Many reactionaries compare today’s America to the latter days of the Roman Republic, reflect on the excellence of the early Roman empire, and hope for a military coup that ends the corrupt and decadent American republic, replacing it with disciplined imperium.
The reigns of the five good Roman emperors illustrate that the reign of stationary bandit, an absolute dictator secure in his power, fearing neither votes nor coups nor riot nor military insurrection, is a pretty good system. He has an incentive to shear the sheep, but not flay them, while other forms of government tend to flaying. Observe that taxes on the rich are everywhere far above the Laffer limit, and in many places, such as Greece, taxes on the working poor are far above the Laffer limit.
Unfortunately such a tranquil transition seems improbable, for every officer above company grade in the US army is selected not only for political correctness, but, more importantly, for lack of military competence. The Cathedral fears losing a war with the US military far more than it fears the US military losing a war with some external enemy. A successful coup requires a leader who commands a reasonable level of respect from the junior officers. Being such a potential coup maker absolutely disqualifies officers for promotion above company grade.
Nor could the US military provide order after such a transition, for order requires legitimacy, and such a tranquil transition would leave the new imperator illegitimate. Coercive power is insufficient to enable a government to govern. (more…)