Jan 182022

This post is snippets of an informal conversation with Mr K, which I’m posting while on vacation. I don’t necessarily endorse any of these views, and may oppose some of them. I won’t be around to respond to comments for a couple weeks.


I actually advocate a formalised caste system btw. We already have an informal one, and I’m not very optimistic that it can be abolished, so I think it is better to recognise it officially so that we can all agree it exists and discuss how to improve it
it looks like formally dividing people into nobility and commoners with different privileges and obligations and social expectations, and hopefully finding some way of making it possible and easy to switch to a different caste than the one you were born in, if it is not a fit
the point is it should do the same thing as our informal class system but just be formally recognised
That and being less twisty for people who are trying to plan their life and need to know how the world works
[the US has an informal constitution] and that there’s a pretty large difference at this point between the informal and the formal constitutions
this is a problem
Curtis Yarvin enumerates three different ways of living: The traditional yeomen, the cosmopolitan armigers, and the deracinated lazzari. You’re a cosmopolitan armiger, which basically means you belong to the culture Scott Alexander described as “universal culture”. You value creative and/or intellectual fulfilment, and you need basically no instruction to know how to pursue it, though you might find instructors that appeal to you.
Traditional yeomen are very different from this. While you may not be an individualist in politics, you’re an individualist in personality in the sense that you live your own life, and your life is basically about you. A traditional yeoman is not an individualist, and their life stories are not best understood on the individual level. Yeomen live in groups, and care a lot about the local community, and fitting in and doing well by the church. If you try to get them to decide their own career, they will almost inevitably find some way of delegating the choice to some guide in their local community. They live basically in cults, and they want to live in cults, and they will live in cults even if you try to make them stop. You might not like this – sorry, but you’re a cosmopolitan armiger.
(what does caste confer?) which people can hold what type of office, for example.
There may be a case for making this independent of your caste, but currently it is not independent from your caste, and the law should reflect this in order to be an empirically accurate law.
In fact, most people are very averse to giving up the informal caste system, which is academic credentialism
there’s no need for a new aristocracy. We just need to improve the aristocrats – in particular by curing their addiction to power and relevance.
The poor state of the aristocrats is a result of the political system’s structure, and it is not only the aristocrats who are in a poor state as a result of this.
The whole point is that an academic aristocracy is basically a clerisy, and that having a clerisy in power violates the principle of separation between church and state. Of course, this would already be problematic alone by the fact that it involves the state in enforcing a state religion and ruling by deceit, but actually, the bigger problem with having a union of church and state is not that the church corrupts the state; the bigger problem is that the state corrupts the church.
An aristocracy is valuable because it provides us with scientific progress, technological advancements, and innovations, not to mention incredible, aristocrat art. A civilisation does not thrive without having a thriving aristocracy.
But they should not be in power.
Basically, it’s not this blue vs red tribe culture war thing. Neoreactionaries do not wish to suppress the current members of the Cathedral, or to punish them, or to marginalise them in the next regime. Not only will they be treated with decency, they will still be aristocrats, they will still be able to live woke or hippie lifestyles or whatever they prefer, and, if all goes well, they should be doing better in every way except in political power. 
The neoreactionary view isn’t that clerical oligarchs are an evil outgroup to be crushed mercilessly; it’s that they’re our beautiful and literally noble friends and family who unfortunately have developed an addiction to power and relevance, sorta like the kind of temporary insanity described in “Politics is the Mind-Killer” by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It’s not an “us vs them” kinda thing; it’s a “let’s fix this crazy mess” kinda thing.


  One Response to “Mr K – Our Informal Caste System”

  1. It is important to understand that caste systems are simply a legislative form of socioeconomic class divisions. Such class divisions will inevitably be found in any system and be implicitly enforced by the structure of its government, including various aspects of its legal system (no doubt readers can think of many ways in which present laws enforce the current system of academic credentialism).

    By making it more explicit, it becomes easier to recognise and talk about, which also means it becomes easier to improve. I do not propose a return to a view in which you are to simply accept your lot in life as defined by arbitrary laws. While there are many ways in which I object to the norms and values of contemporary western civilisation, this is not one of them. What I am proposing is a move to greater openness and clarity, not to inflexibility – the sclerotic nature of bureaucratic bloat being one of the modern phenomena I’m highly critical of.

    The social strata of yeomen and armigers already exist in every society. It has often been said that the majority of people care little for freedom and only want security. The majority being described are the yeomen, although the rank of armigers currently includes a lot of people who would be happier and healthier as yeomen. An improved caste system can simultaneously accommodate the yeoman need for security and predictability as well as the armiger need for freedom and frequent novelty. Our society has various informal ways of doing this already, but these too can be improved by openly acknowledging their purpose.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.