How to govern the libs
"Our lovely creeks and streams are not fouled with their remains."
The backstory of the modern regime is generally presented to the young student as a sequence of “good wars,” in which the regime and its ancestors prevailed. Details are plugged into this backbone, but the backbone never changes. We call it “history.”
Nothing in the backbone is wrong, exactly—all the big facts are right. It is historically true that there is much good on the “good” side, and much evil on the “evil” side. But one curious fact about all these “good wars” is an asymmetry whose meaning is deeper than we can go today.
A war is a conflict of narratives—and the winner’s narrative, in these axial backbone wars, is always a generic vision; the loser’s narrative is always a specific vision.
For example, no serious person disagrees that the cause or occasion of our Civil War was slavery. But the question on which Boston and Charleston came to blows was a question of how Charleston was to be governed—not how Boston was to be governed. Charleston did not care how Boston should be governed. Boston knew how everyone should be governed, including Charleston. No one disagrees about this, either.
Is it a surprise that Boston prevailed? After the First Battle of Bull Run, the rebels had no cohesive Union forces in front of them. Not only could they have easily taken Washington, they might well have been able to dip their toes in the St. Lawrence.
But the conquest of New England was the farthest thing from the Confederate dream. The Confederates were stuck in the schoolyard logic of a post-feudal aristocracy. Their plan was to give the Boston bully a quick gallant punch on the nose, to convince him to leave them and their wife’s slaves alone.
They had not a care in the world about what their canting Puritan-Quaker enemy did at home, so long as he kept it at home. They had no desire to conquer Boston; they had no idea what to do with it. Their vision was specific; Boston’s vision was generic. As a result, they were fighting a war to not lose. Their enemies were fighting to win. So they lost.
We see this logic over and over again. WWI on the Allied side is a war for democracy; WWI on the Central Powers side is not a war for monarchy. Wilhelm II has no idea of parachuting a Hohenzollern prince onto the English throne. He has no general theory of the future—he just wants to preserve the present. In his mind, he is fighting for his country’s sovereignty and independence in a multipolar world order. So he loses.
Therefore—especially when you don’t have a Mason-Dixon line between the halves of your country—if you want to win, you should plan to win, not plan to not-lose. This implies that if you are up against them, and they have a plan to govern you, then you should also have a plan to govern them—or better yet, a general theory, necessarily including them, of how everyone should be governed.
The trouble with exit
Ergo: plans for any kind of “exit” or “secession” are, in general, plans to not-lose. They are therefore unlikely to win, and should be avoided.
How does this effect work? When your plan is to not lose, no one has anything to lose by betting on your enemy. He may not conquer you (yet), but you will not destroy him. And in a world where all older nominally-independent structures have been destroyed or assimilated, why wouldn’t the same thing happen to any new such structure?
The planners of exit as a solution to universal ideological convergence often lack a specific and detailed theory of the cause or mechanism of this convergence. Often they are operating with the theory that they will be convergent, in public, until they gain the scale to carry out their divergent plans.
But if the mechanism of convergence increases its power as the scale of its target increases… as, of course, it does… the exiting entity is in the position of a small ice-cream shop founded by sex-crazed hippies in 1971. Of course they always wanted to sell some kind of sex-themed ice-cream. But they were shrewd businessmen… the community wasn’t ready for it… and the community won’t be ready for it in 2011, either, when they sell the company to Unibrands for a billion dollars. I mean, times change… maybe it’s Unibrands that will finally launch that Threesome flavor…
What actually happens as you grow is that the front you put on becomes the reality. The incentives to converge increase enormously as any operation scales, and any operation that tries to defy these pressures will fail. In those that survive and comply, the real goal of the founding turns into the historical eccentricity of the founder.
Nor is the pressure to converge particularly correlated with geography or jurisdiction. Power in the 21st century doesn’t really care where you are. Whatever your GPS coordinates, the press can trash your reputation; the banking system can cut you off; the DOJ can indict you.
There’s nowhere in the solar system where you can just laugh at these things, as you would if you’d learned that the Namibian press had it in for you, a North Korean court had indicted you, or you could no longer hold even a checking account in the Comoros. And this power over even mere persons grows larger as an institution grows.
Exit, voice, or reset
So there is no exit. And of course there is no voice. There is only reset.
Which is to say: if cons want a plan to win, they cannot just plan to rule themselves. They cannot just plan to be free from the libs. They need a plan to rule the libs—and everyone else, including themselves. They need a generic theory of government—and the best test of this theory is its ability to rule this strange super-tribe—the libs.
We will assume that the cons are not so foolish as to try to rule the libs themselves—or try to convert the libs into cons. They lack the strength to do this, or anything close. All they can do is to erect a successor regime which will rule all three American orders—libs, cons and pocs (persons of color)—while governing all three fairly.
Cons have a fairly good understanding of how cons should be governed fairly—not a very good understanding of how libs and pocs should be governed fairly. Let’s try to fix this, at least for the libs.
There are three purposes in governing the libs: to restrain them politically; to nourish and help them thrive as human beings; and to recruit them into the new regime.
Who can govern the libs
But who can govern the libs? The question is especially difficult because the libs, today, are our governing class—our noble class. Everything about this “professional-mercantile class” is cloaked in euphemism; anyone from history could identify it as just another manifestation of nobility. And who can be above a nobility?
The libs can and should govern themselves—within bounds set by some higher power. But this higher power must be above them, and completely above their influence.
Nobles are bad at governing others precisely because they have the instinct to govern—or, to put it differently, the ambition to rule. This ambition is one aspect of the broader life goal of the noble: self-definition. Without proper structure, the power instinct of the noble becomes counterproductive and even corrosive to the state.
Therefore the new monarchy can rely on nobles only inasmuch as it resocializes them. It must erase all old noble structures and institutions—there can be nothing left of the old agencies, universities, newspapers, nonprofits, etc. Even the buildings have to go.
This is just paperwork; it does not harm one noble hair on one noble’s head; to the contrary, any regime change should treat the employees of these old institutions with great generosity, not so much laying them off as buying them out. For in fact their power, the sovereignty they hold, is a kind of equity. If it’s confiscated, you get compensated.
After this eradication of prestigious institutions, new institutions can be built. These institutions need to be far superior to the old ones, but they need to use as much of the raw human talent of the old nobility as possible—and this is still where most talent still comes from, whether in science, business or the arts.
The new regime can hire dissidents (who proved their bona fides before the change), or converts (who passed through some kind of Bruce Lee-tier cult indoctrination school). The ethnic origins of these cadres are irrelevant, much as cops are all the same race. Many of them will (like me) have grown up as nobles.
Over time, power will naturally bring prestige, and an employee of the new executive branch—which includes the whole old regime, not just the government proper—will enjoy a prestige comparable to that of a prominent professor or journalist today. Kids will grow up aspiring to this prestige; this lets the new regime gate these jobs by more and more rigorous standards of classical education and noble graces, by starting with younger and younger children.
These standards will include a thorough and rigorous critical understanding of the 20th century and its vanished institutions. As time goes on, it takes more and more traditional education to get one of these jobs—and there are not many, since the new regime is so efficient. There are certainly no jobs in teaching 20th-century lib cant—not, at least, in a non-critical sense.
The fundamental goal of handling nobles, for any monarch lucky enough to be above their power, is to train them into a nobility which is a true ornament and service to the realm—not a persistent source of sedition, disloyalty and anarchy. The nobles are the best people in the country, at least in many important respects; they should be the people most useful to the country; yet they are often the people most dangerous to it. This is the challenge of every king who seeks to tame his nobles—especially that of a monarch who has somehow succeeded a noble oligarchy.
This process in which the libs, a social aristocracy, are converted into a new functional nobility, is an inherently slow one. Over time—multiple generations of time—it will revitalize the whole social class. Initially, it just has to yield enough capable and loyal personnel to operate the new regime—a much smaller problem, since the new regime must be much smaller and more efficient.
Restraining the libs
Because the libs are the former governing order, hermetically separating the libs from power or influence over any other order is critical in preventing a relapse. However, libs are great at governing themselves and must do so: for them, it is part of thriving.
Since libs fear and despise cons, it is especially important to separate these two orders. Red-state Americans should not be ruling blue-state Americans, or vice versa. Lib kids should not be at the same schools as con kids. Cons should not be consuming content made by libs.
Since libs use pocs as political soldiers, lib-poc contact should be even more restricted. Many libs, and many cons, are of course assimilated persons of color—this is not a big deal—but true pocs are always members of, or at least adjacent to, traditional cultures, which are always defined by biological homogeneity. There are no Chinese Hasids, black Amish or Mexican Somalis.
It must be the mission of the new regime to restore and revitalize these traditional cultures. The principle of care that any regime must follow toward any traditional culture, whether Amish, Hasidic, Cantonese, etc, is to help it protect its own borders and prevent cultural dilution as it governs itself—so long as its internal policies do not create externalities that affect the rest of its own society.
It is impossible to preserve a traditional culture without letting it govern itself, and without letting this internal government build social, economic, digital, and cultural walls around itself. Moreover, history suggests that cultures which do not build these walls will not survive as such.
But such walls do not have to be geographic. It is more convenient in any number of ways for cultures to own their own geographic spaces—but it is not easy to achieve in a world still recovering from modernity, and not necessary at all. Internet firewalls are much more important than physical walls—even the Amish could decide to have their own Internet, if all the content on it was Amish.
One other way that traditional cultures preserve themselves in the modern world is valves—systems that expel people who are just misfits, for all kinds of psychological reasons. Generally, these people are actually libs, and should transfer to that culture. There is really no point in trying to be both Amish and gay, for instance.
In a way, libs are like a traditional culture. In a way they are not, because they are socially dominant, not subordinate. Cultural contamination cannot damage the libs. They can consume all the poc or con content they like—probably more the former. They will not be harmed by masturbating over Amish newsletters, or whatever.
But the lines of power that flow upward from pocs or cons, whether these are the lines of political power or the lines of cultural power, need to contain no libs at all. Above the parochial governments of all these separated cultures, the new regime is neutral; if it employs any (unreconstructed) libs, it will swiftly find itself the property of the libs. Regime change is always harder than it looks, especially if you want it to work.
As long as they can govern themselves, and as long as they are given other work to do, why should libs mind not being able to work for the central government? And why should they mind being isolated in their own lib bubble, away from pocs and cons? To treat people well is to give them what their actions reveal that they prefer, not always what they say they prefer. And libs’ actions always reveal that they feel by far the most comfortable in a lib-only environment—so isolating them is part of treating them well.
How the libs can thrive
Libs are nobles and should be treated nobly. They need almost no government at all, and whatever they need can be supplied by themselves.
The ideal lib community is: Burning Man, but year-round, in a Tuscan hilltop village. When you are at Burning Man, or in a similarly-homogeneous intentional community, every stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet. But who wants to camp in the desert 24/7/365? California is full of empty hilltops that could be turned into ersatz Tuscany. Just copy it, Chinese style.
The principal question in governing a thriving community of libs is what they do. This is difficult, because libs are nobles, and nobles need noble work.
The question has to start with what nobles want to do. Always and everywhere, the three favorite pastimes of the noble are: (a) impressing other nobles; (b) improving themselves; and (c) causing trouble.
One theory of nobility suggests that this is fine. If nobles are granted a reasonable UBI—an otherwise terrible idea which makes perfect sense when governing the libs, since libs are nobles, and income without labor is a common concomitant of nobility—and if they have no effective way to cause trouble, they will put their energy wholly into (a) and (b), creating the desired experience of 24/7/365 Burning Man but in fake Tuscany.
The problem with this is chiefly economic. Every culture in a stable polycultural order should be economically self-sufficient, which means not running a trade deficit with the rest of the world. Where does this UBI come from? How do the libs pay for their food, landscaping, clothes, etc?
It is true that many libs have very valuable labor to sell. However, with the change of regime, there will be a large decrease in lib labor demand, because libs are no longer demanded for positions that involve power or influence over non-libs. This does not just affect dismissed government employees; it is felt all across the private sector.
For instance, many libs work at Google—Google is a search engine. Cons should search through a search engine staffed by cons. When cons use a lib search engine, they give the libs power over, and revenue from, cons. Likewise, cons are no longer watching lib movies, listening to lib music, etc. This creates a revenue deficit.
Also, one goal of any new regime is the ruthless destruction of so-called “bullshit jobs”—any kind of useless paper-pushing. These “jobs” exist all across the economic and cultural spectrum, but are generally skewed toward the employment of libs. It is preferable to pay most of these dudes to sit at home and jack off or play XBox—and for the ladies, wine, Facebook and cats. Though solutions better yet may be devised…
Since this deficit is the consequence of a political confiscation whose intent is not punitive, merely necessary for the engineering stability of the new regime, it seems reasonable to compensate the confiscation with some broad subsidy or advantage. UBI is one answer—the libs are certainly the culture which thrives the best while not being held to a standard of economic independence and self-sufficiency.
But it is still better for every culture to be self-sufficient. Therefore, one way to govern the libs is to manage their trade (just as every culture should have its own Internet, every culture should have its own currency—this creates levers to manage trade) to reduce their demand for external labor.
Instead, libs should learn to do their own dirty jobs. This will happen if these jobs are made extraordinarily rewarding, which is natural if external labor is extraordinarily expensive due to a currency board which automatically prevents a trade deficit. Once a plumber makes as much as a white-shoe lawyer, libs will turn into plumbers.
It is an easy caricature that libs are averse to manual labor. Actually, the Bennington lesbians who in their 40s retire from biglaw to start a goat farm in Vermont, though easy caricatures, are anything but averse to manual labor.
Which libs, who are nobles, need is high-dignity labor. Libs or anyone need work that demands their whole human capacity. Indeed there may be more such demand in goat farming than in biglaw.
There is a lot more money in biglaw right now—not because libs don’t like goat cheese, but because Trader Joe’s makes their standard “Silver Goat” logs in giant industrial vat-batches in China, or something. It would be more expensive if it had to come from the Bennington ladies—as it probably should be. It would also be better—it certainly should be.
As much as possible, libs should buy only from libs. And those libs should use craft and artisanal processes as much as possible, because this requirement ensures the human dignity of labor—which is important for everyone, but extra important for libs. No human is a robot, but libs are especially unsuited to being human industrial robots. The future of production is either fully automated, or fully artisanal.
Ideally, for instance, libs make all their own clothes. Libs love to make clothes. Why are they pointing their purchasing power at fast-fashion made by Bangladeshi slaves? They could be making clothes for each other—they love to do stuff like that. Again, these clothes will not be cheap—libs will have fewer clothes, but better.
In fact, by creating an economic order that works this way, we are pushing the culture of the libs in the general direction of nobility. Even the nobility of craft is a nobility—especially when, thanks to a supply-demand imbalance inside the lib currency area, ordinary craft skills start to pay like a tech job.
Time will equalize these imbalances. Time will also emphasize imbalance in human talent, and separate the masters from the journeymen—leading inevitably to genuine nobility, which is any kind of inimitable human excellence.
Not every lib is cut out for the crafts and/or trades. Many want to be artists. While the usual way to subsidize these people is for committees to give them grants, this leads to terrible bureaucratic art.
Instead, what if local content restrictions—like Hollywood movie region restrictions, but as fine-grained as a metropolitan area—mitigated the tournament-economy effect, in which most of the revenue goes to a few successful national or global creators, by creating artificial demand for local content—in films, books, and everything else?
The libs are a noble culture, and creating duties for a surfeit of nobles has always been a hard problem in governance. If the job falls short of the noble’s capacity, the noble will be unhappy and may cause trouble. Therefore, economies should be designed first and foremost by their ability to match labor supply and demand with natural duties.
For instance, the natural duty of someone who is born a novelist is to write novels. It is not wrong to artificially structure an economy so that the demand for good novels is spread more evenly across the supply of good novelists, rather than rewarding a few lucky superstars. Artificial localism in the arts and letters is only one example of the kind of technology restriction with this salutary effect.
The passing of the elves
In the ideal future for libs, they are dethroned—America is no longer their country; the world is no longer their planet; the future is no longer their future—but not punished. Our lovely creeks and streams are not fouled with their remains. Our kids will be able to play at the beach without worrying that they’ll find a femur, or something.
To the contrary: the libs must be both controlled, and cherished. This task can only be solved by a regime as gentle as it is strong, as smart as it is implacable, and as creative as it is traditional.
Patrolled but still respected, the libs become a kind of elf-society—an important piece of any nation, but one that holds itself aloof. It is dangerous to know elves too well; yet they prefer not to interfere in human questions. We have the 20th century to remind us what happens when they try.