Archive for September 4th, 2013

Cladistic Meditations

Neoreactionaries have a thing about Puritanism. Whether or not this trait is conceptually essential is a question for another time. The important point, right now, is that it serves as a cladistic marker. Whatever it might be that neoreaction speciates into, it bears this trait as an indication of cultural ancestry, bookmarking the root-code archive of Mencius Moldbug.

When reconstructed as an argument, the Moldbuggian clade proposes a species of ethnographic categorization on a loosely Darwinian (and strongly evolutionary) model, according to which cultural phenomena are logically nested, in tree-like fashion, revealing a pattern of descent. When considering an English Darwinian Evolutionist, who is also an example of contemporary political progressivism, Moldbug makes this mode of analysis explicit:

My belief is that Professor Dawkins is not just a Christian atheist. He is a Protestant atheist. And he is not just a Protestant atheist. He is a Calvinist atheist. And he is not just a Calvinist atheist. He is an Anglo-Calvinist atheist. In other words, he can be also be described as a Puritan atheist, a Dissenter atheist, a Nonconformist atheist, an Evangelical atheist, etc, etc.

This cladistic taxonomy traces Professor Dawkins’ intellectual ancestry back about 400 years, to the era of the English Civil War. Except of course for the atheism theme, Professor Dawkins’ kernel is a remarkable match for the Ranter, Leveller, Digger, Quaker, Fifth Monarchist, or any of the more extreme English Dissenter traditions that flourished during the Cromwellian interregnum.

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September 4, 2013admin 73 Comments »
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