The Cathedral is a state of mind


Movements — this refers to any group seeking change — tend to attract popularizers, or social butterflies who bring people in and make them feel important. That is the essence of modernity: recognition before results. It brings together large numbers of people who feel lost and turns them into a weapon.

The problem is that in the process the movement changes its original idea from a clear one to a version of what everyone always believes anyway, both by individual incompetence and the group tendency to prefer easy non-controversial ideas, which makes it into a variation of EnlightenmentTM thought.

Many know I believe in “no circular firing squad.” This means that I refuse to attack others on the Right, but it does not mean that they are free of criticism. In fact, to refuse to critique their ideas is to deny them the respect one gives a thinker in a group, and to weaken that group by allowing ideas to stand which cannot withstand analysis.

Neoreaction speaks often of the Cathedral, or the union of “elites” and their institutions who propagate the EnlightenmentTM ideas that form the basis for the cancer eroding our society. In their view, the Cathedral controls the people with lies and forces society down a bad path.

I suggest they have their cause->effect reasoning wrong. Instead, the Cathedral exists — and is eternally re-created — because people in groups want the kind of illusions it offers, and desire a strong central agency to enforce those ideals on others. They want to be able to believe illusions and not face criticism or consequences for it. In other words, the Cathedral is a state of mind inherent to humanity like many other errors of perception. It is not a finite “thing” but a tendency like any other human impulse.

When that line is breached, and the downfall of humanity recognized as individual failings magnified by egalitarian/altruistic groups, then analysis becomes useful again. Instead of targeting tangible but interchangeable parts, we wage war against an idea and do so by replacing it with better ideas. Otherwise, the Cathedral simply arises again in a new form.

Neoreaction, for example, has created its own Cathedral within which will lead to the exact same problems of which it complains. If you are reminded of liberal Napoleon wanting to become emperor, or Soviet leaders living like royalty while the peasants starved, you have identified the psychology correctly. Most revolutions are not about actual change, but changing who is in charge, and those tend to reveal less restraint than their predecessors.

Every one of us has a Cathedral inside our minds and souls. It whispers to us that we can deny reality and then demand from our social group that we be equally recognized. With others who agree, we can engage in Crowdism and demand that the group not notice and certainly not mention where our ideas drift far from reality. We either beat this Cathedral, which is a form of illusion of a solipsistic nature like evil itself, or we fight an instance of it and then birth it anew within ourselves, like an infectious phoenix of our own downfall.



You have seen the meme; now what does it mean? Like so many things in modernity, the recognition begins before the understanding. To use a meme well requires knowing it well, so it makes sense to define this delightfully outrageous term cuckservative.

Ashton Blackwell, who also contributes over at Trigger Warning, wrote up a definition via history that may be better than formal definitions:

After spending about a year in neoconservative Internet circles, always feeling slightly out of place and gradually piecing together that they were playing by the rules as the Left and thus were controlled and toothless opposition, I found a better home in paleoconservatism and traditionalist communities. During my tenure, I witnessed time and time again as conservatives engaged in what is known in their circles as “circular firing squads,” something they purportedly lament, but which none of them pitch too much fuss over because they all have vested interests in not jeopardizing their relationships with gatekeepers to their professional success in Conservative, Inc. The squads are essentially formed to mitigate public relations damage control by throwing an offender to the wolves (other conservatives) when they break the rules of the left (hint: it’s happening now with #cuckservative).

She also mentions a more technical definition:

A cuckservative is a self-styled “conservative” who will cravenly sell out and undermine his home country’s people, culture, and national interest in order to win approval with parties hostile or indifferent to them.

Between these two, the point is clear: cuckservatives are impostors. They value their interaction with the left, a form of commerce, over being true and correct to conservative principles; this has created Conservatism, Inc. which is a Conservative-themed leftist party that has made vast fortunes for all involved. Like American cigarettes are cheap tobacco doctored to taste like the real thing, and like artificial flavoring added to soft drinks to imitate fruit juice, cuckservatives are conservative-flavored System Men who do what succeeds which always consists of flattering the Crowd, and they love leftist-style altruistic policies as a means of distracting from actual problems. For this reason, cuckservatives always get the initial upper hand over everyone else: inoffensive, they offer a variety of the dominant paradigm rather than challenging it, and create a socially acceptable form of conservative that inevitably provides only token resistance to the left.

Anyone who does not play by those rules gets called a “racist” and has their career destroyed by an angry mob. Cuckservatives in fact are kept around as not only controlled opposition, but hit-men for the empire: if a “conservative” feels another conservative has “gone too far,” then people automatically give that critique more credence than if it came from a leftist. Cuckservatism is a socially popular variety of conservatism, stylized as are neoconservatives as liberal goals applied by conservative methods, and like American beer, soft drinks and fast food it is a dumbed-down, denatured and harmless version of the original — actual conservatism — which serves to advance the leftist agenda. It does so by picking up token issues instead of essential ones, and designing obsolescence into all of its actions. Cuckservatives are like good office workers who prioritize getting along with others above any realistic view of a situation, and they exhibit the same disease we see everyone else in modernity, which is that for the convenience of the individual the Crowd demands validation which means that appearance triumphs over reality and those who disagree must be excluded.

Cuckservatives have been the norm since the early 1940s. At that time, people either got on board with the immensely popular government solution to the Great Depression, or saw themselves voted out of office. The important thing to remember about cuckservatives is that they are not the cause of themselves, but they are the effect of the voters wanting a socially acceptable conservatism. To be socially acceptable, you pretend that each person has an equally important viewpoint, and that all can be tolerated simultaneously. Actual conservatives are realists, and realism is the opposite of socially acceptable. It emphasizes results alone and realizes that most people will have hurt feelings because most people are self-deluding, undisciplined, short-sighted and impulsive. In groups these people both amplify those traits, and lose sight of actual goals by the “committee mentality” nature inherent to groups. For this reason, actual conservatives mostly restrain people from self-destruction and civilization-destruction rather than adopt “new” — and they rarely are — ideas in the hope of magical improvement.

The Conservatism, Inc. “stupid party” cuckservatives responded as we knew they would: they called their detractors racists, trolls and psychopaths. The reason the cuckservative meme stuck however has little to do with those who originated it; it resonated with the majority of Americans who are tired of handing the stupid party power only to watch them do nothing conservative with it, and the liberals back in power the next season. The Left (with cuckservative cooperation) is trying to eliminate this group by replacing them with third-world peasants, an idea they hit on after seeing postwar integration work well for the Democrats. All resistance to this process will be stylized as racist, evil, homophobic, trolling, sexist, terrorist and classist, but resistance to it is the only future not just for conservatism and its parent doctrine realism, but for America and the West themselves. If we disconnect from reality, we start a clock ticking toward the day our illusions collide with the hard truth. Generally those crashes eliminate empires and cast their people into third-world poverty. Resistance to this is not a choice; it is a duty.

The misunderstanding of free speech


In the hands of the Crowd, any idea becomes perverted. The only solution is to hand them purposes, and check those by results, which creates the situation they fear and try to avoid: judgment. Judgment is passed over whether a purpose was achieved, and whether the results were of the right quality, and this reflects on people. We call this accountability on a social level and responsibility on a personal one.

Free speech was quick to hit the butcher block. Originally designed to protect analytical speech — political writings, scientific publications, religious preaching and writing and art/literature — free speech quickly became perverted into permissiveness for any kind of obscenity. The trials of the 1920s adn 1950s over whether a book was art or pornography now seem obscene, but we are looking back with selection bias at the books that distinguished themselves not for the salacious nature of their content, but their literary merit. The standard used for those books was applied to books with less literary merit, at which point the standard itself became moot.

Free speech then extended to displays and acts and became a viable method for businesses to defend whatever venality they sought to put on display, and for individuals to turn political protest into loud, screaming invective which invariably led to violence. Triumph of the rabble yet again, this change created a hidden casualty, which is that people assumed angry protest was the way to influence politics, and abandoned the mechanisms of our Constitution and society for that influence. This threw power to lobbyists and others who promptly took up those methods, delighting in how they were now outside the public consciousness and thus unmonitored. The media took the hint and scrupulously ignored them as well, only in part because screaming fat half-naked people generate better headlines.

Now we have reached an age where free speech is an offensive weapon. Since free speech no longer applies to the lone individual in a creative process, but to the behavior of the screaming mob, it can be used as a weapon to displace unpopular speech. If someone says something with which you disagree, simply summon ten thousand of your friends to scream at him and call him names, then the media will report on it, and then his life is destroyed. This was the 1990s-2014 method by which liberals achieved total dominance in public life, and until GamerGate and the anti-Cuckservative backlash, it was basically accepted that once you called someone a “racist” debate was over and the Two Minutes Hate on them had begun.

Even more, the market itself has made free speech obsolete except in a negative context. Six major companies own most of the newspapers and television channels; an equal number of companies control most of the internet. If you go looking for something and it is not on the first two pages of Google search results — which, since they count popularity of a site over content, reflect the biggest sites and companies out there and in turn exclude the little ones — you will never know if it exists and certainly most people will never hear of its existence. This is how control works, but it has carefully occurred through free speech. Companies have a right to free speech and market control, and to exclude whatever they like, and individuals have the right to form hate mobs.

The originators of the concept of free speech would not have recognized the present-day version. Their goal was to avoid the excesses of Europe in the previous centuries, where overzealous leaders had blocked research, jailed people, and eventually — under leftist leadership — would murder many of them for their political views or social class. For this reason, the Americans amended their Constitution to include fundamental rights as defense of the citizen against controlling government. The first of these was free speech, which as mentioned above targeted analytical speech of an advanced level, such as political writing or literature. It was never intended as a legalization of the crass, offensive and pornographic that did not also have a serious literary or political purpose.

Our problem in interpreting free speech is the trivialization of it. Free speech protected political, cultural and artistic discourse; now it protects commerce and angry outbursts from sweaty lumpy people. Not surprisingly, it has reversed its purpose much as it has its audience; it no longer defends the Thomas Paines of our day, but the rights of others to suppress them. In the hands of the Crowd, everything becomes a weapon. Clearly we would benefit from reversing our free speech standard back to its original definition, but the larger question rises over whether “rights” — universal obligations without reciprocal obligation — themselves can ever become more than a weapon of the herd.

Basic concepts: anti-tax


Conservatives are often characterized as being “anti-tax.” But why would you oppose a method of collecting revenue?

The media has a checklist for discovering ways to categorize people as extremists. Anti-government and anti-tax are up there on that list. This seems weird to most people, since taxation is just a method, and in their view, government provides many services.

However, as the old saying goes, “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This is what is called reversed cognition in my writings, and refers to our tendency to let our tools become our masters because we feel powerful with those tools. Cart before the horse, tail wags the dog. It is a common human mistake.

The problem with tax is that it resembles a business transaction. You give money to government, and government gives something to you. This gives you the right to complain and demand they do it right, but also gives them the right to run government like a business. At that point, government becomes a self-interested agency with a profit motive measured not in dollars, but the expansion of government itself.

When citizens are foolish enough to approve broad taxation, they have given government a mandate: invent whatever services you can justify and bill us for them with taxes in order to expand government. Like any other business, government then begins growing. If you pay it taxes for upkeep of the roads, it builds new roads, and expands into bridges, ferries and ziplines. These add more taxes, which make it easier to hide the fat. This in turn translates to easy jobs for many government workers and high profits for contractors.

At that point, it will be hard to oppose government. It has created a voting bloc of government workers who will always agitate for more services so there can be more taxes. People view paying taxes as normal and, if they are dependent on any government services, will radically oppose cutting any taxes. Government in fact builds up a little fan-base of neurotics who always support increasing government because in their addled view, results can only be achieved through a strong and “objective” force like a huge federal bureaucracy. In their view, government supplies electrical power, roads, water and weather reports, so it is surely the best and least profit-motivated method of achieving any result.

What this builds is ideological government. Government needs to justify new taxes; the best possible way is a type of mission creep that cannot be criticized because it is well-intentioned, altruistic, compassionate and egalitarian. This shifts the role of government from protecting a nation to shaping a nation, and leads down the path to totalitarianism. Ideology justifies new taxes because there are always people suffering somewhere and government will very happily take from the productive and transfer to them, keeping much of the wealth for itself and its own workers along the way.

Like any business with a monopoly, government becomes parasitic at that point. People depend on it and have no alternative, so they will pay whatever price it asks. Taxes keep going up, more ideological causes are invented, and since those are delusional, bad results explode across the land. Luckily — for government — social disorder justifies even more taxes and more services, and the more panicked citizens get, the more of them become typical Leftists who demand government solve all of their problems.

All of this could be stopped by not expanding taxes in the first place. A government who sees its role as caretaker of a people will keep the lights on and defend the land and do little else. In this view, it is up to the people as individuals to apply ideological quests like charity. That keeps the profit motive out of government, because the instant government becomes a charity, it has a rationalization for expanding itself. Even worse, it ceases to become a non-commercial entity and for all practical purposes, becomes a parasitic type of business protected by the color of the law and kept in a monopoly role. This is why conservatives oppose taxes: because some methods change our thinking and from that comes our downfall.

Trigger Warning gives voice to unpopular opinions


Bumbling through the internet, I came across a crowdfunding appeal for a new publication named Trigger Warning that sounds like what most of us want from the news: diverse views from different political and social orientations that lean toward hard, denied truths. In a time of invisible but pervasive disorder which will lead to civilization collapse, almost everyone is out there busy “succeeding” by finding creative new ways to parrot the denials that most people feel they must lean on. I spoke with Rachel Haywire, creator of the Trigger Warning project, to see how she and her team of creative talent hope to achieve this vision…

What will Trigger Warning do that no other publication will do?

Trigger Warning will provide a platform for those of us with unpopular viewpoints to express our ideas, adhering to a somewhat “trendy” aesthetic that will compete with all those popular Leftist new media sites. It will appeal to the young, hip, and “edgy” through doing a battle/tango with the Cathedral in both design and presentation. The New Left currently has a monopoly on culture, art, and philosophy; but it doesn’t have to anymore. There is no reason The New Right can’t up its game.

Why are ideas being suppressed in the current time, which is more stable than the past few centuries?

I believe it is much more than a political issue here. While many people see a massive culture war between the Left and the Right, I see a greater spiritual war between the domesticated house pets and the wild animals. The ideas that are being suppressed are the ideas of the more wild types, and currently these ideas are considered to be Right. Yet it is a mere public relations tactic of suppressing unsavory behavior and culling dissent. At the moment, dissent means anything that doesn’t adhere to the Leftist paradigm. I would venture to say that people on the Left are more scared of our behavior itself than our ideas. We freak them out because we are not ultra-civilized, and our ideas are merely used as a way to blacklist us. It’s a spiritual war disguised as a political battle.

Do you intend to make Trigger Warning ideologically neutral, or to give different ideologies equal air time?

I plan to give everyone air time whose ideas have been suppressed from the mainstream; as long as their writing is entertaining, provocative, and challenging. This would range from anarchists to radical conservatives to reactionaries. We are looking for intellectual and philosophical writing that has not been covered in academia or pop culture.

You seem to be part of a backlash against the dominant paradigm of our age. What awakened you to possibilities outside of the norm?

Going to a bunch of Leftist events and realizing how utterly conformist and conservative these people were. I have never been a conservative, but an individualist and a radical. I felt that the modern Left had become no different from the conservatives I used to protest. They were uppity and puritan to the extreme, not to mention boring as hell. It was only on the fringes of Right that I found the excitement and risk-taking ideas I’d been thinking about for so long. People were willing to discuss progressive and egalitarianism being a giant lie, the mechanisms of power from a realistic (yet dark by some standards) viewpoint, and the forbidden truths about human nature. I had never seen this open level of discussion on the Left before.

What do you hope will be the reaction to Trigger Warning, and what changes will that provoke in wider society and culture?

I hope that more people who are “in the closet” about their beliefs will come forward and express themselves. There should be no reason to suppress yourself in fear of being fired or blacklisted. This goes against everything our country is supposed to stand for, and it needs to change immediately. I think our wider society is coming around due to this trend we are starting, even if the process is tediously slow. They will attempt to capitalize on our work while they cut out the uncomfortable edges, exactly like they have always done. In essence, they will change culture as a whole in order to appease us; as we are the unruly mob that they wish to consume their products. Look out for Hollywood memes speaking our language in the next few years.

Can you tell us something of yourself, and how you came to go down this path, instead of choosing a more comfortable and profitable position?

I guess I’ve always had the “does not play well with others” issue. I’m the girl who shouts out that the emperor is naked, even if pretending like the emperor is dressed will win me a prize. It’s in my nature, I suppose. I’ll never go along with something or someone to appease the group. I’m more concerned about the freedom of the individual. If these means struggling, I am willing to struggle. It would be far worse than living my life a life. Yet I am not willing to live in poverty for my position. People who are willing to speak the truth and go against the dominant current should be the people who are thriving the most in our society, not the other way around. That is true hierarchy, at least from what I understand.

Have you been getting support from people who advocate free expression, like the Libertarian organizations, ACLU, anarchists, or anyone of that nature?

Lots of Libertarians and anarchists have backed our campaign. Even some open-minded progressives. Yet not a single one of their serious organizations has been willing to cover our campaign, much less any of their journalism outlets. You are the first media publication to cover Trigger Warning. I think this shows a division between the demographic of these Libertarians and their financial desires. Their demographic craves Trigger Warning, but the people at the head of these orgs see us as a risk to their social clique and financial stability. One exception would be Attack the System, an anarchist website that has always been open to highlighting unpopular viewpoints. Another would be Comcastro, a tech podcast that recently interviewed me about the site. We’ve also gotten coverage from industrial music websites like Heathen Harvest and Brutal Resonance. I don’t expect anyone at the Cato Institute, (for example) to acknowledge our existence, unless they feel that we have somehow become a threat. We conflict with their posh neoliberal branding.

How did you and your fellow experts in Trigger Warning come together? Was there any event which inspired you to take the plunge?

Besides the fall of Western Civilization? I was sick of doing everything by myself, so I hit up Ann Sterzinger after she left Taki’s. She was eager to get involved in this project, and before I knew it I was out in Chicago filming a video with her to promote the site. Once we launched our crowdfunding campaign we brought in Elizabeth Hobson and Ashton Blackwell, both fellow thought criminals who were on the more alternative culture side of things.

[Join our army.] from Trigger Warning on Vimeo.

The necessity of paranoia


In former years, people congratulated themselves on how much they avoided paranoia. This was at the height of the Cold War, and these people brushed that aside by saying it was not a real threat, the Russians were nice people and no one wanted war, so there was no need for paranoia.

They kept saying these even as the bodies, spy plots, assassinations and mass executions were uncovered. Conclusion: these people knew nothing about what they spoke so confidently of. They were bluffing, like most neurotics, because to them the world is a uniform maze of terrors, so why prioritize one that could actually end the world over the others? An unhappy, neurotic and socially-controlled person will always be miserable and afraid, so the particular threats do not matter to them, and give them a chance to preen some feathers and appear brave to the crowd by denying known threats.

Interesting enough, the same impetus drove the Soviet Revolution. People got tired of the actual problems, like too many people and an unstable mix of ethnic groups, and so they blamed their leaders for not having magically made everyone fall into line. A hundred years later, it is clear that the problem was not their leaders, as what followed was worse. The psychology was the same as the Western neurotics that they inspired, either the dreamers who saw “a better way” in the Soviet systems, or the nutcase suburbanites who made a name for themselves at the local bingo hall by claiming that impending nuclear death was not actually a problem.

This leads us to paranoia. In the time-honored tradition of human sleight-of-hand, paranoia contains two very separate categories which are equated to push one off the table for consideration: (1) the tendency of mental patients to see irrelevant details as evidence of a conspiracy and (2) the awareness of intelligent people that healthy and happy humans are few, and the rest are conspiring to scapegoat those few, destroy them and take what they have. The first category is literal insanity; the second one, absolute sanity and yet totally denied in this society.

If you live in the best house in your neighborhood, you may get along with your neighbors and even like them, and they you, but they will still resent you. You rose above somehow and that makes them, by the same reciprocal principle of relative motion that means a swimmer who pushes off from another sends that other in the opposite direction, feel lower. Given a chance — a situation where they are both protected from blame and have a plausible scapegoat, like a witch-hunt, anti-Jew pogrom, or Revolution — they will declare that you succeeded by cheating (or words to that effect) and demand to seize your house. If you do not immediately shoot enough of them dead to make the rest reconsider, you will lose it and probably be executed for crimes against whatever tin-pot authority they erect to oversee the seizure.

That is the face of realistic paranoia: most people are not bad, but not in control of themselves either, and thus susceptible to bad the way people catch colds. A rumor goes around, or a crop goes bad, and they are ready to find someone to blame. The price of being alive is constant vigilance, and humans — when they live in nice societies bought with the blood of their ancestors — tend to forget this. You can never relax. There is always someone plotting against you to take the fruits of your success, declare you unperson and kill you. 95% or more of humanity lives in squalor, dysfunction, poverty and tyranny because it is too clueless to create the type of civilization that succeeds. Following that pattern, they labor not on making themselves succeed, but on finding someone else to scapegoat so they can steal from that civilization. Be paranoid: it is the only realistic response.

Clarifying our situation


Imagine that a path in the woods suddenly branches. The original path goes straight; another path, a tangent, moves off into a different direction. On that tributary someone has erected a sign that says DEATH AHEAD.

Assuming that you could not quietly sneak off the path and walk parallel to it in the woods to see exactly what doom lies at its end, and that you had to take two paths, the situation becomes clearer. Go straight, or die.

However those in your group are complaining about the straight path. It hurts their feet; sometimes, it has led them to places to set up camp that have been disastrous; it seems unfair how someone always has to work at the edges. They argue that the DEATH AHEAD path is in fact, life ahead. Less pain, more gain.

We are in this situation now, as we have been for a thousand years. The DEATH AHEAD path finds greater popularity than the straight ‘n’ narrow, and yet history shows us that it is indeed as the sign has labeled it. To do so, requires looking at a high-level view of civilization itself.

In ancient Athens, people became afraid of the example set by the Spartans of a militaristic society. The Athenians went the opposite way and embraced democracy and free expression of the individual instead. At first, this seemed to work. Then it became unstable, and they found themselves executing dissidents as well as one of the most important philosophers of all time, namely Socrates. Some time after that they passed into history. Today, Greeks are essentially ethnic Turks mixed with random elements of people the Athenians once easily conquered. FAIL.

In 1789 in France, a Revolution occurred. It was followed by years of show trials and mass executions of men, women and children. Eventually, the Revolutionaries turned on each other. At some point, order was restored by starting external wars — fighting for democracy, of course — which then consumed the budget and the nation. The people were poorer and less happy than before. Shortly after that, France dropped from superpower status to being known as a land of rifle-droppers. FAIL.

Just a little over a century later, in Russia, another Revolution happened. The people overthrew their leaders, and there was great celebration, followed by executions. And then, more executions. Change of power, then even more executions. Gulags for thousands, and almost everyone lived in dire poverty far worse than what they had experienced before. Eventually, after spreading nuclear waste across a continent, their system collapsed and now they are ruled by gangsters, known for their prostitutes, and are essentially a third-world nation. FAIL.

There is a pattern here.

As your grandmother probably told you, it is far easier to identify what you do not like than what you desire in its place. This is why everyone complains, and one out of a hundred has a constructive idea and works on it. This is not just the nature of humanity; the same pattern can be seen in our ape and monkey relatives, where most of them throw poo and shriek but only a few will act. Revolutions represent the triumph of the complainer. Unhappy people, who are always unhappy no matter what situation, find a sense of warmth and validation in being with other unhappy people. They find a scapegoat to blame, and then take over. They must then kill what they have blamed. At that point, they have nothing to hold them together, and third-world style dictator-and-warlord style government takes hold.

Let us review the steps of a People’s Revolution:

  1. Scapegoat
  2. Overthrow
  3. Executions
  4. Collapse

If you could craft a disease to destroy a society, it would be hard to do better than that. And yet they will tell you that they are free, and more individual than ever, with this new revolution. The old way made them feel like cogs; in the new way, they are individualists. They get nervous if you point out that this individualism is granted by others, and only exists when observed by others, so it is not really individualism and has come to suspiciously resemble a group-hug… but that will merely upset them if you tell them.

Our path lies not ahead of us but to the side. We have taken the DEATH AHEAD path, with the help of a Constitution in the US and strong culture in the EU to save us from its extremes, but as it turns out, those extremes cannot be avoided. Even with the millions of rules and dozens of wars we have fought, democracy is death. Always. And forever. Thus the choice is upon us: keep walking toward death, or get a [expletive(s) deleted] clue and turn around back to the straight ‘n’ narrow.

On capitalism


Capitalism stands as a superior alternative to socialism as a method; history shows us this. The Western nations adopted a quasi-socialist program in the 1960s, and the further we have gone down this path, the less useful and more indebted we have become. However many of us are appalled by the excesses of capitalism, which leads to criticism of capitalism itself.

Autonomy, not freedom, is the cornerstone of capitalism because that process operates at a more granular level than command economies. Regulation impedes capitalism; sometimes, this may be a good thing, such as some environmental regulations. Generally, however, regulation throws barriers into the process of transaction and makes it less granular by creating normal operating channels that one must undertake to avoid the pitfalls of regulation. When everyone must fill out a 5504 form or be fined, and that form specifies what can and cannot be done, the market changes from whatever it was to a 5504-compliant version of what it was. For this reason, even what we see as “capitalism” sometimes is not.

The worst excesses of capitalism come from another direction: consumerism. Consumers prefer mediocre, convenient and cheap products to quality products, but if those quality products were more widely produced they would be roughly the same price as the cheap ones thanks to economies of scale. The reason products degrade in quality is that it is more profitable to make them cheaper, throw in some advertising, and sell to the 80% of humanity that cannot tell the difference instead of the 20% who can. If I make a quality car, and the brand gets well known, people will start buying those cars because they have heard they are good, their neighbors buy them, and they see them on television. If I then replace the quality design and parts with a cheaper design and materials, I can pocket the profits. Instead of raising price, I lowered cost, and for the same result. This is why American beers, cigarettes and cars are terrible in quality and unreliable in the long term: they are made as perfect products, but not perfect devices, which is left up to the 20% selling to the luxury market.

When we see consumerism in action, or the reckless profit incentive driving corporations to run roughshod over decency and nature, what we are seeing is the motivation to profit by reducing cost (or opening new opportunities for production). What most do not acknowledge is that this is driven by the desires of individuals. Stockholders, most of whom are regular people or funds that benefit regular people such as shared retirement funds, care about only one figure: return. They want to see as much money as possible coming to them. This means that if product A decides to be ethical, it has taken on a cost and is less competitive than product B which just went ahead and cut corners to make more profit. The shareholders will buy more of B than A, and B will increase in value, which is what everyone in the system from employees in the mail room to the CEO to Bob and Susan in Muncie, IN building up their retirement portfolio wants.

That being said, the alternatives are grim. Socialism and distributarian societies require centralized economies; regulation creates the same effect as gradually introduced socialism, and under democracy, laws almost never get repealed or substantially changed. This leaves us with capitalism, but we wonder what other methods might control it. One such method combines the structure of feudalism with the modern economy, and makes sure that money is in the hands of people who find it socially, personally and bad business to cut corners and clear-cut forests or strip-mine picturesque mountains. This requires that a natural elite, as opposed to a “meritocratic elite” which means the most obedient students and workers, control most of the money in society. Egalitarian nations tend to balk at that idea.

Another option is to have a very strong cultural bias toward correct actions such that it is spread uniformly through the population, and people who do not agree are sent elsewhere. This requires an ethno-cultural nation defined by shared heritage, culture and values. Not surprisingly, egalitarian nations shriek at that one as well. However, both of these methods provide restraints on capitalism that are not external, but work within the primary method of capitalism, which is preference of buyers and consumers. That alone can regulate excesses, and does a better job than regulation itself, although it is still imperfect since consumers often do not know or are too distracted/lazy/busy to consider vital information. This is why a hybrid of the two may be our best: capitalism, interpreted by natural elites, with most of the population in agreement but those who are least able having the least say. Originally we called that hierarchy in the textbooks and among ourselves, “social order.”

Alexander Jacob – Richard Wagner: Parsifal


Richard Wagner: Parsifal
Richard Kleinmichel (transcription), Alexander Jacob (piano)
Numen Media, 2015, $19

Parsifal grew from the fertile brain of Richard Wagner, who adapted ancient German subjects into his popular and extremely accessible operas in the late 19th century. An adherent of German romanticism, Wagner enjoyed plucking heroic tales from the Teutonic past and transforming them into an ode to the Germanic spirit, making Wagner extremely popular with German nationalists from Houston Stewart Chamberlain to Adolf Hitler as well as audiences worldwide from Berlin to San Francisco and Tel Aviv.

Parsifal is taken from the minnesinger Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s tales of the Grail knights and their quest for that great symbol of religious enlightenment. Opposing the character Parsifal is the wicked magician Klingsor, a man so overcome by passions that he has castrated himself to remove the distraction. Parsifal is the pure youth, the personification of innocence and virtue, such that he cannot, at the beginning of the opera, recall his own name. The musician captures this innocence beautifully as she teases the youth into the scene, by chance as much as not.

Alexander Jacob’s music builds beautifully during the prelude to Scene I, where the grail knights have assembled to pray. As the score fades into the boy with his bow, and closing portions of the body and closing portions of Scene I, the tension is maintained by a soft hum of key strokes, deep and persistent, which are offset by the sharper keys forward. As the knights accept the youth Parsifal into their brotherhood, and the light of the Grail is revealed to him, the piano becomes contemplative, resounding, eternal. One is moved, imagining the mustachioed men in their keep.

As Parsifal arrives at the castle of magician Klingsor, the evil sorcerer sets a succubus to tempt the youth. Jacob’s score becomes busier, lilting softly through faster and more delicate keystrokes, musically imitating the scheming and evil mind of Klingsor. As Parsifal slips through the garden of delights unseduced, one can almost feel the beating of his heart in the persistent rhythm of the music. The seductress, Kundry, cannot seduce the youth, Parsifal, and as the magician casts the Holy Spear that pierced the side of Our Lord at the youth, a magical force intervenes and Parsifal catches it, and the castle of Klingsor crumbles into naught.

Many years later, the story continues, the Grail knights grown old. Jacob’s music continues, cautiously, his skilled fingers picking through what sounds like personally enchanting melodies on the keys. A helmeted figure arrives, bearing the spear that killed Our Lord, and it is revealed, many years later, to be Parsifal, who has never used the holy weapon to strike in anger. Deep wells of emotion arise through the score as Parsifal and the knights baptize the succubus and pray to the Lord on Good Friday. The spirit of renewal seems to pass through Jacob’s fingers; spring seems as fresh, as youthful, as it ever could. Twinkling sounds echo, everywhere.

The finale of Parsifal is no letdown. As the knight, Parsifal, pardons the grandmaster of the Grail knights for his unmentionable sin, converts the succubus, and reveals Die Graal, high overhead, for all to see. The music becomes prosaic, relaxed, as it must be for a penitent priest. The crystalline stokes of Jacob’s hands lead us through Parsifal’s baptism of the whore, to his revelation of the Grail, this final bit of wisdom- her expert hands making the terrifying journey of a knight errant seem a happy, untroubled place.

Some might contend that a Wagner opera requires a violent, exaggerated score. A man holds in his mind the score from the Flight of the Valkries. Richard Kleinmichel, who transcribed these excerpts from Parsifal to piano, however, has been able to relax out of an ancient tale of pure youth obtaining the highest spiritual accomplishments. Interpreting that scroll, the fingers of Alexander Jacob tap out the feeling of nervousness, accomplishment, and ultimately, victory through God, which is what Parsifal ultimately is, evidenced by the succubus turning into a white swan at the end of the opera.

I would highly recommend Richard Wagner: Parsifal as an interpretation of Parsifal for who seek to understand the meaning behind the Wagner opera and have inquiring minds. It transfers the bombast and grandiosity of opera into a personal narrative, both background like ambient music and intensely melodic, creating a world which immerses the listener in the feeling of both the ancient tales and the powerful opera, but does so unobtrusively like memories of a dream.

No exit


Political movements in the modern time tend to fail because they self-assimilate into the dominant paradigm, which is liberal democracy. They do this by rejecting it on a surface level but having no actually distinct structure, which leads to them being compatible with it and then, because people seek what is simpler and going with the flow is always simpler, merging into it and becoming a flavor of it.

This is why the Libertarian party leans left instead of to the center, the GOP leans left instead of to the right, and the Communist party runs in elections only to make the Democrats look good. Stepping off the road of the mainstream in politics does not produce different human psychologies, only a different group of people who have a tendency to — when not being assimilated — self-marginalize by deliberately making themselves incompatible with mainstream thought. (There is a smaller and rarer group of us who self-marginalize accidentally by insisting on philosophical consistency. Both groups hate us.)

Neoreaction and the New Right both belong to a parent group called conservatism. In this world you are either committed to egalitarianism as the singular goal, or you are a conservative. All of liberalism is united by egalitarianism, which is a social impulse disguised as a moral rule, and those who do not go along with this form the varying degrees of conservatives. The very word “conserve” implies retaining what is valuable. Conservatives uphold traditions that achieved the best results in the past. We do not theorize in the realm of ideology, which is composed of what “should” be according to individual human impulses. Instead we look at what works and realize that, as long as keep doing those things, our society will not only be stable but rise. Therefore, for us there is only one issue: keep civilization healthy. Although Neoreaction takes a post-libertarian surface and puts it on conservatism, it is conservatism; while the New Right adopts the methods of the New Left, its ultimate goal is conservative.

Recently several Neoreactionaries took issue with me over the following message on Twitter:

In particular:

In response to the lengthy pseudo-debate that followed, I wrote a post on solipsism and the dangers of social standards overwhelming logical ones, which was the subject of my original Tweet. I then sent it to both of the above. Neither has responded on this blog.

I have avoided using the word “clique” regarding Neoreaction, but it is time to unbind it and release it. Neoreaction is not itself a clique, but it has separated itself into cliques. These cliques consist of bloggers who support each other and think they are generating activity, when really it has become an audience preaching to itself. I do not doubt that they mean well, but meaning well without honest and thorough analysis calls to mind the old folk wisdom, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Good intentions without good methods leads to non-solutions; instead of doing what needs to be done, people buzz around signaling their good intentions and then, because after several years nothing has happened, they depart to their next fascination. At that point you have to wonder whether they honestly believe what they say, or are merely using it to justify their lifestyles.

The cliques of Neoreaction have centered themselves around a number of what I will call “sacred fictions.” These fictions justify their inaction and their lifestyles. As a result, they buzz around these with high interest, not realizing they are the auto-marginalizing group described above. They have in fact already created a group that only appeals to a certain type of person and this has stopped their expansion to the audience they want to reach, which is normal people. This is why movements descend into geekery; they unconsciously target a specific group, which means that anyone in that group — no matter how socially inept — is eligible. The people from that category who need to belong to something the most are the socially inept, so they become the cutting edge and quickly the majority. At that point, people from outside start looking at the group like the Renaissance Fair or a Star Trek convention, because its most prominent members and the bulk of its membership are geeks.

Neoreaction appeals to the angrily under-appreciated tech geek crowd. These people act as if they believe a STEM education is all that is needed to understand the world, and ignore the wider world of philosophy. Very few if any of them have read Nietzsche, Kant, Schopenhauer or Plato. Most of them however are familiar with technology and tend to see the world as engineers do, which is why they are drawn to social engineering, even if by the “hands off” methods of libertarianism: they think society is like software, where you can make rules and get results that fit the profile of a well-maintained server room. Did I mention that few of them are familiar with literature, either? They deny the importance of a classical education, which interestingly enough does not require going to school. It requires reading the books, thinking them over on long walks (ideally through the countryside and not the mental spam of the advertising-coated and distracting cities), and then struggling with the tough questions that do not succumb to easy paint-by-numbers answers like technical issues.

Neoreaction as formulated by Moldbug and others was a series of points of analysis, not yet to the level of academia or philosophy, but good enough to cerebrally circumnavigate the arguments on The New York Times editorial page. Neoreactionaries however have fallen into treating society like a giant iPad application, and it means they have missed many of the surrounding issues and lessons of history. Even when they memorize facts, they fail to interpret them, because their means of interpretation is too narrow. STEMlords like to talk about how STEM is the only game in town, but they have simply done what others before them have done, which is to shutter their eyes to information beyond what they know how to do, and thus to declare their methods the only methods. This creates a Dunning-Kruger effect within this group, who are generally above 115 but below 125 IQ points, and creates the kind of arrogant presumption that enables the formation of cliques. Not all of them fit into this pattern, but Neoreaction as a whole is going down this path, which explains its increasingly circle-jerky tendencies.

Let us look at a Neoreactionary concept, “Exit.” Alrenous writes up an interesting analysis here:

The point is discipline. Exit is a good first approximation, but Exit empowers Voice and and opt-in is just as powerful as an opt-out; exit is essentially a two-syllable word for freedom of association. (Similarly, families are not normally in Exit’s domain of validity, because genetics imposes its own discipline; I’m sure you can think of other exceptions.)

The essence of Exit is discipline, and the essence of discipline is survival. To truly have Exit, the institution’s survival must be under the power of its putative beneficiaries. History shows this is the only way putative beneficiaries will match actual beneficiaries.

This strikes me as closest to the original concept, which Mencius Moldbug used to illustrate how libertarian theory could apply to societies: if civilization was a marketplace, and people or groups could have the option of “exit” or leaving a society, the rules of economics would apply and overly-restrictive liberalized societies would lose members to less-restrictive and more traditional ones. There are a few fatal flaws with that idea, starting with the problem of the “informed consumer”: most people buy Budweiser over Sam Smith’s, and most of them smoke Marlboro instead of Dunhill, which means that most of them will go to the cheap, convenient and stupid answer or society instead of trying for something better. What this means is that, like the Renaissance Fair, a few self-marginalizing geeks will run away to a new society and watch it promptly fail from ineptitude beyond the few tasks they do well. Another flaw is that having people moving around globally by convenience would create chaos; yet another is that the instant a better society is created, the same forces that corrupted other societies will infiltrate and replicate the process there. It would require a stronger defense mechanism than individual preference to defend against that.

Alrenous makes a really solid point here that transcends the definition of “exit”: exit is freedom of association. In other words, remove liberal laws and let birds of a feather flock together. That is what Jared Taylor has been saying since at least 1995 and what the original libertarians, and indeed the framers of the United States’ Constitution, believed. To them, government failed when it became ideological, and so it should be neutered so that people could — by free association — sort themselves into a hierarchy. Such sorting will favor nature, and not ideology, so it will be racist, sexist, homophobic and intolerant in the language of liberals. Looking back over history, we see that liberalism exists because nature is not liberal. Naturalist societies came first, and liberalism rebelled against them, and everywhere too much liberalism appears, society fails; this means that liberalism is an act against nature designed to compensate for that natural distribution of hierarchy. If you wonder why egalitarianism, or the anti-hierarchy was chosen, you can infer it from that fact alone.

However, shortly after that point, Alrenous and I must part ways. It is here that I find myself detaching:

To truly have Exit, the institution’s survival must be under the power of its putative beneficiaries.

I.E. “power to the people.” He has taken a clear statement, which is that a civilization must exist for the benefit of its people, and translated it into the dominant paradigm, which involves the choice of those people. Let me clarify this with some classical wisdom: societies are organic things. What matters is that the organic whole survives, not that every single individual survive. In fact, society is weakened when individuals survive who are criminal, incompetent or merely against the culture of that society. More importantly, organic societies are divided into hierarchies with each group having a role. Most people cannot make complex decisions, and so should have no part in the power process. Yet “under the power of its putative beneficiaries” would do that. Even a group of highly educated STEMlords will find themselves falling prey to this democratic fallacy.

Nick B. Steves — one of the participants in the conversation above — steps in with a more application-oriented definition:

Exit is, at the most abstract level, private government. To exit is live beyond the reach or beyond the notice (or both) of prevailing, entrenched formal institutions of government. Therefore one must be prepared to build one’s own. It is agency, writ large—at the level of a social collective of some size. If you win, you’re a government. If you lose, you’re dead, along with those who cast their fortunes with yours.

In case it is not clear at this point, exit not merely secession, the orderly exchange for one set of familiar political bindings for another. Secession could be important. And it is practical. The American Empire is fading fast. America’s credibility overseas having been wasted, her client states are quietly seeking better and more fruitful relationships. And as the pile of unfunded liabilities stack up at home, the question is only when not if, the austerity imposed by the fiscal laws of physics will come due. When the empire falls a citizen of an independent Texas or Alaska, like those of Switzerland, will be far better off than a citizen of USG.

In other words, exit is forming smaller nations in order to withdraw from the large ideological government, and in the process basing those smaller nations on some idea other than ideological government. I find that distinction most important: exit is not merely physical exit, but exit from the concept of the purpose of government. However, the above has some issues in that it is merely a 200-year deference of the American experience. The United States started as a libertarian nation and, through the preference of the masses, arrived at its present state. We see every major empire in history following the same path. Thus the exited nation will quickly find itself back in the same place the Americans have because its exit was not complete enough. Nietzsche offers a good answer here, but Neoreactionaries do not read Nietzsche and so are oblivious to it.

The state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen. – Fred

In other words, we need to make exit from the concept of the State itself… which requires both ethno-nationalism, which in North America would be keeping the WASPs and sending everyone else away on boats, and a change in power structure from State power structures. That requires more exit that the exit-prone are willing to take. Another problem faces the exiteers, which is that the host society does not take willingly to this because it is fundamentally a criminal enterprise. It exists to tax, invent more justifications for taxes by expanding its mission through ideology, and then tax some more. A private government would rapidly find itself being heavily taxed and also policed. Given the power large corporations had today, if such a thing as being unbound by US law was possible, they would do it. The issue is not so much the long reach of the law itself but the opportunity presented to (1) government and (2) the voters. Government will want to seize control and tax; voters will want the same thing so that it can help subsidize their benefits and happy warm feelings about the progress of our nation. Further, popular opinion can and does swing against anyone who is perceived as having escaped society and gotten away with it. One of the most common behavioral archetypes in humanity is the crowd racing after the one kid with the candy, or the nice bike, or who had some special privilege. They will do the same to any “exited” group as they did to the South.

No, it is sad to say, but in life, oftentimes the only answer is a hard answer, but because it is the only answer, anything else becomes self-defeat. There is no exit from modern society except conceptually, and that requires going farther than Neoreactionaries at least right now are willing to. Then again, there is hope. As one writer on our forum said, Neoreaction is under the control of people who are butts, which is slang for those who exist for their own self-gratification and will divert any organization from its actual goals to personal goals. We see the same thing in mainstream conservative groups like the GOP, in underground far-right groups like white nationalists, and perhaps all of leftism. The self-serving latch on to ideas so that they can use those ideas to make themselves popular. From popularity comes power and even monetary success. This is a type of corruption, and it has afflicted Neoreaction since the Google AdWords checks started rolling in. I find it interesting that many of the people most in need of questioning their own motives refuse to comment here or promote anything I do beyond surface recognition. I wonder where the Twitter conversation above falls on that spectrum.

As others have observed, Neoreaction will succeed when it drops the geeky use of language — imprecisely, as one can easily see — and focuses instead on clear communication and plain solutions. Neoreaction gained popularity because it created talking points to counter those from Pravda-on-the-Hudson and Pravda-on-the-Potomac. It gave people theoretical devices to work around the ideas that hold us dominant in this time. Its most important achievement has been to help make it acceptable to talk about right-wing ideas again in public, although Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Michel Houellebecq have it beat there. But when its own ideas become impractical, like “exit,” and it is ruled over by butts and cliques, it loses not only its validity but its appeal. Perhaps this writing, like many in the past, will give it a spark of direction that could rectify that problem.