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.Tyler's summary critique:
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.
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."