[Updateable] The crony-capitalist Deep State and the [Potemkin?] distributist subsidiarity paradigm

Luther Burgsvik wrote:

You remarked in another post that you thought high house prices were one of the factors that were discouraging young men from starting families, do you know anyone who has got some idea on how to remedy the problem? Because if housing prices keep on rising then they may well end up spending 50% of their income on rent/mortgage, which is little different to a person in the third world spending 50% of their income on food, and I recall reading that civil unrest increases dramatically when the household food budget increases (or food becomes scarce):

Despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food prices. We identify a specific food price threshold above which protests become likely. These observations suggest that protests may reflect not only long-standing political failings of governments, but also the sudden desperate straits of vulnerable populations. If food prices remain high, there is likely to be persistent and increasing global social disruption.

Short answer: Yes, there are people trying to solve this. No one has a complete answer yet.

Mondragon Co-Op is a good example of a successful attempt:


The Factor-E Farm folks are a good example of a hopeful, risky attempt at a paradigm shift:

The Transition Towns folks are examples of low-risk, conservative attempts at paradigm shifts:

Guys like John Robb are making all kinds of websites covering different angles:




Now let me delve into some gritty details.

I think rent is much less pressing than food. Rent is related to territorial instincts.

If one is a young man living in nine square meters of floor space, the situation doesn’t seem too grim; one has hope for sex – perhaps in a hotel – and eventual marriage.

If one is an old man living in nine square meters of floor space, perhaps one is resigned to one’s fate.

Food, on the other hand, is an immediate need. The instincts of hunger are much more pressing than the need for safe territory. It is possible to survive without secure territory; one cannot last for long without food. When the body senses that the muscles have little energy left, the instincts of a carnivorous hunter-killer resurge.

Currently the world is dominated by a crony-capitalist system; in major nation-states, this takes the form of the Deep State.


I got that first link from C.H.Smith. Charles Hugh Smith is very smart, but he has a higher opinion of the USA’s prospects than I have:


The Deep State is a “big story.” Just about every current event can be related to the Deep State. Consider, for example, how Dr. Phi recently lambasted the USA media’s pro-gay propagandists as lacking moral probity:


Who controls the USA media? Well-connected kleptocrats control the USA media. Their penchant for sexual deviance is an interesting issue in social degeneracy, but their power is the Deep State, with connections to Bernays, Loeb, Warburg, Wilson, etc.

Likewise, Child Protective Services is a typical structure of the State:


But how has CPS managed to grow past the bounds of sane governance? The Deep State empowered it, via the American Bar Association.

Similarly, the Federal Reserve Note is the reserve currency of the planet. How has it gotten there? By the guns and spooks and economic hitmen of the Deep State:



The war is convulsed with wars. Why? Because the Deep State makes wars:


The John Birch Society warned about impurities in the water for years. Who marginalized the JBS? The Deep State shut them up, hushed the trouble-makers, and eliminated the unacceptable heretics – while empowering the corporations that were destroying the water.


Loose women are being re-trained as propaganda pawns. The Deep State orchestrates it.


Nock would go so far as to call the State an enemy:


Jefferson might argue more moderately, and then again he might not. This post will be updated when I get a chance to compare the texts of Nock and Jefferson to the other writers of the Anti-Federalist Papers.

Apologies for the sketchy draft – time is short – this post will be re-written for quality improvement when time permits.

Update A:

The same Bill Moyers site has a story about Austin, Texas using tiny houses (99 sq. ft., no shower) to house the homeless, ultimately saving money for the community.


Update B:
Jim Donald believes that plutocracy is the best of all possible governments, and that Ayn-Rand-style psychopathy, not Confucian virtues, deserves the credit for East Asia’s glorious industrialism. Thrasymachus and Spandrell disagree; Spandrell cites Locke:


I want to believe Spandrell is correct about Japan’s strengths, but I fear that over the last two decades, many Japanese people have been falling into poverty, homelessness, and despair due to the decline of good industrial jobs. Even the cited 2005 paper seems to be aware of this, since it concludes with the warning: ‘… politicized capital allocation is only likely to work under highly Platonic systems like the MOF. And even then, there is no guarantee: power still corrupts and one can easily imagine such a system becoming inbred and perverse. Japan’s achievement is an empirical fact, not a guarantee to all eternity.’

and a notable comment by Red has been praised by SMERSH and VXXC.


‘The greatest evil of trade based societies wealth and influence being the primary markers of status. Such system are perfect for middleman minorities to exploit them to gain power and influence without the military power component. This in turns allows the treatment the working class as nothing more than cattle to be used and exploited with no chance for self improvement. The working class needs a fatherly class to guide them. Instead our elites throw them to wolves and flood them gifts that only cause them pain.’

The Practical Conservative derides my list of links as “Potemkin” efforts.

You gave a list of mostly Potemkin examples designed to undermine truly effective local-level collectives, guilds and co-ops. When the same very small number of ‘successful’ examples shows up over and over again, that’s the time to ask why there aren’t any others.

(I would be shocked if anyone could prove that any of the linked examples were malicious efforts designed to sabotage the progress of truly worthy efforts.)

Well, look, re-designing industrial economy isn’t exactly easy, so it’s no wonder that the pioneers have to work on small problems as proofs-of-concept.

If anyone has any non-“Potemkin” examples, the comments section is open.

“When the same very small number of ‘successful’ examples shows up over and over again, that’s the time to ask why there aren’t any others.”

Well, the Mondragon model has been tried many times and it almost always fails. It requires great social cohesion and a very self-sacrificing elite in the early stages. Most imitators fall apart due to insufficient group loyalty. Likewise most communes fail as soon as the founders have their first kids and naturally care more about their own children than their neighbors’ children.

If anyone has a better way to design successful local businesses, participatory economies, worker-owned factories, or whatever else – post a comment! We would all love to hear about it.

Looking at her blog, I can form few opinions of what the Practical Conservative herself believes to be the real problem.


has a lot of complaints about the sorry state of current affairs, but I am not sure whether she believes the solutions to be self-evidently obvious, or whether she’s just announcing the dimensions of the problem so that a requirements document can be drafted before a solution can be designed.

Update C:


Why does the Acton Institute endorse “private military contractors”? Because the Deep State arranges such matters.

Why is Ita Scripta Est the only one sounding the alarm? Because I’ve been busy lately and I haven’t been keeping up with war criminal news.

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3 Responses to [Updateable] The crony-capitalist Deep State and the [Potemkin?] distributist subsidiarity paradigm

  1. You gave a list of mostly Potemkin examples designed to undermine truly effective local-level collectives, guilds and co-ops. When the same very small number of ‘successful’ examples shows up over and over again, that’s the time to ask why there aren’t any others.

  2. One of the ways in which effective effort is undermined is by diverting the people with free time, energy and useful skills into inherently untenable frameworks.

    Libertarianism is one example. Sustainable agriculture is another (although interestingly, it is showing signs of a bifurcation into practical and impractical streams). Transition Town is one of the many ways in which sustainable infrastructure and agriculture are undermined by the very people who think they’re doing something effective and locally focused.

    Mondragon is Potemkin because they don’t pay people and otherwise misbehave despite the praise they get for (not, in practice) following a cooperative model. Also, we certainly can’t start from the premise that the industrial economy just needs a few tweaks and then we’re good (which is also part of the Mondragon model). That only serves the interests of those established in the industrial economy.

    I wouldn’t say all of what’s in those posts is complaining, there are some explicit suggestions, like specific manufacturing details and specific details on what would make homeschooling more cohesive and more truly a parallel alternative to public school. Mostly on my blog I’m trying to hash these things out more coherently.

    Your confusion is in the idea that undermining local, collective action must be explicitly intentional or malicious. That’s not what happens. The sustainable farming people are not maliciously undermining robust, mid-size farming infrastructure, it’s a side effect of the fact that what gets funded by the wealthy and powerful curiously enough is not an infrastructure like that which could compete with the current industrial one. And the wealthy are mostly just trying to consolidate their wealth and keep out upstarts, but they aren’t thinking about it systematically in an overt conspiracy way.

    I think your criticisms of my blog approach are reasonable and not terribly surprising. But I would hazard that you underestimate the unwillingness of people to accept the necessary tradeoffs to have distributist-style economies and parallel production pipelines.

  3. AAB says:

    Hey, thanks for the detailed response! I still haven’t gotten through all of the links yet.

    The Jefferson/Agrarian point is an interesting one. From the little that I’ve read, Jefferson preferred a nation of farmers who were their own bosses, over a nation of factory workers who were wage slaves. i.e. he tended more towards the anarchic end of the freedom-spectrum. Yet here we are in the 21st century and it seems possible that Jefferson’s ideal is still practicable, but with modern farming technology instead of old fashioned farming technology. Hydroponics and algae tanks which yield 100s of tons of food per hectare, instead of the old farming methods that yielded only 10s of tons (at best) per hectare. But the curious thing is that humanity had to experience the world of factory wage slavery in order to get here. It’s like we’re an oscillating wave that moves between two points (Yin & Yang or whatever), and in order to advance we must experience both sides of that oscillation.

    The comment by ‘The Unreal Woman’ on your examples being Potemkin style seems a little unfair. There are plenty of people who work on productive localised, community owned farms. Just enter ‘biodynamic’ into a search engine and see what springs up. (https://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics.html ). They’re not ostentatious farms run purely for effect, they are productive non-industrial farms. Rudolf Steiner gave birth to biodynamic farming umpteen years ago as a way to farm holistically instead of industrially; Which I take to mean that he wanted localised farms instead of industrial ones.

    High tech localised farming is also on the up. http://colonyofcommodus.wordpress.com/category/hydroponics/ has a few posts on the topic of hydroponics.

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