DE Q&A

Matt Sigl of Vocativ is writing an article on the Dark Enlightenment, both the ‘thing’ and the ‘manifesto’ (I’ve already told him why this description is misleadingly over-generous). His questions suggest a sincere attempt to understand what is going on.

Among the lines of inquiry he is pursuing (my compressions): Why Now? What’s the ‘Cathedral’ business? How does the Dark Enlightenment relate to transhumanism/futurism, libertarianism, fascism, white supremacism, anti-semitism, social Darwinism? Where is the Dark Enlightenment going? How does it respond to criticisms that (a) capitalism is to blame, (b) everything’s basically OK?

I have tried to respond as objectively as possible, whilst attempting to be clear about those answers which express my own idiosyncratic decisions regarding unsettled/disputed matters. Predictably, I have emphasized the Moldbuggian origins of the Dark Enlightenment / Neoreaction as a definite cultural phenomenon (distinct from pre-existing right-libertarian, traditionalist, and paleo-reactionary streams of thought).

Readers who think they can help Matt get this portrait right are encouraged to make relevant points here.

ADDED: Foseti on ‘Why Now?’

ADDED: Handle on progress.

ADDED: Mike Anissimov (via Twitter): “Nothing good will come of a neoreactionary dialogue with Matt Sigl. … I predict we’ll regret this in the end.”

September 29, 2013admin 74 Comments »
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74 Responses to this entry

  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    The best explanation of The Cathedral I’ve found is in “Open letter to open-minded progressives, part 4”.

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/05/ol4-dr-johnsons-hypothesis.html

    Shannon Love at Chicagoboyz had something similar in a post on “The Parliament of Clocks”.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    We should use ‘the Synopsis’ more.

    Moldbug seems strangely reluctant to attribute economic motives to the industrialist Whigs, though. Don’t quasi-Marxian incentives — lowering the cost of food in order to suppress the Ricardian economic subsistence baseline (and thus raise the real value of wages) — account quite reasonably for Whig opposition to the Corn Laws, without invoking Luciferian schemes to hurt the Tory landowners just for the hell of it? I don’t see much evidence that ‘Manchester liberals’ had any real interest in political power, except as an annoying diversion on the road to commercial liberty.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 6:39 am Reply | Quote
  • James A. Donald Says:

    Why now?

    Until quite recently, we had lost contact with our past. Old books were being purged from libraries and burned, even if quite valuable, restricted to research libraries where the vulgar masses could not get at them.

    Then these old books became quite readily available, being out of copyright. So suddenly large numbers of people are being exposed to unthinkably reactionary thought – that our society has moved a remarkable distance left, and is continuing to move left, became obvious.

    Whereupon one had to wonder if the sweet spot was not last year’s politics, but last century’s politics, or the century before that.

    What is the Cathedral?

    Minitrue, the system for moving us ever leftwards, for manufacturing the ever leftwards consensus.

    How does the Dark Enlightenment relate to transhumanism/futurism,

    A lot of us see social decay, dysgenics, and the left singularity coming on faster than the technological singularity, that progress is not accelerating, but slowing.

    See US economic decline

    And Technological decay

    libertarianism

    A reactionary is a libertarian who has been mugged by reality.

    fascism

    Bunch of pinko humanitarians. Trouble with fascists is that they think that social order of 1930-1950 was just fine, except maybe it could do with some less capitalism and more socialism. Soft on communism.

    white supremacism,

    Of course the superior should rule the inferior, but we are going to have to do something about the large and rapidly growing white underclass also. Also asians are, on average, genuinely smarter than whites but less creative. With the destruction of the white race and the collapse of western civilization, the future is probably Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. Plus Asian women are less apt to be skanks.

    anti-semitism

    Pro Israel, anti reform Jews. Integration was a Jewish plot to get back at whites.

    Israel should kill its enemies until they conclude that peace is in their interests.

    Jews need a theocratic nationalist Jewish religion of Israel. They are still thinking like exiles. They are subverting the west, and, by letting Muslims vote in Israel, subverting themselves. They are kind of half way to exempting Israel from progressivism. They need to confess, and actually exempt Israel from progressivism. Israel needs to be a Jewish state, rather than a progressive state that is terribly confused about its identity, and Jews should be loyal to it.

    social Darwinism?

    No such thing as social Darwinism. There is just Darwinism. Atheist reactionaries are Darwinist, and religious reactionaries are frequently Darwinists also.

    Where is the Dark Enlightenment going?

    We are still figuring out what it is.

    How does it respond to criticisms that (a) capitalism is to blame

    You saw how socialism worked out.

    , (b) everything’s basically OK?

    Taking the long view, it is perfectly clear that things are not OK. Heading for a dark age.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Israel is not my friend. It’s just not my enemy. It’s like asking whether I’m pro-Kazakhstan.

    By contrast, a lot of Musrabia wants to be my enemy but is too incompetent to manage it.

    [Reply]

    Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Reply:

    How does it respond to criticisms that (a) capitalism is to blame

    You saw how socialism worked out.

    There’s no reason that capitalism can’t be the force that lifted millions out of poverty AND destroyed our families & traditional culture. It can totally do both.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Socialism, on the other hand, can destroy families and traditional culture while dumping millions into poverty.

    [Reply]

    Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Reply:

    Socialism is an overachiever.

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the socialism / capitalism dynamic plays out in the future, as automation renders huge swathes of the population economically superfluous.

    Even if people are OK with letting their downwardly mobile grandchildren starve, fourth generation warfare and Islamification wiil give those superfluous segments of the population a lot of potential to be disruptive before they do finally starve.

    I’m guessing that mixed economies (aka socialism) are here to stay, outside of certain semi-parasitic city states.

    peppermint Reply:

    Read the first and last chapter of Carlyle’s Latter Day Pamphlets for a comprehensive critique of “Professors of the Dismal Science” and “Pig-Philosophy”, of “British Liberty, Voluntary Principle, Dangers of Centralization, and the like”.

    If capitalism means an economy which includes private ownership of capital, that’s great.

    If capitalism means “anarchy, plus a street-constable”, that’s retarded.

    Seriously. If you want to understand neoreactionary thought, read the first and last chapter, The Present Time and Jesuitism. Find the book at http://books.google.com/books?id=sZMQAAAAYAAJ

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 8:48 am Reply | Quote
  • Kyon Says:

    the future is probably Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai.
    [Reply]

    Seoul too.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I have my doubts. Sub-sub-replacement TFR’s are just an alternate way of cashing checks on the future. Its private deficit spending and has the same inherently disastrous ‘apres moi le deluge’ air that fuels leftism elsewhere.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 9:13 am Reply | Quote
  • Erik Says:

    “How does it respond to criticisms that (b) everything’s basically OK?”

    Things are basically OK, but they’re on course to stop being OK. The Soviet Union, for example, was “basically OK” in that it lasted for decades and industrialized a lot and participated in the Space Race, and then it collapsed.

    My pet example of a signpost indicating modernity’s road towards destruction is the case of Donna Diosdado v. Manuel Diosdado.

    Short version: California court finds an inalienable right to commit adultery.

    Less short version: Man and woman get married, are concerned about affairs, sign contract promising sexual fidelity, with fines for breach, and the breaching party to be considered at fault in eventual divorce. Manuel commits adultery. Donna attempts to have contract enforced. Manuel invokes the law on claiming divorce due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ instead. Donna calls bullshit, points to marriage, points to contract, case goes to court. Court rules that California’s no-fault divorce laws are the trump card here, so Manuel is entitled to divorce without being found at fault or paying fine.

    Scream, for the reason of your choice. Scream, because the lawmakers have decided that people must be allowed to unilaterally violate agreements without being penalized. Scream, for marriage is not merely destroyed, but you’re forbidden from reassembling the pieces.

    Traditionalist and theonomist members of the Dark Enlightenment will likely be most concerned about the ongoing destruction of the family, now that “family” can be ended at whim, while techno-commercialist and formalist ones might get more upset about the blatant disregard for what should be, both socially and legally, one of the most binding contracts in existence, making it impractical to plan for the future once you can’t form reliable expectations of what people will do, but I think all of them have something to recoil at here.

    Quotes from the ruling are gloriously insane.

    “With certain exceptions (such as child custody matters or restraining orders), evidence of specific acts of misconduct is improper and inadmissible in a pleading or proceeding for dissolution of marriage. Fault is simply not a relevant consideration in the legal process by which a marriage is dissolved.”

    “The court recognized that marriage itself is a highly regulated institution of undisputed social value, and there are many limitations on the ability of persons to contract with respect to it…”

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    I should note that I don’t fault the judges, because their decision isn’t obviously contrary to law and precedent.

    I fault the system for having no safety valve, no appeal, no way of saying “bullshit”, no way of playing by other rules. The government has here banned a citizen from promising to selectively refrain from an activity.

    The pet example I gave above generalizes. The government claims not only the power to ban X and require Y; the government claims the power to annull people’s contracts concerning Z. Under the glorious banner of freedom, the government tries to free us from one another, free us from our own oaths, free us from restricting ourselves, free Odysseus from the ropes tying him to the mast.

    The Cathedral is neo-Puritan, a fundamentalist (but not religious) institution demanding that all aspects of life be submitted to its specific conception of goodness and freedom. We have gained the freedom to “marry” someone of any race or sex. But “marriage” now means something like two people (soon to be an unspecified amount of people, I expect) of unspecified sex agreeing to have an unspecified amount of intercourse for an unspecified amount of time, and some tax benefits.

    We are free to break agreements, which means we are not free to make agreements. We are only free to make airy statements of intent.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    (Fake Edit: Oh, and of course the Cathedral will crack down hard on anyone who tries to enforce a private contract without public sanction. Admin, can we get a “Preview” button here or perhaps a 5 minute window to edit our comments? The comment field is a bit short for looking over what we’ve written.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’ll check. In the interim, I’m happy to do minor edits on comments, if it’s clear what is wanted.

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 11:19 am Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    DE is, in my opinion, the first political movement to take evolution seriously. The fact that Matt uses the term ‘social Darwinism’ proves that he is, in fact, a creationist. As Jim said, social Darwinism is just a term of opprobrium used by those who have moral issues with applying evolutionary insight to the human animal.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Social Darwinism can be interpreted in a manner that doesn’t have to do with human reproduction and changing allele fractions. Spencer himself, if I recall correctly, used the term to talk about human success in competitive markets in a more general way.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    Yes, you’re right, Handle. I think when I wrote ‘take evolution seriously,’ I meant to include evolutionary principles as played out on smaller time scales, which would include market effects (because the substrate of the market is still human behavior, which is still part of the behavior/gene/environment complex).

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 12:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    I request that you ask Matt Sigl whether he would be willing to decompress the questions himself in presentation to the broader DEC.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’ve already nagged him to follow this thread, so hopefully further mediation is unnecessary. (Assume you’re being heard.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 12:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Athrelon Says:

    Re: the Cathedral

    One tricky but essential distinction is to avoid the cartoonish simplification that The Cathedral merely refers to “cultural institutions we don’t like.”

    In a democracy, power flows to the persuasive, people who can get their ideas accepted by a large number of people. If an institutions gets good at persuasion (memetic influence), it gains formal influence that you can use to further support its own efforts. This feedback loop creates a set of institutions with both memetic influence and power, that we collectively refer to as the Cathedral.

    The point is *not* that the NYT is full of bad people and that our tribe needs to take it down and replace it with people we like. Knock down the Times and another institution will take its place; replace its staff with a bunch of bona fide reactionaries and the incentives will lead it back to its current positions within a generation.

    We certainly do see these Cathedral institutions as spreading disinformation, creating bad policy, and lacking accountability for bad outcomes of that policy. But our prescription is not anything as simple as replacing them with institutions we like, populated by like-minded people. These problems have to be solved on the meta-level, and noting the problems of the Cathedral is one of the major drivers of the reactionary critique of democracy.

    (Note by the way that these incentives work both ways. If Obama became divine-right monarch tomorrow, the NYT would immediately begin to shape up, no longer having an incentive to contort itself in order to gain influence. It’s the incentives, not the institutions or the people, that create the problem.)

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Problematic incentives attract problematic people. If incentives threaten to change, while many or even most will go along with it, the problematic people will fight back. Then, many or most will go along with the back-pressure.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Athrelon

    Except we’re not a democracy, we’re an administrative state that holds elections. The NYT et al are speaking ex cathedra to the Managerial Progressive State and it’s associated organs. The people and voters have no power but that of the Church attendees in a theocracy, what we are.

    So the Feedback loop you describe and it’s incentives are a closed loop with the commoners and voters outside it. They can choose to attend Church or not, they can choose to vote or not, it no longer rules.

    Democracy ended in the New Deal.

    And while were on the subject of descriptions of DEC, the worthy being educated may note most of the DEC are Cathedral functionaries who have concluded their sinecures are in danger and wish to form a more perfect and functional administrative tyranny. A low bar.

    The displaced and projected loathing of democracy is projecting ones sins onto the People, and that is all.

    Moldbug recognizes this, but you see democracy elected the New Dealers ..so since it will just happen again, we need to get rid of democracy “formally”.

    Oh and The People make well …most of DEC nervous.

    They should.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Moldbug recognizes this, but you see democracy elected the New Dealers … so since it will just happen again, we need to get rid of democracy ‘formally’. ” — You don’t think this is a strong argument?

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    No, I don’t. The real quarrel is with Human Nature. As it’s been so long without tyrants people forget they’re Human too. Your real Rex is very likely to be a Tyrant who plays to the people to destroy the Middle before they unseat him .

    Also in America ending democracy formally would require the death of many millions, you’d have to finish off the Americans as step 1. The USSR recognized this, that’s why their actual plan was to destroy the entire country. Never to invade. Only an utter fool would invade America, there is a rifle behind every blade of grass.

    Moldbug has a published aversion to the necessary nastiness that any actual change to the Cathedral entails. Including it’s mere implosion.

    The Cathedral is a package deal. You don’t get to keep the benefits of the system but somehow tinker [from the corner office now] to have you know an actual functional DEC Theocracy, and this all happens without any greasy liquids being spilt. DEC is in many ways people who wish exactly this fantasy outcome. That’s why so many are willing to wait a hundred years. Let there not be trouble in my time, but in my grandchildrens if it can’t be avoided. Better yet no trouble at all, just let me be in charge. That’s juvenile.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @VXXC:

    “So the Feedback loop you describe and it’s incentives are a closed loop with the commoners and voters outside it. They can choose to attend Church or not, they can choose to vote or not, it no longer rules.”

    But the voters *are* part of the feedback loop. The obvious incentive for my peers who voted for Obama is that it gave them what they felt was a plausible basis for accusing people they don’t like of moral turpitude (i.e. “racism”). Obama *did* receive a majority. Saying that The People are not to blame for this is like saying that an alcoholic isn’t to blame for his drinking.

    I would be much more sympathetic to you if you took the view that we are engaged in “a cold civil war” between Red America and Blue America. You could argue that Red America could right itself if it were left alone. But in order to say that “The People” are not substantially to blame, you need to define “The People” as not including a majority of the voters.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Under the New Deal Government we have, as opposed to the Democracy before it [1830-1933] The People have no power. So Democracy has been absent the scene of the crime for 80 years.

    The majority of the voters are engaged in Shinto Ritual, or reaffirming their benefits. What exactly was the choice since the 1984 election, really since …..?? Reagan was a force of nature outlier. Even he was the establishment choice by 1980. Jimmy couldn’t have run Billy’s Gas Station.

    Why should anyone vote for the fake Liberal when they can vote for the real one?

    You want your evil Democracy? They’re called the Tea Party Republicans, and they’re actual doing something . That’s actual Democracy, listening to their voters. That’s an actual Parliament using power of the purse.

    Not define the People as a Majority of the Voters: I completely agree. Universal Suffarage is off the Table. We have suffered enough. Voting should be restricted to the responsible and informed, and I daresay not interested [in government or otherwise financially interested]. The very American mechanism of local boards could screen to select the local electors. Your neighbors know you best, they decide who votes. Jeffersonian and Jacksonian. It would look you know very much like Moldbug’s crypto-locks franchisees. Or dare I say…Starship Troopers.

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Australia is a democracy, at least in the sense that the election issues are not necessarily dictated by the Cathedral, and is overwhelmingly white. Democracy makes a difference, and whiteness makes a difference, but does not make a huge difference. The public service, most government employees, have allegiance to the Cathedral, that is to say, the American state department, rather than the elected Australian government. The Australian armed forces are loyal both to the Pentagon and to the elected government, but probably primarily loyal to the elected government.

    Some elements of the Australian armed forces are loyal neither to the elected Australian government, nor to the Pentagon, but to the US State Department. In the latest dramatics, Cathedral elements claimed to have vast support in the armed forces and called for “civil disobedience”, which is to say, mutiny, but it became obvious they did not have substantial support.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Jim,

    I hate people who ask for links, so I won’t.

    But what do you base this Australia business on? What you think they should do, or what they actually did?

    spandrell Reply:

    This. This this this.

    [Reply]

    asdf Reply:

    If Obama became a divine right monarch tomorrow we would be in way worse trouble then you seem to think. I will never understand why people think divine right monarch is the solution to all their problems.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    I don’t think a divine right monarch would be the solution to all my problems. I don’t think Athrelon should be interpreted as saying such a thing. If Obama became a divine right monarch tomorrow, I think we’d still be in a lot of trouble, but less than we are now. To flesh out some of the things Athrelon sketches:
    -Obama now has less incentive to follow the “fashion” parts of progressive ideology, because he has much less need to keep the support of his base, seek re-election or post-presidency-power, fit in, or ensure a good retirement to the lecture circuit.
    -Obama now has more incentive to get decisions right, because it’s much less effective to blame failures on “those obstructionist Republicans”. Blame for bad decisions will fall on the monarch more. Reversing course once new evidence comes in is also easier without wondering whether this will “hurt him politically”.

    (I have not consulted with Athrelon, who may well disagree on this)

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2013 at 4:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    Salon does Richard Spencer (rather emotionally). The comments thread over there is so spittle-flecked you might want to wear a deep-sea diving suit.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    This is a good example for Mr. Sigl. He should ask himself: Why have Spencer’s ideas gone from being good sense to unthinkable evil in less than a century? Spencer is saying no more than what Margaret Sanger said, yet she hasn’t (yet) been expelled from the progressive pantheon. He is saying no more than what passed as common sense before the World Wars. And yet his ideas are now beyond the pale, “full of hate.” What happened? What changed? What else has changed so quickly without the world knowing it? And who benefits from this rapid ideological shift? Who loses?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 1:27 am Reply | Quote
  • matt walker Says:

    Why now? Because it’s increasingly obvious that progressives have ALL the power, and for that reason progressives are increasingly happy to demonstrate in public how crazy they are. It’s just getting harder to miss, and it hit a threshold. Nothing complicated or subtle enough for this blog to bother with.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 3:07 am Reply | Quote
  • asdf Says:

    I think your best bet is to keep this simple with as few broad claims as possible. After all there is very little agreement between various dark enlightenment camps. Even Moldbug’s assertions aren’t assumed by all, even though many like his writing.

    Thinking of what ties together all the various camps I would limit it to the following assertions:

    1) Reality, as defined by empirical evidence and sound logical theory, is different from what would be considered mainstream consensus. The areas where this divergence is largest is in sensitive areas such as HBD and evolutionary psychology, though there are other areas as well.

    I would try to keep your claims in this area limited to the hard facts, a lot of what is popularly accepted by many is just educated conjecture based on those facts.

    2) The Cathedral represents an unconscious conspiracy. The conspirators participate without knowledge of each other, it just happens naturally when people follow their self interests.

    The ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of the Cathedral should be obvious, and examples can be provided. One thing you will note about people that follow the dark enlightenment is that many of them have worked as professionals in these institutions and become disaffected.

    3) As an example of a Brahmin or Brahmin light Cathedral foot soldier I recommend linking him to RWCG Smart People post:
    http://rwcg.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/the-smart-people-crowd/

    [Reply]

    asdf Reply:

    Awhile back someone asked me for my Dark Enlightenment link list. So here it is. You’ll note of course that plenty of people in this thread wouldn’t agree on these authors.

    1) Oz Conservative

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com/

    2) Moldbug

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/

    If you want a someone similar but less in love with the sound of his voice there is Foseti:

    http://foseti.wordpress.com/

    3) Data Blogs

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/
    http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/
    http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/
    http://www.humanbiologicaldiversity.com/

    4) Finance/Economics Stuff

    http://www.interfluidity.com/

    5) Stand Alone Philosophy

    http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.com/
    http://www.amazon.com/Nihilism-The-Root-Revolution-Modern/dp/1887904069

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 5:54 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @VXXC — I totally reject the Democracy-or-monarch option you’re fixed on. Constitutional Republicanism — whatever its (seriously) problems — is far superior to either. The role of an effective government mechanism is to forestall (fend off) both personal rule and mass politics.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @ Admin—We are in agreement with these caveats: The Majority may well not be denied. There is also the matter of who matters during “fundamental Change”.

    However Tocquevillian Democracy with the horrible mistake of Universal Franchise for any group replaced by local voting boards vetting the voters, your neighbors do know who’s who would quite sufficiently remedy that problem.

    If I had to choose however between the 1933 Constitution and the 1789 one with no universal franchise and in effect democracy does not return – Easy. Done. Will die or kill for, all set.

    I’m not addressing Admin directly when I criticize the fantasy of monarchy, or DEC USA’s loathing and fear of the people, my people. Americans. I’m not wrong either, they want the corner office. It’s a package deal. Especially when you consider the times and material we have to work with, any continued massive government = Cathedral. I hardly want to give it a patch to form a more perfect and efficient tyranny.

    And they do.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 11:10 am Reply | Quote
  • Matt Sigl Says:

    @ I appreciate all these responses. If I have one real question about the DE it’s this: The DE styles itself as a highly rational ideology that, at it’s core, sees the unpleasant “truth” that remains obscured for most by the architecture of the Cathedral. But, being truly rational, how can DE proponents say that things are as bad as neoreaction claims? In many ways, statistically, the world has never been better: infant mortality rates, poverty rates, world hunger, access to information, decline in violence…from a God’s eye view, things are getting better all the time. Even in the developed West, unemployment and poverty don’t generate as much suffering as they did in eras past. Isn’t progressivism and neo-liberalism working? This is the Richard Dawkins/Steven Pinker/Matt Ridley view of the world. (You can throw in Ray Kurzweil there too, with some caveats.) And yet the DE claims this progress is chimerical. (Or rather, it doesn’t bring up these facts most of the time.) Does the DE predict that things are about to get much worse in some tangible, unequivocal way? Or is the disdain of modernity that characterizes the DE a posture of value and aesthetic judgement?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    There’s no consensus on this question. I still think the strongest answers are basically inherited from the Austro-Libertarian tradition — relying on Mises, and more colloquially, on an understanding of can-kicking. Kicking a problem up the road (for e.g. printing money to defer insolvency) doesn’t make it disappear, or contribute to an ultimate solution. It makes the problem markedly worse, whilst delaying its impact. A crack addict can always make things seem OK by smoking another rock. That’s not a ‘metaphor’ for what is happening in Keynes-era ‘postmodernism’ — it’s the exact process (an escalating addiction mechanism, or degenerative ratchet).

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @ Mr. Sigl,

    “from a God’s eye view.” Indeed.

    It is well you understand who God indeed is…and the Cathedral is Her Church.

    Do you notice that the statistics you mention are indeed global, and don’t take into account any particular country? Where the ones improving as countries – the actual largest functioning and true communities of man- are a rather short list? If you for instance raise up Africa, Latin America, parts of Asia only slightly across the board things are indeed getting better. That’s a low bar considering the last 50 years. Things are also better in Europe say post 1945. But it’s not looking too good right now, and we live now.

    Meanwhile in the nation that underwrites, secures with force and monetizes all this ..it’s getting progressively worse. God may not see a problem with The United States of Detroit, but the Americans DO.

    Worst of all the finances. The finances are violating laws written over the 5000 year History of Money. Perhaps this time is different. But probably not.

    Progressivism and especially Neo-Liberalism [see Detroit] do work well – for Progressives and especially Neo-Liberals. The rest of us however are ..well..Darkly Enlightened if we live outside the Bubble.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    However I don’t mean to be quarrelsome. You did ask.

    You’d have to go to Moldbug of course, also Admin’s series on Dark Enlightenment. I think he owns the phrase, or coined it…

    [Reply]

    Al Fin Reply:

    VXXC provides and excellent short response to your question, Matt. From a sufficient distance and seen through the “proper” lenses, the world is prosperous and at peace.

    We were all programmed in progressive thought. But only those who have been baptized in the bloody river of reality have the chance to separate from the programmed ideology to become someone capable of independent thought. They have the chance, but most will refuse it since the cognitive dissonance is too great.

    For the brave, changing one’s mind is an exhilarating and liberating experience, even if it results in an awakening into a seemingly doomed society.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    The interesting (and scary) question this thought-experiment asks is whether, aside from technical progress, human civilization has advanced or declined since 1950. In actual reality, this too is a stupid question. The answer is no less obvious – I assert. But consensus reality thinks I’m crazy.

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.ca/2013/03/sam-altman-is-not-blithering-idiot.html

    E.g. it is not clear that violence is going down. Murder rates are going down because trauma medicine has advanced – the aggravated assault rate hasn’t gone anywhere.

    [Reply]

    Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Reply:

    He’s got another great quote when it comes to crime:

    For example, according to official statistics, between 1900 and 1992 the crime rate in Great Britain, indictable offenses per capita known to the police, increased by a factor of 46. That’s not 46%. Oh, no. That’s 4600%. Many of the offenders having been imported specially, to make England brighter and more colorful. This isn’t a government. It’s a crime syndicate.

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/06/ol8-reset-is-not-revolution.html

    His link to the PDF is broken, but I’ve found it again:

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-111.pdf

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    @Matt Sigl

    In many ways, statistically, the world has never been better: infant mortality rates, poverty rates, world hunger, access to information, decline in violence…from a God’s eye view, things are getting better all the time.

    Technological progress can happen in spite of a larger, slow-motion, socio-political collapse. Most of what you point to is the result of 20th century science and medicine, which has mostly been left to its own devices (read: progressive egalitarianism is not, yet, forced onto the medical and tech fields.) One reason for my being a reactionary is to ensure that this technological progress continues unmolested by enforced moralism.

    And I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you travel in a very limited, SWPL, cool urban chic circle, and that you haven’t spent much time in areas where collapse is already happening or has happened: Detroit, South Los Angeles, the American Rust Belt, etc.

    It’s very possible to speed on highways or subways from cool restaurant to cool restaurant and miss the decay happening right outside your window. If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles or Central New York, I’ll happily take you on a tour of areas that you’d swear were third-world countries.

    [Reply]

    asdf Reply:

    There are all sorts of answers to this question, I’ll provide a few.

    1) Some people question whether the data really does support the progress narrative. They say that a lot of our strength is based on unsustainable debts (we aren’t as rich as we think we are), etc. A lot of different data blogs will focus on this. At the very least I think there is broad consensus that progress stopped in the first world decades ago if we are considering the life of the median resident.

    As to the issue of the third world there are two issues. First, we are really talking about China here, and its hard to call an autocratic state like that part of the Cathedral. Even researching the histories of the other Asian powerhouses they weren’t exactly neoliberal.

    Cathedral efforts elsewhere have largely been a massive disaster. People have written a lot about them in the DE.

    Moreover, all countries with the requisite IQ will eventually be first world. What then? Instead of answering that inevitable question we marvel that the third world can benefit from our spill off while our own societies decline. That’s a really low bar to set.

    2) Some will point to metrics outside of technological progress. For instance, they would look at the increase in divorce, crime, drug use, happiness surveys, social dysfunction, etc as indications that the progress narrative is false. Progressives will sometimes claim that a few of these have been getting better lately, but this is only in comparison to the heights of the early 90s crack epidemic. What we see today is still a shell of what existed before the counter culture revolution in the late 60s/early 70s.

    A lot of that recent “progress” on some of these metrics comes from demographic changes and a depressing prison sector that keeps a lot of them off the street. In addition technology can obscure underlying moral trends (people talk about the reduction in murders, but attempted murders haven’t really gone down we simply have better trauma care that saves a lot more potential victims, no death means no murder).

    In addition, DE people will note that these negative trends affect the lower classes the most. Something like Charles Murray’s coming apart documents this. A lot of DE people feel that Cathedral members are consciously and unconsciously pushing these negative outcomes on the lower classes in an effort to advance themselves, often hypocritically since they claim to be champions for these people. DE people especially feel that a lot of the groups that were supposedly championed by the Cathedral (blacks for instance) have been absolutely mauled by the last few decades (take your pick between the broken homes, massive unemployment, drugs/violence, or cultural collapse).

    3) In general, the DE doesn’t credit neoliberalism with the fruits of technological progress. Such progress would have happened anyway. The question is what people did with it. If some things are better, are they because neoliberalism is a good system, or because the bounty of technology is so great that some things progress in spite of progressives.

    4) DE people tend to think in really long time scales. A lot of neoliberal solutions are seen as things with significant costs for the long term.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    In brief on the general matter: Technology is getting better. Society is getting worse.
    Also, we lack a control world sans progressivism to determine its net impact.

    In brief on the decline of violence: we (in the modern West) are rich enough to afford crime, so we don’t feel the same need to be violent to criminals, and as mentioned above, we’re rich enough to patch up victims of violence better, so they don’t feel their suffering as much.

    I quote Foseti at length on Pinker’s decline in violence:
    “Pinker’s basic problem is that he essentially defines “violence” in such a way that his thesis that violence is declining becomes self-fulling. “Violence” to Pinker is fundamentally synonymous with behaviors of older civilizations. On the other hand, modern practices are defined to be less violent than newer practices.

    A while back, I linked to a story about a guy in my neighborhood who’s been arrested over 60 times for breaking into cars. A couple hundred years ago, this guy would have been killed for this sort of vandalism after he got caught the first time. Now, we feed him and shelter him for a while and then we let him back out to do this again. Pinker defines the new practice as a decline in violence – we don’t kill the guy anymore! Someone from a couple hundred years ago would be appalled that we let the guy continue destroying other peoples’ property without consequence. In the mind of those long dead, “violence” has in fact increased. Instead of a decline in violence, this practice seems to me like a decline in justice – nothing more or less.”

    Again – things are basically OK! They just don’t look sustainable. Maybe we’ll reach the Technological Singularity or develop Strong Friendly Artificial Intelligence, and we win. On the other hand, maybe dysgenics, entitlement, demotism, welfare, free lovelust and the like will get out of hand. Maybe the “DIE CIS SCUM” cry of the social justice warriors will get out of hand, cue mass graves.

    For example, I think there’s fairly strong evidence (available on demand, but this comment is already long) that average European-American IQ is around 100 and average African-American IQ is around 85, both with a standard deviation of around 15. If we suppose that “university minimum” is around 115 (less and you arguably shouldn’t be in university – you should be learning a trade or the like), then about 16% of EAs will fit at university and about 2% of AAs. That’s about a million university-level African-Americans, who will be underrepresented in proportion to population by a factor of 8. (East Asians and Jews meanwhile will be overrepresented because they seem to have average IQs of around 105 and 115.)

    Progressives don’t accept the differences in average group intelligence, and insist that this is a terrible injustice caused by active white racism, which be remedied by means such as (re-)educating white people and by taking money from white people to give them to black people.

    Since I think the gap is about 60% genetic (estimates vary), and some of the environmental gap is from growing up around people with lower genetic components to intelligence (hard to fix short of a Stolen Generation approach), I believe that the progressive measures are largely doomed to failure.

    I can still support such measures! View them as charity programs; a hypothetical marginal “overrepresented” 116 IQ European-American who loses a university seat and a thousand tax dollars to a marginal “underrepresented” 114 IQ African-American receiving stipends is still a guy with 116 IQ and a decent amount of money. He’ll get by. (While I think IQ tests are broadly accurate, they’re not quite precise enough to measure individual differences at the 2-point level. This is a hypothetical example.) This isn’t terribly destructive in itself, just inefficient. Society still gets a 114 IQ university graduate, which we can reasonably consider good, at least compared to no university graduate (the historical state of much of mankind).

    But we’re losing the most qualified candidate for the university seat (perhaps MOOCs and the like will make those unlimited soon, thus solving the problem for us), and generating ill-will among blacks who demand, expect, or think they deserve proportional outcomes and still aren’t getting them, generating more ill-will among whites who think some black guy “stole” their seat (among stupid whites, this is a tantalizing excuse for personal failure), generating yet more ill-will among blacks who feel that they can’t prove themselves because people suspect their accomplishments of being inflated by affirmative action, and not solving the underlying problem, because redistributing university seats and money won’t change the overall pattern where there are (proportionally) more smart whites than smart blacks, and smarts matter in life. This is a drain on society, and since it hasn’t closed the racial gap, progressives are likely to demand that Something Must (Still) Be Done. Perhaps they’ll demand credential-blind hiring, since credentials have disparate impact. Perhaps they’ll demand experience-blind hiring, since white people live longer than black people. If this sounds unrealistic, consider that they’ve already demanded criminal-record-blind hiring, because black people are more likely than white people to have criminal records.

    I don’t see any obvious stopping point, and that’s one of the things that worries me. The progressive ideology asserts that people are so equal that equal opportunity must produce equal outcomes; therefore unequal outcomes demonstrate unequal opportunity; therefore opportunity should be transferred to blacks until outcomes are equal. Since I believe outcomes can’t be made or kept equal without a gargantuan thumb on the scale, I expect the progressive faith to intervene more and more heavily, appropriating ever more funds for the diversity department and making the system increasingly inefficient at rewarding the skilled, all in the name of “equality” and with the best* of intentions.

    *Allow me some optimism and naivety here.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    My view isn’t the Dark Enlightenmentt mainstream, but here’s how I see it:

    modernity consists of a packet of innovations that, like most innovations, followed an S-curve, but with a difference.

    Progress was slow at first back in the 1500s but eventually it took off in a flourishing of growth and liberation. But there are dminishing returns to these innovations. Take “liberation,” for example (liberation is a key part of the progressive package of modernity, though not the only part) First you free the bourgeious and the commoners from annoying legal and social restraints. They are 90% of the population. Then you free the slaves, who are 12%. Then you free homosexuals, who are 2%. Then you free the transsexuals, who are .01%. At each stage, the benefits of the liberation grow less and the costs to everybody else grow significantly greater.

    Since most innovations are technical innovations that occur within the context of the free market, you have inherent factors that prevent them from going too far. They level off, but they don’t actively turn malign. The internal combustion engine first makes factories more efficient, than transportation, then household tools like mowers and chainsaws–but it doesn’t get used on wheelchairs or roller skates or as door openers because eventually the costs outweigh the benefits and in a free market people won’t buy things where the costs outweigh the benefits.

    Other classes of innovation aren’t so directly constrained–military innovations are an example–and there we see something dfifferent than the typical s-curve that applies to technical and commercial innovations. With those kinds of innovations we see them continue on past the point of diminishing returns to actual malign territory where they do more harm than good. But even innovations of these types–military and legal and political and institutional innovations–aren’t immune from outside forces that can keep them in check. National competition and war, for example. But the checks on these types of forces are cruder and take longer.

    The set of innovations that constitute progressivism and modernity take place at the very basic level of sociocultural and sociopolitical organization. They occur at the most fundamental level. As such, there is very little ‘outside’ them to check them. As such, we should expect them to go on, and in fact they are going on, very deeply into malign territory. We still aren’t that far from the point of diminishing returns, though, and in some areas of life and in some geographic locations we haven’t even reached that point yet. So we shouldn’t expect things to be dystopic right off. The progressive machine will grind on for quite awhile longer.


    The point about Keynesianism being a form of eating seed corn that others have made should also be complemented with what population scientists call the demographic dividend. Western and Asian societies starting in about 1950 or so enjoyed a huge surge in productivity that came from women entering the work force and from falling birthrates. The ratio of workers to nonworkers went way up and so did their economies. But at the same time, the drop in birth rates to a level eventually below replacement meant that this surge was a cheat. The apparent prosperity came at the expense of future growth.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    @Matt Sigl

    My response over here. If you have comments, please leave them over there – this thread has gotten too cluttered.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 2:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Re: Smart. Smart == scholar caste. Actually mainly merchants pretending to be scholars, thus only Smart, not smart. There’s a core of sophist scholars who set the trends.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 2:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • asdf Says:

    Matt Sigl,

    In general I think you are going to have a hard time understanding the DE from internet thesis alone. To an extent you have to live it. The life experiences, getting to know people, etc. A lot of people I’ve met that are involved in DE have their opinions formed by being up close and personal with Cathedral institutions and people. That informs their opinion in a way that is hard to convey.

    Can someone really communicate complex things in message board form? In general these types of communication leave out a lot and can descend into ever greater degrees of nerdy bickering and misunderstanding, with all the usual baggage of internet discussions. It’s better then nothing, its certainly a start, but I think you’ll get a very incomplete view if you think its just a wonkish set of policy/governmental structure ideas.

    One of the big problems with the Cathedral is that it doesn’t see people as people, but as social units or tools. There is a dehumanization process. It’s clouded by all sorts of lofty rhetoric about justice and such, but at the end of the day your average Cathedral member isn’t viewing their neighbor as a person but as a concept. It’s that concept they are, theoretically at least, trying to help. And no wonder they fail because a person is not a concept. With a conceptual person you end up practicing “callous altruism” rather then “empathetic altruism” (Christian charity)*. The DE tries to get away from this by trying to really understand people, warts and all.

    If you really want to understand DE I suggest picking some of your favorite bloggers and going to meet them (if they will meet you, many are afraid of professional repercussions). Otherwise the DE will just be “some dudes on the internet who think abstract idea XYZ”, which won’t really capture what its about.

    *http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2013/09/technology-communism-and-brown-scare.html

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    To an extent you have to live it. The life experiences, getting to know people, etc. A lot of people I’ve met that are involved in DE have their opinions formed by being up close and personal with Cathedral institutions and people. That informs their opinion in a way that is hard to convey.

    Exactly. This is what I was getting at here.

    Further, if you’re just a humble working-class vaisya who’s simply lived eyes wide open, DE may simply be common sense in a manner that is difficult to articulate, like a native speaker trying to explain how his language works. Bless the intellectual bloggers, the natural elite who, following the maps and spying the shore from a distance, can speak of this land of Realism from the outside.

    [Reply]

    asdf Reply:

    The proles are allowed to think whatever they want to think because they aren’t a threat. If you go on a male laborer job site you will hear non-nerdy DE stuff as common sense. It’s outer party white collar professionals who have to play pretend all the time, and they make up a lot of the DE. If they were raised outside of the outer party (prole parents) this cognitive dissonance and constantly putting up appearances is particularly taxing, especially since most probably see the failures and blatant hypocrisy of the Cathedral up close and personal in their careers daily and the people being most screwed by the Cathedral are the people you grew up with.

    I could have read something like “That Hideous Strength” when I was younger, but I wouldn’t have understood it. I had to literally live through it, seen the people I work and interact with talk in that manner, to really understand it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 5:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • underground-man Says:

    Regarding the question how we should respond to the idea that everything’s basically OK; I think it’s vital not to lay claim to reason or truth or some other supposed transcendental/universal, but on profound distaste for the world as it is right now and sincere commiseration with the people living in it. It’s a personal task for everyone individually not to let his distaste devolve into ressentiment, but distaste should be our prime motive. Adorno said poetry after Auschwitz would be barbaric, I’m saying that any philosophy serving as apologetics for this world BEFORE a grand purification is barbaric. We shouldn’t stoop to reasoning to people who disagree. We can only preach to them.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Preaching to forewarn of a grand purification? I think you just opened up neoreactions Puritanical core (and wrote the City of Destruction/Cathedral’s propaganda for them).

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 9:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @asdf BINGO.

    Mind you Progress is attempting to march on – due to it’s own imperatives – into everything.

    Like Firefighting for instance, War…

    Since it doesn’t work in real life – and office work when you’re not responsible for the failures of policy isn’t real life – I think and yes hope a wall is about to be hit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 10:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    I haven’t been commenting because the semester started, but I am reading this blog. Just wanted to post a note of support.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 1st, 2013 at 4:15 am Reply | Quote
  • The Lies Aren’t All Right | Handle's Haus Says:

    […] glad Vocativ’s Matt Sigl clarified his inquiry over at Nick Land’s place.  I can’t seem to link to particular comments, but scroll […]

    Posted on October 4th, 2013 at 12:21 am Reply | Quote
  • nydwracu Says:

    I hope I’m not too late here… the more I consider this the less optimistic I get, and if I were the sort to steer clear of potentially disastrous situations I’d be writing about C++ or something instead.

    First: most people don’t know how to read things they don’t already agree with to an extent. If you confuse the thesis “the Allies were not the paragons of morality that they’re taken to be today” with the thesis “the Nazis were the good side”, you definitely don’t, and you need to learn. Robert Anton Wilson is a good place to start; if you haven’t already read him for the proto-transhumanism, start with the Illuminatus trilogy, then read the Cosmic Trigger books and Right Where You Are Sitting Now. Then read:
    http://nydwracu.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/ideography-and-the-failure-of-american-conservatism/
    http://nydwracu.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/dan-savage-is-a-crocodile/
    http://nydwracu.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/why-anarcho-fascism-an-introduction-to-group-dynamics/
    Mencius Moldbug’s How Dawkins Got Pwned series

    After that, well, being born in a dysfunctional toilet isn’t something I can recommend, but aren’t you from New York? Develop the ability to argue coherently for the position that Bernhard Goetz ought to be considered a national hero and you’ll have come a long way toward understanding neoreaction.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 6th, 2013 at 10:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • asdf Says:

    ADDED: Mike Anissimov (via Twitter): “Nothing good will come of a neoreactionary dialogue with Matt Sigl. … I predict we’ll regret this in the end.”

    I completely agree. When I went on his website it had the feel of shock journalism.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 3:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    Defining Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment (part 1 of 4)

    First, let’s take a step back and look at the political spectrum. We all know what progressives are; they believe in the perfectibility of man and society, and believe they are intelligent enough to perfect man. Conservatives span a broad range of political belief, but they generally believe tradition is intrinsically valuable, and change should only occur if there is substantial reason to believe that the general welfare will be increased by it. In actuality, they are effectively advocating a slower, more historically-aware change, but they are nonetheless progressives who believe in the perfectibility of mankind and our capability to achieve perfection. Reactionaries believe that some previous historical state was preferable, and wish to return to whichever of those states they prefer. Generally speaking, reactionaries, which include paleo-conservatives and traditional-conservatives, do not believe that a socially-engineered solution the human condition is possible. At best, human nature can be corralled and managed, but not changed or solved.

    What then, is neoreaction (my preferred term)? The difference between neoreactionaries and reactionaries is that the intellectual foundations of neoreaction are throughly modern, grounded in science, rather than argument from authority or tradition. Research into genetics, human behavior, psychology, economics, sociology, and other fields continue to re-affirm the enduring wisdom of ancient traditions, and the folly of our current path. Neoreaction also benefits from the last two centuries of philosophical tradition, and the same weapons used by liberals to dismember traditional institutions can be turned against them, to dissect and analyze them. Finally, there is an attitudinal difference. Neoreaction is not attempting to defend the traditional edifice from the barbarian hordes; that battle has been decisively lost. Neoreaction is an insurgency looking to topple current progressive regime. Neoreaction is younger, more ambitious, more intellectually-innovative, and offensively-oriented.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 9:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    The Cathedral (part 2 of 4)

    What is the Cathedral? Much better and more novel definitions of the Cathedral exist, but for the sake of self-contained completeness, I will offer my own. The Cathedral is the current progressive regime, composed of academia, media, government, and corporations, that seeks install a global multicultural capitalist system as the only source of human identity, and to supplant or eradicate all other forms of human loyalty, whether it be to a religion, an ethnicity, a culture, a tribe, or even a family. The Cathedral is best understood as a emergent collection of individuals who all find it in their best interest to further the collective goals of the Cathedral. Their goal is to create a world where there is only the Cathedral and the atomized individual, utterly incapable of resistance.

    The Cathedral is the key conceptual innovation in neoreaction, and is among the reasons why Moldbug and his concepts are so influential in neoreaction. Why is it so important? Because it identifies the enemy as a distinct entity, and gives it a name to avoid Orwellian deceptions. Take for example, the term “multiculturalism”. Multiculturalism is not the tolerance of other cultures. It is itself a competing culture, and once installed, quickly seeks to eradicate other competing cultural loyalties. Freedom of religion is actually the arbitrary suppression of certain religions, and so on. The term “the Cathedral”, with its imperious, foreboding overtones, provides a potent description of this self-interested adversary, and instantly invites a critical analysis of their internal power structures and long-term goals. Once the enemy is identified, it can be studied.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 9:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    Why now? (part 3 of 4)

    There are a few external reasons. The first reason is that modern science has reached a point where many of the polite fictions that underpin the progressive system (such as the blank-slate) are no longer sustainable. The second is that globalization and the Internet have broken the Cathedral’s monopoly on acceptable discourse. The civil war between two sects of the Cathedral is over (the Cold War), and now the West must grapple with fundamentalist Islam, and the rise of a xenophobic and fiercely ethno-nationalist East Asia. The blunt pronouncements of Omar Bakri Muhammad or Shintaro Ishihara, people whose thoughts are utterly foreign to a Cathedral-trained mind, are now readily accessible, and cannot be ignored. The Cathedral can only dismiss them as bizarre and irrational, but growing numbers of people are beginning to understand the deep logic behind their actions. The self-organizing nature of the internet gives the ability to unearth and highlight obscure events where the mask slips, to read historical writings, or writings from cultures still outside Cathedral influence. Events that were supposed to have gone down the memory hole are inconveniently resurfacing. The third is that the Western model is under visible stress, economically, politically, and culturally. The current government shutdown charade is an alamagamation of all three stressors, and even the average person is beginning to question the structual integrity of the entire system.

    Then there are internal reasons. First, the most recent phase of progressivism has finally corrupted enough of Western society that even average people are beginning to question its wisdom. The breakdown of the nuclear family, the erosion of social trust, and creeping corruption and crime are finally making inroads on the American core. Secondly, we have the first generation that was fully hothouse-educated by the Cathedral, and any evidence or thought contrary to the Cathedral comes as a real shock and relief. There is an unanswered thirst for real answers. This thirst manifests in strange ways, such as the popularity of the mangled history found on the History Channel, which, while shallow and inaccurate, at least provides a welcome break from the relentless Cathedral propaganda taught in schools. As similar trend is found in the recent rash of books and biographies about the Founding Fathers. Thirdly, the Cathedral has destroyed all meaningful resistance and is beginning to move faster. While in the past, progressives were limited by the longevity of human memory, now they can actively re-write history to erase their mistakes and broken promises. The increasing speed and obviousness of their actions are causing some people to notice. Fourthly, conservatives are beginning to create a true challenge to the Republican party, even if it is ideologically incoherent at the moment. There is a pervasive disillusionment and disbelief in any Cathedral-aligned institution, even if they don’t understand it as such (yet).

    All of this is fertile ground for neoreaction.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 9:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    Answers to specific questions: (part 4 of 4)

    Transhumanism/futurism – Both have little romantic attachment to the past, and a strong affinity to science. The difference is in intent. Neoreaction seeks to use modern discoveries as weapons against the Cathedral and revive traditionalism from a secular-rational foundation. Transhumanists and futurists are generally unaware that the Cathedral exists, or are sympathetic to Cathedral goals, and are likely to be entirely co-opted by them.

    Libertarians – Libertarianism is often a useful transit-point into neoreaction. Libertarians often recognize some facet of the Cathedral that is in direct opposition to their goals, and become fully-reactionary once they realize the beast has many arms. Ideologically, libertarianism is a form of progressivism and anti-traditionalism, which makes it fundamentally incompatible with reactionary thought, but in practice, we are allied against a common enemy, and many of their beliefs – for example, that egalitarianism is incompatible with human freedom – echo our own. Within libertarianism, there is a creeping recognition of cultural traditionalism, although it is clothed in free-market lingo, like social-capital, high-trust societies, network effects, and positive externalities.

    Fascism – to my knowledge, there is no common understanding of fascism in neoreaction. Some are sympathetic to it as the last great challenge to the Cathedral, and some, including Moldbug, see it as a extreme form of progressivism.

    White Supremacism – This is such a vague term that it must be unpacked to be useful. Most neoreactionaries affirm the importance of ethnicity and culture, and therefore find the idea of ethnic self-determination for people of European ancestry as broadly desirable. Significantly, neoreactionaries recognize the cultural and genetic strengths of other ethnicities, and do not claim blanket Indo-European superiority.

    Anti-Semitism – Again, a vague and overused term. Charges of anti-Semitism are leveled when any individual isn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about protecting Israel or Israeli interests. Likewise, noting the blatantly pro-Jewish policies of the Israeli state is also anti-Semitic. I believe that the most common neoreactionary stance towards Israel is a distant admiration. They are a serious ethno-state looking to survive in a tough neighborhood. As to Jewish conspiracy, views vary widely, but most are content to simply note that Jews have an above-average participation in Cathedral-aligned institutions, and the Cathedral displays an otherwise-unexplainable deference to Jewish and Israeli interests.

    Social Darwinism – It is simply a statement of the obvious. Societies compete, and societies that are too inept to continue their own survival die out and are replaced by those that are not.

    Capitalism is to blame – It is impossible to answer this question without first precisely definining capitalism. The popular conception of capitalism is inextricably tied to the Cathedral, and untangling this mess would take pages.

    Everything is basically OK – Except it’s not. We’ve been living off stored fat and the chance discovery of the CMOS transistor for sometime now. Let’s remember that in historical terms, twenty or fifty years isn’t very long. The decline of Western civilization from her peak, whether it be cultural refinement, military dominance, family-unit strength, individual happiness, or economic wealth, has been alarmingly quick.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks for this epic comment — it’s greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 9:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sam Says:

    It sickens me every time I hear the progressives, the media, the regulators, etc called The Cathedral”. It is a purposely grotesque designed propagandized distortion of the truth. The truth is, it is “The Synagogue”.

    Their own words convict them. See the excellent link:
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/05/ol4-dr-johnsons-hypothesis.html

    Moldbug is a weapon. Moldbug talks about the problems. Even points out his own parents were part of it then, as the matador waves the red cape says,”…The problem is: modern, post-1945 Western society certainly does not match the description of a type 1 society. For example, there is no coordinating authority. Unless you can come up with some conspiracy theory (Joo! Joo!), it simply doesn’t exist. There is no Goebbels who tells writers what to write, filmmakers what to film, journalists what to print, or professors what to profess. There is no Pope, there is no Church, there is no Party, there is nothing. And as we’ve seen, the type 1 design makes no sense without coordination…”.

    How convenient. Yet “(Joo! Joo!), it simply doesn’t exist.” do exist. The same people he says about,”…There is no use in trying to convince me that there was never any such thing as an international Communist conspiracy…”

    1.”…Goebbels who tells writers what to write…”
    Oh really. Who owns the majority of publishing houses? When David Irving got on the wrong side of the Jews they injured his career and some of their brethren physically attempted to attack him. You think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s having trouble publishing his last book maybe had a little to do with his thoughts on the Jews? A little, maybe?
    2.”…journalists what to print…” Ask Derbyshire about that. Many more I won’t belabor the point.
    3. What about the Hispanic sports guy who talked about the Jews on Jon Stewarts show? Fired the next day. I could go on…and…on…and…on…
    4.”…professors what to profess…” Lawrence H. Summers
    5.He says we don’t live in a type 1 society and in type 1 societies,”…It penalizes people for expressing bad thoughts, or rewards them for expressing good thoughts, or ideally, of course, both…” of course then another whopper,”…type 1 design makes no sense without coordination…”
    Really and yet he says just the opposite,”… The organs install good thoughts in the young, and maintain them in the adult. Hominids are learning machines. They learn what’s put in front of them. It’s really not that hard.

    To keep bad thoughts from spreading, the State uses its powers to discourage, prohibit or destroy unofficial or otherwise uncoordinated information organs…”

    Do any of you “really” read this stuff? Think. Who owns the information source? Who owns the state. It’s not the Cathedral I assure you.

    Somewhere around 60% of all political campaign funds for the Democratic party come from Jews. Around 50% of the respective Republican party. The Jews own the State and if they own the State they are responsible for the condition it’s in.

    Let me clue you in to the Jews. Who are they. Read this:
    Eustace Mullins – The Biological Jew

    http://archive.org/details/Mullinseustace-TheBiologicalJew1967Incl.Biblio.pdf

    http://marucha.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/eustace-mullins-the-biological-jew.pdf

    Books are so hard to read though. Maybe a little of what Voltaire thought of them will do,
    “”… [Jews] are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and the Germans are born with blond hair. I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race.[2] —Voltaire, Lettres de Memmius a Ciceron (1771)…” He said a lot more if you’re interested.

    But you say Voltaire? Who’s he? Ok I’ll make it even easier. On 9/11 three building came down. One building #7 was not hit by a plane. Yet it collapsed. They say by fires but the fires had largely gone out when it fell. The strange thing though was it fell for 108 feet or so AT THE SPEED A ROCK DROPPED at the same height would drop. No resistance. This is impossible. No fire dematerializes building structures. Even the flimsiest material has some resistance. This evidence, the biggest story on the planet, gets no mention in the Jew owned papers, movies, TV or Government. If you don’t understand the significance of this…well I don’t know what to tell you.

    So let’s agree, amongst us with White European ancestors, to never again use the term “Cathedral” when we speak of our oppressors. That term is for the Jewish propagandist. Let them use it so we will know them. There’s hardly any point in being a “Reactionary” and “seeing and saying the truth” while babbling “Cathedral” propaganda nonsense. Might as well join the Trayvon fan club. Let us use the proper term “The Synagogue”.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Please tell me you’re not describing yourself as part of the Dark Enlightenment. As long as you’re denouncing us for our blind Judeophilia, that’s OK.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    I believe in the facts that exist describing the Dark Enlightenment. Non equality of Humans, the trends that unfold from this and etc. Myself I’m a Democratic Republican in the old fashioned sense of the early American Republic.

    I’m denouncing you for corruption of language leading to corruption of thought.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    My apologies. I forgot to also denounce you for your blind Judeophilia. which I do now.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 8th, 2013 at 5:51 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Skilled hired help is still hired help.

    Names not groups. A gentleman tradesman is precise in his work. Groups are so 20th century sloppy. If Hitler et al had confined their considerable attentions to precision we’d have a very different view of the man.

    **I am not asking for a list of names so please don’t provide them**

    I can make the same case about the Irish really controlling America’s mid 20th century takeover of Great Britains Empire. I could quite convincingly trace it back to the Civil War.

    It would be bullshit. But..very good Bullshit. I’m congenitally a very good bullshitter. I’m Irish.

    In fact warming to my brown scare, one can trace the roots of Communism and social Justice to the Gaels and their Brehon Code of Law.

    MMMM. From my Chair…it’s…warm.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 8th, 2013 at 2:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • The 2013 Anti-Progress Report | Radish Says:

    […] Matt Sigl (Vocativ) plans an article on the Dark Enlightenment; Michael Anissimov predicts disaster. […]

    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 5:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Path to the Dark Reformation Part C: The (Black) God Delusion. | "The Horror! The Horror!" Says:

    […] What is the Dark Enlightenment? […]

    Posted on April 4th, 2017 at 9:05 pm Reply | Quote

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