Over at the GAblog, Adam has made some very interesting observations regarding the various Alt Right programs, and comes to conclusion (which seems correct) that in effect, all of these programs are calling for absolutist governance. Of course, the modern liberal state by setting the political options allowable by modernity has refused this option by default, so of course they cannot articulate it properly. Instead, it comes out garbled and in the form of a plea for actual governance, without an idea of how it is to be pursued.
Fortunately, there are plenty of “new” ideas on the Alt Right which are built atop liberalism, so offer the promise of running around in new and interesting circles for the foreseeable future.
Today, I would like to have a look at propertarianism, which is neoreaction friendly, but not absolutist neoreaction friendly.
To begin, we should go back to Moldbug’s Why I am not a libertarian:
“The libertarian revolutionaries of the 1770s, using the Lockean theory of “homesteading” that Rothbard inherits, believed that only those who worked land could truly own it. The British Crown and its Loyalist followers essentially believed that the Crown exercised primary or sovereign ownership over the American colonies, although complications of British history perhaps prevented them from expressing this opinion as clearly as today we might prefer. The question was put to arms and the former prevailed, creating a new distribution of property.
The US government today has no king. On the other hand, it is certainly a distinct entity, and we can regard it as a corporation, that is, a virtual person with a single identity. Under libertarian theory, this corporation is illegitimate, since it has no true property right in the land it controls, having never done any farming or tree-cutting or whatever. Any fees it charges are no more than extortion and stationary banditry.
Under formalist theory, this corporation (which here at UR, we call “Washcorp”) is a normal primary or sovereign property holder. Washcorp is thus a sovereign corporation, or sovcorp. Its primary ownership of its swath of North America, which to avoid confusion with political entities we call “Plainland,” is an absolutely normal relationship. The validity of Washcorp’s ownership of Plainland does not depend on the Constitution, the last elections, or any other magical rite, but simply on the stable and exclusive military control it exercises over the territory. As for the fees that Plainlanders pay to Washcorp, they are the normal cost of property rental.”
Here Moldbug is making a clear argument which has taken a while to sink in fully. Property on the basis of Locke is rejected. The entire premise of Locke can be boiled down to property being antecedent to the state. He was arguing against absolutism, and against primary property of the monarch. From this, you get all of the anarchisms and theories of why the state comes about. This is in a word total bullshit and is based on an anthropology which is 16th century gibberish. To keep this working you need to operate with all sorts of bizarre ideological contraptions and myth building.
Absolutist neoreaction maintains that property is posterior to the state and society. Without a state and society there is no one to recognize your property, no one to protect it, and no one to trade it with. I would go further and make the point that everything is posterior to society and the state, as all thoughts are made with language and thought patterns inherited from society and all understanding of how to act are provided by socialisation – the is no individual without society, and there is no society without the state .
But there is a bridge of communication here with libertarians using the homesteading principle and defence of property as Moldbug notes in How Dawkin got pwned (part 7):
“The basic difference between neocameralism and anarcho-capitalism is that I don’t think this sort of self-enforcing property model scales militarily, at least not anywhere near to the level where individuals are sovereign. I mean, someone is crazy here, and I don’t think it’s me. But then I wouldn’t, would I?”
We can go further than Moldbug does here and point out again that not only does this self-enforcing property model not scale, but the anthropology is wrong. Men simply cannot act on the basis outlined by anarcho-capitalism. Without a state there is no society, without society there is no individual.
Of course, by rejecting property as anterior to the state, we have rejected liberalism and the modern conception of private property. Instead we now have primary and secondary property on a similar basis to feudalisation and sub-feudalisation, and if we look at economics on this basis, a great deal of the problems faced by economics begin to take on a new light and we can bypass the convoluted myths created by modernity.
The issue of property is a corner stone to the division between liberalism and all its guises, and absolutism, as it is binary. Is property anterior to the state, or posterior? Of course, propertarianism under all its bluster is devoted to property as anterior to the state so is nothing new. All of this traces back to Locke, Hobbes et al and their gibberish.