The time approaches for a Sulla or a Monck

In a tranquil and orderly society a bunch of high status males work things out between themselves by means far short of actual violence, hence are “gentlemen”.  These gentlemen then present a unified and extremely violent front against outsiders.  Over time, their arrangement is apt to break down, their unified front against ungentle means of advancement dissipates, and it becomes increasingly possible to get ahead within the elite by using or organizing actual physical violence against fellow members of the elite, as for example Sonia Sotomayor and Ward Churchill did.  As they become less violent to outsiders, they find that increasingly those who have intruded among them are more violent to each other.

Elite politics then becomes progressively rougher, eventually resulting in a Sulla: rule by a single extremely violent man.

Contrary to Moldbug, societies ruled by a single strong man rarely prosper, since the single strong man has limited capability to shake down the society, and so tends to maximize his take, rather than maximize what is to be taken, thus under a single strong man, the state is apt to become more corrupt and violent, not less corrupt and violent.  Because one man is weak and vulnerable, the difference between stationary bandits and mobile bandits is less than advertised.  Moldbug is correct to argue that the weakness of the ruler is a problem, wrong to think it is soluble.  Stationary bandits are always apt to mutate into mobile bandits due to institutional decay.

Our elite is not all that violent, and exceptional cases, such as Sonia Sontamayor, are not all that elite, but is is apparent which way the wind is going.  Like a neighborhood going bad, the level of trust is going down, the level of corruption is going up, and actual violence, once quite unimaginable, is now, though still uncommon, entirely imaginable.  The Occupy rentamob was intended to physically threaten the financial elite and physically occupy their premises, though it instantly became apparent that the financiers and their rentacops were way tougher than the occupy rentamob.

Democratic politics is a mock civil war:  The side that could call out the most people were it to come to actual fighting is agreed to rule.  But the failure of the Occupy movement suggests that the inner party cannot, in fact, call out a significant mob.

41 Responses to “The time approaches for a Sulla or a Monck”

  1. spandrell says:

    As things are going a tag of the NSA and Lockheed would be unstoppable.

  2. Marc says:

    “[…] it becomes increasingly possible to get ahead within the elite by using or organizing actual physical violence against fellow members of the elite, as for example Sonia Sotomayor and Ward Churchill did.”

    Details?

    • jim says:

      Dalhousie university in its internal report said that Ward Churchill committed plagiarism, but they should shut up and let it pass for fear that something might happen to Professor Fay G. Cohen.

      And there is a tape recording of him sending a death threat to Vernon Bellecourt.

      It seems that long before he issued his infamous remarks on 9/11, it was well known to hundreds of people that Ward Churchill advanced his academic career by threatening to kill fellow academics from time to time, which, to judge by the response to the scandal, is a fairly standard and widely accepted path to academic advancement in large parts of academia, and definitely not grounds for dismissal.

      • Eric says:

        And for Sotomayor?

        • jim says:

          Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor is a diversicrat. All diversicrats practice physical violence. She is marginally literate. She cannot write today, and she could not write when she first went into Princeton. She would have flunked out for inadequate literacy, but threatened her professors with indio gang violence, which professors were immediately astounded by her wonderful writing skills.

          • Marc says:

            Not surehow you derive “organizing actual physical violence” in the case of Sotomayor. Calabresi’s encomium to his former student could be interpreted as a function of fear, or (more likely) fatuous ass-kissing.

            • jim says:

              In the case of Ward Churchill, I have examples of specific threats he made to specific people. In the case of Sotomayor, I am merely making assumptions because she is a diversicrat. Diversicrats are, or claim to be, affiliated with ethnic gangs. If you offend Ward Churchill, he threatens he will kill you. Offend a diversicrat, she threatens that someone else will kill you.

              The evidence is that they were kissing her ass when she was a student, therefore it was not elite political power that they were scared of, but the kind of power that diversicrats wield, or claim to wield. She became a big wheel because she could intimidate people, not the other way around.

          • Eric says:

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I’ve hung around Academia a lot, and never heard of any student threatening a Professor. I would believe some get by with sexual favors, or because liberal university profs don’t like to fail minorities (and perhaps risk dispeasure of fellows and deans if they make a habit of it, this isn’t much different than the traditional Gentleman’s C). Surely one of these seems a more plausible hypothesis even if we stipulate she was illiterate. Your claims here seem petty to me and demeaning to your blog, which is a shame since you sometimes have valuable insights.

            • jim says:

              Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I’ve hung around Academia a lot, and never heard of any student threatening a Professor

              I was there during the sixties. We threatened the professors all the time. That is how the radical left took over academia from the left in the sixties. In the case of Ward Churchill, we have evidence of academics threatening academics, and of this being well known, accepted and treated as routine and normal. It only came to light because of the controversy over his words. Diversicrats usually claim affiliation with race based gangs. Is this not a threat, and one that can be made with more credibility the younger one is?

          • Marc says:

            The formation of ethnic studies departments were the result of actual and threatened violence during the sixties and seventies. Since then, that violence has been institutionalized in the form of anti-discrimination law. Sotomayor seems to be more the beneficiary of lawsuit threats (actual or implied) than an organizer of actual physical violence, if only because she doesn’t seem to be smart enough or charismatic enough to be capable of organizing violence.

            An interesting question is, “Is there enough violence in the system to make good the threats that were made in the sixties and seventies?” The riotous dog that didn’t bark after the Zimmerman decision suggests that that dog has fewer teeth than it once did.

  3. Bob Wallace says:

    Aristotle (and Plato before him) described these things thousands of years ago, and more accurately: the dictator vs the king, the aristocracy vs. the oligarchs, and democracy vs. polity.

  4. Dr. Faust says:

    I believe we’ve gone as progressive as we can.

    Each country has their own form of social engineering that the ruling priest class of the left has pushed out. In Sweden they’ve reengineered gender as far as it can go. Unsurprisingly, it failed. Men are still engineers, earn more, and outperform women.

    In America the white privilege meme has been pushed to its extent. What else can the social engineers do before they admit defeat? Gender bending and race bending can only go so far. Fools similar to the soviets believe they socially engineer human nature but are wrong every time. I don’t have the highest opinion of Christianity but they’re right about one thing. Humans are broken.

    “Everything is awesome and nobody’s happy,” Louis C.K. said. It’s true. If humans weren’t killer, masturbating apes this world would right now be a paradise. What stops us but the will?

    I mention this end of leftism because I’ve read on Moldbug’s blog that the ruling class and the priest class are no longer cooperating with each other. Essentially, the ruling class finds the demands of the professors and intellectuals to be impossible to enact in the world. How to erase gender? They can’t. How to erase race? The solution they’ve come up with is to destroy race, dilute it until it’s nothing similar to their dilution and obfuscation of the word racism.

    • Dan says:

      “I believe we’ve gone as progressive as we can.”

      Seems like it. The new civil right is transgender stuff, the New York Times boldly proclaims. They get a tad ahead of scientists. As yet no two male or female human gametes have ever formed a viable embryo. Therefore, scientifically, not one instance of human transgenderism has ever yet occurred.

      Of course, since science is dead, and scientific statements carry no weight.

      • Dr. Faust says:

        As far as I can tell mainstream feminism is focused on gender neutralism now. All social engineering fails. As much as I love Stephan Molyneux for a lot of his thoughts, I know that not spanking children will not transform the world. It will not change the complete economic inefficiency of anyone sub 80 IQ points. And letting little girls play with cars and plastic guns isn’t going to turn them into engineers.

        With the continued automation of menial labor this problem will only become exacerbated. What happens when 50% of the population is incapable of finding work because it all requires 100+ IQs? How could we justify voting rights for non workers at that point? What if the true unemployed jumps to 60% or more?

        Look at what the africans have done since being emancipated. Sell drugs, kill some people, and stagnate in ghettos. Jim rightly points out that they were probably better off as slaves. But here’s a question. Were the masters better off with the slaves? Instead of private slavery it becomes state subsidized.

        Technology made slavery inefficient but it did not make slaves cotton gin repairmen. The majority of the labor in the US is in the service sector. It’s the last bastion of the worker. What happens when mcdonald’s rolls out its new employee bots and automated kiosks? Peter Schiff doesn’t believer in technological unemployment but I do because I understand the secret of dumb people that smart people don’t get. Dumb people are dumb. They’re not smart people waiting for an opportunity to go to Harvard and prove themselves.

        I’m for subsidizing makeshift work. At this point what harm could it do? What’s a few more trillions worth of debt going to harm? Give the people with a negative economic value jobs to whatever capacity they can work and pay them slightly above unemployment and SSI amounts. It’s as Voltaire said, “Work frees us from three evils: boredom, vice, and greed.”

        Isn’t this essentially what affirmative actions is anyway? Why not make it official?

        • jim says:

          Red argues that handing worthless people money for being no good harms them. He suggests the monastery solution: Give them meaningful work, community, discipline, and forbid them from reproducing.

    • jim says:

      I believe we’ve gone as progressive as we can.

      We can, and will, always go even progressive.

      For example. All men are equal, as are men and women. Therefore the underperformance of certain groups is the result of the evil thought waves emitted by white males.

      Observe what is happening to the Tutsis. No measures, no matter how drastic, prevent the Tutsi from being superior, including mass state sponsored of rape of Tutsi women very large objects. Therefore, the only sufficiently progressive solution is to kill them all.

      Therefore, all white males have to be punished. Since punishment does not seem to work, all white males need to be killed. The ultimate end point of progressivism is that everyone gets tortured to death for insufficient progressivism, and the last torturer commits suicide for his shameful failure to inflict infinite torture in finite time.

  5. VXXC says:

    Read Freedom’s Forge, and see how dumb they are.

    We don’t have factories because they were systematically destroyed and sent overseas. If you’re typing here, wearing clothes, driving cars, and do on someone made it. Someone [like me for instance] provides you the networks you can connect your magic boxes to, so you can skin grapes with your fingers on the internet, discussing the flaws of the underclass.

    They are under because they were PUT UNDER in a power play.

    I don’t really give a shit about Smith and the comparative advantage of slave labor in the 3d world. Who I interace at distance with daily, and sometimes interface [like today] with their obnoxious idiot H1-B drones here. Their comparative advantage is they are slaves. In terms of quality of work you don’t get what you don’t pay for, indeed much of my particular departments job is fixing their idiot mistakes.

    No machines can’t make everything, certainly can’t make everything run, and there’s no reason not to have nearly full employment.

    Go make something, make a network run, make a factory run. Then return and complain they’re too dumb to work.

    The Sulla I follow burns the schools. I have come to realize why the Vandals destroyed writing, it envenerates. While the architects who built the flying butresses of Gothic cathedarals were indeed literate, the stonemasons who made it real were almost certainly not.

  6. VXXC says:

    It would be nice if drones could win a war, but people live on the ground.

    Yes it’s great for running down and killing tribesmen with no air counter. It’s not going to work otherwise.

  7. VXXC says:

    Jim these gentlemen exist, but they hardly care about which fork to use.

    Nor did the gentlemen of Charlemagnes court. Nor did the orignial romans. Nor the Muslim conquerers, and so on.

    The Regular Army is by no means deballed in terms of people.

    But as our Officer Corps embraced academic achievement in reaction to McNamara’s whiz kids, it is undone by academic means. The intrigues of academia and the PC attitude haunt our Officer Corps.

    And they don’t rebel because you see: it’s kind of an all or nothing, no room for error deal, and things aren’t quite so bad yet.

    However if you’re just looking at the Officers in the American Military you quite missed something important.

  8. VXXC says:

    O/T but on the Copts plight: “The Jews are the ones saying, “Hey, Christians – wake up! These are your people.” If only we were tribal. ”

    this man is right.

  9. VXXC says:

    Work things out far short of violence, my ass they did.

  10. RS says:

    > Contrary to Moldbug, societies ruled by a single strong man rarely prosper, since the single strong man has limited capability to shake down the society, and so tends to maximize his take, rather than maximize what is to be taken

    It is not so flat, or doesn’t have so much to do with constitution. The Republic, as well as the American republic which we agree was decadent in intellect but not in life, were (demo)oligarchies golden in their time. The Principiate, essentially a principiate despite oligo and demo elements, was golden until it wasn’t. There’s your favorite regime, arguably a principio-oligo blend — as well as the Elizabeth crown before it, which I suppose was more principiate, like Friedrich Grossmeister’s state.

    Heck, long ago in another world there was even a direct democracy that was arguably at least as golden as any of the above, almost the heroic society par excellence.

    Given its outrageous success in poetry I would list the old Israel if I actually knew how it functioned ; presumably it was a straight-up principiate.

    Setting aside the novel and lamentable power structure into which we have been born, I think that fundamentally the flash of gold has more to do with Chinese or Evolan concepts of harmony, less to do with platonic forms of constitution. Maybe only one or two constitutions had golden potential in each of those specific historical instances noted above, maybe not — but there seems to be no constitution that is golden in the abstract, across place and time. About all I would say by way of abstraction/generalization is that de jure direct democracy has only performed superbly in approximately one case (that of a rather small city-state), and that most of the superb societies included a substantial component of de facto and/or de jure oligarchy. (I’m writing the word sans connotation — not in connotative contrast to ‘aristocracy’.)

    • jim says:

      There’s your favorite regime, arguably a principio-oligo blend — as well as the Elizabeth crown before it

      But the power of Queen Elizabeth and the eighteenth century monarchs, though theoretically unlimited, was in practice limited to preventing other people from having power.

      • RS says:

        There’s a concept of ‘the beleaguered isle’ from Elizabeth’s day. It seems people felt on edge before her crown got a handle on things. There was the religious uncertainty affecting England and adjacent states ; it seems there was fear things could come to war or invasion.

        Then the confrontation with Spain, not unrelated to religio-politik, which they prevailed in — both as a generality, and in getting Spain out of Holland. (I don’t know if Holland was geostrategic for cowing or attacking England ; I presume so.)

        I guess it wasn’t as leonine as Athens relinquishing the city and moving her entire population onto ships to struggle on against Persia, at the beginning of their golden age. That was really indomitable — the so-called ‘Anabasis’ was nothing much! (A lot of Boeotia and probably some other realms folded preemptively, not exactly incomprehensibly.) But it does seem the Elizabeth House was clever and active.

        I grant I don’t know much about this, and about the 18C I know zero.

    • RS says:

      > the flash of gold has more to do with Chinese or Evolan concepts of harmony, less to do with platonic forms of constitution

      That harmony builds from the particular — from the simple fact that it is particular, has character, and from the fact that this particular recognizes itself, its nature and potential — to reach a eudaimonist splendor.

      Thus — particularism, tradition-harmony, eudaimonism.

  11. Red says:

    Why not a Julius Caesar? The American empire is the largest in the history of the world. One man holding most the power could probably rearrange into a functional empire. He might even emerge from one of those private security groups.

  12. […] Our elite is not all that violent, and exceptional cases, such as Sonia Sotomayor, are not all that … […]

  13. […] The time approaches for a Sulla or a Monck “In a tranquil and orderly society a bunch of high status males work things out between themselves by means far short of actual violence, hence are “gentlemen”.  These gentlemen then present a unified and extremely violent front against outsiders.  Over time, their arrangement is apt to break down… As they become less violent to outsiders, they find that increasingly those who have intruded among them are more violent to each other… Elite politics then becomes progressively rougher… Moldbug is correct to argue that the weakness of the ruler is a problem, wrong to think it is soluble.  Stationary bandits are always apt to mutate into mobile bandits due to institutional decay.” […]

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    The time approaches for a Sulla or a Monck « Jim?s Blog

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