People are desperate to deny the commonality of non-leftist belief

city_at_night

The defining attribute of modernity is equality. Part of equality is that since we are all equal, we must distinguish ourselves by drawing attention to what we are doing. This puts a premium on “uniqueness,” or illogicality and over-reaction for memorability’s sake through novelty.

Yet another way to kill truth.

Thanks to some recent media attention, the Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, paleoconservative and New Right community — the overlap, intersection and proximity of such beliefs and those who hold them — is buzzing with a desire to define itself. It lacks a clear statement of what it is to embark on these philosophies.

This denies that these philosophies not only have much in common, but have a historical precedent. They are what existed before liberalism and what will replace it if humanity manages to arrest its decline into third-world status.

For the sake of argument, let us distill these beliefs to the two symbols common in their intersection:

  1. 1789
  2. Transcendence

The former is clearest: in 1789, we were promised that by getting rid of power based on performance, and deferring instead to popularity because of our reliance on egalitarianism, we would have a better world. The opposite has happened: our technology has grown and everything else has been murderously destroyed.

The latter is the essence of what distinguishes these philosophies in actuality although few realize it. Most philosophies are based on arguing from a thing, e.g. “the kids take drugs and won’t stop so we should legalize drugs.” Transcendent thought argues from experience and the learning derived from it, e.g. “if we make architecture elegant and beautiful, people will have a standard to live up to.”

All of the rest of the chatter around NRx et al is discussion of method. This is parallel to the babble from the libertarian camp about the “Non Aggression Principle,” which is pacifism for bankers. It, too, is a method, although it disguises itself as a goal. It also misses the point that libertarianism itself is a method, and while often the best one, not an goal in itself.

The point of the resurgence of conservatism is that we replaced actual goals and actual leadership with indirect versions of the same. Instead of strong leaders, we have delegates; instead of goals, we have anti-goals, such as “freedom” and “diversity.” There is a fear of power and of having goals, so we have neutered them.

This violates the idea of transcendence, which is that we should have purpose in this life. Even if we are here “just to fuck around,” as Kurt Vonnegut said, we will in the course of experience find beauty and find ourselves compelled to defend, nurture and increase it. That is a transcendent goal, not an anti-goal formed by arguing from a material phenomenon.

An experienced writer opines:

Neoreaction, in order to even be articulated, began with a set of key insights. Cathedralism, the doctrine that Western society is ruled by an ideological superstructure known as the Cathedral, can only be explained through a memetic model such as Moldbug’s. You can only see the Cathedral with the perspective of an outsider (but to have such a perspective is to be an outsider). It is a model of the world that includes, in its parts for explaining how the world works, a theory of how other people’s models of the world influence their actions. It is a model which accounts for the practice of other models.

As I’ve written before, the Cathedralist view is nonsense. What makes the Cathedral? The pretense of ordinary people, who in order to justify their “do whatever you want” philosophy have adopted anti-values and anti-goals. Calling this “the Cathedral” leaves out the fact that we’re trying to re-awaken psychological discipline in our species.

To worry about the Cathedral is to trap oneself in method. What is needed is not method, but an understanding of how the world is viewed different. That is encompassed in the two prongs written above: first, everything egalitarian is wrong; and second, we argue not from material, but from ideas and experience, which makes us seek beauty, efficiency, goodness, decency, actual love and actual leadership.

16 Comments

  1. Mark Yuray says:

    The rejection of egalitarianism and the affirmation of transcendental goals as integral to the human experience (and to civilization) are two points I violently agree with, and I expect any dissident right-winger or reactionary to agree as well.

    The Cathedralist view, however, is not nonsense at all. The Cathedral is very real and very powerful. What exactly is nonsense about it? Just because people have adopted anti-goals and anti-values doesn’t preclude the existence of an organized system that transmits, inculcates and enforces them.

    In the West, the academic system, the media, the extensive bureaucracy (and the State in general), corporations (deeply intertwined with the state), the entertainment industry and an incredible network of NGOs all cooperate under the banner of liberal-progressive egalitarian imperialism. What else to call this meta-conspiracy? It’s the Cathedral.

    1. This is a good question, and it brings to mind a point that was difficult for me at least to fully grasp. Let me tackle this:

      In the West, the academic system, the media, the extensive bureaucracy (and the State in general), corporations (deeply intertwined with the state), the entertainment industry and an incredible network of NGOs all cooperate under the banner of liberal-progressive egalitarian imperialism.

      These systems are created by public opinion. That is formed of a trifecta: democracy, sociability and consumerism. In each of those, what is popular ( = what most people want to think, not what they have reasonably justified belief in) supplants what is actual. This is consistent with the Enlightenment/Revolution view that the human form and the feelings/judgments of the individual are more important than natural law and, more importantly, natural order.

      People are drawn to these systems by the opportunity created by that popularity. That in turn allows them to become more powerful than ever before (Faulkner absolutely nails this process in his early works). For example, Bill Clinton would have been a shoe salesman except for the fact that a plurality of voters existed who could be swayed by his fawning monologues.

      What some are calling “The Cathedral” is not an organized action, but the result of individuals who benefit from these systems collaborating to keep them in power through the use of popularity. It is more like entertainment, or the kids who got popular in high school, rather than the type of centralized command structures we saw in the Soviet Union.

      Understanding this is essential in my view to understanding soft Totalitarianism. Who creates it? We the people. How? By projecting what we want to think over what is real, thus creating a “market” for people who will affirm our non-real beliefs. How does it maintain control? By demonizing any beliefs other than the preferential thinking of the herd. I call this process Crowdism and identify liberalism and most conservatism as a subset of it.

      The important point about Crowdism is that it is a moral failing of human individuals, called radical individualism, that allows them to be so solipsistic and deny reality by placing their thoughts before fact. When groups of radical individuals get together, they form a club with one rule: enforce radical individualism for all. This gives them a social justification for their beliefs — “I’m not being selfish, I’m doing it for the group (esp. poor, minorities, gays, women, LGBTBBQ, etc.)” — and makes it difficult to oppose them.

      If we took everyone in the Cathedral tomorrow, and lined them up at the Washington monument and shot them Soviet style with 7.65mm bullets at the base of the skull, a new group would immediately arise and take their places. That is because the opportunity is there. The Cathedral as you call it more resembles the organization of drug dealers, which is pure opportunism, than the centralized command structures of “old fashioned” totalitarianism. (W.S. Burroughs is informative on this point.)

      The solution to all problems created by leftism is to debunk leftism. Leftism is the moral shield — the justification of social good being done by the Crowd — that protects the dysfunction identified here and allows it to grow. Leftism is like the chemical trails that cancers use to disguise themselves as normal cells. Remove that ideological basis, and any Cathedrals lose their power.

      1. Mark Yuray says:

        A revealing analysis that I am not tempted to disagree with. Our viewpoints are actually the same then, though. I agree that the Cathedral is an informal “soft” totalitarian structure. I don’t think any reactionaries argue the opposite.

  2. crow says:

    …and actual authenticity and actual humanity, not just a cardboard facsimile.

    1. Kind of like the difference between a home-grilled burger with cheese on it, and the cardboard food they serve you at those fast food joints. Cardboard + sugar = cardboard.

      1. LoreTek says:

        Sweet, sweet, cardboard.
        Good source of calories too.

        The cardboard is good.
        The cardboard is good.
        The cardboard is good…

        1. crow says:

          There is a motorway catering company in the UK known as ‘Little Chef’, that routinely serves up cardboard, in varying guises, and for which one pays overly-high prices.
          This cardboard can take many creative forms, my favourite being ‘pancakes’, since they really do resemble pancakes, and only when one bites into them, does it become clear what they are made of.

          Still, behind every cloud lies a silver lining, and behind every ‘Little Chef’ lies an automated ‘car wash’, which tirelessly manages to amputate your antenna and reduce your nice car to cardboard mush.

  3. Ted Swanson says:

    Most writing is ponderous. I’d say 75% of supposedly “great” authors from yesteryear are merely long-winded dorks. I’ve noticed that much of the writing in these “circles” becomes an end in itself. Lots of writers usually let their writing get the better of them. They overstate things in a flamboyant way to make a point, and the style overshadows the content, in fact the style becomes the content. On the other end you sometimes get the writing of a robot, you begin to wonder if you aren’t reading a pre-scripted computer program that randomizes different words at specific intervals. You get 5 pages of writing that states the obvious. Hard to find red-blooded writing these days that doesn’t turn into sophomoric goofballisms.

    1. Hauer says:

      Most writers only give what the readers want to hear. If they demand articles that are soulless pieces of incomprehensible trash, the audience is most likely uninterested in reading something that can be understood.

      Why read something that you can’t understand? To look cool in front of others, of course!

      1. crow says:

        People sometimes decide they want to be ‘writers’, and so start writing. Which is fine. They write stuff and tweak it endlessly, until it suits their idea of what good writing should be.
        Unfortunately, what many of these people fail to take into account, is the importance of having something of value to write about.

        1. Hauer says:

          Quite true. Effort without purpose is meaningless. Quixotic endeavors are best left unattempted. Otherwise, who knows what you are going to screw up?

    2. Same problem as with heavy metal: form over content, instead of form :: content.

  4. Hauer says:

    The defining attribute of modernity is not equality. It is technology. it is the sole determinant of what defines this era and makes it different than all that came before it.

    Egalitarian political movements have existed since the dawn of man as a political entity. They are a part of the cycle of a civilization. Demands for equality appear when societies are at the beginning of their end.

    Technology, on the other hand, has never reached the levels it is at right now. It is obvious to anyone by just observing the world around them. Things that would have appeared as pure magic in any other civilization are now commonplace.

    This is where the real change takes place. Politics is reactionary by nature. Knowledge and technology are transformative.

    1. Hmm. Only in a democratic time is technology allowed to dominate over all else, or so it seems to me.

  5. Slumlord says:

    Crowdism = mass man.

    The solution to all problems created by leftism is to debunk leftism.

    Close but no banana.

    Amongst the intelligent, leftism is already debunked. The left has long recognised this and has never really positioned itself to be an intellectual movement, rather it endevours to be a popular movement. Do you think that the proles that are transfixed by Glee are going to be convinced by Socratic argument or by “feel good” pop psychology?

    Speak to your plumber about the importance of transcendence and watch his eyes glaze over. On the other hand, get Miley Cyrus to twerk and he stares with the fixed attention of a robot, as she speaks to his instinct.

    The proles are not convinced by argument; they are convinced by rallies, shows, emotive displays of affection or injustice. Everything but argument. The failure of Conservatism has come about because we are operating with the wrong model of human cognition. We have been trying to convince the proles with argument, while the left has been conditioning them through feel-good association. In a democratic system we lose.

  6. Peter Connor says:

    Citizens in the West live in an r-type fantasyland, in which those who do not produce can still consume profligately, and there are no consequences for most toxic behaviors, expecially for minorities. As long as the majority are convinced that this will continue, radical individualism, at the expense of the productive, will continue to be the reigning philosophy. Society will drift toward moral dissolution.
    At some point, perhaps rather soon, this situation will collapse and scarcity will reassert itself. I am guessing exhaustion of farm land and fresh water supplies, but who knows.
    At that point, there will be a war of sorts between the takers and the makers. If the makers win, a new society based on work, struggle and transcendence will probably take over.

Leave a Reply

37 queries. 0.440 seconds