Today we’re gonna take the time to understand C.A. Bond’s book Nemesis. The book is mainly about what Bond has termed the Jouvenalian model. For me, it solved a lot of half baked questions I had about the development of our modern liberal world. It’s a pretty simple model. Its implications are rather large though. It can explain the birth of democracy. It accounts for the spread of liberalism in the West, and it can even give a thorough explanation why the left can burn down cities with no repercussions.
The Jouvenalian model has three interacting components: the Power center, subsidiary power, and the periphery. The image you produce in your head should basically be three concentric circles with the Power center occupying the center circle, the subsidiary power occupying the middle, and the periphery occupying the outside. These each describe a segment of societies relationship to power. As you can imagine, the Power center is the most powerful element in society that influences the direction things go. It could be represented as a Chieftain, King, Pope, parliament, government, etc. The subsidiary power is anything that occupies the interesting zone of influence that contributes to the Power center while also in some ways can act independent of it. Some examples include nobility, aristocrats, corporations, media, universities, NGO’s, etc. The periphery would be everyone else with little to no influence or real power. The circles can overlap to some degree. For instance, an NGO can be both a subsidiary structure as well as a direct tool of the elites in the Power center.
The key feature of the Jouvenalian model is how power is secured. It’s taken as a basic assumption that the periphery is incapable of securing power for themselves and must make an alliance with either the subsidiary power or the Power center to achieve any goals. In the absence of any help, any and all organic uprisings from the periphery of society will be crushed unless the uprising receives patronage from another separate Power center.
I’ll run through two examples to illustrate this. Spartacus, an escaped gladiator and slave, led a slave revolt that was initially successful in destroying an unfortified Roman camp. The rebels then defeated a second expedition of Roman soldiers while seizing their military equipment. This success swelled the rebels ranks to 70,000 as Spartacus’s victories attracted more and more slaves. In the spring of 72 BC, Spartacus had thoroughly caught the eye of the Power center, the Roman Senate. They were alarmed at the success of the slave revolts and sent two consular legions that were initially successful in defeating 30,000 rebels until Spartacus managed to defeat these legions. Finally, Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, undeniably a major player in the Power center, volunteered to put an end to the rebellion. 40,000 soldiers were brought together for the task, and in 71 BC Spartacus had his last battle and was killed. The 6,000 survivors of the revolt that were captured by the legions were then crucified.
You can imagine the slave revolt going much differently had Crassus gathered 40,000 troops to help it as opposed to putting it down. This would have represented a real crisis to Rome with the periphery (the slaves) aligning with someone in the Power center (Crassus).
Another example that should help illustrate the point that a spontaneous uprising is ultimately futile without some type of structural support from a power structure either within the society or a completely separate one is the German Peasant’s War. The wikipedia page on the matter sums up the dynamic wonderfully with the second sentence stating, “It failed because of intense opposition from the aristocracy who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasant farmers.” The number of peasants involved was a staggering 300,000, yet they still succumbed to the aristocracy who’s strength in numbers was only 6,000-8,500. The aristocracy experienced only minimal losses. So what was the difference? The peasant’s army lacked training, organizational capacity, access to weapons, and funding. These are all things the aristocracy—a subsidiary power in alliance with the Power center—could very easily provide. Without support from either—or at least a segment of either power structures—the whole revolt was useless.
This is demonstrative of the accuracy of Mao Tse-tung’s 3rd condition for the success of a guerrilla movement. It states that, “Condition 3 is ongoing aid from a foreign government in the form of financial assistance, armaments, and other support.” From the Jouvenalian perspective this third condition is certainly necessary if no power structures within your own society are helping you.
Neglecting the Jouvenalian dynamic in guerrilla warfare, slave revolts, civil wars, etc, will certainly lead to poor results. Though to present the Jouvenalian model as only being relevant in warfare is to do it a great disservice. The Jouvenalian model applies to many cultural and governmental trends in Western society that weren’t necessary violent affairs.
The most fascinating example of the Jouvenalian model in action is the birth of democracy. To start, Bond describes life and the power structure in pre-democratic Athens. This society was marked by a concentration of authority among the Eupatrids, the heads of families. These families could be thought of as noble families who occupied their position by means of an ancestor winning them their position through war or perhaps they won that position themselves. The Eupatrids concerned themselves with the maintenance of a hearth fire. This fire and the worship around it was meant to serve the needs of ones ancestors in the afterlife. Traditions, rites, and preferred gods were passed down orally. This society of noble families did not have minting abilities, and as a consequence they lived in a non-monetized society. And finally, while there may have been a king, that king had to negotiate power with the noble families. If the king needed to raise and army, the noble families were called upon to serve as well as utilize their slaves.
This dynamic would be disrupted in a number of ways. Namely three revolutions took place that would pave the way for democracy.
- The first was the accumulation of power by the kings. Then eventually this kingship would be replaced by an aristocracy (keep in mind, no loss of centralized power occurs here).
- The second revolution was that the new aristocracy occupying the Power center would eventually break the tradition of family authority based on primogeniture—the right of succession belonging to the first born son. Originally the aristocracy tried to maintain the family oriented tradition that they came from, but succumbed to the demands of their new position in society. As a consequence, and as a necessary measure to maintain their position, they made their alliance with the lower orders of society at the expense of the patricians.
- The third revolution involved the masses of plebeians who were drawn to the city. These were men who had no relation to family worship and began to form a parallel society. They did not fit into any power structure, and had an uncertain position in society. This is where we find democracy’s beginnings as Solon, a man tasked with reducing tensions from the increase of the plebeians, begins to implement reforms.
The reforms were an expansion of the centralized government power into Athenian society. Clientship was ended, property was separated form family worship, and the new order made a division based on wealth as opposed to family.
After Solon, Peisistratos (considered a tyrant at the time) offered another set of reforms. These included traveling judges, state loans to citizens In lower sections of society, and instituted public cults. Each of these reforms can be viewed as a means to undermine control of the traditional mobility of Athens. Traveling judges opened up legal recourse for lower sections of society who could now be looked after by the government. State loans from the government decreased the reliance of common people on the nobility and increased it’s reliance on the primary Power of Athens. And lastly, the institution of public cults allowed commoners to publicly participate in the worship of gods which originally only the nobility had worshipped.
Later developments would include Athens producing it’s own coinage. This is anything but a small feat, but it should be noted that this represents a massive shift to centralizing power. As soon as a government produces its own coinage and forces the society to use it (taxes must be paid in coin!), the ruling elite no longer have to negotiate with noble families to raise an army. The government can step over the noble families and essentially buy an army by paying soldiers. What’s important to recognize in this is that the central Power is an alliance with the periphery at the expense of the subsidiary powers, the noble families.
The man credited as the “father of democracy,” Cleisthenes bound citizens to the rule of a city as opposed to the traditional structure. He made it where the question of whether or not someone was a citizen was a question that was answered solely by the authority of the Athenian government. This would result in those who were deemed citizens, even those on the periphery of society, being eligible to vote. The authority to determine who could vote was an immense amount of power that ultimately was at the expense of the old order of society—namely the traditional noble families whose vote now counted just as much as any other citizen. The net result of all this centralization and freedom is a more totalizing control, as Bertrand Jouvenel would elaborate on:
“It is no use bringing up against me the cliché about the despotic power of Xerxes going down before the liberty of the Athenians. When I refer here to a larger, more total Power, I mean a Power which demands and obtains relatively more from its people. It is certain that in this respect the Power in the Greek cities over the citizens was far in excess of that of the Great King over his subjects.”
It should be clear at this point how this mechanism works. The high appeals to the low at the expense of the middle. Society reorganizes around a new power structure and the process repeats itself.
Our own country has engaged in Jouvenalian political maneuvering from its founding. It can be seen in the revolutionary war where the elite of this country decide to step over the English monarchy by declaring their independence by stating, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The implication is that the unalienable rights are something that only a sovereign government can recognize and the crown can not. The appeal is made to “all men” not just those who occupy a higher place in society. The rational way to view “unalienable rights” as a concept is one that isn’t arrived at logically but something used to aid in an elites power struggle against another Power center. (Bond offers a full account of Enlightenment values as a means to secure centralizing power in Nemesis.)
Even the subject of states rights and their autonomy has been subjected to the Jouvenalian dynamic. States rights being a subsidiary power to the federal government have been vastly curtailed by the Power of the federal government.
Suffrage itself can be viewed through this model as well. First it was reserved for land owning white males, then all white males, then later to black and white males, and finally it was given to every race and gender. Now today we are having debates about suffrage for non-citizens. Whats important to recognize is that extending the franchise to vote to more groups essentially weakens the power of the original group with voting rights. That then expands the governments domain over who it is responsible for while becoming less and less beholden to any particular group.
As a last example, even BLM fits easily in to this model. Elite actors, representing centralized Power provide BLM with resources, media coverage, legal aid, and organizational help in order to facilitate a centralizing goal. What is the goal? It’s defunding local police. The local aren’t under the purview of the federal government so a more accountable law enforcement—a federal police department if you will—is destined to take it’s place. In this instance local autonomy is stripped, and the Power center gains more control. The BLM philosophy is only tangentially related to the ultimate goal.
To wind down this essay I want to reflect on our own political goals and how to achieve them. The power center has a strong immune system to our ideas—ideas that ultimately demand a curtailing of central Power in order for whites to enjoy autonomy in “deciding our own destiny.” So what realistic option do we have? Infiltration runs counter to centralizing Power and ultimately won’t work. And a revolt without the support of any elite will be crushed. So what’s left? Two options present themselves. The first is to wait until the US empire and state crumbles of its own accord which will open up power vacuums to be filled. Then next is white organizations open up to the idea of patronage from a foreign power who want to undermine the US Power structure.
The latter option is of course illegal, dangerous, and not to mention a treasonous path, but on theoretical grounds it offers quicker results.
I can’t help but think of FBI director Christopher Wray declaring “White Supremacy” as being the greatest threat to the country after a hundred days of BLM riots. Combine that bizarre declaration with all the Russia gate hysteria and the gears begin to turn. The fear of whites and Russia may be silly on its face but it’s certainly no coincidence that they may have some interests in common in regards to US Power. It’s possible the CIA recognizes that there could be a devastating alliance there, so it tries to head it off at every angle. Or, possibly, it’s begging for the alliance to take place in order to further justify centralization and expand its powers by micromanaging any and all pro-white sentiment with stricter criteria and harsher punishments.
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Well, Putin is a super-kosher neoliberal who bins russian nationalists in droves, so it’s definitely the latter. Hell, RussiaToday is ran by an armenian woman who bitched about her own holobunga and a jewish.manager, so any kind of “official” connection between US right-wingers and russia will be a double whammy for FBI: they can finally please their ADL sponsors and don’t have to deal with an actual opposition activity.