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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Map of neo-reaction, and who reads my blog


A map of neo-reaction from Joel Cuerrier. I made the cut under "Dark Enlightenment," so that's why you're seeing this post.

It's a good aggregation and there's plenty of great material for weekend reading. The movement has some really brilliant thinkers in it and I'm just a glib lawyer, late middle-age and in hopelessly over his head, so I'm flattered and grateful for all the links by a number of talented folks.

Just over half my pageviews are from Steve Sailer, and just under half come from Ad Orientem. In other words, a not-insignificant number of traditionalist Christians read this blog. That's good news or bad news, depending on your perspective.

Speaking of who reads my blog, do Rod Dreher, Megan McArdle (via Dreher), and Tyler Cowen read my blog?

I kid, of course. I'm just remarking that they--Rod Dreher in particular--have all been hitting on themes familiar to this corner of the internet: the rules of social conservatism were not written with high-g atheists in mind*, and the Church should consider enabling affordable family formation in her own pews rather than the ballyhooed, well-intended, muddle-headed evangelism.

Rod is doing the Lord's work in his series of posts on poverty, but he can't help his typically higher-g, American-Christian-convert outlook:
The loss of the practice of churchgoing among the American poor and working classes is producing a civilization that has lost its natural muscle tone, and has something to do with the situation in Troy. Again, I’m making a sociological statement, not a theological one. I think it’s wrong to take religion instrumentally, but as Kaplan observes, the Turkish poor on the Golden Mountain really do lack only money and opportunity. They’ve kept internal chaos at bay in a way the poor of Abidjan have not. As an unidentified West African government minister told Kaplan:
“In the poor quarters of Arab North Africa,” he continued, “there is much less crime, because Islam provides a social anchor: of education and indoctrination. Here in West Africa we have a lot of superficial Islam and superficial Christianity. Western religion is undermined by animist beliefs not suitable to a moral society, because they are based on irrational spirit power. Here spirits are used to wreak vengeance by one person against another, or one group against another.”
Religion is culture, and culture has consequences. The answer to the question of poverty is hard, but it often seems like it’s easier to figure out how to transfer more financial capital to the poor than to figure out how to transmit more spiritual capital to them.

I sought clarification, and Rod was kind enough to respond:
I think it’s wrong to take religion instrumentally,...

What do you mean by this?

[NFR: To approach religion on a "what works for me" basis, as distinct from "what's true". -- RD]
Which is what I figured he meant, so I can retort with confidence:

We don't like to think about it, but for a lot of people on the left-side IQ distribution, “truth” is never going to be more than what their betters tell them it is. The proles don't really care about arcane theological distinctions; they lack the capacity to care about arcane theological distinctions. If the horse you're going to ride is "truth," then the Orthodox Church in the US is going to become what it's already in danger of becoming: a redoubt for aging, white intellectuals. I can join a book club if that's the direction we're taking, but that's not the communion of saints. What the poor need is a multi-generational institution wedded to her people, not a spiritual tourist trap. Impoverished Americans, like impoverished Turks and Africans, have to be told what to do. There, I've said it.

Higher-g Americans, inculcated from birth in the egalitarian American canon, recoil from such notions of hierarchy and community like vampires from garlic. For intellectuals, incorporeal "truth" is the highest goal. The Church is where the Truth is (and it is), and whether the Church "works" for people and their society is well down the list of concerns. A Church that actually shepherds her people--gives them a patronage network, life-cycle rituals, alms--as opposed to contenting herself with hawking her wares in the religious marketplace is inimical to universalist Americans. I can tell you from conversations in real life and on the internet that suggesting a contrary vision gets people downright angry. It's hard to see a national Church ever being established among a people so furiously engaged in deconstructing the very notion of "American." The whole West has bought into this mania by the way, with the West's own nominal Patriarchate in the vanguard, and the Orthodox hierarchy not far behind.

* - Credit to commenter RmDeep, for one of the all-time great truthtellings in the history of the Internet:
RmDeep January 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm This thread is hilarious as all the high-g atheistic libertarians belatedly realize that social conservativism is not for their benefit, but for the benefit of the left half of the bell curve.

13 comments:

Your Kakistocracy said...

You do fine work here, my friend. It would be gratifying to think that many opinion-makers were reading you.

Interesting to hear of your primary traffic drivers. Sailer has never much cared for my ruminations and historically jettisoned a solid majority through comment moderation. He recently solicited sites for inclusion on his blogroll and one of his readers offered a fulsome recommendation for my place. Steve didn't take the suggestion.

Though he's in esteemed company in that regard. Of the handful of blogs where I have commented frequently through the years, a nice convex zero have stained their sites with a link to me. Though strangely several places where I practically never appeared previously did offer a slot: you and Heartiste most notably.

There's a lesson here I probably don't want to invest substantial self-esteem in learning. Though if I were interested in securing foreign blogroll real estate, staying far away from their comment section seems the best strategy.

As for hearty and you...that's my numbers one and four referral sources.

Bob Wallace said...

I'm under "Dissent Right," which is just about...right.

Bert said...

Rod Dreher is full of shit.

Arabs are civilized because they're dark Caucasians with at least a little bit of intelligence and respect for authority.

Meanwhile the Negroes of West Africa act like...well, how Negroes always act.

Bob Wallace said...

Arabs are inbred through cousin marriage and suffer a great amount of illnesses. The House of Saud spends much money sending the children of its inbred "princes" and "princesses" for treatment to the U.S.

Bert said...

The practice of cousin marriage isn't nearly as widespread as some seem to think it is.

Also, the House of Saud is not a good indicator or anything.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The best thing that could happen to the Arab world is a return to their historical mean of farming and nomadic herding, with skilled trade and finance concentrated in a few large urban centers.

They better do it themselves, because otherwise a neo-imperial power or powers is going to move back in and clean house.

Northern Refugee said...

I'm with Bert on this. Anywhere in the world blacks congregate you find the same stupid, violent behavior. It has more to do with culture than religion. I have lived and worked with blacks for much of my adult life (I was in the military). I have attended black church services. You haven't heard fire and brimstone preaching until you attended black services. On average, blacks profess greater religious faith than whites. And yet, the same social pathologies manifest themselves in black communities the world over. That's a hell of a coincidence.

Northern Refugee said...

I meant to say it has more to do with genetics than culture or religion.

Bob Wallace said...

Blacks pray for success in their criminal enterprises and for juries to find them "not guilty."

Bert said...

Anti-Gnostic, I really like you. However, people of our persuasion really need to avoid falling into the trap of believing the all Arabs are stupid primitives and that Islam is always our enemey.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Arab Christians tend to be genetically more Greek and Armenian than Arab. I've seen Arab Christians who could walk around in Kansas without anybody noticing. Also, the Christians avoided cousin marriage unlike their Muslim countrymen. One huge Lebanese I know told me the people in his village always went to other villages to find a spouse. Their parents and the local clergy wouldn't let anybody marry within the village.

The Middle East, as you note, is not monolithic. It's actually a multi-cultural frontier that the Wahabbists are trying to force into an Arabic monoculture.

Captain Tripps said...

FWIW, I read your posts. Regular Steve Sailer reader here. I also think you are one of his top commenters. Your insights are unique and interesting, and you are civil, with a touch of humility. Sadly, several of Steve Sailer’s regular commenters (not naming names), while quite bright, even brilliant, are highly arrogant and condescending. They make great arguments, but ultimately shoot themselves in the foot with their lack of humility or civil discourse. Great example of how NOT to win friends and influence people. Keep on keeping on A-G, you’re doing outstanding work.

Kakistocracy said...

I don't know if this requires a retraction to my comment above or a snifter of bourbon, but Mr. Sailer (I presume) tweeted one of my posts this morning.

I'm no less surprised to learn that he is a reader than I would be to learn that GWB can read.