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Category Archives: economics

How We Get to an Alt-Center

Both the alt-left and alt-right are populist but attack the elements of the establishment most pertinent to their interests.  I have repeatedly noted, that if their platforms were combined into a single agenda, we would have an alt-center that comprehensively rejects the establishment.

As astute commenters have pointed out, a major culture and class divide separates these dissidents.
The working class alt-right and the upper-middle class alt-left progressives revile and distrust each other but my calculation is that they will be forced to work together.

The alt-right has scored some major victories but finds itself stalled in need of some kind of push to go further.  They need one more group to make a coalition that can put politicians directly loyal to them into office.

The alt-left meanwhile languishes at the bottom of the heap after Bernie was shot down and their attempt to install Keith Ellison as a compromise party leader was soundly rejected by the establishment core.

The progressive white males who are the heart of the alt-left have been humiliated at every turn and are asked to sit at the back of the bus by brown people and single women with no hopes of realizing their agenda of punishing wall street and the military industrial complex, or relieving the stranglehold of student loans. This state of stasis getting none of their demands met can’t last.

These scorned progressives may vote for third parties trying to start an independent movement.  This already happened to some degree in the 2016 presidential election.  Bernie voters defecting to Stein and Johnson certainly played a role in Hillary Clinton’s historic defeat. 

Of course, if they did not even have the power to get leverage within a coalition, they certainly can’t accomplish much on their own.  Alt-leftists simply by being higher class are relatively few in number.  Voting for third parties, they would hate to admit, is a tacit confession that your votes are on the table, inviting a bigger coalition to throw you a bone and take you in.

My prediction has been that necessity will force all white males into the same coalition.  When you have poor alt-left millennials with useless degrees looking for jobs in urban areas they end up competing with other ethnic groups for scarce low-skill jobs where the cost of living is highest.

Even a lifetime of indoctrination is irreparably damaged once you realize everyone stops acting nice and abruptly drops the platitudes when bread and butter are on the line and they all play favorites with their own kind.  Progressive whites find themselves trapped in the same hell at their coffee shop or adjunct teaching jobs as they do in the democrat party.

They are assigned lowest status even when working part time at minimum wage.  This insult is finally too great a hit for the egos of the sons of engineers or lawyers to bear.  They are living along the faultline, getting ground in between clashing tectonic plates with nowhere else to go.  Eventually they must snap and sure enough, we have seen a disproportionate amount of political violence from exactly these disgruntled progressives.

So far, they’ve just lashed out in a panic, unable to really grasp the contradictions that have condemned them to suffer.  Any kind of widespread movement, though, lasts because it has some promise to increase the status of its followers and achieve their objectives.  If the left-progressive movement does not benefit, or actually hurts its believers, they must migrate or else leave behind a failed ideology.

As they start to explore the wilderness, they’ll find the alt-right and dark enlightenment waiting for them.  Some have already begun to experiment with being “edgy” and “fashy” to suddenly realize that there’s a way to status and influence outside the infernal volcanic rift they now live in.  As the way out of their predicament becomes clear they’ll be steadily squeezed into another camp.

The fundamentals of self-interest are stronger than class or ideologicial animosity in the long run.
Once these groups are stuck together they’ll find they belong together.  Both factions are dominated by white males who have been designated the collective Satan of the national religion.

The alt-rightists were also white men who were no longer getting enough status and access to desirable women or prospects of family formation.  Instead of trying to petition for a piece of the action in a mainstream political coalition they went out into the wilderness and began to clear a pasture for themselves hoping as all rebels do that some female groupies might follow them. 

Perhaps because the alt-rightists rejected the shibboleths of the conventional discourse from the start, they could not delude themselves, as alt-leftists have that they have a place at the table of the orthodoxy.  The clear path to success always was to ply the cool rebel angle to get mates and status.  Now that the alt-right is meeting with some success despite the best efforts of the establishment they suddenly find themselves defining the new cool of the 21st century.

The alt-leftists can already perceive that the coolness of the rebels has paid off better than trying to be “good” white men in exchange for getting their issues addressed.  Coolness is what they lack most.  Even many of those who have good tech jobs or are in academia still struggle to get laid and even what little they have left is being taken away.  

The few politicians who align with them aren’t cool either.  Bernie Sanders is likable but not cool. Elizabeth Warren is shrill and only slightly cooler than Hillary Clinton.  The only remotely cool alt-left-leaning politician is Tulsi Gabbard and she is a part-Indian, part-Polynesian female from one of the least white states.  Progressive hipsters would find themselves sorely disappointed even if Gabbard somehow got real power.  She, like rabid black muslim Keith Ellison, does not represent them.  

By 2020, it will be clear to even those in deep in denial that their attempt at a mainstream movement is dead.  There will be no Sanders, Warren, or Gabbard running for president except as a third party spoiler.  They’ll get to take a back seat yet again as an establishment matriarch like Kamala Harris easily captures the democrat nomination.

The massed in-group nepotism of every minority tribe packed into one coalition is finally too much.  The more the European-American population shrinks the more strongly it will be pushed through the process of ethnogenesis as the weight of the earth transforms loose sand into rock.

Those who doubt this should consider that African-Americans regard themselves as a single people despite descending from hundreds of different tribes scattered across thousands miles of coastline, desert, and jungle.  White-Americans will be no different as they are placed under siege.  Instead of slavery, being attacked from every side will be the crucible in which they are forged into a single people. 

As these pressures mount, the alt-rightists will be forced to jettison their own cargo of cognitive dissonance.  Many of them look to the Reagonian 80s with worshipful nostalgia just like corporate-backed republican puppets.  Somehow, even as rebels, they still sing hymns in praise of the “free market” and trickle down economics after 30 disastrous years of plunder and kleptocracy.

Those that come from a more sophisticated libertarian background, gulp from the same poisoned chalice.  No matter how the free-for-all is justified right wingers are easily cucked out of their birthright as multi-national corporations thrive.

As with the alt-leftists, I count not on a mass epiphany arrived at through reason to change their minds, but the relentless lashings we all receive from harsh reality that grow ever worse until we finally change our ways.

The issue that will finally force the alt-right to abandon their old assumptions is free association for white Americans.  They’ve been against affirmative action and illegal immigration since the beginning but they don’t yet understand where this will lead them.  

As their platform congeals, a neo-tribalist alt-center begins to take form.  From the necessity of in-group preference they will learn that unfettered competition is not society’s highest goal.  In the present year, the mere mention of social safety nets or mutual aid on the right begets a frenzy of primal rage.

Like Pavlov’s dogs they have been well-conditioned.  Every time the bell of redistribution rings, some of their food is taken from them and given to other dogs as they receive a nasty electric shock.  So naturally, they snap viciously at the cage bars whenever they are triggered.  It will take some time and a sense of security for them to begin to overcome their trauma.

As an unchallenged cultural territory is established a new tribe can begin to discuss what role the financial sector or the weapons industry should play.  They will finally be able to talk about job training and apprenticeship in a way that makes more sense than credential-hunting that destroys the savings of the middle class and makes even the lucky graduates indentured debt servants of their employers.

The alt-left is actually ahead of the curve and more imaginative than the alt-rightists but they still don’t quite get the urgency, that alt-rightists understand deep in their guts.  We’re faced with a fight to survive right now and until existence is secure, struggling white college grads will never get any help with their loans and the “too big to fail” banks will never get properly punished.  Only when all the white male populists are forced to fight back to back in battle will we see all their issues addressed within an alt-center that leaves behind the fake dichotomy of left and right.

Defining the Alt-Center: Neo-Tribalism

An alt-center is not moderate—it is alternate—that is, opposed to the discredited establishment.  It doesn’t try to be exactly in between, grey, or neutral.  It is a synthesis taking the best of different mindsets and ideas to put together the pieces in a way that makes sense.  

The alt-right understands that people are not equal and can be categorized quite accurately by race, ethnicity, sex, status, and intelligence.  It is hamstrung though by favoring the continuation of a Hobbesian nightmare and tragedy of the commons.  Many vanilla republican politicians would readily agree with this stance when it comes to economics and social policy.  In this respect, the alt-right is not alternate.

The alt-left understands that you can’t have a real society unless people have a sense of belonging and investment.  People cooperate much better if they know there are safety nets if they stumble.  It is hamstrung though by failing to understand people vary widely in character and capability.  An indiscriminate system of aid quickly degenerates into a tragedy of the commons.  The alt left is not alternate in this sense because plenty of the the entrenched technocratic elite share their egalitarian views.

Both alt-right and alt-left retain ideological ties to the conventional platforms they’ve departed from, so in a way of thinking, alt-center, can be thought of as a true-alternate point of view that reaches on both sides and snips the last ties to prevailing political traditions.

On the right, the propaganda of rugged individualism and not taking “handouts” is used to manipulate atomized consumers into letting corporations and wall-street run rampant.  The left shrewdly critiqued this view by coining the term “corporate welfare.”
On the left, the shrill politics of victimhood combined with socialist attitudes is a cynical ploy to drain resources from the republican middle and working classes to buy the votes of a teeming underclass that depends on their largesse.  The right astutely points out that the leftist elites are trying to “elect a new people” through mass immigration and welfare babies to keep them in power forever.

An alt-center rejects poisonous propaganda positions from both fake sides.  It is a complete rejection of the authority of rulers who have long since lost the mandate of heaven through their incompetence and greed, whatever irrelevant side of a made-up spectrum they claim they’re on.
The alt-center recognizes these ideas are just deception used to herd political opinion by parasite-kings and prevent any dangerous(to them) mixtures of ideas from taking place.  

Is free healthcare a “left-wing” position when we’re just giving it to members of the tribe we identify with and jealously witholding our wealth from openly-declared blood enemies?  What made this stance left-wing is that it was charity without judgment.
Is it “right-wing” to adopt protectionist trade policies when doing away with “free competition” to make sure the newly created jobs go first to people in good standing with the tribe?  What made this stance right wing was competition without context. 
When we no longer assume an atomized society, to even ask these questions is meaningless.  We find ourselves with something different.

Alt-centrism then might be called neo-tribalism, an authoritarian system that maximizes liberties and benefits for cooperators with basic safety nets for all members, generous formal privileges for the best, but treats outgroups as other countries, or within the context of empire as auxiliary associates who are explicitly 2nd class.  More important than individuals becoming billionaires would be the ability of society itself to preserve wealth and build assets.

The neo-tribal alt-center understands there is no more nation-state in an age of instant mass communication where hardly anyone farms the land and where we live as semi-nomads drifting from job to job.  People, not lines on a map are the territorial borders.  Wherever the people set up camp their nation resides in them.

Combining The Alt-Right and the Alt-Left

The populist rebellion against the establishment presently comes in two main flavors, the alt-right and the alt-left. 

Of these the alt-right has met with much greater real world success so far for it is heir to years of internet dissident thought, which while considered right wing cares little for conventional political parties.  The alt-right discourse has tapped into the anger of the working classes while guided by a priesthood of savvy students of human nature.  Alt-lite civic nationalists market a less threatening entry-level brand to normie republican voters who then are given tacit permission to radicalize until some of them progress to the alt-right where the ideas are formed and taken to their logical conclusions.

The alt-left is still being formed from increasingly disillusioned white middle class progressives who have typically affiliated with the democrat party or third parties.  Some of this cohort freak out and go off the deep end into nutty socialist utopianism and impotent activism as a coping mechanism but others realize there’s something incomplete in how they understand the world.  They begin by reading a bit about the dark arts and soon find themselves falling as Lucifer fell.  One day it hits them: the nepotistic minority groups who pushed them out of their own party are a major reason why we can’t have nice things.

As things stand, the alt-lite and alt-right often see themselves as rivals and the to the extent they know about an alt-left, they’re just more enemies in the direction they’re told to always punch.
I’ve observed, though, since I was watching Bernie Sanders’ efforts in the primaries last year that populists on both sides of an obsolete political spectrum possess pieces of the puzzle.

For all their sudden and dizzying victories, the alt-right has little idea what to do next.  By decoding the obfuscation of political correctness, they established a superior understanding of the political situation, applied their knowledge, and spent long years gnawing on the roots of the world tree, Ygdrasil. 

The weakness of the alt-right is it lacks any compelling or coherent vision, or even any motivation to establish a functional society.  They indulge in warmed over libertarian theories every bit as fanciful as progressive dreams of US universal socialism, telling themselves they’re going Galt any day now.  Attitudes of personal responsibility, taking initiative, and every-man-for-himself served them well in the days when they just wanted to get laid more but now the question is how to have a society that doesn’t suck to begin with.

To be fair, there are those who grapple with these problems and their prevailing impulse is to try to go back in time to a more traditional society.  We see pickup artists getting grey hair, losing their youthful horniness, and suddenly wondering what to do with the rest of their lives.  They end up advocating for traditional family and marriage they never had any interest in—making them eerie parallels to feminist relationship and marriage advice columnists who always seem to be divorced and single in their 30s.

Bizarrely, they look to a historically backward Russia with deep social problems, low fertility rates, and millions of Muslims and Central Asians as an example of the ideal white nation.  There are indeed good reasons to admire Putin’s strong leadership and the staunchly nationalist direction he is taking his country, but mayor of a city-on-a-hill he is not.

The alt-right types including red pillers and neo-reactionaries are undisputed masters of understanding the darker corners of human nature but so far they have failed to apply their cynical worldly wisdom to create a viable new culture.  This is where they can benefit from fallen progressives.

The alt-leftists started out believing in all the feelgood ideas about human nature taught by school and well-meaning boomer parents but they went down a path to heresy as the world view they were taught was torn apart by cold and pitiless reality.  As they absorb some of the hard lessons of race, sex, and general human scumminess it dawns on them they’ll never have a nice society until they are selective and give the smart, responsible people most of the power and resources.

The fallen leftists understood even under egalitarian tutelage that hostile elites exert great control by rigging the economic system itself and especially the financial system.  They tried to make sense of their situation, like the alt-right did, by studying history.  I have actually come to think of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years as one of their founding works.  For many middle class progressive kids their first big red pill was graduating from college and finding there weren’t any jobs and everything the schools and their parents had told them was a lie.  So as manospherians studied Ancient Rome to gain insights into feminist cultural decay, unemployed hipsters who took out big loans to get useless degrees read about debt forgiveness in Ancient Mesopotamia.

The key insight the alt-left arrived at was that people need actual incentives to care about society whether we’re looking at hunter gatherers or the inhabitants of the first cities.  An endless war between the butcher and the baker isn’t the basis of the social contract, mutual obligation is.  There was no primitive system of barter engaged in by atomized Smithian savages—instead, credit predates coinage by tens of thousands of years.

Thus, these inquiries led alt-leftists to challenge a core assumption of Marxism—that the market is the central concern of human affairs and religion, tradition, and aesthetics mere distractions compared.
Alt-rightists, including the dark enlightenment, actually double down on flawed enlightenment theories of human motivation when they advocate for ultra individualism and atomization where everyone has to prove themselves from scratch and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps in the market economy.
The way successful human groups really work is by helping each other out, giving the most help to the best but always remembering no one can get far alone.

The alt-rightists though, can teach the fallen leftists the underclasses are the way they are for a reason and most resources given them disappear without a trace.  The most you can accomplish is prevent riots caused by empty stomachs.  Their unapologetic Randian ubermensch self-interest is unsuitable for a society, but it is just the medicine ex-leftists need to get past sentimental egalitarian attitudes, take responsibility, and be willing accept harsh truths.  With some tough lessons, the alt-left can acquire the will-to-power and pragmatism they need to rise above wishful thinking.

When we combine a matter-of-fact understanding of the harsh competitiveness of cruel nature with the principle that societies are made successful by reciprocity and shared purpose we end up with a new synthesis.  We have arrived at the alt-center.

Preventing Dysgenics in a Society With Basic Guaranteed Living

A system of guaranteed basic living above all must avoid encouraging dysgenic outcomes.  Otherwise good intentions make a bad situation worse until within a couple generations the lifeboat of society is destroyed and most everyone drowns.
I’ve already proposed that low IQ people who refuse to perform labor on state aid be sterilized and those who are useful enough incentivized to breed below replacement levels.
I’ve figured that could be done in many different ways including:
-anti-natal religion, propaganda, entertainment
-small living spaces given them
-food rations that don’t completely meet the needs of a kid, making it difficult to feed more than 1 without going hungry themselves.
-free contraceptives.
-free abortions

The more difficult question is how to deal with high IQ people receiving a state living.
If they are pursuing their passions but have little access to the mating market because of their lack of money and conventional status all we’ve done is reconstruct monasteries with celibate priests where we systematically kill off many of the brightest and most curious every generation.

On the other hand, we don’t necessarily want a group that contains many smart but lazy stoners to overrun society with their progeny.
So I figure it would be a sufficient goal for society to try to at least preserve its monastic leisure caste at replacement levels.  Perhaps those without kids would have the option to donate their sperm and have up to 2 kids to be raised by parents who volunteer for it.
Perhaps lower proles on BGL would be allowed to have more kids and with full rations and other goodies if the woman agrees to get impregnated with sperm/embryos from the leisure caste.

Of course, the most successful leisured creatives should be assured reproduction well above replacement.
Looking back on history, one of the greatest examples for me of elites’ lack of imagination is they did not seize men like Michelangelo, Newton, or Tesla and set them to stud.  None of the kids could be expected to be like the parent but simply propagating those traits would spread the tendencies that formed them.

J.S. Bach, for example, had something like 18 kids.  As it happens, some of his kids and even grandkids were also notable composers.  We can assume his favorable tendencies then got diffused into the general population.  If that’s the general practice rather than an exception, it perhaps starts to have observable effects.

I have wondered often if Confucian examination systems actually bred people to the test in East Asian countries.  After all, the mandarin classes to this day are well known for keeping multiple mistresses.  Their stereotypical study style of memorizing lots of precise information but not necessarily understanding fundamentals seems to me at first glance to support this hypothesis.
I think certain, though, that long-term social policies and customs must affect the gene pool through incentives.  Every system selects for something.

Naturally, a guiding principle for a system with a basic guaranteed living is having kids cannot be more attractive on state living than it is in the market economy.  Or else, like now, you select against the base of people who actually work hard to keep things running smoothly.

One of the main things this society needs to get straightened out is working cooperators need to be treated by the state kind of how a business treats its customers.  They should feel like they are valued every time they show up and put in effort and care.

When most people are just toiling on pain of starvation while they watch their money feed multiple welfare kids and pick up the slack for parasitic feminist and affirmative action hires, they feel like suckers who are being used.  This breeds resentment and sends them the message they are on the absolute bottom of the hierarchy, undeserving of basic security and unfit to breed.

The higher proles and up feel these pressures especially strongly because they are terrified of falling behind in the rat race and eager to get ahead no matter the odds.
The intense competition makes them insecure in having offspring who they produce in low numbers and instinctually hyper-invest in.  Some of that hyper-investment might be an inherited reproductive strategy amongst striver types but its intensity of expression could be alleviated if stressors were reduced.  Just a couple generations ago we see large families were normal.  Helicopter parenting of only children should be seen as a behavior of shell-shocked troops cowering in foxholes under perpetual machine fire rather than normal behaviors in a healthy society.  The same behaviors in lab rats would be noted as a response to extreme stress.

One of the key stressors is lack of time.  Relatively prosperous career couples often say they can’t afford kids.  What they’re really saying is they can’t afford kids if one of them were to stop working and they don’t have the time and emotional energy to raise a kid as it is.  For that matter, careers are so competitive, you can’t just waltz back into one after taking months off—there’s always a whole assembly line of pod people waiting to replace you.  They’re also saying they doubt their abilities to sufficiently hyper-invest in their offspring.  Most of all, perhaps, the scarcity of time and disconnection from supportive communities means the parents must sacrifice leisure, hobbies, and friends to have just one kid.

This complex problem has to be approached through gradually removing stressors and thereby giving working people a sense of stability, reasonable amounts of free time, and participation in something bigger than themselves.  They have to feel that by simply earning money in the market economy they have unquestionably higher status than proles taking out BGL.  Literal-minded enlightenment shills, never seem to understand that low status alone instigates fight-or-flight adrenaline-pumping crisis in humans.  Until we try to make inviting habitats for productive humans as we would do for the lowliest terrarium pets, we cannot go far.

NEETs, Lumpenproles, and the Leisure Economy

This post is inspired from exchanges with Robert Stark of Stark Truth Radio and is part of the lead-up to our next podcast.

I recently proposed that in a post-labor-scarcity state, a basic guaranteed living ought to be available to everyone, on condition they give up most participation in the market economy.  But I also recognize that basic differences among humans must be taken into account.

The majority of humanity requires a clear role and task given them by society to function.  So most people on a guaranteed state living would be kept busy.
However, there are those with good intellects and high levels of personal autonomy who are better suited for the leisure economy.  They would relinquish money like ancient thinkers did and focus completely on their work.

It may sound at first like a fantastic alien social arrangement from an episode of Star Trek with wrinkly nosed aliens-of-the-week in crisp white robes, but we may consider the very common phenomenon of under-employed highly-educated people.
They “live in their parents’ basement” or small apartments and remain “underachievers” working low-paid jobs well into their 30s.  Sometimes we call them NEETs, not in employment, education, or training, even though they may already have multiple college degrees.

They become market underachievers because they value their access to leisure more than careers which are hard to get anyway.  There may be an element of sour grapes in that assessment, yet it is true enough oversaturated competition for “professional” niches makes the whole experience a soul-crushing slog for all but the most “ambitious.”
Part of the torture of “making it” is you spend most of your time for the rest of your life around “ambitious” people.  If it’s not your natural community, it literally siphons off your spirit until you’re a lifeless husk.

I fit this profile myself and there are times when I actively chose a life of hardship and uncertainty.  I worked the lowest jobs to get by, but I also knew I could quit them any time so long as I could save up some money and no one had me completely by the balls.  I didn’t have to care and that, I found, is one of the greatest powers on earth.
The tradeoff is, of course, no one gives you a real slice of the pie in this life until they know you’re invested somehow.  Whether it’s ritual scarification in the Papua New Guinea highlands, “making your bones” in a gang, or overpriced 4 year degrees, it’s all the same idea.  At some level all NEETs are choosing to trade earnings for autonomy.

In my case, I found ways to make even the hours spent working yield some benefit.  Nothing tortured me so greatly as spending my scarce time alive making someone else rich.  Even back when I was a nearly broke wanderer stocking shelves I was listening to e-books the whole time.  I was burning through a 1000 page book every couple of weeks.  I became aware in my time as a NEET working alongside lumpenproles that my psychology and motivations were so alien to them as to make me for all practical purposes a specimen of some other species.

I quickly learned I had to hide I was listening to books and to watch my word choice carefully or I’d be ostracized and treated like crap until I quit and went to the next place.  I practiced this kind of slash and burn employment until I gradually learned how to make enough small talk with even the simplest normies in their own language to keep them from leaping at my throat.

My experience tells me it would be very easy to distinguish lumpenproles and underclass from stoner underachievers with useless degrees.  Most of the time you can tell just by looking at someone or talking to them for 30 seconds or less.  We can pretty safely assume some dude wearing a white wifebeater with his pants hanging down isn’t going to write the next great American novel.   Perhaps there would be various qualifications and shibboleths to see who gets in and in what capacity.

More importantly, the guaranteed basic living for SWPL dropouts with decent IQ would just have to be unattractive to the masses.  It would be tailored for personal freedom at the expense of low IQ creature comforts and that alone would help repel most of those who are not suited for it.

Lumpenproles don’t want autonomy, especially when they must sacrifice security to get it.  Their mentality is the exact opposite of the NEET mindset.  Living under the control of their betters in the hierarchy actually comforts them, kind of like how dogs enjoy being kept in a closed-in cage at night.

Many of them I’ve worked with actually take pride and comfort in working long hours doing simple tasks as the routine gives them a steady place in society and occupies their energies that would otherwise go into daytime TV, drugs, and petty crime.  They really have nothing else better to do with themselves and are happy so long as their stomachs are full of flavored corn-soy soylent and soft drinks.

NEETs on the other hand already spend large amounts of time on video games and TV shows, but they also read books and surf the internet, contributing to the great online discourse.
They already live with one foot out of the market game and would probably be the first to bail entirely if they had an alternative.  The market already fails to harness their energies beyond the barest minimum, even at the gunpoint of starvation, shaming, and incelitude so why not let them channel all their energies into a leisure economy driven by passion rather than demand?

It’s easy for us to think that anything done for free lacks value, but how about we consider what it would have cost to write wikipedia and constantly update it with paid personnel?
The collective activity of the editors, however small or great their individual role created on their own initiative a project that would have cost billions of dollars had it been done as a corporate or state project with market capital.  Sure enough, encyclopedias produced by market forces have been made all but obsolete.  The leisure market effortlessly outperforms the best “competition” can produce.

A leisure economy co-existing with the market economy has made possible immense public resources.  As of now it is the wild-grown fruit of people’s free time.
However, when everyone has to focus most of their energies on jobs, many of which are net negatives to society, the focus and depth to which any one person can pursue a project is limited.  This keeps the discourse at a fairly superficial level and you’ll rarely see something like a book-level treatment of a subject from someone who isn’t getting paid for it.  This is a big reason why newspapers are being driven out of business but books remain firmly under the establishment.

Of course the leisure economy would need some intelligent limits.  Perhaps those who produce more or higher quality work get more freedoms to pursue their passions.  Many would no doubt be useless high IQ layabouts.  Their life of idleness could be strategically soured to provide them some motivation, but we should remember, they’d just be serving coffee if they were forced back into the market and all the state gives them is food, shelter, books, and internet.  Even in these worst cases the leisure economy could act as a pressure valve on wages to boost the prospects of those who are dependent on market participation.


The Leisure Economy

The market economy acts as a sort of spontaneous recombinant system that rapidly evolves possible solutions to problems.  New mutations arise en masse so for any lock you may encounter, you soon have the perfect key in hand.  With superhuman precision, the market decides on the perfect price for every good, down to the last fraction of a cent.  If there’s something people want, the market figures out a way to provide it as a river finds its way to the low ground no matter how many boulders lie in its path. 

The market is highly efficient because it harnesses the natural force of desire as mills harness wind and water with no further effort needed from man.

But there is a limit to the scope of the market’s power.  It can only work with existing components and cannot deal with excessive uncertainty.  Not to mention, that which deals in desires does not always give people what they really need to solve problems beyond basic material want.  Unpleasant truths and tough-but-necessary solutions tend not to sell well.  Nor can the market provide what desirers can’t imagine.

The religious devotion of modernity to the market obscures the understanding of other recombinant systems designed to solve different sorts of problems.  The biggest weakness of desire recombinance is that its function is linear and incremental.
If we are thirsty we want water.  Then we want a container to hold the water in…and so on.

The core shortcoming of powering a windmill with desire is that it’s as basic and elemental as tangible things, as common to animals as it is to people, lying near the bottom of the hierarchy of needs. 

The natural inquiry then is to ask how our windmill is powered as we move up the hierarchy of needs to its pinnacle of self-actualization that is unique to conscious beings.  We end up with something non-linear and exponential, the market of ideas where the main currency is not solid gold but ingots of free time.

Ancient Greek philosophers were not motivated by making money at jobs, nor were they really entrepeneurs.  Yet our present day society has no concept of a productive social role outside the market.

Plato had a school.  Pythagoras and Epicurus lived with bands of followers.  These groups provided for the philosopher’s material needs but they don’t seem to have been rich as we think of it.  Conspicuous leisure to develop the intellect without having to worry about money was itself the mark of natural aristocracy.
In fact, the philosophers looked down on thinkers and speakers who plied their craft primarily for profit.  These ‘sophists’ were criticized for caring about their clients rather than objective truth.  We can easily identify this same problem in our money economy thousands of years later.

This is why throughout history, societies that are poor in learned leisure fail to produce new ideas however wealthy they may be.
For thousands of years, there have been magnificent empires in China, India, and the Middle East yet it was paradoxically the comparatively barbarian fringe of Europe that reached critical mass and exploded with power and creativity like humanity has never seen.

A common pattern with peoples like the Chinese is they had no lack of ingenuity as can be seen with their inventions of gunpowder and the printing press.  
However, unless it was immediately useful in business or government the uses remained limited to low-hanging fruit.  There simply wasn’t the ripple effect of new, more sophisticated applications that we saw time and again with Europeans.
There was no space in their society for the meandering process of experimentation that has uncertain yields, if any.  In business and farming, no one can afford to consider any plan that doesn’t have consistent profits.

Societies that produce enduring ideas have in common a class of literate, educated, leisured people besides government scribes and bureaucrats.  So we might anticipate a successful future social structure will have a formal leisure economy.  Already, the internet overflows with the information and ideas of millions given to all of us for free.  Theories of capital gain have no way to navigate, or even describe this miraculous, seemingly altruistic terrain yet we’re all still stuck scraping for money.

Urban Land Management In A Post Scarcity Economy

This post is inspired from exchanges with Robert Stark of Stark Truth Radio and is part of the lead-up to our next podcast.

A glimpse of the the disordered sprawl of a typical American city from the air, especially the Sunbelt and West of the Mississippi River, tells you everything you need to know about the culture.  The cityscape itself is a Hobbesian nightmare and tragedy of the commons.  A monstrosity that sprang up over-night like a weed.

Except in the very core downtowns, land management seems almost non-existent.  Whoever buys land uses it however they want within the zoning rules and most architecture is rushed.  It can be hard in a town like Phoenix or Vegas to decide what is more disagreeable, grey stucco boxes or the cookie cutter houses with the fake terra-cotta roof tiles.

Because individuals run rampant, it becomes impossible to do anything without cars.  Even public transportation doesn’t work well when the distances are too great and even urban areas too diffuse for any coherent collective activity.
Every single house stands alone with its own lawn.  At the same time all the houses are nearly identical.  In a glimpse, we see the banality and horror of individualism without duty to others.

The price of everyone snatching their little plot is most have to live far away from where they want to go.  Yet every day they climb into their cars, navigate the labyrinth of their neighborhood and then make their way to the same highway everyone else wants to use at the same time of day.

Of course, in America, few people will object much to living far away from the center because they know what the alternative is.
One direct problem of a civilization in denial is the overunning of urban areas by the underclasses.  
The twin threats of skyrocketing property values from making control of land a free-for-all and underclass dysfunction in the city centers creates a perfect pressure cooker that keeps millions of workers stuck paying huge mortgages and car payments for the honor of driving 2 hours each way to work every day.

When we consider it takes 2 incomes to keep up this facade, it’s no wonder the fertility rate of cooperators has plummeted.  They may even have decent money in the bank after all their toil, but they are worse off than homeless bums when it comes to the critical resources of time and energy.

Not only do these harried worker bees struggle to have time to settle down and have a family, they don’t have time to sustain friendships or participate in civic activities.
The setup of the zoned residential neighborhood ensures that they can spend the rest of their lives shuttling between house and job never coming into contact with strangers in a fun and positive way.

When nothing is close to the house but other houses, it creates a dis-incentive to go anywhere.  Any activity outside of the house, even to get groceries carries an extra time penalty that eats up even more of what little is left.

Now that we’ve examined the problem before us, we can see the solution lies in creating pleasant space-efficient walkable areas to live.

In many city centers people live in apartment buildings where the bottom floor is all businesses. Within a block of someone’s flat, they can stop by the pharmacy for aspirin and by the bakery for a loaf of bread.  They get a little bit of exercise, and come into constant contact with strangers who live near them.  The same activities that are annoying chores in the suburbs can be part of a pleasant daily routine where residences are organized around human needs.

This village structure mimics natural habitats peoples have lived in for thousands of years.  Urban sprawl as we know it, on the other hand has been around for barely 70 years and in that short time has contributed to the civilization-wide collapse of commonality and culture.

Clearly, the village structure where commerce and residences coexist in a walkable core should arise as the new unit of urban organization, even as we get further from city centers.  That way, they aren’t as far and they are compact enough that public transport remains practical.

I was already very skeptical about American cities after seeing Argentina and Europe but what really demolished established ideas for me was the several months I lived in Ansan, South Korea as an English teacher.

The town was planned out as a suburb of Seoul during the rule of the dictator Park and didn’t even become a city until 1986.
This town that’s younger than me now has 700,000 people in a roughly 5×5 mile square.  Even so, it didn’t feel crowded and there were parks and greenspace within easy walking distance of downtown.  In 5 minutes, I could walk from my apartment on a busy street to fields of flowers and follow a path by a river where I’d frequently see large herons fishing for prey.

Just as it’s obvious the typical American city visually represents a cacaphony of individual wills colliding, it was clear from one look that Ansan was planned out and built as a single project.

In some areas nearly identical apartment buildings were built like a line of dominoes and had big numbers painted on them.  This wasn’t appealing visually and felt alien but as I got to know the place I saw it was a superior system.  I found multiple high rises were often organized around central courtyards that spontaneously became community common areas. 

I’ve never forgotten walking through these squares and seeing little old ladies putting out red chile peppers out in the sun to dry on blankets.  People were going going about their daily chores in public like they actually lived there.  It was mundane details like this that made me realize how screwed up things were back in the USA where everyone is afraid to go outside and suffer the scrutiny of their neighbors. 

Because thousands lived in high rises, there were always green areas nearby.  In the other direction would be city streets with occasional small grocery stores and internet cafes.  Every 5 or 6 blocks, there was a heavily commercial street with restaurants, bars, and shopping.  Because of this, few residences were more than 10 minutes walk away from a wide variety of services.

The use of space on the commercial streets also intrigued me.  In US cities, it’s usually just the street level that has businesses.  In Korea, I saw four story buildings, each with businesses on every floor.
It blew my mind how half a strip mall worth of rented office space plus parking lots and bland landscaping was put in a single building instead and repeated down a whole city block.  This compression made it so that one block could serve the needs of thousands of people living nearby without feeling congested.

This also made it so enough activity was concentrated in one place that it felt like an active community with plenty of things to do.  This to me was in especially stark contrast to the lifeless and sterile American-style suburban sprawl.  To top it off the Korean suburb’s size made it practical to connect to the big city.  When I got off work on the weekends, it was a 40 minute train ride into Seoul.

My experiences in Korea, the US, and around the world showed me that more control, not less, is needed for a modern society to thrive.  Nations like South Korea and Chile that greatly improved their fortunes both had dictators set up the framework their current democracies grew into and that is likely a common factor in their successes.

In the case of land, it is abundantly clear by now that it cannot be treated like another commodity.  The amount of land never changes and its primary value for most people in modern life is strategic rather than economic especially when it comes to cities.

Barely a century ago, most people were still farmers and our ideas and laws about land still reflect that.  What we need to consider is that very few people now make their living off the land itself.  Land in modern life primarily determines where people can exist in relation to jobs, services, mates, family, friends.

Thus, the main objective of modern urban land management is to keep life near cities affordable for as many productive people as possible with high quality of living.  It should be treated as a basic means of stimulating the economy and incentivizing people to bring forth the next generations of society’s cooperators.

While I’ve been influenced by living in a real-life example of a planned city, with a little imagination we could do it a lot better by enforcing high aesthetic standards,  for instance making each high rise distinct, yet part of a unified theme for the whole town.  I also recognize, that city centers have historically been “gene shredders” with net negative fertility.  This state of affairs was more sustainable in an age where there was always a countryside brimming over with armies of new young people fresh off the farm.  In our present reality most people now live close to urban areas.  That’s where all the jobs are and that’s where the young women go.

 In a modern civilization, the city has to become capable of sustaining and propagating human life for the first time in history.  Where urban sprawl was a new invention that made ancient problems worse we must now figure out how to make urban life demographically sustainable.

Much US Dysfunction Comes From Post-Scarcity Denial

Critics of ideas such as basic income see the very idea of it as a far-fetched fantasy, or at best a depraved scheme of “big government.”

In reality though we are already a long way down the path to becoming a post-labor-scarcity economy.  Between schools, prisons, universities, social security/medicare/medicaid, disability money, the military, welfare and foodstamps, subsidized employment for people on welfare, and actual government workers, a substantial portion of the population already spend most of their lives as post-scarcity wards of the state kept out of a shrinking, over-saturated private sphere.

The trouble is delusions of “free-market” primacy and blank slate superstition prevent any constructive conversations about reality from taking place.  The result is a choking algal bloom of strange dysfunction.
In the effort to keep up appearances only the squeaky wheels get the grease.  So we end up with a perverse situation where the lumpenproles, single women, and low IQ ethnic minorities get never-ending generous help.  This help comes at the expense of responsible people who are still trying to cooperate with society.

Smarmy talking heads have orgasms gloating about how “average is over” as the schlubs who keep the lights on and the trains running on time get steadily cut out of the game.
The funny thing is, for all their evangelism for a hyper-competitive, rootless technocracy, they never seem to have the slightest suggestion what is to be done about the average people who have no place in their shining ideal future.
Their shallow talk is just social signalling behavior tailored to associate themselves with the above average Elect.  They don’t really care what happens to the rest of the “useless eaters” because once you let yourself think about it the problem becomes pretty obvious.

If you have no plan or intention to give people a role in society with no stopgaps to gradually phase them out, you pretty much have to starve or shoot them all sooner or later.  The “average is over” geniuses seem to think everything will always go smoothly since the recycled aps and websites they make have been doing well for the last decade or so.

The way out of this dilemma, besides the ruthless culling of hundreds of millions is to accept the reality of where things are headed and try to deal with it constructively.
Ironically, many of the same SWPLs who barely flinch at the idea of exterminating everyone below the upper middle classes quail and shriek at the very thought that people are objectively unequal in just about every way.
To them, their fake piety is sufficient penance to handwave away any ill that may befall others.

It’s not until we confront the problem and get our hands dirty to divide people up decisively into categories that a realistic post-scarcity society can even be spoken of.  Resources have to go to where they will do good in the long run, not just where the most urgent momentary flare-ups are.  A ruling order that must play a more distributionist role has to discriminate.

Through one of history’s great social experiments, that lasted more than half a century, we’ve proven beyond any possible doubt that the hapless underclasses in ghettoes and trailer parks will never rise above their base misery.

We’ve proven the proles will never have the wherewithal think far beyond lotto tickets, smokes, and pickup trucks they can’t afford.  When they get money beyond subsistence, it goes into jetskis that get used twice a year, junk that mostly sits in the garage, and trips to disney world.

We’ve proven that women dislike work that doesn’t have some kind of element of attachment to people and nurture no matter how much money and encouragement they’re given.

We’ve proven the middle classes will always fall for the next credential-boosting scam spending their life savings hoping to raise their kids up another little notch and tie their windsor knots that much tighter before meetings with the pointy-haired boss.

We’ve proven the values of the skilled upper middle class and upper managers are totally unfit to rule a society.  They have decent intelligence but little heart or imagination.  Under pressure they wildly swing between teary-eyed sentimentality and account-book callousness in the worst possible way, just like the French revolutionaries.

The Great Social Experiment has accomplished great good in the long term perhaps if it has shown our descendants for all time that all the wealth, power, and creativity in the world disappears as if down a black hole if it is not invested in people who produce and preserve wealth.

The goal is no longer an “even playing field.”  We have to figure out who to give a head start based on their odds.  Like a good casino owner, we want to keep our regulars and our high-rollers coming back rather than screwing them over, or even kneecapping them out of envy for their superior abilities.
In the supreme irony that marks for us the justice of inequality, if the house takes good care of its best, there’s enough left over for the rest to at the very least stay alive.

State Capitalism in the Internet Age

In 21st century societies, we must consider the commanding heights the state must jealously guard also consists of social media, search, and online retail.  The lords of facebook, twitter, google, and amazon are gatekeepers of communication with enormous power over culture.

While anyone would be wary of government control over these services, the obvious approach is to maintain these systems without interfering with their function.
They were developed in private shops just as the telephone was but likewise cannot remain solely private.

Social media in modern society is part of the basic communication grid like landlines are.
Would we rather have government or Zuckerberg with power over the telephone service?

Since we consider telephone a utility, how about we ask the same question about other utilities?  What if Zuckerberg could turn off your water or electricity if you say something he doesn’t like—Total Recall-style?
In real life, facebook is a private business that can refuse service.  The only real deterrant against dictatorial control is the potential for poor service to encourage the rise of competitors.  

However, when there’s an entrenched monopoly it is much harder for a correction to take place through market forces.  This is why, even though governments are flawed, it’s necessary to have firm regulations in securing these vital arteries.
For many, facebook is almost a prerequisite to participate in normal society.  Imagine if the DMV could refuse to issue you a driver’s license because they don’t like you!

The core problem is that some services are natural monopolies.  We refer to many of them collectively as “utilities.”  It makes sense to have an electrical grid, railroads, waterworks, sewage, trash under one organization.  These are domains where the barrier to entry is high and where bottlenecks mean competition can clutter or even cripple the system.  The last thing anyone wants is 20 different companies building competing pipelines or powerlines.

On the internet, no one wants to go back and forth between 20 different search engines. I’m sure plenty of readers here remember switching between webcrawler, altavista, askjeeves, yahoo, and about a dozen others before google got in front of the pack and never looked back.

Who looks back nostalgically to a time when you couldn’t get amazon’s low prices, unequaled variety, and numerous product reviews?  Remember when people got movies and video games hoping they’d picked something decent?  Or back when many people got thick consumer reports magazines in the mail?

Perhaps even more importantly, amazon’s natural monopoly of internet retail has become a platform for countless small merchants and authors.  Why not just make some regulations to prevent abuses and keep this mostly the way it is?  The government could even use amazon as a dial to control incentives for a micro-merchant economy.

It’s good to let a natural monopoly be, but as we can see with water or electricity, we can’t play the market game of price discovery.  The solution is to have the state regulate prices, allowing the monopoly a modest profit.  To some this might sound like some kind of commie plot, but just think for one second what the electrical bill would look like without government price controls.

Beyond prices, we should consider that an area’s water supply can’t be switched off on a whim.  Even when people don’t pay their bills, there must be fair warning.  This strikes no one as being outlandish or communist.  We intuitively understand that basic infrastructure must be protected by special rules.

While the natural monopolies of the internet are mostly free for users, we can see there are still prices in a less tangible way as we depart from an enlightenment-materialist mindset.
If we extend the anti-abuse principle we realize there must be strict anti-manipulation policies for social media and search just like there is for the stock market.

On Twitter, shadowbanning, promoting the tweets of dectractors while burying supportive tweets, or manipulating the list of trending hashtags aren’t that different from insider trading. One party rigs the game for unearned monetary profit, another tries to manipulate a collective culture to serve a private agenda.
Both are means of subverting the entire society.
Some kind of government SEC would watch over natural internet monopolies and punish those who try to cheat.

What cannot be allowed is for these private mass entities to run rampant with no control at all.  Even if we have a perfectly selfish ruler who just wishes to stay in power, ceding control of the commanding heights is dumb and suicidal. 

When was the last time the electric and water companies were a serious threat to the power of the state?
What about social media tycoons, big banks, the insurance industry, or the military industrial complex?
The answer speaks for itself.
The ruler who does not control the commanding heights creates a free market for the control of government.

Some Form of State Capitalism Is the Future

When faced with real emergencies like the Great Depression and World War 2, governments around the world, regardless of ideology behaved with the same tendency.  From the Soviet Union to the United States, the state exercised great direct control over the economy.  When things get tough, every economy leans towards becoming a command economy.  We know we’ve stumbled on a constant of government when everybody does it.  

Free market apologists who see all control as communism might point out how the Soviets were forced to allow privatized farm plots.  But they ignore the importance of anti-monopoly laws, inventions from NASA/DARPA research, or the highway system in the US.  Rather than one extreme or the other, there’s clearly a spectrum between control and freedom and the goal is to find a golden mean.

The ability of the market to self-regulate and create spontaneous solutions makes it valuable as an RandD department for society.
Plus it’s better and easier to let the crowd decide on the price of eggs than have some overpaid state bureaucrat do it.

State capitalism then allows the market to do what it does best while controlling the “commanding heights.”
This means, you don’t let the finance sector control the banking system, foreign billionaires buy up utilities and newspapers, or let competing railroads be laid down in different gauges by competing companies.  If you have a strategic commodity like oil or natural gas, you don’t leave anything to chance.

Free market capitalism, on the other hand, allows market entities to capture and control the commanding heights.  Then the parasite load predictably spirals out of control until basic needs like healthcare are both low-quality and crushingly expensive.   At this point, this kind of system becomes an anachronistic, dysfunctional embarassment.

What’s worse, is laissez faire capitalism has been tried before in the USA and failed every time.  Yet it somehow escaped becoming discredited as communism was. In the 1890s people finally had enough after the gilded age of robber barons culminated in yet another economic crisis.  Then, when laissez faire economics returned in the 1920s, the result was the disaster of the world-wide Great Depression that became a major cause of WW2.
Today, a sprawling US Star Empire spanning an entire continent and careening toward the 400 million population mark with every known alien race represented on its city-planets finds it simply no longer has the luxury of failing to govern itself.  If it does not change of its own volition, emergencies will force it to change.

Meanwhile, all around the world, various shades of state capitalism preside over rapidly growing economies with governments that aggressively pursue the national interest.
In stark contrast, free market nations are stagnant at best, allow a pan-national elite to indulge in banana republic exploitation, crushing wages with off-shoring and the never-ending mass immigration of hostile peoples. 

The leaders of state capitalist countries commonly have approval ratings over 80% while it’s typical for the do-nothing US congress to have under 20% approval.  The last French president–I’m not sure how that’s possible–had less than 10% approval!  It is not hard to see in which direction the future lies.

On A Basic Guaranteed Living

The very idea of a basic guaranteed living is regarded as heresy in a Western society that worships the market economy as Aztecs worshiped eclipses.  Both societies had ritual sacrifice, but we try to rationalize it away as “creative destruction.”

The moment we consider labor as a resource that can be stockpiled like grain, coal, or copper, it’s hard to think the same way.  If we want a wealthy, resilient society, then it makes sense to pay, feed, and train people right now so they are available when needed.  After all, we usually pay for a can of soup first and put it in the pantry before we actually get hungry.

Once we begin to toy with this mindset, we see that when the God of the Market is installed as lord of Olympus, it becomes an alzheimers-ridden invalid stuck in the eternal present, the vagaries of the stock market the tremors of a frail, arthiritic hand.

If we thought about the economy in real life like we do in computer games, we’d spend much of our resources preparing society to weather disasters and last the long term.  Militaries already behave a lot like this, obsessively drawing up plans for every contingency.  Why not build things and train people thinking about how to win the game?  Isn’t that a more engaging mission than “economic growth” for its own sake or looking for the El Dorado of “full employment?”

Why not pretend like we’re establishing a Mars colony and make it a national mission to massively back up all critical infrastructure, making it as durable as possible, in addition to pristinely maintaining what we have?
Why not train twice as many electricians, plumbers, developers, and garbagemen as we actually need and give them half the time off?  Then, in a rare emergency, abundant reserves are always ready to spring into action.
Why not prepare for the size of the economy remaining the same or even shrinking so its natural fluctuations, or planned movements are no big deal?  Surely an economy that collapses into chaos without infinite growth is stiffly unable to maneuver in changing situations.  Like a limb stuck in a brace, when forced to move, it breaks.

Instead, we force people to find the most frivolous ways imaginable to play at shuffling around economic tokens on pain of starvation, even if the activity or its externalities are a net negative to society.
Millions of people go through the motions of make-work pretending an obsolete way of life can waltz on even as it falls apart.  This prolonged denial of reality benefits the very upper and lower ends of the spectrum while everyone else is punished.

Why not reward the people who get trained in valuable skills and contribute with fewer hours?  In our present system the most productive have to do more work because a laissez faire free market only supports just enough personnel.  Why not reward the good kids who reliably get stuff done with less homework by overstaffing instead of saddling a few of the most productive people with all the work they can handle?
When the best players on the team are too busy to have families because of the competitive rat race, society is doing something wrong.

Why not do things the other way around and have low IQ people on state welfare kept busy whenever possible, even if it’s picking up trash, sweeping streets, or mowing lawns?  Always more of that to be done.  They’d have to constantly pursue those endless daily tasks to get their guaranteed food and state housing.

Of course, some might not be amenable to working at all.  It’s hard to force people to do things they don’t want to do and inhumane(and politically damaging) to let people starve.  So those who would receive state benefits but refuse to put in their fair share would be allowed to do so but have to undergo mandatory sterilization.

I imagine another condition of state guaranteed housing would be that like soldiers they must go where they are needed(though it would only be humane to keep families intact).  Perhaps the worst of those both lazy and dumb would go to camps in Alaska where they’d have enough nutrition to live and cable TV until they die.

I have considered before that the problem with the market as we know it with all its gaudy gadgets, brainless fashion, boring aesthetics, and planned obsolescence is a natural result of allowing dumb people too much participation.  Not to mention, many capable people working 60+ hour weeks don’t have the time and energy to be discerning customers.  Workers with more money than leisure are relegated to being mere consumers.  If this were remedied, everything from boots to books would be higher quality.

The low IQ population on state benefits—even those doing useful work—would mostly get basic food and housing with a very limited monetary allowance to prevent them from corrupting product quality.
This would also put up a barrier to stop people who are subsidized by the state redefining the low bar of market competition to the disadvantage of those who paid for everything they’ve got.

People with their needs met by the state spending too much money would distort prices just as we already see with the devastating impact of easy loans and insurance on housing, college education, and healthcare in the USA.

This way, we’d effectively have a labor force with deep reserves that can handle sudden shocks.  The economy would be able to grow, maintain, or shrink as best serves the needs of the whole society.
Anyone can choose to get a basic living from the state, but in exchange, access to money, freedom of mobility, and freedom over time is limited.   Those taken care of by the state only fit for menial work are kept busy.  Those both dumb and useless would be sterilized.

Higher IQ people living on state aid might be given substantial free time, extra perks, in proportion to their abilities but strategically worked and challenged so they don’t get completely lazy and become idle shutins.  If they have creative talents, perhaps they are paid by the state in time by having to do still less hours of state labor and given whatever equipment they need.
Also, instead of having an army of social workers dedicated to the most hopeless and despondent, why not have a task force of therapists that specialize in properly socializing smart omegas?  I once saw a video about people in Japan who actually do this and introduce shutins to the adult world.

There is also, of course, the problem of underclass fecundity.  Several methods could be used together to discourage breeding.  One possibility I could think of is that a child of parents on guaranteed living would get rations sufficient to perhaps 80% of its needs.  The parents would have their first kid and watch the amount of rationed rice they have left over diminish.  Even the dumbest of humankind are generally responsive to the implied threat of food scarcity.  Also, state housing might be restricted to about 500 square feet, a method that seems to work well with hipsters.  Then flood the institutions they use with relentless anti-child propaganda though this works less well with the least permeable minds.
There may be those that keep trying to pop them out no matter what and if not stopped they get selected for and like an antibiotic resistant strain, propagate quickly.  Maybe there would be a hard 2 kid limit for those who don’t get the hint and if they try to disobey get mandatory sterilization.

There would be abundant programs and “halfway houses” to get people back into the market economy again whenever they want.  Besides being relatively uncomfortable and with fewer freedoms, the greatest enforcement against abusing the system would come from human status competition.  Having money would have even more status than it does now, because not everyone would have it.  Without money, one’s social standing would be crushingly low.

This would be very intentional because the post-enlightenment neo-tribal state recognizes that status is sexual capital that allows men to get desirable mates.  Then, that access to resources allows couples to house, feed, and protect children.  There would be a tacit understanding that a dollar bill should only go into the hands of someone you want to see more of in the next generation.

As with any system, I’m sure I could spend a lifetime hammering out every loophole, dysfunction, and weakness bound to be exploited by parasites and free-riders, but these are my initial thoughts on what a post labor scarcity economy might look like.

On A Post Labor Scarcity Economy

Traditional economies assume that everyone always has a job they could and should be doing and if that’s ever not the case, you have the government tweak a dial here or there.
However, the industrial revolution has made production so efficient that it’s no longer necessary or desirable to try to mobilize all available labor at once.  This is a good thing.

An economic system with no way to preserve surplus labor is like a worker living paycheck-to-paycheck.
It’s like a plant that gets only just enough sunlight through a thick forest canopy.
Or a bear that is still lean in the autumn months when the demands of hibernation are nigh.
Surplus is a key part of strategy throughout the natural world so a model that assumes surplus must not exist is incomplete.

We can see the silliness of total employment even in the present scope of human societies by looking at militaries. Armies go decades at a time without anyone to shoot at.  They mostly deter conflict, like nukes, by simply existing.  There’s no demand in peacetime for skilled soldiers yet every year thousands of troops are trained to fight and kill in combat they may never experience.
Surely free-market advocates have never dreamed of a greater and dumber display of waste.  If the all-knowing and all-wise market had its way, there would be no soldiers, tanks, nukes, or jet fighters in peace time because there would be no demand for them. 

We can also consider how “free-market” states like the USA have generous agricultural subsidies.  Without a state safety net, farms might start to go out of business after a few bad harvests, leaving good ground fallow, spiralling needlessly into famine.  

A die-hard laissez faire capitalist might disapprove, but no matter a state’s rhetoric, security and food supply are two things rulers can’t screw up.  Mesopotamian kings in charge of the very first states thousands of years ago still had to successfully manage the army and the granary.  Even the Soviet Union had to swallow its pride and quietly privatize just enough of its farms to get by when ideology didn’t work in the real world. 

By reducing to basics we see the obvious place of a state as the brain that dictates the survival strategy of the group.  Without a central nervous system, the group is driven abruptly extinct by the first shock it encounters.  A population of millions left to its own devices behaves like bacteria in a petri dish.  
Enlightenment thought, obsessed with the individual, forgets how the society itself loses consciousness and individual agency if no one can agree to work towards common goals. 

There’s No Such Thing As “Free Markets”

Whenever I hear someone start to toss around phrases like “free markets” and complain about “big government” and “regulations.” I know I’m likely talking to a libertarian or neo-conservative shill making excuses for crony capitalism.  

The idea that there can be “free markets” in an anarchic capitalist society is a clever joke—a reality that dawns at some point on idealistic anarcho-libertarian undergrads that want to say they believe in something that sounds cool to say.  One day in between bong hits, it hits them—who pays taxes if no one makes them pay?  If you have no taxes how do you stop military invasion from even the most mediocre states?
Anyone pushing these ideas after age 30 are likely either fools or just sociopaths who want less rules so they can try to screw over everyone else.

Markets cannot exist without a state that uses the threat of force to guarantee property, profits, and contracts.  Thus the state has the implicit prerogative and responsibility to control the market.

Imagine what would happen to the local grocery if all police and soldiers disappeared.  The grocery would be forced to hire the local gang to defend their merchandise and before long, that gang would become the new state getting protection money(taxes) in exchange for their services.  Then, the guys with the guns, of course, get to call the shots.  

If the grocery owners hatch schemes to bleed the rest of community dry for their own benefit, the gangsters start to lose out on their neighborhood protection rackets.  The furious gangsters respond by threatening to shoot the store owners if they don’t follow certain rules.  Thus, we get regulations, which no market lacks.  The market itself is regulated into existence by the gangsters’ guns.

Even most “free market” ideologues can’t claim to believe in actual completely free market.  They usually recognize the need to prevent monopolies and try to have a “level playing field.”  But they are slippery and try to blame the centralization of wealth into monopolies on “big government” ineptitude and corruption.  In fact, power tends to centralize over time whether we speak of political bodies or business enterprises.  In real life, big, powerful government is the only thing that keeps markets competitive.

The market is one of the most powerful and flexible tools known for organizing and channeling the creative power of humanity.  Used properly, it can give rise to prosperous nations.  But it is first a tool to improve society, not an end unto itself.  Business exists to serve the people and is fundamentally subordinate to the needs of the tribe.

When businesses are allowed to do whatever they wish while enjoying the protection of armed men, the state creates and aids the growth of competitors for its power to rule.  The market is a dangerous tool that must be handled with firm discipline.  

If the gangsters grow soft, the grocery store competes with them for money that would’ve gone into taxes and eventually has its own armed men.  If the gangsters lose the ensuing struggle, the grocery store becomes the new government.  Then the grocery store has to worry about staying in power just like the gangsters did.  

The worst possible state, actually, is when the market is let to grow out of control with no responsibility for governing.  Then business, which should be enriching the neighborhood becomes like a brood of writhing tapeworms bloating the collective body even as it starves from within.

There will always be corruption and ineptitude in government so long as governments are ran by people, or even by machines programmed by people—and therefore infused with human bias. It has been argued endlessly if government is good or bad.  What cannot be debated is whether government is necessary and those who try to say otherwise in favor of business are most likely traitors.

Extreme Individualism Is Why Whites Don’t Run Hollywood

Every day, message boards flare with rage and envy at successful groups like American Jews, blaming the situation always on conspiracies, never on their own shortcomings as a people.
Why, they wonder are half the supreme court justices, authors, famous scientists, all the movie studios Jewish?

Though Jews have an advantage in brains on average, there are so few of them, this alone can’t explain their dominance.  With tens of millions of whites to draw from, there’s no shortage of people who could compete with them, if they had decent teamwork.

Part of the formula for success is rich Jews identify members of their community with potential in the long term and get them the money and loans they need to focus completely on projects that interest them.

There’s no way the individually competitive white community would identify someone brainy and eloquent, then allow them sometimes to putter around into their 30s before there’s a payoff.  That’s pretty much the life story of Bernie Sanders.  He probably wouldn’t have become a US senator if he had to focus his energies on a 9-5 job instead. 

Extreme apex ventures like professional acting, writing, art, politics, academics, journalism are too risky and too expensive for atomized individuals to participate in.  That just leaves an open field for a group that backs each other up and makes investments in developing their own human capital.  

If a group doesn’t want to show up for the game, they can’t complain when they don’t win.  Then the cohesive team of people who took control of all the high risk/high reward ventures secure immense power over society.

What’s sad is white society didn’t always believe “every man is for himself,” “the world doesn’t owe you anything,” and “you have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.”

Alexander Hamilton comes to mind as a good example.  He grew up in the Caribbean as an illegitimate kid.  His mother, strapped for cash, died when he was still young.  In our current society, he’d disappear into the foster system and dysfunctional public “education” never to be heard from again.

In an ironically less backwards 18th century, the local property owners noticed Hamilton was extremely bright, mature for his age, with an excellent work ethic.  They trained him in the sugar cane export business and then as he continued to show promise, pooled their money to send him to university in New York.

The community support that Hamilton benefited from would be unthinkable in modern white culture.  In fact, with jobs that pay even the simplest living now scarce, workers take perverse joy in someone like Hamilton falling through the cracks.

They love to waggle their fingers patronizingly and say  “Look how I pulled myself up while that smart guy turned out to be a loser.”  A quick glance at reality TV shows us how taking pleasure in watching others fail while we are safe serves as porn for both sexes.

A culture of extreme individualism devolves into the backstabbing and treachery of royal court politics until nothing gets done and no one cares anymore about real accomplishment, just “getting ahead” through “networking.”  The greatest object of scorn is the poor cuckold fool who gets things done and the most admired the clever manager who takes all the credit for it.
No wonder even the most popular fantasy story, Game of Thrones, takes place in a world where no one is good, everyone ruthlessly schemes in a royal court, and all things magical and fantastic lie dormant.

Meanwhile, the Jews see someone like Hamilton in their community and give him a chance.  Maybe he turns out to be a loser after all or just doesn’t quite make the cut for the big time.  But if the gamble pays, they have a US senator or an A list actor that’s from their own group and now owes them favors.

Success stories in developing human capital teach us apex ability at anything requires identifying talent early and giving it direction.

Alexander Hamilton was running businesses by the time he was a teenager.  David Farragut was responsible for ships by the time he was 12 years old.

By age 18 after 12 years of public school boredom, smart kids have already had much of their potential wasted and millions of them have already checked out from a senseless and stupid society that gleefully wastes their time.

Much of this stupidity comes from the failed religion of equalism.  In the 18th century most people had the common sense to understand that the most talented people have superior genes and surpass other people at an early age.

In some ways their society had more opportunity precisely because it didn’t buy into equality.  If a 12 year old could perform at an adult level, he just might get a chance to rise to his potential.

Until white society rejects its failed culture of atomized competition, they will always be the puppets of smarter groups who can work together and promote their own.

They can blame the Jews and pogrom them all tomorrow but the next day, someone else comes along to fill the vacuum and dominates them, again beating them bloody with a riding crop as they squeal in impotent rage through a ball gag.  
And there they stay trapped in humiliating servitude to more cohesive tribes until they change themselves.

It’s the Chinese handcuffs of culture.  As soon as white society finally examines and changes its attitudes, cultural autonomy suddenly becomes effortless.

Most Wealth is Wasted in Modern Society

Of the massive 15 trillion dollar per year US economy there is undoubtedly some millions that comprise the fake plant industry.  
Fake plants serve to accentuate the soullessness of your typical office or waiting area with a parody of nature.  The materials and labor that goes into them serves no essential purpose nor does it make anyone happier.  What then is the point?

Why not just have fake plant makers stay at home with basic income if they’re wasting time and resources?  The system works by most people being forced to sell their labor(not everyone can be entrepeneurs) so they have food to eat and rent for their landlords. Why do we assume all labor must be good when every other living thing rests when it can?

The other side of this equation is consumerism that operates on the Keynesian assumption that all economic activity is worthwhile, and the more of it the better, no matter what.  And if you ever doubt it, you’re a commie or worse, a socialist!
This encourages an economy based on make-work that gets people a paycheck so they can buy more stuff without anything of value getting done.

So if I were emperor I might outlaw the manufacture of fake plants.  Maybe there’d be a black market for them and maybe fake plant dealers from time to time would get a whipping in the public square or get pilloried and pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes.  

At the very least it would make fake plants more expensive and lower quality so fewer people would bother.  Being  a worthless “good” that no one really likes, there would be no Al Capone of fake plants.

Growing up in the 90s, I saw the social order of consumerism at its absolute peak.  Even people of modest means lived in decent-sized houses and their garages were invariably full to bursting with thousands of dollars worth of frivolous toys they never used.
I remember getting taken to house parties with my parents and seeing whole collections of the brand new DVDs worth hundreds of dollars that just sat there in glass cabinets, never removed from their plastic in houses that were so fastidiously clean, they didn’t even seem lived in.

I would get a feeling of dread and black depression in the pit of my stomach.  I could sense it was signs of sickness and decay though I couldn’t articulate or explain, even if someone in the smugly triumphalist 90s would have listened to such talk.

I reflect on my childhood and remember how most people given more money than they need to live just blow it all on stupid fads and status signalling anyway and are just as miserable and greedy as they were before.

Actually I perceived a thinly veiled cynicism, viciousness, and jadedness pervading most everything, even in other kids, who would’ve slit a throat for more Abercrombie and Fitch apparel. There were no loyalties or values, just things.

I remember those times as the worst and darkest of my life even though I spent my 20s perilously close to going completely broke as I had to teach myself the laws of real world survival from scratch after getting a worthless degree.

For all the pain it has caused, I actually think the challenges of the 21st century have forced people to reflect again on what is really important in life—and discredited the corrupt 1960s cultural revolution.  In some ways, it would have been the true nightmare if that on-paper prosperity had gone on forever.

Giving the commoners excessive wealth through the labor market or by welfare is like inflating the college degree or home loan markets.

The trouble in understanding this lies in enlightenment delusions of “perfectly rational” human behavior.  Or in other words assuming that people will always strive to improve their situations in a stricly pragmatic material sense.

In reality, beyond getting basic necessities met, most people just care about attracting desirable mates, making friends, and starting families.  
Humans as social animals are hardwired to compete for social prestige by any means necessary.

Like many other animals we see in the wild, human males try to build bowers and put on courtship displays to impress females.  Females spend most of their time and money acquiring accessories and grooming their plumage to impress the best bower builders.

As the level of wealth rises in society, the bowers get bigger and the accessories get more elaborate.  The dark side of this is if you don’t jump on the fad wagon and compete with the Joneses, you get left behind or even cast out from society.

Eventually you have a society where social signalling with more expensive houses, cars, and credentials puts all the wealth in the world straight down the toilet.

Human status is relative to what other people have and that’s why those who say “But US poorz is better off than African Kingz cuz they’re fat and they’ve got microwave ovens.” are full of crap—and they know it.

So if I were emperor, I would put restrictions on what kinds of houses are legal to build.  No more oversized houses with shoddy architecture and cheap materials that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

I would insist on durable materials suitable for the climate at reasonable prices that are large enough to do what’s necessary, especially anywhere near the cities where land is scarce.  It wouldn’t even take that long to phase out the current generation of houses that are considered “old” after 30 years.

There would be no more luxury cars for commoners.  No more hummers and pickup trucks on the road(unless you live off-road, have a farm, or a small business).  Excessively big vehicles just force everyone else to get bigger, more expensive cars if they want to survive a collision and consume ridiculous amounts of gas.  For 99% of people it makes more sense to rent a uhaul for the day if they need to move some stuff.

The credential factory universities wouldn’t get free money anymore and would have to answer directly to market forces.  They would probably just go back to being a socialization service for the upper middle class and up.

I would also abolish all employment laws concerning race and sex, granting peoples complete freedom of association.

I would make it legal to use IQ tests or other aptitude tests for employment to make a huge chunk of the bloated credential economy obsolete overnight.

I’m sure some who read this will choke with indignation at this “infringement of individual property rights” etc. etc. But I really see it as more mundane than that.  No different than rules against business owners burning down their competitors’ shops or building codes that limit how high or prominent signs can be.

A clear basic duty of those who control the guys with guns is to keep competition at all levels of society within healthy limits so they in turn can compete with other groups of guys with guns.

Let’s imagine for a moment that we take away those building codes.  Overnight, restaurants would build ever larger, taller, more brightly flashing signs and decoration to get attention even as the quality of the burgers they’re selling plummets.

This is exactly what happens when a population has no rules of social competition.  It simply escalates out of control until the most fabulously wealthy society in history is mired in crushing debt and most people are living paycheck to paycheck.

The core problem is that we actually idolize the social order of endless escalation that is destroying us.  Like countless empires before us that squandered their inheritance, we will find ourselves suddenly vulnerable to barbarian incursions from every side and our ability to unite, fight, and trust in our fellow man utterly extinguished in the endless war of all against all that we worship.

Until we rethink our basic assumptions about wealth and human nature, we are like Tantalus doomed to be thirsty and hungry though surrounded by all the wealth of the world, satisfaction always just out of reach.

Perhaps, we may even begin to dream of heresies—would living in a basic mudbrick house and a basic car be bad if we didn’t have to worry about basics of life like healthcare?
If you can’t buy a McMansion or lame crap like fake plants, and you don’t have to worry about becoming a debt slave for life if you trip once on a flight of stairs or slip in the shower, suddenly the unthinkable might occur.  The urge to get more money even if it destroys your entire society, might just diminish and economic activity become limited to where it does the most good.

The Backwardness of Consumerism

Many of the same people that worship free markets and everlasting economic growth also express indignation at the arrival of millions of immigrants.
What they fail to understand is the immigrants are a natural result of their ideology. A system that just grows wealth and tries to speed up the circulation of wealth at any price cares nothing for peoples or their silly customs.

In its calculus, there are just countless individual consumers keeping the machine turning over.  It matters not where the consumers are from or whether they have friends or families unless, of course, it results in them buying more products or changes their commercial preferences.  The primary importance of a baby of course is that it consumes little jars of baby food and lots of cute outfits it soon grows out of.  If the baby’s food was made at home out of cheap basic ingredients and its wardrobe minimized, it would of course hurt the economy.  Someone somewhere would lose a job and upon learning of it, a free market acolyte somewhere else would quietly cry into his pillow at night.  What more heretical thing could such a man imagine than less movement of wealth actually benefiting society?

If banding together with others reduces their market expenditures, breaking them up into atomized individuals stimulates the economy on paper, producing like clockwork the greatest good for the greatest many in the best of all possible societies, happily ever after.

If the growth ever slackens, the collective mood darkens, politicians get voted out of office, and economic pundits look flustered over graphs of acronyms.  This happens every few years or so until a “stimulus” or the “exuberance” of the masses manages to get the gravy train of progress back on track up towards the sky.  That’s the fundamental problem with all schools of the progress religion.  Sound systems are first engineered to withstand the worst conditions, not just to stand up when the going is good.

The medieval European world could operate with some commonsense restrictions on finance, limiting the importance of loans in the economy, a mindset that would be unthinkable now.
A turning point may have been reached in Europe when a feudal military that could lay dormant when not needed was made obsolete by professional standing armies.  This is when the financialization of society really took off with monarchs locked in a competitive race to pay for their wars of economic attrition with each other, which ultimately destroyed their power.

In the real world we see groups with simpler economies based around tribal identities like the Amish, Hutterites, or Orthodox Jews effortlessly thriving while the average citizen of the empire they live in can’t afford a single child after rent and car payments, not to mention, the uncertainty of employment that allows them to sustain what they’ve already got.
You would think their closer participation in the growth economy with all its outstanding “financial products” would put them far ahead of such backwards folk.
It is perhaps the consumerists who live a backwards existence dominated by the caprices of the ticker tape.

The free market types understand very well that trust underpins the value, of money, bonds, pretty much all securities.  Yet they can’t comprehend that if you want people to raise the next generation they must feel secure and trust there is a future.  If you want anyone to care about a society they must feel invested in it somehow.  
When you have a nation of freelance mercenaries, the first storm to come along reveals its fatal structural weakness and sends it crumbling to the ground.

When we understand this basic problem we understand how Obama represented the established system getting one last chance to fix things.  They failed, so from now on, the reaction to consumerist dystopia dominates the discourse.
It is no longer enough to present charts and claim that x line went up by 1% to establish state legitimacy. No one cares. Until people see wealth that is effectively managed in their interests, they will not stop.

A Trumpist populist movement that begins with people who just want jobs and borders might end with people asking “What is the purpose of wealth and production?”
“Are some forms of wealth creation more valuable than others?”
As soon as people begin to face these questions, new frontiers fly open.

At present, the only alternative we can imagine is a disastrous centrally planned economy.  This example is used to brainwash us into submitting to a market machine that churns out things without any plan at all.  What if we considered that free markets are to economies as direct democracies run by mob rule are to governments?
What if we considered guiding society’s use of wealth with a larger vision rather than endless production and consumption for its own sake?

The Cancer of Consumer Capitalism

The United States is the wealthiest nation on Earth, perhaps even in the history of the world.  Yet if we go to the nearest grocery store we can see an endless flow of haggard, overworked people trying to make ends meet.  The culture of the US is one of lonely “individualism” with most people locked in desperate competition with each other, to the extent they interact with their fellow man at all in any meaningful way.  Despite  all the new clothes, cars, and houses, fewer people have children or see a worthwhile future every year.
The US is the ultimate example of how the way a society uses and stores wealth is more important than how much wealth it has.

The cause of America’s contradictions is its holy ideology of consumer capitalism, the ideas of the 18th century enlightenment with its worship of the rational individual, of Bentham, Marx, Smith taken down a slippery slope to their ultimate absurdity.
What we end up with is an entire society based around the principle that more is always better.
There are no questions of mission or purpose.  There are only hundreds of millions of rational interchangeable agents making decisions of pleasure and pain every day.  Whether the outcome is optimal or even desirable at all, is a question that cannot even be framed.
We are told relentlessly that it is the best of all possible systems and that the invisible hand always knows what’s really best for us.

If we read about 15 minutes of history common sense makes it clear that societies are organisms that compete and cooperate in complex ecosystems. Individual humans are rather like cells in these social bodies.  What one person does affects everyone else.  A society made of purely self-interested people is a body riddled with cancer cells.  Rapacious enlightened individuals, like cancer cells hungrily guzzle all the glucose they desire for a time, until the host expires, or in its weakened state is killed by an opportunistic rival.  Then the rational cancer that thought itself God unceremoniously dies along with the body.
Enduring societies have to consider the good of the body first.  For if it dies, all the concerns of the cells are rendered moot.
The insistence of consumerism on everlasting growth is to prescribe cancer as the remedy.

Nothing grows forever and ultimately lives within its finite bounds.  Working within these limits is the mandate of living things.
Resilient natural systems make the most of scarce resources while our system is devoted to getting as little benefit as possible from even the most unimaginable abundance.
A wasteful system like this one assumes the good times never end.  It has no goals and simply burns up what it gets.
A resilient system has set goals that it tries to achieve as effectively as possible with as little energy as possible.  Then it shores itself up against times of scarcity and disaster.  What energy isn’t spent supports rest and leisure, the reward for a job well done.

Living in a consumerist society is to live on a treadmill.  Since there is no purpose there are no tasks to be done, only endless work that can never be complete.  Worse, the work must be endless or else the entire system collapses overnight.  Millions of people live lives of desperate dependance on jobs they hate stuck most of the time with people they despise so they do not starve, become involuntary celibates, and become disowned by their fair-weather friends and family.  It’s a special kind of hell that favors the insane and this is what we think is normal.  It is a comfort that this sort of depraved system cannot last.

See Also: 
Lack of A Long Term is the Problem With Capitalism

Competition Between Societies: Desert Plants vs. Garden Plants

Civilization is Natural

Strategic Laziness

Our universe tends towards entropy and chaos.  As complexity of organization increases, resistance rises exponentially, like trying to force two opposing magnets together. (It’s always megafauna, T Rex or Mammoths that go extinct, not E. coli)  Looking at the natural world here on earth it’s quickly clear that every living thing expends as little energy as possible to persist.  Lions with full stomachs sleep most of the time, desert toads hibernate for years in between rains, birds with no predators lose the ability to fly over time. Nothing works harder than it must.  The more complex and energy-intensive the solution, the harder it is to sustain.

Trouble arises, though, when you’re a flightless, fearless dodo perfectly well adapted to your environment and suddenly humans show up. Or likewise, you’re a fit dinosaur species but prove unable to cope with a nuclear winter caused by asteroid impact possibly combining with volcanic eruptions to form a perfect disaster.  Evolution alone can’t plan ahead or anticipate rare catastrophic events.  This is why I think some living things have been pushed towards higher levels of awareness despite its massive costs, so they can be strategically lazy spending as little effort as possible while avoiding the dangers of only responding to constant, familiar stressors.

 The peacock’s tail is one of my favorite examples against the infallibility of nature.  It’s a natural pattern we see often in corporate, governmental, civilizational bloat.  All that sacred competition gets you something that maybe looks pretty but is a worse-than-useless burden sucking huge amounts of energy.  It teaches us that the patterns of civilizations and corporations are every bit as natural as the rippling of sand dunes.  Perhaps the most devastating doctrine of the enlightenment was to hubristically treat man and nature, not only as separate, but as opposites.

When I was about 12 years old, I was responsible for weeding the yard.  Trouble was, there were more seeds constantly blowing in from the desert and most of the lot was dirt and gravel that was perfect for them.  I well knew that even going over the whole yard with a hoe a couple times a week wouldn’t accomplish much.  In a few days, new sprouts were coming up everywhere.  In fact, killing everything just favored the worst sort of thorns that hugged the ground in choking vines, and dropped thousands of their sharp barbs that deflated basketballs and stuck in shoe soles by the dozens.
I noticed at the same time that a lot of the desert plants had pretty flowers, lacked thorns or sticky leaves, and had roots that were easy to pull up if I needed to.  I started what I then called “selective weeding” and let the desert weeds I liked flourish while punishing the thorn vines and the russian thistles that turn into tumbleweeds.
Before long, there was a colorful garden of desert flowers outside my bedroom window alive with the buzzing of bees.  The thorn plants were not even 1/10th of the problem they used to be once they had competition.
Of course my parents eventually asked me why I wasn’t doing my job.  I tried to explain what I was doing, but no one listens to a 7th grade kid trying to avoid work and I was told to take care of it.  So knowing full well what would happen next, I went out and uprooted my experiment.  Soon enough, the thorns were back in force despite our best efforts.
This was a formative experience that influenced my world view ever since.  I learned the futility of sustaining a vacuum against equilibrium.
I later saw the same problems I encountered doing childhood yard chores over and over again in 6000 years of failed human governments.  At some point there’s always well-intentioned policies that try to defy the equilibrium, end up favoring the thorns, and the rest is history.

I came to realize as I grew up in a frantically workaholic American society that nature in fact favors laziness.  An animal at leisure is well-fed and prosperous, a creature that must always work is failing at the game of survival.  It helped explain to me the widespread stress and misery of what should be by all rights a prosperous and happy land.  Constant labor tells us on a gut level that we are always on the brink of starvation, however many mansions and cars we may own.  Some of us become adrendaline junkies while others get ground down into burnouts that just go through the motions.  Whatever someone’s station, there’s just an interminable “job” never a tangible task that has a beginning and an end after which one enjoys the fruits of a job well done.  That I realized is the peculiar insanity of industrial civilization—a trap of Sisyphean futility most are stuck in until they’re dead.
As I approached adulthood I came to understand there was no luxury on earth greater than the power to simply do nothing.

The basic problem of modern civilization is that it favors extravagant solutions arrived at through extreme, specialized competition like the peacock’s tail.
A sense of minimalism, strategic laziness, yields simpler, more resilient, more adaptable solutions.  
Even when gatekeepers force peacock competition with a strategic bottleneck, the payoff for finding a low cost workaround or substitute is very high.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brexit Reflections

I was taken by surprise last night to learn that the brexit referendum passed.
It makes little sense to me that the UK would quit the EU when they can get what they want while still enjoying membership benefits.

If immigration is what concerns them most, land-locked countries like Hungary with much less influence have been successful in enforcing their own rules while remaining in the EU.  How much easier would it be for the island UK, a major world economy with huge clout to do the same and get away with it.  Whether it’s keeping out/deporting Pakistanis and Poles or avoiding bailing out broke Greeks, the national government can do what it needs to and the rest of Europe can react as it will.  That’s pretty much what Viktor Orban has done in Hungary.
The “bureaucrats in Brussels” so often derided as international tyrants can’t make Britain do anything it doesn’t want to, except threaten them with what they just did to themselves.

That’s what I don’t get.  If the underlying problem is British national leaders failing to act, then quitting the EU will just make things worse and not solve any of their problems.
If this goes through, England will lose Scotland and maybe have new conflict in Northern Ireland. The English will have to renegotiate trade deals across the planet with far less leverage than they had before. I don’t see how anyone, rich or poor gains from this.
This is a huge mistake especially when much smarter strategies were available.
Hopefully they have a revote or it gets hung up in parliament.

I sympathize very much with the people in the UK voting ‘leave’ since they are reacting to so many problems that are tiresomely familiar in the US. I know how it feels to compete for jobs against foreigners who depress wages and who are allowed to hire preferentially while people of my ethnicity are not. The injustice of being sold out by the elites of your own people is infuriating. But I suspect the British public is falling for a scam by scapegoating a council of paper-pushers in Brussels instead of bending their own leaders to their will. They have much in common with the movement growing around Trump and Sanders style populism in the USA, but I don’t see a pragmatic guy like Trump making stupid self-destructive trade moves that defy common sense just to spite “the globalists.”
That said, I hope this serves as a warning to the EU, especially Germany that it has to change its policies if it wants other nations to cooperate. The Germans are the dominant economic power in Europe but they have overplayed their hand nevertheless. I am hoping this will lead to the downfall of Merkel’s equalist enlightenment school of politics and to the emergence of a “Europe first” mentality.
If Germany and Brussels bureaucrats do not change their ways, they may lose the EU and once these kinds of things fall apart, they cannot easily be put back together.
If this situation spirals out of control, with other nations following Britain’s lead, we need only fast forward a few decades to see the re-emergence of wars between European powers.

Neo-Tribal Mercantilism

Territory on a map, while important, always has been an incomplete indication of actual power.  Many a sprawling country is composed of mostly mountains and desert.  Land is in the crudest sense just a box of earth and air to contain the real source of a group’s power and identity—its people.  After the emergence of rapid transportation and mass communications during the 20th century, geography no longer means what it used to. We no longer spend our whole lives in a single farming village, immersed in a strong communal culture by default.  No one place is inhabited by just one group.  Even Utah, the holy land of a world religion isn’t even composed of 2/3rds of the faithful it is meant for.  Representatives of every people are found nearly everywhere. We might live in several different cities in a single decade going wherever there are jobs.  The capability of movement invites us to play a lifelong game of arbitrage, going wherever we can get the best deal.  As such, political secession based on geographical affiliation is an obsolete idea.  Lines on maps matter less than the invisible lines between class and breed.  The nebulous things we now call “subcultures” begin to coalesce into something more concrete.  The future leads to neo-tribes that rely on no particular place for identity.  The idea of secession will come to mean cultural and economic separation rather than political and geographical.

In less than a century we have transitioned from being farmers to semi-nomads who drift from place to place with no ties to physical territory or traditional cultures that come from peoples who spent centuries in one place.
Scattered nomads must compete for scarce resources but we aren’t yet allowed to fight directly. There’s still a strong state that maintains a strict monopoly on violence, its functionaries oblivious to fundamental changes.  Under a seemingly placid surface of law and order, emerging factions endlessly trade passive aggressive barbs.
When neither war, nor control of land, or even elections decides conflict between groups, conquest and pillage is wrought through the quieter means of economics.  Commerce becomes war by other means.  Instead of launching invasions, colonies are established by dominating real estate and desirable job markets.  From this struggle to control wealth we see the rise of neo-tribal societies from the ruins of monolithic 19th century nationalism.  Everyone who captures wealth is no longer just a free agent, they become steadily more aware that they are soldiers on the battlefield and every gain they make is also a gain for those most like them.
When we pick up a penny on the sidewalk, we capture a unit of wealth.  If we imagine wealth as territory, the Empire of You has expanded by an amount of value worth 1 cent.  Money can be created any time, out of almost anything, and is just a means of exchange, but whether tender is backed or fiat it represents control over forms of wealth constrained by scarcity.  You have that much more force to bring to bear in pushing the world towards your vision.  Whatever group or culture you are part of also gains by that same amount. This increase in strength represents a loss for your enemies.   For you and your tribe every penny is a tiny piece of ground captured after a charge across noman’s land under machine gun fire and artillery.  Wealth is dear because every scrap of it represents victory against all the opposition in the universe—the pitiless impersonal forces of nature and one’s fellow man.

A Fair Caste System

A caste system can only be just if most people perceive themselves as having a fair chance to find their rightful place in the social order.
In our current system, someone very bright and capable may simply come from a poor neighborhood and easily fall in between the cracks.  In many ways, “free” Western societies already have rigid arbitrary caste by birth but those in polite society and credulous schlubs who want to “get ahead” just make believe that it doesn’t exist and call the dividing rifts visible at once on any color-coded city map by any other name.
Westerners can play this game of make-believe simply because there are “soft” forms of enforcement rather than formalized prescriptions enshrined in law but the reality is the same.

I’ll begin with an example of one thing the present society gets right:  Public libraries in every neighborhood.  Anyone who’s curious has access to information.  Book stacks are a bit out of date, but I notice most libraries are reducing their collections and making room for computers. This is a move in the right direction. It should be obvious in the 21st century that free public access to the internet is essential to any society at all that wants to consider itself fair.
And of course lending of e-books helps untie public libraries even from physical location and the limitations of space.

There are some things that would have to change with public libraries/internet access. Disruptive people just looking for someplace warm, with no interest in knowledge do not belong there and would have to be thrown out, though someone clearly engaged might be allowed to spend the night. An upside of a lack of equalism is there would be a clear sense the venue exists in service of its proper patrons. Public computers perhaps ought to be in cozy booths so people could browse with a comfortable sense of privacy for long periods of time.
The book collections would need to be reworked. As they are now, public libraries are loaded mostly with popular fiction and light self-help books. A correct sort of public library would have a clearer mission: to provide everyone the same opportunities to access valuable information. These public libraries would not exist first to cater to the popular taste, but to give a route upward to those of potential in every neighborhood.
This would mean an emphasis on skills and disciplines, critical thinking, history, and philosophy. I remember distinctly how in my life the public library would never even have a single book on computer programming. Perhaps libraries gave up having books that were valuable and therefore got stolen!
Also these kinds of valuable books remain closely guarded by monopolies and tend to be strategically overpriced for students.

Reviving a common institution in the ancient world, public baths in every town could contribute to social fairness.
Once I was an adult taking care of myself, it was obvious rent was the expense that dwarfed all others. I immediately thought of reasons why an apartment was necessary. The first that came to mind was being able to take showers. It’s impossible to find and keep a job to get money without personal hygiene. That stood out as one of the top ways people can be forced into paying rent. It occurred to me that there are truck stops and swimming pool and healthclub memberships but this is a very limited infrastructure for something that should be available to everyone.
Public baths would make it so even people living out of their cars could stay clean and provide a place where people from all the castes to socialize in a relaxed atmosphere and establish a sense of social unity. It would be a blow to the power of rent-seekers.

Another institution would be to set aside abundant public land in key locations for tent occupancy or even makeshift houses rented at a pittance. Also important would be free/cheap long term parking spaces for cars and RVs. Only people of good character and social standing would be granted permits to use these resources. These would not be allowed to become free zones of underclass misery. The main purpose would be to create a safety valve for decent people and an indirect price control on rents. I suppose wages would adjust to rents but that would be fine if it meant more of society’s effort went into productive activity. Most important I think, would be to establish the principle that being without money isn’t effectively a crime like it is now, at least for people with a basic level of conscientousness. For it to work, those who would trash the commons have to be shown their place.

A caste system is going to be most stable if the state makes an honest effort to sustain its people. Possibly guaranteed minimum income for people who are a decent risk for society to invest in. For lower class people who probably are stable where they’re at, perhaps guaranteed minimum food at least.
This society already has EBT cards but does it all wrong. Those who come to the state for food don’t decide what they get to eat, they take what they are given. It sends all the wrong messages when people with foodstamps can load their grocery carts with freezer food and snack cakes. There would be no wasting public money on luxury junk foods. In a smarter system they might get 50 lb. bags of rice, potatoes, or flour with some rations of fresh food and meat as decided on by the system. Whatever most cheaply keeps people healthy who are only going to produce a minimal return on investment.

Then there is the problem of those who are very likely to always be a net drain on society. Our current caste system imprisons a few million, the bottom 1% or so of defectors at enormous expense.
A fair caste system would strive to invest as little as possible in disruptive people and direct that wealth into good investments. Imagine if the money to care for a prisoner for a year was instead used to pay for education for a bright and promising young cooperator. It undermines the social order when an inmate lives a lifestyle that costs 50,000 dollars a year while many hard-working people on the outside live far more meagerly. For the masses to be content with lower to mid-caste, they have to feel they are granted a certain status and level of social investment just by virtue of being cooperators. It must be clear to everyone that even the smallest contributor lives in a category far above criminal defectors who drain society’s precious wealth.

I could imagine “reservations” instead of expensive prisons. The prison population is already a small country. They could really be given their own country. This would require substantial land, perhaps islands, but it would be a zone totally free of public investment and thereby prevent destructive people from becoming a perpetual drain on everyone else. Those who would destroy the public wealth would be set free to create wealth for themselves if they can and if their regions were nasty hellholes, it would be the natual justice after a fashion. In our existing system, city areas allowed to become ghettoes already informally serve a function kind of like this.
Of course, we could keep this more simple and do what many other nations do, encourage unwanted people to simply move to someone else’s country. Hapless egalitarian Western democracies, for example, serve as a worldwide dumping ground for other countries’ criminals and underclass when they could have just sat back and benefited from brain drain while keeping poor investments out.
Finally, in a crowded world with scarce resources there’s the simple fact that there is a time for the very simple solution of executions to make a clear and unequivocal statement to the masses that some behaviors will not be tolerated.

The problem with enlightenment social philosophy is that human social life isn’t just a game of high ideas. Human lives aren’t of unlimited value, most of us have to produce more than we consume or else we die. In real life, societies are like competing organisms in nature or like businesses in the marketplace. Groups that can capture wealth and then use it wisely are those that come out on top. Those that can’t get conquered or wiped out. So an effective society must embrace these realities. A fair caste system means life is very harsh, and possibly very short for those who try to destroy but on the flip side cooperators get to enjoy many nice things they can never have in a low-trust system that treats everyone the same.

Competition Between Societies: Desert Plants vs. Garden Plants

Every living thing strives to make the best of available resources. Trees grow in fractal patterns to maximize the amount of sunlight they can capture. Competing groups of humans are no different. The society that can arrange its branches to best capture energy and use that energy the most efficiently will tend to displace its neighbors. The superior structure triumphs without even trying.

When we look at societies all over the world there’s nearly only one question that matters: how well can they preserve wealth? Those that are effective at it thrive and tend to dominate weaker groups. Those that cannot preserve wealth wallow in such vicious poverty that even conquest by a richer group can be a mercy.
The ability to preserve wealth decides a group’s rank in virtually every form of achievement, from literary excellence to scientific discoveries.
Some groups just have it and others don’t.
Drive out some Jews, Armenians, Maronites, or Alawis in fiery pogroms, kill them off in droves, it doesn’t matter. They successfully preserve wealth wherever they go and quickly make up any damage they suffer. Keeping them down is like trying to keep an inflated balloon underwater.
But wherever subsaharan Africans are found, without exception they are unable to preserve wealth. Even in the best of times, all the wealth of the world slips through their grasping fingers. The justifications and reasons are many, there are among them many good individuals, but in aggregate the same pattern always emerges.

We’re faced with a riddle when Mexicans who are far less effective at controlling wealth than full-blooded Europeans seem to have the superior group structure. Mexicans make less money on paper but they use wealth far more effectively. So we see a Mexican man who works as a roofer and his wife who works as a maid manage to support 3 kids while a white family that’s twice as wealthy struggles to support even one child.
The Mexicans are a more efficient and effective organism. As an invasive species they easily outcompete and replace a slow and weak native strain. So while whites are far better at getting wealth, they’re unable to preserve wealth.

The problem with rich European majority countries is despite all their wealth, it just raises the bar people have to reach to be considered members of society. Social expectations cancel out many of the benefits of wealth. It’s an example of what I’ve called ‘collective checkmate‘, a situation where popular pressure forces competition that hurts everyone.
I’ve also written about what I call social participation tax. In a wealthy country, it’s not socially acceptable to wear clothes you’ve made at home or to patch up worn out clothes. You’re ostracized unless you buy them at JC Penney. You can’t just build a log cabin or live in a yurt. To be a member of society, you have to buy a house or rent an apartment.
Add in the loss of social cohesion and family, atomized whites can save up hundreds of thousands of dollars and not be able to accomplish what Latinos with real extended families can get done with 10k dollars. There’s no contest.
It’s a case of lean and efficient desert plants used to making do with the bare minimum outcompeting garden plants that require rich fertilizer and daily watering just to survive.

Mexicans can preserve wealth, but can’t get that much of it.
Whites can get wealth, but can’t preserve much of it.
Then there are the elite groups like Jews, Parsees, Brahmins, Armenians, and Maronites that can both get substantial wealth and preserve it.
We end up with a rough hierarchy of the peoples according to their effectiveness.
The ideal to strive for then is a group organism with the commanding robustness and complexity of a tree with the efficiency of a desert cactus.

Money Should Only Belong to Cooperators

Every dollar is a vote—so it is of supreme importance to make sure these votes are given into the right hands.  Someone of low character with millions of dollars can cause great damage to society just by influencing the market with their preferences.  Imagine a political election where ambitious psychopaths get super-ballots worth 10,000 normal votes.  It sounds bizarre if we think in terms of elections for political office, yet this is how the economy works and most of us are okay with it.
We approve of parasitic financiers hoarding away millions or even billions of dollars.  So long as someone “earns” their wealth, we don’t care if they’re being awarded in proportion to the value they contribute or even if they intend to use the group’s very lifeblood to defect.  In a system of economic nihilism, where economies are left to drift without guiding purpose, nothing matters so long as you get money while managing to stay out of a jail cell.

If the economy gives great rewards to people who contribute relatively little value, we can envision the heart sending the best of its blood supply to the appendix, or in the case of someone who harms society, to a tumor or tapeworm.  We see this circulatory system acts against the interests of its own body.  It’s a violation of natural law that strikes us as repulsive and wrong in living things, but most of us are unable to make the abstract leap from what we understand viscerally.
That is how the lower castes have always been subjugated, not primarily through force, but through their inability to extend principles.  Under the influence of economic nihilism even those capable of deeper reflection have forgotten that the distribution of society’s influence points is one of the most important and sacred tasks, vital to the success and continuance of a people.

We are told, for instance, that the job market is about giving jobs to the most competent and hardest working.  In practice, this really only applies to the most skilled and important work.  The vast majority of work can be done somewhat competently by most people with a bit of training.  So in practice, jobs are foremost billets we use to support members of society.  The act of hiring someone isn’t “just business,” it gives someone a sacred mandate to exist in society and benefit from its fruits.  Even with low pay, a worker is given money that will supply at least some of the necessities of food and shelter by permission of the many.  If we buy a sack of potatoes rather than stealing it or growing it for ourselves, we do so by accumulating enough dollar votes, each of which is a material token of the collective will.  What could be more amazing than a piece of such abstraction made into a solid thing?
To pay someone well carries even greater meaning.  It allows a person not just to survive but to have surplus needed for offspring and the leisure and buying power required to exert influence on society.  This is to plant the seeds of a garden, to elect someone who will form the character of society for generations to come.  Yet we ask only if they can do the job the best, not whether they are deserving of the distinction of holding society’s precious wealth or whether they will handle that responsibility well.
More important than doing the job as well as possible is to be a cooperator with the group’s mission.
This is why the owner of a small business hires a friend even if the world is full of people who may be better qualified.  The owner trusts his friend and his wealth goes to an ally rather than a stranger.
This is why in the long run a nation that prides itself on “work ethic” over allegiance loses to tribes that put allegiance first. Thus, the nation-state model that’s gone global since the 1860s is now challenged by the tribe-state.
A small tribe doesn’t have a “job market” with little worker atoms floating around. It has slots with roles that need to be filled and those slots are given to the best and most loyal. The choice of who is appointed to those posts and how many influence points they’re given decides success or disaster. Who we hire selects our tribe.
Conversely, there is a clear duty to deny influence points to those who will hurt the group and to hunt down those who abuse the points system.

Market Demand Must Be Regulated

Society values pro basketball players who provide entertainment far more than trash collectors who perform a vital service. We may need garbage collectors more than professional athletes, but it’s easy to find people who can pick up trash, while elite athletes are scarce by definition.  In this case market supply and demand is a distortion of actual value.  We are ok with athletes being paid millions of dollars to play a game because we suppose demand is sacrosanct, almost a godly force we dare not question.  After all, we get paid what we’re worth, right?
Yet it’s illegal to buy cocaine or hire a hitman when there is undoubtedly demand for drugs and contract killing.   Alcohol and liquor sales are heavily taxed to try to curb demand.  Or what about medical treatments?  When a patient is in danger of death, the value of the next treatment is theoretically infinite.  So shouldn’t that next round of chemotherapy always cost everything the patient has left according to pure demand?  The state already can and does regulate demand—it’s not off limits.
So why then do we let a football player or a movie star walk away with millions of dollars when its obvious there’s no way their contribution however important can be that large?  When someone becomes a millionaire by throwing a ball around or playing make-believe on camera, the character and morale of the entire society is undermined.
What is the garbage man to think when society values a single movie star more than him dozens of times over?  His task is so important, society can’t do without him for even a week.  If movie studios were all shut down, it might be unpleasant news but people would get on with life.
So why not put a strict cap on the income of entertainers and their promoters?  They provide services that people want and seem to generally do more good than harm by helping to create a thriving culture, so it would make sense to allow them to earn a good living, but becoming multi-millionaires would be out of the question. Entertainment is wonderful to have but it is a luxury, not a mainstay.

Obviously, a big budget movie gets made and its star actors paid millions because hundreds of millions of people are willing to pay for movie tickets.  So I could see someone arguing that because demand exists, it should be allowed.  But this is not enough.  Otherwise we should also be willing to argue for the legalization of contract killing and robbery.  The pattern I see is that demand is allowed to express itself so long as it does more good than harm to society.  So now we have to decide if it is good for a society to pour billions of dollars of its wealth into a handful of entertainers.  Surely there’s a limit on the worth of entertainment when there’s other things that need to be done.
As individuals, we value recreational time playing video games, watching movies, or blogging.  Yet we have a time and money budget for our own entertainment.  Similarly, a society ought to have a wealth budget for its luxuries.  It may sound restrictive to limit what a pro athlete or day trader makes, yet we already accept sin taxes that curb and punish demand for cigarettes and booze.  Sin taxes already carry the implicit recognition that we are not rational economic agents.  We routinely make bad decisions.  So we’re given a push in the “right” direction by the state.  We can buy that bottle of vodka or pack of cigarettes, but we have to be willing to pay an extra fee that serves as both a disincentive and an indemnity to society.  By the same principle we could cap the price for event and movie tickets or the acceptable budget cities can spend on stadiums to prevent or at least limit the misappropriation of society’s very finite wealth.
It would also be interesting to examine financial “products” and examine which of them return equivalent or greater value to society and which are a net drain or even cause damage.

Limiting the size of luxury industries brings up a big issue though—what about all the people that would lose their jobs in movie studios, stadiums, and concert halls?  We ask this because we lose perspective of the big picture.  We go to work to provide value to others and then get compensated in proportion to our contributions.  Is it a net good to work at a stadium that cost the city’s tax payers billions of dollars to spend billions more on a luxury activity?  If there’s nothing more productive to do with someone, why shouldn’t society just give them a guaranteed minimum income until there’s something more useful to do?  Society comes out way ahead by just skipping the multi-billion dollar excuse to write a paycheck.  No activity at all is far more valuable than useless activity.  Just staying at home with some basic income, there is a small chance they may have the initiative to use their leisure time wisely and genuinely contribute to the good of the group.

We’ve been taught to think in a way that’s a distortion of Keynesian views.  Keynes suggested hiring people to do useless tasks as one way to stimulate a depressed economy.  Naturally, his prescription for emergency situations became the new normal, where making money is a good thing even if we’re building “useless pyramids” or paying people to dig a hole just to fill it in again.  The trouble is this becomes a philosophy of economic nihilism in which human activity is divorced from purpose and meaning.   People just want money and as long as no one is murdered outright, the means don’t matter much.  Strangely, it sounds almost heretical now to suggest that markets and the accumulation of wealth ought to serve a purpose—to benefit the group in which we participate—that money awarded for unproductive or under-productive activity damages the integrity of society.

The survival of human societies in this world is a serious business; against other societies, against the pitiless forces of nature, and never-ending internal pressures.  The elevation of frivolous things to the heights of accomplishment makes a mockery of the social order.  A society where people worship “celebrities” over inventors, leaders, and entrepreneurs has lost its way.  Such is a disaster of mob rule where the masses are allowed to determine who is great and who is low.  When the undeserving get the best rewards, cynicism spreads and loyalty erodes until one day a nimble challenger full of confidence arises and proves more than a match for a mighty opponent crippled by rot.
The market is a form of economic democracy—every purchase is a vote.  We have an electoral college and representatives in political democracy rather than a pure popular vote.  So popular demand on the market must also be subject to controls, to curb and prevent tragedies of the commons.  There already are rules such as monopoly prevention that implicitly acknowledge the market has a mission to fulfill.  It is not there for its own sake.   These principles just have to be extended until the market is re-animated with purpose as a healthy circulatory system.

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