That Macafee video

If you are epileptic, do not watch this video from John Macafee. Do not watch it. In fact, don’t bother watching it at all. I can sum it up as the following : We must exit/ kill politics to become libertarians which is good and synonymous with technological process. People, can this be anymore wrong? At all?

Let us break this down a bit. We must end politics, how? By becoming libertarians. OK, how does this allow us to exit politics? Well, we all become our own government in effect, so that everyone is their own king, beholden to no one. …so everyone becomes a politician then? Right? So, the solution to ubiquitous politics, brought to us by classical liberalism, is to make everyone a politician. Hum, ok. That sounds like it should work. Let me proscribe some bloodletting for the gaping wound on your leg while we are at it. You can’t bleed if you have no more blood left, right? Makes sense.

Macafee, head over to the darkside to end politics. Drop the quackery.

A day in the life of the reactionary vampire.

The vampire sauntered down the spiral staircase humming Beethovan’s symphony number 9 to himself as he carried his copy of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. He reads it often when he feels to need to bare his fangs in uncontrollable reflexive mirth, chuckling in a raspy manner, as is his way. But today, he has other things on his mind, and he can’t help but feel a little reflective about the state of the world outside of his library, as he hears loud music emanating, pungently, from the house full of African looking “Syrian” refugees across the street. He remembers when it was inhabited by a family who would often go to picnic in the nearby park in smart, civilised attire. Ahh, but alas, no more. No one picnics in that park anymore. “Carlyle” he thinks to himself as he looks on the scene of devastation, now there was a human I could talk to, so few of them can see beneath the surface of their present fads and fashions to the electricity pulsing under the surface, crackling along the lines of the beneath the surface reality that forms the structure of things as they are.

Turning his head from the window to his bookcase lined with dusty tomes from floor to ceiling, he decided to reacquaint himself with his copy of The Later Day Pamphlets. He recalled the day he met Carlyle, with his wild beard and burning eyes. Talking with speed and passion of the collapse he could see. He was right of course, He had seen it himself for some time, but that one of the puny humans could see it with such clarity was astonishing. It was as if he was touched with the hand of the supernatural. He had an almost sixth sense. He reminded him of a young Frenchman named De Jouvenel he had met some years later whilst touring Europe as had done for so many centuries, each time the decay becoming more obvious to him, with the occasional bout of depraved savagery supplying entertainment and opportunities for easy hunting. He had seen Cologne ablaze in amber, ohh Cologne, and Berlin in rubbles with bedraggled people dragging carts, and before that he had seen Paris a mob filled murder orgy, the storming of the Bastille being like a memory from last week.

As he looked at the bookcase and back to the street, he shook his head and a smile drew across his face as he thought to himself how the puny humans had no idea what was happening, worse they thought it was the greatest thing ever, a veritable ascent into paradise. Most even considered the process a form of enlightenment, and when pressed to explain what was going on claimed it was a process of science, and then also a magic force called progress, or zeitgeist. At the thought, a low chuckle escaped his smiling face as he drifted across the room in one fluid movement.

Halting before the bookcase, he decided against reading today, that could wait, he needed music; he needed something cultured to scrub the pollution of the world outside from his mind. Taking his seat in front of his grand piano, ornately decorated, he began to play, he had gotten it during the riots of the French Revolution; so close to being broken into pieces for kindling. ‘Brahms, I need some Brahms’ and with that his hands flew as Hungarian Dance No5 filled the air and the library was transported out of the present. His mind now aflame as the pace of the music freed him from the London streets outside of his window. Visions of the magnificence of Paris, of Vienna, of Madrid filled his mind as he closed his eyes. Shining beacons of the height of civilisation, the people dancing in tune to the hum of industry and excellence. Now gone. He stopped playing abruptly. The thought of the Paris of the ZUS, London of the East End, the smoking ruins, the destruction was too much.

He had kept himself up-to-date with all of the political ideas, he had seen the spread of destruction. Words like liberalism, communism, conservatism were humorous to him, for he saw that the only words that really mattered were three Latin words that he rolled over in his head, again, and again; imperium in imperio, imperium in imperio….

He recalled how a long time ago, the kings of Europe, with whom he had mingled, began to surround themselves with the intellectuals and the rising classes of commoners. He could see it clearly now with the ages passing. At first it was a trickle, then a flood as the Kings and Queens jealously guarded their power against the nobility, and brought in the new wealthy, the lawyers, the intellectuals. How ridiculous they were. Descartes with his silly philosophy, the lunacy of Rousseau, the crazy ideas of the encyclopaedists, and as for the religious lunatics like Martin Luther…well. He could see the process, like gradual glaciations, creeping, bit, by bit, until it burst; a flood. The inmates took over the asylum, the monarchs could not halt what they started, they did not understand it, and Europe was ablaze. First, the crazy Americans who had exited with their cancerous ideas, then the French; then everyone. There was no magical progress to it. It was a disaster, a mistake. A mistake invited by the monarchs themselves, they fed the silly little imperium in imperioistas. Fed them as means to attack their enemies. Everyone can be free under the king! That Frenchman, what was his name again? Ahh De Jouvenel, he saw it too. Imperium in Imperio…

Imperium in imperio? what a silly concept, like worshiping cancer, and how like cancer this idea is to the humans. If the body is an analogy for society, imperium in imperio is rooting for cancer. Every puny human with anything intelligent to say of society once compared it to a body, with each section of society being specialised, differentiated and organised towards the same overall goal, each section having their own purpose. Aristotle saw this so wisely, these pretentious little Imperium in imperioistas, these liberals, conservatives, communists, alt-rightists: everyone now was an imperium in imperioista. Rooting for cancer, yes, cancer was the analogy. Where the cells of the body would be understandable in context to the organ, which was itself understandable to the body, the imperioistas saw the cells as divisible, separable, capable of existing independent of the body with their own personal telos- like cancer cells. All equal- like cancer cells. All undifferentiated- like cancer cells. All their own little kings; imperium in imperio. The cancer started in England, then spread to those colonies attached to the bounty of the New World. Carlyle saw it coming, saw the spreading chaos. America was given reprieve because of its wealth, but the day would come when the bill would be paid, and here it is. The cancer then spread back to Europe, until it was completely tumour infested by the time of that outbreak of barbarism the silly humans called the First World War. The last redoubts mopped up in the colonies of Africa and Asia after the Second bout of barbarism in the 1930s. Everyone was an imperium in imperioista now.

He saw, only too clearly, that there was one split, and only one that mattered- imperium in imperio. The humans? So few saw it, so few. The rest were busy making up new names for variations of the same thing. The insanity seemed to know no bounds. Every enemy of the concept was merely a complaint that it was not true imperium in imperio, the perversity of the situation being morbidly fascinating to him. He had no time for the labels they attached to themselves. But what fun it was, watching the best among them debasing themselves in worship to a zeitgeist of progress like a bunch of African tribespeople worshiping the sun, all the while knowing it was nothing more than a mindless process of centralised unsecure power battering society with cancer.

To preserve this idol of progress, they erected all sorts of bizarre systems. Republicanism, democracy, scientific government, rule by law. The litany of systems which could govern for the people to ensure that the cancer cells could operate independently, with each reaching their personal telos, was endless. Anything which denied this was squashed, obliterated, caste out as illegal, money came flowing to every new quack who could come up with a scheme for rule by system.Cancer or death was the cry, and they got both. Some it killed quick, some it kills slow. Every man a king now. Every man a cancer cell.

First Principles

There is an interesting post up on the Future Primeval site on the epistemic value of tradition, and its comparability to Bayesian inference. The post caught my eye because it matches with other things I have been reading, specifically Aristotle and the concept of Endoxa as utilized by Alistair MacIntyre for his conception of tradition. As his entry on the IEP page helpfully explains:

MacIntyre holds that his historicist, particularist critique of modernity is consistent with Thomism because of the way that he understands the acquisition of first principles. In chapter 10 (pp. 164-182), MacIntyre compares Thomas Aquinas’s account of the acquisition of first principles with those of Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Bentham, and Kant. MacIntyre explains that according to Thomas Aquinas, individuals reach first principles through “a work of dialectical construction” (p. 174). For Thomas Aquinas, by questioning and examining one’s experience, one may eventually arrive at first principles, which one may then apply to the understanding of one’s questions and experience. Descartes and his successors, by contrast, along with certain “notable Thomists of the last hundred years” (p. 175), have proposed that philosophy begins from knowledge of some “set of necessarily true first principles which any truly rational person is able to evaluate as true” (p. 175). Thus for the moderns, philosophy is a technical rather than moral endeavor, while for the Thomist, whether one might recognize first principles or be able to apply them depends in part on one’s moral development (pp. 186-182).

The modern account of first principles justifies an approach to philosophy that rejects tradition. The modern liberal individualist approach is anti-traditional. It denies that our understanding is tradition-constituted and it denies that different cultures may differ in their standards of rationality and justice:

The standpoint of traditions is necessarily at odds with one of the central characteristics of cosmopolitan modernity: the confident belief that all cultural phenomena must be potentially translucent to understanding, that all texts must be capable of being translated into the language which the adherents of modernity speak to one another (p. 327)

Modernity does not see tradition as the key that unlocks moral and political understanding, but as a superfluous accumulation of opinions that tend to prejudice moral and political reasoning.

Although modernity rejects tradition as a method of moral and political enquiry, MacIntyre finds that it nevertheless bears all the characteristics of a moral and political tradition. MacIntyre identifies the peculiar standards of the liberal tradition in the latter part of chapter 17, and summarizes the story of the liberal tradition at the outset of chapter 18:

Liberalism, beginning as a repudiation of tradition in the name of abstract, universal principles of reason, turned itself into a politically embodied power, whose inability to bring its debates on the nature and context of those universal principles to a conclusion has had the unintended effect of transforming liberalism into a tradition (p. 349).

From MacIntyre’s perspective, there is no question of deciding whether or not to work within a tradition; everyone who struggles with practical, moral, and political questions simply does.

Can we not replace this “moral” development with the “prior experience” of the future primeval post, and arrive at the same conclusions – experience is vital in all fields for the individual to really understand, be this scientific or ethical, this experience can either be personal experience, or experience passed down through tradition/ Bayesian priors. But if we do this, then we find that we are working from an Aristotelian framework in which Phronesis is key, and we are directly rejecting modern philosophy. Also, is it not very clear from this that the (I love science!) scientific method and modern philosophy are egalitarianism at core? The character of the actor employing the tools is assumed to be irrelevant, as is their experience and knowledge, because they/ we are assumed to be able to see those first principles without tradition.

This tradition from the MacIntyre angle is fundamentally Aristotlean endoxa. A reasoning from generally accepted opinions, which is what traditions are, are they not? There are no magical first principles, nor any magical objective points of departure. You start from a set of experiences and established points, and then build from there, and reach Thomistic first principles. How did these generally accepted principals, these “priors” come about? Who knows, and who cares, you work with what you have and proceed from there. There are no magic universals which are the stock and trade of the Enlightenment ™ and modernity here.

(Bonus: Bayesian Marxism)

cultural marxist muppets

 has been raising questions about the rise of the new left and exactly how it came to be. A couple a of commentators have been providing interesting details of the geneology of cultural Marxism, but the discussion is flawed by a failure to appreciate that power dictates culture, not vice versa. This assumption leads people to assume that thinkers in the new left developed new concepts which then spread through some enlightening process (not clear how) and then warped society. The truth is more interesting, and it absolves Marxist to a great degree.

Marcus Cicero is recorded as saying that the sinews of war are infinite money, and this holds true for culture as well. When one looks at how cultural Marxist had such an overwhelming influence, we have to look at how they managed to fund their adventures, because without funding they could not do anything. They would just be whack jobs no one listened to. So who paid them? Short answer – the liberal elite.

There are vast conspiracy theories involving the liberal elite and Marxism, all hold treasure troves of information but apply a ridiculously flawed model to the information. The very same people funding the likes of Marcuse and the entire “Marxist” cadre of new left lunatics were basically liberals, progressives or ultra Calvinists. These liberals had a stock political theory which involved “liberty” and equality and market freedom. Just look at the real power behind who unleashed the new left and supplied their war with the sinews of infinite money, which was then used to push laws– The Rockefellers, McGreorge Bundy who was everywhere in the Kennedy government after going through the CFR elite (recall the Milner group), Alan Pifer (doesn’t even have his own wiki page, but has a really interesting entry under the Carnegie company), Moorfield Story the founder of the NAACP (along with a whole host of liberal Jews and other Brahmin –all liberal/ republican/ progressive/ reform etc.) the list goes on, and their lack of presence in the spot light is telling. Without these guys MLK is a preacher, Rosa Parks is some dumb woman sitting at the back of the bus, Marcuse is probably a high school teacher or bureaucrat.

These guys were not Marxists, and were not in some big conspiracy to push Marxism. Just read the republican drivel they wrote. They were gatekeepers pushing liberalism, but using Marxist” lunatic foot soldiers, just like they still doing using feral human foot soldiers in places like Fergusan. Want to drum up a mess to liberalise society for the proletariat revolution and attack those racists who oppose us? Hum, here is some money. Go get em! We need our “vibrant and tolerant” open societies. We need our world republic of free markets.

The Marxist and new left lunatics that get to be the public face of the liberal machine are an excellent camouflage. The only problem with this is that these people when funded like crazy then get into position of building their own little academic fiefs, and the thing starts going extra crazy. But even this problem becomes an opportunity, as you can still direct the nutters towards enemies of liberalism, even if it is over ever increasingly absurd concepts. The whole time the victims of this assault keep blaming “Marxists.”

It is pretty impressive.

This tells you that the new left was created by money being hosed at any idiot calling for “liberalism” no matter what their putative aims were. Who cares about that? Their jobs is to wreck things to free society, they were never going to take over. That’s not their role.

Response to Amerika Blog

Amerika blog has a post up about the alt-right swallowing up neoreaction which is interesting, but not because of the aim of the post. Apparently neoreaction is a salon and a philosophy, which does not make much sense to me, but neither does the rest of the post, and there are more interesting things to do than get bogged down with what neoreaction is. What really gets my attention are the following segments:

You will note that all of these overlap. For example, all favour Nationalism and strong hierarchy. Many favor aristocracy, such as monarchists, reactionaries and traditionalists. Some are nearly indistinguishable from one another, except for a fundamental idea or two, such as reactionaries and traditionalists. And so on. A complete definition of these is beyond this article.

And:

Within this realm, we might see Neoreaction as a response by the middle classes to the degeneration of their countries. The basic idea of Neoreaction is that we should treat government like a business, expect it to act like a business and limit it, and allow the dual forces of capitalism and free association to fix everything else. This is not far removed from the original American ideas of Thomas Jefferson, or even Jared Taylor’s notion that if we removed anti-discrimination law, this country might have a chance at survival.

And finally:

Your average Neoreactionary, like the middle class, wants to escape two things: the icky people who have now infested his society, and the government which has become so parasitic that it is difficult not to notice the daily blood drainage. He believes that a System can work, that the good bourgeois can form gated communities and get away from the icky people, and then the good life will return.”

The reason I find these segments funny is that they are utterly contradictory but demonstrate exactly my issue with neoreaction. Monarchism is non-nationalist, so how you can have monarchical nationalism is beyond me. One is based on authority flowing down, the other is based on imperium in imperio. This is made even more strange in the second of the quotes in which it is claimed that government should be like a business, but limited. Well, by who is it limited? And if they can limit it, then they are the government are they not? Or is this the shareholders? in which case why the “we should”? There is an evasiveness here that is typical, and I have mentioned that the concept of a constitutional sov corp is inherently retarded before.

The final paragraph is the icing on the cake, in that it is clearly outlining anti-government libertarianism, which is impossible to square with monarchism except in the overall spirit of obtaining liberty.

It is fairly simple, either you support imperium in imperio, or you don’t. Neoreaction as it stands supports it, which places the likes of Moldbug out of the fold, which is something that should really be discussed, and something I have been pointing out for a while. It is why articles that cover the whole Alt-right/ neoreaction fiasco have such a hard time making sense of it all. Land, the neoreaction blogsphere, the alt-right, WN, identarians etc. etc. all veer into imperium in imperio, whilst Moldbug and about half a dozen people (myself included) veer away from it.

Power of culture

Spandrell has a couple of posts positing that a new religion is needed as a means to head off the pending Islamisation of the west. Now, whilst I share his concerns about the shocking and stupid importation of populations more fecund then the host population, I disagree with absolutely everything else he wrote.

The first point of disagreement is with his conception of epistemic advantage. I don’t buy it. Ideas don’t win because they convince with their brilliant truth. There is a seriously suspect anthropology at work under that assumption, which fails to take into account actual events. I will go further and make the claim that there is a modernist liberal anthropology at work there which is based on liberal concepts of human interaction.

In reality, what succeeds is not premised on epistemic value, that is transparently false. What succeeds is what is of value to power systems within which they exist. In the first of the recent posts, Spandrell uses the example of the rise of Christianity. Now I have little knowledge of early Christianity, but given I hold to the premise that power determines culture, my first act was to have a look around the literature to see if The Iron Law of Rebellious Tools/ Moldbug’s para-alliance was applicable. It looks like it is applicable, and I would be interested to hear from anyone with a better grasp of the situation. There is an interesting looking book with the title “Constantine and the Bishops” by H.A.Drake which seems to indicate that Christianity was functionally controlled by bishops outside of the traditional Roman power structure who obtained Imperial grace as useful allies. There are even claims that power in the form of the emperor acted on which strains of Christianity were successful:

“His concern for order and stability within the empire also led him to intervene in internal Christian quarrels, the two most important of which were those involving the Arian heresy in the East and the Donatist schism in North Africa. Tracing how Constantine dealt with the two cases, Drake demonstrates that in both “he showed a consistent tendency to come down on the side of Christians who would be inclusive ” (p. 250). In dealing with Donatist rigorists, unyielding Arians, and purist Nicene fathers, Drake concludes, “Constantine favored not only peace and harmony but also inclusiveness and flexibility” (p. 271). The argument is that Constantine’s agenda was for “a moderate and inclusive Christianity, who would in turn be part of a coalition of Christians and pagans united behind a policy that provided a religiously neutral public space” (Ibid.). What happened in the later years of his reign, according to Drake, is that “Constantine lost control of the agenda, and, ultimately, … the message” (p. 272).

It would look to me as if we have unsecure power acting on culture for its own logical needs. It does not take a great leap of imagination to transport this mechanism to the present day, and look at the morphing of Christianity into tolerant, inclusive and flexible Unitarianism. Do you get Jim Jones without the power within which he operates supporting him? I don’t think so. Power dictates culture, culture does not dictate power.

Will the elite convert en-masse to Islam? no. If we all developed a sophisticated religion with all the bells and whistles we thought would help, would that help? no. Power would act on it to turn it inclusive, flexible and tolerant. This can be achieved by simply making any version of the religion which was not tolerant, illegal. This would occasion “moderates” who would make the religion “moderate” so that it could be practiced. These moderates would mysteriously find themselves wildly successful and flush with grants. Obviously because they have an epistemic advantage over the non-inclusive branches…

Nothing in politics wins because it was clearly true or patently more correct. Power determines it.

(I will leave comments open for any recommendations for books)

Normative, Punitive and Coercive states

I have permission to post a couple of responses from scientism in a non-public discussion around the issue of social norms and forms of rule. I will add further comment after the text of the post, as I think this issue is extremely interesting, and deserves some form of public exposure and discussion. The posts are as follows:

Post 1

“I think there’s a simple way to unify all our interests around the “Confucian insight”:

1. The central difference between Chinese civilisation and Western civilisation is that Western civilisation has (or had) separate political and religious hierarchies. “Rule by virtue/rites” was essentially the responsibility of the Church hierarchy (note how illiberal and “totalitarian” this rule was, they had representatives in every village, telling people what to think). Much modern confusion about society stems from this separation – for example, people tend to think religion is in the “private sphere” whereas government is the “public sphere”, but really you’re just governed by dual institutions. More importantly, if the Church represents rule by virtue/rites, what would its abolition look like? Wouldn’t it look exactly like Protestantism? “Every man his own priest” is the decisive move.

2. The account of human nature given by Aristotle fits neatly within the Confucian framework and made sense for the semi-integrated Medieval Western world, but it’s a poor fit for the modern, post-Reformation world. The modern world needs an account of man that is solipsistic and hyper-individualistic, who has no need for virtue and rites. Descartes and the British Empiricists provide this account. Liberalism is its mature politics.

3. The Carlylean critique can be interpreted as a critique of the transition from an informal world of customs that play a constitutive role in human ability to a legalistic world of externally imposed protocol (by means of punishment/reward) that increasingly displaces human judgement as it consumes itself like an ouroboros. The ultimate, Satanic expression of the latter would be the LandPlan: www.xenosystems.net/the-nrx-moment/ Contrary to Land’s claims, democracy is an obvious expression of the same thing. It’s inherently opposed to rule and so inherently disposed to produce convoluted systems in which leadership is obscured. The West seems to have an unfortunate history of flirting with such systems, such as Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic.

4. Both liberal “rule of law” and “free market” capitalism fall under the type of rule (hegemony) Confucius deems lesser than rule by virtue/rites. They are both concerned with rule by punishment/reward. Both, in fact, valorise punishment/reward as the highest good and recognise no other possibilities. Systems of “incentives” are seen as “realistic” whereas systems that involve a more complete account of human nature are seen as “idealistic”. It’s notable that Marxism actually falls firmly into the liberal camp and Soviet economics is a flat command structure involving punishment and reward. Japan is probably the only real example of an economy that deviates significantly from the perverse ideals of liberalism. Regardless, liberalism and free market capitalism are clearly two sides of the same coin, having identical origins and ideals and an identical account of the human individual.

(added: “The Master said, “If you try to lead the common people with governmental regulations and keep them in line with punishments, the laws will simply be evaded and the people will have no sense of shame. If, however, you guide them with Virtue, and keep them in line by means of ritual, the people will have a sense of shame and will moreover reform themselves.” Analects, 2.3)

5. The spread of degeneracy appears to be just a part of this general move from rule by virtue/rites, to rule by punishment/reward. It probably can’t happen without perversion spreading through the elite and then being promoted to the population at large.

6. It’s notable that classical Western education (the 7 liberal arts) looks a lot like it was training the elite to be exemplars in the rule by virtue/rites model, similar to classical systems of education in other civilisations. Modern education appears empty by comparison (learning a bunch of stuff you might find in an encyclopaedia).

7. Hierarchy is essential to rule by virtue/rites, but completely inessential to rule by punishment/reward, where you instead have an impersonal state that rules over an extremely flat structure. This is because a system based on human judgement has an inherent need to order people, so everybody has some sort of leadership available, whereas a system based on law and punishment simply needs a handful of all-powerful institutions that can enforce the law on the masses. The Soviet systems looks to me simply a different version of the liberal system in this respect. Capitalism tends to allow leadership within private corporations (although this is increasingly being stamped out, both from Left, in the form of workplace regulation, and the Right, in the form of making executives beholden to “the market”), whereas the communists removed even that, creating a “purer” system in certain respects. Constitutionalism, rule by law, etc, are all part of this sort of monstrous system. The Fascists gained some understanding of its shortcomings, but still seemed to view power in liberal terms and not understanding the central role of virtue/rites.

ADDED: There’s something very striking to me about this “legalistic” approach to government. Note that it has to actively oppose hierarchy, human judgement, etc, because, from its perspective, these are forms of corruption. Everybody must be “equal before the law” and this means systematically crushing systems of “privilege” (a “privilege” can be seen as anything the legalistic state cannot account for or anything that obstructs its system of “justice”). In fact, it has no need to uphold culture at all. The only thing it concerns itself with is, “Are you breaking the law?” Everything else must go, since it has the potential to obscure this concern. Moreover, it’s only concerned with things that will meet its standard of evidence. So it’s focused on supposed “harms” that can be subjected to the system (a “harm” is defined entirely in terms of the systems ability to process it, in terms of so-called “standards of evidence”). This is felt in society in two interrelated ways. Firstly, the legalistic state will actively seek to destroy anything it can’t process (as corruption/privilege). Secondly, the only alternative is for something to be elevated to the status of a legal issue and so the only way to gain acceptance by the legalistic state is to promote your cause as a legal issue. Hence gay rights, etc. The legalistic state isn’t concerned with moral correctness or even the sustainability of its rule, but rather is wholly concerned with what it is able to see from its narrow legalistic perspective. If you can turn your cause into a legal issue, it will accept you. If you cannot, it will crush you. Doesn’t this explain the entire course of modern Western history?”

Post 2

“I’m going to attempt to introduce some terminology, although I don’t think it’s perfect.

There are three basic types of rule:

1. Normative – rule by upholding and propagating norms; Confucian rule by virtue/rites

2. Punitive – rule through legal institutions, which effectively means through punishment and reward, according to some system

3. Coercive – rule through force and threat of force, in the absence of a system of formal law for its application

I think this also fits the Confucian categorisation of sage-king, hegemon and tyrant.

There are distinctions to be made between the “self-images” of each kind of state. For example, a punitive state sees the basis of its power as essentially coercive, but takes itself to be better than a purely coercive state only because it’s orderly in some sense (essentially, you know what’s going to happen to you if you break one of the many rules). Under liberalism, this becomes extremely pathological, and everything must be subject to formal law in order to be “good”. But it’s interesting that the punitive state has this supposedly “realist” tendency; it sees the fundamental basis of power as force. To the degree that those in a punitive state believe that the state can be a force for good (social democrats or communists, for example) it’s only to the degree that the state itself is subject to law at all levels. This contrasts with the normative state. The normative state sees the fundamental basis of power as normative mastery. There’s an obvious argument for this: no state can deploy any kind of force unless it at least has the loyalty of its military. Indeed, another way of looking at the three types of rule (only available from the normative perspective) is this: under the coercive state, the state only has the loyalty of the military, and this is the only means to enforce its rule; under the punitive state, the state has the loyalty of the military and the bureaucracy and so it can formalise its power in a system of law; but under the normative state, the state has the loyalty of the people, so it isn’t reliant entirely on the military or bureaucracy, but can count on the wider population to regulate itself, more or less. The normative state also has a different view of the relationship between the different types of rule. Normative rule is more effective than punitive rule and punitive rule is more effective than coercive rule. This means that all three means can be employed by the normative state. Punitive rule is to be used where normative rule fails and coercive rule where punitive rule fails. This contrasts with the punitive state, which either doesn’t recognise normative rule at all or sees it as hopelessly idealistic or even mystical. The punitive state’s relationship to coercion is also strange. It sees it as the basis of its power – the means by which it enforces the law – but it also sees it as illegitimate unless it is entirely subject to formal law. We can see that this is because it lacks the normative state’s moral dimension; it cannot recognise any action as legitimate except in legal terms. So the punitive state cannot “fallback” on purely coercive means. It has to generate convoluted reasons to put down uprisings, go to war, etc. It is incapable of handling exceptions and this has knock-on consequences because it must handle every exception systemically, by altering laws in ways that will set dangerous precedents and have unwanted repercussions at later times. So the punitive state will gradually unravel. This inability to handle exceptions as exceptions also opens the possibility of being hostile to leadership as such and is probably the source of its pathological need to subject everything to law. It has an inherent need to expand and destroy sources of legal unpredictability. The normative state, on the other hand, can, if it errs, fallback on punitive and coercive measures. Although it hopes to avoid both the growth of the legal bureaucracy and the use of unchecked violence, it will employ either in circumstances that call for it.”

The shift to rule by laws is something which can be said to be very much the trend of modernity, and it must be noted that as pointed out by Scientism, constitutionalism etc. and liberalism proper are totally law based, whilst prior social structures were not. We now have laws that are created in areas in which it has no conceivable place, and the growth of laws has reached obscene levels. Governance in a punitive system has to do so, because it has no other means of governance open to it, as it renounces the possibility of governance by virtue/ rites. In fact, such a governmental system systematically rejects any claim that such a thing is possible at its very core. The problem is that this process becomes so widespread and ingrained, that even opponents of this spread of punitive rule can only process it through the Cartesian/ British Empiricism philosophical system which accompanied and articulated this change (take a look at the excellent Hoppe analysis of De Jouvenel for an articulate example.)

In modernity (and this is noted by Tocqueville in Democracy in America) the legal profession becomes key, but unlike in Tocqueville’s conception, it does not form a visible ruling class. Lawyers and the legal profession stay very much in the background and do not rule directly. Tocqueville however, was very astute in noting that all political issue eventually become legal issues in a democracy, because in effect democracy is law based and completely blind to non-legal aspects of society  – “The third characteristic of the judicial power is its inability to act unless it is appealed to, or until it has taken cognizance of an affair. This characteristic is less general than the other two; but, notwithstanding the exceptions, I think it may be regarded as essential.” Democracy in America.

Another observation of Tocqueville’s which accords with Scientism’s observation is the following, also from Democracy in America- “”In the Middle Ages they [lawyers] afforded a powerful support to the Crown, and since that period they have exerted themselves to the utmost to limit the royal prerogative.” – this describes the flip to modernity perfectly. The crown in England for example employed the royal court to engage quo waranto campaigns to nullify the local courts powers, and take away the charters granted to manors- in the name of the people.

Of course the lawyers did not take overt control because with punitive regimes, the question of who is in charge is evaded by pointing to the laws as being in charge A.K.A rule of law. We obviously see in reality that this is not the case, and in effect those who interpret the rule are in charge, but their very position is based on a denial of rule by judgement and what Scientism has termed “normative” rule and as such we see extremely complex screens and charades to deny anything but rule by impartial law. This process is not planned in advance, but really a natural occurrence as dictated by the logic of the situation.

Further to this, most of the agents of modernity have been either lawyers, or those connected with the legal tradition, and even in circumstances in which even partial and imperfect rejection of liberalism occurred, it was always lawyer/ legal profession led. The legal dominance of society in modernity is taken as a given, whilst in reality it is a very perverse development. The recent excitement with Bitcoin and the potential for private law is clearly an extension of this process to infinity. Not only can everyone become his own priest under liberalism as noted by scientism, they can now become their own legal system. The idea of Norms, Virtue and Rites so far banished from our thought that human interaction can only be seen legally ( recent developments around sexually consent are relevant.)

Law then, we can see, extends far beyond its reasonable limits in a punitive state, as that is its only means of control. Everything must be subject to a law, and elite led norms and social organisation encoded in culture and natural interaction are invisible, only to be abused as a means to push acceptance of new laws thought societal pressure even when such means directly contradict the basis of liberalism.

This all raises an issue, which is never really raised as an issue – what relevance has law got?

Constitutional Sovcorp…What?

Over here on Reactionfuture, I am staking a claim to a conceptual system which is inherent in the Moldbugian theory. This is that governmental systems can be broadly split into two groups. One such group is extinct on the political stage, but lives on in non-political arenas where it is lauded. The other groups is so predominant in the political arena, that all political theories since have been mere variations of the accepted underlying premise. These two groups are of course 1) secure power systems in which no division and competition between power centres is in place, and authority flows down, and 2) unsecure power systems in which power is constrained and balanced.

Of the first group, the last incarnation on the political stage would seem to me to have been Tsarist Russia. Other such examples included the East India Company and other various charter companies of the Empire, all of which was covered by Moldbug. These political structures are in possession of very clear structure, a set direction of authority, and no division of power against itself, or constraint by sections of the same governance.

Of the second group, we have The Republics following the American War of independence and the French Revolution, Communist states, socialist states, Fascist states and every state in the world at present except the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, the first of which is still subject to “checks and balances” and the second is murky politically (it will be interesting to see a formally constitutional KSA.) These all belong in the same family tree.

Given this, Libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism, fascism, socialism, communism, objectivism, neoreactionaryism, paeloconservatism, the alt-right – all of them are unsecure power ideologies. That advocates of neoreaction claim otherwise perplexes me, but they do. The second, the very second, that you advocate for any legal or formal checks against governance in your system you have introduced a systemic flaw which will lead to all sorts of insanity.

The citing of corporations (sovcorp) and other entities such as the East India Company by Neoreactionaries is quite bizarre when looked at through this lens, as in effect they are advocates of A) a secure system which has authority flowing down, with no competition in the structure, and no binding by itself and B) constitutional governance in which governance is bound against itself and constrained by law. So which is it? you want a wet/dry tall/short skinny/fat dog? Because a company charter is not the same as a constitution.

Let’s look at it another way, let suppose that tomorrow we decided that Apple Inc should have a constitution. For some reason the very idea of this sends liberals into spasm, even though they advocate for this for political corporation (nations.) This makes no sense.

So tomorrow, CEO Tim Cook the tyrant despot that he is, is gloriously pressured into enacting a constitution as a result of some uprising in a random office in a backwater town which no one would have heard about if the lawyers and other agitators making up the new Apple parliament hadn’t gotten coverage of from their pals in the media. This constitution breaks the back of the tyranny and dark ages of the Apple board, ending the absolute rule of the evil CEO lineage that included Steve Jobs the wicked. This constitution grants the creation of an Apple Inc parliament to ensure participation in the political outcomes of Apple and stop the excess of the Apple CEO. This stops Tim Cook from randomly firing everyone for example, and running off with all the money in the company.

This game has played out the same every time. The parliament takes over in the name of the people, instituting the Democracy/ Republic/ Peoples Republic/ Soviet Republic of Apple. Maybe Tim Cook transfers to a neutered figurehead in time to save a salary, maybe he puts up a fight and gets fired by a bunch of marketing/ legal department revolutionaries.  The Democratic board is now in place in the name of the people of Apple, and wanting to secure its power, as those in that situation are want to do, they begin the work of undermining competitors. You get the idea…

And yes, I did state Libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism, fascism, socialism, communism, objectivism, neoreactionaryism, paeloconservatism, the alt-right etc. are frankly the same thing. The only real difference is whatever wish/platform you place over the systemic mess of unsecure power.

On Republicanism

I have directed a lot of criticism toward the intellectual output of the Xenosystems blog and connected blogs influenced by Land, so today I thought I might say something positive about this area. Firstly, by actually taking up a position of critique of the rejection of Republicanism that forms the core of Unqualified Reservations, Land has put himself (at the risk of this being an oxymoron) at the forefront of Republican intellectual thought. There is nothing else around that is even remotely in this area of thought.

In general the Republican tradition is given as just being clearly correct, with the idea of not having checks and balances simply not computing. As a result, this concept is treated as a de facto resolved issue. It’s fact. Land being a republican anti-body has reacted against a threat to Republicanism and has ignited thought about how Republicanism can be refreshed. To say I have an issue with this happening under the guise of reaction is not something that would surprise anyone.

The idea of placing a constitution on a blockchain, of automating checks and balances and of developing block chain law within this framework is something genuinely new. But it is deeply flawed for many reasons, but primarily by a failure to get to grips with the ramifications of De Jouvenel, which is understandable, because even De Jouvenel failed to do so. Within the frame, we can see Hoppe’s criticisms of Democracy as being a Jouvenelian direction of looking for better blocks, as can also be seen with Szabo’s thoughts (whilst not being directly De Jouvenel linked as far as I am aware.) Anything which is designed to secure greater liberty for the individual at the expense of power by virtue of self protection and defence against power is systemically republican, simply put.

To say that this whole tradition, which is modernity – the system, has been an utter disaster is a core insight of Moldbug. This system has not added to technological development, this is Whig fallacy contained within Whig history. This system has done nothing more than place western governmental systems, and then colonial and foreign governmental systems on a diet of psychotics which have laid waste to much of the world. The true severity of the damage being covered by technological development and ideological delusion created by a narrative that has been central to maintaining this system. Technological advances are again not connected in a positive manner to the republican governmental system anymore than they are connected to what colour underwear people have worn. The claim, or rather, casual and smug assumption to the contrary has zero evidence backing it up. The argument that the utter rancid stupidity of this political theory has created insanity which has incentivized technological development to balance it out has more potential as far as I am concerned, but this is quite silly to entertain as a positive. It would be like celebrating the spread of AIDs for incentivizing AIDs drug development.

Take a look at the example of Russia, it adopted a constitution in 1906 in line with the pressure to do so from liberals and communists and from that point onwards utter psychosis has rained down on them. Republican governance in Germany and throughout the British Empire, as well as China- basically everywhere, has been the starting gun for untold devastating and destruction, or it was proceeded by devastation to enact it (which always continued/ continues afterward.) Every Communist regime has been republican, not fake republican, not sham republican- actual republican. They all had constitutions. We all have google, so you can go check this yourself.

So Land, Hoppe etc and the rest of the neo-republicans, neo-communists, neo-neo-liberals, neo-Whigs or whatever new name you want to give them are acting as the intellectual spearhead for checks and balances, which are the exact cause of the screaming insanity we see when governance concludes that placing millions of people in concentration camps is necessary, mandating that man are women (and vice versa) is righteous and that the definition of golf should be decided by law. Only Republicanism could create such a litany of bizarreness. No human brains (collectively or not) could conceive of this level of stupidity by themselves without some serious incentive. Republicanism in placing society at war with itself provides such an incentive in spade fulls, which is the exact point made by De Jouvenel, and the exact point that is not addressed by Republicans, Imperium in imperio advocates and hyper-sovereign advocates.