Friday Night Fragments #25

Anonymous Conservative had a very interesting (and very frightening) article out earlier this week on how law enforcement is delving more and more into intelligence-type activities, not merely those duties that we might think of as “law enforcement”. It definitely veers more toward the horrorism side of this part of the internet that some criticize, and it’s made even scarier by the observation that it is real life.

An acquaintance of mine once suggested to me that I run away with her to her home country of Chile, where everything is apparently “so beautiful, even the desert”. There are times when it seems like a very good idea to take her up on her offer.

Twitter follower Kasper Hawser (@gossenphilosoph) had this to say after reading my latest post:

I will, of course, categorically deny that I have ever in any of my posts walked the line between silly and serious, and I will, of course, categorically deny that I have ever let a hint of whimsy enter into any of my posts. Never. Nope. Doesn’t happen. Categorically.

Hehe.

An exchange between two kings on the TV show Vikings:

Do you think you’re a good man?

Yes. I think so. Do you? Think you’re a good man?

Yes. I think so. Are you corrupt?

Oh yes. Are you?

Mhmm.

I think I enjoyed that bit way more than I should have. How can you not? It’s hard not to respect that kind of audacity.

You wouldn’t ever want it in any of your rulers, of course (the corruption…the audacity is more often than not a good thing). Yet who among us has not imagined themselves as a corrupt politician or a degenerate emperor, using our power to enhance our pleasure, crushing our enemies and engaging in all kinds of vile acts of hedonism and Caligulan madness?

No? You haven’t? I bet you’re lying.

Of course, you are reading my blog. If you’re in this part of the internet, you’re definitely more likely to be one of those weird exceptions. C’est la vie.

But seriously, who hasn’t gotten into some questionable fun or otherwise engaged in (or at least thought of) having drunken naked fun time with your closest friends and some assorted beautiful women in that old roman bath that you happen to own? The more modern example might involve hard liquor and other questionable activities (I speak from experience when I say that strip cards against humanity is awesome), but I’m sure you understand what I am saying.

What good is power if you aren’t going to be corrupt?

 

RT recently published an amusing article with a great title that spurred a few interesting thoughts for me. What would happen if the Bushes and the Clintons united their families through marriage and produced a new family line that declared itself the royal family of America? It wouldn’t happen quite like that, but you can conceptualize the general idea.

Reactionaries hate the Clintons and the Bushes and love the idea of Kings (well, many of them, at least). What happens if the two families come together like the Yorks and the Lancasters and form a new royal line?

It reminds me of that old line of attack against Neoreaction: why do you guys claim to love aristocrats and yet hate our own elite? Well, because they aren’t very well the kind of aristocrats that we like!

Yeah, it does come off as a little disingenuous (to say nothing of ridiculous).

Oligarchs versus aristocrats. The difference boils down to semantics, but there’s an important implication in regard to how they rise to power and how they govern while they are in power. There is (kind of) a difference, but it still does make for a tenuous argument at best.

The Clintons and the Bushes come together and form a royal line, ruling this country as de facto monarchs even if the position is never formalized. What happens then?

I suppose the Moldbuggian Formalists have an obvious point of attack, in that such an arrangement would not be formalized. Do the more traditionally-minded reactionaries?

The most common argument you’ll see falls back on the Mandate of Heaven, which can easily be used to support Neoreactionary ideas. I go back and forth in regard to what I think about it. I’m favorably disposed, but still skeptical. Bad rulers can rule for a long time before falling. Are we really to believe that, say, the Kim Jong family is really the best ruling entity for North Korea?

There’s something appealing about the Mandate of Heaven, but the basic idea is that in the end, good wins out (even if it takes a long fucking time and if we define good as “Being most suited to rule”). This isn’t quite something I believe. I think in the end, it’s more accurate to say that we all get what we deserve, but even then, I don’t think that’s true either. Perhaps I’m just unsure of where legitimacy comes from, and I spend quite a bit of time suspecting that “legitimacy” is post-hoc rationalization. It’s almost scary how much that sounds right to me.

I’ve been putting together some thoughts on legitimacy and governance, more specifically the legitimacy of The Cathedral as a governing superstructure. I think this little thought experiment took me a good bit closer to whatever I’m going to end up achieving with that.

“I guess I’m not really an engineering person.”

“Why are you going into engineering then?”

“I don’t know. Money?”

“That’s an honest answer. I would think prostitution would give you a better return on investment, though.”

(moment of silence)

“I have no idea how to answer that.”

I am sometimes totally baffled as to why people ever come to me for advice, but they keep coming back, so I must be doing something right. Maybe it’s just the pleasure of my company.

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7 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #25

  1. Aeoli Pera 04/24/2015 / 7:55 PM

    “””
    Yet who among us has not imagined themselves as a corrupt politician or a degenerate emperor, using our power to enhance our pleasure, crushing our enemies and engaging in all kinds of vile acts of hedonism and Caligulan madness?

    No? You haven’t? I bet you’re lying.

    Of course, you are reading my blog. If you’re in this part of the internet, you’re definitely more likely to be one of those weird exceptions. C’est la vie.
    “””

    I’m a weird exception to that. “None is righteous, no, not one,” but I’ve never had that particular fantasy.

  2. Aeoli Pera 04/24/2015 / 8:00 PM

    Oh, and that wasn’t an honest answer by whatserface. Most people go into engineering nowadays because it is a prestige occupation, highly lauded (though oddly not proportionately respected).

    Probably, this chick did it as a Pavlovian response to some program intended to increase the number of STEM chicks. Ask her what engineers do sometime, the answer might be hilarious.

  3. Aeoli Pera 04/24/2015 / 8:05 PM

    Last comment, swearz.

    >I think in the end, it’s more accurate to say that we all get what we deserve, but even then, I don’t think that’s true either.

    We get what we ask for, and if you go into this neighborhood dressed like that, then you are just asking for trouble.

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