The Autopsy

I applaud Land’s attempt to bring the Liberalism and Nrx question into the open, as it is something that is really needed. Hestia has failed to halt the slide to the left, and has in fact been in the driving seat. I see zero possibility of it being corrected, but at the very least an autopsy would be an extremely useful enterprise.

Starting with Moldbug, I don’t see how any of Moldbug’s UR is anything other than an extension and elaboration of the work of Bertrand De Jouvenel primarily, followed by additional supplementation by the observations of Thomas Carlyle and Caroll Quigley. All of these thinkers, as well as the rest of the ocean of literature that went into UR all retain a basic underlying function in that they augment the central observation of Jouvenel. This observation puts everything else on a specific footing, this being that divided sovereignty is a solecism, and that what actually occurs is that the central power engages in individualisation, destruction of opposing power centres, and general destruction of society in a process of civil war, the symptom of which we see as the left and the right.

This process is not guided by design, but by the inherent logic of the role of power in a position of insecurity. Direct attacking of opposing power centres would be civil war; attacking by promoting a third party isn’t. The medieval system was the incubator, and once it reached a sufficient point, the failure of the monarchs to deal with it lead to their demise, and the process continued in the form of what is termed the Cathedral. The birth of the modern state in the French Revolution is where Tocqueville (and De Maistre) saw this clearly, and this is where Jouvenel obtained the insight. Any criticism of Moldbug, and attempts to “overcome” him will need to deal with this, otherwise they are not actually understanding his point at all.

The upshot of all this is that liberalism, classical liberalism, or any other form of liberalism is irreducible from the high-low mechanism as described by De Jouvenel. It is the great con of liberalism that this liberalising is trumpeted as being a freeing from government, which then results in levels of government which become ever greater, and evermore destructive. Romanticism, wishful thinking and failing to be clear headed and a realist results in this being missed.

Classical liberalism is high-low when a great deal of civilisation relative to now was present, the mechanism went way past that a long time ago, and now we have the full rotten flowering of the individualising effect of this process. To dress this up as something mystical or something too difficult to comprehend is to avert your eyes from the horror of the situation in favour of delusion. The hidden hand of power has to be faced, and delusions of individuals freeing themselves has to be shed. It is fantasy in the liberal tradition.

Either this mechanism is accepted as true- and it has significant predictive and explanatory power- or it is denied, and a strong case is made for denying it. If it is accepted, then the spread of ideas, and the movement of society is comprehensible as a symptom of this logical sequence of actions, and society is seen as an engineering and structural problem.