Left and Right

What Curtis Yarvin (Mencius Moldbug) Gets Right and Wrong

This interview with Yarvin, the de facto intellectual leader of the “neo-reactionaries,” is interesting but it also demonstrates the limitations of that milieu.
What Yarvin offers here is a high-quality and reasonably accurate analysis of the socio-cultural and political role of the technocratic class, or what has been variously called the “Brahmins” (Thomas Piketty), “New Class” (Irving Kristol), “New Clerisy” (Joel Kotkin), “Professional-Managerial Class” (Barbara Ehrenreich), or merely the “Cultural Elite” (the Pat Buchanan types).
Yarvin is mostly regurgitating the same critique of these sectors that “conservatives” of different kinds have been expressing for generations. He’s right that this sector first became influential during the Progressive Era, and have their roots in the Prussian-model public administration state that was imported into the USA largely by intellectuals and academics with degrees from German universities in the late 19th/early 20th century.
Like other similar thinkers (for example, Michael Anton or the recently deceased Angelo Codevilla) these types of critics mistakenly conflate the “Brahmins” with the entirety of the ruling class. In fact, Codevilla even referred to them merely as the “ruling class” as if the Brahmins were the sole source of power. But this sector exists only at the mercy of the wider body of ruling class power, which is the full framework of the political, military, financial, industrial, and technological elite, which is, in turn, a subset of the global elites in these same categories.
Interestingly, Yarvin cites Burnham as an influence, but he misses one of Burnham’s core insights, i.e. that classical liberal-bourgeois capitalism was superseded by managerial capitalism, not just in the US but in all developed countries, in the mid-20th century, and it was through the entrenchment of managerial capitalism that the Brahmins were able to obtain the hegemonic social and cultural role they have since achieved.
Also, the managerial class was faced with an insurgency within its own ranks in the postwar period which paralleled the expansion of the professional class, particularly within the public sector during the same time period (recognizing this was one of the things Irving Kristol got right).
Another critical factor is that the postwar “Information Age” created the framework for both classical bourgeois capitalism and managerial capitalism to be superseded by digital capitalism of which Yarvin himself is a part as a Silicon Valley software developer. Like Peter Thiel, Yarvin is merely part of the “Silicon Valley Right” or the right-wing of digital capitalism.
But it is the alliance between digital capitalism and the “Brahmins” (in their presently constituted form) that has created the foundation of the rising sectors of the ruling class. Additionally, these sectors have only become as hegemonic as they have in part because of their alliance with the traditional northeastern financial establishment (the Hamiltonian banking elites whom Yarvin praises). The traditional financial establishment faced an intra-ruling class challenge during the late 20th century from the insurgent Sunbelt industries that emerged in the postwar period (whose political frontmen were figures like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich). But the northeastern financial establishment has been able to launch a largely successful counterattack through its alliance with digital capitalism against traditional industrial capitalism and with the Brahmins against the sinking traditional middle class to upper-middle class (Chamber of Commerce types, small capital, the petite bourgeoisie, etc.).
The Brahmins that Yarvin claims to oppose have been empowered primarily by the rise of digital capitalism and the traditional financial establishment. Additionally, the “woke” ideology (what I call “totalitarian humanism”) that presently constitutes the self-legitimating ideological superstructure of the ruling class is not the sole creation of the Brahmins alone. Every ideological superstructure has a materialist base and class base(which in the case of totalitarian humanism would be digital capital, the tech revolution, “financialization” of the kind that has emerged from neoliberalism, the expanded technocratic class which is the product of the wider degree of specialization and the division of labor rooted in increased technological sophistication).
Additionally, “wokeness” is rooted in the wider infrastructure of statecraft which can be traced, at the irreducible minimum, to the collusion between the Frankfurt School and the OSS during WW2, followed by the CIA’s creation of the Congress of Cultural Freedom in the 1950s. While elements of the ideological framework of totalitarian humanism may have their roots in the cultural revolution of the 1960s/1970s, in its present form “wokeness” represents a co-optation of those cultural patterns by the liberal wing of the capitalist class ( a specific strategy that was devised by Fred Dutton as far back as 1970). The insurgent sectors of the managerial class (primarily the expanded professional class and rising middle-class sectors among traditional outgroups) became the socioeconomic foundation for this co-optation, which allowed the liberal wing of capitalism to marginalize labor unions while cultivating these rising middle-class sectors as a replacement constituency for the traditional working class.
It appears that Yarvin wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to purge the Brahmins and their influence, but maintain the apparatus of the state, capital, and empire which is the source of the Brahmins’ empowerment and, once again, of which Yarvin himself is a part. For example, Yarvin completely ignores the relationship between the Brahmins and the state security and intelligence forces (as evidenced by the “Russiagate” hysteria). He also ignores the adoption of the Brahmin ideology even by the conventional military at the present time, and by the majority of the financial, industrial, and technological elites. Nor does Yarvin recognize the role of the financial oligarchy in maintaining the propaganda apparatus of the ruling class, including the Murdoch mouthpiece FOX (which is also partially owned by Black Rock) and which conducted this interview with Yarvin.
Purging the leadership of Yale and Harvard or MSNBC and CNN (itself a good idea), while retaining the leadership of (for example) Facebook, Wells Fargo, Goldman-Sachs, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Koch Industries, Black Rock, State Street, Vanguard, Exxon-Mobil, AIPAC, the FBI, or the CIA to name only a few would be the biggest waste of time ever.
And where has enthusiasm for Yarvin’s neo-reactionary project come from? Mostly, from a coterie of Right-Neocons, West Coast Straussians, Jaffaites, the right-wing of Silicon Valley like Peter Thiel or Yarvin himself, Israel-Firsters, Pahlavists, and Wahhabi/Salafi frontmen, most of whom represent the same “liberal internationalist” and “Zion Uber Alles” paradigm as the majority of their Brahmin opponents or CIA created “state department social democrats” from 50 or 60 years ago. Epic fail.
0:00 Tucker Carlson introduces the audience to the guest 1:38 1:46 Thank you for that lovely intro 4:17 Withdrawl from Afghanistan 6:10 My Dad was a foreign service officer 8:25 Voting like the white house matters 11:10 “You’re gaslighting people” 13:01 The Queen of 2021 is a celebrity today, not a monarch 15:55 How do you hack an election? 18:28 Tucker comments 19:30 Friend-Enemy “And um um… and and….in you know um….like when” 21:45 Predator-Prey 25:34 Unaccountability 29:12 Ingrained thinking. 1921 Thinkers – Super Rich Trust Fund people 31:14 College Application Essay 33:05 I Support and Obey Power 34:35 CIA Czechoslovakia 35:49 If it could never happen…. 37:14 Smart People Places Delegating without accountability 39:41 Gilded Age Politica —> Sciencia Politica 41:45 Weak American People 🇺🇸 42:28 What happens to the Experts? Astronomy is ok Math is ok 43:47 Politics is not ok, advising the government. 44:55 Climate Science 1970 to Climate Science 2021 • Don’t attack The Team, don’t spit on the statue 46:55 SARS, this something bad can happen again.47:46 🦇 Experiments 🔬🧪 done by American Chinese students 48:49 Paper Publisher Race leads to low-quality papers published in journals 50:07 Self-Licking Napalm Ice Cream cones 🍦 💥 51:00 Manhattan Project could not be done today 51:45 Decentralized Collective Network of watchmen 53:14 Back to Afghanistan & America 54:15 The executive branch is managed by Congress No accountability Soviet style production quotas 55:14 Degredation, Entropy, TPUSA 🤣 56:22 What comes now? Whig Theory of History/Progress vs Reality 58:21 Mike Anton 59:07 4th American Republic 1789 – The Hamilton Administration, America run as a Company (Sov-Corp USA) 1:01:30 Oligarchies 1:01:57 Civil War —> 1 Man, John Haye & Nikolai (Patrician 20 year old start up kids) new generation monarchical civil service 1:03:05 FDR’s 4th Republic Bullying Congress (politely) 1:05:03 FDR’s Systems, carried forward in time “National Security” with “Global Leadership” 1:06:37 Terrorism creates careers 1:07:43 Gray Mirror, what is the next regime? Fall of the Republic? – Augustus (reinvention of the Roman state) Fall of the Empire? – Rome collapses 1:09:07 Roman Red & Blue Ceaser wishes to be a Purple Ruler, ruler of all Romans 1:10:47 The Professional Class, needs to become detoxified 1:12:30 Strongman Elect, Retire All Government Employees, Reboot The USG 1:14:07 Closing statement by Tucker

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