Monday, 1 January 2018

The disaster of increased funding (New Left strategy)

Subsidy kills - and not only because the money for subsidy is coercively extracted.

I have directly observed the inevitable consequences of increased funding in schools, colleges, medicine, health services and science...

Always there is an increase in

1. Managerialism - bureaucracy at at the cost of autonomy, process at the cost of results, obedience at the cost of agency.

2. Political correctness/ New Leftism - funding always has socio-political strings, funding is always ultimately For those strings.

3. Totalitarianism - by means of managerialism and with the excuse of the New Left/ PC agenda (socialism, feminism, antiracism, diversity, the sexual revolution...) - incremental increase in total surveillance and micro-control.

Evil via funding is the major characteristic that distinguishes the New Left from the Old (communist) Left - which worked by negative, punishing, sanctions of physical violence.

The reason for the Old to New transition was not an increase in kindness, but the increased effectiveness of destruction and neutralisation of opposition that the New Left brings.

The New Left cannot be 'fought', nor organised-against - rather we must opt-out from it.

And that is where courage is required: the simple courage to say No: (apparently) alone.


Desert Rat said...

A very crafty fellow once said "you can buy anything in this world with money" and he meant it.

heyjames4 said...

Bribing and suborning enemies is ancient strategy.
If you take Stan's coin, you dance Stan's tune. Everyone knows this.
The modern State SHOVES MONEY in your pockets for the purpose of attaching strings.
Remember the 700 billion dollars? Or the bloated non-profit sector.

Bruce Charlton said...

h4 - they take money out of one pocket, then shove a smaller amount into the other pocket, yes... But for the Left, systematic bribery is a new *primary* strategy, since in the early days of communism etc. the emphasis was on armed revolution, imposition of the will of The People by physical intimidation and punishment etc.

The other thing is that the new-style bribery is indirect, concealed and public.

For example, well know (current or ex) politicians give a 'lecture' for a 'fee' of hundreds of thousands of dollars - paid into a 'foundation' with ostensibly charitable purposes, and the 'fee' is widely advertised and discussed - so that almost-nobody notices that it is actually a bribe - an indirect but definite bribe.

IN a Brandon Sanderson novel I'm reading, a corrupt gangester collects his protection money indirectly by publicly 'auctioning' his own (appalling) art paintings for huge sums of money. He could equally well be giving a 'lecture' to a wealthy corporation.

It is just a fact that humans have very simple minds capable of only one step logic (except in small specific areas in which they have special interest and expertise).

The New Left (ie the demonic forces) discovered (mid 20th century) that so long as evil is not direct, one-step, cause-and-effect - then it is confusing enough to people (including themselves) to be deniable, on a permanent basis.

A suitcase full of used notes handed-over in a desterted car park and put into a personal bank is a bribe; ten times the sum publicly announced and widely discussed, and paid to a (personally controlled) 'foundation' is Not regarded as a bribe.

pyrrhus said...

Yes, I rather admire people like LBJ who took their bribes directly by having bags full of money dropped on their desks. Mayor Daley merely made those seeking favors buy insurance from his kids' insurance company, or hire machine hacks for makework jobs...But about 30 years ago, US politicians realized that getting the bribes through the "sales" of ghost written books was lucrative and not viewed as corrupt. Then they discovered that the "speech" route was even more lucrative, and the simple minded public bought that one too. But the Clinton Foundation was the ultimate bagman for every kind of influence peddling, and where the money went after that was never disclosed. Probably quite a bit of it went to hitmen,, judging by the numbers....

Ben said...

Regarding the tyranny, I wonder if increased totalitarianism has something to do with the increase in shameless, overt, and "in your face" displays of perversion / corruption (tattoos, etc). Maybe there is an aspect of these people wanting to escape scrutiny. Like putting on a hammer and sickle badge.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ben - I generally regard it, in women especially, as an expression of underlying nihilistic self-loathing; plus advertising of sexual availability (which leads to increased attention).

Chiu ChunLing said...

I think that the most insidious aspect is not how the funding is used, but the underlying justification.

They say "necessity is the mother of invention." Well, in particular the real test of an engineer is working within a budget of available resources. The cry that an organization "needs more money" to accomplish anything is really a confession that the leadership doesn't know how to do anything with what they've already got.

When we bid on the services of an organization that has demonstrated the ability to do much with little, we always are wise to be aware that their results will not scale perfectly. If they have produced a ten-fold increase with a small amount, we might be well satisfied if they produced five-fold starting from three times that amount. The increase from 10 to 15 is worth the additional starting cost of 2.

But when we increase funding for an organization because it is already obviously failing with what it had before, we can expect our losses to scale better than perfectly. A system that has squandered millions can be relied upon to squander billions while finding time for more than a thousand-fold increase in mischief if we reward them for their previous incompetence.

Basically, when we fund anything because it is underperforming, we say "well, and these people are too stupid to make effective use of what they've been granted, they thus deserve the chance to waste even more."

Or, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL That's a different issue - here we are dealing with an absolutely general strategy for controlling a modern society by funding.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Well, but the use of price discovery and bidding on time-effort of talented people is also a strategy for regulating a modern society. And not entirely unrelated, since it deals with financial incentives.

The issue of competence is crucial because it speaks to the real divide. Humans are social creatures as much as ants or bees, the essential faculties necessary for survival of the group are not found in every individual. I don't like this anymore than anyone else, I like it less than most, probably. But functional human society requires that top percentile mental competence be found and elevated to positions of responsible leadership.

The essence of Marxism, and of all it's cousin ideologies, such as Islam, is that the incompetent should have authority to dictate to the competent. The exact justification varies, and is never sincere anyway. This is the essence of managerialism, the idea that you don't need to actually have the competence to do a job yourself to have the authority to tell others how to do it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL "The essence of... " is essentially untrue, wrt 'essence' - but there is a grain of truth, as was discerned by Ernest Gellner in Plough, Sword and Book - which is that 'bureaucracy' is the 'natural' or default form of social organisation. It is meritocracy that is - in world historical terms - unnatural, localised and temporary.

On the other hand there is a broad meritocracy in all societies, but there is a big difference in how detailed, or how fine-grained it it - and whether it is an explicit objective - which is extremely rare.

We (in the UK) lived in an explicitly meritocractic society for a while - say the middle 20th century - but this began being dismantled (first by the New Left, then by almost everybody as the New Left became mainstream) -- and now there is a social system that has so many deliberate structural inefficiencies built-into it, that the results are probably little different in crude terms of concentration of relevant ability from what they were 150-200 years ago - except that now the ineffectiveness and inefficiencies are justified more incoherently and dishonestly (since they have been introduced - by demonic strategists - for negative and deliberately destructive reasons; rather than for positive long termist reasons - whether or not these positive reasons were in error or misguided).

Chiu ChunLing said...

Meritocracy, in the sense of finding and trusting those who are actually competent to solve problems, are the point of social organization as a whole. But within that social organization, there is a natural competition of the majority who want higher status than they deserve (or more precisely, than is valuable to the rest of the members of society) to try and pretend to be more competent than they really are.

It is not that one is "natural" and the other "unnatural", but that one is the healthy nature and the other the pathological nature. A cold virus and the immune system that fights it are both natural, but one is healthy and the other pathological. The cold virus cannot survive without a living host, while contributing nothing to the life of the host and in fact being detrimental. So to with Marxism or Islam. But even in the codified (and thus somewhat artificial form, but only as all social acts are artificial, being of human origin), parasitic behavior is still very much as natural as the healthy behavior on which it depends for existence.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - I think you are projecting a modern, and very unusual, idea onto other and ancient societies.

Chiu ChunLing said...

'Marxism' is simply the new brand of the everlasting quest of those who are not respectable to be respected. "Sinecure" and it's synonyms have existed in human language back to prehistory and myth. It seems even Adam must have known some such word, at least he knew the essential sin it betokens, the demand to be authorized to make decisions one lacks the ability and experience to consider wisely.

If Marxism appealed to some wholly novel idea which only the most developed and advanced of modern men could comprehend, then it would never have inspired even one revolution, let alone hundreds, usually among the most philosophically untutored and illiterate national populations.

If you mean meritocracy, while the formal credentials which are the standard of some modern applications are an invention of civilization, testing prospective leaders for competence is an ancient and instinctive social activity. Because there could have been no survival advantage to having society in the first place if the leaders weren't significantly more competent at problem-solving than the average person.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - The basis of our disagreement is that you are assuming that history is not linear but instead partly constant and partly cyclical. I am saying that history is linear and never repeats (except in small, subsidiary matters) - And the modern situation is unprecedented.

Most obviously the past 50 years are unprecedented - but in general terms the industrial revolution brought in a type of society (based on growth) never previously seen.

Unprecedented? Most obviously (to me) the situation of willed, strategic, mainstream and officially approved/ enforced value-inversion (in terms of truth, beauty, virtue; and in terms of basic biological survival and reproduction) is unprecedented.

This comes about as a consequence of the development-evolution of human consciousness (in The West, specifcially) where we became arrested in spiritual adolescence (by our refusal to move-through it - and/or the attempt to return to spiritual childhood), with many ensuing pathologies.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Situations can be entirely different without people being fundamentally different.

Another way of thinking about it is that situations can only be meaningfully different because people are fundamentally the same. If humans had no essential nature that was common between one era and another, why then the eras would of course have no similarities but it would be fatuous to try and compare them at all.

The differences between our time and all other times are only important because of the ways in which we, as people, are the same as people who lived in different times. To assert that we are fundamentally different from them is to assert that it is impossible for us to understand what life was like for them. Not just difficult, but actually on the level of understanding what it's like to be a fish or a spider.

Anyway, the basis of my assertions is simply that it is evolutionarily obvious that the survival utility of human society requires identifying and elevating to leadership those with problem-solving intelligence, which is rare. It is also evolutionarily obvious that those without such intelligence seek to gain the benefits of leadership positions despite this being suboptimal for their entire society. I grant that not every species has this particular dilemma, nor even every social species. But it has very clearly been characteristic of humans from the time of the earliest historical evidence we can find.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - I think your reasoning is incorrect.

You are assuming a (soft) group selection idea when you talk of what benefits society (the 'utility' of a society) - but I believe that all such ideas are covertly teleological and deistic (deistic at least, probably even theistic).

I think that is true - that social 'evolution' is indeed teleological and influenced by divine influences...

Given this, it means that non-biological, not materialist factors are very important; indeed primarily important.

So things like the rise and fall of civilisations cannot validly be discussed as if they were explicable by materialist causes.

Chiu ChunLing said...

No, I'm not talking about what benefits 'society' at all, I'm talking about what benefits society provides to the individual organisms that belong to it. In order for there to be a net positive benefit overall, even if some benefit 'unfairly', or disproportionate to their actual contribution, society must be led by some particular individuals who actually are capable of making decisions for many others better than those others could make their own decisions.

The human instinct to belong to a society could never arise if the overall situation of those participating in society were not better than the overall situation of those not participating. It is only after society is a going concern (at the instinctive level) that you can have occasion for the desire of some to derive greater benefit than their contributions merit to attempt to take over the society. Without the strong instinct already in place to play the game, the cheater can't prosper. This is how we define "cheating" behaviors in nature, it is the behavior that requires the healthy pattern to exist as a going concern. It is the difference between the parasite and the host, the host can live even better without the parasite, the parasite cannot live without the host.