Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reciprocal Political Relationships


Actually Existing Democracy, Part Two


III

Democracy and capitalism are not synonymous. In many ways they are deeply inimical to each other. But in western nations they coevolved with the destruction of monarchy. There is a reason for this, having to do with the nature of democracy itself. They coevolved because both capitalism and democracy are the consequence of technologically-induced decentralization of power. Democracy is coercive market power divided against itself. Capitalism is free market power divided against itself. In both cases warring power centers compete. In the case of politics (the coercion market) they compete for dominance over a redistributive coercion market (party politics). In the case of the free market they compete for market share.

This does not preclude the reunification of power. The shredding of power in an historical event contingent upon a landed aristocracy losing its monopoly on economic power through the industrial revolution. The rise of new technologies of heavy industry created competing sources of wealth that could influence the monarchy without owing it the services that other forms of property entailed. A newly formed competing wealth center became a competing power center, or at least that's the theory.

As I have said before here and here, democracy is a coercion market. It is a system for selling other peoples money through brokers (aka Senators). And it is simply a corrupted form of anarcho capitalism that presides over raiding a market commons. The fact that it often does good things is simply a function of the fact that there are common overlapping interests of all the different purchasers. The alternative I presented is a divided propertarian usufructuary market whose territory is leased by various corporations licensed by a central authority and ratified by the people through local multi-phase plebiscites. The name I assigned for this alternative system of anarcho capitalism is exitocracy.

So both democracy and capitalism are systems of warring centers: economic production power war (capitalism) and economic redistribution power war (democracy).

I have explained democracy with the metaphor "coercion market."

But the entire political system of a democracy can be understood with a different metaphor altogether. It can be understood as an operating system that executes whatever programs are run on top of it. These programs consist of reciprocal political relationships. Or what we usually term pork projects, rent seeking, corruption, handouts, etc. As a term "reciprocal relationship" is better. It is more accurate and allows us to describe all the different kinds of relationships.

As a side note it should be understood that since democracy is a form of limited civil war where the troops show up to be counted, there is a massive incentive to do civil war like things, and that means that certain programs are automatically generated by the "operating system" itself — programs like mass immigration, voter suppression, birth rate suppression, and extending the franchise. We will get to defining these in a minute. Let us talk about these different programs, these reciprocal relationships.

All simple reciprocal relationships are like this: I give you something and you give me something. All states, even non-democracies, run on reciprocal relationships.

An authoritarian state will have most of its reciprocal relationships with the armed forces and other force related organs of the state.

Democracies have more total relationships than any other kind type of state, which is why they don't have to rely on the military to keep everyone in line — because they are all invested in the system through its handouts. That's why a democracy can grow to become totalitarian without having to put down serious rebellions. The population is unwilling to give up its economic rents for freedom. That's also why authoritarian states are often more libertarian, and why the growth of a democracies power over the population does not require a corresponding growth in force against the population.

In other words;

In the beginning of a democracy the state has very few reciprocal relationships to support it. The state is weak, but it also encounters no resistance because it is libertarian.

In the end the state is totalitarian, but it still encounters little resistance because the people allow it in order to receive their economic rents.

All conventional reciprocal relationships are privilege for privilege in nature, with an involuntary third-party paying the economic cost of those privileges.

It becomes totalitarian because of the growth of reciprocal relationships. In fact there is no difference between the the two. The reciprocal relationships incur a totalitarian cost on the third-parties who must pay them. Since a third-party is paying it, there is no incentive to limit parasitism, and excessive parasitical behavior is identical to totalitarian government.

But we will learn through examples. Let's start with the most obvious ones.


IV

Everyone knows how social security really works. The government gives the elderly social security money. The elderly vote against politicians who threaten their social security. Thus, a reciprocal relationship exists. The simplest description of this is money for votes. The politician provides money and the retired voter provides votes. The young are the third-party that pay for the old in this case. The cost is incurred to them.

Or take corn subsidies. The state gives agribusinesses a handout. The corn farmers give Congressman campaign contributions. This is money for contributions. The third-party that pays for it is you with your tax dollars and the people with increased obesity levels. Corn is used to make corn syrup and is fed to cows. Two of the worlds most fattening products are made artificially inexpensive by cheep corn. This contributes to the obesity epidemic.

There are lots of examples like this. The state gives big pharma protection from competition with Canadian drug imports. This is anti-competitive laws for campaign contributions. The local government restricts the ability of real estate developers to build houses with greenbelts, zoning laws, and form and space codes. In exchange it receives votes, contributions, and grassroots campaigning for local offices. This is real estate price inflation for political support. The federal government limits competition between medical insurance companies by banning competition across state lines. This is anti-competitive laws for campaign contributions. The federal government gives the banking system a bailout. The banking system gives politicians contributions. This is money for contributions.

Patients are the third-party that pays for increased drug costs. Renters are the third-party that pay for homeowners to profit from inflated real estate costs. Companies and employees are the third-party that pays for increased medical costs. Everyone is the third-party pays for corrupt markets as a result of banking system corruption

Let's call all of these regular relationships "conventional reciprocal relationships." They are conventional because they follow the "I give you something and you give me something" pattern and because they all involve the exchange of money, contributions, rent-seeking, power, or support. They are the basic case of a coercion market. They are not ideological in nature.

Speaking of ideology.

The Department of Education, Ford Foundation, etc. give money to the universities to teach grievance studies to minorities. What do they get in return? Low agency minorities who are loyal to the party machine. This is ideology in exchange for votes.

In government, ideology is really just the political equivalent of marketing. It is not that unusual for companies to exploit psychological weaknesses to gain customers. Advertisers use well known psychological tricks to sell their products. For example; clothing companies advertise their products to women who are nervous about the way their bodies look, and actively exploit that concern over self-image to sell clothing. Everything from sun glasses to sports cars, from dick pills to lingerie sales prey on the insecurities of people to sell them things. "Buy this car and women will find you attractive." "Wear this makeup and no one will have to see your ugly ass face."

The same basic technique is employed politically to gain the support of minorities. They are told that the system is against them, white supremacy runs everything, they have no capabilities, they can only succeed through handouts, etc., and then sold psychological dependence on the Democratic party. Ideology for votes is everywhere on the left. They are masters at it. The Republicans? Not so much.

So these are ideological reciprocal relationships, as opposed to conventional reciprocal relationships.

But it gets worse.

Because there is a form of reciprocal relationship we might call the "inverted reciprocal relationship."

Democrats are familiar with this in the form of voter suppression. Unlike a conventional reciprocal relationship; "I give you something and you give me something" or an ideological reciprocal relationship; "I indoctrinate you and you vote for my party," an inverted relationship goes; "I harm you and you refrain from harming me."

The group who does the harm, reduces the harm done to themselves by the population they are attacking.

Voter suppression is what the left calls voter ID laws. It is an accurate description. It goes like this; "I stop illegal immigrants from voting and they don't harm my interests." It's pattern is harm in exchange for non-harm.

But it gets even worse. There is another one of these. Call it "birth rate suppression." It goes; "I indoctrinate white women to be feminists and white women don't give birth to white babies who will grow up and most likely vote Republican." Like voter suppression its pattern is harm in exchange for non-harm. In this case the Democratic party harms white birth rates with ideology and gets fewer hostile voters in exchange in the long-run.

Another example of an inverted reciprocal relationship is mass importation of immigrants. It's pattern is "I bring in a hostile population to dilute the shareholder strength of your racial group." Again, its pattern is harm in exchange for non-harm. Harm is done to the voter strength of the white race. In exchange the Democratic party receives less harm against itself in the form of proportionately fewer white votes for the Republicans.

Another type could be called an "inverted upside down relationship." Like the inverted relationship it is harm for non-harm, but it is upside down. Meaning: the positions of client and patron are flipped. The US government becomes the client instead of it, or an entity within it like the Democratic party, always being the patron. The clearest example of this is the relationship between the Obama administration and ISIS.

It goes; "I (Obama) give ISIS weapons and leave them alone and in exchange they refrain from attacking America or Israel." Yes, Obama is bombing ISIS. But he has had several opportunities to destroy their leadership and has refrained from doing so. He has also given them weapons indirectly. Inverted upside down reciprocal relationships are what happens when a terrorist organization like ISIS, Al Qaeda, or a gang like MS13 is able to carve out a niche of sovereignty within an empire. The relationship goes "I won't terrorize you if you let me operate freely." It is a harm for non-harm relationship where the state is in the position of being the client of a terrorist group. States allow this because these gangs are useful for terrorizing enemies, or even non-compliant populations within your own society, such as white people in the inner city, or because you have a immoral Commander and Chief who wants to push the problem onto the next administration.

Gangs are allowed to operate for a reason. They are an armed wing of the Democratic party.

This forms a second reciprocal relationship; "terrorize my enemies for me in exchange for sovereignty," (harm for privilege) which forms a third inverted relationship, "weakened whites are driven out of minority neighborhoods in exchange for the votes of those minorities (also a harm for privilege relationship). The minorities are allowed to terrorize (harm) in exchange for a mono-ethnic neighborhood with no whites (the privilege).

There are still other reciprocal relationships. One type is extortive in nature between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress. It goes; "give us more funding and fewer veterans will die." This is a case of harm for non-harm (inverted relationship) where Congress is the client of the VA bureaucracy. Since the VA is the higher party in this case and Congress is the lower party, it follows that the VA has sovereignty over Congress, and not the reverse!

I hope this clarifies democracy for you.


V

Now the second thing we need to understand, and I keep repeating this over and over again, it that there is a cumulative property to reciprocal relationships. Simply put, new relationships are created and old ones are never destroyed. By their very nature this is a coercion market. And that means that someone else's money is being purchased. As a result, there is no incentive to limit parasitism since the cost is being borne by an outside party who is not typically present at the negotiation table — the public.

Democracy in its present form engages in legislative accumulation. These reciprocal relationships build up over time and destroy the economy and rights of the people. Moreover, as the state and its parasites grow, so does the payoff for controlling the state, and so the general level of ideological hysteria being manufactured by the state and its client parasites is ratcheted up endlessly. This is why democracy leads to dictatorship and why it moves steadily from a libertarian to a totalitarian society, and why democracy slowly goes hysterically crazy.

The solution to almost all of this is to reverse legislative accumulation.

And I talked about how to halt this process in Radical Reform Ideas. In that article, my second recommendation was to create a House of Repeal. I made that same recommendation in Fixing Democracy, along with others.

Each set of reciprocal relationships gives birth to the next. The state expands exponentially. In the beginning only white men who own land can vote. But democracy is a form of limited civil war where the troops line up to be counted. There is always an incentive to add new troops to your side. Thus we see that the voting franchise was expanded endlessly. The left even wants to give felons and illegal immigrants the right to vote. As the percentage of the population that can vote expands, so do the handouts, which is why we are here today. Secondly, new troops are brought in through immigration because of the inverted reciprocal relationship we just described above, and not because of some noble sentiment about a "nation of immigrants."


VI

I have spent many thousands of hours trying to come up with cures for the problems that face democracy. You really would not believe just how much time I have dedicated / wasted trying to figure out how to fix my nation. Unlike most reactionaries I was not so eager to throw the current system away, but I am at my wits end on this and would like to explain my reasoning so that you, the reader, can understand where I am going with this blog and why. We will do this in an informal manner and I will simply give you my thoughts on the issue.

The system is totally incurable.

Don't get me wrong. We could reform it. We could create a House of Repeal dedicated solely to abolishing laws. This could be combined with some sort of quota to repeal laws. If everything works perfectly we could halt legislative accumulation totally. This would mean that the culture war would stop ratcheting up. If the quota was greater than the number of laws made every year then the state would actually recede. The economy would begin improving continuously, and the culture war would shrink in scope over time. The bureaucracy would get smaller. Progressive hegemony would diminish. Political hysteria would die down. Race relations would improve, especially if all laws relating to race were repealed. All of this would be wonderful.

And if my advice was followed about creating a requirement that the vote percentage required in Congress for approval be the remainder of 100%, minus the percentage of the population helped at some point in their lives, then both all identity politics groups and the 1% would be excluded from politics. And while I am not necessarily enthused by excluding the 1%, I am very much enthused by excluding identity politics groups. So you would have real majoritarian democracy in its true raw form, without the hundreds of activist grievance groups that now dominate it.

Excluding them would make democracy much saner. The general level of rationality in society and politics would rise. Politicians would stop pandering to petty grievances. It would no longer matter if you were black, female, gay, etc. Without an incentive to pander to special interests, both corporate welfare and affirmative action would go away. Marriage could probably be reformed. Fathers could get custody more often without a culture slavishly devoted to feminism. Feminism itself would lose institutional power as majorities gained control over the Department of Education. In fact, as a result of the remainder method, majorities would gain control over everything and minorities would be pushed completely out the door of politics.

(See the remainder method + prediction market within the article Radical Reform Ideas for an explanation of the remainder method).

This would also be wonderful.

And in that same article on radical reform I propose to create campaign contribution vouchers and fund those vouchers with taxes on regular campaign contributions. Each voucher gives entitlement to the bearer to make campaign contributions of his own. This has several effects, some positive and some negative.

On the one hand, it weakens almost all reciprocal relationships that currently exist. Those relationships can then be easily dismantled without a fight because politicians are no longer beholden to their campaign contributors. They must go directly to the public to gain funding for election. This means that the globalist elite no loner control American democracy.

But this substitutes one massive reciprocal relationship with the public for a thousand small relationships that are mostly with the business community. Since the bureaucracy is still intact it does nothing to end the ideological reciprocal relationship that the left has with the population. In essence, it turns America into a mass democracy much closer to a full Greek style direct democracy than anything else. Since the Cathedral still potentially controls public opinion, this is not necessarily a good thing. But the Cathedral's will now has to go through the minds of ordinary people to express itself, so the craziest ideas will (probably) be filtered out.

On top of all of this, the reciprocal relationships with the business community were a powerful, if corrupt, bulwark against some Cathedral ideas — though many large corporations are instruments of leftist control. Granted, you have the chance to abolish a thousand corruptions of government, but now you are directly accountable to the whims of the people, and every president is a populist, whether he be a Trump or an Hugo Chavez, a Bernie Sanders or a Marine Le Pen.

So you get mass democracy, and that means who ever controls public opinion controls the state, and we already know who controls public opinion. So we haven't yet solved that problem. But we could with a right-wing Cathedral?

On top of all of this immigration would still occur on a massive scale. There is no guarantee that democracy would halt it. The same incentives of bringing in new troops would still exist. And by the time you implemented a halt using majority will, would whites still be the majority? And would they ever vote cohesively as a block for their own best interests?

Now I tried to solve this problem with exitocracy. But if I am completely honest, this simply converts a struggle for control over a federal system into a kind of block by block street fight to control individual counties in America. And that is not necessarily desirable by any means. Exitocracy separates groups in space. That could very well lead to territorial battles. I proscribe an Emperor to keep everyone in line. But an Emperor is not happening anytime soon in this nation until it collapses, and waiting for collapse obviates the whole purpose of exitocracy.

The problem with writing a book is that by the time you finish chapter 4 you have already changed you mind about what system is best. So I am at an impasse trying to fix this fucking system. It's un-fucking fixable.

I hate that because the whole project of Neocameral Future was to create a path from here to something like patchwork without going through rightist singularity. I wanted to reform my way into a system like patchwork. I even said that exitocracy decays into patchwork when the people become a reserve power. The problem is that the demographic effects of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act has made the idea of fully reforming democracy impossible. Oh sure, you can fix the system and have "civic nationalism," but if your goal has anything to do with returning The US to a prior demographic configuration you are SOL. For that you need a one-party illiberal state which is uncomfortably close to Nat Soc. If only I had been writing this is 1980 then everything would be salvageable with reform measures within the system. But I was born in the 80's and the internet did not exist. The trouble is that by the time you know what the problem is it is already too late. If I knew the future now would you believe me? If I had known the future then would they have believed me?

We went from the optimism of the 1980's with Marty McFly and Back to the Future to the race hatred of today in only 37 years. Fast forward 37 more years and envision a future which is proportionately worse. What will 2054 be like? I don't know. But I think I might need a green card.

The torture of a young mentally handicapped white male for simply being a white male gives new urgency to resolve the demographic crisis. Being a minority in a country where the left has created a vast set of inverted reciprocal relationships against you is not going to be a pleasant experience. The entire left now depends on marketing hatred toward white people as part of its program for winning elections. The sheer volume of handouts and affirmative action programs create an incentive to dehumanize whites as a justifying mechanism for power and redistribution. Remember, ideology comes after power. It was only after African Americans were enslaved that they were regarded as subhuman. Mark my words, their exploitation of you will lead to a guilty conscience, and they will assuage that conscience by dehumanizing you. They already have. Remember also that reciprocal political relationships grow automatically and generate new ones.

I don't want to be behind the curve. I want to see what is coming and be five steps ahead. The only way I see forward is through a one-party nationalist state. Monarchy is academic. We need something now.

What do you think? I need your feedback and advice. The feedback I get will help determine where I go from here. I'll give you a series of options and you can tell me where to go from here.

Option 1: Develop strategy for creating a one-party nationalist state.
Option 2: Work towards a reformed two-party majoritarian system like the one described above. (This does not solve immigration).
Option 3: Continue to develop exitocracy. (This probably won't happen in our lifetimes.)





Friday, January 13, 2017

Precious Bodily Fluids


The Ultimate Alt-right Rant


The Ultimate Globalist Rant


On the Rectification of Names in Politics


Actually Existing Democracy, Part One


Introduction

Powerful people don't think like you. You look up at the system and see injustice. The powerful look down at you and see incentives for wealth, power, and success. It is these incentives that drive their behavior, and it can be shocking and enraging to see the world through their eyes. But that is what we are going to do. We are going to look at how the system really works.

I
The Subject of Economics is Incomplete

Economics is defined as the study of how humans fulfill unlimited wants with scarce means. It is the view of this author that the entire economic profession erred when it classified the study of government as something separate and distinct from itself. This occurred because the economist failed to correctly rectify the terms used to describe what the state was doing. He took the states terminology of itself for granted rather that realizing that all worlds the state uses to describe itself are meant to conceal its true activity. The state is by nature a corrupt and coercive institution. As such, it's politics is never rationally described on the face of things because it has an institutional need, one may say a marketing need, to hide what is really does in order to gain public support and minimize insurrection. Lying saves money are reduces the number of people you have to kill; it is utility maximizing.

The second flaw in economic analysis is the idea that humans are motivated by greed — that man is homo economicus. But money is only one path to utility, and the ultimate utility for a human primate is sex, and more directly, what sex produces in the form of children. Humans are biological organisms and thus all utility is derivative of those things that yield reproductive fitness. As a result, the whole range of what yields fitness is the proper study of economics. An expansive and complete economics would be defined in terms like, "the means by which humans further large wants of sexual fitness in the face of limited means of achieving sexual desires," with wealth pursuit being only one of those means, and pursued typically by men. Women do not typically pursue wealth for reproductive success since men are not hypergamous like women are, and since a high status female (high in the financial sense) may actually harm her reproductive success. For a woman, high status is found in high attraction, and not in high wealth. All of these forms of utility are proxies for reproduction and sex.

Utility does not just come through money. In point of fact, money is one of the weakest motivations. It also arises through the pursuit of power, status, popularity, charisma, and beauty. Popularity often translates more effectively into reproductive success that any of these other ones.

Secondly, economics must contain the full range of human behavior that enables physical survival, since one cannot reproduce if one is dead. And thirdly, the subject of economics is incomplete if it does not encapsulate politics completely.

One often hears endless debates over what exactly IS capitalism. Oftentimes the libertarian argument is made that "this isn't the true capitalism," meaning, and activity that is exploitative and corrupt cannot really be indicative of capitalism because it occurred under market conditions that were distorted by the violence of the state. This debate is even more pronounced when left libertarians point out that the state nearly always puts its thumb on the scale on the side of capital and against labor.

These endless arguments over terminology are useless and I won't engage in them. We will define ALL human activity through economics and start by defining the role of the state in it. Then we will see that there is no such thing as this "ism" or that "ism," but that it is all just a market of human behavior, and that the state lies at one extreme of coercive market behavior while the "free market" lies at the other extreme. It is a continuum of market behavior ranging from one theoretical state of pure voluntary exchange on one side, to another extreme of pure coercive slavery on the other, with the vast majority of human behaviors ranging somewhere on this continuum and all being more or less distorted by asymmetrical coercive force. Even the simple relationship of an employee to their employee involves an asymmetry; the employer knows more about what the employee is worth financially than the employee does, and the employer has more bargaining power since the employee may become homeless if chronically unemployed for too long. So a simple, seemingly consensual transaction can be less consensual that it looks.

A lot of economics is about the behavior of humans under conditions of theoretical pure competition. It is easy to model mathematically. This is about actually existing economics as it really occurs, and specifically about actually existing democracy.



II
The Rectification of Names

Our goal is to understand economics completely. This means that the political realm must be explained economically. Since all politicians have an incentive to lie, the study of government has been systematically misrepresented. The entire field lies in confusion. Our first task then is the rectification of names. We must accurately describe what government really is.

Let us go through a list of terms and replace them with more correct ones.

  • The free market is actually a theoretical pure archetype. In reality all transactions are semi-free in modern corrupt states since the state is producing various market distortions for its clients. The free market is thus semi-free and always operating under distortion.
  • The state is actually a coercion market. That is, it is a market that sells coercive force to private buyers. While it is true,that it often legislates in the general interest, (the criminal code is an example of this), it is also true that it is in the general interest of its client lobbyists and public interest groups to have a properly functioning society and economy. Just as the selfish desires of individual businessmen may lead to an "invisible hand" of collective public good in production, so the selfish interest of various pressure groups acting upon the legislative process may also produce legislation in favor of the general welfare, especially if they negotiate and compromise their interests against each other. So despite the fact that the state is a marketplace for the purchasing of laws, it may still legislate for the common good most of the time. Even parasites need a function economy to expropriate.
  • A senator or congressman is actually a coercion market broker that sells other peoples money. The state has a monopoly on the use of force. But it sells this monopoly through either bribes or campaign contributions. A very real example is the ban on Canadian drug imports. Canada has a process for drug approval that is adequate for drug safety. There is no legitimate reason to prohibit the importation of Canadian pharmaceuticals. Yet, this is done anyway. Every truck driver that is arrested for crossing the Canadian border with safe drugs that are legal in Canada is being arrested to enforce the cartel rights of American pharmaceutical manufacturers. This is done only to enforce artificially high prices for drugs, and this sort of thing is done in countless industries.
  • A lobbyist is actually a buyer of coercion market services, (force) or defense from force, (protection).
  • A campaign contribution is actually the financial sponsorship of a coercion market broker with the expectation of future reward in the form of economic rents, favors, or protections from force.
  • A bribe is a direct purchase of a vote from a coercion market broker. A bribe entitles the purchaser to buy the vote of a Congressman on the honor system: the Congressman may not vote the way he is bribed to. Generally, all bribes are aggregated with the others, so that the highest total aggregation of bribes wins out. Bribes are less effective at buying political positions than candidate sponsorship (campaign contributions), thus, the buyers of the coercion market (lobbyists) have allowed laws to be passed that outlawed bribery because it was less effective at controlling politicians than sponsorship. Campaign finance laws are not intended to protect the voter. They are intended to make the process of vote buying more reliable by switching the market to a model of candidate sponsorship, similar to the way individual athletes are sponsored by advertising.
  • There are two voting systems in a democracy. One is the formal vote that all Americans may participate in. The other is the market vote. In the market vote, first the market decides what candidates it will sponsor (give contributions to). It chooses from a range of options the candidates that are most likely to produce a return on investment. The longer the candidate has been in office the more established his voting record and the more predictable and less risky he tends to be as an investment. Thus, the market favors incumbents and they tend to win elections more often than challengers. A conservative war hawk may receive market sponsorship (contributions) because he is tough on crime (good for the pockets of police unions), a war hawk, (good for the pockets of defense contractors and veterans), while a Democrat may receive sponsorship from labor unions, teachers unions, academics, and students because of their financial interests. Conversely, a libertarian will often not receive much sponsorship because he enriches no one. The market vote has the effect of sorting out unprofitable candidates. Since sincere politicians tend to be mentally unbalanced, it often times also has a screening effect on the mental health of candidates. AFTER, the market has sorted for profitability through sponsorship the formal vote is held where the people "decide" who will be their leader. Of course, all candidates have already been chosen through this market sponsorship mechanism that behaves exactly as if it were a formal vote that uses money instead of ballots. Thus, all elections are really two-part affairs; one involving money and a second part involving ballots. The first election, the monetary election, produces a sorting effect of candidates in favor of the market. The second election then chooses from these candidates.
  • A monarchy is a monopolized coercion market that "underperforms" at redistribution. If performance is measured as redistribution then monarchy underperforms at it best. Note that "redistribution" here says nothing about its direction upward or downward, and the term "performance" does not make a moral assertion.
  • A multi-party democracy is an oligopolistic coercion market. These oligopolies are usually operating on various versions of the Westminster system. Oligopolistic coercion markets have the most generous welfare states and the most responsive governments.
  • A two-party democracy is a duopolistic coercion market that remains duopolistic because the two players (political parties) cooperate to exclude third parties with winner-take-all rules.
  • A political party is actually a firm whose "profits" come in the form of votes. Since profits in a coercion market are a zero-sum game between competitors, and a negative sum game for society as a whole, one firms "profits," (or votes), must always come at the expense of the other. Actors are willing to participate in a zero-sum game because their utility comes from power, and because of the economic rents they receive. Costs are ultimately paid by third-parties.
  • Voting is actually giving profit to one or more of the coercion brokers sponsored by a party and it's campaign contributors (financial sponsors).
  • Votes are a form of property in government which is non transferable, cannot be accumulated, can be used only once, are exercised anonymously, and are theoretically equal. Votes are a type of share, or corporate stock which pays no dividends directly, and which has zero transferability rights. The act of eliminating transferability rights (sale of votes) protects small players at the expense of larger players.
  • Redistribution is actually "market performance" in a coercion market.
  • Indoctrination is actually marketing for power. Indoctrination is to the state what marketing is to the firm.
  • The coercion market has at least five actors; the buyer (client of the lobbyist), the sales broker, (lobbyist), the primary seller of other peoples money, (the permanent civil service), the secondary seller of other peoples money, (Congressman), and the defender against attack (person or group being expropriated). Usually, the defender is absent from negotiations.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cladecoin | Social Technology no. 4


We need methods of exit. If humans are equal then no one ethnicity should need redistribution from the others. They then shouldn't miss our money when it's gone. Everyone has the right to freedom from association, and that right trumps everything.

A cladecoin is a very simple concept: ethno-money.

That is, a currency that only a race or ethnicity may own, use, and trade in.

By it's nature is must be completely censorship proof. Any ethno-currency is going to viciously censored and attacked. Designing one is the ultimate test in anarcho capitalism. Even the designers must remain anonymous. If a cladecoin can be built under the noise of the Cathedral then we are truly off the reservation of left-wing control. Here are some ideas on how it would work;

Any group can create an identity-based currency. You need some way of creating a social verifier which does not reveal the personal identity of the user. Perhaps a person takes a selfie with their phone camera. The phone uses facial recognition software to identify the race of the user. Then after the image is taken it is destroyed. Complete destruction is crucial for this to work.


From that point forward the person can use the app on their coin to trade cladecoin. Only people who are verified can use it, and only people who meet ethnic requirements get verified. The process for businesses is the same, but the owner gets verified instead. The whole system is a cryptocurrency inhabiting a blockchain.

An alternate, more secure method, is that you have to be introduced to cladecoin in meatspace and "verified" by the person introducing you. They answer the question; "is this person White or Asian?" (My preferred question). If the answer is "yes," then they get verified. They need a number of people who are themselves verified to say "yes" in order to verify them. It is not a vote. It must be unanimous. Any partial votes are subject to investigation. The people who falsely voted yes get their accounts suspended.

A group of trusted volunteers polices the system.

Next, you need a way of getting money in and out of cladecoin without being stopped. Obviously, every financial institution on the planet will be under pressure not to do business with you. And they will succeed. This means you need a way of getting money in and out of cladecoin that does not interact with the banking system in a way that the banking system can detect. Let's take a cue from money laundering.

One method is to have a series of casinos. When a person wants to buy cladecoin they can buy casino chips. Then the chips can be credited to their cladecoin account by the casino. You give them cash. They apply cladecoin to your account. When you want to redeem they give you casino chips which you can cash out.

Or you can have a gold broker. When a person wants to buy cladecoin they go to the gold broker and ask for the "special gold" or some other special phrase. Then the gold broker sells them cladecoin while invoicing it as a gold sale. You give him cash. He applies it to your account.

All of this means that cladecoin needs to be structured like a physical product that can be handled on the street on a retail level. That means that cladecoins have to be actual coins. But this presents a problem, because a cash-like product can be used by anyone. So how is cladecoin traded then? Using a "cash on phone" method. The broker transfers cash to your phone from his phone. He enters your number and sends a text to your account from the app on his phone. Now you have cladecoin.

So everything is done through black market brokers. It is brokers who actually send the money to cladecoin to purchase coins at the end of the month. They have a kind of electronic double book entry system with the home office. It works like Muslim hawala money transfer. The purchases and redemptions are counted electronically and balanced against each other. At the end of the month the balance is due.

So basically, let's say the broker does $50,000 in sales of cladecoin. This means that customers gave him US dollars for cladecoins. Put he also did $30,000 in redemptions. So he had to pay out the equivalent of $30,000 dollars in cash for people exchanging their cladecoins. So he owes $20,000 to the main office. But that's fine because it's paid for by his customers.

So what can you do with this? Go to ethnicity specific clubs. Defy affirmative action quotas. Move money around. Employ people the Cathedral has made unemployable. Conduct all the wrong sorts of business.

Now some might doubt the ability of an ethno-currency to succeed. I don't. People put their children in "good schools" for a reason. They live in "good neighborhoods" on purpose. If anything, there is a massive premium for this sort of service. The market has already spoken on the issue.


Ethics

Now all of this may come as shocking and racist to a typical person. Indeed, it may seem sociopathic in its moral indifference even to the reactionary mind. But there is more than one way to view the world, and people can be massively overconfident in their moral righteousness. What appears moral from one perspective can be revoltingly evil from another. The very essence of liberalism is that it is an anti-value system. Keep that in mind. And keep in mind that there has never been a thing that was moral in one era and not immoral in another.

First, let us talk about the ethical impact of ending segregation on the black race in America.

Probably all reactionaries already know, there is a thing in economics called the local multiplier effect. The gist of this idea is that buying from local businesses helps stimulate the local economy more than buying from big box retailers like Walmart.

Second, employment discrimination obviously has a negative effect on the black community. If a black man goes and works for a white man, and then shops in a white owned business, his money will leave the black community. But the white man is unlikely to shop in a black business because of racism and black crime. So once the money leaves the black community it almost never returns. As a result, money tends to flow out of the black community and never back into it. This generates chronic unemployment which raises the level of crime even higher than the genetics of crime would dictate. And since crime is a deterrence to shopping in high crime neighborhoods, it exacerbates itself even further.

So black crime is caused partly by genetics, and partly by discrimination and chronic unemployment.

Now if segregation is imposed (reverse shopping discrimination), then black people are forced to shop in the businesses of their own communities, and this creates a local advantage that counter-balances the discrimination against black people in employment. Since Jim Crow laws barred black people from entering white businesses, it also barred them from taking money out of their own communities and giving that money to white business owners. The point here is that it does not work to have one discrimination and not the other. If you have discrimination in employment but not service, then money flows out of the black community every time a black person shops at white-owned businesses.

White discrimination in employment against blacks + white refusal to serve blacks
=
reduced employment prospects for blacks +  a local multiplier effect in favor of blacks

However,

White discrimination in employment against blacks + allowing blacks to shop in white-owned businesses
=
reduced employment prospects for blacks +  financial drainage of the black community

So elimination of service discrimination is an added disaster for the black race on top of discrimination in employment.

This means that ending segregation could have very well destroyed (reduced in size and strength) the black business community in America, and the radical left campaigned to make it happen. It also means that Martin Luther King Jr. was inadvertently campaigning for this destruction. But that is not surprising. King was a communist and I have never met a commie who understood economics. The fact that his actions actually hurt the economic fortunes of his own people would not be surprising at all. When haven't communists been bad for business?

So what is the perfect solution to this? How do you create a local multiplier effect for a race of people without segregation? Well, you give them ethno-money. You give them "black dollars" with an exchange rate fixed to the regular dollar. This sounds comically absurd, like something dreamt up in a "we was kangz!" fantasy. But it would actually work. The local multiplier effect would stimulate employment. Cladecoin could just as easily be designed to have one type of coin for each and every race; afro-coin, white-coin, asia-coin, etc. Again, it sounds laughably absurd. But it is still practical. Combined with a propaganda campaign to get people to spend within their race it could greatly stimulate the local economies of each group. There would be many cladecoins, and transferring between them would be discouraged with a fee.

What this view also shows us is that segregation was not the automatic evil it was made out to be. The theory of comparative advantage tells us that each industry will concentrate in the society that is best at doing that particular thing. But what if some societies, because of genetics, are always better at doing certain things? Then free trade is a guarantee of their subjugation. It means that nations will stratify into intellect versus biopower, and that some countries will always build the expensive electronics while others always cut the sugarcane. It condemns some to permanent underclass status. Remember;

Natural human inequality + meritocracy = discrimination

And so we see the real reason globalism is favored. And that creating successful societies actually requires building up economic walls so that groups that are not the most competitive can survive against hyper-Galt full-automatization subjugation. The local multiplier effect comes with a cost to globalists. In the absence of these types of barriers, money automatically flows from the less productive groups to the more productive ones, from the poorer groups to the richer ones, from higher wage areas to lower wage areas, etc. Everything that the globalist economist favors works for the favor of the globalists corporations that employ them.

In the modern economy the greatest issue is technologically-induced unemployment. This means that the real challenge of the modern system is to deliberately create the inefficiencies that maintain high levels of employment. It means that every employment of a person is generated by a kind of graft, or willful distortion of a perfectly competitive market — that jobs themselves are make-work. And so pure efficiency is not desired. Economic walls are.

Why is this better?

Because it is not as rude. Instead of having dehumanizing signs all over the place that say "no colored people" or "white people must check their privilege" you have some businesses that accept one type of cladecoin and not the other. Everyone is still allowed to shop with regular money whenever they want. But you can find business that accept the cladecoin for the race of your choosing on your phone and then go there instead. This produces a sorting effect. Accepting the coin of a particular clade advertises to that group that they are welcome and to other groups that this space belongs to them. It is a subtle way of saying; "you're in someones house and you should follow their rules." It achieves functional separation with attraction rather than repulsion — with a welcome mat instead of an act of hostility. How do you know you are in the wrong place? You don't. The app on your phone doesn't show other peoples spaces. But you know when you are in the right place.





Neocameral Future: Chapter 4c, Benefits of Exitocracy

Go back to Chapter 4b.
Go to the Contents.



Chapter 4c, 
Benefits of Exitocracy


For some stupid reason I thought that the case for exitocracy would make itself. Apparently I was wrong. It has to be enumerated with precision and clarity, and the causes of these benefits defined point by point.

There are many reasons for the social solutions that exitocracy brings, each will be listed below. But the main reason is simple: any time you create an outlet for the controlled expression of human nature you may then gain control over its expression. Obviously. Control by the power system brings order, and is best when done with the lightest touch possible. Any more control than necessary engenders resentment, and thus, causes resistance to feed on itself as the state exercises more oppression to compensate for pushback against its oppression. It is always best to leave people alone whenever you can afford to, and to solicit feedback when you cannot.

So let us jump right into describing these social benefits. Our System of Systems solves an amazing number of problems. Many of these solutions are also found in Patchwork — assuming patchwork could actually be made to work.

It Subjects Governments to Faster Natural Selection

And that is a good thing. Whatever government is to become it should become it faster. Since good forms of government can only ever be discovered, it is best if one allows for experimentation. Furthermore, by allowing expermentation to occur you are removing a substantial form of entryism in society. You are also allowing the left to test its ideas against reality, and to be humiliated all the faster.

It Breaks the Civilizational Cycle


There is a popular internet meme amoung the NRx community. You may have heard it. "Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times." This is an accurate representation of reality. It is also discussed in the article, (one of my favorites), entitled Crunchiness, by Nico Colchester. It is wonderfully perspicuous. Give it a try. In Nico's words, 
"Crunchiness brings wealth. Wealth leads to sogginess. Sogginess brings poverty. Poverty creates crunchiness. From this immutable cycle we know that to hang on to wealth, you must keep things crunchy."
He is simply describing the inter-generational economic version of a principle that applies to all of civilization. But why is this? Why does wealth inevitably lead to failure? Why do men go soft?

The species simply is not designed to to maintain discipline in the the absence of Gnon. This is because the physical universe provides pain and suffering in abundance in the ancestral environment. After all, this was a world with large predators, simple diseases that could kill, and no modern medical technology. It had hostile barbarians and genocidal empires. It had slaves. For the first 2 million years homo sapiens needed never to worry about lack of suffering. The industrial revolution is a recent occurrence. Genetics could not have possibly caught up to it in this brief time period. Humans are a legacy code. They are designed to operate at a much higher level of stress. In the absence of that stress they become delusional. In the presence of that stress they remain optimistic and driven towards their goals. The modern world is so deficient in pain that barriers must actually be supplied for humans to remain in peak psychological, spiritual, and physical condition. A deluded, immoral, obese man-child occurs otherwise. And madness is to the blue states what obesity is to red states. It is their mental obesity.

So some humans become fat without stress while others become insane.

The greatest benefit of exitocracy is that some systems are always failing. This is a feature and not a bug. By allowing (some) systems to die, (some) humans are made to suffer. Even better is that they suffer as a consequence of their own idealistic foolishness. This gives their children a special contempt for grand ideas of perfection, and educates them with a steely realism, and that supplies each generation with competent politicians at other levels of government.

Oh sure, you could try something like instituting the draft and putting several million young people through boot camp. That would give you a solid generation of competent leaders, especially if the draftees were drawn from the upper middle class and wealthy, and especially if they were drawn from liberal areas of the country, but what about after? It only takes one generation of disciplinary relaxation to destroy a nation. Does anyone have any doubt that the current regime is too decadent to implement something like this? It already allowed ISIS to come to power by failing to secure the Iraqi population post invasion. The draft was too unpopular even then.

No, the boat to restore national self-discipline has already sailed. By the time a country realizes that it needs to fight the relaxation of realism it has already moved past the point of self-correction. Simply put, Americans are delusional. When the human animal is placed in luxury is loses its sense of what is real. It is used to having realism supplied externally by the brutality of the physical universe. Exitocracy solves that by providing a little brutality to every generation, and by providing more failure when the people become more detached. It balances itself automatically. Like all living things, it allows individual cells to perish so the body prevails.

It Accommodates all Political Viewpoints

If the distal cause of violence is uncertainty than the ultimate cause of tyranny in democracy is compromise. Compromise is really a soft imposition of the will against another. The ultimate human right is exit, and compromise denies that by forcing the loser in the fight to live under the winners rules.

It Gives People Tribes

Tribes stabilize a population by diverting the clan impetus away from factional politics and racial identity grievances. They meet a deep subconscious need within the human genetic legacy code that capitalism, in its present form, refuses to gratify. People are radically alienated from community, clan, and even family. Everything is disintegrating under capitalism. Most people are rootless cosmopolitans who live thousands of miles away from the nuclear families that raised them. Much digital ink has been spilled about the hajnal line and Eurpoean exogamy. The Catholic church broke up the European family clan hundreds of years ago. This system begins the process of rebuilding new clans to correct that injustice.

It Destroys the Desire for Communism (Mostly)

At its root the communist impulse is a thirst for the ancestral habitat of pure egalitarianism and brotherhood. But this is a craving for an idealized version of the clan. Real band level societies were never shockingly violent. Exitocracy begins the process of restoring a kind of tribe, and that, more than anything, neuters the urge to overthrow capitalism. Fulfillment of human desires in a proscribed manner gives the people wu wei in relation to their government. It produces harmony within them, to prevent disharmony with the state, since people project their own internal anguish on to the government, and demand answers from it that it cannot provide.

It also accommodates the desire for communism by creating a handful of actual communist states. This frees the whole nation from the manifestation of communism at the national level, as the population watches one communism after another fail at the local level.

It Ends Democracies Demographic War Against its Own Population

There is always an incentive to wage a battle against the existing voters by either bringing in new ones or extending the franchise. This is the ultimate cause of America's immigration tradition: not the lofty proposition of a nation of immigrants. Like all ideologies, "nation of immigrants" is an excuse created ex post facto to justify the quest for power. Exitocracy ends that by breaking up the nation into 3,100 parts with their own immigration controls.

It Separates Competing Ideologies in Space and Ends Compromise

Needless to say that no one is forced to live under an ideology that detests them. Exitocracy is the only system of government that gives both homosexuals and homophobes their own separate city states. Never be forced to bake a gay wedding cake again. Never put up with another derogatory remark about your sexuality. So many problems are resolved by merely separating people who hate each other.

There is a reason that some people resent this. There is will to power in the human spirit. Power is always power over someone or some animal. When people say they want equal power I say "NO" emphatically. Why would they want power over others? To abuse them of course. Humans are at their very cores primates who desire some dominance. In politics, all moral arguments are disguised arguments for violence. They say, "we must decide what to do." Why? Who is this so-called "WE?" There is no "WE." There is only me and you, and I am not you. "We" implies that I will at some point agree with your desire to impose your will on me. That is unrealistic. The heat death of the universe will occur first. Nearly all supposedly practical arguments against exitocracy are really surreptitiously motivated by a hatred of losing dominance. We see then that exitocracy is the most civilized of all systems of government. But do not be mistaken; the failure to cater to the urge to dominate in no way constitutes a failure to succeed as a political program. Remember those tribes we talked about? That is the outlet for that urge, and that is local. People can also join the military, take up martial arts, watch boxing and play football. There are other outlets for expressing dominance.

It relegates compromise to issues of national defense only.

It Enforces a Minimum Level of Freedom

This is the obvious one. Supreme Courts may trample your rights. They may rule against you. All it takes is one wrong Justice and the court could repeal abortion rights, gun rights, etc. Exitocracy enforces a minimum amount of freedom. So much so that there is a real danger of Supreme Court rulings being ignored. Historical precedent shows that it was the highest court in the land, and not local governments, that tended to impose values on unwilling groups the most. The competing systems are so much more likely to uphold your rights than the Court that one might consider abolishing it altogether and making Supreme Court precedent constitute whatever 85% of system courts agree on through a digital smart contracts system.

The English common law system, with all its guarantee of rights, is the product of law under a competitive minarchism. It was competing jurisdictions that produced democracy to begin with and established basic rights.

It Fractures Cathedral Power

This is simple enough but can be undervalued. Instead of one proposition nation you gain 3,100. The coordination costs of trying to control them all become insurmountable. This is a good thing since conflict is driven not be a diversity of opinion but by its sameness. Societies that are radically different from one another have nothing to struggle over. They recognize the impossibility of reconciliation. It is only where the enemy is sufficiently like oneself that they may be absorbed into your population and a desire for control and absorption can exist. America's cultural civil war is caused by the extreme similarity between the two parties, and not by their differences. Similarity breeds narrow mindedness. Radical difference on all fronts breeds tolerance by constantly exposing the individual to a strange difference with others outside ones own culture. Paradoxically, the desire to make the world a multi-cultural strip mall destroys its diversity.

Go back to Chapter 4b.
Go to the Contents.




Saturday, January 7, 2017

"A formalist manifesto;" Highlighting Molbug

Though I no longer subscribe to tech com NRx or anything like it I still believe that it is crucial for people to understand the works of Curtis Yarvin, aka, Mencius Moldbug. He will probably turn out to be the most influential thinker of our time. The study of Mencius Moldbug is crucial for understanding the American new right and the neoreactionary movement, including its HRx, CRx, and Republican reactionary variants. Even the alt-right has its sources in Moldbugian thought, as many of them were once reactionaries.

But Moldbug can be a difficult read. He can be long-winded and esoteric. So I will highlight his work for you. Maybe this will become a series. You can read only the highlighted parts and skip over everything else. If you need clarification you can read the surrounding text. This is a better method than interpretation or summary, and is less prone to misrepresentation. To highlight I will be using something like "royal purple." I may also insert notes in parentheses. Just read all the highlighted parts as one continuous statement, skipping over everything in between. Let's start with the very first.

A formalist manifesto

The other day I was tinkering around in my garage and I decided to build a new ideology.
What? I mean, am I crazy or something? First of all, you can't just build an ideology. They're handed down across the centuries, like lasagna recipes
. They need to age, like bourbon. You can't just drink it straight out of the radiator.

And look what happens if you try. What causes all the problems of the world? Ideology, that's what. What do Bush and Osama have in common? They're both ideological nutcases. We're supposed to need more of this?

Furthermore, it's simply not possible to build a new ideology. People have been talking about ideology since Jesus was a little boy. At least! And I'm supposedly going to improve on this? Some random person on the Internet, who flunked out of grad school, who doesn't know Greek or Latin? Who do I think I am, Wallace Shawn?

All excellent objections. Let's answer them and then we'll talk about formalism.
First, of course, there are a couple of beautifully aged traditional ideologies which the Internet now brings us in glorious detail. They go by lots of names, but let's call them progressivism and conservatism.

My beef with progressivism is that for at least the last 100 years, the vast majority of writers and thinkers and smart people in general have been progressives. Therefore, any intellectual in 2007, which unless there has been some kind of Internet space warp and my words are being carried live on Fox News, is anyone reading this, is basically marinated in progressive ideology.

Perhaps this might slightly impair one's ability to see any problems that may exist in the progressive worldview.

As for conservatism, not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. Similarly, not all conservatives are cretins, but most cretins are conservatives. The modern American conservative movement - which is paradoxically much younger than the progressive movement, if only because it had to be reinvented after the Roosevelt dictatorship - has been distinctly affected by this audience. It also suffers from the electoral coincidence that it has to despise everything that progressivism adores, a bizarre birth defect which does not appear to be treatable.

Most people who don't consider themselves "progressives" or "conservatives" are one of two things. Either they're "moderates," or they're "libertarians."

In my experience, most sensible people consider themselves "moderate," "centrist," "independent," "unideological," "pragmatic," "apolitical," etc. Considering the vast tragedies wrought by 20th-century politics, this attitude is quite understandable. It is also, in my opinion, responsible for most of the death and destruction in the world today.

Moderation is not an ideology. It is not an opinion. It is not a thought. It is an absence of thought. If you believe the status quo of 2007 is basically righteous, then you should believe the same thing if a time machine transported you to Vienna in 1907. But if you went around Vienna in 1907 saying that there should be a European Union, that Africans and Arabs should rule their own countries and even colonize Europe, that any form of government except parliamentary democracy is evil, that paper money is good for business, that all doctors should work for the State, etc, etc - well, you could probably find people who agreed with you. They wouldn't call themselves "moderates," and nor would anyone else.

No, if you were a moderate in Vienna in 1907, you thought Franz Josef I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. So which is it? Hapsburgs, or Eurocrats? Pretty hard to split the difference on that one.

In other words, the problem with moderation is that the "center" is not fixed. It moves. And since it moves, and people being people, people will try to move it. This creates an incentive for violence - something we formalists try to avoid. More on this in a bit.

That leaves libertarians. Now, I love libertarians to death. My CPU practically has a permanent open socket to the Mises Institute. In my opinion, anyone who has intentionally chosen to remain ignorant of libertarian (and, in particular, Misesian-Rothbardian) thought, in an era when a couple of mouse clicks will feed you enough high-test libertarianism to drown a moose, is not an intellectually serious person. Furthermore, I am a computer programmer who has read far too much science fiction - two major risk factors for libertarianism. So I could just say, "read Rothbard," and call it a day.

On the other hand, it is hard to avoid noticing two basic facts about the universe. One is that libertarianism is an extremely obvious idea. The other is that it has never been successfully implemented.

This does not prove anything. But what it suggests is that libertarianism is, as its detractors are always quick to claim, an essentially impractical ideology. I would love to live in a libertarian society. The question is: is there a path from here to there? And if we get there, will we stay there? If your answer to both questions is obviously "yes," perhaps your definition of "obvious" is not the same as mine.

So this is why I decided to build my own ideology - "formalism."

Of course, there is nothing new in formalism. Progressives, conservatives, moderates, and libertarians will all recognize large chunks of their own undigested realities. Even the word "formalism" is borrowed from legal formalism, which is basically the same idea in more modest attire.

I am not Vizzini. I am just some dude who buys a lot of obscure used books, and is not afraid to grind them down, add flavor, and rebrand the result as a kind of political surimi. Most everything I have to say is available, with better writing, more detail and much more erudition, in Jouvenel, Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leoni, Burnham, Nock, etc, etc.

If you've never heard of any of these people, neither had I until I started the procedure. If that scares you, it should. Replacing your own ideology is a lot like do-it-yourself brain surgery. It requires patience, tolerance, a high pain threshold, and very steady hands. Whoever you are, you already have an ideology in there, and if it wanted to come out it would have done so on its own.

There is no point in starting this messy experiment only to install some other ideology that's the way it is just because someone said so. Formalism, as we'll see, is an ideology designed by geeks for other geeks. It's not a kit. It doesn't come with batteries. You can't just pop it in. At best, it's a rough starting point to help you build your own DIY ideology. If you're not comfortable working with a table saw, an oscilloscope and an autoclave, formalism is not for you.

That said:

The basic idea of formalism is just that the main problem in human affairs is violence. The goal is to design a way for humans to interact, on a planet of remarkably limited size, without violence.

Especially organized violence. Next to organized human-on-human violence, a good formalist believes, all other problems - Poverty, Global Warming, Moral Decay, etc, etc, etc - are basically insignificant. Perhaps once we get rid of violence we can worry a little about Moral Decay, but given that organized violence killed a couple of hundred million people in the last century, whereas Moral Decay gave us "American Idol," I think the priorities are pretty clear.

The key is to look at this not as a moral problem, but as an engineering problem. Any solution that solves the problem is acceptable. Any solution that does not solve the problem is not acceptable.

For example, there is an existing idea called pacifism, part of the general progressive suite, which claims to be a solution for violence. As I understand it, the idea of pacifism is that if you and I can not be violent, everyone else will not be violent, too.

There's no doubt in my mind that pacifism is effective in some cases. In Northern Ireland, for example, it seems to be just the thing. But there is a kind of "hundredth-monkey" logic to it that consistently eludes my linear, Western mind. It strikes me that if everyone is a pacifist and then one person decides not to be a pacifist, he will wind up ruling the world. Hmm.

A further difficulty is that the definition of "violence" isn't so obvious. If I gently relieve you of your wallet, and you chase after me with your Glock and make me beg to be allowed to give it back, which of us is being violent? Suppose I say, well, it was your wallet - but it's my wallet now?

This suggests, at the very least, that we need a rule that tells us whose wallet is whose. Violence, then, is anything that breaks the rule, or replaces it with a different rule. If the rule is clear and everyone follows it, there is no violence.

In other words, violence equals conflict plus uncertainty. While there are wallets in the world, conflict will exist. But if we can eliminate uncertainty - if there is an unambiguous, unbreakable rule that tells us, in advance, who gets the wallet - I have no reason to sneak my hand into your pocket, and you have no reason to run after me shooting wildly into the air. Neither of our actions, by definition, can affect the outcome of the conflict.

Violence of any size makes no sense without uncertainty. Consider a war. If one army knows it will lose the war, perhaps on the advice of some infallible oracle, it has no reason to fight. Why not surrender and get it over with?

But this has only multiplied our difficulties. Where do all these rules come from? Who makes them unbreakable? Who gets to be the oracle? Why is the wallet "yours," rather than "mine"? What happens if we disagree on this? If there's one rule for every wallet, how can everyone remember them all? And suppose it's not you, but me, who's got the Glock?

Fortunately, great philosophers have spent many long hours pondering these details. The answers I give you are theirs, not mine.

First, one sensible way to make rules is that you're bound by a rule if, and only if, you agree to it. We don't have rules that are made by the gods somewhere. What we have is actually not rules at all, but agreements. Surely, agreeing to something and then, at your own convenience, un-agreeing to it, is the act of a cad. In fact, when you make an agreement, the agreement itself may well include the consequences of this kind of irresponsible behavior.

If you're a wild man and you agree to nothing - not even that you won't just kill people randomly on the street - this is fine. Go and live in the jungle, or something. Don't expect anyone to let you walk around on their street, any more than they would tolerate, say, a polar bear. There is no absolute moral principle that says that polar bears are evil, but their presence is just not compatible with modern urban living.

We are starting to see two kinds of agreements here. There are agreements made with other specific individuals - I agree to paint your house, you agree to pay me. And there are agreements like, "I won't kill anyone on the street." But are these agreements really different? I don't think so. I think the second kind of agreement is just your agreement with whoever owns the street.

If wallets have owners, why shouldn't streets have owners? Wallets have to have owners, obviously, because ultimately someone has to decide what happens with the wallet. Does it ride off in your pocket, or mine? Streets stay put, but there are still a lot of decisions that have to be taken - who paves the street? When and why? Are people allowed to kill people on the street, or is it one of those special no-killing streets? What about street vendors? And so on.

Obviously, if I own 44th Street and you own 45th and 43rd, the possibility of a complex relationship between us becomes nontrivial. And complexity is next to ambiguity, which is next to uncertainty, and the Glocks come out again. So, realistically, we are probably talking more about owning not streets, but larger, more clearly-defined units - blocks, maybe, or even cities.

Owning a city! Now that would be pretty cool. But it gets us back to an issue that we've completely skipped, which is who owns what. How do we decide? Do I deserve to own a city? Am I so meritorious? I think I am. Maybe you could keep your wallet, and I could get, say, Baltimore.

(He doesn't say just yet)

There is this idea called social justice that a lot of people believe in. The notion is, in fact, fairly universal as of this writing. What it tells us is that Earth is small and has a limited set of resources, such as cities, which we all want as much of as possible. But we can't all have a city, or even a street, so we should share equally. Because all of us people are equal and no one is more equal than anyone else.

Social justice sounds very nice. But there are three problems with it.

One is that many of these nice things are not directly comparable. If I get an apple and you get an orange, are we equal? One could debate the subject - with Glocks, perhaps.

Two is that even if everyone starts with equal everything, people being different, having different needs and skills and so on, and the concept of ownership implying that if you own something you can give it to someone else, all is not likely to stay equal. In fact, it's basically impossible to combine a system in which agreements stay agreed with one in which equality stays equal.

This tells us that if we try to enforce permanent equality, we can probably expect permanent violence. I am not a big fan of "empirical evidence," but I think this prediction corresponds pretty well to reality. (94 million dead from communism)

But three, which is the real killer - so to speak - is that we are not, in fact, designing an abstract utopia here. We are trying to fix the real world, which in case you hadn't noticed, is extremely screwed up. In many cases, there is no clear agreement on who owns what (Palestine, anyone?), but most of the good things in the world do seem to have a rather definite chain of control.

If we have to start by equalizing the distribution of goods, or in fact by changing this distribution at all, we are putting ourselves quite unnecessarily behind the 8-ball. We are saying, we come in peace, we believe all should be free and equal, let us embrace. Put your arms around me. Feel that lump in my back pocket? Yup, that's what you think it is. And it's loaded. Now hand over your city / wallet / apple / orange, because I know someone who needs it more than you.

The goal of formalism is to avoid this unpleasant little detour. Formalism says: let's figure out exactly who has what, now, and give them a little fancy certificate. Let's not get into who should have what. Because, like it or not, this is simply a recipe for more violence. It is very hard to come up with a rule that explains why the Palestinians should get Haifa back, and doesn't explain why the Welsh should get London back.

So far this probably sounds a lot like libertarianism. But there's a big difference.
Libertarians may think the Welsh should get London back. Or not. I am still not sure I can interpret Rothbard on this one - which is, as we've seen, in itself a problem.

But if there is one thing all libertarians do believe, it's that the Americans should get America back. In other words, libertarians (at least, real libertarians) believe the US is basically an illegitimate and usurping authority, that taxation is theft, that they are essentially being treated as fur-bearing animals by this weird, officious armed mafia, which has somehow convinced everyone else in the country to worship it like it was the Church of God or something, not just a bunch of guys with fancy badges and big guns.

A good formalist will have none of this.

Because to a formalist, the fact that the US can determine what happens on the North American continent between the 49th parallel and the Rio Grande, AK and HI, etc, means that it is the entity which owns that territory. And the fact that the US extracts regular payments from the aforementioned fur-bearing critters means no more than that it owns that right. The various maneuvers and pseudo-legalities by which it acquired these properties are all just history. What matters is that it has them now and it doesn't want to give them over, any more than you want to give me your wallet.

So if the responsibility to fork over some cut of your paycheck makes you a serf (a reasonable reuse of the word, surely, for our less agricultural age), that's what Americans are - serfs.
Corporate serfs, to be exact, because the US is nothing but a corporation. That is, it is a formal structure by which a group of individuals agree to act collectively to achieve some result.

So what? So I'm a corporate serf. Is this so horrible? I seem to be pretty used to it. Two days out of the week I work for Lord Snooty-Snoot. Or Faceless Global Products. Or whoever. Does it matter who the check is written to?
The modern distinction between "private" corporations and "governments" is actually a rather recent development. The US is certainly different from, say, Microsoft, in that the US handles its own security. On the other hand, just as Microsoft depends on the US for most of its security, the US depends on Microsoft for most of its software. It's not clear why this should make one of these corporations special, and the other not-special.

Of course, the purpose of Microsoft is not to write software, but to make money for its shareholders. The American Cancer Society is a corporation, too, and it has a purpose as well - to cure cancer. I have lost a lot of work on account of Microsoft's so-called "software," and its stock, frankly, is going nowhere. And cancer still seems to be around.

(But no one knows the purpose of the US government)

In case the CEO of either MSFT or the ACS is reading this, though, I don't really have a message for you guys. You know what you're trying to do and your people are probably doing as good a job of it as they can. And if not, fire the bastards.

But I have no idea what the purpose of the US is.
I have heard that there's someone who supposedly runs it. But he doesn't appear to even be able to fire his own employees, which is probably good, because I hear he's not exactly Jack Welch, if you know what I mean. In fact, if anyone can identify one significant event that has occurred in North America because Bush and not Kerry was elected in 2004, I'd be delighted to hear of it. Because my impression is that basically the President has about as much effect on the actions of the US as the Heavenly Sovereign Emperor, the Divine Mikado, has on the actions of Japan. Which is pretty much none.

Obviously, the US exists. Obviously, it does stuff. But the way in which it decides what stuff it's going to do is so opaque that, as far as anyone outside the Beltway is concerned, it might as well be consulting ox entrails.

So this is the formalist manifesto: that the US is just a corporation. It is not a mystic trust consigned to us by the generations. It is not the repository of our hopes and fears, the voice of conscience and the avenging sword of justice. It is just an big old company that holds a huge pile of assets, has no clear idea of what it's trying to do with them, and is thrashing around like a ten-gallon shark in a five-gallon bucket, red ink spouting from each of its bazillion gills.

To a formalist, the way to fix the US is to dispense with the ancient mystical horseradish, the corporate prayers and war chants, figure out who owns this monstrosity, and let them decide what in the heck they are going to do with it. I don't think it's too crazy to say that all options - including restructuring and liquidation - should be on the table.

Whether we're talking about the US, Baltimore, or your wallet, a formalist is only happy when ownership and control are one and the same. To reformalize, therefore, we need to figure out who has actual power in the US, and assign shares in such a way as to reproduce this distribution as closely as possible.

Of course, if you believe in the mystical horseradish, you'll probably say that every citizen should get one share. But this is a rather starry-eyed view of the US's actual power structure. Remember, our goal is not to figure out who should have what, but to figure out who does have what.

For example, if the New York Times was to endorse our reformalization plan, it would be much more likely to happen. This suggests that the New York Times has quite a bit of power, and therefore that it should get quite a few shares.

But wait. We haven't answered the question. What is the purpose of the US? Suppose, solely for illustration, we give all the shares to the New York Times. What will "Punch" Sulzberger do with his shiny new country?

(Who cares?)
Many people, probably including Mr. Sulzberger, seem to think of the US as a charitable venture. Like the American Cancer Society, just with a broader mission. Perhaps the purpose of the US is simply to do good in the world.

This is a very understandable perspective. Surely, if anything ungood remains in the world, it can be vanquished by a gigantic, heavily armed mega-charity, with H-bombs, a flag, and 250 million serfs. In fact, it's actually rather astounding that, considering the prodigious endowments of this great philanthropic institution, it seems to do so little good.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that it's run so efficiently that it hasn't balanced its budget since the 1830s. Perhaps, if you reformalized the US, ran it like an actual business, and distributed its shares among a large set of separate charities, each presumably with some specific charter for some actual specific purpose, more good might occur.

Of course, the US doesn't just have assets. Sadly, it also has debts. Some of these debts, such as T-bills, are already very well-formalized. Others, such as Social Security and Medicare, are informal and subject to political uncertainties. If these obligations were reformalized, their recipients could only benefit. Of course, they would thus become negotiable instruments and could be, for example, sold. Perhaps in exchange for crack. Reformalization thus requires us to distinguish between property and charity, a hard problem but an important one.

All this fails to answer the question: are nation-states, such as the US, even useful? If you reformalized the US, the question would be left to its shareholders. Perhaps cities work the best when they're independently owned and operated. If so, they should probably be spun off as separate corporations.

The existence of successful city-states such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai certainly suggests an answer to this question. Whatever we call them, these places are remarkable for their prosperity and their relative absence of politics. In fact, perhaps the only way to make them more stable and secure would be to transform them from effectively family-owned (Singapore and Dubai) or subsidiary (Hong Kong) corporations, to anonymous public ownership, thus eliminating the long-term risk that political violence might develop.

Certainly, the absence of democracy in these city-states has not made them comparable in any way to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Any restrictions on personal freedom that they do maintain seem primarily aimed at preventing the development of democracy - an understandable concern given the history of rule by the People. In fact, both the Third Reich and the Communist world often claimed to represent the true spirit of democracy.

As Dubai in particular shows, a government (like any corporation) can deliver excellent customer service without either owning or being owned by its customers. Most of Dubai's residents are not even citizens. If Sheik al-Maktoum has a cunning plan to seize them all, chain them and make them work in the salt mines, he's doing it in a very devious way.

Dubai, as a place, has almost nothing to recommend it. The weather is horrible, the sights are nonexistent, and the neighborhood is atrocious. It's tiny, in the the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by Allah-crazed maniacs with a suspicious affinity for high-speed centrifuges. Nonetheless it has a quarter of the world's cranes and is growing like a weed. If we let the Maktoums run, say, Baltimore, what would happen?

One conclusion of formalism is that democracy is - as most writers before the 19th century agreed - an ineffective and destructive system of government. The concept of democracy without politics makes no sense at all, and as we've seen, politics and war are a continuum. Democratic politics is best understood as a sort of symbolic violence, like deciding who wins the battle by how many troops they brought.

Formalists attribute the success of Europe, Japan and the US after World War II not to democracy, but its absence. While retaining the symbolic structures of democracy, much as the Roman Principate retained the Senate, the postwar Western system has assigned almost all actual decision-making power to its civil servants and judges, who are "apolitical" and "nonpartisan," ie, nondemocratic.

Because in the absence of effective external control, these civil services more or less manage themselves, like any unmanaged enterprise they often seem to exist and expand for the sake of existing and expanding. But they avoid the spoils system which invariably develops when the tribunes of the people have actual power. And they do a reasonable, if hardly stellar, job of maintaining some semblance of law.

In other words, "democracy" appears to work because it is not in fact democracy, but a mediocre implementation of formalism. This relationship between symbolism and reality has received an educational if depressing test in the form of Iraq, where there is no law at all, but which we have endowed with the purest and most elegant form of democracy (proportional representation), and ministers who actually seem to run their ministries. While history does no controlled experiments, surely the comparison of Iraq to Dubai makes a fine case for formalism over democracy.

(originally posted at over at 2Blowhards - thanks, Michael! If you have comments, there's already a thread there...)