Always nuclear winter and never Christmas

October 13, 2016 § 14 Comments

One of the strangest aspects of the current year, as viewed from outside the padded walls, is the public perception of danger versus actual danger.

Grandma Abortion Witch and (at least by neglect and incompetence) the mulatto hope and change catalyst for all of the domestic interracial peace we presently experience, have managed to make nuclear war with Russia a live possibility again for the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Millenials do tend to like retro.  One of the retro cultural experiences they may have coming is the nuclear sword-of-damocles experience enjoyed by cold war kids, if not the full “two suns in the sunset” experience itself.

But who becomes the next president is likely to be determined by who wins a war of sexual trash talk and by how offended the fatty vote is by the fact that people notice that they are fat.

Defective identity

January 5, 2016 § 31 Comments

[20] For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

[21] Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. [23] And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. [24] Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

[26] For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, [30] Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

[31] Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. [32] Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

Romans 1:20-32

Decades ago I attended a school with a large deaf population.  One of the interesting things about the deaf community is that there actually is such a thing as the deaf community.

By ‘deaf community’ I do not mean a community of people united by common challenges and the common purpose to overcome those challenges. That kind of community would involve communal acknowledgment that there is an objective disorder to be overcome, or simply endured (and those enduring it supported) when it cannot be overcome. That kind of community would acknowledge human dignity to be an objective matter of reality independent of what anyone (or everyone) thinks.

What I mean, rather, is a community of people who (qua community[*]) celebrate the objective defect as if it were a positive good and insist upon that defect as a principle of their identity.  I mean a community of people many of whom are insulted by the very idea that the defect actually is objectively a privation, a defect: people who feel simultaneously entitled to special compassion because of their predicament and insulted by the idea that there is anything wrong in the first place.

Modern cafeteria realists, because they are cafeteria realists, cannot tell (or selectively project incapacity to tell) the difference between being and privation; between creation and destruction; between authority and tyranny; between good and evil.  They are under the delusion that because, like gravity, it cannot be directly seen, value is a matter of mere opinion or of aggregate opinion. They are under the delusion that productivity is just a matter of perspective, that perversity is love, that their rule is justified by the principle that nobody has a right to rule, that their favored policies and procedures are justified by the goods at which they are directed but that what is good in the first place is a matter of obscure subjective opinion hidden behind an impenetrable is-ought gap which relegates the good to the land of inscrutable subjective cartesian ghosts or optimized material machinery.

When you find yourself wondering why modernity is pervaded by degenerates and defectives, understand that this is by choice.  Modern man has decided that, as the measure of all things, he only believes in the realities in which he wants to believe. As a result he has chosen defectiveness as the principle of his own being.

[*] As always, individual persons may be more or less committed to the community, may or may not fully grasp the object of their loyalty, etc.  It is a basic mistake to equate persons with the objects of their loyalty. An individual American is not America, and America cannot be reduced to nothing but the aggregation of actual Americans.  Same for Islam, feminism, liberalism, etc.  Just as personal defects are not the essence of a person, objects of personal loyalty are not themselves the person.

America the Beautiful, or credit where it is due

December 9, 2015 § 28 Comments

We’ve seen that the principles upon which all liberals agree – that the primary purpose and justification of politics is to secure freedom and (concomitantly) equal rights – are incoherent; so, by the principle of explosion, they logically imply everything and its opposite all at once, although in practice this is constrained by the reality in which we are situated: by unprincipled exceptions and common sense.

What happens here is rather subtle, and many people have a hard time understanding it.  When our explicit principles – the authoritative principles under which we justify our exercise of discriminating authority in the controvertible cases of politics – are self contradictory, they can as a logical matter be invoked to justify anything at all, or its opposite.  However, this logical production of any and all results and their opposite is further constrained by the desires and expectations that people actually happen to have.  It is for this reason that liberalism as a political doctrine always tends toward making whatever people happen to want at a given point in time authoritative: liberalism destroys the Good, the True, and the Beautiful as the justifying foundation of politics and replaces them with Will.

This ‘works’ in a sense as long as everyone more or less wants and expects the same thing: that is, it creates the illusion of being a workable political doctrine as long as politics is mostly unnecessary.  When politics does become necessary, liberalism attempts to abolish it: to rule while pretending not to rule. When faced with existential threat – some principled exception which brings liberalism itself into question in principle, stemming from the Low Man’s intransigence or incapacities – it becomes effervescently violent.

Americans, as I have mentioned, often mistakenly identify America with liberalism, the political doctrine.  Abraham Lincoln expresses this view eloquently, describing America as “… a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

But America is not a political doctrine or proposition, or a collection of texts.  America is a country: a national community consisting of many subsidiary communities and peoples with at least some shared history, law, and tradition.

So to the extent America instantiates things which are Good, True, and Beautiful, this cannot be attributed to liberalism.  Attributing these things to liberalism is like attributing them to the proposition that 2+2=5.

To the extent that there are good political results in America, then, those things must be – because liberalism reduces politics to Will – attributable to a good Will on the part of some actual American people in some actual concrete situations.  These good political results must be attributable to the extent to which actual American people have willed what is good, true, and beautiful; because liberalism itself is intrinsically indifferent as to what is good, true, and beautiful: it reduces them politically to the human will.

To restate it, without getting into controversy over the extent to which this is concretely the case:

Any good that has come from or does come from American politics is not a result of liberalism.  It is a result of good will on the part of some actual Americans in particular concrete situations.

UPDATE: See Ed’s criticism in the comments.

Subsidiarity and freedom are unrelated

August 3, 2014 § 71 Comments

Subsidiarity is messy hierarchical organic authority.  A single efficient and monolithic authority micromanaging everything all the time is the opposite of subsidiarity, whether that monolithic authority is dictatorial, democratic, or carried out through some other formal structure like a patchwork.

Freedom is the capacity to actually choose what we wish to choose. It is maximized for the most people either when a wicked sovereign rules wicked people, or when a good sovereign rules good people.

It is self-contradictory to make freedom a political priority, because politics is essentially the art of resolving controverted cases. By definition all parties in controverted cases cannot be granted the actual capacity to choose what they wish to choose. Attempting to limit political freedom with some other principle doesn’t work: it just represents an attempt to confine the self-contradiction into a little box, from which, like a powerful acid, it will inevitably escape. And within whatever scope it is permitted to operate, it will insist upon equality of rights.

It is possible for a society under subsidiarity to exhibit a great deal of freedom or a tremendous lack of freedom; and as always, who is and is not “free” is relative to what they happen to wish that they could choose in that society.  The same can be said for a monolithic arrangement.

Saying that a society is free, then, is simply to say that in your view that society puts the right people in prison for the right reasons.

Freedom is inherently relative, so it teaches modern people that morality is relative. Again citing the prophet Soul Asylum,

Trying to do the right thing
Play it straight
The right thing changes from state to state

So subsidiarity and political freedom are unrelated concepts. The latter must be rejected utterly in order to escape the mind trap of liberal modernity. In fact the more important freedom to choose the good is to you, the more important it is that you reject freedom as a political priority.

Survival for a while of the fit enough

July 12, 2014 § 5 Comments

The darwinian idea ‘survival of the fittest’ is a funny little meme. That little ‘est’ suffix implies optimization, despite the naked emperor.

This post is almost short enough to make me a twit.

Zippy’s corollary to Conquest’s Second Law

June 25, 2014 § 77 Comments

Every powerful social movement that is not explicitly Catholic (non-Protestant Christian) sooner or later becomes anti-Christian.

Update: It turns out I am just getting up to speed.

Is neoreaction a photographic negative of Marxism?

June 1, 2014 § 30 Comments

I haven’t taken up a study of the thing that calls itself ‘neoreaction’, but I’ve inevitably developed some impressions from encounters here and there.  For example I’ve recently gotten the impression that there is a strong strain of nominalist postmodernism in neoreaction; an impression that has only been reinforced by the manner in which self-styled neoreactionaries have defended their linguistic bluster and trumpeted the virtues of propaganda.  And although the manosphere and neoreaction aren’t the same thing, they are both products of the great bowel movement of modernity; and I’ve noted the cultural marxist tendencies of the former before.

Sometimes there are advantages to being old, or at least middle aged.  This all “rhymes” remarkably well with how I recall Marxists defending their views in electronic discussions several decades ago.  A number of folks concluded that I was crazy to see connections between postmodernism in debating style and marxism in ideology, but I still don’t think it is an accident that most postmoderns tend to have wildly leftist views.

The thing that Marxism and classical liberalism have in common is liberalism.  The Marxist critique is basically that the classical liberal property regime – lets call it “capitalism” – promises but fails to actually achieve freedom and equality in outcome.  Capitalism on the Marxist view is a big lie, because it promises freedom and equal rights but delivers the same old feudalism and oppression under different labels.  The capitalist property regime, therefore, must go.

So Marxism is basically classical liberalism minus capitalism.

Here is how self-styled neoreaction recently described itself (HT The Reactivity Place):

Neoeaction is the acknowledgement that you can only work with how the world was, is, and is going to be.

Now that part is obviously question-begging chest-thumping, because nobody thinks that his world view is based on fantasy. Everyone takes himself to be a hard-nosed realist who really understands things as they really are, as opposed to all those other people who don’t. So what matters is what the blogger takes this to mean substantively. And it turns out that what the blogger takes this to mean substantively is that capitalism is written into the nature of things and cannot be critiqued:

Once you acknowledge that Capitalism is a spontaneous order which is something which cannot be halted, must be allowed to run free, and which is a force of nature every bit as much as genetics, then as a neoreactionary you must embrace this understanding and act in accordance with the world as it was, is and is going to be.

So on one view, neoreaction is basically classical liberalism minus the liberalism: a photographic negative of Marxism.

Austrian economics, defended by postmodern lies.

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