The combination of grace and insight crammed into this short post by Bonald is an amazing thing. Read the first two paragraphs for the historical wisdom, but it is the concluding section that packs the prognostic punch:

… the Neoreactionaries are doing a great job building up an intellectual movement. This is something to be proud of – lots of groups never achieve anything like what Moldbug’s followers have already done. On the other hand, it has happened several times already in the history of the Right that intellectual movements have gotten to this level. Then they dissipated. For whatever ultimate cause, they became corrupted and oversimplified; they lost the enthusiasm of their followers and the attention of everyone else. These schools of thought all failed to impede the advance of liberalism. Between its initial awakening and world historical influence there seems to be a Filter (perhaps several, but let’s keep things simple), and no antiliberal movement has yet survived it. And this challenge is before the neoreactionaries, not behind them.

It’s too succinct to need a ‘read it all’ exhortation (but you should). That such gems of civilized discourse are still being produced is cause enough for delight, however grim the message they relay.

ADDED: Still wider-angle Exterminator. (Plus Cowen’s brief thoughts.)

April 20, 2015admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction


40 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    On the other hand, it has happened several times already in the history of the Right that intellectual movements have gotten to this level. Then they dissipated. For whatever ultimate cause, they became corrupted and oversimplified; they lost the enthusiasm of their followers and the attention of everyone else. These schools of thought all failed to impede the advance of liberalism. Between its initial awakening and world historical influence there seems to be a Filter (perhaps several, but let’s keep things simple), and no antiliberal movement has yet survived it.

    Very on point. The filter is that conservatives must reject the way other people do things, namely, a popularity-based approach. This brings new conservative groups to a breakpoint where they either must alienate their audience and enforce a reality principle, or pander to their audience and lose momentum and clarity of purpose.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Did Chateaubriand and those guys fall apart because they were trying to acquire mass appeal? I don’t actually know, but it seems unlikely.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 3:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    Should be interesting to study, in particular, the 19th century movement which he mentions.

    Interestingly, I spoke today with an old acquaintance who has become somewhat of a reactionary (about my age) who described himself as an Austro-fascist. I told him that I was more of a neoreactionary; he seemed to prefer the latter term to the former.

    Momentum is required if these kinds of folks want to see ‘action’. To get this they will need to stop fighting against us and start using us as a tool. At the very least, everyone should drop the criticism of people claiming higher intelligence – if they in fact have a higher intelligence you have proved yourself to have no other point than ‘look at me instead of him, I’m a whiner.’

    I have my doubts that they can do anything but struggle for the petty amounts of power the Cathedral leaves them politically and culturally, viewing us as competitors for that.

    Thinking on your principle of distrust – many of the movements think they cannot trust us. This is manifested in accusations of homosexuality and judaism. They want to be able to trust us, but that means getting us to assent to certain shibboleths, i.e. “The holocaust never happened”, for instance. They’re going about this the wrong way. What is to say we could not pick a 100% european member of our number to say all of the right things, get ‘trusted’, and then sabotage them? Instead, they should be making their distrust more effective – the means by which more intelligent members of these groups can participate in the R&D itself and verify it rather than ‘trusting’ it.

    Openness of a certain sort is impossible; as it undermines the work itself. But on the other hand, I for one have no desire for them to just ‘trust us to make the decisions for them/’ That was never what this was about.


    Quint Essential Reply:

    Sabotage has already happened, and is still happening, even to right wing groups in Europe very recently. The Daily Mail managed to sneak in a reporter into one of their secret meetings in London. And you’ll notice that each member was given instructions personally by one of the leaders, so the reporter must have been in quite deep cover.

    I’m not entirely sure if they learn.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 3:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    Hanson’s article is unusually poor. Yeah, war depletes resources, and more advanced tech leads to more destructive war. That’s obviously and demonstrably true — but it appears to be true only to a certain point. Martin Van Creveld, in his book “The Transformation of War”, makes an extremely compelling and prescient observation: That the development of nuclear weapons has made total war between developed nations almost unthinkable, thus the global profusion of low intensity conflict, “regime change”, and proxy wars. The future of war is likely more of the same: More insurgency, more guerrilla conflict, lots of fighting to control “the narrative,” plenty of videos on LiveLeak — little-to-no total war between advanced nations.

    …Besides, Hanson assumes that all stocks are capable of being depleted, which is not necessarily the case. In a particularly funny example, he says that “eventually we may tap the sun itself not just by basking in its sunlight, but by uplifting its material and running more intense fusion reactors”. Of course, he has no idea how this might come about. How would he know, then, whether these hypothetical “Sun-PLUS Fusion Reactors” can be so completely depleted by war?

    The article also jumps straight from medieval peasant conflict to running hypothetical fusion reactions and civilization-ending battles. It draws no examples from modern warfare, and seems irrelevant to modern war and strategy.
    I think Hanson is grasping at straws to satisfy his “great filter” obsession.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 4:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Great Filter that dooms non-leftist movements | Amerika Says:

    […] On the other hand, it has happened several times already in the history of the Right that intellectual movements have gotten to this level. Then they dissipated. For whatever ultimate cause, they became corrupted and oversimplified; they lost the enthusiasm of their followers and the attention of everyone else. These schools of thought all failed to impede the advance of liberalism. Between its initial awakening and world historical influence there seems to be a Filter (perhaps several, but let’s keep things simple), and no antiliberal movement has yet survived it. And this challenge is before the neoreactionaries, not behind them. – Bonald via Outside In […]

    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 4:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Puzzle Privateer (@PuzzlePrivateer) Says:

    Analyze it in terms of Power.

    Did the right-wing movements have the power, resources and ruthlessness to make things happen? Were they able to suppress left-wing descent?

    Are there any examples in history, or in the world today where the right actually wins?

    What did they do differently?

    That old post you had about the Population Cycle of History probably plays a factor in this. Even if the right comes to power they don’t put some kind of filter of their own in place to stop that cycle, or at least to direct it.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 5:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Filtration | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • grey enlightenment Says:

    @Erebus it was a pretty bad article .. the greatest filter is probably intelligent life there


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 6:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • Jefferson Says:

    Movements that are not progressive forget to participate on the only battlefield that matters in the long-run: Demographics. The Puritans made crazy lots of babies, then conquered the world. Once they forgot how to have kids, they started importing allies and indoctrinating potential enemies. If NRx wants to matter in the long run, it needs to focus is efforts on self-replication.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 9:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rainer Chlodwig von Kook Says:

    I think you meant to type “Flirtation”.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 10:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Amon Khan Says:

    If that’s true, how have tiny demographics like Jews and homosexuals gotten so much power and influence?

    The answer is obviously *memetic* reproduction, not making babies. Learn from them: target the opinion-making apparatus and the cultural machinery. Even better, build new machinery to replace the old one. The Right’s inability to create culture that can compete with leftists is it’s great weakness that defeats all its other strengths. You might have the best ideas in the world, but if the entire culture is being programmed to hate you, you aren’t going to get very far. Target the cultural programming. Become the new programmers.


    Kgaard Reply:

    Good point on memetic reproduction. I was starting to glaze over with all this talk about the Neoreactionary “movement.” I think of it more as an intellectual “school. I like to think in terms of the best ideas winning out over time. For instance, 70% tax rates have disappeared because the idea failed. Fixing currencies to the dollar disappeared because the ideal failed. Homosexuality caught on because the idea became victorious: the notion that it was either sinful or extremely oddball was defeated by science (starting with Kinsey). It could be that the homosexual movement is now at high tide (pariticularly with the huge syphillis epidemic now raging in the gay community).

    We can see at the state level in the US that good ideas are doing better politically. The Tea Party is an example of a movement that rose up somewhat organically when the ideas embodied within it ripened and caught on en masse. The organization followed the ideas.

    So I don’t see the obvious potential for efficacy of some sort of overt political organization for neoreaction. Steve Sailer and Heartiste are moving the needle pretty far and pretty fast just with their blogs …


    Xoth Reply:

    Capitalism + progressivism won pretty handily in the US once they realized there was no fundamental conflict.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Cultural reproduction is not exogenous to leftist memes. Lefist control of the meme-space isn’t arbitrary.

    You are asking the Right to fight with the Left on their high ground.

    Now, in any victory eventually this would have to happen. Rome can’t conquer Carthage without eventually competing at the sea. But before that happens, Rome has to be Rome. Rome has to be strong at land. Rome can’t skip the part with the legions and go straight to building galleys.


    Jefferson Reply:

    Right, but the underpinnings of NRx are strong and consistent. It’s exceedingly rare to see anything new and useful in the reactospere because the important stuff is established. NRx doesn’t win by taking over the schools or by winning an argument; it wins by filling the gaps as the cathedral dies. Your Roman analogy would be much better if you pushed it forward a bit. We’re not fighting Hannibal, we’re preserving Roman culture in Venice.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    That’s not the conclusion I was going for, but I’m not going to spell out my conclusion except elliptically. Try this:

    What is the El Guapo for some of us?

    What is the Right’s analogy to the force and arms of Rome?

    Thales Reply:

    What is the El Guapo for some of us?

    This? I mean, yeah, sometimes El Guapo is the sum of our own fears and the shackles of our minds, but you know, sometimes El Guapo really is just a big fat douchebag…

    Jefferson Reply:

    Not to go all “no true Scotsman” on you, but an NRx understanding of reality does not ascribe power to Jews or Homosexuals. They are both currently disproportionately represented in positions of status, but the cathedral is infinitely maleable, and they are just cogs. The culture is iterating with increasing velocity, and it is absurd to think that any specific group will hold a position of strength for any period of time.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 10:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Joseph sans Brothers Says:

    I hadn’t realized that the Nrx sense of intellectual history is actually juvenile enough to view Moldbug as an “antiliberal” thinker. As best I can figure from his tedious prose, Moldbug’s primary beliefs are that 1) economics can and should replace any political sphere whatsoever, 2) groups are incidental and the individual is fundamental, and 3) that merit should accrue to individuals through no mechanism of judgement other than “markets.”

    This is, purely, liberalism. There is absolutely nothing illiberal or antiliberal about the neoreaction, and that is why it is so incoherent and featureless. Nrx is a merely rhetorical radicalization of the already long-dominant ideology of liberal mercantilization and de-politicization of society. Nrx is the intellectual analogue of cynical PR. “We sell random crap, rebranded as revolutionary, life-changing experiences.” Likewise, Nrx has no intellectual content other than the old tropes of liberal individualist scientism, it merely repackages the global consensus in the guise of telling harsh, “politically incorrect” “truths” which Nrx loyalists all seem to convince themselves are profoundly challenging, but which are in fact very familiar and quite banal, and are already accepted cynically by everyone.

    Nrx seems to me to be primarily about converting resentment into a re-valorization of individual merit for people who can’t bear the fact that their individual merit is completely interchangeable and disposable.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    “Now, let me tell you why MY individual merit is not completely interchangeable and disposable.”


    Joseph sans Brothers Reply:

    But of course that’s precisely what I DIDN’T say. For all you know, I consider myself just as worthless as everyone else. The fact that you are compelled to categorize my statement in the form of vulgar self-salesmanship (“Now let me tell you….”) already makes my point about Nrx-as-liberalism for me.


    Jefferson Reply:

    I do not think that your understanding of Moldbug is accurate, and your critique of neoreaction suffers accordinly.

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    I’m under no compulsion to do so, it just seemed an apt way to express what you were saying in my own words. If your words are so worthless and interchangeable, why bother saying them? Is someone paying you?

    No, of course not – but at least you can retain some self worth by seeing through the inconsistencies in nrx!

    I don’t know how what you’re doing is anything entirely different than what most of the outer right does compulsively – but let’s make a deal. I’ll pay you to make better critiques, but they need to be better. As Jefferson said rightly, perhaps you should actually read a bit more Moldbug first.

    What do you prefer, BTC or Paypal?

    Joseph sans Brothers Reply:

    Sir, I’ll have you know that I’ve seen through the inconsistencies of far better ideas than anything that has ever crossed the blinkered little code monkey cortex of a nrxer! It happens that Nick Land has, occasionally, written something moderately provocative, so I thought I’d drop in occasionally and observe the acuity of nrx specimens.

    Your offer of payment for critique is intriguing: I warn you, however, I am in the bespoke tutoring industry (doing grad school papers for the stupid and unfit children of the market-Darwinian “fittest”), where rates tend to run well over $150 an hour. However, I’ll cut you a deal. You either explain to me what you consider a central concept of Moldbug, or else link what you consider his most profound or challenging post, and I will (begin to) tell you what’s wrong with it. If you’re at least somewhat impressed, we can talk payment.

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    “Central Concept”? That’s difficult. Let’s have a nomination here, since I’m obviously not an arbiter for the sake of neoreactionary thought.

    Moldbug’s method, which is aesthetic, produces different results in different readers (such is its intent – like a psychedelic drug) but what I saw in it was, “Democracy is a lie. America is a communist country.” But there’s so much more, such as, “The Enlightenment is a non-theistic religion”, (its institution is nicknamed the Cathedral), “CEOs are the closest thing we have to monarchs” is another, as well as, “everyone in the 20th century was a ‘bad guy’ (as defined by modern moral calculations, applied rationally.)” another is that “Slavery is the proper condition for certain persons,”

    I think there is some stuff in there about the reality and impact of biological race, but since he spent a bit more time at bat for Techcomm race is less about groups/solidarity/asabiyyah and more about the fact that groups with lower average intelligence predictably have trouble keeping things running.

    All of Moldbug is annoying, challenging and easily dismissed. The point is to dismiss him in a fashion that generates useful, productive and ultimately neo-reactionary thoughts.

    Xoth Reply:

    “I am in the bespoke tutoring industry (doing grad school papers for the stupid and unfit children of the market-Darwinian “fittest”)”

    You’re doing Gnon’s work, sir. Bless you.

    Joseph sans Brothers Reply:

    Very well very well, I shall assemble some details and report back in an appropriate thread soon to come.


    Posted on April 20th, 2015 at 11:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    Regarding Hanson:

    “Robin outs himself as a strange kind of environmentalist.”

    Yup, he sure does, other than the timelines, this is pretty much Donella and Dennis Meadows’ systemic collapse argument.

    System Dynamics—stocks and flows:

    Liebig’s law of the minimum:

    William R. Catton’s books:
    Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change
    Bottleneck : Humanity’s Impending Impasse



    Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 12:22 am Reply | Quote
  • an inanimate aluminum tube Says:

    I don’t want to argue about “what Moldbug really meant”, but there is a prominent faction of neoreactionaries that is pretty open about NRX as classical liberalism )or at least an attempt to save something of classical liberalism) so I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss that guy’s point.


    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    Meant as a reply to Jefferson


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    This is true, though if one is going to ‘save part of liberalism’ the distinction between classical and progressive liberalisms does enter into the equation. For though as a whole system they both end up at the same place eventually, the ‘parts’ of them are quite different.


    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    people cant really help the way they think.

    is it disturbing to contemplate the fact that the (ostensibly) academic types who devised the most pernicious mind viruses (ostensibly) railed against in these parts, and many of the cloistered types who frequent the same, are very similar sorts of people?

    cognitive blind-spots, they have difficult even conceiving the reality of things they are not already inclined towards. time goes on, much ink is spilled, and much brainpower expended. and yet once we get past the shifting window dressing of rationalization functional doctrine seems suspiciously consistent.

    so it goes.


    Chris B Reply:

    @an inanimate aluminum tube “there is a prominent faction of neoreactionaries that is pretty open about NRX as classical liberalism” Like Admin and his belief in the rule by law of blockchain/ distributed trust nations? Something completely undermined by the simple expedient of asking questions such as “Who creates the laws?” and “why are the government or owners of a territory going to allow the blockchain contract law to be conducted in their territory?” or “so we have a blockchain individually agreed law stating I have to give you my car if I default on our loan? how you gonna take it?” (spoiler – robots I guess.)

    MM is not classical liberalism, and the lack of discussion on what is going on with such issues as sovereignty, law and property has allowed for major potential areas of discussion to be neglected. Joseph sans Brothers has some points, but by basing his criticisms on the interpretation of identified NRxers as opposed to MM’s writing directly he is missing a lot of points.The whole MM is about “secularized religion/ anti-democracy/ red pills/ HBD/ some people are slaves” is somewhat unfortunate, but understandable given the complicated manner in which MM writes and presents his stuff. The knock on effect on NRx is that it sets off the alarms for lots of alt right/ ENRs etc who see this as eminently fusible to their prior ideological baggage when inmho it is not.

    If Joseph sans Brothers wants a couple of real central topics to get stuck on, then he can have a go at debating the following for a start –
    1) The superior cybernetic feedback created by a secure ruler who does not need to appeal to foreign parties or the masses against competing local powers.
    2) The intrinsic leftwing nature of democracy and it’s direct descent from Monarchy (though MM is cute about this and imagines what would happen had the Monarch *not* fallen to democracy, and had collected full power themselves = Sovcorp/ Formalism.)
    3) the intrinsic reactionary and hierachy friendly eastern traditions of unquestioned government and absolutist emperors. (derived from point 1 – a state/ Power with no fear has no problem allowing hierarchy. In fact it encourages it)
    4) The potential revolutionary aspect of moving governance to a profit motive, given it is the merging of “egoism” and the drive to help which causes most problems.(see USA as a deranged charity in the eyes of the NYT, of course, in true prog fashion, it is always a lack of wanting to help in the desire for power that is to blame – a corollary of the leftwing complaints of America not being American enough.)


    Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 9:19 am Reply | Quote
  • Joseph sans Brothers Says:

    Lads, suffice it to say: If any of y’all are looking for forms of thought that are genuinely non- or anti- liberal, I can assure you (as someone in a position to know) that your search is ice cold whilst you consort with the likes of Moldbug and Nick Land.

    What has happened here, to be brief, is that nostalgic resentment has erased the sense of history in a broad demographic cross-section, with the result that the attitudes of the 18th century bourgeoisie, which at the time were Enlightened and anti-traditional, have now been mistaken for “the Tradition.” Hence the Nrx’s desperate need to constantly reassert that their ideology is a scientific truth beyond time, with the concomitant urge to denounce any deviation of the liberal-individualist party line as “Lysenkoism” bla bla bla, all very predictable.

    There is far more to say on the nature of the actual Tradition, upon which the line of Enlightenment through liberalism and on down to the Nrx is more or less a cluster of malignant tumors. I will gauge levels of interest and may share more, time permitting.


    Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 6:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • A.B Prosper Says:

    NrX as a movement reminds me of a smart, basically moral person with poor executive function living in a bubble.

    Its a bit aspie has lots of good ideas and is very intellectual almost to the point of being a bunch of luftmensch. Even with a rational world view its unable to even contemplate how the ideas would work in the real world or even how such ideas would be imposed on ordinary people.

    Its like living and growing up with a Hi -IQ in silicon valley and than moving to say Arkansas.

    Instead of being “here is our replacement concept and here is the workable compromise.” it ends up Blah Blah Moldbug Blah Blah Evola and loads of impracticable erudite crap that is its own filter,

    Even the Skyrim Larpers at the North West Front can do better than that. Because of who they are, they probably can’t achieve their goals but they have goals and if they could, they could actually create a State where even the low average IQ skinheads could live.

    If NrX can transcend the overlly intellectual movement aspects of the movement and start thinking about the real world, and how to you know run things, the formidable brainpower might just make a difference.

    Until then it is its own filter


    Posted on April 22nd, 2015 at 1:25 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Liberalism and the Left didn’t advance through Intellectual Rigor.

    It advanced through Political Populism, conspiracy, revolution, war, violence, riots, assasinations, vote buying, corruption and by bribing Intellectuals with POWER.

    Bribing Intellectuals with POWER and now in our time buying them off with tenue is Leftism’s Intellectual Rigor.

    The Right dissipates because it doesn’t pursue POWER in Politics. Politics is Power, the Left understands. The Right doesn’t understand.


    A.B Prosper Reply:


    Now that’s what I am talking about.

    The mess is complicated in the US by the “Cincinnatus ” strain among our Right, a grip of people who want to “Stop the Left” than run home to Monticello 2.0 to catch up on The Fountainhead and Von Mises

    That’s not how it works especially in a diverse state like the Cathedral has saddled us with , you win, you glue your butt to a chair in Foggy Bottom and you spend the rest of your lifetime writing policy and probably signing death warrants and asset seizure bills.

    if you don’t , well either the Left rules you or you die, Game of Thrones rules are in play.

    Honestly the rebellious right that aren’t NrX remind me of teenage anarchists spray painting the letter A and playing the Sex Pistols while blathering some junk they read is a Smazidat zine somewhere.

    That is not leading, ruling or governing and to win you need all three.

    However HrX might if it catches on be able to see the point. Its like a week old though so I am in no hurry


    Posted on April 22nd, 2015 at 1:53 am Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2015/04/22 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] response to what is neoreaction. Related: Right-wing filtration. Related: On the right-wing critics of neoreaction. Related: On neoreactionary culture. Related: […]

    Posted on April 22nd, 2015 at 5:35 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/04/24) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Even His Satanic Highness, Post-Marxist Advocate of the Robot Humanocide, Cult Leader Nick Land pays his respects. Which, in the ensuing combox kerkuffle, may have inspired this curious airboat […]

    Posted on April 25th, 2015 at 9:44 am Reply | Quote

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