Posts Tagged ‘decline of the west’

mens rea

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I have been arguing that social decay is ending technological and scientific progress.  In most areas it has strikingly slowed, in some areas, going backwards in the west, as we forget how to do what once we could do.  Others, however, argue that technological and scientific progress is still running hot, or that if it has slowed, it is that we ran out of low hanging fruit.

But a big tell is that people are lying about it. The lie indicates not only failure, but that the failure is shameful – that the failure is in us, not in external circumstances.  That we are lying about it shows the failure is social decay. (more…)

Tall buildings and the social order

Monday, January 20th, 2014

To make and keep the upper stories of a tall building habitable requires routine high technology.  The lifts have to work, the water needs to be pumped, the toilets have let the poop down one hundred stories without shattering violence.  It is not all that expensive.  Current office space costs in the centers of major cities are so high that very tall buildings are immensely profitable.  It is simply difficult to do, requires able people working together, both initially to build the systems, and subsequently to keep them going.

It is habitable floors that are hard to do, and habitable floors are what generates the rental income.  So, to assess a society’s technological level, count habitable floors.

By and large, the taller the building, the more the profit.  Doubtless there is a limit, but in the center of most major cities, most tall buildings are below that limit.  If people could build taller, they would.  At our present technological level, settling space seems likely to be fatally unprofitable, but building upwards, building the city of tomorrow, is highly profitable. (more…)

Leftism as cancer

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Leftism is to memes as cancer is genes.

If the cells of the body mutate, cells that multiply at the expense of the body will be selected.  And cells that mutate to a faster mutation rate will be selected, since they will have more fast multiplying variants.

In a healthy body, each cell lives for the body, and performs its role in the whole body, making the body one. In cancer, each cancer cell lives for itself, at the expense of the body, parasitically, until the parasites devour the host

Left wing memes are selected by propagation through state power for propagation through state power. (more…)

Predicting collapse

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I am a prophet of doom.  There tends to be an oversupply of prophets of doom, and the proportion who turn out correct is quite small.

Equally, there are also a large number of prophets of non doom, for example the numerous prophets of complacency during the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, who assume that everything will continue as today, often even when spectacular collapse is under way, they assume that everything has now stabilized, or will very shortly stabilize.

So, I reach for the mantle of an accurate prophet:  Ayn Rand in her science fiction novel Atlas Shrugged accurately predicted the condition of today’s Detroit, though her book was published when Detroit had the highest standard of living in America. (more…)

Apostolic Succession

Friday, November 1st, 2013

According to some branches of Christianity, notably Roman Catholicism, Jesus ordained his disciples to perform certain sacraments, and they in turn ordained others to perform these sacraments, and only the legitimate successors of the apostles can validly perform these sacraments.   So supposedly most sacraments are invalid unless performed by a priest, by someone who has been authorized by someone who has been authorized … all the way back to Jesus.

Trouble is that because the official Roman Catholic Church has not believed in Apostolic Succession for some time, Pope Francis arguably never got ordained, in the sense that his ordination did not grant him power over sacraments, in the sense that it failed to say, or act out, the granting of power over sacraments,  and is therefore only a layman who cannot perform a valid sacrament.

If you do not believe in apostolic succession, then Pope Francis is just another man.  And if you do believe in apostolic succession, then he is still just another man, because ordained by people who corrected the ordination to avoid expressing belief in apostolic succession. (more…)

Progress

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

In 1900, there were no planes, no space travel. Motorcars were toys that enthusiasts played with, not useful means of transport.  There were no computers, no radios, no antibiotics, no rockets, no nuclear power, no knowledge or understanding of the interior the atom, no very useful plastics.

In 1961 we had all of this stuff

Since 1961, what have we got?

The last man on the moon is getting pretty elderly.  We have abandoned supersonic transport, and supersonic fighter planes are close to being abandoned.

Cell phones and the internet show radical improvement, but are just more intense and improved use of computers and radio, technologies that existed well before 1961.  Genetic technology shows promise, but is not yet doing anything big.  While reading genes continues to improve, writing them may well have peaked, and without vastly improved writing, gene technology is not going anywhere exciting.  AI remains thirty years in the future, as it has been for the past sixty years, even though every desktop now contains more computing power than the human brain.

And, as I regularly point out

The last man on the moon left in 1972

The tallest building in the united states was finished in 1974.

Cars are becoming humbler.

 

Cladistic analysis of neoreaction

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

As humans are bony fishes, and the Cathedral the heretical spawn of Cromwell’s puritans, the neoreaction is the heretical spawn of Libertarianism and anarcho capitalism.  Consider for example the blog title Anarcho Papist.

The Dark Enlightenment is libertarians mugged by reality, a libertarian who realizes that the eighteenth century was right about women, and Bull Conner right about blacks..

An anarcho capitalist favors a free market in law and defense agencies, defense agencies that are in many cases the private property of individuals and small groups.  A neoreactionary is an anarcho capitalist who thinks that a monopoly defense agency that is the private property of one man (monarchy) or a cartel of defense agencies that are the private property of a few men (feudalism) is not so bad after all.  Hence, throne conservatism.

He concludes that, progressivism being an official religion, therefore an official religion is unavoidable.  He suspects that most people need religion to persuade them to act sensibly, hence, whether Atheist or Christian, he endorses altar conservatism. (Or in the case of Israel, Temple Judaism.)

Thus libertarianism mutates into throne and altar conservatism, as puritanism mutated into militant atheism. (more…)

Preparing for Civil War Two

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Many reactionaries compare today’s America to the latter days of the Roman Republic, reflect on the excellence of the early Roman empire, and hope for a military coup that ends the corrupt and decadent American republic, replacing it with disciplined imperium.

The reigns of the five good Roman emperors illustrate that the reign of stationary bandit, an absolute dictator secure in his power, fearing neither votes nor coups nor riot nor military insurrection, is a pretty good system.  He has an incentive to shear the sheep, but not flay them, while other forms of government tend to flaying.  Observe that taxes on the rich are everywhere far above the Laffer limit, and in many places, such as Greece, taxes on the working poor are far above the Laffer limit.

Unfortunately such a tranquil transition seems improbable, for every officer above company grade in the US army is selected not only for political correctness, but, more importantly, for lack of military competence.  The Cathedral fears losing a war with the US military far more than it fears the US military losing a war with some external enemy.  A successful coup requires a leader who commands a reasonable level of respect from the junior officers. Being such a potential coup maker absolutely disqualifies officers for promotion above company grade.

Nor could the US military provide order after such a transition, for order requires legitimacy, and such a tranquil transition would leave the new imperator illegitimate.  Coercive power is insufficient to enable a government to govern. (more…)

US economic decline

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Supposing the official cpi to be true, US real GDP per capita has been growing at about 1% per year in recent years.

Supposing the big mac index to be true, US real GDP per capita has been falling at about 1% per year in recent years.

Motor vehicles per capita, according to world bank statistics, have been falling about 1% per year in recent years.

Electricity consumption per capita, taking indexmundi figures for US electricity consumption, and world bank figures for US population, has been falling at about 2% per year in recent years, consistent with the greeny attack on energy.

So, the evidence favors the big mac index.  Which is not showing hyperinflation, but is showing more inflation than is good for the economy.

History interpreted as left singularities

Friday, April 5th, 2013

History is one damn thing after another, and any attempt to make sense of it necessarily leads to leaving out lots of important stuff.  Thus making sense of it by looking at it in one way does not necessarily falsify making sense of it by looking at it in another way.

The trend from around fourteen hundred AD to the present has been for states to become ever stronger.  On the other hand, was not the trend from four hundred AD to one thousand AD. Of course, it might be a bad idea to bet against a trend that has been running strong for well over six hundred years, but here is why I am betting against it: (more…)