Tag Archives: Anarcho-Monarchism

Neoreaction and Subsidarity

One of the themes of neoreaction is that different groups of people will naturally evolve different forms of government and a government that is optimal for one group may fail when applied to another.

For example, anarcho-monarchism may be right for the anglosphere, but would likely fail outside of the natural institutions and culture that have evolved within the anglosphere.

As Bryce puts it:

The insight of neoreaction, contrasting this, is that the differences between groups do significantly determine the optimal form of governance. To different groups, different political doctrines. Insofar as different treatment of groups is institutionalized, it tends to be institutionalized in respect of the differences those groups. A different group of people calls for a difference in evaluation. This will not and in most cases should not be simplistic, but again, the most optimal forms of evaluation are not going to be able to be wielded by every society.

If national groups require differing forms of government would not regional, or local groups require the same. Two different counties, towns, or even neighbourhoods may have different optimal forms of government.

Because of this the principle of subsidiarity fits naturally within neoreaction:

One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.

Subsidiarity is often a basic and explicit principle of reaction, particularly Catholic reaction, but in neoreaction it tends to be implicitly accepted but not formally acknowledged. For example, Moldbug’s patchwork is inherently subsidiaritist in nature, but I do not remember coming across him explicitly promoting the principle. Searching google for neoreaction and subsidiarity, bring up mostly Nick Steves‘ comments and a bit of Bryce’s work, as would be expected.

The primary purpose of this post is to make more  encourage neoreactionaries to pay more explicit attention to, what I believe to be, an underlying principle of neoreaction, subsidiarity.

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From this, a reactionary basis for libertarianism or anarchism can be reached. Rather than basing libertarian thought around such things as non-existent human rights, libertarian thought can be derived from the subsidiarity principle.

The individual is the smallest and simplest human organization possible. If everything is to be governed by the smallest and simplest organization capable and an individual is capable of governing itself, it stands to reason that libertarianism is the optimal form of governance.

The problem with this formulation is that not all individuals are capable of governing themselves. Natural slaves, those constitutionally incapable of governing themselves, present a challenge to this form of organization.

Thus we come back to the original theme, different groups of people will have differing optimal forms of governance.

In a society with few, if any, natural slaves, anarcho-monarchism would be the optimal form of government. Most people could govern themselves, the presence of a king would ensure his citizenry refrained from trying to govern each other, and the few natural slaves could easily be cared for through private, charitable organizations.

Thus, for Englishmen, a self-reliant people used to freedom and self-organization with strong natural social institutions, anarcho-monarchism is the optimal form of governance.

For other peoples, with a higher proportion of natural slaves, other more restrictive forms of governance may be necessary.

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From this we can also discern a factor in why the size and power of government has increased while the non-English population has increased.

As non-English populations have been imported into English countries, the proportion of natural slaves have increased. More natural slaves necessitates more governance.

Thus, immigration from countries where the populations lack English virtues of self-reliance, spontaneous self-organization, and freedom will necessarily lead to more governance.

This is but one reason why immigration, particularly from incompatible cultures, should be severely restricted.

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We now come to the post that inspired this post, a Town without Big Corporations:

There is no question in my mind that this town has saved itself from eventual decline. Not only is it much less ugly and depressing than nearby towns with chain stores but one has the sense that the people who live there identify with it as a community and feel some loyalty and pride. I say that based on my experiences simply talking and listening to the people who live there. So even if it allowed chains, but restricted their garish signs, the town would be worse off.

Instead of a Pizza Hut, there are individually-owned pizza restaurants and a couple of young entrepreneurs take a traveling wood-burning oven to the farmer’s market. People raise goats, sheep and chickens and sell the meat. There are a number of cheese makers who seem to do reasonably well and who sell things immeasurably superior to corporate cheese.

According to free market radicals, this town is engaging in practices that are fundamentally wrong. It is engaging in explicit protectionism in favor of small businesses. Or free market radicals will say that it’s okay to do this kind of thing here and there on a small scale, but the underlying principle of restricting commerce is immoral and tyrannical.

First, Laura is simply incorrect, but incorrect in an understandable way that almost every person is incorrect today.

The free market and large corporations are not one and the same. In fact, corporations, particularly limited liability joint-stock corporations, are a government-manufactured and -enabled institution that distorts the free market. The corporate takeover of the Anglosphere is not a product of free markets, but rather another government intrusion into the private lives of English citizens.

While I can’t say with utmost certainty, but removing the government-created, limited liability, joint-stock corporations from the free market would most likely halt the corporate takeover of the Anglosphere. How many would be willing to become involved in a world-spanning enterprise and be held responsible for the entirity of what the organization does?

Neoreactionaries should oppose the corporate system, as they are another failing of modernism.

Aside from that though, as a free market reactionary, the free market is the most efficient method of wealth-production in almost all cases; this is historically unarguable.

But wealth-creation efficiency is not the end of society; different peoples may have differing goals for society.

In societies without the basic levels of common trust, neutral courts, and non-corrupt government found within the Anglosphere, the free market may not function at all and/or what may be called a “free market” may be nothing of the sort and may actively harm people.

In the Anglosphere, I would not oppose economic regulation by the king, but I would oppose any regulation by our current democratic, national governments. Almost all economic regulation in our national democracies is created for the good of the state-created corporations, and almost all work against the independent entrepreneur.

Not to mention national regulation thoroughly violates the principle of subsidiarity.

On the local level though, local communities should be free to regulate commerce as they wish. Our social institutions have been annihilated by modern progressivism; some local regulations over commerce should be fine until the English people reassert their historical freedoms under the king.


Anarcho-Monarchism

Over at the Neckbeard Chronicles, I came across the term anarcho-monarchism. This is a very small ideology that doesn’t even have it’s own wiki page and I don’t know much about it, but it really appeals to me.

There’s no big analysis today, just some quotes on it from other sources:

The individual person has the self-evident, God-given rights of life, liberty, and property. These rights are best exercised in a capitalist-libertarian, Stateless society.  However, this does not mean that a form of government and authority is not required.  For any civilized culture, order must be maintained, and thus, authority is indispensable.  But it is essential to understand that there is a difference between the State and authority, and how authority is natural and good, whereas the State is evil and unnecessary.  Natural government and authority only has one purpose: to secure these individual rights.  Acceptable forms of a minimalist government, as laid down by such intellectual giants as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, include traditional monarchies, aristocracies, and republics.  The plan envisioned by the Anti-Federalist Founding Fathers, in which the rule of law is bound upon a Constitutional republican confederation in which there is a strictly limited, weak, and anti-centralistic federal government alongside weakened, yet sovereign, independent states (in the colonial American sense), with respect for jury nullification, peaceful secession, and of Natural Law, is possibly the best man-made governmental system ever devised.  Regardless of the form of government, the objective of good government should be to promote the common good, individualism, liberty, order, and free markets.

This synthesis of anarcho-capitalism with respect for monarchism, Christianity, traditionalist values, and proper authority is what I call ‘Anarcho-Monarchism.’  It is an anti-collectivist, anti-democratic, anti-statist, anti-nationalist, and anti-totalitarian, conservative-libertarian Rightist movement that stresses tradition, responsibility, liberty, virtue, localism, capitalism, civil society and classical federalism, along with familial, religious, regional, and Western identity. It celebrates in the diversity that God has created among man, and believes in the maxim of ‘Universal Rights, Locally Enforced.’

Some may scoff at an attempt to reconcile these influences, but I believe it is quite logical, and indeed absolutely necessary, to synthesize cultural conservatism with radical anti-statist libertarian-anarchism.  I view the modern Nation-State as an unnatural outgrowth of conquest and modernity — not of social contract (the classical liberals were wrong in this regard)— that inevitably foments decivilization and cultural decay as a means toward perpetuating its own parasitical existence at the expense of family, locale, and transcendent spiritual values.  I categorically and fundamentally reject the modern democratic, egalitarian, and majoritarian State in favor of natural libertarian hierarchy, polycentric law, paternalistic society, and private-property anarchism.

An article from First Things:

One can at least sympathize, then, with Tolkien’s view of monarchy. There is, after all, something degrading about deferring to a politician, or going through the silly charade of pretending that “public service” is a particularly honorable occupation, or being forced to choose which band of brigands, mediocrities, wealthy lawyers, and (God spare us) idealists will control our destinies for the next few years.

But a king—a king without any real power, that is—is such an ennoblingly arbitrary, such a tender and organically human institution. It is easy to give our loyalty to someone whose only claim on it is an accident of heredity, because then it is a free gesture of spontaneous affection that requires no element of self-deception, and that does not involve the humiliation of having to ask to be ruled.

The ideal king would be rather like the king in chess: the most useless piece on the board, which occupies its square simply to prevent any other piece from doing so, but which is somehow still the whole game. There is something positively sacramental about its strategic impotence. And there is something blessedly gallant about giving one’s wholehearted allegiance to some poor inbred ditherer whose chief passions are Dresden china and the history of fly-fishing, but who nonetheless, quite ex opere operato, is also the bearer of the dignity of the nation, the anointed embodiment of the genius gentis—a kind of totem or, better, mascot.

As for Tolkien’s anarchism, I think it obvious he meant it in the classical sense: not the total absence of law and governance, but the absence of a political archetes—that is, of the leadership principle as such. In Tolkien’s case, it might be better to speak of a “radical subsidiarism,” in which authority and responsibility for the public weal are so devolved to the local and communal that every significant public decision becomes a matter of common interest and common consent. Of course, such a social vision could be dismissed as mere agrarian and village primitivism; but that would not have bothered Tolkien, what with his proto-ecologist view of modernity.

And from another site:

Philosophically speaking, anarchism has a strong anti-democratic tradition that, far from seeing anarchism as being democracy carried to its logical conclusion, is actually far closer to being instead aristocracy universalised. Monarchy can be reinvented as a concept to serve a distinctively libertarian ethos, if one can see in the monarch a symbol of sovereignty that is reflected in the absolute sovereignty of the free individual. The word ‘king’ is derived from the word ‘kin’ – so kingship denotes kinship, the king or queen being a symbolic guardian of the people’s freedom and self-determination. Thus handed down generation to generation, the monarch carries the genetic inheritance of the people in a bond of mutual co-inherence. This is beautifully and poetically proclaimed in the tradition of British mythology that refers to King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail, in that the concept of kingship that is envisaged in the Arthurian mythos is interpreted as one of service and humility towards the people whom one ‘rules’. A similar theme is found in the Christian Gospels where Jesus says to his disciples ‘Whoever shall be considered the greatest, let him first become the least and the servant of all.’ (And in this mythological context, Christ is the fulfilment of all archetypes such as Arthur, as well as the indigenous British and Norse mystery traditions such as druidism and Odinism in particular.) The scriptures appear to suggest that at the end of time Christ will abdicate his throne, having maintained a reign so beneficent that all humanity is brought into such a state of spiritual perfection that the need for restraints and for government vanishes (1 Cor Ch. 15 vv. 24-28) – an eschatological realisation that transcends kingship and monarchy into an enlightened theocratic anarchy.

The most contemporary proponent of anarcho-monarchy has to be the fantasy novelist J. R. R. Tolkien, whose book Lord of the Rings has become the international best-seller of the century. Concerning his political leanings Tolkien said: ‘My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control, not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional monarchy’. Further on, he said some years later: ‘I am not a ‘socialist’ in any sense – being averse to ‘planning’ (as must be plain) – most of all because the ‘planners’ when they acquire power become so bad.’

‘Middle Earth’, the imaginary world Tolkien created, was based on north European mythology; it functioned as what Tolkien himself described as ‘a half-republic, half-aristocracy’ – a sort of municipal decentralised democracy (as opposed to a representative democracy) based in a holistic conception of the integrity of the local place and idiom. The emphasis in Tolkien of tendencies towards some kind of hierarchy, however libertarian, and of self-government only being consistent with kinship and loyalty to a particular place, has made Lord of the Rings popular and required reading amongst the radical-decentralist right.

Lord of the Rings is having a profound influence on the contemporary green and environmental movements in that, seen in our present historical context, it provides a coherent and inspirational critique of the modernist unholy trinity of state power, capital and technology. (For an excellent book on this very subject and more see Defending Middle-Earth – Tolkien: Myth and Modernity by Patrick Curry, Harper Collins 1998.) Tolkien, with keen prophetic insight, foresaw that at the close of this millennium the struggle for humanity and nature would be between the diversity of local distinctiveness, place, identity, and culture against the globalist unity and monoculture that turns everywhere into the same place. Also, it turns everyone into the same person with the same status as a passive ‘consumer’, where once they may have been an active citizen or ‘member of the public’.

Something to look into.