124 Comments

The biggest obstacle for the Tech Right are women, particularly the highly educated ones: most of them are very Liberal and the ones that are not are anti-tech, like Harrington. Also women are very aware of vibes and status, things tech guys are famously unaware.

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I can assure you that tech guys are aware of vibes and status, they just care less.

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There's a transhumanist character in the show "Jury Duty" and while he is a caricature of the biolibertarian guy that Hanania aspires to be, I think it aligns with the natural aversion many normies have towards "meat lego gnosticism" as described by Harrington.

Gains in longevity, cures for diseases, tech that makes normal life better, etc. on one hand, freakish alterations to normal human beings on the other. Hanania thinks they are the same but I disagree. Maybe it's just aesthetic preferences or maybe it's more meaningful than that.

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Yes to "Gains in longevity, cures for diseases, tech that makes normal life better, etc. "

That's where conservatives join with Tech Right.

And doing that BEFORE getting to the freaks ... tho the likely order is freaks first, like the brain-computer link to allow paraplegics to control cyber enhanced legs and arms. Good when like normal, too much when too abnormally strong.

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The biggest obstacle to the Tech Right is their ideas are very unpopular with people in the 90-100 IQ range, because the policies of the Tech Right are deeply, and what is more quite obviously, inimical to their economic and social interests. That's about 30% of the electorate, but probably more like 50% of Republicans.

Of course, it is an even bigger proportion of Latino immigrants. RH is currently busy tweeting about how Republicans could win over immigrants if they just reached out more/better. That's not true, but even to the extent that it is true, it would mean the intensification of MAGAism. No-one is less interested in free markets, tech acceleration and better incentives for entrepreneurs that Latin Americans. They don't understand it, and wouldn't care if they did.

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Inaccurate. You’re lumping all Hispanics into one monolithic class and this is unhelpful towards understanding what’s going on. Mexicans in border states have different political dynamics than many hispanic groups in south Florida. South Florida is a key area of a key state, it’s more entrepreneurial and more Republican (both maga and non-maga) than most areas, and it’s not evangelical. It’s also the crypto capital of the US for a reason.

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The hispanics in Florida who might be attracted to RH style elitist Right Wing politics are white elites, mostly Cuban. Normal Latin American immigrants - the ones who are actually coming now and for the past 30 years - are 99%+going to turn out Dem or MAGA.

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Accurate, but those elitist white Cubans also carry the most influence in politics down there and will likely continue to do so for quite some time.

(Said as a member of that group, btw)

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Fine, but my point is that there isn't a large reserve of Latin American White elites which RH can invite to the country to boost his political faction, thus his vociferous support of more Latin American immigration that will inevitable boost both the Democrats and MAGA makes him a bonehead.

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Jun 5, 2023·edited Jun 5, 2023

Love this! 2 things. First I feel like you need to emphasis more autist nature of tech. We just really really really care about truth and having an acurate world model.

Second, there were just a bunch of radicalizing events. Being called racist and ridiculed for worrying about covid early. The editing of and lying about the James Demore memo, the big tech companies becoming more like other large companies, the doxing of scott alexander, Taylor lorenz making up someting about Balji, lying about it and pretending to be a victim. Constantly being the only white male in an engineering meeting and reading articles how the tech industry is too white. The left kept saying, we don't like you and want your status to be lowered. At some point we started listening. That didn't make us right aligned but it made us anti-left.

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I'm Tech Right in the streets, Trad Right in the sheets, baby.

Also, great point about IRBs. Holy crap, that paperwork attack...

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Trad Right in the sheets? Missionary position only? ;)

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Underrated!

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Good comparison of the mentalities of academia and IRBs vs entrepreneurs. Also the importance of conformity.

Almost all the top students at top universities are conformists. They want to understand how to get the “A” and then go do exactly that. They are very risk averse and they become corporate salarymen/women in the industries of the moment (tech, consulting, etc)

I worked in banking and when I started a lot of the entry level hires were promotions from the back office, were based upon nepotism or connections or came from a wide swath of universities. The odds of any new hire “making it” were pretty low- like many businesses, maybe half the employees can basically do the job but are utterly replaceable, while the top 5-10 percent have the potential to make a huge impact. The strategy was to churn through hires trying to find the high performers and then give those performers as much leeway and responsibility as they could handle. In investment banking, these performers are MDs by their early 30’s and given “stretch” assignments and enough rope to gang themselves.

About 25-30 years ago there was a sea change in recruiting. Because of globalization, raging equity markets and low interest rates banking had become a boom industry. We needed more warm bodies and the pay in the business attracted kids from top schools who previously would have become doctors, lawyers, CPAs and engineers. While few of us had come from top schools, it felt good to hire these sorts of kids. However, the stats didn’t improve. Only 5-10 pct of them became phenoms while the bulk were utterly replaceable (OK, because overpaying some warm bodies to handle the flow when business is good is easier than having to hire replacements). Moreover, analysis of our grad recruitment effort showed no significant correlation between GPA or school and performance (eg a 3.9 gpa from Harvard no more likely to be successful than a 3.5 from Norte Dame, a first from Oxford no more likely to be successful than a 2-1 from Edinburgh).

Anyway, in addition to the prestige of sending the trainee from Oxford out to get our coffees, what we loved about these “top grads” was their conformity and work ethic. No more would prove to be phenoms than the old back office or nepo hires, but frankly they were much more reliable, pliable and hard-working as warm bodies.

Anyway, overly long way of saying that investment banking is dominated by the same conformist, left-leaning hires that populate Google’s marketing department or the average liberal arts PhD program.

There are some right wingers in banking, sure, but most tend to be cynical and highly dubious of any pol or party. The whole point of making lots of cash is to insulate oneself from the clowncar that is the country.

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Jun 5, 2023·edited Jun 5, 2023

???? Google and Apple employees have for years been amongst the largest donors to campaigns (Dems) and tech bros generally fund dark money (and “charitable” contribution tax scams) groups like Arabella. Google built Obama’s database in 2008 and helped transform GOTV and voter (and prospective federal employee) profiles for the Dems. Zuckerberg probably bought the 2020 election for Biden by funding ballot harvesting and partisan infiltration of municipal voting operations in key states/districts. What a shocker that Facebook hasn’t been broken up or regulated and we have neither a wealth tax or higher capital gains taxes, eh? Almost as if Zuck bought himself some protection.

The biggest tech firms have been cheerleaders for censorship and actively collaborated with government censors (greasing the wheels with some hires from the Deep State).

Tech entering our politics? Tech bros have dominated politics since 2008 - and no surprise the Dems have transformed themselves into the party of tycoons and rich white folks.

Sure, Dem partisans want to make the likes of Thiel and Elon the new Koch brothers and a “threat to our democracy”, but who on earth would believe such nonsense? Even in the generally libertarian/alt right crypto space (dying out now with leftist-dominated AI/LLMs dominating the hype space), didn’t SBF know where his bread was buttered? While some start-up tech entrepreneurs may lean right, alt right or libertarian, they mostly believe in money, and politically they know what is good for them.

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> If immigration produces difficulties down the line, deal with them then.

How are you going to "deal with" a majority of voters becoming socialists? Garett Jones' has attributed Argentina's fall-from-grace to immigration of socialists, how would you recommend an Argentinian fix their problem now?

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Yeah mass immigration boosting is retarded for anyone on the right

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Garett Jones is willing to boost mass immigration of Chinese people, since influxes of them have made many countries in east Asia better off.

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That’s retarded.

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This piece strikes me as a clear and convincing analysis of what is emerging as a new set of beliefs, principles, and policies on the right. I agree with you that this new worldview is the opposite of what is offered by Mary Harrington (I was thinking that while reading the piece and then discovered that you mentioned her work as offering an opposite worldview). At some point, it would be good for you to articulate what you believe the end of a human life is. What are the positive outcomes you believe these approaches would offer to people? Although I think that some of your views are empirically grounded (e.g., that there are genetic influences on individual differences), I actually think that other views are not grounded in what we know empirically about human nature and what leads to human happiness and flourishing. But maybe happiness and flourishing are not what you consider to be the positive outcomes of a human life.

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Very good point. Richard Hannania is an American citizen I presume. Not prioritizing the general welfare of the American people over the welfare of the rest of the world if and when they come in conflict strikes me as, well, unAmerican in the most fundamental sense, to put it bluntly. Read the preamble to the Constitution. Not that I'm saying he doesn't have the right to hold that opinion. Of course he does. But to the extent that he becomes known for it, his reputation will suffer. And another point: to say we have to choose between a gerontocracy and an over-taxed society shows a lack of imagination. See here for instance: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U0C9HKW

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Wish there were an edit button for typos.

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Jun 6, 2023·edited Jun 6, 2023

Three dots after LIKE and REPLY. "Edit" option is there.

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Really not excited to see the "longtermism" and "effective altruism" labels thrown into the mix. These can easily become Trojan horses, as anyone halfway smart can argue anything through long-term rationality, and altruism without significant modifiers (and "effective" is not one of them) is an endless quest that can easily overwhelm the rest of the program. Outlawing gas stoves and intra-state flights for climate? Longtermism. Foreign aid without conditions and earmarks? Effective altruism.

Also, transhumanism and extropianism as political values? Sure, I'd love myself some immortality, but it's a bit rich to promise these goals in a political program when no scientists would bet their house on their possibility; you could just as well add in interstellar flight and a proof of the Riemann hypothesis. A serious danger with such goals is that the whole program will lose reputation if they fail to be achieved. You can be a science-friendly libertarian even if the war on aging is lost; I'm in fact somewhat mistrustful of anyone who would yoke their libertarianism to such uncertain conditions.

In general, I don't think we should have Timnit Gebru decide on our values.

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The big problem with getting Tech Right-ism into politics is how few people in it want to get involved with politics. There aren't that many such people and the leverage points are all in building better apps, pretty much. Like, the guys who founded Substack have had a way bigger impact on politics by doing that than by running for local government and failing.

The big way to change that however, is for the philosophy to spread beyond the tech community to people who aren't engineers but who agree with the tenets of the worldview. They can then run and be supported by the rich guys who earned tons of money. This may have a chance.

Don't be misled by the high rates of Democratic donations in tech firms. As has been seen repeatedly, leftists in these companies will utterly destroy anyone they find who appears to be a Republican. It's barely possible anymore to be openly Republican there without these people mounting full blown harassment campaigns against you, not only whilst you work there but indefinitely afterwards as well. Given these people also control the government in California and can do what they want without fear, that's not a good place to be. I can assure you there are or were actually quite a lot of Tech Right in these firms, but they have been bleeding out of these companies and spreading out over other places with time because the leftist oppression got too much for them.

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“You would think people who try to become professors are those most interested in ideas. My experience is, if anything, the opposite. They’re the kind of people who like the idea of thinking about themselves as people interested in ideas, but actually lack genuine curiosity about the world. If they did have curiosity about the world, they would go participate in it, where they’d have real experiences, find out how it works, and not spend their time bogged down in so much paperwork...”

This comment (and other very unflattering comments about woke liberals in this piece) are probably one reason I bridle when you dunk on conservatives (I am a libertarian) for being low IQ and not reading. Various iterations of woke nonsense have been hampering progress for centuries. To the extent that these high IQ wokels alienate conservatives with their blank slate nonsense, they are also responsible for (some) conservative reaction.

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For steelmanning purposes, a classic trad-right case against the Tech Right is found in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy (esp. That Hideous Strength) and Abolition of Man, recently discussed in Michael Ward's book After Humanity. Key point: increases in wealth/power/cool stuff/freedom, while good in themselves, are not the only goods, and perhaps not even the highest goods. More:

https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2021/06/19803/

https://www.plough.com/en/topics/life/technology/that-hideous-strength-is-nonfiction

https://www.radixmagazine.com/2021/11/09/three-reasons-to-read-or-reread-c-s-lewiss-that-hideous-strength/

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Other than the antiwoke stuff they sound kinda gay. Republican party needs to embrace populism. When they do i will register as a republican. They have some of the social issues but they need to embrace the economic as well. Socially right wing and fiscally center left is the only path forward for republicans. Very few people are actually these free market weirdos anyways. These people tend to only really care about GDP which creates a toxic ideology that allows the left to win the culture war without even a challenge. GDP at this point just means the elites get wealthier while the average American is fucked over.

If republicans want Hispanics like they always claim to this is how you do it as well. Hispanics tend to be more socially right than your average American but are not for free markets either which is part of the reason they vote democrat.

Republicans now are against Social Leftism from a vaguely liberal perspective. That needs to change as well though. They need to be against it from a truly socially right perspective.

The enlightenment was a mixed bag. I do think though some of it helped to usher in this woke stuff though. Not directly, it just made society unable to fight against Cultural Marxism. Of course i think it's more people bot understanding what the enlightenment was. When many of the people from the enlightenment where still very socially right wing and weren't as individualistic as some might expect or they would even claim. Nor did they support freedom and Liberty is the same way we do today. Its a bad interpretation of the enlightenment I think is the main problem.

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As a fellow right populist here's our problems:

1) It's not so much that the median Republican is truly a free-trader; it's more that they identify with the party that has been more free-trade than the other one.

2) Conversely, and far more importantly, we're never going to out-populist the Democrats. "The Republicans love welfare, just less than our opponents!" is not a winning message. People who are worried about crime don't tend to vote Democratic; people who are worried about cuts in social spending simply aren't going to vote Republican in a two-party system.

Inasmuch as there's a true role for economic populism in the GOP it can only really be tarriffs and protectionism, rather than social spending.

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Oh and also i was looking at a chart and it showed even many fiscal Leftists already vote republican. However there's still a ton if socially conservative fiscal Leftists who also vote democrat still or dont vote....while fiscal conservative social liberals which the mainstream republican party truly wants as their voting base just dont really exist. There's very few of these people and since there is already a libertarian party it's pointless to try and get these people. You want the socially right unity not the fiscally conservative unity like the republicans go for now typically. Not just because i agree with it more but because that's where the voters are. Make the divide between the two parties more about social values and economics welfare aside be more of a consensus. Of course the differences would exist but be more nuanced for example how the spending should be spent domestically. Not how much.

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Yeah but its not really about welfare which both parties already support. Welfare which i define as giving people money for simply being poor.

You can side with people over corporations. Hell desantis essentially did that against Disney. You can also do it by encouraging right wing Social values with incentives. Tax credits and hell just giving people money for increasing their family size, money for marriages, hell money and tax credits for everything that helps to encourage what republicans claim to care about strong families and traditional values.. I don't consider that welfare I consider it the opposite because it encourages something positive in society. Instead of welfare which encourages people to not work.....im skeptical of the market but that doesn't mean im pro welfare. I hate welfare and think its a waste of money

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That sounds pretty good. I like to think of the tech transhumanist "autists" as societal idea generators who spit out little idea balls for society to assess and implement as desired. Their unique perspective allows them to develop some interesting things that normal people can't see. Of course, they should be kept at arms length and away from the levers of power since they usually have a grotesque sense of teleology.

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Richard, I think Musk for all of his personal flaws and merits, is a useful test case for understanding what you call the "Tech Right." I am a bit loath to divide people into dichotomous groups, so I would probably use a term like "Pro Progress Middle" or "Rational Middle," but I digress.

Musk has long been a champion of left-ish causes. I mean, look his record; he started a solar power company to combat climate change, which he has frequently called "Russian roulette with the planet." He started Tesla for the same reason. He has also long advocated for UBI, and generally voted for and supported Democrats.

So what happened, what caused his perspective to change? My theory is...he got rich. He got rich advocating and promoting leftish causes and the left, bizarrely, rejected him for it. Just look on Reddit or Twitter, anytime Musk is mentioned, the conversation devolves into tired tropes of how he invented nothing, did noting of any consequence, and is just another lazy billionaire criminal who shouldn't exist. If I were him, I would be appalled and deeply distrustful of the "new left" as well.

I have the benefit of being someone who informally followed Musk since circa 2006. It is absolutely stunning to watch how the darling of climate change and UBI turned into the left's arch nemesis in the last few years. I am sure he has also felt this rejection, so sought refuge where he is more welcome.

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"Right" and "Left" are meaningless. Just leave them behind and use actual descriptive words please.

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Globalism vs nationalism woke vs antiwoke

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Economic globalism is good for individuals.

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This is an extremely false myth perpetuated by corporate minded think tanks like the Cato institute, FEE and anything funded by the koch brothers. There are so many others but that's some examples. Globalism is good for two groups, corporations and immigrants. Everyone else is fucked. Although the immigrant thing isnt even for certain because many immigrants are fucked as well .

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In the short-run, heroin addiction is good. But in the long-run, evaded by short-run, anti-ideological Pragmatists, trade is good for all individuals AS INDIVIDUALS. Trade is win-win, There is no mystical nation, only the terror of independent judgment, mans basic method of survival. The willfully unfocused minds of nationalists and socialists are the Devils playgrounds. Look OUT at reality, not INWARD. Focus your mind.

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Left = slave morality, right = master morality

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Curtis Yarvin is pretty hit or miss for me, but I'd be paying attention to his piece earlier this year ("Acorns for the Culture War") if I were a Tech Right leader trying to get the most change for my bucks.

https://graymirror.substack.com/p/acorns-for-the-culture-war

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One of my sincere hopes is the American Govt gets taken over by a startup political party. Imagine a political party, born in Silicon Valley, blitz scaling into consuming 100 Billion + in VC Capital, and in one election beats both the Democrats and Republicans. It should have no real “issues” or “stances”, it's promise simply is that it will govern America like a parent disciplining a child. It will hire a placeholder president who will say whatever to get the people‘s votes, have a campaign team that makes Cambridge Analytica look like a joke and once it takes over America, it puts an end to the nightmare of our government. To cement it's position as the rulers of the country, I imagine it actually building a high speed railway system across California (and maybe US), ten times under budget and more than twice the speed of the fastest known railway in a year (or six months), this would be an epochal feat that shows America what government it could have had all these years and permanently delegitimize the 2 parties and ushers a new era of prosperity and innovation. One can dream.

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