Friday, November 29, 2013

The Need for Neologisms in Conservatism.

In George Orwell's 1984, Newspeak was a deliberate attempt by controlling totalitarian regime to control thought by limiting the vocabulary of the language. Orwell's genius was in recognising that it was ifficult to form a coherent opposition to any ideology without the appropriate conceptual tools to battle it. Since language was the expression of concepts, a limitation in language would effectively limit the development of concepts or make their expression so clumsy as to open them to misinterpretation. Hence Big Brother's interest in the development of Newspeak as a means of thought control. Orwell reconginsed that words have both meaning and a force to influence ideas. He who controls words also controls thinking and the development of ideas. It's my contention that conservatism has seriously been hampered by a lack of neologisms to explain concepts.

Take, for example, the word, love. Imprecision in its meaning leaves it open to wide misinterpretation. God is Love means different things to different people. To the suffering it means benevolence.  To the lonely companionship. To the modern woman of churchianity it means God does not judge me and wants me to be haaaappy. To modern Churchmen it means God is accepting of everything. The wide variety of meaning means that people aren't talking about the same thing. Yet, in Latin the phrase, God is Love, is quite specifically translated to Deus Caritas Est. Love being translated to the specific, Caritas. The precision of the term renders discussion on the subject meaningful as it excludes other misinterpretations. Conflation in meaning permits conflation errors.

Take another Example. In Ortega y Gasset's book, Revolt of the Masses, he takes a whole chapter to explain the baneful effects of specialisation on eduction, which produces a man who is highly trained in his specific occupation but as ignorant as the average prole in other areas of knowledge. There seems to be no word to describe such a man or such a process, even though millions of such men and women are produced with this quality every year. The lack of a suitable word to describe such individuals makes discussion of the phenomenon difficult.

On the other hand, the neologism,  hypergamy has considerably facilitated the developed of our understanding of female sexuality. At least in the manosphere, the term is used with a fair degree of precision and its uses saves a considerable amount of expressive effort thus facilitating the development of contingent ideas. The term alpha widow is difficult comprehend without a prior understanding of the hypergamy concept.

The point is that ideas and their development are considerably facilitated by the introductions of neologisms which accurately convey concepts and are stymied by their lack.

I have often thought that Orwell's Newspeak dictionary came about as a result of his efforts to understand the pscychology of the mob in totalitarian regimes. There was simply no phraseology to capture the cognitive pathology he observed and thus had to invent neologisms to convey his ideas across. Though, in doing so, he greatly expanded the conservative cognitive capital and its ability to defend itself from the left. The terms doublethink, thought police, Big Brother, thought-crime and prolefeed are now mainstream words amongst the educated. That a man of the Left was the first to accurately describe this phenomenon is an indictment of the state of conservative thought at the time.

Personally, think several different fields of knowledge have developed to such an extent that neologisms are in order to adequately further develop the ideas, particularly with regard to the observed phenomenon of human cognition. My personal interest is the intersection between genetics, cognitive limitation and politics. So I thought I'd coin a few new words (and revisit some old ones) and explain them a bit.

Genopolitics. The influence of genetics on political orientation. There is a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that personality has strong genetic components and that political ideology is linked to personality type. In my post on alpha socialism what I was trying to get across is that the appeal of fascism lay less in its intellectual pretensions rather more upon its appeal to the "gut" of people with certain personality dispositions. Trying to understand Fascism logically fails because its appeal is not rational but instinctual to the hive mind.

Stenognosis. The state of being a specialist in one are of knowledge only.  It is the opposite of being a polymath. Our universities are, every year, producing millions of steongnostics. Proles in everything but their specialty. They are our technocratic elite.

Stenosophism: The human tendency to appreciate the proximate, concrete and immediate to the distant, abstract and  temporally separated. It's the here and nowism of the average human mind.

Autognosis: Instinctive "thought". Proportionality generated by gut feeling. The proposition, for instance, that health care should be free automatically produces as sense of approval in most people. The proposition only starts to be viewed negatively once serious thought is devoted to the subject. It's other name is feel good politics and is the predominant mode of political thought in democratic societies. Strongly influenced by genetics.

Biological vote: The voting patterns that are a consequence of genopolitics and autognosis.

Dysrationalia: The capacity to be stupid despite more than adequate IQ. 

Pseudorationality: The appearance of rationality despite any rational thought.

Rationalist fallacy: The belief that because people are rational in some things they are rational in all things. Being stenosophistic, people are usually rational when discussion simple, local and obvious concepts but become progressively less rational as the subject matter drifts outside their circle of competence.

Koreogamy: What men desire in women. (biologically determined)

These are just a few and I'm not wedded to the terminally but thought that I would put them out there for discussion.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Failure of Conservatism.

An objective analysis of socio-political history would have to conclude that, in the battle between conservatism and liberalism, liberalism has been the winner. Even today's modern "conservatism" is not the conservatism of 1900. It, too, has been heavily influenced by liberal thought. The dividing line between the two ideologies seems more economic rather than social and on socially corrosive issues like divorce, promiscuity, multiculturalism and moral relativism  there appears to little in practice to separate the two mainstream political actors. From this vantage point in time one has to conclude that Conservatism in the 20th Century has failed. In fact, on every issue that Conservatism has taken a position liberalism has trumped it. Some might disagree and argue that conservatives won on economic issues, to which I reply, "Gold standard, anyone?"

The problem with Conservatism is that it has swallowed much of the liberal Kool-Aid and whilst there may be particular factions which espouse a particular truth quite forcefully, for nearly every faction that espouses one conservative truth it does it with an admixture of other liberal errors.  Modern American and British Conservatism seem to bee prime examples of this admixture. In fact, it's my opinion that American conservatism could quite easily slide into some form of South American (Not German) Fascism if it is not too careful, so bad is the mixture.

If God were not on our side then I would consider Conservatism a hopeless cause. Surveying the field I see liberalism triumphant in every corner, the persecution of Christians, it's final development, is begining and hard times are about to be on us. Still, God has matched us with this hour and, presumably, thought us up to task. Therefore, our duty is to get our arse into gear and start rebuilding the temple. The question is, where to begin?

I suppose the first task is to work out where we went wrong, where the movement failed, if for no other reason to stop making the same mistakes. An audit of Conservatism is in order.

It's my view that the Conservative movement has made several fundamental errors which are contributing to its destruction. Some of which are due to historical circumstances and some of which are due to poor thinking on core ideology, particularly, with regard to human nature. If I were to issue a Syllabus of modern Conservative Errors I suppose I would want to include the following in the list.

1) The embrace of universal democracy. i.e. One man, one vote. In principle, this is a noble ideal but in practice is toxic to good governance. The average man is a moron, albeit a good natured one who simply lacks the cognitive expertise (or inclination) to contribute meaningfully to good management of society. He is also the soft underbelly of society, whom the Cathedral relies on to implement it social policies.  The whole aim of Cathedral ops is to condition not convince Joe Average into acting in accordance with their wishes. Since the stupid and gullible outnumber the wise and prudent it's a no-brainer to see who will win this contest in a universal democracy.  When you make the world safe for universal democracy you're making the world safe for liberalism.

Note, this isn't an argument for or against monarchy or oligarchy. Political power should be invested into those who have skin in the game and into those who have the capacity to exercise it wisely.  The idea that every man is wise and prudent is a falsehood. T

2) Moral relativism. What this does is making Conservatism  a "value lite" form of political governance. The values being filled in by liberalism. Divorce, for instance, is not just a religious question but one with societal and therefore political consequences. A Conservatism which fails to make some value judgements is conservatism that cannot govern properly. It also opens the door to all sorts of other evils. How do you stop multiculturalism when emasculate yourself by refusing to assert the superiority of your own culture?

3) High Anglicanism. Modern conservatism is strongly influenced by English thought and habit. Front loaded into this cultural heritage is the concept of "niceness" or agreeableness. As people like Malcolm Muggeridge have noted, the High English custom is to prefer good mannered evil to coarse mannered good. Anglo-Conservatives tend to be extraordinarily nice people. The problem is that a man needs to be good before he is nice.  Sometimes you just have to offend.

4) Tradition. Tradition, in my mind has been both the blessing and bane of Conservatism. The mindless worshiping of it has stymied Conservatism's ability to deal with new realities and allowed the Left to outflank it when it comes to "solving" novel problems. The industrialisation of the West, which bought about brand new social realities,  blindsided the Conservative movement and enabled the liberal establishment to become established. Agrarianism, which seems to find a home in conservatism, is one such school of thought which seem to prefer that industrialism went away. The problem is, so do the  material conditions of modern life.  You need an industrial society to produce MRI machines.

Now tradition is good, insofar as it gives us an accurate understanding of reality. Where tradition is evil is where it proposes something that is contrary to reality.  The problem with traditionalists is that they can't make that distinction and this is a real problem, especially given the history of the conservative movement, where the traditionalists have been the ones who have done most of the heavy lifting.

It's got to be admitted that the traditionalists were the only ones keeping the "light on" during the very dark days of the conservative movement in the later half of the 20th Century. This has given them a certain amount of moral authority but the fact remains that the movement slid during their watch. Men like Kirk, Oakshott, Babbit and Buckly did the yeoman work of the time and need to be acknowledged but, ultimately, their strategy failed. The problem with ensconcing these individuals to quasi mythical status is that their take on conservatism becomes the offical line. When some new upstart with ideas proposes something contrary to their vision, their immediately labelled unconservative by being untraditional and categorically trown into the liberal camp. Cue Roissy.

But there does seem to be some flickering of life at least in that old bastion of reactionary conservatism, Catholicism. In a speech heavily critiqued by Anarchopapist, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez stated:
The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council. On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue. Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person.
This is exactly the same line of thought as taken by the giant of American Conservatism in the 20th Century, Whittaker Chambers. He seemed to be the only one doing the deep thinking. The old world had serious problems, which were amped by industrialisation and which the conservative institutions of society were not able to provide any solutions to. The vacuum was filled by modernism which provided even worse solutions. This theme, of rigid old and stupid new, was picked up by another guy who gets a lot of heat from the Traditionalist Right, Pope Francis. (I wonder if he reads this blog)

In this meditation by Pope Francis, which did not get much press in the mainstream media he says;
There are two temptations to face at this moment in the Church’s history: drawing back[Ed:Traditionalism], because we are afraid of the freedom that comes from the law “enacted in the Holy Spirit”; and giving in to an “adolescent progressivism”, namely, the inclination to follow the most captivating values presented by prevailing culture.
That's Whittaker Chambers talking.

We have been so fixated by the overt assault by liberal modernism that we've not noticed the covert enemy within.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


Some of you might remember my post on Stenosophism.

A great article in the Washington Times beautifully illustrating the concept.

California resident: ‘I was all for Obamacare’ until I got the bill.

The comments section makes for interesting reading; Quite a bit of Red Pill there. Remember, this isn't about Obamacare but about how democracy really works.

Friday, November 01, 2013

A Failure of Manhood.

Time to revisit this important speech:
A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales as to how realistic, reasonable, and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And the decline in courage, at times attaining what could be termed a lack of manhood[Ed}, is ironically emphasized by occasional outbursts and inflexibility on the part of those same functionaries when dealing with weak governments and with countries that lack support, or with doomed currents which clearly cannot offer resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard.