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Where the progressive enlightenment sees political ideals, the dark enlightenment sees appetites.It accepts that governments are made out of people, and that they will eat well.

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Thiel summarized the trend bluntly: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” In August 2011, Michael Lind posted a democratic riposte at Salon, digging up some impressively malodorous dirt, and concluding: The dread of democracy by libertarians and classical liberals is justified.

Political agents invested with transient authority by multi-party democratic systems have an overwhelming (and demonstrably irresistible) incentive to plunder society with the greatest possible rapidity and comprehensiveness.

Anything they neglect to steal – or ‘leave on the table’ – is likely to be inherited by political successors who are not only unconnected, but actually opposed, and who can therefore be expected to utilize all available resources to the detriment of their foes.

Even more than Equality-vs-Liberty, Voice-vs-Exit is the rising alternative, and libertarians are opting for voiceless flight.

Patri Friedman remarks: “we think that free exit is so important that we’ve called it the only Universal Human Right.” For the hardcore neo-reactionaries, democracy is not merely doomed, it is doom itself. The subterranean current that propels such anti-politics is recognizably Hobbesian, a coherent dark enlightenment, devoid from its beginning of any Rousseauistic enthusiasm for popular expression.

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