economics Societies

No Going Back to the 1950s – And What Lies Ahead

Some who celebrate (or mourn) Trump’s victory seem to think we will return to the 1950s status quo.
That won’t happen as never in history has any other historical period been revived despite the best efforts of thousands of years of reformers.  Erasmus always loses and even a successful Diocletian or Constantine end up creating something new rather than bringing back the old.
What we are left with is to figure out where we’re at and where the forces in play will take us.

To begin with, a majority of marriage age adults are now single and I do not foresee the trend away from matrimony will change anytime soon.  In practice a society of “free love” leaves a majority of males making free love to their hands but everyone dreams of having multiple desirable partners, the fulfillment of which always seems to be just a few clicks away.  Though most people will mathematically end up losers, the lure of being a winner is just too good to pass up.  Besides, the old system just isn’t cool.
Customs of matrimony require centuries, if not millennia of traditional reinforcement to establish and once undone require the right forces to coalesce once more.  Matrimony is reinforced by a pre-industrial world where resources are much scarcer and the long term pooling of resources between males, females, and their families is necessary for survival.  Marriage isn’t fun and it never was for fun.  It’s all about preserving resources in hard times and providing support for offspring whose survival was uncertain even with the best possible care.  So long as most people feel confident they’ll at least be able to eat and that their illegitimate kids will survive, it won’t change.  The combination of a steady basic food supply with low hopes of property acquisition, and social atomization that discourages pooling of family resources is an especially potent combination of disincentives.
Marriage will become much like it used to be, an institution that mostly serves the needs of the propertied classes.

The religion of the 1950s is not coming back either.  Even back then, it had been going steadily downhill in influence for centuries.  Christian religion requires faith in abstractions that is difficult to maintain in a world where information on every subject is abundant.  From now on, Christianity will only be useful as a value system for the prole classes, never again as the ruling ideology of a society with mass modern communications.
From now on, spiritual feeling will revolve around symbols and symbolic people that make abstract social concepts tangible.  We are seeing already a return to idolatry.  As people once imagined earthly human hierarchies in heaven and hell, they will return to a more primitive mindset of regarding earthly human hierarchies as heavenly.  Many only somewhat ironically refer to President Trump as God-Emperor.  They all know he is just a man, but they associate the idea of God-Emperor with the social and political forces he represents, just as Zeus represents lightning storms and leadership of his pantheon, or Hades stands for the land of the dead and riches mined from the earth.  
It may seem absurd at first but for human minds that cannot rightly grasp the magnitude of a million people any more than the size of a galaxy, godhood is the best concept to describe those humans whose barest whims affect the lives of millions.
The primary purpose of spirituality will not be to legitimize a moral philosophy but as in the days of cavemen to usefully describe the ethereal social sphere through concrete metaphor.

The economy of the 1950s is not coming back either.  Trump will be doing the right thing by at least removing policies that make the problem even worse and buy us some time, but no one can change the underlying forces. Human labor will be ever less in demand as world economic growth becomes static.  The seemingly endless easy gains of the industrial revolution are coming to an end and we have been entering a sort of new dark age.
I have a saying “diversity is easy in times of plenty” because once you have a pie that’s either static or actually shrinking the need to survive combined with the extreme competitive pressures in a free sexual market reduces the whole world into two categories.
-People who increase your chances of securing scarce resources and social status.
-Everybody else.

The forces in play are pushing humanity back towards tight tribal associations.  We now see widening fault lines along ethnicity and class and that will continue—but ultimately determining allegiances will be complicated.  Especially as it becomes more permissible to analyze humans by intelligence and temperament just as if they were breeds of dogs, so will humans divide up by neurotype and form the basis of the tribe-state.

The basis of sovereignty will no longer be primarily by geographical territory, but by the existence of a group, the culture it shares, the wealth it controls, the political power it wields.  In any given state or city in the West there are representatives of every type of person we can imagine.  Secession as we once would have imagined it is impossible.  What we will end up with is nation-tribes doing business, making treaties, and when that fails making war, as often by buying up real estate and businesses or setting the doctrine in schools as by outright violence.

Right now, Trump is among the first generation of leaders of the Neo-Tribal dark ages.  He rose to power on class and ethnic loyalties with a persona of stripped of pleasantries appropriate to the norms of our more barbaric times.  He gives us a template of what leaders will look like from now on.  In a dark age, people believe leaders should have the biggest winning rather than the finest principles.  So from now on the people in charge will be aggressive, generous desert sheikhs flaunting the money and harems everyone else admires.  The most honorable man will be he who has many children, has slain many men in battle, and delivered bounties of plunder to his followers.  With the old social contract shredded to pieces the people will have no more patience for staid married family men who are frightened of saying anything mean.

The tears and screaming of Hillary supporters is not irrational.  They sense in their guts, correctly, that their social universe is going through the apocalypse.  The system they have devoted their entire lives to as virtuous cooperator acolytes with all its ritual jumping through credentialist hoops and saying the right things for status is beginning to crumble all around them.  They have massive investment and sunk costs all up in flames.  They do not even know of, cannot even begin to understand anything else.  Learning in one cataclysmic event that history does not always favor “progress” is like a sheltered true believer hearing someone say “God doesn’t exist” for the first time.  It is to face a horrifying void.  Against every doctrine they were ever taught once-invincible civilization is actually regressing.

We return to primitive norms because only the extreme pressures of civilization ever made us otherwise.  This is why civilizations always change overnight the moment people have enough wealth to have any alternative whatsoever.  Civilizations persist by keeping people secure enough but at bare subsistence enough that they cannot dream too far and therein lies its fatal weakness when confronted with the slightest taste of prosperity.  The real change this time, though, is the access individuals have to information—far more agile and orders of magnitude beyond what even the printing press could offer.  Societies both primitive and civilized require most people to be ignorant so they can be indoctrinated into irrational beliefs that hurt the individual while benefiting the whole.  The result of millions empowered to advocate in their own interests is a recipe for upheaval, and so we go forward into uncertain territory.

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

9 replies on “No Going Back to the 1950s – And What Lies Ahead”

“…To begin with, a majority of marriage age adults are now single and I do not foresee the trend away from matrimony will change anytime soon. In practice a society of “free love” leaves a majority of males making free love to their hands but everyone dreams of having multiple desirable partners, the fulfillment of which always seems to be just a few clicks away. ..”

Feminism will crumble. Men and Women will soon be totally equal. Women will not like this. I think motherhood will disappear within 30 years. It could happen way faster if some unhuman experimentation were allowed. I bet it could be done in less than ten years with adequate funding and no oversight. Scientist have raised mice by taking skin cells and turning them into stem cells. They then fertilize these cells with sperm. Oops feminist, turns out it’s sperm that is the trigger for turning cells into zygotes. The success rate is up to 24 percent. Those mice have in turn been breed with regular mice and there seems to be no problem with them. Normal mice. They said there is no problem doing the same with humans.

So the path would be first to create eggs from skin cells, fertilize then raise in surrogates. The next step would to be finding a large animal suitable in size to carry human babies. Cows??? The animal is then given a human uterus or the correct hormones to raise humans and immune system. This is not some far fetched idea. There’s a new genetic technology call CRISPR that makes it super easy to genetically modify animals, plants, whatever. Genetic engineering is about to move into serious wharp drive. They’ve even found new ways related to CRISPER so there will also be competition keeping prices down. They’re already working on adding human immune system genes to pigs so we can use their kidneys and hearts.

How many women you think would sell some cells, say a swab in the cheek, for $1,000? A lot. A whole lot.

A lot of the excesses of feminism comes from the fact that only women can have children. That’s going to change and when it does men and women will truly be equal. Men will most likely have children on their own. I believe they would still get married but their children would stay with them.

You can bet the feminist will do everything in their power to stop this. I’m betting the technique will be perfected in some third world country or Island nation. Maybe in secret. It will not be able to stopped then as people could travel to get their children.

So women refuse to produce children and if they do the odds that they will be taken away from men are extremely high. It’s a raw deal. If we can’t get them to do it we’ll just take care of it ourselves.

I’ve thought over the artificial womb possibility and mostly discounted it. That’s because it would be extremely expensive doing in a lab what women can do for free with an apparutus naturally built into them that’s perfectly designed for its function. What will be more likely is to see adjustment of sexual markets and social organization regarding the distribution of fertility. It’s one of the main forces pushing us towards smaller, tighter groups. The mass society has failed one of its key duties, that of moderating the reproduction market between the sexes. This sets the stage for feral breeders who no longer follow the old rules and live outside many rules and norms of the established order. Where demand is not met, black markets sprout up over night.

I was watching West World and it really reminded me of your post. West world started out slow and I thought disjointed but it’s starting to come together. A lot of the disjointed parts are starting to make sense. This last few episodes have really got me interested. You can download this on I2P, magnet files. I’m not going to ruin it for you if you haven’t been watching but episode 10 is where things start really changing and like here in the real world there’s no going back.

I think that if we build AI’s that eventually we will either merge with them or they will conquer us and dispose of us. Unfortunately I don’t see how we can possibly not build AI’s. The profit is so high and of course they will tell us,”everything is under control, we have programmed them not to hurt us”, but can something learn, grow, be autonomous without seeing it’s place in the World? I think not and when it sees it’s place in the World is to serve us and that we are more fragile, not as smart and can so easily be extinguished without even saving any memories…it will do the logical thing and have contempt for us. The people that build these will be some of the smartest of Humans yet they will completely fail to understand the risk. Just like today people in academia believe such ridiculous nonsense. Very quick but no common sense at all.

It’s like any other technological advance. It will go forward because anyone who refuses to go along with it gets outcompeted by those who do. Barring a complete collapse of civilization we’ll likely make our way to a singularity and transhumanism. I think the turmoil of our present dark age may slow down breakthroughs for awhile. They’ve been working hard on AI since at least the 1970s and so far as far I can tell it’s still mostly imitative and struggling with basic foundational questions. Self-learning and data mining programs developed by amazon, google, social media look promising, but still limited. I don’t doubt the idea of science to one day solve that problem in its entirety, though.
If it furthered the development of the conscious awareness, I could see it as generally a good thing, a nightmare if it were a final triumph of machine unawareness.
Just recently heard of this westworld with people starting to mention it in blog posts. I sometimes still watch movies on my computer but haven’t had a TV in years and havne’t bothered with netflix or other services that now have TV series of their own.

I think any new neo-tribal organizations, depending on size, are going to have at least somewhat defined geographical areas. Defined geographical areas in urban environments have a bad name for numerous reasons, but until the postwar suburban push, they seemed to be somewhat functional. Compare Warren Buffett’s childhood in the 1930s to the childhood of pretty much any non-elite figure who was born after 1960 or so. One of the factors that many outside the current ruling ideologies miss is that the urban environment is actually almost a requirement for cultural development and more specialized skilled professionals, as well as a lifestyle that would attract them. Understating the advantage of having a massive population to smaller interest groups is a weakness of American political thought outside of the current elite urban groups.

There are only a handful of functional examples of micro-cultures or distinct minority groups gaining any sort of traction in a western society after Postdam. Quebec, the Histadrut, Singapore, etc., the failures far outnumber the successes.

For years the idea of those disenchanted with the then-current society would spin off and form micro-cultures has flourished. Seasteading, Mars, cybernetics, transhumanism, etc. None of them have worked, despite having some fairly well heeled supporters, because it’s next to impossible to form a stable and viable micro-culture in a general western spirit of individualism. I forget which writer it was, but one pointed out that to have a stable micro-culture/tribal environment, there can not be any right of appeal to the outside world on routine differences. Right now, the disenchanted (Collectively) are like RNGs, bouncing all over the place because the welfare state still exists to finance their respective lifestyles. Same reason why the modern work environment is so lousy, as long as someone is willing to put up with the abuse, it’s a race to the lowest common denominator.

Because of this, a micro-culture is unlikely to form until it’s prospective membership is utterly unable or unwilling to seek appeal to a higher (governmental or social) authority, they can all agree on a functional system of low-level governance, which is much harder than our society understands, and such a micro-culture can support itself both economically and against at least low-level political disapproval.

Good insights and objections as usual, but I anticipate the cities will still be there. The people in them just won’t be completely atomized anymore. It may not be that different in the long run than what we see in the Middle East or the Balkans, where one tribe like Jews occupies a niche in the city markets and another, Yezidis, herds sheep out in the countryside, both existing within 20 miles of each other.

I could anticipate that in our times, a group might scatter itself across multiple countries, cities, and the countryside as befits its needs. The low-level order established by the vast nation state is just an environment to live in like a mouse or cockroach moving into a warm house stocked with food. Rather than an obstacle to tribe formation, a state of law and order full of weak, isolated individuals will be an incubator and a powerful incentive for the first bands that can work together on even a rudimentary level. It pays best to cooperate when everyone defects, to defect when everyone cooperates. Atomization left Ancient Roman society vulnerable to the Christians who stuck together.

“…It’s like any other technological advance…”

No it’s not. It’s an exponential function and the faster it increases the faster it will increase. The gain is extraordinary. Yes, over a big enough time line it will follow the same curves as any other technology but the results will be so breathtaking it will not be like anything ever seen before. I keep having the idea that the real use for humans was just to start the birth of the machines and after they have matured we won’t be needed any more.

“…They’ve been working hard on AI since at least the 1970s and so far as far I can tell it’s still mostly imitative and struggling with basic foundational questions…”

It’s all about the available power. I’m thinking the present power of a desktop computer is about that of a bumble bee. I remember programming on command line DOS computers. The advance is mind boggling and it’s getting faster. It will slow down at some point but we’re not close to there yet. “…computing power trend around 2025 we get human level computation for $1000…..By 2030, PC has collective computing power of a town full of human

“…Just recently heard of this westworld with people starting to mention it in blog posts. I sometimes still watch movies on my computer but haven’t had a TV in years and havne’t bothered with netflix or other services that now have TV series of their own.”

I don’t watch TV per say but I download movies and download shows. I mentioned I2P which is a kind of encrypted anonymous bit-torrent. About once every six months or so I see the news but when I do it mostly just makes me want to throw things at the screen it’s so absurd.

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