Curtis, would it surprise you, if I told you such an app already exists, although in another country under a very different regime? Don't worry, I'm going to give you a glimpse into how this could work out.

I'm not sure how closely you're watching the news from Russia, but there's that Navalny dude, who was recently poisoned with the chemical weapon grade stuff, went into coma, was ressurrected in a German hospital and returned to Russia two days ago... only to get immediately arrested on some bogus charging again (FYI: surviving poisoning is a crime in these parts of the world).

Well, as you probably know, Russia is a de-facto one-party system. There are regular elections and there is more than one party technically, but no one having any chance of winning is going to be allowed to the elections — current regime is working around the clock to invent new bureaucratic rules to prevent that. So anytime Navalny tries to register his political movement as a party, they make some ridiculous reason not to accept that registration — it's quite entertaining, really, sometimes they register a spoiler organisation under the same name (sorry, that name was already taken, try again next year), sometimes they arrest the organisers, sometimes just make something else up. So, having no way to actually participate in the elections, Navalny and co invented what they dubbed "Smart Voting" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_voting_(Russia)) — an application that shows you how to vote.

Important point to mention is that they don't pick their ideological allies as the candidates — because no ideological allies are allowed to participate, remember? — but instead they pick the second most popular candidate from any party other than United Russia (Putin's party). So in practice that could mean that in your district you would vote for a communist (Russian communists are fake, but CPRF still has sizeable support from the boomers on the name alone), and in another district someone else would vote for a social democrat (also fake). Idea being, that if anyone gets any power, they would immediately feel powerful and start turning on each other, United Russia would have to actually work on making deals with the Communist Party of Russian Federtaion and eventually lose what you call cohesion here.

Because turnout on most elections in Russia is absolutely abysmal, there have been some local successes using that strategy — some regional legislatures had been taken away from the United Russia, although I can't attest to how that worked out for those regional legislatures, because I don't live there. Because United Russia doesn't want to lose its seats, they have to make new and new laws, for example, one recent law is that you are prohibited from agitation for a candidate in elections unless you have an explicit permission to do so. Technically that would mean that even "Vote for United Russia!!!" post would be illegal, but, you know, Russian law application is not known for its consistency.

TL;DR: this idea works in principle, especially in low-turnout elections. Caveat being, ruling class will hate you, outlaw you, and maybe sometimes even poison you if you try organising anything similar.

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Yeah, I was about to post exactly this, though I do believe that Navalny should have been dead ages ago if he's anything close to what he's portrayed as.

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Yeah, that's an interesting question. My best guess — they want to avoid making a martyr out of him, hence the poisoning instead of a bullet to the head, if everything went according to a plan, he'd just have a sudden heart attack on the plane and no one would be any wiser.

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Why not just 'disappear' him then? Or 'suicide' him? Or make it look like he killed himself during some fucked up sexual act? Or have a car hit one of his kids or something? Anyway, no point speculating I guess.

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Because they are corrupt, incompetent and low level. This isn’t the first time they fuck up a poisoning assassination. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/09/a-brief-history-of-attempted-russian-assassinations-by-poison/


They don’t want to make it obvious like they did with Boris Nemtsov

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I am sorry, but doesn't this thing contradict the whole edifice of political philosophy that you have been building up until now? Especially with this "Gray Mirror" edition of your philosophical musings?

This blog (or rather book?) is founded on one simple idea - instrumental nihilism.

With one simple message - detach yourself from politics.

Suddenly, you are not only discussing the opposite approach, but even proposing how it is best executed. The Nihilist Prince became the Activist Prince. Activism can work - you just need an app! What happened that suddenly transformed the idea of organized activism from intellectually retarded and instrumentally suicidal into intellectually curious and instrumentally practical? One would think that if anything, the events of the past 3 months only reinforced the original thesis of inaction and dedicated avoidance of political engagement even further. Remember this?

"Our general theory of collaboration boils down to: under the modern regime, all voluntary collective action promotes power. Anyone whose subjective intent is to act collectively, with power or against it, is objectively reinforcing power. Whichever side you’re on: it’s a trap."

Is collective action no longer a trap? Is is no longer the case that ALL collective action reinforces the regime? What changed? You discovered apps? Voting blocs? Organizing voting blocs through very cool and very exclusive apps? Queue that General Ackbar clip, please.

If you still subscribe to your original thesis of political inaction, your recent exercises in advise for overly enthusiastic wannabe-activists is actively harmful for their own goals (not to mention their personal safety, especially given recent events). And ff you no longer subscribe to that thesis I am just failing to see the logic why.

Moreover, the theory you present here (and in the political amplifier post) is nothing new. It is by now a bit cliche insofar as political science goes. The Regime is certainly aware of it (not the least because, as you note, historically it has been good at using it). This stuff has been known in one form or another for a very long time and was even formalized into an academic field of study more than half a decade ago. Some may know it as "Public Choice Theory".

But I have already read stuff like Olson's Logic of Collective Action. And obviously modern-day high-frequency telecommunications technologies provide a massive multiplier for the potential power that organized collective action can have.

But this doesn't challenge the fundamental premise upon which you based your inaction imperative. Which is that by engaging in such action you are operating within the sphere of Power. You are playing the game of Power. This is Power's domain. This is where Power sets the rules. And if there is one thing that you (anyone here) definitely are not - that thing is Power. However, by playing the Game of Power you are amplifying it. But you are its enemy. So you are simply amplifying its capacity to fuck you. Do you like getting fucked? Maybe Bronze Age Pervert has a point and you are indeed gay.

Building an exclusive hierarchical structure for the Outer Party? With a dedicated app to coordinate the actions of said Outer Party? All of this in, if not a transparently, then at least in a logically obvious hierarchical fashion? How can this even happen in a way which does not amplify the Power of the Regime? I am sorry, but this just sounds retarded. By your own standards. Let's end with another paragraph from one of your better posts:

"Why must generating power always reinforce the regime? A regime is a monopoly of power. Anything that generates power must run that power either through or past it; and past implies tacit permission, so it means with; and with, as the boundary between the formal state and its informal auxiliaries grows indistinct and even irrelevant, evolves into through."

You have the domain of Power, i.e. non-masturbatory political action, and the domain of the Regime. Since the Regime is by definition a monopoly on Power, there is a perfect overlap between the two. No gaps. Straightforward Boolean logic, no? So then the project of creating and using a political amplifier for targeted political action (organized voting) is fundamentally a project of infiltration. But, as you yourself noted previously, you can successfully infiltrate only those organizations which are already moving in your own (general) political direction.

An organized group of jacobites cannot infiltrate the CPUSA in the 1930s. They will either end up communists or dead in a ditch. They cannot infiltrate the Democratic party of the 1930s either, with their chances of avoiding the ditch upon attempting not being much higher. Hell, they can't infiltrate the Republican party of the time either, but at least this time the ditch will probably be avoided. However, can communists from the CPUSA infiltrate the Democratic party in the 1930s? As you know very well - "Yes we can!"

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This post does seem inconsistent with the inaction imperative for the reasons you state.

In defense, though, the post starts "in the future, all elections will be won by automated voting" without saying this should happen now. I think Yarvin's position is that detachment is not the end in itself, but a temporary strategy until political "energy levels" are "orders of magnitude" higher, at which point something else should happen. E.g. from an earlier post of his, "The Bolshevik accepts that until safe and effective regime change is possible, which is not now and perhaps not for decades, no significant positive change is possible. Now and for the foreseeable future, nothing can happen and nothing can be done. This detachment leaves him super calm and keeps him out of trouble with the Okhrana."

One could take this post as something that may eventually be good strategy. Not that it's clear that this is the intended meaning, though.

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I see where you're coming from.

But I think the post fits because it is a method of dealing with all that political stuff with de minimus amount of engagement, literally advocating turning yourself into a robot.

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__On the censorship of Moldbug__

It was a doubleplusgood day of reckoning

Samantha Power's gnarled fingers beckoning

When Moldbug got kicked off Substack

For insurrectionary ideas and talking smack

Once he wanted Robin Hanson's head on a platter

And Futarchical retardation was his subject matter

Then he flew a little too close to the sun

When he handed over his reactionary bop-gun

To the crazies and the alt-right

Busting open political walls like a fucking cenobite

Influencing elections, whispering to Steve Bannon

Careening the Inner Party's canon like Johnny Silverhand's hand cannon

So John Lennon wasn't a lesson enough,

You don't think the Machiavellians gonna call your bluff

No, there was never a Moldbug-gate

It just meant that El Reaction would have to wait

As he went back to pick the buggers out of his code

And Big Brother was so happy to see him à la mode

So was I, because I think he's better

When someone as cool as Kate Crane Gartz can approve of his open letters

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double great!

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Running out the clock dancing with the good idea fairy?

Voting? Its 2021.

Protests? Dude...wigga please..

asabiya; Bad-wipo are about to have their asabiya restored at bayonet point...wait, not about to... it is being done now. DC is a show of force mission to exactly deter protestors, and its working. BTW the last line in the PR version mission statement is “ensure continuity of US govt operations.” After that business of protecting the right of peaceful protest, etc.

best saved for last sentence.

I’m not sworn to ensure continuity of US govt operations. Maybe in 15 hours weezus renegoiate, weezme thinks I’ll ask for govt cc to get linked to Federal Reserve Discount Window.

Now I think you never saw The Green Zone, I did and I also see all the same behaviors and mistakes. You will notice for example Big Army (you may know as DOD) stayed inside the wire.

Its the Green Zone Redux all the way down. As the Red Zones are being recalcitrant in getting going and taking the bait they will be taunted and abused until they do, hence the FBI purge of “white nationalists” today from the NG. One should note most of weezus are pretty damned Nationalistic regardless of hue, but of course the whites notice these things when pointed at us. General promises purges, of WN etc. This is sort of Niemoller by Exit; slowly but surely everyone walks, as Rumsfeld said “disbands itself” when speaking of the Iraqi Army melting away.

The part where they reform into Red Zones wasn’t in the script but surely understood by now.

You’re basically talking about restoring democracy in Yugoslavia say January 1991. The civil war started in March I’ve been there, its really cold, so I get waiting until Spring.

I really, really, really get waiting until Spring. Its fuxing cold out there, even just standing on Independence Ave.

Sorry, this was a good idea for Trumps first hundred days, not his last 18 hours.

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When the refounded Tories ended the Whig Ascendency, they promptly refused to use the same tools which had successfully been used against them*. Thus ensuring an enduring legacy of Anglosphere Conservative parties refusing to use power when in power.

Can you imagine the next incoming Republican President vetting FBI agents, civil servants, Intelligence Community analysts and DOJ lawyers for donations to the ACLU, HRC, Planned Parenthood, ActBlue and BLM? No, neither could I. Because the idea that a Conservative politician do what a Leftist politician does is almost impossible to conceive. This is the rigid frame we all exist within. Which must be shattered.

*We know this because Lord Liverpool was constantly having to dismiss prominent Whigs from their positions as Lord Lieutenant of a county (shire) for their support of radical agitators. During the Whig Ascendency there would be no Tory Lord Lieutenants or Justices of the Peace for a Whig PM to dismiss.

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This sortta answers the question.... "Why is history Whiggish?"

"Because the Tories will only allow Whigs to teach history"

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As this next phase manifests I'm already getting bored and need something to do to occupy my time, and, yes, feel p o w e r f u l. My proposal to pass the time, until the development of absolute monarchy is underway, is to relentlessly attack the GOP. Think about it, how much fuss could it possibly kick up? They exist to be attacked as a shielding mechanism for the regime. They deserve to be attacked on account of their fully cucked spinelessness. There are vast numbers of boomers who have never felt so betrayed in their lives and would be glad to jump on board.

If you think about it, isn't supporting the GOP one of the caricatures of the regime that we used to fall for?

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Another example: a party such as you describe, with having internal factions, that operated in a Strong Party System was the postwar LDP in Japan (until the 90s). It was the dominant party (see also: "Dominant Party System") - the internal factions became, in effect, the real electoral politics until, well, until we got the Japan we see today.

(another example would be Mexico under the authoritarian PRI, again until approximately the '90s).

As I said in my previous reply, I'm not saying this is the worst way to go forward from where we are (far from it - there are many, many worse ways being mused about as we both write! From the totally self-defeating to the horrific *and* totally self-defeating). This might be the best least-worst form of going forward. But it's not without historical examples that unraveled. I will say Japan is doing things better than Western countries, but I'm not sure if it has as much to do with their party political structure than other factors. But it is a "plus" that even though the LDP is not the dominant party it was in its heyday, Japan is doing a lot of things better than other OECD countries. Their are plausible other explanations than the party system, however, and PRI Mexico isn't a sterling example (though, in *its* heyday, it operated exactly as you describe, though in a low-tech "distributive politics" way).

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The thing is what you're describing is close kin to what Political Scientists™ call a "Strong Party System" - particularly the part about if a politician defects they won't be on the ballot again (now not every legislative vote was, in practice, treated with this level of ruthlessness, but important ones were) (I do say were for a reason; the Strong Party System states have parties that are weaker now than they were in their heyday - such as the days when Winston Churchill felt he had to leave his party and join another due to this or that position of the day).

Strong Party System governments are typically your parliamentary systems (particularly under PR), for fairly standard reasons. I bring this all up because the long arc of history has curved towards, well, the same thing we have now here under our Weak Party System - and at times, in places, sooner rather than later (epicycle N1: "But, Porphy, these states were all client-states of the Weak Party System US, not real, sovgovs." Okay, but I think the point still remains valid: I'm not quite sure this would be as much of an improvement, overall. But I do see the validity of people like us acting like a votebank beholden to no particular politician but to our own unswerving cause. Still, tho...the above indicates some of the the questions I have with the overall theory's serviceability).

*USGs two parties seem strong only from the inside, their iron lock on existence. But they're regularly exposed as relatively feckless, compared to parties under a Parliamentary system. You'd never get things like Murkowski in Alaska thumbing her nose at a primary result, or a someone whose not even a member of the party, like Sanders, running in a party primary under a Strong Party System. Simply impossible.

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> Why do you vote, anyway? In increasing order of collective rationality, here are three reasons to vote: (a) to feel powerful; (b) for some powerful good; (c) to become powerful.

For the vast majority of voters, there is no collective rationality (see, e.g., Huemer's TEDx talk on YouTube entitled The Irrationality of Politics), and the more proximate reasons why people vote are various emotions, biases, and group identities (see Caplan's book The Myth of the Rational Voter).

Voters _might_ be instrumentally rational in the sense that saying that one voted for one side or another provides tribal belonging, emotional rewards, etc., for essentially zero cost (what Moldbug naïvely calls free-riding).

To ascribe otherwise might show Moldbug's power myopia projecting a non-tactical, outright full nihilism that he harbors but can only coyly dance around for fear of losing his paycheck.

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Calling Moldbug nihilistic is like calling Miles Davis a cool bitch. I would throw money at him if he would write some hardcore nihilist poetry and post it on Substack as his next content.

Sometimes I wish he would write more stuff that's abstract, cultural and full of voodoo that's over his audience's nodding heads. He's kinda doing a bad Monty Python sketch of a "polite and socially conscious right-wing Karl Marx" at the moment. I like it but afterwards I feel a little unsatisfied, like eating a gourmet burger in a McDonalds wrapper.

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Man, I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm starting to miss the old Moldbug. This is still good though - he's actually proposing shit that's fully practical for once.

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Other than stroking hipster ego, how is what ur proposing here helpful? Do u just want this to be an audience of a half dozen people? I’m not trying to virtue signal or anything but I think just wanting everything to be ultra obscure and inaccessible is pretty lame too. There are areas where that uncompromising approach works (like in art, though I think great artists get a pass for certain heinous acts that they don’t deserve), but if the subject is generating political energy, I think the article is entirely about the exact opposite of what ur espousing so it’s probably not the place. It’s debatable but I don’t think even in art/music/media that mainstream or semi mainstream stuff is any more or less substantive than the obscure stuff, if anything it’s just more moderately appealing to everyone neither cherished or despised (China Joe). Idk I’m not attacking you really as much as defending him cuz I been enjoying the content. But I’m new so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing. , but I appreciate the current level of accessibility alot. It’s right where I’m like it so o I can go looks a couple things up but not keep getting sidetracked every paragraph or 2. I guess I’m just super square haha.

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but yeah this app idea seems like medium? hanging fruit, that a reasonable intelligent group of people could accomplish.

And it's one of those ideas that after you hear it, you think: why the f*** is this not a thing yet. Why hasn't someone created an app to create political power? (Now might be to late and it might get taken off store shelves.) You wouldn't even have to register as an official Party. You could just tell the people how to vote and sell them the research you do on candidates.

What would be the mythos of such a gang? What would be the optimal policy prescriptions to quickly gain power, while staying within accepted limits?

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36:00 where he talks about “network unions”

same thing

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Automate your gay.

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Regarding autovoting - that’s basically how it already works. In Seattle, you get your mail-in ballot, open the Seattle Stranger Election Control Board’s endorsements, and copy their gang’s choices. If you really disagree, you can choose something or someone other than what they recommend.

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Why do I get the feeling that this must be done FAST, or otherwise the left will beat us to it (they could use electing a Stalin these times)? The first side that accepts a jihad-like mentality of power for power's sake will likely get a temporary monopoly over it. It will surely be intellectually satisfying to see tactical nihilism embraced more and more by both left and right as they clash at each other's throats in symmetry, everyone believing the other side to be the antichrist but... what's stopping actual sadists from gaining power then?

There is also the fact that Curtis is basically proposing 'big tech's plan to end democracy forever and replace it with one party rule fueled by populist ressentment'. The only question is what happens after all the ISPs ban it.

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Already beaten to it: https://www.thestranger.com/news/2020/10/14/47141697/the-strangers-endorsements-for-the-november-2020-general-election

Maybe MyNorthwest could have their own election control board *shrug*

I am not aware of it, though.

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All valid, but the question of faction within a party cannot be so lightly skipped past. Communist parties, at least in the period of their decline, had factions that not only customised their slates, but published their own newspapers. You can argue the margins about how much factionalism should be allowed, but party discipline is an essential feature of real parties, and the story is not complete without it.

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Now you know why D's won the election.

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