Friday, December 23, 2016
A Brief Summary of Exitocracy
In the book Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Albert O. Hirschman, he defines a conceptual framework where a person, when confronted with declining quality of performance from an organization, can choose one of the methods listed in the book title for dealing with the situation; they can exit (leave the organization), attempt to voice their concerns, or remain loyal.
Mencius Moldbug draws from this work.
In Patchwork: a positive vision, Moldbug, aka Curtis Yarvin, delineates a hypothetical society where sovereignty is carved up into patches, (city states) and where each person is free to move between them but no one votes within them. In Moldbug's vision, each state is a corporation which owns a territory. It is a system of all exit and no voice. This is precisely the opposite of; a system of all voice and no exit. Moldbug views democracy as a soft variant of communism (like some of the ancient philosophers), and therefore he considers America a communist country. This is what is meant by the neoreactionary phrase "America is a communist country."
There is a long chain of reasoning that leads Moldbug to the conclusion that the exercise of political voice is the enemy of freedom. After all, lots of city states have no voice and plenty of freedom, (like Singapore or Dubai). Since Moldbug was originally a libertarian he views political voice as meaningless. Why do you need voice when your rights are respected? He says. This attitude is summarized by the statement that "the only morality is civilization," (also the motto of the Hestia Society). Ultimately, in his view, order is a precondition for liberty and well-ordered states are necessarily free as a consequence. Humans do best when revealed preferences are the basis for political decisions rather than voting. This is because of the rational ignorance problem of voting; which says that it is individually rational for a voter to be ignorant even if it is collectively detrimental to the nation. Additionally, there are endless public choice problems associated with democracy, and ultimately, democracies are run by the civil service and various client special interest groups. Moreover, constitutions do not form a successful barrier to state religion. All religion does is metaphorically mutate around the Separation of Church and State in order to exercise control over the government. It becomes secular in nature, dropping the worship of God and converting into political correctness. Religion always influences the state and in the presence of Separation of Church and State people simply sublimate religious impulses into secular doctrine. This process is what Moldbug calls the Cathedral and political correctness.
Since this is a neoreactionary inspired blog much of the ideas for exitocracy come from patchwork. The essential difference is that within exitocracy, the population gets to vote for their system of government. Patchwork doesn't do that. In exitocracy, systems themselves are run by corporations, non profits, political parties, etc., with no internal control over the state by the people. In other words, the people choose which government, and not it's leaders or policies.
Since a conventional election where the majority wins would produce only two major systems competing in every district election, the election is a multi-part election instead. It works like a decision tree. In the first round the people in a territory choose between left or right-wing. then in the second round they choose what type of left or right-wing system they want to govern them. Only voters who voted for the right are allowed to choose which system is adopted if the right has the majority in the first round, and conversely, only the voters who voted for the left choose the system if the left wins in the first round. The result is a minimum of 4 possible political systems competing on the ballot in each election. An additional level may be added to increase that number to eight systems competing with each other.
Not just anyone can create a system: there are strict licencing and capital requirements to limit the potential for failure. Basic services like police and fire departments continue to be provided by conventional government to minimize risk. Systems only control the welfare state, domestic law making, and social services. The effect is the creation of a governance marketplace where society operates on three levels; the first level is the federal state, the second is the governance marketplace (competing systems), and the third is the free market.
Exitocracy basically creates an agorist or anarcho capitalist governance marketplace contained within a federal government that controls a national territory. This solves many flaws in Moldbug's design, not the least of which is the potential for war between patches. With the federal government watching over the systems contained within it's territory and with the systems being banned from having militaries the potential for violence is eliminated. The US Federal government is the big thumb that keeps all the little systems peaceful. All domestic legislation is essentially delegated to the systems, (within reason). The federal government concentrates on national deference and foreign affairs matters.
Each system is about the size of a county. Ideally the borders of election districts perfectly overlap the borders of counties so there are about 3,100 of them.
Systems control immigration within the United States to their districts. That's right, even internal immigration is controlled. Since everyone has the right to exit, but no one has the right to enter, a testing service is provided to match people with systems that accommodate their political preferences and resolve this conflict. It is now possible to create foolproof tests for people's attitudes. One method already developed is the IAT, which uses a technique that measures implicit attitudes. The same technique could be applied to other subjects, like attitudes towards taxation, free speech, welfare benefits, etc. Essentially, a person goes to a testing center and completes a series of exams that measure implicit values — the sort of thing you cannot fake. Then they are matched with all the systems that have similar values to their own. They receive a list of invitations. Thus, a person's right of exit is accommodated without violating anyone else's right to be left alone. For example, a communist may receive an invitation to live in a socialist system. But he will never receive one for a libertarian system, and vice versa. This for example, prevents a million Californians from moving to your state and importing their failed political attitudes to it.
As a result, most people can live anywhere, but only if they genuinely change their values first.
Exitocracy solves a huge number of social problems. It creates a guaranteed check on the power of the state. Right now the US Supreme Court can destroy your rights with a pen stroke. The Supreme Court still exists in exitocracy, but will any system enforce its dictates? All systems must compete for both residents and business capital. Systems that fail to compete die and are replaced in bankruptcy court, and lose their slot on the ballot.
Exitocracy also provides humans with a tribe; something that is fundamentally lost in the modern world. Observe that all of the most popular television shows and movies are about tribes of people; The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, Lost, The Walking Dead, The Expanse, Star Wars, etc. Time and time again, there is a small cast of people that do something together. They could go their separate ways but do not. Instead they maintain lifelong friendships. This is completely opposite to how the modern world actually works — a place where even families become estranged. Portrayals of tribalism, or shall I say band level civilization, work because they appeal to instinctive human needs. We need life-long friends who never leave. Period. That is something the modern world does not provide, and 94 million communists have died trying to create. Though exitocracy is nearly the opposite of communism, it does a better job of creating tribal solidarity than communists could do, and this means it squashes the ever persistent craving for communism among the population. That's it's second purpose.
There are three ways to settle political disputes: "compromise," which is really just any system that tricks people into accepting the jackboot, the jackboot itself (authority), and "menu." Menu is just exactly what it sounds like. There are a variety of different political systems. You get to choose which one you prefer. Democracy is compromise. Authoritarian systems are authority. Exitocracy is menu.
So there is your summary. I hope you enjoyed it.
Posted by A MK