Civics for the 21st Century: Throwing out the Compass

It’s become trendy on both the “left” and the “right” to point out that the Left-Right political scale is obsolete. Rejoice! Society has finally woken up to the fact that the public debate is all too often predicated on a reductionist and stultifying abstraction dating all the way back to the French Revolution.

Part of this so-called awakening is the result of left-wing media and academic elites trying to rebrand themselves, now that the jig is up and all of the socialist experiments have failed. Part of it is delusions from the dissident right and Bilderberg neoliberals. And part of it may be a legitimate political realignment as we start to see political parties with bizarre mixes of far-left and far-right platforms.

Unfortunately, pundits writing about this resort to equally reductionist rhetoric. It’s really authoritarian vs. libertarian, you see; or nationalism vs. globalism or pro-white vs. anti-white. It’s always some new binary to replace the old binary, often cribbed from the awful political compass that turned so many previously-reliable conservatives into cucks social liberals.


(Aspiring demagogues, take note: if you want to amass the largest possible following, pick something that roughly half of all people disagree on and then become absolutely fanatical about one side or the other. The late 21st century will be punctuated by a major world war between the Bitcoinites and the Monerians.)

If any of these new paradigms were useful as more than divide-and-conquer rhetorical devices, then in practice we shouldn’t be able to distinguish National Socialism from National Capitalism, or Monarchy from Communist dictatorship. Obviously, any model suffering from this deficiency of nuance is hilariously incompetent. There have been some attempts at better ones, but any model that considers Hoppean libertarianism to be equivalent to Neo-Conservatism probably needs some work – although they deserve credit for trying.

Let’s attempt an improvement, based on a realistic examination of existing ideologies.

Civics 201: The Sequel

A useful model of anything (civics included) should provide enough variables to describe the whole system, without adding anything that’s unnecessary or redundant. All of the factors below vary independently; for any combination representing an “ideology”, we can find a relatively large group of people who agree with all but one.

Obviously we could add an infinite number of other factors such as the “soy-meat axis” or the “lifting-not lifting axis”, but this list isn’t arbitrary. It’s intended for sober analysis, not entertainment. Each measure is both (a) not dependent on any other measure, and (b) important enough for civilizations to have gone to war over.

If you’re looking for an easy good-vs-evil, heroes-vs-villains solution, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re interested in understanding the nuances of political philosophy and why existing low-fi tools are so very bad at it, this will help.

The 9 Dimensions

Each of these will be described in more detail farther down; this is a quick overview and reference for looking up later:

  1. Commons vs. Private Property
  2. Uniformity vs. Diversity
  3. Hierarchy vs. Egalitarianism
  4. Naturalism vs. Constructionism
  5. Authority vs. Consensus
  6. Coercion vs. Voluntarism
  7. Expansionism vs. Protectionism
  8. Militarism vs. Pacifism
  9. Identity vs. Ideology

If any seem redundant or confusing, read on to find out why they’re included.

1. Commons vs. Private Property

The single most important “question” in politics is still the EQ – the Economic Question. Who owns what, and what does that ownership imply?

At one extreme, we have communal ownership (commons): no one may claim any exclusive control over any property, including their own person. At the other extreme, everything is private property; there can be no “public spaces” or state-owned land, and whomever owns some property can do what they please with it, subject to the constraints of the local laws and compacts.

This is what most people mean when they talk about left vs. right, but it is neither the authentic original definition nor is it a universally-accepted definition. It’s just one question – albeit a very important one – that we try to answer about how society should run. Most western countries today, despite claiming to be “capitalist”, confiscate more than 50% of private wealth for use and/or redistribution by the state, which makes them center-commons or center-“left”.

2. Uniformity vs. Diversity

We could alternatively call this Homogeneity vs. Heterogeneity, or Social Trust vs. Social Inclusion. Is it better to have groups (including nations or civilizations) whose members are mostly very similar to each other, or should we prefer or even demand high demographic variation?

At one extreme, all clearly-identifiable groups must be physically segregated from each other to avoid conflict. At the other extreme, it is never acceptable to segregate (or “discriminate”) based on group membership. Note that “group” can be anything; sex or race are obvious examples but segregation may also be related to body type, religion, birthplace, income class, promiscuity, etc. The trend toward hyperinclusion in the 21st-century is clear (fat-positivity, interfaith churches, Hart-Cellar, means-tested benefits, anti-“slut shaming”, etc.).

Position on this axis determines Nationalism vs. Globalism. It is no coincidence that the same multinational institutions obsessed with Diversity & Inclusion are also pushing for open borders. These ideas are one and the same; if all segregation is evil, and borders are a form of segregation, then borders are evil and must be abolished.

3. Hierarchy vs. Egalitarianism

Hierarchy is commonly and incorrectly associated with authoritarianism or state power, but these ideas are independent. Authority and government can be organized in a hierarchical fashion, but so can many other things including wealth, infrastructure, and even information. Likewise, authority does not require hierarchy; a project team may have several Subject-Matter Experts who have the final say in various areas (either by fiat or by mutual agreement), but all are considered to occupy the same position in the hierarchy.

Without resorting to the neologism cholarchy, the ideological concept most clearly positioned against hierarchy is egalitarianism, which has as its precept the idea that all people within society, or any other group, have equal stature and deserve equal treatment. Egalitarianism can be applied to individuals and also groups; in the latter case it is generally called relativism (i.e. all forms of culture, morality, intellect, etc. are of equal value). At the extreme, we have equalism or “equity egalitarianism” – that is, a near-total fixation on statistical disparities and how to resolve them, without any consideration given to the idea that said disparities might be inevitable or even good.

Hierarchies can be natural or man-made. If the idea of a sexual dominance hierarchy offends you, or you’re annoyed by your employer having too many layers of management (regardless of how they manage), or you think Trello is weird and confusing and would rather just dump all your ideas into Notepad, then you lean toward egalitarianism (or cholarchy).

A concrete, easily-observable example of the divide is in religion. Most religions are hierarchical, putting one God at the top and perhaps lesser holy or divine entities above mortal humans. Deeply religious people, having been fully immersed in a spiritual hierarchy, are generally comfortable with a moral and cultural hierarchy as well. Atheists are inherently relativistic (all religions are equally wrong/bad), and correspondingly less tolerant of other types of hierarchy, often gravitating toward moral and cultural relativism.

4. Naturalism vs. Constructionism

Arguably the biggest rift in politics is also the biggest rift in academia: Is there a natural order, and if so, to what extent does it influence our choices and outcomes? In laymen’s terms, this is Nature vs. Nurture.

The edges of this are essentialism (or “genetic determinism”) on the naturalist side, and critical theory or “blank-slate theory” on the social-constructionist side. Politically speaking, a naturalist believes that society should be organized based on the patterns we observe, whereas a constructionist believes that social organization creates the patterns and should therefore reflect our best ideals.

Very few people believe in the extremes, i.e. that we are genetically programmed automatons with no free will, or that there is no such thing as a heritable trait. However, parts of the modern “left” movement are very close to the constructionist extreme, e.g. believing that IQ tests are merely a reflection of cultural bias.

Constructionism is different from egalitarianism or relativism. An egalitarian might believe that men and women are equally qualified to do most activities despite their biological and psychological differences, or at least deserve an equal “opportunity” to do them. A constructionist would instead assert that there are no biological or psychological differences, and any differences that appear to emerge are the result of current social structures.

5. Authority vs. Consensus

Authoritarianism and libertarianism are not opposites, because authority and liberty are not answers to the same question. Liberty is a state of being, whereas authority is a method of resolving disputes. The correct opposite of authority is consensus.

In an authority-based system, disputes between individuals are resolved by a designated authority (who may or may not be involved in the dispute) having the final say. In a consensus-based system, everybody must agree; competition and dissent are seen as threats to the social order, and if a compromise (preferred resolution) is not possible then generally one of the individuals must be manipulated, ostracized, or cast out in order to maintain the consensus.

Authority does not necessarily imply totalitarian micromanagement. Common Law is a system of authority but is also entirely reactive. Authority is also neither inherently coercive nor hierarchical; another form of authority is arbitration, in which both sides of a dispute voluntarily and temporarily agree to submit to the decision of a third party. More generally, children tend to accept adults, especially their parents, as authority figures because it is in their nature to do so.

As systems of governance, monarchy and dictatorship are both authoritarian; direct democracy is consensus-based and representative democracy (or republicanism) is somewhere in between.

6. Coercion vs. Voluntarism

What is the individual’s relationship with authority, and can an individual be compelled by force to transact with another individual?

A perfectly ideal voluntary system would require ideal cooperative actors who never defect. Real-world systems will always involve some coercion, even if it is not by a state actor or legitimate authority (e.g. mob rule). Typically, coercion is used to prevent more severe and undesirable forms of coercion. In other words: Law Enforcement protects property and contracts.

Some systems seek to minimize coercion, while others have a much greater tolerance for it. This is often referred to as “moral policing”. Indecency laws, eugenics programs, and anti-trust and anti-gouging regulations are all obvious examples of coercion above and beyond the basic level required to protect voluntary transactions.

Voluntarism is not consensus, and coercion is not authority. Coercing another individual does not require them to recognize your authority as legitimate, only to view you as a potential threat (they may try to take revenge later). Voluntarism does not require consensus between two individuals, because either individual is free to refuse the transaction regardless of what the other desires.

A simple litmus test for coercion-affinity would be: is it acceptable for a parent to use any amount of physical violence or verbal abuse (including spanking or yelling) to discipline a misbehaving child? Many “small-government” types would say yes, which likely indicates they are not opposed to coercion as a principle, but are only concerned with who gets to use it and when.

7. Expansionism vs. Protectionism

One very important trait of an ideology is its survival strategy – whether it is primarily protectionist (inward-looking, focused on stability) or expansionist (outward-looking, seeks to convert others to its principles).

Expansionism on a national scale is imperialism, which can have several forms: military, treaty, cultural, etc. It does not necessarily seek to abolish national identity or borders, but does seek to impose its ideas on others. Protectionism on a national scale might take the form of trade protections, speech/content regulations, defensive weapons or nuclear deterrence.

The Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire were both violently expansionist; the Christian religion is (mostly) peacefully expansionist. American black nationalism has historically been violently protectionist, and Judaism is (mostly) peacefully protectionist. These examples merely serve to illustrate how the axis is independent of militarism, nationalism, etc.

8. Militarism vs. Pacifism

Human history has unarguably been extremely violent. A militarist believes that some (and perhaps all) social problems can only be resolved through violence, and that all other forms of dispute resolution (such as voting) are merely proxies for violence. Pacifists believe that there is a peaceful resolution to every dispute, that violence is never necessary and therefore the threat of violence does not need to be implicit in any enforcement mechanism.

Pacifists believe that “soft power” exists. Militarists do not. This is one of the primary drivers of foreign and domestic law-and-order policy. Canada, the USA and Israel all have similar systems of government, but Canada is pacifistic (strict gun control), the USA is somewhat militaristic (second amendment), and Israel is highly militaristic (all citizens must be trained in the use of weapons).

Militarism does not necessarily imply conquest or interventionism; that is only the case when combined with an expansionist tendency. Given tendencies toward uniformity and protectionism, we end up simply with a militaristic nation-state (i.e. defensive/retaliatory violence).

9. Identity vs. Ideology

This is a new but important axis that has emerged in many different regions of the political spectrum. Can ideology be the basis for identity, or does identity always determine ideology?

What we call “identity politics” (i.e. based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) has been a bedrock of the American progressive movement for a long time. Many still lament the fact that the Democratic party “pushes” identity politics. Others – especially the Alt-Right – believe that identity politics are simply the inevitable result of our demographics, and can never be trumped by ideology.

If we consider the influence on nationalism, for example: an identitarian would lean toward ethnic nationalism, whereas an ideologue would choose civic nationalism.

A more interesting example of ideology-first philosophy is religion. Both the Jewish and Christian religions have survived for thousands of years, largely unchanged in their core beliefs, and have large numbers of adherents who consider their religion to be their principal identity. Islam, on the other hand, has a long track record of sectarian violence, and secular civic nationalism has largely failed. It is possible that ideology can only form the basis of identity when other aspects of identity (e.g. race) are already homogeneous, but this remains an open question for debate, and where you fall on this axis has very significant implications for which political movements you might be attracted to today.

Wrapping Up

While 9 dimensions might be somewhat hard to internalize – and definitely hard to plot – the definitions of “left” and “right” in political discourse are so skewed by now that we really need a better system.

There’s a fairly plausible hypothesis that each dimension has an affinity with a particular personality facet, of which there are 10 – five main categories and two facets in each. However, this would be hard to prove without a large study, and at this point it’s best to avoid making such claims without evidence.

Instead, we’ll stick to the descriptive. Expect a follow-up post mapping the various dimensions to well-known political ideologies, which will cover the subject matter of a few heated debates over recent weeks.

P.S. This taxonomy is a work in progress. I’ve “tested” it on several different well-known ideologies and it appears to be both useful and self-consistent. If you spot any obvious inconsistencies, or if I’ve missed some crucial axis that has a profound effect on social organization, let me know in the comments.


What Would Honesty in Politics Look Like?

Over the past few decades, American politicians have told so many lies that their entire platforms are now effectively nothing but lies. I sometimes like to imagine what it would be like if “truth-in-advertising” laws required political parties had to write their platforms honestly. I think it would look something like this:


Hello there! We hate you. Like, really really hate you. It doesn’t matter, because you’re going to vote for us anyway, because we’ll promise you lots of free shit and nobody can resist free shit. Don’t ask us where it comes from, we’re not some evil right-wing economists, we just know that you have a right to have it.

Race and gender relations are one of our top priorities, which means we have to keep them as tense and miserable as possible so that we can continue to be elected on that platform. We vow to constantly shriek about the plight of black Americans while simultaneously doing everything we can to keep their families separated and living just above the poverty line, because poor people seriously love free shit.

We also care deeply about income inequality and lament the disappearance of the middle class that mysteriously disappeared while we were sending trillions of dollars to Wall Street. It’s a total mystery what happened to the middle class, but one solution we have is to bring in a lot of migrants from the countries that Republicans keep bombing, because we hear they’re super-smart and massively productive, and if they’re not, then we’ll just offer them some free shit to keep them happy.

We’ll never rest until there’s true equality in America. If that means everyone living in mud huts, defecating in the streets and standing in ration lines, well, that’s a price we’re willing to pay from our highly secure and air-conditioned DC offices and gated communities. That’s how committed we are to fixing inequality.

By the way, if you don’t support us, it means you’re a racist sexist homophobic transphobic islamophobic bigot.


You can trust us, because we’re nothing like those race-baiting, gender-baiting, socialistic Democrats. We believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. Specifically, we believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to become the indentured servant of one of the billionaires who contributes to our campaigns.

As Republicans, we believe that it’s real jobs, and not government programs, that drive the economy. Cheap jobs. If you’re unhappy with your wage, don’t worry, we’ll just bring in another few million third-world immigrants on lottery visas who will do the job for you and then send their paychecks back home to enrich their totalitarian governments at your expense.

We believe very strongly in the ancient adage si vis pacem, para bellum, which means: “if you want peace, make up some bullshit story about human rights abuses and then bomb the fuck out of every country that even whispers about self-determination.” Trust us on this; we have a lot of Foreign Policy experience, which you know is a very sophisticated and nuanced topic because we call it “Foreign Policy” instead of “waving our dicks around”.

Don’t put your faith in those incompetent Democrats. Technically, we don’t know how to do anything either, but that’s OK, you’ll vote for us anyway in the hope that we won’t do anything. You’ve already given up any optimism that we might try to reverse any left-wing policies or cultural shifts, which is good, because we’re terrified that people will say mean things about us if we do, so we won’t. We’ll basically do nothing and that’s what you really want.

By the way, if you don’t support us, it means you’re pro-Terrorism.


So, like, the biggest problem with America right now is drug prohibition. It’s totally the root of every other problem. All those people in prison? If it weren’t for the drug war, they’d totally be, like, really creative and productive and hard-working citizens.

And weed has all these great medicinal qualities. It will totally help patients and generate tax revenue. Like a dozen states are already doing it, but Johnny Law still says it’s illegal in all the others. It’s total BS, man, and the drug war is a failure and we should stop right now. That is the most important issue of our age and we vow to keep bringing it up it over and over again.

Borders and armies are just, like, state-sponsored terrorism or something. They use those tools to oppress you. If you could just free your mind, you’d realize that none of these things are necessary for peace or stability. If you just let everybody be free, they will totally self-organize and compete fairly on the market. We know that’s true because we asked the other libertarians we hang out with exclusively and they all agreed.

Don’t worry about demographics, dude. We promise you, once these people learn the gospel of libertarianism, they’ll never turn back. We just need more awareness of our platform, and for the Democrats and Republicans to stop busting our party members for drug trafficking. Not cool, man.

By the way, if you don’t support us, you’re violating the NAP.

Equality vs. Equity: Who Cares?

I’ve been hearing this comparison from mainstream conservatives and classical liberals who are trying to come to grips with the radical egalitarianism of the neo-Marxist left. Often it involves a cringe-worthy meme, which I will not post on principle, but suffice it to say, it involves crates and third-world children.

Anyway, the argument from the center-left and center-right goes something like this:

What you’re advocating for isn’t actually equality, which is liberal; it’s equity, which is Marxist.

And the argument from the Cultural Marxists goes something like this:

What we’re advocating for isn’t actually equality, which is liberal; it’s equity, which is Progressive.

Notice the problem here? So-called moderates have accepted the framing of postmodernists, which is that of course equality is a beautiful and sacred value to hold above all others, but it’s just so hard to achieve, and really the best we can do is aggressively root out and prosecute those thought-criminals known as racists and sexists, but maybe it’s not good for society if you call everyone a racist, and please don’t call us racist, we can find some kind of compromise.

When liberals and conservatives accept this framing, neo-Marxists always win. It’s no different from the arguments I used to have 10 years ago, where I naively and smugly pronounced that equality of opportunity is not the same as equality of outcome. I thought I’d made some powerful and provocative point, but actually persuaded no one. As I quietly drifted out of politics to concentrate on my career, I came back years later to find progressives arguing over whether equality of opportunity is merely insufficient or if it is a totally incoherent idea.

And while sane liberals such as Sargon of Akkad, whom I truly consider to be a modern-day cultural hero, try to present the same arguments I presented a decade ago, I’m forced to conclude that Dylan at Vox is actually correct – or at least, his argument is more persuasive. Equality before the law is not equal opportunity. Even if we deny everything we know about genetics, different individuals still come from different families, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. They really don’t have equal opportunity, and since liberals are predisposed to ignore intergenerational effects (e.g. the economic incentive to work hard and save money so your kids can have more opportunities than you did), they are easily manipulated into supporting more authoritarian equity programs.

If you’re reading this, and you’re a trad-liberal, and are wondering how to inoculate yourself against the virulent progressive strain of equalism… sorry, I can’t help you. But to anyone who considers themselves right of center, it’s very important that you learn to reject the Marxist framing and apply your own.

The neo-Marxist narrative:

Historically-marginalized groups can never achieve the same outcomes as historically-privileged groups by simply receiving equal treatment, because they start from a major disadvantage. Therefore we must do everything we can to elevate such people until all disparities disappear.

The conservative narrative (bad argument):

It isn’t possible to eliminate all disparities, and trying to do so makes things worse because it creates perverse incentives. Unequal outcomes are the result of free choice, and individual liberties and free markets produce the highest rate of good outcomes.

The correct, historically-aware narrative:

Inequality on a massive scale is absolutely necessary for civilization to function at all. Almost all major advances by humanity are because of a tiny number – less than a thousandth of a percent – of people who ever lived. They succeed in free societies because they are talented, not privileged. It is completely unacceptable to risk destroying their life’s work in the name of “equality”. If not for equalists, we might already have cured cancer and started colonizing other galaxies.

I’m sure there are better rhetoricians out there than I am, who can come up with sharper language than I have. The takeaway here is that human ability, regardless of how you measure it, has a Pareto distribution, and that any equality/equity policies designed to collapse that distribution will necessarily collapse all human development. In a group of 10,000 people, if you lose the top 1% of performers, you lose 50% of your total output. You do not want that to happen. Not even once.

Equality is therefore anti-progress, and anti-civilization. There is absolutely no reason to get caught up in a debate over equality vs. equity, or equal opportunity vs. equal outcome, because all of the above are incoherent and destructive.

So start owning it, rightists. Equality is the fever dream of an emotional child, not a useful model for social organization or governance. You won’t persuade postmodernists because they never actually cared about equality in the first place (only power politics), but they tend to back away slowly after realizing there’s no emotional lever to manipulate, and you might be able to snap a few low-level conservatives out of their hypnotic trance.

The 6 Levels of Conservative

To the untrained eye, there appears lately to be a lot of divisions within the political right wing. As New York progressives stare slack-jawed and Clintonites build laughably simplistic models, it’s become apparent to me that the divisions are not factional, but evolutionary. Like a classic role-playing game, each ideological “tier” represents a level-up that unlocks new abilities: new ways to think and reason about today’s economic and social ills, new defenses against the ideological indoctrination of the left and new techniques for going on the rhetorical offensive.

This isn’t a hierarchy. It’s not a way of saying that every Lv5 is a better person than any Lv2. It’s not a measure of overall intelligence, or authoritarianism, or even the precise location on the political compass. If anything, level-advancement brings heightened awareness of the irrelevancy of the left-right axis, at least anywhere to the right of classical liberalism. It’s a personal evolution, with each individual having their own unique set of attributes, ideas and tactics.

In other words, if you see yourself on Lv1 or Lv2, that’s not intended as a strike against your self-worth; only a sign that your political philosophy has some room to grow. Also: You do not level up by simply knowing about the different levels. You have to feel it on an instinctual level and be able to articulate it clearly, and that means fighting some (verbal) battles against average and midwit SJWs and neoliberals, not just the dumb shitlibs you see ranting on social media and in spin class. Trash mobs don’t give good experience or loot.

Level 1: Trad-Con, Neocon, Classical Liberal


  • Vague sense of unease that our freedoms are slipping away.
  • Desire to preserve some or most aspects of our current culture and lifestyle.
  • Belief in the value of dialogue and compromise. “We can work this out.”
  • Faith in the integrity and self-correcting nature of our public institutions.
  • Forward-looking, short-term. “Here we are; how can we slow things down?”


  • 🛡 Parry (negates half of incoming DMG)
  • ✨ Provoke (temporarily focus enemy attacks on you)
  • 💊 Sacrifice (HP goes to 0, allies are partially healed)
  • 👣 Run away

Level 2: Fiscal Conservative, Constitutionalist


  • Comprehension of how incentives drive behavior.
  • Desire to maximize human flourishing.
  • Disgust of Marxism, dislike of socialism and big-government programs.
  • Faith in the self-correcting nature of competition and constitutional democracy.
  • Forward-looking, medium-term. “Can we correct the incentive structure?”


  • ⚔️ Economic Argument (low DMG)
  • ✨ Call out Hypocrisy (enemy loses turn; no effect on bosses or SJWs)
  • ✨ Appeal to Profits (banish enemies; must be on Unconverged Business terrain)
  • ⚔️ Cite Legal Precedent (moderate DMG; no effect on lawyers or ferals)
  • 👣 Ragequit (low AoE DMG; lose 90% of HP)

Level 3: Libertarian, Objectivist, Originalist


  • Understanding of opportunity cost, time preference, and economic calculation.
  • Desire to maximize individual liberty.
  • Distrust of all coercive monopolism, including cronyism/regulatory capture.
  • Faith in the self-correcting nature of Sovereign Individuals.
  • Backward-looking, short-term. Rejection of “living constitution”, expansionism.


  • ⚔️ Non-Aggression Argument (moderate DMG, weak against Communists)
  • ✨ Confuse (enemy loses multiple turns, may attack other enemies)
  • ✨ Support Legal Marijuana (temporarily focus enemy attacks on others)
  • 🛡 Sperg Out (ally+enemy attacks negated for 1 turn; useful for recovering)
  • 🏳️ Vote Libertarian (10% chance of 1 enemy dying of laughter)

Level 4: Anarcho-Capitalist, Civic/Economic Nationalist, Alt-Lite


  • Recognition that the State is not and will never be a benevolent force.
  • Desire to minimize conflict through private property and/or shared values.
  • Invalidation of all State property, or 100% allocation to defense, law and order.
  • Awareness that nothing is self-correcting and physical removal may be required.
  • Backward-looking, medium-term. Rejection of egalitarianism, mass migration.


  • ⚔️ Rhetorical Argument (moderate-high DMG, lowers enemy DEF)
  • ✨ Intimidate (20% chance enemy leaves the battle, no effect on bosses)
  • 💊 Rally (allies recover HP, gain temporary ATK boost)
  • 💣 Dank Meme (random AoE DMG, 0.2x to 4x modifier)

Level 5: Neoreactionary, Paleocon


  • Recognition that politics is downstream from culture; democracy as a means of conflict-resolution is a beautiful lie.
  • Desire to completely eliminate left-wing institutions, values, and entryism.
  • Repudiation of compromise between right and left (the center cannot hold).
  • Realization that western traditions protected us, and we have still not matured.
  • Backward-looking, long-term. Rejection of federalism, imperialism, etc.


  • 💣 History Bomb (high AoE DMG, enemies may flee)
  • 💣 Troll (all enemies, moderate DMG, may become Triggered or Confused)
  • ✨ Reframe Narrative (raise ATK for all allies, lower ATK for all enemies)

Level 6: Ethnonationalist, Alt-Capitalist, Alt-Right


  • Knowledge of how heritable traits influence intelligence, behavior, and culture.
  • Desire to preserve western civilization above all other concerns.
  • Willingness to use any tactic or tool of the left (including the State) against it.
  • Acceptance that western tradition can only survive with western demographics.
  • Cyclical viewpoint (“either voluntary or violent change is historically inevitable”)


  • ⚔️ Genetic Argument (high DMG, high chance of stun, may hurt self/allies)
  • 🛡 High Ground Defense (temporary immunity from most attacks)
  • 🐸 Induce Paranoia (enemies see Hitlers everywhere, attack random targets)

In Closing…

Note how I don’t make explicit mention of any level’s ideal vision of society. This is about degrees of awareness, and persuasion techniques that one is able and willing to use. You can be a race realist, and still wish for a NAP-based solution. You can be anti-egalitarian and still hope that, some day, as Iain M. Banks imagined, people might legitimately be able to change their fundamental nature with technology. You can hyper-optimistically predict, as I do, that if we can make our species more intelligent, we’ll be able to come up with even better solutions that none of us can conceive of today.

That said, if you like western society exactly the way it is today and don’t want to see anything rolled back, then you’re either a neoliberal/progressive or not very good at this game. You might want to try an easier game, like pattycake or moving to Canada.

Success = Intelligence × Liberty

In knowledge industries like engineering and finance, debates rage on endlessly about “best practices”. Should you do pair programming, or rely on thorough code review? Is market research valuable, or should companies exclusively do A/B testing? Will bilingual education improve overall student performance, or is it a waste of time?

Ask any expert who does not have a conflict of interest – i.e. they’re not selling their own “system” – and they’ll eventually admit that these best practices aren’t nearly as important as the people on your team. Process can help at the margins; for example, I’d probably be nervous flying with any pilot who didn’t use a pre-flight checklist. However, given the choice between a pilot without a checklist and a pilot who does not know the definition of altitude, I’ll pick the former every time, no matter how much training the second guy supposedly has.

There has been much hand-wringing of late by social activists desperate to salvage the “blank slate” theory that literally everything is socially constructed, and with the right education and environment (and rules – lots of rules!) we can prepare anyone for any kind of work. They then push insane solutions, making the bizarre claim that adding more non-whites racial diversity and women gender diversity will improve performance, apparently oblivious to the inherent contradiction. The reality is as brutal as it is obvious: individual IQ determines group IQ. All prior “studies” that claim otherwise have failed to control for individual IQ. You can’t fix stupid.

Aside: All of the above refers to g-loaded tasks (AKA “knowledge work”). g is the symbol for general intelligence, and IQ is an indirect but highly accurate measurement of g in terms of how well it predicts performance on a wide range of cognitive tasks. Given our knowledge that females cluster more tightly around the mean, there is in fact a real scenario where hiring as many women as possible is the optimal choice: jobs that are moderately g-loaded, where the avoidance of low-g employees is more important than the recruitment of high-g employees. Consciously or unconsciously, society knows this, which is why women dominate the service sector. Average is good when it comes to social interaction and tasks that are mostly repetitive with a small degree of improvisation. I’m not mad that men are over-represented in prison, and women shouldn’t be mad that men are over-represented in STEM; in both cases, we’re dealing with people at the extreme end of the g-curve.

Returning to the central thesis: It should therefore be no surprise that high-IQ societies overwhelmingly fare better than low-IQ societies:


The correlation is near-perfect aside from some anomalous results in China, which I’ll get to in a moment. It’s actually astonishing how, despite the massive cultural, economic and political differences between the USA, Argentina, Russia, Australia, and the various European nations, they have all done pretty well. It seems that a nation built on petty criminals can thrive if they are smart criminals, and once-great nations will eventually bounce back even after decades of oppression by mass-murdering Communist dictators. Governance is a heavily g-loaded task; highly-intelligent groups have inherent capacity for self-governance and will naturally organize themselves into some sort of hierarchy (the specifics of which are culturally-dependent), whereas low-IQ groups will govern like children, subject to laziness, paranoia, and tribal violence.

Some may be tempted to cry cultural bias or assert that the causative effect is backwards – that high development leads to high IQ, not the other way around. These things are not mutually exclusive, and causation can actually go both ways in a virtuous cycle. At least, that seems to be the only explanation why average IQ for a race residing in the USA or Canada is about 10-20 points higher than the exact same race elsewhere in the world; Ashkenazi Jews average 110-115 in the USA but only about 100 in Israel, and Africans average around 85 in the USA vs. 70-75 in Africa. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of this, as it still seems to be a taboo subject for researchers, but I will use some logical inference to make an educated guess that the mystery ingredient is liberty.

The combination of libertarian economics and traditional marriage (monogamous, but not arranged) are inherently eugenic. Societies that uphold these values also embrace the inverted-pyramid model of human development – the reality that phenomena like Moore’s Law require continued breakthroughs in scientific, mathematical, technological and business (entrepreneurship) fields, and that these breakthroughs are the result of exceptionally-talented individuals. 100 average scientists will ultimately contribute less than a single Newton or Einstein. These individuals create entirely new branches of science and industry. The trouble is, we can’t simply make more Einsteins or even identify them in advance. The best system we have at present is one that supports free inquiry by as many smart individuals as possible (libertarian), and also tries to make as many new smart people as possible by implicitly linking material success (which correlates highly with intelligence) with genetic success and providing stable two-parent homes. If a better system exists, no one has found it yet.

By contrast, Marxist/Leninist systems are inherently dysgenic. From a purely economic point of view, if you subsidize low intelligence, you’ll get more of it. Restricting free association and free speech makes scientific inquiry very difficult, so the most talented people will flee on principle alone. Once the economic downturn of late-stage Communism hits, the marginally-talented people will start to flee for economic reasons. Any talented people who remain will tend to be persecuted (c.f. the Kulaks, or more recently, Venezuelan bakers) if not killed outright. As the saying goes, collectivism is always one execution away from utopia. It is through this ruthless suppression of individual success – and by consequence, individual intelligence – that entire societies can not only halt economic and scientific progress but also wipe out their entire gifted-to-genius population for several generations.

Which brings us back to China. They don’t have Chairman Mao anymore, and have moved from pure Communism to a strange mixed economic model, but compared to Russia, they took a very long time to recover. This explanation for their comparatively slower development is corroborated by U.S. census data, which shows that Asians (predominantly Chinese) in America are more successful than Caucasians by a wide margin. Ethnic IQ would predict this outcome on a local level, but it also rules out the possibility that ethnic Chinese have some other genetic disadvantage that cancels out their higher IQ. In other words, the problem is China itself, not the Chinese people. And it’s surely not geography, because China has plenty of arable land and access to waterways. It’s the Chinese government and national culture. That is gradually changing, and if those changes continue, they will catch up to the west.

Technology is getting smarter and will continue to replace low-g tasks with automation. It’s more important than ever that we find some new breakthroughs and create new industries, and that means pumping out as many geniuses and entrepreneurs as possible while maximizing their opportunities for success. That’s going to require significant changes to the way we think. If we want to come out of this century alive, we can’t afford to make sympathy our first priority.

For those of us still living in an “average” (>= 100) IQ society, our first priority must be keeping western society above the breaking point of IQ 97, which means severe restrictions on immigration and a permanent end to the welfare state. Our second priority should be throwing every available resource at finding a reliable and repeatable way to raise the average IQ by even a tiny amount, and exporting it across the globe. We can’t be greedy here; boosting global IQ by even a few points will dramatically lower global conflict and bring many new research partners to the table for the third priority: finding some way, whether biological or technological, of massively raising general intelligence. Most of the world needs at least a 10-point gain, and if we want to fix the problems in Africa, we need a 30-point gain.

Ignoring or denying the reality is civilizational suicide. Whether by war, invasion, civil strife, or plain old overpopulation, western society is vulnerable. This is more important than climate change, and it’s damn well more important than manspreading. We have the knowledge, talent, and technology in the west to make real progress on this issue, without cruelty or violence, if we could only break through the social taboos and get serious about it. Our future depends on it.

The National Review Has Lost The Plot

Remember when the National Review offered high-quality writing and analysis and a great alternative to the mainstream media? Those days are officially over.


Behold their review of the Second Battle of Berkeley, where they have some whining strong words for the authorities:

Urban and academic progressive leaders can respond to violence with all the scolding tweets, sternly worded statements, and calls for calm they want. But until those who break the law and violate university policies are aggressively brought to justice, it won’t matter.

To summarize: For a solid 6 months, the American left has been refusing to accept or even acknowledge the results of the 2016 national election. They’ve been destroying property in the capital, planning acid bombs at conservative events, busing paid protestors to heckle town halls, beating up every Trump supporter they can find, sucker-punching anyone they can manage to associate with the dreaded “alt-right” and then bragging about it on social media, all while the university faculty clearly side with the Bolsheviks or even join them, and the police are visibly standing down. The National Review has apparently just now realized that the left has gone feral, and their response is to politely demand that the authorities step in.

Unfortunately, this seems to be what mainstream conservatism has become. It’s a literal mirror image of the intellectually lazy limousine liberal solution to every social ill: Point at it, clutch pearls, shriek “somebody should do something!” then move on, secure in the knowledge that it is Somebody Else’s Problem. At the National Review, we’re always just one step away from the edge of the cliff but somehow never fall and can always easily turn back.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, the right wing has been predicting this ever since Hillary’s “we go high” speech, and the emergence of characters like Based Stickman merely reflect a decision to start fighting back. Even many classical liberals have figured it out by now: we’re not “risking” a civil war, the war has already started, and the evidence is literally staring us in the face. The black blocs aren’t going to just calm down, crawl back into their dorm rooms and transfer from White Privilege Theory into Applied Mathematics. They are going to keep escalating until either they get everything they want or they are physically incapacitated. Weimerica isn’t just some weird neoreactionary meme anymore, it’s officially arrived at Berkeley and probably coming to a campus near you.

Not content with the level of cuckoldry already on display, French wraps up with this virtue-signaling howler:

We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws? If it is, then it’s time to grow a backbone, protect free speech, punish rioters, and expel those who disrupt the educational environment regardless of ideology. There should be no more sympathy or leniency for the lawless social-justice warrior than there is for the lawless neo-Nazi.

“Remember, all violence is bad, and both sides are equally guilty. Did everybody hear that? Please don’t hurt me.”

Clearly, he knows who the real instigators are, but like a good little housebroken fakeservative, he wraps it up in layer after layer of obfuscation, making sure to differentiate himself from those dastardly “neo-Nazis” whom we keep hearing about but no one can actually seem to find. Grow a backbone – not by fighting back, of course, but by taking to social media and shaming the thugs who kicked your face in. Everything will sort itself out, if you just cower in the corner and pray for the Rule of Law to return.

The National Review has been going downhill for a long time, but if they can’t even take a firm stand in the face of bona fide domestic terrorism, then they have crossed the final bridge into total irrelevance.

It’s a good thing that the Old Right is a dying breed. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

The Donald, J-Vanka, and Realpolitik

In response to what may or may not have been a chemical weapons attack in Syria, President Trump flung some missiles at a Syrian airbase, a move which was explicitly labeled as a “one-off” and did hardly any real damage. Those who have followed American foreign policy since before 2016 are probably aware that these missile strikes are largely symbolic; that is, they’re intended as threats of war, not acts of war. It may sound cold and callous when there are actual human casualties involved, but considering that in ancient times warlords would burn down entire villages as a “warning”, I prefer the modern version.

The globalist leaders and neocons were, of course, thrilled at the news. The alt-right is literally shaking. Moderate and socialistic liberals, who are the majority demographic around me, are a mix of nonplussed, mildly skeptical or mildly supportive. Don’t believe any nonsense put out by Salon or HuffPo; the majority of the normie community is – arguably, for the first time since the election – debating a Trump decision as a legitimate policy issue, rather than the insane ramblings of Literally Hitler. That’s worth discussing on its own, but my focus today is how the mainstream right-wing media is desperately searching for someone on whom to pin the blame, and they’ve got J-Vanka firmly in their crosshairs. Even the leftstream media is joining in the festivities.

It’s provably true that Ivanka and Jared are New York Democrats; she couldn’t change her registration before the election. In various interviews, Ivanka comes across as intelligent, but not totally authentic, which seems par for the course in celeb-land, although I would not say the same thing about Jared at all. Watch any video of him speaking and it’s obvious from his words, facial expressions and body language that he not only isn’t faking it but also doesn’t particularly enjoy being in the spotlight. Regardless of what you believe about his ideology or his goals – and there is every reason to be skeptical of anyone we know so little about – it’s quite possible that he is the only straight-talker in Trump’s inner circle other than Steve Bannon, which might explain why some others on the Trump train don’t believe the drama llama.

The narrative being pushed now is that the God-Emperor, after all of the cut-throat political games and media hit-jobs he’s been subjected to, suddenly lost his mind and decided to derail his entire platform because Ivanka made a pouty face. This narrative doesn’t stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny, and reeks of the same “mentally unstable” narrative that the Clinton campaign broadcast via sympathetic media. The Donald is a former reality-TV star and understands kayfabe; from a realpolitik point of view, it’s in his interest to pretend to be a little bit crazy, so as to intimidate enemies and generate media buzz.

Unfortunately, the “fact” of his newfound gullibility is now being used by the right-wing media as a vehicle to assign blame, push ridiculous conspiracy theories, and sling any mud they can at these two nefarious outsiders, who, as pundits continue to remind us, are New York Democrats whom we didn’t vote for. Never mind the fact that The Donald was once a New York Democrat, or that we didn’t vote for people like H.R. McMaster or Stephen Miller either. Never mind that the most outspoken opponent of Syrian interventionism is a Democrat. It’s impossible that people like Jared or Ivanka might be motivated by loyalty to the Don, or simply a desire to excel at the work they do. They’re clearly rogue agents, because reasons. BE ANGRY!

As a public service, allow me to offer an alternative J-Vanka narrative that is not completely retarded. I cannot prove any of this, nor can anyone else prove their version. It is another plausible explanation that fits the facts, or as Scott Adams might say, another movie playing on the same screen. It’s simply this: Donald Trump is applying realpolitik, AKA power politics or Machiavellian politics.

The dominant influences in society today all follow the Alinsky model. Although postmodernists and Cultural Marxists don’t have any real authority, they are able to effect huge political and social changes by controlling the narrative (media and education) and subsequently using that to attain positions of influence in other areas, such as Big Tech. This has been going on since at least the second world war, but it’s only recently that broader society has been waking up to it. Pundits across the political spectrum have been keen to point out that the Trumpening is a reaction to the ascendance of SJWs and their authoritarian far-left identity politics, but don’t often stop to consider what this means, or arrive at oversimplified explanations such as “whitelash”. These aren’t entirely off the mark, but by laser-focusing on demographics, they ignore the political system itself.

Rules for Radicals was written as a counterbalance to The Prince (Machiavelli). Alinsky and his disciples arrogantly described the Rules as a method to take power [back] from the powerful, but in reality it is simply a recipe for petulant children to extract handouts and other concessions from the powerful. If you believe, as I believe, that the USA is no longer a true representative democracy nor a true free market, but rather a corporatist oligarchy (bordering on principate) colluding with a few large corporate oligopolies (military-industrial-intelligence, media-academic, tech-infrastructure, etc.) then these rules work exceptionally well because of the concentration of high-value targets. However, the other reason the Rules have been so effective is because, until recently, the political right had naïvely given up on realpolitik, apparently in the insane hope that the government bureaucracy – the Deep State, if you will – would voluntarily shrink itself.

I don’t know how serious President Trump is about shrinking the bureaucracy. He pushes hard in some areas, like the EPA, but he’s also been handling the elephant in the room with kid gloves. One thing I am sure of, though, is that he wants to re-establish American dominance and American exceptionalism, and he knows a thing or two about dirty fighting, hence his tough stance on immigration. Removing the Alinskyites from public influence will require the use of power politics.

To be effective in this, President Trump needs, first and foremost, a loyal inner circle – but not yes-men, empty suits, or timid bureaucrats. He needs people who bring physical, economic, and intellectual firepower to the table, and who aren’t afraid to use it. These are his “generals”, and by necessity, some of them will be unsavory characters. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are offensive to the left; Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner are offensive to the right. These choices may seem to be chaotic or even self-destructive when viewed through an ideological lens. However, they make perfect sense when viewed through a realpolitik lens. Nikki Haley, for example, is a nutty neocon, so Trump put her in a bully-pulpit position at the UN where she could rant and rave and please the foreign policy hawks without doing any real damage. If Politico is to be believed, Kushner may be able to find common ground between America and Russia on Israel, which has historically been virtually impossible and might explain why Russia has suddenly and inexplicably decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

However, there is more to the specific case of J-Vanka’s influence, and it is brilliantly summed up in one of CGP Grey’s Rules for Rulers videos: No man rules alone, and no man rules forever. In a de facto oligarchy, the succession question matters. If The Donald wants his sons to inherit his business empire, he needs another potential successor on the political front. In a hypothetical future political campaign, Ivanka would be poised to get the female vote and the Jewish/Zionist influence machine; if she could manage not to piss off the white male voters at the same time, it would be an even bigger landslide than the God Emperor himself. Her election prospects are solid, she doesn’t mind the spotlight, and Jared himself would be the campaign’s engine.

Again, I’m not talking ideology here, just politics. Is Ivanka’s true nature a typical fuzzy-headed, feminist-sympathizing, liberal New York Democrat? Or is she just playing that up in order to gain popularity? I don’t know and neither does anyone else, but I have a hard time believing that her Dad has had zero influence on her values. That would be a major criticism of Donald and Melania’s parenting skills, and judging by their sons, it’s a stretch. President Trump either earnestly believes that Ivanka will someday be able to carry on where he leaves off, or believes that other politicians and special interests believe it, which is good enough to seal the deal and convince them that supporting him is worth the very real economic and physical risks.

I don’t like the idea of a Trump dynasty any more than I like the idea of a Clinton, Bush, Roosevelt, or Kennedy dynasty, but there is simply no denying the powerful and lasting influence that these dynasties have had on American politics. Even as I write this, Chelsea Clinton is being groomed for an eventual political career, Jeb Bush may try to make a comeback, and if not, then his son George Prescott has already started his political career. Let’s look at the possible upside: What would it mean to have a dynasty that is fiercely nationalistic and opposed to the neoconservative/neoliberal establishment? Do we hate dynasties because dynasties are inherently bad, or have we simply been disillusioned by a slew of awful presidential dynasties?

In my movie, J-vanka are not Trump’s enemies; they are his literal lifeline. Any serious drama between them and Bannon is exaggerated or not real at all, played up like a pro-wrestling match for the excitable corporate tabloid media to keep them satiated with clickbait headlines and distracted from serious policy issues. I don’t know if my movie is the right one, but unlike the other movies in the political theater, it maintains continuity with the prequels.

Time will tell.