“Leftism as Cancer” stopped being accessible through google in the course of a blog backup and restore, so reposting it.
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.
In a healthy state the state is one, but there is large civil society, which is many. Following Marx”s definition, by capitalism and civil society we mean the “society of industry, of general competition, of freely pursued private interest, of anarchy, of natural and spiritual individuality alienated from self.”
The civil society, which is many, produces the wealth, the science, and the technology. The state, which is one, defends civil society from enemies internal and external. For the reasons explained by Hayek and Mises, and colorfully dramatized by Ayn Rand, a unitary entity just cannot coordinate production very well. It runs into analogous problems with technology and science.
For civil society to function, to create wealth, knowledge, and technology, it must be free, a hundred flowers. For the state to function, it must be one flower. Elements of the state apparatus cannot be permitted to use state power to pursue their own goals. Elements of the state apparatus must be profoundly unfree in their role of elements of the state, in their exercise of the powers of the state, so that the state can be one.
In anarcho tyranny each groupuscule of the state uses state power and state resources to pursue its own particular good, thus the state spends money it does not have, and taxes and regulates beyond the laffer limit, suffering the tragedy of the commons. That is the anarchy. Because the state regulates beyond the laffer limit, we also get tyranny. Civil society, instead of having a hundred voices, has one voice, the voice of the state
That is the tyranny, a hundred supposedly independent voices of civil society speaking the same words.
Thus instead of the state being one, and civil society many, civil society is the voice of the state, one microphone heard through a thousand megaphones, while the state is many, and state resources suffer the tragedy of the commons, and the state is unable to pass a budget.
Elements of the state apparatus are free in their exercise of state power, thus everyday life of respectable people is subject to capricious tyranny, while criminals run free.
The left singularity is analogous to aneuploidy in a cancer. Cancers get selected for a high mutation rate, and left wing memes get selected for a high mutation rate.
This results in rising time preference, as depicted by Konkistador, and affinity for r-selected behaviors, as depicted by Anonymous Conservative.
Thus left wing movements start out each quite different from each other, and converge more and more to the left archetype, under the selective pressure for the niche of state mediated propagation of memes, just as all severely aneuploid malignant metastatic cancers look pretty much alike, by convergent evolution, and not much like their various tissues of origin.
If you are going to have a state, you are going to have a state religion or state ideology. The only way to avoid this is anarcho capitalism.
If you are going to have a state, you are going to have state official truth. If you are going to have state official truth, you need to stop it from endlessly mutating to ever greater virulence.
To prevent the official belief system from suffering memetic selection, the only solution is to have bishops, rather than open entry to the role of “opinion leader”. The Bishops need to maintain a monopoly on the state propagation of official truth, and any elements of the state that start free lancing need to be, at a minimum, excluded from the state, which is to say, at a minimum fired, and, in serious cases, convicted of apostasy from the official belief system, and imprisoned, sold into slavery, or executed. If your official belief system will not sell William Wilberforce into slavery for apostasy from the thirty nine articles, his beliefs will win and the official beliefs will lose. His beliefs may well be better than the previous official beliefs, but every man jack will proceed with further improvements, resulting in memetic selection for virulence and a high mutation rate.
You have to kill or enslave William Wilberforce. If he is visibly holy, ironically check the body after three days. If he did not rise, not holy enough.
Non state apostates are harmless, since their belief systems are not selected for propagation by power. The problem is state and quasi state apostasy. Apostasy, in the sense of the sort of apostasy that the state should worry about and suppress, is mutation in the state meme system, mutations in the memes propagated by power.
Late stage leftism is the memetic equivalent of aneuploid maligant metastatic cancer. In cancer, the genes are selected for virulence within somatic growth, in leftism, the memes are selected for virulence within the state propagation of official memes.
Alien memes need to be excluded from participating in state power, thus the list (antibodies) of forbidden thoughts (antigens) needs to be updated frequently, while the list of required thoughts should be kept short, unchanging, and immune from empirical falsification by the facts of this world, to minimize memetic selection for propagation by power. This suggests an Archbishop to ensure that official memes do not mutate, to propagate the official and unchanging list of official memes, the archbishop having final responsibility for the propagation of the official list of unchanging official memes, and a Grand Inquisitor, to detect entryists and the undercover use of state power to propagate unofficial memes, or to furtively mutate official memes. The Grand Inquisitor should deal with endless change by ever changing conspiracies like that revealed by the Climategate Files, the Archbishop with unchanging official truth.
People who are in the position to deploy state power to propagate their beliefs need to be severely unfree in what beliefs they may espouse, just as police are not free to make up their own laws. To constrain such people, to constrain the state apparatus, we need the traditional thought control apparatus of Bishops and Inquisition, just as the courts are supposed to constrain the police.
If, however, that apparatus were to be applied to civil society, science, technology, and capitalism would be destroyed. The only penalty applied to people thinking unapproved thoughts should be exclusion from state employment and high status universities, exclusion from teaching jobs in the government education system, and the resulting lower status. We need to avoid penalties for thoughtcrime from pervading the civil society through regulation the way they do now, because that adversely affects the creation of wealth and knowledge. The state should be one being, and should therefore hold one set of official beliefs. Civil society should be many beings, so that the truth will out. To avoid potential conflicts between state and civil society, official truths should be either demonstrably true, or difficult to falsify.
It follows that the state cannot directly sponsor science, cannot be the sort of entity capable of directly sponsoring science. What the state can do to sponsor science is pay for impressive technological feats, and those who are successful in providing impressive technologies will sponsor science. Galilean kinematics was developed to land cannon balls on targets out of sight behind city walls, and the telescope with which Galileo saw the phases of Venus and the moons of Saturn was developed to spy on enemy fleets at sea. Should the state directly sponsor science (a most dangerous practice, for it is likely to wind up sponsoring apostatic religion dressed in the robes of science) it needs to forbid and severely criminalize peer review, and any form of science by consensus, especially consensus behind closed doors. If the state finds itself funding “science” that discovers scientific truth through scientific consensus behind closed doors, it is funding apostatic religion. Apply the same remedy to state funded or sponsored peer review as to William Wilberforce. Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We need a free market in ideas that are not backed by state power. We dare not have competition between ideas backed by state power, and need to deal with such competition in the most drastic fashion, for the natural result of such competition is ever more extreme ideas propagated through an ever heavier hand of the state.
If you will not execute William Wilberforce, who swore to be faithful to the thirty nine articles while applying state power to overthrow them, you will lose to William Wilberforce.
Consensus is for bishops, not scientists. Scientists should form their opinions on the basis of public and replicated evidence, not on the basis of discussions behind closed doors, discussions which will inevitably lead to wanted evidence being published, and unwanted evidence being suppressed or “corrected”.
Restating in slightly different words:
Cancer cells are selected for rapid multiplication. They run into various limits that are supposed to stop body cells from multiplying out of control. In escaping these limits, they become aneuploid, thus develop a very high mutation rate.
Those mutants most apt to multiply rapidly and to penetrate other tissues are selected, thus cancer progressively becomes more cancerous, eventually becoming aneuploid metastatic malignant cancer.
If one is going to have a state belief system, and this seems unavoidable if one is going to have a state, then one needs an archbishop to ensure that all elements of the state apparatus stay on message – that in the cancer analogy, all cells of the body display stable and unchanging self antigens, and a grand inquisitor to detect hostile entryist belief systems.
In the cancer analogy: The Archbishop enforces mandatory unchanging self antigens, the Grand Inquisitor searches out and prohibits ever changing non self antigens.
Of course, if the Archbishop enforces self antigens on absolutely everyone, intrudes on the civil society, this is horribly oppressive, and as, as in Spain, wrecks the economy (Ayn Rand’s heroic entrepeneurs are the first to be repressed) but it is reasonable to enforce self antigens on everyone who matters in the state apparatus. Thus, in restoration England, if one wanted to be a member of parliament, be a professor at the best universities, have senior government employment, etc, one had to subscribe to the thirty nine articles.
Once in a while, in restoration England, heretics got their houses burned down by hostile mobs while authority looked the other way, but as far as I can tell this was only when their heresy pursued state power, engaged in entryism. You could be a Jew, a Puritan, or a Roman Catholic in Restoration England, and suffer no very great disadvantages other than lower status and exclusion from the state apparatus and the most prestigious universities.
No matter how badly the official belief system stinks, if it is subject to furtive mutation and selection for virulence, it will in time stink even worse. To prevent this, the Archbishop should prohibit spontaneous memetic mutation, the Grand Inquisitor should detect hostile memes and eradicate them from the state apparatus.