It doesn't seem as though real life is planning to let up anytime soon, so here's a quick summary of my thoughts on the subject if you're still interested.
It is beyond doubt that people with a deathwish disgust Nietzsche. At the same time, he is also in favor of risking your life to reach unprecedented heights of greatness. I think Neitzsche's master/slave dichotomy is a reference to Hegel, who says a slave is the man who first surrenders in a fight out of his ignoble fear of losing his life. Hegel thinks there are certain advantages to being a slave, because masters are later moved by considerations of what's beneficial to the slave.
Nietzsche doesn't like the domestication of the master by his slaves. When we liberals think of consequentialism, we imagine optimizing the management of an estate, with your life as a crucial asset. Nietzsche would deride the idea of saving your life by coldly betting on minimax as a refuge of the last man derived from Anglo-Dutch commercialism. Supermen joyously endanger their lives in their relentless pursuit of satisfaction, emerging unscathed in spirit or succumbing to the trial. It may appear to last men like me that supermen have a deathwish, but supermen would hesitate to acknowledge that I am even truly alive. Interestingly, Christians would also say I am refusing things like grace and eternal life.
An important difference between liberals and Moldbug is that liberalism is concerned with showing all parties that to a certain extent, achieving their own ends requires them to get along with whatever other parties happen to be present at the moment. When Moldbug was a libertarian, he had a pure vision of an ideal society that he believed his libertarian policies would create. Later, he lost faith that his espoused means would bring about his desired ends. So now he wants all parties to drop their personal agendas and build his shining city for him.
Does Moldbug think rational humans would share his belief that his ideal society is an optimal point to which they ought to attune their goals? He should, because he asks his readers to mortify their will to power where it contradicts his ideal. What reasons does he give that's sufficient to make us think bringing about his dream state is the way we should truly wish to expend our power? Throughout his writings, there runs a vein of burning personal incredulity that smart and rational people would want anything else. He shares horror stories about discrimination against people with his views. He jokes about liquefying unprofitable slobs into petroleum, and then suggests driving them into virtual reality instead. Both courses of action are unprofitable in the extreme, but apparently analyzing the specific processes by which means lead to ends is the lure of demotism, whereby kings are reduced to algorithms, because Moldbug seems content to leave all the actual work of showing that things will turn out okay to the expertise of whoever his king decides to hire. (He has actually stated that his monarchism is deduced from first principles. Your first principles are less relevant to other people than observable consequences.)
Now, it's certain that Moldbug's arguments, such as they are, have a consequentialist bent, (Believe it or not, Buddhist philosophy justifies itself on pragmatic grounds.) and maybe his rhetorical tactics are consequentially optimal in Moldbug's position, but the question is, is a system of consequentialism or intentionalism being advocated here? Nietzsche's values may differ from ours, but liberals nonetheless assume that you will remain true to your own interests. All they say is look at all the awesome things we could have if we'd work together. Sure, Moldbug courts consequentialists, framing the problem as "good intentions X are incompatible with the expedient means leading to (my wants) Y", but Catholics think a sizable portion of their beliefs is rational too. At the end of the day, Moldbug wants you to mortify your aspirations where his ideals are concerned and back his personal agenda. He does not bother to rigorously argue that you should, because he assumes you agree with him already. From a functional perspective, Moldbug's conception of "rationality" behaves a lot like what Nietzsche would call "good intentions".
Pthagnar: You do realize that your problem with treating nonpersons as people is a complaint against inconsistency, not consistency? In the real practice of analysis, you get to add as many distinctions as you want, change theories and combine them until you are satisfied. Frankly, since appealing to reason involves expressing yourself in generalities, from what you say, I have no good reason to agree or disagree with anything you say. If there is a good reason to take you seriously, it can be expressed rationally.
(Good thing I copied the post before editing it. Can we not have one-click delete so close to edit, please?)
oh, i mostly had in mind environmentalist/vegetarian type arguments from people who try to make people continue to pattern match the liberal 'all people deserve such and such rights!' and extend it to animals, ecosystems, Cultures, etc.. so eating chickens is bad because chickens are people too. polluting the earth is bad because it harms our precious bhumi gaia mother etc etc etc.
but i also include those weird people on the left, and even a lot of rightist christians, who come up with arguments against abortion on the same level — it's got human DNA, hasn't it? that means it's a PEOPLE.
ne: oh yeah, also like the tumblr multiple-personalities/tulpa people.
nne: OH, and people who treat dogs like they are fully paid-up people, rather than associate members of the personhood club. dogs have many endearing qualities, and it *is* wrong to eat them if you're not absolutely starving, and it is correct to say that what would just be 'harsh treatment' for some animals is cruel [hitting dogs to punish them is fine, i guess, if you're doing it sensibly as a conditioning thing and also rewarding them by giving them lots of pats when they do good, and playing with them lots generally; but just beating them because you are angry at the dog is very bad and not *just* because of virtue ethics type reasons in that it shows you are a bad person, like it does with people who 'torture' flies or w/e], but with the full recognition that they are dogs, and you are not the dog's mummy — the dog's mother is the dog's mother — and that you are falsely ascribing all sorts of psychological notions to them that dogs very likely just do not have.
food animals might be able to become people some day, but not while a) there's no way to make cheap and good artificial meat and b) they keep being made in such big numbers. foetuses probably also require some more magic tech to make it a convincing argument that they are all people.
i don't want to know what it will take to make it sane to have ecosystems etc be people. some sort of neopagan revival, and i cannot see myself thinking this would be as good an idea as the last two.
Pthagnar: So yeah, demanding that you must treat objects which are not demonstrably sapient as if they are, whether or not you buy that there's a good chance they might be sapient, seems like inconsistency to me. Applying the same standards, I could show these people they'd have to do a lot of things they won't like, including (if they are against eating sapients) stop eating, because anything might be sapient. (Maybe ducks are not sapient, but roast ducks are.)
(That comment about consistency was intended in a very general sense, somewhat independent of how you defined your terms. I only used words like "nonpersons" to be accommodating, in case you wanted an illiberal crack. No offense intended. (More questions later. Though most of my responses are questions framed as objections.))
Nortaneous: Am I wrong? I thought I'd pull out quotes on everything, but if you need citations for any particular claims, I'll go look for them. (Also, I am more of an actual liberal than a social democrat.)
What I am getting at is that when it comes right down to it, Moldbug does not want us, yes us, to take actions designed to fulfill our own ends. He does not advocate that we adopt a consequentialist stance like he does when doing so would counteract his ideals, ideals which he, just like Kant, has deduced from first principles. Not even Kant, I think, is such a strident anti-consequentialist that he does not want us to take actions in keeping with Kantian ideals that would bring those ideals to fruition in everyday life.
If it's a question of how large a sheet of abstract ideals an ethical system proposes to drape over your life without justifying each one in turn with respect to their consequences, then Moldbug makes that intentionalist misstep when he asks you to subordinate your ends to his ideals without bothering to show which bridging ought-statements this move coincides with, in what manner that you'd have to own up to these ought-statements being implied by your current ends, and what this implies about how you ought to behave and why. Now don't get me wrong, this does not mean Moldbug is a slave. Supermen need not demand that others behave like masters in Nietzsche's fanboyish way.
is that how consequentialist/deontologist works wrt theories of state tho? my professors went on about how rawls was a consequentialist (the state should maximize these consequences) and nozick was a deontologist (the state should refrain from violating these rights, consequences be damned), seems to me that moldbug is in the former category
whether or not he wants each individual to take actions designed to fulfill their own personal ends isn't relevant to either the question or to whether or not someone is a consequentialist, unless you're saying utilitarians aren't consequentialists.
maybe there's some nonstandard use of the terms in trve neechy circles but if you're going to use words in a nonstandard manner at least make it clear that you're doing so