The Necessity of Power, Part 2: weak politicians = stronger state

An interesting post by Reactionary Future (who recently changed his blog): Absolutist Accelerationism

The analysis in the book of the failure of left wing groups to be effective against capitalism, whilst being very astute, lacks a clear explanation for why it occurred.

Without reading the book, the obvious answer is that capitalism simply proved to be superior to socialism/Marxism. Both systems were put to the test and by the end of the Cold War, it was obvious capitalism had triumphed.

The alt-right and neoreaction are likewise folk politics movements which have no intention to offer a threat to neoliberal hegemony/ unsecure power. They check every single box which Srnicek and Williams use to categories folk politics. They are reactive, ignore long term strategic goals in favour of tactics, prefer practices that are inherently fleeting, choose familiarity over the future, and lionize voluntarism and spontaneity over the institutional.

I think he’s conflating NRx with alt-right. The alt-right tends to be activism-orientated; NRx is not.

Whereas the new left pushes a horizontilaism and negative liberties based on the liberation of the individual’s racial and gender identity from formal authority, the alt right and neoreaction come at you from the angle of economics and law, calling for a liberation of the individual from economic complexity and formal control.

The part about liberation from ‘economic control’ is related to idealism, versus materialistic economic determinism. Most reactionaries reject the Marxian deterministic framework.

Obviously, RH opposes all forms of classical liberalism and libertarianism. ‘Spontaneous order’ in the context of economics means:

The idea of a “spontaneous order”, i.e. an order which emerges as result of the voluntary activities of individuals and not one which is created by a government, is a key idea in the classical liberal and free market tradition.

However, spontaneous order is compatible with determinism (for example, the tendency of high-IQ people to rise to the top socioeconomically).

Both espouse a rejection of organisational complexity, masking it with a referral to a mystical individual level spontaneous order which lacks any coherence and which has real affinity to the most extreme crass fideistic referrals to God as a cause for events. How does the economy work? Invisible hand. How do markets work? Competition is good. How does technology develop? Markets. How will society work if everyone is supplied negative liberties? Their natural goodness will come out. How will change occur? people will awaken spontaneously. Each time the discussion stops exactly where it is believed it supports anarchistic and primitivistic interpretations of events.

Most reactionaries, it would seem, reject this reductionist view of economics and human nature.

We also need to reject negative liberties which are the basis of neoliberalism and the unsecure power system in favour of true liberty offered by an absolutist accelerationist state.

Any claims that the free market is the driver of technological innovation are flat out false and fed by historical illiteracy. When faced with free markets or protection, he chose protectionism.

But ‘accelerationists’ support laissez faire capitalism.

Our argument is that this developmental state doesn’t go far enough. The state requires more power and a complete rejection of the absurdities of neoliberal/ unsecure power predation. Neoliberal/ unsecure power is a shackle on mankind which works by holding back development and true liberty to secure itself.

We will look to develop the concept of the accelorationist absolutist state and reject all folk politics and neoliberal/ unsecure power lies.

Hmmm…but that seems like an uncanny description of America as it already, but with some additional adjustments. Accelerationism is already underway on Wall St. and in Silicon Valley. A common critique is that social decay arises due to insufficient power, [1] but it’s obvious power exits, both intangibly and tangibly. Regarding the latter, America has the highest incarceration rate of any developed country, at 693 per 100,000 people. The police can pull anyone over and confiscate their belongings. Ross Ulbricht, founder of the long-defunct Silk Road marketplace, faces a life sentence even though the evidence of the murder-for-hire plot is at best nebulous. So obviously the state has plenty of power and doesn’t hesitate to use it.

My take is, the problem is not that state doesn’t have enough power; it’s that the politicians don’t have enough power. Second, the deprivation of power at the individual level, paradoxically, makes the state more powerful, so that’s how you end up in a situation like America where the state is overwhelmingly powerful, and keeps getting more and more powerful, yet the politicians are weaker and more ineffective than ever.

The noblesse oblige of a monarch to his subjects is not found in republics, but rather a noblesse oblige to the bureaucracy, because it’s the bureaucracy that the politician answers to. For example, the President defers to Congress. A reason why communist governments have so many purges and are so despotic is because of the difficulty of the leadership to maintain its power, but more specifically, to legitimize its power. If a monarchy is legitimized by God, then its legitimacy cannot be as easily challenged. Despite Isis, Muslim Brotherhood, Iraq War, and the toppling of Saddam and Gaddafi, the Arab monarchies have been stable for nearly 70 years. Related, politicians must constantly pander to get votes, which means harsher anti-crime/drug laws and more ‘positive rights’ (right-wing voters want the former; liberal voters the latter, when their respective parties are in power), but these laws and regulations are nigh impossible to undo and over many generations accumulate, so you get both social decay and something resembling a Stalinesq police state, coexisting. It’s a weird contradiction.

Regarding Sharia law, it’s not arbitrary, but it’s divine law that is sanctioned by the state. Although the laws may seem oppressive to Westerners, they aren’t as arbitrary/capricious as Western laws are (in Europe you can get arrested for Tweeting ‘hate’…how stupid is that?). Everyone is on the ‘same page’ in Saudi Arabia as to what’s allowed or not. What America needs is formalization, not a more powerful state.

[1] The accelerationist argument is that rebuilding will be necessary after the current system collapses under the weight of consumerist capitalism (I don’t think collapse will happen, but that’s the argument by some).

The slippery slope argument is that even a little democracy leads to full-blown liberalism, so incrementalist solutions are just buying time rather than fundamentally changing the framework of government. The private sector it still is working great, but the problem is the acceleration of social decay. Can the strength of capitalism be enough to offset the decay.