a few simple questions for neoabsolutism

in the wake of a similar post by the Imperial Energy, and given that for all that matters, neoabsolutism and lrx-mutualism are forever locked in a cosmic cage-match, i figured i should map a few of the most prominent questions that i feel the neoabsolutists haven’t really answered so far (i believe it’s obvious why unanswered questions are way more of a problem for them than it is for me):

  1. where does power come from? a lot of the writing in Reactionary Future, as well as in Imperial Energy and Neoabsolutism has to do on how insecure power seeks to secure itself through centralisation, etc. but not once have i seen any definition of power (something like this), nor any account of the ways power comes to be.
  2. how universalist is neoabsolutism? i’ve made this argument before (2, 3), but if division of power is seen as something to be avoided, then delegation is not really the greatest idea. with that in mind, can anything short of a global centralized empire be enough for neo-absolutism? parallel centers of power can or cannot coexist? and if they can, how far really is this from individualism?
  3. what is sovereignty if not a relation between divided powers? this arises immediately from the previous questions: isn’t freedom-as-power the exact same thing  as freedom-from(-other’s)-power? isn’t a sovereign, by definition, an individual, atomized in relation to other individuals?
  4. finally, what’s neo in neoabsolutism? how does the theory you are sketching differ significantly from early modern absolut kings, those enlightened despots?
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18 thoughts on “a few simple questions for neoabsolutism

  1. 1: Power is the ability control.

    There are six types of power:

    1: military power.
    2: economic power.
    3: legal power.
    4: moral power.
    5: intellectual power.
    6: mass power.

    The STEEL-cameralist formula is: Guns, Gold, Genes, Glory and God (which means freedom if you’re an American.)

    Your question “where does power come from” is misconstrued.

    It is like asking where the universe comes from and the answers, in logico-linguistic terms, fades into a endless regress of mystery.

    But as Caesar said: with men, get money; with money, buy men.

    Power is forward and not backward looking.

    Power is not normative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is a distinction between delegation and division of power. We tried to make this clear to you before.

    Our next post features the American founders wrestling match with Imperium In Imperio, but for the moment see what we wrote here:

    https://imperialenergyblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/a-steel-cameralist-manifesto-part-3a-the-age-of-crisis-the-science-of-the-state-and-the-rules-for-rulers/

    A delegates power to B, but A can suspend B’s authority and has the power to remove it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not necessarily.

        Think of “divided power” as A appointing B and C to both run a city as equals. They have the exact same authority to tax, regulate and judge. However, suppose A either will not or cannot (assume distance and lack of modern communication technology) then B and C must work it out. Now, they can either cooperate or there will be conflict. Imagine, however, something like this being permanently in place among parties who have very different values. Indeed, as some of the early American or post colonist writers and thinkers considered that two equal authorities will eventually destroy each other.

        The question of authority is really quite simple – formally speaking; it is a chain of command.

        The difference between RF and us is that we do not think it is a good idea to have a ruler who cannot, formally, be removed.

        The most natural design would be like a modern corporation.

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      2. “two equal authorities will eventually destroy each other.”

        going up, it implies that there can never be anything like sovereignty until there’s global government. now, of course, it is not true. there are constant power conflicts at the highest levels that do not lead to the dominance of a single party. why can’t this be translated further down?

        “They have the exact same authority”

        we should go back to terms of power. do B and C have equal power? are their power (combined or solely by themselves) equal to that of A, or greater? this is the real hierarchy, that will manifest in the real chain of command. “will the soldiers shoot?”

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      3. isn’t sovereignty the same as having an authority as equal as that of all other players in the game? if that’s unsustainable, you’ll only have sovereignty when there’s only one player.

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      4. You are referring to the international context right?

        Another way of defining sovereignty is “supremacy”. You can have supremacy in certain restricted zones. For instance, you could be “supreme” in law and taxes but not in foreign policy. A supreme state is a state that does not answer to any other state. There could be other states and other supreme states.

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      5. ” there are constant power conflicts at the highest levels that do not lead to the dominance of a single party.”

        The “logic” of the situation will lead in the direction of monopoly.

        You could view it as a cycle process conflict leading to monopoly which then leads to disintegration.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 3: Good question.

    Sovereignty is attained when a state or a person is in a sufficiently centralized state where they are capable of making fundamental decisions of war, peace, production, law and life without the consent or interference of any other state, corporation or person.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1) complicated question. I would say it is obviously a matter of anthropology. Adam has a model of the sacred center derived from Girardian/ Gansian theory, Jouvenel makes a number of stabs at in his book On Power. All I can say for sure is that humans are hierarchical which dictates a peak, or a center as Adam would claim. It does indeed make a great deal of human action coherent when you factor in this center as a matter of course. In fact, as again Adam has covered, human affairs are practically incoherent without it :

    http://gablog.cdh.ucla.edu/2017/08/absolutist-morality/
    http://gablog.cdh.ucla.edu/2017/07/orders-names-sovereignty/

    Now if this center is indeed a constant of human nature, then the question is not *if* we should have it, but how best to manage it.

    2) Again, Adam has been writing on this in far more detail than I, but any significantly complex society is impossible without delegation. Its is a no brainer. Also there are other forms of social control other than delegation for the record- like a market economy. Look at the origin of money as per Graeber’s account of warfare. Money was used extensively by societies for war. To provision a large army on a centralised basis is obscenely hard, impossible even, so the solution was to mint coins and give them to soldiers. Then the king only had to set up markets and get the populace to trade provisions for coins which they would need to pay taxes and so on. That coins circulated extensively in the Greek states and not the coexisting Phonecian trading empire is a huge support for this, as is…historical record. but the king did not personally organise this all, he had advisers and underlings to set up and run the market, mint the coins, be generals in the army. This centralised god king thing is liberalism.We can skip a lot of the reflexive gagging by talking about business structure, which is what MM did brilliantly.

    As for competing centers of power, that is a problem. I have had this question raised before and it is a head scratcher. It would *seem* like the Chinese had a concept of the Chinese emperor being the emperor of all, which would align with your claim of universal hegemony being logically coherent. You could claim the only real block on this is MAD.

    3) we would have to be clear what we mean by divided power, which I think I have covered many times before. Divided power being a system in which multiple centers are directed *against* each over and not working complementarily. This is why MM used the example of the corporation a lot. Imagine dictating that the HR dept could override the CEO and their job was to challenge them…I bet you don’t like where that is going. I also get the sense you are not factoring in the social nature of man, which is coherent with your liberalism.

    4) The name is a place holder and Adam has raised that issue before. I guess just waiting for someone to use a suitable derisive name we can steal as a badge of pride.

    Liked by 2 people

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