nicely. And I’d still take the 19th century back in an instant, Tammany and all.
    ===============================================

    Francis St. Pol – you had indicated you wish to win. Very well. Develop a bias for action.
    ===============================================

    As to fears of losing position: the Cathedrals positions are based on denying all reality. A key reality being you can’t create wealth or even solvency by Fiat Money, electronic or otherwise.

    And as I think Moldbug said about Gibbs [Obama Shill] – they’ve got dead eyes, whores eyes.

    The Cathedral positions are eroding.

    And they’ve got one more problem: Their Muscle hates them. I mean HATE. Military and Police. HATE. Which is only reciprocation. Is it as articulate or informed as here? Well within their own trades – yes. Yes it is. Vladimir for instance might find the comments or indeed posts at Second City Cop Juvenile, but would you question their credibility?

    [and no, I’m not basing HATE paragraph on the Internet. More solid and dry ground.]

    On a final note – someone bought up “Military Coup” as an option.

    The United States – thanks to the wisdom of the Founders design – cannot be overthrown by coup. IT CAN’T. That’s a long explanation but it can’t. Yes DC could be taken theoretically so…but not the United States. There’s also the question of the Oath, which prole muscle takes very seriously. Sacred. Strangely they also have a conceit that as they can read they don’t need interpretation.

    If you really want to read up on such matters read Luttwak’s “Coup De E’tat”. It’s method. And far from useless. [I said the United States. I didn’t say everywhere. Oh dear..shhhh].

    I remain Perma-Populist, your gracious servant..VXXC

  21. Donny Farp says:

    I thought the neoreactionary explosion had some potential until I saw those comments on Radish today.

    Sure, the gamer cards were silly, but the way people fought over who was and was not included was Cathedral behavior if I’d ever seen it. We are talking high school sports teams.

    If you don’t want this movement to become popular, than enjoy living in obscurity. Radish doesn’t need to cover your tiny group of marginalized academic elitists. They will soon get wise and throw you back in the pit.

    • Francis St. Pol says:

      There’s really only one contentious comment there. Unless we’re looking at different threads?

      • I’m not even seeing one. There was a correction generously offered and graciously accepted.

        I dunno what the hell Dear Donny is talking about…

      • Okay Francis, I see the one and only one… KFB answers that “heroes” of the other branches will added later. If Donny thinks that’s a “fight”, he needs to get out more.

      • Francis St. Pol says:

        Right, perhaps he’s talking about the contention in this thread? But that’s not really the implication of the rest of his comment. I’m hoping he’ll clarify.

  22. >but the way people fought over who was and was not included was Cathedral behavior if I’d ever seen it. We are talking high school sports teams.

    Where is this fighting over who was or was not included?

  23. Vladimir says:

    James,

    Re: elite stupidity, my point is not about the ruling elites and their ideological commissars and PR people. (Although even there, I think you’re extrapolating incorrectly from the stupidity of the latter to the people who are actually in charge. Note also that feigned stupidity can be a very useful practical tool for bureaucrats, sometimes in quite non-obvious ways, so it shouldn’t be always taken at face value.)

    Rather, my point is simply that an individual smart enough to make an interesting contribution to these discussions will nearly always also be smart enough to have some above-average accomplishments and status in real life. (Which is certainly not synonymous with the elite.) In contrast, the sorts of keyboard jockeys whose invasion is the principal danger for any flourishing online forum typically have neither of these qualities.

    Re: the example of academia, you’re exaggerating and oversimplifying. If you think you have a special insight into, say, physics, but the physics professors scorn you as a crackpot, it’s almost certain that the professors are right. In contrast, in some other fields, like e.g. economics, it may well be that the professors are in fact the crackpots. Now we get to the interesting questions: what exact structures of incentives give rise to both of these situations, and when should you be worried that you may have slipped from healthy skepticism of academia into crackpot views? These are hard and complex questions, where insight from honest and dissident insiders is of supreme value.

    Even occasional public glimpses into the insider world of academia, such as the Climategate, are not trivial to interpret correctly and put into full context. Especially since they are almost by definition no representative of its everyday and mundane functioning.

    • asdf says:

      Let’s take a simple example. Medical science is a lot closer to a real science then economics. There are experiments, data, observations, and hypothesis testing. Perhaps not perfect but its done a very good job the last century. And yet if you follow Bruce Charton’s blog there is immense Cathedralized science going on in the area.

      Let’s take something simple like ADD medicine. Here the laymen’s instinct is vastly better then the expert. Your average laymen’s instinct is that the stuff is bad for you most of the time and overprescribed. He’s correct. He doesn’t know exactly why he’s correct, but he can see it with his eyes and feel it in his gut. Could he win an intellectual rebate on the subject with an “expert” pushing the wrong view. Nope. He’d still be right though. Perhaps an expert like Charlton could provide a counter balance, but on whole I think once you start getting down into the muck with these people hashing out over this and that detail you tend to end up losing the argument. The average person, who can’t possibly follow all the details and counter details, simply ends up going with whatever suggestion seems to have the most “authority”, which will nearly always be the Cathedral opinion. We would be better off simply hammering home the simple and common sense instinctual view as opposition and not getting bogged down in the details.

      • Vladimir says:

        asdf,

        You’re just proving my point. Charlton’s insight into the corruption of the medical academia is extraordinarily valuable precisely because he has real accomplishments and an insider perspective in this area.

        And if you adopt blind populist hatred and mistrust of the establishment, this is even greater stupidity than trusting it blindly. It will make you into one of those people who believe they’ll cure cancer with macrobiotics. People’s intuitive gut feeling about medical matters is more often than not just a source of frightul superstition.

        This in fact is a great example of what I’m talking about. Trusting official medicine blindly is bad, and mistrusting it blindly is even worse. And to find some happy middle ground there, we need difficult and sophisticated analysis of how exactly the perverse incentives and corruption in the medical profession and acadmia work, and what is affected by them and to what degree.

        I absolutely agree that for a functional and sane society we need a dignified IQ 90 class as well, but they are useless for this task, however you turn it. And it’s very similar with any other institutions you’d like to put under scrutiny.

      • >Charlton’s insight into the corruption of the medical academia is extraordinarily valuable precisely because he has real accomplishments and an insider perspective in this area.

        Two claims:

        1 Insiders are useful because they have inside information. Obviously true. The Climategate files saved the day, They killed the Climate Treaty.

        2. Insiders are useful because they are higher status and smarter. Obviously not true.

    • Agreed here.
      As a secular, I had a hard time accepting Bruce Charlton’s advice of living the reaction, but I believe that is the key. Also, preaching to the so-called ‘remnant’ and not the masses.
      Lets also remember that Moldbug’s mission was to convert the Brahmin young, which is absolutely possible with a hipster intellectual attitude (I’ve done it myself).
      The 60s counterculture was not supported by the old progressives. We can certainly create a reactionary counterculture. Culture is supreme.
      What would be a simple example? Formal Fridays for one. Dress old school. Behave old school. Don’t take shit from women. Be the aristocrat if you can.
      Also, as AnomalyUK has noted, we just need some threshold of intelligent common people to be aware that they know someone who holds the opinion for example that “the Queen would rule better than the Parliament.”
      I see all of this as very doable.

    • > I think you’re extrapolating incorrectly from the stupidity of the latter to the people who are actually in charge.

      It is evident from the climategate files that Michael Mann is one of the people who is actually in charge. Michael Mann attempted a genuine science course, was unable to complete it, so was given a degree in pseudo science, that being how elite universities deal with stupid people, of which they suffer an increasing number.

      >Rather, my point is simply that an individual smart enough to make an interesting contribution to these discussions will nearly always also be smart enough to have some above-average accomplishments and status in real life.

      Few of us are going to reveal our most important real life accomplishments as the same identity who discusses these questions. Many of us probably have real life accomplishments that could be deemed illegal were the government to take an inordinate interest.

  24. […] With so much to read and so little time, I point to Foseti’s randoms to help you keep pace this month. If you happen to follow news about politics, how vulgar, you might want to take a look at […]

  25. Vladimir says:

    asdf,

    If your willing to accept a certain level of emasculation, helplessness, and dream crushing purposelessness anyone with the right IQ can be upper middle class.

    The problem is certainly real, but you’re exaggerating its scope. We still have a complex technical civilization, and lots of smart people are necessary to run it. There is interesting and dignified work unencumbered by ideological nonsense if you know where to look for it and have the necessary skills. (This includes subsets of all kinds of institutions, from small businesses to large corporations, and possibly even some parts of the government.)

    I see no reason to believe that financial or status success aids in making someone the kind of person that will actually fight for reactionary results.

    Fighting is stupid until you actually know what you’re fighting for. There is nothing more hideous than an idealist fighting heroically for an ideal that is in fact delusional or malignant. And to know whether we can even form any coherent vision of something that might, perhaps, be worth fighting for in some way, we first need calm and intelligent discussion.

    The average 90 IQ manual laborer has a better knowledge of HBD then the Harvard professor, and he acts on it.

    The way things are going, it looks like the average IQ on these blogs may in fact move in that direction soon. (The top IQ will of course inevitably also go downward in that case.)

    Although you probably won’t get IQ 90 manual laborers, but more like IQ 105 R3actionary 1337! keyboard jockeys. But I guess in either case VXXC will be happy to be able to welcome the populist element with open arms. Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa!

    • >The problem is certainly real, but you’re exaggerating its scope. We still have a complex technical civilization, and lots of smart people are necessary to run it. There is interesting and dignified work unencumbered by ideological nonsense if you know where to look for it and have the necessary skills.

      Any high IQ non Cathedral work, for example engineering, is low status, and leads to unemployment when you reach a certain age, unless you have made provision for other career options.

      And, because of the increasing demand for ideological conformity, Cathedral work that needs high IQ people is increasingly done by low IQ people, Michael Mann being exhibit A.

    • Your big fallacy is that you are assuming that official truth is more reliable than that which is officially deemed bunkum, and that official guardians of official truth are more reliable than those officially deemed crackpots.

      Now obviously this is not true of climate science. But, by and large it is not true generally. For example official advice on eating healthy is large eat grains.

      The system for designating official truth has become so corrupt and unreliable, that it needs wholesale replacement.

    • VXXC says:

      I certainly will, whether Bandiera Blanco or not. I think it’s more Vada a bordo, Cazzo. But to the rescue is …great. Thank you.

      “something that might, perhaps, be worth fighting for in some way, we first need calm and intelligent discussion. ”

      Yes. History is full of such Victories.

    • VXXC says:

      IQ is Intellectual Conformity.

      As to the related matters of high status: Status may require selling your soul. In fact it probably will. Status 1940 forward self selected until 1973 for – shirking Military Service. Intelligence and IQ [not identical] was the means, the end was “Shirk”. A mortal sin in Islam for good reason.

      If you want to keep eating the cake and having it too, then flee back to Mother Progress. Her days may indeed last many decades. Stranger things have happened.

      [the problem being and no small part the motive for these physics is sensing the days are numbered, oh Claudius. Your words fly up to Heaven, your thoughts remain on sinecure below].

  26. […] a lot of talk of winning and what to do next around these parts lately (I believe it started here). Some of this talk makes clear that there’s a contingency within the self-identified […]

  27. VXXC says:

    “lots of smart people are necessary to run it.” Every Civilization required lots of smart people to run it. It’s a matter of what they were running.

    “There is interesting and dignified work unencumbered by ideological nonsense if you know where to look for it and have the necessary skills.” 1) which I guess throws the mass of unlucky humanity that can’t escape to the wolves? 2) That also means they just haven’t gotten to ruining it yet.

    You may be looking for a monastery, the good news is they still exist.

  28. Handle says:

    120 comments. Unreal. I need a digest to keep track of it all. Hell, I need an index to the digest.

    One thing about that Spandrell quote. It really hits home. When asked about why I’ve made some of my life choices given some of my … disagreements in the direction taken by the USG, I’ve responded for years, “I’m a patriotic of the place in which I was raised.” That “place” barely exists anymore, anywhere.

    Even when I was being raised in its dying days – it was still merely a fading remnant of a real nation and community to which I think my loyalty and patriotism truly flowed.

    As Moldbug said “Larry is gone and so is the country he was born in.” I’m still here, but the country Larry was born in, the thing whose air I breathed the last breath of, is past. But, who knows. Maybe an inspiration for a better future too.

  29. […] i.e., of The Reaction®. Taking exception to the general mood of extreme pessimism expressed recently at Foseti’s, articulated by worthies such as Goulding, Vladimir, and Surviving Babel, Anomalyuk is willing to […]

  30. Mary Mazip says:

    The only way for the Reaction to defeat the Cathedral is to defeat the notion of the Cathedral having a monopoly on cool. Anything can be made cool, no matter what it is. The issue seems to be that people in this movement are adverse to a populist Reaction, and want anything to do with Cool.

    If we do not allow Cool we have already lost. I’m not seeing anything Cool here, except for Radish Magazine, which is getting criticized for this very issue. If this elitist attitude continues, anyone remotely connected to Cool will refuse a connection with the Reaction.

    Which is what people seem to want here. They are not interested in success, but a tiny social club that had very specific requirements. This is the Reaction. A tiny corner in the fringe of politics, reserved only for people who are not Cool.

  31. […] erupts here, here, here, and […]

  32. […] of the reasons why I became motivated to begin writing again was this long debate on Foseti’s now-mothballed […]

  33. […] of the reasons why I became motivated to begin writing again was this long debate on Foseti’s now-mothballed […]

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