Why The Alternative Right Will Absorb Neoreaction


There seems to be some confusion in the media about Neoreaction and how it differs from the alternative right, as well as confusion by neoreactionaries about this is so.

Let us tackle these in reverse order. First, the media: they are cartoon makers. They make comics and call it news. They do this to fit the cognitive profile of their audience. Most people are not analytical and also, are not inclined to spend time researching and understanding political and social issues. As a result, they want bright simple colors and stories of good versus evil.

That means the media must invent “good” (human interest stories based in pity, irony and bittersweet eucatastrophe) and “evil” (anything which denies the good feelings of the audience, especially by failing to be egalitarian).

You can understand any media story in these terms. Your instinct is to believe the story is about its topic; that is wrong and dangerous to think that. What is actually true: the story is always about the audience, because newspapers are there to sell ads and never have done anything else. That is their profit model. What you pay for a newspaper is tiny compared to the cost of ads, and they mainly keep you paying for it so you do not realize that it is essentially an advertisement cloaked in the altruistic pretense of being fact-based.

As Fred says, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” This doubly applies when it comes to the news. They choose what stories to report on, and then, they choose which facts to mention, and what order to mention them in and how to present them. Hint: any activity, no matter how degenerate, can be made to seem innocent by portraying those involved as victims of some other superior force. People fear superior forces and demonize them.

Next, we move on to the question of Neoreaction and the Alternative Right: one and the same?

Perception of political theories is relative, although the theories themselves are not because they are based in method. Someone who is on the far-left will perceive the moderate left to be far-right, but it is still based in the Leftist theory, which is equality, and not the rightist theory, which is replicable results.

To your average modern citizen, because the West has been growing steadily more Leftist since the Peasant Revolts, anything to the right of a moderate Republican is “far-right,” and that area includes the following philosophies:

  • Neoreaction
  • Reaction
  • Traditionalism
  • White Nationalism
  • Pan-Nationalism
  • Alternative Right
  • New Right
  • Paleoconservative
  • Social Conservative
  • Monarchist
  • Identitarian

You will note that all of these overlap. For example, all favor Nationalism and strong hierarchy. Many favor aristocracy, such as monarchists, reactionaries and traditionalists. Some are nearly indistinguishable from one another, except for a fundamental idea or two, such as reactionaries and traditionalists. And so on. A complete definition of these is beyond this article.

What unites them is that they recognize that the “equality” method does not work and will lead — or has led — our society into ruin.

They then take different responses to this. The dissident right — you might use that as an umbrella term for the above, since “far right” implies the mix of neo-Nazi, paleoconservative, libertarian and liberal that comprises white nationalism — differs in degree and method only. Once we realize that Leftism is a dead evolutionary pathway, we must find (1) another way to take and (2) a method of getting there, which is complicated by the fact that Leftism is popular because it is illusion, especially during Leftist eras and the warm bath of their propaganda.

Within this realm, we might see Neoreaction as a response by the middle classes to the degeneration of their countries. The basic idea of Neoreaction is that we should treat government like a business, expect it to act like a business and limit it, and allow the dual forces of capitalism and free association to fix everything else. This is not far removed from the original American ideas of Thomas Jefferson, or even Jared Taylor’s notion that if we removed anti-discrimination law, this country might have a chance at survival.

These bourgeois roots of Neoreaction place it in the hybrid camp along with libertarians, which is fitting because Neoreaction is a discussion filter for getting to the next step, not the next step defined where it can then be attacked by stronger Leftist forces. I suggest re-reading that paragraph again, as it is essential to understand Neoreaction. It is a salon, not a revolution.

Your average Neoreactionary, like the middle class, wants to escape two things: the icky people who have now infested his society, and the government which has become so parasitic that it is difficult not to notice the daily blood drainage. He believes that a System can work, that the good bourgeois can form gated communities and get away from the icky people, and then the good life will return.

Your average Alt-Righter does not have this illusion. He knows that society has taken a wrong turn and that any steps down this path lead to the same place, which is a third world warlord-cum-socialist society of mixed-race people, low but “exotic” culture, and total dysfunction plus commerce. From this state, nothing important comes again as happened with the fallen Greek, Roman, Maya and Aztec empires.

The reason that Neoreaction will be absorbed into the Alt-Right, and not just by the media, is that Neoreaction is simply a discussion filter. It exists to make people feel justified in actual self-interest and saying, “No, I don’t want to go down the path to ignominious death with the rest of you fools.” Like Donald Trump, it is a pry-bar that separates those still capable of some thought from the rest who are lock-step trope-worshipers fully ensconced in the warm bath of the propaganda from the Left.

If you want a metaphor, imagine a city of utter chaos and dysfunction. On the very edge of the city, at the city wall, is a hotel. Neoreaction is the foyer; it is the reason that one steps inside. This shuts out the noise of the city and the constant propaganda broadcast by petit tyrants over its PA system. Once you are in the silence, you can start to think. Conservatism is the library; national socialism and neo-Nazism the gym; traditionalism the chapel; and paleoconservatism/social conservatism the bar area.

As you go deeper into the hotel, you will notice something: every room leads to a second hallway that connects them all. This leads to the garden beyond, which you can see through ornate glass doors… counting your steps, you realize that the garden is outside of the city. You only head down that path once you have been to all the rooms, taken the part of the puzzle from each, and assembled it in the hallway to realize that escape is the only option.

But the real journey, alas, is not in the feet but in the mind. “Escape” means that you are finally awakened from the Leftist dream. You realize that everything you have been taught since day one of your life has been tinged with a lie, and that lie is human equality. This lie is both a way of feeling better about having a civilization in decline, and a way of making you feel important for having nothing. It assuages your fears. Without it, you feel naked at first.

The basic idea of Neoreaction may be summarized as anti-ideologism. Neoreaction insists that our theory and reality be aligned, so that if some method is more successful than others, it gets the power instead of those others. This terrifies the ideology-minds, who know that their theories are not only unprovable, but not designed to be proven. They are social theories that make people feel good about themselves for believing them.

Beyond that, it is foolishness to take it literally, because it leads to more interesting places…

The Alt-Right is concerned with a singular task, possibly inherited from black metal: how to stop civilization decline and restore Europeans to greatness. Once you have separated from ideology, do you want an OK society or an A+ one?

Tradition shows us that there is a world beyond the physical and pragmatic. We need our spirits filled with transcendental beauty, and to believe in a good universe where the excellent can happen, in order to truly reach greatness. This is another step down the path.

Finally, there is monarchism: the realization that most people are obedient, foolish sheep who always choose whatever option flatters them, and that people in groups — even smart people — make infinitely stupid decisions. You either put the best in charge to rule over the rest, or the rest rule the best, and then social standards collapse to third world levels.

Beyond that, you can rediscover the wisdom that you were born having in your mind. That without someone intelligent and noble in charge, every venture from a lemonade stand to a civilization is prone to failure. That jails are not hospitals and that bad people do not go away, but need to be sent away or they destroy everything they can. That every day should be magic, filled with discovery and joy, not obedience and obsequy to those of lesser smarts.

The roots of Western decline go deep, and to really rip them out, we must go back to the founding assumptions in a cascade of bad decisions that cause us to live in illusion. Leftism is illusion like its parent philosophy Crowdism. That in turn is caused by human individualism, which legitimizes hubris and raises the idiotic above the genuine.

You will note that this decline even touches Neoreaction, the Alt-Right and traditionalism. There are those whose wisdom is authentic and those who are merely participating and attention whoring like everyone else in this society, just in a different field. “No enemies on the Right” is a tempting phrase, but really it means: no quality control. The war begins at home, first in your own mind as you figure all of this out.

This is why the Alternative Right will absorb Neoreaction: it is broader in scope and application. That suggests that something in turn will absorb the Alternative Right, which I suggest is conservatism itself, or the idea of using proven, organic methodology instead of ideology. From that point, all that is left to be decided are questions of degree, and at that point, they are evident.

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28 Responses to “Why The Alternative Right Will Absorb Neoreaction”

  1. Carnage says:

    Neoreaction -> Alt Right -> Conservatism -> Society.

    Let’s get started.

  2. Alice Teller says:

    Great analysis. May I suggest another reason Nrx is held responsible for the alt-right? The chatterati can’t grasp the concept that there is not a PhD. directing everything. Certainly not if it outwits them. Face must be saved somehow.

  3. Laguna Beach Fogey says:

    NRx is a subset of the Alt-Right. There are some awesome neo-reactionary writers, and some of them work hard to clear the intellectual undergrowth, but the best of them have been, and will continue to be, absorbed by the Alt-Right.

    • Where do you see yourself as fitting on the spectrum?

    • Hawk Spitui says:

      I’m not sure “subset” is quite the right way to put it. NRx is more of an informal think tank or intellectual toolkit, it’s role is to develop ideas and insights. It doesn’t have any activist branch, there’s no neo-reactionary party or NRx rallies. There is no specific NRx political agenda.

      Alt-right is retail politics. It’s goal is the practical implementation of it’s adherents interests. Alt-right certainly “inherits” from NRx, but it’s clearly in no way bound by it. NRx is one of the alt-right’s influences. They share a political universe (let’s call it the “reactosphere”), and they intersect at a number of points, but one is not a subset of the other. They exist independently of each other.

      NRx is a political philosophy movement, alt-right is an activist one. Whereas NRx is bound by the requirements of intellectual rigor and consistency, alt-right as an activist movement has no such constraints. It’s free to smash a few windows and streetlights in pursuit of it’s practical goals.

  4. August Rush says:

    Interesting hypothesis. I’ll be interested in seeing whether your prediction comes true, whether the alt right absorbs neoreaction or not.

  5. Good breakdown.

    My only concrete position these days is White Nationalism. I think our dwindling numbers necessitates the forging of a forward-looking pan-white identity.

  6. AntiDem says:

    Also, there’s the bizarre turn that NRx has taken lately. Passivism is a real head-scratcher, and the Mannerbund – aka the plan to save the world by establishing He-Man Woman Haters Clubs worldwide – has come under wide, and deserved, derision. It seems to started morphing from being a philosophical movement into some kind of self-help cult, which is leaving a lot of people cold.

    I think the end result will be the broader alt-right absorbing the best of NRx’s ideas, and leaving the what remains of it to sink into irrelevance.

  7. -A says:

    I always thought that Alt-Right was the general concept and NRx was the specific sub-group that focused on Monarchy and Conservative logic. Would the Alt Right absorption be a bad thing (dilution) or would it be as what seemed to be implied, that the silent majority starts talking about self-interest then start backing the most sane rightists? I could see it going either way.

  8. ashv says:

    If you think neoreaction has anything other than complete antipathy to Jeffersonian thought and practice, then you seem to have no acquaintance with it at all. I can’t understand how an arch-liberal like Jefferson gets mixed up in your mind with a thoroughgoing rejection of liberalism.

    • If you think neoreaction has anything other than complete antipathy to Jeffersonian thought and practice, then you seem to have no acquaintance with it at all.

      One major point of the article was to compare the two and point out the similarities. If you missed it, you can go back and re-read it, and then offer an actual commentary — citing points, making arguments, that sort of thing — or skulk away like a drive-by commenter who has been offended by something he read on a blog.

      • ashv says:

        To be specific: the idea of “limited government” is specifically what Moldbug rejected, so saying that the basic idea of what neoreaction proposes for government is to “limit it” is confusing to say the least. Where are you finding support for this among NRx writers?

        • To be specific: the idea of “limited government” is specifically what Moldbug rejected

          The point being made is (1) that the Neoreactionary theory of government leads to a state with several attributes, of which you have cited one, and (2) that its essential theory does not address the nature of what government replaces. This demonstrates greater similarity to existing philosophies than to a breakaway from them. I suggest you re-read the article for context.

          • Aeroguy says:

            I would respect you more if you acknowledged your mistake rather than double down. Instead of limited government (a Whig invention) you meant to say the libertarian associated principle of laissez faire is similar to the NRx associated principle of wu wei.

            “that its essential theory does not address the nature of what government replaces” I don’t understand what you mean by this. NRx rejects Hobbes, Gov doesn’t replace the “state of nature”, humans being social creatures started with tribal government, the “state of nature” never existed. Rather power is conserved. Mandate of heaven, not will of the people social contract as means of legitimacy.

            I think you underemphasis the difference between the activism associated with the chattering masses of the alt-right (basically fascism, being based in popular gov, make it mortal enemies with reaction in any form) and the anti-populist bedrock NRx is built on. NRx builds it’s philosophical tools for one group alone, the elite, to formalize power in place of political power. NRx is also about secessionism rather than a big tent, it says fuck dialog, separate, do your own thing and Gnon will sort them out.

            Your discussion of the “average” NRxer and AltRighter seems disingenuous. Both look forward to seeing USG collapse (except those optimists in MAGA hats which comprise more than a few on the Alt Right) as a precondition for their views bearing fruit. Use of the term “gated community” implies walled off enclaves within a larger brazilified society, when NRx wants separated independent SovCorp states, it’s not as if the globe counts as a singular society that states are part of rather than states as arbiters of their own separate societies. That would make the altright just another universalist ideology that must make the world safe for the right. It also ignores how NRx wants to convert elements of the elite and fissure them, vs the AltRight affinity for wanting to take care of the elites Jacobin style. From this comes about the biggest difference of all, NRx wants to protect the elite from the AltRight.

            Defining AltRight as “how to stop civilization decline and restore Europeans to greatness” puts yourself in a corner. There’s a very important schism on the right, those that see civilization as a means of promoting European(white) interests vs those that see Europeans(whites) as a means of promoting the interests of civilization. The former like disparate impact up to the point it affects white interests while the latter will go along with disparate impact potentially past the point it leads to human extinction, like Land who regards the advance of intelligence as the baby while humanity can be tossed out as bathwater. Notice how Land is most committed to non-participation in politics and yet visions like his are never the less plausible enough to cause nightmares for powerful men, his is more prophesy rather than prescription. Your conclusion rests on favoring broadness of scope and application, more options, but it is the later side of the schism, the one recognizing civilization as end rather than means, that has more options. But Doc, no one would voice support for that. Voice, where we’re going we don’t need, voice.

            • I think you underemphasis the difference between the activism associated with the chattering masses of the alt-right (basically fascism, being based in popular gov, make it mortal enemies with reaction in any form) and the anti-populist bedrock NRx is built on.

              I do not agree with your characterization of the alt-right. In it, many methods are represented, and many of us are monarchists.

              The point of the alternative right is also anti-populism. Fascism is not populism; it is the notion of power by legitimacy, not legitimacy conferred by popularity.

              Why it is mistaken for “populism”: right now, all of our institutions are Leftist repeaters and so, any surge in a contrary direction comes from The People (or at least, some of them).

            • Courtier to the Stars says:

              “From this comes about the biggest difference of all, NRx wants to protect the elite from the AltRight.”

              NRx circa 2010: “Only the worthy should rule. This makes for good societies.”

              NRx circa 2016: “We should protect those that are unworthy, and convince them to follow our ideas.”

              Good luck with your delusions.

              Here are some test case elites for you to mull over before you respond with a 10k essay: South African elites, Brazillian elites, the DC beltway elites, Gulf state elites.

              I’m looking forward to the non-existent Social Matter post explaining how NRx convinces a bunch of backstabbing, incompetent, meddling strivers to become enlightened rulers.

  9. […] maps authority. Vampiric priors (and response). NRx will be eaten. Slippery slopes. Only a new religion can save us (and ancient Chinese signaling spirals). The […]

  10. I know being provocative is what you do, Brett. And I don’t fault you for that. But this article is not even wrong. Neoreaction is the thing that has institutional solidity. If any absorption is coming, it will be in a net direction toward NRx. But only on its terms. The Alt-Right is term so amorphous that no one is even bothering to try to own it anymore.

    • Good points, Nick. Amorphous can also mean “broader definition,” which means it has more ability to assimilate. It makes sense to venture over to https://alternative-right.blogspot.com/ — these are the guys who grew out of http://www.alternativeright.com/, which started shortly after we did CORRUPT, which was a decade after the nihilist society (forgive the lack of acronym here, haha) started writing about the same things, and probably 3-5 years after I was espousing such ideas on USENET. So: there’s a long history here, and while informal, you may find that it is not “owned” but “championed” by many. I have to give credit to our former editor here, Alex Birch, for formalizing the Alt-Right as HBD, post-democracy, deep ecology and transcendent thought. Most NRX and Alt-Right blogs are just getting into ideas now that he wrote about back then. Love your posts!

  11. T. Kekkonen says:

    NRx may be the tool, but Wittgenstein was the toolmaker. Proofs me wrong

  12. […] Future has a response to “Why The Alternative Right Will Absorb Neoreaction”. It raises some questions worth poking […]

  13. […] Alternative Right has absorbed Neoreaction because Neoreaction, in its desire for “exit” from the West, has abandoned the West to […]

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