Lion of the Blogosphere

Pharaoh, value transference, and Mencius Moldbug

In 2010, I wrote the following blog post:

Pharaoh and value transference

Pharaoh was the Carlos Slim of ancient Egypt. All of the wealth of the entire nation belonged to Pharaoh. Other members of the value transference class included the priests and the warriors. These guys didn’t do any value-producing labor.

Of course it’s obvious to us that Pharaoh didn’t do anything to deserve to use massive amounts of slave labor to build himself a huge pyramid to be buried in. But if you asked someone in ancient Egypt, they would have justified the situation (especially if they were a member of the lesser value-transference classes such as the priesthood). “Pharaoh is a god, and without a god to watch over us, evil spirits would destroy everything! Without Pharaoh, we’d be doomed, so of course he’s entitled to such a large share of Egypt’s value. Without Pharaoh there’d be no value produced at all.” The modern-day libertarian economist will make a similar argument about how Bill Gates deserves to be a decabillionaire.

The lesson here is that, in every society that ever existed, there was a value transference class, and that class justified their existence with an argument that at least a plurality of the people believed, even though looking back we can see how they were obviously wrong.

The story in the book of Exodus is really about one of the very first revolutions against value transference. According to Exodus, Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrews and made them build his cities and monuments. But the Jews decided they had enough, and not only did they escape, they slew every firstborn Egyptian male and destroyed all of Pharaoh’s army in the process. This was proper and just punishment for value transference.

The blogger formerly known as Mencius Moldbug has turned my short blog post into a very long essay, minus the part about value transference. Moldbug is more interested in the narratives that keep our politicians in power rather than the narratives that keep our billionaires rich.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 30, 2019 at 8:43 AM

Posted in Libertarianism

26 Responses

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  1. “Moldbug is more interested in the narratives that keep our politicians in power rather than the narratives that keep our billionaires rich.”

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive.


    September 30, 2019 at 10:25 AM

  2. It’s so not the same. The big difference is that you don’t have to buy Microsoft products or phone service from Carlos Slim. (I don’t do either. In fact, I’ve never ever had) Even better, you can make products to compete with them. There’s a big difference in freedom.


    September 30, 2019 at 10:28 AM

    • “The big difference is that you don’t have to buy Microsoft products”

      You DO have to buy Microsoft products when they have the computer operating system that everyone else uses.

      I DID even try buying a Mac once, but I didn’t like it.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 30, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    • If you live in Mexico, you don’t have to buy phone service from Carlos Slim… Why don’t you lay your own network of telephone lines and build your own cell towers? If you live in New York City, you don’t have to buy power from Con Edison. Why don’t you build your own power plants and electrical grid?


      September 30, 2019 at 12:19 PM

      • You’ve never heard of solar panels?


        September 30, 2019 at 2:31 PM

      • Right. If I live on the 12th floor of my building, I’ll just move my solar array onto the roof, and run the wires down to the battery bank in my apartment. Brilliant idea.


        September 30, 2019 at 5:34 PM

      • If you somehow decide to challenge globohomo US dollar supremacy by creating a gold backed currency you can get overthrown/wasted by the CIA. Your demise will even be celebrated by proles/pawns suffering under very said system.


        October 1, 2019 at 4:27 AM

    • Cut Slim some slack. He came from a family of Maronite Christians leaving Lebanon. Christians (even nominal ones) never had it easy in the Middle East after Mohammed. His parents preferred leaving to conversion to Islam or conscription to the Ottoman Army. Has his company had any positive effect on Mexico at all?

      Mexico has a name rule: Lebanese were fine but must use Spanish names.

      Frau Katze

      September 30, 2019 at 8:08 PM

  3. In America, Manhattan and DC are the only 2 places that engage in pure VTP (Value Transference Parasitism).

    Feel free to refute and list other places in Meriprolestan.

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    September 30, 2019 at 11:16 AM

    • Los Angeles. San Francisco. Boston.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 30, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      • Manhattan produces nothing of significant value.

        Hollywood makes movies, San Francisco makes tech. Boston is just a sh!tty prole hole that think it’s a NYC or SF.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        September 30, 2019 at 12:19 PM

      • O/t – A NYC minute again.

        I rode on one of these ferries either to Astoria or LIC that goes from Manhattan to Queens.

        I guess these ferries are considered SWPL compared to the Staten Island Prole Boat. The people riding them tend to have median household incomes greater than $75K. It’s now an outrage that their low fares are being subsidized by taxpayers.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        October 1, 2019 at 10:09 PM

      • A household income of 75K isn’t that well off in NYC.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 1, 2019 at 10:11 PM

      • That’s right, it’s not. But a single person who is also White making more than that, is indeed “wealthy” under the liberal guise that reinforces the narrative that poor NAMs are being pushed out by Whites with means, especially in the outer boroughs, now that Manhattan is pretty much gentrified with the exception of Washington Heights.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        October 1, 2019 at 11:29 PM

    • You’re right about DC. It’s the richest city in America. And what do they make? Agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, mining, petroleum? No. They make absolutely nothing.


      September 30, 2019 at 2:33 PM

    • Frisco itself doesn’t make tech. That’s San Jose/Mountain View/Palo Alto. D.C. has museums, but D.C. is really small. Northern Virginia is where the military industrial complex is run from. The parts for the weapons systems are sourced through as many congressional districts as possible, but the dystopian bureaucracy and consulting that makes all of it possible is located in places like Alexandria and Annandale.

      Hollywood makes movies, but where do musicals come from? Broadway. Broadway is a street in Manhattan. What’s the publishing capital of America? Also NYC. But yes, a great number of things NYC was great at moved out of the city. Even being one of the greatest natural harbors in the world. NYC’s port moved to a worse location in New Jersey.


      September 30, 2019 at 5:32 PM

  4. Does he credit you? It did not look like it at first glance, but I find it hard to read, like all his writing. His nom de plume ought to be Mencius Windbag.


    September 30, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    • Agreed. I can’t even really argue with him, because I find it impossible to finish any of his long, meandering monologues. I guess he’s trying to be a right-wing version of an academic, but I hate academese regardless of which “side” it’s on.


      September 30, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    • Lowe and ack are right. I might agree with Moldbug if I could bear to finish even one of his essays. I think his real goal is to see how long he can write without ever getting to the point.


      September 30, 2019 at 2:42 PM

    • Moldbug really isn’t very dense reading at all. His points are economically made and the majority of the text are relevant illustrations.

      It isn’t that easy to illustrate how propaganda operating through the reputational device of the Overton Window works in practice. He’s accomplished this feat.

      If you want dense read Kierkegaard.


      October 1, 2019 at 10:35 PM

    • Yes, compared to a 19th century philosopher whose works are studied by university students… Moldbug is very economical in his points. Is there any better illustration of how uneconomical he is?


      October 2, 2019 at 12:52 PM

      • Foucault is studied by university students and he’s a giant mindless string of aimless contradictions. If only Moldbug was similarly studied. History, Politics or some other dept. Take your pick.

        Moldbug is a philosopher of propaganda. We needed one.


        October 2, 2019 at 3:49 PM

  5. There’s no evidence the pyramids were built using slave labor hebrew or otherwise. That’s just another biblical fairy tale.


    September 30, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    • Of course there were no HEBREW slaves, that stuff in the Torah is all bogus.

      A Google search shows that there’s a modern archaeological theory posited that the workers weren’t slaves, but who knows for sure? The ancient Greek historian Herodotus said they were built by slaves.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 30, 2019 at 3:29 PM

      • Herodotus lived two thousand years after the pyramids were built. That and the definition of what Greeks called a slave, ancient Egyptians called a slave, and what we think of as a slave can vary widely.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        September 30, 2019 at 5:52 PM

      • The modern consensus is that the pyramids were built by well-paid laborers with high esprit de corps.

        There’s more on the net about this. The crews even gave themselves names.


        October 1, 2019 at 9:51 AM

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