American Decline

Descriptive Constitution of the Modern Regime

Mencius Moldbug argues the US is a “clerical oligarchy.” I agree half-way. My position is more like Joel Kotkin’s view of the US as a plutocratic-clerical oligarchy.

By Mencius Moldbug

Americans are used to a constitution which is a Constitution: half a holy document in a holy glass box, half a self-updating OS or blockchain contract. This 18th-century dream of a self-enforcing sovereign definition, “the rule of law, not the rule of men,” weirdly anticipates computer-science concepts from a quarter-millennium later.

Our Constitution is very important. But here is something strange: Britain does not have one. Yet when you go to Britain, you notice that the practice and principle of government there seems much the same as here—lately, our inventive cousins have even conjured up a “Supreme Court”—but without any such thing as a Constitution.

Indeed John Bull will sit there and tell you, with a perfectly straight face, that Britain has an “unwritten constitution.” What is this? A poem? A Chomskian exercise? Has Bull, long stripped of the China trade, been smoking his own imperial opium? Maybe he is a Futurist. Next he will offer you a glass of dry water and some electric spaghetti.


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