The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms. ___ Neoreactionary Glossary
The Cathedral, with its informal union of church and state, is positioned perfectly. It has all the advantages of being a formal arm of government, and none of the disadvantages. Because it formulates public policy, it is best considered our ultimate governing organ, but it certainly bears no responsibility for the success or failure of said policy. Moreover, it gets to program the little worm that is inserted in everyone’s head, beginning at the age of five and going all the way through grad school.
___ A Gentle Introduction
As long as people are subject to the whims and dictates of “the cathedral,” they cannot be free to pursue important goals or to adopt a wider range of useful philosophies, psychologies, and technologies. But escaping an all-encompassing totalitarian ideology such as “the cathedral” will not be easy, since virtually all of society is necessarily in thrall to the cathedral.
Here is one person’s approach to initiating escape from the cathedral:
Communities are made by co-opting ones that already share your values or you make one by having all the fraternal members take wives have kids and bring all their friends in for the ride. Starting towns with open-source village, or co-opting existing parts of cities or towns.
Next you have to use this group to take action.
Basic tools for taking action:
- provide for community – help out, build, volunteer, get involved in local politics, educate
- Supplant the current economic order with a better system like open-transactions and use the power of free trade to build a functional counter economy
- Communication networks like mesh nets (distributed wifi internet) or dark nets (pgp communication hubs over normal internet)
- Build a culture. Art, music, values etc etc.
- Provide justice with reputation based arbitration rather than legislative law.
- Defend the community (like a benevolent gang)
- Train and workout. Develop yourselves as men.
- Actually do the work (reading, writing, debating, disseminating) that the first pincer is supposed to do
- Live life. Enjoy your community and families. Party, hold events, make movies, whatever it is you do to enjoy life
These are interesting suggestions. It seems to me that number 2 — supplanting the current economic order — is one of the key elements of such a plan. If a group of Dangerous Children or competent neoreactionaries were to introduce a sound and reliable alternative currency to replace the decaying system of fiat currency now in place, the alternative approach would begin to gain traction. Particularly if government tax agencies had no credible way to convert between currencies.
Patri Friedman’s interesting essay on Dynamic Geography introduces some other useful concepts.
Taking this metaphor literally suggests an alternative strategy. Suppose that the cost of physically switching countries really could be dramatically reduced. Even though each country retained a monopoly on its geographic territory, governments would be forced to compete for citizens by providing services more efficiently. Governing would be more like long-distance phone carriers less like operating systems. But how?
While the answer is not to put wheels on our houses, some may find it equally counterintuitive – to build floating cities from detachable, modular units. The general concept is by no means an original idea, as floating cities have long been a part of the nation-founding fringe. Because all land is under the control of nations with no interest in selling sovereignty, nation-founders have been forced to consider the oceans.
The essay is worth reading for its juxtaposition of anarchocapitalism to dynamic geography, alone.
When contemplating an escape from “the cathedral,” one inevitably runs up against the nearly impermeable mind-barrier which the cathedral has created in one’s mind, to prevent such contemplation. In Orwell’s 1984, control of the citizen’s thoughts was the ultimate goal of the government. The same goal appears to be uppermost in the minds of the cathedral’s upper echelons.
Every nation — including China and Russia — has its own version of “the cathedral.” Escape by changing one’s country of residence is of doubtful efficacy, although some countries have more “free provinces and regional areas” than others. One is more likely to find success via the plan of community co-option or community creation — within a province or state offering greater degrees of freedom.
The Dangerous Child movement is patterned after similar ideas: Create networked prosperous cores of competence (dangerous and resilient communities), train more dangerous children, and repeat until global and national trends and conditions change — then re-evaluate.
Most humans on the planet are not motivated to escape the cathedral. But to those who have not yet been beaten down, coerced, or suborned, the combination of the whole life straitjacket of the cathedral plus a relentless dysgenic demographic decline spells disaster. Action of some type appears unavoidable, to them.
HFTB. PFTW. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.