Quote note (#127)

No idea how I missed this extraordinary gem the first time around:

Last fall I met up with an old friend in the security consulting business. We met for breakfast at an upscale hotel in the DC area. As he was having a second cup of coffee he leaned forward and said, “I’m going to say something crazy, but I can be frank with you.” He paused and added, “what we need is a new East India company.”

“Go on,” I said, mildly surprised. And he continued in a lowered tone, but not without looking first to the left and right.

He went on to say that one of the problems in the US response to terror has been in the conduct of stabilization operations — the critical task of building up a country after the kinetic battles have been largely won. These operations have been costly, prolonged and have largely failed. Billions of dollars spent on traditional aid approaches in Iraq and Afghanistan; and in countries changed by the ‘Arab Spring’ have yielded but little result. Often they have ended in abject disaster.

Part of the reason for the failure, he explained, was that ‘nation building’ is not a good approach in countries which are not nations, but tribes. The nation state is a modern, largely Western concept, the ideal to which many post-colonial countries are supposed to conform. But in reality the world is still very much a collection of tribes. We can’t admit this, however, and continue to act as if Afghanistan were a Pashtun equivalent of Belgium and laws meant the same thing there as in Brussels.

Yet in some cases the tribal structure has been transformed by the imposition of a “Pax” — a peace imposed by an imperium, the best known of which were the Pax Romana, Pax Britannica and the Pax Americana. Our methods for imposing the Pax were to use either of two idiotic methods. Either by using US Armed Forces for nation-building or employing United Nations and similar agencies for a similar purpose. Nobody in his right mind would do this, but since those were the only two choices on the menu, they were givens.

However things were not always thus. A few hundred years ago the British Empire recognized that the best way to deal with tribal societies was not by imposing the nation-state structure on them but to take them as they were and to impose the Pax via the far more flexible structure of enterprise. This was possible through structures such as the British East India Company — a private company whose freedom of action far surpassed that of any modern bureaucrat. The officers of the Company actually became part of the social fabric of places India and acted to improve certain outcomes without direct reference to a ‘nation-state’ as such, limited only by British foreign policy and their ability to convince the inhabitants with whom they worked.

So what we needed was a new version of the old Company because that had a far bigger chance of working at stabilization than the methods to which we were currently wedded. I realized why he had looked both ways. His idea was so likely to work, so politically incorrect, so outre that one feared that the people in the neighboring tables might at any time spring up and denounce us for a thought crime.

The key, he went on to say in sotto voce, was to allow such a Company to profit from stabilization. To align the incentives of the stabilization agent with the success of the country. The only people who could make Iraq or Syria or Afghanistan a success were those who were willing to make those countries rich. The incentives of aid agencies, he said, were exactly the opposite; to keep the country poor so that the parade of victims would remain unabated and hence the fund-raising from the West would continue.

Now he’s really done it, I thought to myself. He wants to make the world better by using private enterprise. Even I looked from side to side.

“It all makes perfect sense,” I told him. “But you realize,” I added, “that this idea is so politically incorrect that we would do well to avoid being burned at the stake.” He snorted and asked for the bill. And so it lay. That conversation lay dormant in my mind for months until I came across an article today in Time Magazine. “A General Writes the First After-Action Report on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Why We Lost”. …

Located via an internal citation, within a post of comparable brilliance.

November 5, 2014admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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13 Responses to this entry

  • John Says:

    “The incentives of aid agencies, he said, were exactly the opposite; to keep the country poor so that the parade of victims would remain unabated and hence the fund-raising from the West would continue.”

    Such sweet thought crime! I think we can all agree this is the only way the third world ever rises out of wretchedness. We need to send in whites and east asians to run the place for profit with an iron fist. It’s the only humane course of action.

    I love you Colonialism-chan!

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    “White” countries are rotting from the inside out. The USA can’t maintain a stable and sensible foreign policy for longer than an election cycle. “Colonialism” as a concept is unthinkable to most — they’ve been trained to instinctively associate it with the oppression of underprivileged noble savages. No matter how it’s dressed up, “that’s racist.”

    …A new East India company may be what the third-world needs, but it’s not what it’s going to get. What it’s going to get is almost certainly going to be much, much worse.

    I’d argue that what’s needed is actually not a new East India Company, for both the Dutch and the British East India companies were beholden to some extent to the governments they served. Modern governments, chock full ‘o incompetent and small-minded administrators, will render colonial enterprises ineffectual. What’s needed is rather the old Cyberpunk trope of nation-states dissolving and being replaced by opt-in corporations. Corporations unrestrained by nation-states might be able to accomplish great things.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Agreed, but there’s also the China factor (see Mai La Dreapta further down).

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    > “White” countries are rotting from the inside out.

    This is because of prog hegemony and the importation of low quality peoplesl, not the degradation of white capabilities.

    > The USA can’t maintain a stable and sensible foreign policy for longer than an election cycle.

    Again, prog policies. Not the result of an actual deficit in capability.

    > “Colonialism” as a concept is unthinkable to most — they’ve been trained to instinctively associate it with the oppression of underprivileged noble savages. No matter how it’s dressed up, “that’s racist.”

    At the moment, yes, but a century ago, the opposite would have been unthinkable. You over estimate the grip of prog values on the collective mind. It grows ever more tenuous and will degrade rapidly once the common folk see that a growing segment of the cognitive uber-elite (NRx) call prog beliefs out as utter horse shit.

    People ARE racist by default and will jump at the opportunity to embrace the instincts they’ve been shamed into repressing for so long, especially if said program is disguised in pseudo-prog speak “We colonize to save the peoples of the third world”, which would conveniently also be true.

    I agree the operative word must be something other than “colonize”.

    > nation-states dissolving

    This is already well underway.

    > being replaced by opt-in corporations

    Where does one sign up with such an organization?

    As others have mentioned, if the Chinese are successful in this, we will see Western strategies quickly change. While the dogmas of leftism deny the glory of Gnon, leftism itself has risen on the wings of Gnon. The current morbidity is temporary. NRx functions as a culling agent for leftist memes.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    I agree with the points you’re trying to make, and I hope you’re correct. I cannot help but feel, however, that you’re being a bit too optimistic. What you predict is a resurgence of ability and purpose: The scales will drop from people’s eyes, prog policies will be cast aside, and the peoples of the West will become dominant once again. I’ll grant that it’s possible. Yet what seems to be playing out in Europe — and what has been the historic fate of nations and empires in comparable situations — would suggest the opposite: Accelerated cultural decadence, decay from within, and (eventual) collapse.

    …Time will tell, I suppose. Again, I hope you’re right!

    China is an interesting case. Needless to say, as our host rightfully pointed out, Mai La Dreapta is correct. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

    John Reply:

    > Accelerated cultural decadence, decay from within, and (eventual) collapse.

    No doubt. I see these things as a precursor to the above mentioned resurgence. The cycle requires death and decay as a prerequisite for re-birth and rejuvenation.

    I think in hindsight it will be quite clear that in the year 2014 we were already in full fledged collapse. We haven’t hit bottom yet, but we’re accelerating towards it at breakneck speed.

    Once the progs run the West into the ground, they won’t be there to stand in the way of capable people who want to rebuild.

    What emerges from that I expect will be yet another mutated hyper-virulent strain of leftism with a techno-commercial bent. The thing to keep in mind is that Capitalism (the Lovecraftian god version) demands leftism in one form or another. How else to generate an ever expanding consumer base in the face of ever more efficient technology? At least until the machines start spending…

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 10:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#127) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 11:22 am Reply | Quote
  • wen shuang Says:

    Awesome find. I’d be much more likely to sign up for the East India Company than phalanx. I have mouths to feed. Plus you get to wear a cool helmet.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 12:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    China is the hope of the third world. China is blessed with both untrammeled greed and the total lack of conscience needed for true colonizing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if China undertook some form of commercial colonization, to vastly greater success than anyone in the West. Indeed, they’re already doing it in Africa.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Indeed yes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 1:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    Mai La Dreapta Said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if China undertook some form of commercial colonization, to vastly greater success than anyone in the West.”

    It’s already happening, even in the West. Throwing Han ethnocentrism/clannishness into the mix will make things all that much more interesting. “White” is the new “Black” and “Yellow” is the new “White”.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 2:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    Regarding Chinese commercial colonization of the West: Progressive education has thoroughly neutered/predigested “whitey” and will make him that much more pliable and easier to devour. Grit yer’ teeth and bend over boys and girls…

    “38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
    39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
    41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
    42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
    —Matthew 5:38–5:42 KJV”

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2014 at 3:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2014/11/19 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] A new East India corporation. […]

    Posted on November 19th, 2014 at 6:02 am Reply | Quote

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