Two aspects are important to consider here. First is that the law is necessarily arbitrary; in this sense knowledge or ignorance of the law is irrelevant - the knowledge of the Judicial apparatus and its personnel is what is actually important.
The second aspect is necessarily a corollary of the first. Namely, that anyone with sufficient knowledge can structure their behavior to make otherwise unlawful behavior entirely legal. In fact, the entire economy and political apparatus is dependent on this mechanism to function, because without it there would be no effective heuristic for identifying opposition to the state (the actual purpose of all judiciary and enforcement apparatuses).
For example, it is highly unlawful in 99.99% of the country to pay a stripper to fuck you. It's 100% legal everywhere in the country to fuck a stripper, and then make it rain on them when they go onstage at some time before or after. While this looks a hell of a lot like money laundering, good luck proving that without written or recorded conversations attesting to that. The only thing that is truly unlawful is good record-keeping and poor operational security. The state wants only smart "criminals" operating; like knows like.
If it weren't for this fact, pretty much every marginal business (read: 80% of business) would go bankrupt. Unprovable accounting control fraud, while resulting in the occasional Enron, is also the only reason that taqueria down the street has a profit margin after sales and other taxes. Taxation is the primary motivating force behind fraud and various other distortions in the economy.
Rampant control fraud is also why tons of people who are otherwise useless have jobs rather than are yet another SNAP/SSI recipient. Corporate Managers looking for more direct reports to fuel their promotions who are willing to fudge performance reviews to protect dead wood likely take off a good 10-20% of the unemployment rate all by themselves. This also allows them to protect the actually productive people when layoffs finally come due to economic conditions entirely out of the manager's control.
Of course this naturally comes with corrosive effects. If your business relies on control fraud to be viable this implies the optimal amount of shrinkage is nonzero; preferably some fraction of the taxation otherwise avoided. This is because any mechanism you can use to identify sources of shrinkage can also be used as a means of assessing your "true" tax burden. As such, those mechanisms are routinely omitted as "cost saving measures".
This is what is behind most complaints of being unable to staff businesses. Untrustworthy people cannot be allowed anywhere near decision making. Even if they don't steal directly they'll do other stupid shit that's liable to get them to turn stoolie in desperation.
Nevertheless, if you have to scale a business you just have to swallow that bitter pill and adapt. If you've ever wondered why "mushroom management" (keep them in the dark, and feed them shit) is so common, it's because it's an adaptation to these realities. Managers call these sort of interactions with employees "baby talk", as it's most commonly employed on young and idealistic employees. Anyone who can't see thru it is clearly not suited for anything beyond toiling. Similarly, anyone who "looks like a criminal" (read: non-beta) can't be trusted.
Which brings me to the "heuristic for identifying opposition to the state". Much like corporate, governance has had to scale far beyond its actual ability to employ coercion and maintain some semblance of their preferred order without a hell of a good filter. Viewed through this lens, the reason why some things are "unlawful" and others not becomes immediately clear.
For example, why has every single attempt to roll out a "cashless society" (read: no bearer instruments of any kind) failed so spectacularly? Because if there is no clearly identifiable activity such as "withdraws and deposits large sums of cash routinely" to narrow down your list of potential malefactors, there is no option besides a full index scan to increase revenue or suppress organized "subversive/criminal" activity. This is why bearer instruments such as cash (read: non-refundable) remain allowed in the physical world but ruthlessly suppressed in the digital realm.
The commonly used excuse by the payment processors for their official oppression of things like sex work is the prevalence of chargebacks. This makes sense to a degree, as drunk idiots who don't realize their wife reads the bank statement will always exist. Nevertheless, there is no technical reason even under traditional digital finance systems that nonrefundable transactions can't be supported. The fact that they don't is because the government explicitly prohibits such as it allows anyone to unprovably be an Unlicensed Money Transmitter.
To be fair, it's not exactly smart to engage in a transaction where one fat finger can increase the order of magnitude of a mistake. This is why I'm still astonished that digital transactions (such as with a credit card) aren't by and large subject to escrow. It's also worth noting that one of the important functions lawyers tend to serve is that of escrow. Much like with your taxes, having legally protected client confidentiality allows a great deal of otherwise questionable activity to be beyond proving it isn't entirely above board. This is tolerated because lawyers are almost never threats, but the biggest boosters of the state that exist.
If there's any moral to this story, it's that two wrongs don't make a right. The deadweight loss to the economy due to the impossibility of valuing things correctly thanks to rampant and tolerated control fraud is quite large. All equity you acquire is necessarily a pig in a poke. As such, there's no "free lunch" -- investing in businesses you aren't personally involved in to a degree you can see through the bullshit is simply gambling. That's the real meaning of "ignorance of the law is no excuse".
If the USA was serious about "Slava"ing the lives of the Ukranians and Rus in general their policy would be very different than it is now. USG is supporting the Ukranian state which is unworthy of the sacrifice of even a single Ukranian.
Guns need men to fire them, and America is the most attractive place for people to migrate to. It would be straightforward to drain both belligerents' manpower pool with immigration policy such that combat operations are not viable. This is one of the core reasons the Soviet Union collapsed; the Berlin wall was the poster child for this. When a nation has to become a prison of serfs to keep things together its army quickly becomes incapable of anything beyond garrison duty. This is because a) that's costly and b) their best and brightest figure out quickly that an ounce of exit beats a ton of voice.
Instead what will we get? Tons of Rus boys get to enjoy the mobik to hamburger pipeline. Hordes of these young men that go fey will destabilize the region for a generation. All the contractors selling $31 million dollar blue tarps here will get away with it scott free, further damning these places to corruption. Millons of acres of land will be poisoned with heavy metals, and generations of people will end up missing legs thanks to landmines. Don't make me get Billy Mays out here, because just wait, there's more.
Anyone who thinks war through quickly figures out the worst peace beats the best war. People don't think it through because that would require a certain bell curve to be a standard deviation to the right of where it actually is. The discourse as such is deoxylated "military intelligence". If the above sentence requires explanation, here's your sign.
America could play a non-malign role on the world stage. That would require a level of intelligence that is clearly not here.
Hell, they can't even manage competently malign! USG may have the best weapons systems on earth, but its pearls before swine. These west point droolers hardly even use transformative weapons that are in the stockpile! They'd rather pretend these systems don't exist so they can keep zipping around in tanks and attack helicopters oblivious to the risk posed thereby. Meanwhile they waste hundred thousand dollar missiles blowing up $300 trucks rather than expose themselves to danger in these expensive boat anchors. But hey, at least they get to go home safe blowing up some shit 200km away that is as likely to be the milkman as Osama Bin Laden. I'm sure strategic hamlets will work this time. We just need to COIN harder guise.
Meanwhile the mainstream discourse is that it would somehow be "bad for America" if we don't smear such incompetence over the entire world. In reality, the reason the 20th Century went so well for the USA was because we largely allowed the war idiots to enervate themselves. Their loss was our gain. If the world descends back into chaos (which is far from guaranteed) we would be better than fine so long as we stay out of it. This of course won't happen, and China gets to laugh all the way to the banks in Taipei and Hong Kong.
The Matthew 5:5 strategy remains 100% vindicated. Stay strapped and hydrated my friends.
What should be clear to anyone paying attention is that both the Racist and Anti-Racist sides of things subscribe to false mental models for largely self-serving reasons, albeit on opposite sides of a core question. That being racists are afraid of loss, while the race-hustlers are lusting for gain. Both sides mental models are in fact useful from their own point of view. As such, most people are both, depending on the situation.
The racists, while rarely being able to articulate this, have the following mental model: Personality is largely heritable. Certain phenotypes have been observed to express 3 traits that in combination roughly align with "unemployable" more often than other phenotypes. Those being willingness to be violent, low intelligence and high disagreeableness. There is no inherent corrective brake on these traits due to them also being attractive mating signals; hybristophillia is a thing.
Stopping here leaves you with two solutions to the problem. Liquidate those expressing these traits in an attempt to eradicate them, or exercise exit. Largely the latter is the choice, as most would prefer to be merely racist rather than racist mass murderers. Such free association being core to the classical liberal program is why the race hustlers are inevitably all socialists of one stripe or another.
Meanwhile the anti-racist camp, insofar as they don't embrace the polylogism of the critical theorists, have valid criticism of this model. Namely, that epigenetics is real. Gene expression in fact changes in response to conditions; as such eradication of these traits is not only evil but impossible. This effect is not as fast as most would like, or even practical within a lifespan, as this is a generational project which is actively undermined by women.
Furthermore, pretty much the entire evo bio field is just as fucked up and irreproducible as the rest of modern science. E.G. it's also a false (but useful) mental model. This is a less strong point than they think, but self-serving skepticism is a strong ingroup signal.
These in combination are enough to advocate for gibs, so that's where they stop.
The trouble of course is when you dig deeper, you find that the period where western phenotypes largely eradicated these traits in combination doesn't fit. In short it was far more racist, christian and liberal than now. Like high prices are the cure for high prices, you might say that racism was the cure for the causes of racism. That is to say, a necessarily incomplete mental model proved useful. Shocker.
Indeed, seeing the reversion in the condition of American blacks since the civil rights act leads many to conclude we need more, not less racism. It should come as no surprise that many blacks' policy preferences are in fact the sort of classical liberalism called conservatism in the USA. They remember what worked and are as tired of "ninja shit" as much as committed klansmen. However given their widespread poverty most have little choice but to align with the race hustlers begging for scraps from master's table.
In all this I see no evidence whatsoever of incentives aligning between the black and white communities in the USA to choose policy which would work (repeal of CRA). What we will instead see is wealthy nonwhite Immigrants and "nonbinary" whites increasingly leverage the CRA to crowd the black community out into deepening poverty and immiseration. This has already lead to black hostility towards Asians and the "nonbinary", who are overwhelmingly the ones leveraging this strategy. Conflict rises, just as the state prefers.
Which brings me to my point. There are a lot of things far worse than racism or race hustling. The state is obviously one of them. It was, after all, "behfel ist behfel", not racism that was used as the defense against genocide at nurenburg. In this case particularly, it's quite obvious state censorship is far worse than (largely private) racism.
As far as flawed mental models go, both racism and antiracism are not exactly high on my threat classification scale. In fact, they can both be useful in various contexts. Namely, grifting for engagement online.
Most people will satisfy themselves with "Racist in the streets, Anti-Racist in the sheets".
Is there perhaps a more useful mental model than either? I'd say it's the paranoid libertarian's "If they can, they are; treat every gun as if it is loaded" pessimistic model of human behavior. It's clear that if you let people get away with criminal abuse, you get a lot more of it. It's why I'm racist against bankers. Oh wait, I should cool it with the anti-semitism.
UPDATE: It's worth noting that the Ron Unz has made the case that these integrated states/cities seem to not be the ones causing trouble. His argument is the poster child for why this "treat any gun as if its loaded" attitude works. Houston is the most diverse city in the USA and is well known for "You loot, I shoot" being the norm. Stop tolerating ninja shit like the bleeding heart yanks and it stops happening. Simple as.
Much hay has been made of late regarding this phenomenon of "Quiet Quitting" in corporate jobs. This is a euphemism for being checked-out. It is only of concern to the powers that be insofar that they are noticing increasing numbers of their long-suffering productive employees finally shrugging. They do not care at all about the fact that their firms are packed to the gills with useless dingleberries who are at best a deadweight loss, but most of the time smother the place with their defectiveness.
The reason this is not discussed is for two reasons. Management, thanks to their selection mechanism being a single-elimination ass-kissing tournament, is staffed exclusively with acephalous, spineless empty suits. The deadweight also can't be fired thanks to the "Civil Rights Restoration Bill" resulting in a widespread perception that if you ever fire degenerates or diversity hires you will get cut off from uncle sucker's tit. This results in the most demoralizing of all possible environments for the able. Ruled by your inferiors, and paid the same as people who are at best useless, but usually fuck things up nonstop.
Put together you realize that the modern corporation is little better than a public/private partnershit built to emulate the WPA/CCC in the most cancerous way possible. It has good explanatory force for both quiet quitting and the extreme degree to which "too many chiefs" syndrome dominates corporate. Productive staffing levels have remained relatively constant relative to population, while administrative employment has ballooned. The government has essentially dragooned the firm into preventing mass unrest via buying off the useless just long enough to become "disabled" or get SSI. Meanwhile, the few productive foolish enough to be employed in these firms enjoy an ever-increasing workload thanks to resources being crowded out by the useless.
In short, not only is the macro picture totally a wreck thanks to the effects described in my previous post, but at a micro level everything is conspiring against us optimizing and automating our way out of the problem. Nearly every single firm in existence is held together by these "glue stick" people (see illustration) that are all either nearing retirement or the limits of their patience.
This reminds me of the picture painted by Gunter Riemann in "The Vampire Economy". The NAZI economy could not function to the extent that it (barely) did without running everything at 125% capacity and foregoing all maintenance. A system operating along such lines could only operate thanks to being propped up with expropriation and murder. I have my doubts that the glad-handing sissies running our system have the stones to do what it takes to keep things going. About the only thing they will stoop to is prison slave labor and indenture of immigrants, the latter being the primary source of enthusiastic, albeit less than competent, workers left in corporate.
After getting freaked out by inflation caused by the rounds of helicopter money sent out after the economy was smothered for a head cold, the fed and their equivalents in the west have committed to raise rates until the problem is solved. It won't work, because they are solving the wrong problem.
Western governments (with a few notable exceptions) have more or less systematically adopted a policy of hostility to increasing production of goods and services. They have also systematically suppressed transitions to more dense and reliable energy sources at every turn. These policies are all done for noble sounding reasons having no consideration whatsoever for the structure of production and especially it's impact on the price level.
Ceteris paribus, a drop in output will always lead to a rise in prices. The western keynsian system (fascist economics) has relied on ever-increasing production reducing the cost of goods and services faster than money supply growth. Policy decisions to smother nearly all production and energy projects in red tape over the last fifty years have allowed some industries to tread water, but in general a slow de-industrialization has occurred. The only places the price level continued to reduce in my lifetime has been the high tech sector which is just now beginning to get BTK'd in red tape.
Still, this allowed us to just barely keep living standards around 1970s levels supposing you allowed some "hedonic adjustment". Which is to say lowering the standards of living to no longer include having a household until mid 30s or even 40s for most Americans. It was not until our wise overlords decided to douse the economy with asbestos over a cold that hostility to production and energy accelerated to the point you might be forgiven for thinking they've gone rabid on us peasants.
Fresh on the heels of that event which cratered production and papered it over with helicopter money, we now have western brain-dead energy policy biting off our heads. Factories all across europe are having to shutter, and it's likely this winter many will simply freeze to death for lack of affordable fuel. This is a result of 50 years of total opposition to the development and usage of ever denser sources of energy (fossil and nuclear fuels). This is purportedly for environmental reasons, but the impact of having to mine & harvest less, more dense material should be obvious. If an ounce of uranium is worth a ton of coal, you can close better than 9 out of ten strip mines.
Nevertheless, the obsession is with the least dense energy sources, such as the movement of the air, photons and the fusion of hydrogen. It does not take a genius to figure out that a systematic bias towards increasing the unit cost per KwH will reduce total output thanks to raising the COGS. This bias has been so awful that much of Europe had no choice but to import nearly all energy from the Russians, who have now cut them off for throwing a tantrum about Ukraine. This is the precipitating event for our current crisis; a necessary but far from sufficient cause. Real blame lies with bad energy and industrial policy for decades.
This one-two-three punch has resulted in a knockout blow for western production. The only thing that reduction of the money supply via rising interest rates can do is lower prices. This is cargo-cult economics; it will do nothing to change the very real fact that too few goods means a lower standard of living. As long as the rate of production falls faster than the money supply (which it will for some time), inflation will remain uncontrolled. The FED and central banks can do nothing whatsoever about bad fiscal, industrial and energy policy.
Ultimately a unified policy aimed at increasing standards of living via increased domestic production of goods and services, higher productivity, price and regulatory stability would have to be adopted. This will not be done until all the deranged bureaucrats are either sacked en masse or filter out from age-attrition. The likelihood of the former remains low, so the only way out is death. It's a hard way out.
If delusional policy is kept around long enough, the problem will resolve itself thanks to our impending demographic collapse resulting in persistent demand destruction. Maybe that's the Fascist policy of the future. Make sure that demand is dropping faster than production so you can juice money supply growth and keep the plunderbund rolling. Japan truly is the land of the future.
In an earlier post I went over the situation here in the US (and the west in general) regarding how total lack of frame and male leadership has lead us to where we are today. Recently I had a "how did we get like this" moment. I came to the conclusion that it's because modern warfare is dysgenic in the extreme. Yet another reason to absolutely hate the state and it's demonic minions.
Maxims and Mortars don't give a damn about whether you're a 6'4 Jacked natural alpha. Unfortunately these people are precisely the people who volunteer in droves to get turned into hamburger by machines. In fact, the best way to survive a modern war is to be a craven bureaucrat. More than a century of this being applied has resulted in the best way to survive and thrive being a glad-handing nice guy empty suit.
The ones that survived the great wars failed to live long enough and in enough numbers to matter. As such the task of forming our society's elites was left to the mediocre.
In the past, armies were formed out of "people nobody would miss". Soldiers were always the dregs of society. These people still make the most motivated of soldiers as violence tends to be their best chance to reproduce. With the advent of mass armies, universal conscription and total war things have become wholly dysgenic. Nations are willing to kill their very best just to keep their disgusting regimes hanging on another day.
The wars fought today are never about the defense of family, hearth and home but to pump fresh blood into vampiric kleptocracies. No government on earth is worth the life of a single young man. Were you to trade the two, you would come out immeasurably ahead just by keeping the boys and dumping the government.
These men that have survived this have taught their sons to be just like them: nice guys in service of parasites. Inheriting the world, they predictably presided over a precipitous drop in birthrate thanks to bending over backwards for women. It's taken nearly 50 years of an all volunteer military to even begin to get over this.
Thank god the military has gone woke and is alienating the strong young men. Worst case, this will return the military to it's traditional role of being staffed with those nobody will miss. Best case it means a wholesale renunciation of war, in accordance with Christ's plan for mankind. I see the future as being somewhere in-between, supposing the current bureaucratic clique doesn't decide to YOLO nukes into Moscow for likes first.
Given the Russian re-conquista of Ukraine has dragged on long enough to have Mordor's corpse-puppet Biden openly let slip the goal is regime change in the RF, I suppose now's a good time to go over what the conflict between the West and the Rest is really about. The great war in 1914 was an Anglo-French Jihad against Absolute monarchy (that in typical Anglo fashion, had little problem with "their" absolute monarch in Russia). Similarly, WWII was about what kind of socialism was going to be imposed upon the world. Many rightly characterize that war as "The war to save Joseph Stalin". Both wars were waged to impose ideology on enemies and fought by conscripts, as that's what such a war requires.
The internal contradictions of Marxism and Anglo imperialism (which is ultimately what Marx was a reaction against) resulted in some "Troll's Remorse" when the Anglos realized what they wanted was Fascism all along. As such, ever since the collapse of the international communist project, we've lived under the Anglo flavor of fascism. Which is to say, the adoption of a corporate form by the government, and transformation of corporations into quasi-governments. This new dispensation was not merely to be the "NSDAP with anglo characteristics", but in typical Anglo fashion adopted a universalist outlook, in keeping with their ambitions of world domination. As such, every government they installed post-war (and post communist collapse) have been essentially the same. The difference between the American and French government is little different than that of Coke and Pepsi. They're both swarms of bureaucratic organizations with little difference in internal structure than any other conglomerate firm.
In this mental model, much of the agenda of GloboHomo makes sense. When the loyalty to be inculcated is to a brand rather than a people, those staffing the firm that was a nation are of little consequence. As such, displacing the indigenous population with cheap immigrants who have little to no rights is very much to be desired. The callous disregard for the fate of the western state's victims becomes "It's just business". Similarly, the only attitude which cannot be tolerated whatsoever is what it replaced -- national identity.
Of course there's one more level to be discussed here. Over the course of the 20th century, every single one of these bureaucracies in every western nation became captured by organized crime. The Chicago outfit and a military cabal leveraging Yamashita's Gold corrupted US institutions in the same way NATO's GLADIO later did to Europe. Within short order, the remaining pretense that the goal wasn't just a bust-out on these moribund nation-firms (including the US itself) was discarded. From this point forward, the empire became one obsessed with installing gangster states that park their ill-gotten loot in Anglo banks. In short, they preferred wholly-owned subsidiaries to direct control.
Which cuts to what the current war is actually about. The only means by which a re-conquista is legitimated is through national identity. Russia, having emerged from incredible humiliation at the hands of an Anglo bust-out near the turn of this century, has re-discovered this. As such, they view having a wholly owned subsidiary of the anglo gangster-state on their border made with ethnic russians as intolerable. That said, they aren't selling it as that. They are couching it as a war to impose ideology, stealing valor from the great patriotic war. This is put to the lie by them not using conscripts as of yet, and keeping this strictly Kabinetskrieg. This makes sense, as it's unlikely the West will escalate much further.
I doubt a bunch of gangsters are too keen on destroying the world in nuclear fire. I suspect they'll stop at this moronic idea of "sanctions" (read: creation of smuggling opportunities for gangsters). They've already walked back sleepy Joe's gaffe about regime change, even though the dopes in the WH probably do want it. I'm sure the CIA will talk them into hiring Golgo 13 instead, worked great against Castro, right?
In many ways, this war is seen as a blessing to these types. It's given them an excuse to launder money and run guns on an unheard of scale. As such, they'll extract the maximum amount of blood from the Ukranians and then toss them aside like a used condom. An actual war where you have to conscript normal upright people might fuck up their profits or even worse, expose their operations. It could also spawn competing cabals; these crooks remember their origins well.
Meanwhile back at home, the saps are none the wiser and distracted with war porn. What's not to like? Sure, this revocation of bank reserves has ultimately doomed the dollar. But can anyone say with a straight face that the plan was to have it survive with this level of debt accumulation? It's a bust out, and everything's going according to plan.
The reason that the recent escalations in canada have happened is worth mentioning. The state has had no ability to mobilize their civilian infiltrators due to them all being broke losers that can't get their hands on a $150k truck. As such the "respectable" levers they have come to rely upon as of late failed.
So now the war on terror has come home. The OFAC sanctions regime is essentially being extended to Canadians. You can take it to the bank that every other western government will soon say "Sulla did it, why can't I?"
This is essentially the abolition of all freedoms, as all rights require resources to exercise. Compare this to all the Canadian provinces which withdrew restrictions in response to the protests. How did we get here? Because there are no levers the peasants have to pull on the feds, while they do against the powerless provinces.
There are a number of signals and feedback mechanisms which can rein in unaccountable government. Voting failed long ago for the simple reason of not expanding the legislature. There are too many people per representative to have any coherent message possible, and so the only thing left to them is theft.
Can we rhetorically turn them from error via peaceful petition for redress? Of course not. More than half the electorate will always put feelings before reason thanks to expanding the franchise to the undeserving. The government also heavily infiltrates and outright pays for much of the media. Anything you say against them is drowned in a sea of their white noise of emotional pap and propaganda.
What's next in the escalation chain of signals? Hunger. Can we starve the beast? No. They can print money and borrow longer than any individual or group with a grievance can hold out. They feel no compunction about crushing and imprisoning anyone who dares withhold their support in the form of tax evasion.
So, we are left with the cartridge box. Throughout history, the record was actually quite clear: Terrorism Works (TM). People willing to kill and be killed over an issue is the strongest signal anyone can send and those that don't listen are fools. The last 40 years unfortunately has proven the government is totally deaf to even this strongest of signal. You would think that people willing to hijack and fly planes into buildings might make them ask what would possess anyone to do so.
Instead they cynically exploited it to grab more power, as they do with any resistance whatsoever. They are nothing but a chinese finger trap. This suggests a straightforward course of action.
Encourage their worst impulses and profit along the way. Remember that like their emotional power base they are little more than drug addicts looking for the next hit on their power trip. Let them start World War 3 and turn America into the USSR. There are no other signals which will turn them short of them living worse as kings than they could as peasants in free nations. Which can only be accomplished by their own errors.
Guys like Peter Thiel have it right. Sell them flim-flam that helps them on their power trip. Hustle wine and cats to these delusional power junkies.
LOLBertarian is generally leveled at freedom guys who are willing to defend the reductio in the name of "reason" but that are in fact rationalizing their own blue-pill understanding. Unfortunately, it's almost always the pot calling the kettle black, see above exchange. This results in serious thinkers like Thaddeus being rejected outright in favor of a fully emotional narrative. Which of course will only serve to more thoroughly cement the matrix of authoritarian control imposed to avoid hurt feelings in feminists and their allies.
For those unfamiliar with what's going on here, the righteous crusaders against the pedos are making feminist arguments. It's not that children having relationships upsets them, but that adult-child relationships do. Which is essentially an argument of age deltas being bad past a certain point.
Sound familiar? Yes, it's the same sour grapes young loser men and spinster women level at successful 40 year old men nailing 20 year olds. It's the same reason those advocating this position rarely see problems with teachers statutorily raping young male students. Taken to the reductio, if we outlaw pedophilia on this basis, pickup artistry should also be considered rape. The point I'm making here is that the argument used for opposition here is actually quite lackluster.
The reason large age difference relationships happen are usually quite natural and practical. Men like younger women, as older single women are usually single for good reasons; they are not good prospects for marriage. Younger women like older men thanks to their opportunistic-by-default mating strategy. There are also not enough winner men out there to satisfy the bumper crop of spinsters out there unless you accept harems.
Similarly, in the past the reason the commonly accepted age of majority was between 13 and 15 were for entirely practical reasons. Such as the high probability of injury due to intercourse and complications in pregnancy before these ages. Why did this change? Why do these twitter "trads" not want to RETVRN?
The cult of the child, which is part and parcel of feminist thought. It is not a coincidence that the end of child labor was roughly coincident with female suffrage. Similarly, it is the political expression of maternal emotion which has delayed adulthood in many to the point of ridicule. This impulse to "protect the little babies from themselves" extending to adults is the root of our current totalitarian "technocracy".
Thaddeus' core error is in regarding feelings as being relevant. Historically the feelings of the child did not matter, as mate selection resulted in alliances of families. This is obviously too important a matter to leave to hormonal impulses, so the family had the final say.
It is only our current environment of familial dissolution thanks to female headship that makes "age of consent" relevant beyond practical concerns. It is this same dissolution of male headship of the family which has crushed organized resistance to the state, as government is now daddy. As such, defense of this social construct cannot be supported by serious freedom advocates as it stands.
The more important question that remains is what, if any, good argument exists for this position? If electoral victory is the goal, then by all means you will have to placate the feminine. But you will give up 100% of the ground in doing so. This is why I see most people in this position as either grifting to get theirs or useful idiots.
Ultimately the best argument in favor of not fiddling with the age of consent is Mises' general argument against regulatory change. There will be business winners and losers in any new dispensation and a good deal of economic wreckage getting from here to there. We've already paid the costs in spades to get here, so why inflict further pain? It is a much better use of everyone's time to ignore this "lolbert or not" crap and focus on real issues. Like rebuilding something, anything that can put up effective organized resistance to the state.
This essay is essentially part 3 in a series, starting with Perchance to Dream, and Informational Diabetes. To summarize, the cambrian explosion of "dreams" (hyperrealities) since the pomo epoch have basically devalued mainstream mental models and predictive frameworks to the point they're worse than useless.
This is essentially because almost everything has become marketing. Even the government itself can largely be seen as an armed marketing agency -- you will find that it's whether the narrative is compelling that drives policy rather than compelling policy driving the narrative. This makes nearly all of the modern era make total sense. Put on your PT Barnum lenses, and it's obvious. It doesn't have to be some Vast Jewish conspiracy, it's just marketing sharks swimming towards blood.
An infinite amount of money can be bilked from the anxious. When it comes to fleecing the hypochondriac, the abortionist, the prohibitionist, the nativist or (more recently) the natalist, it's basically first-come, first served. Because lets be real -- there is no fixing any of their problems. The anxious and their "aspirational self image" is an infinite ATM for the unscrupulous, and is being milked on an industrial scale.
Billion dollar industries are popping up right now around RNA testing for colds and flus. Since when are symptoms not be enough for diagnosis? They were enough for hundreds of years of medicine and worked fine. But not for hypochondriacs. They won't be happy until they find out there's something wrong with them (so they can finally get on SSI?) and obscure the fact that they're losers. Now they're fighting a good fight in their great crusade! At the end of the day, it's yet another dopey fandom. At least I get pretty painted figurines out of 40k.
Hundreds of thousands are employed carrying out the nonsensical rituals at the airport to stave off bogeys created by the FBI, CIA and DoD. An endless amount of ink has been spilled, and screen time aired whipping the undead horse that is women's hypergamous failsafe (abortion), and will forever. Same with the doomed western birthrate -- gynocentrism sure as hell hasn't run out of steam, and it won't allow anything but unchecked immigration to be the answer.
If anything, this new economy, which seems entirely based on cynically exploiting the emotions of the gullible for profit is more oriented towards gynocentric emotions-first decision-making than ever. Everywhere I look, people enthusiastically chase the "bullshit jobs" and ignore the real work. The swarms of the well-meaning concerned about those of us who don't enjoy their profession sure as hell don't lighten the load. This adolescent social skill-set attitude of "why would I do it if I don't enjoy it" rather than the adult "I don't enjoy it -- that's why you are paying me, dummy" has become pervasive in the modern firm.
Which circles back to the whole point here. Mental models and predictive frameworks -- and the abject failure of the mainstream ones to do anything well besides enrich those skilled at propaganda. Much of this debate is what Deleuze's critique of Camus was about. Sure there's no meaning in any given hyperreality -- but it sure as hell seems that some predict outcomes a hell of a lot better than others.
This once again underscores the usefulness of Mises' praxeological framework. Even if the information the "acting man" is stuffing his head full of is old rags and emotional pap, they still cannot help but have it guide their actions. Similarly, you can't uninstall your instincts -- this guides both sexes to different directions. This is essentially the whole of the praxeology that is "the red pill" as described by guys like Rollo Tomassi.
Even there, people are less interested in how things actually work here. The people getting ahead in the "red pill" space are still those cynically leveraging marketing insights. This is why people call it "the hustle economy" -- because form has decisively defeated function.
People want lockdown because they're so far removed from the reality of surviving on this execrable ball of rock that they value feeling good about stopping a cold more than their actual well-being. There is also no shortage of unscrupulous operators willing to plow their asses. It's the same with the rest of policy across the board.
This is why it's so important to have a privatized public order. We'll never be rid of people like this who value freedom less than twinkies. Allowing the free market to encyst this human damage so they at least only harm themselves with their lunatic notions of world-improvement would be a big step in the right direction.
Perhaps the increasing virtualization of life and remote work is precisely this coming to pass. Society is healing by letting these solipsist and narcissist NPCs spin their wheels in the mud until they get a 6 foot deep rut. After all, if they don't the actual work won't get done. Which by the way, does have to get done, so I'll give you one guess which group ultimately has to yield.
That it is the biggest missed opportunity for police reform I've seen in my lifetime.
Because this case was in fact one of the biggest things that the left and right could have united on and reached a mutually satisfactory compromise which led to durable changes regarding the state of policing within the USA.
Instead, what did we see? Knee jerk outgroup hate from both the red and blue tribes despite it not even serving them to act in this manner. Unfortunately things have turned out how they usually do -- support for one's faction within the state regardless of whether this leads to better outcomes or not for those who the factions pretend to represent.
So, how then could there have been unity on this issue? In figuring this out, one must challenge the precedent set in the Castle Rock vs. Gonzales decision -- namely that the police have no obligation to the public at all under the constitution (instead only to the state who employs them).
From the left:
The police did nothing to try to de-escalate the situation, instead standing down completely. The police look really shitty here, as it confirms precisely what people on the left have hammered on the cops for a long time about -- namely that the police only really have two modes of operation:
In this case it was the latter in response to the former, which should have been seen as adding insult to injury and the messaging should have flowed from that. With this position, the left wouldn't have even needed to have an opinion on the trial, as they win both ways rhetorically:
From the right:
The police were derelict in their duties towards protecting the property of red blooded Americans, and people can't be surprised when WE THE PEOPLE have to stand up for our constitutional god given rights, even if the consequences were less than ideal. If you are gonna hate Kyle for doing what he did, then the bigger crime is what led to these riots becoming out of control in the first place. Why is the mayor and police not on trial for allowing such a thing to happen instead of sacrificing someone who was *a minor* at the time to cover for your own moral cowardice?
Note the two big themes here:
Because of these, the police were able to more or less pin their own crimes and problems on Saint Kyle, using him as a Judas Goat for the death of Saint Floyd.
IF instead we saw the police being obligated under the law to protect persons and property, then those responsible for killing the same protesters would have been the police, which would have in fact worked out better for the protesters *and* the police, as then the case would have been about the role of police in society, not a murder trial where people's feelings mostly swirl around whether you identify more with the Crips or the Bloods.
Perhaps then some actual compromises would have had to been reached as a part of the trial, leading to some actual changes (for better or worse).
Jon Stokes has a nice article out about the modern content feed's consequences on building worldviews. Many wonder why people seem to readily adopt incredibly unhinged worldviews at the drop of a hat now, and the post was an attempt to explore that.
I have a few thoughts of my own about the subject. Most of the mitigations to this effect have to come down to forcing a context switch. When you are in a Skinner Box (which is what these are) the way to break out is to context switch.
This problem is far from new. It has simply become industrialized and mass-produced. Even during the age of radio, we had plenty of people listening to what is essentially a swamp of propaganda from multiple sources in search of tiny nuggets of truth. The interactions of these various manifolds of BS have emergent effects, one of which is the production of cranks.
The obvious solution here would be to not emit all this nonsense in the first place. Aside from the fact that this is a very expensive and error-prone (not to mention easy to abuse) endeavor, no sane power will ever stop emitting propaganda while it's competitors still can and do. It's the same reason that nuclear disarmament will forever be a pipe dream. Our emotional need for security will never allow us this.
Furthermore (unlike nuclear weapons), operant conditioning can be used without harming innocents and with highly positive effects. Therefore it should not have its usage restricted at all. At least 80% of the words on the web are this sort of Content Marketing delivered by a feed.
The most obvious solution to much of this is to simply not expose yourself to it. To a large extent, this is in fact the answer. Past a certain point, do you really need to be more informed about world events? These days I rarely read the news, and find out many things simply through word of mouth (or in chat rooms). Getting my news from my friends is great, as I know they're "full of it" at least 90% of the time.
That said, nobody's immune to the occasional recreational doomscroll through a feed. Here, limiting engagement to a time window via alarm is quite handy, as feeds are designed to keep feeding you forever. This is essentially introducing latency and loss artificially to force a context switch. Much of the reason this was not a problem with the web in earlier days was because of bandwidth limitations; you had to get up and grab a coffee for a JPEG to load, man!
Another good way to force context switching has to do with the organization of the information. Rather than a perpetually scrolling feed, a paginated output forces a periodic re-evaluation as to whether "I've had enough". Similarly, sorting content via source and thread reduces the likelyhood you build one of these strange emergent narratives, as it's not mixing contexts as much. It should shock nobody that the tools of the earlier web (email and RSS) embraced all these, as we all had better things to do and less bandwidth to do it with.
The best metaphor to sum up this problem would be "Informational Diabetes". Now that we can drink from a firehose of kool-aid this outcome should shock nobody. Given there is no informational equivalent of insulin (save perhaps for getting hammered to the point one is illiterate), moderation seems the best bet for overcoming this condition.
This is of course cold comfort, as it means we get to live forever in this world of bloated and disgusting minds. It's no longer eternal september. We now live in a perpetual Wal-Mart with Jerry Springer and WWE on every TV.
Re-watching Total Recall last night, I noticed that the pill which would wake Quaid from the dream (or not?) was indeed red. While most associate the RP with the Matrix, the TR version is a great deal more apt, as it isn't a plato's cave allegory pretending it's the insights of Deleuze. It's about whether you are asleep and in a dream, or not.
Much of the American mythos is in fact a Dream, it's even in the name: "The American Dream". The nature of the dream is therefore the nature of the Red pill, as it is implicitly an antidote to the dream serum. The core myth behind the dream must be something with buy in on all sides of the political spectrum; and that myth is blank-slate equalism. In America, you can be who you want to be instead of who you were created by god to be.
The reality is that the only thing you can do is be a defective version of someone else when you rebel against the hand dealt at your birth. The systematic application of this in fact looks and acts like actual racism and sexism in the name of anti-racism and anti-sexism. We educate our boys to be defective women, and girls to be defective men. We educate our whites to be defective blacks, and blacks to be defective whites. This of course is a crippling when compared to what they could be if they optimized around the gifts given to them by god at their birth.
Which gets down to the uncomfortable reality of it all. Even people willing to wake up to sex differences (as acknowledging these won't get insta-bans) won't do the same for racial differences. It's so bad that people even consider "Wake up, America!" to be a dog-whistle for Neo-Nazism, when it can in fact mean a variety of things. The thing it really means is incredibly dangerous: when the sleeper awakes the god of the dream dies.
This is what is essentially meant when people say "God is Dead, we killed it". The trouble is that "It's dreams all the way down" and like Quaid in Total Recall, you can't ever really be sure you walked out of Plato's cave into another. This is why "waking up" usually involves all sort of nonsense. Lord knows the alternative narrative is at least as chock-full-of-nuts as the successor ideology is.
Nevertheless it's important to note that even the "Successor Ideology" describes itself with dream language: Woke. It is of course a different tack -- if there are only dreams, build your own, yanno? The question then becomes "What dream wins, if any?" The world becomes a titanic struggle for power, forever chasing CHIM.
This of course makes a fundamental error. The only reason it's dreams all the way down is because you are a dream of god. The interesting bit lately is that a significant portion of the Woke have come to believe existence is all a computer simulation. This is just a way of re-stating the obvious in a way their ideology will allow.
Mystical experiences have always been dominated by the dream world. Shamanic chemicals essentially open the path while conscious. This is the font from which all miracles flow, as it is through our dreams that we change the greater dream itself. That said, we cannot fundamentally change god; only the dream. As we are made in his image, we also cannot change what we fundamentally are simply through wishing it.
Knowing all this, what then do we do? Rejoice in the implicit advantage and drawbacks dealt to us upon our birth and subsequently. Recognize that the only way to understand each other is through practice. Be happy that people specialize in all economic realms, even the reproductive and cultural.
It beats being a black-pill loser and taking your ball home, or being a whitepill dork trying to change the dream (we gon FIX IT!) Make your dream the best one it can be. The experience of paradise is to dream God's dream. This truth sets you free, as it allows you to safely ignore most things; they are just BS dreams of others with no meaning.
Much of my recent investigations into why it is both corporate and the bureaucracies act the way they do has made me come to a key insight as to why American Foreign policy has taken the course it has up to now, and why it's failure is causing a crisis among the existing elite as we speak.
To summarize, the system that we suffer under in Academia, the Bureaucracy and Corporate is the core reason for this. It is best characterized as "Organized Irresponsibility" in which advancement in power is essentially a single-elimination ass-kissing tournament. These empty suits are incapable of taking real risks and as such only attacked nations they believed were pushovers. To do anything else would be to put promotion at risk. Similarly, this is why the absurd overreaction to a viral outbreak which is quite mild by historical standards has happened. Their operational principle is to avoid being held responsible for anything at all costs.
The fact that they nevertheless failed to defeat these "pushover" nations, and their actual acknowledgement of this via finally withdrawing from the Sandbox is prima facie evidence that there is serious crisis among the ruling elite brewing. Until now, they were following the groupthink "you can't go wrong spending more on the terror war" script that had worked for 20 years. In the meantime their near-peer competitors of Russia and China technologically leapfrogged them with hypersonic guided missiles (for which the pentagon has no equivalent, and likely won't for years).
Now NATO is faced with the options of slinking away with their tails between their legs whilst declaring victory to save face, or finally getting their heads blown off by making good on their perpetual threats. I'll give you one guess what these cowardly empty suits are gonna do.
This will of course be a huge hit to the bluff which is behind American economic hegemony, just as happened in Vietnam when the reality of defeat destroyed Bretton Woods. It is this more than anything else which heralds the return of inflation and hard times for the USA.
A recent article in the Unz Review exposes a common divide I see today. Unz takes a "the government which governs best, governs best" "number go down/up technology" utilitarian view on whether emergency powers to justify health coercions are justified. Whitney's arguing for the other side is predictably a combination of siezing on what bits of the media narrative are false with constitutionalism. This naturally fails to convince, given laws are 100% arbitrary in the first place and the media narrative is essentially irrelevant to the doctrinaire utilitarian.
Ultimately the only thing that cannot be answered by the utilitarian perspective, which is largely the one advocated by the cathedral, is the hardcore freedom argument. Say this in Ernest Hancock voice: "AM I ALLOWED to decide what is to be done with my own body?" This gets down to the meat of the issue, because the mainstream utilitarian answer is essentially no. Misesian utilitarians disagree, but this is beside the point.
If we are not allowed to decide what goes on in our own body, then we are tantamount to children; mere wards of the state. Therein lies the rub. Are we being cared for as a parent does for their child by this government? By any government? The answer is obvious; their standard of care would result in an immediate protective raid were it private individuals.
If I am to have no say in my medical decisions but to have full responsibility for them this is sure to result in cognitive dissonance. Being held responsible for a thing you have no authority over is the reason why slavery is wrong. That said, if you look around you'll find that society has no problem with such enslavement in a variety of situations even if they find chattels to be hideous and abominable.
Employees are frequently considered fired "at fault" for things which are in fact of no fault of their own, and they end up paying dearly. Married couples split in a no-fault divorce end up with one partner paying out the nose for years for no greater cause than of the whim of their partner. "We" have to pay taxes to pay for a government to do things which repeated studies have shown have 0% correlation with our actual will. And when it comes to war, the enemy will not discriminate given the chance to kill us peasants who had nothing to do with the actions by our government which lead to war.
This sort of callous abuse is in fact the norm when it comes to public policy. The socialist argument is essentially that "they are gonna do it anyways" so you may as well get taken care of if they are going to take away your decisionmaking. Unfortunately, this did not work; real socialism has been tried. It turns out there is no substitute for self-actualization and actual adulthood.
Which ultimately gets down to the christian message for me. This is all "whipping the sinners into virtue". Can their repentance be held as genuine if they did not arrive at it themselves, free from coercion? Are we truly sheparding them into the kingdom of heaven if we did not allow them the opportunity to veer off into hell? Is free will real? Or, if it is real, should it be suppressed?
Here we can lean on the empirical utilitarian argument. All societies which embraced determinism (Islam under Algazel, Eastern Religions) stagnated. This should not come as a shock, given the cognitive dissonance involved. If we did not have the ability to choose to do otherwise from what we in fact do, law and punishment would be unnecessary. The only thing that matters there is baser instincts and feelings (which care not for dissonance), such as the desire for revenge. When reason is not required, neither is progress.
This in fact reveals the true operational imperative of the cathedral. Namely, that it's all emotional thinking smeared with post-hoc rationalization. This is how you get an orwellian system like ours where media opinion can turn on a dime, because it's all just rationalizations for emotions. Which should shock nobody, given the media dynamic -- it's all about pushing emotional buttons. Most of the time, the button pushes back.
This crazed world they present to the people for ratings became real for them. It then expanded to academia when they also internalized the lesson; getting grants for the most outlandish research possible. This is how we've managed to work ourselves into a replication crisis. The bureaucrats also quickly subsumed everything to their corn-pone. This is how we have a swarm of agencies which essentially create and sustain the problems they were built to solve. Post hoc rationalization rules everything around me.
We are adults being lead around the nose by emotional children. This should shock no one, given the sort of "cult of the child" we've been dealing with most of my adult life. It essentially is all the systemic result of rewarding bad behavior and punishing good behavior. Which brings us back to the central point.
The problem with the "government which governs best, governs best" is always a matter of perspective. Best for whom? This idea that we can "nudge" Cass-Sunstien style everyone into what is "best" cannot possibly work, as that necessarily varies from person to person. It should come as no shock that those at very little risk of death from COVID resent restrictions to save those already on death's door. They are at worst ambivalent about these people's survival and at best actively benefit from it. Evolutionary competition is still real.
Are the authorities incentivizing these refuseniks to act against their interests? Of course not. They are arrogantly accusing them and scapegoating them for all the "number of death go up". This cannot possibly work to do anything but harden their resistance, but it does make for good ratings.
Which is what ultimately makes the current situation so dangerous. We are at an inflection point where the majority of voters (read: TV viewers) eat this garbage up. They'll gladly say "burn them babies at waco, days of our lives is on" and justify any amount of tyrannical impositions on their own children to stave off death but another day. However the newer generations know it can't last much longer and grow increasingly restive of their parents' generation treating them like children well into adulthood.
Something obviously had to give, and has. The southern states will not lockdown again. Attempts to bring them into line will simply harden resistance at this point. It remains to be seen if this will in general result in a renissance of rational thinking.
Personally, I am skeptical. Both sides are fully emotional and doing little more than post-hoc rationalizations. Both have retreated into "broken record" debate technique, which eventually means national divorce when they discover how powerful this technique is. Which I suppose is the norm in politics; the only way to be right is for the wrong reasons.
I have been wondering for the last month or so about the nature of the new order, as described so well in Rollo Tomassi's 4th work, The Rational Male: Religion. A good interview of Anna Khachiyan crystallized this for me (though this should be abundantly obvious from Rollo's existing body of work in retrospect):
What we’re really talking about here is a shift in governance styles: from the “prohibitive” paternal superego which sets the parameters in advance and punishes you in kind if you defy or violate them, to the outwardly “permissive” but latently punitive maternal superego, which enforces no terms or boundaries ahead of time but retaliates arbitrarily and disproportionately after the fact — in part because it doesn’t know what it wants until all is said and done. Roughly speaking, this describes any number of events that can be filed under the #MeToo movement and/or “cancel culture.The consequences of this societal shift to a Maternal governing ethic over the last century has had far-reaching consequences; religious changes are but one aspect of this transformation in our society.
The important questions left to me are:
In our world "As below, so above" eventually becomes the rule. Like our families are now, the government is largely rudderless and on autopilot due to lack of strong male leadership. It's not for a lack of trying, but mostly because of Threat Point at the individual level. Similarly, we see restrained to non-existent male frame at the macro level out of fear they'll be cancelled or worse.
As such it should shock nobody that our government has become faceless, unaccountable and beyond incompetent (acephalous, really). When it's not brainlessly applying edicts coming from long dead politicians like the vacuum from Idiocracy, it's hysterically overreacting and thirst trapping congress (notice my program senpai uwu). Imagine an ahegao face mask covering the face of humanity forever.
It really makes sense why .gov is so relentlessly hostile to "family values" when you understand the dynamic of how it works in practice. The bureaucracy are subs to the 365DNI gangster trigger pullers at the pointy end of the state. You end up with a spectrum from BTK government when evil has to get done (as that's the most gorilla pimp response demanded by the hysterical) to ineffectual Karenism when it's time to do "good"; scolding to win favor with their peer clutch (but not do much else).
In short, hurry up and burn them babies at Waco, days of our lives is on.
You may have noticed that neither approach is good governance. Nevertheless, most current phenomena make a lot of sense under this framework.
The betas who built our civilization certainly can't. They are fucked so long as they have more to lose than gain by doing the unpopular and boring work of improving our lives in the face of opposition. Their future is either become John Galt or Sisyphus.
The only path out left is internalizing game; Pimp or Be Pimped. The government would not hysterically overreact if it had a strong leader providing the rock of stability it needs. Instead, they would actually fall into said leader's frame, and get validation from accomplishing his mission of good governance. Rather than being mindless, purposeless and nihilist bureaucrats whose only thrill comes from corruption, they could actually do something good for once in their pathetic lives.
Which leads inexorably to Moldbug's (and my 90 year old Grandma's who lived through FDR's reign) conclusion. Regardless of what you call it, the only way to make the current system actually achieve good governance is with a dictatorship. I of course think this is limited thinking; why do we need to preserve the system at all? Beyond keeping the peace I can't think of a great reason.
So the questions then become: Will this system degenerate to the point where market (or other?) alternatives can just gradually replace the system peacefully? Will that system actually correct the underlying issue preventing said paternal governing ethics from taking root?
Given lack of strong male leadership, the former can be taken as a given. Practically everyone capable of righting the ship at this point is so disgusted with the system's pervasive bias against them they would rather pop a cold one than lift a finger in its' defense. At this point, vengeance is reason enough.
So, will market anarchy result in both paternal and maternal governance organizations? This is obviously the case; many paternalistic organizations persist to this day despite the overwhelming trend in corporate. What really matters is which will the market choose? This is where I am pessimistic.
A single look at the freely chosen preferences which our search algorithms (e.g. big tech) reflect back upon us show outrage bait and hysterical nonsense gets the best engagement even from men. Granted, much of this is thanks to public schools teaching our boys to be defective women (and vice versa. Egalitarianism, yay!) However, this means that the new dispensation will likely backslide faster than your head can spin.
At the end of the day, I don't actually see an answer other than the one offered by the various "Masculine Empowerment Networks" out there in the red-pilled world. None of this gets better until men get game, and impose frame in their lives comprehensively. That's actually a hard problem, so don't expect it to get solved unless there is literally no other way to get laid. ...Which to be fair is essentially how things are working out by and large.
There's your white pill for the day. Your Welcome (TM)
One of the more impactful books I've read over the years is Charles Adams' For good and evil: The impact of taxes on the course of Civilization [Free podcast covering much of the same at mises.org]
All empires eventually succumb to collapse, and the story is universally the same. Bad fiscal policy leads to worse tax policy, which leads to mass flight by productive capital when it can no longer be employed profitably.
Most Americans are not alarmed by this (as I have been for over a decade) as they don't understand both how truly extreme the level of flight from the USA has become and how American "Allies" are doing everything they can to gain from our loss. They also do not realize that the American bureaucratic regime is blindly blundering into the exact same traps which doomed their predecessors.
I see plenty of people talking about the signs and aspects of this de-industrialization (which, given all of our societies are industrial means this is actually collapse). Some are mad at the places that offshoring benefits. Few put together that there has to be a compelling reason why the nation with the most productive workers in the world wouldn't also have the most production in the world. There has to be a pretty high level of mitigating factors that make it not worth the trouble.
The hottest topic for this last decade has been Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS for short). The ability of US multinationals in particular to avoid taxation via clever and lawful use of small NATO satellite states (whom are also OECD and WTO members) has lead to great consternation among our elites, but only because of it's first-level effects (lowering of the US Government's revenue).
The reality is that the second level effects are far, far more dangerous. The mitigation efforts applied to combat BEPS have all had the unintended? consequence of offshoring the actual productive capital to a third jurisdiction, which has essentially created a (near) perpetual stalemate in this tax cold war.
Both the haven and the 3rd Jurisdiction (usually with cheap labor) profit from this and will frustrate all efforts at stopping it save measures they would regard as more profitable. Unlike the majority of concerns with "globalism" this requires no shadowy cabal, just a bunch of people acting in their own self interest.
There are only two options from here for the US Government.
In Adams' book, he described my second option as essentially being what the Romans imposed. Diocletian went so far as to outlaw paying taxes in cash, and insisting in being paid in kind (as it could not be debased, and was infinitely harder to smuggle than coinage). One can hardly see the "global tax cooperation" measures done by the OECD (where all bank account activity of signatories' subjects are 100% available to all other members) and the idea of outlawing cash as being little more than a high-tech Diocletianism.
This will simply accelerate the existing capital flight, as no sane person wishes to live in a cashless society. The possibility of having your funds easily seized to prevent you from funding your legal defense is quite simply a non-starter. This is why FATCA resulted in such a huge uptick in citizenship revocations (but which has fallen off now that we have this OECD global FATCA). Things like Operation Choke Point have not soothed fears in this department; instead it has made it clear the threat to capital is very real and serious.
If you really want to get down to it, this is the Bear case for the US Dollar, and the Bull case for crypto. However, this will play out over a far longer timeframe than anyone can remain solvent. This is essentially going to result in a century of crisis at the least for America. Personally, I'm laughing (all the way to the bank) because it's so obvious. Hedge accordingly.
Yeah, I know it's worse than just tax policy. Regulatory policy is an equal (if not worse in many market sectors) reason for offshoring. People can want manufacturers to build in things the market won't bear all they want; it won't change the fact they'll have to drop some other features to accomplish that at the market clearing price. "Made in the USA" is the primary feature that was dropped.
Regulatory was also an important factor in many other Imperial collapses, including the Romans. This was because all regulation is essentially a minimum-price control. As you might imagine, outlawing production of non-substitute goods at the market clearing price is real smart. The 100% failure rate of wage and price controls continues.
The bull case for bitcoin (and other crypto variants) goes essentially like so: Monetization is going to happen, and the Gresham's Law saver pile-in will make it go "to da moon".
For those of you like myself who have paid attention since the 07-08 GFC, this is all sounding real familiar. Despite a spectacular run up, the best hype in the world, lunatic money printing and thousands of years of precedent gold still couldn't kill the dollar.
Much of this is because there is a category error in this thinking. Both crypto and USD are currencies and not money. They are mere vouchers for...something else (money). The precise nature of that something else is actually what matters.
As such, Gold being a money can't beat something it's not even in a race against. The bullion banks on the other hands were trounced handily because of both network effects and the intrinsic value disparities involved with the backing money.
Now you might be asking "hold on, the USD isn't backed by a dang thing!" That is unfortunately quite mistaken. In fact, in the case of everything but stablecoins (which are themselves bizarre backing themselves against other currencies and not monies), it is actually crypto which is backed by little more than hot air.
This is not to say there aren't strengths inherent to crypto, just that they are far from unique or non-transferable to other currencies. In fact, many of the fiat currencies out there are already experimenting with their own take on distributed ledgers.
The point here is simple; the future is crypto, yes. But not in the way those of us who wish for freedom want it. It's gonna be either a USD backed stablecoin or a directly FED issued shitcoin. The precedent already exists considering USD (which are *also* just ledger entries in a payment network you pay fees to use) to property, so this will be extended to crypto despite it being clear nonsense as pointed out by Vin Armani and others, regardless of the outcome of Bozo Craig Wright's lolsuit.
The reason for this is incredibly simple. It's the riddle of steel. Gold is strong, but H-Bombs are stronger.
Not only are ICBMs the most rare and expensive things humanity have ever produced; they also give one the power to never take no for an answer. It should come as no shock that they have all been driven out of circulation. They are more jealously hoarded than dragons do gold.
To be quite clear, the US Dollar is the empire. This is why despite an incredible speculative mania and it's many technical strengths against fiat currency, Crypto will still be a god that failed. Eventually the US Empire will too; but this vortex of corruption powered by satanic weaponry (despite it's feet of clay) have much longer legs than our current bull market.
This also sort of alludes to the core weakness in the dream of crypto. Sure, they can't seize your account without your consent. They can on the other hand hold you in contempt of court indefinitely and ensure you never enjoy the fruits of your labor, which is actually a worse outcome than if they had in fact seized it. Turns out Osama had the right idea to kill the dollar after all.
There will never be an escape from the power dimension of money. This is because freedom of action is the most valuable thing a person can have. And why governments invent nightmare weapons like MIRVed H-Bombs on ICBMs; so they can accumulate even more freedom of action.
There's a reason the ring of power was a gold ring. Like the Ring of Gyges, it's a platonic ideal of authority unburdened by responsibility. And what organization (and it's money!) on earth more fully embodies that ethos? You can take it to the bank!POSTSCRIPT
On a serious note, we're about to get some truly incredible inflation thanks to record levels of capital destruction, margin debt and low interest rates. This is gonna send bond yields to "da moon"...unless the FED decides to sop up all this dough in an accumulator (which is what IOER did with the GFC) and spread it out over a number of years to conceal massive deflation due to malinvestments liquidating.
In short, they're gonna try and kick the can down the road yet again. The difference this time is the massive iceberg of capital destruction nobody yet fully grips the extent of thanks to lockdown. As such, they're guaranteed to fumble this one, and badly. It's unclear whether it will be in the direction of inflation or deflation. The only thing which is clear is that either the savers & producers or the wall street casino will get run over. My money's on the former.
If we think our market is a bizarro world with 0 connection to reality, I think we ain't seen nothin' yet. This might finally be Mises' crack-up boom. The incredible social upheval over the last year and the Cathedral's total incorrigible dementia pushing us towards civil unrest won't make this any better.
Taibbi's piece We need a New Media System and the general realization that we are in essentially an era of upheaval similar to that of the introduction of the printing press and the reformation brought me to a realization.
Namely, that politics is just one more way that people differentiate their product. Since basically anyone with the determination and requisite intelligence can acquire mastery these days thanks to the internet smashing the monopoly of the elite institutions.
In retrospect, this should shock nobody; after all the elites themselves have already fully embraced this institution. Faux News and MSLSD are pretty much patient 0 in that regard. What's new is that pretty much everybody is having to choose one side or another not for sincere ideological reasons, but because it works to build your audience. Alex Jones' Infowars has built what may be the best produced media organization on the planet on the backs of "Pay-triots" who buy political vitamins. An entire ecosystem of service providers and vendors has erupted around this, and the left is beginning to catch up with a shamelessly grifting set of influencers as well.
This is fundamentally what is behind the rise in LARP fake radicalization, where everybody is competing for how hard they can beat their chest for their tribe. Eventually this is leading to real radicalization as the inevitable happens when idiots take the grift seriously instead of seeing it as glow-in-the-dark horse manure. Like with the FBI terror provocateurs in the GWOT, people will catch on eventually but this is cold comfort to those caught up in the crossfire until then.
As always, it's a sort of pendulum of history much like the tug-of-war between centralization and de-centralization. Too much emphasis on mastery and a saturated labor market means politics is your best bet for differentiation.
That said, mean reversion is looming. Worldwide birthrate collapse due largely to these same digital tools enabling the optimization of hypergamy worldwide shall cure this problem as surely as birthrate collapses shall also be self-correcting.
The value of the common worker will rise, making them become far more viable reproductive partners. Similarly, ability will command even more of a premium, making luxury branding elements such as political alignment once again less meaningful. The major destabilizing forces confronting the world will fix themselves given time, as the old adage "the cure for high prices is high prices" always holds true. One can be forgiven for seeing a divine hand in such long-term stability engendered by our own human nature.
It is grim to consider that perhaps Stalin realized that in the long term the best way to raise the power of the worker was to liquidate astonishing quantities of them. This of course failed due to a globalized labor market which wasn't going along with the program, and so the Russian worker suffered and gained nothing. Today there is no escape from the demographic collapse; the genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back inside. We have but to ride out the results until new equilibrium is reached.
I read an interesting article this morning called Ouroboros Theory. The initial point is that the right operates from the perspective of a lower level of satisfaction of needs. E.G. "Yeah, justice is great and all, but can we please have some bread? I don't care how you got it."
This explains the phenomenon of the peasantry being reliably reactionary. Meanwhile the left cares how we got the bread, as they already have plenty of it. This also is in line with my earlier essay No market for liberty. Libertarianism, "Conservatisim" and progressivism are all essentially the same, just arguing over who gets "justice" first.
This is what there is a market for. Not liberty, but Justice for all™. However, having read Clarence Darrow's excellent Resist Not Evil, I realized the core problem with Justice. This is why this snake eats itself.
Justice can't exist.
Only vengeance is achievable.
The concept of justice is notoriously hard to pin down thanks to people being highly emotional about the subject. I believe that I have nonetheless observed the true meaning in others' behavior around the subject. Justice is not being hurt by other people's externalities.
This does indeed sound good in theory; however it cannot work in practice for reasons of entropy the author of the piece actually touches upon. Externalities are not optional. Entropy can only increase, and it's gotta go somewhere.
The only reason it appears we have progressed at all is due to externalizing most of our entropy on the natural world rather than each other. This is the root of the environmentalist movement. They fail to understand that there will always be enough people for whom this tradeoff is their livelihood and they will kill rather than forgo it. Which the author also touches upon; this endless hectoring by the right about tradeoffs.
The trouble is that the right is correct here. A world where we do not externalize our entropy is nasty, brutish and short. Cannibalism and Suicide (to literally be an ouroboros!) is the most effective way to internalize our entropy. As such the left cannot win this argument, entropy is real and externalities have to go somewhere.
Injustice is not optional if we are to live lives which are worth living. If justice were ever to come about, it would be necessary to abolish it.
Which brings us to what actually is optional, as revealed by Darrow. Vengeance. The reactionaries would argue that we should not pursue vengeance, as hormesis, mutually beneficial exchange and creative destruction is real. This synergistic belief is actually optimistic, in contrast to the theory of the right laid out in "Ouroboros Theory".
Meanwhile the left embraces a "science" which tells us everything is finite and entropy only goes up. There is no room for synergy in this world view; the pie is a fixed size. You must fight for the gods' amusement over the scraps from their table. It is amusing that this is also the biblical worldview, but this should come as no shock given progressivism's roots as dour calvinism.
This probably explains the embrace of nihilism by the philosophers in the past century. In that world the only hope that remains is vicious and brutal. That vengeance is reason enough.
Let's drop the moral posturing shall we? We both know there is no altruism in this pursuit, your reckless indignation brought you here; I counted on it! There's no shame in it Raziel, revenge is motivation enough; at least it's honest. Hate me, but do it honestly.
The only reconciliation or escape is to do one of two things, which is where the new ideological divide is actually shaping up among the radicals. You can totally withdraw from the game and focus on improving your individual life. This is the thrust of both the agorists and the neoreactionaries; it is in fact populated by "red-pilled" liberals, of which I freely admit to being.
On the other side, aesthetics is quickly attracting the reactionaries. It is the most emotional possible world view (a build-your-own open-source hyperreality, in fact), and unapologetically so. It is the most postmodern philosophy possible; a negation of the reactionaries' former self. It will by definition will dominate politics totally in the coming years.
This is a good thing. It's essentially society doing what it does best and allowing the emotional ninnies to encyst themselves in the nonproductive pursuits such as politics and clout chasing (I repeat myself). Meanwhile the productive just get on with their lives, (mostly) free of these fools. As it always has been. The only difference is fewer people drinking the kool-aid of their illusions thanks to the internet liberating knowledge from the elite institutions.
In the end, it never mattered that there wasn't a market for liberty; self-actualization was never for sale. To get there you have to "be the bad guy" in something's story thanks to externalizing your entropy. The way forward for both sides is to just stop caring about it. Embrace mortality.
BONUS: You might have noticed this is basically epicureans versus stoics. There is nothing new under the sun.
This brings to mind an important point which occurred to me over the last few years. If I can live my life with essentially no contact of any meaningful kind with people living in the same city I live in, what business of mine is it that they:
The answer should be self evident. Cities like I live in are simply too large to even pretend anyone has (or should have!) a say in the systems which have power over such huge masses. The same is true of the state it resides in and the nation said state is subordinated to. No amount of voting can change the fact that the dilution of stake disenfranchises as effectivelly as any other type of tyranny.
The only meaningful solution in the end is fragmentation to the point that people have something remotely resembling a meaningful stake in the outcome of politics. Even a 1/250,000 stake such as in the case of most large cities is so small as to guarantee some other means of influence must become dominant for the outcome to be anything but cacophony. In practice this means "political parties", which in reality is just centralization; pledging your votes by proxy to people who you do not know and will never meet. This is little different from having a king, nobility or warlords, aside from it actually being made less effective due to "design by committe".
This insight makes one realize the only meaningful question in politics is one of organization; are we to be:
All it does is de-centralize which paints a big fat target on your back to get thumped on by Big Daddy Centralizer. It is more effective to simply sieze local control over enough things the state cares little about influencing until it's too late. This is probably why Agorism has turned out to be the most effective strategy. Just start doing what accomplishes your goals by hook or by crook. The laws, formal relationships and all that are all nonsense anyways. This is actually how the church in the early days actually achieved the influence (and international freedom!) it had.
Enjoy the decline. It is in crisis that the major institutions actually fail to grasp opportunity. Which is where "the meek" (better translation: those who kept their powder dry) finally get their chance at the brass ring.
I haven't written a proper blog entry here in nearly five years. Strange things have been happening in my life; some tragic, some wonderful. Nonetheless, I've realized that my urge to shitpost in a longer form seems to be coming back, which is lucky for you. Now, I say shitpost, as rarely has anything I have written here been anything I consider particularly novel or insightful. More perhaps clever or more concise explanations of things that have been rolling around in my mind for some time.
That said, this one's gonna be somewhat more of the latter, as this idea has been rolling around long enough to be more akin to a boulder Sisyphus would favor when working his glutes. Though a trite cliche, there's been memes going around based off the (paraphrased) quotation that:
Good times make weak menWhat is interesting here is that this quotation (which is often bandied about by "tradcons") actually gets it significantly wrong, as it requires one to completely redefine strength to mean the ability to generate comfort in the long term, even if it requires sacrifice in the short term.
Weak men make bad times
Bad times make strong men
Strong men make good times
Question: Does this sound like a traditionally "Alpha Male" behavior to you when viewing other species where the alpha/beta
socio-sexual dynamic exists?
Anyone who has studied any of this sort of thing would likely say categorically this is false. The strength of the alpha allows them to simply take what they want right now and sacrifice nothing. Indeed, alphas typically have others make sacrifices to please them (most particularly by the opposite sex adopting an attitude of submission). So, why exactly would a strong alpha male who already gets what he wants right now and generally is unconcerned with the comfort of others seek to build something like civilization? There's literally no incentive.
Of course, the common objection would be that there is no such thing as alpha/beta dynamic in humans. They are wrong, but it is a common objection. While humanity does posess the capability to "rewire" their brains to exhibit more of one behavior or the other, the "mental firmware" from the apes we are presumably descended from still exists in there. Generally it takes the driver's seat when a human has had no reason to override this behavior (mostly due to needing to cope with trauma).
As such, who exactly are these "strong men who build good times"? Weak men, in fact. A Christian might even call them "the meek". Y'know... Beta males. Why? Their primary sexual strategy, of course! They seek to provide comfort to others, as they cannot simply take what they want with strength. As such they beg for scraps from the altar of the feminine while seeking to comfort them enough that they might someday, somehow give em a little peice of the action mostly as payment for the provided comfort.Next Question: OK, so betas seek to provide comfort. What type of system could possibly provide this?
Gee, I don't know, maybe civilization and all the wondrous things that accompany it and make life extremely comfortable? I for one highly enjoy modern comforts and conveniences versus having to go out daily to hunt and kill my next meal. In fact, life has gotten so comfortable nowadays that it seems almost everyone seems to have forgotten the impulse which provided it in the first place -- "loser" males wanting a peice of the action but who aren't strong enough to simply take it.
Why do I say forgotten? This is merely a consequence of women entering the workplace and being compensated well. This devalues the comfort most beta males can provide to utter worthlessness. As such, for the most part, the beta male lives a pitiable life which I would actually consider torture, as their sexual frequency is trending towards inceldom within this century. Similarly it should come as no surprise that the most successful males in this market are those whose' personal branding tends to look like a commercial for luxury goods.
Ultimately, the consequences for society as "secret kings" (tradcon) and "male feminists" (lefty) slowly go extinct is that
society will have more people who are more or less OK with taking what they want right the hell now
either due to already being an alpha male who never cared about rules OR in desperation because "gamers rise up" or some other
silly justification to found Rome again, as those Sabine women are looking nice and rapeable.
It should go without saying that this will lead to a general reduction in the standard of living until either:
Well that's just great. We're doomed to either regress civilizationally or repeat this cycle endlessly. Also sprach Zarathustra? The great irony is that on some level, humanity is both aware of its' own nature yet rebellious against it. Unsurprisingly we see most elites always obsessed with bloodlines or eugenics as some sort of way to solve a percieved flaw in humanity that must be "bred out". All the while, this merely feeds into our original nature, which is to create stronger, more viable offspring. As such, efforts such as Planned Parenthood, etc. which originally sought to exterminate the "mongrel races" have in fact led instead to favoring humanity's "mental firmware" regarding reproductive choices even harder. As such, the mongrel races are still kickin', though mostly only if they are "Chad".
If you are someone who worries about "the fate of the west" or "society", this likely has provoked a strong emotional response from you. Likewise if you are living out the life script of a beta male currently. I can tell you why, as I've been there, done that. In fact, I was a "blackpilled doomer" long before it was cool (or society even had a name for it). This attitude in me (at least in part) even persists to this day. The only change I have had is in regard to "well, how should I react to this".
Previously I decided to simply go "monk mode" and mostly drift along aimlessly, as the time in life which I came to this realization (the early 2000s) was also a time which would have been difficult for me had I not made the decision to completely suppress my feelings. This cope/mask/whatever you want to call it wasn't perfect, but it was effective enough to also have a rather pernicious side effect -- I had no desire or motivation to do much other than whatever job made me enough to live comfortably.
In retrospect, I consider myself fairly lucky for a guy who was effectively "dead inside". I somehow managed to be (though not a fabulously wealthy man) in the top 10% of males (earnings wise) with no debt and a house, etc. Still, I was missing that important part of Maslow's hierarchy -- you know, some form of meaningful intimacy with other humans. 17 or so years of that tends to wear on you eventually, even if you are (apparently) as stubborn in persisting with unnecessary mental models as I was.
Now? My plan is to enjoy the decline in whatever form that may bring, as it has become clear that the path to happiness lies in embracing humanity's self-destructive nature instead of fighting it. Considering the amount of anti-FED writing here, the "poetic justice" of this is not lost upon me, as "you don't fight the FED" either.
In summary, nothing I have said here is novel. Others have tread this ground well. Look for Rollo Tomassi or any of the "Rule Zero" crew Rollo hangs with on youtube if you want to hear more things in this vein (but in perhaps a more positive light than I'd cast it here). In any event, it's off my chest.
The true concerns of the great intellectual and political movements are quite straightforward to discern when judging actions. Political movements are straightforward to figure out; their ideology is little more than "say and do anything to gain power". They do like to disguise themselves with one intellectual movement or the other, which generally is leftist or reactionary (the right).
Frankly, when one speaks of intellectual movements in the last century, there really isn't one aside from leftism to speak of until quite recently. While the varieties of leftist moderate to revolutionary thought have many disagreements, there is a shared tone upon which the difference is simply in intensity. This common tone is the emotional need for external validation.
All forms of collectivization, democracy, concern about "alienation" and other forms of consensus decision-making are neither necessary or desirable. The aggregate result of all individual actions (if free of coercive modification) will tend towards satisfying the ends of as many of the individuals as possible. The best average individual outcomes does not necessarily mean general approval of the actions of any given individual; most successful individuals are generally disliked. This is simply the "crabs in a bucket" effect. You'd be surprised how much of politics this explains.
This is further complicated by market success to some extent actually requiring a degree of consensus. Many times commercial projects fail not because the project fails to meet the needs of said consumer, but because customers simply did not feel their concerns were listened to. Much of the art of successful projects is convincing stakeholders that good ideas from the team actually were the stakeholder's idea. Buy-In is very important to people -- more so than rational evaluation as to the given utility of the goods and services in which they partake.
This, I think explains the popularity of the "mixed economy", as people are rational in wildly varying levels about various subjects. Most irrationally desire validation, but only so much. Validation is at a higher tier of Maslow's hierarchy -- starving people don't give a damn about what you think of them. This would also explain why revolutionary agitation happens not at the low point of penury, but when things turn south for rising bourgeoisie.
This leads me to the recent developments in reactionary intellectual tradition; previously there wasn't much of one other than "don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg". Which is to say concerns from a lower level of economic coordination and maslow's hierarchy.
This is why much of the support for reactionary dictatorship tends to be populist, as the poorest classes get their opinions where they get their corn pone. Similarly, the concerns of long-term wealth is mostly tied up in capital preservation, making elite alliances with the forces of reaction the obvious choice.
In any case, Libertarianism and the "dark enlightenment" (AKA the "alt-right") is the recent development I speak of. Both have their detractors on the reactionary right as these philosophies are a sort of synthesis born of liberal ideas. Nevertheless, they are both rooted in a more rational approach to the subject rather than the fundamentally emotional need for validation dominating leftism.
This in large part explains the demographic split amongst the various factions now:
Unfortunately, the rational ones among them are little better. Rationality does not imply being well-informed. As such, self-defeating consensus philosophy tends to take root, as it has wide appeal amongst their less rational peers. This infection of design by committee produces substandard outcomes that everyone feels real good about and validated by. As such "True Leftism/Socialism/Communism" as advocated by these types is unerringly defeated by authoritarians of one stripe or another when push comes to shove.
Right and left authoritarians don't seem to have any particular advantage over each other when opposed. The amount of men and materiel able to be secured for war seems to be the deciding factor in which wins. That said, neither type are likely to emerge as a significant force unless conditions are bad enough for either a revolution and attendant counterrevolution in the first place.
Which brings me back to the mixed economy. It tends to keep the irrational just happy enough to not revolt, and conditions are not so bad that the rational (while radicalized) are cowed by the power afforded the authorities by the irrational. This reminds me of the Saxon law code, which concerned itself not with justice, but minimization of conflict.
It is entirely possible that despite a libertarian social order being in fact the best way to improve material standards of living, it is doomed to create conflict due to the irrational ninnies out there. Civil conflict is a far worse problem to have than the deadweight loss inherent in the mixed economy. Like Ben Stone said repeatedly, there isn't a market for liberty.
Most of the uninformed arguments (thought terminating cliches really) by the middle class against libertarian (and other) anarchy are in this vein of conflict. The traditional counter-arguments here don't exactly help defuse their concerns either:
Ultimately, this is the root of the split between left and right libertarians. Fortunately, the leftist libertarians have not yet figured out how to spread their message as effectively as the right. I suspect this is due to the ideological vacuum on the reactionary right making grounds ripe. By comparison, the left is already chock full of nuts; at best they will simply further splinter an already hopelessly fractured left.
Knowing all this, what then shall we do? A retreat into self-improvement is certainly better than the strategy of chasing shadows as has been done up to this point. It is unfortunately falling into the same "lower level concerns" trap as the old reactionaries. There is no way around having to figure out an emotional appeal to those most libertarians find incredibly distasteful. If you aren't willing to make cynical distortions intended to manipulate those around you, have fun resorting to the cartridge box.
You have to decide that you'd rather be happy and free than right and pure.
For those not aware, I'm a large proponent of the Stoic insights. One of the primary ones I promote is that virtue is not only it's own reward but it's only reward. The other half of this coin, which many do not discover, is that this is a good thing. When altruism is to be rewarded, it is all to easy to fake, with attendant and catastrophic costs to society.
One of the most prominent such failures in our modern society is what is popularly called "Virtue Signaling"; a term which once was simply referred to as "putting on a show". Politics is infested with this, as its practitioners overcompensate for their lack of real virtue with an abundance of such fake virtue.
In any case, it is heartening to realize that this is fundamentally what Nicholas Taleb has been groping for all these years. His Intellectual yet Idiot concept is an expression of this; however that is merely a generalization of his core inisght. Namely, that people are applying the wrong model entirely when it comes to dealing with uncertain events.
As explored here previously, people try a variety of schemes to curve-fit us into Procrustes' Iron Bed; the most popular of these are called "laws". In reality, a far simpler model works: "Do as thou wilt, but be prepared for the consequences". I have come to realize more and more that it's the latter half of that statement that nearly all of civilization's distortions are built to try and avoid.
Taleb's SITG (Skin In The Game) is a powerful argument for why not attempting to expand past that one rule is desirable; the further we insulate ourselves from consequence, the more foolish we necessarily become, until survival itself is threatened. He is pilloried by his detractors for "not providing answers", but they simply do not listen when he advises that rather than worry about the fact consequences happen (X), we instead concern ourselves with how our response effects ourselves and the system as a whole (f(x)) -- being prepared for consequences.
That core insight returns right back to stoicism. The wise stoic concerns himself not with the affairs of the world which are not under his control. He instead concerns himself with what he can control; e.g. the reaction to said events (f(x)).
As such it is unsurprising Taleb has drifted increasingly into the Austrian Economist camp. They are the most closely aligned with these particular insights; indeed his discussion of fat tail risk is quite a damning explanation of nearly all extant centralized economic planning's failure. As an apriori theory as to why information theory and risk must necessarily behave so, Praxeology is in perfect harmony.
The one law is simply a necessary lemma of the core praxeological axiom: "Man Acts on limited information and other means to achieve specific ends". This necessarily implies that circumstances may align such that practically anything may be seen as virtuous or licentious at the time, depending on the context understood to the actors involved.
As such, the wisdom of "live and let live" an "Love thy Neighbor" becomes ever clearer -- as one man's virtue may be another man's vice, all attempts to centrally plan and impose a return curve on the necessarily transactional relationships between humans are doomed to failure. All we can do therefore is simply gird ourselves against the reality of the situation in pursuance of our own ends.