Drafting Plans for the Thomas Carlyle Club for Young Reactionaries

I know that The Thomas Carlyle Club for Young Reactionaries that Radish refers to so often doesn’t actually exist. Last week, in the midst of some Twitter discussion about it, I decided that someone ought to  at least start talking about how we could actually put it together.

To me, it seems important that this effort be started now, to prevent the neoreactionary community from developing more of an ant-heap social structure than it already has. Informal social arrangements have hard limits of scale far lower than formal ones do.

Please tweet at me, write blog responses, or leave comments below about what you think.

WHY CLUBS?

  • Prevents us from becoming overly intellectual.

  • Gives action-oriented people something to do.

  • Builds up the human components of the social structure we’re building.

  • Gives noneggheads something to do besides hang out on Twitter and blogging

  • Prevents eggheads from lowering the discourse to match the broadened audience

  • Gives people studying a structured learning environment

  • Generates social capital (™)

  • Enforces minimum standards of intellect and character.

I

TENTATIVE RULES

  • Gender segregated; male-only.

  • Each section has 12 members and one leader

    • Why 12 + 1 leader? Small enough for discussion, large enough to achieve significant objectives.

    • Leader has discretion on whether he wants to name a treasurer, note-keeper, etc.

    • Not chosen by election. Leader is whoever started the group. Leader decides whom to pass leadership to.

    • There’s an entrance exam, personal statement requirement, and an application fee.

    • Also a physical fitness requirement (just plagiarize the Army’s physical fitness exam and charts — it’s not stringent but is enough to enforce a minimum standard)

    • If the size of the group goes past 13, the group should metastasize, with a new leader chosen by the parent group.

    • Members are discouraged from blogging, tweeting, etc. publicly about group activities. Leaders and senior members are to be encouraged. Media output isn’t the primary goal of the organizations, however.

  • The membership pays dues to club, and the club must send a portion of collections to the larger parent organization.

  • Dues go towards projects to benefit the membership, like book advances, research funding, etc.

  • The membership lists aren’t published publicly.

  • The leader arbitrates disputes.

  • Entry requires saying an oath.

CLUB FUNCTIONS

  • Each month, the club leadership promotes a certain topic.

    • This can be a book or author. It can be a theme. It can be a skill like riflery or housepainting.

    • Leaders have broad discretion on how to go about fostering the month’s theme.

    • Books and other material can be sold at discounts to members.

  • As the organization develops, the top leadership becomes less about programming and more about broader coordination and pursuing long term initiatives and institution building.

  • Club fosters professional development, tight networking, knowledge + resource pooling.

  • Chapter leaders can send reports up the hierarchy. Knowledge gleaned can build up our institutional learning.

  • Encourage profitable projects. 12 men of ordinary ability who trust each other can start companies or do things like buy foreclosures, renovate them, and flip it.

  • Encourage emegency preparedness.

    • In a blizzard, your cell is there, plowing streets, shoveling snow for grandmas with diabetes

    • In a blackout you’re ready with flashlights, battery radios, and fresh water

    • In a riot you have spare guns and ammunition

    • During a price control regime like after Hurricane Sandy, you’re running gasoline

LONG TERM GOALS

  • Rebuild the evil patriarchy

  • Create an entity that can raise funds, show traction, growth, etc.

  • Prevents over-centralization or the clogging of different sections of the pyramid w/ too many people.

  • Encourages team spirit vs. individual squabbling while still leaving space for individuals to have extraordinary impact

  • Conceal numbers of affiliated men while increasing the paranoia of political opponents

    • Semisecret society vs. Completely secret.

  • Makes local political takeovers far easier. Small trusted networks can perform quiet, slow-motion subversions at a far lower cost with less reliance on public relations.

    • Loudly declaring intentions before establishing the network means massive Cathedral retaliation.

    • Doing so with the appropriate level of discretion permits power consolidation.

  • Enables people who can’t express their support publicly to still contribute; gives people who can be public sources of revenue and political cover.

  • Regulates intra-nrxnary conflict while creating an avenue for fruitful competition.

PRE-EMPTING CRITICISMS OF THIS PLAN

  • Nazi! This is just like the SA!

    • No, not really.

  • But I just wanna blog a lot.

    • Then you’re attempting to compete with your enemy in the same domain in which they have overpowering advantages.

    • Then you will lead by example to get more people to write and tweet. While nice, this has limitations. The marginal benefit of one more part time blogger is low.

  • I’m too fat to pass a fitness test.

    • Go fix that.

  • This is just like the Freemasons or the boy scouts or…

    • Yes, but with new and improved anti-progressivism.

  • None of us live close enough together to start a club.

    • Start online or partially online. Keep splitting and sorting until it’s possible.

  • The rules are cis and heterosexist.

    • Yes.

  • What do you do when a cell or sect becomes overly heretical?

    • Then we’ll have to create an Inquisition.

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37 thoughts on “Drafting Plans for the Thomas Carlyle Club for Young Reactionaries

  1. A few thoughts:

    * There needs to be a way to select for good leaders. We don’t need narcissists / people who want to start a cult. Does the way the Army do it work?

    * I’m a bit concerned where dues are required unless they go to something obviously beneficial. See above about bad leaders + formation of pyramid schemes.

    * Don’t make them formally legal clubs. A club that is some kind of corporate entity can be attacked through legal means. This also means it’s harder to formally identify members.

    * OPSEC? http://guerrillamerica.com/2013/08/information-operations-part-three-operational-security/

    * Long term may want to look into the use of TOR and the deep web for covert communications.

    * All male: good idea, Evola talked about the “mannerbund”. This was part of how the original aristocracy formed. This also makes for the kind of high-trust environment needed to function well.

    * PT requirement – I first I was like ??? but then I thought this may actually be a really good idea to weed people out. There should probably be other requirements that on the face of it look strange but are meant to weed people out.

    • Good points.

      “There needs to be a way to select for good leaders. We don’t need narcissists / people who want to start a cult. Does the way the Army do it work?”

      I don’t know of a good theoretical way for doing this besides natural selection and good screening. I figured that operating on the patriarchal principle (the progenitors lead) works better than in most other situations.

      From my experience, people tend to not want authority, and will avoid it assiduously. The people who assert themselves and take initiative are rare, but tend to make for better leaders, because their assertiveness gains them more leadership opportunities in life, which grants them more experience.

      “I’m a bit concerned where dues are required unless they go to something obviously beneficial. See above about bad leaders + formation of pyramid schemes.”

      Dues aren’t strictly required, but people tend to take societies that don’t have dues far less seriously (they will drop out, miss meetings, etc.) than they ought to. It’s less a source of funding as it is a way to encourage a certain level of commitment.

      Entrance exams also cost time, and would require money to administer effectively. If you don’t charge the right amount of money for those, reviewing applications takes up too much time. It also encourages people to take the application process seriously.

      “Don’t make them formally legal clubs. A club that is some kind of corporate entity can be attacked through legal means. This also means it’s harder to formally identify members.”

      If a lawyer could review this, I’d appreciate it (or I could go bug the lawyers in my family). I do know that some all-male clubs have been sued for discriminating against women. Just having an entrance exam is fraught with legal issues under the heading of disproportionate impacts.

      “Long term may want to look into the use of TOR and the deep web for covert communications.”

      Moldbug’s building Urbit, and at least two other neoreactionary programmers are creating secure communications products for the general market. Plenty of current writers go by weak anonymity, and I most are likely easy for law enforcement to monitor.

      However, I’m personally not terribly concerned about the American state. Maybe I should be.

      “All male: good idea, Evola talked about the “mannerbund”. This was part of how the original aristocracy formed. This also makes for the kind of high-trust environment needed to function well.”

      Yes, but this isn’t just an Evola idea. It’s how pre-1968 civilization functioned. There are countless reasons as to why excluding women is an important aspect to serious social organizations.

      The purpose is explicitly to promote patriarchy as the organizing principle of society at the smallest practical level possible above the individual. Mixing women into that would just confuse the purpose.

      “PT requirement – I first I was like ??? but then I thought this may actually be a really good idea to weed people out. There should probably be other requirements that on the face of it look strange but are meant to weed people out.”

      There was more explanation to this in one of the original drafts, but I hoped that leaving less of that would lead to thought processes like yours. The point is not to set up a network of affiliated book clubs, or to give herbs more opportunities to herb out with each other.

      Mixing in people who are physically infirm reduces functional optionality of the groups. Ensuring that everyone meets a minimum physical and intellectual standard increases the potential range of activity of the group. Enforcing no fitness requirement ensures that the group has to hew to the lowest common denominator.

      For example, if you know that a different cell is going to meet a minimum physical standard, you can call up the neighboring leader and have the group put aside a weekend to clear a field for cultivation, and set up the rails for a FarmBot.

  2. Gotta say, this reminds me to an uncomfortable extent of the committees and salons of progressive eras gone by. I think we can divide your list into 3 categories: 1) Development/discussion of principles, 2) Networking for other initiatives, and 3) Preparation a’la Jack Donovan’s tribes. I think the first two are admirable and achievable objectives in the club structure.

    [I was concerned about this, especially because I have personal experience of libertarian ends being undone by progressive organizational structures and means. -ed]

    But I’m not sure about 3). I think 3) is in some ways the most important part as it involves getting people actually building communities on the ground. But that’s not a club, it’s a tribe. And the thing about tribes is that they rarely get started through membership fees and applications. They form on bonds of friendship and mutual respect, and are then forged together when its members stick together in times of struggle and crisis (personal and unseen far more so than The Great and Apocalyptic Collapse).

    [The ‘club’ designation is intentionally loose.]

    So yes to the Clubs (in German we might call it a Stammtisch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stammtisch). But here would be my recommendations:

    1) While regular meetings could be kept smaller, be sure to network with other clubs and have bigger events on occasion. Focus on discussion and development of principles as well as networking between members.

    [This was also my thought outside of this draft. This is a good goal to reach for (that and infrequent continent-wide events).]

    2) Let relations beyond there develop more organically. If members of a cell share religious bonds, interests in farming or hunting or physical training, let them build it from there. This could include a whole cell, members from different cells, or some portion of one. Lots of cross networking.

    [Specialized cells would hopefully arise dynamically as the affiliated population expands.]

    3) At some point having a set leader may be necessary. I’m not sure if a group of 12 is that point. We all respect hierarchical values here and I’m sure senior/junior relations will make themselves known naturally. It might just be the Anglo mentality, but Fuehrerprinzip seems to just go very very badly in Right-geared movements. See the BNP as a key example. Self-enforcement is at play in reactionaries as well as Cathedral pew-sitters.

    4) I like the physical requirements as a concept, but I’m not 100% sure if they’re necessary for a club like this. For whatever tribes and groups may form beyond them, yes probably. But we might be putting cart before horse here. Intellectual and character requirements, absolutely. We don’t need hotheads, wannabe Fuehrers, and professional trolls who are just covering up a lack of ideas.

    [If anything, 12 is too large for one leader, especially if he’s a novice. Groups as small as 3 benefit from having a formal executive. If you have to coordinate multiple groups, you need an executive at the head of each group, or any inter-group discussion degenerates into a social occasion. There ain’t nothing wrong with socializing, but when business needs to get done, you need executives to be able to have actionable discussions with one another.]

    Just my thoughts.

    [Thanks!]

    • Ahhh, the agreeable one! I’m glad that you think so. Organizations with standards can use the quality of their membership to attract recruits. Open-recruiting organizations always and everywhere degenerate and develop nasty reputations.

      • Plus, the level to which the recruiter might go to gain recruits could easily become embarassing.

        Just use your imagination… Or, on second thought, don’t.

        Best regards,

        A.J.P.

  3. How would the intellectual exam be structured? Elements of IQ tests, general knowledge, metaphysical understanding etc? It feels like this could easily become somewhat silly…

    • This is outside my expertise. I should think that IQ and demonstrating knowledge of what neoreaction is with some kind of personal statement would be sufficient.

      To the extent that existing screening mechanisms ain’t broke, don’t fix ’em.

      I’m mostly interested in poaching the high-capability talent that the Cathedral would otherwise soak up. This is the goal of documents like Moldbug’s ‘Letter to Open-Minded Progressives’ — Moldbug himself being a Brown graduate.

      • I’m mostly interested in poaching the high-capability talent that the Cathedral would otherwise soak up.

        Yes, and the potential for this is what has kindled my very interest in Neoreaction. I’d like to take a crack at the Leftist drift, or bicentennial mudslide before I end up being a fully-invested and practicing cultural secessionist. (Just ask me if you’re not sure on that terminology) Point me at the enemy!

        A.J.P.

      • *poaching the high-capability talent that the Cathedral would otherwise soak up*
        If that’s the goal, then ideally you would be structured to have a mix of successful men in the middle of their careers and college students, with a focus on networking, personal development, career development, fitness, and marriage and dating. Sounds awesome, but its a tall order.

  4. This is an excellent idea.
    I do think you are underplaying the potential operational security threats. Not from the government, per se, but more from the progressive activists that are going to turn all the demonization artillery on the the Dark Enlightenment at some point. People with real careers and families will be taking significant risks in joining a reactionary club at that point. There is also the possibility that down the road, the ideas of the Dark Enlightenment could be treated legally as “hate speech” leading to a widespread pulling of blogs, twitter accounts, etc.
    Therefore, if you are going to start a club, membership communication should be secure and encrypted from the very start. I have been playing around with a service called Friendica, which is a “federated” social network that has no central node or database. You can load a node on a partition on your computer, and communicate with any other node in the Friendica network. Or, a club could buy shared space on an online server for a trivial amount, and you could host memberships for a dozen members. If each club was on the Friendica network, all the other clubs and their members nationwide would potentially be accessible.
    Basically, it could function as a giant darknet, with traffic between each Friendica node fully encrypted by default. You can be as visible, or invisible as you want – what you choose to share with others is up to you. This is not pie in the sky – it is a mature open source platform. Nobody uses it, since why bother with the hassle since there is facebook? However, reactionaries do have a good reason to adopt a secure communications platform. It would also nice to be locally and nationally able to communicate. Short of shutting down the entire internet, there would be no single point of vulnerability for a reactionary network on Friendica.

    • I’ll look into this, and consult with one of my crypto-expert friends about it.

      I agree with you here. In the next 5 years, I’d expect a Federal-level speech code enforcement agency if the state persists financially for that long.

      • I think the F2F club thing is critical, but current tech offers some interesting options to increase the communications reach and security of a reactionary membership. A reactionary Darknet would be nice to have, but only in support of those real world connections and networking.
        One other suggestion: consider multiple phases for organization. The ideas about membership tests and requirements are all good, but they might be more appropriate at phase 2. For phase 1, the need is to get bloggers, commenters, and lurkers to move offline and into the real world. Casual reactionary meetups, such as the handful that have occurred so far, are the first step. Somehow this needs be accelerated during 2014, to develop a critical mass of reactionaries that are beginning to forge personal connections out side of the private internet. Once that is in place, then get more formal about the activities. The first steps need to be easy steps, at least for phase 1, then for phase 2, tighten up the requirements once the momentum is strong.
        One idea for a early phase 2 “test” for reactionaries: some sort of compilation of their comments on various blogs in the Dark Enlightenment. This would be quick to evaluate, prove engagement with DE thinking, and provide an easy test that the moderately motivated would be able to pass. And again, once the momentum is rolling along, tighten up the requirements.
        DM me on Twitter if you are interested in testing Friendica.

    • The most likely threat is that some members of the club have a falling out and expose each other. Or a wife/significant other/friend stumbles across her husband’s dark secret, is horrified, and publicizes what she’s found on his desktop.

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  7. Excellent ideas. Recently attended a small DC-area meetup (writeup pending). Increasingly, population centers around the US are reaching the critical mass it would take to make these clubs feasible.

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  11. (1) one of the cells is convinced to commit a crime
    (2) organization banned, members arrested
    (3) lol
    Did you just finish reading The Turner Diaries?
    Small, deniable cells are good at terrorism, spying, organized crime, and other nefarious activities. Count me out.

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  13. Seems like a good idea for many Neoreactionaries, and a good way to bring more intelligent young men into a real community.

    However, as has been noted, most of the neoreactionary writers are like cats. This is essentially a measure to herd the cats into a productive initiative. Fat chance that will work.

    Clubs? Organizations? Yes yes yes. But let it be decentralized, not centralized. That kind of top-down hierarchy will not work here.

    • >This is essentially a measure to herd the cats into a productive initiative. Fat chance that will work.

      Oh ye of little faith.

      There is no such thing as an online community of humans. You have people publishing lines and essays at one another. Occasionally, there are exchanges of letters and phone conversations. All of these activities are psychologically distorting. Few of them do enough to build dependable trust. Further, online networks are cheaper to disrupt and monitor than in-person networks.

      It is my experience that leads me to this conclusion.

      • I agree with all these assertions, generally. Nevertheless, I am of little faith.

        There are a few NRx groups. YVR has a number of Neoreactionaries that meet somewhat regularly, although they do it in a very different context from a hierarchical club.

        I don’t doubt the intent and idea, just the implementation. Start with a hierarchy is a bad idea. Let it form naturally from a coalition of loosely connected groups.

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