By Insula Qui
The cause of fascism seems appealing to many when confronted with deep modernity. And even I used to be beguiled by its specific allure. Fascism made the bold claim that it can bring back classical values to the 20th century, reliving the supposed glory of the pre-liberal monarchies. This makes fascism more compatible with the 21st century than the original classical conditions themselves. Furthermore, fascism has an aesthetic ideal, something that seems inherently good that we should strive towards. Most who are already conservative minded find it hard to resist clean streets, public works, orderly societies, national power, happy women, and strong men.
And from 2014-2017 we saw an online trend that now seems to be on the decline, this is the free intermingling between fascists and libertarians. This created an unstable synthesis of reactionary nationalist and libertarian thought. I would consider all my early work to be a part of this trend and it still holds a place in my personal philosophy because of that. However, in 2018 we have seen this break down, as I predicted in my post on Zeroth Position eleven months ago. “Although there can be a degree of collaboration between libertarians who value the nation and fascists who value property, they will still ultimately be fascists and libertarians, respectively.”. What we have seen is that the people in this makeshift alliance have shifted to either forsake libertarianism or forsake fascism. I now find myself in the camp that has abandoned fascist sympathies.
But there was still a period of few months in late 2017 to early 2018 where I teetered between the edge of libertarianism and fascism. On one side, we have libertarians who can never accept that Rothbard was wrong on anything and lose their minds when someone dares to criticize the sacred institution of pornography. On the other side, we have fascists who are constitutionally unable to accept that we are currently in a unique era which we ought to appreciate and that making people suffer might not be a good thing. To resolve this division within my own thought, I tried to go even further on my reconciliation of the two values. I strived to create a completely unique position, somewhere between the zeroth position of libertarianism and the third position of fascism, for convenience, we can call this experiment 1.5P.
Thankfully, this confused period was between large projects where I was working on the final drafts of my last two books, no serious work came out of this, the only exception may be some passages in “Libertarianism and Statecraft”, but that work remains relatively unaffected as it mostly catalogued my previous thought. 1.5P still affects my thought immensely as it was one of the most creative periods in my personal thought and eventually transformed into a cohesive view of political philosophy. But the apex of 1.5P came as a fully developed view of anarcho-fascism, one that has never been advanced elsewhere and probably never will be. After this point, however, I completely forsook the notion, but it still remains one that needs to be explored. And I hope the reader forgives me for the extremely long introduction, but this is vital to lay the context of this idea.
To begin with, we need to tackle the very uniquely anarcho-fascist view of individual interests in society. The first step is to acknowledge the very existence of unique individual interests, the second step is to acknowledge that these interests are grouped together and prone to clashing with one another. This means that these interests need to somehow be unified under a system to prevent violence and promote the advancement of all individuals. If there is no such system, conflicting interests will always result in destruction. When two groups have competing claims on the same scarce resource, the eventual outcome will be war unless it is deliberately averted by institutions that are conducive to peaceful solutions.
The two large ways in which disparate interests can work together is if they are either reconciliated or harmonized. By reconciliating interests, one employs the free market system to buy and sell priorities. For example, does an individual prefer a monocultural society or an abundance of taco trucks? If interests are reconciliated, multiculturalism is imposed with the reward being a quick and easy access to an unlimited amount of foreign foods. Thus, interests are thoroughly reconciliated, those who benefit from multiculturalism need to pay a price in food, and all conflict is settled. When interests are harmonized, all people share an interest, this means that the desire for monoculturalism is no longer an individual concept, but rather an entire society is organized in a desire for monoculturalism. Thus, this is a socialistic society where transactions are less important than group decisions.
But harmonization and reconciliation can both happen under a free market, there is no prohibition on making group decisions on a free market, the only reason for why one would not do so is if they do not think that group decisions lead to worse outcomes. And this is the entire premise of anarcho-capitalism, when people are allowed to make decisions for themselves, they choose the most beneficial and as such will make individual transactions. But this is only the case in a low-trust society where all interactions need to be mechanical or cannot to work.
We can use Japan as an extremely low-trust and fairly capitalistic country to provide an example of what such conditions might look like. The first and most striking feature is that all business transactions are completely impersonal within reason, whether this is the prevalence of vending machines or other forms of mechanical interaction. This embodies the ideal of inputting an order, paying money, and receiving a product. However, when societies are low-trust and social, we see the emergence of the bazaar where prices are negotiable. In these situations, individuals cannot set prices as they value the potential for potential higher values due to rapid market fluctuations more than smooth and transparent ones.
To contrast this, we can imagine a high trust society that for one reason or another chooses to reconciliate interests instead of harmonizing them, maybe due to a futile individualism. Business transactions would take the shape of set prices, or auctions. Individuals would learn of business opportunities through word of mouth and community connections. This is the small-business ideal, where people fill a need when they see that need and act in a responsible and social manner while being completely individualistic. But when there is such a degree of trust, there is another and greater way of organization, this is the harmonization of interests.
The fundamental problem with reconciliating interests is the inherent fact that there is no perfect information of what the wishes of other people are. A price system greatly alleviates this problem and advertising alongside market research can make it fairly irrelevant. But there is still the price to pay for advertising and market research, which could hypothetically be averted by a different mode of organization. And this can be done in a completely voluntary and free market manner, this is if people trust one another to the extent where they are willing to socialize decision making and thus remove all problems there could be with information and protect important values unconditionally.
To go back to our first example of taco trucks and multiculturalism, when interests are harmonized, the group which shares an interest can be united in a desire for taco trucks or monoculturalism, but no external force that pushes for multiculturalism is taken into consideration. The interest group of multiculturalists and foreigners is completely eliminated. The matter of the decision is now inherently and absolutely within the in-group. Thus, perfect trust creates an in-group with absolute authority and an out-group with no authority in a completely libertarian manner with no significant downsides to any individual.
We can contrast this with any attempts by the state to harmonize individual interests into a cohesive whole. What we find near universally is that all these attempts fail and cause more conflict than there would have otherwise have been, creating unnecessary violence that we should seek to avoid. This means that any sort of strategy that harmonizes interests in a high-trust society is only possible under a complete regime of voluntaryism. This creates the only workable form of fascistic organization in an anarchistic order. But since this organization lacks totalitarianism and state violence, it can only be described as being more reminiscent of the traditional order of classical monarchy and not actual fascism.
If we now imagine transactions under this system, we can probably expect three defining characteristics. First, the widespread growth of various mutual aid societies and fraternal orders that function so as to advance all within that society. These provide people with security and avoid the necessity for any welfare or other unproductive measures for the betterment of the poor. These institutions rather provide a community and resources to start a successful and independent life. The second is a relative abolition of the system of widespread credit and small loans. Since, this would be a free market order, we can expect prices to fall drastically with wages increasing, so people would not feel the need to take instant loans for insignificant purchases. Furthermore, a lot of the massive personal debt craze is fuelled by not having the ability to borrow money from a community, which would not be relevant in a high-trust society such as this.
The third and probably most important feature would be a widespread guild system resembling the corporatist ideal. When interests are harmonized, it’s probably more advantageous to reduce competition for businesses co-operating, this is best done through guilds to organize industry. Furthermore, employees do not need such entities as unions provided that they receive betterment in the form of training and connections through a guild. What we begin to see is that this “fascistic” society has transformed into the agorist ideal of each person being a worker-capitalist-entrepreneur. In a fairly strange way, applying fascistic organizational principles brings us closer to left-libertarian worldviews.
Furthermore, under a low trust anarcho-capitalist polity, we might find that reconciliating interests through transactions is not enough, and thus there is a demand for authority. Not in the form of a state, but rather a government only as a manager of land. This leaves the anarcho-capitalists with two fundamental options for creating a functional society. Either interests are reconciliated through voluntary governance without the use of any force, or interests are harmonized through a more socialistic economic system with a similar lack of force. Pure anarcho-capitalism becomes largely dysfunctional and unsustainable.
However, now I need to explain why I have abandoned this ideal. The fatal flaw is the originary view of interests, which do not necessarily tend to conflict. Each person, generally, desires to live in a society that matches his values and is generally prosperous. Through self-selection and community improvement, we would see an order in which people with similar interests tend to congregate. Provided that this happens, there is no fundamental need for either reconciliating interests or harmonizing them. The degree of trust becomes irrelevant and market transactions can be carried out on a largely social and interepersonal level as people would tend to share values with those in their communities.
Libertarian statecraft is still useful insofar as it fills many holes in orthodox libertarian theory by formalizing communal organization, and the left-libertarian ideal of total independence when it comes to each man being a worker-capitalist-entrepreneur is still valuable. Furthermore, guilds, fraternal societies, and a lack of widespread debt slavery are still good goals to strive towards. However, our prime concern needs to be the complete abolition of misapplied violence, none of our problems can be solved without solving the biggest one of them all.