The Cathedral and social decay

In 1984, I said the Soviet Union was falling.  In November 2005, I said the mortgage market was collapsing.  I was very far from being the first to say those things, but I was in a minority when I said them.

And here is another prophecy:   The decline of our currency, and the our inability to rebuild the two towers, are symptoms of an illness that will bring about American collapse and crisis around 2020 or so.  As to what form the collapse will take, hard to tell.  When a structure is under ever growing stress, something will shatter, but who can see which part will prove the weakest and shatter first? A major financial artery has been slashed open, and it is spouting blood.  This will collapse the American currency, probably resulting in political crisis such as war, dictatorship or foreign rule.

Government applies state power to ensure political outcomes – for example it makes broadcasters toe the line by direct regulation of the airwaves.  The print media get access to the extent that they play along with those they seek access to, hence the New York Times.  The schools teach the government line on the great depression, and scientists and economists know that if you scientifically prove what politicians and regulators want to hear you get ahead, and what politicians and regulators want to hear is always that regulators are doing good, except that they need a lot more power because they are not doing nearly enough – hence the noise about financial “de regulation”, when all the supposed examples of financial de-regulation are financial regulation, financial regulation that happens to be highly favorable to Goldman and Sach, who are connected to the regulators by a revolving door.

At the same time, those seeking political outcomes, seek backing from state power.  A marriage naturally ensues.  Following the terminology and analysis of Moldbug, let us call this happy marriage and its numerous morbidly obese children “the Cathedral”.  The Cathedral is almost the same thing as the left and the progressive movement, or rather it is the left in power, the established left, the professoriat, the mainstream media, the lawyer lobby, the judiciary, the senior public servants, the management of numerous supposedly non governmental quasi private organizations, and so on and so forth.

The Cathedral is not quite the same thing as the left. One can point to a few small and minor differences. For example: The lawyers who get court appointed to defend people that they railroad rather than defend are menial members of the Cathedral, even though when they railroad broke and unimportant leftists for a police prosecutor, they look very like the right. They are direct employees of the Cathedral because court appointed.  If they were paid on a voucher scheme, which is to say appointed by the accused, they would be employees of the accused, instead of the Cathedral.

Another example of the left not being quite the same thing as the Cathedral is the IMF, which is clearly part of the Cathedral, even though much of the left dislike it and consider it right wing – but dislike or not, in America almost all Democrats vote in favor of the IMF and almost everyone who votes against the IMF is a Republican.  The IMF is clearly not part of what most leftists consider the left, but with equal clarity, it is part of the left in power, part of the established left.

The Cathedral is the reason why history always moves left.  The Cathedral is almost the same thing as the left.  The right is an ever changing coalition of some of the groups and interests that are inevitably and inexorably being steamrollered by the Cathedral. Since the Cathedral steamrollers different things every few decades, the right is different people every few decades.  Thus the Cathedral has different policies and programs from time to time, but its people and policies directly descend from previous Cathedral members policies, whereas the right has different policies and people from time to time.

In functioning, the Cathedral is very like a theocratic state.  The guys with guns back the preachers, and the preachers endorse the guys with guns, resulting in the theocracy becoming ever more extreme and nutty in its religious doctrines, for example Global Warming, but in old fashioned theocracies power is concentrated in a King and high priest, with the King owning the high priest or the high priest owning the king, whereas in the Cathedral power is instead diffused amongst a large class of Brahmins, an ever more numerous, ever growing class of Brahmins.  To get anything done, lot of Brahmins have to sign on, and each extracts tribute for signing on – which is why we cannot rebuild the two towers, and Dubai can, Dubai being an old fashioned theocracy.

You want to build a tower in Dubai, you just need one sufficiently high Mullah to sign on.  In the theocracy of New York, you need lots of Brahmins to sign on, more Brahmins to sign on than anyone can count.  So the two towers stay down.

Now what has been steadily happening ever since 1915 is that the power to print money has been diffused through a larger and larger class of people resulting in an ever greater inflationary bias, much as the power to obstruct the building of towers and housing has been diffused through a larger and larger class of people resulting in housing becoming ever more expensive.  But these were stuffy conservative bankers, not really part of the Cathedral, or rather no longer sufficiently part of the Cathedral now that the Cathedral has moved a long way further left than it was in 1915 and become vastly more numerous. In 1993, the Cathedral decided these bankers were racists, and that they must join the new improved considerably more progressive Cathedral, or else.  In due course, they did.  Hence the present financial crisis, which is affirmative action lending leading to a run on the repo market, which run started silently and furtively in 2005 November, in response to the escalation of affirmative action lending, which had started to become excessive in 2000 or so, and became bizarrely extreme and ludicrously blatant in 2005.   The run crashed the repo market in 2007, causing a reduction in affirmative action lending from blatantly insane to less blatantly insane – which reduction appears only temporary, since the underlying forces of politicized lending and financial regulation are still burning through capital at a rate far faster than capital can be created.

The “stabilization” of the repo market and the “normalization” of financial markets is a huge breakthrough for the Cathedral, and was indeed the original objective of declaring the banks racist, for it means that any large American business that can have its debt rated AAA can in effect issue money, for a government stabilized repo market trading AAA debt with an implicit government guarantee makes AAA rated debt directly cash equivalent. Today, in the “stabilized” financial market, an American financial institution gets and keeps AAA rating by political favor, rather than actual solvency, and to get political favor, it has to kiss up to political activist groups such as Acorn, so the effect of “stabilization” is that more and more elements of the Cathedral get to issue money outside the government budget, resulting in ever more rapid escalation of the ever growing inflationary bias.

Another factor is that every so often, by its nature, the Cathedral will simply go to war.  The Cathedral lives on conflict.  Each reform, real or purported, produces a new dispersal of little bits of state power with which to reward the ever more numerous members of the Cathedral, so the Cathedral always needs new reforms involving new conflicts.  Conflicts are apt to get out of hand.  The longer it has been since the Cathedral last went to war, the more it is willing to take on a conflict that runs the risk of getting out of hand.  The growing financial crisis parallels increasingly warlike attitudes by the Cathedral against its internal and external enemies – thus though we see in Afghanistan a government policy that is increasingly hostile to our troops, and increasingly attempts to appease our irreconcilable enemies, the thing that makes our enemies so wholly irreconcilable is that these efforts to make friends are predicated on Islam being a multiculturalist feminist religion of peace, on replacing Islam with an Epcot style politically correct imitation of Islam, a part of the multicultural rainbow, which program our enemies reasonably enough view as aggressive and threatening, rather than friendly and conciliatory.  Piously declaring Islam “the religion of peace” is conciliatory.  Attempting to actually make it into the religion of peace in Afghanistan and attempting remedy its treatment of women is as aggressive as sword point Christianity. Muslims are incorrect to perceive the pictures of pretty girls on shampoo bottles as an attempt to cut their balls off, but this paranoid perception is fed by the fact that the Cathedral really does intend to cut their balls off.  That the Cathedral wants to make Afghanistan into a good modern progressive state, a subsidiary of the Cathedral with equal rights for women and all that, is infinitely more threatening than if we merely intended to discourage a repeat of 9/11 by killing thirty thousand Afghan men, raping three hundred thousand Afghan women, stealing three million Afghan cattle, and cutting down the orchards.

Thus we can foresee an ever more warlike Cathedral, that is causing ever more serious problems – the latest “reform” (bringing the bankers into the new Cathedral line) being one that is causing huge damage and will rapidly cause vastly more damage, which damage will lead to a multitude of conflicts, conflicts with a Cathedral that is increasingly spoiling for a fight.  The current policy in Afghanistan is merely an example of the Cathedral spoiling for a fight.  When the fight breaks out, it it probably will not be with Islam and may well surprise everyone.  The target, though not the fight, will surely surprise me.

In short, the reasons why the two towers would stay down were evident in 1999 well before they fell.  It is now 2009, and they are still down.  This foreshadows crisis and collapse.  What prevented the towers from rising again is also what caused the financial collapse, which foreshadows more of the same.

At the same time, we hear from the Cathedral, rhetoric ever more violent, ever more warlike.

It is perhaps too soon to bet that a faction that has won every conflict over the past three hundred years is going to lose this time but outright war is apt to have surprising outcomes, War that follows collapse the more so.  Trees do not grow to the sky.  The ever multiplying Brahmins of the Cathedral are increasingly a liability, rather than an asset, and if it should survive the coming financial collapse and win the coming war, the Cathedral will have to thin the ranks a bit.  If it survives, as it likely will, it will start looking more like a traditional theocracy, relying more on the gulag and less on persuasion and bribery.  The Cathedral may well continue in power.  The number of Brahmins cannot continue to increase, or if they do increase, the benefits provided will have to be curtailed.  With prospects of joining the Cathedral curtailed, or the benefits of joining curtailed, continuing in power will require harsher measures.

4 Responses to “The Cathedral and social decay”

  1. Bill says:

    What does any of this have to do with Cathedrals, though? A Cathedral is the church in which a Bishop’s Cathedra (seat) resides. Bishops are high-level executives in a very explicit, overt hierarchy of power. What you and Moldbug describe is a kind of cultural, gestalt movement among Brahmins. Nothing like Cathedrals at all.

    Lodge would be much better. The movement you are describing resembles Masonry, both in methods and in goals, much more than it resembles the Catholic Church. In fact, Masonry is very obviously a component part of the movement you and Moldbug are describing. It’s an oddity of Moldbug’s blog that Masonry comes up so infrequently. Both the proponents and the opponents of what he calls the Modern Structure thought Masonry important. It is obviously important in US history, and the US is the apotheosis of the Modern Structure.

    Libertarians tend to like the Masons, of course, and Moldbug’s obvious sympathies for libertarians presumably have something to do with this weird omission. Not that this sympathy makes any sense at all in the context of his larger argument.

    You and Moldbug are, consciously or not, trying to draw on Anglospheric anti-Catholicism with this idiotically inaccurate choice of terminology. Which is, again, weird given Moldbug likes the Stuarts who were a bunch of Catholic princes.

    • jim says:


      What does any of this have to do with Cathedrals

      As the palace is the symbol of monarchy, the Cathedral is the symbol of theocracy, the union of Church and state – as are Brahmins. The Brahmins of India managed your Karma, our Brahmin’s your carbon credits. If you want to build a house in Hawaii, chances are that somewhere on your land are some rocks that have been piled on top of each other by Hawaiian natives. A Brahmin will decide on the significance of these rocks, and to what extent you must accommodate and respect their significance. These are quite obviously religious functions, hence “Brahmin”, and “Cathedral”. Soon this highly successful Hawaiian program will extend to all America, with each and every house being federally evaluated for its environmental responsibility, again a priestly function.

      Lodge would be much better. The movement you are describing resembles Masonry, both in methods and in goals

      When the in crowd get together to assign each other grants, then they are indeed behaving much like the Masons, but the Masons never sought the kind of hegemony over men’s minds that the Cathedral does. Masonry often had a substantial quasi religious element, but the religion was for insiders, to prove you were an insider, a secret religion, that was revealed only to the enlightened few. When you followed the Masonic rituals you signaled to your fellow elites that you were one of the elite. Whereas Masonic religion was for the elite, Cathedral religion is for the inferior castes. You, being of lower caste, shall conserve carbon, so that Al Gore can fly places in his private jet to tell you to conserve carbon. You, being of lower caste, shall genuflect to a crude stone wall that some Hawaiian farmer built to protect his pawpaw trees from his pigs.

      You and Moldbug are, consciously or not, trying to draw on Anglospheric anti-Catholicism

      I don’t know what Moldbug is doing, but I am drawing on Anglospheric disestablishmentarianism, Anglospheric hostility to high Church Anglicanism. To me, it is the Archbishop of Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral that I am using as a symbol. In addition, I am using the Cathedral as metaphor for central planning, for the attempt to shape human flesh like wood and clay, echoing the famous essay “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, which is a standard metaphor for human relationships and organization among geeks.

  2. Vince says:

    Thanks for using your blog to expose this massive conspiracy.

    • jim says:

      The Cathedral is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy can meet around a table and swiftly and secretively make a decision. If the Cathedral could swiftly and secretively make a decision, the two towers would have risen again, and money would have ceased to mysteriously disappear from the financial system.

      The Cathedral is more a consensus, a climate of opinion. It takes a long time for doctrine to become part of the line that all must accept. It contains lots and lots of little conspiracies, but these little conspiracies are not well coordinated, and to the extent that they are coordinated, they are in large part coordinated through the not at all secret pages of the New York Times.

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