It was worth the wait. Thanks man.

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The first and most obvious problem with making a plan to ensure all boots cost $450, and are of such high quality that you only need one pair for your whole adult life is: we do _not_ want a bureaucracy setting standards of quality, or picking winners and losers. That guarantees not only mediocre quality but no hope of innovative improvements. Besides it gives those armigers more undeserved power.

Instead of that, here's a thought: instead of taxing goods at point of sale, tax them at the landfill. When a pair of boots shows up at the dump, send a disposal bill to the cobbler. This bill should be pretty exorbitant and independent of the sale price, such that if your boots regularly end up in landfills and don't sell for very much you're ruined. Bonus: no bill if the cobbler is dead. Every cobbler strives to make a boot that outlives him. Because then he never pays the boot tax. Set the tax at say, 25% of the average sale price of a boot. Think it through. How long before walmart closes its footwear department?

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Really enjoyed this piece. Reminded me of one of your earliest writings in UR about the virtual caste system in America. However, as a film buff, I want to point out that movies with more imagination were produced in the 1960s as opposed to the 2010s. For instance, 2001: A Space Odyssey came out in ‘69 and you can’t argue that it lacks in overall trippiness factor

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I've often thought that copyright law contributed to a glut of commercial art, generally low quality and heavily marketed (aka appealing to the lowest common denominator). Attacking commercial art by dismantling copyright law could redirect artistic demand towards patronage systems like patreon, changing artistic incentives and hopefully improving art as a whole.

It's very interesting to read a plan for artistic development that uses rather than dismisses copyright law to similar ends, in attemptedly emulating the artistic environment of renaissance Italy. For not considering the tournament economy could be tackled in the first place I blame insufficient imagination.

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Forgive me for commenting before I have read the whole text of the chapter. It is either very long or I am a very slow reader. I have a point on artificial difficulty / intentional disutility. Perhaps most of that decreased efficiency can be obtained in ways that actually arent artificial but rather relate to the enforcement of standards and quality?

An example. I can build and have a "wooden structure" approved as a designated wooden building and treated by all the engineers in town as if this building has the same properties as a real wood building even if I haven't made the building from wood. Most "wood homes" today are made primarily from oriented strand board. Which is actually basically just sawdust and wood chips and glue. Its wood chopped up and rearranged and repackaged as Wood* TM. If I want a higher quality Wood* TM product I can purchase *PlyWood*. Which is again, just more strips of non wood smashed together with glue, then we call it "wood". Then the mortgage for that fake wood building is it self chopped into strips and tranches and glued back together again and sold as a mortgage security. And the same is done with people, and countries, and brands, and companies. It's all chopped up and rearranged and repackaged and sold as "wood".

What would be so "artificial" about telling builders they can only call actual wood, wood.

What is the disutility in making lying to everyone all the time illegal?

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Oy! Now you've gone and complicated your nice Three Layers of Gentry, Commoners and Clients into strata of *armigers*, *yeomen*, and *lazzari*, with *autochthons* and *rubble* added in for good measure. Actually, really you should group the lazzari/autochthons/rubble as **misfits**. Because the poor dears don't fit into the glorious present system decreed by the Master of Arms at the Palazzo dei Armigeri. And because of the Rule of Three.

The interesting point, of course, is that with your new Nietzschean Revaluation of Values you have decided that we can't just leave the Clients to molder away. By dividing them, like Gaul, into three, Gaius, you have decided that We Must Do Something about them instead of just using them, as the Gentry/armigers have done, as political cannon fodder.

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LET'S GOOO, but only as long as Lazzaria includes a patch for our brothers optimized for breaking the Washcorp DRM on all those 200$ movies! Perhaps there should be a cyberpunk dystopia of cryptoanarchy somewhere within the safari territories.

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Tough sell

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So it's the classic, teenage, Sim City delusion, with "artificially difficult technology mode" checked, because central planning in your pajamas was too easy of a game. Add the Sim City extension pack: Beat Hypercapitalist Meritocratic Postmodernism. Press Z to remedievalize.

Divergence long ago completed, continuing to pester the shoddy premises:

> In this reality, the streets of Columbia are full of happy, busy, and well-dressed people, working hard and living life fully. The business of Columbia is humming; her trade is in the black; her budget is balanced; her debt is not a sinkhole, her equity a bubble, her currency a juggle, her housing an ATM; her commerce is not devoured by monopolies, her farms by banks, her industries by imports… hm.


> We see that things are not going well in the econ department. This makes sense, as a country without serious security or economic problems needs no regime change at all. If Columbia’s real problems are economic, its next prince will need a new economics.

That's mixing positives and negatives into an illogical soup. Progress has occurred _despite_ imbalanced budget, incomprehensible debt, equities on steroids, and viral oligopolies. There is a real world where fracking was discovered and solar panels are built, and the armigers have periodic wars over fake dollars and bitcoins on top; pointless battles. The real world still exists and will continue to improve. See Ridley and Pinker.

I wonder if you've ever considered that these Sim City fantasies -- doomed to failure -- are actually the cause of the thoughts of "the human catastrophe of mass uselessness" that nihilistic and suicidal armigers can't shake?

Here's a plan: convert the armigers, yourself included, into yeomen by lobotomizing central planning fantasies and encouraging them to find the inherent meaning in life, finding a good partner, settling down, making some babies, getting a couple dogs, and slowly improving their Widgets at Widgets Incorporated... because that's what actually improves the world. If you want a revolution, wait until colonizing other planets is cheap.

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I just finished the chapter. Thanks for this diagnosis, it clarified my thinking even further. I especially appreciate having names and definitions: armigers and yeomen.

Figuring out yeomen forced to be armigers is interesting. I never felt any particular attachment to my mother country or anything like that (we moved from Russia when I was 18, and I'd never been back and haven't wanted to go until very recently, for various reasons), and I've moved to Seattle to work as a software engineer years ago, away from my parents, who always lived apart from any "community", and have lived here ever since. Seattle has always seemed extremely provincial to me, in comparison to Washington, D.C., where my parents had settled, and I think indeed it is the feeling of power or "meaning" that I sensed in D.C. right away. Literally the first night I slept there, I just knew. I've been resenting Seattle for the past 15 years, and I think I understand why now: it's full of yeomen who were improperly made into armigers.

The greatest sense of community or continuity I felt in the past several years is a couple of weeks ago when I began playing Mozart again.

And here, I do want to disagree: I think that institutions are created by yeomen-as-armigers, as a sort of cargo-cult. Real armigers have communities, but they take the shape of salons, letter correspondence, and now, the sort of podcasts you're appearing on. The key difference is that armiger communities still emphasize the individuals that comprise them. Institutions and participation in them don't give "real" armigers meaning, they are a huge source of disappointment and disillusionment.

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Who gets the aircraft carriers, Curtis? Who gets to command the CVNs? Most people during a secessionist movement would be more concerned with the nukes, as well they should be. But nukes are boring; carriers are fun!

Ever seen a CVN in the flesh? Ever strolled by one? It takes a few minutes. It's a long-ass ship. The one I deployed on was 1,150 ft long. And its flight deck was pretty wide too. "Four-and-a-half acres of sovereign US territory" was the quip, sailing at leisure through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf. Ready and willing to "put warheads on foreheads." So who gains this power? Who gets the carriers? Because someone has to. No way they're gonna end up parked in some dry dock, rusting away like defunct train engines at an old cross-track depot. They're way too much fun for that.

On the off-chance anyone reading this has a family member stationed on a CVN, and its command offers a week-long cruise between Hawaii and San Diego or some such (mine did this), I recommend you take it. The accommodations won't be great, but you'll forget all about them once you get to watch Flight-Ops.

Watching an F-18 get launched from a modern aircraft carrier is a spiritual experience. It changes your worldview. It makes you feel like you're in the future. Sure, you knew nuclear-powered steam systems existed. And jet engines too. But combined together? With radar-guided bombs strapped to wings so short your mind boggles they even create lift? Yeah, it's real. And the whole process is controlled top-to-bottom by the current US Government.

So who gets it afterwards?

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Here's a thought: what if the Prince asks for some kind of personally created thing as a component of taxation (or land value tax)? So a citizen pays most of his taxation with money, but also has to hand over a personally created good, e.g. a table, painting, sonnet, pair of shoes, etc, etc, etc. The Prince can then choose to redistribute the thing, or publish it, or keep it (a status improving event for the citizen), or hand it back to the citizen. The idea wouldn't be that the economy is based on the artificial difficultly, more that citizens are incentivised to create with it. Because personal creation is inherently gratifying (which is why Curtis wants to introduce it), citizens will then get the "bug" for creation.

My thinking stems from the establishment of a currency; the government makes it an accepted form of money by demanding taxation is paid in it. This is the means by which government takes a proportion of a citizen's labour for the running of the state. So in our current paradigm the government doesn't care as to the nature of the labour; as long as the citizen generates cash, the government isn't bothered whether the labour is mindless factory work, or composing sonnets.

But Yarvin's Prince IS concerned about the nature of the labour, he wants to introduce "artificial" difficulty in production for the long term health of the citizen (mostly mental health if we're honest), and therefore the state. As taxation is the means by which a state interacts with the labour of the citizens, then it seems that it is the best means of altering the nature of that labour.

Any thoughts, anyone?

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Maybe this is jumping the gun, but there is still no discussion on why our Prince Francia cares about the human capital of his realm, in a time when that won't necessarily be a means to any other form of capital.

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Reminds me of Norm Macdonald’s joke regarding the homeless man’s dog: The dog has got to be thinking, “This is the longest walk in the world...Hey buddy, I can do this myself.”

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Armigers and autochthons? Has Moldbug been reading Gene Wolfe?

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The shortest path to a monarchy is likely making a(n ever-expanding) charter city in Columbia itself, rather than taking over America and naming it as such.

Yarvin should talk more about charter cities.

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