We still begin with Burnham. Even after the Second World War, the Cold War, the brushfire wars of the post 9/11 world and the rise of powers like China and India, the best guide to understanding the world is a book more than seven decades old. James Burnham’s theory of the managerial elite, a “new class” of “managers” that supplemented the capitalist ruling class of the 19th century, still captures the fundamental truth behind the global system of power. As Sam Francis, Burnham’s greatest student put it in Power and History:
The internal crisis of entrepreneurial capitalism compels the expansion of the state. Massive amounts of new capital cannot be mobilized from private sources and must come, directly or indirectly, from government. The managers, indispensable to the technical processes of modern production, find cooperation with the state and use of its coercive monopoly valuable for the continuance of production and for their own benefits. The redistribution of goods, services, and wealth is facilitated by state intervention, planning, and, ultimately, control of the process of production. Yet the expanding role of the state does not mean that the state itself controls the economy. Rather the result will be “a fused political-economic apparatus.” (p. 271)
In later works, Burnham posited that the new class would maintain democratic trappings to disguise the fact of their power even as they transferred the focus of loyalty away from the nation and traditional sources of authority. And as Sam Francis described, it is control over culture that ensures power over the process of production. Activists for diversity, anti-racists, and what are broadly termed Cultural Marxists work with (and are often funded by) capitalist institutions and government bodies to create an interlocking system of economic, political, and social control.
The great hope of Francis was that what he called the Middle American Radicals–those middle class whites dispossessed by economic globalization and the cultural New Left–could form a counter-elite and sweep aside the managerial class in a Middle American Revolution. Unfortunately, the American Beltway Right has mastered the art of racial dog whistling to fool the rubes–so when the Middle American Revolution finally came, it was Iraq War supporters smashing Dixie Chicks CD’s.
Yet in the last two decades, a new class has arisen that is not fully under the control of the managerial elite. Neither does this rising elite necessarily share (or benefit from) the social values advanced by the managerial class. The new elite are those who have mastered computer technology, programming, and hardware and software development. And while “technocracy” is nothing new, the relative instability, social mobility, and meritocracy of the digital world makes it difficult to be fully absorbed by the managerial state.
The leading members of the digital elite are hardly closet members of the Identitarian Right. Bill Gates recently donated a million dollars for gun control and has blown tens of millions of dollars in failed attempts to boost “inner city schools” and African demographics. Mark Zuckerburg, owner of a social networking platform that will delete groups like “White History Month” but provide you every left wing group (or gender preference) imaginable, is a fanatical supporter of mass immigration. Even Steve Jobs was a fairly conventional Democrat.
Yet there is unease among the Thought Police. The commissars and pseudo-humans of Gawker, Valleywag, and associated media outlets conduct a sustained hate campaign against the tech industry’s mostly white programmers and “bro culture.” With unseeingly desperation, the media shrieks frantically about the “need” to impose the dead weight of affirmative action employees on internet companies. Salon is doing its best to make Peter Thiel as radioactive as the Koch Brothers because he doesn’t prostrate himself before university style political correctness–and because Thiel questions the wisdom of that most sacred (and useless) of institutions. Left wing activists protest the gentrification of San Francisco by wealthy tech workers. And SJW’s whisper that shadowy forces from Silicon Valley are backing the Dark Enlightenment.
Most of this is exaggerated. The average tech worker owes no allegiance to the Identitarian Right or Dark Enlightenment ideas. And yet this sign of contradiction is significant. The tech industry does pose an existential threat to the managerial regime for three key reasons.
Technical superiority trumps ideology
Barack Obama received overwhelming support from the technology industry. The Christian Right is not going to win much of a following at Apple or Google. However, unlike in human relations, academia, or many private industries, there is nothing necessarily committing the industry to the Left, with the possible exception of gay rights.
Bill Gates may support egalitarianism with his charity, but not in his business decisions. He famously identified Goldman Sachs as Microsoft’s biggest competitor, not another software company. Ultimately, success in the industry is driven by who can attract the smartest people. The tech industry is ruthlessly inegalitarian and pragmatic–ideology can grease the skids when it comes to landing a contract or securing a positive court ruling, but it won’t make a computer program work.
This doesn’t mean political correctness or connections won’t benefit certain companies above others – as we saw with the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website. However, unlike in education, law, journalism, government, and other industries and economic sectors, pure intelligence and technical skill ultimately trumps ideology, and there isn’t an ideological “veto” available to the Left.
The increasing efforts of the Left to “police” the tech industry (and related industries like gaming) reflect the awareness that if a “rabidly right wing” programmer or entrepreneur creates a good product, he will make enough money to be free of their control. Perhaps, more importantly, the very nature of the tech industry values elitism, intelligence, and hierarchy more than egalitarianism. This elitism currently expresses itself in SWPL style social preening–but unlike an English professor or nonprofit head, a programmer is not dependent on social justice rhetoric for his livelihood.
We must consider the possibility that some of those derided as “Urban Elves” are more open to our ideas than Palin supporting “right wing” patriots. More importantly, the wealth generated by the tech industry is relatively free of ideological control, and the instability of the industry ensures that such controls will be difficult to implement.
Technology renders the underclass superfluous
Walking through one of America’s largest cities, a friend cursed at the liberal Whites (mostly government employees and contractors) he saw because, “they may gentrify an area, but then insist on importing Third Worlders to essentially be their servants.” That may not be true for much longer. Currently, fast food workers are striking to secure a $15.00 an hour wage. We should wish them success.
Technology, particularly in the field of robotics, is progressing to the point where entire industries will simply be rendered unnecessary, especially if the cost of labor becomes prohibitive. While mass immigration (subsidized by the welfare state) keeps the price of labor low, the dysfunctional nature and political preferences of hapless and helpless Third Worlders flooding into European world may change the cost-benefit analysis. Why, after all, do we need any human fruit pickers or burger flippers at McDonald’s?
The most likely scenario is a world like that prophesied in Elysium–fantastic technology co-existing with teeming slums populated by an ever increasing lumpenproletariat. The film assumes a kind of duty for Whites to sacrifice themselves to spread the blessings of wealth and technology to the non-White masses. But there’s no reason to assume that a technological elite–particularly one convinced of its own intellectual superiority–will continue to recognize this supposed obligation.
Already, the scion of a Silicon Valley fortune is pushing a plan (endorsed by over a million Californians) to split up the state of California–including, not coincidentally, Silicon Valley becoming its own state. Thiel has endorsed various schemes such as “Seasteading” to form a kind of libertarian utopia, as have other figures in the industry.
This doesn’t necessarily translate to support for Identitarianism or Dark Enlightenment principles–but it does mean that people are looking for an escape, a way out of the Third World mass democracy that is the American system. We might be something like Eduardo Saverin fleeing to Singapore on a mass scale–an entire class deciding that they have no reason to prop up a system which offers them nothing.
Technology can avoid, subvert, or replace the existing System
There’s no greater proof of the power of media culture than “celebrity.” Every single person who reads this site is intensely aware of the personal lives and relationships of people such as Jennifer Lawrence—even if we seek to actively avoid knowledge of their existence. Their images are carefully created and protected by legions of professional media managers, public relations experts, stylists, and flacks–each one is a creation of the managerial elite as surely as a Supreme Court justice. And one wrong move or politically incorrect comment can utterly destroy them.
And yet, consider the Fappening–a shadowy group of hackers, paid in Bitcoin, devastate the reputation and social value of media creations that required tremendous amounts of social capital, infrastructure, and financial investment. In miniature, this is what can occur to more important individuals and institutions. Edward Snowden discredited the American Empire more than all the “anti-imperialist” scribbling of generations; for a time, Wikileaks constituted a power in its own right.
Entire markets, strategic assets, classified information, currency and resources–all of these things are online and within the reach of those who have the technical skill to acquire them. Ideology is utterly irrelevant–indeed, an obstacle. As technology increases, we will see even more uncontrollable possibilities, including the merger of technology with the human body and the ability to modify, hack, or artificially enhance physical or mental actions or capabilities.
Of course, this also opens up the possibility of near-complete managerial control–the media is already gleefully discussing pharmaceutical cures for “racism.” Who can doubt that technology could be used against the very consciousness of ideological dissidents? But all of this depends on the technological elite agreeing with and participating in the agenda of the current governing class. Judging from their checkered partnership when it comes to national security policies, there will be at least some dissidents. And no matter what system is implemented, there will be a workaround.
Technology also empowers tribalism in a way not seen since the Industrial Revolution. It provides workers more freedom about where to live and who to align with. It allows certain kinds of workers to break free of bureaucracies and supervisors, thus removing one of the ways the managerial elite can apply economic pressure. It allows the creation of new kinds of communities that can sustain themselves socially and financially and who only participate in the larger economy on their own terms and for their own interests.
The widespread acceptance of 3-D printers and other machines could theoretically challenge the concept of “scarcity” that underlies capitalism itself–or at least make it easier for people to opt out of constant participation in the consumer economy.
Power is shifting on a global scale–demographically, economically, militarily, and culturally. But ultimately, the biggest shift is the foundation of what we call power. Physical strength or elected office doesn’t convey power in the modern world. It’s technological expertise that grants control over the process of production. As such, it will be the new fulcrum of power for the next governing elite–unless those who use more old-fashioned means of acquiring power can survive what the System will throw at them.
Does this mean the managerial elite (and its anti-white policies) will be replaced? Not necessarily. Figures like Gates and Zuckerburg have essentially merged with the already existing ruling class. But the future is not certain and there is no guarantee that the next wave of industry leaders will make the same choice. It’s also not certain that second or even third tier figures will not choose to use their wealth and power to open up areas of political, social, or economic autonomy outside the existing system.
The great limiting factor of Identitarianism is not a lack of ideas or even official opposition–it’s simply a lack of resources. Technology represents a relatively uncontrolled source of wealth and social power and there are faint stirrings of opposition to the current order. How the course of technology and social development will play out is unknown.
But there is a Remnant that understands there is something deeply wrong with the System as it is and that the upward development of mankind is not possible without radical change. The Identitarian Right must present the alternative. Another world is possible—if we have the wealth, tools, and will to create it.