One of the many reasons to be suspicious about political activism on the Occidental off-spectrum right is the parochialism that feeds it. There is a global process that will settle what occurs in its broad structure, making local pretensions to decisive ideological agency simply ridiculous.
The fundamental economic outcome — and thus the fate of the world — is not ultimately controllable even by the central financial administrations of the major world powers (unless certain intriguing axioms of radical contemporary fascism are defensible), so the idea that extremely marginalized Western cabals are positioned to seize the political driving seat is so saturated in self-deception that it wastes everybody’s time. In addition, technological developments complicate all economic forecasts essentially, and obscurely. We cannot even approximately delimit what unforeseen technical breakthroughs could entail.
The geopolitical context is even clearer. The collapse of Islam, and rise of China, are re-organizations of the world so evident in their unfolding, so vast in their implication, and so inadequately thought, that they make a mockery of all political programs yet conceived. It is first necessary to know, if only in roughest outline, what is taking place in profundity — tidally, and inexorably — before determining an ideologically relevant act. The process comes first.
Already in Moldbug, and increasingly elsewhere, there are signs within some of the most thoughtful regions of the Occidental ‘reactosphere’ that could be interpreted as a pre-adaptation to an impending Chinese global hegemony (complementary to the decline of the West). The most recent is here. When we entertain speculations about the nature of ‘our’ envisaged reaction, it cannot be realistically disentangled from what the world will have become. (I’ve been dismissive of Moldbug’s “Call me Mencius” line in the past, not — I hope — vindictively, but out of the anticipation that we will increasingly be talking about the original Mencius, and the potential for confusion is already visible.)
From the (cultivated) Chinese perspective, the structure of world history is not defined through modes of Abrahamic eschatology, but with respect to deep rhythms of Confucian Restoration, describing a spiral, in which advance and return are synthesized. If the hypothesis of a continuing trend to a more Chinese world is — at least momentarily — granted credibility, then the present (second) epoch of Confucian Restoration is the key to historical intelligibility on a global scale.
Mou Zongsan could prove more important to us than any Western political theorist writing today. The restoration he conceives has the remarkable advantage of already taking place. He does not have to imagine what ‘would be nice’, and because he doesn’t, neither do we. Instead, we can explore what is in fact happening, even if from an angle that remains unfamiliar. An alternative order need not be extracted from the rot and ruin of the old.
The new Urban Future site should be going up in the next few days, re-focused by a division of labor with this blog. The dark thrills of collapse will still dominate here, but UF2 will devote itself to the lineaments of a restored civilization and a renewed modernity which are — from the perspective of Shanghai — much closer to ‘home’. When the threshold is passed, of course, I’ll invite you all over. It won’t be so rough over there, so please take your shoes off at the door.