The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 10C: The System and Structure of STEEL.



Part A: Goals, Strategy and Constraints.


1: What is the Goal or Goals?

2: How Are These Goals to be Achieved?

3: What are the Imperatives of the State?

4: Do the Imperatives of the State Conflict with the Imperatives of Sub-State Organisations, Groups and Individuals?

5: What is Good for Sub-State Institutions, Groups and Enterprises?

6: What is Good for the Individual?

7: What is Good for Economic Growth? Science? Technology etc?

8: What about Trade-offs?


Part B: Absolutism, Imperium in Imperio and War.


9: What is Nuclear Absolutism?

10: Can we Eliminate Imperium in Imperio and if so How?

11: What are the Dangers of a “Perfect Design” or a State that is Overly Centralised?

12: What Role does War Play in the Growth of the Left and State Power and Can War Be Stopped?


Part C: The System and Structure of STEEL.

13: When it comes to any Hypothetical Restructuring, What is the “Bottom Line” or the Sine Qua Non for Neoreactionaries?

14: What can Neoreactionaries Learn from System’s Thinking?

15: Hypothetically Speaking, what would the Structure of a STEEL-cameralist Look Like?



13: When it Comes to any Hypothetical Restructuring, What is the “Bottom Line” or the Sine Qua Non for Neoreactionaries?

This is a tough question to answer. What are you willing to give up? What are you willing to live with?

For the STEEL-cameralists, at least, the limiting principle (so to speak) is that there needs to be a sovereign/CEO/king/dictator figure with quasi or near absolute power over the entire apparatus of government subject to some kind of responsibility mechanism.

Consider an example. Think of how receivership works in the corporate world. Consider the fact that Great Britain placed Egypt into “receivership”, tasking Lord Cromer with getting the country “ship shape and Bristol fashion”.

Now suppose USG declares itself “bankrupt” and hands over management to a board of directors who appoint an interim CEO to carry out a financial and political restructuring. If Jack Welsh was twenty years younger, he would be an excellent choice for such a role.

However, the limiting principle that individuals, groups and sub-systems (Essentials and Expendables) will not want to compromise on is maximum security for their property and personal freedom – when push comes to shove.

The essential human core of the conflict, resulting from Imperium in Imperio, is between the unsecure Elites and the Essentials. This leads the Elites to use the Expendables against the Essentials.

How can this tension between the Elite’s and Essential’s be overcome?

Below, we will recapitulate our answer.


14: What can Neoreactionaries Learn from System’s Thinking?

In the last part, we discussed how some of the principles of systems thinking are congenial to neoreaction (most have missed the connection, though this “Lrx” blogger didn’t)  and help explain some of its main claims and concepts. Below, we explain how it can help understand the task of performing a “reset”.

According to Donella H. Meadows in her book Systems Thinking A Primer the following 12 places, in increasing order of effectiveness, are the best places to intervene in a system in order to make it more effective.


12 Numbers: Constants and parameters such as subsidies, taxes, and standards

11 Buffers: The sizes of stabilizing stocks relative to their flows

10 Stock-and-Flow Structures: Physical systems and their nodes of intersection

9 Delays: The lengths of time relative to the rates of system changes

8 Balancing Feedback Loops: The strength of the feedbacks relative to the impacts they are trying to correct

7 Reinforcing Feedback Loops: The strength of the gain of driving loops

6 Information Flows: The structure of who does and does not have access to information

5 Rules: Incentives, punishments, constraints

4 Self-Organization: The power to add, change, or evolve system structure

3 Goals: The purpose of the system

2 Paradigms: The mind-set out of which the system—its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters—arises

1 Transcending Paradigms

Below, we cover six of the top principles.


1 Transcending Paradigms

It should be clear to anyone who has read Moldbug and other neoreactionary thinkers that what neoreaction aims to do is to intervene in the most effective way regarding the state:  to transcend the paradigm of modern, liberal democracy (aka the “Modern Structure”).

When we began this manifesto, we argued that the current paradigm – that of the Modern Structure – is in crisis and that the paradigm of power was ripe for replacement.

Other observers, liberal and non-liberal, agree.

The question, of course, is what will replace it?

A paradigm, as we explored here and here, consists of assumptions, principles, theories, methods, rules and goals. Systems thinking give us some additional conceptual tools such as “structure, “feedback loops”, “delays”, “buffers” and “traps”.

Here are the basic, fundamental political assumptions that must be transcended:

1: Imperium in Imperio (“Divided Power”; “Scattered Authority”; “Separation of Powers”; Institutionalised Left and Right Political Divisions.)

The structure of the state.

2: Equality.

As opposed to authority (not freedom. Transcending the equality paradigm does not mean, in principle, accepting HBD, but in accepting that political authority is normal, natural and necessary – i.e. rejecting political equality.

3: Democracy.

“Democracy” is a placeholder for many assumptions, concepts and theories. Transcending democracy requires, at least, rejecting the following assumptions:

A: The previous assumptions (Imperium in Imperio. Equality).

B: Democracy = freedom or defends and extends freedom.

C: Democracy = good government. Democracy does not select either good administrators or holds them accountable. Democratic politicians make short-term decisions for short-term gain but which have long-term bad consequences.

D: Democracy = economic development and prosperity.

E: Democracy = lawful government and society – democracy is, in fact, incompatible with law.

F: Democracy = rule of the people. In fact, democracy, if genuinely democratic, ends in either tyranny or war at worst; at best, democracy ends in oligarchy and political cartels controlling the state.

G: Democracy = prudent foreign policy. As Halford Mackinder said “democracies cannot think strategically”.

4: Professional Bureaucracy.

The assumption that trained and “disinterested” bureaucrats can make decisions that benefit the citizen/subject and not themselves.

5: The University.

The assumption that the University is a place for knowledge, understanding, training and selection for future political Elites and Essentials.

6: Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech.

The government cannot restrict, regulate or own the “Press”.

It is likely, that among neoreactionaires, there will mostly be agreement as to the above assumptions, what follows is much more contentious.


7: The State is a Church/Charity.

The mistaken assumption that the state is and ought to be a charity (universal benevolence) or a church (which requires complete ideological conformity) is not only an inaccurate history of the state but a confusion as to its true nature.


It is clear enough how the mistake arose: it was from basing a science of Power on observations made, as it is history’s business to make them, of Powers whose relations with society were of one kind only; what are in fact only its acquired characteristics were thus mistaken for Power’s essence. And so the knowledge acquired, while adequate to explain one state of things, was quite useless in dealing with the times of the great divorces between Power and society. It is not true that Power vanishes when it forswears its rightful begetter and acts in breach of the office which has been assigned to it. It continues as before to command and to be obeyed: without that, there is no Power—with it, no other attribute is needed for it to be. It is not, therefore, the case that its substance was ever fused with the nation; it had a life of its own. Neither did its essence he in its rightful reason and end. It can live, as it has shown, as command and nothing more.

Power in its pure state consists, as we have said, in command, a command which has an independent existence.

In our view, the state is a self-propagating, social-technological apex predator. Of course, we cannot just end here in amoral nihilism – no one does. However, the assumption that the state can be remade or reformed so that returns to its true essence a kind of Church or charity is a mistake. As with the old Communist retort, the problem with charity is that we need more charity is a recipe for failure.

Moldbug stepped out of this paradigm completely, and few have followed him. That is, Moldbug’s assumed that good government = profitable government. Moldbug believes this because it creates an incentive structure that provides good results as opposed to a structure (government as a charity) that, while formally claiming to have good intentions, produces bad consequences.

The other, highly contentious assumption, is that USG can adopt Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity as an official state religion (never-mind adopting a “state religion” in principle) as some seem to think.

The issue here is not theology but pure practical politics. Here are the problems:

1: American is, by history, nature and function, a “Protestant” nation. Yes, that is a big part of the problem. However, while reforming the structure of the state is hard, completely repudiating the history, culture and “religion” of the nation is almost unheard off.)

2: Catholics and Orthodox Christians only make up a small – very small – number of the total population and a smaller number of sympathetically inclined Elites and Essentials or the Red faction – to say nothing of Blue.

3: Any state that adopts the Catholic religion as an official religion creates an Imperium in Imperio. Knock-down-argument-right-here.

4: Real, devoted, good Christians (normal, healthy people in every way – like Rod Dreher) do not have the energy, the stomach or the desire for politics. The nature of politics stands in deep contradiction to the ethical nature of Christianity (unlike in Confucianism or Islam).

5: Putin’s Orthodox  Restoration means that America will never be able to adopt Orthodox Christianity as a political formula. Firstly, it would be stealing from Russia and thus a non-starter politically. Secondly, there would be the fear that Russia is now secretly controlling America and that Orthodox Christians are agents and fifth columnists of Russia.

6: An aggressive attempt to impose Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity on millions of unwilling (and armed!) Americans could potentially trigger a violent backlash.

7: If America must have a “state religion” serving as a political formula, the most likely candidate to succeed is a “religion” called “Americanism” – though a reactionary version of Americanism.  

Which possibility is more likely to be successful?


8: Optimate or “Kshatriya” Rule over Brahmin Rule.

Kshatriya” or military rule.

America, so long a society without a professional military caste now has one. Moldbug never really discussed the “Kshatriya”. Though he did once mention Erick Prince, who is a fantastic example of an American “Kshatriya”.

9: Personal Rule; “Family Business”; Government as a Joint-Stock Corporation over “Protocol Government” and Rule by Brahmin Bureaucrats.

Is it absolute, quasi-absolute or something else?  Is the new paradigm of the state a “family business” that mixes traditional monarchy with the for profit corporation? Is the new paradigm an “impersonal” for profit-corporation? In our view, there could be an “impersonal” corporate legal structure but with a small number of key families who retain substantial ownership of the state’s stock.

10: Empire over Patchwork; Emperor over King; Military Rule over Civilian Rule.

STEEL-cameralism is a corporate-aristocratic-militarist-imperialist political order.


Forecast for the Future.

Our forecast is that the new paradigm that could occur in either the short to medium term and one that is highly likely to occur in the long term is, at the very least, one which sees the role of the military take on more power and control whether directly or indirectly or both.

There is no prescription here or any “activist” effort to bring this about. This possibility is almost certainly going to be unaffected by anything anyone will ever do or could do. It just is. And if it is, and since reactionaries always “obey authority” this is the authority we are going to get.

Again, STEEL-cameralism is an exploration of the likely space of political possibilities.

Clearly, one of our main theoretical concerns is with the structure of the political system because “system’s structure is the source of system behaviour”. The military’s structure, like the Catholic Church or the corporation, has a hierarchical structure that is effective, efficient, stable and best able to resist Imperium in Imperio.


2 Paradigms: The Mind-Set out of which the System—its Goals, Structure, Rules, Delays, Parameters—Arises

Moldbug’s great achievement as a political philosopher was that he accomplished two key things:

1: He recognised and understood the Modern Structure as a paradigm.

2: Moldbug was able to allow his readers to see the paradigm as a paradigm (i.e the “Red Pill”).

3: The goal of the Modern Structure has no purpose in any moral or metaphysical sense. It just exists.” As Jouvenel said, Power has a “life of its own.”

As Moldbug concluded, and even his critics reluctantly agreed, the Modern Structure is “out of control”.

4: The Modern Structure is out of control because there is no one – no king, dictator or single, coherent, responsible group who have ownership, responsibility and control. As a result of structure, the incentives of political Elites turn “sadistic” and irresponsible.

5: As a result of this, the rules of the system – the laws, the courts and public policy – all turn irresponsible, wasteful and “sadistic” as a result of perverse, structurally caused, incentives – whether it is in law enforcement, foreign policy or economics.

6: In terms of “delays”, culture is “downstream” of power:

Universities > Foundations > Activist Groups > Mainstream Media > Political Parties > Legislature or Executive Orders > Judiciary > Schools and Entertainment.

Cthulhu swims slowly but he only swims left.

The Power Elite (the Tranzi Elite) are minorities, but they are smart, rich and determined. Their strategy is slow but it is lethal. Their main means for securing power is via mass immigration and education, along with media and entertainment propaganda.


3 Goals: The Purpose of the System.

We wrote about general goals in the last part, this time we are considering the goals of the Imperial System, for America is an empire, though a “crypto” one.

The goals for the empire (any empire and any state) are:

A: Become or continue to be wealthy (economics).

B: Become strong or continue to be strong (militarily, economically, technologically, culturally and in terms of “mass” support or “regime loyalty”).

C: Become secure (from all enemies, foreign and domestic). However, what makes STEEL-cameralism different is the claim that if the relationship between Elites and Essentials is structured correctly, then the incentives for unsecure Elites to use Expendables against dissenting Essentials is eliminated or at least mitigated.


4 Self-Organization: The Power to Add, Change, or Evolve System Structure

Moldbug’s vision of how his neocameralist state would operate is that of a “contractor of contractors”. STEEL-cameralism operates in similar terms. For instance, instead of creating a permanent, bureaucratic department, one either contracts the work out to a corporation or grants a new corporate charter to trusted men.


5 Rules: Incentives, Punishments, Constraints

(5)In our conclusion to the Science of Elite Action we provided a number of rules, incentives, punishments and constraints for dealing with Imperium in Imperio. Here are our recommendations:

1: Create a structure with as small and as powerful and as secure an Elite player or Elite players as possible.

2: Create a structure with as small and as powerless (relative to Elites) set of Essential players as possible.

3: A structure with as small a number of total players as possible, but with as large as possible pool of potential replacement players for Elites and Essentials – though crucially constrained by a selection mechanism (see 4).

4: As hard a selection process for Essentials and Elites as possible. A selection mechanism that selects for A: skills, abilities and traits necessary for the Formal reason of the structure and that the selection process aids (as a by-product) the Formal reasons of the structure.

5: If Elites could use clients or proxies to better their position, then the design of the selection mechanism and the pool of potential proxies should be as fewweak and individualistic as possible; in addition to having skills, abilities and traits that serve the Formal purpose.

6: The rewards (pay-offs) in power, prestige and perks — including compensation for being made redundant — should be as great as possible for both Essentials and Elites.

7: Design the system, with the rules, rewards and feedback loops leading to outcomes where the only thing that threatens the power of Elites and Essentials is their lack of success regarding Formal reasons.

8: Formal reasons or goals need to be defined as precisely as possible. Formal reasons need to be possible, simple, coherent and internally consistent.

9: Formal reasons or goals need to be capable of being as precisely measured as possible
and as difficult to mask, obfuscate, cheat or rig as possible.

10: Rewards not only need to be contingent upon Formal success but also the scope and scale of the rewards needs to be contingent upon the scope and scale of the success.

11: Cheating, rigging, corruption and private profit-making – contrary to the stipulated rules of the game – need to be punished as harshly as possible.

 (The overall design should free the Elites and the Essentials — as much as possible — from having to devote resources to Real goals (securing and fighting for power) instead of the Formal goals.)

By “Formal goals” we mean good government and by good government we mean “good customer service” and governments can provide successful and stable customer service when they focus on protection of property and waging war against external threats. Any other complex, “social engineering” project is likely to fail – at least if carried out by the state itself.


6 Information Flows: The Structure of who does and does not have Access to Information.

One of the primary reasons that Moldbug began writing was about the role that information played in the Modern Structure and how the old structures of information was breaking down:

Democracy, like all conventions of limited war, is fragile. It’s hard to establish and easy to destroy. One of my main concerns is that I think the principal check that keeps the US from degenerating into actual violence is the 75-year-old informational dominance of “responsible” broadcast and newspaper journalism. This system is dying. It is being replaced by people like Amanda Marcotte and Michelle Malkin. And their followers, if not them personally, seem to have enough pure, 24-karat hate stored up for ten or fifteen really juicy civil wars.

So when people talk about abandoning democracy, they can mean one of two things. They can mean “screw it, let’s go to the mattresses,” or they can mean abolishing the conflict itself, and designing a system which is based on the rule of law rather than political triumph and defeat.Democratic politics is the middle ground between these options, and I follow Hazlitt (William, not Henry, though they both rock) in refusing to split the difference between right and wrong. This is why I oppose democracy, even though there are many worse alternatives.

Hilary Clinton’s defeat was partly a consequence of the Cathedral system decaying but a large part of her failure was her own incompetence when it came to information.

The Modern Structure is not the Cathedral and it will attempt to reassert control again and this means controlling the internet.

Nevertheless, we want to consider what a possible re-structuring of the information channels could be like in a STEEL-cameralist state.  In a previous post, we outlined the structure of a possible information system from a highly personalist, Sovereign level perspective. In what follows, we will discuss a few basic principles and discuss some general applications before looking at a specific model of how the system could work.


The Structure of the STEEL-cameralist Information System.

A: How much is information, internal to the system (the state in this case), made available to external systems (other states, corporations, and the media)?

B: How much, and how easily, can information, from external systems (auditors, NGOs, scientific organisations, individuals), gain access to various nodes within the internal system (state)?



Let’s begin with the Catholic Church. The Church is a system that answers to no other external system in principle and, in many areas, in fact as well. The Catholic Church is a highly centralised system, though it does allow for some freedom and flexibility (subsidiarity); its strength and longevity is probably tied to its robust and generally inflexible control of the various nodes (dioceses) within the system.

Part of the Church’s strength is that it minimises information leaking to external systems and if and when this happens, the Church has usually always suffered for it. The Protestant Reformation is a great example of the Church having its “information” opened to and then used by external systems. Furthermore, the Church has strong defences against information from external systems accessing and affecting it. Any system must have this – to know where the boundaries begin and to maintain a sufficient immune system. However, like any immune system, if the Church is too isolated, then it can become fragile, venerable and unprepared when it comes across new and dangerous “information”.

Consider the Church’s failure regarding the “child abuse” scandals. This is a good example of how the Church’s internalism and centralisation of control proved disastrous.

The fault lies not with the Catholicism, the fault lies with the system.

Consider the following from a recent news report:

“It was always rumored, everything was talked about. People knew,” Novoa said quietly.

But challenging the powerful Church in the once predominately Catholic society was not previously accepted.

Notice that while “everyone knew” no one talked. That is, no one external was able to pass information to someone internal who could then act on the problem.

The problem was only first “uncovered” or signalled to wider audiences by hostile, external groups and the problem was only seriously and systematically addressed because of the pressure of outside actors.

Of course, this problem pertains to all systems so how can the challenge be negotiated? There is no textbook, mathematical answer here. All there can be is some general principles, design and human judgement.

The design of neocameralism allows for relevant and appropriate information to be available to external systems who, in turn, have relevant and appropriate access to various nodes in the neocameralist system. The purpose of the neocameralist system, as a system, is profit via protection. How well this purpose is being achieved can, indirectly, be measured by its stock-price, tax intake and growth figures (new customers).

Thus, investors, customers, middle-managers, executives and directors of the neocameralist state have external or externally mediated sources of information about how well the system is operating.

In addition, like any other business, the neocameralist state can, as Moldbug argued, allow external auditors to review its financial and “business” practices. Not allowing auditing firms access is a signal of low confidence and if competitors have this feature then the system risks being outcompeted for customers. Secondly, allowing external auditors access could help prevent abuses of the system better.

STEEL-cameralism operates according to the same design and set of incentives as neocameralism, at least in this regard. As we wrote in our essay on Absolutism:

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.


General Applications.


How is the Media to be Regulated in a STEEL-cameralist System?

Again, we previously outlined some thoughts on this but from a Sovereign level perspective on the subject of the media and the intellectuals.

In the end, the choice comes down to the following either/or option:

1: The security services control the media

2: The media controls the security services.

The Cathedral (Universities and the Press) indirectly control the security services by using their power, influence and networking abilities with politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers and judges, activists groups and the financial elite. In turn, these groups help indirectly control and influence the security services because of their access and influence with the media.

The security services, meanwhile, have no direct or indirect way to influence and control the media. The one, limited, means that the security services do have some “pull” with is via Hollywood – but this is largely negligible politically.

For the security services to control and subject the media to their rule, they would need to do so directly – at least initially.

How can the security services maintain control of the media, however?

1: The Media.

A: Charters that legally and formally set out what the media can and cannot do in general terms.

B: Trusted men of the Sovereign on the board of directors of major media companies.

C: Sovereign appointed editors, or editors appointed by men trusted by the Sovereign.

D: “Leaking” by government actors to journalists, and journalists who do not report such “leaking”, if the leaking is illegal, are to both be punished, along with editorial staff, fines imposed, and, if serious, removing the charter.

E: The access that the media has to government actors, including senior officials, should be reduced. For example, instead of daily press conferences, why not require the media to submit questions in writing for it to be answered via text read out on the government website? Instead of the President doing monthly interviews, the Sovereign undertakes one interview once a year or maybe once every five years.

F: Formalize a number of “official” press outlets that, per their charter, generally takes a “positive” take on the government and a number which are constructively critical (like the “blue hat” and “red hat” concept), while there should be rewards and recognition for genuinely independent media outlets (blogs, small magazines, radio).

2: Universities.

STEEL-cameralism would see the potential political Elites come from “West Point” and not Harvard.

The Universities are the “ground zero”, the mountain spring, the source of the Modern Structure’s personnel and ideas. The hard “reset” would see them having their charters removed; buildings and assets confiscated and then sold off to private companies or individuals. The soft reset would probably still require Harvard, Princeton and Yale to be sold off at the very least; however, the separation of STEM subjects from the Humanities, in which the former receive some manner of state support while the latter are largely defunded is a probable first step.

Reforming the University system in general cannot be separated from reforming the educational system more generally. The general principle is that breaking up the monopoly that the state has over education (at all levels), dismantling current elite institutions and denying those elites access to power is probably all that would be required.

3: Petitioning.

There needs to be a reactionary version of this idea. In short, there needs to be a system in which the most low can reach the most high and petition them for redress of grievances. Naturally, this requires that the Sovereign, or their delegate, have the authority and power to rule on the matter.


Model: The State of STEEL.

Here we are going to offer a theoretical model of the STEEL-cameralist information structure and how it would have applied to a real world, historical example.

The term “STEEL” was inspired by Alrenous and his “steel anarchy” system. There, we see law enforcement provided by insurance companies, private security companies and private courts. This system is a very old one and the best modern exponent of it, besides David Friedman, is Hans Hermann Hoppe (in this book).

The difference between STEEL-cameralism and steel anarchism is that the STEEL-cam state is “top down” or state-led, while steel anarchism is “bottom up” or spontaneous. Practically speaking, the two systems, at a local level, may look and operate similarly, but they have been brought about via different means (to say nothing of their very different natures). In the STEEL-cameralist sense, this may be via the state and local governments deciding to outsource or contract out law enforcement duties.

Moldbug in a comment stated the following:

Say, if your government is contracting out national security and the administration of justice, and doesn’t get involved in charity or enforcing personal morality, what is the state actually doing? Is it just sort of a general contractor?

This question exhibits a high degree of enlightenment, I feel.

The sine qua non of the state is the monopoly right to govern a territory. In my view this is exactly identical to any property right which confers a monopoly of use.

The difference is only that the state’s right exists in a world of anarchy, in which all law must be self-enforcing. I don’t really agree with Leeson that self-enforcing law can scale to a city of a million people, but on a planet of hundreds or thousands of states I think it can.

“The state” is just whatever organization owns this right. The details of whether it insources or outsources some function – whether it buys it or administratively controls it – is as irrelevant as asking whether your condo complex does its own landscaping.

The only exception to this principle is the provision of security, in which the owners must have effective practical control over the security forces. As I’ve said before, cryptographic security is of enormous assistance in the solution of this ancient problem. (Bold and underline mine.)

With STEEL-cam, however, the owners are the security forces (or at least Elites drawn from them).

The following model is an “answer” that could work with regard to a horrendous, system-wide failure of the progressive state. The example that we have selected was previously explored in this post. There, we saw how the English state failed to enforce the law and protect young girls from rape and sexual exploitation. It was not only the police that failed but the social services, journalists and politicians. In short, a complete system failure in the formal sense.

We assume that how this situation grew so monstrous was that, after some individual criminal acts, “word spread” (information signals) across the Muslim community that there were opportunities for committing such acts. The criminality then became more pervasive, organised and systematic. However, at this point, there can be no question that the police and other state actors (social workers) would have been aware of the problem. What happened at this level was that no action was taken and the information was not passed up the chain of command or disseminated horizontally (to the media say). Finally, when such information did become available to the media, it was suppressed and or distorted. This likely only made the problem worse as the criminals understood that there would be no arrest or punishment for what they did.

What the following model aims to demonstrate is that the STEEL-cam system has a number of “defences in depth” when it comes to preventing information corruption, distortion and from appropriate feedback loops being blocked.

Firstly, we assume that everything else is kept the same, except for the structure and nature of the state. We begin at the lowest level (victim) and work our way up to the top level or Sovereign level of the system. Note, that we assume that the problem would never or be highly unlikely to reach the Sovereign in the first place.


The STEEL-cameralist Answer to England’s Rotherham Shame.


The First Line of Defence: Customer Level.

1: Individual Victim.

2: Victim’s Family.


The Second Line of Defence: Private Security (Core).

3: Insurance Companies.

4: Private Security Companies.


The Third Line of Defence: Sub-State Organisations (Public and Private).

5: Secondary Sub-State Organisations.

6: Auditors.

7: Media.


The Fourth Line of Defence: The State (Intelligence, Inspection and Investigation).

8: The Imperial Investigators.

9: The Imperial Inspector General’s Office.

10: The Office of State Security.     


The Fifth Line of Defence: The Sovereign.

11: The Sovereign’s Security-Information System.

12: The Sovereign.


The Sixth Line of Defence: Meta-Sovereign Supervision.

13: Board of Directors.


The Seventh Line of Defence: Internal-Meta-State Supervision.

14: Shareholders.


The Eighth Line of Defence: External-Meta-State Supervision.

15: External Auditors.


The Ninth Line of Defence: Competitive Pressure.

16: Foreign Press, States and Organisations



The First Line of Defence: Customer Level.


1: Individual Victim.

The victim, in this case, is a young girl who has been seduced and then enslaved into sexual slavery and then kept in that slavery using drugs and intimidation.

Our background assumption here is that the girl and the girl’s family have a contract with, and make contributions to, an insurance company that is obligated to pay compensation to the them should they become a victim of crime.

The first threshold to be crossed is if the victim informs the insurance company (or the security company the insurance company hires) of the crime committed against her (perhaps when she either escapes or is abandoned). This information has, therefore, two potential access points to the justice system.


2: Victim’s family.

Nevertheless, it may well be the case the girl will either not have the means or is unwilling (for obvious reasons) to inform either the insurance company or the security company. This is where the second line of “defence” comes in: family.

If and when the girl(s) goes missing, the family can inform either the insurance company or, what is more likely at first, the security company that their daughter is missing. Furthermore, if the parents learn of the crime ex-post facto they can then inform either one.

Things are not so simple, though. We cannot assume that some parents actually care enough about their daughters (single parent homes, bad mothers) and they may not pass the information along.


The Second Line of Defence: Private Security (Core).


3: Insurance Companies.

To recap, the insurance company could learn of the crime via two different sources: victim or the victim’s family. However, there are other potential ways for the insurance company to learn of the crime.

Firstly, the company could acquire the information through grandparents and extended relatives and friends. Secondly, the company could learn from schools, hospitals and “social services” or child protection companies (more below).

For example, if the insurance company is obligated, via the contract, to pay out to the victim and family if any criminal harm comes to the girl, then if they learn that the girl is no longer attending school or if her hospital records show treatment for physical abuse, having abortions or getting contraceptives, then this is a “red flag”.

The insurance company, at this point, (no doubt prompted by computer algorithms) may seek information from parents and relevant parties as to the safety and security of the girl. Doing so, may reveal the fact that a crime has been committed or is in the process of being committed.

In any case, once the insurance company becomes aware of the crime – either via a formal submitted claim or by being “proactive” – it may take steps to either prevent this or similar crimes occurring or take action against the offender in order to “recoup costs”.

Simply put, once a claim has been submitted, the company will send out investigators to determine what happened. If a crime has been committed, the company is obligated to pay out to the victim; then, they will pursue the offenders in courts in order to recoup some of the costs that the company lost via the pay-out.

However, there is a systemic logic at work here. Insurance companies will also want to pursue offenders in order to deter potential future offenders for doing so will protect the bottom line. However, they will also pursue offenders because not doing so could result in a “scandal” and thus negatively impact the bottom line. (Imagine the front page: Insurance Companies Refuse to Pay-Out to Victims of Sexual Slavery.)

Also observe, that even if the company does cheat its victim in the end, the company will have had to investigate and that means talking to the offenders, their families and friends. This, in itself, may deter the offenders from committing similar crimes in the future for fear of punishment. Thus, the offenders now have information that they might be punished for their crimes. This information is likely to quickly circulate among the network of offenders and the community from which they came from. In turn, this community may take its own measures to punish or restrain these offenders in order to avoid shame, state interference, harms to their businesses or even violent reprisal.

Finally, we assume that there are multiple insurance companies that can compete for customers. Thus, there is competition among the various companies and this will lead to greater customer satisfaction.


4: Private Security Companies.

Private security companies can acquire information from, at least, two main sources:

1: Victim and victim’s family.

2: Insurance companies.

The incentives for the security companies are essentially the same as the insurance companies. However, there is one point to emphasise.

Private security companies would be tasked by insurance companies with the ongoing, delegated, task of preventing crime.


No crime then no claim; no claim, no compensation; no compensation = greater profits.

Thus, the systemic logic leads to “proactive” security measures. In short, security companies will attempt to prevent crimes from taking place, as opposed to investigating them – after the fact.

For example, if the slavers are hanging around girls schools (as what happened in England), security companies could show up, take photographs, videos, names (if possible) and signal that the security companies are “watching them”; presumably, this would have a deterrent effect.

More concretely, a specific security operative could be responsible for preventing all crimes pertaining to a specific area (such as a street or neighbourhood). If crimes occur, the operative loses a bonus and may be financially penalised or fired.  However, the security operative cannot “mask” crimes like the police for the victims and general public report the crimes; first to the insurance company, then the security company and other companies and organisations (more below).

Finally, because security companies operate according to the logic of profit in a competitive marketplace and are legally liable for failure to do their duty, this will incentivise them to act on the information they have regarding crimes – unlike the state controlled police.


The Third Line of Defence: Sub-State Organisations (Public and Private).


5: Secondary Sub-State Organisations.

This could be churches, charities, local businesses, schools, youth clubs etc. Here, a concerned member of the public or someone who has a duty of care informs the parents, insurance company, security company and or the social services if a crime has been committed.

There are various formal and informal “nodes” here and many access points for information to reach relevant authorities.  The point here is that information has multiple way of gaining access to the relevant nodes (people) who can act or are incentivised to act on that information.


6: Auditors.

One of the major failures that emerged from England’s sexual slavery scandal was the complete failure of the “social services” – government agencies tasked with protecting children to protect children.

A STEEL-cameralist state would have a mix of private and charitable organisations concerned with child welfare. However, it also makes sense to have a for profit auditing company concerned with auditing these public and private organisations.

In short, the local government contract the task of auditing and reviewing any organisation concerned with child welfare for failures of duty, care and corruption. The auditors do not deal with children or families directly – they deal with the Sub-State Organisations that do.

Again, there would be various private auditing companies that compete for contracts from the state. These companies become profitable by offering good services. This means that if they receive information that girls are becoming enslaved by rape gangs and nothing is being done about it, they will expose it.

Indeed, if individual auditors and auditing companies are rewarded for exposing corruption, then this will ensure that insurance companies, security companies etc have more incentives to do their duty.  


7: Media.

Once again, England’s major newspapers, news channels and the broader journalist caste suppressed, ignored or distorted what was happening in Rotherham, Newcastle and Oxfordshire.

Beyond what was said above about the media, the answer here is that there needs to be a greater number of smaller and more competitive media at all levels (local, national and international). The various media outlets need to be formalised and under control of the state, however,

The crucial role that the media needs to play regarding information is signalling to relevant persons and amplifying the signal across a wide space that involves all of the previous nodes or “lines of defence”.

Firstly, if the local media report the first case of a rape gang getting arrested, prosecuted and then punished, this signals information to potential rapists and criminals, as well as potential victims, insurance and security companies. In short, “nipping the problem in the bud.”

However, if the earlier nodes in the system have failed, the role that the media must play is to signal this systemic failure. The result of this “broadcast” is that it draws attention to the systemic failure and this will likely result in the insurance and security companies coming under public, legal and political pressure – nevermind financial pressures.


The Fourth Line of Defence: The State (Intelligence, Inspection and Investigation).


8: The Imperial Investigators.

These “Imperial Investigators” have a “roving brief” to search, select and target or respond to cases of fraud, waste and abuse of either local governments or private entities. The investigators are a small, elite team of individuals who work for the state in an official capacity. However, they could be supplemented by private auditing firms.

The information necessary for these investigators could come from multiple channels (below, above or horizontally).

Their task is to investigate and then recommend prosecution or other actions to the appropriate state official.


9: The Imperial Inspector General’s Office.

We envision that this office and the person who occupies it would be at the “cabinet” level and thus close to Sovereign. The Inspector General could receive information from a wide variety of sources and has the power and authority to open investigations into any of the prior nodes for the role of the Inspector General is to investigate any and all forms of state corruption and malfeasance.


10: The Office of State Security.     

Think of this as akin to the “FBI” – a state controlled security agency. Their task is to investigate major crimes, especially crimes which threaten political and social stability and crimes of an organised nature which sprawl across different political regions (towns, cities, counties) which make it hard to impossible for private security companies to investigate.

The reason why this “OSS” would be interested in information and incentivised to act on such information is because – in the case of something like England’s child rape gangs and the state’s failure to stop it – it is a threat to the security of the state (because it delegitimises the state).

(In addition, once could also include intelligence agencies here for the same reason.)


The Fifth Line of Defence: The Sovereign.


11: The Sovereign’s Security-Information System.

The Sovereign’s personal security and intelligence system (see here). This is where the Sovereign/CEO/Supreme Commander’s personal staff becomes involved.


12: The Sovereign.

A competent and worthy Sovereign would devote much of their time and energy in ensuring that:

A: No one and no group is deviating from “protocols” (laws, rules and practices or commands).

B: No unaddressed “anomalies” (actions, events or circumstances that contradict the established political paradigm; in this case, an unaddressed, nation-wide, years long system of child sexual exploitation and state cover-up).

If either situation A or B occurs, then the Sovereign must exercise personal judgement and address the situation in whatever way he feels necessary and proper.

Sovereigns must have the power to:

1: Create rules.

2: Change rules.

3: Clarify rules.

4: Abolish rules.

(See here for more on “ruling”.)

Finally, the Sovereign can receive information via the petition system (see above).


The Sixth Line of Defence: Meta-Sovereign Supervision.


13: Board of Directors.

The regulators of the regulator in chief.

Should the Sovereign fail in his duties to such an extreme extent or the state is faced with a potentially paradigm-changing crisis,  then a body of responsible men need to exercise their own judgment and place a worthy man in the position of power and authority to steer the ship of state.

More generally, a board or some other responsible body of men means that the Sovereign is not completely isolated from, or disinterested in, information that he, as a Sovereign, is obligated to be concerned with.


The Seventh Line of Defence: Internal-Meta-State Supervision.


14: Shareholders.

If the shareholders acquire information of systemic crime, corruption and abuse, either they will put the board and the Sovereign under pressure or will sell off their stock. Either way, the shareholders provide an independent and additional channel of feedback.


The Eighth Line of Defence: External-Meta-State Supervision.


15: External Auditors.

Moldbug floated the idea that the neocameral state would open itself to auditing firms in order to boost investor confidence and keep the state ship shape and Bristol fashion.

A lawful, orderly and effective state has nothing to hide and much to show off. The crucial point here is that an external auditing firm is yet one more channel for information to make its way to those who can do something about it.


The Ninth Line of Defence: Competitive Pressure.


15: Foreign Press, States and Organisations.

For foreign states and foreign media outlets, there is nothing like exposing corruption, fraud and abuse – such as horrible crimes involving children – of your competitors. Foreign states, organisations and media have little incentive to “cover up” and every reason to disseminate information that embarrasses and harms competitors. This means allowing some foreign journalists, companies and foreign officials to operate (within reason and depending on the circumstances, of course).



In the STEEL-cameralist system, relevant information is porous between internal and external systems; there are multiple nodes and multiple, independent feedback loops for information to reach the right person or organisation. The key difference regarding information between STEEL-cameralism and liberal democracy is decentralisation and the contracting of various sub-state profit making organisations.  The main difference between STEEL-cameralism and steel anarchism is that STEEL-cameralism is state-led and top down.

Finally, the fundamental difference is that, at the centre of the web of information, there is a single man responsible for the state – the Sovereign, though one who is subject to a responsibility mechanism.



The State of STEEL.

There are, at least, three different kinds of reset. All three assume that prior to the reset, the Modern Structure has continued to decay and that a powerful “machine” (The Plinth) has already been built and that the idea of a new political is widespread, though not necessarily popular.


The Three Models.


Model 1: The “Occupation” Model.


Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well-articulated objectives, a clear chain of command, tolerance and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively, the ability to operate abroad free of partisan politics back home, and the existence of a stable, resilient, sophisticated civil society on the receiving end of occupation policies – these political and civic virtues helped make it possible to move decisively during the brief window of a few years when defeated Japan itself was in flux and most receptive to radical change.


Model 2: The “Receiver” Model.


The last point which had to be settled was the method under which legal effect should be given to the relations about to be established between the Egyptian Government and their creditors. In other words, the bankruptcy of Egypt had to be sanctioned by law. The two reports of the Commission of Inquiry had prepared the way for a settlement, but it was essential that it should be made binding on all the parties concerned. On April 2, 1880, after some long and tedious discussions, a Khedivial Decree was issued instituting a Commission of Liquidation with full powers to regulate the financial situation.

Three questions had then to be decided. In the first place, who were to be the Controllers? In the second place, what were to be the relations between them and the Egyptian government?

The system of direct govermnent by Europeans was unsuitable to the circumstances which then existed in Egypt, and that it would be preferable to give us general powers of supervision and inspection, trusting to the exercise of personal influence to do the rest. The Decree, which was eventually issued, laid down that the most ample powers of investigation were to be conferred on the Controllers, but that they were not to be invested with any administrative functions. They could only make suggestions. They were to have seats in the Council of Ministers, with voix con-sultatives; that is to say, they might give their opinions, but they had no right to vote.

Cromer, Evelyn Baring, Earl of, 1841-1917. Modern Egypt.


Model 3: The “Abolition” by Executive Order Model:


The following day, the Supreme Soviet, the highest governmental body of the Soviet Union, voted both itself and the Soviet Union out of existence.


Who Incorporates the Corporation?

Adam, over at the GAB blog, has written a penetrating essay from an absolutist perspective on the state, the corporation and the question of sovereignty.


Any conceptualization of the government as a corporation, then, has to deal with the question of who has chartered the corporation—it’s enough for a business partnership to have customers, but a corporation, an institution that transcends the lives of those who run it and resists any effort by participants to fold it up by “exiting,” must have a charter, from a real, not notional, sovereign. This is why I think both that the corporate form is the ideal form for the absolutist state and that the state itself cannot be a corporation.

This sounds like contradiction in terms – a political solecism. How does Adam handle this?

Corporations have been so successful (“adaptable”) because they presuppose an absolutist ontology. They presuppose a structured hierarchy prior to the individuals that will enter that hierarchy. We can ordinarily assume that those who originate the corporation and first acquire the charter will themselves fill those roles—perhaps that would often be stipulated in the “application” (much like the US Presidency was designed with its first occupant in mind)—the corporation will be designed to perpetuate that originary relationship and purpose. That’s absolutist ontology: any enterprise has a founding and a founder; the founder has “seconds” of various kinds (a “board”); and the enterprise is then ready to mobilize people and resources. But in an incorporated world, what kind of organization will the sovereign preside over?

What kind of non-corporate organization will even be conceivable? The corporation institutionalizes, rationalizes and “routinizes” the founding; the sovereign retains the “charisma” of the founding, and is staffed by those who prefer the “team” to the “roles,” the anomalous to the rule-governed. The sovereign would mostly be chartering and inspecting the conformity of corporations with the terms of the charter—he would need a team of “generalists.” How to select the sovereign himself is a problem, because there’s no reason to assume a hereditary monarch will be up to the task. Maybe some kind of rotation of the leading CEOs themselves, with each choosing his own team.

To use an analogy, the sovereign is the spider and the web is the corporation. Just as the web is an extended phenotype of the spider, the corporation is a social-technological extension of the sovereign.

From the three previous reset models, we would have a situation in which either a “soldier” (General leading a coup), a “priest” (President and or cabinet dissolving the current government by executive order); a “merchant” (a receiver or a set of controllers restructuring the bankrupt state).

In any case, the “hypothesis” is that you have a single man joined with or aided by a small group of men, who formally construct a new “charter” or constitution.

So far, so good. However, Adam’s question or challenge, posed within an absolutist framework, is where is the sovereign here? The problem of creating a new charter is that, once created, there is no sovereign anymore. Adam calls this the problem of the “phantom sovereign” (i.e no sovereign.)

Adam may be happy with our description of one variant of neocameralism as an “impersonal” form of government for the reason that it may suffer from this “phantom sovereign” problem – because it has a wide net of shareholders with no clear “owner”. In contrast, let’s imagine a more personalist form of neocameralism.


Neocameralism as a Family Business.

Assume that a family or an extended set of related families headed by a “patriarch” ruled over a territory absolutely. However, this family, led by a patriarch, constructs, regulates and then inspects various charter companies specifically tasked and delegated to achieve some purpose set by the patriarch. For instance, there could be one charter corporation for customs and excise; one for transportation and one for regulating sub-state corporations. They need not be connected in anyway.

The patriarch and his family receive taxes or “rents” from these various charter companies (should that be the case) and perhaps sit on the board of directors; however, they need not rule directly but they do (and must) have the ability to withdraw or abrogate a charter.

Consequently, this form of government is government as a “family business”, which was one of Moldbug’s models of neocameralism and Hoppe’s private-law monarchy in particular.

This type of government is distinct from the “impersonalist” neocameralist form of government where the shareholders are the owners and the shares are distributed widely.

One presumes that Adam’s critique of “impersonalism” is that it could create a “phantom sovereign” problem after the charismatic founder departs the scene.

More fundamentally, without a small and coherent system of ownership (one family say), the “owners” would be incentivised by short-term gain via shareholder maximisation.

Nevertheless, it is possible to posit that the sovereign family constitute a kind of “partnership” or corporation itself with allocated shares. If need be, the “Crown” could sell off some of its shares to trusted individuals and together, or under the rule of the family patriarch, issue, regulate and inspect various charter companies tasked with governance.

Think of how this could apply to the British Crown. The Royal Family is a business. The Monarch has the controlling share in the family business but the other Royals have a share of the business as well. The Monarch, along with the other key members of the family, form a kind of board of directors and, via mutual consultation, create charters, invest capital and hire men to operate them; then, their task is to  regulate and inspect them.

Consider how such a system could apply to the Falkland Islands. The Crown creates a new charter corporation for the governance of the Islands and has a 51% controlling interest in this corporation (at least). However, the other shareholders are other charter corporations that the Crown has created (such as corporations like the “City of London”).  Of course, these corporations are also owned by the Crown, so there is an interlocking direct and indirect ownership and control here. Nevertheless, the Crown can allow independent corporations and individuals to invest in the charters, thus diversifying risk and bringing in capital, experience and talent.

Nevertheless, there is one man (or woman) who stands apart and oversees it all.


Ciepley and Corporations.

The following extracts are from David Ciepley’s Is the U.S. Government a Corporation? The Corporate Origins of Modern Constitutionalism.

The following extracts are selected to help us understand the concept of a corporation better and its relationship with the sovereign.

The Corporation as Franchise Government

From the early modern period through the Enlightenment, corporations were seen not as private associations but as creations of the sovereign, with governmental powers.

They are created by the sovereign who stands outside and apart from them. This is, perhaps, the most important claim that Ciepley makes.

What follows is, in Ciepley’s view, the key principles.


A body politic… “Corporations aggregate,” or member corporations, “consist of many persons united together” into an “artificial person,” or “body politic”.

Or, indeed, many corporations. America, then, is a corporation of corporations.

Created by the sovereign… The creation of such bodies politic, argues Blackstone, belongs to the royal prerogative. “None but the king can make a corporation.”

Or permit the creation of one.

Exercising governmental authority… Incident to its creation, a corporation is vested by the sovereign with a variety of capacities, or powers, two of which give it the form and function of a government. (1) Like a state, a corporation owns property, contracts, and pleads in court in its own name—that is, as a juridical person separate from all natural persons (Blackstone 1893, I.297; Wilson 2007, I.636). The Digest singles out this corporate capacity as modeled on the state (3.4.1). (2) “Another and a most important power,” Wilson notes of corporations, “is the power of making by-laws delegated in special fashion by the sovereign… The sovereign’s delegation of jurisdictional authority to an incorporated group is comparable to the medieval king’s delegation of lordship over a fief to a vassal.

And structured by the sovereign.

Ciepley note that the corporation can have any number of different structures. Nevertheless, a corporation, like any structure, has hierarchy as a basic feature (though some corporations are more hierarchical than others).


But it is important to note that, as kings asserted more control over the incorporation process in the early modern period by requiring a royal charter, corporations moved beyond these stereotyped governance structures. By the early modern period, the structure of a corporation’s government was, in its fundamentals, prescribed by the sovereign rather than by Roman and canon law. Charters mandating a board structure became common.

The following claim, however, is the most important to take note of:

What is special about the delegation of a jurisdiction, whether to a natural or artificial person, is that it does not create a principal-agent relationship— whereby the sovereign, as principal, would exercise ultimate operational control—which is the usual type of delegation. Instead, ultimate control within the jurisdiction rests with the delegate (see also Blackstone on corporate counties, I.92). The jurisdiction as a whole may be rescinded by the delegator; individual decisions within it are not to be. In other words, a corporation is legally dependent, but operationally independent; a creature of the sovereign’s constituting power (or “constituent power”), but not under the sovereign’s command.

That is, the sovereign is the regulator (Rex), the centre that provides an “orientation lock” on the fundamental purposes, principles and rules of the corporations he has himself created but does not command (or “steer”) directly – unless there is a crisis.


The Chain of Command.

Finally, let’s game out what a STEEL-cameralist state could look like – one that eliminated imperium in imperio. The model here is “Model A” – the Military, the first and most purist form of non-familial organisation.

There are five key positions in a STEEL-cam Cabinet, who are selected by the Supreme Commander.


The Cabinet.

 The Supreme Commander. (The STEEL Commander).

  1. Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff (think of this as the President or the Chief Operating Officer. See this post for some idea of the role that the “COO” could play).
  2. Chief Financial Officer (this is the Secretary of the Treasury).
  3. Chief of Staff (Secretary of War).
  4. Provost Marshal (Attorney General, Chief Legal Officer).
  5. Foreign Secretary (The only position that does not correspond to a military one.)

Next, we have the Office of the General Staff, headed by the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff who is responsible for the selection of the department heads, on the advice and approval of the Supreme Commander.


Office of the General Staff:

1: Chief of Personnel.

(S1 has overall responsibility for all state personnel.)

2: Chief of Security, Intelligence and Information Operations.

(S2 is responsible all matter relating to state security and intelligence.)

3: Chief of Operations.

(S3 is responsible for the supervision and execution of state operations such as a mission to mars or a trans-national underground subway system.)

4: Chief of Logistics.

(S4 is responsible for the procurement, supply and distribution of all necessary state equipment and resources.)

5: Chief of Plans and Strategy.

(S5 is responsible for developing, overseeing and reviewing all plans and strategies for state operations.)

6: Chief of Communications.

(S6 is responsible for the development, protection and management of all state communications system.)

7: Chief of Training.

(S7 is responsible for overseeing and developing the capital asset value of all state employees.)

8: Chief of Administration.

(S8 is responsible for administrating all clerical work, information and bureaucratic procedures within the state.)

9: Chief of Customer and Public Relations.

(S9 is responsible for overseeing all aspects of customer and public relations between the state and its actual and potential customers.)

Next, we have the domestic Commanders, there are five levels or ranks. They have all being appointed by the Supreme Commander or the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff.


The Domestic Commanders.

1: Marshall (State).

2: General (City).

3: Colonel (County).

4: Major (Town).

5: Captain (Village).


The Proconsuls.

Next, we have the international Commanders – Proconsuls – and their “provinces”. There are roughly ten positions. Again, they have all been selected by the Supreme Commander or the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff.

1: African Proconsul.

2: Middle Eastern Proconsul.

3: European Proconsul.

4: Northern Americas Proconsul.

5: Southern Americas Proconsul.

6: Pacific Proconsul.

7: Special Operations Proconsul.

8: Global Strategic Security Proconsul.

9: Global Transport Proconsul.


Selection and Succession of the Supreme Commander.

It is the duty of the board of directors to select a Supreme Commander. The board are selected by the shareholders.

In the most pure and perfect kind of STEEL-cameralist state, the controlling share of the state will be held by the military corporation. Individual officers, soldiers and their families, past and present, will have up to 49% shares in the forces. However, the final 51% percent is held by the Sovereign or the Sovereign family.

Then, the military corporation have a 51% percent controlling share in the STEEL-cameralist state. We envision that the other major shareholders are likely to be arms manufactures, energy and technology companies and private investors.

In terms of board composition, the members of the board should be men of exceptional experience and judgement, fully cognisant of the multitude of problems and challenges that the state faces.

In short, we can divide the directors into three areas: military-security; commerce, industry and technology and political.

In addition to a Chairman (who may be the Sovereign), here is a seven man board of directors:

1: Director of Domestic Security.

2: Director of International Security.

3: Director of Commerce and Industry.

4: Director of Finance.

5: Director of Energy and Transportation.

6: Director of International Relations.

7: Director of Domestic Affairs.

8: Chairman of the Board of Directors. (May or may not be chaired by the Sovereign.)

According to this structure then, these eight men are responsible for selecting the Supreme Commander but the Sovereign has ultimate and final authority.

Who selects the board, however?

Either the shareholders directly elect the board or a non-executive board could select them, who in turn are selected by the shareholders (again, the Sovereign and or the Sovereign’s family has the controlling stake).

The non-executive board of directors would be much a larger and represent a broader range of interests, skills and perspectives.

Here is a possible list of positions for the non-executive board of directors who supervise, assist and regulate the board of directors – though they can neither select directors; fire them or command them to perform an action.


The Non-Executive Board of Directors.

1: Director of the Army.

2: Director of the Navy.

3: Director of the Airforce.

4: Director of the Police.

5: Director of Intelligence.

6: Director of Global and Catastrophic Threats.

7: The Director of Grand Strategy.

8: Director of Commerce.

9: Director of Banking.

10: Director of Finance.

11: Director of  Energy.

12: Director of Manufacturing.

13: Director of Technology.

14: Director of Small and Local Businesses.

15: Director of Science.

16: Foreign Relations:

A: Western/Europe.

B: Russia.

C: Asia:

C1: China.

C2: Japan.

C3: India.

D: Islamic.

E: Africa.

F: South America.

20: Customer Representative. (Directly elected by the customers?)

16: Law and Justice.


Is the Difference between “Supreme Commander” and Sovereign not Confused?

There is a tension. The tension is between an “introverted” and an “extroverted” model. The introverted model is the more “impersonal” neocameralist like system, in which there is no Sovereign who stands outside the state as its founder and or regulator. The Sovereign, in this case, is the CEO/Supreme Commander. The “extroverted” model is much closer to absolutism (in fact it probably is absolutism). Here, the Sovereign constructs, regulates and supervises the various charter corporations he has created but does not directly command or steer them.

It is fairly straightforward to imagine the “extroverted model” applying to Great Britain or Saudi Arabia. For some reason, we feel uncomfortable imagining it for America. The “introverted” model then is closer to a “republic” than a monarchy (absolute or otherwise).

Does it matter?

Each model contains trade-offs. The dangers with the introverted model are bureaucratic drift, corruption, and principal-agent problems occurring due to its “impersonalist” character. The great strength, so it would seem, is the robust nature of a more “republican model”. That is, because it has more “stakeholders”, it is more resilient as a system for it can survive bad leaders and bad leadership.

The dangers of the extroverted model are that you have a mad-bad king who destroys or interferes (steers) with the state, as opposed to regulating. The strengths of this model is that, when done well, the state operates according to high-time preferences, as the Sovereign is motivated to prudently manage his “estate” and pass it on to his children.


The Last Word: The Sovereign is he who Decides the (Operational) Exception but not the Rightness of the Deviation.

Zippy Catholic has recently made an excellent post that captures a fundamental point about the nature of authority and subsidiarity:

One way to interpret this unironically is as a natural expression of subsidiarity. In particular we can observe that the scope involved in subsidiarity invokes proximity in space, time, and authority.  The authorities closest to a particular matter in space and time are those who are in the best position to make wise choices in how to deal with the matter proximatelySo they should be the particular authorities empowered to make those choices, subject to review by higher authorities on the time and space scale appropriate to those higher authorities.

An example of how sensible subsidiarity is made explicit comes from the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, the agency which governs the operation of aircraft, certification of pilots, and pretty much everything else directly related to aviation. 

14 CFR 91.3 reads as follows:

  • 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

The pilot is he is who decides the exception. Yet, pilots are, as we saw earlier, like the corporation; they are both legally dependent, but operationally independent;

Subsidiarity is the system of responsibility of STEEL-cameralism at all levels of the state – at least with the “introverted model”.

STEEL-cameralism has centralisation of regulation; decentralisation of command, control and execution.

Let’s see a real life example of Zippy’s point in action.

We are not exactly optimistic, warm or idealistic around here. However, Captain Sullenberger is an inspiring man and a tremendous example of a cool, calm authority figure. Sullenberger’s decision and the actions that he took on January 15, 2009 is one that saved the lives of 155 people. Yet, despite the fact that Sullenberger pulled of a “miracle”, he had to answer to, as Zippy correctly points out, a higher authority and they judged that he made the right judgement call.




The passengers, of course, didn’t know the full story. They weren’t in control, they weren’t experts at this profession, but I was and Jeff was, so even though we never trained for this, even though it was a novel event that we had never anticipated, we took what we did know, adapted it and very quickly applied it to solve this novel problem.

I had to very quickly come up with a paradigm of how to solve even this problem, and the startle effect was huge, especially after almost 30 years of routine airline flying where we worked so hard never to be surprised by anything, that I had never been so challenged in an airplane for 42 years that I doubted the outcome, but this was very different and it happened so suddenly, it was shocking.

The first thing we had to do was to force calm on ourselves, to have the mental discipline to both compartmentalize and focus clearly on the few most important tasks at hand, and then have the discipline to ignore everything we didn’t have time to do as being only distractions. We boiled the problem down to the essential essence and then began to solve it one at a time, until finally, we had solved each problem at the very end. But we didn’t have time to do everything, and much of what we did, we had to do later in the flight because there wasn’t time to do it earlier in the flight. But we flew the airplane, we began to take the first two remedial actions, within two seconds I had turned on the engine ignition and started the APU, so we reacted very quickly. I knew inherently there were only three options, two runways that might be reachable but turned out with reaction time were not, and the only other place I knew from experience where we could even attempt to land an airliner was the Hudson River.

But there’s no substitute for actual flying experience in the real world. It’s through that real-world experience that one develops the judgment and this paradigm I’m talking about; how to set priorities even in unforeseen situations and how to solve any problem in an airplane. That’s really the ultimate challenge in being an airline pilot is never knowing over a 30-year career, when, or even if, you might face some ultimate challenge or what it would be or how you would handle it if it’s something that’s never been done before. That’s the mastery that must be present in every pilot seat and on every flight on every day.

What we do is help to create a shared sense of responsibility among all the team members for the outcome that everyone can participate in, so we flatten the hierarchy to a more appropriate level. We open channels of communication, we encourage input—time permitting—and those are skills that each of us can learn no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s at business, work, at school or at home, each of us can learn these techniques. They’re transferable. Much of what we’ve done in aviation is transferable to other domains, and I’ve talked to a variety of professionals around the world as diverse as nuclear power operators to financial risk managers, health care givers, and others. The more I do that, the more I learn about other domains, the more similarities I see because what we’re all trying to do is to improve human performance in these organizations that all involve inherent risk.






Some Key Posts of on STEEL-cameralism.

This post, and the posts below, form the core of the more “positive” theory building aspect of the manifesto, especially for those who have following from the start.


5 thoughts on “The STEEL-cameralist Manifesto Part 10C: The System and Structure of STEEL.

  1. >Firstly, it would be stealing from Russia and thus a non-starter politically.

    Why do you think this? Orthodoxy is very decentralized (for all intents and purposes each bishop is a pope in his diocese, and no one, not even the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople could do anything there without his blessing), and thus if Größekaiser Drumpf enthroned an Orthodox bishop as the metropolitan of New York and patriarch of Americas there is nothing the patriarch of Moscow, or Putin could ever do about it. Even back when eastern Roman Empire was at the height of its power, every Orthodox country had an autocephalous church (indeed, before the Great Schism even Western churches were autocephalous — there was Hispanic church, Irish church, Anglo-Saxon church, Frankish church, multiple Italian churches, etc.)! So it would appear that Orthodoxy has the strengths of protestantism (localism, married clergy, pluralism) and Catholicism (high church æstethic, contemplationism, the sense of sacred) both…

    Other than that I do agree that installing Catholicism as official religion would be impossible in a, to its core, protestant America. And installing Orthodoxy is even less likely, given its much more “medieval” approach than that of Catholicism (I can only imagine how scandalous kissing dead bodies is for protestants).


    1. Long time no see!

      Yes, Orthodox churches have an interesting structure, quite different to Catholicism.

      A lot of it comes down to optics and how a negotiation/persuasion might play out.

      If there is to be a political formula, some form of reformed “Americanism” is the logical choice.


  2. >high-time preferences

    You probably mean low-time preference.

    I also have this question. Why chartered corporations? Personalist model, as you said, when it works has lower time preference, but it also applies to organizations lower down the hierarchy. Why not have the “Byzantine” model of pronoiars? Instead of passing governorship over something to a corporation, an individual instead gets that authority. In return he passes to the Crown a percentage of rent. Crown can replace the individual in question when he does not perform, or repartition the territory when necessary.


    1. “You probably mean low-time preference.” Thanks.

      ” Instead of passing governorship over something to a corporation, an individual instead gets that authority. ”

      That is the idea, in fact. Though, I think there could be a patchwork of systems. Two models could be that the delegated authority is either directly responsible for “kicking up” a percentage or is chiefly responsible for regualting the corporations (profitable and charitable) that have been delegated to carry out such tasks.


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