Tag Archives: neoreaction

NRx Concepts: A Review

Here is an summary of NRx, from the comments of arnoldkling.com:

neo-reaction is in opposition to the Cathedral.

possibly it is against the decay of what Walter Russell Mead calls “The Blue Model.”

One workable stab at defining the commonalities of neo-reaction is that it is opposed to “The Cathedral,” whatever that is.

I think the Cathedral is generally understood as a progressive, idealistic, blank-slatist view of the world that shifts the “Overton Window” always further to the Left. The Cathedral is maintained by left leaning, well-meaning, virtue signaling intellectuals who say things that may not hold up to careful inspection. But think twice about saying “That’s not true!” if the Cathedral priests assert something.

The Cathedral has a certain outlook.

1. It is Blank Slatist (what Steven Pinker called SSM, if I recall correctly). It believes human nature is mostly fluid and can be changed for the better. It lacks what Thomas Sowell called the “Tragic Vision.”

2. The Cathedral is leveling–it dislikes hierarchies of merit (for some reason, pop stars and athletes are allowed to be rich, as Thilo Sarrazin noted).

3. An annoying aspect of the Cathedral is that It is sanctimonious, always seeking enemies on the Right and bad-thinkers within the left–people who don’t think right and who need to be isolated or re-educated. This is a niche for the so-called Social Justice Warriors. As Steven Pinker said, “Man is a sanctimonious animal.”

(Members of designated victim groups are, as a tendency, allowed to be more outspoken when voicing correctly incorrect thoughts.)

4. The Cathedral (or the community of its adherents) is cosmopolitan in the way that suburban liberals and childless urbanites are cosmopolitan–it likes the Other, it gets a frisson of delight from proximity with a wide variety of people–but only if it doesn’t have to send its kids to failing urban public schools.

As an expansion of 4, it thinks that ethnically heterogeneous societies work as well as more-or-less uniform nation states. It thinks that inside every Lebanon is a Switzerland waiting to get out. The Cathedral thinks that the Habsburg Monarchy would have been better off without the military, the Church, and the dynasty (the very things that probably held it together).

(as pointed out here: https://20committee.com/2012/12/18/why-the-european-union-is-not-the-habsburg-monarchy-2-0/ )

Those who worship at the Cathedral think that wars are mistakes, that democracy is the natural state of of any political community, and that we all have many rights but very few duties. Cathedral adherents promote the multiplication of “duty-less rights.”

Many social problems arise from people being denied their rights–such as the right to housing, health care, a free education.

The Cathedral believes in “radical egalitarianism,” defined here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/08/radical_egalitarianism_is_the_real_threat_.html

The Cathedral dislikes Robert Conquest, Thomas Sowell, Edmund Burke, and Adam Smith. and Charles Murray. And Roger Scruton. And Aristotle. but not Rousseau.

neo-reaction is basically everyone who would listen politely to Thilo Sarrizin when he says this

http://www.unz.com/isteve/thilo-sarrazin-on-the-limits-of-free-speech-in-germany/?highlight=germany+does+away

further reading:

1. Pinker’s _The Blank Slate_

2. E. O. Wilson’s works, including both Consilience and On Human Nature

3. Peter Frost on the difference between guilt and shame based societies. at unz.com. A great challenge is preserving civilized order from barbarism. Neo-reaction thinks this is hard. The Cathedral thinks it happens easily, and all immigrants can be assimilated easily–it is a forgone conclusion.

4. Suicide of the West

5. blogs at West Hunter, Psychological Comments, and Bruce Charlton.

P.S.: neo-reaction knows that we are in what Bruce Charlton calls “Thought Prison.” And it’s trying to get out.

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Recommend NRx Compendium as starting point of basic NRx terminology and concepts.

Philosophy:

Idealism vs. Materialism (related: Understanding Marx

Postmodernism vs. Structuralism (The term ‘postmodernism’ is often confused and does not mean ‘modern’ as in new. Rather it means rejection of reductionist narratives as applies to social sciences. More detail: The Postmodern Condition. Pretty much, like the Frankfurt School, it rejects materialism. Also related to post-structuralism.)

Nihilism, Free Will, Fatalism, Determinism, and the ‘Black Pill’

Nihilism and the Black Pill
The Black Pill « Amerika

Neo Masculinity and Christianity, Darwinian Conservatism, Free Will, Biological Reality

Free Will – Welfare Liberals vs. Neo Liberals and HBD-Conservatives

NRx Concepts:

Order vs. Chaos…This has many interpretations…here is mine, from a Social Darwinistic standpoint. Economics, culture, and biology are ‘sorting mechanisms’ that the egalitarian left seeks to undo.

Pine tree analogy

NRx trichotomy (techno-commercialists tend to subscribe to a materialist view of the world; traditionalists and theonomists: idealists)

NRx ‘Map’

‘The Cathedral’ (see compendium)

Gnon, Moloch (see http://www.socialmatter.net/the-compendium/)

Pacifism vs. Activism (related: Alt Right & NRx: End Game and Action Plans

Some pertinent posts I have written:

The NRx ‘Trichotomy’ Becomes a Dichotomy
Social Hierarchies and Techno Libertarianism are Compatible
How NRx has Evolved
NRx vs. HRx
Against the Ubermensch

Political Science and Government:

Divine rights of kings vs. natural law (Locke vs. Hobbes)

Revolution vs. restoration (restoration of monarchy)

Why democracy does not work (anti-majoritarianism), and how democracy is the problem instead of the solution, and how voters are irrational and misinformed.

The Myth of the Rational Voter
Anti-democratic thought
Anti-Democracy Sentiment Going Mainstream

Equal outcomes vs. equal opportunity (welfare liberals vs. classical liberals)

Related: Minarchism, libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism, ‘algorithmic governments’, fusionism, reactionary modernism, and neocamerialism

Why I am not a libertarian
Moldbug on Libertarianism, Neocameralism

Social Theory:

India’s caste system (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras) as analogous to the hierarchy of power and influence in contemporary American society

Poseidon Awoke: Is Neoreaction Right-Brahmin Signaling?

Noble Savage vs. Civilization (the far-left believes civilization corrupts man, or that white men are inherently evil and its the job of the ‘state’ to purify them or to create equal outcomes)

Signaling, status, ingroup vs. outgroup, meta narratives, observations about culture and society

Holiness spirals, virtue signaling, or how SJWs are modern equivalents of the Puritans (Puritan hypothesis)

History:

16-18th century European history (concepts include: Whigs, French Revolution, English Civil War, Cromwell, Royalists vs. Parliamentarians (Roundheads), Protestants Vs. Catholics, Reformation, Restoration, Glorious Revolution)

Tangentially related to NRx:

Economics concepts such as basic income, post-scarcity, post-capitalism, automation, and wealth inequity

Rationalism (rationalism emphasizes empiricism and a ‘realist’ view of the world and human nature, in agreement with with Pinker)

Transhumanism, singularity, AI

HBD:

IQ differences between groups, IQ and socioeconomic outcomes, persistence of achievement gaps (possibly the stuff that is most likely to ‘trigger’ people)

People:

Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Julius Evola, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler

For more information, check out The Best of Neo Reaction, a comprehensive list of important articles pertaining to NRx published between 2012-2015: an invaluable resource.

For example Democracy and the Intellectuals discusses the failings of ‘natural law’, ‘the blank slate’, the ‘noble savage’, and why the ‘state of nature’ is not ideal.

NRx Ideology & Endgame, part 2

The recent dust-up over the ‘alt right’ has provoked some soul searching among the NRx community as to what, precisely, NRx means and or how a hypothetical NRx government should operate and ascend to power.

Why I am not Neoreactionary

more debate…

First, the basics: we have the ‘alt right’, an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of non-mainstream (hence the prefix ‘alt’) schools of right-wing thought and ideologies. It casts a very wide net, from skinheads on one extreme to rationalists on the other.

Or as a hierarchy:

Primary: ‘alt right’

Secondary: ‘NRx & dark enlightenment’ and others…

Tertiary (of NRx): ‘techno commercialism, neocameralist, traditionalists, rationalists, formalists, anarcho-capitalists, etc’

Among the NRx community, there is mutual agreement in rejection of democracy, egalitarianism, feminism, SJWs, and political correctness. But trying to ascribe ideological labels (conservatism, libertarianism, etc) or even combinations of labels (anarcho-capitalism, etc) to NRx has proven more daunting and discordant.

In 2010, scholar Arnold Kling described ‘neo-reaction’ as having elements of neoconservatism, and while ‘neoconservatism’ nowadays has pejorative connotations, to some degree it seems accurate.

Neoconservatives believe the state has a role in enforcing private property, as well as national defense, a judicial system, various public services, and police. Furthermore, they believe in traditional values, such as opposing the legalization of drugs and gay marriage as well as opposing the separation of ‘church and state’.

For the techno-commercialism faction, NRx could be viewed as neoconservatism meets HBD. I think the term ‘reactionary realism’ is fitting. Maybe it could be described as ‘partial libertarianism‘ or ‘minarchism‘ – mixing capitalism with some soft of state or governing body to oversee it, with an emphasis on resource optimization for ‘public goods’. Or Reactionary Modernism, a term I have thrown out a couple times here. This would be similar to the system we have today, but with many or all democratic institutions phased out. The transition would be slow enough to avoid major economic disruption, which is the approach I endorse.

Or, for the traditionalists and nationalists, NRx mirrors paleoconservatism and the Christian Right, but with more HBD and a possible monarchy. Although the monarchy concept has fallen out of favor as few seem to discuss it anymore. Paleocons, like traditionalist reactionaries, tend to oppose interventionism and globalization. This is described in more detail here.

Moldbug has mentioned several times about the US govt. or ‘state’ being analogous to a giant corporation. The next step is to ‘formalize’ it, almost contractually , especially regarding to property rights and rule of law. .Seems similar to Rothbard or Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

In Democracy Hoppe describes a fully libertarian society of “covenant communities” made up of residents who have signed an agreement defining the nature of that community. Hoppe writes “There would be little or no ‘tolerance’ and ‘openmindedness’ so dear to left-libertarians. Instead, one would be on the right path toward restoring the freedom of association and exclusion implied in the institution of private property”. Hoppe writes that towns and villages could have warning signs saying “no beggars, bums, or homeless, but also no homosexuals, drug users, Jews, Moslems, Germans, or Zulus”.[23][24]

As I discuss in NRx endgame, trying to ‘buyout’ everything doesn’t seem feasible and could have deleterious economic consequences in the unlikely event it were ever pulled off. And given how corporations and politics are already intertwined, and that private property is already enforced, maybe we’re closer to Moldbug’s vision than many realize, although with an unacceptably high amount of moral decay. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia could be considered a modern prototypical reactionary government, combining private property, the rule of law, and traditionalism.

To quote N. Land:

Fifth: although the full neocameralist approach has never been tried, its closest historical equivalents to this approach are the 18th-century tradition of enlightened absolutism as represented by Frederick the Great, and the 21st-century nondemocratic tradition as seen in lost fragments of the British Empire such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. These states appear to provide a very high quality of service to their citizens, with no meaningful democracy at all. They have minimal crime and high levels of personal and economic freedom. They tend to be quite prosperous. They are weak only in political freedom, and political freedom is unimportant by definition when government is stable and effective.

Although I’m not sure sure about the freedom part. Sharia law is pretty strict.

As may only major criticism, are paleocons who believe nationalism, border control, and religion will fix everything, and then that problems like entitlement spending, runaway healthcare costs, and crime will just ‘go away’ once those three things are implemented. However, Tthe data suggests that crime and poverty are linked to IQ, and that IQ is to large degree heritable, so therefore that lends itself to a solution that is more biological in nature, not environmental, although turning away ‘low IQ’ immigrants would be effective. Nationalism is important, but it won’t change the fact there are a lot of people – legal American citizens – who are a ‘net negative’ on the economy and societ, consuming more than they produce.

The NRx ‘Trichotomy’ Decomes a Dichotomy

From a Facebook post by Curt Dolittle, AN ANALYSIS OF THE STATE OF NRx AND ITS RELATION TO PROPERTARIANISM

Neoreaction has its roots deeply embedded in San Francisco-area tech culture. Moldbug is a technologist who is now trying to upgrade the internet. Anissimov worked as media director for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and gained recognition through his association with transhumanism before jumping on Neoreaction.

It would seem NRx has morphed away from tech culture, as the traditionalists/ethno-nationaists have decidedly secured the ideological upper-hand.

From The Trichotomy Explained:

Since Spandrell’s celebrated blog post of April 2013, neoreaction has been seen as a trinity, or “trichotomy” of three principles: the Ethno-Nationalist principle, the Techno-Commercial principle, and the Religious-Traditionalist principle.

Now it’s more like a dichotomy. The Techno-libertarians have fallen out of favor. I am probably the only one who blogs about Silicon Valley culture in the context of reaction.

I’m not sure why the techno-libertarians have fallen from grace. Maybe it has to do with immigration, which plays a large role in the Silicon Valley economy and how ethno nationalism is incompatible with it. Vox Day, who is an emphatic ethno nationalist and traditionalist, has probably the biggest audience of any on the the ‘alt right’ and would appear to be the putative ‘leader’ of NRx thought.

I would be disappointed if NRx becomes another ‘white nationalist’ group. I think NRx has the potential to be something different.

The problem is NRx could be too smart for its own good. NRx may remain a philosophical movement and not a political one due to these internecine intellectual conflicts. Smart people tend to not want to conform, and will sometimes vehemently defend their differences instead of uniting. The Republican and Democratic Parties work because they have lots of members who are of average IQ, making it easy to unite behind a cause or a core set of values. But given how the traditionalists and ethno nationalists represent the overwhelming majority of NRx, cohesion is possible but maybe not in the direction I had hoped.