On Money

Charlemagne

Charlemagne

Neoreactionary and related analysis of politics and meta-politics

Gray Mirror
On money and power
I was recently confronted with a live and healthy example of a belief system I thought was dead: the idea that money has power. Money has no power. Also, in the paywalled part of the post (sorry! I gotta eat!), we will have some thoughts about how money…

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Political formulae are created by elites to justify their rule, not just to the ruled, but to themselves. The political formula that justifies today’s ruling elite is no longer capitalism, but their power is still based on money, whether they want to admit it or not. When the merchant class usurped power from the ancien regime, it cynically developed the idea that their success was self-justifying. This is capitalism: the idea the the victor in a competitive environment is de facto morally clean via the competition having took place at all. Embarrassed by the immense inequalities of the modern world, the merchant class needed a kinder and gentler way to rule, so they developed a philanthropic formula: Progress, based around the idea of progressing “human rights.”

A by-product of the capitalists’ growth was their delegation of complexity, which created managerialism: still a merchant-class paradigm, but with the control over money changed. The philanthropic organizations created by the capitalists enjoined themselves to managerialism and decided how money was to be ethically managed, meaning that money was no longer merely interested in self-replication, but in changing the world.

In our modern enlightened world, it would be extremely embarrassing for an elite to realize or admit that their power is not based on the fact that they are able to make unique contributions to the world, but the fact that they are rich and everyone else is poor. Aristocrats are blinded by their political formulae as much as the masses are deluded by it, such as by the idea of democracy. Our modern aristocrats, such as Curtis Yarvin, are no different.

Thinking about money in quantitative terms is distasteful to an aristocrat. Being concerned over dollar amounts is a petty, bourgeois behavior. Real aristocrats spend money qualitatively, which is not to suggest that money is spent recklessly with disregard over the amount at hand, but that the accounting aspect of money will not be present in an aristocrat’s mind except for the most major of decisions.

Getting over this type of behavior is one of the aspects of leveling up from middle-class to aristocrat. Being middle class, myself, though, I am well aware of this default behavior. Although it is not a classy trait, it does give one insight into the power of money, and insight that the aristocrats willfully lack. Especially when you are trying to level up from middle class to aristocrat (which is to go from powerless to powerful), you immediately notice that the one big material thing that you lack (setting aside the immaterial traits) is money. A lot of money. You’re never going to get any power at all unless you have a ton of money. Even churches need money.

The professional intellectual class at universities and “NGOs” decide which ideas are cool and good, but it is money that decides which of these organizations survive and thrive. The relationship is symbiotic; if Gates Foundation became a Nazi organization, it would lose the mandate of New England, but if Harvard starting promoting Nazi ideas, it would lose all of its funding. There’s no zero-point origin of power in America. Yarvin, of all people, who promoted the idea of The Cathedral, a radically distributed form of power, should know this. Trying to disambiguate money and power is a fool’s errand because we live in the Age of Money whether or not we live in the age of capitalism—even Communists need money, and the Soviet Union failed primarily because it went broke, was always broke, and could never provide adequate consumer goods to its subjects. The Soviet Union tried to secure nuclear superiority when it should have followed the One Rule of Power—Secure the Bag.

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