Sunday, July 31, 2011

So much for the myth of the noble savage

Via la Wik:

"In Arnhem Land in northern Australia, a study of warfare among the Indigenous Australian Murngin people in the late 19th century found that over a 20-year period no less than 200 out of 800 men, or 25% of all adult males, had been killed in intertribal warfare."

An interesting test

Read this article and mentally replace all instances of "Internet Explorer users, use Internet Explorer", etc with, say, "Australian Aborigine, be Australian Aborigine" and all instances of "Opera/Firefox/other browser users, use Opera/Firefox/other browsers" with, say, "Asian/Jewish, be Asian/Jewish".

And then tell me a logical, non-axiomatic reason why an observation about race is more inflammatory than an observation about browser usage.

EDIT: It has been revealed as a hoax, and I admit I didn't catch that the first go around. However, the point still stands: Why aren't people asking for Mr. Murphy's head? Let's say he'd created a hoax about one race being less intelligent than another, do you think he would have gotten off so easily?

Of course not.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jack The Ripper's Got Nothing on Anders Behring Breivik

I was tempted to do a write up of my thoughts on the recent attacks in Norway, but Moldbug beat me to it.

Which is fine, since he's liable to say it more eloquently than I could.

He did however, leave out the part where any society where any random asshole can pick up a shotgun and proceed to murder 85 bloody people in an hour and a half, has fundamentally failed at the task of law and order. To say nothing of the sort of colossal failure of public contentedness in Western democratized society that is implied for this sort of thing to happen in the first place, how does someone run around on an island for an hour and a half shooting people without being stopped? Hell, I'm reasonably confident that just a plurality of the campers on that island could have tackled him and brought the nightmare to an end. The hell, guys?

And for all of those out there who blame guns, it's clear to me that this guy could have caused just as much carnage with a kitchen knife. This is a fundamental failure of order, not a failure to keep sharp implements away from children.

Anyway, I'm sure MM figures it's so obvious that these attacks are indicative of a failure of order that he needn't mention it. But he has a loyal reactionary readership, and I don't, so I do feel the need to spell things out.

Being that this is the second time I've mentioned Mencius Moldbug on this blog, I figure I ought to mention that if you're reading UE and not UR, there is something wrong with you. Go back, read some of Mencius' introductory writings (which can be found in organized form here), build a red lightsaber, and come back. While I don't agree with MM on every single point, my philosophy essentially begins and ends with his ideas. He's the reason I'm a reactionary, and I typically take my cues from him. If I am a Sith Apprentice, he's my Palpatine.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Dark Lord Rises?

Perhaps, in time. It would seem inevitable that one so intelligent, and dedicated, and given over to rationalism would eventually find his inner Voldemort, but then, everyone who thinks thinks their perspective is the most rational.

Those of us who've been so thoroughly disproven, however, tend to be a bit more certain of it than most.

At any rate, you should really read his fanfiction; it's top notch deconstruction, and you might even learn something.

And if our dear Mr. Wrong is reading this, should you decide the red lightsaber is for you, I wish to be the first to welcome you to the fold.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let's get this (b)log rolling

Today, a thought occurred to me. Among America's elite caste, which the powerful Sith Lord Darth Moldbug refers to as the Brahmins, there is a certain wistfulness for the simple, the rustic, and the primitive. Seminal Brahmin works, such as Walden extoll the virtues of simple living, and it is many a young Progressive's dream to attain status, and then eventually secure it by living in the woods in a log cabin not unlike Abraham Lincoln's (few Progressives I know would feel rebuked by this comparison). It is all the rage among that caste to tend a backyard garden, even if the tomatoes and strawberries they grow are more disease-prone, not as fresh, taste worse, and cost more than those bought from the store (I, too, was a Brahmin once).

I am sure that I don't need to go into detail; one can find in-depth descriptions of all manner of Brahmin proclivities over at SWPL, and even then, it would probably only serve to confirm what most likely readers of this blog already know. How does one live in a Kingdom without knowing its royalty?

But it seems counter-intuitive for the ruling class to want to move backwards, live in a log cabin, grow their own food, and expose themselves to all kinds of unnecessary trouble. Hmmm. Perhaps there is an explanation for this.

One might be tempted to assume this is all part of the Brahmins' collective courtship of the Dalits and Helots via a reinforcing of the idea that "we are like you, we have to deal with the problems you do, and we solve them as simply as you do", but that explanation doesn't hold water for a couple of reasons. Firstly, what Dalit or Helot lives primitively? Despite being underclasses, you will find few of examples of these castes who live in the woods in a log cabin and grow their own food. The second is that these displays are primarily targeted towards other Brahmins. Indeed, Brahmins have become so obsessed with showing off how "simply" they can live to other Brahmins that a simplicity arms race of sorts has developed, resulting in large sections of the "organic/natural/authentic" industry you see today (all sprung up like weeds to feed on the sweet, sweet vanity of our ruling class.).

So, then, what does explain this behavior? Surely, pissing matches are no new thing, but why have the Brahmins chosen to pursue this particular path of showing off, instead of, say, building taller and taller houses, and buying shinier and shinier cars? It's just a guess, but it's one that makes sense the more I think about it: Brahmins are cargo-cultists. There are other examples of this that I am more certain of, but this explanation is particularly elegant: The Brahmins do not understand how social order and personal contentedness are generated, only that they don't have enough of either, and that the people who did (who are all long gone; the war's over, and they lost) lived more primitively than they do now. In fact, Brahmins have taken this to such an extreme as to drive many of their living habits back a hundred years or more. This is seen to them as a validation that they, too, can raise children properly, live in a well-ordered household with many extended relatives who get along, and keep order in the wider world as a whole. Perversely, this has caused them to worship backward cultures that still exist, many of whom are suffering from the most acute ill affects of Progressive world rule. We can see many examples of this in modern media, where Brahmin films about beautiful indigenous African tribes who live off the land and are suddenly thrust into deadly conflicts between warlords and South African mercenaries who have more technology than they, their lives never to be the same, are a dime a dozen. The message here is that technology is the culprit, and that to escape this waking nightmare, the good Brahmin must live as the primitives do, and eschew all things modern and "fake", lest they, too, be corrupted. Of course, the modern Progressive elite never considers that Progressivism is actually the culprit, that the African tribe had a nasty habit of cannibalism before they ever came along, and that the fact that Progressives have technology is entirely incidental.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking for a Progressive Myth?

This is a good one.

It hits all the points of a good myth; a supernatural realm which fscks with the real world unseen; clear sides of light and dark, and mortal characters caught between the two. It features spunky, Progressive protagonists (the purpose of which is unclear) a world that operates on bizarre causality, and even solidly defined Progressive morals at the end! If you are an avid student of the myths and legends of the Progressive religion, this is a pretty good start. You can even tell which side a character is on by whether they wear clothing made of natural materials or plastic!

To step out of jest for a moment, Ink does lay it on thick, but if you can ignore the fact that it's built around the Progressive pulpit (the good guys are literally the embodiments of Shame, fighting, of course, against the avatars of Pride) for the duration, it's actually quite entertaining. There's some good writing to be had, though some bad writing, as well, and the characters and acting are solid.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Hows and Whys of Explaining Your Empire to The Drooling Masses

Or: Religion and Its Applications in Government

In March I explained why religion behaves as it does, why people feel compelled to join religions, and what religions do to people.

In that entry, I did say that religions are inherently pretentious. This is not quite 100% true, though for all modern religions that have little or no connection to either the current power structure or to scientific fact yet profess to know the keys to metaphysical concepts are quite pretentious. However, in the past there have been what we'd recognize as religions that show us that it's possible to have a religion with little or no pretense. These religions drew clear lines to actual power and authority, whereby worship was given to a real entity with real power over the worshippers.

Now, we need to get a couple of concepts out of the way before this concept can really gel in our head. The first is what is meant by "God". In the Abrahamic religions, which most readers will be familiar with, "God" is this all powerful, birthless, deathless being who is the virtual embodiment of the universe. This concept of God contrasts with the classical idea of a god, which to our current mind just means any entity who has overwhelming power and unusually long life. You will note that this is not at all incompatible with a strong central government, that wields overwhelming power and exists for many decades. Hmm. We'll come back to this.

The second concept is to assume, for a moment, that God is real, and all the crazy Christians/Muslims/Jews in the world aren't just talking to themselves. What, then, do we make of all their prayers, rituals, etc? Well, it turns out that these activities make a lot of sense, if God is actually real. Prayer is a request to a superior, rituals show both your solidarity to the leader and your submission to his will. As a bonus, the feeling the people get from being a part of a large and powerful monkey troop religion acts as a buffer against public unrest.* Huzzah for God!

Of course, no God by the Abrahamic tradition exists, to the best of our knowledge, and worshiping the Universe itself seems pretty silly, since it can't address your concerns, accept your praise, or appreciate your loyalty to it.

Clearly, for an authoritarian, reactionary government, these mechanics are highly desirable. A well-defined communication method** with the sovereign, endorphin rewards for loyalty to the King, AND a buffer against public unrest? Where do I sign up?

But wait! There's more!

While most modern religions use their tribal influence as a conduit for falsehood, it's possible to use religion as a conduit for truth. Consider, for instance, that a God who is not expected to be entirely omniscient has no dogmatic qualms. If the science changes, his dogma changes, simple as that. In order to illustrate how smoothly this change can occur, we shall take a brief look at the Chinese Communist Party leader, Deng Xiaoping, who successfully reversed Maoist policy without significant backlash. As a second illustration of the merits of state religion, consider beginner science texts, such as A Briefer History of Time, which illustrates advanced scientific concepts in an easily digestible way. Its explanations may not be entirely perfect from a scientific perspective, but they're good enough for the average Joe. In a similar fashion, a state religion can be an explanation of advanced governance concepts, which would otherwise be inaccessible to the common person. It is probably this quality that makes a state religion most desirable to the reactionary, since one of the most prized aspects of reactionary government is honesty. With a state religion, the government can be open, using the pulpit to explain complex concepts in simple terms, in a way more elegant than just handing out copies of The Government For Dummies.

How does one establish this state religion on top of the mess of various religions who have all been shown "tolerance" for many decades? Well, it's reasonably simple. People tend to worship anything that seems like a good idea, from Jesus, to Elvis, to Naruto characters, which means that the first step is to get yourself power*** as the sovereign. The second is for you, the sovereign to revitalize the country, and cause the majority of people to love you. For this you must court the people, an activity distinct from being beholden to the people. Is Lady Gaga popular? Yes. Do her fans collectively determine her touring schedule? No. The final step, after the corners of your society begin to wear amulets to you around their necks, is to culture this budding religion, guide it, and ensure that it works to your aims. Voila, you are now a God-Emperor!

Whoopsie, did I just propose an Empire where the leader is literally worshipped by the people as a God? My bad.

*For an illustration of just how powerful this effect can be, observe the differences in attitudes of the Japanese soldiers towards the end of the Second World War and Russian soldiers toward the end of the First. Striking, isn't it?

**In this system, prayer would be via letter or email. We have not yet developed the technology to mentally communicate directly with your sovereign. Sorry.

***Or, you know, someone else, if you are too much of a pussy to do it yourself.