Curtis Yarvin: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The first time I read Mencius Moldbug, I chuckled. There was something Voltairean about him. Though Unqualified Reservations was a vanilla-looking blog, I could still imagine a curmudgeon with an ink well and quill, furiously scribbling about this or that shibboleth, pulling no punches, suffering no fools. Moldbug gave it good and hard to progressives, libertarians, and conservatives alike. For this, he was eventually anointed High Priest of the “Dark Enlightenment.”

Moldbug, it turned out, was the nom de guerre of software developer Curtis Yarvin, and since he discontinued blogging, his star only seems to have risen, especially on the “post-liberal” Right. He’s spoken for over an hour to Fox’s Tucker Carlson; he’s appeared on Michael Anton’s Claremont Institute podcast the American Mind; and most recently he's written longform essays for Compact and UnHerd. If you’re a basement-dweller with a webcam and a mic, he might just show up for a chat.

Yarvin maintains visibility on the podcast circuit because his message is wildly different from the sort of hash most intellectuals sling these days. Historically literate and well-read, Yarvin has absorbed the writing of thinkers like Thomas Carlyle and James Burnham and arrived at a philosophy that has been variously described as “neoreactionary” or “neo-monarchist.” America’s Founders, he maintains, got it all wrong—liberal democracy is a busted flush, and what the United States needs is the strong arm of an American Caesar to bring order to the prevailing chaos. His writing is vibrant, provocative, occasionally witty, and undeniably original. After all, until Unqualified Reservations appeared, who was arguing that Europe’s Dark Ages offer a set of organizing principles to which humanity ought to aspire?

Yarvin’s worldview is a bracing middle-finger salute to every major political tribe. Nevertheless, he explains his curious beliefs better than any troglodytic MAGA-head, pious progressive, or dogmatic libertarian. He treats social-justice progressives with slightly more contempt than the other two, but sometimes sounds like an old-school progressive—albeit one wrapped in royal finery. In short, Yarvin imagines the president as a technocrat with a scepter. Not MAGA but MEGA: Make Elizabeth Great Again. No, not Elizabeth Holmes (although Yarvin draws a good deal of inspiration from Silicon Valley)—he’s talking about Queen Elizabeth I.

Many Moldbug readers have grown up a lot since the days of Unqualified Reservations. Still, anyone who reads or listens to Yarvin today will find a devil-may-care but erudite geek with a sense of humor that doesn’t typically accrue to folks with his IQ. But without the Moldbuggian mask, one finds decidedly less style. And the substance? Well, this can be divided into three parts.

I. The Good

Yarvin is no dummy, and some of his diagnoses of what ails America are perceptive. Sometimes, he is right for the wrong reasons, and at others he is right for the right reasons. His most persuasive contention is that democracy simply doesn’t work very well, and he has a lot of fun butchering this sacred cow and lancing its inconsistencies, hypocrisies, contradictions, and myriad failures.

Democracy, he points out, tends to produce a tyranny of consensus or a tyranny of the majority. And here, he surely has a point. Excluding those who apotheosize democracy, most of us are painfully aware that our system shores up an oligarchy—a peculiarly American collusion between power and money. Corporate types are attracted to government types, and true power slinks from that coital bed. The upshot is that elections are mostly rituals that permit us to shed teardrops into the ocean and hope the tide will turn. It rarely does.

And yet the idea of “democracy” is so widely and reflexively revered that the word’s utterance can trick the mind. The American Founders knew better because they had studied the bloody histories of demagogy in Greece and Rome. They saw elections as necessary evils to be tolerated but checked, and sought to mute the excesses of the people and the powerful. But Yarvin has very little time for Enlightenment dandies like Jefferson or Madison. He thinks they should never have let democracy in the door at all.

American democracy, he notes, has produced an expert class of authoritarians who squat on different perches but somehow sing from the same sheet. He calls this amorphous grouping “the cathedral”:

“The cathedral” is just a short way to say “journalism plus academia”—in other words, the intellectual institutions at the center of modern society, just as the Church was the intellectual institution at the center of medieval society.

This secular version is composed of the Ivys, the New York Times and the Washington Post, and other institutions that, though not formally connected, benefit from maintaining in-group solidarity and genuflecting before power. Those in the cathedral have remarkably similar outlooks:

The mystery of the cathedral is that all the modern world’s legitimate and prestigious intellectual institutions, even though they have no central organizational connection, behave in many ways as if they were a single organizational structure.

Though I prefer Jordan Hall’s exposition of the Blue Church, Yarvin’s description of the cathedral is on point. There is little cost to any given mandarin for being wrong and enormous benefits for toeing the party line. The elites who make up the cathedral's priesthood understand at some level that their prestige and benefits accrue not from independent thinking or the rigorous pursuit of open inquiry. Groupthink pays in both money and access.

Yarvin also argues that democracy overlaps so significantly with politics that, on most occasions, the two terms are interchangeable. The latter’s connotation helps dispel the former’s. Politics, after all, has issues. But while these criticisms are frequently thought-provoking and well-observed, it is hardly news that democracies are flawed systems. “The best argument against democracy,” Winston Churchill once remarked, “is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” However, he also acknowledged that:

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…

So, what is Yarvin’s preferred alternative?

II. The Bad

At the center of Yarvin’s thesis is a cluster of unworkable ideas, first among which is that America should be “run like a startup.” He appeals to the idea that Silicon Valley CEOs have proven their agency as managers, and that unicorn executives (excluding, presumably, those who fail) have demonstrated that they can assemble the resources and people required to create and steward successful enterprises. From this observation, Yarvin makes a series of leaps to “war-time CEOs” like Elon Musk and compares them to monarchical presidents such as FDR.

It’s probably unfair to refer to Yarvin as a fascist, especially as that particular f-word has been beaten bloody by people across the political spectrum. But there are serious problems with the very idea of running a country like a startup. Consider the wisdom of the late economist Steve Horwitz, who wrote:

The fascists agreed with socialism’s desire not to leave markets to spontaneous ordering forces, but they thought the nation-state should direct the economy, not the workers. Both capitalism and socialism involved conflict, not cooperation. The same third-way thinking, and some of the same structures, were present in the first two years of the New Deal in the United States. The cartels of the National Recovery Administration were modeled after Italian fascism, and FDR and Mussolini were mutual admirers.

Yarvin refers a lot to FDR to make his case for an American monarchy. And he is correct to point out that Roosevelt circumvented several checks and balances that would have interfered with his potency.

But potency at what? Executing the New Deal? As economic historian Amity Shlaes argued in his 2007 book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, FDR failed utterly at running the economy. Economies can’t be run like machines nor firms, and the notion that FDR got us out of the depression, as cathedral textbook authors are fond of telling us, is a myth. Given Yarvin’s command of history, it’s surprising to find him appealing to FDR’s presidential efficacy while ignoring all the New Deal’s failures. In reality, FDR and his “brain trust” sucked at central planning.

Furthermore, the CEO of a massive multinational is different from a startup CEO. The latter is trying to overcome the gravity of liftoff, while the former is trying to stay in orbit. These are two different skillsets. If Yarvin wants to argue that America needs an Eric Schmidt (big company) instead of a Sergey Brin (startup), would that help make his case? That idea would be more plausible, but it misses the mark even so.

The problem with the CEO-king is that the United States is too big and too complex for monarchs, CEOs, and presidents alike. Yarvin claims to have read and been inspired by the great 20th-century economist Ludwig von Mises. Yet Mises understood that the knowledge required to design, run, fix, or operate an economy would fry the neural circuitry of any single person or group.

Complexity scientist Yaneer Bar-Yam put it this way:

The ideological battles of the past century cannot capture what is happening today. In those battles the competition was between individual and state rights, and between dictatorship, communism, socialism, and democracy—various ways of balancing the invisible system of economic self-regulation with the intentional decision making of policymakers. A new concept is needed that transcends those frameworks.

Monarchism, of course, doesn’t transcend those frameworks either. So, following Bar-Yam, we must ask ourselves:

Why should governments fail? Because leaders, whether self-appointed dictators, or elected officials, are unable to identify what policies will be good for a complex society. The unintended consequences are beyond their comprehension. Regardless of values or objectives, the outcomes are far from what they intend.

Bar-Yam sounds like the Austrian economists Yarvin claims to have read. But Yarvin’s prescriptions for national CEOs or monarchs are likely to crash and burn in whatever administrative ordering of society he imagines. Even if a CEO-king is good at beating back checks on power or overcoming deep-state obstructions, he will never be smart enough to design, run, or fix a complex adaptive system. As Horwitz reminds us in “Companies are Not Countries,” “the perspective of the businessperson is not helpful for understanding economies as a whole.”

III. The Ugly

Startup CEOs and multinational execs share a commitment to profitability and a mission (telos). But whole societies rarely have a telos. Apart from Let’s not allow our enemies to take us over, national goals and five-year plans are the stuff of fascism.

Yarvin is fond of referring to the Manhattan Project and the Apollo missions as examples of what a more potent CEO-monarch could accomplish. And like too many others enchanted by complicated (but not complex) technocratic achievements, Yarvin doesn’t discuss profits, opportunity costs, or the invisible graveyard of projects that might have arisen from smaller experiments with the same capital.

He thinks a CEO-monarch will be able to do awesome things like make a Hoover Dam, create atom bombs, and put a man on the Moon. He thinks countries ought to have more such national goals, which the CEO-monarch should dream up. His court would act like NASA’s mission control–only for the whole of society. The king’s subjects and their tiny aspirations would have to be sacrificed on the altar of kingly caprice.

Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek—whom Yarvin dismisses as Mises Redux—left us with a couple of really important ideas that militate against oligarchy and monarchy alike:

To some extent every organization must rely also on rules and not only on specific commands. The reason here is the same as that which makes it necessary for a spontaneous order to rely solely on rules; namely that by guiding the actions of individuals by rules rather than specific commands it is possible to make use of knowledge which nobody possesses as a whole. Every organization in which the members are not mere tools of the organizer will determine by commands only the function to be performed by each member, the purposes to be achieved, and certain general aspects of the methods to be employed, and will leave the detail to be decided by the individuals on the basis of their respective knowledge and skills.

Hayek thus reminds us that there are limits to a CEO’s knowledge, too. Complexity overwhelms mortals. That’s why more and more corporations are turning to scalable management philosophies that don’t require an executive superbrain to function. Hayek adds (and this is important):

If anyone did ever succeed in fully organizing such a society, it would no longer make use of many minds but would be altogether dependent on one mind: it would certainly not be very complex but extremely primitive—and so would soon be the mind whose knowledge and will determined everything … there would be none of that interplay of many minds in which a lone mind can grow.

In much of his work, Hayek not only warns of societal-scale teloi, but he also leaves us with the cosmos/taxis distinction. CEOs are best suited to taxis, which is a planned order. Cosmos is self-organizing, which is an emergent order. The socio-economy is cosmos, not taxis.

Yarvin has previously expressed admiration for Deng Xiaoping, but one wonders what he makes of Beijing today. Xi Jinping is sino-forming the world, after all, even though he isn’t an especially great CEO. Don’t Xi and the CCP nevertheless display the attributes required of a CEO-king? There are certainly no whiggish checks on power to prevent the premier from doing what needs to be done. So we get smartphone recordings of 30 million citizens shrieking under house arrest in Shanghai. Harrowing news of Uyghur abuses has become commonplace. And China’s social credit system is a great panopticon that automates compliance from Xi’s loyal subjects. If we assume all are edicts from Xi, does Yarvin find them kosher? If not, why not?

Apart from the international pissing contest that was the Apollo program and the bombs that ended the war with Japan, Yarvin avoids discussing what specific powers an American monarch ought or ought not to have. We can certainly imagine a monarch or president directing armies in wartime. Historically, a commander-in-chief offers swift, coordinated action under such circumstances. But such powers also mean a monarch who acts like Putin.

Yarvin reminds us that the United Parcel Service (a multinational corporation) would destroy the United States Parcel Service (a federal agency) if they were allowed to compete head-to-head in the market. He’ll get no argument from me on that point. But if there is no market, then there is no competition and little profit motive. Indeed, UPS would be unlikely to fare any better in a situation where its revenues originate in forced taxation rather than consumer choice. The incentives would be a wreck.

To be fair, Yarvin insists that his preferred monarch would be “accountable.” After all, these monarchies would be set up like corporations, with subjects as shareholders and boards of directors capable of bringing emergency correctives to any CEO-king who oversteps. But otherwise, Yarvin argues, the managing monarch must be able to roll up his sleeves and get things done. We’ve already covered some of the problems with that notion, but we still have to address whether an “accountable monarchy” would be better than (a) what we have now (oligarchy+cathedral) or (b) what the Founders intended.

Imagine an America “ruled” by CEOs, in which governance is a market phenomenon. In such a market, people can choose their governments. We can then imagine a plethora of independent city-states that offer bundles of governance services in a competitive environment of small jurisdictions. If this is what Yarvin is driving at, then his approach is awkward and his focus is misplaced. Like polymath techie Balaji Srinivasan, Yarvin ought to deemphasize the CEO-king schtick and highlight competitive governance.

Indeed, if there were hundreds of jurisdictions offering services through real contracts, we might find ourselves in a situation far better than the distorted, top-heavy system we tolerate. Titus Gebel of Free Private Cities has been a legal innovator in this space, and the idea deserves consideration. But being a private city manager is not the same as ruling over 350 million souls.

Summary critique

In Spiral Dynamics (SD)—a model of psychosocial values development first advanced by Clare Graves—the basic theory is that people (and peoples) change over time according to certain life conditions. If you don’t like Spiral Dynamics, you can appeal to similar ideas, such as those advanced by Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan. All such theories share the basic idea that our psychosocial development changes according to levels of complexity.

But let’s use the SD framework as shorthand, along with degrees of complexity through time:

According to SD, human civilizations have become more complex over time. Such progress has been intermittent and heterogeneous, but some people have managed to ascend.

Yarvin is preoccupied with the West and with America, specifically. Corresponding to our increased complexity, we have seen changes in people’s core values as their life conditions have changed. It’s fair to say the average American is a laggard in keeping up with this complexity, and there might be cognitive limits to reaching the spiral’s second tier. In any case, those clustering in Blue, Orange, and Green are fighting the culture wars, which has the effect of trapping them in their battle trenches. Like Yarvin, first-tier affinity groups appreciate neither increased complexity nor the idea that prior stages have value in different contexts.

So, Yarvin’s monarchism has two major problems. First, he wants the West to revert to prior stages of psychosocial development—Blue/Orange—even though such a reversion would not align well with just how complex the world has become. His prescriptions risk destroying the emergent complexity beyond his ken. Otherwise, he is holding out for a super-genius, the likes of which we’ve never seen in the White House. Whether we accept the cathedral’s version of democracy or Yarvin’s accountable monarchy doesn't matter. Neither deals effectively with complexity.

Second, embracing politics involves overlooking morality—specifically what I refer to as internal morality. In my book, The Decentralist: Mission, Morality and Meaning in the Age of Crypto, I implore readers to turn inward to rediscover six timeless moral practices. Too many have been abandoned in favor of cheap partisan preening. Morality ought to be a daily practice, not an abstraction occasionally plucked from the air. When Buddhist monks practice ahimsa, they don’t pay lip service to ethical rules or count on the state to keep people in line—they live nonviolence moment-to-moment in thought, word, and deed. Practice internalizes morality. Yarvin, on the other hand, is another “man of system.” He’s not only preoccupied with the One True Way but is preoccupied with the external—that is, with his favored form of political organization. It’s as if the entire domain of morality doesn’t exist. If it does, he’d rather not talk about it.

The whole point of Decentralism is that no one possesses The One True Way. As we move into an age of greater governance pluralism, we’ll need morality more, not less. A moral order shored up by the many will allow more people peacefully to experiment with different forms of organization, as opposed to authorities imposing a monolithic order from on high. Some firms are already moving away from CEOs and top-down management hierarchies to thrive in the Age of Complexity. We must evolve beyond the nation-state and the associated trap of figuring out who is most fit to run it. Far from finding the right monarch, we must instead establish protocols that allow communities to self-organize peacefully according to their various missions and conceptions of the good. We need more rules and fewer rulers.

But that will require more of us to take an inward turn. Rediscovering the timeless Moral Spheres means we can create more peace, freedom, and abundance together through local experiments in community and mutual aid. Hobbes notwithstanding, we have labored too long under the illusion that our presidents, kings, CEOs, or oligarchs must rule us and therefore become some ideal mix of angel and strongman. This creature lives among unicorns and faeries.

As authoritarianism rises around the world, centralization does too. We must figure out how to expand our sovereignty and practice our morality in a manner that will probably strike Yarvin as something akin to hybridizing Buddhism with Whiggism. Something like this:

[T]o secure these rights [the pursuit of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… [Emphasis mine.]

Yarvin might be right that the Founders took a wrong turn with the Constitution. Maybe America would have been better off with 50 or more smaller jurisdictions run by benevolent dictators without legislatures. There are, after all, examples of benevolent dictators such as Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. Sadly, though, most dictators are not all that benevolent. (Besides, both Hans-Adam II and Lee Kuan Yew are admirers of Hayek.)

As time goes by, fans of Curtis Yarvin may come around to the view of my friend, Phil Magness, who described Yarvin as “Ignatius J. Reilly in real life.” The American Republic, after all, is and has always been a confederacy of dunces arrayed against monarchism. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned or not fashionable enough. But I think Jefferson was onto something with the consent of the governed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://quillette.com/2022/06/11/curtis-yarvin-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
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Good piece. Regarding the ceo-king model, I’m reminded of something recorded by the libertarian writer Rose Wilder Lane. When she visited Russia circa 1920, she was still a Communist. In one place, the villager who was her host complained about the growing bureaucracy that was taking more and more men from productive work, and predicted chaos and suffering from the centralizing of economic power in Moscow. At first she saw his attitude as merely “the opposition of the peasant mind to new ideas,” and undertook to convince him of the benefits of central planning. He shook his head sadly.

*It is too big – he said – too big. At the top, it is too small. It will not work. In Moscow there are only men, and man is not God. A man has only a man’s head, and one hundred heads together do not make one great big head. No. Only God can know Russia.”

The truth of this (pre-Hayekian) insight was demonstrated by the succeeding economic history of the Soviet Union. On the temptations and realities of central planning, I strongly recommend Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty. Part novel, part nonfiction, it is about the Soviet Union’s economic planning efforts as seen from the inside. The characters include factory managers, economic planners, mathematicians, computer scientists, and “fixers.” My review is here.

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Yes, democracy is the worst system of governance except for all the others. And yes, we are being herded away from the founders’ Republic toward the tyranny of the majority. But that may be easily fixed by:

  1. voter ID. Living adult citizens only
  2. At least a minor degree of inconvenience required to vote - that is, voting in person at a voting place, with signature required. Those who decide that voting is too much trouble shouldn’t be voting anyway. No motor-voter. No voting by mail. No harvesting votes.
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That is an original idea indeed.

I like him already.

Yabut the West is now suffering from the tyranny of the noisiest and nastiest minority.

Still, at the time, folks who thought they were starving to death – what do working people know? – were grateful, in their foolishness, for a bit of food.

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I think the real point here is that the elite software engineers of our day are probably the smartest people on earth right now.

You have to drop in before you drop out.

Democracy in the sense of one man one vote works only when the general population is educated to an extent that it provides an outcome better than just kingdom or random local choice.

I’m deliberately using the term ‘one man’ because women typically vote for unproven reasons, or maybe just empirically bad reasons (mostly their husband’s choice.)

Misogyny aside, most people vote tribally, for no rational reason.

Democracy works only when kids from a young age are taught to think rationally, rather than emotionally.

The modern feminine thought pattern of equity et al is completely useless for democracy. It turns into pure selfish voting.

You get the society that you vote for.

In America it’s not yet obvious. But in Africa, Venezuela and Sri Lanka it’s more than obvious now.

You want change? You will get it. It won’t be pretty tho.

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We were having a planning session recently at work. It was going badly because we were trying to scope technical things that none of us understood well without some experimentation.

Will it take a day, a week, a year? It’s really hard to tell sometimes unless you play a bit.

So we ended up in a meeting with about 10 highly-paid engineers getting nowhere after half an hour.

I made the comment that ten ignorant engineers cannot reach a useful scoping, even if they are forced to.

Comment from Demetre the Greek:

“Democracy”

Loved it.

And y’all, including the author, need to read Snow Crash, an old dystopian novel.

The real question is, of course, now that homo sapiens sapiens has conquered the worldly earth almost completely, where to next?

Into our own heads, or into outer space?

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I was just skimming most of the article. I don’t know that I’ve heard of Curtis Yarvin before, and from what I could skim, it sounds like he has some fairly well-developed wild ideas - fantasies really. As in “Wouldn’t this work out fine?”

When I was in my 20s I first met a guy who had come up with such a system. It sounded fine as far as it went. Coming up with ideas, or visions, of how things should work - there aren’t a lot of limits.

I’m glad I read to the end of the article. Like I said, the bulk of it was not particularly engaging. Then came/comes this:

This blew me away. Very well put.

John Adams said much the same, I guess:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

I just wonder if this can all still work. Not because we’ve lost our morality, our focus on morality, any recognition that morality actually exists, and is important. Though those things may be true.

Rather, I think of the attitude I see prevalent among young men who work in IT (software, computing, programming). This from my own experience but I’ve kind of heard of it from others as well. These guys won’t put their coffee cups in the sink - they ignore the sign that someone (typically a female “admin”) puts up there by the sink, saying “Please put your cups in the sink.” She’s not even asking them to do the minimally responsible and decent thing, meaning, wash their own cups.

These guys historically were too lazy to make their own coffee. What they want, and now they’ve got it, is a Keurig with an unlimited supply of K-cups. Push the button, get your product that you want.

In many jurisdictions, government by the citizenry is old hat. People don’t want it, for it is time-consuming, messy, and “you can’t please everyone”. Meaning, that no matter what you do, someone will be dissatisfied. Also, for example in the case of the judicial system, sometimes there truly are no good choices. I think of a judge I know. He had to decide where a little girl should go to live. The dad was a boozer. The mom had been busted for cocaine and had just begun a rehab program, but that really meant “just begun”, as in, she’d only just gotten started with the (outpatient) program. There was no confidence that she’s get clean, sober, straighten up. As for foster care, the system in that county was overloaded so to put the little girl “into the system” meant she’d be staying with strangers some 200 miles away. And, “the system” has some well-known flaws.

Yet the judge had to make the call. Knowing that any of the three choices, was actually miserable.

Many of us really want to say - to the judge, to the city manager, to whatever functionary we employ in some system our taxes fund - “just go do what I would do if I had the time, energy, dedication.”

We want to just pay the price (e.g. taxes) and have the product delivered to us.

Fewer and fewer people have any experience, growing up, running a meeting. They haven’t participated in Student Council, they don’t know what Robert’s Rules are, they have maybe only a faint idea of motions, deference, procedure. They literally do not have the practiced skills, to run anything, to decide anything in any kind of non-haphazard way. Folks like this, tend to spend a lot of time trying (generally fruitlessly) to re-invent the wheel.

(A common error is to try to run things by consensus. Inexperienced folks don’t understand how empowering it is, to run things via majority rule, perhaps calling for supermajorities in some circumstances.)

I agree with what the reviewer says, or what I think he’s saying - we need to take charge, we need to be moral if we’re not going to make a hash of things, centralization/top-down control quickly becomes too much centralization, too much dominance. Small elites just can’t run things - there’s too much they can’t and don’t know.

But if citizens are going to run things, we need the skills, and especially, the attitude and motivation. Those seem to be in short supply.

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Somewhat tough in cheek, a Brit, naturalized as an American, explains the beauty of monarchy:

America Could Use a Royal Jubilee, if Not a Queen

I assume Yarvin is looking for a more absolutist monarchy than constitutional. Good luck with that in the modern world, as Hayek already pointed out in the 1940s. Read his 1945 article, Knowledge and Society, a century ahead of its time.

The current trend toward caesarism is understandable and nonetheless regrettable. It’s happening because peoples have been treated roughly by globalization and those elite minorities who’ve benefitted from it. Curious that Yarvin doesn’t mention the issue of trust and legitimacy. It’s the heart of what’s happening. Like others, he too is in thrall to technocratic concepts.

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Where to start…economists have known for decades that FDR did not pull us out of the Great Depression. I think Milton Friedman explained that best…over and over and over…

Von Mises had some great ideas, and [IMHO] Hayek explained them even better. But let’s go back a little further. Adam Smith told us about “the system of natural liberty”, which then enables the “invisible hand” to {most of the time, and very efficiently} make the best allocation of all of societies resources. Please, let’s go back to that some more. We keep drifting farther and farther away.

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“The modern feminine thought pattern of equity et al is completely useless for democracy. It turns into pure selfish voting. You get the society that you vote for.”

You don’t get the society you vote for when that society didn’t even allow women to vote up until around 75 years ago. Society doesn’t just happen this year or last year; it’s part of multi-century continuum at the least. Across the world “society” rarely allows women to hold meaningful public office and almost never allows women to occupy the highest offices of power (either political or economic).

But that disparity? That is nothing. The entire world as we know it is where it is because of men. I challenge you to name one pervasive and intractable human-created evil that has been primarily, or even mostly, propagated by women.

  • War
  • Slavery
  • Economic domination
  • Environmental degradation
  • Religious extremism
  • Political extremism/Terrorism
  • Fascism
  • Totalitarianism
  • Racism
  • Genocide
  • Mass Starvation
  • Extreme aggregation of wealth

All of it, every single item on the list; they are all caused by, invented by, and propagated by men. There is no debate about this. Open any history book in any language: it’s all men. You may find a small minority of women who throughout history that have actively supported such evils, but in the last 3000 years of history you’d be hard pressed to find any age dominated (or even heavily influenced by) women. And that my friend leaves only the other half of humanity to take credit for the worst of history, both past and present.

And what’s more? This doesn’t even take into account the pervasiveness of evil and destructive actions taken by men on an individual level. Rape, murder, domestic abuse, violent crime of all sorts is vastly skewed towards men. In the state I live in, 30 years ago a database was set up to track violent sex offenders, and especially repeat offenders. Do you know how many violent repeat sex offenders were women? Zero. By every standard of “rationality” and progress, men the world over should give up their right vote altogether for at least the next few hundred years and maybe we might see some real advancement in the human condition.

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Your point is that men are responsible for almost all the bad things done as well as almost all the good things done? Hmm. Not very inclusive, are you?

Women can’t rape because they were created to be receptive, not intrusive. Nonetheless, some women have managed to be accused of rape.

Women are rarely accused of sex offenses because… who complains?

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I will say over and over again. Human morality, or at least decent judgement of such, begins and ends when you become a human adult - responsibility for your own kids.

It’s the same in all other animal species - play time until shit gets serious.

In humanity, like many other species, society requires careful cultivation to be successful.

In human terms we have lots of ideas - democracy, capitalism, Marxism, whatever.

Success is defined in terms of where humans want to go. This is America for most of the world.

It’s crazy that America is having an internal hate fest at the moment. For why?

I think I know why. I saw it at the breakdown of Apartheid in South Africa. It’s because when the youth get comfortable enough to not need to work hard, then rebellion sets in. Often rightfully so. Need to change the system because we’re too comfortable. French Revolution, Khmer Rouge etc.

Progressive change comes only in times of plenty. America is having a hate fest nervous breakdown only cos life is so good there now.

Yes, because men invented the ability to write.

If women had been capable of such, then all the historical tomes would have been written by women.

It’s a strange line you’re following, @DBowker.

Women are not at all culpable because there is no historical record of women?

So a female world would be utopia? Look at social media. It’s a woman’s world and complete fiasco.

Historically, women have contributed little to our record. Why?

I’m not placing a value judgement on this. I think you are. You think that because the historical canon is written by men and created by men, that hence a world run by women would be better.

I think not. I don’t think women are capable at the moment of being at the top of intellectual pursuits like chess. Despite our best attempts to get them there. Just not interested.

We live in a scientific world. The difference between women and men in the maths sphere is measurable, and substantial at the high end.

On the other hand women’s language skills are similarly better than men.

Unfortunately modern society relies on science to survive, not opinion journalism.

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I’m sure this will continue to grow over time in western society, which is the first society ever to grant equal rights.

A taster for you, @DBowker , is that lesbian intra-relationship violence is self-admittedly higher than in male-female relationship violence. And gay male intra-relationship violence is lowest of all.

Yes, males are more violent in general. Testosterone? We put that violence to good effect in a well conditioned society. But it is intrinsic, as is the sex instinct.

A female teacher having sex with her students? That’s not rape. It’s just consensual sex. A male teacher having sex with his students? Rape of course.

The term has been rendered weak. But yes, some men do rape women violently, and I suspect women don’t do the same. There is no point for women to do such because they can get sexual attention whenever they want. For men it is different.

Serial violent male rapists should be castrated. Nicely :sweat_smile:

You present as a man @DBowker, Douglas?

Stop apologising for your sex. It helps nobody.

I counsel you to chop your balls off. Take hormones. You too can become a woman.

For why?

Who do you think were the mothers, sisters and daughters of all the horror you see?

Why do you give them a pass just cos history was written by males?

All men were born out of a woman’s vagina. Women, very literally, propagate humanity.

Perhaps you forgot that?

It is an important point. All Nazis had wives. All slave traders had wives.

Why do you think, @DBowker , that females are without blemish? Methinks you are young and misunderstand humanity.

That’s ok. I think your instincts are good. But please come back to reality sometime soon, even if you love your mom too much.

Now we both, you and me, @DBowker , have to admit that the human species, homo sapiens sapiens, has become successful beyond the wildest dreams of most species.

Who do we blame for that? The current (7th) great species extinction is due to you and me. The proliferation of homo sapiens. Due to our frontal cortex expansion and ability to abstract tooling to the extent that you and me, @DBowker are communicating on some abstract medium across the world from each other.

Yeah, of course we males are evil. We invented all this shit that caused you to be alive right now, and whinging in your case.

Women helped us all the way. Without your mom you literally would not be here.

Perhaps you should come to Africa and see animals in their natural state. Perhaps then you would find a different perspective on life?

I do know I’m playing the African supremacist card. It’s real tho. You westies really don’t understand the animal state. And we might all be smart monkeys, but we are just animals.

You westies are way too used to human dominance of the ego system. Yes ego, not eco.

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I take your point about some of the worst aspects of men. Nature has performed a cruel trick on our species. In order for humanity to survive, it needed to evolve cruel, powerful and disposable males to fend off not only large predators, but also other human groups. But there is a reason why humans have only half as many male ancestors as female ancestors, our female progenitors edited out the less competitive, aggressive and assertive males because they simply weren’t up to the task of defending their women and children. So if men are prone to violence, it is because women’s sex selection over time made them so.

I won’t bore you with too many of the details, but amongst the litany of the historical sins you describe, women were active and willing participants. We know from studying other cultures that it has been a common practice throughout history during war for less sophisticated cultures to keep back a few of the survivors of the defeated side as prisoners to be returned to the tribe, so that the women can torture them and participate in the bloodlust, literally tearing the vanquished apart.

But perhaps the greatest indictment of all is that racism seems to be stronger in the female than the male. Granted, ingroup preference doesn’t always result in outgroup hostility, and in the West we’ve done a fairly good job of shitting the emphasis of ingroup preference from the racial to the cultural- to the extent that if you sit in a bar in an airport you will regularly see English speaking cultural groups more warmly disposed to fellow native English speakers of other races than same race non-native English speakers. A white Brit will be more warmly disposed to an African American, than he will be to a white Eastern European or Frenchman.

But the fact remains that women have higher ingroup than men, and there seem to be at least some biological factors at play in the this unwritten law of human cultural development. It makes sense really, when one thinks about it. For the most part women were the force of cohesion in the tribe, the social life was arranged around them. We see it in the way that women are higher in negative emotions, which is most likely a social gearing mechanism meant to make them more sensitive to the communal needs of others.

Here is the evidence, it’s a pretty well cited piece:

What this means in practical terms is that the synthesis of all racism globally, owes itself more to the female than the male. In our past, this would have meant that women were more inherently distrustful of the stranger, quicker to demand attacks towards the ‘other’ and more likely to make subtle status distinctions and divisions. To an extent, modern women are making up for this historical sin, but make no mistake- for the most part, despite historical male power, the sin of racism mainly originated with women.

As usual my essays are to be found on my Substack, which is free to view and comment:

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This is pretty irrefutable logic… which is why my list is also true:

  • Grand architecture
  • Symphonic music
  • Mathematics
  • Computing
  • Medicine
  • Flight
  • The Automobile
  • Constitutional government
  • Writing
  • Philosophy
  • Agriculture
  • Roads and Bridges
  • Trains
  • Sewers
  • Cities
  • Countries
  • Government

It can be a pretty long and manly list!

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It is impossible to know what would have happened if FDR had not been there. Naturally the TFMers will compose a wonderful just-so story explaining how, if only TFM had been allowed to work it’s magic, all would have been roses. Easy to say what would have happened is it not? Alas, there are an infinite number of just-so stories that sound just as wonderful and can be told from any perspective. To this day commies tell us that if only Stalin hadn’t taken over, the USSR really would have become a worker’s paradise. TFMers are particularly talented at telling us how wonderful TFM would be even tho in practice it never works out that way.

I hope someone makes a list but that’s nonsense. Googling, this is the first thing that comes up:

True, we do most of the heavy lifting. That’s because The Matriarchy prefers to send men into the arena to fight to the death for their – The Matriarchy’s – protection. And we note that when women do actually compete for power and succeed – Thatcher for example – they are just as ruthless as men, the supposed virtues of women are notably absent.

You can’t have it both ways at the same time – although if you are female that might be hard to understand – but if, as you say, power has been in the hands of men, then, by default, men will be responsible for the results. But as I mentioned, when women are in power, we do not see them behaving any better.

It is true tho, 90% of everything we have, good and bad, has been produced by men. Almost all technology, and the steady march of civilization from barbarism to the modern world – yes, men’s doing. But look a little deeper – who passes on a culture? who raises and socializes the next generation? Mom! She teaches her sons to fight and die for the survival of the tribe because men are expendable.

It would be useful to run the experiment. Let’s have a formal matriarchy somewhere and see how it works out.

In the mean time, one of the things Men have given the world is the modern Western female who is so lazy, pampered, selfish and entitled that she literally does not know how good she has it and the more she gets, the louder she bitches and the deeper she imagines her Oppression to be.

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Great line. This is why planned economies always head south. No person or group can effectively replace the billions of tiny transactional feedback loops with top-down proclamations. It’s like doing surgery with a chainsaw.

Making matters worse, in my view the central problem with a “CEO/monarchy” style of leadership is that bad information has a hard time filtering up to the guy or gal at the top. I see this at my organization all the time.

My group generates virtually all data that’s used across the organization to evaluate, basically, every aspect of our performance - financial, operational, quality-related, outcomes, productivity, regulatory, etc. etc. In doing so we see all the bugs and warts.

Then I sit through Leadership meetings where our CEO prattles on about how well we’re doing in certain areas, and it’s clear to me that the info we provided never made it up to his level, which means the Board is ignorant of the problem as well.

Eventually the zit pops, the problem becomes evident to all, with red faces and finger pointing. “Why didn’t we know about this?” And then we move on.

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