Despite its tired yet tireless efforts to enforce its autocentric star topography wherein any and all interactions are mediated by the mothership, the bureaucratic state can never truly be powerful enough in praxis to control the vertical and the horizontal no matter much it claims to do exactly this.
At best, l’etat can create a mythology wherein the appropriate appearance is lent such that designated drones punch in and punch out at designated times in highly visible urban centres, clogging the roads at 8am and 4pm like so many clock-bound swarms of meal moths. This pantomime, of course, only persists for as long as it does, which is to say for as long as communication media are largely limited and there’s perhaps one photocopier per university and it’s monitored 24/7 for Approved Use Only. But once the costs of p2p network are trivialised, even this mythology machine can’t constrain the tail-happy mob any more than the beer store cut-out of Tom Brady can come from behind to win Superblow Li.i
But all good things take time and genre savviness certainly doesn’t rain down from the skies evenly nor all at once. It’s patchy, which means that heuristics are useful for interacting with would-be WoT mates. In different times and different places, such heuristics have varied but always around a central theme : shared beliefs. To quote Mircea vis-a-vis the endarkened continent’s approach :
For instance, the primitive (under a certain light) minds in Muslim Africa had serious trouble comprehending how someone could live who didn’t believe, not in Allah, not in Allah-by-another-name-because-they’re-weird-where-he-was-born, but not at all. It seemed to them that such a person would necessarily be untrustworthy, have no loyalty etcetera.
The thing is that this certain light is ever more broadly applicable as the US continues its indomitable march towards Afrikanisation. As such, the application of this non-statal higher power heuristic in contemporary English-speaking lands is of ever-increasing value. To quote John Gray :
Today, liberal humanism has the pervasive power that was once possessed by revealed religion. Humanists like to think they have a rational view of the world; but their core belief in progress is a superstition, further from the truth about the human animal than any of the world’s religions. Outside of science, progress is simply a myth. In some readers of Straw Dogsii this observation seems to have produced a moral panic. Surely, they ask, no one can question the central article of faith of liberal societies? Without it, will we not despair? Like trembling Victorians terrified of losing their faith, these humanists cling to the moth-eaten brocade of progressive hope. Today religious believers are more free-thinking. Driven to the margins of a culture in which science claims authority over all of human knowledge, they have had to cultivate a capacity for doubt. In contrast, secular believers — held fast by the conventional wisdom of the time — are in the grip of unexamined dogmas.iii
Christians in particulariv are so grossly and unjustly under fire at present that I, for one, can’t help but be compassionate and more trustworthy of those who so proudly serve their Lord. Given the choice between an etatist and an evangelical, all else being equal, I’ll do business with the Bible Thumper thank you very much. That they’re willing to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a straight spine and heads held high tells me that they’re not going to panic at the first sign of trouble, that they’re dedicated to their communities and their families, and that, most importantly from a business perspective, these roots can act as co-signers.
So if you’re working outside of the purely digital world – whether it’s as a landlord or a broker of some kind – these are the types of inside lines you’ll need. Sure, Christianity is the original socialism, but it’s also so weakly aligned with the extant bureaucratic state in the English-speaking worldv that it gets more than the benefit of the doubt for its troubles, in fact it moves up right to the front of the admittedly beleaguered line.
Sure, it’s primitive, but think about who you’re really dealing with.
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- Li means “plum” in Chinese. [↩]
- Mr. Gray’s book, from which this quote is sourced, first published in 2002. [↩]
- Recent eg of such unexamined liberalist dogma : Shillary is a shoe-in. [↩]
- Muslims and Jews are so unassailable by the loud-mouthed left that I assign no additional respect for the paths forged by members of either tribe. By contrast, being an “out” Christian today is like being a leper in 1838 given the specifically anti-paternalistic-militantly-atheistic-yet-brownie-slobbing social climate. [↩]
- The Polish-, Russian-, and Hungarian-speaking worlds are another matter entirely. [↩]