Honor Societies vs Respect Societies, or how the Disaster of Commons sunk the Western World

Friday, 25 November, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Traditional societies (by which we mean strictly functional societies) are always honor societies, throughout known history and geography. In such an arrangement, all individuals are represented by a sort of score, which starts at zero (or perhaps epsilon) once they are born and then increments from there. Being the son of someone with a high score yields some points ; completing a hajj yields some points ; obtaining a college degree yields some points ; standing your ground in battle yields some points and so on. These achievements are usually fixed in oral memory via titles, such as the courtesy title of an individual who did the right thing by being born to a notable, or the Hagi title prefixing the name of someone who undertook a certain pilgrimage, or the Dr., PhD. etcetera title suffixing the name of someone who completed a certain academic course.

In honor societies the position of the individual as well as his treatment by others is strictly a relation of his fame score, which is the point of Rochester's

Look to the bottom of his vast design wherein man's wisdom, power, and glory join: the good he acts, the ill he does endure, 'tis all from fear, to make himself secure. Merely for safety, after fame we thirst, for all men would be cowards if they durst.

It is generally misunderstood by superficial contemporary "students" of times past that priviledge affixed to title. This notion is false : the title marked for memory the substance of the bearer's score, which score modulated also the behaviour of the other members of society. This is why Lord Bacon could not be convicted even if he recognized his act, hand and heart ; and why the judges wouldn't even believe the truth prima facie - his fame score, not his titles provided him immunity from such common a charge. It wouldn't have protected him from treason, like it did not protect sir Thomas More, even though

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man's laws, not God's– and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake.

We may notice that the saint is significantly wiser than the entire boatload of thankyouforyourleadersheeps over in Washington DC, but wisdom is not germane. Society works the way it works.

Respect societies (a concept which exactly maps on contemporary, which is to say dysfunctional, societies) reverse the principle : everyone is presumed to start with the same score, equal to the highest score attainable, and then perhaps conserve it, or most of it - if they don't manage to lose some through misdeeds in life. This handily explains the contemporaneous fixation on youth as well as its clearly pathological excesses ; it plainly makes sense of the absent ambition and absent achievement in contemporaries ; it even unwinds the bizarre lingo they use - evidently it'd all be about respect for human rights and women's rights and the environment and biodiversity and cultural diversity and whatnotity.

The transition from functional to dysfunctional occurs on the following mechanism :

mircea_popescu Dog1 who are you again ?
Dog1 just a traveller
asciilifeform lemme guess, vex is back

mircea_popescu !!down Dog1
mircea_popescu come back as a useful something.
asciilifeform assumed that it was trinque's drinking mate or such

mircea_popescu was it ?
trinque I never heard of him
shinohai Eulorian

mircea_popescu not in #eulora ?
mircea_popescu trinque that's kinda the thing, everyone tends to assume such things because why risk offending friend of lord.
mircea_popescu prolly should be standing policy to actually announce such situations.

What happens is that from an individual fitness perspective, it is a better policy to err on the side of overvaluing an unknown's score rather than undervaluing it. The risk of undervaluing is that you may end up in hot water (with their powerful patron, with a duel summons, with who knows what even), whereas the selfish benefit is at best absent (if not outright the satisfaction of vanity - a sin). The risk of overvaluing is not perceived (because what do I personally care that some untalented crackwhore goes around thinking she herself sings ?) whereas the benefits are clear - if you guessed right you get whatever benefit of having broken the hard riddle, and if you guessed wrong you'll get another poltroon orbiter. As far as the individual himself is concerned, his selfish best interest is to always overvalue, which is how idiocies like "how to make friends and influence people" or US televised elections get started.

The foregoing notwithstanding, from a group fitness perspective undervaluing is mildly beneficial on aggregate, as it promotes a slighty overtoned, slightly overactive population hell bent on proving itself. Overvaluing on the other hand is nothing short of a death sentence, in a myriad ways from self-indulgent obesity and consumerism all the way to intellectual sterility. If you wonder why one Arab "terrorist" is worth ten Western "men", the answer's in there. If you wonder why "uneducated" Western men are better than "educated" Western men, the answer's also there.

This is what is meant by disaster of commons : when the group interest goes one way, but the individual interest lies the other way, the invisible hand spells disaster rather than prosperity. A population of selfish individuals, each selfishly optimizing his behaviour for his own selfish interest will rend functional society into its dysfunctional modern equivalent in a matter of a few generations - and in the process squander all the wealth and value accumulated over hundreds of previous generations.

This is exactly what happened, and this is how the Western World went from A to B.

Sic transit.

Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.

40 Responses

  1. Oh little boy's will always be little boy's no matter how well they can write or put on a show.

    Fear of not knowing someone is still Fear.

    I am glad I made you Afraid of my outlooks!

    Fear is never boring.

  2. Outlooks aside, you should see how Afraid he is of your helpful paperclip.

  3. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 25 November 2016

    I am saddened to report I can't even.

  4. "Who are you?" and "What 'we'?", the valiant sister queries of sane society.

  5. "Used on blogging sites, mostly Tumblr, is an expression that denotes so many emotional responses that the user can’t even comprehend what has been said or seen. "

    Wrong. Intel first introduced a line of Pentriums that couldn't even.

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 25 November 2016

    I thought the Intels couldn't odd.

  7. Only a traditional, honour-based culture like the Japanese could even come up with "shameshurance".

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 26 November 2016

    It's not clear how the concept's supposed to work in that context.

  9. It sounds a bit like Titanic insurance... for the iceberg.

  10. I consider terrorists to be nigger scum. They have less value to humanity than drones, and it's only right that drones will win the war on terrorists.

  11. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 4 December 2016

    Did you read the dreamers series ?

  12. The avoidance of the commons tragedy by undervaluing might cause the prevalence of respect being paid to the mortuis, rather than hoi moraturi polloi: cowardice aside, death by mutual undervaluing emerges as a norm for respectability.

  1. [...] those persons he allows to reside in his presence on an ongoing basis. The household patriarch's prestigedetermines the relative position of the household in relation to other households. Señor1 Popescu's [...]

  2. [...] place and time (known in English as The Rape of Nanking) were as follows : on the background of a a dysfunctional society (the Chinese) being invaded by a functional society (the Japanese), the inhabitants of a certain [...]

  3. [...] thing as the keys, or the white race, or collective-noun-understanding. Who're you and what we, she says. She has a point. Therefore, every writing or influence, ancient or modern, must be strained [...]

  4. [...] so rather than risk misidentifying a dragon in practice it's "best" to "play it safe" which may make sense on the individual level but is catastrophic globally. [↩] Category: Cocietate si Sultura Comments feed : RSS [...]

  5. [...] femalesii are anxiongeniciii. This is why functional societies see young women hanging themselves in the eve of an important exam ; this is why [...]

  6. [...] is to say, tolerance for the powerful and intolerance for the weak is also amply documented in functional social structures, I won't bore with lengthy [...]

  7. [...] of debenture but because they're needed, organically part of the whole thing like old folks in "traditional societies". What possible relevancy could a month old Atlantic piece bear to anything or for anyone ? [...]

  8. [...] is built around the proposition that the honor system "dehumanizes" the individual, reducing him to the exact equivalent of the machinery he otherwise [...]

  9. [...] The discussion of status and contract strikes me as a pedestrian retelling of that old story ; it should be interesting to note just how recent this collapse actually is -- Spencer talks of it [...]

  10. [...] inferiority, especially if absolute and insurmountable) and so come to believe "all are equal" and "all are perfect" ; confronted with myriad daily practical contradictions of these batshit insane theories borne by [...]

  11. [...] having failed to follow camp like women must ?! Who the fuck produces the contorted reasoning of "Mr." Johnny Cammareri, whereby telling his mother of his engagement produced a miraculous healing and [...]

  12. [...] Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore and an 11th billed Marilyn Monroe [↩]Consider the theoretical statement : Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, [...]

  13. [...] more groups (though they generally tend to pick the largest as "bad" and the smallest as "good" for purely ideological reasons), all that matters is to breach the is-ought gap -- perhaps the easiest task a crook ever facedii, [...]

  14. [...] the fuck nonsense is this, if a woman can fulfill you you're about five years old. [↩]aka how the Disaster of Commons sunk the Western World. [↩]No, actually, the "employers" respond nothing because socialist government long subsumed [...]

  15. [...] I'm not even fucking kidding : meeting some landwhale on the first date and failing to pepper them with the well deserved mockery forthwith is ruining civilisation. [...]

  16. [...] cold, hard, actual reality the reason Idiocracy realised itself barely fifteen years later is the failure to repress, which... I suppose is arguably similar, and perhaps even related, but nevertheless : something [...]

  17. [...] be way the fuck cheaper to beat them at home, you know ? Overall, it'd be way the fuck cheaper. ———Or in its own words, curl: option -C: expected [...]

  18. [...] exact same applies throughout. [↩]And it is also why I don't think open societies are worth two shits, and I do not support them in practice : trying to find "the right set of rules" is not only an [...]

  19. [...] and titles are characteristic of honor-based societies, which have endured millennia because they reflect the self-evident hierarchy that exists in nature [...]

  20. [...] it. Maybe. [↩]Fucking simps. It's true, he was "lucky" ; the rest of the world, however... not so much. [↩]The Model T was made 1908 to 1927 ; if he was 3 in 1921 then he'd be 10 in 1928 ; the [...]

  21. [...] as possible of the alpha's time and frustrate the beta to high heavens, resulting ultimately in societal breakdown ; as it must, because this whole idiocy is nothing aught and nothing besides a frontal assault on [...]

  22. [...] The answer, of course... ———The wine guy came over upon my ordering to excuse himself : they only have it at room temperature. To my retort that good for them, that's precisely how they're supposed to have it, and while at it do France a favour and take the rest of the red wine out of the freezers he responded (in French) with his blessings, and the footnote that inasmuch as they want to stay in business, they've gotta be in the business of catering to the whims and "tastes" of the world's stupid cunts, rather than any kind of sense. Which is both very good sense on their part and perfectly laudable as such, but still perfectly lamentable in totum. [...]

  23. [...] Belt, an iconic practical verification of the intrinsic immorality and ethical perniciousness of the postmodern religion : if there's no drawback to "trying", the only virtue left's persistence, in turn meaning that this [...]

  24. [...] start over. Un uomo d'onore, a man who consists of his honor (very strictly and directly opposite a woman, who in that context consists of her progeny) courts a [...]

  25. [...] as soon as they attempt to "organise" towards "modernisation" (ie, escape from traditionalism) the whole pile is necessarily going to collapse upon itself. Because "the will of the people" is [...]

  26. [...] unit) to hang him, as he intended and was adequate. So America gained another Bufallo Bill, and sense lost another nail. [↩]From experience, there is always and without exception a woman. I can't [...]

  27. [...] proxy of culture ; equality is the social proxy of escapism. Concrete societies organize themselves at the interplay of culture and escapism. The fundamental, inescapably fundamental importance of white people to the [...]

  28. [...] the world can't be improved by faking improvement. A whole bunch of plebs going about acting as if they were counts and grafs and freiherren aren't, thereby, anything. Not counts nor grafs nor [...]

Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.