6 Comments
Sep 21, 2023·edited Sep 21, 2023Liked by Paulos

Unless you have more money & more charisma than Donald Trump, you probably can't be a prince. But if you're a billionaire, maybe you can be a duke.

That means you're gonna be a regional nobility. Your power is based on some particular place, some defined area of land. Which almost all historical nobility was, that being maybe one of the big differences between nobility and royalty.

The aspiring duke cannot be an active businessman. If he has current business interests he doesn't have the time. Nor is he resilient to egregore attack. However a businessman who's made his money and is done with business, is a fine candidate for duke. So also the inherited wealth silver spoon, who wants to do something actually cool & noble, instead of the dissipated life of his peers.

The aspiring duke cannot hope to raise the entire nobility by himself. Instead he should raise a small number of earls, say 15. (We're gonna skip marquess, 'cuz it sounds funny, even funnier in plural; and also, we don't have that many people that we need that many layers just yet.)

The duke gifts each of his earls _way_ more than 5k/mo. More like $1mil/yr. With the understanding that each earl use at least half that money to raise 15 barons, by gifting them a suitable amount. (We're skipping viscount for the same reasons we skipped marchess.) Yes he only need give away half - an earl is supposed to be rich. You want him to be powerful & influential, right?

In turn each baron is expected to raise a local gentry. Here's where we're getting to the 5k or less per mo.

Note that this is gonna be effectively impossible in the coastal metropolis. $1m/yr tax free for doing no labor still don't make you an earl in San Franshitsco, Ellay, Cahhmbrihhdge, Manhattan, or Miami Beach. But it sure does in a small flyover town. Would you rather be just another rich dude in Manhattan, or duke of Western Pennsylvania?

You _do_ need some moral principal that you represent. But it doesn't need to be - in fact shouldn't be - at all novel. In your small flyover region, find some old-fashioned but boring church, and endorse their viewpoint. Change your endorsement if their viewpoint changes. Old-fashioned but boring - no gay progressive bullshit, but light on the fire & brimstone. Don't make a big deal of it. You stand for traditional family values & prosperity. But when someone asks for more - there it is.

Pro-natalism works great in these small, semi-abandoned towns in the flyover. Land & houses are cheap. Crime is not a big concern. The schools probably suck - your earls & barons will naturally want to (and be expected to) help found suitable alternatives. They may choose to gift scholarships to promising local kids to raise goodwill with their town. (And to raise future gentry.)

Humility and human scale. A duke holds power over a region. If you need to fly there, it's not in your region. Your earls are responsible for several nearby towns. Your barons, one per town. Local gentry - let them proliferate!

Starting businesses is great - but then duh gubmint gets lots more leverage. Better if your vassals start many small local businesses than a few large & rich companies. Good too if you encourage/require them to grow large home gardens. Your vassals should work to own their own land without mortgage as quickly as possible if not from the start. There is great resiliency in secure food & land. Home gardens are illegible to the state, very hard to tax or even regulate.

Study the different traditional systems of community business loans used in various traditions. Command your vassals to implement those systems you find most suitable to the unique characteristics of your land & people. Hire good lawyers to review first - this can be both a source of strength for your vassals and a vector for attack.

Our increasingly closed society means there is a correspondingly increasing supply of declasse human capital. This is a goldmine. Recruit from it primarily, but not exclusively.

Consider buying an entire small town if you can. Obviously your house would be there. Ideally the largest & fanciest old house in the town, not new construction. If former mayors, judges, or governors have lived there, even better. If you cannot buy all or most of a small town, your house should be in the countryside, and should include an active farm. After you've bought the town you should hundred year lease the buildings, on the free market, not just to your followers. You're a nobleman not a cult leader. Very long leases encourage stability and prosperity.

Stay close to the land and the people. He who would have power must have responsibility. If the workers & peasants in your region are being abused, that's _your_ problem. If it's not your problem, you're not worthy of being duke. If your common people are even thinking that a communist revolution would be a kinda sorta maybe good idea - you are not succeeding in your role.

Expand full comment

Actually, the more I think about this, the more it resembles a formal version of what I've seen with large clans with family businesses or plots of land at their core.

These businesses are large, but the families are larger, making it so that some members (and the branches hanging off of them) of the family must get work outside the business. Usually, all members of the family (regardless of being part of the business or not) receive a stipend from the profits of the business. There are usually limitations on this to how many degrees of separation you have from the main line, as well. Provisions such as these are embodied in a formal family constitution.

Expand full comment
Jul 23, 2022Liked by Paulos

When I read your first posting, what came to mind for a successful Nth generation iteration is the Mormon flight into what became Utah, the lifestyle of the Pennsylvania Dutch, or even the Great Society programs of LBJ. Each of these groups grew in number and held as a coherent people with a shared view and mission. The first two are religious in nature, while the third is political; all of them have a unique way of living, the Amish most notably on how different it is from the rest of the U.S. The Amish are the most oriented to a networking system, i.e. a community. The only group that has a direct financial giving situation is the Great Society but it is not a "gift giving" scenario central to the experiment, while the others are giving of time and labor. The other contrast between these and the thesis is that there is no "patron," the closes are President Johnson or Bringham Young/Joseph Smith.

What comes to mind now may be a doubling down on of the Amish idea, in the sense that GHP, in your estimation, are inward looking seeking the advancement of it members. The Mormon community is Amish in the attributes of emphasis on familiar ties, but outward looking as it is evangelical seeking to incorporate new members (in ideally units of families) for a specific purpose, the religious. So it straddles the definition of an open and closed society. As for LBJ, the Great Society is not a network colelction and is bureaucratic.

Expand full comment

Very interesting to read this series as a Mormon. We've accomplished most of the things described here in the past couple of centuries. Interestingly, the method of succession is via the quorum of the 12 apostles instead of simple inheritance. I think this is more stable and works better long term because even if a GH get lucky with the first couple of generations of leaders, eventually you'll get an incompetent or *shudders* a leftoid in charge.

Expand full comment

"There’s more to be discussed, including step-by-step examples of how to implement a plan like this, as well as more exploration of practical considerations. " When will you be releasing this article?

Well done and really got the wheels going in my head. Thank you for writing this.

Expand full comment
Jul 19, 2022Liked by Paulos

This is a great series. Plans along these lines are where we should put our energy. Also, human nurturing institutions HNI is a helpful concept

Expand full comment