Puritanism, progressivism, and entertainment

I have been watching the English dubbed Japanese anime “Speed Grapher”, which is pretty good except for the horrendously heavy handed propaganda.

In the anime, money is revolting, immoral and disgusting, sex is revolting, immoral and disgusting, and male sexual pleasure obtained at the expense of females (there being no such thing as male sexual pleasure obtained with female pleasure) is the most utterly disgusting, revolting, and abhorrent of them all.  There is no such thing as entrepreneurship or capital formation.  Rich people get rich by stealing it, and/or prostituting women against their will.  Rich people do not save, invest, or create.  They somehow profit by creating financial crises.  And, did I mention, all sex in the anime is disgusting, especially heterosex (with the exception of one chick that has a good time killing and raping)

Still, a surprisingly good anime.  I could put up with the anti capitalist propaganda, and I could have put up with the anti sex propaganda if only the phallocentric male oppressers were having good dirty fun cruelly oppressing women, rather than putting the viewer off sex altogether.  The one female that was having sex fun with her guns was not really enough. All sex scenes in the anime were fetish retardant, were disgusting.

When Ayn Rand depicts a rich sexist male raping a woman, she expects her readers to get off on it, as she quite obviously did.  Which may be part of why Ayn Rand still outsells all these progressives.  Money is fun, sex is fun, stories that celebrate people having fun are fun.  Propaganda about the evils of money and sex is no fun.    That progressives are puritans is evident from their dourness and total humorlessness.

 

32 Responses to “Puritanism, progressivism, and entertainment”

  1. Red says:

    I’m not convinced that capitalism is as awesome as you believe it to be. Walmart is a very capitalist operation and it’s a blood sucking worthless company destroying American businesses while shoving cheep Chinese shit in our laps.

    Speed grapher is an exaggeration of modern progressiveness world. Money, power, decadence of the system are all on display. The system creates, nurtures, and unleashes monsters on us all. What the protagonist of the story lacks is purpose, family and community. A lot of the story was anti capitalist propaganda. A lot of the story was simply the nihilism of the anti capitalist view of the world.

    • jim says:

      I’m not convinced that capitalism is as awesome as you believe it to be. Walmart is a very capitalist operation and it’s a blood sucking worthless company destroying American businesses while shoving cheep Chinese shit in our laps.

      Walmart makes a lot of Americans better off selling them good stuff at cheap prices, and a lot of Chinese better off buying their stuff. It is not sucking anyone’s blood.

      What is destroying American jobs is that America is producing substantially less than it consumes, and the reason for that is the government deficit – which will end when people, both Americans and Chinese, come to doubt Uncle Sam’s no limit credit card.

      Buying stuff from people of other nations cannot destroy American jobs if it is paid for by selling stuff to people of other nations.

      What is destroying American jobs is that on the first of the month, Walmart is full of whores and winos blowing their welfare money.

      • Red says:

        Consumerism organs like walmart can be useful when it drives technological advances. The trade off is the destruction of the local community spirit by making almost everyone wage slaves. However, walmart is not only helping to shut down American factories by squeezing the producers, but they are also enabling low tech Chinese factories which is retarding technical progress.

        The ability to produce goods and services is real wealth. The Chinese are using free trade to transfer this ability from American to China. Where a generation ago American workers could be trained on the job to be useful we now let them sit on the dole while the Chinese are trained how to be useful through the US governments debt bubble. When that bubble pops the Chinese will have a very productive work force and recover quickly and the US will have a worthless work force and we will fail very hard.

        Jim you might want to take a look at the book: Debt the first 5000 years and research the capitalism of the Arab states between 9th and 14th centuries. There’s never been a more pure system of capitalism and there entire region is a mere shadow of what it used to be.

        • jim says:

          The ability to produce goods and services is real wealth. The Chinese are using free trade to transfer this ability from American to China.

          If Ann learns from Bob how to produce stuff, this should not result in Bob unlearning, and if it does, the fault is Bob’s, not Ann’s.

          If Americans had to earn a living, China industrializing would not have harmful effect, but good effect.

          Debt the first 5000 years

          This is a book written by David Graeber. Everything I have ever seen him say is a lie, so I would assume the book to be more of the same. He has also defended pretty much every left wing totalitarian terror regime.

          research the capitalism of the Arab states between 9th and 14th centuries. There’s never been a more pure system of capitalism and there entire region is a mere shadow of what it used to be.

          What led to the degeneration of the Muslim world was that theocrats prohibited all knowledge other than theocratic knowledge. Avicenna’s school was deemed heretical, thus the knowledge and technology of the numerous civilizations conquered by Islam was deemed heretical, and thus the knowledge of the numerous civilizations conquered by Islam lived on only to the extent that the crusaders looted their libraries.

          • Mike says:

            Graeber is one of those fake soi-disant “anarchists” who writes nothing but pro-state, pro-government propaganda, e.g. his pro-welfare-state propaganda in the second paragraph of http://www.freewords.org/graeber.html

            “The Chinese are using free trade to transfer this ability from American to China.”

            What does that have to do with Walmart? Walmart doesn’t sell goods that have strategic national importance. I really don’t think that Walmart sending the US’s strategic paper towel manufacturing capacity to China is really all that big a deal.

            The “cheap labour retards technical progress by reducing the need for machines” argument has been made again and again (frequently in the context of Southern or Roman slavery) and rebuttd again and again (the chief problem with it is that cheap labour is only cheap because it doesn’t have much in the way of capital goods to work with, and at any rate, capital and labour are only partially substitutable.)

      • zippo the pinhead says:

        Normally I think that much of the time on this blog, you are mistaken about the nature of things, but not stupid. You have a respectable command of the facts, but you choose to arrange them in ways which please you, rather than in ways which are accurate. This is wrong, but it isn’t stupid.

        This comment, however, is exceedingly stupid.

        • zippo the pinhead says:

          The above was addressed to jim’s of 1/5 @ 5:46 pm, not the following comments.

          • zippo the pinhead says:

            “If Ann learns from Bob how to produce stuff, this should not result in Bob unlearning, and if it does, the fault is Bob’s, not Ann’s.”

            On paper, maybe, as an abstract proposition; in reality, this is one of the silliest claims I’ve ever heard in my life.

            “What led to the degeneration of the Muslim world was that theocrats prohibited all knowledge other than theocratic knowledge.”

            This is a true statement, but it is only partly true; that is, it is only a part of a much larger nexus of phenomena which were/are responsible for Islamic decline.* There’s a great deal more to the analysis. Fortunately, what you’ve claimed here is sufficiently true that it can be built upon, in moving towards a more complete analysis. What you’ve said about China and Wal-Mart, OTOH, is so stunningly, bone-crunchingly, pigfuckingly stupid that it merits no further reply.

            * — it is interesting to note that both the West and China have collapsed and revived numerous times. Unlike the Islamic world, which enjoyed one singular Golden Age based mostly on the fortuitous near-simultaneous military conquest of about four more advanced civilizations, both China and the West have collapsed time after time, and each time have rebuilt themselves into something at least equal to, and often more impressive than, the previous iteration.

            With the ongoing demographic destruction and replacement of the West’s genetic capital (which is to say, of white people), it is unlikely that the present ongoing collapse of the West will generate a new, superior iteration over time to come. Who’s gonna do that for us, the Somalis? China, however, will remain Chinese, and so their prospects after the next Chinese collapse will remain bright.

            This comparison has a bearing on the nature of the Islamic decline and failure to regenerate.

  2. spandrell says:

    You remind me of Steven Den Beste and his anime reviews.

    What was so fun about the anime if the premises are so bad? You’d be better watching Azumanga Daioh and having a good laugh. Japanese puritans are extremely annoying. As are all Japanese in politics, they just take things to their extreme for the hell of it.

    • jim says:

      The reason I covered it is the correlation between opposition to capitalism and opposition to male heterosexuality (evidently it is unnecessary for progressives to oppose female heterosexuality because the only reason females ever do it is that evil males impose on them.)

      • spandrell says:

        Well that maps nicely in Kling’s idea of lefties as obsessed with oppression. Men by definition oppress their women.
        Women nag, annoy and manipulate but they don’t oppress much.

        • jim says:

          I don’t think lefties are concerned with oppression. I think they are concerned with “oppression”. Observe that no progressive ever complained about the use of slave labor by China until China stopped using slave labor.

          “Oppression” is just a rationalization, not a real concern.

    • asdf says:

      In my entire time in Japan I never heard a single person talk about politics. At one point my host father asked about Iraq (which was just getting going then) and I gave an answer which he accepted and didn’t push further.

      I never payed attention to a Japanese politics. It’s my impression that Japanese are very apolitical and don’t give a shit.

  3. Newt says:

    Agreed with spandrell.

    Speed Grapher is not the norm for anime.

    Azu may be a bit much but try the Full Metal Panic series. The second season especially is hilarious beyond description.

    Also, if you do want politics, try Ghost in the Shell. I think you would like that a lot more.

  4. zCanon says:

    I think the capitalism/communism dialectic is a bad one, and largely a system that is only found within modern democracies…

    I mean, what about mercantilism, corporatism, etc? Limited forms of capitalism that were mainstream in absolute monarchies and functional empires, countries held as ideals by many reactionaries. It seems only today that we have these two camps devoted more towards market ideology then towards functionality.

    As for anime, I’d recommend “Kino’s Journey”. Think most of its motifs would agree with your politics, not to mention it’s just really beauitful its just about a girl who travels around in different fictional countries. Half that anime has a practically reactionary agenda (Most of the functioning countries are monarchies/technocracies, the one democracy is literalyl a hellhole+the ideas it expresses on human nature).

  5. spandrell says:

    “he chief problem with it is that cheap labour is only cheap because it doesn’t have much in the way of capital goods to work with, and at any rate, capital and labour are only partially substitutable”

    That’s a rebuttal? That’s meant to settle the argument?
    Of course the responsible lies on the holders of power and not Walmart. But that doesn’t mean that Walmart is to be admired for making money by selling cheap shit. Letting aside who’s to blame, business has societal consequences. Japan has no Walmart and it isn’t worse off for it. Economic value is not always real value.

    • Mike says:

      Business does indeed have societal consequences, but most of them are of the crony-capitalist sort (e.g. the Kelo decision) or being browbeaten into subsidising the left (e.g. most companies these days).

      Walmart owns the bulk of Seiyu, I think – so they do have Walmart. (Here’s a good article on it: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-15/japans-pain-is-wal-marts-gain). And of course Japan needs discount retail. They’re broke like the rest of the world.

      And I don’t like the “blah blah cheap stuff is bad” argument. It reeks of middle-class status competition, and if there’s anything we reactionaries hate, it’s status competition (particularly among our inferiors).

      You’re correct in surmising that economic value might not always coincide with “real” value, but allowing other people to make valuation decisions for us is a recipe for… a huge therapeutic state full of retarded, middle-class statusmongerers and their moronic, middle-class status competition memes (more green energy! homos marrying homos! climate change is bad! And on and on and fucking on like that.)

      So, we should enjoy Walmart, Seiyu, Costco, etc – otherwise the statusmongerers will have won.

      • spandrell says:

        I know about Seiyu but it isn’t really that big. The fact that it is getting bigger is no good news for anyone.

        “if there’s anything we reactionaries hate, it’s status competition”
        Huh? If ‘we reactionaries’ have something in common is hating holier-than-thou religious competition, not status competition. You can’t forbid that. The uber reactionaries of the 18th century we all admire so much used to wear heels and powdered wigs, and competed to see how had the taller and whiter one.

        Status-whoring does indeed suck but that doesn’t mean that we should cheer the pauperisation of the masses. See, the economy is not a zero-sum game; except when it is. If Wal Mart is giving you discounts by sourcing from China, it means that the salaries of your countrymen will go down until they can compete with Chinese workers.

        Well, you can never compete with them. It’s physically impossible. Chinese people have evolved under the most pure Malthusian economy in earth for millenia. Those people live in unhygienic cages, commute in packed subways, eat loads of carbs with a dip of oil on them, work 24 hours a day and choose their friends and spouses based on how much money they can make together. Buying from these people means your country will have to get closer to that to make a living. Fucking great.

        Enjoying Walmart and Cosco is a vote towards low quality shit made in sweatshops and poisonous food made by agribiz. Most of the shit anyone buys is superfluous so why the constant pressure for lower prices? The japanese geezers who congratulate themselves in having to spend less by going to Seiyu will just save the money in Japanese banks which buy Japanese debt which the Government spends in Welfare payments for single mothers. Capitalism rocks, huh.

        Talking about principles (capitalism good, socialism bad) is retarded because everything is entangled now. Welfare is worse than Walmart but Walmart enables welfare. And that sucks.

        • Mike says:

          By “status competition” I mean what you and Jim call “religious competition”. Using the term “religious” requires a bit of elaboration, so I normally use the simpler term “status”.

          Competing for social status in benign ways, like becoming richer, is fine. Competing for social status by forcing society to abide by cathedral crap (green energy, feminism, homosexual “marriage”, climate change, “equality”, affirmative action, etc etc) is bad.

          “If Wal Mart is giving you discounts by sourcing from China, it means that the salaries of your countrymen will go down until they can compete with Chinese workers.”

          Walmart’s low-prices-ever-day simply means the wages of Walmart workers will be held down. At any rate, high wages don’t create prosperity, prosperity creates high wages. Henry Hazlitt has an entry on this (the “buy back the product fallacy”) in Economics in One Lesson.

          What you’re saying – correct me if I’m wrong – is that low prices in western consumer economies because of imported crap from China == low wages in China == low wages in the rest of the world (because of competition with Chinese workers).

          That theory is full of problems: to what extent do Chinese people compete with western workers? Manufacturing is increasingly automated, so talking about workers and wages makes less and less sense. Cheaper goods represent an increase, not decrease, in real income. Cheap goods are good for poor people. And so forth.

          Jim is an Austrian, I am too, clearly you aren’t. That’s fine, but don’t expect to get much sympathy in the react-o-sphere for your economic views – Austrianism is the official economic-flavoured theory of the Dark Enlightenment/reactosphere/alt-right/etc crowd.

          “Japanese debt which the Government spends in Welfare payments for single mothers. Capitalism rocks, huh.”

          Is single motherhood prevalent in Japan? I didn’t think it was. Surely not Japan!

          “Talking about principles (capitalism good, socialism bad) is retarded because everything is entangled now. Welfare is worse than Walmart but Walmart enables welfare. And that sucks.”

          Your Walmart-indirectly-enables-the-cathedral hypothesis is simply too remote to be likely. I can follow your logic – standard Marxist immiseration stuff – but it doesn’t sound very convincing (much like the rest of Marxism).

          Ultimately, the only solution to an oversupply of poor, low-IQ proles is fewer poor, low-IQ proles. Everything else is just arguing about the division of income.

          • asdf says:

            “prosperity creates high wages.”

            How is dismantling our productive capital, shipping it to China, and then buying the stuff we used to make on credit supposed to create prosperity? I think you missed out on the creative part of creative destruction buddy. You don’t want to stop with destruction, but that is basically what Walmart and the rest are doing.

            “Austrianism is the official economic-flavoured theory of the Dark Enlightenment/reactosphere/alt-right/etc crowd.”

            lol.

            The entire point of the Dark Enlightenment is that people are not rational economic man or the new soviet man. They are instead the same flawed people they have always been and tradition (which has never been Austrian) tends to hold the best combination of knowledge to build a society of these people.

            Jim treats economics as a bad religion. I’ve seen his posts about the financial crisis and they are childish. I was there on the front lines but he read something in Hayek that makes him feel good about himself so that’s the end of it.

            “Ultimately, the only solution to an oversupply of poor, low-IQ proles is fewer poor, low-IQ proles.”

            “That idea is a survival from conditions which are rapidly being altered. A few centuries ago, war did not operate in the way you describe. A large agricultural population was essential; and war destroyed types which were then still useful. But every advance in industry and agriculture reduces the number of work-people who are required. A large, unintelligent population is now becoming a deadweight. The real importance of scientific war is that scientists have to be reserved. It was not the great technocrats of Koenigsberg or Moscow who supplied the casualties in the siege of Stalingrad: it was the superstitious Bavarian peasants and low-grade Russian agricultural workers. The effect of modern war is to eliminate retrogressive types, while sparing the technocracy and increasing its hold upon public affairs.”

          • jim says:

            How is dismantling our productive capital, shipping it to China

            We are not shipping our productive capital to china. We are shipping ideas and technologies to China, but those, you can ship, and still keep. Further, increasingly we are not shipping technologies to China. They are shipping technologies to us. For example the Kindle is based on the e-ink display technology, which was not developed in the US. That we are not keeping our old technologies has everything to do with the fact that we are ceasing to produce new technologies, and nothing to do with the fact that China is adopting our old technologies.

            E-ink was invented in the US, but it was developed into a product that was actually useful and saleable by a research company located in Taiwan. What China imported was not our productive capital, but our productive people. The idea was made into a product in Taiwan, and that product then manufactured in China – which is pretty much the way every advance happens these days.

            and then buying the stuff we used to make on credit supposed to create prosperity?

            It is not Walmart that is buying on credit, but the US government buying votes on credit, and on the first of every month that mass of voters floods into Walmart to spend the money they get for their votes.

          • pdimov says:

            I saw this being quoted in another context and it reminded me of this discussion:

            “Because the plague killed so many of the working population, wages rose and some historians have seen this as a turning point in European economic development.”

            - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague

          • jim says:

            Europe back then was at Malthusian equilibrium. The only way to rise above Malthusian equilibrium was to grab more land by raising other people’s death rates, and any natural event that temporarily raised death rates improved things for the survivors.

            Today, the earth could support an enormously larger population – if people are able to apply the requisite knowledge and skills.

          • Mike says:

            “How is dismantling our productive capital, shipping it to China, and then buying the stuff we used to make on credit supposed to create prosperity?”

            Where do you (and all the rest of the Buchanan crowd) get this “shipping capital overseas” crap from? China has a sodding trade surplus for crying out loud. That means they fund their own investment and then some.

            Economic development is not some secret recipe. It comes from investment. China has a high investment share of GDP. Unsurprisingly, they’re growing quickly. For some bizarre reason you keep inferring that it’s due to “shipping capital overseas”, as if factories are being dismantled in the west and reassembled in China.

            China has its own savings and can fund its own investments.

            And second, what sort of high-value manufacturing goes on in China? It’s all rubber duckies and paper towels and power tools.

            “tradition (which has never been Austrian)”

            Well, yeah – that’s why the alt-right is futuristic rather than traditional.

          • jim says:

            And second, what sort of high-value manufacturing goes on in China? It’s all rubber duckies and paper towels and power tools.

            This used to be the case, but China has been moving up the value chain. These days an increasing amount of high value manufacturing happens in China, largely using research done in Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.

            The next step is to do the research in China, but last I heard, this step is not working out too well. The sequence still is

            1. white guy has smart idea, white angel investors build prototype
            2. Go to Hong Kong to arrange for funding and mass production with a chinese company with overseas Chinese second round investors
            3. Hong Kong company organizes mass production in China, mass production organized by overseas Chinese

            So, though we are not shipping factories to China, we are shipping ideas, because Chinese are willing to build factories to give effect to those ideas.

            This somewhat resembles the decline of Dar al Islam. The muslims had all the knowledge of the civilizations they conquered translated into Arabic and preserved in libraries. Then the knowledge came to be deemed sinful and apt to lead people astray from the Koran, so it became dead knowledge, frozen and ignored, until Crusaders got hold of it.

            Similarly, today in the West, we see science replaced by official science.

        • jim says:

          I know about Seiyu but it isn’t really that big. The fact that it is getting bigger is no good news for anyone.

          Walmart reduces the friction, the middleman costs, between producers and consumers. How can this be bad?

          People get rich by being productive, not by stopping other people from being productive. If Chinese workers are as productive as American workers, this does not mean that Americans will become as poor as Chinese, but that Chinese will become as wealthy as Americans.

          According to US official figures, Chinese GDP per head is one sixth of American, but this is because US figures understate US inflation, thus overstating US growth, with the result that every year US GDP becomes more and more unreal. If we look at consumption data, such as cars, electricity, and so forth, Chinese GDP per head is one quarter America’s, which indicates China will pass the US in about thirteen years, in 2026, assuming neither country has social collapse or civil war before then.

          • asdf says:

            “If Chinese workers are as productive as American workers, this does not mean that Americans will become as poor as Chinese, but that Chinese will become as wealthy as Americans.”

            Or there could just not be enough resources for us all to live middle class lives. Or there could be enough resources, but some people have all the power.

            Creative destruction implies some creation comes after the destruction. If its just destruction then it does nobody any good. If the factory gets sent to China and is replaced with nothing the American worker really is poorer.

            There is an assumption amongst Austrians that the creative part “just happens”. I’m not sure there is evidence for that based on economic history. What economic history shows is you actually need social, cultural, and political structures that create the conditions necessary for people to create.

            The Japanese get this.

          • jim says:

            Or there could just not be enough resources for us all to live middle class lives. Or there could be enough resources, but some people have all the power.

            Creative destruction implies some creation comes after the destruction. If its just destruction then it does nobody any good. If the factory gets sent to China and is replaced with nothing the American worker really is poorer.

            Factories are not being sent to China. What is happening is that factories to produce new things that were never built before are being built in China, and not built in the US. The tools and knowledge to create that product in that way never existed in the US. If they existed in the US, we would not be in this trouble.

            Physical plants are not physically moving. Rather, American are forgetting how to produce stuff, and Chinese are learning how to produce stuff. But Chinese learning is not the reason for Americans forgetting.

    • pdimov says:

      If Walmart does not cause economic hardship, then claiming that it does so is both wrong and counterproductive (because it deflects the blame). If one disagrees with such claims, this doesn’t mean that one admires Walmart.

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  7. Red says:

    “We are not shipping our productive capital to china. We are shipping ideas and technologies to China, but those, you can ship, and still keep. Further, increasingly we are not shipping technologies to China. They are shipping technologies to us. For example the Kindle is based on the e-ink display technology, which was not developed in the US. That we are not keeping our old technologies has everything to do with the fact that we are ceasing to produce new technologies, and nothing to do with the fact that China is adopting our old technologies. ”

    I have a friend’s who’s father has worked at Lockheed martin for almost 40 years now. Talking to him I hear stories about about Lockheed hiring young guys with Masters degrees to design airplane parts. One day one of these smart guys gave him a cad file to run through the milling machine. He looked at the cad and told him the machine wouldn’t make the part. The smart guy said if the computer will accept it then the machine will make it. Of course the part failed to mill correctly because the old guy without the degree understood how the machine worked and the smart guy didn’t.

    My friend’s father is one of those middle class guys that Lockheed took in and trained right out of high school. He spent most of his years making airplane parts that not only worked but worked well. The stuff they turn out today is declining in quality because the guys who work directly on the machines and have built the parts with their own hands have knowledge that isn’t written down and most of his generation is currently retiring. I’ve read that gun smiths have a very difficult time finding skilled replacement workers because there is no base of American metal workers to draw from.

    When you ship most of your basic manufacturing overseas you loose that pool of semi skilled hands on workers that you find and pull your best skilled workers from. Most of those folks end up doing government jobs instead of contributing real skill to the things we need. Free trade is harmful to a nation for this very reason.

    • jim says:

      My friend’s father is one of those middle class guys that Lockheed took in and trained right out of high school. He spent most of his years making airplane parts that not only worked but worked well. The stuff they turn out today is declining in quality because the guys who work directly on the machines and have built the parts with their own hands have knowledge that isn’t written down and most of his generation is currently retiring. I’ve read that gun smiths have a very difficult time finding skilled replacement workers because there is no base of American metal workers to draw from.

      When you ship most of your basic manufacturing overseas you loose that pool of semi skilled hands on workers that you find and pull your best skilled workers from. Most of those folks end up doing government jobs instead of contributing real skill to the things we need. Free trade is harmful to a nation for this very reason.

      American capacity to build planes started to decline in 1972, long before China started exporting plastic toys and clothes to the US. They only very recently started exporting stuff involving metalwork to the US.

      Singapore has free trade and high wages. They are skilling up.

      If free trade is harmful, why is not Virginia harmed by trading with California? Why are you not harmed by trading with your supermarket. Other people doing skilled stuff for you does not cause you to deskill. There are more than enough highly skilled specialties. Free trade enables specialization, and specialization should be skilling us up, not skilling us down.

      I know a guy who keeps the electricity grid functioning. He tells me that when his generation retires, there is going to be blackouts. I am pretty sure China is not competing with electrical grids.

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