All wars should be systematic…
1: On Miracles.
2: The Ontology Tzar.
3: A Political Possibility Proof.
4: Different Strata of Reality.
5: The Collapse of Clinton and the Crisis of the Modern Structure.
6: On Contracts and Civilisation.
7: Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves.
8: England’s “Nuremberg Moment”.
9: American Anomalies.
10: Travers on the Trump Miracle.
11: Summary and Conclusion.
1: On Miracles.
A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature resulting from the will of the deity or the will of some other supernatural entity.
Miracles are impossible, not in the logical sense of “impossibility” but in the physical sense.
There are three kinds of possibility/impossibility: 1: logical; 2: physical; 3: practical.
David Hume is supposed to have claimed that the surest proof of the impossibility of miracles is that they cannot happen.
Of course, Hume was attacked on this point by critics who charged him with ruling out miracles a priori. That is to say, Hume was begging the question.
Not so. While there is both philosophical ambiguity in Hume’s work (was he a causal anti-realist, a skeptical realist or a naturalist?) and textual ambiguity (due, perhaps, to his overheated rhetoric at times), his arguments make sense if you understand that he was not applying Bayesian reasoning before Bayes. (Bayes developed his theory of reasoning as a direct response to Hume’s arguments regarding miracles.)
Hume is not saying that miracles are logically impossible; he is saying that we have insufficient reason to believe any miracle a priori. In order for any event to even be considered a miracle it must first rationally overturn all our prior experience. This it cannot do because the evidential strength of all our prior experience will be so strong that no testimony or collection of testimony would be strong enough to dislodge it.
The plain consequence is (and it is a general maxim worthy of our attention), “That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish: And even in that case there is a mutual destruction of arguments, and the superior only gives us an assurance suitable to that degree of force, which remains, after deducting the inferior.”
While we have great admiration for Hume and have profited a great deal from the man, we have, nevertheless, taken on board many of the lessons of Kantian and Misean epistemology. So let’s present an analogous argument, but one that is conceptual as opposed to empirical.
Conceptually speaking, unless you begin with the premise that there are natural laws and that natural laws, by definition, cannot be broken by anything – except by God – then you will not be able to argue that X or Y was a miracle.
Because if you do not have unbreakable natural laws in the first place and if you do not have a particular natural law A, then you cannot claim that event X or Y is an instance of this law being broken – because there is no law to break.
The concept of natural law is analogous to criminal laws. The concept of “crime” makes no sense unless you have laws and a law designating Z as a crime. By the same token, the concept of a “miracle” makes no sense unless you have a law designating A as a law of nature.
For instance, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a “natural law” and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics cannot be broken. (These scientists are still using the qualifiers “possibly”, “might” and “could be” – probably in order to get more money for “research”.)
What this all amounts to then is that the necessary preconditions for claiming that a miracle has occurred is that they are impossible and if they are impossible – as they must be – then this is the strongest reason not to believe a miracle has occurred in the first place. QED.
Of course, David Hume did not make this argument – we did. Nevertheless, Hume had more arguments in his arsenal than the preceding one.
Hume also argued that our “experience” provides us with a “proof” that miracles do not, in all probability, happen. That is to say, when we compare either the proportion or the frequency of A to X, we see that all our previous observations are cases of A and not X (men die and stay dead; the dead sometimes do rise).
Secondly, our experience also furnishes us with plenty of evidence that both historical and contemporary claims of miracles have, beyond all reasonable doubt, turned out to be either fraudulent or mistaken claims. Thus, probabilistically, the claim that X is a miracle is not only unreasonable but, almost certainly, false.
When we put Hume’s arguments together they form not two distinct arguments but one. You have a prior probability for A or X and then you adjust that probability conditional on the evidence you acquire a posteriori.
Now, suppose you are a person who lives in California and are a life-long, Democrat voting, progressive; you are a hippie and someone who not only believes in the arc of history but that all humans are cognitively equal and that progressive democracy is the End of History. Suppose, furthermore, that we were to tell you in 1997 that Donald Trump would be president of USG in 2017 after running as a Republican.
Would you believe this proposition?
Would you grant the proposition a high probability? Plausibly not. You might even argue, a priori, that this was an impossibility – a miracle (and not even in the colloquial sense, perhaps).
You might argue that there is no way that a political outsider and thus a man with no experience, who lives in New York, who is divorced (twice) and who appears (at least to us) as irreligious, is going to win over all those Godly people in Red America.
Now, nineteen years later, suppose we ask you in November 2016, after Trump defeated 16 fellow Republicans in a primary, if you think it is probable that Trump will defeat Hilary Clinton. How would you respond?
Let’s assume that you are a devoted consumer of the New York Times, CNN and maybe even the Guardian, and that you have paid close attention to everything Trump said and did on the campaign trail. What probability does Trump have of winning, a posteriori?
What about Clinton’s probability of winning?
It is a certainty – right?
However, while you might not explicitly believe or articulate a rationale for the “fact” that Trump cannot win, you probably do feel that he cannot because it, somehow, just violates the natural order of things.
You believe -you feel – that the arc of history bends towards justice and Trump becoming president is a gross, awful, no-good and hideously unjust overturning of the way the world not only works but is supposed to work.
But Trump won.
You, meanwhile, are dumbfounded.
It was an actual “absolute miracle from God”.
2: The Ontology Tzar.
Michael Travers is a smart man, but he is an American – one who lives in California and in Chicago (or so it seems). Michael Travers calls himself, on his always interesting and sometimes useful blog, an “ontology Tzar”. Presumably, this means he is an emperor on what kinds of things exist. Travers says of himself that he likes to be or is “right” (as in having an accurate, rational and ethical understanding of the world).
He does not believe in a personal God and neither do we.
Initially, we thought he was some sort of naturalist, as are we, but now we are not so sure.
What is a naturalist?
At the very least, a naturalist is not a theist or an idealist. A naturalist is someone who thinks that all that exists is natural: natural laws and natural entities located within space and time. A naturalist does not believe in miracles. Naturalists believe that man is made of the same stuff as everything else and modern naturalists believe that man evolved as a result of evolution by natural selection. Hard core naturalists believe that the mind is the brain. STEEL core naturalists, however, do not believe in (libertarian) free will. The logical implication of this belief is that moral responsibility is conceptually impossible.
What this means is that no one is ever morally responsible for what they do or don’t do. Thus, no one deserves to be punished – in the retributive sense.
Of course, people can still be punished.
People, as the naturalist philosopher, Dan Dennett, claims can still be punished in the “honest to goodness”, punitive sense. Now Travers thinks naturalists are “pretty decent folks”. We wonder if he would revise his belief if he happened to read what comes next.
Below is the full paragraph where Dennett sets out, not only his views on punishment, but on civilisation itself. We include the following because we find it to be elegant, cogent and beautiful. Dennett:
Suppose you sign a contract which includes a clause about what penalty you will pay if you fail to deliver. And then when you fail, suppose you refuse to pay the penalty. What happens? What should happen? If other attempts at getting you to pay the stipulated penalty—laws suits and the like—fail, you eventually become eligible to be taken, by force if necessary, against your will, and put on trial. You become liable for punishment. Not rehabilitation, not treatment, but honest to goodness infliction-of-suffering-type punishment. Not beating, but incarceration and/or punitive fines extracted by whatever means necessary from your estate. Why? Because in entering into a contract you tacitly agreed to be part of the system that has this further escalation clause behind it. Were you “coerced” into joining this system, making this deal? (Waller, p. 109-110) Not at all. It’s a wonderful bargain. I for one don’t want to live in a world without contracts—not because I’m a pathetic dupe of capitalism (for instance) but because contracts are just the carefully articulated expression of the underlying concept of a promise made in good faith, and I don’t want to live in a world without promising. It is the very glue of civilization. I expect that Waller would agree with me on this point. He, too (I imagine—he never mentions it), wants to maintain promising and contracts and the institutional understandings that make them possible, but if so, I guess he doesn’t view the penalties and justification of taking-by-force-if-necessary of these institutions as punishment (real, retributive punishment), since after all, they have a consequentialist grounding, as just articulated. To make the contrast clear, that concept is my “core concept” of moral responsibility, an ultimately consequentialist, not retributive concept.
Now Dennett is a smart guy – a very smart guy. Dennett, alas, is a liberal. Michael Travers is a liberal. Michael Travers is not a reactionary and certainly not a neoreactionary.
Let’s return to the above paragraph. Notice that Dennett claims that the miscreant (love that word – which Dennett uses elsewhere) is not to be “beaten”.
Well, why not?
If beating miscreants makes them conform to the contract – the promise – they signed and agreed to abide by and therefore act in a civilised manner and if you are a consequentialist, then, again, why not beat them?
And if you do accept that miscreants can and sometimes should be beaten, then why not also accept that some miscreants should also be executed? Why should you not accept the dual reason that miscreants should not only be executed for their crimes but also for the good of civilisation?
Of course, this line of thought is all on the assumption that there is such a thing as a legal contract, which the miscreant in question has voluntarily signed and that the punishment is justified consequentially.
If you are Dan Dennett or Michael Travers you probably feel that this argument for beating and executing miscreants is wrong, but you cannot put your finger on why it is wrong.
If you want to reject the conclusion that beating and executing miscreants may be justified you have a couple of options:
1: You reject the practice and theory of contracts, promising, laws and crimes.
2: You reject the theory and practice of consequentialist reasoning.
3: You accept (1) and (2), but argue that either there is no sufficient empirical evidence that such punishments work or that there exists evidence that beating and executing miscreants leads to worse harms than the punishments were designed to deter in the first place.
If you reject (1) and (2), it is hard to see how you could save civilisation and we are all about saving civilisation right?
If you opt for (3), however, then you are stuck wrestling the empirical pigs in the pig-shit. At best, both sides (to beat or not to beat) are locked in a kind of epistemic battle of attrition. However, if we are committed to empiricism – at least on this question – then the empirical thing to do would be to set up, let’s say, a city-state where such things as contracts, laws, caning and capital punishment exist and then run the experiment for a few decades and see what happens.
Would Michael Travers commit himself to this line of argument?
3: A Political Possibility Proof.
Even if Travers refused to commit himself to this empirical political experiment, we can observe, however, that such an experiment does exist and has existed – for many decades – and the name of the experiment is called Singapore.
Singapore has the death penalty. Singapore is also tough on vandalism, chewing gum, littering and even beats or “canes” miscreants. Singapore has some of the lowest crime rates in the world. It has been ranked as the second safest country in the world, losing to Japan.
But is Singapore not some North Korean like hell-hole? Hell no. Just look at this BBC report. In addition to being one of the safest of places in the world, the Singaporeans are among the world’s healthiest; furthermore, the country is one of the least corrupt and one of the best places to do business in.
You can compare Singapore with America here.
What can be said about Singapore can also be said about South Korea, Japan and now China (at least the coastal cities) as well.
Our point here is that Singapore, Japan and South Korea all have the death penalty and cane miscreants (Japan informally carries out corporal punishment in schools); however, these Asian societies are successful, civilised societies. Thus, these Asian societies offer what philosophers call a “possibility proof”. They show us that it is possible to have a successful civilisation which rejects some of the practices of the West.
Naturally, the standard retort here is to state that correlation does not equal causation. Just because Singapore executes and beats miscreants does not mean that this causes crime to be low. True, but it does not mean that it doesn’t. Maybe Dan Dennett and Michael Travers would like to take up their objections with this man (too late! Try his son) who knew more and had more experience about how to run a government and create a successful society than they will ever do.
4: Different Strata of Reality.
Mencius Moldbug is not a liberal, a democrat or a leftist. Moldbug is a neoreactionary.
Michael Travers has a low opinion of Moldbug. Using the handle mtraven, he was a frequent critic in the comments section of Unqualified Reservations and some of his criticisms were indeed worthy (see here).
Travers has a low opinion of “wing-nuts”, as he likes to call the “right”.
I should explain that my fascination with wingnuts is fairly specific. There are dozens of right wing bloggers who are merely stupid or repellent, and there is also a correspondingly sizable army of leftists who take on the task of mocking them. I’m not very interested in playing that game. The right-wingers on my list are those that exert a peculiar fascination on me, those whose raving seem to say something about the human condition, or at least my condition. Those who seem to be radical enough, in the sense of wanting to get to the root of things, that they have something new to say. Mencius Moldbug may be the prototype of this class, but I am discovering others.
This is what Travers had to say, however, about Clinton’s deplorable remark:
…here՚s my concrete and personal reaction: Yes, I find Trump and most of his supporters deplorable, and I don՚t have any problem with making that judgement, or the idea that this particular political contest actually is a fight against a very real form of evil.
In 2013, this is what he said about neoreaction:
What is neoreaction? Roughly, it equates to being explicitly anti-democratic. Neoreactionaries believe that democracy has failed and in fact must fail, and that the only viable form of government is autocracy. Why this idea should appeal to anyone in this day and age is a bit of a mystery.
After calling Nrx “total nonsense” he then quotes the following from Moldbug:
“…a reactionary is a believer in order, stability, and security. All of which he treats as synonyms….Thus, the order that the rational reactionary seeks to preserve and/or restore is arbitrary. Perhaps it can be justified on some moral basis. But probably not. It is good simply because it is order, and the alternative to order is violence at worst and politics at best. If the Bourbons do not rule France, someone will – Robespierre, or Napoleon, or Corner Man
Travers then says in response:
Moldbug’s entire output is like this: crisply built on axioms that collapse like tissue if looked at with even a minimum of critical thought. And for all the macho posturing that goes on in this corner of the internet, it strikes me as a fearful, shameful, wussified stance. Order and security may be fine things, but if you are willing to sacrifice everything else for them, you have no pride, and you will only produce stultification.
Then, he gives us his 2013 forecast:
So, I don’t think neoreaction is really going to get much political traction, because it is just too extreme, silly, nerdy, and ultimately self-contradictory. But it does seem to have become a powerful attractor in idea-space, and more people are being pulled into the orbit of this extremely dark belief system. There are short paths between this nonsense and real powers in technology, and that is something that at least needs to be watched.
Then, in 2015, he had this to say:
Much to my surprise neoreaction grew from a single blog run by a single genius to a major movement, which now has an incalculable number of websites and buy-in from some fairly serious people.
Travers, in 2016, after a conference “controversy” said:
I՚ve thought Moldbug՚s stuff was pretty outrageous, but never really took it seriously enough to become personally offended or threatened. I was willing to debate him over it rather than pushing it away in horror.
Later in the year, he said the following over the controversy of some people not wanting Moldbug to speak:
The issue is framed by his defenders as a simply a matter of a weird, smart, original thinker getting unfairly punished because of his ideas. He՚s just talking, not actually committing any violent acts, and talk is harmless and should be protected. But his opponents do not believe that speech is harmless. Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas can have murderous consequences, and thus bad ideas need to opposed not simply with words.
Then, he finishes with the following claim, which should be kept in mind for what comes later, about “civilization”:
Civilization and rationality turned on those who thought it was on their side and remoreselessly dehumanized, tortured, and murdered them on an industrial scale. We՚ve already had experience with human-built systems that end up expressing antihuman goals.
Yet it can՚t be repeated too often, because it doesn՚t seem to quite register: we are living in a world where there is almost no distance between the most powerful office on earth and the fever swamps of white nationalism.
What Travers says next is the money shot:
I have to keep reminding myself of this fact, which simply doesn՚t square with my preexisting ontology, in which these things are supposed to occupy entirely different strata of reality.
In other words, our “ontology Tzar” no longer has a firm grasp of reality -just like Hilary Clinton.
5: The Collapse of Clinton and the Crisis of the Modern Structure.
Richard Fernandez, last year, explained what went wrong to the left in the following way:
The reason choosing Corbyn or Sanders doesn’t solve the Left’s crisis is they only repeat the same mistakes sincerely. Progressives do not have the monopoly of systematic error. It’s a feature of all dogmatic systems, of every movement ruled by groupthink. Any sufficiently fanatical movement will moronize itself.
Imitative thinking afflicts its adherents as Naseem Taleb points out, with a special sort of stupidity one actually has to learn: the art of “how not to find the coconut on Coconut Island”. It disables common sense; must disable it so the group signal will dominate.
But groupthink has advantages. For one it allows organizations to implement swarming tactics.
It has weaknesses too. The problem with swarms is their collective fate is tied to the network. Once the network is disrupted, hacked or collapses the whole swarm will fall apart or worse, commit collective suicide. The fate of the swarm is reliant on the signal which binds it.
“Stronger together” doesn’t degrade gracefully. If the signal is corrupted the swarm dies. Once madness creeps into the talking points, “stronger together” becomes “crazy together.” This often happens spontaneously. Militant ideologies initially expand unstoppably and attract individuals eager to join the bandwagon. Then it all goes wrong. Suddenly at the height of its triumph little tremors arise in the cloud. Bits of it start acting crazy. It starts turning against itself.
Freedom has certain strengths that are often overlooked amid its many weaknesses. Programmers know the rationale for loose coupling “an approach to interconnecting the components in a system … so that those components … depend on each other to the least extent practicable” is adaptability. It can absorb change because elements are isolated from changes to some other element. Each node has enough individual autonomy to operate on its own even with the network down.
If this architecture resembles the federal system it’s because it does. The constitution defined functions which were shared and a common interface. But sufficient freedom was left to the elements to ensure they were viable. Elements were enhanced by the network but they did not need the network to survive. By contrast the swarm can’t delegate. The stronger the Left got, the tighter they coupled. It had to control everything until the personal became political, till privacy disappeared and one’s very words were policed.
What could go wrong? The signal.
The reason freedom, and to a certain extent chaos are valuable is they prevent the plaque of groupthink from forming. They are jam-resistant.
How do the progressives escape stupidity? By smashing the system of talking points, groupthink and intellectual rigidity that create it. Hillary had twice Trumps money and couldn’t find the coconut on Coconut Island. She lived by the Narrative and fell by it.
Michael Travers had his “priors”, his paradigm – his “ontology” – but then then he was faced with facts (anomalies) that he could not “square” or render consistent with the way he thought the world was supposed to work.
Travers writes, in Political Vertigo, about how this makes him feel:
Yet I don՚t remember it feeling like this. Back then, it was more like there were bad people in charge and we had to replace them with better (younger) people. Now it feels like nobody is in charge, like the machinery is spinning out of control and nobody is capable of fixing it. This isn՚t just Trump – it՚s Trump plus climate change, plus the collapse of the international order, plus the replacement of rational discourse with Facebook memes and Russian botnets. There՚s very little in the way of stable institutions to hold onto, and the culture as a whole seems to be experiencing violent dizziness and nausea.
Now, these feelings are important – exceedingly important. We experienced something similar to Travers, a few years ago, as we were reclining on our sofa in China reading Theodore Dalrymple or watching ISIS atrocity videos or watching France entering into a state of national emergency (which has now lasted for years) and also seeing the similarity between America students on YouTube and what we were reading (and learning from Chinese friends) about the Chinese Cultural Revolution (see our reactionary analysis here). The finisher, so to speak, however, was watching videos of a million Muslims march into Germany – invited in by Merkel.
Our sense of “ontology” was definitely contradicted by the facts.
Nevertheless, what’s interesting is that Travers diagnosed USG’s and America’s crisis in the same way Moldbug did. Here is Moldbug’s 2009 conclusion:
In the Modern Structure, this spontaneous, decentralized coordination is seen across the information organs. These, being aware of the fundamentally informal and in a sense even illegitimate nature of their power, are very sensitive to the prospect of losing it. This prospect is in reality remote, but the fear is easy to generate. And that fear (of a “populist” or anti-Cathedral political revival, from Joe McCarthy to Sarah Palin) is one more organizing principle.
Thus, thoughts, perspectives and facts which favor, justify or defend this system of government which conducts psychological warfare against its own subjects, the Modern Structure, are adaptive, and those which oppose it are maladaptive. And thus, an information machine without any central administration self-coordinates and achieves effective censorship.
As a good democrat, of course, you have been taught to fear systems of this class only in the case that they have an evil genius, or at least a cabal, behind them. Thus “conspiracy theories.” But in fact, you should find a decentralized, self-coordinating system, one in which ideas are filtered and organized by memetic evolution rather than intelligent design, far more creepy and dangerous.
For one thing, it is a heck of a lot harder to shut down. And, as we’ve seen, the result of the filtering process is not always a good one.
Next comes the crucial claim for comparison:
This is the truth at the bottom of the Modern Structure: it is out of control. It is best seen as a mindless and automatic beast. Its capacity for destruction is obvious. The only way to stop it is to kill it, and there is no obvious way to kill it. And its tendency is to get worse, not better.
But if this beast is to be killed, what will replace it? What would Moldbug want to replace it with and why does Michael Travers have such a problem with it?
6: On Contracts and Civilisation.
When you read the following from Moldbug, remember to keep in mind what Dennett said about contracts, promises and civilisation earlier. Here is the crucial part:
I for one don’t want to live in a world without contracts—not because I’m a pathetic dupe of capitalism (for instance) but because contracts are just the carefully articulated expression of the underlying concept of a promise made in good faith, and I don’t want to live in a world without promising. It is the very glue of civilization.
Again, Dennett is not a reactionary, he is a liberal.
But Moldbug is a neoreactionary.
The nomos is the natural structure of formal promises around which Urplatins organize their lives. To a pronomian, any Urplatin should be free to make any promise. In return, he or she can expect to be held responsible for that promise: there is no freedom to break it. All promises are voluntary until they are made, and involuntary afterward. A pair of reciprocal promises, a common phenomenon on Urplat, is an agreement.
And a little later he says:
The key to success as an unauthority is to ensure that no other unauthority has a positive incentive to violate its promises to you. For example, disrespect of property rights – invasion – is the simplest form of unprotected promise violation. To prevent such assaults, an unauthority must maintain the military and political strength to make the assailant regret the decision to attack. Any less punishment is inadequate; any more is vindictive.
In a different post, Moldbug wrote the following about order, promising, contracts and civilisation:
Order, for Carlyle, is the set of bonds between the humans in society. A bond is any promise of importance. It may be a promise of payment, it may be a promise of work, it may be a promise of marriage. Regardless, a society is orderly if it is a society in which promises of significant human value, explicit or implicit, are made and kept.
Every promise is an obligation. By writing the promise, I compel my future self. If I promise to pay you $1000 in 2011, I am not exercising my human right of liberty if in 2011 I refuse to pay you. I cannot say: no, man, I would rather be free. By not paying you, man, I am exercising my human right to be free.
Consider the difference between the society in which I can get away with this hippie shit, and the society in which I can’t. The society in which obligations can be broken is the society in which loans are either risky, expensive and hard to get, or do not exist at all. Thus we see clearly that the society in which promises are made and kept, the society of order, is more civilized and humane. It is a better society. Once again, there is no Goldilocks effect, no golden mean.
We thus see that the enforcement of promises is a critical aspect of human society. Certain promises are self-enforcing: they are fulfilled because the promiser wants to fulfill them. Marriage, in the ideal, is such a promise. In most cases, however, a loan is not. A society that contains an impartial and irresistible enforcer of contracts is thus preferable to one which does not – although no contract with the enforcer itself can be enforced by definition.
Could Dan Dennett argue with that? No. Could Michael Travers?
God and free will and democracy are not necessary for contracts, promises, punishment and civilisation, however. Modern China, compared to the majority of other societies – historical and contemporary – is a civilised and humane society.
So if promises and punishments, contracts and compulsion is the neoreactionary theory of order and civilisation, then let’s turn our attention to a society that is most definitely not a neoreactionary society and see how this society compares with neoreactionary theory and practice (at least with respect to East Asia).
7: Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves.
Does Michael Travers believe that England is a civilised and humane society? Travers probably believes that England is a feminist society, however. England is a feminist society. England has Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Kat Banyard today, and Mary Wollstonecraft and the suffragettes yesterday. England is not only a feminist society but a successful feminist society.
But is England a humane and civilised society? Is England an orderly society? Is Kat Banyard a good person? Is she just?
This sort of malarkey is what gets Miss Banyard’s goat.
In that last link, Miss Banyard says that: “For too long supermarkets have got off the hook, stocking lad’s mags in the face of widespread opposition, but this time we have the law on our side.”
Indeed she does but is England a civilised, lawful society, a free society or are its people – its children – slaves?
What is justice?
For a neoreactionary, justice is that “all agreements must be kept”.
Does England, for example, have laws against child rape? Does England have laws against not only torture but child torture? Does England have laws against forcing children into sexual slavery? Do we even need to answer this question? Now, does England have a police force to enforce the law? Does England have courts to try and sentence the guilty? Does England have a free press to expose injustice to the public?
Is it the case that England not only has laws against child rape, torture and sexual slavery but that it also has a customary agreement that the state and the people will protect children from such things?
Yes or no?
We put it to you – dear readers and Michael Travers – that at the same time Kat Banyard was getting all hot and bothered about “lad’s mags” and voluntary sex work among adult women and adult men, over a thousand English children were being systematically raped. Not just raped but pimped and not just raped and pimped but branded and not just pimped and branded but, in some cases, hooked on heroin and tortured.
But here is the thing. The police, the social workers, the politicians and almost certainly the media knew all about this. And they nothing.
Don’t believe us, Michael Travers?
You can read the “official report”, by Professor Alexis Jay, the video mentions here.
Now, watch the following video, where a member of the audience asks the panel why the police “ignored” the “grooming of underage girls”. Notice how cowardly, dishonest and sheepish the answers are from the panel:
This sort of thing was not an “isolated incident” or a regrettable “lone wolf” tragedy. These crimes against children occurred in many, many places.
It was not just in Rotherham but also in Oxfordshire (where Oxford University is alas). Here is what former police Detective, Simon Morton, stated after years of abuse came to light:
“This was happening in Oxford – the city of dreaming spires. If it was happening there, the ramifications for all cities are huge.”
Why might the “ramifications” be “huge” for “all cities” however?
Because it was a “nationwide” problem. Here is what Margaret Oliver, a former Detective from Manchester, who resigned from the force because of the way the abuse was handled, said about the scandal:
“The number of victims and what has happened in GMP is as great as happened in Rotherham. It is a nationwide problem and there is still an overwhelming desire to conceal the truth. This was an opportunity which has been missed again, to bring all this into the open.”
Take note of that “desire to conceal the truth”.
Professionals blamed the girls for the “abuse” in Oxfordshire, however.
The serious case review, commissioned by Maggie Blyth, independent chair of the Oxfordshire safeguarding children board, said there were grounds for believing that 373 girls had been sexually exploited across Oxfordshire in the past 15 years.
Instead, professionals blamed the girls, the report said; police and social services were gripped with the mindset that they were “very difficult” girls who had come to harm as a result of their own actions. Despite damning findings in the 114-page report, no one has been disciplined or sacked over the child protection failures.
No one has been “disciplined or sacked”.
Returning to Manchester, the Guardian reported that:
The report looked at the conduct of 13 officers between 2008 and 2010, but served notices of misconduct on only seven. Ultimately only one officer, an inspector, was found to have warranted disciplinary action but he was able to retire without any sanction being taken against him. The remaining six officers were given “words of advice” by superiors.
How did the police behave? Again, from the Guardian:
A second officer failed to serve an abduction notice on Shabir Ahmed, the leader of the gang who preyed on girls visiting two takeaway restaurants in Heywood. A third was criticised for yawning while interviewing Girl A about her allegations.
There were worse derelictions of duty in Rotherham, however. Here is a long extract from the Guardian:
Jessica was 14 and he was 24. He had a flashy car, designer clothes and flattered her with compliments and gifts, including a mobile phone.
Within four months of meeting Hussain, Jessica was pregnant. He told her to have a termination as otherwise he would be sent to prison. “I thought we were getting married and having kids, I were so naive,” she says. Hussain hadn’t told her he was already married, nor did he tell her he had abused seven girls before her.
She was on the police radar within days of meeting Hussain. “Dad thought he was a paedophile. He wasn’t happy at all and called the police straight away. He and Mum were constantly making complaints for two years but the police did nothing because they said I wouldn’t give a statement.”
“They even caught me in bed with him – the police, that time they raided the house when I were missing. Me and Ash were in bed. I picked up some pants and jumped under the bed and he pulled up his trousers. They charged me with having a truncheon [which was under the bed] and they let him go.”
If the sight of a 14-year-old in bed with a 24-year-old was not enough to prompt action, the threat of violence and physical harm should have been.
Shortly after the baby was born, Hussain grabbed Jessica by the throat and threatened to throw her over a balcony in the town market. “He was screaming at me. He said he were going to set my flat on fire and watch you and that black bastard [their son] burn.”
She reported it to a police officer in 2002, but says she was told it was her fault. “He [the police officer] said ‘he’s got every right to [push you over the balcony], you stopped him seeing his son’.”
Jessica, now remarkably composed, describes the litany of missed opportunities to stop her abuse. She reported assaults, both sexual and violent, to police on several occasions, yet she was seen as an offender.
In a different Guardian article, that also reports on Rotherham, we can read the following about one of the biggest police corruption cases in English history:
A gang of three brothers, their uncle and two women were found guilty of 55 serious offences, some of which lay undetected for almost 20 years. They targeted 15 vulnerable girls, one as young as 11, and subjected them to brutal and degrading acts between 1987 and 2003 including rape, forced prostitution, indecent assault and false imprisonment.
Allegations by victims that those found guilty – Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain, their uncle Qurban Ali and their associates Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies – were able to commit crimes for so long with apparent impunity are now the focus of two separate investigations into the police.
It can now be reported that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched 55 separate investigations into how South Yorkshire police dealt with victims, in one of the biggest inquiries into potential neglect of duty and corruption in recent policing history.
The police watchdog said that 46 misconduct notices had already been served on 26 officers, and warned the figure could increase. It is understood that more than 50 officers are being investigated. Complaints cover “a range of allegations from a failure to act on reported child sexual exploitation to corruption by police officers,” it said.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is also undertaking what it described as the “largest criminal investigation of its kind in the UK” into grooming and sexual exploitation in the South Yorkshire town, with 9,000 lines of inquiry.
Back to Oxfordshire, where the chair of child safety, Maggie Blyth, found that:
… children were subjected to was “indescribably awful”.
“The child victims and their families feel very let down,” the report said. “Their accounts of how they perceived professional work are disturbing and chastening.”
The report said key failings by police and social workersincluded:
- A culture of denial.
- Blaming the girls for their precocious and difficult behaviour.
- Blaming the girls for putting themselves at risk of harm.
- Tolerance of underage sexual activity by the girls with older men.
- A failure to recognise the girls had been groomed and violently controlled.
Such was the nature of the sexual exploitation and abuse suffered by the girls, who all had backgrounds in care, that it was likened to torture. The abuse took place in Oxford, in a guest house or in parks and churchyards, and the girls were plied with drugs and subjected to gang rape and sexual atrocities for more than eight years between 2004 and 2012.
Children, whether on the “streets” or who were supposed to be in something the English call “care”, were branded and subject to “gang-rape” and “torture sex” for years:
The case echoes the child exploitation scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Derby involving gangs of men of Asian background targeting white girls in care. In Oxford, however, the grooming, sexual torture and trafficking took place on the streets of the Cowley area of the city, in churchyards, parks, a guesthouse and empty flats procured for the purpose of drugging the girls and handing them around to be gang raped and brutalised.
A 12-year-old victim was branded by the men and, when she fell pregnant, subjected to a backstreet abortion in a house in Reading. Over six years, she was repeatedly raped by groups of men in what she described as “torture sex”.
Hundreds of girls – white girls – were victimised (in just over a year) and some “little girls” were even raped with their “school uniforms” on:
The girls and some of their abusers crossed the police and social services radar multiple times. In 2006 alone, the police received four complaints from the young girls about the men, with their accounts corroborated in some cases. One victim reported the abuse twice to police in 2006. She told officers: “They are doing it to other girls, little girls with their school uniforms on.”
There were thousands of contacts between both agencies and the girls and they were reported missing at least 450 times. One victim, known as Girl C, has spoken of how her foster mother reported her missing 80 times.
The number of young people identified by the report – more than 300 – as victims of child sexual exploitation in the last 15 years is considered a robust figure because the girls have all been spoken to by police or social services.
But the numbers are likely to be an underestimate. Figures from Thames Valley police reveal that 220 of the 2,000 child abuse cases reported across the force in 13 months from July 2013 to August 2014 involved child sexual exploitation.
Some of the girls suffered horrific violence, one had cigarettes stubbed out on her body, another was blindfolded and had petrol poured on her feet. When one of the victims tried to find a safe house to escape, her abuser threatened to kill her brother. He also told her he had a policeman on the inside so he would always know how to find her. Another girl, who had been abused since she was seven by various step-fathers was preyed on by Arshid and Basharat Hussain who would visit her at home and force her into sexual acts.
Again, the systematic rape, gang-rape and torture did not occur in one town or one city but occurred across the country.
The former Home Secretary who is now the Prime Minister, Teresa May, blamed Political Correctness for why the authorities failed to do their duty.
Can Michael Travers deny that the police and social services failed to do their duty here? Does Michael Travers think that “security” was “may be” only a “fine thing” for these girls?
But why did the police choose not to stop child rape gangs, as the man in the BBC Question Time asked of the panel?
8: England’s “Nuremberg Moment.”
Here is our answer as to why there was such a defeating silence from the police, social workers, politicians and journalists.
Let’s begin with the police.
Firstly, the natural thing to do is to ask the police why they failed in their duty. However, the problem with this common sense approach, which is the same problem that political pollsters in America and England have, is that people in the West -whether they are members of the public, politicians or the police – fear the consequences of telling the truth and acting justly.
What the police formally say (in public) and what they really want to say is not the same. Again, the central neoreactionary distinction between Form and Reality appears once more.
Secondly, many police officers (and social workers, politicians and journalists) just don’t care. If you are “yawning” over the testimony of a raped child you obviously don’t think it is a valuable use of your time.
The rest can say, with a straight face, however, that they were just following orders.
Now, Michael Travers is Jewish and he makes a number of references to his Jewishness on his blog. Travers – no doubt – understands the rich historical resonance of that phrase “just following orders”, otherwise known as the “Nuremberg defence” – especially since his family came from Nuremberg, from which they were forced to flee from the criminal Nazi regime.
The English police, like the English public, understand that if they say or do anything that violates equality and diversity laws they could lose their job. Worse, if they criticise, draw attention to or even joke about certain beliefs and behaviours of certain “protected groups” they will be branded “racist”, sent on “diversity courses” (even if it involves child rape), lose their jobs and even go to prison.
Let’s focus on one specific strand of evidence for the claim that it was England’s political culture (which ultimately results from the political structure) that caused the suppression of truth, dereliction of duty and failure to implement justice. Again from the Guardian, we have the testimony of former Labour MP, Ann Cryer:
“The really sad aspect of it is that many of these girls could have been spared. If only I had known what was going on in Rotherham, I would have had a better understanding of the widespread nature of the problem. Instead, I simply thought it was a purely local issue that emanated from Keighley … If I’d known, I could have said, ‘We need a national policy on this.’ I was on [the Labour party’s national executive] at the time, so I would have been in a good position to press for that. But no one talked about it.”
In 2002, when she was Labour MP for Keighley, Cryer became the first public figure in Britain to talk out about allegations of “young Asian lads” grooming underage white girls in the West Yorkshire town. As a result, she was shunned by elements of her party, a panic button was installed in her house and Nick Griffin stood against her for the far-right British National party (BNP), claiming that she was not doing enough to protect young white girls.
Cryer’s battle began when seven mothers came to her to claim that their daughters had been groomed by young men from the Pakistani community. “They said the girls were being used for sex by them and handed around – not as prostitutes, but were being handed around the families of these lads. This was underage sex. These girls were well below 16. The mothers said, ‘We understand it’s a criminal offence even if it’s consensual’, which I said was quite right. And they said to me, ‘Why is it that West Yorkshire police won’t do anything about it, social services won’t do anything about it, when we have given them the names and addresses of the men abusing our daughters?’ ”
Twelve years on, Cryer described these women as “enlightened mothers, members of the Labour party, women who I would never in a million years have described as racist”.
Yet no one wanted to know.
In Keighley, she tried to get the Pakistani community on side after learning that the News of the World had offered the seven mothers £1,000 to tell their story. “I thought, if this happens, knowing the way the News of the World would handle it, it would cause chaos and ruin any sort of race relations that we had. We could have race riots, the works.”
So she asked a friend, a Muslim councillor of Pakistani heritage, to approach the elders at the mosque with a list of 35 names and addresses of the alleged perpetrators. “He said to the imams, ‘Ann Cryer would like you to go around to these families and explain that this behaviour is totally un-Islamic.’ But the upshot was that the elders allegedly said, ‘Go back to Ann Cryer and tell her it’s nothing to do with us.’ ”
Desperate for community tensions not to be inflamed by tabloid reporting, she persuaded Channel 4 News to produce a report. In 2004, five of the 35 men were sent to prison. Cryer said male colleagues in parliament privately congratulated her on her courage. She wouldn’t name names, but said: “What male MPs from similar areas to Bradford and Keighley would say to me from time to time was, ‘Oh, you’re so brave taking up these issues’ – either forced marriages or grooming of girls. I would think, ‘Well, it wouldn’t need so much bravery if people like you would support me.‘ ”
Last week, Denis MacShane, the former MP for Rotherham, admitted he might have not done enough about child sexual exploitation by Asian men in his constituency because he was a “Guardian-reading liberal leftie“. MacShane, who resigned as an MP in 2012 over expenses fraud for which he was later jailed for six months, told the BBC he was never directly approached by anyone with allegations of child abuse during his 18 years as an MP.
Yet he “probably” didn’t do as much as he could have done and should have “burrowed into” the issue, he said. “I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that.” Last week, he said Cryer did what others should have had the courage to do. “If you read my prison diaries, I praise a lady, an MP called Ann Cryer, who did raise the problem of cousin marriage and patriarchy, of the oppression of women within bits of the Muslim community in Britain.”
Cryer is adamant that she can’t have been the only politician to have heard such stories. “There must have been councillors and MPs, I think, all over the country who knew what was going on but were terrified. It’s a genuine fear, to be terrified of being labelled a racist. No one wants to be called a racist, least of all someone who isn’t a racist.”
Yet that’s exactly what happened to Cryer, an insult compounded when Griffin decided to contest her seat in the 2005 general election for the BNP. “His reason for challenging me: ‘She didn’t do enough to protect those white girls’,” remembered Cryer. “That was nonsense. I’d almost killed myself trying to protect them.” Griffin lost, polling just 9.2% of the votes to Cryer’s 44.7%, but police were worried enough about Cryer’s safety to install a panic button with a direct line to Shipley police station.
When Keighley’s problem was out in the open, she claimed to have talked about the issue with Ken Livingstone, then mayor of London, at City Hall. According to Cryer, “Ken was convinced I had got it all wrong. He was so politically correct, he was off this planet at that time, was Ken.”
Livingstone said that he had no recollection of that meeting, but that “if she said there was a meeting she clearly wouldn’t be lying … I’d say then what I would say now, which is that paedophilia is clearly fairly prevalent in every culture and faith, depressingly much more than we thought. The idea that Islam would be exempt from paedophilia is rubbish.”
One swallow does not make a summer but then:
Hilary Willmer, the chair of trustees at the charity Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace), was speaking out following the report into the Rotherham abuse scandal, which found more than 1,400 youngsters were abused over 16 years.
She suggested that similar numbers of children may have been abused in other areas, saying it is a “vastly wider issue”.
“I wouldn’t want to bandy figures around but it’s certainly a huge amount that is going on,” she said.
Willmer worked with families in Rotherham in the late 1990s and was a colleague of the author of a 2002 report into the unfolding scandal, which was never published. The document, by a home office researcher, was “effectively suppressed“, according to Professor Alexis Jay who wrote the report into events in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Willmer told Channel 4 News: “At the same time as we were working there, we had referrals from parents all around the country. There was places like Oxford, Lancashire – but everywhere, and it was completely not acknowledged.”
But she said that, when the issue first began to come to light, the researchers were “virtually laughed at”, with authorities saying that the “girls had chosen this lifestyle to feed their drug habit”.
“Had this report been treated with the seriousness it merited at the time by both the police and the council, the children involved then and later would have been better protected and abusers brought to justice. These events have led to suspicions of collusion and cover up.”
Sam Harris, who is a “Jewish atheist”, speaking here , said that after learning about what happened in England, he wondered that if this kind of thing could happen while the authorities and the people with official responsibility did nothing, then what else could happen.
Kat Banyard, meanwhile, has not (to our knowledge) written, spoken or campaigned on the kind of patriarchy that is proximately responsible for these crimes – Islamic patriarchy. Miss Banyard (England’s most “influential feminist” remember) chooses to spend her time on the following worthy pursuits.
The English like to “bang on” about the social contract but anyone can see from the evidence above that the police, social workers, politicians and journalists have not just broken this “contract” but obliterated it.
This is England’s Nuremberg moment.
Every child growing up in the West is taught about Germany and we have always wanted to know how so many people – for so long – could be party to such evil. A Nuremberg moment is when you realise how banal evil really is. The banality of evil is both thoughtlessness and a lack of emotional, ethical conviction to do justice and let the sky fall. To question the lazy assumptions of the day and what Orwell called the “smelly little orthodoxies” of one’s peers and of one’s culture. A Nuremberg moment is when you realise that the vast majority of human beings will happily go along with evil if the powerful in their culture are happy to go along with it.
And yet, across the Western left there are a thousand Nuremberg moments every day. The Nazi’s told one great lie – about the Jews – and the Nazi’s committed one great crime – against the Jews – yet the Western left has told many great and small lies, for far longer; furthermore, the Western left has committed more crimes – great and small – with more far reaching consequences and has been party to and bore witness to more crimes than the criminal Nazi regime.
Only the Communists trump the Western left in crimes, though not in lies but remember they were both comrades in arms.
The English state is not only a criminal state – see the “punishment” that this great criminal received – but a failed state. It has failed morally, legally and politically. It has failed on its own self-professed terms: feminist but not feminist enough.
How do you answer Michael Travers?
9: American Anomalies.
Why would Michael Travers care about England, however? And what’s going on with all these sly Jewish references? To answer the second question first, we bring it up because he does – about himself on his blog. Secondly, Jews, perhaps more than most people, should be carefully attuned to social and political pathologies given their own tragic history and self-consciousness. Thirdly, Travers should care because the same pathology that threw all those girls to the wolves is the same pathology that is now throwing Jews to the wolves as well. That is, Jews are slowly being cleansed from France.
Did we just use write the word “cleansing”? We did indeed.
What the hell is going on?
Well, the one thing we do know is that it has nothing to do with goose-stepping men led by a maniac with a weird moustache.
What’s happening is that, as a result of decades of Muslim immigration, something which has only grown more intense in recent decades, for the purpose of breaking up the homogeneity of European people and rubbing the “right’s nose in diversity”, Jews are now suffering from the unintended consequences of these Machiavellian plans (at best); but at worst, the progressives, who are rife with Anti-Semitism, have actively allied with Muslims to push out the Jews.
Moldbug has a theory for why all this madness happens, a theory that is best articulated by this neoreactionary here. Does Michael Travers consider this nonsense?
So the fact that Jews are no longer secure in Europe because they are victims of the same people who victimised English girls in Rotherham and who are victimising women in Sweden is something of an anomaly for progressives – for men like Michael Travers.
An anomaly is something that contradicts would you would, a priori, expect to be the case given your paradigm about how the world works or ought to work.
For a long time, many people – smart people – believed they were living in the End of History. That is, the paradigm of liberal, capitalist democracy was simply the best form of government and the final form of political evolution.
All paradigms contain assumptions, all of which are, in the final analysis, philosophical. The philosophical assumption underpinning the End of History thesis was that liberal democracy provided people with recognition – equality – better than any other system.
The paradigm of the modern West contains within itself the theory that we are progressing towards a future of freedom, equality, tolerance and peace. This is because progress is part of that “arc of history” thing. Today, progress looks less and less credible as anomaly after anomaly piles up.
Even Francis Fukuyama seems to realise the game is up.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, is that great, undeniable, American anomaly. Trump ran on a platform that fundamentally contradicted pretty much every key political assumption that the progressive American paradigm has held to since, at least, the end of the Second World War and certainly since the the end of the Cold War.
Trump contradicted the progressive paradigm in at least three ways:
1: He ran against immigration – illegal immigration and Muslim immigration. Trump thus contradicted the assumptions of equality and diversity.
2: He ran against free trade and sought to implement “protectionist” measures. Trump thus contradicted both parties assumptions about “globalization”.
3: He ran against “Wilsonian” foreign policy in favour of “America First”. Trump thus contradicted the foreign policy that America has practiced since WW2.
In addition, Trump was an anomaly in several other ways:
4: He was not a Harvard graduate and is not part of the “Ivy League” social network.
5: Trump is a businessman.
6: Trump staffed his cabinet with more generals and people with military backgrounds than any other time in American history.
7: Trump attacked the media and, despite the media’s savage counter-attack, withstood all comers. The almighty Cathedral failed to contain him.
Yet, Trump is an anomaly in far more devastating way.
Trump cut deep into the heart of “American exceptionalism” and the progressive narrative by not only branding his campaign “Make America Great Again” but winning with it. The genius of MAGA is that it assumes that America is no longer great; when we explicate what this implicit theme means, it means that someone or something is responsible for this state of affairs. Naturally, this implies that the political establishment is responsible and that Trump, being an outsider and an American success story, can fix it. And contrary to elite consensus, Trump was ultimately proved correct -he won.
Why did Clinton lose, however?
Clinton was the most “qualified” candidate; had the most money and had the bigger machine. Yet, she still lost. What does it say about Clinton’s judgment that she was completely blindsided by Trump and that her campaign failed to understand America and the American people?
What is says is that people like Hilary Clinton and Michael Travers need to seriously question their basic understanding of politics – their paradigm, in other words. For Clinton, it is, alas, too late. She needed to know the truth in order for it to help her acquire power. In our “ontology Tzar’s” case, he needed to question more, reflect more and analyse more in order to have an accurate understanding of reality.
If you had witnessed an actual miracle, you would question your priors and fundamental assumptions not only about a particular natural law but about the fundamental nature of reality itself.
What if you witnessed a political miracle, however?
The facts are different but the logic remains the same.
Has Travers done this though?
10: Travers on the Trump Miracle.
On August 07, 2016, Travers wrote in a post called Talking to Trumpers that:
So I tried to engage with a bunch of Trump supporters at one of the wingnut websites I occasionally frequent [sorry no link]. Kind of thought of it as a civic duty. Unfortunately all I have to report back is basically what I knew going in. These people are:
- stupid: the kind of stupid people who think they are smart, bringing to mind this classic scene.
- racist: not the virulent kind, more the whiny kind who think blacks are getting special advantages and the decks are stacked against white men
- assholes: in all manner of ways, but most striking to me was when I pointed out that Trump had a habit of stiffing the contractorswho did work for him, they replied that “the work must have been substandard”. In other words, in a fight between a rich and powerful guy and a lesser power, automatically back the rich guy. This may be due to something basic in the core of the authoritarian psyche, but it is incomprehensible to me.
- convinced that there is something called “the left” that includes everybody from Hillary to Stalin, that is deliberately evil and devoted to “destroying our liberties”, and basically is in league with Satan.
Politics really is a mind killer.
What does Travers think of this smart Trump supporter? What does Travers think of all these smart and successful people who supported him? What does Travers think about this philosopher who supported Trump? What about these intellectuals? Would Travers care to dispute the arguments set forth by this cognitive scientist that Trump’s voters were not irrational?
In a later post called The Quest for Intelligent Trump Supporters Travers says:
Unfortunately it all seems like a waste of effort to me, because it is 100% unquestionably obvious that Trump has no serious policy knowledge or positions, so there is no point debating them.
The words “unquestionably obvious” should not be in any serious philosopher’s vocabulary – except for foundational epistemological premises.
In a post called Picking Through the Ruins Travers writes:
As a parent I feel an extra helping of sadness and pain. The job of a parent is to create a safe and nurturing environment for their children, and our society has just decided to do the opposite. Clinton՚s most powerful campaign message was structured around what a horrible example Trump was for children, girls especially…I really thought that would resonate even with the Republicans, because aren՚t they parents as well? Do they really want for their children the kind of world Trump represents? For whatever reason, we have collectively failed to improve the world and are heading into a new, uncharted, and very dark territory.
It should be clear from the above that Travers is a man (he seems to be middle-aged) that is struggling with deep-seated emotional issues. He is clearly upset and, of course, that is distorting his ability to think clearly. However, when he brought up his children and what Trump’s election means for “girls” especially, this concern should be analysed in the context of what happened to those girls in England.
Mr Travers, Trump wants to stop the kinds of men who would harm your children and girls especially but it was Clinton who wanted to bring more of these men into America. Look at what is now happening to girls in Europe Mr Travers.
Here is where the issue becomes existential. Earlier, we saw Travers affirm Clinton’s judgment that Trump’s supporters were “deplorable” and that this election was a fight against “evil”. However, consider a father of girls who understands everything that Clinton stands for and what she would do to many Americans if she could. Contemplate the fact that the entire political class would happily sacrifice not only his daughter, but thousands of other young girls to rape-gangs. Since Mr Travers supported Clinton and all her pomps he therefore supports this very real and very evil thing. Travers, to this American dad has become an enemy – an ignorant enemy – but an existential enemy all the same.
Again, politics is a mind killer.
11: Summary and Conclusion.
So let’s bring this to some sort of conclusion.
Travers is an intelligent, well-read man who is struggling with his emotions as he is starting to realise how broken USG and America is. Nevertheless, despite the despair he is experiencing he is still deeply confused about the nature of political reality.
Why did we write such a long post, however?
Firstly, like Travers, we are fascinated by smart but confused people.
Secondly, unlike Travers we have very strong “empathic skills”.
We are not American and nor are we English (or Chinese or even French for that matter). No, we live in a tiny Island somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, we are confident that we understand America, the American people and the American government – intellectually and emotionally – better than Mr Travers.
Thirdly, after discovering Moldbug by accident, we came to understand the causes and the reasons behind the madness we read about every day (and we read a lot).
Moldbug not only explained why Europe is falling apart but also America’s coming apart. For us, he explained our number one puzzle: mass Muslim immigration. Short answer: High uses the Low to defeat the Middle.
Moldbug is worth his weight in gold if only for this, but he presented, with tremendous chutzpah and awe inspiring genius, a positive political system. A system that we find deeply congruent with many of the conclusions we have arrived at over the years about politics, law and morality.
We understand Moldbug, Travers does not and, therefore, we considered this a good exercise in setting the record straight.
Fourthly, Travers presents himself as a man who is open to debate. Well, we certainly have the energy for that.
Fifthly, despite the fact that we would love to write many more things that we can ever hope to accomplish, we choose Travers because he is in, perhaps, the early stages of grief for America (the anger and denial stage). We have gone through this process as well, so we understand what he is going through.
More seriously, to any nrx-fellow-travellers who might be reading: how far are you going to let your anti-liberalism take you, and to where? A lot of you seem to want to get to Singapore (that is, a modern state run like a tight-knit corporation, authoritarian but highly rational and technical). But mostly what you actually get without liberalism is this sort of violent ethnic Blut und Boden nationalism, which is anything but nerd-friendly. That՚s a hell of a thing to aim for just because some SJWs were mean to you or whatever the motivation is.
By now, we should see how facile this is.
Well, here is our answer:
Yes. Singapore or the system in Lichtenstein would be something to aim for and better than what exists right now.
However, let’s review just what the core of neoreaction is.
Nrx is premised on the rejection of Imperium in Imperio. The state is a corporation (an organisation) and when you analyse nearly all organisations from history and organisations that exist today, what do you see? From schools to sports clubs and from businesses to militaries, you will find a similar structure: a hierarchical structure.
However, in all of these organisations – with the exception of (national) militaries (though see this) – you have a board of directors and a CEO with a small team of people who report directly to them. This small group of people under the CEO oversee a much larger body of people who carry out various duties for the corporation. Orders run downhill, problems and profit (in some cases) go up.
The CEO has discretionary power over policy, personnel and budget. Nevertheless, as we see with schools, sports clubs and businesses, if the CEO- Principal-Gaffer is not up to snuff the board replaces them.
This design may not be perfect and many failures of corporate governance do occur but the ubiquity of this design suggests that humans have hit upon this set-up time and time again in order to solve collective action problems. This “corporate” model is a “good trick” as Dan Dennett might say.
Of course, this is only the form. What you also have to have is the materials (the men and women who will make up the corporation); the means that will be used and the ends that the means are to obtain.
In our view, the ideal design is government as a business not only because the business of America is business (the security business, as we like to say) but because adopting the “business model” takes out of government the concept of “sacred values” that turn what should be technical governance problems into (mass) politics at best and an existential struggle at worst.
For instance, could USG be transformed in a way this article suggests?
The Last Word.
We are living through a crisis – a political crisis. Western progressivism has failed the world over. It has failed not only to solve its own basic problems but all the new problems that have arisen – which it has largely caused – and it will fail to solve (or at least manage competently) the problems that are coming over the horizon.
The pattern then – the paradigm of paradigms – is that anomalies pile up and eventually the paradigm undergoes a period of crisis which leads to a culminating point: Revolution or Restoration.
England had a Revolution, as did France, Russia and China. Today, Egypt recently underwent one, which ended with a General bringing Restoration. Revolution, however, always will, in the end, no matter how much blood and tears have been split and shed, bring forth Restoration.
Let’s hope, for our sake, the previous 70 years of slow revolution have been enough.
But if we look at tomorrow’s children, that prospect looks less and less likely.