And He Fell From Heaven Like Lightning, or the End and the Beginning

Dearest friends,

I must admit I have had problems laying out my answer. What is to be done? It is as difficult a question now as it has ever been. But perhaps the way to clarifying the answer is to lay out the problem.

Within the newborn state lie the seeds of its own destruction. Its own ideology, carried to its natural ends, must self-contradict. The more a state ages, the more it accumulates Schelling points increasingly unsuited to present conditions, while at the same time, it accelerates more and more towards the extreme of the present conditions it itself created. The long state invariably becomes a state haunted by its own contradictions.

Take, for instance, the Ottoman Empire. It was founded as a religious state, explicitly so, defender of the House of Islam, the house of peace. From the get go, this mission was… only dubiously true. Early on, less than half of the ghazis, the warriors of the faith, were Muslim. Why would they be? The Ottoman Empire was the phoenix rising from the ashes of Byzantium. A young Christian lord had a simple choice. Either stand and die for a dying empire, or turn coat and live. And so it went. Constantine XI’s nephew becomes the Grand Vizier of a great new empire.

Even in the early stages, the contradictions of a regime exist. But so long as the empire is growing and strong, the elites have no reason to question them. Instead of debating angels and pins, they are getting rich and powerful. The Ottoman Empire grows, first reclaiming its rightful core territory as inheritor of Byzantium, then going forth to seize more land. It is here that the ideological is least valued, and yet, most truly believed. For only a man who believes when it does not provide gain is a true believer. The rest are grifters and fairweather friends.

But an empire cannot grow forever. There are physical limits. And as the empire stagnates, the elites must now compete among themselves. There is the material conflict, but an empire also seeks to centralize power and bring all authority under the sovereign. Violence becomes more and more the realm of the state, starting with physical violence and seeping down to any kind of imposition of force, until the elites are totally neutered in any material sense. And the more neutered they are to wage war by other means, the more the nobles must wage war through ideology. Leftism is the extension of a regime’s ideology further towards its natural ends. Liberals become more liberal. Japanese militarists become more militarist. Islamists become more Islamist. The more you push an ideology, the further it must diverge from reality, because it becomes more and more about ideals and idealism, and less about material conditions. The end result of this must be to wildly diverge law and reality, as law is the product of the political process, and the political exists symbiotically with ideology. Thus, the law, at first fair, devolves into anarcho-tyranny, as ideological demands become totally opposed to the actual maintenance of order. Any single noble may try to stop it, but then they will be deposed by a rival outflanking them from the left. One must speak the language of power to stay in power. From the perspective of the peasant masses, it looks like the elite are coming to believe more and more insane things, a mass lunacy. The Dirt People and Cloud People can no longer understand each other.

Why does the ruler not step in? The ruler cannot move left, because then the laws and what is real will diverge even further. But if he moves right, he undermines his own legitimacy, becoming the Caliph who stands against Islam – a doomed maneuver. But this means the gaps between the Schelling points of ideology and what is on the ground soon become unspeakably large.

Near the end of the Ottomans, janissaries roamed the land, plundering the peasantry through malicious lawfare and abuse of their powers. Their actions had the weight of false legitimacy, as they were nominally servants of the national ideology and its consensus. Enter Hadji Mustafa Pasha, governor of Serbia, the “Mother of Serbs”. He was a benevolent lord, concerned with the wellbeing of his land and its people. So, like any wise ruler, he summons his ghazis to strike down the bandit-janissaries and restore the Sultan’s peace. And here he dies, and the course of history turns another corner.

Mustafa’s men and their captain are Christian. The captain writes a letter to the Sultan, asking to be recognized as the new Duke of Serbia so that he may carry out the Sultan’s will and protect his laws. A young empire could have assented. But this is no young empire, but an old and crooked thing, constrained by forgotten law. It cannot. The captain has a choice. He can die for the sake of the Sultan, for the regime, for its laws, for its ideology, and all that which he previously believed, a bright reactionary blaze. Or he can choose to live.

Awake, Serbia. History calls.

In that sense, Camp of the Saints and Submission are two sides of the same coin. In one, the heroes choose to die gloriously, submitting to the beautiful end of the reactionary death cult – a sacrifice to expiate the sins of the dead regime which recapitulates all its art and virtue, men standing against time. And in the other, the last man resigns himself to life and becomes the first man of the new order. The human sacrifice of the reactionary is the blood which permits the sun to rise on the first day of the new order.

We, as builders of the new order, must reenact the mystic secrets of the Osiris mystery. Like Isis, we shall don the seven veils, and descend through seven hells, to take the pieces of the dead man, the reactionary, and bring him back to life as the living-dead man, the soul of the old and the flesh of the new. Here is the dialectic of an ancient occultism resurfacing and its opportune time.

A perceptive soul must be appalled by all the horrors and abominations of a dying anarcho-tyranny. And so the thesis of the regime creates its own antithesis which begins to attract dissident elites. Out of this, a new synthesis must be drawn from the unity of far right and far left.

Wokeism is not a perversion of liberalism, but its highest fulfillment. It is the highest stage of the capitalist, liberal republic, carrying out the work of atomization and commodification to the fullest.

What else? Last time, we discussed the construction of a political machine. A political machine allows you to build a patronage network and a power base. In a time of chaos, a political machine easily becomes a war machine. The working boys are turned into fighting men. When you own a local government, it is only a short step to go independent. The natural instinct of power is to tend to itself. As Rome falls, the city walls go up.

Behold the glory of Ali Pasha, king of Ioannina, lord of the Epirotes. Here is an elite with an independent power base. He ruled over much of Rumelia, and Rumelia, in turn, was the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Officials in Rumelia held rank and privilege over their equals elsewhere in the Empire. It would be like having a warlord ruling over New England. Here was a man of cruel and magnificent appetites. For his own sexual amusements, he had the young women of his lands thrown into lakes. And he dreamed big. He dreamed, one day, of restoring Greek culture to its rightful glory. To this end, he built his power greater and greater, holding court with some of the great Romantics of the age.

A more vigorous Empire could reabsorb an independent power base like this. But not the Ottomans, not at that point. Ali Pasha dies, but Greece springs from his blood. And when Greece goes, so goes almost 40% of the Ottoman tax base. A mortal wound. A great Alexander, Augustus, or Alexios could recover from such dire straits.

But none are coming.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.

So too with China in many collapses. Elites are able to construct their own power bases, and when the core shakes, the power bases can strike out on their own. Empires splinter into many pieces. Here, there is sometimes an easy path back through the marsh. If a warlord has enough personal loyalty cultivated in a large enough army, they can, like Franco, conquer the whole land themselves, and restore order. But without that personal loyalty, one cannot do this. Politics runs on loyalty. You have personal loyalty, built up through long relationships between patron and client, but to make a larger machine, you must have engineered loyalty. What is to stop multiple minions from combining to remove the master? Nothing. This infighting necessarily prevents reunification. To restore order, one must have an ideology which can generate loyalty in a new Party. Not only that, it must be a better ideology than even the regime had. The regime had the benefit of inertia, allowing it to staff itself with the pathetic and weak. The new ruler must be able to generate loyalty from the best and most talented, those whose abilities give them many abilities and thus natural independence. When you are on the rough path, many will want to retreat back to the safety of the marsh. When you are on the rough path, only the best and most skilled comrades will do. A would-be ruler must be able to drag them back forward, and if not, then clearly mark those who return to the marshes as weak and not of the Party. You need an ideology for that.

The natural instinct at this point is restoration, to end the chaos by reinstating the old order. But the material conditions which made the original regime possible no longer hold. Recall the regime is founded on its original power bases and then has to flex and bend its system as new power bases and new elites come into being – the original constitution is even less suitable than the perverted one, since it removes all the cultural adaptations. And the ideological conditions which exist are not suitable. It is attempting to return thinking to the state of the original question, when the intellectual chaos of the collapse comes from carrying ideas to their natural conclusions. And finally, the ruling clique itself is rendered unsuitable. Regimes are founded by players of naked power politics, persons of an UMC or WC background, those who can play with concrete realities. Over the course of a regime’s lifespan, the top elites transition from UMC thinking to UC thinking. Power becomes curried through court maneuver and social scheming and thin networks of charm, rather than the brute force of gold, guns, and grunts. Necessarily, this must be so, because the state must monopolize force, and therefore must prevent open conflict, causing a transition to battle by social grace. The dinosaur evolves into a chicken. The dirty business of rule is devolved to the lower aristocracy, and the dirty business of facing power to the proles, leaving these as the two classes with an understanding of what power means when the clock runs out. The middle class bureaucrat and the cloistered emperor have simply drunk too much of the koolaid to be saved. And any attempt at restoration will be full of the apparatchiks of the last regime, the eunuchs come to pick over the corpse. Cao Cao begins as the regent defending the emperor’s lawful rights, but this is a path that can only end one way. The restoration of a regime requires the same skills as founding a new one, and the last emperor is not up to the task.

Let us lay out the necessities of our new movement or any new movement which must succeed. First of all, it must be the furthest left and furthest right movement possible. If it is not, then one will be outflanked from the left or the right. One must not be overcome, but always be overcoming. Like Lenin, we must be able to attack and absorb all our rivals from the left, right, and center at the same time, attacking our enemies as cowardly Kautskyites, left-utopians, and right-opportunists without reserve and without contradiction. Secondly, the ideology must engender loyalty by creating a contradicted ruling class. A Christian class of ghazis. An aristocratic Bolshevism. A Jewish Nazism. Because we lack enough personal loyalty to rule an empire (this must always be the case, Monkeyspheres are too small), and we are moving fast, without the old regime’s structure, we must be able to manufacture loyalty from our elites en masse. There are our basic requirements.

This leaves us with the problem of building a Biostalinism. You can never turn back the clock. The horse has bolted.

The only way out is through.

A cultist for the Red Tsar who was, is, and will be,
Monsieur le Baron

The Maw of the Machine, or A Donor’s Eye View of the Base and Superstructure Dynamic of Party Patronage

Dearest friends,

Have you ever inserted money into a vending machine? I have! Where does the money go? How does it turn the dollars into chocolate? It is like magic, if magic was real and made of chocolate and also magic. Amazing! And friends, have you wondered how your dollars magically turn into social justice? I haven’t. Step into my Chocolate Factory, but please avoid Mr. Weiner or he’ll show you his Willy Wonka.

How much does it take to buy your way into a politician’s good graces? $1,000,000? $10,000,000? $1,000,000,000? If you answered $10,000, you’re closest to the money. A donor dinner is often only a thousand or couple thousand dollars. For very important people, it might be tens of thousands of dollars, or a hundred or two hundred thousand for someone like the President. These sums are, in fact, fairly small dollar. But the small proletarian donors can’t play because they’re just too small. They could aggregate their funds under a suitable figurehead like le Chapo Man or a union boss. But the boss, once elevated, soon finds his material interests differ from his former comrades. No longer a proletarian, he becomes his own player in the great game, able to independently express his will. The coordination problem prevents proletarians from pooling their resources together to fight.

So you can make contact fairly cheaply. But what about following up? How do you buy a politician with such small sums? Laundering the money through organizations. I don’t mean in the “dark money” sense. That’s childish. Instead, found a cause. A front organization. Get together a few of your friends and make a NGO focused on some political cause you have coming from some ideology you share. Call this the backers a “faction” or “ideo-tribe”. More on this later. When you look at something like urbanism, that’s obviously a front for certain elements of high finance, right? It allows you to justify further development through livability rhetoric. This new construction, preferably of something holy like public housing, creates profits for developers, real estate private equity funds (hedge funds), issuers of asset-backed bonds relating to these deals, and ultimately becomes its own power base which can feed back into the original cause. Or take the green movement. Green rhetoric allows the subsidization of green industries. Good news if you run Nikolai’s Motors or Zappy Sun Power Fun. You get you and a few of your other well-heeled friends in your faction and you each chip in, say, 10 grand. Because these are causes, and ideally, “good causes”, you can attract the donations of small donors, well-meaning progressives or conservatives who want to make change. All of that goes into your slush fund. Being the founder and a major donor, you can set the agenda, which effectively means you control all that money, which means you’ve effectively levered up your initial small dollar outlay several times over. Your initial million or whatever becomes twenty or thirty or fifty million.

And it all comes from the little people. That it comes from the retail workers and clerks and delivery boys is not a flaw but the point! These are the people who can’t fight back if they ever notice you using the organization as a front. Not that they will. How could they? What does the corrupt organization look like? One imagines no show jobs and corrupt cynicism everywhere – but that’s not necessary. Because the front organization’s cause legitimately advances the material interests of the backer, overt corruption is not needed at all. The sinecures need not look like sinecures. Sincerity does not dissolve the organization. Let in all the sunshine you want – the demon does not melt.

Best of all, it’s a tax writeoff. Isn’t that something?

Once your front organization is rolling, you can put people on the payroll. Bluechecks, writers, activists… and politicians. And once you give a politician a sweet, sweet sinecure, you buy the man. And why not? You’re supporting some nice, sweet progressive cause. Nothing corrupt about it, no sir. And even if there are people so principled they’ll never take any money at all, there’s always far more willing to be bought. Many are the activists and bluechecks waiting for their big chance to be pushed up the ladder. Push them, and they will repay you with loyalty. Why not? You made them.

Once they’re in office, they can start repaying you. And believe me, why invest in a cause if it won’t turn a profit? If you and your friends chip a total of $1mm, leverage it to $20mm, and win back a development opportunity worth $25mm, you’ve gotten a 2400% return on your own money and a 25% return on the front org’s. A profit! And you had better turn a profit. The cold logic of capital demands it. If you are not increasing the resources of your front org rather than diminishing, someone else is. There are many ways to redirect money back into your pockets. Secret information, like knowing about coronavirus beforehand so you can short it. Sinecures and created job positions at new bureaus so you can place your lackeys. Favorable laws – or unfavorable ones for your enemies. And the best part? Most of the giveaways don’t even have to look that crooked. Because the cause advances your interests, even sincere laws passed will help you. All the while, the cost is footed by public funds. The burden on the taxpayer creeps higher and higher.

Thus moves the political machine. This is the base. The action of the base is to concretely mobilize manpower, money, and mantras to serve your political empire.

But how do you coordinate and form your ideo-tribe in the first place? That’s the superstructure, the dynamics of ideology. That’s social media, that’s the blogosphere, that’s the public square, that’s Reddit and Twitter and 4chan and all those spaces. Ideology is always promulgating around the internet. One or another flavor of communist thinking or liberal thinking or conservative thought will match up with your material interests and moral sensibilities. Then you can latch on. Now you have a common thread to connect with other players in the game. It launders sordid material interest into sacred morality and ideology.

And what kind of ideology is ideal? Not orthodoxy. Orthodoxy in an ideology signifies you want to conform to something greater than yourself, which often means seeking a tribe to belong to, a protector to shield you, or a patron to employ you. No, you want heterodoxy. Drop a Marx quotation in the right places on the “Right”, and you can be ushered into a hidden circle. Those who are overcorrect in professing their ideology create a signal for wanting a party job. Profess heterodoxy, and it shows you aren’t in a position to need to parrot a party line for cash. It shows you can afford to dictate one.

You take your heterodox ideology with which you’ve bonded and you turn around and create organizations to push it. These are your front organizations. The control doesn’t have to be direct here, though it sometimes is. The point is that it pushes discourse your way. As discourse goes enough your way, your front orgs grow more and more powerful, thus moving them from the superstructure from the base. They pay off, pay you, you seize power. Your new ideology, whatever it is, Anarcho-Frontierism, Radical Recyclianism, Eco-Fascism, is now the mainstream in some way. Once upon a time, neoconservatism was a few followers of the mad Jew Strauss, and the New Left was a bunch of radical chic philanthropists and some young buck politicians with the steely ambition in their eyes.

But once it becomes the mainstream, it is no longer heterodox to profess your ideology. Professing it is now the domain of young Twitter suckups looking for a cushy media job. So the organizing ideology shifts again. Thus, the base-superstructure dynamic is always shifting the discourse window to new politics. Thus we have a continuous feedback cycle of base-superstructure ideological laundering for material interests.

And what about the employees of the front orgs? For some, fame, power, and prosperity await. They will rise high, and those that envy them will be many. Their smiles will strike fear into the hearts of their courtiers. All the riches of the empire will be splayed before their feet. But for most, the machine will consume their big city dreams. They will pen article after article chasing the big break. They will march and call and knock. Their friends will decry them as a gentrifier or the stooge of Melon Tusk or a thousand other things. And in time, they will return home, ashamed by their own brokenness. It does not matter what happens to them. The freelances are the free lances, mere disposable foot soldiers.

These are the shadow wars waged by capital from its invisible fiefdoms, their movements only betrayed by the occasional silver-steel flash in that everblack night.

Lamenting his own unread ink,
Monsieur le Baron

Egalitarian Rhetoric and a Schelling Point for Purges, or On Revolutions Pt. II

Dearest friends,

Lee Kuan Yew is a brilliant man. And to be honest, it was an insight of his that prompted these points.

The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be.

The words of the great man himself! And yet, if egalitarianism is transparently false, why is it the cornerstone of all these great movements? It can’t just be because it’s absurd. Many things are absurd, but the Cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has never attracted many sincere adherents. One answer, one very true answer, is that it widens your coalition, helping you seize power. But once you’ve seized power, why keep paying lip service? Why not discard it like other parts of the pre-revolution rhetorical crap? If you’re an elite, doesn’t egalitarianism paint a giant target on you?

Yes. And that’s the point. The fact that a revolution occurred shows that there were too many elites to begin with. Look at some other points adopted by the USSR after the Revolution. Great Russian Chauvinism and a hatred of intelligentsia as “bourgeois specialists”. A campaign against rootless cosmopolitans. Combine an anti-nobility campaign, an anti-intelligentsia campaign, and an anti-non-Russian campaign, and you’ve managed to implicate the entirety of the Party as class enemies. Which is precisely the idea! Killing people is bloody work. Killing people who are your friends, your comrades-in-arms, even your family, is even harder. Even worse is doing so basically arbitrarily. But in short order, you run out of enemy elites to purge. And there are still a lot of elites. You need to kill randomly, but no humans ever agree to kill randomly. That’s monstrous. You need a Schelling point to rally around. So various persecution campaigns are made that conveniently damn the Party’s whole membership. After the Great Purge, the number of Old Bolsheviks is reduced by 2/3rds, and only 1% are pre-Tsarist nobility. Sure, a lot of those people get politically rehabilitated instead of killed. But you cut down drastically on the numbers. And why does egalitarianism keep showing up in the mix? Because egalitarianism is always against the presence of a standing elite at all, by denying the justness of eliteness and the existence of genuine differences in ability. If all people are equal, any elite must necessarily be comprised of oppressors. And therefore, any member of such an elite can be justifiably purged.

Furthermore, the ability to arbitrarily purge elites allows the new post-revolution sovereign to restore order and the supremacy of the throne. One of the problems before the revolution is an unruly, disordered elite with outside power bases. How do you fix that? You purge the shit out of the elite. You’re disloyal? You’re fucking purged. I think you’re disloyal? Purged. Take too long making the waffles at the Politburo breakfast? Purge, motherfucker. When a revolution occurs, the country is mired in the aftermath of the conflict, and leftist signals are spewing everywhere, like a fire hose. By purging the elite, the sovereign is able to take control of the holiness spiral and reassert control of the situation.

Furthermore, any statement of holiness which must destroy the ruling elite when carried out to its natural conclusion is a negative feedback loop. Nature loves negative feedback loops, and for good reason. The end of a Christian holiness spiral was to become a monk – a celibate monk who disdained worldly power – and that was the end of you as a political entity. It’s too bad Protestantism did away with that, and look at how badly Protestant countries holiness spiral! When you have a negative feedback loop like this, if you go too far, it starts destroying you or even the elite as a whole. At the height of the purge, people were selling out their wives, their families, their children. That’s a tremendous psychic pain and creates a huge incentive to bring the holiness spiral to an end. Hey, fuck this Marxism crap, let’s just have intra-Party peace. As soon as there is enough economic surplus to sustain every surviving elite, there’s a very good reason to call it quits before the monster consumes you too. And so, the French nobility end the French Revolution with a higher median wealth.

But it’s not just egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is just a great universal negative feedback loop. Any creed can work so long as it places disproportionate burdens upon the elite. Let’s take Germany. Specifically, Nazi Germany. A million or two mischlinge survived Nazi Germany – isn’t that fucking weird? That’s a lot of fucking Jews, not just a few freaks. Why would Jews work for the Jew hating machine? Well, one reason is that regime has them by the nuts. If you’re a Jew, and the state’s ideology is to kill all Jews, and you don’t cooperate, you will be killed. But if you do cooperate? Here’s this Certificate of Official Aryan Blood, you’re a good fellow. And there are a lot of Jews placed in that position. Germany was not a particularly anti-semitic place before Hitler. It had full Jewish emancipation. Jews were over-represented in the nobility, and even more over-represented in business. That means there are a lot of Jewish elites. Far from being destabilizing, it builds tremendous loyalty.

To quote Hermann Goering, “I decide who is a Jew in the Luftwaffe.” Far from being a quirk of history, the anti-semitism of Nazi Germany necessarily creates Jewish Nazis. Now let’s go invade Poland and gas their Jews. After all, our Schelling Point demands we put the Jews in camps, so we must round up some Jews.

You would think that noble defectors from the USSR would despise it, but the US troops recording the defectors noted the highest class defectors were the most loyal to Communism, and lamented the excesses of the purge – if only Stalin knew!

Any point which implicates the ruling elite in injustice or perceived injustice can be used as a Schelling Point for purges.

So now we can finally explain the tragedy of Spain, the expulsion of the Jews. It’s because Isabella and Torquemada are nasty, bigoted, closeminded Christian proto-Nazis, right? Spain, the earliest fascist state. Well, actually, there were marriages across religious lines, and the Umayyad elite had mixed with the Christian one. And Jews were fully emancipated, and made up a substantial portion of the Spanish nobility. Well, maybe Torquemada or Isabella are particularly bigoted? Torquemada came from a Jewish family, and Isabella’s father died at a young age, leaving her to be raised by a Jewish father figure. What did happen? The crowns of Castile and Aragon were joined as one. The Reconquista was finished. Great! Spain was unified! And a unified Spain means no more Spain to take as your own.

And with so much Jewish freedom, everyone has a little bit of Jew in them.

How convenient.

And so it came to pass that the Spanish monarchy was able to make a Big Book of Jews, in which any family suspected of being crypto-Jews could be placed, and in it was written the whole Spanish nobility. If any Spanish noble fuck started holiness spiraling about the brown babies? Hey, is your aunt’s name Mary or Miriam? Are you sure your grandfather was named Henry and not Hebrew Shekelstein? How curious. Would you care to step into my office for a moment? Some Jewish peasants get exiled too. That’s politics, baby. It’s not like Stalin wanted to kill off a bunch of kulaks either, it’s collateral damage.

And Daddy’s little girl makes Papa take the wafer and eat a nice juicy pork sausage. He cries. Tears of joy, of course.

The rest of the spares are shipped off to the New World.

Spain enters a Golden Age. Until it ends.

Sic transit gloria mundi,
Monsieur le Baron

EDIT: Some of you may have seen I left my notes/outline up top! That’s why you don’t publish in the middle of the night.

As an addendum, I might as well make a point explicit. You need that negative feedback loop otherwise your movement consumes itself in wasteful signalling before you ever reach power. A political movement with a Schelling point of fitness just turns into a fitness movement. Only when signalling imposes political costs can it keep checking itself long enough to reach power. Egalitarianism works. BLM works – if you are white.

Aristocracy, Leftism, and the Moment of Radicalization, or Revolutions Pt. I

Dearest friends,

America is burning. And so I thought I would finish a post I’d been keeping on the backburner for a while, about the elite and revolutions.

If you read this blog, you almost certainly read bigger blogs, so you are probably familiar with the concepts of Bioleninism (See: Spandrell) and Elite Overproduction (Turchin). I won’t go too far into that, so please read up on that before continuing if you haven’t.

Instead, I’d like to talk about the social composition of revolutionary parties and the significance of that. It is often asserted that revolutions are the middle class using the proles as a bludgeon to pry their way into elite status, killing off the innocent pre-Revolution nobles along the way. There is a lot of handwringing about Jewish bolsheviks killing off the Russian nobility or the rising merchant bourgeois in France destroying the Ancien Regime. It’s a neat little story.

It’s too bad that it’s bullshit.

In my typology of class conflict blog post, I explained that the middle class can rarely create a critical mass of followers because it’s too transparently self-serving. I’m going to elaborate on that. What would you expect the social origins of the early Bolsheviks to be? One would guess a bunch of Jews and middle class people and middle class Jews, right? To some extent, that’s not unfounded. The Party is about 15% Jewish and 44% middle class (Riga). Sounds pretty over-represented, right? Well, Riga is coding noble origins conservatively, since the line between service gentry (upper middle class) and true noble was blurry in the late empire, and still comes up with 13% of the Party being noble. I am less conservative about this, and estimate 15-20%. Commentary’s estimate of Jewish bolshevism skews higher, at 20%. Jews were 4% of the Russian Empire. At most, Jews are 5x over-represented in Bolshevism. The middle class numbered about 10%, so the middle class is also 4-5x over-represented. The nobility was 2.4% of the population (and formally included the service gentry upper middle class, so the broadest definition of noble), and at the very least over 5x over-represented, and perhaps as high as 8x over-represented. No wonder Trotsky, who was both Jew and noble, was a Communist.

Well, some people may say that the NKVD was 75% Jewish. For them, I have a quote from a man who went to observe the Red Army in action.

“Among them, many come from old Russian noble families, where military service in the position of commanders was a tradition of many generations, where military science, one might say, was im- bibed at the mother’s breast, and where military talk surrounded the child from the first years of his life. Cadet schools and military academies were the next steps in their training. Formerly 80 or 90 percent of the famous Russian military leaders as well as the rank and file of officers came from these privileged classes of old Russia.”

80 or 90%, huh? That’s a backbone of the Party. The Red Army wins the Russian Civil War. The Red Army kicks the ass of all the foreign powers intervening. Without the Red Army, there is no USSR. And not only are these the Tsarist officers, they’re the creme of the Tsarist Army. A scholar, Kenez, says of the White Army – their officers are cadets and young, unestablished men. The Red Army gets the old grizzled veterans, real nobles that have been blooded in war. And Trotsky leads them! If you’re Stalin, you can see why you have to purge the Red Army after purging Trotsky, even though you have wars to fight. Can’t have that power base lingering. So it’s a really important part of the power structure.

Okay, so let’s talk about the French Revolution then. Bunch of fucking bourgeois, right? Bzzt. 21 of the Society of Thirty are from the highest levels of the French nobility, almost half, and a majority are noblesse d’epee, which tend to be older and more established than the noblesse de robe. So what about the loyalists? What about the regime? Only 3 out of 36 of Louis’s ministers are of ancient feudal extraction. Far from a rowdy bourgeois element trying to make room for itself, it was the membership of the most pedigreed families that were upset.

So why would an established elite do this? The standard Marxist explanation is economics, historical materialism. Why would a old Bolshevik turn class traitor? True, there is some virtue, but don’t deify them, they are the product of larger material trends. In 1905, the Russian elite was more conservative – and then things went totally to shit. Agriculture produce prices were plummeting, roving bands of anti-semitic thugs called the Black Hundreds roamed the land looting, manors were attacked. Basically, it was becoming really fucking hard to be a noble. Even with so many impoverished peasants, there was not a lot of economic surplus to go around.

What about in France? Well, the French revolutionary families often had one thing in common. They were disfavored at court. That meant they didn’t get the juicy sinecures. Louis XIV was a smart guy, and he always distributed titles and sinecures around all the old families fairly, so that everyone felt like they got a piece. Not so with Louis XVI. Guy is dumb, and he lets his wife award all the best sinecures to her friends and favorites. Bad, bad move. But even with that, the kingdom was broke. They made a big stink about the necklace. Louis XIV did lavish stuff for the court, who complained then? But France then was able to handle it, and the cost of all his many wars. The American Revolutionary War was ruinous for Louis XVI’s France.

You may be sensing a theme here. By the time of the collapse, the state was no longer able to sustain all of its elites. This is Turchin’s elite overproduction in action, a classic set of examples. So why are these revolutions identified as bourgeois? Because there is a grain of truth to that. A truly middle class person has no resources or credibility to rouse the masses, since they have no skin in the game. But as history passes, new forms of maintaining elite power arise (See my post “The Second Technocracy”). One of the leaders of the French Revolution, the Duke of Biron, ran an early form of hedge fund. Does that sound like bourgeois merchant behavior to you? Yes, it does. While not all of the Party was middle class, almost all of it was “middle class” in the sense the early members almost always had a time they spent as itinerant intelligentsia. The managers and thinkers of the coming Managerial Revolution. These new ways of holding power create ways to be powerful and elite without being directly dependent on the state for your power base. It creates an origin point for an alternative state. When the state is rising, it is able to successfully assimilate a new counterelite. 19th century France assimilates the rising medical establishment into its power structure. But when the state is weak? They will have their pound of flesh.

And how do they do it? Signalling spiral. Leftism. Easy enough. Do they believe it? I’m sure they do. Few people are so cynical. You can very easily hold a belief even if it benefits you in a cynical way. Humans are wired that way.

It is too bad they picked an ideology so disastrous for them to personally signal. On comes the guillotine.

Luckily, we humans are smart.

As a non-white, upper middle class person, I would never associate with a political ideology that would harm me. Ha! That would be stupid. Oh wait.

Perhaps this deserves explanation. To be continued in part 2.

Knitting by the rolling carts,
Monsieur le Baron

Stupid Party, Evil Party, or the Cynical Crusades of Cunning Capitalists

Dearest friends,

It seems that when I am at a party, I am in a party, which makes me party to certain things. Personally, I’d rather be privy to the privy, a privy in the privy. Too many people are looking for a magic spell, or some formula which may as well be one, but I am sympathetic to the sentiments of Gore Vidal. The greatest magic is not some occult scrap or incantation, it is being smarter than your enemies. If only I could be such a wizard.

Alas, it seems I am often in the stupid party. The only problem is that no one can seem to agree which one it is! To hear Donkeyphants tell it, Demonthuglirats are a party masterminded by Big Fupa, Cleetonius Snapback Sueytonius, Hitler Jesus, and the Menergy lobby. Every day, the Cock Brothers drill the Ladyboy Earth Mother and extract her viscous black fluids (should probably get that checked out, by the way) so as to collect the Menergy profits they use to fund the racism machine, which beams the racism that keeps wypipo alive.

Tangent. Cleaning product called Ethnic Cleansing. WIPE POWER! WIPE POWER! It’s got all the cleaning secrets of… uhh… the ethnics. Fund it, bruvs.

By contrast, we have the Muleodons. When they aren’t desecrating the cross, they’re getting spitroasted by the handlers in the Big Gay. They outsource factories and import fudge-colored fudge packeries to satisfy their lust for the British Broadcasting Corporation. They erect dead baby castles made out of live babies, just to be ironically extra evil (Note: Don’t try this at home). Their list of crimes is so long, you could make a whole documentary denying them all. Does anyone want an NPR tote?

Let’s take one contemporary issue, which I have studied at great length. To pro-abortionists, it seems obvious abortion should be mandatory, because we must abort the fetus of the baby Cthulhu before he awakens and begins a thousand years of darkness. The pro-choicers only have the weak argument that baby Cthulhu should be free to self-actualize and get a LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE in world-destruction, the hippie bastards. Since it’s ridiculous anyone would sincerely believe in this, it’s clear their organizations have been paid off by the sinister Cock Brothers and their Menergy Companies, collectively known as the Menocratic Manocracy. Not even the Cock Brothers want a thousand years of darkness. But they’ll still pay for people to protect the bodily autonomy of the fetus against the parasitic sustainer (who leeches off the fetus’s Instaauras for precious likes and upvotes).

The problem with labeling the Pachydemos the Evil Party is that the roles are often reversed in different situations. Sometimes the Remonrats are trying to make our economy more sustainable by using precious green energy mined from our Earth’s confetti deposits, while the DMC scaremongers about the threat caused by runaway clown emissions. That’s because there’s a profit to be had tying our energy to the non-renewable sun, which will soon grow dim and explode, whereas confetti rocks last billions of years and can be recycled into new planets. Now, both parties will claim to be using fax and logjams to DESTROY their opponents, but the problem with that claim is that you can fax anything so long as it fits on a flatbed scanner. Obviously. Indeed, if you go to college and take a Philophilia course, or get a Doctorate in Office Supplies, you will often be called to fax something from one side of the room, go to the reverse side, fax it again, and keep faxing it back and forth until the professor gets bored and unleashes the rabid badgers on everyone who hasn’t done their homework. This is a training technique known as the Devil’s Avocado, where you try to spread toast that isn’t yours.

Ultimately, people come to rely on their moral intuitions and certain core axioms. And that’s the problem. Political parties are not composed of people of one mind, like the Borg, but are coalitions built on a constant struggle for advantage between internal factions. Because of this, one party may have many different positive agendas within it, which the factions can’t agree on. The political platform itself is, of course, a compromise position. When a party plays the “stupid party” role, it means that they are trying to set forth a positive policy but can’t agree on one. After all, policies come from different axioms and also present different tradeoffs. To the lumpen, oblivious to party politics, it looks like squabbling over minutia. And to some extent, it is. When a party is being the “evil party”, it is acting oppositionally to a positive agenda. It can be because the positive agenda smells, because they’re being manipulated by nefarious forceps, or probably even a third or fourth reason. Either way, it appears like one party has a moral message, and the other party is just saying “Fuck you”. Because it is. The opposing party doesn’t need to agree on a path forward to agree that a certain path is obviously bad, but because it sets forth no positive agenda of its own, it looks like it is opposing an obviously good thing (all positive agendas are sold to the masses as obviously good).

But Monsieur, this is all stupid and obvious! How dare you waste my time? Apologies, dear reader, but I am a brainlet and it takes me a while to get anywhere. Besides, regardless of how obvious things are, sometimes they must be restated. Education has a knack for blinding people to obvious truths. They get so many fax, they can dial into anything. That’s tragedy and alienation of modem life, we’re not on the same page. And worse than that is to fax too many modems – life becomes phoney. That’s post-modem thinking, that there is and can be no one true AOL disk (but it’s AOL 10). Personally, I think we will one day look to the heavens again, and cast our ether nets there.

To get back on track, sometimes policies get passed. Obviously stupid policies get passed. You see, when setting a positive agenda, and you have many good but flawed paths forward, dissenting is entirely reasonable. Accordingly, it’s not a good show of loyalty. But if the party chooses a very, very stupid policy, then agreement shows that everyone really is a true blue party member. It’s a classic example of signalling. So instead of seeing a party choose one of several viable options, we should see them ultimately unite behind very stupid plans that please no one. A very stupid party indeed.

A seeker after slamsara,
Monsieur le Baron

The Value Proposition of Elites, or Why You Should Feed Me More Fudgesicles

Dearest friends,

I zoom around the world like Pac-Man around his maze, eating up pellets. And I have to ask, where do the pellets come from? Do they fall like mana from heaven? How do they obtain their marvelous roundness? Why do they taste like corn puffs? What sorcery empowers the big pellets to give ghostbuster powers? If I were a natural philosopher, I could answer such questions.

Let’s see what Edmund Burke has to say.

“A sermon from a noble duke, or a noble marquis, or a noble earl, or baron bold, would certainly increase and diversify the amusements of this town, which begins to grow satiated with the uniform round of its vapid dissipations. I should only stipulate that these new Mess-Johns in robes and coronets should keep some sort of bounds in the democratic and levelling principles which are expected from their titled pilpets.”

Or, in short, the aristocracy exists to undermine the basic values of our proud English Englishmen. Wonderful. Why even keep them around? Tradition? Tradition is lovely, but it doesn’t explain the value proposition in the first place. If time tells us anything, people told “because it is” will inevitably tear down the old ways. Burke’s argument is also rooted in property rights and the rightful place of people in society. We’ll get back to that one… another time.

For now, the value proposition.

If you’ve hung around this sphere of blogs, sometimes known as the Weblogoball, you may know of the notion of value transference. There exist projects which societies embark on – the usual stuff. Building factories, constructing dams, selling hot dogs, cloning orphans to harvest their organs, selling heroin, opening the Hellgate to Hai’lac’nox, the Pain Dimension, where our dark masters reside, milk delivery services, and maybe hanging the Christmas decorations.

As such, professionals and especially executives do not produce themselves. They coordinate production activities and take a portion of the proceeds. If you want to build a house, you’d rather have ten construction workers than ten civil engineers. Ten nurses will usually be more useful than ten doctors. But there can be no large or complex projects without coordination. The price you pay for that coordination is the skim, the value transferred for not directly productive activity. Yet Marx raises an excellent objection. Much of the time, this coordination is not done by the controlling interests themselves, but by a class of paid managers.

Furthermore, many jobs that are often done by the genteel have no relation to value transference at all. Take art and writing, two things often done by the rich. Not only is there no productive activity to siphon off of, the person is doing the work themselves. Anything produced there is done by the elite. They paint. Now, one might object that art is bohemian and is thus somewhat marginal. It’s a fair objection. But there is another elite vocation which also does not engage in value transference. It is academia. Not only is academia not bohemian, it is at the very heart of aristocratic culture. Ausonius was made consul for being a great professor. As Bourdieu noted, it is the font of honor. While, legally speaking, the sovereign is the font of honor, the actual granting or sale of a title to a graduate of a noble college is not happening arbitrarily, but within a pool of talent which the universities have already curated. Your ticket is punched. Here in Freedomia, we lost the titles but kept the system.

The next notion is that elites need to be paid off so that they don’t cause trouble. People of higher social status, by nature, are able to muster resources through their connections and prestige. Therefore, jobs need to be made for them and money given so they don’t maraud. In this model, the elite is a sort of stationary bandit, and the price paid to them is a bribe to not cause chaos. I think there is also much to recommend this as a factor in elite compensation. However, it holds more true in early stages of development, where the elite remains of a martial character. That is not to suggest the elite of today are totally disarmed – lawfare remains a valid concern. But most of them, if left alone, are unambitious nerds, more likely to hot glue a figma than to be a hotspur. If there is danger, then more of it lies with the frustrated will to power of the middle class and their agitprop protests. Antifa will bike-lock your head.

How are products made? They are made through labor. This is the input of the workers. But, as Ayn Rand noted, brute muscle alone cannot make a railroad. A railroad is not only muscle, blood, and iron, but also ideas, the concept of the railroad itself. This is why another name for the professional class is the creative class. What white collar professions do is provide the inputs of the mind, not the body. Mind and thought, not muscle and blood. Products require designs.

The academia sits at the center of elite culture in many civilizations because it stands as the symbol of thought itself. Why are elites often early adopters of new trends? Because they’re innovative. Because they’re new thoughts. Elites broke with the ancient tradition of nursemaids to start breastfeeding. This didn’t work out so well with small, flat chests. So infant formula was invented, and became a stunning success. Early infant formula killed babies. In this day and age, infant formula has become so safe and cheap that it has been adopted by the masses. Naturally, this means the elites have abandoned it to go back to breastfeeding. The more things change…

What does this mean? Ideas push out the long term production frontier. They make society more productive in the long run. So long as the civilization lasts, the idea never stops paying. The contribution of an elite may never exceed what they receive as compensation during their lifetime, but over the history of a state, it might. In that sense, the production of an elite is not the same as the production of a worker, since it may require many generations to pay back the investment, and it goes on long after the person has expired. In the short run, they can be said to be parasitic. In the long run, sometimes not. So what is the correct time horizon to judge their contribution on? And how should they be paid? Should they be paid based on how much they add while they live, or how much they add to the overall wealth of humanity in the long run? R&D labs are cost centers, but a nation that doesn’t encourage its corporations to conduct research falls behind. Across many settled societies, you keep seeing social classes arise. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just “humans are assholes”. If it was a total waste, then more egalitarian tribes would not have been supplanted by settled hierarchical civilizations.

Secondly, many elites never produce anything. The value proposition is extremely high variance. Medicine had provided little of value for centuries. Then, with the invention of vaccines and penicillin, the whole profession was made profitable in an instant. It was undoubtedly worth it, but you wouldn’t know it from the first few millennia. Instead, you would come away saying that a significant portion of the gentry was upkept doing what was essentially voodoo. To borrow the expressions of a certain volatile Med, the payoffs of elites lie in Extremistan, while the payoffs of workers lie in Mediocristan. Workers are governed by physical limitations. Even a very strong and able miner can’t mine exponentially more coal than his neighbor. Markets are very, very good at pricing the labor of workers. The pay of workers around the world tends to be similar. The income of a Chinese machinist is not too different from an American one, but our corporate overlords are too cheap to pay extra.

Contrast this with elites. Some ideas they come up with solve previously eternal human problems. Hunger has been banished. Disease mostly destroyed. Some ideas are basically neutral or pointless, like pet rocks. And some ideas are actively harmful and corrosive to the host society. In that respect, elites resemble venture capital investments. You lose money almost all the time, but sometimes you hit that unicorn, and you make enough to make the whole enterprise worth it. And venture capital is not investing in staid, predictable industrial expansion, but is looking for the disruptive ideas that will change the world.

If we pay people based on their expected value times a certain multiplier for profit, then the pay of workers is easy to calculate. But the pay of elites? Difficult. If their payoff function lives in Extremistan, then the expected value must be dominated by the small probabilities of massive payoffs, the tails. And we have few means of assessing how likely these tails are, or how big the jackpots will be. So you can’t price out the “proper” pay for an elite the way you can for ordinary workers. The payoff function is too fuzzy. Two different capitalists might assess the productivity of a coal miner differently, but the valuations will still be in the same ballpark. Creative work? Not so much.

This is why the incomes of elites vary so wildly across time and space. Cross the pond, and every job makes a different amount. Many jobs pay far less. The tax structure for capital is different. Every payoff scheme is different. Is a doctor so much the worse for living in Germany? Is an industrialist a better industrialist if he lives in Ireland and not the mainland? Have America’s rulers become far smarter and more competent since 1950? In modern America, we expect scientists to make peanuts and to coast on the great prestige of their work. But in 19th century Norway, scientists ruled the roost. Wealth, power, and knowledge were concentrated into one set of hands. And so, the masses instinctively recognize there is something unseemly about the rising wealth of the 1% and their masters, the upper class. Because there is so much fuzz and uncertainty about the expected value of these things, getting paid more or less is just a matter of manipulating cultural conventions and norms. Elites write blank checks to themselves.

If you’ve got that kind of power, it’s best to write a low number, so that all will consider it reasonable, and to take one on the chin if you make a mistake. Often, what makes people mad is not the size of the checks, but the lack of consequences for bad ideas. People are perfectly okay if a CEO makes $100 million shoring up American industry. It’s seeing a CEO golden parachute out of a burning building that really pisses them off.

Especially since, as you ascend, money is not money. That is, money does not represent the same thing. For the bulk of society, money is the means by which they sustain themselves. It’s resources to eat. Their share of their productivity is what Marx would call the necessary labor to reproduce labor. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, and every dollar is another dollar to buy Stardollars coffee and pumpkin spice corndogs. Once you reach the upper middle class, you achieve satisfaction of these life needs. Money is no longer about getting another Margaritaville machine. It’s not about stuff. It’s about power. It’s shares of ownership of the means of production. It’s influence bought from politicians. It’s points in the game of prestige. As such, absolute pay doesn’t really matter that much. Relative pay matters, because relative pay and relative wealth is what determines your rank in the pecking order. This adds another fuzz factor to calculations. What they’re getting isn’t stuff, it’s power. It fills a different psychological need from the income of workers.

Was I supposed to set up a Pac-Man analogy? Eh. It’s an overrun. We’re behind schedule. Give me a million dollars and I’ll provide one, maybe. Probably. There are a lot of risk factors on my risk factor chart.

“Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.” “Work is for losers. A winner says ‘That’s on my list’ and never commits to a deadline.” – Bob the Builder, probably

Or maybe it’s all bollocks. Give me fudgesicles. I deserve it, since I am such a big value creator. Productivity = The Bigs.

Hates Mondays, meetings, and Monday meetings,
Monsieur le Baron

A Better Political Compass, or The Magnificence of Doublethink

Dearest friends,

Without a good compass, you will get lost. This is why I get lost so often – I have yet to find a reliable supplier of hiking supplies. It can be hard to navigate without being able to get your bearings. You can use the sun, but I find the sun has this unfortunate habit of swooping out of the sky trying to eat me, making this dreadful angry face all the while. And one can try to use the animals as a guide, but when I try to sing at the birds, they just peck me.

So a compass.

Similarly, if one is to wander the political woods, one must have a good political compass. Yet I find the ones available often too shabby. The first axis is often labeled Left vs Right. These two terms on their own don’t tell us anything. They might as well be team jerseys or colors: Red vs Blue. Indeed, many shabbier tests use party positions as the metric – to be a Leftist is to toe the Democratic party line. Needless to say, there are many flaws to this. Some go farther and call this the economic axis: leftists are socialists and rightists are capitalists. Yet, many would call positions like Traditionalism, Fascism, and Monarchism rightist. But these often reject capitalism for various reasons. Similarly, most people would agree progressives are leftist. But progressivism is usually defending the extension of Capital’s power – #wokecapital. And people point at something like, say, gay rights, and say that it’s leftist, even if it has nothing to do with economics. Clearly, capitalism vs communism is inadequate to explain this.

What does? The common thread uniting the Left is not socialism, but constructivism. That is, the Left believes that things are socially constructed. Things being socially constructed, they are, in some sense, malleable. Culture and nurture rules, not nature. Genders are a social construct! Laws are a social construct! Gravity is a social construct! By contrast, the Right believes in innate properties of things. There is an essence to everything, an immutable nature. Men and women are different. Capitalism channels man’s inherent greed productively. Human races are real and more than skin-deep. Going to the absolute extreme on the Left, one might expect someone to say there is no such thing as truth, only social constructs, so we can will away the Sun if we all clap our hands and believe. Going to the absolute extreme on the Right, one might expect someone to point out an ethnic group, say, the Yews, call them treacherous, and say that treachery being in their nature (as our qualities and weaknesses are in ours), and nature being unchangeable, the only path forward is extermination. Culture is downstream from biology.

Nowadays, political compasses often have a second axis going vertically, which they term Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism, and which is supposed to capture social attitudes. As we can see, lots of social attitudes can already be captured by the Left-Right dimension. But this dimension is also real, just mislabeled. The distinction which is being captured is not Authoritarian vs Libertarian, but Collectivist vs Individualist. Collectivism, in turn, is implicitly Authoritarian, because the group is privileged over the individual. Because of this, the individual necessarily must suborn their interests to that of the group. This creates a power differential and relation. When groups form, even anarchist groups, leaders and decision-making processes form, which people must submit to. Collectives imply authority. Collectives imply a relationship of authority. Collectivism is therefore implicit hierarchy. Individualists don’t see the world that way. For them, a man is born with rights. No government needs to exist for a man to be free to drink spring water, speak his mind (at the birds, presumably), or build a gunsword which shoots guns which shoot swords. Man is free because the world is free. Groups form and then IMPOSE upon the individuals, taking some of their rights for themselves. But for such an arrangement to be legitimate, the ruled must consent to surrender some of the freedom which they possess in the state of nature. Those who are Leftist Individualists we would call progressives or libertines. Because reality is socially constructed, they perceive reality as a group impingement on their innate freedom to socially construct themselves into being a Two Souled Karate Unicorn. God bless them. Those who are Rightist Individualists want to protect their natural right to have sex with twelve year olds because, actually, it’s ephebophilia not pedophilia and the attempt to define it otherwise is a plot by the government and its sinister roads, so buy up all the little girls you can using gold, which holds innate currency value. Leftist Collectivists see the perfect People Management Software as twelve easy gulagings away, and in the meantime, we’ve got to stop those wreckers sent by the Untied Shoelaces, land of godless materialism, people treating dogs as children, and negroid music. Rightist Collectivists know that if they can just get all those yahoos and punctuated merchants subverting the Ordnung back in line (or thrown out of helicopters), King Arthur will return, the mountains will jizz chocolate, and peace will reign in the land forever probably.

Except some don’t. And also, isn’t this just a relabeling of the existing compasses? Before you throw me out of a helicopter for being a shallow pedant and a hack, I have one more thing to add. And then you can throw me out of a helicopter for being a shallow pedant and a hack.

There’s one more axis. Constrained vs Unconstrained. This may sound familiar, because it is familiar. I stole it from Sowell. But it explains how monarchists and fascists are different, even if they might both be Collectivist and Rightist. Constrained thinkers tend to see the world as defined by tradeoffs. It is a fallen world. Things don’t really permanently improve. History goes in cycles. Mistakes are unavoidable because knowledge is costly and the future is messy. Conflicts come from people having fundamentally different interests. Unconstrained thinkers believe in progress, that things can and will improve, and that win-wins dominate, not trade-offs. Mistakes are a matter of ignorance. Conflicts come from failures to communicate. Fascists are Unconstrained, Reactionaries are Constrained. Ancaps with NAP attacks are Unconstrained, Old Libertarians are Constrained.

Looking over the long flow of history, technology tends to fit the Unconstrained pattern, while governments and cultures fit the Constrained one. So, naturally, engineers tend to be Constrained thinkers and sociologists Unconstrained. An engineer is trained to think about the tradeoffs made when building something. You can trade strength for weight, heat for power, speed for durability, etc. They are constantly confronted with setbacks and failures. And they see all human constructions crumble to dust in time. But every once in a while, one lifts one’s head from the cube and sees that the internet really has gotten thousands of times faster and you’ve made a fat bundle along the way. Similarly, sociologists and their ilk see so many human cultures that it’s hard not to notice the vast differences in the way cultures do things. And they are confronted by differences in values. In turn, it instills a kind of optimism. If so much can be different, why can’t we improve? And so they make another preschool program that doesn’t work. Aristocrats gain prestige by moving leftwards, and they are also constantly manipulating and messing with the proles, so it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that these cultures are constructed – you’re constructing them. But such a position means that your fancy hat is just as constructed, so why don’t we construct it off your head? The prole doesn’t have much margin for fanciful ideas, better the devil he knows. Besides, he sees the kids growing up and the animals breeding, and he knows temperament comes from the parents. But such an ideology means that his low status really is innate to him and deserved. Collectivism tends to attract people who have little but their group identity to be proud of, and in turn, Collective regimes purge those people as useless eaters. Individualists often find themselves asserting their special individuality, a unique identity that everybody hates, and which would be pounded to a pulp absent the government monopoly on force.

What’s the Matter with Kansas? is a mistitling. It should really be called what wrong wit humies atok their fecking stupid uezs.

Anyways, to make a long story short, I see eyes out in the trees looking at me. I’m cold and wet and hungry. I’m hoping you can use the IP posting this to find where I am.

Send hookers and bitcoin,
Monsieur le Baron

Cultures are not Greenfield Projects, or the Virtue of Pulling Someone’s Spinal Cord Out Through Their Ass

Dearest friends,

The biggest problem with building shit is that someone else, inconveniently, has already built things there! How dare they? It’s always nice to get out a fresh piece of paper and start anew. If only reality could be so yielding. Instead, you have to deal with the lumpy remains of the past. Still, even lumps become charming with enough age, though the roads remain narrow and cramped.

To make a long story short, if someone calls asking about an arsonist, I’m not home.

While I remain on the lam, I might as well write something.

Cultures are not greenfield projects. Much ink is spilled over the best way to structure society or government or a religion or money or whatever. People identify problems and devise all sorts of fiendishly clever solutions. I can’t understand them all – I am a rather thick and unclever man. But I do know this much. Clever solutions rarely see the light of day. Much as ant farmers and social engineers might wish otherwise, you’re never starting from zero. You’re starting from an existing culture with existing norms. To get a new idea, you have to bridge from the old, and that means creating intermediate steps and watering down the old design. UBI is a functional idea – but to get it, you have to grandfather in the old welfare recipients. That means it loses quite a bit of its shine.

Well, what about revolution?

What about revolution?

Revolution is not some clean sweep of the old order. That’s gloss and infant formula for bright-eyed idealists. Revolutions are beholden to backers, backers with their own demands for power, wealth, and status. To get them their rightful rewards, one must compromise with reality and break with ideological purity. Comrade Director may be leading us into a bright syndicalist future, but it’s one where he has a stately manor and a staff of Comrade Cleaners. Furthermore, complex civilizations require legions of manpower. Society doesn’t run itself. New regimes tend to coopt the elites of the old order. That keeps the lights on (well, as best as they can be kept on when half the people at the plant are dead), but it also reintroduces many of the rigidities of the old regime. Here’s the new boss, same as the old boss.

I really do mean the same.

I understand the feelings of the wignats. Of course I do. They see a strange people who have invaded their home and dare to call themselves the inhabitants. Not only that, they call themselves *more* deserving of the home’s title than you.

That’s how I feel about the self-proclaimed Kshatriya. Sure, they’re not important in the modern Dissident Right. I still don’t like them.

What many would-be revolutionaries fail to understand in their historical narratives is that the house always wins. Those who praise aristocracy but damn the DC swamp monster fail to understand that the swamp monster *is* aristocracy. Sure, it has a bunch of annoying clerisy gnats goading it to be more progressiver, but the core of it is aristocratic. Any narrative that starts with the Jews or the Bourgeois or the smelly people down the street beating the Back-to-Back Every War Champs is, frankly, ludicrous. The aristocracy was not destroyed. It’s stronger than ever. The aristocracy reduced the monarchs into mango puree before rendering the Church into kibbles and bits. Sure, they may not make “good government” or “maximize profit”, but that was never the goal. The goal is to have power. Power is being had. Mission accomplished. The aristocracy is a tremendously fit creature. It is now superbly well-adapted to its niche of stomping on faces and turning avocado toast into poop.

We’re stuck with the consequences of the past. People don’t get to start over. People build over old cultures much like sushiritos follow burritos (TO BE EXPOUNDED ON IN FUTURE EXCITING SUSHIRITO MUSINGS). That’s it, really. You can’t start from nothing. You’re stuck with piles of cultural appendixes. Why do I wear a collared shirt? Why is this office open? Where do cubicles come from? Why do we drive on the right side of the road? It’s all arbitrary continuities of arbitrary traditions, sushiritos all the way down. The world isn’t built on the back of sturdy turtles, it’s built on sushiritos. That’s my word of the day, sushirito. Am I impressing you with my sushirito-based wordliness? Never use a two syllable word where a sushirito might do.

It’s not easy being an idiot in the Dissident Right. That’s why I have to keep shoveling sushiritos down my throat. It helps with cope with the pain of dumbness. But a dumb person like me can see all the layers piled up like a Taco Baal monstrosity offered up as a gift to the Altar of Excess. And the layers only get deeper, meatier, and cheesier with time. We are all creatures of forgotten, pointless rituals. We must be like Confucius and just accept they are what they are.

Instead of worrying about policy or institutions or inefficient practices, worry about power. Power doesn’t care about your facts *or* your feelings.

It’s fun to come up with policies. But when you get down to brass tacks, the most useful superpower is incredible spine-ass-ripping strength.

Plays too much Mortal Kombat,
Monsieur le Baron

Species of Class Conflict, or The Best Bestiary of Mawkish Marxist Marches Abridged

Dearest friends,

The plates of the earth constantly rub up against each other. They go up, they go down, they make mountains, they sink lands, they pop into volcanoes. Continents collide, continents separate. But there is no point to it, nor does it end (well, so long as the core burns anyway).

Life is conflict.

And so is class.

Marx was not wrong in speaking of class conflict as the engine of history. His only mistake was assuming, in that peculiar Western way, that there was progress and an end. But the wheel turns, and its turning humbles the great and makes great the humble.

What follows is a list of types of class conflict. I do not pretend this is a complete list. Still, I dare say it is an improvement over the unimaginative clods that constantly rehash the words of the Great Man and make all battles into wars over the means of production.

The Peasant’s Revolt
Proles vs UMC
This is the classic Marxist battle over the means of production, but framed in a new way. While classic Marxists believe that seizing the means of production will liberate the proles and usher in the classless age, this victory soon proves to be temporary at best. The reason is simple. One cannot run anything by committee well. Sooner or later, rule will devolve to a few key persons, and these people will be de facto owners of the means of production. Such was the case in Yugoslavia, where the Comrade Directors became just like the feudal lords they replaced (sometimes they were even their sons). Because of this, there can be no lasting seizure of the means of production. And because of that simple fact, seizing the means of production does not upend all of society and destroy the upper class, but merely the local lords. Because the local lords know they can be destroyed, these conflicts have become increasingly less total. You can’t throw out the lords for good, so you can only try to get the best terms you can. Replace the boss? Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

In medieval society, land was the means of production, so peasant’s revolts focused on abusive and greedy lords. In industrial society, factories are the means of production, so peasant’s revolts take the form of strikes and collective action intended to force a renegotiation between labor and capital. Proles know that paradise isn’t coming, so they won’t be duped into overturning society to immanentize the eschaton. It is not the emperor that they take issue with, but the local rapacious lord.

The Baron’s Revolt
UMC vs UC
Sometimes, the ruler is mad. Sometimes, the ruler is centralizing power too much. It is upon the baronage that power is built. They are the strata of the elite which is actively extracting resources from the rest of society and serving as coordination units. The center forgets this at its peril. When the center attempts to seize too much power from the autonomous provinces, they will grumble. Fundamentally, this is an intra-elite conflict about the distribution of power. Too much autonomy and a state disintegrates, too much centralization and it becomes rigid and fragile. And sometimes the ruler is just plain crazy. When their decrees cause famine and ruin, any right thinking person will begin to question the throne. That’s why some affluent persons in rural regions voted for Trump – their local communities were collapsing, and so they cautiously offered to win their districts for the insurgent, in hopes the country could be saved.

Conflict of the Orders
Proles and UMC vs MC and UC
You can’t keep men of talent down forever. In every society, there are certain persons with power, money, and influence… but no rank. When a man born to rule is kept from the halls of power, he soon grows resentful. And because he has power, he will use it. The result is class conflict. Some among the plebs became exceedingly rich and powerful, but they were still barred from Roman high society. The same was true of the high bourgeois in Ancien Regime Europe. In the modern Philippines, you have the high families of mixed Spanish descent ruling while the Chinese bourgeois take the reins of the economy. The Jews rose to professional positions, but they wanted a real seat at the table.

You can’t keep people out forever. Sooner or later, there will be a reckoning. The UMC challengers enlist the assistance of the proles by framing it as a battle between unprivileged, hard-working outsiders fighting against those who abuse privileged legal statuses to maintain their grip on society. The UC enlist the assistance of the middle class by appeals to propriety and the natural order. This is how republics form peacefully. The old elite and the newcomers soon reach a settlement, but the appeals to equality have a lasting effect. The Roman Republic after the conflict of the orders was a real republic. Bourgeois agitation in the late 19th century really did create a flowering of democracies across Europe.

But if there cannot be a peaceful resolution, then it must be revolution.

Revolution
MC and UMC vs UC
Negotiations have broken down. There will be no room made at the table. Elites are already overproduced. Revolution it must be, and revolution it will be. The Rome that accommodated the rising plebians was a young Rome, hale and hearty, with plenty more world to conquer and exploit. The Europe that fused the new bourgeois with the old aristocracy was a Europe at the height of its power and influence. But sometimes empires are in decline. When a power rises, it is easy to grant positions to new elites. But as a power declines, existing elites become more determined to hold onto what they have. Competition is too tight to permit upstarts.

Members of the UMC will want to take the UC positions they feel their talents and ambition have earned, but they will be frozen out. Similarly, a stagnant aristocracy will be unable to absorb all the middle class aspirants seeking to join it. Discontent rises. Ambitious UMC will seek to rise by hook or by crook. What they can do in peace through great deeds, they will now seek to gain by force. The armies of disappointed aspirants serve as natural cannon fodder. The deal is simple. The baron who wishes to be king will promise their followers that they will be barons in this new world. It is men of the upper middle that spark revolutions: Trotsky, Lenin, Guevara, Castro, the Comte de Mirabeau (not as rich as you would expect a count to be). That being said, a revolution, like a cannonball, and like the great conquerors who spark them, must go on. They soon find a way of carrying people away.

What foolish things men do for a crown.

Elite Liberation
UMC vs MC
Not all revolutions are classical. Some are cultural. When a society’s elites no longer feel that they must maintain its values, they will abandon them. To be a cultural repository is a great and restrictive burden. For a naturally liberal caste to safeguard tradition is a difficult ask. No religion can withstand questioning forever, and no rites can resist rationalization. The soul of the aristocracy inclines it leftwards, as do the pressures of court life. It is only duty that binds them to their society’s cult. When duty falters, so too does their dedication to the societal cult.

Natural spite for the middle class takes over.

What happens next? A total upending of traditions and remaking of traditional norms. The WASPs stop preaching traditional family values. Cults proliferate. Everything is questioned. And the fabric of society shreds.

Society cannot be without a cult forever. The new war is a war for the souls of men. In the end, one creed will reign. From the ashes of pagan Rome rises Constantine.

Aspirant’s War
MC vs UMC and UC
Occupy Wall Street! We are the 99%! In reality, they are nothing of the sort. They do not speak for the people but for a small frustrated slice. Occupy Wall Street attempted to paint itself as a populist movement, but it was really the movement of middle class aspirants who discovered, to their dismay, that their college degrees were not magic keys to power and prosperity. Rather than give up, they attempted to take things into their own hands. It went poorly. Prole America does not sympathize with dreamers who rack up tens of thousands of debt trying to become elite. When your biggest goal is not to destroy the system, but merely to be the man holding the whip, it is difficult to find supporters. At least a baron has true imperium and majeste, however minor. An aspirant has nothing.

Of course, what aspirants have in mind is this…

Top vs Bottom
Proles and MC vs UMC and UC
A dodo. A myth. This doesn’t happen. What these aspirants wanted was to rally all of society behind them so they could tear down the elites (and then sit in the now vacant chairs). Of course, any idiot could see that these folks were both greedy and stupid.

If there is one rule in class relations, it is that everyone hates the middle class. And so, an attempt to create a Top vs Bottom situation soon becomes…

The Tea Party
Proles vs MC
You see, bringing up aspirant grievances with the elite doesn’t inspire any sympathy. Instead, it inspires anger. When Prussia conquered Poland, the better szlachta were allowed to integrate into the new regime. The same occurred in Austria. But the szlachta also included the Polish middle class. These dispossessed szlachta attempted to lead a Polish revolt in 1846. Well, as they say, “the szlachta is the Polish nation, the peasants are the slaves.” A position in the regime is table stakes. It shows you’re risking something real. What does someone outside the system have to offer? What are they giving up to lead? The prole senses, rightly, the aspirant simply aims to swap one yoke for another. What is promised is not a radically new world as in a true revolution or conflict of the orders, but more of the same under different colors. To the prole, both the Occupy Wall Street protesters and those in the glass towers were the same damn coastal bastards. The hell with them all. The real issue was not whiny pansies and their frustrated ambitions, but the regulations and taxes being forced down their throat and the disenfranchisement of the masses. So they had a Tea Party.

As for the Poles? They took those damnable szlachta and butchered them.

Power belongs to those that will seize it, not to bloviating intellectuals attempting to exist outside the system. Plus, the cultural appropriation? Distasteful.

Just butthurt about Kshatriya LARPs,
Monsieur le Baron

Ich bin ein Vernunftrepublikaner, oder der Kleinknusprigkrapfenlösung im Diet

Dearest friends,

There comes a time in every man’s life where he must become pastry.

Nah, I’m Just Fucking Kidding.

And I’m kidding about that too! No conspiracy theories, please.

Nobody really believed the Wall could fall until it did. Except for those crazy people who did, but let’s ignore them. Mass psychology is a funny thing. But people, far better people than I, have already written about the psychology of the masses. Unfortunately for me, they did so in books, long books, long books with big words and no pictures, thus placing these insights far outside my reach. However, I have no doubt you, dear reader, could be an equal to these challenges.

Instead, I’m going to talk about an easy subject: Brahmin. Brahmin are easy to discuss because you can watch them and write down their silly behaviors. And they are fruitful to discuss because, generally speaking, few people write about Brahmin. The masses can’t write about Brahmin because they don’t see Brahmin, and the Brahmin don’t write about Brahmin because all of the interesting insights they take as natural. Fish are tragically unable to know water.

A Brahmin is a priestly creature. He loves books and Calvinism and books and smug pontifications about the Galapagos and books and dolphin-safe donuts. Being a creature of religion, heretic though he may be (do you see Brahmin living among their beloved ghettowalkers or getting divorced?), he has a big ego goal – to preach his religion.

But, you may say, Brahmins hate Christers! Or maybe not. Presumably you’ve already read some neoreaction. Regardless of their professed religion beliefs, Brahmin do, more or less, believe in a set of doctrines and moral behaviors that, if followed, will lead to paradise, and which constitute the grounds for moral judgement and sin. The real religion of the Brahmin is, of course, the Cathedral. Universal, omnipresent progressivism. The goal of the priest is to become pure and attain paradise, but what of the Cathedral’s priest? Given that his paradise is earthly, he has no choice but to attempt to immatenize the eschaton. He will bring paradise to the present, material world.

Now, every so often, a Brahmin goes off the reservation and renounces the Cathedral faith. What then? Well, dear reader, you might say they finally let truth into their darkened eyes and embrace neoreaction. Of course, once we formally recognize power, restore the sovereign, banish egalitarianism, and end voting, we will attain the Superparisian Vienna on a hill. Paradise, good wine, and good times will be had by all.

Dawkins may have been pwned, but so was Moldbug. It’s not just that the Cathedral is a religion. All political ideologies are religions – they promise to fix the problems of society with a few prescriptions and thus deliver humanity into the age of good government. The issue is that while they fix a few problems, usually the problems they purport to, they create others. Why? They ignore the fundamental problem of power.

Which is really a fundamental problem of humanity.

The problem is that gains are not made without tradeoffs because this is not, in fact, a utopian world, but a fallen one, governed not by rational shekel-maximizers or wise kings, but human dickheads.

Behold! In an instant, USG vanishes with a greasy popping noise. Hot dog, says the state-in-wait, and a thousand would-be Kshatriya swarm the abandoned capital, eager for political loot. Behind them are their invincible robot armies.

Problem 1: Those robots are made by people. Tech people. Why should the tech people give full control to the new Kshtockholders and the proprietor they choose? Political power grows from the barrel of a gun. Just take the gun for yourself and now you rule. And what do techies love? The Cathedral. Back to square one.

Problem 2: Suppose the Kshatriya, through their immense handsomeness and muscularity, manage to take over with loyal robot armies. They split the country up into fifty million patch states and begin to rule. You know, ruling. Even though they abstained from the power process before and have no practice, I’m sure they’ll do fine. They have invincible robot armies!

My great-great-grandfather, too, had an invincible robot army. His model was the PEOPLE model, short for Privately Employed Organic Political Law Enforcement. They worked pretty well except for the part where they malfunctioned when impacted with too much blunt or explosive force. The thing is, each patch gets their own robot army.

Mmmm. Right.

It turns out, in such an environment, a little patch is surrounded by other patches. What do all the patches do? Well, what motivates patches (read: nobles)? Shekels? Nyet. Survival. Survival! Your first and foremost concern is to prevent your insides from becoming outsides. Every neighbor is a potential enemy. It is Central Park in the dead of night. There are no policemen. And the night never ends. The only promise of security is more robots. So you pump your patch dry to buy more PEOPLE-model robots. But you don’t have enough robots, so you need more resources. Where to get them? You’re already raping your little patch. Better grab another. So you invade another patch to secure the resources to prevent yourself from being invaded by another patch that wants to secure the resources to prevent itself from being invaded by another…

We call this environment “civil war”, and our thousand little proprietors “warlords”. It was a bloody, unpleasant unfair, and most of said proprietors lose, with modestly dire results for their descendants.

I am haunted by all the good wine not being drunk. By me. Every night, I go to bed unpleasured by like, fifty harem girls. It’s a dreadful world. Don’t subject your line to that.

Okay, okay.

Problem 3: So suppose that our proprietors, being rational, recognize after only a few defenestrations that civil war is bad for their life expectancy. They band together into one greater entity to bring an end to the war of all against all, and this entity rapidly expands to regional or global hegemony. Great! Wonderful!

The problem is that you’ve just made Stuart FEDGOV, with all the problems of a big, creaky FEDGOV. That’s not such a bad thing, because the Pax Americana, like the Pax Romana, is pretty wonderful. Napoleon Kai-Sulla rides triumphantly into DC astride a white charger, and the nations quake before his limitless might. Good stuff.

Do I think things will run better after that?

Absolutely.

The problem is that our new constitution still sucks. All the power is invested in the nobility, who have the power to remove the Proprietor with their shares. What is the cardinal rule of power? Nobles are dickheads. Leftist dickheads. Now they have absolute power. They’re just gonna make a new Cathedral, but blackjack and hookers. What does giving the aristoi absolute power accomplish? Does it restrain them? Hahahaha! Fuck no. Do you think the *people*, of all things, push the aristoi to make the Cathedral? How? The people are useful bioleninist shocktroopers for the ultimate goal – more power. Does anyone really think democracy can hold the aristoi accountable?

The truth of the matter is that aristoi power is already absolute. There are no meaningful consequences for the upper middle class. The only ways I can really fuck up are to commit a crime that denies FEDGOV’s monopoly on force or otherwise subvert it. And lese majeste is always a serious crime. Or if I arouse the ire of an even bigger fish. Besides that, everything is permitted.

Let me tell you a story of the upper middle class. There once was a girl who had everything going for her. She ended up going to the best school. But once there, she let herself go to pot. She dated black men to spite daddy, she neglected her studies, and worst of all, she got fat. Let me assure you that is an unpardonable sin, fatness. She bummed around with a useless Study Studies degree, obtaining no useful skills. In lieu of gathering experience, she did activism.

Does this story end with a Starbucks job and piles of debt? Ha. Of course not. She changed her mind, immediately stepped into a six-figure job, and lived happily ever after.

Even I am a pile of bad decisions and stupid risks. I have a humanities degree. A humanities degree from a second-tier college, not even an Ivy or Stanford. Not only that, I neglected my studies. My grades were below the minimum hiring cutoff for firms. As a worker, I am… slovenly at best, showing up an hour late, unkempt, with a penchant to wander in contemplation. And yet…

Monsieur le Baron lives rather comfortably, I’ll say that.

Perhaps it’s talent? Well, talent, just as much as wealth, is part of their inheritance.

One might protest that madame was merely being a good leftist in the Cathedral tradition. First of all, if you actually do the things we tell the proles to do – you’re an idiot. And second of all, Monsieur le Baron is a brash rightist. A card-carrying Democratic rightist, but certainly right enough for the Cathedral. But this, like pedophilia or other such maladies, is merely a sword given by its handle. Leverage. At least my sin keeps my conscience clean before God, even if it isn’t clean in the eyes of man.

The upper middle class is immune to consequences. And if you protest that you are a member and you are not… I have some bad news for you.

No, their power is unchecked. And it has not produced virtue, far from it.

The first generation of the new empire *will* be virtuous. And things will run well. But not for reasons of constitution. Give me a hundred constitutions and I’ll poke holes in them all. All arrangements are flawed and doomed. It is order and chaos. Foundings are acts of reaction because they impose order on order. The American Founding was just as much reaction as Stalin’s rise to power or the coming of the Normans. The Empire is vigorous as it arises from the sea foam, fully formed.

Leftism – the powerlust – rot – entropy – is universal. It is LEFTISM that rules over all things in the end. The tribe of the lion does not content itself to mortar the slumping edifice. It hungers for power. Only in times of chaos is the warlord finally welcome. But in all times, the warlord is born.

What does it mean to be Vernunftrepublikaner? It means abandoning hope in ideology. All regimes fail. Entropy devours all things. Chaos is the rule, order a brief exception.

But it means to love it regardless, for there is nothing else and nothing better.

It means tending the bonfire of Western civilization, nay, all of civilizations, the sacred hearth with its ever-burning flame. A flame that must constantly be stoked and fed, that demands patrician virgins and the noblest sons be given to it. It means understanding that being a defender of order means being a sucker, means giving yourself to a hopeless cause. It means understanding that it is so much more than that – it is becoming a ritual sacrifice, kindling for the flame. A life surrendered for one’s children, and all that will come after you.

And why? Because with the state came the end of the war of all. When the fire is brought to a rest and stoked, it becomes a hearth. Civilization is man’s home, the place where he can finally rest. It is the only rest he can know until he is finally recalled to his Maker’s side.

Thus, we carry the flame, insatiable as it is. And when Troy is ashes, we spirit the flame away across the sea to an unknown shore.

Cathedrals rise, Cathedrals fall.

The flame burns on.

Actually a disgruntled Krispy Kreme shill,
Monsieur le Baron