Granbretan

A couple of people have suggested that Dominic Cummings might benefit from my advice.  The general goal, presumably, is making Britain great again.

Doable?  Even to the extent of making GB a major power? I would think so. No country performs anywhere close to its possible maximum –  there’s a lot of slack to optimize.

Naturally,  the first step is putting in a decent dynasty, one with real royals, with the  royal touch, to stop the current epidemic of King’s Evil in its tracks.

 

 

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54 Responses to Granbretan

  1. josh says:

    Who is the Stuart heir?

    • Bah! The Stuarts were Scottish. The Tudors were Welsh, the Plantagenets French, the Normans Scandinavians. Post-Stuarts it’s been all Germans. (My father, b. 1899, referred to the Windsors as “those bloody Germans.”)

      Britain needs to have an ENGLISH monarch again. Harold Godwinson left numerous issue. Now, ~40 generations on, the Brits should be spoiled for choice.

    • BB753 says:

      I say, bring back the (Catholic) Stuarts and have all the members of the house of Lords beheaded! Replace these lords and close down the House of Commons. I believe there are a number of bastard branches of the Stuarts alive with suitable heirs. And kick out the Hannover usurpers in place after leaving them penniless. Scoundrels to the last!

    • BB753 says:

      From Wikipedia :
      “The Royal House of Stuart became extinct with the death of Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, brother of Charles Edward Stuart, in 1807. Duke Francis of Bavaria is the current senior heir.[7] However, Charles II had a number of illegitimate sons whose surviving descendants in the male line include Charles Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond; Henry FitzRoy, 12th Duke of Grafton; Murray Beauclerk, 14th Duke of St Albans; and Richard Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch. In addition, James II’s illegitimate son, James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick, founded the House of FitzJames comprising two branches, one in France and one in Spain. The last of the French branch died in 1967; the senior heir of James II’s male-line descendants is Jacobo Hernando Fitz-James Stuart, 16th Duke of Peñaranda de Duero.”

  2. Dr J Thompson says:

    Or crown a racehorse?

  3. The Z Blog says:

    Have the Home Secretary conduct a population wide test of this: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/147470491501300114

  4. engleberg says:

    Keep the Spencer bloodline in play, though- like Maynard Keynes said, they are pretty.

  5. Smithie says:

    This is the essential problem for monarchists: how do you create a monarchy that will actually work? You’ve got to acknowledge what happened in the wake of WWI.

    It’s a fun problem to try to work through. At the very least, I think it would require a breeding program, and it is easy to imagine some simple gains, like Tsarevich Alexei not having had hemophilia.

    How to go about it? Make the national exam system serve the duel purpose of helping to find a queen?

    • Magus says:

      how do you create a democracy that will actually work? you’ve got to acknowledge what happened in Ancient Athens, Weimar Germany, Kerensky Republic, Venezuela, the UK ’45->’77, almost all sub-saharan africa post decolonization, and well, the US since the ’60s at the very least among many others.

      (some) monarchies did pretty well for many centuries. Hohenzollern, Romanovs, Hapbsburgs, even the Bourbons had a solid run. It’s possible modern communications/transportation makes it more challenging to run one than before, but I’m not entirely convinced.

      • Smithie says:

        IMO, direct democracy is better than representational. The challenge is how do you successfully limit the franchise, and keep it from continuously expanding to its limits? Not an easy trick.

        In my view, something happened that made monarchy untenable in Europe. A monarch could no longer stand against the hordes of ambitious men looking to seize power for themselves. What exactly it was is an interesting question. The break-up of the gentry, due to a fall in crop prices? Population increase and a concomitant rise in the underclass? Mobility of peasants? Anyone got a good theory?

        • ghazisiz says:

          It is an interesting question. I’ll venture two hypotheses. First, the spread of literacy to the lower classes (by 1750 many of the London lower class could read) created an audience for writers who were sympathetic to the interests of ordinary people, which helped spread the ideology of egalitarianism. Second, after the French had successfully mobilized their population in defense of the 1789 revolution, other European states, in order to meet the French threat, began to encourage the idea that the state existed for common people, and not simply for the hereditary elite.

        • Joshua Glassman says:

          Breechloading rifled muskets?

        • Greying Wanderer says:

          “Anyone got a good theory?”

          when urban militia infantry > aristocratic cavalry

          imo republics happen when there’s enough men willing to fight for one and available weaponry effects that calculation.

        • megabar says:

          Not only prevent ambitious men trying to gain the crown, but prevent those same ambitious men from exploiting the non-elites.

          I’m hardly a revolutionary, but I think that right wingers fail to realize that there should be a two-way agreement between elites and non-elites. The elites prosper, and that’s ok, but in return, they need to secure a dignified and secure way of life for the non-elites.

          For example, the wealthy should not import low-skill immigrants to devalue labor, nor move their factories overseas.

          I think a stable arrangement can be created if this is respected. More particularly, I don’t think many non-elite care about politics, so long as they feel that they are treated fairly.

          • ghazisiz says:

            In France, and in the US, populist resentment does seem to result from the failure of elites to honor their obligation to consider the interests of the masses. Globalization hammers those who have to compete with foreign low-skilled labor. It wasn’t that way when I was a child — on my street, there were children of both line workers and engineers, all enjoying a middle-class life.

      • Nomen Est Omen says:

        how do you create a democracy that will actually work?

        You start with the right kind of demos and try to preserve that demos:

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; and the clerk of such court shall record such application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States.

        https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_Statutes_at_Large/Volume_1/1st_Congress/2nd_Session/Chapter_3

        Conversely, if you don’t want a democracy that actually works, you do what the US, France, Sweden et al have been doing for decades and import the wrong kind of demos. Lots of wrong kinds, in fact. Giving women the vote also helps to wreck democracy.

      • J says:

        Franz Joseph was a hard working, efficient, ideal monarch. The Hapsburgs are willing and available.

        • Vanya says:

          Franz Joseph benefits from propaganda, and the industrial revolution and laissez faire economic policies that increased living standards in most of his realm dramatically over the last half of the 19th century. Still his record as a ruler is pretty mediocre. He managed to lose Lombardy, Tuscany and Venice – the jewels of the Habsburg portfolio, and allowed Italian unification, creating a potentially threatening power next door. He allowed the Hungarians to be equal partners in the Empire, making it almost impossible for the Monarchy to have a coherent foreign policy after 1869. He tried to replace the lost Italian dominions with scraps grabbed from the Ottomans, such as Bosnia and Hercegovina, creating a disastrous relationship with Serbia and angering the Russians. And finally he lost a war to the Prussians in 1866 and had to relinquish the Habsburg’s traditional role as leaders of Germany, a role they had held for over 400 years. And finally, WWI, the almost natural end result of all the earlier mistakes and losses. Franz Josef? No thanks.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        i don’t think democracy can survive billionaires able to lobby/bribe/blackmail the political class and manipulate the public through ownership of mass media.

        the internet could potentially fix the mass media aspect of the problem but would require the enforcement of the #1A on social media for political speech (justifiable by defining social media as the public square).

        state funding of political parties could potentially help with the lobbying part.

        a rogue media (aka internet) might potentially also help with exposing bribery/blackmail but imo that would be the hardest aspect to fix.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Stick with what works – strange women lying in ponds distributing swords.

      • Gregg Anderson says:

        No, supreme executive authority derives from a mandate from the masses, not some farcical aquatic ceremony…

      • Smithie says:

        I rather like the old Irish system: you stand on the coronation stone, and it cries out in joy if you are a true king. Might not work near the Ring of Fire.

    • R. says:

      So fucking simple. Go dig up Frederick the Great’s bones. Keep cloning Frederick the Great in good batches, say, 100 per year, then psych-test the batch and pick the best guy as monarch. Succession ordered by performance. The others can work as civil servants, etc.

      By all accounts, Frederick was a clever and hard working guy. I mean, we can get his polygenic score.

      Guys should also be handier for military uses.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      i think all human institutions get corrupted over time (cos sociopaths)

      so i think the only viable solution is Jefferson’s – regular revolutions (150 years?) to clear out the current crop of sociopaths and reboot.

  6. ASR says:

    Unfortunately, Mr. Cummings grossly underestimates the power of an entrenched bureaucracy. Bureaucrats at every level of a national bureaucracy have the capacity, power, and inclination to replace or modify the policies of their superiors in such a way as to bring those policies more in line with the inclinations of the subordinate bureaucrats. I have personally seen this play out. A friend was a mid-level bureaucrat in a cabinet-level agency. He and some of his fellows took an intense dislike to the new, Presidentially appointed and Senatorially approved agency head and conspired to have her fired. A carefully crafted PR campaign followed and within months the woman was out of a job, replaced by someone whose policies were more in line with my friend’s preferences.

    More recently, I despaired of Trump fulfilling many of his domestic policy promises, when I discovered that he and his staff had taken a lackadaisical approach towards prepping for their takeover. A necessary first step should have been assigning new candidates for every listing in the “Plum Book” — a purple-covered book listing all bureaucratic positions in the federal government that can be replaced at whim by the President. By failing to do this Trump ensured that he would have a bureaucratic staff infiltrated at many levels by a bureaucratic fifth column, seeking to sabotage the new administration’s policies at every opportunity. The constant game of musical chairs at high levels, which Trump seems to revel in, has little if any impact on what happens lower down in the bureaucracy, where the rubber hits the road.

    • Difference Maker says:

      Indeed, even Emperors have been stymied by bureaucracies.

      To quote myself:
      “A thorough ideological purge and vetting of government personnel should have been done and should be done. Though Trump no doubt thought he could make deals and get the opposition on board, making use of their ‘competence’, I knew that could not be the case for the bulk of the rank and file. Purging and cleaning house will not be easy; they are snakes.”

      • Unladen Swallow says:

        Czar Alexander II I believe once said “I don’t rule Russia, eight thousand clerks do”.

        • Jim says:

          Eight thousand clerks ruling Russia sounds pretty efficient. I suspect though that the clerks needed a little assistance from probably more than eight thousand Cossacks.

        • dave chamberlin says:

          Wonderful quote. The voting public is recently highly receptive to oddball salesmen pitching new ideas. If I were to run for office I would first change my name to 8000 Clerks.

    • Nomen Est Omen says:

      Unfortunately, Mr. Cummings grossly underestimates the power of an entrenched bureaucracy.

      I don’t think he does. No-one who has worked inside Westminister or even watched the TV series Yes, (Prime) Minister would underestimate the Civil Service. They’re despicable, but they’re good at looking after themselves. Steve Hsu certainly seems to think DC has a chance of suceeding:

      https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2020/01/rule-britannia.html

      As for the Granbretan reference: until now the UK has been run by humanities graduates who think like Michael Moorcock, which explains why the UK is heading for the dumper. DC wants to change that. And it’s quite possible he already reads Cochran, Sailer and other heretics. I’m sure he is not a fan of Stephen Jay Gould or a believer in Lewontin’s fallacy.

    • J. says:

      “More recently, I despaired of Trump fulfilling many of his domestic policy promises, when I discovered that he and his staff had taken a lackadaisical approach towards prepping for their takeover”

      Anything else he has done had made tou think he prepped intensively to be president or was intensely interested in fulfilling his promises (as opposed to just please special interests and keep as much support he needs to get re-elected)?

    • “Oh what a tangled web we weave, eh Humphrey?”

    • gda53 says:

      That failure lies squarely at the feet of his son-in-law, who fired the one guy who had experience in government and what was required in a transition when administrations switch over.

      Of course, Christie had prosecuted his daddy, so Jared held a certain grudge.

      Happenstance, that same would-be leader of the transition team was in line for AG. Instead of a lion, Trump got a lamb as AG, and things went pear-shaped from Day 1. Does anyone think Chris Christie could have been rolled like the little elf-on-the-shelf who ended up with the job?

      That’s what unintended consequences are all about!

    • James says:

      Wonderful. When his ideology fails, he will have an excuse. It was ot me, it was the Deep State. You know, like wreckers and rootless cosmopolitans ruined the Soviet Union.

  7. rjjcda says:

    The great Austrian school economist von Mises was once asked what would be the first thing he would do if he were king. Answer: “Immediately resign.”

    • Rory says:

      The old fool clearly had no personal confidence that his cockemamy free trade theories could actually translate into positive outcomes for his countrymen, and so wouldn’t want to be seen as personally responsible for them. And yet many “right wing” people still trot out his tired theory in defense of the globalist trade system, sad!

    • archandsuperior says:

      As the post above alludes to, kings are for curing the king’s evil. Clearly, von Mises wanted to see the king’s evil persist. So sad that such an otherwise admirable economist was bought off by big scrofula.

  8. Jay Ritchie says:

    One of Cummings proposals a few years ago was to recruit physicists to replace people of other backgrounds. Perhaps Greg could apply?

  9. For Cummings’s recent blog post soliciting this sort of help, see:

    https://dominiccummings.com/2020/01/02/two-hands-are-a-lot-were-hiring-data-scientists-project-managers-policy-experts-assorted-weirdos/

    Unfortunately the list he provides of “examples of papers you will be considering” seems rather unimpressive.

    • dearieme says:

      That’s probably part of his cunning entrance exam. If you don’t tell him that those are unimpressive he won’t hire you. Mind you he probably won’t hire you anyway because he’ll get tangled in a web of law and regulation.

  10. This story (“The Dog Said Bow-Wow” by Michael Swanwick) has some interesting ideas about how the British monarchy might be reformed, as well as how to deal with rogue AIs. http://web.archive.org/web/20080116050958/http://www.asimovs.com/Nebulas03/bowwow.shtml

  11. dried peanuts says:

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr Cochran, could you pls share your thoughts on this paper?

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160289613000470

  13. Greying Wanderer says:

    Cummings has a great evil genius skull.

    to succeed i think he’d have to gut the civil service who are mostly “managed decline” europhile types and although i doubt he’d have any objection to doing that i imagine it would require Johnson’s full support and who knows what his motivation is.

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