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Culture War Roundup for the week of November 7, 2022

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There is now a USA Election Day 2022 Megathread for all your deliberatively democratic posting desires.

Meta question: are subthreads disappearing without a trace, or am I losing my mind? I could have sworn that there was a thread here on Jewish power with an eloquent effortpost by Ilforte about a day ago.

A manifestopost by @Carlsbad was wiped about two weeks ago. Link to my response at the time; as you can see, the parent only appears as "deleted by author." Zorba confirmed that there was lots of ban evasion involved.

If there was one topic which I'd expect to attract a partisan trying to sockpuppet/consensus-build/JAQ-off, it'd be this one. Well, okay, it'd be pedo- ephebe- child emancipation, given prior examples. But handwringing about "Jewish interests" has achieved hobbyhorse status.

Since that time they've posted at least one more thousand-word anti-Jewish manifesto. I say "at least one more" because I stumbled across it entirely by accident. There may have been more!

I kinda feel sorry for them, honestly; what kind of mental state causes someone to make (checks mod-visible info) 14 separate accounts to ban-evade on an obscure Internet forum to complain about the Jews?

We may be talking about different posts (perhaps there's a 15th account that hasn't tripped our ban evasion code yet), but this one wasn't really a critique, it was just kind of a . . . list . . . and there were no replies.

It would not surprise me at all if it was the same person's alt.

My guess is that the JQ occupies the intersection of a conspiracy-theorist Venn diagram.

One circle is theories which scan as credible to the average public. Without taking the time to go into the quality of this credibility, it's an easier sell than Atlantis or anything to do with aliens. A big part of this is the well-fortified motte and bailey between Jewish overrepresentation and Jewish influence. Our passionate antisemite can hint about the movie industry or whatever and not immediately get dismissed. Call this circle the "plausible."

The other factor is emotional valence of a theory. I'm not sure how many people today have a visceral reaction to the thought that Oswald didn't kill Kennedy. Seventy years of never again, on the other hand, have ensured that antisemitism is vividly recognizable. It pattern-matches immediately to history's best-publicized villains. This edge guarantees our theorist the feeling of being an insider, of having moral nuance compared to the sheep. There's a whole signaling/countersignaling thing here, but suffice to say that having a theory denied is half the appeal. Call it "deniability."

Now take this "plausible deniability" to the rise of Internet culture. Anyone who wants to present as a bold free-thinker woke to the real powers at play has a ready-made adversary. Except their audience isn't stupid, either, and after the third time someone shows up Just Asking Questions, people start skipping to the bit where they run him out of town on a rail. The immune system develops a healthy skepticism.

Add 20-30 years of natural selection, and the barrier to entry gets pretty high. Getting through the high-strung immune response requires some practice dealing with adversity. That may or may not mean ban evasion. We are dealing with the evolved form of this edgy, uncowed archetype. Perhaps Zarathustra said it best:

I entreat you my brethren, remain true to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of supra-terrestrial hopes! … Behold, I teach you the Übermensch.

Shutting it down on the pettiest possible scale? Probably not.

OP's post stands at +11/-11 so 0 points, maybe admins have screwed up top-level below-threshold hiding? Would be funny if it's a bug related to the recent 0 vs NaN score one.

I can find the thread through involved users' histories. And you could look into my history and see the post in any case: http://themotte.org/@DaseindustriesLtd

(this also helps with some reddit mod actions, afaik)

You can also check https://www.themotte.org/log , and I don't think that the recent removal targeted the thread you're thinking of.

I recently read Hanania's year old post - The Problem with White Male Liberalism. Hanania steelmans the far-left ("woke") position:

The idea that the modern economy, the American system of government, and contemporary science were created by white men is not a fantasy the woke imagined out of thin air… Their implicit argument — that these great things happened to be created by white men only through some accident that has no implication for how they function today — does not seem very credible.

meaning that the white male liberals that dominate liberal spheres have two positions:

  • They can bend over backward for diversity, which often means compromising their principles to achieve the right demographic balance.

  • Or they can ignore the issue, having no good answer to the question of why people should join a movement in which white males predominate.

Ignoring the gender issue and focusing solely on ethnicity, I'd counter that this isn't even historically true. Liberal movements have always been very welcoming to ethnic minorities. The original Enlightenment Thinkers were primarily Christian-raised-- and somehow years later you see liberal movements having a significant overrepresentation of Jews. I have no doubt that other outperforming minorities, such as Indians, will continue to punch above their weight in these movements as well. But somehow this fact gets ignored (even by liberals seeking to defend their inclusiveness) and to add to the complexity, any minority group that successfully assimilates into the elite just becomes viewed as "white" themselves (yes, I've even noticed immigrants to Silicon Valley referring to Asians and Indians as "white"), making white dominance of elite movements self-fulfilling.

More to the point, why is this even an effective attack (on the members)? Universal political and intellectual movements aren't going to be reflective of the overall population - they are going to skew toward intelligence, high class, and assimilation away from ethnic tribalism. Growing up in 2nd generation Asian majority schools in the Bay Area, there wasn't much surprise that (in the minority) white kids were the more liberal ones (e.g. more supportive of say gay marriage) -- they didn't have the same connection to conservative social values the 2nd gen immigrants had. And frankly, it really never seemed that important -- different demographic balances existed and if you were so weak-minded that you still were using activity participants' ancestral balance as a predictor for what you should be doing, you probably weren't going to be a non-conformist movement leader anyway.

Free speech, academic freedom, and colorblindness — long considered foundational principles of the Left...Feeling guilty about how white and male their movement is, more tolerant liberals have two options. They can bend over backward for diversity, which often means compromising their principles to achieve the right demographic balance.

This doesn't strike me as a steelman because it puts words in the mouths of the male liberals in question. Its only bending backwards if you assert that "Free speech, academic freedom, and colorblindness" are principles that they actually hold, or that subsuming those principles is in any way contrary to their world view. The liberals in question aren't "bending over backwards" at all.

Or they can ignore the issue, having no good answer to the question of why people should join a movement in which white males predominate.

Their answer is that everyone should join them and "progress" to the communist utopia at the end of the rainbow.

More to the point, why is this even an effective attack (on the members)?

Because both sides of the argument are a part of the same religion and the attack operates on faith and emotion, not on logic or reasoning. The "moderates" here already accept all of the priors and share the ultimate goals of the woke. The woke are just calling the moderates out for being insufficiently faithful and the moderates are choosing to capitulate rather than become apostates.

Christians and the Killing of abortion doctors:

I'm well aware that a strong case can be made for absolute Christian pacifism or more moderately for employing violence only with the consent of the ruling authority. Yet these positions are clearly not majority ones. Imagine if I posed to the average Christian the following hypothetical:

Tomorrow, the government passes a law declaring that blacks, being subhuman, are no longer entitled to any protection under the law. While the law allows you to kill a person who threatens the life of a regular person, killing a person who threatens a black is now murder. Mark 1.0 disagrees. While he is not black himself and has no special relationship with blacks, he consider them to be regular humans entitled to defense. As such, he goes to a black extermination center and kills a few of its exterminators. Are Mark 1.0's actions morally justified?

I think the vast majority of Christians would say that Mark was not only acting justifiably but commendably. If he started a revolution that overthrew the government, they would celebrate him as an example of Christian courage and dedication. If, however I replace Black with fetus, and exterminationist with abortion doctors, fundamentalists suddenly discover the value of 'giving unto Caesar', talk about how their belief in the sanctity of life is incoherent with killing abortion doctors and condemn Mark 2.0.

Once again, my claim is that there is no deontological theological justification that allows for Mark 1.0's actions, but not Mark 2.0's. Thus, when Christians claim to disown anti-abortion violence on religious grounds they are almost always either making a best methods utilitarian calculation (which given 60 Million abortions since Roe v. Wade seems rather specious) or demonstrating that their worship of the flag, trumps their commitment to God.

FWIW, I am a Christian, and this line of reasoning was a major factor in my becoming a pacifist and leaving the navy as a conscientious objector. Killing abortion doctors seemed obviously un-Christlike, and I couldn't find a moral difference between killing abortion doctors and killing enemy soldiers. So I decided I should stop killing enemy soldiers.

I tend to agree that I used to worship the flag more than I worshiped Jesus, and that I see a lot of other Christians doing the same.

Mark 1.0 is not justified if you include enough assumptions to make this properly analogous to anti-abortion assassinations, namely the inability to advance such an effort (given general apathy towards abortion laws at best and antipathy towards peacetime political violence) to a general prohibition, or even prevent choice abortions from completing through other means (it's not very evident that assassinating an abortion doctor deterred women from seeking abortions, while assassinating the exterminators presumably gives their victims a chance to escape).

And while someone can start to contrive more scenarios where this might seem preferable, it's worth remembering that Christianity demands Christians do take the "upfront cost" of assassinating very seriously (even if they don't quite commit to pacifism), and the uncertainty of even the most convincing 300 IQ plan makes the certain cost very doubtfully acceptable.

These are all very very obvious points so I don't have cause to think OP is acting in good faith.

This again?

Yes, from a pure util or purely Kantian perspective you'd be right. Christianity has, however, a well developed theology on use of force that isn't either of those things. Christian ethics exist and are not interchangeable with whatever secular system of ethics you happen to favor. Yes, Christian ethics include bits and pieces of utilitarianism and deontology and virtue ethics. No, secular examples of any of those things are not interchangeable; Christianity does not require its members to engage in futile attempts to stop another person's evil, and does not look kindly on causing damage in those futile attempts.

There are two millennia of theology explaining what Christians should do and why they should do it when the state passes a law contradicting Christian ethics. If you think you've discovered a contradiction in Christian ethics, I'd suggest that two millennia of theology might have the answer.

Now, as for the specific situation, Christianity has a concept of just war/just rebellion which requires, among other things, that the use of force have a reasonable chance of succeeding in accomplishing the goal(either "protect black people from extermination centers" or "protect babies from abortion"). That seems like an operative difference here.

And to address your "render unto Caesar" point, pro-life Christians violate laws on eg clinic zones of exclusion pretty regularly, because that's allowed in Christian theology on resisting unjust laws. Just like how Christians in Poland in 1944 didn't raid Auschwitz but did hide Jews in the attic(which was illegal).

I forget, are we allowed to swear on here or not? Because if we can, then "Oh for fuck's sake, here we go again".

Oh yes, one more go-round of the old "If you pro-lifers/religious bigots really believed abortion was murder, you'd be out there firebombing clinics and shooting abortionists!" trap.

Somebody does firebomb a clinic or shoots a doctor

Shocked pikachu face "Those bigots! We knew they were violent monsters all along who only object to abortion because they hate women and want to control them!"

Why yes, as a pro-lifer I haven't stopped beating my (non-existent) wife, how kind of you to enquire!

Well you know the saying, 'you only know you are a good christian when the world is giving you good feedback'.

Well you know the saying, 'you only know you are a good christian when the world is giving you good feedback'.

What? If anything its the opposite. Between this and the bit about "consent of the ruling authority" I have to ask, have you ever actually sat down and talked to a Christian before?

Have you ever read your bible?

On obeying the ruling authority:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. - Romans 13: 1 - 2.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. - 1 Peter 2:13 - 14

Now I'm sure most Christians (who bother with theology) have some explanations for why this rule isn't absolute, but I included the exception for the many who might, and who have the explicit wording of the bible to back them up. Since you don't, I think my general argument still applies to you.

On being loved by the world

"its the opposite": So why are you invoking the world's pikachu face when I ask you about your duties as a Christian?

Have you ever read your bible?

I have, and having actually read the full KJV rather than just the cliff-notes that the LGBTQ-Aitheism+ crowd pass between themselves for dunking purposes I'm familiar with a number of themes that recur through both testaments. Most relevant in this case being that the devil can and will quote scripture to serve his ends, and the tension between the worldly and the moral/spiritual. Specifically the idea that one can not seek the power and rewards of former without debasing or giving up those of the latter. To quote the son of man himself...

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Or to put it more bluntly, if you're looking for feed back from the world, you're doing it wrong.

If anything, the historical and scriptural reward for being a good Christian has been to been to find oneself set apart and persecuted. So where are you getting all this nonsense?

In America, the people are the sovereign, and the government are that subset of the people who are hirelings and servants of the people. Any American government, whether village, county, city, state, or federal, which does not submit to the people are subject to God’s wrath.

As for civil disobedience, I’d cite both Daniel’s prayers in defiance of the idol prayer ordinance (thou shalt have no gods before Me) and Jesus’ scourging of the moneychangers (thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain).

You have to understand, it's more of a vibes based religion these days.

Speak for yourself

I forget, are we allowed to swear on here or not?

When has there ever been a prohibition against swearing, here or at the old place?

I'm not entirely sure of the rules in the new place yet, and some places do let it, some places are very prim and proper. It might be that the mods don't care if we spit on the floor and call the cat a bastard, but the hosting service does.

Yeah well fuck the hosting service, because I'm saying it - the cat is a bastard. Also spoiler alert: Amadan is one of the mods

It's pretty funny you chose black people for your first example, because taking your version of Christian logic in the other direction, people who are fine with abortion should also be fine with the systematic murder of black people. Which is exactly what some pro lifers believe.

I mean sure, some members of [x] believe [y] for virtually any X and Y. It's just an uncharitable potshot when used the way you used it. I'm sure some pro choicers also believe that... The founder of planned parenthood being a good example.

Sanger was part of what I was referring to, as hlynka joked - particularly among black pro lifers, many suspect abortion is designed to eradicate undesirables, with a special emphasis on black undesirables. Rather than Sanger though, usually they cite marketing as the proof - abortions are advertised more heavily in black communities and black pro lifers often feel ignored in the national debate.

I think it's an uncharitable pot shot either way, but I thought it was either an ironic coincidence or making a point I didn't understand, so I wanted to bring it up.

Man I totally misunderstood your comment. I thought your "which is exactly what pro lifers believe" was saying that some pro lifers are fine with the systematic murder of black people.

particularly among black pro lifers, many suspect abortion is designed to eradicate undesirables, with a special emphasis on black undesirables.

I've definitely also heard these arguments among (non-Black) pro-lifers, especially Catholics.

Are these people believing that pro-choice is good because it means more black babies are murdered/unborn or do they literally also believe that black people are subhuman too?

I am not The Shadow friend, so I don't know what lies in the hearts of men. Would it make much difference?

Margaret Sanger and Woodrow Wilson could not be reached for comment.

Sorry, I'm not buying the notion that modern progressives are in anyway as based as their ancestors.

I'm not buying the notion that they are any different.

Whether it's men in white hoods setting fire to minority neighborhoods in 1920 or men in black hoodies setting fire to minority neighborhoods in 2020 the democratic party is and always has been the party of the lynch mob.

Whether it's "Jim Crow" or "Safe Spaces" the democrat party is and always has been the party of segregation.

The democratic party is and always has been the party of abortion.

The packaging may have changed but the contents remain the same.

No, the first one was under the auspices of the other party, though they were rather closer then.

I have not forgotten, i was just sticking to the simplest and least controversial examples for brevity's sake.

Oh come on:

'Let's sterilize degenerates, criminals and idiots to improve our human capital' is a very different position from 'let's promote childlesness among the educated and talented because children remind us of those icky rednecks'.

'Let's lynch accused rapists, murderers and looters in defense of society' is a very different position from 'let's burn down society in a sacred ritual to commemorate a degenerate criminal (who was unfairly killed)'.

No, no it is not.

I feel like this topic, why don't Christians act more like utilitarians, seems to come up every couple months (usually in regards to abortion) and the fundamental mistake that guys like you always seem to make is trying to model Christians as utilitarians who are bad really bad at utilitarianism, or deontologists who are too stupid to grasp deontology, rather than as people sincerely trying to implement Christian principles.

Simply put, the moral valance of violence has absolutely positively fuck all to do with the "consent of the ruling authority" and I have no idea where you might have gotten that impression from unless you were falsely projecting own secular progressive background and moral intuitions on to others.

If you ask the average Christian for the fundamental principal underlying all questions of morality you're likely to get one of two answers A) Mark 12-30: Love God with all your heart and love your Neighbor as you would yourself. or B) the recurring theme from Deuteronomy, Jerimiah, Luke, Et Al of "Choose Life". The strict pacifists will cite A but there are many others who will point out that loving your neighbor doesn't preclude putting a bullet in their head. See Old Yeller. At the same time there are also a lot of Christians out there who subscribe to B and the Augustinian principle of "just war", the TLDR version of which being that the set of things worth killing for is a subset of the set things worth dying for.

Simply put, the moral valance of violence has absolutely positively fuck all to do with the "consent of the ruling authority" and I have no idea where you might have gotten that impression from unless you were falsely projecting own secular progressive background and moral intuitions on to others.

Christianity has a pretty strong tradition of requiring the "consent of the ruling authority" in just war theory. For example, Thomas Aquinas describes three criteria for a "just war", the first of which is that it must be waged by a proper authority. (The second is that the war must have a just cause and the third is that the soldiers must have a just intent.)

"ruling authority" and "proper authority" are not necessarily the same thing though, in fact one could argue that the explicit delineation between these two in Christian doctrine is arguably one of it's more unique cultural features.

As @DuplexFields observes above if the government's legitimacy rests on the consent of the governed, a government that does not submit to the will of the people is not a "proper authority".

I think you are giving too much credit to the content of their beliefs. History has shown that Christianity can be compatible with and used as justification for any number of completely contradictory actions. I think @4bpp has the right idea, the average person simply doesn't believe things with 100% confidence and logically follow them through to conclusions that are not openly endorsed by their social group and peers. They just sort of pick up their morality from social cues, while texts are used on an as-needed basis to post-hoc justify conclusions they had arrived at by other means in a sort of parallel construction.

Christianity can be compatible with and used as justification for any number of completely contradictory actions

Christianity is not [the set of beliefs held by people who call themselves Christians]. For any reasonable definition of Christianity you'll run into the issue that when people make certain decisions they are not being good Christians. Christians can justify anything; Christianity cannot.

Christianity is not [the set of beliefs held by people who call themselves Christians].

There is no such thing as "Christianity", there is about 40,000 current Christian denominations and much more historical ones, every one claiming to be "one true church".

Anything you like, you can find church that praises it as the most Christian thing ever, anything you do not like, you can find church that damns it as the most unchristian thing ever.

For any reasonable definition of Christianity

What looks reasonable to you is not reasonable to another person and vice versa.

Was it reasonable thing to torture people to death to save their immortal souls?

Christians in third century would say no. Christians in thirteenth century would say yes.

Let me rephrase:

People are allowed to call themselves whatever they want. If your definition of Christianity is just [people who call themselves Christians] then you are by necessity making more of a point about general human nature than about Christianity, because of course there's at least one [person who calls himself a Christian] who believes literally anything.

If you instead narrow your definition to be more sensible, however you define Christianity, then your point starts to target the ideology rather than just normal human nature.

And my reply to this is basically "what @Jiro said". Christianity has some fairly well established doctrines over when and where violence is justified, and while individual Christians might disagree on whether a given set of circumstances meets the required threshold, the overall shape of the debate-space is widely agreed-upon. Accusing them of being contradictory or insincere (not really holding their beliefs) for failing to follow through on what you believe the utilitarian implications of their beliefs are only makes sense if you assume they are a utilitarian. Most people are not utilitarian. As such I see you as having made the same mistake as the OP; "trying to model Christians as utilitarians who are bad really bad at utilitarianism, rather than as people sincerely trying to abide by Christian principles."

The average person isn't a utilitarian in the first place; this doesn't justify treating Christians like utilitarians and then claiming that they're inconsistent because they won't murder as utilitarianism demands.

Jiro, it's the old old argument I've seen too damn many times by now. The people who put it forward don't give a damn about underlying moral principles or coherent philosophies. Any stick will do to beat the dog, and their main problem is religion, especially Christianity. Maybe they're atheists, maybe they were never any particular faith tradition to begin with, maybe they're from fundamentalist families and are now very very ex-Christian. What they do have in common is, Christianity Bad.

So Christianity Bad, Christians Bad, Christians say love but commit atrocities and wars, yadda yadda yadda. Abortion is just one of the fields they like to play on. If it wasn't "pro-lifers Christians, Christians bad, pro-lifers bad" it'd be something else.

That's why I say this is a trap. "If Christians believe abortion bad, why not stop abortion by force?/Christians use force/Aha we told you Christians murderous hypocrites!"

Speaking as someone who does hold a weaker form of the opinion expressed in the OP ("If you really, truly believe abortion is mass-murdering babies, why don't you respond the way most people would to the mass-murder of babies?"), no, it's not an unprincipled stick to beat Christians with. (Christians aren't the only pro-lifers, you know.) It's gauging how serious someone is about their stated beliefs.

When a pro-lifer does actually blow up an abortion clinic, I don't say "Hah, I knew Christians were murderous hypocrites!" I say, "That guy actually believed his own rhetoric."

FWIW, I do not think Christianity is particularly "bad," and I strongly suspect the OP of being a troll.

Yeah, well, you hang around here, you're an exception.

Take Trump (yes, unhappily, I have to go there). A lot of comment was about "if the Republicans truuuuuuly believed what they say about abortion (fill in the rest yourself)". Many times it was "then they'd make abortion a crime and prosecute doctors who perform them".

Trump comes along and does an interview where he goes "yeah, criminalise it". Cue all the shocked, shocked! faces. Here's a brief story from the BBC:

Donald Trump on abortion - from pro-choice to pro-prison

Some other Republican politician or other, I can't remember the guy's name and I can't be bothered Googling, went much stronger. Again, shocked pikachu from the "if they really believed what they say..." crowd.

Nobody went "They believe their own rhetoric", they went "We told you they were cruel misogynists who hate women and want to control them".

So I'm burned out on the "if pro-lifers/Christians really believe abortion is so wrong, why don't they..." type of questions.

OP may be a troll, but he/she/they/it/xe may be the type of troll that usually poses this kind of question everywhere online. "I ask this so if you say 'no' I can call you a hypocrite who only wants to control women's sexuality, and if you say 'yes' I can call you a monster who only wants to control women's sexuality".

"but he/she/they/it/xe" - I rarely feel insulted by an internet comment but this kind of hurts my feelings.

" Donald Trump on abortion - from pro-choice to pro-prison": This was one of Trump's finest moments. Notice how the willingness to say the obvious seems anti-correlated with personal Christianity. It's not Fundies leading the fight against woke depravity, but de-facto pagans who'd have been libertarians (or communists) in a different world.

If you don't want to get lumped in with the stereotype you shouldn't trying so hard to live up to it.

More comments

The average well-adjusted person doesn't even take the written precepts of their religion literally and to their full conclusion, let alone those principles (like "abortion = murder" in many variants of Christianity) that are not written in any holy book but belief in which is only mediated by social context and gets its colour of religious law in part through understanding that tribal customs and explicit religion derive legitimacy from one another and to question one is to threaten both. (I reckon that's how in the US many appear to wind up with the vague or explicit feeling that taxation and socialism is unchristian, too.)

I think that "If you really think about it, wouldn't it be morally imperative to kill all the abortionists?" is an idea that is only likely to occur to the minority of people who believe that thinking about moral precepts and coming to unexpected conclusions is a valid and worthwhile way to guide your actions (as opposed to acting in the way that will invite approval from your social group and only invoking precepts phatically to reinforce group identity). Probably, if you post here, you are more likely to fall into that class of people; compare the folklore notion that engineers were overrepresented in ISIS.

Well, yes, but actually no?

I don't think I have anything useful to say about what is or is not obligatory in Christianity, but I don't think Christianity is really at the center of your imaginings here. The very, very broad framing of this question is, essentially, "when is it permissible to deliberately end a human life?"

One answer a lot of people buy is "at some point before that life becomes self-sustaining" (i.e., abortion). Another answer a lot of people buy is "in defense of other (e.g. innocent) life." People who disagree with the former and agree with the latter have a moral framework in which it would appear permissible to end the lives of people who deliberately abort babies.

But we also live in a society where we have agreed that only certain people are allowed to end lives. No matter how much we might believe that someone's life should be ended, we aren't generally allowed to do that ourselves. Mostly this is government does it (police and military) but medical practitioners are also often licensed to do it (abortion, euthanasia).

Some people decide that their beliefs about proper killing make it impossible for them to, in good conscience, remain citizens of their nation. So they immigrate, or go "off the grid," or whatever. People do this with regard to war, to overpolicing, I assume some people do it with regard to abortion as well. But most people instead participate in the political process of trying to make sure that authorized dealers of death in their community are not dealing death in unethical or immoral ways. We don't always get what we want from our government, but taking killing into one's own hands constitutes a rejection of government altogether, and is very likely to end badly for those who do it.

I regard abortion as utterly horrific. I would not in principle oppose the death penalty for abortion providers, though my actual preference is rather more libertarian than this, partly because I think the standard list of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life are all persuasive exceptions to the general rule (similarly, I support the death penalty for other kinds of murder, too, in principle but not usually in practice). But in practice criminalizing abortion would be an absolute disaster, at least if attempted in America. Culturally, most people do not have a strong moral or religious commitment to the protection of nascent human life. Most people are simply unwilling to weigh the interests of the unborn that heavily. This might make some of them hypocrites, I suppose, depending on what other things they believe. But this is a real "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" conundrum. Probably none of us is completely happy with our government's current "who it's okay to kill" list. But most of us are also not okay with bearing the cost of changing that list. We are all of us always balancing a plurality of interests in our own lives, and what emerges from all these collective balancings may not be completely to your liking, but that doesn't mean your only option is violent reprisal against your enemies.

After all, Christianity also says, "the meek shall inherit the earth."

I think it's possible that this post is the answer, or at least part of the answer, to a question that's been kicking around in my brain for a while, which can be poorly summarized as "if Christians are opposed to abortion because they believe it is a sin, and therefore are motivated to exercise their voting rights to vote for politicians who promise to make it illegal (or appoint SC judges who would overturn Roe, clearing the way for making it illegal), surely they should also be voting for politicians who promise to make other things that they believe are sins illegal, including not being Christian."

I kind of assume that the reason (American) Christians aren't lobbying to make not being a Christian illegal is because it's just so completely outside of the (American) Overton window. But maybe there's another reason.

I might, perhaps, be incorrect in the assumption that the primary reason many/most Christians are anti-abortion is "because it makes God mad". After all, I've read plenty of well-written posts on this site and its predecessors putting forth philosophical arguments for why abortion is wrong that don't have any reference to theology or the supernatural. I've spent the past approximately five years arguing fairly passionately with anybody I think will listen that pro-lifers don't hate women, or want to make America a theocracy, they just believe a fetus is a living human with the same right to state protection from murder as any other living human, etc., on the basis of these posts.

However, more recently I've noticed that everybody making these well-written philosophical arguments also just so happens to be either a Christian, or somebody super concerned about falling Western birth rates, or somebody who just thinks that kids are the best and everybody should have more than they currently do...or some combination of all three. (If I'm wrong, please correct me, any anti-Western child-hating atheist pro-lifers out there.) So I'm no longer trying to convince anybody in my circle that they should listen more to what pro-life people are saying, any more than I would try to convince hardcore 2nd-amendment believers to listen to what the people lobbying for universal background checks and high-capacity magazine bans are saying, because I know that they (gun enthusiasts) know that they (anti-gun activists) ultimately want private firearms ownership either completely banned or made incredibly rare and highly socially stigmatized.

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But in practice criminalizing abortion would be an absolute disaster, at least if attempted in America.

Re-criminalising, because it used to be a criminal offence pretty much everywhere. But yes, you can't put the genie back in the bottle. You have a generation of people who demanded abortion or accepted it once it was legal, and a generation of their kids who grew up with abortion being normal. And now the next new generation being told that abortion is a human right, it is healthcare.

Telling them that it should be a criminal offence sounds to them like trying to make having your tonsils removed a criminal offence.

Telling them that it should be a criminal offence sounds to them like trying to make having your tonsils removed a criminal offence.

Or banning explosives or light bulbs or plastic bags or gas-powered generators or raising the age of marriage or...

Just because something has long been legal doesn't mean it can't be made illegal at the stroke of a pen.

This logic is never applied to any other circumstance.

If someone is attempting to murder a regular child the regular american celebrates the person who violently stops them. If a mass shooter strikes the ordinary non-governmental person who runs in to shoot them is celebrated as a hero. We have an entire culture based around celebrating the idea of resistors to nazi occupation, or the british, and who actively imagines violence against a hypothetical tyrannical government ALL THE TIME.

And yet the question of guerilla violence against abortion doctors "Child murders" in this logic... is not only not done, it is not even discussed as a question except by pro-lifers saying "Look obviously you don't believe this... you aren't even willing to discuss violence"

I can even count the number of nations that have been bombed in my lifetime, and certainly can't count the number where bombings have been openly discussed by the common laymen... the number of people who have suggest the death penalty for drug dealers, or going and vigilante turning back illegal immigrants, or punching facist, or standing up to communists...or defending the enviroment... or defending your property from enviromentalists.

Talk of escalating to lethal violence is the NORM of political discussion. People regularly praise fathers who kill pedos, or mothers who go vigilante on killers of family members... or hell women who cut the dicks off of boring dates they often never even subsequently accuse of sexual assault (people will praise just literal crazy people for maiming others)

hell VIOLENCE is the logical end of all politics... that what we're discussing when we discuss politics, who we'll organize to employ violence against... do you think taxes are backed up with only letters?

.

And yet the only issue where there is no talk that violence could be justified, where there is zero tough talk of escalating to lethal solutions... just so happens to be the one where its claimed millions of children are being murdered.

I've literally heard more earnest talk in my life of escalating to violence over drag queen story hour, or Milo giving a speech on campus, than I've ever heard over abortion.

Do you not find that weird!?

And then you get even to the legal state backed solutions... and there are no teeth. No one proposes charging women who get abortions with homicide (meanwhile you hear howls for blood when it comes to mother of born children who kill their kids), there's very little discussion of even charging abortion doctors... You'd think talks of the death penalty for abortion doctors would be really common given they're supposedly SERIAL MURDERERS OF CHILDREN.

.

Somehow this one issue, the holocaust of millions of children, is the one issue in politics people just seem to never get overly worked up about. contrast how much violence there was over a few hundred police shootings a year... or a single "'stolen election'"... or merely being forced to use a coivd passport, and be restricted from engaging in civic life.

Did any anti-lockdown pro-lifers look at lockdowns and the the covid authoritarianism... and when a comrade compared it to Nazi Germany say to them:

"What the hell are you talking about? Medical passports? Restricted economic activity? Maybe making Quarantine camps? That's low level 1930s stuff! Regime "Doctors" murdered almost one million CHILDREN last year alone. And they did the same the year before that. AND THE YEAR BEFORE THAT! We've been at 1945 sheer moral horror EVERY YEAR OF OUR FUCKING LIVES. And you're talking about them starting to maybe make camps!? We've been living in one of the top 5 worst regimes in human history, at a perpetual midnight of horror, for 50 years!"

.

No pro-lifer thinks like that. None sit around cursing the day Washington was born, that had any moment in US history changed, maybe if the British or French had held control, none of this would have happened. None sit around wondering maybe if the south, or the Kaiser, or Hitler, or Caececescu had won... maybe 1 million children wouldn't be murdered every year...almost none sit around praying for biblical judgement to destroy DC like Gomorrah or Jericho. But its exactly what their own axioms would suggest.

Pro-lifers don't do that. They don't openly suggest the day of the rope is coming for abortion doctors, they don't openly speculate about getting their hands on the medical files and tracking down every murderous woman who dared be party to killing their own child. They don't discuss this. They don't fantasize about it. They don't hint at it.

What would be the advantage to doing so, from the perspective of actual Christians? We don't believe that a better world is possible. We don't believe that we can build heaven on earth, or perfect humanity. If we did those things, the world would be more or less equally sinful after we did them, and possibly moderately worse for a while. What would we be accomplishing?

What Christian end, specifically, is advanced by engaging in mass lawless violence to suppress abortion?

No pro-lifer thinks like that.

No pro-lifer thinking like that is presented to you through the dozens of filters designed explicitly to suppress such ideas.

almost none sit around praying for biblical judgement to destroy DC like Gomorrah or Jericho. But its exactly what their own axioms would suggest.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

Why would you expect us to?

You don't, again, appear to have the slightest conception of what Christians are, what they aim for and value. You worship violence, purportedly in service of ideals, but violence is easy and largely pointless. Life, stable, purposeful, fruitful life, that's hard. Building durable relationships, durable communities, that's hard, and valuable, and no amount of motorcycle warlords can or will replace it. The future belongs to those who show up. Christians are pretty good at showing up. Are anarchists? Fifty years from now, when my children are taking over for me, will your children be taking over for you? And even this line of argumentation is, at best, an attempt to frame the relevant issues into a secular frame, but that is not our frame and never will be.

At the end of the day, we don't care about the things you care about the way you care about them. And so you and others will continue to be mystified, and resort to absurdities to try to grok behavior that seems, to you, completely irrational.

I can't tell whether you are cherry-picking or whether you're just missing empirical data, here.

This logic is never applied to any other circumstance.

It applies all the time. I did not specifically discuss the phenomenon of "defense of self or others" exceptions because they are exceptions, and they don't always stick. You might have to prove to a court of law that your justification or excuse is actually legitimate (see e.g. Rittenhouse). Even the military and police must sometimes do this! I did not specifically discuss the phenomenon of revolutionaries (failed or succeeded) because those are historical points where people have decided to pay the price of changing the list, so to speak. All your counterexamples are explained by the logic I presented. They are just examples where either the law still has the final say, or the law itself is being cast down in pursuit of something better.

VIOLENCE is the logical end of all politics

No, violence is the failure mode of all politics. Violence is what happens when the polity fails, either internally or diplomatically. I agree that taxes depend on the government's monopoly on force. I agree that the threat of legal repercussion is a violent threat! But that is not the end, it is not the telos. The end of all politics is cooperation and coordination.

And yet the only issue where there is no talk that violence could be justified, where there is zero tough talk of escalating to lethal solutions... just so happens to be the one where its claimed millions of children are being murdered.

Are you sure about that?

I don't want to give the wrong impression. A fair number of acts of violence have been committed in defense of abortion, too. But it's like maybe you've never heard about clinic bombings? The idea that there is "no talk" about violence in these cases is laughable. We're talking about it right here. But it's certainly outside the Overton window, and there are many voices against abortion keeping their efforts deliberately inside the Overton window.

You'd think talks of the death penalty for abortion doctors would be really common given they're supposedly SERIAL MURDERERS OF CHILDREN.

The fact that there is any talk at all of such things is pretty remarkable, I think! Because this particular issue is one where high-pressure psychological warfare has been waged against generations of Americans. I don't know what your bar for "really common" is, but I would certainly not call this kind of talk uncommon. I do have an unusually religious extended family, though, so maybe I just hear it more than you do?

No pro-lifer thinks like that.

I mean... you're just wrong about that. Especially here:

None sit around wondering maybe if the south

Visit the South, man.

But its exactly what their own axioms would suggest.

Most people don't live life on their own axioms. Most people can't imagine even trying. First of all, most people's axioms are sweepingly incoherent. I suspect many people haven't got much in the way of "axioms" at all, and I am sure that most people have absolutely terrible reasoning capabilities. Those who are smart enough to think carefully about the idea that a holocaust-level extermination event has been condoned by our government are also smart enough to recognize that there is approximately fuck-all they can do about it unless they want to get into the "murder and terrorism political revolution business." And life is otherwise good enough that the balance scales don't--usually--tip that way for them. Bread and circuses go a long way toward calming a troubled conscience.

And you can be disdainful of that, if you like; damning people for lacking the courage of their convictions is certainly a hobby of mine. But I think it is a bridge too far to simply tell people that they don't believe what they claim to believe. I don't know you, but given the tenor of many of your posts, I have a sneaking suspicion that you genuinely hold some beliefs on which you do not act to the utmost. I suspect almost everyone can be described in this way. Aristotle observed that man is not merely, as Plato asserted, the rational animal, but the political animal. We are interdependent, and often willing to bear heavy burdens to preserve the polity. I think a lot of pro-life Christians are not being hypocrites, but being deeply tolerant, despite weeping rivers over it, in a way that might only be described as quintessentially Christian.

There is a profound difference between being ready to act on your axioms immediately, and being willing to merely say it.

The communists were willing to talk about reigns of terror and liquidating the borgesoise decades before they ever got close to a revolution, ditto facists, likewise neocons, likewise libertarians.

Its really normal for people with political commitments to say "Yes ideally we'd pursue this violently. No we're not doing it now, we don't think we'd win"

Pro-lifers don't do that. They don't openly suggest the day of the rope is coming for abortion doctors, they don't openly speculate about getting their hands on the medical files and tracking down every murderous woman who dared be party to killing their own child. They don't discuss this. They don't fantasize about it. They don;t hint at it.

That makes them damn fucking unique amongst political movements.

Hell My fucking mother was big into the anti-lockdown stuff and her, her friends, and the commentators they follow commonly discuss the Nurremburg precedent and the possibility of hanging everyone involved in passing or enforcing lockdowns...

Many of these same people are Pro-lifers... Damn if that's what they dream of doing over restricted movemnent, what do you think they talk about doing to people who've systematically murdered millions of children every year?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Its really normal for people with political commitments to say "Yes ideally we'd pursue this violently. No we're not doing it now, we don't think we'd win"

You and I have very different ideas of what's normal. I've never heard anyone say that, not even online. I'm sure there are some people but it's quite rare.

On the flip side, I do have some pro-life friends who have talked about violence against abortionists.

So uh, you're just wrong. At best you can say that there seems to be less advocacy for violence among pro-lifers than among most political groups, but that's hardly surprising when you're selecting for some of the most religious people out there.

Don’t forget the other murderers in this murder conspiracy: the mothers-to-not-be. Murderers who in most cases don’t consider themselves such. Women told by their society that ridding themselves of this clump of cells and ending the nine-month insane transformation early is their science-given right and is a good and noble thing they do. Do they deserve a bullet in their heads too? Oh wait, that would kill the baby. Keep her locked up and force-fed vitamins, then seize her child as soon as it’s born and execute her? What a nightmare! (But she deserves it, she was going to slaughter her child in cold blood…)

And what of the police? A hail of gunfire for the would-be rescuer would only be the beginning. Politicians anywhere to the right of Hillary Clinton will be subject to immediate, intense demands that they publicly denounce such vile, vicious acts of terrorism. Anyone who didn’t would be subject to more intense media demonization than even Donald Trump was.

The women in the clinic would be treated as the victims of something worse than rape: right-wing extremism. They would be flown at taxpayer expense to another abortion clinic in the lap of luxury, where their children would die anyway.

So it would take an intense nation-wide effort, organized by militias and timed to occur on a specific day and time. One whiff of such an operation, and the FBI would come down on them harder than Hunter S. Thompson going cold turkey. And if it was pulled off, the screaming and anguish of feminists would be unbearable.

And all of that might, might be worth it to save children being slaughtered at the rate of one 9/11 every two days. But the souls of the women and doctors and moderates would forever be lost, because by their modern liberal standards and the mutated hearsay cultural ideas of Christian doctrine, only a false religion kills in the name of its god, only a false religion has to kill. And the irony is they’d actually be right this time.

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Murdering the flesh and spilling the blood of the babykillers would only feed the rulers of the darkness of the world, and tighten their grip. That’s not Effective Heroism.

Instead, pregnancy crisis centers which don’t pull dirty tricks offer life to children and salvation to their mothers, according to their consciences and free wills. You can tell they’re effective because “Jane’s Revenge” is targeting them specifically for destruction, and the left’s best weapons for community change, the media, are castigating them for their existence.

There seems to be intra-jewish elite culture war - the same way wokeness is intra white elite civil war. What I notice is that American Jews that are not ultraorthodox are sacrosanct. Any cultural attack against them is done with swiftly. Israel, the ultraorthodox and the Zionists - not so much. I am fairly sure that if Kanye was lashing against them he could have gotten with way way more relatively. Right now in the polite spaces you can trash Israel as much as you like and get pat on the head.

I do have to wonder where guys like Neil Druckmann stand in the culture war though, this guy is Israeli and reviled in the GamerGate tribe for pushing feminism in gaming, and bringing in Sarkeesian... who's also made pro-Palestine tweets. But apparently, TLOU2's supposed Israeli politics stand below feminist and trans politics in the oppression hierarchy, I don't see much woke pushback against this as there is the anti-woke pushback against the aforementioned. So basically, brownie points against the anti-wokes > rebuking the Israeli politics.

Oh I definitely believe so too, my point was more about the perception of Israeli patriotism since I don't recall him being outwardly critical of the IDF's excesses either. His silence may mean something else to the hardcore pro-Palestine activists.

Even among top exchanges, it's not like they are all run by Jews. Binance ( Changpeng Zhao), Coinbase (Brian Armstrong ), Bitstamp, etc. Based on my research on crime and stuff of that nature, I don't see Jewish overrepresentation at all among criminals. It's usually poor whites and blacks that commit small crimes, and gentiles that commit the really big financial frauds (along with the occasional Jew, such as Madoff). Plenty of gentiles commit huge frauds too, such as Elizabeth Holmes, Allen Stanford, Bernie Ebbers, and the entire c-suite at Enron. It's possible it seems like Jews commit fraud at a higher rate because there are not that many of them relative to gentiles, but in the financial services sector, it does not seem like Jews are less honest than other groups. If you look at a list of some of the biggest fraudsters, it's not like it's all Jews or all 'x', but a surprisingly diverse mix. But the fact his contract was terminated without any hesitation shows that crypto is not 'safe' from the sort of cancelation seen elsewhere.

Have you been asleep the last week or what?

Have you not heard of the saga of Effective Altruist Crypto Goblins, headed by someone with the very apt name of Samuel Bankman-Fried who are now suspected of creating a fraud of positively Madoffian proportions, a big sucking hole worth billions? Great nice details, such as secret tools to evade audits, crypto accounts transferring stuff after it whole blow, millions per minute ?

SBF called himself an 'ethical maximalist'.

Madoff, wasn't he a Jew ? He looked like one, and that name. Hmm.

That SBF was second biggest single donor to Biden's campaign is just the cherry on top of an especially delicious cake.

As someone aptly summed it up on twitter, the FTX case's optics are so bad that Julius Streicher would have been unable to make them even a bit worse.

Based on my research on crime and stuff of that nature, I don't see Jewish overrepresentation at all among criminals

Siri, tell me which country had an entire sector of economy based on online fraud?. (though sector might be a bit generous, just a couple of thousand employees. Enough to keep lobbying parliament though! ). Supposedly been shut down now.

One could certainly make the case Jews are not underrepresented among finance crooks.

Madoff, wasn't he a Jew ?

I literally mentioned that in my post

I still don't see how you can go with the line of 'Jews don't do much fraud' in the same week as a person who could not look or seem anymore like an antisemitic stereotype unless he were exclusively photographed pawing helpless women is running away after committing epic amounts of financial frauds.

I'm not sure whether they're overrepresented, and would not money on them being so.

Maybe possibly mildly (20-30%), because again, their high verbal intelligence allows them better abilities at rationalizing away misdeeds than other people have.

Yes. This ☝️. Lifelong grifter, former Nikola CEO, and now-convicted felon Trevor Milton is a Utah Mormon. But what does that really tell anyone about fraud without it being placed in a broader context?

I mean, that line of argument makes sense to me. I strongly disagree with it on pretty much every level, but I do think there's an internal consistency to it. If you're going to have an identitarian worldview based around critical concepts of power distribution...that's going to strongly push towards anti-Semitism. Now, I think a lot of people make exceptions and keep things separate in their minds. This isn't a blanket accusation of bigotry. But at the same time, I do think there are consequences to ideas. I do think they have logical outcomes for people who take the ideas seriously and apply them to the world around them. Again, I'm not saying those outcomes are automatically good or correct, or even universal or automatic. Like I said, I think there's a lot of people who don't take these ideas seriously and don't apply them to the world. Just to make that clear.

"We aren’t ‘denying’ there’s a lot of powerful Jews and that many Jewish groups wield great influence. We just don’t give a fuck because that tells you next to nothing about anything important." - Haz

Next to nothing is still something. Contrary to HBD-informed opinions popular in rationalist circles, Jews are a people, not just a sample with higher IQs, like Ph.D holders. Accordingly, they have such as thing as Jewish culture. Some assert it's the culture of hard work, curiosity and striving for justice, or whatever. This is not borne out by research. However, this culture does have a lot of exclusive content. For example, it has the notion of chuzpah, a peculiar moral failing and occasionally strength:

Chutzpah amounts to a total denial of personal responsibility, which renders others speechless and incredulous ... one cannot quite believe that another person totally lacks common human traits like remorse, regret, guilt, sympathy and insight. The implication is at least some degree of psychopathy in the subject, as well as the awestruck amazement of the observer at the display. …"that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Disregard for consequences befalling others aside, chutzpah has many faces as a general cognitive-strategic attitude. Chutzpah is the hope that you might be a miracle worker and the belief that «there is a crack in everything», as the Messiah wannabe Leo Cohen sang. Chutzpah is extreme rules-lawyering, the denial that laws of Nature and Nature's God are ontologically different from laws and customs of men. Chutzpah is first-order utilitarianism when you're really sure that you have noticed the skulls and divined the golden road betwixt their piles. Chutzpah is having your cake and eating it too. Chutzpah is paying for something with nothing squared, tokenized collateral of your own futures, crypto farts sniffed by friendly SEC regulators, in the name of giving well. Chutzpah is Harry Yud-Potter gaming every challenge via Time Turner, and Unsong's Karma Houdini of a moral lesson: Comet King overdosing on selfish sinfulness to go to Hell to recarve the Universe without the facet of Evil. Chutzpah is whatever the fuck Yevno Azef was doing and what had caused Lavon affair and guided Soros and Berezovsky and Sacklers and keeps Netanyahu in power, and so on and so forth, permeating the book of history. Chutzpah is hacker's mindset, «one weird trick» praxis, cheerful «high decoupler» insanity of the Ratsphere that begets Sneerclub, and the antithesis of the entire edifice of traditional Christlich, Hajnal line, Western civilization – that is built on predictable cooperation and law of equivalent exchange, viscerally felt as truth.

Arguably it was necessary to kickstart modern finance and enable centuries of sustained economic growth. Maybe it's a mental trait needed to transcend this local optimum and pull humanity kicking and screaming into the era of post-scarcity. But in practice it's more about callous exploitation, «X affair» and «Y-gate», broken lives and burned trust and destroyed roads to better future.

Yes, it is «condemned». Except by Alan M. Dershowitz (who just got settlement with regards to that Epstein sex trafficking stuff):

“Chutzpah” is rich with what Dershowitz characterizes as the essential quality of Jewishness-- rachmones , which Dershowitz defines as “the Hebrew-Yiddish word for compassion .”

Dershowitz, for instance, is currently championing the cause of Jonathan and Anne Pollard, a pair of American Jews who confessed to espionage on behalf of Israel, and he noisily condemns the fretfulness and timidity that some Jewish leaders have displayed toward the Pollard case, the “ sh’a shtill (keep quiet) mentality” of an earlier immigrant generation.

“The time has come for us to shed our self-imposed second-class status . . . and rid ourselves of our pathological fear of offending our ‘hosts,’ ”…

“The byword of past generations of Jewish Americans has been shanda --fear of embarrassment in front of our hosts. The byword of the next generation should be chutzpah --assertive insistence on first-class status among our peers.”

And he had enough pull to cancel one condemner, at least.

As one lives, one starts to notice this peculiarity, even without familiarizing oneself with Jewish self-reflection. It's just as glaring as high IQs if not more so. But it's more costly to point out – although of course even the IQ stuff can get you slammed hard if you don't spin it just right, that is, with enough chutzpah.

Fortunately Coindesk can cancel a black guy for a Hot Take about Jews in the FTX case. Unfortunately, Coindesk (apparently Jewish-owned) isn't above casually taking shots at other broad demographics who allegedly dominate the industry. This kind of particularism is a major factor behind one of the oldest prejudices in the world – one could say, one of the oldest stereotypes. That's what, three special features already? And you can take issue with zero of them.


But, really, all those righteous noises are beside the point for a common man. The point is: on the level of personal decisionmaking, do your beliefs pay rent?

Like they ask you in the Russian prison: there are two chairs. Say, you're a normal rationalist, it's mid-2022, and you want to use an exchange to park some of your crypto in a token. So, there are two major exchanges.

  • One is a shady operation that started in China and is ran from Singapore; it has «no headquarters» because «decentralized ethos», can't officially operate in the US and is investigated by DoJ on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. The owner's parents were lowly teachers and he used to work in McDonald's. The company shared data with the warmongering Russian government. Their token chain is a centralized mockery of Ethereum. Really i's a run-of-the-mill scammy crypto gig that grew a bit bigger than others.

  • The other is ran by an «ultra genius and Musk-like doer builder», math wizard of finance, born into the family of Stanford Law School professors, endowed with the citizenship of the freest nation in the world, praised by mainstream media, tradfi players and public intellectuals. He cut his teeth in Jane Street. He testified and lobbied for crypto before Congress, promising to actively cooperate with regulation. He's proudly inspired by Peter Singer (Unsong: «The kabbalistic meaning of “singer” is “someone who tries to be good.” This reading we derive from Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher who explored the depths of moral obligation. Singer called the movement that grew up around him “effective altruism”». His chief advisor is the author of the book «What We Owe The Future» that extols precautionary principle against catastrophic risks on the astronomic scale and timespan. He finances EAs. He's a vegan. He Has A Savior Complex – And Maybe You Should Too.

The first guy's name is «Changpeng Zhao» (赵长鹏).

The latter's is «Samuel Bankman-Fried» (סם בנקמן פרייד).

You're a rationalist, that is, supposed to win. So you shut up and calculate expected value using available priors, and known red flags.

Using only knowledge provided here, whom would you rather entrust with your money? And what would an Antisemite do?

Or rather: what would a crypto-rich Antisemite do upon learning that the champion and savior of crypto is now called Samuel Bankman-Fried?

I rest my case.

…Every few years there's another shande far di goyim, another fractal garbage fire that leaves one speechless in its boldness, instigated by some highly educated, well-connected, too greedy, too horny, too crazy or otherwise too-clever-by-half rich Ashkenazi Jew, a chunk of humanity's wealth wiped out by supreme chutzpah. Another cohort gets singed by the flames and starts noticing patterns, and wondering if there are things which do not leak but are equally beyond the pale. Another round of purges and suppression unfolds, «network contagion» and «spread of hate» are again «checked» by well-funded orgs of extremely concerned people. That cohort learns their lesson, and learns to keep it private too: they now have a prior to trust hyped-up Jews somewhat less, and they know that the only socially acceptable comment on this topic is along the lines of Haz – lest you be branded a bigot and destroyed.

But they'll obstinately overlook credentials, connections, persona and reputation and prefer shady Zhaos and Semenovs and Muchgians to Bankman-Frieds, baffling and disgusting newcomers who pay attention.

So it goes, round and round. It's one of the world's oldest, ugliest prejudices, and we'll sooner figure out all laws of Nature and secrets of Nature's God than learn how to extinguish it for good.

Well, maybe Effective Altruists will build a Singleton with SBF's loot, and it'll find some clever one-and-done solution, but I hope not.

Chutzpah amounts to a total denial of personal responsibility…

Are you quoting something? The link above this line says nothing of the sort. Are you just marking the important bits with italics?

It's quoted verbatim from the Etymology section of that page, though.

Huh, true. Guess I glossed over it. Maybe it's because you changed the order of the sentences (Why?).

I wouldn't agree with the characterization. "Citation needed" seems well placed, at least.

In any case, I pity the people who think חצפה is a negative trait.

Why?

It makes sense for the definition to precede the concrete example, both on the scale of the paragraph and the whole post.

Sam Bankman-Fried. Scam Bankman-Fraud.

Three letters away! I can't believe this is a real thing that happened. A man who was basically named Scam Bankman-Fraud ran a fraudulent, scammy bank. Simulators are getting lazy.

Posted by someone one letter away from Random Danger.

Yeah. My post is built around the theme of EA philosophy, and those four lines are, more than a quote from Cohen, the epigraph to the ו Interlude of Unsong, «There’s A Hole In My Bucket» (p. 131). The interlude ends with:

...My friend Ana informs me of a way around the paradox: some texts say the Messiah will come either in the most righteous generation or in the most wicked. Granting that we’ve kind of dropped the ball on the “most righteous” possibility, I think the wickedness option really plays to our strengths.

Still other texts say the Messiah will come in a generation that is both the most righteous and the most wicked. I don’t even know what to think of that one.

I think I have an idea.

(Damn, the book mentions a butt-load of cracks). Oh right, so here's what I meant to show, p. 548:

[Are things okay over there?] asked Ana.

[Not really] I answered. [Did Acher ever figure out a way to get the consequences of repenting without doing it for the consequences?]

[You’re really upset by this Acher thing.]

[I think... yeah. It’s the idea of something you can’t think your way out of. Something so slippery that just trying to think your way out of it ensures you’ll fail. It just feels... wrong.]

[I don’t know,] Ana answered. [To me it feels, I guess kind of perfect. Does that make sense?]

[Yeah. I think perfect things feel wrong to me. Remember, I used to do cryptography. The whole point was that every code can be broken. Thought is the universal solvent. My advisor at Stanford, he had a saying on his wall. Leonard Cohen verse. “There is a crack in everything.” That’s my philosophy too. Things shouldn’t be perfect.]

[God is perfect.]

[No He isn’t! That’s the whole point of Luria. There is a crack in everything. That’s what I mean. There ought to be a crack in God’s denial of salvation to Acher.]

So it's a bit of a metastable idea, in Scott's mind at least. You might as well give up on getting the maximum value – nothing's ever perfect. But if you really really want and try hard enough, you just might get something better than maximum: you might get something for nothing, cheat math itself and get the Creator to reconsider.


This ties in to my response regarding the nuanced connotation of chutzpah in American English.

And now I beg your forgiveness for a crass but legendary Soviet anecdote.

Petka approaches Vasily Ivanovich and asks:

– Vasily Ivanovich, can you explain what "nuance" means?

– Well, all right, Petka. Now take off your pants...

Petka takes off his pants, and Chapayev begins to fuck him. Petya says:

– Okay, but, Vasily Ivanovich, what is "nuance"?

– Petka, consider the following: you've got a dick in the ass and I've got a dick in the ass. But there's one nuance...


The interlude's best passage is, IMO, the following:

«In theory, we ought to be able to swim around the bottom of the fountain, hunt for the debris, and build it back into functional God-deflectors. Then we need to take the sparks of divine light and use them as an energy source to power the deflectors, and finally arrange the whole system in exactly such a way as to correctly channel the power of God at a human-bearable level. In practice we are sex-obsessed murder-monkeys and all of this is way above our pay grade».

Just so. I hope there are at least no murders to come to light.

a chunk of humanity's wealth wiped out by supreme chutzpah

Not that much wealth was wiped out because there wasn't much there to begin with.

There was a bunch of imaginary internet dollars, people assigned them high valuations based on various hedges and pegs to other imaginary internet dollars. That value was untethered (hah) to anything meaningful as they were neither a medium of exchange nor a store of value, but they were easy to collateralize and so the shit show went on until it couldn't anymore.

That's not to say that no one lost real money, but it's nowhere near the notional value of the deposits held by FTX (or others). If a Nigerian Prince says he'll wire me $7M once I pay his attorney friend $2000 good faith money, I'm only out two grand.

Next to nothing is still something. Contrary to HBD-informed opinions popular in rationalist circles, Jews are a people, not just a sample with higher IQs, like Ph.D holders. Accordingly, they have such as thing as Jewish culture. Some assert it's the culture of hard work, curiosity and striving for justice, or whatever. This is not borne out by research. However, this culture does have a lot of exclusive content. For example, it has the notion of chuzpah, a peculiar moral failing and occasionally strength:

There's a Jewish culture (or cultures), but there's a lot of Jews, at least in the US, who just aren't a part of it. As for chuztpah, except for being a cool Yiddish word, there's nothing exclusive about it; it basically means audacity, or in one sense, "balls". Elon Musk isn't Jewish, but he definitely has chutzpah.

One is reminded that The Odyssey is the story of a travelling swindler

The trickster is an archetype in all cultures

Wait… so The Odyssey is basically the Loki miniseries but focusing on the trickster who invented the Trojan Horse?

Yes, there are many different Jews, and in fact a Jew doesn't have to lose relations with the Tribe to be less given to its peculiar shortcomings. After all, it's internal Jewish analysis that I'm citing, we're all reading our Matt Levine to understand the SBF catastrophe better, Yudkowsky is here to deliver a sermon against naive utilitarian reasoning, and Finkelstein's the one who castigates Dersh in his «Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History». But that's just normal, every group has to be aware of its own failings, if perhaps one-sidedly.

As for the rest, I disagree. Elon Musk's distinguishing character trait is daring, not chutzpah. Sure, to the extent that he's leading us by the nose with Full Self-Driving and indulging in irresponsible stunts on Twitter, there is a chutzpah-like quality too. But his rockets go up and come down, his robot walks and his cars charge and he didn't steal anyone's money to get there. Essentially, he is doing honest work, boldly. Oh, and he doesn't hire poker frauds as his «Chief Regulatory Officers» managing this kind of monstrosity.

Now, had you said «Richard Branson», I'd have agreed wholeheartedly. Elizabeth Holmes – even better. And Martin Shkreli... well, there's a reason JewOrNotJew.Com readers were nervously praying he'll turn out to be a Gentile. It was just too stereotypical. And Mavrodi was Russian-Greek but, again, people had trouble believing it.

I am aware that Gentile Americans have appropriated that word. It doesn't mean what they think it means, just like «one baaaad motherfucker» and «sick bastard» and «this nigga is a stone cold killer» aren't really positive descriptors. The problem is, some people use such descriptors as positive despite having their literal meaning in mind; a bit like Russians who embrace the label of «Orcs». Alan Dershowitz, for instance, uses «chutzpah» in the original sense when he calls for assuming the role of bona fide «first-class Americans» while defending spies of the Jewish ethnostate; a beyond-audacious attitude his Gentile admirers may fail to appreciate even as they read a whole book on it.

It's a somewhat common problem.

Elon "FSD in 2018" Musk didn't steal anyone's money to get there?

Yes, I maintain that it's a peculiar element of Jewish culture, although definitely not some exclusive behavioral pattern.

You're missing the nuance, it seems. Most of the fraud I've seen in my life has been perpetrated by Eastern Slavs, whether in cooperation with other peoples or not. Spanish picaresca is an indisputably Gentile genre. Recently, I've enjoyed watching one Lupin the 3rd movie (sans the leftie moral lesson of «let's punch Nazis and, crucially, break overpowered alien artifacts promising infinite clean energy, yay*), a Japanese take on a French trickster archetype. The Chinese are stereotyped as untrustworthy, which I guess makes CZ only more remarkable. And so it goes.

But fraudsters, tricksters, scammers and chutzpahmancers are qualitatively different. Maybe it's a matter of Bell curves or indeed, verbal tilt. The thing is, chutzpah, at least the kind I talk about here, the hugely consequential kind, looks like this. It's not mere trickery but an unmistakable flavor of in-your-face narcissism and layers upon layers of galaxy brain plotting, the flashy but ultimately degenerate mixture of high and low traits, especially in positions of authority, responsibility and power where people don't expect to see it these days. Or indeed, like TheDag reminds us, consider Adam Neumann. What does one call this nonsense if not chutzpah?

And as for relative trustworthiness of Russians and Chinese: on average, we might not be better. And if I see a Gentile who gets hyped like «SBF», I'll be suspicious. But this very hyping – all this «ultra genius» and «savior» – is not normal and not something Russians and Chinese do. Vitalik is, far as I can tell, a bona fide visionary who didn't simply want to cash in on the crypto craze, and he's rather humble for how grandiose his vision is. CZ is a rogue with low time preference and mild libertarian politics, and he offers a contract I can believe and get behind.

Not so with FTX and Alameda. Accordingly, I have never touched their shit and am very happy for it, although they've still managed to hurt my capital by setting the market in general on fire.

Ehh I don’t think libertarianism is especially Jewish. Hayek wasn’t Jewish. Locke wasn’t Jewish. Smith wasn’t Jewish.

Obviously libertarians have been influenced by Jews (eg Milton and David, Rothbard, Rand).

I rest my case

Do you have any evidence more compelling than a few anecdotes about Jewish fraudsters? Fraud statistics that control for likelihood of being in an appropriate industry and/or being in a position with opportunity, that sort of thing? Because if you're going by individual anecdotes then you're just at the mercy of whichever anecdotes you pay attention to.

By comparison if you were trying to avoid getting mugged you might sometimes get some benefit from crime statistics or (in their absence) at least a sufficiently large and unbiased set of anecdotes. You wouldn't get any benefit from listening to a few media anecdotes and deciding the main criminal threat in the U.S. is white men committing mass-shootings and hate-crimes. Sometimes stereotypes are based on fact but sometimes they aren't. Jewish over-representation in the financial industry is already sufficient to explain an anecdotal over-representation in financial fraud, to show it's more than would be expected based on that you would need a more precise method of analysis.

Well, maybe Effective Altruists will build a Singleton with SBF's loot, and it'll find some clever one-and-done solution, but I hope not.

Excellent post as always, and like some of your others it ties back to this theme. Is TheMotte a safe space for further exploring it, or where do we read more about it? Should I just read Revelation and call it a night?

Excellent post as always, and like some of your others it ties back to this theme. Is TheMotte a safe space for further exploring it, or where do we read more about it? Should I just read Revelation and call it a night?

If you mean, can we talk about Noticing(tm) and write long-winded diatribes barely concealing the core message ("It's Da Joos!") under lots of words, as @DaseindustriesLtd and a couple of others make a hobby of doing, yes, we do not censor any topic or viewpoint per se, so long as you are not advocating violence or just booing an outgroup. However, if by "exploring" you mean "I want to turn this into a white nationalist space to talk about the JQ," no.

I don't understand this line of argument.

A big part of black culture and identity is the idea that the black community has been/is being kept down by "the powers that be". The mainstream woke interpretation of "the powers that be," is that they are white people, specifically white supremacists, who keep black people down by creating systemically racist institutions. The point being made by Kanye and others is that it is not white people as a whole who are "the powers that be", but rather a much smaller subset consisting largely of Jews. The prospect of this becoming a mainstream opinion among the black community is, understandably, terrifying for Jewish people. Thus you see the massive backlash against Kanye, Kyrie, and anyone else who notices the religious heritage of finance and media executives.

none of the major actors besides Fried seem to be Jewish

If Caroline Ellison (CEO of Alameda Research) doesn't turn out to be Jewish I'll donate to the ADL personally. She met SBF at a Wall Street trading firm, her dad is the department head of economics at MIT, and she looks like this.

She is like pulled of out of Big Bang Theory parody how geeky girls should look like ...

I think it’s important to note here that the black working class(statistically the vast majority) are for obvious reasons close to the white working class, and it’s hard to hate your neighbors.

Most working class blacks only see Jews on the Christmas episode of their kid’s tv shows.

Obvious reasons are obvious- if you’re kept down by a shadowy cabal defined along ethnic lines, it’s probably not the one full of your friends and coworkers who are largely ignorant of these efforts.

I think it’s important to note here that the black working class(statistically the vast majority) are for obvious reasons close to the white working class, and it’s hard to hate your neighbors.

I believe history refutes that last assertion. Neighbors hating neighbors goes WAY back.

I don't understand this line of argument.

When you don't understand some argument and want help with that, you should try to explain what in particular you don't understand, which parts you're able to follow and where it loses you, paraphrase confusing parts in your own words to see if you understand it correctly and explain why it sounds unconvincing to you. Just stating that you don't understand without any elaboration sounds like bait.


On a related note, here's a funny tweet from a couple of days ago: https://twitter.com/JGreenblattADL/status/1590722899702591489

There was also a Twitter scuffle last week between Candace Owens and her employer Ben Shapiro.

Candace Owens responded favorably to a Tweet by Max Blumenthal condemning the ADL and calling it out as an instrument of Zionism. Candace said:

You are about to get into a lot of trouble for stating this.

Reminds me of when I said something similar about the NAACP and BLM way back when.

When you disrupt the trauma economy and call out the not-for-profits that benefit from it, you become their next target.

Ben Shapiro did not like Candace's Tweet and called her out publicly. I think Ben Shapiro has basically given up on publicly showing any sort of tact to cover up the contradictions in his disavowal of identity politics for everyone else while very aggressively playing the identity politics game on behalf of his own Jewish identity.

There are was also another message from DR figure parrot arguing against Haz... I don't understand this line of argument.

The line of argument is perfectly demonstrated in the debate between Haz and Richard Spencer which took place earlier this year. The Podcast hosts read a question from an audience donation: "To Haz: How is the West run by Anglo-Saxon elites when even identifying as Anglo-Saxon will get a politician attacked by the entire media?". Haz gives a coherent answer. He talks about the particularities of Anglo-Saxons and how that enables this apparent contradiction. He also talks about how American institutions inherited the power and legacy of the British Empire. He doesn't say anything that Richard or the DR disagrees with. It's the parts he leaves out which are the problem.

Watch what happens when Richard gives his response. Richard starts by essentially granting Haz his argument. But then Haz mutes him when Richard starts talking about Jewish elites in the British and American empire. When Richard is done talking while muted, Haz says "I disagree but I'm on Twitch so I can't talk about or I'll get banned."

You have to see why the DR regards this as so hilariously revealing. Haz shows he is perfectly capable of having a frank discussion on the Anglo-Elites, and their ethnic particularities and historical context, and their use of power as it's waxed and waned and changed form over history. But when it comes to Jewish power Haz throws his hands in the air and just says "you're a schizo if you think that matters", without even trying to explain why it doesn't matter. "It doesn't matter. Also I'll get banned if I talk about it. So I'll just stick with my monologue on how the Anglo Elites are running Western civilization." Come on, it's too much.

Saying "Anglo Elites run Western civilization but you're a schizo if you think Jewish power matters" is just so transparently absurd. The DR are the only ones willing to engage in a frank analysis of both Anglo and Jewish ethnic particularities and power. Nobody says "you can't call slavery a White institution because not many Whites owned slaves and a lot of Whites opposed it!" But if you try to talk about Jewish power you will get a bunch of rhetorical nonsense explaining why you are mentally ill if you acknowledge it and criticize it, or that you are merely perpetuating "one of the oldest prejudices in the world".

It seems the DR figure parrot is generalizing the outgroup. The parrot realizes that the same people who are Jewish apologists attack white overrepresentation, and sees it as hypocrisy. He says, "these people like Haz," so the parrot isn't responding to Haz in particular. There's a few problems with the parrot's argument:

  • Haz probably doesn't whine about white people (from my brief scroll, he seems far too sophisticated for such normie takes).

  • Whites owning slaves or not is only analogous if it was common non-whites owned slaves, too. In that world, the focus on white slaveowners would be unwarranted. Alternatively: it is analogous if all the powerful people in today were Jewish.

This is part of a general pattern where, "Not all Jews are like that bro its just a few that are in power" is shot down as special pleading because absolutely nobody buys that when applied to white overrepresentation. There are other arguments why You Can't Compare Jews And Whites, like the argument from historical oppression, but everyone seems to start with the argument from "don't generalize." Eventually, Jewish apologists will learn this and the conversation can move forward.

I know nothing about the "FTX collapse" so I googled it and started looking up the Early Life section of all the names I could find, and Fried was in fact the only Jew I found. My guess is Jackson was surprised that Fried is Jewish and was banking on everyone else being so surprised that they would just agree, "Jew Powerful" without noticing anyone else.

I know nothing about the "FTX collapse" so I googled it and started looking up the Early Life section of all the names I could find, and Fried was in fact the only Jew I found.

Did you read about their Chief Regulatory Officer?

Whites owning slaves or not is only analogous if it was common non-whites owned slaves, too.

It was common for non-whites to own slaves though. Definitely globally but also in the US before the Civil War.

If you look at the religious affiliation of any powerful group in the U.S., you're bound to do some noticing.

I think the explanation is pretty simple. If Ashkenazi Jews have an IQ about 1 standard deviation above the normal, that means they are 20 times more likely to produce a person with a +3 standard deviation IQ. So in the +3 group, the percentage of people that are Jewish is going to be very noticeable. Then, combine that with network effects. People who are Jewish are much more likely to be connected or even related to these +3 people. Nothing nefarious needs to happen. Just natural talent and connections, both of which Sam Bankman-Fried had in spades.

Why does it seems to be mostly black people who are doing the noticing lately? There's also a simple explanation for that. Post-2020, there has been a huge societal push to give black people extra privileges. Things that would easily get a white person canceled are fine and even encouraged from the black community. So black people feel they have the ability to freely express themselves in a way that white people do not. They are now learning the limits of that ability.

The only thing that feels weird or objectionable about this whole thing is that it's okay to attack non-Jewish white people, but Jewish people are given special protections despite on average being much wealthier and more powerful.

The only thing that feels weird or objectionable about this whole thing is that it's okay to attack non-Jewish white people, but Jewish people are given special protections despite on average being much wealthier and more powerful.

This is my main gripe about this whole thing. As a white gentile I don't even care so much about jewish people disproportionately in positions of power. Its just the special pleading that prevents gentile whites from their own self advocacy in the age of identity politics. Just let all groups undergo in-group nepotism and advocacy or let no groups do so. I don't care which, just not having rules applied fairly is really aggravating.

just not having rules applied fairly is really aggravating.

The story of the 21st Century, perhaps.

I think the explanation is pretty simple. If Ashkenazi Jews have an IQ about 1 standard deviation above the normal, that means they are 20 times more likely to produce a person with a +3 standard deviation IQ. So in the +3 group, the percentage of people that are Jewish is going to be very noticeable.

These are two arguments that are often repeated but don't stand up to scrutiny. The IQ of Jews in the US is not a standard deviation above American whites of European descent. Lynn calculated the verbal IQ score of American jews to be 107.5. Considering 'verbal' subtests are the ones jews tend to score the highest on, a safer estimate for jewish IQ in the US would be 104-109.

Moreover, you are assuming that the people occupying any alleged positions of overrepresentation are extremely intelligent when there is no reason to assume that they are so. It would be a first for me to learn that the correlation between IQ and status within, for example, media and academia would be 1:1. Not to say that many of these people aren't intelligent, but not to the factor of 3+ standard deviations.

On top of that, as you mention, the context of explanation isn't what would fly in the HBD sphere. The public at large has already been taught that these sorts of explanations don't hold any water and are in fact just manifestations of supremacist tendencies and fragility. If these sorts of explanations weren't valid for white people, why would they be valid for jews?

This reminds me of the argument that what leftists call "privilege" should be called "things that everyone is entitled to". Jews aren't getting special protections here, just protections that not everyone has and maybe should.

The only thing that feels weird or objectionable about this whole thing is that it's okay to attack non-Jewish white people, but Jewish people are given special protections despite on average being much wealthier and more powerful.

Why is that weird? Of course you can't criticize the King, that is the normal order of things.

Kings normally acknowledge their own reign. This is more like some bizarre farcical custom where it's exile-worthy rudeness to openly acknowledge the position of the Grand Vizier.

On the culture war and the dark arts of communication

How does the average person come to believe certain messages communicated to them about the culture war? The easiest answer is that this process happens sub or semi-consciously. As Moldbug's Cathedral points out, raising an individual from cradle to majority (or beyond) within a certain world view will, intentionally or unintentionally, impart that world view upon him to a greater or lesser degree. But I am interested in more specific and more practical answers.

We all spend a great deal of time and effort writing and arguing about the culture war but it seems obvious to me that most of the effort remains within a small community and its not in a form suitable for general consumption. But how can it be made suitable?

For example, given adult literacy (see here for examples of the levels) and IQ, what types, lengths, and complexities of messages is a person able to understand? And which of those messages become adopted as personal beliefs?

Take Moldbug or Marx. Clearly, the writings of either author are beyond the reach of the average person. What rules would guide the translation of these works into a form consumable by the average person? How many pieces would their works have to be broken up into? How many ideas could be contained in each piece? How many interactions with a given idea are necessary for a person to understand or agree with it? What grade-level should the text be written in? What tone or voice should be used? What changes are more effective for different segments of the population, men, women, rural, urban, etc.?

Surely there are people skilled in the dark arts of communication, advertising, and psychology which know how to translate* the sorts of things we discuss into a form consumable by the average person. Given that these disciplines are not new, surely there is a handbook of basic principles for crafting such messages? Do we have any practitioners of the dark arts that can provide such resources?

*I looked for an AI that can translate a given text into a text of substantially similar meaning but at a specified (lower) grade level. I have not found any such tool.

Why not use the Bible as the obvious example? It seems to me to be, essentially, the most widely and universally disseminated body of work in existence - not only in translation and availability, but also in preaching, outreach, education, ...

Whatever Christian missionaries were doing, it worked.

Take Moldbug or Marx. Clearly, the writings of either author are beyond the reach of the average person.

These two writers are not comparable at all.

Marx is well within reach of average person (at least in the 19th century was) and was widely read by common workers.

(19th century workers knew who were Metternich and Guizot just like modern workers heard about Merkel and Macron)

Basic principles of Marxism - historical materialism, class struggle as engine of history, labor theory of value - are easy to explain.

Moldbug is not meant for average person, it is meant for educated elites - "open minded progressives" - and it says: time to "formalize" power, time to dispose of the charade of "freedom" and "democracy", time to rule the plebs directly with iron fist. Wouldn't it be better to govern as dukes and princes by divine right instead to have to pretend you "serve the people"?

When workers read Marx, they knew what to do - do not trust the bosses and the politicians, organize with their fellow workers and fight for their rights.

Imagine "ordinary people" today reading Moldbug - what exactly should they do when they finish?

I’ve read Moldbug repeatedly, and I don’t see it as a call to action in any traditional sense. It’s a social and political theory that purports to explain the way society actually works as separated from the propaganda that society tells itself about how decisions are made. In that sense he’s closer to something like Plato’s Republic or Moore’s Utopia in which he’s describing a proposed society as a sort of thought experiment as to how a society ought to be run. He’s not saying “overthrow the government,” he’s saying our current system is more broken than the society of the Middle Ages, so much so that running society in the way that the average medieval fiefdom was run would work better for us than liberal democracy.

I’ve read Moldbug repeatedly, and I don’t see it as a call to action in any traditional sense.

He calls for an action, but not one of ordinary peon. He calls Nancy Pelosi to stop pretending she is "servant of the people", crown herself as Queen of California, put her hobnailed boots on and clean her kingdom of all trash.

he’s saying our current system is more broken than the society of the Middle Ages, so much so that running society in the way that the average medieval fiefdom was run would work better for us than liberal democracy.

Nope. His proposed solutions - whether high tech crypto cyber corporate utopia of young Moldbug or monarchist primitivist Polpotist utopia of old Moldbug - are something that never existed in history, actual medieval society has nothing in common with these fevered dreams.