Anarchy in the NRx

Arthur R. Harrison (@AvengingRedHand) makes the incisive observation: “Well the thing is NRx is a specific kind of post-libertarianism, or it was. Now it seems to be just a name for reaction post-Moldbug.” There could be people who don’t see that as degeneration. In fact, it seems there are.

Reactotwitter is lurching into sheer delirium (as *ahem* forecast). To begin with, it seems no longer to concur on what it begins with:

(Not in my army.)

It’s time to choose your own tradition and slap an NRx sticker on it. Is anyone envisaging any limits to this:

So NRx is a formless anarchy telling the world how to put itself in order? Actually, I think this is probably right, and theoretically interesting, but it clearly needs thinking about. How can there imaginably be an ‘entryism’ threat when command control is a teeming chaos? What does this example of radical disorder suggest?

Here’s the NRx anarcho-chaos already pouring through the pipe:

Everyone has a voice, and we respect that … oh wait …

[Some intriguing hints elsewhere on twitter that Urbit might eventually sort this shrieking insanity out.]

ADDED: Occam’s Razor puts things in sensible perspective.

February 18, 2014admin 109 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor , Neoreaction , Pass the popcorn

TAGGED WITH : , , , ,

109 Responses to this entry

  • Cimon Alexander Says:

    “Reactotwitter is lurching into sheer delirium” – Anissimov is responsible for 80% of it. Unfollow him and I doubt you’d notice much drama.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    His boring obsession with monarchy has become a boring obsession with Evola.

    [Reply]

    Cimon Alexander Reply:

    He’s a great writer, there’s only a few better in reaction and I have high hopes for his future work, but I don’t get what he does on twitter.

    I can’t praise more right enough, though.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 7:46 am Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    NRx (even the shorthand is evolving) is the red pill. Now some are trying to sell NRx blue pills. People want to know if they are FDA approved.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:02 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    We are fast approaching what Jim called the insanity of committees. Bad money drives away good money. I say we call it a day and dissolve the Soviet.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    We might as well get a good war out of it.

    [Reply]

    handle Reply:

    Agreed. Or, maybe it’s just something about twitter.

    [Reply]

    SOBL Reply:

    Megalomania has new outlets thanks to social media.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Word.

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    I’m surprised that I can stir up so much resentment and angst in a tweet or two!

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Ademon Says:

    Anissimov is right about Evola.

    I think this anarchy is productive and meritocratic, for the same reason that I think that the imageboards are the best social networks (they just require some more engineering and fine-tuning in order to raise the quality further). That you can’t see the entry controls doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Anissimov is right about Evola.” — Meaning what?

    [Reply]

    Ademonos Reply:

    That he outranks Moldbug. Moldbug might be more important for practical considerations and NRx as a meta-movement, but as far as reactionary thought is concerned it’s not even a matter of opinion.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Evola is important to the European New Right. He’s a minor and eccentric figure outside it.

    Ademonos Reply:

    That depends on how narrowly you define the ENR. If it’s just a current of thought, I would agree. If it’s defined as a set of intellectuals, then Evola is not a central figure. There are no such clear and direct connections, really.
    But there are some problems with defining NRx, too – probably because it was defined too widely to start with. I guess we’re seeing the results now.
    The lines and borders pose interesting dilemmas here, but I think we are looking at it from the wrong direction. People and ideas are prismatic, and we’re trying to plug round pegs into square holes.
    Regardless of if we isolate the intellectuals, or count them as parts of the larger reactionary movement (having – perhaps? – concluded that both ENR and NRx are iffy labels without too much glue) I think it is rather clear that Evola is a more important thinker. Moldbug is a blogger. A fantastic blogger, yes, but still a blogger (and I did not deny that he might be more important for NRx as a meta-movement).

    admin Reply:

    In terms of making a rigorous conceptual advance within a tradition of real historical importance (rather than to Quixotic romanticism) there is no question at all that Moldbug leaves Evola in the dust. Moldbug contributes to the understanding of central questions in political economy, Evola is an authoritarian mystic who will never matter (beyond the margin of the margin) in the English-speaking world.

    Ademonos Reply:

    Isn’t it a bit early to tell? I don’t see Moldbug mattering anywhere (yet), besides some fairly limited internet circles.
    It’s apples and oranges, either way. Evola’s traditionalism might not be your pie, but the fact that he isn’t primarily a political economist does not diminish the importance of his works. That’s like saying that Shakespeare is an inferior writer in relation to Marx because he did not write any ideological polemics.
    But hey, this is starting to sound like ‘my dad is stronger than your dad’ (and Anissimov is not blameless here). When was it ever about head-counts? All of Evola’s major works are translated into English, so why shouldn’t the serious reactionary read all of both him and Moldbug? When it comes to ranking their importance, I don’t think we’re going to solve our disagreements. It mostly depends on which faction you belong to.

    admin Reply:

    You seem to have shifted to a stance that is now completely unexceptionable.

    Ademonos Reply:

    I guess there’s not much shock value in being reasonable… I suspect you are intentionally tearing up rifts here, though. Can’t say I disagree with the tactic, so I’ll just be fetching some popcorn.

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply | Quote
  • orlandu84 Says:

    Name calling isn’t anarchy – it’s the playground, or in this case, the Internet. Unless someone starts printing anti-Moldbug bumper stickers, I fail to see much significance to this exchange other than what admin has predicted would eventually happen, i.e. NRx breaking into distinct traditions/followings. Now, I would not call that “anarchy” as much as NRe for Neoreaction exit – please edit if that already been claimed (;

    To be fair to what has been thus accomplished, we have been living in the anarchy stage of Neoreaction in so far as there has been no clear hierarchy or canon. As a canon has begun to emerge, a hierarchy is likely to emerge as well. How pervasive or structured that ‘organization’ will be, I certainly cannot predict or care to do so. What I do care about is how well NRx produces and distributes the red pill(s) of insight.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 10:03 am Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    It’s ironic that Anissimov of all people would introduce (more) anarchy into neoreaction. But this is nothing new actually. On what he says about Evola and Moldbug traditionalists will agree, capitalists will laugh (heh), the earth will keep spinning and neoreactionaries will keep blogging. These tensions have always been here it’s just that they are becoming more explicit. Neoreaction pretty much started as libertarians and traditionalists discussing Moldbug, who was able to some extent to combine the two. And the situation hasn’t really changed. Moldbug’s chief achievement is bringing the two together and facilitating dialogue between them. Maybe that was his plan all along. And now that he has done that he is withdrawing from the scene. But for what it’s worth I don’t think that regressing pre Moldbug is a good thing. Anissimov is not moving beyound Moldbug, he is going back in time to old reaction. I do not think that such nostalgia is very productive. Not to mention that I completely fail to understand what is so special about Evola.

    At least we all have the common ground of HBD which should keep entryists away. It was noted some time ago that if not for the common enemy of the Cathedral neoreactionaries of the different strands would be busy killing eachother. Well, maybe it will happen even with the Cathedral still around. Whether this is going to be a good or a bad thing remains to be seen. But it is probably inevitable.

    By the way, it’s quite funny that Anti-Democracy Blog (of all people) would say something like “he is one of many. we all have our voice “.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 10:31 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    “… traditionalists will agree, capitalists will laugh …” — I’d only add, traditionalists of another tradition will agree.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 10:55 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    Patricide.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    … considered a great virtue among monarchists, I gather.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin Reply:

    Anissimov is several orders of genius removed from Moldbug.

    Judas.

    [Reply]

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    Too much resentment, chill out.

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 10:59 am Reply | Quote
  • ultraZEN Says:

    A deeper structural rift, whose surface bubbles may be heard in this neolib vs. neotrad duology within NRx, is one Nietzsche formulated, reflecting on the social darwinist ideology of Spencer et al. The rift Nietzsche hammered out, was between the darwinists and the antidarwinists, counting himself amongst the latter. In the antidarwinist view, Evolution is not producing superior outcomes. Quite the contrary: evolution is the reign of the lowest common beeing: a pageant of organisms whose fitness has been lowered down until they are misfit for anything daring, great and exceptional. According to mad freddy, social darwinism is thus but yet another Enlightenment delusion, a progressivism bent on ‘improving’ the human state by selecting for traits deemed benificial measured against some imaginary progressivist outcome.

    This was the view Evola adopted regarding capitalism. He saw it as a sort of elevator going endlessly downwards: an applied evolutionary experiment rigged to produce the Letze mensch. The cumulative technological, ecientific and social complexity unleashed by capitalism would not send humans to colonize the Andromeda – it would rather exhaust any and every human potential on providing ever more sophisticated ways to disentangle oneself from the direct, heroic and personal experience of reality needed to actualize the superior.

    But let us not forget that Baron Julius Evola never worked a day in his life. He dropped out of university (where he studied engineering) because he thought it a personal defeat to earn any specialist education. The rest of his life he lived off his inheritance, devoting his time to writing texts ranging from comments on day-to-day party politics to how you may become an Overman through the practice of violent tantric rituals what involves the worship of bizarre antediluvian trandimensional entities. When Evola studied economics and the Austrians, he did so through the lense of an apparatus that included, amongst other things, the notion of nonhuman ontological experiences protruding like multidimensional tendrils and tentacles from the fabric of reality.

    Evola was reactionary in the sense that he worked to restore the Galactic Empire of Alien Supremacy that established its colony on the North Pole long before its lesser beeings decided to interbreed with earth apes and thus devolving into the intelligent primates that in time gave birth to the creature we call Man.

    Evola is irrationalism on psychydelics. His critique of capitalism is stemming from Chthulu and nazi UFO mysticism.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s some seriously brilliant Evola PR!

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Respect here. Making sense while explaining nonsense requires serious talent.

    [Reply]

    Subforum Reply:

    Someone (Nydwracu?) observed a while back that Evola needs an interpreter who can do for him what Moldbug did for Filmer: recast his metaphysical/religious talk in terms of secular game theory (the king as Schelling point, etc.)

    But as the guy above said more eloquently than I could, if you want to seriously engage with Evola, you eventually have to grapple with the fact that he really believes this stuff. The origin of civilization among Hyperborean god-men isn’t an elaborate metaphor or Platonic noble lie, it’s foundational truth, and if secular archaeology and evo bio disagree, too bad. Revolt Against The Modern World, his keystone book, is a great read for just this reason, even if you take none of it seriously: a plausible-from-the-inside visionary thriller of what it must have been like to live in a Bronze Age city-state where the King is the God is the Law.

    (While I’m more partial to Guenon than Evola, this is a problem with the Traditionalist School as a whole; at some point you hit the hard limit of their anti-Darwinism.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “The origin of civilization among Hyperborean god-men isn’t an elaborate metaphor or Platonic noble lie, it’s foundational truth, and if secular archaeology and evo bio disagree, too bad.” — If someone really had it in for Mike Anissimov, they’d send a primer on this stuff to Bryan Caplan. (Throwing in Hyperborean god-men at the right moment could really send the dialectic into a nose-dive.)

    “The culture you’re trying to defend from our dusky brethren, would that be … please correct me if I’m wrong, the one implanted by the original ‘Hyperborean god-men’?”

    Ademonos Reply:

    Making a secular interpretation of Evola would be ridiculous, if not impossible. The very notion of achieving a deeper understanding of Evola from a purely materialist standpoint is almost hilarious but still somewhat depressing, because there seems to be those who are showing interest in this – mind-boggling, but I doubt that there exists many if any individuals who can simultaneously grasp his concepts and make a meaningful secular interpretation (the assumption that both of these are simultaneously possible probably stems from an insufficient study of Evola).
    Snide descriptions like “Chthulu and nazi UFO mysticism” and memetically repeating out-of-context references to the Hyperboreans serves only to underline one’s lack of understanding for the concepts that Evola describes. No, “they” (I refuse to be dragged into discussions regarding the validity of twisted strawmen here – I am speaking of the non-secular foundations here when I say “they”) are not metaphors (although that is probably closer to the truth than what some at the opposite spectrum of non-comprehension might assume) or platonic lies – they are conceptual ways of understanding reality (again, not to be confused with metaphors as they are indeed foundational truths). Really, I am not much of an Evolian scholar myself but it almost feels embarrassing to have to explain stuff like this that OUGHT to be obvious to anyone who has read his foundational trilogy. So far UltraZEN’s comments on Evola, excepting the last paragraphs (the whole “alien” thing is a complete misunderstanding/conjecture, but I’m not going to argue about it here – I might have to write a clarifying text about it later, though), has been the one closest to comprehension.

    Subforum Reply:

    @Ademonos –

    In retrospect, I was too flippant. I find a lot of value in Evola; otherwise I wouldn’t have read so much of him. (And the last thing I want is for “derp Hyperboreans” to join “derp monarchists” and “derp racists” in the memetic arsenal, especially not Bryan Caplan’s; I hope nobody follows up on our host’s suggestion, and if anyone does, mea culpa.)

    Evola’s description of primordial monarchy is getting at something important about the transition from hunter-gatherer band societies to agriculture and the state. I find it plausible that the type of order represented by premodern god-kings existed and continues to exist in timeless potential-space (game-theoretical Platonism?) prior to its instantiation by Sumer and the Xia Dynasty.

    But as I understood RatMW (I’ll grant that it’s been a couple of years since I read it) Evola goes beyond this to claim the existence, in historical time, of polar or antediluvian civilizations. Perhaps this is a naively exoteric reading, but then we’re back at the problem of literal meaning vs. metaphor. (Although you’re right that it’s best taken less as “metaphor” than as “conceptual apparatus.”)

    At any rate, the point that (on further reflection) I was trying to get at with my original comment was that serious engagement with Evola means serious engagement with the occult conceptual apparatus which is at the heart of his system. The reader can choose whether or not to accept it, but eventually they have to make the choice, and I’m not sure Anissimov grasps this (yet).

    (I do hope you’ll write that clarifying text!)

    Ademonos Reply:

    I’m glad we’re on the same line here. And I do admit, there are a few things in Evola’s writings which I, too, disagree with quite a bit – his mythical interpretations are not really amongst those, though.
    I completely agree with you in your last paragraph; I think your perception of Anissimov’s grasp of Evola is accurate, and his use of Evola seems to be quite severed (although I do need to read more Anissimov to confirm this) from a deeper understanding of the author and his thinking. I guess I’m coming from the Traditionalist position here, so I suppose that no-one will find it surprising if I say that many NRx adherents are dogmatic materialists (well, it’s rather obvious from this comments thread – but it also applies to Anissimov, I think). The opposite is also true, though; many Traditionalists are spiritual dogmatists. I do think that this can be bridged (perhaps by the dreaded ‘entry’ of more traditionalist elements like myself), but it’s not going to be painless.
    As for the clarifying text, I am thinking that the only proper thing might be to write an essay on the conceptuality of Evola’s take on transcendence, myth and spirituality in general. I’ve been thinking that perhaps learning Italian in order to read some of his non-translated texts as well as re-reading his core writings as they were originally written might be a good idea. So in a few years (all right, I will try to come up with something sooner – but it might take a few weeks or even months with my current writing pace)? I have this thing for piling up too much on my plate…
    Perhaps someone knows of other good clarifying texts in similar veins (there are some good essays on Evola, but none that I have encountered so far that would be satisfactory for someone coming from a purely materialistic perspective), because it’s something that might be very useful to refer to in the future… Most texts sort-of assume that one already understand the concepts (this is especially true with Evola), which is very hard for someone that is predetermined to dismiss them as implausible humbug.

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    You’re both mistaken regarding my understanding of Evola. Just because I don’t blab about things on my blog doesn’t mean I don’t know them. Be a little more generous.

    ultraZEN Reply:

    @ subforum & ademonos

    (Most of Evolas written material – mostly articles and essays and such – is not translated, so learning Italian may be a good investment vis a vis the evolian corpus. But be prepared for the sheer amount: in todays standards, Evola was a full-time blogger for most of his adult life. The topics range from newspapery rants on how nowadays, the noble art of mountaineering is ruined by modern safety standards and craven climbers that fears death – to meticulous readings and comments on the latest mathematical ontologies derived from quantum physics as understood in light of non-theistic idealist philosophy – to virulent polemical attacks on how gardening and park design destroys the landscape by patterning it after some aesthetical sentimentalism instead of the nonhuman splendour of “transcendence” we find revealed in glacial Antarctica, in lifeless deserts, amongst icy mountain peaks bathed in the power of sun and storm, and in the saturnian coldness of space.)

    The point I was trying to touch, as gently as a snug back alley rape, was that Evola’s hyperborean nonhumanism is the seed from whence his metapolitical and analytical stances evolve. You may say that I exaggerate (lovecraftian nazi ufo mysticism) – but it is an exaggeration just in style, i.e it is an exclamation point — ! — employed to stress or bold a particular conveyor of meaning.

    My view is that in order to appreciate Evola, one has to appreciate that Evola was a deep reactionary the way a butcher is a deep surgeon. Moldbuggian reactionary analysis is a fine tuned scalpel grafting clever patterns into the political economy of human reality as revealed in these happy days of unending prog utopianism. Molbug is a cognitive surgeon that, while discovering that the expected brain decay have progressed far deeper than initially thought, goes to work on delicate matters of precision. Moldbuggian surgery reveals the end station of libertarianism and western prog promotheism: the train has stopped and the track has ended and what the fuck this is nothing like pictured in the brochures. Under grinding teeth the latter days libs thus views the dawn of reality as horrific endarkment.

    Evola, on the other hand, contributed nothing significant to political economy. For him, economic science was some sort of resource extraction tool, a merchant scourge used to whip up ever more jewgold from the populace. Perfect capitalism is nothing but perfect democracy in the evolian analysis, and democracy always ends in overall decline, on the fact that humans are different, and most humans are stupid, and the only way to rule in such circumstance is to institute hidden oligarchal tyranny bound to the ever expanding service of stupid human desires. It is reverse conspiracy: the elite does not control the masses, its the other way around.

    Tracing the decline into ever more far away territory, Evola had no choice but to sooner or later end up in the nonhuman dimensions of Hyberborea.

    Evola deemed that capitalism, democracy and socialism were all the same. They could be genealogically deciphered as results of the process of unrealism that unfolded down through the centuries, i.e the replacement of the real with the abstract. The peak of unrealism in our recent past was in Evolas view the Enlightenment and all its derivatory devolutions. The individualism, egalitarianism and liberalism of the Enlightenment was nothing but perverted heretical Christian theology projected outwards in increasing delusions of tautological utopianism. In the NRx flowchart, the latest mutation on this branch is the reality-mugged libertarian that with horror perceives that the guiding light of progress blinds the vast darkness of unvisible wavelengths that engulfs it.

    Evola, as any good reactionary would, proceeds to flip everything upside down: What we call progress is actually decline. Avantgard high tech culture is a trait exhibited by dying civilizations, not vital and healthy ones. The whole modern spectrum of political ideology, from radical anarchism to stalinist communism, from liberal democracy to fascism, from secular humanism to free market capitalism and everything in between: these are nothing but warped theological scholastics, derived from the unrealist perceptions of devolved primate sense organs operated by degenerated brains on flawed ontological software amongst the urban merchant class in the European Middle Ages.

    Now, here is where Evola and the orthos & tradcats seperate. Understanding modernity as a mutated form of theology, the Baron then decided: why stop there? and promptly he cut deeper into the flesh, and lo and behold: Evola found that theology itself, i.e the theological restructuring of reality that filters human experience, either through religion or secular ideology, was nothing but an instrument used to impose order upon the masses, a form of psychological mind control device that translated (through emotional symbology) the Will of the Aristocracy in a way lesser men could understand, i.e as a system of applied symbology and metaphysical cliology that provides emotional meaning and purpose to the experience of Life. That is: a way to satisfy the cattle and at the same time cultivate them through eugenic evolution of specific memes and genes. Problem is: religion tend to devolve, one way or the other, into some sort of primitive animist ego-trip dressed in some rationalizing cult of some imaginary cause.

    And now we enter Cthulu.

    For the evolian aristocracy was, in a literal sense, not a human aristocracy, but a race of nonhuman transdimensional entities with godlike powers (-in NRx we call them the ancestors of the Eldars, our “antediluvian parents of old”-). These are the monarchs of deep reaction. Technology is for them nothing but the altering of experience and potential through flawless ritual techniques. They are, to use Evolas terminology, representing the “Absolute Man”. But later, when bloodmixing with lemurian apemen produced the smart primate we know as our species today, these ritual techniques were translated into symbols, language and ontological structures of religion and worship where direct experience once was. Thus Evola views various occult and esoteric tech as as the tools needed to restore the reign of the Monarchs – the one and true reign where evolution is bound to produce superior instead of inferior results.

    In comparison, Moldbug contributes to the science and philosophy of political economy on a far more relevant scale than Evola ever will, as the Baron, aristocrat as he was, viewed economic science as nothing but a tool of power and production of jewgold. But through this vein, Evola is nontheless relevant to neoreaction, as he provides functional reactionary tools of analysis. Evolian reactionary political analysis is functional because it is applied arch-reaction. It is the castration of any progressive constructivist impulse, root and stem. Measured against the superior godmen of Sirius, even the best of humanity are nothing but weak prog scum trying to improve themselves through utopian deliriae, creating havoc in the process.

    From the far height of nazi ufo chtulu ontology therefore descends a hardcore realism that allows for no other solution than organic and natural hierachal evolution. The roles are reversed: Cthulu is now mugged by reality, and his answer is to institute organic monarchy with high personal and economic freedom, eugenic incentives, low taxes, vital cultural cohesion and optimum potential for heroic, scientific and artistic performance. Read it if you havent: “Men Among The Ruins” is neoreactionary canon.

    Under such circumstance everyone thrives, whether they be merchants, surgeons, artisans, jugglers – or hyperborean godmen. Will there be suffering? Sure, but suffering is feedback, and feedback is more valuable than all the jewgold in the galaxy.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Your two big comments here are absolute classics.

    [Reply]

    RJ Moore II Reply:

    The Nazi-UFO stuff is pretty golden. The people trying to defend Evola’s metaphor are just making the point intelligent men also made about Christianity: that’s all very interesting, but it’s not really true, is it? And it doesn’t really become actionable, I mean one can at least LARP that others are Satanists before your Holy Wrath, but how is one to engage in tantrics and take oneself seriously? That sort of superstitious nonsense is just out, I don’t care how much people dislike it, it’s not true and it doesn’t mean anything literal. It’s “just” art, and art is not a bloody argument or a basis for a political philosophy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 11:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    Maistre outranks Evola. Purge the deviationist running dogs of pagan occultism. Let a hundred flowers bloom.

    [Reply]

    Konkvistador Reply:

    You got the sequence backwards.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 1:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner Says:

    Anissimov better watch it, or it will be no more private islands or french chefs for him. The Eldars are not amused.

    [Reply]

    Antisthenean Reply:

    I derived a hearty chuckle from this comment.

    Besides, Evola never went to Silicon Valley, so I don’t see why we should care about him.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 1:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • vimothy Says:

    Let a handful of flowers bloom, commie.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 3:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • AWC Says:

    NL,

    Any predictions on the coming Anissimov v Caplan debate?

    I think Caplan is dangerously wrong but he thoroughly knows the technical literature on immigration.

    Does Michael?

    I emailed Michael a reading list (w/ links) of many recent classics on immigration from multiple fronts (e.g. immigration and economics, immigration and iq, immigration and hbd, etc.).

    Odds?

    [Reply]

    vimothy Reply:

    Why do people consistently play this boring, narrow, technical game with the technocrats? I saw a bit of a conversation between Anissimov and econ blogger (and liberal blow-hard and Krugman fan-boy) Noah Smith on the subject of immigration, and Smith tried to turn every issue into a question about how big a certain quantity is — is it this big, or is it actually this big. So the debate started out with Anissimov saying that there is too much Mexican immigration, but then quickly turned into a debate about whether the rate of Mexican immigration had fallen over the last five years. It’s a mug’s game, because liberals don’t actually care about these quantities anyway, and if the rate of Mexican immigration turned out to be Y instead of X, Smith would just move on to a different quantity,and try to make the debate about that (productivity gains when Mexicans move to the US, etc, etc), instead of the real matter of substance, which is that Mexicans are replacing Americans in America.

    [Reply]

    Hawk Spitui Reply:

    I saw the debate differently. As much as Smith annoys me, he gave Anissimov every opportunity to make his case. I knew it was all going to be downhill when Anissimov couldn’t even articulate an answer to “Why? Why neoreaction? What so dissatisfies you about modernity?” All Anissimov could do is mumble something about a higher suicide rate and greater social isolation. All very nice, but hardly a reason to charge the barricades and turn your entire political system on it’s ear. When it came to the “equality” issue, it got even more embarrassing. The problem with equality, according to Anissimov, is that the concept might be “misinterpreted” to mean all people are equal in every way. Hardly the stuff of revolutions.

    Mostly, Anissimov came off like a bashful puppy Smith was trying to coax out from under the bed. I was left scratching my head wondering just what the fuss about neoreaction was all about: Anissimov drew no lines in the sand, couldn’t even articulate a reason for neoreaction’s existence and refused to take firm positions on the topics and support them with facts or arguments.

    Between Anissimov’s debate with Smith, and Moldbug’s debate with Hanson, I have to say the NR’s come off as unprepared and poorly informed in a debate format (and I’m a supporter!). Unless Anissimov improves his debate technique, I submit that his throwing down the gauntlet to the libertarians is cruisin’ for a bruisin’. Whatever is wrong with the libertarians, you can be sure that at least they’re going to show up to a debate prepared to articulate what they want, why they want it, how their view differs from other views, and what they intend to do about it. Until the NR’s are likewise prepared I suggest they stay away from the cameras.

    [Reply]

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    I’m pleased with how the debate went. My purpose is not to create fireworks, but to slowly and deliberately introduce points based on facts (not emotions, and not optimized for combativeness) and minimal claims, which, over time and taken in combination, lead the reader/listener to irrefutable conclusions about modernity. This is a gradual process and will take months, if not years, for many individuals. It’s a similar situation with Moldbug, where most people came to agree with him after reading many of his posts, not all at once. Moldbug had to keep posting for years before he gained a critical mass. Slow and steady wins the race.

    VXXC Reply:

    #Vimothy is correct.

    Arguing with Technocrats is a mug’s game.

    Arguing with Progs a Fools Game.

    Reason is a mere tool, like force and money. Or emotional manipulation. The appeal to reason is an appeal to vanity and frankly shirk. When and If we are outnumbered by Meso-Zombies our appeals to reason and justice from our Rulers will gain us no more than it would facing a street gang. Zimmerman is alive not because he appealed to reason, he is alive because he used force.

    Arguing with Nihilist Intellectuals using their reason as a tool for Harm against people they bear Old World Blood Vengeance against is a Fools Game, and indeed we have been fooled.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    There’s a chaotic factor, which is the complete absence of common ground between the two. Do they share any references at all, or any values?

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @ Caplan and Technical Knowledge of Immigration; I know and have forgotten the non recent parts of American, NATO and Communist, Terrorist and just for context WW2 weaponry. I can probably give you the respective ranges off the top of my head.

    I know enemy tactics and strategy as well as friendly.**

    I studied the enemy during the Cold War and since.

    That’s Caplan’s “technical knowledge” of the Immigration “debate”. He’s not debating anything, he see’s a powerful weapon pitted against a design flaw engineered and installed by his fellow nihilists. Caplan isn’t a Libertarian, he’s a Nihilist. You don’t return to principles of limited American government by importing Latin American slums, unless by limited you mean Chaos. This is the aim of Immigration, and Caplan.

    He’s not a foe of Reaction, he’s an enemy of America.

    It has nothing to do with facts, or reason, or logic. That’s all a game and strategems. Immigration is a weapon. Reason itself in this case, as in most politics is simply a tool. You want something, a desired policy. Reason should have no more standing in politics than money or force. Especially when your enemy is holding the weapon that reason in fact IS. The first fruits of the tool of reason for man was either Fire or the Jawbone of an ass, and both are weapons.

    Reason is merely a tool, in politics a weapon. Get over it or you’ll never be free of the central tragic error of the Enlightenment.

    &&US Strategery being a bit of a stretch, but I’m familar with decades of it.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @Admin,

    If you go with Command and Control and Hierarchy at this stage you’re going against the lessons of the last century of warfare.

    A Hierarchy and C2 model can be decapitated.

    At this point ad-hoc network is a better model, the next step in evolving the network is the Internet [DARPANET].

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 3:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    It means something that diverse people want the NRx label. It should in theory say a true and consistent thing about them. (Hopefully not that they want to be seen as edgy or smart…but that’s certainly possible.)

    On the other hand, only certain people deserve the NRx label. (Should I pick most observers or on the ball observers as the key observers?) It means something to key observers, and everyone who does not match that description is attempting propaganda.

    Unfortunately, nobody can explicitly write down that description. I think the attempts to date have not appreciated how difficult a good definition is. If nothing else, it needs to explicitly state whether it wants to be verified against ‘most observers’ or ‘on the ball observers,’ and if the latter, define ‘on the ball’ as well.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The only graspable definition there was any chance of converging upon was “Moldbuggian” — and the time for that to work seems already to have passed. I’m genuinely interested in how this is going to play, because the entropic tides are only going to strengthen from here on out.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 3:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Organiztion is only helpful when you have something you’re trying to accomplish. Something concrete, I mean.

    NRx doesn’t.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Memetic warfare is plenty concrete.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Only if there was agreement on the memes to fight for. There isn’t–see your post above.

    Actually, I think that’s wrong. I think there are memes in common but for whatever reason you and others are focusing more on the differences. There may be good reasons for it, or it may be just lack of discipline and self-indulgence, I don’t know.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Only if there was agreement on the memes to fight for.” — You’re tangling yourself in knots. “It’s not important to get your memes straight, because you can’t do anything without your memes being straight.” How is that not the argument of the last two comments in combination?

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    NRx can’t have a cohesive purpose–memetic warfare–until it has memes that it agrees on. Fighting over what the memes should be isn’t itself a cohesive purpose.

    I think you agree.

    VXXC Reply:

    @Admin – agree. Prog Faith is a series of Meme’s. The Faith should be discredited and the gods toppled, ideas and meme’s a way to do that.

    Actually agreement on anything but who the enemy is and that they gotta go not only isn’t essential, it’s a Diversion. It’s a Trap.

    The First Crusaders never had Unity of Command, yet they swept a backwards Civilization that resembled Bosnia during the War Years of the 90s into Global Power in 4 short and bloody years.

    The First Crusade was stunning in it’s success, it’s as if the Greeks had won at Thermopylae and then swept the Persian Empire in one Campaign. They didn’t agree on anything but the Cause.

    Because God Willled It, and Urban II offered salvation to warriors and Holy War as a way of getting clean before God.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    But even so, the rectification of terms is an important form of order, which is why I call myself just a fellow-traveler, since I’m doubtful about some of the main precepts (viz., the unutterable evil of voting, the unutterable evil of progressivism at its very beginning in the 13th C. or the 16th C., depending on who’s asking, and the advantages of royalism). But debate and discussion can also be order generating, so I still particioate.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I have great affection for fellow-travelers — they don’t screw around with the branding machinery.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • Foseti Says:

    I’ll have a lot more to say about this later, but both you and Anissimov are rather confused on the monarchy, so here are the highlights:

    For MM, a king any one person who runs a country. (You really do need to read Vattel on this). The point is that a king need not be a guy in a purple cape carrying a scepter and wearing a crown.

    Moldbug’s “king” is nothing more than the CEO of soveriegn organization. Every publicly traded company in the world is run as a monarchy.

    From this perspective, your question about whether the US could ever have a king is absurdly misguided. The US has had several kings already. MM notes that the most recent CEO of the US was Harry Hopkins (also probably a Communist – note the capital c). Lincoln was certainly a king of at least part of the US, under this old understanding of the meaning of the word.

    Anissimov seems to actually want to restore some sort of old-fashioned monarch with a court and hereditary succession and so on. That’s certainly not molbuggian nor is it neo-anything.

    Finally, the last key point you’re missing is that this structure is anything but abnormal. Indeed, when we stop thinking of governments as magical and think of them as if they’re any other large organization, we immediately see that a CEO running a joint-stock company is the rule, not the exception.

    A CEO/king is simply the application of the most successful corporate governance structure in the history of time (the joint-stock corporation) to sovereign organizations. What’s crazy is that no one else is suggesting this.

    One also quickly sees that the world’s least successful corporate governance structure (i.e. a corporation run for the benefit of everyone in the world) is the default answer for how a sovereign organization should be run. We’re all Marxists when it comes to structuring our governments, apparently.

    Finally, it should be noted that Moldbug’s suggested organizational structure for a government (a profit-maximizing organizationg run by a CEO) is really just an application of Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand and the dominant form of corporate governance as determined by the free market. What sort of libertarian could possible be against that?

    [Reply]

    Karl F. Boetel Reply:

    Taking a short break from watching a video of a wombat rolling around and getting his tummy rubbed to point out that Foseti is exactly right.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Exactly right. I look forward to your next post on the subject.

    [Reply]

    Stirner Reply:

    Foeseti, that is a very useful clarification. The effectiveness of having a single leader is probably something that NRs can generally agree with. I think where the fractures and different schools of thought in Neoreaction will emerge comes in the further extension of your corporate metaphor:

    1) Is the CEO accountable to a Board of Directors?

    2)Is there “voting stock” or is the SovCorp privately held.

    3)If there is voting stock on what basis is it distributed?

    Moldbug addressed these issues from multiple angles, but I am left with the impression that many of his ideas in this realm were more thought experiments than robust answers.

    [Reply]

    Jack Crassus Reply:

    Moldbug’s tentative answer is Urbit

    [Reply]

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    Urbit is not really an answer to these questions.

    admin Reply:

    @ Michael Anissimov
    (Predictably) I’m far less sure.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thrilled to see you here as always. I’m 90% with you on this, and due deference nudges it up close to 100%. Nagging quibble appended to your second comment (below).

    [Reply]

    Konkvistador Reply:

    “That’s certainly not molbuggian nor is it neo-anything.”

    Wrong.

    [Reply]

    EdwardM Reply:

    Re: Moldbug’s concept of kingship, I seem to recall that he explicitly described USG under the second Roosevelt as a functioning monarchy (sorry, I haven’t time to search the Molduggian corpus for the exact reference).

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 7:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    @ Michael Anissimov: “Moldbug isn’t here.”

    Oh, yes he is. He’s right here among us. He’s just going by other monikers, these days.

    [Reply]

    Jack Crassus Reply:

    No. Moldbug has a certain style to him, a certain genius, and too poor of self discipline to pretend to be otherwise. If he’s here, he’s lurking

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 8:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • Traditional Monarchy is Neoreactionary | More Right Says:

    […] the comments at Nick Land’s Outside In blog, Foseti shows his support for a national ruler based on the […]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    I mean, c’mon, people. It was obvious from the beginning that Unamused, of Unamusement Park infamy, & Karl F Boetel, of Radishmag,, were one & the same person.

    And now, behold Karl F Boetel’s magisterial reply to Foseti,, just above.,

    He IS the man himself.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Foseti Says:

    Since I can’t comment at Anissimov’s (http://www.moreright.net/traditional-monarchy-is-neoreactionary/), I’ll comment here.

    Of course Moldbug supports monarchy – he’s a fan of Frederick The Great, as am I. There are basically no ways in which the current structure of USG would not be better by a return to traditional monarchy.

    In fact, Moldbug defines the right extreme on the political spectrum as someone who believes in corporate governance structures that are entirely defined by hierarchical relationships. The left believes in a sprawling, anonymous bureaucracy. Moldbug is also careful to use the term “king” and “monarch” in the good old-fashioned way – one dude in charge. Thus, USG has been run by kings in the past.

    However, Anissimov ignores so much of Moldbug’s other writings, in which he very clearly advocates for a certain type of king.

    The neo in neo-reactionary must mean something. I would argue that it clearly means that we’re supposed to think like Robert Filmer, but also be cognizant of technological progress since Filmer’s time. What would Filmer do with modern corporate governance structures and an iphone and modern medicine, etc? That’s the question for the neoreactionary.

    [Reply]

    Jack Crassus Reply:

    Moldbug is betting that strong hierarchy on the internet (urbit) will leak over to other areas of governance, if it is successful

    [Reply]

    Ademonos Reply:

    I think the idea is that the two (virtual-space and meat-space) will converge further and further in the future. It’s not about the internet leaking over into real life; it’s about existing mspace institutions literally being moved into vspace. Whether we want it to happen or not is irrelevant; it seems rather inevitable with the way things are currently going. Urbit is a brilliant initiative, but I don’t think we should be praising it too much before we understand what if any implications it will have. As it currently looks it’s very far from being any sort of magical cure-all.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It would be extremely convenient and theoretically attractive (to me) if ‘King’ never meant anything more to Moldbug than ‘CEO’. This is not an easy position to maintain, however, given that Moldbug emphatically describes himself as a Jacobite. (William of Orange was very probably the best ‘CEO-monarch’ the UK ever had.) CEOs are indeed “one guy in charge” but they are also institutionally-controlled, unlike Fnargl, and (I agree?) unlike FDR.

    [Reply]

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    The fact that this line of speculation is even being forwarded is fairly amusing to me.

    [Reply]

    Foseti Reply:

    “This is not an easy position to maintain, however, given that Moldbug emphatically describes himself as a Jacobite.”

    With Moldbug, the key is to read the sources he links to.

    On these issues, he links to no one more more than Vattel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emer_de_Vattel). Vattel is very clear on the meaning of king.

    There’s also nothing contradictory here. One’s ultimate goal can be rule by CEO without in any way making it implausible for one to favor a restoration over the continuing descent into rule by the amorphous Cathedral and the permanent bureaucracy. Far from being incoherent, this position is entirely logical.

    In relation to the present, one may be a Jacobite and still not necessarily believe in restorationism over any other form of government.

    @Anissimov, I have massive respect for monarchists. I read the blogs of many of them. If you find yourself drifting in that direction, that’s admirable (slightly ridiculous in the 21st Century, but no less ridiculous than the actual 21st Century that we have). If that’s where you are, Moldbug isn’t your enemy, he’s just not completely your ally – that really shouldn’t be so hard to understand.

    [Reply]

    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    Of course. I never insinuated he was my enemy.

    admin Reply:

    It’s not Jacobite restoration (of monarchy in rebellious America) vs democracy that concerns me, but Jacobite restoration (of the Stuarts) vs the 1688 Glorious Revolution.

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 9:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    @
    How long has it even been since Evola was translated into English? Weren’t some of his works only translated around 2000? I had never heard of him until a year ago despite being knee-deep in existentialists and their ilk for 25 years prior.

    Part of this might be a matter of preference. With Evola you can pick up BOOKS and just start reading. If you really put your mind to it you get all his ideas in like a week (if you read Revolt Against the Modern World and Ride the Tiger back to back, let’s say). With Moldbug you’ve got to wade through a pile of old blog posts, some of which are made deliberately arcane or snarky. I still don’t really … what’s the word … zen, I suppose … with Moldbug. Evola, however, I find very powerful. He fills a space that somehow Heidegger, Camus and Nietzsche together don’t quite cover.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 19th, 2014 at 12:13 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Absolutely a King/CEO would be wonderful – For Washington. Someone has to organize the Party to keep This Town going.

    The problem of course will remain there isn’t enough of everything in America and indeed the world for both Washington and the rest of us. Keeping Tammy Haddad and all the rest and there are an ever growing number in clover grows more expensive every day.

    Perhaps Good King CEO [Cheo?] will have to be that outsider at last, the relationship between Washington and the World being…Binary. It’s either all the rest of us, or you. I’m afraid we both can’t make it.

    Moldbug certainly has an opinion about that, and that’s a King I can get behind. And would.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 19th, 2014 at 12:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Monarchy vs Neocameralism vs Republicanism, etc. | Occam's Razor Says:

    […] the Dark Enlightenment legions, there has been a debate recently about what’s the best form of government.  Is it monarchy, neocameralism, […]

    Posted on February 19th, 2014 at 3:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Says:

    If neo-reaction was the heretical trinity of the Alawites (Ali; the meaning or inner essence, Mohammed; the name or outward manifestation and Salman al-Farsi; the gate), then Moldbug would be Salman al-Farsi. The gate.

    Moldbug is certainly valuable, but it seems difficult to be a Moldbuggian because Moldbug is obviously wrong about a lot of stuff. Or just as often he is right about something, but not really for the right reasons. Take neo-cameralism. It seems like every neo-reactionary agrees that it’s not really worthy of being treated as a serious proposition. And it’s not. Or take Moldbug’s critique of democracy; it’s been done better before. Democracy sucks, but it’s not really for the reasons Moldbug brings up. Many of the Cathedral’s more offensive policies were never voted on. Often they would have been voted down if they were voted on. Often they were voted down but the voters were overruled by the Cathedral.

    Democracy failed, but not primarily through voting. Democracy just collapsed into oligarchy, as it tends to do, and the voters were not up to the very, very difficult challenge of preventing that collapse using their votes. Few groups of voters would be up to the challenge. That’s not to say that the voters would have taken us great places, but they didn’t intentionally vote to take us here.

    Moldbug is valuable because he makes you think. Other writers may have made better critiques of democracy, but Moldbug encourages you to take the critique of democracy seriously in a way that those other writers never did, because Moldbug dares to imagine an alternative. Back in my poly sci days I remember hearing some great critiques of democracy. But they barely registered beyond a superficial level because we were always operating on the assumption that democracy was the only option. Moldbug does a good job of getting you to think about a lot of stuff like that.

    Putting aside the mystical stuff for a second, Evola is more right than Moldbug in that he is defending something that clearly can work for humans under certain circumstances, while Moldbug cannot make that same claim. Moldbug can only offer an alternative form of progressivism which might work a bit better but that would probably share many of the problems of the current system. You’re still living in one of Calhoun’s rat torture chambers / paradises, just with different people in charge.

    But good luck getting irreligious people (with the state of current religions, you can’t blame people for being irreligious) who are operating in a classical liberal frame of mind to jump right into Evola. It’s too easy to just dismiss him because of the mystical stuff and the radically different frame of mind. You could say the same for most established reactionary figures.

    Moldbug is not so easily dismissed, if you get past the TL/DR thing then he really should get you thinking about some dangerous topics. Once you start thinking you could go all sorts of places, but hopefully you won’t stop at “let’s put some CEO in charge”.

    Moldbug is the gate. It’s not yet clear to me who the name or the meaning is. Hopefully they show up soon.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Bingo.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    Neocameralism is still valuable to have, even though it’s completely unrealistic. It serves to illuminate the criticism: in avoiding the failings of democracy, it puts flashing neon arrows above them, and forces the reader to take them seriously, rather than shrugging them off as unfortunate but inevitable.

    Realism is how ideology defends itself. Being able to short-circuit it is a necessary skill. If I didn’t think Marx had the radical-prophet thing, I’d suspect him of having done that too…

    Thankfully, neocameralism can’t really be read as Sorelian myth.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    I guess it’s unrealistic until you’ve lived in one and watched it work just fine in reality. Better, in fact, that the ‘realistic’ system in which we actually live in reality which is working much less fine.

    I read about this ‘unrealism’ of neocameralism all the time, but the proofs have, to this point, been far less sufficient or persuasive than the proposal.

    Living on a overseas military base and under a Garrison Commander is as close as it gets to functional neocameralist governance short of a coup. And if you want to live in a place the size of a city where any 8 year old girl can walk from edge to edge of the jurisdiction in the middle of the night without being in any danger – that’s it.

    The GC has control over the entirely of a community’s governance. He has his executive administrative staff, his own courts, prisons, military police, soldiers, budgets, revenue-collection mechanisms (rent, sales taxes, excise fees, service fees), provides community services and amenities (public schools, health services, trash collection, libraries, parks, utilities, etc.)

    And he’s got plenty of non-servicemember civilians who are still required to obey his rules, which he has a wide discretion to set since the executive, legislative, and even judicial powers are unified in his person.

    So, I hope you all can enlighten me as to the core unrealism behind neocameralism which is now apparently taken for granted, but which is, so far as I can see, something more of a popular rumor than a theorem.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    That’s not neocameralism. That’s a military dictatorship. Some of which work extremely well: see Pinochet’s Chile. Others not so much, see Videla’s Argentina. Or the first half of Franco. Or Myanmar. Or Libya.

    This GC isn’t Fnargl. He answers to his superiors too, and has a pretty narrow purpose to lead his actions. A neocameralist CEO answers to a board of directors, who have no clear sense of purpose, probably no good measures of performance, and little incentive to push for better performance once they got to the board. And people being people, most of the board will end up in pointless civil strife in order to become the CEO and be the top dog.

    The narrow argument that military dictatorships are superior to democracy is not a bad one, but there’s quite a big literature about it, and you won’t make many friends by saying for example that the US needs a Pinochet or a Gaddafi.

    Handle Reply:

    @Spandrell

    Yes, you know that I’m well aware it’s not neocameralism. But it runs a community (‘installation management’) in day-to-day operations as close to corporate-style governance as one gets, and it works great – much better than democracy – and is therefore a valid and worthwhile analogy to draw when discussing the realistic workability of proposals for similar systems.

    Nothing human is perfect nor perfectible, but criticism goes off the rails when the perfect becomes the enemy of vast improvement, and deviations from perfection result in irrational dismissals in favor of either inferiority, or just nothing – the absence of any ideas for improvement – which is the equivalent of intellectual acquiescence to the crap status quo.

    If your position is, “Nothing is better than democracy, it’s all f*cked-up monkey-politics in the end and all we can do is wait for collapse,” then fine, but then we disagree. I don’t get that impression from your writing, however.

    GC is also not saddled with the tyrannical baggage implied by ‘military dictatorship’ but whatever – modern effective and competitive organizations are in practice all run by semi-insecure dictators atop a bureaucratic administrative hierarchy, the only real questions being ‘how insecure’ and ‘to what end’. Gurri said all non-democracies would turn into 20th-century-style dictatorships, by which he clearly meant the Stalin-Castro-Gaddafi-Pinochet spectrum, and I asked him repeatedly about Dubai and Singapore and he thought it best to avoid the subject.

    And who is trying to ‘make many friends’ around here anyway? Certainly not me or you.

    So, let’s refocus. The T-Shirt slogan is ‘Democratic Politics Is Shit’ – it generates the Cathedral and the Leftist Ratchet and produces awful, irrational, fanatical quasi-theocratic governance that threatens a lot of things we care about (not necessarily a perfectly overlapping set, but plenty of common ground nonetheless, I’m sure).

    The ‘argument’ around here is that people worship democracy only because it won the last world war and is the official state religion, and anyway, they are often only pretending or manifestly hypocritical when they do so – see affirmative action and gay marriage. And we can do much, much better with different designs, all of which will require a much greater degree of executive power consolidation, and a realignment of incentives away from public opinion and towards real world performance.

    There are plenty of theoretical and philosophical arguments one can make on behalf of that, but being able to point to actually existing better systems helps make a more powerful and balanced case.

    You can point to historical regimes – as Anissimov does with his Enlightenment-Monarchy fixation – but I don’t tend to put much weight in historical analysis because (1) The data is extremely poor, and (2) the world and state of technology have changed far too much to draw meaningful comparisons. Changing more than one variable at a time in non-controlled experiments makes ‘analysis’ a preposterous joke because you can prove anything or its opposite, which is what is exactly what Arnold Kling has been saying is wrong with Macroeconomics.

    Or you can point to modern-day functional examples that are much closer to neocameralism than to democracy and say “See? Works just fine. Better than what you have now, and look – no North Korea torture dungeons – wow!”

    I’m not particularly wedded to exactly replicating Moldbug’s corporate model, as I think is obvious. If the trend towards monkey-politics, corrupt-insularity, and weak-supervision / accountability of the board of directors is a sticking point with you then fine, but somehow corporations do a decent job of staying focused on maximizing profits or disappearing (at least outside the financial sector, which is pretty obviously government-lite).

    I certainly don’t think it justifies hasty disposition as though fundamentally irredeemable without possibility of mitigation through improvements in organizational design. There are plenty of clever ways to incentivize good management at all levels. The civil service, the military, corporations, and non-profits all have trouble getting human beings to behave in the way they should, and they all adapt to that reality and develop decent ‘good-enough’ solutions too.

    The point is that there is nothing more ‘unrealistic’ about neocameralism than currently existing systems of government, which are all flawed but can still ‘work’ because perfection is not required and human systems have certain amounts of resiliency and negative-feedbacks against instant singularity – ‘there is plenty of ruin in a nation’.

    But systems closer to neocameralism than democracy work better, and there are actual implementations of them doing so that are are worth both study and use as examples, and which weigh heavily against knee-jerk dismissal of corporate designs.

    admin Reply:

    “The point is that there is nothing more ‘unrealistic’ about neocameralism than currently existing systems of government …” — Thanks for that.

    Handle Reply:

    @admin:

    You’re welcome.

    Every novel proposal for a system of government seems implausible and preposterous and full of obvious unanswerable objections when explained in terms of abstract principles of design instead of in terms of the formal and informal feedback systems that cause adjustments which accommodate human reality. Status Quo bias in the flesh. That’s because the nature of the things you are trying to govern, and who are tasked with doing the governing, will never fit into perfect systems.

    Democracy is no less absurd and counter-realistic (much more so, actually), was no less mocked – justly – for precisely those reasons, eppur si muove, or, at least it did when it was farther away from the black hole. Imperfect, unrealistic systems can work ‘well enough’, and the question – in my view – is not perfection but what would work better than the crap we have.

    I think there are lots of possibilities, and that neocameralism is one of them. The dismissal around here as if it’s not is thus unwarranted.

    But on a more meta level – it all argues for competitive experimentation. The only way you’re going to settle any of this is by creating the space to try different things out and comparing their relative performance. It’s pointless to argue about the perfect mouse-trap, and better to focus on supporting market capitalism which will tend to produce gradual and innovative improvements in mouse-traps.

    My guess is that neocameralism would out-compete most of its rivals, but I’m not flag-waving for it, I’m flag-waving for letting it be tried, even just as a demonstration project.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    An overseas military base is not a representative sample of the population. You’re getting the government to work using the same method that leftists use to get their form of government to work: first, get rid of 90% of the population.

    admin Reply:

    @ Lesser Bull
    If for the sake of delicacy and pragmatism we can re-phrase that as “getting away from 90% of the population” then I’m really not seeing much of an alternative. In the final analysis it’s either:
    (1) Democratic degeneration
    (2) Harsh and exhausting massive repression
    (3) Escape
    Seems to me that #3 wins hands down.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    The secret of good government:

    There is an old joke about an elderly brewmaster whose boss demands that he reveal the secret of brewing good beer. After initially refusing, the brewmaster eventually agrees to write the secret down and put it in a sealed envelope in a safe, to be opened only after his retirement. Years later, the day finally arrives, and the boss opens the envelope. The note inside says, “Hire a good brewmaster.”

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    4) Use ideology to make the people who need repressing repress themselves in constructive ways. This was the traditional solution. If neo-reaction doesn’t work for and cannot deal with 90% of the population, isn’t it just libertarianism 2.0?

    Escaping from 90% of the population is not a real long term solution, at least not the way you seem to conceptualize it. It’s just white flight all over again, only this time it’s gotten so bad that even a significant percentage of suburban whites need to be fled from.

    Ok, so you move to Singapore or Shanghai and play around with financial instruments for a living. Meanwhile, the 90% problem festers… everywhere else in the world. The 90% are growing and soon they’ll be 99.9% and they’ll come for you (or your descendants) someday.

    And these tiny island city states are completely dependent on nearby large countries, all of which have their own 90% problem. Even if the 90% can’t breach your perimeter, you’re not going to have much of an economy left once they overwhelm your larger neighbors.

    Wouldn’t a sustainable escape require staking out a much larger piece of ground, one that can actually be somewhat self sufficient even after the rest of the world is overwhelmed? And once you’re running a real country, your ideology is going to have to work for a more representative cross section of the population.

    admin Reply:

    @ SHWAT
    Since Pareto we’ve known that 20% of the population does 80% of everything that matters. There’s no reason to think that excludes self-defense competence. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai against the world — I agree — would be tall odds at this point. The effective 20% of the world fending off the rest with robot militaries doesn’t strike me as unrealistic in the least. Collapsocracies don’t pose much of a threat to anybody, unless to societies so profoundly degenerated that they hold open a welcome mat to the world’s most embittered and dysfunctional human detritus.

    It’s not that I’m in any way hostile to reactionary political projects aimed at disciplining some segments of the world’s unproductive population. Good luck with that. Unlike the monarchist constituency, however, I think that talent should be aimed beyond itself, not beneath itself, and that the application of advanced intelligence to the social needs of the masses is basically waste. Malthusian problems will zero-out any achievements made in this regard, in the end. Super-intelligence is the prize to focus upon.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    @admin,
    not necessarily disagreeing. But my point is that the secret sauce of an overseas military base is more likely to be the ‘getting away’ than the autocratic rule by the base commander.

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 3:57 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @Saddam Hussein’s Whirling Aluminium Tubes

    THIS

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 9:39 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    “If neoreaction is to grow, it must sever all connections with these people [the Manosphere]. If neoreaction is located within a mile of writers such as this, we will scare away high-value individuals who might actually contribute to our thede. This is why I am arguing for wholesale disassociation and rejection of these communities. I’m open to being persuaded otherwise, but given what I’ve seen out of these manosphere, I don’t think I’m going to change my mind. In fact, it fills me with dread to even have the public association of rejecting them. This post itself could be used as evidence of a connection between neoreaction and the manosphere, and scare away high-quality people we are trying to attract.” MA

    Really?! What happened to ‘no enemies to the right?’. You sound like a trad-conservative fretting about association with NRx ‘racists’. Frankly, this is embarrassing. NRx is built on reality, not the the denial of reality because it turns out to be unsavoury.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 22nd, 2014 at 11:01 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    >Handle,

    We’re going to have to disagree about the importance of learning from history. History data is not poor, especially for recent events. What happens is most people don’t really know shit about it, but that happens with any discipline.

    Your argument that a military regime works well doesn’t explain how it would scale. Because it wouldn’t. A sovereign military regime is by definition a military dictatorship, 90% of which suck, for various reasons. Mostly because the military is oriented towards something very specific, i.e. war, and it doesn’t do it that well either. Having an army rule a country without nobody to answer to or any real measures of performance leads to… Videla.

    Moldbug made a big deal about the security of those in power and how it affects actual performance. I think it’s not that important, the security of those in power depends more on the local feeling of a given time that the formal system. Kings might not be deposed but they lost actual power all the time, while democratic leaders may have an extremely firm grip on power for generations. The often denounced Short-termism is more about the joys of modern life (you can grab billions and have your property respected after leaving office!!) than democratic election cycles. The Clintons and Bushes are stlll around.

    In the end you’re right that the only real way of producing real measures of performance for a government to build itself around is competition. Competition works, both history and science show that. But competition doesn’t happen just like that. We have been getting less and less competition over time, thanks to the massive US military superiority. And last time I checked the US doesn’t like having competitors, and even less letting domestic opponents secede.

    So “just lest us try!!” is just as utopian and unrealistic as Seasteading, Confederate revival, Eco-fascism, Absolute Monarchy revival or any “hey this sounds cool” idea we may have.

    Not to talk of the likely scenario of a patchwork world of competing government systems and what that usually entails: constant warfare. Ancient China or Renaissance Italy come to mind.
    Which following Peter Turchin might be the only way to get some asabiya back. The Ukrainians look pretty wholesome right now.

    Do you have any actual model of what would actually need to happen in order to democracy to collapse to the point that “creative experimentation” is possible?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • Jackal Says:

    evola probably influenced moldbug, but ‘ranking’ is not applicable given the metapolitics and youth of NRx. At this point it is more important to actually build shit and observe then it is to worry about what NRx is metapolitically about.

    this strange introspective drama is childish and not masculine. I made a reddit comment on this earlier today

    Due to the nature of ideological memes and reactionary thought at any given time when the NRx was introduced en masse many were enthralled by it. The 1st generation (foseti, moldbug, anarcho-paptist etc etc) of NRx writers we’re resurrecting the old-right and counter enlightenment thought. Many of those who gave a shit about masculine virtue (I.E. intelligent k-types and manosphere dudes) embraced the ideas whole sale.

    This is slightly problematic because NRx was highlighted too early. It is still just a group of dudes with disparate observations who see under the covers of revisionist History. It’s not even close to being ready for action. That’s why no many different alt.right proponents work well under it. Eventually phyles and tribes will have to form for action and they may not sit under the tree together. When formalized groups form they cannot be begging for the scraps of NRx ideas. They would tear it apart. Instead the formalization of clubs and phyles needs to lead to a formalized structure for NRx conceptions and observations. It needs to free itself of bias and take on the cathedrals delicate bullshit facade.

    With that said this means that the foundations of NRx need to e discussed. This of course has been discussed time and time again but the root of the values always traces back to moldbug. Now moldbug has made massive contributions, and while I think the manosphere was more effective at gathering the new recruits, namely he provided a counter narrative full of historical and primary sources.

    Moldbug took the ideas of mises and Carlyle and saw history through a new light. He saw a history where the age of enlightenment was actually a poision to western civilization, in spite of the technological progress garnered from it.
    Now here’s where I diverge a little. I prefer not-Euclidean politics over left-right divides. I generally agree with the sentiment that hierachary actually gets shit done and when hierarchy is not formally present it is usually implicitly present in working systems. However I care more for breaking down my ego, living with virtue, and the pursuit of truth.

    This is difficult since NRx fits my realty tunnel quite easily. Humans don’t judge idelogical viruses on merit and reason. We test that shit out in context of our beliefs. Having grown up across the us, spending a better part of a decade in Alaska, focused on chemical engineering, am a white male, practiced game, learned austrian and chicago school economics, loved the gym, dug cars and guns, generally sit more towards k than r, became a gnostic, and had Masonic relatives its no surprise I’m predisposed to extreme right ideas. When I burned out the political game in my brain, rejected libertarian, and attempted the moldbug DIY brain surgery I left it quite open for any right wing ideological virus.

    When I say not-Euclidean I mean Robert Anton Wilson political focus on meta politics, language, biology, and history. I’d rather know the truth. Gnosis concerns me more than most.

    Now here’s where we tie into my discussion of NRx 1st generation observations. Moldbug is known for having top notch primary sources. Just check here, you’ll see:

    http://moldbuggery.blogspot.com/2009/03/collected-writings-of-mencius-moldbug.html

    however the NRx as of late, due to conformism and trying to apply the observations to everything, has tended towards confirmation bias rather than observation. We are making conclusions before we judge events. The 1st generation work is becoming more dogmatic then tentative first steps really deserve.

    They are good first steps. Making counter enlightenment available to the common man is good. However I don’t think the movement should be limited by just a reaction to the enlightenment.

    Consider that r-types and leftists have existed before the enlightenment. It’s got a cause. We must go deeper.
    This sort of problem, also choking once te mainstream really acknowledges you, have both been present in the European new-right. They are reacting as well but mostly they just blame the Jews (I’m with Jim from jims blog on the Jews. They deserve some blame, everyone does, but shit was fucked up before the 1920’s and the Jewish inference was only effective with white weakness) and they have limited thier observations to please thier following of fringe insane white nationalists (intellectually they’re usually good, but they’re action phyles draw in some low -iq madmen)

    This was accounted by Guillame Faye in his book archeofuturism (must read)
    http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Archeofuturism

    Ultimately what Faye is trying to do is create a proactive and prescriptive movement based on a combination of radical traditionalism (read some evola boys) and right wing transhumanism.
    A positive creation rather than a negative reaction.

    What moldbug did was monumental but we must build upon it and find other roots of truth as well as making actions happen.

    Find books, observe the real world (game is one example of this), question everything. Take psychedelics, meditate, workout, eat healthy THINK!

    Make goals, form clubs, develop a phyle, write, get a communication network going, setup a darknet, run open-transactions, build a bugout bag, move, find ways of bringing pussy/wealth to the movement, find artists, have a passion, ACT!

    Don’t just observe something and then wallow in confirmation bias. Yes we are small, yes it’s a 300+ yr old disadvantage, yes we’re politically incorrect, yes intellectual honesty is hard, yes virtue is hard. Yes yes yes. But we are men. We don’t give up, we have one life to live and we can build civilization. Burn the corpse of the west and start anew. Fuck the west and the east, we are the true north.

    Knowledge and Action. Combine this with virtue, justice, temperance, and courage. Be a man, be the change you want to see.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    NRx is a philosophy of government. In becoming a mass movement, it is intellectually dying.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    “NRx is a philosophy of government. In becoming a mass movement, it is intellectually dying.”

    Hmm. Well. I’ve heard of worse things then intellectual death. Interesting.

    ===========================================

    @learn Mandarin -Can I bring 200 milllion close friends to Shanghai? They’re good fighters if kept in borderlands raising milleu. [Albions seed]. Where my mick Catholic prole reading ass was raised if you’re wondering. Always wondered about them, glad I read that book. Most if anyway. so..can they come along?

    No? Not enough room? What, no mountains?

    No?

    Well then. Plan A. And plan B. And…plan X. More letters then. Greek looks promising, there’s that Theta thingie..

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “200 milllion close friends” — You think there are anything close to this number of salvageable Americans? Really?

    Handle Reply:

    @admin: If you take away a 0…

    Posted on March 1st, 2014 at 12:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Mark Citadel Says:

    Place NeoReaction aside for a minute as its hard to define, (some define it as a substrain of Reaction, while others a meta-Reaction that undergirds all other forms of Reaction). In terms of Reactionary thought, both Moldbug and Evola are important for the same reasons, they wrote A LOT, and a large amount of it was really well-thought out critique.

    But let’s be honest, we are talking about two writers who had entirely different areas of focus. Evola was interested in the revival of the World of Tradition rooted in his somewhat crazy version of history (i think even he would admit it gets a little crazy). The World of Tradition is real, but I’m not sure Evola filtered enough of the stuff he was reading during his mystic days. Not every cool-sounding myth is actually literally true.

    Moldbug meanwhile is pragmatic rather than dogmatic, he is essentially a super-free market-capitalist and finds the Reactionary view of the world to be a better fit for making large amounts of money going forward, because Liberalism is essentially inefficient bullshit on its last legs. Moldbug wants to be a king CEO. This focus explains his liberalism on social issues.

    I take influence from both of these two, but they don’t really define any kind of movement, and I don’t think one person even can. Joseph De Maistre was the original Reactionary (a huge influence for me), but I don’t consider him some totally central figure. He was a critic with a huge contribution.

    There are elements of Evola’s work I reject, and a lot of it he backtracked on over the course of his writing career like his admiration then dismissal of paganism. But his development of Guenon’s Tradition/Modernity dichotomy is a masterpiece. There are also elements of Moldbug’s work I reject, since I dislike corporatism and the very structure of our corporation based economy altogether, in favor of the old trade guild system.

    You don’t have to start a pissing contest. Each high profile Reactionary thinker has ideas you will like and ideas that you won’t. Reaction’s project is to take these thoughts and praise where they went right, correct where they went wrong. Either way, Evola died on his feet some time ago and Moldbug has bowed out engaging with this topic further so they are both past intellectuals. The task is up to those still around. Read their work, then start producing work of your own.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 18th, 2015 at 11:30 pm Reply | Quote

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