The 21st Century is the 19th Revisited: The Contemporary Political Spectrum 5

19th Century                          21st Century

“Throne and Altar” =Traditional capitalist elites (big oil, agriculture, manufacturing)

Pro-royalist peasants=Populist nationalists (Trumpists, Le Penists, UKIP)

Rising bourgeoisie=techno-oligarchs, professional/managerial class

information/knowledge class, elites among traditional outgroups

Social Democrats (Bernstein)=Berniebros, Green Party

Communists (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky)=Antifa/SJWs/Neo-Communists

Establishment Classical Liberals (Spencer, Sumner)=Kochs, CATO Institute

Radical Classical Liberals (Bastiat, Molinari)=Mises Institute

Eugenicists/Racists (Galton, Chamberlain)=Alt-Right/White nationalists

Anarcho-Communists/Syndicalists=Left-Anarchists (LibCom, Anarkismo, AK Press, C4SS)

The remaining question is the issue of how to classify those of us who are attempting to formulate some kind of anarchist or radical tendency that is independent of the Left paradigm, e.g. post-leftists, agorists, primitivists, egoists, transhumanists, Zeitgeist/Venus Project, radical an-caps, startup societies, neo-tribalists, eco-villagers, national-anarchists, panarchists, neo-mutualists, neo-Georgists, etc. I’m inclined to think that the closest analogy would be to the utopian colonies, religious communes, early anarchists (Godwin, Proudhon, Stirner, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy), early socialists, and radical utopian thinkers from the 19th century (some of whose works read more like science fiction than political theory). In fact, ideas of this kind often defined the Left of the 19th century before leftism came to be identified with either reformist parliamentary social democracy or revolutionary Marxism (which many an-coms and an-syns also veered towards).

 

5 comments

  1. Wouldn’t some of the alt-right be part of the pro-royalist group? Some just seem to want the “good old days back”. Also, what about the political class? Aren’t the bureaucrats and politicians part of the new Throne and Altar? Bankers should also fall into this group. If anything, they are at the top of the food chain. After all, they were instrumental in creating the Federal Reserve and are deeply entrenched in the administrative State.

    One other nitpick: it should be crony capitalism or corporate-state capitalism. True capitalism does not involve wielding the monopoly power of the State. 2008 would have turned out differently if there was true capitalism in the US economy.

    Finally, would you consider Randians and Rothbardians to be radical classical liberals?

    • “Wouldn’t some of the alt-right be part of the pro-royalist group? Some just seem to want the “good old days back”.

      I think that’s a fair assessment of much of the NRx and CatTrad crowd, and other similar tendencies. Although if the “new royalists” are merely the national bourgeoisie, I suppose the “alt-right” comes close to being a revolutionary right (like the counterrevolutionaries, conservative revolutionaries, fascists, and national socialists).

      “Also, what about the political class? Aren’t the bureaucrats and politicians part of the new Throne and Altar?”

      The politicians are functionaries for the left and right wings of the elite. Republican politicians are representatives of the traditional national bourgeoisie (new royalists), and Democratic politicians are representatives of the “new rising bourgeoisie” of techno-oligarchs, etc.

      “Bankers should also fall into this group. If anything, they are at the top of the food chain. After all, they were instrumental in creating the Federal Reserve and are deeply entrenched in the administrative State.”

      I don’t know that the role of the bankers has changed much since the 19th century. Although a difference is that the financier class (Wall Street, Buffet, Soros types, etc) tends to be aligned with the techno-oligarchs, while the traditional banking elites (the Mellons, for example) tend to be aligned with the national bourgeoisie. Although the banking class is and always has been so pervasive that it tends to transcend ordinary class and intra-class divisions.

      “One other nitpick: it should be crony capitalism or corporate-state capitalism. True capitalism does not involve wielding the monopoly power of the State. 2008 would have turned out differently if there was true capitalism in the US economy.”

      I understand that argument, but crony capitalism and corporate-state capitalism are the kinds we actually have.

      “Finally, would you consider Randians and Rothbardians to be radical classical liberals?”

      The Randians are a mixed bag. Some are establishment classical liberals (the ones who buy into the “big business is the most persecuted minority” nonsense). Some are radical classical liberals more in the vein of Bastiat. Others come close to being individualist anarchists.

      Rothbardians are kind of a hybrid radical classical liberal/individualist anarchist perspective.

      Philosophically, the Rothbardians most radical Randians are probably the closest to Lysander Spooner, although on economics they’re closer to Molinari. That’s why I say they’re a hybrid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s