The strongest argument for liberalism in practice ends up being that non-liberals are stupid and crazy. Conservatives tend to be cretins, and if liberalism is the heights of high-society fashion, conservatism is like donning a pair of ripped carpenter jeans. Signalling conservatism is signalling low status. And that’s because conservatives more often than not are low-status.
It takes psychological resolve and resilience to give the finger to all the glorious and respectable and reputable institutions of the Cathedral. Everything societally good and respectable on the highest level stems from the Cathedral. To step outside is to face ostracism and exclusion.
So who exactly would willingly step outside?
Willingness to place oneself firmly outside the Cathedral selects for a very particular kind of person: slightly masochistic, risk-taking, eccentric, disagreeable (understatement), perhaps a degree of instability, an unquenchable sense of individualism, etc.
But again, it’s a very fair question to ask: what Bright would voluntarily place himself in a doomed thede full of doomed people with doomed prospects? That’d be a complete and total dissipation of personal potential. And it’d be pretty miserable, too. Leaping far ahead of myself, what this seems to indicate is that there’s nothing intrinsically crazy about the ideologies as such which are outside the Cathedral (in the American context), but rather it says something about the thedes. Ideologies are proxies for thedes. And the ideologies are viewed as dumb because the thedes have poor reputability, and thedes have poor reputability because the Brights have been sucked out of those thedes by the vacuum of liberalism.
When liberals laugh at ideologies outside the mainstream, they’re laughing at thedes outside of the mainstream. They’re looking down on the misfits who couldn’t or don’t want to signal for inclusion in elite institutions. Ideologies are just proxies for thedes. There isn’t anything intrinsically stupid, horrible, or evil with white nationalism (U.S. elites have been and many are fans of communism, remember), it’s just that white nationalism is composed of low-status individuals, who have zero access to power, and who are the sort of folks attracted to extremely fringe ideologies. Now, white nationalism can and does (usually at the top) include right-Brahmins, but mostly it’s just composed of hordes of well-meaning but mouth-breathing proles who know that something is wrong but don’t have the verbal facility to express their concerns in ways acceptable to the Cathedral. Not published in an academic journal? Garbage. Failure to use liberal thedeish linguistic expression? Garbage.
I can think of dumber ideologies than “Shrug, I just want to live around other white people.” In fact, a better example of a dumb ideology might be one in which humans are held to be intrinsically equal, coupled with a belief in the triumph and historical inevitability of capital-P Progress.
Does vanilla liberalism attract the best and the brightest because vanilla liberalism as an ideology is the best and the brightest, or does it attract the best and the brightest because its members happen to be bester and brighter than other ideologies and because vanilla liberalism is hegemonic? And would it be a shocker to point out that liberalism is not the infinite ideology?–that it contingently captured institutions and now guarantees its survival through attaining homage from all those who seek to enter through the gates via signalling?
This is the case with every ideology which captures elite institutions. Mainstream institutions select for mainstream people, and fringe ideologies, surprise, select for fringe people.
Since we posit a deep irrationalism, the focus on thedes over ideology would seem to make sense. Few people choose ideology based on careful consideration. People choose ideology for thedeish reasons. With rare exceptions, high IQers don’t choose white nationalism, the ideology—they choose an ideology composed of other Brights because Brights select themselves into thedes with lots of other Brights.
Brights attract Brights. And since Brights control societal and material resources, Brights have to prove to other Brights that they’re Bright. And that currently and contingently means vanilla liberalism. Emphasis on currently and contingently, 1990s Francis Fukuyama, notwithstanding.
I know, I know. You’d like to point out the incredibly-difficult-to-root-out assumption that to be educated and Bright is to be liberal, and you’d be correct. For some reason, being good at differential calculus is supposed to logically imply a liberal conception of tolerance and concern for the poor. To think that high IQ could lead to an alternative set of values is just baffling to most. But the stereotype linking Bright and liberal is actually true, and that’s why it’s so insidious–people just take the stereotype too far, insisting that the number of Brights hovering around the flame of an insane ideology is ipso facto proof that the ideology is actually capital-T True. Instead, it’s more like liberalism captured elite institutions, which then set off a domino effect of signalling compliance and affiliation. Once elite institutions are in the bag, the elite castes toe the line. Every time.
Ideologies are proxies for thedes. Neoreaction is the first example in the modern American context of a far right-wing ideology attached to a healthy and high-status thede. When you think of neoreaction unsympathetically, you think evil, wicked, and smart, not mouth-breathing proles who hoist the flag of the Constitution chanting Obummer, NoBAMA, It’s Time To GO, Bama, etc. etc.
The health of an ideology depends on the health of its internal thede, which is a factor of social dynamics and thede composition. And this is precisely how liberalism maintains its power. Unstable, eccentric psychologies have to conduct frontal assault on the gates of the Cathedral. Not only is there a power differential from the onset, but liberalism benefits from the aggregate of psychological stability and fortitude. This helps to explain the failure of right-wing movements and why they splinter. I have to be careful when I say ‘stability’ and ‘fortitude’ perhaps because it isn’t really that. But it’s _something_. The Cathedral has a certain aggregate ability to survive past internal splintering or disagreement, and the fact that it’s large enough and has enough resources means that it can better absorb shocks.
More simply, it might also be the lack of a disagreeableness attribute, or the tendency to allow oneself to be herded this way and that. Rabbityness. It might also be that Cathedralites can rest on their laurels and don’t have to engage in collective action much at all. The Cathedral already exists and has a perpetuating logic of its own. Elites, especially in the State Department, surely are very stupid given their track record, so stability might be best explained by a combination of : (1) herd-like attributes and low disagreeability, (2) the fact that institution-capturing is already done and the Cathedral is already instantiated, and (3) Vaisyas being dedicated to feeding the Cathedral through the sacrifice of their Bright sons and daughters. Stability from herdness is the trade-off for getting everything wrong and slowly sinking into insanity, but the good and dedicated Vaisyas ensure that the economy continues to churn, in order to make up the slack. There is some incredible compensation coming from a caste that is slowly being boiled to death in a pot by the very masters Vaisyas intend to serve.
I’ll note here that the reason why I’ve survived thus far without being thrown into the fires of Moloch is a combination of clever signalling and ironic edginess.
So why do Right groups fail? The Cathedral is a jealous master and doesn’t allow any of its own to play in the Right sandbox. Rightist groups have to accomplish so much with so little: paltry power and fragmented, broken, eccentric, disagreeable psychology, in the sense that organization for a full frontal assault is almost a write-off from inception because of internal social dynamics of divisiveness and general craziness and eccentricity and hyper, hyper-individualism, and a bucking of any organization at all.
If I haven’t beaten it into your head enough, ideologies are proxies for thedes.
Brights choose liberalism because it has lots of other Brights, and that’s the best way for Brights to advance socially and economically.
That liberalism is composed of Brights is a historical contingency, not a necessity. Yes, that’s correct; the Eternal Kingdom Of Liberalism isn’t actually eternal.
This means non-vanilla-liberal ideologies will appear intrinsically wrong and stupid because their thedes are bereft of Brights and full of folks possessing eccentric psychologies banished from the mainstream.
This means that a full frontal assault on the Cathedral lacks the sophistication of Brights and fights a steep, uphill battle, falling apart due to internal psychological fragmentation.