Aristocracy as Agency: and The Vertical And Horizontal Class Structures


Eli Harman makes a very important point, that I should, and we all should consider, when we refer to western man: that when constructing a class of Western man that we call ‘aristocracy’, which is a ‘class’ regardless of social and economic class, are we in fact referring to the preference for, necessity of, and selection for ‘Agency’?

We use the term time preference; we use the term impulsivity. But these terms refer to the ‘negatives’ without stating a positive that is informative and testable. I use the term truthful. Others rational.

But isn’t the central question agency? Isn’t that the question going into battle? Isn’t that the question building a social order? Isn’t that a question building a ruling class? Isn’t that a question building a judiciary class? isn’t that a question building an entrepreneurial class (Field Officers)? Isn’t that a question building a administrative class (lieutenants)? Even building the managerial class (sergeants)?

Isn’t it a facsimile of agency that we build in military training? How to ‘report’ (testify), how to hold formation, how to overcome fear, embarrassment, emotion, exhaustion, pain, through training?

Isn’t that military training the involuntary construction of stoicism? isn’t stoicism the construction of agency? Isn’t Aristocracy the achievement of agency? Isn’t that what Sovereignty results in? Agency?

Isn’t Sovereignty an existential Condition in-fact, but Agency the Resource that makes Sovereignty both cognitively possible, and reciprocally necessary for the condition to exist?

This is one of the questions I have been trying to solve for the past few years: Aristocracy consists of a class, like the military consists of a class: Priesthood(gossip), Scientist(craftsman), Aristocracy (force).

And that one can join the aristocracy at many levels in society, just as one can join the military at many levels in society. We join aristocracy through the pursuit of sovereignty, through the use of agency(stoicism), and through the use of loyalty (shareholder contract).

We construct horizontal classes: genetic class, social class, economic class. And we construct vertical classes: Priestly(gossip), Scientific (innovation and production), and Aristocratic (force).

One of my own mistakes has been misconstruing the hierarchy of production, which is scientific, entrepreneurial, financial (administrative), craftsmanly(managerial), and laboring (transforming) classes as science vs craft and this was an error driven by the western tendency for the priesthood to fund ‘writing’ (gossip) intellectuals, and the aristocracy to fund engineers and artists (action) intellectuals.

Like everyone else, despite identifying the three methods of coercion as three sets of elites, I gave too much emphasis to horizontal class structures, and not enough to vertical.

I’ll continue to work on this analytically. But Eli has been framing this for a while now, and I just gleaned his insight.

Curt Doolittle


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