Neoreaction basically offered two ideas which arose most likely from Samuel Huntington’s The Clash Of Civilizations And The Remaking Of World Order: patchwork, or officialized balkanization, and formalism, which is a libertarian principle taken to its extreme hybridized with the Fascist idea of government as a corporation.
However, it probably should have gone further after that, and instead of viewing the world through an economic lens, viewed it through an informational one. That is: we exist in constant memetic warfare, with culture wars the norm, as a species which is trying to produce its first enduring civilization after many have burned out. There is new ground to cover there.
In information science, we apply economic principles to the change in information that details patterns in our world. As such, we think more in terms of which ideas create momentum and win out, and how this changes the filters humans use to perceive the world, than the downstream of that, which is economics which is guided by human preference.
This leads us to an analysis of information monopoly as a way of locking ideas into civilization, and the context of this in herd dynamics which are divided between oblivion and stampede:
The notion of “radical monopoly” plays an important role in Illich’s critique of professionalism:
A radical monopoly goes deeper than that of any one corporation or any one government. It can take many forms. When cities are built around vehicles, they devalue human feet; when schools preempt learning, they devalue the autodidact; when hospitals draft all those who are in critical condition, they impose on society a new form of dying. Ordinary monopolies corner the market; radical monopolies disable people from doing or making things on their own. The commercial monopoly restricts the flow of commodities; the more insidious social monopoly paralyzes the output of nonmarketable use-values. Radical monopolies . . . impose a society-wide substitution of commodities for use-values by reshaping the milieu and by “appropriating” those of its general characteristics which have enabled people so far to cope on their own.
Professions colonize our imaginations; or as Michel Foucault (whom Illich’s language sometimes recalls—or anticipates) might have said, they reduce us to terms in a discourse whose sovereignty we have no idea how to contest or criticize.
In other words, society tends to formalism in the older definition, which means using explicit rules and procedures instead of being based in principle and the abilities of those who rule it. Each part of it, like every ethnic group, can be counted on to act in self-interest, which begins with seizing control and achieving monopoly.
Monopoly is not always bad… but usually, it is a path to entropy. When there is only one way to rise in a system, the conditions imposed by that method take the place of reality itself, and so a feedback loop begins that drives that dialogue farther from reality and more into the terms of the system.
Formalism creates dark organization in this way. By removing incentives from real-world results and defining them in terms of the system instead, it encourages manipulation of the system, and “inverts” all definitions and goals to reflect individual human needs instead of the goals of civilization, principle, meaning, purpose, future, past and other abstract intangibles.
If Neoreaction had understood formalism in this manner, it would have understood what a disaster formalism actually is, and instead advanced formalism a general theory of not entrusting power to any self-interested groups whose self-interest does not reward the self-interest of the civilization itself, and through that, its human ecosystem and its members.