Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Neocameralism vs. Demotism & AI vs. Amerika

Neocameralism appears to share the problematic feature of demotism.
Nevertheless, if we somehow implement natural selection in government by making it as easy as possible for governments to fail, we will get the best government.
Moldbug seriously embarrassed himself when he didn't discuss neocameralism's political formula.

You can have a government that's run for the benefit of the 'employees,' which is literally communism, always parasitic, and always fails because it either bleeds the subjects dry and starves, or loses their support.

Every government is at least a little democratic, in that it requires the resignation of the subjects. No government has ever been able to afford to suppress widespread dissent. (The key threshold is about 10% civil (or impolite) disobedience. If the autres refuse to be encourger, the government ends.)

Alternatively you can have government that's run for the benefit of the subjects, which is not-communism, but hasn't ever been tried. (Though the closer approximations have been better, just as closer approximations of communism have been more Infernal.)

The problem is what makes Moldbug come up with the 'primary property' distinction. As a matter of physical fact, groups do security better than individuals, meaning there's always going to be a principle-agent problem, and this one is the very worst because the agent can always physically seize the principle's entire capital, and the principle can do nothing because individuals are not a group.

We can imagine what is called today an 'enlightened dictator,' which used to be called a 'just king,' who knows not to slaughter the golden goose; who is a communist, an employee running the government for the benefit of the employees, i.e. themselves and their kids, but knows to have a light touch.

We can also imagine that God gives everyone a flying unicorn for a bar mitzvah present.

Because all governments must pacify their subjects vis a vis government rule, it requires a pacifier, which adults have taken to calling the 'political formula' to avoid the embarrassing truth. The political pacifier has a distinct effect on the character of the government using it. As per Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, of stable pacifiers, demotism is a particular awful specimen. The Divine Right of Kings transmutes to the Divine Right of Mob. (ProTip: Kings are noble. Mobs are not. They're both parasitic, but you as subject prefer one parasite over the other.)

While deeply confused about what Moldbug was trying to say, Brett Stevens raises all the salient points, passing an extremely high bar, statistically speaking, as a quality critic. I will thus politely ignore the confusion, and I hope you can too.

Neocameralism is Moldbug's attempt to produce a much better political pacifier than demotism. He does this by imagining the most ideal workable governance structure and ignoring the issue of pacification entirely. I extrapolate that he imagines a world of adults like himself, who recognize they can't change the government, and thus simply accept its existence without a specific pacification doctrine. Moldbug shows that neocameralist governance indeed theoretically aligns governor and subject interests, and thus behaving as an adult like himself is indeed rational.
(By 'theoretically' I mean theoreticians forget relevant factors all the time. However, if Moldbug has done so, nobody has been able to point out which factor he's forgotten. If he hasn't, it will turn out he is simply correct, because that's how logic works.)
Basically, while the neocameral CEO can indeed seize the entire neostate for himself, he demonstrably won't, for exactly the same reasons the CEO of Ford doesn't simply allocate all of Ford's production to himself and retire with like a million cars.
("Sir, we're running low on virgin's blood for your bath."
"Ah, Jeeves, just sell a few hundred more of the Pintos."
"Very good sir.")

Moldbug imagines that the sovcorps would leave their borders open, as a home you're not allowed to sell is less valuable than one you are allowed to sell, meaning closed sovcorps would have a lower stock price, and either get bought out, go broke and collapse, or shape up to prevent these things.

However, this means sovcorps have, if anything, even more of a democratic nature than democracies. Especially thinking of the most valuable citizens, if moving sovcorp is as easy as moving apartments, then we imagine a quite servile and solicitous 'king.'
they will flock to that which is more mentally convenient, thus ending up at liberalism.
(Noting his idiosyncratic though precise notion of 'liberalism.')
It seems sovcorps will pander to their subject's whims, generally speaking, the same way 'the customer is always right' often means you're allowed to verbally abuse your service provider. And the whole point of anti-demotism is the people's whims are kind of cataclysmically awful.

And you know what? That may indeed happen. However, you can no more prove it will happen than I can prove it can't happen.

I will nevertheless suggest as much.
right now people know that voting Leftist results in them paying more taxes and receiving less, and still they do it — why? Answer: because government is not the cause but the effect, and the cause is that under social systems, egalitarianism is the way to advance. Again, the problem is us.

Two differences.
First, 'good schools.' When someone is choosing something they have genuine control over and has a genuine effect on them, they don't signal, they, err, competence.

Voting is free and pointless, thus pure signalling. No, voting left doesn't really result in them paying more taxes. They are going to pay more taxes anyway, so you might as well vote left and be holier-than-thou, instead of voting right and being taxed for nothing.

Similarly, try to use political sophistry to convince someone of something false about their job. At least, if you enjoy being shut down the hardest you've ever been. Scamming someone is much, much harder than the voting booth makes it seem.

Second, what's actually mentally convenient is choosing the strong horse and ignoring all policy. Folk will move to the richest or most feared polity - the strongest, thus the healthiest. Sure at first it won't be clear who's going to win, and it will come down to policy. Likely a bunch of folk will voluntarily move to communisms. Then they will get jacked, and move somewhere they don't get jacked. (Equivalently, the polity will die out and become fallow.)

While the school thing suggests subjects will be relatively sane about things, let's imagine a few ways they might not be.

The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay liquid. If a light-liberal regime can last long enough for sane regimes to go bankrupt, the 'strong horse' comparison becomes a broken-window fallacy of unseen benefits.

Citizens may choose redistributivist regimes out of guilt or virtue-signalling, then refuse to recant (move) out of embarrassment.

Violent (e.g. Islamic) regimes may outcompete regimes trying to be more peaceful, because violence pays off now but economic growth pays off ten years from now, again leading to a broken-window world.

There is an absolute lower bar for competent polity-scale leadership. It may well be that nobody alive passes that bar. (Or equivalently the smallest number of key supporters per capita is larger than the number of sane rulers per capita.) Genetic evolution tries everything. Humans can only try things that occur to them to try, meaning someone has to think it's a good idea to do the thing that's actually a good idea. The leading cause of corporate dysfunction is government regulation, but the runner-up is various forms of not thinking of the good idea as good or at all.

Once demotism is as discredited as divine right, we recognize that there is indeed demand for a political formula, and a neocameral selection stew is as good at selecting for sophism as for competence. They may come up with a really compelling novel lie, which will last another several hundred years.

Neocameralism is a specific model of what Steel Anarchism would result in. (Caveat: true anarchism formalizes Exit as pacifier, instead of simply hoping the incentives work out.)

Steel Anarchism is a prayer to Gnon.

"Dear Gnon, bestow upon us the best government, love, everybody." The fiercer the selection, the more graciously Gnon will grant our prayer. Anything that weakens the selection - namely, political pacifiers that aren't Exit - is a slap in Gnon's face. While Gnon is merciful (or perhaps lazy) eventually he will slap back. And his hand is bigger than yours.

However, it may well turn out the best government is still a net parasite. It's not up to you, or me, or us, and especially not to idealistic pro-state wishers. It's up to Gnon. We can thank Gnon it's not worse, or do that whole slapping thing. There aren't any other options.

Brett Stevens is ontologically committed to anarcho-pessimism.
Until we get rid of the notion of equality, and replace it with culture and hierarchy, we are doomed.
Hierarchy == coercion => parasitism,
[prevent] government from being able to operate behind an ideological aegis which allows it to commit parasitism that cannot be criticized because its goal is theoretically noble.

Doing the substitution, "until we get rid of parasitism and replace it with parasitism, we are doomed." Coda: oh wait shit, we're just doomed.


Different T said...

[1/2] The primary issue is that NRx is founded on a fundamentally insane psychology and anthropology. In a simple formulae, your queen is mad.

As far as can be ascertained, NRx has not consciously employed any psychology and operates on what is a Lockean [1] (and for many, unconscious) view of anthropology. As far as is seen, NRx’s chief philosopher is Nick Land; a philosopher parading around as evangelizing metamorphosis, yet actually preaching death [2] and parasitism [3]. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly; bees do not become the Apocephalus borealis.

Your quotes: “You can have a government that's run for the benefit of the 'employees,’” “Alternatively you can have government that's run for the benefit of the subjects,” and “They're both parasitic, but you as subject prefer one parasite over the other” are direct evidence of your Lockean/liberal anthropology masquerading, not as a historically-contingent and particular anthropological view, but as objective reality. That you consider such terms as “run for the benefit of” as applicable and frame the State as fundamentally “parasitic” on subjects indicates you consider conceptions such as “the individual in a ‘free’ (pre-societal) condition,” “the State as formed through agreement by these ‘free’ individuals,” “the individual subject to the parasitic State,” and “the State (once created through voluntary agreement) as parasite on these instantaneously created subjects” as descriptive of reality; a narrow frame that necessarily ignores the complexity of life and inter-relations with other men and the State/center.

“The modern Reactionary, born and bred a modern person, reserves the right to subject everything to rational scrutiny, including political arrangements that either do not as a matter of principle tolerate any scrutiny from private individuals (such as absolutism), or would not be able to withstand such scrutiny, since they rely on taken-for-granted arrangements that fall apart once people start explicitly questioning them (as in traditionalism). The modern Reactionary takes the stance of an individual in the juridical state of Nature shopping around for a State form he finds congenial- even though these forms may be inoperable without unconditional unthinking obedience in the form of reverence for authority and social arrangements invested with the sacred.” [4]

It is also a frame that views society as a zero-sum (percentage based) Machiavellian power accumulation game, practically increasing (if not ensuring) defection; and thus, power accumulation to third-party (outside of society) parasites.

Different T said...

[2/2] This particular view of anthropology hides its character and reliance on the modern perspective of “objective” science. You view yourself as standing as an “outside” observer passing judgements based on “objective reality;” something you are fundamentally incapable of, yet deny.

“The state is a part of society, in the same sense that the center is “part of” the margin–the two are complementary and reciprocally defining. A state needs a society to govern. The question is one of logical and historical priority… But there is always a center, and everyone always tries to make it more secure. On the tribal level, there is a ritual center, and all social arrangements are referred back to that. You can, after the fact, construct a sociology saying that the ritual center is ‘really’ just manipulated by shamans who ‘really’ represent groups emerging spontaneously in society, but no one in the tribal community could see it that way. The very existence of “groups,” indeed of names, refers back to the sacred center.” [5]

This Lockean anthropology is, in fact, a historical conception based on a pseudo-psychology which ignores basic characteristics of man.

“Man appears, a screaming bundle of flesh, the outcome of mating. He is utterly helpless, his existence hangs upon the nursing he receives.” [6]

“’The individual is not prior to society’ (editor’s note: this translates to ‘rejecting Lockean anthropology’) means that society is not an ‘intersubjective’ matter of agreement. You're born into a society and in the process of becoming a mature individual you must master its norms. You take them on not by considering each one and agreeing to it (you're not yet capable of this!) but through mastery of them. Once you have become a mature individual with an identity, the norms of society are already part of you.” [7]

Neoreactionaries confuse themselves here by thinking that they are, in fact, are these “Lockean pre-societal individuals” capable of forming society through an “intersubjective matter of agreement” (“dark” enlightened special snow-flakes), rather than having been indoctrinated to believe and act the way their programming demands.

“[social contract theories] are the views of childless men who must have forgotten their childhood"[8]

Neo-cameralism is only the latest hypothesis, formulated by high IQ Lockean-indoctrinated man (really special snow-flake), on how to govern the lower IQ Lockean-indoctrinated man (not as special snow-flakes) in a way that maintains the Machiavellian power accumulation game and allows for continued defection and third party parasitism.

Dark Reformation said...

Nice blog, I have read quite a bit of it. You were one of the commenters on UR, I always enjoyed your input. (I read all the comments).

I have a thought on the concept of political formula.

I believe Moldbug does discuss the concept of formula.

The formula is that form and reality should be united. Ownership and control are united. Rules (laws) are formalised and explicit, thus justice is the accurate application of the law. Security is a major plank (one of the prime sources of profit and incentivises people to live there.)

The corollaries of this, which are part of the formula, is that there is no "Orwellian mind control" because the sovereign is secure. There is no politics (theoretically) or minimal and ineffective politics because power relations are clear, formal, and secure. Uncertainty is eliminated and thus violence and instability is minimised.

The formula is the reason why people should accept the justification or legitimacy of the state. The formula here is that the Neocameral state is exactly what it says it is. It is true, good and prosperous. Form and reality are the same.

In other words, this is the Neocameral brand: a government is simply a corporation, it is a business, and should be structured like one.


Dark Reformation.

Different T said...


[1] https://reactionaryfuture.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/locke-versus-filmer-or-why-you-are-all-communists/

[2] https://www.reddit.com/r/Absolutistneoreaction/comments/5go5lc/nick_land_kamikaze_gambler/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prtOM9LOz7U

[4] http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/10/20/new-theory-individual/#comment-41937

[5] http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/10/20/new-theory-individual/#comment-41402

[6] (Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Pure Theory of Politics, 43)

[7] Scientism, https://www.reddit.com/r/Absolutistneoreaction/comments/51t2ui/questions_about_absolutist_neoreaction/

[8] de Jouvenel; cited here: http://humanitas.org/?p=3482

uriel alexis said...

self governing property has been forgotten in all this. where does capital come in?

Alrenous said...

Different T: no. Go away.


Dark Reformation,

They should like the form because the form is what it says it is? Yet this includes forms of government nobody would accept, such as omnislavery.

Specifically saying it's a business is, if anything, an anti-formula. State legitimacy is supposed to be sacred, and this one is saying straight-up it is profane.


Uriel Alexis,

I find the term 'governance' a conflation in this case.
As a matter of physical fact, groups do security better than individuals, meaning there's always going to be a principle-agent problem
To control vs. to secure.
Something (e.g. capital) can be self-directed, but there's always going to be a security issue. Many states like to destroy things they cannot govern, because their transcendental value is to control. Even though the capital can always make this an uneconomic choice, to the state, the economy is only a means, not an end, and the end is control, and so spending resources for pure destruction comes out as a utility win for them.