Obviously democracy is not working, is failing catastrophically. The productive are outvoted by the gimmedats, in large part non asian minorities and white sluts. Moldbug’s solution is simple: Dictatorship, evolving into Monarchy. The dictator, he hopes and expects, will fire all government employees, except for military, police, and some tax collectors. What use are all the rest of them to a strong dictator?
A good government is a stationary bandit, since a stationary bandit has an incentive to shear the sheep, rather than flay them. A bad government is a mobile bandit, and the government service in democracies increasingly approximate mobile bandits. Each bureaucrat seeks to increase his power and wealth, even if the total burden is well above the Laffer limit.
The trouble is that a dictator is not necessarily a stationary bandit: A secure dictator, for example a martial and charismatic monarch of a long established dynasty, is a stationary bandit. Unfortunately, not only are long established dynasties in short supply, but when you have one, the legitimate heir to the throne is seldom martial and charismatic.
Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is martial and charismatic, but numbers one and two in line could not get laid if they turned up at a brothel with garbage truck full of money. The reason the British throne is powerless is in substantial part because of a long succession of monarchs incapable of exercising power. Rather than a struggle between King and parliament, it was more the bureaucracy picking up the dangling reins, which is the same problem as afflicts American democracy.
Consider North Korea. It is too soon to tell how bad the new regime will be, but under the old regime:
- the people were starving
- The technological level of military exports was OK, but the technological level of other exports was falling from third world to hunter gatherer.
- Mines were increasingly operated with neolithic technology.
And the new regime looks like it is on the same path.
To which Moldbug replied that the North Korean dictator was insecure. Of course he was insecure – he tried the Chinese style system, economic liberty without political liberty, and it immediately threatened to blow him away. He feared he would be unable to control the forces unleashed. He was weak! He feared that if he allowed capitalists, one of the capitalists would be a George Washington, and another a Sam Adams.
The problem is that most dictators are weak!
If you are a nerd, you are apt to think that dictatorship is easy. Anyone disobeys the dictator, the dictator says
shoot that man!
And is obeyed.
But that is not really how an army works. An army, like most human institutions, is a thin crust of order floating on a wave tossed sea of chaotic anarchy, the main difference being that the crust in thinner and more brittle than in most institutions, and the anarchy more violent than in most institutions.
A soldier is primarily loyal to the other people in his group, and to his immediate superior officer, and to his commanding officer. If Four Star General Allmighty tells a common grunt:
The common grunt, not accustomed to being spoken to by generals, will look at his sergeant, and wait for his sergeant to say “jump!”. The sergeant will look at his immediate commanding officer.
And if instead the sergeant says:
“Grab that general and toss him in the brig!”
The grunt will, without hesitation or a second thought, grab that general and toss him in the brig.
So why is it that sergeants seldom toss generals in the brig?
Mostly because sergeants have trouble organizing pay and logistics. So what tends to happen in military dictatorships is that power winds up in the hands of the lowest ranking officers that have the connections and skills to organize pay and logistics: colonels.
The lower the rank of the dictator or junta, the worse a military dictatorship performs. If you have a junta of colonels the colonels in the junta cannot discipline the other colonels, and all the colonels steal anything not nailed down, and if it is nailed down, they pry it up. They become mobile bandits. And if the dictator is a sergeant, it performs even worse because you have even more mobile bandits with even fewer organizational skills.
Conversely, the higher the rank of the dictator, the better military dictatorship performs, the more military dictatorship is a stationary bandit, a monarch of royal blood being in effect the highest possible rank.
Pinochet’s dictatorship worked very well, but military men are never altogether comfortable except they have someone above them. Used to be that military dictators would find a King. Unfortunately we have a King shortage, so now they hold an election.
The Pinochet dictatorship considerably diminished left wing domination of the public service, but he was too wishy washy to do a thorough job. Official history is that Pinochet made a coup against Allende because Allende crushed democracy and destroyed the economy, but in fact Pinochet was in favor of the coup before he was against it, and against the coup before he was in favor of it.
What happened was that parliament, horrified by the ever faster movement left and the associated economic collapse and violence, called upon the army to remove Allende. Allende then appointed Pinochet, as a military leader unlikely to remove Allende, appointed Pinochet as a leftist.
Pinochet was himself a progressive. He was appointed by Salvador Allende who hoped to rule through the army when it became apparent Allende could no longer rule through free elections, nor by the power of the mob.
Six hours before the coup, the rebel officers informed Pinochet that the coup was rolling. They gave Pinochet a piece of paper to sign ordering the army to support the coup, and told him that if he failed to sign it, this would “undermine the unity and discipline of the armed forces”, which sounds to me to mean “sign or die”. Pinochet signed, then took off. Neither side could find him or contact him. They found him after the coup playing with his grandchildren and hauled him off to the bloodstained and still smoking presidential palace.
Chances are that if the balloon goes up around 2026 or so, the top officer in the Pentagon will be a male to female mestizo transexual claiming to be a lesbian, born male in Mexico.
Western armies are getting visibly weaker as they are politicized. Consider the entirely hopeless performance of the British army, navy, and police force. Thus seems to me that the way out, after the collapse, is anarcho capitalism, neo feudalism, or anarcho piratism. (Anarcho piratism being more or less anarcho capitalism that works out in practice the way that people that fear anarchy imagine it might, and neo feudalism being anarcho capitalism that works out in practice the way that people who fear capitalism imagine that it might)
The weakness of western military forces, and the very impressive performance of private security in dealing with Somali pirates and Occupy Wall Street, makes such an outcome more likely, even though we are more accustomed to republican regimes ending in military dictatorship than general political collapse. On past performance strong dictatorship, Moldbug’s bet, is the way to bet, but if the dictator of North Korea feared the capability of capitalism to produce George Washington and Sam Adams, perhaps he had reason to fear. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.
Moldbug’s solution needs a king, even though he calls his hypothetical ruler a CEO, and a monarchy is founded by a general who is bold, martial, and charismatic. Does a military containing ever more officers and ever fewer grunts tolerate such people any more? And if it did contain such a man, would he have any sons?