The Establishment

Society is not just a collection of individuals. It is a power structure. That structure holds society together and allows it act as a unit. It gives society coherence and agency.

Regardless of the nominal political system (democratic or otherwise), the social power structure will always be hierarchical, because a hierarchy is the only effective way to organize a large system. The establishment is the upper level of the social hierarchy.

The establishment itself is a power structure. In the modern West, the establishment is complex, and few people view it as a unit. We are taught to view the components of the establishment as independent parts of society. In this essay, I will describe the establishment in terms of its component parts and how those parts are linked.

In the modern West, the establishment has the following components:

  • The government.
  • The financial system.
  • The owners of big capital.
  • Politicians and political parties.
  • The entertainment and news media.
  • The academy.

Each of these components is a node in a power structure. Each is linked to the others. Each has an important social function.

The establishment is not a secret cabal or a conspiracy. It is too big for that. It is an emergent power structure. There may be (and probably are) various conspiracies within the establishment, but the establishment itself is not a conspiracy.

Also, the establishment is not necessarily harmful. Society needs a power structure. The establishment has an important social function. It gives society coherence and agency. However, it can be corrupt or dysfunctional.

Although I am going to present a view of the establishment in a single country, the modern Western establishment is increasingly an international structure, because several of the nodes are international to some degree (finance, capital, media, academy). But for simplicity, I will focus on the structure within a single country.

The different components of the establishment work together and reinforce each other. This is not due to a conscious design or plan. It is emergent. If the components did not reinforce each other, the structure would be unstable. It would eventually collapse and be replaced by something else. A stable, self-perpetuating power structure tends to emerge in any society.

See Adaptive Coherence.

To put it simply, social power is the ability to control people. Ultimately, social power comes from individuals, and their ability to work. A society is based on controlling individual actions. Society is a power structure, in which certain individuals and/or institutions control the actions of many people. In principle, individuals are controlled for the collective good, to solve problems of cooperation.

See Game Theory and Society.

The concentration of power makes society possible. However, it also creates the potential for corruption. People, as individuals or groups, try to rig the social power structure in their favor. I will call individual members of the establishment “elites”. Generally speaking, the establishment is rigged in favor of elite interests. It also reflects the beliefs and values of elites.

In a modern society, there are different types of social power. For example, the police wield a type of social power: they can use violence and coercion to impose the law on individuals. Money is another type of social power. A person or institution can use money to purchase the labor of others. There are three basic types of social power: punishment, reward and persuasion. These are three different ways of controlling human behavior. The justice system has the power to punish people. Big corporations have the power to reward people with money and jobs. The media has the power to persuade people with news and entertainment. One type of power can often be exchanged for another. For example, money can be used to bribe the police, hire a hitman, or get publicity.

The three basic types of social power can be further subdivided into social functions. The police and the military both have the power of punishment, but have different social functions. The media and the academy both have the power of persuasion, but have different social functions.

In the modern West, social power is distributed among the nodes of the establishment. Each node has different types of power and different social functions:

  • Government: money, jobs, police, military.
  • Capital: money, jobs.
  • Finance: money creation, interest rates.
  • Media: control of mass culture, authority on specific knowledge.
  • Academy: control of elite culture, authority on general knowledge.
  • Politicians: brokering deals, appealing to the masses, elected positions.

Each node wields its power partly to carry out its social function, but also to perpetuate itself within the establishment, to support the establishment as a whole, and to benefit elites within the establishment.

✦ ✦ ✦

In theory, each node of the establishment is controlled by the will of the people, either through a democratic process or through the market. The masses choose how to vote. The financial system is regulated by the government. Individuals choose how to spend their money in the market. They choose what entertainment and news to consume. They can choose to get higher education or not, and what education to get. There is a “marketplace of ideas” (culture) in which different ideas compete and individuals can select the best ideas.

So, in theory, power is ultimately in the hands of the people. However, there are some problems with this theory. In reality, power is concentrated in the establishment. The democratic process, the market, and even the culture are largely controlled by the establishment.

First, let’s debunk the idea that democracy gives the people control over the government.

Political parties and candidates require funding, which they get from big capital. Politicians and political parties depend on the media to promote them to the masses. The academy plays a role in shaping the political views of the masses. The government defines the electoral process and carries out elections. The government can also directly censor certain political views. Government agencies can selectively target politicians and political parties for law enforcement, such as tax audits, corruption probes, etc. The financial system can also intervene in politics, by manipulating interest rates at key moments.

Democracy is highly controlled by the establishment.

The masses lack the knowledge and incentives that are necessary to make good political decisions. A single vote has almost no effect on the outcome of an election. So, the individual has little incentive to vote wisely, or in his own interests. He also has no incentive to acquire the knowledge that is necessary to make good social decisions.

Democracy is a very blunt instrument for collective decision-making, because it simply aggregates the votes of individuals into a single decision, thereby making each vote insignificant and unrelated to the outcome that the individual receives. So, political beliefs are selected for personal reasons: to get approval from others, to compete for attention and status, and to signal identity.

See Democracy is a Tragedy of the Commons.

In the modern West, the major political parties are not that different in their rhetoric, and even less different in their actions if elected. In the United States, the Republican and Democratic parties are essentially a political cartel, often referred to as “the uniparty”.

Now, we need to debunk the notion of the “free market”.

The government creates the market by enforcing property and contract laws. This allows strangers to cooperate without fear of defection. But it also allows the government to rig the market in various ways, to favor certain interests over others. The economy is not organized through an ideal open market. A small number of conglomerates own huge sectors of the economy. Large corporations are linked together in various ways: board members, political connections, big investors. The financial system is a cartel, and people cannot choose a currency. The media affects the choices of consumers.

The big owners of capital do not acquire their wealth in an ideal open market, and their wealth is not a pure reflection of their contribution to society. Their wealth is largely acquired in other ways, such as getting favorable government contracts, getting favorable legal treatment, or borrowing vast amounts of money and using it to buy/create assets during a time of low interest rates. These days, access to funding is often more important to the success of a company than the quality of its products.

Despite its flaws, the market is still more democratic than democracy. In the market, individuals get what they choose and pay for what they choose, so they have an incentive to choose wisely. There is some competition for consumers, and so corporations have an incentive to produce what people want.

The notion of the “free press” is another myth that must be debunked.

In theory, the media are independent of the establishment, and even act as critics of the establishment. This is naive. In reality, the media are part of the establishment. Media corporations are corporations, owned by wealthy elites, and so their products reflect the interests and views of those elites to some extent. Also, the people who create media content — journalists, script-writers, marketers — have all been credentialed by the academy, and have a common elite culture, although most don’t make much money. Media content reflects that elite culture.

The “marketplace of ideas” is another myth. Culture is highly constrained, from the top down and from the bottom up.

Individuals are not independent thinkers who rationally consider the various ideas available and choose those which pass the tests of reason. People are limited and interdependent thinkers. They think inside shared boxes. The ordinary person is a conformist. He lacks the ability and the desire to think for himself. His worldview is mostly determined by those around him, but also by those he wants to associate with or emulate.

The conformity of the masses can be used to control them, by presenting them with artificial information. People do not just conform to the people that they interact with in real life. They also conform to the people that they see on screens. So, the media has a huge influence on public opinion, through news, entertainment and advertising. Education also plays a role in shaping the worldview of the masses.

Also, conformity creates the potential for social delusions. A belief can be socially circular: everyone believes it just because everyone else believes it. There are also memetic parasites, such as ideologies, which motivate people to signal them to others, thus spreading the meme. Modern communication technology has made it easier for social delusions and memetic parasites to propagate. Social delusions can arise from the masses or within the establishment, but establishment delusions have the support of the media, academy and government.

See Social Delusions.

The people do not control the establishment through democracy or the market. The media and the academy do not function as independent sources of knowledge. Democracy, the market, the media and the academy are all controlled by the establishment.

✦ ✦ ✦

Now, let’s consider each component in more detail, and how they support each other.

In a modern society, the state is large and complex. It consists of many different agencies that wield different types of power. Government agencies control an enormous amount of spending power. Some, such as the military and various law enforcement agencies, wield coercive power. This power can be used selectively to reward or punish.

In theory, the law is applied to everyone, without bias. This principle is called “the rule of law”. It means that the law is above all men; no man is above the law. This principle comes from a religious worldview, in which God (an imaginary man) is the ultimate authority and law-giver. However, in reality the law is defined and enforced by men. Politicians write laws, which are then enforced by police, prosecutors, judges, etc.

The law can be applied selectively, to reward friends and punish enemies. A political enemy of the establishment might find himself under much greater legal scrutiny than a friend of the establishment. His taxes might be aggressively audited, for example. He might be prosecuted for a trivial offense, while much bigger crimes by others are ignored. Protection from crime can also be withheld as a punishment for dissent. Anarcho-tyranny is the practice of enforcing the law against your enemies, but not your friends. This allows your friends to terrorize your enemies. In the West today, we are seeing an increasing use of this tactic.

The government supports the other nodes of the establishment by giving them legitimacy, directly and indirectly. The government regulates industries and provides government contracts, so it is linked to big capital. It regulates the financial system through regulations and through the central bank, which controls interest rates and the creation of money. It defines the standards for academic institutions, and partially funds them in various ways. It controls the radio wave spectrum for broadcasting. It provides the news media with much of their content. And of course, the top level of the government consists of elected politicians. So, the government is obviously highly connected to the other nodes of the establishment.

Big capital consists of large corporations and rich people who control large assets. Big capital has the power to reward individuals with money. A million dollars is a lot of money for an individual, but a tiny amount for a large corporation. Thus, big capital can control individuals with financial incentives, such as jobs, campaign contributions, or money funneled through charities. Politicians are the main targets of this control, but others can also be bribed. Senior bureaucrats can be promised jobs or positions on corporate boards. Academics can be offered funding. The media consists of corporations, so big capital controls journalism and entertainment.

Thus, although the government imposes the law on the rich, the rich can influence the politicians who make the laws and the bureaucrats who enforce the laws. Each controls the other. Power is both hierarchical and circular.

The financial system supports the owners of big capital by keeping interest rates low. This is important, because most big corporations depend heavily on debt. It also inflates asset prices, such as real estate and stocks, making the rich richer. The financial system supports the government by allowing it to borrow unlimited funds, and by keeping the interest rate low. The financial system is also highly regulated by the government. Each depends on the other. So, the financial system is strongly linked to the government and big capital.

It is also connected to the other nodes. It employs academics, and it relies on economists to justify its actions. The central bank also relies on the media to communicate and justify its actions to the public. The upper management of the central bank is directly connected to the highest level of government.

Together, the media and the academy are the “Ministry of Truth”. They have implicit authority over truth claims. They also shape collective values through propaganda. The academy has an effective monopoly on the production and distribution of abstract knowledge, which includes moral and political indoctrination. The media has a monopoly on the production and distribution of news, entertainment and advertising, all of which include moral and political indoctrination. The academy and the media control the minds of the masses.

The media and the academy are not monoliths. Each consists of many quasi-independent organizations. The academy consists of many educational institutions. The media consists of many different companies. However, both have unifying structures, standards and cultures. In practice, both the academy and the media operate like cartels.

The government plays a big role in regulating and funding the academy. In the US, a federal agency controls the accreditation of post-secondary institutions. The government defines what a post-secondary education is, and roughly how colleges must operate. The government is also the largest source of funding for academic research. The government issues student visas, and allows academics to immigrate relatively easily. Finally, the government guarantees student loans, providing a huge financial subsidy to educational institutions.

The academy is also linked to big capital. Educational institutions receive donations from corporations and rich individuals. Big corporations hire people with academic credentials, thus making them valuable. Big corporations also directly fund some academic research.

A post-secondary education is almost a requirement to be a member of the establishment. Most elites have at least a Bachelor’s degree, whether they are government bureaucrats, journalists, businessmen, economists, politicians or professors. This gives them a shared culture, and sets them apart from the less educated masses. It also creates a demand for post-secondary degrees, which supports the academy. Not everyone with a post-secondary education is part of the establishment, but almost everyone in the establishment has gone through the academy.

The media approximates a cartel in many ways, justifying the usage of “media” as a singular noun. It is also highly linked to the other nodes of the establishment. “Independent media” is a myth.

A small number of large corporations dominate the production and distribution of news, entertainment and advertising. Those corporations and their owners are part of big capital. The media also receives much of its income from advertising. So, it is linked to big capital.

The media is also linked to the government and politicians. It is highly regulated by the government, and it depends on government sources, both bureaucrats and politicians, for much of its content.

Many countries have state-funded media corporations, such as the CBC in Canada and the BBC in the UK. The US has NPR, which is partly funded by the federal government, but mostly relies on other sources of funding. Public media companies, not surprisingly, tend to support the political left. They also tend to support the government, especially the entrenched bureaucracy.

There are also non-governmental associations, such as the Associated Press (AP), that act as regulators and censors. Because news organizations exchange stories, they conform to accepted standards in their industry, more or less. The AP Stylebook defines those standards, which go beyond spelling, punctuation and grammar. Some of its rules are political, such as the prohibition of the term “illegal immigrant”, and the capitalization of “Black” (referring to race), but not “white”.

Last but not least, the media is linked to the academy. Most journalists have a post-secondary education. They also rely on the academy as a source of “expert” opinion.

Journalists tend to have a worldview is based on popular culture rather than traditional culture. (After all, they are in the business of creating popular culture.) Most are left-wing politically. Most have the same type of education, which included indoctrination with left-wing ideology. They even tend to have the same psychological traits. They are extroverted. They have average intelligence. They are good with words, but have little understanding of math and science. They struggle with abstract reasoning, and prefer to think in specific terms. They are conformists, lacking in creativity and prone to group-think. These commonalities make journalism a monoculture. Journalists also interact with each other regularly, creating an echo chamber that reinforces their shared worldview.

It is fairly obvious that politicians are linked to other nodes of the establishment. When elected, they form the top level of the government. Their campaigns are funded by big capital. They rely on the media to get their message to the masses. Most have a post-secondary education, and rely on a staff with academic credentials.

There are other, less obvious links. Politicians often take jobs with big corporations after they retire from politics. Many worked in big corporations or as government bureaucrats before they entered politics. The most successful politicians, such as ex-Presidents, often start charities, such as the Clinton Foundation. Charities can be important nodes of hidden power, as they direct large amounts of money and can be used to launder bribes.

Politicians have to rise up through the political party system. They have to be selected by the party as candidates. Thus, they have to rise up through the power structure of the party. This typically involves building alliances with major donors.

✦ ✦ ✦

In general, members of the establishment acquire power by ascending a social hierarchy. Every node in the establishment has its own internal hierarchy. An individual gets power within that structure by persuading others to give it to him. Initially, he seeks power from those above him. The higher he goes, the more he has to seek power from those around him, or even those below him. The pursuit of power is a specialized ability, and it tends to crowd out other abilities. Those at the top of establishment hierarchies tend to excel at only one thing: the pursuit of social power.

It would be wrong to think of the masses as simply puppets of the establishment. The masses have power, but it is diffuse. The function of a social hierarchy is to concentrate power in a small number of people, so it can be wielded effectively. The establishment consists of nodes of concentrated power. But individual members of society have their own power, as individuals. If the establishment goes against their interests too much, they will start pushing back and trying to create a new establishment.

The media and the academy do control the minds of the masses, but the reverse is also true. The masses control the media and the academy to some extent. Power is circular. If the media produces entertainment that the masses hate, they will ignore it. If the academy or the media lie too egregiously, the public will stop trusting them. The same relationship holds with other nodes of the establishment. If they abuse their power too much, they lose credibility with the masses. The establishment depends on its credibility with the masses. Social power is largely a matter of faith. If people stop believing in it, it fades away.

Social power is quasi-stable, because power provides the means to hold onto power. Once a social power structure has been established, it is difficult to change. On the other hand, the establishment cannot simply plunder society without losing power. The establishment has to use most of its power to maintain its power. It must distribute rewards and punishments in a way that benefits its supporters and harms its opponents.

The establishment extracts wealth from the levels below, and then uses most of that wealth to provide the incentives (rewards and punishments) that maintain its power. It also uses some of that wealth to reward its own members, elites. Although the establishment extracts a significant amount of wealth from the masses, it redistributes most of that wealth back to the masses.

The establishment has an important social function, but it is also somewhat parasitic on society. If the establishment becomes too parasitic, then the society will either collapse or have a revolution. Either way, the old establishment will be replaced by a new one.

✦ ✦ ✦

In the modern West, the establishment is ideologically leftist. This seems paradoxical. Leftism portrays itself as a revolutionary ideology that wants to overthrow the existing power structure. How is this strange inversion possible?

First, the establishment denies its own power and coherence. Leftist ideology claims that power is held by white people and men, not by the establishment. Leftist ideology is a convenient myth that hides the nature of social power.

Modern leftist ideology does not promote the redistribution of concentrated wealth. Instead, it focuses on imaginary problems of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. To solve these problems, both wealth and status must be redistributed between groups. This means that the billionaires get to keep their money, while some working white man will lose his job to an affirmative action hire. The establishment portrays itself as virtuous and engaged in the fight against racism, sexism and other forms of “bigotry” and “hate”. Every node of the establishment is explicitly involved in this great struggle. This is both a claim to virtue and a justification for power.

The establishment also uses left-wing ideology to promote government spending, which is funded by higher taxes and government debt. Its economic ideology is not communism. It is Keynesian managed capitalism, with a big role for the government. Keynesian economics provides a justification for the borrow-and-spend policy that all modern Western governments use to extract wealth from the economy. It also provides a justification for governments to bail out failing businesses.

The modern welfare state is very friendly to big capital. A highly regulated economy benefits big corporations at the expense of little ones, so it tends to produce oligopolies. The expansion of the welfare state has increased wealth inequality, not decreased it. The welfare state is justified as a moral necessity to rectify injustices of society or nature: to help out the unfortunate and downtrodden. In reality, it is primarily a way to funnel money to elites, and secondarily a way to create a large base of welfare-dependent voters.

What about mass immigration? Why does the establishment support mass immigration and the demographic replacement of whites in Europe and the US?

Mass immigration benefits every node of the establishment in some way. Big capital gets cheap labor and an expanding population of consumers. Population growth raises asset prices. This benefits big capital, and bails out bad debt in the financial system. The academy gets more students. The media has something to talk about and new consumers to advertise to. Government bureaucracy grows to deal with the growing population, which typically includes a large welfare-dependent cohort. Immigrants tend to vote for politicians who support immigration. So, it is not surprising that the establishment supports mass immigration.

In the modern West, the establishment has become corrupt and decadent. Its short-term interests are opposed to the long-term survival of Western civilization. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult for the establishment to reform itself, or for the masses to overthrow the establishment.

The establishment’s strength is also its weakness. The self-reinforcing nature of the power structure makes it quasi-stable, but also prevents it from adapting to a changing world, and from acting rationally toward long-term goals. To exist, it must maintain its myths and its power supply, even if that eventually destroys our civilization. The establishment is trapped by its own internal dynamics.

Unfortunately, the modern Western establishment has enough agency to destroy Western civilization, but not enough agency to save it.


  1. I want to comment on things you said in the video and didn't type here, but I want to engage in discussion with you, and not with Youtube randos, so that's why I'm posting a comment here.

    I believe you'd think differently if you knew more about the boring and filthy Second and Third World, where I happen to live. The type of corruption you have in the US and Canada still allows new businesses to exist and new discoveries to be made. Where I live, once you make more than 500 000 USD, you'll be visited by the mafia (which is essentially the former communists that governed and still govern the country) and you can say goodbye to your plans. The mafia will either "buy" your business, or they'll extort money from you to the point where you have to close it. Oh, and if you want to do science, you can forget it. That's why all people who want to do something more than being mediocre leave for the First World.

    I need to say a few things about the actual empire of evil, the USSR. You probably already know that World War 2 ended with one evil (the Nazis) being defeated by another, much bigger evil (the Communists). USSR carried out genocide and even ethnic cleansing on a much more massive scale, in much more terrifying ways, it also did deadly experiments on humans, it did witch hunts and death camps on a much more massive scale, and the randomness and absurdity stagger the mind. Most of the sadistic murderers died from old age in my country, they died rich, powerful and without hiding themselves, with their children in top positions both in the country and around the world - and this happened also because the leftists in the First World didn't support the idea to make a tribunal like the one for Nazis - such a tribunal would imply that the Communists were at least equally as bad, which could imply that maybe socialism is bad...

    The late USSR was filled with mediocre, lazy people filled with learned helplessness. But it spent a lot of resources to subvert a lot of countries in the second and the third world. In fact, if you take the world map, and you look at it, the countries USSR meddled in are more than the ones where it didn't. Revolutions, wars - all USSR did was spread its feudal model in the second and third world. In the first world, USSR did subversion, and spread propaganda both among leftists and right wingers. Noam Chomsky is a typical example of what KGB calls "useful idiot" - someone who spreads their ideology. USSR supported cultural marxism, feminism, racial conflict - anything that can create class division and subvert American and European society. It supported the hippies and of course, the anti-war movement that squandered the success achieved in the war in Vietnam (yes, it was a squandered success - the victory was thrown away because of lack of consistency).

    This continues today. The USSR didn't die after Raegan catalysed its self-destruction. No, KGB retreated, regrouped and then came back alive and well with Putin - both in Russia, and in countries like mine, that are - in theory - supposed to be part of the European Union, but are actually (financially and politically) under russian control. USSR 2.0 continues to subvert politicians in the First World as well, both left and right, and it continues to support mafia and monopoly in the Second World, on a scale you can't even imagine, and finally, wherever possible, it helps tyrants, like in Turkey, where the actual opposition against Erdogan is much larger (if you have followed the real protests in the past years that have nothing to do with the current organized crowds in his support).

    [end of part 1]

  2. [continued from part 1]

    And finally, there's a huge difference between Obama and Bush - in foreign policy. Obama avoided war as much as possible and that's why the whole world is burning now. Because if USA is not the world policeman, dictators from the Second or the Third World will try to be just that.
    Putin invaded several of his neighbours - these were the first invasions in the Second World since WW2. And Ukraine and US had a deal - Ukraine gave its nukes to Russia (so that the US can be calm that all nukes are in one place), but in exchange, Russia promised to never invade Ukraine, a deal with the signature of the american president below. This signature means nothing, of course: under Obama, the US never does anything, because war is bad, the military-industrial complex is bad, and so on. You also mention Assad in the video - well, the US stayed out of that as much as possible. Enjoy the refugees.

    But the refugees just appear to be your most serious problem. If the US and Europe don't soon adopt Cold War mentality again, the fire in Europe instigated by Russia will soon spread to you - and your economy will suffer too, as the world becomes less free bit by bit. Does that sound paranoid to you? I expect a war in Eastern Europe, and probably even in Western Europe in less than a few years, caused by Russia. I'd stay to fight it if I had even the slightest hope that our corrupt pro-Russian government would fight back. But I don't have that hope. And if you think I'm an insane conspiracy loon - I always hated conspiracy theories, I saw them as a weird form of religion, but knowing what communist and "post"-communist Russia are capable of, really changes your perspective. Russia is another world. Unthinkable, dark place. I've been there BTW, I speak from experience.

    Another point you make is that the US uses wars to obtain resources and crush competition. I don't know what kind of resources you obtain with wars, considering that now you are becoming self-sufficient and the parasitic Arabs and Russians can no longer rely on delivering to you the resources they are sitting on to get rich. I don't know what kind of competition you crush, considering that anything meaningful and worthwhile is created in the US (or built in China as an extension of the US economy).

    Looking at how both your left and right wing in the UK and US are subverted by Putin is really fascinating, like watching a cancer tumor grow. I don't expect you to believe me - the future will demonstrate who's right. Let's just hope Putin runs out of money soon.

  3. Hi, first I apologize for not being very responsive lately. I have been sick/depressed/busy (at different times) so I haven't been able to keep up with social media.

    Yes, the US, Canada, and most of the EU countries have centralized their corruption. It is almost all at the top. Lower levels are relatively corruption free, which does create advantages, because the rule of law is mostly followed. On the other hand, sometimes it is easier to pay a bribe to a local official rather than deal with a labyrinthine bureaucracy. And, in the US at least, certain people are excluded from the application of the law, such as illegal aliens. If the current immigration policies in Europe and the US are not changed, those places will revert back to the kind of low-level mafia rule you describe. This has already happened in black and Latino ghettos in the US, and Muslim zones in European countries. The lack of low-level corruption in the Anglosphere and NW Europe is due to (a) a very effective state monopoly on violence, and (b) very obedient populations due to culture and biology. That is not the norm, and it won't last unless we do something to enforce it.

    I don't believe in evil, so I wouldn't call the USSR an "evil empire", but I know the history fairly well. I don't view society in moral terms, I view it in game-theoretic terms. Society is a power structure that emerges within a game played by selfish players. You can think of it as something like a Nash equilibrium. Every society has a hierarchical structure because that is the only way to make society somewhat stable.

    I don't think Obama avoided war, he simply used proxies more and US forces less. The US didn't stay out of Syria, they armed the rebels. The world is burning because the world has always been burning, and the reason for that is simple: populations grow exponentially. Nature has a need for massive death built into it. Most living beings never make it to adulthood. That is the underlying cause of war. Europe has been relatively peaceful for a couple of generations because of high economic growth post-WWII and low population growth. Of course, there are always local, specific reasons for wars (e.g. Tutsi vs Hutu) but the underlying reason is that death rates must balance birth rates in the long run (look at the population graph for Rwanda from 1960-1994). Something like the current war in Ukraine is an almost bloodless conflict (yes, I know people are dying but not even 1% of the population). It is low intensity because there isn't a growing population of young men hungry for sex or food. I don't think there will be a war in E. Europe, simply because the population is declining. Of course, in conditions of scarcity war could break out, and there will always be conflicts, but I don't see any big wars happening because it isn't in the interests of the establishments of Russia, Europe or the US to have a big war with each other. I think the establishments of all major powers are simply trying to maintain their power, with no real plan for the future, and no intent or ability to make the world a better place.

  4. I agree. When I say "war" I mean that my country will follow the fate of Ukraine, in a very, very similar way (we have an aggregation of Russians near the sea, our government helped them buy massive amounts of lands and housing, which will be used as a reason to attack us to "protect" the russian population). The chance of my children dying in such a pathetic conflict is very small (hopefully). What I mean by "war" is that Putin wants to acquire back the Soviet sphere of influence, and this includes all Eastern European countries. It may even happen with a (relatively bloodless) coup, and most of our politicians have been completely replaced with pro-Russian ones in the last decade. Since the US may not support its NATO allies in Europe, or we may even get out of NATO (we're self-sabotaging our own defense and collaboration with NATO), we're pretty much fucked, but anyway, that doesn't concern you, just thought it may give you some context.

    However, I wanted to ask you for a long time why (in your essay that suggested a "positive" plan for the future of the world) you even considered Russia becoming a part of the civilized world. These people have NEVER been free, they have always been slaves, tortured prisoners, victims, or criminals. Always, you may go back 300 years - you'd still see similar horrors. Russia is utter lawlessness, with basically, unchangeable rulers on top. That's it. This thing you said about going to the groceries being secure that noone will kill you... imagine you're in a ghetto, basically, but with missing infrastructure - no world outside the ghetto, except for the pockets where the elite lives. That's Russia. The absurdity is that genetically, maybe because of the massive scale, these people produce some geniuses in science, business, etc. - but only if they leave the territory and go into the US or UK, for example. Russian art is always tragic and ironic, even children cartoons have this tragedy and irony built into them. But they massively don't know their own history and they want to repeat their own mistakes again and again.

    I digress. What I wanted to say is that Russia, despite being "Second World", shares a lot with the Third World - it shares the fact that it doesn't produce anything, and uses western technology to extract resources that it can sell to the West. Individuals can integrate into the West (at least the 10% that are intelligent), but the country... it's so far from that... You can even compare Eastern and Western Germany - similar people (genetically) - but killing anyone intelligent (genetic cleansing) and imposing certain social rules still produces a HUGE difference between Eastern and Western Germany. And that's Germany. Now imagine us, stinking Bulgarians... And now imagine the historically "cursed" Russians. Integrate that. Good luck. Better nuke us or colonize us.

  5. Another thing regarding the world burning. I understand you biological, non-human perspective and I try to use it anywhere I can, it's very useful and cuts through the bullshit. I also popularize your way of looking at society and competition among my friends, but it really is not everything and does not explain everything.

    Russian foreign policy has always been to create instability ANYWHERE it can. But unlike the subversive and/or military actions of USA, noone notices Russian subversive and/or military actions (just like the already stated fact that almost everyone knows about Nazi atrocities, but not about communist ones). The fact that USSR contributed to religious regimes taking over secular societies is more significant than you think. These societies weren't that rotten in the first place. I recommend "Persepolis", an animated movie that depicts the change that took place in Iran. Marxists trained in USSR brought it, of course. Then Islamist used the instability to take over. In Iran and Turkey there's still a majority of secular youth forced - at least out on the street - to follow rules they don't believe in - it's very similar to Western Eastern Europe (Poland, Chezhoslovakia) where communism was imposed on people. Radicalizing the Third World against Israel and USA was priority for KGB for a long time. A journalist I know once told me a story how, in the 80s, in the Third World, some "rebels" were going to rob him (possibly kill him) when he tried to speak Arab language, but as soon as he started speaking Russian, everyone obeyed him. That's an anecdote from a person I know, of course. But, like I said, in the last year, as I dig into this stuff, I really start seeing that the Third World is not a spontaneous actor. Even events in my country that seemed spontaneous and disjointed in the last decade no longer seem to be that way. The irony is I always hated conspiracy explanations about puppeteers and so on - because they are naive and quasi-religious. Not the case with KGB though. KGB doesn't "create" events, it often fosters processes that already take place and moves them in the direction it wants. But the events wouldn't happen without the "help". Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and the like - they weren't naturally corrupt or religious or against modernity. My country wasn't naturally corrupt and parasitic - we used to be a capitalist monarchy with a lot of private charity from the richest bulgarians that built infrastructure and universities; even when the Turks in the 19th century (I mean the Ottoman Empire) ruled over us, we had property, businesses, religion and freedom to travel anywhere and sell anything and we called that "slavery" until a century later USSR took ALL OF THAT (property, travel, religion, etc.) from us, crippled us and introduced real slavery we still can't recover from.

    I don't think social values are biological. The differences in the pyramid of power is whether it's static or dynamic. Your pyramid is as dynamic as it gets. I look at Canada, its feminism, its "witch hunts", its socialism, and the corruption schemes you depict - that's typical human (animal) nature, but you just have too many systems in place to counter that. We don't have those systems, we don't have the habits to protect ourselves from this getting out of hand. But all of this can change in less than a generation in both positive or negative direction. For example, we bulgarians had all jipsies in their ghetto that never paid their electricity. As soon as the electrical company became mostly private, now ALL jipsies pay their electricity and don't even try to steal it. Put different incentives in the ghetto, put actual severe consequences - even animals will change their behaviour. Jipsies never plan for the future... unless it's about their electricity bill. Which seemed impossible to achieve.

  6. Would you like to have a skype talk about this, maybe next week? August 27th or 28th? I am interested in your perspective. It would be easier to have a real-time discussion. I would like to record it and maybe post it, if that's OK with you. If not, it could just be a private discussion.


Post a Comment