The Paradox of Neoreaction


Reactionary Future has a response to “Why The Alternative Right Will Absorb Neoreaction”. It raises some questions worth poking into:

Monarchism is non-nationalist, so how you can have monarchical nationalism is beyond me.

We are on the Right now, or at least, we have left Leftist-land. In Leftist-land, all is thought about the System: a labyrinth of rules and institutions designed to enforce order so that equality can tenuously exist.

On the Right, we think about choices.

Monarchism is more than a method or institution; it is a philosophy: “let the best rule the rest, so the rest do not oppress the best.” It recognizes the primacy of individuals — in moral quality, intelligence and character — over any kind of System.

It is the anti-System.

Therefore, monarchism and Nationalism are not competing Systems, but philosophies. Nationalism says that the healthiest nations are comprised of a single ethnic group united by language, culture, customs and values. This can co-exist with Monarchism, and in fact, is compatible with it in that Nationalism is the type of anti-individualist philosophy that only the best are going to implement.

I remind us all that all of our human problems originate in human choices. You can take the human out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of the human (I am speaking of my own race here). Most people spend most of their time chasing after illusions, distractions and pleasant fictions. It is not that reality is so bad or awful, but that most people are delusional because they are fascinated by themselves and their power over others. There is no Satan; evil comes from within us and our poor choices which we make because we pick what we want to believe instead of what we have realistic reason to believe is true. This is why evil, decay, democracy, promiscuity, vandalism, civilization collapse, crime, filth, etc. are recurring problems that spring up wherever there are humans: we have a bad nature within us, both animal and neurotic, that we must beat down through discipline or it wins out and civilization collapses.

Systems are denial of this fact because Systems are inherently predicated on equality.

One is based on authority flowing down, the other is based on imperium in imperio.

Imperium in imperio usually refers to an unofficial source of power within an official one, such as an unofficial institution within a state. We might look at the Cathedral, the Ku Klux Klan, the Masons and so on as examples of this. In theory, culture (derived from nationalism) could apply here, which is his point. But again: we have left Leftist-land. Our vision is that culture, not government, is what makes the nation.

This is made even more strange in the second of the quotes in which it is claimed that government should be like a business, but limited.

If we must have government at all, or some analogue of it, it makes sense to understand that it will behave like a business. It will act in self-interest. No matter how many “checks and balances” we put into the equation, government will always act for its own increase in power, growth and wealth. Unless its goals are strictly necessary, then, it becomes a parasite.

For this reason, government (and analogues thereof) should be limited. It is difficult to imagine a modern state without a professional military or some entity for making roads. There will be something like a government even in private enterprise, when it must hold territory and administer it. As the Open Source movement found out, government-like behavior even occurs among volunteers when they must hold a virtual territory and manage it. So there is not a clear dividing line between government, business and any other power structure…

The point of this is that much as humans have a vast tendency toward dark organization as our writer Johann Theron describes, groups also have a tendency toward dark organization in the form of self-interested power. Individualism is self-interest, and it becomes easily parasitic when disconnected from reality and goals limited to the strictly necessary; government is group self-interest, not unlike Crowdism, and in order to advance the careers of all the people in government, it expands not through a grand plan but through the failure to make concrete decisions.

Well, by who is it limited? And if they can limit it, then they are the government are they not? Or is this the shareholders? in which case why the “we should”? There is an evasiveness here that is typical, and I have mentioned that the concept of a constitutional sov corp is inherently retarded before.

If we are proposing a monarchy, by the aristocrats, one would think.

As you can see above, my faith is not in Systems — such as the Constitution — but in quality of individuals.

The final paragraph is the icing on the cake, in that it is clearly outlining anti-government libertarianism, which is impossible to square with monarchism except in the overall spirit of obtaining liberty.

This seems to assume that monarchism creates a government. It does not; it creates a hierarchy and power structure, within which there are some functions like that of government.

I find zero value in liberty, freedom, equality and other popular terms because they are clearly manipulative. Like the term “free will,” they create an unbounded (and thus attractive) definition out of a simple thing.

Do you want liberty and freedom? No: you want non-interference when you are engaged in activities that are not destructive. We can put activities in three camps: helping the goals of civilization, working against those goals, or not helping or hurting (the widest category, which includes both innocuous activity and useless activity, which technically is closer to hurting than helping). An intelligent civilization encourages the first category, exiles anyone engaged in the second, and ignores — neither rewards nor censures — the third. That is what we unconsciously desire when we say “liberty,” but the term liberty is a begging-the-question argument in itself. It demands we address a question — that of liberty — without any necessity of doing so, and by that mechanism, imports itself into the political discourse. But if it is unnecessary? Then it, too, is parasitic.

It is fairly simple, either you support imperium in imperio, or you don’t. Neoreaction as it stands supports it, which places the likes of Moldbug out of the fold, which is something that should really be discussed, and something I have been pointing out for a while.

There is a third category: reject Systems entirely. Moldbug’s primary contribution to this part of the debate was insisting that we recognize government for what it is. “Exit” is a thought experiment, not literal. These are ways of getting people to see that formalized systems do not work well for human governance.

As with any theoretical school, the founder is the person who introduces a new vocabulary which generally consists of a series of arguments that open up possibilities. After that, others take this further. You will find that in any non-Leftist thought movement, “Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny,” or: thought develops much as human history did, from primitive to present, which takes on a circular form because human history is circular, or the rising and falling of empires as they discovered realism and then forgot it.

This is why all non-Leftist movements have some different types of people in them:

  • Burkeans/Nietzscheans: want strictly organically-occurring things, focus most on spirit.
  • God will save us types: want an informal theocracy and reject all other questions.
  • Central power aficionados: want a streamlined force to impose sanity, order and sorting good from bad.
  • Monarchists: we are basically anarchists who recognize that a power hierarchy is needed.
  • Anti-Industrialists: believe that humanity’s technology and Progress have led it astray.
  • Libertarians: basically anarchists who want to let culture shape itself through capitalism.
  • Race is all types: give us 130 IQ Nords and we can make any system work.

Each of these viewpoints has something to offer, although when taken outside the scope where its ideas are successful, it becomes parasitic. My libertarian-style pro-capitalism stance is not popular on much of the internet, but everything other than capitalism fails, so we should stick with it. However there are no Systems which magically make things work, so capitalism needs balance from (say) monarchism, rule by culture created by Nationalism, and a society with purpose or a transcendental goal.

When you see debate within Neoreaction, you are watching these different perspectives war it out much as they did in history.

Land, the neoreaction blogsphere, the alt-right, WN, identarians etc. etc. all veer into imperium in imperio, whilst Moldbug and about half a dozen people (myself included) veer away from it.

I think this merits more focus. Land makes a good point that this society is heading into the toilet and cannot be as a whole saved. For him, the point of exit is twofold: escape the madness, and put pressure on it that induces collapse — “what is falling, push” — by demonstrating an alternative that is superior, much as Moldbug did in thought form.

The Alternative Right is more traditional conservative than libertarian. They recognize that without civilization, man is nothing, and without a group of the same ethnicity having sovereignty over some territory, the race dies out and the prospect of civilization coming back in any meaningful form goes away. In their view, we are not looking for personal solutions but trying to escape self-extermination as a race and possibly species.

The stakes are high these days because humanity occupies most of the world, and there are more impoverished angry people with AK-47s than good people.

In his book The Possibility of an Island, French writer Michel Houellebecq offers a thought experiment about exit: a cult-like group invests in technology and finds a way to achieve total exit. Its members live on autonomous islands, defended by massively powerful computers and weapons, and clone themselves to achieve a type of limited immortality. The book illustrates how this future may be just as miserable as our present time.

The point a conservative might make is that civilization is a product of evolution like anything else. Humans need groups. Groups need standards. You can either do that through all-powerful government, or organically — the best “imperium in imperio” — through culture, which requires nationalism and monarchism.

This leads us to what we might call “The Stevens Assertion”: our problem is bad leadership. We have chosen poor options because most people usually choose illusions, which are always poor options. If we stop doing the wrong and stupid things we are currently doing, we can restore ourselves to health. That will require getting rid of leadership by mob rule, which requires dethroning the idea of equality, another poisonous and illusory notion like “freedom” and “liberty” that gives us brain-freeze with its wide scope, which makes it seem powerful, when really it has substituted for more precise expression with a generic category.

It is why articles that cover the whole Alt-right/ neoreaction fiasco have such a hard time making sense of it all.

Is it really hard? Neoreaction is a variant of Reaction, which means that it is Conservative. The Alt-Right is realist Nietzschean and Darwinistic conservatism.

Much of the confusion in Neoreaction consists in not separating thought-experiments from realistic plans. (People reading The Republic frequently have the same confusion).

What unites us is that we recognize our society is failing, that Leftism is at least the proximate cause, and that making war on Leftism (“equality”) is necessary if we wish to survive.

Like Neoreaction, the Alt-Right is a big tent. If you go halfway to the right, you become a white nationalist; if you go all the way, you end up as a monarchist and nationalist. Libertarianism is closer to the white nationalist idea in that it relies on Systems every bit as much as a Constitutional Republic, and so it is still fundamentally Leftist. As Neoreaction grows out of the Libertarian illusion, it will keep its best attributes (capitalism) and pick up some others from the Alt-Right.

Where the Alt-Right has taken the lead, replacing the New Right, is that it is not in favor of European socialism. Realists recognizes that to have bennies, you must have big government, and big government will always act in self-interest to increase its power by adopting an ideological outlook. Not everyone has gotten that message, and some are still caught up in class warfare fantasies, as well as the usual “blame the Negroes and Jews for everything” types.

When you look at convergence on the Right, it is these various disparate tributaries of Realist thought merging and converging on something like a set of new ideas:

  • We must act together to save civilization, although we should not try to save all of its members and in fact should send a fair number of them away.
  • We want neither Systems nor Governments; these lead to tyranny and ineptitude. We need strong leaders of quality and rule by organic culture, which requires strict nationalism.
  • Leftism is incompatible with Realism and those who are Leftist must not be compromised with, but defeated and sent away.
  • The West is worth saving, but to do that we must stop engaging in illusions, destroy the current ruling institutions and people within them, and then remove the failures and reboot with the healthy people.

In another few months, this will probably be more formalized, I think.

Tags: , , ,


Recommended Reading