This post as a masterpiece. It manages to step on literally everyones toes in the most masterful of ways.

I suggest we use it as a pseudo Turing Test for NPCs as anyone from any “side” who comes away from this post without having had their worldview at least marginally shook is clearly a bot.

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This probably a banal point, but this piece made me think of the phenomenon known as the "red-pilled leftist" (see Michael Tracey, Glenn Greenwald, et.al) you know, leftist who get ostracized by the ruling media class. It seems to me they understand they're living in a oligarchy but they are true romantic democrats.

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> if they could blink T-O-R-T-U-R-E at you in Morse code, they would

This is 100% correct, I worked in one of these big tech firms until last fall. The legitimate media skewered them for years mercilessly, regardless of what they did. There are enough Pavlik Morozovs who read those newspapers and listen to those podcasts to turn against them on the inside, too.

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Thank you Mr. Yarvin! Your regularity of posting and the quality, is amazing; has been wonderful this past year, short as she has been. You are an inspiration to myself, and I am sure to us all.

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Two thoughts come to mind with regards to the “woke” power leak.

One - weak people:

I’ve talked to people who have admitted to supporting the woke narrative because they feel pressure to do so. They don’t actually believe in it, but they lack the backbone to stand up to the people who are exploiting the power leak. Frankly this is just sad.

Two: The government’s woke power leaks:

I believe, a large portion of wokeness stems from the US Government’s (USG) acquisition race laws specifically affirmative action and the 8a program.

The affirmative action power leak is simple, when a federal contractor has one job opening and two equality qualified candidates one minority and one white dude, the minority gets the job because the USG law says so. In fact, sometimes, the federal contractor has to specifically find minorities because they aren’t meeting their quota. In order to deal with this, the federal contractor creates an entire department to comply with the law. The USG, has an enforcement arm that verify compliance. And entire law firms exist to support both entities. This results in an entire sector that is propped up by this power leak. Everyone who is employed in this sector is “feeling the power” every day and working to and ideally grow the power leak.

The first outgrowth of affirmative action is more hidden, in 1978 congress established the "8a program” by extending the Small Business Act of 1958 to include minority set asides - a new, and potentially more powerful leak that the affirmative action power leak. Likely only people who have spent time in the belly of the USG acquistion beast have encountered this. The 8a program is a really neat trick. If your company is a small business and 51% owned by a minority and said minority is not rich or venture funded, then they can apply to the 8a program. If they are accepted into the 8a program, this new company will qualify for up to 100M dollars over 8 years in 8a justified sole-source contracts. What is a 8a justified sole source contract you ask? Traditionally when USG buys something - services or things - the USG has to run a “competitive process” and solicit multiple bids in order to find the lowest price for the services or things they need. A “competitive process” is a total pain, the govie (civilian employed by USG) generally wants to avoid this at all cost and would rather award a sole source contract, which means, they didn’t seek bids for the work. When a govie awards a sole source contract, he mush justify why he did not seek other bids. Sometimes, he’ll write things like these people are the only people in the world who have the skills to build or maintain our totally out dated IT system and training new people is going to cost more. However, when they do this they better be right because, they could end up fired or maybe in jail if they abuse this power. Alternatively, the govie can justify the contract award by essentially writing “company XYZ is a member of the 8a program”. Boom. No risk of getting fired or thrown jail, no need to bother with a time consuming “competitive process”, money is spent and job is done. In many cases, the govies doesn’t even hire the people in the 8a company, rather the 8a company passes the money onto the govie’s “ friends” via a subcontract. This is a win for everyone, mostly. The 8a company takes a chunk of the money and work as a pass-though fee, the govie spends the money he needs to spend. If the work gets done, that’s just a bonus, the most important thing to the govie is that he spends the money, as if he does not his budget will shrink next year. The subcontractor is not exactly happy but they are at least still in business. They have learned that they have to play this game in order to survive so they keep their mouth shut.

Regardless of whether or not the people involved in this situation agree or disagree with the motive of the 8a program, the power leak is useful to them, it helps them them do their job. Now, the executives who oversee the 8a program are 100% woke and they and all their employees in their office and contractors who support them (not the 8a members) are also 100% woke and every day they work to expand the size of the 8a program by increasing the the programs budget and preaching the woke narrative. The 8a companies, they hit a type of lottery, if the minority owner isn’t a retard, they will average make $250k/yr over the next 8 years and split the 8% profit with their non minority partner of the 100M. Netting them $6 Million. After their 8 years are up, they’ll probably sell to Lockheed Martin for like 15 mil pocketing another 7.5M. Bringing their total compensation to $13.5M over eight years. It should go without saying, but all of the people getting rich or having they career progress in this environment continue to advocate for the woke narrative.

So what does this all mean, these power leaks leak tens of billions of dollars per year to support the work narrative. Any new race based set aside expands the leak. Sadly the corona stimulus and platinum plan include this sort of thing. If these leaks were plugged, the volume of the woke narrative would drastically decrease.

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" There is no market at all for pro-Facebook journalism. The concept is ridiculous. "

It wasn't always. I remember 2008, and all those glowing pieces about how the young, forward-looking Obama campaign was using exciting technologies like "Facebook" to mobilise activists and get his message to a wide audience, bypassing nasty old things like party fundraising establishments.

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I miss when Mr. Yarvin used to write poems, so here is a poem I wrote for him.

__On Moldbuggery in 2021__

Who needs a good critic when you've got haters?

The forthright alt-right got woke so, "See ya later!"

Assaulting the capitol, staging a coup

But forgetting what Luttwak would have had them do

And indeed, they forgot about Ludwig von Mises

Who'd soon have decried their A Tartism, Jesus!

Like Rodney with trotters, they surely pigged out

By using their Voice, not to speak, but to shout

Now /pol/ is electrical, much is to gain

If only the shitposts don't drive you insane

And Moot is the point of the furious frog spammers

When little frogs can't scrape up Pence for a planet

On Urbit you'll find lots of futurist fucks

And Martians who'd rival fair Helen's good looks

I'd buy me a Star, and launch me some ships

If only to reseal the Trump King's fat lips

So that he can't breathe, as his last wheezy dance

Takes him to the gutter of farago France

And the black lives that matter devour his dark soul

For daring to swing at Reaction so bold

Fake news and Covid beset Moldbug's mind

Like a barbarous God, He is deaf, He is blind

But His stack is still Substack, unseen are His memes

As He lovingly lusts after 'Murrican dreams

Is it patchwork or Kraftwerk?

Would it make Miley's ass twerk?

That's still the only music

To pass muster in Munich

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Ok, this is an interesting way to look at it. Facebook is a _generator_ of power, but does not _wield_ it, so the power is not its own. I agree with the sentiment - Zuck is a cuck. I don't take the idea of rolling back section 230 very seriously either (and not just because it wouldn't hurt Facebook much, though it would hurt everybody else as a side-effect).

Not that it matters in the moment, but hypothetically how would one fix a power leak like this? From the zuck perspective, how do you seal the pipes and send the little journos scurrying off to some other pond. For some scrappy underdog competitor like Parler it's not even obvious that they generate power, which is why the "cathedral" just goes right over their head to their hosting and payment processing providers and has them crushed like insects. But the press can't threaten Facebook's host. It is its own host. It's extremely unlikely the press could threaten its bank either. It could support unraveling 230, but Facebook could afford this, so that's not it.

The press could try to make Facebook seem very uncool, but this stopped being a problem a long time ago. The press represent the adults, so whatever they say is cool becomes lame for the kids; whatever they say is lame becomes cool for the kids. In any case, while Facebook is very lame, grandma thinks it's cool and if you want to talk to grandma or see what she had for lunch you have to do it on Facebook. So the kids are still on Facebook. Facebook owns both the adults and the kids demos.

There were lots of skirmishes between the press and wider analog media versus the tech media about a decade ago. The analog media felt threatened, which indicates the tech media had power, and it seemed at that point like tech could crush analog any time it wanted. Just cut them out of search results, shadowban them on Facebook and Twitter, watch them wither on the vine. The press played the victim here - variously demanding to be elevated above "fake news" sources and that they be granted royalties for every link and excerpt on Google News, Facebook News, etc. But then something strange happened and tech gave them everything they wanted. Was it infiltration? Cathedral double-agents? Did they get invited to the oligarchic table?

Much remains unexplained here. What is the mechanism that creates the power leak, and how might it have been prevented or how can it be undone?

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Greetings from eastern european compound! Zuck, are you reading this? You can do it! It's not as bad as it looks. We will host your servers on our cozy little land. When the soviets were in power here all those decades ago, some of you made sacrifices to support our freedom to think.

Now the tables have turned and we will return the favor! This time it is easier! The truth is that neomonarchical systems are the future and as free thinking men we are going to propagate this important truth; it can not be silenced, not by an empire in decline at least. If any person of importance within the US government considers what I say to be dAnGErouS and HaTEful discourse, I defy that person to launch a full scale nuclear attack to silence me.

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Would Curtis deny that Hollywood is, or at least used to be, an important part of the polycentric institutional oligarchy he mentions?

I ask because I see the video game industry as the New Hollywood, and AGDQ as possibly a cooler meeting of "progressive" minds than Burning Man. What do kids know about the French Revolution? Why, what they learned from playing Assassin's Creed Unity. What about futurism? Cyberpunk 2077. Modern Warfare? COD: Modern Warfare. I think the collective memeset of modern video games is really powerful and deserves to be mentioned in any discussion of power.

On the other hand, a possibly overrated attempt to gain power by the tech industry is all these new-fangled decentralised chat platforms like Secure Scuttlebutt and, well, Urbit. Since we already have Twitter and Facebook, and Youtube and Twitch, and Medium and Substack, there's already a shit-tonne of ways for different kinds of people to keep in touch and discuss stuff. I feel as though it's more powerful to create content that people will want to talk about, than to create yet another means of discussing it. IMO.

Still, it's ironic that the creator of Urbit is downplaying the potential of the tech industry to accumulate power, or change the balance of power, by creating stuff.

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Dude this post was incredible. I'd vaguely heard of you but as someone who's been trying to figure out the woke thing consider me an instant fan.

The press clearly has the most power. The only reason Biden's approval rating sunk is that some of the media actually hit him on the Afghanistan. All of a sudden magically he loses 10% approval. All the NPCs needed to dislike Biden was the media being semi critical of him for three weeks. Going by that example CNN could probably destroy the Democrats in one day if they wanted if they really went to town and opened the floodgates on things like the Durham report, Hunter's laptop etc. They are basically at the mercy of the press. The press could also end covid quickly if they started promoting pro-freedom message.

Maybe the best way to describe the woke is a relatively small group of psychopaths being orbited by sheep and cowards, politicians trying to get re-elected, corporations trying not to get cancelled, media trying to impress viewers, all of him internally realize in some ways "this group of psychopaths is scary. I should do what they say". They are complimented by a much larger group of people who's main mission in life is to be perceived as normal and have convinced themselves normal is supporting the left wing establishment, in addition to also sharing some of that fear of the psychos.

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You did a good job distinguishing the press owner (Sulzberger, for example) but you might want to clarify that point further if you do any follow up on the subject. If I know you as well as I do, you certainly will touch this subject again.

Because the semi-obvious rejoinder is that Bezos bought the 2nd most prestigious newspaper in the country, if not the world (FT or Guardian might outrank it, Beeb might still outrank any of those despite not being a dead-tree institution, but we're quibbling).

I can keen your rebuttal to that: That Bezos might have bought WaPo with the idea that then he would have power - he even got to change the slogan to "Democracy Dies in Darkness" (and now participates in snuffing the lamps out, not only all across Europe, but the First World), but he doesn't get to exercise any meaningful power over it. As in: lets say he tried to reverse course, took editorial control and began to order his employees there to take a different tack. He replaced the Editorial page with the kind of people Ron Unz hosts, or with the columnists from Taki Mag. The thing that would happen is a total hissy-fit revolt, monkey poo-flinging, and either Jeff would reverse his decision, say he was only kidding, apologize for the prank and promise never, ever to do it again, and sign some sort of WaPo version of the Magna Carta cementing his humiliation, OR there would be a massive defection, La Prensa style, and WaPo would end up with as much prestige as the Washington Times has had (probably even less) or the Washington Examiner (probably even less). He's smart enough to see several moves ahead, so of course he doesn't do anything so self-defeating. He lets the WaPo staff become who they are. He makes sure to hire people who fit in, but even moreso (probably he doesn't do that, even - he probably makes no hiring decisions whatsoever, even for the top jobs there - he knows better). He has ownership, but not control - which is something you pointed out long ago: the converse is the way the Modern Structure exercises power (control, without formal ownership. Of course, if you control something you effectively own it; pwn it. It's yours. Regardless of what the title deed says. But you don't have to accept any responsibility for failure, and you get to hide your power over said thing. Because, after all, Bezos owns it and he has all the money - it says right there in the legal documents and bank accounts - so of course...)

Anyhow I think some people will miss this, accidentally or "accidentally on purpose" like several of your regular commentators (the tggp-type) from back in the day typically did.

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"Zuckerberg could no more block this power flux than he can block a lightning bolt."

This statement is hyperbolic, in the same way that Yarvin's previous statements re the Supreme Court have been (but more so since Zuckerberg is a single man).

If Zuckerberg really wanted to, he could allow free speech on Facebook. He'd lose some employees and be a pariah, but he wouldn't lose his company, nor would any organ of the formal government go after him (in the US). It's true that he has very strong incentives to go with the flow, but he's not replaceable in the way that e.g. a moderator is.

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Maybe one final thought: I recently checked out Parler and CloutHub, and I see that those things can't succeed. They are 99.99% composed of marginal characters, not any sort of elites at all. I felt repulsed by what I saw. Yes, I am convinced that cultivating a dissident intelligentsia is the only way to move forward. Who's going to do it, though?

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I agree completely that in this power ecosystem of government, big tech, people and journalists, that the prestige journalist/press seems to be the most ever present bad actors and ideological enforcers and seem to somehow have the highest trust or power over the public and the other power players. They’re the most protean and elusive, and seem to have nothing really to hold them accountable in any really significant way. I Do think their mission of channeling the political energy of the masses for their bidding will be significantly harder with trump out of the picture. He was the Vince Macmahon/ric flair of politics and there’s no possible way they can create a more perfect heel if they tried. By reinforcing the stereotypes so perfectly, he gave those institutions so much more prestige capital. When are people most United? When there’s a serious enemy? Aftermath of 9/11, ww2 etc. this is different since the enemy is internal, but if there’s one thing the left is completely cohesive about its The Trump threat. As ridiculous as the majority of the criticism he’s drawn has been, he is almost perfectly indefensible to these people. If there’s any hope I have of reducing the power of the press, then that’s the thing I’m optimistic about. Of course if people keep attacking capital buildings, you’ll just have “Muslim terrorists” 2.0 that you can justify doing anything you want to so much rests on how much the “revolutionary” right plays into that trap. It’s a war of attrition but they have the upper hand, they get ten times as much mileage or political power out of genuine right wing extremism as the right does from instances in the opposite spectrum. That will be lower with no orange guy.

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[Interior, underground cave. Cathedral rises from a pool of lava and lights a cigar]

Cathedral: I'm back, baby!

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