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Selection by Lot & White Nationalism

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raphael-studies-of-the-heads-of-two-apostlesThe white ethnostate exists at present only as a metapolitical idea in the minds of radical White Nationalists. Great intellectual efforts have been made, and will no doubt continue to be made, to describe how the political utopia will come about and what form it will take once it has been achieved. In my essay “Democracy Today,” I argued that the problems associated with democracy as it is currently practiced in the West are caused at root by trying to achieve democratic representation through mass voting in elections that are inevitably corrupted by partisan interests of one stripe or the other. 

The varied solutions offered by White Nationalists either do not properly address the apathy of the average man or they tend to disavow any element of popular accountability in their proposed constitution favoring the dictatorship of the one or the few, which leads to other problems and objections.

The political potential of sortition has been examined in both theory and practice, and what follows is an outline of an ideal constitution presented by Keith Sutherland in his book A People’s Parliament, which White Nationalists should seriously consider as the solution to the existing “democratic” regimes.

In A People’s Parliament, Sutherland argues for a modernized version of James Harrington’s constitution of Oceana. Primarily designed with the contemporary United Kingdom in mind, however, the constitution could be a template for any ethnostate. Sutherland argues for a mixed constitution; a monarch (or a President) should be given the right to nominate government ministers subject to scrutiny by a House of Lords, who are largely appointed for life, and approved by a House of Commons appointed entirely by sortition.

Sutherland prefers that the constitutional head of state be a hereditary monarch rather than an elected President, arguing that the key advantage of having a head of state selected by birth means that the head of state views the nation as his own personal property, and given that he can be confident that he will be succeeded by his children, he is incentivized to look to the long-term interests of the nation to insure the long-term survival and prosperity of his dynasty. This can be contrasted with an elected head of state who does not own the nation but merely rents it for the time he is in power, and, therefore, for his own personal interests, he will maximize his personal income and that of his supporters in the short-term through methods which will only impoverish the nation over the longer-term. Also an elected head of state will more likely be tempted to make his mark on history by engaging in reckless foreign adventures. The monarch, whose place in the history books is fulfilled with succession alone, will feel less of a psychological compulsion.[1]

The monarch would not, however, be a tyrant, and his constitutional powers would be limited to nominating the heads of the various government ministries, whose nominations would have to be ratified by a vote in a House of Commons, which would be taken following expert scrutiny of the candidate by the House of Lords. Hidden agendas would be exposed, and any nominee who proposed to take actions contrary to interests of the people would never be appointed in the first place, or, if he went rogue later, he could be summarily dismissed from his post by co-ordinated actions of the two houses. Giving a monarch the right to nominate government ministers would replace the current system in which government ministries are little more than a political spoils system where offices are handed out primarily on the basis of political loyalty and only secondarily on competence. [2]

The House of Lords should be remodeled as a place of informed advocacy, whereby “Lord Advocates” carefully scrutinize bills presented by government ministers and private members bills initiated within the house of lords. In accordance with Edmund Burke’s truism that there is no independence of mind without independence of means, Sutherland argues to ensure their independence, advocates should be appointed for life and receive a salary for the debates that they attend. They should represent all fields of national life such as industry, trades unions, education, law, religion, military, and culture, and all ideological groupings should have their advocates. Sutherland has not outlined how the appointment process would work to insure a fair and representative balance, and this requires further development.[3]

Sutherland argues that political parties would continue to have a limited role in order to represent group interests. He favors a small number of advocates to be elected periodically through by a system of proportional representation, although they would only represent a small fraction of the entire chamber. The party with the largest number of votes would be permitted to make legislative proposals which would be scrutinized by the rest of the chamber and then ultimately voted upon by the House of Commons, which is selected by sortition. These political parties may fool the electorate at the polls with their policies but they would be unable to steamroller through unpopular legislation by stealth as they would need to win the argument in the chamber and then obtain the approval of the House of Commons.[4]

The primary democratic element in Sutherland’s constitution is the House of Commons, whose entire chamber would be selected entirely by sortition and would have the final say on all government business. Sutherland argues that ordinary citizens should be selected at random by sortition in order to form a citizen jury. This jury, operating similar to a jury in any criminal trial though much larger, will play a passive role in the legislative and appointments process. These citizen jurors will be well-informed as they will not be allowed to vote until they have listened to the entire deliberation and every Lord Advocate who steps forward to participate in the debate. Furthermore, their vote will be by secret ballot to ensure that their judgment is not swayed by any influential third party. Having voted, the jury is dismissed, and a new citizen jury selected by sortition in time for the next bill in order that the House of Commons remains an exact portrait in miniature of the nation at large.

Like a traditional jury, service in the House of Commons would be compulsory, and ordinary citizens could realistically expect to serve on such a jury once in their lives. Furthermore, Sutherland argues that candidates entered into the jury pool should be vetted for intelligence and wisdom in advance, and he proposes using a psychometric test such as an IQ test in order to remove those who fall below a certain minimum threshold (the aim not being to select a cognitive elite but just to remove the retarded). Wisdom comes from life experience and therefore only citizens between the ages of 40 and 65 should be entered into the lottery pool.[5]

The mixed constitution Sutherland advocates is basically sound; however, White Nationalists may wish to consider further developing the appointment process to ensure that the House of Lords cannot be captured by a single ideological agenda. They should also consider the advantages of removing the electoral element entirely, and instead of using political parties to represent group interests, allow citizens to propose laws directly through public petitions in which a certain number of signatures will cause the bill to be debated and voted on by the two houses. Political associations will doubtless thrive outside the parliament, but they will not be dominated by the group-think mentality that drives the career politicians in political parties today.

If the White Nationalist movement adopted support for sortition in a constitution similar to that proposed in A People’s Parliament it would give it many advantages. It allows White Nationalists to engage in a critique of modern liberal (plutocratic) democracy as thorough and damning as the Old Right would without endorsing the Old Right antidote of dictatorship and their associated police states. Instead White Nationalism can offer a radical solution, which is far more democratic and yet possesses aristocratic elements that can deliver far-sighted, efficient, and competent government.

Also it would recognize that the White Nationalist movement is an ideological house with many rooms, and, while united in combating white genocide through mass non-white immigration and forced assimilation, it remains divided on other issues that are of secondary importance like drugs, homosexuality, religion, welfare, and whether the current banking system should be replaced by gold or social credit. Instead of pretending that these divisions are going to be resolved in the foreseeable future, the movement should instead adopt the Sutherland constitution to allow the divergent parts of the movement to co-operate in the political arena without having to enforce consensus and silence opinion on these factional secondary issues. These issues can be addressed once the constitution is in place and the various factions will be able to appoint their own advocates who will have the opportunity to argue the logic of their case before a citizen’s jury.

Finally, it is worth noting that even in the absence of a White Nationalist movement obtaining power, the adoption of sortition into the constitution of any majority-white nation can only help the cause of white survival as the anti-white movement is largely a top-down phenomenon pushed by our elites which have created a hegemony so powerful as to largely silence public opposition. The masses are passive, and ordinary whites do not want their countries filled with Third World immigrants, yet at the same time fear and apathy induced by the current system insures that they are too demoralized to take any action to stop it. If sortition is used to create a citizens’ jury in which decisions were made by secret ballot, the ordinary people would be a great block to further anti-white policies and create a powerful feedback loop receptive to pro-white policies. The White Nationalist movement would be wise to consider the virtues of adopting sortition as part of their main agenda.

Notes

1. Keith Sutherland, A People’s Parliament (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2009), 117-20.

2. Ibid., 121.

3. Ibid., 133-38.

4. Ibid., 157-60.

5. Ibid., 143-49.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    >”Perhaps the most effective and most equitable way to establish limits on wealth or inequality would be to abolish the privileges enjoyed by the wealthy.”

    Yes that makes sense. Harrington’s proposal was appropriate for a time when wealth was entirely tied up in landowning. I’ve always been puzzled that C.B. MacPherson devoted a chapter to him in his Possessive Individualism book, given that his views were pretty radical.

  2. White Republican
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This series of articles by Simon Lote on sortition has been very interesting, and I should print them out and re-read them as a series later.

    Lote writes: “Great intellectual efforts have been made, and will no doubt continue to be made, to describe how the political utopia will come about and what form it will take once it has been achieved.” It might be worthwhile to examine these things in terms of the “pattern language” envisaged by William Ophuls rather than utopias and constitutions.

    I admittedly haven’t read Ophuls’ latest book, Sane Polity: A Pattern Language, but I have read Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2011), in which he writes (pp. 150-51):

    “Given the chaotic nature of the world system and the probable magnitude of the impending changes, we confront a future that is both radically different and mostly unforeseeable. Moreover, we are bound to conceive the future anachronistically — that is, in terms of our current way of thinking, which posterity will not share, and our present level of knowledge, which posterity will surpass. Although the future will probably resemble the preindustrial past in many respects, it will also contain possibilities that we cannot now imagine. Technological invention will keep changing the rules of the game, and later generations will almost certainly think and act on premises quite different from our own. Rather than focus on the machinery of government, it will therefore be more fruitful to conceive politics in the light of ecology — that is, to consider how we might model the governance process on the basic physical and biological principles that ‘govern’ natural processes.”

    He later goes on to write of “pattern languages” (pp. 152-54):

    “Architecture, the structural art to which the political art is often compared, provides a concrete illustration of one way in which the problem of political design might be approached. . . . Christopher Alexander and his colleagues have reconstructed architectural theory on organic principles, arriving at a design philosophy that they call ‘the timeless way of building,’ which can be concretely articulated in a ‘pattern language.’ One such pattern is ‘light on two sides of every room.’ This pattern does not impose a particular design. An infinite number of rooms — all conforming to the pattern but all different — can be constructed. But it does guarantee a certain result: every room will have enough natural light to feel comfortable. Alexander’s group has identified 253 such patterns. These cover the gamut from regional (‘community of seven thousand’) to ornamental (‘paving with cracks between the stones’) patterns — and constitute the basis for an architecture founded on organic principles that makes people feel at home. Alexander’s timeless way of building is the architectural equivalent of Plato’s justice: the purpose of the pattern language is to order the parts so they form a harmonious and beautiful whole.

    “It should be possible to construct a similar pattern language for politics — a set of principles that would not dictate particular structures or institutions, which must be closely adapted to local conditions, but that would generate a political process supportive of the good life. Indeed, one of the patterns cited above is political. ‘Community of seven thousand’ responds to a question about the optimal size of human communities that has preoccupied political philosophers since ancient times.

    “But let us imagine something more directly related to the political process. Suppose we were to make ‘personal knowledge required for voting’ a fundamental political principle. Although many polities could be constructed on this pattern, all of them would have to be structured so that citizens (or those acting as their agents) had direct personal knowledge of issues and candidates.

    “Or suppose that we were serious about preserving family farming. As we have seen, market forces tend to drive small, independent mixed farms out of business, and the subsidies intended to prevent this only abet the growth of agribusiness. Systems analysis suggests that the only way to break the perverse dynamic of ‘Get big, or get out’ is to limit the size of farms. A pattern along the lines of ‘farms of forty acres’ might help keep farmers on the land and thereby preserve agrarian communities. Adding a pattern mandating ‘tenancy in trust’ might assert the community’s interest in responsible stewardship and help to preserve the usufruct of the land for future generations.

    “Only a Jeffersonian ward-republic fits these particular political-design patterns. If we used this constitutional strategy, the structure of our political institutions might not look different — after all, there is a certain logic to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government — but the spirit would change, perhaps radically. Yet there would also be important continuities so the wisdom of the Western political tradition would still be relevant. In reinventing the architecture of politics, we will therefore want to be guided by Plato, Rousseau, and Jefferson and also by other philosophers critical of an excessively mechanical approach to life and politics — especially Montesquieu, who was once highly influential and may yet regain his former stature.”

    In Ophuls’ view, such a pattern language should be informed by an ecological understanding of human society (p. 155):

    “Montesquieu’s style of reasoning provides an antidote to the excessive rationalism of the Cartesian tradition. Montesquieu too seeks general laws but not at the expense of context or particulars. He says that there are ‘different orders of law’ governing differing natural and human realms, so that ‘good sense consists in large measure of knowing the nuances of things.’ Truth is therefore the product of judgment, not calculation, and rationality means taking into account all relevant factors. To put it the other way around, irrationality is not lack of logical rigor but a disregard for complexity, context, and duration — that is, for the dense web of interrelationships characteristic of social and natural systems that have evolved over time. In short, Montesquieu reasons ecologically.”

    This style of reasoning requires what Pascal called “the spirit of finesse,” as distinct from “the spirit of geometry.”

    • Posted June 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      >A pattern along the lines of ‘farms of forty acres’ might help keep farmers on the land and thereby preserve agrarian communities.

      This was an important element in Harrington’s constitutional proposal. His proposed agrarian law limited the portion of land held to that yielding a revenue of £3000.

      • White Republican
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:13 am | Permalink

        If I remember correctly, I think Jacques Barzun noted in From Dawn to Decadence that James Harrington was an influence on Thomas Jefferson.

        I think the principle of limits on wealth or inequality isn’t a bad one. It’s not good for a society to have a plutocracy or a proletariat, both of which may be regarded as the two sides of the same shekel. A society with a rootless elite and a rootless mass is profoundly sick. It’s worth noting that even capitalists like Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan criticized wage differentials whereby company executives are paid more than twenty times than their lowest paid employees.

        Perhaps the most effective and most equitable way to establish limits on wealth or inequality would be to abolish the privileges enjoyed by the wealthy, who often owe their wealth to various direct and indirect subsidies granted by the state, to playing what Garrett Hardin called the CC-PP game of commonizing costs and privatizing profits, to the system of socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Abolishing privilege is a far more realistic and reasonable objective than establishing equality, but it requires radically rethinking and reframing the issues of inequality and privilege, so that realistic objectives and policies can be established within a particular polity.

  3. maxsnafu
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    A House of Lords appointed for life? A cursory glance at our Supreme Court should make clear what a terrible idea lifetime appointment would be.

    • Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      The House of Lords in my proposal is a very large chamber (c. 1,000) of interest advocates, only a few of which would be participate in any particular parliamentary debate, so it bears no resemblance to the Supreme Court. Also Lords Advocate would (as in Harrington’s proposal) have no power, other than to influence voting members via their powers of persuasion. I’m also a little vague about the appointments procedure as this is just a work in progress.

  4. Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks Simon, that’s a very fair summary of the argument in my book. One of the interesting things about sortition is that it is equally attractive to theorists and activists from the right and the left (see, for example, CLR James’s ‘Every Cook Can Govern’, as an example of the latter). I make no claims for originality in my argument for hereditary monarchy as the best way of securing long-term interests, as this is based entirely on the work of Rothbard and Hoppe. This is a tough call to defend in the current climate of opinion, but I can honestly think of no other way of defending the interests of the unborn.

    I wrote the book in 2007 and have since been [independently] converted to Simon’s argument for public petition as an alternative to agenda-setting by preference election. The only problem with this is that it removes any possibility of ex-post accountability, and there does need to be some way of ensuring that political agents pay for their mistakes. The ancient Greek practice, praised by Demosthenes, whereby proposers of new laws had to argue their case with a noose tied around their necks which was tightened if the proposal failed, would be another alternative!

    Sortition advocates are keen to find ways of trialling their proposals, my latest wheeze being a scheme to replace the proposed EU referendum with a sortition-based deliberative poll, see: http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-week/letters/8921081/letters-285/ (second item: A Very Public Enquiry). I have a full version of the piece which I’m trying to get published around the time of the parliamentary debate (July 5th).

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