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Ferguson

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Posted

Power, particularly when unrestrained as entailed by a collapse of traditions or more generally some series of interpersonal moods, or conversely, heightened through ideological appropriation, is blunt force; delegitimization is more like a precision acid, insidious or effective in its ability to 'strike at the very heart of things.' Rarely does a state maintain its monopoly of force through power alone, but through an intricate and increasingly complex tapestry, a web of affirmations.

That there exists a 'crisis of legitimacy' for what emerged out of, especially the Peace of Westphalia and World War One, ie the transition to the 'state' in its modern form in the West, is hardly news.

So, no indictment from the grand jury- this is, of course, being plugged into a range of possible narratives- amidst the chaos (fires, gunshots, rioting, etc), what cuts across the narratives is a sinking, elated, or indifferent conviction that for ill or otherwise, this does not bode well for 'legitimacy.'

What strikes me as perhaps the most ominous sign of things to come are reports of communities having hired private defense forces for the protection of their communities. Fourth-generation warfare in the states would be completely disastrous.

In response to waning legitimacy, the state will, one could rightfully infer, militarize. In other words, to quote Leonard Cohen: "I've seen the future brother, it is murder."

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Posted (edited)

There is perhaps no force on earth more conducive to evil than in taking up the mantle of goodness- this is acutely true, without qualification, when time itself is appropriated, subjected to normativity. Reduced to its basic expression, this temporal/normative subjugation is the belief that:

"History is on our side."

Of course, one could replace "History" (capital H, history as telos) with "God" and the effect is roughly the same.

Nihilism, giving up on "history as telos," and giving up on "good and evil" won't do any good- in the same breath Ray Brassier claims that his realism about truth entails nihilism is he condemning Israel- see what I mean? Call it a quirk of our monkey brains.

Distance helps. But this is one of the most difficult things in the world to achieve. The reasons for this could fill volumes- the truth is, truth almost universally takes a back seat to survival and 'Man' is just that being which cannot merely survive.

In the Ferguson case, the red and blue factions each have their narrative- social media analysis shows that the opposing factions have almost zero communication between them, that is, the narratives and the people embodying them, are further apart than ever, but the closeness of each, intra-narrative affirmatively is of such an interlocked, entwined nature, that this is where things get truly nasty.

It's worse than I thought.

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted

"Democracy is the menopause of Western society, the Grand Climacteric of the body social. Fascism is its middle-aged lust." Jean Baudrillard

Fasten up those seat belts boys and girls, the hyper-moralizing of the discursive template is unsustainable, and there's an excess of Viagra and lubrication out there. Fascism is learning to get an erection again, and my, like that unlit candle underneath the table, ie, the niceness of "civilized discourse," it's ready to show off its light once again.

The Left/Right paradigm means nothing here.

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Posted

And I thought you had a blog the whole time. :scratch:

But seriously, I think this needs addressing, but without relying on easy narratives from either side of the extremist coin.

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Posted

I'd like a DCD-to-English translator for these posts, but can't find one online. :noidea:

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Posted

In your first post you say there are 'a range of narratives', but in your second there are two factions, each with a narrative. In your third, the narratives merge into one another. Which is it?

Why can one 'rightfully infer' that states will militarise in response to crises of legitimacy?

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Posted

bfed63ba5519642e660f6a70670039aa.jpg_11782306.jpg

As I see it, the "narrative" with the most veridical chops, if you will, was captured by Mencius Moldbug (who was commenting on the Arab Spring)-

"Americans were bored and needed some better CNN. They wanted to see shit burn."

(Hugo, I'll expound on your questions in the next post)

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Posted

Mencius Moldbug. LOL. I'm sure that's an invented name. Has to be, right?

:rofl:

Great stuff at his blog, let me tell you! That's one damned perceptive Moldbug, relatively speaking (though you have to keep in mind the average perceptiveness of the average Moldbug).

Sorry for the derail! Carry on! :salut:

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Posted

I will say this. Mencius Moldbug has turned me on to a book by James Buchanan that I confess to never having read. :yup:

This isn't quite a derail, I don't think; Mr. Buchanan's perspicacious insights might have relevance for Ferguson. History as tragedy then farce; or perhaps vice versa. Women are involved, too. As Mr. Buchanan notes, those wicked anti-slavery societies of the North let women become members and speak in public, for gosh sake, "in spite of the injunctions of an inspired apostle." :yup:

This is fun stuff. I didn't realize, to be honest, that Buchanan wrote a book. I didn't even realize that he was able to write. You learn something new every day.

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Posted (edited)

As with all things, particularly for those meta-epistemically pessimistically inclined, there are a range, sometimes to infinity, of possible stories in which to plug in the never self interpreting 'facts,' but as narratives go in the way of capturing the so called popular imagination, they're not all created equal.

Scouring the darkness that is social media, I've seen some flatly insane contentions, like weeds growing from the soil that serves as the ground from which they emerge, but other than the perverse awe that can come from being privy to sheer and complete insanity, they're of little value.

The red and blue narratives are gardens (with their own variants of weeds) very much at war with one another. Roughly:

The blue narrative says "black lives matter," the obvious implication being, using the death of Michael Brown as exemplar, that in a context of structural racism, such as things are purported to be, black lives do not matter- at least not equally. Think of the pigs in Animal Farm. Officer Wilson was unjustified in killing Michael Brown and said killing was the product of either a miscalculation of the possibility for harm rooted in racism or racism simpliciter- reflecting larger racist trends. The riots were the fruit of black rage, being exhausted with social injustice and ill treatment.

The red narrative says that Officer Wilson was perfectly justified in his actions. That he was the victim of a three hundred pound 'thug' who thought he could rob stores and threaten the life of a police officer with impunity. Rather than white racism, the problem is black social dysfunction- the killing of a black youth on the night of the riots, arson, and general destruction being an "I told you so" moment. The red narrative holds that the problem is less structural racism and more a unilateral exaggeration of the travails of blacks in America.

There are much more to the narratives, but what is a bad sign, in my estimation, is the highly moralistic language of both sides- ideological negation tends towards the morphing of the adversary, whose existence and mode of life is to be tolerated, into the enemy, who warrants destruction.

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted

Now Buchanan came just before Lincoln, and ol' Andy Johnson came right after Lincoln. According to Moldbug, Buchanan is to be praised because he wrote a book, for NRx sake, and Lincoln, well, didn't; but all those iconic speeches Lincoln gave? Written by someone else! (sez Moldy Bug.)

Also, he links to another "thinker" who claimed Lincoln had no principles, making him the perfect forerunner of the modern pol. LOL.

Now old Andy Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, he never wrote a book either; indeed, he was barely literate. And he got drunk on Lincoln's Inauguration Day in 1865 and they had to hustle him off the reviewing stand. It is believed that he puked into a chamber pot, and then they put him to bed. :sadcheer:

He became prez after Lincoln's assassination, and being a southern Democrat (this was a fusion party ticket, called the Union Party in 1864) immediately resisted all efforts to aid the freed slaves or punish or even restrain the recently deposed white planter aristocracy of the south. Famously this led to his impeachment, executed by old Thad Stevens, but conviction failed in the Senate by one vote. Later, in 1876, Rutherford Hayes stole the election, as George W. Bush would later do in 2000 with the help of the Supreme Court; the price for Hayes being handed the presidency was to end Reconstruction in the South, and stop this uppity experiment of black people voting and actually serving in Congress. End it did, and then we got Jim Crow and the rest, as they say, is History.

Oh, wait, it's just a narrative. Pardon me!

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Posted (edited)

Ah yes- story time. I love story time! I'll enjoy some time with my family on this fine day and join you in some good ole fashioned narrative telling.

Family, certainly a civilizational building block- not particularly progressive though. What a shame. The Bolsheviks, those progressive warriors fighting the, of course, evil, reactionary czarist Russia, were never big fans. Model progressives.

And did you know, fast forwarding to the modern totalitarianism of permission, Salon, the always sane and leftist, and by leftist, I mean, righteous, (though anyone with any sense knows the terms are synonymous) website recently posted a story about a brave woman who loves to sleep with married men- truly charming.

And Gawker, the progressive, (righteous, I know, I know a redundancy) website posted an, in the author's words, "enlightening" and "incredible" story about a man who has sex with horses.

The kind of stuff that warms the soul. Unfortunately, I must leave such heartwarming tales to, as evil reactionaries are prone to do, hang out with the siblings and kids.

Of course, having kids is one of the least progressive things you can do these days- just see those post-industrialized countries in the West with plummeting fertility rates. Economists are predicting the necessity for a massive influx of immigrants (by the millions) to widen out the age base, historically pyramid like in structure. This is to be celebrated, without reservation, because- moar multiculturalism.

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted (edited)

LOL. And this has what-all to do with anything about the subject of this thread?

You seem to be unable to grasp that "family" is simply defined differently nowadays. About half the people in America live alone. The divorce rate holds steady at around 50 percent. People construct their families -- they don't need to obey some paradigm of the traditional nuclear family. Some are married gays, with or without adopted kids. Some are extended groups of friends. Some are married heterosexuals who choose not to have kids; or are unmarried partners with or without kids. And so on. And so what, and who cares? As for plunging fertility, good! We have too many people in the world. It's not sustainable because our resource base is finite and we are greenhousing the atmosphere to accommodate all these people, with potentially dire consequences.

Why do you NRxers care how others construct their "families," whether biologically, patriarchially based, as you seem to prefer, or not? What business is it of anyone how others lead their lives in this respect? No one is telling you how to live your life. How about returning the favor? A true conservative -- Barry Goldwater -- counseled long ago that these sorts of issues "are nobody's goddamned business."

That said, again, I've no idea what your most recent offering has to do with Ferguson, which is your thread. Care to explain?

Edited by davidm
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Posted

And, yay, multiculturalism. :yess: I love multi-culti New york! Every stripe of person intermingles freely here, the cross-cultural fertilization a HUGE source of moral, artistic and economic growth. Today NYC, which in the seventies was a hell hole, is the safest big city in America, and one of the most prosperous (though too gentrified for my taste). Why? Immigration! :deal:

Speaking of "narratives," people should note that the same ugly things said today about brown-skinned and other-hued immigrants from different traditions, were said in the 19th century about Polish, German, Irish, etc., immigrants. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Posted

It's still unclear to me how you make the leap from (your characterisation of) these events to the more general claims that states are going to militarise and that conflicting narratives lead to conflict. Are these supposed to hold always and everywhere?

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Posted

I'm actually starting to worry about DCD a little.

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Posted (edited)

After a very exciting past couple days, complete with some great non-marital sex (something I'm sure self-proclaimed reactionaries regard as a civilizational plague), I managed to squeeze a little reading in at around 5:00AM. By chance, the book I'm reading, though a decade old, contains what could be the perfect one-sentence description of the underpinnings of (much of) contemporary extreme rightism:

"With the Left in eclipse, much of the opposition to the American ideology nowadays is reactionary, spurred by a politically untenable, historically inaccurate, and culturally retrograde nostalgia for premodern, theocratic ways of life." -- Andrew Levine

Edited by PeculiarPhilosopher
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Posted

I've been reading up a little on this "Dark Enlightenment" business. Some of them call themselves "atavisionaries," a neologism combining "atavism" and "visionary." They also call themselves "dissident visionaries," and identify John Derbyshire as one such. A white male supremacist, Derbyshire was fired by the National Review for writings which even that magazine deemed to be beyond the pale.

Their views are characterized by a desire to return to "eugenic monarchies" (hello, Ignatius J. Reilly!) and a belief in strict gender roles, male-dominated traditional families, the inferiority of blacks and women to white males, disdain for democracies, which seem in their view to by synonymous with "mob rule," a return to strict hierarchal social structures and "economic realism," whatever that is supposed to be.

All of the people propounding these views no doubt imagine that they would be at the top of the food chain in their fantasy society (which strikes me as a video-game wet dream; maybe when computer technology advances sufficiently they can build for themselves immersive virtual worlds in which they can act out their fantasies and leave the rest of us alone), but what is more likely is that if such societies were ever set up anywhere, these "atavisionaries" would be the first to get the boot in the face. One would wonder what, then, they would think of their dream society.

One also wonders what any of this has to do with the subject of the thread, but this is where things were steered. I have to imagine it has something to do with the fact that in the Dark Enlightenment, "dysfunctional blacks" ought to expect to get gunned down in the street by law enforcement officers in defense of the eugenic monarchy against the riff-raff.

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Posted

I must say, these last few posts are top notch in terms of comedic value. I'm here at work, and my fellow coworkers have given me odd looks from the seemingly random and intense bouts of laughter. :)

Now that the thread has been officially derailed, there's much ground to cover.

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Posted

I've been reading up a little on this "Dark Enlightenment" business. Some of them call themselves "atavisionaries," a neologism combining "atavism" and "visionary." They also call themselves "dissident visionaries," and identify John Derbyshire as one such. A white male supremacist, Derbyshire was fired by the National Review for writings which even that magazine deemed to be beyond the pale.

Their views are characterized by a desire to return to "eugenic monarchies" (hello, Ignatius J. Reilly!) and a belief in strict gender roles, male-dominated traditional families, the inferiority of blacks and women to white males, disdain for democracies, which seem in their view to by synonymous with "mob rule," a return to strict hierarchal social structures and "economic realism," whatever that is supposed to be.

All of the people propounding these views no doubt imagine that they would be at the top of the food chain in their fantasy society (which strikes me as a video-game wet dream; maybe when computer technology advances sufficiently they can build for themselves immersive virtual worlds in which they can act out their fantasies and leave the rest of us alone), but what is more likely is that if such societies were ever set up anywhere, these "atavisionaries" would be the first to get the boot in the face. One would wonder what, then, they would think of their dream society.

One also wonders what any of this has to do with the subject of the thread, but this is where things were steered. I have to imagine it has something to do with the fact that in the Dark Enlightenment, "dysfunctional blacks" ought to expect to get gunned down in the street by law enforcement officers in defense of the eugenic monarchy against the riff-raff.

Everything that you've written seems exactly right, so far as I'm aware. I'd add that a good number, though certainly not all, of so-called "neoreactionaries" are, or at least claim to be, strongly traditional Christians (it seems that they're mostly Catholics, specifically). No doubt they see themselves as mirroring the rule of the Ultimate Patriarch, in family life and--if they had their way--in political life.

What's unfortunate is that (some) neoreactionaries are acutely aware of important problems with contemporary life that are disregarded by almost all other political groups. But their "solution" is so preposterous and morally repugnant that it hardly merits consideration. I've also noticed that their knowledge of democratic theory is virtually absent. Rarely does it transcend painfully vague, unenlightening complaints about, as you mentioned, "mob rule", as if that's sufficient to undo the democratic project (and these complaints are marred by awful, oracular prose; it appears that writing to be understood isn't part of their agenda; that would fit with their aristocratic pretensions). At their best, neoreactionary critiques of democracy merely paraphrase Burke.

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Posted (edited)

I must say, these last few posts are top notch in terms of comedic value. I'm here at work, and my fellow coworkers have given me odd looks from the seemingly random and intense bouts of laughter. :)

Now that the thread has been officially derailed, there's much ground to cover.

Do tell.

I'm just explicating the very people you quote and point to. If I've gotten something wrong, please point out what.

ETA: Was you who derailed your own thread.

Edited by davidm
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Posted

I must say, these last few posts are top notch in terms of comedic value. I'm here at work, and my fellow coworkers have given me odd looks from the seemingly random and intense bouts of laughter. :)

Now that the thread has been officially derailed, there's much ground to cover.

So, Paul's post asking you to actually back up your assertions was comedic? :scratch:

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Posted

Jehovah.jpg

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Posted

Checked out his Web site, that guy does great work, Heretic. You need to learn to do color like he does! :doh:

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