Dreher and Noble Lies

Nick Land and Occam’s Razor have posted their reactions to Rod Dreher’s post in the American Conservative that stated that acknowledging biology is politically dangerous.

While I disagree with Dreher’s position, I think that he’s correct in saying that, were the USG to admit that much of its post-WWII domestic and international policy have been built upon shams, and that much of the social science staff throughout the West consists of sham artists, that there would be stunning levels of political disruption, which would probably spiral into civil conflict, perhaps even civil war.

Rarely do people involved in maintaining a major political lie admit that is what they’re doing. Writers like Dreher consciously suppress conflict in the present by concealing valid information, but by doing so, they guarantee a far worse ‘correction’ of the social structure later. Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile explores this theme, and comes out against the maintenance of shams, because it’s a highly destructive practice in the long run.

The ‘Austrian economic calculation problem’ method of thinking also impugns this strategy as a sort of method of intellectual price-fixing — doomed to fail, certain to cause errors to multiply, and to spark deadly conflict in the future.

Land makes light of Dreher’s fears, and Occam attempts to calm his anxiety. Pretending as if the breakdowns of the various progressive lies will be largely benign for everyone involved isn’t a realistic prediction.

While forbidden knowledge doesn’t directly result in ‘genocide’ (a recent term that only entered wide use post-war), the retaliatory rage and political dysfunction that results from the unwinding of countless lies does often result in political dissolution and war.

The result is not likely to be Auschwitz redux, however. The term ‘genocide’ and the United Nations diplomatic framework put in place to freeze in place American hegemony for-ever-and-ever only came into being after a series of genocides all over Europe perpetrated by all sides of the war that created all the homogeneous nations west of the iron curtain.

That Hitler was able to conquer the liberal Weimar Republic, sympathetic as it was to the ideals of 1789, is more an argument against the ideals of 1789 than it is against anything that might threaten the preservation of those ideals. The modern American state is probably closer to the revolutionary idyll than Weimar was, so I understand Dreher’s hitlerexia nervosa. Building a social order that’s resilient to Hitlers seems more sensible than attempting to deal with every little corporal that decides to declare himself first among brothers in a nation of brothers. The 1789 way of doing things is demonstrably vulnerable to such degenerative modes, as was broadly understood in the West since antiquity.

As soon as a clear and permanent majority develops under democracy, some variant on Napoleon/Hitler/etc. is inevitable. This is one of the reasons as to why we see such a scramble by minority groups in democracies to hamper majority populations and to ally with other minorities — they know that permanently losing the kulturkampf means permanently losing the kampf proper.

Majority rule so often means minority expulsion or mass-murder that it’s practically axiomatic; derivable via first principles or plain observation.

This is the situation that the former American majority finds itself in, and why the Dark Enlightenment finds purchase now and not ten yeas ago, whereas the other mind-virus strains from which its thinkers have synthesized it could not infect more than a small portion of the population, most of whom were cranks with compromised mental immune systems anyhow. Now that the stakes are obvious to anyone with eyes to see, politics looks less like sport and more like a battle for survival.

It’s a pathetic accident of history and low education standards that ‘democracy,’ which confers power to the majority, has been somehow identified with friendliness to minorities.

To the extent that the Dark Enlightenment dismantles popular lies at a faster rate than was possible before, it’s not a benign force — from the perspective of the people who make comfortable livings off of those lies, like most of the people living in Washington DC. It may even be dangerous to the millions of upstanding, productive people who have adapted to a high parasite load, even if they don’t enjoy all the squirming tapeworms sharing their intestinal tract.

The Dreher position, which is more widely shared than most will admit, is ‘responsible’ to the present, but destructive to the future of more than 20 years from now, in the same way that the lies of the ’68ers caused immense destruction as those ideas hardened into opportunistic demotic policy.

In this, the superior position is the one which accepts a temporary period of strife to make more durable and organic orders possible. While yes, this will devastate the lives of millions of people (just as the implosion of the USSR hollowed out millions of sad lives), it’s preferable to the alternative of catastrophic collapse.

3 thoughts on “Dreher and Noble Lies

  1. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Scrap note #6

  2. How democracy favors minorities to undermine majorities is not obvious on the face, but some statistics and history make it clear that Wilson was on to something.

    You can find a graph that shows ‘percentage of population that can vote’ and ‘percentage of population that does vote’ in America approximately since its inception.

    The trend is that as the voting rolls wax, turnout wanes. On the totals they both rise, but the division between ‘max voters’ and ‘actual voters’ widens as franchise broadens.

    This indicates that the dilution of vote has some effect on the confidence the majority has in the effectiveness of the system; there is some correlation there. There is also the fact that mass voting blocs are easier to mislead but harder to inform. The concept (in my mind) is that ‘informing’ requires a certain personalization, whereas misleading is pure demographic marketing (i.e. sex sells.)

    Most minorities, if they are significant, work to shore up their power (as you’ve noted) and will tend to band together against the majority as a matter of course. The combination of misinformation and low turnout combined with the ethnomasochistic attitude of the liberal for quite some time now means that minorities can and will punch back (though how much they actually benefit is unknown; this may just be negative sum thinking at work.)

    The reason for things like ‘Rock The Vote’ has all to do with recognizing that turnout, and not necessarily overall voting bloc size, determines elections in contested areas (of which there are many.) For this reason much money is spent to bus the homeless, the poor, minorities, etc, to voting locations to get out the vote.

    The issue at hand seems to be that rather than being a freedom from Tyranny, democracy of the sort we have developed guarantees some kind of tyranny at all times; the majority tyrannizes the minorities, and the minorities tyrannize it back. In some cases, 49% means you may have to suck it up to losing big for no other reason than you didn’t have enough votes.

    This is supposed to feel or be different than when a King or Lord arbitrates that same policy but in practice it isn’t; at least with the monarch you can petition him. How do you petition millions of people especially when they just stuck their neck out to kick you good in the shins?

    The demotic element – i.e. that we the people, since we can vote, are therefore also RESPONSIBLE for this bad outcome, though in practice we had as much control over it as we did over a monarch’s decision, is perforce the most galling of all.

  3. The harmfulness of “noble lies” on the long-term resiliency of institutions could well be said to be one of the core tenets of neoreaction. The essential difference between a myth (Divine founders) and a lie is that the former conveys a truth, though it may not be found in the literal details and might even just describe the identity of the people living there, whereas the lie obscures it by definition and needs to forever continue doing so.

    Diverse demotist entities are probably possess this fragility far more than small, social democracies like Sweden used to be. Noble lies need to be strong enough to crush conflict between groups and therefore cannot be questioned or reinterpreted easily. But of course, the very act of crushing dissent means that some groups will inevitably come to view themselves as being undermined or victimized by this action. The process of disintegration begins.

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