— Vince 末Ⓚ日 Garton (@badtheoryguy) March 15, 2017
The 21st Century is definitely getting its act together.
FILED UNDER :Internet
TAGGED WITH :Cryptography , Exit , Trends , Twitter
— Vince 末Ⓚ日 Garton (@badtheoryguy) March 15, 2017
The 21st Century is definitely getting its act together.
This isn’t it.
The Trump phenomenon is really something, a crisis of democracy and a shattering of the Overton Window very much included, but it is not an intrinsically right-wing thing, and it is radically populist in nature. A reactionary exploitation of demotism is not a neoreactionary episode. The Alt-Right is properly credited with capturing the spirit of this development. It is not us.
NRx is situated absolutely outside mass politics. Its moment dawns only when the Age of the Masses is done.
It will be done. The emergence of sovereign (primary) property, liberated from the criterion of democratic legitimation, is its sign. Government, on this basis, is Neocameral. The deep historical trends supporting it include:
(1) Apolitical property. No such reality, or conception, has yet been historically actualized. For as long as property is determined as a social relation, it cannot be. Absolute property is cryptographic. It is held not by social consent, and thus political agreement, but by keys. Fnargl is a provocative thought-experiment, but PKE private keys are a non-negotiable fact. They define the property relation with a rigor the entire preceding history of philosophy and political economy has been unable to attain. Everything that follows from the cryptographic transition — Bitcoin most notably — contributes to the establishment of a property system beyond democratic accountability (and thus insensitive to Voice). Neocameral administration implements a cryptographic state, strictly equivalent to a fully-commercialized government.
(2) Autonomous capital. The definition of the corporation as a legal person lays the foundation, within modernity, for the abstracted commercial agency soon to be actualized in ‘Digital Autonomous Corporations’ (or DACs). The scale of the economic transition thus implied is difficult to over-estimate. Mass consumption, as the basic revenue source for capitalist enterprise, is superceded in principle. The impending convulsion is immense. Self-propelling industrial development becomes its own market, freed from dependency upon arbitrary popular (or popularizable) consumption desires. Demand management, as the staple of macroeconomic governance, is over. (No one is yet remotely ready for this.)
(3) Robotic security. Definitive relegation of the mass military completes the trifecta. The armed mass as a model for the revolutionary citizenry declines into senselessness, replaced by drones. Asabiyyah ceases entirely to matter, however much it remains a focus for romantic attachment. Industrialization closes the loop, and protects itself.
The great game, for human agencies (of whatever social scale) becomes one of productive cooperation with formations of sovereign property, with the menace of mass political violence swept off the table. The Alt-Right is no kind of preparation for this. Its adventure is quite different, which is not to say it is uninteresting, or — in the near-term — entirely inconsequential, but it is exhausted by its demotism. It belongs to the age that is dying, not to the one that is being born.
Socio-political modernity has been an argument over property distributions, and the Alt-Right has now demonstrated that the (self-conscious) Left has no monopoly over it. As senescence deepens, the dialectic rips the whole rotten structure to pieces. NRx — when it understands itself — isn’t arguing.
Bitcoin is not a Marxist reification. Bitcoin reifies in the rare sense of ‘ex nihilo, actually create a physical object’. Bitcoin reifies property. Property before bitcoin is an abstraction, a social relation treated provisionally as an object, but never attaining that status (Property is Impossible). Bitcoin quite literally makes property into something physical. Anything that can store a private key and keep it secret, and can use it to create and emit transactions, can own Bitcoin. The relation ‘X owns Bitcoin’ is spatially local and temporally persistent; in other words, it more closely resembles relations like ‘X is made of wood’ or ‘X weighs 20 kilograms’ than it does relations like ‘X is a dollar billionaire’. Property is possible — when property is Bitcoin.
Prior to functional, distributed crypto, ‘property’ was nothing but confused political pleading. Now it’s something else.
ADDED: Still a rocky road ahead. “What was meant to be a new, decentralised form of money that lacked ‘systemically important institutions’ and ‘too big to fail’ has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people. Worse still, the network is on the brink of technical collapse.”
Crypto-core of the XS Moldbug:
Internal security can be defined as the protection of the shareholders’ property against all internal threats — including both residents and employees, up to and certainly including the chief executive. If the shareholders cannot dismiss the CEO of the realm by voting according to proper corporate procedures, a total security failure has occurred.
The standard Patchwork remedy for this problem is the cryptographic chain of command. Ultimately, power over the realm truly rests with the shareholders, because they use a secret sharing or similar cryptographic algorithm to maintain control over its root keys. Authority is then delegated to the board (if any), the CEO and other officers, and thence down into the military or other security forces. At the leaves of the tree are computerized weapons, which will not fire without cryptographic authorization.
Thus, any fragment of the security force which remains loyal to the shareholders can use its operational weapons to defeat any coalition of disloyal, and hence disarmed, employees and/or residents. Ouch! Taste the pain, traitors. (Needless to say, the dependence of this design on 21st-century technology is ample explanation of why history has not bequeathed us anything like the joint-stock realm. It was simply not implementable — any more than our ancestors could build a suspension bridge out of limestone blocks.)
(Emphasis in original.)
Crypto-sovereignty is huge (and on the to-do list here). ‘Formalism’ is a place-holder for crypto-architecture. ‘Sovereignty’ means keys.
(Open thread + links)
Yes, this merits a serious response. Swimming left. Two equilibria. Principled positions. White blight. Difficult spreads. Zones of progressive failure. Idiots at the controls. Popular activism. Cultural analysis. Order force. The weekly round, and the week in doom.
Elements for a popcorn apocalypse: Trump (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); Corbyn (1, 2, 3, 4); NRO (1, 2, 3), yellow stars at the NYT, bathhouse genocidaires, the ugly European, re-colonization time (see also), counter-revolution in the Vatican, burning with indignation (and icy dissent), TSA-grade security, scary book of the century watch, bullet points, and the most confusing story of the week (1, 2). Taylor Swift is, like, way problematic. Imitation games.
Refugee chaos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). An AoS round-up. “Among them actually there were no women, no children – the vast majority were aggressive young men …” (If anyone has bothered to try and deny that, I’ve yet to see it.) Rising Dampier (1, 2). Best to get on with it?
Negative economic theorems. Half-baked Alaska. Back to the Malthusian trap? How to isolate mass murder memes. Eugenics for the left. Poor brains. Deep roots of poverty (the NYT notices). Women in philosophy.
The Kaiser’s Jihad.
It’s impossible to tell anything from this story about the effectiveness of exercising an Exit Option. It should be expected, anyway, that the option itself does the work, even if pulling the trigger has to contribute to the general credibility of virtual exodus.
As an exemplary case, however, it would be hard to beat. From the statement by Preston Byrne, of eris:
If [the Communications Data Bill] is passed into law, we are likely to see a mass exodus of tech companies and financial services firms alike from the United Kingdom. We are happy to lead the charge. […] In keeping with our promise in January to leave the country if the Conservatives were returned to power with this policy on their legislative agenda, we have promptly ordered all of our staff to depart from the United Kingdom and to conduct all future development work abroad. […] Additionally, with immediate effect, we have moved our corporate headquarters to New York City, where open-source cryptography is firmly established as protected speech pursuant to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, until such time as we can be certain that the relevant provisions of the Communications Data Bill will be stricken from it (otherwise, we will reincorporate in America and continue our business here).
(To add a “Go eris” at this point could be reasonably criticized for redundancy.)
Populo: Attack! Attack! The time for action has come. Resistance! Struggle! We have to do something, and do it now. Enough with these endless streams of words!
Crypton: Still shouting in the name of silence, Populo?
Populo: Hardly silence, Crypton. Not at all. Even the contrary. In the name, rather, of the voice of true men, rediscovering their pride and fortitude, and joining together to make a stand against intolerable abuse.
Crypton: Ah yes, that.
Populo: So what brings you here Crypton?
Crypton: I was rather hoping we might continue our little chat about the Deep State.
Populo: Terrific! That’s a topic close to my heart, as you know. Those slithering parasites hidden beneath the rotten log of the Cathedral. It’s time to expose them, denounce them, burn them out!
Crypton: They’re the enemy then?
Populo: Of course they’re the enemy! They run the Cathedral, don’t they? Try not to sophisticate matters beyond all common sense.
Crypton: Did you find time to take a look at that little Daniel Krawisz article I mentioned?
Populo: Yes, it was vaguely interesting, I suppose.
Crypton: So you didn’t like it much?
Populo: Frankly Crypton, it reminded me of the side of you I like least, and having downed a few horns of ale, I’ll be double frank — it had a whiff of … well … treachery about it. To spend so much attention upon the subtleties of potential defections, it’s unmanly, somehow.
Crypton: That’s excellent Populo, because I was going to suggest that gaming-out Deep State defections is the only practical strategic topic worthy of NRx consideration. It seems that we have our conversation plotted for us.
As the Occident subsides into an ocean of shadow, the FBI is noticing:
“We’re seeing more and more cases where we believe significant evidence resides on a phone or a laptop, but we can’t crack the password,” FBI Director Jim Comey said during a speech in Washington. “If this becomes the norm … justice may be denied.” […] Specifically, Comey said he is “deeply concerned” about what’s known as “going dark” — operating systems being developed by companies such as Apple and Google that automatically encrypt information on their devices. And that means even the companies themselves won’t be able to unlock phones, laptops and other devices so law enforcement can access emails, photos or other evidence that could be crucial to a case …
Comey, however, didn’t place full blame with companies like Apple and Google for creating devices with such encryption. They were “responding to what they perceive is a market demand” from the general public, which has grown “mistrustful of government” in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of secret government surveillance. […] Encryption “is a marketing pitch,” Comey said. “But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels. Sophisticated criminals will come to count on these means of evading detection. It’s the equivalent of a closet that can’t be opened. A safe that can’t be cracked. And my question is, at what cost?”
A process of Exit-in-place is underway, automatically, and it’s not easy to imagine how it could be stopped. With message management disintegrating on one side, and the public sphere eroding into dark nets on the other, it must seem to the State in the age of Internet runaway that the walls are closing in.