The Corporatist Enterprise

Fascism is word that no longer has a useful meaning, mostly because the Left has made it the catchall term for anything they currently oppose. Even adjusting for that, no two academics can agree on a usable definition of fascism. Paul Gottfried, who has studied the subject more than anyone alive today, makes the point that fascism was a lot of different things, even to its advocates. It was an anti-movement, a reaction to and rejection of things like modernity, left-wing radicalism and bourgeois sensibilities of the age.

That’s not a fair rendering of Gottfried’s thoughts on the subject, but it is a useful starting point when thinking about the historical fascism. The book Fascism: The Career of a Concept is an excellent entry point into a topic for those interested in a sober minded history of fascism. An aspect of fascism that rarely gets discussed in the current age is its corporatism. Fascists, particularly Italian fascists, were strongly corporatist. Mussolini saw the state as something like an organism that transcended all institutions.

The most famous expression of this is the line from Mussolini’s Doctrine of Fascism, “everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state.” The state not only provides the services expected of government, it provides the spiritual purpose for those in the state. The individual exists only in so far as his interests as an individual correspond with the interests of the state. The state is an organism that transcends individual consciousness such that the individual is entirely defined by his role within it.

This is often used as the description of totalitarianism, but that’s not a very accurate comparison. Bolshevism, for example, was indifferent to the spiritual life of the citizen, only focusing on the political and material life. That’s the striking thing about Italian fascism versus Marxist movements. It attempted to give purpose to the life of the citizen, beyond his material utility. Instead of viewing the citizen as an economic unit, fascism saw the citizen as a heroic part of the great struggle of the state against materialism.

Whiffs of this spiritual appeal can be seen in the modern managerial state. Politics is becoming all consuming. You cannot watch a movie or sporting event without being barraged with messages about “who we are.” Everything is cast as part of the great struggle. Trump sounds like an anachronism, because he talks about bread and butter issues, while the rest of the managerial elite focuses on esoteric topics like “who we are” and “our democracy.” By democracy, they mean the managerial system and culture.

It also  shows up in the modern conception of the business enterprise. It’s not enough to have a job. It must give purpose to your life. It must be part of the great struggle that helps you reach your potential in service to the great cause. You see that in this story about a pseudo-company that has forced its employees to embrace vegetarianism. Read about the company and it he sounds like a religious mission. It used to be that businessmen only wanted to make money. Now all of them publish a manifesto and advocate a lifestyle.

It’s why rank and file employees of new style companies like Constant Contact feel the need to moralize from their cubicle. The young women doing this is not merely a bonehead functionary. She sees herself as committed to the cause of the company, which is a holy cause. It is not a place where she performs tasks for money. It is what defines her life as a person. Led by tech, the managerial enterprise is not just an employer to its hired help. It is the defining feature of their lives. Their job is to reach their potential as a person.

The historian Ernst Nolte described one aspect of fascism as “theoretical transcendence” which he called a metapolitical force. Fascism sought to go beyond what exists in this world, toward a new future that was free of the restraints on the human mind. It imagined a world that was free of class, poverty, ignorance and material restraint. That’s what the modern managerial enterprise preaches to its employees and customers. They are not just selling a service. They are changing the world, freeing us from this misery.

The bizarre nature of the modern enterprise, where it describes itself as a mission to change the world, is one result democracy. Democracy obliterates local institutions, leaving the citizen as a stranger to himself and his fellow citizens. The corporation fills this void by providing a structured environment where the employees share an identity and see one another as on the same team. The managerial enterprise becomes both the local community and the church for its people. It’s what provides them purpose and meaning.

The trouble is that a business is first and foremost about making a profit. Social activism keeps running up against the profit motive. Short of state sanctioned monopoly power, the corporate enterprise must compromise its values in order to make a profit. This is why democracy must favor monopoly. You see this with media companies, where the government encourages collusion and combination. You see it with Amazon. Everywhere it operates, it enjoys massive subsidies, as it obliterates all other forms of retail.

This back and forth between the growing cultural power of the corporation, but its greater dependence on the state for protection, results in a merging of the two. Walk around a government campus and you see the trappings of the modern corporations. College presidents now call themselves CEO’s, not because the college has become a business, but because both are now part of the great mission. The line between the state and the private sphere no longer exists, because it can’t exist for both sides to thrive.

This is why gun grabbers, for example, have turned to corporations to advance their agenda. The state failed to ban guns, so now banks, media companies and retail monopolists are stepping in to “solve” the problem. In the not so distant future, you will have the unfettered political right to carry a gun, but no one will sell guns because it is practically impossible. No “private” enterprise will do business with a gun maker or a gun retailer. Individual rights are worthless in a world where there are no individuals.

79 thoughts on “The Corporatist Enterprise

  1. Perhaps the business model of having corporate brick and mortar stores and huge real estate holdings is now over? large conglomerates selling you hardware, socks, beans and bullets can no longer make a buck, but wouldn’t that free up market share to mom and pop for some niche areas, with sears gone, and box retail stores suffering could their passing create a vacuum? For things to be born some things must be destroyed.

  2. The leftist anaconda will just keep tightening. Happen to be quite close to some of the folks that were dead center in the Carry Guard fiasco in NY. It was done by the book and the firms involved were all compliant. But the NY DFS just decided to make up an interpretation the regs to fit Cuomo’s agenda. Caught them completely off guard. But now they won’t touch anything similar again. And don’t think that template won’t be used again by activist AGs. Insurance sits a layer below banking…but can’t conduct any commerce without it. Have already seen memos circulating inquiring whether there are any accounts that not only deal or distribute firearms, but are in any way involved in the manufacture of ANY components–that means even finely machined screws for a sight mount. Then you get the reinsurers in the game of not taking any portfolios with “gun risk”. Hard to run a business without W/C, property, liability, auto insurance. Keep firearms in your home? No homeowners insurance for you.

  3. Many here still don’t get how big of a threat the SJW corporate activism is to liberty. There are an increasing number of sites and organizations on the right that can only get funding through bitcoin and most people are not bitcoin savvy. Credit card companies won’t process for them. Payment processing companies like PayPal ban them from their system. Crowd funding sites won’t allow them to do fundraisers.

    But it doesn’t just stop at funding. Constant Contact is just one small example. Corporations are increasingly withholding their services from the right. Google, Microsoft and Apple are increasingly banning apps that allow thought crimes. Google uses its search algorithms to discriminate. Daily Stormer even lost their domain. And, of course, the right, even mainstream, is increasingly censored and banned on social media.

    Some of this can be worked around. Some can’t. The payment processing issue can only be solved with governmental regulation and enforced court rulings.

    Unfortunately, Conservative Inc is no help on this front between their obeying donors and muh free market.

  4. American corporations used to be small, severely limited investment parnerships, chartered by each state to do one thing (such as build a bridge). Upon completion, the profits were divvied up, and the charter dissolved.

    The question is, how does one fund dependable pensions without immortal modern corporations?

    The whole ‘public-private’ ecosphere gives me the willies. All I see is shadow pools protected by government’s monopoly on lethal force.

    Providing a security blanket to our women and elderly, with open welfare for the truly disabled, is one of those parallel institutions that would return legitimacy to the alt-dissident movement.

    We used to have such institutions, the fraternal brotherhood societies (insurance and volunteer public works), church charities (social relief and support for women/children, whether singled, orphaned, abandoned, or familied), granges (farm and ranch support), co-ops and credit unions (finance), and ‘unorganized’ (volunteer) militias, fire departments, and medical clinics.

    Also small neighborhood schools, or independent Church schools. And a company or factory would build the housing, roads, and bus lines to attract workers, that’s how Detroit and Milwaukee were built. The Church even had Mob bosses building cathedrals, schools and hospitals for the poor.

    Nobody needs to tell white people how to organize- look at natural disasters, we do it instinctively and very effectively.

    (When ‘professionals’ get involved is when it becomes a racket, run by racketeers.
    I used to say invest Soc.Sec in Treasuries, not stocks, as some touted. Used to. Or dividends from public assets, infrastructure bonds such as North Sea or Alaskan oil, or the Interstate Highway Trust Fund. We, the citizens, should be the shareholders of the sovereign wealth funds.

    Tito did that, public shares instead of corporate/bank debt, that’s why Yugoslavia was destroyed by Hillary and Maddie’s bankster allies, while Yeltsin failed his masters. Putin proved that the globalists can be fought back, and Russian women are having kids again.)

  5. “The trouble is that a business is first and foremost about making a profit. Social activism keeps running up against the profit motive.”

    Hence the great push to be seen as better than everybody else because you work for “a nonprofit”. “Oh, I work at a nonprofit to feed poor children, and I volunteer at the local battered women’s clinic on Thursdays.”

    What they always leave out is that “nonprofit” means that the corporation is nonprofit. The individuals who work there can profit handsomely. Which is why so many people grifting off the system as a “nonprofit” live very, very, comfortably in nice upper middle class and gated communities. How can that be if it’s a nonprofit?

    Because the way you make yourself a nonprofit is to pay all your staff cherry salaries so that at the end of the tax year the company makes no profit, but the salaries are just reasonable enough that the IRS doesn’t investigate them. So it’s important to put your nonprofit someplace where higher salaries can be justified…often near Government which actually pays pretty well and pays its contractors vast sums. Much easier to justify 6-figure salaries at “nonprofits” if they’re positioned properly.

    I have some friends who do this. Their basic job is to go to cocktail parties to shake down rich donors to support Foundation XYZ. They’re not really any different than the people who beg for money on PBS, but what they’ll tell you if you ask is that they “work for a nonprofit”.

    • You nailed that to a “T”. I’ve seen the same phenomenon
      for almost two decades now. Lots of people here in blue cities like SF, NYC, Chicago, and especially in DC and Northern Virginia play that game. In fact, it’s how politicians get out of office and make huge incomes. They parlay their political contacts and connections into speaking engagements, meet and greets, and brokering of introductions through non-profit corporations that are paid for the service, either directly or in the form of contributions. The former politicos in turn are paid very, very substantial salaries by said corporations. The people who do this really don’t see the hypocrisy. They think getting rich while demeaning or even criticizing morally reprehensible for-profit enterprise is logical.

  6. Lawful-Evil corporations might be returned to Lawful-Neutral status. Forgive my reflexive Lolbertarianism, but productivity in corporations today is taking a huge hit from this unholy shotgun marriage with the Left. A bunch of WASP males worried about making a widget aren’t destined to spiral their company into ever deeper virtue-signaling cuckery or Amazon Googlism. The diversity gestapo makes them do it.

    Any loyalty a guy feels to a company shrivels in the face of these gynocratic HR department cancers.

  7. I remember back in the 80’s the very large AT&T office in our city had some sort of Gay Day or something. At the time it was a little odd, but of course according to some folks I knew who worked there no one said a peep. Since then I have watched the Left’s social agenda devour the institutions one job-scared employee at a time.

  8. The first warning sign of American corporatism was the diversity movement that got underway in the ’80s. “We need more minorities and women in the ranks because … reasons.”

    You saw it first in recruiting. White males went through the usual screening–rigorous and technical (this was a high tech firm). HR jammed white women into the pipeline, many obviously unqualified, and would push back hard on rejections. Black, hispanic, etc. men, same thing. “Tough interviewers” (i.e., people interested in the applicant’s ability to do the job) were cut out of the recruiting loop. Black females were wined and dined by division VPs. If they had found a handicapped black female, they probably would have made her CEO on the spot.

    A later phase began under the heading “social responsibility”, which was originally about energy use (“carbon footprints”) and recycling, but has since grown into an industry of its own. I remember watching the company I worked for hire a “chief sustainability officer” and then a huge full-time staff, almost all of them women and minorities, of course. On the company’s internal social media platform you could only praise this junk, never criticize it, or you would be disciplined. This was before 2010.

    • A business can face lawsuits/EEOC penalties, not to mention bad PR from a certain Reverend that you must pay off. By contrast, the victims of AA are invisible, as no one is ever explicitly told that a less qualified NAM or woman was given the position ahead of them. White men are supposed to “man up” and “learn to code”, working class men are usually chided by the elite for “not doing enough chores” as if your wife wasn’t nagging you already.

    • Not enough space here, but many moons ago, I had to detail one of my staff to write my old firm’s first “Corporate Sustainability Report” and hire a “consultant” to assist in the format and preparation. The stories from that alone will take you to closing time in a New Orleans bar.

  9. It’s surprising to me how long it took conservatives to begin noticing that large corporations are in fact their enemy.

    • Quite pathetic actually, corporate fellating reached fever pitch in the Bush reign of error years along with Israel worship. Better late than never I suppose. BTW, every corporation large or small is the enemy. The small business fetishizing that cucks and alt-right indulges in equally dangerous. The chief employers of illegal aliens are small business “pillars of community”

      • The Bush years saw the collapse of Enron, and then the financial crisis in 2008. Corporations were ripped for being unethical in terms of financial skulduggery, but rarely for moral/environment reasons. There was strong sentiment that the unionized Big 3 automakers deserved to die.

        What changed was the Koch(AFP) funded Tea Party, and subsequent attempts to cast Mitt Romney as the “Job Creator”. There was also some concern that the Big 3 would be nationalized and turned into “green” make work jobs. An uncucked Right might have triangulated with a CCC revival.

    • I don’t think most know it yet. The funny thing is I do recall when it was not uncommon for a conservative to say, “the trouble with capitalism is capitalists.”

    • I often find myself hoping some of the crap that comes out of our marketing department is pure cynical attempts to profit off of nutters. I know there are some true believing SWJs over there.

      On the other hand, the guy being groomed as the next CEO is a conservative a pure profit and margin man.

  10. It’s ironic that whites being so atomized has played a part in allowing these corporate feudal lords to rise. It appears we’re reaching the point where some large companies, like Google and Amazon, will have employees eating, sleeping and working on campus, never having to leave their corporate campus (feudal fiefdom). (Except in San Francisco where the Leaders-Who-Know-Best have made it illegal to feed the serfs on campus — they must go out among feces and syringes to buy their lunches.) One step away from existing in a pod, plugged in to the matrix.

    • Everybody working for a fucking corpoplantation is atomized. Whites, Blacks, Yellows etc. It is quite hilarious that Google couches their techno-feudalism as “employee benefits”, LMAO and the coolies lap it up. The arrogance of a Google and Amazon coolie is quite entertaining to watch. They think they are the creme-de-la-creme and everybody else is inferior, till I point out that they work for relative pennies so that Bezos can become a trillionaire and they have no life outside their cubicle slave shackledom.

    • Big Tech was able to gain its near-monopoly status because the Right was asleep, thanks to the evil fossil fuel industry Koch Brothers funding Tea Party lolbertarianism. Prior to Trump/Gamergate, any criticism of corporations would get you called a socialist/big gooberment supporter. Tech companies were said to be led by libertarians who would support the GOP when it cucked out on social matter. With normiecons business is still seen as second to only the military in terms of reverence, you have an easier time criticizing cops (unions, gun ban supporting chiefs)

    • The leader of SF’s did something more Conservative than the Republican ever do.

      If you want to be a corporation with all the privileges and its not a right than be part of the community .

      A soul proprietorship or limited partnership is private property. Corporations are constructs of the State

      That said they have to clean up the messes first

    • Ironically, 90% of the work could be done remotely using this thing, I think the industry term is INTERNET.

      But hey, being an overseer is fun.

    • Except in San Francisco where the Leaders-Who-Know-Best have made it illegal to feed the serfs on campus — they must go out among feces and syringes to buy their lunches.

      I heard some article about that being proposed, but have they really shut down the corporate cafeteria? A co-worker at another company moved to Google and he invited me up there for lunch one day. Quite a spread, all free.

      • You’re right, did a quick check and it’s still being considered and is not yet law. The thing is, because we’ve imported so much cheap labor over the decades, the labor market is all out of whack. So even though employers really need to raise wages, it’s not happening widely (yet, anyway). Many small and mid-sized companies cannot afford mandatory increases in wages. This is a big problem. It’s why I think we’ll end up with a Socialist in charge. People are poor and want more than a wretched existence and will vote accordingly, even if the Leftists are lying to them or will bankrupt the country with impossible schemes.

        If we had some good conservatives in the public spotlight demanding that illegal immigrants be deported so that the labor market can level out, maybe then the liberals would be in a position to demand increases in minimum wages. A massive deportation program would certainly help pressure wages to go up and rents to go down. But we don’t have any good conservatives speaking out like this for the American workers. Only Trump, and he can only do so much.

        • That brings up a question- how did Karl Marx feel about immigration, anyway?

          His philosophical descendents saw it as both a cover and a weapon, but did Marx?

          • Alzaebo,

            It seems Marx was on to the game and perfectly aware of the downward pressure on wages caused by immigrants:

            “But, Marx went on, the English bourgeoisie also had ‘much more important interests in the present economy of Ireland’—the forced immigration of Irish workers into England:

            “Owing to the constantly increasing concentration of leaseholds, Ireland constantly sends her own surplus to the English labor market, and thus forces down wages and lowers the material and moral position of the English working class.3

            “And most important of all! Every industrial and commercial centre in England now possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he regards himself as a member of the ruling nation and consequently he becomes a tool of the English aristocrats and capitalists against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself. He cherishes religious, social, and national prejudices against the Irish worker. His attitude towards him is much the same as that of the ‘poor whites’ to the Negroes in the former slave states of the U.S.A. The Irishman pays him back with interest in his own money. He sees in the English worker both the accomplice and the stupid tool of the English rulers in Ireland.

            “This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes. This antagonism is the secret of the impotence of the English working class, despite its organization. It is the secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power. And the latter is quite aware of this.

            “Marx wrote these passages nearly 150 years ago, and he was certainly not infallible: in the same letter he suggested optimistically that independence for Ireland might hasten “the social revolution in England.” But a great deal of his analysis sounds remarkably contemporary.”

            As someone else noted, there really is nothing new under the sun!

        • Of course, always pull the ladder up behind you. Established companies will have a perk newer companies can’t offer.

  11. The big company I work for leans hard left, and overtly so. They even have a political PAC that pounds the table to collect from employees and then donates the proceeds to lefty causes.

    I have often wondered why they do this, and have come up with two explanations. The first reason is that the risk they run in getting sued and dismembered is not from the right, but from the left. They are simply buying off the ones that could take them apart. The second reason is that the lefties more often really do identify with the company. They are joiners. The rightists work for the bucks and the nice career path, but are not much interested in being groupies to the corporation.

    • My guess is the upper management ranks oft he fortune 1000 voted Hillary 10-to-1. Policy was not a consideration. It was aesthetics. She was from their class, while Trump is not. For them, the company, their careers, politics and their social connections are defined by the ideological state they call “our democracy.” I don’t think they can notice this about themselves, as at this stage, the managerial class is wholly defined by their membership in the managerial class. Self-awareness is impossible.

    • Can you view Zman’s blog from your desktop? I can’t from mine here on campus. I use my phone—making sure the wifi is turned off lest I be outed as a “racist!”

    • I had a similar experience. The company I worked for brought in a nun who worked with homeless teenagers to give a talk about her organization. At the Q&A I asked if it wouldn’t be better if we wrote checks directly to her mission rather than the lefty third-party sponsors? Everyone did just that. Afterwards I was told in no uncertain terms that if I hadn’t been critical to the project I was working on I would have been canned. Apparently denying the lefty virtue-signalers their cut off the top was BAD!!!

      • OMG. They’re in it for a cut, padding multiple revenue streams. No wonder they “believe” so strongly.

    • He’s pretty dry but he’s good…very good. His, Marxism, Fascism and Totalitarianism is probably the best book I’ve ever read on the subject and clearly shows the ideological links between between Fascism and Marxism. Hitler was being 100% correct when he called his movement National SOCIALISM. It should be standard text of the Dissident Right.

      What’s really interesting is that the early Marxists recognised that the materialism inherent in the ideology failed to cater for the “spiritual nature of man.” Italian Fascism, in particular, aimed to achieve a synthesis between the materialism of Marxism and a sense of muscular heroism. A lot of this latter aspect was a result of the revulsion of the decadence of fin-de-siecle Europe and the rediscovery of martial/military virtues of a response to experience of WW1.

  12. Kinda makes you wish for the old C. Wright Mills, Organization Man in the Grey Flannel Suit days, don’t it? I always thought that was an under-appreciated part of “Mad Men’s” appeal (at least, in the first few seasons when the show was good). Don Draper is a mercenary. He only works to make enough money to be himself (that he doesn’t know what that is, was the show’s dramatic tension back when it was good). No crusades, no company loyalty songs, no social responsibility — just move product.

  13. The model you describe has been a fundamental feature of Japanese businesses for about a century now, i.e. reflexive loyalty and sacrifice to the corporation, long work hours, hive behavior, and parroting of fealty slogans. However, the human animal was not evolved to a worker bee and that environment leads to all kinds of dysfunction and degeneration. The resulting dependence is a disease, and it kills robustness.

  14. I picked up a copy of Max Weber’s The City published in 1958 and am close to finishing the introduction where the commenter discusses the state of sociological insight into the dynamics of the city as of 1958. It is interesting to see academics struggle with defining a city and what makes it tick, so to speak, applying analogies from biology, Kantian philosophy, ancient family dynamics, evolution of legal theory, etc to trying to establish a generalized view or lens through which one gets the best insight.

    I’ve read elsewhere that Coke, the great English barrister took a great disliking to corporations at one point in his career and considered ways of banishing them from existence in England, but then determined that towns and cities themselves were corporations, and thus the greater nation had to come to a working relationship with the concept, and so corporate law was born.

    A corporation is basically a means of getting people to work together for some common goal, and the structure of the corporation varies according to its own history, how it was set up, and how it deals with subsequent problems. One usually thinks of corporations as things existing under the aegis of a government, whether that government is municipal, state, national or supranational. One typically thinks of them as needing protection from undo external pressures to exist, thus things like limited liability and tax exemptions. Therefore, it is interesting that the idea of the state or nation itself as a corporation would even arise at all.

    I don’t know for sure, but this could be part of the thinking behind not having a written constitution in England, the idea being that if it was written down the state becomes little more than a corporation and loses its organic basis. In the case of the American constitution, it may be that its endurance is due to it being a very good representation of that organic basis.

    Getting back to the sociology, it occured to me that if the experts in that field argue about what makes a city tick, they and we have even less notion of what makes a nation do so. But there are all these ideas and theories floating around. And varying corporate structures, as well.

    It seems to me the error lies in seeing a form of governance that seems to work well in a specific instance and trying to apply it universally. It may work for a while, but if it isn’t a 100% fit, it is bound to break down at some point. Some sooner than others.

    At this point I always start thinking about Steve Martin in Three Amigos being thrown into prison trying to tell the banditos that they could save their country by having three branches of government.

    • It seems that the “polis” is a natural organizing structure of western man. The modern corporation is a polis of sorts. It has a well defended commercial center and a culture that is beyond questioning. The Greek police had a fortified urban center and a sacred center on a difficult to reach area like a hilltop. The polis controlled a wide swath of land used for farming, herding and possible a port. For the modern corporation, this is its market share. The polis provided the inhabitants with an identity and purpose. They fight for the polis and competed for it in games against other poleis.

      The trouble lies in the need to scale it up for protection.

      • There’s been some talk of a natural return to city-state style government in the absence of any great need for protection. The amount of scaling up for protection always seems to get exaggerated by people who stand to benefit from scaling up. Think about how poleis in the Delian league and Athenian Empire tried to go it on their own and got punished for doing so.

        Pericles was nothing but a fucking gangster.

      • I was sort of thinking this too reading the article. It seems that periods of unusual creativity and prosperity in history (the Greek classical period or the Italian late Middle Ages and Renaissance) have been based around a set of competing city states with diverse forms of government, as of this were the appropriate scale for human cooperation. Large enough for large scale enterprise, but not too large for the individual to get lost in impersonality.

  15. You’re right: as a term, “fascism” is pretty nebulous. Its only close rival for political ambiguity is probably “racism.”

    But it still has great utility as a “tell.” Back in its infancy, fascism competed with communism for the same voters. They were close cousins, and being familial rivals they hated one another with the intensity of burning suns. “Fascism” became the worst insult a communist could deliver — so everything that opposed them, in the end, became “fascist,” no matter how un-fascist or even anti-fascist it might actually be.

    Fast forward to today. Everything that opposes the Left is “fascist.” What does that tell you?

    • It will be a long time before anybody is going to be printing gun barrels affordably on 3D printer.

      At the current time about the only thing you can do with 3D printers and firearms is print yourself things like AR lowers, stocks, grips – and other non-stressed items. Plastic AR lowers stand up to use – but they don’t stand up to abuse very well.

      The whole “3D printing is going to change the world!!” thing seems like yet another manifestation left wing fantasy thinking. Too many people grew up watching Star Trek and think that suddenly now that 3D printers can make plastic objects that look like real things – that the promised land is here.

      It’s not. And won’t be for a while.

      If the corporatist state starts using it’s power to ban gun sales – start buying machine tools. CNC code is shareable. CNC milling machines are relatively cheap and buildable at home. The G-code for AR lowers is already floating around out there on the internet. Most of the other parts in an AR can be milled out of REAL aluminum and REAL steel. For some of them you’ll need a lathe. Get together with friends and buy machine tools. If the shit hits the fan then the resistance will need a support infrastructure anyway. Small shops have supported many reistance movements. In Afghanistan they pound AK’s out of old sheet metal. Might as well get started now. A 3D printer isn’t going to do it.

      Especially when they shut off sales of the plastic filament.

      • Pardon me. Your home CNC mill then. If you look at Uberti, for example… gun making is a cottage industry. Look at the AR… you can build a better carbine from privately made and marketed parts than Colt can at the factory. For awhile you could buy table top CNC mills that could finish the 80% lowers that were being sold everywhere for awhile.

        The market always wins. Americans want their guns and drugs and no corporations or govts will stop that.

        • While home fabrication of firearms and ammo is possible, the state can make it cost prohibitive. I’ve worked at the Ohlin Brass facility in Alton, IL on occasion. The technology required to make decent cartridge cases, quality powders with the correct burn rate, bullets more complex than simple molded lead, etc. is considerable. I wonder if some of the more individualistic among us tend toward fantasy. I knew a guy who planned to cache a gun in a sealed, underground container at his farm. The idea that he may no longer be allowed to live there when he needed that gun had not occurred to him. Outright confiscation of guns and property is not unprecedented. Property taxes may be raised until small landowners are driven off of their land, and there is always eminent domain law. We need to win before all of this starts. The guns may not help much when kill the Kulaks becomes the mantra of the state religion.

          • “ I knew a guy who planned to cache a gun in a sealed, underground container at his farm. The idea that he may no longer be allowed to live there when he needed that gun had not occurred to him”

            I don’t want to sound like an armchair warrior, but someone here or at another site once said, “If it’s time to bury ‘em, it’s time to use ‘em.”

          • Some of the more “extremist” gun rights people definitely lean a little bit towards the fantasy side of things. Which is why I pointed out that whole “we’ll just 3D print guns” thing is just more gun porn masturbation.

            *Certain* parts for firearms are relatively easy to manufacture – other parts – like barrels – get a little more complicated because of the machinery required to make them properly. But if you spend any time at all studying insurrections and revolutions – there never seems to be any big lack of supply for firearms. Somebody somewhere will show up to supply them as long as the money flows. Somewhere on Youtube there is a video about “WW2 weapons in Serbia” or some such thing. The gist of the video was that during the Balkan wars all sorts of WW2 firearms came out of hiding and were being used effectively by the various combatant groups.

            During the fall of the Soviet Union, I distinctly remember seeing video and pictures showing civilians with AK’s slung over their shoulders. I know a couple of Russians who got out of the USSR shortly after the fall – and both of them say firearms were relatively easy to acquire at the time.

            Supposedly in the US there’s something like 400 million firearms already in circulation – and probably trillions of rounds of ammo. I don’t really worry about the accessibility to firearms when the balloon goes up.

            What I worry about is the organizational will to use them. Which is why I bring up the old and now eliminated militia system. It was a “conservative” way of linking together the men of a community in a manner which also enforced at least some level of military preparedness. It was of course eliminated by the progressives – because it stood in their way.

            With an atomized society – everybody is left to that saying: If you run out the door and don’t see any of your neighbors also standing on their porches – you ran out too early.

            Without some sort of community based network and organization – nobody is going to run out the door at the same time. Instead what’s going to happen is what Solzenitzen referred to when he said nobody fought back when the secret police went around the cities gathering people up and met no resistance.

            Solzenitzen recognized that with some minimal resistance the entire mechanism would have ground to a halt. But there was no practical mechanism to put that resistance into effect. Which is of course – exactly why the militias were eliminated.

            The fact that people on the right don’t seem to understand these basics and instead make the same old tired arguments that we have to “seize control of the government and initiate change from the top down!!” – is just the same laughable bullshit I’ve been hearing from right wingers for pretty much my entire life. It was a failbus for the last few decades – and it’s going to be a failbus this time around too.

            If you’re making an argument for government to fix the problems – you are making a LEFTIST argument. Therefore you WILL fail – because leftists make leftist arguments better than you. Stop supporting leftists for Kryste’s sake.

          • I would like to see zman do a podcast on gun control and the dynamics of the nra. He seems very passionate pro gun, but he has never expounded his views, presumably because the issue seems so clear cut to him. I see both sides. I think it would be interesting.

          • Re: the militia. I wonder how different our society would be, if at all, if we had some form of compulsory military training along Swiss lines.

            Of course, given obesity rates nowadays, alot of the young men would be in remedial boot camp for two years.

          • The remedial boot camp goes for the women and trannies, too. Don’t forget our women and trannies! They’re such a key part to our military might. “That’s who we are”

          • I’m sorry, Ursula, but I laughed out loud at that one. Spooked the neighbor’s dog, he started barking.

          • Ever see a MAC-10? A fella 35 miles away from here got busted building them in his garage. I was astounded by quality of his builds.

            Quality machine tools are cheaper now than ever before. Your average small machine shop have CNC mills. Once you have one of those, you can build the tools you need to build guns. Americans have said point blank they will not be disarmed, and any politician that dares to trifle with gun rights does so at his peril.

      • My company bought a mid-priced 3D printer a few years back, just for fun. It made good phone cases and dildos, but not much else.

      • You can remanufactre your ammo on commonly available reloading presses. I’ve been doing it for decades and have stockpiled powder and primers that can keep me in ammo for years. Decades if I give up recreational shooting.
        Much as it falls the chitlibs guns aren’t going away anytime soon.

        • If they decide to ban guns, the libs are perfectly happy to have you bury them. They aren’t a threat 6 feet under and might as well have been collected

          You are far better off fighting and none of this “standing army” shit. Its dirty guerrilla warfare, collective punishment and atrocity because simply 100% they will do it to you

          Civil War or die in a Camp, choose wisely.

    • One response that libertarianism often does try in order to deal with the “small-g” government problem is often to talk about some impractically expensive and/or complex DIY solution for any problem. Don’t like Silicon Valley’s moralizing? Just learn to code, compile your own build of Linux, and write your own software. Don’t like your bank telling you that you can’t have a gun? Just buy Cody Wilson’s expensive, single-purpose desktop CNC machine (as if your bank won’t make those impossible to buy too) and then use it to make your own version of one of the two or three types of guns you can get 80% lowers for (hope you like Glocks, ARs and 1911s). Don’t like the Fed? Build a few crypto mining rigs, and then watch as your new currency spikes and crashes like a bipolar meth addict. All technically do-able? Sure. But are they practical options for normal people? Not really.

      • The one thing that enables people to avoid leftist moralizing – is cash.

        Which is of course exactly why there have been recent efforts to eliminate it and make people go all electronic on their financial transactions. Once that actually happens – then yes: you will be completely under the thumb of your leftist overlords unless you want to descend into a barter system.

        But will you find any defense of a cash economy coming from the right? Nope. The only places I will find anything is on libertarian-ish websites like Lew Rockwell. How many “conservatives” do you know who will put their alleged values into action by actually filling their pocket with cash and spending it – instead of putting everything on a credit card? I doubt it.

        In my experience there is a very definitive reason why the Republicans are called the stupid party. And it’s because they and the people in it keep earning the name by utterly refusing to stand up for anything they allegedly believe in.

  16. This post is an excellent follow up to Z’s podcast on Libertarianism. Libertarians and An-Caps tend to see the state as an adversary, but have a blind spot when it comes to other powerful governing bodies (Coroprations, Universities, etc.) Moldbug is remembered for coining the term “cathedral” to describe the ideological trinity of media, universities, and state bureaucracy, but in the same essay he also described the “synopsis” to explain how intellectual conformity is created by entities which are not officially part of the state. The new right has succeeded in pulling in most of the open minded Libertarians. How shall we convince the rest of them?

    • One serious flaw in libertarianism is its inability to process the idea that whoever can tell you “no” and make it stick is effectively your government, no matter what they may officially call themselves. If I want a gun but Bank of America can deny me the ability to buy one, then they have, in effect, made a law and come up with an enforcement mechanism for it, which makes them, in effect, my government. In response to this, libertarians can only shrug their shoulders and assure me that the Invisible Hand of the Market will come and rescue me someday. Except that it really won’t.

      As an end-user, there’s really no difference between “big-G” Governments and “small-g” governments like BofA. Either way, I wanted to do something, but somebody with power told me “no” and was able to make it stick. The inability of libertarianism to deal with shows that they share the critical thinking flaw of basically all modernity – focusing too much on processes, but nit enough on results. Who cares what the theory says? Do I end up being able to do what I want, or not?

        • Yes, you can use another of dozen or so large banks out there. Of course, there’s a decent chance they’ll all agree on this policy.

          • Most countries only have four large banks. The US is unique in maintaining smaller regional banks and nonprofit credit unions. The growing power of Woke Capital could see the US following the rest of the developed world in the aftermath of a future banking crisis. The Right should consider using the regulatory power of the Fed to prevent this.

          • The US is chock full of smaller banks. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot use one of these smaller banks or credit unions and in fact at this point if you still have your money in one of the larger banks you’re part of the problem and not part of the solution.

            I have had my money in regional credit union for going on 15 years now. The money got moved when Bank of America swallowed up my previous relatively large – but still regional bank. The rates went to shit, the service went to shit – and so my money went somewhere else. When the real estate market went to crap back in 2007 and 2008 and some of my so called “conservative” co-workers bitched endlessly about how bad BOA was – I laughed in their faces.

            When the stories started coming out about how banks like BOA were screwing over companies affiliated with firearms – and my gun owning friends started bitching about being affected – I laughed in their faces.

            Seriously – what is it going to take to wake people up? How much leftist butt-jamming will have to be inflicted before people on the right stop their whining and start doing something about it? I have stories over and over and over again from right wingers bitching endlessly about the left screwing them over – but they won’t even do simple shit like changing out their bank.

            This is where the rubber meets the road – if you can’t even make minimal effort to pull your support from institutions that are screwing you over right to your face – THEN NOTHING GETS FIXED.

            And all of this just becomes a big right wing circle jerk.

            Trump is not going to fix all of your problems for you.

            Geezus Kryste.

        • All Anglo-American Banks are effectively part of the US government because the US government guarantees their loans and “insures” their “deposits”. Speaking as a former libertarian, we’d actually be freer with nationalized banks, because they’d be at least somewhat compelled to follow constitutional law. Imagine PayPal and Stripe not being able to deny service based on “hate speech”!

          • LOL.

            Nationalized banks are the direct road to government sanctioned out of control inflation of the money supply.

            As soon as the politicians find out they can vote themselves free money – that’s exactly what will happen. You want to destroy society? Pretty sure that’s a pretty direct way to do it.

        • I think you’re missing the point. The bank isn’t working directly on AntiDem, but on the gun store that no longer exists because it couldn’t get a loan or credit card processing or even a checking account, so it went out of business, leaving the neighborhood without an FFL holder to sell or transfer guns.

          And there are still, of course, gun shows; but as a step-by-step process, what the banks and credit companies are doing is intended to impose de facto gun control. The questions are: what do they hope to gain? and from whom will they get it?

          Or, maybe they’re just crazy true-believing cultists.

        • Credit card companies are also getting into the jihad against the right. Mastercard, in particular, is starting to shut of services to the right.

          • I just read somewhere recently that Soros made a sizable investment in MasterCard. Somehow, I can’t imagine the two events are unrelated.

      • Hammer meet nail, beautifully put. A slave does not give a shit about which boot is on his neck, a government boot or a corporate boot. Lolbertarians and pro-bidness cuckservatives are fine with a boot on your spine as long it has beautiful livery.

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