Incentive to Self-Organize and Scale

To avoid the complexity of a socio-technical transformation in a mature publicly traded corporation, we may build by analogy in simpler terms. Suppose two lumberjacks have the property rights for adjacent properties. They have the option of working together of separately. Even if they are identical in strength, skill, resources, and tools, the processes available grow exponentially if they cooperate. The process option of each individual worker may continue, but entire sets of new options that only cooperation may accomplish become available. If we add two more lumberjacks, there is four times the land, four times the potential output of four individuals, plus the additional options that only groups of two, three, or all four may pursue cooperatively.

It is easy to assume, up to our rough limit of 10 members, that the lumberjacks gain from cooperation additional options as a decision-making unit, using each of their property and abilities in ways that acting individually would lack. However, the larger that group becomes, the more effort they require when attaining consensus on which of the processes to pursue. The group of 10 may elect a leader or vote democratically, but two primary feedback mechanisms will arise. Productivity when the workers act out of sight of the others will become judged on output. Productivity when all work as a group will become judged on direct observation. Once this company of lumberjacks grows beyond 10, there are obvious diminishing returns for direct observation, even an impossibility of observation. Once we collect a group of 40, 70, or 200 lumberjacks, managers who coordinate decisions, observe their team for performance, judged exclusively on productivity become an inevitable recourse. 200 lumberjacks simply cannot cooperate effectively in a single forest through reliance on direct informal interaction.

Likewise, even without introducing the complexity of a legal, accounting, tax, or government system, and even before we consider actual market demand or the possibility of competitors, divisions in the organization emerge to benefit every worker. Specialized knowledge on planting new trees, care for trees over multiple years, coordinating which areas to work, care for the tools, and the preparation and shipping of the logs are not only distinct processes from the original effort of the individual lumberjack, but are also increasingly important to the optimization of long-run residual claims. Therefore, even if we assume it possible for all workers to equally “own” the organization, meaning that all have an equivalent residual claim, knowledge and specialization will still drive the introduction of management and coordination based on the output performance of distributed decision-making units.

If we now add a single competitor to this logging industry, a very simple “game” becomes available. Suppose one the residual claimants of one organization decides to hire workers based on wages and the other remains an equal partnership with no wage employees. The incentive structure of the residual claimants and the wage employees are different, creating fractal changes at scale. While wage employees gain remuneration as they work, they do not bear the risk that that the residual claim is zero. While wage employees may need to know some skills for the job, they will not need to know all the processes of the organization. Also, while the residual claimants may only exit the partnership with some difficulty, the wage employee could exit any time to pursue a better opportunity. Therefore, while residual claimants have incentive to ensure the long-run sustainability of the processes, the wage employees have incentive to maximize the short-run behaviors prescribed by the wages.

Comparing these two competitors, we begin to see advantages to the use of wage workers who do not possess a residual claim. First, because they do not possess a long-run interest in the organization, wage employees may carry out the calculated risks of the managers without fear and hesitation that the collectively-owned organization would. If one of these risks produces a windfall gain, the organization gains competitive advantage. Second, because their focus is on short-run optimization of the behavior pattern demanded by the incentive structure, wage employees can perform tactical activities that require less knowledge of the organization as a long-run system. Wage workers make the workforce more malleable and responsive to incentive structures in aggregate. Third, because the optimal number of workers for any one specialty may change over time, the competitor with a variable pool of wage employees can respond more quickly and with less risk than an organization that is taking on a partner with an equal residual claim to assets they did not originally participate in earning. Fourth, the ability to grow the workforce with wage employees in a boom cycle without increasing the total residual claimants allows the organization to respond to the incentives of fleeting opportunities with a limited subset of the long-run disincentives.

Our first conclusion should be that some introduction of wage employees in each organization is inevitable. If we compare an organization with 10 residual claimants and a variable wage workforce of 5 employees, compared to an organization with any number of residual claimants fixed at a number between 10 and 15, the use of wage employees creates more options and some potential for competitive advantage. However, if we add more organizations, we can also see that the effectiveness in optimizing decision-making becomes as much based on knowledge of coordination and incentive structure as it is of the given hierarchy or individual value production. Where a production process was highly stable, predictable, and productivity easily measured on output, a larger number of residual claimants could cooperate as partners. Where the process is highly variable, requiring little knowledge, and productivity is the result of effect management rather than worker virtuosity, minimizing residual claimants while relying on wage earners will be more effective.

There is significant incentive to assure that an organization builds itself not through the exclusive dichotomy of long-run residual claimants that bear all the risk and short-run wage workers without systemic constraints or incentives. The pressure for stability from wage employees and the necessity of management incentives that more closely align to the optimization of long-run residual claims combine to create a gradation of fixed-claim wage earners with specific performance constraints. The salaried employee and the manager compensated partly in company stock can optimize the preservation of an externally directed mid-run. Neither feel the freedom to leave the company due risk and sunk cost. Neither feel the full freedom to exploit new opportunities held by a partner with equal residual claims.

The clear trade-off in a corporation, reliant on salaried employees with slow aggregation of a small percentage of residual claims, is the increasing and widespread hesitation to act, combined with diffusion of responsibility for emergent decisions. When growth remains strong and fitness of solution to market context remains stable, bureaucratic rationalization continues to preserve the organization rather than the optimization of the residual claim. Once growth stagnates, it becomes clear the organization became fine-tuned to internal signals of political disputes while placing layers of noise between decision-making units and the external signals of the market. Transformation is a paradigmatic shift from a structure no longer adapting its knowledge production to its changing market context, to a new paradigm in its place. The challenge of transformation, primarily, is the development of new knowledge networks that can create sufficient benefit to entice the bureaucrat to make the shift to the new paradigm of systemic incentives and constraints

The nature of the production process and the structure of the industry shape the way market forces reward variations in what is otherwise an identical number of inputs. A tax accounting firm or a law firm may rely primarily on equal partnership or tiered partnership with few wage employees relative to the residual claimants. In an oil or mining endeavor with major risk that only requires capital to pull wage employees and the tools of production from other opportunities, such as applying recent technology to previously unexplored mineral rights, the fewest number of residual claimants necessary to raise the necessary capital optimizes the use of a much larger organization of wage employees, vendors, and contractor firms. Many publicly traded corporations are some mix of options, allowing different residual claims in the form of preferred stock, common stock, bonds, pensions, etc. The selection of incentive structures and systemic constraints provide the administrative context for an organization. Decisions regarding the internal context and the selection of an external context with which it must integrate is the realm of competitive strategy.

Democracy in America

The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high- minded and the noble advocate subjection, and the meanest and most servile minds preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principles are the apostles of civilization and of intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where nothing is linked together, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a contempt of law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?

– Alexis de Tocqueville

The Thought Police

His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered that while he sat helplessly musing he had also been writing, as though by automatic action. And it was no longer the same cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals –






over and over again, filling half a page.

He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It was absurd, since the writing of those particular words was not more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary, but for a moment he was tempted to tear out the spoiled pages and abandon the enterprise altogether.

He did not do so, however, because he knew that it was useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed — would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper — the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

It was always at night — the arrests invariably happened at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, the rough hand shaking your shoulder, the lights glaring in your eyes, the ring of hard faces round the bed. In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.

George Orwell’s 1984

The Mediated Imaginary

The common misconception of utopian collectivism arises in the elucidation of the imaginary by which power mediated its control, only to replace this image with another. When the divisions of consciousness begin producing incompatible imagery in a contest for the survival of their medium, the psychodynamic philosopher will call this schizophrenia. Once socialist democratic capitalism fully rationalizes and isolates the production process of mediated images, it feed the images back to the population, hiding the rise of bureaucratic totalitarianism. The mediated imaginary, automating its oscillatory precession, simultaneously comes under total control by the State apparatus; but the apparatus itself becomes meaningless as it completes the efforts to automate its processes. Meanwhile, the burden of responsibility diffuses into the bureaucracy, every action become its opposite movement, revolution and cyclical change lose any distinction, leaving no one capable of a reversal.

Society of the Spectacle

As Guy Debord’s 1967 Society of the Spectacle elucidates, postmodern or “late capitalism” not only separates individuals from one another by making images primary in all economic relations, it further separates everyone by demanding their attention to the mediated imaginary, thereby making image primary in all social relations as well. An automated State apparatus mediates each image. Prior to mass monetary exchange, globalization of the division of labor, mass media, and the internet, individuals experienced the real with each of their senses on equal primacy, always secondary to the milieu and its objects. When images, typography, iconography, films, contracts, bank notes, treaties, mass media, advertisements, and propaganda replace all economic and social exchange, images and the visual become primary in every activity.

This is the Society of the Spectacle, in which an image always precedes the real, making reality secondary to the virtual. For Debord, this implies that control over the image gives up control of society; between the regulatory bureaucracy of the State and the financial reification and valorization of protectionist capitalism, autocracy isolates and controls the masses. The sign of money precedes the action of both capitalist and labor, the contract of the corporation precedes the possession of the factors of production, the image of the object precedes its mass production and consumption, the image of reality precedes the experience of any lesser attempt to reproduce this imaginary within the real. While the virtualization of exchange value allows the acceleration of capital, it also makes the movement of immense fortunes impossibly fast for the individual to control their own wealth under crisis conditions. While the mechanization of production allows the acceleration of labor, it also leaves the corporation in a constant anxiety that subsequent disruptive technology will displace them, just as the machines displaced animal and human labor. The alienated masses become dependent on the State control of the monetary virtual and on the Corporate control of the mediated imaginary, isolating each unnecessary laborer in a pre-packaged identity based on debt, consumerism, and passive acceptance.

The society that no longer experiences events directly will likewise lose the significance of all experiences. Without any natural anchor for the significance of reality, we no longer experience events at all. Corporations and the State mediate the images of every event, enframed by technology, so that society experiences fashion, war, politics, fiction, and murder all as an equally insignificant imaginary stimulation. We experience more images of the mediated virtual than we experience touch of nature and other, sounds of birds and singing, or smells of trees and seawater. Even war, murder, and revolution become merely viewed. The society of the mediated imaginary loses its reality in the spectacle, every isolated viewer unable to act, part of an audience that becomes increasingly accustomed to passive observation.

Mediated images deliver a spectacle of consumable reality. Just as the utility of a natural resource becomes utterly buried in the virtualization of commodity exchange, the reality of the society becomes enframed and enshrouded in the subtle power of the medium and the producer. The camera does not show the full reality of some geographically distant moment, the production process changes the image, filtering, fixing, and distorting it to increase commodity fetishism. The voiceover, underscore, cut shots, lensing, panning; all the techniques of compelling media distort reality into a virtual that the spectator controls without having any power. The movement to a new television station, to a new job, or a new home, is not an action that causes any change, precisely because any alternation of experiences, mediated in advance, became homogenous in their automation.

Debord’s criticism extends to the bureaucracy in American politics, the false consciousness of Leninist dictatorship, and the anarchist’s reinterpretation of Hegel. In this way, he represents an innovative approach to the communist ideology, willing to look at anarchist, communist, and libertarian predecessors as revelatory but fallible. This approach continues in contemporary discourses of collectivist mysticism, relinquishing entirely the notion of a concretized proletariat and bourgeoise. Instead, these two forces of social progress that collide repeatedly to produce socioeconomic evolution. On the one side, the bourgeois mechanization paradigm automates division, rationalization, isolation, and deterrence, giving primacy to the image, aggregating it for the masses in a society of the spectacle. On the other side, the proletariat machination paradigm reveals this loss of reality, patiently awaiting the phase of society in which automation turns into liberation. Meanwhile, this force of social progression continues to learn from mechanization everything that machination requires to overcome bureaucratic socialism.

This phase-space of the imaginary real, or the realist virtualization, begs multiple questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ontology. The postmodern communism axiomatizes these in advance, drawing from the dualism and dialectic of German Idealism. Descartes distrusts the real to prioritize the imaginary, making the images of mathematic and logical constructs primary. Kant obscures the dichotomy of mind and matter by placing the complete power of virtualization in the mind. Hegel takes the virtualization as a homogenous totality, in which the particularized portion contains the universalized reality of the whole. Mind and matter, phenomena and noumena, spirit and history, bourgeois and proletariat; then, at last, Spectacle and Society. In every dichotomy the division placed by the Observer mediates the image of the real. To admit that virtualization leaves no distinction, that action, objectivity, and responsibility may resume freely is more troublesome than a belief in sinister machination; better to have a real enemy to resist than to realize a sentiment of powerlessness stems from an actual absence of active power.

The mechanization automates into virtualization, stratifying the real into planes of observation. The radical empiricist may axiomatically declare the incompatibility of these pluralistic universes of discourse, content to leave each specialization on its own branch. The radical rationalist will axiomatically declare that single theory of everything will treat these branches as false, distortions of universality, the rational is the real. To the transdisciplinary observer, each argument falls flat. The emergence of one strata from that of another, the presence of continuous irreducibility of rational forms emerging from subterranean chaos and contributing to macroeconomic power-law constants; the empirical gives a space to look, the rational gives us a time at which our probability density will peak.

The isolation of a mind within an imaginary, mediated by invasive ideology, reproduces an automated society of the spectacle, but this production process predates recorded civilization. Those who fear responsibility cannot cope with a meaningless death or a meaningless life; they gladly coordinate together to produce an immense pageantry, a matrix of false consciousness, to entangle the fiction so comprehensively that it becomes inescapable. Whether a monastery or a political movement, ideology privileges the believer ahead of time. Three primary machinations result in a society of the spectacle. First, the reliance on images as instruments of expression prioritizes instrumentalism itself, making utility and functionalism the only standard of value. Second, the experience of the image prior to any event creates a predetermined meaning for any really lived experience. Third, the alienation of the spectator forces their passive access to commodity fetishism to increasingly rely on reproduction of entire narrative roles. The shortcoming of every utopian, collectivist, eternality, and universalization ideology is its inability to anchor the virtual within the real power-law dynamic of the cosmos; the progression is unconscious and cyclical, the mind is material, death is necessary to life, and the cosmos itself is a capitalist system.

Postmodern Decoherence

“Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Expansive mechanization and automation of any system pursues progressive acceleration as a teleonomic goal, increasing efficiency of predictably effective patterns of behavior through reproducibility. Acceleration of proven virtuosity through mechanization and automation also increases the rate at which opportunities for new experiments will occur. Technological progress thereby necessarily implies that some of those workers most proud of their struggle to attain virtuosity will find offense in their mechanical replacement. It also implies that some changes will only become imaginable once new generations arise with an utterly revolutionary system of values, allowing a paradigmatic shift to occur. We cannot, however, claim that there is no standard by which we may judge the perpetual flux of information across subjective, pluralistic systems of values. As Thomas Sowell elucidates in his several works, the emergent migration of peoples, practices, and beliefs reveal a macroeconomic standard of value that is quite consistent; humanity pursues freedom, mobility, security, and wealth through cooperative self-interest and self-interested cooperation. Only the philosopher that isolates their theories from the reality of human existence can ignore that peoples do everything in their power to adopt any tool, apparatus, machine, or practice that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of securing the necessities of human survival. This method of expanding reduction of anxiety defies any bureaucratic measures put in place to stop it, even when people must undermine the national ideology of must break the law to do so, as in Lenin’s soviet Russia.

Acceleration has exponentially increased human populations and improved the average standard of living. It is irrational sentimentalism when a philosopher like Berardi opposes technology, acceleration, or wealth “for its own sake” because these are never the purpose of progressive economic mechanization. Certainly, there are unintended consequences when aggregated historically, tempting the spectator to judge the merits of rhizomatic narratives ad post hoc. However, the “quest for cosmic justice” inspired by any deontological approach exacerbates irrational sentiment into an accumulation of insanity.

From Kant to Rawls, a forced sense of altruism and envy replace aggregate self-interested cultivation, to the detriment of freedom, value, and significance. Placing equal laws in response to third-party effects, pollution, safety, transportation or communication infrastructure, and military is very different from inventing a plethora of bureaucratic institutions that enforce speculative despotism.

The enclosure of the socialist autocracy as an internal deterrence machine is at the heart of French postmodern decoherence. In its entire approach, it requires a metaphysic of pessimistic virtualization. Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault, and Baudrillard each employ the tools of suspicion originating with Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud, to reveal the machination of automated State mechanization. Unfortunately, due to the lack of constitutional sovereignty and equality before the law in their own nations, each of these quasi-communist authors found the libertarian acceleration of capitalist technology utterly inseparable from the bureaucratic machine of their own bloated government in France. In the process, a loss of objectivity leaves the post-structuralist outlook entirely nihilistic. To import and misapply these ideas in America shows how little some of our intellectuals understand of our libertarian constitution.

Machination Paradigms

The current mood in post-classical standard liberalism has broken America’s machinic virtualization morality along a partisan bipolarity. We are sprinting down Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, demonstrated in egalitarian-socialist economics, consumerist-egoism culture, and republican techno-bureaucratic democracy. The concretized gravity of a mechanization paradigm leaves behind many rhizomes. In tracing these, philosophers generate a negative system of values in reaction. In the acceleration and rationalization of mechanization, invention in aggregation often entails generalized unintended consequences. While mechanization accelerates the technological development of political economy, the choice between increasing liberty, energy, and action, or the cowardice of the opposite through bureaucracy, impediment, and empty movement, is independent from the velocity of economic production.

The socialist trend was thoroughly underway due to Eastern Europe’s jealousy of Western Europe, long before Marx forced socialist sentimentalism into a false choice between communist or fascist fulfillment. The end of mysticism, sexism, and slavery had begun through rise of industrial capitalism and global trade, but the lingering taste of the schizoid moralities created by Descartes, Kant, and Hegel were far more difficult to cleanse from the palate. In reaction to their generalized mechanization arose several theories of machination. Human cognitive psychology shows that performance of complex logic tests triples when we are catching a cheater. An identical logic problem, enframed within a narrative that allows the performers to catch a cheater, they far more easily solve than its abstract, formal equivalent. Grasping the abstractions of economic liberty become easily overpowered by conspiracy theories because our brain wires itself in favor of suspicion and unveiling.

Nietzsche showed in religious cultures the division of self-actualized, powerful, master morality, contrasted against reactive, vindictive, slave morality. Within our current phase, we may trace a secular polarity as well. There we find mechanization systems of value and machination systems of value. When the Judge-Priest turns upon the Magician-King, we must move not only beyond good and evil, but also beyond mechanization and machination. Heidegger’s assessment of technology, the search for its being-there or essence, represents the pragmatic ramifications of phenomenological mechanization:

“The jet aircraft and the high-frequency apparatus are means to ends […] Yet an airliner that stands on the runway is surely an object. Certainly. We can represent the machine so. But then it conceals itself as to what and how it is.”

The Question Concerning Technology

This belief in concealment, of an invention remaining unseen as well as unintended, a trojan horse lurking in our midst; this is the essence of machination paradigm. This rise in suspicion and the disenchantment that followed create temporal stratifications, evidenced in the rhizomes. Modern philosophy through Descartes, Hume, Hegel, Adam Smith, and Freud reveals a belief in separation of “man” with a soul and “nature” as a machine; throughout these authors, we find belief in scientific progress, wealth through mechanization, and egoistic individualism. The new middle-class academics were profiting because of industrialism, economic liberalism, and democratic republics were accelerating the wealth and domination of Europe. However, many of them were profiting from violence and exploitation as well. Once the spread of mechanization paradigm imposed the presence of machines upon everyone, the mood began to change.

Karl Marx showed with precision that production machines within the factory represent alienate laborers from their products. This alienation was not only individual and concrete in each worker, but also systemic, abstract, and universal. The latter is essential, as Marxist materialism is Kant and Hegel’s mystic dualism combined with large-scale determinism. For Marx, when we conceptually aggregate production machines into a unity, the capitalist system contrives an exploitative machination. Production Machines and Abstract Machines are self-similar duplicitous inventions by which capitalism, as an invasive ideology, steals the surplus labor value and virtuosity of generalized craftsmanship. This alienation splits authentic concretized meaning into several fractals, none of which the craftsman could reclaim within the paradigm of capitalistic political economy.

The production machine increases efficiency, standardizes factory labor-time, and improves consistency of quality. This consistency embeds within the machine itself the virtuosity that once differentiated the hierarchy of craft guilds. Through technology, the machine is virtuous, while the laborer becomes little more than an observer.

“Once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the machine, or rather, an automatic system of machinery […] set in motion by an automaton, a moving power that moves itself; this automaton consisting of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages.”

– Karl Marx, Grundrisse – Fragment on Machines

The increased production capacity of industrial capitalism requires the reliance on currency as an abstract machine so that the over-abundant goods no longer travel to destinations for exchange. This instead occurs on the financial market. Whereas the production machine contains the surplus value of the general intellect, the currency machine contains the surplus value of product circulation: “The real costs of circulation are themselves objectified labour time – machinery for the purpose of abbreviating the original costs of circulation.” The universe of labor has virtuosity and opportunity under the control of machines, both material and abstract. Virtuosity itself, as acceleration and liquidity, becomes multiple abstract machines as well, through interplay of factory automation and financial automation.

                The mechanized industrial factory removes the opportunity of expression for any skillful labor with an increasingly powerful machination of rationalized separation, dividing labor and treating the factory as the concretized unit of labor processes. The factory-machine generates flow from one production machine to another, with human labor little more than fuel and oil to keep the machine running. Once the production process becomes automated, the factory is a machine that only works when it breaks down; that is, from the humanist perspective, until the factory breaks down there is automation, no human work arises unless the machinist labors to restore the automaton.

The financial machine develops when bankers, merchants, and capitalists recognize that the circulation of coins with intrinsic value is too inefficient relative to the production capacity of the factories, especially at the scale of investment already underway in the mechanization process. Thus, two financial machines become increasingly powerful, the bank note (representing a potentially infinite quantity of currency without the need for concrete circulation) and the finance loan (accelerating the availability of capital for investment).

Marx’s conception of the machine generalizes the forms of invention that divide the laboring class. Generalized mechanization benefits the bourgeoisie while exploiting the surplus value of labor. Whether symbolic, intellectual, or industrial, mechanization produces inventions that enclose the technique and virtuosity of organic systems within an artificial, inorganic construct. This generalization creates the basis for a negative machination paradigm, according to which any decision that accelerates or expands political economy necessarily does so at the expense of the proud and virtuous laborers. In the primitive commune, the baker with extra bread may trade or eat it. In the industrial factory, the wage-earner takes home currency possessed of no intrinsic value and cannot afford either the products of labor or the essentials of life.

However, the concretized alienation of particularized workers had its axiomatization ahead of time, from Bentham, Ricardo, and Smith, anchoring the system of inequalities found within utilitarian capitalism. The end justifies the means in such political economy. Small pockets of precarious workers are an insufficient argument against an irrational paradigm. Marx bases arguments in the generalization of material idealism to fight the utilitarianism driving the alienation of capitalism. The machination sentiment glorifies older forms of destitution against new forms.

Machination paradigms aggregate the unintended consequences of mechanization, elucidating the essence of the precarious system of inequalities already in progress. This machination, once fully recognized, will inevitably lead to revolution. The rise of abstract machines of finance represents a machination against potential laborers driven by the capitalist. The bank note allows the capitalist or merchant to move without notice or unnecessary risk, or circulate currency simply by sending it by messenger or post. The acceleration of capital liquidity through the finance loan removes the necessity of laboring against raw materials prior to trade. The availability of financing makes colonialism and industrialism an attractive replacement for local labor, because an economic system may far more easily circulate currency and bank notes than populations of skilled workers.

The generalized alienation of labor, divorcing the class from its value creation, results not only from the enclosure of the virtuosity of skilled work within the machine and the factory, but also from the enclosure of the worker within the factory and industrial society. Marx has a specific machination paradigm based on the displacement of blue collar jobs, skilled workers who can no longer connect their identity with the value they create.

“The worker’s activity, reduced to a mere abstraction of activity, is determined and regulated on all sides by the movement of the machinery, and not the opposite. The science which compels the inanimate limbs of the machinery, by their construction, to act purposefully, as an automaton, does not exist in the worker’s consciousness, but rather acts upon him through the machine as an alien power, as the power of the machine itself.”

– Karl Marx, Grundrisse – Fragment on Machines

Marx finds the machination implied in mechanization as that which entire virtuosity of the craftsman within the machine, generalized and reproduced as simulacra. Each new machine further divides labor and alienates the skilled class of society, creating a vicious cycle. The original virtuosity of a wooden furniture carpenter, for example, becomes replaced by an entire chair factory in which no skill or creativity gains expression from the worker. The extensive job specialization required to continue the expansion of capital creates the capacity for managers, engineers, and scientists to improve upon the machines and factories, who then also become exploited. mechanization becomes a cycle that perpetuates itself until the general intellect and virtuosity of craft completely diverge. The workers earn a wage to operate machines that no longer enclose their virtuosity, but invalidate it as inferior. The knowledge production systems of the general intellect likewise receive salary but no share in the capitalist application. Engineers apply the general intellect, selling their craft to the capitalist who will reproduce the machine ad infinitum. This becomes overproduction, so that the State displaces the surplus value produced into additional general science, engineering, and technology, including education and research grants, uses tax incentives to push consumer confidence, or displaces the industrial into the military, allowing surplus productive capacity to generate self-destructive products (weapons, death of the working-class soldier).

Max Weber saw machination in the bureaucratic machine of capitalist rationalization. Although the division of labor increases freedom and wealth, it diminishes the possibility of meaningful work and certainty of social standing. Because bureaucratic capitalism divides labor into narrowly-defined roles, the values of societal rationalization lie at the level of the system, not the practitioner. While the majority will gain a higher standard of living, the intended utilitarian consequence of mechanization, the individual becomes a producer-consumer.

Alienated and disenchanted, the only meaning available lay within consumerism, which further encloses the individual:

“The idea of a man’s duty to his possessions, to which he subordinates himself as an obedient steward, or even as an acquisitive machine, bears with chilling weight on his life. “

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

The factory production system, bureaucratic machine, and acquisition ideology all place the individual in a position stripped of value, meaning, or significance. Once destined upon a path, there is no escape. The intended consequence of industrial capitalism was to harness individual rational self-interest in aggregate, so that the economy will produce generalized economic welfare. For Weber, the social machine concealed a greater machination than the system of inequality pushing capital into the hands of finance and speculation.

It was precisely because the self-representative state reveals its own lack of an intrinsic motivation that efficiency of the mechanism becomes harnessed by the whim of the plutocracy. It is the political economy machine that continues itself, with an intrinsic origination and purpose long forgotten, that becomes susceptible to self-destruction. This quickly expands in a vicious cycle, as governance displaces progressively more representative sovereignty into bureaucratic regimes of planning centralization. The engine of socialism replaces libertarian democratic representation with comprehensive diffusion of responsibility.

At scale, the aggregated ordering of bureaucracy promotes moves an economic system further toward rationalization and ascetic vocationalism. Weber saw in Marx a short-sighted and narrow view of political economy, because bureaucracy is an invasive ideology that is irreversible. Enclosure of technique applies technological improvement to tools, apparatus, and machines:

“Tools” are those aids to labor, the design of which is adapted to the physiological and psychological conditions of manual labor. “Apparatus” is something which is “tended” by the worker. “Machines” are mechanized apparatus.

– Weber, Economy and Society

Weber looks more broadly, applying each form of acceleration. The worker desires better hammers and the soldier better swords, but only the state apparatus can harness the war machine to create a permanent, centrally planned, political economy. These three methods of technological development place the worker in a distinct relationship, but this relationship also repeats in fractal patterns at any level of observation. The improvement of the tool centers upon the practitioners and their virtuosity and effectiveness. The apparatus mechanizes the virtuosity and accelerates the efficiency of the process, displacing the skilled worker in favor of cheap labor that the capitalist can exploit. Finally, more complex, and more powerful, systems of machines attain automation, combining to displace even the precarious wage-earner, leaving a handful of janitors and engineers to passively monitor the machines.

This process repeats in the bureaucratic machine of the government and the economic system as well. Currency and taxation introduce acceleration of debt, centered on the needs of those with wealth. These were the original tools of commerce, communication, and power between the monarch and the landed aristocracy. The rise of a merchant and industrial bourgeoise (a “new money” upper middle class) de-regulates the value of currency and the State apparatus now gains center stage. Acceleration of capital liquidity and the policing of inequality arise to preserve the system of inequalities. As Hayek would later note, the essential problem of bureaucracy is the passage of laws without legislative consensus. The democratic representatives create governmental decision-making groups they have displaced powers beyond democratic oversight. The State apparatus thereby produces its own vicious cycle of parasitic growth rather than equality before the law, outside the control of the electorate. Generating an ever-increasing diffusion of responsibility, the impossibility of equal rights before the universal applicability of legislative justice forces attention onto the inequality of outcomes instead.

Finally, the automation of the rationalizing capitalist system results in the social machine that entraps every member as cogs within its bureaucracy:

“Bureaucracy is the means of transforming social action into rationally organized action […] superior to every kind of collective behavior and also any social action opposing it. Where administration has been completely bureaucratized, the resulting system of domination is practically indestructible.”

Max Weber, Economy and Society

Note the contrast between the mechanization paradigm that divides life along arbitrary lines of inequality. The machine had no soul, so entrapping a woman in a marriage with any rights, appropriating resources from colonial control over “savage” natives, completing scientific experimentation on the poor, vivisection, eating any animal desired, slave-labor, and the destruction of ecological systems were all justified. Western “Man” had a bourgeois mind-soul that ruled over his machine, everyone else more closely approached an instrument. Once society progress toward democratic socialism, only machinations become meaningful. The collective organism loses all objectivity. Rather than dealing with concretized forms-of-life, the state apparatus becomes a social machine that concerns itself only with itself. The law is no longer for its people, but for the lawyers, bureaucrats, and social workers.

At this stage, the machine is no longer a mere tool, it gains a crucial point of reference. There is no other contender, because reliance on slaves, animals, and skilled workers for labor proves inefficient by comparison. The system of inequalities given by early modern philosophy now shifts upward, toward the State apparatus. Where the law and rationalization once emerged as a tool of the social contract, aristocracy, or monarch, population density drives rationalization of the codes. Moving from government as a tool, wielded by those with axiomatized power, it transitions to an apparatus that is powerful but needs representatives to “tend to” its functions rather than making laws; this is a critical step in the emergence of bureaucracy and national death.

The apparatus of the mechanized State requires humans to “push its pedals” at the right time, like an early industrial loom, but the virtuosity of governance becomes increasingly automated, placing humans in a passive role before bureaucratic machine. This requires an immense source of mechanical power; power that remains external but contains no purpose or identity of its own. Deteriorating the energy of the social body, the State apparatus seeks new forces of acceleration and couples itself to the energy of the War Machine. As Deleuze & Guattari describe, the State appropriates the War Machine in the form of generalized terror, generalized brutality, the police state, and the army, but the War Machine exists prior to and outside of the State.

We can take Hobbes and Karl von Clausewitz quite literally if we provide an internal limit to their claims: once bureaucratic mechanization becomes automated, the State is only comprehensible as an interruption and a temporary suspension of the universal flow of absolute war, the war of all against all. Through the disenchantment of the people and the diffusion of responsibility throughout the representatives, the only way to prevent anarchy is to appropriate its energy. The State apparatus does not prevent the War Machine from tearing down the socioeconomic scaffolding of society, but internalizes it. The warriors, rebels, barbarians, and criminals are axiomatized into automation of its bureaucratic fabric. Before turning to outright dictatorship, the State remains an apparatus that still requires “tending to” by means of the War Machine. The State needs police brutality, military deployment, and terrifying incarceration as the appropriation of a remainder, balancing the equation of order, orchestration, security, and organization. This displacement and re-territorialization provides the energy for additional bureaucratic, not economic, growth.

Three problems emerge along with the generalized threat of the War Machine, which the State apparatus employs to convince society that any disruption of progressive bureaucratic rationalization will totally unravel the nationalist political economy. First is dehumanization; mechanical rationalization requires that individuals re-program their natural rhythms to meet the standardized cadence of mechanized synchronization. Second is mobilization; the State apparatus drives collusion and sponsored monopoly, assisting protected capitalists in the militarizing of rationalization. Third is disenchantment, because the State apparatus progressively strips the both the social body and the body of Earth of its natural liberty, resources, and power, survival and information increase at the expense of meaning and beauty.


The first problem that emerges with the State’s generalized threat of the War Machine is the dehumanization of the social body and the individual body, re-territorializing all values within the centralized schedule of political economy. Rationalization requires that individuals re-program their natural rhythms to meet the standardized cadence of mechanical synchronization. In a populist effort to protect favored laborer groups from the acceleration of technological evolution and displacement of jobs, democratic socialism takes control of both the capitalist and the laborer. Rather than loosening the restrictions on work or increasing the generalized well-being of those in transition, bureaucratic rationalization appropriates both the increased industrial effectiveness from the capitalist and the dehumanization of the worker, turning an increasingly ordered and orchestrated social body toward nationalistic goals.

Dehumanization is not an inherent property of capitalism, but an intrinsic attribute of the State apparatus once bureaucratic rationalization begins socializing both capital liquidity and labor liquidity for its own ends. Because the State apparatus centralizes the cadence of synchronization, it must orchestrate the flows of artificial codes of political economy through an ever-larger government of specialized bureaus. This increasingly establishes its codes based on the continuous performance of the machines of finance, industry, politics, and war. Human life and every other form-of-life play a diminishing role, entrapping all energy within the machine of the establishment. The capitalist no longer dehumanizes workers with direct technological demands. As described by Hayek, the State apparatus formalizes the inhumane into law through positive diffusion of responsibility to negatively arbitrary bureaucratic machines, making every depravity constitutional and legal, in the largest and most precise sense of these terms. This has immense implications for the entire ecological order that gave rise to the progress of society:

“The psycho-physical apparatus of man is completely adjusted to the demands of the outer world, the tools, the machines — in short, it is functionalized, and the individual is shorn of his natural rhythm as determined by his organism; in line with the demands of the work procedure, he is attuned to a new rhythm[…] in the factory as elsewhere, and especially in the bureaucratic state machine, [rationalization] parallels the centralization of the material implements of organization in the hands of the master.”

– Max Weber, Economy and Society

The biorhythms of intelligent primates that evolved for one context become entrapped within fixed cycle of light, work, and food that attempts erasure of the variations of daylight, seasons, and ecology. Rivers become redirected, swamps drained, lakes created by damns, rampant deforestation, insects, soil, and wildlife destroyed; every additional control mechanism added generated unintended consequences that require additional controls in response. The vicious cycle creates its own crises and thrives on the power-grab each crisis, especially war, allows.


The second problem that emerges with the State’s generalized threat of the War Machine is the mobilization of the entire economy according to war-time distributions of values. This is quite separate from a strong standing national military, which remains distinct from the decentralized decisions of the peace-time economy. Mobilization uses tariffs, special taxes, bureaucratic committees, centralized planning, nationalistic subsidies, and other incentives to remove the distinction between war-time control of the economic system and peace-time economic freedom. The State apparatus bribes the capitalists in this mechanization, militarizing bureaucratic rationalization. The soldier and slave, in the dual systems of military and slavery, are the two modes of organization best suited to political economy fully subjected to the State. In the mobilization-socialist phase-space of hyperactive industrial centralization, all the brilliance, creativity, and charisma that gave rise to the invention of better tools, apparatuses, and machines now serves the universal deterrence plan of the State apparatus. Deterrence is necessary externally and internally, because it relies heavily on the spread of polemical envy.

As Thomas Sowell wrote in The Quest for Cosmic Justice, “One of the ways in which the dogma of equal performance is a threat to freedom is in its need to find villains and sinister machinations to explain why the real world is so different from the world of its vision. […] Paranoia and freedom are an unlikely and unstable combination.” The State apparatus thrives on mobilization of war-time bureaucratic control through the increase of paranoia, envy, and machination paradigms. The great Nietzschean irony is that the glorification of socialist eternal war is that it requires a pervasive slave morality.

The inventions of capitalism under conditions of decentralized acceleration makes average labor-time lower, increasing the average standard of living. The waking time available to the worker for parenting, education, hobbies, and entrepreneurship should increase; but the pace of changes becomes a source of envy. The younger worker has the privilege of energy, ambition, and less engrained habits and opinions, while the older worker may become marginalized if they cannot adapt to the rapidly changing society. Rather than more effectively spreading time across the multiple requirements of life, adapting to the new demands of an accelerated society, the working class demands their demagogue peers protect them at the expense of economic progress. Bureaucracy grows exponentially, erodes the culture of creativity, then kills the possibility invention. Once the State apparatus fully rationalizes political economy in accordance with a cohesive paradigm, the social body stagnates.

The only way ensure centralized rationalization is to entrap every living being in a tangled mobilization of false wars, enslavement to the “war” on drugs, terror, etc. The nationalist socialism dictatorships known as communism and fascism are the ultimate outcome. The War Machine and the automated State machine are fully unified, a final centralization and enslavement that kills any additional progress. Even a minor return, along the way, to economic liberalism must fight against the sludge of bureaucratic friction that remains intact. Each new idea for improvement becomes increasingly impossible to actualize, and after a few generations the population emerges fully trained for their State mechanical enslavement.

Through indoctrination, socialization, and deterrence, the individuals within social body no longer possesses any values of its own. The energy created from youthful hope, courageous risk, and innovative ideas dwindles, causing the economy and emergence of culture to entropy. The same process of rationalization that ensured the growth of mechanization also prevents its additional development by isolating knowledge in fragmented specialization, increasing bureaucracy around the actualization of disruptive ideas, and universal interference against innovation, through tariffs, heavy taxation, and restricted immigration.


The third problem that emerges with the State’s generalized threat of the War Machine is disenchantment. The increasingly large and bureaucratic State apparatus progressively removes any meaning or significance from the natural pursuit of the intelligent primate’s struggle for life. Certainty of survival increases, but centralization puts this security in place through deterrence rather than growth and deliberation; information, advertising, and propaganda become intertwined, at the expense of wonder, personal values, and mystery:

“As intellectualism suppresses belief in magic, the world’s processes become disenchanted, lose their magical significance, and henceforth simply ‘are’ and ‘happen’ but no longer signify anything.”

– Max Weber, Economy and Society

Note that suppression of magic, wonder, and mysticism does not increase the capacity for intelligent consensus of the social body, but restricts all meaning, enclosing significance within the controls of the State apparatus. There remains an immense amount transcendental dualism, but it becomes centralized for the purposes of subjection. This centralization of meaning puts the State in the position of providing its own axiomatic justification.

Through medical bureaucracy, not only the danger but also the magic of childbirth becomes rationalized but disenchanted. Through industrial-economic bureaucracy, not only the danger but also the magic of agriculture and metallurgy becomes rationalized but disenchanted. Through juridico-political bureaucracy, justice and morality become increasingly codified and clarified, but also the magic of spiritual retribution and moral vindication becomes rationalized and disenchanted. This last element turns the State apparatus into a purveyor of cosmic justice at the hands of demagogues rather than the legal justice that predicated its constitution. Once a tool of the people, representative democracy displaces the responsibility of legislation further into socialist bureaucracy and further away from legitimacy, accountability, or significance.

At each step, the State apparatus must harness additional power from the War Machine, because it is taxing the power of the economy out of existence. This requires extensive centralization of control because the War Machine that the State apparatus appropriates is the negation of control. The War Machine is the nihilism of cultural entropy, the barbarous rejection of civilization. To channel this into the purposes of the State apparatus, wars, terror, and civil unrest must remain constant.

We should again take note that the military of a free society, external to the economic conditions of its people, preserves the national defense through external deterrence. The external aggregation of a War Machine in this form is consistent with equality before the law, constitutional sovereignty, and the preservation of a democratic republic. When mobilization and disenchantment combine to turn the War Machine inward, forcing private economic activity toward permanent internal deterrence and centralization, the State is no longer a distinct tool and the culture no longer recognizes the War Machine for what it truly represents. The State becomes an apparatus of enslavement, enclosing the War Machine within the society itself. What ought to remain outside the State and the People, as a tool for the deterrence of external chaos becomes enmeshed for the deterrence of internal freedoms.

“There is a growing demand that the world and the total pattern of life be subject to an order that is significant and meaningful.”

– Max Weber, Economy and Society

The machination of the State apparatus arises as an unintended consequence of rationalization and disenchantment when visions of universals become backpropagated from the intelligentsia into the political system. The more that mechanization increases efficiency and smooths the flow of economic development, the larger the intelligentsia demands the bureaucracy become. When the bureaucracy gains prevalence over the mechanization, the energies of the social body congeal; slowing, glycating, and diminishing, which requires the State to continue escalation of centralized control especially over cultural signification. It creates holidays, times of remembrance, propaganda, political publicity, thematic policies, and finally war of international conquest in its effort to generate the significance continuously diminished by its own methods.

In this evolution, the State apparatus moves increasingly into panopticism as it automates the sociopolitical machine. The apparatus achieves aggregate internal deterrence in the spectacle of generalized voluntary surveillance. The machination of State mechanization, distinct from the private economic mechanization that it parasitized, emerges into a Socializing Machine. Arising from the disenchantment of the fully rationalized apparatus, the phase-space of the Socializing Machine enclose the political body by automating the flows of rationalized internal deterrence. The transitional phase first requires panopticism and spectacle, then turns to hegemonic simulation and simulacra. Two types of totalitarian mechanization may emerge: the weaponizing Machine, automating the techno-bureaucratic regime within nationalist socialism (fascism); or the fantasy Machine, automating the terror-determent regime through repressed internalization (communism). Each rely on the vision of a system of inequalities to anchor their cosmic justifications of cruelty, murder, rape, and slavery.

Agency Dilemma, Bureaucracy, and Dictatorship


Agency Dilemma occurs when the person with the power to take action is distinct from the two parties with a stake in the exchange. While contemporary Behavioral Economics provides a more realistic understanding of these parties, this reality is nevertheless a level playing field if individuals remain unrestricted their natural freedom of voluntary exchange. We may add to the classical theory of economics that the real individuals in the market are habit-driven, quasi-rational, and normatively bounded in their self-interested exchanges. What remains true, however, is that better outcomes occur when the least amount of Agency Dilemma is present. What also remains true is that Agency Dilemma is multiplicative, developing a bureaucracy that spreads like a cancer in the social body, removing its will to live.

America is losing its objectivity, not due to subjectivity or pluralism, but due to the invasive ideology of the egalitarian-bureaucratic machine. The agency dilemma multiplies geometrically, creating unnecessary complexity and total slowdown of action, even when movement is high.

The depravity of agency dilemma degrades three critical sources of objectivity:

  1. Causal Agency – the belief that actions determine consequences.
  2. Moral Agency – the belief that values require action.
  3. Economic Agency – the belief that value-actions determine payoffs.

Causal Agency simply disintegrates in any system of metaphysical dualism or transcendence of consciousness. To separate at a cosmic scale the “free” mind from the “determined” body leads to impossible conclusions. If we take the freedom of the mind to its radical conclusions, we are entirely alone in our private universe of thoughts, unable to trust the reality of material objects, causality, existence of other agents, or the significance of memories. If we take the determination of material reality to its radical conclusions, we all have a passive experience of the objects around us; we float in a great ocean of helpless predetermination, unable to trust any sentimental mechanism that tells us otherwise.

Neither of these two directions away from common sense can become a foundation for a moral system. There is no positive system of values based on either set of extremes. One option sets us free but removes all objectivity and significance, the other option gives us causality but removes all choice and intention. Not one of these extreme options is in accordance with normal human actions, in which objectivity and consequences may be speculative but true of reality. We only find this dualism important in denial of our own death. Without this psychological escapism, the most rational paradigm is both the most obvious and the least comforting: limited causal agency because of cognitive selections is “free” despite emerging as a property from layers of “determined” complex adaptive systems.

Without causal agency, whether due to a lack of freedom or a lack of consequence, moral agency is impossible. The great irony, which humans avoid recognizing at all costs, is that the only path to a positive moral system is the absence of distinction between the material and immaterial. To make any action special, we must not presume we come into the event with any privilege. To make any event significant, we must not presume it is transcendentally justified or forbidden. Causal Agency is a pre-requisite for Moral Agency, while Moral Agency is a pre-requisite for value, meaning, and significance.

Moral Agency requires an authentic understanding of responsibility for our actions. These actions aggregate in every passing moment of life until death. The inability to undo decisions or drastically switch to a different life that requires a path of objectivity and dedication is a source of anxiety. The authentic life requires the courageous embrace of this anxiety. The world is real. Time is short. Death limits the time we have available. We cannot reverse time. We are responsible for our decisions.

This objectivity toward life, death, pain, and pleasure is the only way to build a moral system, dedicate our time to its significance, and gain certainty that our life held meaning. Morality is an internal decision to externalize our vision, whatever that vision entails. Morality is typically the delay of gratification or the bold tolerance short-term pain for the sake of a long-run value. Self-discipline and self-responsibility pursues not one value, but a system of values. Causal, moral, and economic agency is the pursuit, with clarity of responsibility, of a single lifetime that cannot replace or exchange itself for different world, life, or system, rather spatiotemporal or transcendent.

The destroyers of this objectivity do not argue directly against our freedom, agency, morality, or rationality – there is no need. Any bureaucratic machine only needs to inspire general doubt that certainty is possible. Dualism, in its materialist, subjectivist, and transcendental forms, becomes an immense propaganda campaign that leaves every socialized, indoctrinated cog saying, “I’m not sure if…” and, “I don’t know if we can…” such that the only morality is the valuation of governmental control. This is not skepticism for the sake of learning, exploration, or debate; it is the fundamental destruction of belief in opinion, action, and identity.

Once a population has lost Economic Agency in the valuation of their moral and causal significance, the bureaucratic machine pumps a sludge of propaganda, spectacle, and terror into the social body. Generalized slowdown, mediocrity, layering, committees, taxation, and redistribution all develop the same form of governance: centralization, security, and deterrence. Honest morally significant debate becomes impossible, as does representative democracy; both Republican socialists and Democratic socialists slowly pass laws that place the power of legislation outside the legislature and into programs, departments, and special interests. When the power of legislation no longer resides in the representatives, democratic accountability slowly dies.

The increased role of bureaucratic, arbitrary, amoral diffusion of responsibility spreads into every government-sanctioned oligarchy and monopoly, protected by tariffs, bailouts, grants, and regulatory oversight. The bloated publicly traded corporations created through government interventions survive by mimicking the parasitism that created them, only able to survive by duplicating the rationalization and socialization of institutional mediocrity.

We have already seen where this slow decline of civilized value creation leads. Democratic socialism loses its pretense of personal liberty once the entire nation is dependent on government or corporate bureaucracy. The impossibility of creative energy, freedom of thought, and responsibility for actions gradually drives out anyone with morality or ability. The economy, devoid of life, becomes increasingly nationalistic, preparing and fighting in endless wars, continuing to increase centralization of control over natural and human resources. The society incarcerates or institutionalizes a steady group of rebellious discontents and the marginalized precarious as one normalization boundary while an elaborate system of fantasy provides other. The indoctrinated society believes they are free in reality, but only in contrast with Guantanamo Bay and Disneyland.

The population that remains in the socialist machine, fully trained and conditioned for nationalism, collectivism, militarism, and subjection, finally trade their remaining liberty for a dictator. Unable to rely on the energy of new ideas, ambition, and goals, the nation looks for a scapegoat. Realizing that the freedom, value, and significance of an earlier era, parasitically destroyed by socialism and corporatism, leave the social body in total exhaustion. The guards posted at the nation’s borders turn inward, and the bureaucratic machine takes the final step into to fascism or communism; the enslaved society finally has its mediocre masters.

Each of these three forms of Agency Dilemma result in diffusion of responsibility. Agency Dilemma is the disconnection of power from consequences. When decisions become increasingly distributed across a hierarchy of narrow-minded bureaucratic interests, the ability for to parties to make a rational exchange diminishes. Frequently we find a mysterious “They” preventing actions. Between the shareholder and the customer stand thousands of employees with agency dilemma, no economic accountability, and moral diffusion of responsibility. Between the individual and the factory farms, sex slaves, and child trafficking stand thousands of bureaucrats with agency dilemma, no economic accountability, and moral diffusion of responsibility. Between the product developer and the end user, between the citizen and the law, between the teacher and the student, between the entrepreneur and international trade; agency dilemma, no economic accountability, and moral diffusion of responsibility.

Without causal agency, no action is possible, only motion, movement, perpetual flux, and meaningless assemblages. Without moral agency, no value is possible, only doubt, diffusion, sentiment, and distraction. Without economic agency, no freedom is possible, only mismanagement, accidents, and bureaucracy.

We built America on a single premise – my moral code and yours need not agree. We need only agree on our mutual but individual rights of liberty and value. Each President and legislature moves us closer to a Hitler or Lenin, then the steady decline of American importance on the world stage. As the only country from its inception a constitutional democratic republic, the world is watching our fall to mediocrity.

We must reclaim our liberty, creativity, and objectivity.

Fractal Probability Truth-Value

We may analyze the essence of superposition truth-value aggregates first by tracing the arborescent divisions of concretized particles, then by tracing the rhizomes of social waves. Our goal is not universalization and miraculated positivism, but renormalization of valuation-signification assemblages at each strata of understanding.

The amplitude of truth-value spreads wavelike across moral, logical, and functional patterns of assemblage. Moral patterns of assemblage develop a probability density of opportunities to actualize a self-referential narrative identity through the manipulation of intentionality, consequences, and unintended consequences. Due to the ease with which these slip into sentimental and emotional reality through guilt, anxiety, longing, hope, or attachment, we will find that fetishism, symbol, signs, and ceremony can become epistenomically through contextual repetition. Logical truth-value patterns of assemblage develop either in formal or predicate form, allowing systems of axioms to become true through agreement and predictive functionalism. This remains veridical outside active application, without requiring correspondence to any other reference of veridical claims. As examples, we see Euclidean geometry or basic symbolic logic. Functional patterns of assemblage reflect actionable and veridical coherence in our approach and avoidance of patterns of consequences related to forecasts of patterns of behavior.

Intelligent conscious beings must become, defined by the socioeconomic and politic interactions that develop their personal and public paradigms of complexity, emergences, and pragmatic plurality. Together, the moral, formal, and logical patterns of assemblage remain wavelike until concretized. Collapsing the wave function of truth-value occurs upon observation, whether this occurs virtually, socially, or in action. The evolution of truth-value begins with correspondence of a claim to a verifiable state of a system, coherence of the claim with other trusted systems, reproducibility in discrete pluralities of systems (even with these systems end in contradictory coherent claims), convergence of verification by a long-run community of inquirers, and ends in acceptance in a complex truth-value system as a framework underpinning new explorations (even if through rejection and rebellion).

Arguments not only signify their direct referent, but an exponential acceleration of references to the point of noise, as shown by Derrida. Compound-complex truth-value claims are not signs of pluralistic reality, but refer to phases of being and phases of becoming that are indivisible in the perpetual flux except by means of the semiotic system developing the patterns of probability density. Therefore, we may branch truth-value into pattern-recognition of past concretized energy-event assemblages, prediction of immediately subsequent patterns of normative machinic operability as an approach or avoidance based on the assemblage of flux in a current “now” or present state, or prediction of long-run patterns of consequences based on probability density.

Concretized truth-value emerges from the significance of meaning, reflection, hypothesis, and desirable next action. Although attaining flow requires habituated virtuosity, developing a system of values requires deliberation. Moreover, truth-value not only represents value and significance of an idea for subsequent action, but also reveals that some dynamic processes we require an imaginative leap, even an irrational one, to verify the validity of an idea. William James gives the example of running from a wild animal and coming to a cliff; if you do not jump, the utility of jumping become true because its significance must concretize in a single decision. Before you take the jump, it is illogical to claim that jumping will or will not save your life. If you do not jump, you will die, eaten alive. Thus, you must jump irrationally due to a lack of a valid inference.

Representation, coherence, verifiability, credibility, emergence, pragmatic utility, the development of truth-value in its trustworthiness for social action continuously experiments to expand and evolve for complexity and minimum viable resilience. We must combine the morality and utility optimization as a complex adaptive system that requires progressive investment. Every moment is an investment in our becoming, the method of epistenomics is not reducible to substrata, but occurs in self-similar rule-generating searches for intelligibility and exchange, appropriate to each stratum.

The phases of truth-value occur at multiple strata and cyclical space-time scale, requiring evolutionary semiotic re-valuation. This is not a synthesis of opposing views, but a tension of opposing possibilities, emerging as a suspension from fundamentally incommensurable universes of thought, while incorporating histories of concretized agreement and disagreement. Dewey showed the intimate interconnectedness of evidence, inference, argument, analysis, creativity, and emergence. Not only do ideas become true, often through a courageous leap in the dark, but we must produce our system of values to make this leap. The process of knowledge production, scientifically, socio-politically, and psychologically, requires an expansion of inclusion and creative unity. Growth of the range and meaning of experiences for all intelligent conscious beings is the standard by which continuous experimentation must maximize its validity, utility, and morality.

When we trace the rhizomes, we see a suspension rather than synthesis, emergent rather than reductive. Russell and Whitehead found that their positivist reduction of complex arguments to symbolic logic cannot fully succeed; even the simplest methods of analyzing mathematical arguments, crucial to probability, despite their pragmatic success, can reduce into paradox. Wittgenstein then showed that logic is form, not content, and has no meaning of its own, but is only the structure of valid expression. Structuralism then sought out Chomskian trees across language and literature, only to find that universals and sets are not only relative to the observer, but substantively empty of pragmatic utility. Thus, in math and logic, the medium is the message, but in metaphysics we find that the message is nonsensical because it invalidates the medium.

As Russell quipped regarding Schopenhauer, “This is all very sad.” After a century of Weber’s rationalization giving us sociopolitical identity alienation, Freud’s Oedipalization giving us instinctual alienation, Marx’s reified exploitation giving us surplus labor alienation, we must reconsider what our technology, language, and society will work toward. Considering this rhizomatic path of alienation in our truth-value, we must agree with Nietzsche, that all the modern philosophers chasing after the goddess Truth deserved her refusals. Instead, we should raise our truth; the philosopher must nurture and protect Aletheia as a daughter.

Gulf of Significance Dissymmetry

David Hume sets a standard for skeptical empiricism that not only creates a metaphysical dead-end but also makes pragmatism, probability, and process control the best approach to knowledge. As Bertrand Russell later elucidates, even Hume was unable to fully hold to the logic implied by his skepticism in certain places. We may more easily explain this by Hume’s stylistic effort to maintain a semblance of legibility (which Kant and Hegel totally abandoned). Though centuries of technology and scientific progress elaborated most hypotheses given by Hume, much of the underlying logic, and methodological skepticism, remains relevant. The primary element with which we are interested, the inference of causality from constant conjunction, paves the way in the short-run for Kant; in the long-run, the theory reaches is full conclusion in Deleuze and Guattari, who take to constant disjunction with philosophical zeal. Therefore, to develop an uncertainty principle of Epistenomics, we will need a superposition of conjunction, disjunction, conjunction-disjunction, and nonconjunction-nondisjunction.

To update his arguments for our analysis, Hume argues that we cannot possess knowledge of causation because we never perceive causation. Instead we infer probability of sequence out of habitually related events. In the perpetual flux of perceptual experience, we attain a recognition of patterns of assemblage, treating them particularized as objects (i.e. an apple) and then ascribe to it a constant conjunction with an additional spatiotemporal or qualitative pattern, in terms of additional qualities or causality. Hume provides the example that we would now take for granted, as Pavlov’s dog begins the many psychology textbooks: the visual recognition of an apple causes an expectation of the probable taste of the apple. Hume says we do not believe this out of logical necessity, but out of habit. This will not shock the contemporary reader. Conditioned response is not as rational and conscious as Hume or Russell might have wished.

Hume’s skepticism when taken to further application, could include a sudden loss of gravity or whether the sun will still be safely in its place tomorrow. The key innovation over the ancient Greeks is the capacity for hypothesis and probability. Hume finds it unlikely that anyone will change their expectation of constant conjunction suddenly, because the habit is so strong. Likewise, we are not irrational to assume the sun will not instantly change without someone noticing. Although we cannot logically say that the apple causes the taste of the apple, we grow into a habit of correlating events the more frequently they occur. When we add our optimism bias, anchoring, and confirmation bias, it is easy to explain the widespread ability to trust information that we do not test beyond a reasonable doubt. Philosophically, Hume says we can only conclude that our experiences cause us to infer the causal relationship.

Russell points out the apparent inconsistency of inferred causality, rightfully separating the objective skepticism and subjective psychology implicit in Hume’s treatise. However, writing while cognitive and social science were much younger, he takes incredulously what we in the digital age would not; namely, that repetition conditions and programs our expectations, we learn probability inference as much this inference anchors the application of inference to constant conjunction. It would be odd to claim the next time we see apple that we will suddenly believe it will taste like roast beef instead, or that we will wake up and assume the sun is gone when everything else fits our typical experience of life in the solar system.

We also know that we can program inferences and the belief in causality itself. Just as we trust the subsequent of two events out of repetition, we trust the weight of the evidence upon which this psychology likewise proved true. Thus, while we may not trust that every apple will taste the way our decaying information tells us it will, and we may not trust that an identical apple from the same tree will taste the same tomorrow, and we may even distrust that any isolated sensory pattern shall subsequently conjoin with an expected sensory pattern, the body of evidence that some next moment will occur, and that it will have some coherent consistency with the preceding moment becomes too strong to ignore. We may distrust anything specific, but our distrust of additional impressions remains counter to experience until death. Those who argue against this total relativity of belief for aesthetic purposes undermine the possibility that we will remain functionally sane without interaction with other individuals of our species. There are 7 billion of us, so the marketplace of truth-value is quite large. If all but one person died, they would have much greater problems than philosophical doubt. Post-structuralism to the contrary, there must be balance of opposing views to ensure both individual and population realism. The tyranny of the majority from Rousseau’s era loses relevance when every universe of thought becomes so specialized that multidisciplinary correction requires diligent orchestration.

Subjectivity privileges personal infallibility, but we should not abandon all normative boundaries in society precisely because we are fully aware that psychological programming can be so powerful when an ideological system exploits isolation and misinformation. For someone with a cheese addiction, the opioid effect of melted cheese provides an expectation of neurological payoff when we smell pizza in addition to the salivary response that the smell constantly conjoins with eating food. However, information like this suffers from exponential decay. Three weeks as a vegan, and cheese pizza begins to smell like rotten cattle pus.

Similarly, treatment for heroin or alcohol addiction begins with an effort to remove the repetition of constant conjunction, relying on the immense body of evidence that neurological information enjoys exponential decay. Reprogramming requires opportunities, time, and discipline, but we cannot agree with Russell’s argument that doubt of future expectation of conjunction is irrational. That is, we simply attain more trust that a next moment will occur than we attain regarding that the next moment will follow according to the prediction of the present moment.

Speculative metaphysics of uncertain causality relies on relativity of trust both in cause and effect. The gravity of a truth-idea develops with the aggregated matter of particle-ideas. We have no body of subjective evidence more massive than that of perpetual flux, so we trust this most. All other matter orbits this. Pattern recognition anchor us to emotional and physical exchange from infancy, so the relevance and significance of patterns becomes next most massive body of trust, orbiting perpetual flux. Surrounding this we find massive bodies of trustworthy conjunctions, and expectation of conjunction itself. Again, this programming makes immense foundational collapses during infancy, prior to language development, and is essential to the calibration of all other sensory development – vestibular, ocular, proprioceptive, pain, pressure, and touch all impress upon us increasing evidence that the actions of our body-pattern has consequences on other body-patterns.

Language development codifies programmed responses into systems of subjects and objects extended by predicates. Eventually, the gravity of universals like “Justice” in subjective sentimental significance outpaces the rational gravity of empirical evidence of patterns of particularized justice so significantly that we begin to doubt; justice is here an example, and this might begin with some other universal. Through doubt, to take e=mc^2 as metaphor, we consistently find that energy of belief equals the mass of evidence multiplied by the rate of repeated opportunities. The greatest consistency of all, therefore, is that of matter possessing gravity, while the space-time between ideas exist in relation to this anchor.

Russell’s analysis of Hume’s constant conjunction has the benefit of realizing that universalization of causation learned through physical volition is reliant on physiological causality at another level, the biological, neurological, and chemical; but this again has higher and lower levels of observation, that is, gravitation and quantum mechanics, each of which undermine the possibility of causality-in-itself due to nonlocality and space-time relativity. Russell concludes that rationalizing expectation of conjunction, “should therefore be a principle of probability. But all probable arguments assume this principle, and therefore it cannot itself be proved by any probable argument, or even rendered probable by any such argument.” He thought this dangerous, precisely due to the loss of moral responsibility it implies, but this is not a proof of its invalidity.

If specific consequences gain probability relative to specific events, and those events gain probability relative to the experience of time, and this gains probability as part of consciousness itself, the system is logically coherent, no matter how subjective this becomes. This is precisely why the romantic movement becomes communism or fascism, an attempt to free the subject to total self-enslavement to the social body. We find a confusion of levels between the subject-systems optimizing payoffs and its organ-systems likewise undergoing continuous experimentation. There are many answers that memory answers more quickly than a pragmatist logical test, but there are also many hypotheses undertaken automatically by the brain for the organism. To abstract these forms of payoff optimization clouds what is meant by morality and reality, speculative as our probability may be intellectually.

While Russell is incorrect about the confidence we can possess through probability, quantum physics has provided repeated evidence that the ability of purely deductive logic to infer possible empirical tests then allow probability to become its own proof. While this leaves us believing we are in a simulation, that we are alone, or that we are zombies experiencing material determinism passively, 3msec behind reality, these three conclusions, like Hume’s and Russell’s counter, become matters of taste. Taste we must judge by its unintended consequences, both individually and systemically, judging the distance between the two: this is precisely why we not respect or take seriously anyone who argues that, “Hitler did the Jews a favor in the long-run based on the strength of today’s Israeli nation.” Hitler’s individually intended and unintended consequences, juxtaposed with the systemic and historic intended and unintended consequences leave an enormous gulf or moral disconnection.

In this gulf of moral dissymmetry emerges our process of re-valuation for the burden of responsibility. The wave function diffuses in real values as follows:

– intended short-run individual consequences juxtaposed against systemic long-run intended consequences

– intended short-run individual consequences juxtaposed against systemic long-run unintended consequences

– intended short-run individual consequences juxtaposed against systemic long-run intended consequences

– intended short-run individual consequences juxtaposed against systemic long-run unintended consequences

Obviously, this arborescent fractal enfolds rhizomatic narratives of short-run non-intention or purely short-run and long-run consequences. Moreover, there is value in the refrain of short-run resolution that results in long-run unintended disharmony. Aesthetically, moral responsibility orchestrates beautifully when order becomes challenge that becomes a fractal of self-similar order; moral responsibility orchestrates worthlessness when a ferocious start gives into an arrhythmia of out-of-tune cacophony, not only far from the intentions of a good system builder, but also obviously far from the path of any system building the conductor might have followed.

Therefore, we may praise Mother Theresa for both espousing and pursuing short-run intended consequences that we certainly hope to have only consistent and harmonic long-run consequences, even those that were unintended. When intended consequences appear altruistic, we simply mean that the unresolved tension between individual and population, both short-run and long-run, as well as intended and unintended, all harmonize into a sensible refrain. The opposite, of course, may we find in Hitler. His short-run and long-run stated goals do not match actualization in practice, we find an immense gulf between his short-run intended consequences and his long-run unintended consequences, so much so that we believe him not only ugly, but defeated. Thus, morality is not only aesthetic, but logical. It is a logic that may outlast agency, but these unintended consequences, and their harmony with the system builder, is a critical aspect of morality.

Likewise, this provides insight into what morality, in terms of methodological naturalism, requires in practical process control. Without the ability to forecast multiple potential series of probability consequences, we thereby limit the moral responsibility held. We do not excuse a human child merely because of age or “maturity” in a vague sense, but we mean precisely the capacity to consider multiple path-dependent probable outcomes in a decision. Also, we excuse moments of virile action when the cost of delaying a decision warrants a restriction of deliberation, such as killing for self-defense when our child is in immediate danger. We do not excuse a “wild” animal because it is their instinct or “nature” to kill for food to eat, this is not sufficient. We excuse them because while they attain intelligent consciousness of consequences, it is quite limited in scope. If we thought them capable of deliberation of alternatives, we would find their “instinct” rather unacceptable.

Morality, however, is not merely the capacity to rationally forecast multiple potential series of probability consequences, in both the short-run and long-run, but in the irrational, that feeds the extension of the rational; it is not only short-run personal or social payoff, nor long-run personal or social payoff, it is the extraordinary anxiety of the uncertain, the expectation of unintended consequences. The extrinsic risk of alienation tends to be simple to mitigate, but the intrinsic alienation in feeling the risk one’s narrative, role, identity, relationships, future, personal gain, social progress, and long-run unintended consequences; this is the complex function of morality. The burden of responsibility is the anxiety of the gulf of alienation. Therefore, even if programmed into a machine, engineered in an animal, or upon meeting an alien assemblage, morality is the self-induced anxiety of long-run uncertain consequences that must gain resolution through a significant action.

Wave-Particle Semiotic Generalization

Schopenhauer showed that the problems of semiotic representation does not occur in the act of conceptual generalization or the development of rationalist systems; rather, the problems arise in taking the derivative inferences of abstraction and applying them directly to perceptual reality. Moreover, while many semiotic representations show nothing that the mastery of practice already knew, conceptual generalization is essential for communication across space-time, like the reliance of an architect on the axiomatics of math and physics when building a house.

We have progressed significantly from communication of plans to the prediction of probability densities. The advances of calculus, statistics, and quantum mechanics give renewed hope in rational us of the outcomes of abstraction applied upon our perceptual flux. Throughout this book we will attempt to overcome the problems of the law of non-contradiction through wave-particle logical dualism in semiotic systems. Although we cannot expect the isolated objects of perceptual experience can ever break the law of non-contradiction, the path to logical universalization requires conceptual generalization. We do not build generalization from one existential instantiation to a full categorical relation, but attain semiotic force through probability density.

This means that objects in being will consistently act particle-like, in fixed definiteness of identity, coherence, and space-time. To generalize our abstractions, semiotic representation requires the assumption of large numbers, opportunities of becoming, giving wave-like behavior to our conceptual understanding. This again matters exclusively for our capacity of prediction and communication, making wave-particle semiotic generalization in principle useful to us only through applicability in practice.

When we discuss pure arborescence, we mean the practice of continuous reification that humankind completes in semiotic generalization. Arborescence develops objects of existential instantiation into generalized systems under perceptual analysis. The law of non-contradiction we apply throughout to gain certainty of truth-value, as well as derivative methods of predicate logic and capitalism. This process forces the semiotic representations to behave particle-like. It is particle-like because the concept has continuous irreducibility and equilibrium-stable signification. However, this certainty is fleeting, because the conceptual validity is an emergent power-law dynamic that decays without maintenance. The particle-like representation is only relevant while it expands, accelerates, and predicts the outcomes of perceptual flux.

When we discuss rhizomatic networking, we may imagine the wandering of trails in a forest without looking at our smartphone map for a long while, content to become temporarily lost in our hope for a new discovery. This method was the essential art of Deleuze & Guattari in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus and their philosophical lineage. A more recent example is in Gerald Raunig’s A Thousand Machines, a name in homage to its predecessor. A similar approach may be seen in this book, in which we are content to meander in the flux of uncertainty, tracing lines of thought, exploring histories of representation, and behaving wavelike in our certainties.

Our Arborescent Conscious and Rhizomatic Unconscious are two strategies of semiotic networking. They deal in the free play of the same nodes, but arborescence intends certainty, order, and consistency emerge while rhizomism desires completion of connectedness, never leaving behind a node. The switch between a centralizing network to tangling network we will call virality.

When arborescence forces itself into contradiction, it asks “What have we forgotten?” It then traces the work completed, the assumptions and generalizations, the moral character of this tree of knowledge. Then, finding a new and better soil, a new generation of tree springs up, an attempt at a better series of branches. This horizontal transfer, like a bird carrying the seeds of fruit tree far from its parent, we call virality.

When rhizomism spreads so thoroughly that patterns begin to emerge that represent either opportunity or risk, we suddenly have incentive to take these wavelike nodes and coordinate them toward some goal, through analysis, logic, and consistency. We may liken this to the landscaper who plan out an elaborate maze of surprises in the garden, taking the rhizomatic Bluegrass and standardizing its presence as part of an overarching system of meaning. This horizontal transfer of species across the palette of cultivated Earth we again call virality.

To the plants, if they were democratic humans, this gardener engages in totalitarian despotism, fascist paternalism of the most dangerous kind. Yet, as Hobbes might say, this says more about the belief system of the plants than the legitimacy of the gardener’s efforts to create beauty. Nietzsche might beg us to question, why does intention change the moral character of identical consequences? Darwin would answer that whether birds, squirrels, weather, or humans complete the work of shuffling the seeds of plants in horizontal transfer over the Earth, rotation, diversity, and new opportunities expand and accelerate the resilience of the system. The Intention of arborescence becomes fascism when it breaks the essential principle of nature, the minimum viable residence of genetic capitalism. The Desire of rhizomism becomes anarchy when its communal spirit forgets the superior force of combined will-to-power.