The Strategy Of A Thousand Statesmen

The American political system and the political elite who inhabit it have failed. They have shown themselves unable to effectively govern the American empire and its people and are unresponsive to feedback, democratic or otherwise. This isn’t a temporary, localized failure, or an aberration; it is failure of the entire paradigm of modern liberal-democratic politics. The whole thing needs to be replaced.

Restoration of order and sanity will be a long incremental process of careful and responsible reform, cultural regeneration, political deescalation, decentralization, financial austerity, and so on. This process could occur if the American government were secure, effective, and committed to the path. But currently, that is not the case. So, the real root of our problems, upstream of other social and civil problems, is the problem of American political dysfunction.

Let’s take a look at how the problem of American political dysfunction might actually be solved. There is plenty of empty fame and fun to be had complaining about it, and mobilizing people who realize that there is a problem behind ineffective solutions. But those approaches are not aimed at the actual problem and don’t work very well to solve it. What would we do if we took the problem seriously and seriously intended to solve it?

There are four sub-problems in American political dysfunction:

  1. Political Disorder. The state of politics in Washington is a prolonged trench war for power between multiple factions, who are at the same time trying to govern the Empire. Responsible governance unfortunately takes a back seat to gaining political ground, and where will exists, there isn’t the concentrated authority to get anything done effectively. Apolitical civic institutions are politicized for the fight to the detriment of their proper function. Personal authority is blocked and routed around by factions in opposition.

  2. Republican Political Structure. More specifically, the republican features of democracy, limited government, and separation of powers. The entire official and unofficial constitution of the United States inherently leads to faction and political disorder. The founding fathers tried to solve political dysfunction with a republican design, but the republican features don’t accomplish what they were supposed to, and instead create faction, corruption, and bad incentives.

  3. Hostile and Corrupt Political Elites. Many of the members of current political elite factions are the wrong kind of people. They are corrupt careerists, pedophiles, politicians, lawyers, hostile minorities, etc. Circumstances have bred a political class with little honor or nobility that has contempt for its base. Even those who have the right fundamental disposition are trained and invested in entirely the wrong kind of politics. These people aren’t real statesmen. They will not be able to solve our problems, even if reorganized.

  4. Modern Progressive Pseudo-Statecraft. The superstructure is powered by the ideology of progressivism, which is a system of popular justification for the destructive actions of the elite, not a system of responsible statecraft. Any working traditions of statecraft remaining have to cloak themselves in lies because of their incompatibility with the public ideology. Knowledge of the superstructure is scattered throughout and corrupted by the extended system around Washington of propaganda organs, political organizations, elite dynasties, power networks, blackmail cults, “philanthropic foundations”, think tanks, NGOs, intelligence agencies, “public policy research”, “economists”, big banks, lobbyists, bureaucrats, non-profits, top academics, and so on. This fragmented organization and pseudo-statecraft is inadequate to govern the empire well.

Each of these is a problem on its own. Solving any of them would be an improvement. But the improvement wouldn’t last; these problems generate and reinforce each other. Attempting to replace the elites or achieve political order without systemic change would quickly decay back to business as usual, as structural instability and bad incentives corrupt the fix. Again, it would all have to be replaced to solve our problems.

However, it would be grossly irresponsible to destroy the current superstructure without a viable alternative. America has the governmental equivalent of a dysfunctional car; the solution is not to trash the car further, but to acquire a new car as a replacement. Likewise in politics; destroying the current order is just chaos. The way forward is to imagine and build alternatives.

The key to solving the problem of American political dysfunction problem is a viable replacement for the current political system. The solution should address the four problems described above:

  1. The Mandate of Heaven; Political Order. The new government needs to actually be in charge. The goal is Political Order, which means that there is exactly one faction within the state, no factions outside the state that can effectively challenge its authority, and a general understanding that the government is in charge. Heaven has found the state worthy and awarded it with the Mandate. Good governance cannot proceed until political order is achieved.

  2. The New Structure. Some organized authority structure has to make all this happen and in the process become the new government. A new government and new elites aren’t much use if they aren’t internally well-organized and coordinated. The historical norm for political refoundings of this type is that there is some incoming organization, usually a political party, that then becomes the core of the new structure.

  3. The Thousand Statesmen. We need enough statesmen to staff the new government. Men who know how to govern an empire, how to cooperate, how to gain power, and how to stay in power. A thousand is a rough estimate of the number of coordinated and reliable statesmen needed in key positions in the U.S. government to form the core of a viable transition government that wouldn’t get bogged down in the political trenches.

  4. The New Tradition of Imperial Statecraft. Underlying all of this, the Thousand Statesmen need all the knowledge to keep control of and govern the American Empire. And before those statesmen can be recruited and trained, there must be at least the seed of a visionary system of imperial statecraft to guide them. Strategies, programs, plans, a shared worldview, ideology, deep knowledge of USG, deep knowledge of the global strategic landscape, deep knowledge of America, statecraft theory, practical wisdom, a new imperial cult, a new American civic mythos, etc. This needs to be what we call a “living tradition”: a body of knowledge and methods and perspectives actively maintained by a living body of men. Our knowledge of statecraft must be restored from the last uncorrupted backups and then updated with the knowledge we have learned since then.

For shorthand, we can call this entire alternative proposal “the Thousand Statesmen”, because it is nearly inherent to the concept of a thousand statesmen that they are well-organized in political party or government, that they have expertise in statecraft, and that they seek the Mandate of Heaven. It is necessary to construct these parts to be able to fix the American system; anything less than a full replacement with these parts is a quagmire that ends with more of the same failures.

How to produce the Thousand Statesmen is difficult, but comprehensible. It’s a matter of gathering men of vision who are already committed to the general program of fixing America’s problems, organizing them to do the relevant statecraft research, building an organization that can train and recruit further such men, and scaling up from there to do all other necessary things. But given the Thousand Statesmen, how would they end up installing the New Structure and achieving the Mandate of Heaven?

The big secret is that power flows to the worthy. If the Thousand Statesmen deserve the Mandate of Heaven, in that they are better prepared to use it well than any other faction or system, then one way or another, they will receive it.

This is a big claim, but imagine that the Thousand Statesmen had been ready when Trump needed men to staff his government. Instead of a disorganized rag-tag team of warmongering neo-conservatives, assorted business contacts, and disloyal establishment Republicans, he could have had a thousand trained, organized, and loyal statesmen, ready to go with a new imperial vision for America.

And that’s just one example of an opportunity to accept power, given readiness to wield it well. More opportunities can be found, especially as the American Empire sinks deeper into its present crisis.

The current system and current elites have no incentive to “fight back” against this transition, no organized will to do so, and no expertise with doing so. They are stuck in the trenches trying to gain and hold little bits of political ground and accrue personal benefits. A real alternative that could resolve the conflict would come almost as a relief. The Thousand Statesmen can offer a very satisfactory retirement deal to those in charge in exchange for cooperation. There is no need to think of this situation in purely zero-sum terms. The deal could be made to be good for everyone involved. If a positive-sum political transition deal is viable, we can expect that it would occur.

The Thousand Statesmen strategy is the core of a good plan.

While we’re defining key strategic concepts, the “Restoration” is the political event where America’s system of politics is rebooted with something that will be able to fix our problems. The Restoration is so called because it will necessarily be a restoration of many traditional Western statecraft concepts. It will also be the modern analogue of the classic Western “Return of the King” historical and mythological archetype, which is usually called a restoration.

In this case, we are imagining Restoration by the Thousand Statesmen strategy. Restoration would be the event when the Statesmen are installed as the legitimate government, and inherit the powers of the current USG.

The Restoration by the Thousand Statesmen strategy is a great target scenario for statecraft research, once the strategic outline and strategically-independent questions of statecraft have been settled. The questions given this target scenario are, given Restoration, what can and should the Thousand Statesmen do with the powers of government to improve our civilization? And how do we get there from here? Without a viable high-impact target scenario, statecraft research will get bogged down with isolated “policy proposals” and blue-sky fantasizing. A shared target scenario for strategically-contingent statecraft research gives a viable application, a shared scenario to work towards so that collective efforts can synergize, and a large enough impact to make the investment in serious research worth it.

So, to solve the problem of American political dysfunction with the Thousand Statesmen strategy: answer that core question of statecraft given Restoration via a Thousand Statesmen, train a Thousand Statesmen in the resulting system of plans and practices, organize them into something that can become the New Structure, and find an opportunity to install them.

Of course, research should continue in other possible plans, and in the areas that don’t depend on the particular strategy to be employed. But this is one possible plan that could resolve strategic uncertainty and provide a viable target scenario for statecraft research.

Interestingly, contra the usual ideas on the subject, this plan contains no violence, law-breaking, mass brainwashing, unconstitutional change, or revolutionary intent anywhere. It can be done entirely outside of the system, with no political power, no permission, and very little legal and political risk. And yet it would work. Lack of a thousand real statesmen is all that stands between America and her destiny.

The beauty of this constructive approach is that it would mean the effort would find fewer committed enemies, it wouldn’t have to evade the watchful eyes of friends in the official security apparatus, and it could even cooperate with loyal people in the state. Besides, it allows the core focus to be aimed at the necessary research, recruiting, and organizational tasks, instead of getting bogged down in distracting public conflicts and spectacle.

We don’t need more voting, better candidates, a magical return to the Constitution, or attacks on the informal apparatus of the current system; we need a new tradition of imperial statecraft, a thousand statesmen, and serious organization. This is difficult, but in the big picture, as these things go, it is not such an impossible task.

The alternative seems to be increasing political disorder, or further decline into eventual political collapse. The Thousand Statesmen plan is really quite a mild treatment in comparison.

Liked it? Take a second to support Social Matter on Patreon!
View All


  1. Great piece, per usual.

    I’m glad you guys have finally laid this down as a public and coherent vision. That being said I have a few reservations/questions:

    1) “The big secret is that power flows to the worthy.” This is a nice slogan, but is this actually the case? Did the current regime gain power by “being worthy”? What does “worthy” denote in this context? ruthlessness? cunning? Ideological purity? Because it certainly can’t mean traditional virtues.

    2) “The current system and current elites have no incentive to “fight back” against this transition, no organized will to do so, and no expertise with doing so”
    Sorry but you completely lost me here. Are we living on the same planet? I don’t see any evidence for this at all, the current system has a massive amount of skin in the game and will fight to defend it.

    They’ve been blackballing and squashing perceived threats to their power in the crib for decades now before they were able to become a serious threat. What makes you think this idea will fair any better? i.e. that it won’t be detected long before you reach a critical mass and squashed.

    The problem is that there a is a relatively large and influential group of individuals in the Cathedral who have a lot riding on its continued hegemony, careers, social status, funding etc. Therefore they will fight to defend these things, and fight hard. Any plan that fails to take this into account will probably not work as you are then sleeping on the Cathedral’s ability to defend itself.

    This is the main problem as I see it. I’m not bringing this up in order to be needlessly contrarian or a wet blanket, but because this is actually what I see happening.

    1. Michael Perilloux April 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      >What does “worthy” denote in this context? ruthlessness? cunning? Ideological purity? Because it certainly can’t mean traditional virtues.

      I actually think the current elite is in power because they are the most worthy, in the most straightforward interpretation.

      This sounds crazy, because they aren’t worthy very much at all. The claim is primarily negative in that *there is no one else*. To falsify the claim, you have to show the existence of another group of people that is more practically prepared to run the empire than the current elite. There isn’t one. Sure there are isolated people who can see what’s going wrong better, but better overall statesmanship worthiness? Where is it?

      Yeah worthiness necessarily includes some political craftiness, etc, but that’s not the whole of it. I claim that worthiness is identical with the skills actually needed to do the job, which is some mix of political maneuvering to maintain political order, and knowing how to govern. I don’t think there is anyone superior to the current elite in either, let alone both.

      Now that’s partially because they crushed them all, but that’s just part of the job. Leads us to your second point:

      >They’ve been blackballing and squashing perceived threats to their power in the crib for decades now before they were able to become a serious threat. What makes you think this idea will fair any better? i.e. that it won’t be detected long before you reach a critical mass and squashed.

      You’re right that as stated, my statement is a bit nutty. Let me try to articulate the thing I was trying to say there. There are two problems that might get conflated here:

      1. How to recruit, train, and organize a thousand statesmen without getting smashed in the crib by corrupt entrenched interests. (I agree this is a live threat, if not played well).

      2. Given a thousand coordinated statesmen, how to install them, again without getting crushed by entrenched parasites.

      I was being sloppy with this distinction. Let’s deal with the second problem first. I mean to claim the current deep state has no institutional expertise against the thousand statesmen, fully formed. They have never faced such a thing. They couldn’t even stop Trump getting in. If Trump had a thousand men, they’d be screwed. (For some value of screwed that includes lavish and comfy retirements). They especially aren’t prepared to deal with something that can argue much more legitimacy, has a better program for America, has better patriotic credibility, and can go in through democratic mechanisms.

      The “fight” would be very easy to reveal as a corrupt den of parasites that has exceeded its legitimate mandate throwing a hissyfit against legitimate imperial authority.

      Look at this with some Imperial Mindset. These guys aren’t some big scary machiavellian oppressor-elite that we need to fight with symmetric force on their home turf. By the time this becomes the problem, it will be very clear that they are just some disorganized and confused two-bit bureaucrats irrationally clinging to power that they don’t know how to use, against the invincible onslaught of responsible government, truth, justice, and the American way. No problem.

      All their defences amount to making sure a legitimate alternative never comes to exist. So the problem that I failed to address is how to get a thousand statesmen without getting crushed in the crib.

      While they do have expertise in crushing things before they get to the thousand statesmen stage, look at the tools they have: denying use of legitimacy-granting institutions, making you social anathema, sowing division, legal attacks, media mobbing, revealing you to be a bunch of losers, agents provocateur, etc.

      Note that most of these rely on the victim being a dumbass, activist, criminal, terrorist, tax evader, or otherwise illegitimate. They are expert at crushing threats that, for one reason or another, really ought to be crushed. Maybe in their heyday, they could take on legitimate opposition as well, but I don’t think they have the juice anymore. I think it’s possible to avoid those dimensions of their power.

      So while I may have been sloppy, and perhaps it’s harder than I implied, I do believe that the strategy of statecraft research, and then recruiting and training statesmen, is just not on their threat radar, and not within their capacity to prevent. If done well, of course. All things must be done well. No strategy is a free lunch.

      Again, while the problem can look like a problem of symmetric machiavellian political prowess and a struggle for power, I think there’s a bunch of ways in which it is actually not. The moral components, the actual worthiness, legitimacy, etc cannot be ignored, even if they are not the entirety of it.

      Partially, my insistence on the seemingly magical “worthiness” plan is that, well, magic works, man. If we think the “fight” is about two ruthless machiavellian class-coalitions in a struggle, we will make it about that, and people will see it like that, and it will only perpetuate the dark age. If we analyze the thing a bit more idealistically, as a legitimate project to build a better statesman and fix the empire, which will be installed by sheer force of worthiness, well then we will make it about that, and people will see it like that, and we move one step closer to a positive historical teleology.

      In the golden age ideal, politics is done by competing on the dimension of competence and legitimacy, making it a friendly and peaceful competition for who can build the better statesmen, followed by a negotiated buyout of the “loser”. That’s also the dimension we would like to win on. Obviously we have to be strong enough on the more machiavellian dimensions to defend ourselves while executing the main strategy, but IMO, the main strategy, the main show of force, can be and should be on the dimension of worthiness.

      1. Joseph Jagusah April 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        I get the feeling that you’re falling for the Demotic myth here. The State doesn’t exist to do good, it exists to serve the interests of the ruling class. If the best systems end up doing good, it’s only because doing good serves their interests well. Solving the Tragedy of the Commons is not only good for the fish, it is good for the Fisherman as well.

        If you make this contest about ‘worthiness,’ you fall to the same demotic myth that everyone from the Nazis to protestant-SJWs falls for. The government does not exist to do good, it exists to serve its own interests. The thousand-year Fnarg does not exist to make the world a better place, it exists to extract as much gold from the planet as possible. Likewise, the great monarchies were not established for the good of the people, but for the aggrandizement of first the Nobles, then later the king himself.

        Is there a place for winning people over to our cause? Of course. But with respect to the average person, the better strategy is to simply show them that every time they get involved in politics, they just make everything worse for themselves. The Ideal is to have a society without political conflict, and that is not achieved by telling people that they inherently deserve a say in how things are run. For them, the best strategy is simply to submit, or for the few who are politically useful, to encourage them to have others submit to them.

        The rule is not that the worthy dominate the unworthy, but that the strong dominate the weak. And this works best when the strong are themselves worthy.

        1. “The State doesn’t exist to do good,”

          Here I would disagree, and yes, I’ve read Moldbug.
          The problem with the modern state’s aspirations toward righteousness is that it has no idea what righteousness looks like, not that it’s a bad thing in itself.

  2. ConantheContrarian April 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

    To get from here to there means that a lot of blood will be shed, in my opinion. Nice idea though.

    1. Michael Perilloux April 17, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Aim for the ideal case, prepare for the worst. No point building the violence into the ideal strategy.

  3. Thorgeir Lawspeaker April 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Is there an historical precedent for the pattern set out here? If not, thoughts on why not?

    Also agree with PT Carlo, the status quo always has an incentive to defend itself, and always tries to, even if the successor regime plans to lustrate the old regime’s personnel instead of helicoptering them.

    1. Joseph Jagusah April 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      If people wanted pure historical precedent (which is always good for neoreaction), they would look at the history of class formation in Europe that eventually led to monarchy. What gets left out a lot in neoreactionary circles is that serfdom was necessary to reach that position. While aristocrats presided over a somewhat effective national system in places like France, it took centuries of what amounted to slavery and economic malaise to eliminate the landed nobility (who never had any interest in growth).

      What neoreactionaries should aim for is a city-state system. Sadly, this will not solve our moral problems, but economically we would fare better than under serfdom.

  4. So, firstly, great article! This sort of thinking is what sets people apart from the rabble on either side of the divide, and it gets me excited about the possibilities.

    The article goes a long way into describing ideas relating to “how” our generation can make an impact in the running of our future governments but lacks the necessarily “why”. Although the globalist plans towards a one world order has been subverted by the popular uprising through the mass use of social media – no one is yet talking about the “why”

  5. A good article. I applaud the attempt to provide forms of solution. Most concerned, thinking people must sense that the political situation in our United States is significantly amiss and attempts to provide working solutions are admirable. From what I’ve read here, I’m more inclined to think that NRX solutions are more sincere than the propaganda, shell games and sickness provided by ‘The Cathedral’, but…empires go the way of empires and power creates it’s own vacuums. My thinking is muddy, but the more I try to learn about our present situation, T.S. Eliot’s words come to mind, “…This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.” Forgive me for being pessimistic, but I hope we’re that lucky.

  6. Great thought exercise, however for this to work you’d need a secret society, akin to a Masonic order or the Afrikaner Broederbund in South Africa, that could perhaps be the subject of another article, of how to actually bind and develop a group, warrior’s lodges in West point, perhaps something targeting the most necessarily demotist-skeptical group in the US ie the intelligence services, I’d be interested to know how exactly you think this could be done, as, without anything more specific, it’s difficult to critique what you’ve said here in a fair manner

Comments are closed.