Posts Tagged ‘Sovereignty’

Quote note (#275)

From James C. Bennett’s indispensable book The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century (2004), on the genealogy of the Neocameral State (though he doesn’t call it that):

The lowering of transaction costs for international financial activities in the 1960s started to allow major corporations and banks to take advantage of the lower tax and regulatory burdens of tax havens such as the Netherlands Antilles. Corporations became sophisticated consumers of “sovereign services,” in this case, venue of incorporation. In doing so, they built on a trend started by 1920s shipowners, who had increasingly sought Panamanian and Liberian registry for their ships.

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August 17, 2016admin 66 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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The philosophical antonym to ‘universality‘ is ‘particularity’. Its broader, ideological antonym is something closer to independence.

This isn’t a word greatly emphasized by NRx up to this point, or — for that matter — one figuring prominently in contemporary discussions of any kind. That’s strange, because it orchestrates an extraordinary set of conceptual connections.

Independence is a rough synonym for sovereignty, to begin with. The profound association between these terms bears quite extreme analytical pressure. The sovereign is that instance capable of independent decision. An independent state is indistinguishable from a sovereign one, and to impugn its real sovereignty is to question its effective independence. Secession is a process of independence. A (Moldbuggian) Patchwork is a network of independent geopolitical entities. All relevant trends to geopolitical fragmentation are independence-oriented. Each executed Exit option (even on a shopping expedition) is an implicit declaration of independence, at least in miniature. (The relations between independence and connectivity are subtle and complex.)

Remaining (for a moment) in the narrowest NRx channel, the entire passivism discussion is independence related. Protest (‘activism’) is disdained on account of its fundamental dependency (upon sympathetic political toleration). No social process genuinely directed towards independence would fall within the scope of this criticism. (The ‘Benedict Option’ is one obvious example.) ‘Build something’ epitomizes independence process.

Cannot the entire range of contentions over the individualism / collectivism dyad be recast in terms of independence? Dependency exists on a spectrum, but the defining attitude towards it tends to polarization. Is dependence to be embraced, or configured as a problem to be worked against? This blog is highly tempted to project the Left / Right or ‘principal political’ dimension along the axis these distinct responses define. The Left is enthused by inter-dependency, and (to a greater or lesser extent) accepts comparative independence, while for the Right this attitudinal system is exactly reversed. (The most fundamental tensions within the reactosphere are clearly related to this articulation.)

One inevitable point of contention — honed over decades of objection to libertarianism — is captured by the question: Are not children essentially dependents? Yes, of course they are, but is growing up anything other than a process of independence? From one perspective, a family can be interpreted as a model of inter-dependence (without obvious inaccuracy). Yet, from another, a family is an independence-production unit, both in its comparative autonomy in respect to the wider society, and as a child-rearing matrix. Families are loci of independence struggle (to which the Left response is: They shouldn’t have to be). Dependency culture is the Left heartland.

Independence and autonomy are very closely related terms. All discussions of autonomy, and even of automation, click quite neatly onto this template, but this is a point exceeding the ambitions of the present post.

Abstraction, too, is a topic the tantalizingly overlaps independence. Whether cognitive independence entirely accommodates intelligence optimization is also a question for another occasion.

NRx, XS tentatively proposes, is a political philosophy oriented to the promotion of independence. (Much pushback is, naturally, expected.)

May 3, 2016admin 73 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Twitter cuts (#52)

Responding to this (Outsideness) twitter-stream:
The transcendental self is not the empirical person, Kant argues, though confusion of the two is a reliable anthropological fact. … ‘Sovereignty’ demands disciplined critique on exactly these lines. Monarchical theater is (exactly) a naive image of ‘the sovereign’. … Moldbug is clear that the ‘monarch’ (state CEO) is an agent of sovereignty, and not the sovereign ‘himself’. … The LARPing loved by romantic reaction, and derided by the Left, dwells entirely within this rigorously identifiable philosophical error. … Sovereignty is no less a profound philosophical enigma than the transcendental self, the prompt for an exploration of vast difficulty. … “We know what a sovereign looks like.” — It is scarcely possible to imagine a delusion of greater absurdity.

Something of greater articulacy is clearly called for, but the kernel would be unchanged. ‘Sovereignty’ is the translation of the transcendental into the realm of political philosophy. This is why, even for atheists, the Idea of Divine Right sovereign legitimacy is a superior point of departure than mere charismatic leadership.

March 8, 2016admin 33 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

Cnut the Great

According to legend, at least, Cnut was the wisest of all kings, precisely because he ironized the attribution of sovereignty.

“Surely, Great King, you are ominipotent Fnargl himself!”
“Let us then test the claim, shall we?”

Modern macroeconomics is the systematized refusal to learn from this story. Sovereignty does not rise above the waves.

March 3, 2016admin 12 Comments »

Chaos Patch (#55)

(open thread + links)

Schmitt, sovereignty, and distributed systems (with a reminder), also sovereignty and fealty. Algorithmic monarchism. Another (excellent) introduction to NRx (also this). Radical ethno-nationalism, pro and con. Diversity and complexity. Thede union. The burden of common culture, and locality. Original sin, and the theology of ruin. Entryists. Practical feudalism (and a glimpse into the coming book). Vulgar as hell, but genuinely witty. Secession stuff. Friday fragments. Meta-reaction (and related ‘This Week in Doom’).

A couple of LKY stragglers (and video), plus another three. Demographic disaster in China (also, if the PRC has a PR operation in Hong Kong, it might need to up its game). Battlefield Europe. The corpse in Russia’s basement (also).

Murray and Putnam on class, plus more about Murray. The insanity of the Left is becoming hard for even leftists to miss. Reality is triggering. Entertainment from Gawker. Nerd comedy.

Musk really wants to sell electric cars. Plus, chilling on warming. Justine Tunney on nations and corporations (video). Why isn’t Silicon Valley more like Detroit?

Black-Hispanic conflict in America (with extra anecdotes), and also relevant. Difficult conversations. College material. Israelis versus Jews (also worth remembering). Chinese in Africa. The unbearable whiteness of philosophy. Recolonization please. Race surrealists are a waste of time.

Lovecraft’s liberalism. Strauss and liberty (plus more on Strauss).

Group selection is a mirage. All psych is evo-psych. Baby-editing time approaches. Too smart for their own good. The SAT isn’t measuring affluence. Consensus catalepsy. Moral extremity.

Darkly comic.

March 29, 2015admin 56 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#52)

(Open thread + links)

XS candidate for the most thoughtful thing happening in the reactosphere right now — NRx originated in a theoretical synthesis of property and sovereignty, which continues to define its horizon. Crossed lines to the future. Leftism is just an excuse (for this). Musings on complexity and order. Moral sanity (provoked). The secret of power. Weed on the path to states rights? Conservatives cannot win. Enoch was right. Occupy Ukraine! Against suffrage. An academic perspective (plus comment). Reviews of Anissimov’s democracy book from Steves and Glanton. The weekly round.

Important boundary-setting from a double-wave Internet storm. First, a much-needed critique of the theory of ethnic genetic interests (separating the HBD mainstream — represented by Cochran — from its confused WN refraction), with cogent posts by NIO, Athrelon, and Dampier (some of the more lucid WN counter-arguments can be found here, here, here). Clarity. Mark Yuray starts off on the wrong foot, but then leads the next stage of the charge against what has become an overtly NeoNazi argument with an epic series of posts 1, 2, 3, 4. Some relevant contributions from Jim, Milton (+), and — coincidentally? — Frost. Vaguely associated ideological chaos. Then there’s this excellent conclusion:

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March 8, 2015admin 52 Comments »
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Hurlock has a valuable post on the concept of property, especially in its relation to sovereignty, and formalization. Since (Moldbuggian) Neocameralism can be construed as a renovated theory of property, crucially involving all three of these terms, the relevance of the topic should require no defense. The profound failure of enlightenment philosophy to satisfactorily determine the meaning of property has been a hostage to fortune whose dire consequences have yet to be fully exhausted. (Within the NRx generally, the question of property is deeply under-developed, and — with a very few exceptions — there is little sign of serious attention being paid to it.)

The enlightenment failure has been to begin its analysis of property from the problem of justification. This not only throws it into immediate ideological contention, submitting it to politics, and thus to relentless left-drift, it also places insurmountable obstacles in the path of rigorous understanding. To depart from an axiom of legitimate original property acquisition through work, as Locke does, is already proto-Marxist in implication, resting on philosophically hopeless metaphor, such as that of ‘mixing’ labor with things. It is property that defines work (over against non-productive behavior), not the inverse. As Hurlock notes, Moldbug’s approach is the correct one. ‘Property’ — as a social category — is a legitimation of control. It cascades conceptually from sovereignty, and not from production.

These matters will inevitably become intellectually pressing, due to the current technocommercial restoration of money, exemplified by the innovation of Bitcoin (in its expansive sense, as the blockchain). Control is undergoing cryptographic formalization, from which all consistent apprehension of ‘property’ will follow. Property, in the end, is not sociopolitical recognition of rights, but keys. What you can lock and unlock is yours. The rest is merely more or less serious talk, that only contingently compiles. This is what hacker culture has already long understood in its specific (thedish) usage of ‘owned’. There’s no point crying to the government about having paid good money for your computer, if Nerdgodz or some other irritating 15-year-old is running it as a Bitcoin-mining facility from his mother’s basement. The concreteness of ‘might is right’ once looked like a parade ground, but increasingly it is running functional code.

Formalization isn’t a detached exercise in philosophical reflection, or even a sociopolitical and legal consensus, it’s functional technocommercial cryptography. Defining property outside the terms of this eventuation is an exercise in arbitrary sign-shuffling. Those with the keys can simply smile at the surrounding senseless noise. As Moldbug anticipates, with rigorously coded control, there’s nothing further to argue about.

ADDED: Three recommended links from Bitstein; Locke’s mistake, blockchained title, crypto and contracts (video discussion).

November 15, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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