Release the Hounds…

There are heretics hiding among us, spreading corruption and blaspheming the name of our Lord. We must cleanse ourselves of this blight.

There are witches in this town, cursing us and bringing the devil into our midst! We must find these witches and purge ourselves of these elements before they cast us all into sin!

The Jews have infested every facet of our society. They are leeching resources from honest Germans. It is necessary to cure ourselves of this disease.

Our entire way of life is threatened. There are communists operating at the highest levels of the government, and we must root them out.

hunting-wacistsRacists and misogynists are just as prevalent as ever. They should be named and shamed, for there is no place for them in society today.

The principles of human behavior really aren’t that complicated. There’s really nothing within human action that deviates from a few basic precepts. The same script plays out again and again and again and again.

Pattern recognition. Half of human understanding is pattern recognition. What are we to conclude of those who lack the basic ability to see the patterns that our lives follow?

It really is difficult to see the dignity and worth of each human being when so few of them seem to have even one of those things.

The way that the strong rule over the weak never changes. The way that the smart rule over the average never changes. The way that the powerful rule over the weak never changes. The way that the rich rule over the poor never changes.

The way that the moral guardians rule over those they claim authority over never changes. It matters not whether these guardians are self-appointed or not.

Moral panics never change. Moral panics are the same everywhere, done for the same reasons by the same types of people.

The people stirring up the moral panics don’t have to be wrong. Hell, most of them get at least a few basic facts correct. There were certainly communists in Hollywood and the government in the 1950’s. There were no doubt heretics in medieval Spain. There were certainly Jews in Germany, and Jews do tend to be economically successfully wherever they go.

Sometimes the people being purged are harmless. Sometimes they’re the ones running the show. Sometimes they don’t exist. None of this is actually relevant. The purpose of the moral panic is to precipitate a moral panic. The moral panic itself is just an excuse.

Nothing like a good moral panic to rile up the herd. Gets them all spooked and afraid and desperate for a leader like you who can calm them and show them the way out of the emotional wilds into which they have been plunged. Gets you status points. Allows you to show how dedicated you are to protecting others and keeping the herd safe. Gotta cast out the bad elements, don’t you know?

What’s that? Moral panics have a nasty habit of becoming vectors for their own pandemonium? No, that can’t be it. There are racists hiding here, don’t you know? If you don’t think this is problematic enough to drop everything and start lighting torches, you might be one of them. What’s that? This is getting out of control? Now I know you’re one of them! What do you mean this is going to come back to bite me one day? Nonsense! And who is this Robespierre asshole you keep bringing up?

A good purge is such a human constant you almost get the sense that the urge to do so is written into their DNA. Come to think of it, you’d probably have a more difficult time arguing that it isn’t.

I am generally of the idea that humans are going to have a purge sooner or later. Humans need their chaotic social frenzies the same way they need sex: it’s not absolutely necessary, but they tend to go a little off if they aren’t getting it. The pressure builds and builds and it really is better if you just let it out because not everyone can handle it and very few people can properly channel it into constructive avenues.

Imagine having a pet dog that is loyal and reliable, if a little dumb. Imagine that you love this dog, but that every once in a while it goes absolutely frothing mad and starts barking at everything and clawing at the walls and attacking your neighbor’s cat.

Well, fuck your neighbor’s cat. Your neighbor’s cat is probably an asshole, and hey, maybe this world would be a better place if it was gone. That doesn’t make any of this behavior any less disruptive, though, nor any less problematic.

What could you do with such a dog?

We do not have the choice to not have this dog. We are stuck with it. What we are left with is the burden of devising a plan to channel its impulses in such a way that they are minimally destructive.

How do you make the purge an effective ritual for dissipating their emotion urges without causing collateral damage? How could you time it so that it happens at a very particular time in controlled circumstances? Better yet, how could you set up a system that neutralizes panics before they begin while still granting people the release they need?

These are but a handful of the questions that need be asked in this realm. It is exceedingly difficult to know which questions are the right ones to ask. I cannot imagine how difficult it might be to find and implement the answers.

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Select Quotes from Edward Bernays’s “Propaganda”

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

So begins “Propaganda”, by Edward Bernays, a man sometimes called “The Father of Public Relations”. What’s that? You confused the above for a Moldbug quote? I don’t blame you. They sound very similar, but there’s one rather large difference. Bernays wrote this work in 1928, 80 years before Moldbug ever Moldbugged.

Bernays arguably did more to found the science of propaganda and develop the manipulation of the modern mind through mass media than anyone else. I expected that reading him would be a haunting experience. What I did not expect was that it would be so spine-tinglingly exciting.

The steam engine, the multiple press, and the public school, that trio of the industrial revolution, have taken the power away from kings and given it to the people. The people actually gained power which the king lost. For economic power tends to draw after it political power; and the history of the industrial revolution shows that power passed from the king and the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie. Universal suffrage and universal schooling reinforced this tendency, and at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people. For the masses promised to become king.

Today, however, a reaction has set in. The minority has discovered a powerful help in influencing majorities. It has been found possible so to mold the mind of the masses that they will throw their newly gained strength in the desired direction. In the present structure of society, this practice is inevitable.

Technologies like the Internet give power to the people, but they also give power over the people. Bernays understood this long before surveillance cameras, GPS trackers, and NSA wiretapping. He noted that the initially destabilizing impact of new technology disrupts old orders and put them in the grave before cementing new ones that somehow always seem to look exactly like the old orders.

In other words, any technology that gives power to the majority quite frequently becomes used by the minority to control the majority.

Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps linked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man’s rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints.

“We train our students in critical thinking so that they can develop and defend their own ideas and beliefs in order to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Page one of the New York Times on the day these paragraphs are written contains eight important news stories. Four of them, or one-half, are propaganda.

Hold on, let me check something. Let’s see…copyright 1928…first printing Novermber 1928…second printing December 1928…third printing March 1930.

The more things change, am I right?

Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea, or group.

Father of public relations, remember? Not hard to see how that came to be in light of the above passage (the emphasis was mine, by the way).

This practice of creating circumstances and of creating pictures in the minds of millions of people is now very common…sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the job.

And nowadays, many who engage in spreading propaganda are not even aware that they are doing such a thing! How far we have come over the past century. How can my fellow neoreactionaries disbelieve in progress when we have such clear evidence of it right in front of our eyes?

Formerly, the rulers were the leaders. They laid out the course of history, by the simple process of doing what they wanted. And if nowadays the successors of the rulers, those whose position or ability gives them power, can no longer do what they want without the approval of the masses, they find in propaganda a tool which is increasingly powerful in gaining that approval.

In a modern democracy, the people do not suggest to the leaders what they ought to do. They leaders suggest to the people what the people should demand the leaders do.

After reading this book, I am convinced that free will, if it exists, can be extinguished and replaced with the will of another, as if by a dark magic.

There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally known to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.

If you said that today you would be labelled a conspiracy theorist. But when it comes from the mouth of someone who was so instrumental in setting up the modern system…

The propagandist who specializes in interpreting enterprises and and ideas to the public, and in interpreting the public to promulgators of new enterprises and ideas, has come to be known by the name of “public relations counsel”.

Propaganda is business, and business is booming (emphasis mine, once again).

Is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible.

At this point, I almost expected Dr. Evil to hop off the page and ask for ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

The group mind does not think in the strictest sense of the word. In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits, and emotions.

Zing.

Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.

Which is why you have to laugh every time you see a pick-up guru or manosphere blogger claim that women are irrational creatures driven by emotion by men are totally logical and never do anything stupid the way those drunken sluts do, am I right? Hey, remember to buy my e-book on how to use Tinder to meet loose bitches but no fat chicks ‘cuz that would be gay, brah.

I believe that [business] competition in the future will not be only an advertising between individual products or big associations, but that it will in addition be a competition of propaganda.

Coke or Pepsi? Answer the question. You’ve done that? Good. Now tell me why you answered the question the way you did.

Oh wait, I just went back and read the quote right above this one. Never mind. Don’t say anything.

The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.

Recap of one of Bernays’s main points in this work: that the will of the people is whatever the propagandists want it to be.

Political campaigns today are all side shows, all honors, all bombast, glitter, and speeches. These are for the most part unrelated to the main business of studying the party scientifically, of supplying the public with party, candidate, platform, and performance, and selling the public these ideas and products.

ARE YOU READY FOR HILLARY (OR MAYBE NOT HILLARY AFTER ALL BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO MILK THE DRAMA FOR ALL IT IS WORTH) IN 2016 I HOPE YOU ARE BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BE AN EPIC SHOWDOWN WITH THIS OTHER PERSON WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED FOR YOU BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHO IT IS JUST YET TO BUILD SUSPENSE AND GET YOU RILED UP AND EXCITED TO VOTE REMEMBER THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER AND ONLY YOU HAVE THE POWER AND THE FREE WILL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The criticism is often made that propaganda tends to make the President of the United States so important that he becomes not the President but embodiment of hero worship, not to say deity worship. I quite agree that this is so, but how are you going to stop a condition which very accurately reflects the desires of a certain part of the public?

The easiest time to convince someone of anything is when they already want to be convinced of it.

(Side Note: Henry Dampier has a great piece that touches on the idea of Presidential hero-worship as a sublimated religious impulse.)

Ours must be a leadership democracy administered by the intelligent minority who know how to regiment and guide the masses. Is this government by propaganda? Call it, if you prefer, government by education.

What an odd move for someone who has just spent 104 pages explaining to me that propaganda is perfectly legitimate and is absolutely necessary for the functioning of a modern democracy, and who stated at the beginning of this book that he wished to remove the negative stigma from the word “propaganda”. Does he not trust his own efforts or does he just not believe them?

The normal school should provide for the training of the educator to make him realize that his is a two-fold job: education as a teacher and education as a propagandist.

Hang on, I think I need to read that bit again. That can’t seriously be what it says. Maybe I misread it the first time.

The normal school should provide for the training of the educator to make him realize that his is a two-fold job: education as a teacher and education as a propagandist.

Yep. He said that. He definitely said that.

I think I just figured out why I was never assigned to read this book in school.

Propaganda, by repeatedly interpreting new scientific ideas and inventions to the public, has made the public more receptive. Propaganda is accustoming the public to change and progress.

141114-shirt_726587a0e1274f7df1ed10392d8bd295

The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.

I think it’s safe to say that television and the internet have edged it out since then, but that doesn’t exactly make this any less salient of a point.

If the public becomes more intelligent in its commercial demands, commercial firms will meet the new standards. If it becomes weary of the old methods used to persuade it to accept a given idea or commodity, its leaders will present their appeals more intelligently.

An observation of the Red Queen hypothesis manifesting itself in market conditions decades before the idea was ever proposed? Check. This book just gets better and better.

It’s also a pretty ominous threat though. Catch on to our public relations techniques? We’ll just develop better ones, thank you very much.

Finally, Bernays ends his work in spectacular style:

Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which the can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos.

THE END

Well that’s certainly a note to end on.

It is at this point I must make a confession. I have been “selective” (some might say dishonest) in selecting quotes from this book, and in doing so, I have taken a tome that was written to defend propaganda as beneficial and necessary and turned it on its head. Bernays argued in this work that propaganda was only bad if used for ill purposes, and I have deliberately quoted him to make him sound sinister.

I guess all that reading on propaganda rubbed off on me after all.

Just goes to show how easily someone can be swayed, especially if you are swaying them to believe something that they want to believe and greatly desire to believe in the first place.

I can see how reading this work might strengthen one’s perception of the use of propaganda, though. That is what the book set out to do, after all, and it makes a strong case as to the necessity of propaganda in modern society. I’ll even go so far as to say that Bernays was, at least to a certain degree, absolutely correct.

It is also not difficult to see why one might believe something in the vein of Bernays’s argument. If you truly think that you are teaching people the right things, and you are guiding them in the right way, and you are looking out for their best interests, then of course you are going to rationalize it to yourself that you are not only doing the right thing, but that you are doing the world a great service. How could you not throw yourself into this task and devote your life to it? It is for the good of your fellow mankind!

Did you ever stop to wonder why you think that?

The King of Ashes

What do you see?

The first thing you’ll notice is a great preponderance of sweaty men standing around looking nervous and adjusting their ties. You might also notice the not-so-subtle imagery that indicates that Frank and Claire’s relationship is going to deteriorate this season. Try to look deeper.

What is House of Cards? It is a pop culture phenomenon. Frank Underwood is everyone’s favorite politician. He was in the latest “Call of Duty” game. We have real politicians trying to conflate themselves with him to better their image. Frank Underwood is exactly the politician we think we want, and we want him to be guiding us wherever we go.

One of the reasons that House of Cards is so popular is that there is nothing a weak, womanly society desires more than strong man to come in and take charge, and Frank Underwood is exactly the kind of power-hungry psychopath that makes our panties drop. How fitting it is that this new season is coming out so soon after the premiere of the “50 Shades of Grey” movie. If that isn’t some kind of divine portent, what is?

What type of feeling does this trailer try to instill in you? Let me tell you. It wants you to feel the thrill of the hunt and the rush of battle. The air starts to buzz and you can feel the metallic taste of blood on your tongue. Your hair stands on end and lightning starts to hum through your veins. Your eyes being to tingle and you feel an ocean of savagery begin to rise within you while all measure of compassion, empathy, or conscience fades away.

Let the butchery begin. A fitting catchphrase for a show that so revels in it.

Is is any wonder that power hungry schmucks and status-whoring young women love this show? Every intern and low-level wannabe big-shot in DC touches themselves at night at the thought of one day becoming Frank Underwood.

For all those familiar with the Gervais Principle, I ask you, which group of people is most likely to enjoy this show: clueless, losers, or sociopaths? If you guessed that this is a show that placates the clueless who want to be sociopaths, you guessed correctly.

Well, and the losers too. The more the merrier, and there’s really no lack of suckers who will try to internalize this show in a buffoonish quest to become some kind of sociopolitical ubermensch.

The kind of people who can actually learn a thing or two from shows like this are the kind of people who would have learned those things sooner or later. They may not be wired to be wolves, but at least they’ll have sharper teeth than the plodding herd animals who comprise most of humanity. Better to be a fox than a sheep, if nothing else.

Mitchell has rightly pointed out that if you’re being triggered, you’re being played. I will go one step further and say that any time you’re experiencing an externally-imposed emotion, you’re being set up for something.

“We’re murderers, Francis.”
“We’re survivors.”

This is a show that wants you to ask whether there is even a difference between these two things. It wants you to ask this so that you can feel like a badass while being a cog in the machine. It will keep you docile. It will keep you complacent.

Look how edgy I am. I’m a hardcore killer. Fuckin’ yeah I’ll keep working this shitty, underpaid job. I’m a fucking nightmare for wimpy little pussies like Cecil over in accounting. I’m going to do the best fucking job ever on this make-work my boss assigned me while he gives me a pay cut.

Shows like this are brilliant., This is part of the reason why they set us up so well to accept whatever it is they are trying to say. This is a pretty raw deal on our part.

Open mind. Insert programming here.

There is no better way to shut down critical thinking than to tell someone a good story.

I may lie, cheat, and intimidate to get what I want, but at least I get the job done, so I hope some of you were taking notes.

That’s got to be one of the most transparent pleas for blind eyes and excessive power that I’ve ever seen. It is no sin to enjoy this show, but to accept it is to submit to a wolf that declares itself to be your shepherd. People who are willing to accept any and all actions by their elite are being set up to get slaughtered like sheep.

If you’re reading this now, I have bad news for you. You are not a noble white knight. You are not a wolf. You’re a speck in the pile of ashes. Don’t get swept up in the narrative. Keep your wits about you. Avoid getting caught in the currents that are stirred up to keep the fish swimming in the right direction.

It’s the only chance you have.

It would be a great bit of rhetoric to end this post by saying that Frank Underwood is exactly the kind of politician we deserve. I wish we had that much going for us.

LUPUS NON TIMET CANEM LATRANTEM

Friday Night Fragments #8

First on the menu:

HAPPY BOXING DAY!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that it was full of spending time with your families or drinking eggnog or dancing around naked on the solstice or whatever it is that all you degenerates do (We pretend not to judge here at The Legionnaire).

I suppose I should throw together some kind of “year in review” and/or some kind of look towards the future. We’ll see if I can put something together or not. Frankly, this year went by so quickly I don’t think I’ll be able to get it all processed until March or so.

That said, let’s start fragmenting:

This little piece is not relevant to anything in particular at the moment, but it was great food for thought.

If large numbers of people believe something, this is very good reason to view it with skepticism, but if no one believes it, there’s probably a good reason for that too.

There are two types of power fantasies: proactive and reactive. Proactive fantasies are those in which an individual is willing to put forth effort and actively engage with the outside world in order to accrue power. Reactive fantasies are those in which power is given to you and you do nothing more than take advantage of it. A fantasy of going off to train in a shaolin monastery for a few years to become an expert in kung fu is an example of a proactive fantasy. Discovering that an unknown relative has bequeathed you a considerable fortune is an example of a reactive fantasy.

Obviously, this can be broken down into various components (how you get power, what you do when you have it…etc), but even taking this into account, I see two big trends dealing with power fantasies lately:

1. Women overwhelmingly gravitate towards reactive fantasies.

2. Reactive fantasies are becoming the dominant narratives in popular culture.

Make of this what you will. I certainly know what I think.

I received a tip-off from a acquaintance working in retail that effeminate-looking guys who work in sales can sell anything to a woman if they use their gayest voice. Their hypothesis was that women will buy anything from you if get them to envision you as some kind of surrogate “gay best friend”. I can’t say that I fit the criteria to pull this off, but I figured I’d pass this along for my readers to test out if they happen to be both effeminate-looking and in some kind of sales position.

In a previous Friday Night Fragments, I suggested a quick tie-in of the 4 temperaments with MBTI. One thing I think I failed to do is emphasize how that was a relative, not an absolute, classification. When I say something along the lines that “INTPs are phlegmatic”, I am saying that they tend towards being generally more phlegmatic than the other rationals. I am not saying that they necessarily are always going to be more phlegmatic (or even that they could necessarily be classified as such).

What makes a society thrive? Many reactionaries would say stability. Yet, how can we define stability? Is it a lack of disruptive influences? Is it the ability to weather numerous challenges? Is it the ability to adapt and overcome changing circumstances?

Is it better to have a stable society or an adaptable one?

Which one to prefer? Which one are we to support? Which one ought we try to build?

Here’s another scribbling from my notebook that I somehow forgot to touch on when I was dealing with all that “Deep State” stuff:

“Deep States and organized criminal associations are manifestations of the same phenomenon.”

Every once in a while, certain ideas pop into my head and I have to reverse-engineer how my mind arrived at the conclusion. This is one of those instances. It looks like what I was thinking here was that the same sort of economic, political, and social conditions that give rise to the emergence of mafia-like organizations also create the same kinds of conditions in which leaders of  government and other important institutions begin to exercise power through “less than official” means.

Sounds feasible to me.

Speaking of organized crime, this TED talk is one of the few that isn’t horribly shitty (well, at least the transcript was good…I don’t watch them anymore because it’s so much faster to just read them).

Most people, when trying to figure out what something “is”, resort to trying to understand the ontology of a thing. The general trend with certain neoreactionary types as of late has been to understand the teleology and derive the ontology from that. What it interesting about this approach is that it frequently yields different ontological conclusions than if we had simply tried to understand the ontology itself. what are we to conclude from this?

Have we ever bothered explicitly hashing out what the neoreactionary position is on the relationship between teleology and ontology?

Nick B. Steves has half-jokingly accused me of “dense millennial mysticism” with my “Love the Way You Lie” post. Considering how even I still haven’t figured out quite what it’s about, that’s not an unfair generalization. In the spirit of accommodating St. Nick (see what I did there?), I thought I finish this up with just a bit more dense millennial mysticism:

Fire is strong in proportion to what it is trying to burn. The biggest the tinder the hotter the burn. Men of fire are those who always and inevitably rise to the occasion, gaining — not losing but gaining — energy in the face of nigh-insurmountable challenges…

…And we deflate to apathy and lethargy when there is nothing interesting to do.

AD MULTOS ANNOS!

Friday Night Fragments #7

It appears that we’ve hit the lucky number seven on these round-ups. That’s actually a fair number of fragments, and I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve so far been able to think of things to put out each week.

Surprises aside, there have been quite a number of interesting things being said elsewhere this past week, and it only seems fair to give credit where credit is due. As such, this is going to be more of a link-fest than anything else this week.

-Free Northerner took me up on the challenge to tackle bisexuality through a Neoreactionary lens. He makes a clear distinction between bisexuality as a behavior and bisexuality as an innate preference, which I think is an important separation to make.

-Illimitable Man has put together a proper examination of “the shit test”. The shit test, like so many red-pill concepts, is widely conceptualized in a very narrow, limited way and given less analysis than is due. I suppose this failure of imagination is a side effect of the tendency of so many red-pill men to have no further ambitions than getting laid and lifting weights. Illimitable Man is one of the few who has any inclination to see a bigger picture, and thus one of the few red-pill guys left who has anything interesting to say. Both his blog and his Twitter are worth following.

-The term Neo-Reactionary seems to have made its way to the European continent. This is either convergent evolution of a most linguistic sort, or a poaching of the term (you’ll note they use the hyphen, which is so 2012). For what it’s worth, I’ve had 314 visits to this blog from France since its inception. Make of that what you will…

-There was this:

To publicly promote a political profile of peculiarly self-congratulating moral earnestness it is simultaneously necessary to feed the shadows. What happens unseen is essential to the purification of the image…As democracy ‘matures’, reality is processed increasingly in secret.

Nick Land

The more that your world is an illusion, the more you have to turn to the occult to understand it. In a world of so many illusions, the most dangerous people are the ones who know how to fight in the shadows.

-Finally, Nydwracu proposes a tripartite political classification based on the Atlantean/Hyperborean distinction, but with a third category: Turanian.

I think I’ve got that Atlantean and Hyperborean concepts down fairly well (mercantile, cosmopolitan, driven by creative destruction versus traditional, hierarchical system primarily bound together by ethnic and/or religious ties), but I feel like there’s a lot I’m missing and my interpretations are more akin to a caricature than a nuanced interpretation.

For what it’s worth, I’ve conceptualized the two as mobile river/sea people versus sedentary farmers. The tricky bit is in adjusting these mental conceptions to fit with a three-part classification.

I’m not going to pretend I understand this “Turanian” thing. If this is really a sea/synthesis/land distinction, shouldn’t they be the farmers? What if this thing is more akin to sailors/farmers/miners? That doesn’t seem right, but the only clue as to what Turanian encompasses is “Turkmenistan”, which doesn’t tell me much. Maybe Turanianism relies on having large deserts and massive reserves of natural gas? That would tie in chunks of the Middle East, interestingly enough. This may actually be the correct classification for one or two countries in that region (depends on where the split between Turanian and Hyperborean lies).

Or maybe it just means being the gatekeepers of the Door to Hell.

Atlantean: Trade and commerce; Hyperborean: Agriculture; Turanian: Resource extraction? And where the hell does industry fit in?

I’m really hoping we get a more fleshed-out explanation of all this.

Last week, I devoted a big chunk of the fragments to a quick overview of the way I conceptualized ideas of the “deep state” in American society. Normally, talk of such things goes hand-in-hand with a hostility to the idea of secret elites controlling everything and demands that ordinary people (and/or honest politicians…like there is such a thing anymore) do something in order to throw off the tentacles of the deep state. You won’t see any of that with me. I see no need to respond with some knee-jerk reaction that presupposes that the existence of such a thing is such a bad idea. It might be, but I’m not going to jump to that sort of conclusion straight away. Hostility on my part towards any sort of “deep state” is commensurate with the degree to which its interests conflict with mine (which is the same standard to which I hold pretty much everything), not its existence.

Side note: To what degree is the development of a “deep state” an inevitable outcome of a government that becomes as large and complex as that of the United States? Corruption seems to play a key role in the evolution of such a thing (note how initial analyses of the deep state idea were based mostly on Italy and Turkey). My guess is that you need a large bureaucratic network, a certain level of corruption, and an official diffusion of key power in order to sow the seeds that lead to the formation of such things, but that’s just me spit-balling off the top of my head. I have no doubt that someone with 5 minutes and a better understanding of how political systems form could produce a better analysis, but this seems like a decent (if rough) start.

Related: Nick Land has begun a discussion of how to practically deal with a Deep State while simultaneously laying the ground work for a Neoreactionary defense of such a thing, which has prompted Bryce to start putting together a theory of the Deep State. Is the Deep State the next meal on the Neoreactionary platter? I do hope so.

I’m still not totally convinced that it was really North Korea that hacked Sony, but the media sure did hop on that narrative and run with it. What are we to make of that?

SPQR

Friday Night Fragments #6

Here’s a little scribbling I wrote to myself in my notes for this week:

The Cathedral: The true Deep State, or a cultural and political juggernaut at war with the Deep state?

I’ll be honest, I thought it was fairly clever of me to see a distinction. It looks like I wasn’t the only one, though, and it seems my self-satisfaction was misplaced. Nick Land beat me to the punch on the subject with this post, and several of the ideas that are suggested indicate that I was on the right track but I’d started to go off the rails a bit.

Having perused Land’s post and the relevant links, I think I’ve started to put together some idea of how concepts are intertwined and the relationship they have with each other.

The Cathedral – The high church of modernity. The media and academia give sermons and guidance, while non-profits, NGOs, and the State Department promote the good works.

Shallow State – The network of American political consultants that earn their keep of off knowing how to play politics. Essentially political mercenaries, the degree to which they actually influence policy is probably slim, but ambitious politicians across the world will pay lucrative sums for their expertise. “State” is probably not the right word to use for this group of individuals.

Deep State – An amalgamation of major defense and intelligence agencies, co-ordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. The NSA has co-opted Silicon Valley into the effort, but the degree to which this is voluntary or coercive is up for debate. The same is true of the Deep State’s relationship with Wall Street, which seems to be conducted through the Department of the Treasury. The degree to which Wall Street is an independent player is unknown.

Three entities, each with a certain degree of ambiguity both in their definitions and in their membership. We might be tempted to write off the shallow state, were it not for the fact that it seems that the major shallow state players are tied in closely to certain organs of The Cathedral and of the Deep State. What is their role?

The relationship among the three can only be speculated by those of us not in the know, and even with more information, I fear that any attempt to tease out the connections will be an act of blind men feeling an elephant. Whatever is going on, it is big, it is secret, and there is essentially nothing that we can know for certain.

The degree to which these elements are disparate is also the degree to which their goals may not always align. What happens if there is a conflict among the players in this tripartite web of intrigue?

To the degree do the designs of the Cathedral run counter to the goals of the Deep State?

What if the Cathedral is just a tool of the Deep State to consolidate its power and keep the people in line?

Also in my notes this week, I postulated this:

ENTP – Sanguine
ENTJ – Choleric
INTP – Phlegmatic
INTJ – Melancholic

This is more a general rule of thumb and not a ironclad law, obviously, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is generally the temperamental pattern that (more often than not) people seem to gravitate towards. If I had to guess, I would go even further and say:

ExxP – Sanguine
ExxJ – Choleric
IxxP – Phlegmatic
IxxJ – Melancholic

Interestingly enough, this would seem to suggest that it is one’s relationship to the outside world and how one perceives it that influences personal temperament (or vice versa…it’s hard to tell and the causal relationship could go either way), and not cognitive processing style. This is odd, as it makes sense to expect that cognitive processing style would have an impact here, but I guess the influence of cognitive style is one of the murky factors that make this a general correlation and not a hard and fast rule.

To what degree is it a good idea for a young man to learn a few foreign languages and some other in-demand skills and become a globe-trotting, techno-commercialist financial/business mercenary?

I’ve linked to Paul Cooijmans before, including some of his stuff on genius (long story short, his theory is that Genius = IQ + conscientiousness + associative horizon). I had a weird thought recently regarding the relationship between IQ and conscientiousness. It seems likely to me that a deficiency of conscientiousness would mildly hamper performance on an IQ test (inattention to detail and things like that causing someone to incorrectly answer questions that their intelligence would predict them to answer correctly), which would lower the final score. In light of this, low conscientious people might score 1 – 3 points lower (my unsubstantiated guess…actual number may be higher) on an IQ test than they would otherwise have received.

A lot of people are square boxes in round holes. Most get ground down into the proper shape over time. Some never do. What sets these people apart is an intrinsic quality and strength of self that makes it impossible for them to ever be ground down to the degree they are “supposed to be”.

If you are one of these people, you will always be one of them. No matter how well you may fit in, no matter how well you may play with others, no mater how functional and successful you may be, you will always be a square peg in a round hole. You will never quite fit, and there will always be a part of you that yearns for the life of the wanderer, always seeking out new horizons and always searching for something new to master and conquer.

You will always be restless. You will very quickly find that staying in the same place and doing the same things is anathema, and anathema is death.

You are cursed to never be content.

Once you accept this, though, there is nothing you cannot do.

ARCANA IMPERII

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