This may be the week the SJWs lost it all

This may be the week the SJWs lost it all…or, at least, their power to bully people in the hacker culture and the wider tech community.

Many of you probably already know about the LambdaConf flap. In brief: LambdaConf, a technical conference on functional programming, accepted a presentation proposal about a language called Urbit, from a guy named Curtis Yarvin. I’ve looked at Urbit: it is very weird, but rather interesting, and certainly a worthy topic for a functional programming conference.

And then all hell broke loose. For Curtis Yarvin is better known as Mencius Moldbug, author of eccentric and erudite political rants and a focus of intense hatred by humorless leftists. Me, I’ve never been able to figure out how much of what Moldbug writes he actually believes; his writing seems designed to leave a reader guessing as to whether he’s really serious or executing the most brilliantly satirical long-term troll-job in the history of the Internet.

A mob of SJWs, spearheaded by a no-shit self-described Communist named Jon Sterling, descended on LambdaConf demanding that they cancel Yarvin’s talk, pretending that he (rather than, say, the Communist) posed a safety threat to other conference-goers. The conference’s principal organizers, headed up one John de Goes, quite properly refused to cancel the talk, observing that Yarvin was there to talk about his code and not his politics.

I think they conceded to much to the SJWs, actually, by asking Yarvin to issue a statement about his views on violence. Nobody asked Jon Sterling whether he was down with that whole liquidation of the kulaks thing, after all, and if a Communist who likes to tweet about sending capitalists to “hard labor in the North” gets a pass it is not easy to see why any apologia was required from a man with no history of advocating violence at all.

But, ultimately, they did make the right decision: to judge Yarvin’s talk proposal by its technical merit alone. This is the hacker way.

The SJWs then attempted to pressure LambdaConf’s sponsors into withdrawing their support so the conference would have to be canceled. Several sponsors withdrew (I don’t know details about who; my sources for this part are secondhand).

So far, so wearily familiar – Marxist thugs versus free expression, with free expression’s chances not looking so hot. But there’s where the story gets good. Meredith Patterson and her friends at the blog Status 451 organized a counterpunch. They launched an IndieGoGo campaign Save LambdaConf …and an open society.

I got wind of this a bit less than two days ago and posted to G+ asking all 20K of my followers to chip in, something I’ve never done before. Because, like Merry, I understand that this wasn’t actually about Mencius Moldbug at all – it was about opposing a power play by the political-correctness police. The IndieGoGo campaign was our chance to strike back for liberty.

A day later it was fully funded. ClarkHat’s victory lap makes great reading.

I replied to congratulate ClarkHat: “@ClarkHat I don’t often ask my 20K G+ followers to support a crowdfunder, but when I do it’s hoping for a victory like this one.” And today I have 21K followers.

The hacker community has spoken, and it put its money where its mouth is, too. Now we know how to stop the SJWs in their tracks – fund what they denounce, make their hatred an asset, repeatedly kerb-stomp them with proof that their hate campaigns will be countered by the overwhelming will of the people and communities they thought they had bullied into submission.

I’m proud of my community for stepping up. I hope Sir Tim Hunt and Brendan Eich and Matt Taylor and other past victims of PC lynch mobs are smiling tonight. The SJWs’ preference-falsification bubble has popped; with a little work and a few more rounds of demonstration we may be able to prevent future lynchings entirely.

759 thoughts on “This may be the week the SJWs lost it all

  1. Yay! And in the wider culture, the SJWs are taking a beating these days due to their absurd overreaction to 1) the #The Chalkening, and 2) the “Your hairstyle is oppressing me” incident at SFSU. That’s within my Yik Yak range, and I was happy to see that the prevailing opinions were heavily anti-SJW.

  2. These aren’t just hobbyists they’re trying to bully. There are life-long careers here. People twice their age who have seen (and done) more and for longer than they’ve been alive.

    Humanity has some fourty plus years invested in this little market. It’s not just about some industry, or its jobs, it’s about the fundamental freedoms and creativity that made it all possible.

    I’m tired of seeing those authoritarian horrible homilies shit all over everything.

  3. As the great Milo Yiannopoulos said, if the social justice movement fails now it will be doing so at the very height of it powers, and it will never recover.

    The regressive Left is on the ropes. People are fighting Marxist SJW scum with the best weapon they have: their money.

  4. Absolutely excellent stuff. The SJW will come back twice as hard so let’s all stick together and be ready and organized for their next preposterous attack. More of these stories need this type of ending.

  5. Red meat… getcher red meat here…

    (seriously, I do expect this’ll get a lot hotter before it gets cooler)

  6. Of course it will get hotter, because Election 2016, and because Trump. Trump is obviously an imperfect champion here (as is Cruz), but this SJW nonsense is a huge vulnerability for both Hillary and Bernie, and part of Trump’s appeal. A smart Republican (yeah, I know) would exploit this sort of thing to split the remaining sensible Democrats from the radical wing.

  7. This is factually incorrect. Jon Sterling was at least a day or two behind the initial reaction. Whether he is or is not a communist (from what I gather he is) has no bearing, so I am not sure why people keep bringing that into the equation.

    As for “SJW”s, you’re as much of an SJW as any of the people who have decided to drop out of or protest LambdaConf on the basis of the speakers it chooses. You’re just a warrior for the establishment rather than one for anti-establishment causes.

    • >You’re just a warrior for the establishment rather than one for anti-establishment causes.

      Wow. Were you born that idiotic, or do you take special pills to achieve it, or what?

      Me, “warrior for the establishment”. Pretty damn funny thing to say to an anarchist.

  8. So conferences that bow to the SJW diktat get corporate sponsors. Those that don’t have to be funded by individuals. SJWs never have to reach into their pockets. And the sponsors of their ideologically-pure conferences suffer no loss of goodwill? That can’t be right. They need to be held accountable in some way.

  9. Whether he is or is not a communist (from what I gather he is) has no bearing, so I am not sure why people keep bringing that into the equation.

    The bearing it has is that if we are to accept the proposition that a person’s politics ought to disqualify him from participating in a conference, then surely a communist must be the first person so excluded. Whatever Moldbug’s views, they can’t possibly be more obnoxious than Sterling’s admitted views. The only basis on which Sterling can be admitted to any conference is a policy that the conference is political neutral ground, in which case there should be no objection to Moldbug.

  10. > Wow. Were you born that idiotic, or do you take special pills to achieve it, or what?

    You can’t argue a point, so you attack the person. Very classy.

    Yes, in this instance you are an SJW for the establishment, despite the fact that you’d like to think otherwise. A choice of who to advocate for and include was made by choosing to bring Curtis Yarvin in as a speaker at LambdaConf, and you’re arguing that this was a good choice by demonizing the people who oppose it. You argue that “leaving politics at the door” is the appropriate thing to do, but that’s not what’s actually happening here, and it’s become increasingly apparent by the actions that followed in the days after the announcement that he would be speaking.

    • >You can’t argue a point, so you attack the person. Very classy.

      If you don’t want my contempt and ridicule, try talking in a way that doesn’t earn it.

      Nobody enslaved under Russian or Chinese Rule. Riiiiiight. Do we want to try for a spot of Holocaust denial next?

      Go back to masturbating in front of your Che Guevara poster, fuckwit. I can’t take you seriously enough to be bothered arguing with you.

  11. I agree with Milhouse’s first comment. I would like to know which sponsors withdrew over this. Chances are I don’t spend any money on them anyway, but I’d like to know just in case I do.

  12. > Whatever Moldbug’s views, they can’t possibly be more obnoxious than Sterling’s admitted views.

    Have you read Curtis Yarvin’s statements (I have)? Have you read the communist manifesto (I did many years ago)?

    If you’ve done both then I can’t reconcile your statement because being someone who believes in a particular ideology (however much you dislike it) is very different than being someone who advocates *for years* that certain people are lesser in certain ways due to the pigmentation of their skin, or that people should be “allowed to sell themselves into slavery” for the same reason. I’ve never seen statements like that from Jon, who doesn’t seem to advocate for anything outside of PL theory. Being an “admitted” *anything* is much less toxic than being someone who puts substantial effort for years on end into arguing a theory of racial superiority.

  13. that certain people are lesser in certain ways due to the pigmentation of their skin

    Does anyone argue this? Anyone at all? I believe the accurate statement would be that some people say that average IQs etc. between ethnic groups and races can differ in various ways. And they have some evidence to back that up. That might have a loose correlation with skin pigmentation, but it’s not primarily about that.

    • >I believe the accurate statement would be that some people say that average IQs etc. between ethnic groups and races can differ in various ways

      Never underestimate the stupidity of the few actual racists out there. There are people who really believe that there is some kind of polluting essence of blackness mystically tied to skin color. One of these creatures surfaces in my blog comments occasionally. Yarvin is not one of them, but they certainly do exist.

  14. Nobody, someone who calls themselves a Communist is advocating for the enslavement of all humanity. And is probably much more likely to initiate violence in person than Yarvin, or indeed almost any right-winger.

    And as much as our host may decry being a warrior for the establishment, so long as the establishment is in favor of a culture of free expression, the establishment is culturally and morally superior to its opponents, and worth defending against the barbarians at the conference gate.

  15. > Nobody, someone who calls themselves a Communist is advocating for the enslavement of all humanity.

    First, let’s get one thing clear. As far as I am aware, or have seen anyone say, Jon Sterling was not directly associated with LambdaConf in any way. He was co-locating his own one day workshop with that conference because there is overlap of interest. I believe he said his workshop had less than a dozen people coming. His cancelling his workshop based on choices LambdaConf made is hardly any significant protest. So his beliefs are irrelevant to the entire discussion. Completely irrelevant.

    As to your statement, please point to the evidence of the mass enslavement of people under the USSR or Chinese rule. Historians worldwide will be fascinated by what you have to show, because they haven’t seen it to this point. I lived many years of my life during the cold war, and despite the fact that *I* wouldn’t want to live under that system, I understand many people in Russian today (and this explains Putin’s appeal I suppose), long for the time they were a part of the USSR because they feel like they had it better off then than now.

  16. OK, so Nobody’s business believes that the two bloodiest totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, ones that would shoot you for trying to escape, don’t count as “mass enslavement”….

  17. “As to your statement, please point to the evidence of the mass enslavement of people under the USSR or Chinese rule.”

    Are you seriously that ignorant? The names Conquest, Solzhenitsyn mean nothing to you?

    I cannot express my outrage without wearing out Eric’s tolerance, I’m afraid.

  18. @PapayaSF

    >Does anyone argue this? Anyone at all?

    But of course. Certain people argue that melanin-lacking persons are inferior all the time.

  19. V, that’s a different statement than “due to the pigmentation of their skin.” They are not saying the inferiority is caused by pigmentation.

  20. > OK, so Nobody’s business believes that the two bloodiest totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, ones that would shoot you for trying to escape, don’t count as “mass enslavement”….

    > Are you seriously that ignorant? The names Conquest, Solzhenitsyn mean nothing to you?

    Again, no point to make, so resorting to insults.

    I would suggest both of you go read about what the actual life of a slave on a US plantation was like. Afterwards, perhaps you’ll see how inappropriate the comparison is.

  21. It’s telling that people want to make this some kind of argument about communism as opposed to actually discussing LambdaConf and the fact that they made a political choice under the guise of “inclusion” (not “free expression”, as people here seem to be arguing). They made the SJWiest of choices with flawed logic (go read the blog posts if you haven’t), and you’re arguing for them!

    Last laugh on you!

  22. Nobody, I realize it’s going to be hard for you to wrap you mind around this concept, but we’re not the thought police. So we don’t care nearly as much why somebody does the right thing as the typical SJW.

  23. “Wow. Were you born that idiotic, or do you take special pills to achieve it, or what?”

    Actually, its worse than being an idiot. At least idiots have the excuse of some incapacity for thought or understanding. This person (?) is being willfully ignorant of objective historical fact, consciously rejecting truth and logic in a hopeless attempt to disrupt your mental harmony.

    That’s not idiocy. That’s evil. And for those of you keeping score at home, evil is the precise opposite of virtue.

  24. > Actually, its worse than being an idiot. At least idiots have the excuse of some incapacity for thought or understanding. This person (?) is being willfully ignorant of objective historical fact, consciously rejecting truth and logic in a hopeless attempt to disrupt your mental harmony.

    More ad hominem, apparently due to a lack of an actual point or argument.

    Objective historical fact would actual consistent of objective…historical…facts. Of which I see none in this forum. Nobody here actually seems to have any of the background on LambdaConf (hint: Urbit isn’t a language, Jon Sterling and a bunch of bogeyman commies didn’t start this, LambdaConf didn’t make their choice based on your idea of what freedom is, but instead because he wanted to appease the gods of inclusion-at-any-cost).

    Enjoy your virtuous echo chamber, Evil-mode has an Emacs to corrupt, so I’m out!

  25. > I would suggest both of you go read about what the actual life of a slave on a US plantation was like. Afterwards, perhaps you’ll see how inappropriate the comparison is.

    Are you aware that slavery existed before the discovery of the New World?

    ***

    Yes, I am simply piling on. However, this kind of “you must be wrong because I choose to interpret your words with these definitions” obtuseness always bugs me. It’s not really a logical fallacy. It’s more like an advanced way of putting fingers in your ears and repeating “I can’t hear you.”

  26. Pingback: This may be the week the SJWs lost it all | The Wentworth Report

  27. Nobody, let me clue you in. That term, “ad hominem” doesn’t mean what you think it means. When you claim that ESR is a “warrior for the establishment”, a claim I personally know to be ludicrous having followed his writings for over a decade and a half, you demonstrate that you’re either a total fuckwit or a mendacious turd. So guess what? When people call you out on your bullshit, that’s not an ad hominem. That’s a chance to crawl back under your rock and meditate on your shortcomings.

  28. It’s premature to declare victory until we see what happens to the careers of the LambdaConf organizers, that was after all what was perceived to be the biggest threat to the guy running Strange Loop who felt compelled to disinvite Yarvin. The threat of having your conference killed is much smaller than what actually happened to Eich, who lost his job and became unemployable, with a wife and kids to support (and without the huge pile of money a lot of people claimed he got from Netscape).

    As for the history of this event, while a bunch have since been added, after the non-dis-invitation of Yarvin was announced, every listed sponsor withdrew except for haskellbook.com.

  29. So, um, “Nobody’s business” says that ESR is “an SJW”, and anybody bothered to read him any further?

    Maybe he’s a troll, maybe he doesn’t understand the English language, maybe he’s as disassociated from reality as a severe schizophrenic. But whatever he is, there’s no possible way to profitably communicate with him. I mean, seriously, he just said ESR is a warrior for social justice.

    Engaging him isn’t like engaging with someone who claims (say) 9/11 was an inside job; it’s like engaging with someone who claims the World Trade Center’s towers are still standing undamaged.

  30. > Are you seriously that ignorant? The names Conquest, Solzhenitsyn mean nothing to you?

    Again, no point to make, so resorting to insults.

    Just to belabor the obvious: Dropping those names is a reference to a solid corpus of historical evidence presented by those individuals, among others. Vacantly sailing past the points being made demonstrates that you’re either arguing dishonestly or so vincibly ignorant of history that you have no business in serious discussion.

  31. I would’ve let it fail. Their code of conduct is a slap in the face of every man, ethnic European and heterosexual in the world. In LambdaConf’s Heidelberg Class of ’33, I’m the Jew. If this is victory what does defeat look like? Extrapolate this culture out into the nation as being in institutional control and I wonder if I could even own a frickin’ cat, or would I have to put it down like Victor Klemperer and his wife did theirs? In fact, I would boycott any conference with such a code of conduct which openly and loudly proclaims my immorality by reason of race and sex in advance.

  32. Merciful $DEITY. ESR, a warrior for the establishment?! This is as silly as saying Bernie Sanders fights on the side of Wall Street against the middle class.

    Nobody, you want evidence of slavery in the USSR? Go read The Gulag Archipelago. Find out how the Belomorkanal was built. Read about Stalin’s deliberate famine in the Ukraine, the Holodomor. Then tell me the USSR didn’t enslave people.

    And don’t throw in the red herring of slavery in the US South. Yes, it was bad, but it was not the only bad thing people did to others in the course of history.

    You talk about others not being able to argue points. How about arguing some yourself?

  33. Nobody is an SJW and he’s using rhetoric. Trying to debate him with logic will be doomed to failure. The best we can do is point and laugh.

  34. Pingback: ClarkHat knocks back SJWs | Neoreactive

  35. I’m no fan of commies but in playing Devil’s Advocate, how many men died in WW I? 8.5 million dead and 21 million wounded, and for what exactly? And that’s not including the civilians. Who does one deliver that bill to in order to crowd them out of a conference? Which system gets the eternal blame: monarchy, an emperor, dictatorships, Sultans, a parliamentary system? How do some of those differ from communism in a real world sense? Are we keeping an historic murder scorecard?

    What about the Taiping Rebellion? Do I check a director’s political bona fides based on historic slaughter before I watch a kung-fu movie, and maybe nominate him for an award? Is it possible he might start killing people with a giant sword with rings in the blade? What if the award is a giant sword with rings in the blade?

    We are confusing ideologies with demographies. It is not hate speech to negatively critique any ideology. It is hate speech to negatively critiques a group’s immutable biological characteristics by attaching or detaching morality.

    That brings me back to the real evil: those insufferable codes of conduct which mutilate the word “harassment” until it is an unrecognizable sludge of racial and sexual one-way streets. It’s pretty clear who has their eye on me and why, and I’d stand a better chance under communism, a liberal democracy or a monarchy.

  36. Anthony: “And is probably much more likely to initiate violence in person than Yarvin”

    Indeed. Steve Klabnik has said, in a public venue, that he’s “100% okay” with violence against what he calls “fascists” (which appears to be a rather…broad…category, by his definition). As far as I know, Klabnik is still employed, still a prominent member of the Rust team, still invited to all the “good” conferences…

    Of course, Klabnik, Sterling, et al would be the first to start screeching “McCarthyism” if their repugnant political views resulted in them being “no platformed”. However, they believe they’ve won, and do not imagine that the shoe might be on the other foot in future. I think they’re wrong.

    Nobody’s business: “More ad hominem”

    Pointing out that you are ignorant is simply an observation of a fact, not an “ad hominem”.

    James May: “Which system gets the eternal blame: monarchy, an emperor, dictatorships, Sultans, a parliamentary system?”

    There is this difference: most advocates of (say) monarchy would freely admit that there have been both good and bad monarchs, while arguing that their claimed benefits for monarchy outweigh the occasional Caligula or John Lackland. Not so with communists. No, it’s always “But that wasn’t real communism!” Can you imagine a monarchist claiming that Ivan the Terrible wasn’t a “real monarch”? Neither can I.

  37. “Not so with communists. No, it’s always “But that wasn’t real communism!””

    It’s been tried enough times that we can safely conclude that “real” communism, as they advocate, is simply not possible. Above a relatively tiny number of equally committed true believers (a hundred or so), it always devolves into ones doing the controlling and ones being controlled, with the ones doing the controlling reaping the benefits.

  38. Why villianize someone just because they’re communist? Because communists are murderers., pure and simple. They can and will kill effortlessly and indiscriminately if they think they can get away with it. A communist is a dangerous, vicious, rabid beast, and must be treated as such. If you don’t believe it, read “The Black Book of Communism”.

  39. “It’s been tried enough times that we can safely conclude that “real” communism, as they advocate, is simply not possible.”

    Absolutely. I think that’s one of the reasons for the claim that the inevitable descent into starvation, slavery, and mass murder wasn’t “real communism”. The monarchists do have some success stories they can point to. The communists have none.

  40. @JAmes May
    ” Which system gets the eternal blame: monarchy, an emperor, dictatorships, Sultans, a parliamentary system?”

    Nationalism, or anti-globalism. But the consensus is that it was nationalism. If you want you might interpret the Taiping rebellion as a failed secession to found a nation (in Western terms). China has often been plagued by secession movements.

  41. OP:
    “A mob of SJWs, spearheaded by a no-shit self-described Communist named Jon Sterling,”

    Why does it matter that this person is a “self-described Communist”?

    We have had quite a number of incidents in Europe where “self-described fascists, neo-nazi’s and right wing nationalists” disturb meetings and silence opponents, sometimes using direct intimidation.

    I do not assume you condone that behavior?

  42. @Jay Maynard
    > Merciful $DEITY. ESR, a warrior for the establishment?! This is as silly as saying Bernie Sanders fights on the side of Wall Street against the middle class.

    Well, I don’t know about FOR wall street, but given his policy positions, intentionally or not, he’s certainly against the middle class…

  43. That’s great – and your excellent writeup of the victory made instapundit too so hopefully others in the same boat will have some guidance.

    Yea, and socialists / communists – come on. One of the biggest ongoing arguments in my family for a long time was between those leftists who admired Venezuela from afar and those who had lived there. Unfortunately now it’s clear who won and lost.

  44. I don’t think some sort of partial failure at LambdaConf says anything about the future of SJ. Eric, you’re wildly underestimating how sticky and mutually reinforcing the SJ memes are.

    I see two futures in play for SJ, and they might both happen. One is that I’m seeing gentle people who I respect identifying as SJWs. They seem to have put together a good parts version of SJ, and you can call them useful idiots, but this is a political movement not a dictatorship– for all I know, if my friends are typical, there will be people bending SJ in a milder and more sensible direction.

    The other path is violence. Considering how eliminationist the implications of SJ ideas are, I’m surprised there hasn’t been significant violence. If we’re all fortunate, I will be wrong about where SJ could go.

    Meanwhile, I suspect that SJ won’t go away unless there’s an actual alternative, and turtling down by refusing to give SJ any moral credence isn’t enough. I believe that a positive model for how people are to live with each other is essential.

    I believe SJ is more right than wrong about various ways people mistreat each other– the problem is just that SJ proposes more mistreatment as a solution.

    I’m curious about the finances at LambdoConf– how large an event is it? I’m surprised that $15K is enough to make a big difference.

    It’s hard for me to frame typical people in communist countries as slaves, even though they were clearly worse off than average people in democracies. They were trapped and poor, but they couldn’t be sold (I have a faint memory of some people being sold somewhere in the communist world, but I can’t place it and even if true, it wasn’t typical) and their employers weren’t entitled to use corporal punishment. The latter means they were better off than serfs, too, though they were more like serfs than slaves.

    Also, they were denied opportunities to do useful work and get paid for it, but they weren’t (from what I can gather) typically overworked. “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” We actually don’t have a word for being in that situation.

  45. Affiliation disclosure: I am the maintainer, and a minor developer, of Urbit.

    Curtis is rarely ever insincere. He is one of humanity’s natural trolls – basically, a really smart guy who can’t resist needling those dumber than him, which is nearly everyone, and the humorless of all IQs.

    Urbit (which is an operating system stack, not a language, though the stack contains a language) has a veneer of natural-trollishness to it, which people generally either love or hate. Curtis’ documentation and papers also have the common flaw of skipping ahead too quickly and lingering on weird metaphors too long, which is difficult to avoid when you know a system very well and have intuitions about it. If the knot can be threaded on this (work is in progress on making it easier…) you would see that Urbit really isn’t weird. Right now we’re in an uncomfortable Monad-tutorial sort of place on explaining Urbit, which I think is just an accident of history, not something inevitable.

    If functional programming, deterministic computing, or internetworking are anywhere near your interests, you’d probably enjoy learning Urbit. Certainly the kind of person who would attend Lambdaconf would probably enjoy it.

  46. It’s hard for me to frame typical people in communist countries as slaves, even though they were clearly worse off than average people in democracies. They were trapped and poor, but they couldn’t be sold (I have a faint memory of some people being sold somewhere in the communist world, but I can’t place it and even if true, it wasn’t typical) and their employers weren’t entitled to use corporal punishment. The latter means they were better off than serfs, too, though they were more like serfs than slaves.

    I know the Cuban government acquires either hard currency or oil by sending Cuban doctors abroad, so perhaps it’s renting, not selling. If you consider the employer of those in a communist system to be ‘the state’, examples of what could mildly termed as corporal punishment abound.

  47. There’s a good parts version of SocJus? What the hell is it? Take away white or male privilege, rape culture, cultural appropriation, the oppression of the gender binary, the cruel invention of heterosexuality, the endemic misogyny and sexism of men, global post-colonial whiteness, lying about the history of magazine publishing to power an affirmative action diversity movement, racist movie producers, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, no occupy draft offices or freezer warehouses movement to include women, lying about global slavery, the pronoun rebellion, lying about rape and crime stats, college star chambers, throwing down due process, free speech, equal protection and what’s left exactly?

  48. Winter: ‘Why does it matter that this person is a “self-described Communist”?’

    Because self-described Communists have murdered somewhere around 100 million people in the last century?

    P.S. Nazis are only “right wing” if you’re Stalin. They were socialists. National Socialists. It says so right there on the label, dude. Surely you’re not going to argue that they were libertarians?

    Nancy Lebovitz: “their employers weren’t entitled to use corporal punishment.”

    On the contrary. Their employer was the state, and the state was entitled to do anything to them it wanted, up to and including summary execution.

    Civilis: “I know the Cuban government acquires either hard currency or oil by sending Cuban doctors abroad…”

    I was highly amused (in a black comedy sort of way) when Castro imported doctors from Spain when he got sick. I’m sure that’s just because he wanted to leave more “free health care” available for the proletariat. Or something.

  49. The fact that people aren’t just as embarrassed to declare themselves “communist” as they would be to call themselves “nazi” never ceases to amaze me.

  50. While it’s fun to abuse the moron(s?), I think there may be value in trying to set out a longer view of what’s going on and why. Not everyone can be expected to be extensively familiar with history, the LambdaConf squabble, and/or our host, after all.


    One, wrt who did what why, I would identify several closely related stages and aspects here.

    The first is LambdaConf’s blind review of Yarvin’s submission; this I would say is a matter of merit. They stripped away information about the speaker when deciding whether to accept, preventing personal friendship, animosity, or bigotry from influencing their decision.

    Free expression arguably came in at the stage where a bunch of communists, SJWs, and their fellow travelers demanded that Yarvin be excluded, demands which were usually accompanied by flinging a lot of insults tangentially related to what he’d written elsewhere under the handle Moldbug. (Particularly hilarious and stupid were the variations on ‘white supremacist’ and ‘Nazi’: Moldbug is a Jew who praises Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.) This sort of shitflinging attempt to get a speaker removed because he allegedly said wicked things elsewhere is opposed to free expression: it implies that you can’t talk about programming if you have talked about reactionary politics. It is further and more dangerously opposed to free expression when seen in context of recent scalps such as Brendan Eich, which suggests there is a wider stream of opinion that you should lose your livelihood if you expressed support for the former party line and haven’t loudly and vehemently enough recanted and wavered with the party.

    Inclusion was why LambdaConf told the above lot to bugger off. I won’t repeat here what they said at great length elsewhere.

    Safety needs a disambiguation thanks to word-butchers fighting with rhetorical sleight of hand. One is what I will unashamedly call safety proper, which is where LambdaConf asks Moldbug if he will refrain from violence, and says they’ll exclude people with a history of violence or of breaking codes of conduct. The other is safety of feelings, which certain dishonest cry-bullies use as a way of suppressing dissent by saying that they don’t feel safe around persons of contrary opinion, therefore please exclude those persons.


    Two, the status of various communists as being communists is relevant because they started that aspect of the fight: among the arguments given for removing Yarvin from LambdaConf in specific and technical conferences in general were several variations on “He’s affiliated with/argues for/defends horrible, terrible, evil ideologies that murdered, enslaved and oppressed people!” (Shorter version: “He’s a fascist!”) But these are grounds for removing every communist too; and arguably removing the communists first because of communism’s bloodier history and the communists’ closer ties to specific bloody implementations, where Moldbug professes no loyalty to any existing ideological structure and has several times proposed new names (such as neocameralism) for the thing he’s building. However, the communists seem somewhat less than willing to have themselves excluded from technical conferences on these grounds, and their fellow-travelers similarly unwilling to disassociate.

    Summarised in logical form: The SJWs asserted X. X implies Y. The SJWs deny Y. This is a contradiction exposed by raising the matter of communism.


    Three, on communism being bad and arguments thereto. “Solzhenitsyn” is a metonym much like one says “Hollywood” for the American film industry. It denotes in part Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, a book on the gulags (prison-cum-slave-labor-cum-concentration-camps) of the totalitarian Soviet Union and the conditions therein; and denotes in part (information about) the gulags themselves. Over 10 million people passed through these, with very high mortality rates due to the gulag conditions being about as terrible as one might expect when imagining forced labor in Siberia. At least 1 million died there. The exact numbers are unknown and very hard to know, because, well, care for prisoners was in about as short supply as one might expect from the sort of people who will work prisoners to death in Siberia. Prisoners on the brink of death might frequently be given “amnesty” and set free (i.e. released into the Siberian wilderness while sick and malnourished) to fudge the statistics on prisoner death rate. I have seen estimates of 20 million people passing through the camps of which about half died and half escaped, but I think the minimal confirmed figures are enough to put this among the worst things in the world.

    That’s still not counting the millions of other deaths from the Soviet Union outside of the gulag, or the millions of other deaths from communist regimes outside of the Soviet Union.

    While American does not have a month dedicated to remembering the abuses of communism the way it has a month dedicated to remembering the abuses of American slavery, the former are nonetheless monstrous enough to be at least comparable with the latter and well documented enough that you can expect to have abuse heaped on you if you try to brush them off.


    Four, it is absolutely absurd to assert that ESR is a SJW or a warrior for the establishment, because ESR is an anarchist-libertarian-ish type, a pagan, a splitter, a Heinleinian, otherwise a fringe and contrarian sort of person in general, and has written so much anti-establishment material that it goes beyond mere ignorance and into knee-jerk “disagreement is fascist!” to assert such a thing.


    Five, the argumentum ad hominem fallacy consists in attempting to reason from an insult to a conclusion that does not follow – for example, “You’re an asshat, therefore you are wrong.” There is no such fallacy in saying “You’re a mendacious turd, and you are wrong.” Fallacies are a bestiary of flaws in reasoning, not in conduct – if your interlocutor is telling you to take a long walk off a short pier, the correct response is not to cry fallacy, but to ask (yourself or your interlocutor) what you might have done to get such abuse.

  51. I understand many people in Russian today (and this explains Putin’s appeal I suppose), long for the time they were a part of the USSR because they feel like they had it better off then than now.

    How do you understand this? How many people from the USSR or Warsaw Pact countries have you discussed this with? In those countries people were generally treated like pets. Some people like to be treated like pets. But the percentage I’m guessing is very, very small. I suggest you do a bit more research before claiming that you “understand.”

    The ultimate question about communism is the wall. Do you think that the Iron Curtain kept people from escaping capitalism and fleeing to communism? Or vice versa?

    Do you think the Castro bros are more worried about people escaping from Cuba or about people escaping the US to come to Cuba? Ditto Kim Jong-un: Do you think that if the borders were opened, would more people from South Korea voluntarily move to North Korea, or vice versa? Have you every navigated from Hong Kong to Shenzhen to Guangzhou? There are concentric rings of security between this cities. Passport control and armed guards restricting the flow. Guess which direction the average Chinese citizen wants to go?

    Answer that question and you’ll find socialism’s epitaph:

    “Build it and they will leave.”

  52. If Jon Sterling wasn’t heading the scalp-takers demanding LambdaConf surrender, he is at least a public voice for that opinion, and a useful example of SJW hypocrisy. If he had not cancelled his PrlConf sub-conference, any attendee who’s ever made public statements against Communism could point to this tweet
    https://twitter.com/jonsterling/status/696745676651130880
    (saved at archive.is in case he ever deletes it) and demand that Mr. Sterling ban himself from his own sub-conference on the grounds of hate speech and threats.

  53. I see two futures in play for SJ….

    The other path is violence. Considering how eliminationist the implications of SJ ideas are, I’m surprised there hasn’t been significant violence. If we’re all fortunate, I will be wrong about where SJ could go.

    There are multiple paths down the path of violence, ranging from what we currently see in Europe where the Left has a free hand in physically attacking anyone they label fascists, something Steve Klabnik is “100% okay with that, personally” as he tweeted … in fact, that sequence of tweets is so vile I’ll cover it in a followup message, with the police sometimes helping, more often turning a blind eye towards it, and sometimes trying to keep the two sides apart, which is currently what most often happens in the US, e.g. the Trump event riot being the exception.

    Or I suppose we could see mutual combat such as I’ve heard happened in Weimar Germany, but I don’t know much about it. Or the forces of counter-reaction could get tired of SJWs at whatever level they’re operating at and start implementing anything from Operation Condor 2 to stuffing them in mass graves until the rest, including the go-along-to-get-along types mentioned in the words I eluded above get a clue and STFU. For a generation or two, for better or worse, the Left will always be with us short of a genetic engineering Endlösung. Which is not an outcome I’d rule out to the problem they pose civilization, but the possibility is almost certainly many many years out.

  54. @Locketopus

    > P.S. Nazis are only “right wing” if you’re Stalin. They were socialists. National Socialists. It says so right there on the label, dude. Surely you’re not going to argue that they were libertarians?

    Whether or not nationalism is good or bad can be argued, but I’m amazed at the people who insist that the part of the nationalist socialist workers party that was bad was the “nationalism” part that selected which targets to scapegoat and not the “socialism” – core to which is the belief that people are subordinate to the state by default (except the enlightened few who run it for “everyone else’s benefit”) – that it shared with the USSR, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and countless other authoritarian thug dictatorships.

  55. (RE: Fascists/Neo-Nazis disrupting meetings and such)
    Winter:
    > I do not assume you condone that behavior?

    You’ve been here long enough that you ought to know–and not just know, but understand that to many of us the distinction between Facists/Neo-Nazis and Communists is merely two halves of the same family fighting over dinner.

  56. Why is it so hard for the lefties to understand that only one side was throwing a tantrum because someone who held views counter to their own was allowed to speak ?

  57. This is factually incorrect. Jon Sterling was at least a day or two behind the initial reaction. Whether he is or is not a communist (from what I gather he is) has no bearing, so I am not sure why people keep bringing that into the equation.

    As for “SJW”s, you’re as much of an SJW as any of the people who have decided to drop out of or protest LambdaConf on the basis of the speakers it chooses. You’re just a warrior for the establishment rather than one for anti-establishment causes.

    I’ve seen generic versions of this argument elsewhere, and while it’s ignorant enough to deserve the scorn it gets, I usually feel the need to post a serious rebuttal for those new to the debate.

    ‘SJW’ denotes a specific side in the ‘culture war’ (specifically, the side favoring ‘Social Justice’), so saying ESR is a ‘SJW’ is objectively false. It isn’t even correct to say ESR is behaving similarly to the SJWs because what they are arguing for is completely different. Sterling’s argument is that Yavin should be not welcome at LambdaConf because his views are offensive to some. Sterling’s communist views are relevant because communism is offensive to some (see elsewhere in this post for examples; even if you think communism is good, it should be obvious that it is objectively true that other people may have rational objections to communism). For the comparison to be valid, ESR would need to be calling for Sterling to be unwelcomed for his subjectively equally offensive political views, which ESR has not done. ESR is merely calling for all speakers to be evaluated on technical merit. (And that’s before getting to the argument about which side represents the establishment…)

    A lot of the talk of ‘culture war’ seems based on the ‘fact’ that both sides are mirrors of each other. Posts like ESRs are important because they show this to be untrue. While the Progressive / Social Justice side seeks to deny their opponents the opportunity to speak publicly, the opposite is not true.

  58. The Senate & The People of Rome referred to Robert Conquest and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who documented the atrocious nature of the communist regimes, and Nobody’s Business says he has not point to make? That is beyond deflection. That is creepy and willfully dishonest BS.

  59. Separate message in case it gets held up in moderation due to the link: here’s what celebrated SJW Steve Klabnik, a man recruited by Mozilla to be the documentor and at least de facto public face of the Rust language (and a classic entryist there), one of the 2 prime instigators of “deplatforming” Yarvin when he tried to give this talk at the Strange Loop conference, had to say about most of us participating in the A&D topic back in October of 2014 (all tweets but one by Guillaume Laurent from him):

    Thinking about it, the far right has never been as powerful and overtly supported in tech as in this current moment.

    Between GamerGate, Weev, and Moldbug, it’s not even a “conservative tendency” or something, but outright fascism.

    I’m not sure what a ‘tech antifa’ would look like, exactly, but it’s sorely needed.

    Guillaume Laurent ?@glaurent
    @steveklabnik we have an “antifa” movement in France (reacting to our rising far right), and they’re often just as violent :-( @cbarrett

    @glaurent @cbarrett yup. 100% okay with that, personally.

    […]

    @glaurent @griestenberg the only things fascists respond to is violence. Ignoring them or letting them attack you doesn’t help

    So, yeah, that last tweet certainly implies he would support a violent tech antifa movement.

    I can personally attest to the authenticity of these archived Tweets, I read them straight on Twitter back when he helped kick Yarvin out of Strange Loop and was crowing about it on Hacker News, where the illuminating discussion assured us that “Urbit has neoreactionary politics hard-coded into the network layer.

  60. Nobody’s business says:

    “… please point to the evidence of the mass enslavement of people under the USSR or Chinese rule. Historians worldwide will be fascinated by what you have to show, because they haven’t seen it to this point. … I understand many people in Russian [sic] today (and this explains Putin’s appeal I suppose), long for the time they were a part of the USSR because they feel like they had it better off then than now.”

    I know there are people like Nobody’s business but it’s always educational to hear from one and follow his mental processes. There are two possibilities:

    1. He doesn’t know the historical works of Conquest and Solzhenitsyn (likely), in which case he is objectively ignorant about a defining part of 20th century history.

    2. He read their works (unlikely) and he thinks they don’t document enslavement.

    He chose to sidestep SPQR’s question, but in either case he believes it wasn’t enslavement because some people long for the return of the pastoral days of the Soviet Union. That logic extended, he could make that same argument about the Third Reich, Mao’s China, Khmer Rouge Cambodia or any other totalitarian system.

    It’s fascinating how some people think.

  61. Whether or not nationalism is good or bad can be argued, but I’m amazed at the people who insist that the part of the nationalist socialist workers party that was bad was the “nationalism” part that selected which targets to scapegoat and not the “socialism” – core to which is the belief that people are subordinate to the state by default (except the enlightened few who run it for “everyone else’s benefit”) – that it shared with the USSR, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and countless other authoritarian thug dictatorships.

    While one can argue that Lenin may still have been guided by an internationalist spirit, it’s hard to argue that internationalism was breaking down by Stalin (under who the Soviet Union was ruled by more of a pan-Russian / Ukranian / Georgian nationalism, which had reverted to Russian nationalism by the time of the fall of the Soviet Union). But any pretense of communist states being internationalist should easily be disabused by China (Han nationalism) or North Korea (Kim family natio… excuse me, Korean nationalism).

    I’m also amazed people still see anything close to a 1:1 correlation between the European and American political spectrums.

  62. > There’s a good parts version of SocJus?

    Most of the Motte arguments are good, if naive.

    Most of them live in the Bailey and argue about the fields outside it.

    Like NB, they’re either historically blind and willfully ignorant of the science and statistics in the areas they are arguing. But it makes them feel better.

  63. For those who live in a US bubble, all of the non US world, including nazis themselves, neo nazis and All Europeans who suffered their rule (from left to right) consider nazis an extreme right wing political movement. One that has it roots in pre-capitalist and anti-capitalist (feodal) philosophies.

    But whatever side it takes, it is not communism.

    That you fall for that propaganda trick of calling themselves “socialist” just illustrates your ignorance. You might have missed the point of the nazi party being great at propaganda and false flag operations. That you actually believe them upon their words is rather odd.

    Furthermore, nationalism is almost universally seen as a (the?) root of WWI (and a host of other wars in Europe). If you want to disagree, you should give evidence for your position.

  64. And for all of us who can read plain english – and german at times – the declared platform of the the german national workers party is Socialist, with nationalist sentiments bolted in.

  65. An interesting comment I saw recently pretty well sums up what is going on in the broader social/political context. To paraphrase, we live in a time when most political “journalism” is produced by twenty-somethings with liberal arts degrees.

  66. “For those who live in a US bubble, all of the non US world, including nazis themselves, neo nazis and All Europeans who suffered their rule (from left to right) consider nazis an extreme right wing political movement.”

    For those who live in reality, the conventional “right-left” distinction is so ill-posed that it’s nearly meaningless. To the extent that it is meaningful, the only useful distinction is between socialist (Communists, Fascists, Nazis), which can all be described as “leftists” and non-socialists (who are all over the place, but perhaps could be described as “right” by comparison with the socialists).

    “Right” and “left” made sense for about six months during the French Revolution. Not since.

    Since then, “right” and “left” have primarily been used as meaningless terms of abuse.

    And yes, the Nazis absolutely were socialists, no matter how much you might want to deny it. Take the Nazi Party platform, remove the Jew-hatred, and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.

  67. > “but in either case he believes it wasn’t enslavement because some people long for the return of the pastoral days of the Soviet Union.”

    Or he interprets hyperbolic statements as “enslavement of all humanity” as asserting that the ordinary life of free (or “free”) Russian citizens was a form of slavery, and doesn’t consider things like members of out-groups being sent to the gulags to justify such a sweeping claim.

    I think the Soviet system was terrible, but there’s a bit of goalpost-shifting inherent to supporting the claim “enslavement of all humanity” with anything concrete that anyone’s actually cited.

  68. Winter, the European Left/Right political spectrum is not at all compatible to the American spectrum of the same name. Not orthogonal, not quite, but the divide is along completely different lines. Sarah Hoyt’s Right, Left, Right isn’t comprehensive but is a decent overview of the difference.

    (And that’s before you start looking at additional dimensions à la the Pournelle axes.)

  69. Or instead of goalpost-shifting you could call it “motte and bailey” if you like, with the one being “communism (whether the Soviet system, or generally) inherently implies enslavement of all who live under it” and the other being “some people were enslaved in the USSR historically”.

  70. George Orwell’s argument in 1984 went something like this when applied to real world terms: while people are arguing about well-known menaces like Nazism and communism which show zero signs of taking root in the U.S., a benevolent Big Brother is running around talking about allergies to scented products and wheel chair access and putting your sons in university star chambers on trumped up regret rape charges which deny them due process backed up by the Fed Gov’t.

    Institutional quotas, de facto collusion to allow illegal immigration, and the educational system are all discriminating against people based on their race, sex and sexual expression backed up by a system of legal bribes and lawsuits instituted by the Fed. Gov’t.

    De facto and de jure racial and sexual discrimination is raging across the U.S. ranging from Congressional Congresses, “protected groups,” the lumping together by the Fed. Gov’t of violent sexual assault with unwanted phone calls from ex-boyfriends to produce skewed “sexual assault” stats. On top of that you have enormous pressure put on publishing, TV and films using shaming racial and sexual demonization theories pumped out of over 700 women’s and gender studies programs to diminish and enhance racial and sexual footprints.

    There’s more; a lot more. “It’s not going to look like what you expect it to look like” is probably the order of the day, and it’s happening now, right now. Forget appearances and remember principles or old bullshit under new names will overwhelm this country.

    Start small if you must, and you can take a principled stand and start by telling that LambdaConf to go straight to hell based on its code of conduct alone, which you may have noticed reflects everything I mentioned above. You are being squeezed out of what you made. If these morons could make anything people would swarm to, they would; they can’t, and there’s a reason for that – they’re the very definition of failure, as are all supremacist doctrines. Don’t be fooled by these moronic codes of conduct. If anyone can tell me how they are in principle any different from what motivated the Nuremberg Laws, I’d like to hear it. I know an analogy to a blood libel when I see it and this country is stacked to the gills with anti-male, anti-heterosexual and anti-white doctrines riding under a rubric of “social justice” and “anti-racism.” If Black Lives Matter is “anti-racist,” then so are the Nazis and KKK.

  71. “Or he interprets hyperbolic statements as “enslavement of all humanity” as asserting that the ordinary life of free (or “free”) Russian citizens was a form of slavery”

    Well, let’s see. Soviet citizens weren’t allowed to:

    1) Leave (or even travel within the country) without government permission.
    2) Change employment at will.
    3) Own the products of their own labor.
    4) Read, write, draw, paint in the manner of free people.

    Precisely what aspect of “slavery” is missing here?

  72. I wonder what sponsors were told (or how were threatened) by SJW et.al. so they abandoned sponsoring LambdaConf…

  73. Random832 says:

    “Or he interprets hyperbolic statements … and doesn’t consider things like members of out-groups being sent to the gulags to justify such a sweeping claim.”

    I thought about it but here is your problem: Try to negate your “out-group” definition.

    It can’t be done. Nobody was exempt. Yes, there were at times various identifiable “out-groups” like rightists, kulaks, Trotskyites, university professors, scientists, Red Army officers, doctors, foreign Communist immigrants, Polish Army officers or Crimean Tatars but it was completely utilitarian and capricious as you can see from the arbitrary nature of the list.

    Communist Party members and government officials were favorite targets but the bulk of the forced labor camp inhabitants were millions of randomly chosen ordinary people sent there for completely trivial and banal acts.

    Who were then the “free” Russian citizens living “ordinary” lives that would justify your goalpost-shifting claim? They did not exist. It’s the very definition of totalitarianism that no sphere of “ordinary life” is exempt from the total control of the state and no group of citizens is outside of “out-groups”.

  74. CapitalistRoadster wrote: How do you understand this? How many people from the USSR or Warsaw Pact countries have you discussed this with? In those countries people were generally treated like pets. Some people like to be treated like pets. But the percentage I’m guessing is very, very small. I suggest you do a bit more research before claiming that you “understand.”

    This is anecdotal, but perhaps unsurprising, and even touches on another of Eric’s interests (and mine, and perhaps others’ here):

    A friend of mine grew up in Belarus when it was USSR, came to the US with her family as a kid. Was just old enough to know what it was like, and for anything she forgot, her dad could no doubt refresh her memory. I met him for the first time at Thanksgiving at their house last year. He went out of his way to speak at length at why he came here, and why he was thankful for it. Many readers here could no doubt speculate at what he said, and it would be likely accurate.

    The other interest: independently, I ran across a board game called Kolejka, aka Queue: The Game. I’ve tried and failed to come up with a better synopsis than the product description on its Amazon page:

    Get in a queue with your family in front of a store and experience a rush of genuine emotions! The board game Kolejka (a.k.a. Queue) tells a story of everyday life in Poland at the tail-end of the Communist era. The players’ task appears to be simple: They have to send their family members out to various stores on the game board to buy all the items on their shopping list. The problem is, however, that the shelves in the five neighborhood stores are empty. The players line up their pawns in front of the shops without knowing which shop will have a delivery. Tension mounts as the product delivery cards are uncovered and it turns out that there will be enough product cards only for the lucky few standing closest to the door of a store. Since everyone wants to be first, the queue starts to push up against the door. To get ahead, the people in the queue use a range of queuing cards, such as ‘Mother carrying small child’, ‘This is not your place, sir’, or ‘Under-the-counter goods’. But they have to watch out for ‘Closed for stocktaking’, ‘Delivery error’, and for the black pawns the speculators standing in the queue. Only those players who make the best use of the queuing cards in their hand will come home with full shopping bags. On the product cards are photos of sixty original objects from the Communist era. The merchandise includes Relaks shoes, Przemysawka eau de cologne, and Popularna tea, as well as other commodities that were once in scarce supply. The neighborhood also has an outdoor market but the prices there are steep unless, of course, you manage to strike a deal with the market trader. In this realistic game you really have to be savvy to get the goods. Are you brave enough to confront the everyday life of the 1980s?

    I posted this to my Facebook page. Aforesaid friend from Belarus: “Oh man. You have no idea how hard I’m flashbacking from the game description.”

    Irony: due to popular demand and scarcity, the game sells for over $450. The queue*hurm*line probably goes around the Internet a few times.

  75. “Right” and “left” made sense for about six months during the French Revolution. Not since.

    That’s as succinct as it can be said. Thank you, dottore.

    The fact that we are still being force-fed the 1943 version of Stalin’s Comintern definition of “right” is all one needs to know about Progressive Western intelligentsia.

  76. Colorado Wellington wrote: It can’t be done. Nobody was exempt. Yes, there were at times various identifiable “out-groups” like rightists, kulaks, Trotskyites, university professors, scientists, Red Army officers, doctors, foreign Communist immigrants, Polish Army officers or Crimean Tatars but it was completely utilitarian and capricious as you can see from the arbitrary nature of the list.

    The obvious naive in-group to me here is anyone who was in none of the above groups. That said, I think CW’s intent here was not to be exhaustive, and we could safely entertain other out-groups if the USSR had continued longer, gradually winnowing down the in-group, until we had, say, Politburo members and their families. Except ISTR even they weren’t safe, once you factored in the propensity for factions within the party leadership. Which is to say: eventually it was just whoever could sustain a strong enough coalition against their subjective out-groups.

    But at this point I now wonder what really stops an ancap system from developing the same tendency – some group of people deciding collectively to coerce another. Yes, yes, by definition it wouldn’t be ancap at that point, but what would keep the ancap from going there? Obviously, if everyone’s informed of the tradeoffs, an ancap might stick around a while. But it’s apparently not so natural a mode of existence that everyone would tend there – or perhaps it’s just me looking at it from the perspective of a society where ancap principles currently have so little cultural pressure behind them.

  77. How many in the hacker culture cheered the defenestration of Brandon Eich? I know that many in the wider tech world are complete SJW’s when it comes to gay rights, and were perfectly happy with the result.

    I hope that hackers reject all of the SJW causes, not just some. If your cause causes you to advocate to deny someone free speech or their job, you had better be really, really, really sure that you are right.

    • >How many in the hacker culture cheered the defenestration of Brandon Eich?

      I wasn’t sure at the time. From feedback I’ve since received, I think it was very few – that most hackers were quietly horrified by that incident, but believed they were in a small enough minority that speaking out against a fait accompli wasn’t worth the social risk.

      In retrospect the suppression of dissent during the Eich scalping seems like a classic case of a preference-falsification bubble. The most encouraging thing about the LambdaConf victory is that it may now become much more substantially difficult for the SJWs to pretend they have huge grassroots support.

  78. OK, so Nobody’s business believes that the two bloodiest totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, ones that would shoot you for trying to escape, don’t count as “mass enslavement”….

    My wife had to escape from the PRC. She’d had access to sensitive information (she maintained the accounting database for the railway ministry) and had to get an exit visa under someone else’s name. She hadn’t been able to get even a business travel exit visa under her own name.

    A former coworker escaped from the USSR. She was a sports medicine doctor traveling with one of their teams, and she just walked away from the foreign hotel one night. Apparently nothing was done to her family back home; she’d been worried about that, but her mother and sister (IIRC) told her to take the chance to get away if she got it.

    Tell me again about “no enslavement”?

  79. But at this point I now wonder what really stops an ancap system from developing the same tendency – some group of people deciding collectively to coerce another. Yes, yes, by definition it wouldn’t be ancap at that point, but what would keep the ancap from going there? Obviously, if everyone’s informed of the tradeoffs, an ancap might stick around a while. But it’s apparently not so natural a mode of existence that everyone would tend there – or perhaps it’s just me looking at it from the perspective of a society where ancap principles currently have so little cultural pressure behind them.

    People are, naturally, human. There’s nothing preventing people in an Ancap system from deciding collectively to do something wrong (take this with a grain of salt: I am not an ancap). The difference between a free market and a centralized system is incentives. In a free market system, it certainly might be possible for, say, all the farmers in ethnic group A to decide not to sell food to people in ethnic group B, but the more A farmers that won’t sell to B, the more incentive (potential profit) there is for a farmer to decide to defy the group (or for some enterprising member of A to be a middleman, or for B to grow their own food, etc.; the markets adapt). With a centralized system, if the minister for agriculture says ‘no food to B’, then that’s the law (which is where black markets spring up; the markets adapt anyways).

    The more restrictions in place by a central body, the more effort has to be devoted to enforcing those edicts and the more effort gets placed into working around those edicts. All that effort is economic deadweight loss that could have been put to more productive use.

  80. Paul Brinkley: You seem to recall correctly, there was a notable period where one of Stalin’s Tom Men was working with him every day or so while his wife was in the Gulag or thereabouts.

    There were many nasty things the CPSU did to millions of people short of forced labor camps or execution, including “internal exile” which is like the Gulag without the forced labor … and without the meager food and shelter it also provided. Survival depended on things like convincing Siberian peasants to help keep you alive, your ability to build and live in an improvised shelter in the outdoors, etc. I think I read about it in one of the Cold War era There Will Be War anthologies.

    The major change in the post-Stalin era was a tacit agreement among the members of the nomenklatura that they would stop routinely doing this to each other.

  81. Harold: The story I recall is that Stalin’s inner circle personally approved the sending of top officials and their relatives to the GULAG. When Molotov’s wife came up on the list, Molotov abstained from voting on her case. He knew the results of crossing Stalin.

    By the way, anyone interested in a thorough demolition of the entire concept of “social justice” should read Hayek on the topic. He referred to it as a “mirage.”

  82. Please send help over to the comics creator and reader community/the comics convention circuit to rid us of the SJW/PC crowd scourge!

    • >Please send help over to the comics creator and reader community/the comics convention circuit to rid us of the SJW/PC crowd scourge!

      Sorry, I don’t have any social leverage there.

  83. >Irony: due to popular demand and scarcity, the game sells for over $450. The queue*hurm*line probably goes around the Internet a few times.

    That’s excellent, thank you. Or you could just visit Venezuela.

    • > Or you could just visit Venezuela.

      I lived there as a child. Revisited in ’98 just before the advent of Chavez.

      Socialism can make anything look good by comparison, even the corrupt cronyism that preceded it in Venezuela.

  84. What I find amazing is how many powerful people cower in fear of these wanna-be Maoists. I mean the original Maoists terrorized people with brutal violence whereas all our current crop of crybullies have to do is pout and almost everyone craps their pants while caving to their demands.

  85. TBlakley: That’s because being called a racist today often carries equivalent (or worse) consequences than being called a Communist did, 60+ years ago.

  86. >Socialism can make anything look good by comparison, even the corrupt cronyism that preceded it in Venezuela.

    Can make any country, even one blessed with enormous potential natural wealth, into a hopeless hell of desperate people queing up outside stores with empty shelves.

    Key part of my comment is that Venezuela has that now.

  87. What you have said is mostly correct , but the majority of gamergate have self reported that they are left leaning.

    http://i.imgur.com/ton0hrU.png

    So what is actually happening is that it is a fight with a classical liberal/left libertarian lead alliance against some crypto-fascists.

  88. >How many in the hacker culture cheered the defenestration of Brandon Eich?

    I wasn’t sure at the time. From feedback I’ve since received, I think it was very few – that most hackers were quietly horrified by that incident, but believed they were in a small enough minority that speaking out against a fait accompli wasn’t worth the social risk.

    If you want to support Mr Eich then remember to test and use the brave browser for all your internet surfing needs. I’ve been using it for a bit now and submitted quite a few bugs. Its a good thing with a lot of potential upside even without the “support Eich” bit, but that, IMHO, makes it even more worhtwhile

  89. I think that the SJWs were doomed to failure because of the way in which their racket operated.

    I think that in the next three years, the “alt-right” community will pose an equal threat to the “hacker community”, in terms of freedom of speech, ideas, politics, and association. I think they are also doomed to failure, but three years is a long time to me.

  90. someone who calls themselves a Communist is advocating for the enslavement of all humanity.

    Kind of. They’re calling for the enslavement of the survivors after they break a few million eggs to make their hell-hole omelette.

  91. “Russian citizens was a form of slavery,”

    I have a number of Russian friends who would slap you upside the head for denying it.

  92. Urbit really isn’t weird.

    Maybe that changes after you’ve worked with it for a while, but personally, Urbit is actually my “go-to example” for weird things in computer science that I still take somewhat seriously.

    Urbit desperately needs some better documentation. I’d feel a lot better that I wasn’t wasting my time trying to understand it if the documentation took some time to explain why certain design choices were made.

    It took me a day and a half to realize that Nock was probably designed so it could be implemented by a tree-based substitutional interpreter because that lets you get away with just reference counting. At least, I assume there’s some reason for designing Nock, instead of just building on top of something more vaguely lisp-like, lambda calculus inspired.

    And digraphs in Hoon? Really?

  93. As for the history of this event, while a bunch have since been added, after the non-dis-invitation of Yarvin was announced, every listed sponsor withdrew except for haskellbook.com.

    Can anyone confirm this? I have zero interest in Haskell, and I don’t care for e-books, but I’ve got a sudden strong desire to show my approval.

  94. These debates always make it crystal clear who the real technology lovers are. The conference organizers (and Eric) are on the side of right as far as that is concerned. As for this “Nobody’s Business” fellow, he’s just one more in the long line of passionless frauds trying to infiltrate the tech scene.

  95. >Can anyone confirm this?

    Here’s an archive from March 21: https://web.archive.org/web/20160321025225/http://lambdaconf.us/

    Workiva, softwaremill.com, and haskellbook.com appear to be the ones listed on this page who are still listed as sponsors on the current page, so it’s not quite correct that haskellbook.com is the only one (unless the other two have also bailed and the page just hasn’t been updated).

    The ones listed as sponsors on the March 21 page who are not listed as sponsors on the current page: hired.com (formerly a “platinum sponsor”), gnip.com, 47deg.com, and empear.com.

    New sponsors since the March 21 crawl include slamdata.com (platinum) and Status 451.

  96. The attack on Eich marked an uptick in polarization. I saw some people on the SJW side who were definitely made uneasy by it, and there was actual argument over whether it was right among the social justice set. That was the last time; after that, you either fell in line with the mob or you were The Enemy.

    Anonimouse, I’ve been on the Gamergate reddit (KotakuInAction) for a while; definitely left-leaning, was more so earlier on. If one really cared to see the difference (which no SJW does), one could check out the blogs of the Sad Puppy leaders (e.g. accordingtohoyt, monsterhunternation, bradrtorgerson’s wordpress); there the commentariat clearly leans right, not alt-right but traditional conservative with a good dose of libertarianism.

    At this point it’s really the SJWs against everyone else. They haven’t realized that because they managed to obtain control of so much of the media, and they live within their own bubble. But that only works for so long; reality eventually sets in. For the gaming media it was Gamergate; I think the gaming industry caught on a bit later when Anita Sarkeesian started talking about violence (you NEVER go full Jack Thompson, gaming has a strong immune response to that). For science fiction, it never left; they took the Hugo and Nebula awards but couldn’t sell many books. For European politics I imagine it will be the result of unrestricted migrants; they can only cover up so many incidents. For American politics, reality comes in the strangest package, one Donald J. Trump, whose appeal is largely because he’s willing to say things the SJWs in control of the media have made taboo. He’s not a classical liberal or a left-libertarian, but he does oppose the SJWs.

  97. How to deal with SJWs:

    ‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

    ‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

    At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face.

    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/carroll/lewis/alice/chapter12.html

  98. @Joshua Brulé

    Nock is designed to be as simple as possible, and then even simpler (as opposed to “as simple as possible, but no simpler”, which isn’t simple enough), because it’s the only unchangeable semantics of a completely deterministic computer. We have an instruction set of 11 instructions, 5 of which are reducible to the first 6 – that’s less than a PDP-8’s 8, if you ignore the ones that are macros. Of course, a combinator-reducing machine is extremely different from a register machine. Our basic instructions are things like “get this from ‘memory’ (as a combinator-reducing machine, our ‘memory’ is semantically a big parameter passed around as needed, the ‘subject’)”, “test equality”, and “arithmetic (actually just the successor function)”; the macros are things like “if-then-else” and a “calling convention” that gets a Nock formula off the subject and computes it.

    The Nock implementation at present (there’s work on opportunistically JIT-compiling hotspots in progress) is just a naive substitutional interpreter that follows the Nock reduction rules exactly as specified. But Nock-as-specified is only meant to prescribe semantics, not execution strategy. As long as your interpreter gets the right result, it’s a correct interpreter. So, even though our only arithmetic operation is increment, we have an O(1) add, because when the standard library add function, a known formula, is reached by the interpreter, the interpreter just calls mpz_add on the arguments. (We use GMP internally.) This is helped along by one of Nock’s instructions being a hint instruction that semantically does nothing. We do get away with “just” reference counting, plus an allocator that can create entire sub-memories that are entirely discarded when their creator is finished, but Rust semantics would be better still.

    S-expressions are *heinously complicated* compared to Nock nouns, which are either natural numbers or pairs of nouns. We certainly don’t want data types or quoting semantics at the Nock level, for instance. Types exist at the Hoon level – Hoon is the C to Nock’s microcomputer instruction set.

    I won’t dignify “Digraphs? Really?” with a response, but Curtis would. This is one of his weaknesses as the designer of Urbit, which he’s largely pretty good at. Natural trolls often have these weak points where they are easily provoked themselves… :)

  99. Ok, my enthusiasm to support them diminished quite a bit by having scroll past that steaming pile of SJW caca to see the sponsor list. I know that sponsors don’t necessarily get any input into such things, but it bugs me.

    If I’d heard that the book people had refused to sponsor, or had withdrawn their sponsorship, because of the SJW creed, they’d already have my $60. The situation as it stands now is too complicated for a snap judgment. This will have to wait until I can educate myself on the whole situation.

  100. As yes @Winter. The long night of Fascism is always descending on America but landing on Europe.

    @James May. I’d hesitate to say anything good about the SJW, but the movement does rely on the appearance of support for Justice, Liberty and Equality. The obvious problem is that the SJW uses definitions of these terms that are totally alien to any commonly understood description. But that they know they must use and corrupt these admirable values to appeal to anyone outside their Maoist clique is telling, A: That a frank discussion of what they want would be rejected, and B: The average people to whom these appeals are made still want Liberty and Justice.

  101. @J. C. Salomon
    “Winter, the European Left/Right political spectrum is not at all compatible to the American spectrum of the same name.”

    So why are you telling us that Nazis are Communists when you have never been ruled by either one? And, obviously, are totally ignorant about the people who were followers of either.

    The US left-right spectrum seems to run from extreme right to just right wing compared to the rest of the world. It also seems to be ignorant about anything that predates the American and industrial revolution. Totally ignorant about the fact that capitalism and nationalism are pretty recent inventions and once were very in the 19th “progressive”.

    Also, whatever your position, Nazis are not Communists and never were. So it is still irrelevant to concentrate on the fact that one SJW was a Communist.

  102. One of these creatures surfaces in my blog comments occasionally.

    You regularly lie about anyone who is to the right of the Overton window, in a vain effort to reassure those that hate you that you are a good boy who is inside the Overton window.

  103. Because your views on race are incoherent and self contradictory, as is necessary to be socialy acceptable after 1870, you pre-emptively ascribe your own illogic, incoherence, and inconsistency to anyone to the right of the Overton window.

  104. The absurd views you attribute to me would only make sense if I believed that all white men were created equal, whereupon I would be faced with the difficult task of drawing a line through the Sahara, and declaring everyone on one side of the line equal to each other but superior to everyone on the other side of the line, and presumably everyone on the other side of the line equal to each other but inferior to everyone on the other side of the line.

    The fact that you attribute such silly views to me is because you yourself are trying, in defiance of the plain evidence of your senses, to hold on to some version of “all men are created equal”.

    They really are not, nor is equality before the law a good idea for any category, religion, group, or bayesian indicator.

  105. >How many in the hacker culture cheered the defenestration of Brandon Eich?

    For me it was the reason to switch to Palemoon.

  106. >Further, the social justice warriors have not lost anything.Heads they win, tails they get to toss again

    I must agree with this. It costs them nothing (some time, but no money) to put on pressure. It costs the anti-SJW side money to save this conference. This balance is not sustainable for us. Most people will donate 2-3 times then stop. It is hard to compete with free.

    This is yet another version of the fight between destruction and construction, entropy and order and in such a fight entropy has an advantage. They can win just by destroying everything that opposes them, from conferences to careers and that is cheap, nearly free as in free beer. Construction, order-creation is costly and requires constant investment. The creative side either has to accept slowly losing or play their game and be destructive, force them out of jobs for a change, screw with their conferences, but then there is the Nietzschean dilemma about fighting monsters and becoming like them.

    Maybe temporary balances can be salvaged by creating really sturdy fences, entryism-preventing Schelling points.

  107. @ray

    Urbit is hard in a different sense, not in the theoretical, CS sense. It is hard in the sense that even if I never ever learned Ruby I can jump right into reading the code of Diaspora and get what it is about and I can reverse engineer much of Ruby syntax and Rails structure from it easily – the common patterns used. I always do things like this – it is diving right into Drupal and tweaking it what taught me some basic PHP. Pattern recognition, not language lawyering.

    And then I read the code of Urbit’s :talk and haven’t the slightest friggin’ clue about what is going around there. Even if there was better documentation, the very fact of having to spend much time reading it is something not for the immediate-gratification age we are living in (I must admit in this sense I am unfortunately very “modern”, no patience, little desire to upfront time investment, rather prefer diving right into doing interesting things).

    We have empirical evidence that stricter churches that require more sacrifice from the faithful tend to have more loyal believers and generally function better from their own viewpoint, probably because of the filter and because of the sunken-costs effect. In this sense Urbit may be successful: it filters for those willing to invest time and makes them do so. But basically Urbit has to become a cult if it wants to succeed, maybe it was intended to, because it is too hard for being casual about it, it is all or nothing, invest and stick to it or avoid. These kind of hard stuff can only succeed through the cult path. Like, vi/vim.

  108. @TBlakely

    >What I find amazing is how many powerful people cower in fear of these wanna-be Maoists. I mean the original Maoists terrorized people with brutal violence whereas all our current crop of crybullies have to do is pout and almost everyone craps their pants while caving to their demands.

    The interesting part is that one thing MM as a blogger tried teaching people is how to detect less obvious lines of power and apparently it didn’t always work. The very fact that SJWs just cry and then everybody craps their pants is actually a suggestion that they have very powerful supporters somewhere far higher up. That there is a less obvious but real strong line of power. It’s like the old cartoons where Jerry mouse intends to punch Tom cat in the nose and Tom finds it ridiculous and cute, and then gets a power slap from the bulldog hiding in a curtain behind Jerry. So, if Tom is scared, it is because he had actually spot the bulldog behind the mouse. It is probably not irrational. If it seems irrational to you, there is probably a bulldog behind a curtain that you did not spot.

    In other words, Mozilla isn’t led by idiots and they probably sensed something serious will happen to them if they don’t force Eich out. Whether it is bad publicity resulting in private funding mysteriously drying up or public funding not so mysteriously drying up or a visit from the tax man or something along those lines.

    You know, it is often said that conspiracy theories are irrational, largely because they tend to assume everything important is the result of something done behind the scenes, they tend to asume everything is intentional. But it is possible to be irrational the completely opposite way, to assume there is nothing behind the scenes. Why not? WikiLeaks and Panama Papers are good examples of at least some things behind the scenes.

  109. Nobody is not a simple idiot (by nature), but what Lenin himself described as “useful idiot” (useful to Communist cause, of course) due to evil, destructive and nihilistic ideology to which he got enslaved. Among my family and friends there is not a single person whose relatives were not murdered or arrested by Communist regime, and those who survive labor camps told me a lot about conditions there. Yes, this was the worst kind of slavery, even Nazi were not so sadistic and cruel to POW they used in force labor camps as Stalinist thugs.

  110. “This is as silly as saying Bernie Sanders fights on the side of Wall Street against the middle class.”

    Oh, in a way he does. After all, there’s no real difference between a government that’s captured an economy and a set of economic actors that have captured a government. Moreover, in the real world, the very rich and their asslickers serve far more or entirely as publicani, as tax farmers, rather than taxpayers. In that world it is impossible to actually make them pay anything they don’t feel like paying. Thus, saying or implying that one is going to tax the rich merely means one is going to demand that the rich raise prices on the goods and services they sell to the middle class to pay the tax. Tax _farmers_, not tax_payers_, no matter who signs the checks.

    Have you not yet noticed how many of the rich are donning the threadbare cloak of “Social justice”? Go ahead and be cynical about that.

    One would think that the left, steeped in Marxism as they are, would finally get a clue and realize what the hell it really means to own the means of production. But of course that would undermine their fantasy ideology and make it less possible to bring to the world stage the plays they write in their diseased minds, behind the bulwarks of their neutronium-dense skulls, for themselves to star in, the plays where the rest of us are morally insignificant stage props.

  111. @TheDividualist

    While this isn’t really the same topic as Nock design decisions, I can give my personal answer to what you said.

    You can’t actually dive into the middle of a giant PHP codebase and just hack away at things, any more than you can pass undergrad physics and immediately go hack on the Burj Dubai. You think you can (programmers think they can), but you (they) can’t. PHP especially is a notorious minefield of a language, but even a better-designed language like Python or Ruby needs engineering discipline – and no, as great as powerful type systems are, they won’t save you from sloppy code. So if Hoon being different scares you into taking a step back and approaching with caution, even though it’s different because it’s a combinator language that compiles to a combinator machine rather than a procedural language that compiles to a register machine, I wouldn’t have a problem with this unintended side-effect. But the reality is that it doesn’t really apply that much anyway.

    We have reams of sloppy Hoon. Our system is by no means tiny or diamond-perfect. It’s hacked together by working programmers, with only a vague unifying vision, more’s the pity, and it’s a disorganized open-source project. (I am personally working on the last part, but it is less of a priority than feature-completeness; additionally, the project has a dark and painful history with refactoring.) Urbit is a complete stack, but it is not a totalizing system any more than Unqualified Reservations was a totalizing thought system (it boiled down to “what if you read pre-20c thinkers on their own terms, rather than hatereading them from the enlightened future?” – there’s some basic “who, whom” stuff in there too, but this is hardly unique to or even characteristic of the Moldbug oeuvre), and it sucks that Curtis Yarvin’s writing always seems to attract people who are looking for a charismatic genius cult leader, rather than the dweeby mostly-genius troll that he really is.

  112. The US left-right spectrum seems to run from extreme right to just right wing compared to the rest of the world. It also seems to be ignorant about anything that predates the American and industrial revolution. Totally ignorant about the fact that capitalism and nationalism are pretty recent inventions and once were very in the 19th “progressive”.

    The split on the modern American political spectrum, between those wanting to decentralize or limit government power (the right side of the American spectrum) and those wanting to centralize and increase it (the left side of the American spectrum), predicts a lot more about the way governments and societies will behave than the European political spectrum (between nationalist autocrats on the right and internationalist autocrats on the left; I haven’t found anyone that can cite any significant practical differences that distinguish the two).

    Also, whatever your position, Nazis are not Communists and never were. So it is still irrelevant to concentrate on the fact that one SJW was a Communist.

    Your argument is a strawman to the real argument, which is that communists and fascists (of which the Nazis can be considered a subset) are both totalitarian socialists, of the internationalist and nationalist flavors respectively. Yes, they hated each other, but the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks hated each other, and the Stalinists and Trotskyites hated each other.

    More importantly, it’s irrelevant to the original point, that communists are evil (or, rather, that a rational individual can easily logically conclude communists are evil), and that one can logically object to the inclusion of communists if the rule is to remove members of objectionable groups from the conference. I’d rather have nobody objectionable removed than everyone objectionable, but removing everyone objectionable is preferable to letting only one side remove objectionable people. Do you believe that you are uniquely qualified to judge what is objectionable, or do you believe that the power you seek will never be used against you? One of those is arrogance, the other naivety.

  113. The only think Bernie fought for were the farm subsidies and a spot on Across the Fence on WCAX to talk about farm subsidies.

  114. “Also, whatever your position, Nazis are not Communists and never were.”

    No one here said that Nazis were Communists. Suggesting that they did is a lie.

    The Nazis were, however, socialists. That is a fact. A cold and unassailable fact.

    Arguing that they weren’t socialists because their promised utopia didn’t come to pass is yet another example of the “but that wasn’t REAL socialism/communism” nonsense that I discussed above. Yeah, it turned into a mass-murdering hellhole. So did the Soviet Union. So did Maoist China. So did Cambodia. So did North Korea.

  115. “Nobody, you want evidence of slavery in the USSR? Go read The Gulag Archipelago.”
    I have not-so-fond (but instructive) memories of the seventies and eighties, when leftists would “instruct” me in how the books were exaggerations and outright falsehoods whose only purpose was to discredit socialism. They weren’t very fond of Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” either.

  116. “In other words, Mozilla isn’t led by idiots”

    A graph of their market share versus time appears to indicate otherwise.

    The Eich disaster was just the last straw in a lengthy history of missteps. Remember when they started breaking everyone’s add-ons/extensions/plugins with each new release, and then started putting out a “new release” about twice a week? That wasn’t exactly a genius move.

  117. Pingback: Tech SJWs in Disarray After Attempts To Silence Conference Backfire - Breitbart

  118. “The US left-right spectrum seems to run from extreme right to just right wing”
    A Stalinist would say that.

  119. @Jay: And is “countering Eric’s efforts” by raising money for a campaign that encourages black and Hispanic individuals to get into programming. I’m continually amazed at the SJW talent for Not Getting It.

    • > And is “countering Eric’s efforts” by raising money for a campaign that encourages black and Hispanic individuals to get into programming.

      Where is this campaign? I want to donate to it and publicly support it.

  120. @ray

    Thanks for your answer. What it seems to suggest is that instead of diving in, one first step would be to figure out what a combinator language in general is and how does one typically do everyday tasks in it. Is there an easy, teaching level combinator language and a practical-oriented tutorial for it? As from that it would be easier to make that jump. Combinators seem like a Silicon Valley thing . – Paul Graham even named a company after them – while they are not really much used in business outside it.

    I don’t think typical NRx writers like Land, Free Northerner, Spandrell or maybe the best one of them all: https://radishmag.wordpress.com/ really want a charismatic cult leader. They mostly seem to want a Schelling point. There is the core dilemma that the whole point of the concept of the “alt-right” is that there are no holy cows, you are allowed to doubt ANY idea. Form your own theories about any hot topic, from race to sexual orientation, as you will. This freedom is extremely intellectually stimulating and draws a lot of smart people. It also draws a lot of idiotic, evil nazis. Ouch. You can try to shut them out and say X, Y, Z is beyond the pale but then you just created a similar thought police as liberals and cuckservatives did, and this predictably results in the same kind of signalling arms-races: trying to look good through crapping on the vile, vile heretics. Thus, freedom of thought and ultimately truth suffers. How can you solve this dilemma? Find a good coordination point. The coordination point isn’t even MM, he is just the finger pointing to the Moon, the Moon i.e. Schelling point is/are old writers like Froude. Basically the idea seems to be that engage in any kind of crimethink but if Froude or such writers would consider your thoughts idiotic or evil, you stop and feel ashamed. I think that is the core concept. This way you need no set limits and yet avoid going down the kinds of rabbit holes that turn one into a nazi, which can otherwise happen even with very smart people (thinking Carl Schmidt here as an example). A good orientation, coordination point saves you from that while allowing you to doubt any modern idea, and the Froude type old writers MM rediscovered are useful for that.

  121. >BTW, at least one Twitterer is saying Eric’s a neoreactionary…

    The sine qua non for that is coming out against democracy and Eric I think never did that. The absolutely core NRx insight is that manipulation or media bias aren’t bugs in the system: as far as the two premises are true that it is always elites that rule (Gaetano Mosca) and that in the democracy they need the people’s consent for that, they pretty much ARE the system, absolutely core features. You cannot have elite rule and popular consent without elites manufacturing that consent. It’s not a bug but it’s whole point, it would be a logical contradiction to have elite rule in a popular-consent system (democracy) without the elite having a very firm control on the opinion of the people. Thus when you catch journalist lying, it is not a bug, it is the system functioning as intended. Since removing elitism is not possible, genetics and coordination problems and all, the only possible change is removing the requirement for popular consent in government, and that is anti-democratic. This is the first and foremost nuclear red pill NRx offers and I don’t see Eric taking it at all.

    Almost everybody seems to rather take the blue pill and want to have a more pure, better democracy, not this freak show of pathological liars, but something like the actual rule of the people based on honest and accurate information provided by honest and brave watergater reporters and not realize how futile it is because the people are way too stupid to have anything like an actual opinion and there are elites so smart they can run circles around average voters easy.

    • >This is the first and foremost nuclear red pill NRx offers and I don’t see Eric taking it at all.

      No, I go down the libertarian fork in that road: abolish the machinery of coercion, abolish government itself.

      This makes me “anti-democratic”, technically, but it’s in a very different way from the NRx crowd. They want to abolish democracy in favor of some firm hand running things; I don’t want any person running things, just the revealed preferences of the market.

  122. I’m about to drop some money in the jar there. Y’all should, too.

    The description on the website is increased representation of Blacks and Latino/as in tech, which can either be “encourages black and Hispanic individuals to get into programming” or “lobbying for government-enforced quotas”. Is there some reason to believe it’s the former rather than the latter?

  123. Civilis: They “increase representation” through job training.

    “CODE2040’s flagship program places top performing Black and Latino/a college level computer science students from around the country in an intensive summer career accelerator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students intern at top tech companies and participate in a series of career building sessions on evenings and weekends.”

  124. Eric, I am very pleased at the result, and congratulate you for pitching in in a very effective way. This was a definite victory against the SJW forces.

    But to CJ, who said, “The regressive Left is on the ropes. People are fighting Marxist SJW scum with the best weapon they have: their money.”

    Sir or madam, you couldn’t be more wrong. The SJWs are just starting to flex their muscles, and while I believe they will be defeated in the end, we are still in the early stages of the war. For years, I’ve felt that the fall of the Soviet Union, et al, notwithstanding, Communism has actually won the meme war, the West, including the United States, is going to dip more than its toe into full-blown collectivism before it endures enough pain to draw back. We have a whole generation of people with a majority who proudly consider themselves socialist. Concepts like the $15 minimum wage and universal income are still in their infancy and will be played out for decades before they are abandoned (if ever). Collectivist thinking is being baked into Western culture from the ground up, and is just starting to bloom.

    Small victories like the LambdaConf or last year’s Hugos are very encouraging, but they should be viewed as a call to arms, not as a reason for a victory lap.

  125. @TheDividualist

    The thing is, there isn’t anything besides Nock that’s really like Nock – just mathy toys like the SKI calculus. It’s a well-understood (toy) concept in compsci, but not so much in the practical craft of programming – even SICP graduates wouldn’t necessarily know it, though Lisp experience gets you partway (because Lisp is homoiconic). Urbit is breaking new ground in actually making a complete software stack out of it, not just a theoretical toy where you prove Turing completeness and then move on to the next fun toy. On the other hand, because it’s trailblazing work, it really is pretty dumb – not dumbed-down, but Hoon is the C of combinator-machine-targeting languages, not the hypothetical future Haskell.

    Froude et al. are definitely better rallying points than Moldbug. My disappointment with NRx is mainly rooted in Land and the sad, sad saga of Anissimov.

  126. Dan C: Thanks! Didn’t see that on the website, and I’m naturally cynical of these sorts of things at this point.

  127. @Jay

    It refers to a type of {picture / sound / Idea / Input of some kind or other} that forces the mind to crash. The effects of a basilisk can be — depending on the universe — anything from simply passing out, to the mind being irrevocably destroyed.

    Standard fictional basilisk: http://i.imgur.com/5QopZ.jpg

    Relevant trope: Brown Note

    A few variants: https://eldraeverse.com/2012/06/20/youve-got-to-read-this/

    Remarking on the similarity of basilisk hacks to marxism, liberalism, conservatism, religion, SJWism, or 100% of politics is left as an exercise to the reader.

  128. @Foo: In that case, “basilisk hacking” SJWs by means that are otherwise no worse than morally neutral is a morally positive thing.

  129. there isn’t anything besides Nock that’s really like Nock

    I think the idea of an entire software stack that’s built on a combinator-machine is a really interesting idea.

    I am concerned that Urbit is recklessly overspending it’s “weirdness budget”. Nock is pretty out there to begin with. Throw in a language looks like the bastard child of APL and some random Scrabble tiles and I start wondering if the entire project is sophisticated, long-term trolling.

    But I do hope the project takes off. There’s definitely interesting idea in Urbit.

    • >I start wondering if the entire project is sophisticated, long-term trolling.

      Always a pertinent question on any Yarvin project.

  130. What looks different in the hypothetical world where “Urbit is trolling” and the hypothetical world where “Urbit is not trolling”? If there are differences, are they perceptible to anyone who isn’t Curtis?

    • >What looks different in the hypothetical world where “Urbit is trolling” and the hypothetical world where “Urbit is not trolling”? If there are differences, are they perceptible to anyone who isn’t Curtis?

      What looks different in the hypothetical world where “Moldbug is trolling” and the hypothetical world where “Moldbug is not trolling”? If there are differences, are they perceptible to anyone who isn’t Curtis?

      Some of us have been wondering this for years. About his blog posts, I mean.

  131. Where is this campaign? I want to donate to it and publicly support it.

    Already linked above, and I’m intensely amused by your reaction and the anticipated cephalopyrotechnics. I would humbly suggest a blog post, G+, and Twitter—parity with the LC campaign.

  132. I can vouch that he’s definitely not trolling-as-in-insincere about anything. I don’t even think he ever even does the Jonathan Swift thing at all.

    Trolling-as-in-shitposting is another story. But Urbit is an open source project, and among the core developers, only Curtis and I even remotely have the shitposting gene. (He’s old and learned on Usenet; I’m young and learned on 4chan.)

    Perhaps “shitposting” isn’t the best word. Rather, an example: I can obviously tell what people are thinking when they say things like “I can’t tell if Curtis Yarvin is a troll”. But at the same time, the statement is something of an affront – the gut response is things like “why don’t you read him and find out?” and “‘troll’ sure is a great word to dismiss people without argument, isn’t it?”. I can force myself to take the concept seriously and answer it seriously, because you can’t really get anywhere without some kind of common assumptions. But even if I do, there’s an internal voice saying “why are you responding to that, it doesn’t even MEAN anything”, which comes out as the tone people identify as “trolling”.

    Unqualified Reservations is written under the same stresses and with the same kind of catharsis, but there the problem is: to the post-progressive Curtis, progressivism is so incoherent and not-even-wrong that it’s seriously difficult to inhabit it, or anything close to it, well enough to write against it. On the other hand, if you empathize with him at all, his style is highly engaging, because you share the same frustrations. Imagine that you’re an atheist debating a young-Earth creationist. You say something, and he chuckles knowingly and says of course that’s wrong, because plants were made in the THIRD day of creation, and animals were made in the FIFTH. The audience laughs, applauding. You might well go home and write a seriously “trollish” blog post about Biblical philology, and your atheist readers might enjoy it greatly.

    That’s all just a blog-comment psychoanalysis, of course. But that’s how it would have worked in my mind, if I had been the author of that blog.

    • >On the other hand, if you empathize with him at all, his style is highly engaging, because you share the same frustrations.

      I don’t share his exact frustrations, but I do find his style very amusing.

      Clearly he is both serious in his underlying critique and trying to mess with peoples’ heads in the way that a troll does – I can see that, that’s the hilarious part. What I can’t figure out is whether he’s serious about, for example, restoring the House of Stuart to absolute monarchy.

      There are at least two ways I can interpret a proposal like that. One is literally. Another is that he seriously thinks some form of royalist or quasi-royalist governance is desirable, and doesn’t particularly care what the dynasty is as long as it’s competent, but thinks it’s funny to suggest the Stuarts (and it is funny – they were notoriously incompetent and dissolute in direct proportion to their absolutist pretensions).

      Alternatives including increasing decrees of merry pranksterism fan out from there.

  133. “Throw in a language looks like the bastard child of APL and some random Scrabble tiles”

    Tell me it’s at least ASCII in its base symbology?

    Just what the world needs: another write-only language.

  134. Tell me it’s at least ASCII in its base symbology?

    ASCII digraphs. “Hoon”, the higher-level language that compiles down to a term-rewriting system has no reserved words, all builtins are ASCII symbols.

    Urbit kind of makes sense, in it’s own way. Any one particular design decision doesn’t seem totally insane. But put it all together…

    • >Urbit kind of makes sense, in it’s own way. Any one particular design decision doesn’t seem totally insane. But put it all together…

      Yeah, that was exactly my reaction. I could sort of bend my mind into the pretzel shape required to grasp what was going on, but as I did so I was wondering why Yarvin chose to make the exercise necessary. At the very least, it seems to me the notation could have been less rebarbative without compromise to the underlying conceptual framework.

  135. The Stuarts are suggested as a Schelling point for the student of history because of the various underhanded ways in which they were deposed, but Moldbug does stress the point that he considers basically anyone with reasonable leadership competence qualified to be king. For instance, he’d probably support Donald Trump this election if his platform included “Abrogate the federal state as it exists and make me CEO of America, with each US citizen recieving one share in America.”

    He would tell you that the Stuarts are unfairly maligned, probably, but that’s just a good old-fashioned argument over history.

    But for Urbit, the trollishness is less – Urbit is more artistic expression, with some trollishness against crappy software in general and the entrenched accidents of history that lead to the current Internet walled-gardens in particular.

    @Jay Maynard
    ASCII with no unprintables (except 0x20 if you consider that an unprintable). UTF-8, really, but not in the language or in identifiers. Hoon looks like this: http://pastebin.com/vSz8a8Dr

    Languages that compile to register machines tend to have flow control. Hoon has combinators.

  136. @FooQuuxman:

    I know the SJWs are evil and all, but is it ethical to basilisk hack them like this?

    [To clarify: the ‘Basilisk hack’ is a concept from the transhumanist Eclipse Phase RPG. Imagine a near instant, Hollywood-level hypnotic suggestion; basically, a way to “execute arbitrary code” on a human brain. Yes, a basilisk could have “mild” effects like making you crave a particular brand of goods, but they’re usually far more severe–altering memories or the entire personality.]

    If the scenario under discussion (ESR donating) would be treated as a basilisk hack then I would argue that there is a strong chance SJWs have already been basilisk hacked. If there is anywhere that my anarchist attitude breaks, it is when people have been lax in keeping their neuralware patched. That’s a public health nuisance! I say go for it: either it’s enough to shock them back to mindfullness, or will cause them to withdraw into their own little creche.

  137. ConceptJunkie @2016-04-05 12:17:17:

    “. . . I believe they will be defeated in the end . . .” Unfortunately, whether it can be accomplished by means that will leave anyone around to enjoy the fruits of victory remains an open question.

    “Collectivist thinking is being has been baked into Western culture from the ground [i.e. Plato] up, and is just starting to bloom climb the exponential vertical.” FTFY. But otherwise, yeah, you got the picture.

  138. > Take the Nazi Party platform, remove the Jew-hatred, and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.

    Just replace all instances of “Jew” with something randomly selected from {Bankster, One-percent, Wall Street, Corporate Cronies, etc.}

    As to the people who long for a return to communism, note that actual communist countries have a tendency to build walls manned with armed guards who have standing orders to kill anyone who dares to attempt to leave the Glorious Workers’ Paradise. If you have to force the alleged beneficiaries of your system to stay in it, you’re doing it wrong. Whether anyone has ever done it right is left as an exercise for the reader.

  139. > The ancap system – or, much more to the point, the ancap culture – rejects the legitimacy of coercion by anyone for any purpose.

    This is logically impossible.

    If I want to cross your land and you do not want me to cross it, and we cannot come to an agreement, one of two things has to happen: you have to coerce me (for example by threatening me with a gun, or by building a fence which you will shoot me if I tear down) into not crossing it, or you have to be coerced into allowing me to cross it.

    Any theory of property (your ownership of the land), and any theory of rights (for example, my right in one possible system to cross your land notwithstanding your ownership of it), is simply another word for an enumeration of what things people may coerce other people to do or not do.

    The latter system (whereby anyone may freely cross anyone’s land and freely tear down any fences in their way) is less inherently coercive, since “allowing” something can reasonably coherently be regarded as not being a real action (any “coercion” involved in forcing you to allow me to cross it could be regarded as self-defense against your aggression). But is it any way to live?

  140. Most people resolve this by e.g. pretending that the right to forbid people from crossing a piece of land isn’t coercive.

  141. On the American right vs left:
    From my perspective, there seems to be a very large difference between the left and right you will find ordinary people subscribing to, and the left and right that politicians align to.

    The message I consistently get from politicians on the right is that power should move from the government to corporations and organized religions, and that ruining things for everyone is better than letting things improve under the opposition’s watch.

    (It should be noted that most people around me support left politicians because they will supposedly act against what I described above.)

    That doesn’t sound like the right that Hoyt was talking about. I really wish I lived somewhere with major political candidates that share Hoyt’s vision.

    Correction: I really wish I lived somewhere with something besides first-past-the-post voting. I’m fairly confident there’d be plenty of electees sharing Hoyt’s philosophy then.

    • >ruining things for everyone is better than letting things improve under the opposition’s watch.

      No, the American Right genuinely thinks left-wing policies are more ruinous than what they propose.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think they’re even a bit wrong about this. Where I get off their bus is that I think their alternatives are only less harmful, not harmless. Their problems are a huge streak of over-chumminess with big business and an ingrained habit of pandering to religious nutjobs. While these are, on the whole, less toxic than the effects of the Left’s long march through the institutions, that does not equate to non-toxic.

  142. > Thus, saying or implying that one is going to tax the rich merely means one is going to demand that the rich raise prices on the goods and services they sell to the middle class to pay the tax. Tax _farmers_, not tax_payers_, no matter who signs the checks.

    The Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan, pithily observed “Businesses don’t pay taxes; they collect taxes.” Low-information voters do not comprehend this; they probably believe that they only pay the FICA “contributions” that show up on their pay stubs, and that their employers pay the “matching contributions”. They simply do not comprehend that businesses, in order to remain in business, must pass such costs along to employees and customers.

    The illusion that Other People’s Money (“OPM” or “OP’M”, always to be pronounced “OPiuM” per Sarah Palin’s coinage of “OPiuM addiction”) is being spent is one of the fundamental lies of leftism. Once you grasp that taxing any particular party to a transaction is effectively equivalent to taxing any other particular party to that transaction (just changing who writes the check to the government), you realize that, for instance, the “matching contribution” nominally paid by your employer, as money paid by your employer for your labor, is effectively part of your salary deducted before it even reaches your pay stub. High corporate taxes are just embedded in the goods/services sold by highly-successful companies.

  143. > Most people resolve this by e.g. pretending that the right to forbid people from crossing a piece of land isn’t coercive.

    There is no symmetry here as you like to pretend. Your presence upon my land inherently disturbs it, even if just to make the faintest footprints. That means it violates my rights to do so without my permission. The presence of my land (unless it be an extraordinarily large parcel, with an odd shape) does not disturb your life, liberty, nor property.

    Provided that some public rights of way exist, allowing you to get where you want to go without crossing my land, “coercing” you out of crossing my land does not materially violate your rights (including basic liberty). The challenge is to figure out the minimum amount of public rights of way to satisfy this need, without going overboard.

  144. @Dividualist @TBlakely

    >Whether it is bad publicity resulting in private funding mysteriously drying up or public funding not so mysteriously drying up or a visit from the tax man or something along those lines.

    So. http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/03/19/book-review-the-art-of-the-deal/

    >Once the government grants approval it’s likely to add on new conditions when you’re halfway done building the skyscraper, insist on bizarre provisions that gain it nothing but completely ruin your chance of making a profit, or just stonewall you for the heck of it if you didn’t donate to the right people’s campaigns last year.

    There are alternative banks, renters, construction companies, and architects. If your deal happens to fall through with one of them, it’s sometimes possible to quickly snap up a different one. There aren’t alternative regulators. If they don’t like Eich, then guess what happens.

  145. The message I consistently get from politicians on the right is that power should move from the government to corporations and organized religions, and that ruining things for everyone is better than letting things improve under the opposition’s watch.

    Perhaps you can elaborate what power corporations and organized religions are being handed by the right.

    While I admit politicians on the right can be just as stupidly pandering to corporate dollars into their re-election campaigns as their counterparts on the left, I don’t see corporations (much less religions) being handed any power from the right.

    The people with the right combination of luck, smarts, social and political skills and determination will always be more powerful than the rest of the people, whether they are robber barons or communist party functionaries. Corporations and religions are, at least in the US, non-coercive; you’re generally free to not associate with them. Most if not all the exceptions are government-caused: I’m required to associate with an insurance company, but that’s because of government rules, even if the insurance company lobbied for those rules. Corporations don’t have any power over you that’s not exercised by the government; giving the government more power doesn’t reduce the power of those able to influence the government, in fact, it increases the symbiotic relationship between the powerful in the government and the powerful outside of the government (make a movie flattering the president, get invited to the White House parties; benefits the movie maker and the president; the ordinary taxpayer, not so much).

    As far as religion goes, most religion in the US isn’t really all that organized to the point where you can give power to them. While there are exceptions, it’s certainly debatable that the Little Sisters of the Poor are more the Man or the Establishment than Planned Parenthood.

    Beyond that, what ESR said about the right thinking that what the left wants won’t improve things.

  146. “That means it violates my rights to do so without my permission. ”

    What rights? Who says it’s your land?

    All a right is is the ability to coerce people (or have them coerced) not to do something that you believe affects you. Rights do not exist without coercion.

    You can argue that your ability to coerce me not to cross your land is just, certainly, as you just have. But you cannot argue that it is not coercion, without redefining that some things that have the form of coercion are not coercion (which opens the door to other people defining all sorts of other things you don’t like as not coercion).

  147. >allowing you to get where you want to go without crossing my land

    Suppose “where I want to go” is on the land you consider to be your land; what then?

  148. Keep in mind that all I am saying is that the idea that ancap “rejects the legitimacy of coercion by anyone for any purpose” is absurd – not only not right, but not even wrong. You’ve just, after all, made a case – a fairly convincing one, at that – for the legitimacy of coercion by you for the purpose of keeping me off your land.

  149. The only possible asymmetry (in pure terms of what is coercive, without regard to what is or is not just) is that the only thing I am demanding from you is that you not initiate violence against me, whereas what you are demanding me is that I stop from going onto a piece of land that I want to go on.

  150. > The presence of my land (unless it be an extraordinarily large parcel, with an odd shape) does not disturb your life, liberty, nor property.

    The aggregate of all land owned by people who are not me is extraordinary large and oddly shaped indeed. Maybe none of them want to let me cross. Maybe some of them have made prior commitments to support a public right-of-way through their land, or to allow me in particular to cross it, but have changed their mind; should they not be coerced to honor those commitments?

  151. Harold on 2016-04-04 at 15:00:58 said:

    Paul Brinkley: You seem to recall correctly, there was a notable period where one of Stalin’s Tom Men was working with him every day or so while his wife was in the Gulag or thereabouts.

    Mikhail Kalinin, head of state of the USSR (Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet). The former Prussian capital of Königsberg was renamed for him in 1946, after his death, which keeps him on the map.

    His wife Ekaterina was arrested and tortured by the Cheka in 1938 and then sentenced to 15 years in the GULAG. (She was released in 1945.)

    Vyacheslav Molotov was Stalin’s Foreign Minister; his wife Polina was arrested in 1948 or 1949, and imprisoned until Stalin’s death in 1953.

    Neither Kalinin nor Molotov ever criticized or disagreed with Stalin. Ever.

  152. Random832 @2016-04-05 15:00:17:

    Many collectivists argue their position by rejecting the legitimacy of individual property and / or pretending that resisting aggression against such property is coercion.

    Assuming you aren’t a collectivist, you should read the piece I linked. It won’t take long, and you might learn something.

  153. Only at A&D: the word “cephalopyrotechnics”

    (and yeah, I’d like to hear word of the goings-on here, too)

    FooQuuxman wrote: It refers to a type of {picture / sound / Idea / Input of some kind or other} that forces the mind to crash. The effects of a basilisk can be — depending on the universe — anything from simply passing out, to the mind being irrevocably destroyed.

    Ohhh… like that impossible shape from “I, Borg”?

    Civilis wrote: In a free market system, it certainly might be possible for, say, all the farmers in ethnic group A to decide not to sell food to people in ethnic group B, but the more A farmers that won’t sell to B, the more incentive (potential profit) there is for a farmer to decide to defy the group (or for some enterprising member of A to be a middleman, or for B to grow their own food, etc.; the markets adapt). With a centralized system, if the minister for agriculture says ‘no food to B’, then that’s the law (which is where black markets spring up; the markets adapt anyways).

    I think you missed something I was driving at. Obviously (to ancaps and other free-market folks), an A-boycott on B will make selling to B by non-As more enticing. But that’s still assuming people want to do the “voluntary exchange” thing. What happens if / when the A farmers say, “not only are we not selling to B, but we’re just gonna go over and take B’s farms”?

    What ensures that enough of them react badly to the idea that they turn it into a predicted net loss? What keeps them in a mindset of recognizing property rights, given that sometimes, it’s apparently profitable just to grab the weaker guy’s stuff? Property rights is a pretty obvious Schelling point in enough cultures to be considered objective, but at the same time, it’s also non-obvious in many cases, even in cultures that recognize them for others. What maintains this recognition? Even a scrupulous education doesn’t appear to be enough, at least, not with early 21st century ideas.

  154. > The aggregate of all land owned by people who are not me is extraordinary large and oddly shaped indeed.

    No, it’s not. It is not one contiguous block that prevents you from passing through it; it’s literally criss-crossed with streets, sidewalks, highways, rail lines, etc. that allow you to freely go from point A to point B.

    >What rights? Who says it’s your land?

    I bought it from the previous owner, who bought it from the one before that. I have an unbroken chain of ownership all the way to the French Crown at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. (Yes, I know, who did France buy it from? It doesn’t matter, really, because if you challenge the US government’s authority over this territory, then you have bigger problems than just failure to acknowledge my ownership of a smidgen of it.)

    If you don’t respect my rights to my land, you can’t say I’m the one initiating the violence when you’re arrested, charged, convicted, and punished for aggravated trespass. You initiated it when you crossed that “NO TRESPASSING” sign.

  155. @trying2b-amused

    I hope we can at least agree that there’s nothing coercive about the aggression itself, since it does not constitute a demand of any particular action from the other party.

    I’m not saying individual property isn’t legitimate, I’m saying that I (the hypothetical me in the hypothetical ancap world) don’t respect your property. What are you gonna do about it?

    If the only definition by which you do not consider your actions to discourage me from entering your property to be coercion is the fact that you consider them legitimate, then you’ve turned “no coercion is legitimate” to a tautological “all legitimate things are non-coercive”, without elucidating anything about what actions you do or do not consider to be legitimate.

    As Matt Zwolinski wrote, the non-aggression principle is parasitic on a theory of property. Or, rather, as I see it, all a theory of property (or any other right) is is a theory of what kinds of aggression/coercion are legitimate.

  156. @trying2b-amused

    I hope we can at least agree that there’s nothing coercive about the aggression itself, since it does not constitute a demand of any particular action from the other party.

    I’m not saying individual property isn’t legitimate, I’m saying that I (the hypothetical me in the hypothetical ancap world) don’t respect your property. What are you gonna do about it?

    If the only definition by which you do not consider your actions to discourage me from entering your property to be coercion is the fact that you consider them legitimate, then you’ve turned “no coercion is legitimate” to a tautological “all legitimate things are non-coercive”, without elucidating anything about what actions you do or do not consider to be legitimate.

  157. “Hoon looks like this:”

    …yup, write-only language. Even with the comments, I can’t see how you get from the pseudocode to the code.

    “ruining things for everyone is better than letting things improve under the opposition’s watch.”

    Sorry, this is not even wrong. Speaking as an actual conservative, your statement betrays a decidedly left-wing worldview. Conservatives don’t want to ruin anything. We want to improve people’s lives, and believe the best way to do that is to get the hell out of their way and let them live their lives with the minimum possible interference from government. “That government governs best which governs least”, to quote the Sage of Monticello.

    The Republicans caught a lot of hell for blocking the worst excesses of Barack Obama’s program. The Left thinks we were just out to stop him from succeeding. No, that’s not it. What we were and are out to do is to prevent him from adopting things that make matters far worse. We couldn’t stop Obamacare, and the result is that it’s killed jobs and driven practitioners out of medicine and driven up the cost of health care even more than it was going up already and greatly incentivize part-time work. We couldn’t stop his trillion-dollar spending boondoggle, and what we got for it was the worst “recovery” in modern economic history.

    So no, it’s not about not letting the opposition improve things. It’s about stopping them from fucking them up worse. Even so, we must be ever vigilant: Obama’s now jawboning mortgage lenders to lower their credit standards again! We’ve seen this movie, and know how it ends.

  158. @Random832:

    If I want to cross your land and you do not want me to cross it, and we cannot come to an agreement, one of two things has to happen: you have to coerce me (for example by threatening me with a gun, or by building a fence which you will shoot me if I tear down) into not crossing it, or you have to be coerced into allowing me to cross it.

    The latter system (whereby anyone may freely cross anyone’s land and freely tear down any fences in their way) is less inherently coercive, since “allowing” something can reasonably coherently be regarded as not being a real action (any “coercion” involved in forcing you to allow me to cross it could be regarded as self-defense against your aggression). But is it any way to live?

    Under your “anyone may freely cross” scenario, what guarantee do I have that when you enter, you will actually leave? (What mechanism prevents people from “squatting” instead?) What guarantee do I have that everyone entering won’t steal things, or damage my property passing through? (What mechanism prevents bad behavior during passage?)

  159. > All a right is is the ability to coerce people (or have them coerced) not to do something that you believe affects you. Rights do not exist without coercion.

    This is exactly backwards. A “right” is the moral principle in a social context that legitimizes freedom of action. I have the right to do as I wish with my person and/or property (up to the point where I’m infringing upon someone else’s person or property) because they’re mine. You do not, because they aren’t. A right does not impose any positive obligations upon anyone else, only the negative obligation to not infringe upon it.

    The attempt to make a moral equivalency by using “coercion” to refer to both a rapist’s use of force against his intended victim and her use of force to stop him would be laughable, if it weren’t so damned despicable.

  160. @The Monster

    > No, it’s not. It is not one contiguous block that prevents you from passing through it; it’s literally criss-crossed with streets, sidewalks, highways, rail lines, etc. that allow you to freely go from point A to point B.

    All those streets, sidewalks, highways, and rail lines are not owned by me. Its owners do not prevent me from passing through it today, but under anarchocapitalism they supposedly cannot be coerced to continue allowing me to pass through it tomorrow.

    > It doesn’t matter, really, because if you challenge the US government’s authority over this territory, then you have bigger problems than just failure to acknowledge my ownership of a smidgen of it.

    There is no US government in hypothetical-ancap-world. Remember, this isn’t the real world, it’s a thought experiment on what rejecting the “legitimacy of coercion by anyone for any purpose” means.

    What you have bought is a right to legitimately coerce people – something that doesn’t exist in hypothetical-ancap-world – to stay off a piece of land. I’m not saying it isn’t or shouldn’t be legitimate. On the contrary, what I’m saying that you believe (as trying2b claims you do not) that it’s legitimate, and that it’s flatly impossible to believe (as he claims) that nothing is legitimate. Someone (a “collectivist”, maybe?) might believe that your right to keep me off your land is not legitimate, but that entails believing that I have a legitimate right to cross it over your objections. Nobody believes in neither – That’s not a political view, that’s just nihilism.

  161. > Under your “anyone may freely cross” scenario, what guarantee do I have that when you enter, you will actually leave? (What mechanism prevents people from “squatting” instead?) What guarantee do I have that everyone entering won’t steal things, or damage my property passing through? (What mechanism prevents bad behavior during passage?)

    You have none. I’ve torn down your fence to get in, after all.

    All I’m saying is that anything you might do to make me leave or keep me out is coercion (something that someone here claimed, but is incorrect, that ancaps believe is categorically illegitimate), not that it’s not legitimate.

  162. If you define “coercion” as “anything that isn’t legitimate”, then you’ve turned “no coercion is legitimate” into a meaningless tautology

  163. I think you missed something I was driving at. Obviously (to ancaps and other free-market folks), an A-boycott on B will make selling to B by non-As more enticing. But that’s still assuming people want to do the “voluntary exchange” thing. What happens if / when the A farmers say, “not only are we not selling to B, but we’re just gonna go over and take B’s farms”?

    If enough people decide not to be nonviolent and turn to raid and pillage, there’s nothing really that stops them, and at some level you’ve left ancap thought behind once you’ve decided to go that route. That’s the reason I, personally, am not an ancap; while I like debating and like to try to understand opponent’s arguments, and try to replicate them as well as possible, I’m not perfect, so I would appreciate someone else that considers themselves an ancap chiming in to make sure I’m accurate. Still, I can wager a guess.

    From what I understand, it seems logical that the members of group B may be still better off in an ancap society than under a traditional state. We have a region with a majority group A and minority group B, where society has broken down, and A and B have broken along tribal lines are fighting for resources. Whatever the situation, B is at a disadvantage in numbers. The difference is that with a government holding the means of defense (be the government totailitarian or minarchist or anything in between), that means will almost certainly end up in the hands of the majority (look at the breakup of the USSR; Russia ended up with most of the former Soviet military assets). In an ancap society, both A and B are responsible for their own defense, so at worst, B will end up with a defense capability proportional to its size. Further, with a government, the proceeds of the war end up in the hands of the government and cronies, so they have an incentive to war against B because the personal reward is greater than the personal risks. In an ancap society, individual members of group A all have to individually choose to evaluate the risk/reward scenario for going after members of B. I’d think you get long-lasting but low body count Yugoslavian-style blood feuds if an ancap society broke down, as opposed to Rwanda style massacres if a more centralized government society broke down.

  164. >The attempt to make a moral equivalency by using “coercion” to refer to

    You’re the one who’s assigned an moral value to the term “coercion”. Someone who has not accepted that is not making a moral statement by using the term.

  165. All I’m saying is that anything you might do to make me leave or keep me out is coercion (something that someone here claimed, but is incorrect, that ancaps believe is categorically illegitimate), not that it’s not legitimate.

    Coercion is defined as “the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.” Prohibiting you from doing something by threat or force is not the same as causing you to do something via threat or force. It’s coercion if I lock you in my house, it’s not coercion if I lock you out of my house.

  166. “You’ve just, after all, made a case – a fairly convincing one, at that – for the legitimacy of coercion by you for the purpose of keeping me off your land.”

    No, he has argued that force can sometimes be used selectively enough that it shouldn’t be considered to be coercion, while you have refused to distinguish between the most general possible unlimited meaning of “force” and any narrower sense of “coercion”. (And as far as I have noticed, you haven’t done anything to limit your argument to “coercion” vs. other narrow words like “aggression”. Thus your argument that proves that all force is coercion seems to prove too much, because it seems also to prove that all force is aggression, which is likely to be a difficult conclusion to sell here of all places.) And you are compounding the silliness by invoking the age-old mantra of lackeys of the state that distinctions that are screamingly obviously usefully meaningful and stable in international relations between sovereign actors (these days mostly nation states, previously also other things like hereditary princes or charismatic religious zealots) and also in relations between competitive animals are impossible in relations between individual humans.

    Bears and cattle display some understanding of distinctions like coercion and aggression. If to you, from the way that every individual is willing to use force under some circumstances, conclude that QEDeleventy every individual coerces others!!!, that is interesting in a way, but does not seem to tell us as much about the logical impossibility of stable limits on the use of force as it does about you.

    Your case would be stronger if you argued that there are so many messy issues in drawing the boundaries between coercion and unlimited whatever-I-choose-is-legit force that the distinction is not useful. But it would still be a weak case. Obviously these distinctions are not perfectly clear or stable either for sovereigns or for territorial animals. But just as obviously there are so many clear cases in the real world that it is commonly of the utmost practical importance for sovereigns and territorial animals to distinguish between anything-goes what-I-want-is-mine force and various more limited less coercive uses of force.

  167. > If you don’t respect my rights to my land, you can’t say I’m the one initiating the violence when you’re arrested, charged, convicted, and punished for aggravated trespass. You initiated it when you crossed that “NO TRESPASSING” sign.

    This requires a somewhat absurdly contrived definition of “violence” (i.e. that it includes walking onto your land past a sign against it). Since this definition is not congruent either with the dictionary or with common usage of the term “violence”, it seems clear that the discussion is only being phrased in terms of “violence” in order to exploit the emotional impact of that word. This is a patently irrational form of argument.

    Given this redefinition of “violence”, the argument also entirely loses its putative nature as a Schelling fence. If you can redefine “violence” in service of property rights, why can’t SJWs redefine “violence” in service of silencing any dissent against their orthodoxy? This is already a staple of their rhetoric, and it’s immensely hard to see a principled distinction on the meta-level. (Obviously, “respect property rights” is a much less destructive object-level policy than “never say anything against the orthodoxy”. But neither can be rationally justified only in terms of “violence”.)

  168. esr:
    > No, I go down the libertarian fork in that road: abolish the machinery of coercion, abolish government itself.

    Suppose we are all smart people, like most of the people commenting here. Then we agree to kill bad people, to not kill good people, and anyone who harms good people is a bad person. So far so good.

    And if you do some minor harm to someone, deliberately or inadvertently, you agree to be judged by someone sufficiently influential and respectable, who will set a fine, and payment of that fine to the aggrieved party will restore your status as a good person. So far so good.

    Every shakedown artist starts then pointing fingers, accusing anyone with money of being a bad person, and demanding compensation for imaginary, trivial, or magical harms, and demanding that the judgment be made by someone who is a firm believer in magical harms. Who then gets to judge, who is our influential and respectable person? Not so good.

    Actual examples of successful anarchic societies, Judges Israel and Saga period iceland, were stateless or near stateless theocracies, ruled directly by the Gods, who tend to provide rather minimal government. The priesthood agreed amongst themselves what was good behavior and bad behavior, and judges and posse leaders were priests, or selected by priests. Everyone had the same race and religion, so tended to agree on what was right and what was wrong, and deviating from that religion was a crime. Not so good.

    Successful anarchism requires moral agreement that is likely to be impossible except in an ethnically and religiously homogeneous group. So one can have, and frequently does have, a ruling aristocracy, all of them somewhat related, all the same race and religion, that is fairly anarchic internally, but to the outside, to non aristocrats, to disarmed commoners, looks mighty like a state.

  169. @Random832:

    All I’m saying is that anything you might do to make me leave or keep me out is coercion (something that someone here claimed, but is incorrect, that ancaps believe is categorically illegitimate), not that it’s not legitimate.

    Ah; I think your split-post, l’esprit d’escalier writing style confused me into reading your argument as supporting this claim, rather than trying to point out the inherent flaws.

  170. Pingback: Monkey ritual no compute. | Dark Brightness

  171. >As to the people who long for a return to communism, note that actual communist countries have a tendency to build walls…

    Yep. A pretty good first cut at the desirability of any given country would be to go to the border and notice how many of the guns are pointed inward.

    Despite Cuba supposedly being some sort of progressive paradise, you don’t see many Miami residents bashing together homemade rafts and heading for Havana.

  172. >Judges Israel and Saga period iceland, were stateless or near stateless theocracies, ruled directly by the Gods, who tend to provide rather minimal government.

    Hmm…

    Cooking breakfast on Saturday: capital crime
    Having sex with a menstruating woman: permanent exile

    This is your idea of “minimal government”? Dude, have you ever actually read Leviticus and Deuteronomy? Or, for that matter, tried to keep kosher? Give it a trial period, then tell us how “minimal” the rules are.

  173. >yup, write-only language.

    I’m not sure that “looks weird” and “write-only language” are synonymous. Lisp looks pretty weird if you’re not used to it, but it’s not bad once you get the gestalt. Even in C you’ve got stuff like the ternary operator (something?first thing:second thing), the bit shift operators, bitwise complement, and all their buddies, not to mention the symbol salad you get when you have pointers to functions that return arrays of pointers to functions that return pointers (or whatever).

  174. “the symbol salad you get when you have pointers to functions that return arrays of pointers to functions that return pointers (or whatever).”

    *shudder*

    That’s the kind of stuff I deal with day-to-day these days…a sufficiently determined programmer can write FORTH in any language.

  175. Doctor Locketopus on 2016-04-05 at 21:07:01 said:
    >>Judges Israel and Saga period iceland, were stateless or near stateless theocracies, ruled directly by the Gods, who tend to provide rather minimal government.


    >Hmm…

    Cooking breakfast on Saturday: capital crime
    Having sex with a menstruating woman: permanent exile

    This is your idea of “minimal government”? Dude, have you ever actually read Leviticus and Deuteronomy? Or, for that matter, tried to keep kosher? Give it a trial period, then tell us how “minimal” the rules are.”

    I’m sure you’ll be shocked to find out that anarchism will come with way way way more rules than living under a state but that doesn’t mean it won’t.

  176. >Actual examples of successful anarchic societies, Judges Israel and Saga period iceland

    In what sense were they successful?

    If we accept the Bible and Iceland sagas as accurate depiction of history ( very big IF), at the end the Israelites wanted to have king like other nations, and the Icelanders asked to join the kingdom of Norway. Clearly the people themselves did not saw anarchy as success.

    • >Icelanders asked to join the kingdom of Norway. Clearly the people themselves did not saw anarchy as success.

      In Iceland, they did. For close to 400 years. The Commonwealth anarchy retained broad popular support until its end; what did it in was political manipulation of and outright bribes to the chieftains by the Norwegians.

  177. Wow, this post has hit a nerve (200+ comments in no time).

    Some among us tend to view the SJW phenomena as a form of hysterical stupidity that can be mitigated by a determined push-back effort. The underlying thinking is that these amateur bullies will crawl back under a rock rather than get kicked in the teeth. Sadly, the SJW mindset is more akin to mental malware. Decades of indoctrination in a cocoon of affluence has rewired their wetware and habituated these noxious behaviors. As such, they cannot be dissuaded with a rebuke nor rehabilitated with reasoned argument. If you doubt the virulence of this disease, please take a stroll across most any college campus and just listen for a while.

  178. @Random832

    If “coercion” were defined as: “force or violence or the threat thereof. Period.” your statements would be mostly (not entirely) sensible. I do not believe that is the usual definition, and in any event isn’t what I mean. I mean that coercion is an illegitimate use of force or violence, with legitimate use being broadly defined as: in defense of property rights, including the right of property in one’s own person. Obviously, there are, as the Zwolinski piece you linked noted, ambiguities, definitional difficulties, and hard cases involved in application of a general principle to real-world specifics. This does not invalidate the general principle. Equally obviously, the NAP is dependent upon a theory of property rights. To characterize this as “parasitic” indicates to me an intent to delegitimize property rights, or the NAP, or both, as does your misapplication of the words coercion and aggression. Here’s a test: Taxation is a coercive violation of property rights, true or false? I’m all but certain that Zwolinski would say false. I strongly suspect that you would also say false, and if so, this discussion is ended.

  179. > > Icelanders asked to join the kingdom of Norway. Clearly the people themselves did not saw anarchy as success.

    > what did it in was political manipulation of and outright bribes to the chieftains by the Norwegians.

    Politics always happens. What did Saga period Iceland in was religious dissent. When people lost faith in the old gods, they could no longer agree on what was justice. Should have executed those Christian missionaries, heretics, and atheists.

    Similarly, in Samuel and Kings, Samuel seems to be losing influence. People just are not paying much attention to what he says God says.

  180. > > Judges Israel and Saga period iceland, were stateless or near stateless theocracies, ruled directly by the Gods, who tend to provide rather minimal government.

    > Cooking breakfast on Saturday: capital crime

    Anarchy only works if you are culturally, religiously, and racially homogeneous. So, superficial customs of the Hebrews enforced as shibboleths. People who did not take the same day off as everyone else were different, therefore outsiders, therefore likely to cause trouble.

    If a person takes the same day off, likely to reach the same conclusion on a dispute involving a straying cow.

  181. “Anarchy only works if you are culturally, religiously, and racially homogeneous.”

    Ah, I see. You’re defining “anarchy” as “forced to behave exactly the same way as everyone else, under threat of capital punishment by an all-powerful hereditary priesthood”.

    For what other words do you have idiosyncratic definitions?

  182. > Ah, I see. You’re defining “anarchy” as “forced to behave exactly the same way as everyone else, under threat of capital punishment by an all-powerful hereditary priesthood”.

    So, what’s your example of a working anarchy.

  183. > Ah, I see. You’re defining “anarchy” as “forced to behave exactly the same way as everyone else, under threat of capital punishment by an all-powerful hereditary priesthood”

    The priesthood clearly was not all powerful – very limited ability to tax or conscript.

    Recall Samuel’s wonderful indictment of Kings:

    11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

    12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

    13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

    14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

    15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

    16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

    17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

    18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

    Oh the horror, the horror, taxation will rise to the unbearable heights of a ten percent flat tax!

  184. esr
    > it’s funny to suggest the Stuarts (and it is funny – they were notoriously incompetent and dissolute in direct proportion to their absolutist pretensions).

    You are ignorant because too terrified to doubt official whig history. Your cowardice makes you ignorant of today’s reality, and even more ignorant of history.

    The second last male Stuart was Charles the second, who gave us the scientific and industrial revolutions.

    That he gave us the scientific revolution is undeniable, though there is a tendency to piously ignore the undeniable. That he gave us the industrial revolution is more controversial and I will argue the proposition briefly here:

    Charles the second freed the joint stock corporation to be an instrument for private profit, and under his reign we first see Ayn Rand’s hero scientist engineer CEOs, mobilizing other people’s capital and other people’s labor to apply science and engineering to create value and make a profit. The Joint Stock corporation plus double entry accounting allowed rich people to put their money in the hands of smart people – in some cases, in the hands of techies such as Bill Gates. SOX, by undermining double entry accounting, has transferred power to bean counters and gay rights activists and away from techies.

    The British East India company started to conquer and rule what in due course became the British Empire under Charles the Second and King James. Looks pretty competent to me.

    The accusation of being dissolute is made by the killjoy puritans that he disempowered. At the time he was known as “The merry monarch”. When those killjoy puritans regained power, they of course denounced the Stuarts as dissolute. The same people pronounce the Stuarts dissolute as complain of all males are raping women all the time, due to rape culture, and somehow strangely 99.999% of rapes are, for some odd reason, never prosecuted. Which mysterious lack of prosecutions proves we should never doubt some drunken slut’s retroactive claim to have been raped.

    If you believe the Stuarts are dissolute, you should also believe there is a whole lot of rape being done by white males – and very little rape being done by brown Muslim males. It is the same story told by the same people.

    The Stuarts should rule because the most recent Stuart Kings caused whites to rule the world.

    • >The Stuarts should rule because the most recent Stuart Kings caused whites to rule the world.

      And you call me historically ignorant? I think the Han Chinese might like a word with you.

      The Stuarts. So competent. Charles I managed to squander a thousand years of royal authority badly enough to get himself beheaded and deliver England to civil war and a dictator – there’s a stunning example of political competence for you. Two later Stuarts had the loyalty of the bravest fighters in the British isles and led them nowhere but to ruin and disaster – there’s military competence for you!

      As for dissolute, the incidence of alcoholism and syphilis was pretty much 100% and, given your notions of morality, it seems apropos to point out that James I had a scandalous fondness for handsome young men. The British people eventually became so disgusted with the Stuarts that they sent out for a better dynast and got the Stadtholder of Nassau.

      Even a stopped Puritan can be right twice a day. The best that can be said for the Stuarts is that the House of Valois and the Romanovs were arguably even worse at their job.

      (I’m still sore about the Jacobite risings. It’s difficult to think of a more tragic case of good men fighting for leaders so utterly unworthy of their loyalty. If there’s a hell, the Stuarts deserve to fry in it for what they did to the Scots.)

  185. @ESR

    >No, I go down the libertarian fork in that road: abolish the machinery of coercion, abolish government itself.

    State = estate = property. AnCap simply means taking the slider with “size of the sovereign entity” and moving it all the way down: your sovereign state, estate is now the household. Or a farm. Or a corporation. Sovereignty as such is conserved, i.e. the total sum for the potential for coercion is conserved: property owners act as a government on their property, making and enforcing rules. The primary difference is that with small (e)states it is easy to get off someone’s lawn and be on your own, or choose a nicer landlord. This is what Nick Land summarizes, with the Hirschmannian terminology, as “exit over voice”. Nevertheless there is no denying that the small states in AnCap do have governments and those governments are much like a monarchy or dictatorship. The market process of competing for rent-paying tenants (aka taxpayers) or employees ensures that that sovereignty will not be abused, the potential for coercion will be very, very much under-exercised. It’s like this blog, you have the banhammer but it is not in your interest to use it in all but the most extreme cases. It is not the total sum of potential coercion or sovereignty that is reduced in AnCap but its actual exercise. And this is actually something NRx fully recognizes.

    The interesting thing is that AnCap does not even automatically guarantee small state sizes. Anna Creek is larger than Scotland. What would it be under AnCap? Something pretty close to a monarchical state?

    While NRx recognizes the idea of turning the slider of sovereign entity size down, like city-states, it tends to focus more on the private property aspect (monarchy) than the market process aspect (small estates, competing for taxpayers/rent-paying tenant) , like how historic monarchies, despite their large size, were arguably better than modern democracies. But the line if of thinking is very similar to AnCap as long as you accept that Anna Creek or your house or the greengrocer shop at the corner under AnCap does have a government: the owner, with full rights to coerce i.e. make and enforce rules on its sovereign territory.

    BTW did anyone figure out whether in economics it is the private property aspect or the market process aspect that matters more? Like, what happens more often, people wash their cars just because it is theirs and like to have it nice i.e. the property aspect, or wash it because they want to sell it and expect a higher price that way i.e. the financial reward of the market process? I tend to lean towards more property aspect than market aspect, but it is arguable. Clearly both matters but I am of a family tradition where it is a matter of honor/shame to look after everything you own without even thinking about selling it or without even getting any financial rewards, income out of it. This is why I tend to favor states that are owned. I think democracy leads to socialism because it is an already socialist ownership of the government, the state itself. But then again it is possible that for most people the financial rewards of the market process matter more.

  186. @James Donald the joint stock corporation is actually not an uncontroversial concept. The core issue is limited liability. Doesn’t that smell like moral hazard? Not enough skin in the game?

    Another issue is that Distributists of the Chesterton or Medaille type may have a point. Despite the economy of numbers there are advantages of having more small businesses than a few large ones, it would be better if more people could be self-employed. For starters, it would reduce the clamor for socialism. Anyway, what if it is limited liability that leads to corporations growing too large and eating up the small fish a bit too efficiently? Perhaps without limited liability, although it would reduce aggregate efficiency and economic output, this would be largely solved too.

    Remember, corporations used to require a royal charter, which was not easy to get. Perhaps because the kings understood the inherent moral hazard and wanted to be cautious about it? If I remember right Gladstone removed the royal charter requirement in 1844 and that may have been a bad idea. It was actually a pretty radical kind of whiggery back then…

  187. >Throw in a language looks like the bastard child of APL and some random Scrabble tiles and I start wondering if the entire project is sophisticated, long-term trolling.

    My hypothesis is this psychology:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2005/05/the_power_of_the_mustard_seed.html

    “Iannaccone starts by asking why people join strict churches, given that doing so exacts such a high price. (…) The rules discourage free riders, the people who undermine group efforts by taking more than they give back. The strict church is one in which members with weak commitments have been weeded out. Raising fees for membership doesn’t work nearly as well as raising the opportunity cost of joining, because fees drive away the poor, who have the least to lose when they volunteer their time, and who also have the most incentive to pray. Fees also encourage the rich to substitute money for piety. What does the pious person get in return for all of his or her time and effort? A church full of passionate members; a community of people deeply involved in one another’s lives and more willing than most to come to one another’s aid; a peer group of knowledgeable souls who speak the same language (or languages), are moved by the same texts, and cherish the same dreams. ”

    Or, as Paul Graham put it, the reason it is better to start a project in LISP than Java is that the former filters out low quality programmers. Beyond the filter there is this commitment aspect as well which was discovered by Iannaccone.

    And then there is the thing that no such thing as negative publicity. D is a very sensible language and who gives a sh*t? Yet another one… But invent something like Intercal on steroids and people pay attention, if in amusement.

    This is just my hunch, I have actually no idea how CY thinks.

  188. Eric, it’s a terrible mistake to proclaim victory like this. It is possible to rock the SJWs back on their heels at first, because they have a hard time comprehending a loud and proud opposition; Gamergate did that, and so did Sad Puppies. But their go-to strategy at that point is to tag in their friends in the mainstream media, and have them dump a million tons of slime on the opposition to devastating effect – amongst those unfamiliar with the underlying issues, the names of Gamergate and Sad Puppies are poison. They’ve just started that with LambdaConf and S451.

    • >They’ve just started that with LambdaConf and S451.

      In 1998 I took on Microsoft’s PR and beat them like a rented mule. After that I’m supposed to be afraid of 500 Marxists in their mothers’ basements? Bring it.

      The first requisite for defeating a cabal of thugs like the SJWs is that you have to stop being afraid. They feed on fear.

  189. @ray could you elaborate a bit about these cruisers and carriers and planets and galaxies and moons and whatnot? This is the part that sometimes smells trollish, although I understand at least two very real aspects of it.

    The first is not liking to have your data trapped on the servers of Facebook or Google, have it on your own server, and as a result be able to join and exit communities while carrying your full data. This is the digital republic aspect. And If you guys had any sense you would have been telling about this aspect to ESR long ago as he is known to be rather passionately against vendor lock-in and thus support any idea that boils down to that your data is yours alone. And the whole Urbit as a personal server thing boils down to it. So you guys are missing out on an important marketing channel by not invoking ESR’s anti-vendor-lock-in passion. At least do it now.

    The second is that without having these big central servers, spam and suchlike becomes a problem and one way to fight that is a personal referral system. And I think you invented some kind of a digital “feudalism” for that with these carriers and galaxies and this seems a bit tongue-in-cheek actually. Because it is well known that NRxish ideas are usually attacked as “feudal” which is of course bullshit as actual feudalism if it existed at all was much older than Victorian monarchist writers, so it would be a good “shitposting” prank if ones spam filtering social network would just accidentally look like real feudalism. For the reals, I think it is not ideal to invest the time in checking and referring trustworthy sources and spam and such like should be combated as much as possible with automatic, like, Bayesian algorithms.

  190. > Provided that some public rights of way exist, allowing you to get where you want to go without crossing my land, “coercing” you out of crossing my land does not materially violate your rights

    This creates a problem in anarcho capitalism. All roads are private. Suppose someone builds a highway crossing America from East to West, and charges people to use his road. What is to stop him from charging people even more to cross it from North to South?

    So you need a rule that long established paths cannot be closed off. That landowners have to let people get through or past their land. Which rule runs into the problem of the concentrated interest versus the diffuse interest. The concentrated interest is apt to obstruct travel.

    One of the important uses of Kings was to defend “The King’s Highway”. In much of Europe, you ran into a new baron every mile who charged taxes on everything passing through. Hence European civilization depended on the Atlantic, which could not so easily be closed off.

    We can roughly estimate ancient GDP from pollution caused by copper mining trapped in Icelandic snows, and from shipwrecks of ships carrying large cargoes. Roman roads, and Caesar ending piracy on the Mediterranean, caused a huge rise in GDP, which then went into decline at a steady one percent a year as the empire started to tax above the Laffer limit, and continued to decline at about the same steady rate as the roads became unsafe. Eventually roaming bandits on the roads were replaced by stationary bandits on the roads, a Baron every few miles, and GDP began to rise again.

  191. @TheDividualist

    The hierarchy is not really a new idea, though baking a public-key infrastructure directly into it is a very helpful thing. It’s just ripped off straight from IPv4 – “better” classes are basically address blocks. Every Urbit instance, at the beginning of its life, has to have its key signed by its superior in the hierarchy to get on the network. The classes are based on length – the “galaxy” class, the highest one, is all the 8-bit names, 0 through 255. Having a galaxy is like having a /8 IPv4 block – like MIT does. Galaxies can issue 16-bit “stars”, 256 through 65535 – for example, galaxy 0x50 can issue the stars 0x0150, 0x0250, etc. (Urbit is committed to little-endianness – your low bits identify your parentage.) The same applies to stars issuing 32-bit “planets”, and planets issuing 64-bit “moons”.

    Normally your name is a phonetic string, not a number – the phonetic system is just a base-65536 system made from gluing together two base-256 systems, except that the “planet space” is scrambled with a fixed pseudorandom permutation so that you can’t know someone’s parentage without taking the two seconds to type the line of code in your REPL that gives it. (Parentage isn’t secret, the scrambling is to stop you from subconsciously forming associations – humans are pattern-matchers.)

    But the hierarchy does only two things: it signs your initial will (public key and other identity metadata), and routes you to other nodes on the network (but in the full design, you have exit rights and can use the routing services of any star or galaxy if they’ll take you). The point of Urbit is to *end* digital serfdom, poorly-informed blogposts on the Internet nonwithstanding.

    An Urbit instance is always a full citizen of the Urbit network, just like a Unix box with a TCP/IP stack, no NAT restrictions, etc. is a full citizen of the IP network. The difference is that you don’t have to be a fortified tower run by professional system administrators to run an Urbit instance. We speak obligate-encrypted strongly-typed messages to each other on the Urbit network, and we will also operate various HTTP-based APIs for you in a strongly-typed way, as a concession to the existence of the legacy Internet. :)

    So, while you can easily build Twitter on Urbit, for example (we have a serviceable IRC-clone, talk, that we use to chat on, which is easily bent to uses such as read-only broadcasting), that has a serious network effect. So instead we let you get an API key from Twitter, hold it for you, and control your Twitter stream as though it were a strongly-typed Urbit service. You know how most programmer-hours in the world are spent serializing, deserializing, and parsing data from one format to another? (That’s my personal assertion, which is completely unsupported by hard data, but probably true – hard data welcome.) Arvo (the OS layer of Urbit) is fully equipped to handle this transparently for you.

    We use “marks”, which are code snippets where you provide things like validating parsers, serializers, and the like, as well as diff and patch algorithms (for example, the txt mark provides the standard text diff facilities, which most text-like marks just use unmodified, but we can easily provide meaningful binary diffs if the binary blob has a structure that we can exploit). The build engine, ford (this is one of the four-letter names that has a memorable etymology – our “assembly line” is named after Henry Ford), handles all requests for resources – so if you try to access a Markdown file in the filesystem (which is fully marked (and revision-controlled!)) from a web frontend that wants to display HTML, ford will use the ‘md’ mark’s conversion to HTML, which is a Markdown renderer. (I’m no Markdown fan, but Curtis is.) It’s a system facility – no frontend ever needs to do rendering work.

    I certainly don’t have any interest in marketing Urbit to ESR through his blog comments – for one, I think Urbit needs less (and better) marketing, not more. For another thing, it falls well within his interests (network-infrastructure guy, but also enemy of SJWs) anyway – he’ll definitely get around to it either when he has enough spare time and curiosity, or when the project is more mature (or we’re better at explaining how mature it currently is). My job is to work on the latter.

  192. A little late to the party, but hey… I am from a communist European country and spent almost half of my life in Communism. My immediate relatives were not in gulags and a few (including my father, in a very idiosyncratic way) were communists themselves; however, we all had to live under the abnormal, dehumanizing conditions of the communist rule. I am stating this for the record, although it is completely irrelevant for the point I am trying to make.

    I believe there is only one fundamental political alternative: there is the individualistic (classical-liberal/libertarian) funnel and the collectivist (socialist, fascist, theocratic etc.) funnel. Individualists claim that since we each have a soul/consciousness, our societies are systems of autonomous entities and we should assist each other in protecting our lives, liberty and right to seek our happiness our own way. Collectivists perceive society as an organic whole and insist on helping everybody else in reaching their proper place in society, according to their merit.

    The starting points at the large end of each funnel may be different but if one follows one option consistently, the end result is the same. Because positive coercion is always an option (which gets more attractive the freer and richer a community is), nobody can go all the way down the individualistic path, but all the communities that went far enough in that direction created a society with flaws and injustices, but efficient, dynamic and – most importantly – continuously self-improving. The end of the collectivist path is always the same, whether the community is based on ethnicity, religion, race, or social condition(!!). I have read about Nazi Germany and – except for the racial identity of their scapegoats – they are a parody of Bolshevism with some Fascist elements thrown in for good measure.

    More importantly, it seems that both Italian Fascism (originally not antisemitic) and German National Socialism exhausted the economic resources of their countries by gradually subordinating free enterprise to the political “needs” of the nation. Allegedly, had the German Reich survived until 1945-1946, it would have been as broke as USSR without the Land-Lease from the US, with highly inefficient enterprises in the occupied territories (that was the reason for snatching workers from the occupied countries to Germany), and with all the relevant enterprises under the direct or indirect control of the central planners. Keeping in mind that on the other hand, at the time of his death, Stalin was planning the deportation and the decimation of the Soviet Jews, the difference between the USSR and Nazi Germany seem to be only in the path taken toward the end result.

    Lenin started with War Communism, made a detour through paternalistic capitalism (NEP) to avoid a total economic shutdown, and then Stalin reverted to a central command and control system to avoid either economic or political collapse. In Germany they started by misallocating resources via their budget, went on with credit and foreign currency controls to prevent bankruptcy, continued with government-issued YOUs and with government product allocations and orders, to end with government-run and/or government-planned enterprises. While Lenin thought that management had become routine to the point capitalists were redundant, to Hitler entrepreneurs were mere shop managers.

    It may be that taken individually, the starvation-campaigns in Ukraine and the mass deportations and internments which ended only with Stalin’s death caused less deaths than the Nazi concentrations camps; still, on the whole their impact was broader, more pervasive and damaging on the communities as a whole.

    To conclude, the Nazi policies and the Communist policies point in the same direction with one major but secondary detail: the Nazis started by appointing fixed scapegoats and used this diversion to gradually grab control over the rest society, while communists acted fast, in war conditions (they occasionally had to engineer themselves) and defined their scapegoats more opportunistically.

  193. James Donald on 2016-04-05 at 17:55:56 said:

    Actual examples of successful anarchic societies, Judges Israel and Saga period iceland, were stateless or near stateless theocracies, ruled directly by the Gods, who tend to provide rather minimal government. The priesthood agreed amongst themselves what was good behavior and bad behavior, and judges and posse leaders were priests, or selected by priests. Everyone had the same race and religion, so tended to agree on what was right and what was wrong, and deviating from that religion was a crime. Not so good.

    Have you actually read the Book of Judges? The tribes may have had the concept of belonging to an overall “Israel”, but they allied with outsiders against each other quite regularly, and had enough linguistic variance for “shibboleth” to have the English meaning it does. As for religion, even discounting the cult of Micha (worshiping YHWH in a popular but unauthorized fashion), for much of the four centuries covered by Judges (and the next five centuries covered in Samuel and Kings, too) worship of the neighboring nations’ gods was so prevalent that Gideon (whose own name was theophoric with a non-Israelite cult) had to send away 30 regiments and went to war with a single company of 300 men. There’s a reason the author of the Book used the phrase “There was no king in Israel; everyone did what he thought was best,” where he did.

    (And for those who do not accept the historicity of Judges, that era is even less suitable as an example of JAD’s “successful anarchic societies”.)

  194. @bilbohpile individualism vs. collectivism is a good starting point for political philosophy, but it is not more than a starting point. I actually chose the dividualist nickname to signal some kind of a post-individualism. The starting is guilty of presentism – it may describe the 20th century, but not the 18th. And it seems to increasingly less well describe the 21st. One thing that is changing is that politics is becoming more personal – it is not about the government limiting free speech, for example, but individual pressure groups. The weirdest part of the whole SJW story is that it works like the older left-right political battles but instead of it being about what the government should do, it is about what individuals do. Another aspect is that the left side is increasingly using an individualistic terminology – instead of talking about a state as an organic unity, they talk about equalizing chances of individuals and an even playing field and privilege and all that, which conjures the image of every individual competing against every other individual and they simply find the rules unfair. This may just be propaganda and the end goal may still be grabbing governmental power, but still it is very noticable that old-style collectivism is not cool today.

    For this reason, I think individualism and collectivism are not the root causes of the problems. It looks like the left used a collectivistic agenda when it seemed to be a handy way to grab power and status and abandoned much of it when it no longer looked like that. Individualism mostly meant the opposition needed a flag to rally around, too. But it is not the root cause.

    The root cause is probably competition between various groups, for power, status, influence, respect. The “right” usually mean that the highest status groups were aristocrats, capitalists, priests, and military officers. A new intellectual and public servant class, you could say, “the nobility of the robe” or in the US the “new class” organized themselves to grab power and status from these traditional elites. They used various agendas, sometimes a religious difference, sometimes nationalism, sometimes collectivism, and sometimes a more individualistic language. Lenin or Bukharin were clearly intellectuals and even Stalin had to pretend to. Today the transfat otherkin SJW whining about hostile work environments don’t come across as particularly collectivist – they seem to claim that it is about competition between individuals with unfair rules, and they tend to use direct pressure, not the hand of the government. But there is one thing common in them, they are, in a way, intellectuals, they often come from good universities, they use complicated words like intersectionalism and so on. It’s all about rule by intellectuals through ideology and holiness-signalling. Collectivism was just a handy ideological excuse for that, but there are other ones.

    It is especially clear in Post-Communist Europe where ex-Communists, often with a generous helping from the Soros types, reinvented themselves as individualists. But it is just an excuse, they steal a factory, sell it to their friends, put the money in an offshore account and then tell people it was privatized because the market is more efficient. But it is just an excuse.

    Another very clear example is the concept of human rights. They are a highly intellectual project and is very clearly about intellectuals grabbing power, because normal people care about whether humans are violated or not, not human rights. Deciding whether an act is evil based on a written list is extremely dweeby. “Beaten, raped, and murdered? Let’s see, yes, item 11, 16, 19 in this list say that is wrong.” So human rights fetishism is a textbook intellectual-power thing. Are human rights individualistic or collectivistic? Well negative rights are individualistic and positive rights are collectivistic. But who cares? They just use whatever is handy for them. If a right-wing government of the Pinochet type kicks their ass, they complain about negative rights, if they are the government, they use positive rights as an excuse for moar government. So don’t fall for it. Collectivism is nothing but one part of the excuse-set.

  195. “The build engine, ford”

    Merciful $DEITY. I hope it’s of better quality and better supported than the products of his namesake, which, in my experience, are unreliable, prone to silly breakagaes, and hideously expensive to fix – and in at least one case, needed a second hideously expensive fix to fix the first hideously expensive fix.

  196. > I mean that coercion is an illegitimate use of force or violence

    Then ancaps are not unique/special for believing all coercion is illegitimate, QED.

  197. Er, I suppose that’s unfair. The problem is there are three possible definitions of coercion at work:

    A. “Any use/threat of force/violence to get someone to do something or not do something”

    B. “Any illegitimate use/threat of force…, defined with reference to the speaker’s notion of legitimacy”

    C. “Any illegitimate use/threat of force…, defined absolutely by incorporating a definition of ‘illegitimate’ that perfectly encapsulates ancaps’ views of what is legitimate”

    It is impossible for anyone to consider all coercion(A) illegitimate. Absolutely everyone considers all coercion(B) illegitimate, since it’s a tautological statement, so ancaps aren’t special. To say “Ancaps consider all coercion(C) illegitimate” is to say “ancaps are ancaps”, another tautology.

    None of them justify the claim that ancaps are somehow objectively special for rejecting the legitimacy of all coercion.

  198. Charles the second freed the joint stock corporation to be an instrument for private profit, and under his reign we first see Ayn Rand’s hero scientist engineer CEOs, mobilizing other people’s capital and other people’s labor to apply science and engineering to create value and make a profit.

    JAD, you’re full of shit.

    This is not “giving us the industrial revolution”. This is “getting the fuck out of my fucking way, ya goddam tyrant”.

    I could just as truthfully claim that I give my neighbors life because I don’t kill them.

  199. Eugene_Nier: >So, what’s your example of a working anarchy.

    I can’t provide one, because no such system has ever existed (or ever can exist, with the possible exception of pathological cases of “society” such as Alexander Selkirk). I never claimed otherwise, did I?

    FooQuuxman: >This is not “giving us the industrial revolution”. This is “getting the fuck out of my fucking way, ya goddam tyrant”.

    Yes. Charles II’s sole virtue (if it can be dignified by that term) is that the fate of his father had him scared so shitless that he spent all his time drinking and wenching rather than trying to micromanage people’s behavior.

  200. None of them justify the claim that ancaps are somehow objectively special for rejecting the legitimacy of all coercion.

    You could go with the dictionary definition: “the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats” or “to make (someone) do something by using force or threats”. This differs from your definition A, which includes “or not do something”, the inclusion of which completely changes the meaning. Compare the words ‘coerce’, ‘compel’ (force or oblige (someone) to do something; a synonym for coerce) and ‘deter’ (to cause (someone) to decide not to do something).

    The sentence “he coerced me into having sex with him by threatening me with a knife” makes sense, as does “he compelled me into having sex with him by threatening me with a knife”. The sentence “she coerced me into not having sex with her by threatening me with a knife” does not make sense, nor does “she compelled me into not having sex with her by threatening me with a knife”, but “she deterred me from having sex with her by threatening me with a knife” makes sense.

  201. >Perhaps without limited liability, although it would reduce aggregate efficiency and economic output, this would be largely solved too.

    I strongly suspect that without limited liability (or some functional equivalent, such as sovereign immunity for state-owned enterprises) it would be impossible to develop such things as globe-spanning computer networks, transcontinental pipelines, space programs, or any other really big project.

    Would you invest in an oil pipeline in Outer Jackoffistan if it meant that you, personally, were liable for any violation of local law or lawsuit for damages? No? Well, neither would anyone else.

  202. Oh, I forgot – the other point of Moldbug’s “restore the Stuarts” is that the current Jacobite succession is set to pass to Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein, who is the successor to one of Europe’s only remaining functional monarchies – so giving an empire to him would merely be expanding the kingly responsibility he’s already been born to and trained for.

  203. @FooQuuxman – there is no such thing as a natural right to limited liability. The natural case is that people are fully liable to any debt incurred by their business activities, up to their full wealth. Thus the limited liability corporation, much like the personal bankruptcy, is a government intervention, a highly unnatural legal fiction because it involves the creation of a corporate person. Whether it is actually a good idea or not is complicated, see above, but there was no natural claim that this to be extended. Getting out of the way would mean just letting the market function in its natural state: natural persons only with full liability i.e. without corporations.

    The whole story is actually older than that – see http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2005/11/origins-of-joint-stock-corporation.html especially the part:

    “. Furthermore cities (with varying degrees of political independence), merchant guilds, craft guilds, and many charitable entities (such as hospitals) were legal “corporations,” i.e. artificial and perpetual legal persons under law. Some basic issues in corporate law (for example, when are officers individually liable for acts of the corporation, and when the corporation is liable for acts of its agents) had already been solved in canon law and urban law long before the joint-stock corporation.”

    So the corporation as such is not simply something that emerges from the free market, it depends heavily on how the law deals with liability etc.

  204. >JAD, you’re full of shit.

    This is not “giving us the industrial revolution”. This is “getting the fuck out of my fucking way, ya goddam tyrant”.

    I could just as truthfully claim that I give my neighbors life because I don’t kill them.


    I think this is a misrepresentation of JAD’s point, and even if I take your statement at face value, it was still great step for anyone to actually *do* that act of getting the fuck out of the way in order we could have the industrial revolution – so all praise to Charles the Second!

    When someone makes a great moral advance that enables great technological advance, you should celebrate the change, regardless of where you think baseline morality ought to be, and regardless of what esteem you hold the new higher level in. Incentives, man! By all means write philosophy saying people should aim higher, but if there are no thanks to be had for raising the bar, you will get less people raising the bar. It’s the same principle as getting less of what you tax and more of what you subsidise. If you’re starving and you spit curses at the man who gives you half a loaf because you wanted a whole loaf, **this is not a good way of getting a whole loaf**.

  205. @ ESR – “The first requisite for defeating a cabal of thugs like the SJWs is that you have to stop being afraid.”

    I truly wish the Braveheart modality was a viable countermeasure (noble cause, virile combat, live-or-die essentialism). Fistfights and melees have a romantic charm, and the victors are typically the strong of mind and body.

    However, the SJWs are a human version of files corrupted by a malicious computer virus. Long term memetic infection has turned them into zombie automatons driven by hypersensitivity and grievance addiction. In effect, you are battling a cabal of retards, not worthy adversaries. Methinks we are truly fighting a disease.

  206. @TomA

    The zombies you refer to are the easiest to deal with. You say “no”. If they’re really hypersensitive, they can’t handle this and will fly off into a rage demanding you apologize/go away/kill yourself or whatever. You say “no” some more. They leave, insisting you’re a horrible person for having driven them out. You say “goodbye”.

    The harder ones to deal with are the Machiavellian ones using hypersensitivity and grievance addiction as an excuse to advance their own power. They may be cynical manipulators who don’t believe at all, they may only half-believe, or they may be “white knights” who aren’t hypersensitive themselves but who believe the hypersensitivity and grievance addiction of the zombies is justified. They are the ones who will try to take action against you, besides merely ranting. And for them, you do have to stop being afraid. It’s necessary, but not sufficient; they do have often have real power too.

  207. >esr In Iceland, they did. For close to 400 years. The Commonwealth anarchy retained broad popular support until its end; what did it in was political manipulation of and outright bribes to the chieftains by the Norwegians.

    Ok. Success means that anarchist society can last few centuries on an remote starvation-poor island wanted by no one. Once king of small kingdom decides to take it over, few bags of gold and silver are sufficient to end it.

    >ray Oh, I forgot – the other point of Moldbug’s “restore the Stuarts” is that the current Jacobite succession is set to pass to Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein, who is the successor to one of Europe’s only remaining functional monarchies – so giving an empire to him would merely be expanding the kingly responsibility he’s already been born to and trained for.

    Did any one ever asked His Serene Highness whether he wants the job? And if he refused, what is the plan B to bring neo-feudalist utopia?

  208. “So the corporation as such is not simply something that emerges from the free market, it depends heavily on how the law deals with liability etc.”

    Why couldn’t it emerge from the free market by people threatening violence (which they claim as self defense) against anyone who tries to enforce liability (i.e. take their stuff) beyond what they voluntarily recognize, in the same way as they can threaten violence against people who try to walk across their land?

  209. @ Nybbler

    I agree with your analysis, but killing off a few cancer cells in the instant case is not really a strategy for success, though the victory may be a gratifying accomplishment. The battle is not over ideology (SJW coercive PC versus individual freedom), but rather the action of a metastasizing memetic disease that is rotting our society and diminishing our species robustness. This form of systemic pathology is every bit as scary as a cancerous brain tumor.

  210. >Successful anarchism requires moral agreement that is likely to be impossible except in an ethnically and religiously homogeneous group.

    How anarchic justice would actually work would be as security. You buy security insurance in advance, specifying against what and how they will retaliate, thus specifying in advance, by contract, what counts as ‘wrong.’ Conflicts between conflicting ideas of ‘wrong’ from differing security firms will be resolved easily, basically the same way cellphone carriers manage to cooperate.

    Regarding judicial arbitrage, a court will no more accept a case post-facto than a life insurance company will accept an application post-mortem.

    As a bonus, the contract will define what counts as property and what doesn’t, without having to have any ideology or even mention the word, as property is defined by what one can secure.

    I would found a company to do exactly this right now, but of course it’s illegal.

    >Suppose someone builds a highway crossing America from East to West, and charges people to use his road.
    Suppose magic. There are probably too many problems with this to be worth discussing. Boats, for one. Agency, for another: the landowners they need to buy are going to raise their prices. If the logistics are overcome, perhaps it will teach the idiots to secure their transport routes, instead of simply feeling entitled to them. When they try to buy your passage to your job, ProTip: say no.

  211. @TomA:

    SJWs are a human version of files corrupted by a malicious computer virus. … Methinks we are truly fighting a disease.

    Absolutely. Setting aside all attempts at humor, there are two (severable) memes within ‘social justice’ which I would consider to be disease.

    First is the distorted lens of identity politics. When you ascribe the success of one group to their being “oppressors” (alt: “privileged”), and define all other groups as “oppressed”, your very definitions make tribalism an unavoidable part of society. While that by itself would be dangerous, the truly diseased portion is the combination with a conviction that equal treatment indicates covert discrimination: this means that a truly civil society cannot exist, unless it was perfectly homogeneous.

    Second is a willingness to invoke (an entirely un-metaphorical) “total war” against their political opposition. While I’m not going to make an extended analogy about debate and war (which would really be over-explaining Clausewitz’s famous quote), the two aspects of the philosophy of war which apply here are discrimination and proportionality [contexually: don’t deliberately target civilians, and don’t use “excessive force”]. De-platforming (or, like with Brendan Eich, attacks against employment) are neither sufficiently targeted toward changing one opinion, nor measured to prevent ‘collateral damage’ to would-be allies. As such, I consider them just as barbaric and mala in se as the use of biological or chemical agents in warfare.

  212. Setting aside all attempts at humor, there are two (severable) memes within ‘social justice’ which I would consider to be disease.

    I always consider the “hostile speech is in itself violence; therefore it suppressing it through violence is legitimate” meme to be the most dangerous disease in SJ, or anywhere it is found for that matter. It’s dangerous because, if bad memes are the disease, free speech is the immune system, and a disease which suppresses the ability to fight disease is always a massive threat. As you said, Social Justice is a horrible combination of Identity politics, Marxist economics, and a lot of other bad things, but that it includes a component denying its opponents the ability to fight back is the one place that scares me the most.

    Nice icon, dood.

  213. @TheDividualist:

    The weirdest part of the whole SJW story is that it works like the older left-right political battles but instead of it being about what the government should do, it is about what individuals do.

    You haven’t been paying attention. SJWs are working tirelessly to change laws and the government to their liking.

  214. > …resolved easily, basically the same way cellphone carriers manage to cooperate.

    Consider instant messaging.

    The phone system (subject to heavy government regulation) and email (subject to an overwhelming monoculture of government-sponsored academia before commercial interests were allowed onto the pre-existing network) are shining examples of interoperability. Instant messaging, which has had neither of these things, is not.

    And the stakes are much higher in your example.

  215. esr
    > Even a stopped Puritan can be right twice a day. The best that can be said for the Stuarts is that the House of Valois and the Romanovs were arguably even worse at their job.

    I notice you make no attempt to rebut my argument that Charles the second gave us the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and what became the British empire.

    Because you fear that if you even acknowledged the thought by attempting to argue against it, the social justice warriors might accuse you of supporting colonialism and white rule over nonwhites.

    Safer to simply ignore such politically incorrect history.

  216. > > Charles the second freed the joint stock corporation to be an instrument for private profit, and under his reign we first see Ayn Rand’s hero scientist engineer CEOs, mobilizing other people’s capital and other people’s labor to apply science and engineering to create value and make a profit.

    > JAD, you’re full of shit.
    >
    > This is not “giving us the industrial revolution”. This is “getting the fuck out of my fucking way, ya goddam tyrant”.

    One of the entrepeneurs who advanced technology under the reign of Charles the second had been a religious entrepeneur before he was a technological entrepeneur. During puritan rule he claimed to be holier than the next guy, therefore should control the other guy’s assets.

    Much as we now have Apple run by CEO selected on the basis of superior holiness, and Eich defenestrated for insufficient holiness.

    Charles the second did not just refrain from screwing up capitalism. He stopped anyone else from screwing up capitalism. Including capitalists. That is why we need a King.

  217. Apple’s CEO was selected on the basis of superior holiness? Only if his holiness was loyalty to the Cult of Steve.

  218. > > Successful anarchism requires moral agreement that is likely to be impossible except in an ethnically and religiously homogeneous group.

    Alrenous on 2016-04-06 at 15:03:08 said:
    > How anarchic justice would actually work would be as security. You buy security insurance in advance, specifying against what and how they will retaliate, thus specifying in advance, by contract, what counts as ‘wrong.’ Conflicts between conflicting ideas of ‘wrong’ from differing security firms will be resolved easily, basically the same way cellphone carriers manage to cooperate.

    And if people do not play by those rules? The union claims the right to shoot scab laborers and block roads leading to and from the factory, claims the right to occupy the factory, and any attempt to stop them from doing so “reveals the violence inherent in the system”. Much as dealing with people disrupting Trump rallys proves Trump to be a violent nazi fascist fascist racist violent Hitler.

    What then?

    Well, then, you disarm the Union and disarm people who think like that. The only people allowed to carry arms are those who have respectable opinions on this sort of matter. And it turns out that then you have an ethnically and religiously (or ideologically) homogeneous ruling aristocracy, which is internally anarchic, but externally looks like a state – a fairly common arrangement.

  219. “I notice you make no attempt to rebut my argument that Charles the second gave us the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and what became the British empire.”

    Like everyone else in his immediate family (and a fair proportion of the more distant relations, right down to the present day) Charles II was a congenital idiot. To repurpose a line from Heinlein, one of his eponymous dogs could probably have cheated him at cards.

    I suppose you could argue that he was rather bright, for a Stuart, in that (unlike his father and brother) he was capable of comprehending, and more or less sticking to, a “You won’t be a fucking tyrant, and we won’t chop off your fucking head” deal, but that’s a really low bar.

    Wait: so this Moldbug guy’s uber-dangerous, must-be-no-platformed-at-all-costs CrimeThink is basically a philosophic argument for restoring the Stuart dynasty? Really? That’s what’s got the proglodytes so upset? Yeah, I’m not going to spend a lot of time worrying about that particular outcome.

    Oh, wait: these are the same people who get traumatized by seeing “Trump 2016” written in chalk, and who (apparently) reported a Catholic priest with white vestments and a rosary as a “KKK member swinging a whip”.

    • >I suppose you could argue that [Charles II] was rather bright, for a Stuart, in that (unlike his father and brother) he was capable of comprehending, and more or less sticking to, a “You won’t be a fucking tyrant, and we won’t chop off your fucking head” deal, but that’s a really low bar.

      I had considered conceding, earlier, that Charles II was the best of a bad lot. But given the truly awful record of the rest of the Stuarts, I decided not to bother.

  220. > You buy security insurance in advance, specifying against what and how they will retaliate, thus specifying in advance, by contract, what counts as ‘wrong.’

    I am pretty sure the average robber, mugger, and rapist is unlikely to be a party to such a contract.

    So we make an exception for common criminals, who are subject to coercion that they never contracted for.

    At which point we get a horde of people claiming they are not common criminals: “Hey, I am not being punished for groping someone else’s wife”, says Emmet Till, “I am a victim of racism”.

    Further, we get large organized groups claiming to represent the interests of these dindu nuffins, which organizations demand that they get the power to judge dindu nuffin cases, and other people be denied the power to judge dindu nuffin cases.

  221. > Like everyone else in his immediate family (and a fair proportion of the more distant relations, right down to the present day) Charles II was a congenital idiot

    Laughably ignorant whig history.

    The speeches of Charles II, and the writings of Charles I, are powerful and inspiring stuff.

  222. Charles the second created the scientific revolution, and democracy ended Science.

    The motto of the Royal Society that he created was “take no one’s word for it”. Now we are required to take the word of anonymous committees meeting in secret and coming to conclusions on the basis of secret evidence, which evidence is successfully stonewalled when people make freedom of information requests for it.

    Charles the second launched the industrial revolution in the sense that we first see Rand’s scientist engineer entrepeneur CEO appear in his reign. Now we see the scientist engineer CEO defenestrated and replaced by the puritan theocrat CEO.

  223. @Civilis:

    I always consider the “hostile speech is in itself violence; therefore it suppressing it through violence is legitimate” meme to be the most dangerous disease in SJ, or anywhere it is found for that matter.

    This is indeed a very dangerous idea — I would have included it as a third element if I didn’t see it as entirely derived from the two points listed. (The inappropriate escalation is an element of total war, and while there is such a thing as “hostile speech” the SocJus definition thereof is damaged by their identity politics.)

    The point I hoped was clear by my introduction was that I view either root idea, by itself, to be lethally toxic. Naturally that means the confluence is irredemable — there was at least some “ha-ha-only-serious” in my first post encouraging self-inflicted isolation.

  224. @JAD

    For a man(?) who claims to know how history really works you don’t seem to be aware of what the word “outlaw” meant.

    @Erik

    True, praise is deserved for being less of a bastard than the norm. But I refuse to say that a 70% bastard in a 75% bastard world is a 10% bastard. Translated into American terms; I feel no need to demonize the Founders for their fubars, not even the Hamiltonians as is considered cool among some libertarians. I also feel no need to raise them to demigod status as the conservatives do.

  225. FooQuuxman on 2016-04-06 at 18:17:04 said:
    > For a man(?) who claims to know how history really works you don’t seem to be aware of what the word “outlaw” meant.

    You can outlaw people fine in an ethnically and religiously homogeneous society, where pretty much everyone is agreed on what constitutes criminal conduct.

    Or if you have an ethnically and religiously homogeneous aristocracy who don’t care what the common people think.

    Try outlawing dindu nuffins like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, or Michael Brown. Not so easy.

  226. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703230

    >And if people do not play by those rules? The union claims the right to shoot scab laborers and block roads leading to and from the factory, claims the right to occupy the factory, and any attempt to stop them from doing so “reveals the violence inherent in the system”. Much as dealing with people disrupting Trump rallys proves Trump to be a violent nazi fascist fascist racist violent Hitler.

    Depends. If it’s their road, good for them. If it’s not, they’re guilty of trespassing, and refusing to move constitutes a petty act of war. If they have their own firm, it activates the extradition treaty. They knew or could have known they were trespassing, such things being specified in the pre-existing contract covering the road’s owner. If they don’t have their own firm, I would suggest summarily shooting them.

    If a separate firm is dumb enough to back their claims against a pre-existing owner, then inter-firm war results. They’re stupid – they back claims like this, for example – so they’ll lose. Everyone learns a valuable lesson in not being stupid. E.g. VCs learn not to back firms that claim other people’s property, so such startups fail at launch. The security firm, wanting to avoid such costly efforts in the future, start putting pre-emptive strike clauses in the contracts, so even looking suspicious becomes hazardous.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703240

    >I am pretty sure the average robber, mugger, and rapist is unlikely to be a party to such a contract.
    >So we make an exception for common criminals, who are subject to coercion that they never contracted for.

    Most likely security insurance has deductibles. In this case, taking the form of doing the shooting yourself. Since the mugger has no security firm backing him, the rightness or wrongness of the decision is moot, as nobody is left to dispute it. Notably, this isn’t coercion. Trying to define self-defence as a form of coercion renders both words meaningless.

    It’s questionable even to assume outlaws would be allowed in the city at all.

    We make an exception for everyone. If morality was self-enforcing in the short term we wouldn’t need to argue about it. Nor pay for security. Meaning, what’s moral is irrelevant. What matters is what is enforced.

    >“Hey, I am not being punished for groping someone else’s wife”, says Emmet Till, “I am a victim of racism”.

    If my firm listens to stupid claims by non-paying non-customers, then I cancel my insurance and pick a different firm. Result: my firm defends my interests, not theirs, in the first place.

    >Further, we get large organized groups claiming to represent the interests of these dindu nuffins,

    We don’t, because they have no funding. Dindus can’t pay. I certainly wouldn’t either. We get small, disorganized groups.

    >which organizations demand that they get the power to judge dindu nuffin cases, and other people be denied the power to judge dindu nuffin cases.

    If my firm listens to non-paying non-customers, I cancel my subscription. Result: these demands go unheard, not merely unfunded.

  227. TheDividualist on 2016-04-06 at 03:47:52 said:
    > the joint stock corporation is actually not an uncontroversial concept. The core issue is limited liability. Doesn’t that smell like moral hazard? Not enough skin in the game?

    Limited liability companies running banks and insurance companies is obviously a huge moral hazard and a huge problem.

    Limited liability companies advancing technology is obviously a really good idea and pretty much the only way to go. If you don’t have limited liability companies advancing technology, technology is unlikely to advance.

  228. > > And if people do not play by those rules? The union claims the right to shoot scab laborers and block roads leading to and from the factory, claims the right to occupy the factory, and any attempt to stop them from doing so “reveals the violence inherent in the system”. Much as dealing with people disrupting Trump rallys proves Trump to be a violent nazi fascist fascist racist violent Hitler Hitler gas the Jews Hitler violence.

    > Depends. If it’s their road, good for them. If it’s not, they’re guilty of trespassing, and refusing to move constitutes a petty act of war.

    Yes, but not everyone is going to agree with you and me on that issue. In fact most people, I would say a good fifty percent of men, and pretty much a hundred percent of single women and blacks, are going to disagree.with us. War ensues.

    Recall the controversy on Margaret Thatcher and the coal strike. Morally it was vastly clearer than the case I have just described, since she was defending not scab laborers from being killed by union bosses, but compulsorily unionized workers who in accordance with their Union’s constitution but in defiance of their union bosses had collectively voted to not strike from being killed by union bosses, and yet Margaret Thatcher’s position, which was by our standards quite left wing and pro labor, was still extremely controversial, and is to this day viewed as harsh, extreme, excessively right wing, and anti labor.

  229. > > Further, we get large organized groups claiming to represent the interests of these dindu nuffins,

    > We don’t, because they have no funding. Dindus can’t pay. I certainly wouldn’t either. We get small, disorganized groups.

    The large organized political groups claiming to speak for the poor oppressed victimized dindus force productive people to pay. “Nice little business you got there. Shame if something were to happen to it.”. Hence the example of the British coal strike. Hence the example of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, or Michael Brown.

    • >Perhaps this is a good time to go back and continue your discussion of the Dark Enlightenment?

      I have post in draft titled “Grappling with HBD”.

  230. > High corporate taxes are just embedded in the goods/services sold by highly-successful companies.

    Well, yes, but corporate taxes in the US, while superficially at 39% (not all that high), are actually at 27.1% on US income. And that’s not counting inversions and other tax tricks, which companies use to decrease tax rates to less than 20%. And the small companies can’t afford to do that.

    Also, when companies pay more on exec. compensation and dividends than taxes, your argument fails to apply so well.
    Pfizer FY 2015 taxes: $1.99 billion. Pfizer FY 2015 dividends: $6.96 billion.

    Also, ask this question of yourself: Pfizer CEO made $23,283,048 in 2014.
    Median worker made $114,526. Is the CEO really worth 203.3 times as much as the median employee? No, he’s probably worth at most 20 times as much as them.

  231. Also, ask this question of yourself: Pfizer CEO made $23,283,048 in 2014.
    Median worker made $114,526. Is the CEO really worth 203.3 times as much as the median employee? No, he’s probably worth at most 20 times as much as them.

    I’d think Pfizer’s investors are better able to price the value of a CEO than some random internet commentator. Although there is a lot of mutual backscratching, which tends to overinflate CEO salaries, any actual number is just a guess, one which those not directly involved shouldn’t be making. It’s a sad fact that the cronyism may mean that the political connections of corporate management are more valuable these days to the companies they lead than their skill at running a business, but a CEO that can wrangle hundreds of millions of dollars in income out of manipulating the government is worth that much to the corporation.

  232. corporate taxes in the US, while superficially at 39% (not all that high)

    I missed this on first pass, but one of the reasons so many American companies use tax tricks to go elsewhere is that US corporate taxes are incredibly high compared to a lot of the rest of the world, including a lot of the otherwise more “progressive” European nations.

  233. “Also, ask this question of yourself: Pfizer CEO made $23,283,048 in 2014.
    Median worker made $114,526. Is the CEO really worth 203.3 times as much as the median employee? No, he’s probably worth at most 20 times as much as them.”

    There’s a very good reason that Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. What sort of arrogant prick are you to assume your ignorant feelings should override freely made decisions on how much people decide to pay each other? Come back and talk about fair compensation when you are valuable enough to someone that they freely choose to pay you more than $15/hour minimum wage, and you’ve decided how much to pay someone else based on how much profit you can earn with their help.

    Bah. Useless Marxist underwater basket weaving “graduate”. Bet your daddy paid for your party school education, right?

  234. >This is not “giving us the industrial revolution”. This is “getting the fuck out of my fucking way, ya goddam tyrant”.

    Going back through this mess of a discussion…. Knowing what history, human nature, and the habits of ruling classes have to tell us, I don’t think enough of you are appreciating this for the rare-to-the-point-of-being-a-fucking-miracle level event it was.

  235. “US corporate taxes are incredibly high compared to a lot of the rest of the world, including a lot of the otherwise more “progressive” European nations.”

    Yes, 39% is quite high. Sweden, one of the highest, is only 22%. The UK is 20%. Ireland is only 12.5%. Switzerland is only 8.5%.

    There’s a reason why the Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich arrangement was invented.

  236. > Bet your daddy paid for your party school education, right?
    Nope. Only about half. Uncle paid for rest. He’s rich enough to spend $1100 on a birthday dinner for his father. And while UConn may be a bit of a party school (I dunno), I don’t party (don’t even enjoy it – Asperger’s) (Also, in-state tuition rates). And I’m studying CS, with a 3.35 GPA and straight As in CS and math classes so far.

    > but a CEO that can wrangle hundreds of millions of dollars in income out of manipulating the government is worth that much to the corporation.

    Maybe, but here’s a question: Should that be even possible? Also, ratio of CEO pay to mean worker pay in the US is about 350. Second highest (in a list of 16 countries: US, CH, DE, ES, CZ, FR, AU, SE, UK, IL, JP, NO, PT, DK, AT, PO, here given in decreasing order of ratio) was Switzerland (approximately tied with Germany), at 150. Japanese CEOs, having had a very cozy relationship with government, only made 67 times the average worker. So is that really sane? Also, in a survey, Americans were of the perception that the US ratio was about 30 (!), and were of the opinion that the ideal ratio was about 7. Yes, SEVEN. Even Poland has a higher pay ratio than that, at 28. (Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/the-pay-gap-between-ceos-and-workers-is-much-worse-than-you-realize/)

    “Reality has a well-known liberal bias” — Stephen Colbert

  237. > Also, in a survey, Americans were of the perception that the US ratio was about 30 (!), and were of the opinion that the ideal ratio was about 7. Yes, SEVEN.

    So? Americans may be of the perception that money falls from the sky, and the opinion that everyone should get a million dollars. *shrug* Envy is still a deadly sin for good reason, and the modal American in a survey is probably covered by McCarthy’s dictum that he who will not do arithmetic will talk nonsense.

    A quick estimate leads me to believe that a factor of seven is the sort of ratio one should frequently see within a narrow employment class, never mind between CEO and floor. For example, suppose a skilled widget-painter does twice the work of a poor one, whether in quality or quantity, and gets remunerated correspondingly. If our hypothetical skilled widget-painter gets a 3% seniority/loyalty bonus per year and works for 25 years, there’s a factor of two over a greenhorn. If he works two hours of overtime a day at double pay, there’s +50%. If his company pays its employees more in wages and less in intangibles compared to another, it’s not hard to have another one-sixth difference there. 2*2*1.5*1.166 = 7.

    “Stephen Colbert has a well-known liberal bias.” — me

  238. EMF: “Also, ask this question of yourself: Pfizer CEO made $23,283,048 in 2014.
    Median worker made $114,526. Is the CEO really worth 203.3 times as much as the median employee?”

    What difference does it make how much anyone besides yourself makes? How is it any of your $DEITY->damned business? If he made $0 and that was distributed across the company, the salaries of his employees wouldn’t go up by $1000 a year. (I assume Pfizer has more than 23,284 employees.)

    This is nothing more than naked jealousy, and it defines the politics of the Left.

    “‘Also, in a survey, Americans were of the perception that the US ratio was about 30 (!), and were of the opinion that the ideal ratio was about 7. Yes, SEVEN. ”

    All this proves is that the politics of jealousy will always find fertile ground in which to grow. It still does not make it in any way right.

  239. @Locketopus

    > P.S. Nazis are only “right wing” if you’re Stalin. They were socialists. National Socialists. It says so right there on the label, dude. Surely you’re not going to argue that they were libertarians?

    I know more than is consistent with my own comfort about the ideology and practices of Nazis and modern neo-fascists. They hold some communitarian beliefs, but they are not socialists, as a reading of Mein Kampf would make clear to you. The appearance of the ending “-sozialismus” in the full name of the Nazis has as much to do with Hitler’s realpolitik as it does to do with ideology: the map is not the territory.

  240. @esr:

    (I’m still sore about the Jacobite risings. It’s difficult to think of a more tragic case of good men fighting for leaders so utterly unworthy of their loyalty. If there’s a hell, the Stuarts deserve to fry in it for what they did to the Scots.)

    This Stewart, descendant of the Bonnie Prince, sincerely hopes that there is no hell…

  241. I know more than is consistent with my own comfort about the ideology and practices of Nazis and modern neo-fascists. They hold some communitarian beliefs, but they are not socialists, as a reading of Mein Kampf would make clear to you. The appearance of the ending “-sozialismus” in the full name of the Nazis has as much to do with Hitler’s realpolitik as it does to do with ideology: the map is not the territory.

    I don’t know whether to cite these sorts of arguments as examples of “No True Scotsman” or “Motte and Bailey” arguments. I keep hearing that on the continuum of the amount of regulation present in the economy, all countries are really Socialist. Then, when we find one that’s historically inconvenient, Socialism becomes a strict definition that even explicitly calling yourself Socialist or building your platform on “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” isn’t enough.

    Socialism is defined as “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” If you have a better definition of socialism, feel free to provide it, but please run some known examples against the definition to save us some time. Both the party platform (theory) and what they implemented (practice) hew closer to the definition of Socialism than the current European welfare states held up as examples of “successful Socialism” by progressives.

  242. Maybe, but here’s a question: Should that be even possible?

    Increasing government power over business, such as wages, makes that sort of cronyism easier, as we’ve seen.

    Also, ratio of CEO pay to mean worker pay in the US is about 350. Second highest (in a list of 16 countries: US, CH, DE, ES, CZ, FR, AU, SE, UK, IL, JP, NO, PT, DK, AT, PO, here given in decreasing order of ratio) was Switzerland (approximately tied with Germany), at 150. Japanese CEOs, having had a very cozy relationship with government, only made 67 times the average worker.

    There’s an interesting thing when I looked at that study. For the US, it cites Fortune 500 CEO’s, not all CEO’s. Could there be a reason large US businesses are so much bigger than those abroad? Could there be a reason Americans in general are so much more wealthy than people in those other countries?

    I’d have no problems with removing the layers of bureaucracy and regulation that strangle small businesses in the US, but while that might reduce the ratio between the top CEOs and the median, it’s good because it will raise the median (which is what we should be concerned with, not the ratio between the median and the top).

  243. >They hold some communitarian beliefs, but they are not socialists, as a reading of Mein Kampf would make clear to you.

    They were absolutely socialists, as a reading of the 25 Point Program would make clear to you. As I said, it’s basically a Bernie Sanders speech with added Judenhass.

    Here, I’ll even provide a link:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program

    > The appearance of the ending “-sozialismus” in the full name of the Nazis has as much to do with Hitler’s realpolitik as it does to do with ideology: the map is not the territory.

    You do know that the Communist Manifesto had little to do with Stalin’s realpolitik, right? I guess the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics “wasn’t socialist” either, then?

    We’re right back to “well, if it turned into starvation, slavery, and mass murder, it wasn’t real socialism/communism”, which I already disposed of above.

  244. >Also, in a survey, Americans were of the perception that the US ratio was about 30 (!), and were of the opinion that the ideal ratio was about 7.

    That’s nice. I’m of the opinion that everyone get a mansion provided by the government, free and clear, along with free food and drink and complaisant supermodels of your chosen gender(s) on staff. Also, a minimum wage of $50 billion per hour, so we can all work for one hour total in our lives (or even less), and then retire.

    I don’t want to sound like Angry Old Man here, but perhaps you should revisit your assumptions after you’ve had a real job for a while.

    “Reality has a well-known liberal bias” — Stephen Colbert

    “Stephen Colbert is a lying communist” — Me

  245. Alrenous @2016-04-06 15:03:08:

    “Suppose magic. . . . When they try to buy your passage to your job, ProTip: say no.”

    Heh. Yup. Statists are really good at making up contrived examples of bad things which might happen without the State, and even better at totally ignoring the immense amount of bad things which actually have happened and actually will continue to happen which couldn’t happen without the State.

    BTW, for the record: My original comment re ancap culture was addressed to a sincere question about the ancap position, and also to other ancaps as an answer to said question which they may not have considered. It was NOT addressed to those seeking to attack the ancap position by means of semantic obfuscation masquerading as argument.

  246. > What difference does it make how much anyone besides yourself makes?

    Not much, really, but the point is that there is no way he’s worth that much.
    Also see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1732754, which says that externally-hired CEOs with more compensation do worse. Yes, that’s regression to the mean, but if CEOs were worth what they were paid, this wouldn’t happen.

    In other words, this is proof the market is inefficient. And in an inefficient market, all the theorems that libertarians like to cite fail to apply.

    > Could there be a reason large US businesses are so much bigger than those abroad? Could there be a reason Americans in general are so much more wealthy than people in those other countries?

    Could there be a reason the US has a Gini coefficient of 41.1, and the other 15 countries it’s in the 30s?

    I think there is something interesting going on w.r.t. the libertarian belief that the world isn’t warming. It is the simple syllogism: a) There is nothing that exists that the free market can’t handle; b) The free market cannot handle huge negative externalities with costs that are uncertain; c) Global warming would be a huge negative externality; therefore global warming does not exist.
    Also, much of the anti-AGW research is funded by the Koch brothers, owners of a huge coal conglomerate. This doesn’t mean it’s false in and of itself, but is a reason to be more skeptical.

    A final problem that I have with libertarianism: It seems to be seized on by sociopaths like Don Blankenship as a justification for their schmucky behavior.

    Oh, and don’t knock kritarchies too much. The common law seems to be based on Jewish and Muslim law in many ways.

  247. @Civilis

    >Socialism is defined as “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” If you have a better definition of socialism, feel free to provide it, but please run some known examples against the definition to save us some time.

    The problem with definitions is that not all words mean a given definition. I could observe that Hitler would not have been aware of that definition at the time he coined the name of the Nazi party, or I could point out that Marxist-Leninists prefer to define socialism as the state intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved, a definition that Hitler was aware of.

  248. Not much, really, but the point is that there is no way he’s worth that much.

    If he brings in 100 million dollars of revenue, or they believe he will bring in 100 million worth of revenue, he’s worth about 100 million to the company.

    In other words, this is proof the market is inefficient. And in an inefficient market, all the theorems that libertarians like to cite fail to apply.

    This is proof that the current system is inefficient, true, but that is what libertarians keep saying. Making the market ‘fairer’ by making it more inefficient will make things worse.

    Could there be a reason the US has a Gini coefficient of 41.1, and the other 15 countries it’s in the 30s?

    Which is more important, the median income or the Gini coefficient? Would you rather everyone be equally poor, or some rich and some richer?

    I think there is something interesting going on w.r.t. the libertarian belief that the world isn’t warming.

    ‘Global warming’ is a shorthand in discussion for both a very complicated scientific theory and a bunch of associated political ‘remedies’; the fact that you mischaracterize your opponent’s positions suggests you don’t understand them. Disagreeing or even expressing skepticism of any part of the package gets branded as ‘not thinking the Earth is warming’. I also notice you don’t mention those that will profit greatly from those proposed political ‘remedies’ and oppose things which would reduce global warming that would not also enrich them, which is a sign that they’re interested in the money from the ‘solution’ and not the problem.

    A final problem that I have with libertarianism: It seems to be seized on by sociopaths like Don Blankenship as a justification for their schmucky behavior.

    Which are worse, libertarian sociopaths or authoritarian sociopaths? You’re always going to have soiciopaths. We’re here in part because we’re discussing the “schmucky” behavior of authoritarian sociopaths in ESR’s post, who have and abuse real power.

  249. The problem with definitions is that not all words mean a given definition. I could observe that Hitler would not have been aware of that definition at the time he coined the name of the Nazi party, or I could point out that Marxist-Leninists prefer to define socialism as the state intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved, a definition that Hitler was aware of.

    You’ll note I suggested trying to apply your definition to known good samples. Can you name one socialist state that is currently in the process of moving towards true Communism? Certainly the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had ceased to fit your definition of Socialism by the time of the death of Lenin, much less the rise of Hitler to power.

  250. @Civilis – You’ll note that I did not claim to offer a better defintion. But if I had to work with that definition, and if my guess about China’s current relationship to Maoist theory is correct, then China would be an example.

  251. EMF: “the point is that there is no way he’s worth that much.”

    You are in no position to make that statement. An employee is worth whatever he can negotiate for himself in compensation. If a company wants an experienced, proven CEO, they have to pay. He’s obviously worth that to Pfizer, and nobody else is entitled to an opinion.

    “Could there be a reason the US has a Gini coefficient of 41.1, and the other 15 countries it’s in the 30s?”

    And what, exactly, does this have to do with anything? A rising tide lifts all boats, as that famous right-wing nut job JFK observed. If your boat isn’t lifted as fast as someone else’s, that does not mean that you’re still sitting where you were.

    “Also, much of the anti-AGW research is funded by the Koch brothers, owners of a huge coal conglomerate. This doesn’t mean it’s false in and of itself, but is a reason to be more skeptical.”

    And yet you are completely unskeptical of all of the pro-CAGW research that’s funded by governments. Koch money is somehow tainted and corrupts all it touches; government money is pure as the driven snow. Riiiiiiight.

  252. “China would be an example.”

    Nonsense. China is communist in name only at this point, and is headed toward disintegration and rule by rival warlords, as it inevitably does (just as Russia always winds up being ruled by a czar, no matter what the actual job title might be).

  253. You’ll note that I did not claim to offer a better defintion. But if I had to work with that definition, and if my guess about China’s current relationship to Maoist theory is correct, then China would be an example.

    In the short term, in the sense that the current Chinese administration is rolling back some of the previous reforms and putting increasing controls on their stock market, I’d agree this answer is technically correct, and I am delighted to be corrected. I don’t think that China will eventually end up at True Communism by either Marxist or Maoist standards; I think the new restrictions are a reaction to previous economically liberal changes (moving away from True Communism) that have been more destabilizing to the Communist Party than anticipated, and that there is no way most of those reforms can be taken back.

    At root though, if you are going to argue that a particular leader or country at a point in time is or is not socialist, you’re going to need to have a definition to compare it with. You’re also going to need to demonstrate that the definition is valid by taking other examples and seeing if they fit the definition. It’s tricky because there is a sliding scale, and different people can draw the line as to what constitutes Socialism at different places. I’m trying to be open and honest about the process by which I’m making my decisions.

    If I’m going to make an honest spectrum, I’d say America today is less socialist than Europe today (specifically, the Scandinavian states cited as examples of successful socialist economies). Europe is less socialist than present-day China. China today is less socialist than America during World War II under FDR. And FDR’s war economy is less socialist than the Soviet Union at any point or China under Mao. Where does Hitler fall? Depends on what point in the war and how you rate various metrics; I’d say somewhere between FDR and the USSR.

    I’m just amazed at the amount of contortions people go through to make the Nazi’s not socialist while holding a lot more economically liberal states up as examples of socialism done right. Hitler was a vegetarian and an animal lover. That doesn’t mean vegetarianism and animal welfare advocacy makes you a bad guy, but it does mean that vegetarianism and animal welfare aren’t always associated with virtue.

  254. > He’s obviously worth that to Pfizer
    So they’re seriously overpaying for him.

    > And yet you are completely unskeptical of all of the pro-CAGW research that’s funded by governments.
    I’m skeptical. But the data doesn’t lie, and shows that the world is definitely getting warmer.

    > We’re here in part because we’re discussing the “schmucky” behavior of authoritarian sociopaths in ESR’s post, who have and abuse real power.
    No kidding. Don Blankenship is one, who uses libertarian ideology as a cloak.
    The problem with oligarchy: Don Blankenship was able to buy the vote of a WV SC justice. (Caperton v. Massey)

    Also, regulations are necessary; would you be willing to live in a world where food wasn’t labeled with ingredients?

  255. I should have said, the official ideology still claims that China is moving towards communism.

    Why do you expressly discount the official Nazi ideology, yet accept the official Chinese ideology? Here’s the point, which we find variations of over and over: there’s an easily noticed double standard, which can’t be acknowledged because doing so would completely change the debate. Why is Yarvin’s conference association worthy of a boycott, but Sterling’s not? Why is money from the Koch brothers tainted but money from the Saudi Oil Shiek’s pure? The entire progressive worldview is built on the assumption that it is somehow uniquely virtuous, and even acknowledging that the other side might be equally justified in thinking that it is virtuous causes the whole thing to fall apart.

  256. @Civilis – It is good that we have reached agreement on one point! But…definitions

    > At root though, if you are going to argue that a particular leader or country at a point in time is or is not socialist, you’re going to need to have a definition to compare it with. You’re also going to need to demonstrate that the definition is valid by taking other examples and seeing if they fit the definition. It’s tricky because there is a sliding scale, and different people can draw the line as to what constitutes Socialism at different places. I’m trying to be open and honest about the process by which I’m making my decisions.

    Since I agree with, e.g., Eliezer Yudkowsky that word meanings are not definitions, I disagree with this necessity. If you abandon definitions, the web of meaning becomes something more complex than a sliding scale, which is why arguing ideology sometimes is hell.

    For a data point, I don’t count social democracies as any kind of socialism, which is in conflict with some popular definitions out there. I am happy to talk about any given definition on offer, though, and count social democracies as socialist for the sake of argument.

  257. I’m skeptical. But the data doesn’t lie, and shows that the world is definitely getting warmer.

    It also doesn’t show it getting warmer nearly as much as predicted. Do the predictions say whether there will be more or less hurricanes? What does it say about snow in England? Why did all the same people predict that it as going to be getting cooler?

    No kidding. Don Blankenship is one, who uses libertarian ideology as a cloak.

    Why should I care about Don Blankenship and not Marc Rich or George Soros or Rachel Carson? It’s easy to find sociopaths of all political stripes. When the EPA causes a disaster, it gets covered up and magically, nobody is responsible.

    Also, regulations are necessary; would you be willing to live in a world where food wasn’t labeled with ingredients?

    Why wouldn’t the food be labeled without regulation? In the work I do, most standards are voluntary and come from companies or private groups. For example, most appliances are rated by Underwriters Laboratories, which is a private firm.

    Also, all that regulation didn’t prevent the mine accident. If you think libertarians are bad for the environment, just visit some of the socialist states.

  258. There is no official Nazi ideology. There is only the mad ramblings of Hitler.

    I believe the official party platform is linked above. The party wasn’t just Hitler, even if some of the current crop of neo-Nazis seem to think otherwise.

  259. @Civilis

    > I believe the official party platform is linked above.

    Yes, and it is not *the* official Nazi ideology, but just a positional outporing for Hitler when he was taking over the German Worker’s Party. None of Hitler, the Nazi party or current neo-Nazis feel bound by those theses.

    Mein Kampf is a better candidate for official Nazi ideology, but Hitler’s later thinking explicitly contradicted parts of it. Hitler seemed to be perfectly happy with contradictions.

  260. Since I agree with, e.g., Eliezer Yudkowsky that word meanings are not definitions, I disagree with this necessity. If you abandon definitions, the web of meaning becomes something more complex than a sliding scale, which is why arguing ideology sometimes is hell.

    For a data point, I don’t count social democracies as any kind of socialism, which is in conflict with some popular definitions out there. I am happy to talk about any given definition on offer, though, and count social democracies as socialist for the sake of argument.

    I sincerely appreciate going up against arguments from someone more literal than I am; it makes me think more about what I’m saying. You haven’t switched definitions in a Motte and Bailey shell game, so I apologize if some of my general criticisms of a broad rhetorical thread I see frequently (the ‘Hitler wasn’t socialist AND modern Scandinavia is’) were applied too broadly and harshly to you.

  261. Yes, and it is not *the* official Nazi ideology, but just a positional outporing for Hitler when he was taking over the German Worker’s Party. None of Hitler, the Nazi party or current neo-Nazis feel bound by those theses.

    Two points: one, while the Nazis may not have ultimately been bound by their platform, they did implement a lot of the social welfare programs they called for. Two, aside from perhaps Lenin initially after the formation of the USSR, communist leaders have never been bound by any of that ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ Marxist nonsense, whatever the official ideologies say. I can accept Maoism as an attempt to reconcile traditional Chinese authoritarianism with communist principles in terms of ‘moving to true communism’, but it’s hard to give credit to Mao for sticking to Maoist principles as ideological commitment as opposed to naked authoritarian self-interest (though it’s easier than with Juche and North Korea).

  262. > Why wouldn’t the food be labeled without regulation? In the work I do, most standards are voluntary and come from companies or private groups. For example, most appliances are rated by Underwriters Laboratories, which is a private firm.
    It wasn’t in the Gilded Age. To be fair, now it would be impossible for a company to break from the norm and not show ingredients, but it required Upton Sinclair and government regulation to get food labeling started.

    > It also doesn’t show it getting warmer nearly as much as predicted. Do the predictions say whether there will be more or less hurricanes? What does it say about snow in England? Why did all the same people predict that it as going to be getting cooler?
    More hurricanes. Snow in England? Less in the short term, maybe more in the long term (Gulf Stream might shut down.) Predictions of cooling? They overestimated the effects of aerosols and underestimated the effects of GHGs. (Also, if the albedo of the earth did not depend on frequency and it was at equilibrium, the temperature would be about 230-240 K by a simple calculation, so thank goodness we have at least some GHGs and geothermal heating. This is unrelated to the AGW debate, but I think it’s really neat.)

  263. @Civilis
    > so I apologize if some of my general criticisms of a broad rhetorical thread I see frequently (the ‘Hitler wasn’t socialist AND modern Scandinavia is’) were applied too broadly and harshly to you.

    No apology necessary. I have valued arguing with you.

  264. As far as whether or not the Nazis were socialists, it’s always useful to go back to the original sources. So how about the words of Ernst Röhm, one of the founders of the party, as quoted by Sir Winston Churchill in the first volume of his history of World War II, The Gathering Storm:

    “The revolution we have made is not a national revolution, but a National-Socialist revolution. We would even underline this last word ‘Socialist’. The only rampart which exists against reaction is represented by our assault groups, for they are the absolute incarnation of the revolutionary idea. The militant in the Brown Shirt, from the first day pledged himself to the path of revolution, and he will not deviate by a hairbreadth until our ultimate goal has been achieved.”

    Now, of course an astute reader of history might ask, “didn’t Hitler have Röhm murdered”? And of course, the answer is yes, but that same astute reader upon reflection would realize that one faction murdering other factions of socialists is so common that it’s practically a defining characteristic of socialist revolutions. See, for example, the purges of Stalin and Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

    Socialist educators have been trying to rewrite history and disavow the Nazis for more than half a century now, and sadly they may succeed.

  265. @Charles Stewart @others let me argue that socialism is simply not a useful term and should not be used at all. The dictionary definition means worker control of the means of production. So basically a government that would confiscate shares from shareholders and give it to workers of the firm would be 100% socialist, even if it does not do any of the following things: taxation, providing social services, unemployment benefits, old age pensions, healthcare, education spending, poverty relief, social housing and you name it.

    The dictionary definition of socialism simply does not require all that. It requires one move – although that is arguably fairly lethal – and that move could be done with a very small number of government employees and hardly any spending. Bakunin argued that even just replacing permanent property rights with impermanent usage rights may just do the trick. I think these are all extremely bad ideas and would lead to people killing each other in no time but that is not the point.

    My point is simply to demonstrate that socialism is nothing but an excuse. Nobody is a socialist. Nobody who matters. What actually happened all through history that influential people figured out it would be in their interest to, for example, lead an organization that provides poverty relief or state-paid education. They needed an excuse. What was their excuse? They claimed that capitalism is unfair on the poor. And they used socialist ideology as reason why.

    Nobody ever really cares about socialism, it is largely bullshit. It is almost a joke. If actual workers would own the productive resources they would sell them for whiskey. Thy are usually stupid. Does anyone who ever worked with blue collars would give them a factory? Have you seen how they treat company cars? Besides, it is intellectuals who advocate socialism, not workers. How the eff would actual socialism benefit them? It would be worker control, not intellectual control. So it has never ever been meant seriously. But a socialist critique of capitalism is and has always been used as an excuse to gain status, power, or holiness points largely through an expansion of government. By intellectuals, by bureaucrats.

    Try to see through these excuses, please, both sides. The really, truly important thing is that simply socialism is used as a handy to excuse to charge capitalism with being unfair and thus grant one a cozy government job to fix an aspect of unfairness. Hardly anyone ever cared about actually trying to give productive resources to workers because it is a bad idea anyway but the important part is: how would that benefit the upper middle class, Harvard educated, socially ambitious Beltway bureaucrat? Or his European or Russian counterpart? Because that is what really mattered. And matters. Thus let’s not even take this term seriously.

    “Socialism” essentially just means this. Be a smart intellectual. Find the dumbest group of people you can. They will, naturally, not have an easy life. Furiously preach how their rights or interests are violated. Make them support you with votes and street violence. Then, don’t actually do the simple, straightforward amendments that directly adress the very (perceived) injustices you raised awareness to (Bakunin’s impermanent property rights as a form of actual socialism, or shares to workers or something in this example), partially because they are obviously bad ideas and partially because that would not give you status or power. Instead, demand creating an agency, a social program under your control that merely addresses various **effects** of the perceived injustice. Like, workers not controlling the means of production leads to accidents as evil capitalists disregard the safety rules? Now you get to run the OSHA and write a million safety rules. Like, workers not controlling the means of production leads to unemployment? Now you run the dole office. And so on. This trick is old and people keep falling for it. See through it, please.

  266. “But the data doesn’t lie”

    It does when it’s being deliberately fudged. The NASA dataset is being fudged: it’s been “adjusted” several times with no explanation or description of exactly what changes were made. Before NASA got to it, the 1930s were warmer than the present day.

    And if Pfizer’s overpaying for their CEO, how, exactly, is that society’s problem? Or anyone else’s but their shareholders’?

  267. More hurricanes. Snow in England? Less in the short term, maybe more in the long term (Gulf Stream might shut down.) Predictions of cooling? They overestimated the effects of aerosols and underestimated the effects of GHGs. (Also, if the albedo of the earth did not depend on frequency and it was at equilibrium, the temperature would be about 230-240 K by a simple calculation, so thank goodness we have at least some GHGs and geothermal heating. This is unrelated to the AGW debate, but I think it’s really neat.)

    I think current models call for less hurricanes, actually; we’ve certainly seen less. But you’ll find the people arguing for ‘Global Warming’ (I’m going to use the term here for the whole package of political changes, not just the scientific theory) seem to give answers that tell people what is most convenient for their cause, not what the truth is. Likewise, anti-Global Warming debaters capitalize a lot on publicly shouted claims by the Global Warming supporters that England would never see snow again.

    This is another point where we get into the ‘Motte and Baily’ shell game. Reconcile these two statements:
    A) It’s vitally important for the future of this planet that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially CO2, to the point where it doesn’t matter if this impoverishes billions of people.
    B) No nuclear power or fracking, even if it means more greenhouse gas emissions.

    If you place the statements side by side, it’s obvious that there’s an agenda at work here besides “greenhouse gases are bad”.

    Or, considering your earlier posts, these two:
    A) Money from the Koch brothers is bad, because they own some coal mines, and coal contributes to global warming.
    B) Money from the Saudi monarchy is good, despite the fact that they own a lot of oil production, and oil contributes to global warming.

  268. “Limited liability companies running banks and insurance companies is obviously a huge moral hazard and a huge problem.

    Limited liability companies advancing technology is obviously a really good idea and pretty much the only way to go. If you don’t have limited liability companies advancing technology, technology is unlikely to advance.”

    And who shall advance the technology of banking? Should we still be using physical gold as the exclusive form of currency?

  269. > Two, aside from perhaps Lenin initially after the formation of the USSR, communist leaders have never been bound by any of that ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ Marxist nonsense, whatever the official ideologies say.

    Then it’s hard to take seriously the suggestion that having an official platform resembling the official platform of socialism is any sort of relevant comment. Maybe the Nazis and the Soviets deviated in the same direction, maybe they deviated in different directions, in either case none of that makes “…and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.” a compelling argument for seeing modern liberalism as another iteration of either or both.

  270. > The entire progressive worldview is built on the assumption that it is somehow uniquely virtuous, and even acknowledging that the other side might be equally justified in thinking that it is virtuous causes the whole thing to fall apart.

    Well, of course. That’s true of any moral belief system – liberal, conservative, libertarian, religious, whatever. Not having it is simple nihilism. Here in these comments, people nearly fell apart at the mere suggestion from a devils-advocate angle that the belief that property rights are sacred is not uniquely virtuous.

  271. Then it’s hard to take seriously the suggestion that having an official platform resembling the official platform of socialism is any sort of relevant comment. Maybe the Nazis and the Soviets deviated in the same direction, maybe they deviated in different directions, in either case none of that makes “…and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.” a compelling argument for seeing modern liberalism as another iteration of either or both.

    If every time the people that say “government is just the things we do together” get in power it ends up turning into a totalitarian hellhole, it tells us something about what happens when the goverment gets too much power. You’re right that the actual ideology doesn’t matter too much.

  272. @Civilis

    > Two points: one, while the Nazis may not have ultimately been bound by their platform, they did implement a lot of the social welfare programs they called for.

    Yes. They were collectivists and sought to combat the social democrats on their own grounds.

    > Two, aside from perhaps Lenin initially after the formation of the USSR, communist leaders have never been bound by any of that ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ Marxist nonsense, whatever the official ideologies say. I can accept Maoism as an attempt to reconcile traditional Chinese authoritarianism with communist principles in terms of ‘moving to true communism’, but it’s hard to give credit to Mao for sticking to Maoist principles as ideological commitment as opposed to naked authoritarian self-interest (though it’s easier than with Juche and North Korea).

    I suppose “bound” is another tricky word. Mao is another example of a totalitarian who embraced contradictions, unlike Stalin who saw it as a reason to engage in Orwellian revisionism. ‘Dictatorship of the proletariat’ is far from nonsense; on the contrary, it has a clear and widely agreed upon meaning coming from Marx’s writings and one that the Leninists did not seek to revise. I think the ideology of the Chinese communists still follow Marxist orthodoxy in this respect.

  273. Well, of course. That’s true of any moral belief system – liberal, conservative, libertarian, religious, whatever. Not having it is simple nihilism. Here in these comments, people nearly fell apart at the mere suggestion from a devils-advocate angle that the belief that property rights are sacred is not uniquely virtuous.

    On the contrary, America is, or was, comfortable with the idea “I might not like what you say. but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” and let would-be totalitarians march down the streets of Skokie. It’s still perfectly possible to freely go and start a commune in the middle of capitalist America, and members of groups that explicitly call for destroying the system not only don’t get arrested, they can help their friends become president. As ESR demonstrates, granting that freedom is not possible for progressives.

  274. @Skip is of course right when he says
    > As far as whether or not the Nazis were socialists, it’s always useful to go back to the original sources
    Unfortunately, there are so many original sources to choose between. Hence the madness.

  275. @TheDividualist
    >@Charles Stewart @others let me argue that socialism is simply not a useful term and should not be used at all.
    Unfortunately it is hard to wrestle with Marxist orthodoxy if you elect to do this, since the term has a clear role in the original sources.

  276. I think the ideology of the Chinese communists still follow Marxist orthodoxy in this respect.

    But it’s rather obvious that whatever the official ideology says, those in charge no longer follow it (which is what I thought you meant by ‘not bound by it’). The difference between the current Chinese communist leadership and the Nazi leadership in this regard are that the Chinese are rational long-term planners with a decent idea of what is possible (even if I think they’ve overestimated their control) rather than suicidally insane. See https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160406-china-red-nobility-offshore-dealings.html

  277. @Civilis
    > The difference between the current Chinese communist leadership and the Nazi leadership in this regard are that the Chinese are rational long-term planners with a decent idea of what is possible (even if I think they’ve overestimated their control) rather than suicidally insane.

    LOL! Yes, spot on.

  278. > Money from the Saudi monarchy is good, despite the fact that they own a lot of oil production, and oil contributes to global warming.

    Fuck them. They’re bastards. They should rot in hell, them and their jihadi friends.

    > It does when it’s being deliberately fudged. The NASA dataset is being fudged: it’s been “adjusted” several times with no explanation or description of exactly what changes were made. Before NASA got to it, the 1930s were warmer than the present day.

    You could point me at proof of this?

    > And if Pfizer’s overpaying for their CEO, how, exactly, is that society’s problem? Or anyone else’s but their shareholders’?

    You’re right, of course. Then again, it is proof that the market is nowhere near efficient, and as such, theorems that assume an efficient market have no validity.

    > I think current models call for less hurricanes, actually; we’ve certainly seen less.

    I thought it was more and more powerful. Maybe it’s less, but more powerful? In any case, there’s been a recent uptick in Atlantic hurricanes, but that seems to be due to the AMO (low from 1900-1927 and from 1960-1985, high at other times). However, 2005 was a record year in the Atlantic, with 27 named storms and 5 retired names, more than ever before. And 16 of them made landfall somewhere (Vince in Spain, Alpha in Haiti, the rest on the mainland of North or Central America), which is pretty high (given that in many prior seasons, hurricanes wouldn’t have been recorded if they didn’t affect land). Also, four of the top ten Atlantic seasons for ACE since 1850 were in the last 20 years (2005 (2nd), 2004 (6th), 1998 (9th), and 1999 (10th); 1995 barely fails to make the 20-year cut, but is in 5th place). Draw your own conclusions from that. And 2015 was an El Niño year, so of course there were fewer Atlantic hurricanes then (East Pacific hurricanes follow the opposite trend).

    > No nuclear power or fracking, even if it means more greenhouse gas emissions.

    Fracking means less greenhouse gas emissions? (I am very pro-nuclear-power, except in the case of Iran and Saudi Arabia, because I don’t trust ’em. The governments, that is.)

    > It’s vitally important for the future of this planet that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially CO2, to the point where it doesn’t matter if this impoverishes billions of people.

    Impoverishing billions of people? Not really. I think the right thing to do is to get developed countries to shoulder the brunt of reducing emissions, and try to come up with less-polluting energy sources. (I’m a particular fan of LFTRs. I think they’re just neat.)

  279. Take the Nazi Party platform, remove the Jew-hatred, and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.

    As Hayek showed during the War, by pointing out that the German socialists who were going about England preaching their creed all “happened” to be Jews. What happened to Germany’s gentile socialists, he asked? They had all become nazis, and the only reason the Jewish ones didn’t do the same was that Hitler wouldn’t have them.

  280. Fracking means less greenhouse gas emissions? (I am very pro-nuclear-power, except in the case of Iran and Saudi Arabia, because I don’t trust ’em. The governments, that is.)

    Natural gas releases less greenhouse gases than oil or coal, yes. The fracking boom is credited with being one of the causes in the US’s reduction in CO2 emissions over the past decade.

    I don’t know, specifically, that I can fault you for this, but I do know I can say that generally every Global Warming activist that’s come to one of these has said that they, personally, were for nuclear power, and yet, I’ve seen no evidence of any general pushback against the anti-nuclear activists for things like the cancellation of Yucca Mountain or Germany’s shuttering nuclear plants while opening new (marginally cleaner than the old) coal plants.

    Impoverishing billions of people? Not really. I think the right thing to do is to get developed countries to shoulder the brunt of reducing emissions, and try to come up with less-polluting energy sources.

    “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/11/18/un-ipcc-official-we-redistribute-worlds-wealth-climate-policy

  281. > On the contrary, America is, or was, comfortable with the idea “I might not like what you say. but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”

    Yes, because allowing people to say things is part of most American moral systems. Allowing the opposing side to actually implement their ideas is not, and must be fought at every turn.

  282. > B) No nuclear power or fracking, even if it means more greenhouse gas emissions.

    I’m not sure how you can think that pro-fracking is a libertarian stance, when the only thing that allows fracking is centralized water-rights regimes that deny people the standing to sue when their groundwater is ruined.

  283. @Milhouse

    >> Take the Nazi Party platform, remove the Jew-hatred, and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.

    > As Hayek showed during the War, by pointing out that the German socialists who were going about England preaching their creed all “happened” to be Jews. What happened to Germany’s gentile socialists, he asked? They had all become nazis, and the only reason the Jewish ones didn’t do the same was that Hitler wouldn’t have them.

    I think your first sentence introduces a promise that is not fulfilled in the rest of the paragraph. What did Hayek show?

  284. I’m not sure how you can think that pro-fracking is a libertarian stance, when the only thing that allows fracking is centralized water-rights regimes that deny people the standing to sue when their groundwater is ruined.

    I’m not saying fracking is or isn’t a libertarian thing; there are obviously questions about implementation. (Also, I’m not an ancap.) The point is that if you’re against greenhouse gases and yet also against technology that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s a disconnect. The whole ‘climate change’ (including both the science and political proposals) side of the debate is based around sacrificing for the public good, and yet they’re unwilling to sacrifice their own hangups; it’s an indicator that they’re not serious about what they want.

    Yes, because allowing people to say things is part of most American moral systems. Allowing the opposing side to actually implement their ideas is not, and must be fought at every turn.

    Except, as has been shown repeatedly, the progressives are against allowing people to say things, whether its things against their Global Warming crusade or things against their superficial diversity crusade or anything. Bonus points for arguments for criminalizing disagreement from the Global Warming party line on the basis of harm coming from a very prominent anti-vaccine crusader. With changing the laws, you can implement your policy, and if it fails, I can get elected to reverse the policy. Blocking speech means that even if there are negative consequences, you can stop me from coordinating to change it back.

    Preventing people from saying things has been against American moral codes for a reason. And there’s a difference between Trump’s (much as I despise him) increased libel protection, which only occurs after speech and provides civil remedy (and is still a bad idea) and Clinton’s plan to gut the 1st amendment and her stated intention to use it against her enemies.

  285. War ensues.http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703279

    >War ensues.

    Blacks, and women especially, are not fond of war. Because the firm announces in advance that this will lead to war, they are intimidated, and it doesn’t. Maybe you get a couple skirmishes to prove the firm is willing and able.

    That is, if they are not sufficiently intimidated, the firm gets more intimidating until they are.

    But at this point we’re well beyond what armchair sociology can be sure about. The thing to do is try it on a small scale and see what happens, then iterate. The market is smarter than you ? you.

    Our predictions are now nicely recorded in advance. Try it, see what happens and who is correct. Based on past experienced, I’d say there’s more likelihood of an inconclusive or both-wrong outcome than either of us being right.

    >Recall the controversy on Margaret Thatcher and the coal strike.

    “Recall that in the presence of a state-funded media…” Yes, subsidized media are bad. It’s a clear case of the state legitimizing the bosses and not the contracts. Since at that time contracts were taken to be backed the state, it rendered the contract moot. A security firm that changed its mind post-facto about what contracts to enforce would run out of customers almost instantly, and thus have no responsibility for contracts.

    There should have been no controversy not because it’s obviously wrong for mob, er I mean union bosses to murder their goons, but because the goons had not a contract, but some inefficient toilet paper. Obviously it’s right for state-appointed bosses to order their goons around. Everyone owes loyalty to the state, right? Because the state said so, and will shoot you if you disagree to loudly.

    The controversy resulted from some realizing that morality conflicts with statism. Thatcher was rebelling against the regnant sovereign.

    Also anyone trying to forcibly unionize would quickly run out of both workers and customers. Put Exit where voting is now – unlike voting, Exit can’t be exsanguinated, because Exit is local instead of nonlocal. (Kratist parasites realize this, which is why they oppose Exit so loudly.)

    >The large organized political groups claiming to speak for the poor oppressed victimized dindus force productive people to pay

    Even assuming a large, organized group manages to pivot to doing so, it quickly runs out of money and stops being large, because dindus can’t pay for it, and nobody else benefits except the organization itself. There are no subsidies, because any firm attempting to subsidize them will lose on price competition, which they realize, so they don’t try it in the first place.

  286. > The market is smarter than you ? you
    Referring to above in-moderation comment, it seems copy-pasting the ‘for all’ symbol does not work here. Unsurprising in retrospect.

  287. > I know more than is consistent with my own comfort about the ideology and practices of Nazis and modern neo-fascists. They hold some communitarian beliefs, but they are not socialists, as a reading of Mein Kampf would make clear to you.

    Nazism was not as socialist as communism. But it was at least as socialist as Venezuela today, and no one doubt that Venezuela is socialist.

    Nazism was not as socialist as Cuba used to be. But it is a lot more socialist than Cuba is now, and you guys think that Cuba is still socialist.

  288. > The point is that if you’re against greenhouse gases and yet also against technology that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s a disconnect.

    If you’re against the technology on other grounds unrelated to greenhouse gas emissions, there’s no disconnect.

    For an extreme example, total human genocide (and therefore any technology usable to implement it, though I think your argument’s the same if you substitute “policy” for “technology”) would probably reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most people are quite understandably against it.

  289. If you’re against the technology on other grounds unrelated to greenhouse gas emissions, there’s no disconnect.

    ‘Genocide’ isn’t a technology, for one thing. Further, nuclear power and fracking aren’t even close to genocide.

    Stopping fracking and nuclear power is more important, somehow, than this thing you’re (generic, for all the Climate Change advocates) telling me I need to drop all my skepticism and problems with and do what you tell me on. My objections aren’t important to you, but your own personal rules are more important than this really, really important thing. Is there any wonder why Climate Change skeptics don’t take environmentalists seriously?

    If you’re telling me that I must make a sacrifice of something to forestall a evil fate which will affect us both, and you can and yet won’t make a similar sacrifice, you’re a hypocrite. All the Climate Change alarmist rhetoric is that we must make changes that will negatively affect our lives for the greater good, and yet here’s a sacrifice that those that think Climate Change is wrong can and specifically will not make.

  290. > Stopping fracking and nuclear power is more important, somehow, than this thing you’re (generic, for all the Climate Change advocates) telling me I need to drop all my skepticism and problems with and do what you tell me on. My objections aren’t important to you, but your own personal rules are more important than this really, really important thing. Is there any wonder why Climate Change skeptics don’t take environmentalists seriously?

    The problem with fracking from my point of view is mostly that it pollutes the water (which the Midwest doesn’t have a lot of, and desalination is impractical), and seems to cause earthquakes (it’s unclear whether it actually does, but the circumstantial evidence is strong and there’s a clear mechanism of action). Other than that, it isn’t really all that bad. (And yes, it’s definitely better than oil shale.)

    Honestly, the worst thing about nuclear power is that if something goes wrong you have real problems, which is why I really like LFTRs: they’re a lot safer, and thorium is something like four times as plentiful as U-238. If a company was formed to build workable LFTRs, I’d invest in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t even want any ROI; it’s too good (and too workable) an idea for that.

    Also important is actual nuclear waste reprocessing. That way, you don’t have to deal with the worst parts of the waste by burying them. Of course, no cobalt steel; Co-60 is the worst.

    Fusion would be better than nuclear waste reprocessing, but that’s still too far away.

    > “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”

    Well, his point is that it’s pretty much unrelated to other environmental policy, not that it’s unrelated. And the reason one must say it clearly is that people will otherwise argue that they were fooled. The reason that this ends up redistributing the wealth is not that they want to, but that they can’t really help it.

  291. I suspect the problem is that most people haven’t really internalized the fact that nuclear is the only viable way to meet our energy needs without causing too much pollution (even if fracking were perfectly clean, I suspect it’s not enough, which would it in the same spot as wind/solar/etc) enough to be willing to fight for nuclear and not just against other things that are individually objectionable.

  292. > > Recall the controversy on Margaret Thatcher and the coal strike.

    > “Recall that in the presence of a state-funded media…” Yes, subsidized media are bad. It’s a clear case of the state legitimizing the bosses and not the contracts. Since at that time contracts were taken to be backed the state, it rendered the contract moot. A security firm that changed its mind post-facto about what contracts to enforce would run out of customers almost instantly, and thus have no responsibility for contracts.

    You seem to live in Colbert’s universe, where reality has a marked liberal bias.

    Here is what happened in the British Coal strike:

    The “coal industry” was owned by the government, and, predictably, was losing money hand over fist. But some pits were making money, and some pits were losing money. Margaret Thatcher decided to shut down the pits that were losing the most money, to save money, and motivate all the remaining pits to pursue efficiency, thus preparing them for privatization.

    The union held a vote for a general coal strike and lost the vote. The pits that were not going to be shut down mostly voted against the strike.

    Then the union went to war to shut down the coal industry. Violence ensued on such a large scale that it seems unlikely that anarcho capitalist security agencies would have been able to win, and despite the fact that the union had lost the vote and was acting undemocratically against the majority of miners, it had, and evidently still has, a lot of support.

    Further, the union demonstrated that violent minority can put a majority who are trying to go about their business, out of business, and cause them to suffer very large costs. Demonstrated that it is much easier to destroy than to create, and thus much easier to shake down people who create than to create.

  293. I also personally have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a bit of an unholy coalition between the coal industry and the hippy/NIMBY types that oppose nuclear energy.

    • >I also personally have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a bit of an unholy coalition between the coal industry and the hippy/NIMBY types that oppose nuclear energy.

      1973 called. It wants its breaking news back.

  294. I also personally have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a bit of an unholy coalition between the coal industry and the hippy/NIMBY types that oppose nuclear energy.

    There definitely is an unholy coalition between the Arab OPEC oil producers and hippy/NIMBY opponents of domestic oil and gas production. Russia’s probably in there as well; cheap oil is bad for Russia.

  295. BTW, at least one Twitterer is saying Eric’s a neoreactionary…

    I don’t even know what a paleoreactionary is; as far as I’ve ben able to discern it’s just a random word used by communists as a term of abuse, but meaningless to anyone else. (Unlike that other meaningless term of abuse, “fascist”, which has an original meaning one can point to, and insist on using instead.)

  296. One needn’t be a collectivist, or to be against private property in land, in order to deny that you have the right to keep people from harmlessly crossing your land. Scottish, Scandinavian, Jewish, and other legal traditions recognise both land ownership and the right to cross private property so long as the act of crossing is not inherently harmful to the owner, e.g. if there is a crop growing on it, or it’s the curtilage of a residence.

  297. @ Jay Maynard

    > that famous right-wing nut job JFK

    Sorry to intrude, but what makes you feel that way? I thought Democrats could be safely classified as leftists.
    Admittedly, Kennedy’s foreign policy appears to have been fairly hawkish; but since you’re not an isolationist, I suppose that’s not what you meant.

  298. Yep. A pretty good first cut at the desirability of any given country would be to go to the border and notice how many of the guns are pointed inward.

    Back in the late ’70s I suppose I shared the general view of South Africa and Apartheid as one of the great evils that had to be fought. Until I read a column by Michael Barnard making this very point, and pointing out that South Africa’s border guards had their guns pointing out, and that despite their efforts there were hundreds of thousands of black Africans desperately trying to get in to this supposed hellhole for them.

  299. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703638
    >You seem to live in Colbert’s universe, where reality has a marked liberal bias.
    Afraid the confusion’s entirely on your end. You didn’t say anything surprising or unexpected.

    > Violence ensued on such a large scale that it seems unlikely that anarcho capitalist security agencies would have been able to win
    The violence was subsidized. I can know this simply from knowing how widespread it was. Otherwise, grapeshot is effective. Aim twice, fire once. Won’t need to fire a second time.

    Also, of course it was subsidized. Unions.

    >and despite the fact that the union had lost the vote and was acting undemocratically against the majority of miners, it had, and evidently still has, a lot of support.
    The vote was illegitimate. They voted wrong. The regnant sovereign was against validating it, so it was invalid. It referenced a contract that was only valid as long as it said the union should do what it was going to do anyway. Contract was opposed to sovereign+union.

    >Further, the union demonstrated that violent minority can put a majority who are trying to go about their business, out of business
    Demonstrated that a violent state-backed minority can defeat an oppressed majority. If the majority had been allowed to defend themselves, the minority would have been too scared to get out of bed, let alone make trouble.

    >and cause them to suffer very large costs.
    This is true. However, it’s easy to make a minority suffer even larger costs. Use bombs for maximum cost-effectiveness. Imagine when a mob er I mean union boss tries to make trouble he gets mortared. Yes, he can impose large costs. Unless he’s insane, he will prefer to not die. If he is insane, then the mortar guys are happy that day, and the problem goes away.

    Basically, ProTip: treat acts of war like acts of war, not ‘civil disobedience.’

  300. Jorge: “Sorry to intrude, but what makes you feel that way? I thought Democrats could be safely classified as leftists.”

    I was being sarcastic. That was a swipe at those who think that only conservatives think that a rising tide lifts all boats.

  301. Nancy Lebovitz – Communist Romania sold people. There was a price for ethnic germans to get exit visas and a different price to get jews. When Nixon came to Romania to negotiate an MFN treaty, he demanded as a precondition that a certain list, one that the US had assembled as people who were known to want to leave but could not, had to be liberated as a condition for talks. So those people were sold for a piece of paper.

    I was on that list.

  302. @ Jay Maynard

    > I was being sarcastic.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    > That was a swipe at those who think that only conservatives think that a rising tide lifts all boats.

    You mean those who denounce “trickle-down” economic policy and insist that the cake be distributed a certain way, rather than striving to make a bigger cake? I’ve seen that mindset at work; my country’s in stagflation because of it.

  303. “This makes me “anti-democratic”, technically, but it’s in a very different way from the NRx crowd. They want to abolish democracy in favor of some firm hand running things; I don’t want any person running things, just the revealed preferences of the market.”

    I’m inclined to agree, but I have come to realize that a ‘firm hand’, like any other centralizing mechanism, does much better with a smaller information load, as would be the case in the microstates I’ve described here.

    Along with the Free State Project, the multifarious proposals for sovereign startups, seasteads, and charter cities seem to me to not only be a promising means of attaining societies organized along strictly Libertarian principles, but also a mechanism for playing around with the parameters of social organization.

  304. > > Further, the union demonstrated that violent minority can put a majority who are trying to go about their business, out of business

    > Demonstrated that a violent state-backed minority can defeat an oppressed majority.

    But they were not state backed. This was a strike against the British government and Margaret Thatcher, who proceeded, once the violence was quelled by the power of the state, to destroy the union.

    You say a whiff of grapeshot could have quelled the violence – but recall the Homestead Mill strike when the union got in their own cannon, and themselves applied grapeshot against suspected scab laborers.

    Homestead Mill was protected by a private security agency: And that agency was defeated, its men surrendered, and were tortured after being taken prisoner. What makes you think your defense agency is going to do better?

    It is always easier to destroy than to create, so it is always profitable to create trouble and shake people down.

  305. Reciting Hobbesianism 101 over and over again is not going to make it’s internal contradictions go away. Or the parts that simply do not match the real world.

  306. “Blacks, and women especially, are not fond of war.”

    Chaka Zulu would probably disagree.

    “The problem with fracking from my point of view is mostly that it pollutes the water (which the Midwest doesn’t have a lot of”

    1) No, it doesn’t, except very locally.
    2) Yes, it does. Lake Superior ring a bell? Lake Michigan? The Mississippi River?

    Or are you just confused about the meaning of “Midwest”?

  307. >>Blacks, and women especially, are not fond of war.

    >Chaka Zulu would probably disagree.

    Also (and closer to home both geographically and temporally) the Crips, Bloods, Gangster Disciples, Black P. Stone Nation, Almighty Vice Lord Nation, et al.

  308. @JamesDonald

    > Nazism was not as socialist as communism. But it was at least as socialist as Venezuela today, and no one doubt that Venezuela is socialist.

    > Nazism was not as socialist as Cuba used to be. But it is a lot more socialist than Cuba is now, and you guys think that Cuba is still socialist.

    I guess it will not surprise you if I say that I think that Nazi’s, either past or present, are not more socialist than either of those countries you mention.

    • >I guess it will not surprise you if I say that I think that Nazi’s, either past or present, are not more socialist than either of those countries you mention.

      Since I spend a fair amount of energy slapping JAD down for racist ranting, you may be interested to know that on this I judge him to be absolutely right. My adult politics were formed by close study of the Nazi revolution. Reading the actual Nazi platform and Hitler’s actual speeches is eye-opening – so is discovering that Hitler’s most persistent and effective adversaries (including the men behind the von Stauffenberg bomb plot) were conservative monarchists.

      You don’t know that Hitler was a believing Socialist who enacted Socialist policies because Soviet propagandists during and after WWII made a very determined effort to rewrite history. They weren’t able to screw with the primary sources, but they were remarkably successful at creating an “everybody knows” false to the actual facts and distorting secondary sources. A related myth is that the Reichstag fire was a Nazi false-flag operation.

  309. > > > Blacks, and women especially, are not fond of war.

    > > Chaka Zulu would probably disagree.

    > Also (and closer to home both geographically and temporally) the Crips, Bloods, Gangster Disciples, Black P. Stone Nation, Almighty Vice Lord Nation, et al.

    Realistically, anarcho capitalist defense organizations are going to include both the guys who currently secure the mall, and the Gangsta Disciples. This is likely to make agreement on common laws difficult. Given the profitability of shakedown, hard to avoid degeneration into mobile banditry.

    You are assuming a decisive military victory for the guys that currently secure the mall. For that, probably going to need unity of command. Hence the need to restore the Stuarts. Who will then knight the guys that currently secure the mall, decline to knight the guys that operate the Gangsta disciples, and forbid open entry into the defense and judging business.

  310. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703743

    >This was a strike against the British government and Margaret Thatcher

    It was a strike against Thatcher, who was only the PM. The government clearly never liked her.

    >who proceeded, once the violence was quelled by the power of the state, to destroy the union.

    Sounds like an Abbot situation to me. Judges finding they have no divisions.

    I do have to say I’m now leaning toward the ‘controversy’ being the instigated proxies of two factions within government – the permanent vs. the less-permanent.

    >but recall the Homestead Mill strike when the union got in their own cannon, and themselves applied grapeshot against suspected scab laborers.

    Acts of war, etc.

    >Realistically, anarcho capitalist defense organizations are going to include both the guys who currently secure the mall, and the Gangsta Disciples.

    Gangstas get kicked out for provoking unnecessary violence. Or equivalently their security rate quintuples, much as your life insurance rate goes up if you take up smoking. Realistically, firms that blithely include random dindus run out of money and cease to exist, leaving only the more sensible ones.

  311. Alrenous, your interpretation of the British coal strike as war between the permanent government and the merely temporary government is plausible.

    Homestead Mill, however, seems to be anarcho capitalism in action. The Union won militarily, until the government sent in the militia.

    Your assumption, your argument, is that we win and they lose. Why do they lose? The blacks have tribalism, the social justice warriors have sectarianism. What do we have?

    If you bring merely a gun to a holy war, you lose.

  312. @esr

    > You don’t know that Hitler was a believing Socialist who enacted Socialist policies because Soviet propagandists during and after WWII …

    I believe that claim contradicts what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf.

  313. The British miners’ strike was not a battle between the permanent government and the temporary government, which is probably why the miners lost. The unions were attempting to become the temporary government. The permanent government probably was not as unhappy about this as Thatcher was, assuming that they would retain their own position whatever happened, but they were not strongly opposed to what Thatcher was doing either.

    When Thatcher picked a fight with the EU the permanent government simply removed Thatcher. By the end it was clear that Thatcher was herself trying to replace the permanent government and that was not allowed.

  314. I believe that claim contradicts what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf.

    To start with, you have a much narrower qualification of what can be considered socialism than the rest of us, as pointed out above. I know you haven’t given us a definition, but we can make reasonable inferences based on what you’ve said.

    It is possible that his political position evolved between writing Mein Kampf and taking power, or that Mein Kampf isn’t an exhaustive look at his political beliefs. This is something you acknowledged above when you pointed out that much of Hitler’s thinking can be seen as self-contradictory.

    In the case of Hitler, your claim is that his early work not being explicitly socialist rules out his later being branded a socialist. On the other hand, a frequent argument (not one you personally made) is the Mussolini, despite his works being explicitly socialist, also can’t be described as socialist.

    • >EXPN?

      Four weeks after Hitler became chancellor there was an arson attempt against the Reichstag, the German equivalent of the Capitol Building. A self-described Communist was arrested at the scene with arson materials. The Nazis promptly arrested three Comintern members they suspected of organizing the arson attempt. The subsequent trial was sensational and broadcast by radio. The judge found the arsonist guilty but acquitted the either three, ruling that while ample evidence existed that the arsonist had acted as a Communist agent there was insufficient evidence to connect the three Comintern members to the plot.

      Though Hitler was furious that the Comintern members had been acquitted, he trial greatly assisted the consolidation of Nazi rule. Communist-affiliated sources have insisted ever since, despite a complete absence of any supporting evidence, that the arsonist was duped by Nazi covert agents. In reality, the principal question about the affair is whether the arsonist had any direction at all other than voices in his head; his trial defense was incoherent and suggests that he may have been functionally insane at the time of the arson attempt. He was executed by guillotine.

  315. Interesting, now I need to find a new example for false-flag…

    A self-described Communist

    his trial defense was incoherent and suggests that he may have been functionally insane at the time of the arson attempt.

    :-)

  316. Interesting, now I need to find a new example for false-flag…

    The Gleiwitz incident, where Germans dressed as Poles seized a German radio station to provide a pretense for the German invasion of Poland should work as a textbook example. Just because the Nazis used false flag operations doesn’t mean everything that happened to their benefit that could be a false-flag operation was one.

    • >Just because the Nazis used false flag operations doesn’t mean everything that happened to their benefit that could be a false-flag operation was one.

      Indeed. My own evaluation of the Reichstag fire is that while none of the three Comintern members were likely to be directly involved (for opsec reasons), it is implausible that the one of them who was the head of Comintern operations for Western Europe (Dimitrov) did not know the arson was planned.

      Even if the operation was run from Moscow Center directly, the Soviets would have needed the Comintern to have a political response ready. And the Nazi charge that the fire was a prelude to a full-scale Communist putsch attempt is actually pretty plausible – in that case the Comintern would have had to be prepared to fully mobilize all its assets. Ironically, the Nazis didn’t know how high up in the apparat Dimitrov was; if they had, they would have had far stronger grounds to suspect him.

  317. >If you bring merely a gun to a holy war, you lose.

    I am increasingly convinced that this is one of those important truths you don’t want to leave exclusively in the possession of disreputable characters.

  318. >Why do they lose? The blacks have tribalism, the social justice warriors have sectarianism. What do we have?

    Whites have the East India Company.

    SJWs have state backing – without it they would have been laughed down half a millisecond after they arose. Only reason ESR can post a victory like this is by exploiting the state’s plausible deniability. State can’t smack down indigogo without revealing it was a puppet show all along, thus jeopardizing its other puppet shows.

    What do Anarchs have?

    Communism is one of the most powerful teachers in the world. Anyone who has lived under full-test communism has markedly fewer illusions about government. It’s so powerful it made the Polish government capable of producing a competent board game – so competent the Russians had to ban it.

    However, in fact, every government is essentially communist. That is, it is about collective responsibility instead of individual responsibility. As a result it teaches, but slower. When, in the fullness of time, it becomes common knowledge that every state is a parasite, that every political formula is a lie except Exit, then Exit will become the political formula, and states will become too expensive to maintain. Then anarchy will obtain. This is probably some centuries off still, though. Hobbits tend to learn one Fall of Rome at a time.

    I’m a moral nihilist now. However, most pseudo-moralities condemn parasitism. There’s your holy war if you want it. I expect letting it get holy is apt to lead to a non-Exit political formula, though, precisely because it’s pseudo-morality. Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have bad consequences by definition. What could have been the ultimate form of civilization will end up being the penultimate form.

  319. According to the Royal Society’s website, the Society itself was founded in late 1660 and was not even *referred* to as the Royal Society until 1663.

    https://royalsociety.org/about-us/history/

    Charles II did grant them a royal charter and became a patron, which were good things to do, but hardly count as “giving” England the Royal Society.

    It should be noted that the Society’s motto is “Nullius in verba”, which the website translates as
    “‘take nobody’s word for it”. The site continues to explain the motto as “an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”

  320. Whether or not Nazis were genuinely “socialist” or adopted those platforms in order to co-opt supporters of socialist movements is ultimately immaterial.

    What everyone here is dancing around is the fact that the things that are universally recognized as bad about their policies (you know, the genocide and all that) aren’t the same thing as the supposed socialist programs, nor is there an obvious straight line from one to the other (some people do argue that there is a connection, that regardless of other motives it couldn’t have happened without authoritarianism and of course socialism has a monopoly on authoritarianism, but even if they’re right, it’s still not self-evident.)

    Identifying of a minority cultural group (in this case Jews) as foreign/other and blaming them for all the country’s ills absolutely clearly comes from the “nationalist” side of their ‘political genetics’ rather than, even if it exists, the “socialist” side.

    • >the things that are universally recognized as bad about their policies (you know, the genocide and all that) aren’t the same thing as the supposed socialist programs

      Wow. The approximately 94 milliion people murdered by Communist regimes says that is the absolutely stupidest thing you have ever written on this blog. (Figures from Robert Conquest’s Black Book of Communism)

      If anything, the record shows that socialism-inspired violence is far, far more deadly than racism-inspired violence – by about a 4:1 ratio.

  321. > The approximately 94 milliion people murdered by Communist regimes

    And there couldn’t have been any possible other cause for those regimes’ violence? You haven’t shown a mechanism of action for this mythical straight line from health care and unemployment welfare to mass murder.

    • >You haven’t shown a mechanism of action for this mythical straight line from health care and unemployment welfare to mass murder.

      Policy begins to fail. The people begin to object to the government. The government, being socialist, concludes that the correct response is to dissolve the people and elect a new one.

      This has been a repeating pattern for a century now. There is no excuse for your failure to understand it.

  322. Just out of curiosity, how do they typically compare to non-communist authoritarian regimes of similar size? Part of the issue I have is with the suggestion that left-wing policy either has a monopoly on it or that even the most innocuous degree of left-wing policy (“…and you have a Bernie Sanders campaign speech.”) inevitably leads to it. That it happened at all doesn’t disprove that.

  323. > The government, being socialist, concludes that the correct response is to dissolve the people and elect a new one.

    You haven’t shown that this is an inevitable attribute of a socialist government rather than of an authoritarian government of any stripe, nor that any socialist policy inevitably leads to an authoritarian government.

    • >any socialist policy inevitably leads to an authoritarian government

      Unless the socialists are turfed out in the early stages of the degenerative process, yes. Venezuela is a recent case that follows the classic pattern. This is entirely predictable from socialist rhetoric and theory.

  324. @Greg the article describes problems caused by a command economy, which is something that the term “socialism” has been broadened (by your side) to no longer entail.

  325. >> “You could point me at proof of this?”
    > Sure I can.

    That doesn’t exactly count. The journalist says that global warming is contradicted by that winter we had a year ago, for example, which is wrong: global warming would in the short term lead to more extreme weather of all kinds. Also, the study is not posted anywhere, so I can’t get at it without emailing the guy who did it. (Why can’t he post it on the arXiv? It’s not moderated that strongly. If he can’t get it on there, he should try viXra.)
    Other errors the journalist makes: He cites a paper by Joseph D’Alemo (it’s actually D’Aleo, but I’ll put that down to a typo) and Anthony Watts, published on the Science and Public Policy Institute website. This is not very reputable; the SPPI was founded with money from ExxonMobil, and their president gave a talk claiming that more carbon dioxide in the air was actually a good thing (it is at best neutral). I don’t trust them.
    Here’s another question: Is it just me, or are the majority of papers that find no evidence of global warming funded by companies with a strong stake in the matter?
    On the other hand, look at the Berkeley Earth Project. They were funded by LBL, the Koch brothers (!), Bill Gates, and the Wm. K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, all of whom placed no actual conditions on the money. After three years, they released a study finding evidence of global warming. Their founder, interestingly, started out of the opinion that it wasn’t really happening.

    > (ESR on Reichstag fire)
    Have you read Shirer’s bit on that? It’s pretty darn believable as well. He claims that while the Communist was planning of his own accord to light the Reichstag on fire, he wasn’t actually capable of doing so with as much success as apparently happened. Specifically, he claims that while Herr van der Lubbe did set a fire or two, the main fire was set by the SA. I dunno.

  326. Socialism is defined as “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

    I could observe that Hitler would not have been aware of that definition at the time he coined the name of the Nazi party,

    How so? That was the common definition by the mid-’40s (it’s the one given in The Road to Serfdom), so what makes you think it wasn’t 20 years earlier?

  327. Hitler was a vegetarian

    Actually he wasn’t. He ate less meat than was the norm for a well-to-do German of his time, but he certainly ate meat.

  328. Also, regulations are necessary; would you be willing to live in a world where food wasn’t labeled with ingredients?

    I would certainly be willing to live in a world where it didn’t have to be, and manufacturers could choose whether to do so based on whether they thought it would increase sales.

  329. it required Upton Sinclair and government regulation to get food labeling started.
    Upton Sinclair’s claims were 100% fiction, and the subsequent government regulations were pushed by the big packing houses in order to drive the smaller ones out of business. The consumer was no better off for them.

  330. >@Greg the article describes problems caused by a command economy, which is something that the term “socialism” has been broadened (by your side) to no longer entail.

    What do you think is inevitable when even the most ‘soft’ socialism finds itself running out of other people’s money? (Put another way, when the parasitic redistributive system finally strangles the productive capitalist host.)

    Command economy.

    Wage and price controls are the first step. Those don’t work. Things go downhill from there.

    I suppose there is an alternative to killing fields (perhaps those in charge are weak, or lack conviction), which is total collapse.

    Be interesting to see which way Venezuela goes.

  331. I think your first sentence introduces a promise that is not fulfilled in the rest of the paragraph. What did Hayek show?

    He showed that nazism was just socialism with added antisemitism. He did this by pointing out that the only German socialists who didn’t become nazis were the Jewish ones, i.e. the ones the nazis wouldn’t have.

  332. Were there no elements of (crony) capitalism in Fascism and Nazism?

    It seems reasonable to assume that, after 1917, there were capitalists in Europe who (legitimately) feared a Communist takeover of their countries, and thus decided that a strong leader was needed to prevent that. And that some of them expected the new regime to grant them privileges.

    AFAIK, neither Mussolini nor Hitler abolished the private sector outright; and cronyism seems to be inherent in tyranny*, so I assume the mixed economies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany did feature such privileges.

    I’m just speculating so you folks can clarify this for me, since you’ve studied that period in depth. And I used to be a leftist, so perhaps I’m still partly under the sway of dezinformatsiya.

    * Including the tyranny-of-the-majority we’re so familiar with.

    • >Were there no elements of (crony) capitalism in Fascism and Nazism?

      That’s a question of definition. Yes, the Nazis showed willingness to co-opt big capitalists rather than nationalizing their firms. But “crony capitalism” is generally taken to imply that key members of the government were routinely bribed by big capitalists and – somewhat surprisingly – there is little evidence of that. Nazi Germany was not the usual caudillismo situation of the maximum leader being massively on the take.

      Italian fascism, and to a lesser extent German fascism, had a doctrine they called “corporatism”. Modern leftists, displaying their usual historical ignorance, interpret the term as the state favoring “corporations” in the modern sense of limited-liability companies. That’s not what it meant. It meant that to the limited extent ordinary people were represented in the power structure it was through “corporate bodies” – firms, but also unions, guilds, clubs, and other civil institutions. The Nazi method was to install Party members as heads of these groups and themn collect feedback on the problems of te masses through these intermediaries.

  333. Catherine Raymond on 2016-04-08 at 15:45:04 said:
    > According to the Royal Society’s website, the Society itself was founded in late 1660 … hardly count as “giving” England the Royal Society.

    1660 is the year that Charles the Second came to power. According to you, this is pure coincidence. It is also doubtless coincidence that the warrior scientist Prince Rupert was the first or one of the first active members of the Royal society.

    > It should be noted that the Society’s motto is “Nullius in verba”, which the website translates as “‘take nobody’s word for it”. The site continues to explain the motto as “an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”

    The trouble is that it used to be the royal society rule that the appeal to the facts determined by experiment took place in public, and that all data and methods supporting conclusions published by the Royal society had to be readily available, whereas now any appeal to the facts determined by experiment is done behind closed doors by an anonymous committee, and if you don’t take their word for it, and launch a freedom of information request, you get stone walled, demonized, and litigated till broke.

    Science is dead, technology in the west is stagnating, and whites are being conquered by browns So let us restore a system that we know worked, the system that started the scientific and industrial revolutions and began the European conquest of the world.

  334. > the things that are universally recognized as bad about their policies (you know, the genocide and all that) aren’t the same thing as the supposed socialist programs,

    yet oddly, everyone similarly socialist has similar or considerably higher kill ratios.

    > nor is there an obvious straight line from one to the other

    Bastiat saw and explained the line from one to the other long before Marx. Bastiat wrote in the 1840s as if he was a time traveller who had recently walked the killing fields of Cambodia.

    > (some people do argue that there is a connection, … but even if they’re right, it’s still not self-evident.)

    After a hundred thousand or so dead, maybe you should look at those arguments.

  335. @ esr

    > Italian fascism, and to a lesser extent German fascism, had a doctrine they called “corporatism”.

    Oh, yes. I was aware of that system of medieval origin, but didn’t think of it while pondering the Third Reich subthread.

    There are elements of that in Argentina, as part of Perón’s poisonous legacy. As you probably know, this country had its own version of fascism, with corporatism included. And there were also the infamous ratlines… but I digress.

    I probably should read The Road to Serfdom. Is its style more lucid than that of “The Use of Knowledge in Society”?

  336. “This is not very reputable; the SPPI was founded with money from ExxonMobil,”

    Sorry. I reject arguments on this basis unless you also consider research funded by governments to be similarly disreputable.

  337. > AFAIK, neither Mussolini nor Hitler abolished the private sector outright; and cronyism seems to be inherent in tyranny*, so I assume the mixed economies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany did feature such privileges.

    No, Nazi Germany was not cronyist.

    Further, Venezuela has not abolished the private sector outright either, and it is infamously cronyist, but no one seems to doubt that Venezuela is socialist.

  338. >You haven’t shown a mechanism of action for this mythical straight line from health care and unemployment welfare to mass murder.

    In addition to what ESR pointed out, there are some other mechanisms at work. For a command economy to work, you need a police force empowered to seek out and punish those that violate the centrally planned economic rules. Normally, crime victims have an incentive to report when they’ve been robbed, so crime is rarely hidden. But when the ‘crime’ is selling goods at other than centrally dictated prices, it’s much easier to hide. In Venezuela, as the power of the central government grows and the economy falters, we can see the increased use of state police power to find and punish those that violate economic rules.

    Likewise, once everything is the business of the state, the state punishes those that don’t go along with it. I suspect the reason a lot of totalitarian regimes persecute gays (see Cuba and, of course, the Nazis) is that it’s the duty of good proletariat to produce more workers (and soldiers) for the motherland/fatherland.

    Sometimes the violence is more direct, and, say, the white farmers (and black farmers that aren’t good friends with Mugabe) need a little… persuasion to hand over the farms to cronies of the government. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a lot of eggs, after all.

    I almost actually agree with you in a way. Above I argued that the US during World War 2 was Socialist by modern standards, and we obviously didn’t get quite as bad as, say, Cuba under Fidel, much less Pol Pot. Given an ideal set of circumstances, namely, a threat sufficient that people are willing to put up with economic restrictions and limitations on civil rights, socialism doesn’t have to end up quite as bad as Nazi Germany (we still locked innocent people away without trial). The difference being that the Nazi enemies (the Jews, Gypsies, and other undesirables) were innocent, the enemies of the US (the Germans and Japanese) were acceptably guilty-by-association with their respective military-industrial infrastructure. The problem? There’s no such threat anymore, not that justifies that level of government repression and economic sacrifice in the eyes of the people.

    (Note that we’ve gone from ‘Socialism is the transitory state between Capitalism and Communism’ back to ‘Socialism is government health care and unemployment benefits’; the Motte and Bailey shell game where sometimes the expansive definition is the Motte, and sometimes it’s the Bailey.)

  339. I suppose there is an alternative to killing fields (perhaps those in charge are weak, or lack conviction), which is total collapse.

    Be interesting to see which way Venezuela goes.

    There’s also the ‘military decides government is too corrupt and overthrows it’, which historically seems common in Latin America. I don’t know how much independence the Venezuelan military has from the regime; Chavez knew his history enough that I can’t see him not making sure the military leadership was under his thumb.

  340. > (Note that we’ve gone from ‘Socialism is the transitory state between Capitalism and Communism’ back to ‘Socialism is government health care and unemployment benefits’; the Motte and Bailey shell game where sometimes the expansive definition is the Motte, and sometimes it’s the Bailey.)

    You can’t call Motte and Bailey when the two definitions at issue haven’t both been asserted by the person you’re arguing with.

  341. And from where I’m standing, the conservatives are the ones who do that particular motte-and-bailey, or rather a more classic bait-and-switch, using the “health care and unemployment” definition to declare people guilty of socialism in order to then make the otherwise-unsupported claim that of course those people intend to transition to communism.

  342. @ James Donald

    > Further, Venezuela has not abolished the private sector outright either, and it is infamously cronyist, but no one seems to doubt that Venezuela is socialist.

    Of course. I said that “cronyism seems to be inherent in tyranny”, which is compatible with the fact that socialism is utterly tyrannical. Nevertheless, both you and Eric have told me the Third Reich wasn’t cronyist, so I recant that part. We could rephrase it thus: “There’s a strong correlation between cronyism and tyranny.”

  343. > Here in these comments, people nearly fell apart at the mere suggestion from a devils-advocate angle that the belief that property rights are sacred is not uniquely virtuous.

    No one, not even me, proposes that people should be silenced from talking about functional languages because they have evil, murderous, and hateful beliefs about private property.

    So all the “falling apart” seems to have come from those who plan to murder me and everyone like me.

    And I am one of the very few people on this list who argue that those who advocate envy and covetousness (including those fashy who advocate ejecting unassimilated Jews to Israel without their property) should be excluded from academic, government, and quasi governmental positions.

    All the other propertarians seem perfectly comfortable with all ideologies represented in the state apparatus – including those ideologies that intend to take it over and are who are industriously excluding all other ideologies from the state apparatus and who are merrily heading down the path that leads to mass murder.

  344. > Nonsense. China is communist in name only at this point, and is headed toward disintegration and rule by rival warlords, as it inevitably does

    Everyone knows that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is in fact Hong Kong capitalism, and Hong Kong capitalism is eighteenth century Manchester capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

    But I don’t think China is headed back towards warlordism. From the Song dynasty to the death of Mao, China was declining, moving into dark age, in a dark age, or getting ever deeper into a dark age, ever worsening and ever more frequent bouts of warlordism occasionally remedied by ever more brutal tyranny being a measure of the darkness.

    Since the death of Mao, Chinese civilization has been reborn, has come abruptly out of a dark age, and will probably go on rising for centuries.

    Meanwhile white civilization is heading into a dark age, which I hope can be averted. Hence my call for a Stuart restoration.

    Failing military aristocracy or a Stuart restoration, our best people will continue to flee to East Asia, whites will degenerate under brownish Muslim rule, as high quality races always degenerate under Muslim rule, and we will end up with racially inferior whites contaminated by the blood of their Muslim masters divided between the Caliphate and Chinese empire.

    The failure of whites to reproduce is being coercively corrected by the violent abduction of very young fatherless white women on welfare into brown Muslim families, where the state reluctantly tolerates the patriarchy it forbids for white males. This is the cure that I do not want.

  345. To summarize, in a stable system, if someone disagrees with me about property rights and refuses to leave me alone, it is an act of war and I will react by killing them. What counts as ‘leaving alone’ is defined by what is secured – attempting to not leave it alone activates the defender’s advantage, which is why I win. I’m not stupid, so I don’t try to own things which I don’t have a defender’s advantage for. What is secured is kept healthy by being allowed to opt out of security arrangements.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1704125

    >And I am one of the very few people on this list who argue that those who advocate envy and covetousness (including those fashy who advocate ejecting unassimilated Jews to Israel without their property) should be excluded from academic, government, and quasi governmental positions.

    Also I can analytically prove property rights are uniquely virtuous. So there’s that. Not to mention it is impossible to advocate against them without using them.

    >All the other propertarians seem perfectly comfortable with all ideologies represented in the state apparatus – including those ideologies that intend to take it over and are who are industriously excluding all other ideologies from the state apparatus and who are merrily heading down the path that leads to mass murder.

    Obviously, intent to exclude is valid grounds for exclusion.

    However, then this really does happen: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703782

    >Realistically, anarcho capitalist defense organizations are going to include both the guys who currently secure the mall, and the Gangsta Disciples. This is likely to make agreement on common laws difficult.

    Microaggressions => attempts to exclude. Result: all hell breaks loose.
    The whole point is those attempting to exclude aren’t acting in good faith. Who is excluding and who isn’t can’t be determined in the presence of bad actors.

    Logic can probably arbitrate, but most understand rhetoric instead of logic, so that won’t work. There needs to be a human arbitrator to interpret logic. Result: free association via dictator.

    Institutional heads need to have only self-imposed rules restricting their ability to exclude, e.g. fire, anyone at will. Otherwise, the institution is all but begging sociopaths to eat it. ~Never support an institution which lacks such a dictator, it will ~never do what it’s supposed to do.

    Interesting point, socialist security firms.

    If they try it internally, it will be a Venezuelan shithole. Property is wealth, and thus abrogating property rights is abrogating rights to wealth. Thus they will have to go to war.

    This should get them blacklisted – with modern technology, it’s impossible not to know who started it. The blacklisting should severely injure their subscriber count, as the most productive will have the most to gain by leaving. This should demoralize their soldiers, and thus they should lose. Of course they’re socialists so I expect them to try it anyway, but this will only progressively teach the surrounding populations to distrust socialists.

    But I can’t be sure. Should be tried on a small scale.

    Really, I suppose, a socialist security firm wouldn’t get wealthy subscribers in the first place. Socialism immediately loses the war of ideas unless a legitimized-coercion monopoly is backing it. E.g. coop stores are not illegal. You may note they have not conquered the grocery market, or anywhere else.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1703838
    > They weren’t able to screw with the primary sources

    Which is strange. I’d have been able to. Why couldn’t they?

    • >Which is strange. I’d have been able to [screw wity the primary sources]. Why couldn’t they?

      Too many records, in too many different places, of things like the actual Nazi platform and Hitler’s speeches.

      Here’s an example of the sort of thing the Soviets successfully airbrushed out: it turns out the Germans systematically studied how to run forced-labor and extermination camps by interviewing functionaries and survivors from the Gulag. The German system for exterminating “enemies of the people” was a self-conscious copy of the Soviet one.

      Then of course there’s the whole myth that the NSDAP effectively ceased being socialist when the Strasser brothers were purged on the Night of the Long Knives. This is instantly falsified by listening to Hitler’s wartime speeches, in which socialist ideological tropes mix with Jew-hatred and promises to obliterate capitalism. In reality neither the German nor Italian fascists ever abandoned the Leninist vision of a planned economy, but after the war it was convenient for “democratic” socialists to pretend far more ideological distance between Naziism and Communism than had actually assisted.

  346. >Too many records, in too many different places, of things like the actual Nazi platform and Hitler’s speeches.

    So what, they gave up? Could have at least started destroying them. By now there would be hardly any left if they had done it quietly. Instead we have history screaming at us. I’m glad it turned out that way, but I don’t like relying on my enemies to be stupid.

    >the whole myth that the NSDAP effectively ceased being socialist

    Yes, who would have thought that a National Socialist party would be socialist. Clearly it was only a matter of time before they shed all pretense of socialism. As we all know, socialism is the opposite of a Democrat’s party. They threw ‘worker’s party’ in there in case you had any doubt they were hyper-capitalist, practically reinstating the Roman Diktator.

    >but after the war it was convenient for “democratic” socialists

    Wait, now I’m confused. Maybe we established that a party calling itself democratic is definitely not democratic?

    Germans must be so gullible. I bet they voted for a Democratic socialist worker’s party based on it being socialist, or on the voter in question being a worker. Such rubes, eh?

  347. You can’t call Motte and Bailey when the two definitions at issue haven’t both been asserted by the person you’re arguing with.

    I’m not saying that any specific person is engaging in that fallacy, just that people arguing from the progressive / socialist side never seem to correct each other on the definition of socialism. I suspect it’s sort of an subconscious group think issue, rather than a direct attempt to deceive, but it’s still annoying.

    And from where I’m standing, the conservatives are the ones who do that particular motte-and-bailey, or rather a more classic bait-and-switch, using the “health care and unemployment” definition to declare people guilty of socialism in order to then make the otherwise-unsupported claim that of course those people intend to transition to communism.

    Once you’ve accepted the general principle that it’s the government’s place to control the economy, there’s no logical limit as to where that control should stop. It’s not that socialist tendencies necessarily lead to communism, it’s that they necessarily lead to some form of authoritarian totalitarianism, even if hidden under a veneer of sham democracy. One can consider this an example of the slippery slope fallacy, however, it’s worth pointing out that we have examples of declared intentions to continue down the slope both in the short term (support Obamacare because it will fail and necessarily lead to single payer) and long term (the long march through the institutions).

    Socialism is by definition authoritarian (favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom); if people are free to disobey the will of the community (the government’s orders), then central planning is useless. At some level, the ideological reasons behind why the government should control the economy (ie, for the good of the working class or for the good of the nation) are meaningless because the behaviors of the governments and the results on society are indistinguishable.

    I will also point out that you’re being clever with “you haven’t shown a mechanism of action for this mythical straight line from health care and unemployment welfare to mass murder“. Health care and unemployment benefits can be provided without government force; pretending that that’s something that only can come from the government is trying to stack the deck. Government control of health insurance doesn’t necessarily produce any health care.

  348. @ Alrenous

    > Not to mention it is impossible to advocate against [property rights] without using them.

    That reminds me of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s argumentation ethics. Is that what you had in mind?

    @ esr

    I’d like to know your thoughts on Hoppe’s reasoning. Since you seem to be a consequentialist, I suspect you reject it; but when it comes to you, I’ve learned to “expect the unexpected”. ;-)

    • >That reminds me of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s argumentation ethics.

      And now that I’ve read the Wikipedia article, I’m disappointed. Hoppe’s argument, at least as presented there, is specious nonsense.

      The performance of argument does not imply that the arguer has accepted that violence is not a legitimate way to settle the dispute. It implies only that at the time of the argument the arguer does not choose to accept the costs and risks of using violence.

  349. “But I don’t think China is headed back towards warlordism.”

    Get back to me in 20 years, after the Chinese demographic collapse is in full flower. They’ve already got between 30 and 50 million men (depending on which “official” numbers you believe) who aren’t going to be able to find spouses. Compare that figure the size of the largest standing armies:

    http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/29-largest-armies-in-the-world.html

    It’s going to turn really ugly, really fast.

    Yes, I know China has recently rolled back the “one child policy”, at least for selected groups, but that’s going to be far too little, far too late.

  350. /me looks at list of largest armies

    Oh crap oh crap oh fuck oh shitohshitohshitohshitohshit[…]

    Better start investing in enhanced radiation weapons…….

  351. > They’ve already got between 30 and 50 million men (depending on which “official” numbers you believe) who aren’t going to be able to find spouses.

    Europe has recently had a number of incidents of hilariously bad military performance, which perhaps reflect the fact that progressives don’t much like soldiers and have therefore prioritized gay pride and raising women’s self esteem over killing people and destroying stuff. If any large organized technologically advanced group of men want women, the logical course of action would be to abduct white women, as the Caliphate traditionally did to relieve the shortage caused by polygyny.

    Within the formerly white countries, we are already seeing a lot of abduction of the most vulnerable and least defended white women, fatherless very young girls on welfare. The state seems unwilling, unable, or fearful to suppress Muslim patriarchy with the vigor that it applies against white patriarchy.

  352. And now we have this convenient list of people who think that theoretical political views are a valid reason for “no platforming” someone:

    https://statement-on-lambdaconf.github.io/

    Perhaps those of us who are in a position to hire people will keep this list handy.

    I don’t agree with witch-burning, in general, but those who scream “Burn the witch!” will get little sympathy from me should they, in turn, be denounced as witches.

    • >And now we have this convenient list of people who think that theoretical political views are a valid reason for “no platforming” someone:

      Significantly, I don’t recognize any of these names.

  353. “If any large organized technologically advanced group of men want women, the logical course of action would be to abduct white women”

    I don’t think so. Chinese culture, and most other Asian cultures, are far too racist to make white women acceptable other than perhaps as mistresses and prostitutes. Chinese grandmas want Chinese grandchildren.

  354. “Significantly, I don’t recognize any of these names.”

    Nor did I, although I’m not really very familiar with the Haskell community.

    Without actually counting, it seems that Haskell is overrepresented in this list. I saw one Racket guy, but other than that no one from the Scheme end of the FP spectrum jumped out at me.

    I wonder what a large-scale study of the correlation between preference for static typing and authoritarian political views would show? :-)

  355. A quick count shows 11 uniques for Haskell, one for Racket, 3 for Clojure (one of which is for Typed Clojure, which bolts static typing onto normal Clojure). Suggestive, though not definitive.

  356. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095&cpage=1#comment-1704294
    >That reminds me of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s argumentation ethics. Is that what you had in mind?

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095&cpage=1#comment-1704298
    >The performance of argument does not imply that the arguer has accepted that violence

    The ‘violence’ cast is wrong. Cast it as about property rights and it’s true, though. One must necessarily control one’s body to advocate against controlling things. If it ever doesn’t look that simple? I looked, it always reduces to being that simple. Ask them to hand their wallet over. If they don’t, their revealed preferences contradict their words. If they do, get the deed to their house while you’re at it.

  357. Re: statement-on-Lambdaconf

    Be mindful that this is just one manifestation of a virulently spreading contagion. These people are likely unaware of that they are in the early stages of metamorphosis into tyrannical true believers. Demonstrative calls for censorship is a mild symptom at this point, but loud advocacy for governmental intervention to suppress contrary views and individuals is not far behind.

    The biggest danger that we face in the near-term is the belief that these people can be talked back into sanity. A better analog is the meth addict that is pointing a knife at your abdomen while he robs you in order to fund his habit. You can try reasoning with him using your words, or draw and aim. Darwinism is not a myth.

  358. “(one of which is for Typed Clojure, which bolts static typing onto normal Clojure)”

    Waitaminit. I thought Clojure was a glorified Lisp. How the hell do you statically type Lisp?

  359. Something tells me that unlike the 1930’s, those who chose to take the side of tyranny will have a much harder time airbrushing that out.

  360. ” How the hell do you statically type Lisp?”

    From what I’ve gathered (from a very casual inspection), this requires that the programmer add type information which is then checked in a pre-compile pass (sort of like lint or something). The actual Clojure compiler makes absolutely no use of this information, so it basically seems like a wankfest to me (as well as being more or less contrary to the entire spirit of Lisp).

  361. Waitaminit. I thought Clojure was a glorified Lisp. How the hell do you statically type Lisp?

    Oh, typed Lisps have existed forever: Shen, Pre-Scheme, Typed Racket. With type inference it’s possible to write in a style that resembles conventional Lisp.

    Even Common Lisp compilers can be told to perform static type analysis over a procedure or block and, if the types of the variables and parameters can be definitively ascertained, optimize accordingly.

    As for Clojure, “glorified Lisp” doesn’t quite fit. More like “neutered/severely compromised Lisp”. To me it lives in that same space that Urbit does: different enough to be annoying, but not to provide a true value proposition over more conventional solutions. Clojure’s value proposition is mainly in its Java interop; there are several Lisps that implement most or all of Scheme and still have easy, seamless interop with the Java ecosystem — and I’ve shipped a production application running on one such — so why should I throw out my Scheme/Lisp knowledge and relearn everything the Clojure way?

  362. “Clojure’s value proposition is mainly in its Java interop”

    No, it has several interesting features beyond that. Lazy sequences, immutability by default, software transactional memory…

  363. TomA
    Be mindful that this is just one manifestation of a virulently spreading contagion. These people are likely unaware of that they are in the early stages of metamorphosis into tyrannical true believers. Demonstrative calls for censorship is a mild symptom at this point, but loud advocacy for governmental intervention to suppress contrary views and individuals is not far behind.

    It’s already here.

  364. The demise of the SJW has been greatly exaggerated. There’s nowhere else for these good little gramscians to march, so now they’re only testing their power.

  365. I shouldn’t be so continually amazed to see fascism/nazism conflated with the right wing, but I am.

    Thought it’s refreshing to see that the ‘nationalism’ facet was only brought up by one of The Usual Suspects here. A cursory reading of Engels should disabuse any Colbert-quoting pseudo-intellectual that nationlism – specifically German nationalism – is hardly exclusive to the “far right” (whatever that is). Slum through Engels and you can damn near get an outline for Hitler’s European strategy.

    But I’m sure The Usual Suspects would promptly enlighten us that Engels wasn’t a true Leftist.

  366. >The biggest danger that we face in the near-term is the belief that these people can be talked back into sanity. A better analog is the meth addict that is pointing a knife at your abdomen while he robs you in order to fund his habit. You can try reasoning with him using your words, or draw and aim. Darwinism is not a myth.

    You know what ‘zombie’ is a stand in for, right?

  367. > Upton Sinclair’s claims were 100% fiction, and the subsequent government regulations were pushed by the big packing houses in order to drive the smaller ones out of business. The consumer was no better off for them.

    Even if they were fiction, they got people mad. And the big packing houses would probably have preferred no regulation (cf. pink slime).

  368. @ Greg – “You know what ‘zombie’ is a stand in for, right?”

    Dictionary.com – noun 1. the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.

    If you have inferred an alternate meaning, please clarify.

  369. @TomA

    It has a secondary definition that roughly works out to “The mindless hordes animated only by $BELIEF. Cannot be reasoned with, only destroyed or routed around”

  370. @TomA

    More to the point, in certain parts of the culture it has additional definitions that work out to both the patron and client classes of, well the type of person you were talking about (the ones who may be beyond being talked back into sanity).

    It’s more dark humor than anything else, and it’s not really a secret… But it’s there.

  371. Uh, actually, Milhouse, when President Roosevelt sent investigators to verify the claims in The Jungle, what they found was that nearly all of it was true — the only exception being there were no observed incidents of workers falling into rendering vats. Roosevelt, previously a staunch anti-socialist, became more respectful of the government’s role in reining in the perfidies of capitalism after reading the novel and verifying its claims.

    Upton Sinclair was an American hero. He is what we mean when we speak of “speaking truth to power”.

  372. @Jeff

    So, let me get the timeline implied by your statements straight…. There was a point during FDR’s Presidency where he was a staunch anti-socialist?

    Um (and I’m laughing here) only if you’re willing to count ‘enthusiastic supporter of Fascism’ as ‘staunch anti-socialist’. Because he was, he thought Mussolini was grand.

    You know the words you use, they have meanings, right?

  373. Wow, this has really blown up. The SJWs are REALLY MAD that LambdaConf won’t bend to them. Current whining on Twitter seems to support a narrative like this.

    SJWs: “If you don’t pull the hated enemy, we’ll kill your sponsorship”

    LambdaConf: “Not pulling him”

    SJWs: “SPONSORS YANKED, RACIST SCUM”

    Other sponsor: “Hey, LambdaConf, have some cash!”

    SJWs: “How DARE you accept money from our enemies. That makes you as bad as them, and they’re really bad as we’ll show with some irrelevent references to Vox Day! If you don’t reverse cours, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll… uhh, stomp around in frustration, I guess, because we’ve pretty much shot our wad.”

  374. @Peter

    Didn’t believe you until I checked the date. My memory of when the jungle came out was off by a full 2 decades! Wow.

    Well, let’s see how far off the rest of my memory is.

    TR could never have been described as an ardent anti-socialist, he was a Progressive after all. An early American liberal, before shame of association with Wilson caused the invention of the term. Same folks now known as Progressives again.

    He personally was a lifelong aggressive micromanaging busybody know-it-all, and given executive power was a firm believer in activist government and the goodness of government regulation. He was known for it even as Governor of NY before his unexpected Presidency.

    • >Anarcho-syndicalism is socialist, but it is not authoritarian.

      Correct, but not responsive. The assertion intended, in context, was “Socialist governments are necessarily authoritarian.” This is true, for reasons Frederic Bastiat explained very clearly and prophetically around 1850 in The Law. That is an admirably lucid book; you should read it.

      I say “prophetically” because at the time Marxist statism had not yet achieved the dominance of socialist thought it would later attain, so Bastiat’s analysis applied better to “socialism” after his death than “socialism” at the time he was writing his magnum opus. The anarcho-syndicalists are an isolated remnant of several forms of pre-Marxian socialism that envisioned it as growing outwards from utopian communes by voluntary adoption rather than being imposed by revolutionary or state politics.

      The history of early “socialism” (pre-Marxian) is interesting stuff. I put the word in quotes because until you have studied it carefully you will not understand how completely Marx transformed a loose and amiably daffy collection of utopian movements into a bloodstained but highly infectious memetic plague. Some anarcho-syndicalists managed the trick of not being assimilated enough to become violently evil; so did a handful of left anarchists from the Bakuninite/Kropotkinite Russian anarchist tradition, remnants of which can still be detected in European left-libertarianism today. Sadly, they were the exceptions.

  375. @Milhouse

    >> I think your first sentence introduces a promise that is not fulfilled in the rest of the paragraph. What did Hayek show?

    > He showed that nazism was just socialism with added antisemitism

    Hayek claimed no such thing.

  376. @esr

    Thank you for recommending Bastiat 1850. I have indeed not read it.

    The Spartacists did good work in combating Lenin’s notion of the vanguard party. It remains true that all socialist revolutions that have endured have depended on this device.

    • >It remains true that all socialist revolutions that have endured have depended on [Lenin’s vanguard].

      Yes, but: one of the many ways in which the “democratic” left falsifies its own history is by pretending than the Leninist theory of the vanguard is a revision or inversion of Marx’s original plan rather than a minor gloss on it. This is partly self-deception and partly ignorance; the essentials of Leninism are already implicit in the 1848 Communist Manifesto, which surprisingly few “democratic” socialists actually bother to read and think about

      Perhaps they sense correctly that it would be embarrassing to their carefully redacted image of Marx if they did so.

  377. @Civilis
    “Socialism is defined as “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

    Your definition includes medieval monasteries, various religious orders, and the Vatican. Also, feudalism and quite a number of monarchies had the king own all the means of production, i.e., at the time that was land. On the other hand, capitalism did very well under the Nazis:
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/04/capitalism-and-nazism/

    Here are the definitions from the dictionary:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

    Full Definition of socialism
    1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private propertyb : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/socialism
    As above, but replacing “government” by “community”.

    I think I stick to number 1 of the Webster’s definition: Government ownership of and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. But I would add “in an industrial society” as socialism and capitalism in (semi-)industrial societies has little or nothing in common with the politics of agricultural societies.

    The Nazis did rob people blind, but their official ideology was one of “Capitalism”: The personal ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods.

    • >The Nazis did rob people blind, but their official ideology was one of “Capitalism”: The personal ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods.

      That is false. You need to read Hitler’s wartime speeches and the actual NSDAP program.

  378. > The Spartacists did good work in combating Lenin’s notion of a Vanguard party

    The spartacists thought that Lenin failed to use nearly enough terror, torture, and mass murder. They had in mind something resembling Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and if they had had their way there would scarcely be anyone remaining alive.

  379. I have started to read Bastiat 1850 and must now take a break. A sentence struck me as surprising:

    “Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.”

    Why the ‘ceaseless’? Delete it and we have a reasonable Lockean thesis; with it I think we go beyond a simple claim that man’s work is never done. If he is talking about the insatiability of desire, then he seems top be building his propertarianism on surprising foundations.

    • >Why the ‘ceaseless’?

      Interpret “Man” a a mass noun and this becomes less mysterious. I suspect the translator made a poor choice here.

  380. @esr
    “You need to read Hitler’s wartime speeches and the actual NSDAP program.”

    Yeah yeah. With a contradiction, you can prove everything. And the NSDAP was full of contradictions. Point is, until war time economics took over everything, capitalists did very well. And, contrary to most other European countries, Nazi Germany privatized companies in the 1930s.
    http://www.ub.edu/graap/nazi.pdf

    And just like many propagandists and marketeers, Hitler made up his own definitions:

    … but he was clear to point out that his interpretation of socialism “has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism,” saying that “Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not.”[14] At a later time, Hitler said: “Socialism! That is an unfortunate word altogether… What does socialism really mean? If people have something to eat and their pleasures, then they have their socialism.”[12] In private, Hitler also said that “I absolutely insist on protecting private property… we must encourage private initiative”.[15]

    That and much more, including references, can be found at Wikipedia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Nazi_Germany

    You simply fall again for the propaganda.

  381. @JamesDonald

    > They tried anarcho syndicalism in Catalonia, and it was so brutally authoritarian that the Stalinists criticized it as excessively brutal and authoritarian.

    Well, Catalonia is complicated. There were certainly anarchist atrocities there, but I recommend that you read Orwell’s account if you are minded to take the Stalinists’ criticisms on trust.

    > The spartacists thought that Lenin failed to use nearly enough terror, torture, and mass murder.

    No, they did not.

  382. Charles Stewart: >Hayek claimed no such thing.

    Yes, he did.

    Few recognize that the rise of fascism and Marxism was not a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary outcome of those tendencies. Yet it is significant that many of the leaders of these movements, from Mussolini down (and including Laval and Quisling) began as socialists and ended as fascists or Nazis.

    The relative ease with which a young communist could be converted into a Nazi or vice versa was well known, best of all to the propagandists of the two parties. The communists and Nazis clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties
    the road to serfdom simply because they competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. Their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits made of the right timber, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.

    (Above quotes from Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. See Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer for much, much more on the second observation.)

    While it is true that the Communists claimed that the Nazis were capitalists (and continue to so claim, to this day), the Nazis claimed exactly the same about the Communists. Goebbels famously argued that both Bolshevism and capitalism were Jewish plots, working hand in hand.

  383. Finally, somebody else provides a definition! Under the definition provided, is China today socialist?

    Interestingly enough, if you go and read them, both sources provide multiple definitions. For example, the dictionary.com definition also includes a section which says:
    An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. There are many varieties of socialism. Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise. All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists.
    Your quotes have Hitler saying he wasn’t a Marxist socialist; that says nothing about whether he was a non-Marxist socialist.

    Also for consideration, from your sources:
    Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market
    and Also called free enterprise, private enterprise. an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions.
    Does a state where the business is run at the direction of the government, even if the business is technically owned by a private party, count as capitalist?

    Further, doesn’t a magazine which bills itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture” sound like a source which may have a bias on whether or not the Nazis were socialist?

  384. “And the NSDAP was full of contradictions. ”

    As were the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cambodia under Pol Pot, and North Korea.

    So what?

    If your argument were that socialism doesn’t work in the real world, I would agree, but I don’t think that’s what you’re actually trying to claim.

  385. Civilis: > Your quotes have Hitler saying he wasn’t a Marxist socialist; that says nothing about whether he was a non-Marxist socialist.

    Exactly. In fact, Hitler, Goebbels, et al had quite a hate-on for Marxism, but they were still socialists.

    It’s amazing how many people have been propagandized into believing that “socialist = good”, and are therefore incapable of admitting that the Nazis were, in fact, socialists. I believe the reasoning goes something like:

    Socialist -> good.
    Nazi -> bad.
    Therefore Nazi -> ~socialist.

    Of course this only works if you deny or just ignore the fact that the Soviet communists were every bit as bad as the Nazis (and in fact racked up a much higher body count).

    These people are basically bots running memetic scripts that was written by the Soviet propaganda machine. Note that “fascist” and “Nazi” are still their go-to insults for any form of opposition, no matter where on the political continuum the opposition actually comes from. There haven’t been any real fascists or Nazis for decades.

  386. It’s amazing how many people have been propagandized into believing that “socialist = good”, and are therefore incapable of admitting that the Nazis were, in fact, socialists.

    Confronted with multiple definitions for concepts, people tend to pick the one that most benefits their argument, to the point of not checking whether that definition fits with common usage from their own allies or even other things they themselves have said. The sources Winter helpfully provided (but didn’t apparently read all the way through) include the following paragraph on how the word socialism is used:
    In the many years since socialism entered English around 1830, it has acquired several different meanings. It refers to a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control, but the conception of that control has varied, and the term has been interpreted in widely diverging ways, ranging from statist to libertarian, from Marxist to liberal. In the modern era, “pure” socialism has been seen only rarely and usually briefly in a few Communist regimes. Far more common are systems of social democracy, now often referred to as “democratic socialism,” in which extensive state regulation, with limited state ownership, has been employed by democratically elected governments (as in Sweden and Denmark) in the belief that it produces a fair distribution of income without impairing economic growth.

    What’s more important is that it doesn’t matter that we can’t decide on an objective definition. As long as I can cite a rational objection to socialism under my own logical definition, my own offense at someone calling themselves socialist is just as rational as the offense taken at Yarvin (we keep getting sidetracked from the original point of this post, after all). This means that, if pressured on it, the people trying to force him from the conference will either need to abandon any pretense that their rules are viewpoint-neutral, give up their attempt to force exclusion, or allow us to start booting people.

    The problem is that there’s never any organized push-back or pressure on the people trying to force these sorts of boycotts to force them to address the offensive ideas from their own side. I like the marketplace of ideas, so I don’t like silencing people who’s ideas I find reprehensible, but if making that sort of feint is what it takes to get the other side how valuable the marketplace of ideas is, then that may have to be what gets done. But it can’t work at all until we start forcing them to confront their own ideas.

  387. Winter, not only do you routinely fail to recognize quality sources, but can’t even seem to use your own effectively. If you hadn’t skimmed the first couple of lines in the abstract of that UB paper, you’d have noticed that it confirms what many people here already know and post somewhat frequently – that the Nazis kept tight control of the privatized means of production (simpler: were crony capitalists).

    Just because something involves capital, that doesn’t make it capitalist. Otherwise we could sit here and say that socialism is a form of capitalism. The blunt – and inarguable – fact of the matter is that the Nazis were hardly far right wing, free marketeers.

    Let me guess, next you’re going to go on about how Hitler abolished the labor unions.

  388. @locketopus

    > There haven’t been any real fascists or Nazis for decades.

    Unfortunately this is far from true. The Tagesspiegel claimed in January [1, in German] that there are more than 11,500 “gewaltorientierte Rechtsextremisten”, that is, violence-oriented right extremists, here in Germany. While the exact number is quite sensitive to definitions, the number is relatively high and is rising fast, and it includes quite a number of self-described Nazis. There have been a number of high profile serial murders committed by neo-Nazis in the last few years.

    I have spent more time than I enjoy attempting to combat the insertion of neo-Nazi propaganda into various English Wikipedia articles, for instance the accounts of the bombing of Dresden. I find it ironic when people rely on that resource for information. The German language Wikipedia is generally more reliable.

    [1]: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/rechtsextremismus-in-deutschland-die-gewaltbereitschaft-der-rechten-steigt/12874496.html

  389. >Unfortunately this is far from true. The Tagesspiegel claimed in January [1, in German] that there are more than 11,500 “gewaltorientierte Rechtsextremisten”, that is, violence-oriented right extremists, here in Germany.

    Leaving aside for a moment that “right” is so ill-defined as to be practically meaningless, “Violence-oriented right extremist” and “Nazi” are not synonymous.

    Now, back to “right”. U.S. libertarians, classical liberals (our “classical liberal” is somewhat close to what a European would call “liberal”), U.S. conservatives, and Nazis are all commonly called “right”.

    Can you elucidate any common thesis between those groups (other than “not communists”)?

    I’ll wait.

  390. http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7095#comment-1704848
    >Of course this only works if you deny or just ignore the fact that the Soviet communists were every bit as bad as the Nazis (and in fact racked up a much higher body count).

    Ah, but they were relatively egalitarian murderers. Everyone, from Party members to the lowest dirtmongering peasant could be killed by the regime. I’m sure the funeral attendees were greatly consoled by the knowledge the slaughter was indiscriminate.

  391. Recorded history is only a few millennia as compared to the timeline of our specie’s evolution. As such, we tend to place an inordinate emphasis on the lessons of history as opposed to our DNA-based Darwinian legacy.

    We are at the top of the food chain because of our unique morphology (bipedalism, opposable thumbs) and high intelligence (derived from our development of complex language skill). We have mastered our environment and now live in an era of great sustenance abundance. More significantly, existential hardship is on the brink of extinction.

    We are no longer evolving in the ancient modality of individual mutation versus the gauntlet of live-die determinism. This is no trivial change, and the future is opaque.

  392. @V / @ESR.

    As it currently stands the SJW list is too extreme to the extent of being dangerous. It lists people as SJWs (and implicitly to be shunned) merely for signing one letter. a) That’s very close to what the SJWs themselves are doing – yes I see the temptation – but it makes arguing that they are wrong difficult b) signing under a letter, even an odious one, is an expression of opinion, not a direct action. If you want this to be useful then more care and stricter criteria would probably help. This is especially true because various lies are being told about Yarvin who, as ESR already said, is himself probably a partial troll, so it’s not the best place for being sure about the motivation of the letter signers. Some of them probably honestly believe he’s planning to turn up in a KKK uniform and personally burn people by now based on the things you read about Yarvin on various blogs.

    BTW. Lars, who certainly does belong on such a list for setting up a CoC and abusing it to try to ban the ScalaZ author from his own project based on retrospective behavior is missing from your SJW list even though he is also on the LambdaConf letter. Why?

    • >BTW. Lars, who certainly does belong on such a list for setting up a CoC and abusing it to try to ban the ScalaZ author from his own project based on retrospective behavior is missing from your SJW list even though he is also on the LambdaConf letter. Why?

      Please refer all such questions to the sjwlist maintainers by email.

  393. Aside from the server going down under traffic, they’ve apparently been fighting a bunch of vandalism over the last couple days. Also, it takes time to validate each suggestion and make sure it’s being legitimately included.

    Insofar as “all they did was”

    OK. So they did it once. Life isn’t fair. It is far more honest and controllable to have a clear and bright distinction as to why someone should be on the list, even if it scoops up some people who were “silly once”, than something vague. I know first hand that the guidelines promulgated are “not just holds opinions” but has to have evidence one can point to that they have called for someone’s job/career to be damaged in support of social justice ideological ideals. This will leave off a lot of careful fellow travellers, and scoop up some wanna-be bandwagon riders.

    After all , one only has to be less than careful with a firearm once to also shoot oneself if it turned out to not be “unloaded”

  394. > We have a whole generation of people with a majority who proudly consider themselves socialist.

    True. I’m one of them. But you know what we mean by ‘socialist’? We mean like Denmark or the UK, not like the USSR or China. We mean safety nets and a guarantee against starvation.

  395. True. I’m one of them. But you know what we mean by ‘socialist’? We mean like Denmark or the UK, not like the USSR or China. We mean safety nets and a guarantee against starvation.

    The US has been starvation free and has had an incredibly expensive and inefficient safety net for some time. If that’s all you want, or you want to fix that, it’s likely possible without blindly throwing money and regulations at the problems by making the government more powerful, especially when those regulations and that money drain is a large part of the problem. Giving the government more power when it’s already as corrupt and inefficient as the American government will not make things better for the average person. The lack of specifics of what is wrong with the US besides ‘government good, corporations bad’ and ‘rich liberals good, rich conservatives bad’ leads me to suspect that there’s no problems people are trying to fix, they just want to government and its hangers-on to have more power.

    The Heritage Foundation rankings of economic freedom list Denmark right next to the US (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking). It has respect for property rights, a strong business environment (top corporate tax rate is 23.5 percent), and respect for trade and investment, and has managed to keep corruption low. Perhaps, more accurately, it has kept corruption low by respecting property rights, guaranteeing a friendly business environment, etc. We could perhaps compromise on making the US more like Denmark in terms of regulatory efficiency, trade freedom, and property rights, which would fix some of the problems but make the US less socialist.

  396. EMF on 2016-04-11 at 13:45:56 said:
    > > We have a whole generation of people with a majority who proudly consider
    > > themselves socialist.

    > True. I’m one of them. But you know what we mean by ‘socialist’? We mean like
    > Denmark or the UK, not like the USSR or China. We mean safety nets and a guarantee
    > against starvation.

    Socialism means the government running and organizing the economy, it doesn’t mean “safety nets and a guarantee against starvation”.

    Socialism is *inherently* about redistributing wealth. You can dress it up however you like, but that’s baked in as a core feature.

    To the extent that Denmark socialism in Denmark worked it worked in a era where there was a very homogeneous culture. Now that that culture is fragmenting–because your socialism is of the international version that presumes a mechanic in Denmark is more like a mechanic in Turkey or Syria than the lawyer who brings his car in for service.

    Humans are inherently tribal, and they seek to benefit *their* tribe. To the extent that socialism works, it works to benefit those of the tribe who do the organizing and distributing.

    This is why Socialism worked much better in Denmark than in England, and is AND ALWAYS WILL BE a horrible failure in the US.

    Oh, and why it will increasingly fail as you import more people from cultures that will not integrate/become part of your tribe (really *any* cultures, not just this latest debacle).

  397. @ EMF @ Civilis

    You are both missing the underlying socio-pathology. First world existential hunger has been nonexistent for nearly half a century, and the “poor” here in the US are now literally dying of obesity-related maladies and diseases. The welfare state has not lifted up the downtrodden, but insidiously accomplished the exact opposite. Overcoming hardship is the only reliable road out of poverty for those born at the bottom rung of society because it reinforces the skill set needed to become strong, resilient, and self-reliant. Unending welfare hand-outs (in service to vote buying by corrupt politicians) is not benefit, but rather a curse. Instead of actually helping these people, you are addicting them to helplessness. This cruelty is the fruit of socialism.

  398. EMF: When Sanders’ rise became more than a flash in the pan and so-called “democratic socialism” became the latest political buzzword, CNN went and asked the Danes about it.

    The consensus: They don’t think it’ll work in the US. Why not? Because Denmark is full of Danes, and therefore Scandinavians, complete with a Scandinavian work ethic and sense of belonging. The US is not.

  399. TomA: I don’t think anything you said disagrees with what I wrote.

    At some level, there will always be a small, critically deficient group that needs a safety net (unless you take the Nazi approach to the mentally ill and other undesirables). It’s perfectly possible for this net to be entirely voluntary and private, though at this point I would question the ability to get there from the current situation for the foreseeable future. Even an ancap should prefer a small, efficient and well functioning public net over a large, inefficient and poorly functioning public net, because it’s a step on the way to eliminating the net entirely. Likewise, a socialist concerned about the public should prefer the same small, efficient and well-functioning net because there’s more resources to devote to other causes. That the answer from the socialists to the problem of a large, inefficient, and poorly functioning net has been to suggest a larger net without trying to make it less inefficient and poorly functioning net tends to support your theory that socialists want reliance on the government, not to actually address the issues the safety net is supposed to be there to solve. You can repeat that logic with just about any government program.

  400. EMF: >We mean safety nets and a guarantee against starvation.

    Without even thinking, I can name at least three locations in my (smallish) city where you can go get a free meal, no questions asked, and I’m pretty sure there are considerably more than that. So, done?

    TomA> Instead of actually helping these people, you are addicting them to helplessness.

    Certainly the system we have works that way, but I’m not sure that it has to be so. What we have absolutely provides a positive disincentive to bettering oneself cutting benefits when the person begins making any income at all. It’s a fiscal cliff situation, and it’s a real problem.

    That it’s not necessarily that way can be demonstrated by considering oxygen. Oxygen is even more important than food and water, yet outside the boundaries of science fiction, or future space habitats, it’s completely free. No one that I’ve seen has advocated that we introduce some kind of charge for oxygen to provide a salutary effect on the general work ethic. Nor is there some bureaucratic rule that says that once you score a McDonalds job, you suddenly start having to fork out hard cash to continue breathing.

    The big problem here is that we are rapidly approaching a society in which a substantial portion of the population has no skill that anyone will pay them money to perform (certainly not at extremely high minimum wages). What are we to do? Letting them starve in the street is not an answer, both from the perspective of morals (I, at least, pretend to have them) and the pragmatic view that if a majority of the population is starving in the street, it won’t take long before they decide to take the food from the people who have it. If that happens, the entire society will be destroyed (think Cambodia under Pol Pot, or look at one of the well-known night-time satellite images comparing North and South Korea).

    So, what to do, given that “let them starve” is off the table? Universal Basic Income/Negative Income Tax or something along those lines would appear to cause the least harm to ambition. Under one of those, a dollar earned always makes you better off — some of the dollar will be taken in taxes, true, but working will still be preferable to not working.

    The current system almost appears designed to discourage people from working. It’s certainly designed to employ the maximum number of bureaucrats.

  401. > Socialism means the government running and organizing the economy, it doesn’t mean “safety nets and a guarantee against starvation”.

    We are clearly talking at cross-purposes. To young people who consider themselves socialists, it means the latter, not the former. Why? WE DON’T REMEMBER THE COLD WAR. I was born in ‘96 and you expect me to associate socialism with the policies of a country that fell apart in ‘89? Yeah, no. Not gonna happen.

    > You are both missing the underlying socio-pathology. First world existential hunger has been nonexistent for nearly half a century, and the “poor” here in the US are now literally dying of obesity-related maladies and diseases. The welfare state has not lifted up the downtrodden, but insidiously accomplished the exact opposite. Overcoming hardship is the only reliable road out of poverty for those born at the bottom rung of society because it reinforces the skill set needed to become strong, resilient, and self-reliant. Unending welfare hand-outs (in service to vote buying by corrupt politicians) is not benefit, but rather a curse. Instead of actually helping these people, you are addicting them to helplessness. This cruelty is the fruit of socialism.

    And there we part ways. I say that there is NO GOSH-DARNED WAY out of poverty for poor Americans. Income mobility does not exist, really. Most companies are started by richer people. Why? Because if the company fails, they can still live. Poor people can’t take risks, because if they do and it fails, they’re dead. This cruelty is the fruit of capitalism. The right thing to do is clearly to add a safety net.

    > The consensus: They don’t think it’ll work in the US. Why not? Because Denmark is full of Danes, and therefore Scandinavians, complete with a Scandinavian work ethic and sense of belonging. The US is not.

    No, they don’t think it’ll work in the US because Americans have a pathological fear of government (not that it’s unjustified, as Pfc. Manning and Edward Snowden have shown). Maybe if we didn’t have the lousy state secrets privilege and the government acted a little bit more trustworthily on the one hand, and the libertarians and Republicans stopped whipping up gubernophobia, it would work.

    Another point: Is there a way to guarantee healthcare for all that is more right-wing (classical liberal, or whatever) than Obamacare? No, there isn’t. (But there are more left-wing ways to do it.)

  402. @ Civilis

    Even the most disadvantaged in society benefit from pulling their weight as much as they are able. This is the root of self-esteem and happiness (and an innate feature of our species).
    Charity at the most local level available is almost always the best way to deliver this virtuous contribution to society.

    @ Doctor Locketopus

    The specter of masses starving in the street is more of a propaganda meme than a realistic probability. Scare tactics are a reprehensible political ploy designed to coerce voters into trading their freedoms for the chimera of an avoided catastrophe.

    @ EMF

    There is a reason why the “overcoming hardship” modality of self-improvement does not resonate with you. As a collectivist, your skill set is parasitism and you cannot conceive of a mode of survival that does not involve feeding off of the productivity of others. What’s worse, you view parasitism as a virtue and fear competing in a world where productivity is rewarded.

  403. > Income mobility does not exist, really

    Bullshit. I’ve written before about a man I knew (I managed a business for which he was the landlord) who was born literally dirt-poor (the Arkansas shack he grew up in had dirt floors) and died one of the richest people in Kansas.

    And it’s not just anectdotal. There’s plenty of movement over many people’s lives, but not so much when they’re living under government “assistance” programs that create welfare cliffs (that graph from the PA Secretary of Public Welfare no less) that remove any incentive to earn more.

  404. > To young people who consider themselves socialists, it means the latter, not the former. Why? WE DON’T REMEMBER THE COLD WAR.

    But you do remember people starving in the street? Your memory is…selective.

    > I was born in ‘96 and you expect me to associate socialism with the policies of a country that fell apart in ‘89? Yeah, no. Not gonna happen.

    Ah… that explains why the young people today are all in favor of bringing back chattel slavery. I mean, the Confederate States of America fell apart in 1865. Again, your memory/historical knowledge seems to be…selective.

    > Another point: Is there a way to guarantee healthcare for all that is more right-wing (classical liberal, or whatever) than Obamacare?

    It is a Goebbels-level Big Lie that Obamacare has “guaranteed healthcare for all”.

  405. > There is a reason why the “overcoming hardship” modality of self-improvement does not resonate with you. As a collectivist, your skill set is parasitism and you cannot conceive of a mode of survival that does not involve feeding off of the productivity of others. What’s worse, you view parasitism as a virtue and fear competing in a world where productivity is rewarded.

    I … I don’t even. You think I’m a CEO?

    You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. The point of a safety net is really so that poor people can afford to take risks. Without a safety net, no sane poor person would take risks. If the business doesn’t pan out, they quite literally will not be able to survive; if a rich person’s business venture fails to work, they will be just fine. So richer people can take more risks and reap more rewards, and so the rich get richer because they can afford it. This is clearly unfair, but it can be fixed by guaranteeing that if the business venture fails, the poor person won’t be reduced to begging.
    (Similarly, this taken from a book:
    A rich person spends $50 on a good pair of boots that’ll last for ten years. A poor person can’t afford that $50 pair of boots, so buys a $10 pair of boots, which wears out in a year. The poor person spends twice as much on boots.)

  406. We are clearly talking at cross-purposes. To young people who consider themselves socialists, it means the latter, not the former. Why? WE DON’T REMEMBER THE COLD WAR. I was born in ‘96 and you expect me to associate socialism with the policies of a country that fell apart in ‘89? Yeah, no. Not gonna happen.

    If you need more recent examples, they are all over the place. Look at Zimbabwe, which has been falling apart since Mugabe came to power in 1987, or Venezuela, which has been falling apart since Chavez came to power 1998. Venezuela is a great example, because Chavez’s rule was welcomed as an example of Socialism initially, then denied as the economy predictably plummeted, and this despite the valuable natural resources of the country. Unlike the Venezuelan socialism, even the kleptocratic Saudi theocracy has managed to keep a decent standard of living.

    I also note that despite fascism having been irrelevant since 1945, it’s still fashionable to decry, even against people that have nothing in common politically with the fascists.

    And there we part ways. I say that there is NO GOSH-DARNED WAY out of poverty for poor Americans. Income mobility does not exist, really. Most companies are started by richer people. Why? Because if the company fails, they can still live. Poor people can’t take risks, because if they do and it fails, they’re dead. This cruelty is the fruit of capitalism. The right thing to do is clearly to add a safety net.

    If you want to start a hair braiding business in many places in the US (a frequently used example of a way to start a business for young minority women), you’re likely out of luck. Why? You often need a full cosmetology license, because of government regulations ostensibly to protect consumers from bad hairdos, but actually to limit competition by creating a barrier to entry for the profession. Want to earn money driving a cab (or, more recently, for a ride sharing service)? Good luck; the government protects the taxi cartel; medallions go to the rich. All of these are examples of the good regulations of government making people poorer.

    When the government has the power, only three types of people prosper: those with the politicking skills to make it in government; those with the networking skills to make friends in government, and those willing to break the rules and cheat.

    No, they don’t think it’ll work in the US because Americans have a pathological fear of government (not that it’s unjustified, as Pfc. Manning and Edward Snowden have shown). Maybe if we didn’t have the lousy state secrets privilege and the government acted a little bit more trustworthily on the one hand, and the libertarians and Republicans stopped whipping up gubernophobia, it would work.

    Ironically, with more government power, Manning and Snowden would be dead and/or buried. The Russians kill their dissidents even here in the US, and Chinese that defy the government even in safe havens suspiciously frequently end up back in the mainland confessing their sins on state TV. And giving the government more power to suppress dissent is now a cause of the Progressive (ie, Socialist) left. Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers case (I know, before your time; as if history started the day you were born)? Look it up, it’s also known as New York Times Co. v. United States. Note the ‘Co’ in the newspaper name. What would the result be if the case was retried in a world Hillary gets her wish to be able to suppress companies that don’t toe the administration line?

    Another point: Is there a way to guarantee healthcare for all that is more right-wing (classical liberal, or whatever) than Obamacare? No, there isn’t. (But there are more left-wing ways to do it.)

    Actually, healthcare for all was guaranteed before Obamacare. Based on outcomes, despite ‘guarantees’ on paper, socialized or government-run medical systems (like Britain’s NHS and the US Veterans Administration) routinely fail to provide even basic care in a timely manner. If you’re interested in providing health care, socializing medicine doesn’t provide more health care, at best it just shifts around who pays for it, and in the real world, that means people don’t get care (and the rich just go overseas, or if rich Socialists autocrats like Castro, import doctors).

  407. You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. The point of a safety net is really so that poor people can afford to take risks. Without a safety net, no sane poor person would take risks. If the business doesn’t pan out, they quite literally will not be able to survive; if a rich person’s business venture fails to work, they will be just fine. So richer people can take more risks and reap more rewards, and so the rich get richer because they can afford it. This is clearly unfair, but it can be fixed by guaranteeing that if the business venture fails, the poor person won’t be reduced to begging.

    Look at the notes under Denmark in the Heritage study above:
    The regulatory environment remains one of the world’s most efficient, and starting a business takes fewer procedures than the world averages. Relatively flexible hiring and dismissal regulations sustain an efficient labor market.
    There are a lot of procedures required to start a business; regulations, fees, licenses and taxes. All those are products of well-intentioned socialist meddling, and removing them would make it much easier and less risky.

    For that matter, most poor people would even do well to get hired to get the skills necessary to start a business, but most regulations designed to help the poor have a perverse incentive which makes the poor less employable. France, for example, makes it hard to fire employees even for cause, or when the business is going bankrupt; result: businesses won’t hire nearly as many people or potentially risky people. Minimum wage laws may make hiring more people too expensive. I’ve pointed out the hair-brading and ride-sharing regulations above, but we could go on about food trucks and home businesses.

    And that’s avoiding discussing the massive, expensive, and poorly functioning safety net we have. Those few beggars in America aren’t on the street because it’s too risky to start a business (though for some, I understand, begging itself is a lucrative and tax free business); they’re there because they’ve fallen victim to another pathology of excessive government, like draconian punishments for sex laws or the drug trade. The fact is, the government wastes its time and our money using regulations to clamp down on the private sections of the safety net.

  408. > If you want to start a hair braiding business in many places in the US (a frequently used example of a way to start a business for young minority women), you’re likely out of luck. Why? You often need a full cosmetology license, because of government regulations ostensibly to protect consumers from bad hairdos, but actually to limit competition by creating a barrier to entry for the profession. Want to earn money driving a cab (or, more recently, for a ride sharing service)? Good luck; the government protects the taxi cartel; medallions go to the rich. All of these are examples of the good regulations of government making people poorer.

    And I’m against that sort of thing.

    > If you need more recent examples, they are all over the place. Look at Zimbabwe, which has been falling apart since Mugabe came to power in 1987, or Venezuela, which has been falling apart since Chavez came to power 1998. Venezuela is a great example, because Chavez’s rule was welcomed as an example of Socialism initially, then denied as the economy predictably plummeted, and this despite the valuable natural resources of the country.

    Yes, and how often are Venezuela and Zimbabwe in the news? The Cold War was the most important conflict at the time. We barely even notice things like the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2003.

    > socializing medicine doesn’t provide more health care, at best it just shifts around who pays for it, and in the real world, that means people don’t get care (and the rich just go overseas, or if rich Socialists autocrats like Castro, import doctors).

    Hey, don’t knock Cuban health care. First country in the world to eradicate polio.

    > Unlike the Venezuelan socialism, even the kleptocratic Saudi theocracy has managed to keep a decent standard of living.

    Well, look at the other differences between Venezuela and Saudi Arabia:
    Free press? Venezuela has one, Saudi Arabia doesn’t.
    Freedom of religion? Venezuelans are mostly Catholic, yes, but there are no laws about that sort of thing. Saudis must be Sunni Muslim on penalty of death, even the 25% that are Shi’a and the odd Christian.
    Free elections? It actually does seem like Maduro is that popular (at the very least, Chavez was saved in the 2003 attempted coup by the people), while Saudi Arabia has no free elections.

    Also, my point about Pfc. Manning and Mr. Snowden was that they showed us that a good chunk of the government could not be trusted. I honestly think we should fire 80-99 percent of the CIA and NSA. (We also should change our rules about handling classified information. Someone at DOD can actually get fired for checking Wikileaks – because they /don’t have clearance/ to see classified stuff – even though it’s already public knowledge.)

    In any case, I’m definitely voting for Clinton in November, and the only thing that’ll stop me is if she loses the primary (which is unlikely, but I still voted/am voting/will vote (absentee ballot, not yet sent in) for Sanders). Trump, I think we can all agree, would be a horrible president, and Cruz is not much better. Kasich is better than both, but still, to me, worse than Clinton.

  409. And I’m against that sort of thing.

    If you and those that want to see opportunity spent as much time opposing those real obstacles to people improving their lives as you do trashing strawmen here, those things wouldn’t be a problem. But since your leaders are bought and paid for, and you just march along in unison behind them when it comes to voting, nothing gets any better. Those are all examples of what happens when the government makes regulations to make things ‘better’, better is defined by the people that get the politicians re-elected.

    Yes, and how often are Venezuela and Zimbabwe in the news? The Cold War was the most important conflict at the time. We barely even notice things like the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2003.

    They’re not in the news because the ‘social Democrat’ socialists that tell the news don’t want to be embarrassed by their prior support of a couple of socialist dictators. Those that pay attention to the world, economics, and politics, meanwhile, have been pointing out how bad things are in Zimbabwe and have been getting in Venezuela for years, but the people trying to bring the same policies here don’t listen. Then there’s the recent Panama Papers: records cronies of socialists (of both the dictator and the democrat types) stashing their cash.

    Hey, don’t knock Cuban health care. First country in the world to eradicate polio.

    And that and the 100% literacy rate really feels good to those languishing in prison for thought crimes, or those willing to risk their lives to escape.

    Well, look at the other differences between Venezuela and Saudi Arabia:
    Free press? Venezuela has one, Saudi Arabia doesn’t.
    Freedom of religion? Venezuelans are mostly Catholic, yes, but there are no laws about that sort of thing. Saudis must be Sunni Muslim on penalty of death, even the 25% that are Shi’a and the odd Christian.
    Free elections? It actually does seem like Maduro is that popular (at the very least, Chavez was saved in the 2003 attempted coup by the people), while Saudi Arabia has no free elections.

    Well, considering the Venezuelan government repression of the press and the opposition, ‘free elections’ and ‘free press’ are lies. And even so, Saudi Arabia has shelves stocked with food and toilet paper and basic human needs available to the common people, unlike Venezuela. I thought Socialism was supposed to prevent people from starving to death? Like Stalin, like Mugabe, like Marduro…

    Also, my point about Pfc. Manning and Mr. Snowden was that they showed us that a good chunk of the government could not be trusted. I honestly think we should fire 80-99 percent of the CIA and NSA. (We also should change our rules about handling classified information. Someone at DOD can actually get fired for checking Wikileaks – because they /don’t have clearance/ to see classified stuff – even though it’s already public knowledge.)

    They showed us the State Department and DoD (and their foreign counterparts) occasionally act diplomatic, which was a real surprise. There’s a reason security classifications and rules are the way they are.

    In any case, I’m definitely voting for Clinton in November, and the only thing that’ll stop me is if she loses the primary (which is unlikely, but I still voted/am voting/will vote (absentee ballot, not yet sent in) for Sanders). Trump, I think we can all agree, would be a horrible president, and Cruz is not much better. Kasich is better than both, but still, to me, worse than Clinton.
    Wow, a socialist voting for a rich career politician whose made tons of money from Wall Street and sold the influence of her position to rich foreigners, is responsible for catastrophic fiascos in Syria and Libya, covered up multiple rapes and trashed a rape accuser, believes the laws don’t apply to her and other top men, and wants to trash the first amendment? I’d say I was surprised, but that would be a lie; seems par for the course. At this point, the Republicans would practically have to run Stalin’s reanimated corpse to get me to vote for her (leaving aside the unlikelyhood of voting for Trump). At least Sanders, crazy and out of it though he may be, has standards and human decency.

  410. EMF: “No, they don’t think it’ll work in the US because Americans have a pathological fear of government (not that it’s unjustified, as Pfc. Manning and Edward Snowden have shown). Maybe if we didn’t have the lousy state secrets privilege and the government acted a little bit more trustworthily on the one hand, and the libertarians and Republicans stopped whipping up gubernophobia, it would work.”

    RTFA. That’s why I linked it. It has nothing to do with state secrets or anything else. It has to do with a work ethic and a people who aren’t conditioned by decades of government handouts to be dependent on the largess of others.

    Governments fuck up everything they touch. It’s really just that simple.

    “Another point: Is there a way to guarantee healthcare for all that is more right-wing (classical liberal, or whatever) than Obamacare? No, there isn’t. (But there are more left-wing ways to do it.)”

    Your question ignores a more fundamental one that must be answered in the affirmative before you get to yours: Is it the place of government to guarantee healthcare for all? The answer is no. (This is the United States, not Europe. If you want European leftism, you know where to find it…as in, not here.)

    “Hey, don’t knock Cuban health care.”

    If it’s so great, why did Fidel Castro go to Spain to get his health care?

    “Free press? Venezuela has one”

    Uh, no…well, I suppose it is free if you’re a supporter of the regime. Otherwise, you’re thrown in jail and your newspaper shut down as an enemy of the state. Oh, and at least in Venezuela, you don’t have to worry about making choices at the supermarket – that is, if there’s anything there to buy in the first place.

  411. Press freedom scores (2015, Freedom House): Venezuela 81, Saudi Arabia 83. OK, not much of a difference there. I may have been acting on old news. (2000: Venezuela 34, Saudi Arabia 90. 2005: Venezuela 72, Saudi Arabia 80. 2010: Venezuela 75, Saudi Arabia 83).

    At least the elections are free, and satire survives quite well.

    > If it’s so great, why did Fidel Castro go to Spain to get his health care?

    Same reason as people go to Cedar Sinai in LA for heart transplants. There are some things that are really only done in a few countries, and those countries tend to be big ones.

    One big thing that happened in 2002: the US supported a coup attempt against Chavez.

    > Governments fuck up everything they touch

    And big corporations don’t? At least governments are supposed to be accountable to everyone, not just their shareholders.

    > Is it the place of government to guarantee healthcare for all? The answer is no.

    A huge chunk of Americans disagree with you. Like, more than half.
    Also, is healthcare for all a desirable goal? If not, OK. But if so, is there any way to guarantee it without the government doing so? I challenge you to think of one.

  412. > “A huge chunk of Americans disagree with you. Like, more than half.”

    Uh. You may want to check your sources on that.

    At the time the bill was being debated the opposition to it among the public even in safely “democrat ” districts was so high that, despite having a nearly uncontested filibuster – proof majority, the democrats didn’t want to bring it to a vote (and blamed it on the republicans”

    They also didn’t provide the full text of the law in a timely manner. Cue Pelosi and “you have to vote for it to find out what’s in it”

  413. Also, is healthcare for all a desirable goal? If not, OK. But if so, is there any way to guarantee it without the government doing so? I challenge you to think of one.

    First, define ‘healthcare for all’. As it is, in the US, if you have an emergency and go to a hospital you will get treated regardless of ability to pay. This is, literally, healthcare for all. (It’s also government mandated, at least, so one point there).

    Second, if there are not enough doctors, or hospital beds, or medicine, it’s impossible to provide that healthcare, therefore any guarantees that healthcare will be provided are meaningless. In most cases, this means long wait times rather than never get care at all, and is endemic in situations like Britain’s NHS.

    And big corporations don’t? At least governments are supposed to be accountable to everyone, not just their shareholders.

    I’m free not to have anything to do with corporations, and a corporation that screws up goes out of business. Governments just find someone else to rob or kill when they mess up. Meanwhile, despite the massive laundry list of faults for Clinton and Trump, they’re both front runners for the US Presidency. You certainly aren’t holding Clinton accountable for anything she’s done. She’s the poster child for ‘the political elite don’t have to obey the same laws as the rest of you commoners’.

    I find it odd that someone that says “…they showed us that a good chunk of the government could not be trusted” seems to, well, blindly trust government.

  414. >Hey, don’t knock Cuban health care. First country in the world to eradicate polio.

    I have not noticed large quantities of people leaving Miami, headed for Havana on “boats” they’ve built from trash bags filled with styrofoam packing peanuts. Have you?

    It’s just incomprehensible, considering the “free health care” and all the other goodies that Dear Fidel and Dear Raul provide for their people.

    > Same reason as people go to Cedar Sinai in LA for heart transplants

    Because the health care system in their country sucks?

    Actually, I don’t think Castro went to Spain. He had doctors from Spain flown in. Whether that’s because Cuban doctors suck, or because he didn’t trust them to be properly grateful for all the wonderful things they’ve received from socialism is open to debate.

  415. > And big corporations don’t?

    In general you have a choice of corporation to deal with. Not so with the government.

    I don’t recall any instance of a corporation sending millions of people to death camps. s

    Most of the screeching you guys do about “corporations” wouldn’t have a basis if it weren’t for big government stifling competition.

    > In any case, I’m definitely voting for Clinton in November

    Translation: “I will vote for a career criminal who has also negligently endangered U.S. national security, because she promises me lots of free shit.”

  416. > for anything she’s done

    What, exactly, did she do?
    Those emails? None of them were classified; those that are now classified shouldn’t be.
    Benghazi? No-one could have done much better (or much worse, really).
    Lewinsky? That wasn’t even her!

    > I’m free not to have anything to do with corporations

    I see you don’t live in West Virginia, where coal companies blow the tops off hills.

    > In most cases, this means long wait times rather than never get care at all, and is endemic in situations like Britain’s NHS.

    At least you get care for non-emergency stuff. In the US, if it isn’t an emergency, you can’t get it without a health plan. Dental care? If it’s not a full-fledged cavity, no dice. And all they’ll do is pull your tooth. Cancer? Nope (most you can hope for is resection, and that’s no good if it’s metastatic). Crohn’s? No, not unless you already have a perforated ulcer. Asperger’s? Hell no. And the worst thing about that last one: if you have it, you will not do well at starting a business due to a lack of people skills. Try getting a job before that! Basically, if it’s not an emergency, they don’t have to treat you unless you pay (in which case it’s a contract dispute if they refuse to treat).

  417. > One big thing that happened in 2002: the US supported a coup attempt against Chavez.

    Bullshit.

    Chavez, when imprisoning his internal opponents, accused them of being US agents.

  418. Those emails? None of them were classified;

    I’d call bullshit per Frankfurt, but it’s been demonstrated so clearly so many times that I can’t even give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re just lying.

    Not only that, but she sent explicit instructions to remove markers from classified material and send it insecurely.

  419. Those emails? None of them were classified; those that are now classified shouldn’t be.
    Wow. Seriously, I know you’re young, but take the time to learn how many people who didn’t have her political connections have their life ruined in prison for a lot less. That’s on top of using that server to cover up the Clinton Foundation corruption. What do you think she was being paid all that money for?

    Lewinsky? That wasn’t even her!
    And the 14 women that have come forth with sexual abuse or rape allegations against the former president that she’s swept under the rug? They didn’t call her the Lady MacBeth of Little Rock for nothing. You were born in 96, that doesn’t excuse you for not knowing these things.

    I see you don’t live in West Virginia, where coal companies blow the tops off hills.
    I live close enough. Obviously you’ve never seen what real environmental damage looks like. Here’s a hint: the former USSR (that’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) has a lot of it.

    At least you get care for non-emergency stuff. In the US, if it isn’t an emergency, you can’t get it without a health plan. Blatantly false, even without the old ‘claim it’s an emergency and use the emergency room’ trick.

  420. “Those emails? None of them were classified; those that are now classified shouldn’t be.”

    Liar.

    Next.

  421. >I see you don’t live in West Virginia, where coal companies blow the tops off hills.

    I see you don’t live in West Virginia, where a whole lot of people no longer have coal-related jobs. Or any jobs.

    You don’t actually live in West Virginia, do you? Of course you don’t. Have you actually asked any West Virginian whether they’d rather “blow the tops off hills” and have jobs? Of course you haven’t.

  422. > “you have to vote for it to find out what’s in it”

    She meant that it was hard to understand what would happen if passed, not that it was kept secret. If you want to hear about a bill that was kept secret, how’s about the PATRIOT act?

    > Seriously, I know you’re young, but take the time to learn how many people who didn’t have her political connections have their life ruined in prison for a lot less.

    Which just proves that they didn’t deserve prison.

    > Not only that, but she sent explicit instructions to remove markers from classified material and send it insecurely.

    Proof?

    > Chavez, when imprisoning his internal opponents, accused them of being US agents.

    You seriously believe that Bush wouldn’t have approved it? And anyway, there is proof that the US at least knew about it beforehand.

    > Blatantly false, even without the old ‘claim it’s an emergency and use the emergency room’ trick.

    No, actually, in the US it is perfectly legal to refuse treatment unless either it’s an actual emergency, you can pay, or the treatment is not available at that hospital. Maybe some hospitals have a mandate to treat all patients, but that’d have to be in the hospital’s charter.

    > I live close enough. Obviously you’ve never seen what real environmental damage looks like. Here’s a hint: the former USSR (that’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) has a lot of it.

    I’m not arguing with you on that. I’m just saying that it’s quite possible to end up in a situation where you are not free to have nothing to do with a private company, which is a point I notice you have not addressed.

  423. “If you want to hear about a bill that was kept secret, how’s about the PATRIOT act?”

    You mean the one that Hillary voted for? Twice? That PATRIOT Act?

    Nor was it “kept secret”. It’s only a 131 page bill (compared to the 1,000 page behemoth of Obamacare), and was published, debated and amended on the floor.

  424. @ EMF – “I … I don’t even. You think I’m a CEO?”

    I don’t think you intended that statement as humor; but nevertheless, I did not presume you to be a CEO.

    It does, however, offer evidence of my earlier supposition that persons of your ilk are unaware of their memetic derangement. In addition, other commenters have provided you with erudite feedback on the fallacies of your beliefs, to no effect. This is evidence of my premise that SJWs cannot be talked back into sanity. The affliction is deep and hardwired, hence the danger of assuming that this epidemic will yield to facile remedy.

  425. Which just proves that they didn’t deserve prison.

    It also proves that for all your complaining about the rich and the powerful, you’re willing to let them get away with an awful lot. Seriously, if you don’t like laws on c