[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]
Top Billing! TechCrunch – Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries
I found this one fascinating and entertaining on several level: an orthodox PC liberal doing a sort of anthropological drive by on an obscure ideological sect where the Far Right intersected with Silicon Valley, but rejected the libertarian adherence to classical liberalism for a mystical-mythologizing ethos ( they seem to admire the mid 20th C. mummery of Julius Evola).
….Perhaps the one thing uniting all neoreactionaries is a critique of modernity that centers on opposition to democracy in all its forms. Many are former libertarians who decided that freedom and democracy were incompatible.
“Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the ‘People,’ such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems,”Anissimov writes. “On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one.”
Exactly what sort of monarchy they’d prefer varies. Some want something closer to theocracy, while Yarvin proposes turning nation states into corporations with the king as chief executive officer and the aristocracy as shareholders.
For Yarvin, stability and order trump all. But critics like Scott Alexander think neoreactionaries overestimate the stability of monarchies — to put it mildly. Alexander recently published an anti-reactionary FAQ, a massive document examining and refuting the claims of neoreactionaries.
“To an observer from the medieval or Renaissance world of monarchies and empires, the stability of democracies would seem utterly supernatural,” he wrote. “Imagine telling Queen Elizabeth I – whom as we saw above suffered six rebellions just in her family’s two generations of rule up to that point – that Britain has been three hundred years without a non-colonial-related civil war. She would think either that you were putting her on, or that God Himself had sent a host of angels to personally maintain order.”
Why the West? I do not think there is any other historicalcontroversy that has so enthralled the publicintellectuals of our age. The popularity of the question can probably be traced to Western unease with a rising China and the ease with which the issue can be used as proxy war for the much larger contest between Western liberals who embrace multiculturalism and conservatives who champion the West’s ‘unique’ heritage.
A few months ago I suggested that many of these debates that surround the “Great Divergence” are based on a flawed premise–or rather, a flawed question. As I wrote:
“Rather than focus on why Europe diverged from the rest in 1800 we should be asking why the North Sea diverged from the rest in 1000.” 
I made this judgement based off of data from Angus Maddison‘s Contours of the World Economy, 1-2030 ADand the subsequent updates to Mr. Maddison’s data set by the scholars who contribute to the Maddison Project.
As far as 1,000 year economic projections go this data was pretty good. But it was not perfect. In many cases–especially with the Chinese data–it was simply based on estimates and extrapolations from other eras. A more accurate view of the past would require further research.
That research has now been done.
Small Wars Journal– ( Sullivan and Elkus) The ‘New’ Playbook? Urban Siege in Nairobi
Urban siege entails combined arms, ‘swarming’ attacks that bring multiple assault squads into play to attack a target or targets. The goal is to draw in defenders to prolong the attack and maximize casualties and disruption. By leveraging multiple, simultaneous assaults (known as swarming) response is complex. As a result, fog, friction, and the smog of terrorism is amplified. As the START Background Reporton the attack noted, extended hostage-barricade attacks with durations over 24 hours are nearly five times as lethal as those that end within a day.
The most notable antecedent to the Westgate siege was the Mumbai attack. In that 2008 action Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) conducted a series of assaults—including complex hostage barricade situations—on seven separate targets in Mumbai, killing 171 and wounding over 250 during their three-day siege. We viewed that as a seminal event in contemporary urban siege. Indeed in our paper “Postcard From Mumbai: Modern Urban Siege” we called it a ‘Back to the Future’ incident where terrorists returned to urban guerilla tactics.
War on the Rocks (Evans) –WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH CHINA’S NEW AIR DEFENSE IDENTIFICATION ZONE?
According to a spokesman for the PLA, the zone “is an area of air space established by a coastal state beyond its territorial airspace to timely identify, monitor, control and react to aircraft entering this zone with potential air threats. It allows early-warning time and provides air security.” It has issued a set of rules for aircraft to follow, including identification of themselves and their flight path. Ominously, the PRC states, “China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions.”
China claims the zone “is not directed against any specific country or target,” but this is clearly not the case. The zone covers territory claimed by both Japan and China – the Senkaku Islands – and there have been a series of incidents and disputes related to this territory. China claims to be “following international practice” but it is not clear what practice they are referring to. They claim it is “a necessary measure taken by China in exercising its self-defense right. It is not directed against any specific country or target. It does not affect the freedom of over-flight in the related airspace.”
The National Interest – Interpreting the new Iran Deal
Shloky.com – Announcing the Origins of the Lean Start Up
The National Interest – Interpreting the new Iran Deal