The Liberal Day-dream

Ideal           -        Real
Global        -        Local

If you do a full lifecycle analysis of an average large EV, it's a worse option ecologically overall - and also culturally and socially because of the slave labor involved in the mining, refining and manufacturing - it's probably a worse option than a standard internal combustion vehicle.

And yet taxpayers are now being asked, in fact, to subsidize an option which is really engineered not to solve the climate, not to solve overshoot, but to keep the machine going - to maintain investment, to maintain jobs, to increase the span of the economy.

In other words, to maintain business as usual by alternative means. But it's business as usual that has got us into this situation.

[William Rees]
‘William E. Rees: "The Fundamental Issue - Overshoot" | The Great Simplification #53’, Nate Hagens, YouTube

The truth is that all human societies, even liberal democracies, have aristocrats.

Whether their aristocracies are formally acknowledged with ranks and titles and special badges, or whether they slum it with the rest of us, matters much less than you might imagine. Humans are hierarchical chimps and we recreate the same social structures over and over.

In fact, I think one of the greatest defects of modern liberal democracy, is its promotion of an informal elite – people who, for reasons of birth or social standing, wield significant power, but because of liberal democratic principles, are allowed (or compelled) to do so in underhanded, informal, less-than-legible ways.

‘Liberalism, Progressivism, Leftism’, eugyppius: a plague chronicle

According to the chivalric code, which had a decisive influence on the development of the notion of military honour in Europe, it is not honourable to attack an enemy without putting yourself at risk.

It is only honourable to attack the enemy on the battlefield. It is dishonourable, by contrast, to kill the enemy in an underhanded way - by poisoning, for instance. Symmetry and reciprocity must be ensured.

An enemy in a war is not a criminal who must be destroyed at any cost. Rather, he is an equal opponent, a competing player. Such an enemy is afforded equal rights.

With drone warfare, we reach the pinnacle of asymmetry. The degradation and transformation of the opponent into a criminal is the precondition of targeted killing, which resembles a kind of policing.

[Byung-Chul Han]
The Disappearance of Rituals, p.71, 73

And the computer we’re talking on, rather than being a two or three-thousand dollar Apple, might be a million dollar Apple. If you factor the real cost of what it takes for the supply chains to make this thing, then you’re like, “Okay, we would actually not even do manufacturing the same way.”

We only do manufacturing this way because we’ve been able to externalize all the costs to the environment. Now, we’re hitting planetary boundaries. We’re not going to be able to keep doing that.

And so nobody is thinking seriously enough about what does an economy that does not externalize costs look like and how do we retool our total global infrastructure in that way? And how do we do it in the time we have, factoring that we’re already in diminishing returns on hydrocarbons and everything is oriented towards growth, and you have to completely change the financial system?

[Daniel Schmachtenberger]
'Homegrown Human - Daniel Schmachtenberger - Existential Risk'

Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions. It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as oppressive. On the other hand, it expects government to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother.

Feminism has inherited these contradictions. It sees every hierarchy as repressive, a social fiction; every negative about woman is a male lie designed to keep her in her place. Feminism has exceeded its proper mission of seeking political equality for women and has ended by rejecting contingency, that is, human limitation by nature or fate.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.2-3

Rousseauism’s Christianized psychology has led to the tendency of liberals toward glumness or depression in the face of the political tensions, wars, and atrocities that daily contradict their assumptions.

Perhaps the more we are sensitized by reading and education, the more we must repress the facts of chthonian nature.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.38

The peoples of the victorious nations had taken to heart their wartime propaganda about the rights of small nations, making the world safe for democracy, and putting an end both to power politics and to secret diplomacy.

These ideals had been given concrete form in Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Whether the defeated Powers felt the same enthusiasm for these high ideals is subject to dispute, but they had been promised, on November 5, 1918, that the peace settlements would be negotiated and would be based on the Fourteen Points.

When it became clear that the settlements were to be imposed rather than negotiated, that the Fourteen Points had been lost in the confusion, and that the terms of the settlements had been reached by a process of secret negotiations from which the small nations had been excluded and in which power politics played a much larger role than the safety of democracy, there was a revulsion of feeling against the treaties.

Certainly there were grounds for criticism, and, equally certainly, the terms of the peace settlements were far from perfect; but criticism should have been directed rather at the hypocrisy and lack of realism in the ideals of the wartime propaganda and at the lack of honesty of the chief negotiators in carrying on the pretense that these ideals were still in effect while they violated them daily, and necessarily violated them.

The settlements were clearly made by secret negotiations, by the Great Powers exclusively, and by power politics. They had to be. No settlements could ever have been made on any other bases.

The failure of the chief negotiators (at least the Anglo-Americans) to admit this is regrettable, but behind their reluctance to admit it is the even more regrettable fact that the lack of political experience and political education of the American and English electorates made it dangerous for the negotiators to admit the facts of life in international political relationships.

[Carroll Quigley]
Tragedy and Hope, p.169

Again and again, the dream has been a world where kings and aristocrats were things of the past, where every man and woman is free to attain a better standard of living based on their own merits, but the reality has been a world of tribal groups vying for power using universal ideals to hide their sectional interests.

However, these facts have never diminished the dream. It is the dream of Jordan Peterson; it is the dream of Elon Musk; it is the dream of Chris Rufo; and it remains the dream of most Americans who have not already been won over by the allures of resentment.

‘Identity politics’ is the enemy of the dream, because ‘identity politics’ brings reality front and centre. Reality is always the enemy of the dream.

[Academic Agent]
'The Rufo Reich and Mecha-Bentham', The Forbidden Texts

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