Questions on Russia with Mitchell Laurel

Recent stirrings in Russia and Eastern Europe, coupled with the latest round of “Where in the world is Vladamir Putin?” have led me to give more thought to what will happen in that part of the world in coming times. I put together a few ideas on the matter, but in the interest of getting a second opinion, I turned to one of the best geopolitical minds in Neoreaction, Mitchell Laurel, who blogs over at A House with No Child.

I e-mailed him with my speculations, and he not only agreed to critique them, but also graciously allowed me to post our exchange here. I present to you the relevant transcript of our discussion, mildly edited for clarity:


Donovan: I’ve been thinking over potential Russian war plans (assuming such a thing will happen, which you’ve convinced me is quite likely if not certain) and was hoping to get your opinion on some of the speculations I’ve been coming up with. Would you mind if I bounced a few ideas off you?


Mitchell: Sure thing,

Ask and I’ll answer, Donovan.

D: Some of the North Sea naval mobilizations and preparations for Arctic warfare don’t make sense if the goal in only a conflict in Ukraine, but would seem to indicate potential for combat in Scandinavian countries, north Russia, or in a colder world (what are the Russian climate forecasts?). Do you think Putin is making preparations in case of a northern front being opened up or do you think he intends to do something along those lines himself?

(I suppose the flip-side of that idea is that Russia’s been training specifically in Arctic warfare over the past several years, some say as part of a plan to lay claim to Arctic territory, so this might not mean nearly as much as I’m reading into it).

Additionally, I can’t help but get the feeling that Putin expects quick gains early on before grinding down into a protracted conflict. Sounds plausible or suspect? My first intuition was that he would only try to take and hold Ukraine, settling into a defensive war, but it’s also occurred to me that he might gamble and plow ahead full-steam into Europe, taking out as many NATO countries as possible before the US steps in. I’m leaning towards the former as more likely, but it is hard to tell. The latter would certainly draw the US in, but if Putin thinks the US will step in anyway, it makes more sense.

Building off that, what if the intent was to draw the US into a protracted conflict in order to suck us into a cataclysmic financial situation that cripples us (or worse)? Russia alone couldn’t do it, but they’ve got China in their corner and the Chinese have been buying quite a bit of gold…

Anyway, what do you think? Do any of these sound plausible or am I totally off-base?


M: Good Evening Donovan,

I don’t think you have it wrong, I do think what you have is ordered incorrectly. I’ll address the points piece by piece.

For starters, conflict in the Ukraine is important, but a footnote to Russia’s larger strategy. In terms of their military prowess they are no threat. They are 20 years behind in military technology and have the morale of the Iraqi Army that defended Mosul (they ran, btw). Nor does Russia seek conflict with Scandinavia, who are no names anyways. Who cares about Sweden, after all.

But you got much closer with your interest in Russian climate forecasts. The Russians see that the coming decades are going to be characterized by more and more extreme cold, in a little ice age scenario at best, possibly a real one at worst. I don’t talk about that much on the blog or in NRx, because it’s not a popular position, but all the signs are there in the markets and in the increase of armaments among the arctic nations. The arctic will also be increasingly important for resource extraction going forward. Also a factor. It’s a great big goldmine waiting for the tech to make it commercially feasible.

Putin has no intention of declaring war on the West. That would be foolish, and in fact he is doing everything he can to avoid it. It is the Americans who pushing as hard as they can for a controlled and limited war that can justify uncontrolled and unlimited political repression and military rearmament. The Americans know they’re on the decline and want to ‘lock-in’ as much of their controlled territory as they can when the dollar goes down. If they fail to lock in the west, Europe will become its own center of influence and a competitor to American might. And if America were to lose the West (or even its East Asian allies) we would see a fall from hegemony which cannot be allowed. The hegemon will take extreme risks to preserve its position.

Here’s the thing about the Russian military. It’s advanced, high morale, and designed specifically for defending Russia. From a military perspective Russia is pretty much impregnable to conventional forces (though vulnerable to asymmetric ones). But in terms of looking outward Russia is fairly useless. Russia doesn’t even have large ships capable of effective amphibious landings (like the Mistral). Russia has the power to knock out the Ukraine in under 24 hours, but not the strength to hold it. Never mind Poland or any nation farther West, that’s just fools talk. They simply don’t have the equipment or the resources to facilitate that kind of expansion.

Again your analytical mistake here was in the application of intentions and purposes. It’s not Putin who wants war and is trying to push into the West. It’s the West, mostly America, that wants war in order to preserve its hegemony. The dollar is going down either way. Everyone knows that. The key question American policy makers have is how can the collapse of the dollar be used to maintain and expand American hegemony? Their conclusions explain why they have been so pro-active in their aggression towards Russia via Georgia, Armenia, the Ukraine, the Baltics, and the ‘Stans.

With Russia, they have a descending set of goals: 1. Break Russia into smaller countries that can be effectively absorbed into American hegemony. 2. Should that fail, provoke and demonize Russia in order to utilize ‘Russian aggression’ to lock-in Europe and east Asia via the TTP and the transatlantic treaty. If they can lock them in American hegemony can actually be expanded despite the collapse of the dollar. The 3rd goal, and the weakest, is simply to postpone the rise of Russia and China, even should America’s hegemony be slowly eroded.

Russia is more a reactive force than a pro-active one in this whole drama. The primary objective of the Putin faction is to secure Russian longevity by eliminating the great enemy that seeks to break Russia, which is American hegemony. Not America itself, but American hegemony. That’s why they’ve made every effort to avoid open war with the Ukraine, to avoid the threat of Europe being ‘locked in’ the American hegemony. Peace plays to their strategy. With their close alliance with China economic gains are on their side and they make more friends every year as the American attempts to maintain dominance become increasingly desperate and drive allies away. In the ideal scenario America falls like the Soviet Union fell, with relatively little bloodshed no full scale war.

 
I hope that gave you more insight. It would make for a good post, I think. Remember that while American Cathedralist narratives are retarded, the American elite are not. Nor are they helpless. A lot of projects are in motion to maintain their strength. It’s the great game, after all.
 
M. Laurel

For more great insights, read Mitchell’s work at A House with No Child and follow him on Twitter.
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Brothers in bondage

Ethno-nationalism has been a contentious subject in our neck of the woods as of late. The hardcore white nationalists and the national socialists have been lambasting Neoreaction and claiming that it is controlled by Jews and hates white people, while many neoreactionaries have fired back by claiming that both groups are functionally retarded, incapable of any thought more complicated than “White people good, Jews and Blacks bad”, and are merely a sink for people who think that society went wrong but who lack the brains to figure out what happened and instead gravitate towards ego-stroking safety blankets that reassure them that all their failures and insecurities are nothing more than the evil machinations of the Jews.

To say that there have been some harsh words is a bit of an understatement.

In response to this, many of the more devoted eth-nats have claimed that Neoreaction is not truly ethno-nationalist, and that Neoreactionaries look down upon and despise ethno-nationalism. A common reaction to this by many neoreactionaries is to point to the trichotomy and claim that ethno-nationalism is one of the foundational assumptions of Neoreaction.

I’m not quite going to do that here, because I think there’s something that must be kept in mind: it’s not so much ethno-nationalism that many neoreactionaries have come to despise, but ethno-nationalists.

In other words, it’s not really ideological. It’s personal. It’s totally personal.

That said, do neoreactionaries reject ethno-nationalism? Well, it’s complicated. Ask ten neoreactionaries as to whether whites ought to form some kind of white homeland and you’ll get a lot of hemming and hawing. I’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t do the same. If that’s your criterion for whether someone is an ethno-nationalist or not, then most (though not all) of us come up short.

Ask those same neoreactionaries whether you think that white people ought to be allowed to congregate and collectively pursue their own interests, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any neoreactionary who would disagree (those who would hesitate to answer the question would do some more out of an inclination to not get bogged down in racial matters, and to conclude that such a preference stems from a tacit support of “white genocide” is the mark of a feeble intellect who deserves all the disenfranchisement that could be heaped upon them).

So it seems fairly clear that neoreactionaries and pure ethno-nationalists are not talking about the same thing when they use the term “ethno-nationalism”. Nick B. Steves has argued (correctly, in my opinion) that what Neoreactionaries are attempting to describe when they use the “ethno-nationalism” term is not ethno-nationalism per se, but rather a certain “Sense of Us” that encapsulates how people connect with those who are like them. I think this is the right direction to explore.

People like to be around those who are like them. Groups of people who are similar are more likely to have strong asabiyyah. People prefer to be a part of groups that have strong asabiyyah. It is not hard to see how all these tendencies reinforce each other.

This creates an interesting dynamic in regard to the subject of nationalism, because nationalism is an modernist attempt to induce heightened asabiyyah in a target population. It has certainly proved itself to be adaptive over the past few centuries, but there is nothing anti-modernist about being nationalistic.

But what of ethno-nationalism in particular? Ancient nations prized blood to a degree that we do not today (or at least, so is claimed by the eth-nats, though I personally suspect they are more right than wrong here). Is not ethno-nationalism thus highly reactionary?

This is incorrect. Ethno-nationalism is a reactionary impulse rooted in modernist assumptions. It is not reactionary. It is reactionary modernist. There is a difference between those two things.

But ingrained ethnic interests exist, do they not? They exist and are hardwired into all human beings, are they not? I am agnostic on this front, but I suspect that the general affinity of people for those who are ethnically similar stems not from hardwired genetic impulses to help pass on the genetic similarity of your related kins (such similarity fizzles out exponentially and seems to have little impact beyond immediate family), but a calculation that people who look like us are more likely to share our norms and are more likely to act in a way that is beneficial to us.

Whom ought I to trust more: the man who shares my culture or the one who does not? If phenotype is a proxy for cultural similarity, am I not rational in assuming that the man who shares my face is more likely share my values and/or is more likely to be looking out for me than the one who does not?

The harder question is this: should I place greater trust in the man who shares my culture or the man who shares my race? Genetics and culture are surely intertwined, but try to answer the question in the manner that it was given. This is a thought experiment, after all, and I’m not sure that I have an answer. Is that not indicative of something?

So do I love my race? I am not sure how to understand that question. I don’t love it the way I love my family, for example, but I will defend it if it is attacked, though I do so because I recognize that in the treacherous arena of identity politics, an attack on a man’s race, religion, or culture is very much an attack on that man himself.

I suppose that I do have an appreciation for “white history”, for it is filled with daring adventures, grand accomplishments, and beautiful ideas, but were this not the case, I would most certainly not take note of it the way that I do, for blood alone is nothing to be cherished and is meaningless if it has done naught. If I love my race in any form, it is an apprehensive and conditional love indeed.

My respect and appreciation for “my race” is based on what they have done, as well as their culture (to a large degree), and — to whatever degree that it exists —their innate character (to a much smaller degree).

All this puts aside, of course, the simple fact that though the ethno-nationalists exhort me to proclaim that my race is white, my race is not “white”. My race is “Italian”, not white. White is not a thing that is, but a category that encompasses certain things that are. To confuse this category for a thing in the same vein as the things it describes is a categorical error.

So yes, there are several fronts on which I criticize ethno-nationalism. All this said, however, I do think that ethn-nats are correct in stating that as whites become a smaller percentage of the population in many traditionally white countries, they will feel increasingly threatened and will begin to feel a certain “white racial consciousness”. White nationalism is going to become more popular, not among anywhere near a majority of whites, but among a certain minority of them. Of more consequence, however, is the degree to which whites are going to start thinking of themselves as whites and the degree to which they come to believe that ethnic tensions are a major driver of societal trends.

And so, in the end, I cannot help but conclude that it is foolish to disregard the concept of white nationalism entirely, for many of the underlying assumptions will spread and become more prominent. Sure, we can quibble over the theory (which is fairly weak), but it is going to have a certain (if limited) practical utility in the future. It has some potential, and it could make sense if applied as one option among many in a much bigger picture. I’m willing to accept this outcome and I think Neoreaction writ large should at least be open to it as well.

Ethno-nationalism is, like all types of nationalism, not reactionary, but because it is a strain of nationalism, it does have potential utility in the modern world. But, what of other types of nationalism? What of, say, religious nationalism, which is also surely well-positioned to take advantage of certain sentiments that will become common in the future?

I will discuss that another time. There is one type of nationalism that I wish to discuss before I wrap up this post: Aristo-Nationalism.

I fully admit that I need a different (read: better) neologism, but what I am trying to get at is the tendency of the Natural Elite to associate with other members of the Natural Elite.

In many of the Natural Elite, there is an affinity for other elites that crosses all other thede boundaries. It is a fact of human nature that people like to spend time with those who are like them, and those natural elite who are gifted with very high reserves of intelligence, charisma, and ambition define themselves most by those traits and consider their peers to be those who share in them, not those with whom they share a certain religion, race, or culture.

Said persons do not necessarily want to associate with whites or blacks or jews or Asian or Catholics or any of the other categories by which “plebians” take note of, but they do wish to associate with other people of all stripes who are also intelligent and charismatic and ambitious and aristocratic.

Is this temperament influenced by ethno-centrism and theo-centrism and clannishness and a whole host of other factors? Of course, but for many in the Natural Elite, the thede with which they predominantly identify is that of the Natural Elite, not an ethnic-based or religious-based or any other based thede that most people would gravitate towards. If you try to get them to identify with an ethnic-based movement, and not one rooted in personal character and admirable qualities, you’re going to have a bad time.

Bringing all this back to the subject of nationalism, I shall reiterate and clarify certain thoughts. Nationalism is neither reactionary nor traditionalist, but modernist, though this does not mean it is without potential utility. This utility stems from the degree to which nationalism is capable of cultivating asabiyyah and in-group solidarity. Insofar that Neoreaction seeks to grapple with issues of nationalism, we should take great care not to put any particular type of nationalism on a pedestal, but to recognize when applying it is useful in a certain context and when it is not. Neoreaction should have no love for nationalism in and of itself — and should focus instead on better understanding the cultivation of asabiyyah — but it is also a mistake to scorn nationalism entirely and unconditionally, for there are limited circumstances in which nationalism can be used as a means to in order to achieve a higher level of asabiyyah.

I hope further debate on the matter does not fail to bear this in mind.

What Dreams may Come…

It’s Mardi Gras today.

I was surprised to find out too. I’ve been wrapped up in other affairs and I’d completely lost track of the holidays and things.

Mardi Gras is like Halloween in that it is a form of ritual space designed to unleash the chaotic and debased aspects of the self in a controlled fashion as a means of preserving the semblance of order and morality for the remaining temporal cycle. Bad today, pious tomorrow, and well-behaved the rest of the year. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Conservation of ritual. The Dionysian cults of old would smile if they could see how we carry their flame.

Human social groups cannot function without measured application of the occult.

I like to think of the Venetian Carnivals when musing on matters such as this. There are few examples so fine. They were Halloween and Mardi Gras combined in one, a festivity of excess and release and pageantry.

And yet, the Venetian Carnival provides an example of how such a system can go all wrong. Theft. Burglary. Assault. Organized gang fights. Crime of all sorts, some of it home-grown and some of it by foreigners coming in to drink of the extravaganza while flouting the implicit rules and agreements that make it possible.

Any ritual intended to unleash the maelstrom of human passions relies on a very delicate framework of implicit concessions and sacrifices. It dances on the razor’s edge in a lively jig in which one false step brings the entire edifice crashing down.

The beauty of the internet is that we can grant these rituals a spatial and temporal permanence they could never have had in the world of flesh and blood. Every culture can have its own Carnival, and the party never has to end.

What happens if we decide to take that path? A permanent Carnival that we can retreat to at any time? The internet already is such a thing. What happens if we turn it in on itself and create an Inception of Carnivals and free ourselves from the burden of being known by our masks?

The Carnival takes over. The status system of the Carnival supersedes the status system already in place as people find themselves unable to separate the excesses of the Dionysian rite with whatever order they claim to uphold outside the mask.

Is this inevitable? No. But it a trap to be wary of, one that follows the same principles and poses the same danger as entryism of a foreign sort. It is entryism of our darker urges and it is very real indeed.

A culture that desires to promote aristocratic sophistication, cultural refinement, and nuanced discernment is one that must take great care to compartmentalize its Carnival and be aware that the base status system of the Carnival not spill over and the frenzied activity behind the masks not impact the normal functioning of said culture, unless it desires to bear witness to the destruction of its raison d’être.

Any designated space in which members of a subculture can make fun of each other in an anonymous way is a mechanism that borders on the necessary. It allows for tension to be blown off and all sorts of games to played, and as long as all agree that all such action is in good faith, the repercussions are few.

If the fires of the Carnival are heaped with too much fuel, the inferno can break free of its bonds and become a force acting of its own accord. The ritual space used to abrade the Dionsyian becomes the belly of a ravenous beast insatiable in appetite and possessed of no further urge than its own perpetuation.

The nightmare becomes unleashed. It is a nightmare that is needed. It is a nightmare that is deserved. It is a nightmare that ensures the destruction of the dreamer.

What dreams are these? What dreams indeed.eyes-wide-shut

The only defense is to wake up, but it is not a feasible recourse when one is trapped in moonlight reverie.

What does one do then?

Le Coup du Marteau et L’Aube Rouge

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

-Rudyard Kipling, “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon”

I can’t wait for the trial.

You know the one I’m talking about, don’t you?

I suppose not. Let me clarify. Sooner or later (I am guessing this year, but perhaps next), there is going to be a dramatic act of violence against one of the Muslim communities in a major European country. The perpetrator will be caught, and the elites will do their damnedest to turn the trial into a grand spectacle. Can’t make an example out of some racistxenophobicrightwingbigot if no one is paying attention, after all.

A year ago at this time, I seem to recall predicting that it would be either France or Italy that will see the first stirrings of a native revolt against Muslim immigrants. Having considered this position further, I would have to refine my position to be either France or Germany (though Sweden cannot be ignored and might also be ground zero for a nativist backlash). Italy may be the birthplace of fascism, but it’s not being pushed to quite the same degree as other places.

Britain is an interesting case. They’ve always been the most independent-minded of the Europeans (a not unpredictable result of having been cooped up on that island for so long and having the Channel to isolate you from all the squabbling of the neighbors). They’re certainly one of the more likely candidates to say au revoir to the EU, but one gets the sense that they’re not nearly at risk of getting a national hard-on for “removing kebab” as certain other countries.

Anyway, the trial. It’s going to be quite a spectacle. More fuel to the fire, really.

Someone really wants it to happen. Someone needs it to happen.

Let’s get crazy.

Who benefits from the boiling turmoil of ethnic conflict in Europe?

Turmoil in Europe shifts public opinion rightward (as ethnic conflicts are wont to do). A rightward shift in the population does the opposite of benefiting the elite, unless, of course, they are trying to quash such sentiments by crushing them in a dramatic show of force. This could be incentive for them to provoke a nationalist backlash.

I don’t think this is very likely though. It’s a stupid plan, and completely deviates from their usual approach of manipulating the media narrative to serve their own ends. Besides, you would think they would have learned from the Zimmerman and Wilson shenanigans in the states that the unintended consequences are just as powerful (if not more so) than the intended ones.

Unless of course, they wanted to use such a trial to inflame tensions (for whatever reason) and not inflame tensions in order to provoke actions for which they could try someone.

What if the elites are hoping to spark ethnic conflict in order to clear their countries out completely?

You see how complicated this sort of theorizing gets. You also see how most hypotheses that can be generated verge dangerously close to looney-bin territory. And yet, it is exceedingly difficult to know what level of crazy is “too crazy” and the possibility of there being an undiscovered diamond in the rough hangs always over your head.

Right-wing parties like Le Front Nationale benefit from attacks like this, but it’s a stretch to say that they are behind these attacks. They have neither the resources nor the connections to pull this off. To wonder if they are behind it is bad conspiracy thinking.

Putin benefits, as right-wing European political parties stand to gain from a backlash against Muslims, and right-wing political parties are those that are most willing to work with him and help him forge stronger ties with European countries. It helps him solidify control, and I am sure he is well aware of that.

Still, Islamic jihadis aren’t exactly Russia’s go-to tools when subversion is the card they choose to play. They may benefit from occurrences like this, but it would be a hard case to make that they’re the ones instigating them (especially given the complete lack of evidence pointing toward them in any way).

Mitchell has pointed out that it is a possibility that American and/or French intelligence services may be behind this attack. Do I think this is the case? Yes. No. Maybe. As Mitchell puts it: “Mu”. I neither believe nor disbelieve. Belief is a hindrance when trying to suss out this sort of thing.

If Mitchell is correct that the US has been experimenting with using Islamic extremists to further its own ends, though, then we have further reason to cast a wary eye towards the US.

Hell, it’s even worth mentioning the Jews, because A) No good conspiracy theory is complete without them and B) There is literally nothing that I would put past the Mossad. Those guys are like the Lex Luthor of the intelligence world. You would have to go to some pretty insane lengths to be certain that you’re overestimating them.

(Side note: I guess that makes the CIA the Joker.)

I’ll even bring up that had this event not happened, the news cycle would have turned its soulless eyes and insatiable gullet towards the British royal family and payed a bit more attention to the allegations that Prince Andrew had used a sex slave that had been loaned to him by a guy who had 20 different phone numbers for Bill Clinton. If you want a conspiracy theory, this is the node where you should begin. There are so many rabbit holes to investigate that just trying to count them is chilling.

Finally, it bears repeating that the Charlie Hebdo shootings might just have been a random act of violence by two young men who were descended from aggressive, clannish populations and who believed in a religion that can very easily be interpreted to condone all sorts of horrific violence on unbelievers.

Oh, okay, one more theory just for fun. This attack was incited/encouraged/provoked in order to assess which individuals would act most strongly and vehemently against Muslims. As these people are the most likely to be the flies in the ointment in any sort of progressive utopia, any budding bringer of said utopia would be wise to identify them in order to deal with them later as needed.

See how this could be dangerous for people like us?

What if Neoreaction is being used as a honeypot to lure in the people most likely to be troublemakers in a hyper-progressive society?

Fuck.

QUEM DEUS VULT PERDERE, DEMENTAT PRIUS

Friday Night Fragments #5

Neoreactionary theories of homosexuality are interesting, but underdeveloped. I, for one, am not convinced that the possibility of homosexuality being caused by a virus or pathogen of some kind necessarily rules out that some people will be more or less inclined towards the behavior based on genetic factors (which yes, absolutely could dictate susceptibility to whatever theorized pathogen [pathogens?] might influence such behaviors).

One thing the virus theory doesn’t handle too well (in my opinion) is the existence of bisexuals. This isn’t a big sticking point, but it’s one that perhaps ought to be dealt with if Neoreaction is seriously going to contest the claim that non-heterosexual behavior is solely (or even majorly) caused by genes.

Given the material incentives regarding divorce (and the general passivity and apathy of the modern, effeminate man), sleeping with married women is arguably the least-risky path for someone looking to pass on his genes.

For the unscrupulous man who doesn’t care to put in the optimal paternal investment, it makes a lot of sense to knock up someone else’s wife (whether the type of people most inclined to do this should be breeding at all is a different question…after all, we live in interesting times).

From a marginal utility standpoint, it only makes sense to support a sports team if it wins most of the time, given how our change in total happiness is more affected by a loss than a win of equal quantity. This would suggest that it is rational to support teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide, which win frequently and suffer few losses (if any).

This, of course, implies that rooting for one team or another is a rational decision, not an irrational one. Still, it does make one wonder about the various ways to make people switch teams.

For what it’s worth, we fly the blue flag here at The Legionnaire, and have been doing so through thick and thin since 1995.

The expansion of presidential powers will be justified in the future by legal aides who will “discover” new powers under the law. These justifications will not always be released to the public, and Congress will become increasingly irrelevant compared to the executive.

Anyone know if there’s a catchy word for “Rule by Lawyers?”

“To put it in perspective, imagine if Russia orchestrated the overthrow of the Mexican government (which is every bit as corrupt and shady as the former Ukrainian government was) and installed a pro-Russian puppet who promptly sent all of Mexico’s gold reserves to Moscow and placed Russians on the corporate boards of its oil companies? Do you think the USA would respond in as limited a fashion as Russia has?

Remember, Putin does not have to be a good guy in order for Obama to be the bad guy.”

Vox Day

Majority groups tend not to protect their own because there is too much to be gained from labeling other members as “low-status”. Minority groups find themselves forced to protect their own because it is necessary for group survival.

There are a few interesting implications here. The first is that given a sufficient time frame, majorities will always find a way to tear themselves apart. From this, it follows that ruling majorities will always and inevitably degrade themselves and erode their power through infighting.

It also implies that ruling minorities will be much more internally cohesive, as they are forced to stay tribal to retain their hold on power.

Now, does this imply that ruling elites will always begin to classify themselves as the in-group and the ruled as the out-group? To what degree does ruler/ruled tribal warfare arise from this dynamic? To what degree will some form of class warfare emerge as a constant in any society with this dynamic?

If anyone with any knowledge of game theory wants to take a crack at all this (disproving it or otherwise), I’d be very grateful.

The more bizarre and labyrinthine the laws of your country, the more that people good at finding loopholes and navigating abstract frameworks will be able to get around them. As time goes on, the laws of a country will become more complex and difficult to navigate. If it is true what I have postulated before that verbal IQ helps one navigate rules and legal structures, than over time, people with high verbal IQ will gain more and more advantage over those with lower verbal IQ.

Radix Journal put up a thought-provoking article earlier this week about the role that the synthesis of paganism and Christianity played in developing Europe. One of the really good points it that Chrisitanity provided a common thread that was able to tie Europeans together in a shared culture (something that paganism was never quite able to do).

Paganism is without doubt dead, and even though I think neo-paganism can be an optimal belief system and source of ritual for certain individuals, I greatly doubt that it can ever be revived from the dead.

That said, I am also skeptical of the chances that Christianity has in resuscitating itself and re-emerging as a powerful cultural force (though it would be foolish to suggest that it does not have far better chances than any kind of neo-paganism).

Something new is needed, but I am doubtful that the solution is anything that could be engineered by a council of eldars, no matter how smart those on the council might be. Any feasible solution is going to have to emerge and evolve on its own.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t seed some memes and see what fruit comes to bear. Think of it as a panspermea for a new religion. Who knows what ideologies might evolve?

“To know how to dissimulate is the knowledge of kings.” – Cardinal Richelieu

“History is written by the victors.” – Unknown, attributed to Winston Churchill

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” – Erasmus

Connect those dots as you see fit.

LEGES SINE MORIBUS VANAE

Friday Night Fragments #4

At the end of my last post, I tried to tell you to avoid toxic relationships with crazies, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Why not? Because you learn more about yourself and about human nature if you spend some time in the kind of relationship normal people fear than if you spend years studying psychology.

This is not a good reason to do it, of course, but the world belongs to those who dare. Many avenues are closed to those who are not strong enough, but the far extremes of understanding require sacrifice on the part of those who would seek such knowledge.

If you dare walk that path, be sure that you have the strength to endure it.

More on this coming soon.

Speaking of things that tie into previous posts, it turns out that women enjoy increased sexual competitiveness if they possess dark triad traits. This, of course, leads to an interesting question: if both men and women enjoy greater sexual success if they are inclined towards dark triad traits, why don’t people possess these traits in higher quantities than they already do?

Obviously, the degree to which dark triads traits are not hereditary will temper this, as well as the degree to which society rewards a lack of dark triad traits with reproductive success (to say nothing of the discrepancy between sexual success and reproductive success). What happens in a society that has no checks against dark triad behavior, though?

I really must get around to writing about this Sigma Point thing.

I mentioned in my last Friday Night Fragments that I tend towards anti-authoritarianism in my personal life. What draws me to Neoreaction, then, which does not shy away from advocating authoritarian solutions? Two things. One, after a lifetime of dealing with idiotic authority figures and incompetent authorities, I am sick of being told what to do by people who are dumber and more foolish than me. This, of course, means that I have nothing but respect and admiration for those few authority figures who are competent and capable, and I think we should have a lot more of them. I may swing towards anti-authoritarianism, but a competent and capable authority acting in a reasonable manner is fine in my book (whether this makes me a true anti-authoritarian is debatable, but given my disdain for our current authorities, I do not shy away from labeling myself as such).

The second point is that any true anti-authoritarian these days has to be anti-progressive, for progressivism is the mandate upon which our authorities base their legitimacy.

One of the search terms that I got hit with this week was “neoreaction mbti”. I can only assume this person was trying to get some data on the Myers-Briggs classification for most neoreactionaries (and not a neoreactionary version of the Myers-Briggs, which seems highly-unnecessary). While I can’t speak to hard data, I think it’s fairly safe to postulate that INTJ and INTP are represented far out of proportion to the general population, with a couple ENTJs and other types thrown in there as well (plus one ENTP who did a fairly good job of hiding it until he started putting out a paean to his lack of focus every Friday evening).

Speaking of search terms, another search term I got hit with this past week was “legionnaire with wild tiger movie”. I have no idea what movie this person was thinking of, but whatever it is, it sounds fantastic and I want to see it, so if any of you have any idea which film this might be, please let me know.

There are those who claim that the truth is illuminating, and who will then turn around and claim that here is such a thing as a dark truth. A contradiction arising from a bad metaphor? Perhaps. But if we think this is an insufficient explanation and play with the metaphor a bit, we are forced to either conclude that the truth is light and that we are too dark to be able to comprehend it without pain, or that the truth is dark and that we are not strong enough to be able to handle it without a filter of some kind. Either one seems unpleasant in its own way, and I bet you can predict with decent accuracy which interpretation people will lean towards based on whether or not they believe in God.

Sooner or later, there is going to be a full-scale conflict between and Private Military Corporation and a state military. I’m tempted to say that the future profitability of private contractors is going to hinge on the outcome, but it seems more likely to predict that either way, the PMC market is looking forward to a bountiful future.

Related to my last point, every business has an incentive not only to expand their market share, but also to increase market size. There is a major incentive to create new business. Any business that purports to solve a problem not only has incentive to perpetuate the issue, but exacerbate it.

This same phenomenon is why NGOs have incentive to hinder international development, feminists have incentive to make women worse off, and weight loss companies have incentive to promote non-permanent solutions.

This incentive is tempered by professional reputation, which rests on being able to solve said problem (and has become even more important in this age in which information is so readily available and so easily dispersed). It is this tension that explains much in the way of consumer/corporation behavioral dynamics. It is also a reason to trust small mom & pop establishments, which rely much more on reputation and quality products & services than market share, advertising tactics, and economies of scale.

How is this related to PMCs? Well, do PMCs benefit from a peaceful world with little in the way of conflict and instability?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to date a horse? Aimless Gromar wants us to know. Is there something that he’s not telling us, perhaps?

Kidding aside, I got two big takeaways from this. The first is that feminist logic of verbal consent is ableist:

“Second, if someone is mute and can’t write or give you a verbal response, are you allowed to have sex with them? Even if they are an adult and mentally sound? Are words the only way to get consent?”


There are some interesting arguments to be played with if anyone wants to yank on that thread.

The second takeaway I got from this was the thought that if Neoreaction ever starts hazing newbies, we should make them perform this article by way of song and interpretative dance before an assembled audience of the Eldars and other important NRx-type folks.

Several weeks ago, I had some harsh words to say about the hit song “All About That Bass”. I wasn’t the only one. It turns out that a few other people felt the need to skewer the piece. In their cases, however, they used parody as the weapon.

If you prefer your parodies to be scathing attacks, stabbing like a knife at the soft spots and showing no mercy, click here.

If you prefer your parodies to be full of attractive women in tight outfits, click here.

If you like both, you’re my kind of guy.

SPQR

Dark Linkage and Fractured Thoughts

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.

SPQR