Thinking about Power

Thoughts on my discussion with author Steven Franssen about the nature of power.

Thinking about Power
Mr. Milei taking a chainsaw to the Argentinian state on behalf of international finance.

The candidacy of Javier Milei and the current presidency of Nayib Bukele have sparked a wider debate on the Dissident Right about their merits, the upsides of their victories, and what this means in the context of the current diplomatic revolution that is unfolding across the world.

Milei, a self proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, vows that he will abolish the Argentine Central Bank, cut 32 of the 34 Federal Agencies of the Argentinian government, establish a standard Bitcoin currency system, and "fight the woke socialists". Notwithstanding the serious red flags surrounding his personal life, including his aspirations to convert to Judaism and his past occupation as a sex guru, to any nationalist these programs which Milei champions would be detrimental to the continued existence of an independent state, thus bringing into question the true motives of Milei, and what the deal is regarding this Argentinian anarcho-capitalist aspiring Jewish convert.

This weekend, livestreamer and philosopher Steve Franssen postulated on Twitter that Argentines may be about to experience a serious raise in their standard of living. I replied to him pushing back against the idea of Milei being an organic force at all, instead being a safe alternative being propped up by regime antibodies in the NatCon sphere, as well as the general premise of his campaign overall, even if Milei is being genuine in his intentions. I was offered the chance to speak on this topic with Steve on a call-in show, which I accepted, and in speaking with Steve I had the opportunity to learn more about his worldview and motivations, many of which conflict with my own.

The discussion in many ways was less about the specific case of Milei and moreso discussing our competing models of power, and how dissidents should engage with it. Inherent in Steve Franssen's argument is a disdain of centralized power. In the case of Milei, the destruction of central banking necessarily diminishes the state's ability to control its economy. The slashing of Federal Agencies rolls back the state's abilities to intervene in and conduct the innerworkings of its jurisdiction. The adoption of some sort of Bitcoin standardized currency undercuts the state's ability to control its currency, instead subjugating it to the whims of a digital, international blockchain.

To Steve, these were the potential upsides of a Milei presidency. Steve explained to me that the decentralization of power is necessary for ordinary people to live ordinary lives, outside of the reach of international finance and the power structure that precedes it. A "Bitcoin Revolution", as it was termed, could potentially spread to the rest of the world and would put the control of currency outside the reach of the state, which it seems is the foil of Steve's worldview.

I countered with some historical examples laid out by Brooks Adams, one of the most compelling and eloquent scholars on the idea of centralization. Adams explains that power is constantly centralizing as societies develop, to include advancement in military technologies1, greater amount of bullion are found and exploited, more efficient models of government and bureaucratic methods are put to use, etc. In France, the discovery of new bullion, the advancement of offensive military capabilities, and the ability of the sovereign to tax its citizens led to rapid centralization. The French regime was able to overcome the regional power structures that had thrived within its de facto jurisdiction. Its nobles could no longer project power from their castles because the castles could now be knocked down.2

In Russia, Oswald Spengler believed the kickstart for Russian centralization began under Peter the Great. Peter the Great was most known for his dedication to modernizing the Russian state3. Great strides were made in creating a professional standing army, an essential tool for sovereigns to project power within and outside of their jurisdiction. Centralization continued from the 17th century to its peak under the Soviet Union, whose regime created one of the largest and most powerful states in world history.

There are countless historical examples of the centralization of power. Just look at a map of the world a thousand years ago to a map of the world today. A thousand years ago, there were countless thousands of principalities, duchies, kingdoms, all their own polities exercising their own power. Today there are officially 196 nations. The question that needs to be asked regarding this trend however: is centralization inevitable? The answer is yes. It is the result of a security dilemma between regimes that provokes the sovereign to develop better weapons, more efficient tax collection methods, larger cities, bigger factories. The Hundred Years War caused great strides in military innovation and methods of statecraft for both England and France. In competing for the various territories of France, both regimes found new methods of warfare and statecraft which would give the sovereign, the regime, a better chance at success and, ultimately, survival. The struggle for survival against other states necessitates this process.

How does this all relate to Steve and I's discussion about Milei? It is a historical, inductive argument against what I believe was the wishful thinking of Steve's argument. To advocate for decentralizing power is to advocate for the impossible. Will Bitcoin usurp the all-growing power of the state, or will the state assimilate Bitcoin into its growing power? The latter course of action is an all but guaranteed future. Milei will slash the Federal Agencies and more will crop up, this time with the potential that they are controlled by actors not loyal to the state and the interests of the nation.

And so the question for dissidents is this: how do we interact with power? The answer is inherent in the question. We must interact with, and seize power for ourselves. If power is an inevitability, which it is, someone will always control it. Let that controller be the Americans, and specifically a regime which is constituted of nationalists who put the interest of the nation first. The Franssen strategy of Bitcoin Revolution, small government, and unrestrained individual freedoms differs very little from the strategy of conservatives in America for the past century. The laissez-faire Republicans of the 20's and 30's lost control of the state because they could not adapt to the innovations made during that time period. FDR utilized the centralized power of the state and, accordingly, he served in office for 14 years and marshalled American popular support throughout. The American Right has hitched its wagon to antiquated methods that get us nowhere.

Power will always exist. It will continue to grow. It is incumbent upon American nationalists to modernize their thinking, seize the great powers of the state, and use them in the interests of our nation. Steve Franssen and all libertarian wishful thinkers will remain just that, thinkers, whilst our real enemies work tirelessly to advance their world-historical project at the expense of our own.

  1. The Law of Civilization and Decay by Brooks Adams, pg.45
  2. The Law of Civilization and Decay by Brooks Adams, pg.38
  3. Russia's Double Face and the German Problems in the East by Oswald Spengler