2013 Reaction points
Multiply the world population by 365 and it comes out as something significantly north of two trillion human days in which to make things happen. It has impressed me, then, to note that roughly 20% of the last year’s Gross Global Occurrence Volume has taken place in the comments threads of this blog. (I received an activity report from WordPress this evening that suggested I thank VXXC, fotrkd, Spandrell, and Thales in particular for being cranked-up comment monkeys.) Tack on the rest of the reactosphere, and what remains of the planet has been fighting over scraps (which we’ll get to later).
The first — tentative and unconvinced — post here went up in mid-February, so Outside in is a creature of 2013. There’s nothing remotely unusual about that. Other 2013 reactionary monster babies include Radish, Anarchopapist and Occam’s Razor (January); Habitable Worlds, The Reactivity Place, and Amos & Gromar (April); More Right (May); Theden (July); Handleshaus and The Legionnaire (August) … which is just to scoop from my regular reading list. The sheer quantity of explicitly reactionary writing has to have surged by at least an order of magnitude this year. This timeline (by Handle) sharpens the contours of the phenomenon (expanded to encompass the burgeoning new genre of excited anti-reactionary push-back). Even if many of the greatest Outer Right blogs preexisted this wave of dark energy, 2013 was surely the year in which Neoreaction really established itself as a thing.
Outside the reactosphere, the world put most of its energy into fueling the reactosphere. The Obama Administration entered full-spectrum accelerating collapse, flailing about in the wreckage of the the most incompetent government initiative in American history, shredding the last tattered remnants of the Constitution in public, and stumbling about the Middle East setting things on fire at random. Detroit imploded, the NSA digested the world, Political Correctness went berserk, the Fed fell into the hands of an unabashed Ctrl-P fanatic, and the economy continued to fall apart (although its descent was significantly slowed by manic fracking). More zombies. (Sadly, conservatism still exists.)
On the massively positive side, after a roller-coaster year on both sides of the Pacific, Bitcoin was becoming so big it had begun to seriously scare people (Cowen’s comment thread is better than the post). The dawn of monetary anarchy glimmered.
Bitcoin, free association, uncontrolled speech … with every day that passes, the Web pushes the Left a little further into fuming insanity. There’s an Internet-shaped hole in the Cathedral’s vision for the world, which the Obamacare website turned into theater.
Many people remained very annoying.
Snowden, Zimmerman, Kim Jong un, the Boston Marathon, Benghazi … what did 2013 mean to you?
ADDED: Radish takes retrospection to a whole new level.
ADDED: Spandrell takes it to a wholly different new level.