Serapis Bey

Unqualified Reservations

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I found the essay you linked to pretty interesting.

The author's essays are longer than train smoke, and his sentences sometimes have too many twists and turns, but he is a very interesting cat.

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I found the essay you linked to pretty interesting.

The author's essays are longer than train smoke, and his sentences sometimes have too many twists and turns, but he is a very interesting cat.

That about sums it up, I'd say.

There aren't enough years in my life to keep up with his output. But when he is good, he is really good.

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His example of (ex) Rhodesia took me back to listening to Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence speech on radio in the hall of my boarding school there. Optimism - mainly for the whites, but not only they - followed by pessimism when the bush war went on and on, and then when Britain pulled the plug. Followed by optimism - exulting by the leftist West - when 'free' elections were held and Mugabe came to power, and ran all the white farmers off and killed many of his opposition, then finally too late, leftist pessimism - after it's sunk in that he's another self-enriching tyrant ...who went on for decades wrecking Zim and causing a rush of starving citizens jumping the border to SA where they only fare a little better.

'Democracy', I've seen many a time, seems to be the panacea for progressives, whatever the ensuing cost in human terms.

Good writer.

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I stumbled across another thought provoking essay from Mencius Moldbug. Like PDS says, it's long as train smoke, but I think it's a good 'un.

From Mises to Carlyle: my sick journey to the dark side of the force

Core nugget:

Here is the Carlylean roadmap for the Misesian goal. Spontaneous order, also known as freedom, is the highest level of a political pyramid of needs. These needs are: peace, security, law, and freedom. To advance order, always work for the next step - without skipping steps. In a state of war, advance toward peace; in a state of insecurity, advance toward security; in a state of security, advance toward law; in a state of law, advance toward freedom.

(the commentariat is high-quality as well)

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On 4/21/2013 at 6:04 AM, Serapis Bey said:

Just stumbled upon this site... I'm reading his Gentle Introduction.

 

I'm cracking up at parts, which is a nice surprise when reading about history and political theory. Just a second ago I read this and laughed (relating to climate change):

 

"...Science is that which is done by scientists. Scientists are people employed, with the title of professor, by the universities. The universities are accredited by Washington. Therefore, Science, in Joe Romm’s mind, can be defined as official truth. Let’s stick with the capital letter for this one.

Note that if we replace Science with Scripture and scientists with ministers, we are back in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. We’ve reduced the scientific method to the following statement: Washington is always right."

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

Just stumbled upon this site... I'm reading his Gentle Introduction.

D,

Read the article linked below, too. (I just did.)

Curtis Yarvin is the real name of Mencius Moldbug.

Not that Wikipedia is a great source, but I use it as a good place to point me in certain directions.

Curtis Yarvin

Here are a few pull quotes that are doozies. Don't forget that these are Wikipedia quotes, so a betting man can give odds on the slant and facts and make good money. 

This particular Wikipedia article feels more slanted than normal, but a few things, especially the stuff about authoritarianism, feel right to me at this distance. After arguing online in O-Land and L-land, you wouldn't believe some of the bullshit that I have seen preached. Still, if this guy is important to anyone who is interested in truth and facts, the authoritarianism angle is a point that should be checked, especially verifying what words Yarvin actually said or wrote and in what context.

Quote

From 2007 to 2014 he authored a blog called "Unqualified Reservations" which argued that American democracy is a failed experiment and that it should be replaced by totalitarianism.

. . .

Yarvin's ideas have been particularly influential among radical libertarians, and the public discourses of prominent investors like Thiel and Balaji S. Srinivasan have echoed Yarvin's project of seceding from the US to establish tech-CEO dictatorships.

. . .

Yarvin's reading of Thomas Carlyle convinced him that libertarianism was a doomed project without the inclusion of authoritarianism, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe's 2001 book Democracy: The God that Failed marked Yarvin's first break with democracy. Another of his influences was James Burnham, who thought that "Real" politics occurred through the actions and power manipulation of the elites, beneath what he called the apparent democratic or socialist rhetoric. In the 2000s, the failures of US-led nation buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan confirmed Yarvin's antidemocratic views, the federal response to the 2008 financial crisis strengthened his libertarian convictions, and the election of Barack Obama as US president reinforced his belief that history inevitably progresses towards left-leaning societies.

. . .

Yarvin believes that the real seat of political power in the United States is an amalgam of established universities and the mainstream press, an entity he calls "the Cathedral". According to him, a so-called "Brahmin" social class dominates the American society, preaching democratic and progressive values to the masses. The basic assumption of Yarvin and the Dark Enlightenment movement is that humans desire power, which is uselessly fragmented by the Cathedral's commitment to equality and justice, eroding at the same time order in society.

He argues for a "neo-cameralist" philosophy based on Frederick the Great of Prussia's "cameralist" administrative mode. In Yarvin's view, inefficient, wasteful democratic governments should be replaced with sovereign joint-stock corporations whose "shareholders" (large owners) elect an executive with total power, but who must serve at their pleasure. The executive, unencumbered by liberal-democratic procedures, could rule efficiently much like a CEO-monarch. Yarvin admires Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping for his pragmatic and market-oriented authoritarianism...

. . .

Yarvin justifies authoritarianism on libertarian grounds, contending that the division of political sovereignty eventually expands the scope of the state, whereas strong governments with clear hierarchies remain minimal and narrowly focused.

. . .

Drawing on computer metaphors, Yarvin contends that society needs a "hard reset" or a "rebooting", not a series of gradual political reforms. However, he has distanced his movement from "violent or harmless, legal or illegal" activism. He advocates instead "the Steel Rule of Passivism", reasoning that progressivism is nourished by right-wing opposition and "starves" without a necessary enemy.

. . .

Yarvin's opinions have been described as racist, with his writings interpreted as supportive of slavery, including the belief that whites have higher IQs than blacks for genetic reasons. Yarvin himself maintains that he is not a racist because, while he doubts that "all races are equally smart", the notion "that people who score higher on IQ tests are in some sense superior human beings" is "creepy". He also disputes being an "outspoken advocate for slavery", though he has argued that some races are more suited to slavery than others. "It should be obvious that, although I am not a white nationalist, I am not exactly allergic to the stuff", Yarvin wrote in a post that linked approvingly to Steve Sailer, Jared Taylor, and other racialists. In 2009, he wrote that since US civil right programs were "applied to populations with recent hunter-gatherer ancestry and no great reputation for sturdy moral fiber", the result was "absolute human garbage."

. . .

Yarvin came to public attention in February 2017 when Politico magazine reported that Steve Bannon, who served as White House Chief Strategist under U.S. President Donald Trump, read Yarvin's blog and that Yarvin "has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary".

I can smell fake news just from looking at the sources quoted for this article, but I can also smell an elitist.

I want to counter a few of the statements above, especially the objection to fragmented power being a bad thing. As rebuttal, I want to sing my own praises to one of the Founding Fathers' crowning achievements: checks and balances. But I'm not sure what is idea and what is Wiki-Slant. So I'll just give a general impression and say, at this place and time, I have little knowledge of Curtis Yarvin. Some, but not enough to stand behind for a solid opinion.

At this distance, Yarvin seems to me like a well-connected excentric kept around for the entertainment of the ruling class elitists on the alt-right side. (Yes, there are such in and around Silicon Valley and the government.)

Kind of like the English upper class of a century or two ago inviting upper-class crackpot inventors, expounders on social theory, artists trafficking in oddball techniques and focuses, etc. as habitual dinner guests. These strong-minded mostly harmless folks, who thought they were saving or revolutionizing the world in some manner or other, didn't realize they were there for entertainment only. But they did know that the one thing that got them the most attention was to say something totally outrageous and defend it. The dinner guests would harrumph and feign being shocked and then dessert would be served. At least these dinner table saviors were well-fed. 

Yarvin strikes me as fitting this role in modern form.

I might be wrong, though. I'll know for sure if I ever read more of him and about him.

Am I too obvious? From what I just wrote, could you guess I feel nothing but scorn for elitists who like to rule over a population they consider to be human livestock?

🙂 

After all, if Yarvin really is authoritarian in theory (and right now I lean toward believing he is), who do you imagine he imagines will be in-like-Flynn with the ruling class if his ideas are ever implemented? It wouldn't be himself, would it? Nah... That would never cross his mind. 

For me, I bet he likes to dine well among beautiful people.

🙂 

Michael

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He calls himself a neo-revolutionary, or I think I heard him say libertarian monarchist on a podcast (he was on two notably this year, that I know of, one being Michael Malice's and the other being Thaddeus Russell's). Is he an elitist? I don't know. It's hard to tell with people sometimes. The implication that power corrupts is very present in his writing though.

 

Which if we assume is true, power corrupting, it makes sense that giving power to the people is going to corrupt the culture itself. I haven't read Hoppe's book on democracy, or any book exclusively looking at democracy, so I won't say anything about it... but I suspect there is a lot of truth to this theory. Making politics accessible to everyone  just seems like a bad idea... and the ideal, having no politics what-so-ever, or a truly libertarian society, comes with the problem of getting there from here.

 

You should read the Gentle Introduction, regardless. He uses a lot of obscure references for the purpose of challenging the orthodox view of history... and at the very least will have you asking questions. Aside from that his writing style is very entertaining...

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2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

At this distance, Yarvin seems to me like a well-connected excentric kept around for the entertainment of the ruling class elitists on the alt-right side. (Yes, there are such in and around Silicon Valley and the government.)

I suspect a Gates connection.  Hunch, so far, maybe wrong.

A tidbit I found:

https://medium.com/@jonathanferguson_72851/i-didnt-know-you-were-on-medium-curtis-yarvin-eab1266ae581

Quote

April 23, 2020

WRITTEN BY
Wallace Runnymede! Orthodox☦️ Poet💙 Philosopher🌍

 

I didn’t know you were on Medium, Curtis Yarvin!

Do you know when, where and why Bill Gates first became an NRX / Dark Enlightenment supporter?

I would be interested in interviewing you if you have any info on this.

Everyone on earth needs to know more about why he is doing what he is doing.


A lot of people are afraid of the implications of both Bill Gates and the NRX, but many of them haven’t joined the dots yet and worked out he is a supporter of the Dark Enlightenment worldview.

(The interview will of course be objective on my part, rather than polemical. I will put all prejudices aside, for the sake of effective and clear communication).


---

 

Here's a link to a Feb 2017 Verge piece about Yarvin's internet project "Urbin":

https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/21/14671978/alt-right-mencius-moldbug-urbit-curtis-yarvin-tlon

Ellen

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Wait, so Gates is actually alt-right? I've heard he's a white supremacist (mainly from the Whitney Webb--journalist who did some digging into Epstein and his connections).

 

Keep in mind Yarvin has nothing but praise for Mises and Rothbard. And although Yarvin does espouse the belief that genetics are a good predictor of IQ, he is explicit that racist policy is obviously bad and judging an individual by their race is not effective.

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Let me ask this: Why is freedom not a priority for a child? You certainly can come up with some instances where a child should not be able to make his/her own decisions, right? What is the criteria, other than age, that leads you to that conclusion?

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32 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

Wait, so Gates is actually alt-right?

Nah...

Yarvin is actually not consistent except for elitist leanings...

🙂 

In fact, the more I read about this guy, the more I believe he purposely engineered his image. Notice that, in this thread at least, the press never quotes him directly. They quote what other people say about him and run with that. This even holds true for reading a linked article, then the articles linked in that article. (I did several just now.)

Based on my experience as a music producer back in the day, and later studies in all kinds of brain-related realms, I learned when a public image is based this much on what others say and it's this consistent, and it stays in place in the public, that doesn't happen by accident.

Michael

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14 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Nah...

Yarvin is actually not consistent except for elitist leanings...

🙂 

In fact, the more I read about this guy, the more I believe he purposely engineered his image. Notice that, in this thread at least, the press never quotes him directly. They quote what other people say about him and run with that. This even holds true for reading a linked article, then the articles linked in that article. (I did several just now.)

Based on my experience as a music producer back in the day, and later studies in all kinds of brain-related realms, I learned when a public image is based this much on what others say and it's this consistent, and it stays in place in the public, that doesn't happen by accident.

Michael

You could be talking about Ayn Rand here.

 

You're reading "about" him? Why not just read his own writing?

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5 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

You're reading "about" him? Why not just read his own writing?

D,

Groundwork.

Before I dig into an extremely long-winded author, I tend to read around about him or her.

I have a time problem. I'm not eternal.

And a priority problem. A fringe darling of the ruling class on the alt-right is not high on my list. (At least he is on the list.)

Other than that, I find I like authors best whose own words get quoted when people write about them.

With all that said, I will eventually get to reading something by him other than skimming quickly through his blog.

Michael

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5 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

You could be talking about Ayn Rand here.

D,

Of course.

Rand was very image-conscious.

It was part of her skill stack in persuasion.

(For example, there is a reason she hid her affair with NB.)

Look where she learned how to do public image sculpting, too: Hollywood.

However, despite constant mischaracterization, plenty of people quote Rand's actual words.

Michael

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6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I have a time problem. I'm not eternal.

You're too modest.

Quote

However, despite constant mischaracterization, plenty of people quote Rand's actual words.

Who, her critics? I didn't see many quotes on her Wiki page either. I've had arguments with people who couldn't quote anything from her (on the Internet, of course). By that I mean, they couldn't find quotes of hers to support their characterization of her. Someone said she was all about "greed," I said show me where she uses the word greed... of course he didn't. I think the people who quote Rand's words are the same people who would quote Yarvin's words. They either agree with what she said, or they're willing to challenge her ideas and not just her character.

 

Maybe I don't get your point. But it doesn't seem honest to say you're doing ground-work; ground work implies you're preparing for further work. If you have no intention to approach something honestly, what is the point of speculating publicly?

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On June 30, 2020 at 9:27 AM, Dglgmut said:

Why not just read his own writing?

I'm reading the "Open Letter" linked to in the opening post.

I'm up to Chaper 4, Dr. Johnson's hypothesis (that the Devil was the first Whig).

I'm fascinated by the story so far.  The writing is long-winded, though, and I have to stop for tonight.  Might not have time to continue till Friday.

Ellen

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Cool topic resurrection. 

On 6/29/2020 at 3:02 PM, Dglgmut said:
On 6/29/2020 at 2:37 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:
On 6/29/2020 at 12:24 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

At this distance, Yarvin seems to me like a well-connected excentric kept around for the entertainment of the ruling class elitists on the alt-right side. (Yes, there are such in and around Silicon Valley and the government.)

I suspect a Gates connection.  Hunch, so far, maybe wrong.

A tidbit I found:

https://medium.com/@jonathanferguson_72851/i-didnt-know-you-were-on-medium-curtis-yarvin-eab1266ae581

Wait, so Gates is actually alt-right? I've heard he's a white supremacist (mainly from the Whitney Webb--journalist who did some digging into Epstein and his connections).

Keep in mind Yarvin has nothing but praise for Mises and Rothbard. And although Yarvin does espouse the belief that genetics are a good predictor of IQ, he is explicit that racist policy is obviously bad and judging an individual by their race is not effective.

The Urbit platform is quite ambitious, almost "engine of the world" ambitious.  Were it to become widely-implanted over time, it would probably be the thing most connected to Yarvin's name. I tease my now rather conservative Uncle with "I Was A Teenage Communist," because he was, but I love him and so I don't hold his pitiful old radical-card against him now). Yarvin's still got life and surprises in him -- I wonder if his first-noted writings and his blog will amount to a wall of beans in the end.  If Yarvin still is "A Young Radical" I give him credit for consistency.  He's put his money where his mouth is, put at least some of his philosophy in practice. He also does not sound bitter, trigger-happy or seething with vengeance, which is always a bonus ...

I followed a few byways via Ellen's link.

On 6/29/2020 at 2:37 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

Here's a link to a Feb 2017 Verge piece about Yarvin's internet project "Urbin":

https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/21/14671978/alt-right-mencius-moldbug-urbit-curtis-yarvin-tlon

From the Verge story:

Quote

[...]

In one design sketch for Urbit, Yarvin made the link between monarchies and the platform more explicit, classifying users as “Lords,” “Dukes,” and “Earls.” The design behind the titles, he writes, “is standard Lockean libertarian homesteading theory.” At the end of the sketch, Yarvin indicates that he’s reserved a special title for himself: “The prince (because he spent 8 years working on this project, without being paid), has reserved 32 duchies for his exclusive personal benefit."

In a 2013 post, around the time Urbit was officially launched as a business, Yarvin seemed to anticipate some of the controversy the company would encounter, as he bemoaned that the CTO of Business Insider was fired for a series of misogynistic tweets, and that Y Combinator founder Paul Graham was criticized for comments about tech company founders’ accents. Yarvin called it a media-led right-wing “witch hunt.”

Yarvin has said he plans to continue work on Urbit for now, and to keep Moldbug in retirement. “Urbit is a lot more important to me in the near term, for probably obvious reasons,” he wrote on Reddit last year. “I would certainly rather be rich than famous, but probably everyone who is (slightly) famous rather than rich says this. Ideally I would have just enough fans to pay the bills, and just enough haters to keep me amused.”

[...]

 

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9 hours ago, william.scherk said:

If Yarvin still is "A Young Radical" I give him credit for consistency.

He's radical in the sense that his ideas are far from the status quo. His practical recommendations are far from radical, though. He basically suggests people just don't engage in power games. I don't know how that gets us from where we are to his ideal society, I haven't gotten to that part in his writing.

 

He is making me look at society very differently, though, and I think it's a more useful way to look at it. There is no such thing as getting rid of power, there is just diffusing it. And we see how diffused power can corrupt virtually every aspect of life. Everything has become political: "the keto diet is racist," is something I've read recently.

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On June 29, 2020 at 5:37 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

I suspect a Gates connection.  Hunch, so far, maybe wrong.

Way wrong.

Ellen

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16 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Maybe I don't get your point. But it doesn't seem honest to say you're doing ground-work; ground work implies you're preparing for further work. If you have no intention to approach something honestly, what is the point of speculating publicly?

D,

Tread lightly.

Are you a fucking mindreader now?

I said I'm going to read his stuff, that it's on my list of things to get to, and you call me dishonest?

What's wrong with you?

Stop it.

btw - I will speculate publicly on any goddam thing I want to speculate on. It's my forum.

Once again, what is wrong with you?

Don't you have a clue?

Just a thought. After I get to something by him (other than skimming his blog), I am certainly not going to discuss anything about it with you.

Michael

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Here are some of Yarvin's actual words that are a complete thought (it's hard to find a relatively short section that can be read on its own):

Quote

Authority is the state’s ability to act decisively, cohesively, proactively and intelligently. From our experience in the private sector (not to mention the military sector), the formula for authority is clear: unity of command. A single extremely capable individual can manage an organization of any size, and our society has no shortage of such individuals. From this apex descends the familiar hierarchical pyramid. As an old Prussian Army saying went: who wishes to command, must first learn to obey.

Note your reaction to this. You are well aware that any large corporation which adopted any management structure besides a simple hierarchy would be halfway already to bankruptcy court, and that simple hierarchical command is the difference between an army and a mob. In both these cases, there is a single individual at the apex of command, which is completely normal.

However, in the terminology of government, this system would be described as an absolute dictatorship, or (once) an Oriental despotism, and you consider it the most dangerous possible design—one certain to practice sadistic, Kafkaesque mass murder. The salient examples, of course, are Stalin and Hitler.

There are quite a few mistakes in this perception, but one of the main ones is to take examples from outside one’s own tradition of government. In the post-WWII era, everyone’s tradition of government is the Anglo-American tradition, and when we think of absolute personal rule we should be thinking of Elizabeth I. (If you’re going to argue that Elizabeth and Hitler were truly comparable, I’d like you to start by showing me the Nazi Shakespeare.)

This is from Chapter 4 of A Gentle Introduction.

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