Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So you say you want to end zero sum competitions?

Aretae over on his blog writes:

Incidentally...why I disagree wholeheartedly with the pro-white folks:
Race-based group conflict is fundamentally zero sum, which sucks. If you play zero-sum, you are making the deep problem worse. Trying to make an improvement in your current game position while making the game worse for everyone (including yourself) is a position I universally oppose.


Obviously I disagree pretty strongly with his position.  I'll explain why I disagree first, and then, in the spirit of charity, offer a potential mechanism with which to make his position work.

First, Race-based group conflict being zero sum.  I'll actually go further than that---nearly all group conflict resulting in transfers of wealth isn't just zero sum, it is actually negative sum, if for no other reason that it requires resources to defend against it and to administer and enforce the transfers.  So I have no particular reservation to saying that such competitions suck.  Indeed, I'll go on the record as saying that this is the primary reason why diversity (in the sense that most people today use the word) sucks---it virtually guarantees tons of negative sum conflicts like this.

But here's the rub, you only get to decide (to high efficiency) what YOU will do in such conflicts, and to a much lesser extent what your group will do.  You have very very little influence over what other groups are going to do.  This is why tribalism is interested in you.  If you have another group competing with yours in your society and it doesn't do as well as yours according to some metric, which need exist only in their own minds, it is a good bet that it is going to try to go negative sum on you.  If you're not organized to resist it, you're going to get rolled.  This is why so many transfers take place away from non-elite white males---they're forbidden socially from organizing for their interests as such.  It leads to such pathetic spectacles as MLK or Herman Cain worship, where white males feel compelled to launder the legitimate expression of their own group interests through a minority front man.  Compelling white people (and only white people) to couch their interests in universalist terms when they clearly don't believe in them has resulted in an epic harvest of hypocrisy.

If you actually wanted to clamp down and eliminate such competitions, as Aretae professes to desire, you'd need a stable majority who were willing to precommit to punish severely any attempt at such intergroup transfers, even when such punishment was costly to them.  Aretae cites the example of the gun rights war, and such is actually fairly instructive---Gun Rights were only advanced when the NRA, GOA, and others stopped relying on moral suasion and cranked up the punishments for their enemies.  By basically saying any politician that stands in our way is our enemy, and we'll pursue you into every area feasible to do your career harm, they made the issue largely radioactive for the Democratic party and took it off the big screen legislatively.  Such an aggressive consensus doesn't exist for ending racial transfers.  Even the most anti affirmative action types rarely pursue the issue personally against their political enemies, and if they did, they'd be villified as...guess what...Racists.  And a group willing to punish white people who attempt to tribalize defensively already exists---it's called, nearly everyone in mainstream media or politics, and such onesided mobilization is worse than useless.  So while perhaps not an Impossible Dream, it is a highly improbable one.


Anonymous said...

You're right, of course, that we don't get to choose which game the others play. But you needn't waste any time telling Aretae about it. He thinks any old gibberish becomes true if you restate it long-windedly, and put it in a numbered list.

I do think though that we may be able to "punish our enemies", as our dear leader famously put it.

Consider affirmative action. It's a difficult sell. It's just too hard to pretend it's anything but what it is.

How the hell am I a white supremacist when I support rules that let Asian and Jewish kids rise to the top, academically? Eh?

Let the left defend it.

We can also destroy black politicians with scandals. They're even more uniformly corrupt and incompetent than their white counterparts, and in far trashier ways, usually.

The media can moan all they like about how it's racist to notice this stuff, but it'll still work. In a couple years, we could have everybody in this country assuming automatically that every black politician in America is incompetent, corrupt, and high as a kite. It could be a stock joke, like postal workers going on shooting rampages.

Anonymous said...

I'd stop paying attention to Aretae. He's pretty worthless.