Mar 5, 2023Liked by Erik Torenberg

> Conversely, slave morality appeals to everyone else. Slave morality says hierarchy is bad and we should be more egalitarian. In fact the lower on the totem pole you are, the more pure you are. That’s of course going to appeal to people who are lower in the hierarchy.

There is a study about how high T men in japan like hierarchy. So an example that runs counter to your narrative is that in Japan people at all places in the totem pole still respect master morality

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Mar 6, 2023Liked by Erik Torenberg

While egalitarianism may be playing an ever larger role in our modern moral discussions, it doesn’t appear to be winning any significant tangible victories over the last few decades. Further, there’s a strong counter current in technology driving inequality by giving individuals and small teams ever increasing leverage and efficiency in deploying plans and capital. If anything, the recent flare ups of egalitarianism in our public discourse, eg. Occupy Wall Street and Bernie 2016, might just be a cathartic release of frustration for individuals who perceive themselves as getting the short end of the stick.

Similarly, while it’s been a while since I’ve read Nietzsche, I seem to recall him characterizing slave morality as being primarily a coping strategy for the weak rather than a calculated strategy for strengthening their position. While it could have the long term impact of subverting power structures, that was largely incidental. Its primary purpose was instead to allow the weak to accept their lot in life, and at times even celebrate their suffering. In contrast, active rebellions and revolutions required more of an Übermenschian will to power.

Hence, our recent preoccupation with egalitarianism may simply be the latest coping strategy for dealing with more saliently perceived inequalities.

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It would be more useful to look at history to understand how slave morality won.

1) Master morality was too militaristic and violent. Society was stuck in a loop with no way out of the malthusian trap. You can't have an Industrial Revolution unless peaceful capitalists can do their thing and have status and rights.

Part of the reason Europe escaped this loop is that capitalists outbred soldiers in Medieval Europe. Go read Gregory Clark "A Farewell to Alms". Successful yeomen farmers and merchants outbred warlike nobles. In addition the Catholic Church made murder a criminal rather than civil offense and insisted on execution. Over time this reduced the violent tendencies of the European population.

2) It's very difficult to organize political units greater than a city state without a universalizing morality with clear-ish precepts. By the time the Romans adopted Christianity it was clear that civil wars were ripping the empire apart. Christianity offered some glue to keep it together, including during the Dark Ages. Nearly all societies underwent a switch from pagan to universal faiths around this time.

3) Up until the modern era "the underclass" was like....90+% of the population. There were plenty of deserving poor in that group to tap into. In fact up until the post war era enfranchisement was generally a dominant strategy because there was a ton of untapped talent in the potential middle classes. The problem today is we are applying this to the "true" underclass.

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