Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Clarifying The Dark Enlightenment

Jason Kuznicki wrote Zombie Apocalypse or Marginal Revolution? Nick Land, Neo-Reactionaries, and the Heterotic Society.

Nick Land replied

I replied to Land...



Lamb skewers, roasting chestnuts and roasting sweet know what I mean? The three things that actually smelled good on the streets of Shanghai. On the other extreme was stinky tofu. Ouch, my most of me. Dui bu dui?

Honestly I had to google HBD. According to the chick in charge...
To allow the mass immigration of peoples with very different historic mating patterns to Western nations is simply a recipe for disaster.
Errr...what? Maybe I skimmed too fast.

Would you guess that HBD chick has ever lived among people with very different historic mating patterns?

When I was stationed in Afghanistan for a year...for some reason I never got the impression that we should prevent them from immigrating to Western nations. Same thing when I lived in Panama...and China. Ola ni hao.

Deng Xiaoping went around saying that it didn't matter whether a cat was black or white...what mattered was whether it caught mice. Why does capitalism catch mice?

It's pretty easy...the quality and variety of goods really increases over time when people are free to not spend their money on crappy products. different as the people all over the world might be...everybody hates being ripped off.

If you understand this basic universal truth...then you should appreciate the value of creating a market in the public sector. So do you appreciate pragmatarianism? It's kinda got some dark enlightenment... clarifying the demand for public goods would destroy corporate welfare.

Nick Land

I like functional multicultural societies, and wouldn't live anywhere else. That seems entirely consistent with due respect to HBD chick's sensible policy advice (which will, of course, be completely ignored).


How long did it take you before you realized that the normally dressed ladies just standing on the side of the street were actually prostitutes? Well..."normally dressed" is relative. When I lived there in 2005 they all dressed like the 80s. A fashion lag time machine for sure.

See what I did Euthyphro? You want to avoid my good questions so I gave you a terrible question to avoid. Does it make you happy? Maybe you would prefer something like this instead...
You're not exactly dying to teach me - that much is clear. You were just on the point of doing so, but you turned aside. If you had given the answer, I would already be well versed in holiness, thanks to you. But as it is, the lover of inquiry must chase after his beloved, wherever he may lead him. Once more then: what do you say that the holy is, or holiness? Don't you say it's a kind of science of sacrifice and prayer?
LOL...too much fun. Maybe you're just trying to encourage me to buy your book on George Bataille? My database doesn't have a single passage by Bataille. It does have a few regarding Bataille though...
What is not in doubt is that the conclusions Mauss draws in the ‘Essai sur le don’, and the kind of liberal society he advocates in its conclusion, are a world away from Bataille’s formulation of a general theory of the economy beyond the sphere of utility. In the few pages he devotes to sacrifice in this work, Mauss writes: ‘The relationship that exists between these contracts and exchanges among humans and those between men and their gods throw light on a whole aspect of the theory of sacrifice’. As an explanatory principle, this is remarkably similar to Tylor’s analogy of ‘man’s dealings with man’, and comes to much the same conclusions. ‘The purpose of destruction by sacrifice’, Mauss goes on to say, ‘is precisely that it is an act of giving that is necessarily reciprocated’. - Simon Elmer
It's fun because it's the same conclusion that Euthyphro and Socrates danced around. Whether you're trading with a God or a man...or a prostitute...I'm sure you want the most bang for your buck. Right?

So what do you think? Should we create a market in the public sector? If not, then I'd love to hear why your preferred course of action will provide us with far greater blessings.

Nick Land

Apologies for evasiveness -- I'm not fully confident I'm understanding the question. If it's "Would full-blown anarcho-capitalism solve all these problems automatically" I'm strongly inclined to agree -- but the transition is important. You don't get to an-cap -- or anything like it -- by trying to take the (classically) liberal path at every fork. Anarchist migration policy combined with left-liberal welfare policy is worse than harsh illiberalism in all social dimensions.


Bu hao yi si. I'm sure it's my fault.

Anarcho-capitalism = destroying the public sector
Pragmatarianism = creating a market in the public sector

Good ole Rothbard and his button. What did Rothbard get right?
Individual valuation is the keystone of economic theory. (Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics)
Individual valuation... demonstrated preference... spending... sacrifice. As opposed to individual opinionation... contingent valuation... surveys... voting. Actions (spending) speak louder than words (voting). What we're personally willing to sacrifice... give up... exchange... trade... communicates far more than merely words alone. Spending provides accurate information about our true priorities/preferences...which is what the efficient allocation of resources depends on.

Rothbard correctly understood that without all our individual valuations...the government won't know what the demand is for public goods...
In the first place, how much of the deficient good should be supplied? What criterion can the State have for deciding the optimal amount and for gauging by how much the market provision of the service falls short? (The Myth of Neutral Taxation)
If the government can't even supply the optimal amount of milk...then there's no way that it can supply the optimal amount of national defense. Rothbard's conclusion was that we should eliminate the government.

His conclusion was completely wrong. This is because he believed that taxation and individual valuation were mutually exclusive...
There are fatal flaws in this idea of government-as-a-business. In the first place, a government service can never be run as a business, because the capital is conscripted from the taxpayer. There is no way of avoiding that. (The Business of Government)
Just because the capital is conscripted from taxpayers doesn't mean that we can't determine their true preferences. All that's required is to allow taxpayers to choose where their taxes go. Doing so would create a market in the public sector.

For some more info...these two things are pretty short...

Pragmatarianism FAQ
Preference Revelation Problem

What really makes me laugh/cry is when anarcho-capitalists (always the natural rights type) try and use the currently atrocious quality/variety of public goods to critique pragmatarianism.
Hey Deng Xiaoping! You're an idiot for wanting to create a market in China! The quality and variety of private goods is pure crap! What's the point of consumer choice when the options are all terrible!???
Isn't that funny/sad? They don't understand the logical consequences of command economies. Which means that they don't understand the logical consequences of market economies. A kid goes in a candy store and fails to recognize that the variety/quality of the selection is the logical consequence of consumer choice. Take away consumer choice and the results will be predictable. Variety? Plummet. Quality? Plummet. Cost? Skyrocket. What do we end up with? Our current selection of public goods.

Are you confident that you understand the question now? Here it is again...should we create a market in the public sector?


  1. Immigrants from third world countries always vote for big government.

    Your only chance for a libertarian country is to have it as white as possible.

    1. Why would I want a libertarian country? I'm a pragmatarian...not a libertarian.

      Also, immigrants are hardly the only people who want a free lunch. Don't you want the most bang for your buck?

      In order to get the most bang for your have to have accurate information. Otherwise you'll end up...

      A. barking up the wrong trees
      B. going on fool's errands
      C. going on wild goose chases
      D. tilting at windmills

      Here's some accurate information...the preference revelation problem. Read it over and let me know if you have any questions.

  2. "If the government can't even supply the optimal amount of milk"

    Milk markets and the dairy industry in general have a long history of State involvement/intervention. So it's difficult to say how that market and industry would have performed in the absence of such involvement/intervention.

    1. I don't want anybody to think that I ignored your I just wanted to post a link to where I'm attempting to address your concerns... Can David Brin Cite Hayek And Smith?