Dark Moments

Gloom and realism can be hard to distinguish, but it’s important to carry on. Curmudgeonry without stubbornness isn’t worth a damn. Even in the worst case, relentless, sluggishly deterioriating ghastliness can at least be interesting. It shouldn’t be necessary to cheer up, in order to continue, and there might be some lessons worth attending to in the slough of despond.

I’d go further. Despair can get things started, if it means the abandonment of diverting idols. A full, immersive soaking, which leaves no doubt about certain things being over,  is morbidly therapeutic, and even something like a first step (at least a first slouch). There are hopes that have to die, and the sooner the better, although if  they die slowly and horribly, they are perhaps less likely to need killing twice.

Here’s the argument: Nothing is going anywhere without preliminary disintegration. That’s the cheerful part. It seems to me an absolutely irresistible claim, and this post was to have been designed to rally consensus around it. Then I made the ‘mistake’ of watching this.

Allow me to walk you into this little knot of gloom in stages, punctuated by theses, each of which marks an essential but incomplete discussion. The meta-assertion is that there is no other way. Push-back against that, met at any of its way-stations,  will make the dire swamp-thrashing to follow worthwhile.

Thesis-1: There is no more basic preliminary to effective neoreactionary transformation than schism. This can take many forms. Simple retirement into the private sphere — as strongly advocated by Nick B. Steves in particular — represents one significant pole. At the other lies secession, and other forms of macro-political disintegration (with science fiction variants extending from seasteading out to space colonization). The essential point is that a consolidation of disagreement in space is substituted for a resolution of disagreement in time. As far  as practicality is concerned, this is the overwhelming  priority.

Thesis-2: There can be no agreement. The recent flurry of interest in Emmanuel Todd should suffice as confirmation (this critical summary by Craig Willy is excellent). In a very small nutshell, Todd argues that “… political ideologies in the modern age are projections of a people’s unconscious premodern family values.” Europe has four basic family types (all exogamous), programming its varied political ideals.
The inegalitarian (classical) liberalism of mercantile North-West Europeans, corresponds to the ‘Absolute nuclear family’.
Weird Franco-Italian ‘egalitarian liberalism’ corresponds to the ‘egalitarian nuclear family’ (Todd’s own ancestral type and value model).
The Germanic ‘Authoritarian family’ tends to German stuff, and
The (Slav-Orthodox) ‘Community family’ breeds communists.
If you haven’t read Willy yet, you’ll be glad you did. The sole take-away here: People are different (oops, that’s a signature judgement of the inegalitarian liberal type), with no tendency to converge upon common ideals, even among Europeans. There are people who think communism is natural and good, and they’re not going to be argued out of it. Only a small minority think what you do, and that isn’t going to change. You either have to kill them, dominate them, be dominated by them, or escape them. Escaping them is best.

Thesis-3: It’s America that matters (for Anglophone neoreactionaries, at least). It’s the only country with traditions of freedom that can be broken into large and influential pieces, and its residual federal structure provides a virtual template for doing exactly that. For practical purposes, therefore, the future of liberty — even if you want to read that as the liberty to conduct experiments in ethnonationalist or theocratic government —  is entirely dependent upon the development of American federalism. Further centralized consolidation is losing, and disintegration is winning. Compared to that, in terms of political practicality, everything else is of vanishing irrelevance. Dreaming up schemes for ideal authoritarian regimes, in particular, is simply a hobby (but you know that already, right?).

The only road to the future, or the past, leads through a Disunited States of America. Now listen to those Bloggingheads again, and wind up the gloom to scream volume. It’s absolutely clear from a strictly technical point of view that the sole conceivable platform for an escape from Leviathan’s degenerative ratchet would be a Confederate States of America, and we can probably agree that historical sensitivities make that a non-starter. Setting out on a path away from futile arguments — between people who will never agree — leads straight back into America’s racial nightmare, and horrible, draining, unresolvable wrangling that amounts to: Freedom is banned forever, because … what happened to black people.

Those arguments are stupidity itself. They go nowhere. And that is precisely the point.

[Don’t kill yourself, or shut down your blog — but a stiff drink is positively recommended]

ADDED: Why the GOP has to die.

July 18, 2013admin 20 Comments »
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20 Responses to this entry

  • Alex Says:

    “…but prepared to go on.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Never mind the babies. They’re better dead.” — intense.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orlandu84 Says:

    As I read the post, a Latin term kept coming to my mind, “via negativa.” The “way of negation” originally was used by medieval thinkers to move from Gnon to God by denying that certain aspects of nature could be applied to the God of nature. Now, if you rephrased your third thesis in a negative, then we would have the beginnings of a neoreactionary via negativa. Would “No polity matters as much as America to Anglophone neoreactionaries” correctly express your third thesis?

    I ask about the rephrasing because I am trying to develop the clearest and most concise way to express the neoreaction. We already have in Modlbug an involved and more than adequate set of introductions to neoreactionary thought. I would find it helpful, however, to have a set of neoreactionary aphorisms and/or thought puzzles that enable people to deprogram themselves from Cathedral propaganda. Moreover, such a collection of quips/principles might enable the reactosphere to analyze internet communication better. For example, the application of “there can be no agreement” would help explain why YouTube comments behave in the way that they do.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The via negativa was built as the road out of (unintended) idolatry, would you agree? So I’m not sure that reversing thesis-3 into a negative form puts us on it.

    In this twilight of the idols, the target of derision are imagined communities and states that have no correspondence to real populations, and come without a (secessionist) road map to such populations. Even Moldbug seems at times to suggest that a reactionary government could one day rule the USA. Such ideas are not even bad science fiction.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    The Reaper? Dark Moments? Are you reading Cioran again, Nick?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    So you don’t think being frogmarched into the slimy catacombs of Thrash Doom-Core Death Metal could have anything to do with it?

    Orlandu84 Reply:

    @ admin
    “In this twilight of the idols, the target of derision are imagined communities and states that have no correspondence to real populations”

    I will certainly agree that a healthy dose of realism is needed to ground the conversation. The most imagined and far fetched community, however, is the utopia that the Cathedral promises will one day be available to all. Regardless of whether you imagine it through “conservative” or “liberal” ideology, the basic dynamic is the same: in the future life will be better than it has ever been.

    Why do I want to have a via negativa with respect to this conversation? To keep myself honest about what can be expected and worked for. In that vein of thought, another way for me to express thesis 3 (in a negative manner) would be, “A neoreactionary cannot completely abandon the polity to which he already belongs.” As much as I would love to see a massive reset occur, I doubt I will see it. Accordingly, I have to come to grips that some remnant of Cathedral thought will be around for a long time even in the best scenarios that I can imagine truthfully. Moreover, I have to admit that I will likely be a vector for Cathedral belief if I am not careful with my words. Admitting these sad truths certainly leads me to desire a shot of scotch.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Doom, sure. Can’t take Thrash or Death seriously enough for it to affect my mood!

    Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 10:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    Is anyone cheered up by the fact that in Britain, Europe and America crime rates are falling significantly?
    Or is this just further cause for neoractionary gloom in that it might prolong the period prior to “preliminary disintegration”?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Does anybody still trust the stats? It’s been revealed recently that the Detroit crime figures have been systematically manipulated for years. Given the general truthfulness of Cathedralist regimes (non-existent, except when it serves as a tactic towards effective propaganda), compounded by ass-covering by dysfunctional law and order bureaucracies, I can’t imagine there’s much there there.

    Still, if it’s admitted as a phenomenon, then option 2.

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Indeed, the stats certainly sound unbelievable. Reminds me of when I came home from work one night to find my flat had been burgled. When the police finally arrived they were in a van with “Crime in The West Midlands is Falling” proudly emblazoned on it.
    At least they were honest enough to admit to me that the burglar would never be caught.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    Sorry, admin, but I’ve already had a stiff whiskey, so I’m going to need some clarification here.

    Those arguments are stupidity itself. They go nowhere. And that is precisely the point.

    Which arguments are stupidity? The “futile arguments between people who will never disagree, yes? Or are you referring to the 3 theses you just laid out. I’m pretty sure the former option.

    Setting out on a path away from futile arguments — between people who will never agree — leads straight back into America’s racial nightmare, and horrible, draining, unresolvable wrangling that amounts to:

    So, to paraphrase: Trying to escape futile argument, we will just be cornered, forced to explain ourselves, and thus led right back into futile arguments and attempts to explain why reading Hoppe does not mean I want to firebomb the old black ladies in the church up the street from me?

    Anyway, I like Option 2. I’m beginning to wonder if Goulding’s nascent collection of “already-Exited” societies may turn out to be a collection of instruction manuals.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Your option 2 is the intended swamp. Apologies for the obscurity. You rehearse it with admirable lucidity: “futile arguments and attempts to explain why reading Hoppe does not mean I want to firebomb the old black ladies in the church up the street from me.”

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    “Anyway, I like Option 2. I’m beginning to wonder if Goulding’s nascent collection of “already-Exited” societies may turn out to be a collection of instruction manuals.”

    Yes, I’m feeling that. If people want it/them enough, they’ll find away. Something organic can intuitively creep between private spheres – and it can be inter-generational. Doug Stanhope, the comedian, lives in a town called Bisbee, Arizona. From what I can tell, they’ve created their own libertarian symapthetic-quirky-artists community. Not quite Hutterite self-determinacy, but organic none-the-less. If everything is too gloomy (and this a persistent nag I have with the neoreactionaries), it’s because you’re asking/hoping/dreaming for too much. State secession might just end up being too ‘general’: would you want to throw all-in with the chaff of the Tea-Party movement? It would just re-engage misanthropic leanings.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 12:07 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    AQ 314 = COURAGE UNDER FIRE = CREEPY ASS CRACKER.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Or was it ‘creepy ass-cracker‘?
    [But this isn’t the right thread to pursue the question]

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 7:53 am Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    We could all run for office on the “instant death penalty and 12-foot wall” model that Detroit is inspiring in its neighboring suburbs’ political class. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/07/19/should-hamtramck-erect-a-12-foot-wall-to-keep-out-detroiters/

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    As an unplanned experiment in social entropy concentration, this episode will be studied for centuries.

    [Reply]

    Bill Reply:

    Detroit is also responsible for the buy an island and charge 300k for citizenship model. http://investmentwatchblog.com/a-millionaires-paradise-in-detroit-tycoon-plans-to-buy-island-park-in-motor-city-and-turn-it-into-tax-free-state-where-citizenship-costs-300000/

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Wouldn’t an Indian reservation be a better venue?

    Posted on July 20th, 2013 at 3:55 pm Reply | Quote

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