Protocol governance

Protocol governance can come in many forms , these include bureaucratic rules, literal interpretations of religious texts, democracy, proposed block chain or P2P governance, statistics based governance, rule of law, and any other form of governance which seeks to provide a protocol as being ultimately sovereign as opposed to ultimate human judgement.

These protocols are feted as the answer to burning questions of governance, usually they are termed “scientific” and presented as somehow magically capable of facing all problems.

Having adopted the given protocol, reality either swiftly, or slowly becomes secondary to the protocol despite the protocol being in effect a mere derivative of reality. The protocol in effect takes on a life of its own which does not align with reality or the facts on the ground, and becomes self-propagating and self-preserving.

Taking the Cathedral structure in to account, we can see the first layer of protocol in democracy. The claim that a simple head count of the population could in any way provide guidance as to how the nation, or whatever polity is being governed by democracy, should be governed is utterly absurd.

The inability of democracy to act as a real means of organisations occasioned the creation of a second protocol in the form of bureaucracy which in conjunction with the media and education became the residence of real power. The impetus behind this being that general opinion in a democracy is of all importance to the maintenance of the democratic protocol. If you can control the general opinion, then you control the inputs to the protocol of democracy, which supplies legitimacy to the outcomes which emerge under the protocol.

So, to simplify this somewhat, we have a democratic protocol which patently cannot work, followed by a bureaucratic protocol designed to manage the first protocol. Except, the bureaucratic protocol itself cannot work, as It is merely another version of governance by protocol, and itself takes on a life of its own which has little link to reality.


Horizontal Coercion versus Hierarchical Coercion

Robert Conquest’s famous second law of politics is that:

“Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

When identifying horizontal versus hierarchical coercion the means by which this occurs comes into focus. A hierarchically organised organisation is subject to the control of actors who are tasked with specific roles that they are responsible for. The organisation has purpose, it has structure, and it has managers and leaders who are able to make sufficient alterations to maintain the course which is needed or planned. The organisation is therefore shielded from horizontal coercion. Incentives and punishments are hierarchical. You obey your superiors, and you are rewarded by your superiors. Any deviations from this ultimately reactionary structure opens the organisation to horizontal coercion and inevitable sliding towards leftism.

There are many ways that the organisation can be cracked, from putting the control of the organisation into the hands of a bureaucracy to democracy to changing the goals of the organisation to include externally enforced goals which then occasion inclusion of superfluous individuals which have no direct relevance to the original goals (diversity coordinators, diverse employees, sustainability advisers, Human resources etc.) The key theme which runs through all off the various ways is to divest control from individuals able to use human judgement, to replacement by a set of protocols.

At the governmental level, this process of transference of control to protocol (which is always, and everywhere a sham,) results in the creation of societies which ascend to ever increasing levels of hallucinogenic bizarreness.

One of the best introductions to the usage and effect of horizontal coercion on a society is provided by Vaclav Havel in his essay Power of the Powerless:

“This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”

And what is the lie to which the regime is captive? The protocol. To keep it running, non-formal means of control need to be enacted.

“Thus the power structure, through the agency of those who carry out the sanctions, those anonymous components of the system, will spew the greengrocer from its mouth. The system, through its alienating presence in people, will punish him for his rebellion. It must do so because the logic of its automatism and self-defense dictate it. The greengrocer has not committed a simple, individual offense, isolated in its own uniqueness, but something incomparably more serious. By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such. He has exposed it as a mere game. He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted facade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power. He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world. He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain. He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth. Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can co-exist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.”

The beauty of horizontal coercion is that it is so diffuse and lacking in clear responsibility.

The Inevitability of Horizontal Coercion in Governance by Protocol

Governance by protocol involves governance by reference to a mere derivative of reality; a mere shadow of reality at best, and normally a complete detachment from any truth or fact. To maintain any control in a world which is complex, ever changing and unpredictable, human judgement is ultimately required. Schmitt realised this with his identification of the exception. The point in governance by protocol in which reality breaks through and makes a mockery of the great designs of those foolish enough to think that a protocol can encompass all of existence and make the leader, the sovereign individual redundant. Or as Carlyle puts it:

“Your ship cannot double Cape Horn by its excellent plans of voting. The ship may vote this and that, above decks and below, in the most harmonious exquisitely constitutional manner: the ship, to get round Cape horn, will find a set of conditions already voted for, and fixed with adamantine rigor, by the ancient Elemental Powers, who are entirely careless how you vote.”

– Thomas Carlyle, Latter-day pamphlets

Until such point that reality impedes on the protocol, control of society must be conducted in such a way as to be effective in keeping the protocol alive. As the protocol is a fraud, lies must proliferate to stabilise the protocol. The people that comprise of the society in which the protocol operates must be convinced, educated, progandised for their own benefit.  Non-formal means of coercion (horizontal) are instigated, and usually supplemented with hierarchical coercion of the most perverse warped kind.

Those who instigate the protocol are themselves hostage to it, and as such are themselves subject to the very horizontal coercion which they set off. There is no sense or intelligence in any of it, and no real control; only lies and action in line with the fitness environment created by the protocol.

The Leader, the Sovereign

The leader is a figure who is not subject to governance by protocol except through choice under conditions in which the protocol is relevant and fits with reality. If in fact the leader is constrained by protocol, be it democracy, rule of law, constitution or whatever moloch as sovereign, then he is not sovereign. He is a sham leader; A hideous joke.

Schmitt’s correct diagnosis of the intrusion of reality into the liberal democratic constitution smoking out of the sovereign leader is mirrored by Moldbug:

“A sovereign operating under the rule of law is not, contrary to several centuries of Whig horsepucky, a sovereign bound by the rule of law. It is a sovereign which chooses to abide by the rule of law. It declares a consistent and stable set of rules by which everyone in New California, Dictator included, can live and work and play nice with each other.

Ideally, because New California is in a state of order, the Dictator does not need to deploy her prerogative, which is her sovereign right to violate her own law. By maintaining this blissful state, the Dictator does not abandon the prerogative and allow it to decay (as Charles I did), but reaffirms and justifies it.”

Secession Liberty and Dictatorship

The leader if possessing of the correct attributes of power paired with requirements of the position is capable of creation, as again Moldbug notes Machiavelli observing in the very same post:

“But we must take it as a rule to which there are very few if any exceptions, that no commonwealth or kingdom ever has salutary institutions given it from the first or has its institutions recast in an entirely new mould, unless by a single person. On the contrary, it must be from one man that it receives its institutions at first, and upon one man that all similar reconstruction must depend. For this reason the wise founder of a commonwealth who seeks to benefit not himself only, or the line of his descendants, but his State and country, must endeavour to acquire an absolute and undivided authority.”

It is one of the major tragedies, if not the major tragedy of Anglo-American political thought that the role of the leader has been so maligned and belittled that it has either been deemed disposable or subject to protocol. The only fitting comparison would be if it was deemed that Michelangelo, Vermeer, Constable or any other artistic genius (or genius in any field for that matter) were optional and that a simple referral to a vote or survey of individuals could create a masterpiece.

The truth of the matter is that leadership is an art, and rest on judgement and individual brilliance. Those that operate on the belief that leadership can be passed to protocol implicitly reject this, and operate on the basis that anyone can wield power, and everyone should.

Having obviated the leader through wise protocol, and set themselves on the magic mushroom journey that is popular sovereignty the world has been inflicted with a steady stream of worsening leadership, with every representative of the protocol being with every generation more of a lie, more of a fraud.  Or as Kuehnelt-Leddihn writes

“The rise of great statesmen has been fostered more by monarchic than by democratic government. The historical record on this matter is not open to doubt. Even parliamentary monarchy showed a “diminished return” of political geniuses. It can be stated without danger of refutation that the parliaments of the Western world have not yielded since 1890 a single truly outstanding, constructive statesman—not even a genuinely successful Machiavellian.568 Only chaos and revolution have given the same chance to outstanding men as monarchy; but the moral level of these products of civil strife cannot measure up to the better proteges of the monarchic system. A Richelieu or a Mazarin was superior to a Marat or a Robespierre—a Bismarck to a Hitler—a Cavour to a Mussolini—a Pobyedonostsev to a Stalin—a Pašic to a Tito. Thus great statesmanship is either vested in monarchs, their appointees, members of aristocratic oligarchies or in the products of revolutions—but almost never in purely parliamentary figures. The outstanding thinkers (we mean thinkers, not literati) of this world have only in the most exceptional cases favoured the democratic system.”

Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Time

Burckhardt’s “terrible simplifiers” are getting simpler and simpler, and the lies are getting more squalid by the day. Falsehood is built into the rule by protocol. It is leftism.