The North Korean Nuclear Crisis III: Determinism, Diplomacy and Averting Destruction.

(The third and final entry in the series, see part I and II.)   Americans simply are not in touch with just how close we are to war on the Korean peninsula. U.S Senator, Tammy Duckworth. (Source.)   A full scale nuclear conflagration could break out and millions of Americans would greet such a thing … Continue reading The North Korean Nuclear Crisis III: Determinism, Diplomacy and Averting Destruction.

Imperial Energy V Godwin and Rawls on Discourse and Justice.

Reading the following article, it brought to our attention once more a pattern we have long observed about the behavior of the Left. As a joke, we have decided to re-work what is known as Godwin's law. Unsurprisingly, we call it STEEL's law: As a discussion over anything grows longer, the probability that the discussion … Continue reading Imperial Energy V Godwin and Rawls on Discourse and Justice.

The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 8 STEEL Sovereignty: From Equipoise to Energy.  

    Contents:   Act I: God, Men and Monsters. AI:1 Steering the Ship of STEEL. AI:2 What It Means to Be the King of Everything. A1:3 Fnargl V Twilight-Mountain. AI:4 The Romance of the Three Tsars (White, Red and Yellow).   Act II: Harbinger. AII:1 A Day in the Life of a Sovereign. AII:2 … Continue reading The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 8 STEEL Sovereignty: From Equipoise to Energy.  

A Response To Artist-Tyrant on the Nature of Left and Right and National Socialism.

Artist-Tyrant wrote the following in a comment from this post: Imperial Energy, what are your thoughts on Moldbug’s comments on Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s analysis of Fascism as Left-Wing: “While I admire the efforts of Kuehnelt-Leddihn and the like to describe National Socialism as left-wing, I have to disagree. To K-L, “right is right and left … Continue reading A Response To Artist-Tyrant on the Nature of Left and Right and National Socialism.

Tora Bora

“The U.S. has been a reasonably successful steward of world peace along some dimensions, no doubt, but we seem to be particularly bad at colonialism for reasons the Battle of Tora Bora perhaps highlights- once a government (or even loosely affiliated military group) is in theory our ally, under our tutelage and cooperating with our military machine, we seem to have no ability to view its actions or abilities objectively. Maybe the reason Britain was, all-in-all more successful as a colonial power despite never exerting the kind of world military dominance the U.S. has since World War II is that, as representatives of a class-based and explicitly hierarchical society, the Eton boys running things for Britain never felt tempted to the kinds of faux egalitarianism that often guides American colonial ventures astray. In his excellent if self-indulgent account of walking across Afghanistan immediately after the Taliban’s fall, The Places in Between, Rory Stewart (an Eton boy turned world traveler and, later, an Iraq War provincial administrator and Tory MP) describes the policy wonks eager to take the reins of the new Central Asian Switzerland in 2001:

For the last three months, whenever I reached an internet cafe, I had received an email from someone who had gone to govern Afghanistan. They started passing the UN application forms around in 2001 and then the circulars appeared: “Please don’t expect to write to this email – there is no internet connection in Kabul. ” Finally, there were messages from new addresses “” “” “‘” “,” talking about the sun in the mountains. I now had half a dozen friends working in embassies, thinktanks, international development agencies, the UN and the Afghan government, controlling projects worth millions of dollars. A year before they had been in Kosovo or East Timor and in a year’s time they would have been moved to Iraq or Washington or New York.
Their objective was (to quote the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan) “The creation of a centralised, broad-based, multi-ethnic government committed to democracy, human rights and the rule of law”. They worked twelve- or fourteen- hour days, drafting documents for heavily-funded initiatives on “democratisation”, “enhancing capacity”, “gender”, “sustainable development,” “skills training” or “protection issues”. They were mostly in their late twenties or early thirties, with at least two degrees – often in international law, economics or development. They came from middle class backgrounds in Western countries and in the evenings they dined with each other and swapped anecdotes about corruption in the Government and the incompetence of the United Nations. They rarely drove their 4WDs outside Kabul because they were forbidden to do so by their security advisers. There were people who were experienced and well informed about conditions in rural areas of Afghanistan. But such people were barely fifty individuals out of many thousands. Most of the policy makers knew next to nothing about the villages where 90% 0f the population of Afghanistan lived. They came from post-modern, secular, globalised states with liberal traditions in law and government. It was natural for them to initiate projects on urban design, women’s rights and fibre-optic cable networks, to talk about transparent, clean and accountable processes, tolerance and civil society and to speak of a people “who desire peace at any cost and understand the need for a centralised multi-ethnic government”.”


We recently wrote:

“10: The last component, most central to public management, involved a broadly ‘professional’ and proto-bureaucratic vision of government.

Good public management in this vision involves staffing the state bureaucracy by permanent salaried middle-class professionals, recruited by examination rather than by patronage or sale of office (as with the adoption of civil service examinations in Prussia from 1770), and with a college training in economics and public management.

Professionalization goes with formalization, for good public management needs mechanisms for making sure that public officials carry out their duties properly and according to law.

NC not only is extremely critical of modern bureaucratic government and the salaried middle-class professionals who staff it but rejects this “vision of government” in its entirety.

Nevertheless, Moldbug said very little as to where a new “staff” might come from and how they might be trained. However, looking for such a thing is perhaps a mistake. Moldbug once described the role of the sovereign CEO as a “contractor of contractors”. Many talented people already exist and are capable of governance “straight out of the box” so to speak; thus, the task is to find them and given them enough power and responsibility to do what needs to be done.

SC, however, theoretically explores the training, experience and selection of such a staff which is similar to the Roman “course of honours” of antiquity. (The following is a good “data point” to consider.)”


In the mid-2000s, I was in a teaching methods class with an Army vet who had recently come back from Afghanistan and had been at the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001. His story about the battle matched what was later released anonymously as “Fury’s Account,” that Bin Laden had been effectively isolated but the higher-ups decided that allied Afghan forces rather than U.S. troops should be the ones to capture or kill Bin Laden, and that the Afghans deliberately or accidentally let him escape into Pakistan.

Who made that call? Putting aside whether Afghanistan is such a tribal society and alien culture that the prospects for it as a stable democracy in the long-term are minimal, the Taliban had only fallen a few weeks before. Why would you entrust the main objective of the whole Afghanistan invasion to ostensibly allied forces of a government that didn’t…

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The Wire, (Not Quite) Ten Years Later

“Unlike in Dickens, in The Wire there are few Bob Cratchits or Micawbers, Joe Gargerys or Noddy Boffins, Mr and Mrs. Meagles; few of the representatives of simple, uncomplicated Christian virtue that Dickens places throughout his books as foils to both all the colorful rascals and to the heroes who are tempted and tried amid darkness and privation before coming back into the light. ”

What about Beadie Russell? Or Kima? Strong, “virtuous” females? Then, there was the stripper in season 1 who sees the “light” and becomes Freeman’s girlfriend? As for the men, what about Lester or even Daniels who bends but does not break?

Even the venal mayor in season 3 has a moment when after learning about Hamsterdam considers spinning it around into a good thing?

Omar, a murderous man with a “code” dies and dies for his “code”. Thus, the man has a kind of honor

Carver grows throughout the 5 seasons from little better to Herk to the next Daniels.

We could go on and on, but the claim that there are no good or virtuous characters or that there is no character development is false.

Even take Rawls. There are two scenes with show Rawls to be more than “one note”.

The scene when he tells McNulty that while he is a “gaping asshole” he is not to blame for Kima getting shot. In season 4 or 5 he shuts down Freman but says, as an aside, that it was “good policework.”

“The middle class black men tend to be sympathetic but inert, like Bunk the high-functioning alcoholic or Burrell, useless as a police commissioner but clever and sensitive as a politician.”

Rounded out by Freeman, Colvin, Carver and Daniels.

Take Bunk, he was able to shame Omar into helping out with the triple homicide. Omar may be seen by you as heroic, but Bunk knows better. We, the audience, get a rounded picture.

The link you had to “green room” is also inaccurate. There are black gangsters with some “humanity” like Barksdale, D and, yes, Chris but then there is Wee-Bay, Bird and Snoop and, of course, Marlo who are completely sociopathic.

The Wire is far more than what you have described here. It is a artistic testament, when read politically, to the absolute failure of democracy, the left and the Progressives.

It is a systematic portrait of a city (totally controlled by the Democrat Party) that demonstrates the truth of “public choice” theory.

The Barksdale gang is “successful” because it is run like a for profit corporation; ownership and control are (quite) clear. Lines of authority are clear and good employees are rewarded with “stock” (“points on a package”).

Then, there are themes within themes. One could view the feud between Avon, Stringer and Omar as that between USG and Al Qaeda. Stringer gives the same advice to deal with Omar in the same way Edward Luttwak might have given, but Avon tried to crush Omar and only ended up looking weak.

Reading the show politically we have:

Season 1: The failure of the police.

Season 2: the failure of neoliberalism, the death of work and the decline of the white working class.

Season 3: The failure of democracy and impossibility of meaningful reform within a democratic system.

Season 4: The failure of the education system.

Season 5: The failure of the media (the Cathedral) and the demonstration or the summation that modern life in America is completely corrupted by lies and bad incentives.

All in all, the Wire is about the failure of democracy, the failure of America.

Simon is a leftist, true. But if one looks at the show with reactionary assumptions, then it points to the absolute failure of the left on every single issue.


Over the summer, my wife and I rewatched the Wire from start to finish (we had missed a fair amount the first time it was aired.) It aged fairly well. It is a bit more formulaic than I realized at first, its surprises a little too carefully aimed at viewers’ sensibilities.  In an untold numbers of scenes, Burns and Simon place two characters that have some reason to oppose and dislike each other, on opposite sides of the law or separated by some barrier of race and class, and then watch them either come together and reach some kind of understanding, or drift further away in mutual incomprehension, or one before the other. Take the way the show introduces Snoop, the tiny teenaged hit-girl who appears in the fourth season:

The humor comes not from the Home Depot guy misunderstanding Snoop (what exactly is this girl using the nailgun for?)…

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The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 7: The Three Cameralist Systems and the Art and Science of Statecraft.

 Which was exactly the problem. Once Parliament decided that John Company was no more and India must be run for more ethereal reasons than mere profit, the fate of India as a colony was sealed. Once profitable government becomes charitable government, Third World status is only a matter of time. Like private companies, all countries disintegrate into … Continue reading The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 7: The Three Cameralist Systems and the Art and Science of Statecraft.