Scale

I lay out a few of my thoughts in Nick Land’s comments section, 3 comments down.  As per Ellul, I believe increasingly centralized organization is mandatory; as per Hobbes, that abuse is a foregone conclusion, and as per common sense, that this is mildly terrifying.

A lot of neoreactionary thought touches on the reading I did in college, when I called myself a Christian anarchist and a radical anti-modernist.  I believed very deeply that the progression of complex civilization subverted human morality, and I still do.  My political opinions changed when I encountered Durkheim and his brilliant analysis of organic and mechanical solidarity — the different systems for maintaining social cohesion in tribal and complex societies.  I understood that total moral cohesion could exist only in the extreme of a 50 person society, but unlike the anarchists, understood that we clawed our way out of the wild for a reason.  Maybe human alienation was worth it to fend off the excesses of precivilizational savagery.  Now, I can foresee the reforms which will inevitably accompany the opposite extreme — total civilization, total economic integration, total efficiency of ordering.  And I can’t quite tell which seems worse.

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4 comments on “Scale

  1. Jefferson says:

    For those of us less well-read (more dumber?) can you elucidate the ideas of “total civilization, total economic integration, total efficiency of ordering,” and why they’re bad?

  2. James says:

    It was mentioned in the thread, but Davidson and Rees-Mog’s “The Sovereign Individual” tries to tackle the issue of scale, and argues that we have already entered an age where the large centralized states will be out-competed by smaller political units (same with corporations). I recommend it if you have not read it yet.

  3. Sam says:

    I second reading Davidson and Rees-Mog’s “The Sovereign Individual”. It’s the last of a series. You should read all three. They had a great effect on my thinking. A lot of what they proposed didn’t come true in the timeline they expected but everything they said has and will. Just extended. The reason they are likely to be so prescient is they look at the raw basis for power. Offensive and defensive technology and how this shapes the politics of the possible. Not what you wish it to be. Other books. “Blood in the Streets” and “The Great Reckoning”.

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