“A philosopher who argues for exceptional types must also argue for exceptional measures.”
In that time, his adventurous tales, in the hands of his panegyrists and disciples, has undergone various conflicts, splits, additions and appropriations; furthermore, there has, alas, also been an apparent number of confusions as well as some sort of coherence and consensus. Moreover, the regime he theorised over has undergone what looks like the beginning of a radical change in direction and composition of power. This structural change is unlikely to be reversed and is almost certainly likely to accelerate over the next decade or two.
These changes – which will be examined in the coming weeks – and the systemic logic underlying it, will be synthesised and thus we will be driven to the final, logical, cold, STEEL-cameralist conclusion. The coming deductions, resulting conclusions and system-building constitute the first half of this adventure.
The sequel, however, will recount the Master’s adventure. As with the owl of Minerva that takes flight only at dusk, we can only understand and evaluate something once it has finished; thus, with the Grand Master safely returned from the lands of Mordor and back to practising his wizardry, we can now consider the full scope and significance of his illustrious adventure.
Hundreds of (digital) pages, filled with darkly enlightening edification await you; we shall meet the companions; face the mighty Fnargl; study the mysterious and duplicitous Brahmins; plumb the dark secrets of the Cathedral and learn, after we have descended into the very darkest depths of unthinkable clarity, what in hell the “Procedure” is.
And if you do decide to embark upon the procedure, you may wish to return to pondering over what this tale is going to tell you.
Here, first, at Imperial Energy, we will set out the next stage of neoreactionary thinking: STEEL-cameralism (STEEL-cam).
The origins of STEEL-cameralism, of course, are to be found among many of the the Grand Master’s adventures; however, recent events, in addition to reflections concerning the origins and nature of the state, the original cameralists, and the development of some recent neoreactionary thinking has lead this storyteller to construct a new political formula that is both provocative and, quite possibly, horrifying – even to the most hardened of neoreactionaries.
You can think of the STEEL-cams as the hawks.
Despite whatever misgivings neoreactionaries may have, you will see that STEEL-cam does come heavily armed with a set of facts, kitted out with a perverse – yet plausible – logical consistency and a coherent and coordinated armada of design and argumentation.
At the very least, STEEL-cam will force neoreactionaries to come up with a different model that is not only consistent with political reality and political possibilities but a plausible and desirable philosophy of modern American statecraft.
Grand Master Mencius, in one of his moods, described himself as a “Carlylean”. To progressives, there is scarcely a more challenging, scathing, roaring critic of modern follies than Thomas Carlyle. Yet, Carlyle was only a writer. Indeed, despite the fact that Carlyle gave us the “great man theory of history” and the portrait of a king as the Commander of men, neoreactionaries, however, seem a little shy of having any models, heroes or examples. Carlyle:
We come now to the last form of Heroism; that which we call Kingship. The Commander over Men; he to whose will our wills are to be subordinated, and loyally surrender themselves, and find their welfare in doing so, may be reckoned the most important of Great Men. He is practically the summary for us of all the various figures of Heroism; Priest, Teacher, whatsoever of earthly or of spiritual dignity we can fancy to reside in a man, embodies itself here, to command over us, to furnish us with constant practical teaching, to tell us for the day and hour what we are to do. He is called Rex, Regulator, Roi: our own name is still better; King….
On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. Thomas Carlyle.
Maistre, meanwhile, was only a theorist and at best a diplomat. Prince Metternich was, in the final analysis, a diplomat; Alexander Hamilton was an artillery officer, constitutional interpreter, the first American Secretary of the Treasury and the architect of America’s industrial might, but despite being a statesman of the first rank, he had a clean slate – a new state – to work with; Frederick the Great meanwhile, despite his greatness, was born to rule, and while he was an excellent state-builder, he did not have to contend with a society mired in anarchy and confusion.
We live in the beginnings of a reactionary age but not a right one; a neoreactionary age is one that must be made forged. The example of Pinochet is ambiguous and a half-success at best. The greatest modern example of a reactionary, however, is Deng Xiaoping: the man who brought China back from the dead. The judgement of history, however, is still open on Vladimir Putin; President Putin might one day yet be Tsar of Russia and if he reads this blog, he will understand what he has to do and how he has to do it.
By any reckoning – historically, religiously or philosophically – our age and its assumptions is a deeply revolutionary one, a slow revolution, but a revolution nevertheless.
Reaction, however, must master revolution.
History has furnished us with one man who towers above all the others in the mastery of confusion and chaos; a man who rose to greatness through guile, stratagem and STEEL. An minor aristocrat by birth and a true lord of men via battle; a master and commander; a lord of war; a lawgiver; a restorer of religion; a political engineer of the state and an artist of government; no one has quelled the fires of demotist anarchy better than him or provided the West with an ethos contrary to “perfidious Albion” with its “shop-keeping” on the one hand, and its busy-body, hypocritical, self-serving moralism on the other.
A colossus. He was Europe’s, and the world’s, last-true-king; ownership and control of the state was embodied in one man alone. He was a force of Nature – the veritable state of exception itself.
His energy and ambition were boundless. Never has a man possessed such a vision of greatness and reality; yet, he had the means, the ability, to bring vision and reality into alignment. He possessed a deep and personal hatred of anarchy; equality was an enemy to be overcome; the mob was to be mastered; women, meanwhile, were to be put to their proper work – the production of children. And all around him, he gathered a new aristocracy, men of talent and ambition; together, they set the nation on the path to glory.
Yet Mars was, in the last analysis, a man, a human – all too human.
His triumph upon triumph after triumph led him and his great army ultimately to destruction; a destruction brought about, in the last analysis, over the world-historical struggle with Albion: that “hideous leopard”, the “vampire of the continent”.
And so the man’s life, and ultimate failure, is filled with warning, as well as instruction. It demonstrates the need, however mundane, for system and institution. That is one of the lessons provided by Grand Master Mencius: the hard task of making and the harder task of maintaining a state require both art and engineering. A well-governed state requires not only personal rule, discretion, intuition and imagination from its great officers but a structure, a system of incentives, formal procedures and “fail-safes”.
A thousand men may be needed, but one man – the Commander – is indispensable.
Next week, we will look at the greatest commander, reactionary, monarchist, imperialist and aristocrat of Virtù that has ever held the reins of power in Europe.
Who is he?
He was “Caesar himself.”
The program for the coming weeks.
Act 1: The Commander and the Crisis of the Cathedral.
Part 1: Caesar Himself.
Part 2: A Dionysian Conspiracy.
The Inciting Incident
Part 3: The Age of Crisis.
Act 2: Never Such Innocence Again.
Part 4: American Fascism.
Part 5: The American Minotaur of War.
Part 6: Neoreactionary Conflict, Consensus, Confusion?
Act 3: A STEEL-cameralist Manifesto.
Statecraft of STEEL
Part 7: STEEL-cameralist Statecraft.
War Makes the State and the State Makes War
Part 8: Cameralism, Neo-cameralism and STEEL-cameralism Compared and Contrasted.
A State of STEEL
Part 9: STEEL-cameralist Grand Strategy, Geo-Economics and Neo-Formalist Legal Philosophy.
The STEELmanned State
Part 10: The Structure of the STEEL-cameralist State and Philosophy of Command.
Part 11: A Study in STEEL: 9/11.
Part 12: A Study in STEEL: Urban Renewal.
Epilogue: Towards the Dark Enlightenment.
Part 13: Ten Steps to Unqualified Enlightenment.