IR Comments Thread

Table of Contents

  1. Intellectual Restructuring
  2. The Soypill Manifesto
  3. The Z of History
  4. Why Jail is Programmed for All Rightoids

This is the comments thread for Intellectual Restructuring.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. You should crosspost this to TheMotte

  2. I agree with basically everything you have said. Globalism is inevitable, EHC always wins, Putlerism is a joke, and rightoids are destined to lose and be used as patsies and cannon fodder for neocons in the event of war.

    One thing you did say that I disagree with is that Cthulhu swims “liberal,” not left. I would argue both are true, with the latter one being problematic. A moral paradigm that sheds egalitarian delusions about HBD is a decidedly non-leftist one. I would argue that politics is still sliding leftward in the sense that our political discourse still lives in the shadow of a certain 20th-century dictator, and decisions politicians make, especially non-leftist ones, are constantly under the microscope for even the slightest hint of “fash.” Ideas about defunding police or stopping billionaires from even existing because of “equality” are a big problem for human progress and will only become bigger over time. I am sure Hanania would probably say there are limiting factors to this insanity, but I am not sure those factors can hold out forever. Eventually, the left will demand equality in every realm and will have the moral authority and status to bully progressives and centrists into doing what they want, lest they be cancelled.

  3. I, meanwhile, have gone from standard anti-Christian alt-right to Bush IIian ideology, joining with the Catholics as they’re the only ones that seem to have any serious church attendance in Europe. I’m not a fan of trying to build superhumans -superhumans are far more likely than normal humans to destroy the world. I have also experienced directly the power of demons myself, which made it impossible for me to continue to be an atheist. I’ve also stopped believing in evolution -lack of supermen and superpandemics and Yud’s arguments in “Thou Art Godshatter” forced me to be a creationist.

    In any case, we live in interesting times.

  4. Wrote this originally as a tweet (in response to yours, but twitter is not made for long comments, so I post it here instead:

    Oh it sucks and I will freely admit it. Just good enough to do as I must.

    I am curious what you think the consistent theme in your political arc is. I was around for Sublime Oblivion and the green communist phase; I watched you pivot into the futurist neoreactionary mode, then the uber Russian nationalist mode, and now this.

    So this is my difficulty. Your pattern seems to be to settle on a fringe outsider ideology and then go all in. Whatever ideology you are all-in on at the moment is usually diametrically opposed to the last one. So what is going on? Is it that you stick with a scene only long enough to see its foibles, at which point your contrarian nature kicks in and it propels you to disown what once you swore by? Is it an emotional drive for conflict, the drama of being attacked by old ingroups? This is what I assume is going with most folks who ping pong back and forth like this; their conversions are more about a clash between their contrarian personality type with their social circles than anything else.

    There are alternative explanations for dizzying intellectual arcs. There is a certain type of person drawn to extreme ideologies not out of some inborn contrarianism, but instead because their of inborn need follow a premise accepted to its most extreme conclusion, no matter how fanciful this conclusion might seem to everyone else. Such a person must have a system. Premise leads to consequent. One consequent leads to another. At the end of the chain is a gleaming mode of thought, brilliant in construction, cold in its utter disregard for the follies or feelings of the masses.

    The weakness of this type, I suppose, is that perfect systems are beyond the human ken. At one point or another a link rusts over; when it snaps, the great chain of logic breaks, and the whole gleaming edifice goes down with it. All such a person can do is start again from first principles, bravely extending their thought where others dare not tread.

    is that you? Maybe that is you. It might make sense of your arc. But it raises the question: what reason is there to think that this new gleaming mode of thought is better built than the last few? I ask this question genuinely, with no hostility.

    Put yourself in our shoes. A man comes to you thrice. Each time he tells you his vision of the Lord on the roadside to Damascus. But in each vision he meets different god than he glimpsed last. Has such a man touched divinity–or is he simply crazy?

    Imagine an entrepreneur who comes asking for investment. You ask what he did with the last twenty million you gave him–he informs you that not only that he lost it all, but that the entire sector he was hoping to enter, a sector he promised was the key to future growth, is stagnant and declining. You ponder his words carefully. You then remember that this is not the first time this investor dropped millions in a market that he now claims has no future. Perhaps he has learned from his failures–but do you give him another twenty million?

    The analogies are crude. Perhaps they are unfair–I invite you to dispute them. But you are a man who likes big, sweeping conclusions. Brave statements. Things that shock and anger. *That* is what seems most consistent in your philosophy. But I am no expert in Karlin thought; you are welcome to dispute that pattern. Perhaps there is something consistent in zigs and zags that my careless eye has not seen. Enlighten us. But while doing so, help us see: on what grounds should we trust that this latest version your thought is the one with truth behind it? What makes this zig different than the zags that came before?

  5. Cephalopod says

    A real tour de force. A point that was of particular resonance was the part about MSM generally being more truthful than the new alt-media space by and large. Especially when it comes to international news, MSM only lies by omission, the alt-media lies outright and anyone who later goes back to fact check them on their failed claims/predictions is inevitably called a shill by schizoids.

    Anyway, I hope 2024 is a fortuitous one for you Anatoly, and I look forward to reading your musings on substack.

  6. The Grand Admiral says

    What is this drivel that I see before me? Ah, another mind-numbing collection of drivel from Anatoly Karlin, the self-appointed expert on everything from “Nooceleration” to “The Big Gay.” Karlin, you verminous imbecile! What in the name of all that is holy possessed you to publish this steaming pile of excrement? I wouldn’t waste a single breath on your asinine table of contents, but since you insist on subjecting the world to your intellectual sewage, I suppose I have no choice.

    This disorganized mishmash of pseudo-intellectual drivel and self-indulgent naval gazing only reinforces the sad reality that the world truly is going to the dogs. You claim to have learned something, but I see no evidence of it. Instead, what I see is a desperate attempt to gain attention by spewing nonsensical gibberish. And let me tell you, it’s about as useful as a Ukrainian submarine.

    “Nooceleration: A Better World is Possible”? Ha! More like a better world without your insufferable ramblings. Don’t make me laugh, you imbecile. The only thing accelerating here is the decay of your brain cells. Pray tell, Mr. Karlin, what scientific background do you possess that makes you qualified to speak on such matters? None, I suspect.

    “Why I Used to Suck, and (Hopefully) Now Suck Even Harder”? Oh, how enlightening! A self-deprecating chapter about your own shortcomings. Well, congratulations, Karlin, you certainly succeeded in one thing – making yourself sound like a complete imbecile. Anatoly, I can assure you that you still suck, and no amount of self-awareness will change that. I have no interest in delving into the twisted mind of a self-proclaimed sucker like yourself.

    And then we move on to “Elite Human Capital.” Don’t make me laugh! You think your feeble mind can comprehend the importance of true elite human capital? You, who has likely never cracked open a physics or engineering textbook in your life! Karlin, you may be able to write on a computer, but can you even begin to comprehend the intricacies of rocket science? I highly doubt it. I find it fitting that Karlin includes the word “suck” in the subtitle, because that’s exactly what this chapter does. It’s a pathetic attempt to justify his own inadequacies and offer some half-baked theories on the merits of elitism. It’s as if he wants a gold star for being mediocre.

    Oh, look, here comes your “Soypill Manifesto”! It seems you’ve had quite the journey, Anatoly. From Russian ultra-nationalism to the big gay? How utterly pathetic. I feel as though I’m descending into a spiraling vortex of madness. Truly, you have reached the pinnacle of idiocy. This is the rambling of a traitor and a lost soul, a man who has forsaken his country and his principles for the sake of a perverse ideology. It’s clear that you lack any ideological backbone, constantly shifting your beliefs to fit whatever fad is currently in vogue. Well, I shall not waste my time with such ideological flotsam. From his ludicrous claim of “loving elite human capital” to his pathetic journey from Russian ultra-nationalism to embracing the so-called “Big Gay,” every word drips with the stench of betrayal and weakness. Alas, there’s nothing surprising here. It’s a wonder anyone takes this buffoon seriously. But hey, if it brings you joy to be part of the “Big Gay,” who am I to judge? Get a grip, Karlin, and stop polluting the world with your delusions.

    Then we have chapter 3, “Russian Nationalism and The Z of History.” More like Russian nationalism and the Zzzzzzz of Boredom. But wait, it gets better. He thinks Russia is the land of the unknown fathers. Well, let me tell you something, Karlin – you’re just an unknown twerp. As for your musings on Russian nationalism, let me tell you, there is no “Z of History.” Only the strong survive, and Russia has endured countless trials throughout its history. A topic that deserves serious analysis, which you are clearly incapable of providing. You think you can understand the complexities of our history and the Russian soul without living it, experiencing it, and being rooted in it? Think again, my friend. Your intellectual musings are nothing but empty words, devoid of any true understanding. It’s enough to make me want to smash something. Real Russians don’t need Rawls, they need strong leadership and strategic thinking.

    Oh, and how noble of you to tackle “The End of History and the Last R*ghtoid.” I suppose you think you have all the answers, huh? Well, let me tell you something, you pompous fool. The so-called “rightoids” you despise have more intelligence and patriotism in their little fingers than you do in your entire academic career. Respect the grift? How about respecting the hardworking men and women who dedicate their lives to defending their country and its values? And what’s with all the focus on homosexuality and “gay merchant republics”? Just when I thought your delusions couldn’t get any more absurd. I curse the day you ever decided to put pen to paper, contaminating the intellectual landscape with your vacuous nonsense. “Paint the sky with rainbows!”? I’d rather paint it with hypersonic missiles that leave your feeble mind scrambling for cover. Your ignorance is boundless, Karlin, and your ideas are as useful as a sack of rotten potatoes. Stick to writing about subjects within your intellectual range, if such a thing exists.

    Look, I don’t have much else to say about this book. It’s clear that Anatoly Karlin is just another self-proclaimed intellectual with delusions of grandeur. He lacks the technical education and real-world experience to make any valuable contribution. If you ask me, the only worthwhile book he should write is “How to Shut Up and Listen to People Who Actually Know Something.” But I won’t hold my breath for that masterpiece. In the meantime, I recommend you steer clear of this drivel and find something written by someone who actually knows what the hell they’re talking about. As for me, I will continue to champion the power of hypersonic missiles and the indomitable spirit of the Russian people. The boisterous claims of uncredentialed individuals like Karlin hold no weight in the face of true expertise.

  7. yakushimaru says

    The vassal states of GAE are all much smaller than USA or Russia. How can Russia be a vassal state to USA? Japan is relatively big, but then it was thoroughly defeated and has US military bases ever since. Then there are the Russian nuclear bombs. What to do with them? It cannot be just about Gay Pride, can it? And we know that Saudi Arabia and the US can be on quite friendly terms and Saudi Arabia is not having gay parades. I mean, seriously, why the fixation on gay parades? Is that on the same level of fakeness as the one you are criticizing? So, everything in the universe first revolves around abortion, then about homosexuality, and now transgenderism. Is this series of fixations the very definition of fakeness? How could a non-NPC get so worked up towards this series of matters? Is this not a cargo cult?

    Besides, Yeltsin, and Gorbachev, did try this option before, right? Submit to the west, or, in their minds, join the west. If you only care about your own options, such as having a good seat in the coming AI episodes, you can move to the Bay Area, I assume, and forget about being a Russian at all. It is kind of like in a relationship, you love that particular one girl so much, you only really, really hope she becomes more, and way more, like the other girl.

    Also, regarding the war in Ukraine, what victory might look like? It cannot be simply where the borderlines are drawn on the map. The dynamics afterwards can be very tricky. When Ukraine stood its ground in the first few days, it has become hard to imagine some sort of returning to normalcy.

  8. One thing I noticed about Russians over the years is an unearned sense of arrogance. “What are you so proud of?”, I always thought. Ukrainians by contrast (at least prior to this war) were very humble. They knew they came from an unimportant peripheral country and didn’t hide behind any national greatness. I’m talking about interactions with real individuals over the years. Otherwise Russians and Ukrainians were very similar, and most Ukrainians spoke primarily Russian.

    Even Russian upper-middle-class educated liberals came across as personally arrogant, although perhaps a bit less so than average and much more open to criticizing their country. I got the sense that there was nothing they wanted more than to magically become Western Europeans from “civilized” country.

    I have a more nuanced (or cope) view of Russian performance in the war than Anatoly, I think the Russian economy surprised everyone to the upside as much as the Russian military surprised everyone to the downside. And I think Russian society can still make lemonade out of lemons, and come out of this stronger than they entered it. Russia since the 90s always had a tendency to produce a mediocre oligarch class, good for not much more than siphoning off Soviet era natural resource extraction to their villas and yachts in Western Europe. If there was any difficult task at hand, they would hire Western European companies to do it for them. Russia reminded me a lot of a cold Saudi Arabia that way. But slowly, year after year, this tendency declined, there were emerging centers of excellence or at least competence, in areas like agriculture, IT, new investments in resource extraction, some improvements in manufacturing (rosatom, some metals companies), even in the very good restaurants in Moscow and St Petersburg which take a lot of work to get right for the small businessmen and workers operating them. It wasn’t all gangsters from top to bottom like in 1995.

    I think because of the missteps and incompetence in the early part of the war, there was a significant purifying effect in the hidden sectors of the country that Anatoly was talking about. Despite what Russian doomers claimed, military production, industrial production, has increased by leaps and bounds at the same time that new supply chains had to be established on the fly. Is it a WW2 mobilization? No, but for the amount of spending being given, there is a deep competence being shown by Russian domestic production that I wouldn’t have expected in 2021. It also shows that for whatever brain drain there is, there is still plenty of talent left doing good work, outproducing the entire western world while having to re-source most components at the same time. There was even more brain drain resulting from the Russian revolution, after which the Soviet Union became a scientific and technological superpower far eclipsing the Russian empire within a few decades.

    To put a long story short, this war is a kick in the pants that Russia needed to shake off remaining 90s dysfunctions. And even in the actual war itself, the least successful part of this whole enterprise, Russia ended 2023 much much stronger than it started, and even in the western press which had always omitted anything about Ukrainian losses or failures, there is a deep sense of gloominess about the outcome to come.

    • Oh, the other thing is that while Putin and Co certainly made miscalculations (had he known how this would turn out, I have little doubt that he would never have started this war), but you can’t expect perfection in leadership or really in anything. I live in the USA, and despite its successes (dominating IT, birthing the PC, the commercial internet, the iPhone/smartphone, SpaceX, and now ChatGPT), there is plenty to criticize in our leadership and broader society. Reality on the ground is messy, millions of formerly lower-middle class people have become opioid addicts, hundreds of thousands have died from their addiction, violent crime is an order of magnitude higher than in any other developed society, a big portion of the white and now increasingly Hispanic population feels deeply alienated from the political class and avant-garde of society. We have a strange level of wealth where we have almost reached literal communism which cheap physical goods (the prices on Amazon are so low as to almost be free), while housing, healthcare, elder care, childcare and education put an enormous strain on regular people. If you visit, cities are dirty and sketchy, inner suburbs are increasingly the same, and the outer suburbs feature enormous living spaces built out of matchsticks and home to previously unheard-of levels of social isolation. America is not perfect, the ruling class makes mistakes, and this is true everywhere. Given where Russia was in 1999 and where it is now (even with the war), I would say Putin did a pretty good job at national development.

      • I have a policy on not commenting on X/twitter for my mental health, but regarding Miami, I went there less than a year ago and it’s the most functional major American gateway city at this point. There are an order of magnitude fewer crazy homeless people than in NY, SF & LA, the “Zone A” areas are very clean, and I hardly saw any empty storefronts. It reminds me in its functionality of NYC under Bloomberg. I didn’t and don’t ask what it takes to maintain that order, what happens in the bad areas, etc, but the central city is beautiful, wealthy and pleasant.

        Miami still doesn’t strike me as a business city, more of a glorified resort, but it also doesn’t come across like a low rent tropical LA like it did the first time I visited. There are a lot of Russians especially in Sunny Isles, just straight north from Miami Beach. Despite the quaint name it’s a row of hulking expensive high rise condos that bring to mind Dubai. Very extensive Russian-speaking population (only exceeded by much poorer Brighton Beach in the USA?) along with tons of wealthy Latin Americans. You’re right about the Chav vibes, the American tourists struck me as the “dumbest” cohort I ever saw in a big American city, but also with a propensity to live large and spend a ton of money cosplaying as wealthy people for the few days they are there.