Why are conservative politicians and commentators such butts
I use the vernacular because it applies: the public face of conservatism generally consists of buffoons, with a few rare examples, and even those seem tainted by defensive lashing out in offensive ways. The term the kids around here use for over-qualified people without common sense is “butts,” and it applies in this case. Your average conservative politician or commentator is a butt.
(This is in contrast to the average liberal politician, who is a worse animal because he is aware that he speaks nonsense for the sole purpose of manipulating others, so he is a snake oil salesman whose primary method is creating scapegoats to distract from the actual scam he is working. These are less honest, and more slippery, but because they have purpose, tend to be more alert.)
Trying to show people the wisdom of conservatism is almost impossible because as soon as it is stated, up pops some utter idiot saying clear idiocy and avoiding the real issue as if he were unsure of his own views on the matter. These people drive away as many people from conservatism as they can, but unlike the liberals, they are not deliberate in this act. Rather they are confused. There are two reasons for this.
First, conservatives know — unlike everyone else, who is distracted by the scapegoating and floating on waves of dopamine with the happy images produced — that our society is a farce. Democracy is rule by the lynch mob and bitchy suburban shoppers that make customer service hateful, and the State is nothing more than organized theft; most people are venal, selfish and corrupt beings, and the few who are not are perpetual targets for theft, rape and exclusion. Most of this world consists of incompetent people who are in fact nothing more than avaricious monkeys who want to destroy those who are better than they. Conservatives know this, but it cannot be said, nor can it be stated that conservatism is a long slow retreat as we try to protect humanity from what it collectively “thinks” it wants, which is always wrong, despite 98.6% of humanity being unable to understand and thus in opposition to these truths.
Second, conservatives operate invisibly. Not for the reasons liberals do, which amount to being able to achieve deception, but because we believe that which governs best governs least. Ideal conservative government is behind the scenes and not noticed because everything simply works. This is the antithesis of what succeeds in democracy, which is generating drama through fears and scapegoats and false solutions on a constant basis. Conservatism is inherently anti-democratic because democracy is inherently anti-truth because of its preference for feelings, gossip, biases and group sentiment. Conservatives are inherently anti-politics because they believe in leadership not by what people want to see, but by what must be done to achieve a situation where what is needed recurs automatically. A good conservative leader eliminates problems by going to their source and redirecting it, not by the liberal method, which is to make a law, an institution to enforce it, and high penalties for those who resist.
I have in the past formulated conservatism with the simplified notion of realism + transcendentalism, which creates a basic distinction from liberalism, which arises from radical autonomy -> no standards -> altruism/egalitarianism. The conservative formula expands a bit when we compare how the two address having effect on reality itself:
- Liberalism addresses effects as causes, such that if there is poverty the cause must be poverty itself, or a scapegoat.
- Conservatism addresses cause instead of effect, such that if there is poverty there is a reason for it, and that must either be adjusted or accepted.
Poverty provides a convenient paradox. In every nation in every time there has been poverty; however, poverty means different things. In classical Europe it meant living in a small shack and eating meat once a week. In most of the world at the same time, it meant living in a leaf hut and getting periodically raped by roving bands of cannibals. In modern America and Europe, poverty means an apartment with air conditioning and heat, a big screen television, internet access and a steady diet of junk food. If a society becomes wealthier, poverty stays with it, as a relative measurement, e.g. “Jim has less money than Sara, therefore Jim is impoverished.”
Most problems fit within this framework. Why does Jim have less money? He may want less; he may have more free time; he may be less competent. In either case, poverty in and of itself is not a problem, but what would be a problem would be a failure of the system to correctly reward Jim and Sara for their relative contributions. If Jim builds bridges and Sara is a Facebook consultant for a media firm, Jim should have more money, at least in a sane society. Liberals hate this idea and try to deflect from it. Liberals always deflect, which is why they try to get you to believe that “stupid people” are Jethro and Jed out in the country, not the utter idiots in our cities contributing nothing and running whatever they control into the ground.
Conservatives suffer because they cannot say these things, would be ignored if they did, and doing so would not lead to efficacy in government. Thus conservatives in public consist of well-meaning people who know they must put on a drama show to keep their jobs, and cynical people who are essentially liberals of a different sort who want to distract, deflect, scapegoat and deceive so they can profit off the excess of the herd. This is why when asked about conservatism, conservatives tend to point to dense books of theory instead of living persons.
The feedback loop between media and its audience
I knew a couple once who lived basically in a bubble. They had jobs and did them diligently, if distractedly and without thinking twice about them when at home. There, they tried to stay focused on activities they felt were rewarding. The problem existed in their pathology: if something came up which suggested they were wrong, they simply ignored it and pointed to something else instead. If their kids had trouble in school, it was the soft drinks, so there was a crusade to destroy all the soft drinks in the house and get the school to remove the soft drink machine! If the husband had trouble at work, it was because his coworker was secretly a very bad person, and so it was important to bad-talk him in social circles. They succeeded because they never doubted themselves, and never attacked any actual problems, because of this approach. However, it also made them miserable. They would never accept actual solutions to their problems, so the problems stayed present and exhausted everyone. Their tendency was to sabotage anything they did not like, which frequently included the actual solutions to their problems, such as the time the vacuum cleaner that did work but was hard to use kept “getting broken,” and the other one hauled out of the closet, resulting in a dusty house that gave everyone allergies.
An analogous situation exists with media. People gravitate toward media that reflects their outlook on life, and then use what is said there to justify their own beliefs. In other words, they select media for what agrees with them already and then use it as “proof” of being right. This is not lost on media companies, who cultivate audiences based on what those audiences already believe, and then sell to them a product which is essentially consensual reality validation instead of actual “news,” whatever that is. This means that every person exists in a bubble of consuming what agrees with them, discovering it agrees with them, and then acting on that as if new data were received, considered and analyzed. If you wonder why little changes in this world, the above provides one reason. Couple that with the liberal tendencies of media, and the base mechanism of liberalism to be scapegoating as a means of deflecting from what the liberal is actually attempting to do, and you have a perfect echo chamber for excluding threatening reality and replacing it with warm fuzzies.
Pity the poor conservatives. Historically, we are those who refused to join the Revolution and instead held that we should preserve what was best about the past and require that “new” ideas be tested before we adopted them. Not like anyone has listened to that of course.
Better than science, this is the past as it happened. It has zero conjectural component, including the idea that what can be reproduced in the lab will somehow occur in life. In 1789, as during the signing of the Magna Carta and the various peasant revolts, society split into two. One side took the “new” idea of equality of all people, which basically means do whatever you want short of murder, rape and theft, and the latter held to the idea that social order was necessary. Hierarchy was more important than individualism, in that view.
Over time the idea of do-whatever-you-want has proven, time and again, to be more popular. It is easier for the mind to comprehend and does not entangle it in any of the troubling details of reality. As a pure thought alone, removed from all else, it comforts us. Each person is important. No person must suffer for social standards, cultural values or something as arcane as identity. We are all one, because we are each the same. You can imagine zombies coming over the hill chanting that, sustained by the sense of being important by avoiding the twin extremes of unimportance and having actually achieved something. If we measure importance by achievement, some will win and the rest lose, but if we go egalitarian/altruistic, everyone wins some importance even if it is paltry and insignificant because everyone else has it. The human mind has not yet evolved to think as many steps forward as it requires to understand this.
In contrast to this stands the conservative idea. Composed of two parts, its first prong is consequentialism or the idea that “new” ideas should be tested and their actual results in physical reality found to be good, no matter how long it takes for this test, before they are implemented. The second prong suggests that instead of aiming for an average or lowest common denominator, we should target higher goals that are more excellent or good, beautiful and true beyond the average among which we wander in everyday life. These two prongs reveal the paradox of conservatism: grounded in nihilism, it rises toward the transcendent through an appreciation of the logic of striving.
Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Nihilism”
Nihilism states the bare facts of life: nothing can be known because we relate to the world remotely through ourselves; nothing can be communicated because communication is a process of negotiation, where each side attempts to understand the other and comes away with its own version of what is being said; values are baseless in that they do not exist in reality, but comprise our response to it. We can argue that objectively better results exist but people can choose to deny that fact, or deny that better is indeed what they desire, and choose something else instead. The human struggle is one between narcissism and realism, and when narcissism wins out, people choose illusions over realistic responses. This is the most common state of human existence, hence the use of the term “common” as a type of lower rank.
The good understand why good is important, but no one else does; genetics trumps reasoning as usual and only some have the raw mental ability to understand what good is and why it is preferable to bad. Most people in fact prefer bad, whether mediocre objects and services in life, or disorganized society so that they may pursue their own vices, desires and personal profit. It does not occur to them that there will be an equal and opposite reaction as life re-arranges itself in response. Nor does it occur to them that they mark themselves by what they choose because it indicates the limits of their understanding, and that social rank comes from this process. We can say that the argument for goodness is objective, and be correct, but that has no bearing on whether or not it will be understood. The reality is that we deal with human beings, and they are only able to direct themselves toward what they understand. Most understand very little and so are prone to error, which is the root of “bad.”
Nihilism affirms this emptiness. Much like Lewontin’s fallacy expected race to be written in a single gene, the average person anticipates that life itself will have literal writing on the wall. The illusion arises from the fact that our world simply does what it does, objectively, but that our response to it must reflect our own interests as a species bent on survival, and that these vary between individuals based on capacity. This violation of blank slate theory and egalitarian dogma requires us to accept, snobbishly or not, that not all people are the same. Human responses are between subjective and objective because they depend on what the individual knows and can process, with some succeeding more than others. But only those who were going to succeed anyway know to pay attention what thrives and what does not, and to select one over the other.
Much of human civilization remains a forgery because it is based on the idea of exotericism, or that we can create a single rule or truth and apply it to all people. Saying that is not to endorse the opposite extreme, relativism, where humans enforce approval of all responses in order to create altruistic equality. Instead, nihilism states that people simply perceive what they can, and it cannot be communicated to them. Nor it is an objective truth, because there are no instructions in the world of an absolute nature. There are no “values” shared in common. Individually, we must choose to rise above our monkey ancestors, and by making that choice, push ourselves on to understand as far as we are capable, but most people will refuse to choose this. This is why our ancestors created caste systems and told most people what to do all of the time. Otherwise, these people would screw it up by lacking the ability to understand it.
Conservatism contains both good and bad. The good is the insistence that we hold on to the learning of the past, namely that social order is necessary and positive. The more competent should have more authority and wealth, because wealth is power and giving it to anyone less than a person of noble outlook guarantees it will be used in destructive ways. Those who know nothing because they cannot biologically know much of anything need to be kept away from dangerous things like money and the vote. The bad is that conservatism by its basis tries to fight liberalism, rather than accepting that the type of person who wants liberalism would be unwelcome or oppressed in a traditional society, and will attempt to destroy such a society through ignorance or resentment even if it ultimately produces better results for them.
If conservatism has a basis, it is this type of social order and hierarchy. It finds its origin in the knowledge that only a few perceive what really must be done, and the rest exist in the mental cloud of their own self-delusion. Nihilism is realism. Outside of the human mind, the world has no objective purpose, even God. God is there for those who perceive him and can understand why His order is what it is; similarly, human thriving is there for those who choose to have it, but most people would rather have a beer, cheeseburger and double feature of nude wrestling instead. We are told that nihilism is horrible because it means giving up on the objectivity of life itself, but it is more accurately a recognition that objectivity requires us to choose a purpose first, and that cannot be enforced with logic. Instead, it is for those who rise above to discover, and then to oppress or exterminate the rest before that herd does the same to them.
Very few people understand the conservative argument for “small government.” It takes this basic form: reduce government so that it no longer has an ideological goal, but acts only as a support/defense infrastructure for culture.
When government gets an ideological mandate, such as “enforce equality,” it becomes a self-guiding perpetually expanding entity with a blank check from the voters to do whatever it wants so long as it can justify those acts under the broad umbrella of its ideological objectives.
The same things that liberals feared with the government regarding terrorism — that fear of terror would be used to justify any number of intrusive acts — are also true of government objectives like civil rights, anti-poverty, gender equality, wealth redistribution and anti-discrimination. All of them create that blank check and make government grow like a tumor.
Odd as it seems, the point is not size of government per se, but size of government reach. In other words, if government focuses on defense, roads and space exploration, it presents no threat because it has a finite goal that does not submit to mission creep. How do you justify having military police in every city in the name of space exploration? (Actually, I am sorry I asked: bureaucrats have probably dispatched a fact-finding commission to find a way.)
If the citizens of a nation are so foolish as to give government an open mandate to do anything it can to achieve an ideological goal, they have opened the gates. Ideology reflects what people feel should be, not what is. There is no check for success in that feedback loop because it is based exclusively on feelings. Thus when ideological programs fail, the answer is to try even harder with the same idea. If the programs succeed, they are used to justify new objectives which are simply expanded versions of the old.
Imagine a department in your workplace. The owners decide that it is essential to be inclusive to fifth-dimensional beings. This requires redesigning the building to have M.C. Escher style recursive staircases, and to rethink the concept of “rooms” entirely. Ordinary people require velcro to stick to the ceilings because up is no longer up and down is no longer down. All drinks and food must be in paste form. Harmful parts of the color spectrum, and the light spectrum, must be filtered, requiring ordinary people to wear 3D glasses with one red and one blue lens each. Since fifth-dimensional beings do not experience time as we do, the office runs on a 24-hour rolling schedule and measures those hours in radians. Soon every aspect of the office has been entirely re-dedicated to first figuring out how to accommodate the fifth-dimensional beings, and only second (and optionally, if the first is not accomplished) act out its normal role. Quality and productivity plummet but management sees this as resistance to its grand plan, and doubles down on punishing those who do not comply. In five years, the only people left in the office are those who are good at one thing: making a comfortable environment for fifth-dimensional beings. Everyone else has been fired or fled.
The same has happened to American government, following in the footsteps of other governments. Let us look at the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. In the former case, ideology supplanted reality and made the nation unable to feed itself. In the latter, a fascination with Jews and racial purity led the nation toward military and political disaster. The problem in both cases was that a single principle took over from the multiple principles of quality government. Ideology tends toward a single principle because its goal is to focus people on one thing and have them hammer at it until they force it on others. This is why ideology is so devastatingly effective. Non-ideological governments, called “conservative” now, focus on multiple methods of achieving what is known as health, or a society that aims toward the excellent and has happy residents as a result.
When ideology takes over government, the bureaucracy swells and becomes self-important, and starts to view any criticism as treason. It then purges those critics and, more importantly, rewards only those who achieve ideology-first and reality-second. This drives away anyone who might know better. Like many human failures, this path to death is driven by our own inability to see the obvious because we have re-trained our minds on a single focus. When conservatives say they want small government, what they mean is to remove ideology from government and instead focus on real-world activities that create health, which are generally best administered by culture and natural selection while government takes care of defense, roads and space exploration.
From an interview several years ago…
Nihilism, in a nutshell, argues that life is without objective purpose or value. This philosophy is something that has always seemed to cause controversy, as it seems society has always a some sort of fear when it pertains to Nihilism. Briefly describe what Nihilism means to you, and its relation to Parallelism.
What is Nihilism?
Nihilism is a philosophy based on the idea that reality alone is important. It rejects belief, faith, wishful thinking, ideology, morality and socialization as in any way a form of reality and/or “inherent”; these are human projections. All potential actions are choices we can make. However, nihilists are not relativists. We do not say all choices are equal, because equality is also a human projection. All choices are simply whatever their results are, because intentions exist only within the human mind and are not important.
Most people want to read into nihilism the typical kiddie-rebellion fatalism that infects the industrialized nations: “Nothing matters, so do whatever you want!” This is broken, because nihilism eschews the yes/no question of “matters,” since even having something matter at all is a choice. Nihilism also avoids the “do whatever you want” because to prescribe that is to give it a value. The only statement nihilism makes is that nothing is real except reality. Human projections are irrelevant because they are unrelated to outcomes.
Every action we undertake on earth is a choice. Do I eat the red-spotted mushroom? The utilitarians will say that if most people like eating them, you should do it; the formalists will say that if it’s socially approved, you should do it; the instrumentalists will ask if the goal of eating the mushroom is moral; the materialists of course will say that it depends on what comforts or wealth it gets you. A nihilist says to use the scientific method and look at what the whole of the results are. Will it poison you? Will it mislead others? Will it harm the forest? Will it bring about any gain of any kind? These are all choices, and must be considered in turn.
Nihilism is not a morality. Morality is what comes between humans and making choices. I can choose to commit crimes, but if morality exists, I will be reacting to the moral judgment of right/wrong instead of the consequences of my actions. This puts us back to measuring our acts by intentions, when we really should instead look at what the results will be. We then have to confront those results and say, “The result of this crime is that I’m going to force this person to work another 40 hours to pay for what I took, and my reward will be 10% of the purchase value, and it’s likely that more people will follow my example and commit crimes.”
That sort of measurement is emotionally heavier than saying some action is bad or good. If an action brings about good results, we can talk about those anticipated results by looking at past similar actions and pointing out the similarity. In the same way, if a proposed action is likely to bring about bad results, we need to only compare it to past events. “Last time we lit our cigarettes off the propane tank, we blew up three houses and a dog. Is that the result we want again?”
Nihilism is not negation. If there is religion in a nihilist world, it is esotericism, or the discovery of religious principles from patterns in our environment. If there is morality in a nihilist world, it is unceasing awareness of consequences. These things can exist, but they, too, are choices. However, as mentioned above, nihilism is not relativistic, so “it’s a choice” doesn’t mean “it’s accepted” as it does in pluralist moralist societies. It means instead that the burden of consequences is upon the person who makes a choice.
Nihilism is also not anarchy. Anarchy is a moral judgment that a leadership structure should not exist. A nihilist will reject the idea that a State is necessary, but by recognizing that leadership is a choice, forces us to consider the consequences of types of leadership versus no leadership. Nihilism does not choose what “ought” to be; it chooses what works. And so the first nihilist question to an anarchist would be, “Where can I find a successful anarchist community?”
Unlike ideological political systems, nihilism does not view wishful thinking — what “ought” to be, what society “should” do, or a moral jihad for equality — as useful. It questions causes->effects and by looking at effects, chooses to pick the corresponding cause (action) that can be undertaken to achieve those effects. As a result, it is pragmatist, or non-utilitarian consequentialist. This makes it more like the paleoconservative right and less like modern post-1789 state/ideology-based systems.
As a philosophy, nihilism recognizes that rejection of all values negates itself because it is in itself a value. Instead, nihilism views all values as choices. When these values are based on aspects of reality, they are nihilistic, but the creation of values like morality is dangerous because it removes us from thinking about reality and instead has us thinking about the words, symbols and relationships that comprise those values. A nihilist would suggest that the healthiest human system is one where we look at consequences alone.
Nihilism is ultimately a philosophy of affirmation. When we clear the human projection out of our heads, we are like children again, and can instead of reacting blindly to social projections, choose what we want out of life. As a conservative nihilist, I choose what Plato found to be the apex of human existence: the good, the beautiful and the true.
Why society fears Nihilism
I no longer believe that society exists. I should say instead that it’s a moving target. Societies have a life cycle just like humans. If you take care of your society, it can last for a really long time. If you do not, it self-destructs quickly. The remnants of destroyed societies are what we call third world nations. In each of these, there was once a prosperous society led by intelligent and noble people. These people pitied others, and so made life more hygienic, safer, abundant and easier for them, which resulted in incompetents outbreeding competents and dooming the society to failure.
During the early days of a civilization, there is no need for formalization. People recognize a shared purpose and set of values to achieve that purpose. It can be as simple as adaptation to a geographic area, but only if it includes an added dimension, which is the desire to not just survive but to thrive. Essentially, the best human value is laziness, because it causes us to want to improve our knowledge and self-organization such that we have more time to relax, ponder, create music, wage war, fall in love, etc. You know of Mazlow’s pyramid of needs; in my view, civilization begins in the upper parts of this pyramid where emotions and the need to use the mind like a weapon are found.
Unfortunately, over time, the aforementioned process of “helping others” leads to a proliferation of incapable people. These people do not mean badly, but they have a fatal flaw, which is that they are thoughtless. They will either overpopulate their geographical area or cause some other tragedy of the commons (an event where a public resource is exploited unto destruction because its cost to each individual is free) and as a result, will find themselves starving, diseased or in wars they can’t win. At that point they turn on their leaders, who are usually the people who had been trying to stop the decay and getting beaten back by the crowd of people who want to believe in what they wish were true, not what they can discern is true.
As a result, wishful thinking predominates up until the very end, where there is a sudden and conclusion confrontation with reality itself, and the civilization falls apart. It doesn’t just explode, but all the levels of civilized behavior drop precipitously until it is corrupt, dishonest, whorelike, ugly, dirty, commerce-ridden, violent, and directionless. It is usually ruled by warlords or a military junta because such disorder requires authoritarian government to keep it in line.
During this process people attempt to enforce their wishful thinking because (a) they want to stay in denial about the collapse and (b) this enables them to control others and get ahead through manipulation. As a result, they invent the myth of inherency. These words we use to describe things are not just token symbols we exchange in their view, but are the actual names of things. Our religions are not interpretations of metaphysics, but the whole truth. Government and collective approval are the only legitimate ways to make decisions. Good is a certain list of things; bad is anything that opposes it. Soon we are living in a world of “inherent” symbols that are human-created and often either arbitrary or deliberately controlling.
This is the origin of modern control. Unlike ancient control, which was cooperation based on having a hierarchy, or a decent authoritarian state, which is essentially paternalistic pragmatism (a form of consequentialism — the idea that we measure our actions by their results, not their intent — that, unlike utilitarianism, is based on reality for society as a whole and not the approval of a majority of its members, a subjective…or should we say “wishful thinking”….measurement), modern control is individuals controlling one another to keep any of us from upsetting the fragile balance created by a civilization dedicated to equality. In practical terms, “equality” means pluralism or that there is no right/wrong except for what is proscribed by the dominant ideology which we see as giving us equality and thus “freedom.” To a modern person, freedom and equality mean the same thing, which is pluralism or no social standards, which is naturally extended to diversity/multiculturalism/internationalism (these terms mean the same thing) and approval of every underdog group that doesn’t violate social/political norms.
Nihilism shatters this control by attacking inherency. As a nihilist, you realize that everything is indeed a choice. You can choose to deny reality. You can choose to eat feces. You can choose to shoot yourself in the head. All of these are possible choices, and there’s only two ways to make such choices. The first way is wishful thinking; the second way is reality-based thinking. Since we know wishful thinking varies with the quality of the individual, and it can be easily observed that most individuals (I’ll add the Southern hybrid between good-will and pity, “Bless their hearts!”) make most decisions poorly, it makes zero sense to pick wishful thinking, or a subjective standard. Instead, it is logical to pick a reality-based standard. The prole has trained themselves to say “but who decides?” and the answer to that is obvious: we pick the best among us. However, to a non-nihilist, that answer seems dangerous. Someone is more than equal? There are differences between people? But you can’t say that in polite conversation! You will never get laid!
This is why nihilism is controversial. It destroys control, but unlike anarchy, does not affirm the necessity of control through picking an opposite model. Instead, it tells us we have choices. We can choose a rising society, or by making a different decision, choose to have a dying one. The results of our decisions are clear because similar types of decisions have been made in the past, and we can compare cause->effect and see what effects our actions are likely to have. Most people get freaked out by that “deterministic” view of life, so choose to believe that they can choose an effect, and then assign to it any cause they want, thus they can do whatever they want and claim they “intended” to have a certain effect. Tee hee, aren’t they clever! Logicians will know this as a B->A error: If all A->B, then all A are B, but not all B are A (B->A). Mistaken cause->effect reasoning is the foundation of our declining society today.
On a simpler level, nihilism is controversial because people prefer pleasant/easy lies to complex/difficult truths. They want to hear absolute and universal guarantees, like the talismans of an ancient religion: just slaughter a lamb to Baal, and you will get rich. Don’t worry about your decisions, and trying to figure out if you do the right one; get the right symbol on there, and everything will be OK. Social decision-making works this way, interestingly enough. If I say nice things to my friend, and then answer with wrong information when she asks me a factual question, I don’t get blamed or seen as having failed because the link in the friendship is the social kindness, not accuracy. People want that level of acceptance-without-challenge extended to all portions of their lives.
What is Parallelism?
Parallelism is a solution to linear thinking. Nihilism has us thinking in terms of choices; parallelism has us realizing that to make these choices, we need to compare more than one factor out of many to consider the before-state and after-state of our decision. Humans tend to project their own arbitrary choices onto situations by choosing one factor out of thousands or millions to look at when evaluating a decision.
For example, “Will this new car produce more or less carbon output than my old car?” If you look only at that one factor, you’ll go buy a Prius, but then there’s the question of what environmental damage is caused by the batteries in the Prius and the energy required to make it. There are other questions to be asked as well: am I more likely to be in a wreck, and thus send both cars to the junkyard? Will this be as reliable as a “regular” car? Is a better use of the money required to pay for its higher cost to simply purchase a few acres of forest land? Can I drive less with my existing car? These questions involve the assessment of environmental impact only.
Parallelism suggests that decisions are made according to indicators found in parallel between multiple factors. This reduces the arbitrary nature of linear decision-making. As a corresponding notion, parallelism also suggests that structures exist in parallel throughout the universe. This includes the vertical dimension of complexity and the possibility of metaphysics. “As above, so below,” would be an expression of parallelism; another way to view it is that there are no structures in the cosmos which are radically incompatible with any others.
As such, parallelism is an attack on how most people conceive of religion. The average person is either (a) a materialist, believing that there is nothing but physical matter and thus enhacing physical comfort for people is the best goal (utilitarianism), or (b) a dualist, believing that there is some “other side” where all things are pure and clear and people will live in perfection in the order of God or gods. Parallelism suggests instead that any additional metaphysical dimension will resemble what is here, because in all aspects of reality, nature uses mirrored structures to create an architectonic or self-balancing order. The greatest is found in the least and vice-versa. It is a perfect design.
In addition, parallelism points out another structure in nature, which is a natural selection-like mechanism that is found in nature, but also in mathematics and thought. Roughly speaking, for any possible action there are many parallel impulses, and each one reflects a certain degree of maturation toward completeness of organization. The most organized tend to form a parallel harmonic level — imagine the parallels themselves as verticals, and a horizontal line being drawn where completeness of order occurs — and thrive, while others go away. Our thoughts are like this: we have many impulses in response to stimulus, and our brain selects those which are the most complete and which do not trigger any negative feedback loops.
Parallelism also has political implications, notably that it’s nonsense to base a society on a single arbitrary idea (equality, finance) when many other things need to be considered. We need to consider happiness, and more importantly, being a rising society where we’re constantly getting better at what we do, instead of a declining one. Physical health needs to be considered as well, as does environmental impact, as does social consequence. There is no “freedom” from any of the consequences of our actions.
Further, parallelism suggests that different civilizations go through the same patterns if they use similar forms of organization. This ratifies Plato’s “civilization cycle,” by which nations are born, age and die. Every nation that undertakes the attitude and organization typical of a senescent nation will become senescent; any nation that adopts the attitude and organization typical of a new nation will be reborn. Further, parallelism suggests that the fortunes of our societies are not caused by geography, but by where in the cycle we choose to put our effort. In addition, parallelism would have us thus separate these societies so that each can evolve according to its choices.
A parallelist worldview also includes that idea that we cannot divide leadership by separating it into different subject matters. For example, financial decisions have effects on the same things that legal or social decisions do, but so also do non-government actions like those of the media, religions, social groups etc. It makes more sense to organize government by the things upon which we are having effect, than by the flavor (religious, economic, social, political) of activity undergone.
As such, parallelism is an entry point to the birth stage of the cycle of civilizations, called Tradition, and is utterly incompatible with modernity. However, since parallelism is reality-based, it explains the consequences of choices rather than formulate an ideology toward their ends. For this reason, it is a useful tool for diagnosing modern stumbles and finding ways to work around them.
What are some important figures in history that have shared the same viewpoint, to some degree?
Every great leader in history has recognized these principles to some degree. Nihilism belongs to strategic realists like Niccolò Machiavelli and Kautilya, but also to clear-minded thinkers like Siddhartha and Eckhart. Parallelism has to my knowledge never been articulated as such, but was an understood (which is better than written down — it lives in the culture and, as culture shapes its population through natural selection according to Race-Culture Theory, becomes part of the genetics of that population) part of ancient cultures.
Because these viewpoints are more descriptive (analysis of cause->effect decisions) than prescriptive, or ideological and moral values imposed on a population to control it, they do not comprise an ideology per se but are methods that can be applied by anyone. Josef Stalin can be said to be a nihilist with his pronouncement “no man, no problem”; then again, Bill Clinton also displayed nihilistic thinking when he adopted the practice of creating his current political platform by reading the polls and selecting any idea that polled highly as something he would support. However, none of these consciously adopt a nihilistic or parallelist viewpoint.
I would imagine that artists share a good deal of these philosophies because artists are naturally outsiders, since their job is to notice what society cannot. Further, artists are naturally realists, because in order to portray life accurately, one must notice how it functions and not the type of social statements that can be made to gloss-over that or make it sound appealing. Finally, art is inherently meditative; meditation is the root of all understanding, since it calms the mind and allows exploration of all factors at once. To be an artist, you must find what is hidden in plain sight and style it so that it and any solutions needed to it are appealing, making people want to engage with it. Artists fight back against numbness induced by social conformity of behavior which in turn exhausts the mind of any possibilities other than obedience and reward.
As democracy winds down in the West, many of us are facing an ugly truth that first reared its head in the 1800s: that democracy itself impedes conservatism.
Mainstream conservatives will not publicly approach this realization, but the core tenet of democracy is leadership by desire, not by reality. People vote for what they wish were true.
While the ashes cool in Baltimore and the latest news frenzy keeps us distracted so we can avoid noticing the systemic problems of Western civilization, many are wondering how the situation got so bad without anyone figuring it out.
The answer is simple: we voted for it.
By “we” I mean the largest plurality which could work itself into a frenzy over an issue. This is how democracy works: the simplest and most emotional concept unites a mob, they rage and expound and demand it, and then it gets passed. Everyone assumes the situation is decided and moves on.
In any sane democracy, every single law would be voted on every year with a simple question: Is this law achieving its aims?
When you speak to the average voter, it becomes clear that they focus on anything but this question. They talk about moral categories, such as how well-intentioned the law is, or how essential it is, or how it cannot be changed because people depend on it. Never do they look at it as a cause-effect principle that intends to achieve a goal.
The conservatives you see on the television earned the name “the stupid party” because their ideas are fundamentally paradoxical. They want a reality/accountability/responsibility-based (consequentialist) society with a transcendent focus, since if you understand reality, you have no need for the emotional distractions of ideology and go right to the need for meaning. The voters do not want this because distraction is always simpler and more emotionally comforting.
The situation can be revealed in this comical law of politics from Robert Conquest:
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
This law succumbs to an easy attack, called (sensibly) “entryism” by neoreactionaries, which is that it is easy to dress up a liberal idea as a conservative one and declare it explicitly right-wing, then use it to subvert the rest of a right-wing movement.
The left wing will forever be more popular because it offers ideas that are easier to understand, since they require no knowledge of reality and its workings, and more emotionally satisfying, since they are both distraction and “social,” or consist of gift-giving to those who identify with victimhood. Every person in their under-confident, weak and uncontrolled moments succumbs to self-pity and in remembering those, they yield to this force.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote about this process because he saw it first-hand. In the 1800s, he drove an ambulance in one of the early wars of the forces of democracy versus the rest of us. In it, he saw the process: liberalism appeals to the best of us first because they are reacting emotionally to problems in our society, and only later do they recognize it for what it is, which is a cynical power grab by those least competent to rule.
Conservatives have balked at this dividing line so far. They hope to ride the train of liberal popularity by endorsing the great illusion that desire can decide our problems. They also fear alienating the Christian segment of the right which sees Nietzsche as an atheist and blasphemer, since they have confused the name of what is holy with what is actually holy.
Like other dividing lines — nationalism, rejection of all socialism and need for social hierarchy — this decision separates the men from the boys. Boys still want to please their mother and their friends, maybe hope one of the girls in the class will let them kiss her if they do what she wants. Men realize that original sin was correct, and that without the intervention of discipline and focus the human being is nothing more than a monkey which can talk.
As mainstream conservatism is forced to confront issues like the ongoing failure of diversity, the corruption rising from the liberal state and its institutions, and the accelerating decline of Western Civilization, more conservatives will join the “underground” fringe of conservatism and take the path that Nietzsche did. Until that point, nothing said by conservatives in public will make any sense.
On the right, it is popular to disclaim “ideology” and “politics.” There is truth to this, since the right is consequentialist and thus not based in should-be thinking like the left, and neoreaction is not populist, so it does not fall under politics which is itself a creation of democracy.
However, there is also a fallacy here. Ideology can mean any doctrine or philosophy with an end result of changing the world. Politics means any thought or thought process which addresses political change. Trying to step out of these things that way, and claim to be a theory above it all as some in Tradition and Neoreaction do, despite being well-intentioned, leads to confusion because it is not wholly true.
Any belief, even if a reality-based one as all consequentialist ones are, becomes both ideology and politics because it competes with ideology and intends a change in politics. To play a categorical game of denying this seems clever at first, until one realizes that by doing so, the belief system has stated itself as personal preference alone, and thus, has no application beyond how you order your lawn and 401(k).
While the corporatist line of Neoreaction is tempting, in which people sign on to managed communities where a corporation returns value and is accountable for its services, in reality these places show the downside of capitalism unchecked by culture: crass commerce, mixed-race social chaos, and a need — as time goes on — for increasing internal security as in the style of leftist states.
New Right introduced new “thought methods” just as Neoreaction and Tradition did. All of these beliefs fall under rightism not because right-wingers claim them, but because their ideals fit into the basic rubric of the right: consequentialist, or results-based, with a transcendental aim for “the good, the beautiful and the true” or “the perennial things” (Huxley) or “Tradition” (Evola).
While these new intellectual methods give us better ways to discuss the need for a society based on the above, they do not escape us from their intent: to change politics and counter ideology. It is best that all be honest about this, as otherwise we fall into the traps that allow leftist entryism, namely making our philosophy solely a “personal preference” or series of choices made while shopping for goods and services, and allowing entryism by making the method more important than the aim.
Recapping history in brief: The EnlightenmentTM legitimized egalitarianism — lack of social standards to hold back the individual — as a viewpoint, then the French Revolution in 1789 made it a political force. The French went on from there to rage across Europe in the first of the ideological wars, and the Americans tried to invent a form of liberalism that would not consume itself.
We all know the problem of liberalism: it destroys civilizations and leaves third world remnants. It does this by dividing the people against one another and substituting the quest for civilizational and personal health with an ideological jihad for ever-greater equality. Its policies are unrealistic, its advocates insane, and it constitutes a power grab that then fails to rule because it is mob rule.
Why, you may ask, with every intellectual who was not awash in personal problems knowing this since 1500 AD approximately, has nothing been done?
The first is democracy itself. Crowds reward emotionally-pleasing ideas that are easy to understand, which cuts out any long-term plans (longer than the next year at most) and any complex ideas that cannot be explained in one sentence at a bar. Crowds also like to receive things from society, and to not be accountable, so radical changes are bad but entitlements are good.
The further problem is the compromise problem which is that in a group of people, each person will differentiate himself by having a unique opinion or need; the process of differentiation is important for that person to succeed socially. This will force a norming onto the many divergent ideas which involves taking their lowest common denominator. (See LCD, r/k, Dunning-Kruger.)
Between these effects, you have a political system that is hostile toward leadership. Leadership sees what others do not, acts toward it, and worries later about getting all the special interests into line. Politics works the exact opposite way: it is “pragmatic,” and involves currying favor among special interests and flattering voters and accepting lobbyists and the interests of foreign powers, a process that politicians hide behind altruism because if you can justify your plan with helping pity objects — the poor, women, LGTBBQ, minorities, orphans and cripples — then the credulous wide-eyed voters will go for it and completely fail to observe its actual goal.
This is analogous to advertising. If you want to make good beer, you create a painstakingly crafted product that is more expensive than the average and has low margins. If you want to make money making beer, find a way to do it at low cost so that you can both sell it cheaply and have a high margin. This requires making bad beer, but you can offset that with a relatively minor cost — compared to that of making actually good beer — of advertising. When you advertise, do not sell them cheap beer. Sell them an image of how this is sexually successful person beer, and being essentially monkeys with the facility of language, they will buzz warmly to that image and buy the product. Politics is no different.
In addition to the problem of politics, there is the problem of internal politics on the right:
On the other hand, it has happened several times already in the history of the Right that intellectual movements have gotten to this level. Then they dissipated. For whatever ultimate cause, they became corrupted and oversimplified; they lost the enthusiasm of their followers and the attention of everyone else. These schools of thought all failed to impede the advance of liberalism. Between its initial awakening and world historical influence there seems to be a Filter (perhaps several, but let’s keep things simple), and no antiliberal movement has yet survived it. And this challenge is before the neoreactionaries, not behind them. – Bonald via Outside In
What, indeed, is this Great Filter?
I submit it is two things: First, people interested in normal life do not have a concentrated demand that is deconstructive like the ideological people do. Second, people on the right are easily seduced by the ego, which demands social success over accuracy, and so they modify their philosophies to include what people want to hear and special interests demand, and get rich and popular and so everyone follows them.
Truth is a lonely path that can only be appreciated by at best the top fifth of the population in terms of intelligence. Then the question of their honesty arises. Have they disciplined their emotions? Are they mature enough to view a world in which they and their personal success are not the most important things? Can they think on a long term basis? And the biggest: can they think of situations with more than one actor, such as market forces, culture and leadership working together, instead of the standard modern solution of making a law to create an institution to address a problem with a strict rule?
Most right-wingers know they are not-liberal by their gut feelings and their intimation that liberalism is sheerly insane.
There are some who are not right-wing per se, but also recognize that the liberal/leftist plans will end in disaster.
These two find it very hard to unify in any way because to do so requires unpopular thoughts, violation of trends and fashion, and even more, personal sacrifice by not profiting from selling people what they already want to hear, and personal negation by recognizing the world outside of the narcissistic ego.
Any right-wing movement is easy to split up. Wait for it to get going, then re-state liberalism with a conservative surface. The crowd will flock to you! You have given them a path of least resistance, and the ability to be popular for upholding it. This is why conservatives always try to be like liberals, even though it hands them defeats over the long term.
It is easier for conservatives to be the “party of NO” because it enables them to hide their own ideas and focus solely on why liberal ideas are insane, dysfunctional and destructive. While this is less popular than the “and it’s all free!” style of politics, it gains support from those who want lower taxes and to avoid following the ideological train into the graveyard of empires along with the Soviets.
But can Neoreaction survive entryism by populism through self-promotion?
Neoreaction is in crisis because it does not know what it is.
As formulated by Mencius Moldbug, expanded by Nick Land and others, Neoreaction is what happens when conservatism adopts social engineering. Conservative goals however do not resemble liberal ones, which are ideological. Conservatives are consequentialists who aim for results in reality, not pandering to what is popular which is inevitably illusion.
While some in Neoreaction may doubt its conservative roots, its philosophy is essentially identical to that of conservatism, which is the way things are traditionally done: responsibility for actions based on their results in reality. It cuts ideology out of the equation entirely.
Conservatism exists as a term only to describe what is not-liberal. When the liberals first seized a European state in 1789, the congress in that State separated into left-wing, who supported the new ways, and right-wing, who wanted to retain as many of the old ways as possible. To liberals, conservatives are evil; to conservatives, liberals are misguided and incompetent. They are civilization destroyers. The right wing has been staging a rearguard retreat ever since because conservatism is less popular than liberalism and always will be.
People on an individual level respond more energetically to pleasant visions with an emotion (not factual) basis. Ideas like equality, freedom and pacifism appeal to all of us because they abrogate the struggle of life, which is Darwinism itself: the struggle to adapt. When civilization is founded, adaptation switches from reality to civilization itself, and with that, decay begins.
This does not mean that civilization is bad, but that it must be aware of these problems, much like we still use fire and internal combustion engines despite the possible dangers associated with them.
Liberalism succeeds because it creates fanaticism. The thought of what “should be” swells people with a sense of purpose, which appeals to the vast majority of humans who are — since we are speaking frankly — evolutionarily unfit for anything but subsistence living. Left to their own devices, they ferment the potatoes and eat the seed corn, then exist in perpetual alternation between apathy and starvation. Never forget our glorious simian heritage and the fact that most humans want to return to that state if they can.
The right has no such fanaticism. Its members merely want to adapt to reality and set up the best society they possibly can. This goal does not break down into issues, talking points or ideology. It is a gut-level instinct that incorporates as well the highest function of the brain, which is integrating and synthesizing many issues into a big picture.
Liberalism denies the big picture by replacing it with ideology and attacks the conservative majority on “issues” by looking for exceptions which are presumed to invalidate rules. The ultimate goal of liberalism is to abolish all social standards so that the individual is unconstrained by any accountability, and yet can still enjoy the benefits of civilization. It fails because liberals do not understand time and how over time, society changes with liberal alterations and what is left offers few of the benefits of civilization.
Conservatives create 18th century Europe; liberals create 2015 Brazil.
The left grew exponentially after 1789 despite constantly creating disasters, the two biggest of which are the Napoleonic era and the Bolshevik revolution. Where prosperous societies once stood, third world ruins remained. France went from being a superpower to a nobody and quickly fell into radical social decay, prompting in part the first world war. German intervention in WWII saved much of their society from utter confusion, if nothing else by giving them an enemy.
But as Evola observed, all of us in the post-war period are men among the ruins, because with WWII liberalism achieved its final victory over conservatism. In Europe, states became what we might call 60% liberal, in contrast to the 100% liberal of pure Communism in the Soviet Union. The United States, hovering at 50%, shot upward such that in the present day it hovers in the 90s somewhere.
Neoreaction rejects not only liberalism as politics but its social effects, comprised of the twin dragon-heads of Cultural Marxism and mass culture, as well. Where conservatism has traditionally tried to hold on to power, Neoreaction remains fond of the idea of “exit,” which originates in its post-libertarian theoretical roots.
You might know “exit” of this sort under the names of libertarianism or “freedom of association.” The idea is simple: we remove the obligation to the State for anything more than military, and run the State like a corporation that provides certain services to citizens. Gone is the egalitarian imperative that arose after WWII to not just consider citizens equal, but to subsidize them so that they are equal in surviving at least.
However, Neoreaction keeps the 1789 portion of liberalism. If we divide liberalism into major movements, it splits into its 1789 variant which demands political equality, and its post-WWII socialist variant, which demands subsidized social equality. Neoreaction goes back to political equality but uses it as a weapon, saying that if we are to have freedom, that includes the freedom to associate with people like ourselves.
Let me quickly allow the master to show us all why that is a failure:
And there is another class in democratic States, of respectable, thriving individuals, who can be squeezed when the drones have need of their possessions; there is moreover a third class, who are the labourers and the artisans, and they make up the mass of the people.
When the people meet, they are omnipotent, but they cannot be brought together unless they are attracted by a little honey; and the rich are made to supply the honey, of which the demagogues keep the greater part themselves, giving a taste only to the mob.
Their victims attempt to resist; they are driven mad by the stings of the drones, and so become downright oligarchs in self-defence. – Plato, The Republic, Book VII
In other words, the sheer weight of populism will doom any attempt to both be free from the others and thrive. Mobs take what they want; democracy is mob rule. There is no exit. This must be repeated:
There is no exit.
On a personal level, exit consists of running off to some place where the disaster has not reached and becoming prosperous enough to keep it at bay. That only works until social disorder increases to the point that crime takes wealth from you, and/or political order increases to allow the government to seize such property. If that does not do it, the corruption of late democratic states will do so.
A cynical historian will see “limousine liberals” as an attempt to achieve exit. By endorsing liberal ideas, they think they will be popular with the herd. They then voluntarily dump their money into the impoverished horde as a means of bribing them like mercenaries. However, this creates a feedback loop where people who are receiving money want more money, and simultaneously blame those with the money for the plight of “the poor,” a term used in self-pity by the masses who are by now far from poor. Leftists think they can buy loyalty, forgetting that when the money is insufficient, the crowd sees only a binary: “rich” or “like us,” and they take from anyone richer than subsistence living.
Liberalism has one basic tenet, which is egalitarianism. All of its many theories exist in support of this and for no other reason. A nihilist sees liberalism as advertising, the same way big companies push each other out of the way trying to donate to third world rescue missions, inner city education, peace-in-our-time etc. and other “populist” notions which pander to the emotion need of the herd to escape risk. The crowd wants to avoid conflict because its individuals fear being losers. It forms a warm buzzing hivemind around any idea that argues that conflict is unnecessary and can simply be bought off. Its core is submission in order to avoid losing.
This philosophy gains the epithet of civilization destroyer for a simple reason: liberalism creates a feedback loop where egalitarianism separates intentions from their consequences in real world, causing disaster wherever implemented, but the zombie ideology recognizes only a lack of egalitarianism as its enemy, so it pushes for even more egalitarianism. The solution to the problem is more of the problem. Liberal societies follow the Franco-Russian pattern: glorious revolution, many happy things, then pervasive and unshakeable social and economic problems doom the society to third-world status, at which point it launches wars to mobilize its citizens toward productivity.
Neoreaction like the New Right in Europe tries to counter the liberal expansion by stopping conservative retreat. Instead of solely pointing out problems with liberalism, the New Right illustrates the type of society it wants, which might be described as an identitarian libertarian socialist society. Its libertarian wing consists of what classical liberals accepted, which was that most people fail at life by being mentally disorganized, lazy and self-deceptive (as well as self-pitying, another feedback loop) and that therefore, society must reward citizens only for productive acts. Anarcho-capitalists and libertarians wish to bring this “Social Darwinism” back in the present time instead of the subsidy before productivity that is the hallmark of socialist states.
Unlike the New Right, Neoreaction has both a pure libertarian flair and a social engineering outlook. It attempts to restore freedom of association and Social Darwinism, but adds a method to restrain government: government should work like a corporation, and be accountable for the results of its own programs, instead of justifying those programs with ideology and measuring “results” in terms of achievement of ideology and popularity. As we look at ruinous programs like the War on Poverty, War on Drugs, Civil Rights Struggle (e.g. “war”), Social Justice crusades, and other unaccountable government programs we see something in common: they act on ideology alone and when they fail, they blame the enemies of this ideology, whipping the population into a witch hunt lynch mob which desires to destroy ideological enemies.
This American flavor to Neoreaction separates it from the New Right, but not by much. All of these are conservative philosophies and ultimately will be absorbed and become intellectual threads within conservatism. The broadest distinguishable idea always assimilates related ideas unless they distinguish themselves as entirely distinct. Since liberalism is the interloper in politics that consists of illusion, everything not-illusion is a strain of conservatism. Using the percentage system above, we might say that American Republicans are 60% conservative, the New Right is 90%, and Neoreaction is 85%, where the post-Roman German tribes are 100%.
A perpetual internal conflict in Neoreaction arises from not only the clash between latent leftist elements in libertarianism, but within the personalities themselves. As described by Henry Dampier, one of the other Neoreactionaries worth reading regularly:
The biggest difficulty in working on the cultural fringes is the crab bucket mentality, which is common on the fringes of neoreaction, but is really a sort of basic human behavior that requires a lot of moral instruction to counteract, having its roots in the sin of envy. – Henry Dampier, “Responding to Kantbot’s ‘Rentention’ Criticism,” April 15, 2015
The crab bucket mentality is the same thing as a quest for attention. Whether at the bar with friends, or a product looking to brand itself, or a politician in a democracy trying to make his idea seem unique and emotionally-gratifying enough to rise above the rest, this is populism.
Let that sink in for a moment.
What is subverting Neoreaction is what Neoreaction was designed to avoid: “demotism,” or a substitute for leadership where whatever idea is most popular is chosen. Demotism occurs in politics through democracy, in economics through consumerism, and in socializing through flattery. Neoreaction has been subverted by its inability to purge its opposite from itself, because when emerging from a political system the most common tendency is to carry over unseen elements of that system into the post-revolutionary future society.
The same conflict that crushed Napoleon crushes Neoreaction. He wanted to be a King, but with the revolutionary ideology of egalitarianism behind him. These two ideas conflicted, and so he became a tyrant, using the advertising of the ideology of altruism to justify his seizure of power and wars to enforce these ideas on others.
Neoreaction has stopped moving in a linear direction toward a goal, and instead is circling itself, trying to rid itself of an entryist it cannot identity.
This leads to two suggestions: first, Neoreaction needs a goal, and second, it needs to start making hard decisions about what is relevant. Too many bloggers trying to differentiate themselves will come up with “unique” theories as a means of advertising themselves, and will create a fragmented philosophy that rapidly becomes internally inconsistent. This will attract opportunists, who will use the “radical” image of Neoreaction to pose and self-advertise — think of flowers offering up bright colors to bees, or the sexual display inherent in the plumage of tropical birds — while doing absolutely nothing.
Like a liberal society, Neoreaction will accumulate dependents because they make Neoreactionary writers famous.
To counter this, Neoreactionaries can regain control of their movement by keeping it on topic. This is a cultural rather than governmental approach, which means the best people must begin to take unpopular stances and exclude those who do not understand them. This includes telling many bloggers that their endless theorizing is calcification and decay rather than innovation.
Next, Neoreactionaries need a goal. Much as the New Right in France influenced the shifts in platform between Jean Le Pen and his daughter Marine Le Pen who is currently winnning elections in France, Neoreaction can influence both libertarians and Tea Party style conservatives (70%) into adopting many of the Neoreactionary ideas as part of their own outlook.
Revolutions only occur for the left. Highly energized, the mob supports what is basically a riot given the veneer of military activity, and take revenge on the existing hierarchy by destroying it, then replacing it with their own version. We all know how revolutions end, which is in civilization failure, so there is no point taking this route.
The right, on the other hand, takes over by demonstrating viability and then disenfranchising people to protect them from themselves. It is worth repeating: as individual humans, our worst enemies are ourselves. Our desires, judgments and feelings mislead us where factual reality would help us, but we reject it because it is both emotionally un-fulfilling and scary because it does not attempt to banish risk like ideology does. Our own decisions doom us. We do best with social order that keeps us in line.
As this line of thought advances, it takes us to 100% conservative ideals, which we might describe as our civilization before decay set in. This is the type of civilization which has been adopted throughout all of human civilization by civilizations which rise above the third-world levels of existence under which most humans, at all times in history, labor. A 100% conservative civilization will have a strong identity, caste distinctions, social standards and values imposed by culture, and a thriving aristocracy. It will replace the State and throw it away as the unnecessary relic of a failed time that it is.
Perhaps Nietzsche can elucidate:
We see exactly the opposite with the noble man, who conceives the fundamental idea “good” in advance and spontaneously by himself and from there first creates a picture of “bad” for himself. This “bad” originating from the noble man and that “evil” arising out of the stew pot of insatiable hatred – of these the first is a later creation, an afterthought, a complementary colour; whereas the second is the original, the beginning, the essential act of conception in slave morality.
Although the two words “bad” and “evil” both seem opposite to the same idea of “good”, how different they are. But it is not the same idea of the “good”; it is much rather a question of who the “evil man” really is, in the sense of the morality of resentment. The strict answer to that is this: precisely the “good man” of the other morality, the noble man himself, the powerful, the ruling man, only coloured over, reinterpreted, and seen through the poisonous eyes of resentment.
Here there is one thing we will be the last to deny: the man who knows these “good men” only as enemies, knows them as nothing but evil enemies, and the same men who are so strongly held bound by custom, honour, habit, thankfulness, even more by mutual suspicion and jealousy inter pares [among equals] and who, by contrast, demonstrate in relation to each other such resourceful consideration, self-control, refinement, loyalty, pride, and friendship – these men, once outside where the strange world, the foreign, begins, are not much better than beasts of prey turned loose. There they enjoy freedom from all social constraints. In the wilderness they make up for the tension which a long fenced-in confinement within the peace of the community brings about. They go back to the innocent consciousness of a wild beast of prey, as joyful monsters, who perhaps walk away from a dreadful sequence of murder, arson, rape, and torture with exhilaration and spiritual equilibrium, as if they had merely pulled off a student prank, convinced that the poets now have something more to sing about and praise for a long time.
At the bottom of all these noble races we cannot fail to recognize the beast of prey, the blond beast splendidly roaming around in its lust for loot and victory. This hidden basis from time to time needs to be discharged: the animal must come out again, must go back into the wilderness — Roman, Arab, German, Japanese nobility, Homeric heroes, Scandinavian Vikings — in this need they are all alike.
It was the noble races which left behind the concept of the “barbarian” in all their tracks, wherever they went. A consciousness of and a pride in this fact reveals itself even in their highest culture (for example, when Pericles says to his Athenians, in that famous Funeral Speech, “our audacity has broken a way through to every land and sea, putting up permanent memorials to itself for good and ill.”). This “audacity” of the noble races, mad, absurd, sudden in the way it expresses itself, its unpredictability, even the improbability of its undertakings – Pericles emphatically praises the rayhumia [mental balance, freedom from anxiety] of the Athenians – its indifference to and contempt for safety, body, life, comfort, its fearsome cheerfulness and the depth of its joy in all destruction, in all the physical pleasures of victory and cruelty – everything summed up for those who suffer from such audacity in the image of the “barbarian,” the “evil enemy,” something like the “Goth” or the “Vandal.”
The deep, icy mistrust which the German evokes, as soon as he comes to power – even today – is still an after-effect of that unforgettable terror with which for a century Europe confronted the rage of the blond German beast (although there is hardly any idea linking the old Germanic tribes and we Germans, let alone any blood relationship). — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Good and Evil, Evil and Bad,” On the Genealogy of Morals
The blond beast is what we need to restore. The blond beast is humanity at its best: heedless of danger, asserting what is right that it can see with an inner genius. An aristocracy of blond beasts provides the only sensible leadership for us because it can achieve what the rest of us cannot.
Why did the blond beasts die out? Their plans worked. They made great societies, much like Neoreactionaries, and then all the people who could not do that surged in, made money and took the blond women on that basis. The result is a mixed hodge-podge of genetics like we have now.
Golden ages may be restored, but not solely by typing theory onto the internet, and not by radical and ill-conceived plans of revolution and “action” that consists of wanton violence. The solution is to re-take our institutions and dismantle them, bypassing libertarianism for outright Social Darwinism that disenfranchises those unfit to make leadership decisions, and from that to for the first time in history move a society from decay to health.
The path for Neoreaction and New Right thinkers who wish to achieve this goal is not to make ourselves another demotist community that thrives on the votes (or Google AdWords impressions on blogs) of the masses, but forms a cultural consensus among the natural elites to work toward this end. We do not need more theory and closed-circuit intellectualism. We need to clarify our ideas, simplify them and begin putting them into actuality.
In this world, all good things become destroyed, and they all go out the same way.
Neoreaction, the post-libertarian reactionary conservative movement that has showed so much promise, is in the midst of a stumble. Interest flags, writings have petered out or become circular, and internal divisions have reached an apex.
We do not have to look far for the causes. Neoreaction began as a movement that is like most conservative movements consequentialist, or based in results rather than intent. It arose from the libertarian idea of minimizing government to avoid it adopting an “ideological mandate” by which in the name of protecting its most vulnerable citizens it enforces control on all. Its idea, held in common with some anarchists and transhumanists, was to treat government like a corporation which sold enumerable services to its clients in exchange for a fair market price, and to deprecate all of its other functions.
However, by escaping the mental ghetto which says that Western liberal democracy is the ultimate evolution of human society and the best we can achieve, Neoreaction opened the door to other dangerous and scary ideas. Its members embraced ethnonationalism, patriarchy, hierarchy/royalism and other ideas which have been the norm for most of human evolution but have been denied in the West since The EnlightenmentTM, which held that the individual human’s preferences were more important than social or natural order.
Rejecting consequentialism, the Age of Reason created the idea of “equality” where each human had the absolute right to make any choices he or she desired, with the idea emerging later that society would subsidize these choices. As a form of “Dark Enlightenment,” Neoreaction rejected the Age of Reason as a wrong turn and suggested instead a merging of what has been perennially true in human relations with modern technological know-how and engineering standards.
It is an appealing mix. Many of us warned of the problem with being a conservative movement that does not admit it is conservative, which is that it will quickly turn on itself as it tries to adapt to the status quo of steadily increasing liberalism in the West since the 1700s. Conservatism represents the only alternative to liberal ideology, which is based in equality, and generally consists of two components: (1) consequentialism or results being more important than intent or methods and (2) transcendental goals, such as “the good, the beautiful and the true” or for many a religious purpose to human existence.
The problem is that in human society, things do not die of weakness but of strength. What made Neoreaction strong was that it introduced eternal ideas of human civilization in a new form, separating them from the forms which have become tired in the hands of the GOP and other seemingly misguided and disorganized conservatives. This strength drew people to it and, not having first cleared their minds of liberal programming, they began to treat Neoreaction as if it were another liberal concept.
Liberal concepts value individual participation and self-expression because the individual is more important than the results. Conservative concepts value individual participation where it achieves certain results, and only then. The same writers who gave Neoreaction its early strength pulled it apart as they competed for audience with blogs, books and YouTube videos. To differentiate their product, they had to each invent unique theories and viewpoints. These in turn created confusion about the core of Neoreaction, and drifted farther away, which meant they lost their conservative core and as a result became increasingly liberalized.
If we listened to the liberals at the outset, Neoreaction was doomed because it was not liberal enough. As it turns out, it was too liberal, but not by ideology but rather by the behavior of human individuals seeking to profit from it. All those blog hits, video watches, and book sales became a goal in and of themselves, and the idea of Neoreaction got lost in the muddle.
Thus the movement became moribund in the same way a civilization does: it becomes a vehicle for individuals to express their own self-importance, not a cooperation toward a qualitative end. Neoreaction became assimilated by liberalism because it adopted the methods of commerce and popularity, part of the demotism that makes up modernism.
Naturally, there are some who kept the idea strong and you can find their blogs in the list to the left. But in the meantime, for Neoreaction “The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all.”
For years different flavors of conservative have looked for a reason to unify on action against the ongoing leftist takeover and consumption of our society. The social conservatives look toward the family, the religious conservatives toward God, the racialists toward race, moderates toward independence from social engineering, and the fiscal conservatives toward small government. None of these address the actual issue which is the health of civilization itself.
The task will not be easy. Healthy, normal people rarely see themselves as part of a political outlook because they have no special interest or single issue to pursue. They want life as they live it to continue or improve, but are generally aware that this sort of thing does not happen with elections and laws. They care about thousands of issues tangentially, but none as a singular focus, which makes them a weaker force than liberalism as hitting someone with the flat side of a board is less effective than using a knife, because the smaller the surface of impact the less momentum is diffused.
On the “bad boy” side of politics, the racialists talk about their desire for a society without ethnics. Generally they frame this in terms of disadvantages: crime, intelligence, and politics. What they do not do is to find a positive goal to unite their side, much as conservatives never do because to them, there is no striving for a goal because like most majorities they believe they already have it. Your average conservative is busy with life, family, career and mental pursuits, and views society as an annoying gadfly but not something to care about. This is where they are wrong, limited by the inherent solipsism of human awareness which has us know ourselves both as instrument and measure of reality: what society does directly impacts us, even “victimless” crimes, by adjusting the environment in which we live and thus directly regulating the health of society at large.
I suggest a different model for both conservatives and racialists: nationalism. Leave behind the concerns over whether immigrants fit in our society and ask instead whether we fit in our society. The answer is that as social standards collapse, no one fits… except those who obey the call of power and join the liberal party, just as it was in revolutionary France and Bolshevik Russia. We need nationalism not to exclude others, but so that we have a goal for ourselves. This is about us and not them.
In making this suggestion, I note yet again the original definition of nationalism, which is the society literally “born together” and from a common ethnic root. This group knows itself and excludes all others by necessity, because even tiny traces of admixture — 0.0001% or twenty generations — make themselves known in an individual and change that individual’s behavior and attributes significantly. These truths are known to us through history and common sense. A society either keeps itself completely free of invaders, or it becomes changed, and since the invaders represent “random” data versus the consistent data of internal breeding, all admixture is self-destruction.
This gets us away from the depressing crime statistics and ugly counting of bio-markers. It removes us from the question of how to portray other ethnic groups as bad. It also takes away the question of whether our racism in the past was bad: when it led to racial separation, it was good; when it did not — as in the case of slavery — it was bad and terrible. We do not need studies, reports, statistics, rules, laws, terms and conditions or popular approval to say this. It is common sense, plain as the nose on your face and as serious as fire safety at summer cookouts.
Not only that, but nationalism does something conservatism has never been able to do: it has a goal.
Conservatives have always been the rearguard in a slow steady retreat in the face of civilization’s decay. “But where do we start?” they moaned, throwing hands in the air and looking at thousands of problems at once. My answer is simple. Stop looking at problems, and start looking at directions. We want to be healthy and a rising civilization again, so what does one of those look like? Ethnically-stable, good leaders, people doing meaningful stuff and while not a theocracy, probably most people go to church at least for the coffee, conversation and contemplation of things larger than ourselves.
We have been trying for too long to fight the methods of liberalism, but it always wins because its methods cannot be opposed; they can only be obsoleted. The future belongs to those who discover within themselves, in nature/reality, and in their fellow citizens a purpose. This purpose is Us. It is being what we always have been, but better, and it requires that we separate from all others — without rancor, without scorn, and without spite, but also without exception. The future belongs to those who can create a tribe with direction and the only gateway to that future is nationalism.