Dawn of Neoreaction

Cambodia version:

20140124_081106 Click on image to expand.

(The only illumination comes from the right.)

I’m heading back to SH late tomorrow. The return to full-spectrum connectivity and production time will be nice, but I’ll miss this kind of stuff:

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[I’ve put up a couple of snaps here too]

January 31, 2014admin 41 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized

41 Responses to this entry

  • Lesser Bull Says:


    What have we moderns made that will be worth looking at in 100 years, let alone 1000? I’m sure there is something, but I can’t think of anything right now. The Freedom Tower and brutalist statues of Martin Luther King don’t qualify.


    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    There’s a few things here or there which will be worth saving. Nothing comes immediately to mind, but I’m sure some will… just give it a moment….

    (checks google)

    Okay, fun fact: if you google for “best modern architecture” you get monstrosities and the occasional building which is amusing but not really enduring. However, it jogged my memory enough to recall that the Sydney Opera House is legitimately beautiful and entirely modern, and there are certainly plenty of worse buildings for future ages to remember us by.


    j. ont. Reply:

    The exterior of the Opera house—and actually, the whole original design—is generally quite well thought of (and I think it’s great). What happened with the interior is really unfortunate… the sort of thing that ruins good architecture.


    j. ont. Reply:

    You’re quite right. I was reflecting recently on the fact that the house I live in (late Victorian budget thing from the turn of the century) is actually older than almost any of the “historic” buildings by Corbu, Mies, etc.—and frankly, it’s looking a lot better than the Villa Savoye.

    As far as actual candidates for properly historical modernism is concerned, the major issue is materials more than anything. The sites pictured above are stone, whereas modernism is really the produce of innovations in concrete and steel—neither of which last too long. That being said, the best I can really think of is Louis Kahn; Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, the Salk Institute, the Kimbell Art Museum are perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but they have a certain reverence and dignity that is lacking in most modern works.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Excellent point about the materials. We won’t leave anything behind partly because of horrible taste and aesthetic decay, but partly because of efficiency. Building something to last a thousand years is wasteful unless you are making a statement about stability and enduring values, which our culture is allergic to.


    j. ont. Reply:

    I take the neoreactionary point regarding the problematic nature of the enlightenment—politically, at least. But I have to wonder: do we really want to go back, aesthetically, to something pre-neoclassicist? Pre-Renaissance? I mean, I like the Book of Kells as much as the next guy, but yeesh. I understand that it’s not so much a matter of “going back,” but we have to remember that qualities we take to be “modern”—white cube aesthetics, for example—have roots in much older architectural practices (in the case of the white cube, Adolf Loos was heavily inspired by the architecture in Skyros).

    nydwracu Reply:

    *slams oddly-restructured target-practice dummy of Zaha Hadid on the table* WE’RE DOING THE OPPOSITE OF THIS

    nydwracu Reply:

    By which I mean: postmodernist architecture is deliberately aesthetically unappealing, “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”, but it doesn’t just evoke it, it reinforces it — chaos in the disorderly sense, everything is ugly and broken, not the typical primitivist “oh things are so fast today, let’s drink a tea and do a yoga and disconnect a technology and deep breaths, spiritual, green, blah blah blah” — and that doesn’t imply a return to short buildings made of stone, just like opposition to ‘alt lit’, race opera, and all those other free-verse tumors on the shambling husk of poetry doesn’t imply opposition to Futurist poetry. Now, if you’re going to build short buildings anyway, then yes, you go either premodern or Albert Speer, but there wouldn’t be as many short buildings as there are now, since once you’ve dealt with the zombie problem, you don’t need to sprawl out to hours-distant suburbs to escape the brain-eating hordes.

    Kgaard Reply:

    I think the issue here relates to the inevitability of art’s forward movement: Pick your art form, it HAS to move forward. Once all the extant possibilities are exhausted, the form moves into abstraction and then dies. Examples: Classical music, painting, sculpture. Quick: Name a famous classical composer of the last 40 years.


    Dead art form. You could easily argue that rock music is dead because the form has been exhausted.
    The same is perhaps occurring in architecture. Once you make all the normal, pretty houses and buildings and temples you care to make, what is left but abstraction and bizarreness? One building I personally hate is the Guggenheim museum in New York.

    The real question is, “What is the next art form?” I think it will be something related to virtual reality.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Assuming there is a next art form. Spengler thought there wouldn’t be.


    j. ont. Reply:

    This assumes that there is such a thing as “art” outside of our shallow post-romantic conception of it.

    The path towards abstraction has been reduced to many things; Loos thought that as humanity progressed, ornament would disappear (until we arrive at something like Braun or Apple); Benjamin thought that the abstraction of the arts was the product of industrial advance, that painting used to have an actual function, but that function was lost with the introduction of photography (hence aestheticism and “art for art’s sake”).

    My perspective is that, if you really give a shit about humanity, you will stay away from the withering arts—painting, and to some extent sculpture—and direct your attention towards those mediums, such as design, journalistic photography, or film/television, that still have some vitality in them.


    Posted on January 31st, 2014 at 7:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    I think our Architechture was fine through 1931 – Empire State Building.

    The Hoover Dam, TVA and the rest are hardly insignificant.

    Nor is landing on the moon.

    Tad nihlist to want to go back farther than the problem – The New Deal.


    spandrell Reply:

    Yup. Architecture was fine up to the 1940s when it all went to hell. Same with fashion and art in general really.


    Posted on January 31st, 2014 at 9:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Actually the Capitol building, Washington Monument and a modest White House come to mind.

    The Pentagon is “Brutalist” but brutality is what War is…

    Really erasing us back 500 years is not a banner many [or any] will march under.


    nydwracu Reply:

    Oh, no, no, don’t do DC; you do DC, you end up completely covering every single surface in columns. DC did some things right, but it did a lot of things wrong.

    There are ways to make columns work, but it’s best to go back to the source.

    And definitely no brutalism — not only is it ugly, it also just doesn’t work financially.


    Posted on January 31st, 2014 at 9:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:


    – Empire State Building.

    Back to the future with Art Deco?


    VXXC Reply:

    Live in restored Art Deco building, only a barbarian would not appreciate Art Deco.

    Then again only Barbarians would have cracked it out…and yet…from that springs before my very eyes restoration.

    As far as the link to neo-liturgy novus ordo the one link was alright as far as it went.

    The flaw in the argument Alex [if that’s your cryptic point] is not in the Ordo, it’s the people.

    There is no system of checks that can balance malice in power.

    There is no balance to check cowardice.

    Cowardice attempting to balance malice gives us the modern elites, and the Churches Hierarchy. The former must be utterly destroyed, the latter purged.

    By the way malice bred to cowardice is the very HBD of our elites. I can quite go on with that meme…it’s literally in their blood.


    Alex Reply:

    Art Deco is interesting because it is self-consciously modern without committing the catastrophic error of the Modern Movement (deracinated technocratic functionalism rejecting ornament and proportion). Dare one say archaeofuturistic? This must be why it can offer a track record of fruitfully interacting with both the classical and gothic forms. Perhaps a way forward out of the impasse between soulless modernism and mere reversion to a dead style (maybe even bringing the dead to life).

    Cowardice attempting to balance malice gives us the modern elites, and the Churches Hierarchy.

    You can’t protect the weak by enfeebling the strong, particularly if your subterranean motivation is hatred of the strong rather than genuine concern for the weak.


    VXXC Reply:

    “You can’t protect the weak by enfeebling the strong, particularly if your subterranean motivation is hatred of the strong rather than genuine concern for the weak.”

    That’s exactly opposite. Our elites are the weaklings and shirkers who over time enfeebled the strong. They didn’t tie down Gulliver they defamed and poisoned him. The Liliputians are Giants next to our elites.

    Mind you their enfeebling of the strong has allowed them to subsidize and make people even weaker then them, so as to prey on them.

    Our elites are pimps. And we were beguiled by Law and Civility [and our women] into allowing it, by practice it now seems almost normal and tolerable. Pimps run from men coming for them, really on a whorehouse raid any damage to the cops comes from the Bitches. True Dat. This sums up our society in one paragraph, you’re welcome.

    Posted on January 31st, 2014 at 10:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • j. ont. Says:


    Yes, I agree. I was responding to a criticism of Modernism proper, rather than postmodernism (which I think we can all agree is largely an abortion of a movement)—that are, after all, many who would argue that it is Modernism that brought in the “cult of the ugly” (as Scruton would call it).

    If Modernism made a mistake, it was that it took too literally the enlightenment ideals regarding universality. People are not actually the same, people are not actually equal—we cannot and should not give everyone an ubiquitous apartment in an ubiquitous apartment building.


    Posted on January 31st, 2014 at 11:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A2KLj9KJPOxSBwUAgytNBQx.?p=large hadron collider&fr=yfp-t-903&ei=utf-8&n=60&x=wrt&fr2=sg-gac&sado=1


    John Hannon Reply:

    Oh dear – my link to lots of pretty pictures of the LHC seems to have disappeared into a black hole. Nevertheless, so long as humanity persists (a duration more likely measured in decades rather than centuries), the LHC will at least stand its ground when compared to such ancient structures as the Egyptian pyramids and Angkor Wat, not only in terms of its physical grandeur, but also because, like them, it stands as testament to humankind’s collective desire to come to terms with the ultimate mystery of existence.


    Lesser Bull Reply:



    Posted on February 1st, 2014 at 12:25 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    If Hell has Architecture it’s postmodern Brutalist.

    If the last architects to ascend to Heaven Triumphant are building it’s Art Deco.

    The Architects since languish in Architecture Suffering.

    That even Financiers such as MetroVest reach for the mere restoration of Art Deco shows the Impulse of not mere monkey but Man to reach for beauty even if he cannot articulate what he is doing.

    And to my returning larger theme of restoring the Dignity of the Commons …

    The Stonemasons who built our actual churches and Cathedrals were basically illiterate in writing and math, indeed not 5 people in Europe knew what division even was until the 13th century. Math itself was the road to over-optimization and Brutalist efficiency. The Towers that fell if struck a solid blow.

    Yet these stonemasons and illiterate peasant craftsmen needed no math or letters, they needed eyes and string ..measure “cut”. Cut. Cut. Cut. The square is laid and laid perfectly. This was still truly being done here in NYC and NJ within my lifetime…these are living men’s grandfathers. That square stood through Hurricane Sandy.

    To build that which stands the test of time and actual Hurricane is Truth.

    For a man to raise that with his own hands such as the case of our Church of Notre Dame was the commons enduring Beauty.

    The Truth and Beauty in men’s work is only what can turn the True Tragedy of the Commons into the Dignity of the Commons. And only then will we have peace, ordo, stabiliy, and the free passage again of a woman babe in arms to walk from Atlantic to Pacfic without fear.

    The Great work of our Lifetimes and the Great Work God puts before us is to restore first the Pace Americanum from Atlantic to Pacific – by FEAR of the Men who will come if the peace is broken – and then to restore Dignity for All Men – Enduring Truth and Beauty one can see and touch oneself, and hence vitiate the argument that it’s busy work for the lower orders to keep them occupied and free of vices. By vitiate I mean tear out the very bowels.

    Cont’d ..and first things first…the bowels…
    FOOLS. COWARDS. BANKRUPTS. SLANDERERS. PIMPS. The Commons weren’t led into their ongoing tragedy by their own devices or intentions, or long decomposed to dust Democracy. They were led there by the Tragedy of America’s Optimates. It was not the Jews, it was not the Puritans it was Cowards using the Educational Deferment of Conscription to escape their own endless 20th century wars. . This is the very postwar elite that over the next 20 years of 1945-1965 took the reins slowly moving through the course of the Universities and Bureaucracy, eating Dust every time a War Veteran walked by, poisoning the Don Draper’s [Korea] own issue against their valiant fathers, laying their subversion patiently with pretty words of free love, poetry, a new music, and their false twisted pacifism of SHIRK until in the 60s their slow compost pile of subterriean burning trash explodes. The very HBD of the postwar elites is such.

    There was no Tragedy of the American Commons. There is the very Tragedy of now mankind itself, the Shirking of Combat by America’s Optimates. All the filth, porn, drugs were forced down from above by our very own breed of evil and insane Satanic Jesuits.

    Every American Community had defenses amongst the working classes against crime and Vice.
    They were called fists, sticks, guns. BTW this still exists, it’s just hiding very hard and pulling it’s punches. Wouldn’t want the Tribesmen’s lawyers coming down to protect their feral pets. It is those communities that remain target # 1 of the SPLC.

    Every American Community – including the gays of San Franciso – voted out and against Porn shops and the Fapping Booths, Prostitutes and the rest being anywhere near them. Yes of course NYC as well, that was Rudy.

    All these Vices and predations were forced down on us with all the force of the Cathedral backed by the Satanic Jesuits *of our Optimates.

    Faust sold his soul for power and secret knowledge. Our very Optimates traded theirs so they could be PIMPS. Which defines them in a Word.
    *I use the term Satanic meaning Enemy of Mankind and of course Evil Incarante. I have no idea nor do I care what they actually pray to, it’s not relevant. I’m sure they wouldn’t turn him down.
    Now as any Aristocracy or Monarch would come from the pool of FOOLS. COWARDS. BANKRUPTS. SLANDERERS. PIMPS…. you’ll understand why we will not consent to be ruled by this very own nihilistic stock. We have their rule now. To give them more powers is simply more madness. A right wing Khmer Rouge singularity [which of course would really be their Inner Leftist Triumphant, what Dreher really fears] is quite entirely possible.

    No such powers shall be granted or fought for…you’ll have to learn to like it.

    We The People. We’re returning and you better get used to it.


    Posted on February 1st, 2014 at 1:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    Well, technology is the thing that drives new art forms. Spengler is already wrong in the sense that rock music pretty much qualifies as a new art form. Rock was a result of the electrification of guitars in the 40s and 50s, followed by the perfection of multi-track recording in the 60s. Pretty much the entire rock canon was produced in a 9-year period between 1967 and 1976, kicked off by the introduction of four-track recording in the early 60s, and then 8/16/24/32-track recording by 1970. Led Zeppelin IV was recorded in 1970 and sounds as modern as anything done today.

    My bet is on virtual reality as the technological advancement that will usher in the next art form. Not entirely sure what it would look like, but it seems plausible that once we can transport ourselves into entirely fictitious worlds, artists will create ever more fantastic/fabulous/far-out worlds for us to explore.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I don’t think rock refutes his case (though it has trouble on other grounds). He seemed to think that you didn’t really run out of good new stuff until you’d gotten well into the consolidation stage of your culture’s internal exhaustion. If I recall, he specifically mentions Virgil.


    nydwracu Reply:

    Nah, electronic sound. The potential there has only begun to be explored, and the possibility-space is so vast that it won’t be even close to exhausted within my lifetime.

    Though some of them have been picking up low-hanging fruit that’s been left around for ages. Some of what Venetian Snares is doing they could’ve done a century ago. (And Conlon Nancarrow *did* do it, even more so than Venetian Snares has been. There’s 11/4+23/8+5/4+7/4+23/8+19/8+13/8+7/4+57/8+7/4 time and then there’s pi/e.)


    Piwtd Reply:

    Venetian Snares is briliant. His music is awesome. I love him.


    Kgaard Reply:

    Aargh … I just checked out Venetian Snares. I think my argument stands. Music is done! Regarding the issue of low-hanging fruit that was passed over … yes, I’ve thought of that too. But I’m not sure it changes the equation. For instance, perhaps a new Chopin will arise and come up with more snappy, Chopin-like piano pieces. But so what? The genre has been done. So even if it were different it would still be derivative. It would not be ball-advancive in the conceptual sense. Another place there is obvious low-hanging fruit is with the ground Led Zeppelin explored. Nobody (except perhaps Eddie Van Halen) has done what Jimmy Page did in songs such as Song Remains the Same. It’s just a feast of mastery: change after change of rhythm, time signature, beat and chord structure. Earl’s Court 1975 version here:


    Somebody could flush out that style further — though that raises the intriguing possibility that nobody today could CONCENTRATE long enough to be able to create something like that. Ditto the Chopin. Maybe we’ll never equal it. Let’s say you were a 13-year-old budding Eddie Van Halen today. Would you really sit in your room 10 hours a day practicing? Hell no! You’d be on the internet or Playstation. Maybe you’d put in 2 hours a day tops on the guitar.

    That’s why I think the next art form will come from the technology that is cutting edge right NOW. It’s sure not music or guitars or synthesizers or any of that stuff. It’s been dead for decades …


    j. ont. Reply:

    As you seem to be suggesting, it’s a huge mistake to assume that “originality”—that is to say, “non–derivativeness”—emerges out of a void. There is plenty to be explored, both in art music and in popular music (though I confess, I’m sick to death of rock music). Every great composer I can think of started out learning to imitate/emulate the old masters that he or she appreciated. The issue these days is that nobody is will to stick with it—everyone wants to be original without any work, without any practice or imitation or study.

    Innovation is as much dependent on the baseline practice (“tradition” if you like) as it is on so-called “creativity.” Think about electronic music: a few years ago everyone was really excited about the footwork sound coming out of Chicago. Had Aphex Twin & Co. touched on some of those sounds previously? Absolutely. What made footwork new and interesting was that it emerged in a very focused, functional context, rather than some sort of weedy IDM chill-out room.

    Posted on February 1st, 2014 at 7:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    The leftists use art for politics. The shattered spaces of modern and post-modern art and architecture are analogous to the shattered world view leftists have.

    This is a space time problem. The make deformed spaces because of what they perceive as a moral failure in the current moment, while, they never experience the current moment because their thoughts are always projected forward in time towards utopia.

    The left makes political objects. The political object does not engage in creativity. It engages in leftist propaganda.

    The right makes art objects. Art objects are the objects we use to make the world feel whole. Beauty, contentedness, and presence in the now are all anti-political ways of addressing the world, and these are the ideas and time relationships that art grows from.

    The left is politics, and the right is not political. The left is the demos and the right is order. Therefore, the left doesn’t make art, they make political objects. Only the right can make art. This is not just a political claim, it is also a metaphysical claim.

    Creativity can only happen in a play between REALITY and THOUGHT, the phenomena and the noumena. The left can never be truly creative, because their thoughts are always lost in future, and also because their ideas are orthodox. The right can make art because they accept the current moment, and their thoughts are heterodox. Therefore, the right is the only group that can make objects which are formed in the gap between the world and the thought.

    If you look at art history this is how it has always been, only recently has there been a claim from the left on art. However, they are having a hard time with it because the art they make is closer to visual, spatial, and aural torture than it is to beauty, creativity, and order. Therefore, we could hurt politics if the neoreaction made some art objects of staggering, incredible beauty that inspire normal people.


    Kgaard Reply:

    Great insight. Hadn’t thought of it that way but it instantly makes sense. I’m reading this book by a pair of art collectors in New York. They have a photo of the wall of their apartment in NYC and it is almost completely covered by a gigantic, all-black canvas. Must be 10 feet square. I would pay good money to have that fucker OUT of my house and in the dumpster. The idea that this is ‘liberal art” makes a lot of sense — precisely because the art itself makes NO sense as art. Just like leftist politics or arguments never make any sense. So this fits together nicely …


    Bill Reply:

    Thanks, I had a brief run as a high priest in the Cathedral. I wrote some contemporary art articles for the Huffington Post, I know, I know… I was hungry for attention. Thinking about it gives me a little pain between my shoulder blades.

    In that sojourn into the disorder of leftist “art,” I realized the objects many artists make are actually just political objects. I realized that it was not art. I claim they are political objects, because the objects are blatantly political; it is not a tautological claim because the politics are hidden by ideology from normal people, you need to know about the DE and the Cathedral to have the distance to see the politics (or be educated by Marxists and later reject them through strength of character).

    Secondly I formed a metaphysical position regarding creativity that excludes the left because they imagine time wrong, because through ideology they lose the phenomenon of the now, and always place themselves in the future. They also are orthodox thinkers, so, like I stated above, they cannot be creative, because creativity is the play between phenomena and thought. The left’s rigidity tries to make art, but their objects turn into propaganda. Land’s DE essay and Moldbug’s blog gave my hunch the energy to become a conviction.

    I also suffered through continental philosophy classes in Manhattan. Luckily, the US Army had immunized me from the worst of leftist thought viruses. I give thanks for having been to Afghanistan and seeing what that part of the world is like. I was only half walking dead after listening to Yalies and Manhattanites talk about Lacan, Hegel, and Habermas.

    Speaking of the devil. Habermas basically said the same thing I did in the first comment. Habermas does not think art can be useful for the Frankfurt School’s revolutionary goals. He labeled it in his communicative reason volume 2 as cultural reproduction, which he thinks is BAD, because the current moment should be a continuous hellscape, that way the utopia will come sooner. Therefore, we should probably think art is good, and creativity is good, being present in the current moment is good, and heterodox thinking is good.

    Beauty, social capital, presence, and creativity are all hard right. I am tempted to say that kindness is also hard right. All of these concepts are anti-political, therefore they cannot belong to the left., because the left is always political. The left’s inability to see the world as beautiful means that the left has to smash the image, they have to distort sculpture, and they have to create buildings that feel like psychic torture zones. The art world is not 100% left though, because there is some room for non-ideological positions. Non-ideological positions are allowed because good art is hard right, so it never goes completely away, because people want to own good art. Good art is creative, and it takes a stab at making sense of the world.


    VXXC Reply:

    @ Bill,


    VXXC Reply:


    Brilliant. Left is politics incarnate. Left makes object, right makes art.

    One objection: the Left is the demos. Not true. And if it was all is lost, but it’s not. If that were true mankind would never have painted group hunts on cave walls in France 35,000 years ago. For that matter we’d have never evolved to group hunting. We wouldn’t have made it.

    “The Right is not political.” Depending on “politics” which can either be our current pornographic Book of Judges, a fallen religion ruled by an insane and evil Kritarchy..or politics being any 3 people at the water cooler discussing who gets a raise for instance?

    Politics could be any number of definitions relating to policies and governance of any group.
    The Left makes it WHO/WHOM with the Left always being WHO.

    However if you’re wedded to it then clearly the Right must make Art into Power.

    If Politics = POWER then we can’t leave it with the Left. Insane, Evil, childish, vengeful, corrupt.

    So the Duty of the Right is to make Art that takes Power.


    nydwracu Reply:

    USG backed abstract expressionism as an anti-Soviet measure in the Cold War. “The Soviets are so rigid and dogmatic, with their socialist realism… look what we in the free world can do!”


    Handle Reply:

    I’ve read Sailer repeat this claim, which is funny. Hey, whatever argument you have to make to get funded, right?

    If your friends are writing history later on, they can even pretend you weren’t just bullshitting to provide cover for your buddies with their hands on the public purse-strings back then.

    What wasn’t done in the name of fighting the Cold War? Surely somebody went all the way and argued that we had better go Commie quick to fight the other Commies.


    spandrell Reply:

    Cold War Pork.

    Lesser Bull Reply:


    As people around here would put it, you usually hit what you’re aiming at.


    Posted on February 2nd, 2014 at 3:08 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:


    @ J. Ont: “Though I confess I am sick of rock music.” I would propose that the reason you’re sick of it is that, as a dead art form, it no longer attracts first-rate minds. Consider the pioneers of rock: Eric Clapton and Ray Manzarak look like college professors. David Crosby, Robert Plant and Pete Townsend have very big heads — into which much brain matter can be fit. Neil Young has morphed into some sort of experimental scientist. Brian May from Queen got a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Jimmy Page is a dead ringer for Gordon Brown, former finance minister and PM of Britain.

    If Eric Clapton were 16 today, he would be applying to Stanford and making his way to Silicon Valley to study computing …


    Posted on February 2nd, 2014 at 6:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    What he (VXXC) said about Bill’s comment


    Maybe Zim is on to something with his foray into the art world…


    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 2:44 am Reply | Quote

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