Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Progressivism Diagnostically

This post is subject to updating.
July 5: bit about the host's flaws constraining the rulers.

Progressivism is an atheistic religious cult bent on political domination for the purposes of parasitically living off the host culture.

I'm about the call the host culture shallow, easily manipulated, and gullible towards even mediocre authority. Possibly I'll also reference that its historical literacy is negative, that curiosity is slightly frowned on, and that two of the most respected kinds of jobs are politicians and actors - both of which have 'excellent liar' on the want ad.

Progressivism uses lies/bullshit and social pressure to spread behaviours that uphold progressive power structures. As a result, while Progressivism is historically rooted, proximally all of its professed beliefs are those which support its own power.

For example, Progressivism thought of vegetarianism because it is a child of Puritan Protestantism, which hates the idea that anyone might be enjoying themselves, because they're sure not. But, it amplified/bandwagoned and upheld vegetarianism because meat is warrior food. Meat promotes honour, independence, and self-reliance by supporting the underlying endocrinology. As another example, Progressive's atheism most likely stems from the injunction about separating church and state. Much easier to pretend not to be a church if nobody goes to church, rather than trying to reverse the injunction. 

Progressivism exploits the limited inferential distance of the layhuman. For example, it supports lies by opposing it to a more obvious lie.

Creationism. The Progressive take on evolution would be autoaphyxiating if they seriously believed it. However, it is portrayed as the alternative to creationism. Creationism seems obviously crazy; Progressive evolution, only crazy once you think one or two implications down the road.

Progressivism uses emotional vulnerabilities. Using rhetoric, sympathy is spun into power. Using rhetoric, power anoints the sympathetic. The ruler who rules for the downtrodden is considered legitimate. Even if the downtrodden are made worse off, as is the case.

The poor were once a useful club to beat various groups with. Now they're not, so their sympathy status was revoked and given to somebody else. 

Women were not historically oppressed. Women had a set of imposed obligations that matched the obligations men had to care for them. However, "That's mean to girls!" is a highly sympathetic statement, and so now women are so privileged in divorce court that no man would marry one unless they absolutely have to. (I exaggerate. Slightly.) 

See also: China aborting girls. Because pensioners are legally obliged to support their unmarried daughters, whereas sons are legally obliged to support their parents. Attempting to privilege women falls afoul of market effects and game theory.

It doesn't matter whether 'for the downtrodden' is a good idea or even possible. It doesn't matter who in fact deserves sympathy.

For the layhuman, that they feel sympathy is strong evidence that sympathy is deserved. Having to admit a mistake is much worse than sympathetically supporting or sacrificing to someone undeserving.

Progressivism has successfully appointed itself arbiter of evidence. Any fact contrary to its pathetic rhetoric can be suppressed by fiat.

It is not only by inspection that we know that men are different from women, we know it scientifically. (Via.) This paper will of course never be mentioned in any American Empire newspaper, and I highly advise you to not bring it up at the watercooler. If it does somehow get a public showing, it will be denounced as crimethink, and a combination of loyalty and fear will immediately send it to the memory hole. 

Tragically for science, what these differences mean, in terms of face-to-face and lifelong outcomes, will not be investigated. Presumably some male-female difference is cultural and thus up for debate and experimentation. How much? Which ones? Wouldn't it be cool to be able to choose from an array of archetypes to try to live up to? 

Many progressives live only for Moldbug's 'impact.' The point of gay marriage isn't marriage, much less gays. The point is to pick a fight and then win it, because that's fun.

Welfare makes the poor poorer. Do you think the blacks in Detroit have profited by the measures used to ethnically cleanse the city of whites? If you do, isn't it kind of racist to say they would be even worse off if the state hadn't sided with them? 

Progressivism jealously despises all other forms of power and influence.

Is Progressivism Marxist? No, in its opposition to e.g. the family, Marxism is Progressive, and thus progressives adopted it. Are Progressives Keynesian? No, Keynesianism justifies the economic fuckery the progressive was doing anyway, and so it was adopted by Progressives. Is Progressivism equalist? No, Progressivism grew up in democracy and in the minds of demagogues. The people by and large are consumed by envy, and thus envy leads to sympathetic arguments for 'equality' and thus equality is Progressive.

The paradigm progressive fears losing power above all else, irrationally. The peasant progressive's primal fear is a variant, about being in the wrong mob.

As true children of Puritanism, proggies have difficulty genuinely enjoying things. It is also obvious that enjoying yourself isn't that hard - if nothing else, children do it all the time. No training. This results in a persecution complex, which results in a desperate desire for power, to defeat the persecutors. Power is rewarding in a crocodile sort of sense, which reinforces this vicious cycle. 

Like any social group, Progressives must keep outsiders on the outside. Since equality and inclusivity are explicit premises, they must do so covertly.

One primary mechanism is by selecting for tolerance to cognitive dissonance. The more contradictory ideas you can hold at once without aggravation or having them kill each other, the more Progressive status you can attain. This is especially important for hypocrisy, such as maintaining the exclusivity. These beliefs are euphemized as 'counter-intuitive' and the trait of believing them to the exclusion of progressive-condemned beliefs as 'open-mindedness.' Openness is a genetic personality trait.

This also helps with playing no true Scotsman. Since Progressivism is self-contradictory by design, almost anyone who does not uphold their power directive can be cast out by using one horn of the dilemma or the other.

That the host culture is shallow, easily manipulated, and gullible toward even mediocre authority puts some constraints on what the ruling elite can be like. Any elite that does not exploit these flaws for power will likely lose in competition for power. Those with the personality and ideology to fully exploit these flaws will end up looking a lot like Progressives.

This unfortunately means that even taking away the demotist power and legitimacy structure would not likely create much social change. It might temper the worst excesses.

My pet example being my own pet ideal - property rights uber alles.

It would make it impossible for progressives to pay off their allies by coercing payments from enemies. However, they could exploit the gullibility vector to make the payments voluntary. The shallowness would prevent many of the victims from realizing they're victims, and thus they won't even resist.

Freedom of association would become absolute. Quotas would then come from progressives exploiting their appearance of moral authority to exhort the willing, consenting inhabitants to follow quotas. 

CEOs would be ruthlessly selected for leadership competence, instead of selected for obedience to progressives. The progressive candidate would still win, since the employees they're leading would still be gullible, easily manipulated, and shallow. 

Of relevance, conspecific parasitism. It's unstable because host can convert to parasite, simultaneously increasing parasite load and reducing the supply of hosts, thus making the marginal host more likely to convert, twice over.

Early feudal lords seemed to realize this and slowed the process by legally demarcking classes. However, their sons had downward mobility, creating a darwinian incentive to abolish or mitigate the system. Simultaneously, the merchant classes were not nobles, and the nobles became poor. Stick, carrot.


nickbsteves said...

Progressivism jealously despises all other forms of power and influence.

That's the key... and by its power it destroys those other forms. Most of those forms are natural (family, workplace, religion) not ideological, therefore not represented politically, therefore not strong to withstand the "jealousy"... The means Progressivism uses are only rarely outright destruction; instead it denatures the institution, inserts progressive DNA, and lets time do the rest of the work.

Alrenous said...

I think you may be right, as long as I'm allowed to broaden a bit. It despises because it (somewhat rationally) fears competition from the alternatives.

If that's the case, then the question about whether it is old or new is answered. It is a new coat of paint on an old kind of old thing. The paradigm progressive is a scholar-tyrant.

nickbsteves said...

Oh, it's absolutely a rational fear... if you fear losing power where you don't deserve any, and where it cannot possibly (on average) do a damn bit of good. Families, workplaces, men's clubs, sports clubs, churches, bars, and boys playing rought, have been around like, just about forever... and almost always you just leave them alone and everything works out fine....

But by gosh and by golly, someone SOMEWHERE might get hurt (like someone got a bloody nose playing dodge ball, or some cracker refused to hire a nigger, or some girl didn't get to wrestle) so we are forced to "rationalize" these intermediating institutions in accordance with progressive principles... which... in the end... ruins them.

Progressivism is at war with Particularity. And rightly so, if you're a progressive. But if you're a progressive who ACTUALLY understands THAT... then you're pretty much a war criminal and deserve to be tried and hanged.

Alrenous said...

But how would losing the power to be a busybody actually hurt the powerful progressive? How is leaving people alone a risky behaviour?

nickbsteves said...

As far as old-new, as I replied on Twitter, I think the new thing is the conspiracy without active conspirators and centralized control.

nickbsteves said...

How is leaving people alone a risky behaviour?

You're asking ME?!!!!????!!!!!!

That's a SUPREMELY good question...

Well, like I said someone does occasionally gets a bloody nose. And don't you know it's God's Eternal Will to prevent bloody noses?

If you're trying to reshape society according to universalist principles, you need to kill (or "reform") all organic particularities. You see this in Stalinist and Maoist regimes. Our Puritan Masters are just a little nicer, but no less insane than the others.

nickbsteves said...

Progressivism is, at root, ideological genocide.

Alrenous said...

I'm asking in general.

The thing is, proggies genuinely fear someone having power over their own life, instead of obeying the proggie.* That's not rational. There's no risk to the proggie.

I disagree, they're not trying to reshape society according to universalist principles. Rather, universalist principles at the moment let them seize power.** If that changed, the principles would soon follow.

Progressivism attempts to genocide competing ideologies because A: it is afraid of them and B: it is a scholarly status structure, the entire point for many proggies is intellectual bullying.

*Hmm, I may have something here...

**This is exploiting the layhuman's respect for philosophy. It is illogical not to universalize one's principles.

nickbsteves said...

The thing is, proggies genuinely fear someone having power over their own life, instead of obeying the proggie.

Sure, which is why they want "voice", control over that power. And naturally rooted hierarchies are pretty much immune to outside tsk-tsking. So we gotta make sure Catholics pay for birth control.

I disagree, they're not trying to reshape society according to universalist principles. Rather, universalist principles at the moment let them seize power.** If that changed, the principles would soon follow.

Fair enough... the script changes often.

I still wonder where the (seemingly very real) K/r selection bias comes in. I do think that most progressives are heavily r-selected, herd-seeking, and unprincipled.

I think that under sufficient stress, K-selected folks would rise to the top without much of a fight. (Assuming we could find any.)

Alrenous said...

It doesn't actually matter if the r/K thing is strictly true; it's so good at predicting proggie behaviour.


So, all but the most powerful progressives must obey certain people. They buy into the validity of coercive authority. However, that validity is threatened by any non-coercive or even less-coercive authority. Not only philosophically, but psychologically.

They don't obey, and they're happy. How can they be so happy?

The coercive authority is necessary for the parasitism, so that won't ever change.

20c38902-d3b5-11e2-847b-000bcdcb2996 said...

One flaw in your analysis: You are treating progressivism as if it was a single mind and a single will, like an evil but nonetheless competent and self interested emperor.

Progressivism is a coalition of the evil, the insane, and those that go along with the evil and the insane in order to get along.

The insane demand what is impossible and makes no sense. The evil are happy to appear to deliver it.

Thus, for example the insane intend that "diversity" will result in white people meeting black people, and discover for themselves that there really is no difference, that race is only skin deep, and furthermore there is no such thing as race.

The evil intend that "diversity" will appear to the insane to be delivering this result. The evil seek power by being the only ones that can seemingly deliver what the insane want, thus the consensus is unbroken.

Anonymous said...

Conspecific Parasitism: and that's the present pending downfall. There's literally not enough money in the world to support all the Progs on the payroll. They can only fiat money themselves so much further.


nickbsteves said...

20c3..., I think the Insane Vs. Evil dichotomy is about right, but the insane are not merely randomly insane, but push things always, for several centuries, TOWARD higher social enthropy... Of course, that may very well be in their self-interest. (Like a tow-truck driver putting cinder blocks in the road.) So there IS a pattern to the insanity—an evil one.

I mean 19th century policing standards with 21st century surveillance and detection techniques SHOULD drive crime rates to nearly zero everywhere... so the "insane" level the playing field somehow. Stop-n-Frisk works (protects people of color as well as whites) but it's TOO effective (which is pretty much a synonym for racist these days). There are probably 1000s of examples we could come up with... but it is always toward increasing social entropy... even when, by all rights, these things simply shouldn't be a problem at all.

Anonymous said...

"Progressivism uses lies/bullshit and social pressure to spread behaviours that uphold progressive power structures."

"Many progressives live only for Moldbug's 'impact.' The point of gay marriage isn't marriage, much less gays. The point is to pick a fight and then win it, because that's fun."

This is related to something Anissimov was speaking of in reference to Goulding's specifications for neo-reactionary research.

This is the mechanism responsible for the "swarming effect" democratic Cathedral adherents experience. If Neo-Reaction wishes to undertake a truly fruitful vein of research, study the phenomenon of "moral panics",a.k.a witch/vampire/werewolf hunt fever.

Find out why beclowning yourself in this manner bestows higher status among neotonous or hormonally-imbalanced individuals,despite its obvious silliness to us.

Break the "locusts'" swarming effect by removing the conferral of status for participation. The transferral of negative status for participation vis a vis McCarthy is not a viable solution. Complete removal of any status or no status boost is the better solution.

Commercials featuring "social justice" proponents wearing silly homemade superhero costumes and doing silly acts of do-gooderism which they completely screw up,humiliate themselves,and/or harm themselves.

If you want to win, the Antiversity should be a savvy advertising agency/think tank,producing ten minute commercials.

I'm serious about this.Plug your money into an anti-progressive ad agency and target the progressive base,the kindergarten-level lowest common denominator. What you need are talking cats and America's Funniest Home Videos-style humorous sketches set to bubblegum pop music.

The messages should be subversive. Not authoritarian or anti-authoritarian,but invariably anti-progressive. Themes such as all-white families,hillbillies putting one over on or outsmarting urban blacks and rich liberals alike. Men triumphing over pouting women in contests,races to the checkout aisle in stores,etc.

Things that cause the liberal psyche to fester and chafe. The idea is to cut to the quick of the ideas of equality, multiculturalism,democracy, women's suffrage,diversity, worker's rights,judaism, islam,race-mixing,gay marriage, communism, higher education,psychology,environmentalism,women's reproductive rights,gun control, the Hippie Movement,vegetarianism,globalism,financial protectionism,centralized banking,slave emancipation,etc.

Every time they turn on the television or surf the web,they should read a message addressed to them which skewers one or all of their most deeply held beliefs. This will cause them to fly into a collective psychotic Chris Matthews-like rage and make buffoons of themselves, feeding us yet more material with which to taunt them. One or two ill-chosen (by the adversary),and correctly-exaggerated (by our operatives), phrases can make up a five-minute video parodying them.

This approach flies under the radar and multiplies slowly until it takes over.If you want to have a chance at destroying the leftists in the near future,insinuate yourselves into the production of advertising and produce short commercials mercilessly skewering a single or a couple of mutually complementary progressive beliefs,advertise actual products in the commercials and get paid by corporate sponsors to spread subversive ideas.

This is the surest path to Neo-Reactionary hegemony,it provides income and illustriousness,it demoralizes and attacks the enemy,and it never apologizes or gives up ground but steadily increases its expansion invisibly until its cultural sphere of influence touches everything. It is,at this moment, not a criminal offense.

RS said...

On black holes and energy conservation, I don't see where you answered this objection from last spring:

> First you posit some unobtainium that's as strong as necessary, and you conclude that this gives you as much energy as necessary. I don't see how this violates conservation of anything.

Did you account for the energy of creating the superstrong twine for the turbine? Alternatively, did you show it doesn't have to be 'that'
superstrong to get the desired results?

I am no materials scientist. The only strong structures I know of are based on covalent binding of nuclei. I think the strongest also feature some electron delocalization, but I'm far from sure. Regardless, even if stronger structures do exist, their ratio of tensile strength to energy of manufacture is only so high.

Also, if your twine is quite strong, and you extend it toward the black hole from an orbiting turbine, how do you know you will still have a stable orbit? Or is that why you said these things have to be made 'in pairs'? If so, I don't grasp how this resolves the problem.

While we, obviously, don't know terribly much about putative undiscovered states or configurations of matter, the same presumably holds for them as well.

RS said...

> Also, if your twine is quite strong, and you extend it toward the black hole from an orbiting turbine, how do you know you will still have a stable orbit? Or is that why you said these things have to be made 'in pairs'? If so, I don't grasp how this resolves the problem.

This paragraph is out of place it was supposed to be at the very end.

Alrenous said...

"Alternatively, did you show it doesn't have to be 'that' superstrong to get the desired results?"

Idealizing the string should only violate the second law of thermodynamics, not the first. Normally you idealize away friction and mass etc. and you get a perpetual motion machine, but when you put friction back in, it stops. With the black hole, adding in friction etc. just means you need to amp up the juice a bit to compensate.

Since the system has more energy coming out that going in, it doesn't matter if you can harvest the energy or not. It's violating conservation, it's just a question of where the violation is going.


"Regardless, even if stronger structures do exist, their ratio of tensile strength to energy of manufacture is only so high."

True. So it is impossible to harvest the energy in practice. Nevertheless the energy is theoretically being created, and will end up somewhere.

The energy that went into the string is harvested by the black hole, plus the energy the machine was trying to harvest. The black hole should gain more mass than rest mass + grav potential.

Or, from the other direction, there's an infinite distance to fall before the event horizon, and singularities lead to other singularities. The time dilation curve is the wrong shape compared to the gravity force curve for it to converge.

Most physicists are suspicious of infinities. I'm utterly certain they're mistakes.


"how do you know you will still have a stable orbit?"

You don't. So you amp up the juice a bit more to power the ion thrusters.

Pairing it up would minimize the load on the thrusters.

RS said...

Alas, this is too difficult for me -- I really don't have enough higher physics.

One of these months, though, I will come discuss mind-brain with you.

Alrenous said...

If I were running a philosophy school, university physics would be compulsory. I'd call it ontology.

Alrenous said...

I'd be happy to explain everything in more detail if you want, including pointing to things so you can verify I'm not talking nonsense.

Matt Walker said...

Progs stopped calling themselves a religion so they could use the Establishment Clause to suppress other versions of Christianity. Also, their goals (not motivations) were political by then anyhow. And Jews wanted to join, without formally converting.