Friday Night Fragments #3

If asked, most people will claim to desire peace:

Techno-commercialist: It does not benefit us to go to war. We gain far more from the current arrangement.
Ethno-nationalist: We simply wish to live in peace among our own kind. We do not care what other people do.
Religious-traditionalist: Peace is harmony is love. God did not make us to be bloodthirsty savages.
All: We desire only to be left alone in peace and live our lives the way we best see fit.

And yet, it is so easy to rile them up for war:

Techno-commercialist: We must eliminate this threat to our stability and prosperity.
Ethno-nationalist: The burden falls upon us to protect our race.
Religious-traditionalist: Deus Vult.
All: We will do what we must to protect ourselves against this threat to us that cannot be stopped any other way.

What shall we make of this?

Bryce Laliberte has been thinking about the destructive effects of public school on children.

I want this sound bite plastered on the doors of every school in this country.

This brought to my mind a memory from this summer when I was meeting up with Aimless Gromar. At some point I mentioned to him that I had gone through my entire K – 12 indoctination education process in the public school system, and he had half-jokingly asked how I had managed to get through it without ending up seriously messed-up.

Let me tell you all a story. In second grade, I was identified as one of the “gifted” children and sent to a special study group with other “gifted” children. We were given more difficult math problems to work on than the other students. The teacher in charge of this group had, for whatever reason, not worked out the answers to these problems beforehand, and so was concurrently attempting to solve them at the same time as her charges. This became an issue when I needed to check my answers, because it was discovered that I was solving the problems faster than the person who was supposed to be teaching the concepts to us.

Experiences like that do not set one up very well for a lifetime of respecting authority and following orders.

Perhaps because of numerous experiences like this one, I’ve always had a bit of an anti-authoritarian streak and a tendency to question the ideas most people want me to have. I credit this tendency — along with my auto-didactic impulses — as being key to my getting through public school without becoming a brain-dead zombie.

Side thought: If you wanted to find a living, breathing example of a philosophical zombie, a public school would be a good first place to look.

In a previous Friday Fragments, I asked which president was the best (as defined by neoreactionary terms). George Washington and Andrew Jackson seemed to be the most common answers (though there was some disagreement on that front). The general theme seemed to be that the earlier presidents were considered more aristocratic, and thus better, than the ones who came afterwards. Given this, I find it especially surprising that no one suggested Thomas Jefferson, who would be my pick for the top spot (edging out George Washington by virtue of the Louisiana Purchase).

Mark Yuray wonders if Neoreactionaries should speak and write in Latin, coming to the conclusion that you should speak the language of those whose ideals you wish to uphold. I wonder what the guy who ENDS HIS POSTS WITH LATIN QUOTES and goes by the name of LEGIONNAIRE thinks about this? Such a pity I can never decide which empire was the best: British or Roman.

For what it’s worth, however, I think the Ottoman Empire was the next-greatest after those two, but don’t expect to see blog posts written in Turkish any time soon.

Intuition is a beautiful thing, and I admit I rely on it more than a careful person should (but not nearly as much as I think would provide me with optimal benefit). Sometimes I get burned (usually when relying on it for trivia and other minute facts), but my biggest mistakes in life have been those when I didn’t follow my intuitions.

Some people have intuitions geared towards big picture ideas and unseen connections, but they can’t see all the steps that are needed to confirm these connections as valid. Some people have intuitions about the inner workings of things, but have difficulty seeing the big picture. As you can probably guess, I think this a manifestation of the verbal/mathematical split I discussed here.

Is progressivism an ideology, or is progressivism a vector?

The new video game Assassins Creed Unity recently found itself being blasted by some left-leaning Frenchies (original french here) for portraying the French Revolution as a chaotic and unstable time period and the revolutionaries as bloodthirsty savages driven by less-than-noble ideals. Quelle horreur!

Yes, the game does do that, which is a major point in its favor. The best part of this portrayal, however? The subtle way that the game paints Napoleon as not only supremely competent, but also dangerously ambitious. It is equal parts impressive and foreboding and is, all in all, a sublime characterization that deserves much credit and acclaim.

That said, the game does not include two of the most interesting characters of the time period: Joseph Fouché and Charles-Maurice Talleyrand, so it loses major points in my book for that.

Also of note: towards the end of the game, the main character has chased down Robespierre and is interrogating him for the location of an assassination target. Robespierre isn’t talking, so your female companion shoves a pistol in his face, blows his jaw off, and orders him to shut up and write down the location in one of the most gloriously satisfying acts of historical license I have ever seen. So there’s that.

If you’ve ever read The Gervais Principle, you’ll understand this next bit, though I’ll try to make it clear to those who haven’t perused that work. I had a realization the other day that the official branches of the US government are made up of losers and the clueless (this is so obvious in retrospect that I cannot believe I didn’t realize this sooner).

Now for the creeping horror: If the official branches are full of these types, then where are the sociopaths who always end up running the show? I’m not sure I can think of a stronger argument than this for the existence of a deep state.

Counter-argument: High-level politicians need to be sociopaths in order to attain their positions.

Counter-counter-argument: The sociopath-clueless-loser dynamic is based on relative differences. The real power players are going to be the sociopaths of the sociopaths (or, perhaps even more dangerously, the sociopaths of the sociopaths of the sociopaths).

Every woman wants you to hurt her, and if you don’t hurt her enough, she will never forgive you for it.


5 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #3

  1. nickbsteves 11/21/2014 / 2:20 PM

    Is progressivism an ideology, or is progressivism a vector?

    It is an ideology that (inter alias) there is and ought to be a vector.

    • Legionnaire 11/21/2014 / 2:28 PM

      I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve been entertaining the idea that it is a destabilizing vector that gives rise to a rationalizing ideology, and there’s something about this conception that just seems to…fit.

    • pumpsix 11/23/2014 / 5:41 PM

      I am leaning towards considering progress as a vector. That’s because both Liberalism and Socialism are progressive ideologies. However, I don’t believe considering progressivism as an ideology is wrong, because modern progressives have warped the idea of progress into abstract goals.

  2. R. 11/21/2014 / 9:38 PM

    So on one hand you knock zombies, on the other you say intuition is a beautiful thing.

    An ambivalent attitude towards the unconscious.

    Consciousness seems to be nothing more than a kind of Obama. An impotent figurehead who might believe he is in charge but is really just a puppet. Neatly fits with the rationalization tendencies people have.

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