Saturday, 1 June 2013

Grasping at straws supposedly indicative of a change in wind direction, versus explicit repentance


A lot of reactionary blogging resembles a grasping at straws supposed to indicate that the wind has just changed, and that the secular Left is not longer triumphant and that things are now moving in a different direction.

I don't believe it; not for a moment.

What these folk are doing is combing the vastness of the mass media for microscopic counter-currents which are found even in the most strongly unidirectional river.

We will know the wind has changed, or the tide has turned, first by explicit repentance for what has been happening, then explicit resolution that the direction must be reversed.

This, when it happens, is not something that will require close attention public affairs - it will hit our society with the force of a cataclysm. 



cantillonblog said...

Bruce - I think one should make a distinction between discerning nascent signs of a possible turn in the tide, and recognizing that the tide has indeed turned for good.

Obviously, recognition of a nascent turn will come many decades before it is obvious to a more general audience - just as signs of a decadent ruling class were evident decades, if not centuries before the aristocracy in Europe was finally displaced. (I do not mean to speak about whether this was a good thing).

Equally obviously, for now moderns reign supreme. But that does not mean that their mode of consciousness is doomed, and that the younger ones of us may live to see it replaced - in this case with something better.

We corresponded in late 2011, and I think at that point you could not see any possibility that the Eurozone would not implode. The situation is rather clearly different now (and certainly this will be evident in a couple of years).

Similarly with social trends, it is possible to identify a nascent shift before it is confirmed.

Bruce Charlton said...

@c - Nascent shifts are the counter currents I talked about. They are always there. Also the modern mode of consciousness is doomed - not least because it actively works to destroy itself.

But we will now the tide has turned in the same way as happened in the Eastern Bloc in 1989 - those who are alerts and sensitive to the trends will know, pretty much know, maybe a few weeks ahead every body in the world knowing - but that's all. The knowledge will grow exponentially like an avalanche until everybody is swept up by it.

"you could not see any possibility that the Eurozone would not implode. " Of course it will implode. But the unknown factor is how much widespread destruction the Euro-elites will be prepared to inflict in order to delay this implosion.

So far, the answer seems to be that there is no limit to the long term damage that the Euro-elites will inflict on Europe in order that collapse will be delayed.

This is happening in numerous areas - welfare growth, taxation of the productive, discrmination aginst the law abiding and hard working, mass open boder immigration, terrorism, crime, anti-Good secularization and Leftism, stagflation - the elites are prepared to do literally anything - to inflict any amount and depth of social damage, it seems, to delay the point at which there is a clear confrontation.

But delaying - but not stopping, indeed necessarily therefore feeding - an exponentially growing adverse trend is not a cause for celebration, quite the reverse...

All this is senseless, suicidally destructive - but what would be expected when the devil rides openly triumphant in the hearts of so many - who regard him as God?

cantillonblog said...

But actually the tide turned in Eastern Europe (and the Soviet bloc more generally) much earlier than that - possibly in about 1979, with the opening up of letters to the editor, allowing ordinary people to complain about corrupt officials and the like. 1989 was the moment of recognition by the public of what had been sown quite some time previously.

Nascent shifts are not always there. Just because one has not developed the discernment to distinguish between a potentially important early shift in the tide, and a mere counter-trend correction, does not mean that it is not possible for anyone to recognize such a shift.

Point of technicality - I don't think the European Union will necessarily endure in its present form. But the Eurozone (meaning those countries sharing the Euro) can probably endure for quite some years to come.

Social trends, for some unknown reason, often seem to go parabolic just before they reverse. For example, one saw this with the credit bubble, and with the belief in anthropogenic global warming. It is a mistake to extrapolate this parabolic culmination forward indefinitely into the future, when actually it is a sign of a nascent reversal.

Time will no doubt tell.

Bruce Charlton said...

@asdf - I won't print your comments if you use obscentities.

But where on earth did you get the idea that I thought things were great in the Eastern Bloc since 1989? Where on earth do you get the idea that I suppose that things will improve when secular Leftism collapses? Secular Leftism is deeply destructive to society and to individuals - when it collapses you are left with a deeply-destroyed society and individuals - how on earth could that lead to good things?

The only positive is that post secular-Leftism good things are *possible*, recovery to something better is possible, in the medium to long term.

But people have to make the right choices and these are difficult choices (which make things worse in the short term) - and these difficult choices must be made by systematically degraded people.

Eventually, when Leftist propaganda is removed, common sense and spontaneous realism will revert, and the process can start - but only potentially, there are no guarantees.

deconstructingleftism said...

Things are going to change, because they are always changing. Things moved one way in the Reagan/Thatcher era, and began moving back to the left, not under Clinton, as you might think, but under Bush II. (I don't know enough about English politics to say when it happened in the UK.)

Things are not only right now not moving in a reactionary direction, they are trending leftward, the direction that started under Bush accelerating under Obama. The left has completely saturated the culture in the last 20 years. One lesson they seem to have learned from the 60's was that their anti-war activity bled over into hysterical anti-military and anti-soldier activity, and they have mostly avoided that in the last ten years.

But leftward trends can't last long because they aren't sustainable- society needs to take a break in which things stop or move slightly back to the right for awhile. Reactionaries are anticipating such a pause, with the hope leftists will really go to far and lose all credibility. A man can dream, can't he?

Bruce Charlton said...

@dl - But there is nobody in power to do it - the whole ruling elite that has power is now on the Left, and is de facto secular (no matter how they self identify) - so it won't happen, and things will collapse.

In England I cannot think of any group of native people of any size and or power who are anything other than psycho-crazed-evil Leftist.

Or at least that looks like the overwhelming probability based on a common sense analysis - of course there are lots of unknowns, and one or more of these may suddenly emerge and change matters unexpectedly.

The Resonant Right said...

You are right to say that the tide has not yet turned - the Left remains 'triumphant' at the moment.

However, your broader characterisation is inaccurate on a couple of counts. Firstly, it si not the case that the river you describe is 'unidirectional'. There are, of course, always noises for and against, but the nature of a change in tide is that the momentum must build over time - the greater the force it must overcome, the longer this period of building may be.

Thus, there will most certainly be a period in which the two currents coexist - the prevailing force and that which will grow to defeat it; the latter does not appear from nowhere.

Applying that to today's situation, it is not at all contradictory to say that Leftism remains dominant but the seeds of its defeat are taking root and germinating. Indeed, I believe this is exactly what is happening, and the student of cultural and market trends is likely to be more sensitive to this, as Cantillonblog points out.

The erroneous thinking here is that which sees the world in black and white: which necessarily excludes the reaction to leftism by virtue of the latter's dominance. This is the left hemisphere utilisation bias of which Iain McGilchrist writes in the "The Master and his Emissary". Further, the idea that things are always changing and thus any signs of change are no more than normal cross currents is another version of the same fallacy.

Moreover, and I am sure you know more about this than I do, there is an appeal to human psychology of a more simplified narrative. These two factors combine to eschew complexity.

So while I agree that Leftism remains dominant, and I agree that some may be overly keen to suggest otherwise (likely a variant of the cognitive fallacies mentioned above), I think that you are wrong to rule out a top in leftism and a potential change in tide.

Dystopia Max said...

If we're talking currents in a Dark Enlightenment frame, then the river flows in one direction...a circle going from Washington to Harvard to the New York Times and back again. The counter-currents are shown when one branch turns on the other, as Eric Holder has just admitted to wiretapping AP reporters.

But for good river imagery, you really can't beat Moldbug. If your visions of the brighter future were as hopeful, and confidently asserted not only the right but the duty of men to forcibly throw out such benefactors, there might be something more than despair from the standard right.

Bruce Charlton said...

@DM - "a circle going from Washington to Harvard to the New York Times and back again."

Thanks for the comment, not least because it has clarified a point of disagreement. While there are circles going on, it is important to recognize that the media is the origin of secular Leftism, and the universities only a conduit (and not necessarily the most important).

The media is something impersonal, a demonic force impersonating a human voice - which is what makes it so difficult to focus upon.