Conservatives Can't Remake Society Either.
Leftists wish to remake society. They want to return us to the “homogenous tribal redistributive society” (HTRS) on a large scale. They will fail. They have failed. They cannot make a homogenous redistributive and tribal society from a multicultural empire of vastly unequal groups of people who who act as competing groups of people. ( See Putnam’s article on the impact of diversity )
The only result of any government over this diverse set of people will be a totalitarian one.
While in our fantasies, we believe that we could have immigrated only a certain class of people, or a certain race of people, or both, but the continent is too large, and the chance to profit by importing cheaper labor in each generation diluted the chance to become a large, powerful and single-class-single-race society. The import of the vast numbers of Europeans who then in turn used the new land and ready capital to produce cheaper goods to ship back to europe at a discount was not an insignificant cause of the collapse of european civilization and the resulting european civil war we call the world wars.
Status is epistemologically necessary social construct — we couldn’t live without it — and Status also controls access to mates, networks, and opportunity. Since a large and diverse population would doom most people in the population to a status discount in exchange for economic solidarity, they fracture into factions where status within the factional group gives them access to mates within their group, opportunities within their group, and influence in their group. In other words, this factionalization creates an increase in the opportunities for any individual to obtain status. (Islam and Buddhism solve this problem by making status spiritual rather than material. This is the ;primary attractiveness to these religions. They create mental rather than material status. Jews work the inverse methodology: the achieve status by group persistence. Whites are torn, and that is their problem. )
Each little faction in the world seems to desire that they make their whole society homogenous, equal and tribal. OUr tribal instincts, and instincts they are, compete with our status instincts to form an equilibrium between the comfort necessary to maintain a group, and the innovation needed to strengthen the group. We call these the masculine and feminine, but that is to apply gender bias to a problem where gender is meaningless. The only societies who achieve the comfort of tribal equality do so by embracing that feminine tribal homogenous egalitarian principle at large, and oppressing attempts at disruptive status attainment, is the poor, ignorant, and despotic monotheistic societies. And in doing so they embrace the virtueless cycle of degenerative decline.
So no, liberals cannot remake society. And if they succeeded we would simply decline in prosperity. They would not make the utopia that they dreamed of. Or rather they might make the feeling of coming utopia, but actually cause decline. Whereas conservatism forces us to face material reality and in doing so we create a utopia we had not planned to.
But conservatives cannot remake society either. We never could.
Conservatives live by the fantasy that they can create a society where they can legitimately rule, without violence, by merit alone, and that merit the act of denying the accumulation of power, by the force of rules of consent, rather than the promise of violence if those rules are broken. In other words, conservatives who are not willing to use violence to maintain the rules are attempting to get others to pay the costs of maintaining those rules. In more economic terms, conservatives are as unwilling to pay the costs of preventing the accumulation of political power, as liberals are unwilling to pay the costs of enforcing the extraordinary discipline needed to control breeding rates, to work and save, and to build a meritocratic society.
So, in this light, conservatives are either foolishly believing the documents of their religion of the American Founding Documents
If someone breaks the rules you must resort to violence. The purpose of the rules is to avert violence. The threat of breaking the rules is that we will return to our use of violence. On a regular basis we allow liberals break the rules. Conservatives do not use violence against the state because it would be violence against their church. Yet liberals use violence and protest and insurgency and capital disruption and undermine the constitution, undermine the courts, by-pass the legislature. And conservatives sit by, wondering why their god does not enforce the scripture of the founding documents.
Conservatives believe that we can aspire to make everyone noble – a member of the fraternal order of soldiers of equal suffrage. They believe that we can live according to the founding principles of the american republic, rather than those documents only survived seventy years, until the civil war. Afterward it became a useful myth by which the attainment of power could be justified by popular consent.
The American founding civilization died with the civil war. Since 1914 we have taken over the role of the british empire. Our ‘god’ died with that war.
For a brief period in human history, we created the illusion that a majority of people could join the civic republican tradition. Any man who could fight and could own a bit of land, could call himself noble.
Because of our vast division of knowledge and labor, which has freed us from physical labor, and which rewards merit, status, and prosperity to the result of genetic gifts, our citizenry is no longer equal enough to form a large class of lesser nobility and soldiery, that is the social construct necessary for political unity, and cultural and territorial expansion, and the maintenance of an empire.
There is no equality of man. There never was. There never shall be. We are unequal. We are unequal in physical ability and intellectual ability.1 We cannot have a government of equals unless that society is extraordinarily small and homogenous. The republican form of government was always a minority form of government. It was simply a meritocratic minority form of government, that desired a constant expansion of and rotation of the elites in order to keep the homogenous society competitive and the elites prosperous.
To attempt to make a homogenous tribal redistributive society out of an empire of heterogeneous is simply an impossible act.
THe question then, is do we fragment the empire so that each fragment may have a homogenous tribal redistributive society, or do we rule the empire in self-defense, to protect ourselves from it?
Any group that wishes to maintain power must in the end do so by its willingness to use violence.
Any group of meritocratic individuals must maintain power or become the subject of extortion by less meritocratic groups : usually the priestly class or their modern version the public intellectual class. THis is another instance of the ancient battle between those who coerce by words and those who coerce by force, and those who coerce by trade.
Conservatives are, by and large, the remnants of lesser nobility. They practice military epistemology.2
The questions we must answer are :
1) Whether we will use violence to maintain the meritocratic society, or become enslaved by the Bonapartist3 ambitions of the politically active minority. (Contemporary Russia is a Bonapartist state.)
2) Whether we will break the nation into regions which may choose different approaches to government and allow people to vote with their feet, or whether we will stay an empire and attempt to force people into the Civic Republican Model. 4
Human capital is an asset that is worth investing in: when educated in large numbers, african americans only improved in IQ slightly, they did improve. ↩
Military epistemology is the most accurate epistemology because the outcome of taking risks is very high. Nassim Taleb discusses this topic in The Black Swan. ↩
Bonapartism: democratically elected totalitarians ↩
Immigrant urban areas will choose Bonapartism, the south, and middle of the country will choose meritocracy, and the west coast democratic egalitarianism – at least as long as the center of world trade remains the pacific rim. ↩