Many of you know the work of Atavisionary, who is not only a Neoreaction blogger but runs a lone outpost of sanity on Leftist hivemind Reddit, /r/DarkEnlightenment. He has recently published his first book, Smart and SeXy, which details sex differences in intelligence and other abilities and from that builds a devastating case against feminism and its massive dysgenic effects. He was kind enough to take a few hours to answer some questions on the topics of Neoreaction and related disciplines, as well as his own work.
What drew you to Neoreaction? At what point in your life did you “awaken” from the modern slumber, and what were the pivotal events?
I take this to mean you want to know what history or experiences led up to me joining neoreaction.
I have never been prone to political correctness because I have always had a very independent streak in evaluating what I was told as well as a strong natural curiosity. Anything I decide to have a strong opinion on, I try to research thoroughly and come to conclusions based on the totality of information I accumulate. I donâ€™t take things at face value or believe them just because I am told to.
For example, I remember in high school the class was forced to read this really bad feminist book called â€œspeakâ€ and though this was long before I had much, if any, idea about the cathedral I just instantly and unambiguously found the story repugnant. In short, the story was boring, it didnâ€™t make sense, and it was incredibly gynocentric. You can see my brief review for more details.Â â€œSpeakâ€ was and is blatant feminist propaganda. The political goal of this propaganda was to convince everyone that when a girl regrets consensual sex, we should consider it rape. This goal, of course, is the main reason the whole narrative makes no sense from the very beginning. You canâ€™t have the girlâ€™s internal monologue saying she wants this guy, then half way through doing it change her mind and expect a rational human being to believe it was actually rape. I very vividly remember hating this book for this and other reasons, and this hatred was a fairly clear precursor to my moving toward neoreaction. I had it in me from the beginning so to speak. In other words, I was probably always going to get here eventually via one trajectory or another simply because it was in my nature to hate progressive crap before I even knew what it was.
The first time I consciously started to realize the typical narrative was nonsense was probably when, at the suggestion of a college friend, I started listening to a radio show host called Tom Leykis. For those of you not familiar with him, he basically was saying all the things the current red pill/pua culture was saying years before the modern internet community got going. I was a young college guy at the time when I was listening to him regularly, so you can understand my mindset at the time. Obviously I have done a lot of growing up since then, but it was the stories he would present about guys getting screwed with alimony and child support which especially red pilled me on feminism and family law in modern America. This also got me into the habit of looking out for feminist propaganda, and to automatically exercise a lot of healthy skepticism at anything which painted women as victims. Later on I would spend a lot of time on /r/theredpill which had very similar views and had similar discussions. I was active there when it was between 5,000 (when I joined) and 25,000 members. At that point I started moving away from it. I learned a lot during this time period, but after a while new information seemed to be lacking and I sensed I wanted something more. Basically, the red pill gets pretty repetitive after a while because it artificially creates barriers between sexual strategy and the rest of life and really there is only so much to say on sexual strategy. A lot of guys like me in neoreaction and related communities may be guilty of an addiction to what some call â€œinsight porn.â€ Basically, novel ideas that seem to explain observable patterns, and because it is so limited in scope you can parse everything you need to know about the red pill in a relatively short time. It is good they do what they do because newbies need a constant feed of basics, and they probably arenâ€™t ready to go any further down the rabbit hole before having time to digest the surface level stuff.
At some point after I began listening to leykis but before /r/theredpill was formed, I decided to pick up the bell curve. I canâ€™t recall exactly where I got this notion, but it was probably a natural evolution that resulted from looking at male/female IQ data because many of those sources will at least briefly reference racial differences as well. This book of course had a very similar effect as the manosphere but with respect to race instead of gender. Affirmative action always seemed like a very bad system to me, and one which was obviously going to harm my economic interests (as well as my relatives and children) in the future. You donâ€™t really need any particular background to grasp that. The bell curve went one step further in showing that the primary justification for having affirmative action, so-called discrimination, was almost certainly non-existent. After that, I was pretty firmly in the race realist camp.
These events as well as probably thousands of much more minor ones were enough to slant my opinion in a reactionary direction, but not enough to paint a complete picture. What kept me learning more was my weakness for engaging in arguments on forums and in comment sections on reddit. People would make blatantly wrong claims, and I would argue with them and in the process do a lot of research. Typically I would find some study on racial IQ differences or some stats about who pays most of the child support money and I would use this information in my arguments. I learned a lot of stuff during that time and it shifted me more and more against the narrative. Donâ€™t bother looking up any of these comments because I made them under different accounts which are now deleted.
So I had all this stuff going on in the background, and I was researching my book on sex differences in intelligence at the same time, when someone on /r/theredpill posted a link to moldbugâ€™s â€œA gentle introduction to unqualified reservations.â€ This was around the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. Obviously I had a great deal of thought-crime already percolating in my head before I got to this point, so those things werenâ€™t my major take-away from it. I held in my mind most of the important modern pieces of information. Specifically evolution, evolutionary psychology, HBD, and group differences which have only been thoroughly cataloged in a rigorous way in the last 115 years or so. It was moldbugâ€™s concept of the cathedral which really tied the room together. It was a narrative which took all these things I already knew about and gave them a philosophical and especially historical structure. It definitely explained my experience with hopelessly ideological progressives. They were pseudo-atheistic religious zealots, not rational actors. Their behavior and stubbornness in the face of all evidence makes a lot more sense from that perspective. Well, I was so inspired by this structure that I decided to take control of the /r/darkenlightenment subreddit on a whim. Between a large amount of commenting, and the work on writing the book, I had a lot of material and thought it would be better to have my own blog to post some of this stuff. About 6 month after taking on the role of head mod at /r/darkenlightenment, I started atavisionary.com and began writing articles based on everything I had learned up until that point. I would say I have had reasonable and moderate success as a neoreactionary writer since that point.
Do you have a personal interpretation of neoreaction that differs from the canon?
Not anything major I donâ€™t think. You can see from my background that my trajectory towards neoreaction was heavily focused on the red pill and hbd. Even now those are the topics I am still most interested in. As far as I am aware there is nothing about the information contained in either of those which is contradictory toward neoreaction, moldbugâ€™s original writings, or any of the main work in neoreaction that came after moldbug.
Keep in mind that I make a distinction between non-ideological facts and how those facts are used. The PUA lifestyle clearly isnâ€™t good for civilization, but that doesnâ€™t mean the information they are using (evo psych) is wrong. You can just as easily use the information the PUAs have written about to make a marriage more secure. Moreover, I donâ€™t think anyone is doing themselves or society a favor by getting embroiled in onerous alimony and child support payments. But no one is doing themselves or society a favor but avoiding children either. It is a tough situation with pretty much no good options. Probably the best solution is to try to go the traditional route if you can, and if your wife and the state try to divorce rape you just disappear to deprive both vampires their blood. Of course, do everything you can to avoid that clearly drastic step. However, I donâ€™t think men should willingly enslave themselves to the family court system and depriving it of cash is more valuable in the long run than even your own children. Now that last bit is my own thoughts and likely isnâ€™t the most popular idea in neoreaction generally, but of course it is in the red pill communities. I think it could be considered neoreaction when you consider the long-term goal is to frustrate or cripple the funding of family courts so that traditional family structures have a chance to be re-instated.
I would like to add that asking a (successful) PUA for marriage advise would be a lot better than marxist/feminist marriage â€œcounselorsâ€ a lot of guys are dragged to. By that I mean he would be able to explain evolutionary psychology and social dynamics which would be way more helpful than bland â€œthe man is always wrongâ€ stuff you would get from feminists. If nothing else, the PUA community added a lot of useful information to our understanding of socio-sexual dynamics in reality. Many in neoreaction may not agree with the methods, but like western medicine did with the Nazi experiments, we can just forget the source and use what was learned for the greatest possible benefit.
Stepping away from internal neoreaction disagreements to our interactions with outsiders, I think the most heated disagreements people have with the canon typically involve your stereotypical white nationalists. Compared to progressives who focus more on trolling and snide, smug and sarcastic comments, white nationalists tend to get very angry, very quickly. Think of the ones who get rabidly angry and acrimonious when you suggest the problem might not be solely caused by Jews. Sometimes I am not sure if these people are legitimate or just trolling (or shills hired by governments to make any sort of white identity movement seem crazy). Its a Poeâ€™s law scenario. Letâ€™s pretend for a second they arenâ€™t as raving mad as they present themselves and that they arenâ€™t shills.
First, I can understand why they get so mad at Jews. It is a fact that Jews are disproportionately involved in leftism whether it is in creating media or funding NGOs. When there is an article that is egregiously anti-white a lot of times there is a Jewish name attached. A lot of people notice this. I notice it. Most of the writers in neoreaction notice it. It gave the alt right the recent (((echo))) meme. I think there is good reason for European whites to be irritated by this advocacy and that as a group we really shouldnâ€™t be tolerating it.
That said, Jews are still only around 2% of the US population. Money or not, media or not, they couldnâ€™t push the cathedral ahead by themselves. And they didnâ€™t. There are more white, European progressives than there are Jews of any political affiliation. We can also look at examples in history where it was clearly the cathedral in action, but with virtually no influence from Jews. The abolitionist movement and the resulting civil war, for example. The womenâ€™s suffrage movement and the resulting prohibition in another. Jews tend to do fairly well at many different intellectual tasks. They are also good at supporting and advancing the contemporary popular ideas, which in our society is progressivism. That is mainly just about fitting in with the culture of the current elites who are overwhelmingly globalist and progressive. This is why I think Moldbug had it right in calling progressivism a non-theological christian sect. You can definitely trace down the history of progressivism and see that in the mid-1800s it was very much tied in with certain denominations of the Christians. You can also contrast modern progressive beliefs with certain aspects of more traditional christian theology and there are some striking similarities. In other words, the ethnic Jews who are progressives are converts from Judaism to crypto-calvinism who happen to be particularly good at sophistry compared to other elites. That doesnâ€™t absolve those other elites of their progressivism or mean that sophistry by 2% of the population is enough to control the culture.
Blaming Jews for our problems is exactly like blacks blaming whites for their problems. It is fairly clear that blacks are largely responsible for their own issues and that the white majority has thrown tons of money, time, and hand-wringing at legitimately attempting to lift them up. It has failed because you canâ€™t change genetics without genetic engineering or eugenics. Having, on average, an 85 IQ prevents widespread success of blacks in the US. In other places there was no admixture with whites, so the average IQ is even lower as is the chance of successfully building a civilization. Blaming whites for black dysfunction is obviously ludicrous for most white nationalists, yet they turn around and blame Jews in the exact same way blacks blame whites for problems with our group.
The major issue with white Europeans, at least from NW Europe, is that of ethnomasochism. Basically, north west Europeans apparently evolved to use guilt (as opposed to shame) in regulating communities for pro-social behavior. NW Europeans avoid certain behaviors because of a feeling of internal guilt from doing them. Most other ethnicities rely on shame for this regulation. In other words, it is more about avoiding everyone knowing you are a jerk than truly worrying about an act being bad. Now this tendency for guilt based regulation has a lot of benefits and is what makes a high-trust society possible. A high trust society functions better because widely distributed cooperation leads to everyoneâ€™s enrichment. I would also argue this natural tendency has a lot to do with why the concept of sin became so common and accepted in European society in the past. Sin is a concept which provides an explanation, true or not, for a set of feelings that are ubiquitous among Europeans. Unfortunately, this guilt can be over-tuned and misattributed which is how we get ethnomasochism. I think this is the real heart of white, European weakness. As a heritable trait, it obviously canâ€™t be caused by Jews. And it can also be very difficult to address. It is unlikely we can get rid of this excessive guilt, and even if we could that eliminates one of the most unique characteristics that makes Europeans European. It is probably also a key ingredient in our high trust societies, societies I would argue are worth keeping because of their myriad of advantages over shame regulated societies.
In my opinion, the major goal of any group wanting to ensure the continuation of white races should be eliminating race as an accepted explanation for white guilt. Whatever guilt whites may feel intrinsically is in no way related to the dysfunction of unrelated ethnic groups. The christian concept of sin would probably work well for most of the population, and the evolutionary concept of guilt culture could work for academics. Eliminating ethnomasochism as an accepted meme would go a long way in shifting our cultures back to a sustainable path.
What is Neoreaction, for those who are not familiar with it? How would you summarize it?
I would say look at my sidebar on my subreddit. That is probably the most concise summary you can find anywhere.
- Secular progressivism is the memetic descendent of Puritan Calvinism. Blasphemy, inquisition, indoctrination, and brainwashing still occur from the perspective of the progressive religion. Therefore, progressive culture is referred to as â€œthe Cathedralâ€. The Cathedral consists of influential people in politics, journalism, academia and education acting in an uncoordinated manner to advance progressive principles in society; often deceptively. We do not imply conspiracies.
- Hierarchies are a natural consequence of innate differences and are necessary for societies to function. Stratified outcomes alone are not enough to prove discrimination or a failure of “social justice”. There is no “social justice,” only traditional justice.
- The only morality is civilization. Any belief or ideology that works against civilization is evil no matter how well-intentioned.
- Traditional values are not accidental. They are non-ideological social adaptations that provide good solutions to complex social problems. Cultures separated by vast amounts of time and geography independently converged on similar values. Values converged because cultures that implemented these values had a competitive advantage over their neighbors and became civilizations. Cultures that did not implement them failed and are forgotten.
- Modern conservatives are last centuryâ€™s progressives. Many ideas held by â€œconservativesâ€ today were progressive (sometimes radically so) in the past.
- Neoreactionaries acknowledge the legitimate flaws inherent to Democracies and are â€œpredisposed, in any case, to perceive the politically awakened masses as a howling irrational mob, it conceives the dynamics of democratization as fundamentally degenerative: systematically consolidating and exacerbating private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption.â€
- A system of No Voice-Free Exit in large hyper-federalist states or small independent city states is the optimal political arrangement. Singapore is an imprecise example with little political voice, but massive economic freedom and high levels of prosperity. City-states would be in constant competition for minds and business and risk losing economically valuable citizens and businesses if poorly run since they can easily relocate. This creates an incentive to remain economically and socially free.
- Neoreactionaries accept human biological diversity. Individual humans and human groups differ in ability, psychological disposition, intelligence, and other traits for genetic reasons. Genetics can explain 50% or more of the differences in lifetime outcomes within and between human groups. Other factors are minor by comparison.
- Recognition of HBD necessitates the rejection of the core progressive dogma of egalitarianism. Race and gender are not social constructs and everyone personally experiences that not all men or women are created equal. It is easier to believe in Leprechauns than to believe in egalitarianism.
Is there any overlap with other movements such as paleoconservatism, reaction, new right, alternative right and white nationalism? What is different and valuable to you about the Neoreaction platform?
I would say there probably is an overlap between all of those movements. My preferred way to think about neoreaction is that it is not itself a movement, but a philosophy or even just a series of thought experiments. If neoreaction is not a movement, then it is not competing with any of those things. Rather, it is about putting ideas and concepts into highly explanatory writing. This can then be used help people break away from progressive propaganda. The writings of neoreaction should be usable by any of the groups you mentioned to help support their philosophical and argumentative basis and thus build their attractiveness.
Basically, the goal of neoreaction is to take all or most of the assumptions of modernity and try to analyze them from a perspective that values truth above everything else and very self-consciously tries to avoid modern progressive biases. In practice, avoiding progressive biases largely means disregarding feminine concerns for feelings. It doesnâ€™t matter if group X doesnâ€™t like some inconvenient truth, we are still going to write about it and pursue threads where they take us, no matter how dark or how loudly some cry-bully wants to complain about it.
One good method for doing this is to try to imagine what people in the past, maybe hundreds of years in the past, would think if they were to see the world as it is today. I think Moldbug did this very expertly and in such a way that he was able to by-pass a lot of peopleâ€™s programmed aversions to wrong-think. This, I think, is Moldbugâ€™s and perhaps neoreactionâ€™s greatest contribution. Dismantling progressive indoctrination in â€œrespectableâ€ high IQ people is no easy task and I think neoreaction does this better than any other far right faction. The most talented and intelligent people are typically the ones you want on your side because they are best able to further alterations to the culture at large. Politics are downstream of culture, so changing the culture should be our first priority. High IQ, former progressives can actually build the sort of intellectual capital needed to start changing the culture back to something sensible. This is why it is so important to wake them up, and why neoreaction specifically tries to cater to that demographic. This is, I would guess, one of the main things distinguishing neoreaction from the other movements. We create content the intellectual elite can tolerate long enough to start changing their minds.
You have just released a book, Smart and SeXY, about gender differences as revealed in research. What would someone take away from reading this book?
You already know some of that history from my description of what led me to neoreaction, but I suppose I can give a bit of history about how the book got started specifically. Around 2010, I was taking a class on genetic causes of mental illnesses as a biology elective in getting my degree (biochemistry) and this is when the idea for my book came to me. Now keep in mind that I already had both the standard education in biology and genetics as part of my degree as well as a lot of self taught information on IQ differences between race and gender as a result of these internet arguments. In other words, I was already very familiar with the differences between the male and female intelligence distributions. I was also familiar, from genetics, of a concept called pseudo-dominance. Pseudo-dominance results from recessive mutations on X chromosomes being directly expressed as a phenotype much more often in males. The stereotypical example is that of the white eye mutation in fruit flies. So when the professor started discussing how mental disorders and retardation are much more common in males all these things just came together and it clicked. I raised my hand to ask if nervous system genes are over-represented on the X chromosome and the professor said that was a long established fact. I decided at the time not to reveal what I had just figured out to the class and it didnâ€™t register with them of their own accord. There was no reason to potentially provoke people right then and there, anyway. What I realized, in short, was that genes expressed in the nervous system were obviously over-represented on the X chromosome. This explains the greater variation in the male intelligence distribution as well as the greater incidence of retardation in males. This is the final nail in the coffin of feminism. If intelligence is X linked, then you donâ€™t need discrimination AT ALL to explain outcome differences even between closely related individuals. Since we know that intelligence differences between gender have a biological cause it means that feminist complaints are frivolous and affirmative action for women is a complete waste of time.
This is easy enough to understand, but as you know the typical leftist would just deny it repeatedly until people stopped talking about it; never bothering to check if it might be true. This was why it was so important to actually compile all the current available evidence for this concept. The plan was to provide so much information and sources that this sort of head in the sand tactic most leftists engage in would be ineffective when used against people who had access to the book. When a leftist tells you to â€œprove itâ€ you have literally hundreds of citations at your disposal. The book provides a modern, scientific basis for gender differences which can be used to show that current complaints about gender equality are nonsense and also supplement or boost historic arguments for traditional gender roles. Before the book, I think this avenue (modern scientific research) for defending tradition was woefully under-utilized. It is especially effective because while leftists deny most traditions, they claim to support and want to advance science. In order to persist in their delusions about gender equality, they would have to start denying what they claim to be for. I can imagine that is going to cause a lot of cognitive dissonance on their part.
Another thing worth keeping in mind is that during the research I discovered that this explanation for sex differences has been suspected by geneticists since 1972. 1972!!! Yet I had never heard anything about this in any of my biology or genetics classes at a major university. This was not an accident in my opinion. This topic and explanation have been suppressed or ignored by the academic establishment for political convenience. My hope is that my work will make it so that they canâ€™t ignore it anymore, and that it will become a target of more direct research.
How does awareness of genetic differences between the sexes factor into understanding a Neoreaction or right-wing platform?
The over-arching goal of most western right-wing movements is to preserve western civilization for ourselves and especially make it available for all of our descendants. By â€œourâ€ I am very specifically referring to white Europeans and their descendants throughout the world. Two very major problems are caused by female â€œemancipationâ€ which are in direct contradiction of that goal. There are of course other things of concern, but I am only referring to gender relations here. The most important is the lowering of the birth-rate of ethnic Europeans. It is well-known that most European populations have a birth-rate under replacement level and that if this continues European ethnicities will eventually cease to exist. Unfortunately, our time to fix this problem is much less than it could be because of our mass importation of swarthy people from around the world. Most of these groups have a higher birthrate than the native populations and wonâ€™t hesitate to subjugate them once their numbers reach a critical mass. If we donâ€™t do something in the next couple of generations it is very likely we will start seeing the events that have destroyed South Africa and Rhodesia repeated in most western countries. At that point however, there wonâ€™t be a strong US or European countries to suppress white interests from overseas like in those cases so I imagine things would get very bloody indeed. This is something that could and should be avoided.
Female education and employment are directly causal of this low birthrate.Â Setting women on paths other than motherhood obviously has a direct negative impact on birth rates. However, it also has an indirect negative impact on birth rate because it interferes with the male ability to signal provider status to the satisfaction of female hypergamy. If you take jobs from men and give them to women artificially through government regulations, you cause a lot of men to not be able to get jobs at a level they are capable of. These men are much poorer than they need to be and thus their ability to attract wives is substantially reduced. Mass immigration policies, affirmative action for swarthies, and free trade agreements do something very similar by increasing labor competition and even giving unfair and unearned advantages to the new-comers. All these policies are extremely bad for working class whites (and blacks descended from the original slave population in the US). Some men may be consciously choosing not to have kids and just play video games, but it shouldnâ€™t be underestimated how much the lack of decent employment opportunities for white men are killing the west.
There is also another problem, not as dire but still important. As is shown in the book, the most capable humans a population is able to produce are going to be almost exclusively male. By setting up quotas for women you introduce massive inefficiencies in the economy which reduces the wealth of the country as a whole and thus its ability to maintain itself and a good standard of living for its people. This is partially the result of putting women into positions they arenâ€™t psychologically or intellectually suited for and also through the creation of make-work jobs which require massive wealth redistribution from taxpayers. Most taxes are paid by men and that is all wealth those men canâ€™t use to have 1 or 2 additional children.
Understanding the biological differences in intelligence, then, are very important in articulating why what we are doing today in these massive wealth redistribution plans are ultimately pointless and actively harmful. Our policies are based on a false premise: gender equality. By knocking out that premise you destroy the justification for some of the worst policies that are causing the collapse of the west. These are all things that traditionalists have all addressed before, but now that have more ammo for their arguments that didnâ€™t exist in such a condensed form before.
You also write regular articles for your own blog. Can you explain the “atavisionary” concept for us?
The word atavisionary is a combination of atavism and visionary.
noun 1. biology
a. The reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.
- An individual embodying such a reversion.
a. A person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or radical ideas
a. marked by vision or foresight
An Atavisionary, then, is a person who looks at ideas, beliefs and philosophies of the past to gain a perspective not available in the present to try to understand where society and culture is heading towards in the future.
Many of the heroes of the dark enlightenment could also be described as Atavisionaries. The majority of the ideas held by the neoreactionary crowd were common place only a few hundred years ago.
Some common examples of neoreactionary ideas:
These ideological atavisms from a previous period are largely suppressed in todayâ€™s cathedral driven political landscape, and in such a climate it takes a dissident visionary to push against and see past the lies to find truth. One of the advantages of being an atavisionary compared to a regular â€œvisionaryâ€ is that many of the ideas have already been exercised in the real world in the past, so we already know that they work in practice.
In todayâ€™s progressive world, it is up to the atavisionaries to return civilization to a state of order, realism, and truth seeking.
What do you hope will happen in the future, if things go really well, and what would life in America and Europe look like after that?
Affirmative action would be abolished. Most of the university system would be dismantled leaving only training in demonstrably useful and needed fields. The people who would have previously pursued useless degrees would instead focus on motherhood (women) and technical vocations (men). These people would not be encouraged to take on massive debt. 3-4 White children would be born in wedlock to every family and divorce would not occur at all, or at least not until after all children were raised to adults. Alimony and child support would not exist. Focus on GDP growth would be heavily tempered by concern for the cultural and economic health of native populations. Immigration would be all but halted. New arrivals would be given strong incentives to move back to their country of origin with their children. Anchor babies would not be a legal possibility. Ethnic groups which dislike whites and for whom repatriation is impractical would be given countries of their own where they would be expected to move, and they would have full self-determination. Islam would be banned completely in all western countries. Africa would learn to control their insane population growth. Enforced diversity in housing would be abolished. Freedom of association would be an enshrined right of every person and group. I am sure there is more things I could think of, but I think you get the idea.
Have you had difficulties in everyday life because of your outlook?
I very self-consciously avoid revealing very much about my online activities to others in real life. When I do it is only a small piece of the puzzle and I donâ€™t mention neoreaction directly. As such, it is rarely a problem. However, if I did not do this I could imagine having issues like so many others have had.
You run a channel on Leftist hugbox Reddit called “Dark Enlightenment.” How does this tie in with neoreaction? Is it challenging to have an outpost in the enemy’s camp, so to speak?
I first started running and promoting the sub in the middle of 2014. Soon after that and lasting until the middle or end of 2015 my sub was among the most controversial subs on there. Even though there were only a few thousand subscribers it was infamous across reddit and it attracted a fair number of trolls. During this time I set up a side sub called /r/trollsofde where I would document the more entertaining or ridiculous attempts at trolling. I think my favorite instance was when someone from within neoreaction trolled a patheos writer and all of the progressives thought it was dead serious. I used it a couple of times on reddit to further the leftist circle jerk.
Once 2016 started up, though, most of this died down. Partially it was because I added rules against short comments and new accounts. In the later case there was one specific user he created about 40 new accounts to get around being banned for stupid comments. Those two rules make consistent trolling much more difficult, so there was a big reduction.
I think another part of the reason it died down is because I donâ€™t allow commenting that is done solely for the sake of shock value as is common among most of the alt-right, /pol/, etc. Most commenters come off as fairly rational and letâ€™s face it that canâ€™t hold the attention of people for as long. We have never been about shock value in the way /r/the_donald, /r/coontown, and /r/european have been so most of the attention gets sucked their way. /r/coontown and a number of other subs were deleted or quarantined for this reason. I donâ€™t mind this at all, having to deal with dumb comments from trolls (on the left or right) is annoying and if they self-select away from my sub, or at least refrain from the low-brow commentary while visiting mine, it makes my job much easier.
To your mind, what makes a quality dissident writing? What attributes do you look for in blogs, essays and books?
Well, first it isnâ€™t riddled with slurs or ad hominem. You can make all the same points without that stuff; and far more effectively. Some people might deserve slur heavy ridicule, but you donâ€™t make yourself look better by using it and you donâ€™t make your arguments very convincing to anyone who isnâ€™t frothing at the mouth.
I like articles which are information dense, well cited, and offer the possibility of â€œinsight porn.â€ In other words, it is not just a list of facts but a list of facts which provide the foundation of something truly explanatory. This was the philosophy I used in my book, and it is the philosophy I try to use in writing articles for my blog. It is also an important part about what articles I decide to post to my sub. You will notice that I have a rule against â€œclick baitâ€ and one off crimes. Click bait is obviously insincere most of the time, and one off crimes are facts without concepts and understanding. I like writers who attempt to understand and make sense of what they know in a deep and well-considered way. Following this is a sure way for anyone to increase the quality of their writing, though that isnâ€™t a guarantee. It is kind of the reason a lot of neoreactionary writers read and enjoy slate star codex even though he is hopelessly progressive at times. Progressive though he may be, he thinks out his writing very well.
What is next for you after this book; are you writing another? If people want to stay in touch with what you are doing, how can they do so?
I plan to keep writing the occasional blog post and moderating my subreddit. However, these are more hobbies than real work and donâ€™t pay the bills. I do plan to make an occupational shift in the near future, but for obvious reasons I donâ€™t want to provide too many details. The left has a nasty habit of going on witch hunts against anyone they deem a thought criminal. You can contact me on one of my reddit accounts or you could email me at atavisionary AT gmail DOT com. [sorry for not spelling it out exactly, but it helps against trawling spam bots.]