Exit notes (#1)
Some notable attempts to dial back the NRx commitment to exit over voice, as inherited from Moldbug, have been seen recently. (I think NBS was crucial in advancing this argument, but I couldn’t find his post immediately — I’ll link to it if someone nudges me helpfully.) It’s undoubtedly a central discussion throughout the reactosphere at the moment.
Some preliminary thought-gathering on the topic:
(1) Exit is a scale-free concept. It can be applied rigorously to extreme cases of sociopolitical separation, from secession to extraterrestrial escapes. Yet these radical examples do not define it. It’s essence is the commercial relation, which necessarily involves a non-transaction option. Exit means: Take it or leave it (but don’t haggle). It is thus, at whatever scale of expression, the concrete social implementation of freedom as an operational principle.
(2) As a philosophical stance, Exit is anti-dialectical. That is to say, it is the insistence of an option against argument, especially refusing the idea of necessary political discussion (a notion which, if accepted, guarantees progression to the left). Let’s spatialize our disagreement is an alternative to resolution in time. Conversations can be prisons. No one is owed a hearing.
(3) In regards to cultural cladistics, it can scarcely be denied that Exit has a Protestant lineage. Its theological associations are intense, and stimulating.
(4) Exit asymmetries have been by far the most decisive generators of spontaneous anti-socialist ideology. The iconic meaning of the Berlin Wall needs no further elucidation. The implicit irony is that people flee towards Exit, and if this is only possible virtually, it metamorphoses automatically into delegitimation of the inhibitory regime. (Socialism is Exit-suppressive by definition.)
(5) Exit is an option, which does not require execution for its effectiveness. The case for Exit is not an argument for flight, but a (non-dialectical) defense of the opportunity for flight. Where Exit most fully flourishes, it is employed the least.
(6) Exit is the alternative to voice. It is defended with extremity in order to mute voice with comparable extremity. To moderate the case for Exit is implicitly to make a case for voice. (Those who cannot exit a deal will predictably demand to haggle over it.)
(7) Exit is the primary Social Darwinian weapon. To blunt it is to welcome entropy to your hearth.