Saturday, September 11, 2021

Optimism on a solemn day

All the cool kids are posting uplifting things today, and so I'll jump in. 

I've posted repeatedly about America as Fall-Of-The-Roman-Empire/Republic before.  It's looked pretty bleak for a while, not being able to figure out how the Next Big American Thing will come into being.  It's looked like that process will be really blood soaked.

But maybe not.  I've also posted before about Curtis Yarvin, who blogged under the nom de blog Mencious Moldbug.  It was ten years ago that I wrote about him in an uberpost titled The Fifth American Republic.  It has perhaps the best opening paragraph I've ever written:

Barack Obama is a communist.  That's a low schoolyard insult, even though it's true, but it doesn't matter.  You see, Mitt Romney is also a commie.  No, this isn't yet another Mitt Romney rant.  All of our political establishment are commies, and have been for a long time.

Glen Filthie found a Tucker Carlson interview with Yarvin.  It's quite something - Tucker is a much better interviewer than I had known (I don't watch much - or any - political TV) and Tucker allows Yarvin great big huge uninterrupted blocks of time to explain his philosophy of how America is ruled by an oligarchy, why the oligarchy is decentralized, how the US Government has evolved over time (with a shout out to his original post that I blogged about ten years back), how the periodic evolutions come to be needed as the system slowly degrades, and how this explains why we lost in Afghanistan.

He ends with a discussion of the end of the Roman Republic and how that could plausibly happen here without the rivers of blood.  This is a very long and very thoughtful interview that left me feeling much better about this Republic's chances than I have in a long, long time.

Go watch this.  I cannot recommend this too highly.  You might want to read my old uberpost as an introduction first, because it will set the stage for much of what Yarvin describes.  Yarvin is a first rate intellect and you will end up smarter when you're done.


Glen Filthie said...

I found Moldbug to be a tough read on occasion.

And I dunno if we can be optimistic about what’s coming, BP. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong… but I have commies in my family, I know how those guys think… and I know they won’t stop. They’re going to have to be stopped…almost certainly with kinetic means.

But whadda I know?

LSP said...

Will check it out, great opening para :)

McChuck said...

A bloody revolution is the hopeful and optimistic future. We can fight and have a chance at survival and victory, or we can passively wait our turn to be marched to the camps.

Chris said...

I have had a strong feeling ("known" is too strong a word) that the ruling class was more a social concept and construct than a cabal, for a long time. That was a difficult transition, for humans want to personify what they perceive as evil opposition. Like the Chairman in "V for Vendetta." This lends a lot of weight to that, simply because Moldbug grew up as part of that nebulous grouping. It's more than just Ivy League attendance or heredity, it's the correct connections, mentors, sponsors, etc. Easy to be pushed out of, hard to get into if not born to the correct parents.

I can somewhat agree with his thoughts regarding a transition to a more overtly monarchical form of government, because humans, and Americans in particular, are suckers for the "Man on a White Horse" campaign. The savior of the Republic will be cheered into office and given the power to set things right. Dissent, as always, will be unpatriotic.

Or we can descend into a war of factions, which would be far worse.

SiGraybeard said...

Yarvin might well be a first rate intellect, but he's a second rate speaker. Far too many "you knows" and other verbal junk.

It didn't go the way I expected. He comes across as fan of the deep state or at least the people who think themselves the best and brightest, and a fan of aristocracies. Despite the number of times he points out how the deep state is in decline. Perhaps decay is a better word.

Is it the periodic evolutions come to be needed as the system slowly degrades... or periodic revolutions?

5stonegames said...

Moldbug is arguablly the founder of what is called the Dark Enlightenment.

That group is overly intellectual, wordy for the sake of showing off (in group signalling really) and cottons to strategy called passivism which is basically "do nothing"

They aren't a bad bunch but are too tied to the system as it is and frankly too cowardly to a degree to be of much use to anyone.

TechieDude said...

At about 1:05 or so, towards the end, what he's talking about is a "fourth turning". Every 80-100 years it happens. Strauss and Howe weren't quite as optimistic. His on one end we devolve to 3rd world after decades, or the professional class jumps in as the new aristocracy leaves out all the other players on the board.

Strauss and Howe had four predictions, one being like Yarvin's, where things simply get sorted. Yarvin's devolve to the third world was second to bottom for the Fourth Turning guys. The bottom being worldwide calamity, nuclear annihilation.

Because what he's missing in his interpretation of his third and fourth American republics is millions dead, millions injured and displaced.

BTW - peak crisis of the fourth turning is estimated at 2025. Take a guess what'll light that off.

Goober said...

From the linked post:

"The Birchers believe that Ike stopped short while the USA was defeating the Germans so that the Soviets could capture more territory. I have no idea if this is true."

It's actual historical fact. So well known, in fact, that I'm surprised that someone as learned as Moldbug would not know this.

The historical fact of it all is this:

The post-war "areas of influence" between the "big Four" Allied nations (the US, Britain, USSR, and France) were decided at the Yalta conference in February of 1945. During that conference, the map was set, and the occupation zones laid out.

As the war progressed, it became clear that the German strategy was to strengthen the Eastern Front at the expense of the Western Front, in the (supposed) hopes that the Western Allies would be more merciful if they reached Berlin, first.

Ultimately, as the war nearer it's close, the Western Allies could very easily have pushed to Berlin and beaten the Soviets there. However, Ike and now Truman, knowing the agreement that was reached at Yalta, feared that Wallie troops pressing into the agreed-upon Soviet occupation zones would come across as bad faith, at best, and perhaps even an overt act of war against the Soviets (by this time, the Wallies and the Soviets had pretty much stopped trusting each other and were Aliies only in the sense that they shared a common enemy, the first breaths of the Cold War were already in the air). Ike very much did NOT want to provoke confrontation with the Soviets, and so he gave the order for Wallie forces to stop at the edges of the agreed upon Wallie occupation zones, and left Berlin to the Soviets, as agreed upon in Yalta.

The reason that I disagree with the Bircher theory is that when the Soviets decided to move past their agreed upon occupation zone in Austria, the Wallies showed pretty strong force and sent Stalin packing with his tail between his legs (for the same reason, in reverse. Stalin didn't want a war witht he Wallies any more than they did with him). So if the predilection was pro-Communism, one would need to explain this event.

Ike was simply attempting to respect, and simultaneously enforce, an agreement between allies. There wasn't anything necessarily or inherently subversive or pro-communist in that, just anti-continuation of a war that had already claimed millions.