STEEL-cameralism v Absolutism Round 3

This round will be shorter. (See Round 1 and Round 2.)

Recently, Chris posted a manifesto for a UK Restoration.

There is much – very much – to agree with here. However, we see a major flaw in one particular proposal which get’s to the heart of one of our problems with Absolutism as a system.


  • The UK is a Catholic nation, the Church of England has been a horrendous disaster, and cannot be restored without the help of the Church. Unfortunately, this institution too has been overrun by communists. The Society of St. Pius X is the legal successor of the British Catholic Church. All clerics affiliated with the Novus Ordo Church are assumed communist until proven otherwise, and purged as functionaries.


  • The Church has full authority over all educational institutions from kindergarten to university; she gains ownership of all existing media and publishing firms. Freedom of speech is not infringed; communists can remain communists and keep trying to peddle their poisonous product, to adults at least. But no point of strength won under communism can survive its fall. A state without a form of intellectual framework such as Catholicism is impossible. Protestantism is beyond the pale and is indelibly tainted. This only leaves Catholicism.

Before we begin our main critique, we must point out that we see a possible contradiction between the last proposal and the following claim:

All universities and seats of learning are placed in the hand of the military.

Maybe, Chris means that the education system will be first in the hands of the military and then handed over to the Catholic Church.

If so fine. However, we ask: why should the military give up control?

Anyway, let’s press on.

The problem with the proposal to make Catholicism the official religion in the UK is that it would almost certainly lead to violence, disorder and even civil war, and it would likely fail.

What, we ask, about the Northern Irish Protestants or the Protestants in Scotland? Many of these people would be supporters of (a) reactionary regime. If, however, someone tried to establish a throne and altar Catholic regime, (a system that is as alien as an Islamic Caliphate) goes against the last five-hundred years of English law and custom (supposing you care about this). It will have little support in these regions – never-mind England.

Firstly, this is a problem with the Absolutist  strategy – it has less chance of working than a different reactionary program – such as STEEL-cameralism.

We recommend the following book for a discussion of the difficulties that such a project faces in general and what kinds of political formulas that a military who have taken power must use to win popular support (even if such support is only temporary, which it will for an Absolutist).

A more general criticism, however, is that this kind of proposal suffers from what Edward Luttwak termed, in a different book, “strategic autism”. (The person or people – such as China’s leaders – are NOT literally “autistic”).

The following passage, from this review of Luttwak’s book, captures the concept well:

First, along with other great powers, China is “autistic”—the demands of managing a sprawling and diverse nation bring to the fore leaders who typically lack experience or perspective on international affairs. Great-power autism reduces the ability of the regime as a whole to appreciate mounting hostility caused by its actions.

Lastly, we will address theoretical issues or the question of statecraft.

Chris writes:

A state without a form of intellectual framework such as Catholicism is impossible.

What kind of impossibility does this mean?




Or, does it mean that it is unlikely?

How so?

Why, we ask, does the state care about what people worship?

Why, indeed, does the state – especially the democratic state, place so much emphasis on total conformity to a set of abstract Ideals?

To answer these questions, one must understand the nature of the state itself and how a democratic state fosters Universalism.

Universalism is just another word for Catholicism.

Catholicism and Universalism are two-sides of the same coin.

Universalism has more energy and ambition that Catholicism (because it is younger or perhaps because it can mutate and adapt better in a democratic state. )

To think that a state needs the kind of all embracing ideological system, is to still be thinking in the democratic idiom.

There are many lessons from the Grand Master, and here is one:

The state is not a “mystical” enterprise; it is not the “repository” of our hopes and dreams and desires.

The state is a business – a bloody business.

This is the mistake, or an oversight, that even someone as evidently talented as Carlsbad makes. (See this post, and the comment we left). Carlsbad thinks that there are only two possibilities:

1: A regime of shop-keepers. (Davos Man).

2: A regime of priests.

There is, however, a third possibility. The third possibility is the STEEL-cameralist one.

There can be three kinds of states:

1: Those run on the charity formula.

2: Those run of the business formula.

3: Those run on the military formula.

Catholicism is option 1. So is Communism and so is Progressivism.

This is not surprising, since they all stem from the same source: Christianity.

Government, cannot, however, necessarily be a charity because charity is voluntary. 

Government is necessary. 

Thus, the attempt to fuse religion and the state – which is what the left seeks (as Prince Metternich made clear – see here.)  – always leads, in reality, to a state that is a criminal enterprise.

One of the most important lessons that we should learn from the Grand Master is that a well structured state no longer needs political formulas.

Beyond preventing crimes against persons and property, the only thing the state really cares about – regarding its tenets – is that the rent is paid, on time and in full.

If, however, you want to have a full-blown ideology, we would suggest not attacking the latest and greatest edition of De Jouvenel’s Minotaur with an earlier, out-competed version.

You must attack it with something new. Something which it is has no prepared defenses against.

If you can, never attack the enemy head on, where they are at their strongest.

Attack them in the flank and rear.

IF STEEL-cameralism needed something more substantive for a worldview, if only to defeat all the others, then the CANNON it would bring up would be something called:

Philosophical Naturalism.

This is the Imperial Guard of Imperial Energy, and we generally don’t like to commit it unless we have to.










7 thoughts on “STEEL-cameralism v Absolutism Round 3

  1. Assuming by “philosophical naturalism” you mean ala Wik “the doctrine that the natural world is all there is — in other words, that the supernatural is definitionally impossible,” then how is the Steel Cameralist state going to decided what is and is not legal? Will it have anything to do with what is moral? For example, will there be gay marriage in a Steel Cameralist state? Pretty clearly in Moldbug’s Neocameralism there would be, because as an atheist, Moldbug can’t seem to generate much concern in himself about it.


    1. Firstly, GNON is a useful thinking tool when it comes to these basic, fundamental issues. However, it would seem that quite a few reactionaries have forgotten it. Secondly, Moldbug’s diagnosis and proposed treatment is largely, but not completely, about the structure and purpose of the state.

      Thus, as he sees it, and as we do, the state is not a moral enterprise – it is not a charity. It is not on a mission to spread Idealistic values around the world. The proposal to install yet another (earlier) form of Idealistic Universalist values is the very mistake the proposal is designed to fix.

      Yet, if the potential new state and its Ruling Elite (in a STEEL-cam state) required a general, background worldview or a frame to think with, metaphysical naturalism or just naturalism would be the best one.
      The short answer is because it is the most consistent and plausible philosophical system with reality as we know it to be.

      You begin with human nature. Naturalism has its roots in a number of varied philosophers such as Aristotle, Thucydides, Epicurus, Hobbes, Hume, Darwin (a natural philosopher), and Nietzsche.

      The contemporary naturalistic portrait of human nature, however, is provided by Evolutionary Psychology. These insights, when combined with behavioural genetics, can easily link into HBD – which is a major strand in Nrx and it is the heart of progressivist dogma.

      HBD, progressivism (feminism especially) and tradition religion are incompatible.
      However, the undelaying (centralising theory) under all of this is Darwin’s theory of evolution.

      Darwin and even weak Darwinism are incompatible with progressivism and traditional religion.

      Memetics operates according to the same logic as natural selection – progressives hate memetics; when you put together memetic natural selection and Power selection (or the Patron Theory of Politics) it is as damaging to progressivism as what Darwin’s theory was to natural theology.

      One book we recommend is Human Nature After Darwin by Janet Richards.
      Naturalistic moral philosophers can disagree, both at the meta-ethical level and at the level of moral theories. However, they are all, more or less, united in their opposition to the Plato-Kant-Rawls-Parfit school of Moral Righteousness.

      Morality is practical. The philosopher who captures our sense of what morality (or ethics) is and is not and what it can and cannot be is John Mackie’s Ethics: the Invention of Right and Wrong. (A follow up book would be Simon Blackburn’s Ruling Passions.)

      Naturalism and politics can also go along together very comfortably. One book (though flawed) is Darwinian Conservatism by Larry Arnhart.

      However, we do not want to get into the business of imposing a pre-set metaphysical worldview, because it is both dangerous and not relevant.

      You ask about law. Later, in our manifesto, we argue that there needs to be fundamental reform of the legal system. We cannot say too much about it now.


  2. NRx really does need to realistically appraise the serious problems with the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, the sorts of issues that David Berlinski has discussed at length. Neo-Darwinism simply cannot give an account of exactly how, for example, a land animal becomes a whale. That it cannnot give a detailed account but relies on handwaving like random mutation and natural selection suggests it is pseudo-science. Genes are real, but the Darwinian mechanism cannot do what is claimed. Berlinski just raises publicly what biologists will only acknowledge in private, because Darwinism is a Cathedral shibboleth in that it undermines theism. Given that biologists cannot explain speciation, which is the CORE of Darwinism, we should all be very skeptical about the idea of extending Darwinism into an explanation of why people do what they do and how our social relations are constructed. But I read articles in the Manosphere/PUA and all I see is “genes” this and “reproductive fitness” that. This is what is known as presenting hostages to fortune. We are acting like we know something that we don’t and it will be harmful, if only just to our reputations. Let us in NRx recover something of Julius Evola’s revulsion at Darwinism and his belief that Man is a unity of body, soul and spirit.


    1. You might like to read, for a philosophical appraisal, Human Nature After Darwin by Janet Richards.

      The left hate hate hate Darwinism. However, you are right that it is important to be clear about it.

      We have brought up Darwinian Conservatism by Larry Arnhart. Another book, though very liberal, is the Moral Animal.

      However, if these books are pushing at an open door, then Nrx can extend them out and reason with them more consistently.

      Still, given the unfortunate legacy, there is no need to make it a formal, central point element in a political formula because overall formulas are only really necessary when you need public support in an unsecure regime.

      Finally, a different way of looking at it is that Darwinism is a “universal acid” that can allow you to dissolve all the other Idealisms leaving you with a very clear view of the state.

      We say more about the state here:


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