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Necropolitics and Neocameralism

It is perhaps just wishful thinking that the alt-right seemingly innovative and intrepid ideas will disappear from the scene as Trump's reign comes to an end. They have their own dynamics, but certainly the experiences of the last years, including those in the pandemics, do help to wear off their bright and attractiveness. Neocameralism, what Mencius Moldbug and Nick Land with him ushered in as a model of post-democracy that relinquish important ingredients of the human security system, is one of these projects that is proving to be too grounded in the past to have any capacity to foretell anything bright beyond the democratic rusting institutions. It is little more than necropolitics - which is itself a current post-democratic alternative. Achile Mbembe finds necropolitics in the regimes were warlords take over the state-like institutions (or mimick them)  to rule on the grounds of local security having no troubles killing or letting die whoever is in their path. Neocameralism postulates small companies of government that will not tax residents but charge them a service fee bill and that will be governed by the board of stockholders. Freedom to free will replace freedom to speak. I suppose that if an alternative power emerges within the walls of the company's territory, it is reasonable to take killing is not only allowed but also the expected outcome. Perhaps Moldbug and Land didn't mean it quite this way because they believed that post-institutional governments would inherit some practices from the time where governments were grounded on something akin to a social contract (in the sense of an exchange of certain freedoms for security of life). Indeed, they hold that property is untouchable - pretty much like most of the warlords of necropolitical systems. To be sure, the post-human-rights approach, a central feature of both neocameralist and necropolitical discourses, would allow the right of property to be ascertain through the killing or the letting die of trespassers. If neocameralists means what they say, they are proposing what is in fact the most widespread regime in the planet. Again, they could say that they didn't mean to have warlords physically fighting for the control of their territory but rather as CEOs of the stockholders. Once there is no law of the land transcending their struggle, it is unclear that such a difference makes a difference.

I've been reading Bruno Paes Manso's study of the emergence of the warlords power in Rio de Janeiro since the beginning of the century. These militias were formed to supplement the state in the provision of basic common services including security from drug trafficking and robbery. They charge the population directly and indirectly for their services and make sure everyone respect their rules - the penalty is physical, often death. They insure property rights and ward off criminal organizations. Often they are either in a truce or in an active alliance with some churches and often meaning that some other religious credos are persecuted. (The favored ones are of European origin while the persecuted ones are of African origin, but neocameralists never intended to exorcise racism.) Militias are objects beyond their warlords and they can go from one hand to another according to what is convenient for them - and not necessarily to their current chiefs. The transition from a militia to a neocameralist enterprise is not only in sight but around the corner. 

There is an opinion, I suppose Hobbesian in spirit, that warlords, militias and the like are in the pre-history of the (democratic) State. I think we are seeing that in the aftermath of the failures of that State. One think doesn't prevent the other, militias could be the origin of a new social contract. But this seems to me one of the several directions they can go. Further, a Hobbesian view show how limited and reactionary a neocameralist condition is. In any case, if we look at modern day Congo or even Nigeria, that Mbembe understand spell the future of the post-employment world, it is unclear that the (a centralizing) State is going to emerge unless it is somehow imposed from the outside. Necropolitics is a genuine post-State phenomenon, it feeds from biopolitics. It is perhaps genuinely post-colonial but it is not itself good news.


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