Superiority as a Source of Power

As we have discussed on numerous occasions, we are experiencing a transition of one mode of governance to another. It’s a big change but it’s not unprecedented. Only 200 years ago we started to transition into the mode of governance that is now giving way to the next one.

Each form of governance derives its legitimacy from a different source. Monarchy, for example, derived its legitimacy from God’s will. The monarch was invested with power by God. Everybody accepted that, and the arrangement worked. Until near-uniform religiosity became impossible and a new kind of statehood arose.

Nation-state governments derived their legitimacy from representing the interests of the nation and finding a way to convince the people that they were acting in the interests of the citizens’ welfare. That’s why welfare in all its forms was born together with the nation-state and is dying with it. (Once again, police is welfare. Schools are welfare, etc).

The governing groups in the new model of statehood derive their legitimacy, meaning their entitlement to power, from superiority. That’s why they speak to us in the language of moral, intellectual and physical superiority. That’s why they educate their children to speak a language of moral superiority. That’s why they position themselves as the true judges of good and evil.

7 thoughts on “Superiority as a Source of Power

  1. Something that is missing from your narrative is the role of anti-racism in undermining the nation-state. The nation-state arose at a time when it was ok to say that there was such a thing as Frenchmen in the sense that, not that the French were necessarily better than anyone else, but that being French meant something very specific that was not universalizable. Once that became racist then there was nothing stopping France from accepting millions of people who had no interest in becoming French.
    Part of the reason why Israel has become so unpopular among the left is that Israel is unquestionably a nation-state. Its Jewish component makes it all the more difficult to stretch the meaning of its nationalism to the point of meaninglessness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. And more generally, breaking everybody up into little groupsicles that all hate each other make an overarching identity of an American or a Spaniard impossible.


  2. It’s a fragile reed for our leadership class to lean on since they are not “elite” by any rational and moral criteria. In fact, their most compelling criteria for being better is their superior skills at being dishonest and pushing convenient narratives. A system that selects for sociopathy in its ruling class is at the end of its useful life. Give me a monarch chosen by the Almighty anytime, he/she is likey to be better than the reprehensible criminals in our current upper class.


  3. related: Aimee Terese spitting fire:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like she’s had an awakening recently. A real, not the woke kind. People are starting to notice what’s going on. This is good.


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