Where Did It All Go Wrong?

From Thomas Barghest of Social Matter Where Did It All Go Wrong?, in which he gives an exhaustive historical recitation of the ‘history of decay’, beginning with the 20th century and ending, surprisingly, with the literal formation of the universe. It’s more of a history lesson than an action plan or a rallying cry (descriptive instead of prescriptive), and he concludes, contrary to popular belief, that reactionaries aren’t opposed to new things, rather they are better judges of history and how present events relate to past ones. Whereas mainstream conservatives tend to treat the ‘present’ as something that is isolated or detached, with no antecedent, reactionaries understand that the ‘present’ is merely a piece or a stepping stone that fits within a much larger historical narrative arc.

The poor history above, far from being ‘more rigorously’ reactionary, is a parody of progressives’ frequent inability to recognize that reaction is not simply a belief in contemporary degeneration and a hatred of everything too new.

Reactionaries must be, rather, good judges of both past and present: we know that most mutations are deleterious and that innovation is not an unalloyed good, but also that mutation is the engine of evolution and that even our oldest, fondest traditions were once innovations far back in forgotten time.

This is a good point, but the only problem is one could also interpret the essay to mean that because decay has always existed in one form or another – all the way since the beginning of history – it’s a fool’s errand to try to fix it. This is related to the ‘pacifist’ approach to NRx, one of many approaches, in which ‘understanding’ and ‘self-improvement’ takes precedence over action, but I think even the most avowed nihilist or fatalist seeks some degree of change.