Throne, Altar, and freehold

I have argued for Throne and Altar before:

Throne because a stationary bandit is better than a mobile bandit; Altar because we have to shut down open entry into the state religion: Harvard needs an Archbishop and a Grand Inquisitor to stop America’s officially unofficial state religion from holiness spiraling out of control into ever greater holiness.

But throne and altar has been tried, and has failed. How did it fail? The answer is, failed because of loss of freehold.

Freehold means that the peasant in his hovel possesses Kingly power under his hovel’s roof, which Kingly power the King has no right to mess with, even if the peasant abuses it.

That profits supposedly lead to increased investment and ensuing improvements in the standard of living assumes that investment is relatively frictionless. In practice, however, you need a thousand approvals from Washington, and the Washington bureaucracy has, Soviet style, strangled itself in its own red tape as a result of its efforts to manage everything and everyone, and is no longer issuing approvals in a timely manner.

The great centralization has been driven by the centralization of approvals. But this inevitably results in complexity getting out of control, because every decision has unintended consequences, which are dealt with by further ad hoc and often illegal decisions (as for example Obama taking legislative, budgetary, and judicial authority over Obamacare as Obamacare goes off the rails and starts driving into a ditch) which in turn have further unintended consequences, which leads to further centralization and further ad hoc decisions.

This this uncontrollable and unmanageable complexity led to the King losing control of his bureaucrats, hence the American and French Revolutions,

He [King George] has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.

But they did not abolish those New Offices, but instead created immensely more. So now the top bureaucrats are losing control, and you get anarcho tyranny.

Obviously a stationary bandit is better than a mobile bandit, and one might well conclude from this that the more absolute the King the better, that if he owns everything and everyone, he will have correct incentives. But the trouble with this solution is that no one rules alone. If he attempts to own everything and everyone, he claims more power than mortal man can exercise, and the power will slide through his fingers into the hands of a faceless horde of bureaucrats around the throne, who say “Yes your highness” while actually getting their own way, who endanger him and his heirs, and you get anarcho tyranny.

Too much power results in paralyzing complexity, resulting in insecure power. Hence anarcho tyranny.

So, he has to let some of this power be the personal property of people far from the throne – including the dangerously great aristocrats who gave King Louis XIV so much grief. When King Louis XIV disempowered the nobility of the sword, he found he had empowered the nobility of the robe, who devoured the monarchy. The further this power is from the throne, and the more it is the personal property of more numerous and less powerful individuals, the less dangerous it is for the throne. One great magnate, or half a dozen great magnates, is, as King Louis XIV found, a problem. A hundred or a million, not such a problem. The cure for the problems with aristocracy that King Louis XIV encountered was decentralization, but instead he chose centralization, which had fatal consequences for Louis XVI and his wife.

Instead of governors failing to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, low level bureacrats are failing to give approvals of immediate and pressing importance, and senior bureaucrats are utterly neglecting to attend to them.

This is the crisis of socialism. In Venezuela socialism takes the form of rationing and price and wage control, here it takes the form of Human Resources and Accounting, which are tentacles of the state inserted into every corporation, and the mere owners of the business are powerless before them, because they armed with laws that no one can comply with, that everyone is guilty of breaking, as fathers and husbands are castrated by family law that defines being a husband and a father as domestic abuse. Thus those that provide the capital have no power, those responsible for making payroll have no power, those that are responsible for closing deals with customers have no power, those responsible for delivering product to customers have no power, because all of them are criminals before the power of human resources and accounting, just as all fathers and husbands are guilty of domestic abuse.

And the ensuing crisis of socialism is paralyzing Washington, as two centuries ago it paralyzed Kings.

The Sun King had troubles with powerful aristocrats dangerously far from the palace, the nobility of the sword. So he centralized all power and emasculated aristocrats, turning them into bureaucrats, the nobility of the Robe, but as his heir was to discover, he had created dangerously powerful bureaucrats dangerously close to the palace. That was the crisis of socialism then, and it still getting worse, hence the great centralization.

No one rules alone, thus when the King attempts to gather all power in his own hands, he finds he has in fact gathered all power into the hands of dangerous powerful people dangerously close the throne. To fix this problem, the official Church need to remind the people that the God who commanded obedience to Kings, also commanded that Kings, like other men, should refrain from coveting that which belongs to someone else.

Repeating: Freehold means that the peasant in his hovel possesses Kingly power under his hovel’s roof, which Kingly power the King has no right to mess with, even if the peasant abuses it. That power is not the King’s to interfere with, even if the peasant is arguably mistreating his wife and his children. If the lord stops that peasant from mistreating his wife and children, pretty soon King George the Fourth gets cuckolded, as he cuckolded others.

The government cripples the power of the patriarch which has the side benefit that King George the fourth can get away with cuckolding and humiliating some aristocrat by screwing that aristocrat’s wife, but the courts quietly take his power away from him without anyone quite noticing, and the next thing he knows he himself is humiliated by inability to divorce or control the slut Queen Caroline, which humiliation turns him into a shadow King without real power, and his government then pisses on him, as he pissed on the aristocrats on whose power he depended.

King George the third had real power. When he told the Prime Minister William Pitt the younger to take long walk off a short pier, the King got his way and William Pitt lost his job. But when King George the Fourth failed to divorce queen Caroline, in the process letting everyone know he was massively cuckolded, the power of Kings was no more. It was often said that it had been a very long time since a King refused assent to a parliamentary bill, but is just Whig history, Whigs rewriting history to claim that they have always been in power. The reason that it had been a very long time is because until the refusal of the divorce of queen Caroline, parliament would never dare pass a bill of which the King disapproved, though they would sometimes refuse to pass a bill the King wanted. Whigs have been in power in America from the American revolution to the present, and in England from the attempted divorce of Queen Caroline to the present. Dating Whig power to the Glorious Revolution is a Whig rewrite of history. After the Glorious Revolution, the new King did a number on those that had overthrown the old King, with the result that Locke and the Lockeans fled into exile, and that lesson was taken to heart. The Lockeans fled, and their power did not return until Parliament denied the divorce of Queen Caroline.

Charles the first lost his head, but George the Fourth lost his stature of a man, which was more devastating to the power of Kings. If he could not control his women, obviously could not control anyone.

Centralization leads to complexity, complexity leads to crisis, attempts to fix the crisis have, because of complexity, unintended consequences, which escalate into further crisis, leading to further centralization, Hence Soviet Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Venezuela, and now America.

This is the crisis of socialism, explained in “I pencil”, which makes the point that no one actually knows how to make a pencil, hence socialist production of pencils will fail.

In order to manage complexity, you need walls, so that one man can make decisions without having his decisions fucked up by another man’s decisions. Hence, private property and local authority, the authority of the father, the authority the business owner, the authority of the CEO. And, not so long ago, the authority of the local aristocrat, who tended to be a high officer in the local militia, a major employer and landowner, and related by blood or marriage to most of the other high officers in the local militia.

Ideally all the consequences of a decision should be contained within those walls. Of course they never are, but if you try to manage all the externalities, things very quickly slide of control. Every attempt to manage the externalities has unexpected consequences, and attempts to deal with the unexpected consequences have additional unexpected consequences, because trying to control matters that have externalities connects everything to everything else, resulting in a tangle beyond human comprehension.

This, the management of complexity, is the central problem of software engineering at the higher levels, and the higher level software engineers have found solutions, but in politics, the solutions collide with who/whom, since any solution to complexity always takes power away from someone, and gives it to someone else. Further, any solution to complexity is going to take power away from the man who is supposed to be dealing with it, and who is failing to deal with it – going to take power away from the courts, the bureaucracy, from accounting, and from Human Resources.

Abusive fathers exist, but they are rare, because of fatherly affection, and fatherly knowledge of the particular circumstances of his family. Abusive family courts are absolutely normal. And now the same crisis is replicating with accounting and human resources, manifesting in Washington as decisions being pushed up to higher and higher levels, with the highest levels being overwhelmed, as King George was overwhelmed, resulting in the American Revolution.

Even if we suppose that child support and the family court does a better job that fathers, which is not the case, the courts are a threat to the power of the throne, and the patriarch is not a threat to the power of the throne. Underming the power of the patriarch undermines the power of the ruler, giving us mobile bandits in place of stationary bandits. The emperor is in charge of the nation only if the patriarch is in charge of his family. If the patriarch is not in charge of his family, power will slide into the hands of bureaucrats too numerous for the emperor to keep track of, and too close to the throne to be safe. If King George the Fourth had been able to give that filthy slut Queen Caroline a good whipping and lock her up in the palace, chances are England would still be ruled by Kings. It certainly would have been ruled by Kings a good deal longer than it was. And in a society where he could do that, chances are that he would have found it considerably more difficult to sleep with other men’s wives, short of employing the measures employed by King David.

If you give up on coherent, coordinated, centralized control, and resource constraints are not an issue, then you could break up your problems among many of these boss-pyramids, but which requires one to accept the risk of independent ‘fiefdoms’ which could conflict, and anyone at the top only having reactive instead of predictive / proactive ability to resolve problems before they manifest in big issues or crises.

In practice, this is how the United States Government actually copes with the issue. The easiest way to end a war is to surrender, and the easiest way to deal with an unmanageable design is by not managing it, and letting permanent civil servants who spend their lives accumulating institutional and organization capital stay spun-up on everything to the human limits, and given very wide berth when it comes to effective levels of discretion in policy. What management flows from the top is precisely the output of the triage of strategic political priorities.

Surrender was the death of the Czars.

Software engineering, at the higher levels, (not mere programming) is the science of managing immense complexity and detail: And the well known solution is loose coupling, minimize variables of global scope, and especially mutable variables of global scope. Otherwise large systems develop out of control complexity, which is what is happening now to the federal government. Socialism is tight coupling at global scope, as for example Obamacare, Sarbanes Oxley, and Human Resources.

Tight coupling at global scope makes it impossible to control the top bureaucracy, as well as making it impossible for the top bureaucracy to control the mid bureaucracy. The King and president become powerless, hence the recent overthrow of Kings and the looming overthrow of any president that declines to be a puppet, and the citizens are victimized by anarcho tyranny.

Translating the software solution to the political sphere, this is a program of King, Altar, and freehold. Legislators get to legislate, rather than one million anonymous judges and bureaucrats, or better, laws are few enough and simple enough that the King can himself alone legislate. Recollect that the American colonists complained about his inability to do so. They wanted more laws, and boy did they ever get them.

Altar should mean that scientists have to settle their disputes by evidence, rather than by incorporating them into the state religion, because only the archbishop gets to say what the state religion is, and if scientists and professors engage in theological innovation, the inquisition should go after them. Peer review is generating official truth by consensus, which is theology, not science. Theologians are dangerous the state and need to be kept under tight state control, because they are apt to discover that they are holier than those that presently have power. If scientists get into theology, the consequences should be dire. The state needs to treat peer review by scientists in quasi state jobs as treason and heresy. If the conclusions of peer review seem superficially politically neutral, the scientists should lose their quasi statal jobs. If the conclusions of peer review imply that the scientists are holy and those in political power need to be holier, as the conclusions of peer review tend to do, as for example with animal fat, pollution, and global warming, the scientists should lose their heads. Scientists should not meet behind closed doors and generate conclusions on the basis of consensus and secret and anonymous evidence. When they do so, it destroys science for politics and endangers the state. That which endangers the state leads to insecure governance, resulting in rulers behaving more like mobile bandits and less like stationary bandits.

Recollect that the anti animal fat scientists, and global warming scientists, did not win the discussion by providing evidence and argument, but by having their beliefs officially incorporated into the official state religion.

The center needs to be stronger, much stronger, hence the neoreactionary demand for throne and altar, for a King, an Archbishop, and a Grand Inquisitor, but it can only be stronger if it abandons efforts to control more than a single man, or a small group of men, is capable of controlling. Freehold is the center giving up attempts to control stuff that it is unlikely to be able to successfully control – for example the family and accountancy.

If the King attempts to prevent the father, the businessman, the property owner, and suchlike from doing every bad thing that they might do, from doing all manner of bad things that a wise and good ruler should prevent and forbid, he finds he has not taken their power to himself, but rather granted power to a vast bureaucracy, dangerous to everyone, especially to himself, whose impossibly complicated activities make it impossible for him to control, impossible for anyone to control, impossible for the bureaucrats themselves to control. How many lives has the family court ruined with its ham fisted, brutal, unpredictable, and capricious exercise of power over people of whom they know nothing, and for whom they care nothing?

The ruler needs to accept that some of his subjects are entitled by right to do bad things, are privileged, have a property right, freehold, to do bad things, which he may not rightfully interfere with, that not every wrong has a proper political remedy, for if he starts interfering in matters complicated, numerous, and detailed, he finds he has empowered an incomprehensibly complicated and dangerous apparatus, dangerously close to the throne. Hence the family courts, the Khmer Rouge autogenocide, Obamacare, the Holodomor, Sarbanes-Oxley, and Venezuela.

Pol Pot had an entirely sound rationale for the Cambodian autogenocide. Most production in Cambodia was rice production on a flood plain. Thus one peasant’s ditching and diking to grow his crop tended to have a large externality on downstream peasants. Therefore, obviously all that ditching and diking needed to be done by a central plan. America’s finest academics agreed enthusiastically with this moderate agrarian reformer, and I still from time to time see this presented as an irrefutable killer argument against the authority and power of the private landowner to farm as he sees fit, by people unaware that they are paraphrasing an academic endorsement of Pol Pot. But somehow, strangely, this moderate agrarian reform by this moderate agrarian reformer did not turn out well. Nor has any other instance of socialism turned out well, though most are less disastrous than the Cambodian autogenocide, but people keep trying. The Cambodian autogenocide was exceptionally bad because bad planning combined with the left wing singularity. It was impermissible to notice that the plan was bad, therefore any bad outcomes had to be the result of treason and sabotage. And the search for traitors and sabotage ensued, while the total failure of the rice crop led to mass starvation that no one was allowed to notice. The same thing happens to some extent with every socialist intervention. Thus bad outcomes from child support and the family court system do not happen and at the same time also are the result of domestic abuse by husbands and fathers, requiring even stronger measures against abusers and deadbeat dads, which measures become ever stronger, as the ensuing outcomes become ever worse. These bad outcomes cannot possibly be the result of courts capriciously intervening in families of whom they know nothing and exercising powers over husbands and fathers that we would not accept them exercising over murderers. Similarly, any bad outcomes from Sarbanes Oxley are obviously the result of greedy businessmen engaged in fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. If the government ever really got serious about making Sarbanes-Oxley work, most of the businessmen and their executives would be in jail, and, like Pol Pot’s plan to dramatically increase Cambodian rice production, it still would not work.

Power needs to be transferred back to patriarchs, even if some patriarchs abuse the power horrifyingly, for the family court and the ever growing collection of family services are doing a job that is increasingly horrifying in its evil and incompetence. And even if they were doing a fine job, their predecessors screwed King George and will screw whoever is nominally in power, with the result that we get ruled by mobile bandits rather than a stationary bandit.

The problem is that it seems to be increasingly impossible for key executive officers to delegate certain aspects of review and analysis. Even elite performers can only do so much in a day, and so, when divide and conquer fails to be a feasible approach, it creates a fundamental human bandwidth bottleneck with regards to scale and scope for any particular headquarters-level office.

The way this problem is coped with now in Washington seems to be, well, egregious delay. That is, the systems of prioritization and accountability for deadlines completely break down, and the senior officers end up constantly putting out the most immediate fires from the most senior and most angry counter-parties delivered outside the normal system conduits, and let everything else “for later”, that is, until they become anger-inducing fires too, or, hopefully, just go away (or are approved for inadequate ‘resolution’).

The end result being chaos and disorder: It’s easy to observe that high level staff are personally handling matters which ought to be below their pay grades

Yes, it would be great if everyone just got twice as much money and twice as many personnel, but the bottlenecks and key officer human-bandwidth limitations would still be there.

Been there, done that (in software engineering, not in running a country).

We have a saying in the software business: “Adding more people to a late project makes it later”

With the end result that the project with its newly bloated staff gets declared finished and pushed out the door in completely broken condition, like Obamacare and every Soviet four year plan.

We also know the solutions, which I have successfully applied.

Unfortunately, applying these solutions in politics, rather than code, runs directly into who/whom. Instead of saying “You cannot access these variables because they are out of your scope” and expect the compiler and source control to enforce that, you have to say “You have to respect Joe’s authority over his own domain, even though there are externalities so that what he does hurts other people”

To manage complexity, it has to be broken up into smaller bits, with walls between the bits, so that one man can plan and organize without his plans being screwed by another man’s plans (and it always is men, women are great at detail, but when the plans get larger, they get lost in detail). In software, these walls manifest as restrictions on one’s access to private variables, typically no access or read only access to immutable values, shared nothing message based multiprocessing, Google’s protobuffs, Git’s immutable versions, Rust’s temporal variable scope, and suchlike. Google’s protobuffs are a metaphorical door in a metaphorical wall with a metaphorical security man checking visitors in and out. When it comes to politics, rather than software, these walls manifest as actual walls, also as actual security men with actual clubs, stun guns, and actual guns, guard dogs trained to attack strangers on private property without waiting for human permission, not to mention walls in the less visible and physical form of power and privilege.

The guard dogs are not producing anything directly, so to the good progressive bureaucrat they look like a net loss of utility, inflicting harm on poor people to benefit rich people, but what they are doing is subdividing the problem of production and consumption into smaller and manageable pieces, making it possible to plan and organize.

The guard dogs are keeping the problem of social cooperation and collective action down to something human minds can manage.

When you restrict homeowners from shooting burglars, suddenly and strangely, your administrative apparatus grows out of control.

You take down Chesterton’s fence, and everything starts interacting with everything else, resulting in unmanageable complexity. One ad hoc solution to one problem causes a dozen other problems, and the ad hoc solutions to those problems cause several dozen more.

And you wind up shipping completely broken software, and Venezuela winds up starving the masses as a result of their efforts to guarantee the masses food.

To make complexity manageable, you need walls, metaphorical walls like Chesterton’s fence, which are apt to manifest as actual physical walls, which break big problems of organization into smaller problems of organization, problems small enough for the privileged man in possession (and it is always a man, and usually a white man) to comprehend and deal with. These metaphorical walls hurt people, and their purpose is not obvious. What is the harm in taking them down, in order to feed the hungry and heal the sick, rather than siccing savage guard dogs onto the hungry, the weak, and the frail?

Well, Venezuela shows you what the harm is.

If you want Ann Coulter to be able to buy health insurance, a doctor needs to be able to sic a savage guard dog onto an hiv positive gay drug addict with multiple stab wounds, who is seeking urgent medical care but has no money to pay for it because he blew all his money and assets on drugs: Because if you try to make sure the broke hiv positive gay drug addict with multiple stab wounds gets medical care, you wind up with a labyrinthine, complicated, and out of control bureaucracy telling the doctor whom to treat and how to treat him, and somehow, strangely, neither Ann Coulter nor the hiv positive drug addict gets actually useful medical care.

What we are today seeing in Washington is a generalization of what happened with Obamacare and Venezuela. Everything that is causing people to starve in Venezuela and be deprived of medical care in the USA was done to feed people in Venezuela and give them medical care in the USA.

And any attempt to back out of it is quite correctly and entirely accurately denounced as likely to cause people to starve in Venezuela and cause people to be deprived of medical care in the USA.

The reason for this seeming paradox is that urgent ad hoc measures to achieve highly desirable and beneficial ends cause tight coupling between components, tight coupling makes the system complex beyond human comprehension, resulting in unpredictable and unexpected outcomes, unintended consequences, resulting further urgent ad hoc measures.

In the case of Obamacare, the chaos and disorder is causing people to go without medical care, in the case of Venezuela, to go without food or basic medicine. And any attempt to restore order involves restoring privilege and authority at the expense of feeding people or giving them medical care.

For example, if you want people to have food in Venezuela, you have to stop worrying about the rights of hungry people, and start worrying about the rights of bakers, farmers, businessmen, and merchants. Similarly the problem of violence in American schools. Time to start worrying about the rights of fathers, the lack of strong men in education, and the excessive presence of young filthy sluts and disgracefully aging cat ladies in education. Fixing the problem involves removing state interventions that were intended to fix, and do in fact fix, entirely genuine and important problems – albeit these problems were in large part caused by earlier state interventions also intended to fix entirely genuine and important problems.

Decoupling in the social order, much like decoupling in software, involves privileges and restrictions. You have to restrict some parts of the code from doing things, in order that other parts of the code are able to do their stuff with predictable consequences, and in the social order these privileges tend to fall upon affluent white males, while the restrictions tend to fall upon women, especially single women, children, and NAMs. In Venezuela, the privileges will fall upon those least likely to be hungry, and the restrictions upon those most likely to be hungry. Which those most hungry will resent, failing to connect these measures with the counter intuitive outcome that when they are applied, the shops mysteriously and coincidentally have food on the shelves for a change.

Order means that people can reason about the consequences of their actions – which they cannot do if a large part of the consequences are how any one of ten thousand meddlesome bureaucrats might potentially respond.

This is the crisis of socialism. In Venezuela socialism takes the form of rationing and price and wage control, here it takes the form of Human Resources and Accounting, which are tentacles of the state inserted into every corporation, and the mere owners of the business are powerless before them, because they armed with laws that no one can comply with, that everyone is guilty of breaking, as fathers and husbands are castrated by family law that defines being a husband and a father as domestic abuse. Thus those that provide the capital have no power, those responsible for making payroll have no power, those that are responsible for closing deals with customers have no power, those responsible for delivering product to customers have no power, because all of them are criminals before the power of human resources and accounting, just as all fathers and husbands are guilty of domestic abuse.

And the ensuing crisis of socialism is paralyzing Washington, as two centuries ago it paralyzed Kings.

The Sun King had troubles with powerful aristocrats dangerously far from the palace, the nobility of the sword. So he centralized all power and emasculated aristocrats, turning them into bureaucrats, the nobility of the Robe, but as his heir was to discover, he had created dangerously powerful bureaucrats dangerously close to the palace. That was the crisis of socialism then, and it still getting worse, hence the great centralization.

Cannot delegate, because delegation assumes decoupling of the components. If Pharaoh allows the Israelites to not make bricks because straw has failed to arrive, then he is going to have to allow the intended recipients of the bricks to not build. Of course in due course the building falls down, but before it falls down Pharaoh has more urgent fires to fight.

It is spaghetti code – if you add more programmers to the team, they will subtract from the productivity of the other programmers, not add to their productivity. And if the lead engineer delegates, he will get less done, because of the ensuing fires he has to put out.

If you have ever tried to hit a late deadline by adding more people to the team, this should be entirely familiar to you.

The problem of spaghetti code, and the problem of parallel processing, is the same problem as socialism. If Pharaoh delegates the straw issue to Moses, he shortly thereafter finds the scroll of Ipuwer in his intray, detailing a dozen more crises each more serious than the one he delegated to Moses, because Moses broke a dozen other modules in the course of fixing the module he was assigned. Eventually the code gets declared finished, and pushed out the door in a disastrously broken condition, as for example Obamacare and every Soviet Five Year Plan.

And, in trying to administer a state, rather than organize code, not only hard to structure it that way, but such structuring is bound to step on the toes of the low part of the high/low coalition, because that is the part that creates disorder and fails to create order. In the computer language Rust, you have restrictions on what you can do with variables that were created in a different context, which is mighty handy for the engineer who is responsible for that context. He knows the other engineer cannot screw his code. In the social order, the equivalent is denying fatherless children access to food and medical care. Which means the patriarch knows that his wife and her social worker cannot screw his family.

We see collapse of decision making in the federal bureaucracy, with everything being pushed up to the highest level when someone sufficiently powerful gets sufficiently angry, and everything else sitting in the too hard queue and not getting done. The federal government is becoming severely dysfunctional, as it takes on responsibility for everything everywhere in the entire world and attempts to regulate every person’s every action.

The initial seed of Silicon Valley was Shockley. Every transistor everywhere in the world is built by an engineer who learned it from an engineer who learned from an engineer who learned it from Shockley. Hence Fairchild and fairchildren. That is why they call it Silicon Valley, because the fairchildren worked in silicon.

But as those engineers spread over the world, the underlying natural technological force was decentralization, not centralization. From 1980 onwards, Silicon Valley was no longer running on Shockley and the fairchildren, but running on the Silicon Valley exemption, that Silicon Valley was allowed to practice meritocracy that was being suppressed in the rest of America.

Then, quite recently, the Silicon Valley exemption began to evaporate. Today, Silicon Valley runs on Sarbanes Oxley. Due to Sarbanes Oxley, the only way to cash out your startup is to sell it to Google or suchlike. Hence the great centralization.

Sarbanes Oxley makes every accounting department into a tentacle of the state, hence centralization. Which has the unfortunate side effect of abolishing actual accounting in favor of bureaucratic ass sniffing.

The Silicon Valley network is not a network of people who can optimize Google’s ad revenue by 0.0001%

The Silicon Valley network is a network of venture capitalists who can sell startups to Google and suchlike. Which means that their business is making startup economic activities Sarbanes Oxley legal. The business of Silicon Valley used to be silicon. Today, however, the business of Silicon Valley is making startups Human Resources and Sarbanes Oxley compliant.

Kings fell from a little bit of socialism, and democracy is falling because it inexorably leads to even more socialism.

The state must be one, but society must be many. You need many independent actors to operate the economy, but the state must be one actor, and must restrict itself to things where only one actor can operate.

Further, in matters where that actor can operate in a geographically limited scope, the state needs to grant local power, even if it is likely to mean local oppression (King, God, and Freehold)

The presidency has grasped such immense power that it is paralyzed and impotent, powerless because far too powerful.

229 Responses to “Throne, Altar, and freehold

  1. […] Throne, Altar, and freehold […]

  2. ilkarnal says:

    and somehow, strangely, neither Ann Coulter nor the hiv positive drug addict gets actually useful medical care

    Yet, they both do…

    This argument proves too much. It explains why things that have happened and are happening can’t happen. It implicitly relies on nonsensical leftist values – pointing at great slaughters and saying, look, clearly this is terrible, clearly this is something which should spawn bottomless aversion and fear!

    Lots of people died in Cambodia. So? You can go to Cambodia now, and see something more or less like what was there before. Lots of people died in the ‘Holodomor.’ So? The Soviet Union was famine-stricken, then it wasn’t, then it defeated Nazi Germany. The language and values you’re putting forward seem to imply that leftism drives toward a final and absolutely catastrophic end, yet even the worst catastrophes aren’t that final or, really, all that catastrophic from anything but a humanist perspective. From a civilizational perspective, they are brief recoverable glitches. Outside of a humanist framework you can’t argue that this requires a complete reworking of everything.

    To a man with only a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But while you have identified the weaknesses and failure modes of leftism, you completely ignore its strengths, and the flaws of what it swept away.

    Humanism has been catastrophic for leftism and leftist arguments and theories. Let’s boil things down – the essence of leftism is the revolutionary. Lots of things you can point out about leftism are epiphenomena springing off from this main thrust. Egalitarianism is just the easy way to get buy-in from potential fellow revolutionaries-bandits-soldiers-looters. We’ll split the take so we all get some! Contempt for old values and old structures, the same. Resonance with the young, rather than the old, with the poor rather than the rich, with the ambitious rather than the circumspect, with rage rather than with fear.

    If things tend too far in this direction, obviously no structure can survive, and man cannot survive without structure. But from this you cannot take that it is a scourge on humanity. Rulers do not deserve to rule simply because in eras past they were conquerors. The son is not the father, still less the son’s son’s son. If he is worthy, let him defend his crown – and if he is cast down, it is because he deserved to be cast down. The monarchies you revere FAILED. The French Revolution was richly deserved. It may be the great virtue of whites that they revolt more or less when they are supposed to, and fall in line more or less when they are supposed to. Neither in the endless chaos of the Negroes, nor the unshakeable passive loyalty of the Asiatics does the future lie.

    The pathology of leftism is the chopping away of the branch on which one sits, eating away at foundations that are genuinely crucial. The pathology of rightism is in building structures on structures on structures, becoming ever more hidebound and fearful of movement and change, strangling the new to let the old string out its fading glory. Both run rampant in our society. Virtue springs from necessity, and necessity has been absent for too long. Pathological behavior of all kinds flourishes because it is not punished. A return to sanity is needed, but will not be forthcoming. Exit is the only option – to the real world, to circumstances where virtue is rewarded and pathology eradicated. Escape Universe 25.

    • jim says:

      and somehow, strangely, neither Ann Coulter nor the hiv positive drug addict gets actually useful medical care

      Yet, they both do…

      Ann Coulter disagrees.

      And if you think the HIV positive drug addict receives useful medical care, you have probably never experienced genuinely useful medical care.

      The language and values you’re putting forward seem to imply that leftism drives toward a final and absolutely catastrophic end,

      Catastrophic, but not final. Leftism always self destructs. China is today in fine shape, and maybe we will recover also.

      On the other hand, after the fall of Bronze age civilization, it was darkness for centuries. So sometimes the catastrophe is final, but usually it is not.

      The French Revolution was richly deserved.

      No it was not. The tyranny they were complaining about was absolutely insignificant compared to the tyranny that they promptly proceeded to impose upon themselves.

      • ilkarnal says:

        The real complaint was not about tyranny but about weak leaders who did not know how to be properly tyrannical. Leftism is kind of like society’s version of a woman’s shit-tests. All they wanted was a leader who could be called worthy if you looked at him squint-eyed, and once they had that they fell into line. If you can fool yourself into thinking a leader isn’t a worthless faggot, maybe, that leader will never ever fall victim to leftism. It is only when you reach the declining stage where leaders are very very definitely worthless faggots that leftism becomes a problem for them, and it damn well should become a problem for them. Leaders should have achievements under their belt. Assad was a limp-wristed liberal weenie eye doctor faggot, and the war made him into a man.

        Not that he necessarily changed all that much, but the achievements of his faction have created in him a figure of merit. People are kind of like uncut diamonds which might crumble or shine brilliantly, and you can only tell for sure when you take the chisel to them. Similarly Trump really was a pompous nothing before he won the presidency, and his victory created something much more substantial.

      • ilkarnal says:

        If leaders are worthy, the battle with the revolutionaries is a gift which will grant them glory and adulation. If they are unworthy they deserve their fate.

      • John B says:

        > maybe we will recover also

        There is good reason to doubt that, unfortunately. Politics is downstream of culture, but everything is downstream of evolution:

        http://www.vdare.com/articles/of-mice-and-men-spiteful-mutations-look-bad-for-the-west

        If this theory is along the right lines, the implications are dire. Political changes won’t fix it. It probably isn’t confined to the West either. How about Japan?

        https://japantoday.com/category/national/only-11-of-japanese-people-willing-to-fight-for-their-country-gallup-survey

        One of the comments in there: “It’s ridiculous that people are misled by the concept of arbitrary territories or countries.” Pure baizuo, in Japan!

    • glosoli says:

      ‘Lots of people died in the ‘Holodomor.’ So? ‘

      A leftist cunt comments above.

      https://infogalactic.com/info/Holodomor

      I know it’s sissy and humanist to care, but leftists really show their true colours when they belittle the fact that over 3 million souls were deliberately starved to death by the Soviets.

      I am sure they would happily see 100 million white families starve in due course, it’s just numbers, they’re not worth anything right?

      Terrible, may the leftists burn in hell for eternity.

      • ilkarnal says:

        leftists really show their true colours when they belittle the fact that over 3 million souls were deliberately starved to death by the Soviets

        LOL yes, the right would never do such a thing. Not that I am a ‘leftist’ in any real sense. I advocate exit, not revolution. I think both the left and the right are catastrophically corrupt, and there’s very little to be gained in supporting either.

        The famine was not deliberate. Once it happened, obviously Stalin took from those who were opposed to him, to provide security for those loyal to him. This was not only moral but an absolute moral imperative. Of course, better to not have a famine at all. But the arguments that Soviet ideology necessarily led to catastrophe prove too much. If they were true, the Soviet history would be an short and unbroken string of failures.

        I am sure they would happily see 100 million white families starve in due course, it’s just numbers, they’re not worth anything right?

        They are worth -something-. Just not nearly as much as the current humanist weenie maternal harm/care oriented morality would suggest.

        • jim says:

          LOL yes, the right would never do such a thing. Not that I am a ‘leftist’ in any real sense. I advocate exit, not revolution. I think both the left and the right are catastrophically corrupt, and there’s very little to be gained in supporting either.

          And yet here you are rationalizing left wing mass murder, and endorsing the red terror of the French Revolution.

          Pretty sure that if one my commenters said that the holocaust was no big deal and the Jews had it coming to them, you would be inclined to suspect he was a bit right wing.

          • ilkarnal says:

            I am happy to defend any mass murder as long as it is of those outside one’s sphere of responsibility, on behalf of those inside one’s sphere of responsibility. You are responsible for those who are loyal to you. Revolutionaries and conquerors naturally have a quite small sphere of responsibility.

            That doesn’t mean that mass murder for the sake of mass murder is a great idea. Robespierre went too far, as evidenced by his death. If he ended up on top of France, I wouldn’t say he went too far, I would say he went about far enough! Hitler went too far, as evidenced not by his death but by his legacy and his country’s legacy. If he got away with it, I wouldn’t say he went too far, even though I would be among his victims if I was in his power. How far you get to go depends largely on whether you win, which depends on how formidable you are. Pick your battles wisely.

            Ghengis may do as he pleases. Winner’s prerogative. Stalin – similar story. Be harsher on the losers of history, because you must. In the end the results are what matter. The results FOR THOSE WHO ADOPT CERTAIN CONDUCT are what determine the morality or immorality of their conduct. But it should be noted that something like honor, something like proportionality, something like a careful doling out of violence, tends to lead to better results than more uncontrolled spraying. The spear is more formidable than the whip.

            • jim says:

              But it should be noted that something like honor, something like proportionality, something like a careful doling out of violence, tends to lead to better results than more uncontrolled spraying.

              And yet, the Khmer Rouge autogenocide, the French Red terror, the Great Leap forward, and Holodomor, are far better examples of uncontrolled spraying than Hitler killing the Jews. Soviet agricultural production never really recovered from the Holodomor, and the Khmer Rouge killed all the smart people in Cambodia, including all but half a dozen or so of the Khmer Rouge themselves.

              The French red terror was the revolution devouring its children. The holocaust was not.

              This kind of madness is distinctively, characteristically and conspicuously left wing. You just do not find the equivalent on the right. Communists are more dangerous to communists than Nazis are dangerous to communists, let alone Nazis being dangerous to each other.

              Your rationalizations are good excuses for Hitler killing the Jews. The are absolutely terrible excuses for the crimes of leftism.

              • ilkarnal says:

                And yet, the Khmer Rouge autogenocide, the French Red terror, the Great Leap forward, and Holodomor, are far better examples of uncontrolled spraying than Hitler killing the Jews

                Khmer Rouge – victory for the revolutionaries.

                French Revolution – victory for the revolutionaries over the royalists.

                Holodomor and Stalin’s purges – victory for Stalin.

                The Holocaust – catastrophic loss for Hitler, or more precisely made an already catastrophic loss much more catastrophic for the man’s country and legacy.

                German depravity really, really helped the Soviets. There were a lot of defectors, there would have been many more if the Nazis had been paragons of virtue – perhaps more solidly Christian, not so feral pagan-cynic.

                Those the Germans killed were not really threatening, and moreover were certainly far far less threatening than the Red Army and associated partisans. The other three examples are of categories of people who are probably pretty threatening in their respective contexts. The Holocaust was not geared towards WINNING the relevant battle, but on taking advantage of a predicted victory before it was finalized.

                If after defeating the Soviets Hitler exterminates European Jewry I have no complaints *from Hitler’s perspective.* Obviously terrible from *my* perspective. I do suspect that if it was left till after the war, expulsion would be the tool of choice, and everyone’s hands would have been left much more clean. The Holocaust was a terrible thing for the victims and even the perpetrators, zero doubt there, but I would say further that the manner and particularly the time in which it was carried out made it *predictably* terrible for the perpetrators.

                Wartime is when it’s hardest to avoid atrocities and unproductive sprays of violence, and also when it is most important to avoid them. Atrocities are much less costly and much more defensible in secure peace. I still think they are costly, though. All these examples: Khmer Rouge slaughter, French Revolution purges, Holodomor, Holocaust – if they could be avoided, it would leave the leaders in a better situation to avoid them. But the severity of the error is proportional to the consequences.

                • jim says:

                  Khmer Rouge – victory for the revolutionaries.

                  The Khmer Rouge totally wiped themselves out, with the result that the North Vietnamese came in and took over. Looks like defeat to me.

                  French Revolution – victory for the revolutionaries over the royalists.

                  After the leftists execute each other, Napoleon crowns himself emperor. Looks like defeat to me.

                  Holodomor and Stalin’s purges – victory for Stalin.

                  Stalin stopped the Holodomor. He did not start it. Blaming the crimes of communism on Stalin is like blaming the crimes of the French Revolution on the emperor Napoleon. The great terror was, in substantial part, checking out of control leftism by executing on various false pretexts those genuinely responsible for the Holodomor. Stalin said he was executing them for being “objectively fascist”, just as Deng claims he is a Maoist and a communist, and Augustus claimed to be restoring the Roman Republic. If it had not been for Stalin seizing absolute power, the Soviet Union would have continued to walk the path leading to the Cambodian autogenocide and the seven kill stele.

                • ilkarnal says:

                  The Khmer Rouge totally wiped themselves out, with the result that the North Vietnamese came in and took over. Looks like defeat to me.

                  Fair enough. I was thinking more of the earlier victory, against the Khmer Republic, and the sustained victory in a broader sense of the communists against the Western backed side and Western sympathizers. The guy in charge now is former Rouge, and I had the sense that the old leaders got off kinda easy because of that… But yeah, the purges unambiguously went sour for the Khmer Rouge leadership.

                  After the leftists execute each other, Napoleon crowns himself emperor. Looks like defeat to me.

                  Napoleon was a child of the revolution.

                  Stalin stopped the Holodomor. He did not start it.

                  I never thought he liked the famine, leaders generally don’t. I definitely think he prioritized certain areas over others. He definitely did a lot of purging. And those can be called victories for Stalin, unambiguously.

                  I’m least unhappy about the comparison of Khmer Rouge atrocities to the Holocaust.

                • jim says:

                  I was thinking more of the earlier victory, against the Khmer Republic, and the sustained victory in a broader sense of the communists against the Western backed side and Western sympathizers.

                  The Khmer Rouge did not win against the Western backed side as long as that side continued to have western backing. When the Khmer Republic was blockaded by America, while the Khmer Rouge continued to receive Soviet and Chinese aid through Vietnam, then they won.

                  After the leftists execute each other, Napoleon crowns himself emperor. Looks like defeat to me.

                  Napoleon was a child of the revolution.

                  So was Deng, and Deng was a lot more capitalist than the Trump, and Napoleon lot more royalist than Louis XVI.

                  The general trend line is that the left gets lefter, and as the left gets ever lefter the left gets crazier, more murderous, commits bigger and bigger crimes against humanity, and these crimes are increasingly insane, suicidal, and self destructive, whereas right wing crimes generally have some logic in them – not always correct logic, but not over the top demented. It was not totally silly for Hitler to believe that Jews were causing all his economic and political problems, whereas it was totally silly for the communists to believe that kulaks were causing the famine. Blaming enemy outsiders for your problems is plausible, and often enough actually true, but the peasants were not enemy outsiders. When the Khmer Rouge were through, there were only a dozen or so of the original Khmer Rouge left, not counting those who fled or rebelled. Now that is real madness.

                • ilkarnal says:

                  It was not totally silly for Hitler to believe that Jews [within the borders of the Reich] were causing all his economic and political problems

                  It was, though. And I don’t think he did believe that. He thought they HAD been causing big economic and political problems in Germany, and might well do so again later if they weren’t gotten rid of. But after their marginalization they were really not an internal threat of any notable magnitude. The idea was to improve society, and avoid later problems, not to get rid of a super pressing threat.

                  whereas it was totally silly for the communists to believe that kulaks were causing the famine

                  Who is causing the famine is sort of beside the point – the Kulaks harbored anticommunist sentiments and, it can easily be argued, weren’t worth prioritizing in a time of great deprivation – which was reaching deep into Russia and Kazakhstan in addition to ravaging Ukraine – when solid supporters of the regime were in need. Now, obviously plenty is better than famine, and an effective famine response is better than an ineffective famine response, just as with disease or fire or anything else. But when there must be prioritization and rationing, to the extent that one can, one should prioritize those who treasure you over those who want to cut your throat.

                  Blaming enemy outsiders for your problems is plausible, and often enough actually true, but the peasants were not enemy outsiders.

                  The collectivization program was created to succeed, not to fail. Just as the dustbowl was not a planned repression of middle America farmers. Once it happened, the response doubtless wasn’t a shiny beacon of competence, but to the extent that the regime took what it could from areas where opposition was rampant to give to areas where there was support, that was justifiable.

                  It was not inevitable and obvious that Soviet agrarian reforms would surely fail because Soviet ideology made everything fail – because not everything failed. They were genuinely trying to improve things, not make them worse. The issue is more in how competent and knowledgeable the communists in charge of something are, than whether communists are in charge of it. Thus the successes of the Soviet arms industry in WW2, and the Soviet space program.

                  It does seem like agrarian reforms are where the worst catastrophes happen, from my armchair I would speculate that farming *seems* like it’s not very technical and it basically can’t get screwed up too badly, but in fact it is very technical, and people need a good knowledge base to succeed. Everyone knows making tanks is highly technical work, so you’re less likely to walk smack into a stupidity wall where you do no due diligence when you’re trying to create and reform the arms industry.

                  If you’re tellin’ me that the extremist ideologue leftists aren’t effective because their models of reality are so far from reality, well no fuckin’ shit. Extreme ideologues of any flavor run into problems, from breatharians to Goering. The world is full of little faggot details that will overturn your cart if you don’t take note of them, and if you try to simplify it too much your cart will get overturned.

                • Samuel Skinner says:

                  “It was, though. And I don’t think he did believe that. He thought they HAD been causing big economic and political problems in Germany, and might well do so again later if they weren’t gotten rid of. But after their marginalization they were really not an internal threat of any notable magnitude. The idea was to improve society, and avoid later problems, not to get rid of a super pressing threat. ”

                  Which is why the Nazis didn’t start killing Jews in Germany. The invasion of the USSR is where the Germans killed Jews because they thought they were the power behind the USSR. So killing all the Jews is like killing all the Polish elite- it breaks their ability to coordinate to resist you.

                  For the rest of the Jews in Europe, it should be pointed out that the Reich had a food deficit. Someone was going to have to go hungry and unsurprisingly it turned out to be ethnic groups Hitler hated.

                • Pseudo-chrysostom says:

                  >He thought they HAD been causing big economic and political problems in Germany, and might well do so again later if they weren’t gotten rid of.

                  True and true.

          • ilkarnal says:

            Pretty sure that if one my commenters said that the holocaust was no big deal and the Jews had it coming to them, you would be inclined to suspect he was a bit right wing.

            The morality of the holocaust can only be judged through the lens of what befell the perpetrators. Life is constant genocide – to reject genocide in principle is to reject life in principle, and I do not. I do not, even though this particular genocide would have annihilated me and those I love if it had succeeded.

            My issues with the Holocaust are not ‘oh how mean it is to slaughter these poor people.’ My issue is that it backfired on the perpetrators, and there are a whole bunch of lessons *I* would take from that if I ever decided I needed to wipe out some people. There is no point to hyperventilating with worthless moralism. I am the child of the world the Holocaust created. I would not exist – you would not exist, no-one here born after WW2 would exist – if not for Hitler’s actions. They created this particular unique timeline. Another set of decisions would have created a different world, complete with different individuals. If the Nazis still existed, they would be my enemy. But they do not still exist, they have been crushed and scattered to the wind. Pretenders only make a mockery of what came before.

            It is foolish to hate the dead. From their tragic story, draw what wisdom and strength you can.

            No one -really- has it coming to them. It is the tragedy of life that these lights must be snuffed out. Only evil can look at death and prefer it to life. But we must choose, one life or the other – and life springs eagerly into the void created. Conquer with tears in your eyes for the conquered.

            • Joe says:

              “Life is constant genocide – to reject genocide in principle is to reject life in principle, and I do not.”

              I wish I had not read your shit just before I was planning to go to bed. I like to be more careful what kind of garbage slips into my awareness.

              • ilkarnal says:

                Explain how you have life without genocide – with the requirement that it survives and thrives for billions of years. This group of hairless apes is only as capable as it is through very recent and very expansive genocide. If the less fit are not pushed out, no evolution. No evolution, no life – at least, not for long.

            • peppermint says:

              Cats don’t try to genocide mice. Ants enslave aphids. Just because it’s a war of all against all doesn’t mean it’s genocidal, quite the opposite, genocide is difficult to coordinate. Genocide usually works through demographic replacement, as cat tails were replaced with loosestrife and phragmites, Tasmanian devils with dogs, and Indians with Aryans.

              Aryans are temperamentally suited to coordinating large-scale actions. Even so, genocide of muds by Aryans has pretty much never happened. Aryans colonizing areas where nomadic tribes wandered would take the good farmland and leave the nomads on reservations. Aryans drove Jews out of lots of places but never killed them all. Indeed, the Aryan refusal not only to commit genocide but even permit other Aryans to use language that might be construed as genocidal is one way we ended up in this mess.

              • ilkarnal says:

                Cats don’t try to genocide mice

                They sure do! It’s only the adroitness and capability of the mice that saves them. As evidenced by all sorts of uncompetitive fauna threatened by extinction by cats. And actually made extinct by human hunters.

                Ants enslave aphids.

                Sure, that can happen. Isn’t the rule.

                Genocide usually works through demographic replacement

                Genocide usually works through fuckin’ slaughtering the lot of them.

                Aryans drove Jews out of lots of places but never killed them all.

                Those who wanted to slaughter the Jews, would be perfectly happy to get ’em all. They didn’t because the Jews were clever and quick and widespread enough to avoid total annihilation.

                Indeed, the Aryan refusal not only to commit genocide but even permit other Aryans to use language that might be construed as genocidal is one way we ended up in this mess.

                Very recent phenomena, and an outgrowth of our peculiar environment. We see similarly fatal issues in uncucked folks like the Japs and the Chinese.

                • peppermint says:

                  Yeah, no, some hunter species that go after a particular species of prey will hunt it to extinction. Generalist hunters like cats just take what they can get.

                  Chinks ruled over gooks and japs, they didn’t slaughter them. Aryans have pushed a number of nomadic groups onto poor land, which kikes used to whine about when I was young. Kikes somehow still exist despite being in contact with Aryans for 3000 years and being aggressively annoying.

                  Bantus might slaughter all hottentots and elephants. Overhunting by generalist hunters like bantus is a way some species die out, happening when the new hunter species expands its territory.

                  What it comes down to is territory. Can’t have genocide if territories are secure. Lions have been known to swim a little in the ocean to grab seals. Buffalo used to keep the trees out of the Great Plains leaving really tall grasses.

                  Nuclear weapons make territories secure.

                  Boats make it possible for kikes to ship muds into Aryan territory to displace us.

            • Cavalier says:

              You’re a p cool guy.

              I would have a drink with you and your schnozzy self.

              P.S. “Take care” of the Palestinians already. Good grief.

        • TBeholder says:

          Except, of course, Stalin didn’t start Red Terror, nor the war on peasants. He let it run its course and then helped those spinning up the meat-grinder to slip right into the funnel too, one by one.
          He was a politician.
          Which was part of why extermination of Team Trotsky went so smoothly – yesterday Tukhachevsky was gassing some peasants and offing rivals, today he is declared Enemy Of The People, and anyone not towed by his horse applauds and says “long overdue”.

      • ilkarnal says:

        I know it’s sissy and humanist to care

        To check if you have a shred of intellectual honesty: who in the modern era is more ‘sissy and humanist,’ the left or the right?

        • jim says:

          Obviously the right. Quite obviously the right. Consider, for example, the recent genocide of the Tutsi.

          The left cares deeply that left wing rebels are dealt with in a gentle and humane way: Win their hearts and minds.

          But for reactionary rebels, (Boer war, Rhodesia, Rwanda, the Congo, etc) the left favors impaling their women and children with objects larger than themselves, and strangely ceases to believe in the effectiveness of a hearts and minds approach.

          If the Taliban were Christian instead of Muslim, the left would not have the slightest hesitation in applying measures that would end the Afghan war in a week. They would be setting the suspected children of the Taliban on fire, and Wikipedia and the mass media would simultaneously deny it was happening and say that they had it coming.

          • ilkarnal says:

            Obviously the right. Quite obviously the right. Consider, for example, the recent genocide of the Tutsi.

            Africans killing Africans just aren’t that relevant, sorry. And blocking nigger retaliation-in-kind ain’t the same as doing the deed.

            If the Taliban were Christian instead of Muslim, the left would not have the slightest hesitation in applying measures that would end the Afghan war in a week.

            Bullshit.

            You’re a fan of going way back in history – what happened here, when a reactionary Confederacy was crushed? The North was extremely merciful to the vanquished. Stake in the heart for your theory.

            • peppermint says:

              There was an order that niggers were allowed to rape White women who looked at them funny in New Orleans that was only rescinded after becoming a national scandal. The fact that it was rescinded proves that the Southerners were treated extremely mercifully.

            • jim says:

              Obviously the right. Quite obviously the right. Consider, for example, the recent genocide of the Tutsi.

              Africans killing Africans just aren’t that relevant

              French troops killing Africans not relevant either?

              In the Congo, the impalement of Tutsi women to which I refer was made possible by ground, air, and artillery support by UN troops. Yes, it was black Africans impaling slightly less black African women, but they were paid by the US taxpayer and were doing so under cover of white artillery and aircraft bombardment paid for by the US taxpayer and administered and organized by white troops.

              And in Rwanda, French troops got right into it – they did not themselves murder civilians, but they killed those who were defending civilians, and then got out of the way of the genocidaires.

              The North was extremely merciful to the vanquished

              After victory. After burning their way across the South.

              And that was the nineteenth century. As the left has gotten lefter, it has become ever more brutal, extreme, and sadistic, as for example the Khmer Rouge autogenocide, enthusiastically supported by Academia and the New York times. Start with the English civil war and go forward to the present. You see the crimes of the left get steadily bigger and bigger. You see a steady trend towards greater and greater levels of violence, destruction, and sadistic cruelty.

              The English civil war shocked people. But the French Revolution, the war in the Vendee, etc, were considerably more shocking. Then the boer war, where the English defeated the boers by torturing and murdering their women and children. Then World War I shocked the world. Then the crimes of communism. After World War II, as after the American civil war, the left worried about hearts and minds, but during World War II, notice the complete and total lack of interest in hearts and minds. World War II was not worse than what had gone before, but soon after World War II, even bigger crimes of communism.

              The trend line is obvious, and is headed for the stratosphere.

              • ilkarnal says:

                The trend line is obvious, and is headed for the stratosphere.

                Delusion! Tell you what, I’ll bet you a good bottle of brandy you won’t be killed by leftists.

                But seriously, the catastrophic decline of violence is obvious. People have less and less of a stomach and less and less cause for it. The future is way more boring than you think.

                • jim says:

                  Pretty sure that I will not be killed by leftists, because I have taken extensive precautions, but if you look at the numbers, averaging over the entire world and starting with the Russian Revolution, leftism is a major cause of death, and one is about twenty times more likely to be killed by leftists than rightists. If Pinochet had been left, the Pope would have granted him sainthood, and you guys would list him with Mahatma Ghandi. Which is pretty much what you did do with Sihanouk. Got sainthood because he only murdered a mere three times as many people as Pinochet. And Tito close to sainthood, because he merely killed between sixty and three hundred times as many.

                • glosoli says:

                  One of the issues this post doesn’t address, but which I think is key, is the size of a nation.

                  I think small is best. I would limit any nation to 1 million adult men and their families, ideally all of the same tribe.

                  Very similar numbers to the tribes of Israel when Moses counted them.

                  Once you get tens of millions or hundreds of millions or (God forbid) billions in one nation, you’re going to end up with all of the problems Jim refers to, and more besides.

                  Sadly, I don’t see a way back to small nations, unless there’s a global nuclear war, or some other natural catastrophe, or when Christ returns.

                • peppermint says:

                  People want rootless cosmopolitans to be low status and want to marry people from the same area as them. Just kill colleges and nationally syndicated TV.

    • jim says:

      Rulers do not deserve to rule simply because in eras past they were conquerors.

      If power is up for grabs, there will be a whole lot of grabbing, which generally dissipates treasure, and from time to time blood. Today, our government is electing a new people. This is likely to be extremely bad for the obsolete and forgotten old people.

      What I would like to do is have a clone line as King. If one guy rules well and competently puts down all challenges to his power, insist he raises his clone as his child and successor.

      • ilkarnal says:

        If power is up for grabs, there will be a whole lot of grabbing, which generally dissipates treasure, and from time to time blood.

        Dissipates… And creates! Behold all the magnificent inventions that spring from the necessity of war! Nothing wrong with a little blood being spilled. Actually, there’s quite a lot wrong with no blood being spilled. There is such a thing as too little violence, just as there is certainly such a thing as too much violence. We’re waaaay towards the former right now.

        Today, our government is electing a new people. This is likely to be extremely bad for the obsolete and forgotten old people.

        Oh, I absolutely agree. But the fact that the obsolete and forgotten old people are standing for it is indicative of a very deep sickness that goes well beyond leftism. In the dying embers of leftism, those who still have some glow from the old fire fight back against the idea of a race to the bottom where we import the third world and let the natives wallow. What is worthy in both the left and the right scream out against this. But in both cases this is a weak fringe.

        What I would like to do is have a clone line as King. If one guy rules well and competently puts down all challenges to his power, insist he raises his clone as his child and successor.

        Not a bad idea! But I think an even better idea might be the production of a large number of embryo-selected heirs who compete for succession. There should be a path to improvement as well as conservation of gains.

      • Garr says:

        Good idea (clone line) — has any sci fi writer ever suggested this? It seems so obvious, now that you’ve mentioned it.

        In the Dune series there are those “Atlotl” (or something like that) tanks that produce adult clones with memories transferred from the previous version — Duncan somebody-or-other, a Right Hand Man not a king, keeps getting killed and reproduced. So it’s sort of like that, but this is simpler and better and could actually be done by Koreans.

        I hope Bannon reads your essay.

        • Samuel Skinner says:

          Crisis of the Confederation (mod for Crusader Kings 2) has a religion/ideology (Bio-directionist) based on that. They are overthrown and replaced by Neo-Feudalists at the game start though.

          • Garr says:

            That’s a game? Cool. I remember now that there’s a PKDick novel in which the President of the US (and sort of the Earth as a whole), holed up in Wyoming, keeps getting replaced by clones of himself.

      • Cavalier says:

        >What I would like to do is have a clone line as King.

        I take credit.

    • peppermint says:

      > It implicitly relies on nonsensical leftist values – pointing at great slaughters and saying, look, clearly this is terrible, clearly this is something which should spawn bottomless aversion and fear!

      It is in principle a good thing for gooks to kill each other, but autogenocide is a failure condition for a society and can happen over access to healthcare, environmental stewardship, reproductive freedom, the rights of foreigners to their earnings, and suppression of demeaning and coarse language in public just as it can over morally dubious ideas like land reform.

      Sometimes rightists try to taunt leftists when they suppress debate with platitudes and force by saying so much for the tolerant left, as if leftists have ever thought of themselves as tolerant of anything to their right. The correct taunt is so much for the intellectual vanguard left. Today, the left is conservative in the sense that their slogans are official truth the questioning of which the world isn’t ready for now while the right has taken all the young liberal-minded radicals.

      • ilkarnal says:

        autogenocide is a failure condition for a society

        Evidence? Soviets looked pretty lively after what you and jim would call ‘autogenocide,’ ditto Communist China. Cambodia’s doing fine. There are failures, and then there are failures. ‘Autogenocide’ looks like it doesn’t move the needle much at all, compared to say losing a war.

      • ilkarnal says:

        Oh, and France after the Revolution was the most lively and accomplished it had ever been!

        • jim says:

          I don’t think so.

          • Reziac says:

            Few years ago I was at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where they had a huge exhibit of mostly-French paintings and various crafts (small furniture and the like) in chronological order. And techniques got more and more refined over several hundred years… then showed an abrupt, tiered, and progressive dropoff over the next 100 years or so, and not only never recovered, but slid into what’s usually touted as “modernism” (but in context, was quite clearly reduced competence — obvious not only from the styles growing cruder but also from how the post-slide pigments had faded, varnishes cracked, seams were no longer tight, etc, and that got markedly worse about every 30 years or so).

            What was the dividing line?

            The French Revolution.

            And each subsequent tier showed a loss of knowledge and technique as an older generation died off and *this* time failed to pass their knowledge and techniques to a younger generation, whereas before the Revolution there’d been steady preservation and enhancement.

            Some of this was the abolition of the apprenticeship system… which was, now that you mention it, basically like compartmentalized software, and reflective of a society with a lot of local control. But even after the Revolution was done and a hundred years gone, it never really recovered.

            And that’s just one aspect… but art reflects society.

            • Cavalier says:

              >basically like compartmentalized software, and reflective of a society with a lot of local control

              So much local control, in fact, that until Napoleon there was no standard for weights and measures.

              >But even after the Revolution was done and a hundred years gone, it never really recovered.

              I know almost nothing about France, but I would suspect that apprenticeship never really recovered. Apprenticeship only works because the apprentice agrees to work under the master for a number of years, the early ones as an incompetent and the later ones as a skilled something-or-other who would be making much more money on his own. If you can’t coercively bind a person, almost like a temporary slave, you can’t have a stable system of apprenticeship because the apprentice, once skilled, doesn’t want to stick around.

              And also there was the constant draw of people from remote places to manufacturing hubs, as the Industrial Revolution kicked off, and, of course, the New World, to which anyone for any reason could eject, never to be seen again.

              So you can charge up front and collectivize education — the school — but you’re trading off some things for other things.

              • TBeholder says:

                I’m not sure about it.
                Obviously, there was a gap between basic training and master status. But control freakery that works is either mostly redundant or too resource-hungry. Indentured servitude generally worked, but even this can’t run purely on compulsion, there’s at least “escape is possible, but does not promise benefits worth the bother” part.
                Obviously some ran either way, occasionally for unrelated reasons, and the masters couldn’t have Interpol to find the runaways. Why would strangers help? They are interested in competition. Even an established guild is not full mafia, and enforcement has cost.
                The sticks work better when supplemented by enough of carrots. Status, benefits of membership (e.g. loans, insurance), edge in competition (certification or simply “the devil you know” advantages), and so on.

                • Pseudo-crhysostom says:

                  Or in other words, it’s harder to punish without things to take away first.

                • Reziac says:

                  Apprenticeship was a desirable state in high demand; you had to buy your way in, you didn’t just get taken on as a freebie. And yes, there were benefits once you made journeyman — you were effectively guaranteed employment with a living wage, which was damn hard to find elsewhere. Guilds limited competition and functioned much as unions do today (to what degree that was a problem is a different debate). If you ran away, well, you lost your investment and the master was little worse off; there were a thousand boys waiting to take your place.

  3. Mister Grumpus says:

    [Hey man I’ve still got your rain check on a Jimly take in the Viet Cong and Tet Offensive, but to tide us over you can do a comic relief interlude sometime on the Symbionese Liberation Army. Just saw a thing on TV about that Patty Hearst thing and Lordy what a ridiculous outfit and situation.]

    Wiki:
    “The political symbiosis DeFreeze describes means the unity of all left-wing struggles, feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and others. DeFreeze wanted all races, genders, and ages to fight together in a left-wing united front, and to live together peacefully.“

    Sheeeeeeit!

    • Mister Grumpus says:

      Oh look what’s this:

      Wiki also:
      “DeFreeze was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to African-American parents Louis and Mary DeFreeze, the eldest[1] of eight children.[2] His mother was a registered nurse at a convalescent home.[1] His father was a violent man who punished him three times as a child by breaking both his arms”

  4. Arqiduka says:

    I may be wrong, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen a defense of the free market that responds to the externality argument by going “yep, externalities are real but you should act like they ain’t”. Well done sir.

  5. Bane says:

    I’ve had a hard time figuring out why certain organized atrocities happened. I’m pretty confident about the holocaust (paramilitary formations filled with eastern european minority criminals + a psychopathic bureaucrat (Eichmann) + 1 insane order out of desperation) and I’m fairly sure about the Great Purge (dangerous and disloyal communists needed to be replaced by pariahs, who in turn needed to be replaced by boring men, and 6-7 normies needed to be killed per political target so it doesn’t look like a purge, otherwise no different than our current sex assault scandal, other russian atrocities committed by judeo-bolsheviks) But I have absolutely no idea Why the Khmer rouge happened.

    Granted, they ruled for 2 years before even acknowledging their own existence. And also granted that its history is poorly studied. But communists were demanding political settlements based on their controlling 5,000 armed men even back in the 50’s. Clearly, something went very wrong somewhere, and they got to the point where killing each other was their only option.

    So I would appreciate it if you could share some sources regarding the history of the genocide and the history of the organizations that carried it out. Maybe there’s a good

    • jim says:

      Pol Pot was a saint. Everyone who knew him noticed his saintliness and was mightily impressed by it.

      That holy men had taken power put everyone under pressure to be even more holy. What could go wrong?

      All the smart people agreed that the Khmer Rouge plans were going to greatly benefit everyone, and that is what Pol Pot genuinely wanted to do, greatly benefit everyone. He was deeply and sincerely caring.

      And yet, somehow, strangely, some bad people were saying that the clever plans of these very smart, and very caring people, were having bad consequences.

      Well, obviously anyone who said such a thing was insufficiently holy, since he was implicitly endorsing the old system, where bad and stupid people did things out of greed, without regard for the terrible suffering they inflicted on the masses. And if any bad things were happening, it had to be the fault of these insufficiently holy people.

      And because the Khmer Rouge so loved the people, to protect the people from the bad things caused by these bad people, they had to kill everyone insufficiently holy. And, with great regret, since insufficiently holy people were pretending to be holy, had to torture people to discover their sins.

      Because they cared so very very very much.

      So very very much.

      They cared. And they were so very very smart, and so very very caring.

      And yet somehow the Khmer Rouge tortured almost the entire Khmer Rouge to death. Such very smart people, and such very nice people, and all of them dead through prolonged agonizing torture inflicted by each other. Greedy selfish people would not have done this. Only true saints are capable of the necessary dedication, to pursue such a noble goal at such enormous cost.

      Now if I had been in Pol Pot’s shoes, I, being a greedy selfish person, would not have bothered with a central plan for growing rice. Instead I would have conscripted one thousand virgins and got to work screwing them. Planning irrigation for one farm sounds difficult, boring, tiresome, and complicated, and I don’t have the experience that a peasant born and bred growing rice has. I would surely screw up. Planning irrigation for one million farms is obviously ridiculous. I would screw up massively. The irrigation would totally and completely fail to work. Let the peasants do it, they know how to do it, and I will just stick to confiscating half their rice, and selling it to build a palace made of gold to house my enormous harem. And similarly, torturing my minions to make sure they served the people sounds difficult and dangerous. I would let the my minions have harems and gold, just a lot smaller harems and a lot less gold, and remind them that if I were to lose power, they would likely lose their harems and their gold. That plan seems a whole lot less stressful than torturing my minions to death, also a hell of a lot safer and more likely to work. And it is just less work to go along with sinful human nature, that to try to oppose it. I mean, with all these virgins, I just would not have the time to torture minions to death. I would be too damned busy to worry about optimizing irrigation externalities on a flood plain, let alone figure out how to torture minions.

      But Pol Pot, being a saint, planned irrigation for one million farms, and the irrigation totally and completely failed to work. Which obviously had to be the fault of people less smart and less saintly than Pol Pot, had to be the fault of greedy people who wanted to return to old system of social injustice, oppression, and exploitation. So these bad people had to be found and dealt with. Because Pol Pot cared.

      • So good is evil and evil is good. It is in a sense true. But we should still try to find at what point does good turn into evil and evil into good, we cannot just conclude that good is always evil and evil is always good, as it would contradict the entire inherited, pre-Enlightenment historical wisdom that good kings are preferable to bad kings and good people are generally preferable to bad people.

        • Joe says:

          What’s evil about a king spending his time building a palace and screwing virgins? Seems like a good thing for a king to stay occupied with, leaving us peasants alone to live our lives.

          More accurate statement would be “holiness fanatics are evil”, period.

          • At that point why not go full AnCap. No, a state has functions. First of all is defense and peace. A good king works hard on suppressing crime etc. Second, building some infrastructure doesn’t hurt either, like it or not the kind of stuff that really marked civilization, like Roman aqueducts and roads were public projects. Granted a different kind of public project as today, the Via Appia is called so because it was paid by a dude called Appius out of his own pocket while he was in power. Still. Financing is a different story, the road belonged to the res publica, was not in any way a private thing.

            • glosoli says:

              The Romans sacrificed humans to their gods, and had them killing each other for pure entertainment. Thumbs down, you’re dead, heh.

              They also enjoyed buggering small boys, orgies in public, and happily slaughtered millions as they rode roughshod around Europe and Asia and Africa.

              And you think some aqueducts and roads makes them ‘civilised’.

              Well, I can see why blue-pilled Americans might think that.

              But they were not.

              • peppermint says:

                > Romans sacrificed humans to their gods

                liar

                > enjoyed buggering small boys, orgies in public

                only once the decadence set in

                > and happily slaughtered millions

                liar

                • peppermint says:

                  Romans had a ritual in which strawmen were thrown in a rover, which obviously means human sacrifice was practiced earlier, some Greek myth may suggest human sacrifice may have been part of it, and some people were murdered following a military defeat.

                  Regarding the bronze statues Carthaginians threw children into, “The accuracy of such stories is disputed by some modern historians and archaeologists.[24]”

                  You’re a lying piece of shit and I hope you get raped in the ass.

                • glosoli says:

                  Please advise when you grow up and can accept facts you dislike.

                • peppermint says:

                  You are proof christcucks can’t be trusted. Eventually you put your jew god before not only your nation and race but also the truth. Romans stamped out human sacrifice in Carthage. But your kike volcano demon brought order to the Empire, so your community organizer ended rampant human sacrifice amongst Romans.

                  And Carthage did nothing wrong, take that Romans, all are equal before the volcano demon, except the demon’s chosen tribe. Up until recently, Druids did nothing wrong, but recently it was discovered that Druidic culture was Aryan.

                • glosoli says:

                  Good that we agree on the facts, thanks.

                  If you want to apologise for calling me a liar, that’d be nice.

              • jim says:

                You are totaling up Roman killings over centuries. If we look at deaths per century, or per decade, this stuff is small potatoes compared to modern tyrannies.

                • glosoli says:

                  I still wouldn’t call them civilised, for reasons already stated, and despite the mouth-frothing of the minty one.

                  There’s a reason why the dark ages were called that by (((some people))), because finally the world affected by Christianity civilised.

                  And now we’re devilised again.

                • peppermint says:

                  The solution to Boomerism is to train them like a dog that pisses in the house: slap them with a slipper or a rolled up newspaper and shove their faces in the consequences of Boomerism, which recapitulates how the trolls of the aughts went straight.

                  I’m not sure Christcuckoldry needs a solution. Historically, Christcuckoldry chose to be replaced with Boomerism. Most holdouts are willing to put the truth over the volcano demon and were just looking for a way to express their Aryan feelings about marriage and social duty. The ones who lie about Aryans to uphold the tribal god of the jews are simply traitors and need it beaten out of them.

                  To the famous philosopher martyr, Christcuckoldry was simply the culmination of Greek philosophy, and it was readily adopted by Druidic peoples similarly. They didn’t lie about anything, but now we know that their world view was simply wrong.

                  It was silly to execute the philosopher martyr. Christcuckoldry was better than the degeneracy that had set in in Rome – because it was much more phisophical and Aryan than what has become of it.

                  It was inevitable that people would get the Bible and read the Old Testament and worship kikes. Avoiding the literal Bible led to utilitarianism and secular humanism or transcendentalism and universalism.

                • peppermint says:

                  ps. Hey glosoli, if you like mid evil christianity so much, you should buy stained glass windows for your house, buy carved furniture instead of IKEA, listen to organs and chanting monks, and READ SUMMA THEOLOGICA.

        • Samuel Skinner says:

          The takeaway is that good is hard and so it is easier to signal that you are good then actually be good. Signaling goodness is easier, addictive and rapidly becomes horribly self destructive.

        • jim says:

          Your good, and Pol Pot’s good, is evil. You worship demons, who will devour you.

          That Pol Pot believed himself a saint, and also believed he could wisely plan for millions, should have clued you in that he was devoured from within by a demon. That his fellows believed him a saint, and believed themselves to be saints, should have clued you in that the whole thing was metaphorically demon worship, and perhaps, like the Clinton’s spirit cooking, literally demon worship.

          I am an arrogant asshole, and confidently believe myself to be the smartest guy around, and I am quite sure I cannot plan for millions. Hard enough to plan a large software project. If a peasant asked me to plan the irrigation for one farm on a flood plain, it would take me a while to get up to speed. Socialists believe themselves wiser than God, which should tell you they are not very wise at all.

          • Well, you know well I don’t worship those demons and he is not my kind of good, but the real problem is I don’t understand you fully. Are these demons – hubris? An inflated sense of self-importance? Does that always and predictably lead to evil? So the root of actual goodness is modesty and accepting limitations?

            I mean it is not a new idea to me, I was thinking along lines that the real problem is not selfishness but self-importance. That a dude who spends his discretionary income on a motorbike selfishly instead of giving it to charity can be better than someone who gives it to charity if the second someone thinks he is “saving the world”, that overrating one’s own importance is more dangerous than just being selfish.

            But I was thinking along those lines when I used to be strongly into Buddhism. I don’t know if this line of thinking even exists in the Western tradition. Christian tradition tends to emphasize selfishness being bad instead of self-importance being bad. Chesterton, for example, was getting it – when he defined insanity not as the lack of logic, as paranoid insane people are often quite logical, but as one’s attention being too strongly focused on the self. Paranoid insane people who think everybody is conspiring against them are simply overrating their importance. But Chesterton was unable to create something like a coherent model of why and how those too big egos came to being and become harmful.

            One thing I learned from those Buddhists is that you should only trust people who are capable of laughing at themselves. Do not trust people who think they are so super important that no jokes can be made of them. But does this even exist in the Western tradition?

            • glosoli says:

              ‘So the root of actual goodness is modesty and accepting limitations’

              Yes, such as Thou Shalt Not Murder.

              Love they neighbour as thyself guarantees auto-genocides don’t happen. Note that taking care of oneself is ok, but it’s matched with selflessness, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

              Those who commit atrocities have no connection with God, they believe themselves to be good and wise. So they slaughter millions. I’m sure satan seeks to turn us all into killers, but mostly we adhere to Gods laws, without quite realising why we do. Especially in former Christendom of course, less so in other parts of the world.

              • peppermint says:

                > Especially in former Christendom of course, less so in other parts of the world.

                This is the whole reason we’re here.

                I don’t expect a man so staggeringly ignorant of anything outside of the current zeitgeist to be capable of understanding Aquinas anyway. Larping as a recently dead religion is retarded, but if you were serious you would call Romans pederasts instead of accusing them of human sacrifice.

                Even so, to the extent that you are a Christian if Christendom, Aquinas’ introductory textbook will be soothing and help you larp. Find a comfy chair and pretend it’s 1200 and Rome is the spiritual center of civilization.

                • glosoli says:

                  I did call them pederasts as well as sacrificers of humans, read more carefully.

                  Your rhetorical efforts are a boring waste of time btw.

                • peppermint says:

                  The problem Christianity solved for the Romans was that their daughters and wives were thots and their rich were importing foreign workers to drive down wages while importing foreign goods to sell to the impoverished working class. You can talk about Logos and right conduct in the Cosmos for its own sake, the opposite of which was the initial Christian concept of sin, or what Christians know as the Cardinal Virtues, or personal responsibility to nation and race, until you’re blue in the face, but thots will only blink at you and assume you’re lecturing them as a neg and trying to hook up, and rich traitors will shrug and say somebody’s got to do it.

                  So what you tell thots is that sky daddy is watching everything and sent ((Jesus)) to redeem their sorry ass but if they don’t shape up they’re going to Hell.

                  We need to solve the same problem the Romans solved, but we can’t use their solution. Instead, our people need to appreciate the sacredness of sex, marriage, nation, and race – which they inherently do. Bugmen are called small souled because they do weird and creepy things like apply their gf’s makeup while teabagging her or splooge in her salad dressing out of a desire to profane sex. They profane it because they know it is sacred.

                  You think we can use their solution because you refuse to understand either the solution or the problem, preferring to insult the greatest of our ancestors in the service of a foreign god and recite ten or so of his commandments as if the whole of the grand design of the Logos is in them, instead of the seven that are binding on non-Jews.

                  We don’t have a lot of time, we dont even have philosophers the way the Romans did, but we have the Internet. I believe in us. Shadilay.

              • jim says:

                Love they neighbour as thyself guarantees auto-genocides don’t happen.

                On the contrary, Khmer Rouge Cambodia demonstrates that an official holiness based on endorsing and enforcing the principle of serving the people, which is a policy that is very much based on loving thy neighbor as oneself, guarantees that the people get starved and massacred.

                • glosoli says:

                  Love thy neighbour as thyself could never lead to the starvation and massacre, as one would never starve oneself or massacre oneself.

                  It is, in fact, the polar opposite of loving thy neighbour as thyself: it’s treating the masses as imbeciles who have to conform to the state rules. We do not do that to ourselves, nor would we attempt to impose that on those near us.

                  Your example also proves my point (ignored above) that size is important. Big states lead to trouble, small homogeneous tribes where all know each other will look out for one another.

                  My neighbours are people I meet. My neighbours are not the varied inhabitants of Londonistan, Manchester, or Birmingham.

                  Pol Pots neighbours were not those that starved or were killed.

                • jim says:

                  > Love thy neighbour as thyself could never lead to the starvation and massacre,

                  Consider Venezuela. People are not being massacred, but they are quite certainly being starved as a result of measures intended to feed them, and the government is unable to back out of these measures, much as the US government is unable to back out of Obamacare.

                  The solution to the Venezuelan problem is that farmers, bakers, shopkeepers, and such like need to be allowed to be able to plan, which requires that they be allowed to sic savage guard dogs trained to attack strangers on private property on hungry people seeking food.

                  Just as Obamacare denies vast numbers of people medical care because it commands that people receive medical care, Venezuela starves vast numbers of people because it commands that people be fed.

                  So love thy neighbor as thyself, when taken to the extremes of virtue signaling characteristic of communism and progressivism, does lead to starvation and massacre.

                • peppermint says:

                  > Love thy neighbour as thyself could never lead to the starvation and massacre, as one would never starve oneself or massacre oneself..

                  > Pol Pots neighbours were not those that starved or were killed.

                  well, at least this time it took you as many as five paragraphs to forget what you were talking about

                • pdimov says:

                  “The solution to the Venezuelan problem is that farmers, bakers, shopkeepers, and such like need to be allowed to be able to plan, which requires that they be allowed to sic savage guard dogs trained to attack strangers on private property on hungry people seeking food.”

                  It has nothing to do with guard dogs, really.

                  People go hungry after most every revolution. That’s because they were adapted to the old order, and can’t just turn on a dime and re-adapt instantly to the new order. This is analogous to how species die off after a rapid change in the environment.

                  In Venezuela’s case, people need to cease relying on food being available in the nearby supermarket, and start relying on growing their own food. This doesn’t happen in a day.

                  This of course assumes that the morons with guns in charge won’t start confiscating their food, in which case it’s Pol Pot time. They don’t look as stupid, although who knows.

                  Their glorious socialist economy isn’t going to win many awards in either case, of course. But feeding the population is perfectly achievable even under the wise command of morons with guns and the complete absence of guard dogs attacking strangers.

                • jim says:

                  > > “The solution to the Venezuelan problem is that farmers, bakers, shopkeepers, and such like need to be allowed to be able to plan, which requires that they be allowed to sic savage guard dogs trained to attack strangers on private property on hungry people seeking food.”

                  > It has nothing to do with guard dogs, really.

                  > People go hungry after most every revolution. That’s because they were adapted to the old order, and can’t just turn on a dime and re-adapt instantly to the new order.

                  No. People go hungry after every implementation of socialism, and they stay hungry until the state backs away from socialism.

                  We have tried this thousands of times, for thousands of years, always with the same result.

                  Capitalism works, and feudalism works, so we always wind up reverting to capitalism and/or feudalism.

                • glosoli says:

                  For some reason both Jim and Minty are ignoring my point entirely, despite it being stated clearly.

                  Neighbours are those one directly deals with. Not millions of folk in paddy fields thousands of miles away. The elite socialist leaders themselves don’t starve do they, nor do their cohorts. Just the innocents. Who are faraway, non- neighbours.

                  And the efforts of socialism are always directed at control and theft (do not steal), the politics of coveting (do not covet). The motivation is never to feed the poor, although they may say that. We know that’s true as the poor starve.

                • jim says:

                  Yes, your point is correct, but irrelevant. If Pol Pot had actually been saint, he would not have tortured his minions to death for failure to serve the people. His bad behavior towards his minions foreshadowed that the actual people would not benefit from his supposedly saintly intentions to benefit them. Quite so.

                  But …

                  Nonetheless “love thy neighbor” is a bad argument, because the prog is always going to argue that loving your actual neighbors is racist, sexist, and all that, and will claim that your love for your actual neighbors will harm, is harming, the people. The prog, like Pol Pot, announces that he loves the poor and the oppressed, loves people a thousand miles away that he has never met, and would never associate with.

                  In fact, loving your actual neighbors is pretty much the definition of racism. And any good Christian will tell you that racism and racists are EEEEEEVIIIILLL. Ask Zippy. Ask Dalrock.

                • peppermint says:

                  Then don’t talk about Pol Pot. He’s famous for having foreign-educated intellectuals and anyone who could read executed. You illiterate bible thumper.

                  Read this: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/

                • jim says:

                  Pol Pot was a foreign educated intellectual. The entire Khmer Rouge were foreign educated intellectuals. They executed each other.

                • pdimov says:

                  “Capitalism works, and feudalism works, so we always wind up reverting to capitalism and/or feudalism.”

                  You could in principle call the order in which the peasants are serfs of the state “feudalism”, but it isn’t, because no lords.

                • glosoli says:

                  Love They Neighbour will always be an excellent basis for life and I don’t give a shit if some progs argue otherwise.

                  Their arguments are based in fiction.
                  I am convinced that my fellow Brits recognise the truth of this issue, and hence want control of our borders again.

                  A *good* Christian would not call that racist or evil, only a bad or deluded Christian would.

                  We have a tough battle ahead to win hearts and minds, but we must not be fearful of speaking the truth (in real life I mean).

                • peppermint says:

                  There are a number of alt right Brits who want to pick up Christianity as intrinsically British. On the other hand, the way the internal logic of ideologies go doesn’t favor that.

                  I think where we’re headed ideologically has a good claim to the name 𝔫𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔞𝔩 Σ Τ Ω Ι Κ Ι Σ Μ Ο Σ

                • Cavalier says:

                  >We have a tough battle ahead to win hearts and minds

                  I wholeheartedly agree. We should learn to win hearts and minds.

                  Consider WWII:

                  * Our war measures: we started off with a simple 6-year starvation blockade and escalated from there until Germany had ultimately been bombed to smithereens, and we had completely destroyed all infrastructure, firebombed Dresden, deliberately killed a million German POWs after the war had ended, punitively put the Germans on literal starvation rations for a year or two, burned all the books, and come within a whisker of really actually implementing the Kalergi plan.

                  Results: today the Germans love us, speak better English than the Australians, and are our loyalest of loyal subjects.

                  * Our war measures: we started off with a simple 6-year starvation blockade and escalated from there until Japan had had two cities nuked.

                  Results: today the Japanese faithfully tolerate us and loyally pretend to do our will in Asia, though they steadfastly refuse to speak-eh-zee English and stopped copying our civilization two decades ago.

                  …v.s. The Global War on Scary Emotions:

                  * Our war measures: we gently toppled a few Middle Eastern governments, supported the radical Moslem rebels, and built schools and hospitals for the schoolchildren of our enemies.

                  Results: Everyone hates us and wants us to die.

                  What’s the moral of this story?

                • pdimov says:

                  “What’s the moral of this story?”

                  That IQ doesn’t equal fitness.

                • Steve Johnson says:

                  “What’s the moral of this story?”

                  Trick question – the moral is that Japanese are civilized and Arabs are shit.

                • glosoli says:

                  Most of SE Asia would agree the Japs are godless prideful barbarians, but only due to the horrors they inflicted on other nations.

                  The collapse the Japs have coming will be just rewards.

                • Cavalier says:

                  No, the moral of the story is to treat them mean to keep them keen.

                  Respect, love, and submission are transmuted fear.

              • jim says:

                Communism is a Jewish heresy, and Progressivism a Christian heresy. Because of their substantial commonalities with Christianity and Judaism, Christianity and Judaism is not an effective counter measure, Christian and Jewish principles are not an effective reply.

                A communist will tell you, and will believe, and will have substantial evidence, that he is implementing Christian principles such as “love your neighbor” better than you are, even as he pours burning petrol over the kulak’s children to force the kulak’s wife to reveal where the seed grain is buried.

                The anti Christian Ayn Rand response is more effective.

                • glosoli says:

                  I wouldn’t care what he believes or tells me, and I don’t agree he would have substantial evidence, if any evidence at all.

                  And God provides just ways to deal with these heretics, we simply need to act in His name.

            • Pseudo-chrysostom says:

              >But Chesterton was unable to create something like a coherent model of why and how those too big egos came to being and become harmful.

              Conditional solipsism; the state of being unable to model other people (and hence, projecting oneself onto everyone else), it naturally entangled with inability to model being, in general; id est, a lack of imaginative capacity.

              One manner in which TLP defined narcissism is the perception of life as if it were a movie with you as the main character. At this point the more solipsistic/spergmatic thinker is now tempted to go down the rabbit hole of categorically imperative thinking, to try to rout out all incidences of ‘narrative’ thinking. Such is a great mistake of course, inviting the intellectual sin of inflating concepts beyond the scope of their adaptive operating envelope.

              Much like psychological egoism, the word (egotist, narcissist, et cetera) becomes uncoupled from its initial denotations, becoming now applied to many new things in different contexts, while at the same time retaining *its original connotations*. This dynamic is the animus underlying the utility of such philosophical malpractice cases as the defining of all white males as ‘racist’ ‘sexist’ ‘oppressors’, or the non-aggression principle, or ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident…’, and so on.

              If you look for something everywhere, you will find it.

              In fact, all cognition is narrativistic. This is not only not a problem, but indeed is rather the *mechanism* by which it grasps greater wholes. The difference between whether we call someone narrativizing a narcissist, vs whether we call them a ‘larger than life figure’, is generally the degree to which their narrative is adaptive with being.

              Creating horrible demons that will eat you and your children and your children’s children is easy; all you have to do, is try to do the impossible. It’s almost like magic.

        • jim says:

          People who care about far, but in practice do not do anything for near, are obviously signalling. Virtue signalers are evil. All of them are evil. That Pol Pot punished his minions (near) on suspicion that they did not care sufficiently about serving the people (far) should have told you in what manner he was going to serve the people.

          • We signal the virtue of strength when wearing sleeveless biceps t-shirts, we signal the virtue of courage with all that stupid “hold my beer and watch this” young male stuff, Japs signal the virtue of conscientousness when staying at work longer hours than the boss does. A lot of virtue signalling is entirely normal – surely it must be a SUBSET of virtue signalling that leads to evil. How to identify this subset?

            Near vs. far is a good model – telescopic altruism is always suspect, charity begins at home and so on.

  6. Steven Seagal's pet seagull says:

    excellent! summary – slippery slopes are real! i always tell my family that the old man at the PTA meeting in 1965 was correct… allowing kids to wear blue jeans DOES lead to chaos. haha

    anyhoo, Jim? my apologies in advance, but could you point me to an extended post you did on the oft mentioned whore Queen Caroline? I’m interested in the whole sordid tale.

    Thanks for the excellent work.

  7. I don’t think we can design a system that will not fail, or not as trivially as adding freehold to the formula. Remember who the whole crap came from the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment largely came from philosophs trying to be the Newton of the social sciences. The French Revolutionaries idolized Newton. Now, do you happen to remember how Newton illustrated planetary motion? With the thought experiment of a cannonball fired from a mountain.

    So. The whole modern system exists because intellectuals got higher status than kings. And the first truly high status intellectual was illustrating things with a hypothetical cannon.

    Are you with me? Suddenly intellectualism wasn’t idle debate about angels dancing on top of nails but violent, effective, deadly power.

    Just like how it was said of Feynmann “the boy can fix radios by thinking” the intellectual from Newton’s era was “this man can kill you and your army by thinking”, i.e. by designing efficient artillery and stuff like that.

    I first noticed this at Descartes – who literally spent much of his military service calculating artillery trajectories. Behold the intellect weaponized.

    How much of the Allied victory in WW2 is attributable to European intellectuals who fled the Nazis? The Manhattan Project almost certainly so but I would not be surprised to find them elsewhere as well.

    The worse a nation treats intellectuals, at least the kind who can design weapons, the more likely they are to lose the next war.

    IMHO this is where all comes from. And I don’t think adding freehold to Throne and Altar can raise the status of Throne and Altar above intellectuals if intellectuals design the weapons…

    We need to turn the STEM against the humanities types, then we have a chance.

    • peppermint says:

      So basically, kill the universities, it’ll be easy because the library is the Internet and the community of scholars is blogs and forums. Can’t ban taking money for teaching, can take Socrates’ attitude towards paid intellectuals.

      us victory is not due to people who fled Europe. us, uk, su were going to crush de in a fight regardless of it which gor cucked out of et twice by fr and ja also overreached by attacking ph in addition to kr and cn. Immediately after the war everyone knew what happened: de and ja leadership refused to listen to reason and tried to take on the entire world – except what actually happened is kikes got us, uk, and su to crush de for disagreeing.

    • BomberCommand says:

      >How much of the Allied victory in WW2 is attributable to European intellectuals who fled the Nazis?

      Very little of it. WW2 was won in the factories of the midwest and in the Russian factories built by Americans.

      >The worse a nation treats intellectuals, at least the kind who can design weapons, the more likely they are to lose the next war.

      Engineers and industrialists win wars, not intellectuals.

      >The French Revolutionaries idolized Newton. Now, do you happen to remember how Newton illustrated planetary motion? With the thought experiment of a cannonball fired from a mountain.

      And yet Napoleon won is great victories not from using Newton equations but rather by bringing well egneered and crafted light artility to bear at point blank ranges to blow wholes in his enmenies lines. Newton wasn’t a factor.

      • vxcc2014 says:

        You’re leaving out soldiers.

        • Cavalier says:

          80% of “World War II” was Germany and Russia duking it out between themselves. America supplied enormous amounts of raw materials and also supplied or oversaw the production of the stuff that the Soviets couldn’t make — critical components like tank radios and what-have-you. The other 20% was mostly Britain, also supplied by America, and a few percent was Italian soldiers under the supervision of German command and Mussolini in Egypt causing Napoleon 2.0.

    • TBeholder says:

      How much of the Allied victory in WW2 is attributable to European intellectuals who fled the Nazis?

      As much of it as, for example, falling of stones downward during the same period. Sure, you can attribute this to someone’s efforts, but stones thrown up not hard enough to reach escape velocity were going to fall either way.

      If the conclusion was not quite foregone, this simply won’t happen. Neither USA would rebuild German industry while pissing off everyone there even more, nor Soviet Union would train future Wehrmacht, if those responsible expected any outcome other than “pissed off Germans wreck England and France, overexert, overextend and become a punching bag”.

      The Manhattan Project almost certainly so but I would not be surprised to find them elsewhere as well.

      Which helped a whole lot somehow?

  8. peppermint says:

    Some people choose decency from intellectual arguments.

    Hey ilkarnal, have you ever seen a video of a transwoman getting her penis removed? Also there was a really funny story recently, “Maybe you have the fever cos I came inside you and I have HIV, lol. Whoops!”. Also meditate on goatse and the youtube vid pushing gaywards.

  9. Koanic says:

    So, now that you’ve saved Western civilization, what else are you going to blog about?

  10. glosoli says:

    Cane Caldo covered the freehold angle nicely a while back.

    The Brits (as always) had it right, the (((French))) William the Snonkeror imposed a crappy abusive system:

    https://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/a-churlish-defense/

    • Fascinating. “With William the Conqueror comes the French idea that the land belongs to the king”

      replace that with “Roman Imperial idea”. That is what “Frenchness” was about, much of the legal system not being Frank stuff (which was a lot like Anglo stuff) but Roman.

  11. […] Reading : Throne, Altar and Freehold over at Jim’s […]

  12. TBeholder says:

    Again, once there’s a “singularity”, the question is: what were the cases when the yarn ball was cut before it clogged the air?

    Soviet bureaucracy very quickly grew so obviously useless and cancerous that even loyal chucklefucks Ilf and Petrov mocked it mercilessly. Now, one Jugashvili started literally as a bandit – bank robber, and successful one at that. So, while they argued who’s holier, Uncle Joe promoted his men. Then he made it very clear that the bosses are held personally responsible for everything, and if they fuck up, they get to live as underfed lumberjacks only if they are small fry and lucky – while those who get things done are promoted and mostly left alone to do whatever they will. Also, demonstratively allowed the bosses (and military commanders) to exceed their authority and generally act, well, like bandits (general Eremenko whacking skulls of whoever annoyed him with his walking stick was noteworthy, but still not too infamous) – as long as they get the job done and are not obviously disloyal.
    The result: it’s not pretty at all, but things get done.

    • jim says:

      Pretty sure that the Soviet bureaucracy did not in fact get things done. Towards the end the lights were going out and the Soviet elite would fly to Finland to buy light bulbs.

      • TBeholder says:

        It turned into cancer amazingly fast. I mentioned Ilf and Petrov because they described a NEP time “commission”, which spawned departments for providing paper for itself and whatnot, and had intense rivalry with another bureaucratic tumor, but it did absolutely nothing useful, only spending. And obviously could do so indefinitely. Whenever one of these things had any real-world power, well, there’s your anarcho-tyranny, obviously.
        Then Stalin cut those growths down to size, and they remained small because he made the bosses responsible for actual results, gave them power they needed to ensure these results, and had little interest in excuses.
        After him nobody culled the bosses anymore, so the Parkinson’s law ran unchecked, if not anywhere near that fast. And it was visible, as in “it’s funny because it’s true” joke example from The Yawning Heights:
        Q: Why there are no muskrat hats in shops anymore?
        A: Because the muskrats reproduce in arithmetical progression, while the party bosses in geometrical. Also, culling of the bosses was not done for a long time.

        • TBeholder says:

          Or, more in line with your post’s theme:
          The “New Economical Policy” was in fact falling back most of the way to free market, which was done because socialism failed horribly in economy and this was the only way to Get Things Done.
          Likewise, Stalin’s system of “promotees” was in fact falling back most of the way to quasi-feudal “you have obligations before your boss, but do as you will in your domain” principle, which was done because socialism failed horribly in power structures and this was the only way to Get Things Done.

          • jim says:

            Capitalism gets stuff done, because property rights divide the unmanageably big problem into many smaller problems. Feudalism gets stuff done, because each lord is free within his domain, which divides the unmanageably big problem into many smaller problems.

            • pdimov says:

              The way to Get Things Done is to allow competent people to get things done.

              The way to not get things done is to kill the competent people, or to put incompetents in charge.

              Granting the competent (formal) sovereignty is one way do accomplish this, but it’s not the only way.

              • peppermint says:

                If the competent don’t have final say, who does? Me, or some other intellectual looking to virtue signal in between playing videogames and behaving inappropriately towards women? The new way of saying “sovereignty belongs in the hands of the competent” is “skin in the game”, and the way the left is able to converge companies run by their owners is by having converged companies buy them and offering career moves to the owners into the left sector of the economy.

                Of course, the CEOs of Twitter and Cloudflare aren’t going anywhere after destroying their companies, because FUCKING WHITE MALEs go to the bottom of every list, except alt-right lists, and traitors go to the bottom of those.

                • pdimov says:

                  Final say in the limited domain necessary to get specific things done is not the same as sovereignty.

                  The CEO has final say and gets things done, but he doesn’t own the company. He has no property rights whatsoever.

                  Were the “CEOs” of the Soviet constructor bureaus sovereign?

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OKB

                • pdimov says:

                  Or, more on topic, did they have freehold?

                • jim says:

                  It could be argued that they had informal, unofficial, and nominally illegal freehold, for so long as Stalin gave them a wink and a nod. But that was an unprincipled exception, which tended to quietly evaporate, and as it quietly evaporated, the lights went out and the Soviet elite wound up flying to Finland to buy lightbulbs.

                  We really need the official state Church to officially say that God gave freehold to those that have it.

                • pdimov says:

                  Nothing evaporated. The bureaus worked.

                  In America, since the

                  MARKET
                  A
                  R
                  K
                  E
                  T

                  is supposed to solve everything in the most efficient manner, when the state wants a jet built, it has to play an elaborate game by which to pretend to engage supposedly free market actors in supposedly highly free market ways.

                  In Soviet Russia, the state just made a company, put the right person in charge, and gave him the resources he needed.

                  The second way is, contra libertarians, much more efficient.

              • jim says:

                If no sovereignty, then no guard dogs trained to attack strangers on private property without waiting for human permission, if no guard dogs allowed, no real decision making allowed, if no real decision making allowed, ten thousand bureaucrats who wind up strangling each other in red tape because everything is connected to everything else.

                • pdimov says:

                  You just need the state on your side. No guard dogs or private property is needed.

                • jim says:

                  Your guard dogs need to be able to savage state bureaucrats, otherwise bureaucrats tread on each other’s toes, and you get the current crisis that brought Soviet Russia to a grinding halt, and is bringing Washington to a grinding halt.

                  If your guard dogs can savage state bureaucrats, are entitled to savage state bureaucrats, that is sovereignty. If, on the other hand, a cop can shoot a guard dog on the property of that guard dog’s owner, merely because the guard dog was going to rip the cop’s throat out, you are going to get the current bureaucratic morass.

                • pdimov says:

                  Soviet Russia was not brought to a grinding halt by state bureaucrats. It just went bankrupt.

                  You need the market to give you the correct prices. Without prices, you don’t know if you operate at a profit or at a loss. Hence, at a loss. Nothing that operates at a loss lasts forever.

                  You also need private property or equivalent if you want innovation to occur.

                  But if you need something specific like a pencil built, no need for a market or private property. You just put the right guy in charge of making you a pencil, and he does.

                  If the state is on your side, you don’t need guard dogs; the state bureaucrats won’t touch you.

                  If the state is not on your side, guard dogs will not help you against the state bureaucrats, as you will have no right to use them.

                • pdimov says:

                  Or, stated differently, why does the state simply not call off the bureaucrats, instead of granting you freehold?

                  Which way is more efficient? You won’t need to spend resources on guard dogs.

                  Can the state not call off the bureaucrats because they have freehold?

                  If so, is freehold the solution, or rather the problem?

                • jim says:

                  Or, stated differently, why does the state simply not call off the bureaucrats, instead of granting you freehold?

                  No the state cannot simply call off the bureaucrats, because everything overlaps with everything else.

                  If Pharaoh has twenty bureaucrats reporting to him, and tries to call them off each other, he is going to get dragged into three hundred and eighty demarcation disputes, as is happening in Washington right now.

                  Suppose that Moses is a competent man, and Pharaoh tells him to solve this bricks-without-straw crisis.

                  And Moses does so.

                  Then pretty soon there arrives in Pharaoh’s in tray a papyrus from Ipuwer, detailing a dozen new crises, each considerably more serious than the bricks without straw problem, because in the course of fixing the bricks module, Moses broke a dozen other modules.

                  To attain separation between the modules, Pharaoh has to give Moses authority to shoot to kill. If Pharaoh tries to call of the bureaucrats off, then, as is happening in Washington right now, he gets drawn into every dispute between Moses and the people managing the dozen other modules. He has to give Moses the necessary power to resolve the innumerable and complicated disputes without Pharaoh needing to show up.

                  Separating modules is complicated, and unavoidably treads on people’s toes. To attain separation, need to give the guy responsible for each module the right and power to chop the other guy’s toes off with an axe.

                • pdimov says:

                  Yet in the real world people manage to maintain separation between modules within the same company or project without using axes, without having the formal right to kill each other for module boundary violation, and without having any kind of property rights over their modules.

                • jim says:

                  Yet in the real world people manage to maintain separation between modules within the same company or project without using axe

                  No they do not. Core competency and all that. Each company has to handle a domain that is small enough that the CEO can in fact comprehend the whole damn thing. See the video on Steve Jobs. https://youtu.be/mLKA_BX6xKo?t=4s

                  No separation between modules there. Jobs has detailed comprehension and supervision of every module.

                  This is called core competency. If you try to handle too much you get bureaucratic bloat and paralysis, so have to outsource and divest.

                  If Steve Jobs tries to handle too much, his staff will be able to keep him in the dark and feed him shit, as depicted in “Dilbert”.

                • Cavalier says:

                  >If your guard dogs can savage state bureaucrats, are entitled to savage state bureaucrats, that is sovereignty.

                  Now, maybe I’m just crazy, but that sounds like rights and (self-)limited government and stuff to me.

                  Now, the question is: what is (self-)limited government but embryonic leftism?

                  And the follow-up question: can (self-)limited government work?

                • jim says:

                  Pretty sure that it also describes thirteenth century feudalism, which was not embryonic leftism.

                • Cavalier says:

                  Legally, the modern age began with the Magna Carta, which was the soldiers binding the sovereign. Note the abbrev. points:

                  * Thirteenth century;
                  * “Great Charter of the Liberties”;
                  * King bound by contract, i.e. “rule of law”;
                  * The first mention I can find of “rights”.

                  I’ve just skimmed the Wiki page, and there are some things you might find of high interest:

                  First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons.”

                  What’s this? It looks a hell of a lot like… separation of church and state (sovereign), imprisonment only by court process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and “no taxation without representation”.

                  The charter became part of English political life and was typically renewed by each monarch in turn, although as time went by and the fledgling English Parliament passed new laws, it lost some of its practical significance.

                  Nuts.

                  At the end of the 16th century there was an upsurge in interest in Magna Carta.

                  What a coincidence.

                  Lawyers and historians at the time believed that there was an ancient English constitution, going back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons, that protected individual English freedoms.

                  Traditional rights of Englishmen, yo.

                  They argued that the Norman invasion of 1066 had overthrown these rights, and that Magna Carta had been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus.

                  Indeed.

                  Although this historical account was badly flawed, jurists such as Sir Edward Coke used Magna Carta extensively in the early 17th century, arguing against the divine right of kings propounded by the Stuart monarchs.

                  Whaaat…

                  Both James I and his son Charles I attempted to suppress the discussion of Magna Carta, until the issue was curtailed by the English Civil War of the 1640s and the execution of Charles.

                  Pardon me, but I think that’s the killer blow.

                • jim says:

                  I don’t think the rot set in with the Magna Carta. The rot started in 1820 when it became embarrassingly obvious that George the Fourth was unable to control his slut wife, with the result that the power of English Kings died in ridicule, and, shortly thereafter, the British Empire became strangely unprofitable.

                  From the restoration to 1820, we got science, technology, the industrial revolution, and a highly profitable British empire. Not bad. I want to roll the clock back to 1660: Throne, Altar, a powerful and noble aristocracy, shortly followed by wealth, science, technology, and empire.

                • Cavalier says:

                  >If so, is freehold the solution, or rather the problem?

                  Power is sovereignty and sovereignty is power, and power is always distributed. The first question is what the particular contours of that distribution achieve.

                  Freehold may or may not be a manifestation of embryonic leftism. In either case, untempered freehold makes the freeholder a sovereign citizen. The second question is whether the citizen can be sovereign.

                  The third question is whether the men produce the world or the world produces the men. If we think that power should flow upwards, from peasant-patriarch to freeholder to manor lord to banner lord to king, or whatever, can this effect be produced from above?

                  Either a critical mass of pussy-whipped beta cuck weakling policemen and soldiers are somehow magically convinced that they deserve high testosterone and male spaces and an end to divorce-rape, or somebody waltzes into the District of Cthulhu and imposes it from above. This is the fourth question, perhaps the ultimate question: can power devolve itself?

                • pdimov says:

                  The zeroth question is whether a judge in Hawaii enjoying freehold is a good thing.

                • pdimov says:

                  “No they do not.”

                  They obviously do. But this aside, authority over a domain has nothing to do with property rights over that domain, like the right to sell it.

                • jim says:

                  > > > Yet in the real world people manage to maintain separation between modules within the same company or project without using an axe

                  > > No they do not. Core competency and all that.

                  > They obviously do.

                  If they did, the concept of “core competency” would not exist, or would not matter.

                • pdimov says:

                  “From the restoration to 1820, we got science, technology, the industrial revolution, and a highly profitable British empire. Not bad. I want to roll the clock back to 1660: Throne, Altar, a powerful and noble aristocracy…”

                  What if it was the industrial revolution that killed feudalism, as @neoabsolutism argues?

                  (Wouldn’t it be cool if we could tag people here like on Github.)

                • jim says:

                  English feudalism died in the thirteenth century, well before the Industrial revolution.

                  The power and status of the English aristocracy died in 1860, well after the industrial revolution, and a mighty long time after feudalism, though not long after the power of English kings.

                  What killed the power of the English aristocracy, was a program of priests denigrating warriors, in particular, and especially, upgrading logistics workers from “camp followers” to “soldiers”.

                  Short of actual battle, what matters is status, and in 1820 we see Whigs striking at the status of kings, and in 1860, striking at the status of warriors. Making hero out Florence Nightingale was part of making an idiot out of Lord Cardigan.

      • Except turning a nation that performed ridiculously at WW1 into a military superpower? It is precisely the surprising thing about them, everythign else they sucked at, yet not at this. I wonder if the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (MiG airplanes) was a form of freehold? Thing is I generally agree with you freehold logic thus I suspect in military matters they MUST have had a lot of unprincipled exceptions. They MiG 29, the T-34, the Kalashnikov were surprisingly good, not the usual fuckup.

  13. Carlylean Restorationist says:

    pdimov: “Soviet Russia was not brought to a grinding halt by state bureaucrats. It just went bankrupt.”

    This is the libertarian view and it’s probably on net a good thing that so many here are defending it.
    It is, however, ultimately mistaken. The problem is not government per se, nor the Mises calculation problem, nor even the *size* of government.
    The problem is that things can’t get done; when they’re done they’re subject to review, appeal and veto; and the things that do get done tend not to be the things that are genuinely useful.

    This is a problem of democracy, and, contra libertarianism, the market absent leadership from the top down in a ruthless, irresistible hierarchy of absolute power, is not sufficient to solve that problem because, in an anarcho-capitalist pure laissez-faire ‘privatise the oceans’ world, *democracy* acts through the market.
    Not _as bad_ as what you see around you today, but still no good and still tending in the same direction: bottlenecks and traffic jams.

    Furthermore, markets will tend to bend to reflect the failures of the state: the corporations are pozzed to the eyeballs and it’s not because some bureaucrat is forcing them. At the same time, the corporations are seeing their competitors thrown on the dungheap by the regulators. What the markets are giving us in the mixed economy is total collaboration with the insane democratic religion.
    Small steps in the direction of laissez-faire are NOT helpful!

    That is emphatically not an endorsement of socialism!

    What we need is for the Emperor to declare himself Emperor and put paid to all the confusion.

    “My executive orders are not requests and you judges are not there to judge ME.” – should be Trump’s guiding ethos, not “let me strike a deal so that I get to cut taxes and you get to keep your big government and we get DOW-24000”.

    • pdimov says:

      “The problem is that things can’t get done…”

      To clarify, on what do you base this claim?

      Do you have first hand knowledge of Soviet Russia? Second hand? Or is that based on some source material?

      Or do you extrapolate based on your (Western) experience? Because it doesn’t transfer.

      • jim says:

        I know that the Soviet Union elite could not get stuff done, because the elite would fly to Finland to buy light bulbs.

        I know that the Washington elite cannot get stuff done, because I can see them not getting stuff done: There is egregious and illegal delay, until someone sufficiently powerful gets sufficiently angry that the issue gets pushed up to a level that should not be dealing with such low pay grade issues.

        • pdimov says:

          “I know that the Soviet Union elite could not get stuff done, because the elite would fly to Finland to buy light bulbs.”

          And yet you’re still using their rockets to go into space?

          I don’t recall any particular lack of light bulbs, by the way. There were shortages of this and that, but I don’t remember shortages of light bulbs, specifically. Might have been a problem in Russia.

          Have you observed enterprises that run at a loss, but that do not maintain the accounting necessary to face it? They also inexplicably fail to get random things done, and it’s not clear why. Then at some point they collapse, ostensibly for some external or internal reason. But the actual cause is, of course, that nothing that runs at a loss lasts forever.

          • jim says:

            NASA could not get stuff done either, once they changed their objective from man in space, to black female in space.

            • pdimov says:

              Yes, obviously. But the point is that the Soviets did get certain things done. Which kind of provides a counterargument to the idea that they couldn’t get things done, in general and as a matter of principle.

              And rockets and jet fighters are hard, as you yourself wrote.

              • jim says:

                No the Soviets did not get stuff done. Their cars were infamously crap, their warplanes were crap, as the Arabs regularly complained. Their civilian people moving planes were crap, as the passengers regularly complained.

                To say that the Soviet bureaucracy was sometimes less dysfunctional than the Washington bureaucracy is to damn with faint praise.

                • pdimov says:

                  I give up.

                • mikey says:

                  All weapons seem to be crap when used by Arabs. Soviet warplanes were effective against germany, tanks were superior as well. They also produce them a hell of a lot cheaper as Russia continues to do.

                • jim says:

                  Well then, the capability of Soviet planes is unclear, since they never went head to head with American planes. So let us then consider Soviet cars.

                  Soviet cars were just undeniably shit.

                • Samuel Skinner says:

                  “Soviet warplanes were effective against germany, tanks were superior as well. tanks were superior as well. ”

                  1 in 3 ‘Soviet’ Aircraft were made in the US or UK.

                  https://ww2-weapons.com/lend-lease-tanks-and-aircrafts/

                  In total, Lend Lease armoured vehicles amounted to about 20 per cent of the total number of armoured vehicles manufactured by Russia in WW2.

                  A total of 14,833 US aircraft of all types were sent to Russia between 1942 and 1944.
                  Russian aircraft production 1942-1944 was 42,427 fighters and 11,797 bombers (additional 30,506 ground attack planes), which results that approximately 20 per cent of the fighters and 30 per cent of the bombers of the Red Air Force were American-built and approx. 10 per cent of the fighters were British-built.

                • pdimov says:

                  “So let us then consider Soviet cars.”

                  You will notice that I never gave Soviet cars as an example of Russia getting something done. 🙂

                  That might have something to do with the fact that I know very well what Soviet cars were like. 🙂

                • pdimov says:

                  “Well then, the capability of Soviet planes is unclear, since they never went head to head with American planes.”

                  They actually did, but we don’t know how they fared. Speaking of MiG-29 in particular, the MiGs of East Germany were most certainly used in exercises against F-16, but results don’t seem to be available.

                  Based on

                  https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/hornet-v-mig-5996629/

                  and

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-29#India

                  I’d put the MiG-29 roughly on par with F-16. (F-18 is better for dogfighting as far as I know.)

                • pdimov says:

                  As another data point, there’s

                  https://theaviationist.com/2013/12/11/sr-71-vs-mig-31/

                  Intercepting the SR-71 is hard.

                • jim says:

                  Your link still winds up saying that US government warplanes planes were substantially better than Soviet war planes.

                  And even if they had been equal, the real killer argument is comparing US private enterprise cars with Soviet cars.

                • pdimov says:

                  The Iraq-Iran war was Soviet against American planes, and while the outcome isn’t particularly conclusive, it wasn’t completely one-sided.

                • pdimov says:

                  “Your link still winds up saying that US government warplanes planes were substantially better than Soviet war planes.”

                  Yes, I know what it says.

                  If I apply your inductive reasoning and your poster girl principle, and take into account that the F-18s had American pilots and the MiGs had Malay pilots, and that F-18 > F-16 for this specific exercise, and that these wargaming exercises are always tilted to produce the outcome the generals want, and that no info on F-16 vs MiG-29 is available, I can easily conclude that the East German pilots wiped the floor with the F-16.

                  But I won’t. This isn’t necessary. We’re not discussing whether the MiG-29 was BETTER, we’re discussing whether it was crap.

                  Crap it is not.

                  “And even if they had been equal, the real killer argument is comparing US private enterprise cars with Soviet cars.”

                  Cars were crappy. Consumer goods in general weren’t their forte. Everything was… crude, compared to the Western counterpart. There was no incentive to make it otherwise.

                • jim says:

                  You are stretching. Even in this carefully selected case, the conclusion is, inferior to US planes.

                  Poster girl principle is: if this is the poster for Soviet planes, Soviet planes are shit.

                • pdimov says:

                  “Even in this carefully selected case, the conclusion is, inferior to US planes.”

                  The case is not carefully selected. You’re assuming that I was trying to pick and choose the article that shows the MiG in the best possible light.

                  You may be accustomed to arguing with dishonest morons, but that’s not how I roll.

                  “Soviet planes are shit.”

                  Sure, if you ignore all information to the contrary, like you ignored the two SR-71 intercepts, or the following sentences from the links I posted so far:

                  “The learning and bond-building will continue, but—starting this year—with new equipment: The Malaysians are replacing their MiG-29s with the newer, more advanced Sukhoi Su-30, a fighter/attack aircraft flown by a number of countries, including some with which the United States has had tense relations (China and Venezuela).”

                  “The MiG-29’s good operational record prompted India to sign a deal with Russia in 2005—2006 to upgrade all of its MiG-29s for US$888 million.” (Pakistan has F-16.)

                • jim says:

                  Supposing everything you say is representative of Soviet air capabilities, and I don’t think it is, it would only show that Soviet socialism was no worse than US government socialism and nazi socialism.

                  And, in fact, Soviet socialism was considerably worse than nazi socialism, but debating that question does not tell us much about how bad socialism is.

                  Communism did not fall for lack of warplanes, but for lack of potatoes. Soviet troops were stealing potatoes, because they were hungry.

                • pdimov says:

                  More sentences:

                  “The J-10A is powered by a single Russian Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engine giving a maximum static thrust of 12,500 kgf (123 kN).[34] The AL-31FN is based on the AL-31F which was designed for a twin engine aircraft such as the Su-27, to fit the smaller J-10 the engine parts have been moved and re-designed to fit the smaller engine bay in the J-10.

                  The J-10 was intended to be powered by the Chinese WS-10 Taihang turbofan, but development difficulties forced the J-10A to use a Russian engine instead.[35]”

                • pdimov says:

                  “Communism did not fall for lack of warplanes, but for lack of potatoes. Soviet troops were stealing potatoes, because they were hungry.”

                  The problem here is that when Soviet troops were stealing potatoes because hungry, communism didn’t fall, and when it did fall, decades later, they weren’t.

                • jim says:

                  Soviet troops were busy stealing potatoes the day communism fell. Under Stalin, commissars backed by Soviet troops were doing the stealing, so the Soviet troops could be relied upon to obey the commissars. At the end, they were stealing the potatoes themselves, so became unreliable.

                • pdimov says:

                  (Unless you were talking about Afghanistan?)

                • pdimov says:

                  “Soviet troops were busy stealing potatoes the day communism fell.”

                  Not in my country. Maybe they did in Russia, I don’t know. A Russian who remembers those times may be able to say.

              • ilkarnal says:

                So let us then consider Soviet cars. Soviet cars were just undeniably shit.

                How do you think Soviet cars compared to German cars on the eve of World War two?

                • jim says:

                  I recall hearing from World War II soldiers that Russian soldiers found jeeps mind blowing, and hoped that the creator of the Jeep had become stupendously rich.

            • peppermint says:

              Black woman in space would work, what killed NASA was the need to make Hidden Figures for Boomer men to virtue signal about. Which the other Boomer men euphemistically called ridiculous and unpredictably changing with administrations government mandates, and military satelite repair and congressional pork got blamed. So the compromise was private sector prize based engineering. Now private sector meritocracy is also illegal, where meritocracy itself was a leftist idea to replace ownership and nationalism.

          • EdensThaw says:

            Agreed.

            Take a drive around DC Beltway–

            80% of the streetlights are OFF.

            The working 20% are so weak they do not illuminate the road a bit.

            • Cavalier says:

              Dude, it’s called being eco-friendly???

              ???

              ???

            • BomberCommand says:

              >80% of the streetlights are OFF.

              I noticed that when I was in DC 8 years ago. I also noticed that the subway system looked like crap from a Disneyland ride from the 60s. I couldn’t believe the most nation on earth in the capital city had such bad looking and dilapidated subway.

  14. vxcc2014 says:

    Jim on the title topic,

    If Throne is Republic or President then we have a winning formula for fighting men.

    Remember sworn to the Republic, tens of millions strong, trained, veterans.
    We win wars, others just provide the materials and tools.

    Altar? Just as long as it’s not Harvard and Social Justice Warriors.

    We come to Freehold: oh how the warrior class would love this so..
    We can’t even pretend we’re not Patriarchy. What would be the tempting hook that makes this a winner is stable families. Far too many vets are divorced. For that matter cops as well.

    The Freehold is very attractive and of course works, what we have doesn’t.

  15. Mackus says:

    All good points, but if king doesn’t crush nobility, wouldn’t he end up with internally stable, but externally weak country like pre-Mohac Hungary or Poland-Lithuania?

    • Cavalier says:

      Yes.

    • jim says:

      Depends. The King needs to have a free hand in dealing with powerful external and internal enemies, and the aristocrat needs to have a free hand dealing with his feudal domain. If the King starts screwing the aristocrat’s domain, pretty soon you get the paralysis in dealing with external enemies that we are seeing with our federal government.

      • pdimov says:

        The question is whether the aristocrats are owners of their domains or CEOs of their domains, appointed by the king, who owns everything.

        If the former, how would the king deal with his powerful enemies if he owns nothing?

        • jim says:

          The usual solution to this problem is a certain degree of ambiguity. The Aristocrats own their domains except when they do not.

          If a King has twenty bureaucrats reporting to him, he gets 20*19 jurisdictional disputes, three hundred and eighty jurisdictional disputes, as every bureaucrat has an issue with every other bureaucrat, which issue lands on the King’s in tray.

          If twenty aristocrats each lord of his own domain, few jurisdictional disputes go all the way to the King. But when they do go all the way to the King, it tends to turn out that the King owns everyone and everything, but when they do not go all the way to the King, it turns out he does not.

  16. John Sterne says:

    Ok one paragraph was enough. Thrones have the advantage to the people that you know who to blame for bad governance. Thats only advantage, one man cant possibly personally govern even a medieval shire so its always bureaucracy, ans some dim wit like trump being manipulated by clever courtiers. And even if you’re lucky and get a smart king still too much for one man and you wont get as good a second generation.and others want similar hereditary privilege and now you have a gaggle of inbred morons running the show and genius cutting hay.The morons respond by preventing progress because they dont understand it except its likely to upset their tenuous grasp.

    as for alters they are cults and like the genes that inspire them they evolve randomly.They are open sores waiting for charles manson or marx to come reinterpret the entrails. You want a nation built on science and reason, you want it to respond wisely to changing conditions that science and reason reveal but because science and reason have already revealed it is prudent to move very cautiously you have a science and reason informed culture of caution and tradition with a caveat, you cant entry through science and reason unless you are actually right in which case that should be acknowledged and argument s for how to respond cautiously considered.

    • jim says:

      Ok one paragraph was enough. Thrones have the advantage to the people that you know who to blame for bad governance. Thats only advantage, one man cant possibly personally govern even a medieval shire so its always bureaucracy

      No, there is not always bureaucracy.

      Bureaucracy is the result of an organization trying to do too much. If an organization remains tightly focused on its core competence, it does not suffer from bureaucracy. Hence the tendency of society always to revert to capitalism and/or feudalism. Medieval shires did not suffer from bureaucracy. If you had an issue that required government intervention, you generally handled it yourself and did not bug the lord or the priest. Private individuals generally took care of what are now state issues. And if you really needed to bug the Lord or the priest, you went in person and asked him personally.

      If we look at earlier times, no one seems to get charged for acts of violence. Rather, they are charged for the misconduct that resulted in the violence. Three people are wounded, one of them dead. The Lord asks what it was about. Turns out this guy was trying to shoplift a loaf of bread. OK, we will hang him for the loaf of bread. No one, even the original shoplifter, gets charged with extensive use of private violence.

      This cheerful attitude towards private violence meant that most issues were settled privately without bothering the Lord.

  17. […] springs off Jim’s monumental essay (more on that below) with a nuanced synopsis: Throne, Altar, and Externalities. He coins the term […]

  18. Art says:

    pdimov:
    “A Russian who remembers those times may be able to say.”

    Jim,

    Pdimov is right. Potatoes and light bulbs were some of the few things the Soviets did not run out of.
    You are missing his point. It is not that Soviet stuff was good but that some of it was not crap, despite what follows from your reasonong.

    Even Soviet cars weren’t that crappy considering design objectives: cheap cars that can survive Soviet roads and harsh climate with sporadic maintenance and improvised spare parts.
    And post-WW2 heavy trucks were pretty awsome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INYHS2pRV1Q

    What’s most impressive is not even the capability but the fact that after decades of extreme abuse by socialist workers
    this equipment is still in service, relied upon for survival by the people in Siberian wilderness.

    I think it is important to understand why SOME of the Soviet stuff was not crap, which is hard to do if you treat it like a thought crime.
    I can think of two reasons:
    1. Freehold, as others have noted. Design shops where a few talented people were exampt from the rules and allowed to apply their talents.
    If you look at successfull Soviet tech it is obvious that its success is entirely due to the enginuity of a few individuals who managed to build something capable out of crap.
    Sort of like a spaceship with improvised light bulbs.
    2. The country canibalizing itself. T-34 was built on the bones of starving peasants whose grain was traded for industrial equipment.

    Are there other reasons? I don’t know. It is a good question.

    • Oliver Cromwell says:

      Soviet stuff that was “good” always seems to have been “good” because it was easy to build and being easy to build was incidentally useful in its intended role. That looks like chance, rather than conscious choice. Soviet cars also seem to have been produced in very small quantities – wikipedia says the USSR was making fewer cars than Spain in 1990 – which suggests that these simple products were also very expensive in terms of proportion of national effort their construction required.

      • pdimov says:

        Ballistic missiles aren’t easy to build.

        Car production was very low, yes. There was a waiting list of ten years or so for the least crappy models.

        • Oliver Cromwell says:

          And Soviet ballistic missiles were notably fewer and crappier than American, despite the Soviets having a military budget about ten times that of the US as a proportion of national income.

          • pdimov says:

            Breaking news, capitalism a more efficient economic system than socialism.

            You do realize that this makes ballistic missiles even harder to build?

            • Oliver Cromwell says:

              I do not see your point. That the Soviet Union had to work much harder to build equipment that was still worse than that of the US shows that the Soviet Union had a lesser ability to build complex equipment.

              • pdimov says:

                Jim: socialism failed because the state could not get things done
                I: it did get things done such as MiG-29
                You: it only got easy things done, by chance
                I: ballistic missiles aren’t easy
                You: it got fewer of them done, and worse, than the US
                I: it got hard things done while handicapped by an inferior economic system. This is a stronger argument that it could get things done, not a weaker one.

                • jim says:

                  You are comparing the achievements of US government sociaism and German socialism with Russian socialism, and telling me there is not a whole lot of difference.

                  Indeed, there is not.

                  Now, compare Soviet cars with US cars.

                • pdimov says:

                  So your argument is now that fine, socialism could get socialist things such as missiles done, but it couldn’t get capitalist things such as cars done?

                  Yes, this pretty much sums it up.

                • jim says:

                  I need cars. I am not allowed to have missiles, and if I was allowed to have missiles, would be allowed to have private enterprise missiles which would be enormously cheaper and better.

                • pdimov says:

                  Yeah, I know that. This all started by my responding to the assertion that the socialist state couldn’t get things done.

                  It obviously was very bad at getting consumer things done, less so in other areas. And the dividing line between the things it was very bad at and those it was less bad at (missiles, dams, nuclear reactors) is probably the existence of (first order) market demand.

                  Whether your modified argument that socialism failed because it couldn’t get the latter things done, and therefore freehold, is correct, I’m less sure about.

                  China was successful in swapping out the economic system while keeping the system of government basically intact, so there’s that. I don’t think they embraced freehold while doing so, but I could be wrong.

                • jim says:

                  You are deliberately missing the point.

                  It is not that the American State was better than the Soviet State at building cars.

                  It was that the American State did not build cars, while the Soviet State did build cars, and should not have done so.

                  Anything that can be done by capitalism or feudalism, should not be done by the central state.

    • jim says:

      CIA says they did run out, and I heard a lot of anecdotes along those lines.

      Also

      And I heard plenty of anecdotes about hungry Soviet soldiers simply hijacking Soviet food trucks.

      The Soviet Union fell in substantial part because it failed to feed its soldiers, their troop transports would not go, and their officers found the lights going out on them.

      • Art says:

        The CIA table compares 1988 potato production/consumption by republic (for some reason excluding the 3 most productive),
        and presenting it as “shortage/even/surplus”.
        Unless you believe that potatoes must be consumed in the same republic they are grown, it is not telling you what you so desperately want to hear.
        Imagine a similar table for US automobile production by state and think what it would tell us about shortages.

        • jim says:

          Infamously, people in the Soviet Union would pay good money for dud light bulbs, presumably with the intent that when they spotted a working light bulb, they would steal it and replace it with the dud light bulb.

          That people paid money for dud light bulbs under Brezhnev confirms that the lights were going out and confirms the story that the Russian elite would fly to Finland to buy light bulbs. That the lights were going out confirms that the Russian army was stealing potatoes.

          • pdimov says:

            Replacing the good light bulb in a government-owned building with the dud one is something very much in the spirit of those times. But I lived then, and I tell you, I remember no shortage of light bulbs specifically.

            Shortages were local and not global then though, so if you’re far away from the plant that produces the light bulbs, it might very well have happened that no light bulbs reached your store. I could just have been lucky. Or the price of light bulbs in Russia may have been set very low.

            • jim says:

              And soldiers intercepting potato trucks also very much in the spirit of those times.

              The spirit of those times sounds like an economic system that was failing in a multitude of everyday ordinary small things.

              Sounds to me that you are saying “The Soviet economic system worked, except when it did not, which was a lot of the time”.

              • pdimov says:

                When your ideology rests on the idea that private property is theft, it’s hard to instill respect for property rights. After a few generations, everyone steals whatever not nailed down.

                Plus, there were things you just were not allowed to buy, like 5.25″ floppy disks (private citizens were not supposed to own computers) so you had no option but to steal them.

                Theft from the state was normalized and rampant, regardless of whether there was shortage of the item or not.

                The central planning committee’s calculations on how many light bulbs are needed were probably also off.

                So yeah, socialism worked exactly as expected.

                This however does not imply that socialism can’t feed a country. My estimation, based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes, is that given a reasonably white population, it easily can.

                If however you want to both feed the population and produce ballistic missiles, and you prioritize the missiles over feeding the population, well, it’s North Korea time.

                I doubt that anyone can possibly argue that socialism was a more efficient economic system, so in a direct competition, USSR of course lost to USA.

                But, again in my opinion, if left alone, after a period of stabilization, Venezuela will be able to feed itself under its present government.

                There’s an unprincipled exception under socialism in that your backyard is considered “personal property” and not “private property” so you can grow your own potatoes. And people did.

                When you transition from an efficient system which needed 10% farmers to an inefficient one that needs 50% farmers, there’s going to be food shortage during the transition period.

                And in fact, when you transition abruptly in the reverse direction, as happened here, there’s also going to be (and there was) a brief food shortage at the beginning, until people adapt.

                • Art says:

                  pdimov:
                  “This however does not imply that socialism can’t feed a country. My estimation, based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes, is that given a reasonably white population, it easily can.

                  There’s an unprincipled exception under socialism in that your backyard is considered “personal property” and not “private property” so you can grow your own potatoes. And people did.”

                  But what follows is not that “socialism can feed a country” but rather that some degree of capitalism is enough to feed otherwise socialist country.

                • pdimov says:

                  Or some degree of feudalism, if the land on which you grew potatoes for you own use wasn’t yours (which was also a thing).

                  What happens here however is not really capitalism or feudalism. It’s people being nominally employed in other professions having to farm because the economy needs more farmers.

                  It’s a bit like Uber drivers being nominally web startup founders and cryptoecosystem enterpreneurs, but in actual practice being taxi drivers making less than minimum wage.

                • jim says:

                  > This however does not imply that socialism can’t feed a country. My estimation, based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes, is that given a reasonably white population, it easily can.

                  If people are stealing potatoes and growing their own potatoes, it is not socialism that is feeding them. And if people are growing their own potatoes, and you are a soldier who cannot grow his own potatoes …

                  The New Economic Plan was that they would allow some capitalism, so that they could steal enough to feed the soldiers.

                  Trots demanded that this capitalism should be shut down, and Stalin, while repressing the Trots, went through the motions of shutting it down, so that it ceased to exist formally as capitalism, but continued to exist as crime, feudalism, and unprincipled exceptions.

                  What you observed with your own eyes was not that white socialism can feed people, but that crime, feudalism, and unprincipled exceptions can feed people.

                  But crime, feudalism, and unprincipled exceptions make getting potatoes to your soldiers a bit tricky.

                  The retreat to the New Economic Plan shows that socialism cannot feed people, and today’s commies are always complaining that Stalin’s socialism was not real socialism, and indeed it was not. Stalin’s socialism was hiding the New Economic Plan under the carpet.

                • pdimov says:

                  If your argument is that real socialism can’t feed people, I’m not going to argue. But the not-real-socialism could. It’s not capitalism when you can’t accumulate capital, and it’s not feudalism when you don’t have lords owning the land, but the state owning the land.

                • jim says:

                  It is feudalism, informally and unofficially, when certain powerful people have enough power that they can do their own thing within their own sphere, and those that answer to them are able to eat because they do their boss’s thing.

                  Feudalism is political power privatized, so that the Lord is entitled to make his own decisions in his own sphere in accord with his own best interest, which means the Lord’s boss gives up on trying to keep track of matters happening in that sphere.

                  It would have worked better had it been officially and formally feudalism.

                  If not-real-socialism can sort of feed most people most of the time, that is not really an argument because no one actually likes not-real-socialism.

                  The strictest definition of feudalism is the system of which William the Marshal was an exemplar, in that he proudly did stuff by right that would now be the province of cops, judges, and bureaucrats. And we have not had feudalism like that for seven hundred years or so. But we are always sliding into something rather like it because the big boss is overwhelmed, has too much political power so that some of it is bound to slip through his fingers.

                  Feudalism keeps coming back underground, the way capitalism keeps coming back underground.

                • pdimov says:

                  “If not-real-socialism can sort of feed most people most of the time, that is not really an argument because no one actually likes not-real-socialism.”

                  That’s not quite true. https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Poll-Most-Russians-Prefer-Return-of-Soviet-Union-and-Socialism-20160420-0051.html

                  In South America people keep voting for that as well.

                  Would have been nice if USG could just leave Venezuela alone so that we could observe in real time how not-real-socialism would unfold there on its own. Unfortunately, they just can’t help themselves.

                  Castro did relatively well under the circumstances though.

                • jim says:

                  I have spent quite a lot of time in Castro’s Cuba. He did not do relatively well under the circumstances. His people were hungry, gravely malnourished, were denied basic medicines and basic medical treatment, and their elite treated them with arrogance, brutality, and contempt. Visiting leftists were surrounded with a bubble of luxury that made an utter mockery of their pretended beliefs.

                  I was there. I saw what I saw. I have met people who were also there, and say they saw something completely different. They lie. They lie out of evil, malice, and hatred, and under polite and superficially friendly questioning about our shared experiences, they were unable to keep their story straight.

                • jim says:

                  In the Soviet Union, eighty percent of people vote for Putin. Putin stands for the return of the Soviet Union, but he sure does not stand for the return of socialism.

                • pdimov says:

                  Under the circumstances (communism+embargo) I would have expected cannibalism in ten years.

                • pdimov says:

                  Those people who in the polls say they would like socialism to return really mean it. They remember it and they say they prefer it.

                • jim says:

                  Putin is not socialist, and Putinism is not socialism. So I am pretty sure they do not mean it.

                • pdimov says:

                  “So I am pretty sure they do not mean it.”

                  You are wrong.

                • jim says:

                  How is your Trabant?

                • pdimov says:

                  I have two Audis.

          • Art says:

            No one is disputing that lught bulbs and potatoes were stolen.
            As pdimov said: “Theft from the state was normalized and rampant, regardless of whether there was shortage of the item or not”.
            In the Soviet Union the single most commonly stolen item was the one most pletiful and cheap – plain drinking glasses from street soda dispensories.
            I am puzzled why you wouldn’t expect plentiful and cheap items to be stolen. How does that contradict your model of socialism?

            • pdimov says:

              People supposedly paying good money for dud light bulbs does imply shortage though. I’ve never heard of that but it could have been a thing somewhere. Russia is a big country.

  19. […] “The state must be one, but society must be many. You need many independent actors to operate the economy, but the state must be one actor, and must restrict itself to things where only one actor can operate.” […]

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