Political Correctness as the Monarch’s Will

This article by Cass Sunstein is remarkable for reasons which only come into view clearly with an absolutist framework. Sunstein makes the following bold claim:

“In the U.S. and Europe, many people worry that if prominent politicians signal that they dislike and fear immigrants, foreigners and people of minority religions, they will unleash people’s basest impulses and fuel violence. In their view, social norms of civility, tolerance and respect are fragile. If national leaders such as President Donald Trump flout those norms, they might unravel

The most careful work on this general subject comes from Duke University economist Timur Kuran, who has studied the topic of “preference falsification.”  In Kuran’s view, there is a big difference between what people say they think and what they actually think. Sometimes for better or sometimes for worse, people’s statements and actions are inhibited by prevailing social norms. When norms start to disintegrate, we can see startlingly fast alterations in what people say and do.

Kuran’s leading example is the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, which, he says, was long sustained by the widespread misconception that other people supported communism. Once prominent citizens started to announce, in public, that they abhorred communism, others felt freer to say that they abhorred it too, and regimes were bound to collapse.

Kuran’s theory can be applied broadly. Writing in the late 1990s, he predicted the backlash against affirmative action programs, contending that a lot of people opposed such programs even though they weren’t saying so. Millions of people favored same-sex marriage before they felt free to announce that they did. When professors keep quiet after left-wing students shut down conservative speakers, it may not be because they approve; they might be capitulating to social norms on campus. There is a strong taboo on anti-Semitism, which limits its public expression.”

Taken out of the anarchist filter of modern political theory (basically every single one except absolutism) we can look at this along the lines that society is directed towards authority, and specifically directed towards the sovereign who by virtue of the fact that we are humans, we anthropologically and automatically orientate to. Sunstein all but admits by his concern regarding the effect of the perceived messaging of Trump.

This puts a completely new perspective on political correctness, as from this model, PC doesn’t work by convincing each person that other persons think that X is unacceptable (this is anarchistic,) but instead by making it clear that the sovereign wills X. Having someone within the political system occupying a place of authority (Trump) confuses society and causes a split. You have all of these institutions making it clear that the sovereign is willing X, but here is a recognisable person who is central to governance indicating his will counters this. What gives? (and please note, we all orientate to hierachies which makes anarchism just plain wrong.)

What makes the situation tragic is that the utilisation of this natural and automatic tendency in human society which cannot be altered is that we see the forcing of norms and values which are destructive to the society in question, but which the society in question will still dutifully enact for authority. This is what we saw with communism and what we see with liberal society.

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Restoration projects

The problem for any restoration project, in any nation, is one of first organising and then maintaining organisation in a directed manner. This might seem like a stupidly obvious claim but that is the basic problem.

Firstly, the organisation would need to start off extremely small. Maybe half-dozen to a dozen or so people at the start all on the exact same page theoretically, and with a tight and organised visionary plan of action that is open to some adaptability in the face of practical problems. This is where it gets immediately difficult. These people would have to be driven extremists. The character of these initial party leaders would have to be excellent. They will need a goal to work towards, and they will need access to funds to make it happen. Unfortunately, as Michels notes in Political Parties, the number of people seriously interested in theoretical issues is embarrassingly small. Most men will accept a political formula and a simple myth to direct their attention to. They are also happy to merely engage occasionally and leave the organisation to a minority. That is fine, they can supply money.

Theoretically, the only real goal for an absolutist political party to aim towards is that of securing power and removing conflictual institutions within society. Going down a level, this goal and its value is impossible to explain to average persons raised on liberal stupidity about democracy and balancing power, so it would need to be explained by means of a myth. Ending social conflict, bring peace and bringing a future of technological development would likely be central to such a myth in the form of bringing forward a final battle against the forces of alienation and stultification of modernity. People don’t want to know the details, and after they can all claim they understood it anyway.

So this initial small group, which would have to be highly regimented, have exemplary character, possess a clear direction that was theoretically directed to neoabsolutist theory would then need to present a public face and public myth with which to animate support in the form of finance and man hours. The initial small group would have to be visionary.

There aims are to open up new possibilities which current structures and thinking declare are not possible. A small group with resources could do it.

A suggestion on Neoabsolutist theory of money.

As a way to demonstrate how economics can be re-interpreted via an absolutist perspective, we can use this blog post as a means to begin a discussion on Bitcoin. The post is well thought out and clear, so that is helpful. We can go straight for the definition of money, outlined here:

“The standard economics textbook definition of money says that it has to fulfil 3 purposes, namely

#1. It has to be a unit of account – a way of measuring how much of something you have

#2. It has to be a medium of exchange – a means for people to transact amongst each other and exchange goods and services indirectly, rather than directly through barter

#3. It has to be a store of value – that is, have some worth derived from an alternative use other than the monetary aspect itself, to ensure that people will be willing to hold it.”

This is clear, and from an absolutist position number 1 and 2 are not really objectionable. Point three however is. Point three is the giveaway. We can dump point three and replace it with the following:

#3. It has to be accepted by a sovereign, or authority, within whose territory the transaction can occur.

By doing this we remove the complete lack of reference to society and sovereignty implicit in point three. This make the discussion on Bitcoin far more pointed and allows us to ask clearer questions. For example, “what is the value of Bitcoin?” is a strange question, “what is the value of Bitcoin in the US?” is not, it can be measured against the dollar. What is the value of Bitcoin in Bolivia, Bangladesh, Vietnam etc? Zero legally. So we have located places where the value of Bitcoin is zero. Now the counter to this is that people can trade in those countries illegally and then use those trades as linked to the value of a dollar to set up an exchange rate, but this is parasitical on there being territories elsewhere in which Bitcoin is accepted, it’s also illegal and subject to imprisonment and confiscation. It also acts as an exception which proves the rule. It’s not acceptable as an open trade in that territory and it’s not acceptable in all transactions. The sovereign’s negligence in allowing the illegal transaction to occur is deplorable, but it is another sovereign’s allowance of Bitcoin that gives it money status. Remove those other open markets in which Bitcoin is acceptable as money, and no Bitcoin legally or illegally.

I feel this holds up to scrutiny far more than the following:

“As a consequence, we can begin to formulate an alternative definition of requirement #3 for money that we started with. Specifically:

#3A – If you accept the asset today in exchange for giving up valuable goods or services, you have to have a very strong belief that you will be able to exchange said asset tomorrow for someone else’s goods and services, and receive approximately the same value as what you exchanged today.

Viewed from this angle, we can see that requirement #3A is at heart a co-ordination problem. Once we all agree on something being money, it becomes money. More importantly, we can see why people mistakenly viewed #3 as being the requirement. In essence, being a store of value is one way of solving the co-ordination problem. If it’s common knowledge that some people will be willing to accept gold because it’s useful for jewellery, most people who don’t value it for jewellery are nonetheless willing to hold it.”

We can see the anarchistic chops of this new point three with “Once we all agree on something being money, it becomes money.” This is economics in a nutshell. The “we” here being rational individuals who are co-ordinating spontaneously without reference to authority. There is zero reference to the actions of the sovereign.

Against Mises

I was recently taken to task for suggesting that within absolutist thinking in the area of what we call “economics” nothing much would change, with further thinking I have to conclude that I was pretty wrong. I am sure a great deal of immediately practical aspects categorized under economics which predate economics would still hold, such as scarcity, specialization, markets and so on, but what will fundamentally be rejected is the idea of an “economy” before and aside from society that is a completely neutral space within which individual actors engage in actions to which we must not normatively judge. The greatest, and most pathetic, argument against such a position advanced by advocates of mindless economics, the cold war Randian capitalists still LARPing a fight against the USSR, is that any curtailment of economic intensity of any sort will cede ground to competitors, and anything short of unabashed capitalism is communism. This is patently stupid, and if asked to clarify what exactly they are talking about, they will engage in equivocation, something they do across the board. Given we don’t have a shared definition of capitalism at all, its easy for people to do this. Ask a hyper capitalist if we should have a market in babies, see what happens. Occasionally, some of the more intellectually honest will to their credit follow through the implications of their arguments, such as Rothbard who did argue in favour of a free market in the sale of babies. The average proponent will merely place a limit at some point which is determined by their inherited prejudices. An objective claim becomes a “common sense” tempered one which rejects rational discussion at this point and makes claims to nonsense like unexamined wisdom or appeals to just screaming. Its the standard mode of operation for conservatism since at least Burke, and likely much longer.

The Alt-right is especially interesting in this regard as they often push the hyper-capitalism nonsense whilst complaining about immigration, completely skipping the incoherence of these positions. Immigration increases the economic activity within the area that receives the immigrants so it is positively a good from the angle of economics as currently formulated. I’m sure a series of specious arguments applying unprincipled exceptions could be concocted to try and refute this, I have seen many, but they all fail.  One of the more common arguments is to appeal to HBD and point out that immigrants are less economically productive over the long run, but what has that got to do with economics and capitalism which are about the relationships between agents? They have nothing to say about future time periods or society as such. If you feed value judgements and a consideration of overall good separate from the immediate economic activity or any value external to it then it is not economics, maybe you could claim it is political economics at a stretch, but this all doesn’t really make sense. But this is all central to economics, take a step back and look at it in its entirety and it does not contain a context within which claims can be measured, there is no allowable telos or context, it is a continuation of anarchistic theorising. We will see this later when we get to Mises.

One problem that I commonly find is that many don’t quite understand the claim that all modern society and mainstream theory is basically anarchist because maybe they find a major thinker who puts in writing that they don’t believe in hyper individualism such as Mises, or that a particular thinker like Hume or Kant promoted conservative values like marriage. To this complaint I would counter that the thinkers in question demonstrate conceptual confusion, that they were fooling themselves and being inconsistent. I can again direct the reader to McIntyre who has investigated this issue in far, far greater depth than I could ever hope to, and especially to his critique of the ethical basis of liberalism. In Whose Justice? Which Rationality? MacIntyre writes of Hume’s moral scheme:

“Property and the rules for its safeguarding and transmission — the rules which on Hume’s view specify the content of justice — thus are made the focus for pride, love, hatred, and humility. Our passions according to Hume are such that they produce in us a definition of our interests in terms of our relationship to property, and it is as propertied or unpropertied in particular ways and to particular degrees that we participate in those social exchanges and transactions whose outcome is either the increase or diminution, or at least the sustaining or the undermining, of the pride and love felt by particular individuals. The rights of property are absolute. There is and can be no standard external to them in the light of which some particular distribution of property could be evaluated as just or unjust. Justice on this view serves the ends of property and not vice versa”. [p. 295]

Hume is valuable in that as an outsider to English society which was already fully immersed in this scheme, he was able to see and articulate what was simply existence for English society at this point. This is furthered in the following passage:

““With [Thomas] Reid [1710-1796], … the exercise of fundamental rationality, practical or theoretical, was taken to require no particular type of social setting. … his books appeared in a period in which a number of other such philosophical conceptions of practical rationality as a property of individuals apart from and prior to their entry into social relations were being elaborated, most notably by Bentham in England and Kant in Prussia … we move into a world in which the exercise of practical rationality, if it is to occur at all, has to be embodied in social contexts of fundamental disagreement and conflict”. [p. 325]

Let us narrow in on a particular sentence here – “practical rationality as a property of individuals apart from and prior to their entry into social relations.” This is pure anarchism. Hume, Kant, Bentham, the whole spectrum of liberalism is pure anarchism at base with various attempts to formulate a defence of geographically, spatially and socially determined values being concocted with the delusion of being objective. This would make pure anarcho-capitalists simply the most honest and clear-head proponents of liberalism with all others being various degrees of delusional. So when we get to Mises who writes in Human Action:

“If praxeology speaks of the solitary individual, acting on his own behalf only and independent of fellow men, it does so for the sake of a better comprehension of the problems of social cooperation. We do not assert that such isolated autarkic human beings have ever lived and that the social stage of man’s nonhuman ancestors and the emergence of the primitive social bonds were effected in the same process. Man appeared on the scene of earthly events as a social being. The isolated asocial man is a fictitious construction.”

We can see this for the conceptually confused statement it is. This is made more pointed when you ask the question of what a human agent actually is which Mises to his credit is very clear on:

We call contentment or satisfaction that state of a human being which does not and cannot result in any action. Acting man is eager to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory. His mind imagines conditions which suit him better, and his action aims at bringing about this desired state. The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness1. A man perfectly content with the state of his affairs would have no incentive to change things. He would have neither wishes nor desires; he would be perfectly [p. 14] happy. He would not act; he would simply live free from care.

But to make a man act, uneasiness and the image of a more satisfactory state alone are not sufficient. A third condition is required: the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness. In the absence of this condition no action is feasible. Man must yield to the inevitable. He must submit to destiny.

These are the general conditions of human action. Man is the being that lives under these conditions. He is not only homo sapiens, but no less homo agens. Beings of human descent who either from birth or from acquired defects are unchangeably unfit for any action (in the strict sense of the term and not merely in the legal sense) are practically not human. Although the statutes and biology consider them to be men, they lack the essential feature of humanity. The newborn child too is not an acting being. It has not yet gone the whole way from conception to the full development of its human qualities. But at the end of this evolution it becomes an acting being.

Notice that Mises has declared the asocial being a myth, but at each point his acting agent operates on an “I” basis, a “me” basis, never a “us” or “our” basis. So when he says “The isolated asocial man is a fictitious construction” we have to be very careful here. We have to be careful because there is a complex web of meaning behind this claim. Mises still believes that man is an individual, that all his thinking is done on an individual “me” basis, and that all social relationships are then a matter of these individuals engaging in practical rationality on this individual basis just as Kant, Bentham and Hume did. So when Mises calls man a social being, he means an anarchistic individual engaging in rational actions to co-operate with others as such, which is not very helpful. Mises in effect is claiming man is a social being only in so much as he is an individual which engages in rational cooperation for his own benefit. We see Hobbes, Locke and the rest show up right here.

Every criticism that MacIntyre throws at Hume and the rest also applies to Mises precisely (Mises being a derivative of Hume.) We can raise a number of MacIntyre flavoured questions regarding the above passage relating to the human agent. At what point does the baby become a human agent? That would be societally dependent even by Mises standards. How about “His mind imagines conditions which suit him better,” this implicitly assumes that the desires of the agent are interior, and not derivative. Or how about the line “Acting man is eager to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory” which rejects telos, and instead makes an agent a kind of pain and pleasure seeking reflexive creature, like an amoeba being moved by heat or cold in a particular direction. Or even the assumption that man is in society for his individual benefit, which despite Mises claim to the contrary is not separable from the state of nature thought experiment from which it claims. The passage in effect is just liberalism, or rather the assumptions of Protestant North-Western European society circa 16- 17th century dressed up as objective thought. We could go on, and on, but we are better served by picking fights with liberalism and its anarchism much further upstream than Mises.

Elites and Jihadis

From an absolutist framework, we will be able to make a number of claims which are open to falsification. The primary claim will be that the perpetrator will have been known to UK secret services, this is followed by the claim that they will have allowed him to operate freely with the aim of encouraging him to direct his attentions towards a geopolitical conflict where they are utilising Jihadists. This is pretty much the reason why the likes of Tommy Robinson will be locked up on nonsense and open to attack, whilst preachers encouraging Jihadism and facilitating Jihadism are allowed to run free. Jihadists are useful conflict tools, Tommy Robinson is not.

This mechanism expands further, as it is clear that Jihadists are the best friends of the western elite and as such the resultant problems which occur, such as an unfortunate bombing on western soil, or their co-ethinic’s predation of little girls/ basic savagery, will be met as problems to be managed, not resolved. This is also amplified by the elites’ electoral immigration requirements as an issue in itself. Those electoral parties and anti-Islam agitators are problems for the elite, the Muslims are not really.

The problem with Islam and by extension immigration is a problem of the elites operating in a deranged political system. The solution being put forward so far of electing anti-Islam parties appears obviously laughable considering the above. Just look at Trump’s about turn on Syria. Such a prescription inherently assumes the political system has no effect on those taking power – this is magical thinking.

A further problem inherent in the common reaction to Islamic terrorism is the inability of those responding to comprehend the principals of the above absolutist model, and this leads to calls for the “people” to wake up. Blaming the “people” only makes sense within an anarchistic model of society, also known as liberalism, as opposed to a non-anarchistic model which accepts that the elite are the keys to any action or cultural development. If you believe liberalism fully, then the joke is on you, because the elite don’t.

The outlook for Islamic terrorism and further clownish Kafkaesque bullshit that will make the USSR appear amateurish by comparison is about as bleak as it gets. Burma has become a geopolitical hot spot by becoming a transit route for oil that bypasses the China Sea, so expect more Muslim violence and Western elites crying for their pet jihadis’ human rights there. The Philippines as you can see from current news will have a huge increase in their Jihadi problem because of Duterte’s China turn. The Central Asian states supplying land access from China to Europe will be subject to Jihadi upsurges thanks to the West and Saudi Arabia. Syria and the Middle East will continue being an open sore and a ground for the West using Jihadis. The business of jihadism is bright.

That means horrifying behavior will be covered up and not dealt with in the west. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

Neoabsolutism and property

A recurring theme in the Unqualified Reservation blog is that of the status of property. This is also a reoccurring theme in all other core texts dealing with the issue of sovereignty, including Filmer, Hobbes, and Locke. Moldbug takes a position on property which he summarises as pimary (or sovereign) property and secondary property (non-sovereign.) The distinction is actually quite simple really. Any property to be labelled sovereign/ primary property must be defendable by the owner in question. This is made clearer by dropping the property label and using the better words of simple possession or sovereignty. So to recap, we then have:

  • Sovereign possession determined by ability to defend the holding in questions.
  • Property granted to subordinates by the sovereign territory holder in the form of recognised rights.

This distinction is very simple, and very logical. It is really the model of property prior to modernity. What happened with modernity is that this definition was challenged. The challenge came from first the Catholic Church, and then Protestant groups. Locke considers property prior to the state and derived from God and our own hands. Hobbes simply make no sense, as he hold the same theoretical position as Locke – that we all agree to a sovereign, but slips in that the property is only possible if a power acknowledges and protects it. It’s incoherent, not profound. These mystical conceptions were inherited by liberalism and the rest of modernity and have been subject to all sorts of wacky theories to support it on a basis other than God just magically giving it to us all. Safe to say, none of them really work because the basic conception is frankly stupid, instead they make even less sense than the God theory.

We can see why this model was challenged by looking at it in direct connection with sovereignty and conflict. A way to undermine the authority of the monarch, who is the sovereign territory holder by virtue of commanding an army which can hold the territory, is to claim that this possession is in some way invalid, hence the call to God given property to undermine the sovereign’s sovereignty. Or the kings themselves engaged in this to undermine the property granted to corporations by transferring the citizens to subjects. The increasing reduction in the security of property rights is symptomatic of modernity, funnily enough standard liberal propaganda claims the opposite. Szabo has some interest posts on this here. Moldbug offered a solution to this lack of clarity of the status of property in accordance with this sovereign/ property distinction which took the name of formalism. If all of these property distributions are formalised in such a way that the de facto ownership of a sovereign area by the sovereign is made clear, then all of this confusion is cleared up.

Nrx which followed from Moldbug didn’t follow this thread at all. Nick Land took the concept of the defensible definition of sovereignty then claimed that this could be reduced down to the individual level; an ingenious attempt at turning this back into liberalism. The massive problem with such an attempt is that it is premised on some agent which is not comparable to humans. Given his lack of care about anthropology in his thinking about governance, this is understandable. This is like studying chemistry whilst declaring the periodic table utterly irrelevant.

At root, all of these discussions then rest on a tri-partite connection of concepts; sovereignty, property and anthropology. They are all intertwined. If you hold liberal conceptions which deny the role of authority in any of these concepts, then you are liberal. A drop of liberalism means liberalism.

Now one of the best ways to avoid opening up this discussion is to try to universalise liberal/modern property theory and in effect capitalism. Again, Nick Land (in line with libertarians on this score) tries to make capitalism into a natural force. This simply ignores the historical development of capitalism and modernity which is tied in with these property changes. Liberalism and capitalism are therefore simply “natural” so the discussion is over, and sovereignty is null and void except on a voluntary basis as per Locke and Hobbes, voila. Ok, but how about we don’t accept this, and instead rip open this argument again, to do so we need to go back to Filmer and earlier and pick our fight here.

Another means to derail this argument from liberals masquerading as something new , and not have to deal with this issue, is to trot out anti-communist capitalist spiel about society collapsing if we don’t allow every single economic transaction to occur without interference; a series of arguments which are trotted out in a selective manner. These Cold War warriors will pull the usual Thatcherite/ Reagonite crap and end up spasmodically convincing themselves into full Adam Smith free market utopia. Sovereignty in effect threatens their market and conception of economics which is an individualistic “science.” Now there are many aspects of economics which make a great deal of sense, but modern economics as a whole doesn’t, this has to do with what gets inputted into economics. Self-interest for one is a weasel concept which forces an anthropology onto you, the market as a solution to everything and not a localised mechanism for trade is another. Concepts such as scarcity on the other hand are perfectly logical, as are corporations and many other central aspects of economics. But if we remove this anarchistic individual from economics, we get something like political economy which is what it was known as prior to the 19th century. Absolutism doesn’t mean communism or rejection of logical aspects of trade, it just doesn’t treat it as some magical force.

Brief comment on “South Africa: Time Running Out”

I believe most people who will read this are fully familiar with the “point deer, make horse” story from Chinese antiquity, but if not then this post will provide some background. The reason I bring this up is that I have been reading a lot about philanthropic foundations roles in the background of the much publicised anti-apartheid struggle, and it seems to me that if you place their behaviour in a very different anthropological interpretation a number of oddities clear up. The main oddity that struck me was the role played by the publication of a giant study called South Africa: Time Running Out. There is an interesting book review from 1981 in the New York Times Book Review which gives a glimpse into this study, the author writes:

THIS hefty book is less interesting for what it says than for what it represents. It provides a careful view of the turmoil of South Africa and considers the proper policy of the United States toward it. Coming from a journalist or historian, the text would have seemed turgid and often platitudinous.

But this is the report of the Study Commission on U.S. Policy established by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1977. Its chairman was Franklin Thomas, the president of the Ford Foundation. The commission’s principal advisers included G.A. Costanzo, vice chairman of the board of Citibank, and William Sneath, chairman of the board of Union Carbide Corporation, as well three prominent former senior Government officials: Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance, and Donald McHenry, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations. The commissioners were industrialists, academics and a labor unionist. With this kind of backing and membership, the commission’s findings are little short of sensational.

Now, there are some interesting things to be said about the role of corporations in social justice (read the comments from the Citibank director on businesses role in social justice in the review) but we will concentrate hard on anthropology here.

In liberal anthropology this is all just noise, which is why only Gramscians have any understanding of the role of foundations. We are all sovereign individuals, and this just all kind of happens because each actor has a rational self-interest (never really explained) to engage with this process. So Kissinger would have his interest, Costanzo would have his etc. You can see how Marx is a step up from this simplistic model by claiming the individual’s economic environment, or class, would provide the setting for this interest; a case of actually providing a context for this interest to be comprehensible. Workers would have worker interests, company owners would have company owner interests etc. We don’t really get anywhere with any of this because it places this individual rational self-interest at its base. In addition, economic class has failed as an explanatory system for this interest. Marx kind of represents the theoretical end point of liberalism in this sense.

From a neoabsolutist position, we can look at this all again from a brand new direction by using two guiding principles. The first principle is that humans are intrinsically hierarchical beings that have exceptional abilities to sense hierarchies and organise accordingly. The second is that following the first principle, a sovereign is always present.

What the report represents if you look at it through a hierarchical lense is the dissemination of the sovereigns will. All other lesser elites clearly understood this implicitly as the book found its way onto every corporate CEO’s bookshelf according to Korey in Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes. We see this mechanism a lot. We saw it with gay marriage, we saw it with the Iraq War, it is a factor of human behaviour. We note where authority is, and when it sends a message, we understand implicitly. Our elites, being deranged with liberalism and power conflict on one level don’t believe any of this, but on another practical level, they know it implicitly. When a shift is in question, a collection of elites are used as a figure head to impart the message that the king has spoken. Society being organised, and only possibly being organised on the presence of a sovereign, naturally adjusts. It is only in liberal, and liberal like regimes such as communism, that this mechanism takes on an obvious and disturbing character when the commandments coming down to which we orientate to, take on Kafkaesque characteristics. Liberal regimes have to conduct this process in a very thuggish way as a result of the violation of sanity which their bizarre power conflict derived policies represent. Even the reviewer kind of gives this mechanism away when he writes:

The commissioners were industrialists, academics and a labor unionist. With this kind of backing and membership, the commission’s findings are little short of sensational.”

Criticism of Imperial Energy

I have a great number of issues with this attempt to base neocameralism on Nietzsche, but instead of getting caught up in the details of the Nietzschean position outlined, it would probably be more productive to go right to the basis of Nietzsche. As anyone who has read my previous blog, or the journal for that matter, will note, I am pretty convinced by Alaisdair MacIntyre’s critique of Nietzsche. There is no serious basis for Nietzsche’s ethics or any of his philosophy. As much as Nietzsche rails against modern ethics as derived from the Enlightenment, he is still one of them. I agree with MacIntyre that he deserves immense credit for pulling the curtains up and exposing the emptiness of the ethical project of the Enlightenment, but that is about it, and his critiques don’t work against virtue as conceived by MacIntyre. MacIntyre is also right that the concept of the Overman is not really suitable for serious philosophical discussion, and neither is the master/ slave morality scheme. I think any historians of our civilization in millennia to come will marvel at the bullshit we accepted as philosophy. Nietszche is just making stuff up.

This critical point I share with MacIntyre is also matched by my agreement with Carlyle on the nature of veracity. If you have to engage in systematic fraud, lies, and manipulation to govern, then you have already got a really bad political structure in place. Any more lies and you are only screwing yourself, you aren’t going to be able to lie and build fraudulent structures that will get you back to sanity. Caryle is completely correct. The solemn rituals of the European monarchies and all the structures which were shams as Carlyle saw, were of no use. Sure, you can get very far within such a system by lying and manipulation, but at what cost? What did Napolean achieve in the end? Nietzsche’s cobbled together explanation for his failure is not exactly compelling is it? In fact it smells of liberalism. He was corrupted by despotism? How is this more coherent than Carlyle’s analysis?

I don’t see any value in Nietszche, in fact I see him as yet another of those thinkers who are false escapes. Advocates of the same tired liberalisation and emancipation of the individual for the individual’s sake that mark the whole web of culture cultivated by the political structural conflicts of the Western world.

Neoabsolutism as a Contender for the Title of The Fourth Political Theory

What drives history is foundational to any political framework and it is precisely this point which Alexander Dugin grasps in his book The Fourth Political Theory. Identifying the modern epoch as being one driven by three competing political frameworks, he categorizes them as the first political theory, the second political theory and the third political theory; these political theories are liberalism, communism and nazism/fascism respectively. The driving force, or subject, of the first political theory, liberalism, is the individual, or rather, the emancipation of the individual; the second, communism, is class and the class conflict; the third is an odd grouping of the state or race as being iterations of a collective grouping. While the third political theory seems a little unclear, it still retains some value if taken in a loose sense. Dugin takes pains to point out that all three of these political theories contain connected assumptions, not least of which is the belief in linear monotonic progress and directional time conceptions.

One of the key values in Dugin’s framework is the rejection of the monotonous and moronic attempts to delineate “real” liberals who reject the state and believe in private property from “fake” liberals, also known as progressives, who believe the state should govern and tax people to ensure these individual rights. The claimed pure liberal in this sense believes there is such a thing as society without governance, the position implying that the state created individual of modernity is genuinely natural. The progressive meanwhile is less pure in this position, that they tend to be the ones doing the governing is no surprise. All are based on the historical subject of the individual regardless.

Having clearly delineated the three political theories of modernity and their historical subjects, Dugin then tries to lay the groundwork for the fourth political and offers four hypothesis of what the historical subject could be. It is here that things become extremely unclear and in fact pose some serious questions about Dugin’s project. The first hypothesis proposed by Dugin is a compound of the subjects of the three political theories, the second is phenomenological/Husserlian bracketing; the method of epoché, the third is Heidegger’s Dasein, and the fourth is the imaginary. What is drastically missing from Dugin’s theory is the question of why the subjects of individual, class, state and race were the subjects of the three political theories, and this renders his hypotheses for the fourth one barren.

Placing Dugin’s work within the neoabsolutist framework, we can look at the issue afresh and offer a new way to envisage the fourth political theory. Firstly we can begin by making the claim that the historical subject of the individual was the direct result of political conflict occasioned by unsecure power conflict in the western world. This makes the reaction against liberalism of the second and third political theories coherent in Dugin’s scheme. Marxism comes across as a rejection of the symptoms of this process in the name of a more authentic progress which leads to a non-alienated existence, yet it still used the same mechanisms of unsecure power, that of high-low against the middle conflict and divided/bound power. Nazism, a derivative of Marxist thinking, as was Fascism, likewise represents a rejection of the mindless individualisation of liberalism. By placing Dugin’s scheme within the framework of neoabsolutist theory, we have resolved the problem of explaining the origins of these theories. They are all based on an anarchistic conception of man which is derivative of the institutional political conflicts of the imperium in imperio political system. The success of liberalism, despite being the oldest of the three theories, then seems obvious. Liberalism is the purest and most mindless expression of unsecure power, it has no doctrinal binding. Once you reach the end of the road of the concept of class conflict and collective existence, then you will either be out competed in the high-low conflict or go lower yourself. Had Fascism and Nazism survived for any serious length of time it would be likely that they would have succumbed to liberalism just as much as communism finally did because liberalism simply isn’t an ideology based on any reasoned principles, but it is rather a post-facto intellectual accretion of the political system conflicts. Any political system with a constitution (which they all are, a fact often overlooked) is one which declares that the political executive can be bound, in short they were all built on imperium in imperio, which is wherein lies their faults.

For any fourth political theory to arise, it must then do so on the basis of a rejection of imperium in imperio to allow for new patterns of existence to be allowed by authority, because in all political arrangements, whatever occurs is either proactively ordered by authority, or passively allowed by authority. A bounded authority or sovereign is one which promotes individualism as a weapon against all those centers of power beneath it that stand in their way. The international geopolitical value of such a weapon is evident in the spread of revolutions throughout the world. By reaching past the governance structures of enemy states, the US being the unsecure power system par excellence sows the seeds of destruction and chaos abroad, only to reap the resultant chaos. The new elites implanted by the US elites rule in the name of the individual. Of course, this does not need to be spelled out in detail for Dugin as the pattern is observable in the collapse of the USSR and the current color revolutions.

The path from our angle then seems clear; rejection of imperium in imperio has to be the basis of the fourth political theory, but at no point in the fourth political theory does Dugin take into consideration the political structure as such.

More recent writing on the issue seems to indicate that Dugin has taken Heidegger’s Dasein as the tool with which he will attempt to formulate a fourth political theory, but as we have noted above, this misses the institutional process which give liberalism its form, this being the divided political system.

Dugin is also right with regard to his further criticisms of liberalism as having changed humanity. A similar critique can be read into the work of Alaisdair MacIntyre who charges that liberalism has been foisted on society by the state, bringing about through radically unfit institutions the very patterns of behaviour which liberalism claims is inherent in man, the self-interested utility maximizing individual being a great example. Neoabsolutism, however, allows both of these systems to be rooted in a system in which the development of these ideas which these two thinkers are trying to overcome can be explained in practical historical terms. It supplies the artillery for their advance. Such a development would however require overturning both projects from ones which have searched for the sources of modernity in the realm of philosophical exchange, into ones which take the structure of authority as being of paramount importance. The opening through which dialogue can begin with eurasianism would appear to be in the arena of geopolitics, an area in which Dugin demonstrates a keen understanding of the environmental effects of the structures of politics on the philosophical structures of a society. Dugin’s concept of an atlantacist and eurasianist direction of society based upon their geopolitical disposition demonstrates very well that the eurasianist project could take into consideration the political structure itself has a defining influence on the culture of the society in question. There is no obvious reason why such an analysis could not be folded into the neoabsolutist project. If the geopolitical position can feed back into society and impose a gravitational pull on the outlook of the society in question, then what effect would the political structures themselves have, being far more immediate?