Friday, February 1, 2013

Feel the Mosquito's Itchy Wrath!

The bionic mosquito discusses Fred Foldvary's theories of voluntary societies, leading me to remark* that the ideal of a hotel's providing good  service in order to increase it's income, if expanded to larger and more complex entities (e.g. city states), falls into distinctly Moldbuggian territory, what I vaguely understand to be "formalism", or again to my imperfect understanding, government by the owners. Authority is strong and unambiguous, and courteously administered when appropriate, as between ladies and gentlemen, based on an expressed and mutually agreed to contract from which either party can withdraw. Obviously this is not a new concept, being a huge part of libertarianism, but it underlines the problem with federalism, and dovetails nicely with my own hypothesis that something really bad was released with the reformation.

This is also a nice for for my own theory concerning the 'latinizing" of the US, not so much the immigration aspect but the gradual movement to an almost feudal division of society into two classes, a tiny elite who enjoy liberty and fraternity, and a huge mass who get not much beyond "equality", and both directly supported by the state. In a word, fascism.  Nothing novel, here, either, but the question presents itself. If there is a natural and unyielding tendency in man to follow great leaders, as I strongly suspect, and if this was the best basis for establishing societies, as I strongly fear, are then the only things stopping our enthusiastic participation strong skepticism of human nature (as revealed in most religions) or simple romanticism, which ought to be avoided for practical reasons.

Formalism would seem to be antidote to romantic beliefs in peace, love, and brotherhood, although I myself am very drawn to the idea of a harmonious natural state and would even briefly enjoy the war of all against all to which the natural state seems to devolve, but I can't help thinking we might as well learn to love big brother. Despair is also a romantic notion, as is, (possibly) Authority. In the meantime, follow Epictetus, or make sure you can always afford a good hotel.

* I like the direction the argument takes, toward real privatization (as opposed to fire sales of resources). Other modest institutions suggest themselves, cruise lines, retirement villages,gated communities. Stuff rich people like. I've always regretted not traveling, but it seems as if the third world is coming to us. "We'll ride this out at the Ritz!"

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