STEEL-cameralism v Absolutism.

Contents

1: Introduction: STEEL-cam V Absolutism.

2: The Key Distinction.

3: The Board of Directors.

4: Signals and Incentives.

5: How Old is Too Old?

6: The Art of WOO (Wining Others Over).

7: A Word About Sovereignty. 

8: Summary.

STEEL-cams are accelerationists but they are neither Tech-Comm accelerationists nor Absolutist accelerationists.

We are, however, in agreement with much of what Absolutists think.

Adam and Chris are superb theorists and their work pays endless re-reading with rich rewards.

The articulation of the patron theory of politics stands as a tremendous advance of, well, neo-reactionary theory.

The following is a summary of our shared principles:

1: Imperium In Imperio is the central political engineering mistake.

2: All regimes have a Ruling Elite.

3: Politics and political change is an elite affair.

3: The Ruling Elite’s first and foremost goal is to secure their power.

4: The Ruling Elite’s power depends upon and is often “checked” by essentials and subordinate or sometimes independent “scattered” or divided institutions (such as the judiciary).

5: As a result of unsecure, divided power, Elites will subvert, degrade and diminish (or destroy) rival power centres or institutions and seek to make essentials as weak and pliant as possible.

6: In terms of systems (the political system), there is structural incentives for a weak, small and unsecure central power, operated by the Ruling Elite, to centralise their power.

This results in two things:

  1. The growth of the central power over more and more aspects of the individual, family, society, the economy, schools, hospitals, culture, science etc. etc.
  2. The centralising power’s main method of centralising is “levelling” or “equalising.” In other words, the centralising power must disrupt ordered relations of rival or recalcitrant power centres by using expendables against essentials or Low Against Middle.

7: Historical examples of this centralising and levelling are the Protestant Reformation; the abolition of slavery; democracy itself; female emancipation; civil rights and desegregation; LGBT activism and immigration.

8: The goal, ultimately, is to establish a political system that eliminates Imperium in Imperio.

We believe this to be a fairly accurate summary of our agreements and shared purposes.

Our main disagreement lies with the nature of the regime that Absolutists wish to establish; specifically, the nature of the Sovereign power itself.

Our main fault with Absolutism can be found in the following passage:

The sticking point for a lot of people seems to be the question of removing a clearly unfit leader, which a rigorous absolutism seems to preclude, because any such mechanism introduces division into sovereignty by now making someone else sovereign—the doctor who determines the mental fitness of the ruler, the board of directors that gathers to assess his performance, the judges who would hear appeals regarding disqualifying acts of the president, the legislature that impeaches and removes him, etc. All the divisions and power plays that the clarification of sovereignty aims at eliminating would all then rush in through this open door. But absolutism can answer the question of removing an unfit leader, even if it’s not a very comforting answer. If a ruler’s unfitness manifests itself in an incapacity to defend the country or maintain the conditions of law and order, he will be removed by whichever of his subordinates is in the best position to do so—the best positioned in terms of readiness to manage the emergency, rally the support of other power centers, and command the forces needed to rule. And that subordinate will then seek to return power as soon as possible either to the once again fit sovereign, or whoever is next in line according to whatever tradition has been followed in ensuring the continuity of sovereignty. Maybe that subordinate will serve as sovereign temporally or even permanently. And if he fails to remove the sovereign, and no one else can either, then that suggests either the sovereign wasn’t really unfit, or sovereignty can no longer be sustained in that form on that territory—maybe it needs to be broken down into smaller units or aggregated into a larger one.

What this means is that there are no formal procedures for removing an incompetent or tyrannical Sovereign.

Dark Reformation has explored this issue here, here and here, but we will not spend time on abstractions. Here we will put forward three examples of Sovereigns that needed to be removed. Nevertheless, because they were “absolute” they couldn’t, despite the fact that some people did try – and died for it. Then, we will explain why, when it comes to signals and incentives Absolutism is an inferior system.

Our three examples of Sovereigns that needed to be removed or restrained are:

1: Henry the VII.

2: Napoleon Bonaparte.

3: Adolf Hitler.

Henry was an absolute Sovereign. We will assume that Henry was, in the first half of his reign, an intelligent and energetic Sovereign but that his judgement deteriorated in the latter part of his reign due to a brain injury (which, interestingly enough, is the problem that Dark Reformation begins with). Furthermore, according to La Wik, Henry was impulsive and rash and perhaps this was the reason he executed poor old Thomas Cromwell (which he later regretted).

The problem is that no one could remove Henry formally; indeed, Henry’s “great matter” was the lack of a male heir – which wouldn’t have been a problem if there had of been the medieval version of a Board of Directors. (If this sounds ridiculous, then consider that the Catholic Church had something similar, and the Joint-Stock Corporation was invented in the Elizabethan period).

If Henry’s essentials tried, via a conspiracy, they risked – literally – losing their heads; in fact, they tried, and they failed. If they had succeeded, however, a civil war could well have been the result.

2: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Earlier, we alluded to the fact that the Marshalls were the essentials to the elite Napoleon. The Marshalls also, in a way, doubled as a Board of Directors and a group of them forced Napoleon to abdicate after his disastrous Russian Campaign.

Our point, however, is that we assume that Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was not only a crime, it was a mistake. If Napoleon could have been persuaded out of this decision – by being threatened with removal, or by being prevented from funding the invasion, the Russian campaign probably would not have happened.

Napoleon was an absolute or near-absolute ruler (Napoleon offers us the best and last example of a true absolute Sovereign) and he could not have been removed without violence and civil war.

Napoleon, despite his genius, ultimately destroyed himself (and much of France) and a large part of the reason why is that he had absolute power subject to no responsibility mechanism.

3: Adolf Hitler.

That Hitler wielded absolute power we don’t think anyone can deny. His decision to fight a two front war violated a basic principle of war and was probably the main reason why the Nazis were defeated.

Hitler’s role as the Supreme Commander and his dilettantish, constant meddling was, strategically speaking, a grave and fatal mistake for Nazi Germany.

 

The Key Distinction.

Absolutism has no satisfactory answer to the problem of a Sovereign that needs to be removed, as Adam admits.

Neocameralism does.

And so does STEEL-cameralism.

Neo-cam, in theory, contains what is best in Absolutism and eliminates what is worst.

What is best is that you have a centralised state with a secure power and a Sovereign (Executive) who can exercise near unlimited power. The worst aspect of Absolutism is that this unlimited power is not subject any responsibility mechanism.

Neo-cam allows a Sovereign to decide on general policy, personnel and how the budget is allocated. Finally, the Sovereign in a neo-cam state has the power to exercise near absolute personal judgement over matters great and small.

The key distinction, however, is that neo-cam contains a responsibility mechanism or a “failsafe” in which a poor, irresponsible or corrupt Sovereign can be removed.

The concept of a Board of Directors exists in neo-cam but it plays an extremely important part in the STEEL-cam system.

3: The Board of Directors.

The Board have three core duties in STEEL-cam:

1: Search and Selection.

2: Supervision.

3: De-selection and Succession.

Let’s take each one in turn.

1: Sovereign Search and Selection.

The Board can draw upon a vast array of human talent for the Sovereign.

We agree with Reactionary Future that there is no necessary protocol that could guarantee selecting a good Sovereign and that it is a question of judgement. However, the heredity principle is also a protocol and hereditary succession is one that is likely to naturally emerge under Absolutism.

The Sovereign, a single ruler, is unlikely to be able to devote his full time and attention to the question of selecting a successor. Furthermore, this also assumes that the Sovereign is selecting a successor that benefits the state and not themselves.

STEEL-cam, by contrast, features a Board of Directors that consists of a pool of men with a broad range of experience and expertise who can conduct a continuously ongoing search for potential successors.

The Board, therefore, could have 2-3 potential successors that could replace the Sovereign if necessary; 3-5 potential Sovereigns, though not the immediate first choice and 5-10 men who could, with time and experience, become potential candidates.

The role of the Sovereign in this process, however, is that they have complete control of personnel in the management of the country and so they will be responsible for promoting and developing potential successors.

Is this coherent? Surely the Sovereign will want to promote those who are loyal and not those who are potential rivals?

These incentives exist but they exist more strongly in Absolutism.

In neo-cam or in STEEL-cam the Sovereign’s natural incentive to favour loyalty over competence must align itself with the interests of the state itself because the Directors supervise (but cannot formally override) the choices the Sovereign makes.

Just consider, for example, that the Catholic Church uses a similar system to this and that the Catholic Church is the longest, continuous institution in human history.

To spell out the search and selection process in more detail, consider the following possibilities:

A: The Board compile candidate profiles with information regarding education, expertise and experience.

B: The Board can create one or several “search committees” to aid them in their search.

C: The Board, or their “committees”, can conduct interviews, design various “war-games” or role-playing scenarios to test candidates.

D: The Board can reflect upon current procedures for search and selection; acquire feedback and advice from external parties and report to the shareholders and the Sovereign about possible adjustments to the search and selection process.

E: In STEEL-cam, the Sovereign is contracted to serve as Sovereign for a certain period of time – that is flexible, however, and a Sovereign could be kept on longer.

Nevertheless, in STEEL-cam the current Sovereign serves as Chairman of the Board and so has input and a vote over the selection of the successor. Furthermore, under STEEL-cam, the previous Sovereign can become a Director after serving as Sovereign; thus, they too can contribute their expertise and experience to the search and selection process.

2: Supervision.

Let’s now describe a potential makeup of the Board itself, and how it can supervise the Sovereign.

Suppose we follow standard corporate practice and have only a Board of seven men, then the following would be a good mix:

1: External Security (Potentially, an ex-General).

2: Internal Security (Potentially, an ex-Police Chief or “FBI” Director).

3: Diplomacy (Potentially, an ex-ambassador or “Secretary of State”).

4: Economics (Potentially, a former member of the Executive Cabinet who served as the Secretary of the Treasury).

5: Legal (A retired judge or Executive level Attorney General).

6: An ex or retired Sovereign (Similar to a move from CEO to a Board of Director’s position).

7: Chairman (the current Sovereign).

Let’ stipulate that each Director has a deputy; this means the “enlarged” Board consists of 13 men. They meet twice a week (like the Chinese Politburo Standing Committee);  the first meeting is only the principals (a Board of seven) and the second meeting consists of the deputies (A Board of 13).

Furthermore, these men would all have a staff of assistants with expertise and experience in different areas.

How can the Board supervise and thus ensure the Sovereign has incentives to rule well?

Firstly, they have a twice weekly conference with the Sovereign.

Well before a crisis emerges, the Board have time to anticipate, adjust and then act if they need to replace the Sovereign. If the Board are unhappy with the Sovereign, then they can express their disquiet at first, dissatisfaction later and then their disapproval, followed by their determination that unless things improve, the Sovereign will ultimately be dismissed.

During the twice-weekly meetings, the Sovereign describes and explains the various problems, solicits input, put’s forward various conjectural possibilities, again solicits input and then answers probing questions from the Board.

Our assumption here is that under such supervision the Sovereign has every reason to rule in a way that is to the good of the state because he can be called upon to explain, in whatever detail necessary, his decisions to the Board.

What next?

In STEEL-cam, however, the Sovereign and the Board are only two elements in a larger system.

Some of the other elements, or nodes, are the following:

1: Non-Executive Directors.

Their job is just one: supervise the Executive Board and report to the shareholders. They have no power to remove either Directors or the Sovereign; they have no power over personnel, policy or budget.

2: Shareholders.

They select both Boards and can replace any Board member at any time for any reason; Directors are to be re-confirmed every year by the Shareholders. The one exception to this is that they cannot replace the Sovereign directly but must rely on the judgement of the Executive Board of Directors.

3: The Disciplinary and Inspection Bureau.

This department – completely separate from the management of the state – is headed by the Inspector General selected directly by the shareholders who are also in control of the Bureau’s budget.  The Inspector General leads a small team (as small as possible and no smaller) of investigators. Their job is to investigate crimes against the state by the Management or the Board of Directors. The decision, however, to charge and try (but not convict) any employee – up to the Sovereign himself – for crimes against the state – rests with the shareholders.

4: The Tribunal.

The Tribunal consists of a panel of judges who serve for life, again directly selected by the shareholders, who only judge state employees who are accused of crimes against the state – they have no other function but this.

3: De-Selection and Succession.

Let’s illustrate the difference between Absolutism and the two cams with the following analogy.

Absolutism is a fire and forget missile.  Once the missile is launched it carries on towards the target until either it runs out of fuel or explodes. HQ cannot stop, terminate or re-direct the trajectory of the missile.

In both cameralist systems, HQ can exercise some control over the “missile”. What kind of control? That very much depends, of course.

One kind of control, or fail-safe, is that the missile operates on a timer and will explode after a designated time-limit (think of this term limits);

The second form of control is that HQ can terminate (or neutralise) the missile mid-flight (think of this as de-selection).

Finally, the third form of control is that HQ can re-direct the missile mid-flight away from a target or towards a new target (think of this as formulating a new grand strategy or abandoning a particular policy for a new one).

What is superior?

A missile that allows for more control is thus more responsive and is therefore better.

How so?

Well, suppose you launch a missile at what you think is a terrorist camp and then the satellite pictures or drone video provide you with new information that, say, the camp is a refugee camp with hundreds of children. A fire and forget missile cannot be changed and so the camp is blown up, along with the children. A missile that can be terminated mid-flight would allow you blow up the missile before it reaches its target, thus you save the children. Finally, suppose you actually do have a real target at the camp, along with children, but you fire anyway; however, the target leaves the camp in a vehicle. If you could steer the missile towards the moving vehicle (and thus away from the camp) and if you successfully hit the target, then you have succeeded in eliminating the target, and saved innocent lives.

Absolutism is a fire and forget missile.

Neo-cam and STEEL-cam is a precision guided missile.

Ultimately, the key difference between STEEL-cam and Absolutism is that the Sovereign can be replaced.

Naturally, this is an outcome that no one wants, so everyone would be invested in it not happening. If, however, it did have to happen, then perhaps the Sovereign would announce an early retirement for “health” reasons.

Finally, we support the ability of the Board to de-select the Sovereign because we claim that such a responsibility mechanism will produce more responsible government than under an Absolutist system.

Responsiveness and the ability to adapt are crucial, we claim.

4: Signals and Incentives.

Here is how both a neo-cam and a STEEL-cam system respond to signals and incentives. Unlike a system that contains Imperium In Imperio, no node in the system is independent or beyond the control of some other node. As Cyborg says: “no more controlled than controlling.

We can analyse the “position” from each node and then factor in the signals and incentives and then calculate the moves open to each person in each node. So far, we have only discussed the Sovereign and the Board; however, let’s begin with the customer.

Customers can signal their satisfaction (or lack thereof) in a number of ways. Firstly, there is customer interaction with the employees and junior Management of the state. Secondly, there are customer satisfaction surveys. Thirdly, there are complaint or “ombudsman” mechanisms that provide signals to the management about performance. Fourthly, certain customers can form special interest groups or lobbying groups that can also provide feedback on how the Managers in the state are performing. Fifthly, customers in conjunction with whatever media or reporting exists, also provide a mechanism for the supply of feedback signals. Sixth, customers would have a legal right to redress of grievances against the state breaking its agreements with them. Seventh, customers exiting the state also provide the ultimate form of feedback.

If sufficient numbers of customers exit the state, then the resulting drop in the tax intake, which means a drop in the share price, provides a clear and unambiguous message that something is going wrong.

Of course, this form of signals is not all. The Shareholders can also make use of the above signals and then signal their concerns or dissatisfaction with the Board of Directors or the Sovereign directly. If enough shareholders sell their stock, then this is also a clear and unambiguous signal that something is going wrong. Likewise, rising share prices and a growing number of investors is a healthy sign.

When it comes to state employees and junior Management they can signal important information up the chain of command. Also, they could communicate with Shareholders directly and bring the Board’s attention to some problem.

The Board of Directors, meanwhile, receive signals from the share price, the Shareholders, the Management and the Sovereign. Naturally, they will be most sensitive to signals coming from the shareholders, because it is they who can replace them.

The Sovereign, meanwhile, has access to all of these signals, and much more. For the Sovereign, the number of signals is greater, and in some cases, he would possess better, more comprehensive information; however, the number of signals (information) is of such complexity that no man could ever process them.

Nevertheless, and this by no means is the be-all and end-all, the Sovereign has three good proxies for grasping the state of the state: tax returns, share price and exit numbers.

Again, these things are far from exhaustive markers of good government, but they are a very good proxy. Absolutism does not have these things, but STEEL-cam does.

When it comes to incentives, the state has incentives to provide good governance because it is profitable. Employees and managers have incentives to provide good customer service because they could get fired if not. Shareholders, meanwhile, have incentives to hold the Board and Sovereign to account because if customers begin to exit the state, then the drop in tax-returns, which causes the share price to drop means that Shareholders are losing value.

The Sovereign, meanwhile, has incentives to ensure good governance because they will get replaced if not and rich if they do.

Thus, each node in the system is geared towards the goal of profit. The pursuit of profit is the chief incentive mechanism that will ensure good government because a profitable government is a well-run government.

5: How Old is Too Old?

Finally, we must also factor in the age of the Sovereign.

What is the optimal age of being the Sovereign? At what age are the mental and moral faculties most likely to be at their most ripe? When will these faculties begin to slip?

We venture to say that someone of 90 years of age is not likely to have the Imperial Energy to rule.

Twenty?

Thirty?

Napoleon was Consul at thirty and Emperor by thirty-five – but he was a prodigy.

While it is true that no absolute rule (indeed!) or formula can be stipulated, generalisations can be made. So it is unlikely that, within a stable neo-cam or STEEL-cam system, no one less than 40 would hold the supreme position.

Potentially, a man might be Sovereign for decades (from forty to seventy say) but eventually, the body and mind grow weak and tired and fresh blood is needed. Under Absolutism an increasingly geriatric and cranky old man is one the throne, but with neo-cam and STEEL-cam the Sovereign can both step down or be persuaded to step-down and in the final analysis, be forced to step down.

The transition of power in any political system is a crucial event and under any system, it must be conducted with grace, nobility and solemnity. However, the person giving up power can both take pride in their hand-over and relax in the fact that their bank account is going to swell.

This is the theoretical superiority of STEEL-cam over Absolutism. Next, we will see that it is superior when it comes to persuading people to adopt it.

6: The Art of WOO (Wining Others Over).

Strategically speaking, in terms of persuading enough elites, essentials and expendables to re-structure the state, neo-cam and STEEL-cam have superior advantages over Absolutism (at least, when it comes to USG).

How do we get from A to B? We have options X or Y or Z; which option is more likely to succeed? That is the question

Absolutism does not offer sufficiently persuasive incentives for the current crop of elites, essentials and expendables to switch systems.

Napoleon was largely, but not completely correct, when he said that “fear and self-interest” are the chief motivators of men. Let’s apply these two levers to Absolutism.

Status.

With neo-cam and STEEL-cam (and yes, even with democracy) everyone can not only imagine themselves becoming the Sovereign (President) but that – for a small but not insignificant number of men – they can actually become the Sovereign. Thus, men, especially possible future elites can convince (delude?) themselves that neo-cam and STEEL-cam are in their best interests and not Absolutism.

Under Absolutism, and especially if one uses the hereditary succession principle, you end up with just one ruler for life and then his family or little circle succeeding. We claim that this is not desirable enough for elites to want to adopt this system. Even if they only imagine the possibility of them becoming Sovereign, it still stimulates their self-interest better than Absolutism.

Finally, whatever people think of STEEL-cam, people will fear the idea of one man holding absolute, unaccountable power. It is very hard to persuade someone of something if they have an instinctive fear of it.

Wealth.

Neo-cam would, without question, entail that the elites are extraordinarily well paid. In STEEL-cam, the financial incentives will be made explicit.

Becoming Sovereign earns you a huge bonus, being a successful Sovereign will mean an even bigger bonus and completing your contract and retiring or stepping down, should the Board not renew your contract, means you’re golden – forever.

Assuming that the Sovereign has a fixed contract that requires them to serve for ten years say, an under-performing or incompetent – or even criminal – Sovereign could be persuaded to “quietly” step down. This allows the Sovereign to “save face” and to avoid costly political-legal battles. It also means that the state’s stock price will not overly suffer.

Fear.

Men are governed by a judicious mix of carrots and sticks and a little drop of glory. So, if a Sovereign gets cute and starts playing funny games, then the Board can make him an offer he cannot refuse:

“Fight, and you will be fought; lose, and your life will be lost, your family will be disgraced (maybe even executed as well); exit stage right, however, and you and your family, well, how does twenty million dollars sound? No? How about fifty million dollars?  Think of your family, think of your children and don’t try to be a (false) hero.”

Competition.

STEEL-cam uses, like in the military, an “up or out” doctrine. So, unlike in a potential Absolutist state where men may linger in the same role for years, in STEEL-cam the political environment is ULTRA competitive. As a Chinese saying has it: “climb or die.” So, to reach the pinnacle of power you must climb and keep climbing.

Fear of being a loser keeps everyone climbing and the financial gains, along with prestige, keep everyone trying to reach the top or die trying.

The number of employees needed in a neo-cam or STEEL-cam state will be much, much, smaller than in the current one; thus, job security (such as having permanent civil service employees) is non-existent.

So, we expect a high turnover in personnel in the STEEL-cam state.

However, in an Absolutist state the Sovereign will come to rely on a small, trusted, but perhaps not very competent team who serve him indefinitely. In short, the Absolutist Sovereign will reward loyalty over competence. Again, this is a natural consequence of the Rules of Ruling.

7: A Word About Sovereignty. 

Absolutists might complain that in STEEL-cam the Sovereign is not the Sovereign. If you accept the definitions of Absolutists then yes. In STEEL-cam, we do not use the term Sovereign, but Supreme Commander. Later, in the STEEL-cam manifesto, we discuss the concept that the “Sovereign decides the exception” and how this relates to STEEL-cam over the most crucial of all questions the Sovereign must decide: War.

8: Summary.

In summary, then, the virtues of Absolutism are its simplicity: personal rule which is both a normal and natural and historically salient fact about human life. Its weakness is that it is not as adaptive, flexible or robust (anti-fragile) as either neo-cam or STEEL-cam. The potential weakness of neo-cam and STEEL-cam, however, is that it is more complex. This is a trade-off, and there is no clear and decisive way of settling the matter.  Finally, STEEL-cam has more chance of persuading people who need to be persuaded.

 

 

 

 

 

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24 thoughts on “STEEL-cameralism v Absolutism.

  1. It won’t work, the sovereign will seek to undermine the board of directors and vice versa. There will be squabbles and internal conflicts over who becomes the next sovereign, along with debts of loyalty to be repaid etc.

    CEOs are not all powerful, they can be manipulated out of office. See for instance the uber CEO, who is being hounded from office due to ‘brand issues’ even though he founded the company he is not absolute.

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    1. ” he is not absolute.” Right….. And STEEL-cam is….

      Politics of this kind is normal, natural and impossible to eliminate.

      The question you should ask is: what system minimises the damage of Imperium in Imperio?

      Imperium in Imperio is when you have a “state within a state” where each “state” (such as the judiciary) can legally and physically obstruct another “state” such as the Executive.

      In the neo-cam and STEEL-cam each node is controlled by the one above it.

      The shareholders, meanwhile, are not controlled by anyone but they exist in a web of incentives all of which point to the same conclusion: hire people who will maximise your return on investment.

      You may wish to read part 3a of the manifesto or read the Dictator’s Handbook by Mesquita to see the power dynamics at work; designing a system that minimises the conflict between elites and essentials is critical.

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      1. Thanks for the reply but it has not addressed the core problem. How is the board of governors significantly different from the nobles in previous regimes? There will be a natural conflict between this board and the sovereign in which the sovereign will attempt to use popular appeal to resist it.

        This is to a large extent what is happening in the U.S. government today with Trump as CEO and the senate as board of directors. His support is largely based on popular appeal but he is forced to tread carefully as the prospect of impeachment is possible. Hence he must direct energy towards eliminating this danger and try to subjugate the senate to his personal power. High against middle using low.

        A CEO will appeal to his popularity with shareholders in order to overrule and dominate a hostile board of governors who are resisting changes he wishes to make. If he can appeal to the shareholders (the low) the board of governors is far less likely to hold him to account.

        The example with uber is the exact opposite. In this case the middle are angling to decapitate the CEO as they claim he no longer has support of the low (he is having ‘negative effects on brand value’).

        Oman is an interesting case of successful absolute monarchy in contrast to North Korea.

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      2. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. We value your engagement.

        So you get to one of the core of the issues which is the High-Middle-Low triangle.

        Firstly, you would agree (right?) that in any political system this triangle would appear?

        If so, the question then is how to deal with the problem.

        According to Thomas Sowell in Conflict of Visions, the difference between the right and the left is that the right think that certain problems (inequality, crime, war, greed, envy, wrath, folly etc.,) cannot be “solved” only “managed”.

        The right wing approach consists of trade-offs over multiple goods. To find the best system that delivers the goods with the lowest costs and the least instability.

        The left believe that problems can be solved via rational designs by intellectuals who articulate rational principles. (See also Michael Oakshott’s Political Scepticism.)

        So, for the left inequality, crime, war can all be solved. Sowell calls this the unconstrained vision of man and the utopian vision of politics.

        So, stock-in-trade right wing response to your problem (and it is a problem) is what kind of political system will deliver good government with minimal costs and social/political conflict?

        If you had to choose between, say, liberal democracy and neo-cameralism (all things being equal) what would you choose?

        If you had to choose between North Korea and a STEEL-cameralist state, what would you choose?

        If you had to choose a political system where the elites fought “boardroom battles” or a system where elites leveraged the dregs of the third-world to help them win, what would you choose?

        If you had to choose a political system where the STEEL-cameralist Supreme Commander could be peacefully replaced or an absolutist system where the only way to replace the King is to kill him, his family and his allies, what would you choose?

        Of course, this is reasoning from the point of view of the customer (you); if we reason from the point of view of the state itself does this reasoning change?

        We argue that it does not.

        From the point of view of successes and survival, states are not absolutists have survived, succeeded and become stronger.

        The Corporate model has proven itself. Would you not agree?

        The Catholic Church, which is not absolutist, has also proven itself.

        The football club has proven itself.

        Would you not agree?

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      3. “There will be a natural conflict between this board and the sovereign in which the sovereign will attempt to use popular appeal to resist it.”

        In philosophy, we make a number of distinctions regarding claims of fact.

        Your claim can either be logically necessary, physically necessary or practically necessary, or not.

        Is your claim necessary in any sense?

        No.

        Thus, your claim in what we call contingent.

        Continent claims are claims that could be true, that are true only in some conditions.

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      4. “His support is largely based on popular appeal but he is forced to tread carefully as the prospect of impeachment is possible. Hence he must direct energy towards eliminating this danger and try to subjugate the senate to his personal power. High against middle using low.”

        The key difference here, which is what Reactionary Future makes clear, is that the problem of Imperium in Imperio is that one authority cannot formally and actually override or replace another.

        In the corporate model, however, the shareholders (unlike voters, can overrule or replace the Directors (no voter or President can touch Supreme Court Justices, meanwhile, and the Senate cannot de facto touch them either) can replace directors, but not, let’s stipulate, the CEO. The Directors can replace the CEO but not the management. The CEO cannot replace the directors, but can replace the management; meanwhile, the CEO can appeal, as you say, to shareholders to replace the directors.

        Each node in the system is no more controlled than controlling and no more controlling than controlled.

        The customers, meanwhile, can refuse to patronise the business (Exit the state).

        The CEO wants a weak board, but if he cannot directly select the board, then he will have to work with them. A board, however, selects a CEO to do a good job because otherwise the shareholders will fire them.

        The board, meanwhile, in a STEEL-cameralist system are monitored by a non-executive board who only reports to the shareholders.

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      5. The design of the system allows for flexibility. In theory, you can have a board that can be very scrupulous and scrutinise decisions very closely. On the other hand, you can have a board that exercises loose supervision because they trust the CEO and the CEO is doing a good job.

        Yet, if and when necessary the board can spring into action.

        Think of it as having a margin of error, a fail-safe or rope with plenty of slack.

        Or, think of it as a suspension bridge.

        Or, think of it as a missile which is, rather than a fire and forget missile,allows for termination, steering and selecting new targets.

        In other words, flexibility and adaptability.

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      6. First of all absolutist states have persisted for far longer than modern democracies. Think of imperial China or Japan. What is important is an absolutist state that is rational. In effect this means the avoidance of voluntarism. See RF here:

        https://reactionaryfuture.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/liberal-nrx-part-two-voluntarism/

        The mental frame work of right vs left that you use is based on voluntarism. In order to have a functioning society it needs to encourage and build virtue not adhere to communism like North Korea. Oman is a Muslim state which probably contributes to its success.

        Many of the worlds successful companies are privately held. Koch brothers/Berkshire Hathaway etc.

        The problem with allowing replacement of power centres by other power centres is that it creates the high vs middle dynamic that inevitably leads to chaos. It is not the individual people that are the problem but the system that sets up permanent power groupings that compete. At the highest level this simply results in endless high school drama in which different groupings are competing. The systems selects for people who are good at manipulation and popularity not governance.

        In an absolutist state the monarch could remove the Supreme Court judges and that power grouping is eliminated from interfering with his will. Therefore the high/middle/low effect is negligible. Replacing the individual Supreme Court justices achieves little as the Supreme Court itself is still a rival power competing for influence. Trying to balance all the different power groupings is exactly what the founding fathers were trying to achieve when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.

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      7. We have been considering a response to your questions.

        “First of all absolutist states have persisted for far longer than modern democracies. Think of imperial China or Japan. What is important is an absolutist state that is rational. In effect this means the avoidance of voluntarism. See RF here:
        https://reactionaryfuture.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/liberal-nrx-part-two-voluntarism/

        Depending on how you define absolutism, this is questionable.

        China’s history is, as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms put’s it in the first sentence:

        That which is long united must be divided, that which is long divided, must be re-united.

        Japan, furthermore, prior to the Meiji restoration had an emperor that was a ornamental.

        I would not class Oman as an absolutist state because of Sharia. The Ruler and the Imams can often be split, and the Imams have the advantage in a purity spiral.

        In Europe, the situation is more complex due to differing systems. Absolutism did not last long.

        The Roman Empire fell, in our opinion, due to the fact that it suffered from endless civil wars because of the succession mechanism.

        The Catholic Church’s structure for selecting Popes would have helped enormously, but even the Church had problems from time to time.

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      8. Voluntarism.

        Hmmm.

        Firstly, have you read Sowell? Are you sure your argument is accurate as it pertains to him?

        We have read McIntyre and he is indeed correct on many key points.

        Regarding the distinction between “ethics as excellence” and “ethics as co-operation” we make the following distinction:

        1: Ethics is a broader sphere than morality. Ethics, in short, embraces all questions regarding value. It also pertains, specifically in some cases to questions of virtue. There are many virtues, and there are many different conceptions of “virtue ethics”.

        2: Morality.

        To a certain extent, we agree with Anscombe, echoing Hume, who claimed that without God, talk of “ought” is nonsense.

        There is much confusion on the topic of morality (consider Derek Parfit last work); however, we understand morality to be specifically about principles and rules regarding the treatment of other people.

        The purpose of morality, or common sense morality, is to, as G Warnock put it: “prevent bad things from happening.”

        Thus, morality’s goal is to constrain conflict and allow for co-operation.

        Given the confusions over morality, and the decline of religious belief, Law must pick up the slack.

        Thus, contra RF, the law, and voluntary contracts, become essential.

        Voluntarism is essential to Formalism and neo-cameralism. It is also essential to STEEL-cameralism.

        The reason, which is Master Mencius’s main purpose, is to prevent violence.

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      9. “The problem with allowing replacement of power centres by other power centres is that it creates the high vs middle dynamic that inevitably leads to chaos. It is not the individual people that are the problem but the system that sets up permanent power groupings that compete. At the highest level this simply results in endless high school drama in which different groupings are competing. The systems selects for people who are good at manipulation and popularity not governance.”

        The competitive instincts of man is an essential and irremovable part of human nature.

        No true right-wing person will disagree.

        Unlike the left, who believe this can be changed or eliminated, a right-wing person concludes that the best thing that can be done is to constrain human nature and channel competition into socially and individually useful ends.

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      10. “In an absolutist state the monarch could remove the Supreme Court judges and that power grouping is eliminated from interfering with his will. Therefore the high/middle/low effect is negligible. Replacing the individual Supreme Court justices achieves little as the Supreme Court itself is still a rival power competing for influence. Trying to balance all the different power groupings is exactly what the founding fathers were trying to achieve when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.”

        In a STEEL-cameralist state decisions over personnel (hire and fire) rest with the Supreme Commander (Commander in Chief).

        The Attorney General is the second highest legal authority in the system, below that is state and city Executives and their Attorney Generals.

        Power groupings will always exist – Always.

        The real question is the system, how it constrains and channels this competition.

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  2. The board is the sovereign; the commander a puppet.

    And if the commander is truly a powerful being then he will be as hard to get rid of as any king or dictator of old.

    I like the idea of a board exerting influence, providing oversight etc. but if it can fire the commander it is in charge.

    Remove the power of firing from your board. It can recommend replacement by a suitable candidate etc. but it cannot fire the sovereign. Or it is sovereign, and will be sure that the puppet sovereigns are as weak and amenable to them as needs be.

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  3. This is a very worthwhile discussion, because NRx looks ridiculous when it cannot address the question of how one assures a return to monarchy would not make things worse. Educated people are very aware of the examples given above and others ancient (Nero, Ivan the Terrible) and modern. One just sounds ridiculous if one has no answer to this objection. For instance, if the real problem is the Cathedral, then why isn’t NRx’s solution simply to “dis-establish” the Cathedral, as suggested by Moldbug?

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    1. Quite so. We believe this topic is a under-served market and we will have more to say about it over the course of many posts.

      This blog is specially catered to reactionaries.

      On the point about the Cathedral, depending on what you mean by it, there is much more to the problem than the press and universities.

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