so yeah, hi, and welcome to peak hellworldand today i’ll be looking at some of that sweet jordan peterson lobster-juice, sucking it up though my brain-straw. jordan peterson is a man with a beard whose youtube videos come up in conjunction with “feminist gets owned” videos, and the videogame street fighter videos. he’s also, at some point in the recent past, been a number one selling author on amazon, and pewdiepie has reviewed his book, with something like three and a half million views.

loving culture right now.

i saw a video of his, recently, accidentally, via The Big Think (i do not subscribe to that channel). it was called:

Jordan Peterson: the fatal flaw in leftist American politics.

now, obviously, i was triggered and got owned, because i am a snowflake, so i took it upon myself to actually consider his arguments, and ask; what?

here is my preliminary conclusion, and i think it’s a fair shake: no.



so, here it is, as i understand it.



postmodernists, in the 1960s, because they had no narrative, and reject narratives, fell into marxism, which is “dissonant” because the two are epistemologically incompatible, i.e., it does not follow that (a) marxists claim a grand narrative; (b) postmodernists reject narratives; (c) postmodernists can be marxists.

and thus, according to peterson, this falling into marxism, without due consideration for ‘coherence’, by intellectuals, caused them to become active, and start protesting — and marxism is a ‘discredited economic theory’. that is, these intellectuals, in the barren wasteland of post-modernism, had to fall to marxism, which in turn forced them to the streets, to reject hierarchies, etc.

and thus, this activism, in the 1960s, etc, the student movement, martin luther king, is founded on some kind of fundamental dissonance, irrationality, because marxism is “widely discredited”, and the intellectuals who fell into activism were incoherent postmodernists, anyway.

and the slam dunk: this is “the fatal flaw in leftist american politics”; this is pervasive on the left. all leftist activists are, so it is implied, postmodern marxists… and so the left is fundamentally irrational, or something.

so “egalitarian marxism” (his words) caused activism; postmodernists fell into marxism; postmodernists are the activist student movementtherefore the left is a poopoohead.

final peterson formulation:

  • 1. marxists claim a grand narrative
  • 2. postmodernists reject narratives
  • 3. postmodernists became marxists (1960s)


  • 4. the left is marxist postmodernist
  • 5. marxism causes activism
  • 6. the left is marxist postmodern activists


  • 7. the movement is ultimately incoherent (in line with postmodernism)
  • 8. the left is cognitive dissonance
  • 9. the left is dangerous, in no position to make normative claims

uhh how did i, we get there? let’s turn to the man himself:



“it’s been obvious to me for some time, that for some reason, the fundamental claim of postmodernism is something like an infinite number of interpretations, and no canonical overarching narrative. ok. but the problem with that is: ‘ok? … now what?”

so here, peterson’s argument is going to go that postmodernism is no good because he does not like the implications of its thesis (“now what?”). in peak rationality land, this is a big nono because it is the equivalent of saying “i don’t like the implications of your idea, so therefore it is wrong”. dickie dawkins might have something to say about these kind of arguments. and though ‘repugnant conclusions’ have their place, usually they are reserved for very obvious bad moral outcomes (i.e. a normative proposition that we should all die).

further, i imagine that, given the radical thesis, the content of postmodernism, as a field of endeavour, isliterally—discussing the “now what?”. that discussion could be bullshit, but, again, that is not really of relevance to peterson’s main conflation without evidence namely, that activists from the 1960s are dissonant postmodern marxists.

let’s try again, with something else, that i’ve invented:

“it’s been obvious to me for some time, that for some reason, the fundamental claim of marx is something like capitalism is bad. ok. but the problem with that is: ‘ok? … now what?’

(i don’t mean to defend postmodernism, here.)

regardless, from my cursory understanding, and as something of a “marxist”as in, as richard wolff argues of claiming to be a marxist, a person who is critical of capitalism, and has some awareness that it is perhaps a grand structure of oppressionpostmodernism seems likely potentially a crock, because a) i have not really taken the time to look at it or understand it, and b) chomsky has dunked on it hard enough to really put me off exploring it, and c) we should be wary to write off what it is to “know the facts”; this presumes that c) is an accurate characterisation of postmodernism. i recognise i am not fully qualified to make authoritative claims here with regards to postmodernism, but i don’t need to to disagree with peterson about postmodernism to refute his claims. again: i have not studied postmodernism, to any extent where i might be qualified to dunk on it in the manner that peterson does. though i doubt he has either.

anyway, what peterson first presents is a statement that he doesn’t like the implications of postmodernism, and because of those implications, it is wrong.

n o t – a n – a r g u m e n t – s i r



“no narrative; no value structure that’s canonical or overarching… so what the hell you gonna do with yourself? how are you going to orient yourself in the world? well the postmodernists have no answer to that. so what happens is they default without any real attempt to grapple with the cognitive dissonance… they default… they default to — kinda, this… this loose egalitarianism… egalitarian marxism. and … if … if they were concerned with coherence that would be a problem but since they’re not concerned with coherence it doesn’t seem to be a problem but. — the force that’s driving the activism is mostly the marxism rather than the postmodernism, it’s more like an intellectual gloss to hide the fact that a discredited economic theory is being used to — what? — fuel an educational movement and produce activists. so…”

just by way of direct refutation let me present two pieces of evidence:

  1. literally, here is noam chomsky doing a “marxist” critique of postmodernism.
  2. literally, here is noam chomsky protesting in 1967.

and how to orient oneself?

i mean, to pose one question, that is perhaps “postmodern”, “gramscian”, “marxist”, in character, or “whatever-the-academics-would-like-to-call-it”: should we consider the material circumstance of the interpretation and construction of history, accounting for any inherent bias in that might from from our conventional narratives? that non-literate persons generally don’t keep written records, could there be a systemic bias here, when we turn to the record, when we turn to our books?

like, probably?

of course, chomsky, on the left, would say, as we see it, the hegemonic narrative is warped (perhaps by capital); you have to actively “resist it”, and build your own “narrative” using the facts, in their proper context. “take a look at the facts”, or “i think if you take a look at the facts”, or “go and look for yourself”, “look at each case on its individual merits”, must be the most “brokenly uttered” chomskyisms to date. pay attention; educate; become a part of society, take personal moral responsibility, etc. these claims that libertarian anarchists, whatever, make, are not so different from peterson’s individualist claims (“tidy your room, lobster”), except that, ultimately, the individual who becomes informed, properly informed, i imagine to chomsky, leftists, is able to understand their position in the wheel of power, and resist and understand its implications for personal autonomy, self-actualisation, oppressionliterally, marx describes this as “revolutionary practice”:

The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and upbringing forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. This doctrine must, therefore divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society.

The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood as revolutionary practice.

(Marx (1845) cited in Balibar [1993] (2017), p. 16)

yes: ‘it is essential to educate the educator himself’, this is ‘revolutionary practice’.

radical, but not stupid; sensible, not dissonant.

can we see in what sense these ideas might begin to threaten power?





why it is easy to be a centrist is that you (think you) have no skin in the game, and no access to capital ‘T’ and ‘F’, ‘the facts’; you have no filter, history through which to process, and certainly the truth is evasive; you are, liberals, peterson’s postmodernist. the russians say one thing, the americans say the other, what is truth anywaythey both insist on different versions? back to work. what is history? that new call of duty black ops where you assassinate fidel castro’s double is good: videogames rule.

within this is a kind of credulity that “both sides” in any dispute are of equal power and agree that it is good for people to have stuff, and be happy — yes, a gentlemen’s agreement can be reached between the powerful, who have the capital to pay to maintain and enhance the status quo, that is their power, and the weak, who need that capital to live.

and the outcome will be better for all, if we take the powerful and the weak, and synthesize their conflicting desires; this necessarily ignores the vast differential in population and power between the powerful and the weak. from the lens of centrism, we, the politically engaged on the left and right, just disagree as to achieve progressive ends, and society is getting better we all want what’s best. and, thus, if you listen to both sides and synthesise the middle ground, without seeking out the information, for yourself, that is objectivity.

so, the tories think the best way to make everybody have a better life is to cut social spending and bomb syria; and labour thinks the best way for everybody to have a better life is to increase social spending and not bomb syria. surely it is reasonable that the answer is somewhere in the middle?

Since the 2015 general election 18.6 per cent of all donations to the [Tory] party – totalling £8.4m – have come from hedge funds or people associated, while 6.5 per cent or £2.9m have come from investment bankers and the finance sector in general.

Another 7.9 per cent of the party’s funding or £3.6m comes from property magnates, with a further chunk coming from fossil fuel companies.

The analysis comes after Electoral Commission figures show the Tories raised ten times as much money as Labour from large donations over £7,500 in the most recent reporting campaign period.

Labour takes most of its large donations from trade unions. The party also says it has raised large amounts of money from small donations averaging about £20, though smaller donations under £500 are not registered with the Electoral Commission.

Jon Stone, The Independent, 2017

consider black panther, that new movie, that finally has been marketed as having black people in it. when critics insist that a film has been unnecessarily politicised, and it’s just a dumb movie, what they are doing in and of itself is making a political statement; they are enacting some kind of power to move a discussion somewhere else. it is a political move in itself to insist that something cannot be about politics. meanwhile, elsewhere, those who laud the movie for being at the forefront of black rights, and insist it is political, in its wondrous depiction of the fictional wakanda, in africa, continue to fail to acknowledge, or even know about, the harms of american imperialism on, you know, the real africa. AFRICOM, do you know about it? no, but that black panther movie rules; finally black people are free!

and so the left argues that, perhaps, the very structure of facts, whatever, as they fit into contemporary hegemony, society, as presented to you by capital, could serve power in some way, in some bias, about which we are totally “unaware”, in that we are generally uncritical of their presentation as individuals, of enlightenment empiricismand that capital is more powerful than not capital in late stage capitalism.

traditionally, we consider facts and science, ultimately, an ultimate objectivity, to which we can appeal to for exactly the truth, and within this claim we dismiss any bias inherent in the presentation of those facts. so, we can shut down a conversation by insisting that “we need to have an honest conversation about the facts”. but, within that, we can also say “we need an  honest conversation about the honest conversation about the facts”. this is what is called being self-aware; and it is radical postmodern egalitarian marxism, i imagine, to peterson.

in the 20th and 19th century, a completely uncontroversial scientific opinion would have been something in line with eugenics, you know, the usual contemptible stuff about how phrenology proved that x person should do y thing.

now, we look at those positions, in history, and think them absurd, wrong, disgusting, or whatever (again, here notice my own presumption that this is the case, i write at a time when roughly only five percent of donald trump supporters disapprove of his presidency, and they all seem to be writing for centrist publications, or on sam harris’ podcast); the science was actually very wrong on those points. that does not mean the data collected was not scientifically produced, and that the opinions drawn from those data were not scientific. and within the remits of their objectivity, they certainly did fit, to those people.

bad opinions certainly had representation in parliament, in the early 20th century.

though, certainly, we think ourselves now as much more intelligent than those people, one hundred years ago, or whatever — now we have phones! we could never make the same mistakes! climate change is going away!

so, i think what i’m asking for us to do is consider the term objectivity, and its immutability to the historical record. there has to be something conjoined in to these two ‘objects of the discourse’:

1) objective empirical evidence proves things.

2) the circumstances of that evidence’s production.

in what way these two are separable, seems to be the dividing line at the moment.

so the left presents a normative proposition: that we should at least question the way in which facts are structured and presented to us, in that, generally, thus far, we have ignored, in the westin marx’s words, ‘educating the educator’ of their position within the “objective” hierarchythis is perhaps the radical left that peterson is against; he, the right, says: these are the facts, as unregulated capital should present them, or as we dictate them to be, and that is freedom; the hierarchy is a material inevitability, and to hegemony we must submit; the hierarchy is a materially inevitable order. the left wants to question in what ways this submitting to hierarchy is really the best way to go forward.



and i do not disagree that inequality and hierarchy, at this moment in history, give life its “purpose”. indeed it does, in some way; it defines who we are, and who we fight, and the limits of our capacity to act. the inequality that surrounds us defined the limits of the circumstances existing already, as transferred from the past. our ability to self-actualise is directly tied to inequality and hierarchy; in the words of peterson — ok? … now what?


“At the present time [1975], a significant challenge comes from the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to “monopoly capitalism.” The development of an “adversary culture” among intellectuals has affected students, scholars, and the media. Intellectuals are, as Schumpeter put it, “people who wield the power of the spoken and the written word, and one of the touches that distinguish them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs.”






freedom to libertarians is to bear the consequences of one’s actions regardless of the effect it has on wellbeing. that is, freedom is the desire to live with the consequences of one’s preferences without increasing the burden on others within a given group, who might be forced to share the burden of a “bad” individual’s choices or irrational preferences. in gregory mitchell’s words, it is objectionable to ardent libertarians that ‘rational persons bear […] the costs of paternalistic changes to the preferences of irrational persons.’ i.e. personal welfare assurances from Big Nanny Other negatively impact on rational individuals’ freedoms, to the betterment of the irrational (2010 p. 1271). this is bad i assume because richard dawkins said so.

of course one might consider what rational enlightenment hegemony has done for most of the developing world, but that would be a serious digression. besides, chomsky already what done this. also that book called liberalism: a counter-history.

actually, now that i think about it, i’ll get to this — in some detail i hope — later in this essay.

ostensibly, the key draw of bitcoin is that it is decentralised. “decentralisation” to ardent libertarians, bitcoin enthusiasts, is tantamount zero regulation. so it goes, regulation imposes constraints on one’s ability to self-actualise, to live with the consequences of one’s behaviour, and to act in accordance with one’s preferences. that is, freedom is the freedom to make mistakes, and part of that freedom is to spend money how you like, for example on images of child abuse (incidentally, see this article), which perhaps to libertarians has no effect on the self-actualisation of its victims. of course bit-libs might maintain the “as long as no harm comes to others” rejoinder to such criticisms, and thus claim the child-harm consequence of unregulated self-actualisation outside of the remit of libertarianism (i.e. child abusers are Not True Libertarian Scotsmen); but in all seriousness, one can question if this is really the case, an accurate rejoinder, considering the overlap of libertarian ideals with the proclamation “uhh, actually sir ,,, technically it’s ephebophilia”, and various other wrong opinions. recall that cancerous article that appeared along the lines of ‘where’s the property rights in consent?’.


as bit-libertarians are beginning to find, what happens when capital is left to regulate itself is that it centralises, that it accumulates. in other words, they have decreasing amounts of control and power (i.e. actualisation) within their chosen ecosystem as power becomes concentrated, and prices – the thing they really care about, i should add – seem increasingly volatile (decrease sharply). further, they have no means of redress for the centralisation of power due to a lack of governing framework, any power intermediary, which could step in to protect the rights of the less powerful, the average basement “day” “trader”. further, profits are more likely to be made by the powerful, which ever increases power, siphoning out the hodlings of the bitproles. put simply, one can move the markets by trading with themself (wash trading; insider trading; trading between cooperative parties), but only of course if they have sufficient capital mass.

let us briefly consider this in more detail, the formulation of a pump and dump scheme, and how the process itself has been commodified, harming those who have no capital power within the given economic system.

first, a pump and dump scheme is announced on social media, without specifics; then its proponents move to discord or telegram (i.e. “private” chat systems). from there, they seek out further people who want to join the pump and dump. those outside the core group, who want to know the exact details and timings of the manipulation, must pay a fee to join. with some groups, once inside, one might pay additional fees, often laid out in tiers, e.g. bronze, silver, gold, super premium, to receive information ahead of other members. members can recruit their own team, against whom they have a competitive advantage, and to whom they control the flow of information.

“leaders” then move to pump the coin, placing a large amount of buy orders at a certain, arranged price. then, moving outward in structure, people in the group move to place large orders above those initial orders. those unaware are of course forced to pay an inflated price, and, to those without insider knowledge, a rosy picture emerges – investing in a rapidly expanding market, if it is natural, is of course a decent, rational proposition. upon hitting an unknown price target set by the group’s leaders, as subsequently distributed by the leaders, each member of the scheme tries to cash out simultaneously, once the price information is revealed, in line, most probably, with each member’s tier within the group operating. obviously, not everybody within the scheme can escape on time, and profit, especially after the various “knowledge” taxes and group fees are paid. those who stand to gain the most are those who can affect the largest initial price movements and thus charge (‘tax’) according to their power; logically, this is those with the most capital in the given system. 

left to unwind, this “market” results in life savings of bitproles disappearing over the course of a month (“getting rekt”, so they call it), perhaps overnight. either because they were unaware of the schemes, refused to participate, were mislead by the market, or have decided to, unmovingly, leave their coins on an exchange indefinitely, with no intention ever to cash out, realise their losses. funnier, those shorting bitcoin are liquidated by a sudden, deliberate pump of the market, by those who knew it was coming, and “speculated” as such. note that exchange owners trade on their own exchanges and have access to their own books i.e. they can place fake orders, buy from themselves. they also have sufficient real capital mass to affect market prices to cause shorts or longs to liquidate at will. there is currently no operational power structure to prevent this behaviour, that was made illegal by 1930s commodities trading regulation in america, trading which will no doubt soon be prosecuted, however. further, that these things trade internationally subjects them to increasingly large regulatory frameworks, not “none at all”, as i have been told by many a redditor. regardless, it is not a legal grey area: it is illegal to operate internationally, nationally, without complying with each respective jurisdiction’s legislature.

one should also note, i.e. this is what i think: these people are operating within the incentive structure of capital, and entirely predictably – it is not that they are bad or “greedy” eggs, but that their behaviour is incentivised by the very forces of capital itself; capital accumulation is a “natural”, perhaps more accurately ‘material’ byproduct of unregulated capital without redistributory framework. if this were not the case, you would need an accounting of existence and self-actualisation that separates a person’s material circumstance from their ability to enact choice-preferences. consider that it’s easy for me to claim to be generous and lawful when it is easily within my means to be. in other words if you’re rich enough you can park where you like.

recall that, as i have described it, freedom to ardent libertarians ‘is the desire to live with the consequences of one’s preferences without increasing the burden on others within a given group’, so as to prevent the unwanted redistribution of self-actualisation’s consequences (be it good or bad) to the ‘irrational’ from the ‘rational’. one might notice a gap opening up in libertarian ideology. (and as a brief point consider that often consequence in late capitalism is in the form of capital (financial…) punishment, be it in legal fees, fines, or whatever). to spell it out, that one’s quality of self-actualisation may well be negatively affected through the self-actualisation of other individual’s choices as a natural and predictable consequence of disregulation should be of concern to libertarians, at least if they are actually serious about achieving their ideology’s ostensible goal: freedom to act, and to bear the consequences of those actions above all else, without harming others, conjoined with real negative consequence that punishes irrationality and rewards rationality. perhaps the tension between harming others the consequences of free capital movement are not as separable as the ardent individualist claims. this is all without mentioning that objective rationality (i.e. radical centrist paradise) is hard to pin down, and by definition the hegemonic “middle ground” is conservative, in that it favours the status quo as is.

the above speculation is perhaps made true in light of the individualist experiment that is the crypto “market”; it is in turmoil as a result of capital accumulation, and malicious actors, acting well within their rights as individuals pumping the levers of capital. anything that would redistribute their power in that ecosystem would constitute a tax; and tax, to ardent libertarians, is theft.

indeed large accumulated wads of coins are being sold off, tanking the price, thus making it unprofitable to mine, “produce” said coins; and, the same people who are selling, are speculating against those sells, for massive gains, resulting in a larger concentration of capital, further able to shift the markets. and, as briefly covered, malicious actors, malicious exchanges, large stake holders – “whales” – all act “together”… meaning ultimately that only the bitproles be the ones gambling, in effect. that is, and to frame it in terms that a libertarian might understand, the average joe, through no fault of his rationality, at least none that falls to some form of personal accountability beyond that he could perhaps have known the extent of the corruption to which he surrendered himself (through no doubt an entangling of one thousand biases, including the one that wants to wrestle back from neoliberalism his or her lost wages of ten percent, in real terms, since margaret thatcher milk snatcher got involved), is denied self-actualisation and is thus harmed by the choice-preferences of others; and the barrier to the bitproles self-actualisation is the disregulation of capital in the given ecosystem, i.e. reconsider your ideology, shitheads.

i have mentioned the problem as “disregulation”, or that the coin is completely unregulated. however, given the above, what falls naturally out from disregulated capital is actually a highly regulated market, by capital.

one might consider marx’s proposal that within capitalism is embedded its antithesis, revolution and collapse. evidence for such a theory is perhaps found in current “decline” of cryptocurrency.

as marx uhh sort of argues, perhaps proves, capitalism is a system that has within its structure embedded its antithesis: collapse. that is, within capitalism, the drive for short term profits, there’s contained its death: unsustainable greed in the need for ever increasing (short term) growth, growth that is by its very nature destructive. despite my earlier tentative assertions, this is actually easily provable. one need only look to the market’s contemporary solutions to the very real problem of climate change: fund think-tanks to deny its existence; hide evidence of its existence, found as early as the 1960s by oil companies; keep burning oil, deregulate the oceans; keep pesticides killing bees; and so on and so on, until we are all dead.

the welfare state at least was set up as a partial solution to the ratcheting effect of capital centralisation, as aristotle, that dangerous radical, knew, and more recently, the founding fathers held, publicly – were i sober at the time of adding this rejoinder to the above paragraph, i should do well to put something here about “protecting the opulent minority from the masses” that that american said who was a person. madison? to prove this point — that this is the function of the welfare state, of democracy — will take quite the deviation. i hope i will be up to the task.


let us, with the above in mind, turn to history. specifically, the 1975 trilateral commission’s report, document, thing, back to which we can trace the the flourishing of contemporary neoliberal hegemony, i.e. individualism, as the reactive backlash to social, egalitarian gains made by those ‘hippies‘ in the 60s –  of neoliberalism, as is, certainly it was crystallised in the chicago school in the 1950s, and culminated in the washington consensus, 1989, perhaps not conincidentally the year the soviet union collapsed (though formally dissolved in ’91 if i recall correctly), thus bringing about fukuyama’s proclamation re: the ‘end of history’, when the “socialist” gun that held its pistol to the head of global capitalism was finally lowered; indeed, the new deal of the 1930s was certainly a reaction to the worker’s revolution in russia, 1917…

anyway so allow me to point you toward a section of the document here; further note, that many of those who wrote this document went on to staff the carter administration, and that, if i’m to further place it in its historical context, we should remember that the quote-unquote ‘crisis of democracy’, as mentioned, comes largely after mass protest that, among other things, fought doggedly for minority rights, desegregation, and the end to the brutal, destructive vietnam war.


so, turning to the document itself, against which i’ll comment, we can learn a few things about contemporary individualistic hegemony, atomisation, order, the 1980s, etc:

At the present time [1975], a significant challenge comes from the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to “monopoly capitalism.” The development of an “adversary culture” among intellectuals has affected students, scholars, and the media. Intellectuals are, as Schumpeter put it, “people who wield the power of the spoken and the written word, and one of the touches that distinguish them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs.”

that an intellectual (whatever that means) might be ignorant with regards to the implications of their personal and societal responsibilities is laughable. further, if you’ll bear with it, they’re about to contradict themselves directly in the next paragraph:

In some measure, the advanced industrial societies have spawned a stratum of value-oriented intellectuals who often devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking and delegitimation of established institutions, their behavior contrasting with that of the also increasing numbers of technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals. In an age of widespread secondary school and university education, the pervasiveness of the mass media, and the displacement of manual labor by clerical and professional employees, this development constitutes a challenge to democratic government which is, potentially at least, as serious as those posed in the past by the aristocratic cliques, fascist movements, and communist parties.

note the lament of the development of ‘value-oriented intellectuals’. further, consider the implications: persons are becoming too educated, by intellectuals, who do not teach conformity; recall the racist, sexist status quo against which public intellectuals railed… also note that there lies no consideration that the institutions ‘unmasked’ could well be in fact illegitimate, instead, there lies only a point that said intellectuals are wrong to ‘unmask and delegitimise’ said institutions.

In addition to the emergence of the adversary intellectuals and their culture, a parallel and possibly related trend affecting the viability of democracy concerns broader changes in social values

— ‘changes in social values’ e.g. the civil rights movement… —

In all three Trilateral regions, a shift in values is taking place away from the materialistic work-oriented, public-spirited values toward those which stress private satisfaction, leisure, and the need for “belonging and intellectual and esthetic self-fulfillment.”

— should we be so insane as to want ‘belonging and intellectual and esthetic self-fulfullment’…

These values are, of course, most notable in the younger generation. They often coexist with greater skepticism towards political leaders and institutions and with greater alienation from the political processes. They tend to be privatistic in their impact and import. The rise of this syndrome of values is presumably related to the relative affluence in which most groups in the Trilateral societies came to share during the economic expansion of the 1960s.

i add here, again, that they mean to condemn the civil rights movement, of course; note too the contempt with which they hold young people

The new values may not survive recession and resource shortages. But if they do, they pose an additional new problem for democratic government in terms of its ability to mobilize its citizens for the achievement of social and political goals and to impose discipline and sacrifice upon its citizens in order to achieve those goals.

and we should place this next to the document’s conclusions:

[…] the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.

and accordingly it continues with a direct warning of integrating ‘blacks’.

In the United States, the strength of democracy poses a problem for the governability of democracy in a way which is not the case elsewhere. In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups.


through no fault of his own my brother looked at me in shock the other day when i told him that the guardian is not particularly left wing.

and too you would be hard pressed to find a contemporary neoliberal subject who can tell his social democrat from his libertarian anarchist from his posadist (lol); her maoist from her marxist-leninist from her dirtbag leftist. the claim here is not that you should know the difference, but only that they exist – indeed left-ward opinion exists on a spectrum; that is, there exists a position to the left of tony blair who went to war something like five times in something like ten years. such a position already alienates him from a significant portion of the “real” “left”, who are ardently anti-interventionist, anti-war; more: there are those on theft who are in favour of brexit, because, so it goes, the free movement of labour allows for the transnational exploitation of the working class; there are those on the left who are against corbyn, because he is not a communist, and advocates for legislation and social democracy above revolution; there are those on the left who denounce wage labour as essentially slavery; there are those on the left who think we should abolish the police and the state and the military since they serve largely to prosecute and incarcerate minorities, who are disproportionately affected by policies such as ‘broken windows’ in the united states; there are those on the “dirtbag left” who disavow themselves of identity politics and instead send pictures of their asshole to various conservative commentators on twitter in between actually going out and fighting a real war; there are those on the left who really dislike liberals, centrists (who are often considered “the left”) precisely because their coopting of identity politics and The Left merely puts a friendly face on the same oppressive dogma, shit, without actually having the balls to do anything about current power structures, status quo (martin luther king was particularly hot on this point) – consider that some might genuinely find hillary clinton’s “third way” politics, years of opportunistic power grubbing, non-sexistly, genuinely, hatefully disgusting. you would know none of this of course if you listened exclusively to ben shapiro, sam harris, milo, joe rogan, jordan “lobster lover” peterson, or read the guardian, the new york times, the atlantic, etcetc.


neoliberalism, which is essentially a form of state-controlled passive-subject libertarianism lite (perhaps embodied in the oxymoronic ‘libertarian paternalism’, though without the profit incentive for the focus on wellbeing that the latter ‘paternalism’ implies; there will never be a profit incentive for wellbeing, i imagine, only profit), advocates for the dismantling of the state to a bare bones architecture that presents consumers, subjects, with the most “choices” as provided to them by private capital, which competes with itself to provide the lowest prices, which ultimately means a ‘race to the bottom’ for the lowest prices of wages, as those who own the means of production seek to lower prices below “competitors” and increase profits; ultimately this results in the precariat. as mentioned, aristotle and madison argue that the purpose of the state is to redistribute capital to prevent violent revolution, thus protecting private property from the grabbing hands of the impoverished, who should, if given enough, have no material reason to lash out; one might consider then the revolutionary implications of implementing an ideology with little redistributive framework, that actively curtails redistribution and thus encourages capital accumulation.

the current assault on public institutions is evidence of neoliberal hegemony, as well as the immediate shut down enacted by one’s friends when trying to present them with a genuine critique of capitalism that isn’t immediately dismissed as “edgy”, or ‘yeah, so, that’s just the way things are’. teleologically, this has the upshot for the neoliberal subject of having to do nothing about the circumstance of their fellow subjects, and it absolves them of the burden of any actionable moral responsibility, or of having to consider their position within an oppressive structure; i.e. “there’s nothing i can do so therefore i can do nothing”. one might recall the trilateral commission’s assessment here that democracy to function requires a distinct apathy on the part of its subjects; and so in neoliberal hegemony, apathy is actively reinforced by its subjects on any of those who dare to criticise; and such things of course are not new: martin luther king was generally unpopular with the centrists of his day, who thought he should keep himself to himself – it was only in retrospect that his message was coopted as part of america’s grand narrative of fairness and goodness, as seen in that disgusting football car advert or whatever. how quickly we forget his critique of american imperialism and the economics that enabled it…

regardless of your politics, one needs to answer, however, how their, the capitalists, present status quo is going to be maintained much longer in the face of the market’s failure to do anything about the problems inevitable in its incentive structure, as exemplified in the 2008 financial crash; and more worryingly the forthcoming and currently happening crisis of climate change, resulting in mass migration from asia as the world, as destroyed by profit, becomes increasingly uninhabitable.

so too is cutting taxes a problem for preserving the status quo, if that is what you want; civil unrest is not usually the result of irrational dogma, as the united states would have us believe, but flowers from rational complaints with regards to lacking personal material circumstances, that is usually out of the protesting subject’s control – otherwise, quite obviously, were the subject to be able to act in accordance with their preferences no doubt they would be acting out those preferences over protesting not being able to act them out… protesting is the last port of call, perhaps, before violent revolution, or at least mass civil unrest, which is why “left” accelerationists tend to only half-ironically support trump’s plans to redistribute wealth upwards in the form of massive tax cuts for the already disgustingly wealthy.

‘i believe you should keep the money you earn’, ‘tax is theft’, is often the sentiment here trotted out, but one should really consider the material circumstances in which they, the believer of such things, are allowed to earn money and then ask in what capacity that framework has allowed them to accumulate capital to the point where they have so much of it that their having to part with some of it is merely an annoyance, rather than a very tax on their existence, as is the case with the impoverished when they have to pay for food out of their wages – i.e. i would hope for a moment they consider the society they no longer want to be a part of as a framework for their profit; the roads they drive on, the NHS their mother used when she gave birth, the police who continue to “protect” their property rights; – these were all paid for by taxes – don’t forget the wars that subsidise the price of oil in the car that you drive to work.

anyway, that the state is an outdated mode of production and wealth redistribution, is inefficient, is largely a neoliberal myth, used to justify its unpopular dismantling, and redistribute wealth upwards, when state assets are sold for a fraction of what they generate in income. the most egregious case of this was perhaps in russia post-collapse in the 90s. but it happened everywhere, see: neocolonialism. it makes sense that, as with cryptocurrency, capital accumulation leads to oligopolistic, monopolistic, “unfair” (yet predictable) business practice. as is the case with capital control over washington in the form of the “intractable” gun debate, that has been solved elsewhere… one need only look to the unpopularity of the repeal of net neutrality to reveal that you get what you’re given in late capitalist society, regardless of the negative consequence that has on the market, the inefficiency that causes, and in the face of overwhelming consensus that such behaviours are wildly inefficient, unpopular, predatory; i.e. nobody wants it and it gets done anyway.

indeed the observation from chomsky that tax day should, in fact, be a day of celebration, where we all go out in the street and celebrate pooling our money so that little timmy and friends can get operations on their brain tumours, or learn about pythagoras, is only further indicative of a general state of dejection within current hegemony.

i speculate perhaps wrongly here, because i understand that also right-leaning persons can be deeply selfish and out of touch, and want to understand their position as of their own making rather than a complicated upward swing of material forces (mostly) beyond their control, placing them atop a pile of third world bodies, and exploited flesh and labour.

accordingly, perhaps, neoliberalism is essentially the publically acceptable transmutation of class warfare; if one is to pay less tax then by definition one is to keep more of the surplus value of the labour exploited within the given ecosystem – if you baulk, here, i would only ask you to consider richard wolf’s point that, at a job interview, as soon as your wage is negotiated with your boss, you have entered into an agreement that you will produce for the company a value higher than your negotiated wage so that they can take that surplus and give it out the the people higher up the chain than you, either in the form of bonuses, or reinvestment – reinvestments that are likely spent on technology provided by companies that operate on a similar structure of “negotiated” oppression. that is to say, what is so different about the economic system through which you intend your earnings to trickle down and the one in which you have been allowed to amass disproportionate amounts of capital (or just ‘profit’)? regardless of your intuition, the current economic consensus is wildly against you. trickle down economics is a relic of neoliberalism and retains currency because it allows one to clear their conscience of wage theft, the detrimental effects of wealth redistribution upward as a predictable consequence of that dismantling, albeit in a round about manner; further, it allows one to blame the poor for their circumstance and claim credit for their own material prosperity; even further, it allows the ruling class to continue handing themselves tax cuts as is, with popular support from “common sense” economics that claims, a penny saved is a penny earned, despite the fact that no startup trying to expand has ever asked for less money when trying to enact expansion… that is, it confirms the moral acceptability of the current status quo, and allows a disquiet mind to be quieted, for just a little longer.

of course if one is to accept all this as true, and despite that pursue the neoliberal agenda, they very much have earned the monicker ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaire’ and i look forward to freezing to death with them in the coming nuclear winter ,,, send tweet.

to drop a paper that is interesting: libertarian paternalism, itself considered a “hot topic” (hausman and welch 2010, p. [front page; can’t be bothered to follow the link and log in again]) in that it advocates “hands-off” governance by benevolent elites, whose job it is to protect us from ourselves, the unwashed masses, is basically the elitist ostensibly conscionable version of neoliberalism; it allows power to think their is no alternative but their power and thus ostensibly beneficent leadership is necessary and unavoidable, within the immutable power structures materially inevitable via the modern tyranny of the workplace. i.e. “there is really no other way; better keep doing that war and shit, sorry guys also you are signed up to emails from dominos pizza by default!” – this is about where we find the guardian, incidentally.

in this context it is interesting to note, in the mentioned paper, hausman and welch’s disavowal of having to consider the effect of choice architecture as managed by private capital, which subsequently has proved somewhat hilarious, and as the recent cambridge analytica “scandal” has shown, private capital has taken libertarian paternalism to its capitalist extreme. that the following sentiment made it in to a peer reviewed article without embarrassment is indicative of the currently radically blinkered overton pinhole.

[…] we shall focus on the limits that ought to be imposed specifically on government action, in part because it is difficult to see how to implement limits on persuasive techniques employed by non-governmental agents. What makes the cacophony of invocations of irrational responses by non-governmental agents tolerable (to the extent that it is tolerable) are, we suggest, the limits to its effectiveness and the extent to which these invocations conflict with one another and cancel one another out.

(hausman and welch 2010, p.131)

so written there, and in english, hausman and welch (not sure which one) mean to say that marketing, private capital has no power to ‘shape’ an individual’s choices because ‘the cacophony’ of private capital’s many instances ‘conflict with one another and cancel one another out’. “there’s just so much capital and it is all equally powerful!!!”. which is also to presume wrongly, perhaps maliciously, perhaps ignorantly, that the two –  private capital and government policy – are entirely separable under neoliberal hegemony, neocolonialism, capital accumulation.

and of course, now that trump has been elected it must surely be the case that some outside spoOoOOOoOoky statist force, i.e. the russians, have had a corrupting effect on our otherwise pure and clean western democracies. thus trump is not a symptom but an aberration. just perhaps, the power of capital to target individuals and change their minds, or at least appeal to those who are “persuadable”, through the “cacophony” of its many conflicting instances, that is, who are feeling dejected in late capitalism, is and was always possible.

anyway, even without that, to anybody with a television, their thoughts are completely absurd.

… ultimately … given all this, “democracy“, as is, and thus, through some eyes, especially The Real Left’s, merely protects the rich from the poor, and acts to preserve the status quo — as the ‘crisis of democracy’ 1975 shows, and too the move towards neoliberal hegemony in the 80s onwards, the ‘crisis’ was to the ruling elite’s a loss of power, and the threat of real representative democracy, as brought about by mass civil disobedience.

moreover, when my brother turns to me quizically at the very idea that something exists to the left of the guardian, i am very much aware that they won.


more like ‘the crisis of capitalism’ amirite? uhhduhh as i’ve mentioned, 2008 was indirectly “predicted” by marx (obviously in reality people argue, disagree about this kind of thing all the time e.g. marx “quipped” that he wasn’t a marxist), as a consequence of the 1980s, 1975 and neoliberalism, unregulated capital, capital accumulation. again, as aristotle and madison argued, the poor should be given just enough by the state materially to survive their chains, which supplements their wage labour i.e. the profits of capitalists, so that they can continue to feed and serve the ever hungrier mouths of the ruling class, the class with the most power, the class that if one is a radical, steals their surplus value. though perhaps it was inevitable that the capitalist would become so greedy as to dismantle the last effective means of control they had over the subservient poor, as soon as they started to derive its benefits, to protest and begin to cast off their chains. though now to what extent technology (be it of warfare or other) has the power to keep people tuned out is probably of relevance to the ‘material-inevitability-of-collapse’ question, in a way it was not applicable to marx in the 19th century…

how all – i mean all – this unravels with regards to libertarian ideology is clear. in complete disregulation you find the weak get nothing back; that is, starving people to death with austerity is politically unsustainable, because eventually you have to deal with some kind of revolution. this is a point argued by mark blyth in his book, austerity: the history of a dangerous idea, i’ll add here.

so what the fuck does this have to do with bitcoin? consider that this is probably the first time some of these internet libertarian chud-nerds are coming into contact with overt and obvious systemic limitations as imposed on them against their will by laissez faire individualism, spelt out in a clear and distinct manner, i.e., the giant fucking red line on their computer screen that says, more or less, YOU GOT OWNED THROUGH NO MECHANISM OVER WHICH YOU HAD ANY CONTROL (and which promised so much ante-the-big-red-line). perhaps, i speculate, this is the first time in which they have had to deal with the consequences of market deregulation that has affected their material circumstances in a way that is obvious to them.

no amount of bootstrapping will make the price of their cryptos increase.

they literally are powerless to watch their life savings, student loans disappear into the hands of the “ruling class” (we are speaking of course relativistically here).


so in line with marx (probably), capital accumulation, “disregulated” (that is, controlled by the rich) bitcoin markets have become so centralised and controlled that the regular investors, those now without power to affect the markets, are being hurt, substantially, to the extent that they are now driven towards the exits by their losses. their material (online lol) circumstance is so bad as to impact on their self-actualisation (which i guess in this space is to get money and spend it on shit) and belief in their libertarian ideals. and they have become conscious of this… and want change, or to find a new market. the thing is thus collapsing.

further, they are starting to realise that private capital and its accumulation has a similar outcome to the perceived faults of that which they fear: government centralisation, socialisation, worker solidarity, paternalism, taxes.

here, at least i hope, they might start to realise the benefits of some kind of… society? perhaps, just perhaps, all it will take for these libertarian chuds to understand the basic premise of socialism is a personal loss. spelt out in big fat red lines.

the sweetest irony, the complaint that i find most funny is the recent call to ban or make useless machines (ASICs) that are cost prohibitive for the average underpants trader to buy, but are so efficient at farming cryptocurrency that they are, according to “the community”, causing the price of coins (in fiat; one bitcoin is still worth one bitcoin; what a store of value!) to tank, and will monopolise the farming (…production) of crypto… in their wake, it will potentially become only profitable for those who own these machines to participate in mining cryptocurrency, machines paid for no doubt by their initial mining of bitcoins and manipulation of the markets. these profits will be reinvested into more crypto, and thus capital accumulation will continue. bitcoin has a worse gini coefficient than north korea, incidentally.




3) “Ethereum Users Support Hard Fork to ‘Brick’ Ethereum ASIC Miners: Poll”

consider the implications of a bunch of libertarians organising to resist the forces of capital taking over the means of production and whe might conclude that… i’ll leave that up to you.


or maybe i won’t. so it would seem that decentralisation and deregulation are fine when it suits the power status quo, contributes to profits of libertarians. but, as soon as it actually hurts their bottom line, and they understand that libertarian ideology might have actual negative personal consequences we see something of a reversal.

i would ask them only how one might go about regulating completely “free” capital. and further, how one might prevent it from accumulating into power.

thus they might consider their individualistic dogma something fatally flawed.

none of this is to say that the state is, per se, the best solution to the problem of capital centralisation, accumulation. and here of course we can remember “the” “left”‘s various suggestions, which, of differing compatibilities, might include (only some of these are about coins (lol)):



1) Mitchell, G. (2005) ‘Libertarian paternalism is an oxymoron’, Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 99, no. 3, pp. 1245–77.

2) Hausman, D.M. and Welch, B. (2010) ‘Debate: to nudge or not to nudge’, The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 123−36.

3) fukin nerds