Order of the Invisible Hand
The Order of the Invisible Hand is a rapidly growing cult that worships the Free Market (Market is capitalised) and the workings of the Market. The belief in the Market, in Market forces, has been separated from the factual production of goods and services. It has become an end in itself. The ‘invisible hand’ is a reference to Adam Smiths work: ‘An Inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of Nations.’ (1776) which tells of an invisible hand that every individual labours with, that by promoting intentionally the self-interest the interest of the whole is unintentionally best furthered. Order Doctrine will be laid out in this article. Membership of the cult and the amount of penetration of societal elites however remains mysterious.
For writings of the Order of the invisible hand see this subpage on Order of the Invisible Hand writings
At present, the exact origins of the Order are unknown. The first signs of activity of this new cult were found amongst key figures in South American corporate and political elites. (See: Knootian Colombia) However it would the origins of this cult probably lie in more advanced western economies where the culture to feed such a movement exists. The capitalist crisis, with its shrinking profit rates, may have inspired the corporate elite to revive 19th century economic liberalism and push it to its very limits.
No leadership figures are known at present. The cult is speculated not to have a strong hierarchical structure, but is founded on an intricate international network. The possibility of a pyramidal system with monetary attachments cannot be excluded. Methods of Cult financing are unknown.
Security risk to governments
Contrary to what ideology would suggest, the Order appears to be either benign in its resistance, or outright friendly towards States.
Doctrine suggests that the Market needs the state because without the State there would be no free Market, no Market forces, and no resulting Market society. The existence of a police and a legal system are not condemned by cult doctrine. In scriptures, the (ideal) government is mentioned as an 'ideal all-around capitalist', who must uphold not just the society as such, but the 'Market element'. The different forms of state interventionism are explained both as an expression of functional needs of the accumulation and reproduction process of capital. The general requirements of capital accumulation such as basic infrastructure, functioning law systems and legitimisation mechanisms are tasks that cannot be carried out by individuals, but instead require a "fictive all-around-capitalist". This "Market referee" must guarantee the fulfilment of these tasks in the interest of maintaining the system of the Market.
The relationship between supporters of the Order and opponents of the free Market is similar to that of democrats and anti-democrats. They are enemies, inherently, without the possibility of compromise. According to doctrine, the free Market either exists, or it does not exist. It can disappear by consent or without consent. Any attempt to end the free Market is, by definition, an attempt to overthrow the fundamental social structure. To quote Order Scripture: “The state exists to preserve the Market. It uses force to defend the Market and advance its power. Obey a state that protects the Market.”
The security risk to governments deemed by the Order as ‘defending the Market’ is very low. The effects of possible infiltration in the higher ranks could be political, however, as Order cultists can be expected to push for pro-business, anti-welfare and anti-government interference neo-liberal policies.
The risk to governments not seen by the cult as ‘defending the Market’ (ie. Communist nations that have illegalised private enterprise) is unknown at present, but analysts predict it to be medium-to-high. What measures the cult is willing to deploy against ‘enemies of the Market’ is unknown. Suicidal attacks are deemed unlikely, however. There is a high probability of cultists attempting to use public power against such governments.
General Characteristics of the Order ideology
- The belief in the moral necessity of Market forces in all areas of society is probably the first defining feature of the Order. The Market is the sacred primary process, and Market transactions are the primary interaction. Cultists believe that important aspects of society should be determined by the Market, certainly the distribution of income and wealth. Order Doctrine extends this belief, claiming that all social life should be determined by the Market.
- A general characteristic of Order Doctrine is the desire to intensify and expand the Market, by increasing the number, frequency, repeatability, and formalisation of transactions. The ultimate (unreachable) goal of the Order is a universe where “every action of every being is a Market transaction, conducted in competition with every other being and influencing every other transaction, with transactions occurring in an infinitely short time, and repeated at an infinitely fast rate.” This overlaps with semi-religious beliefs in the interconnectedness of the cosmos.
Some specific aspects of Order Doctrine
- The belief in ‘entrepreneurs’, as the good and necessary social group. Without the entrepreneur there is no free Market, therefore Cultists demand a privileged social status for the entrepreneur. Documents take a have a quasi-heroic attitude to the this profession, and the general idea is that everyone should be an entrepreneur.
- The Order is hostile to economic self-sufficiency and has repeatedly published against it. This antipathy is so strong that they believed in war to 'open up Markets'. (See also: ‘Security risk to governments’)
- Cultists are hostile to trade barriers: "free trade" is a classic slogan of Market liberalism. That meant traditionally, the free flow of goods and capital: Order Doctrine later developed a more diffuse version, where 'flow' and 'interaction' are treated as quasi-ethical values.
- All Cultists are hostile to interference in the Market, by church, state or others Cultists are clearly anti-utopian, in the sense of opposing economic planning, especially centralised state control of the entire economy. They believe that the Market produces the best 'design for society', and that is is wrong to substitute any other design. However, as mentioned before there is no inherent hostility to governments seen as ‘defending the Market.’
- Followers tend to see the world in term of Market metaphors. Referring to nations as companies is typical. In such a view Reichskamphen GmbH competes with Iansisle Ltd, Knootoss BV and Menelmacar Inc. This looks back on the theory of mercantilism.
Competition for inward investment is a core doctrine where it regards political activism. These policies are easy to understand and generally unpopular: wage cuts, less money for public services, less tax on the rich. The nation according to IH principles, in other words, behaves like a caricaturally mean and nasty capitalist.
Order Doctrine has provided answers to stereotypical philosophical questions such as "Why are we here" and "What should I do?". We are here for the Market, and you should compete. Sentient beings exist for the Market, and not the other way around. Those who do not participate have failed in some way. In personal ethics, the general vision is that every human being is an entrepreneur managing their own life, and should act as such.
The general ethical precept of Order Doctrine can be summarised approximately as:
- "act in conformity with Market forces"
- "within this limit, act also to maximise the opportunity for others to conform to the Market forces generated by your action"
- "hold no other goals"
For followers of the Order of the Invisible Hand it is not sufficient that there is a Market: there must be nothing which is not Market. There is therefore no distinction between a Market economy and a Market society in Order Doctrine. With the attitudes and ethics set out above, there is only Market: Market society, Market culture, Market values, Market persons Marketing themselves to other Market persons. In a sense Order Doctrine has returned to the position of early liberalism - which also combined culture, values and ethics with economics. But Order Doctrine brings a far more intensive 'Market' - replacing not only traditional social forms, but also the concept of private life. At the same time this 'Market' is increasingly remote from the necessity of production, which was so real for the early liberals - when there were still regular famines.