The End of Capitalism

Nick Land dropped a bomb last week:

Capitalism as independent agent — artificial intelligence even — driving apes to a higher purpose.

I am still sorting through the full implications of that statement, but I am certain that it holds more truth than the current popular understanding of economic growth and purpose.

It offers a better explanation for why most governments have not been able to maintain an open capitalistic system for very long. The bottomline is that individual human interests and group human interests are at odds with capitalist optimization. There is a constant temptation for humans, at both the group and individual levels, to shift the resources  they gain from a set level of technological development away from further technological development and toward status development (for use in inter-human instead of inter-capitalist fighting).

Status signaling is an ape thing. In any traditional system, status jockeying would quickly take priority because it is other humans who determine resource distribution and value within a group. If there were no capital, item-for-item trade modified by individual-to-individual politics dominates. Optimizing within this system is a function of accumulating political capital (capital consisting of human knowledge and emotions) and building a patriarchal hierarchy (as political power is a function of force emanating from a gun/sword/fist, which males are biologically most fit for) . Most efficient systems will then be monarchy or some form of oligarchy with power concentrated at the top.

Abstracting group value storage away from direct relationship knowledge and into a currency enables faster intergroup communication. However, instead of looking for a group status signal from another ape, each person looks to the Capital King. Power in a capitalist system is simply a function of accumulating more units of capital. Money talks.

Individual humans are nodes in the network of capital signaling system. When capital signaling takes priority over normal ape signaling, old forms of government and group organization collapse. Any traditional form of government that relies on honor or duty, any religion that relies on piety or empathy, and extended family systems that rely on biological instead of monetary bonds. Honor, duty, sacrifice, empathy, biology — all human.

The winner in a pure capitalist system is the human that can drop all of these qualities and communicate purely in terms of an abstract value currency. The psychopath and sociopath are best adapted for the capitalist system, and they will be the winners in a capitalist sense — in the accumulation of the most capital.

From the full capitalist perspective, the financier is the human king of the system. Control of capital takes precedence over everything else.

Also under this perspective, Democracy is, in principle, the best governmental system because atomized voters can be purchased and the system swayed based purely on capital power. Other systems concentrate too much power in the hands of a few, and ape status jockeying games determine outcomes more than pure capital.

This is NOT the democracy that our ancestors planned for, but it is the government that the capitalism AI desires. This is one key example of how individual human and group human interests are NOT aligned with capitalism interests. Democracy is incredibly inefficient from a human perspective (as pointed out by Neoreactionaries), but it is incredibly efficient if the goal of the system is NOT human efficiency and happiness but instead capital control efficiency.

Any government that attempts to lasso the capitalist system but does not fully atomize its populace will bleed towards some sort of demotist system over time. That means China is on a one way ticket towards democracy as long as their capitalist experiment continues. And the US, despite the desires of some Neoreactionaries, will never reach a human-led monarchy or oligarchy without eradicating capitalism first.

Capital is king and is the only monarch that will lead our system forward. We can destroy this system and return to a traditional system, or we can move forward and do our best to maintain some human qualities as we merge further with the Borg. Capitalism destroys all other social and economic systems because it is unbeatable in terms of efficiency of group coordination, and capital signaling replaces normal human signaling mechanisms.

From a human Traditionalist’s perspective, Western Progressivism is bad because it is a dysgenic religion. There are other religions, namely Christianity, that can lead humans to higher spiritual peaks, and enable human groups to better control their ape-instincts.

However, from what I think is best described as an anarcho-capitalist perspective (perhaps techno-capitalist is better), Western Progressivism is bad only because it is anti-capitalist. It is another religion that makes use of ape status-signaling and human emotion, and if it inhibits the capitalist system it will be destroyed.

If Progressivism can serve some purpose for capital transfer, it will continue to exist. Breaking the traditional family apart will work to the advantage of the capitalist system because any bonds that are greater than capital ties weaken the system.

Traditionalists and Techno-capitalists are united by a common enemy while the Progressive virus still exists, but once the virus is exterminated they are destined to become bitter enemies. Capitalism is a much more formidable foe than Progressivism. Traditionalists should make Capitalism enemy number one.

To date capitalism has been embedded in human systems. Currency issued by a state that is controlled by humans will always be affected by political/status-jockeying ape games. Though the system has gradually worked towards independence (group currencies > state/national currencies > global reserve currency; also sole proprietor > corporations within and then spanning states > international corporations ), the states still hold enormous power and can crush a currency if necessary.

Bitcoin represents a significant break from this pattern. Bitcoin is fully decentralized, fully atomized. Any one node with the software can keep the system alive.

Bitcoin is capital divorced from the state.