2014 Prognoses +
Since predictions solicit feedback from reality they constrain dishonesty, and indicate where correction is needed. This is an outline of what Outside in anticipates from the year.
Punctual catastrophes resist remotely confident prediction, unless negative ones. Neither Artificial Intelligence explosion nor Drexlerian nanotechnology will impact in 2014. Nuclear fusion will not be (de-)cracked. A super-volcano will not destroy what remains of human civilization. Global influenza epidemic? Mega-meteorite strike? A malign black swan of cataclysmic scale? — nobody knows.
The three potential catastrophes of greatest prominence heading into 2014 are Asia Pacific war; Sunni-Shia nuclear confrontation; and US dollar (or Japanese Yen) collapse. The probability that any one of these crosses the crisis threshold this year is substantially less than 50% (but possibly greater than 10%). If any does, the chance of a cascading disaster involving one or both of the others spikes dramatically. The probability of a secondary, but still major crisis, is of course far larger (i.e. likely).
The doctrinal neoreactionary prediction for the year is continued, steadily accelerating, general collapse, with an intensity broadly correlated to democratic progress. There will be no economic recovery, or significant resolution of international security issues. All the fixes on offer are fake. In the developed world, underlying human capital deterioration will subvert every proposed remedy, dragged downwards by morbid cultural variations on a remorseless dysgenic theme. The default fascist solution will be undermined by Internet-enabled exit options, exacerbated by inter-state non-cooperation. The Cathedral will fray, but not snap.
The Peak Oil analysis is almost entirely upside down (although nonlinearities complicate this criticism). By disabling capitalism, democratic societies have broken the only mechanism that could replenish cheap energy supplies through industrial revolution, as occurred throughout the 19th and into the early 20th centuries. We don’t have massive methane clathrate extraction in process because we killed the business cultures that would have undertaken it.
With this enormous qualification, however, the Peakers get much right. Their sense of the shape, speed, and direction of global developments on the widest scale are roughly correct. Translate ‘Peak Oil’ into ‘crippled capitalism’ and the following prognoses track ours:
John Michael Greer:
My prediction for 2014, in turn, is that we’ll see more of the same: another year, that is, of uneven but continued downward movement along the same arc of decline and fall, while official statistics here in the United States will be doctored even more extravagantly than before to manufacture a paper image of prosperity. The number of Americans trying to survive without a job will continue to increase, the effective standard of living for most of the population will continue to decline, and what used to count as the framework of ordinary life in this country will go on unraveling a thread at a time. Even so, the dollar, the Euro, the stock market, and the Super Bowl will still be functioning as 2015 begins; there will still be gas in the gas pumps and food on grocery store shelves, though fewer people will be able to afford to buy either one.
Both the grandiose breakthroughs that never happen and the equally gaudy catastrophes that never happen will thus continue to fill their current role as excuses not to think about, much less do anything about, what’s actually happening around us right now—the long ragged decline and fall of industrial civilization that I’ve called the Long Descent. Given the popularity of both these evasive moves, we can safely assume that one more thing won’t happen in 2014: any meaningful collective response to the rising spiral of crises that’s shredding our societies and our future.
James H. Kunstler:
The crash of the mortgage racket occurred not just because of swindling and fraud among bankers; in fact, that was only a nasty symptom of something larger: peak oil. I know that many people have come to disbelieve in the idea of peak oil, but that is only another mode of playing pretend. Peak oil, which essentially arrived in 2006, undermined the basic conditions of credit creation in an advanced techno-industrial society dependent on increasing supplies of fossil fuels. Most people, including practically all credentialed economists, fail to understand this. There is a fundamental relationship between ever-increasing energy supplies > economic growth > and credit-based money (or “money,” if you will). When the energy inputs flatten out or decrease, growth stops, wealth is no longer generated, old loans can’t be repaid, and new loans can’t be generated honestly, i.e. with the expectation of repayment. That has been our predicament since 2008 and nothing has changed. We are pretending to compensate by issuing new unpayable debt to pay the interest on our old accumulated debt. This pretense can only go on so long before our economic relations reflect the basic dishonesty of it. Reality is a harsh mistress.
It’s all going to crash … but not in 2014.
The rip tides forecast has already been made. As the reactosphere expands, and seeks to define its identity among increasingly complicated conditions, its inner tensions will be highlighted by enemies, interested outsiders, and initiates alike. This process will strengthen it, generating much excellent work, even as unintentional entryism, declining average intelligence, and serious disagreement stirs chaos into the brew. Among the questions it will be forced to tackle:
– What remains of the Neocameral model? (And, was this primarily a scheme to control government, or to defend it?)
– Can NR maintain the balance between Why I am not a Libertarian and Why I am not a White Nationalist?
– If NR is not to be ruined by its rising popularity, how does it effectively segment itself (fostering a division of labor, and resisting dilution through half-witted antinomian fashion)?
At some point during the year, someone with appropriate competence will explain the distinctive characteristics of the expressions Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction in rigorous linguistic terms. By thus grasping — in purely technical terms — their very different conditions of application, a beginning will have been made to the process of assigning them stable (and intersecting) significances. (Ideally, the rhetorical advantages of the former will be productively combined with the grammatical plasticity of the latter.)
In 2014, the Cathedral will most probably not yet find it necessary to attribute a major terrorist incident to ‘neoreactionary influences’. Among critics, the establishment libertarians will continue to emit the most pitiful distancing signals. (Given what can be confidently expected, we might as well make ‘creepy‘ our ‘queer’.)
Outside in +
This blog has as its New Year resolution a determination to pull-back from the general cultural trend towards ADD (which has undeniably afflicted it). It will aim to re-balance, mixing short trigger posts with more substantial multi-part content, while disciplining the latter within more consistent (i.e. less digressive) sequences — and perhaps even finishing a few.
Strategically, it will seek to advance yet further into hermetic sectarian extremism, in order to squash the menace of popularity definitively. Spreading the message will be left to others.
Among existing sequences, Abstract Horror will be pursued with special doggedness. (The development so far can be found here, here, here, and here, with a three-stage precursor, a strategic annex, and this (plus other closely-related excursions)). In 2014 this theoretical thread will be supplemented by fictional exercises, whose relevance I will seek to defend. An indefinitely-continuing weekly series, entitled Deadlines, will begin in the Spring.
On the Neoreactionary main current, the first half of 2014 at Outside in will include a close engagement with the Neocameral Model, and a multi-part structural overview of neoreactionary thought entitled Machineries of Fate. The latter will attempt to delineate each tendency of the Trichotomy with maximum generosity, grounded in surgical rigor.
(Right) Accelerationism will be revisited, with (what passes here for) sustained attention.
My review of Bryce’s book will finally emerge — perhaps in pieces.
There’ll be all kinds of other stuff.
Twitter, which has been chewing up my brain like crazy junk for the last couple of months, becomes an effective work tool in 2014 (no, really).
Time Spiral Press — have to get this puppy howling. Scheduled for 2014 (so far): An e-book version of The Dark Enlightenment; two horror tales; at least one (short) Sith theory book; a long essay on Mou Zongsan, China, and technology (co-authored with the better half); and other works to be announced closer to time of release.
[Late January, early February will be something of a lull period (due to travel), but I'll try to make sure things keep ticking over.]