Is Neoreaction Traditionalist?

Michaelangelo's Pieta

Many people who aren’t already in the crab cult tend to misinterpret neoreaction as a traditionalist movement, much to the consternation of actual traditionalists.

The most prominent writers in the reactosphere do tend to spend a lot of time writing about and reading history. Many if not most tend to believe that many traditional forms of social organization carry nuggets of wisdom that can be readily applied to today’s social conditions.

None of that is unique to neoreaction: it’s one of Hayek’s central observations about economics and society. It’s just that few in the public sphere have tended to spend so much time and effort acting as defense lawyers for our ancestors without much concern about the trampling of contemporary taboos.

Neoreaction is traditionalist in the way that a genetically engineered aristocracy with cybernetic body parts encased in shear-thickening fluid armor could evoke traditional social forms without being didactic copies of past forms.

Caesar used cryptography, and for all intents and purposes, the Roman legions were unstoppable cyborgs supported by an incomprehensibly superior communications and weapons production system, motivated by a rich & ancient religious/philosophical tradition. How impressive a technology is is relative to how useful it is at gaining an advantage over the neighboring tribes.

The idea that technology is incompatible with certain traditional social forms does have some partial merit, but the diagnosis only ever makes any sense when looking backwards. In the moment, the technologies that did enable certain social forms (like steel-forging, standard weights & measures, and masonry) are sometimes redefined as not-technology when they become mature arts.

The answer to the original question in the headline is going to be a strong ‘no.’

The tension between nationalists and NRx

Contemporary traditionalists have a tendency to be a little like Napoleon, who himself evoked traditionalist aesthetics while pursuing a left wing political program that was nonetheless slightly to the right of the revolutionary government that he toppled. The Napoleonic model has been repeated many times at scale in European history, and has resulted in various disasters each time.

Nonetheless, there are  trans-Napoleons and other nationalist types in our orbit (I say that lovingly, cheekily), often more strongly around properties orbiting around VDare, Radix, and American Renaissance, the middle of which is more explicitly traditionalist than the other two, which are more conventionally nationalist in character.

My criticism of typical traditionalists is that they tend to care more about the outward forms of tradition without concerning themselves with the functions. My personal perspective is that there needs to be more balance to the use of historical knowledge than that.

If you carry an SPQR banner, but implement something like the Napoleonic legal code, the banner is just deceptive advertising for a malignant political program designed to hoodwink cheap proles into dying for you, or putting you into a political position in which you can grow fat and lazy. People looking to achieve that sort of goal should get a good haircut and get to work raising money for the Republican party.

I’m not saying that’s what’s being done in the United States, but it is a common program abroad, and not one that I would like to see put in place in the country that my ancestors stole fair and square from the red Indians.

Similarly, neglecting the importance of aesthetics and symbolism, attempting to transform politics into an engineering project, is also neglectful and doomed to stunted prospects. The notion may be popular among engineers, but engineers are a tiny segment of the kind of population that you need to run  a great civilization.

Religious traditionalists often resent NRx

Another distinction between neoreaction and explicitly religious traditionalists is that the latter tend to be primarily concerned with spiritual matters, and many (but not all) are more concerned with what will happen to their souls when they are judged than they are concerned about the material world. Traditionalists tend to hold NRx-leaning writers in contempt for what they see as our pillaging of their intellectual treasures while we hold court with secularists.

Yes, we are pillaging your work and your sacred traditions. Fortunately, we’re only making copies. If you have elected to forsake this planet, do not be surprised if the people who still have to live here displace you from your position of influence.

Speaking for myself, I become frustrated to see flippant dismissals that tend to be mixed with obsequious demonstrations of public piety. It strikes me as odd that so many would become resigned to the desecration of their temples on earth and think that it would somehow get them points in Heaven. It seems that there ought to be a more workable coalition to be made, and indeed, many writers in that camp at least speak with some of those in ours, even if there’s often harsh disagreement, as when Jim Donald comments at Throne & Altar.

NRx mines traditionalism for useful ideas, but isn’t the mine itself

The key conclusion that I want to impart to you is that neoreaction isn’t in the business of preserving old traditions. The most common behavior that we see in the most-respected writers in the space (like Moldbug, Jim, and Spandrell) is that of mining history for fascinating ideas. Most of them do it mostly because they feel compelled to do it or find the activity intrinsically interesting without any particular designs on impacting political events.

The neoreactionary term was coined by the most avid readers of these particular writers and their contemporaries. Many of them are more anxious to spread what they have read, to transmit their new understandings and outlooks to the people around them in their communities. Anxiety about ongoing political crises and the failure of the modern right to achieve any of its goals for hundreds of years tends to provide the impetus for these sorts of activities.

Most traditionalist communities are closed-off from the general public, and especially closed-off to modern men who tend to be without a fixed community. Like low-rent Trojans, the people who come to the mental lands occupied by the dark enlightenment are men (and the occasional woman) looking for tradition without a tradition to call their own.

This is why they tend to be viewed with such suspicion and terror: because that sort of behavior is intrinsically suspicious and terrible. The term ‘movement’ tends to be abused by every idiot ‘thought leader’ that can fog a mirror to get in front of a TEDx podium.

What makes the dark enlightenment (of which neoreaction is a subset) so intimidating is that its movement is one of restlessness, it is a loud stomping of male feet eager to be given direction, mixed with a horrifying skittering of unidentifiable creatures. In aggregate, it moves not at all, but the noise that it makes seems to be from another world, another time.

Journalists hear the noise, and the noise makes them feel terrified, so frightened that they begin to act more irrational than is normal. When bad things happen to them, they often turn to blame the shadow rather than the readily-identifiable proximate cause. It is a cold film of sweat, a slight tightening of the throat, an involuntary flutter of the eyelids, all attributed to a thing without form.

At the risk of spoiling the delightful mystery, the truth is that you will provoke this sort of restlessness when you attempt to expel entire categories of your subjects (it’d be an insult to use the republican adjective of ‘citizen’) from the social positions granted to their ancestors as a birthright without killing them outright, and still attempting to rely upon them for tax income and political support.

If you’re going to spit on a man without shooting him afterwards, don’t be surprised if he retaliates against your impudence later.

Why is there demand for new traditions?

People intrinsically desire a sense of belonging, because to belong to a strong tribe with a long past and hopeful future is to be a secure person. Because that is increasingly being denied to entire categories of people in the West, those people who have been ejected from their own cultural history have a desire that they feel in their gonads to find a civilization that they can call home again.

There is a certain logic to this whole political scene that the Left tends to only recognize in temporary flashes : “…they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”

We could, of course, say the same thing about the Left: they cling to the guns of their SWAT teams, the revelatory-evangelical religion of civil rights, and their hatred of those who don’t share their way of life.

Even though they consider us wayward, they still believe that they have a right to our souls. The cacophony is the grumbling of millions of ornery men telling them that they have no such right.

What was the American community has already been sundered into countless factions. A war krazy-glued it together with a solution containing the blood and guts of hundreds of thousands of dead American men. But even the best glue job comes undone with tension.

The desire for self-determination within nations is entirely understandable when you take the dispassionate view of the American federation of states as breaking down on a material and moral level. To be beholden to an alien tradition is an agonizing experience for the human creature, a practice that causes endless resentments. The way to reduce conflict is to make those divisions more readily visible  in the culture and to formalize that division through treaty & other law.

Let’s acknowledge together that, while ending the American federation might harm the lives of a small number of people living around Washington D.C., that it’s political prudent to acknowledge the insolvency of the American government and to devolve governance to smaller states.

The synthetic tradition of Americanism has failed. It has become a punchline. The people are straining to find new ones that they can call their own.

Girardet - Déroute de Cholet (Depiction of the War in the Vendée)

Why Promote Gay Marriage?

It symbolizes equality, undermining the target society’s ability to maintain property rights.

Girardet - Déroute  de Cholet (Depiction of the War in the Vendée)

Girardet – Déroute de Cholet (Depiction of the War in the Vendée)

Gay marriage isn’t about marriage contracts between homosexuals.

We know this because homosexual marriage is unpopular among homosexuals. Pew Research states that, in all the states surveyed since 2004, only 71,165 gay marriages have been performed. Census data shows that even in California, where 1.3 million estimated homosexuals live, a scant 18,000 gay marriages have occurred.

Yet some of the most expensive advertising time in the country — during the 2014 Grammy awards, which sold for $1m per 30 second spot — spent an entire segment on promoting gay marriage. The entire segment ran for roughly 7 minutes and 30 seconds. Although not exact, we can say that it’s equivalent to over $15 million in prime ad spending, endorsed by multiple celebrities, packaged with official approval on a broadcast network granted many Federal privileges and censored by the Federal Communications Commission.

This provocation comes a year after the FCC relaxed its obscenity policies after the Supreme Court overturned some indecency cases.

In this, ironically, we see the results of years of misguided libertarian activism that would have been predicted by a classically educated elite but would only be poorly understood by today’s à la carte university graduates.

While state censorship is a brittle method of managing public mores, the law also mandates that television manufacturers receive broadcast TV signals. Cable and Satellite TV operators are similarly obligated to carry those signals by the law. In this way, state censorship is the only means available (besides abstaining from using television) for the general population to regulate the limits of what media can be sent to their homes.

equality

Human Rights Campaign – ‘Equals’ floating in a pool of blood

The patriarchal family is properly understood as a unit supportive of the private property political order, headed by a single executive. Aristotle defined this explicitly in contrast to the society formed around Plato’s ideals of love, especially homosexual love, as exemplified by Achilles’ passion for Patroclus.

Homosexual love is a symbol of equality in that, in the act, it connects two entities that are closer to being the same. Sex between men and women is a conjugation of two inherently unequal beings. Attempting to portray men and women as ‘equals’ requires a lot of continual rhetorical bluster to obscure the obvious reality. Holding up homosexual love as moral paragon comes naturally to egalitarians, because it matches with their political conceptions (which prizes the mental unreality of ideal forms over nature).

Since the convulsions of 1968, the West has flung itself into a Platonist concept of love (in a vulgar form), which is seen as the highest value, even among heterosexuals.

The Aristotelian view is that patriarchy leads to the private property hierarchical social order. There are thousands of years of evidence behind the proposition that patriarchy is the critical cultural bulwark that promotes a politics of private property. Plato agreed on this point. The Communists agree on this point, and as such, advance social orders that undermine patriarchy, because it’s known that it’s the atom of the private property social order.

Merely because an atom can be split doesn’t mean that it ought to be, because doing so eliminates its essential characteristics.

It’s because of this that the left is so aggressively attacking the remnants of patriarchal social order that remains within the Western world. Each destroyed family is a victory for the parasitical forces that make up the left. The distributed hierarchical structure is what makes complex political and economic forms possible. Enabling laws like divorce make that structure legally insecure, and simple to predate upon.

It’s at split purposes to say that a private property legal order is ideal while simultaneously agitating against the distributed hierarchy of secure social order known as the patriarchal family.

For the left, it’s more fruitful to attack ‘the economy’ (which etymologically derives from ‘the household’) than it is to attack larger social units. An egalitarian family structure leads to an egalitarian political structure, which is what the West has been hurtling towards since the mid 18th century, to our detriment.

All the left needs is love, love, love, unrestricted erotic love free of obligations, to achieve its ends in the destruction of civilization. The essential practice of the left is to apply a deadly herbicide to the complicated, evolved balance between flora and fauna that make up human civilization. Then, planners attempt to erect wobbly structures over the salted flats in accordance to their visions of how the world ought to be.

For a deeper contemporary perspective on this issue, Quick Reactions recommends the writings of Dalrock on love.

Ferris - Writing the Declaration of Independence

Cathedralnomics: How Media Workers Get Paid

With free time & space to fill with whatever message that they like.

Ferris - Writing the Declaration of Independence

Ferris – Writing the Declaration of Independence

People who work in the media are notoriously ill-paid for their work. College graduates, often with master’s degrees, fill newsrooms and editorial staffs for almost universally low salaries. They work long hours, usually including late nights and weekends, and the majority have no social status whatsoever. After years of toil, a small number may come to enjoy plum positions and the respect that comes with it.

Moldbug’s ‘polygon hypothesis‘ states:

The key to the Polygon hypothesis is that three words are synonyms: responsibility, influence, and power. The New York Times, for example, isresponsible because if it does the wrong thing rather than the right thing, it can cause a great deal of suffering. It is influential because its actions affect the lives of many people. And it is powerful because there is no conceivable meaningful sense of the English word power which is not synonymous with responsibility and influence. Power is the ability to make a difference, to change the world. Remind me again what people say on their J-school applications?

Understanding what individual journalists and editors are compensated with makes much more sense when you understand the  media business model. It’s a real estate business in the case of text-and-still image media, and time business in the cause of oral/visual media like radio and television. The ‘content’ of an article builds up a certain audience, and then the salespeople within that business sell proportional access to that audience to advertisers, who will use that access to influence the behavior of the audience.

The typical journalist often earns only a pittance in cash, but effectively, if you consider how much access they have to their audience in the dollar terms that are quoted to advertisers, their salaries are often extremely high. A full page ad even in a small newspaper often goes for thousands of dollars. Yet a typical writer might get a half page on their beat in a single day.

That $20,000/year employee can be earning compensation in-kind into the six figures, tax free, that they can turn into a position of real power later in their career. Op-ed columnists can gain absurd levels of reach for what plebeian businessmen would have to spend tens of millions of dollars for.

For example, a full page on Friday for the USA Today costs $$217,900. A color full page in the Wall Street Journal costs $361,703.

A 500 word article in the Wall Street Journal at their 2014 non-contract rates takes up roughly $47,220 in effective advertising space: if you include the headline, it’s probably closer to $50,000. While not every article in the newspaper is competently constructed to influence behavior, it’s often disproportionately effective enough to self-sustain economically.

The same space that runs an advertisement that needs to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales to be worthwhile goes towards an ordinary article in a national newspaper. In a magazine, especially with an affluent and specific audience, the numbers can get much higher.

If you’re a well-connected writer who doesn’t need a salary, that cash compensation looks more like a perk (because it keeps earnest strivers away from the position) than a problem.

While you couldn’t value a journalist’s column-inches in exactly the same way (although more than half of many papers goes to advertising, especially when you include inserts and online ads). The same opportunity for influence that advertisers would have to spend fortunes for goes straight to an ideologically-trained reporter fresh out of a program like Columbia Journalism School. It’s not so much that the graduates of those programs learn much of anything useful: it’s that they learn what to think and how to say it in order to shift the global culture in a direction that pleases their professors and their friends. They also gain access to the alumni social network, and status that they can lord over their inferiors.

It’s easier to comprehend the power of the press when you put it in dollar terms. While journalists are in theory restricted about what they can write, these rules hew to the existing Cathedral line: conveniently, source guidelines favor university professors, doctors, scientists, government officials, and other ideologically vetted authorities. The system is less open and self-organizing than it seems on the outside.

As media workers tend to be ‘underpaid’ (in reality grossly overpaid relative to their abilities when you count the effective non-monetary compensation), it’s trivial to replace one who becomes irresponsible and splits from the ‘professional standards’ expected of a member of the respectable press.

This method of social control, while effective, has been breaking down for a few reasons:

  1. It has lost credibility with the mass audience. Too many obvious lies have damaged too many people, and left them distrustful of their spiritual authorities.
  2. With the liberalization of media laws, the ‘mass audience’ has fractured into countless non-overlapping clans.
  3. Their customer base of advertisers has more affordable options, and access to ‘audience’ is more of a commodity than it once was.

So the Cathedral has been wracking itself in fear about ‘what comes next,’ and has hoped that the new era of decentralized ‘social’ media will provide it with new avenues of control. Control, however, has been difficult to come by: the expense of monitoring and shaping the gross quantity of communications that has erupted is threatening both the legitimacy and technical feasibility of the entire project.

The chief problem the Cathedral has right now, from an economic perspective, it’s entirely destructive to the people who are most faithful to it. If you follow the Buzzfeed lifestyle, you’ll become a wormlike, semiliterate, androgynous moron. While the traffic that it drives for its advertisers might help them increase sales in the short run, in the long run, it’s churning out a young demographic that’s  more marginal in economic terms than its elder cohorts.

An ad guy at Consumer Reports whom I shared a beer with years ago told me that the reason that his magazine had stayed relatively insulated from what had ravaged the others was that it was a subscription to the magazine was part of the ‘standard package’ that came with a house in the suburbs, a wife, and the first kid.

Sluts and pajama boys don’t care about lawnmower reviews because they’ll never be able to afford either a house or a lawnmower in great numbers. They’ll also be unlikely to have many children, which makes them undependable sources of demand for a broad class of goods. They’re terrible demographics to advertise to, which makes it much harder for the media complex to self-sustain.

Reactionaries spend a lot of time fixating on sluts and pickup artists as sources of degeneracy, but the real weakling is the 300 pound loner who spends all day playing free games on his/her (gender can be unclear) used iPhone with a cracked screen, dressed in sweatpants purchased from a thrift store. Demographically, the invisible dropout is more dominant than the flashy urban degenerate.

The economics of the media business (slimming ad rates for each section of the audience) are consequences of the declining demographics of the country.

Having outlined one of their main problems, the next task is to exacerbate it, to make it as close to fatal as possible for our friends in the Cathedral. Over the weekend, Nick Land wrote that “…[the] Left is a disease, and therefore a potential bioweapon.” If it can be treated as a disease, then the environment in which it thrives should be isolated, pressurized, and cordoned off — to exacerbate the deadliness to the infected.

Engineering a controlled detonation could keep the damage localized. The trouble is that the whole Western world is pockmarked with ideological mines, rigged for destruction. This makes the necessary work demand a certain delicacy.

Can Neoreaction Avoid Libertarian HIV?

rent-hiv

Patri Friedman, noted ex-polyamorist and Seasteading pitchman, has taken an interest in creating a ‘politically correct’ neoreaction.

Jim writes often about entryism — the corollary of Robert Conquest’s second law of politics as retold by John Derbyshire. Reproducing it here:

Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will
sooner or later become left-wing.

This has been evoked regularly on Twitter and elsewhere with reference to libertarians, who themselves have been infested by essentially left wing thinkers of various kinds. Part of this owes to the character and works of Murray Rothbard, who is libertarianism embodied in all of its aspects, good, bad, and ugly.

As retold by Stephan Kinsella, the word ‘libertarian’ dates only back to the 1950s and 60s, as Leonard Read and Rothbard tussled with each other for leadership of what remained of the classical liberal remnant after World War II.

The muddled nature of libertarianism today owes to the muddled nature of its beginnings in excerpt from an article by Dean Russell:

Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian.” Webster’s New International Dictionary defines a libertarian as “One who holds to the doctrine of free will; also, one who upholds the principles of liberty, esp. individual liberty of thought and action.”

Russell, with a boy’s innocence, attempts to unite liberals, conservatives, and classical liberals under the same umbrella. While he stated overt opposition to leftism, the simplistic formulation of the ideology left open the entrances to anyone who could figure out the clever rhetorical crannies into which leftism could sneak into.

Rothbard himself allied with the new left during the 1960s, establishing a journal called ‘Right and Left.’ This strategy ultimately failed, because the left is insane and evil:

“To put it bluntly, the convention was a disaster. As Rothbard feared, many of the SDS libertarians were infected with extreme left- ism. One of the left-wing libertarians denounced “all academic economists” and the wearing of neckties as great evils which the libertarian movement should focus on destroying.”

It’s for this reason that Hoppe hews to the later Rothbard, in advocating for explicit rightism, to the exclusion of the leftists. It’s because, by bitter experience, his teacher taught him that the original formulation of ‘libertarian’ was doomed to incoherence and neutralization by the left.

This is rather serious. John Payne recounts

“Former Barry Goldwater speechwriter Karl Hess, who had been converted to anarcho-capitalism by “Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal” and conversations with Rothbard, but had drifted toward anarcho-socialism in the interceding year, sealed the conference’s fate when he spoke on Saturday night. Wearing Fidel Castro-style battle fatigues and a Wobblie pin adorning his hat, Hess roared out to the audience, “There is no neutral ground in a revolution. . . . You’re either on one side of the barricade or the other.” He proceeded to implore the crowd to join him in a scheduled anti-war march on Fort Dix the following day.”

Truly, there’s little that’s new in history.

Considering that libertarianism isn’t even a century old, and that it became subverted within its first two decades of existence, it’s sensible to avoid going down the same permissive & disorderly path that it did, to avoid suffering the same fate in the same manner.

The promiscuity of ‘libertarian’ as a term, and the promiscuous nature of many of its institutions, give it something a lot like Human Immunodeficiency Virus, but for an ideology. This is the case for all ideologies permissive to leftism, and to all ideologies that appeal to the leftist psychology, defined as it is by ressentiment, which popular followers of libertarianism are prone to (as criticized frequently by Hoppe).

The solution to this is to not hop onto any leftward social trend that appears merely because it’s both growing fast and dislikes the current government. Discriminating against people that would create a kinder, gentler, more politically-correct neoreaction doesn’t mean destroying them — just ensuring institutional separation and clarity of language.

Sex Roles and the De-Civilizing Ratchet

pillowlace

The concept of time preference, as explained at length by Hans Hoppe, explains the process of both civilization and decivilization. Civilization results from the systematic lowering of a population’s time preference — that is, their preference for a better future over enjoyment in the present. The destruction of civilization is what occurs when people systematically prefer the the consumption of goods in the present.

Sex roles play a critical role in both processes. Women are the only sex that can give birth to children, and are their primary caregivers except in extraordinary situations. This gives women a unique advantage in terms of gender specialization, and one that technology hasn’t supplanted, despite protestations to the contrary. Even artificial wombs, were they to be invented, would both require generations of research to perfect, and would likely be quite expensive. If it has been decades since the invention of the birth control pill, and new hormonal birth control methods still cause lethal side effects, it stands to reason that far more complex technologies will take even longer to reach maturity.

To the extent that society and its governing institutions encourage women to invest into their children and stabilize their families, they contribute to the waxing of the time preference of that civilization. The sacrament of indivisible marriage is the building block of a civilization that transcends generations. It’s the legal, religious, mystical, and sexual institution that prevents people for living solely for themselves within their lifetimes.

When institutions encourage women to abandon tending to their families, to instead work in bureaucratic settings, it contributes to present time orientation in society. The labor resources of women can be extracted by corporations and the central state, rather than clustered around the hearth and home, where they can’t be taxed efficiently or redirected towards corporate profits.

Western institutions encourage families to send young women into the workforce, where their work can be profited from by governments and corporations alike, at the expense of their fertility and the health of their infants. While this does contribute to the availability of financial capital within the society, which can be invested into capital growth, it causes a degeneration in the human capital of society, for whom that financial capital must ultimately serve, or it becomes worthless.

The modern mentality, derived as it is from Protestantism and republican egalitarianism, tends to privilege the human activities that can be measured, counted, and written about easily (see the books of Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn for more on this theme). The elevation of text alone to a sacred position, as in Judaism and most forms of Protestantism, accentuates this tendency within countries where those two religious forms are dominant, even in secularized forms as they are today.

That female labor drives profits in the present for various institutions is indisputable. However, the breakdown of family structures is itself a well-understood contributor to crime and other major agents of decivilization. In this, Western institutions have traded a ‘good’ that can be easily measured for a set of ‘bads’ that are more challenging to quantify, but no less difficult to understand.

In the modern world, it’s more responsible to encourage a woman to earn $45,000 per year for 2,000 hours of her time than it is to reduce her family’s stress, be a resource for her children, and to begin raising infants when her body is healthiest. From the perspective of a major corporation, a self-sufficient household is expensive to advertise to; a nuisance. A well-rested and capable home-maker doesn’t need to send money to Proctor and Gamble when it takes 20 minutes to brew up a superior alternative to Tide out of common chemicals. She doesn’t need to buy ready-made meals from Stouffer’s when she can make something better from scratch.

Further, the local government can’t collect sales tax on those containers of blue fluid, she may not demand a public school (and therefore jobs for bureaucrats), and her children will not be neurotic enough to demand prescriptions for brand-name amphetamines.

In the aggregates obsessed over by GDP-minded economists, each kid hooked on Adderall is considered to be a net gain to society, even if it damages the long term health of the child. Econometricians tend to favor an economy of frenetic activity, of a multiplying of transactions, pretending that larger numbers on spreadsheets connotate greater societal achievement. As most human activity can’t be quantified with any precision, even with stupendous computer models, the obsessions of the ‘wonks’ are liable to miss far more than they understand.

Hoppe writes that as decivilization progresses, “formerly provident providers will be turned into drunks or daydreamers, adults into children, civilized men into barbarians, and producers into criminals.” Per Hoppe, it’s no surprise that the most resonant drama within the upper middle class in the United States is ‘Breaking Bad,’ which tells the story of the fall of such a man.

bbad

This has occurred within our lifetimes, as the male labor force participation rate has plummeted, at the same time as the participation rate for women has increased. Indeed, the rate has reduced from over 85% to under 70% since after World War II, although one must not accord too much precision to these numbers collected by a bureaucracy subject to all the usual failings of bureaucratic institutions that have no incentive to promote merit.

kesha

As the culture deteriorates to a focus on pleasure today at the expense of flourishing tomorrow, feminine symbols within culture become progressively more fixated on a sort of self-annihlatory frenzy.

corn

In such a childlike society, given to fixation upon fantasy and image as more important than reality, decay is inevitable.

Although it’s fashionable in the cities for clever writers to poke fun at bourgeois parents for gasping in horror at the antics of Miley Cyrus, there are some portents in those gasps. It makes no sense to be a high-investment parent if your daughter is going to become a whore, or is going to emulate whores in her after-hours, when she goes from her job to the nightclub.

It becomes a marker of insane irresponsibility for a parent to let their daughter to sit in front of Disney Channel shows for four hours a day if that corporation’s emblems of young womanhood go on to become emblems of harlotry, again and again. Little horrifies the K-type psychology more than the prospect of having lived a life of dashed meaning.

It’s challenging for a left-wing elitist to understand that, within the United States, there still exist strong family cultures in isolated and dispersed parts of the country, where people still take pride in old-fashioned family portraits of smiling, healthy children going on to fulfilling and successful adult lives.

Tut-tutting defenders of degenerate mores may trot out the moralizers of days gone past, like Tipper Gore, but like many things in life, social trends tend to go on for longer than most individual lives. The quantitative obsessives can come up with endless spreadsheets ‘proving’ an increase in general well-being, as unhappiness, failure, and prole drift compound misery within society.

Even if degeneracy does make people happy (and it does), it does so by making them happy in the present at the cost of greater potential happiness in the future, and itself depletes cultural capital by privileging the present over the future.

Further, the statistics-gathering bodies of Western governments are roughly as credible as those of the Soviets. Publication standards are low. Statistics are quoted readily by economists and journalists without knowing how they were collected, and without independent verification. It’s safe to assume that all numbers reported in the popular press and by academics are fabrications, just as a time-saving heuristic. The faith in these numbers would be charming if it were not so harmful.

Attempting to reverse this ratchet through high-minded arguments about the esoteric connection between zero interest rate policy and time preference is unlikely to succeed, and has never succeeded at halting the self-destructive tendencies inherent to democracy, which is itself a variant on Communism. Only mass death corrected the bad policies of the Soviet Union, or rather, forced Stalin and his successors to liberalize the economy further and to retract some of the revolution’s most idealistic social policies.

Further, changing the intellectual character of the United States as a whole is an impossible goal to achieve given current resources. It is instead easier to lop off a section, and get to work on reforming that one to health. Easier said than done, but to do it, one must say it first, and repeat it often enough to recruit enough people of the right caliber to make it happen.

Grandiose goals for global change as a starting point always fail (and aping the organizations that do this is a recipe for failure). Just as Alexander the Great began his march across the world in tiny Macedonia, any great task must start at the smallest possible level, as success builds upon tiny victories.

In the 1970s, Christopher Lasch wrote that such a return would be unthinkable. Within his lifetime, he was correct. Currently, the outcome is less certain, as cultural Marxist tropes, taken as they were from ordinary-Marxist tropes, become challenged by (probably outnumbered, certainly out-funded, definitely out-gunned) a rising trend of masculine thinking in the popular culture. As the university system in the West comes under the same pressures as the Communist university system did, it too will collapse with a suddenness that will shock thousands of professors into suicide, as it did during the Soviet collapse, even if the exact manner in which it happens occurs differently.

In this cultural vacuum, there will be opportunity & peril. Restoring patriarchy must occur as a critical foundation before returning Western civilization to at least partial order. Getting the steps backwards is like attempting to put a roof over a house before pouring its foundation.

To that extent, promoting a return to the patriarchal family in law and culture is critical, as is a return to traditional female roles in the family unit.

Shooting An Elephant

Dead GOP Elephant

The Republican party serves as a resource sink for the right wing. It’s a token resistance to the left, which temporarily delays the general ruination of the country, if that. The neocon faction, which has suffered catastrophic losses since the financial collapse that footed  the Bush II presidency, was more a different varietal of mainstream leftism than representative of rightist thought.

The right wing tends to blunt itself when it pursues democratic political power, because winning elections requires ideological dilution, as is taught in any political science course. I’ll stop writing now about why the GOP sucks, because this should be review for most of you.

The Republican party can never again gain national authority as in the manner that its ‘base’ wants it to, because, as Mitt Romney noticed during his campaign, roughly 47% of the country is reliant on transfer payments from the state to make ends meet. The real number is probably higher, given that many private companies rely on government contracts.

As more people have realized this, the media organizations that used to be at the fringe has begun to supplant the former guardians of the mainstream right. I’ve regarded with trepidation the professionalization of radio crank Alex Jones, although he’ll never land accounts from major corporations.

Conservatives like Glenn Beck have started their own companies in an attempt to profit from the trends in the American political right, and often run ads like this one, elucidating the finer points of prepping for social collapse. The content tends to orbit around an obsession about redeeming the Republican party, electing ‘true conservatives,’ and various articles that excite right-wing bellyfeels.

Destroying the GOP is the best way to undermine support for democracy on the right. The reason for this is that, without hope for electoral success, the rank and file of the right will be forced to abandon their hopes for electoral redemption. When the typical “Joe Plumber” recognizes that it’s fruitless to go to the polls or to send money to their favorite politician, the GOP will fold in more states, which cedes to progressives the right to ruin more towns and cities in the service of their ideological goals.

This would limit the available options of the right wing population to either accept destruction or secede. Cutting off the option of winning elections, and making it obvious that it’s no longer possible to win elections, is key to achieving this goal.

While this is a hazardous political strategy to pursue, the risk makes possible the winning of a political contest, that as David Brin points out, will confer hundreds of years of benefits to the winning side.

I favor a rope-a-dope strategy as a method of dealing with the left. Encourage their fixation on winning elections, because that’s where their strength will continue to be. Meanwhile, encourage cultural division and militancy. To the extent that the right attempts to dominate a country that is essentially left-wing (and doomed), it’ll continue to waste resources on an un-winnable battle for the loyalty of a majority-worthless people.

Hugging the mainstream ropes and encouraging the left to deplete its energies is likely to make them weak and fractious enough to destroy over a long enough timeline.

The older generation of right-wing media personalities are stuck in the loops that they have trained themselves into — that of winning elections, and then failing to implement the policies that their constituencies actually want.

Further, it’s important to convince the Stanley Druckenmiller types that their noble campaigns to keep the American government from killing itself are fruitless. Delaying crisis is counter-productive. Instead, hand the left the rope with which it shall hang itself, and win the loyalty of the people who are still productive. Partition the country in such a way that the left is left with all of the liabilities and none of the assets of the United States, and you’ll have a strong set of countries to work with.

You want a left bureaucracy struggling to maintain the Detroits and Clevelands of the world, while right free-states maintain ownership of states like the Dakotas and Texas. Tying up the Federal government in ‘humanitarian interventions’ within its own useless territory will misdirect Federal energies to such an extent that it can’t suppress competitor states effectively. That goes as much for the rest of the world as it does domestically. Each Camden, NJ within USG’s purvey limits its ability to achieve its ideological goals, or to extend control over hostile domestic territories.

One major issue that the mainstream right has is that it appeals primarily to an elderly demographic that has much to lose and little to gain from the euthanasia of the Federal state. Ignoring this entire demographic, who will actually perish without regular deliveries of Medicare-financed drugs, is important to maintaining an exit trajectory. Leaving the mainstream right with an audience of 70-year-old Lipitor addicts is a worthwhile goal.

This demographic is what powers the current GOP, and it’s difficult to displace them. As inflationary economic policy annihilates this slice of the country (for ill) and depletes standards of bourgeois morality both in the US and abroad, elections will become even less important than they already are. What’s important is to have a sane alternative in the works by that time, to prevent President Comacho figures from capitalizing on the social failure.

In the meantime, constructing a parallel set of affiliated cultures can make it possible to accumulate the necessary capital (human, cultural, financial) to successfully partition the United States.

Dreher and Noble Lies

Nick Land and Occam’s Razor have posted their reactions to Rod Dreher’s post in the American Conservative that stated that acknowledging biology is politically dangerous.

While I disagree with Dreher’s position, I think that he’s correct in saying that, were the USG to admit that much of its post-WWII domestic and international policy have been built upon shams, and that much of the social science staff throughout the West consists of sham artists, that there would be stunning levels of political disruption, which would probably spiral into civil conflict, perhaps even civil war.

Rarely do people involved in maintaining a major political lie admit that is what they’re doing. Writers like Dreher consciously suppress conflict in the present by concealing valid information, but by doing so, they guarantee a far worse ‘correction’ of the social structure later. Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile explores this theme, and comes out against the maintenance of shams, because it’s a highly destructive practice in the long run.

The ‘Austrian economic calculation problem’ method of thinking also impugns this strategy as a sort of method of intellectual price-fixing — doomed to fail, certain to cause errors to multiply, and to spark deadly conflict in the future.

Land makes light of Dreher’s fears, and Occam attempts to calm his anxiety. Pretending as if the breakdowns of the various progressive lies will be largely benign for everyone involved isn’t a realistic prediction.

While forbidden knowledge doesn’t directly result in ‘genocide’ (a recent term that only entered wide use post-war), the retaliatory rage and political dysfunction that results from the unwinding of countless lies does often result in political dissolution and war.

The result is not likely to be Auschwitz redux, however. The term ‘genocide’ and the United Nations diplomatic framework put in place to freeze in place American hegemony for-ever-and-ever only came into being after a series of genocides all over Europe perpetrated by all sides of the war that created all the homogeneous nations west of the iron curtain.

That Hitler was able to conquer the liberal Weimar Republic, sympathetic as it was to the ideals of 1789, is more an argument against the ideals of 1789 than it is against anything that might threaten the preservation of those ideals. The modern American state is probably closer to the revolutionary idyll than Weimar was, so I understand Dreher’s hitlerexia nervosa. Building a social order that’s resilient to Hitlers seems more sensible than attempting to deal with every little corporal that decides to declare himself first among brothers in a nation of brothers. The 1789 way of doing things is demonstrably vulnerable to such degenerative modes, as was broadly understood in the West since antiquity.

As soon as a clear and permanent majority develops under democracy, some variant on Napoleon/Hitler/etc. is inevitable. This is one of the reasons as to why we see such a scramble by minority groups in democracies to hamper majority populations and to ally with other minorities — they know that permanently losing the kulturkampf means permanently losing the kampf proper.

Majority rule so often means minority expulsion or mass-murder that it’s practically axiomatic; derivable via first principles or plain observation.

This is the situation that the former American majority finds itself in, and why the Dark Enlightenment finds purchase now and not ten yeas ago, whereas the other mind-virus strains from which its thinkers have synthesized it could not infect more than a small portion of the population, most of whom were cranks with compromised mental immune systems anyhow. Now that the stakes are obvious to anyone with eyes to see, politics looks less like sport and more like a battle for survival.

It’s a pathetic accident of history and low education standards that ‘democracy,’ which confers power to the majority, has been somehow identified with friendliness to minorities.

To the extent that the Dark Enlightenment dismantles popular lies at a faster rate than was possible before, it’s not a benign force — from the perspective of the people who make comfortable livings off of those lies, like most of the people living in Washington DC. It may even be dangerous to the millions of upstanding, productive people who have adapted to a high parasite load, even if they don’t enjoy all the squirming tapeworms sharing their intestinal tract.

The Dreher position, which is more widely shared than most will admit, is ‘responsible’ to the present, but destructive to the future of more than 20 years from now, in the same way that the lies of the ’68ers caused immense destruction as those ideas hardened into opportunistic demotic policy.

In this, the superior position is the one which accepts a temporary period of strife to make more durable and organic orders possible. While yes, this will devastate the lives of millions of people (just as the implosion of the USSR hollowed out millions of sad lives), it’s preferable to the alternative of catastrophic collapse.

Introduction to Quick Reactions

Raphael - St. George and the Dragon

St. George – Raphael, 1504

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this blog. There are already enough people in the neoreactionary community who are writing and tweeting about current events, so I’d rather avoid chewing up my free time duplicating the efforts of other writers. Instead, I’d like to write book reviews, longer researched posts, and eventually a series of books.

Performing research — even secondary research — takes over 10x as long as writing off the cuff, but I’d rather do more of the former, because casual patter and theorizing is already better-covered by more qualified people than me. 

However, this blog will not be operating on the assumption that increasing the knowledge of the readership will magically halt the degenerative ratchet. We don’t put much truck in the elevating powers of education ’round these parts. There’s no halting the doom of the West. No combination of books, Youtube videos, blog posts, or sarcastic tweets will, by themselves, make exit — and the possibility of glorious rebirth — possible.

What will make that possible is the cohering of communities off of the internet capable of fending for themselves in the troubled times to come. Escaping doom is the end, and writing is only one of the means towards achieving it. 

I hope that my work will be useful to you & those you care about.