Alexander on Reaction

Foseti was persuasive enough to motivate a second look at Scott Alexander’s continuing engagement with reaction (even after the dismally unimpressive first installment).

It is indeed “awesome,” and merits a serious response (later this week?).

For an immediate response, simple translation has to suffice, stripping away the slanted “survive/thrive” language, and getting right to the point. Reactionaries think leftists are spoiled*: decadent, self-indulgent, hedonistic fantasists, debauching an inheritance they are incapable of adding to.

Degeneracy is degeneracy**, whether it’s affordable or not. To the reactionary right it looks horrible, even in the absence of zombie apocalypse (but we’re getting one anyway).

* How can a theory of left/right differentiation demonstrate such insensitive disregard for ‘the wretched of the earth’? It is that ‘problem’ — readily admitted by Alexander — that makes his explanation truly awesome. The Left has nothing to do with what the downtrodden ‘think’, and everyone — once pressed — is relieved to admit that. Now everything makes sense. We’re discussing a thought-pattern (Leftism) exclusively native to affluent degenerates, with the social sub-strata occasionally latching on, opportunistically, and uncomprehendingly.

** Yes, the word ‘degeneracy’ is historically spicy — if we were being responsible about it, it would make us nervous. Slicing diagonally through biology, culture, economics — even technology — it’s what reactionaries think socio-political ‘progress’ really is. In that respect, it’s indispensable.
So what is degeneration? — in any conversation entirely internal to reaction, that would be the central topic of discussion. (The Outside in definition: degeneracy is whatever makes you more stupid.)

ADDED: Scott Alexander paraphrased: The Right doesn’t think we can afford to degenerate, whilst the Left thinks we can.
Scott Alexander nudged: The Right decries degeneration, even when it seems (in the short term) affordable. The Left advocates degeneration (in the medium term) even when, in the short term, we obviously can’t afford it.

ADDED: ‘Survive vs thrive’ or Crunchy vs Soggy (via Glenn Reynolds)?

ADDED: Goad on fire viz affluent degenerates (via SDL in the comments).

March 17, 2013admin 2 Comments »
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2 Responses to this entry

  • SDL Says:

    How can a theory of left/right differentiation demonstrate such insensitive disregard for ‘the wretched of the earth’? It is that ‘problem’ — readily admitted by Alexander — that makes his explanation truly awesome. The Left has nothing to do with what the downtrodden ‘think’, and everyone — once pressed — is relieved to admit that. Now everything makes sense. We’re discussing a thought-pattern (Leftism) exclusively native to affluent degenerates, with the social sub-strata occasionally latching on, opportunistically, and uncomprehendingly.

    Brilliant. I need to use this idea whenever I (cautiously) bring Reactionary critique into my academic world. It can potentially block the ‘ethical reaction’ to Reaction, which is the default setting of most Leftists who come into contact with anything of the Right: “B, b, but . . . what about . . . ”

    “We’re not talking about them; we’re talking about Leftism; we’re talking about you .”

    Jim Goad’s article today at Taki’s Mag is apropos:

    http://takimag.com/article/the_selfishness_of_virtue_jim_goad#axzz2Nts5SSRy

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Perfect — I’m stealing that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 18th, 2013 at 2:06 pm Reply | Quote

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