Talk:Curtis Yarvin/Other quotations/Formatted quotations

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2Blowhards Advertising to Kids http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2006/10/advertising_to.html 2006.10.23.01.34 Hominids crave status, status is power, and power is responsibility. ! Redesigning the U.S. Map http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2006/10/redesigning_the.html 2006.10.22.22.11 Why people assume it's obvious that North America needs a central government is quite beyond me. ! The Price of Muscle-Flexing http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/01/costs.html 2007.01.30.14.27 When you hear someone talking about "creating social change" or the like, they are scheming for power. ! ! ! ! Any shared interest defines an alliance, whether or not the allies intend it. ! Our Shared and Planned Future http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/03/our_shared_and.html 2007.03.01.17.38 Someday, perhaps when Hamburg is a free city again, there will be a movement to destroy every architectural trace of the disastrous and discredited twentieth century. Including its pathetic last gasps in the early twenty-first. ! Steven on Leni http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/03/steven_on_leni.html 2007.03.16.12.22 In general, Western governments manage public opinion not by sending racists, libertarians, fascists, and fundamentalists (i.e., dissidents) to treatment centers in Alaska, but by subsidizing a large and comprehensive system of official and quasi-official education and publishing that inculcates appropriate thinking from cradle to grave. ! ! ! ! … a democracy is a society ruled by scholars, just as a monarchy is ruled by soldiers or a plutocracy by merchants. Since there is no objective difference between a scholar and a priest, of course, you can look at it that way as well. ! ! ! 2007.03.18.22.58 There's a reason intelligence and wisdom are separate stats in D&D. ! San Francisco Defaces Itself http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/03/san_francisco_d.html 2007.03.25.13.58 Architecture, as always, reflects the ugliness, corruption, and inhumanity of the society in which it exists. ! Roberts and Easterbrook http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/04/roberts_and_eas.html 2007.04.11.15.53 Power in human societies is inseparable from responsibility: you gain power by demonstrating to others that you are sincerely concerned about solving problems. No problems, no power. ! ! ! ! Ethnic minorities are ideal as cadre, for the same reason that the Ottoman Janissaries selected and reared mainly Christian boys. Children of the powerless classes have no reason to defect. They will be your most loyal warriors. This is why, if you're young, smart, and black, your ticket in life is written. ! Global Warming -- Or Not -- Online http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/04/global_warming.html 2007.04.12.22.28 The set of people who support or oppose a proposition is quite unrelated to its validity. So, even, are their motivations. ! ! ! 2007.04.13.14.55 … in the Western system of society as it now stands, it is possible to corrupt an entire field of science. ! ! ! ! … the creation and distribution of information in general—what one might call, as a whole, "education"—has a role in the present Western structure of power that is perhaps best comparable to the influence of the military in Wilhelmine Germany. ! England R.I.P.? http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/04/england_rip_1.html 2007.04.18.20.20 Politics appear wherever the resolution of a conflict is unclear. As long as it's clear to everyone who owns what, both in tangible objects and intangible rights, and no one can get ahead by violating this rule, politics will not appear ! ! ! 2007.04.19.22.29 Sure, America's industries have rotted, large parts of her cities have been destroyed and abandoned, the dollar has been debased to near worthlessness and is propped up only by the irresponsible monetary policies of Third World despots, the military cannot defeat a few ragtag brigands, unarmed barbarians wander freely across the borders, politics is a circus with no actual power, the country is oppressed by hordes of moralizing bureaucrats, atrocious crimes are ubiquitous and generally unpunished, etc., etc. All of this is absolutely normal. It is the same pattern of events that most declining civilizations have followed.
But we have amazing SUVs, the Internet, and enormous flat-screen TVs. This is new. It is genuinely different. It breaks the pattern. ! ! ! 2007.04.20.14.12 … the thing about the satire of power is that it's never actually funny. It has this mocking, hateful tone that simulates humor, it can be even be experienced as humor by people who lack that natural faculty, but it fails because it's predictable. ! ! ! ! This is the story I was raised on. Hordes of ignorant, racist, God-crazed peasants, allied with giant, corrupt multinational corporations, are poised to crush the tiny sparks of intellectual life that have sprung up […] in the beleaguered retreats of life, love, and thought that are the impoverished cities of Cambridge and Berkeley. Against all odds, a few daring freethinkers, socially conscious environmentalists, and responsible civil servants defend the arts and sciences and other faint, flickering flames of human progress, and speak out for the rights of the downtrodden, who at any minute could be crushed under the iron heel of the Corporate Beast, or lynched in droves by the zombie minions of Karl Rove. ! The Mencius Vision http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/04/_trial_version.html 2007.04.22.00.00 … not all conservatives are cretins, but most cretins are conservatives. ! ! ! ! The basic idea of formalism is just that the main problem in human affairs is violence. The goal is to design a way for humans to interact, on a planet of remarkably limited size, without violence. ! ! ! ! It strikes me that if everyone is a pacifist and then one person decides not to be a pacifist, he will wind up ruling the world. ! ! ! ! Formalism says: let's figure out exactly who has what, now, and give them a little fancy certificate. Let's not get into who should have what. Because, like it or not, this is simply a recipe for more violence. ! ! ! ! … the US is just a corporation. It is not a mystic trust consigned to us by the generations. It is not the repository of our hopes and fears, the voice of conscience, and the avenging sword of justice. It is just an big old company that holds a huge pile of assets, has no clear idea of what it's trying to do with them, and is thrashing around like a ten-gallon shark in a five-gallon bucket, red ink spouting from each of its bazillion gills. ! ! ! 2007.04.23.14.30 The planet is big enough for governments to be like restaurants. ! ! ! 2007.04.23.14.54 A formalist foreign policy is based on creating clear and rational disincentives to potential attackers. ! ! ! 2007.04.23.20.00 Taxation is not theft. It's more like rent. Why do you send a rent check to your landlord every month? What does he do in exchange for this service? Typically not much at all. Why does he own the building? Why should it matter to you?. Libertarians, for some reason, are perfectly happy with this relationship on a small scale, but offended by it on a large scale. ! ! ! ! Politics is never healthy. ! ! ! ! … governments deliver better service when their ownership structure is more clearly defined. ! ! ! 2007.04.24.11.38 The Western university system in the twentieth century is fatally compromised by its involvement with power. It makes no more sense to extend implicit trust to state-directed institutions which study economics and politics, than to ask oil companies to fund our study of climate change. ! Maybe there's a cheaper way... http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2008/03/friedrich_von_b_3.html 2008.03.04.01.26 You might say the Third World was "liberated," much as, when one is hungry, one liberates a chicken.//*** To Gregory Cochran. ! ! ! ! The US should shut down its entire foreign policy. It should close and sell its embassies, phase out its subsidies to its money-losing client states, bring its military home, and make it very clear that its nuclear umbrella protects only its own head.//*** To Gregory Cochran. ! They Say "Racist!!" Your Reply Is ... http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2008/10/they_say_racist.html 2008.10.07.00.21 Progressives throughout the century have always pitched the hardest ball they can get away with. They have always believed in winning by any means necessary. And in the cases where their victories have been absolute, in their wake has come nothing but destruction, disaster, and death. ! ! ! 2008.10.07.01.39 Progressivism is a ruthless, power-hungry death cult, just like Nazism. Someday the two will be remembered in the same breath. ! ! ! 2008.10.09.00.06 What's sad about Russia is that it's had a double whammy: seventy-five years of communism, and ten years of democracy. Now it's recovering from both. Give Putin a few years—you may just be asking him for a loan. Gene Expression Moral sentiments and Material Interests http://www.gnxp.com/new/2006/09/28/moral-sentiments-and-material-interests/ 2006.10.03.11.33 … heterodoxy is not without obligations, and one of them is to respond to extraordinary levels of invective and slander in dulcet tones of the utmost calmness and restraint. ! ! ! 2006.10.04.12.41 The Ancien Régime of Louis XIV, absolutist though it seemed in its time, would be the most liberal state on the planet today. The Sun King never dreamed that he could regulate his citizens' diets, plan their children's education, or conscript them as involuntary soldiers.//*** Paraphrasing Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.[1] ! ! ! ! The present always seems gigantic and absolute. Dispelling this illusion is the task of the philosopher. ! ! ! 2006.10.11.22.12 People in our heavily indoctrinated intellectual universe are very used to living with a high level of cognitive dissonance—pragmatism just tells them that there are no simple answers. ! Religion – definitions http://www.gnxp.com/new/2006/12/22/religion-definitions/ 2006.12.22.20.38 … clear language is the best measure of clear thinking.//*** Paraphrasing Confucius.[2] ! City upon a Hill http://www.gnxp.com/new/2008/12/28/city-upon-a-hill/ 2009.01.01.16.21 The abolitionists, of course, having spent the first fifteen years of their crusade arguing that the North was morally obliged to divorce the South, shifted instantly to the position that the South was legally barred from divorcing the North. This maneuver cannot come as a surprise to any historical student of the Puritan, whose supple conscience has so often out-Jesuited the Jesuits themselves. ! ! ! 2009.01.02.13.27 The ability of the modern liberal to produce tears over Gaza, vaguely wistful regret over Dresden, and bloody foam at the mouth over Atlanta is remarkable. I will never cease to wonder at the number of moral absolutes that can coexist amicably within a single skull. ! When I was a moron http://www.gnxp.com/new/2009/02/05/when-i-was-a-moron/ 2009.02.06.19.20 In a world with Google Books, there is no excuse for having opinions about imperialism without actually having read anything written by an imperialist. ! ! ! 2009.02.08.08.47 In fact, USG is wildly profitable. It just hides its profits as expenses via an extremely cumbersome system for allocating the artificial labor ("jobs!") which is the currency in which it pays its owners. This system is called the "budget process". It must be seen to be believed. interfluidity Liquidity As Information http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/54.html 2007.01.16.15.28 I think of law as a practical rather than an ethical instrument. Property rights, to me, are just a way to keep people from fighting over property.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! 2007.01.17.00.55 … democracy is a fundamentally criminal ideology.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! 2007.01.17.01.41 … civil strife is not the result of the rich denying their goods to the poor. It is the result of some of the rich offering some of their goods to some of the poor, in order to shape them into a political weapon.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! 2007.01.18.01.12 In general, the goal of symbolic violence is to figure out who would win in an unrestricted fight to the death. As long as the results of these processes are identical, there is no incentive for either party to deviate from the symbolic convention.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! ! Another symbolic way to resolve a battle, for instance, might be to simply count the number of soldiers who show up on each side. […] It is no surprise that when you try to impose democracy on a country in which some faction believes that a real civil war will produce better results, the symbolic restraints tend to evaporate.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! ! The state, freed of its mystical trappings, be they theistic, demotistic, or whatever, is simply a large corporation.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! ! I think the most efficient size of a government is a single city, and I think a global system of privately owned cities, competing on the basis of the usual customer service criteria, would be extremely stable and provide very good service.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! ! ! 2007.01.21.21.10 … predictability is the converse of conflict …//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. ! There’s no reason for non-recourse http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/180.html 2009.02.24.12.46 USG is much bigger than anyone thinks, but much weaker, too. ! Rethinking subsidized finance http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/184.html 2009.03.07.02.11 The quality of an economy, which is what the true sovereign seeks to maximize, cannot be measured numerically.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman.//*** Paraphrasing Thomas Carlyle.[3] ! ! ! ! There is a very simple and banal reason that twentieth-century economists focused so much on the problem of overproduction and underconsumption. The reason is a political one. Any technique for goosing production is also a technique for getting votes. The result is a political system addicted to unstable and eventually ineffective techniques for maximizing spending, which are constantly collapsing as economic actors find ways around them.//*** To Steve Randy Waldman. Unqualified Reservations Why do atheists believe in religion? http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/why-do-atheists-believe-in-religion.html 2007.05.02.14.10 Unfortunately, prosperity and education often seem to make it more, not less, possible for very strange ideas about the world to flourish. ! Improper political influence over government decision-making http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/improper-political-influence-over.html 2007.04.26.13.13 Sometimes I worry that everyone else is perfectly normal, and it's actually me who's insane. But then I read the paper and I can relax again. ! The essential idea of leftism http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/essential-idea-of-leftism.html 2007.05.02.13.55 World War Two was essentially a global civil war between neoscholastics and neomilitarists. If the neomilitarists had won, it would seem very natural to us to reason that all societies are in the end controlled by soldiers. ! He who refuses does not repent http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/he-who-refuses-does-not-repent.html 2007.05.02.15.03 Journalists and professors are all associated with what is essentially one large institution, the press and university system. There are few, if any, ideological quarrels between major universities, or between universities and mainstream journalism. Even in the heyday of Pio Nono the intellectual diversity of the Catholic Church was probably a good bit higher. ! ! ! ! If you took Harvard in 2007, put it in a time machine and sent it back to 1907, the Harvard of 1907 would have no trouble in classifying it. And *diverse* probably wouldn't be the first word in their report. ! ! ! ! An alien perspective is useful because it is not, at least not obviously, influenced by the ideas that are loose in the world today. ! Two kinds of repeaters http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/two-kinds-of-repeaters.html 2007.05.09.20.36 It is much harder to reveal people as religious fanatics when they don't believe in God, but they may act in just as fanatical a way. ! The BDH-OV conflict http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/bdh-ov-conflict_07.html 2007.05.07.19.33 Representative democracy is a limited civil war in which the armies show up, get counted, but don't actually fight.//*** See James Fitzjames Stephen.[4] ! ! ! ! If neo-Nazis were as influential as neo-Communists, San Francisco would have an Albert-Speer-Straße. ! ! ! ! Of course, it is simply human nature that people are more likely to be appalled by the crimes of their enemies, and excuse or ignore the crimes of their allies. ! ! ! 2007.05.13.12.14 Behind every movement there is a beautiful truth, and Nazism is no exception. This does not contradict the heinous crimes of the Nazis—it explains how they could happen. ! The Utley rule and the BDH alliance http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/utley-rule-and-bdh-alliance.html 2007.05.09.21.12 Public opinion is, at bottom, a matter of fashion. ! Bad Poem of the Week: "Vanitas Mundi" by Robin Ekiss http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/bad-poem-of-week-vanitas-mundi-by-robin.html 2007.05.09.20.09 I know it's unfashionable, but I think there's still a place for hate in this world, especially if it is expressed honestly and directly. ! The iron polygon: power in the United States http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/iron-polygon-power-in-united-states.html 2007.05.12.16.02 As a formalist, I define power as the ability to change the rules, or to clarify them when no rules exist. ! ! ! ! One of the best features of the current US regime, and one of the worst, is that it's much easier to prevent change than to create change. The compromise is generally the status quo. But if some deus ex machina could remove one of the opposing power centers, or point one in a new and unopposed direction, we'd see instant and explosive change. ! Political sanity in one easy step http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/political-sanity-in-one-easy-step.html 2007.05.13.13.02 There is no such thing as "self-government". Government is an organization that acts. So is Starbucks. Starbucks is not a democracy. It does not even pretend to be a democracy. It reports to its CEO, who reports to its board, who reports to its shareholders. But if Starbucks were organized exactly in the same way as the US Federal Government—if it had elections every four years in which all its customers voted—would you describe your Starbucks experience as "self-coffee"? ! Idealism is not great http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/idealism-is-not-great.html 2007.05.15.18.50 One good way, probably the best way, to compare the quality of two systems of government is to set them up next door to each other, and look at the migration flow between them. ! UR's plan to fix Iraq http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/urs-plan-to-fix-iraq.html 2007.05.16.19.28 Basically, what formalism boils down to is the proposition that governments are a form of property as legitimate as every other, and that the whole tradition of thought that associates personal liberty with popular sovereignty is a blind alley. Personal liberty is an emergent property, I believe, of any efficiently-run state which is internally secure.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! The sine qua non of any state is internal security. You can't even think about external security until you control your territory.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! 2007.05.17.17.35 One cannot arrest an invading army.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! … any policy that makes "urban guerrilla" activity more likely to succeed makes it more likely to happen.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! … the power to impose martial law at any time and for any reason is an essential element of sovereignty, because without it sovereign property cannot be secured.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! 2007.05.19.19.24 A terrorist […] is a fascist who is out of power. A fascist who is in power has to worry that others will duplicate his feat, and thus cannot abandon his murderous ways.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! Unenumerated freedoms are emergent properties of an absolute sovereign, who has no incentive to restrict "victimless crimes" or other behavior in which the interactions of his subjects do not interfere.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! Our planet is infested with pseudo-atheists http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/our-planet-is-infested-with-pseudo.html 2007.05.16.15.38 … morality is at bottom an emotional reaction. It is not a tradition. It is an aspect of human biology. ! ! ! ! … the most murderous tend to be those that spend the most time obsessing about right and wrong. ! The magic of symmetric sovereignty http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/magic-of-symmetric-sovereignty.html 2007.05.21.15.35 The point of formalism is to minimize violence. The mechanism is to make the outcome of conflicts over scarce resources predictable. This prevents people from engaging in behaviors whose goal is to change the allocation of resources, something hominids are all too good at. ! ! ! 2007.05.23.14.16 … the best way to defend property rights is to admit that they are morally and legally arbitrary, and that they only serve a practical purpose.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! Popularchy: rule of the People http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/popularchy-rule-of-people.html 2007.05.21.15.54 … if you don't have security, you don't have property. ! Limited government as antipropertarian idealism http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/limited-government-as-antipropertarian.html 2007.05.23.09.42 Since the ideal of limited government—that is, the idea that sovereignty cannot be the rightful property of anyone, individual, family, or corporation—has become general, we have seen an extraordinary level of violence, which appears to be connected to the question of who should control and receive the revenues of sovereignty. ! ! ! ! Property does not actually disappear. It becomes murky. It is the source of constant tension. It is informalized. It seeps deep into committees whose workings are obscured even to their members. When we ask who controls the United States, the only possible answer is that it's very complicated. The same answer applies to, say, the Gambino family. ! ! ! ! No popular rebellion can succeed against a determined modern military force … ! ! ! 2007.05.23.18.52 The entire concept of absolute monarchy was a fiction. It was a legal formality completely at variance with reality. This makes it no different from, say, Germany claiming to own Poland.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! The growth of the US from the Constitution as it was ratified to its present state as a de facto world government is perhaps the greatest achievement of cancerous organizational expansion ever, saving only the Roman–Byzantine experience.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! If there is one thing I would drop from the Western intellectual heritage, it is this constant search for evil and evildoers.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! 2007.05.24.18.29 Imposing exit costs is the kind of thing that is done by desperate, failing states—typically communist. It is the factory equivalent of saving money by not buying lubricant, or selling off the robots and welding by hand.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! The unlikely appeal of nonidealism http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/unlikely-appeal-of-nonidealism.html 2007.05.23.22.02 You can practice what Czesław Miłosz called kitman, not only rejecting the whole ridiculous circus, but deriving real visceral pleasure from the exercise of pretending to conform with it.//*** See Czesław Miłosz.[5] ! Good government as good customer service http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/good-government-as-good-customer.html 2007.05.27.11.07 It is strange how, when you scratch a libertarian, you find a socialist.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! ! ! ! When you run a country as a business, you profit from your subjects' prosperity.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! The Democrats: party of lies http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/05/democrats-party-of-lies.html 2007.05.31.13.25 Forget today's conservatives. They are simply not worth arguing with. They are the product of an adaptive environment which systematically rewards stupidity. ! Principles and platitudes http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/principles-and-platitudes.html 2007.06.04.22.10 … I define justice as "the accurate application of the law". ! Why there's no such thing as "liberal media bias" http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-theres-no-such-thing-as-liberal.html 2007.06.07.20.02 It's hard for me to escape the general conclusion that conservatism is a losing cause. In fact, I think it plays more or less the same role that the Generals did for the Globetrotters. The name of the game is American public opinion, and American public opinion on any issue you can name in 2007 is far—really, really far—to the left of where it was in 1957. ! ! ! ! I have never heard any conservative suggest that the American political system is fundamentally and incurably anticonservative. Presumably, considering the trend of the last fifty years—heck, the last two hundred years—you'd think this thesis might occur to someone. But no. Of course, conservatives believe in America, so why would it? ! ! ! 2007.06.08.11.43 … there is no reason to think mainstream public opinion, at least on matters political, has anything to do with reality—and there is every reason to think that its inexorable progress toward the left is an inevitable epiphenomenon of democracy. ! ! ! 2007.06.08.21.03 If you told anyone in 1957 what The Fillmore or Third Street would look like in 2007, he'd assume that Strom Thurmond had been running the country for the last thirty years. ! ! ! 2007.06.09.18.43 … the continuity of tradition from Plymouth Rock to the United Nations is quite unmistakable. ! Separation of information and security http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/separation-of-information-and-security.html 2007.06.09.19.14 … in a free society, there is no such thing as official truth. ! ! ! ! The ugly truth about security is that security, at least when it's done right, is a boring job for boring people. It is not exciting, romantic, or dramatic, and if it is, you should worry. ! ! ! 2007.06.10.21.17 … power in a democracy is held by those who manage public opinion. ! ! ! ! … a hallmark of democracy is that it programs its voters to believe in it. ! ! ! 2007.06.10.21.41 Democracy is a process for selecting officials; freedom is a description of what those officials do. The two are quite orthogonal. ! A short history of ultracalvinism http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/short-history-of-ultracalvinism.html 2007.06.12.10.36 Over the last fifty years, Time magazine has become as stupid as its audience. The unfortunate fact is that anyone in 2007 who reads Time, or any magazine like it—yes, even The Economist—is simply not right in the head. ! Friction in theory and practice http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/friction-in-theory-and-practice.html 2007.06.20.19.52 If people want to hurt each other, no formal social structures can stop them. The point of an engineering approach to law and politics is to give them as few incentives, and as many disincentives, to mayhem as possible. ! ! ! 2007.06.21.18.20 Now of course there is a very good reason democracies are prosperous. They are prosperous because what we call democracies are in fact theocracies or ideocracies, and these forms of government are quite effective when it comes to internal security. The relationship between internal security and prosperity should be obvious. ! ! ! 2007.06.23.22.49 No politics, no problem. ! ! ! 2007.06.29.23.30 When you describe not the actual structure of power, but what it should be, what it once was, *etc.*, *etc.*, you remove your capacity to formalize the reality and condemn it to the murky world of informal power.//*** To Nick Szabo. ! Why conservatives never quite catch the boat http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-conservatives-never-quite-catch.html 2007.06.21.19.44 … dissidents in the West today cannot win by firing up a mob. They can only win by convincing young smart people, who will otherwise be convinced by the numerous extremely convincing official sources of information that are constantly competing for access to their tender eyes and ears. ! ! ! 2007.06.29.23.08 Public opinion throughout history has seldom varied from the opinions of those with access to the pulpit … ! ! ! ! Trying to convince academics that democracy is bad is like trying to convince a lion to be a vegetarian. Democracy is the source of the universities' power. ! ! ! 2007.07.02.23.18 … the problem with the conservative movement is that they have no strategy for attracting elites. They put their hopes in democracy, they fail, and they wonder why. Conservatism in anything like its present form can never, ever be cool, and this is fatal. ! ! ! !

The Western states are stable in a way the Soviets could only have dreamed of. They would have loved, for example, to be able to have loyal opposition parties. But they did not dare.

  1. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974). Page 34.

    Viewed in the light of the terminology we are using in accordance with the leading political scientists, it seems that—to quote a few instances—monarchs such as Louis XIV, Frederick II, or George II are genuine liberals by modern standards. None of the aforementioned could have issued a decree whereby he drafted all male subjects into his army, a decree regulating the diet of his citizens, or one demanding a general confession of all his economic activities from the head of each household in the form of an income tax declaration. We had to wait for the democratic age to see conscription, prohibition, and modern taxation made into laws by the people's representatives who have much greater power than even the absolute monarchs of old dreamed of. (It must be noted further that in Western and Central Europe the "absolute" monarchs—thanks to the corps intermédiaires—never were really absolute: the local parlements in France and the regional Landtage and Stände in the Germanies never failed to convene.) Modern parliaments can be more peremptory in all their demands because they operate with the magic democratic formula. "We are the people, and the people—that's us."


  2. Confucius. Analects. Book XIII: Zilu, Chapter 3, Verses 5–7.

    名不正、則言不順、言不順、則事不成。
    事不成、則禮樂不興、禮樂不興、則刑罰不中、刑罰不中、則民無所措手足。
    故君子名之必可言也、言之必可行也、君子於其言、無所茍而已矣。


    James Legge. The Chinese Classics: With a Translation, Critical and Exegetical Notes, Prolegomena, and Copious Indexes, Volume I: Confucian Analects, the Great Learning, and the Doctrine of the Mean (1861). Page 128.

    "If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
    "When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music will not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
    "Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires, is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."

  3. Thomas Carlyle. Chartism (1840). Pages 11–12.

    The condition of the working man in this country, what it is and has been, whether it is improving or retrograding,—is a question to which from statistics hitherto no solution can be got. Hitherto, after many tables and statements, one is still left mainly to what he can ascertain by his own eyes, looking at the concrete phenomenon for himself. There is no other method; and yet it is a most imperfect method. Each man expands his own handbreadth of observation to the limits of the general whole; more or less, each man must take what he himself has seen and ascertained for a sample of all that is seeable and ascertainable. Hence discrepancies, controversies, wide-spread, long-continued; which there is at present no means or hope of satisfactorily ending. When Parliament takes up 'the Condition-of-England question,' as it will have to do one day, then indeed much may be amended! Inquiries wisely gone into, even on this most complex matter, will yield results worth something, not nothing. But it is a most complex matter; on which, whether for the past or the present, Statistic Inquiry, with its limited means, with its short vision and headlong extensive dogmatism, as yet too often throws not light, but error worse than darkness.

  4. James Fitzjames Stephen. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873). Pages 27–28.

    Parliamentary government is simply a mild and disguised form of compulsion. We agree to try strength by counting heads instead of breaking heads, but the principle is exactly the same. It is not the wisest side which wins, but the one which for the time being shows its superior strength (of which no doubt wisdom is one element) by enlisting the largest amount of active sympathy in its support. The minority gives way not because it is convinced that it is wrong, but because it is convinced that it is a minority.

  5. Czesław Miłosz. The Captive Mind (1953).

    In short, Ketman means self-realization against something. He who practices Ketman suffers because of the obstacles he meets; but if these obstacles were suddenly to be removed, he would find himself in a void which might perhaps prove much more painful. Internal revolt is sometimes essential to spiritual health, and can create a particular form of happiness. What can be said openly is often much less interesting than the emotional magic of defending one's private santuary. For most people the necessity of living in constant tension and watchfulness is a torture, but many intellectuals accept this necessity with masochistic pleasure.
    He who practices Ketman lies. But would he be less dishonest if he could speak the truth? A painter who tries to smuggle illicit ("metaphysical") delight in the beauty of the world into his picture of life on a collective farm would be lost if he were given complete freedom, for the beauty of the world seems greater to him the less free he is to depict it. A poet muses over what he would write if he were not bound by his political responsibilities, but could he realize his visions if he were at liberty to do so? Ketman brings comfort, fostering dreams of what might be, and even the enclosing fence affords the solace of reverie.