23 March 2014

Neocameralism and the Corporate-Governance Problem

The previous post was to say that I see the real division within the Dark Enlightenment as being between a strategy of converting the elite (neoreaction) and a strategy of replacing the elite (paleoreaction).

In America, that might line up somewhat as neocameralism vs monarchy, but that isn’t really the dividing line. There are those supporting monarchism because they can accept nothing else, but there are also neoreactionary monarchists, such as myself, who choose monarchism as strategically preferable to other neoreactionary options.

I concentrate on Britain, and I see monarchist rule as entirely feasible for Britain given any kind of large-scale visible failure of the existing regime. That doesn’t put me on the paleo side of the divide I described earlier. I could easily see myself being persuaded by the neocameralists if they can solve the corporate-governance problem more convincingly than Moldbug managed to do.

Moldbug’s method of guaranteeing shareholders’ rights is to have a computer system which can sabotage the management’s control if authorised to do so by a majority of shareholders voting via a secure automated cryptographic protocol. I never considered that practically workable. If you change the software, or even cause some change in the way the software operates, then you can modify who has rights over the state. I do not envision a system made so reliable and secure that that could not happen.

There may be other mechanisms that would work. Bitcoin is a promising example: as in Moldbuggian Neocameralism, the software says who has what rights under the system. However, the software is not running in a sealed untamperable box; it runs on my PC and yours, and it can be and has been changed. However, it is in the interests of everyone who uses the system that rights be protected and maintained according to the common understanding of the users of the system.

There’s a big gap from that principle to a working neocameralism, but I am able to hope it might be bridged.

In the meantime, I am looking at a different gap, between a situation in which British democracy has failed and the King has taken temporary control, and a situation where his authority is accepted as permanent. I think that is bridgeable, in certain plausible circumstances. I certainly don’t think that working on this puts me on the opposite side of any fission to Nick Land.

What makes my proposed monarchy neoreactionary is that the political formula supporting it is not primarily tradition or religion, but pragmatic and rational. The former democrats who will be part of the system will have have changed their view on a lot of practical, empirical questions, but not on the way they see the world

5 comments:

Matthew said...

However, it is in the interests of everyone who uses the system that rights be protected and maintained according to the common understanding of the users of the system.

This is only true until one entity controls 51% of the mining pools. At which point they own the block chain, meaning they control all bitcoin transfers, meaning they are a centralized, unaccountable Title Office.

Bitcoin is democratic. It's father and fans probably see this as a feature.

Anomaly UK said...

Matthew—that is not true.

Yes, if you control 51% of the hashpower, you can effectively revoke transactions by deliberately ignoring the blocks containing them and mining a chain which does not include them. I read recently (but I don’t know whether it’s true) that there actually is a mining pool that currently has that much power. If they were to do so, it would very soon be completely obvious, and the value of bitcoins would be adversely affected by the fact that no-one could any longer trust recent transactions to be irrevocable. Among the biggest losers from such an event would be those producing the most bitcoins—i.e. the large pool in question. Further, the rest of the mining base would almost certainly take steps to exclude blocks mined by the misbehaving pool. That would be messy, but it would be doable unless the members of the misbehaving pool were secretly and effectively co-ordinating to evade the exclusion.

BTC experts worry about the 51% issue, because it is necessary to worry about all possible threats to the system. But 51% —> broken is not the situation, precisely because it is in the interests of everyone who uses the system that the system continues to operate in the way people expect.

Also, it’s not 51% of pools, it’s 51% of mining power, which is approximately as democratic as neocameralism, under which the shareholders have votes according to the size of their holdings. That’s not what people normally mean by democracy.

There’s still a lot of handwaving between bitcoin and a similarly resilient neocameralism. I only brought it up as an encouraging possibility.

nickbsteves said...

What makes my proposed monarchy neoreactionary is that the political formula supporting it is not primarily tradition or religion, but pragmatic and rational.

You say that like they're opposites. Not necessarily. And if not necessarily, then not, I think, an authentic line of fissure.

Brett Stevens said...

Neocameralism is one of the dumber ideas heard recently.

It's just a turned-up-to-11 version of the American two-party system.

Please, either new ideas or workable old ideas, not old dead ideas!

intuitivereason said...

I'm at the other end of (what used to be) the British Empire; in a regional area of the smallest state of Australia.

It's a different perspective to being in the UK, but not entirely unrelated.

In any place, a 'new thing' must find roots in what already exists, or what has existed and retains a degree of cultural memory.

Here, that means colonialism in the same sense that it means true monarchy in the UK.

We have no concept of Australian kings, nor of class society; but a memory of strong Governor's, settlers, swagmen, convicts and soldiers.

As such, when I envisage a neo-reactionary government, I reach for a neo-colonial approach. New colonisation of unsettled areas (we still have more than 50% of Tasmania in that condition), or self-colonisation of existing areas. In either case, heading up the region with a Lt Governor, responsible to the State Governor (and through them, the Queen/King) and not the State Parliament forms a mechanism for doing something dramatically new, but that grows within and is fostered by the current system.