It's a clerical oligarchy in the shell of a republic.
Two excerpts that really stood out to me:
> The Cathedral holds everyone in the System responsible. It is responsible to no one. It has to be perfect. A helicopter has one nut, the “Jesus nut,” which holds the blades on and the bird in the air. The Cathedral is the Jesus nut of the System’s sanity, and ours.
It should be perfectly obvious to all that if The Cathedral is feeding our decision makers bad information, the System is fucked. But is The Cathedral spitting out bad information?
> A noble's life purpose is the highest stage on the pyramid of needs: self-actualization. The most obvious way to be self-actualized is to be important, so nobles crave power and importance. So the top social class, and everyone who aspires to join them—with a few stubborn exceptions, everyone—is intellectually tide-locked to the latest truth from the Brain, and the latest story from the Voice.
And here we have The Cathedral's core failure mechanism: tidal locking and the failure of the marketplace of ideas.
I differ from Curtis in where I believe faith in The Cathedral comes from. In my experience, the "left" (but really nearly everyone intelligent on the right or left) that the infallibility of The Cathedral comes from Science. Science is a method, The Cathedral follows The Scientific Method, and thereby achieves infallibility. Destroying faith in The Cathedral requires either 1) convincing people that The Cathedral is not practicing true Science at all (the Protestant approach) or 2) convincing people that the concept of Science is a farce to begin with (the Atheistic approach).
Personally I am an atheist with respect to Science. There is no method that is necessary or sufficient for performing Science. "Science" makes many statements that cannot be tested yet are believed to be true for good reasons. Just as effective governance cannot be reduced to a set of procedures, nor can the task of truth-seeking. It requires intelligence and good judgement. Feyerabend's "Against Method" is probably the strongest work in favor of this view, though it is hardly sufficient on its own to make its case. For that, it is necessary to study the many failures not of the social sciences, but of Physics itself in the post-FDR era. "Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy" by Roger Penrose is a good place to start, and very much expands on this "tidal locking" idea. Penrose goes through and shows how promising ideas turned into mere
The impending failure of the Dark Matter theory, which The Cathedral holds with the deepest religious conviction, will be an amazing case study 30 years from now. I strongly recommend "A Philosophical Approach to MOND" by David Merrit for this. It is actually unbelievable how ridiculously stupid and unsupported our current cosmological theories are. These are the "Fantasy" referred to by Penrose. Sir Roger Penrose, one of the greatest living physicists, believes an entire scientific field is fantasy! "Lambda CDM Considered Retarded" would be an excellent blog post, yet even this title isn't strong enough. The laughability of even our post-war "apolitical" sciences is enough to convince one that Harvard and the like should be nuked from orbit. In theoretical adjacent to physics, everything after the Standard Model has been basically a complete and utter failure. "Mavericks" like Penrose or the blogger Sabine Hossenfelder ("Lost in Math") are way too nice in their beliefs that The Cathedral is just a little off, but can be easily repaired but adhering to the prescriptions of the god Science more closely.
Perhaps for this reason, the Protestant approach is somewhat easier. It leverages the preexisting faith in Science, and exposes that the Science the Cathedral practices is not the true Science. Convincing a people that their god is false is far more difficult than convincing them that the weird man over there in white robe/lab coat is a false prophet. The salience of this approach is revealed by events such as the Sokal Squared scandal.
Indeed, it allows for the moral high ground. "I am not a Science denier, I believe in Science so deeply that it forces me to denounce these liars as anti-falsificationist frauds! They (or at least, their PhDs) should be burned at the stake for crimes against Science!" But of course, it will never work from the right. Right wing Protestantism could have never succeeded. The only way it could work is by outflanking The Cathedral from the left.
Indeed, this is currently being attempted. Modern Scientists can never be trusted, you see, because they are not truly objective. Rather, they view the world from the perspective of White Supremacy. When they study the uterus, they study the white woman's uterus, and the result is excess infant mortality among BIPOCs (which stands for bisexual people of color, or something). The only way this can be cured is by injecting more bisexuals into the system to achieve True Science.
So the whole approach of Protestant Science seems destined for failure. Only the rejection of the false god of Science can break the Cathedrals grip. That's not to say we shouldn't have what we currently refer to as "scientists," rather, it must be acknowledged that the god Science cannot be relied on for judgement, rather, scientists must be held accountable by man; in practice, they must be held accountable by government. Frauds and ideologues do not get to keep their PhDs. They get sent to work in the coal mines, I mean Starbucks (or more likely, put on UBI and stripped of the privileges associated with the few capable of performing non-automated tasks).
I feel like I'm reading Goldstein's book in "1984". That didn't go so well for Winston.
There's one open question for me. Does the System actually know that the Republic is a shell and that they're the ones actually running things?
Let's posit that the president has 5% as much power as most people think he does. The Voice is part of the System, i.e. where the real power is. If this is all basically a show, if none of it really matters, this fact seems not to have occurred to anyone in any newsroom in America.
The absolute hysterics coming from the media are a bit too real. It doesn't seem like people thinking, "this is all just a distraction." And while I'm sure the Bureau knew there was nothing to this Russian Collusion story, if the Voice was not convinced this was going to be the end of Trump, the might have hedged a bit more than they did.
The last four years have been awful, but not because of anything Trump has done or hasn't done. More that he's caused something like a really bad autoimmune response in the System.
The reason I'm concerned about this is, it seems that the people actually running the country are using their actual power to put a stop to a meaningless figurehead. In the process, they might end up completely wrecking everything, ironically including the System itself.
I'm all for detachment, but I still have to live here.
can't wait for chapter 4.
So like, is the end game here Elon, Barack, and Ivanka form a triumvirate after the 2030s hyperinflationary global depression and we kick off the new millennium with a neo Roman American tech empire where everyone gets a self driving tractor? Is that like, the last chapter?
Can you do a little essay on turning the common law method of argumentation into a group-edited argument map instead of essay-style written opinions? Brilliant, but you only mentioned it one time very briefly long ago.
Anything about automating/futurizing the legal system please.
Also can you talk a little bit about what we can do to stop China from assuming global hegemony?
Excellent read, thank you. I can accept that USG runs more efficiently when Deputies who play ball are at the helm, and that all Vandals can realistically hope to do is retard that inevitable march to some degree. Now more than ever, it seems as though that march, like the pied piper, is leading to a dangerous future predicated on utopian thinking that is increasingly divorced from reality.
Having read this post, and many of Curtis' others at UR, I'm still left with the question: given that efficient progress along this slide seems to be making matters worse, and acknowledging full well that the Vandal cause is hopeless, wouldn't we still be better off voting for Vandals in elections? Wouldn't it be better to *decrease* the efficiency of USG, if only for a little while?
Or does Curtis believe that accelerating the inevitable path is preferable in that it would at least open the door for what comes next, despite the risks?
"The Factory is an herbivore, not a carnivore. It is inherently impotent because sheep do not rule over wolves, even if every now and then some ram gets in a good headbutt. It can also be found bribing Congress; but only with legal bribes; and only for its own economic interests, not to contend for power."
Mastercard/Visa started denying service to dissidents before experiencing any media pressure to do so. It's hard to see how this furthered their economic interests.
any news re: audio/podcast versions of these?
In the start you talked about watching baboon people with a system like ours kinda like in the open letter, but didn’t really follow through with observing the system through that lense so I don’t thing it was necessary to bring it up in the first place.
Do you have any comment on the education of children under the Cathedral? Especially, for non globalists? (Not hooked up to the Brain)
Why not try and strengthen the Factory, like Nick Land seems to suggest? It appears tightly regulated, yes, but the body that regulates it has a much lower upper bound of the total power it can have. It's also external - so at the very least it can get as 'big' as the Cathedral - at least in theory.
Very interesting how this is a refutation of some of MM's older work. I remember a rather prominent quote about "electing a President who promises to cancel the Constitution," or something along those lines. The focus on Congress this time around was quite refreshing.
The Castle isn't a very prominent feature in most Americans' lives, but I think the intent was merely to describe all existing nexuses of power starting with the weakest ones, and I suppose that all regimes must have a security apparatus. Interesting how consistently it's as a "red-state" institution, though-- can it last for long?
This has been a long time coming sir, thank you. The poetry, was nice though. Can’t have too much poetry.
So we have 2 descriptive constitutions mentioned here: Bagehot's English Constitution, and Yarvin's "Descriptive constitution of the modern regime". Does anyone know of any other descriptive constitutions from any other period of history?