Cross-posted at In Mala Fide. Please read and comment on it here.
One of the consequences of reading alternative sources of information on topics such as health, careers, and dating, is the development of a healthy distrust for the mainstream. After you realize you’ve been lied to all your life about high-carb diets, safe careers, and traditional marriage, a man’s natural inclination is to start questioning other beliefs he once held with certainty. The question that led to this post is: What if most of what we know about history and politics is wrong?
This is the kind of question that can quickly get you labeled an oddball, a conspiracy theorist, or worse. If your social circle is content to believe, more or less, the worldview they’ve been taught from the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, and so on, trying to engage them in conversations that might lead them to drastically re-evaluate their worldviews is not a fast-track to popularity and social acclaim. It might improve the quality of your circle of friends, while diminishing the quantity, but that’s a tradeoff I’ll leave up to you. In my case, despite the radical views you can infer from my blogroll and occasional forays into the political realm, I wear a socially-optimized face of center-right moderate libertarianism in public.
But truth is more fun, more interesting, and more useful than lies. Cutting through the misinformation choking our society has allowed me to live a better life in many ways (this, essentially, is what Freedom Twenty-Five is all about) but it’s also worth learning some truths purely for the sake of itself. A complete and correct set of beliefs about history and political philosophy may not be practically useful for most people, but it’s still fun to have.
Mencius Moldbug does not have all the answers, but I think he has some of them. More importantly, he has the right questions. He does not willingly cede the burden of proof to the historically-anointed opinion-makers of the 21st century. He does not unquestioningly accept the standard contemporary morals and assumptions. Best of all, his posts have a wealth of links to the old and undeservedly forgotten dead white men who fought the creep of progressivism through the ages, lost, and were then typically proven right by later events.
I will not attempt to summarize Moldbug’s worldview in a single post. My readers who are curious about such things know how to click. Suffice it to say, if you style yourself a clear-eyed lover of truth, your present beliefs deserve to spend some quality time grappling with those you will find over at Unqualified Reservations. This is true whether you presently label yourself a liberal, conservative, libertarian, white nationalist, or anything in between. There are many parts of Mencius’s vision with which I disagree – generally when he veers away from history, into political engineering – but there is no living historian and philosopher to whom I owe a greater fraction of my worldview. The man has created a rough first draft of a legitimate alternative to the progressive intellectual establishment, and now it falls on the rest of us to refine it.
Mencius’s post tend to be lengthy, which may pose a challenge if you have conditioned yourself to digest information in 160-character bites. Given that, they are easy reads – at least, if you are the sort of person interested in history. If not, you will quickly get bored and return to looking at pictures of teh interwebs’ kittehs.
Here are a few links to start with: