Steelmanning Liberalism (I)

I’ve loved the term “steelmanning” ever since I first read it, somewhere in Slate Star Codex. Scott Alexander seems to have used the term many, many times and I don’t know exactly in which piece I first saw it, but credit where credit is due.

I was reminded of it again a few days ago when the estimable Geoffrey Miller pointed out that Conor Frieders… okay, I don’t want to get into that, or him. Let’s just leave it that the tweet inspired me to at last begin a post I’ve been contemplating for some time:

Steelmanning Liberalism

As to what liberalism is, what it is exactly that we’re steelmanning here, let’s refer to La Wik, for its universalism (heh):

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation

I’m sure that my target demographic here experiences a certain distaste, perhaps even physical revulsion to “Liberalism” because for the discerning, the term conjures up images like this:

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Or perhaps this:slt

These are the seeming fruits of liberalism, and by their fruits ye shall know them; all of us experiencing sanity feel a natural and healthy revulsion at such things. But let’s be honest. These are the strawmen of liberalism, or, perhaps one could say, merely the products of mental illness. What are the very best arguments for liberalism? What are the Steelmen?

I identify four, in descending order of importance:

  1. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely destructive war between nation-states
  2. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely civil war within nation-states
  3. Liberalism in general prohibits and discourages the killing of individual humans
  4. Liberalism provides the maximum opportunity for individual humans to develop their “human potential”

Today, we focus on (1). Obviously if this were true,  it would be a powerful argument that everyone, everywhere should adopt a liberal political system. War does not further good “reactionary” values like strong families with a committed father and mother in their complementary roles, like subsidiarity, like voluntarism and local control and craftsmanship. War produces single moms and orphans, national emergency governments running roughshod over all forms of local outlook and control, the involuntary military draft and mass production of material that is not for construction and admiration but for the express purpose of destruction and dealing death.

The notion that “Democracies don’t fight each other” was expressed by George W. Bush in 2004 and by his almost equally liberal predecessor Bill Clinton in 1994, but as helpfully pointed out by the BBC:

Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, [was] published in 1795. Kant’s theory is that democratic leaders are restrained by the resistance of their people to bearing the costs and deaths of war. And a democratic culture of negotiation and conciliation, plus the hurdles to taking swift action, favours peace.

For simplicity we here use “democracy” and “liberalism” interchangeably. In Current Year, all significant “liberal” regimes are democracies, whether parliamentary or American-style, and all actual “democratic” systems (those with voting and a regular, peaceful transfer of state power) are considered “liberal” under the definition above. The fact that a number ill-liberal nations hold sham elections is, in itself, significant. The fact that many “democracies” still have (powerless) monarchies is irrelevant. Luxembourg is as cute as a button; we will discuss it no further, unless it goes to war.

Now, it’s possible to dispute whether, in fact, liberal regimes or democracies have never, ever, gone to war with each other; the Guardian provides a helpful summary of possible exceptions. The best the good Professor could come up with was the (maybe, possibly) the War of 1812 and the Peloponnesian War.

Athens’s attack on Syracuse refutes the hypothesis, yet it is questionable whether the Athenians knew that Syracuse possessed a democratic polity or whether the rule of democratic peace applies to ancient warlike republics.

Color me unconvinced. One could argue that the US-Mexican War of 1846-8 qualifies, but the Mexican government in 1846 wasn’t liberal, or indeed outside of Mexico City much of anything but a mess. So I’m not buying. Some fools try to claim that Hitler was “elected” (he was appointed Chancellor). Germany was a democracy in 1933. Anyone want to make the case that it was still in 1939?

The American Civil War of 1861-5 belongs to Part II.

Liberalism has, arguably, been around as an important idea since Locke and other thinkers of the 17th century (see Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle for a great fictional treatment of the era). Modern liberal political regimes have been around since 1776. They have steadily increased in numbers since then, and they’ve not gone to war with each other. If all nation-states were liberal in construction, war would be extinct, or very, very rare.

This is the most important fruit of liberalism.

Consider it Steelmanned, Part I.

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How Scientology Could School the Neoreaction

A couple of years back I wrote a piece at The Mitrailleuse, Opus Dei Could School the Neoreaction, of which the eminent Nick. B. Steves wrote, “He gets very much very right.”  High praise.

Recently I read Anti-Puritan’s post Scientology, training routines, and the post-rationalization of abuse and it occurred to me that Scientology also might “school” the NRx and that my personal knowledge-set made me the man to write about it. As I commented:

 I have a good deal of knowledge of Scientology, and a somewhat different take on the results of these exercises. Enough to finally do a new post on my own blog, which will appear in a day or two.

As that was approximately 26 days ago, let’s just say that I was pondering all this time about the right approach.

Ars longa est.

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My Latest at The Mitrailleuse: Backward Causality and the Current Year

Backward-downward-causation-in-neuro-biological-processes-on-the-basis-of

One of the best things about getting older is that the “amusement quotient” increases, almost geometrically…

Read the rest at The Mitrailleuse

Sanity: A Change in Title and Direction

As of today, the blog is retitled “Sanity in the Diamond Age.” While I still have a distinct fondness for the term, and the ideas, of “Neoreaction” and “NRx” I don’t find myself so interested in writing about them at present.

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Observations on the Rio Olympics

The Olympics is a very fertile field for analysis of culture, aesthetics and HBD, amongst other things.

Claire Stevens at Amerika Blog reminds us how beauty in women’s gymnastics has shriveled since Nadia and 1976:

The difference between today’s overly muscled globalist equal person and the relative health and strength of athletes of yore is alarming. The emphasis now is on power and strength, and today’s female gymnast does a mostly masculine performance that lacks any artistry. This shift from Western aesthetics to a rote repetition of stunts reveals how far the Olympics has fallen.

For example, Laurie Hernandez performs more dance moves, and has dutifully memorized and executed all of the “tricks” from the list of successful Olympic wins, but the routine does not hold together as anything more than a demonstration.

I sampled the televised Rio Olympics and noticed the same thing, being old enough to have watched Nadia Comaneci score the “perfect 10” on live television back in 1976.

nadia

(There was nothing live on NBC in this Olympics; they delayed everything to prime time and selected things that would get ratings in the US. No drama, Team USA-centric, and uninspiring. And the ratings still sucked).

The same aesthetic is evident elsewhere, as in “figure” skating at the Winter Olympics. First, they don’t even do “figures” anymore, because it doesn’t make good television, and second, any artistic aspects are minimized; it’s all become merely a test of who can land a number of “triples” without falling down. Blech

What a society most values in sports and entertainment shines a merciless light upon it. The Romans started out with mock battles and hero-gladiators, and generations later went into ecstasy at seeing people torn apart by wild beasts. Americans have loved the intricate planning, strategy and straight-up violence of their football since the Gilded Age; Europeans and South Americans love “The Beautiful Game” featuring almost no scoring and guys fake-writhing on the ground when their foot gets stepped on.

Letting the two hermaphrodites run in the “women’s” 800m (gold and bronze)

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Gold (yikes!)

was obviously a huge breakthrough for SJWs and for genderfluidqueers.

NYAIRERA-POSE

Bronze (double yikes!!)

The other “women” in the race were not so enthusiastic, but fuck ’em. they’re just beauty-standard-binary casualties and don’t matter:

Team GB athlete Lynsey Sharp was reduced to tears when asked about multiple intersex athletes in the Olympic women’s 800m final, after Caster Semenya beat her to the gold medal…

Sharp, 26, has addressed the subject before in an interview with the Daily Telegraph when she said “everyone can see” the difference between athletes with the condition and those without it.

“Everyone can see it’s two separate races so there’s nothing I can do,” she said earlier this summer.

If you take away the obvious ones it’s actually really competitive,” she added.

Lynsey Sharp

Skinny, yet actual, woman Lynsey Sharp.

All this was forced upon the track federation by an “International Court.” That’s what International Courts are for, right? If our elites had their way, “International Courts” would doubtless rule that deporting terrorists was a violation of “human rights” if done by the United States. I’m not sure if an “International Court” would forbid “cultural practices” like cutting off little girls’ clitorises, however. That’s a sacred ceremony of brown people, even though it would seem to violate “women’s rights.” Right now the victimology of “intersex” and trannies seem to have been elevated over all other victims, gays/women/blacks/Muslims, and even gay woman black Muslims. But that could change anytime. Fat people could very well make a sudden ascension, as long as they’re women. We’ll have to wait and see.

Speaking of hormones, a few athletes were caught doping and disqualified, but the Olympics can’t shake the perception that many of the winners are dopers, but with better regimes and timing than back in the bad old days. The entire Russian track and field contingent was locked out because the evidence was that doping in Russia was systematic and on a grand scale–but I find it hard to believe there isn’t better run, better concealed systematic doping going on elsewhere.

The Olympics is a Grand Festival of Human Biodiversity. As Steve Sailer points out, all the men’s 100 meter finalists were black, again. In fact, 72 out of 72 finalists over the last nine Olympics have been black. “I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.”

Most Olympic events are exhausting to contemplate because of all the training that goes into them. But sprinters don’t have to work very hard, so they tend to have time on their hands. It’s basically a test of having God-given talent and not taking too few or too many PEDs, so it’s a fun lifestyle. That’s why they wear so much gold jewelry. The 100m dash is like the Plunge for Distance, except it’s for real.

Sailer also provides the fruits of his detailed research in to which races/nations/ethnics do well in which events:

2008-track-new

It appears that the 800 meters is where everyone has a pretty fair chance, regardless of who their Mommy and Daddy were.

Though not if they’re women with normal testosterone.

***

The Greeks invented the Olympics and admired the competitors (all men) for their athletic (pseudo-military) prowess, and also for their physiques. Men and women of my acquaintance enjoy watching the Games in part because of the beautiful bodies. Normal, heterosexual men generally aren’t attracted to the female gymnasts (mostly tiny teenagers with little or no breasts).

simone-biles-vacay-435

If 4’9″ girls with ROCK-HARD abs are your thing…

However, some of the gymnasts put on a little weight in their 20s and are quite attractive.

Maroney

McKayla Maroney, post-Olympian

Many of the female athletes have so little body fat that the instinctual part of the male mind thinks, “No way she can get pregnant!” and loses sexual interest. This type of female physique is decidedly “unnatural.”

Olympic swimmers, 1964:

olympic women swimmers 1964

I find these girls delightful and would like to make babies with them.

 

2016:

16_per_team_composite_flat_women-small

Bigger shoulders, smaller breasts, bad ‘tude.

 

A lot of guys like beach volleyball, mainly because of the outfits, or nearly complete lack thereof. Again, most of the women have low bodyfat and small breasts, but they all have great legs and great asses. Well, maybe:

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***

All in all, despite the drugs, the cheating, the drug cheating, the preening, prancing asshole Usain Bolt, the bad judging (DON’T watch Olympic boxing unless you want to get pissed off), the crass commercialism, the multi-culti bullcrap, the shitty NBC television coverage, Bob Costas, and SJW-inspired dopey shit of various kinds, I still really enjoy the Olympics.

In 2020 they’ll be held in Japan, a clean, low-crime, well-run country that my son happens to want to visit more than almost anything. We’re already planning the trip.

Anyone want to join us and celebrate a Neoreactionary appreciation of Human Biodiversity?

Civil War 2.0 Will Be Livestreamed

My latest for The Mitrailleuse:

The events of this summer are a taste of what’s to come in the fall, and even more so, November 9, 2016.

Someone is going to win the Presidential election, and regardless of whether it’s Trump or Clinton, the loser’s supporters are going to feel existential angst about America, and their place in it, far beyond the usual.

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The Good Psychopath, the Dark Triad Man and Me (Update)

(WARNING: This post contains liberal doses of personal story and very little “theory.” Use at your own risk)

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23. Po / Splitting Apart:

Six in the third place means:
He splits with them. No blame.

An individual finds himself in an evil environment to which he is
committed by external ties. But he has an inner relationship with a superior
man, and through this he attains the stability to free himself from the way of
the inferior people around him. This brings him into opposition to them of
course, but that is not wrong.

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