The Value Proposition of Elites, or Why You Should Feed Me More Fudgesicles

Dearest friends,

I zoom around the world like Pac-Man around his maze, eating up pellets. And I have to ask, where do the pellets come from? Do they fall like mana from heaven? How do they obtain their marvelous roundness? Why do they taste like corn puffs? What sorcery empowers the big pellets to give ghostbuster powers? If I were a natural philosopher, I could answer such questions.

Let’s see what Edmund Burke has to say.

“A sermon from a noble duke, or a noble marquis, or a noble earl, or baron bold, would certainly increase and diversify the amusements of this town, which begins to grow satiated with the uniform round of its vapid dissipations. I should only stipulate that these new Mess-Johns in robes and coronets should keep some sort of bounds in the democratic and levelling principles which are expected from their titled pilpets.”

Or, in short, the aristocracy exists to undermine the basic values of our proud English Englishmen. Wonderful. Why even keep them around? Tradition? Tradition is lovely, but it doesn’t explain the value proposition in the first place. If time tells us anything, people told “because it is” will inevitably tear down the old ways. Burke’s argument is also rooted in property rights and the rightful place of people in society. We’ll get back to that one… another time.

For now, the value proposition.

If you’ve hung around this sphere of blogs, sometimes known as the Weblogoball, you may know of the notion of value transference. There exist projects which societies embark on – the usual stuff. Building factories, constructing dams, selling hot dogs, cloning orphans to harvest their organs, selling heroin, opening the Hellgate to Hai’lac’nox, the Pain Dimension, where our dark masters reside, milk delivery services, and maybe hanging the Christmas decorations.

As such, professionals and especially executives do not produce themselves. They coordinate production activities and take a portion of the proceeds. If you want to build a house, you’d rather have ten construction workers than ten civil engineers. Ten nurses will usually be more useful than ten doctors. But there can be no large or complex projects without coordination. The price you pay for that coordination is the skim, the value transferred for not directly productive activity. Yet Marx raises an excellent objection. Much of the time, this coordination is not done by the controlling interests themselves, but by a class of paid managers.

Furthermore, many jobs that are often done by the genteel have no relation to value transference at all. Take art and writing, two things often done by the rich. Not only is there no productive activity to siphon off of, the person is doing the work themselves. Anything produced there is done by the elite. They paint. Now, one might object that art is bohemian and is thus somewhat marginal. It’s a fair objection. But there is another elite vocation which also does not engage in value transference. It is academia. Not only is academia not bohemian, it is at the very heart of aristocratic culture. Ausonius was made consul for being a great professor. As Bourdieu noted, it is the font of honor. While, legally speaking, the sovereign is the font of honor, the actual granting or sale of a title to a graduate of a noble college is not happening arbitrarily, but within a pool of talent which the universities have already curated. Your ticket is punched. Here in Freedomia, we lost the titles but kept the system.

The next notion is that elites need to be paid off so that they don’t cause trouble. People of higher social status, by nature, are able to muster resources through their connections and prestige. Therefore, jobs need to be made for them and money given so they don’t maraud. In this model, the elite is a sort of stationary bandit, and the price paid to them is a bribe to not cause chaos. I think there is also much to recommend this as a factor in elite compensation. However, it holds more true in early stages of development, where the elite remains of a martial character. That is not to suggest the elite of today are totally disarmed – lawfare remains a valid concern. But most of them, if left alone, are unambitious nerds, more likely to hot glue a figma than to be a hotspur. If there is danger, then more of it lies with the frustrated will to power of the middle class and their agitprop protests. Antifa will bike-lock your head.

How are products made? They are made through labor. This is the input of the workers. But, as Ayn Rand noted, brute muscle alone cannot make a railroad. A railroad is not only muscle, blood, and iron, but also ideas, the concept of the railroad itself. This is why another name for the professional class is the creative class. What white collar professions do is provide the inputs of the mind, not the body. Mind and thought, not muscle and blood. Products require designs.

The academia sits at the center of elite culture in many civilizations because it stands as the symbol of thought itself. Why are elites often early adopters of new trends? Because they’re innovative. Because they’re new thoughts. Elites broke with the ancient tradition of nursemaids to start breastfeeding. This didn’t work out so well with small, flat chests. So infant formula was invented, and became a stunning success. Early infant formula killed babies. In this day and age, infant formula has become so safe and cheap that it has been adopted by the masses. Naturally, this means the elites have abandoned it to go back to breastfeeding. The more things change…

What does this mean? Ideas push out the long term production frontier. They make society more productive in the long run. So long as the civilization lasts, the idea never stops paying. The contribution of an elite may never exceed what they receive as compensation during their lifetime, but over the history of a state, it might. In that sense, the production of an elite is not the same as the production of a worker, since it may require many generations to pay back the investment, and it goes on long after the person has expired. In the short run, they can be said to be parasitic. In the long run, sometimes not. So what is the correct time horizon to judge their contribution on? And how should they be paid? Should they be paid based on how much they add while they live, or how much they add to the overall wealth of humanity in the long run? R&D labs are cost centers, but a nation that doesn’t encourage its corporations to conduct research falls behind. Across many settled societies, you keep seeing social classes arise. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just “humans are assholes”. If it was a total waste, then more egalitarian tribes would not have been supplanted by settled hierarchical civilizations.

Secondly, many elites never produce anything. The value proposition is extremely high variance. Medicine had provided little of value for centuries. Then, with the invention of vaccines and penicillin, the whole profession was made profitable in an instant. It was undoubtedly worth it, but you wouldn’t know it from the first few millennia. Instead, you would come away saying that a significant portion of the gentry was upkept doing what was essentially voodoo. To borrow the expressions of a certain volatile Med, the payoffs of elites lie in Extremistan, while the payoffs of workers lie in Mediocristan. Workers are governed by physical limitations. Even a very strong and able miner can’t mine exponentially more coal than his neighbor. Markets are very, very good at pricing the labor of workers. The pay of workers around the world tends to be similar. The income of a Chinese machinist is not too different from an American one, but our corporate overlords are too cheap to pay extra.

Contrast this with elites. Some ideas they come up with solve previously eternal human problems. Hunger has been banished. Disease mostly destroyed. Some ideas are basically neutral or pointless, like pet rocks. And some ideas are actively harmful and corrosive to the host society. In that respect, elites resemble venture capital investments. You lose money almost all the time, but sometimes you hit that unicorn, and you make enough to make the whole enterprise worth it. And venture capital is not investing in staid, predictable industrial expansion, but is looking for the disruptive ideas that will change the world.

If we pay people based on their expected value times a certain multiplier for profit, then the pay of workers is easy to calculate. But the pay of elites? Difficult. If their payoff function lives in Extremistan, then the expected value must be dominated by the small probabilities of massive payoffs, the tails. And we have few means of assessing how likely these tails are, or how big the jackpots will be. So you can’t price out the “proper” pay for an elite the way you can for ordinary workers. The payoff function is too fuzzy. Two different capitalists might assess the productivity of a coal miner differently, but the valuations will still be in the same ballpark. Creative work? Not so much.

This is why the incomes of elites vary so wildly across time and space. Cross the pond, and every job makes a different amount. Many jobs pay far less. The tax structure for capital is different. Every payoff scheme is different. Is a doctor so much the worse for living in Germany? Is an industrialist a better industrialist if he lives in Ireland and not the mainland? Have America’s rulers become far smarter and more competent since 1950? In modern America, we expect scientists to make peanuts and to coast on the great prestige of their work. But in 19th century Norway, scientists ruled the roost. Wealth, power, and knowledge were concentrated into one set of hands. And so, the masses instinctively recognize there is something unseemly about the rising wealth of the 1% and their masters, the upper class. Because there is so much fuzz and uncertainty about the expected value of these things, getting paid more or less is just a matter of manipulating cultural conventions and norms. Elites write blank checks to themselves.

If you’ve got that kind of power, it’s best to write a low number, so that all will consider it reasonable, and to take one on the chin if you make a mistake. Often, what makes people mad is not the size of the checks, but the lack of consequences for bad ideas. People are perfectly okay if a CEO makes $100 million shoring up American industry. It’s seeing a CEO golden parachute out of a burning building that really pisses them off.

Especially since, as you ascend, money is not money. That is, money does not represent the same thing. For the bulk of society, money is the means by which they sustain themselves. It’s resources to eat. Their share of their productivity is what Marx would call the necessary labor to reproduce labor. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, and every dollar is another dollar to buy Stardollars coffee and pumpkin spice corndogs. Once you reach the upper middle class, you achieve satisfaction of these life needs. Money is no longer about getting another Margaritaville machine. It’s not about stuff. It’s about power. It’s shares of ownership of the means of production. It’s influence bought from politicians. It’s points in the game of prestige. As such, absolute pay doesn’t really matter that much. Relative pay matters, because relative pay and relative wealth is what determines your rank in the pecking order. This adds another fuzz factor to calculations. What they’re getting isn’t stuff, it’s power. It fills a different psychological need from the income of workers.

Was I supposed to set up a Pac-Man analogy? Eh. It’s an overrun. We’re behind schedule. Give me a million dollars and I’ll provide one, maybe. Probably. There are a lot of risk factors on my risk factor chart.

“Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.” “Work is for losers. A winner says ‘That’s on my list’ and never commits to a deadline.” – Bob the Builder, probably

Or maybe it’s all bollocks. Give me fudgesicles. I deserve it, since I am such a big value creator. Productivity = The Bigs.

Hates Mondays, meetings, and Monday meetings,
Monsieur le Baron

A Better Political Compass, or The Magnificence of Doublethink

Dearest friends,

Without a good compass, you will get lost. This is why I get lost so often – I have yet to find a reliable supplier of hiking supplies. It can be hard to navigate without being able to get your bearings. You can use the sun, but I find the sun has this unfortunate habit of swooping out of the sky trying to eat me, making this dreadful angry face all the while. And one can try to use the animals as a guide, but when I try to sing at the birds, they just peck me.

So a compass.

Similarly, if one is to wander the political woods, one must have a good political compass. Yet I find the ones available often too shabby. The first axis is often labeled Left vs Right. These two terms on their own don’t tell us anything. They might as well be team jerseys or colors: Red vs Blue. Indeed, many shabbier tests use party positions as the metric – to be a Leftist is to toe the Democratic party line. Needless to say, there are many flaws to this. Some go farther and call this the economic axis: leftists are socialists and rightists are capitalists. Yet, many would call positions like Traditionalism, Fascism, and Monarchism rightist. But these often reject capitalism for various reasons. Similarly, most people would agree progressives are leftist. But progressivism is usually defending the extension of Capital’s power – #wokecapital. And people point at something like, say, gay rights, and say that it’s leftist, even if it has nothing to do with economics. Clearly, capitalism vs communism is inadequate to explain this.

What does? The common thread uniting the Left is not socialism, but constructivism. That is, the Left believes that things are socially constructed. Things being socially constructed, they are, in some sense, malleable. Culture and nurture rules, not nature. Genders are a social construct! Laws are a social construct! Gravity is a social construct! By contrast, the Right believes in innate properties of things. There is an essence to everything, an immutable nature. Men and women are different. Capitalism channels man’s inherent greed productively. Human races are real and more than skin-deep. Going to the absolute extreme on the Left, one might expect someone to say there is no such thing as truth, only social constructs, so we can will away the Sun if we all clap our hands and believe. Going to the absolute extreme on the Right, one might expect someone to point out an ethnic group, say, the Yews, call them treacherous, and say that treachery being in their nature (as our qualities and weaknesses are in ours), and nature being unchangeable, the only path forward is extermination. Culture is downstream from biology.

Nowadays, political compasses often have a second axis going vertically, which they term Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism, and which is supposed to capture social attitudes. As we can see, lots of social attitudes can already be captured by the Left-Right dimension. But this dimension is also real, just mislabeled. The distinction which is being captured is not Authoritarian vs Libertarian, but Collectivist vs Individualist. Collectivism, in turn, is implicitly Authoritarian, because the group is privileged over the individual. Because of this, the individual necessarily must suborn their interests to that of the group. This creates a power differential and relation. When groups form, even anarchist groups, leaders and decision-making processes form, which people must submit to. Collectives imply authority. Collectives imply a relationship of authority. Collectivism is therefore implicit hierarchy. Individualists don’t see the world that way. For them, a man is born with rights. No government needs to exist for a man to be free to drink spring water, speak his mind (at the birds, presumably), or build a gunsword which shoots guns which shoot swords. Man is free because the world is free. Groups form and then IMPOSE upon the individuals, taking some of their rights for themselves. But for such an arrangement to be legitimate, the ruled must consent to surrender some of the freedom which they possess in the state of nature. Those who are Leftist Individualists we would call progressives or libertines. Because reality is socially constructed, they perceive reality as a group impingement on their innate freedom to socially construct themselves into being a Two Souled Karate Unicorn. God bless them. Those who are Rightist Individualists want to protect their natural right to have sex with twelve year olds because, actually, it’s ephebophilia not pedophilia and the attempt to define it otherwise is a plot by the government and its sinister roads, so buy up all the little girls you can using gold, which holds innate currency value. Leftist Collectivists see the perfect People Management Software as twelve easy gulagings away, and in the meantime, we’ve got to stop those wreckers sent by the Untied Shoelaces, land of godless materialism, people treating dogs as children, and negroid music. Rightist Collectivists know that if they can just get all those yahoos and punctuated merchants subverting the Ordnung back in line (or thrown out of helicopters), King Arthur will return, the mountains will jizz chocolate, and peace will reign in the land forever probably.

Except some don’t. And also, isn’t this just a relabeling of the existing compasses? Before you throw me out of a helicopter for being a shallow pedant and a hack, I have one more thing to add. And then you can throw me out of a helicopter for being a shallow pedant and a hack.

There’s one more axis. Constrained vs Unconstrained. This may sound familiar, because it is familiar. I stole it from Sowell. But it explains how monarchists and fascists are different, even if they might both be Collectivist and Rightist. Constrained thinkers tend to see the world as defined by tradeoffs. It is a fallen world. Things don’t really permanently improve. History goes in cycles. Mistakes are unavoidable because knowledge is costly and the future is messy. Conflicts come from people having fundamentally different interests. Unconstrained thinkers believe in progress, that things can and will improve, and that win-wins dominate, not trade-offs. Mistakes are a matter of ignorance. Conflicts come from failures to communicate. Fascists are Unconstrained, Reactionaries are Constrained. Ancaps with NAP attacks are Unconstrained, Old Libertarians are Constrained.

Looking over the long flow of history, technology tends to fit the Unconstrained pattern, while governments and cultures fit the Constrained one. So, naturally, engineers tend to be Constrained thinkers and sociologists Unconstrained. An engineer is trained to think about the tradeoffs made when building something. You can trade strength for weight, heat for power, speed for durability, etc. They are constantly confronted with setbacks and failures. And they see all human constructions crumble to dust in time. But every once in a while, one lifts one’s head from the cube and sees that the internet really has gotten thousands of times faster and you’ve made a fat bundle along the way. Similarly, sociologists and their ilk see so many human cultures that it’s hard not to notice the vast differences in the way cultures do things. And they are confronted by differences in values. In turn, it instills a kind of optimism. If so much can be different, why can’t we improve? And so they make another preschool program that doesn’t work. Aristocrats gain prestige by moving leftwards, and they are also constantly manipulating and messing with the proles, so it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that these cultures are constructed – you’re constructing them. But such a position means that your fancy hat is just as constructed, so why don’t we construct it off your head? The prole doesn’t have much margin for fanciful ideas, better the devil he knows. Besides, he sees the kids growing up and the animals breeding, and he knows temperament comes from the parents. But such an ideology means that his low status really is innate to him and deserved. Collectivism tends to attract people who have little but their group identity to be proud of, and in turn, Collective regimes purge those people as useless eaters. Individualists often find themselves asserting their special individuality, a unique identity that everybody hates, and which would be pounded to a pulp absent the government monopoly on force.

What’s the Matter with Kansas? is a mistitling. It should really be called what wrong wit humies atok their fecking stupid uezs.

Anyways, to make a long story short, I see eyes out in the trees looking at me. I’m cold and wet and hungry. I’m hoping you can use the IP posting this to find where I am.

Send hookers and bitcoin,
Monsieur le Baron

Cultures are not Greenfield Projects, or the Virtue of Pulling Someone’s Spinal Cord Out Through Their Ass

Dearest friends,

The biggest problem with building shit is that someone else, inconveniently, has already built things there! How dare they? It’s always nice to get out a fresh piece of paper and start anew. If only reality could be so yielding. Instead, you have to deal with the lumpy remains of the past. Still, even lumps become charming with enough age, though the roads remain narrow and cramped.

To make a long story short, if someone calls asking about an arsonist, I’m not home.

While I remain on the lam, I might as well write something.

Cultures are not greenfield projects. Much ink is spilled over the best way to structure society or government or a religion or money or whatever. People identify problems and devise all sorts of fiendishly clever solutions. I can’t understand them all – I am a rather thick and unclever man. But I do know this much. Clever solutions rarely see the light of day. Much as ant farmers and social engineers might wish otherwise, you’re never starting from zero. You’re starting from an existing culture with existing norms. To get a new idea, you have to bridge from the old, and that means creating intermediate steps and watering down the old design. UBI is a functional idea – but to get it, you have to grandfather in the old welfare recipients. That means it loses quite a bit of its shine.

Well, what about revolution?

What about revolution?

Revolution is not some clean sweep of the old order. That’s gloss and infant formula for bright-eyed idealists. Revolutions are beholden to backers, backers with their own demands for power, wealth, and status. To get them their rightful rewards, one must compromise with reality and break with ideological purity. Comrade Director may be leading us into a bright syndicalist future, but it’s one where he has a stately manor and a staff of Comrade Cleaners. Furthermore, complex civilizations require legions of manpower. Society doesn’t run itself. New regimes tend to coopt the elites of the old order. That keeps the lights on (well, as best as they can be kept on when half the people at the plant are dead), but it also reintroduces many of the rigidities of the old regime. Here’s the new boss, same as the old boss.

I really do mean the same.

I understand the feelings of the wignats. Of course I do. They see a strange people who have invaded their home and dare to call themselves the inhabitants. Not only that, they call themselves *more* deserving of the home’s title than you.

That’s how I feel about the self-proclaimed Kshatriya. Sure, they’re not important in the modern Dissident Right. I still don’t like them.

What many would-be revolutionaries fail to understand in their historical narratives is that the house always wins. Those who praise aristocracy but damn the DC swamp monster fail to understand that the swamp monster *is* aristocracy. Sure, it has a bunch of annoying clerisy gnats goading it to be more progressiver, but the core of it is aristocratic. Any narrative that starts with the Jews or the Bourgeois or the smelly people down the street beating the Back-to-Back Every War Champs is, frankly, ludicrous. The aristocracy was not destroyed. It’s stronger than ever. The aristocracy reduced the monarchs into mango puree before rendering the Church into kibbles and bits. Sure, they may not make “good government” or “maximize profit”, but that was never the goal. The goal is to have power. Power is being had. Mission accomplished. The aristocracy is a tremendously fit creature. It is now superbly well-adapted to its niche of stomping on faces and turning avocado toast into poop.

We’re stuck with the consequences of the past. People don’t get to start over. People build over old cultures much like sushiritos follow burritos (TO BE EXPOUNDED ON IN FUTURE EXCITING SUSHIRITO MUSINGS). That’s it, really. You can’t start from nothing. You’re stuck with piles of cultural appendixes. Why do I wear a collared shirt? Why is this office open? Where do cubicles come from? Why do we drive on the right side of the road? It’s all arbitrary continuities of arbitrary traditions, sushiritos all the way down. The world isn’t built on the back of sturdy turtles, it’s built on sushiritos. That’s my word of the day, sushirito. Am I impressing you with my sushirito-based wordliness? Never use a two syllable word where a sushirito might do.

It’s not easy being an idiot in the Dissident Right. That’s why I have to keep shoveling sushiritos down my throat. It helps with cope with the pain of dumbness. But a dumb person like me can see all the layers piled up like a Taco Baal monstrosity offered up as a gift to the Altar of Excess. And the layers only get deeper, meatier, and cheesier with time. We are all creatures of forgotten, pointless rituals. We must be like Confucius and just accept they are what they are.

Instead of worrying about policy or institutions or inefficient practices, worry about power. Power doesn’t care about your facts *or* your feelings.

It’s fun to come up with policies. But when you get down to brass tacks, the most useful superpower is incredible spine-ass-ripping strength.

Plays too much Mortal Kombat,
Monsieur le Baron

Species of Class Conflict, or The Best Bestiary of Mawkish Marxist Marches Abridged

Dearest friends,

The plates of the earth constantly rub up against each other. They go up, they go down, they make mountains, they sink lands, they pop into volcanoes. Continents collide, continents separate. But there is no point to it, nor does it end (well, so long as the core burns anyway).

Life is conflict.

And so is class.

Marx was not wrong in speaking of class conflict as the engine of history. His only mistake was assuming, in that peculiar Western way, that there was progress and an end. But the wheel turns, and its turning humbles the great and makes great the humble.

What follows is a list of types of class conflict. I do not pretend this is a complete list. Still, I dare say it is an improvement over the unimaginative clods that constantly rehash the words of the Great Man and make all battles into wars over the means of production.

The Peasant’s Revolt
Proles vs UMC
This is the classic Marxist battle over the means of production, but framed in a new way. While classic Marxists believe that seizing the means of production will liberate the proles and usher in the classless age, this victory soon proves to be temporary at best. The reason is simple. One cannot run anything by committee well. Sooner or later, rule will devolve to a few key persons, and these people will be de facto owners of the means of production. Such was the case in Yugoslavia, where the Comrade Directors became just like the feudal lords they replaced (sometimes they were even their sons). Because of this, there can be no lasting seizure of the means of production. And because of that simple fact, seizing the means of production does not upend all of society and destroy the upper class, but merely the local lords. Because the local lords know they can be destroyed, these conflicts have become increasingly less total. You can’t throw out the lords for good, so you can only try to get the best terms you can. Replace the boss? Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

In medieval society, land was the means of production, so peasant’s revolts focused on abusive and greedy lords. In industrial society, factories are the means of production, so peasant’s revolts take the form of strikes and collective action intended to force a renegotiation between labor and capital. Proles know that paradise isn’t coming, so they won’t be duped into overturning society to immanentize the eschaton. It is not the emperor that they take issue with, but the local rapacious lord.

The Baron’s Revolt
Sometimes, the ruler is mad. Sometimes, the ruler is centralizing power too much. It is upon the baronage that power is built. They are the strata of the elite which is actively extracting resources from the rest of society and serving as coordination units. The center forgets this at its peril. When the center attempts to seize too much power from the autonomous provinces, they will grumble. Fundamentally, this is an intra-elite conflict about the distribution of power. Too much autonomy and a state disintegrates, too much centralization and it becomes rigid and fragile. And sometimes the ruler is just plain crazy. When their decrees cause famine and ruin, any right thinking person will begin to question the throne. That’s why some affluent persons in rural regions voted for Trump – their local communities were collapsing, and so they cautiously offered to win their districts for the insurgent, in hopes the country could be saved.

Conflict of the Orders
Proles and UMC vs MC and UC
You can’t keep men of talent down forever. In every society, there are certain persons with power, money, and influence… but no rank. When a man born to rule is kept from the halls of power, he soon grows resentful. And because he has power, he will use it. The result is class conflict. Some among the plebs became exceedingly rich and powerful, but they were still barred from Roman high society. The same was true of the high bourgeois in Ancien Regime Europe. In the modern Philippines, you have the high families of mixed Spanish descent ruling while the Chinese bourgeois take the reins of the economy. The Jews rose to professional positions, but they wanted a real seat at the table.

You can’t keep people out forever. Sooner or later, there will be a reckoning. The UMC challengers enlist the assistance of the proles by framing it as a battle between unprivileged, hard-working outsiders fighting against those who abuse privileged legal statuses to maintain their grip on society. The UC enlist the assistance of the middle class by appeals to propriety and the natural order. This is how republics form peacefully. The old elite and the newcomers soon reach a settlement, but the appeals to equality have a lasting effect. The Roman Republic after the conflict of the orders was a real republic. Bourgeois agitation in the late 19th century really did create a flowering of democracies across Europe.

But if there cannot be a peaceful resolution, then it must be revolution.

MC and UMC vs UC
Negotiations have broken down. There will be no room made at the table. Elites are already overproduced. Revolution it must be, and revolution it will be. The Rome that accommodated the rising plebians was a young Rome, hale and hearty, with plenty more world to conquer and exploit. The Europe that fused the new bourgeois with the old aristocracy was a Europe at the height of its power and influence. But sometimes empires are in decline. When a power rises, it is easy to grant positions to new elites. But as a power declines, existing elites become more determined to hold onto what they have. Competition is too tight to permit upstarts.

Members of the UMC will want to take the UC positions they feel their talents and ambition have earned, but they will be frozen out. Similarly, a stagnant aristocracy will be unable to absorb all the middle class aspirants seeking to join it. Discontent rises. Ambitious UMC will seek to rise by hook or by crook. What they can do in peace through great deeds, they will now seek to gain by force. The armies of disappointed aspirants serve as natural cannon fodder. The deal is simple. The baron who wishes to be king will promise their followers that they will be barons in this new world. It is men of the upper middle that spark revolutions: Trotsky, Lenin, Guevara, Castro, the Comte de Mirabeau (not as rich as you would expect a count to be). That being said, a revolution, like a cannonball, and like the great conquerors who spark them, must go on. They soon find a way of carrying people away.

What foolish things men do for a crown.

Elite Liberation
Not all revolutions are classical. Some are cultural. When a society’s elites no longer feel that they must maintain its values, they will abandon them. To be a cultural repository is a great and restrictive burden. For a naturally liberal caste to safeguard tradition is a difficult ask. No religion can withstand questioning forever, and no rites can resist rationalization. The soul of the aristocracy inclines it leftwards, as do the pressures of court life. It is only duty that binds them to their society’s cult. When duty falters, so too does their dedication to the societal cult.

Natural spite for the middle class takes over.

What happens next? A total upending of traditions and remaking of traditional norms. The WASPs stop preaching traditional family values. Cults proliferate. Everything is questioned. And the fabric of society shreds.

Society cannot be without a cult forever. The new war is a war for the souls of men. In the end, one creed will reign. From the ashes of pagan Rome rises Constantine.

Aspirant’s War
MC vs UMC and UC
Occupy Wall Street! We are the 99%! In reality, they are nothing of the sort. They do not speak for the people but for a small frustrated slice. Occupy Wall Street attempted to paint itself as a populist movement, but it was really the movement of middle class aspirants who discovered, to their dismay, that their college degrees were not magic keys to power and prosperity. Rather than give up, they attempted to take things into their own hands. It went poorly. Prole America does not sympathize with dreamers who rack up tens of thousands of debt trying to become elite. When your biggest goal is not to destroy the system, but merely to be the man holding the whip, it is difficult to find supporters. At least a baron has true imperium and majeste, however minor. An aspirant has nothing.

Of course, what aspirants have in mind is this…

Top vs Bottom
Proles and MC vs UMC and UC
A dodo. A myth. This doesn’t happen. What these aspirants wanted was to rally all of society behind them so they could tear down the elites (and then sit in the now vacant chairs). Of course, any idiot could see that these folks were both greedy and stupid.

If there is one rule in class relations, it is that everyone hates the middle class. And so, an attempt to create a Top vs Bottom situation soon becomes…

The Tea Party
Proles vs MC
You see, bringing up aspirant grievances with the elite doesn’t inspire any sympathy. Instead, it inspires anger. When Prussia conquered Poland, the better szlachta were allowed to integrate into the new regime. The same occurred in Austria. But the szlachta also included the Polish middle class. These dispossessed szlachta attempted to lead a Polish revolt in 1846. Well, as they say, “the szlachta is the Polish nation, the peasants are the slaves.” A position in the regime is table stakes. It shows you’re risking something real. What does someone outside the system have to offer? What are they giving up to lead? The prole senses, rightly, the aspirant simply aims to swap one yoke for another. What is promised is not a radically new world as in a true revolution or conflict of the orders, but more of the same under different colors. To the prole, both the Occupy Wall Street protesters and those in the glass towers were the same damn coastal bastards. The hell with them all. The real issue was not whiny pansies and their frustrated ambitions, but the regulations and taxes being forced down their throat and the disenfranchisement of the masses. So they had a Tea Party.

As for the Poles? They took those damnable szlachta and butchered them.

Power belongs to those that will seize it, not to bloviating intellectuals attempting to exist outside the system. Plus, the cultural appropriation? Distasteful.

Just butthurt about Kshatriya LARPs,
Monsieur le Baron

Ich bin ein Vernunftrepublikaner, oder der Kleinknusprigkrapfenlösung im Diet

Dearest friends,

There comes a time in every man’s life where he must become pastry.

Nah, I’m Just Fucking Kidding.

And I’m kidding about that too! No conspiracy theories, please.

Nobody really believed the Wall could fall until it did. Except for those crazy people who did, but let’s ignore them. Mass psychology is a funny thing. But people, far better people than I, have already written about the psychology of the masses. Unfortunately for me, they did so in books, long books, long books with big words and no pictures, thus placing these insights far outside my reach. However, I have no doubt you, dear reader, could be an equal to these challenges.

Instead, I’m going to talk about an easy subject: Brahmin. Brahmin are easy to discuss because you can watch them and write down their silly behaviors. And they are fruitful to discuss because, generally speaking, few people write about Brahmin. The masses can’t write about Brahmin because they don’t see Brahmin, and the Brahmin don’t write about Brahmin because all of the interesting insights they take as natural. Fish are tragically unable to know water.

A Brahmin is a priestly creature. He loves books and Calvinism and books and smug pontifications about the Galapagos and books and dolphin-safe donuts. Being a creature of religion, heretic though he may be (do you see Brahmin living among their beloved ghettowalkers or getting divorced?), he has a big ego goal – to preach his religion.

But, you may say, Brahmins hate Christers! Or maybe not. Presumably you’ve already read some neoreaction. Regardless of their professed religion beliefs, Brahmin do, more or less, believe in a set of doctrines and moral behaviors that, if followed, will lead to paradise, and which constitute the grounds for moral judgement and sin. The real religion of the Brahmin is, of course, the Cathedral. Universal, omnipresent progressivism. The goal of the priest is to become pure and attain paradise, but what of the Cathedral’s priest? Given that his paradise is earthly, he has no choice but to attempt to immatenize the eschaton. He will bring paradise to the present, material world.

Now, every so often, a Brahmin goes off the reservation and renounces the Cathedral faith. What then? Well, dear reader, you might say they finally let truth into their darkened eyes and embrace neoreaction. Of course, once we formally recognize power, restore the sovereign, banish egalitarianism, and end voting, we will attain the Superparisian Vienna on a hill. Paradise, good wine, and good times will be had by all.

Dawkins may have been pwned, but so was Moldbug. It’s not just that the Cathedral is a religion. All political ideologies are religions – they promise to fix the problems of society with a few prescriptions and thus deliver humanity into the age of good government. The issue is that while they fix a few problems, usually the problems they purport to, they create others. Why? They ignore the fundamental problem of power.

Which is really a fundamental problem of humanity.

The problem is that gains are not made without tradeoffs because this is not, in fact, a utopian world, but a fallen one, governed not by rational shekel-maximizers or wise kings, but human dickheads.

Behold! In an instant, USG vanishes with a greasy popping noise. Hot dog, says the state-in-wait, and a thousand would-be Kshatriya swarm the abandoned capital, eager for political loot. Behind them are their invincible robot armies.

Problem 1: Those robots are made by people. Tech people. Why should the tech people give full control to the new Kshtockholders and the proprietor they choose? Political power grows from the barrel of a gun. Just take the gun for yourself and now you rule. And what do techies love? The Cathedral. Back to square one.

Problem 2: Suppose the Kshatriya, through their immense handsomeness and muscularity, manage to take over with loyal robot armies. They split the country up into fifty million patch states and begin to rule. You know, ruling. Even though they abstained from the power process before and have no practice, I’m sure they’ll do fine. They have invincible robot armies!

My great-great-grandfather, too, had an invincible robot army. His model was the PEOPLE model, short for Privately Employed Organic Political Law Enforcement. They worked pretty well except for the part where they malfunctioned when impacted with too much blunt or explosive force. The thing is, each patch gets their own robot army.

Mmmm. Right.

It turns out, in such an environment, a little patch is surrounded by other patches. What do all the patches do? Well, what motivates patches (read: nobles)? Shekels? Nyet. Survival. Survival! Your first and foremost concern is to prevent your insides from becoming outsides. Every neighbor is a potential enemy. It is Central Park in the dead of night. There are no policemen. And the night never ends. The only promise of security is more robots. So you pump your patch dry to buy more PEOPLE-model robots. But you don’t have enough robots, so you need more resources. Where to get them? You’re already raping your little patch. Better grab another. So you invade another patch to secure the resources to prevent yourself from being invaded by another patch that wants to secure the resources to prevent itself from being invaded by another…

We call this environment “civil war”, and our thousand little proprietors “warlords”. It was a bloody, unpleasant unfair, and most of said proprietors lose, with modestly dire results for their descendants.

I am haunted by all the good wine not being drunk. By me. Every night, I go to bed unpleasured by like, fifty harem girls. It’s a dreadful world. Don’t subject your line to that.

Okay, okay.

Problem 3: So suppose that our proprietors, being rational, recognize after only a few defenestrations that civil war is bad for their life expectancy. They band together into one greater entity to bring an end to the war of all against all, and this entity rapidly expands to regional or global hegemony. Great! Wonderful!

The problem is that you’ve just made Stuart FEDGOV, with all the problems of a big, creaky FEDGOV. That’s not such a bad thing, because the Pax Americana, like the Pax Romana, is pretty wonderful. Napoleon Kai-Sulla rides triumphantly into DC astride a white charger, and the nations quake before his limitless might. Good stuff.

Do I think things will run better after that?


The problem is that our new constitution still sucks. All the power is invested in the nobility, who have the power to remove the Proprietor with their shares. What is the cardinal rule of power? Nobles are dickheads. Leftist dickheads. Now they have absolute power. They’re just gonna make a new Cathedral, but blackjack and hookers. What does giving the aristoi absolute power accomplish? Does it restrain them? Hahahaha! Fuck no. Do you think the *people*, of all things, push the aristoi to make the Cathedral? How? The people are useful bioleninist shocktroopers for the ultimate goal – more power. Does anyone really think democracy can hold the aristoi accountable?

The truth of the matter is that aristoi power is already absolute. There are no meaningful consequences for the upper middle class. The only ways I can really fuck up are to commit a crime that denies FEDGOV’s monopoly on force or otherwise subvert it. And lese majeste is always a serious crime. Or if I arouse the ire of an even bigger fish. Besides that, everything is permitted.

Let me tell you a story of the upper middle class. There once was a girl who had everything going for her. She ended up going to the best school. But once there, she let herself go to pot. She dated black men to spite daddy, she neglected her studies, and worst of all, she got fat. Let me assure you that is an unpardonable sin, fatness. She bummed around with a useless Study Studies degree, obtaining no useful skills. In lieu of gathering experience, she did activism.

Does this story end with a Starbucks job and piles of debt? Ha. Of course not. She changed her mind, immediately stepped into a six-figure job, and lived happily ever after.

Even I am a pile of bad decisions and stupid risks. I have a humanities degree. A humanities degree from a second-tier college, not even an Ivy or Stanford. Not only that, I neglected my studies. My grades were below the minimum hiring cutoff for firms. As a worker, I am… slovenly at best, showing up an hour late, unkempt, with a penchant to wander in contemplation. And yet…

Monsieur le Baron lives rather comfortably, I’ll say that.

Perhaps it’s talent? Well, talent, just as much as wealth, is part of their inheritance.

One might protest that madame was merely being a good leftist in the Cathedral tradition. First of all, if you actually do the things we tell the proles to do – you’re an idiot. And second of all, Monsieur le Baron is a brash rightist. A card-carrying Democratic rightist, but certainly right enough for the Cathedral. But this, like pedophilia or other such maladies, is merely a sword given by its handle. Leverage. At least my sin keeps my conscience clean before God, even if it isn’t clean in the eyes of man.

The upper middle class is immune to consequences. And if you protest that you are a member and you are not… I have some bad news for you.

No, their power is unchecked. And it has not produced virtue, far from it.

The first generation of the new empire *will* be virtuous. And things will run well. But not for reasons of constitution. Give me a hundred constitutions and I’ll poke holes in them all. All arrangements are flawed and doomed. It is order and chaos. Foundings are acts of reaction because they impose order on order. The American Founding was just as much reaction as Stalin’s rise to power or the coming of the Normans. The Empire is vigorous as it arises from the sea foam, fully formed.

Leftism – the powerlust – rot – entropy – is universal. It is LEFTISM that rules over all things in the end. The tribe of the lion does not content itself to mortar the slumping edifice. It hungers for power. Only in times of chaos is the warlord finally welcome. But in all times, the warlord is born.

What does it mean to be Vernunftrepublikaner? It means abandoning hope in ideology. All regimes fail. Entropy devours all things. Chaos is the rule, order a brief exception.

But it means to love it regardless, for there is nothing else and nothing better.

It means tending the bonfire of Western civilization, nay, all of civilizations, the sacred hearth with its ever-burning flame. A flame that must constantly be stoked and fed, that demands patrician virgins and the noblest sons be given to it. It means understanding that being a defender of order means being a sucker, means giving yourself to a hopeless cause. It means understanding that it is so much more than that – it is becoming a ritual sacrifice, kindling for the flame. A life surrendered for one’s children, and all that will come after you.

And why? Because with the state came the end of the war of all. When the fire is brought to a rest and stoked, it becomes a hearth. Civilization is man’s home, the place where he can finally rest. It is the only rest he can know until he is finally recalled to his Maker’s side.

Thus, we carry the flame, insatiable as it is. And when Troy is ashes, we spirit the flame away across the sea to an unknown shore.

Cathedrals rise, Cathedrals fall.

The flame burns on.

Actually a disgruntled Krispy Kreme shill,
Monsieur le Baron

And Yesterday was the Same as Tomorrow, or The Importance of Not Being Very Earnest At All

Dearest friends,

Here is an excellent post by an excellent man.

Here is another!

When Monsieur le Baron was a small child, he learned great tales of princes and kings, warlords and scholars, empires and barbarians. It was all quite lovely. Then Monsieur le Baron grew a little larger and discarded such things as moonbeams and fantasies. Then, even later, Monsieur le Baron found out it was all mostly true.

Still later, Monsieur le Baron was delighted to find his peers were similar, all with their own storied lineages and ancient histories. Now, the neoreactionaries among you may be wondering how one can reconcile an observed reality of most everyone of talent being blueblooded with an ideological claim of human equality.

It’s simple – the peasants were kept down and remain kept down by cisheteroviolent patriarchal oligocapitalist oppression. To free them so that a thousand blossoms may bloom, we must smash the System, man.

One might wonder how such a silly boy could believe such a silly thing.

It’s really quite simple!

Everyone believed it!

Now, a digression.

When the Revolution came to Russia, as it always does and always will come to every country, the nobles rolled out literal red flags and ribbons and the metaphorical red carpet. And while most of the Romanovs either died or fled, one, Natalia Romanov of the Iskander branch, outlived the Revolution, outlived Lenin, outlived Stalin, and ultimately, outlived the entire Soviet Union.

Of all groups, one might expect the nobility to be most resistant to signalling. Their social position is almost as high as it can possibly be. Their wealth is, if not infinite, then usually enough. And if anyone has the clout to tell USG to fuck off, it is those who are independently powerful. Life is pretty good. One might expect these people to put up a resistance, however tepid, to the leftward swim of Cthulhu, since any gain in someone else’s SP must come at their cost. Yet, everywhere one looks, it is highborn sons of illustrious families atop the Cathedral. It is Otto von Habsburg leading the charge of the Eurocrats.

What motivates a nobility?

Some might say power. Some might say the maximization of profit, paid in delicious golden shekels. Some might say social status. And all these things are pretty true.

But I am a natural craven, so I propose yet another answer: first and foremost, they are concerned with the preservation of their own miserable hides. Power is a strange thing in that it must constantly be maintained against others. If one is not growing in strength, one is weakening. This is true of nations, corporations, and ultimately, even individuals. The only security lies in true absolute power, and the only respite from danger is to constantly grow. A shark has to keep swimming or it suffocates. States do not remain in little patchworks but agglomerate into larger and larger empires. Companies devour or crush their rivals by hook and by crook. And nobles? Nobles scheme relentlessly.

To scheme is to speak the language of power. That language is leftism. It is popular to divide the world into Kshatriya and Brahmin, one being hard-nosed realists born to rule and the other being a detached, unworldly priestly class. But in reality, to remain Kshatriya, to remain regnant, one must speak the argot of the day’s leftists – one must be Brahmin as well.  Otherwise, someone else will – and they’ll slit your throat. There are no prizes for dying with dignity. However, he remains tied to certain realities by the Gods of the Copybook Headings and by Gnon. We might call these realities Kshatriya realities. Thus, the true nobleman is two-faced, singing Brahmin lies from one mouth and whispering Kshatriya truths with the other. He is Janus, straddling the line between barbarism and civilization. And it is he that is the true fist of the Revolution.

Looked at this way, most leftists need not be sociopathic status-maximizers at all. They need only be powerful and fearful. There don’t even have to be many or even any sociopathic status maximizers in the modern population – generation N can signal leftism creating the environment which drives generation N+1 to signal leftism to survive which drives generation N+2 to signal leftism etc etc.

Let’s face it, if Bioleninism and its predecessors were only championed by the dregs of society, there would have never been a single Revolution, let alone an eternal and unstoppable leftward Cthulhu swim. These people are dregs for a *reason*. People who can’t even reliably put cheese on a hamburger patty certainly can’t reliably overthrow a government. At least not on their own.

Dennis the Menace, meet Janus the Manus.

So what’s the lesson of the Russian Revolution? It’s bad to be a conservative. It’s okay to be a liberal. It’s good to be a socialist. It’s even better to be a communist.

And best of all is to be NKVD, carrying out the will of the Red Tsar. That is beautiful Natalia’s little magic trick to outlive an entire regime.

This is how you end up with a Cathedral full of heretics. Even in its decay, the organ pipes of the Cathedral sing a terrible and beautiful melody, the sublime musical cacophony of a thousand artillery shells, thermite bombs, and automatic rifles ringing out in unity, the undulating growl of countless treasure ships laden heavy with tribute bound for the Throne, upon which sits, by the Grace of Our Lord, God-Emperor Trump, flanked by legions of Kshatriya-Brahmin, the perfected thoroughbreds of centuries of eugenic breeding, heretic-evangelists who have pledged their lives and sovereign honor to the Empire and its Cathedral, the mightiest and most prosperous the world has ever known. There is much virtue even in a dying empire.

And sure, each generation will see fewer and fewer Warrior-Brahmin and more and more evil fat black ladies as the tension between Cathedral ideology and lived reality continues to grind. But this is a slow fall, and it may go unnoticed until one day a hollow-eyed Odoacer wanders the ruins of a once great empire.

But! But! But, you might object, Monsieur le Baron, isn’t it the case that these less leftist governments were much, much better at the business of government? If all of the elite could come together and repudiate this insane nonsense (and it is insane nonsense, because that’s better to signal loyalty), or at least 50% of it, everyone would be better off. Great! Wonderful! Bring on the Restoration.

I have even taken the liberty of preparing a letter for you announcing the Restoration. Here:

Dear Peasants,

You are all zoosmells and the ugly. We, the upper middle class, hereby renounce that wretched republican name and resume our glorious existence as the divine aristocracy, doer of all good things. Please report to your nearest liquidation center for dysgenic counteraction. There will be free food and refreshments, followed by death.

By order of,
Louis LXIV, the Super Mario Sunshine King

If people prioritized the collective good over individual rationality, Communism might have actually stood a chance of working.

Political catallaxy is the phenomena by which humans spontaneously arrange themselves into organizations which make everyone involved miserable.

Sure, a powerful king can arrest such signalling spirals. But those guys are few and far between. Court politics was known as treacherous for a reason.

Lest we idealize the past, my problems were my grandfather’s problems and my grandfather’s grandfather’s problems. And at the end of the day, my grandfather was shot.

Although, there was less shit on the streets.

And the wine was better.

In unfortunate sobriety,
Monsieur le Baron