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Against status feedback loops: an exousiological critique of Richard Hanania
Contra "A Psychological Theory of the Culture War" and "How Status Competition Created the Culture War."
In this article, I am going to critique Richard Hanania’s A Psychological Theory of the Culture War. This will also serve to debunk a recent podcast appearance of his titled How Status Competition Created the Culture War. I have identified what I believe are a number of issues with his case, starting with the “culture war” framing he uses in the title. In short, the term “culture war” only references what I have termed type I controversies, which are allowed controversies. Type II and type III controversies, disallowed and internalized controversies, are left out of the discussion. It is not surprising that Hanania does this; a deeper issue with his article is that he does not, I believe, currently have a correct grasp on how society is fundamentally structured. In particular, three vital concepts from exousiology absent from his case: political agency, the Patriciate, and the behavior-genetics inspired variance components models used to break down the behavior of the Patriciate.
Not recognizing, in exousiological language, that society is highly centralized, is bound to lead one to make mistakes, such as engaging in the reification of the virtual, or in other words, focusing on electoral politics while excluding from consideration that which is unfit for a politician to say in the Patriciate’s discourse play-pen. Not seeing the Patriciate will lead one to thinking that type I controversies are all there is:
In theory, we can identify which type a controversy is by measuring the views of the Patriciate and the views of the masses and comparing them. In a type one controversy, the Patriciate is divided. There is actually something like a “war”, a fight between two men as opposed to a child getting spanked, going on. In a type two controversy, the Patriciate is united but the masses are not fully on board. There isn’t a war as much as there is an occupation, it’s not two men fighting, it’s a man spanking a child when he misbehaves, it’s the Patriciate canceling naughty workers who haven’t internalized the correct view. In a type three controversy, basically everyone agrees, but there is a false consciousness among people, because they are not actually agreeing with what is in their best interests. If one or two people dissent, they can mostly be ignored or laughed at, instead of more explicitly getting the stick, which might draw attention to their dissent and destabilize the type three view into a type one or two view, depending on whether a section of the Patriciate has a false consciousness or not.
Validity of Exousiology: The Patriciate Exists
I seek to provide an extremely truncated version of the case laid out in my manuscript. I want to establish that there exists a sovereign class, which I call the Patriciate, whose political desires determine the state of political culture. It consists of less than 10,000 people. If this is the case, then a status game among >10% of the population cannot be the driver of political change. Rather, the driver would be change in the composition of the Patriciate, whose behavior can be analyzed using the standard model from behavior genetics.
I have both direct evidence of the Patriciate as well as evidence for why the Patriciate must exist in any society which has existed thus far. I will begin with the direct evidence. It comes from a researcher named G. William Domhoff. He used three metrics of power: money, official positions, and policy wins. He found massive centralization, meaning that a few people have most of the power, according to those metrics. Those people are very coordinated, meaning they are highly connected to one another.
His method was as follows: he started by taking those with official positions of interest. He analyzed their connections to one another, the amount of money they have, and their policy wins in the US government.
In particular, he looked at people who run Forbes Fortune 500 companies, think tanks, universities, and other organizations. These people are well-connected to one another. Corporations, university trustees, and the people who professionally write policy are all in the same club. In fact, there are literal clubs which connect many of these people.
An indication of the nature and extent of this overlapping is revealed in a membership network analyses of 20–30 clubs in several major cities across the country in the late 1960s, including the Links Club in New York, the Chicago Club in Chicago, the Pacific Union Club in San Francisco, and the California Club in Los Angeles. There was sufficient overlap among 18 of the 20 clubs to form three regional groupings and a fourth group that provided a bridge between the two largest regional groups. The several dozen men in three or more of the clubs, most of them very wealthy people who sat on several corporate boards, were especially important in creating the overall pattern. The fact that these clubs often have from 1,000 to 2,000 members made the percentage of overlap within this small number of clubs relatively small, ranging from a high of 20– 30% between clubs in the same city to as low as 1 or 2% in clubs at opposite ends of the country.
A clear picture emerges: to get somewhere, you have to know people. And those people have to be powerful. If you have the talent to be powerful, and if they like you, you can rule together. If you don’t have the talent to rule with them, tough luck. If they don’t like you, you have no connections and don’t get to write policy, oversee Columbia University, sit on federal advisory committees, get rich and donate millions to politicians, or run and determine the direction of a media corporation.
These people are all friends, and control all of the nice, non-elected official positions. You can see how too much deviation from the network’s political mean might exclude someone from these positions. And how these positions allow massive influence over public opinion, since these positions control the media, the universities, the policy writing process, and the private research grant process.
What of the government?
The impact of major policy-discussion groups on legislative outcomes is demonstrated systematically in a study of 295 policy statements that representatives of the Council on Foreign Relations presented to several different Congressional committees between 1982 and 2002 (Luther-Davies et al. 2020). The legislative influence of these statements was analyzed by means of a quantitative method (multivariate logistic regression analysis), which can determine the relative importance of several organizations in effecting a legislative outcome. The study therefore could compare the relative success of the CFR with that of 24 interest groups (mostly business trade associations) and a sample of well-off citizens, most of whom were very conservative (Gilens and Page 2014, Page and Gilens 2017). In addition, the positions taken by the CFR, the interest groups, and the wealthy conservatives were compared with the majority opinion of the general public on each issue, as determined earlier in a comprehensive analysis of thousands of survey questions (Gilens 2012). The results from the multivariate analysis agreed with earlier studies that showed public opinion has no influence on the legislative outcome on a wider range of policy issues (Gilens 2012, Page and Gilens 2017). Nor did any of the 24 interest groups have any impact. However, the study did find that the preferences of the CFR were consistent with the legislative outcomes on 75% of the proposals. When the CFR and the well-off conservatives shared the same policy preferences, their shared preferences prevailed on 89.5% of the issues (Luther-Davies et al. 2020, pp. 18–19).
Now imagine if all 10,000 Patricians agreed on something. Say you are a politician. Do you stand any chance to go against this class? Will the People back you? No, because the entire media will be against you and have demonstrated repeatedly in the 20th century that they will just lie until people do what they want. The top 1% own a gigantic chunk of the wealth such that the entire middle class and some of the lower class would have to all coordinate to out-fund far less people.
If 1% owns 27%, then each of those 1 has a money-power level of 27. The next 19% have 56% — their money-power levels are 2.94. Nine of these have to coordinate to match an average 1 per-center. The next 20% own 10% — their average level is just 0.5. And the bottom 60% have essentially nothing. But they think they do — that’s because they’re deceived by those who do the talking. And they want more. But they fail to vote for more, and keep losing to the CFR and the rest of the ruling class on policy. What more is there to say?
The chart above shows that average citizen’s preferences are not predictive of policy, but economic elites’ preferences are.
An additional analysis of the raw data that led to this study, performed by Charles Angleson, has recently revealed the following:
Whites also get more of what they want than all other racial groups, rich/educated get more than what they want than poor/uneducated people, and men get what they want more than women.
They have data on support by race/religion, and Jewish opinion has basically no raw correlation with policy (r = +0.01284006). Now, jewishness was measured as religious jewishness, so since religiosity goes with low IQ, I thought I'd compare to protestants and catholics, but still, both christian groups' preferences were more correlated with policy outcomes than jewish preferences (r = +0.0461808 for protestants, r = +0.0278293 for catholics, and r = +0.08051105 for whites in general). Now, the number of jews sampled was pretty small for many of the surveys (avg n = 18.31293, not counting jews with no opinion), and so I tried weighing by jewish sample size, and the result of doing so was that jewish preferences became *negatively* correlated with policy outcomes (r = -0.05803816).
Asians also get the opposite of what they want without even controlling for anything, and this trend becomes even stronger when weighing by asian sample size, and gets stronger again when also controlling for white opinion.
The preferences of all groups were also pretty strongly correlated (my guess is because opinion polls tend to try to make certain results socially desirable). But, controlling for white preferences / protestant preferences (individually, in two separate analyses), this effect became even stronger, with the unique opinions held by jews being even more negatively correlated with policy outcomes (r = -0.1848425 when controlling for the opinions of protestants, and r = -0.1014538 when controlling for the opinions of whites). In fact, even without weighing by jewish sample size, controlling for white/protestant opinion is enough to make jewish opinion negatively correlated with policy outcomes (r = -0.03428608 when controlling for the opinions of protestants, and r = -0.04350101 when controlling for the opinions of whites).
Why control for the opinions of one group when looking at the effect of the opinions of another on policy? Basically, if a group is in the Patriciate, then their opinion should be responsible for creating the opinion of other groups, and any collinearity between the patriciate group opinion, subject group opinion, and policy implementation should be explained by patriciate opinion causing both. Thus, if group A has more patriciate membership than group B, then the semipartial rP(A.B) should be higher than the semipartial rP(B.A) (P for policy). Additionally, if a group isn't elite, then any unique opinions held by them but not by others shouldn't be correlated with policy.
NOTE: All controls done are semipartial coefficients; variance in policy outcomes always left unmodified.
This aligns perfectly with Domhoff’s demographic data on the Patriciate.
White gentile men are roughly 77% of Patricians. But this number has been decreasing. Instead of status games, this could serve as the reason why Cthulhu swims left. It certainly has Occam’s razor on its side.
We have now shown the following:
There is a class composed of less than 10,000 people (Table 1) which is highly coordinated and controls the official positions of power.
It is incredibly rich, much more than the average person (Figure 4).
It wins on policy while the masses do not.
Its demographics predict what demographics win on policy.
Its demographics have been moving towards demographics more likely to be leftist.
In other words, there exists a sovereign class, which I call the Patriciate, whose political desires determine the state of political culture. It consists of less than 10,000 people. Since this is the case, then a status game among >10% of the population cannot be the driver of political change. Rather, the driver is change in the composition of the Patriciate, whose behavior can be analyzed using the standard model from behavior genetics.
Why the Patriciate Exists: Political Agency
The real meat of exousiology is revealing why the Patriciate exists. The Patriciate exists because of the Iron Law of Oligarchy (ILO), which has 5 tenets. The one I have investigated the most thus far is the one which states that most people lack political agency, which is the ability to effectively pursue one’s political best interests.
The intuition behind political agency is asking, who has the capacity to drive political change? Who has the capacity to formulate a new idea, turn it into specific, actionable policies, whether those policies be government law or private law, and have the policy be successfully implemented? Whoever cannot do these things, cannot be responsible for new developments in a “culture war”, because a new development in the “culture war” means that a new idea was formulated, turned into policy, and successfully implemented.
Recall that the Patriciate, in practice, is the king of political agency. It controls the thinking organizations, the policy writing organizations, and the policy implementation positions. Looking at it this way, the Patriciate looks like nothing more than a coalition of people with high political agency. What role could people whose interaction with politics stops at corporate media, who spend most of their waking life working some job divorced from politics, watching Netflix, and socializing with other wagies possibly play?
It is my contention that the existence of the Patriciate is due to natural differences in potential or innate political agency, related to intelligence and temperament. Hanania agrees on this point:
Proles don’t have the verbal intelligence to form sophisticated-sounding rationales for what is motivating them. Elites come up with theories about what’s wrong with the masses, and write books and magazine articles explaining what is happening.
Some people might have the intelligence to formulate a new idea, turn it into policy, and oversee the policy’s implementation, but they may lack interest in that work or have an aversion towards daring to change the social state.
In theory, it should be pretty easy to figure out what percent of the population lacks the intelligence for political agency, and what percent lacks the temperament for political agency. I have performed a literature review aimed at estimating these percentages in my manuscript.
I found that 75-95% of people probably lack the intelligence required for political agency, and about 80% seem to lack the temperament required for political agency. This suggests that 1%-5% of the population possess enough political agency to be active in a “culture war”. The rest either don’t have the drive or the intelligence to formulate new ideas, turn them into actionable policy, and effectively oversee the implementation of said policy.
The Patriciate is just the biggest network of naturally high political agency people. Networking is necessary because they all support one another, and the largest coalition can essentially destroy all of the smaller, enemy coalitions outside of it. Part of being an effective high political agency person in a society of low political agency is managing public opinion, or what I call the “Hammer.” It involves getting low agency people, who don’t effectively formulate their own ideas, to follow your ideas, mostly via power, which involves being an effective person in general, and being able to do things very well, better than others, and deprive people when they don’t do what you say. All decentralized theories essentially mistake the actions of followers for the actions of independent, high political agency individuals.
When you understand political agency theory, the Patriciate running everything becomes a tautology. And when the Patriciate runs everything, there is no need for a positive feedback loop theory, particularly when Patriciate demographic change can explain the leftward shift. Furthermore, any such theory that is not restricted to the Patriciate is falsified.
Hanania on Status, the Patriciate, and the Negative ELO Fallacy
We can now dive into Hanania’s theory.
This article presents a psychological theory of the culture war, and posits a dynamic social system in which the actions, rhetoric, and behaviors of each side influence the other. People are not seeking their own economic interests nor even working towards a moral vision, but responding to a built-in drive towards trying to achieve status, which involves tearing others down. It’s something of a LARP because those who are most unaware of their own motivations can act with the most certitude, and therefore have the largest effects on our political culture. In its most extreme form, my model suggests that if all the hot-button issues that supposedly cause so much division in this country like abortion and immigration were taken off the table, it wouldn’t have all that much effect on the level of class resentment we have, which is the fuel of the culture war. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I’m sort of tempted to. See this theory as claiming that issues are overrated as causes of our divides, rather than them not mattering. [Bolding my own].
Exousiology aside, Hanania’s “status”-centered view is analytically problematic. What is status, exactly, and who or what determines it? Hanania is not explicit on this fundamental question. This is a huge problem; if your core theory is that “The Culture War [uncritical frame] is explained by status seeking”, and you don’t define what status is, and how it’s measured, then you haven’t even made a proper attempt to construct a verifiable theory. We can therefore, prior to critiquing the actual substance of the article, state an objection to Hanania’s epistemic methodology. Results will be skewed from the truth to a similar extent as one’s epistemic method is skewed from the ideal . If you seek to describe the world as it really is, your formulations should be able to be validated and modified by observation of the world you seek to describe.
It is somewhat trivial to critique a non-exousiologist’s epistemic methodology, given that exousiology is on the right track. Proper truth seekers will, when investigating the nature of society, tend to converge on exousiology. In fact, as I will explain, I believe Hanania’s original ideas are converging on exousiology. The problem is, I think, a model he imported from rationalists. This model is the status feedback loop. It has epistemic flaws, since any non-exousiological account will have epistemic flaws. This is a simple modus tollens, given that proper epistemic methodology leads to exousiology, which is true if exousiology is on the right track.
With epistemics out of the way, perhaps Hanania’s concept of status is the same as that found in the dictionary. Wikipedia states, “Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess.” Interesting phrasing. Who does the considering? Liberals imagine that it is a vote; exousiologists know that the Patriciate considers.
Hanania seems to circle around this fact:
The lower class sees money as a marker of status because it doesn’t have any other option, as it is less intelligent and capable of understanding the subtleties required to develop upper-class preferences and tastes. Fashions change so fast that just keeping up requires mental energy, which is lacking among the lower IQ. Trans ideology was being pushed in college seminars and New York Times op-eds before it made it on to TV and into mass advertising campaigns, hence giving the intelligent and aware a head start of several years in their ability to use the issue to raise their own status and denigrate others.
Status is not a vote, and it comes from the New York Times … but who controls the New York Times? And the rest of the media? The Patriciate (Ch 6).
It is my contention that Hanania commits the Negative ELO fallacy:
The Negative ELO fallacy is the fallacy whereby the arguer looks one or less steps ahead when making a move. It often takes the form of an uncritically recursive argument, whereby the arguer has failed to trace recursions back to their ultimate beginnings. A common example of such an argument is that “Black culture” causes Black behavior. The arguer fails to perceive that Black culture is just aggregate Black behavior, and that Black culture must be explained by genes or outside environment. He is making a move while imagining no future board states beyond his move.
It would be folly to ask where Hanania thinks status comes from. To Hanania, status simply is, and he’s just fitting behavior onto a drive for this magical object. He is not trying to tackle the concept of “status” and ask where it comes from. How did genes and the environment change such that feces “art” and transsexuals became high status? Hanania does not have a wrong answer; he does not consider the question. Exousiology does not commit the Negative ELO fallacy, and therefore has an answer. In exousiology, the Patriciate has power, which is carefully defined as “marginal influence”, and which is thought to spring from variation in the human gene pool regarding talent and innate human desires. Our answer is that the Patriciate, having power built on a foundation of stone, defines status. In other words, the status game is a virtual system. And the virtual systems obsession of the mainstream political scientist is really just an instance of the Negative ELO fallacy.
Mainstream political scientists know practically nothing about the real order while narrowly obsessing about the current virtual order. They hyper-focus on how the masses vote without understanding what the mass is. Other obsessions include the effects of “policy” and the dynamics of virtual systems like Congress and parties.
We can add the obsession about the status hierarchy, common among rationalists, to the list. Status is really top-down; it can be appropriately defined as how much the Patriciate likes you.
Hanania’s status-centered theory has thus been revealed to be yet another instance of what we might now call the Political Scientist’s Fallacy. The Political Scientist’s Fallacy, cousin to the Sociologist’s Fallacy, is the failure to penetrate the dome of the virtual, the mistaking of the hypervisor for the real; the incapacity to hit bare metal, which is genes and environment. This is a proper subset of the Negative ELO fallacy.
Measuring the Culture War
We have now laid the groundwork required to understand and properly critique Hanania’s overarching system. He wants to explain the “Culture War”, which is essentially the variance of Patriciate political behavior. This number has apparently been going up, but Hanania doesn’t know that. Instead he seems to think that education expansionism diversification is a measure of the “culture war.”
He gives us two charts on this plus one showing GDP by year.
The top 10% in education has become more leftist over time. This is supposed to reflect “culture war” and be explained by the status feedback loop.
But more nonwhites and women are in the top 10% of education now … a lot more? It is unclear what Hanania was even thinking here. He might be thinking that those lines mean that actual elites have “drifted apart” from the masses and have gotten more leftist over the decades? But actually the percent of women in “top 10% educated” has gone from 20% to 53% in the US with similar patterns in Europe.
This is why we need exousiology. “Top 10%” of anything is not “elite.” Not even that much of the population has political agency. Not only does Hanania start his article with the false frame “Culture War”, it involves throughout it imagining that woman wage workers with psychology Ph.Ds have sovereign levels of marginal influence. Any chart he posts should be mere noise without exousiology, because without it there is no ordering precept. Without exousiology, discussing [poli sci mass trend involving line going up over years] is equivalent to discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pen. You have no idea what the trend means or where it came from. It could be caused by solar flares for all you know, and have no effect on the rest of society. You have no theory.
Hanania does mention women in his post, but he’s claims he’s uncertain about their role, and his theory still comes with the baggage of the rationalist status feedback loop, which is unnecessary.
Confidence level: Not completely sure about this one. It’s possible that the triumph of blank slate ideology didn’t have much to do with communications technology or even women entering intellectual life. Blaming Step 2 on exogenous forces makes the theory more elegant. But it’s possible that something else is responsible for the triumph of egalitarian ideology, the influence of which we can accept without changing the rest of the theory. The more important point is the effects of egalitarian ideology, not its origins.
What Hanania Gets Right
It appears to me that Hanania’s theory can be reduced to two components: elite theory, potentially formulated by him personally, which converges on exousiology, and rationalist status feedback loopism. His article is essentially an idiosyncratic merger of these two strains of thought. The former is on the right track and does all of the heavy lifting of the article; the latter is essentially contradictory to the former and, as I argued above, is essentially a dead-wrong component. And the elite theory component is flawed in terms of fidelity, e.g. exousiology is in the same direction but higher definition and more developed; his formulations are vaguer and have somewhat more error.
The status feedback loop component was, I believe, invented as a critical theory, as opposed to a descriptive theory, which desired to portray reality as truly democratic. It attempts to reduce political change to a rosy voting process, where change is the result of a “feedback loop” revolving around gaining “status”, which is determined not by the Patriciate but by everyone. Status is simply “how much people like you.” Cthulhu swims left because to the left is where the “beautiful lie” is. Yarvin postulates in his Cathedral theory that the status feedback loop is only among the thinking population (its numbers are overestimated, for example, by considering journalism to be “thinking”), particularly everyone who thinks for a living (the importance of temperament for political agency is ignored). The rationalists, particularly Scott Alexander and Eliezer Yudkowsky, simply expanded this to everyone.
Hanania sides more with Scott Alexander, strangely, while mixing it with more classical elite theory:
People usually see intellectual influence as top-down, as in Curtis Yarvin’s idea of “the Cathedral.” Just as often, major trends can be explained by elites or aspiring elites looking for ways to flatter the masses in order to gain power.
The leftism line going up becomes the progression of the beautiful lie, as individuals seek to look good and flatter one another for status. Sometimes this involves politicians flattering a lot of people for a lot of status.
You can tell that this is a critical theory, because it makes leftism / egalitarianism / diversity / wokeism / etc. naturally desirable, when this is not the case in real life. This is thus a critical theory by leftists which posits that the arc of moral justice bends forward because leftism is simply more beautiful. Whether or not it’s true varies, but even Yarvin thinks leftism is beautiful. It shows in his life.
It is not necessary or ideal that we assign leftism a natural “social desirability bias”.
We can explain the leftism line going up more efficiently and with less error after ripping the status feedback loop idea out of Hanania’s model. We are left with many good points that converge on exousiology.
Decadence is getting more affordable, for instance. We don’t need a vague, weirdly complex yet underspecified feedback loop theory where leftism is “naturally desirable”, “virtuous” (e.g. “virtue signalling”), or what have you, and becomes the vacuous means to an end of “being liked” — rather we can better model leftism like “sin”, sometimes tempting, sometimes easy, always costly in the long run. As we get richer, standards loosen, people higher in “sinful tendencies” don’t get punished as much by the world because the world is easier — it’s just a Pareto cycle (Ch 5). Pareto pointed out this pattern after intensive historical analysis, before woman’s suffrage was a thing. Due to technology we are richer than ever; society can sustain more decadence than ever. Leftism is the end itself, and the incredibly rich elite use their power to make you tolerate it. “Tolerance.” This fits much better with the historical record, where feces art and exhibitionist crossdressing was always considered naturally disgusting, and virtue signalling was being against those things. Claiming that exhibitionist crossdressing is really the means to the end of being liked is deeply wrongheaded — rather, Bruce Jenner wants to get off and will use power to make you tolerate it. So too do these people force fecal art, because real art is subversive to leftism, since it represents true beauty. They want to force you to tolerate their ugliness using their power, and there have never been less natural consequences for ugliness than there are now.
After stripping out the status feedback loop error, we’re left with based takes like “most people are too low IQ to understand tolerance”:
The lower class sees money as a marker of status because it doesn’t have any other option, as it is less intelligent and capable of understanding the subtleties required to develop upper-class preferences and tastes. Fashions change so fast that just keeping up requires mental energy, which is lacking among the lower IQ. Trans ideology was being pushed in college seminars and New York Times op-eds before it made it on to TV and into mass advertising campaigns, hence giving the intelligent and aware a head start of several years in their ability to use the issue to raise their own status and denigrate others. The fact that the rules are so arbitrary and ever-shifting is part of the point – this serves to exclude those incapable of following along. In fact, the entire idea of making aesthetics and taste the basis of a status system is offensive to proles because it leaves them permanently on the outside looking in. If status is based on money, they might at least at some point win the lottery.
Proles don’t have the verbal intelligence to form sophisticated-sounding rationales for what is motivating them. Elites come up with theories about what’s wrong with the masses, and write books and magazine articles explaining what is happening. Proles supposedly refuse to go along with their betters because they benefit from “white supremacy” or score high on scales of “authoritarianism.” The lower class communicates in grunts, jokes, and sigs of tribal loyalty. The upper class writes hundreds of dissertations about how even poor white people benefit from the color of their skin, while the proles have “Let’s Go Brandon!” They become obsessed with Hillary’s e-mails and Hunter Biden’s laptop because personal corruption scandals are at least simple enough for them to understand. They’re not capable of more sophisticated critiques of liberalism, and even have to rely on elites to provide them a moral framework, as when they accuse Democrats of being the real racists. The rise of QAnon is the ultimate reductio ad absurdum of this, where proles lash out by just calling everyone they resent a pedophile. Trump is their guy not because of anything he’s going to do, but because he represents the ultimate negation of the tastes and value system of the hated upper class.
Hanania is additionally guilty of reaching beyond what current knowledge permits. I say this, because exousiology is not even to the point where we can say with definitiveness what exactly is driving the increase of women in higher education and therefore the lines Hanania points to, or what is causing the increasing political divide in the US.
However, my leading hypothesis is this: decadence, particularly materialism, selfish hedonism, and ego-narcissism, is the human default, or average. Only exceptional people have higher virtue. In harsher environments, these people outperform those of average virtue more. As we get richer, the elite becomes more average in terms of virtue. We end up with these people being billionaires and dictating politics:
Leftism is not a “game.” The sovereign class invents the game. These people force tolerance for their decadence, using their power. As they accumulate in the Patriciate in larger numbers, Cthulhu swims left. In addition, the rate of “progress” is naturally slow and continuous, because the Patriciate will reject anyone too far outside of window. If virtuous, high IQ people can rule just as easily as the much more numerous decadent, high IQ people. That is the problem. Virtue needs to be selected for. In the 19th century, polycule = syphilis = death. Virtue is selected for to a degree. Then, perhaps in the 1960s, we reach a level of technology where virtue is no longer a requirement. At first the Patriciate will kick out open cross-dressing exhibitionists, but every generation, the average decadence of the Patriciate increases, slowly and continuously. For no direct material reason, the Patriciate decides that it is time for trannies. And then polycules. And who knows what else next. For now, for instance, the Patriciate is anti-pedophilia. But eventually enough tolerated perverts will accumulate that pedo becomes okay. It begins with “let’s have a conversation.” When that doesn’t get slapped down, it progresses to “let’s legalize therapeutic child porn.” When that doesn’t get slapped down, it progresses … etc.
The increasing line, the “Culture War”, is in part degeneration, the progressive drifting away from genetic virtue.
I believe there is a second process at work related to information technology. During the 20th century, the Patriciate had unprecedented ability to brain-wash people with new media technology, as well as near-total information control. In the 1980s, I simply would not have had access to any of what I have read which led me to this point. In particular, and Hanania is keen on this, the lie of egalitarianism is being destroyed. As leftism, i.e. degeneration, progresses, at the same time, due to the internet, a few counter-elites are taking advantage of the new flow of information to attempt to enlighten a largely unvirtuous mass, that couldn’t care less about gay marriage, that they are being materially screwed under the cover of the lie of equality. Average men are learning that they are getting screwed out of pussy with average marriage ages of 30, probably because decadent elites wanted to fornicate, under some lie about woman’s equality and “grassroots feminism”. The lies are being exposed, but the chasm between the material incentives of the average-virtue elites and the average-virtue mass continues to widen.
With all of this at play, hiding their virtue becomes more and more intolerable for the minority of the Patriciate that has it. Cthulhu swims left, but virtue doesn’t budge. Some issues are felt stronger than others, such as abortion. The amount of isms and phobias multiplies but the number of secret ists and phobes stays the same. Truth stays put and lies compound upon one another. “Why are we so divided?”
At the beginning of the article, I claimed Hanania was missing three components of exousiology: political agency, the Patriciate, and the variance components model for Patriciate behavior. We have now applied each of those components in our critique of his article. Political agency theory shows that the circle of active political agents is very, very small — society is highly centralized. The Patriciate is the highly effective ruling coalition of these people. They are less than a percent of the population. The variance component model states that policy and political culture is a function of their will; however, they are bounded by managing the obedience of the masses, lest they be overthown by more effective managers.
Each of these points are highly evidenced in my manuscript. A status feedback loop model involving a large portion (>10% of people per Hanania’s charts) of the population acting as political agents, producing political culture as a by-product of wanting to be liked, where leftism is simply what is naturally likable, is therefore untenable on the grounds of political agency theory, Patriciate theory, and all of human history, where leftism is not likable.
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