If there is any confusion as to why I maintain such antipathy toward the Hestia Society, this post here is the best explanation possible.
Sometimes it is not your clear and declared enemies that are the real problem, sometimes it is the “friends.” In this instance, the elaboration on the puritan thesis is just about plausible to sound correct, yet fundamentally acts as a source of grave error, and therefore a source of harm.
The puritan thesis is not an explanation in, and of, itself. What the puritan thesis is, is an elaboration of the symptoms created by the mechanism of unsecure government. Moldbug even makes this perfectly clear when summarizing the How Dawkins got Pwned series, which I will repeat below:
“But if you can convince people that democracy is the cure for democide, rather than its cause, you can convince anyone of anything. Historically, democratic voters have made many decisions that they thought would lead to peace, freedom and prosperity, and instead led to war, slavery and poverty. Why should it be otherwise? I don’t have a magic oracle of truth in my head. Do you? Does anyone else?
The trouble is that, while war, slavery and poverty are in general bad things, they may well be profitable for some. Especially in small doses. And if you can create a feedback loop by which Universalism causes war, slavery or poverty, but does so in such a way as to reward those who practice and promote Universalism, you have a loop that can continue indefinitely.
Take, for example, the “peace process” in Israel and Palestine. Now 60 years old and counting. How confident are you that this “peace process” is not, in fact, the cause of this similarly unending conflict? It certainly generates a very comfortable living, full of meaning and importance and not a few frequent-flier miles, for all those involved. Why shut it down?
And this, in my opinion, is why we have Universalism. We have Universalism because it is adaptive in a democratic sovcorp. Similarly, Universalism (and its ancestors) create democracy, in much the same way that they create “peace processes.” The whole thing is an artifact of sovereign corporate governance gone horribly awry.
In short, the adaptive function of Universalism is to glorify and expand the modern democratic sovcorp. Of course, it has no purpose in any moral or metaphysical sense. It just exists.
Universalism is the latest, greatest incarnation of Bertrand de Jouvenel‘s Minotaur. It can also be seen as a perfectly distributed conspiracy, a la H.G. Wells, with no central structure at all. And finally, it provides a complete explanation of Robert Conquest‘s three laws of politics:
Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
In short, the thing is a menace. It’s probably too late for Professor Dawkins. But perhaps it’s not too late for the rest of us.”
What we have then is the system itself being the driver. This is the key point, and one which can only be repeated in as clear a way as possible, without the added distraction of the additional context provided by Moldbug when trying to explain it – the unsecure system is the problem, and the mechanisms of this unsecure system create the environment which selects for progressivism. Power is above culture.
The power system literally created this culture.
This understanding should be the start point, and the core around which any understanding is developed. Do we see this acknowledgment in Jim’s post? Simply, no. Instead, there is a sort of puritan version of the Elders of Zion based around the Ivy League, which is what the Jew conspiracy theorists see, and what they obviously get upset about. There is simply no other systemic explanation behind this Hestia version (which is completely at odds with Moldbug’s De Jouvenel structured interpretation.)
So, in my opinion, Jim and Hestia are simply sources of great confusion. No progress can occur from their end. The reason no progress can occur from their end is that they don’t care about De Jouvenel one bit, despite him being the entire scaffold that the theory is based on.
I can hazard an educated guess as to why they don’t care, and that is largely because they are basically all just Burkeans at base. They seek to create an excuse for a great deal of unprincipled exceptions to liberalism based on the property distribution from the Glorious Revolution (this being the rejection of sovereign primary property, aka modern capitalism.) Their conception of tradition will naturally be a Burkean one that has no grounding at all, and will be nothing more than an appeal to “do nothingism” as this Glorious Revolution property distribution is nothing more than a rejection of absolutism, and absolutism is the only political organisation within which the virtues can exist in. The greatest distance they will be able to get theoretically will be in advocating a legalistic authoritarian state with a suite of laws that implement an arbitrary selection of unprincipled exceptions to liberalism, which will immediately and comprehensively go completely off the rails into leftism (aka a constitutional state). This conception will do so because any system in which conflicting organisations are present in will engage in total conflict (not open, but surreptitious and using proxies.) until one is central, but that one will still have to continue with the same process of using proxies to deal with further problems and threats because it cannot escape the legitimacy of this system.
The rise of leftism at the heart of both the UK and the USA then becomes less of a historical accident per se, and more of an unfortunate parallel effect of government centralisation within unsecure systems. For Peel to centralise, he had to engage the Whigs to burn down those in his way, for the US to centralise, they had to engage the abolitionists to burn down those in their way. For the current administration to centralise the police force, they have to burn down those in their way with the BLM movement.Leftism is the centralising power using proxies. That is it, and this process ratchets because who is going to tell subsequent generations that the noble actions of the previous activists where sponsored and promoted for other reasons? in fact, often those engaging in the cynical action will convince themselves that they are doing it for good reasons.
Unsecure power using poxies is the key behind the puritan hypothesis. Not puritans.