A Catalog of Unforced Errors

miscellaneous_shoot_foot

How NRx shot itself in the foot … repeatedly.

What would a small measure of success look like for contemporary reaction? Certainly political power is out of the question for now. The formation of some kind of model community in a rural location may be possible eventually, but for now a critical mass of committed people seems to be lacking. The same goes for the formation of local organizations to fill in the gaps in services left by a failing government. This seems to be the time to work out solid ideas and gather human material – to convince those who are disillusioned or disgusted with progressivism and globalism that there is a set of principles to guide them and a community of which to be a part.

Unfortunately, the most well-known face of reaction on social media in 2015 is Neoreaction. Neoreaction has failed to obtain any wealthy patrons or even well-known proponents. For every serious, mature Neoreactionary there are ten juvenile snark-emitting anime avatars who use the hashtag. For every one who uses the hashtag, there are probably twenty people who see the failure of progressivism and democracy, but are unwilling to be part of a “crab cult”. Neoreaction’s self-proclaimed leaders have in the past been prone to public meltdowns and fits of hubris;  in response to that tendency NRx has now retreated into a hermetically sealed inner circle which brooks no discussion with those who are critical.

As dedicated perennialist reactionaries, we at Spiritual Sun have spent a great deal of time critiquing Neoreaction through our twitter accounts. Core NRx has repeatedly informed us that our criticism is unwelcome and is viewed with hostility. Fair enough. Let us put our criticisms in one place for easy reference and close the door behind us. The core members of Neoreaction have shown themselves to be unteachable. The entire foundation has enough serious problems that a clear line must be drawn between the mainstream of Neoreaction and what actually needs to take place to have a viable alternative to progressivism. This, then, is a cautionary tale: how NOT to adapt reaction to the 21st Century.

Much to the delight and contempt of some we are not going to provide citations of past examples of each of these errors. Those who are objective will see the truth of our critique; those who are true believers will perceive it as hostility. If, in the future, we see examples of the below-listed errors we may cite them in an addendum. If sympathetic fellow reactionaries who can see that Neoreaction is actually anti-reactionary wish to post examples in the comments we may add them to the addendum as well.

What we will not do is engage in nitpicking of this kind: “Not all of Neoreaction agrees with position X, so-and-so said in blog post Y etc etc.” We freely grant that we’re glossing over certain strains and idiosyncratic interpretations; the best we can do is try to hit on what’s most relevant.We are referring here in broad strokes to a center of gravity that has failed to push against any of these errors with any kind of consistency.

If by some miracle Neoreactionaries decide to take this critique to heart and avoid making these unforced errors in the future that would almost be the best possible outcome for us, even though we would be robbed of citations to prove our point and this article would look false and we would get no credit for the Lazarusian resurrection of Neoreaction; it is amazing what a man can accomplish when he expects no credit.

The Right Stuff

Before diving into the bad stuff, it’s worth acknowledging what NRx has gotten right. While there is no clear-cut consensus on many details, the general center-of-gravity acknowledges the irredeemable problems of Progressivism and Democracy, the unrealistic fantasy of Libertarianism, and the positive value of hierarchy and racial realism and sex/gender realism. Note that none of these ideas are original with NRx. It seemed a promising start however for Millennials steeped in Progressive poison to reject many of the tenets of modernity and leftism. That start, sadly, has been squandered.

Neoreaction’s greatest point of harmony with actual reaction has to do with civilizational order. Neoreaction wants a more stable, sustainable, anti-fragile society, one that is integrated and organic, with very little political activity, since politics is disruptive to the social fabric. Reaction has those same goals. The problem is that everything else in Neoreaction attenuates that one point of strength.

The following points are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to apply to every core Neoreactionary equally, nor is any one of them fatal taken alone. We are not haggling about details here. These are broad swaths of unforced error. These points connect together at the edges, which you’ll see as we go along.

Tech Culture

Neoreaction has its roots deeply embedded in San Francisco-area tech culture. Moldbug is a technologist who is now trying to upgrade the internet. Anissimov worked as media director for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and gained recognition through his association with transhumanism before jumping on Neoreaction. Tech culture still has a much greater influence on core Neoreaction than the so-called “Trichotomy” would suggest, as many people in even the Eth-Nat and Trad wings are still technologists or at least avid tech consumers. What has emerged from this is a sort of formalist hypercapitalism that seeks to mitigate against human folly by either designing civilization like a software system or replacing humans altogether. Nobody seems to notice that hypercapitalism is arguably already the lay of the land and coexists just fine with Progressivism, often even feeding it. We’ll loop back to that point later in this article. For now, suffice to say that nothing in tech culture necessarily has any push against leftism, feminism political correctness, gay marriage, etc. A pervasive assumption in  NRx is that skill building software systems applies to business and government. A software system is fragile; a statesman has to be flexible. A software system is designed around a particular model of reality, and cannot “see” beyond that model. But when a Black Swan event hits, a statesman needs to be able to abandon his model and switch to another one very quickly. A formalized system cannot do this. There’s a lot of intellectual capital that goes into the making of a statesman. There’s nothing about programming software and building software systems that particularly equips you in any way to be a statesman.

Survival as Telos

Social Darwinism is an ironic term since it’s both antisocial and a very bad misrepresentation of ideas you could take from Darwin. An ongoing struggle in society between those who are financially and socially successful actually works against stability. An embrace of Social Darwinism creates the exact environment in which people are trying to seize the reins of power, which is antithetical to the aim of a harmonious, organic civilization. Social Darwinism is also scientifically illiterate. Natural selection does not result in an ecosystem in which one or a few species totally dominate the others, but rather in a complex hierarchy (the so-called food chain) in which millions of species fill specific survival niches. Natural selection does not favor necessarily the most powerful or the cleverest, but rather those individuals within a species which most successfully fit a given survival strategy. Between species, those at the top of the food chain do not dominate those they eat, but rather fully rely on them and their continued existence. A shark that “crushed the proles” (its prey) would soon find itself starving to death.

Culture of Critique

Kevin McDonald coined the term “Culture of Critique” in his study of Jewish life in Western Culture. Most of Jewish intellectual thought amounts to a critique of Western society. They see themselves as the perpetual critics. “There’s something very wrong with gentiles and they need to be fixed.” NRx has very much fallen into this mode of operation: a bunch of people in an out-group who have banded together based on their hatred of the in-group. A common mode is giant gossip sessions where people reward each other for critiquing the in-group, but when it comes to coming up with anything constructive they have very little to say. When you strip it down and start looking at their positive suggestions it becomes as vague and utopian and anything they criticize. Notions like SovoCorp, exit strategies, and AI resemble speculative fiction more than workable political philosophy. The far endpoint of the culture of critique is “let it all burn, anything would be better than what we have now.” That is obviously untrue; before you start kicking out the struts that hold up society as it is, you need to have some idea of what to replace it with. NRx is so disjointed that you have people on one end who can make themselves seem respectable enough to become guides to the people in power as we move into the next phase; on the other end you have people who want to burn it all down and go back to a semi-tribal society. What they have in common is they’re both very naive. The guys who want to set up a think tank and the other guys who want to organize a gang are both part of a very immature movement that will not get support from people who have means and can do anything.

No Constituency

Not only does NRx have no constituency, it eschews acquiring one. If you intend to come to power in a real way you must be viewed favorably by the military, at the very least. Failing to take that group of people into consideration, especially in a right-wing mode, is not serious. The idea of hiring mercenaries to provide security isn’t realistic and cannot provide stability. Next, you need a base of people who find your ideas attractive in some way, and an even greater number of people who don’t find your views repugnant. The arrogance of looking down on huge segments of the population – like proles or martial type personalities – just evaporates a huge segment of any potential constituency. The core of Neoreaction sort of despises nationalism. Nationalism has its problems but it is a real and somewhat stable force. The NRx blind-spot about constituency ties into the secular eschatology of the singularity – you don’t need a constituency, all you need to do is be on the right side of this historical inevitability, since all the proles will supposedly be swallowed up by the singularity anyway.

No Sacrifice

There is no great spirit of sacrifice. Consider Nick Land, AntiDem, Nick Steves – they’re not willing to step into obscurity for the cause of the counterrevolution. The counterrevolution is about THEM. These guys are acting very much in the mode of being individualistic, atomistic, self-interested individuals when advancing their own name recognition and brand at the expense of the movement. It’s ironic to promote traditional hierarchy while bringing in an attitude of rebelliousness and individuality and insubordination. The hierarchical aspect of NRx is one of the most incongruous and subject to ridicule because there’s no evidence of hierarchy at all. If they’re not busy role-playing aristocrats they’re busy role-playing public intellectuals; the hubris is totally at odds with their actual political situation. We here at Spiritual Sun do not expect to personally become the future leader of the counter-revolution. Our goal is just to make our contribution with whatever gifts we have. If we can write something, train some people, inspire some people, and that bears fruit decades from now, that’s great. We don’t expect to necessarily see the results of anything we’ve done. A really great king will step aside if he realizes he’s become a liability to his realm, and abdicate in favor of his heirs. A really great man isn’t trying to become a great man. “Lestat ce moi” is not the statement of a man who is willing to sacrifice for the realm.

No Dialectic

Neoreactionaries are not interested in dialectic – trying to come to a synthesis, or a usable resolution. They don’t really engage. They debate, but they don’t dialog. It’s important to bring reaction back to the classical roots of Western society. In Plato, Socratic dialog is about trying to reach an understanding, not about argument for the sake of argument. Forensic debate on the other hand is about which predetermined “side” wins, and is in bad faith, a point Socrates makes clear about people who come in arguing just to argue. One of the problems with engaging in ideology or memetic warfare is that you begin to buy your own propaganda and don’t see where you’re trapped. When you just exchange insults with people who disagree with you rather than exchanging ideas, your ideas are weak. As much as NRx dislikes the Cathedral, they only object to the content and not the method. Academia today is full of big egos who come out with their theories in their fields which they defend against all comers; if they don’t manage to propagate their ideas they’re disgraced. Even the supposedly hard sciences are subject to personality politics. Rather than a collegial exploration aimed at trying to discern the truth — which is a true dialectic method — the academic culture is centered around advocacy of one’s theories; essentially it is Social Darwinism as applied to intellectual pursuit. Neoreaction seems to think they can keep this procedure while rejecting the liberal content of academia, but the content is in many ways a product of the method. The Moldbuggians call out the Puritanism of progressives, a holier-than-thou signalling competition, but among themselves they do the same exact thing and are blind to it; their egoistic approach to intellectual pursuit requires just such a signalling competition. This connects us back to the lack of a spirit of sacrifice. People think that if everything isn’t ego based then there’s no incentive to get things done, but they don’t see the duality of that: egotism stifles research because funding gets turned down for ego reasons rather than merit. When you see everything through the prism of ideology you’re not picking up the full human psychological reality of how people interact and how things get done. Ideology tends to flatten everything out so everything becomes about economic incentives. That view is not invalid or unimportant, but it’s just one dimension.

Who are “the Elites”?

The power elites can be roughly grouped into five main types; financial, industrial, governmental (bureaucratic), military, and the educational-media complex (the Cathedral). NRx analysis has focussed almost exclusively on the last category, probably because they are wannabe intellectuals themselves. They’ve been to college and hurt by the Cathedral so they’re sensitive to it. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s short-sighted. We live in a complex society – modern western technological civilization. To those out of power, the elites are the enemy, but they want a real simplified view of who the elites are. The elites are a network of people who control power in a highly sophisticated and distributed manner. Even among people who are relatively elite there is a hierarchy. There may even be competition between them: they don’t necessarily speak with one voice, but they mutually reinforce each other’s power. NRx prides themselves on doing hardheaded, unsentimental analysis of political power, but tend to boil the complexity of the elites down to something like, “Leftists have taken over higher education and infected society with the virus of Progressivism that otherwise wouldn’t be present.” That’s false. The Progressive Leftism that the Cathedral promotes suits the other elite power groups just fine. Conservatives and Libertarians see an imaginary opposition between leftism and business or free enterprise. That may be accurate at the lower levels of business, but it is not true among the power elite. NRx has a general critique of banking, but they miss the deep connection between the banking cartel and Progressivism. International banking and the financial community are, in fact, on the top of the heap, the most powerful elites in the world. Governments come to them, they don’t go to governments. George Soros nearly bankrupted the Treasury of England, not the reverse. You can make any changes in government you want, but unless you address the financial elite nothing fundamental will change. The mask came off briefly in 2008 when government rushed to save the financial industry. There is no natural opposition between the Cathedral and international banking. There was a banking cartel before there was a Fed – who do you think created the Fed? A slapdash critique of international banking is insufficient – it has to be dismantled entirely and replaced with something else. You can’t talk counter-revolution unless you talk about how to completely disempower these people. And you have to have enough power to keep them out of power, which is why libertarianism doesn’t work. Blockchains are not a sufficient silver bullet against the banking cartel. You have to study and analyze all of them and not focus in a lopsided manner on one aspect.

Apocalyptic Mentality

There is a common mentality in NRx:  there is a final conflict coming, with blood raining from the skies. This is essentially against the classical view of history as cyclic. It is, at its core, leftist. Belief in historical inevitability is a trait that Neoreaction shares with both Evangelical Christianity and Marxism. In the mind of a Neoreactionary, progressivism is unsustainable and therefore it must fail. We as reactionaries hope it will fail as well, but don’t necessarily see this outcome as inevitable. History as it lived, rather than as it is remembered, is often marked by the inconvenient persistence of things that we consider to be terrible errors. Because Neoreactionaries are not equipped and not inclined to engage in political activism they’re forced to invent or concoct political scenarios where the triumph of their ideas is inevitable in the scheme of things. They only need to produce their analysis and circulate their ideas, to make them available for other people to put them into practice, while they get the glory and credit for knowing ahead of time what was inevitable. However they rationalize it, they really have no choice because they don’t really have the ability to do anything else other than what they’re doing. To make that relevant, they have to point at something that “must” come to pass. Magically their analysis seems to create the very inevitability that it points to. If everything NRx predicts is inevitable, it would come to pass with or without them, wouldn’t it? Ironically, one of their criticisms of progressives is that progressives style themselves as being on the right side of history. I guess the NRx retort is that it is more important to be on the right side of the end of history. The problem with a mindset of inevitability is that one misses every opportunity and fails to do what can be done. There is a strong NRx tendency to look down on action (other than analysis) of any kind. If the strategy is to provide analysis for people who actually do things, condescending to those kind of people seems counterproductive.

Lack of Metaphysical Foundation

Just as NRx has failed to comprehend the scientific concepts it claims to hold dear, it has failed to establish a metaphysical and philosophical foundation. For all of its wailing about the downfall of the West, it has happily thrown out the very root of Western Civilization worked out by the Ancient Greeks. The lack of a core has left NRx open to a grab-bag approach. People bring whatever baggage they’re holding into Neoreaction, and Neoreaction having no core, has the inability to show people what to jettison. Various individuals take particular stances: Mike Anissimov considers himself a rationalist, as does Konkquistidor; Nick Land embraces some kind of postmodern continental philosophy; Bryce Laliberte is into weird idiosyncratic Aristotelianism; there are some empiricists as well (Butch Leghorn for instance). A lack of agreement comes from a lack of understanding, and results in there being no unified approach. Inevitably, philosophy gets used as an instrumental tool of propaganda and ideology, which means the philosophy gets subrogated to ideological and propagandistic goals. The net result is that individuals may consider themselves intellectuals, but the movement as a whole is actually anti-intellectual. The points of agreement are the exact elements that are used to attack progressivism on an ideological level, which end up being the lowest common denominator. The energy coalesces around an essentially anti-intellectual, popular, emotional attack on progressivism, with the chief emotion being disgust. Memetic war ensues, a great deal of sound and fury without meaning. For example, the purpose of horrorism is to combat progressive utopianism. “It’s never going to be utopia because it’ll all end in horror!” This type of thinking is sub-philosophical. Nobody convincingly makes the case that the nature of reality is horror, or that horror is ontologically necessary; people basically latch onto something because it’s a useful propaganda tool. “It’s bad for progressives” is not the basis for a philosophy.

Amorality

Civilizations are funny things. You have to have cheap energy and cheap labor to have the resources and prosperity to work on the finer things, but when you get there, there’s a danger point, where if you don’t have the rigor or vision or leadership, that prosperity can be a tremendous invitation to engage in decadence. THAT is the conundrum that the counter-revolutionary needs to solve. NRx shares the same disease of decadence with the progressives they critique, and they don’t fully recognize it. They don’t really understand what the conundrum they have to resolve is. If you want to refine civilization you have to overcome the temptation of civilization to indulge in overconsumption, etc. You have to find a way to stay focused on the higher opportunities that it presents. You have to have a higher purpose, and a focus on that purpose, and you have to develop moral rigor around that purpose, and you have to have a stable leadership that monitors things to make sure you stay on track to that purpose. But if you never define that purpose you’re never going to get there. According to John Rawls, in a liberal society, you can’t have just one aim or purpose — that would be authoritarian, not liberal; one must have diversity of ends, and liberal society must obtain justice by coordinating that and equalizing “unfair” outcomes with distributive justice. Neoreaction, by failing to specify an end for society, is only addressing half of Rawls. The NRx answer is, “when unfairness arises, screw ‘em” but they’re keeping the first assumption about a multiplicity of ends with chaos patches, exit, etc. Ridiculous to reject democracy on one hand, but to embrace consumer culture on the other: they’re both equally demotic.

Conclusion

Neoreaction might take itself seriously, but it’s not serious. Even on an intellectual level. The problems elucidated here are more or less what would occur to many serious, responsible people on encountering Neoreaction. If they are not addressed, at least the perception of them should be addressed; failing that, it’s hard to see what future NRx can have.

19 thoughts on “A Catalog of Unforced Errors

  1. The TechCom criticism rings most true to me.

    Just now it seems GitHub a code sharing site has introduced a new code of conduct that is leftist and tumblr esque. Despite what some believe I think that the majority of male programmers will learn to co-exist alongside this.

    I’ve worked in startups who employed some top quality programmers, none really cared too much about outside politics as long as they can work on interesting problems and get paid. Many also expressed an interest in making the programming community more open to women precisely because they are hopeless betas who want a chance to meet a girl with the same interests.

    Even if these guys get “redpilled” what will change? The gamble NRx seems to take is that ‘redpilling’ these programmers will lead someplace, I’m less convinced.

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  4. I don’t consider myself a NeoReactionary, but I do co-operate with them rather closely because while I think the movement has some problems, its trajectory is positive in terms of where the ideology is heading, sort of like Aleksandr Dugin’s ‘Eurasian’ Movement.

    I’m not a study of TechComm, personal egos, or Aristotle, but I can say something about the perceived ‘apocalyptic’ fantasies. I think you are incorrect when you say this contradicts a cyclical historical worldview. Much influence on the thinking here comes from Evola, Guenon, and their sources in the Vedic Tradition concerning the Kali Yuga. This did prophesy an end of the cycle when a full rotation has been completed, and it was predicted to be horribly destructive. This coincides well with the work of individuals such as Laliberte on the increasing entropy in society which is almost unprecedented in potential destructive force due to numerous factors. I did a piece addressing this theory about Reactionary ascendancy (deemed ‘Prophetic Catastrophism’) that may interest you:

    http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.com/2015/02/is-prophetic-catastrophism-pollyannish.html

    It seems unfair however to say you dislike this theory, and then tar Nrx with it. I hold it to be true, but I don’t think Anissimov (now exiled) does, nor do many others who prefer an Infiltration Theory or a Necessary Assimilation Theory. They do want to subvert institutions, buy off powerful figures, target the current elite for conversion away from Liberalism, etc. Prophetic Catastrophism is probably not a majority view within Nrx, but only a sizable minority opinion.

    You do say that the approach taken due to Prophetic Catastrophism limits deeply influential action. This is correct in some ways because it follows Evola’s treatment of the ‘resistance’ issue:

    “When a cycle of civilization is reaching its end, it is difficult to achieve anything by resisting it and by directly opposing the forces in motion.The current is too strong; one would be overwhelmed. The essential thing is not to let oneself be impressed by the omnipotence and apparent triumph of the forces of the epoch. These forces, devoid of connection with any higher principle, are in fact on a short chain. One should not become fixated on the present and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that may come about in the future.”

    But this doesn’t limit action in the general sense. I personally encourage people to take action, and was actually branded with some pretty heated accusations on the Orthosphere by one commenter for doing so! However, I don’t see this action as being ultimately in the business of overthrowing the order, but rather for purposes of consolidating the Reactionary holdouts with an inspirational fight, and also on a personal level improving the soul of man by reclaiming lost heroic virtue. I don’t think our actions can ultimately cause the downfall of Modernity, but they could shorten the time spent in anarchy after its predicted ruin. We wouldn’t have to wait for the ‘law of the jungle’ to breed a new elite.

    From my own ruminations, I believe this system will overturn itself because I find it unsustainable. If you think Liberalism will last forever until some group of people ‘does something’, then that is a valid viewpoint you could back up with various assertions that have some good grounding.

    With this being said, I think Nrx appreciates critiques such as this FAR more than twitter jibes which are hardly ever substantive due to the format. I highly recommend FreeNortherner’s candid response point by point to your critique:

    http://freenortherner.com/2015/08/07/a-response-to-harharkh/

    In conclusion, I wanted to point out that Nrx’s relationship to Techcomm has taken a backseat to its reaching out to more organic and classically Reactionary ideas, including in areas such as race and philosophy, to their benefit as some of the proponents of Techcomm were strangling the movement with the kind of antics you describe. In doing so, I think some of its leaders have shown good crisis management skills.

    Kind Regards

    Mark Citadel

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  6. Hi,
    Great post. I’ve been looking for a way to riff off of someone else’s work. This is a good opportunity. Sorry if this is a bit long. I just went through the points and captured my thoughts as I went along. But I think it gets the point across. (Please feel free to promote to a guest post if you want. -Curt)

    1) Scope?
    To what are you referring when referring to NRx? Do you mean Yarvin’s Critique? Do you mean the folks that claim to defend authority over arguments in that critique? Do you mean the body of people who participate in that set of criticisms and make use of those arguments? Do you mean the entire suite of arguments that suggest that the enlightenment experiment has failed?

    2) —What would a small measure of success look like for contemporary reaction? —

    Success would incrementally look like: (a) a body of language for signaling and ridicule of opponents (b) an ideological research program seeking post-democratic solutions (c) Awareness (mention) of the central criticism of the Cathedral Complex among the informed advocates of each of the three political compass points, (d) expansion of the pool of talent arguing the position of the criticism, (e) popular mention of the failure or success of democracy and the enlightenment project (f) The production of a set of solutions that were possible to implement, and therefore possible to demand, (g) proposal of policy and changes, (h) enactment of policy.

    3) Failure.
    —“Neoreaction has failed to obtain any wealthy patrons or even well-known proponents. For every serious, mature Neoreactionary there are ten juvenile snark-emitting anime avatars who use the hashtag. For everyone who uses the hashtag, there are probably twenty people who see the failure of progressivism and democracy, but are unwilling to be part of a “crab cult”. …. NRx has now retreated into a hermetically sealed inner circle which brooks no discussion with those who are critical.”—

    Reasons:
    (a) Yarvin’s critique of the failure of the enlightenment experiments is an instance of ‘critique’ not an actionable or scientific theory. The fact that one cannot reduce it like evolution to a theory is why it remains a critique. The world no longer operates on criticism except in the mass market. The world operates by scientific argument and popularization by moral loading. NRx does the opposite.

    (b) As such there is no means of obtaining political or economic power by a broad spectrum of the population which would include both those with money and those with time.

    (c) But there remains a moral criticism and a morally loaded criticism for those who require self-signals of moral righteousness to justify their separatism. It is this use of NRx for self-signaling by outcasts from the mainstream that you are observing.

    (I consider Propertarianism and Testimonialism post-NRx for these reasons.)

    4) Successes
    —” it’s worth acknowledging what NRx has gotten right. While there is no clear-cut consensus on many details, the general center-of-gravity acknowledges the irredeemable problems of Progressivism and Democracy, the unrealistic fantasy of Libertarianism, and the positive value of hierarchy and racial realism and sex/gender realism. “—-

    (a) I would love to see someone other than Yarin who has added content to NRx. I am not sure who has.
    (b) As I understand it, the criticisms are (i) that the enlightenment project seeking to extend the aristocratic franchise(political participation) and post-kinship-relations to all property holders, then to all men, then to all women, then to out-group members, has been a failure because the competing interests of each group cannot be satisfied by majority rule, and the result of majority rule was proletarian rule. (ii) And that the cathedral complex (state, academy, media, elites) have displaced the martial, judicial, and empirical complex, and have constructed a pseudoscientific and pseudo-rational mythology to replace the Aristocracy/Merchant/ChristianChurch+Academy and it’s division of responsibilities (jurisprudence, production, education) with a monopoly of state and academy supported by the media. Importantly: the west successfully resisted this centralization longer than all other cultures, and this is one of the many reasons for our technological, legal and military excellence.
    (c) Yarvin constructed his argument using critique. (Yarvin: Jewish criticism(gossip), Hoppe: German justificationary rationalism(philosophy), Doolittle: Anglo analytic-empiricism(science).) The criticism is largely correct. The solution (technology) is not. This is the problem with all philosophical Critique and Justifiationism. In failing to answer the why, the criticism alone provides no insight into the prior era’s success: extension of kinship trust and truth-telling to non-kin, and the extension of property rights(enfranchisement) by merit.

    —“Neoreaction wants a more stable, sustainable, anti-fragile society, one that is integrated and organic, with very little political activity, since politics is disruptive to the social fabric. Reaction has those same goals. The problem is that everything else in Neoreaction attenuates that one point of strength.”—

    Yes. The western tradition advocates Heroism/Truth/Honor while warning against Hubris/Vanity. And western hubris and vanity are demonstrated by our belief that our enlightenment visions have solved ancient problems rather than that we have been able to act hubristically because of the temporary wealth effect of our legal, financial, technological, and petrochemical innovations. As the world catches up to us, our advantage is no longer legal, financial, technological and petrochemical, but merely cultural: we still are the only high trust culture, and we are destroying it through that same legalistic hubris and immigration.

    5) Tech Culture
    —“A software system is fragile; a statesman has to be flexible. A software system is designed around a particular model of reality, and cannot “see” beyond that model.”—

    This is an excellent point but fails to get to the underlying problem:discretion. Rule of law requires decidability. The debate in economics for example is between the saltwater economists who seek to find opportunities to apply discretion; the freshwater economists who seek rules so that economic governance is articulated under rule of law (without discretion), and the austrian economists who seek to reduce the frictions of cooperation by improving institutions of cooperation.

    Software requries decideable propositions. I am unclear as to whether Yarvin understands that he was trying to solve the ancient problem of rule of law. What I am clear about is that software teaches you the (low) limits of your knowlege, the requirement that you demonstrate your knoweldge by creating algorithms, and that each step of which is decideable. And if you succeed then you have constructed the equivalent of well articulated law. In other words, rule of law should look very much like programming: lacking need for discretion (or in math what we call “choice” in a cases of arbitrary precision (lack of context)).

    So Yarvin intuits the approximately correct problem I think, and simply fails to come up with a solution. THe solution is that when we enfrancise new groups with different interests we can no longer rely upon majority rule, but require houses for each new group, within which majority rule may be practiced, but where trades can be conducted between houses and trades invalidated if illegal, rather than requiring assent. In other words, government should consist of a market for the production of commons between classes with dissimilar interests. (Genders, Social Classes).

    It is possible to develop this solution only because one does not rely on critique of failure, but reconstruction of success of the west. Criticism provides no insight. The success of the west requires we understand it.

    6) Social Darwinism
    I’m not going to criticize this paragraph (even though I should) but it’s not constructive or insightful. No ‘harmony’ no ‘positive assertion’ is knowable in cooperative matters, any more than it is in physical science. Western civilization has been practicing eugenics through at least three phases: (a) harsh winters (b) manorial allocation of property to capable married couples and (c) through hanging or killing .5-1% of malcontents annually. (So has China). As far as I can tell, the primary difference between the different tribal and racial groups is only in the degree of suppression of reproduction of the underclasses (how successful they were at eugenic culling), or in the case of india and south america, how successful the aristocracy was at creating a caste system. The problem is that reproductive suppression of the underclasses is least harmful, and produces superior distributions so that the pareto rule (80% of the property in the top 20% of hands) can place the means of organizing production in the hands of those most able to do it for profit rather than exploitation. (this is the problem facing india and south america.)

    So whether it is appealing or not, it’s true. The question is then, given the truth, how to best go about transferring reproduction from dysgenic to eugenic ends. And as far as I know, that’s only possible by paying the underclasses not to reproduce, and paying the upper classes (or at least the middle class) to reproduce.
    Right now we do precisely the opposite. Which since 1850 appears to have taken us from parity with ashkenazim to 1/2 standard deviation downward.

    6) Culture of Critique
    I think I’ve covered this already, but I agree wholeheartedly. This is because NRx, structured as Critique, attracts gossipers to easy criticism for the purpose of argumentative signaling, rather than serious intellectuals to the furtherance of challenging political solutions. It also explains the near absence of intellectuals in the NRx (and libertarian) movements. (Something I want to fix, by emphasis on solutions rather than criticisms.)

    7) No Constituency
    Correct. Gossip is used to rally, shame, and ostracize, not to organize solutions. Critique is merely advanced gossip used to rally, shame and morally outrage. Intellectuals and activists of above average ability, and those who are capable will pursue positive rather than critical ends. Leaving those who are less capable in the field. This is what has happened to libertarianism. Intellectuals have abandoned the field since the 70’s leaving only over-invested has-beens. (most of whom I know personally who I hope forgive the truth.)

    8) No Sacrifice
    —“There is no great spirit of sacrifice.”—
    I think this criticism should be restated as that there is no heroic call to action. But again, there is no call to action there is only call to moral indignation over being *lied to* for a century at so much expense.

    But your statement that individuals are seeking attention is probably not meaningful. This should be restated as the content of NRx is insufficient to advance a theory, so that individuals advance the criticism through rallying. Rallying requires leaders to rally. This is a natural consequence of the failure of Critique. At least the marxists proposed solutions, even if they were pseudoscientific. We lack the numbers (and women) for gossip (critique) to be distributed as is progressivism and political correctness, and we lack the incentives of the government (votes) academy (female student customers) and media (female and some male consumers) necessary to conduct rallying and shaming (although the alt-right is making some impressive progress in meme-generation that is certainly working).

    9) No Dialectic
    Well, I would argue that a ‘dialectic’ is an admission of failure, and a research program is evidence of success. Dialectic is an exceptional means of carrying upon deceit. Research programs are not. If you mean that an ineffective minority is trying to contain the discourse because they have no theoretical definitions to constrain it, then that is correct. But this is another example of consequence of the failure of the method, not that the criticism NRx puts forward is false.

    Unfortunately, moral rallying is more emotionally rewarding and easier to grasp than rational, legal, or scientific argument that by very nature eschew the subjective value of moral outrage.

    And this again presents an interesting problem since political power requires moral outrage, but in the scientific era it must be proposed as an actionable theory – we are no longer in the era of the french revolution or even the marxist and postmodern. The very reason we have the science to justify Reaction is the end of those eras and the current scientific era. Our arguments must depend upon the ratio scientific – which is why I am working to unite science, philosophy, morality and law. And I think (I am not yet certain) that I have done so.

    I do not matter however. I am irrelevant. What matters is whether the theory survives. And I think it will survive for many generations: truth (in the scientific sense I put forward) is enough to prevent and reverse the second levantine lie: the combination of cosmopolitan pseudoscience and anglo puritan and neo-puritan utopianism.

    10) Apocalyptic Mentality
    This is an ideologically necessary technique for implementing political change. See Andrew Heywood’d Political Ideologies : An Introduction. And they’re not wrong. This problem is indeed culturally and genetically apocalyptic. There is no reason to prevent yet another dark age. There have been multiple in our history. And in both the sea peoples, the classical period, and the contemporary period, they were caused by population migration by inferiors into established cultures.

    11) Metaphysical Foundations
    Well, that’s certainly true but I have almost as certainly corrected that, leaving the NRx criticism as ‘true’ and Testimonialism and Propertarianism as explanations and solutions. So this merely strengthens the NRX critique. I see NRx as the ideological incentive for revolution, while my work as the solution that we must demand to either reform or replace the enlightenment.

    12) Amorality
    I am not sure I should try to correct this paragraph. You mean to say something but I am not quite sure what it is. I think I would restate it as people need to feel moral justification if they are to forcibly implement change, but the NRx community is not giving people that justification in actionable terms.

    FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
    (a) People are already associating my work with the radical right even though my solution is certainly progressive by any measure. I see this as threatening the viability of my work just as Nietzche’s works were threatened. So I am reluctantly pleased that traditionalists see the value in my work as explaining why their civilization outpaced all others everywhere at all points in time, but equally nervous about casting me as anything other than a social scientists seeking economic prosperity and non-conflict. (I hate conflict)
    (b) I tend to disassociate myself with NRx because it is as you suggest, a fairly immature movement and aside from Land (who is himself an elegant practitioner of rational meaning in the continental tradition not an analytic philosopher in the scientific and critical rational traditions) it is a very lonely place to be. I don’t want to be labeled on the down side.
    So: Classical Liberal->Libertarian->Ancap->NRx->Testimonialism/Propertarianism seems to be the trajectory I follow. We have taken the classical liberal program, criticized it for its incremental failures in each generation, and now have produced a sufficient criticism that we can REFORM the classical liberal program such that we restore the ability for houses of government to represent various classes and to conduct contractual exchanges between them (legislation) but that they cannot make law. This process of pacification first uses centralized government to suppress local parasitism and decrease transaction costs producing economic velocity, at the cost of an increasingly self-serving monopoly bureaucracy. But it is our generation’s function to now eliminate the cost of self serving monopoly bureaucracy, and to return western government to the function of producing commons within the limits of the civic society that we so uniquely developed in this world.
    (c) The rate of revolutionary incentive and consensus is accelerating, but a revolution without an objective that provides everyone who agrees with our moral incentives and not is much more difficult to bring into fruition. There were generations of thinkers prior to the last revolutionary era. The world moves faster now and our generation needs to complete a political solution that can be implemented in law without the need for ‘belief’ or ‘shared values’ which are code-words for monopoly of opinion, if we are to achieve the restoration of our civilization.

    I hope this was helpful as a means of giving those who are sympathetic to the NRx movement some ideas about why they’re both right but insufficient, and where they might turn next, given that they’re insufficient. I find no reason to really attack the NRx movement as I have the cosmopolitan libertine (ancap) movement. However, my preferred objective is that if we recognize these movements as failures, that we can all unite behind some variation which gives each of us most of what we desire, and our opposition much of what they desire. The reason being that in game theory while no one achieves all his wants, the best wants that all can achieve are the best wants POSSIBLE to achieve.

    Truth is enough. It’s the source of western exceptionalism. We just need to put truth into law. Aristocracy is an empirical means of government. We assert no positives other than that if we prevent negatives then all of mankind is free to experiment by trial and error. And that is the very definition of ‘scientific’.

    Ancap was a step. NRx was a step. One foot in front of the other, we soldier onward.

    Curt Doolittle
    The Propertarian Institute
    Kiev, Ukraine (Tallinn, Estonia)

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  7. “it is amazing what a man can accomplish what he expects no credit.”

    Although it’s possible that you used the second “what” for stylistic purposes, I think it’s more likely that you meant to say “when” here.

    Feel free to delete this comment after making the change. I expect no credit for the correction. =)

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  8. “A really great king still step aside is he realizes he’s become a liability to his realm, and abdicate in favor of his heirs.”

    steps*
    if*
    abdicates*

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  9. “which end up being the lowest common denominator The energy coalesces around essentially anti-intellectual, popular, emotional attack on progressivism”

    Missing period.
    Either attacks* or insert an “an” after “around.”

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