Media Getting NRx Wrong

The Moldbug Variations

Yarvin believes there is no such thing as democracy—and Thiel has said as much, as well. Yarvin’s stunted political imagination prizes strict hierarchies—despotisms, monarchies, and experimental new feudalism via a “patchwork” of corporate fiefdoms managed by absolute dictators who might be appointed by a vote of property-owning “shareholders.” Unlike some advocates of Silicon Valley secessionism, Yarvin has never been shy in acknowledging that this amounts to a revolution and would require the forcible overthrow of the established order. He advised, for instance, that the new dictator of California should throw the old elected governor in Alcatraz, and then briskly proceed to pack the government with Google guys.

Yarvin’s Dark Enlightenment dogma also is steeped in pseudoscientific racism. Yarvin preaches that intelligence is determined in large part by the laws of “human biodiversity”—which hold, in his telling, that white people are congenitally smarter than black and brown people, and that Chinese people may be the smartest of all. It takes no great stretch of the imagination to see how a blood-and-soil white nationalist like Bannon and a racist bomb thrower like Donald “Good Genes” Trump would find a great deal of reassurance in this toxic philosophy.

A couple things:

Even I’m kinda amazed how influential Moldbug is in terms of citations and such. Tenured philosophers are less influential then him, yet Moldbug, on his, own built this philosophy from the ground-up, and despite quitting his blog years ago, is still cited. That is not an easy feat. Props to him.

Tired of these misconceptions about NRx by people who have never read anything about it besides equally flawed second-hand accounts by the media (the blind leading the blind). NRx is not HBD or white nationalism (although one can argue it is sympathetic to those). It is somewhat critical of HBD materialism, and the bulk of post-2014 NRx writings focus on religion, social theory, and political philosophy, from a more ‘idealistic’ angle. Pre-2014 NRx was more materialistic, but that changed in early 2014 due to geopolitical events (such as the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of Trump and the fall of the GOP ‘establishment’, increased Islamic terrorism in Europe, and the growing problem of immigration). Authors and thinkers such as Houellebecq and Dugin are more ‘relevant’ than Charles Murray, Thiel, or Nick Bostrom. Patchwork, Silicon Valley secessionism, Google, Thiel, etc. are seldom discussed anymore, unlike in 2013. Many journalists still think a November 2013 article by Wired about the then-nascent neoreactionary movement is as equally accurate then as it is now, but a lot has changed.

For example, IQ is only mentioned a couple dozen of times in Moldbug’s blog, Unqualified Reservations, and in a 2016 Medium blog post Why you should come to LambdaConf anyway, and one of my favorite [I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s one of his most personal and autobiographical posts and you learn about him as a person [1]], he argues against what he calls ‘IQism’.

And in the May 2009 post Democraphobia goes (slightly) viral, he writes:

Dear Will: you mention IQ. Perhaps you’re aware that the average IQ is 100. Have you ever collaborated with, employed, or otherwise befriended anyone with an IQ of 100? If not, it’s never too late to moonlight in “food prep” at your local Hardee’s. You could also enlist in the Marines; train as a cosmetologist; or work as a telemarketer. Or why not all of the above? Don’t you want to connect with your good friends, the People?

After these learning experiences, you may be inspired to set up a special, simplified version of your blog, to explain the virtues of Rawlsekianism to voters in this bracket – who have, as you say, “considered libertarian ideas and rejected them for all sorts of reasons.” (An accessibility feature, as it were. One small step ahead of the ADA.)

But 100 is just for average white people! Alas, as you may know, not everyone is white. You also mention cranial thickness. A fascinating topic, much neglected. Consider the problem of transmitting “Rawlsekianism” through this cranium (est. IQ, 65; number of votes, 1), or this one (est. IQ, 75; number of votes, 1). (Compare.) If your dream of democratic libertarianism seems just as practical in Papua New Guinea or Haiti as it is in Montgomery County – and why wouldn’t it be? – we’ll have to hope your auger is just as sharp as your tongue.

There is nothing ‘racist’ (a word that is so all-encompassing as to be meaningless anyway) about the mere observation that some people and countries are smarter than others, and that such differences manifest in individual socioeconomic outcomes and ‘wealth of nations’. Or that inducting sub-90 IQ immigrants may not be the smartest idea. But apparently this is very controversial to many.


The NRx ‘Trichotomy’ Becomes a Dichotomy
How NRx has Evolved
Against the Ubermensch