The Republic

Mencius Moldbug is having a bit of a moment lately. Or he was, until a moment ago. He kept popping up on YouTube this summer, very openly panhandling. After a riveting half-podcast the word-count smoke seemed to dissipate, and I remembered what a one-trick pony he is. He never gets to the point. He just leads you around by the nose.

What I liked about Moldbug was the very thorough way he diagnosed liberalism as a kind of mania, using primary sources. What I disliked about him was his dismissal—by turns high-handed and skittish—of conspiracy theories. Drug addiction isn’t treated by diagnosis alone. Sometimes you have to kill a drug dealer.

Moldbug’s most black-pilling feat by far is his critique of the American Revolution. Supposing he’s right that the founders were rabble-rousing charlatans, and that King George did nothing wrong. So what? You don’t have to tell me things are bad. But I’m armed to the teeth over here in America, I can own land, and can’t be prosecuted for what I write on Twitter. Contrast this with life under the British monarchy, where the government can literally murder your kid.

So I fail to see the need for this huge blackpill. Power is always diffuse, even under an absolute monarchy. Rome began as a republic, and degenerated into a monarchy. Like any system, the problem with America is not form, but function. Personnel is policy. In the last installment of his “Gentle Introduction,” Moldbug essentially says that a worthy alternative only needs to exist, and when America implodes, this alternative will fill the vacuum, because people will just roll over and accept it. Call me cuckoo for conspiracy puffs, but that’s exactly what Klaus Schwab thinks.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I think there’s a much simpler way. A republic and an aristocracy are basically the same thing. In The Republic, Socrates used the allegory of the ship’s captain to suggest that only the wise should participate in politics. But the unwise (both the shrewd and the misguidedly fervent) are fully capable of overthrowing the wise. Might I suggest an alternative criterion? Only those who have a real investment in the future have the right to decide the future course of state, and determining who they are is far easier than determining who is wise. Obviously, they are people with biological children, who have treated their investment (their kids) with the consideration and care it deserves, i.e., by maintaining a functional marriage to the other biological parent.

I know it’s a long-shot. Solutions to big problems always are. But if we could limit the franchise to couples married and cohabiting continuously at least ten years, with at least one biological child together, we could strike those whose interests are selfish, decadent and fleeting from the voter rolls without discriminating by race, sex, or property ownership. Narrow interest groups would still have their proxies, but the proxies would have as much in common with the rest of the electorate as they do with their separate identity groups.

Understand: I’m not saying every non-voter should effectively be a non-person. Every provision in the Bill of Rights would still apply to all citizens, but the criteria I’ve outlined would have to be met in order to participate in civic policymaking, i.e., to vote. Make that ironclad, and it wouldn’t take too many other reforms to make things real nice for normal, decent people. Normal, decent people are the only ones who have a shot at happiness anyway, because deviants will always be miserable.

That is a worthy alternative. If you will it, it is no dream.

4 thoughts on “The Republic

  1. OneGodOnly says:

    “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

    Yeah, how’s that democracy working out for you, Churchill?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guy says:

    Private associations that follow a system where membership and rights within the group are tied to the responsibilities and work that one puts into it would be a good start. I think whatever system comes about is going to have to work in parallel with the legacy system for at least a while until one of them just becomes irrelevant. The problem is the government has done a tremendous amount of work over the past few decades dismantling the infrastructure of the groups that could have potentially done this (militias?) and preventing new ones from cropping up. Sometimes with legal warfare (proud boys, church groups).

    Those groups will probably have the sorts of people on its rolls who also control the food supply and enough of the critical labor that in order to deal with them you’d have to be in good standing with them which would give them power.

    I feel like one way or another there’s going to be more violence until the current system is completely discredited enough that people will be willing to look for such a radical alternative. once the government can’t use the police anymore to break up your groups then it’s going to use whatever other agencies and armed thugs it still has under its control to try to do so.

    Like

    • Guy says:

      I see things happening like this in America. The government “dismantles the police” and just gives those powers to lesser trained agencies like the board of health or the liquor board. The police that form private associations then come into a clash with these groups. The problem won’t be shaniqua at the board of health who just has this job so she can keep getting her welfare checks, it’ll be the entire gang that she is really just the front face for.

      during the time where this sorts itself out we will be extremely balkanized. I feel like a lot of the legacy governments in the cities will then reach out to or be willing to accept aid from foreign governments. Then we become Afghanistan? Hopefully those foreign governments are smart enough to realize they don’t need to do that…

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