Monday, July 7, 2014


(Referred post.)

Someone should explain Exit from the ground up. This turns out to be difficult, I tried to re-think my approach but it is probably still bad.

Among libertarian personalities it isn't necessary, we seek out justifications for Exit and large chunks of it don't need to be explained at all. For non-libertarians the thought pattern is unnatural and they're certainly not going to grab some spears and go hunting for the missing bits.

Naturally the non-libertarian thought pattern is unnatural for me so I'll likely still miss important bits, but at least I'm aware it's a problem, so I can attempt to fix it.

The essence of Exit is its purpose. Its purpose is to prevent corruption of institutions. Kindness out of the goodness of their hearts is unstable. All institutions need Gnon's discipline to keep them even halfway honest. Exit is metonymously this discipline.

Voice is the other serious candidate. Voting and letters to the editor and complaining to your congresscritter and such. Voice clearly hasn't worked. Even if you go so far as to nail a bunch of theses to a relevant door.

At this point I would try to discard exosemanic gang signs as much as possible, but apparently I'm too fond of the big-E Exit flourish.


The point is discipline. Exit is a good first approximation, but Exit empowers Voice and and opt-in is just as powerful as an opt-out; exit is essentially a two-syllable word for freedom of association. (Similarly, families are not normally in Exit's domain of validity, because genetics imposes its own discipline; I'm sure you can think of other exceptions.)

The essence of Exit is discipline, and the essence of discipline is survival. To truly have Exit, the institution's survival must be under the power of its putative beneficiaries. History shows this is the only way putative beneficiaries will match actual beneficiaries.

Exit is only important at the State level. To be more specific, the level of legitimized coercion. No other level is capable of sustaining non-Exit.

Exit is not absolute, but discipline obtains to the extent Exit obtains.

Exit empowers Voice, and Voice without Exit is merely the illusion of Voice. I need not explain how voting is a placebo at best. By contrast, the fact you can Exit a restaurant gives you great Voice. The restaurant needs you, and thus is willing to negotiate so you don't exercise Exit. Moreover, Exit gives you almost all the bargaining power. If the manager is unwilling to give you a good bargain, you can eat at home. The restaurant can be run according to any official mission whatsoever; since its survival depends on diners, it will be run for the benefit of diners.

Restaurants are both opt-in and opt-out. But either is enough. For example, the Amish are opt-in. Baptism is performed at age 18-21, in other words, with the full consent of the baptised. After this the new member of the community is subject to extra punishments and duties, but also has new potential and actual privileges. These privileges are enough to sell 90% of Amish children on the lifelong contract. If they were not, then the Amish would have boiled off their entire population by now, and this continuing existential threat keep their rules reasonable. (I've seen claims that incentives work through trial and error. I disagree. Dire apes suddenly become much, much better at logic when their material interest is at stake.)

Similarly, I could have no objection to opt-in slavery, or opt-out hereditary serfdom. (Especially as either would likely die a quick, gruesome death. It's entirely unnecessary to make them illegal.)

(Ancap / neon hillist digression: coercion shouldn't be legitimate. It is a falsehood and is the fundamental reason empires collapse. The obvious solution, given this, makes Exit natural.)

The trick, then, is to marry legitimate coercion and Exit. But stating the problem clearly immediately solves it: if coercion can be imbued with moral legitimacy, then so can Exit. A State which disdains Exit is disdaining discipline and should be treated as if it were saying as much. (Ancap digression: families also. 'Good enough' is not good enough.)

The Catholic church immediately jumps to mind. Why was excommunication so fearsome? Because the State cooperated. To be excommunicated was to be an outlaw, lacking protection of the courts.

I repeat: only Exit from the State and State-sponsored institutions is worth worrying about. (Ancap digression: cops return runaways because having urchins around is embarrassing.)

The perception of primary Voice mitigates the sacred power of Exit, and thus discipline, and thus institutions become zombies of their former selves, interested only in devouring your flesh.

Though vitiated, Exit does somewhat exist in the modern world, but it is expensive. If you're not already deracinated, it means deracinating yourself. Real estate is monetarily and temporally expensive to liquidate, as are other important forms of wealth. Moreover, the Progressive, afeared of Exit, has seized all Anglophonia and much beyond. You cannot meaningfully leave without abandoning not only friend and family connections, but your entire culture. Rhodesia was an attempt to Exit. Germany was, twice, an attempt to Exit. (Hitler as a manifestation of cultural claustrophobia.) Progressivism is terrified of Exit, as it is of all sacred powers, and will employ every obstacle it can get away with.

Anything that Man can make, Man can unmake. Were Exit re-sacralized in place of voting, the affected States will use every tactic in their power to route around it. To truly work, this wisdom would have to be sunk deep.


Miscellaneous comments:

The patricians can always Exit. Kim Jong-Un's strategy: make a foreign visit. Stay instead of going back. There's a whole magazine made up of former officials. While not simple, it can't be halted. Exit is for the immediate benefit of plebeians, and only for society as a whole in the long term.

Before Luther, was paganism your only alternative to Catholicism? I notice many of Luther's reasonable objections have since been fixed.

This law can be temporarily suspended. Sudden, unexpected shocks can work, but only insofar as they are unexpected, and executing them spends the element of surprise. Capturing intellectuals as slaves, for example, will cause other scholars to hide their abilities, desolating the source.

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