FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Time For America To Grow Up

Since the founding of America, it’s always been a dumping ground for the rest of the world’s problems and a laboratory where those who come out on top can work their wills without any traditions or custom to hold them back.  Instead of a City on a Hill, it’s been more like that Randian city on the bottom of the sea from Bioshock.

From the beginning, it was a money mill where Whites and Indians were used as slaves until they were replaced by imported Africans.  Since the 1600s, it’s been about importing ever more unskilled labor to undermine the power of normal people who get just comfortable enough to decide they don’t want to be exploited to death.

Over 150 years later Benjamin Franklin was scratching his head wondering why average people defected to the Indians whenever they got the chance and only came back kicking and screaming.  What we call America has always been a game of hucksters and exploiters.
Most of the Founding Fathers were rich smugglers, slave-traders, and slave-owners who were de-facto New World aristocrats.  The American Revolution did not lead to chaos because it was the revolt of one elite against another elite.  There is a lot to be said for that; I favor an enlightened elite.  But their narrow view led to them getting deposed within a couple generations in a pointless and bloody civil war.

The American scheme proved to be sustainable for nearly 400 years because there was an entire continent to expand into.  Now there’s not.  Every easy corner has been settled and then populated to saturation.  If you want to found a colony now, you’ll be homesteader in Montana or Alaska.

Now, the American people have to grow up.  They have nowhere else to shove their problems.  In fact, we are so weak and divided that surrounding states that could never challenge us militarily easily shove their surplus populations through our porous “borders.”  They may be less wealthy and powerful, but they win in the game of genetic mercantilism.

All the rest of the world lives adjacent to groups of comparable power and few have two gigantic oceans to protect them.  Nor did they have whole continents to colonize.  Every other society on earth has had to reach a state of equilibrium within Malthusian limits and develop culture and traditions to limit disaster to manageable levels.  Those that could not were subsumed by more competent groups.

Now America is in the same situation as everyone else and we have to establish a sustainable civilization for the first time and in a very short time.

It is not cause for despair though.  Let us look at Africans in America who always vote 90% for the same party and move in lockstep whenever it matters most.  They are pound-for-pound the most powerful electorate in American politics simply because they can actually work together sometimes in a land where everyone else is out slit the other guy’s throat as soon as he falls asleep.

It has often been pointed out that Americans are not like other Europeans.  We are mutts of a 100,000 different admixtures, descendants of the misfits who couldn’t make it in Europe.  So it has been argued relentlessly we are a cursed people with no name, no nation, no inheritance, no future.

But what about Blacks?  They came from hundreds of different tribes taken from a couple thousand miles of coastline and from the interior of their native continent.  They have a decent level of admixture with European colonists.  None of that has been a barrier to their greater commonality when subjected to outside pressures.

We have already seen that a roughly-related race undergoes a process of ethnogenesis in a new homeland, especially when it becomes a minority beset from every side.
Many dissidents suppose the descendants of Europeans in America becoming a minority would be an apocalyptic end.  No, it would be the beginning of a new ethny who emphatically and viscerally know who they are.  An America that’s 60% European-descended remains in free-market slumber, working their lives away to out-compete the other guy by a few thousand bucks.
An America that’s 30% European is a fanatical tribe that engages in aggressive conquest against its blood enemies.

As pressure makes loose river sediment into hard rock, it can make a population of mutts into a new pure breed that back each other up and screw over outlanders whenever they can.  Americans will become their own European ethnic group alongside Germans or British.  There will be no “nation of immigrants” pablum.  Everyone will know who Americans are.  But first, it is time for America to grow up.

An Alt-Centrist Look At UBI

Now that Andrew Yang has popularized universal basic income into a meme, it’s important to remember how it would actually work in real life.

The most obvious problem with giving everyone $1000 is prices just go up. Prices adjust to what people can pay.

Yang recognizes this is a problem and argues like most free-market types that it would barely make a dent in basic food supplies and mass consumer electronics.

Like pretty much every other Market Worshiper, Yang focuses on bulk goods and commodities while neglecting positional goods.

Positional goods are those with prices mostly determined by one human’s situation relative to everyone else.  Positional goods have no intrinsic absolute value.  They can be worth nothing or infinity.  There is no bottom above zero for the shell of a house in the worst parts of Detroit; there is no top for a degree from Harvard.

If you think the most important cities are unaffordable now, guaranteed income would hit the most desirable places hardest, forcing even more people into the economically dead hinterlands where they have nothing left but opiates and suicide.

We need only look at the disaster that is college loans.  If anyone can get a college loan, prices adjust until you need a loan to go to college.

Or health care.  When the system assumes everyone has health insurance, you can’t afford healthcare without health insurance.

Maybe a bag of rice only goes up so high in price absent runaway hyperinflation but imagine what happens to local rents as soon as everyone has $1000 extra dollars per month!  The bidding war for apartments, credentials, medicine, and used cars are the silverback gorillas in an ever-shrinking room for most people, not buying ramen and plastic junk at wal-mart for a few pennies cheaper.  Those who focus on consumer goods while ignoring positional goods are either stupid or actively malicious.

A UBI that goes to everyone is not a solution.  If you have a basic income or any other systemic advantage, it can’t go to everyone(smart socialism) if you want it to be an effective policy tool.  If you want to have a handout, you have to choose winners and losers in a way that benefits society overall.  Who does the society want to subsidize?  Who does it want to disadvantage?

Our present elites love having a “level playing field.”  If you need a loan to go to college, insurance to get a surgery, and your UBI check to pay the rent, they own you more completely than the owner of an Ancient Roman latifundia mega-farm owned his slaves.  They own every breath you breathe and if you say something they think is mean, they pull out your heart-plug like the Harkonnens did in David Lynch’s Dune and laugh a hearty, villainous laugh as you flail about as your arteries drain dry in less than a minute.

It’s a dark time at the bottom of the second act, like The Empire Strikes Back, and lots of people are tempted to say “Fuck it, I can get 1000 dollars while I watch it all burn.”
Don’t think like that.  Nothing good ever comes from that kind of negativity.

It seems like Trump has totally caved and even started attacking his most ardent supporters.  Andrew Yang wants to lure in the whole population of Guatemala with promises of $1000, no land, no mule.

In a way, Trump has accomplished what we really wanted him to in our darkest hearts.  The present system with his final surrender stands totally and utterly discredited, the last shreds of the Mandate of Heaven sent to the winds.  It’s now just a race to see what replaces it all.

No US president has had any real power to influence policy for almost 20 years now.  It is now clearly a position about as ceremonial as the Japanese emperor.  People who were die hard WN 1.0 guys now promote Andrew Yang because they know it’s all a joke.  Nobody cares anymore.

Instead of the Search for Spock, it’s the search for who actually has real power and to formally recognize them and endow them with the responsibilities that come with rulership, whether they like it or not.

Multi Neuro-Tribal Society

The futuristic elite living within the beltway of Washington and within sight of Starfleet Academy in San Francisco see themselves as the leadership of an Empire of Globalism endowed with Divine Right.

As they wear pristine white jumpsuit uniforms in oblong post-modernistic white penthouses with amorphous furniture that practically glows, they ponder the state of the world in front of pale blue holographic screens they manipulate with deft motions of their gracile hands.

For some reason, Iran furrows their brows to no end while their “own” rural provinces in Pennsylvania and Ohio escape their notice altogether.  Or at least, if these provinces force themselves into their attention, it irritates them to the core of their perfect beings.
*Error! Error!* Chimes the holographic display.  *There is an anomaly from the world of Covington IV in the Cincinnatus system.  The Harmony has been breached by a group of pilgrims sent to the Imperial Homeworld.  Class V discord detected! Warning! Error! Error!*

An agitated hand makes swatting motions now at the display to no avail.  The annoying red messages keep popping up and alarms blare…

In real life, no one truly believes in their gut any more that there is a single nation in the sense of a 19th and 20th century.  There’s a few places within the Pale where most institutions and production are centralized and then there is everywhere else, a flyover land full of barbarians that trade their raw commodities for the crafts of the cities.
Thus the geopolitics of Iran, Syria, or Russia matter far more to important people than the agitations of backwards people in nearby hinterlands.

If we could ever doubt it, let us look at wildly inconsistent immigration policy.  Beltway and Starfleet Academy cherry pick the best talent from the best institutions all over the world, making entry into their midst an exclusive privilege.  Everywhere else. outside of these walled-in green zones, anyone can show up from anywhere in the world and compete with the locals for their daily bread.
Not only are these policies complete opposites, the failure of elites to protect a larger territory belies the idea of citizenship within a nation-state—the idea that people are tied to a piece of land by birth and in return, the rulers give land-members certain claims and privileges over outsiders.
One way or another, the nation-state is over.  Without the protection of the state people both high and low turn to tribalism.  Yet with our new technologies, tribalism does not work the same as before.

Modern tribalism does not align neatly with any nation-state or piece of land.  It aligns with the interests of its members, wherever they may be.  The territory is wherever its people and its interests exist.  The territory of the state is concretely defined by borders drawn across pieces of land.  The territory of neuro-tribes is defined more abstractly, land is controlled only where it furthers their goals and is not too much of a strategic liability.

As the last of the fantastic economic elbow room freed up by the World Wars is taken up and we return to the Malthusian status quo, we are all forced to find groups that have our backs if we have any hope of thriving in this world.  History is not only not over.  History is just back to normal.  Now, with access to everyone online, we find those most like ourselves.

As people find their groups, the groups interact in a greater ecosystem, a multi-neural-tribal society.  These groups, like modern groups will not at all be equal.
We already have a caste system in all but name, but neuro-tribalism will develop and formalize it to a science.  The most effective tribe rises to the top and rules.  The people in this tribe are high intelligence, high agency, high creativity but recognize that most people need guidance and rules to function at all.

So while pursuing their own ways suitable to their kind, the golden-souled master morality rulers back a strict state religion and rigorous code of law that proscribes the lives of those who need it most.
The key problem of secular egalitarianism is it tries to treat everyone the same.  Worse, it tries hold everyone to the standard of the aristocracy of cognition and character.  Every one of us supposedly has the potential to be an intellectually-curious entrepeneur best-selling novelist astronaut.  Looking back, this will be seen as one of the most tragic and disastrous ideas of all time.

The freedoms that high agency people thrive on destroy those who need structure.  The rigid routines and strict punishments that make most normal people feel safe and secure are an unbearable burden for natural cognitive aristocrats who chafe until either they sabotage the social order or are killed off.
Secularism makes the society like a single aquarium with both salt and freshwater fish.
An aristocrat of the soul thrives on freedoms and spiritual challenges.
An ordinary guy turns to TV, drug abuse, and despair if he’s not given something to do at all times.
The obvious solution is to have them in separate societies with the aristocrat managing things, the ordinary guy following their lead.

The aristocrats, of course have to be a responsible elite that creates a social order that allows ordinary people to have families, friends, and healthy amounts of leisure.  When they fail at this, they lose the Mandate of Heaven and with it the ability to exercise their sacred freedoms.  With aristocratic freedom comes the responsibility to rule.  This is the post-secular social contract.

Interview With Rob Stark on Culture and Aesthetics

Our latest podcast:

Rob Stark, Matt Pegas, and I had an in-depth discussion on the importance of aesthetics and culture in determining the trajectory of societies and civilizations.
This is one of the most important subjects to discuss because these are qualities often ignored in favor of charts of markets and economic output.

At one point I reflect how the aesthetics of a society are a dialogue between ruler and ruled, between society and the individual.  Whatever official propaganda might be, some part of us always knows the real score from our surroundings.  If we are told society is equal and yet we see palatial mansions looking down on slums from the hilltops, we know the truth.
If we are told everything is progress and our ancestors lived in darkness, we have only to compare a painting from centuries ago to a nonsensical drip painting.  Written in those drips is the abolition of purpose and meaning, plain for anyone to see.

We also see a ruling class that broadcasts their unwillingness to take up their natural responsibilities by their avoidance of appropriate grandeur.  A nobleman who wears hoodies and skinny jeans like a petulant teenager past age 40 not only fails to assume his rightful role; he purposely counter-signals and deprives his people of leadership.

We especially focus on the interaction of aesthetics and social capital.  We note that modern capitalism has produced impressive architecture and can reproduce charming villages whenever demand is sufficient.
What it has not been able to do is produce a society-wide shared cultural vision.  On one hand there are suburbs and strip malls cranked out for maximum short-term efficiency creating miles of soulless sprawl accessible only by car.  On another extreme are a few gorgeous hotels, villages, and pastel-painted row-house neighborhoods commissioned by the wealthy.

One thing that sets apart our society even from many ancient counterparts is that access to even the simplest sorts of beauty has become a privilege of wealth.
It is a clear signal that most of us are not really a meaningful part of this society.  It is a metaphor for how all real wealth and power is centralized in a few parts of a few cities.  It is also a metaphor for all the young women who flock to the cities for comfortable office jobs, leaving the hinterlands bereft of mate prospects for young men.

If you’re not in on the game, in one of the few places where it’s actually played, you may as well be dead.  A message that’s whispered in the ear of every human being in our cultural zone whether they consciously hear it or not.

We examine what goes right and wrong with modern forms of art.  Why are grand buildings still possible in commercial real-estate while other art forms, even Hollywood movies, are all but dead?
Looking at great art of the past, many works had limited patronage in common.  The artist could work within the parameters set by one or a few men.
Mass market demand for art is far more tyrannical by comparison and selects for the lowest common denominator.
Thus, Hollywood movies have declined precipitously in quality since China and the rest of the world became major markets.  What’s for everyone is for no one.
Meanwhile, a fabulous casino or resort is still the project of just a few who are capable of realizing a single united vision.
The flaws of cultural democracy become readily apparent from this basic examination and the rightful place of responsible elitism becomes clear.

If that catches your interest, please join us.

Also, Rob and I have another talk coming up about neuro-tribalism and its ramifications.

Neuro-Tribalism

The internet allows types of people to find one another and gather wherever they’re from. Always before, people have assorted by families and clans they are born into, by ethnic groups and race.  These groups have always been bound by certain limits of geography.

The information age has revealed there are very finite limits to traditional social organization.  Families always have black sheep who don’t fit in.  Races and ethnic groups are most meaningful in contrast with alien peoples.  The average person of an ethnic group competes at least as much as they cooperate with their own people.

Worse, families, clans, and ethnic groups are complete ecosystems with predators, prey, and parasites.  Even siblings ruthlessly compete for resources and the runt of the litter gets thrown out in the cold.  Modernity could not have been so divisive so quickly if a multitude of people did not wish to escape from the equilibria they were born into the instant they had the hope of a better option.  This is why restoration of an older order is hopeless absent some kind of cataclysmic collapse that takes billions of lives with it.

The answer to modernity is neuro-tribalism.  The black sheep and the runts of every litter of similar breeds find one another and form associations.  People come in a range of neurotypes and certain people are simply on the same wavelength.  They think in a certain rhythm, see the world in a certain way.  It’s almost like an extended mind that for many even an extended family has never offered in this atomized society.

Even on perfectly anonymous internet forums, one cannot fake their personality for long.  Any woman who goes into the manosphere lasts maybe a few posts before everyone knows she’s a woman, even though they’ve never seen her.  Patterns of writing and thought betray sex, race, and class as readily as a picture of one’s face.

An aethereum of written words alone can lead to face-to-face meetings and these meetings further distill new identities of compatible types of people.

While the internet is new, game-breaking revolutions in communication are not.  The printing press and mass literacy doomed the old order of hereditary aristocracy and the entrenched clergy.  The telegraph, railroad, radio, telephone, and finally the television made larger nation-states and larger wars possible and doomed the last trappings of the old world.  The internet makes our present aristocracy obsolete, a reality that is in the process of making itself felt.  Banning and censorship were tried during previous information revolutions with much more vigor than now, but it never quite worked.  There were always at least a few elites willing to defect for the chance to screw all the other elites.
Hence, we had noblemen who were willing to shield Martin Luther (a result of a critical mass being able to read the bible for themselves) to further their own geopolitical interests.

The secular state religion is much weaker than Christianity ever was and will shed followers at the slightest sign of weakness.  It seems indomitable now but is in danger of falling apart forever in a few short years after just a few decades of predominance.  Those who revile Nazis as the devil in their religion will no more have a thousand year rule than the Nazis did.

Bio-Mercantilism

The backdrop of the film, Scarface, was Fidel Castro’s exile of Cuban criminals to the United States.  The bargain of a lifetime for Castro that allowed him to die securely in power with a millionth excellent cigar in his mouth; an unending parasitic burden on his mortal enemy, the United States.  Winning.

This success of Castro’s policy was somewhat by happy accident or by concealed red-pill understanding.  Today, Mexico, Central America, and much of the third world behave in very similar way dumping their failures into gullible and soft first world plutocracies as they try to boost themselves relative to failing enemies and simply rid themselves of problems with as little effort as possible.

At the same time in these first world countries, we see the brain drain of the best professionals from high IQ populations around the world.  The smartest people in China, India, and Eastern Europe go to Silicon Valley.  In what is supposedly the same country and city we see both world-class talent and world-class dysfunction aggressively recruited.  Which you encounter depends on what class of society you fall in.

If towards the top, San Francisco seems like a gleaming Star Fleet Academy; a veritable city-on-a-hill.  If anywhere else, the rising tide of peasant mediocrity becomes ever harder to ignore as tiny nuclear families flee to a new suburb every 5 years if they can even avoid divorce.

Post-Modern America is defined not just by the growing disparity of wealth but also by the growing gaps in human capital.

The dissident sphere generally agrees on HBD(Human Biodiversity) the idea that human populations have distinct differences, rejection of the blank slate(nature over nurture), and that within populations some people are intrinsically more able than others.

As the dissident model of human society becomes the new orthodoxy it is inevitable that we see the emergence of Bio-Mercantilism.
Like a bunch of mid-90s elementary school kids trading baseball cards and pogs, all nations will try to dump their rejects and steal the best as a matter of normal policy.

It will be very like the days when nations competed over stores of bullion and favorable balances of trade.  So urgent were the pressures of the old mercantilism that the need for control of gold and trade could precipitate worldwide wars like the 7 Years War between Britain and France, of which what Americans call the French and Indian War was just one theater.  It was enough to propel Spain and Portugal to do their very best to loot the whole planet of precious metals for about 300 years.

Or we might consider the Opium Wars prosecuted by Britain in the 19th century.  After centuries and two dynasties of the Chinese demanding silver in payment for their goods, the situation finally became untenable in a mercantilist world where a money supply limited by precious metals was a zero-sum game.
The British got extremely creative as mandated by urgent necessity.  They found that opium was the one good that could reliably get them some of the silver back despite the strict prohibitions of Qing dynasty authorities.
So opium became their key import to bring the mercantilist equation back into balance at the expense of millions of drug-addled Chinese and two imperialist wars that utterly humiliated the swiftly declining Qing.

So let’s use our imaginations a bit and project wars over opium and silver to wars over the best human capital and the power to dump the worst people elsewhere.  In an increasingly overpopulated world, that is the dynamic that defines post-modern society.
In fact, the disparate flows of the best and worst into the nominal United States of America already make that entity inherently fictional and un-sovereign.

There is one group that gets the best people that it wants from all over the world.  There is another group in approximately the same area that gets swamped with the worst and most dysfunctional from everywhere.  These latter are the losers of a Bio-Mercantilist system that ignores the borders of mere nation-states made obsolete by the World Wars.

The irony that eludes our idiot elite is Bio-Mercantilism will lead to more brutal wars and exploitation than gold and silver ever did.

 

 

My Response to Ginsburg’s Fall

The High Priestess was slumped over in a high tower of the palace after she had fallen the day before and broken three of her ribs. Soon the word of it was all about the City.
For decades she had been an unquestioned bastion of the Revolution of Light and Togetherness clad in shining robes as she expelled the intolerant and the enemies of Humanity.
But now, an Evil Emperor had usurped the throne and with every day tried to summon more demons to aid him.
The High Priestess’ very life force kept away the demons of the rift and no matter how stooped her frame she lived on to protect her people against the forces of sin and destruction.

As the sun sank beneath the horizon tonight, a sense of trepidation settled over the City. In the splendid cathedral, the faithful clad all in white assembled in tight rows murmuring their prayers. Priests strode down the aisles swinging censers of incense, perfuming the entire sanctuary wrought in ponderous marble domes with purifying resinous fronds of smoke.

One woman with a long, severe face, tight white bonnet and resplendent robe came forward, spread her arms and closed her eyes. Her lips were stretched tight in anticipation of holy delivery. A priest took a heavy steel mallet and with a single sharp blow struck her in the ribs. She crumpled to the ground, squealing in pain as much as fractured bones next to her lungs would allow her. Her friends and family stepped forth to carry her away.

As the night wore on, the rituals grew more solemn. Finally a woman came forth saying she had volunteered her ribs for the High Priestess. The crowd hushed altogether and only the sputtering of braziers could be heard as she stepped forward, even purer than the rest with a perfect rectangle of fabric cut away along her torso.

She lay back on the altar and somehow stayed still as a priest began to saw through her flesh. Her lungs were exposed and everyone could see them pumping like a bellows. She was abruptly carried away from the blood-spattered altar before the congregation could fully grasp the horror of it.
Her rib bones were burned in a pyre of incadescent heat that burned pure white in offering to the Priestess.

Finally, a woman volunteered every part of her body for the preservation of the High Priestess, but as the knife was about to descend, she screamed, wailed, and struggled away from danger.

Now everyone rose in a clamor, shouting at the unfaithful woman who had promised everything and delivered nothing. She tried to argue back, shout, and insult, kicking out indignantly with her white high heels as they tried to grab her.

They had only to make it through the long night to defeat the Evil Emperor and establish the faith of Eternal Progress forever.
It was five minutes until daybreak when the death bells began to toll and the ceremonial candles all sputtered out at once. The high priestess was dead. With a concerted wail the mass pummeled the unfaithful woman with every solid object at hand until she was reduced to a spasmodically twitching pulp.

She had died just in time not to hear the laughter of the chaos lords as the rift ripped open and legions of demons poured through. The sun would now never come and the lights of the stars went out one-by-one as they fell from the sky in despairing showers.

In complete darkness, the faithful felt mercilessly sharp claws tear into them as glowing eyes drew near, a mercy as the world already descended in the eternal chill of deep space.

The Changing of Power

Not that long ago, President Eisenhower presided over the construction of the interstate highway system and the formation of suburbia as we know it. Lyndon Johnson created social security, medicare, and medicaid as we know it. Nixon took the dollar off of the gold standard, making it the currency we know today and opened trade with China. A little further back, Woodrow Wilson gave women the vote. Modern political discourse is just discussing incidental details of the state of affairs put together before Watergate forced Nixon to resign in 1974.

The magnitude of decisive policy changes these previous leaders regularly participated in dwarfs anything that has been possible for decades.
As we bicker for years over the trivial funds needed for a border wall, keeping roads repaired, keeping consumerism chugging by keeping interest rates eternally low, or cooking up convoluted subsidies to health insurers as the next social safety net, we are but children playing among the ruins built by giants who came before us.

Since the last powerful presidents, power has become increasingly informal and has been diffused across the vassal states we often call the “international community” through state and non-state entities.
A warning sign of the trend of de-formalization was declarations of war becoming obsolete since World War 2. It is now taken for granted that a basic diplomatic procedure even Empires observed is simply ignored as less obvious forces guide the direction of hostilities towards causes and places that neither pose a direct threat to the state nor offer prospects of profitable(to the nation) conquest.

Bill Clinton squeezed off some decent-sized legislation. George W. Bush got a little bit more through before he was completely a lame duck, mostly to lower the standards of the already-crippled education system. The creation of Homeland Security might have been the last long-term significant legislation ever supported by a US president.
Barack Obama heralded the post-formal age of US politics. He forced through one last piece of pork barrel for health insurance companies as arterial plaque sealed up the last wiggle room. Even that very modest action cost him dearly in political capital and cost his party hundreds of seats. He never recovered.

Obama resorted to the executive powers of his office to get anything done. The formal power that remained was exercised ever more through appointed officials and bureaucrats while circumventing elected assemblies as much as possible.

Trump is a far-diminished version of Obama when it comes to the exercise of power. Obama had a friendly bureaucracy and his “thousand statesmen” who worshiped him. Trump is despised by these same unelected officials and they do everything they can to impede even the exclusive powers of the executive. Collaboration with elected officials is almost out of the question.

Trump has spent the last two years making appointments and promotions that will allow him to become capable of things Obama could do on a whim during breakfast. Obama could have had some soldiers build a border wall with no trouble.

The trouble with the extreme constriction of power is it either becomes formally ceremonial at some point, meaning people look somewhere else for the real power.
Or else, like a faucet plugged by a thumb, it goes spraying everywhere out of control as that pent-up pressure surges through. Trump is on the verge of assembling his first batch of loyal statesmen, perhaps ten or twenty instead of a thousand, but it will enable him immensely to further erode the opposition that faces him from un-elected and non-state sources in the very limited time he has left. Blog.jim is fond of pointing out that Trump must understand he, his kids, and grandkids will not be simply left alone if he leaves his position of power with the present elite intact. Now that is a powerful incentive. If power must turn inward on itself, perhaps at some point, the elected assemblies simply get left out.

Stopping the Race to the Bottom

A strong authority is necessary to stop a society-wide race to the bottom and tragedy of the commons, especially when the internet gives every individual actor highly accurate information.

Some problems are pretty obvious.  A lot of the dysfunctions with European-American flight and the hand-wringing over “good schools” can be solved by simply allowing freedom of association.  If neighborhoods can decide what kind of people belong in their territory, millions of people are suddenly free to become more stable and rooted, giving trust and social capital a desperately needed boost.  Sometimes, an inept or malicious state can break what naturally fixes itself.  This has been a main theme of Western politics since the 1960s cultural revolution.  Fixing this problem no doubt would also help with low Western fertility but that problem is more complex.

Even countries like Japan that experience minimal pressure from the expansion of hostile outgroups have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world.  There is a measure of altruism involved in having children but if it’s all headaches and sacrifice, no one wants to bother if they can avoid it.
If the state wants more kids from its core polity, it must take measures to make the prospect of fecundity more tolerable.

Western countries are extremely punitive towards men in every aspect of life while women have very little responsibility.  Women work, but they generally get first dibs on part-time middle-paid jobs in safe air-conditioned offices.  If they don’t want to work there is always state assistance, sex work, or a man who supports them.
In the inherently unstable modern mating market, men cannot continue to be held to 19th century expectations.
Draconian child support laws make it so even the horniest men above 90 IQ are going to be very thorough about using condoms or making sure she really is on the pill.  This is a recipe for underclass dysfunction and eventual idiocracy.

There’s millions of men and women holding out until they start to turn grey for the “right one” by the standards of a society that no longer exists.  The fields of the first world will remain barren and cracked so long as cooperating men are expected to make lifelong commitments to partners who can leave them at any time while plundering their assets.  The problem with going back to traditional marriage is in an urban, wired society, people have too much information to be easily content with one partner their whole lives.  Men crave variety.  Women always want to move up or at least diversify the genes in their child portfolio to hedge their bets against nature.

The way forces and incentives are aligned, it may make more sense to ease up on male penalties rather than mandate Sharia law.  Perhaps cooperating men get a slap on the wrist or no penalty for knocking up women, so that the anti-natal equilibrium becomes defect-cooperate rather than cooperate-cooperate.  If one side has little incentive to care about contraception, there will be more babies.  Perhaps there would still be state assistance for single mothers, but the amount would depend on who the father is.  If her drug dealer gets her pregnant, not a single penny of taxpayer money is forthcoming and perhaps she gets paid to get the abortion.
And of course, we must understand that marriage is a 5 year dating arrangement below the upper middle class in modern society.  There is no need to take half of a man’s stuff when it goes sour as it typically does.  If she wants to leave, she leaves with her stuff.  Period.  And the man gets some kind of guaranteed access to the kids if he wants it.  Maybe she even has to leave them behind with him.  Furthermore, in a promiscuous modern society with little means of enforcement, DNA tests need to be a default made mandatory under law before a man invests one penny in a child that may not be his.

Without some form of guaranteed paternity and freedom from state punishment for men, first world fertility is certain to continue its downward spiral.  And it’s our fault, not that of any other group.

I mentioned schools earlier but that is another area where the competition of individuals has gotten out of control.  First of all, the corrupt state gets a huge population addicted to public daycare for 12 years so both men and women can work full time.  This gives the economy a short term boost at the cost of cannibalizing future generations.  By age 18 a young person should be ready for adulthood.  There should be no such thing as a “teenage” state of limbo, a bizarre pathology that only emerged in the 20th century.  Since the dawn of time, the mission of young people has been to learn from adults, not to spend all day in an insane asylum full of other kids taking pointless classes about things that serve no use and which they will never remember.

Worse, schooling has only continued to become more bloated as many now spend 16 or even more than 20 years in school.  For those older workers making good salaries, it is always tempting to keep the young warehoused for as long as possible in an already over-saturated economy bombarded with illegal immigrants and H1-B visas.  College tuitions have been spiralling now for decades.  It is a dysfunctional race to the bottom that only the virtuous state can bring to a stop and which the corrupt and evil state aids and abets.
Contrary to the rhetoric of libertarian shills, corporations are happy to have a taxpayer-funded system that churns out certified conformists with a ball and chain of debt around their ankles to doubly ensure their meek compliance.
This undeserved support needs to be torn away and the monasteries dissolved.

The solution here is to limit compulsory education to reading, writing, and arithmetic for most people.  In the 19th century, most kids could be taught these skills in a few months here and there at minimal public cost when they were not needed for the planting and the harvest.  How far we have fallen.

Then, further education must be limited to people who are genuinely curious and able to learn.  In my own time in the public education system, nearly every class was packed to capacity and any attempt at teaching was sabotaged by kids who did not want to be there, all in the sacred name of Equalism.

College must be limited to the best of the best and the aristocracy only.  This way the righteous ruler can arrest a race to the bottom while nurturing geniuses who will shape history.  For hobbyists, there is always the internet and perhaps some of them will rise to the highest level on their own.

Health care is another area that has suffered from “cost disease.”  It’s the same problem as college tuition, really.  If everyone can get college loans, prices adjust to assume everyone has a loan.  If everyone gets health insurance, prices adjust so you can’t afford healthcare without health insurance.
The solution here is more obvious.
Populations at the first world level do pretty well with a single-payer system.  Mixed populations do well with both systems in effect.  If you are a cooperator who pulls your own weight, you can tap into the single-payer free system.  If you are underclass, you have cash for your treatment or you die.  That’s how it works in many countries with high levels of stratification.  The US has just had enough wealth so far that it has managed to avoid facing reality with stupid schemes like trying to have mass subsidies for health insurance.(Affordable Care Act.) The inevitable result of this disastrous policy is even higher prices.

As you can ascertain from this essay, most of the solutions to these seemingly intractable problems are not that complicated if the ruler has an accurate understanding of reality and human nature.
The root cause is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a ruler and what duties that exalted social position entails.  The people must be protected from self-destructive game theory equilibria as zealously as they must be defended from outside invaders.

There’s No Real Freedom Without Authority

The people always want to be free but they are their own worst jailors. If everyone can do what they want in their own best interest, a ruthless race to the bottom is assured. If we know others face no restraint we won’t exercise restraint ourselves in the lifelong competition for food, shelter, money, mates, and prestige.

The information age has outstripped the ability of traditional social technologies to limit individual choice in ways that yield a net benefit to everyone. It is now too easy for individuals to circumvent the customs and soothing myths that create an illusion of harmony. They can get very accurate real-time information to optimize their self-interest whether in the job market or the dating market.

When everyone has access to networks, no one wants to be the 5 that settles for a 5 in life and so all the rest is a game to outmaneuver and sabotage one’s way to a better spot in the great game of musical chairs as society falls apart. Instead of getting things done, most energies are devoted to finding out who has to jump on the grenade and take one for the team. Then arises even more social strife when the despised loser nominated as grenade jumper refuses to jump.

It is impossible to reinstate rules that no one really wants to practice in real life. Nor does acting as if older customs still existed do anything to resurrect them. These systems existed by being airtight constructs that very few could successfully defect from. With that seal broken, they are imaginary fancies.

So the question lies in how to adapt to the problems of modernity in an efficient and realistic manner.
Policy in most other areas of public life suggests we need to arrest the relentless race to the bottom at strategic points.

Without safety nets like EBT cards, soup kitchens, shelters, and minimum wage there would be bread riots and people working for less than a dollar an hour to be able to afford just enough white flour and rice to keep them alive. Desperate people with nothing to lose would force anyone with surplus wealth to live in compounds guarded by private armies.(aka the 3rd world)

Without solid rules, there would be no 40 hour work week with a cushy weekend for those lucky enough to have jobs. There would be no holidays, paid vacation, or benefits. Many would be simply be worked to death. The marketplace would have no use for useless old people sticking around.

Without free association and strict controls on real estate, bidding wars impoverish even the highest paid workers, ensuring they never have kids and their high IQ breed goes extinct.

Without land forcibly set aside for parks, every urban area would be an unbroken sea of grey and all old buildings would be demolished to make way for cookie cutter tenements.

Without force itself, there would be no taxes, nor any polity at all.

The best kind of rules aren’t heavy-handed, stupid rules no one wants like forcing all American women to wear hijabs or banning plastic straws.
The rules that work best are those that force people to do what they’d like to do anyway by using the authority of the state to make sure everyone else has to do it.

No one could afford to pay taxes if the IRS didn’t maintain an airtight seal with extreme aggression and precision. Otherwise any sucker who paid up would live at a disadvantage to everyone else.

The state is truly legitimate when it becomes not just a parasitic occupying army but a broker that relieves the tensions in the endless struggles between humans. Without such an intervention, the natural state of man is Malthusian squalor. Hobbes was right.

We can see that the legitimacy of our present system really went into steep decline right as it broke the back of the old labor left that Bernie Sanders tried and failed to resurrect. The negotiation between labor and the state ended, and with it their role as a broker sustaining balance for the average worker.
Ever since, there has been a wasteland of open borders, free trade, corporate welfare, and parasitic wars to enrich the military industrial complex.
I am critical of corrupt unions and of the borderline communists who did their part to bring a hostile reaction down on them, but the “cure,” I think, has proven far worse than the disease. When the duty of easing tensions is not fulfilled, a swelling volcano cone rises up under the ruler’s feet.

The result of these modern pressures is both sides of the political spectrum now demand a return to authoritarianism. Most people, whatever their politics, understand intuitively that their freedom and empowerment have enslaved them to one another more than ever, the great game board a terrible gridlock of collective checkmate further than the eye can see. It has become self-evident that any kind of modern society requires the intervention of a strong state at carefully chosen points.

When everyone has excellent information and mobility they are forced to beg for a legitimate ruler to mediate between the people on earth and the powers of heaven.

Seattle Airplane Suicide Is A Barometer of Culture

In a society where most people have lost hope in a worthwhile future, the creep of nihilism gains ground in human hearts.
A mild-mannered airport worker with an affably broey affect commandeered a huge prop plane in a daring last act on earth rather than eke out another four to five decades as a wage slave in a drab and pointless neo-liberal society.

What is most telling about this event is not the actions of a single man, but the overwhelmingly positive public reaction I’ve seen so far on social media. Some are even calling him “Sky King.”
People often identify with the motives of mass shooters more than they admit but selfishly taking the lives of others dampens any sympathy they may feel. Even in the darkest and angriest periods of my life I was disgusted by the thought of petulantly lashing out against people I didn’t even know.
Sky King Russell sets a new precedent by going out in a stoic and affable manner while harming no one.

This may be a natural reaction to incentives as mass shootings are now so common that like car crashes, they cease to be of much note. It now takes some more flair and creativity to get the mass society’s attention and hold it for a news cycle or two as one’s final legacy to the ages. A fleeting reward but still better for a few than to labor a whole lifetime away, appreciated by no one.

In this time of constricting internet censorship, this suicide is an important indicator of the culture. The more the system takes away from people, the less they have to lose. Isolated suicidal people and nutjobs are harmless on their own, but the crowds regard the Sky King as almost a Robin Hood kind of figure. He hurt no one else, showing millions a glimpse of real freedom, while putting a dent in some impersonal corporation’s bottom line. When crowds begin to support this kind of behavior, the real trouble for elites is just beginning. It is a sign that under certain circumstances, certain targets are seen as legitimate by most people.

Very tellingly, Russell was a European-American, especially when most airport workers I see running around are minorities. Suicidal behavior, especially that requiring real initiative and planning is endemic to higher-agency Euros and Asians. The Africans and Indios of this world may groan from time to time under the lash of their overlords but they resign themselves to the grimmest slog of daily life and always manage to push out progeny just the same. I honestly cannot completely blame the world elite for wanting to replace a troublesome population with more pliant and domesticable strains. If that task were completed, there would be no more airplane thefts and no more flamboyant aerobatic maneuvers born from heightened existential consciousness.

Attack on Titan and Modernity

I watched the first two seasons of the anime, Attack on Titan and was quite impressed. It was the darkest and creepiest concept I’d seen since Berserk. The Japanese have an amazing eye for visual details in the natural world I never tire of whether it’s falling rain or cherry blossoms. That comes across strongly here too conveying visually both the sweetness and impermanence of our brief lives.

The basic premise is a great walled medieval city has been under siege by shambling giants for hundreds of years, as long as even ancestral legends can remember. Life has gone on normally inside the walls while only a handful of scouts have to deal with the harshness of the outside world. Then one day, a giant even taller than the walls peeks over at the terrified people below and everything goes to hell from there, complete with a breach in the wall.

We soon see these giants attacking the city itself, forcing the locals to retreat behind one inner wall after another as they are forced back.
The titans themselves are the most unsettling creatures I’ve seen since the titular Aliens with their chestburster larvae.
The Alien Xenomorphs are designed to appear as foreign as possible. The titans are possibly even more terrifying because of their familiarity. They look like very large, naked people at first but something is missing. They have vacuous facial expressions and their eyes are totally innocent like those of a baby. Even as they approach with mouths eagerly open and hands outstretched their pupils are dilated as though they may be friendly.

The human foolish enough to fall for this ploy is scooped up with a firm hand and promptly chopped in two by a great set of teeth, the hulking beast oblivious to their desperate pleading as they go in. If their whole body somehow goes down the Titan’s gullet without immediately debilitating blood loss, they get to perish in the steaming heat of the Titan’s stomach amidst a clutter of twisted corpses they are soon to join.
What’s more horrifying still is for all the titans’ hunger for humankind they don’t need the nourishment and periodically cough up “hairballs” of undigested human body parts. To add insult to injury the butchery to which they are single-mindedly devoted serves no apparent natural purpose.

I see this new Japanese Titan myth as a natural descendant of the African zombi myth that later became popular in the West.
Zombis were originally an allegory among African peoples for humans torn away from all family and identity by the slave trade, the living dead. In the modern West, zombies live on as atomized individuals in a post-Western atomized society where nobody cares about anyone else because all others are just adversarial competitors in the market economy whose main contribution to one another is to drive down each others’ wages.

The Japanese have one of the last, best societies on earth that is high trust and homogenous with low crime and world class health care and education. They have refused to have third world immigration on anywhere near the scale of other modernized societies preserving their ethnic domain and culture. The fertility rate is among the lowest in the world with a large and dysfunctional culture of incel outcast males but the Japanese have weathered population contractions before when hitting the very limited natural carrying capacity of their mostly mountainous, resource-poor island chain.

The variables that are different this time are those introduced by the modern neo-liberal capitalist economic system that pits all humans against one another in a fight to the death in a single grand arena.

The adversarial nature of man vs. man is the very core thesis of Attack on Titan. The overt adversaries resemble humans, but like zombies lack empathy or any trace of human spirit. Man vs. man is a strong direct theme in the series. As the humans are forced back by the Titans, there is less food and resources to go around, meaning much of the population becomes unsupportable surplus. At one point, the unimportant, the useless, and the old pretty much draw straws to go on a mass suicide offensive against the Titans so the rest don’t starve.
Furthermore, it is strongly hinted throughout that the central government of the great city is highly corrupt. To everyone’s astonishment, the most promising Titan fighters from boot camp are funneled away from the front lines to the government enforcers and secret police instead. Amidst an existential crisis of the entire species, scheming politicians are still up to no good. As if that were not enough, a religion of evangelical fanatics also vies for power and influence in the dying embers of the human world.

Even in the most dire circumstances, humans still engage in relentless zero sum games against a heavy backdrop of nihilism.
What is most shocking is this narrative comes from one of the best-off societies on the planet. Yet they too are consumed by the malaise and despair and decline that besets everywhere else.

History tells us there are sweeping trends that affect everywhere. A Japanese mercantile elite overthrew landed warrior aristocrats just like in the West when exposed to the same technology and pressures. They pursued a flavor of nationalism very similar to that in Europe and America at the time. The outcome was inevitable and so it is now.

Even if all the foreigners were instantly expelled from the United States, the intractable questions remain as we can see from the example of Japan. If these questions were answered, foreigners would be little threat and kept as powerless guest workers or expelled at will rather than function as a civilization-destroying political wedge.

Japan shows us that modernity poses a spiritual and cultural challenge that every 1st world country must deal with as roughly the same historical forces are in play from one end of the globe to another as it has been before.
Caught in a vice between attacking swarms of Titans and the backstabbing tendencies of our own treacherous kind, we seek a way towards a worthwhile future where people can cooperate again against common threats.

The society that figures it out first seizes the unclaimed prize. Or perhaps we all sink back into a great Dark Age.

Rob Stark’s Journey to Vapor Island, A Review

We first meet nerdy Jewish kid, Noam Metzenbaum, at a heavily multiracial urban high school where he takes solace in his books as star Black athletes monopolize the few pretty blond girls. While everyone else goes along to get along, Noam intensely resents the perverse social order he’s forced to live in. He dreams every day of a society that actually rewards people of culture and intellect with aristocratic status, money, and beautiful women. The people he sees receiving society’s best gifts in the real world are almost always the lowest IQ, the most brutish, the most crass and lewd.
Above the plebeian press of sweaty bodies, there’s just one towering modern figure Noam admires, a dissident version of Trump named Blackstone. Like Trump, normal people both high and low in society who benefit from the status quo instinctively loathe him.

After every humiliating day in his grinding reality of crushingly low incel status, Noam confides in his diary how even though he is an outcast, he knows he has a sort of greater vision that people who just want to be popular at school can never understand. This made me both laugh and reminisce. I can remember thinking a lot like Noam at his age. Adults would praise my bookish abilities yet their approval never turned into real advantages in life. To the contrary, anything the older generations encouraged was counterproductive to any sort of real-life success. So as with Noam, I experienced an extreme dissonance as I was despised for trying to develop my gifts and to be the best I could.
As it turned out, everything I had ever been taught was a lie and Noam finds himself trapped as I was, forced into visions of desperate grandiosity to shield himself from truths that are too harsh for sanity to bear.

Noam forms a crush on a blonde Jewish girl he once met who goes to another school. To his delight, he discovers he is transferring to Chadsworth Academy, the preppy private school she attends. Suddenly he has the chance to escape his daily grind, unite with his crush, and finally vindicate himself as a true Platonic aristocrat ubermensch(as anyone in the dissident sphere has probably dreamed of.)
Chadsworth, though, is full of Chads. They are handsome, athletic, with Dads who are big bankers and hedge fund managers. Yet in spite of these noble qualities they are as debased and lewd as the minority athletes Noam despised at his old school. Noam’s sense of betrayal reaches a new level. Before, he could tell himself he only had to escape the bottom of society. Now, he faces the fact that social order is in its sorry state because the whole hierarchy is rotten from top to bottom. If there had been a true nobility steering the ship, things would never have gotten so bad to begin with. Instead, the aristocracy snorts coke, listens to vulgar rappers, and finds time to virtue signal as society continues to fall apart.

Noam’s transition here again resonates with my own experience. As an incel bookworm myself in high school, I could still hope that maybe society as a whole was headed in the right overall direction. As George W. Bush came to power with his contrived Texan accent and thrust the nation into one pointless war after another on behalf of Lockheed Martin and Halliburton, my faith in the entire system went into freefall. The perversion I had experienced was no accident. Even the very highest and most powerful people in the world were insipid, mediocre tools and from them, waterfalls of venom rushed downward. When one is forced to conclude that they’re a majority of one against a fallen world, the dissident path can no longer be avoided. Though Noam’s pretensions to aristocratic ubermensch status are an obvious desperate coping mechanism that is often darkly humorous, it is difficult for the reader to avoid thinking “he’s not wrong.”

Noam is frustrated by the failure of the elite to show elite leadership. He is blocked from being with his one true crush just as surely as before. His disenchantment grows and he must find a way to solve his problems decisively. You’ll have to read the book to find out how.

As the story progresses, there are whole segments of it that I could only describe as pornographic with enormous amounts of all kinds of bodily fluids and bizarrely kinky behavior. Not my thing, but I saw the emphasis on non-penetrative sexual fetishes as a metaphor for our debauched sexual culture that somehow produces practically no offspring or families.
Moreover, Noam’s never-ending longing for his one true crush that he missed in high school despite the unlimited sexuality that surrounds him contains a poignant message about our culture.
We spend decades “dating” around, always wondering what it might have been like to be with that one high school crush and have a family. But the whole mendacious society rotten from top to bottom relentlessly pushed our young and idealistic selves away from the one thing that might have fulfilled us, continued the cycle of life, and sustained the ruling order’s and the culture’s mandate of heaven over us.

Rob Stark’s story makes good use of dissident symbols such as the various colored pills and the religion of Kek.
In one of my favorite scenes, students at Chadsworth Academy have a debate where they form into groups and represent political parties. The smarmy son of a Jewish millionaire and his JAP hangers on get assigned to the Dem establishment faction. The Chads have fun affecting fake southern accents as the establishment conservatives. The nerdy kid who’s just cool enough to be socially accepted speaks for the libertarian candidate no one cares about. Our protagonist, Noam, is the only one who stands up to speak for Blackstone, the Nietzschean dissident Trump figure. The exchange that follows is hilarious. What’s more, the Blackstone platform includes “smart socialism,” a phrase that may well be borrowed from my own blog. I find this sort of cross-pollination of ideas encouraging.

Another thing I would note, is the trend of almost everyone in the story calling out Noam as a virgin, with his Mom as almost the only exception. It’s so exaggerated that it started to remind me of the kid from a Christmas Story getting told “You’ll shoot your eye out!” every time he brings up his desire for a BB gun for Christmas. Almost all the Chad antagonists act like they could have walked right out of Back to the Future. This emphasizes where Noam is at in life as a vulnerable teenager approaching peak sexual frustration. I came to read Noam’s narration as semi-unreliable and it was amusing to try to filter the real world from his perception of it.
As the story reaches its later stages, this unreliability seems to be confirmed. But what should we expect from a story called “Vapor Island?”

Overall, this is perhaps the first novel I’ve read that I would place squarely within the dissident sphere and totally independent of the philosophy and tropes of the neo-liberal order. Despite the strange fetishes that take up quite a bit of this story, I found it to be a poignant parable of growing up as a majority of one in a deranged society where all anyone cares about is popularity, “networking,” and the top 25 pop songs.

Podcast: Pragmatic Dissidence With Robert Stark

Robert Stark and I focused on the specifics of an Alt-Center that recognizes the essential role of effective redistribution in a successful society and rejects worship of the “free market,” critiquing its role in the creation of culture. After all, we can look at all the great art, encyclopedias, and fan made mods people make for free. How do we manage this massive leisure economy? Furthermore, much great work of the past resulted when single, or a few patrons, rather than the mass market was the source of funding for creative work.

Also, I make mention of my dissident fantasy fiction story, Apostasy, and mention some of the inspirations for its setting.

http://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=6924

Human “Stupidity” Comes From Conflict of Interest

Humans are remarkably good at coordinating when everyone’s interests align. Every day there is heavy traffic on the roads because no one gains from crashing. Tens of thousands die every year but in that same time hundreds of millions drive trillions of times. Thus, the incentives for driving to work year after year are correctly aligned.

Markets find a price to a fraction of a cent because an equilibrium between competing interests is arrived at.

But government, politics, sexual and status competition involve a zero sum battle between interests that never ends. This disputed territory is the slice of life that most human energy is devoted to.

When I go on message boards, the most common comment I see is some variety of “OMG people are stupid.” People are not so much directly stupid as they are personally self-interested. The core difference between high and low IQ countries is whether the average person can ask themselves. “What if everyone did it?”
IQ as far as I can tell is a way to get a rough idea of someone’s ability to handle abstraction, and that, as it turns out, is decisive.

Let’s imagine for a moment we’re typically corrupt third world traffic cops. We’re just using a position of power to maximize our leverage in a cutthroat society where a few winners take all. If you don’t take as many bribes as you can, someone else gets ahead of you.
Even if you have 150 IQ in an 85 average IQ society, it doesn’t matter much, because you know that even if you choose not to take bribes, no one around you will follow suit. So even though there are some very intelligent outliers, they are drowned out in the larger culture and its institutions. Some of the smart ones may rise to the top, but they are smart enough to understand minimally abstract crowds require immediate threat of force to keep them in line. Given more than just enough to eat, they breed without abandon until the whole society collapses. So if you are one of the smartest guys in power in a benighted African “republic” why not be a ruthless kleptocrat?
When everyone is maximally self-interested, a single dollar beyond subsistence in another man’s pocket is just a weapon he will one day use against you. If all these countries end up with kleptocrat strongmen, regardless of the nominal form of government, then we must conclude it’s no accident and that’s what the incentives select for.

Third world people are highly effective and rational when it comes to survival. But when everyone is like that, it’s like a Chinese finger trap. The harder you pull away in the direction of societal-level defection and competition the tighter and more inescapable it becomes. Until you have enough people of sufficient intelligence, no one figures out that if you forgo total competition, humans can reach a negotiated truce that allows for higher trust and a superior standard of living for everyone.

Those who cooperate by paying for goods, get more and better stores to choose from. Those who defect by stealing whenever they can are rewarded with “food deserts.” What few stores remain in these districts lock up anything that’s small enough to conceal and worth more than $10.
Whenever I go to the liquor store, single malt scotch is out in the open up to about $100 a bottle. Meanwhile, even lower shelf brandy, especially the Hennessy gets kept behind the cash register where sticky fingers can’t reach it. It is easy to tell which community prefers which.

It plays out the same way in every aspect of life that lies in that disputed sector. For populations of smart people, the contested area is just a bit smaller and that makes a huge difference.

Because lower IQ people are more or less rational. It is easy to have casual conversations with them and not think them especially lacking. This is why people who disparage their capabilities in any way seem like “racists” and why “oppression” seems at first like the best explanation for their consistently poor fortunes. Their deficiency manifests most greatly not on an individual but a group level. The scions of the Enlightenment ultimately abolished the group and therefore regard the study of the interaction of collectives in aggregate as a mortal sin. This neglected and most important of the social sciences, which all advertising and electoral politics are steeped in, is an open opportunity for dissidents of all stripes.

There’s No Power Without “Downward Distribution”

“Downward distribution” or worse, “socialism,” gets muttered in tones of dread from vanilla conservatives to hard core dissidents. This is a sign they are deeply confused since distribution of resources is what makes a ruler to begin with. In primitive societies, there are big men who work hard to throw the biggest feast and win followers. In early cities, the civic life and religion revolves around distributing grain from the temple granary. It is only in mega-societies of millions where flows of wealth are less transparent that anyone could forget the ruler rules by largesse.
As it is, the roads, the parks, libraries, schools, the military and police, the utilities, the courts, public entertainment, are all forms of downward distribution that establish the legitimacy of a ruling class. If the rulers did not redistribute in ways that provided a net benefit against any alternative, no one would suffer them to rule if they could possibly help it. Even if a local gang is the strongest power, it taxes for protection and its godfather may grant a favor in return for your loyalty on his daughter’s wedding day.

When I see rants about downward distribution on message boards, I understand they are really concerned about the wrong kind of redistribution. Yet these critics are almost unanimously unable to make this critical distinction because they buy into an idea of a mythical independent man who pulls himself up by his own bootstraps. This attitude may not have been wholly delusional in an immature frontier society but in the US the frontier started to close off in the 1890s, helping to trigger a wave of populism then as the pressure release valves suddenly stopped working as well. Now, the frontiers are long gone and there are 330 million mouths to feed in an ungovernable omni-ethnic empire.

Until those with that conservative impulse examine themselves, they are doomed to abject failure. They idolize the lone wolf stronger than all the rest or the elite cadre but all social animals decide affairs by politics, or in other words, alliances rather than individual prowess. This is why an alliance of women and gays can effortlessly push aside the protests of individual men. Even an alpha chimpanzee has to be careful about making too many enemies. Thus we need not dwell on theories of Biological Leninism. If one philosophy encourages individual competition and another encourages collective action, an alliance of children throwing dirt clods triumphs just as easily.

Those who like to call themselves right-wing typically exclude more than they include. Joining their group is supposed to be a hard and selective process. This is the fundamental mistake they make in politics. The right fails to distinguish the ethics of the close-knit tribe from the process of making alliances, even with people and groups they may not like.

The right also lacks any introspection about what kind of group it is. Conservatism, for instance, only really appeals to the white upper working class to the middle of middle class outside of major city centers plus some well-to-do country club types. Nothing they do can broaden that appeal. Neither “natural conservatives” nor Prester John will ride out of nowhere to save the day. Conservatives are the classic case of a static tribe that thinks it is an alliance. Since 2016, reality has caught up with them no matter how they might weep and gnash their teeth. They are but one part of a coalition now, unable to decide elections even on their home ground.

The right wing desires power but it always floats outside their grasp and it will always do so until they recognize that that downward distribution is a tool for sealing alliances that help get them what they want. For decades, their reaction has been to thrash and flail like a drowning man, giving anyone who tries to rescue them a sharp elbow to the face in their panic and paranoia. It is a mathematical law that the party of the 48% loses every election by at least 4%.

First, the faction that wishes to assume power must assess who they want to include and who to exclude from a hierarchical alliance while maintaining strict standards for their core tribe which they intend to occupy the top rung. So the problem lies not in whether or not to redistribute, but in how and how much to redistribute to each included faction. Then, when that is decided, it remains to figure out which enemy factions the alliance should attack first and most intensely.

Lately, the term “incel” has entered into the popular consciousness after possibly a decade of it being common parlance in the manosphere. Incels are men who have nothing to lose in the present system, many of them skilled and educated. They are the very stuff from which a re-alignment in power is made. The cost of their loyalty is very little as a plant kept in the dark loves dearly a single hour in the sunlight. Yet right wingers want only Christian married men with solid careers and successful businesses who can spit tight game when needed. They just don’t get it. The people they want most are those least likely to rock the boat.
The raw material is already abundant. Someone astute just needs to throw a few bones in the right directions.

The core thesis of an alt-center is the golden mean where the interests of a neo-tribal aspiring upper caste and its supporting alliance intersect. Instead of shaming the man who doesn’t get laid, offer him virgins if he’s willing to take big risks against the common enemy.

My Parser Computer Game

Programmed in Python 3:

https://github.com/GiovanniDannato/Do-Anything-Text-Game

Growing up I had a special affection for games where you could type commands into a parser because unlike a mouse interface you could attempt anything you could possibly think of and play with language itself.  In puzzle games this made it so you had to actually think things through and no clickfest could save you.  One could try to cheat by typing “use x with y” for every combo of items in your inventory but designers were usually more clever than this.
Frederik Pohl’s Gateway, one of my favorite games of all time, had limited graphics but understood the fun and capricious nature of the text interface better than any other.  The designers actually made an effort to think of all the dumb stuff you might type in. Here’s a couple of screen shots I just made:

messing around in Frederik Pohl’s gateway

 

 

What’s more, Gateway was a very well-made game when you actually took it seriously.  I loved that kind of depth.  For years I wanted to make something similar.  So I did as a way to learn some python a couple years ago.  I’m sure my code is terrible by any professional standard but it seems to work.  There are still bugs of course.

I tried to add some of the whimsical flavor I loved so much back in the day from games like Zork and Gateway. Come to think of it, death sequences were definitely inspired by reading too many Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid.  I have monsters, puzzles, and an ending.  The player character can take 3 hits before dying.  There is an optional item that will improve your chances at the end but solving that puzzle requires thinking a bit immaturely. If a monster seems overwhelmingly difficult, you probably haven’t found the right item/solved the puzzle yet. If you have a weapon but use the word “hit” you will still be attacking with your hands. For those who have never played these kinds of games:
‘i’ =”look at inventory”
‘n, s, e, w’ = “go x” direction
‘l’ = “look at room”

Finally got around to putting it on github:
https://github.com/GiovanniDannato/Do-Anything-Text-Game
DoAnything is the executable and it should run in python 3.

To Stand Within or Without the Circle of Life

Every thinking person at some point confronts the trap of nihilism.  One is faced with a fork in the road.  Down one way ultimately lies detachment and resignation, down the other way the undivided embrace of life in all its primal vigor.
In my own journey, I would reflect how even insects with grotesquely broken limbs crawl desperately onward until the very last spark is gone out of them.  Those living things that cannot think, I observed, are pure life force, never doubting.

In my own life, I noted that any practice I adopted that went against the pure will to live proved to be ineffective and destructive.  I hadn’t believed in the gods of religions since I was a small child but it became increasingly clear to me that there were objective rules, like laws of physics that govern the outcomes of our beliefs.  I thought it a bit like the concept of the Tao, that there is a Way of the universe and if you try to fight it, it’s like standing in the way of an oncoming ocean.

There was a period in my mid-20s when I had an interest in mysticism and read about figures like Gurdjieff and Aleister Crowley.  At the time, I thought it somewhat disgusting to be a meat robot acting out algorithms that would help me survive and reproduce just like bacteria and insects.  Part of the appeal of mysticism to me then was that my algorithms could be re-directed and the ability to do that might even be equated with humanity, transcendence, and consciousness.  Colin Wilson was one of the authors I read at the time who showed me the way toward a more life-affirming mindset.  He examined men like Nietzsche or Van Gogh who he saw as outsiders who were full of life and creativity but died defeated and broken.  He distilled the problem that faced them into the ultimate ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  Wilson gave a memorable example of the ‘yes’ state by telling a story of a man who was put before a firing squad and had all the beauty and possibilities of life suddenly dawn on him only as he was about to die.

There came a point where I had to admit the mystical thinking was holding me back more than it was helping.  Actually, I noticed on a meta-physical level that living by those rules and mindset not only didn’t work, it created more problems.  Every single time, as if I were testing out the pull of gravity by dropping a pebble.  I came to understand that most of the time detachment is really just a way for losers without hope to accept their lot.  I was reading Will Durant at the time of my transition on the history of the ancient world and on the history of philosophy.  A common theme he noticed is that fatalism and detachment always thrive when bad times or bare subsistence has gone on awhile and isn’t going to change anytime soon.  Whether Stoicism in the West or Buddhism in the East, it was impossible to ignore the conclusion that these belief systems are in large part learned helplessness writ large.

As soon as I began to think of myself as a pure living thing in the natural world with all the physical and meta-physical laws that govern it, my life steadily began to improve, which prompted me to continue in that direction to the present day with consistent results.

Having gone through this journey I may have a glimmer of a fundamental divide between “leftist” enlightenment secularism and everything that now gets called “right wing.”
I remember how the primal life force seemed grinding, mechanical, and crude to me back when I was trying to redirect it.  I still do value the development of consciousness and hate the idea of subsuming myself into an unthinking state.  What changed in me is that I resolved to use my state of consciousness in service of the meta-laws of nature rather than trying to circumvent or defy them.
I can perhaps understand though why a secularist recoils on a visceral level when they hear talk of fertility rates and population replacement.  As scions of enlightenment thought, they see it as blasphemous to weigh down transcendent rational man with the sweat, blood, and rutting of of lower animals.

The secular world view also depends on a notion of relativism, the idea that there are multiple equally valid solutions—at least when it comes to how society is organized.  When they denounce a belief as “radical” or “far right” they mean to say it challenges this doctrine.
The moment one starts to examine how societies throughout history work with a clinical eye it’s clear that some solutions are objectively better than others and that there is often a clearly optimal solution.  One begins to notice persistent patterns across thousands of years of migration, trade, and conquest.  The affairs of humans on a large scale resemble any other natural phenomenon no matter if it’s a blizzard or a beehive.  Yet under the strangling grip of secularism, the same science that dutifully measures the circumferences of a thousand galaxies can’t encompass the dimensions of culture here on earth.  It is bizarre and unholy for them to contemplate the gears and tickings of millions humans as a whole sorted into categories when each person must be considered a rational agent desirous of endless goods and services but bereft of any group.

The emerging anti-secular thesis rejects societal relativism and embraces the laws of nature as the rightful guiding star for all life.  This is why there’s that irreconcilable chasm.  For even an attempt at discussion to take place, some basic premises must be agreed upon.

We might consider Conan the Barbarian, a wild wanderer who is practically apolitical even once he becomes a king, yet few would hesitate to call him a right-wing character, even if they cannot say why.  In every story he appears in he’s likened to big predators preparing to pounce.  He embraces the pure passion of being alive over intellectual detachment:
Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
Just by existing, Conan embodies the primal life force, objective reality, and the circle of life, making him the opposing principle of priestly idealists.

The great circle of life is not just a cycle.  There are those who stand within and without it.  Within are those who simply have kids as well as those who understand there are Malthusian pressures, Nash equilibria, and endless competition between groups.  These people all share a sense of seriousness about existence.  Like hatchling sea turtles striving towards the waves as waiting predators pick them off, they stay fixed on their mission.  Life must find a way wherever it finds itself.

Those who stand outside the circle of life are fixed on the injustice of the natural world and hold its harsh attrition in contempt by trying to remove themselves from its demands.  They base their lives around vacations, hobbies, “soulmates,” and their hopes for progress towards heavenly Utopia.  Their lives are never quite serious.  There is no wrong way to live.  The sun eventually explodes, the universe one day ends.   Yet despite these superficially callous attitudes they regard their values as their children that will take over the world when they are gone.  This willful delusion that their pseudo-intellectualism lives after them obscures the truth that by Divine Justice they already are fossils to be excavated some millions of years later with a petrified deck of Cards Against Humanity alongside their contorted skeletons.

The Shape of Water: Del Toro’s Final Descent into PC

I heard del Toro’s film The Shape of Water had a politically correct agenda touted by the recent Oscars, but I still watched it.  As soon as I saw the trailer I was drawn in.  Whatever, its political orientations, this is one of the more aesthetically appealing films I’ve ever seen.  You might even say it kind of feels like bioshock/fallout, the movie with its retro tech feel and color scheme of oceanic aqua, golden lights, and rich amber tones with rain perpetually pouring(one of the atmospheric effects I liked about Blade Runner.)
This shouldn’t be completely surprising given Del Toro’s previous love of making surreally realistic films in the tradition of the Spanish speaking world.  Nor are his leftist sympathies anything new in his work.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), the film that really made Del Toro recognized internationally had Captain Vidal, an evil right-wing White male in sharp uniform who’s a complete raging dick with a submissive wife and no redeeming qualities to speak of.  Years later, the villain in this latest film, Colonel Strickland, fits a very similar profile but manages to be possibly an even more over-the-top cartoon mustache-twister.
Whereas Vidal was mainly a symbol of authoritarianism with some sexism thrown in, Strickland is a brimming cauldron of multiple “isms” in a film that’s very consciously set right before the Civil Rights Era.

We meet Strickland in a restroom where he walks in on the female janitor protagonists, starts peeing in a urinal right in front of them and starts talking to them midstream like LBJ might have done.  Then as he continues to relate to the ladies in an off-puttingly affable manner he tells them his baton is actually a stun prod, an “Alabama Howdy Do.”  I think it is hard to be any more heavy handed than this and that’s just the very beginning.

We soon discover Strickland is using his baton to regularly torture the water creature for no reason.  Captain Vidal also loved torturing people but at least he was motivated by his desire to get information from suspected spies and enemy combatants.  Why would Strickland do that if he took the trouble to capture it and bring it all the way back from South America alive to a top secret base?  The creature is supposedly the key to technological secrets that could decide the Space Race and ultimately, the Cold War.  It can’t talk to them vocally nor are they interested in communicating with it.  Why on Earth would even a villainous person want to risk harming “the asset?”  Strickland even loses two of his fingers playing this pointless game and then keeps doing it.  At one point a five star general walks into the room with the creature beaten and bloodied right in front of him and sees nothing wrong with it.  What the hell?

Alas, we know why.  The visuals of the Southern White good ol’ boy cop and then the curmudgeonly old general standing over the lacerated water creature in chains says it all.  The fish man obviously represents the diversity crowd as a whole, the White males, the ultimate evil oppressors of the secular mystery religion.

The main protagonist is Elisa, one of the female janitors, who is mute and while quite White has the Spanish surname to perhaps give her another fraction of a diversity point.  I enjoyed seeing subtitled sign language on screen and how that added to the physical acting in the film.  The main character and her companions are actually well-written and quite charming even though each of them blatantly represents a major diversity lobby.

The goofily heartwarming gay best friend inexplicably goes to the same pie place frequently to get the same pie, even though it’s just a chain and the pies are terrible(his refrigerator is full of barely nibbled-on slices).  It finally makes sense when we realize he’s gay and has a crush on the guy who runs the place.  The sassy female Black sidekick punches in her mute friend’s timecard whenever she’s late for work holding back a whole line of other co-workers to do it.  While these archetypes don’t behave like they do in real life, in my experience, these are fun and loyal people anyone would want to be friends with.  Contrasting the cast of good guys with the overwhelming villainy, crassness, creepiness, and cruelty of the White men and the gorgeous aesthetics gives us the makings of some very persuasive propaganda.

We have the disabled, the gay, the Black woman but one team member is still missing, a Jewish scientist Soviet spy with a heart of gold.  He turns a blind eye to Elisa’s interactions with the creature and even ends up pretty much recruiting her once he needs to simply save the creature from being vivisected as part of his mission.  His own feelings implausibly get in the way, even though it is established he is quite ruthless when he needs to be.  He was prepared to kill the creature if he couldn’t rescue it and at one point, he murders a clean-cut White military guard who did nothing wrong to help the fish man escape.  None of the protagonists, normally thoughtful of others’ suffering, seem to care.  There are for all of us those who fall outside our circle of empathy, a rule of human nature the “open minded” always prove true in spite of themselves.
After taking these extraordinary measures, the spy then lies very obviously to his Soviet handlers about his knowledge of the creature’s whereabouts and instantly seals his own fate, for no compelling reason as far as his previously shrewd character is concerned.

Every narrative will carry ideological messages of some kind but a well-crafted story tries to keep the message of the story consistent with the narrative structure.  In good storytelling even the most vile villains have plausible motives and perhaps some redeeming qualities to add an element of tragedy to their downfall.  Most movies tilt leftwards to say the very least so when I watch one that is well made, I can suspend my ordinary beliefs for a couple hours and just enjoy it on its artistic qualities.  This is where it gets complex for me.  The Shape of Water has good acting, good dialogue, amazing attention to detail and aesthetics, how can it manage to still go wrong?

Despite everything the movie has going for it, I can’t quite immerse myself.  As biased as Pan’s Labyrinth was, I could just enjoy the story on its merits.  According to Del Toro the “pale man” from that film was supposed to be a politically correct jab but back when I saw the film, I’d never seen a more unsettling and terrifying monster.  The political subtext was inlaid deeply enough I could just appreciate the story and the artistry.  That Del Toro had to make a statement about it years later, demonstrates it was at least somewhat subtle.
Over a decade later, what once was muted is now a blaring airhorn.  It’s impossible to ignore the politics anymore.  At some point, a story reaches an event horizon where the message starts to supersede character development and structure until eventually all that’s left is a spittle-spraying preacher pounding the pulpit.

Perhaps Hollywood learned its lesson from Avatar where I found the gung-ho duty-bound white male antagonist, Colonel Quaritch, far more sympathetic and badass than the indulgent and selfish “hero,” Sully, who finds an Indian village and predictably throws everyone else under the bus for a chance to bang the chief’s daughter.
So now, the antagonist is made into a caricature of even a real-life shitty person and the story misses many opportunities in its monomaniacal obsession.
If we pretend for a moment that I could go back in time and help out Del Toro with the script, maintaining fidelity to his political vision, here are some suggestions that would have made the story less preachy, more complex, with better character motivation.

-Having Strickland torture the water creature serves no purpose.  He’s already established as a huge douchebag.  If anything, a sincere guy who is just doing his job might make for a more believable antagonist.  Or at least if he must be truly evil, try not to make him a caricature since this is a drama, not an action film.
-Having the muteness of the protagonist as a feminist allegory of women “silenced by the patriarchy” is beyond ridiculous.  This point could have been more subtle but Strickland’s fetish for women being silent during sex(and in general) pounds in that point with a sledgehammer.

-Every blond character turns out to be mean or unlikable in some way.  Strickland and his blond wife are shown be somehow debased and perverted while the goofy gay guy is awesome even though he flirts with a blond straight guy who doesn’t take kindly to his advances.  Even more sinful, Strickland has two White kids.  They stare like zombies at the TV screen watching cowboys shooting Indians rather than the quirky melange of dance numbers and nostalgic clips the good guys always watch.  We never even see Strickland interact with his kids because any humanizing touch would be too much.  This is all overkill.  Just stop and try to portray real people.

-The Soviet spy tells his handlers exactly what’s going on and where the creature is as we would expect.  Even if he has emotional reservations he has a bigger mission and knows he would be endangering his own life if they suspect he is withholding information.  The film then reaches its climax as the American military and undercover Soviets converge on Elisa to stop her from helping the fish man escape.  I think that would lead to a pretty cool ending.  But no, the communist spy has to be a revisionist good guy, even if the script has to make him stupidly sacrifice himself to make it work.  Whatever.

One last thought, the single most disturbing moment for me might have been when the fish man goes out into the apartment to explore and eats one of the gay guy’s pet cats.  Everyone seems to take it in stride, rationalizing that the creature didn’t have a moral understanding of its actions and has been through a long period of torture and oppression.  Confronted with kindness it begins to understand it did wrong and starts doing things to make up for it.  This struck me as an allegory for the way the establishment always excuses terrorist attacks and consistently high crime rates from some minority ethnic groups.  Even within the context of a story, this propaganda message was particularly hard to sit through.
Nevertheless, that I could find this level of shilling as compelling as I did reminds me why our establishment has been so resilient.  The so-called left still dominates the realm of story-telling and aesthetics.  Though their grip on the popular imagination has begun to slip, there seems no clear replacement yet.

How Does the US Empire End?

The world has largely been at peace for almost 80 years now under American hegemony. It’s pretty impressive, really. Constant war and high levels of local violence have been the rule for most of human history. The world is a far more tame and centralized place than it used to be…for now. No one lifts a finger without an ID number that’s far more important than their mere given name. So what after all, is so bad about our entrenched ruling classes?

There were also about 100 years between the Conference of Vienna and World War 1. It would seem that when conflicts have been held in stasis for awhile and the balance of power becomes ever more like a precarious house of cards, it can all come tumbling down at once.
As with forest fires, even managed forests have to have controlled burns to prevent a much worse conflagration later in a forest packed full of trees weakened by tight competition.

But how does the seemingly impregnable national order actually end? It took two world wars to finally end the British Empire and unseat the pound as the world reserve currency.
America has an enviable geopolitical position with domination of an entire continent, separated from any competitors by thousands of miles of ocean.
It has a stranglehold on the world economy. They say when a debtor gets too big, the creditors are at their mercy. Too big to fail, as they say. If the US were to fold we would see another worldwide depression.
Hence it’s in everyone’s interests to make sure that doesn’t happen. So long as US consumers are indispensable to the world economy, the whole world of servants will rush to keep the consumers aloft on their luxurious palanquin and comport them along their way, above the sweaty press of the common crowds.

However, Golden Age Spaniards also thought they could purchase more than they could produce forever and that never works. Even if you have access to bottomless bullion from a whole New World, it’s just stand-in token for real wealth. Sooner or later, reality catches up. If, like a Spanish Habsburg King, you’re buying all your tapestries from Flanders, your parade armor from Milan, your glasswork from Venice, sooner or later the bill comes due and all the people you poured your money on for a hundred years are now the powerful people.

At present, though, the thought of a Chinese unilateral superpower remains laughable when we consider they’d be thrust back into bare subsistence farming with human shit for fertilizer if it were not for the juggernaut of 1st world demand. Constant hysteria aside, China cannot be even a truly sovereign power until they are no longer utterly dependent on other powers for their wellbeing.

I am a fan of the Mark Yuray hypothesis that besides a US led “international community” there are only really two sovereign powers, China and Russia. While the two “sovereign powers” may have formidable home rule, though, they are still completely dependent on the international system.
If we were to reformulate a bit, we might say there are:
-Powers under the direct political hegemony of the US Neo-Liberal Establishment
-Powers (like China and Russia) that manage their internal affairs but still answer to the world-wide economy.

China is stuck making manufactured goods for Wal-Mart, or else there would probably be a second Taiping rebellion composed of the starving unemployed.
Russia can’t really deny shipments of natural gas to Europe or even the oligarchs would be facing hard times. The whole economy of Russia is only worth a bit more than that of Italy with nearly 3 times the population. Accounting for Purchasing Power Parity means the numbers aren’t quite as ridiculous—everything 1st world is ridiculously expensive. It doesn’t change the fact Russia isn’t really 1st world and never really has been. They have tons of weapons, but so what until you actually use them?

Manufacturing and commodities comprise the backbone of economic activity, yet in the post-modern era the real proceeds go to value-added goods and rent-seeking. An I-phone beats the crap out of the world’s best potassium anyday when it comes to securing money and power. Every step of the process, outsourced all over the world, accrues a bit more profit than the last and presents that much more of a barrier to entry against any competitors. As for rents, why actually make stuff when you can just charge someone to use your same old property every month?

So, we have a world economy where finance, interest, rent, value-added products are the predators and commodities and manufacturing are prey.
Of course, the weakness of predator nations is they increasingly lack a backbone to support all their stored-up fat after decades of feasting.
As with the Spanish after their golden century, all the money gets sent to the actual producers of tangible goods and all the manipulations of finance and rent might as well be a sleight of hand with Chuck-E-Cheese tokens.

But for now, banana republics like Russia that churn out boring commodities are suckers. How do we transition into the long run?

On casual observation, the US Empire has two main mechanisms that keep it in power:
-Economic interdependence. No one can afford to opt out.
-Military dominance. If persuasion fails no one can opt out, even if they want to.

On one side of the world, the oil exporters of the Middle East are obligated to do business in dollars by both the overwhelming convenience of the network effect (the same one that keeps people using Windows) and and if the offering of bread fails, then the stick.  “Pan o palo,” as Porfirio Diaz liked to put it.

On the other side of the world along the Pacific Rim, the price of mass exporting to the US is you have to use much of the proceeds to finance US debt.  It also pays to buy tons of US currency to be able to manipulate the dollar.

The net effect is that these East Asian powers are at once tributary vassal states and shareholders in the US Empire.  This is what makes the prevailing order so stable.  The USA and East Asia are joined at the hip.  China and Japan can engage in considerable internal manipulations in the US.  In return, their interests are intricately tied to the fortunes of the US, holding them hostage to its capricious whims and holding them responsible to keep their great benefactor propped up no matter what.

Those who like to obsess about the national debt fail to understand that the US, as the center of the Empire, operates by different rules.  If the US incurs trillions in debt, so what?  They simply auction it off as bonds and there must be enough takers willing to buy them up or the whole game is up and nobody wants another worldwide depression.
In reality even the national debt is just another system of extracting tribute from lesser nations and from the hapless peasantry who happen to live within the bounds of the Central Imperial Zone aka. USA.

But all Empires so far have fallen, so how does the US Empire, perhaps the most powerful in history, deteriorate?

To begin with, it has already begun.  The idiotic foreign policy of the decadent mandarin classes within the Washington beltway has already driven Russia and China into alignment.  Only their high-flung lunacy and idiocy could have managed to forge these two most natural rivals together!

This new Eurasian alliance with China and Russia at its center has begun the process of negotiating trade agreements outside of the sacred US dollar.  One by one, numerous satellites of the Empire are signalling they are dropping out and it happens with barely a headline.  Last month I think it was Cambodia.  A couple weeks ago, Pakistan after decades of enormous bribes to their leaders while getting little in return.  Much more well-broadcast, the Philippines, once literally an Amerian colony failed to kowtow to the American President.
What is most telling is how these entities can drop out now without any “color revolutions” fomented by US intelligence or wars of “freedom” fomented against them on phony pretexts.  The fear of reprisal, unless truly weak and without strong nearby allies just isn’t what it used to be.

But this steady decline isn’t enough and meaningful change is fairly rarely gradual anyway.  Even if the erosion has progressed steadily there is still a catalyst and a cataclysm that brings about a new order, always more abruptly than the bean counters expect.  In history, the water level reaches a certain key height and then there’s a flood that tends to take us by surprise.  What is that in the case of the US Empire?

A couple obvious answers right now:

-The US gets involved in more Middle East quagmires as the military budget perpetually bloats in size.  As the Empire gets more desperate to keep its “clients” in order, it starts to take off the velvet gloves.  We now see a Sunni-Israeli alliance against a Shi’ite-Russian bloc with Turkey and Egypt acting as opportunists.  The US foreign policy establishment has committed more and more to the Saudis and Israelis, a stance that could suck them into a general conflict that will finally siphon off too much of their resources, like the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Worse for the US, the Persians are throughout history a higher IQ, more civilized, and competent people than the Arabs who beyond the inception of Islam and the Rashidun Caliphate were hardly ever a major power.  Pumping money and weapons into Saudi Arabia through years of protracted conflict will be as much a black hole of wealth as social programs in inner St. Louis or Detroit.  For now, the Arabs put oil profits into useless fighter planes as the Chinese put their export profits into US bonds and dollars.  The smug US establishment will gape in astonishment as the financially bulky Saudis start to tire after just a few rounds and then they have to pay them to take more weapons, desperately trying to keep them in the fight.  As guys like Hitler can attest, crappy allies are just a liability.

-The US debt at some point simply becomes big enough to fail and the rest of the world has built just enough of its own infrastructure that they are willing to let it drop.  Already, city and state governments are failing in the US even as the federal edifice continues to vacuum up the world’s wealth.  The main takeaway though is the circle of people and organizations who benefit from the Empire’s streams of tribute grows ever smaller.  Once it grows small enough, there simply won’t be enough people with power and money who are invested in the Empire’s continuation.

Podcast With Rob Stark About Alt-Centrism, Current Events

http://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=6168

This time, we discussed among many things

-the direction of American politics, especially the development of a true “alt-left” from disillusioned Bernie progressives

-the shifting of alliances in the Middle East and how ethnic struggles there presage the future of US internal politics.

-the importance of social capital in determining human desires and the general direction of societies.

-the impropriety of suffering the presence of the underclasses in cities that rightfully belong to society’s best cooperators

And more… Please join us.

My New Alt-Dissident Fantasy Fiction

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 (conclusion)

I have previously opined that the alt-dissidents ought to establish culture and aesthetics rather than just making formal arguments.
I decided to try to practice what I preach and for the last few weeks I’ve been working on a mini-novella instead of my regular blog posts. I’ve chosen to write in a fantasy setting because I’ve always wanted to, but also because establishing mythological tales is a natural place to start for an emerging culture. And much of modern mythology comes from fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero stories.
Narratives about gods and heroes are popular in every culture because humans seem to universally process the world around them in terms of archetypes. Greek Gods, Norse Gods, and modern superheroes all embody essential principles and the interactions of these characters mirror the relationships between those principles in real life. It is my guess that myth-making is a primal human activity because it can communicate abstractions even to people who are illiterate and/or low IQ on a visceral and intuitive level.

I have often used the concepts of Heaven and Hell on this blog to contrast the established social order with those who thrive outside of it and against it. Now, I have applied this analogy to a narrative.
I didn’t feel this blog was the right medium for longer pieces of fiction. I have always believed in sticking to essays here between 600-1500 words that readers can easily scroll through.
So I approached Kaiter Enless of Logos Club with a query and after reviewing it, he expressed his interest in publishing my story on his site divided into 4-5 parts. Part 1 was just put up today and I will have the rest forthcoming soon.

Special thanks to Garr who personally volunteered his time to edit and critique the story and to Ulric Kerensky who also read through the rough draft and gave me excellent feedback.

The Dance of Cooperation and Defection

It’s good to cooperate when everyone is defecting and good to defect when everyone cooperates.  Kind of like it’s you vs. the crowd when you try to buy a stock low and sell it high.
In a high trust society, it pays to be the first to break trust and plunder the commons knowing that the full satisfaction of your greed won’t even make a dent.
Once too many people join in the plunder, the payoff plummets as everyone’s defenses go up.  Worse, once that downward spiral of mass defection starts, it’s hard to break out of it.  We’ve yet to ever see a society recover from decadence and avoid collapse.
Yet the first group that can somehow break out of that negative spiral cleans up and founds the new order.  This seems to be what happened with early Christianity.  All they had to do was be a group of people who actually cared about each other and backed each other up.  Once they got sufficiently established an atomized late-stage popular culture nobody cared to defend was easily swept aside.

Conversely when everyone goes along with the system it pays to be the guy who exploits the herd.  In the US Civil War, there were professional enlistment dodgers once large sign-up bonuses became necessary to recruit more troops.  While the guy who followed instructions and popular sentiment naively marched into the line of fire expecting glory,  the guy who stayed out of the early craze could get paid just to show up and then change identities to do it again.  While raking in all that cash, I can only imagine the successful dodger was quite the catch for all the lonely young ladies and found himself living in luxury, getting laid like tile while the other poor schlub was getting his gangrenous leg sawed off.  Winners and losers: those who can adjust their survival strategies to changing circumstances and those who get outmaneuvered.

Our own society suffers from far too many defectors and as a result social capital has collapsed.  We’re bowling alone and doting on animals to feel some kind of connection in the midst of this economic war of all against all.  The unclaimed prize goes to the first organization, whatever it is, that establishes high-trust, reliable social capital for even average people who get trashcanned for falling a few steps behind the pack.  This is the service that early Christianity provided and it exploded because the pent up demand for cooperation was immense.   Those who got in the faith during its rise and avoided getting martyred got to reap the benefits of family and community while everyone else was still fighting to the death over a dwindling trail of crumbs.

I felt the dots in my head connecting as I read about Darwin’s finches a few years ago.  Female preference is elastic because they just select whichever males seem well-fed and prosperous at a given time.  Whenever the environment changes, different kinds of males meet with more success and become the most attractive.  The present social order heaps money and status on the most flagrant defectors, getting them the best mates as decay nears rock-bottom.  Being the best defector is increasingly difficult though because everyone is trying to do it.  At some point it’s smarter to look for the early Christians wherever they may be found and sit tight while the cycle winds down.  This is pretty much what formerly nihilistic PUAs are doing as they’ve changed their rhetoric almost unanimously to family, nation, and traditional marriage over the last few years.

The story of the finches also made me think of the decline of the middle class.  During good times, it pays to be a generalist who can benefit from many different food sources.  During bad times, the best survivors are specialists that can access niches others can’t reach.  Right now is a boom time for the highly skilled upper middle class as it is for the highly fecund underclasses.  Those of merely above average intelligence and disposition have neither the brains or patience to be electrical engineers nor the raw guile and viciousness needed to rule the streets.  Now that there’s a drought, they find themselves starving while specialists thrive.  The prevailing question is, from what direction do the next rains arrive?

Unlike finches, humans have some ability to shift their strategies and pivot with the times.  The human brain arose from nature not to invent science but to participate in a cerebral arms race between humans locked with each other in a collective prisoner’s dilemma with constantly shifting payoffs and losses.  The finches have different kinds of beaks for different foods, lions have teeth and claws to kill prey, humans try to win at the great game of musical chairs.

Suburban Populism Beats Rural Traditionalism In Mass Identity Politics

Race is indeed a major dividing line between human beings and their collective interests but class and culture is often at least as important.  The dissident right’s model of reality falls short when it focuses on race while ignoring class.  

Barack Obama, for example, is anathema to working class Whites as Trump is to upper middle class Whites.  People across the political spectrum seem to focus on Obama’s Blackness even though he is only half-Black and talks and acts White much of the time.  Race is a huge factor, but at least as significant is how Obama oozes a smarmy SWPL vibe.  When you combine race and class in one man, you end up with anti-red-state personified.  When Obama said “clinging to guns and religion” that was roughly equivalent to Trump saying “not sending their best” or “grab them by the pussy.”   

The upset defeat of Roy Moore is a good example of the importance of class and culture.  The focus on bibles and cowboy hats may have appealed to the rural working classes but alienated the suburban middle classes.  This leaves Reagan era conservatism and the religious right utterly discredited as decisive political forces.  Even a lame GOP candidate should have won easily in Alabama, by far too much for ballot stuffing in the cities to make a difference.
To be successful in politics, populists and racial identitarians must be able to reach across the huge class and culture barrier or at least, not be overtly threatening to the other side.

On right wing blogs and on gab I see endless discussion about everything from being “trad” to restoring the Christianity of the crusades(Deus Vult!).  Also pretty popular is posturing about getting married to virgins somewhere in rural Montana or putting sodomites back in the closet.  These are kind of cool-sounding concepts that establish an aesthetic and a “feel.”  They’re great for memes and trolling too. The problem with all these things is some people start to forget that this stuff is fantasy.

In the real world, most of America lives in the suburban orbit of the cities and not only does a minority live in the more traditional countryside, lots of them are old people.  The city and its hinterlands is where most the action is at.  The country has the advantage of providing safer territory for right wing populists to operate in, but in any kind of electoral politics, suburbanites both middle and working class have to be the main focus.  Even people in the country can use facebook and tinder now.  Going “trad” is a recipe for failure at this point.  Nobody really can go back or even really wants to.  The real question is what replaces obsolete, dead social structures.

That’s a problem that can’t really be dealt with until more urgent matters are settled first.  What most Euro-Americans can agree on now across class lines are the principles of alt-centrist tribal populism.  Everyone younger than boomers intuitively gets that the pie is either static or shrinking for most people no matter how headlines boast about unemployment or the stock market.  Thus the fundamental question all politics must address is how to increase the security and access to resources of a given group.  First, constituents need solid proposals of how they will materially benefit. 

Talking about “heritage” is a good start to set the tone, but the looming reality is we have jobs we have to show up at, bills to pay—and that’s what informs most of our actual actions.  European roots are just an abstraction for the typical suburban White American.  The way forward is to remind them how they are living in exile and can be forced to run away again at any time, how affirmative action turns their jobs into nightmares, how immigration legal or illegal crushes their wages, how the law fails to protect them from colored criminals and punishes them more severely, how their taxes fund the very parasites they struggle to fend off…

The mistake of speaking to principles and responsibility is no one actually wants those things.  Being principled and responsible is tough and in the modern workplace these behaviors are not rewarded, or even crushed and punished instead.  Nobody cares.  Successful politics offers people something they want.  The common complaint about the left’s successes is they give out “free stuff.”  Well, that’s exactly what a successful faction is supposed to do for its people.  If you don’t get a share of the plunder, why bother?  A political movement that spouts empty platitudes about individual responsibility while leaving its ordinary backers with empty pockets has already lost.

Heritage, tradition, cohesiveness, self-improvement, and responsibility are the legitimate language of nascent neo-tribes and cells of activists for whom loyalty and cooperation matters most—but it has no place in mass politics. 
Dissident activist groups already form a sort of cultural aristocracy, a tiny handful who make international headlines every time they appear in public.  As a vanguard they have a powerful ability to nudge the ship in the direction they want it to go, but they can’t forget—they are not the ship.
Most of us are still stuck on the 20th century idea that every successful idea must become a mass movement.  In the 21st century, there is a strategy for the cultural aristocracy and a lowest-common denominator approach for people who are just worried about paying the bills.

Both the counter-cultural aristocracy and regular people alike must understand how race, class, and culture intersect.  If there is excessive focus on race, the upper classes win by simply dividing the races against each other and making them fight over the crumbs.  It blinds identitarians to important institutional divides.

A video came out recently showing a white man abjectly begging police for his life as they scream contradictory instructions at him and make him play a life-and-death game of Simon says until they have an “excuse” to pull the trigger.  The guys who shot Daniel Shaver after treating him worse than an animal were White themselves.  But anyone with common sense knows the real color of a cop’s skin is Blue.

I have wanted to vomit in my mouth a bit every time I’ve seen right-wingers heaping praise on police and the military.  I’ve been perplexed at their sense of shock every time the institutions have turned on them.  Had they understood other factors than race, they would have known the enforcers of the system are their most natural enemies.
This is in fact an area where the alt-right and black lives matter share common ground.  These groups are also natural enemies but perhaps both could set aside their differences where the police are concerned.

Successfully pursuing identitarian interests will require just this kind of diplomatic nuance.  A group with an incorrect or incomplete model of reality can easily be triggered into counter-productive and self-destructive actions.  By indulging in delusion, the establishment left has been caught in a downward spiral since Trump came down the golden escalator.  Now their energies are consumed by feminist witch hunts, race-politics in sports, and obsession with fever dreams of impeachment.  Entrapment in that blinding haze of rage, panic, and pain is a fate any faction would wish to avoid. 

Dissident Success Requires Cities

I too get a certain sense of delight seeing a map of the “Hillary archipelago” a few blue counties drowning in an immense sea of red.  Yet I still remember that LA, NYC, or Chicago areas, each easily outnumber all the population of the mountains, northern Great Plains, and the Great Basin combined.  The vast stretch in between Reno, Salt Lake City and Omaha up to the Canadian border has possibly less than 10 million in it out of a country of 330 million.  If not for provisions protecting small states built into the constitution, these outlying provinces would be politically irrelevant.

Even aside from overwhelming quantity, cities have been the natural generators of culture, art, and ideas since the beginning of civilization.  It is a common sentiment in the dissident right to be disdainful of the city, and having lived in cities, I vehemently agree with most of their points.  I only disagree with the conclusion that the city ought to be written off and surrendered.  On the contrary, the goal should be to take the city back.

When you have millions of people who can hop on a subway for a few bucks and see each other within the hour at any time, you can have groups of even highly unusual types of people that can meet up regularly.  Nobody reaches their full potential alone.  Throughout history look at any group of contemperaneous authors, artists, or thinkers and usually they all knew each other or at least corresponded.  These social circles generally had to form in cities.
The internet made the fluid real-time formation and exchange of ideas possible outside of urban areas for the first time, but this interaction remains abstract and ghostly until it is consolidated by regular interaction in person between people.  In the countryside a nascent high IQ counterculture is usually too diffusely distributed.  The city allows for the concentration of a critical mass of neo-tribalists in close proximity where they can interact and their energies can be amplified.

We will know the internet dissidents have fully transitioned into the real world not just when they have rallies, but when there are urban neighborhoods people associate with their identity that have their own public events and meeting places.  There are, however, the circumstances we have now that make cities ridiculously overpriced, unsafe, and dirty.  The dissidents might begin as a rough urban enclave bringing improvement to a small area but with long term goals in mind of how cities ought to be managed to maximize civilizational creativity.

Firstly, we should reflect on the problem of unproductive underclasses flooding into urban areas.  A properly run system wouldn’t allow this.  The poorest will always be crushingly poor no matter where you put them.  Productive people produce far more wealth if they have easy access to urban areas.  It does not make sense to even allow underclasses near the cities.  By simply occupying space, they drive up prices for scarce real estate.  This is compounded by the fact that any place they congregate becomes uninhabitable for law-abiding cooperators.  Even worse, crime spreads outward from these dead zones and further contributes to making cities into violent undesirable sinkholes people work a job in and then flee from at 4 PM.

In a righteous empire, the city should be seen as a desirable privileged place that non-rich cooperators are rewarded with access to, not a third world hellhole.  Obviously every city has many lower IQ jobs that need to be done, but that just requires an orderly, properly vetted working class preferably with higher IQ and conscientiousness than their work strictly requires.  Every person who lives in an urban area incurs a significant opportunity cost for society if they do not need to be there or are not the best choice to fill their scarce spot with.

When skilled professionals making six figures start living in their employer’s parking lot, we already know society has seriously mismanaged its resources and infrastructure.  Just think of all the wealth that gets wasted in a huge bonfire as people compete for scarce access to the economy’s machinery!  When poor planning and a dysfunctional undercaste prevent wealth producers from reaching the means of production, it’s kind of like cells getting blocked from processing oxygen by exposure to cyanide.

Of course, the main structural problem of cities in all times and places is they are “gene shredders” as Spandrell calls it.  Civilizations rise as the brightest and most capable congregate in cities and declines as they fail to breed or are massively outbred by the peasantry and underclass.  The automobile and with it the modern suburb allow people to participate in the urban economy while still reproducing at near-replacement levels.  Real light rail systems would be a lot better still.  Thus admission into the suburbs also must also be carefully controlled to have a sustainable high agency urban society.

In the longer run, I hope new technologies might even make cities less important and allow people to live outside of nodes on a narrow grid that are natural chokepoints for rent-seekers.  The obvious strategic problem with modern mega-cities is their huge vulnerability to attack.  Having all the best and brightest in one spot of course means it’s not that hard to decapitate an entire civilization with a single strike.
So long as the city remains the center of modern human power and organization, any dissidents require at least a foothold there.

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