Posts Tagged ‘dark enlightenment’
Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
The defining attribute of modernity is equality. Part of equality is that since we are all equal, we must distinguish ourselves by drawing attention to what we are doing. This puts a premium on “uniqueness,” or illogicality and over-reaction for memorability’s sake through novelty.
Yet another way to kill truth.
Thanks to some recent media attention, the Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, paleoconservative and New Right community — the overlap, intersection and proximity of such beliefs and those who hold them — is buzzing with a desire to define itself. It lacks a clear statement of what it is to embark on these philosophies.
This denies that these philosophies not only have much in common, but have a historical precedent. They are what existed before liberalism and what will replace it if humanity manages to arrest its decline into third-world status.
For the sake of argument, let us distill these beliefs to the two symbols common in their intersection:
The former is clearest: in 1789, we were promised that by getting rid of power based on performance, and deferring instead to popularity because of our reliance on egalitarianism, we would have a better world. The opposite has happened: our technology has grown and everything else has been murderously destroyed.
The latter is the essence of what distinguishes these philosophies in actuality although few realize it. Most philosophies are based on arguing from a thing, e.g. “the kids take drugs and won’t stop so we should legalize drugs.” Transcendent thought argues from experience and the learning derived from it, e.g. “if we make architecture elegant and beautiful, people will have a standard to live up to.”
All of the rest of the chatter around NRx et al is discussion of method. This is parallel to the babble from the libertarian camp about the “Non Aggression Principle,” which is pacifism for bankers. It, too, is a method, although it disguises itself as a goal. It also misses the point that libertarianism itself is a method, and while often the best one, not an goal in itself.
The point of the resurgence of conservatism is that we replaced actual goals and actual leadership with indirect versions of the same. Instead of strong leaders, we have delegates; instead of goals, we have anti-goals, such as “freedom” and “diversity.” There is a fear of power and of having goals, so we have neutered them.
This violates the idea of transcendence, which is that we should have purpose in this life. Even if we are here “just to fuck around,” as Kurt Vonnegut said, we will in the course of experience find beauty and find ourselves compelled to defend, nurture and increase it. That is a transcendent goal, not an anti-goal formed by arguing from a material phenomenon.
An experienced writer opines:
Neoreaction, in order to even be articulated, began with a set of key insights. Cathedralism, the doctrine that Western society is ruled by an ideological superstructure known as the Cathedral, can only be explained through a memetic model such as Moldbug’s. You can only see the Cathedral with the perspective of an outsider (but to have such a perspective is to be an outsider). It is a model of the world that includes, in its parts for explaining how the world works, a theory of how other people’s models of the world influence their actions. It is a model which accounts for the practice of other models.
As I’ve written before, the Cathedralist view is nonsense. What makes the Cathedral? The pretense of ordinary people, who in order to justify their “do whatever you want” philosophy have adopted anti-values and anti-goals. Calling this “the Cathedral” leaves out the fact that we’re trying to re-awaken psychological discipline in our species.
To worry about the Cathedral is to trap oneself in method. What is needed is not method, but an understanding of how the world is viewed different. That is encompassed in the two prongs written above: first, everything egalitarian is wrong; and second, we argue not from material, but from ideas and experience, which makes us seek beauty, efficiency, goodness, decency, actual love and actual leadership.
Saturday, May 17th, 2014
A few days ago, I wrote a piece that seemed to be pining for a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-esque scenario in order to build a new society. It’s true I wrote about the upcoming collapse and believe its time is coming soon. Mark my words, a collapse is coming. Will it be the WROL, post-apocalyptic scenario I envisioned? Probably not, but it could be. The collapse will most likely be an economic one. It will be massive and it will be painful. Given the sheer size of the United States, I believe the USG will lack the resources to be able to properly govern all of it. This is where the men of the new right — and I put that in lowercase to include neoreaction, New Right, dark enlightenment, Traditionalist, monarchists and paleoconservatives — come in.
What looks like a raging horror will be a raging horror, but it will also be a great opportunity to restore a society built around order, virtue, and a healthy culture. This can only happen with a restoration of nobility both as an attribute of individuals and where found in excess, as a selection matrix for our leaders. Instead of picking those who flatter us with fond visions and simple illusions that conceal complex and disturbing truths, let us pick our best people to tackle those complex and disturbing truths head-on. Then society will exist in their image, a kind of cultural “trickle down,” and we will all enhance our behavior, self-discipline and abilities as we again rise from the muck of human solipsism.
There is a colossal leadership deficit in the United States. The false elite are not true leaders. They are nothing more than a bunch of selfish narcissists. We can only imagine that this leadership deficit will be larger in the future. Once the house of cards fall, people will be looking around for someone to lead them. Will the mob accept a reactionary to become their president? Unlikely. However, men of the New Right can make an impact in their immediate surroundings i.e. your family, your church, your neighbors, your community.
By establishing an Order of virtue, we can become the future noble leaders in a time when the culture will be all but lost. It’s time to practice what we preach and step out away from the computer. It’s time to become more than keyboard warriors. It’s time to take our ideology into meatspace and start establishing a network, an Order.
Just remember, it took nearly 500 years since the Fall of Rome to arrive at Charlemagne. Heed the call to action in your blood, and in the potential beauty that we are missing out on by remaining mired in this filth and misery. It certainly has to be more effective than sitting in front of a computer expressing your impotent rage over the internet.
I wanted to include a recent attempt at promoting nobility, but it got infested by the usual life-drama, in this case another mind overturned by the insanity of modern existence and radical individualism. Project leader Aristokles writes:
Speaking of herding cats I’d like to provide a bit of an explanation & background for some confusing events that occurred yesterday evening.
Zev Flanagan is/was a man that I have been attempting to help and work with for about a month. Yesterday afternoon he suffered a mental breakdown that didn’t just involve confusion on twitter & ask.fm but eventually also involved the police. Zev was having trouble at home and also suffers from a sleep disorder for which he was being being treated & receiving medication. Many here understandably thought that the http://denovumnobilitate.wordpress.com blog was an elaborate troll and people who responded in good faith felt hurt and betrayed.Such was not the case.
The contents of the blog were substantially my ideas slightly paraphrased. Moe had approached me with the idea of putting some sort of announcement to alert interested people about a project I and some others have been working on. I approved of the general idea. Unfortunately there was a crossover in email and I didn’t see the final draft until the blog was already up. I thought the contents were fine but I was disturbed by the fact that he had signed it himself. I was on the point of ordering him to take it down when the positive responses started to come in. it had obviously hit or struck a chord in the NRx community so I decided to let it stand for the time being.
My apologies to everyone involved. Flanagan will of course no longer be associated with our work but the project will continue. Flanagan has agreed to succeed control of the the blog to us so it will be up again shortly in a slightly different form. You can rest assured that everything that will appear there will reflect my views or those of my close associates.
Friday, May 16th, 2014
It’s good to see people debating ideas with fire again. I see this on the breaking edge of the conservative front. But it also seems that confusion intrudes mainly because very few have anchored themselves to a taxonomy of ideas.
For any field, there are only a few general approaches. Over time, hybrids emerge, but as time further goes on, those tend toward one of their influences. This is because the different ways to tackle a problem are relatively visible from the beginning.
In terms of politics, there are only a few views, but those are compounded by the question of method. The most common mistake is to read that backward, and read from method into ideal. In fact, the left would like you to do that, as it lets them tar the right as killers, forgetting that the greatest killers were leftists and with the French Revolution, every leftist takeover has begun with execution of ideological enemies.
But this leads us back to the question of what conservatism is. To conserve is a method; thus there’s something that came before the impulse to conserve. Many like myself see conservatives as simply realists. They look at what works because it is logical according to the rules that control the composition of the cosmos. But there’s another dimension, which is a form of idealism based on improvement and perfectability instead of radical differences in method. A conservative finds society as it is, and instead of looking for a different path, just begins clearing and grading the old until it is improved to the point of optimum. Hence a conservative tendency to look for “the good, the beautiful and the true” by applying methods related to improvement, such as conservation and optimization.
A recent article attacked one of my posts explaining how NRx/etc. is basically paleoconservatism. Over at Poseidon Awoke, a defense of neoreaction:
What is conservatism? I think Rothbard nails it in For a New Liberty, speaking of Herbert Spencer’s pragmatic abandonment of the liberalism of early America: “Hence, Spencer abandoned liberalism in practice to a weary, conservative, rearguard action against the growing collectivism and statism of his day.” Conservatism is simply pragmatic liberalism. Conservatives say “I can live with today’s liberalism, but here I draw the line and will budge no further” every day, forever. Conservatism is not a reaction against the left, it is simply its sad shadow, whispering “not so fast!”.
So, is it really the goal of neoreactionaries to jazz up conservatism? No. Neoreaction is not paleoconservatism, it is a genuine rebirth of rightist thought, in direct opposition the the world that the left has created. Conservatism enunciates a set of values that it feels at a gut level, but which it cannot intellectually defend because it can only think in leftist ideological terms.
The DE is intellectual and it is cultured. It understands that human flourishing is the highest goal, and that civilization is the vehicle of that goal, and that civilization can only be preserved by renouncing liberté, égalité, fraternité. No one is equal: deal with it. The DE is filled with children born in a leftist world, who now have incontrovertible genomic proof of inequality of both individuals and populations. They have facility with genomics, evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology. Biology and nature are authoritarian — obey or die — and acceptance of that authority is rightest. The left is the domain of liars who believe nature can be conquered with education and social programs, we see their lies and we seek the truth.
I would not rely on Rothbard, as he had an agenda against conservatism to advance. Equally, I would be careful about trying to boil conservatism down to a single method, when we should be looking at its motivations and values instead. Those two mistakes in Rothbard’s analysis have led to his outlook missing out on the radical nature of conservatism.
Conservatism is the idea that all of our problems are known, and the solution to each is the same: people need more self-control and morality, and we need to pick those with the best self-control and advance them above others (similar to martial and athletic competitions) so that those more sensitive instruments can make decisions. This idea arises naturally from the notion of improvement. We don’t need new methods; we know what methods have worked for time immemorial. When we promote good people, and demote bad people, society thrives. To do that, we need a strong moral standard; for that, we need a strong national culture and strong religion. For that, we need a goal and direction. For that, we need a founding transcendent idealism, like the notion of improvement and thus conservation.
NRx/DE/NR are trying to make more appealing this vision by giving it a dangerous, quasi-Nietzschean edge. They overlap with The Red Pill, which is essentially the thinking man’s paranoia about realpolitik and Machiavellianism especially as applied on a interpersonal levels. They also overlap with Men’s Rights and Pick-Up Artist “game,” which is a way of understanding how people manipulate each other and how not to be manipulated. These are big sellers because they appeal to sex and fear, and it’s always good to have them on board, although someone with a literature degree might point out that these have been elements of conservative literature since the dawn of time.
What does make sense is to look at these new conservative movements in the marketplace of ideas. They are all essentially methods of explaining the oldest conservative goals to the newer intelligentsia, who arose after WWII when going to college and being “intellectual” became status objects rather than something one did incidentally, like playing polo, as part of a certain class identity in the Anglo-Saxon hierarchy.
Paleoconservatism is not well understood. If we study it like liberals, through methods and institutions, we see free markets, classical liberalism and a strong cultural identity. If we study it like conservatives, we see an entirely different kind of society, one which does not seek to make everyone safe or to make mass culture accessible. It is an elitist, nationalist, role-heavy, warlike and unironic society in which twee and pandering behavior is seen as unmanly.
When we speak of paleoconservatism, we are including the orbit that comprises the traditionalists, who are those who look toward the following for their guiding light:
“My principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.”
― Julius Evola
Evola built in the house that Nietzsche built by rejecting all of the ideas of not just the French Revolution, but the Enlightenment before it and indeed, all those who would “improve” society by changing its methods.
He in turn built on the notions of Plato, who illustrated through his cycle of civilizations how our desire to “fix” problems led us to increasingly unstable forms of government, and who pointed out that most people by projecting their own intellectual containers onto reality have created an illusory world and how socializing just gives it more power.
The entire heritage of Western philosophy and literature springs from that root, and reveals to us not a new for new and radical movements, but a need to stop doing stupid stuff that became trendy. This is a radical notion: that humanity creates its own problems. That the poor (generally) deserve to be poor, and that “we are all one” ideas like equality, diversity and internationalism are simply sales tactics of sleazy snake oil merchants. That our ultimate guide is to return to our own inner knowledge, and knowledge of nature, and throw out all the “improvements” made by well-intentioned people who somehow invented a role for themselves and thus a subsidy for themselves in the process.
Yes, friends, conservatism is radical. It is the idea that civilization is best achieved by not using civilization as a goal. It is the notion that good intentions are in fact the path to hell. It is a rebellion against all those who seek control through appealing to our baser instincts. This is why NRx and other movements are convergent on conservatism: it is philosophically consistent, where everything else is created in the liberal model and thus is just a collection of methods.
Thursday, May 15th, 2014
We pretty much know the origins of the New Right, which was a post-WWII regrouping by the right to re-invent itself with leftist methods of acquiring an audience.
But the recent spate of paleoconservative movements jazzed up with new nameplates includes Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, and variations on Anarcho-Capitalism, Monarchism and Libertarianism. Where did these start?
Stirner provides a good introduction:
The twentysomething reactionaries have little concept on just how long the NRx payload has been cooking. I have been an observer of various offbeat intellectual schools for over 20 years, and witnessed firsthand how it all evolved:
NeoReaction: Yes, it’s all footnotes to Moldbug, but folks like Brett Stevens, Bruce Charlton have been treading on these grounds for years. Larry Auster spent nearly 20 years making the case for traditional conservatism and pissing off perhaps every ally on the right. James Kalb was bitchslapping the Cathedral around online for years before finally writing and publishing “The Tyranny of Liberalism”. Occidental Quarterly and Counter Currents has been keeping the old right alive and trying to rebrand WN for over a decade now.
The Manosphere: Warren Farrell wrote The Myth of Male Power back in the 1990′s. Around 1999 Game/PUA was developed in the discussion forums of fastseduction.com. One of the leading Game theoreticians? Some magician with the handle Mystery. Yeah, that Mystery. Later, Roissy (in pre-Heartiste) days was one of the first Game bloggers to specifically make the connection to to modern nihilism, and begin to align Game with hardcore rightwing thought. (Shout out to In Mala Fide for also forging early connections between game and right-ideology).
HBD. Of course, Steve Sailer invented the term. He has been at this since the dawn of blogging. Not to be forgotten is “La Griffe du Lion” who came up with “Smart Fraction” theory. There are old rumors that La Griffe also used to be married to Linda Gottfredson, one of the few academics that has survived prior waves of HBD purging. Razib Khan was also a big HBD heavy hitter, when there was no-one else out there and it really counted.
Here is the point of my history lesson in a nutshell: all of of these various thinkers and groups have been largely doing their own thing, and making their own investigations for the better part of 20 years. The NRx payload has been evolving on the internet for all of that time, with weak arguments getting abraded away, NRx insights getting ground down into diamond sharpness, and gradually distilling practically a dozen distinct zones of independent areas of thoughtcrime into rock solid perfection.
All that was required was the final catalyst: Nick Land coins the concept of “The Dark Enlightenment” taking this entire zone of thoughtcrime, and bringing it all under under one concept. Anomaly UK coined Neoreaction, finally providing a new label for this next generation of right wing thought. Then our host and a few others began mappping out the landscape of Neoreaction and the broader dark enlightenment. After that, it was off to the races.
I’d add this: Generation X was the division.
We were the postwar kids. That is, our parents were the spawn of WWII and we were the kids who inherited the world that those 1968er Baby Boomer types thought was ideal. In other words, we were the laboratory for the post-Nazi/post-fascist theories of the post-WWII world order.
And let me tell you: it was utter failure. Latch-key kids had trouble making emotional attachments, as did children treated as accessories by their Me generation parents. Divorce and sexual libertinism by the Boomers put most of us off marriage, if not off sex totally. Worst of all, we grew up in a hybrid of the Soviet Union and a shopping mall which made us distrust society and basically, just want to escape. We were ground zero for all those great cultural Marxist and consumerist experiments of the 1960s.
Bill White’s Overthrow.com had a huge role to play as well, as did those who were active on early USENET and internet forums. But really, the art of generation X kicked it off. Much of this was stuff like black metal music and aggressive music that was mostly vocals, whether Boyd Rice or Mark Stewart.
Even more, our literature affirms the helplessness of it all. In Gibson and Easton Ellis alike, the more humans try to “perfect” and moralize, the more they create a vast wasteland of ruined hopes. Just like the Baby Boomers did, come to think of it.
It’s good to see this ancient history come to light. What will even be better is when the Neoreaction/Dark Enlightenment guys get brave enough to break the taboo and admit their origins are 100% paleoconservatism. I think the New Right has already figured this out and dialed back the “act like leftists to recruit leftists” idea because it doesn’t work.
We live in interesting times.
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
The neoreactionary (and insert other trendy names here) movements are designed for media zombies. The groups behind them attempt to use re-naming as a way to avoid association with conservatism, and with the lowercase-conservatives Conservatism, Inc. types who are quick to tell us all to “be responsible,” shuffle off to careers, marry slutty women and produce a new generation of grist for the mill.
For this reason alone they’re not credible unless you think that people manipulating you with clever terminology is a good thing. However they tap into something that young men across America and Europe can feel but can’t articulate: they’ve been had. Worst of all, this isn’t a one-time ripoff. It’s slavery for the rest of your life.
The problem for young men is that for them to face this requires they reject the dominant lie of our time. This lie is so pervasive that it is a meta-taboo to even mention it in most cases. It is something we are taught from birth to avoid speaking of, by parents, teachers, employers, police, media and even our friends. It is what blinds us and keeps us enslaved.
Most people lack the will to break this taboo. Doing so requires too much honest courage for your average person, and it’s easier to be an iconoclast by throwing around some edgy ideas before drinking yourself silly, playing video games, smoking a little sinsemilla and humping an unpaid prostitute before getting up the next day and marching off to your job, where you’ll serve in tedium for the rest of your life.
Before we talk about the taboo, let’s talk about the high cost of parasitism. Before the 1950s mania for selling things to each other descended upon this country like airborne Ebola, people worked less. They got up early, got to the shop, and gave it a hard go for about six hours and then headed home. They took long lunches, smoked whenever they wanted, drank like fish and ate delicious high-fat foods. They also lived longer that we’re going to, in the biggest part because they were less stressed.
You could be working French Socialist-style hours at 25-30 hours a week, and having more time to just be yourself. You’d get tired of the booze and video games quicker and move on to better things. Maybe some real hobbies, adventures with friends, getting to know some better quality women than whatever staggered into the local watering hole and rasped out the name of your favorite alternative band and a drink order.
You’d be fitter too. People walked more then, just wandering around. Parks, wildlife, jaunts with companions. It was healthier all-around, and less ugly too. Cities were less violent in their non-ghetto areas. Architecture was less pointlessly trendy and uninspired. There was a sense that people should live whole lives, not just be function. When we’re all function, all that matters is who you can boss around in order to make yourself feel powerful.
The sad truth is that you work most of your life paying for others. Some are rich, some are poor; who they are and whether or not they deserve the money doesn’t matter. The fact is that it is taken from you to support that which otherwise could not support itself. Time is money, as Marx said, and it’s your time they are stealing. Like stabbing you in the chest at age 50, taking forty years off your life. Or jailing you from age 17-27. That’s the kind of loss you have, spending all your time working to support parasites.
Conservatism is taboo because it seeks to un-do the parasitism. You are slaving away for the pretense of others. They are radical individualists who believe they should not be accountable to the collaborative need to create civilization and work within reality. Thus they launch off on ivory tower pursuits, neurotic lives, self-indulgent lifestyles and invent “moral reasons” why you should pay for them and their bloated governments, their fat inefficient corporations and their media products.
When these people form groups, they take over societies. These groups aren’t majorities, but they are fanatically active because such people have nothing else. With their ideology, they’re big cheeses and important people who can vote for the creation of new roles for them to have lucrative jobs on your dime. Without their ideology, they’re just lumpy mundane neurotics sweating away in anonymous apartments.
In fact, their whole game is to avoid being top dog at all. It’s to make being top dog illegal. They hate anyone on top, unless that person got there through the system they’ve designed. They like rules, lots of rules. They like competition, which is basically a game to see who can stay in the office longest. They like making you jump through hoops, cutting your balls off with speech codes and PC taboos, and otherwise humiliating you so that you recognize their power and importance.
The taboo in this all is radical individualism, which in groups is expressed as “equality.” To these people, equality means that they can be crazy and you can be sane, but it’s still your job to pay for them, because they’re equal. Make sense? If you give it anything more than surface thought, it’s obviously crazy. It’s like mosquitoes demanding that every night you strip down and stand on your porch with the light on so they can get some blood because, hey, you have some and they’re like, starving, man…
Neoreaction, the Dark Enlightenment, the Red Pill and other such “new name, old ideas” philosophies are designed to help you see this. They dance around the real issue though. They flatter you and tell you that you should be a king, while endorsing the philosophy that keeps you a slave. Keep going to that boring job, chatting up those women who are far beneath you, and wasting your time in activities that are basically a receptacle tip for the masturbatory wasting of your vitality, youth and abilities. Oh, and buy their stuff.
At the root of all of this is a sickening pretense developed during the EnlightenmentTM. That pretense is that each and every one of us is important for just existing. Realism is the opposite principle: nothing is important “just because.” We make ourselves important by doing good things, and make ourselves irrelevant by chickening out and failing to rise to that challenge. But the irrelevant will always want your money, your time and your humiliation to salve their own rotten souls.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
I’ll confess the whole thing began with me being rather stoked to see a new movement that affirmed three things that my own learning suggests are necessary for a thriving civilization: gender roles, nationalism, and a taste for actual leadership instead of the marketing routine that is democracy.
However, the more I interacted with the folks from the Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction camp, the more two things stood out. First, they were angry because of the confinement of their own thought. Second, they were (as a result of that confinement) basically acting out the same pattern of liberalism: the problem is the elites, replace them with popular sentiment, together we will make People Power and overthrow.
Yesterday, with the help of Colin Liddell, I launched a barrage on Alternative Right. Colin is one of those people who avoids suppressing his gut instinct, and thus is able to think with his whole body, brains, guts, muscles and gonads. Most people can think with only one at a time, and such simplistic thinking gets the same broken-down results that happen anytime someone makes a complex decision based on a single detail. Colin did great things with the layout and pushed this article out to the raging blog-o-twitter-sphere, which promptly raged that someone had attacked one of its darlings.
My point to the DE/NeR was basically that if your philosophy is functionally similar to conservatism, and you don’t admit it, you’re avoiding the truth out of some personal pretense. Further, this confines your thinking based on the taboos of liberalism, which means you’ll end up back at liberalism. Then I pointed out many of the liberal aspects of the DE, namely that its crusade against the Cathedral is a liberal-style revolution, e.g. an attack against the institution and its replacement with people power. What we actually need is an idea of what we want and thus a competing vision to the current set of pretenses held by our new elite.
This is naturally a provocative message. It’s like pouring napalm on a campfire: some marshmallows will turn out rather badly. I don’t intend ill toward any of them, and would have them as friends and allies if I could, but the ugly fact is that the DE and Neoreaction are terminally broken. Underneath some promising ideas, there’s the ugly skeleton of liberalism and a pretense about avoiding conservatism. Same old jive, same old song and dance! Reminds me of where I was at the end of college. Your gut tells you to go one way, but all of your friends, teachers, parents, neighbors and so on are busy posing at being enlightened by talking liberal theory at you all day long. So you don’t buck the trend, and instead you end up grinding your gears.
My suggestion for conservatives is twofold based on the ideas in the forthcoming book Futurist Traditionalism. In simplified form these are:
- Tradition: we want the world before the French Revolution, including the basis in Platonic ontology. The mechanics of this are well know.
- Futurism: however, we also want to be forward-looking and embrace opportunity where we find it, including technology.
It’s true that the past led to the present, and thus a glitch existed somewhere. I suggest that the glitch is inherent to life itself. All civilizations face this test, and the ones that fail it end up mixed-race third-world republics that struggle to put food on the table, much less rise to a level above the Bonobo-esque behavior of the human in its state before it makes an effort to discipline its mind, create civilization and technology, and rise to ascendant levels of thought instead of remaining mired in the reactive, biological and self-centric existence of the monkey.
What opposes us in another two-factor process that I call “Crowdism”:
- Radical individualism: individuals decide that since prosperity exists, there should be no rules limiting the individual. They want “license” to selfishness.
- Social subsidization: they invent a guilt/passive-aggression in “equality” that demands all people be subsidized, no matter how illogical their behavior
Crowdism is the process of people with short-sightedness deciding that since their society has wealth, it should be distributed equally. This ignores the way wealth is produced, which is inequality which leads to those who know how to protect and nurture wealth producing more of it. Most people are incompetent, and that’s the social taboo we face here; they don’t want to admit their best role is as serfs and servants. And yet that would protect them from both destroying society and living in self-perpetuating “poor people have poor ways” poverty, like most of our lower castes and ethnic minorities live now.
Thus the big surprise here is: we don’t need a new idea. All of the ideas we need to look toward are in Plato and other writers from the fall of the Greco-Roman empires. What we need to do is discover in ourselves the will to not only apply these, but to apply these in a forward method. We are here to explore the stars, to say yes! to life, to discover the infinite on every level (religious, scientific, intellectual). We are here to produce the good, the beautiful and the true, and in so doing to expand the informational field of the cosmos just that much more.
We will not get to that level with internet-style culture. That culture is based on cleverness, on the trends of the day, but most importantly, on justifying a lifestyle that may consist of dropping out of society, living in a basement/apartment, and looking down our noses at others for being unenlightened. That’s what the Dark Enlightenment, Anonymous, Occupy Wall Street, Neoreaction, et al. have in common, and it’s a path to doom. Try conservatism instead. It has everything you want, and much of what you have yet to discover.
On to specific replies:
Kirk was a historian, not a philosopher, but as a historian he was blind to or willfully ignored many of the more interesting American trends of the 20th century: (1) the replacement of the old American WASP elite by a new Ashkenazi elite, (2) the fact that American capitalism proved to be more corrosive than Soviet communism, (3) the Immigration Act of 1965 was probably the most important important piece of American legislation in the second half of the 20th century (in that it was America’s death knell). – Occam’s Razor
I can agree on the third fact. The Immigration Act of 1965 was designed to replace a domestic majority with third-world peoples in order to ensure a permanent democractic majority. But the electorate seemed to sleep through this one. Why?
I’ll explain: your first point is incorrect for two reasons. First, blaming the Jewish people for what is clearly an internal dysfunction makes no sense. Second, you’ve misidentified the breadth and mechanism of the replacement of the Anglos. What replaced the Anglo elite was a new ethnic mass composed of near-whites (Slavs, Irish, Greeks, Jews, Italians, and lower-caste whites) who overthrow the hierarchy here, much as was done in France in 1789, for the sake of people power. Sound familiar? Identical to the DE plan except back then they were liberal. The results will be the same if the DE takes power, by the way. You’ll have all these grand ideas and suddenly, the people power will be busy posing, posturing, pretentiously self-aggrandizing, self-marketing and so on. Your consensus will break down into many self-interested parties who, in the interest of pandering to the wider herd, will end up at the same policies the current elites endorse.
Second, there’s this notion that “the fact that American capitalism proved to be more corrosive than Soviet communism.” Here I suggest you are simply looking at the wrong target because the two societies had other commonalities. Both communism and capitalism are monetarist, or based on the idea that we can use economics in lieu of culture to control our society in lieu of having it collaborate (as it does naturally with culture). Not only that, but the real element in power in both cases was the bazaar. Once you turn the vote over to the people, they get self-centered and oblivious and start choosing freebies/pleasant fictions now over long-term problems that can be fixed later. It’s no different than handing out booze in the servants quarters, slave cabins or office cubicle farms. They’ll drink today, congratulate themselves on “sticking it to the man,” and then wake up tomorrow twice as broke, twice as sick and half again farther away from their goals.
The villain here, as some in the DE are willing to hint, is the people power notion itself. Democracy is a stampede, not a discussion. It is pretentious small-minded people proclaiming themselves kings and then vandalizing everything they touch. It is not created for the grand altruistic goals it claims, but so that there can be “license” to plunder, to defile, to appropriate, to muddle and otherwise to destroy. Democracy is not thinking, it’s an emotional reaction. It is not the work of the have-nots, but the cannot-haves, or those who by their own behavior limit their ability to be anything more than third-world levels of filthy, disorganized, kleptocratic and cruel. Instead of disciplining themselves and rising through a process of Natural Selection, they refuse to make even basic concessions to logic and instead act out their whims, feelings, desires and judgments, and for their unrealistic behavior are rewarded with failure in reality.
Until people are willing to face this truth, everything they do will fail because it will be sabotaged from within by people power. This is why the DE/NeR’s crusade against “the Cathdral” is more of the same error-prone behavior that got us into this mess in the first place.
Sunday, March 16th, 2014
Most people in the West live in total denial. Their lives rest on a platform built of assumptions and any challenge to that undermines their status, authority, value and in many cases livelihood. As a result, they refuse to consider problems with our civilization and will continue in this denial as more walls fall around them.
Those who have figured it out and realize that the West, like Rome or Angkor Wat, is in decline from lack of internal coherence, face a difficult task in that first, their views are totally marginalized, and second, among those who have made this first step there is no unity. Hence on the “underground Right” or “realist fringe” a quest perpetuates itself in the search for some new method, path or ideology that is both true and can convert others by not offending their liberal-conditioned sensibilities yet leading away from the herd-mentality.
Unfortunately this makes the underground Right extremely trend-oriented. That has both a powerful lifting factor for any seemingly new idea, but also a faddishness, so that these ideas last for only a few months or years and then burn out. At first it was third position, then the concept of an alternative right, then the Orthosphere, and most recently, the “Dark Enlightenment.” In a recent article, I pointed out that the Dark Enlightenment is following a liberal template and ideal.
This ruthlessly annoyed the fat-fingered keyboard warriors of the DE who turned on me. They did this in standard Internet-argument-speak by implying that I simply “didn’t understand” the DE. A typical one of these posts began by saying that I just hadn’t read enough of it, or didn’t grasp the concepts, and then unleashed a torrent of citations that were minimally on-topic. I let a few of these expire in our new messages queue because I view passive-aggression as the #1 social problem in the West today and will never support it. Finally, one of them blurted out a rejoinder, to which I replied:
[Moldbug] is saying the “information institutions” should be bazaar-like
Which brings us back to the same problem of rule by the angry mob, which was the point of the original Amerika.org article.
In other words, the “you didn’t understand” was a smokescreen as they have now admitted with their own words. That had been my point all along, but it illustrates the problem with the Dark Enlightenment: they are fundamentally liberals looking for a reason to be important, or privileged like one of the victim groups to whom we assign status like minority or gender privilege, and they want a reason to put others down to raise themselves up. If they ever got a chance to implement their ideas, it would rapidly lead to the same problem we have now, which is that liberalism is egalitarianism which emphasizes disunity, not unity.
The Dark Enlightenment became a trend. Even if its original intentions were good, it rapidly led to the same 1789/1968 philosophies that power modern liberalism. This was not the intent of its creators, but is an inevitable consequence of trying to set up a “third way”: since leftism and rightism are such fundamental principles of human politics, trying to find a third way always involves the hybridization of the two, in which liberal beliefs — which are simpler, and more flattering to the individual — subsume conservative ideals.
The Orthosphere presented another promising idea, and one that still has promise because it is rooted in an old need and an old tradition, namely that of a truly reverent religion. The problem with the Orthosphere is that its architects saw it as a replacement for politics, or at least, a necessary ingredient in politics. Further, some exhibited an attitude that suggested that politics without religion was destined to failure or was somehow illegitimate, much as some Traditionalists have in the past, misstating the teachings of Evola and his guide Nietzsche. And now, as the inimitable and insightful Bruce Charlton observes, the Christian blogsophere is in decline:
In terms of genuine growth of frequent blog viewers, in terms of an ‘audience’, plateau means decline, therefore this blog probably started on the down-slope a year ago.
(The shark must keep moving forward, or it dies!)
What was always a very small internet presence of traditionalist real Christian (real=not-‘Liberal’), Mere Christian (cross-denominational) blogs has become even smaller; and in relative terms (as the mass media expands) even more so.
This brings me no joy, as the Christian blogosphere along with the thoughtful New Right and Alternative Right authors offer a small slice of sanity in a world that is composed of people determined to avoid personally inconvenient reality at all costs. However, what happened here — it seems to me — is that the Orthosphere was adopted as the Next Big Thing by people who are interested in reality-based civilization design, a field which overlaps Dark Enlightenment, Traditionalism, Deep Ecology, paleoconservatism, monarchism, New Right and Third Way outlooks. When the Orthosphere did not fully serve those needs, it too was dropped as a trend.
Charlton makes a good point here:
Blogging as a traditionalist Christian is a matter of trying to inspire a few, a handful of, individuals – it is not a matter of mobilizing and energizing a mass audience, a silent majority or an army of faithful: no such mass majority army exists.
Begging his pardon, I will respectfully disagree. That is: I think he’s looking in the wrong place, for the wrong thing.
What is this wrong place? The masses are not what force change. Small dedicated groups who are able to mobilize themselves and force selective change are what prevails; the masses are generally inert and act only as a restrictive force, since they only approve drastic action when it personally flatters them or addresses an immediate fear. Instead, what we need is for the natural leaders among us — you can find them in any walk of life, but they’re the people who make things happen regardless of their job titles — to start drifting closer to an understanding of what is needed.
What is this wrong thing? He is looking for a united army of the faithful, where what he needs is a cultural shift. This is already happening. Even the mainstream media now features more articles about religion, the soul, consciousness and metaphysical questions. Our popular literature, including but not limited to stuff like Harry Potter, shifts ever closer to a metaphysicist position. And as mainstream religion drifts further toward Crowdism, the few exceptions stand out more and more people are dropping out of those movements in favor of unmeasurable smaller churches or personal religious feelings. We do not need a great army like that which stormed the Bastille. We need this great cultural shift to occur with tiny steps so people can get comfortable with it instead of pitching head-first into radicalism.
This leads us to a broader answer. We never needed the Dark Enlightenment, or the third way. Most people who are getting anywhere in life are inherently “mostly conservativish,” meaning that they apply conservative principles to their own lives. They are looking for an answer. The answer is a rightward shift away from egalitarianism (individualism) toward a sense of an objective reality, and a reverent approach to life which suggests we aim for the best outcome by having higher objective standards, not protecting the worst outcomes through subjective relativism.
As far as messages go, this one is subtle. It is non-confrontational. It demands we stop doing wrong things more than that we shift in direction toward a polar radical. Mostly, this involves abandoning the great leftist progressive crusade for Utopia through egalitarianism, and a focus instead on producing functional results. By casting doubt on the absolute necessity of liberal ideology alone, this viewpoint shift releases the grip liberalism has had on us for centuries, portraying itself as the only way forward. In its place it puts the least offensive kind of tradition, which is sticking to what works and personal characteristics such as honor, loyalty, pride in one’s work and devotion to both doing good and finding some kind of transcendent meaning in life itself. Not in the individual, as leftists would have us do.
Keep it simple. Liberalism is insanity and is a lifestyle choice, not a divine mandate toward what is good and fair. Good living and natural values are important and we should protect those. Our goal is not to invent some philosophy to appeal to liberals, which will never work because liberals always offer a more tempting devil’s bargain, but to remove support for insane philosophies and to pursue healthier practices instead. This, more than another new exciting trend, is what we need; for those who have not yet joined the zombie march of leftism, this is the future.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Recently, I pointed out the fatal contradiction at the heart of the “Dark Enlightenment”: that it is based on a fundamentally liberal idea of overthrowing elites and replacing them with people power.
This upset a few people who felt I misinterpreted the Cathedral/bazaar dichotomy, which derives from Eric S. Raymond’s quasi-libertarian essay on software development. Whether DEs like it or not, that’s the origin and referent of Cathedral/bazaar dichotomies in our society.
One particular criticism ends this way:
What Moldbug is criticising here is not the Cathedral’s centralizing of power, but its centralizing of truth.
In a democracy, mass opinion creates power. Power diverts funds to the manufacturers of opinion, who manufacture more, etc. Not a terribly complicated cycle. This feedback loop generates a playing field on which the most competitive ideas are not those which best correspond to reality, but those which produce the strongest feedback.
What he is asking for is not “people power” but power divorced from opinion, so that there can be a diversity of opinion without a division of power (which, even more than most other DE/NRx writers, he is consistently and forcefully against).
Can I mention first that I really detest the modern internet style of “debate”? They started by accusing me of “not understanding” their point of view, and now they’re offering an alternative which we’re supposed to accept as truth without analysis. If they stepped back, they’d realize how they sound as condescending as the liberal talking head on TV: “It’s not that you’re wrong, you just didn’t understand our point. Here we repeat it in a slightly different form. See, we’re right.”
What they would understand — if they took ten minutes to ramble around Amerika.org — is that people power equals mass opinion because people in crowds standardize to the same opinion. This is the fatal flaw of democracy, and why democracy always becomes liberalism, or the regime based on what people want to believe is true, not what is true.
The DE types are the latest version of 4chan’s anons, themselves a version of the Meowers from alt.fan.karl-malden.nose, themselves probably a variant on some of the people back from the uunet days. All internet movements are the same. This is because all popular movements are the same. All recapitulate the French revolution, because their idea is the same. Throw out the leaders, replace them with people power. Except the problem is that people power turns out to be a flakeout every flippin’ time.
How is that possible, we might ask? Because people power is leadership by non-leadership. It’s the principle of the non-principle. The DE types side-step this fundamental question by claiming they want a diversity of opinion, but that’s an obvious fallacy since no belief system that claims it is true wants any diversity. “Power divorced from opinion,” they say, which means the ability to rise in society without becoming PC. And yet PC came about when the last overthrow happened, because all people power movements turn into PC or something like it. It is because in the absence of leadership, they base their authority on socializing.
Remember the anons of 4chan. Originally promising, very anti-PC, seemed like they’d take on the world. Then in a heartbeat they turned into people chanting and spewing the same kind of rhetoric we heard from Occupy Wall Street. Remember that? They don’t want you to. The ugly truth is that all “people power” movements converge on a mean, and when you start talking about the bazaar (the opposite of Cathedral) in preference to the Cathedral, you’ve launched yourself down that path.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
Where morality tries to construe life as a series of binary yes-no decisions, in fact life more resembles a spectral decision tree. Beyond a minimum, each decision is a matter of picking things that are better over things that are less better.
This is the nature of a relativistic universe. With only one option, you accept it. When someone better appears, or you can imagine it, that second option makes the first look worse. When you have a dozen options, and better/worse becomes a question of several factors and not just one, complexity results.
Take for example the age-old American practice of buying a car. There is no single determiner of what you should do. There are important factors: efficiency, roominess, frequency of repair, whether you trust the manufacturer. Any one of these vectors can become the basis for your decision.
When we look at the sexual revolution, we’re going to have a yes-no binary decision thrust at us. The basis of that decision is morality, which is extended to guilt on the basis of “equal treatment” and equal validity. Either you are with the program that makes people happy, or you should feel guilty.
What’s killing the sexual revolution is that life is (as mentioned above) not a question of binaries. It’s about a spectrum. When people see that on that spectrum an option exists which they find more palatable than the sexual revolution, they reach for it.
In modern life, we are used to many decisions made on the basis of perceived quality. Buy the network card that uses the Atheros chipset, not the Broadcomm one. Buy a Mercedes, not a Hyundai. Buy the organic mangoes, instead of the ordinary humdrum chemicular ones, and get the smaller and denser mangoes in that group.
For people who intend to have full lives, the choice of lifestyle is similar. Dating is OK; marriage is better, once you’re out of college. If you’re going to marry, what’s the way you get the best quality marriage?
Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.
Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself. – “The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage,” by Meg Jay, The New York Times, April 14 2012
One answer here is traditional roles. Men court women; they do not “date.” When they find one they like, they ask for exclusivity. What follows are social engagements scripted to reveal the couple’s aptitude for one another. Eventually, there’s a formal request to a paternal figure for approval.
When the marriage is consummated, each partner is given an exclusive and complementary role. Women rule the house; men rule the workplace. In exchange for her harder job with longer hours, the woman is given more flexibility of time and less oversight. Trust is essential.
The rules of traditional marriage were not made-up arbitrary voodoo that we pulled out of thin air. They are designed to build the trust that can allow two people to rely on each other. They don’t always work, but then again, nothing always works.
They work better, however, than the sexual revolution and its try-before-buy low commitment ambiguous relationships. What has killed the sexual revolution is the small but increasing faction of Americans and Europeans who are choosing tradition over modernity because tradition simply works better.
Feminism promised to liberate women and make a better society. It demanded two things: first, equality for women; second, sexual liberation so that women did not have to feel “constrained” by social roles that emphasized chastity.
The first, equality of women, gave them new rights but also made them equal interchangeable parts on the production line. Without a sacred role, they are unable to achieve more than moderate approval through work, but at the expense of having a family which they also have time to appreciate.
The second, sexual liberation, reduces women to sexual objects. They are then traded around, and those foolish enough to rack up the miles and lose value become the embittered perpetual singletons with checkered histories and emotional baggage by the mile.
A new group is rising. This group has stopped trying to play the binary shell game of “equal/un-equal.” They have chosen inequality that has in its stead complementary roles, where women and men are not parts in a machine that consumes them. – “Feminism is Doomed,” by Brett Stevens, In Mala Fide, April 11 2012
Feminism (a sub-set of liberalism) is a moral dogma. It is external to the individual and formed of a standard of behavior encoded in yes-no decisions. It is based on guilt for the inherent inequality of life itself.
It won the battle in that when presented with guilt questions, especially in a public setting, people tend to go with the “safe” option. Of course everyone is equal; let everyone do whatever they want, and they’ll be happy, and we won’t have riots or violent revolutions.
But when that focus is removed, and people are instead forced to consider the question of what will make them happy in the long-term, the guilt loses its value. It takes a few generations, but people stop caring about the moral answer.
What they care about, as always, is a better quality of life. A better quality of belief system, perhaps one that does not require the overhead of an external ideology of feminism. A mode of behaving in which our innocent young boys and girls have an equally innocent and delightful future awaiting them.
The sexual revolution has died. This awareness hasn’t yet fully impacted the mainstream, but it’s coming. Like all waves, it starts with a drop. When it hits, many of the people who are currently in positions of authority will find themselves removed. Such is the nature of change.
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
There are two types of freedom: freedom from something, and freedom to do something.
If you believe that your fate is conditioned by a vicious and self-serving government, you may want freedom from it. But if you have instead a constructive goal, you want the freedom to do that goal.
The first case is easier because it involves a clear enemy. The second is harder, because it does not state the reason why you would not be able to accomplish what you want. It is a matter of social approval as a whole, and not some part of society that is denying you what you seek.
MRAs talk quite a bit about false rape accusations. They do not like to talk about the relationship between casual sex and rape allegations. When men and women hook up at random, regret happens frequently. From regret come the accusations of false rape, which are unprovable as they are provable.
Statistics show that as many as 78 percent of women will engage in a hook-up at some point during their college tenure, 14 percent of whom will rely on a friend to tell them what happened the next day, 49 percent of whom will never see the partner again, and 16 percent of whom felt pressured into the sexual encounter. In a given year, roughly 97,000 cases of college campus sexual assault or date rape related to binge drinking are reported. Another 100,000 college students annually report being too drunk to know if they consented to having sex. – The Washington Post, No sex on campus?
With all that regret, bad behavior is inevitably going to follow.
Let’s look at an alternative. Traditional culture provided a ritualized courting period, after which a man married his future wife, and they generally lived together in innocence and mutual support. Many marriages were arranged, which is a polite way of saying that if your young people are confused, you go to the wisest village elders and pick some candidates for a match. Unsurprisingly, arranged marriages often last where “romantic” for-love/sex modern marriages do not. There was no illusion about sex being love, or marriage being a hedonistic pleasure. Marriage was like a battle-bond, by which a man and woman forged a family. In traditional culture, the only rapes that happened were assaults by strangers or men the women would normally not be speaking to. In our culture, the only difference between consent and rape is the degree of persuasion employed.
Our modern false rape epidemic is created by casual sex, itself a creation of feminism, itself a creation of liberalism.
When it comes down to “he-said/she-said,” there is no intelligent way to proceed, but the problem is that you’re damned either way. If you take her side, you may well be sending an innocent man to ruin. If you take his side, you may be excusing a heinous crime of personal violation. We can’t gamble with either of those outcomes.
Tradition had a better plan. Why do MRAs fear it?
MRAs are afraid of Tradition because feminists are afraid of Tradition. Tradition is patriarchy and honor. With honor comes the possibility of shame and dishonor. If no one cares and there are no consequences, dishonor — allowing yourself to be seen as weak, fearful and inept — is the easiest thing in the world. Honor requires an honor group, a group of men who will hold other men accountable, and MRAs are just as dedicated to breaking up male honor cultures as feminists are. – Jack Donovan, “Like Slipping Into a Warm Bath”
MRAs have (so far) based their game plan on creating a mirror-image of feminism and hoping to defeat it by being “more equal” than those who demand equality. The problem is that equality is never a goal in itself; you reach equality by penalizing those above the median, since you can’t force the incompetent below that median to suddenly, magically become more competent. Equality exists through penalties on the more equal.
In practical terms, this means feminism will always win out over MRA because feminism supports a group that is seen as inherently biological weaker. They will always be pitied, and men not. Men asking for pity alienates strong men and attracts weaker men. It’s a vicious cycle of failure that explains why MRM has gotten zero political traction.
Reversing feminism by imitating it offers an unlikely solution. What makes more sense is to figure out the origin of feminism, and reverse that. In the case of our modern society, that origin is a withdrawal from shared values and a leap into the world of subjective, individualistic and social forces. That is the source of the disease.
If we’re truly tired of that, we’ll seek to incorporate tradition in our plans as a solution and not a symptomatic treatment. At that point, we will be clear in our minds that we want a cure, not just a more comfortable disease.