Thursday, May 31, 2012

What you should be doing

Every now and again, I find myself reading somebody else's writings, and I'm filled with the urge to yell out to everyone 'Stop reading my stuff, it's all junk anyway. Put down whatever you're doing and go read this guy instead, he's much better!"

This is one of those times.

I've said it before, but go read Mencius Moldbug. Right now. Go here. Start with the posts at the top (the 'How Richard Dawkins Got Pwned) posts which I linked to earlier, and work your way down. You'll find out, for instance:

-Why the complaints that the American revolution were founded on were largely nonsense (and why reasonable people should have supported the Loyalist position).

-How you might organise a system of government where the sovereign is a profit-making corporation, and why it might work a lot better than you'd think.

- The most interesting  13 paragraph summary of the last 300 years of world history that I've read. It reads nothing like the standard narrative at all - the events are the same, but the interpretations are probably unlike anything you've encountered.

These are just to whet your appetite - it's probably better to read them in order.

I don't agree with all of it - his views on Austrian economics seem unpersuasive, and I'm not sure that his patchwork theory of sovereign corporation-states wouldn't turn into tyranny in the hands of the wrong set of shareholders. The biggest weakness to the argument, I think, is that it doesn't explain how the massive scientific and industrial revolutions occurred over the same time span that the forms of government were (in his view) going to hell. I'm about halfway down the list of posts, and maybe he has an answer to that, but the conservative in me retains a nervousness that we might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater if it turns out that economic and scientific progress are more entwined with current forms of government than he seems to assume. I imagine Moldbug might retort that the Nazis and the Soviets were both pretty good at scientific advances as well, and there's no reason to assume that democracy has any special advantage in this area. But still - we're left with the big mystery of the scientific revolution, which needs some explaining before you ought (IMHO) start meddling with current forms of government.

But that's all detail. The bottom line is that this is the most interesting stuff I've read in years.

Go read it now. Don't have time? Shut up, I don't care. Trust me on this, just do it right away.

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