(See also: Progressivism's cousins in evil like Communism.)
(I guess I feel I haven't been meeting my 'offend everyone' quota.)
(Includes: coercion and leadership; why we use evidence instead of argument; how philosophy is power; miscellaneous.)
Traditionalism has many particular local forms, but they all have something in common: they feel it is legitimate to force certain people to join the tradition or to prevent them leaving.
Digression for coercion and leadership:
Coercion needs to be very precisely defined, even if the only consideration was not getting its bad connotation cooties on things that don't deserve it. I won't bore you with the details, but the upshot is when you choose a leader, you agree to let them punish you and thus the punishment stops being coercion. This allows most of Traditionalism's practices to survive.Because Traditionalism legitimizes coercion, the only thing the Progressive has to do is seize the coercive legitimization apparatus, instead of having to create it from scratch. The Progressive will always succeed in these contests, because they value power most highly. (Power lust is one way of precisely defining a Progressive.)
A Traditionalist always values something else most highly. Honour. Community. Religion. Truth. Power is only a means to the Traditionalist. As a result, Progressives will always win. They will sacrifice anything to get power. A Traditional won't. Can't, or they stop being a Traditionalist; imagine a Catholic sacrificing the Pope to defeat a Progressive. Not only will the Progressive save money by sacrificing work-life balance, they can always win with a fork strategy, threatening the Pope until the Catholic submits or defects to the Jedi.
To put the point none too gently, Progressivism's defiled source of power is the Traditionalist's black heart. Sauron cannot make, only mock. Without seizing that heart, Progressivsim cannot animate its sludge-filled limbs.
In present times, the backlash is starting. Russians really get that Communism is evil. It took a lot of doing, but they learned. Progressivism, being purified evil, also teaches this lesson and thus sows the seeds of its own demise. As cultural immunity builds it will become weak and eventually Traditionalists will re-assert themselves, as indeed they seem to be doing already in China and Russia.
However, this is only temporary. Coercion will still be legitimate. Progressivism's scions will cloak themselves in new lies and seek power once again, still willing to sacrifice everything, and thus will win again.
There is only one way to prevent this: purge the black heart. Coercion is evil. It's making you sick. Admit it. Stop it.
Most who read this will react negatively to the conclusion. I understand that logic is not persuasive.
Either I'm right or I'm wrong.
If I'm right, then it should be possible to reasonably deflate the objections. But if this were true, philosophy would not be a mess, it would be like math. If I'm right, it's still easy to soothe the cognitive dissonance.
If I'm wrong, then it should be impossible to deflate the objections. But if this were true, philosophy...
It's worth fixing this. When argument is true, it is extremely powerful.
If you can correctly apprehend the properties of a thing - if you know its True Name so to speak - you can perform logic on it. Sound logic is predictive.
This is best done by eliminating contradictions, rather than trying for positive identification. If X has property y, then it cannot coexist with not-y. (If you look carefully, you can see I did it this way above.) Positive identification is much harder since so much can factor into the logic. I would need many more True Names, and I can never be sure I found them all.
That is, I can predict which societies will never work. Given a society that doesn't apparently contradict itself, I cannot predict if it will work, how well, or for how long. With philosophy, a good empirical description is sufficient. I don't need to run multi-century societal experiments. Unlike an engineer, I don't need to work out how such a thing will occur, I can merely be certain about what will not occur: a stable, non-autophagous Traditional society.
Until philosophy's use and power are appreciated, and the communication problem fixed, I luckily still have experiment. I predict Traditional societies will always be captured by a purer evil and destroyed from within. As of now, history is entirely on my side. Hubristically, I'm also thinking very long term: having said this now, in three or four hundred years we will be able to see the restoration fall again to the plague. Then, hopefully, this missive will somehow survive and finally help cause philosophy to be taken seriously and used properly, so the restoration can get laid low by something new this time around. (At least, the cost is small, and the possible upside is huge.)
It doesn't help that Christianity alienated philosophy when it turned out the Bible was not 100% true on the first try. I would like to know why anyone thinks Aristotle-vintage theology is any more impressive than Aristotle-vintage physics.
There's an argument that I made up the logic to fit the predictions, since naturally I knew of them before the logic. But if this is so, I must have ratiocinated fraudulently, and you should be able to find where.
The above means it was possible for the Romans to anticipate Moldbug if they had put in the effort. Christianity cannot win against more power-hungry heresies of Christianity. While it's hard to predict Progressivism per se, the Romans are indicted for ignorance since they did not predict Christianity's instability.
If I haven't ratiocinated fraudulently, I discover the logic, I don't invent it, which means it's inherently independent of Moldbug, who has already been independently corroborated a couple times. Given the mathematics of independent corroboration if I haven't committed accidental fraud then I'm almost certainly right.
Tu quoque is still a fallacy, but you'll find that you can't effectively condemn the evil you yourself require and practice.
Under certain conditions Traditionalism's missteps cancel out. If everyone who was going to be forced to join would have joined voluntarily, it's almost impossible to tell it apart from a non-evil tradition. For example, the family. The kids are not allowed to leave, but most of them wouldn't even if they could. Dark age villages probably had a similar situation because Exit's discipline was replaced by Death's cold steel, keeping the dark heart's cancerous tendrils well-trimmed.
As per usual, it's not really the Traditionalist's fault. Adam and Eve is a good myth, likely referring to agriculture. It's the cycle of violence writ across ten millennia, periodically reinforced by plagues and war. Break it once and it might even stop forever.
Your argument for philosophy was good but a bit... flowery. A simpler formulation would be more pursuasive.
As to coercion... how would you propose to stop it? Violence exercised by command seems intrinsic to the natural status hierarchies of social living in ANY animal.
But I'd rather enjoy myself, given I'm not likely to budge anyone much even if I get all straight-laced about it.
Right now, an energy of status and moral legitimacy is flowing into voting. Make it flow into non-coercion instead.
The difference is status hierarchy established ad baculum and established voluntarily, in exchange for concrete assurances.
If current society is more or less okay, such a shift would change it little. It's not, so it would change profoundly.
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