Rue, Britannia

Discussion of the events in Rotherham has been on the lips of anyone with a modicum of moral honesty (no mention will be made as to which groups of people do not fall within this category). Bill Price over at The Spearhead has, in his typical fashion, a fairly even-keeled write-up on the matter. It’s worth a read.

It is perhaps not a good thing that I am no longer surprised by the degree to which humans can be cruel to each other. Welcome to the Kali Yuga, indeed. You’ll notice I take great care to use “humans” here. I could decry these actions as the work of barbaric animals, but that wouldn’t quite be correct. Animals are cruel because they have to be in order to survive. Humans are cruel because they enjoy it.

They say humans are warriors. That makes it sound so noble, so justifiable, so laudable. Bullshit. Humans are savages. Hit the right buttons and they will beg for the opportunity to wade through an ocean of blood. We are what we are made to be, but what we are made to be is a nightmare. Small wonder most people are always dreaming.

I really can’t blame most people for always acting like they’re sleepwalking. The shock of what they would see if they woke up would horrify them, and so they cling to fantasies and illusion. The British cling to a mirage of peace and civil orderliness that was the law of the land in the past but exists no longer. The British are no longer the Master Race, but it seems no one has bothered to remind them of this, and now that island is going to be savaged in a way that hasn’t occurred for a thousand years. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

When your house is infested with ants, you don’t blame yourself for having food in the house, unplug your refrigerator, and burn your house down. You call an exterminator to remove the infestation from your home. If you’re really resourceful and self-sufficient, you do it yourself. At the very least, you spray some vinegar all over the place. When your “home” is the throbbing heart of Western European Civilization, you’re pragmatically obligated to keep the damn thing running smoothly. To do anything less is a choice to vanish into the howling dark. It is not the bold action befitting one who is born to rule. It is the meek acquiesance of one who was born to die.

I was reading the most intriguing thing yesterday. It was an article comparing the social behavior of dogs and wolves that pointed out that, when you put a bunch of strange dogs together, they naturally form hierarchies and power dynamics, while wolves will eschew such rigid structures in favor of more co-operative groups. Dominant wolves, it would seem, don’t need to remind the others who’s boss to the same degree that dominant dogs do.

This makes a fair degree of sense. Dogs were bred to obey so that they could serve. Small wonder they get antsy when no one is telling them what to do. It’s a part of their programming. They practically go into glitch-mode without it.

(Also worth noting, wolves are better communicators than dogs. It seems fairly obvious that wolf packs couldn’t be nearly so fluid and efficient if this wasn’t the case. Now, what does that say about the atomization and individualization of society?)

Still, interesting as this article was, the implications of it are even more compelling. Humans, like dogs, have been bred for docility and subservience. Man is a domesticated creature, and the more domesticated he is, the more he needs a collar, a leash, and a master. The more civilized he is, the more domesticated he is, and the more this is true.

Interestingly (and amusingly) enough, the more progressive and egalitarian he is, the more he ends up needing a hierarchy. The progressive nanny-state utopia serves as a means of domestication and breeds the need for a hierarchy further. Quite the irony, no? The connection with socialist Britain should, at this point, not even need to be stated.

Of course, if everyone is domesticated, who ends up giving the orders? As you claw your way up from the bottom of the food chain, it’s the usual subjects at first: the busybodies and neurotics who are just a bit smarter or a bit more organized than your average person; people whose urge to feel important makes them useful idiots for the real big-shots. The higher up you go, however, the more the dynamic shifts. Past a certain point, the idea that everyone rises to their unique level of incompetence no longer applies. Past a certain level of societal status, you encounter a different breed of humanity altogether.

Ever notice how the more money and power people have in society, the less people seem to think the rules apply to them? It takes a wilder kind of being to make it at the top. This arena is a playground for the psychopaths and sociopaths, but being one of those isn’t a necessary requirement for entry. Being ambitious and amoral is sufficient as long as you have the cognitive firepower to make good on your designs.

You can’t make it to the top otherwise. This is how society is set up. It isn’t just a matter of speaking the right shibboleths. If you can’t seize power and make the wild ones recognize you as one of their own, you can’t join the club. The laws and rules (written and unwritten) that most people need in order function properly? Tools to be used when you need them and mere hurdles to be overcome otherwise.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This is an observation as to the nature of power and what it takes to achieve it. If you don’t want to be treated like a dog, you have to learn how to run with the wolves.

If you decide you want a different system altogether, well, you have to be a different kind of beast entirely.

 

LUPUS NON TIMET CANEM LATRANTEM

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Luck be a Lady…

One of the more underrated “life hacks” (as the kids call them these days) is the tactical assumption, a belief that, even if it isn’t quite correct, nonetheless benefits you if you hold it. “If I eat dessert, I will get fat” isn’t necessarily true, but you’ll still be healthier and better off if you abide by it.

Neoreaction argues that religion is a necessary factor for promoting societal cohesion and stability. Whether a certain religion is true or not is not necessarily relevant. If it promotes a healthy society, it is a good thing. In this way, religion can be argued for on grounds of it being a tactical assumption.

Most traditional dictates tend to function as tactical assumptions of one sort or another. The formation of inaccurate or otherwise irrational beliefs that nonetheless promote order and stability and thus have healthy consequences is in itself a societal Schelling Point. Societies with the best tactical assumptions will out-compete and outlast those with those assumptions that do less to promote functional, effective society.

At this point, it should be fairly clear what happens when post-modernism comes along and begins questioning all the societal tactical assumptions that have accumulated up unto that point. The more one deconstructs and proposes alternative systems, the more one loses the tactical benefits that have been accrued. Cue the horrible, unforeseen consequences.

When a surgeon cuts open a patient, he does not begin poking things that look colorful and yanking out bits that look useless, because it is almost inevitable that he will accidentally kill the person he is operating upon. When an academic begins examining society however, this approach is practically mandated. It is any wonder that a society run by academic fiat is guaranteed to die?

This is not to say that deconstruction and “going meta” are bad things in and of themselves, but that, like almost all human activities, there is a certain level of risk commensurate with engaging in them, the same as with shooting guns or cooking dinner. The greater one’s capacity for prudent foresight and self-reflective critical thinking, the more capacity one has to engage in deconstruction and the like without doing something horrendously stupid. That said, there is a limit to how much prudence can protect you from this, not to mention that the smarter you are, the more colossal your potential fuck-ups can be.

It seems safe to say that most people shouldn’t be engaging in heavy critical thinking. Religion, patriarchy, and other tenets of traditional civilization are like guardrails, protecting people from the worst of their mistakes and enabling everyone to live a good life in a functional society (consider how the sorry state of American blacks could not have been brought about without the destruction of the black family and black community).

The progressive argument against this point of view is that established and successful forms of societal organization are less like guardrails and more like prison bars. Like most progressive critiques, it is not wrong in spirit, just in scope and scale. There will always arise circumstances in which one must alter societal functioning in order to be better suited for current context.

Of course, we can’t just let anybody critique social norms and propose new ones. It is then logical to propose that we restrict this right to an exclusive group of individuals. This could be anything from a small committee to an entire caste. They would be the innovators, keeping a firm eye on social currents and making the tweaks to society to adjust to new circumstances.

Now there’s one huge problem with this. Such a class would inevitably be tempted not to put the good of society as a whole first, but the good of themselves as class first. The power to tweak social norms would be used to put themselves first, and engineer a society in which they rule at the expense of everybody else (but most especially whatever other class they have decided they dislike the most). Sound a bit like the current Brahmin class?

Even without having to postulate such thought experiments though, it ought to be intuitively obvious that centrally planned social norms will be just as destructive to society as centrally planned economies. You can’t dictate emergent phenomenon. Besides, the capacity of humans to accurately foresee the future and enact the most prudent course of action is incredibly limited, while the human capacity to fuck things up and do something stupid is near-infinite.

When it comes to ordering society, you can’t put faith in humans. That’s a recipe that will make a very sour cake. What is needed are robust systems that are populated by good quality human capital (defined here loosely as 100+ IQ citizens with low time-preference, though this an incomplete definition in several regards). All else that we can consider a mark of a good society (i.e. high-trust, low crime, efficient public services…etc) arises out of the combination of these two factors.

It’s easy to imagine that one can build a society in which the societal institutions and the human capital reinforce each other and the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. However, how much of the development process can (and furthermore, should) be under human control? To what degree can you consciously engineer a functioning human society, and to what degree is is a matter of contextual factors, human capital, and convenient strokes of luck? I generally think the entire shenanigan is not only possible, but also plausible, but I can’t deny that some of the hurdles seem to require almost superhuman capacity to overcome, and that a fair amount of the time historically, it seems luck played a key role in the development of functional society.

How much control do mere humans have over the development of functional society? A portion of Neoreactionary credibility rides on the answer to this question.

SPQR

Shocks to the System

  • What would happen if a US aircraft carrier was sunk in the Persian Gulf or the South China Sea? What would the results be on an international level? A national level? A local level? Who wins and who loses?
  • Suppose 80% of whites vote for a republican candidate in 2016 and he or she still loses. What do they do then? How do they react?
  • There’s been quite a kerfuffle about Ebola in the news recently. What is the reaction if the immigrants coming up from Central America expecting amnesty bring along with them a virulent disease that spreads, causing a pandemic?
  • Conflict between states and non-state actors has been growing in recent times (I use the Westphalian concept of a state here). This trend has currently been occurring by way of conflict between state forces and ideologically motivated forces. What happens when a state actor runs up against not a band of extremists, but a private military corporation fighting for (ostensibly) money? What happens if said PMC is not fighting for money, but for something else?
  • What happens when the first American soldiers are killed by enemy drones?
  • A governor calls in the National Guard to put down civil unrest. The Federal Government orders him to back off, and in lieu of federal agents, neighborhood militias form in order to contain the violence. Following outlandish tales in the media, the police force is then mobilized to put down the “lawless, racist vigilantes”. How can this be ended in the optimal way?
  • Economic malaise sets in as more and more people accept the idea that standards of living are on a steady decline. More and more people drop out of the system. What measures can be taken to restore confidence and jump-start economic revitalization (if possible)?
  • Cyber attacks by an unknown entity have crippled large sections of public infrastructure along the eastern coast of the United States. Several classified servers have also been breached, though no one knows the full extent of the damage. Private industries fared even worse, and no one is certain as to what will happen next.
  • Law Enforcement Agents in a border state have begun using violent and sometimes lethal measures to drive back would-be immigrants hoping to hop over the border. The international community is outraged and the UN is considering retaliatory measures. Russia is deliberately inflating the tensions to shield its maneuverings and even steadfast US allies have been reluctant to touch the matter. How then to proceed?
  • A nuclear deal with Iran is reached, but Israel, furious at the outcome, launches airstrikes on several Iranian nuclear sites. Not only does it become clear that Saudi Arabia was complicit in this endeavor (allowing Israeli use of Saudi Arabian airspace), but Iranian troops are now mobilizing on the Iraqi border and the shores of Persian Gulf, while Hezbollah launches an aggressive assault on Israel, unleashing a devastating barrage of missiles on Haifa and Tel Aviv that the Iron Dome can do little to stop.
  • Finally, what might the implications be if we humor ourselves a bit and posit this scenario: https://twitter.com/Outsideness/status/485642158196523009?

How does a reactionary society (in the US’s position, with all the baggage that entails) aim to prevent these occurrences and/or adequately respond if any of these events should pass?

SPQR

Reactionary Beach on the shores of Atlantis

—As my trek deep into the heart of the Cathedral is now over, I’ll be a lot freer than usual over the next two weeks. This should hopefully translate into my cranking out some posts that I’ve had in the pipeline for months, including an analysis of organized crime, a continuation of this and other tales, and a series on what exactly I was talking about when I wrote this.

—I have a fantastic title for a post: “The Progs of War”, but I have no idea what the post would even be about. Talk about Neoreactionary problems…

—It seems I missed out on making note of the one year anniversary of this blog (it was born on August 3, 2013). I suppose it seems fitting to say a few words, but I think far more would be said by a comparison of some of my more recent posts with some of my earlier ones.

—Speaking of recent posts, I’ve just been published on Social Matter. Your feedback and thoughts are always welcome.

—I was recently contemplating an analysis of a distinct type of reactionary that I’ve noticed, one with a more cosmopolitan bent. This plan was laid to rest when I finished catching up on the Eurasian/Atlantean dichotomy that’s been discussed at New International Outlook and Nick Land’s place. Consider this my official confession that I’m pretty much as Atlantean as they come, and it’s nice to have a decent word to describe this particular predilection (the one I was going to propose, “cosmopolitan reactionary,” sounds so clunky in comparison).

—I’ve updated my e-mail address to something that sounds a bit more (but only a bit more) like something a normal person would use. My new e-mail address is Donovan.Greene.NRx@gmail.com, though I’ll still be forwarded anything sent to my old address.

—Summer is already winding down, and with the arrival of Fall comes shorter days and longer nights. An extrapolation that the world is descending into darkness and will soon be swamped in night, however, is inaccurate in scope and constitutes a failure to see the bigger picture. Bear this in mind.

SPQR