Friday, October 28, 2011

Genovesi, Athenian, Spartan, Human Castes

Since we're naming natural human castes after cities, I nominate Genoa for the merchant caste, due to its numerous contributions to the joint-stock corporation. I'd also be down with a Dutch city, to honour their hard-money economy.

Remember that - as Moldbug notes - finding out what non-Athenians think is quite hard, as they aren't scholars. Athenians account for about 20% of the population, and Spartans perhaps less; the bulk of human beings lean Genovesi.

Thinking about this, I was at first surprised to discover that Athenians are excellent at dominating societies. In India, we have the Brahmins. In China, we have the bureaucracy and their aptitude exam. In Japan, they tried to go for warrior-poets, but this whole fashion of risking life and limb in battle tends not to remain fashionable for very long, any more than it did among the European princes. Speaking of medieval Europe, we've got the Catholics. Which reminds me of the Imams. Not to mention the Progressives of modern times and the Sophists of Athens herself.

The ideal rulership is probably a King, embodying all three value hierarchies, with three advisers, one from each caste. This has probably never happened. And not just because the arrangement cannot evolve and must be derived from theory. The three castes have a rock-paper-scissors relationship. When a merchant tries to wheedle a scholar, the scholar just looks up the right answer. When a scholar tries to reason with a warrior, they get whacked. When a warrior tries to whack a merchant, they get paid off...and occasionally the Genovesi will restructure society entirely so that it never occurs to the Spartan that they might be better off to whack the Genovesi. See also aristocratic debt.

The historical dominance of Athenians is not surprising at all, in retrospect, due to this RPS relationship and because the bulk of humans are Genovesi, weak to Athenian methods.

The three castes appear to be aware of their weakness. In Japan and European principalities, where Spartan virtues held strong, trade is suppressed. In modern times, Spartan virtues such as honour and loyalty are deprecated, and the army is subject to continuous smear campaigns. I wonder what a Genovesi King would do about scholarship?

"I observe lately that a lot of writing on the right side of internet uses the traditional tripartite caste system – Warriors, Priests and Traders."


Aretae said...


The Athenian ruler properly raises up the entire Athenian caste.

The Spartan ruler properly raises up the entire Spartan caste.

The Genoan ruler properly suppresses the rest of the Genoans.

Alrenous said...

With their check/balance doomed by infighting, it would be another reason the Athenians keep winning.

In contrast, the Genovesi hierarchy is the only non-zero-sum hierarchy. Physical contests and scholarly debates only have a purpose if there is a loser. In economics, many if not most transactions benefit both parties.

Alrenous said...

Oops. That's backwards, of course. It helps the Athenians by disorganizing their prey.
Would also explain why Genovesi kings are so rare.

Anonymous said...

What would a Genovese king do about scholarship? Flood academia with Genovesi, as they have done in America. Where else could the neoliberals have come from?

It would be interesting to see if American government (or, more broadly, the Cathedral) can be analyzed as a power struggle between Athenians and Genovesi.

Alrenous said...

Right, of course. There simply aren't enough natural Athenians to fully populate the bloated ranks of professors and researchers. They have to recruit Genovesi. Who then get really good at writing grants, saying what the granters want to hear, and very, very bad at science. So fraud, basically. Next, the Genovesi invite in even more Genovesi. This is on top of most of our Athenians being direct descendents of the Sophists.

Similarly, journalists are supposed to be scholars. There's nowhere near enough interested in scholarship to fill those ranks.

As to the second point...the Pentagon/Arlington are awfully Spartan. If American sees another civil war, I see it as between the Athenians and Spartans.

That said, since there's so many Genovesi professor-infiltrators, they'd doubtless become a prime player, but I don't know how. At present they seem to be happy to just exploit Progressive theocracy for profit.

perfidy said...

Two thoughts:

Wars between Athenians and Spartans seem to be the particularly nasty ones. Spartan-Spartan wars have a certain restraint – like the wars of the 18thC. Would you imagine that the American Civil War and WWII were Spartan-Athenian wars? And why the Athenian West managed not to have a war with faux-Athenian USSR?

What city would be most emblematic, and therefore deserving of being the namesake of the lumpenproletariat? Off the top of my head, I would nominate Detroit or Youngstown, but what other cities would be appropriate?

Alrenous said...

Extra-tribal warfare is usually nasty, but I just found corroboration of your point.

(Reading about "Early Anglo-Saxon warfare had many aspects of endemic warfare typical of tribal warrior societies.")

"Would you imagine that the American Civil War and WWII were Spartan-Athenian wars?"

I would. Physical slavery is a Spartan thing. Athenians instead lust for students to brainwash.

"And why the Athenian West managed not to have a war with faux-Athenian USSR?"

I would say the USSR was Athenian enough.
Also, never forget that nukes mean the guy declaring war would actually be wagering his own life, not just other people's.

I'm still thinking about it, but I suspect the proletariat don't particularly embody any of values. They fill out the bottom of the three status hierarchies.

I think they could learn to, they just don't. If one does, and the theory is comprehensive, then you'll find out which way they lean.

Grotesque Body said...

It's interesting to me that each of these has a rough analog in the NRx trichotomy.

Alrenous said...

If by 'rough' you mean 'exact' yes.