Utopian Misanthropes

It probably says something about us that we accept the dystopian future of Orwell as being to some degree inevitable, despite the fact he has proven to be wrong about most things. He was not wrong about everything. He got communism right in Animal Farm. His critique of writing is timeless and is probably more applicable today than in his era. On the other hand, the future is not “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Not even close. The future is a bot making sure you never get your feelings hurt or have a bad day.

In that regard, Huxley has proven to be the more prescient. Brave New World was much more accurate, especially with regards to the upper classes. Whether or not we will ever be “decanting” humans is questionable, but science may be closer to genetically enhancing people than maybe is proper. Similarly, H. G. Wells understood the arc of humanity was toward a softer end than Orwell imagined. His depiction of the Eloi, and his explanation for why they existed, is being proven out today.

Even so, Orwell is what resonates with us even today, as we drift into the soft authoritarianism of the custodial state. The most likely reason is that at some level, people understand that at the core of every Utopian scheme is a coldness toward humanity that eventually leads to the sort of ugliness we associate with Orwell. Huxley’s future is eerie and disconcerting, but Orwell’s gets right to the heart of it. There is no hope and there is no joy, because in Utopia, those things have been banned.

This has always been obvious with the global Left. They have always imagined a world that, at best, could work for a slim majority of people. The rest of humanity was not going to be a good fit. There are only two ways to solve this problem. One is to “fix” those people who can’t seem to go along with the program. The other is to get rid of those people who don’t fit the new society. It’s why re-education camps have always been a fixture of left-wing societies. It’s also why mass murder is where they always end up.

The assumption is that what drives this is an absolute belief in the blank slate. If people are infinitely malleable, then all of those bad thinkers can be adjusted. Since some defects are beyond repair, the only solution is to remove the defective from the population and the gene pool. In reality, the effort at re-education is always ceremonial. The people in charge go through the motions in order to justify the inevitable. There’s also a fair amount of sadism at work. Leftist regimes seem to take pleasure in culling the herd.

In fact, what may be the main attraction to Utopianism is its underlying antipathy toward humanity in general. Human existence is messy, dirty and frustratingly irrational, but this is also the source of its beauty. There is nothing rational about falling in love. There is nothing orderly about laughing at your own stupidity or your screw ups.  What drives the people dreaming up the perfect society is a hatred of this reality. They hate the apparent randomness, the part that makes life worth living, so they seek to eliminate it.

It is why Whittaker Chambers recoiled in horror at the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Chambers had spent most of his life as an atheist and a communist. He fully understood the materialism at the heart of every Utopian scheme. He saw it right away in Randian moral philosophy. The libertarian dream world is one in which everything about the human condition is squeezed out. The libertarian Utopia is one in which everyone is an isolated economic unit with no emotional ties to anyone.

Libertarians deny this because they hate this truth about themselves. It is the one thing that distinguishes them from the other Utopian dreamers. They flinch at the idea of shoving the deviants into the ovens. Instead, they dream of the isolated colony populated by the productive. What drives the Leftist is a hatred of mankind. They dream of a place where anything resembling humanity is gone. Libertarians, in contrast, are driven by self-loathing, so their dream is to be isolated away from humanity, like prisoners.

Libertarians will dispute this, but they are wrong. They think because they have opposite ends than the Left, they must be the opposite of the Left. It is a form of hive mindedness, though, as things can be different without being opposites, just as things can have similarities, without being the same. It is another feature common to all Utopians. That’s a binary worldview. There are those inside the walls and those outside the walls. It’s why libertarianism, particularly Rand variety, is not of the Right.

It is one of the ironies of the Enlightenment. The people who came out of it with a head full of ideas about eliminating the human condition are cast as the friend of mankind, while those skeptical of these schemes are cast as the misanthropes, the reactionaries. The truth is exactly the opposite. The social reformer, the proselytizer and the Utopian fanatic are all driven by hatred of humanity and themselves. The skeptic, in contrast, is motivated by an appreciation of and a love for humanity and the human condition.

Whatever you care to say about the alt-right and the fellow travelers in the Dissident Right, they at least maintain a healthy respect for the diversity of the human animal and the need to respect that diversity. Throwing a tribe of Somalis into Lewiston Maine is not helping anyone. Diversity plus proximity is misery. The Somalis need their place and the Mainers need theirs. It’s why man invented borders and has always been willing to die maintaining them. Only the sociopath dreams of a beige future and what it would take to achieve it.

The Utopian dreamers start out thinking about all the things they hate about humanity, which if often everything about humanity. They have no respect for people, only disgust which is why they are consumed with changing everything about human society, including the people in it. This why Orwell remains the go to guy for dystopia, over more accurate people like Huxley. The Utopian hopes the future is “a boot stamping on a human face — forever”, while the skeptics suspect he may be right.

122 thoughts on “Utopian Misanthropes

  1. what we have learned since 1948, is that utopian/communist regimes collapse very quickly (in geopolitical terms). they cannot sustain themselves and they very much cannot compete with non-totalitarian societies. they have to lock their people in, for god’s sake 🙂 a Brave New World society can go on for quite a long time I think.

    i recommend libertarians get into model rail roading. this will allow them to create their perfect little world, and be master in it. i recommend N scale for those constrained on space, or HO gauge for those with more room. the truly successful libertarian can show off with a live steam layout, like Walt Disney had at his home.

    • Here in California we are going really big, with the Bullet Train from nowhere to nowhere. Thanks, Governor Moonbeam!

      • they should just expand the Disneyland monorail, instead of building a “bullet” train. now the maniacs are working on single payer health care (I think I may be the single payer supporting that plan) and seceding from the union.

        as bad as the Cali political madness seem in the media, it is much worse in reality. the leftist smog is chokingly thick in this state. only the certain knowledge that none of the public sector parasites will get their pensions paid, makes it bearable.

        what part of the state are you in Dutch? I am behind the orange curtain…

    • I think what we have learned is that such regimes collapse when an alternative view is available as a concrete model. Where is the alternative to today’s globalisation model that is almost uniform in the west?
      China, The Middle East, South America?

      It would have been easy for the communist regimes to continue if it was global collectivism as most people are unable to appreciate abstractions and no concrete alternative would have been visible.

      The only alternative is really historical, and as this has been continually rewritten since the 60s, very little real history is visible. Rather a Potemkin version that emphasises the current collective world view. Its more akin to the serfdom problem and the struggle from first principles, which is a long and bloody road.

  2. The blank slate idea leads to the idea of human perfectibility, which is the driving idea of the utopian, which now has to include those anticipating some kind of “singularity” as well as the left and libertarians. This was all anticipated in the debates between Augustine and Pelagius and how people come down on these are a giveaway as to where they will end up standing politically. I think that the heart of this lies in the fact that a lot of these lefties think that they are man’s ideal, not because they are perfect, but because they have perfect intentions. This is Where Abelard comes in. He introduced the idea that people shouldn’t be judged by the results of their actions, but by their intentions. Thus perfection is achieved by one’s dreams and not by any physical reality. If this is starting to sound a little Frankfurt School to you, welcome to commie Jew appropriation of Christian theology for evil ends.

    • It’s still all about control and an elite gaining and holding their position. The big lie is the story of “human perfectibility.” The fact that so many are willing to buy into such nonsense means that there are an awful lot of “losers” out there. These losers are people who have never earned anything the hard way or they would understand in their core that “perfection” might be a goal but is not achievable, especially when the supposed target has a half life that prohibits this perfection and the reality of life that prohibits the passing on of any gained perfection (perceived or real) to the next generation.

      I’ve never heard of this Abelard but he sounds like a loser to me. Who in their right minds would believe that “intentions” are what people should be judged by? No, in the real world, results are what matters. They can pull the wool over their own heads but sane people know better.

  3. Orwell resonates because Utopians actually revel in the liquidation of their enemies. They get their jollies from the suffering of others. Che Guevera built a picture window in his office so he could watch the executions going on outside.

    The Huxley world may offer pleasure, but it does not offer the thrill of watching others die in the name of your favorite ideas.

    Orwell resonates with those who are not Utopians, because they instinctively understand that while a Brave New World can be contended with, an Animal Farm will suck you in and chew you up, no matter what you think about it.

    • Someone who knew him said Stalin was fully willing to kill of 9/10 of humanity for the sake of the remaining tenth’s “happiness.” Which, to make the math work, entails that the remaining tenth really enjoy killing off the other 90%.

    • I agree. As I recall there is little mention of police or military in Brave New World, while 1984 was an out and out police state. The prog nuts would kill us all if they had the chance.

      • interesting point about BNW. my impression is that all the warrior types were killed off in earlier wars, or expelled to live as “savages”. internal security is mostly handled by conditioning and soma dosing. the essence of the administrative state…

      • Huxley came from a family littered with Darwinian biologists. His father was a botanist, I think. Orwell’s family was mostly colonial businessmen. His grandfather own plantations in India. Perhaps one guy looking at the world as a biologist, while the other as a political animal, is why they came to such different visions of the future. Huxley could see human society evolving into the managerial state, while Orwell could only project the present politics to its logical end point.

        • just thought i would point out that huxley moved to cali, the mythological source of hedonism 🙂 which is the basis for the BNW society.

        • I think Orwell was also writing to wake the damn Western World up to the inhuman reality of the Soviet Union. The Cloud People at the time were working very hard to hide the reality from the public and themselves.

          • While you’re at it, don’t forget the warnings from one called Ayn Rand. Same same about the same.

  4. Speaking only for this libertarianish conservative, I don’t wish to be isolated away from humanity – only those insane leftists who think they have the need and the authority to control me. Leaving those people behind is a nice daydream. I suspect that was part of the motivation for many who voluntarily left Europe for America and again for those who left the East Coast for the frontier.

    If there was still a frontier, I suspect many of us who could be called “alt-right” or “libertarian” would be packing up the wagons and heading there right now. The statists would be glad to see us go.

    • I fear for the future of free men without a frontier. If we are to believe our science there are uncountable numbers of new frontiers in the universe, but no way to get there. The ultimate irony. Stuck here on this rock in endless battle between those who want control everyone else and those who want to be left alone, while above us a billion heavens wheel across the sky every night completely and forever out of reach. It’s almost Sisyphean.

      • The human genome is the new frontier. The memory of the places you dream of and have nostalgia for are stored there.

          • We should already be on Mars. The lapse after the moon landings is tragic. Exploration is an obvious self fulfilling positive. Space is awaiting consciousness to arrive.

          • Yes, space, the next “transfer of wealth” scam. Wherever you go, there you are. You can run, but you cannot hide. Man will take his problems and character traits with him no matter where he seeks to go. Just look at history on earth. Another planet will not change a thing.

      • @ Herrman… “…uncountable numbers of new frontiers in the universe…”

        John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

        and for ZMan, another excellent piece, of heart and soul as well as mind – it brought me back to Rudyard Kipling’s “The Gardener” – quite a moving piece.

        v/r

        The JG

    • Yeah, Drake, you have it right. Used to, if you didn’t like society, you could head west and make a new one to suit you. Stealing room from the indigenous folks. Now, there’s nowhere for us freaks that want to be free to go. Space travel was the only remaining exit, and the space travel of Heinlein, Asimov, Niven, et. al., didn’t happen. Probably CAN’T happen.

      Dammit.

      • I wonder if NASA or a private firm will ever get their priorities right and build a space elevator. Once orbit is easy and cheap, everywhere in the solar system is within easy reach. Then we can think about the logistics of getting to other systems.

        • Scientists are engaged in the process of terraforming, figuring out how to seed a planet such as mars to create a livable atmosphere. The logistics of getting there are less challenging.

        • Sassy black women are building that space elevator for you, right this minute, as it so happens. I guess you don’t keep up with the current Hollywood releases or something. Geez.

        • I wonder if NASA or a private firm will ever get their priorities right and build a space elevator. Think “slenderness ratio”

          • Good point. I also think about the “tensile” strength of the line, and the pull of gravity. What is it that is going to keep the “elevator” from collapsing on itself as gravity naturally draws it back to earth? Will it need constant propulsion outward?

            And what about the line being “cut” or damaged by all the nasty stuff flying or floating around in space?

          • There’s a big rock on the end of the tether.

            Things that go around the earth in 24 hours are geosynchronous. That happens about 22,300 miles out. Further out, fly away. Further in, fall down.

            The big rock is further out, but it’s attached to the cable so it can’t fall down. Instead, it pulls the cable outwards (“up” to groundlings).

            How big is the rock, and how far out is it? Just big enough and far enough out to hold up the whole shebang.

            The limiting factor is the strength of the cable.

          • so now we are going to create our own meteors to induce centripetal force and overcome the friction of miles of this “elevator” whipping around with the rotation of the earth? Brilliant.

          • OK, let’s play!

            The tether is attached to the ground, near the Equator. There’s a mountain in Sri Lanka that’s just about perfect. Everything in our (very simplified story) is rotating at one revolution per day.

            The Earth. The atmosphere. The tether. The balance mass at the end. Nothing is moving relative to anything else. No friction.

            There’s a more general issue, relating to epistemology, the study of why we believe we know the things we believe we know :p.

            If you’re not at a particular moment able to imagine some thing, call it “X”, that doesn’t mean X cannot be true.

            Sometimes you just need to dig up more information and things snap into place. Sometimes they don’t.

          • Very bizarre rejoinder there Byzantium. Maybe it is time for another hit off the bong.

    • As a Libertarian, I mostly only want to be isolated from those who wish to force themselves upon me.
      Plus, of course assholes.

      I’ve no idea how Zman got to be so fucked up about it.

      • “I’ve no idea how Zman got to be so fucked up about it.”

        We’re wrong and he’s right. See?

  5. This whole article is a thoughtcrime. Expect to be exposed on the internet and become a two minute hate object.

    • Soon, white people even breathing, will be a hate crime, bucko. Get used to it. It really will be a brave new majority minority world.

  6. i was taken in by the randian dream as a college age youth but eventually i set foot in the real world and realized that real life operates on different software.

      • I would like to do a study sometime to figure out why Randian libertarianism is chiefly appealing to college aged white males. Those things just seem to go together so well. I have always been far right wing as a woman, libertarianish views, but I’d consider myself more in the vein of old school Bircher or PaleoCon until the AltRight kicked off. I never connected to whole Randian mindset and I know so many of the AltRight young men arrived at their views after yrs spent in the Libertarian trenches. Maybe it’s a gender thing, maybe it’s an age thing, I dunno. But it’s something worth exploring, IMO.

  7. When we read a book, we share the consciousness of the author, to some degree. By communing with Orwell’s thoughts via his written word, his vision seeded our minds, then through our minds the successive seedings. In essence, he sounded an alarm that woke our culture so that it could avert this danger. The transmigration of thought evolved from the spoken word and pictures to print, radio, TV and Internet. Where will the next quantum leap take us.

    Doubt fuels proselytizeing. The left has broken the rainbow bridge to its own soul with drugs, alcohol and mental illness. Their convoluted logic dictates everyone must therefore worship at the feet of their god of misery, since there could be no other god.

    • I would hazard that the greatest haters of the human condition were and are quite the most sober.

      • The annihilators are, if nothing else, single-minded and efficient with a great sense of purpose.

  8. Both are academic doctrines; the closest you will ever come to their Utopia in this world is the college town. There are the fifteen approved haircuts, “transgressive” art that offends nobody, this month’s trendy eatery, the coffee is expensive and the weed is legal… and everybody’s miserable. A’s critique of B’s revision of C’s deviation of D’s analysis of the Scriptures causes screaming slap fights in the faculty lounge, every day. It’s hell on earth if human folly doesn’t amuse you, but it’s the only place they feel they can function.

    • Having spent last weekend in a “college town”, I would label going to school in such an environment as a version of visiting Disneyland. Beautiful and pleasant, but if you act up, there is no doubt the authorities will quickly escort you out and ban you for life. And like Disneyland, you eventually wander out to the parking lot to look for your car, and you are tired, happy, and substantially poorer. The difference is that the timeframe is four or five years or so, rather than a day or two.

      • Oh, they’re lovely places to visit. Or to attend, if you want to drink yourself comatose every night for five years. But actually living and working there tells you everything you need to know about Our Betters, the Liberals — they know what’s best for everyone, and have unlimited power to put it into effect, and they’re the unhappiest critters in captivity. If you think that’s evidence that their precious theories are *wrong,* though, then you obviously aren’t smart enough to get a PhD in Disabled Navajo Bisexuality Studies.

  9. This is amusing coming from a person whose ideology lines up with that of colonialists.

    Look, “white” people gave up their right to homelands when they decided to enslave subjugate and colonize the rest of the world

    I mean, wow just wow, I cannot believe what I just read. Diversity is a great strength and anyone who says otherwise wants to preserve there unearned privilege

    • to the person posting as Trent: tell us about your relationship with your father? were your parents married? is he proud of the type of “man” you are? doesn’t it bother you that you are so inadequate in the manly arts (or go you take great pride in being a pussy)? have you ever had sex with a woman that didn’t weigh over 200lbs (that wasn’t a pro)?

      i am genuinely curious how such a pathetic specimen such as yourself sees their self. one thing i can guarantee: the way you see yourself is very different than how you appear to the rest of the world. knowing my boys have cream puffs like you to compete against, gives me a sense of ease. pretty sure my daughter could kick your ass too.

      • Relationship with parents is fine. Probably disappointed that I have not been a success in the traditional sense but I have made my choices.

        Your insults are ridiculous. I have never been with a woman of any weight. I have dedicated my life to the fight against racism and white supremacy.

        Oh and by the way….your daughter will bear a Child of Color since white girls are attracted to Black Men. How does that make you feel.

        Also, your sons cannot compete with Men of Color

        • Again I will provide the Trent Translation for the uninitiated; Muh Dik, Muh Dik!

        • Blacks who have IQ’s around the Caucasian top one-sixth are indistinguishable from whites. They may be as diverse as Tom Sowell and Malcolm X, but they are no longer, as they are fond of saying, authentically black. Trent is just goofing in the white world and who can blame him?

        • Little worldling, “I have never been,” you wrote, “with a woman of any weight”, but you mentioned nothing about little girls. Please explain yourself.

          Now, your insult to our intelligence became rather more silly when you added, “I have dedicated my life to the fight against racism and white supremacy.” In other words, you devoted your life to enmity toward “whites” (your quotes) and to establishing supremacy over whites. How unpredictably noble of you.

      • He’s larping. Notice the name is a variation on Tiny Duck which is ‘homage’ to Deplorable Duck. He thinks he’s Godfrey Elfwick. He’s not. He’s the carrot top to Elfwick’s George Carlin.

        He does not believe anything he’s saying. He thrives on the scorn and outrage he causes like an arsonist tittering over the way he can ‘make’ firemen scramble to put out the fire he starts.

        He knows what he’s saying is pure horsefeathers. It’s not about being right, it’s about watching you dance.

        Just remember he thinks he’s deplorable duck. He’s not.

        • Godfrey Elfwick is a Real Troll, his name should never be uttered in the same county as this pretender Tiny Dork. Godfrey Elfwick is one of the main features of twatter.

    • This fascinates me. Let’s assume I share “colonialist ideology.” That means, evidently, that I feel I have the “right” to “enslave subjugate and colonize the rest of the world” by virtue of my superior technology and civilization. Thereby “giving up the right to my homeland.” Well, if my former homeland has now been occupied by the same people I have the “right” to “enslave etc.” elsewhere, then by the transitive property of equality, I have the right to…hmmm, carry the one… yep: To “enslave subjugate and colonize” the wogs currently occupying my former homeland. Is that **really** the position you want to advocate, chief?

    • Vox Day’s policy of not touching the poop is probably the most rational thing to do in Trent’s case.

        • Agreed. But I just can’t help pointing out how **dumb** their virtue signaling is. Reminding all the heavily-armed haters how easy it is for heavily-armed haters to get their way… yep, great plan. #HashTagDiplomacy at its finest.

          • It’s not virtue signaling. Playing a role. He thinks he’s a clever troll. If you answer him you’re just feeding his ego.

    • “‘white’ people gave up their right to homelands when they decided to enslave subjugate and colonize the rest of the world.”

      You can’t be serious. Whites aren’t unique as slaveholders. If you read enough history, you soon realize that every race, every tribe, was at some point in history, someone else’s bitch. If anything, it’s been kind of a constant.

      But if the only history you’ve read is Howard Zinn, I can’t help you.

    • So would you agree that Muslims “gave up their right to homelands when they decided to enslave subjugate and colonize” northern Africa (which is why the CoPTs lost control of eGyPT, their homeland, among many others), Syria, Anatolia and nearby lands (home of the Christian faith), Persia (Zoroastrianism), Afghanistan (a formerly Buddhist nation), most of India, Malaysia and Indonesia, most of whom have had their histories written off as Jahilliyah. Or perhaps you believe that Muslims are much more noble than Americans, the scourge of mankind, in your eyes?

  10. utopianism is just a modern word for messianic prophecies and associated lunacy. christian church had a positive impact in stamping out these lunacies only because it started as one.

    it is also at the root of so called problem with islam. old, traditional version was rejected following defeats from the western nations and as a counterforce islam as an ideology was born. today it is known as muslim brotherhood . lefties like them because the brothers were forged in the ideology of the french revolution.

    • Unfortunately the catholic church’s repression of the messianic christian collectivist sects in the middle ages took about 300 years and involved large scale warfare and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in much of central and eastern Europe.

      • revolutions are like that. utopia can only be approached across a sea of blood. and you never get there

        • Don’t get me wrong. I mean the suppression was a good thing for Europe as a whole. I was just pointing out the massive amount of blood that had to be spilt by the church that kept the collectivist genes suppressed in Europe for the next few hundred years and allowed the civilisation we have today.

          The current upswelling is just that this section of the gene pool has now accreted enough numbers to force a rerun of that situation. I have a hypothesis that this occurs every so often and either the host civilisation kills most of them or they take it over and destroy it.

          Europe has just fortunately been in the former camp for the last 1000 years, now the west is in danger of the latter.

  11. I stumbled upon Libertarianism in my younger days. I even signed up for the Cato home study thing. At the time I couldn’t understand why their steering committee (The Mt Pelerin Society, IIRC) formally ruled out any acceptance of Christianity. I mean, what’s the harm_? I mean, you guys are dedicated to everybody doing their own thing, right_?

    Later on I came to a somewhat similar conclusion as Z Man, namely that there is/was a conflict of Utopias. In Chrisitanity it is _God_ who brings about the millennial kingdom, all by Himself, with no help needed or wanted from high IQ, borderline Asperger’s ponderers. Elegant policy formulations (which Libertarians are actually good at) avail nothing if the bulk of humanity are indisposed to be actually motivated purely by economic ‘logic’.

  12. Libertarians are ferocious when aroused!

    Stand back, Zman, stand back!
    I’ve got a plant here- and I ain’t afraid to use it!

  13. I enjoyed a couple of Rand’s short stories. I never got past page ten of either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. I found the egotism of the protagonists to be repellent.

    I never really understood what kept the World State of Brave New World going. Why would prevent Mustapha Mond and his relatively “woke” inner circle from just pulling the plug on it all. There was simply no point to it. No love or hate. No striving. No success or failure. Why not just issue orders to the food and baby plants to cease work? Give everyone a year’s supply of soma and birth control bandoleers (or whatever it was Lenina wore) and let the savages take over?

    You do have to give the Utopians credit for persistence. They just keep coming back for more no matter how many times they have failed.

    • Rand wrote some fantastic rape fantasies 🙂

      The point of the BNW society was pure hedonism, which is enough for the herd. Why would MM pull the plug, what would he gain? His life wasn’t materially better than anyone else’s, and his social status wasn’t as much of a factor (in his world) as it would be in our world. The people who wouldn’t go along with the program were banished.

      The savages subsisted on scraps and waste from the cities, so they would perish if the main part of society shut down.

      As is your wont, you are over thinking it a little 🙂

      Adolph, as in so many things, knew instinctively that keeping people busy (with busy work) was just as satisfying to them as meaningful work would be. People only need meaning in their lives, when their stomachs are empty. Most people will stop “climbing” Maslow’s pyramid, once they hit the penultimate step.

  14. First, wonderful essay. This is what I send to people who have been lost to the hive but for whom I still have hope.

    Huxley’s understanding of Utopian’s was extremely Tocquevillian. “If despotism were to be established in present-day democracies, it would probably assume a different character; it would be more widespread and kinder; it would debase men without tormenting them.
    Thus I think that the type of oppression threatening democracies will not be like anything there has been in the world before; our contemporaries would not be able to find any example of it in their memories. I, too, am having difficulty finding a word which will exactly convey the whole idea I have formed; the old words despotism and tyranny are not suitable. This is a new phenomenon which I must, therefore, attempt to define since I can find no name for it.”

    But then he found the words, if not a name.

    “I see an innumerable crowd of men, all alike and equal…he exists only in himself and for himself; if he still retains his family circle, at any rate he may be said to have lost his country. Above these men stands an immense and protective power which alone is responsible for looking after their enjoyments and watching over their destiny. It is absolute, meticulous, ordered, provident, and kindly disposed. It would be like a fatherly authority, if, fatherlike, its aim were to prepare men for manhood, but it seeks only to keep them in perpetual childhood; it prefers its citizens to enjoy themselves provided they have only enjoyment in mind. It works readily for their happiness but it wishes to be the only provider and judge of it. It provides their security, anticipates and guarantees their needs, supplies their pleasures, directs their principal concerns, manages their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances. Why can it not remove from them entirely the bother of thinking and the troubles of life?
    Thus it reduces daily the value and frequency of the exercise of free choice; it restricts the activity of free will within a narrower range and gradually removes autonomy itself from each citizen. Equality has prepared men for all this, inclining them to tolerate all these things and often even to see them as a blessing.
    They derive consolation from being supervised by thinking that they have chosen their supervisors. ”

    The God that failed.

    • “I, too, am having difficulty finding a word which will exactly convey the whole idea I have formed; the old words despotism and tyranny are not suitable.”

      Hedonocracy?

  15. I have never met a “Utopian” but I have run across more than a few incipient tyrants. The former is a euphemistic label for the latter. Utopians (and other posers) use this disguise to fool the naive on their way to power acquisition. It used to be that our species selected for vigilance against being duped by such charlatans, but now the opposite is happening. We are becoming a nation of fools looking for a messiah who will grant us effortless largesse.

  16. Prior to the last election, I became enraged at the republicans for behaving like the democrat’s subjugated whores. I went online and changed my party affiliation from R to L. The karma was instant. The next day James Weeks entertained us with his drunken risky business dance recital.

  17. We may be in a soft authoritarianism *now*, but as more and more jobs get replaced by automation and we get more and more “surplus labor,” there’s a very good chance that the soft authoritarianism will harden considerably. One thing that governments are very good at is reducing the headcount of the general population.

    • The future is a Birkenstock stepping on a human toe – and apologizing – forever. I am still laughing as I type this, well done sir, I salute you.

  18. BRAVO! I’ve been saying a lot of this for years! Delighted to see it here, and written so beautifully and readably. I’m sharing it with a lot of folks. Well done!

  19. Interesting point about the libertarians not being the opposites of the Marxists, “Progressives”, etc. Libertarians tend to be, at bottom, materialists, even when they claim that “Jesus is Lord”, and so we ought to count them as one of the factions of a single sect, even if they are Trinitarians. After all, Trinitarianism is just a disguised form of materialism. Its absurd fetish for the human body, a preoccupation which it shares with Islam, is evidence of the vulgality upon which Trinitarianism rests. (Another fatal problem is that the cardiocentric hypothesis is inseverably baked into the daily bread of Christianity.)

    For a few years I’ve believed that a winning political strategy for permanently crushing the left and cleansing the civilization of whatever spawned the left must be developed by people who are consciously at war against two popular assumptions. These ideas which have been taken for granted are (i) that matter is the foundation of human being and (ii) that the cosmos is just an vast 3D system evolving with time. There have been many shocking advances in in physics, astronomy, and cosmology, and the picture of reality which is emerging suggests a somewhat (but not entirely) new religion. And religion, if it is practiced in earnest, has political implications.

    It so happens also that we CAN know with confidence whether or not the “Creator” hypothesis has any merit. It’s the left’s misfortune that the religion which I have in mind would prove to be very divisive to the left, which has a majority if atheists (or so it seems). The left also fancies itself to be the leading force for living life in accordance with the discoveries of science, e.g. the relativity of simultaneity, and their implications, esp. for the true nature of human beings. A thorny problem for leftists is their palpable divergence from science and shameless hostility to ancient wisdom which is not nearly so unscientific as they like to believe while waging war upon the past.

  20. Well, I stand by libertarianism and especially Rand’s version of it, for one very simple reason. It is the only world-view that recognizes individual self-ownership in any meaningful context. It is also opposed to forced collectivism in any form. Contrary to the claims of Zman, libertarians do in fact recognize certain facets of human nature, that all non-libertarian philosophies are in denial about. One is the issue of bureaucracy.

    All human social organizations become bureaucratic over time, the larger the human organization, the more bureaucratic it is. All bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, an observable reality of human nature). This is why governments and large corporations can be so utterly dysfunctional. Large scale organized religion is also a form of bureaucracy.

    Liberatarianism seems to be the only political philosophy that recognizes this facet of human nature. All other political philosophies (not to mention organized religion) are rooted in the belief in the efficacy of large scale social organizations and, hence, bureaucracy Thus, they are all flawed. This is the reason why I am always amused by claims that libertarianism somehow denies or is otherwise ignorant of human nature.

    The other aspect of human nature that libertarians seem to understand and nearly everyone else fails to is the fundamental purpose of human organization and task accomplishment. For example, you want to cure aging (like SENS) or develop fusion power (Tri-Alpha Energy) or some other long term accomplishment that is beyond your own personal and financial resources. You can network and seek out the individuals that share your objective and go about obtaining the financial and other resources to accomplish such a goal. This is the ONLY use I have for any kind of social organization. That is, to accomplish whatever goals I place before me to accomplish. I have ZERO interest in any human organization or meme (religion, philosophy, ideology) that cannot productively assist me in accomplishing the objectives I place before myself.

    Contrary to rhetoric, libertarianism (even the Ayn Rand variety) does not preclude collective endeavors. It merely precludes forced participation (coercion) in any such thing, which I agree with 100%.

    It is for these reasons, based on 30 years of direct personal experience as an adult, why I am, BY DEFAULT, far more of a libertarian (yes, the dreaded “l” meme) today in my 50’s than I ever was in my 20’s. In other words, I don’t believe in conservatism as something separate and distinct from libertarianism. However, the Alt-right does have some valid arguments.

    One is that libertarianism is likely not appropriate to the vast majority of the human race. Having lived in various Asian countries (and been in Europe and Latin America), I am well-aware of this reality, as well as the reality of the tribal nature of 95% of humanity. This is why I subscribe to “libertarianism/transhumanism in one tribe (e.g. my tribe)”.

    I believe different peoples of different ethnicities and memes should have their own societies and be largely autonomous from each other. This “1000 state sovereignty model” combined with seasteading/space colonization (for us libertarian/transhumanist types – Yes, we are entitled to our own political entity and autonomy) is what I call the 21st Century Westphalia, which I consider the ONLY viable long-term solution to many of our problems. I believe this is a fundamental tenet of the Alt-right (someone correct me if this is not the case).

    • “Contrary to the claims of Zman, libertarians do in fact recognize certain facets of human nature, that all non-libertarian philosophies are in denial about…
      Some of us are into life extension and fully intend to undergo CRISPR gene therapy (for telomere extension) or various SENS therapies by traveling internationally as they become available starting in about 5 years. ”
      About that recognition of human nature:
      except for aging and death, i.e., mortality. Heh.

  21. On a more practical level, aside from the immigration issue, I see little difference between libertarianism and the alt-right. Indeed, they are indistinguishable in many ways.

    Competent, intelligent people live their lives in a functional manner. We do not abuse alcohol or drugs. We do not smoke. At least myself, I both do weight training and swimming fitness and do other rational methods to maintain my health and vitality. We are good neighbors in that we are quiet, maintain our houses and yards, and are generally agreeable with our neighbors. We have good careers and go on beach holidays and do outdoor sports. Some of us are into life extension and fully intend to undergo CRISPR gene therapy (for telomere extension) or various SENS therapies by traveling internationally as they become available starting in about 5 years. Some of us are career professionals while others of us are entrepreneurs. If anyone reading this has a problem with any of these above mentioned activities and life strategies, then the problem is YOU and NOT ME.

    In short, all of these life activities are compatible with both libertarianism as well as the alt-right. Thus, I argue that on a practical day to day basis, there is no difference between the alt-right and libertarianism in any meaningful context. So, I can claim to be both a Randian libertarian and an alt-right, and there is no meaningful basis for any of you to challenge this.

  22. Robert Heinlein said it best:

    Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

    I am firmly in the latter category. If this called libertarian, so be it. That’s what I am and I revel in it.

    • Heinlein really got a lot of it right. He was a iron ass, but in a good way.

      “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

  23. This is why I keep surfing Z.
    Sometimes he makes sense, and sometimes he just goes South for
    the Solstice..
    I blame my OWN confirmation bias.

  24. I think the critique of Rand is apt. It would not be very hard to go through the book and flip a few things around and suddenly it has become a celebration of the genius of collective government, with John Galt and others having been switched from being independent industrialists to commissars.

    BUT

    1.

    The book is a very good antidote to the left’s story of evil capitalists vs. the downtrodden underclass and the Robin Hood characters fighting on their behalf. There are many like myself who started off on the left, read Rand, were quite annoying people for a few years, but then just became regular libertarians (and no, we don’t conform to your stereotype.)

    2.

    Nowhere in Rand’s work is it suggested that we should all be forced to become boring workaholics with nothing on our minds besides productivity. Maybe that was her ideal, but force is never condoned except in self defense. Her works are strongly pacifist.

    Libertarianism doesn’t lend itself to story telling. There are no heroes, just people going about their business without government interference. Not much fun writing a book about the drug addict that could buy clean drugs legally from his pharmacy, or the toilet manufacturer that can design excellent toilets without worrying about government imposed standards. Rand filled a gap in the market by telling a positive story of what man can be without the shackles of government. It is perhaps a disingenuous story – people just aren’t like that, but it serves a purpose.

    • Rand is fine for entertainment purposes (especially if you are 17) but should not be taken seriously.

      • Why do people praise Orwell and Huxley but not Rand who came from a much different background, and was a woman?

        She experienced the Soviet evil first hand and was trying to convey it’s effects through simple story telling. Nothing more, nothing less. Her thoughts on Objectivism are worth considering but by and large she talks about the motivations of the socialist/communist elites and the consequences of a centralized society. That it is a drab existence is the point I think. That it is a life robbed of incentive, of pleasure of any personal achievement or pursuit of dreams is the point.

        That readers cannot simply take her story for what it is without criticizing it for not being this or that, is to be a critic without a platform and no message. It is simply a personal attack of someone they think they know and don’t like.

        What happened to open-mindedness and free flow of ideas? I think some on this site are stuck on one way of thinking and are guilty of “elitism” of another sort.

  25. On the Left, the Liberals will eventually be replaced by Totalitarians. They always have been.

  26. A characteristic common to all utopian ideals is the notion that there is One Perfect System (meme, ideology, religion, etc.) that is appropriate and optimized for all humans. If libertarianism is a utopian ideal, then most certainly the alt-right, Christianity, and any other non-libertarian meme are utopian as well. Unless, of course, the alt-right and conservative movements are intended only for those who want them, and have no applicability to those who want nothing to do with them. This, in turn, requires the “right of Exit”. So, anyone who does not believe in the right of Exit is, by definition, a utopian. Anyone who believes that there is one perfect system or world-view that is appropriate to all humans (e.g. socialism, Christianity, etc.) is also a utopian.

    I guess conservatism and alt-right are also utopian movements. Anyone care to refute this?

  27. Rather than calling myself a libertarian, I would describe myself as a Heinleinian libertarian, which holds, among other things, that other people do not value liberty as much as I do. It also holds (this is the critical issue) that a society is best comprised of competent, intelligent individuals and that effort should be made to create such a society. Those who are not competent, intelligent individuals (in the Heinleinian sense) are, how shall we say it, evolutionarily mal-adapted. .

  28. but in the soviet, chinese, north korean, cuban, and other places, Orwell was right. and it’s hard to argue that the advent of the security state and the clamping down on crimethink don’t harken more towards Orwell than Huxley.

    As for libertarians, i think most don’t carry their philosophy to Rand’s extremes. i think most recognize the importance of family as on par with the individual as the base currency of society. For most libertarians the thrust of their belief stems from a desire to limit the size and scope of government. maximum freedom for those already here, maximum hurdles to coming here in the first place.

  29. Pingback: Human in the image of God [Lk 21] | Dark Brightness

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