Friday Flotsam: New Year Reflections and Goals, New Medievalism, and Death Note

1. Another year older, not an hour richer, as the saying goes.

Okay, that’s a bit much. Let’s see, in 2022 I put out three new publications, including a full-length novel that been receiving quite a bit of positive feedback. Also set up a website for my publishing label, got a new job, and had one of my eyes eviscerated with a laser. Overall, not too bad on my front, though I’m hoping 2023 will be more productive.

2. My wall-clock came back to life the other day. I had thought that it was broken, because I’d accidentally over-wound it early in my ownership, then found that it kept stopping at the same place. So I left it untouched for a while – sheesh, nearly a year – meaning to take it in to be fixed. Then the other day, to make sure I knew what to tell the clock people, I decided just to try it, wound it up a little, tapped the pendulum into motion, and low and behold, it just kept going. So now it’s ticking away merrily and I’m reminded of how nice it is to have a working wind-up clock in the room. The ticking provides a bit of white noise so that the silence doesn’t start grating on me, I can check the time at a glance, and it chimes on the hour and half-hour so that I know where I stand time wise.

I’m gonna call it a Christmas miracle.

3. Found a very interesting video the other day from Pilgrim’s Pass speculating that both nationalism and globalism are on their way out, and that what we’ll see instead is a rise of neo-Medievalism (thought about sharing it last week, but decided to take a break from politics and such for the holiday). Not necessarily in the sense of the return of chivalry, monarchy, and so forth, but in the sense of an increasingly de-centralized society where national governments and boundaries mean less and less and alternate organizations like corporations, cities, and so forth will become more dominant in their own spheres, creating a complex tapestry of alliances, interests, and competitors, much like what we had in the Medieval World.

Frankly, I think he’s probably right and that we’re well on our way there already, and have been ever since corporations became dominant over family-run enterprises. Most of us are already de-facto serfs, just without the job security or personal touch, and with less chance of escaping the state than our Medieval predecessors had (I’ve got a whole essay on that in the works, so if you’re wondering what I’m talking about just hold tight).

4. I also really liked how he points out that there’s a difference between our ‘elites’ and those of many past ages. He divides power basis into four archetypes (which, like most historical patterns, is probably way over simplified, but gives a nice high-level view): the warrior, the priest, the merchant, and the bureaucrat (this is about the 30 minute mark, by the way). Of these, though each have their own potential corruptions and problems, the bureaucrat is the only one that can be completely detached from reality; the warrior is expected to go out and fight, or at least to hold himself at readiness to do so and will die if he screws up too badly. The priest is bound by dogmas and expected to follow whatever the aesthetic practices of his religion might be (and in Christendom at least, part of that was interacting with the poor). The merchant is constrained by the market and has to adhere to what people actually want. But the bureaucrat simply administers and lays down rules that other people have to follow.

He also makes a good point that globalism and nationalism aren’t actually very different; just matters of what level the centralized, homogenous bureaucratic system of control will be limited to; the semi-arbitrary boundaries of a nation state, or the whole globe. Both are just variations on Liberalism, and in either case, the bureaucrats are in charge.

(And yeah, though I suspect we’re in for some very nasty times, part of me does find the idea of the warrior, the priest, and the merchant beating the bureaucrat into the ground very satisfying. I suspect I’m not alone in that…which is one major reason why we’re probably headed for such times. As more and more people begin to think the brain-dead ruling class deserve whatever they get, well, they’ll start to get it, and another Pandora’s box will open).

5. Most people on the nationalist side don’t want a centralized bureaucracy, of course; they want local autonomy and generally to be left alone. Trouble is, as I’ve said before, democracy / republicanism has a natural trend to destroy this sort of thing, at least when it expands beyond its natural limit and lacks an effective counterbalance. In the US, the counterbalance was supposed to be the States and local governments, but, well, we all know how that turned out (hums Good Ole’ Rebel).

6. See, this is why I wanted to skip politics last week; all pretty dreary and I probably annoyed people. Anyway, the video’s well worth watching (as a companion piece, check out his ‘Star Trek v. Dune’ video, which is also pretty good).

7. Goals for this coming year include writing much more, not being so worried about making people angry, and getting land.

(I feel like I should emphasize the ‘n’ in that last word).

Planning to spend today and tomorrow cleaning the apartment, reviewing daily schedule and plans. Doing kind of a clearing of the decks.

Also going to try to binge the rest of Death Note this weekend so I can finally finish it. I’ve been meaning to do so for years (and have been studiously avoiding spoilers all that time): started it a while back, but found that the suspense was too much for where I was at the time and wanted a break. It’s really good, but pretty intense and not exactly relaxing.

As usual, my break got so long I had to start again, only got a few episodes in before other things intervened, and now I’ve at last gotten caught up and beyond where I last dropped out. I’m a little less than half-way through at this point and determined to see it through.

(Mostly what keeps me going is that I really, really want to see that smug little prick get what’s coming to him).

On that note (so to speak), Happy New Year! Finish what you started, start what you mean to finish.

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