Jim on Monarchy

Jim posts a long and interesting Moldbuggian disquisition on monarchy and theocracy:
The job of a king is [to] reign, which means that by simply existing and being King, he prevents the negative sum struggle for power from destroying the wealth of the Kingdom and possibly getting lots of people killed. His job is to deny political power to anyone and everyone that wants it.

The job of a king as head of the official Church is to prevent a negative sum theocratic struggle for power, to prevent people from advancing their political ambitions by being holier than thou. By preventing a theocratic struggle for religious authority, he prevents religion from being perverted into an instrument of power, and thus prevents morals from being corrupted by those who most loudly proclaim their greater holiness.
I mostly posted this because that first para in particular is very good, almost aphoristic. But the whole piece is a good read.

As Jim points out, God is dead, so the potential for theocracy as such (that is, involving belief in God) is pretty much null. (In the West, anyway.) On the other hand, the potential for atheocracy is as high as ever. So a secure state must either be able to ignore belief entirely, which assumes very strong state security, or it must occupy the job and prevent atheocratic capture. This strikes me as something that will happen without effort for a neocameral regime, but I'll have to think on that.

Technology reduces the homocide rate

There's no question that modern technology saves lives. Getting a victim to a hospital as fast as possible is vital. People are helicoptered to trauma centers. It seems like these sorts of technological advances must be affecting the murder rate; but how much? The homicide rate has been pretty flat for a long time, even as other sorts of crime have exploded since the 60s. Here's a paper, Murder and Medicine: The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999, which characterizes the effect:
In three analyses of lethality trends, over time, by type of weapon and across counties, we have garnered considerable support for the hypothesis that advances in emergency medical care have greatly and increasingly reduced the lethality of violent assaults, with observed annual drops in such lethality ranging from 2.5% to 4.5%.
Over the 40 years they studied, the total reduction in homicide from better technology was roughly a factor of 4; see figure 1. Thus, there is strong evidence that the homicide rate is not a sign of a more peaceful society, but rather a richer one.