The recent election in the United States shows that the bifurcation of American politics is becoming more and more pronounced (this is, of course, a symptom of the boiling over of the culture war). Hostilities continue to escalate, and even the New York Times noticed recently that political discrimination has become far more pronounced than even that great progressive boogeyman: racism.
Commenters across the Reacto-sphere have penned various takes, including the expected invectives against participating in the act of voting (though notably, TRS has a different take). Of particular note is Nick Land, who takes a quick moment to display the kind of evil cunning that American politics is sorely lacking.
Some have claimed that what we are seeing is not a culture war, but a race war, and that soon it will be Whites (and maybe Asians) versus everyone else. This is incorrect. The central conflict is between Whites. Blacks? Hispanics? Asians? Jews? Pawns in the Great White Civil War.
Some forms of governance are more scalable than others. Democracy, for example, is not nearly so dysfunctional in a group of 50 people than it is in a country of 50 million. In fact, the dysfunction per capita is also markedly lower. Similarly, fascism works very well in small groups, though fascist governments on the level of nation-states have a poor track record of longevity.
The degree to which a type of government can be scaled would seem to suggest a certain type of internal efficiency, which would seem to reflect well on its suitability (as well as ease of use). However, unless one is planing on taking a population of 1,000 to a nation-state on the order of 10 million, there is no first-order reason why this should be a factor of any relevance whatsoever. This is, I think, a clear example of the importance of understanding first- and second-order consequences (and possibly third-, fourth-, fifth-…etc).
The cosmopolitan/nativist dichotomy in Neoreaction is no doubt related to (if not just another way of expressing) the brahmin/vaisya dynamic that I explored here. I believe a balance between the two groups to be beneficial. Some people will always be drawn to the idea of travel and foreign adventures. Not everyone is wired to stay within the borders of the motherland and uphold the time-honored traditions of family and culture. That sort of activity is absolutely necessary to the survival of a nation (which is why most people should do it), but assuming that everyone will do it is another way of making human nature a bug, not a feature, of your system.
A nation that wants to thrive will leverage all of its assets. The cosmopolitans will always be with you. Find a way to channel their preferences in such a fashion that benefits you without weakening your culture.
That’s what a smart society would do. That’s what a wise sovereign would promote.
Good fences may make good neighbors, after all, but that’s no reason not to trade gifts on Christmas.
On Twitter this week, new Twitter follower Thorgeir Lawspeaker declared to me his distaste for how certain historical figures are retroactively being declared gay.
There are grounds to contest that some of the figures he named did, in fact, bounce around a bit on the Kinsey Scale (Turing, for instance, stated himself that he was in a sexual relationship with another man when questioned by British police). Besides, worrying about which historical figures are being retroactively being declared “gay” is quibbling over trivialities. Someone who lived 800 years ago might have had a taste for men. So what?
We could, of course, take the position that nobody was gay until Oscar Wilde burst onto the scene, but come now, that would be ridiculous. There are Neoreactionaries who aren’t straight. It would take someone in massive denial to suggest that all notable historical figures were 100% heterosexual.
Nick Land has been an even more fertile source of unique ideas for me than usual this week. Through him I came across this gem asking if we need another East India Company. I’m not sure I want the US government doing any such thing, though I wonder what China would do if someone suggested the idea to them…
Feeling subversive, I suggested to a female friend with a scholarly interest in international development that she could blow the entire field wide open if she examined the EIC from the lens of being the most effective international development organization in history. After a little convincing (her incredulity could have been measured on the Richter Scale), she said she’d be willing to look into the idea.
She’s probably still trying to figure out if I’m some kind of genius or if I’m just insane. Despite my best efforts though, I’m afraid I fall just a bit short on both those fronts. I’ve been wondering lately if a large enough dose of LSD would be enough to push me over the edge into either of those categories (I’m really not picky about which one I end up with, though both would be ideal). If any of my readers have ever tried it, let me know how it went. If anyone feels the need to convince me that this is a really, really bad idea, be sure to speak up.
Who would Neoreactionaries label as the best president? Yes, yes, I know that we all have signalling to uphold and the correct answer is “none of them”. Spare me. Stop playing that game and instead play this one. Which of the 44 men who have held the office of US president did the best job? Don’t be an ass and say Zachary Taylor for dying before he could do anything.
Speaking of labels, let’s talk about labels. Labels can apply even if we don’t want them to, or even if we don’t know that certain labels apply to us. This indicates that identity (being as it is a set of labels that can be conferred) does not rest solely on personal perception. The accuracy of a label derives not from an internal sense of satisfaction, but from a correspondence to the external world.
Social Justice Warriors. The Socratic Method. Labels as contingent on an external world. Connect the dots for fun and games.
The Cathedral as we might normally understand it is switching its loyalties. Where it once supported Israel wholeheartedly, it has now begun to extend its sympathies to Palestine. The proper progressive position is now to uphold the cause of the pooroppressedpalestinianpeoples. However, the US government still stands firm behind Israel. Given that the official government is both the public front and the armed wing of the Cathedral, this is a most interesting tension.
An easy explanation for this dynamic is that the full Cathedral feedback loop hasn’t kicked in yet (in 30 years, the US government might very well be throwing Israel to the dogs for the sake of the Palestinians). Another is that concentrated Jewish influence is enough to counter Cathedral doctrine. The farfetched and highly unlikely explanation is that this signals an internal division in the Cathedral that will be exacerbated as the coming century of fragmentation and disintegration warms up.
One can only hope.