Lies don't work, which means any individual lie is perishable. However, there's a clever strategy for replacing the lies, which involves using an isomorph that is isomorphic at one step beyond the average inferential horizon. Feels all different, but has nearly identical results. [Four stroke narrative] is an excellent analogy, much better than [capturing the frame] or whatever. The lie pushes itself forward, but has to retreat and re-push itself.
Humans always prefer cope to truth. The dissident allows themselves to be captured by an isomorph, because it defends against having to change too much. Naturally this never works, but [oh well, at least I tried]. Success is considered too expensive. Failure is affordable.
The very term [dissident] is itself cope. It says the Regime could have been legitimate; that it is illegitimate due to a misstep rather than because of its inherent nature. A proper dissident probably calls me a quitter. Likewise, a rebel is someone who thinks the Regime would be perfectly fine as long as they were in charge of it. A serious internal exile does not write long screeds about how the Regime ought to Transition itself, because it's none of their business.
Energy is a fundamentally renewable resource, but lies are not. A Regime will always use the best lies first. They're not idiots, contrary to appearances. It runs out of energy because its own operation discredits its own lies. The experiment is carried out, and it turns out science works. The Regime is forced to turn to increasingly cruddy lies.
"From the standpoint of the mental health of the public, it would be a great victory to reach the point where Hitler is as irrelevant (in the public mind) as Stalin and Mao. It would be such a great victory that, like most victories, it is probably regime-complete."
In general ancillary lies are used to defend some core lie. When the core lie is depleted, the engine can no longer turn over, and the Regime seizes up. It is seized by the final discipline of Gnon.
"Or less poetically: how, in the 2020s and beyond, can we render Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and friends irrelevant?"
By not being Fascist.
Transmutation: "How can we render Jesus irrelevant?" If you insist on being Christian or Satanist, you can't. If you insist on specifically being neither of those, it happens automatically. There's no middle ground where it takes effort but is possible. See: irrelevancy of Odin, Mithra, Brahma, etc.
Aside: it would be nice to have someone worth criticizing who stayed on topic. I'll go with 'what is focus,' Alex. I'm already bad at it myself, and don't need more negative examples.
"As a Soviet Jew (hardly an unusual reader profile)"
Should perhaps be more concerned about this. You attract the readership you deserve.
Dear reader, are you surprised that a Fascist Gyew attracts Fascist Gyews?
On the other hand, perhaps it's genetic and immutable, in which case being concerned is a waste of time. George Orwell suggests otherwise, though. More on this later.
"I certainly cannot blame anyone for being on any side—which is exactly how I feel about the Wars of the Roses, the Peloponnesian War, etc, etc."
Not even difficult to blame both sides. Both deserved to lose.
"a world full of men ready, willing and able to do enormous violence to other men"
How about a world of men ready, willing, and able to mind their own business. It's even harder than being violent. Think of the virtue signalling!
"Their minds fell into the hands of theories that told them they had to do this violence to save their country or the world"
Nonsense. They wanted violence, and needed an excuse.
"There will never again be a century even remotely like the 20th."
Reminder: this a "normal period of history."
"And indeed the weird and crazy things whole populations believed, even on our side, are indescribably weird by 2021 standards; and they would act on these beliefs, too—even act violently."
They would indeed so act. Left-wing. Irresponsible. Feeling entitled to the property of others. Fundamentally criminal. Defective. Deviant.
By excusing past criminals, Moldbug will excuse future criminals, which he allegedly does not want to do. (See also: China does this with Mao.)
I don't really think being anti-crime is inherently difficult. I think being anti-crime is a rare character disposition.
If you aren't anti-crime it's all kto kogo. World is made of victims and victors. (Note: Russians pronounce g as v.) Either you get to victimize someone or an oppressive tyrant is oppressing your freedom to mug and rape.
"We can pseudo-quantify this by defining the concept of political potential"
Whitewashing. Non-shaman dabbling in anima.
Like all the best lies there's some truth in there, but this is far more misleading than leading.
Following my corrections above, [political potential] is in fact criminal potential. How much does your population lust to break the law? What is their level of injustice demand?
Oh, duh, I say to me. Politics is an inherently criminal endeavour; if it's not, you call it property. When the CEO fires a bad hire it's not called a political victory. Rectifying the name, political potential is a dishonourable euphemism for criminal potential.
America's criminal potential hasn't gone down. Nu-America is merely exhausted and timid. They want to mug you but they're afraid you might raise your voice if they do.
"the German consensus that Jews were a problem was as democratic as our consensus that climate change is a problem. Which does not tell us anything about Jews or climate change—just democracy."
The root of both is the worship of those who feel Envy. Nietzsche never gets less relevant. Slave morality. Or just Fascism, the fundamentalists of the religion of egalitarianism.
Aside: ever find yourself doubting whether Fascism really is a terrible idea? Remember: they see a world made of purely perpetrators and objects; want to break the law and inflict unlimited injustice; but feel that only victims of injustice are worthy of human dignity.
"And even these individuals acquired their views in the postmodern way, individually, not the premodern way, from their parents."
Binary monkey-think. Irrational eccentric vs. irrational groupthinker.
Do try not to characterize Aristotle or Aquinas as postmodern.* Can't you tell the difference between an eccentric and someone who submits to the discipline of epistemology? Do I need to explain this?
Having claimed the idiosyncratically rational is a possible character, I have to mention I don't exclude the rational groupthinker. Division is labour is good actually. Where did the parents get it from? If it was fundamentally from the grandparents, they're weak, they'll lose, and they deserve to lose. (This is why Perry can simply order Japan to open her ports.) If it can be traced to someone thinking for themselves, (so-called "critically"), a Lord or Saint, then they'll be fine.
Isn't it amusing to watch the alleged arch-dissident spread propaganda opposing lords and saints?
*(At best it renders the term meaningless. We would be able to find mesolithic postmodernists. Perhaps Moldbug isn't being as stupid as he seems here, but at some point we have to hold him responsible for the actual words he actually put on the page. If what you wrote isn't what you meant, u dun fukt up.)
Recently I was reminded of the social consequences of breeding many degenerates. The based can mimic the debased, but the reverse is not true. Socially, the debased act like confident, staunch supporters of their vandalized ideologies, because they are incapable of changing their minds. (Do they meaningfully have minds at all? Debatable.) Beyond a certain small concentration, 10-20%, degenerate ideas will dominate the socially flexible, often called moderates. Rather than moderates, it is more accurate to call them the insecure, as they have no confidence in their own ideas.
Moldbug is attempting to play ball with this excessively degenerate gene pool. Or more precisely, the degenerate speech pool.
A lot of outer rightists are freaking out about foreigners having many babies. Dawg, you're 200 years too late to the party at the earliest.
The left wing isn't entropy, but it is true that entropy reinforces the left wing.
Precision of thought is necessary to understand the world.
Speaking of propaganda for the wrong side,
"While history’s plates will hopefully never fuse, the next tectonic crash is not between modernity and premodernity, but modernity and postmodernity."
Fundamentally the philosophical postmodernist is characterized by a stone-age or monkey idea: there is no real world, only the social world.
Here Moldbug repeats that idea uncritically. Postmodern secular-humanist Fascist. This is it? This is the most dissident an American can be? Pathetic.
"Furthermore, support for the hypothesis that there is a low-energy existential politics comes from the Soviet bloc in the late 20th century—which experienced full regime change with little or no violence, except in Romania."
Changing from masculine Fascism to feminine Fascism isn't a big deal. It is not surprising there was no big violence. This demonstrates nothing about the transition from lies to not-lies. (See also: narcissism of small differences. Differences in distance are larger than they appear.)
Considering how painful it is to give up lies, it is extraordinarily likely that this pain will manifest itself as violent opposition to the treatment. "I feel pain => I'm hurt => I'm being attacked." Try it: go to into a news office and mention that racism == anti-communism. There's plenty of remaining potential for violence as long as you can make them feel threatened. See also: 2020 Summer of Undocumented Urban Renewal. Americans have not entirely given up yet, more's the pity. (I've mentioned before that doomcore is a viable solution, aside from the sanctimonious hear-no-evil factor.)
Fascism incurs a divine debt. It's been running up since 1100, though at that stage it's more properly named after its progenitor, Sophism.
The question: can a country pay the debt before the debt gets fatally called? The answer: the last time to start gradual payments was around 200-300 years ago. The transition from lies to truth will instead be sudden. Either sudden and controlled, or sudden and uncontrolled. There is no reason to think it can be controlled; on the contrary there are psychological and genetic-load reasons to think it cannot be. Further, the fundamental theorem of history is that history repeats. America tried to be Rome and got what it wanted. It will be a [one funeral at a time] sort of conversion.
In short America as a whole will attempt the modified limited hangout that Moldbug is attempting. "I've totally stopped being Fascist, guys." Only it's not 'the guys' opinion that you need to worry about, but Gnon's. Again, they'll get what they want, and successfully convince the guys of their repentance.
All forms of intellectual conversion are left wing. Attempting intellectual dominance through intellectual violence. Fundamentally irresponsible. At best it can make this sudden, uncontrolled transition even worse by pushing it further left.
The actual solution is Exit. Demonstrate superior life-ways. Do instead of say. Build instead of gossip. Put initiative for joining on the side of the convert. Greed for joy instead of terror of pain.
Even if someone's lifestyle is broken, you're not entitled to fix it. Anyone acting so entitled really genuinely is attacking them. It is impossible to attack someone for their own good.
If there is any peaceful resolution, it is in figuring out how to hack the Regime such that it fails to try to suppress competitors and foreigners. Can you trick it into allowing a zero-tax city? Good luck with that.
Moldbug thinks a different form of parasitism isn't defection. Cope. The problem is parasitism per se. "The host will die if you keep sucking its blood. Try sucking the marrow instead." Not a solution.
Agape isn't about calling a parasite a not-parasite, and it certainly isn't about making no allowances for the diseased host.
"God doesn’t like it when you play pretend."
"There was no word more loathed by Romans—but a king in fact was what Rome needed. Or at least what she got. Few of us realize that “emperor” was born as a euphemism for “king.”"
"Most but not all 20th-century dictators came into power by promising a temporary regime: an emergency reconstruction of the regime, not a regime change at all. Never say never, but this is almost always a mistake."
Of course this is exactly what Moldbug offers, modulo the inferential horizon. Rather than a regime change that pretends to be a not-regime change, Moldbug wants a not-regime change that pretends to be a regime change. Change Fascists out for a Fascist larping as a monarch. Salus populi, equality before the law, no slaves (which means everyone is a slave), and apparently no nobles but we make an unprincipled exception for the king. Further, God forbid the king have legal privilege.
I believe more than enough Americans would also call this farce a [monarchy]. The rest would call it [racist] because it ever so vaguely smells of anti-communism.
"Sovereignty with an expiration date is weak and unstable sovereignty"
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you American historians.
Reminder that this boy sent his offspring to public school. I give you: dissidence.
I'm not arguing for temporary regimes here. Just, maybe, have some idea what you're talking about before you open your mouth. Don't be a pundit. Speech (publishing) might be free, but that doesn't mean it should be, and if it shouldn't be, you should act like it isn't.
The Romans also had this problem, which is why you were required to sacrifice a goat if you wanted your speech to be taken seriously.
Subsidized speech is bad speech; Gresham's law.
"The ruling class has also been selected by its attraction to power—and its willingness to humiliate itself by always agreeing with power."
A proof that the ruling class shouldn't rule. Why follow a self-humiliating class? Are you a devotee of self-humiliation? To get off do you need to be cucked by someone who is, themselves, a cuck?
"In all our hard, painful wanderings in the political wilderness, in our two-and-a-half-century revolution, are we stumbling in circles in the snow, a half-mile from the Ritz? How would that look in retrospect? Pretty funny, in fact—from inside that huge marble tub, with the jets turned up high."
It's a great spectacle: slaves attempting to be their own masters, peasants pretending to lord over other peasants. 'We can totally self-govern, guys!' Yeah. Great job everyone. Keep it up, lol
"So a well-designed monarchy tends to include one or more backup layers which can replace the monarch in case of death or incompetence."
...which then render the monarch not-the-monarch. If you can be fired, you have a boss. If you have a boss, you are not king. Apparently this two line proof is rocket surgery.
"The only way to keep the backup layer from being corrupted by its own power is to make it taste as little power as possible. Once the board is micromanaging the CEO, it might as well be the CEO."
Thus the magical self-enforcing Constitution reappears, just barely hidden behind the inferential horizon. Defence against change. You're no red-blooded American if you expect God to leave you to your own devices.
Use Exit, morons. Quit trying to meddle. Who is my King? None of your business. Who is your King? None of mine. Even if I'm the King.
"whole populations are quite easily seduced by objectively terrible ideas"
Populations are never seduced by ideas, because they only see and use plumage. They are seduced by people and adopt whatever plumage is required to get into bed with them. The idea can be as terrible as it wants because nobody takes it seriously.
Go ahead. Find a peasant. Ask him about his ideas. Ask him what the ideas mean...as long as you're in the mood for a good chuckle.
Though it is true that populations are easily seduced by terrible people, who then do terrible things. This is because populations are terrible and hunger for cope to excuse the awfulness they prefer to commit anyway.
"So elections tend to focus on resolving conflicts of interest between competing groups. This is how your backup layer starts to catch fire and turn into a civil war"
Elections focus on making one interest group dominate another. Weirdly, defection leads to defection. Nothing catches fire. It was a fire to begin with.
Exit. Eeeeexit. Exiiiiiiit. Tixe. Iext.
To "resolve a conflict" or rather to cooperate, it must be possible not to deal. Not everyone is reasonable, and if a deal can't be reached, a deal must be cancelled. "Conflict resolution" in practice refers to incentives to be unreasonable created by making separation impossible. Turns into a game a of Chicken. In the end, nobody wins Chicken. You both drive off the cliff.
Any form of making separation impossible (Lincoln) should be considered an act of war and a war crime. You should immediately declare total war on anyone who commits such a thing, because they just declared total war on you.
Fun fact: honourable total war beats sneaky dishonourable total war. Proof: if they thought they could win straight up they would have tried that in the first place. And they should know, shouldn't they? Know better than you, at any rate.
"A blindingly perfect equation—in theory."
Reminder that if I were handed custodianship of America tomorrow morning, all I would do is formalize the existing relationships. All the below-board stuff would come above-board. After that, how Americans decide to rearrange their contracts is none of my business.
Exception: I would seize a plot of uninhabited land and found a zero-tax city, which I would rule absolutely. By which I mean I would largely leave my inhabitants alone as long as they paid their service fees. I would not have an emigration problem.
Of course American would rearrange the contracts, because quite a few of them are absolutely revolting. No one even pretending to have self-respect would find them tolerable. But, the question of how to rearrange them is best left to the contract parties and very much the opposite of left to meddling strangers.
Even if your contracts are well busted (because they're hiding, or hiding because they're busted) it's best to start with the existing contracts. Each serves some purpose. You can't simply break the contracts, because that purpose will no longer be served. E.g. police in fact raise crime rates, but suddenly breaking the police contract causes crime to temporarily skyrocket. Old busted contracts must be replaced with something that works for both parties instead of only working for one side, rather than thrown out like a child rebelling against bed time.
"best of all to separate them from their biological mothers, who caused much trouble in Ottoman politics. Egg donation, surrogate gestation, childcare and education are four very different specialties"
Apparently Moldbug is knockoff Plato. Communists gonna commie.
To make defection and parasitism appear to work, you have to go far out of your way. Incidentally the problem with Ottoman queens was down to the character of the queens, not their incentives. They tried to hook up with the king precisely so they could get opportunities to cause flagrant harm. Someone was using anti-judgment, and didn't reject them.
If a regime is cooperative, if the subjects agree to be ruled by it, then it does not matter at all how the actual rulership is achieved. It is not up to me and even six months of experience will transcend anything I might say about it. It is, and should be, none of my business.
If, later, they screw it up, simply decline to be ruled further by them. Not screwing up isn't something you need to work out a priori. That's their business.
Unless the whole point of the exercise is to carry water for parasites.