The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 6A: STEEL-Reaction.

Contents

1: Dark Enlightenment.

2: The Trike.

3: What is Neoreaction?

4:What’s Neo about Neoreaction?

5: Catholicism V Techno-Commercialism V Neocameralism V STEEL-cameralism.

 

 1: Dark Enlightenment.

A Brief History and Summary of the Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction:

The Dark Enlightenment began one day in 2007 while Mencius Moldbug was tinkering around in his garage and decided to build a new ideology. He called that ideology “Formalism”. In spite of Moldbug’s computer geekery, rationalism, and post-libertarian influences, this “ideology” was in many respects reactionary and drew upon anti-liberal, anti-progressive sources of the past.

 A small ecosystem of extremely erudite reactionary bloggers and commentators arose around Moldbug’s blog: including Foseti, JimSpandrellIsegoria, and Handle. These were distinguished from the broader extant Human Biodiversity sphere by the fact that they took on all of the red pills, not just concerning race, but of sex differences, cultural traditionalism, national coherence and representative democracy itself. Many of the prescriptions were as old and dusty as de Maistre, but the style and the reliance upon scientific research were new. And edgy.

 Arnold Kling famously called Moldbug and his cohort “neoreactionaries” in 2010, and the name stuck.

Nick Land ran into this philosophy somewhere along the line, and in the Fall of 2012 penned the epoch-making essay The Dark Enlightenment. By the Spring of 2013, much of the activity in the sphere had coalesced around Land’s Xenosystemsblog. A few heretics from Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Less Wrong rationalist cult had spun off the More Right group blogaround that same time. (That More Right link is down at this time of writing, because the hosting bills are not always paid in a timely manner. Check back in a weeks or two.) My own blog was part of this expansion, what Nick Land dubbed a neoreactionary Cambrian Explosion.

What is the History and Present Status of the Dark Enlightenment?

 

2: The Trike.

Is there consensus on what, exactly, neoreaction is?

According to Spandrell, there are two-to-three branches within neoreaction:

There are two lines of reactionary thought. One is the traditionalist branch, and the futurist branch.

Or perhaps there’s three. There’s the religious/traditionalist branch, the ethnic/nationalist branch, and the capitalist branch.

The religious want to go back to an idealized religious society, where a common faith provides asabiyyah . Go to the Orthosphere and take a look. I wouldn’t say they have any real-world model to push for. But hey when you have faith you don’t need empirical examples, do you?

The nationalist branch wants a mono-ethnic society, believing that a sense of kinship provides asabiyyah. Often cited models are Finland or Japan. A mono-ethnic society in which conflict is pushed outward so the ingroup can be more pleasant and cooperative. The time that Koreans spend hating the Japanese is time they don’t spend hating each other.

There is a certain overlap between the nationalists and the religious. There’s this idea that kinship by itself isn’t strong enough. And there’s this fascination with the Mormon model. Kinship is a very messy concept, and it’s not at all clear that people respond to kinship strongly enough. If it did, there would be no need for religion, right? Nicholas Wade wrote this book on religion being asabiyyah, having evolved as a necessary social glue.

The capitalist branch argue that asabiyyah depends on economic incentives, and smart government policy. The obvious model is Singapore. Moldbug used to be here. Not so sure he still is. Nick Land is certainly here.

Nick Land, meanwhile, had this to say:

(3) As neoreactionary perspectives are systematized, they tend to fall into a trichotomous pattern of dissensus. This, ironically, is something that can be agreed. The Trichotomy, or neoreactionary triad, is determined by divergent identifications of the Western tradition that the Cathedral primarily suppresses: Christian, Caucasian, or Capitalist. My preferred terms for the resultant neoreactionary strains are, respectively, the Theonomist; the Ethno-Nationalist; and the Techno-Commercial.

Reactionary Future, meanwhile, dissents:

It seems pretty clear at this point that a formal break has occurred and that neoreaction has settled into a groove of standard right wing conservatism by virtue of the component actors refusing to consider the structure of governance to be a problem. 

Only two choices exist according to Reactionary Future:

…. neoreaction is in effect merely a subset of the Alt-Right.

This marks two very different traditions, and not three as a claimed before. The first is absolutist and coherently connected to the intellectually framework developed by Moldbug. Such a tradition is necessarily completely concerned with exploring the intellectual and logical rigour of the concepts contained within the absolutist model

Do we need to go on? This not an absolutist tradition being maintained, it is a laissez faire sewer of liberalism, in which the slow grinding rejection of absolutism is enacted by the chase for “relevance,” which is to say the enactment of Conquest 2nd law. Less antiversity, and more confused Bucklyite conservatism. Muh capitalism.

So what are we to make of all this?

Is Reactionary Future correct when he says that neoreaction has fallen into the conservative trap?

Each strand of neoreaction fits, more or less, snugly into the paradigm of American conservative fusionism – which was an artificial concoction of a Harvard professor.

The Tech-Comm branch fits into the Anarcho-Capitalist, libertarian category.

The Theonomist fits into the social conservative, Christian category.

The Ethno element of Ethno-Nationalism is new – perhaps because such as thing as white ethnic majority status was always assumed as given. However, the nationalist element, along with aggressive criticism of threatening ideologies and systems (such as with Islam) could be seen as fitting into the anti-Communist category.

Evidence?

Look no further than Harvard Brahmin, George H. Nash, author of the Conservative Intellectual Movement Since 1945 and major architect of the post-war construct of “conservative fusionism”.

Nash writes:

In 1945 no articulate, coordinated, self-consciously conservative intellectual force existed in the United States. There were, at most, scattered voices of protest, profoundly pessimistic about the future of their country. Gradually during the first postwar decade these voices multiplied, acquired an audience, and began to generate an intellectual movement. In the beginning one finds not one right-wing renascence but three, the subjects of the first several chapters of this book. First, there were “classical liberals,” or “libertarians,” resisting the threat of the ever expanding State to liberty, private enterprise, and individualism. Convinced that America was rapidly drifting toward statism (socialism), these intellectuals offered an alternative that achieved some scholarly and popular influence by the mid-1950s. Concurrently and independently, a second school of thought was emerging: the “new conservatism” or “traditionalism” of such men as Richard Weaver, Peter Viereck, Russell Kirk, and Robert Nisbet. Shocked by totalitarianism, total war, and the development of secular, rootless, mass society during the 1930s and 1940s, the “new conservatives” urged a return to traditional religions and ethical absolutes and a rejection of the “relativism” which had allegedly corroded Western values and produced an intolerable vacuum that was filled by demonic ideologies. Third, there appeared a militant, evangelistic anti Communism, shaped decisively by a number of influential exradicals of the 1930s, including Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and many more.

Reactionary Future is clearly on to something here but is his claim that absolutism is the “be all and end all” of neoreaction an accurate claim? (See our interview with him, where we explore these issues and our view of absolutism here and here.)

 

3: What is Neoreaction?

Neoreaction boils down to two things. The first is a critical program. The second is a constructive project.

The critique has three aspects:

1: A Philosophy of history.  (See our Three Reactionary Philosophies of History for an introduction.)

2: A Science of Power. (See James Burnham’s Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom and Moldbug’s analysis of the Modern Structure in terms of: 1: the governance pillar; 2: the education and media pillar; 3: the caste pillar; 4: the values pillar.)

3: A systematic critique of Progressivism or a bag of Red Pills. (An armoury of arguments.)

 

4: What’s Neo about Neoreaction?

What’s new, however? What is in neoreaction that was not in Thomas Carlyle or Joseph de Maistre?

Two things.

The first is a philosophical reflection over 20th Century history (at least) and the second is a political-historical understanding of Power. Let’s take philosophical reflection first and for this we will make use of the prophet, Thomas Carlyle.

R.G Collinwood claimed that the “chief task of 20th Century philosophy was to reckon with 20th Century history.”

For reactionaries, In other words, progressive theory and aspiration does not square with historical fact and contemporary reality.

The difference between old and new reaction is that when Carlyle wrote in the 19th Century he was working as a kind of prophet (as his biographer, James Froude, claimed) as much as he was a philosopher. Carlyle’s writing, in other words, was a warning. Carlyle was warning his peers that they were fatally mistaken and if they persisted in their foolishness, they would end up in a world of shit.

Today, we all live in a world of shit and this means that Carlyle was right and his Victorian and American interlocutors were wrong.

Today, we can reflect upon the fact that his prophecies – his warnings – were fulfilled. It is this discovery and rediscovery, this recognition and realisation that separates a reactionary from a neoreactionary.

Carlyle, in the Present Time, from the Latter Day Pamphlets wrote:

Cease to brag to me of America, and its model institutions and constitutions. To men in their sleep there is nothing granted in this world: nothing, or as good as nothing, to men that sit idly caucusing and ballot-boxing on the graves of their heroic ancestors, saying, “It is well, it is well!”

Corn and bacon are granted: not a very sublime boon, on such conditions; a boon moreover which, on such conditions, cannot last!–No: America too will have to strain its energies, in quite other fashion than this; to crack its sinews, and all but break its heart, as the rest of us have had to do, in thousand-fold wrestle with the Pythons and mud-demons, before it can become a habitation for the gods. 

America’s battle is yet to fight; and we, sorrowful though nothing doubting, will wish her strength for it. New Spiritual Pythons, plenty of them; enormous Megatherions, as ugly as were ever born of mud, loom huge and hideous out of the twilight Future on America; and she will have her own agony, and her own victory, but on other terms than she is yet quite aware of.

Carlyle wrote that a hundred and seventy years ago and Walt Whitman could write a few decades later in 1887 that:

The course of progressive politics (democracy) is so certain and resistless, not only in America but in Europe, that we can well afford the warning calls, threats, checks, neutralizings, in imaginative literature, or any department, of such deep-sounding and high-soaring voices as Carlyle’s and Tennyson’s. Nay, the blindness, excesses, of the prevalent tendency—the dangers of the urgent trends of our times—in my opinion, need such voices almost more than any. I should, too, call it a signal instance of democratic humanity’s luck that it has such enemies to contend with—so candid, so fervid, so heroic. But why do I say enemies? Upon the whole is not Tennyson—and was not Carlyle (like an honest and stern physician)—the true friend of our age?

Today, is “progressive politics” so “Certain” and “resistless” or confused and retreating?

In Europe, at the start of the 20th Century, there was a strong belief – a hope – in Progress of the kind that was not unlike what many supporters of the European Union once felt. We all know (or think we know) the story of the 20th Century and there is no need to repeat it. We do, however, recommend this book, written by a liberal, English philosopher of practical ethics, Jonathan Glover. There, Glover contrasts the “naïve” and “mechanical” theory of human nature  -that so many of the liberals had at the time (such as Bertrand Russell) – with the reality of how humans behaved at their very worst in that awful century.

If the 20th Century was a political experiment in Progress, then how should one judge the results? Never Such Innocence Again is Glover’s conclusion.

However, what Glover does not acknowledge or seems to be aware of is that men like Burke, Maistre, Metternich, Carlyle and even Nietzsche (at times) were right – about pretty much everything.

Neoreactionaries are right not just about the last election or some policy or even some institution; they are right not just about the last ten years or even fifty, but the last three-hundred years – at least.

When we represent the dispute between the Progressive and the Reactionary schematically, we have the following:

The Progressive argues that if we do X, Y will happen.

The Reactionary argues that if you do X, not only will you have -Y but Z.

The Neoreactionary, however, has not only seen this process play out time and time again in his own life and that he is now conscious of the fact that this pattern extends back into history but that he understands the cause of this pattern.

That is the first difference between old and new reaction, now for the second.

Moldbug offered not just a reactionary theory of history but a reactionary theory of government and it is the reactionary theory of government that explains the reactionary theory of history.

In other words, Imperium In Imperio, divided governance, unsecure power or just plain old democracy is what explains 20th Century history.

That is the core of the critique of neoreaction at its most philosophical.

Neoreaction has a both a materialist and a structuralist philosophy of history as opposed to an idealist one. Unlike Marxism’s materialist philosophy of history, neoreaction is not about economic production but Power and the production of power.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that is underemphasised in Moldbug’s neoreaction and neglected in other neoreactionary thinking: war.

It is war that makes the state and it is the state that makes war.

War, therefore, is not only progressive but Progressive.

We call Power by many names: Progress, the Enlightenment, the “arc of history”; we call those with power many different names as well: the Left, the Liberals and the Tranzis.

But we should call them what they really are and what they really want and the real causes that brought them about:

Power.

We should call them “the Power”.

When Power is weak, Power is Progressive and when Power is strong and secure, it is sane, rational and stable. Rulers Only Become Tyrants When They Do Not Have Enough Power.

The constructive task – the second essential element of neoreaction – is establishing a government and a state without Imperium in Imperio. That is to say, a coherent, secure and hierarchical state.

That only solves one half of the great problem, however. For a state may be internally secure but not externally strong. If that is the case, the state may well survive and flourish – Liechtenstein and Singapore are doing great, so far. However, a weak state may not only invite aggression but its attempts to rectify its own weaknesses may invite the very aggression it was seeking to avoid. Tragically and fatally however, if a state not only does succeed in making itself strong and even begins to dominate and even conquer its neighbors, then what might once have been a strong, secure and stable state will likely succumb to all the pathologies of Progress.

In short, if you have war, you will have Progress.

And that problem is the problem of STEEL reaction.

 

5: Catholicism V Techno-Commercialism V Neocameralism V Absolutism V STEEL-cameralism.

Government as a Charity.

The majority of neoreactionaries these days are on the religious side of the trike: Catholicism, in particular, but also Orthodox Christianity. They see the role of government as a kind of charity or one big church.

There are some fatal problems with this proposal and it has nothing to do with the existence of God.

First-foremost-and-fatally, a Catholic, “throne and alter” America violates the first principle of good political engineering: do not commit the sin of Imperium in Imperio.

Secondly, Catholics do not have the numbers – no religion (except some form of Protestantism alas) does and no one religion can hope to rule over the others as would be necessary in a genuine Catholic state.

Thirdly, when it comes to Orthodox Christianity as a system and as a political formula the problem is that it is too late! Russia has already stolen a march! Orthodox Christianity is part of Russia’s political formula. While we have no beef with Russia, it will not sell in America and if something won’t sell in America it won’t succeed.

Fourthly, the requirements of statecraft run contrary to religion in general and Christianity in particular. Politics and governance is an autonomous enterprise.

No less an authority than the man himself agrees with us.

So give Caesar the Guns, the Gold and the Government and render unto God what is God’s.

 

Techno-Commercialism or Capitalist Accelerationism.  

Nick Land’s Techno-Commercialism (Tech-Comm) is supposedly the same as Moldbug’s Neocameralism. Nick Land seems to think this, as does Spandrell.

This is a mistake, as we argued here. Tech-Comm and Neocameralism are fundamentally different. However, Land’s Tech-Comm commits a similar mistake as religious reaction in that statecraft is a fundamentally autonomous enterprise. Statecraft cannot be reduced to catallactic algorithmics.

Land’s mistake is the same as the libertarians who confuse what is rational in an abstract, economic way (efficacy) with what is rational in a particular, political (power) way. Would any of his defenders care to dispute this claim?

For instance, here is Spandrell laying out the problem with capitalism in a great blast:

But the capitalism argument is to allow the market to do its bidding. But what is its bidding right now? In the last decades it has been towards a re-concentration of wealth. Plutocracy is coming back with force. And yeah the plutocrats have made a lot of good stuff. The argument goes that they might do even better stuff if the government wasn’t messing with their ambitions through socialistic regulations. Imagine all the economic growth they might unleash if they were allowed to employ the proles for peanuts! What’s wrong with slave camps if you get cheap cotton, huh?

Besides the hate and contempt I feel for the plutocrats (which you could say it’s just envy), the problem I see with plutocracy is that I don’t like the trends I see. For one I don’t see most plutocrats pushing for a system to maximize economic growth. What I see is them pushing for endless migration of cheap labor for them to use. Even if I didn’t care about the left half of the bell curve having their wages depressed, I do object to Brazilization of the whole world. It seems to me, and many of us, that the plutocrats aren’t fighting to expand human wealth. They are fighting to become an endogamic caste lording over the mongrel masses. They want to become the equivalent of the Mexican ruling class. They want to have their status guaranteed for generations. I don’t blame them, humans are status driven. The corollary of female hypergamy is that all men want to be the top dog. And even is there is no end to status competition, a caste system is the best solution. The only way to guarantee your status in the top is that everyone else is biologically upwardly immobile.

Now, Spandrell comes to the crux of the matter:

At the end of the day, political systems don’t depend on productive capability per se, or in ideology. They depend on military technology. A lot of assumptions about the future are based in the idea that people won’t go to war anymore so it’s all about economic interaction. But it’s not, in the end it’s still about how has the bigger guns. Can a plutocratic Brazilianized US hold to their military superiority? Or will tight-knit Finland’s superior asabiyyah allow it to develop a superior automated army that allows them to resist USG interference? Or will capitalism reach the singularity, develop Skynet, be destroyed by it, and leave the world to the Mormons, Amish and Haredim who kept on breeding while everyone else enjoyed the Matrix being amused to their death?

In the end that’s all that matters.

Indeed.

In the end, the end is power. Just as there is a fundamental incompatibility between morality and statecraft or moral reasons and political reasons, there is an incompatible logic between economic cooperation and political competition. What geopolitics is to globalization, geoeconomics is to capitalism.

However, these criticisms do not apply to Neocameralism.

 

Neocameralism V STEEL-cameralism.

There have been many criticisms of Neocameralism, of course.

The following two complaints are not criticisms, they are not logical, empirical or even moral arguments, they are, essentially, matters of aesthetics.

Arthur Gordian once said to us that the problem with Neocameralism is that it is too technocratic  – too foxy. Carlsbad (or Nigel or Moldbug in disguise) echoes this complaint when he writes:

Moldbug’s “Austro-cameralist” approach is thus a form of reactionary modernism, or perhaps best described as the approach to politics that a really good Finance Minister might take. But a Finance Minister he remains, and thus a scoundrel.

There is some truth to this. We have repeatedly pointed out that there are three elite castes: 1: Priests; 2: Merchants; 3: Soldiers. Moldbug is a “priest” (technocrat/sage) who constructed a system that, when all is said and done, applied the logic of the free market and the theory and practice of the for-profit corporation to government (government as a business).

Neocameralism’s formula is that the state is a “business” that “owns” a country.

However, there is also a fair amount of what could only be described as “militarism” in Moldbug. We have pointed this out elsewhere, but consider the following:

Military rule, or militarchy, is still one of the closest governmental forms to neocameralism, and if there was such a thing as a stable militarchy it would be quite satisfactory.

Can there be a “stable militarchy”? We better hope so, for in case you haven’t noticed the balance of power is shifting within USG and the military are taking on a larger, and in time, decisive role in government. This trend will not be going away anytime soon.

Then there is the fact that the military – by far – is the most trusted institution in America, with congress the least. (Despite the fact that the powers-that-be seem to be doing everything they can to undermine it.)

Imperial Energy’sSTEEL-cameralist” approach is thus a form of reactionary modernism, or perhaps, best described as the approach to politics that a really good defence minister might take.

The formula of STEEL-cameralism is that when the military becomes the state, the state becomes a business. 

The business of 21st Century America is business: the security business.

That’s STEEL reaction.

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51 thoughts on “The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 6A: STEEL-Reaction.

  1. I don’t disagree that there must be a military hierarchy in a stable society, but is the US military the most likely source of this power?

    In the US, the political influence of the police is already almost supreme. Unlike the military, they are actually mobilized to control the country, and they are adept at trading favors on a local level, while the military trades favors on a federal scale. But with our infrastructure crumbling, and with increasing hostility between americans, I don’t think the military has the ability to control america as a whole, no matter the trends.

    Meanwhile, the police are already looting anything they can seize through asset forfeiture, and shootouts between police forces aren’t unheard of. http://amp.fox5ny.com/home/detroit-police-officers-fight-each-other-in-undercover-op-gone-wrong. Imagine that, and the conclusion to ‘Wind River’
    on a national scale, and the military quickly becomes irrelevant.

    Bottom line, if USG survives, the military will be in charge. But I highly doubt that USG will survive, and if the military lives on, it will ironically be as a foreign entity.

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      1. To be a little more clear, if the military lives on as an *effective* political entity, it will probably be foreign, since even now all it can do is represent the arms industry (consider germany and japan as potential power bases.)

        The military may live on as a domestic entity, but in the face of substantial conflict it will have to be the dominant political entity if it wants to avoid complete irrelevance. (see https://colonyofcommodus.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/lebanon-predicts-the-future-usa/ ) And I don’t believe that the military can mobilize before the police, simply because the police are already political actors.

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  2. >Orthodox Christianity is part of Russia’s political formula.

    Nah. Whatever you see on TV (or Internet as it were) is pure propaganda. The truth is that the church in Russia still suffers under the Red Terror, but of the more insidious kind this time around. Any priest that voices his opposition to the corrupt KGB plutocracy currently in power in Russian Federation still risks his life and limb. So, no change there. In fact, though it changed symbols, the propaganda itself has remained the same. The West is still “The Rotten West,” never mind the fact that Russia has the worst “degeneracy stats” on the planet (the good old Commie hypocrisy)! Orthodoxy is more something paraded around as a piece of local folklore, than something that has any real influence. And in foreign policy, Orthodoxy is exactly useless, given its extremely decentralized nature (tough this is probably one of the factors that helped to save Orthodox countries from the Reformation).

    >do not commit the sin of Imperium in Imperio.

    Allowing any religion whatsoever save the worship of the god-emperor constitutes Imperium in Imperio. Religious will always be loyal to God first, everything else second, and will always oppose policies seen as contrary to the faith. That is why all statist regimes tend to be vehemently anti-clerical. Cults of personality crafted by Communist and Fascist regimes are religions of the god-emperor in secular form. Absolute monarchs attempted to create cults of personality too, but conventional religion was still too strong back then, so they had to settle for inventing the Divine Right.
    Family, like religion, creates divided loyalties. It would be best for the sovereign to make and raise his subjects on state children-farms, where children are to be selectively bred and indoctrinated from their youth.
    Likewise allowing any markets. Not having Imperium in Imperio means you need people who are helpless without the sovereign. You need your subjects not to have anything at all that was not given by the sovereign, and you need them to know that it can be taken from them just as easily. Nobody will even be aware of the concept of rebellion when they know they live by your dispensation alone.

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    1. As always thanks for your insights.

      Regarding Russia, we talking about the “formula” and not so much the “reality”. Furthermore, it is still early days in Russia – it is still recovering from a century of nightmares.

      Regarding Imperium in Imperio, you are right.

      However, promoting “government as a business” with the kind of philistine chutzpah we are attempting to muster is the solution to the problem. Government is NOT the fount of sacred worship or the object of adoration – it is a deeply fallible human institution, one that we (as subjects or, better yet, as “customers” ) have only a transactional relationship with. The upshot of this approach is that it reserves what is holy and sacred for what IS Holy and Sacred: the Church.

      We will have more to say next time, but here is a preview of our argument.

      We should view political formulas and religions (from the perspective of political engineers and technocrats of power) the same way capitalists view their investments.

      Does the smart capitalist bet all their capital on one thing or do they diversify their investments?

      Betting the house on one specific political formula or religion means that if that formula crashes (due to any number or reasons) then the whole ship goes down with it.

      Having an anti-formula (no formulas just “business”) means that the government can adapt and respond and is not hamstrung by ideology.

      However, a smart state would offload things pertaining to welfare (charity, healthcare, education) to private institutions (such as the Church) because A: it saves money and B: if one Church goes down, the other churches can pick up the slack.

      Having a strong state and having a strong religious sector means that the state, country and people have “strategic depth”. If one engine starts to slow down or enter crisis, there are other engines that can pick up the slack or come “online”.

      Indeed, in our vision, we see a very strong religious sector because there would be much more “demand” for religion.

      However, if you try to “bet the house” on one religion, it will likely fail and destroy that religion in the process (because of concerted opposition).

      Traditional religion, as a political force, in the West today is quite weak, but our vision would see religion become much stronger – much stronger – in the decades ahead – because it is out of the political limelight and is slowly recovering and building up its “strategic depth.”

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      1. I agree that most religious traditionalist on the far-right walk a line between medievalist LARPing and cargo-cultism. I am under no illusion about the prospects of imminent religious renewal. I was merely playing the devil’s advocate, and the truth is, once a religion becomes powerful enough it’ll start making demands from the state, and you’ve got imperium in imperio. So it’ll be in the state’s interest undermine the strongest religion and prop-up the cult of personality at its expense. It’s the source of the Reformation. Orthodox rulers did it too, but they did not need Reformation. Peter Alexeyevich absolutely gutted the Church in Russia in every possible way (but ignored minority religions). Moscow Patriarchate was banned for a long time, and was only restored once tzars have fallen, interestingly enough. And while most traditional religions share some features that make their adherents good subjects (note that aforementioned offloading of welfare is not in the state’s interest I would argue, since it decreases dependency upon, and thus loyalty to the state — money be damned, money is usually of no consequence to the state), there are exceptions. It’ll almost never be in a state’s interest to have a large population of monks, for example. The state needs tax-cattle and soldiers, not monks. Now, it’s obvious from the onset that some religions are preferable to the others from the state’s point of view, but which one is the most preferable? Obviously the state worship, or state worship combined with the cult of personality in authoritarian states. It’s non-ideological and adaptable, in every moment it’s exactly what government needs it to be. The problem is when old religion provides legitimizing principle for those in power. Absolute monarchs couldn’t do away with Christianity because their legitimacy was based upon Divine Right. Chinese and Viet-Namese oligarchies of today cannot get rid of Communism because their legitimacy rests upon Revolutionary Vanguardism…

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      2. Agree with all of what you say there. Your claim about welfare is also quite correct.

        In our post on Michael Travers we quoted Richard Fernandez on the following which is relevant:

        ” Freedom has certain strengths that are often overlooked amid its many weaknesses. Programmers know the rationale for loose coupling “an approach to interconnecting the components in a system … so that those components … depend on each other to the least extent practicable” is adaptability. It can absorb change because elements are isolated from changes to some other element. Each node has enough individual autonomy to operate on its own even with the network down.

        If this architecture resembles the federal system it’s because it does. The constitution defined functions which were shared and a common interface. But sufficient freedom was left to the elements to ensure they were viable. Elements were enhanced by the network but they did not need the network to survive. By contrast the swarm can’t delegate. The stronger the Left got, the tighter they coupled. It had to control everything until the personal became political, till privacy disappeared and one’s very words were policed.

        What could go wrong? The signal.

        The reason freedom, and to a certain extent chaos are valuable is they prevent the plaque of groupthink from forming. They are jam-resistant.”

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      3. >Freedom has certain strengths that are often overlooked amid its many weaknesses.

        Well, duh. Obviously, there’s a reason why USA are a world hegemon whilst Inca Empire hasn’t existed for the last five hundred years.

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      4. >overly deterministic and pessimistic

        That may very well be the case, and he may have an ax to grind. Nonetheless, we need to look at reality of the situation. I think that, generally, reactionaries tend to overestimate Russia and China, and underestimate the West.

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      5. >Have you seen TUJ’s latest or our exchange with him?

        I have now. 😀

        You both have a point. However, when I’ve said “underestimate the West,” I meant specifically the Progs. While they’ve suffered some significant electoral setbacks recently (Brexit, Trump, AfD), they have levels of control that make democracy all but irrelevant. Progs are not your campus SJW sociology majors. They are pulling every lever and string in society. They are not insane, they are crazy competent. Trump won, but Confederate monuments are gone all the same. Why do you assume that Progs won’t ally with the Chinese? Progs need to eliminate the last vestige of opposition in the US, namely the working-class whites. Their true enemy is at home, not abroad. Instead of “reactionary world order” I think what is much more likely (unless something significant happens in the meantime) is the following hypothetical scenario. Trump’s term(s) pass. Then Michelle Obama or the like becomes POTUS. Progs work twice as hard. EU becomes more of a superstate, and less a confederation. It has open borders. US too opens up its borders. Also, raise a few taxes here, add a few regulations there, make US even more uncompetitive in Red Tribe areas. Then negotiate the “free” trade deal with China. China, of course, will dance to the tune. Chinese economy is not built on the most solid of foundations. They need to “export deflation” badly, and US too big a trading partner to pass the opportunity up. I don’t expect Progs to care about “human rights abuses” in China too much. On the other hand China is not a traditionalist society. They are not opposed to sodomy on metaphysical grounds.They might even adopt a few token LGBTQQIA+ rights. After all, all that the Chinese elites care about is remaining in Power. However, now that “official religion” no longer provides them with legitimacy they increasingly must rely on fulfilling the bourgeois expectations of their subjects in order to remain in Power. The true purpose of OBOR is not empire-building, it’s to continue the maniacal Chinese economic policy of overproduction. The Chinese won’t stop producing because they cannot stop producing. Can you imagine how destabilizing hundreds of millions of people loosing their jobs would be? So they are beholden to whoever will enable them to continue as they are.

        Meanwhile the following internal policies are implemented by the International Community™:

        1) Cash replaced by electronic fiat money + permanent negative interest rates.
        2) Universal basic income.
        3) Hate speech is not free speech + we don’t tolerate intolerance dialed up to eleven.
        4) Police state dialed up to eleven.
        5) EU gets military, and US gets true federal police (’cause local police deemed too raycis).

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      6. Great comment. Was considering the response.

        There is no future but there are futures. And you have sketched a plausible future.

        If you think historically, then you would expect to be right.

        However, there are some clear differences.

        The biggest difference and the most important one is that the Left cannot use war as a way out.

        The First and Second World War and the Cold War helped the left tremendously.

        Before that, you had the American Civil War and the War of Independence.

        The most obvious candidate would be a big – BIG – war against the Muslim world. The power has decided not to do this, however.

        And yet, the scope and scale of the Islamic problem will only grow more challenging…..

        The second difference is that the left are in trouble economically and demographically.

        Even if “living wage” is adopted, how can it be economically sustainable? How can the West compete with China if China continues to grow?

        Demographically, they are not having enough children, but their political rivals are.

        Thirdly, the West is tired. The Progs are no spring chicken anymore. The Dream has died.

        Even if you have a woman in the White House, it will not mask the deep, structural dysfunction.

        Then, there is foreign policy.

        How will some Feminist airhead hope to cope with a Putin or Xi or even an Orban?

        The game never ends and the more powerful you become, the more the lesser powers fear you.

        Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Hungry, Russia, China and Japan all have good reasons not to see a permanent Blue Gov.

        Thus, just like with Egypt, the Red Gov and its allies, will see that a restoration of normalcy is paramount.

        In any case, Russia, China, Israel and Saudi Arabia will see the need to back the Reds if only to balance Blue. When this happens, Blue will try to sponsor domestic enemies of China etc and China will retaliate in kind.

        The more Blue heads for total victory, the closer it will come to utter defeat.

        The key issue is to be ready.

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      7. >The biggest difference and the most important one is that the Left cannot use war as a way out. […] The most obvious candidate would be a big – BIG – war against the Muslim world. The power has decided not to do this, however. And yet, the scope and scale of the Islamic problem will only grow more challenging…..

        Don’t you think that local unrest and terrorism represent exactly the war they need? Domestic warzones can enable them to institute the true Orwellian control, something that regular war, amidst all the chaos and destruction it brings, cannot.

        >Even if “living wage” is adopted, how can it be economically sustainable?

        Negative interest rates + Chinese imports takes care of that. Of course, it’s not sustainable in the long run, but to quote the creator of our economic system “In the long run we are all dead.” For quite some time now we’ve been living in capital-consuming, rather than capital-accumulating “civilization.” (Hehe, so much for Land’s dream of capital rising up to eat up the monkeys, Idiocracy is much more likely scenario.) They’ll kick the can as long as they are able.

        >How can the West compete with China if China continues to grow?

        Who cares about the Chinese growth if Chinese growth is dependent on West buying their stuff? What do you think would happen if West embargoed China?

        >Demographically, they are not having enough children, but their political rivals are.

        Ah, but don’t forget that they reproduce memetically, not genetically.

        >Even if you have a woman in the White House, it will not mask the deep, structural dysfunction.

        They thrive on dysfunction. “The worse, the better!” and all that.

        >How will some Feminist airhead hope to cope with a Putin or Xi or even an Orban?

        I’ve no idea, but those 800+ foreign military bases will probably help.

        >Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Hungry, Russia, China and Japan all have good reasons not to see a permanent Blue Gov.

        Of all of them China is the only one that really matters. And why wouldn’t China support BlueGov if BlueGov means no tariffs for Chinese goods? Japanese likewise.

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      8. “Don’t you think that local unrest and terrorism represent exactly the war they need? Domestic warzones can enable them to institute the true Orwellian control, something that regular war, amidst all the chaos and destruction it brings, cannot.”

        Terrorism benefits them, of course, but they “need” some sort of war to resolve the internal contradictions. I.e a “crusade.”

        War is the great leveler.

        “Negative interest rates + Chinese imports takes care of that. Of course, it’s not sustainable in the long run, but to quote the creator of our economic system “In the long run we are all dead.” For quite some time now we’ve been living in capital-consuming, rather than capital-accumulating “civilization.” (Hehe, so much for Land’s dream of capital rising up to eat up the monkeys, Idiocracy is much more likely scenario.) They’ll kick the can as long as they are able.”

        Even if people have “fully bellies” status and meaning are still scarce resources.

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      9. >But can they?

        But Killary is conservative wing of the party. That younglings are more radical suits them just fine, does it not?

        >Red and Blue are diverging more and more.

        Regardless, soldiers cannot resist orders from the commander in chief.

        >True, but there is a design margin and that margin is narrowing.

        As you have already said they’re not spring chicken anymore. When you feed on dysfunction, naturally you’re running out of material as the time progresses.

        >The mainstream media is in decline as is the university.

        They still have public schools. They just need to crush homeschooling, like they did in Europe.

        >If USG loses the dollar as the global reserve currency it would make things harder. If there is another crash and there will be a depression sooner or later.

        There will be, yes. I expect they are going to use it (together with terrorism) as a pretext for ban on cash.

        >Terrorism benefits them, of course, but they “need” some sort of war to resolve the internal contradictions. I.e a “crusade.”

        War on hate. Hunt for natseez.

        >Even if people have “fully bellies” status and meaning are still scarce resources.

        That’s where Virtual Option & Orgy Porgy come in. Recreational drugs, sex-bots, VR porn and VR games. I expect Tranzis will use theese and well as various means to “plantify” their subjects.

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      10. “But Killary is conservative wing of the party. That younglings are more radical suits them just fine, does it not?”

        No. The Sanders and the Corybns terrify them. See the Totten article.

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      11. “They still have public schools. They just need to crush homeschooling, like they did in Europe.”

        They might be able to do that in blue states, but not in red. In the blue state, however, there will be a deep tension with white middle class parents who will want a good education for their children.

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      12. “That’s where Virtual Option & Orgy Porgy come in. Recreational drugs, sex-bots, VR porn and VR games. I expect Tranzis will use theese and well as various means to “plantify” their subjects.”

        Until the Feminists get involved.

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      13. Hm, I think I get where you are coming from now. You don’t think the Progressive Alliance is sustainable in the long term without a big war. Is that right? Too many opposed factions?

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      14. Our position can best be seen in four Minotaur of War posts. War is not only progressive but Progressive.

        Nuclear weapons have changed the game, however. That and the fact that America is something of an anomaly. It never had a standing military of note and it was not until WW1 and WW2 that the military became one of the three great powers in domestic politics.

        The problem for the Blue model is that the military is Red. Though they have tried to change this, of course. They are hostile to militarism and to the military. So they cannot have a grand war because Blue would lose power and prestige to Red.

        Unfortunately, the attempts to wage war without waging war have failed.

        The historical pattern, as you pointed out in your blog, is that war advances the left.

        This sounds paradoxical, but it is true. The Great Leveler makes this argument (though we have not read it).

        Thinking historically, we might expect the Blue model to win – because they will go to war and win.

        Niall Ferguson, for instance, thinks that “we have seen this before” and that this too shall pass. Maybe, but there are important differences today – which we pointed out earlier.

        All in all, the Blue model, despite being the Power and despite all their advantages, are in crisis. There is now real doubt as to whether they can keep going.

        But-don’t-count-them-out.

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    2. > You need your subjects not to have anything at all that was not given by the sovereign, and you need them to know that it can be taken from them just as easily.

      Which would make the sovereign a vicious parody of God, Himself font of all things, including covenants guaranteeing mortal expectations.

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      1. Far from advocating such policies I am merely pointing out what would be required to fully eradicate imperium in imperio. Obviously it would require totalitarian Actuality. Moldbug hoped that if absolute Potentiality is achieved, there would be no need for Actuality.

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      2. This is an important point. So it is impossible to remove completely in principle – except via some form of totalitarianism but that cure is probably going to be even worse than the disease.

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    3. “Family, like religion, creates divided loyalties. It would be best for the sovereign to make and raise his subjects on state children-farms, where children are to be selectively bred and indoctrinated from their youth.”

      The Church was the one that undermined paganism. Paganism contra modern LARPers revolved around family worship and did what you outline here!

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      1. Church promoted adultery, divorce, and infanticide?!? Church advocated communal child rearing?!? The Church may have undermined the authority of paterfamilias over his wife and children by limiting the extent of his authority, but has actually strengthened the family. Monogamy, chastity, indissolubility of marriage, and opposition to infanticide don’t weaken family, they strengthen it. Your counterfactual history, however, has been noted.

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