Moldbug is fascinating to me as someone who a lot of—as Rumsfeld put it—unknown unknowns. The results in him being quite right where he is right, but really wrong where he is wrong. His knowledge of history—and ‘deep history’—is solid, but the philosophical/theological dimension is missing. In any case, imagining the reactions of the audience at what was a left/libertarian gathering of Silicon Valley types (beyond what can be heard) is entertaining.
The basic subject of this talk—that the US government is really run by the permanent bureaucracy—and from its bottom—is one of those things which should be manifestly obvious, even on the mundane levels that most of us really interact with government. While it is less true about law enforcement (though still true), he mentions the military as the other of the two government agencies still governed from the top, down. This is because the military is the last vestige of aristocracy in democratic states; defenders and detractors of the military throughout the last 400 years of revolution have recognized this. Of course, the successes of revolutions have only come after the end of the democratic military experiment, and top–down order being restored*… or from movements which were top–down from the start: the Bolsheviks (though some of their then–allied parties were not subjected initially to Red Army discipline) and Cuba† being two good examples.
I found it interesting that he mentioned Hutchinson’s Strictures on the Declaration of Independence, as I was just talking about it last week or so.
The situation we have—that of bottom–up government by bureaucracies granted broad power—is exactly the source of what Samuel Francis called anarcho–tyranny.
* The War of Independence is another good example, where the situation was dire until a decent amount of the various state militia were actually able to form a coherent fighting force. While the remaining independent militia played an important role as guerrillas, guerrillas do not create states; if and when the colonial power/former government leaves/falls, a guerrilla insurgency ends in chaos or another, more organized, power filling the vacuum (a military dictatorship, an organized counter–insurgency, becoming the puppet of a neighbor, etc. …). Cromwell, in this, as in much else, set the pattern.
† Che and the brothers Castro created a revolutionary army from what was more or less scratch, and in record time; the military and political genius of the Cuban revolution is underestimated in the American consciousness— the reality of Cuba’s present obscures its past. Learning about the history of the revolution from Las Mercedes to the final mass surrender of the Cuban army five months later was revelatory for me.