“Democracy as Adaptive Fiction”: Highlighting Moldbug
[via The Anti-Puritan (fragmentos subrayados) ]

  • A political formula is a belief that makes the ruled accept their rulers. Since the former tend to outnumber the latter, a political formula is, if not absolutely essential, an excellent way to cut down on your security costs. A political formula is adaptive because the rulers have, obviously, both motive and opportunity to promote it.
  • Universalism is the faith of the Brahmins, the intellectual caste whose global dominance has been unchallenged arguably since World War II, and certainly since the end of the Cold War. Since an intellectual is defined by his or her ability to influence the opinions of others, it’s not hard to see why democracy is such an effective political formula. Democracy means that popular opinion controls the State; intellectuals guide popular opinion; ergo, intellectuals guide the State.
  • democracy has fooled pretty much all of the people, pretty much all the time.
  • In the standard view, democracy is like the cure for a disease. This disease might simply be described as primitiveness.
  • The permanent contest for political power that democracy creates is an extreme case of limited war, in which no weapons at all are allowed, and battle is resolved by counting heads.
  • democracy is a permanent source of friction. Only very stable, healthy and homogeneous societies can withstand this poison.
  • Meanwhile, the undemocratic, tyrannous societies are not those which failed to take the democratic arsenic, but those which took it and found it fatal.

Esto fue algo espinoziano… podría sugerir la hipótesis que la buena forma de gobierno depende de las relaciones entre gobernados, y que la democracia no es sistemáticamente buena.

  • Every time you hear someone decrying the presence of politics in government, he or she is expressing it. Anyone who praises “nonpartisan” or “bipartisan” or, so help me God, “post-partisan” government, or (especially in Europe) decries the existence of “populist” parties or politicians, or even who believes that there is no room for “extremism” in politics, is stating their fear and distrust of democracy.
  • [Piensan que] All the problems of democracy can be solved by… more democracy.
  • Another way the democratic fiction protects itself is to define “democracy” as “successful democracy.”
  • Let’s define demotism as rule in the name of the People. Any system of government in which the regime defines itself as representing or embodying the popular or general will can be described as “demotist.” Demotism includes all systems of government which trace their heritage to the French or American Revolutions – if anything, it errs on the broad side.
  • The Eastern bloc (which regularly described itself as “people’s democracy”) was certainly demotist. So was National Socialism – it is hard to see how Volk and Demos are anything but synonyms. Both Communism and Nazism were, in fact, obsessed with managing public opinion.
  • Most people in democratic states tend to instinctively classify political systems into two types: democracies and everything else (…) this dichotomy is typical of all political formulas
  • Since another name for a monarchist is a legitimist, we can contrast the legitimist and demotist theories of government.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, I see legitimism as a sort of proto-formalism. The royal family is a perpetual corporation, the kingdom is the property of this corporation, and the whole thing is a sort of real-estate venture on a grand scale. (…) Property is historically arbitrary.
  • The best way for the monarchies of Old Europe to modernize, in my book, would have been to transition the corporation from family ownership to shareholder ownership, eliminating the hereditary principle which caused so many problems for so many monarchies.
  • If you add divine-right monarchy to a religious system that is shifting from the worship of God to the worship of Man, demotism is pretty much what you’d expect to precipitate in the beaker.
  • the idea of “government by yourself” is inherently tautological. Unless you’re possessed by a demon, you govern yourself by definition.(…) If we are governed at all, we are governed by others – and thus “self-government” is a classic Orwellian paradox.
  • Good government is effective, lawful government. Bad government is ineffective, lawless government. How anyone reasonable could disagree with these statements is quite beyond me. And yet clearly almost everyone does.
  • The West has no West of its own. Besides tiny fossils of old Europe like Andorra, Monaco and Lichtenstein, the only successful non-democratic states in the world are Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, each of which is interesting and impressive, but none of which are without problems.
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