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.