“The economists are right about economics but there’s more to life than economics” Nydwracu tweets, with quote marks already attached. Whether economists are right about economics very much depends upon the economists, and those that are most right are those who make least claim to comprehension, but that is another topic than the one to be pursued in this post. It’s the second part of the sentence that matters here and now. The guiding question: Can the economic sphere be rigorously delimited, and thus superseded, by moral-political reason (and associated social institutions)?
It is already to court misunderstanding to pursue this question in terms of ‘economics’, which is (for profound historical reasons) dominated by macroeconomics — i.e. an intellectual project oriented to the facilitation of political control over the economy. In this regard, the techno-commercial thread of Neoreaction is distinctively characterized by a radical aversion to economics, as the predictable complement of its attachment to the uncontrolled (or laissez-faire) economy. It is not economics that is the primary object of controversy, but capitalism — the free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.
This question is a source of dynamic tension within Neoreaction, which I expect to be a major stimulus to discussion throughout 2014. In my estimation, the poles of controversy are marked by this Michael Anissimov post at More Right (among others), and this post here (among others). Much other relevant writing on the topic within the reactosphere strikes me as significantly more hedged (Anarchopapist; Amos & Gromar …), or less stark in its conceptual commitments (Jim), and thus — in general — less directed to boundary-setting. That is to suggest — with some caution — that More Right and Outside in mark out the extreme alternatives structuring the terrain of dissensus on this particular issue. (In itself, this is a tendentious claim, open to counter-argument and rectification.)
So what is the terrain of the coming conflict? It includes (in approximate order of intellectual priority):
— An assessment of the Neocameral model and its legacy within Neoreaction. This is the ‘gateway’ theoretical structure through which libertarians pass into neoreactionary realism, marked by a fundamental ambiguity between an enveloping economism (determining sovereignty as a propertarian concept) and super-economic monarchist themes. The entire discussion could, perhaps, be effectively undertaken as commentary upon Neocameralism, and what remains of it.
— A rigorous formulation of teleology within Neoreaction, refining the meta-level conceptual apparatus through which means-and-ends, techno-economic instrumentality, strategy, purpose, and commanding values are concretely understood. This is a strong candidate for the highest level of philosophical articulation demanded by the system of neoreactionary ideas. (From the perspective of Outside in, it would be expected, incidentally, to subsume all considerations of moral philosophy — and especially a thoroughgoing replacement of utilitarianism by an intrinsically neoreactionary alternative — but I will not presume that this is an uncontroversial stance, even among ourselves.)
— Ultimately inextricable from the former (in reality), but provisionally distinguished for analytical purposes, are the teleonomic topics of emergence / spontaneous order, unplanned coordination, complex systems evolution, and entropy dissipation. The intellectual supremacy of these concepts defines the right, from the side of the libertarian tradition. Is this supremacy now to be usurped (by ‘hierarchy’ or some alternative)? If so, it is not a transition to be undergone casually. The Outside in position: any such transition would be a drastic cognitive regression, and an unsustainable one, both theoretically and practically.
— The philosophy of war, which is credibly positioned to envelop all neoreactionary ideas, and even to convert them into something else. (It is no coincidence that Moldbug, like the libertarians, axiomatizes the imperative of peace — even at the expense of realism.) War is historical reality in the raw, and its challenges cannot be indefinitely evaded.
— Cosmopolitanism. Exit-emphasis strongly implies a crisis of traditional loyalty, of enormous consequence. There is much more to be said about this, from both sides.
— Accelerationism. Not yet an acknowledged Neoreactionary concern, but perhaps destined to become one. As the pure expression of capitalist teleology, its intrusion into the argument becomes near-inevitable.
— Bitcoin …
One conciliatory point for now (it’s late): Neoreaction has no less glue than internal fission, and that is described above all by the theme of secession (dynamic geography, experimental government, fragmentation …). More Right is not anti-capitalist, and Outside in is not anti-monarchical, so long — in each case — as effective exit options sustain regime diversity. As this controversy develops, the importance of the secessionary impulse will only strengthen as a convergence point.
Michael Anissimov tweets: “Instead of having an election in 2016, the United States should voluntarily abolish itself and break up into five pieces.” In this respect, Outside in is unreservedly Anissimovite.