A Simple Proof that Liberalism is Bad and Must be Repented of

The reader probably knows this already. But here at the Orthosphere we’re not just interested in conversing among ourselves. We’re also interested in evangelism, in spreading the word.

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And what is the word we spread? That the current system is fundamentally broken and wicked, and that we must all repent of the liberalism that is killing us spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

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So there is a need for simple and visceral proof that liberalism is wrong, proof that anyone who has been paying attention to the world can acknowledge as valid. Here’s one such proof:

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Ask yourself: According to our leaders, what is the greatest social good?

The answer is obvious. They all say it is diversity.  All of Western Civilization is currently organized around the moral principle that diversity is the greatest good, and opposition to diversity is therefore the greatest evil.

[John Q. Public knows that diversity is held to be an important social good. He may not be aware that it is held to be the highest social good, but that realization will come later, if he pursues the line of thought that we are opening up here.]

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The proof continues by asking, what exactly does “diversity” mean, according to our leaders? As anyone who has been paying attention can see, it primarily means:

  • More nonwhites. And therefore, by necessary inference, fewer whites.
  • More non-Christians. And therefore, by necessary inference, fewer Christians.
  • More sexual perversion. And therefore, by necessary inference, less normal and proper sex.
  • More women. And therefore, by necessary inference, fewer men.

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Here the word “fewer” does not necessarily mean reducing the population of that group, although many liberals do hope for a reduction in the number of whites and Christians. But liberals recognize that calling for population reduction is not good public relations. So instead, they call for fewer of these people in the organization or line of work. More nonwhite professors, which means fewer white professors. More non-Christian legislators, which means fewer Christian legislators. More women in leadership, which means fewer men in leadership. And more sexual perversion, which means less proper sexual activity.

Liberals rarely say “we want this organization to have fewer men, Christians, heterosexuals and whites.” But those are the necessary consequences of their words and actions. You cannot get more X without also getting less non-X. Anyone who is interested in the truth can probably be brought to see this.

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At this stage, our imaginary interlocutor will have to make a choice. Is it good for America to have fewer men in positions of honor and authority, fewer whites, fewer Christians, and more sexual perversion?  If he answers yes, he is a lost soul. But if he is relatively sane, he will say no.

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Once John Q. Public has begun to see the fundamental wickedness of “diversity,” he will then be ready to be shown that it is not just a discrete threat. “Diversity” is not just an anomalous evil within an otherwise-healthy society. It is instead a clear indicator of a fundamental sickness in Western Civilization, for no healthy society would tolerate such a radical threat to itself.

Then we can offer our hypothetical interlocutor something better. Since contemporary thinking about God, man and society is fundamentally perverted, we have no choice but to look to the past for a model of a relatively healthy society in which people think more correctly about the fundamental realities of life, and society is therefore ordered more properly.

We can then describe a way of life, and of thinking, based on tradition, that is, a way based on divine Revelation and the wisdom and way of our ancestors.

We will not call our fellow citizens to political action, for this cannot overthrow an entire misguided system.

Instead, we call people to repentance from liberalism, and a renewal that starts within themselves regardless of their external circumstances, a renewal based on faith in Jesus Christ and rejecting the falsehoods of liberalism and “diversity” in favor of a truer way.

This is the gospel of traditionalism, in a nutshell.

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149 thoughts on “A Simple Proof that Liberalism is Bad and Must be Repented of

    • It’s not a proof in the sense of strict logic, but instead an appeal to intuition. Many, probably most, will not respond properly to the argument given here. But some can be awakened to a new life by a flash of insight.

      It is too late to defeat the liberal juggernaut by politically repealing liberalism. At this stage, the best we can hope for is to pull some from the burning building and begin to lay the groundwork for a future better order.

  1. The answer is obvious. They all say it is diversity.

    I thought it was “personal autonomy”, with opposition to “personal freedom” being the greatest evil.

    I’ve always seen the diversity movement as an offshoot/tool of the push for more autonomy, as the less coherent the population (or leadership) is, the harder it is to maintain social pressures to conform to that population.

  2. Vanessa said,
    “I thought it was “personal autonomy”, with opposition to “personal freedom” being the greatest evil.”

    With an elite always telling you what you can and can’t do or think, why would you say opposition to personal freedom would be their greatest evil?

    • But that isn’t how they see it. They’d say that I was the one who is under Evil White Christian Male mind-control. They don’t understand that everyone follows the elite, really. We’re sheep, and we can choose Jesus as our shepherd or…

    • Also, as Jim Kalb has pointed out, the personal freedom that liberals value most is the freedom to define yourself in any way you like, not the freedom to do whatever you want.

  3. I am a liberal, but I come here for what are usually some good, rigorous arguments for beliefs that I don’t share (that is a very liberal thing to do, IMO, although I don’t know many others who practice it).

    But this is just stupid. For one thing, nobody thinks diversity is “the greatest good”, that is a strawman. It is a good among others.

    Second, your main point — which is that if you increase the proportion of nonwhites or women in an institution, then you reduce the corresponding proportion of whites and men, is screamingly obvious to everyone on both sides. Yet you trumpet it as some major revelation.

    I’m disappointed.

    • Would you agree that the classic social goods of liberalism are liberty, equality, and fraternity? I know the words are slogans, but they do seem to epitomize liberal doctrine. I don’t think it is unreasonable to argue that these classic social goods have become subordinate to diversity, making diversity the greatest good. Liberalism, which today means left-liberaism, has very little interest in liberty. This is the great good of right-liberals. In any event, when liberty comes into conflict with diversity, which trumps? Read the Civil Rights act of 1964. Equality? This has undergone a strange metamorphosis in left-liberalism. My guess is that this is due to the fact that left-liberals are no longer scrappy proletarian rabble-rousers, but rather comfortable members of the elite with a strong sense of their own moral and intellectual superiority. In any event, equality now means equality of groups, not equality of men, and this is obviously a concession to diversity. Diversity is at least superficially compatible with the good of fraternity, or the brotherhood of man, although in its original form fraternity was actually an excuse to abolish diversity (that’s what the armies of revolutionary France were up to). Relevant to the main themes of this site, fraternity is the slogan under which the great liberal war on historical religions was fought. They wanted religious uniformity, either under atheism, deism, or transcendentalism. They certainly didn’t want diversity. So we see, once again, that a classic liberal good has been utterly recast under the supreme influence of diversity. Goodness! I think I’ve persuaded myself that Alan is right!

    • Liberals, especially members of the leadership class, act as if diversity is the greatest social good. So your statement that “nobody thinks it” doesn’t make sense.

      And even though reducing whites, men and Christians is the goal, many rank-and-file liberals don’t seem consciously to be aware of it. They think that liberalism is all about being fair and decent rather than what it really is all about, namely destruction.

    • “Yet you trumpet it as some major revelation.”

      I didn’t see it as this, more like clear-headed thinking in a society that easily tends toward fuzzy thinking.

      You don’t sound like a “liberal”. You sound more like… I don’t know… Mr. Sensitive?

  4. Dear Alan,

    “The answer is obvious. They all say it is diversity”

    It isn’t accurate IMHO. More like: equality. And this egalitarianism comes from a fundamentally subjectivist worldview: when there no standards regarding how to live, what purposes to live for, what ideals, then the only purpose is subjective desire, and one persons subjective desire worths just as much as the otehrs.

    I think conservatives, theist or atheist, should fight primarily against subjectivism. Plato already figured out that “a good knife is one that cuts well” i.e. normative statements, value judgements can be derived from choosing a goal, and by applying factual, objective, “scientfiic” knowledge it is possible to derive the best means for that goal, which will be objective value judgements at least relative to that goal. If there are better and worse ways to reach a goal, then they are inequal. If people do better or worse things, they are inequal. This logic is IMHO what conservatives should built upon.

    • “Diversity” is, for the liberal, the greatest social good, I think. But equality is another fundamental good for the liberal.

      In the social realm, liberals see equality as a means to achieve diversity.

  5. Unfortunately, John Q Public doesn’t see the “fundamental wickedness of diversity” for himself. He doesn’t have opinions of his own. They are poured into him like lubricating oil into machinery. The liberal intelligentsia have grabbed all the ‘oil’.

  6. I am a liberal, but I come here for what are usually some good, rigorous arguments for beliefs that I don’t share (that is a very liberal thing to do, IMO, although I don’t know many others who practice it).

    Hogwash, It is not a very “liberal” thing to do, not in practice at least. That is rather one of the points here: Liberals refuse to take into consideration any other POV, and most manifestly do not like to “debate” such things. They in fact flee from all rational debate. The best one can hope for is sophism and casuistry. Liberalism today, which is better termed “Cultural Marxism”, and thus should not be confused with “classical Liberalism”, is a totalitarian ideology to say the least, and has all off the philosophical flaws of economic Marxism.

    Today’s “Liberal” combines an almost total ignorance of his civilization andit history, not to mention the actual nature of humanity, with an absolutely unshakable and unexamined belief in those received shibboleths and talking points he confuses with principles.

    onecertain is a case in point.

    The central flaw of this article is that these matters can in fact be debated with what you call “liberals”. In fact, these people are actually Oligarchical Collectivists of various stripes, and a severe Marxism runs through them all. Useful idiots aside, those that intend these projects, including “diversity” (and feminism as well, I might add), are knowingly engaged in a war with the rest of us. They mean the destruction of our civilization; they mean our destruction. It is absurd to imagine that you can “reason” with them. They count on this.

    Diversity is merely a weapon in their attack. One way you can know this is that it only comes up against whites in the West. Elsewhere we hear about how nonwhites should have their own “homelands”. We do not hear about diversity as it might apply to Palestine, Africa, or, for that matter, China or Japan. It seems that only the whites of Western Civilization should be denied thier “homeland”.

    • It is not a very “liberal” thing to do, not in practice at least. That is rather one of the points here: Liberals refuse to take into consideration any other POV, and most manifestly do not like to “debate” such things

      Well — here I am, debating.

      I do agree with you in part. I live in one of the most liberal parts of the country and I dislike how it tends to become an orthodoxy, which to me is not true to the real spirit of liberalism.

      They mean the destruction of our civilization; they mean our destruction. It is absurd to imagine that you can “reason” with them.

      Well, my efforts at engaging with you folks, and others in the rightwing side of the blogosphere, haven’t been very enlightening for either side. There doesn’t seem to be much common ground. If you really believe that liberals “mean your destruction” then there isn’t much to say, is there?

      • If you really believe that liberals “mean your destruction” then there isn’t much to say, is there?

        Maybe this comment thread isn’t the place for this particular discussion, but that statement seems fruitful to me for a discussion someplace. I agree with Hattip about liberalism’s goals. Furthermore, I don’t think they are a secret. Rather, liberals are fiercely proud that these are their goals. Nor is it particularly new—it goes all the way back to the Endarkenment. It would be interesting to see why you disagree and to trace that disagreement back to whatever disagreement in assumptions it comes from.

      • If you really believe that liberals “mean your destruction” then there isn’t much to say, is there?

        You may not personally, onecertain, mean the destruction of traditional western culture. But that is the unmistakable vector. It has of course been going on for a lot longer than even Alan Roebuck would probably care to admit, however. In an abstract low-church religion like leftism, there is always someone that can prove his (or her) devotion, and therefore social status, by being lefter than thou. If you don’t watch out, you could get outflanked, and thus end up be known only as a useful idiot.

  7. And even though reducing whites, men and Christians is the goal, many rank-and-file liberals don’t seem consciously to be aware of it. They think that liberalism is all about being fair and decent rather than what it really is all about, namely destruction

    If the goal of liberals is to, say, increase the proportion of female engineers from 10% to 50%, with a corresponding decrease in male engineers from 90% to 50% — how does that equal “destruction”?

    Those white Christian males seem awfully fragile.

    • “Those white Christian males seem awfully fragile.”

      Nice attempt at shifting away from the points being made. It is not about fragility. The discussion is over what is right. As Liberals you see right as transforming society into a more egalitarian structure whereby White Christian males concede authority (voluntarily or by the hand of government) to more progressive groups (women, minorities). We do not want that transfer of power, the authority over institutions in the West rightfully belong in our hands as men (the sex chosen to lead), Christians (the followers of the one true God), and Whites (the inheritors of Western civilization built by our biological ancestors).

      Liberals want a transfer of power, so when White Christian males protest this how does that make us fragile? We are not equally entitled to positions of power for the mere fact of being born human. When rightful rulers are stripped of their power, it is an injustice. But you cannot see this injustice because all are “equal”.

      • Even more, liberals are loud and proud that they want to dispossess European, Christian men. They say exactly these things explicitly. If we want to live in a society run by European Christian men, then liberals mean our destruction.

        They only way out of this and the way liberals get out of this is by saying “destroying the society you want to live in is not ‘your destruction.’ ” Which is a stupid thing to say, from our POV. For the liberal, “you” are not destroyed unless you are killed or your efforts at self-actualization are radically frustrated. For the traditionalist, “you” are destroyed, for example, if the things you draw your identity from are destroyed by being transformed out of all recognition. If people are atoms, then they can only be destroyed by killing them. If people are inherently social and familial, then they can be destroyed by destroying their society, taking them from their families, etc.

      • Bill,

        Liberalism is by necessity Progressivism. Progressives view history as an evolutionary development from an uncivilized past progressing forward into some ideological utopia. This is their fundamental flaw. Because White Christian men ruled the supposedly ignorant, barbaric past when they propose progressive reforms the same group in authority opposes it; therefore, the Progressive concludes, said group (White Christian men) must be forced out of power.

        Modern Liberalism is conflict theory in action. They see on one side, the traditional rulers and on the other the disenfranchised. Their conclusion is that said disenfranchised largely, and willingly, accept their position as such because they have accepted the invalid arguments espoused by the traditional ruling class. Therefore people are either 1) the ruling class, 2) the brainwashed disenfranchised, or 3) the liberators of the disenfranchised. Liberals want equality insofar as it reduces, and eventually eliminates, the power of traditional authority by raising disenfranchised groups against them.

        Unfortunately our ancestors made far too many concessions in the name of “progress”. Liberals know they cannot win the hearts of Westerners in large enough numbers to get what they want. So they conclude the masses of Conservatives are brainwashed and focus upon replacing, instead of convincing, them of Liberalism’s superiority.

      • The discussion is over what is right. As Liberals you see right as transforming society into a more egalitarian structure whereby White Christian males concede authority… the authority over institutions in the West rightfully belong in our hands as men (the sex chosen to lead), Christians (the followers of the one true God), and Whites (the inheritors of Western civilization built by our biological ancestors).

        Well, when you put it that way it seems like simply a blunt struggle for power between groups. You feel that you have some inherent right to power, but the members of the formerly powerless groups feel differently and have been sucessfully asserting their claim to a share of power. As should be expected — why should they be expected to satisfied with playing the role of subordinates forever? Why is that “right”?

        There is always something inherently pathetic about whites and males bleating about their loss of exclusive power. If you play the game of power, you risk losing, and people like you are just sore losers.

      • Here we see onecertain baring his fangs. It’s about power, and as for the formerly [allegedly] powerless, “why should they be expected to satisfied with playing the role of subordinates forever?”

        But this is a moral argument: The former outsiders deserve more power, and the former rulers of society deserve to be stripped of power.

        onecertain is a sore winner. Not only is his side winning, but the other side is to be reviled for not wanting to lose.

        Question: would onecertain want the peoples of all nations to give up a “share of power?” Does he demand that Japanese give up their “exclusive power” over Japan? Would he want Saudi Moslems to give up some of their power to non-Moslems?

        This is not about “power.” When the former authorities and the traditional order of a society are overthrown, the people do not all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. The result is anarchy and balkanization, leading eventually to tyranny as the only way to restore order. And oncertain is happy with this.

      • “why should they be expected to satisfied with playing the role of subordinates forever? Why is that “right”?”

        It is right because they were born women, born another race, or observe the wrong God. God chooses your sex and your race, but you can choose your religion. This is the problem with the Liberal’s obsession over self-autonomy, establishing it as some important good. There are factors in play that predetermine what roles you are to fulfill; it is not up to you to judge whether they are just or not, only to fulfill them to the best of your abilities.

        Why do you think most of us here favor Monarchy? We do not choose who is King nor does that child born to inherit the throne choose it. He is picked by God, before birth, to fulfill that role. Is it unjust that we would all be excluded from kingship? No, because a power all wise and all just made that choice.

        You are, unfortunately, missing the point again. It is not just a power struggle as if we are arguing over what color looks better for a pair of shoes; we are either acknowledging God as having established the right and proper structure, to which all must pay respect, or we choose a creation of sinful, fallen man.

      • If you play the game of power, you risk losing, and people like you are just sore losers.

        This assumes that there was a competition and they lost, but that isn’t what happened. They relinquished power to pacify others and now they don’t know how to put that genie back in the proverbial bottle, and most don’t even want to.

      • Here we see onecertain baring his fangs. It’s about power

        As I said, it is you folks who seem to be framing things like that, not me.

        would onecertain want the peoples of all nations to give up a “share of power?” Does he demand that Japanese give up their “exclusive power” over Japan? Would he want Saudi Moslems to give up some of their power to non-Moslems?

        For one thing, I’m not demanding anything. I am being almost entirely descriptive.

        Your analogies seem rather strained. The US has always been racially and ethnically less homogenous than those two societies. Nevertheless there are struggles for ethnic minorities in Japan to gain their share of power, and for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. So yes, in general I would support such efforts.

      • But you said it was all about power.

        And you approve of the destructive changes, so you’re not just being “almost entirely descriptive.”

        So I take it your view is that all nations must be “diverse,” that is, like the United States is officially trying to be. The struggle for more “power” is never ending because it is insatiable. Each concession only brings new demands. So what you really want, probably without thinking of it in that way, is universal balkanization.

      • There is always something inherently pathetic about whites and males bleating about their loss of exclusive power.

        Yes, the powerless are always pathetic. If they don’t complain or fight back, they are weak and deserving of their fate. If they fight back, they are fools. If they complain, they are whiners. Just a tiny ways upthread, you were complaining that your exchanges with rightists go badly because of a lack of common ground.

        On reflection, do you think it is possible that they go badly because you are an [expletive deleted.]

        [Editor's comment: Watch your language, Bill]

      • onecertain:

        it seems like simply a blunt struggle for power between groups

        This is, of course, the Marxist approach to “understanding” these issues: power. In reality, power is tangential; the issue (as has been pointed out) is about what is right, i.e., it is about morality.

        Although there were many flaws in the founding of America, one of its central tenets, one I believe is correct, is self-determination, i.e., a people should be able to decide for itself how to live. Under liberalism, this has been all but destroyed by rampant statist tyranny, and so it is easy to misconstrue whites’ struggle to retain their liberty and their lives as little more than a “blunt struggle for power.”

        onecertain is correct on one point, at least:

        If you really believe that liberals “mean your destruction” then there isn’t much to say, is there?”

        You’re right: there isn’t. And yet the right-liberals remain woefully unaware of this and continue to attempt to engage left-liberals in rational discussion, which the left-liberals are incapable of. It is part of why left-liberalism keeps advancing: both the left and the right sides play by the left’s rules.

      • onecertain:

        The US has always been racially and ethnically less homogenous than [Japan and Saudi Arabia]

        Again, the leftist shows his ignorance of history. John Jay, in Federalist #2, wrote:

        Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.

        The notion that the US has “always been diverse” is one of those unexamined “truths” of the left that, upon examination, proves false.

        Any conclusion drawn from false premises will be, by definition, false.

        Furthermore, while I do not know enough about Arabian history to comment, the situation in Japan is not as you believe. While the Japanese have become an ethnically distinct people, early in their history, they were anything but. True, they did not suffer from the same diversity that we do, but there were at least three different groups that ultimately contributed to the modern Japanese.

      • me: There is always something inherently pathetic about whites and males bleating about their loss of exclusive power.

        Bill: Yes, the powerless are always pathetic.

        Yes, whites and males are utterly powerless in our society, which explains the racial and gender makeup of congress and of economic elites.

        I’ll tell you what is really going on. The top rungs of whites and males have a pretty firm grip on elite power, but (as the original poster pointed out), the overall share of elite positions owned by these groups is shrinking. That means that marginal white males are being displaced by women and minorities (and while this might suck for them, given that on the whole it is addressing an unfair balance of power, I don’t see it as a real problem).

        So for whites to bleat about their powerlessness, or males, is to advertise that you are a loser. You belong to a privileged group, but you aren’t a very elite member of it. Even with your racial and gender advantages, you are losing out.

        This explains why even the just claims of the “white movement” or “men’s movement” sound lame to my ears.

      • Whenever onecertain speaks, I find myself in a target-rich environment.

        One problem here is that the elite white males rule for the benefit of nonwhites and females (and foreigners, and homosexuals, and so on), not for the benefit of their own kind. If I’m having trouble, it isn’t because I’m a “loser,” it’s because the system opposes me.

        Besides, as mr. certain continues to ignore, the system is unjust and destructive in the ordinary senses of the word. We can all see America beginning to fail, dragging everyone down, but mr. certain continues to maintain that the new regime is a good thing.

      • If I’m having trouble, it isn’t because I’m a “loser,” it’s because the system opposes me.

        That is the kind of thing losers tell themselves.

        I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be unkind or insulting. Some of my best friends are losers in the sense we are using the term here. And like any good leftist I believe that even the lower rungs of the status ladder deserve a good share of societies’ riches.

        We can all see America beginning to fail, dragging everyone down, but mr. certain continues to maintain that the new regime is a good thing.

        The reasons for America’s current decline (and it has a long way to go) are many, but I am guessing my set of reasons are disjoint from yours. Our political system allows the party of loser whites manipulated by moneyed elites (that’s the Republicans) to block almost all constructive actions. Maybe we should deny whites the right to vote.

      • onecertain said, sarcastically:
        Yes, whites and males are utterly powerless in our society, which explains the racial and gender makeup of congress and of economic elites.

        Obviously nobody was talking about “whites and males” generically, but the real right particularly. Including you. But, you are right, whites and males are, in fact, utterly powerless in our society, as whites and males. This is because public self-identification and the public pursuit of self-interest as whites and males is absolutely taboo, and, as an empirical matter, never happens.

        So for whites to bleat about their powerlessness, or males, is to advertise that you are a loser. You belong to a privileged group, but you aren’t a very elite member of it.

        You are delusional. As far as I can tell, none of the regular contributors here answer to this description. Several of them are members of our society’s clerisy: college perfessers.

        You are flailing around, spastically talking nonsense. Try harder. It isn’t possible for you either to learn anything useful or to contribute meaningfully to the discussion if you don’t even try to understand what anyone is saying. Even your insults are pathetic. Because you have no idea what you are talking about, they are miles wide of the mark, boring, not-discomfort-generating.

    • Imagine there is a society composed of 100 households, every one of them headed by an engineer, and 90 of them headed by a male engineer. Traditional patriarchal households are the norm, but accommodation is made for men and women who really wish or need to defy convention. Abnormal behavior is not forbidden, but costs are attached to it in order to discourage what we might call frivolous unconventionality. Such a society would be acceptable to most modern traditionalists because their behavior would be ratified by the context within which it took place*

      Now change that into a society in which half of the households are headed by female engineers. That may be the result of everyone acting with perfect freedom, or of vigorous propaganda and preferential treatment. It doesn’t matter for this argument. Clearly the old society has been destroyed. The norms by which former society were governed are not the norms by which the subsequent society are governed, and the remaining patriarchal households are reduced to expressions of personal preference. A traditionalist does not wish to exercise choice and express personal preference, so the liberal dispensation in which he can do as he pleases (provided he does not harm to others) is radically unsatisfactory to him. When it become dominant, the world he wants has most certainly been destroyed.

      *Liberals often denigrate the idea of social ratification as a symptom of psychological weakness among traditionalists, as if we didn’t have the grit to buck trends and do our own thing. This is unfair because it ignores the metaphysical ground most traditionalists believe undergirds social order, and treats us like failed liberals.

      • Clearly the old society has been destroyed. The norms by which former society were governed are not the norms by which the subsequent society are governed,

        You people really love the word “destroyed”, don’t you?

        How about “changed” as a substitute? Society has certainly changed when its norms change. Old assumptions about the gender of professionals or maritial partners no longer apply. However, the world has not been destroyed, people and buildings are still around, economic activity goes on, stealing and murder are still about as frowned upon as they were before.

        You are quite right that liberalism guarantees individual rights (or at least tries to, or claims to) but does not guarantee you that the social world you are accustomed to will be forever static. I’m not sure how anybody could guarantee that. I suppose the Amish have done a pretty good job.

      • Change is destruction. Especially when it is change of a very fundamental nature, such as the ethnic and racial makeup of the nation, its religion, its morality, and its way of life.

        And, as other commenters have pointed out, the American people were not consulted to see if they approved of these changes. It was announced, by the leaders, that the changes would occur, and most Americans went along, because they assumed that the leaders knew what was best.

      • I have no particular love for the word destruction, but it was the term we were batting around. It might have been better to speak of degradation, since, as you say, the society continues to function, only at a lower level. But I really think this is a semantic quibble. If you tore half the roof off of my house, I could still use it for shelter, but I’d still say you “destroyed” it. You might say that it’s just a “change,” and that I still have some windows and a door, but I will say that the whole outfit is decidedly inferior to the one I had before you tore the roof off of it.

        I doubt that anyone here wants a “static” society, whatever that might mean. Social life is dynamic by nature. Conservatives don’t object to change, but to what got changed under liberalism. Liberals are just as opposed to change as we are. How would they like to repeal Roe vs. Wade, or the 19th amendment? For “you guys,” those things are static, aren’t they? I’m absolutely certain “you guys” would fight like tigers to preserve the social world you have made. And “you guys” largely invented the language of “rights” to move all the key questions out of the political domain and into the realm of immutable truths.

        The difference between “us guys” and “you guys” is not a difference between fearless dynamism and craven stasis, I assure you.

      • Liberals often denigrate the idea of social ratification as a symptom of psychological weakness among traditionalists, as if we didn’t have the grit to buck trends and do our own thing.

        That’s classic projection.

      • The world is always changing. I suggest you learn to deal with it, rather than longing after stasis.

        And, as other commenters have pointed out, the American people were not consulted to see if they approved of these changes.

        I know you people like to fantasize that equal rights for minorities, women, and gays are some kind of elite conspiracy foisted on the masses, but a moment’s thought would reveal that as nonsense. These were all bottom-up movements, led by the affected groups, that eventually brought popular opinion around to their side, usually after massive resistance by the elites.

      • People always believe what the authorities tell them they should believe, at least when it comes to the most important questions of life, such as God or morality. When the Western authorities began telling minorities, women, homosexuals, et al that they should “demand rights,” they began doing so.

        You refuse to acknowledge the dark side of “human rights” as defined by the Left. You refuse to acknowledge that it is usually based on envy and hatred rather than on love for the good. That “equal rights for minorities / women /homosexuals / et al,” as defined by the Left, always goes hand-in-hand with hatred of whites / men / heterosexuals.

      • These were all bottom-up movements, led by the affected groups, that eventually brought popular opinion around to their side, usually after massive resistance by the elites.

        To the liberal it is always 1775, or 1857, or 1963. They are ever and always for sticking it to the man. Reality is, as always, much different. Public opinion is always where the opinion of the Harvard faculty was… 50 years ago. You can set your watch by it. Leftists are the man, and have been for about 500 years: always speaking power to truth. Pretence that this is not so is quite obviously part of the strategy. Being in control of the narrative helps quite a bit.

      • Long quote here, but certainly pertinent to the discussion. Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins.

        “We already know what the true foundation of progressivism is: the mirage of technological civilization, the lure exercised by some undeniable material and industrial progress that, however, is appreciated without paying much attention to its negative drawbacks, which often affect other, more important and valuable domains of human life. Those who are not subject to the predominant materialism of our times, upon recognizing the only context in which it is legitimate to speak of progress, will be on guard against any orientation in which the modern “myth of progress” is reflected. In ancient times the matter was very clear. In Latin, the word denoting subversion was not revolutio (which had a different meaning, as I have explained before) but rather seditio, or eversio, or civilis perturbatio, or rerum publicarum comnmutatio. Thus, the term “revolutionary,” in its modern meaning, was rendered with circumlocutions such as rerum novarum studiosus, or fautor, namely one who aims at and promotes new things. According to the traditional Roman mentality, “new things” were automatically regarded as negative and subversive.

        Thus, in regard to “revolutionary” ambitions it is necessary to clear the misunderstanding and to choose between the two aforementioned opposing positions, which determine two likewise opposing styles. Again, on the one hand there are those who acknowledge the existence of immutable principles for every true order and who abide by them, not allowing themselves to be swept along by events. Such people do not believe in “history” and in “progress” as mysterious super-ordained entities, but instead attempt to dominate the forces of the environment and lead them back to higher, stable forms: according to them, this is what embracing reality amounts to. On the other hand there are those who, having been “born yesterday,” have nothing in the past, who believe only in the future and are committed to a groundless, empirical, and improvised action, deluding themselves that they are able to direct events without knowing or acknowledging anything that rises above the plane of matter and contingency; such people devise many systems, the end result of which will never be an authentic order, but instead a more or less manageable disorder. The “revolutionary” vocation belongs to this second line of thought, even when it does not directly serve the interests of unadulterated subversion. In this context, the lack of principles is supplied with the myth of the future, through which some dare to justify and sanctify recent destructions that have occurred, since in their view they were necessary in order to move ahead and to achieve new and better horizons (any trace of which, I am afraid, it is difficult to point out).”

      • onecertain says:
        I know you people like to fantasize that equal rights for minorities, women, and gays are some kind of elite conspiracy foisted on the masses

        Prove they are fantasies. Prior to, say, the turn of the 20th C in the US, few Americans outside our elites believed any of this stuff. American elites then launched campaigns to change beliefs. Then beliefs, at least expressed beliefs, changed. As far as I know, none of this is even controversial. In fact, I’m having a hard time imagining what true thing you could possibly mean by what you say here.

        You know that, for example, racial integration of neighborhoods in US cities was an exclusively elite, consciously planned project which the masses always resisted and sometimes via riots, right? Similarly, integration of schools. When the army was called in, the masses gave up. And moved to the suburbs. The masses are so completely convinced in the falsity of racial equality that they have endured the enormous expense of uprooting themselves from their ancestral neighborhoods, moving to the ‘burbs, and spending half their lives commuting just to avoid this particular elite project. And the elites are so utterly malign, that they did it anyway. None of this is secret. None of it is hidden. It is all right there in mainstream histories—the facts, of course. It is usually spun in ridiculously counterfactual ways by the authors, but there is no significant dispute about what happened.

        The rest of it is the same. Ten seconds ago, gay marriage was ridiculous and unthinkable outside elite circles. Now, not so much. The turn was on a dime and came when elites decided to ramp up the propaganda campaign. Not secret. Not hidden. All out in the open. Suffrage was the same thing, back in the day. It’s getting easier for them over time as the futility of resisting our evil elite becomes clearer. Now, they don’t need to kill 600,000 people in a war, they just need to make some movies and TV shows.

      • Good post, Bill. But, of course, elites are just harbingers of the zeitgeist. They don’t actually do anything. More like John the Baptist, when you think about it. A voice crying in the wilderness, “make straight ye the way of [fill in an imperative that they have discovered through introspection].”

    • onecertain, I really really wish you could be forced to live now in the future nation you’re striving for. I grew up in South Chicago, so I know first hand.

    • At the time John Jay was writing, the population of the United States was about 20% African-American. That he was blind to this is no reason we have to be.

      (Even the white population was descended from a few quite different regions and subcultures. John Jay was doing a common trick of nationalists, that is, attempting to forge a unified identity out of disparate parts by ignoring their differences, or in the case of blacks, ignoring them altogether.)

      • At that time, Africans and Indians were not considered to be part of the American nation. Some of these people lived among Americans, interacted with them, and even sometimes assimilated themselves to American ways. But they generally did not see themselves, and were generally not seen, as being part of the American nation.

      • Yeah Alan, onecertain has the right of historical reality here, not you. Saying blacks didn’t consider themselves part of the American nation is misrepresenting history as egregiously as any Zinn-babbling Marxist type.

      • In what way did early American blacks consider themselves part of the American nation, as opposed to being persons who lived among whites and had significant dealings with them but were also significantly different? After all, for most of history a “nation” was considered to be primarily a group that was of the same ethnic and racial stock, albeit often with outsiders who lived among them and had harmonious relations with them.

      • The percentage of African Americans was about 20% in 1790, but I can’t think of any white writer before 1830 who spoke of them as part of the “American” people, and this remained a minority view for a long time after that. Albion’s Seed is not evidence of colonial multiculturalism. Yes, boarders differed from Puritans, but in much the same way that folks in South Carolina differ from folks in Utah, and if they were not geographically isolated these English subcultures mixed together almost instantly. Plenty of Yankees moved to the South, but there were no lasting pockets of Yankees in the South. The real white minorities of 1790–the Dutch, Swedes, Palatine Germans, Jews, and French–either clustered in minority enclaves or assimilated to the dominant Anglo culture. In the 1840s the Germans and Irish really pushed this system, but their impact on the culture was regional, not national. The notion that the American people included anyone who happened to live between Canada and Mexico, or who agreed with the propositions in the Declaration of Independence, is a creature of the twentieth century.

      • Of course A Lady and Alte would object to the reality that Alan Roebuck speaks of. While Natives have been seen by even George Washington as eventually assimilatible, blacks have not. While the Cherokee, Choctaw and the other “Civilized Nations” were seen as civilized by the Confederacy, blacks were not. Also, Natives were assimilated into the American nation, blacks were not.

        Roebuck is speaking of the past, but there is no evidence that the vast majority of contemporary blacks consider themselves a part of the American nation. And they’re barely considered to be a part of the nation.

        Being black doesn’t make you an expert on history as pertaining to blacks. Ridiculous.

      • No, ridiculous is ranting at Christian women as if they were mindless trash. There seems to be an awful lot of that around here lately.

        We weren’t disputing the fact that most white Americans didn’t consider black people to be Americans (many didn’t — and, judging from your tone, some still don’t — consider them to even be fully human), but that most second-generation black people didn’t consider themselves to be Americans.

      • I do not mean to swap racial insults, and if it seems that I have, I apologize.

        As I said earlier, for a very long time after the founding, a distinction was drawn between the “American” people and the peoples living in America. The big divisions were, of course, Red, Black, and White, but not all Whites were considered “American.” As long as they kept their language, remained geographically clustered, and were generally endogamous, they were called by some other name: Moravian, Dutch, Irish, etc. These White holdouts were obviously eligible for admission to the American people in a way that Reds and Blacks were not, and in time almost all of them sought and received this admission. Admission demanded adoption of English, conformity to the dominant WASP culture, and willingness to see their children married to persons outside their native ethnic group (hence the persistent Roman Catholic identity).

        I have no doubt that Reds and Blacks also thought of themselves as “Americans,” since this where they were born and this is where they lived. And I, for one, do not begrudge them whatever use they may wish to make of the word. But the historical fact is that both groups remained distinct peoples. They were viewed, by others and themselves, as American Blacks and American Indians. There was more exogamy between “Americans” (in the sense of assimilated Whites) and American Indians, and more linguistic and cultural similarity between “Americans” (assimilated Whites) and American Blacks, but these remained distinct peoples.

        The political assumption in the United States until about fifty years ago was that it was the country of the “Americans” (assimilated whites), but that sizable populations of partially assimilated minorities (Reds, Blacks, and White ethnics) were tolerated. If they protested against their subordinate position, they were dealt with harshly; if they stayed within the lines the “Americans” (assimilated whites) had drawn, they were left to themselves.

        The complaint that runs through this thread, and that our liberal guests have mildly ridiculed, is that this is no longer the country of “Americans” (assimilated whites), with several tolerated minorities present. It is now a country in which “Americans” (assimilated whites) are one of the tolerated minorities. Any number of things might be said about this, but the one that occurs to me is that either we (descendants of assimilated whites), or the citizens of the United States, need a new name. Anglo-American is technically accurate, since Anglo culture is what they assimilated to, but it is pedantic. “White” is inaccurate, since many caucasians have repudiated this identity, and the word is in any case too strongly associated with skinheads who have tattooed a swastika on their heads. Any suggestions?

      • I think one reason why blacks were seen as “not assimilating” was that so many passed into the white population and were then reclassified as white. Unlike Native Americans, they had to change their entire persona and their heritage was strictly hidden.

        “White” and “black” probably made a lot of sense, at some point, but now that the largest and fastest-growing group in my children’s age cohort is “brown”, with some of the browns lighter than the whites and others darker than the blacks, it gets very confusing. In DC, I’m often the most white- looking person in the group, but I’m the only “black” one.

        And then there’s the confusion between the native black people (who are thoroughly American) and the immigrants who are running government and have not been raised in the American tradition. Obama and Holder being the top two, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg, as the federal bureaucracies and academia are full of Caribbean, Latin, and African immigrants. Those who came over on a scholarship, rather than a slave ship, as it were. My parents live near DC in a majority-black neighborhood, and hardly anyone there is native.

        Christian Europeans created the country, but they don’t really run it anymore, do they? I don’t really feel like I’m part of some ruling elite. I don’t really know who’s running things, other than the corporatists and their political stooges. Seems to be a bit of a free for all now, with no overarching narrative other than diversity and spreading the wealth and whatnot.

      • Black slaves were not citizens: they were property. The only significant role they played in our founding was over whether and how to count them for census and therefore congressional representation purposes. Also, the “peculiar institution” had to be acknowledged without being included in the Constitution as well, but beyond that, blacks were, like the Indians, present but not a part of America at the founding. This was no flim-flammery on the part of John Jay; it was a recognition of reality.

        Further supporting this view are the following words of Thomas Jefferson, one of the liberals idols (insofar as they respect any “dead white European male”):

        Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that [blacks] are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government.

        Going back to your assertion that Jay was engaged in “a common trick of nationalists,” you are engaged in a common trick of leftists, who are almost universally reductionist and incapable of processing, much less making, generalizations: you find an exception to a general statement and conclude, wrongly, that the statement is mistaken. That there was “diversity” within the white population that formed America at its founding does not negate the truth of Jay’s observations.

        You also seem to have glossed over his qualifiers, such as “one united people” and “ very similar in their manners and customs.”

      • I failed to add the following qualifier: not only are leftists/liberals nearly all reductionists, they are also nominalists.

        As far as I can discern, onecertain is typical in this regard as well.

      • No one is ranting at you. You just feel threatened because the myths you believe about black people(like how Jaysus waz black or how da Egyptshuns waz black too) are just that, myths.

        And your stupid assertion that just because there are “brown” people around means that white and black doesn’t make any sense. You’re always going to be black. Get over it. White still exists and so does black.

    • Those white Christian males seem awfully fragile.

      Which white males lose out because of AA and feminism? Hint, they are not the children of the elites. The Brahmins promise the aggrieved Dahlits goodies in order to enlist them in their “politics by other means”. United, they crush the Vaishyas, who are (so they think) the only caste who can out-compete the Brahmins by skill and numbers. That such politics increases the economic gap between rich and poor only increases the sense of injustice among the Dahlits and strengthens the Brahmins grip on the reins of power.

      Today, all SCUS justices came from either Harvard or Yale. Never before in history has there been less diversity on the SC.

      • Thanks for reminding me of G. Harrold Carswell, Nixon’s supreme court nominee, of whom Sen. Hruska said: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance? We can’t have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.”

      • Onecertain, this is what I’m talking about above. That kind of insult only really works inside your own discourse community, full of status-obsessed SWPLs. Those of us who are both outside that community and have actual, routine, contact with HPY types ain’t impressed. They are a tedious, degenerate, and half-bright lot, especially recently.

  8. It may depend on how the number of female engineers is increased, e.g. is this being done by artificially imposed diversity quotas? An individual can be quite fragile when faced with an unbending law imposed on him by an ideological elite that is intolerant of diverse opinions.

  9. Ask yourself: According to our leaders, what is the greatest social good?

    The answer is obvious. They all say it is diversity.

    I don’t think they would say this, necessarily. “Peace” and “prosperity” come also to mind. And they wouldn’t be wrong about those being among the greatest social goods (in that order to be precise), as long as justice is in there somewhere. Our cultural masters would certainly affirm, however, that diversity is an unalloyed good. Just as one can never be too rich or too thin, so too we can never be too diverse.

    Diversity is a (facile) corollary to democracy, which by repeated misuse of the term has come to mean egalitarianism. Screwtape was about two generations ahead of his time.

    Canonical liberalism is “equally” dedicated to both unalloyed goods, viz., equality and freedom. In fact, the very devout and studious liberal can probably recite a score of recondite explanations now only how these angels might dance together on the head of a pin, so to speak, but must always and only do so.

    The reality is however, that freedom is always suspect unless it happens to be being used to tear down ancient bigotries (killing your babies, gay butt sex okay… but drinking 24 oz. soda or smoking or owning guns? not so much). Freedom is really rather passe, so 19th century. Equality, and thus democracy, and thus diversity is where all the beautiful people are at. Freedom, i.e., of the Ron Paulian libertarian sort, would actually be a big improvement on the status quo (but that ain’t gonna happen).

    But to the greater point, yes the principle of diversity as some sort of unalloyed good is idiotic, self-destructive and therefore evil. But there are greater idiotic, and in fact mutually contradictory memes in the leftist memeplex. And an argument that it is evil, an argument in fact of any kind against it, in my opinion misses the most salient aspect, the heart as it were, of liberalism: It is a religion. It is a religion of the rich and powerful. It is a religion that prospers in r-selective (i.e., abundant, made so by K-selected forebears, alas) environments, a herd religion so to speak. As the religion of the rich and powerful, the vast majority of people will, without any thought to coherence, but only for social proof, mouth the platitudes of that religion.

    If you wanna get ahead in 13th century Italy, you’d better believe in the Holy Trinity… If you wanna get ahead in 21st century America, you’d better believe in diversity. The trouble is, paraphrasing Nick Land, you don’t spend your life watching the Holy Trinity not exist every minute of every day. The mental and spiritual devotion of the modern leftist is therefore arguably greater than that of the 13th century priest–but the cash and prizes for such devotion have never been greater.

    Leftism cannot be fought with reason. That is a category error that Traditionalists, i.e., my people, tend to make… Because they, quite properly, are rational people… but they are reacting to an inherently irrational, self-refuting set of liberal propositions… in fact to call them propositions is an insult to rhetoric (really more of a set of conditioned visceral emotional responses). So most people cannot be argued out of their liberalism, because quite simply they never were properly argued into it. They simply sucked it in with their bottle of formula.

  10. If the goal of liberals is to, say, increase the proportion of female engineers from 10% to 50%, with a corresponding decrease in male engineers from 90% to 50% — how does that equal “destruction”?

    In your scenario, a great many jobs that should be going to male breadwinners are instead going to women; a great number of women are taken out of the home and away from raising their families; and the whole arrangement encourages society in general towards the adoption of a non-traditional system. This represents the destruction of the traditional family.

    Those white Christian males seem awfully fragile.

    You cannot say things like this and claim that you are trying to be “fair”; this makes you sound like an adolescent and I am surprised that others have indulged you thus far. In any case, here is the actual reason why “white Christian males” are upset at the state of things: we have a well-developed sense of rightness. We understand that things should be a certain way, and are upset that things are not right. We are *not* upset because of our own “powerlessness” (I would venture to say, based on my experience, that most of us who populate these blogs are well-educated and well-employed).

    • We are *not* upset because of our own “powerlessness” (I would venture to say, based on my experience, that most of us who populate these blogs are well-educated and well-employed).

      That is certainly true. It’s a classic rabbit-people shaming tactic: You bunch of whiners. I’m looking for simple justice.

      • Yeah, you’re right, Steve. Onecertain sounds like a child: “you’re just a bunch of loooosers!”. As if that’s a real argument. This is why liberals are absolutey worthless when it comes to debate; they rely upon shame tactics not actual arguments. Samson is right; there is no need to indulge onecertain.

      • I gather that the very specific point I was making about loserdom went right over your head. Not too surprising I guess. I could spell it out again but I don’t think it’s worth the bother.

      • This sort of condescending attitude, typical of the liberal, is another tactic used by the left to sound superior without actually demonstrating the superiority of their positions. It is also free of logic or reasoning, two more tools seldom employed by the left.

        Please, either defend your positions with proofs, or acknowledge defeat.

  11. Like onecertain, I’m a non-reactionary lurker here, although I think of myself as a leftist rather than a liberal (a difference considerably more important from my perspective than yours, but since your priorities are more cultural than economic or geopolitical I can understand why.) Some quick comments:

    First, I’m not aware of anyone who actually views diversity as anything but a fairly minor instrumental good. Like Vanessa correctly said, personal autonomy is the (at least self-perceived) highest good on the left. With “diversity” specifically what we have is a bunch of policies founded on a bunch of disingenous legal arguments – disingenous on “our” part, so I’m surprised that you’re not aware of this – that seek to push through equal representation policies on grounds of goods to the institutions themselves (namely diversity) since equal representation policies on the grounds of justice were rejected by the courts. Personally I don’t see diversity as such as a good at all any more than I do uniformity, but of course there are taste differences here. Some posters here have qualified that diversity is merely the greatest “social” good of liberalism

    Several posters have noted that leftist thinking is fundamentally about power. This strikes me as essentially correct. We understand the world to feature irreconcilable differences of interests (without denying, of course, the existence of at least some universal-ish common interests.) I think onecertain’s characterization of the far right as sore losers is simultaneously accurate and a bit unfair – being sore about the erosion of one’s privileges is perfectly natural, and unsore losers have historically been rare. I don’t think it is quite right to say that leftist thinking is about specifically intra-elite power struggles, unless “elite” is defined to include anyone seriously participating in power struggles in the first place (thus making “intra-elite power struggle” a pleonasm.) This is also probably a significant difference between leftists and liberals, the latter of whom are much more concerned with a neutral conception of the public good.

    • … I’m not aware of anyone who actually views diversity as anything but a fairly minor instrumental good.

      But all the leaders of society, when speaking in public, treat diversity as the greatest social good. There may be leftists who don’t think that way, and our leaders may think differently in private, but it is the public words of society’s leaders that determine the thinking of the masses and the direction of society.

      It may very well be the case that “diversity” in the current sense of a holy moral crusade was developed by the left as only a tactic for getting John Q. Public to endorse their campaign to smash traditional America. But ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own, and many people are carriers of ideas they themselves only dimly understand. It is a fact that America is officially committed to “diversity,” and that “diversity” actually means fewer men, whites, and Christians. What the left plots behind closed doors doesn’t change that truth.

      • Indeed. Ilion remarked to me today via email that if the statement of the General staff of the US Army in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre is to be believed, diversity is more important to the US Military than the lives of our soldiers.

      • I think oligopsony is basically right. The diversity buzzword comes from the Supreme Court case Regents vs Bakke. Basically, in order to be allowed to engage in overt racial discrimination, universities are required to claim that they believe that diversity has significant instrumental benefits in education. This set off a long conversation in which the alleged benefits of diversity were adumbrated—a largely disingenuous conversation in my view. Since diversity seems to be a court-approved justification for racial discrimination, diversity-talk has spread to lots of settings in which the powers that be wish to have racial discrimination.

        I don’t believe our elites actually want anti-white discrimination because they believe in diversity. Rather they “believe” in diversity because they want anti-white discrimination. Of course, the chorus of useful idiots probably really do believe diversity drivel, but that’s what they do: believe what they are told to by their secular priests.

        It’s an important distinction because if, tomorrow, the court repudiated its reasoning in Bakke, then diversity would be dropped like a hot potato. Assuming oligopsony and I are right, of course.

        The real reasons the left wants racial discrimination are different. Some of them are motivated by animus against Christendom. Some believe that any overly dominant group creates structural discrimination against outgroups which must be met with formal discrimination in the outgroups’ favor. Some believe that outgroups carry an undeserved burden from prior discrimination against them which can be mitigated by current discrimination in their favor. Some even believe (ssshhhh!) in HBD but see that difference in genetic endowment as a just reason for discrimination, etc. Other than the animus motivation, these can all be rationalized with some kind of autonomy theory. Personally, I speculate that the animus motive is the real motive, and the rest of it is internalized rationalization and/or second-order useful idiots.

      • As I have said here before, the origins of the “diversity” campaign are less important (important, but less so) than the fact that it currently rules, and ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own regardless of their origins.

        Consider, for example, that the official description of America is no longer, as it was for most of our history, “The nation formed by our ancestors,” but instead, “A place where people are free to be whatever they aspire to.” That may not have been intended by the left, but it is so, and they exploit it to their advantage.

        If it is an exaggeration to say that “diversity” is currently the highest social good, it is not much of an exaggeration. And anyway, the point of my essay was not to give a careful study of liberalism, but to use one of its most obvious manifestations as a possible way to awaken people to the evil of liberalism.

      • But all the leaders of society, when speaking in public, treat diversity as the greatest social good.

        That strikes me as an extraordinary exaggeration. The current ruling coalition claims to value diversity to some extent, but I don’t see how someone could seriously claim that it is the greatest among the social goods proclaimed. The ideological state apparatus, to the extent that it speaks univocally at all (which it does not) is also publicly committed to efficiency, security, opportunity, fun, tradition, liberty, equality, innovation, and every other vaguely positive-valence word under the sun. Certainly all the most extraordinary measures of the coercive state apparatus are justified under the banners of liberty and security.

        it is the public words of society’s leaders that determine the thinking of the masses and the direction of society.

        That strikes me as extraordinarily naive. (Certainly all the best reactionary arguments start from or show why this is not the case!) Most white men I know who don’t have conscious ideological commitments otherwise whine about “political correctness,” which is precisely what you would expect given their interests, and anyone who takes on conscious ideological commitments must (in order to speak somewhat “univocally”) reject some publicly proclaimed values in favor of others.

      • About the claim that diversity is officially regarded as the greatest social good: This is a description of mass behavior, so it cannot be proven in a mathematical or scientific sense. Instead, it summarizes an understanding that dawns as one examines the pronouncements of our leaders.

        Consider, for example, the comments made by General Casey following the Fort Hood Massacre:

        Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.

        So diversity is more important than taking reasonable steps to prevent mass murder in the Army. And, most importantly, notice that the General received no official condemnation for his hideous statement. The reaction of official America was, “But of course!”

        About how the thinking of the masses is formed; I wrote an essay on this subject; see here. Summary: When it comes to the most fundamental ideas that govern human life, most people do not have the inclination, the time, the training or the native talent to think deeply about first principles. Instead, their deliberation goes into deciding which authorities to respect.

        Also, we observe that the vast majority of the population at least goes along with liberalism, and that liberalism is the general worldview taught by the vast majority of our leaders. There must be a connection.

    • This is also probably a significant difference between leftists and liberals, the latter of whom are much more concerned with a neutral conception of the public good.

      So the liberals are the ones who drink the kool-aid, and the leftists are the ones who make it. Sad fact is, of course, it is conservatives who end up drinking the kool-aid as well. How else to explain after all these centuries, conservatives remain the loyal opposition. Like Charlie Brown they run down the field, more determined than ever to kick that football.

      Leftism:Liberalism :: Reaction:Conservatism :: Who?:Whom?

      • I am not sure that all conservatives drink the Kool-Aid (TM): What is better, being the loyal opposition, or being half-hanged and quartered?

      • The only trouble with being the loyal opposition is that its mere existence helps keep the farce aloft. The enemies of freedom and equality are everywhere, vile bogeymen secretly colluding in the halls of power to smash you little people to dust, chain women in kitchens and blacks on plantations, teach our youth of the 6000 year old earth, < insert scary leftist myth >. The loyal opposition maintains the fiction of a two-party state. So of course Secretary Breshnev didn’t win 100% of the vote, but only 92 or 96%. (That Obama managed to win some voting precincts by 100-0 betrays just how incompetent our masters are becoming at maintaining the narrative.)

        A real political party is a government in exile, completely out of power and completely ready to take power and waiting until the time is right to be handed power. It is a machine that is turned off, but which, if you turn it on, will work.

      • I agree that liberals – and conservatives, for that matter – are idiots, maybe even useful idiots, but they aren’t our idiots. We’re quite as out of power and pathetic as you. I think Steve is entirely right here.

    • Oligopsony:

      “Here, let me clarify some aspects of leftist thinking. You’ll understand better, though, after we put you all in concentration camps.”

      • Well, there are many reasons to be miserable, certainly. I wouldn’t say that cynicism is one, at least in my case.

        As for Oligopsony and the leftism he’s explaining, are you saying that it’s cynical to take him at his word?

      • I think it’s important to keep in mind that one’s going to sound a bit more cynical when one stands back from one’s normative commitments and describes them in more clinical, etic rather than emic, terms. But this is also probably the only way to talk productively with people who have other normative commitments (which is valuable for obvious reasons.)

        Of course there’s a degree of substantive cynicism as well. To some extent this does in fact make me sad, but it’s where the evidence seems to lead (something I think the best reactionary thinkers are forthright in acknowledging as well.)

    • I find Oligopsony’s candor quite refreshing. He doesn’t have the poor taste to actually believe the myths his side creates. In the end it will be our jack boots on his bleeding face, or his on ours. Meanwhile, let us converse like civilized men. Cheers!

    • “First, I’m not aware of anyone who actually views diversity as anything but a fairly minor instrumental good.”

      One must draw a distinction between personal opinions and the prevailing propaganda. A healthy culture promotes healthy choices which benefit the society as a whole. Diversity is promoted relentlessly in all popular media. Classic liberalism has degraded into a cheap popular religion. One may as well charge heresy as racist, sexist, homophobe.

  12. I don’t agree with the post. It looks like a straw man. It states that the liberal’s highest social good is diversity. I would posit that diversity is a secondary good consequence of the liberal’s highest values: liberty and equality of the conscious wills/desires. So, someone is free to the extent that they can fulfill their own desire, provided that it does not harm anyone else’s ability to fulfill theirs. Additionally, given that all consciousness (not beings) are equal, if any consciousness can fulfill their will/desire through their material circumstance (i.e., get a car, health insurance, marry another), then it is the duty of the state to extend that “freedom” to everyone. As liberalism is incapable or unwilling to pass judgment of those wills/desires, they are bound to be diverse and protected.
    One of the problems with liberalism is that it does not have any way of ranking which wills or desires are more valuable than another, so it tends to validate those that satisfy our immediate senses, turning the population into slaves of their passions. Because what is paramount is the satisfaction of the will, those that have none, or cannot express theirs, such as babies, are treated as objects. So, the “right” to raise a child has nothing to do with the welfare of the community or the adequacy of someone of being a parent, but with the satisfaction of the couple’s will, however inadequate that couple might be. This also leads to the acceptance of abortion, and other evils much more eloquently exposed in other posts of the orthosphere.

    • Diversity is really more of post hoc justification for what would otherwise be irrational and harmful discrimination against middling members of dominant race and culture. We tried being a color blind society (for like 20 minutes). That resulted in “disparate impact.” Therefore, we can’t be colorblind. But wait, says the credulous conservative, isn’t that (reverse) racist? No, says his cultural master, because we will all benefit from diversity. Besides, don’t you know that being colorblind is racist? Don’t quote Dr. MLK Jr. to me you racist! But aside from getting a few new great ethnic recipes, the measurable benefits of diversity are very thin. Just like the emperor’s new clothes.

      • No, the conservative and reactionary lie is that ‘we’ did try. To use an example far removed from IQ anything, ‘we’ didn’t correct the sewage treatment disparities where blacks were denied (even when they proffered the funds themselves) access to modern sewage treatment facilities that were explicitly routed around black-majority areas. A genuinely colorblind society would have corrected that sort of race-based access issue.

      • There simply wasn’t any interest in being colorblind. Left-liberals wanted to promote colored people to prove their bonafides and right-liberals wanted nothing to do with colored people and came up with all sorts of creative solutions to escape them.

        There simply was/is an unsurmountable emotional barrier on both political ends to treating colored people as people (or, as we can see now, white people as people), at least below the “intellectual” level where the IQ gap to the main populace makes for strange bedfellows at the top.

      • Remember, Lady, we were talking before about how the only really “fully integrated” section of civilian society is the marriage market for people of high IQ (over 130). There’s been a sort of “brain drain” on the American black population, so that race has become a proxy for many other things.

      • There’s been a sort of “brain drain” on the American black population, so that race has become a proxy for many other things.

        How so? Through passing as white?? Yes race is a proxy for bunch of things, but today those bunch of things are considered a proxy for race. Colorblindness leads to disparate outcomes. If you happen to notice those disparate outcomes, you cannot at the same time be colorblind.

      • Through passing as white??

        Previously, yes, through the offspring of concubines (only better-situated blacks could pass). Now, it’s mostly through intermarriage, which is concentrated among those of above-average intellect (using college as a proxy).

        I’m not complaining about it, just noting that there is an internal “brain drain” similar to what African countries experience with their high-educated diaspora.

      • If you happen to notice those disparate outcomes, you cannot at the same time be colorblind.

        You’d only be colorblind if you didn’t know. Affirmative action actually prevented that, by adding the “race question” to all forms.

        Left-liberals wanted to show “progress” very quickly, so they had to actively promote black people who didn’t meet the standard, which — as you note — is not to be colorblind. That’s why I said there wasn’t colorblindness on either side. Colorblindness would have resulted in a slower rise and fewer candidates overall, but the candidates being of higher quality.

      • It’s a brain-drain that used to affect Asia, as well. The Chinese and Indians weren’t known to be very bright, but the ones that arrived on US shores were among the best, so now we think of Asians as all being some sort of genius. Which is a hilarious preconception if you ever travel to Asia…

      • Vanessa, I’m wondering about the brain drain you are describing. I know a number of people like you: black-identifying mixed-race offspring of high achieving blacks. But, people like that would tend to raise the mean IQ of blacks, not lower it. Are you saying there are also a lot of people who are otherwise like you but white-identifying?

        I am skeptical (though I can’t claim to actually know the relevant facts). The rewards to such a person for identifying black are enormous. An IQ 130 black has his choice of highly compensated low effort jobs. President of the United States, for example. There are social benefits, too. Most white people, and high status white people especially, have a desire to have black friends without having any black friends.

        Because the hypothetical people are IQ 130, they usually understand all this. You’ve said elsewhere, I think, that your kids are white-identifying. But they haven’t filled out college applications yet. Especially since there would be nothing dishonest about them checking the black box, I’m having trouble seeing how checking the white box could be a pervasive phenomenon for kids similarly situated.

      • Yes, but it gets harder and harder with each generation. You can milk the system for a while, but some point, you’re really pushing the limits of plausibility.

        It’s also different if the husband is white, rather than the wife, which is becoming more and more common. Husbands sort of dictate that sort of thing and set the social sphere, so that’s changing the script.

      • Bill, you’re disregarding class, as is typical for whites making such claims. A high-IQ black American from the wrong class tier does not at all have the kind of access you are speaking of. You are sorely misinformed on that front.

      • Are you saying there are also a lot of people who are otherwise like you but white-identifying?

        DNA tests are showing that, yes. They’re not a majority of the white population (only 30% of self-identified American whites have an African ancestor), but they a significant in comparison to the much-smaller black population. There are, in other words, more white Americans with black ancestry than there are black Americans with black ancestry. Almost twice as many, in fact.

        Black people just sort of disappeared over time. My father’s finding that in his ancestry research. This aunt drops off the tree, that cousin disappears, etc. It’s still going on, and it’s still uncommented. Americans move around a lot.

        If a pale, mixed-race person identifies as black, then everyone notices because they assumed that they were white. If a pale, mixed-race person identifies as white, then nobody notices because they assumed that they were white. I’m pretty loud about it and close to my father’s family, and my father’s Mr. Black Power himself, or I’d have dropped off the tree by now, too.

      • I’m using Sailer’s 2002 data, but the intermarriage has increased since then, so the percentages are probably higher by now.

        As for affirmative action, I doubt my kids would ever benefit from that, just as I doubt it’ll still be in practice by the time that they’re older.

      • There was no serious “brain-drain” of blacks. Very, very few whites married blacks and very few whites do nowadays. And besides, most mixed-white blacks tend to mix into the black group.

        The reality of the situation is basically what Thomas Fleming of Chronicles says: that they are and were an underachieving group.

        There is no reason to believe that blacks, as a group, have the so-called abilities that Vanessa and A Lady think that they did/do just to make themselves feel better.

      • The thing about Asians like the Chinese, whom Vanessa claim that they were not considered to be so smart, is that unlike blacks, the Chinese(and the Indians for that matter) actually created civilzations. The reason why people don’t consider blacks to be not so smart is because in general, they aren’t.

    • Ralph@
      I think you are using the word “diversity” to describe something different than Alan was in his original post. You are talking about diverse conceptions of the good; he is talking about equal representation of all races, religions, and genders in every country, institution, and occupation. For the sake of clarity, I’d suggest that we refer to the presence of diverse conceptions of the good as “pluralism” and the presence of diverse races, religions, and genders as “diversity.” As a matter of public policy, pluralism is a brute fact on the ground to which the state responds with official neutrality. This was, in fact, the origin of liberal thought. Pluralism would, of course, allow discrimination and segregation by every institution other than that state. Diversity, on the other hand, is a state-sponsored doctrine of the good. Any conception of the good that does not include diversity is, therefore, disallowed by the state.

      • But diversity is a consequence of liberalism. My intention was not to describe pluralism, with which reactionaries accept as a reality, but how the pluralism, under the premise that the conscious will is sovereign, becomes this modern conception of diversity. Because the conscious wills, regarding certain categories, are sovereign (maximal value), and because the conscious wills are equal, each category defined under that will has maximal value, regardless of numbers. Therefore, if there are aspects of my physical being that impede me to achieve what I want, there is a diminished freedom that needs to be addressed. If this desire includes, say, being part of an association that forbids my membership based on this physical characteristic, the association must yield, as it would expand this person’s freedom. As more categories of evident/physical characteristics are admitted, it provides additional evidence of the association’s commitment to “freedom;” even if such commitment really undermines the individual’s freedom of association. So, for the liberal, there is no loss of freedom if your association is forced to associate with other categories, as you are already free to associate with your own. Because these categories, and the objective of the associations are not given any value (not zero value, just not in their value scale), disaster happens.

      • Yes, I agree. I think you’ve described how the liberal doctrine of pluralism (state neutrality on questions of the good) evolved into the liberal doctrine of diversity (all groups represented, or at least welcome, in all institutions). The catalyst in this reaction is, as you say, individual autonomy. So the desire of a group must always yield to the desire of an individual.

  13. “Instead, we call people to repentance from liberalism, and a renewal that starts within themselves regardless of their external circumstances, a renewal based on faith in Jesus Christ and rejecting the falsehoods of liberalism and “diversity” in favor of a truer way.”

    To the topic addressed in the title and this paragraph, of repentance: What is the sin which the “liberal” should repent? My idea is that it should be pride and envy along with the actions that led to them there (denial of obvious crime-race correlation, poor church attendance or attendance at a scripture-denying congregation, desire for income redistribution). And then, suggest that the leftist go to confession for a proper repentance. Anyone disagree?

  14. I had in mind not so much religious repentance, but rather a change in fundamental thinking about basic reality, especially social reality. But now that you mention it, repentance from pride, especially the intellectual pride of thinking that man can be wise and virtuous without God, goes along with repentance from liberalism.

  15. @Oligopsony – you point out that the Left considers Personal Autonomy to be the highest good. Q: should people believing and practicing personal autonomy have the powers of a Paternalistic Administrative State with powerful collectivist tools?

    For that’s what the New Deal was and is, and what exists.

    Not entirely O/T, because to give such people such powers would result in their concentration of wealth and power to themselves, hence our government.

    I myself believe in equality, but equality would mean non-preferential treatment.

    • I like stalinism better than social liberalism, but that’s an engineering (or perhaps even “military”) problem. I see an administrative state as the least-bad alternative to the market and families as a means of channeling and structuring the unavoidable dependency we have on each other. Of course the total space of institutional options is highly underexplored, so it’s probably a mistake to say that any actually existing social form is optimal.

      • Surely you understand that “evolution finds global optima” and “evolution is entirely random” make up a false dichotomy. (I don’t think biological evolution is the best metaphor for social development, but then the same applies to any searching mechanism. In any event, if you want a technologically modern society run on something other than liberalism, as it seems we both do, you already think there’s been a market failure here – to employ an even worse metaphor.)

        And surely my insistence on distinguishing leftism from liberalism should put to rest the possibility of that particular sockpuppet identity.

      • ” … ‘evolution finds global optima’ and ‘evolution is entirely random’ make up a false dichotomy.”

        Wrong. In a state of affairs generated by a procedure that is entirely random there can be neither any optima nor any pessima, but rather only stuff that, being random, by definition happens for no reason. If evolution does indeed find optima, then it is precisely not random but guided, constrained, by considerations (on the part of some agent, or others) of optimality.

      • ” … if you want a technologically modern society run on something other than liberalism, as it seems we both do, you already think there’s been a market failure here…”

        Wrong. A market deformed by policy, and prevented thereby from its natural organic operations, cannot justly be accused of failure. What we call “market failure” is almost always a failure of policy in respect to market activity. Policy is far less likely to be rational and realistic than markets.

        We have a technologically sophisticated society *despite* liberal policies having distorted market operations for the last 150 years. Liberal policies have made us poorer we would otherwise have been. If we keep them up we’ll demolish all our present prosperity.

      • Surely you understand that “evolution finds global optima” and “evolution is entirely random” make up a false dichotomy.

        It is one thing to think (almost surely falsely) that evolution finds a global optimum and quite another to think that the “space of institutional options is highly underexplored.” Yes, given a million human generations with active tinkering (we’re always doing that), perhaps we could discern more advantageous “option”. But we already have thousands of generations in hundreds of different test tubes, and what (so far, I’ll grant) seems to work well (e.g., traditional families in traditional societies) for human flourishing (e.g., low death rates, technological and economic development) seems to occupy only a very small corner of “institutional space”. Sure, call me back after a million generations and maybe I’ll be surprised.

        That you consider biological evolution a mere “metaphor” for social development is telling, as if biological evolution could not possibly have actually caused social development. That is rather convenient rhetorically, but in the real world, biological development is a real hard bitch. I, a Catholic traditionalist, would be last to ever admit that biology is god, but I certainly think it is more than a mere metaphorical hurdle that we must clear to usher in some ill-defined era of greater justice or freedom or whatever.

        General intelligence is about 70% heritable. Lot’s of personality traits seem to be in that same ball park. Personality traits are the lion’s share of social development. Obviously there’s a lot of 30% things there that come down to stuff like free will or stuff we just don’t understand. But it seems qyute fair to say that social institutions are at least largely biological in nature. And going around tearing them down in the hopes of finding some new corner of the “institutional space” is at a minimum foolish and quite likely suicidal. It would be not unlike intentionally inducing human genetic mutations just to see what would happen. Sure you might find a superman. But you’re going to get a tons of non-viable humans, not a few retards, and lots of dead bodies along the way.

        Okay, not Moldbug. But you are articulating a very Sith-inspired version of Leftism, and there are not many Leftists who even know what’s behind that curtain, far fewer yet willing to pull it back for public view. Such honesty I have only rarely seen. It is almost as though a very clever alt-rightist is behind the voice.

      • Everyone praising me for my honesty! It’s very flattering but I don’t consider myself exceptional here. I could of course rephrase the same statements in less bloodless terms, or in jargon that means things to my comrades and not yours, but those seem like an obvious impediment to conversation.

        You say downthread that may a thousand constitutions bloom, so I suspect that you may have misunderstood (or I have miscommunicated) my point on the institutional space thing, since you seem to there agree with my intended meaning! At the present moment, anyone who advocates some form of illiberalism (insert some joke about non-giraffe animals) is advocating something that’s never existed or that got outcompeted by liberalism.

    • Personal Autonomy implies that the autonomy is linked to a person. However, from their views on abortion and euthanasia, “personhood” is not clearly defined. I would say more that it is linked to consciousness/self-awareness autonomy, as babies and other people that reactionaries would agree to call persons are not included in their protected categories.

  16. Brendan Doran has a good question.

    Modern liberalism seems to believe in a version of Libertarian Socialism. That is, they believe that the state should sanction and subsidize any individual’s appetite. This is an echo of the sixties sexual revolution and drug revolution. It is a philosophy designed to promote the indulgence of unbridled appetites using the power of the state.

    The left is about power more than diversity. If Mexican immigrants were voting in large majorities for traditional values, the left would vote for an insurmountable wall along our southern border. The left has a tacit truce with Islam, but if Islam becomes successful in promoting conservative values, the left with turn against it.

    The left is opposed to diversity of opinion, which would threaten their power. Speech codes are about the power to promote certain kinds of speech (the Berkeley Free Speech Movement was about profanity) and prohibit other kinds of speech (politically incorrect speech).

    The left is opposed to democracy when the majority is against them. The promotion of diversity and judicial activism are tools used to subvert democracy. But if diversity meant putting more rural Southerners in positions of power, they would oppose such diversity. Only left-leaning groups are privileged. Members of Future Farmers of America need not apply.

    • But if diversity meant putting more rural Southerners in positions of power, they would oppose such diversity. Only left-leaning groups are privileged. Members of Future Farmers of American need not apply.

      Heh. Hence my quote about 100 comments up about the supreme court about there never being less diversity there. You can be Jewish, Catholic, Black, even a wise Latina, as long you as you, undergo the treatment, graduate from the right school, and otherwise fit into the program.

      “This is not the diversity you’re looking for.”

      “This is not the diversity we’re looking for.”

      “Move along…. move along.”

  17. Yes that’s all true Leo.

    But what I was getting at is pervasive corruption, and the collectivism of wealth into the hands of the collectivists. There’s reasons that the 3 richest counties in the USA are in VA [Fairfax, Fairfax City, Loundon].

    Of course radically selfish people can’t be trusted with powers collectivist or paternal. The collections are to themselves and paternalism is replaced with predation.

  18. Brendan. Yes. Power does tend to corrupt as well as to breed an appetite for even more power (and for the wealth which translates into power), which in turn leads to more corruption. It can become a vicious cycle.

    The left is generally opposed to home schooling, even though it might promote both autonomy and diversity, because it is a bastion of traditional values and a potential threat to their power.

      • That minority is engaging in an enterprise that is quite dangerous to moral commitments they have made to the larger collective. It is an inherently and profoundly reactionary act to homeschool (and to a similar extent go off the grid, refuse vaccinations, practice natural childbirth). They are closer to us than it is possible to visualize from ideology alone. When the SHTF, they will (I’m convinced) stand with us as we defend, even with strong prejudice and violence, our communities.

  19. A few exceptions can be tolerated, but not if that enables a conservative wave.

    See http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/02/15/federal-government-tries-to-block-homeschooling-refugees/

    There is no support from the Obama administration for home schooling refugees. Indeed, there is active opposition with no real support for related conscience rights. Would-be immigrants aren’t privileged if they have conservative values.

    For a possible explanation, see

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Obama_against_homeschooling

    and follow the money.

    The left does not want to assert a right of parents to home school their children, but they will assert the right of a mother-to-be to kill her unborn child. It is about indulging their base.

  20. Yes power does tend to corrupt, I just accused the collectivist State of collecting for themselves and being not paternalistic but predatory. I wonder if I’ll get an answer.

    You’ve betrayed the New Deal, not upheld it.

    • Partial power corrupts because it has near competitors. Absolute power is the least corrupting because, being absolute, it is safe from competition. The King need not be corrupt because he has no competitors–if he had he would not be king. But a little ol’ General Secretary of the Communist Party just might have to slaughter 10 million Kulaks… because they, insufferably bourgeois, are a legitimate threat… and he being a lowly secretary and all.

    • The state is inherently predatory, just like the administration of any corporation. Of course, they don’t create value… they manage it. The question is not whether they skim off the top, but only whether with their skimming, they are getting good (or better) shareholder value. Alas, today USG does not. But if it did, no one would complain… any more than folks complain about any successful CEO and cadre of VPs who take generous salaries from their successful corporation.

  21. @Oligopsony,

    Thank you for answering. [Stalinism?]. Well at least you’re honest. Now my basic question of whether radical autonomists can be trusted with collectivist and paternal powers remains. I don’t think Stalin’s absolute powers – far more than the New Deal of course – are going to fix the problem if those with their hands on the levers are centered on the self. And I make the point again, the New Deal was a shift from government by democracy – most historians date the end of government by democracy as the New Deal – to an Administrative Government with collectivist tools and Paternalistic goals. The right and wrong of the New Deal however are past us, for the New Left is radically individualist, also phrased as Radical Autonomy. That’s their choice, but if those people are given collectivist tools the result is corruption and collecting the wealth and power to themselves – this being the government we actually have. We need a new social contract and a new Constitutional arrangement, the one we have is in the wrong hands [the post 1933 Constitution, not the legacy 1789 Constitution].
    ————————————————————————————————
    To the rest – it’s corruption and mismanagment they are vulnerable on, not marriage, orientation, race. That’s if you want action and change, as opposed to talk. The New Deal worked for America when the New Dealers had control. Since then it’s worked for those in government. Now it’s rampant and ruinous. The other debates can wait for another day.

    • Certainly I agree that any elite is going to seek to increase its power – that’s just basic materialism. As to how successful they are, we can ask how much consumptive power the elites have relative to the masses, how likely it is that new members of the elite had elite parents themselves, and how much less likely it is for members of the elite to fall victim to violent punishment relative to ordinary people. On all of these it seems to me that state socialism has an excellent record, at least understood in relative rather than absolute terms (by which it, like everything else, is abysmal.)

      But that may not be what you’re asking; so if I’ve misunderstood I apologize.

      • “Certainly I agree that any elite is going to seek to increase its power – that’s just basic materialism.”

        If basic materialism is true, then, e.g., Britain did not free India, did not free her slaves, did not enfranchise women and former slaves, did not relinquish her African and Caribbean possessions, did not return the oilfields she had won from the Turks to the Arabs, etc, etc, etc.

        If basic dialectical materialism is true, then no notions of chivalry, charity or noblesse oblige were ever honestly retained in any Christian heart. They were all instances of false consciousness.

        But then, if basic dialectical materialism is true, all the most heartfelt convictions even of dialectical materialists – such as, e.g., that dialectical materialism is true – are likewise nothing more than instances of false consciousness, and therefore devoid of truth value.

      • No more so than, if evolution is true, sugar is not sweet. Certainly there is no objective quality “sweetness” in the sugar itself, any more than there is a Form of Chivalry, but that people value what they value is no lie. The term “false consciousness” makes some amount of sense in its original Hegelian context, to the extent that anything makes sense in Hegelian language (i.e., not much,) but divorced from it carries misleading connotations.

      • “Certainly there is no objective quality “sweetness” in the sugar itself, any more than there is a Form of Chivalry.”

        You make my argument. By your lights, the sugar really isn’t sweet, we just think that it is. Likewise there is in objective reality no such thing either as chivalry or optima, and all our impressions to the contrary – i.e., the lion’s share of all our lives – are, not lies, but illusions. Happy illusions, perhaps, but illusions nonetheless, and thus poor bases for any policy.

        Is it not obvious that this skeptical, nominalist doctrine prevents you from any suggestion that anything you advocate is really any good? If our moral and aesthetic sentiments are all illusory, then how can we construe illusions as truly “poor” bases for policy (“poverty” being but an illusion), and how could it be “better” to form our policies on something else? If all we have to go on is illusions, what, pray, would be that “something else”?

      • If the sense in which the sugar was not “really” sweet, and the sense in which we thought it was sweet were the same sense, then it would be fair to call it an illusion. But I fail to see the illusion or contradiction in saying that, though no mind-independent quality of sweetness inheres in the sugar as such, it nevertheless tastes sweet to humans and presumably other creatures constituted like us. And this seems like a facially good enough reason to put sugar in my tea (not that there might be countervailing reasons not to!) If by contrast I believed that there was an objective quality of sweetness, though it did not taste sweet to me, it is difficult to see why I would consume the stuff (though again that perhaps might be to my benefit in other ways.)

        Reason is the servant of the passions. This is no reason (har har) to denigrate reason, but it does mean reason cannot determine our fundamental values. Of course, like any servant, it does almost all the work – we can enquire rationally into what actually fulfills our values. Obviously it’s an empirical question how much political disagreement derives from fundamental value disagreement vs. factual disagreement about how to achieve those values, and the conflictual/neutral aspect of the leftism/liberalism distinction may to some extent reflect different assessments of it.

    • We need a new social contract and a new Constitutional arrangement, the one we have is in the wrong hands [the post 1933 Constitution, not the legacy 1789 Constitution].

      Oh Brendan, I hear you brother I really do, but you are far too sanguine about the revolution. It was bad root and branch. What we need is simply the right to escape and let a thousand (or a million) constitutions grow.

  22. There is something else that occurred to me, that I wish to add, about the dialogue with “onecertain”, which concerns his distasteful habit of using snark and sarcasm.

    It’s fairly well-known that in America of old, and particularly in the South, “honour” was much more important than it is today. Because any given man could be expected to take drastic measures (such as proposing a duel) in response to an honour challenge, people learnt to be polite to each other – lest they get called out.

    Something similar obtains even today in male-dominated environments like the military. Anyone who has served will know that soldiers generally learn to temper any tendency they may have towards making boastful claims they cannot back up – because in that kind of environment, if you make claims you cannot back up, someone will call you on it and you will get found out, and humiliated, very quickly.

    All of this is to say that men who have been challenged (in real life, I mean, not on the internet), and been forced to “put up or shut up”, by and large don’t use sarcasm and snark. When a man uses juvenile, antagonstic language like snark, that is prima facie evidence that he is either young, inexperienced in the world, or has otherwise been shielded from having his ideas seriously confronted – which, of course, is exactly what we say about leftists: they are a sheltered bunch, dwelling in ivory towers and able to exist for that reason.

  23. The New Deal has gone completely rotten, as are the people holding it’s powerful tools. Corruption, peculation, and the bankruptcy can bring them down. Be happy we are facing fools unfit to rule. Liberty is yet lucky that way.

  24. Oligopsony says:

    You say downthread that may a thousand constitutions bloom, so I suspect that you may have misunderstood (or I have miscommunicated) my point on the institutional space thing, since you seem to there agree with my intended meaning! At the present moment, anyone who advocates some form of illiberalism (insert some joke about non-giraffe animals) is advocating something that’s never existed or that got outcompeted by liberalism.

    Well it all goes in a circle, I guess.

    As a card-carrying Member of the Reaction, I want good government. In fact, it is all I want. Good government provides at least the following: 1) security of persons and property; 2) swift justice for those who violate (1); and 3) freedom as an natural consequence of (1) and (2). Anything good government might provide in excess of those three must at least not impinge upon them.

    So when I look at the government that we have, I see two problems:

    A) it is lefter than me, i.e., it is concerned with secondary considerations such as equal outcomes, pays a tiny lip-service to freedom, and is failing profoundly to implement concerns (1) and (2); and

    B) it rules not only the width of the North American continent, but the entire globe, with the exception of Russia, China, and a few insignificant hell-holes.

    Problem (A) is simply bad government, which might be fixed with engineering. But (B) is empire, and not just any ordinary self-interested, criminal, empire: an empire founded to, with little loss of meaning, “enforce Jesus’ will on the world.” So while the petty tyrant or criminal might find it downright counter-productive to implement a regulation which does neither him nor his subjects any good; an Evangelical Democratist will never so relent, never tire of spreading his “gospel”.

    And the Empire stands now in the way of touching simple bad government such as we find in the States. So that is what I intend by suggesting to plant 1000 (or 1,000,000) constitutions: Secession–a break up of the Empire. Then at least there is a chance that someone, somewhere, hidden from the coldly analytical and watchful eyes of the Grey Lady and the Harvard Faculty, will implement good government. And good government on average will out-compete ideological government. [Tangentially, this is why China outcompetes the US today... it's nominally Communist government is far less ideologically committed than our own so-called Liberal Democracy.... go figure.] Thus, in the long run, my people will have a chance to flourish.

    Now maybe that jives with your “highly underexplored institutional space”. Maybe not. There have been good governments in the past, and practically all, historically speaking, have been at least better. My greatest historical villains like Lincoln and Wilson, hell even Cromwell, could do a better job of government than the clowns we have had lately. Reluctant revolutionary John Adams reads almost like saint by comparison. So while there may be a lot of the “space” unexplored, it seems that there is a well-explored part of it that we should try to get back to. To do otherwise seems at best to over-value innovation merely for its own sake.

    And as for lower level institutions, such as familial ones (something most people would refer to simply as “families”), again there are an infinitude of imaginable arrangements, but one seems, over all recorded history and across nearly all successful cultures, to have performed quite well. Since social pathologies correlate almost perfectly with family breakdown, it is very hard to argue (although possible in theory) that we just haven’t broken them down enough.

    • Glad to hear that you’re willing to get onboard the Anti-American bandwagon with me! Your specific complaints seem a bit strange, however – it seems to me that the world is less violent and has more secure property rights than ever, perhaps leaving aside the 19th century. Of course you might value things other than these (I certainly do) or attribute them to extra-political factors, but to claim that people are less secure in their persons and property than ever before (if that’s what you’re claiming; I may have subtly misunderstood you) strikes me as incredible.

      • Not less secure than ever before, but only relatively and most especially with improvements to technology, which by now should have made getting away with any personal and property crime almost impossible in the western world. Of course in the 3rd world don’t get me started; the de-evolution proceeds apace–and I lay blame squarely on the colonialists… for not staying and maintaining their conquests.

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