The word “theocracy”

A lot of people complain about my use, and Mencius’s use, of the word theocracy, to refer both to past systems were God endorsed Caesar, and Caesar endorsed God, and the present system where Political Correctness endorses the state, and the State endorses Political Correctness.

So I am trying to crowdsource some less confusing terminology.

Without the word “theocracy”, how does one concisely explain why society moves ever leftwards?

One way around this problem is to use the concept of a ruling clerisy, since the word “clerisy” has in the past been used to refer to what is in common in the exercise of political power by priests and bishops, and the exercise of political power by journalists, academics, and intellectuals.

Trouble is that “clerisy”, when used unironically, merely means the class of learned persons, when what we want to refer to is the class of persons learned in the state supported and state supporting belief system. Obviously we want the ironic meaning of clerisy – the class of ignorant brainwashed but officially credentialed holders of officially true opinions, the class of people learned only in political reliability.

So “clerisy” like “theocracy” brings in unwanted meanings.

So could anyone who does not like my use of the word “theocracy” try to come up with an explanation of why the left always wins and the right always loses is, using different words?

32 Responses to “The word “theocracy””

  1. pet sitting says:

    pet sitting…

    […]The word “theocracy” « Jim’s Blog[…]…

  2. PRCalDude says:


    I think you’re hinting at the “Jesus is Lord/Caesar is Lord” motif found in the book of Revelation. The book is generally poorly understood, but the “Beast” is the State that forces its subjects to worship it or its rulers. KJI would be a modern manifestation of this motif since he made his subjects worship him and his statue and punished followers of Jesus.

    Our government is not that bad, but looks headed in that direction.

  3. […] Jim’s Blog Liberty in an unfree world « The word “theocracy” is now atheocracy[…]

  4. jim says:

    “Chiliocracy” appears to be a mispelling. Google does not recognize it.

  5. sconzey says:

    Ah, I probably should have read this post before leaving my massive comment on the other one 😉

    I don’t see clerisy‘s connotations of rule by the most intelligent as a bug, but as a feature, because our ruling class aren’t — by and large — stupid or ignorant, but generally very intelligent.

    The problem is not that we don’t have rational and intelligent people in positions of power; the problem is that the people in positions of power cannot/cannot be seen to exhibit rationality when it comes to issues of Leftist Dogma. The internal inconsistencies of Leftism are well documented by Professor Ilkka.

    Bright, affable people do well in any society. In the 19th century, Ben Bernanke would have made an excellent colonial administrator; David Cameron, a sterling Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

    Democracy creates an environment where a lie can be more adaptively successful than the truth. Leftism is simply the name we give to the current set of the most adaptively-successful memes. It ought to be no surprise then that in a society where status is determined by signalling adherence to the PC state religion, that the brightest and most affable people rise to be “bishops.”

    I don’t think I explained that very well *facepalm*

    • jim says:

      I don’t see clerisy‘s connotations of rule by the most intelligent as a bug, but as a feature, because our ruling class aren’t — by and large — stupid or ignorant, but generally very intelligent.

      Bright, affable people do well in any society. In the 19th century, Ben Bernanke would have made an excellent colonial administrator; David Cameron, a sterling Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

      Yes, the ruling elite is bright, but far from being “the most intelligent”.

      Yes, David Cameron would have made Lieutenant – but not however Captain. Ben Bernanke would have made an excellent minor low level colonial administrator.

      Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman is of merely ordinary intelligence. Most students at most bush league universities are about as smart as he is. Ward Churchill is as thick as a brick – well below average intelligence and entirely incapable of performing the activities that are normally performed at universities. Michael Mann is incompetent at statistics compared to the typical STEM graduate, despite having a PhD from an Ivy League university in a statistics field.

      They think they are the most intelligent, but Thomas Sowell has devastated that pretense. Thus we need the ironic meaning of clerisy, but there is no way to mark the usage as ironic.

  6. bgc says:

    “I am a Darwinist”

    Me too – but…

    The point being that Natural selection is 1. partial, by its axiomatic assumptions; 2. merely tells you what happened to lead to the present state, and a mechanism about how things can happen in the future – it says nothing about how things *ought* to happen – 3. plus of course ‘instincts’ are adaptive only on average and in the situation in the past when they evolved – and 4. instincts conflict – otherwise there would be no discussion in the first place.

    In sum, Natural Selection is an algorithm, not a guide to life.

    • jim says:

      Our moral sense is the product of evolution. It is a tool that enables us to collaborate with others without killing each other too often.

      “Ought” is a distracting word, and to associate “oughts” with morality is an anti concept. There is no is/ought gap, because morality has nothing to do with “oughts”.

      When we hear fairy tales that teach small children what evil is, for example “Snow White”, we never hear the word “ought” We only hear the word “ought” when philosophers piously explain that there is no such thing as good or evil, and that this makes the philosopher good and smart, and anyone who disagrees with the philosopher evil and stupid.

      A genuinely inwardly felt morality, not “oughts”, enables us to make credible commitments to others, to believably promise reciprocity for rightful conduct, vengeance for wrongful conduct.

      Morality is cultivating one’s own excellence, doing good to kin and friends, refraining from harm to those that have not harmed oneself, nor one’s kin, nor one’s friends, and doing harm to one’s enemies.

      See Constant on Good and evil from self interest

      • bgc says:

        OK – given everything you have said about Leftism – why is Leftism bad? Why not just go with the flow, make the best of it for *yourself*?

        (I’m not advocating that you actually do this! – I’m sure you won’t – but why not?)

        • jim says:

          Tried it, did not like it.

          The basic problem is that leftists are evil, evil in the sense that a lot more leftists are murdered by leftists than are murdered by rightists, evil in that they will murder their aging parent in order to rob their siblings of the inheritance.

          Indeed, this is the big problem with utilitarian morality – that if you are a low ranking leftist, a high ranking leftist always has a very good argument for sacrificing you for the greater good, and unless you are prepared to reject leftism in toto, his argument is correct.

          Observe that when the Khmer Rouge proceeded to exterminate the Khmer Rouge, the Khmer Rouge for the most part remained loyal to the Khmer Rouge, rather than raiding the armory and fleeing to the hills.

          Similarly when Aristide personally with his own hands gouged out the eyes of one of his loyal minions and then murdered that loyal minion in a particularly horrible fashion, it was his non political minions, denigrated as mere mercenary thugs, that joined the revolution. His political minions demonstrated their immense virtue by remaining loyal to a sadistic torturer and murderer.

          If you sign up with the left and sing along with them, you think you are signing up for a well paid virtue job, but you are apt to find yourself hanging out at an occupy protest with no job, surrounded by people with inadequate toilet training, poor personal hygiene, and a propensity to commit muggings and rapes.

          Signing up with the left is like doing a deal with the devil. The deal sounds really good, but you are apt to get double crossed. They sound like such nice decent people, and only nice kindly benevolent words pour from their mouths, but somehow all these nice decent people are fans of Aristide, have Che posters on their walls and will explain away the doings of Stalin by explaining that the communists were revolting against the horribly evil and repressive Czar, overlooking the fact that the Czar was a left wing social reformer, and that the communists did not revolt against the Czar, but made a coup against left wing social democrats. When push comes to shove, they act like those they admire to the extent that they can get away with it, and they act like this not to their enemies, but to their friends.

          Better, therefore, to be an enemy.

          Reading the climategate files, it is obvious that Briffa is sad, angry, and bitter. In order to have a career in science, he was willing to chant the left wing cant and tell the left wing lies, that being the precondition for a science career, and now finds himself with no job security, forbidden to do science, and ritualistically endorsing the lies of his masters. Were he ever to tell the truth, he would become unemployed and unemployable. Indeed, if his performing monkey act should ever falter, he might find himself unemployed and unemployable regardless.

          I don’t want Briffa’s virtue job.

          • bgc says:

            “Tried it, did not like it.” – Yes, and this does you credit.

            But what you like (today) is not a basis for the organization of society. Unless what you like carries a transcendental imperative.

            If all you can say is that what you like probably evolved, it does not carry an imperative. Pain evolved, but you do not hesitate to eliminate pain.

            At minimum we must (and indeed do) acknowledge that there is a Natural Law common to humans and in harmony with which humans should live.

            This is not just virtue (which tends to be the exclusive focus), but also beauty and truth. We cannot argue coherently for beauty or truth unless we regard them as transcendental.


            I think you make too much of the insecurity of being on the Left. Sure, Leftists are vulnerable to an extent (the Left absolutely needs a supply of scapegoats); but extreme Leftists blog under their own names and addresses and are lionized for it. Meanwhile, most of the Rightist bloggers are pseudonymous – because they run a greater risk.

            The fact that incompetent and dishonest scientists can make a living from peddling Leftism is surely an argument *for* being a Leftist! – *unless* there is a transcendental (not pragmatic) prohibition on dishonesty – which I think there is, and I know where it comes from.

            But what of you? Is honesty *only* your personal preference of today? If that is *all* it surely surely you you be working to indoctrinate yourself *against* honesty, since it is blocking the path of status, comfort and security?…

            If you acknowledge that honesty is a transcendental value, Good in itself aside from human opinions and laws, and aside from its utilitarian expediency, then I will be happy with that!

            (But at some point you will feel the need to follow the trail of honesty back to wherever it leads.)


            • jim says:

              But what you like (today) is not a basis for the organization of society.

              In the comment to which you reply, there is an extended discussion of evil.

              Which should be read in the context of the comment 2011/12/22 at 5:10 am which has an extensive discussion of good and evil.

              You seem to be arguing that there can be no good or evil except God ordains it. I don’t think so, and in these comments make an argument that there is good and evil, God or no god, and link to another discussion to that effect. Ayn Rand also makes an argument to that effect.

              I think you make too much of the insecurity of being on the Left. Sure, Leftists are vulnerable to an extent (the Left absolutely needs a supply of scapegoats); but extreme Leftists blog under their own names and addresses and are lionized for it.

              Obviously left wing blogging is good for one’s career, and right wing blogging extremely bad for one’s career. In the US, there is no imminent prospect of large numbers of leftists being shot by other leftists. On the other hand the number of leftists aspiring to a career in leftism is large, and though some do very well, most of those that so aspire get a chancy and insecure living doing disgusting work. The typical leftist is more like the denizen of an occupy camp than an Ivy League professor. The typical leftist is Joe the Puppeteer.

              The fact that incompetent and dishonest scientists can make a living from peddling Leftism is surely an argument *for* being a Leftist!

              If one aspires to be an incompetent scientist doing work that will be entirely forgotten once it is no longer politically required, then it is an argument for being a leftist. Michael Mann, being entirely incompetent, had no alternative. Briffa, who actually was competent, aspired to something better, and is bitter, probably because he knows he is producing garbage as commanded by his inferiors, and could have done something better if permitted.

              But what of you? Is honesty *only* your personal preference of today?

              The problem however, is not my preference, but theirs. Fake scientists that lie to the public and cheat the public lie to each other and cheat each other.

              Science is not a financially rewarding profession unless you are, like Mann, in a position to swing public policy to the benefit of particular financial interests. For most scientists, the reward is doing actual science, which reward is no longer permitted. If you want to be lying hack, being a lying hack scientist seldom pays well.

              It is not like I have the option of serving Genghis Khan, who rewarded his men with the opportunity for rape and pillage. Instead I would get the opportunity to write endless grant applications.

              You keep asking me why I should prefer to be good, and I keep answering you why I should prefer to associate with good people.

          • bgc says:

            The point I am emphasizing is that your personal preferences and beliefs, no matter how sincere and disinterested, carry no traction in a utilitarian framework.

            I know from experience, since (as a libertarian) I fought several public battles on the basis of my personal convictions concerning the transcendental importance of truth (eg to university or health service policy).

            These were translated into the language of modern policy which is that truth is of no interest, but consequences are – and the immediate short term consequences of truth (to the person doing the evaluating) mean that truth must be surpressed.

            Utilitarianism (the long term, overall good of everyone) will ALWAYS by trumped by individual (selfish) short termism – because the one is conjectural and the other is certain.

            In the end utilitarianism amounts to the selfish short-termism of the elites (embedded in their existing elite structures, trapped in their fitness minima).

            The point I have made often in the past few years is that a transcendnetal devotion to the truth, which we share – Heaven help us!, is rare and powerless unless their is a group acknowledgment that there is such a thing as transcendental truth (above and beyond the social mechanisms).

            After this acknowledgment, you still need to establish what that T truth actually is, but without an agreements as to its reality, then all methods are futile.

            Transcendental truth is not, of course Christian – the Ancient Greeks had it. But it is metaphysical – it comes BEFORE science – indeed it is necessary for science.

            Our modern problem is metaphyisical.

            The problem with libertarianism. secular Right, is that it shares the modern metaphysical pre-suppositions that lead to the loss of TT.

            • jim says:

              The point I am emphasizing is that your personal preferences and beliefs, no matter how sincere and disinterested, carry no traction in a utilitarian framework.

              I am not a utilitarian. Morality derives from Darwinian natural law, which is fundamentally egoistic. See Natural Law and Natural Rights and Good and evil from self interest

              These days, as far as I can tell, most libertarians are not utilitarians – the Randian argument that utilitarianism in practice has quite disastrous consequences is broadly accepted. The secular critique of utilitarianism is devastating.

  7. bgc says:

    I don’t know why I should be helping you with this, but…;-)

    Think in terms of what you are trying to define-against.

    It seems to me that you like the concept of theocracy because you think it defines what you are against: i.e. both Leftism and Christianity (and some other religions too).

    So, the biggest difficulty for you is to define theocracy in such terms that it applies to Leftism but NOT to your ‘secular Right’ agenda.

    I don’t think this can be done, because your secular Right agenda is merely a variant of Leftism – but that is what you need to do. You need to be able to state why the Leftists are theocrats (according to your definition and the MM definition) and why your favoured ideas are not.

    And this has to be done honestly and rigorously – by continually asking the question on what assumptions your ideals are *based*.

    MM wrote, ages ago, that his system is built o the assumption that suffering/ pain is bad and should be minimized – that is to say the assumption that utilitarianism is true. i.e. That human life is ultimately about maximizing pleasure/ gratification and minimizing pain and suffering (for the greatest number of people).

    This is precisely the same assumption that mainstream Liberalism is based upon – but the secular Right claims to be more effective at reaching this same goal than is the Left.

    The difference is that Leftists are Universalists (utilitarianism for all humans) whereas the right are only utilitarians wrt nations, races or some other smaller than everyone division.

    So the secular Right needs to look at this extra assumption – the assumption that utilitarianism is the proper aim of life, and the extra assumption that this applies only to a sub-set of humanity.

    Why utilitarianism for this particular subset? – why a subset at all? why this particular subset? why not a larger or smaller subset of humanity?

    • jim says:

      It seems to me that you like the concept of theocracy because you think it defines what you are against: i.e. both Leftism and Christianity (and some other religions too).

      I am not against Christianity. Of all the major religions it is the least harmful. Most men, when they stop believing in Christianity, are apt to believe in anything.

      The trouble is that Christianity is, as Nietzsche observed, dead, as dead as Paganism in fourth century Rome. And into the abandoned mindspace have come monsters and nightmares.

      Observe the supposed social conservatism of the supposed Christian Right. The New Testament position on marriage is perfectly clear: Patriarchal marriage, women must love, honor, and obey. Women should be virgins at marriage, and faithful for so long as their husbands live. A husband may divorce a wife for fornication, a wife may not divorce a husband for any reason whatsoever. A divorced woman may not remarry while her husband lives. The New Testament position on marriage closely approximates the early nineteenth century law on marriage. Today’s Christian rightists hold a position on marriage that in the 1950s would have been thought hippy dippy leftism. They are 99% of the way to being progressives. Compare and contrast with Muslims who are unafraid to preach the Koranic position on marriage.

      To be a Christian you have to be baptized into a Christian community and declare that Jesus is Lord. We are pretty much out of Christian communities. By and large, it is the church of Jesus, chief community organizer.

      You need to be able to state why the Leftists are theocrats (according to your definition and the MM definition) and why your favoured ideas are not.

      I am not a theocrat, since my ideas are out of power. But suppose they were in power – as indeed they arguably were to some considerable extent in the early nineteenth century – well then, what are my ideas?

      Scientific method: “Take no man’s word for it.”

      That is not theology, therefore can never be theocracy, for theocracy is to take the word of state accredited people and institutions for it.

      I am a Darwinist. Human nature is a product of evolution, and so, as Darwin argued, is human morality. From which we get, reciprocity, contract, and an innate right of self defense, and therefore the egoistic natural law morality, corresponding approximately to Aristotle’s idea of morality as cultivation of one’s own excellence, Ayn Rand’s idea of morality as human flourishing, and Xenophon’s idea that you deal squarely with those who are square with you, and as for the rest of humanity, anything goes. A right to life, liberty, and property. And all men were not created equal.

    • Leonard says:

      Jim answered this, and I agree with him that Christianity is dead, or at best dying. This saddens me, for it was a great religion. And also, because as Jim says in its wake the human religious impulse has not stopped. So we get replacement “religions” that are nasty. Christianity would be superior to what we have if we could get it, but we cannot get it. Fruit grows, ripens, then rots; a rotten fruit will never be ripe again. We can hope that it may have the seed of a new tree, with its own fruit in future.

      I agree with you that is helpful to define against. Personally I support “atheocracy”. Indeed, I think some of our opponents might actually agree with it — thus, like “progressive” it is a good term. Use “theocracy” if you are looking for shock effect.

      I think both terms are good because they highlight the religious aspect of the constitution of a state. I prefer “atheocracy” in this case because the “theos” root, meaning God, is not exactly what we actually oppose, and also because our opposition — progressivism — is now aggressively atheistic. But it is neither an insistence on God’s existence or the opposite that secular reactionaries oppose; it is the false beliefs that actually affect what the state does here on Earth. That is, we oppose false religious belief as a basis for state policy. Note that I do not regard supernatural belief as either true or false, at least in this regard. So we do not oppose progressives because they are now atheistic; we oppose them because they believe in catastrophic global warming, human neurological uniformity, reforming criminals via turned cheeks, etc.

      It is true that Moldbug and other secular rightists propound a sort of utilitarianism. I do. As useless as “utility” is for all sorts of reasons (I took some shots at it a few years back), it is still something most people can agree on, and it gets us somewhere, even if not particularly far. But then, I don’t want a government that goes to far. For it to protect life, liberty, and property is plenty for me. My soul may be damned, but I leave it to God, should He exist, to save me — not some government.

      But I do not think that atheist reactionaries really believe, as some on the left do, that utility maximization is the goal of life. It is just something we think we can get people to agree with.

      • PRCalDude says:

        I think the view you presented is basically the same as the one presented in the Bible. You may not be Christian, but almost everything you said is more-or-less Christian.

        The Christian church in the West is either a) completely apostate or b) if Biblically orthodox, so small no one has ever heard of it.

        As the Westminster Confession states, the church is sometime more visible or less visible, but will always exist. Also, you can’t take current trends and extrapolate them to infinity. The church may be mostly dead in the West but it’s quite alive in other parts of the world.

        That said, there are parts of the Earth where there used to be large numbers of “Christians” where there are now none.

    • spandrell says:

      To the extent that there is such a thing as a Secular Right/Nouvelle Droite agenda, it certainly is more respectful of empirical data and real science than Progressivism. Just on that we an argue that they are more theocratic than we are.

      I do agree that utilitarianism is a crappy philosophy, but is the easiest point in which non-metaphysical inclined people can agree with. Violence is bad. Technological advance is good.

      Still I think that just acknowledgement of eugenics will suffice. Bad government sucks, but the real problem now is race replacement. If we can stop disgenics everything else will sort itself out.

      • jim says:

        No. Not everything else will sort itself out. Marriage has ended in the sense that marriage 2.0 is not an adequate substitute for marriage 1.0, with the result that reproduction has collapsed. Everyone aspires to a virtue job, rather than the menial task of merely producing value.

        Race replacement is the result of favoring racial voting blocks, and expanding those blocks as rapidly as possible, but the collapse of marriage is the result of favoring the female voting block by mandating the kind of marriage terms that women think that they want – which has much the same effect as mandating that the price of bread and milk be low, apart from the sociobiological fact pointed out by Roissy – that women do not actually want the kind of marriage that they think they want, and if their husbands give them what the law and society tells them they entitled to, will eventually come to find sex with their husbands repugnant, will lose interest and divorce.

        Government brainwashing schooling moved the electorate left, to match the ever leftwards movement of the ruling elite. Then giving women the vote and giving women what they think they want moved the electorate left, to match the ever leftwards movement of the ruling elite. Then importing vast numbers of underclass voters with a racial tendency to vote left and giving them affirmative action accreditation, affirmative action jobs, and affirmative action mortgages moves the electorate left, to match the ever leftwards movement of the ruling elite. The decreasing number of people paying taxes, and the ever increasing number of people on handouts and doing virtue jobs moves the electorate left, to match the ever leftwards movement of the ruling elite.

        If tomorrow morning we stopped importing members of inferior races, and shipped out every member of an inferior race who was neither gainfully employed in a legitimate job, nor a well supervised dependent of someone gainfully employed in a legitimate job, the ever leftwards movement of the ruling elite would instead be accommodated by an ever increasing number of virtue jobs.

        Also they will start castrating small boys (diagnosing them as transexuals and giving them “sex change surgery”), because castratos tend to vote left. Testosterone tends to make people vote right. Parents that protest will be diagnosed as mentally ill, (intolerance of gender ambiguity being a mental illness) and will be forcibly treated.

        Democracy gives the government an incentive to elect a new people, but what caused democracy in the first place was the ever leftwards movement of the elite.

  8. rob says:

    You could call it a “non-religious theocracy”.

    • jim says:

      PC seems religious to me. Buddhism does not necessarily have gods either. New Age has spooks, rather than Gods, while Oprah teaches that people themselves have supernatural powers. I don’t think anyone would doubt that New Age and what Oprah preaches are religions.

  9. Alrenous says:

    Theocracy is exactly what it is, though. If calling things by their right names isn’t good enough…well, I can’t see how calling it by wrong names is going to help.

    “Theocracy is a form of organization in which the official policy is to be governed by […] or simply pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religious sect or religion.”

    Progressivism is a religion. Its acolytes act exactly like Christian acolytes with regards to the beliefs of the religion. Progressivism determines official policy. America is a Progressive theocracy, QED.

    As per Moldbug: if your main test for ‘religion’ is ‘believes in God’ then you’ve been taken in. The point of dropping belief in God was precisely to make you think – yes, you specifically – that Progressivism isn’t a religion.

    “theocracy may have an administrative hierarchy of the government identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two ‘arms,’ but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.”

    Arm two: universities. The issue is overdetermined.

    • jim says:


      Fits perfectly, and it shocks.

      Plus, no one has any alternative.

      • Hwan Lewi says:

        How about ‘atheocracy’? It should be instantly recognizable as derivative of ‘theocracy’ and thus retain most of the descriptive and shock value, and it gets around the deism/non-deism issue.

    • spandrell says:

      Accurate it is.

      Yet it lacks in persuading power. Maybe because whites actually like living under a theocracy, can’t really think of living in anything else. We need something with more shock value.
      Talking about a jew conspiracy makes people jump, talking about theocracy… meh.

      • jim says:

        Observe the Jewish reaction to the Crown Hill pogrom. Progressive Jews responded by doubling up their ass kissing. This is not the behavior of a ruling elite, but of profoundly insecure people knocking on the door of the ruling elite begging to be allowed in. The Jewish conspiracy is not in power, but merely gets a few bones thrown from its master’s table.

        Moldbug’s analysis of the Jewish problem is obviously correct. Moldug, Milton Friedman, Richard Feynman and Ayn Rand are atheist Jews. Progressive Jews are conversos. There is a big difference between a Jew who doubts the Jewish belief system, and a converso, a Jew who adopts the socially dominant belief system, a belief system profoundly hostile to orthodox Jews and the nation of Israel. Progressivism is, historically, psychologically, and emotionally, a branch of Christianity, even though it has nominally rejected everything Christian. Progressive Jews are conversos, and in actual practice, as in the response to the Crown Hill Pogrom, will act like conversos, hating both the community they abandon, and the community they are attempting to join.

        The emotional dynamic with progressivism is similar to that of communism. Bolshevism was initially overwhelmingly Jewish – but they hated Jews. They were led by non Jewish leaders, and as soon as they had power, the Jews proceeded to purge each other until the party was almost Judenrein. That was not a Jewish conspiracy, but an antisemetic conspiracy that happened to be staffed largely by conversos. Today, the Trots are overwhelmingly Jewish, and they hate Jews more than anyone.

  10. red says:

    Just an observation and a suggestion: Calling our system a theocracy has awesome shock value because it comes close enough to what the system actually is and taps directly into the negative slur meaning of the word enough to stir the common man’s interest. Unfortunately it’s too foreign and conspiratorial for most people to stomach.

    The goal of any good naming is to sum up an entire system in an easy to understand and yet interesting manner. In it’s essence it’s all about designing good propaganda that creates something that resonates well with everyone. Think of it like those 19th century political cartoons. Not perfect, but enough that it strikes all the right cords and is easy to explain.

    Unfortunately if Mencius can’t come up with the right word, we might be SOL (or stranded in Detroit). You might to consider contacting some of the better wordsmiths in the right side of the blogosphere(now there’s a horrible name). Roissy, Ferd, Foseti, ect and emphasize the word needs to work beyond just this little corner of the internet, just like those old cartoons did.

  11. robert61 says:

    Perhaps you could call the process “utopian drift” or “egalitarian utopianism”. In this recent interview, à la Mencius, Walter Russell Mead describes the American cast of mind as being Calvinist without being religious. It builds implicitly on a whig theory of history that sees mankind moving towards some kind of predetermined apotheosis and thus grasps after grand theories of history. Marxism or Hegelianism are the obvious post-religious precursors. To me, it looks like today’s major currents, such as apocalyptic climate/environmental fears or the demonization of whites as oppressors, are seeking to revigorate the legend of the fall. The contemporary left scorns the idea of original sin, yet recreates and reifies it in the person of the modern European (or European descendent).

    • jim says:

      That primarily describes the content of the belief system, but the specific content of the belief system does not matter, is almost irrelevant.

      Suppose the great flying spaghetti monster demanded that the state provide numerous jobs and great power for its acolytes, and the most prestigious universities demanded that applicants give lengthy accounts of the their extracurricular activities, which in practice had to demonstrate worship of the great flying spaghetti monster if you wanted to get admission, the schools taught all students the greatness and goodness of the great flying spaghetti monster, and any employer whose employees failed to sufficiently worship the great flying spaghetti monster, or whose employees disrespected the great flying spaghetti monster got sued into the ground. Suppose the great flying sphagetti monster required all sorts of peculiar dietary and hygenic laws, which were enforced on the basis of public health even if they were obviously severely detrimental to individual and public health, and so on and so forth.

      Then we would be in exactly the hole we are in today – particularly if the worship of the great flying spaghetti monster lacked a holy book, so there was no limit to how crazy it could get.

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