Trichotomocracy

By 2037 the harsh phases of The Upheaval have finally ended. Western Eurasia is ruined and confused, but the fighting has burnt out amongst the rubble. In the Far East, the Chinese Confucian Republic has largely succeeded in restoring order, and is even enjoying the first wave of renewed prosperity. The Islamic civil war continues, but — now almost entirely introverted — it is easily quarantined. No one wants to think too much about what is happening in Africa.

The territory of the extinct USA is firmly controlled by the Neoreactionary Coalition, whose purchase is strengthened by the flight of 20 million Cathedral Loyalists to Canada and Europe (incidentally toppling both into terminal chaos). The Provisional Trichotomous Council, selected primarily by a process of military promotion and delegation from within the major Neoreactionary  guerrilla groups, now confronts the task of establishing a restored political order.

It quickly becomes obvious to each of the three main Neoreactionary factions that future developments — even if these are to include an orderly subdivision of the nation — will initially depend upon the institution of a government that balances the three broad currents that now dominate the North American continent: Ethno-Nationalists (“Genies” or “Rockies”); Theonomists (“Logs” or “Sizzlers”); and Techno-Commercialists (“Cyboids” or “Pulpists”). Now that the Cathedral has been thoroughly extirpated, significant divergences between these three visions of the nation’s future threaten to escalate, unpredictably, into dangerous antagonisms.

Since practical realism, rooted in an understanding of path-dependency, is a common inheritance of all three factions, there is immediate consensus on the need to begin from where things are. Since a virtual triangular order of partially-compatible agendas is already reflected in the make-up of the Provisional Council, this is recognized as the template for an emergent, triadically-structured government — the rising Neoreactionary Trichotomocracy, or “Trike”. (A colossal statue of Spandrell — the revered white-beard of the Trichotomy — has already been erected in the comparatively radiation-free provisional capital of Omaha, gazing out Mosaically into the new promised land, a glinting ceremonial Samurai sword held triumphantly aloft.)

Within a few months, the basic formula for the Trichotomocracy has been tweaked into place. It consists of three Compartments, each comprehensively dominated by one of the principal factions. Procedures for selection of officials is internally determined by each Compartment, drawing upon the specific traditions of functional hierarchy honed during the Zombie War.

Authority is distributed among the Compartments in a triangular circuit. Each Compartment has a specific internal and external responsibility — its own positive governmental function, as well as an external (and strictly negative, or inhibitory) control of the next Compartment. This is colloquially known as the ‘Rocky-Sizzler-Pulpist’ system.

Ethno-Nationalist ‘Rockies’ run the Compartment of Security, which includes the essential functions of the Executive. It is controlled financially by the Compartment of Resources. Its external responsibility is the limitation of the Compartment of Law, whose statutes can be returned, and ultimately vetoed (but not positively amended), if they are found to be inconsistent with practical application. The structure of the Compartment of Security broadly coincides with the military chain of command. (The Rockies get to decide whether to describe the Commander-in -Chief as a constitutional monarch, a supreme warlord, or a demi-god of annihilation.)

Theonomist ‘Sizzlers’ run the Compartment of Law, which combines legislative and judicial functions. For funding purposes, the Compartment of Law is subordinated to the Compartment of Security, for obvious constitutional reasons. This keeps it small, restricting its potential for extravagant legislative activity. Since the Compartment of Security also filters legislation (in accordance with a practical criterion), the Law of the Trichotomocracy is remarkable for its clarity, economy, and concision. The entire edifice of Law, by informal understanding, is limited to a single volume of biblical proportions. Senior Sizzler officials are expected to memorize it. The external responsibility of the Compartment of Law is to restrain the Compartment of Resources, by strictly limiting the legality of revenue-raising measures (informally bounded to a national ‘tithe’). Internal order of the Compartment is determined by the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Neoreactionary Church of the Cosmic Triarchitect.

Techno-Commercialist ‘Pulpists’ run the Compartment of Resources, with the ‘power of the purse’. As the sole ‘self-funding’ Compartment, it is minutely scrutinized by the Compartment of Law, which tightly controls its revenue-raising procedures. Dominated by a cabal of extreme laissez-faire capitalist and technologists, the Compartment of Resources is guided by the mantra economize on all things. It does as little as possible, beyond maximally-parsimonious funding of the Department of Security, with its own internal operations restricted to rigorously Pigovian tax-streamlining, statistical research, and the provision of X-Prize-style development incentives. The board of the Compartment is filled by the nine largest tax-payers, rotated every three years. The board elects a CEO.

The ideological discrepancies between the Compartments make an important contribution to the stability of the Trichotomocracy, since they limit the potential for re-amalgamation into a tyrannical unity. This is one of the twin principles by which its success is to be estimated — the perpetuation of durable governmental plurality. The second principle — complete immunity from populist pressure — is ensured automatically insofar as the Trichotomocracy endures, since none of the Compartments are demotically sensitive, and even if this were not the case, each is insulated from demotic subversion affecting either of the others.  The outcome is a government answerable only to itself, with a self that is irreducibly plural, and thus intrinsically self-critical.

Under the light-hand of Trichotomocratic rule, any ‘citizen’ who seeks to participate in government, in any way whatsoever, has three choices open to them:  (a) Join the Security Services and rise through the ranks; (b) Join the Church of the Holy Triarchy and become adept in the law; (c) Make enough tax-vulnerable income that it earns a place on the National Resources Board. There might, in addition, be career opportunities for a very small number of professional administrators, depending upon the internal staffing policies of the three Compartments. Any other ‘politics’ would be criminal social disorder, although in most cases this would probably be treated leniently, due to its complete impotence. If sufficiently disruptive, such “relic demo-zombie” behavior would be best managed by deportation.

(Questions of local government diversity, secession, and micro-state building exceed the terms of this initial Integral-Neoreactionary settlement. Such potentials can only further strengthen external controls, and thus further constrain the scope of government discretion.)

ADDED: Even this crude sketch has enough moving parts to breed bugs. Glitch-1 (by my reckoning): Pigovian taxes and commutative tax politics don’t knit together very well. In combination, they incentivize the politically ambitious to move into business activities with high negative externalities. Any neat patch for this?

ADDED: Anomaly UK will require some further persuasion.

October 9, 2013admin 50 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

TAGGED WITH : , , , , , , ,

50 Responses to this entry

  • Psykonomist Says:

    An interesting division of power, but I will submit that within a few generations the ideological divisions devised and utilized by competent victors will be replaced by a practical union of psychopaths for the express purpose of mutually beneficial feasting upon the newly arranged, enriched, and (as usual) broadly unsuspecting host.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I fully agree — that is (overwhelmingly) the primary constitutional challenge. One rough-and-ready solution is to build very strong local autonomy into the system from the start, so that secessionist options are smoothed as much as possible for when the need arises. More elegant would be a solution that makes the fragmentation of powers inherently robust, but I have no compellingly clear ideas about how that would be achieved at this point. Anything that maintains ideological diversity between the Compartments would contribute substantially, and this would certainly be much easier in a zero-democracy political environment (since democracy tends to entropically distribute ideological homogeneity among social institutions).

    [Reply]

    Psykonomist Reply:

    I’m going to look square at education and/or money creation. If either or both is centralized, everything else follows. Psycho/Sociopaths are a relative minority, but have a huge advantage in navigation and manipulation of power structures. This includes identifying those changes necessary to centralize power, as well as the storms and sophistry needed to bring about those changes.

    It is an ignorance of psychology, economics, and philosophy that dooms us. Hence my three main interests.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Both state education and fiat money creation have to be unambiguously unconstitutional.

    Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Reply:

    I thought testing for and eliminating psychopathy, as well as other deleterious conditions, would be part of the eugenics program.

    Psykonomist Reply:

    Is psychopathy eliminable?

    admin Reply:

    As Jim suggested (in the DE Q&A thread), a little psychopathy provides immunity to Cathedralization.

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 12:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Elegant and quite attractive. Probably vulnerable to Psykonomist’s objection, though.

    The best way to keep your three elites from socializing too much is by strictly forbidding marriage and commercial relationships between them.

    But if you do that, you are at risk of a group dynamic where within each group members gain status by posturing to see who can be purer in devotion to that group ideals, which would be maximally proved by zero-sum confrontation with the other group. Also, of course, the limitation on marriage and commercial partnership would be irksome and would eventually be done away with, on grounds of efficiency or some such.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s complicated. There’s a degree to which coordination between the three compartments is both inevitable and positively beneficial, but only insofar as it remains a complex game-theoretic activity among rigorously distinct agencies. I don’t think laws against socialization are a practical solution (but then, I don’t think there should be laws against ‘insider trading’). Nevertheless, I agree that it would only take a small number of Neo-Brahmin cross-Compartmental marriages to throw the entire constitutional order into extreme danger. It would inevitably fall upon each Compartment’s supportive social formation (the military, the church, business) to prevent the emergence of a permanent cross-connected elite. Not easy. Dynamic meritocratic competition — with its resultant social churn — is the key.

    [Reply]

    Psykonomist Reply:

    The intermarriage point and problem is excellent. Intermarriage has been the historical and modern “apolitical” solution to weaving a separate elite. But laws against it are most likely doomed to fail as pointed out. A conundrum..

    Forbidding commercial relationships is just as untroublesome of a formality after enough time. Given admin’s familiarity with D&G, he should recognize that limitations on commerce (like, or as information) are doomed to fail. “Flows want to be free”.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A moment of simultaneous mind-meld there.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 1:11 am Reply | Quote
  • Psykonomist Says:

    How do you approach the problem of the military, or “Compartment of Security”? “The side with guns” is the greatest danger in a decentralized monetary system. There is a unique problem of a social unit trained to evaluate everything in terms of a threat matrix. While doing away with officers and keeping everything strictly within an “enlisted” path would assist in keeping the faction from mingling with the other Compartments, it doesn’t protect against the problem of Coup.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This is the classic Moldbuggian objection, but I’m not sure that it’s especially devastating. The main protection against a coup is smooth Exit — both secession and out-migration of talent / capital. Constitutionally-protected private armies would also help.

    What would be the motive for a coup? The Security Compartment already has a veto on legislation, so an institutional resource grab is the only major motive remaining. That only works if the military is unintelligent enough to believe in its competence to run the economy. So long as the Compartment of Resources supports an ‘adequate’ security establishment, there isn’t really a pretext (coup leaders need to tell their troops something convincing if they’re being asked to overthrow the constitutional order). It’s even possible that the potential for a coup could play a role in stabilizing the Trike, as a game theoretic deterrence option modifying the calculations — especially — of the economic leadership.

    The fact that the US military today shows no interest in a coup today — under a hooligan regime run by abusive progs — surely counts against the menace the Trike would face.

    [Reply]

    Psykonomist Reply:

    The main protection against coup in the immediate is a smooth exit. I’m referring to the indefinite future.

    Motive has to be understood by understanding the “praetorian” psychology. To begin with, the psychology within officer ranks and enlisted ranks is sufficiently different to distinguish here. It is precisely that there are officers that we do not have a “revolt against progressives”. The officers are, as a group (although of course not down to every last one), sufficiently indoctrinated to align with the Cathedral.
    The enlisted, as a group, are by mission necessity indoctrinated to align with themselves and internal superiors only. Cathedral concerns are irrelevant. You must go kill and/or be killed, and the only ones you can and must trust are those to your right and left, and the only ones you obey are those immediately “behind”.

    Although this is might sound it’s only a problem within or of the Cathedral, it’s not. The military as a concept and general organization is much older, simpler, and thoroughly refined. The motive is, as it always is, power. Currently, the potential hijacking of a nation by the military is avoided by offering power to the leadership through political and commercial channels. The revolving door between the Pentagon and the various “Defense Industries”, think tanks, consulting firms, etc. Remove this counterweight (due to one set of necessities), and you are confronted with an increasingly alienated and arrogant mob of boys and men with guns who want desperately to use them on “Them” (which to them is Us).

    If we counter this with a collection of other groups matching it in strength if not in centralized organization, why bother with the Compartment of Security to begin with?

    As an enlisted veteran I feel acutely aware of these (among other related) issues.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m not seeing what could possibly meet these concerns. I’m assuming we’re not going to be sucked into some kind of Moldbug ‘weapon crypto-locking’ discussion — which is frankly rather comical.

    I would hope a security complex that had taken charge of its own internal culture could be persuaded that something considerably less than complete dominion reasonably reflected its position in society. If not, then hard secession is the only option — and if the securocrats know that, wouldn’t it suffice to moderate their ambitions? (Military coups are very rare in functional societies, and it doesn’t require weapon-locking to prevent them.)

    If — on Hobbes-Moldbug grounds — we accept that the military can’t be bullied or intimidated, then it has to be accommodated. It just doesn’t seem to me that it’s ever going to get a better (sustainable) deal than the one offered by the Trike, and if it is for some reason too inherently irrational to grasp that fact, any imaginable social order would be doomed from the start.

    In any case, it’s the constitutionally-allotted responsibility of the Compartment of Resources to manage this problem. It has plenty of brains, money, and advanced technology to direct at it.

    Psykonomist Reply:

    Well the problem is one over time, not immediate. One possibility is a “National Guard” type force, with an age range of 25-45. Can’t have underdeveloped frontal lobes or bodies too old to have to worry about getting out from behind a desk. A “weekend warrior” force is quite sufficient to be prepared for a defensive war, without becoming and end in itself, as well as helping to prevent the extreme alienation of a standing military force.

    I can’t say I’ve given Moldbug a thorough reading. My critiques come from a first hand familiarity with the military, and an ANCAP political/economic philosophy (partially influenced by that military experience).

    Weapon locking and golden handcuffs are probably insufficient when the individual and group psyche is systemically compromised. *Standing* armies are counterproductive in all respects.

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 1:42 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Heh.

    I would’ve thought you’d fancy different countries for each faction, even several of them. Hard to Exit if the neoreactionary coalition is this tight.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Territorial fission is the main neoreactionary current, but to explore that would require that each of the new governments had to be analyzed independently. It would be interesting to do that, but bundling them together into a single constitutional conundrum wins the laziness vote.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 2:15 am Reply | Quote
  • Stirner Says:

    Perhaps there could also be a tripartite division of *doomday* protocols to help curb insurrection.

    The security division could have final authority over the use of the nuke codes. The resources division could have final authority over the encrypted bitcoin currency (Coup? Good luck seizing assets, or getting paid next week). I am not sure what safeguard the rule-makers could have. Perhaps they are the ones who hold the “mandate of heaven” and are the only legitimate arbiters for determining when the other two branches have “crossed the line” in the eyes of the public. Force, Money, Legitimacy – a nice neoreactionary mexican standoff to help compel cooperation.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The Theonomists could have their own red button to usher in the reign of Cthulhu and a “holocaust of freedom” sweeping everything into the abyss. (A few hundred tons of LSD concentrate, ready to ditch into the national water supply, might convince the skeptics.)

    Also, thanks for the Bitcoin reminder — a crucial ingredient.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 3:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/114365566709887894898/BRUTEPropagandaGALLERY?noredirect=1#5460816913933254626

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Would it be rude to make an issue out of your Holy Triarchic head-gear? (Nice pic of Nydwracu though.)

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Would it be rude to make an issue out of your Holy Triarchic head-gear?

    “Thus is the Devil ever God’s ape.”

    Seriously, someone should come up with a DE sigil reproducible as T-shirts, badges, lapel pins &c. Tripartite obviously, to signify the Three Lobes of the Neo-Reaction. Perhaps a sleek cyan fleur-de-lys on a midnight-black field.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s unfortunate that the recycling sign is already taken. (I’m preempting the “Couldn’t we recycle it?” witticism right now.)

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 5:59 am Reply | Quote
  • Jack Crassus Says:

    Might I recommend the Millet system?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It would have to be included among the fragmentationist footnotes, because the Pulpists won’t sign on to it as a basic constitutional principle.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    As with MM, seems too rational and peaceful. It needs more Catholic Orange Bible, and the laws of kanly must be observed…

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 1:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    I like the Tripod, hallowed by customs ancient and indeed modern. Two is instant collusion, politics begins with Three.

    You left out space, which leaves Americans without a Frontier. Which led to instant necrotic dysfunctions from 1890 when it was closed. Not to mention Theodore Roosevelt’s attempt to extend Anglo-Saxon culture westward to Asia, which led to disaster for all concerned.

    I see a problem: “…on the need to begin from where things are.” But this is not where we are . We are not there politically, socially, or military.

    We already had a Triad. We have on paper and still powerfully latent a Triad. Socially it’s much wished. The dysfunctions happened when we strayed.

    Military –problem is Hierarchy. Now. This is where we are.

    Warfare and conflict Hierarchy – warfare and conflict is already well into swarming and networks…whence the Hierarchy? The current American military Hierarchy consists of 19 ranks of whom 15 are formal decision makers. This system was developed in the ancient world to maximize military effectiveness given the technology available.

    This land warfare system missed the importance of the advent of the Radio. The last significant military technology for land warfare – where we live – was the pocket watch. It allowed the genius of Napoleon to synchonize Operations based on Time. “Synchronize Your Watches”. Again Land warfare missed nearly completely that the portable radio should have meant a radical re-organization along network paradigm, not Hierarchy. Hierarchy I assure you was developed for pre-radio. The operative phrase is “echo the Commands” still seen in Military formations conducting ceremonial drill. The same may be said for silence in the ranks. It’s so the General [the King or his represenative] can be heard.

    See if you can see the difference….

    Old Hierarchy Battle Formation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53vshl2DRH8

    Military Radio Networks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat-net_radio

    They are stuck on the literally ancient. It’s quite breaking down already. No school like War Dear Sir.

    Your move.

    [Reply]

    Psykonomist Reply:

    Good points. It’s readily apparent to most E5s and below that everything above E6, to include all O’s, are increasingly redundant. I hadn’t given specific consideration to the fact that this is primarily due to technology, but it is.

    Relevant to this:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/06/william-s-lind/the-four-generations-of-modern-war/

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Sorry, but hierarchy is both effective and essential because of scalability, and specialization with modularity (double chaining, command and technical). Not to mention the needs of reducing entropy and uncertainty when solving the dynamic force reallocation programming function. We already use network-style organization communications for all-source intelligence.

    But I guess every power on earth is just being stupid and stubborn with regards to military force organization. Oh wait, no, they think and research and study about it all the time, and are constantly refining their C2 processes.

    Same goes for corporate governance. And most of the time, when the company has any large human scale and a need for consistency, organization is hierarchical. But I guess all the major corporations are also stupid and stubborn and hire too much ‘redundant’ management.

    When you look at what happens in a competitive market, it’s usually a lesson on what actually works in reality.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 9th, 2013 at 6:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Networks are plenty scalable. They’re scaled all the time. This particular network [the internet] is an entire series of networks. It works via BGP.

    Corporations in particular the new ones are moving towards a much flatter business model, see for instance Amazon, or GE under Welsh.

    The Hierarchal model serves the interests of those in it expecting steady promotion and gain. The people in the middle are the most fierce about its’ defense for the usual reasons.

    Besides of course there’s some hiearchy, just not the obsolete chain of command which is built for the battlefield of the ancients. 4 levels are the most needed. Your other concerns are also solved by networking protocols. The usual Human ones can be as well, but it’s not the same old solution.

    The military actually isn’t looking for such deep surgery either. Nor victory. Form does not follow function, form bastardizes function.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 10th, 2013 at 7:12 am Reply | Quote
  • Little Hans Says:

    1 – This doesn’t look like a nice, stable, prisoner’s dilemma style bit of game theory where everyone decides in advance to make nice. Power here looks more like one of those ecology-type population-cycle feedback circuits that wildly swings around some kind of attractor. In the long run it might trend towards stability, but in the short term it’ll be all over the place. A good constitution shouldn’t just be reactive?

    2 – Why would the Techno-commercialist want to get into a government with Ethno-nationalists or Theocrats instead of quietly pushing them out into the night?

    3 – Even if this weird threesome went down, why give everyone their own ball to play with? If you want checks, why not give the military to the Theocrats, the law to the Techno-commecialists and commerce to the Ethno-nationalists? That’s your recipe for small government.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    1. As long as it holds together, this is less of a problem than re-amalgamation.
    2. Push them out how?
    3. No one will comply with a government characterized by a structural bias to incompetence (with no one running anything they care about). Might as well go to full Anarcho-capitalism, if you can get that to work.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 10th, 2013 at 5:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Admin, have you ever heard of Erwin “Filthy Pierre” Strauss? He published a disturbing little nonfiction book several decades ago on the consequences of nuclear proliferation. It has a bit of the dystopian flavor of the beginning of Ursula K. Leguin’s _City of Illusions_, minus the space aliens. If Strauss is right, things get ugly and jurisdictions get small.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Sounds interesting — I’ll chase it down.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 11th, 2013 at 3:06 am Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    I am in very strong agreement with several commenters that any neoreactionary solution must involve some degree of territorial partitioning.

    One of our primary criticisms of the current order is that a “proposition nation” (as America is claimed to be) is unsustainable given the underlying ethno-cultural divisions within our society. A judicious use of some nested partitioning-scheme would give the resulting government some flexibility to adapt to local particulars. Additionally, geographic partition allows for individuals to vote with their feet, facilitating free exit, and making future secession more feasible. These are both important safety valves. The credible threat of a viable secession is an important deterrent. Even in the current United States, we can see how pockets of determined conservative resistance at the regional level have had wildly disproportionate effects of the national dialogue. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and his epic showdown with public-sector unions, for example. A winning battle in a losing war, but a winning battle nonetheless, illustrating the usefulness of federalism in retarding the progressive offensive.

    I imagine the resulting system would resemble something like the Holy Roman Empire, with most domestic administrative powers residing in local fiefdoms, with widely varying systems of government, from mercantile republics (probably along Singlosphere lines) to hereditary theocracies (a la Moldbug). Each faction of the neo-reactionary coalition could organize a government according to their specific beliefs. In external affairs, or when collective effort is required (for example, if New-Confucian China invades the Alliance of Neoreactionary States), I would prefer some temporary dictatorship, appointed by universal acclaim, much in the manner of Cincinnatus. I haven’t worked out the exact mechanics of this, but as a worst-case baseline, each state would receive a vote proportional to the amount of resources pledged to the authority of the future dictator. This dictator would be given free reign in external affairs for a fixed-duration term, or when he declares the crisis to be over, whichever comes first.

    I could elaborate further, but this isn’t about my ideal system – I simply want to state my whole-hearted support for some form of territorial separation.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 12th, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Devin Finbarr Says:

    I am with AnonymalyUK – this structure is an impossibly unstable equilibrium. There are too many opportunities for one branch to scheme, play hardball, and acquire more power. The best case is peaceful hegemony by one branch, the worst case is civil war. The scheme reminds me a bit of the late Weimar republic. The German elections had a split result with between various parties. As part of a power sharing agreement, the Nazi’s were given control over internal security. Natural they leveraged that in order to punish opponents and act with leniency towards supporters, in order to gain even more power. I see the same thing happening with the triarch structure.

    “The fact that the US military today shows no interest in a coup today — under a hooligan regime run by abusive progs — surely counts against the menace the Trike would face. Military coups are very rare in functional societies, and it doesn’t require weapon-locking to prevent them”

    The U.S. military today is firmly under the command and control of the Cathedral-dominated civilian government. The cathedral is running a textbook operation on how priests can dominate the soldier caste. Every soldier spent his childhood in schools indoctrinating in him in the glories of democracy, the constitution, and civilian control over the military. To become an officer, you need a four-year cathedral degree. Gaining further promotion in the modern military has moved to an automatic formula. Guess which of the three following factors are part of that formula: a) successfully waging war, winning battles and gaining military objectives b) taking graduate-level cathedral courses (*any cathedral courses* it could be Marxist Theology or what not) c) maintaining a spotless record of avoiding censure for collateral damage. If you guessed b) and c) you are correct. There is also the J.A.G. corp – a cathedral thought police force embedded right within the army, maintaining control. All high level officers must have their promotions improved by Congress. And the President calls the shots at the top, and can fire any officer for any reason.

    The above is what any civilian government must do to maintain control over a military. A cultural code must be indoctrinated at every level. This code must be enough to outweigh the “band of brothers” effect. Loyalty and ideological committment must be rewarded, disloyalty punished. Soldiers shouldn’t even *think* about disloyalty, because they know that suggesting mutiny to any non-sympathetic person could result in total ruin. Coordinating a coup becomes impossible.

    As far as I can tell, you are removing all of these checks and controls over the military.

    The most likely outcome is that the military budget will ratchet upwards until it becomes bloated and expensive as the government of today’s Washington. When the military needs money for any reason (maybe there is a war that it needs to fight, maybe it needs to match the naval build up of a rival, maybe it needs a new fleet of stealth fighters equipped with the latest technology) the Pulpists will need to give the military a bigger budget. Now imagine that later on the Pulpists want to shut down obsolete bases, disable unneeded weapons systems, lay off excess troops, etc, all to save money and keep taxes lower. At some point budgets will be tight – budgets always get tight. The military will resist the budget cuts, and they will resist the cuts as a united front. Since the military controls its own culture, it has no problem creating an us-against-the-Pulpists-culture (“Why should those rich bastards pay so little tax while veterans are having their pensions cut?”). The top generals will conspire privately, and decide to threaten the Pulpists with force should they not comply.

    The above scenario cannot happen in the US because a mutinous American general cannot count on fellow generals being anti-democracy. If a mutinous general proposes an anti-cathedral/anti-civilian coup to a pro-cathedral general, the mutinous general will be ratted out. He will be fired and disgraced, and will probably get jail time. Since a coup needs dozens of generals to succeed, the probability of the conspirators getting ratted out is far too high for anyone to dare attempt a coup.

    But if the military controls its own culture and promotions, generals would have no fear of privately suggesting a coup. Even if their fellow generals disagree, they won’t rat out a buddy, nor would that be cause to deny a promotion. Privately, such talk will be acceptable. Thus when the military, some day, has a real grevience, the climate will be right for organizing a mutiny and seizing power.

    There are of course a number of other vectors of attack to your system. If the Theonomists manage to prevent a military coup, and gain power themselves, they can use their judicial power to expand the law to make it say whatever they want (as the higher courts have done in the U.S.)

    The Pulpists have their own quite obvious attack path. Does your system have any sort of anti-trust laws? If not, expect the cabal of capitalists running things to combine into massive trusts and monopolies. They will then use their control over industry and information portals to exercise total power over the country. There will be formal mergers, back channel deals, agreements, and shared blacklists. Did a Theomist official do something to piss off the Cabal? Maybe he suggested introducing anti-trust laws? That Theomist will have a fun time using his credit card, buying an airline ticket, or logging into his email… Did an employee try to organize a union? He will not only be fired, but he will be blacklisted from employment in any Cabal owned business, and blacklisted from employment in any business that does business with a Cabal owned business.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Quality commentary, deserving a serious response. As a provisional place-holder for that — Doesn’t the very fact you have three nightmare scenarios (one for each node) suggest a higher level of stability? Once exposed, as you have done, such ‘bad outcomes’ become game theoretic threats to be processed by the Trike. All three of your disasters are quite clearly ‘doomsday options’ that would bring the order down: so why would any intelligent players have a compelling interest in them? It makes more sense to bargain them away, within the triangle.

    The Monarchical alternative is simply to say: “Assume the nightmare has happened,so we can relax.” Anything other than Hobbesian despotism is going to be nerve-wracking, that’s just the way it is.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 14th, 2013 at 11:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • Devin Finbarr Says:

    Doesn’t the very fact you have three nightmare scenarios (one for each node) suggest a higher level of stability?

    Well, the probability of each of the three faction’s hegemonic potential being equal and precisely balancing out are extremely remote. The default would be for the military to be by far the most powerful. Unless there is more to your plan than is in your post, and there are actual mechanisms to ensure military loyalty to the constitution, I’d expect the military to achieve dominance within a generation. This would not be the worst scenario in the world – but if that is the end result, you might as well just give the military full power from the start.

    If somehow the three factions actually do balance out, I wouldn’t expect the result to be all that great for the populace. The military would want a bigger budget and special privileges for the soldier caste. The pulpists want low taxes and the right to extract monopoly rents (why on earth do you assume that pulpists would be “extreme laissez-faire”?). I can see a deal being struck where the capitalist pulpists get the right to form monopolies and extract more profit, while the military gets more tax revenue.

    Overall, I just don’t see the benefit of the triarchy system. I’d expect each of the three factions to desire to increase their own power and wealth at the expense of the other two factions and the general population. Either one faction wins, and that faction can rule as a stationary bandit over the land. Or the three factions compromise and together extract as much wealth and exert as much power over the general population as they can. Either way, I don’t see how this an improvement over regular old military dictatorship or regular old rule by bureaucracy.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The worst outcome in your account — a re-integration of government, either through triumph of one faction over the other two, or by fusional coordination of the three — is the presumed basis for the main alternative (reactionary) proposal: i.e. integrated government. So the practical argument for the Triarchy is quite clear — At worst, it becomes what integral Monarchy is from the start.

    “I’d expect each of the three factions to desire to increase their own power and wealth at the expense of the other two factions and the general population.” — This is the only reasonable Constitutionalist assumption, and the only reasonable assumption of political theory in general. In the absence of divine intervention, or a counter-factual utopian world, the only checks are:
    1) Internal, through strategically fragmented government (durable division of powers)
    2) External, through patchwork pressure, primarily Exit.
    Any scale-free political theory can be expected to lean on both (although the former is emphasized here).

    Yes, it’s difficult.

    The reason that triangles are far more stable than binary divisions, of course — and indeed more stable than any other arrangement — is that domination by any one node requires a preponderance of power over both the others combined. Agreed that the military poses special problems, but these have been practically dealt with many times before, and tend to be over-stated by reactionary intellectuals (when was the last time that a prosperous commercial republic fell prey to a military coup?).

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Didn’t it happen to some of the Italian republics? Anyhow, when was the last time that a prosperous commercial republic had the military as an equal branch of government?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Including the military within the Trike is supposed to increase their stake in the system. If you think it decreases stability, that’s a reason to lock them out (although that violates the “Better on the inside pissing out” principle). This is obviously a political raw nerve of a very interesting kind. To be zoomed in on, I think.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Maybe the problem is that we’re envisioning something on the order of the modern US military. Commercial republics need a fierce propaganda of civilian control *or* they need a pretty darn small professional military, preferably coupled with a robust militia system, *or* they need their military to be of the sort that is difficult to use in coups (for instance, naval vessels, submarines, and strategic rocket forces). Britain and America, which at one point were probably the largest and most powerful commercial republics the world has known, combined all three.

    I have a notion that in your schema you might get some mileage by separating out the military governance node from the actual professional military, some kind of selection mechanism for veterans, but I haven’t thought much about the details. My preliminary vague notion would be veteran’s councils determined by lot who review recommendations for medals for valor and distinguished service, awardees to constitute the ruling body in some way.

    But this is all nice and theoretical. I think the current US system would be pretty darn robust if you gave states their senators back and based the franchise on marriage and childbearing (hey ho the religious folk), veterans with honorable discharges (hey ho the military) and taxpayers paying above a certain amount a year (hey ho the commercial types). Depending on where you set the tax level, these voter groups would largely be the same people.

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 at 5:12 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @Admin,

    “This is obviously a political raw nerve of a very interesting kind. To be zoomed in on, I think.”

    ZOOMING. Because they don’t know what it’s gonna do. And not in 2037.

    What Finbarr is saying is true as far as it goes. Actual Truth is more complicated.

    It would be lovely if everyone believed in unreality, but when reality has confronted you in harsh pastels, unreality never looks the same again.
    ———————————————————————————————————————

    I don’t know either.

    I think absent any leadership at Flag rank you’re looking at initial fragmentation. Hopefully you’d be looking at Starship Troopers. It can always get worse.

    You understand that post USSR Russia is a dark, gangster & KGB version of Starship Troopers, yes? And common in History.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 at 9:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    How did I miss this?

    Dang.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 24th, 2013 at 6:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Disintegration Says:

    […] Each thread of the Trichotomy has approximately equivalent claim to be the standard bearer of the disintegrationist position. The […]

    Posted on August 4th, 2014 at 5:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • progressive dreamland – Antinomia Imediata Says:

    […] relations are now generally great, in spite of initial hard feelings. The Trike is the main commercial and diplomatic partner, reactionary radicals being regularly traded for […]

    Posted on May 19th, 2016 at 6:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Tricotomocracia – Outlandish Says:

    […] Original. […]

    Posted on July 24th, 2016 at 11:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • neocameralism and constitutions 3 – Antinomia Imediata Says:

    […] different power, and scrutinized by other power through their very action, can help. Land’s Trichotomocracy still seems to me a good overall sketch of a good constitutional order. In Land’s scheme, […]

    Posted on September 16th, 2016 at 5:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chain of Command Part 1: A Thought Experment. | "The Horror! The Horror!" Says:

    […] Land has a good piece here on this kind of thing, I have done some work here on problems of […]

    Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 5:50 pm Reply | Quote

Leave a comment