Brin and Gray

I just re-read David Brin’s NeoReactionaries drop all pretense: end democracy and bring back lords.

If I may summarize his argument, it is that those who oppose the Enlightenment want to create a New World Order of Monarchies to rub their hands maniacally and guffaw maliciously as they stamp their Nazi jack-boots on the faces of the oppressed. Did I get close enough there? Well, hysterical, might be a more succinct label.

He praises the Enlightenment, dubbing it the Enlightenment Miracle. He denies that Democracy and Communism are kissing cousins. Of course he references anti-NRx posts, with precious few references to actual NRx thought. Why should he bother to actually intellectually disprove the assertions of the Dark Enlightenment, when you can simply slander and ad hominem it? He employs the typical racism and sexism slanders, though does not stoop to fascism. The article is a commonplace attempt to evoke an emotional response while posing as intellectual commentary. I won’t bother re-hashing any arguments against the Enlightenment, just read the Neoreactionaries themselves for definitive debunking of it.

I think that Brin should read False Dawn by John Gray.

The book cover itself is interesting, the initiated will recognize the seal on the back of the one dollar bill, with the banner reading Novus Ordo Seclorum, translated as New Order of the Ages. Some see this as New World Order symbolism. The image is often used as an Illuminati reference by the conspiracy-minded. I personally see the pyramid simply as the graphic representation of human order: hierarchy. The eye is known as the Eye of Providence, which is they eye of God. I don’t find the image particularly frightening or sinister, but I think it currently represents an idea, and it is fitting that this idea is symbolized on the US dollar bill: the idea of global capitalism.

This is the false dawn, where a Western capitalism is universalized around the globe, and a new Utopian age of peace and prosperity rises over the horizon to bath us in the clear bright light of the Enlightenment. Anyone at all familiar with Neoreactionary thought, as David Brin clearly is not, will understand that Univeralism is one of the key pillars of Enlightenment thought, along-side Egalitarianism and Individualism. I express individualism as [1], and egalitarianism as [1=1], and universalism as [1=1=1=1…∞].

Only a believer in the Enlightenment could conceive of a New World Order of Western global capitalism enrapturing the entire world. Reactionaries cannot. We understand that Market functions must be built around the needs and worldview of the populations they serve. Markets must take the shape of their containers — the civilizations in which they are cultivated.

Perhaps the best way for you to get a feel for the book is a few quotes from a hatchet-job book review by the Libertarian Cato institute which dubs it “a relatively sophisticated version of reactionary globalphobia.” The article also appeared in the Libertarian masturbation journal of choice, Reason Magazine:

Now he rejects not just free trade, not just liberalism, but the whole “Enlightenment project”—or at least his caricature thereof. (In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel identifies Gray as a leading voice of what she calls “reactionary stasis.”)

Hmm, a reactionary denial of the Enlightenment project?

Indeed, at the bottom of Gray’s hostility to the world economy is its supposed Enlightenment pedigree. “A single global market,” he writes, “is the Enlightenment’s project of a universal civilization in what is likely to be its final form.” In an invidious and oft-repeated comparison, he portrays global capitalism and the now-defunct ideal of collectivism as two sides of the same rationalist coin: “Even though a global free market cannot be reconciled with any kind of planned economy, what these Utopias have in common is more fundamental than their differences. In their cult of reason and efficiency, their ignorance of history and their contempt for the ways of life they consign to poverty or extinction, they embody the same rationalist hubris and cultural imperialism that have marked the central traditions of Enlightenment thinking throughout its history.”

Let’s be clear about this: A single global market is the Enlightenment’s project of a universal civilization in what is likely to be its final form. I don’t expect in-depth knowledge or logical consistency from David Brin on these matters, though I would appreciate it.

Fukuyama made the Enlightenment argument for liberal democracy and global capitalism in 1992 in The End of History and the Last Man. He subsequently came to a more moderate position in 1995 in Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity where he came to realize that culture and economics are co-evolved, or as I stated above: Markets must take the shape of their containers — the civilizations in which they are cultivated. He still labors to make the Enlightenment functional, as many conservatives do. He will have a tough time of it until he realizes the majority of his assumptions are pseudo-scientific Enlightenment nonsense.

Read John Gray if you would rather have a dose of reality.

Because, in reality, who is it that has the plans for global domination? It is the deluded followers of the Enlightenment. John Gray says nothing other than what is patently obvious: that dream is dead. It was still-born because it cannot possibly function — Universalism is a false god of the Enlightenment. When David Brin is looking for the evil jack-booted thugs with plans for global domination, he needs to look in the mirror: it is Enlightenment Utopians like him that have that plan, not us. Read Gray’s words again, it is those like Brin who “embody the  same rationalist hubris and cultural imperialism“. We reactionaries understand that we must build walls around our civilizations and keep the pagan barbarians at bay. Running a civilization is a full-time job. We understand how hard it is to keep our own little civilization alive, and are busy working on that project. We will leave the plans for global domination to Utopian Universalists like Brin and his allies.

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections

From Quartz: Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says.

Hahahahaha!!!

You have to go pretty far from America to get some straight talk on democracy. Here’s what CY Leung, Hong Kong’s top city official, had to say about it:

“If it’s entirely a numbers game—numeric representation—then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.”

Ya think? So let me get this straight: if a country lets a bunch of poor people vote, then that country will inevitably get a bunch of wealth-destroying, wealth-transfer policies?

Well, I’ll be darned. Whodathunkit? It’s not like that is perfectly obvious. Or is it?

Let me rephrase: Democracy is retarded.

As an aside, Curt Doolittle wrote in Neo-Reaction in a Nutshell: We Are Ruled By A Theocracy – An Evil One:

The central problem of any post-hunter-gatherer society, engaged in production, is to ensure that the fecundity of the unproductive does not eradicate the increases in productivity of the creative – but that those increases are accumulated as a competitive advantage against the fecundity of not only our own relations, but of those who would replace us. Otherwise all innovation is translated into population expansion rather than advancement. Northern European civilization succeeded faster than all others, in no small part because it concentrated reproduction in its upper classes, not in expanding the burden of its lower classes.

It seems that Hong Kong is wrestling with that problem as we speak, Curt.

On Progress, Lightbulbs and Neoreactionaries

How many neoreactionaries does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

TakisMichel (is that French?) has a snarky response for us. Cool story, bro.

The thrust of the snipe is that neoreaction is backward, rejecting progress, such as the lightbulb. How stupid of us! Surely, we deserve to be mocked with the very archetype of technological progress, the lightbulb, which is now the ubiquitous icon of the new idea. Of course, his error has been identified in countless other arguments: conflation of political progress with technological progress. Been there, done that.

This led me to a better question: How does one determine what progress is true and good and what is political/ideological falsehood? The best test is: a test. We simply take the progress for a test drive and see if it runs, breaks down or explodes.

Thalidomide babies

If we approach the prospect wisely, then we will understand that as with any new invention, progress can be dangerous. So, we need brave explorers who are willing to risk life and limb to explore the possibilities of progress. We need those who are willing to sail a ship into the unknown. We also need to understand the dangers inherent in the process.

I’m sure TakisMichel would advocate that government agencies such as the FDA oversee the progress of new foods such as Aspartame or drugs such as Thalidomide.  Does dear TakisMichel suggest that we throw caution to the winds and run headlong into the Utopia promised us by the manufacturers of Thalidomide? Or should we take a more conservative approach? Might it not be best to test our progress on a few? Wouldn’t it be wise for us to forbid mass distribution until the progress has proven itself?

Yet we see cheerleaders for progress such as TakisMichel mocking Neoreaction for advocating a conservative approach. His head is too filled with dreams of progress to understand that a species such as ours needs a method to transmit information across generations to warn of past dangers which destroyed populations. It needs a method which does not necessarily scientifically understand the workings of those dangers, but can transmit a safeguard against them. It needs an intergenerational risk management heuristic: a method which is opaque yet functional.

We have these intergenerational risk management heuristics: religion and tradition, aka conservatism. When group A dives headlong into progress and group B remains relatively static, sometimes group A receives a competitive advantage and advances beyond group B. Sometimes this happens successively, so group B picks up the pace of progress. Then comes the Black Swan. Death. Destruction. Deformity. How does your progress look now, TM?

After the Black Swan, we can see the wisdom of group B’s conservatism. The result is that the faithful, those slow to change, survive. We can then see that respect for the past, for tradition, for religion, provides a competitive advantage that is only realized after the Black Swan.

What then is the appropriate attitude towards progress? I say allow it – for a few. Allow the dreamers to dream and the explorers to roam. Allow experimentation. Allow progress, but take it for a test drive first. What we cannot do is allow progress to spread unchecked throughout a population, society or civilization. We must acknowledge the dangers inherent in progress. We must be aware that progress may invite a forgotten Black Swan. And we should be extremely cautious of progress which is forbidden by religion or tradition, as it is very likely to invite the Black Swan.

Destroy the Old World cultural revolution poster

The flip side of allowing progress for a few, is that we should warn against progress for the many, and we should forbid progress to be forced on the many. We should fight to maintain continuity, to preserve our traditions and our religion. But this is exactly the problem with totalitarian liberals: in their hubris they will allow nothing to be conserved. They will allow no pockets of religion, tradition and conservatism to remain without being attacked. They foolishly destroy the pockets of resistance, destroying those who will function as the seeds of a future repopulation after the Black Swan. They force progress.

Chinese man endures
Struggle Session
prior to execution

Here is the rub TakisMichel: no-one forced everyone to switch from lamps to lightbulbs. No-one forced all expecting mothers to ingest Thalidomide. Progress is best when it is adopted slowly, after centuries or millennia of contained experimentation. If liberals would just go live their own progress without forcing it on the rest of us, then the danger could be contained. Unfortunately, liberalism now rules the West, as it did the East, with an iron fist. Cultural Revolution, Struggle Sessions, and Purges abound.

TakisMichel probably isn’t even aware that modern Western progress is crushing the fertility of those who adopt it. He probably has no idea that modernity is a death cult, celebrating sodomy, infanticide and masturbation – with predictable results: no children, no future. His group, which is rushing headlong into progress is dying, but the anti-progressive Muslim population doubled in the last two decades and is set to double again in the next two decades. How are they doing it? Through rejection of Western progress.

I doubt he has any clue that cities like Singapore have turned into IQ shredders, that these technologically advanced, economic dynamos are actually eating the genes which produce the high IQ men that are needed to build technology. Ah, progress.

So, please feel free to wallow in your self-congratulatory mockery of all conservatism, religion and tradition, TakisMichel. You deserve it: Progressives have won. Progressives are in complete political control. Progressives like you can pretend that you are in Heaven as you serve as a walking dildos: having sex without ever fulfilling your biological reproductive function. The Progressive Utopia is a graveyard. Thankfully, there are some of us who will reject the death cult. Obviously whatever genes drive the Progressive’s suicidal trajectory deserve to die just as their ideals and values will die when they do (having not reproduced and not supported a tradition), while those who are most religious, traditional and conservative will reproduce to create the lives that will shape the future. It’s a delicious irony: Darwin always wins. Enjoy it while you can.