Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pragmatarianism is/vs Neoreaction

Posted this over at the Dark Enlightenment subreddit.

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Kinda new to the whole neoreaction concept.  But I'm well versed in economics (pragmatarianism)...and thought I'd share some feedback on the bullet points on the right side of this page (commonly held ideas).
1. Secular progressivism is the direct memetic descendent of Puritan Calvinism. Words and concepts such as orthodoxy, heresy, heretics (that’s us), dogma, blasphemy, witch hunts, inquisitions etc. very aptly describe progressivism. Therefore, modern progressive culture is often simply referred to as “the Cathedral”. There is no conspiracy implied.
What is written is flowery nonsense.  People are liberals because they fail to understand how and why markets work.  Most of you fail to understand how and why markets work.  It's easy to prove...watch.  Do you support pragmatarianism?  The less you support pragmatarianism...the less you understand how and why markets work.
2. Neoreactionaries accept human biological diversity. Individual humans and human groups differ in ability, psychological disposition, intelligence, and many other traits for genetic reasons. Genetics can explain 50% or more of the differences in lifetime outcomes within and between human groups. Other factors play only a minor role.
I accept HBD.  But so what?  If you understand how and why markets work then you understand that saying anything about HBD is barking up the really wrong tree.  The right tree is helping people understand how and why markets work.
3. Recognition of HBD necessitates the rejection of egalitarianism, one of the core dogmas of progressives. In reality, every person experiences first hand that not all men or women are created equal. Disparities result from innate differences. It is therefore easier to believe in Leprechauns than to believe in egalitarianism.
Yes I recognize HBD and yes I reject egalitarianism.  But attacking redistribution from the perspective of HBD is ridiculously roundabout.  It's like walking all the way around the world to move one step back.   Redistribution is nonsensical because if you respect the value judgements of consumers then you won't try and correct the resulting distribution of wealth.  If you feel the need to correct the distribution of wealth then it's because you believe that the value judgements of consumers are impaired.  If you think the value judgments of consumers are impaired then you really shouldn't want them to have more dollar votes.
4. Hierarchies are not bad. They are a natural consequence of innate differences in human populations and are necessary for societies to function properly. Stratified outcomes are not enough by themselves to prove discrimination or a failure of "social justice". In so far as social justice exists, it is simply justice.
Kinda more of the same.  Obviously some people receive more dollar votes than other people.  Is it because of HBD?  Saying that it is just reveals your own economic ignorance.  Some people receive more dollar votes than other people simply because some people do better things with society's limited resources.  Centralization (kings, emperors, congress) allows few people to define "better" while decentralization allows everybody to use their own dollar votes to define "better".
5. Traditional cultural norms and values did not come about by accident. They are non-ideological social adaptations that provide good solutions to complex social problems. Civilizations separated by vast amounts of time and geography often independently converged on very similar values such as monogamous marriage. The reason for this convergence is that cultures that implemented these values had a competitive advantage over their neighbors and became civilizations. Cultures that did not implement them failed and are no longer remembered.
Really?  Seriously guy?  Yes, and correlation implies causation.  "Ok, let's throw virgins in volcanoes because the volcano didn't erupt when a virgin accidentally fell in."  "Let's have kings because they have divine authority."  "Let's continue giving our taxes to 500 government planners (congress) because this really provides us with a comparative advantage."  Progress is a matter of chipping away at the ignorance that's weighing us down.
6. Most modern conservatives are really just last century’s progressives. Many ideas commonly held by “conservatives” today were progressive (sometimes radically so) in the past.
There's mainstream economics and mainline economics.  You would already know this if you've been barking up the right tree.
7. Neoreactionaries acknowledge the legitimate flaws inherent to Democratic systems. The darkly enlightened are “Predisposed, in any case, to perceive the politically awakened masses as a howling irrational mob, it conceives the dynamics of democratization as fundamentally degenerative: systematically consolidating and exacerbating private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption.”
Yes, there's a definite flaw.  Voting doesn't reveal values...it reveals opinions.  You can't use opinions to put resources to their most valuable uses.  If you want resources to be put to their most valuable uses (efficiently allocated)...then you need spending (dollar voting) to reveal values.  We should all agree that actions (dollar voting) speak louder than words (ballot voting).  The thing is...this really isn't what was said.  You said "flaw"...but rather than go on to clearly describe the flaw...you just used more flowery nonsense to reveal that you aren't quite sure what the flaw actually is.  There's nothing "irrational" about voting for a free lunch.  People just incorrectly perceive that the free lunch is more valuable than the unseen opportunity cost.  And you're doing absolutely nothing to correct their misperception.  We have to help people understand that lunches only gain in value when consumers can clearly see the costs and choose accordingly.  Consumer choice is what truly incentivizes producers to reduce costs (provide more value).
8. A system of No voice-free exit in large hyper-federalist states or small independent city states is the optimal political arrangement. This roughly copies the model of Singapore where there is little political voice, but massive economic freedom and high levels of prosperity. In such a system, city-states would be in constant competition for minds and business. These states risk losing economically valuable citizens and businesses if poorly run because they can easily relocate, thus creating an incentive to remain economically and socially free.
Again, just more economic ignorance.

You guys are kind of on the right track...but you're being distracted by speech which is really heavy on style and super light on substance.

The only thing wrong with government is that we have no idea what the demand is for public goods.  We can easily fix this problem by creating a market in the public sector.  If this solution doesn't really appeal to you...then you need to give up the momentary pleasure of style for the future benefit of substance...the preference revelation problem.

For sure I don't write pretty...but I'm actually familiar with the arguments of economists.  Not just Nobel Prize winning market economists...but Nobel Prize winning liberal economists as well.

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