Tag Archives: nrx

Trump and Neocons

Libertarian-leaning pundits are complaining about Trump.

Another Four Years Of Pointless War Under The Trump Administration

On Military and Spending, It’s Trump Versus Trump

Trump Is the Enemy of Neocons, But He’s Not Our Friend

Is McCain Hijacking Trump’s Foreign Policy?

Trump ran (or at least was perceived) as being anti-neocon, and his voters saw him as being a repudiation of ‘politics as usual’ and the back-to-back disappointments of Bush and Obama. But dissonance between voter expectations and Trump’s policies may lead to disillusionment.

How different from neocons are Trump and Bannon really. As the articles above suggest, probably not that much. Trump and neocons agree on defense spending, hawkish foreign policy, closeness with financial industry, deregulation, low taxes, and so on. Trump and necons differ to some degree in terms of immigration and protectionism, but time will tell if Trump implements substantive reform–or if this is all just smoke, mirrors, and ‘symbolic gestures’ that get a lot of media attention but don’t move the needle much. Some say Trump is anti-globalist–I would say he’s doing a good job acting or conveying anti-globalist sentiment; doing is harder.

This is the problem with politics: people equate talk with action, and then decades later wonder why nothing has really changed or keeps getting worse. The purpose of politics is to create the illusion of change.

Also, as many already know, Trump appointed several Wall St. guys to his cabinet, and there may be some dissonance in having to reconcile Trump’s anti-establishment public imagine with his pro-establishment cabinet. For example there is former Goldman COO Gary Cohn, who leads Mr Trump’s National Economic Council. And Steven Mnuchin, a hedge fund millionaire. Trump’s choice of cabinet picks may impede the ability to pass sweeping trade reform, assuming Trump really wants that (it’s hard to know what Trump really wants…he seems to be shooting all over the place…going after immigration on one week; Obamacare and wiretapping on another, etc.).

Trump’s rationale is that he chose appointees whom he knew personally, that are competent enough to carry out their designated jobs, and have private sector experience, versus academia.

The media always exaggerates how high the stakes really are. Contrary to the media and pundit narrative of Trump and neocons being locked in some of sort comic-book-like epic battle to the death, neocons are probably blase to Trump trying to restrict immigration…they are happy just to have more defense spending, lower taxes, and a Republican in the Oval Office instead of a Democrat.

Politics is mostly a waste of time…Every few years, it’s another healthcare bill. And if Trump loses in 2020 or 2024, the dems will undo it and try to reinstate their own healthcare again, ad infinitum. The NRx position is that politics is the problem, not the solution. [1] Politics creates problems that leads to even more politics to try to fix the prior problems created by politics. And this is anther reason why democracy is a waste: so much money and time is wasted undoing changes made by the ‘other’ party, instead just ‘formalizing’ everything. The only guarantees are that healthcare costs will rise and a lot of people will be unhappy, regardless of whose plan is implemented.

Same for the news…another waste of time. Every year it’s the same stories, only the names occasionally change. If the people who normally don’t talk about the news are suddenly talking about the news, then the story is probably important; otherwise, it’s just noise. If you surround yourself with ‘news people’, everything will seem important. People who read celebrity gossip may be ignorant, but they aren’t really missing anything either. The auto-pilot, deterministic American economy and society means minimal individual input is necessary.

Neoconservatism and neoliberalism succeed because they are amorphous, adaptable, and can latch onto or hijack any preexisting ideology or movement. Most governments, given enough time, will resemble something similar to neoconservatism or neoliberalism (this is what Fukuyama alluded to in End of History, but I don’t think it has to be liberal democracy–it can also be a right-wing republic, theocracy, technocracy, or oligarchy. Whatever you call it, the mixed-economy system tends to prevail to varying degrees. It’s not ‘The End of History’, but more like ‘The End of Economics’).

By subscribing to wishful thinking, you willingly deprive yourself of understating. If knowledge is power, you become weaker. This is why the ‘fake news’ movement has been so successful and is hurting the left so badly, because after many decades of the public being fooled, the liberal media’s veneer of ‘impartial, objective journalism’ has been peeled off, revealing the media as an apparatus for liberalism (or what some call the ‘deep state’) that it really is. But we also shouldn’t engage in own versions of fake news.

Trump is not too much different from your typical Republican…he doesn’t have special powers that many ascribe to him, to single-handedly undo decades of history and economics. . Its not defeatism to be realistic about what a president can and can’t reasonably do. Time to stop looking for Messiahs and instead start looking to ourselves for the answers. One solution is minimalism and self-sufficiency, which is why personal finance is important.

[1] It’s a source of confusion for some the differences between the alt-right and NRx. NRx is post-politics, which is why NRx blogs typically don’t follow day-to-day political developments such as Trump, instead focusing on ‘deeper’ topics such as economics, theology, and political philosophy. The alt-right actively engages in politics. The alt-right sees politics as a vehicle for change, which is why they follow politics so intently and also why they have more more ‘faith’ in Trump, versus NRx. NRx seeks to remove the underling fabric that is democratic society; alt-right wants a different type of fabric. NRx and the alt-right agree on many issues, but the NRx approach/implementation to attaining such goals is different.

SJW/liberal Cathedral vs. Tehnocommercialism Cathedral

Perhaps there are two ‘cathedrals’–the SJW/liberal one, which we are all familiar with, and a technocommercialist one (Nick Land alluded to something similar year ago, but I don’t remember the post), and the two are at odds with each other. Technocommercialism seeks to secede from the former, a process some call ‘exit’. The latter is probably preferable to the former and, IMHO, more likely to ‘win’ than the former, but technocommercialism has its own drawbacks–it tends to be globalist, supports high-IQ immigration (which boosts GDP growth, but over the long-run will change the national demographic), and believes in the supremacy of capitalism and science, subscribing to a materialistic and positivist view of the world and rejecting forms of idealism and mysticism.

Characteristics of the SJW/liberal cathedral:

In general, it’s bigger; has a larger coalition as measured by legions of low-information Democratic voters, SJWs, and BLM; controls media, entertainment industry, universities, and much of national government; low-IQ, dysgenic; slow growth and dying industries (such as TV media, publishing houses, and newspapers); relies on masses for support (power in numbers); neoliberal and social democracy; social justice is very important; nepotistic; very old and established institutions (such as Washington DC, New York Times, CNN, etc.); NYU, Brown, Dartmouth, and Pen; low-IQ immigration for cheap votes; George Soros, Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky.

Tehnocommercialism cathedral:

Smaller, but very powerful and influential relative to its size; massive growth and booming industries with high profit margins (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Palo Alto Networks); very wealthy per capita, insular; high-IQ, eugenic; elitist, pragmatist, and consequentialist: 19th century progressive-liberalism; classical liberalism, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, techno-libertarianism; meritocratic; highly individualistic; high-information voters and supporters; skeptical of democracy or opposes it; high-IQ immigration for technology, but also low-IQ immigration for cheap labor; free trade, globalization; Harvard, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford; Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Ayn Rand, Paul Graham, George Gilder.

The first one is bigger but it’s slowly dying and or being subsumed by the second one, which is why I think tehnocommercialism will win in the end. Amazon is taking over left-wing retail (dumb stores such as Target, for example). Economically, Southern Europe and South America, which are social-democratic and low-IQ, are falling behind America and China. Facebook, Google, and Instagram are making ‘old media’ (such as Time and CNN) obsolete. Major TV networks have falling ratings and are losing money. University enrollment (except Ivy League) is falling, probably because parents and students are tired of going $100,000+ into debt to be lectured about ‘white male privilege’. BLM and SJWs are losing support, especially online. And, of course, Trump won, but he alone probably won’t undo decades of damage, but its a step in the right direction. Silicon Valley and Manhattan on a per capita basis are much wealthier than much of the nation and much smarter, which makes up for their small size. Despite Trump, Washington DC is a major bastion of far-left liberalism and will likely remain so unless the far-right is able to make greater inroads.

Why NRx is Popular on Reddit

Reddit’s users are predominantly millennials, and ideologically, the site tends to have an anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, and contrarian bias, yet NRx and related ‘Dark Enlightenment’ views are surprisingly popular there despite reactionaries generally advocating ‘more power’, not less. When Moldbug in 2016 did an AMA it was very well-received, and judging by the up-votes, many Reddit users were not only curious about NRx but agreed with many aspects of it, but also if they didn’t agree still respecting Moldbug for his intellectual intrepidness. You can go on almost any moderately popular sub and many posters are familiar with NRx writers and concepts…they know who Nick Land and Moldbug are. Here are some reasons why NRx has become popular, not just on Reddit but elsewhere online:

1. The post-2013 anti-SJW backlash. After a string of victories: OWS, the 2008 election, and 2012 re-election of Obama, the left became overconfident and overplayed their hand, and the Reddit community turned against ‘social justice’ when SJWs began going after innocent targets, embodying the very oppression they allegedly were supposed to fighting against.

2. The recent backlash by millennials against democracy. Both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ agree democracy is ineffective and not the ‘unalloyed good’ that their teachers and other propagandists had told them, blaming democracy for engendering wealth inequality, creating inefficiency and waste, fostering corruption, being an impetus for unnecessary and costly ‘nation building’ occupations, being a popularity contest that puts superficiality ahead of important issues, and for giving voters who are ill-informed too much influence over policy. It makes sense: anyone who finds Dancing with the Stars entertaining should not have a say in how the country is run. Put the most competent people in charge, but the problem with democracy is the increasing trend towards the least competent running things. The people who are the most drawn to power are often the least fit to serve.

3. Related to anti-establishmentarianism, being a reactionary in an era of political correctness is in itself anti-establishment and contrarian. In the 60′s and 70′s, boomers rebelled through drugs and other acts of mindless conformity; millennials rebel by turning to intellectualism and introspection.

4. Although Reddit tends to be anti-authoritarian, it understands the need for legitimate authority such as police and military, which is why the Reddit community, by in large, condemned the BLM protests during the 1-year Ferguson anniversary, the protests by women and BLM against Trump, and other instances.

From Social Skills and Political Correctness:

Online, whenever a story breaks about the public school war on boys or about false rape accusations, the overwhelming majority of comments are against the SJWs, and we’re not talking about conservative websites, but sites like Reddit that have a broad appeal. For example, I was on Reddit in early August following the Ferguson melee, and I estimate at least 3/4 of the users were on the side of the police and against ‘black lives matter’. Anti-police comments were summarily down-voted. This was for general, bi-partisan subs like /r/news, not conservatives ones.

Reddit and 4chan oppose illegitimate and arbitrary power; for example, SJWs telling white males to check their privilege, or how far-left liberals try to impose their values on society through the education system, courts, or culture. They oppose communism for this very reason. When Fidel Castro died, all of Reddit was celebrating, save for a handful of the usual socialist/Marxist subs.

5. Reddit understands that power in the context of NRx is not about micromanaging individuals (that’s puritanism), but rather about power as a means of promoting order, stability, and ‘rule of law’, yet where personal autonomy is still preserved, in contrast to democratic forms of government, which do a poor job at concentrating power and thus tend to be susceptible to corruption and ‘purity spirals’.

6. Related to the backlash against democracy, the millennial-lead backlash against ‘low information‘ discourse, and NRx is as ‘high information’ as you’re going to find.

7. Related to #1, many liberals realize they have been too close-minded, and Hillary’s loss, which came as a surprise to many on the left becase Hillary’s polls were strong for most of the campaign, was a lesson or wake-up call to the value of understanding opposing perspectives instead of being insulated. This also ties in the with rise of ‘rationalism’ and centrism, and the pendulum of discourse, to some extent, returning to the middle after swinging too far to the left in 2009-2013. Popular sites such as Slate and Quillette are part of the new ‘contrarian mainstream’ that are challenging beliefs that many on the far-left hold dear. Less Wrong, which is very popular on Reddit, although it’s not reactionary per say, helped create the intellectual groundwork for the reality-based approach characteristic of NRx, and with its large readership helped to make NRx more popular. Some could liken Less wrong as ‘reaction’ for the left.

8. The rise of the alt-right and Trump, although this is related to reasons 1-7.

Why Choose Pacifism

Pacifism is not about giving up or conceding – it’s about perspective, in picking and choosing your battles wisely, as well as maximizing one’s present situation with the resources at his or her disposal. The failure of conservatism over the past 40 years to halt–let alone reverse–leftism, is evidence of the failure of activism as a means for effecting change. Activism plays into the hands of our foes. This doesn’t mean pacifism is the best approach, but it’s better than what has already been done. Marx, who didn’t do anything anything besides create the intellectual groundwork for an ideology that proved so maleficent that even Satan was probably impressed, is evidence of the power of ideas over action. It can be hard to accept pacifism, because of how history is conventionally portrayed (in school, TV, books, and media), in that that battles and other pivotal events are led by ‘great men’ (such as George Washington), who get all the attention, in a vacuum separate from the underling philosophies that motivate such action and ‘greatness’.

Inevitablism

In an earlier post, I discuss the criteria that constitute a religion:

Not sure if Gnon works as a religion, because religion is both prescriptive (such as the 10 Commandments) and descriptive (Book of Genesis), not just descriptive. Religion is deontological, meaning it prescribes a set of moral rules for its adherents, although such rules or motivation may not be grounded in realism.

For demonstrative purposes, consider a hypothetical religion I call ‘Inevitablism’.

First the ‘descriptive’. Some say the ‘only constant is change’. It’s actually the opposite: things seldom change, with the exception of a few blips here and there (such as 911, Trump’s win, and the 2008 financial crisis). Instead of surprises, everything seems inevitable and predictable. This is analogous to the theory of punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary biology, in which species undergo little evolutionary change until sudden cladogenesis. Major events such as the 2008 financial crisis, the First and Second World Wars, and 911 are analogous to ‘mass extinction events’, that create new epochs and species and terminate old, pre-established ones. The last mass extinction was 65 million years ago. Statistically speaking, we’re due for another one, but it may not happen. Likewise, there is no rule that say the post-2008 ‘epoch’ must end either.

As further evidence of how things tend to remain constant more often than not, the post-2009 bull market and economic expansion is the longest ever despite the endless predictions of recession and crisis. Same for failed predictions of hyperinflation and dollar collapse. Web 2.0 valuations still keep rising long after pundits in 2012 said it was a bubble. There’s still war and terror in the Middle East despite trillion of dollars thrown at the problem. Inevitability is the absence of surprise, because everything is deterministic based on pre-existing trends that are long-standing.

Inevitablism postulates things stay the same, except the big get bigger, much in the same way chaotic interstellar dust under certain circumstances congeals into orderly discrete masses such as planets, or entire solar systems. Much like our own solar system, these systems tend to be very stable. This explain why the post-2009 bull market and economic expansion is so enduring, why Microsoft, after many decades, is still dominant despite attempts by competitors to create alternatives to Microsoft products. Or how America remains a dominant economic and military force, is impervious (relative to other countries, like Greece, Brazil, Turkey, and Spain, that have more civil unrest and weaker economies), and is more important and influential than ever (the ‘post-America era’ many predicted as a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis never materialized, as America rebounded from the crisis stronger than ever, while Europe and other foreign economies remained weak). Or as described by Wait But Why:

Secondly, a bigger point: no one person has the power to RIP America, no matter what they do. America is bigger than you or me, and America is much, much bigger than Donald Trump. America is a 320-million-person melting pot, run by a government made up of thousands of people working within a twisty, convoluted set of branches, ruled by a 240-year-old instruction booklet that specifically makes it impossible for any one dick to ride a wave of populist anger into a position where he can RIP America. America is un-RIP-able, at least by the hands of any president.

Also, society and the economy is becoming more efficient, which means fewer opportunities, or at least for entrepreneurs who aren’t in web 2.0.

One can liken it to a pre-planned society and economy, where all we’re just going along for the ride strapped in. This is kinda like Stalin and Mao’s 5-year plans, but over much longer time frames, affecting both individuals and economies, and without the Communism. There is free will, but success is constrained by both economic and biological factors. In referencing the Atlantic article on free will, one may have ‘free will’ to try but to not succeed, which is related to compatibilism:

Although there are various impediments to exercising one’s choices, free will does not imply freedom of action. Freedom of choice (freedom to select one’s will) is logically separate from freedom to implement that choice (freedom to enact one’s will), although not all writers observe this distinction

…and a relevant quote by Arthur Schopenhauer:

Everyone believes himself, a priori, perfectly free – even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life. … But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns…[126]

Now the ‘prescriptive’. To take advantage of America’s winner-take-all economy, invest in multinational companies that have market dominance and inertia, or to invest in a combination of a large cap indexes (such as the S&P 500), medium-duration treasury bonds, and medium-duration investment-grade corporate bonds. This also includes large cap tech such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, all of which have outperformed the broader market indicies. This is how ordinary people can piggyback off existing successes instead of wasting time money and effort trying to create their own.

Related: Post-2008 Capitalism: A Guide

Also related is self-improvement, which is more important than worrying about things outside of your control or that have little impact on your life, because Inevitablism implies the best predictor of tomorrow is today, so why be emotionally invested in things that are impervious to your hopes or desires and that have little possibility of changing. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are going to throw you a lifeline. That you have to do on your own, such as by investing your income in stocks (related to the above paragraph) or real estate and being frugal. This means stop watching the news.

The final component is eschatology and salvation. The latter gives an incentive for adherents to follow the religion in the hope they will be saved. For Christianity, salvation means going to heaven for believing in Christ as your Lord and Savior. Christian eschatology describes Christ returning to earth, Final Judgement, to judge the living and the dead and rapture souls to Heaven to join his Kingdom, as described by the Nicene Creed “…he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. … We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” For Buddhism, salvation is the attainment of ‘Buddhahood’ by following the Noble Eightfold Path to become’enlightened’, achieve ‘nirvana’ and ‘liberation’, and end suffering (Dukkha, one of the Four Noble Truths). Jewish eschatology, according to the Hebrew Bible, foresees a Messiah, a king and savior to rule over the Jewish people during the ‘Messianic age’…”the Messiah will be descended from his father through the line of King David, and will gather the Jews back into the Land of Israel, usher in an era of peace, build the Third Temple, father a male heir, re-institute the Sanhedrin, and so on.”

Regarding inevitability, and related to NRx and the Dark Enlightenment, eschatology has many possible forms, including the creation of a techno-commercialist state, economic and societal collapse or stagnation (both of which are unlikely, in my opinion), techno-secession, transhumanism and possibly even the creation of something resembling The Matrix. By ‘becoming worthy’, such as through self-improvement, reading, and investing, one can prepare themselves for the possibility of this new regime change. But if nothing happens, self-improvement and investing is worthwhile in and of itself, anyway. Even when prophecy fails, that doesn’t mean the teachings and parables, and how they are applied to everyday life, are for naught. David Hume, however, disagreed that religion is always a conduit for ‘good’, arguing it can also justify evil “The greatest crimes have been found, in many instances, to be compatible with a superstitious piety and devotion; Hence it is justly regarded as unsafe to draw any inference in favor of a man’s morals, from the fervor or strictness of his religious exercises, even though he himself believe them sincere.” Because the ‘religion’ or ‘zen’ of NRx is inherently pacifist and doesn’t seek to impose its will on others through force or coercion, this should not be problem.

The Necessity of Power

There seems to be lingering belief held by some, including even a the Flight 93 Election essay, that perhaps democracy can be salvaged if only the ‘right people are put in charge’, or that Trump’s win is a major setback for the left. Bloody Shovel writes:

Trump won! And he did so in a democratic election. The foundational theory of neoreaction, Moldbug’s argument that leftism was unhinged because the Cathedral rules the world and democracy makes it worse can’t quite account for what we are seeing. We have a pretty decent theory of leftist victories, but we don’t have one of leftist defeats.

The word ‘democracy’ can have two meanings: first, the democratic process (as in voting), and second, ‘…a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament.’ The latter implies distributed power involving ‘checks and balances’, not absolute or concentrated power. Even if the the first step were bypassed, #2 (checks and balances) would still be a hindrance. Although a democracy makes it harder to enact legislation and sweeping change, it also makes it virtually impossible to undo it, and as the past two centuries of United States history shows, progress is irrevocable. Suffrage begets civil rights, and then egalitarianism, moral decay, porous borders, same-sex marriage, immigration, and so on, leading to the ‘progressivism singularity’.

Trump’s victory, in terms of reversing progressivism, is analogous to trying to stop a steamroller by putting a mattress in front of it. But an argument could have also been made for Hillary, in that she would hasten the singularity, collapsing progress under its weight, much like a Type II supernova.

Fighting liberalism with democracy means liberalism wins, because you’re playing by the rules created by the opposition, much like a shell game in which the conman lets the mark win a few games before taking all his money. Democracy and representative government creates the illusion of control and change, but nothing happens, because by virtue of the constitution and the separation of power, it’s not supposed to. Is Islamic terror dissuaded by the empty and symbolic threats of democracy. No, and terrorists demonstrated such defiance by killing more people in Germany over the holiday, the same year Trump won and Brexit happened. This is because the modern liberal democracy, being neutered and emasculated, is a facade and isn’t a legitimate conveyor of power.

The question of human nature arises as it pertains to governance. Hobbes and Locke held diametrically opposing views, but both were correct to some extent. The founding fathers understood that man desires autonomy, but the Constitution, which was conceived on Natural Law, ultimately, proved inadequate at enforcing power and order, eventually leading to the situation we have now. On the other extreme, too much power, especially if held by an inept ruler or predicated on a flawed ideology, can also prove disastrous, as the history of communism has shown. High-trust societies should afford their citizenry autonomy…just look at the public school system to get an idea of how too much power, when held by overbearing teachers and administration, suppresses individual talent and exceptionalism.

But it’s safe to err on the side of more power than less, perhaps in the form of a minarchist state where individual autonomy, private property, rule of law, courts, and free markets are preserved–but there is no democracy, meaning that the arrangement of power between the individual and the state is immutable. Divine law, whether codified in the Koran, Torah, or the Holy Bible, is one approach, because ancient religious scriptures cannot be modified, but because man is ultimately doing the interpreting, it’s not fail-safe. The absence of absolute power creates opportunism, corruption, and division. Can democracy work in high-trust societies? No, because the same aforementioned forces will undermine it, if given enough time, as the history of Britain and the United States has shown.

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.

————-

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: What it is and Isn’t

There has been a lot of downtime for the past 24 hours…sorry for inconvenience

On developing political theory and organisations, or how to get shot in the head and chucked in a canal like Rosa Luxemberg

It’s evident RF believes Nick land is inimical to NRx, probably as part of the long-standing schism between techno-commercialism and traditionalism (or in broader philosophical terms, materialism vs. idealism), as I have discussed in the past here.

But RF’s anger possibly stems from a misunderstanding of what NRx (and its Social Mater and Hestia subsidiaries) is and isn’t.

Both fascists and communists had very clear organisations through which intellectual developments were veted, checked against theory and kept within a clear party line. They thus had organisation and were able to develop coherent (if crazy due to inhereted liberal theory) theory. Neoreaction was conceived as a laissez faire crab bucket where everything and everyone could throw in their own opinions and spontaneous order was

RH wants NRx to be a political movement – something with a ‘common cause’ that everyone rallies behind, with a formal top-down power structure and delineated set of instructions that everyone adheres to. NRx was never conceived to be a ’cause’, a political movement, or a political party but rather as a ‘think tank’ of sorts whereby contributors form a constellation united by ‘shared beliefs’. Fascism and communism are not political parties but rather are ideologies. The Frankfurt School is an example of decentralized communism. Each node represents different perspective, under the constellation of NRx. Spandrel’s perspective is different than Jim’s but are both reactionary writers.

As a think tank, the goal is to influence/nudge policy and cultural sentiment, both by providing intellectual food for thought and through cultural subversion, not by direct political activism and politics. Good ideas can be promoted and expounded up; less-right ideas can discarded, rebutted, or ignored. If someone is really off the mark, they can be excommunicated, but that is pretty much all that can be done within reason. A libertarian think tank, for example, may publish a research report advocating lower taxes, in the hope policy makers will implement it upon seeing the merits of the report. Supply-side economics was conceived in the 70′s by the Chicago School and Neo-Classical School as an alternative to Keynesianism, and then later implemented by Reagan. Or Alan Greenspan, arguably during his long tenure the most powerful policy maker alive second only to the President, was influenced by the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand.

An example of subversion is the use of ‘memetic warfare’ on sites like 4chan, which upon being picked up by the media may have help foster a generation of ‘right wing’ voters, and may have even played a major role in getting Trump elected.

But also, part of the problem and a source of frustration may be the the election of Trump, which may have made NRx too chummy with pro-Trump, pro-democracy political activists.

I discuss this in more detail in Alt Right & NRx: End Game and Action Plans

In this respect, NRx acts a ‘think tank’, influencing policy makers without having to engage in actual politics. The ‘Frankfurt School’, which gave birth to Cultural Marxism, was successfully able to subvert American culture and politics even though hardly anyone knows what the ‘Frankfurt School’ is, but its propaganda infiltrated and permeated virtually all facets of post-WW2 American culture and society, for the worse. Optimistically, NRx could act a right-wing version of this, to counteract the forces of decay from left.

Overton Bubble

The Overton Bubble

If two factions won’t talk, war is inevitable. If the elite mainstream won’t open to dialogue and understanding with the outside, and the outside doesn’t make good-faith attempts to engage with the intellectual mainstream, the intellectual-political landscape will divide, and we will get civil war.

The conclusion of Warg’s article may not follow or lend itself from the premise.

Insular bubbles are not new, and both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ have them, but bubbles and division do not a revolution/crisis make. I discuss why revolution/crisis is unlikely in America in more detail here. If both sides don’t talk then gridlock results, and the private sectors wins, as was the case for much of 2009-2014. The strength of the US private sector, which is unrivaled in the developed world, infrastructure, as well as small and local governments, helps mitigate the consequences of national political tension. Even if the elite in Washington are paralyzed and divided, the rest of the country carries on.

For example, the assassination of JFK, in which in the aftermath the US economy was more or less unscathed despite the gravity of the situation. This is because there is a lot of redundancy and fail-safe procedures that keep everything running even in the event of severe disruption to one of the components, in the case of JFK, the executive branch. Republics may be more stable (at the cost of efficiency) because less power hinges on a single individual, and there is more redundancy. The hypothetical reactionary monarchy would need such systems in place in the event of crisis such as the monarch becoming incapacitated.

On the other extreme, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria caused WW1 – and through a chain of events that includes the rise of Nazi Germany, the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, and even the creation of Israel – may have been the single most pivotal event in modern history.

The Civil War may be an outlier, an example of where irreconcilable political division leads to literal war, but it’s only a single data point in the 240-year history of the United States. Perhaps it’s kinda remarkable that despite America’s long-standing cultural and political divides, civil war hasn’t happened again.

The problem with political philosophy is that it’s all hypothetical…none of this stuff will ever happen. Political systems tend to be set in stone and take decades, possibly centuries, if ever, to change. Libertarianism, for example, has spurred endless debate and research over the past fifty years despite the fact nothing close to resembling a libertarian or minarchist ‘state’ has ever been achieved in practice. At best, we can draw parallels by observing how ‘one state/country is more libertarian than another,’ but any similarities are coincidental – no government actively seeks to emulate libertarian principles. A hard science, on the other hand, produces actual results that can used for both commercial and theoretical purposes.

Democracy deprives the elite of the formal power to efficiently use official propaganda, the legal system, and security forces directly against their opposition, or in service of their own power.

Exactly. The first two (propaganda and legal system) are iffy, but physical force is how power is wielded.

Dissident opposition groups (BLM for example) are problematic to any republic, and although absolute monarchy would fix all of this (although Warg doesn’t explicitly mention monarchy, it seems implied that this is where he’s getting at), staying grounded to reality here, not wishful thinking, dissident groups tend to be very small despite being very vocal. It’s not enough to topple a government, infrastructure, and security network as powerful USA, and governments, not surprisingly, tend to take these matters very seriously (hence all the homeland sec. and anti-terrorism spending).

With two viable intellectual-political coalitions with no moderating ties to each other, the low-level conflict inherent in democracy can get much closer to total war.

But the prevailing consensus (or what everyone seem to complain about) is that the two parties are too similar.

The ‘Zen’ of NRx

Conventions everywhere are being challenged: The first amendment. Democracy. Civil rights. An this dissent transcends political lines, as both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ (and the many variants in between) realize that these conventions are either ineffective, incomplete, or, worse, are part of the problem.

The ‘status quo’ presupposes all 20-30 somethings are only interested in passive consumption, home ownership, voting, majoring in liberal arts subjects, engaging in small talk about sports and entertainment, getting a dead-end job, or watching the latest bland and recycled storyline that passes for Hollywood entertainment. Reality paints a different picture. Yes, many millennials are interested in those things, but many are also interested in debating finance and economics online; studying physics, philosophy, and coding; working to live instead of living to work; self-sufficiency and minimalism; engaging in deep conversations about philosophical matters; and exploring niche ideologies (such as alt-right, an-cap, libertarianism, and MGTOW) that are outside the purview of the left/right dichotomy. This ravenous intellectual curiosity and contrarian streak, which seems unique to millennials, may explain this upheaval.

Although NRx is anti-revolutionary, it challenges the status quo, which (along with the alt-right and other related movements) explains its appeal among many 20 and 30-somethings who have grown tired of these banal conventions which society holds everyone to. Convention is that you have to vote to make difference, or else you ‘cannot complain’ or are ‘part of the problem’. NRx, as part of the growing post-2013 anti-democracy movement, flips this around by arguing that voting, democracy, and politics is the problem, not the solution. In addition to anti-democracy writings, I take it a little further, extending my writings to economics and finance in the context of reactionary thought. Just as NRx rejects sensationalism and ‘low information’ discourse, so to does this apply to my criticism of the financial media, which is mostly useless and sensationalist.

Despite my support of Trump and being on the ‘right’, I oppose how Alex Jones and Zero Hedge spread sensationalist doom and gloom to get their followers to act out of fear against their best interests (such as by buying overpriced gold and other bad investments, or selling their stocks in a strong bull market). Fear is a very powerful emotion that often leads to irrational decisions, and part NRx and related rationalist ideologues is learning how suppress this instinctive tendency to fall for hype, high pressure sales pitches, and unnecessary calls to action – hence, where pacifism comes into play. For the left-wing media, it’s for spreading false rape hoaxes and inciting digital lynch mobs against innocent targets.

One can liken ‘reaction’ to a form of ‘zen’ whereby you tune out all the unnecessary distractions. For example, all those useless financial pundits last week who said to sell due to the possibility of a Trump victory – fast forward a week later and markets are up 4%, having regained all of last week’s losses and then some. Had you heeded their advice, you would have sold at the bottom. Or all the endless predictions between 2009-2015 of hyper-inflation and bear markets, none of which came to fruition. Just one of many examples of where pacifism pays. That’s not to say all action is abhorred. If someone is breaking into your home or threatening your life, action may be necessary, but one should pick and choose their battles wisely.