Nick Land is impressed with legitimism, so I figured I'd lay waste to its proponent real quick. I'ma call him Carl. Hey Carl, what's up.
"posthumous defamation as a “Social Darwinist,”"
It is unwise to pay much attention to what your enemies consider to be defamation. Kto kogo; they will try to portray every trait you don't share with them as defaming, in an effort to make you surrender.
This is what's known as a red flag. The author seems fond of diversions; we must be suspicious. What does he want to divert attention from?
"wrote an essay on The New Toryism describing the numerous developments in England from 1860 onward that were turning against his vision of an industrious liberalism and the law of equal freedom"
Reality: Fascist is horrified that Fascism is getting more Fascist. Carl here helpfully lists a list of ways England of the late 1800s slid towards a totalitarian terror state. Checksum: you can see the explosion of crime which resulted by examining the post-1900 crime stats.
The tell is the term [equal freedom]. Blatant too. Egalitarianism + democracy. Maybe with some overarching totalitarianism on the side? A bit of brutal brutalism for spice?
Very standard Moldbug diagnosis: Whig taking credit for technological improvement to sell their program of social degradation. “As we have seen, Toryism and Liberalism originally emerged, the one from militancy and the other from industrialism." Tories are, of course, a kind of less-leftist. They are not rightists.
"The one stood for the régime of status and the other for the régime of contract"
Spencer is lying. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
"the one for that system of compulsory cooperation which accompanies the legal inequality of classes"
Higher status does not make defection into not-defection. No amount of status can combine the concepts of 'compulsory' and 'cooperation' because they are inherently contradictory. Satanist gonna Sate, I suppose.
"the other for that voluntary cooperation which accompanies their legal equality"
Equality means hive minds, not cooperation. Sophist gonna Soph.
The whole point of trade is precisely that the parties are unequal. We can profitably trade because my price schedule differs from yours. I can give you something which is cheap for me but expensive for you, in exchange for something which is cheap for you but expensive for me.
I should not have to explain this. Tories could and likely did know this, but they are liars, so here we are. Under a real legal system, one that existed for centuries, you can trade legal inequalities for cash. Big nope for Tories.
This Sophist/Satanist technique is frequently called [framing]. It's the art of portraying the conflict as a context between two alternatives which are both false. A kind of Xanatos gambit. You are tempted to oppose one (very obviously stupid) side by taking the other side, except that Satan wins regardless of which falsehood you worship.
P.S. You can also see the use of equivocation. Ideally the misuse of the correct terms will coopt the correct terms, leading to a newspeak situation where it's difficult for the correct ideas to occur to you. There is indeed an inherent conflict between status and contract. Between historical privilege and property rights. Between taxation and theft. Making the bandit stationary (orderly) doesn't make them not a criminal; does not stop them from shredding the social fabric.
That's one minor and one major red flag. Red card. This source ought to be considered hostile. Fiat vox vertitas, ruat caelum. Vigeat veritas et pereat hominis.
"In “The Coming Slavery,” Spencer blasts mendacious humanitarianism
toward the poor in words that would make any so-called “liberal” today
"Say rather that they either refuse work or quickly turn themselves out of it. They are simply good-for-nothings"
Spencer isn't wrong here exactly, but again we must ask: how is this a diversion? Perhaps it is not, but the burden of evidence is high.
"Is it not manifest that there must exist in our midst an immense amount of misery which is a normal result of misconduct?"
Err, no actually. It's normally the result of a genetic curse. They're no more capable of non-misconduct than you are capable of reaching the moon by flapping your arms. Their free will is crippled by the poor chassis they're trapped in. Whether they can physically carry out the motions or not, they cannot make the decision to be virtuous.
Spencer's side lost. Fascism became ever more Fascist, rather than stopping at a compromise. I read this as Spencer ultimately being more wrong. His arguments were unconvincing because they lacked verity. On the flip side, Spencer's opponents were arguing that Fascists should be more coherently Fascist.
But. Spencer's arguments were bad because he, too, was cursed with flawed genes. His own misconduct, too, was genetic destiny.
The truth is horrifying. To humans, at least. Lovecraftian, even. Presented with the truth, Spencer would have shut down, not accepted it. This option was never on the table. In part reflexively; for Spencer to admit that the poor's will is weak would mean to accept Spencer's will is also, to some degree, weak. This is politically unwise, as his opponents will certainly continue to pretend their actions are driven by highest logic and nothing else. This is why you've heard of Socrates, and never heard of Spencer.
There is a great deal of demand for a solution to poverty. Something will be done; the only question is whether that thing will be done responsibly or irresponsibly.
P.P.S. Responsibility (Exit) is critical precisely because his opponents will continue to pretend their actions are driven by purest logic and nothing else. You can't argue with a liar. You can only fire them. Firing them must be made sociologically possible. Cooperation + exit.
"In any event, what Spencer and many of his contemporaries were realizing is that the (or at least a) liberal creed marked by non-interference, freedom of contract and individual negative right was heading toward its demise. This was obvious to all social reformers, Fabians, radicals and the like who inveighed against it and worked to end it."
...because these were all surface colourings, not deep convictions. It was always Fascist vs. Fascist. Naturally the Sophist says something which sounds good. In the earlier stages a lot of what they say really is good, but it's only used in service of degeneration. More on this in a bit.
"Yet well over a century later, it is not obvious to many of our self-professed “post-liberals.” UnHerd communitarians, post-Trump economic nationalists, anti-woke leftists, common good conservatives — all are united by Milton Friedman living rent free in their heads."
Got the facts correct and the analysis is giving Satan wonderful jollies.
"Patrick Deneen, author of the widely discussed Why Liberalism Failed, speaks of “the transformation of all human relations into the transactional, market-based model of ‘utility maximization.’"
Again, Sophists say things that sound good. Only an idiot or a politician takes them seriously - and the latter is just lying. In reality Fascism is marked by [public-private "partnership"] in other words regulator-favoured corporations vs. everyone else. The former coopt and are coopted by the Fascist State, to the degree that it's functionally impossible to distinguish the two.
The irony of democracy: there is no freedom here. The iron law of oligarchy obtains. You move directly from aristocracy to tyranny. Any in-between situation is either chaotic polyarchy or illusion.
The tyrant terror State talks a good game about market-based models as long as their de-facto monopolies remain monopolies. If you break e.g. Twitter's monopoly, you get the Gab treatment. All sorts of fun accusations are made of whole cloth to justify terminating the service. If seasteading ever actually worked, I give it two weeks before they start getting child pornography allegations. This is not new. This is how Sophists always work.
Recently I learned about old-timey TV. To time-delay cross-continent broadcasts so they could all be properly after-dinner, they recorded it on nitrocellulose* movie film, then played the film back and broadcast the TV they were playing it on. Magnetic tape hadn't been invented yet, you see.
P.P.P.S. *(Gun cotton. They also made cue balls out of this stuff, as a substitute for ivory. The practice of making film out of gun cotton resulted in hundreds of deaths, especially when large amounts was stored together.)
...why didn't they just use a local broadcast? How about showing something nearby and thus relevant rather than trying to pipe crap from one coast to another? Duh, monopoly. The larger the corporation is, the better they are at bribing the State; likewise an impoverished market is more legible to the State. They like dealing with exactly one corporation per sector. Maybe two so they can get the thrill of playing favourites. Under no circumstances should there be as many as dozen. More options might be good for you, but the IRS doesn't like it, so tough. Obviously the IRS doesn't handle enough money yet and society can only benefit by handing them as much as possible; an untaxed life is not worth living.
"In the conclusion of Deneen’s book, he admits the conventional premise of the “ideals of liberty, equality, and justice coexisted with extensive practices of slavery, bondage, inequality, disregard for the contributions of women"
Let's not take zealot-egalitarian ideas as somehow rightist, yes? Apparently this task offers significant challenge...
"The whole thing was an act; the problem all along was liberalism “not living up to its ideals,” a quintessentially liberal position if there ever was one. Many people have fallen for this shell game."
Huh. Weird how irresponsible, shameless, lying leftists are bad at living up to the ideals of honour and responsibility.
How did that happen.
I mean, it is a shell game. That part's true.
"The belief in the continued persistence of liberalism leads to all sorts of asinine detours. It leads to people play-acting as union bosses organizing the coal miners of Colorado into a revolutionary struggle to break the system of wage slavery upheld by the robber barons"
Revolution => Fascist.
Old-fashioned Fascist trying to Fascist the new-style Fascist who already won the old game.
I essentially never use the word [liberalism] because (shocker) it's a Sophist word. The point of it was always to facilitate equivocation. Do you mean Fascism, or do you mean personal responsibility? It's used for both, but it's kind of hard to split the difference on that one...
"It leads to people endorsing vaccine passports so as to not come across as some square who believes in “inborn rights” and “the right of resistance,” a dreadful and ostensibly Lockean notion. "
Sounds like Locke to me.
Also sounds like a frame job.
Again, are you opposing Fascism, or are you opposing personal responsibility? If you're forcing someone else to have or require a vaccine passport, that's irresponsible. It's defection. It is an act of war. It is dishonourable.
If you believe they're a good idea, you ought to use them yourself, and perhaps favour businesses that have also chosen to use them. In general it's a good idea to follow your own judgment, flawed though it may be. Principle: it's none of my business. You know your business fractally better than I do.
If it's genuinely a good idea, the virus will kill everyone who isn't using them, yes? You kind of don't need to worry about it. The trash will take itself out.
However, if you feel a desperate need to force others to use a vaccine passport, is it not precisely because it's a bad idea, and you want to disguise the fact you're the trash that is going to take itself out? The more desperate the push, the stronger the evidence that the pushers are just lying.
"The latter is particularly pernicious because it utterly distorts the historical development of liberalism, by resuscitating the eternal spectre of ‘Manchesterism,’ ‘laissez-faire’ and ‘acquisitive individualism’ so as to pretend that we are still being ruled by the cigar-smoking Monopoly Man"
Taking liberalism as if it were ever a real thing is the fallback position, which Carl here has fallen into.
"The utter erosion of the rule of law is widely acknowledged, yet people can’t put two and two together that this implies a demise of the liberal epoch."
Frame jobs: they work.
Whether it's a "capitalist" cigar-smoking monopoly man or not, it's still basically the same thing. Revolution is always fake. The top remain the top. The bottom remains at the bottom.
Moldbug, emphasis mine: "An anticommunist would say: of course you can’t
achieve these goals. Communism creates enormous destruction while
failing to advance at all toward its stated goals. That’s kind of why
communism sucks so much." The Revolution is always LARP. We pretend the low has been brought high, and the high brought low. This is itself enormously destructive. Further, revolutionary fervor merely conceals the fact that no such thing has even remotely occurred. At best you replace lords with psycho lords.
If at any point Fascism had a fat cat in charge, there is still a fundamentally fat-cat-like person in charge of it. Maybe now they wear ripped jeans instead of something stylish, so rappers aren't as jealous. Progress.
"It thus allows social liberalism to disguise itself as an “anti-liberal” or “post-liberal” front fighting the “neoliberals,” meaning the eternal plot by Margaret Thatcher (and now her ghost) to privatize the NHS."
Ummm... public-private "partnership." Actual privatization would be good. Admittedly, impossible. You can't privatize Communists. They never learned to feed themselves; they starve to death in the wild. In reality neither of these factions want anything to do with responsibility. Checksum: the American medical system is "private" the way a porn star is private.
Moldbug again: "What’s really wrong with callous altruism? It’s a damned lie, that’s what’s wrong with it. It steals charity’s good name and makes Randroids condemn charity and communism in the same breath."
"I’m not suggesting anything new or groundbreaking — Paul Gottfried, Theodore J. Lowi, Walter Lippmann, James T. Kloppenberg, Panagiotis Kondylis and a host of others have made similar arguments"
I have never heard of any of these names. Neither have you. This is correct.
(I exaggerate, I've heard Lippman, though certainly I've never been foolish enough to give him the benefit of the doubt and read any of him.)I mean, it is true that when Sophists lie, they are lying. Of course Sophists dominate modern politics and their rhetoric has become almost completely divorced from any underlying reality.
"The facile attempt at pretending it is still with us by pointing to the widespread belief in equality is not unlike someone trying to argue that 18th-century Geneva was still Roman Catholic because people continued to pray to God."
"Bad intellectual genealogies and Cliffs Notes versions of political philosophy are in large part responsible."
Idiots gonna dumb. If you make a project out of trying to de-idiot the world, you're going to be at it for, uh, quite some time.
Remember those surface colourings from earlier. Let's see what "liberals" were putting forward:
"These include but are not limited to: parliamentary control of the civil
list and state expenditures, ministerial responsibility, freedom of the
press, equal protection before the law (specifically against noble
privileges and bills of attainder by which punishment was levied without
due process), an independent judiciary, the separation of powers in a
constitutional framework, freedom of association, abolition of feudal
tenures and entailed estates, the conversion of royal domains into state
Once you clear your head of Fascist brain-poison, you realize this entire list is irresponsible Fascism.
Freedom of the press in particular is absolutely disgusting.
Let's talk about freedom of association. What they're actually talking about is freedom of assembly - the right to protest, in other words. Nobody was ever arrested for visiting their friend's house (until Stalinist Russia, of course).
Protest on whose land? If you can get the owner's permission to be there, you don't need a State umbrella to 'guarantee' this alleged right. If you can't the owner's permission, you're trespassing. You're a criminal.
Secure your shit. If you want something, try buying it. If you're not willing to buy it, you're not willing to be responsible. You're all talk. Or a criminal.
"The spread of the arts and sciences, improvements in printing and navigation, the economic expansion created by the mercantile system have made all of the old class distinctions objectively obsolete, no longer resting on social need but on brute force"
Meanwhile in reality socioeconomic status is 0.8 heritable. Dumb, ignorant peasants give birth to dumb, ignorant children who would be best served by obeying their betters. Making the world more complicated only heightens the need for close supervision.
Not that I'm against peasants working themselves over due to imprudent rebellious impulses. Far from it.
"The Marxist, who believes himself to be such an iconoclast for exposing the underlying economic and historical roots of ideological slogans, is in fact met with full agreement by the liberal himself."
I mean, yeah. Sophists gonna Soph. Fascism point 5 is newspeak, or rather the general drive toward historical illiteracy. If the peasants forget which lies the Sophists told in the past, the Sophists can tell them again. Reuse, recycle! Green lying.
"In short: prior to liberalism, right and liberty had only been a private franchise and privilege."
....nope. Speaking of historical illiteracy...
Stupid example: folk bought peerages all the time. How did they get the money to do so without liberty? How did they get the right to do so without already having been privileged?
This is a clever Sophism. Portray the status quo as new. We have made Progress! You have to admit it was deftly done. Likewise, vaccine mandates existed in the 1860s, and yet vaccine 'passports' are considered a form of Progress in the creation of Security against Disease. Maybe with any luck we'll soon "advance" to the 1400s, or even - really going out there - advance to 400BC so we can catch up to Aristotle.
"In his History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe, Guizot criticized absolutism, hereditary aristocracy and democracy on an equal footing. He said that “the principle of the sovereignty of the people starts from the supposition that each man possesses as his birthright, not merely an equal right of being governed, but an equal right of governing others. Like aristocratic governments, it connects the right to govern, not with capacity, but with birth.”"
It is true that parliamentarians, as with egalitarians of all stripes, are hypocrites. They say they're against birthright, then turn around and grant birthright to everyone.
Naturally Guizot is a leftist and also lying. Why should we give him the benefit of the doubt? He has not proven himself. Trust must be earned.
As a matter of fact, aristocratic birthright is consonant with both biology and property.
A son's father owns property. How should this property be distributed? According to the father's whims. Most likely he's going to give it to his son; but, regardless, it's none of your business, even less than mine.
Secondly, if we are to give an office to a candidate, as a matter of fact interviewing the previous holder's son is a quick way to find someone competent. Certainly it is no guarantee of anything, but you're way better off handing it thoughtlessly to his son rather than trying to rake through random yahoos for someone who would do a good job.
Guizot is either a drooling idiot, or opposing birthright precisely because he's not competent, and no wise manager would hire him. Hence he must desperately agitate for managers to be unwise.
On one hand it worked: Guizot got his way. Gnon approved his prayer. On the other hand, it only worked because managers were already becoming incompetent enough to take his rank nonsense seriously. For the third hand, remember that Guizot's rule is not Gnon's rule. With a little preparation, you can go ahead and ignore it.
I wish to emphasize that Guizot is a Sophist, not a liberal (whatever that is). He himself doesn't believe his nonsense. It's all kto kogo.
This is not strange. It is instead weird if a liberal is not in reality a Sophist. I've never seen such a specimen.
"The term “Whig history” as coined by Butterfield has been completely butchered to the point where it is now synonymous with a universalistic view of progress."
Rectify: the term "Fascist history" as coined by Spade-world Butterfield has been completely butchered to the point where it is now synonymous with Fascism.
No no, haven't you read your shitty light novel translations? It's called completely 'dismantled' these days, not butchered.
It's very important to realize that politicians are not reliable witnesses with respect to their own beliefs. The only reason to take them seriously is for the purposes of an ad nauseam argument showing they're full of shit, such as my recent Biden post.
Meta: it's also important to assume a writer is a politician until you see evidence to the contrary. Trust must be earned. Although, you needn't worry: it won't be.
"By any measure, liberalism in its strict sense is an objectively counterrevolutionary tendency."
Rectify: "Totalitarianism in its strict sense is an objectively anti-Fascist tendency."
This is what happens when you buy the frame.
Well, leftists gonna left. Narcissism of small differences etc etc.
"Bishop Stubbs wrote that “the Great Charter was won by men who were maintaining, not the cause of a class, as had been the case in every civil war since 1070, but the cause of a nation.”"
Might not be wrong.
Fun fact: nationalism is a scam. This is a staunch argument against the Magna Carta, presented as an argument in favour.
"Of course, one last option is to claim that one has transcended both left and right. Though I won’t deny that this is possible in principle, from my experience most people who insist they have done this in truth have only converged back to the left in a roundabout way."
Gotta call a spade a spade or you'll end up claiming you can transcend responsibility. Even mythological Jehovah can't transcend responsibility.
While it's true that everyone who wants to discard left/right is a leftist, there's a base rate fallacy. Every modern is an irresponsible leftist; of course some subset of leftists are leftist.
I'm always reminded that in 1300s England, you could buy and sell the right to hang thieves. Called infangthief. This thing had a positive price. It was not considered a burden.
The fact you could buy a peerage means you could sell your peerage.
Can you imagine? Sell your right to vote. Sell your right to 'universal healthcare' or whatever. Sell your right to free speech. Sell your right to free assembly. All this alleged talk of 'free markets' and there's no market price for a vote? Would be very confusing if they weren't just lying.
The past is a foreign country. Anyone who writes as if it's not completely strange and weird is writing about a hallucination. If you can use terms 'left' or 'right' or even 'liberal' in a historical context without twisting your brain in knots, it's a fantasy, not history. In particular, the past was not a Fascist country. Not yet.
Sell your right to habeus corpus! Now that is respect for property rights.
Maybe one day we'll "Progress" to 700 years ago, so we can catch up with the vastly advanced non-centralized dark ages subsistence-farming feudal backwater. Their social technology was clearly centuries ahead of ours, but we'll get back there sooner or later, right?