Vox.com explains the ‘alt right’.
In agreement with posts I wrote in 2014, elements of the ‘alt right’, including NRx and HBD, are starting to gain more mainstream appeal, as evidenced by Vox.com, a mainstream online news source, expose on the ‘alt right’, replete with all the usual characters like Moldbug and Land. This also agrees with the rise of the esoteric celebrity, because Nick Land and Moldbug, through Vox and other media sources, have received much more visibility through their complicated, esoteric beliefs than most people ever will. The article was also shared 5,508 times, a record high for Vox.com, indicating a substantial amount of interest and curiosity in the ‘alt right’, and introducing millions of people to this intricate web of ideologies and intellectuals, that until recently was mostly underground.
Both the Brietbart and Vox write-ups list 4chan and Reddit as being the ‘ground zero’ for this nascent intellectual movement, which again agrees with posts from 2014 where I explicitly list 4chan and Reddit as being on the vanguard of the post-2013 anti-SJW movement, originally under the banner of ‘gamergate’ but now expanded to include Trump and ‘Cuckservative’. As someone who in 2008 wrote about un-egalitarian economic systems, I saw the potential of the ‘alt right’ to fill the gaps of mainstream conservatism, in rejecting egalitarianism and political correctness. The Vox article also mentions Elon Musk, whom I have also written about many times on this blog. In 2005, I realized that the days of companies paying mediocre-talent people $20-50 an hour to just fiddle around were unsustainable, and I became interested in entrepreneurship, and then the financial problem of 2008 hit, with the perpetually anemic labor market that has remained sluggish long after the stock market and economy recovered, in agreement with my hunch.
From the Vox article:
Moldbug explains. “Good government is effective, lawful government. Bad government is ineffective, lawless government. How anyone reasonable could disagree with these statements is quite beyond me. And yet clearly almost everyone does.”
As evidenced by America’s high incarceration rate and militarization of police, America does a pretty good job at enforcing law, almost to a fault, except for illegal immigration which law enforcement turns a blind eye. But overall, excluding immigration and rowdy anti-Trump protests, America is among the most lawful countries in the world, while also strongly enforcing property rights, and I think that’s why America may be closer to the ‘reactionary ideal’ than many believe.
Due to tough law enforcement and long sentences for repeat offenders, America ranks among the bottom for assaults, among developed nations:
Muggings and burglaries are very common in Europe, mainly because the punishments are so lenient and law enforcement is inept, and maybe immigration plays a role too.
However, America has a higher homicide rate, although the explanation may not be politically correct one.
Get rid of the trial lawyers and turn back the dial some decades, and we may be 90% of the way there. Also, the Founding Fathers, despite rejecting monarchy, were critical of democracy and were concerned about a ‘tyranny of the majority’, choosing to establish a representative system of government instead of a direct democracy.
The parts about paloconservatism could have been omitted. The ‘alt right’ seems specifically a post-2013 movement, along with variants of ‘less wrong’ rationalism, and bears only tangential resemblance to 90’s-era paleoconservatism. Rationalists, including the ‘rational right’, care more about empirical evidence and the pursuit of truth and understanding, even if such truths go against political correctness, than identity politics and activism.
However, even for a group that prides itself on rationality and data (such as Michael Asmiov’s statistics which Vox lists), there are potential logical inconsistencies that may be difficult to reconcile:
When asked who should lead it, Moldbug’s tech roots come through. “It’s easy to say ‘put Elon [Musk] in charge, he’ll figure it out,’ and he might well,” he tells me via email.
The 19th-century Scottish thinker Thomas Carlyle, a hero to many neoreactionaries.
Libertarians also tend to be big fans of modernity, and despite its affinities to the tech world, neoreaction really, really is not. Neoreactionaries believe that for a long time — maybe since the French Revolution — things have been going to shit. Moldbug likes to trot out anecdotes about crime in the Victorian era to make his point. Here’s a description of 1876 London he cites:
The problem is Musk seems like a ‘free trade’, pro-tech-immigration guy, which goes against some of the protectionist and isolationist views of the ‘alt right’. As shown by the UAE, you can reject democracy and have a monarchy while still having immigration (guest workers make up the bulk of the UAE population) and free markets (provided in the case of the UAE it doesn’t violate Islamic law). That’s why I’m a reluactnt neoconservative – because it’s still the most logically consistent of major ideologies in balancing personal autonomy with markets, property rights, the ‘rule of law’, and national defense – or partial libertarianism.
eoreactionaries are not individualists. They think in terms of social structure and order, and view social classes or races as the units determining the future of society, much as Marxists speak not of individual workers and capitalists but of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as a whole. They are tribalists, and for the most part — let’s not mince words — they are racists.
Moldbug in particular views American society as a kind of Indian-style caste system. He views the Democratic Party as a coalition of Brahmins (liberal intellectual types who went to fancy schools), Dalits (poor, mostly black or Latino people), and Helots (Mexican immigrant workers). “What the Dalit alliance gives progressives is more than just a vote bank,” he writes. “What the Dalits are is muscle, a militia, a mob. … Basically, the Brahmins have every possible Machiavellian interest in encouraging an invasion of Third World barbarians. The more, the nastier, the better. Their real hereditary enemy is the native barbarian — the half-civilized Vaisya, the ignorant megachurched Okie redneck, the Huckabee voter, the Bircher and McCarthyite, America Firster and Coolidge voter.”
Hmmm…but individualism and castes need not be mutually exclusive. Social Darwinism is a good sorting mechanism for a mixed-economy society, with ‘intellectual castes’ within a meritocracy. The idea is that in a meritocracy or free market, ‘order‘ and ‘structure’ will arise out of biological differences such as IQ, with less intelligent people tending to fall to the bottom through autonomous processes. It’s analogous to the Peter Principle, which states that people will be promoted to their level of incompetence, except people will rise to their IQ level, however high or low that may be, although there may a point of diminishing returns for very high IQs.
(his father is Jewish, for one thing)
This information is unnecessary and maybe is an effort by the author to sow discord between NRx, which tends to reject antisemitism, with Neo Nazi nationalists.
Also the article gets other parts wrong, putting words in Moldbug’s mouth:
He is sympathetic to arguments for black racial inferiority. “Ever since Mill wrote his response to Carlyle on The Negro Question and probably well before, writers in the English Protestant tradition have been defending the blatantly theological proposition that ‘all men are created equal,'” he snidely commented on a 2008 blog post. “In the absence of any evidence for this proposition, one can always assert that evidence for the contrary is unconvincing. Note that exactly the same rhetorical strategy can prove the existence of God, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter.”
No one has said anyone is inferior or superior. Going by the data, certain groups tend to do better or worse than than others, at varying tasks, which could make certain people inferior at tasks where pertinent skills may be lacking. But, yes, not all men are created equal, biologically at least, but the Deceleration was likely referring to ‘equal under god’, in contract to the hierarchical system of Catholicism.
This has channeled into the Trump movement. Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart writer and major Trump defender who’s perhaps the most vocal exponent of alt-rightism online, famously employs an army of interns, a lot of whom he says are “young 4chan guys.” In their own alt-right explainer, Yiannopoulos and co-author Allum Bokhari argue that /pol/’s alt-righters have embraced racism purely for shock value:
Just as the kids of the 60s shocked their parents with promiscuity, long hair and rock’n’roll, so too do the alt-right’s young meme brigades shock older generations with outrageous caricatures, from the Jewish “Shlomo Shekelburg” to “Remove Kebab,” an internet in-joke about the Bosnian genocide. Are they actually bigots? No more than death metal devotees in the 80s were actually Satanists. For them, it’s simply a means to fluster their grandparents … Young people perhaps aren’t primarily attracted to the alt-right because they’re instinctively drawn to its ideology: they’re drawn to it because it seems fresh, daring and funny, while the doctrines of their parents and grandparents seem unexciting, overly-controlling and overly-serious.
For good measure, they quote Moldbug/Yarvin: “If you spend 75 years building a pseudo-religion around anything – an ethnic group, a plaster saint, sexual chastity or the Flying Spaghetti Monster – don’t be surprised when clever 19-year-olds discover that insulting it is now the funniest fucking thing in the world. Because it is.”
There is truth to this, as I’ve written extensively about millennials and how they are leading the ‘alt right’, as well as other niche ideologies and movements. Because millennials may be better educated and more informed than earlier generations were, millennials are better able to grasp concepts like HBD, as well as a greater tendency to question authority, which today such authority emanates the leftist establishments in media and education. Also, there is the post-2008 disillusionment with Obama and post-2012 disillusionment with OWS, as millions of millennials realize that social liberalism isn’t working, that Obama couldn’t (obviously) keep his promises to make education and healthcare free and reign-in Wall St., with good-paying jobs for all. With the post-2009 bull market in its 7th year (the 2nd longest ever) and with tech luminaries like Musk and Zuck and Travis (Uber.com) making multi-billion dollar fortunes in less time it takes to graduate from college full of debt, millennials are realizing it’s better to try to get rich, to emulate the smart and successful, than fight a losing war against the rich and successful. Then you have the post-2013 rise of centrism and rationalism (the left’s version of the the ‘alt right’), in rejection of SJW-liberalism. Instead of going to expensive parties, millennials would rather ‘go Galt’, rejecting collectivism, in favor of intellectualism, minimalism, and wealth creation.