“But Holmes,” I said. “What if this—this self-replicating AI he discovered gets out of the lab?”
Holmes looked at me incredulously for a moment, then stirred with an amused cry.
“My dear Watson,” he laughed. “Whatever do you think we are?”
I don’t often write pure Christian theory posts, but this will be one.
I started this blog with the intent of writing about Game, marriage, and Christianity. It’s grown to embrace neoreaction as well, though I consider myself a neophyte on the topic—although today, I think I have something to add.
Christ taught many things. One concept that He hammered, over and over, though, was making a decision and accepting the consequences. When a man offered to follow Him, but with a caveat, Christ responded:
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, He said:
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
One could say that Christ was a formalist.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
I also particularly like this quote from Yudkowsky’s Three Worlds Collide:
“I am charged with guarding sanity, not morality. If you want to stay together, do not split. If you want peace, do not start wars. If you want to avoid genocide, do not wipe out an alien species.”
Our Complaints Are That They Don’t Own It
The Christian Manosphere’s beef with Churchianity is that its actions are not in accord with its words. It praises chastity, but turns a blind eye to fornication, adultery, and divorce. It preaches masculinity, yet cuts men off at the knees.
This is also, as far as I can tell, neoreaction’s complaint about conservatives—their words are not in accord with their actions. They talk about responsible government, yet laud democracy. They talk about standing firm on principles, but have been drifting left for…well, centuries, all without acknowledging it. Neoreaction has—correctly, I think—dubbed this insane.
Now, here, for a second, I wish to call us all on an error that I am particularly prone to making — that of pointing toward a better way that is incompatible with the present way, and expecting the benefits of both.
What do any of these parties propose actually doing?
So far, I’ve heard a few different options:
- Revolution. This was quickly discarded, for a number of reasons. The first and most important one is that it won’t work—the masses are all on the other side
- Build new institutions independent from the current regime. The Antiversity, the Plinth, Alex Kurtagic’s “establishment in waiting“—even Sunshine Mary joked that occasionally she imagines everyone moving to North Dakota or something and setting up our own community.
- changing things from within. This is doomed to fail—what have the conservatives been doing? What are pastors for?
So, the only viable solution, to me, looks to be #2—new institutions.
Um, hello? I have a job. Also a family, and friends. Ask yourself, “If I got an email from MENCIUS HIMSELF to the effect that he’d sold Urbit for a billion dollars and had hollowed out part of the Sierra Nevadas, and if you got this email you were one of the thousand people invited…would I go? Would I seriously go?” Now check your email. Assuming that you haven’t gotten this email (if you have, please forward it to me)…what’s the plan, kids? We could probably homestead in Alaska or something. Any takers?
I am perfectly willing to go to meetups and make snide remarks about democracy, Churchianity, and a feminized society, because that’s what hip young people like me do. We’re just cool like that. But, uh…grand gestures? If we all went to MUSC (Moldbug’s Underground Sierra Complex), and looked around, here’s whom we’d see:
—an ocean of nerdy single dudes, many of them very smart and handsome, like yours truly (why yes, I have game)
—a much, much smaller contingent of single women
—some couples, mostly older.
Sheesh. We could name it “Camp Tesla/Shaker.” Come for the gadgets and taste in music, stay for the celibacy. We’d all die out after fifty years.
But, in reality, we wouldn’t even make it to fifty years. Around week two or so (Week one: “Guys, want to hear a joke? Consent of the governed!” *laughter, back-slaps all around*), it would stop being fun. “There’s, uh, a whole world out there. Are we just going to sit in this mountain?” “Ja!” (That’s mustachioed Moldbug for you).
Now, maybe if we were all Just That Virtuous, we’d create a Loper-OS-powered city on a hill, and all the world would recoil in shock and awe at the Power of Neoreaction, and our shining example would cause everyone to go back to the Great Books For Men, and there’d be a Renaissance, lozzzlzlzllzlzl. Victory by example.
If that were assured, it might just be worth it. If I knew I could pull a Phoenix out of Western Civilization like that, I might just try it.
The problem is that it would not be assured, and we’d all know it. I don’t think we could do it, knowing the whole time that it might amount to nothing.
And so, when I count the cost, I conclude that we don’t have enough resources, will, or mojo to do it.
And this right here is the issue, because we are forced to ask ourselves, “If a new institution is the only thing that will actually work—and we can’t make it work—then what?”
Table that for a moment.
A small portion of the Christian section of the manosphere seems to have come to the conclusion that just about any intimacy, even emotional, before marriage, “is a bad idea,” or at least has negative consequences. I’m particularly thinking of Cane, myself, and possibly Deep Strength. In my ideal, a young man would introduce himself to a girl’s father, they’d go on a few chaperoned outings while they discussed what married life would be like, and they’d get married. Say ages 14-16 or so.
This obviously has, uh, feasibility issues. It’s all very well for me to write that on my blog, but there are no 14- or 24- or 34-year-old women that are down for this (And despite the mindbending I’ve undergone in the last year or so, I still don’t think I could stomach a 14-yr-old).
So, I am left with a choice between the bad (some variation of modern dating) and the likely-impossible (14th-century courtship).
We talk quite a bit about Eve’s curse in the Garden—desiring to rule her husband, etc. Adam had a different curse:
…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Adam’s curse, in modern language, might be described as:
“You have, in your head, a better way of life. In the Garden you just walked around and ate whatever fruit was lying around (but for those two). Now you will eat by a vastly inferior manner, involving a lot of work, waste, and pain, while knowing that there’s a better way. Further, despite all your efforts to accumulate capital and improve things, you will fail in the end.”
This is similar to the plight of the Apostles, who had seen the Gospel preached like no one else could, were commanded to teach and baptize all nations without being the Son of God, and also knew that most of the world would not accept the Gospel and things would go to pot until Christ returned.*
How do we react to these dilemma, between the bad and the impossible? Here are my thoughts:
- Do what you can, and own it. If you can start an Antiversity and you’re willing to pay the costs, do it. If all you can do is send the Republican Party $20 in hopes of slowing the decline, do that, and take it in stride. If you can marry a virgin, as a virgin, do it, and thank God. If you have to sleep with a guy for him to marry you, you think that’s what God wants you to do, and you’re willing to accept the likelihood that he won’t marry you, then do it, and accept the costs. If that sin horrifies you (as it does me), and you’re willing to be celibate if that’s what it takes to avoid it, do it, and accept the costs. But complaining is counterproductive if you’re an atheist, and ungrateful if you’re not.
- Work on yourself You may not be able to stop the decline, but you can save a bit of money each month, and store some food and water. You may not be able to bring courtship back, but you can keep yourself attractive, personable, and interesting as much as you are able.
- Keep an eye out for serendipity Disaster is in the cards. It just is. But we don’t know when or where it will strike, and until then, good things can and will happen.
- Be a (gentle) hypocrite, (a.k.a., don’t believe your own bullshit) Everything talked about in this corner of the internet is true. Just because you have to make compromises doesn’t mean you have to pretend to other people that they’re not compromises. Go ahead and bore your kids, friends, and neighbors with talk of hypergamy and the Cathedral, to the extent that you think effective.
- Love people Always. If there’s a God He wants you too, and if there isn’t, then they need it all the more.
- Trust in God In the end, it will all work out alright.
- Be of good cheer We’re not in a Mad Max polygamous wasteland ruled by alpha warlords of warring ethnicities yet.
*If you’re a Lisp programmer, this will seem familiar to you: you know about the greatness of Lisp, you have to use some other stupid language in your job, and despite all your hard work, it will be scrapped when the next framework comes out.