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Old January 29th, 2015 #1
Sam Emerson
Diversity = White Genocide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Doom Fort II
Posts: 2,800
Sam Emerson
Default Ritual Combat, Actual War


Rational debate has the same relationship to ideological warfare that boxing has to an actual life-or-death violent encounter. Which is to say very little at all.

Let’s do a thought experiment together. Imagine for a second that some enterprising young urbanite out there wants to rob you. You’ve got a nice watch or a thick wallet. You know the deal. Now the easiest way to get your goods off you is to have you incapacitated or unconscious, and your mugger, not being the philosophical type, probably doesn’t care too much one way or another whether he accidentally kills you as he renders you thus. He just wants you knocked out. So he’s going to slug you in the head from behind or hit you with a brick. And then he’s going to rifle through your pockets afterwards. If you’re lucky you wake up in a little bit. If not the local news tomorrow night reports you as a “robbery gone wrong.”

If you survived such an ordeal, you might complain afterwards that your attacker struck you from ambush rather than lacing up and boxing you mano a mano in the ring like true mensch would have. That he was cowardly and dishonorable and afraid to face you. And you’re probably correct. Petty criminals aren’t typically paragons of masculine virtue. But ultimately you’re only correct in a trivial sense, and I doubt that such ex post facto exactitude will afford you much consolation. You may choose to persist in misunderstanding what that transaction on the sidewalk that night was all about, but your mugger won’t. He knew exactly what he was out to do, and he accomplished it efficiently. He’s already blown your cash on, I don’t know, malt liquor, and moved on with his life. He’s standing out there tonight beside a different byway with a different brick.

Boxing, wrestling, your typical dojo-purveyed Eastern martial art—these are ritualized versions of combat. They’re useful for teaching young men how to throw a punch, shoot, bodyslam, etc., all of which can be useful in a violent encounter. And if they’re taught correctly they teach people how to take a punch or a kick or an elbow, which is even more useful in a violent encounter. But violent encounters don’t follow their rules or their conventions. They look, sound, end completely differently. I’m sorry if that breaks your heart, but you’re probably never going to get to deliver a jumping, triple-axel back kick to the throat of a dumbfounded would-be rapist in real life. That’s just not how it works.

A stand-up bout requires broad agreement on the rules. An ambush ignores them entirely.

Now I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that logic, rationality, scientific empiricism, etc. are ritualized in the same sense that I’ve been talking about here. They’re intellectual technologies that have been developed to facilitate certain types of inquiry. And we get a tremendous amount of mileage out of them. But rational debate is certainly a ritual. Ritualized combat. And as such it’s a lot like a UFC fight or an Olympic Tae Kwan Do match. It, too, requires a broad agreement on the rules, and not only the acceptable rules but the relevant premises, and not only the relevant premises but what methods are appropriate for establishing them, and so on and so forth.

What so many conservative types, do, though, is pretend like the other side is interested in meeting them in the clean, well-lighted ring of rational debate. And how we engage is we trot out a worn old rhetorical chestnut that points out some logical inconsistency or hypocrisy or factual inaccuracy that the left’s been indulging in. “If you think women are equal to men, you ought to be campaigning against special favors for women!” “If you really cared about the economically downtrodden, you’d teach them personal responsibility!” “Immigration is a net cost to society!” This is a category error. You’re missing the point. You’re engaging in rational debate. You’re appealing to a mutual agreement about rules that isn’t in play. We rightists are strutting around the ring, warmed up and gloved up, in the best shape of our lives, entrance music blaring, just itching for those progressives to come through the ropes to meet us.

The progressives are not coming. They are not. Tattoo that forever on your very bones. They want to see you ruined, not to play some dumb intellectual game. You’re offering a ritual ideological combat, whereas they’re waging an ideological war. And they’re interested in winning, as quickly, efficiently, and unanswerably as possible.

That’s why they’re creeping up on you right now, brick in hand.
Old January 29th, 2015 #2
Sam Emerson
Diversity = White Genocide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Doom Fort II
Posts: 2,800
Sam Emerson


Ritual Combat, Actual War pt. 2

When one of the contending parties in prestate warfare was routed, the subsequent rampage by the victors through the losers’ territory often claimed the lives of many women and children as well as men. One Maring clan of 600 people in New Guinea lost 2 percent of its population in the rout that followed its loss of 3 percent of its people in the preceding battle. This total may not seem very severe, but to produce equivalent figures France (with a population of 42 million) would have had to lose over 1.2 million soldiers in its 1940 defeat and some 840,000 civilians in the immediate aftermath (or five times the total number of war-related French deaths during the whole war). Victorious Tahitian warriors killed so many people in the loser’s territory that an “intolerable stench” of decaying corpses “pervaded defeated districts for long periods after battle.” Similarly severe slaughters attended battlefield defeats among the chiefdoms of Fiji and Cauca Valley of Colombia. These examples illustrate the most important and universal rule of war: do not lose.

In several ethnographic cases, formal battles with controlled casualties were restricted to fighting within a tribe or linguistic group. When the adversary was truly “foreign,” warfare was more relentless, ruthless, and uncontrolled. Thus the rules of war applied to only certain “related” adversaries, but unrestricted warfare, without rules and aimed at annihilation, was practiced against outsiders.

What I wanted to point out yesterday is that rational debate, dialogue, an “honest exchange of ideas,” whatever you want to call it, is generally analogous to other forms of ritualized competition or combat insofar as it requires a mutual commitment to fair play, to rule adherence, etc. This mutual commitment is a without which not. In the absence of that commitment , there is nothing there can be properly called a debate at all but only the rhetorical equivalent of a shiv fight in a prison yard—something unstructured, frenetic, usually one-sided.

This is true all of the time in all arenas of human discourse, even those typically understood to be above such arbitrary strictures, like those vaunted “hard sciences” they write about in Cell or Reviews of Modern Physics. There is no such thing as a self-evident truth, no such thing as data that commands absolute agreement. The methods of the sciences or mathematics or analytic philosophy are robust and useful in many instances. They’ve produced remarkable triumphs of human achievement. But the method of making someone else assent to a worldview that they have no interest in submitting to, by sheer force of logical argumentation… well, it hasn’t been invented yet.

That’s all I wanted to point out. Rational debate is not a way to conquer outsiders but to compete with fellow insiders.

It’s possible, however, that in trying to analogize all this to the boxing/mugging disparity and then in applying that model to disputes between rightists and progressives, I slandered our progressive friends unduly. I made it seem like they’re a nothing but a cohort of petty criminals, thugs, and skullduggerers, creeping around the shadows of our fair city and violating our laws.

As far as that characterization goes, well, what can I say? Probably not too far off the mark. There are no wretched hives of scum and villainy quite comparable to contemporary movement progressives. They comprise a modern Gomorrah. Apologists of cartel cultures and violent criminality, worshippers of sexual degeneracy, infanticide, sterility, haters of their forefathers, blasphemers, scoffers at God, turncoats against their own flags, states, countrymen. Masters of passive aggression and propaganda. Hardly an honorable man among them. So, no, I can’t say I respect them overmuch, notable exceptions notwithstanding. But I will say this. I will say that the model of citizen vs. criminal is a limited one in very important ways.

How that model fails is by replicating the same sort of misunderstanding I wanted to call into question in the first place. It suggests a meaningful similarity where there isn’t one. It suggests that the two sides, rightist and leftist, are actually both operating under the same system, same regime, same worldview, that the significant difference between them is that one obeys the regime and the other doesn’t. Which is a mischaracterization.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of ideological conflict breaks down along tribal lines. You can use your preferred terms here. There have been excellent analyses of the social rifts, fissures, and Balkanizations of modern America from many quarters. Call them castes, call them thedes, call them tribes, call them races, subspecies, breeding populations. Call them with Murray classes that have stratified to the point that they diverge culturally. Go back in time a little and call them with Hans Kurath the trans-generational effects of American settlement patterns. Call them Yankees, Southerners, Midwesterners, Mexifornians, Pacific Northwesterners. Whatever you choose to call them, you’re recognizing that America doesn’t consist of some three hundred twenty million undifferentiated “citizens” participating in the ins and outs of democracy. Would that it did. But it doesn’t, and we’re not. We’re a loose confederacy of often bitterly opposed people groups, incommensurable interests, zero-sum gamers on opposite sides of the table—all centrally administered by a constellation of elites in politics, finance, and the media that represent yet another group entirely. These are the facts, as unpleasant as they are.

And so it’s not really a fair condemnation of the LGBTers, the multiculturalists, the feminists, the academics, the banksters, the politicians, the figureheads of public discourse to point out that they don’t play by the rules that conservatives, traditionalist, reactionaries, et. al. would agree to. Of course they don’t. Most of the time they belong to different tribes in the first place, with different customs, habits of mind, articles of faith, modes of social organization. Their interest is with their own tribe, not with adhering to the ritual niceties of another. The model that obtains here isn’t law-abider vs. criminal. It’s law-abider vs. law-abider. They simply abide by the laws of their respective kinds.

And this explains the frequent ruthlessness of our ideological conflicts. Inter-tribal conflict is always more serious than intra-tribal conflict, more violent. The enemy is more foreign. The stakes are higher. The costs of losing out in an intra-tribal dispute can be as low as loss of status or face, whereas the costs of losing out in an inter-tribal dispute can be as high as total dispossession, being scattered to the four winds, extinction. This is why, as the introductory selection from War Before Civilization pointed out, intra-tribal conflict often has ritualized, almost ludic elements while inter-tribal conflict escalates to the condition of total war, swallowing up game, player, all.

In other words, don’t expect the minorities to ever decide that whites have learned their lesson. Don’t expect newly liberated homosexuals to live and let live. Don’t expect transnational corporations to respect the rule of law. Don’t expect fair play. That’s absurd. These conflicts aren’t play but war. They’re different tribes contending over territory, resources, ascendency, a foothold for their next generation. When one routs another, there will be no shaking of hands in the middle of the field. There will be claiming of scalps, slaughter, rampage. There will be ousts, purges, the criminalization of dissenting opinions.

The lesson here rhetorically is that you should not put any faith in a free and open exchange of ideas with liberalism at large. And it’s not actually liberalism’s fault if you do so and are frustrated time and again. You misunderstood the nature of the exchange. Not them. The lesson is to stop playing “gotcha,” stop attempting by repetition or by bibliography or by shouting at the top of your lungs to force a recognition of your facts, stop appealing to principles of rational disagreement. Stop pointing fingers and crying foul. Instead, the winning play is to step away from the table entirely. It’s to sit down with your own people instead, to articulate your own positions independent of alien frames. The winning play is to rally your own tribe for action.

This lesson replicates in the political sphere as well, of course. Critique is not fundamentally misguided. It has its purposes and its rewards. But it has limitations as well. No tribe survived the crucible of prehistory by complaining loudly when another tribe violated its territory. Or by appealing to notions of fairness and reciprocity. If they survived at all it was by forward momentum, by winning an arm’s race, by raising up the next generation of fighters, by protecting its borders, and by, when necessary, escalating to a war of annihilation against those who had made their status as enemies clear. Many of our tribes have been on the back foot for quite a while now, playing defense. But all we’ve been accomplishing is a more gradual loss. The only way out is through for us. The only way to win is on offense. We’re no longer contending by means of spears, knives, stone arrowheads, of course. But the dynamics of inter-tribal conflict are still the same. Behave accordingly.
Old June 15th, 2015 #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,110

Brilliant article. I wish I'd read it 20 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of frustration. OTOH, most likely I wouldn't have believed you till I'd gone through 20 years of beating my head against the wall of liberal obstinacy

The one modification I'd suggest is that logical debate can have an effect on some liberals. Many of them are honest believers who want to be good people, and sometimes through those beliefs you can insert doubt and discord within their ranks. An excellent example of this is how some liberals are starting to wake up to how Israel is the new colonial power.

Actual conversions will be extremely rare due to the many feedback loops liberals have to maintain their beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence. As you would say, we can't debate them as 'outsiders' since they adhere to a different set of rules, but if we can frame the argument as 'insiders' some of them might be swayed. Not to switch sides, but to begin fighting their own about the new 'truth' that you have woken them up to.

Possible argument: Say that jews are really white, and therefore their numbers at top universities should be decreased to make room for 'real' minorities like blacks and hispanics.
Old June 15th, 2015 #4
Sam Emerson
Diversity = White Genocide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Doom Fort II
Posts: 2,800
Sam Emerson

Originally Posted by Zorost View Post
The one modification I'd suggest is that logical debate can have an effect on some liberals. Many of them are honest believers who want to be good people, and sometimes through those beliefs you can insert doubt and discord within their ranks.
If they're White. Non-Whites should only be debated for the education of the White audience or to demoralize them.

No platform for the kikes!

debate, strategy


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