Henry Dampier has written a masterful summary of contemporary political economy that makes me want to hang up my quill and retire – like Cincinnatus – to the farm of my forefathers.
However, my forefathers’ farm is probably long gone, centuries ago, and even Dampier’s good writing can give a hypersensitive reader an opportunity to take offense.
I don’t agree with many details of his post, but it’s not Dampier who has triggered my outrage. I do think it’s very important to note the critics to which he links.
Brin wrote to praise Scott Alexander’s hugely wrong-headed Anti-Reactionary FAQ,
and Brin singled out one passage in particular:
simplest and most fair experimental test of rhe neo-reactionary assertion. That we take a very homogeneous country and split it in half.
“One side gets a hereditary absolute monarch, whose rule is law and who is succeeded by his son and by his son’s son. The population is inculcated with neo-Confucian values of respect for authority, respect for the family, strict gender roles and cultural solidarity, but these values are supplemented by a religious ideal honoring the monarch as a near-god and the country as a specially chosen holy land. American cultural influence is banned on penalty of death; all media must be produced in-country, and missionaries are shot on site. The country’s policies are put in the hands of a group of technocratic nobles hand-picked by the king.
“The other side gets flooded with American missionaries preaching weird sects of Protestantism, and at the point of American guns is transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Its economy – again at the behest of American influence – becomes market capitalism, regulated by democracy and bureaucracy. It institutes a hundred billion dollar project to protect the environment, passes the strictest gun control laws in the world, develops a thriving gay culture, and elects a woman as President.
“Turns out this perfect controlled experiment actually happened. Let’s see how it turned out!”
The experiment refers to North Korea as the monarchy and South Korea as the decadent satrapy of the USA empire.
However, the anti-Reactionary FAQ is plainly wrong about some of its alleged facts:
South Korea, on the other hand, ought to be a basketcase. It’s replaced its native Confucian traditions with liberal Protestant sects, it’s occupied by US troops, it’s gone through various military coups to what the CIA calls a “fully functioning modern democracy”,
South Korea has not replaced Confucianism. Most South Koreans are NOT Christians. South Koreans are harsh authoritarians – they just have more money than North Koreans because they are a satrapy of the USA. The CIA might call it a “democracy” – but few people take the CIA’s allegations at face value.
Brin – who has not been in my good graces for years – has only sunk lower in my regard with his endorsement of Alexander.
This blog is supposed to perch like a vulture and snipe at the Reactosphere (and the Manosphere). Instead, Scott Alexander has provoked me so much that I have to snipe at the Reactosphere’s detractors.