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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What is neo-reaction?

Tyler Cowen has a look, and is not altogether repulsed:
1. “Culturism” is in general correct, namely that some cultures are better than others. You want to make sure you are ruled by one of the better cultures. In any case, one is operating with a matrix of rule.

2. The historical ruling cultures for America and Western Europe — two very successful regions — have largely consisted of white men and have reflected the perspectives of white men. This rule and influence continues to work, however, because it is not based on either whiteness or maleness per se. There is a nominal openness to the current version of the system, which fosters competitive balance, yet at the end of the day it is still mostly about the perspectives of white men and one hopes this will continue. By the way, groups which “become white” in their outlooks can be allowed into the ruling circle.

3. Today there is a growing coalition against the power and influence of (some) white men, designed in part to lower their status and also to redistribute their wealth. This movement may not be directed against whiteness or maleness per se (in fact some of it can be interpreted as an internal coup d’etat within the world of white men), but still it is based on a kind of puking on what made the West successful. And part and parcel of this process is an ongoing increase in immigration to further build up and cement in the new coalition. Furthermore a cult of political correctness makes it very difficult to defend the nature of the old coalition without fear of being called racist; in today’s world the actual underlying principles of that coalition cannot be articulated too explicitly. Most of all, if this war against the previous ruling coalition is not stopped, it will do us in.

4. It is necessary to deconstruct and break down the current dialogue on these issues, and to defeat the cult of political correctness, so that a) traditional rule can be restored, and/or b) a new and more successful form of that rule can be introduced and extended. Along the way, we must realize that calls for egalitarianism, or for that matter democracy, are typically a power play of one potential ruling coalition against another.

5. Neo-reaction is not in love with Christianity in the abstract, and in fact it fears its radical, redistributive, and egalitarian elements. Neo-reaction is often Darwinian at heart. Nonetheless Christianity-as-we-find-it-in-the-world often has been an important part of traditional ruling coalitions, and thus the thinkers of neo-reaction are often suspicious of the move toward a more secular America, which they view as a kind of phony tolerance.

6. If you are analyzing political discourse, ask the simple question: is this person puking on the West, the history of the West, and those groups — productive white males — who did so much to make the West successful? The answer to that question is very often more important than anything else which might be said about the contributions under consideration.
Tyler's summary critique:
Already I can see (at least) four problems with this point of view. First, white men in percentage terms have become a weaker influence in America over time, yet America still is becoming a better nation overall.
It's not. It now takes two incomes for a household to afford the lifestyle formerly enjoyed on one income. We are more crowded, more indebted, more regulated, and more dysfunctional. This is masked/distorted by cheap entertainment, cheap calories, and cheap credit.
Second, some of America’s worst traits, such as the obsession with guns, the excess militarism, or the tendency toward drunkenness, not to mention rape and the history of slavery, seem to come largely from white men.
Americans have the most guns of any country on Earth, but an intentional homicide rate of 5 per 100,000, well below a number of countries with far lower rates of gun ownership. Even so, if we disaggregate by the 60% of crime committed by African-Americans, white Americans still kill at the rate of 2 per 100,000, twice the rate of most European countries. We are definitely a more truculent group. (Google "murder rate by 100,000" for source documents.)

We drink a lot, but so does everybody else. Tyler is a Scots-Irish teetotaller by the way. And yes, he's Scots-Irish, hence his joke about his more contrarian posts being authored by "Tyrone," which is an Irish name. His surname, "Cowen," is a Scottish name. Tyler Cowen, despite some furious accusations to the contrary, is not (((one of them))).

Ascribing "rape and the history of slavery" as "largely from white men" is ahistorical.
Third, it seems highly unlikely that “white men” is in fact the best way of disambiguating the dominant interest groups that have helped make the West so successful.
The map of human achievement is pretty stark. The people within the the Hajnal lines invented just about everything in the modern era. Undoubtedly, there were contributions from Classical Greeks who got the whole ball rolling (and who probably no longer exist, genetically), the Han Dynasty in China, and Islam's Golden Age.
Fourth, America is global policeman and also the center of world innovation, so it cannot afford the luxury of a declining population, and thus we must find a way to make immigration work.
Invade the world, invite the world indeed. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just colonize a lot of these pretend-countries that we're constantly accepting immigrants from or constantly shoveling foreign aid into?

Let me add that I very much admire Professor Cowen. He works hard, he disseminates ideas for free, and he lets the comments fly. (The OP's current tally is 483.)

I put together some bullet points, from back when we were talking about "the Dark Enlightenment", which I think summarize the more patent tenets of "neo-reaction":
1. Not everything unleashed by the Enlightenment was good, hence the "Dark Enlightenment" as a reaction to same.

2. The Cathedral exists as an institutional alliance of Government, Academia and Business to further politically correct dogma and punish heretics. It is, in a real sense, religious and not just ideological.

3. Reality is not what the Cathedral tells us it is.

4. All men are not created equal; people are different in a variety of ways.

5. Democracy is a disaster. When Classical-era Greeks, Gilbert K. Chesterton and the American state's founders praise "democracy," what they are really praising is rule by property-owning men. The universal franchise is a farce and a slow-motion train wreck.

Also, some operational and foundational rules for neo-reaction, somewhat duplicative of the above:
1. Patriarchy and families are the foundation of society.

2. The natural and unmolested course of selection and elimination must be allowed to occur in economics and society.

3. Hierarchy is the natural and right way for people to cooperate.

4. Different people are different. Equality is a lie.

5. Progressivism is an insane religion advanced by a hostile media/academic machine.

6. It’s not just “The Jews”.

7. Democracy isn’t going to fix these problems.

8. Merely denouncing those to the right creates a deadly signalling spiral, so no enemies to the right.

Politically, Brett Stevens at Amerika.org has put together a manifesto of moderate extremism which I find compelling.
What they are seeing is much simpler: the rise of the moderate extremist. This is the oldest category of people, and they recognize that a job is either done or un-done. If you have not actually fixed a problem, but deferred it, calling your acts a “solution” is a lie and a waste of time. This is a practical, can-do outlook that is common to people in the country everywhere, because in such places you need to make sure your knots will hold or you could end up injured, dead or starving.

Moderate extremists are not ideologues in the classic sense. They do not want to save the world, nor are they motivated by the type of ideological thinking that seeks to purify the world of the other. They want society to function well and they have a distrust of parasitic individuals. Their approach tends to be to use authority in as minimal a method as possible, but to reward good behavior and punish bad, recognizing the common sense awareness that whatever is tolerated is encouraged and we will get more of it, so it makes sense to tolerate only the good.

Unlike the ideological extremists, the moderate extremists tend toward middle-of-the-road policy that is enacted clearly and forcefully to remove doubt. They dislike laws that set traps for people by making it unclear what is expected of them and what will be punished. They are as a result not driven by symbolic issues. A moderate extremist may dislike abortion, but not see the point in an outright ban so much as refusing to support what they understand as an evil institution. They may think homosexuality is a sin, or at least a path to places they do not want their children to go, but will not support excluding someone from society for homosexuality, so long as he keeps private matters private, as the saying goes.

Unlike both garden variety extremists and moderates, moderate extremists are Nationalistic, which means they believe that every nation is formed of one ethnic group. This can be as simple as folk wisdom — “birds of a feather flock together” is the observation, in part, that people like to live, work, marry, befriend and interact with those of similar background — or as complex as a reading of history that shows homogeneous societies are happiest and most functional. To the moderate extremist, diversity was always a pipe dream, but because they are not ideologically motivated, they grudgingly accepted it so long as it did not disrupt their lives.

That is the weakness of the moderate extremist: they respond only when conditions impinge on their own hopes and plans. To them, society does many things, most of which fail, and they trust nature (and/or God and Darwin) to sweep up the broken pieces and let something more functional take their place. This outlook fails to take into account the nature of society, which is that the rules it make like tolerance encourage the growth of certain practices by subsidizing them. Diversity for example was causing problems long before those became visible, but the moderate extremist combines realism with pragmatism and self-reliance, and so remains unconcerned for too long.

In other news, Antioch has joined Bulgaria in declaring that she will not participate in the Patriarchal Synod. Of course, your Anti-Gnostic was on record predicting the unlikelihood of a pan-Orthodox Synod back in January 2014 (this is too easy!).

In reviewing my prior posts on the Great Council, I discovered that I had actually prefigured my Age-Of-Ideology-is-over thesis:
...The Patriarchates are autocephalous, which means they govern themselves. +Bartholomew can talk about a Great Council all he wants. He can declare that the other Patriarchs are no longer in communion, but he can't make anybody march onto a plane and meet with him. He can rent the conference center, write up the agenda, and hire the caterers, but if nobody else shows up, it's not a Great Council. That's how conciliarity works.

Nations are sovereign as well. There's no higher temporal authority to make them knuckle under. There is an economy to this which the great English Catholic G.K. Chesterton recognized.
The internationalist and the imperialist are not only similar men, but even the same men. There is no country which the Imperialist may not claim to conquer in order to convert. There is no country which the Internationalist may not claim to convert in order to conquer. Whether it is called international law or imperial law, it is the very soul and essence of all lawlessness. Against all such amorphous anarchy stands that great and positive creation of Christendom, the nation, with its standards of liberty and loyalty, with its limits of reason and proportion.
States can condemn other states' autonomous decisions. They can drop bombs on each other, but there's no executive authority to 'arrest' a sovereign and execute a judgment. Sovereigns can be conquered in war, but in a juridical sense, they can't be made to do anything they don't actually agree to do. The moment they concede, they're no longer sovereign and somebody else is the actual sovereign. Obviously, sovereign status is something the State's agents take very seriously. So do Patriarchs.

The principle of sovereignty isn't limited to Christian Patriarchs and the world's States. Individuals can acquire sovereign power as well. If there's some natural or economic disaster and all the police leave and go home to protect their families, then anybody with enough firepower is a sovereign.

The idea that civil, theological and other orders are, practically speaking, just constructs we think up and defend against opposing viewpoints is really unsettling to people. They like to think this is all carved in stone somewhere and all those bad people who disagree with them will be made to toe the line some day. It's actually all very fluid and fragile, and we won't know until the great and final Judgment how it was all supposed to work out.

This is reductionist, and I concede that human affairs have all sorts of subtleties, but Sovereignty really seems to be what it's all about: who gets to live where and make the rules.

The foregoing, I humbly submit, may be a starting point for a synthesis that meets Tyler Cowen's objection that neo-reaction presently lacks a "coherent analytic framework."

14 comments:

pithom said...

"and he lets the comments fly. "

-Well, that's a lie. I wrote well over 50 comments; he left only the first 9. Cowen is very censorious.

I don't respect Tyler Cowen much.

lannes said...

Too long!

Porter said...

Cowan's four-bill of particulars could be routed by a larval-stage troll. They are almost embarrassingly easy to counter. Which, given the source, inclines me to believe they result not from limitations of intelligence but of honesty. This is why people like him are so sub-worthless. They deploy their formidable intellects to obscuring the truth rather than clarifying it. To rationalizations rather than explanations.

Whether this is out of malice or merely self-preservation probably varies by the commenter. Though whichever I eagerly await a 500 million man Nigeria assuming the mantle of chief global innovator. Africans simply don't have the luxury of declining populations!

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I like to think we are working on Tyler and hey, a man's gotta eat. Other times, I don't know.

Patrick Sheridan said...

Anti-Gnostic, are you going to write a post about "Brexit?"

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I may take a stab at it. I hope and pray Brexit wins and that rotten edifice in Belgium crumbles.

Colonel Blimp said...

Anti-Gnostic/Patrick - don't put your breath on a declaration of independence from Brussels. The people who used to be called the British are too demoralised, propagandised and decadent to cast off the yoke of the Fourth Reich. I wish it were not so. I'll vote out, but will almost be an act of romantic defiance, like the Polish cavalry charging against the Panzers in 1939 or Rhett Butler joining the Confederate Army after Atlanta has gone up in smoke.

Corvinus said...

“2. The Cathedral exists as an institutional alliance of Government, Academia and Business to further politically correct dogma and punish heretics. It is, in a real sense, religious and not just ideological.”

How does one convince the majority of whites about this scourge known as the “Cathedral” when 1) tens of millions of whites are intricately part of it -and- 2) tens of millions of whites have lack even a basic understanding of this term.

“5. Democracy is a disaster. When Classical-era Greeks, Gilbert K. Chesterton and the American state's founders praise "democracy," what they are really praising is rule by property-owning men. The universal franchise is a farce and a slow-motion train wreck.”

It is those who people who run a democracy is what leads to disaster. Whites in general are supportive of majority rule and limiting their freedoms for the benefit of the group. Increasingly, however it is minorities—business owners, the Coalition of the Right/Left Fringes—which are chipping away at personal liberties.


“Patriarchy and families are the foundation of society. “



Families, absolutely. Patriarchy? No. Men are able to decide for themselves how they rule their relationships and their country. There need not be those alpha elitists who hammer home this point to beta males.

“Hierarchy is the natural and right way for people to cooperate.”



Depends on how that hierarchy is created and implemented.

“Democracy isn’t going to fix these problems.”



And iron fisted rule by Christian, patriarchal monarchies will?

“Politically, Brett Stevens at Amerika.org has put together a manifesto of moderate extremism”

.

Which is an oxymoron. A moderate takes a middle of the road position. They are not “extremist” in how they put forth their objectives. America historically has been center-right. Politicians pay critical attention to this trend. Stevens made up the concept and crafted an argument based on his own interpretation how and why moderates are essentially “cucks”. Why would tens of millions of whites who lean center-right want to become an integral member of the Alt Right under his direction when given this label?


“The foregoing, I humbly submit, may be a starting point for a synthesis that meets Tyler Cowen's objection that neo-reaction presently lacks a "coherent analytic framework."



Absolutely. There are common themes found throughout the Alt Right. Cohen clearly failed to conduct adequate research. Vox Day stated rather bluntly that 1) nationalism, 2) western civilization, and 3) winning are its ultimate goals. However one gets there is up for negotiation.

Toddy Cat said...



Rape rates per 100,000, by country, top ten.

1 South Africa 132.4 2010
2 Botswana 92.9 2010
3 Lesotho 82.7 2009
4 Swaziland 77.5 2004
5 Bermuda 67.3 2004
6 Sweden 63.5 2010
7 Suriname 45.2 2004
8 Costa Rica 36.7 2009
9 Nicaragua 31.6 2010
10 Grenada

Homicide rates, per 100,000, Top Ten


COUNTRY
DESCRIPTION
1.El Salvador 71
2.Honduras 67
3.Jamaica 60
4.Guatemala 52
5.Venezuela 49
6.Trinidad and Tobago 43
7.Burundi 37
8.Lesotho 37
9.Colombia 35
10.Democratic Republic of the Congo

Darn those white, European men!

Twarog said...

"It is those who people who run a democracy is what leads to disaster. Whites in general are supportive of majority rule and limiting their freedoms for the benefit of the group. Increasingly, however it is minorities—business owners, the Coalition of the Right/Left Fringes—which are chipping away at personal liberties."

I'm sure you have a reasonable point of some kind buried in there, but none of this statement makes any sense whatsoever. You seem to be referring to something specific, but I seriously doubt that any normal reader can guess what it is. What freedoms and liberties are being lost? Who is losing them? Is this loss of freedom good or bad? What group benefits from loss of freedom? Who is a part of this Left-Right minority coalition? Every educated guess at the plausible answers seems contradicted by another part of your statement.

"There need not be those alpha elitists who hammer home this point to beta males."

Again, what on Earth does this mean? As written, it sounds like you're suggesting that successful men shouldn't proffer advice to other men about how to have a happy and secure home life. Since that idea is plainly idiotic, that's probably not what you meant, but the reader is scarcely able to discern an alternative interpretation.

You may want to consider the possibility that dismissive internet right-wingers ignore your contributions not because they can't bear to read disagreement with their cherished pet theories, but because they have no idea what you're talking about half the time.

Corvinus said...

“I'm sure you have a reasonable point of some kind buried in there, but none of this statement makes any sense whatsoever.”

You’re feigning ignorance here. Perhaps that is an in-born trait.

A claim was made that “democracy is disaster”. Democracy, in and of itself, is NOT a disaster. It is a political ideology. It is those who IMPLEMENT democracy, that is, who RUN it, that causes results that may be labeled disastrous.

“What freedoms and liberties are being lost?’’

According to some neoreactionaries, the First and Second Amendments, for starters. Refer to "safe spaces" and proposed gun control laws. In addition, some neoreactionaries are decidedly concerned about the genocide of the white race. Refer to "Jim's Blog".

“Who is losing them?”

According to neoreactionaries, Christians who seek to create a segregated society based on race and who seek to establish a strict hierarchy society based exclusively on religious principles.

“Is this loss of freedom good or bad?”

Depends upon one’s perspective.

“What group benefits from loss of freedom?”

Those neoreactionaries who seek to create a Christian monarchy.

“Who is a part of this Left-Right minority coalition?”

Coalition of the Left Fringe Groups—Social Justice Warriors, egalitarians, feminists
Coalition of the Right Fringe Groups—White nationalists, Human Biodiversity advocates, manospherists

“Every educated guess at the plausible answers seems contradicted by another part of your statement.”

Except you neglected to offer your own insight here.

“Again, what on Earth does this mean?”

A white person telling another white person “you are anti-white if you fail to promote only white interests”.

“As written, it sounds like you're suggesting that successful men shouldn't proffer advice to other men about how to have a happy and secure home life.”

Strawman much>

Tell me, are pro-white men and women more "successful" compared to anti-white men and women? Will their advice lead to a "happy and secure home life" for those deemed "anti-white"?

“Since that idea is plainly idiotic, that's probably not what you meant, but the reader is scarcely able to discern an alternative interpretation.”


You are attributing to me an idea that you made up and labeled it idiotic. Brilliant.

“You may want to consider the possibility that dismissive internet right-wingers ignore your contributions not because they can't bear to read disagreement with their cherished pet theories, but because they have no idea what you're talking about half the time.”

Again, you’re feigning ignorance.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Corvinus, did you eat lead paint as a child? Or smoke a lot of dope as a teenager? If neither, trust us, you are a hopeless buffoon.

Twarog said...

I never feign ignorance, Corvinus. I truly cannot understand half of what you are saying. I only respond now- though I probably shouldn't waste my time- because I really believe you're not a complete idiot. Please believe me when I write that this isn't concern trolling- there are definitely some working brain cells in that head of yours that deserve to be heard.

Corvinus, I was a successful Policy Debater in my collegiate days. For me, parsing complex arguments was like a football player throwing passes or running plays- something I loved doing and did very well. If I can't understand you, it's because you're not comprehensible. I could follow deranged hippies ranting about Heidegger, rapping about pathos, or gibbering about the finer points of ontology. I could follow people speed-reading at 400 words per minute. I can't follow Corvinus, try as I might.

In spite of my better instincts, I'm going to try to point out precisely what I can't understand about your last response, for all the good that it will do (presumably none). No doubt you're used to nasty internet trolls who willfully misinterpret everything you say, and, you won't believe me when I say that I really am trying my best to make sense of your words and respond to them fairly.

"Democracy, in and of itself, is NOT a disaster. It is a political ideology. It is those who IMPLEMENT democracy, that is, who RUN it, that causes results that may be labeled disastrous."

This gets right back to the original point- I have no idea who, according to your account, actually runs democracy. Democracy is supposed to be rule by "the people". Are you referring to the people? Which part of the people, if so? Are you referring to the elites who manipulate the will of the people to their own ends? Somebody else entirely? Much as you might like to think we should all be able to read your mind, let this reader assure you that none of this is obvious.

"Depends upon one’s perspective."

"Perspective" is exactly what I was asking about. When a man asks "Who thinks it's good, and who thinks it's bad?", answering "it depends on whether you think it's good or bad" is just a tautology. It illuminates nothing and answers nothing.

"Coalition of the Left Fringe Groups—Social Justice Warriors, egalitarians, feminists
Coalition of the Right Fringe Groups—White nationalists, Human Biodiversity advocates, manospherists
"

I'm sorry- are you talking about two opposed coalitions, or one united coalition? Neither your first response nor your second clearly explains this. Please don't jump on me for being a willfull ignoramus, and instead actually look at the specific letters you typed. You're obviously not saying that SJWs and White Nats are working together toward common goals- because I know you're not an idiot- but otherwise, neither of your responses makes any logical sense.

"You are attributing to me an idea that you made up and labeled it idiotic. Brilliant."

You're an educated man, [probably]. Surely I don't need to explain basics of reading comprehension, right? I said that what you wrote- given the literal meaning and context of your words- was indistingishable from something stupid. Therefore, I concluded, the stupid idea I was interpreting from your words must not have been the correct one that you intended- as you are, one assumes, an intelligent person. I did not "make up" an idea and then "attribute it to" you. I described the idea that a reasonable reader would have undoubtedly interpreted from your words, then suggested that you must not believe said idea, and that therefore, your phrasing must have been unclear or ambiguous. To say that you obviously did not mean what you appear to have written does not negate my accusation that you must have meant something other than what you appear to have written. Yes?

Corvinus said...

“Corvinus, did you eat lead paint as a child?”


Actually, I sniffed glue and permanent markers in elementary school with my art teacher.

“Corvinus, I was a successful Policy Debater in my collegiate days.”



[Golf clap]

“This gets right back to the original point- I have no idea who, according to your account, actually runs democracy. Democracy is supposed to be rule by "the people".

Democracy is run by “the people”. Some claim it is run by “elites”. Others claim it is run by “Jews”. Still others contend that the average citizen runs the country. I think that American democracy has ALWAYS been influenced by the wealthy and business interests, but ultimately the common person, either by their individual efforts or by forming groups, find ways to limit that influence politically, economically, and socially. What do you think?

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but neoreactionaries seek to dismantle democracy. Get rid of it. Entirely. Replace it with something else. In some cases, neoreactionaries want to install a Christian monarchy and/or aristocracy, with patriarchal and social hierarchal underpinnings. That is something I and am quite sure millions of Americans, regardless of race, creed, or religion, would oppose. For example, what are the inherent problems with creating and implementing this new system? Who would consist of this monarchy and/or aristocracy? Who decides what sect of Christianity (e.g. fundamentalist, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist) would be “required”? How would atheists be dealt with? How would citizens be able to redress their grievances? How would dissent be dealt with by this new "elite"?

“Are you referring to the elites who manipulate the will of the people to their own ends?”

Define “elites”. Because this term means observably nothing without any substantive definition behind it.

In addition, what does “anti-white” even refer to? How are white people “anti-white”? Must all whites declare they are “pro-white”; that is, state they are part of this “tribe”? What are the consequences of those deemed “anti-white” by “pro-whites”? Are pro-white men and women more "successful" compared to anti-white men and women? Will their advice lead to a "happy and secure home life" for those deemed "anti-white"?

“When a man asks "Who thinks it's good, and who thinks it's bad?", answering "it depends on whether you think it's good or bad" is just a tautology”.

Whether something is “good” or “bad” does indeed depend upon one’s perspective. Neoreactionaries believe democracy is a disaster. Obviously, that is bad. Now, why is it a "disaster"? Those who oppose neoreactionaries believe democracy, despite its flaws, is other than a disaster. I’m sure as an educated man who is well read comprehends the perspectives of those who are favor neoreactionary and those who oppose neoreactionary.