Anarcho-capitalism and the alt-right

I noticed I was getting a few hits from the /r/anarcho_capitalism sub-reddit and stumbled on an interesting post by /u/chewingofthecud trying to compare and contrast An-caps to the alt-right. Overall it was a pretty interesting discussion. You can read it all here.

This is otherwise hard to explain because according to contemporary (read: wrong) ideas about the political spectrum being neatly divisible into left and right, the two are pretty much first cousins, if not siblings. This isn’t just a Freudian narcissism of small differences thing. When you understand that ancaps are uber-universalist (that’s why almost all of them are deontologists), but the alt-right are what you might call “particularists” (the opposite), things start making a lot more sense. Ancaps generally want one unswerving rule or standard (something like the NAP) to prevail in all times and places, and alt-righters see “different standards for different people” as being not only OK, but actually closer to the way the world really works (there’s also an rejection of the “natural fallacy” implicit in a lot of the alt-right, but that’s another discussion).

I have never been an an-cap myself, but it is my understanding that more than a few have gone through that route before adopting a more neoreactionary or alt-right style mindset. As such, there tends to be a lot of arguments on that sub between alt-righters and more traditional an-caps. Personally, I avoid commenting there as I consider it the territory of others. Other people aren’t so conscientious so you get lively debates fairly often which then inspire posts like the above.

In any event, I tend to agree with OP that a big issue with libertarianism and an-cap-ism is that it fails to address or acknowledge that (universalist) equality is a myth. This makes it very difficult for them, or anyone else, to deal realistically with people as they actually exist. And they exist very unequally.

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John Derbyshire’s “Dissidents and Doom”

Recently there has been some hand-wringing in neoreaction about the tendency for non-mainstream thinkers (i.e. neoreactionaries, among others) to be contrarian and anti-social. Well, that is true. It kind of goes along with the territory. Going against a well-established and popular consensus (right or wrong) by yourself in the face of possible harm (financial and/or physical) takes a very special type of personality.

First, Warg Franklin penned a piece on the parable of the raft. Then, Nick B Steves had a follow up piece which was also pretty good. In summary, both articles at once acknowledged both the virtues and the flaws of the dissident personality. It has both, of course. Not to mention that neoreaction wouldn’t exist without it. We are nothing if not dissidents from a well established and alarmingly overbearing Cathedral.

The obvious problem with the dissident personality is that they tend to be very hard to get alone with. And then if they do form groups, many or most of the people in the group have the tendency not to get along with each other because they don’t get along with anyone; least of all other people who are hard to get along with. The moment the group starts doing something they don’t like, they wont hesitate to go it alone so they can have their way completely. Clearly that isn’t a very good trait for a society that requires social cohesion. Though the enabling of the cathedral from mass acquiescence of a generally conforming populace is really bad, having a population full of people with the dissident personality that could short-circuit the cathedral would probably be just as bad, but for different reasons. (Well, maybe not AS bad, but it would have problems). Fortunately, we don’t need that many. A firm unshakable belief in 10% of the population is enough to change a consensus.

There is always the possibility that the dissident is completely wrong and the consensus is right. In which case their contrarian determination can only cause trouble. Still, there are definitely times where the dissident is right and everyone else is wrong; in which case they suddenly become quite valuable if they can convince everyone else.

Of course, given Steves’ and Warg’s purposes of herding the cats of neoreaction it is no wonder that this problem is often on their mind. They deal with it a lot. I have to admit that I myself am guilty of giving in a little too much to my own dissident temperament…

Given that, though, I think they came down a little hard on the dissident personality type because of their experience. I don’t blame them, but I think a defense of the dissident personality and why it is so important is needed so that perspective isn’t lost. Fortunately one already exists. It was written years ago by John Derbyshire and to this day it is still one of my favorite articles produced by the alternative-right (before the modern incarnation changed the meaning of that term a bit). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Steves’ use of the word “dissident” in this context and connotation didn’t originate in Derbyshire’s article/speech. (If you don’t remember the exact title, it can be hard to locate.)

The article was actually a speech given to the providence college republicans titled “Dissidents and Doom” and is related to his book “We are doomed: reclaiming conservative pessimism.”

Personally, I prefer the written transcript. In it he outlines why dissidents are important and the critical role they serve when a culture goes completely off the rails. I recommend the whole thing, but I will provide a few choice quotes. I don’t think I can top what he has already done, and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel anyway, so I will let him explain. First, what is the dissident personality?

The dissident temperament has been present in all times and places, though only ever among a small minority of citizens. Its characteristic, speaking broadly, is a cast of mind that, presented with a proposition about the world, has little interest in where that proposition originated, or how popular it is, or how many powerful and credentialed persons have assented to it, or what might be lost in the way of property, status, or even life, in denying it. To the dissident, the only thing worth pondering about the proposition is, is it true? If it is, then no king’s command can falsify it; and if it is not, then not even the assent of a hundred million will make it true.

I see in these dissidents a lot of the personality characteristics that my loved ones complain about in me: a stubborn cussedness, a disdain for cant and wishful thinking, a lack of interest in what I am supposed to believe and supposed to say. “Who doesn’t want to be a good citizen?” I don’t, not if it involves saying things I know to be preposterous.

Derbyshire definitely agrees that the dissident can be hard to get along with, but he is more inclined to see the glass is half full:

At root this tendency is antisocial. Indeed, if you mix with dissidents much, you notice how fissiparous they are, how they can never agree among themselves about anything for very long. The dissident scene is full of petty animosities and slanders. I find dissidents to be individually admirable and attractive, but collectively hopeless. I’m glad to know they are there, though — that I’m not the only member of what my mother called “the awkward squad.”

And even gives it to totalitarians that a society full of contrarians wouldn’t be great:

And in fact, though it’s an awful thing to say, and I’m going to smother it with qualification, in fact the totalitarians have a sort of a point. A society can’t be stable without widespread unthinking conformism. That’s why dissidents are unpopular. I have spoken to quite liberal and well-educated people in China about high-profile dissidents like Wei Jingsheng. They are not very respectful of dissidence. Mostly they just think dissidents are a bit wrong in the head. Sometimes, and you especially hear this from women, you’ll hear: “He can do what he likes on his own account, but think of the harm he’s doing to his family.” Along with the association with madness, there is an association with social chaos — in the case of Chinese people, fear that too much independence of mind could bring back the terrible chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

Just as the association with chaos has some justification, at least in societies traditionally or recently disorderly, so has the association with craziness. The totalitarians who put dissidents into mental hospitals are of course doing a wicked thing, but again, there’s a little grain of truth in the wickedness. Dissidents are poorly socialized. As Eugene said: “Who doesn’t want to be a good citizen?” And the poorly socialized are seen by the better socialized as a bit nutty.

On how a dissdent should exercise restraint:

The sensible dissident should in fact practice a lot of self-restraint. He should in particular show a proper respect for the idols of the tribe. When I was a teenager back in England it was the custom at movie theaters that when the movie program ended, the National Anthem would be played. Everyone was supposed to stand up and be still for the duration. Well, of course, by the age of sixteen I had seen through all that stupid monarchy stuff — a bunch of rich people living in palaces and doing no useful work. Stand up for them? Not me! So I and some like-minded coevals would bravely sit through the anthem. This generated a lot of disapproval from other patrons, leading once or twice almost to fist-fights. We’d made our dissident point, though.

Now I know that the point was not worth making. Harmless tribal rituals are not to be objected to. They are part of the glue that holds a nation together. That’s a fundamental conservative insight. If you’re going to dissent, dissent about something that matters.

What matters? Truth.

Truth is one of the central features of the dissident personality and it is no wonder neoreaction attracts people with that personality type given its similar disregard for feelings and sociability for the sack of truth. As a group we all care more about truth than we care about keeping our heads down or sparing feelings. And it is this concern for unmitigated truth which implies that when a dissident speaks (or writes), you should at least hear him out. His main value which leads to him being a dissident in the first place is his sole concern with the truth; especially with respect to social pressure and conformity. This concern leads the dissident to find methods of sifting truth from fiction. Methods the average person never bothers to learn for themselves. Chances are that he is much more likely to speak the truth (or at least his honest perception thereof) as a result. Derbyshire describes the thinking of the average person in comparison to the unmitigated pursuit of truth:

The ordinary modes of human thinking are magical, religious, social, and personal. We want our wishes to come true; we want the universe to care about us; we want the approval of those around us; we want to get even with that s.o.b who insulted us at the last tribal council. For most people, wanting to know the cold truth about the world is way, way down the list …

When the magical (I wish this to be so: therefore it is so!) and the religious (We are all one! Brotherhood of man! The universe loves us!) and the social (This is what all good citizens believe! If you believe otherwise you are a bad person!) and the personal (That bastard didn’t show me the respect I’m entitled to!) all come together, the mighty psychic forces unleashed can be irresistible. Ask Larry Summers or James Watson.

Derbyshire also goes on for a while about “soft-totalitarianism,” what we would call the cathedral. One of the examples he uses is on black/white IQ differences, but there are other examples:

At the beginning of lecture 25, “Intelligence, Genes, and Environment,” [Princeton neuroscientist Sam Wang] promised a discussion of group differences, but all we got was some bland stuff about males vs. females. In one of the lectures on learning he skated as close as he dared to the dread topic, but then opened an escape hatch and dropped through it. The name of the escape hatch is “Eyferth,” a great favorite with those on the nurture side of the nature-nurture issue. Klaus Eyferth was a German researcher who in 1961 published a study on the children of black and white U.S. servicemen born to German women. The study showed no overall difference in average IQ between black and white children. There are all sorts of open questions about the study: we don’t for example know the IQs of the fathers. The really big question, though, is this: Since the Eyferth study has been such a huge hit, and gets mentioned by every politically correct commentator on the human sciences, how is it that in fifty years — fifty years! — nobody has been able to replicate the findings?

The 2003 Turkheimer study that claimed to show heritability of IQ is lower in low-income families is another one of these nurturist darlings. David Brooks cites it uncritically in his new book, which I reviewed in the last but one issue of National Review. Sam Wang refers to it too, also uncritically. Neither of them seems aware that at least three attempts to replicate Turkheimer’s findings came up with results that were either null or else the opposite of what Turkheimer claimed to have found. The omission is pardonable in Brooks’ case — the guy’s just a journalist, after all — but not in Prof. Wang’s.

This is the environment of soft totalitarianism I am speaking about. Quite well-established facts about human nature may not be mentioned, even in a lecture by a professor at a prestigious university — a lecture I paid good money for. (Do I have a case in law here?) Where facts are not well-established, but suggest more than one possibility, only possibilities agreeable to ruling political orthodoxies may be discussed.

It is when pervasive lies and/or denials like that of racial differences, gender differences, socialism, immigration or other parts of the mainstream consensus are both extremely harmful to society and become unmentionable that the dissident personality becomes absolutely critical and indispensable. Only the dissident can withstand the pressure of conformity and tell everyone to pull their heads out of their rears. Society needs them for those inevitable times when Lysenkoism takes over. They are the release valve that can slowly drag the society back to sanity. With the dissident comes the chance to escape collapse. Without them, collapse is inevitable. So when considering whether or not a dissident should be ostracized great care should be taken. Dissidents provide a valuable service and whether or not they are right should always take precedence over whether or not they are disagreeable. That is true in general, but doubly true for neoreaction. It is true that you should protect your community from the sorts who will destabilize it, but at the same time moderation should be shown in such judgements. Not every contrarian is a trolling entryist.

For the non-dissident personality types, as well as for my fellow neoreactionaries, I leave you with Derbyshire’s request in relation to the dissident personality. One I wholeheartedly agree with:

Give the dissident temperament a little respect. When dissidents are obnoxious or nutty, which we often are, cut them some slack. Bring your own critical faculties to bear on the things they talk about, and always check the source materials. Try to learn to spot an urban legend or a convenient truth, especially one you hear a lot from not-very-well-informed people. If, when passing through a public square, you see that they’re burning a heretic at the stake, at the very least don’t join in the applause.

Also, this poem at the end was pretty good:

Here, in this little Bay
Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
Where, twice a day,
The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
I sit me down.
For want of me the world’s course will not fail;
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great, and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not.

(Note: Unsurprisingly, in an example of possible lysenkoism, firefox doesn’t recognize “lysenkosim” as a word).

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Reversing the Demographic Winter

I found this documentary via reddit which found it via thinking housewife. It discusses an issue of deep concern to the dark enlightenment and that is the issue of population decline. For what I guess is a mainstream documentary, it is refreshingly frank with regards to the negative consequences modernism/post-modernism is having on our culture and subsequently population. Big factors in this decline and identified by the doc are feminism, the break down of sexual continence, divorce friendly laws, and promoting careerist women (mostly discussed in part 2) All of these things work together to destroy the family and set off a runaway effect of ever decreasing fertility. Watch it, it is pretty good:

Part 1

Part 2

As the documentary shows, it isn’t just white Europeans that are having fertility declines even if they are are most advanced in said decline (with the exception of some Asian countries). Even the countries which supply the current batch of immigrants to the west may not be able to keep that up if the same trends advance in their countries and they are only lagging by maybe 20-30 years behind the west. The whole white genocide meme put forward by identitarians may end up needing an overhaul and be redefined as human genocide. Actually, I think it is better called human suicide than genocide as it is mostly a voluntary action. Not to discount the fact that it is intentionally inspired cultural marxism, but people do assent to its ideas more or less voluntarily. It is an interesting idea to think that the immigration issue may be resolved by fertility drops in the rest of the world, though I am not holding my breath on that one. Lots of people worry about Muslim fertility, myself included, but Iran for example has one of the worst fertility crises in the middle east. Clearly this isn’t a European only problem. It is a global problem with various groups merely at different stages of it and with a few particularly disturbing exceptions to the trend. Though most of that population will probably remain confined to their current locations.

Of course,  I have written several posts tangentially related to this. Of Madonnas and whores is one, shrug is another. The first is on how a culture which has a healthy fertility rate is structured and the other is on how men should respond to the current horribly designed structure. It occurs to me that these two posts probably appear on the surface to be at odds with one another because one attempts to reverse the problem while the other attempts to exacerbate it. However, there is a method to my deep and frightful madness. I refer you to the analogy of a frog in boiling water. If you put a frog into luke-warm water and then slowly bring it to a boil, the frog will swim merrily and make no attempt at escape until it is too late. However, if you drop the frog into water that is already very hot it spends its few remaining moments among the living desperately attempting to escape. (I have never actually attempted to boil live frogs, so maybe they don’t act as described, but the analogy creates a vivid picture anyway and is thus rhetorically useful.)

The analogy demonstrates that it is the nature and speed of the transition which is the governing force of the response to the change rather than the destination of the change itself. A jarring transition spurs reaction, while a slow transition results in docile acquiescence. The purpose of articles like shrug is to create such a sudden and uncomfortable transition in our culture that it becomes fertile for introspection and ultimately action. Well, hopefully the correct sort of reaction like that described in Of Madonnas and whores and other articles. By magnifying the problems faced by both family destroying women and the state, you may, just may, catalyze some pragmatic thinking. Not to mention sparing as many individual men from the machinations of the state as possible.

Of course I am just some trivial blogger who very few people read. : ( My articles are likely to be quite inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Or maybe not. There are a lot of men in positions which make them quite receptive to a new and sympathetic view of their situation that not only successfully diagnoses their problem, but also suggests some sort of solution. It is that last part that is most important. Men naturally want solutions. If there is a problem in their lives, they are much more likely compared to women to take some sort of unilateral action. Even if there are downsides to that action in this situation, the alternative is something akin to slavery. Worse maybe because of the culture of contempt directed towards so-called “dead-beat dads.” Therefore, the level of acceptable costs and downsides with respect to the working of the divorce industry are quite high. Even more, many men are likely to accept a great deal of problems if it means they can ensure that the state and the parasitic ex-wife come up empty handed merely as a result of well-deserved spite.

However, there is one last piece of this puzzle which must be dealt with before men shrug en masse and inflict a painful jolt on the system. Men have to be ideologically deprogrammed. Both social conservatives and the cultural marxists demand sacrifice from men for the sake of women and children and indoctrinate them accordingly. Sacrifice of men for those groups isn’t so bad when it is paired with the rewards and assurances given them in a traditional context. It was merely a more or less fair contract. The dominant culture on the left and “right” have decided that they can get away with taking those rewards and assurances away without any consequences. Well, we already know that didn’t turn out to be true, but even with the current consequences things seem to be accelerating leftward rather than reversing. Perplexing that. It seems that the consequences haven’t been severe or blatant enough which is why it is probably still the time of creative destruction rather than direct building (outside of individual properly patriarchal families, a difficult thing to achieve today even for the most skilled). Acceleration towards the left singularity has continued unaltered because of the so far effective ideological indoctrination men face from both the left and “right.”

The incentives that should result in men exiting en masse are already well established and have been for a long time. The only thing keeping them around is the tiny thread of cultural mind control; a thread that is ripe for the cutting. This indoctrination mainly revolves around questions of what is and isn’t moral. So long as good men believe that exiting from the unfair arrangement is immoral, they will be loathe to do so regardless of the cost to themselves. In shrug, the question of the morality of exit is directly addressed, although briefly:

I can think of the obvious objection [with respect to exit from alimony and child support]: “Won’t someone please think of the children!” Well, I am. I am thinking about children (and the whole family), but I have escaped myopia and took a view that extends all the way to the horizon. Children are done a huge disservice by easy divorce. It is a fact that they are better off when their parents stay together until at least they grow up. So long as the system exists in the current state, the only thing we can be sure of is that millions more men and children will be caught in its clutches in the future. Suffering will only increase and increase. Anything that lets the system of easy, no-fault divorce with the concomitant asset division last even one week longer than it has to is immoral.

In a properly functioning society, going after fathers who shirked their duty is a just imperative. We don’t live in a properly functioning society. These days it is rare that family breakdown is caused by men unwilling to be fathers. Worse, they have absolutely no power to prevent the destruction of the family that causes so much suffering to everyone, especially children. When family breaks down, it is not their fault. Such men are thus morally guiltless for leaving. As much should be explained to them and they should be encouraged to shrug. The men who willingly continue to pay into this system are essentially complicit in its perpetuation, at least once they understand how it works. They are just like Hank Rearden who through his diligent efforts kept the morally bankrupt society going that much longer than otherwise had to be. He did this despite emotional torture by his ungrateful family and incrementally increased injustice towards him by society. By keeping the current system solvent, today’s men ensure that more men in the future will be dragged into it. By shrugging, they bring the day of its collapse closer and ensure that less children will ultimately be caught up in it. Continuing to pay into the system, judged by the number of future men and children who will be dragged into it by its continuation, is thus itself the height of immorality.

In other words, it is the demands society place on men without compensation or assurance that is immoral. Men not only have a justification for exit, they are morally obligated to demand their dues for their sacrifice because if they do not they are dooming future generations to the perdition caused by incorrigibly capricious women and the ever more greedy state. If they are not given what they are owed, they must exit as a moral imperative. The elucidation of pragmatic morality here cuts the thread of indoctrination and prepares men psychologically for the difficult decision to pursue exit as the difficult solution to their involuntary servitude. The sting of mass exit would then ultimately facilitate some move back towards tradition.

At least this is the theory. Why should anyone listen to someone like me? Well it seems that at least one person has. Though I am not a MGTOW myself, I subscribe to the subreddit because they sometimes have interesting links. If anything, MGTOW philosophy will just make the demographic winter even worse so ultimately it has no promise as an effective strategy for a better future. Anyway, I stumbled on this self post which stated:

Frankly, we need to be very specific here about a certain aspect of going your own way. I’m looking for that direct insider info strictly speaking of alimony and child support obligations and uprooting and leaving it all behind.

Has anyone up and left, and the consequences be damned? Like, as in – I Don’t Give One Single Fuck what the ex, or the courts are gonna do to me type of attitude.

Seriously looking into this, if the statistics of non-payment of child support are such that “billions of dollars have gone uncollected” Then I must be living a delusion that I will in-fact go to jail for non-payment, and this can all be managed in a way that we can call their bluff and move on with our lives.

So speaking of what did you do, how far did you move? Out of county, out of state, out of country? How far did the legal system pursue you in your new found location? What and who did you leave behind? What would you have rather actually kept and/or sold or left behind? What legal ramifications were the result of leaving your “free-range prison” behind? (Think alimony, child support, garnishments, mortage, etc.) Were you able to successfully break free forever? Or did you come back and have to pay the piper? How did you hide assets like a home, or your money from being legally stolen from you? Would it have been a better idea to keep the home and rent it out while away, or sell the home because of the headaches, ramifications and hassle while gone? How have your children taken the change, and have you managed to keep in touch? Has the ex held them back from keeping a relationship with you because you are no longer paying for the extortion known as child support? Has she kept the children from relatives while you are gone? How much better was the new life compared to the old life? Any other comments or words of wisdom we could all potentially glean from you that aren’t covered here?

We are not discussing the morality of such decisions, or how you came to get to this point. We all come to our own point of no return, and I for one, and you yourself do not deserve to be ground into dust with no recompense for the rest of our lives.

Of course this reminded me of my shrug article so I told him about it in a comment to which he replied:

You have a really great website! I’ve read that article before too, and re-read it.

Flattery aside, I feel a bit like I may have opened pandora’s box (it was bound to be opened eventually by someone). If we take the 1% rule seriously, then there may be at least 100 more men out there somewhere who read that article and took it to heart and are seriously considering implementing the suggestion. That is assuming I have seen every instance of a re-post of this article, which I probably haven’t and would mean there are more than this. Of course, even if they don’t act on the idea it is in their head and they will think about it regularly because they will be faced with their burdens regularly. They will also likely spread the idea to other men (with or without linking back to me) and some of those men will act. The redefinition of appropriate moral response to the current divorce regime could eventually have significant repercussions and things will get worse generally before they get better. I have, in concert with the efforts of many others, engaged in black magic. What is and is not moral is changed to be a more accurate representation of reality. Moreover, from what we know about moral signaling behavior this redefinition could spread quickly and rabidly if it becomes entrenched in some dedicated minority. Considering the current incentive structure, such a result might be expected. People will fall all over themselves to do the right thing in the eyes of their peers, especially if they have overwhelming personal incentives rarely present in other moral signaling games.

All I can say is that I hope my appraisal of the situation is correct and that this action brings closer the light at the end of the tunnel. If I’m wrong about this, though I don’t think I am, then the spreading of the idea could result in some difficult to reverse consequences. Either way, what is done is done and the lid can not be put back on the box. At the very least, progressive culture will suffer mightily for ignoring gnon. Most importantly, though, individual men will be more likely to free themselves from involuntary servitude and that is a positive moral change even if that is the only positive change that results.

EDIT:

Here is another self-post titled “How to shrug at the family courts and evade slavery.” Though I didn’t ask him if this had anything to do with my article in my comment, the wording suggests he had read it.

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