Handle has an excellent post up on this, referencing Nydwracu, who has made a momentous project out of it. It’s huge, and old, and quite impossible to summarize persuasively. It’s also impossible to avoid, especially for the Outer Right.
Steve Sailer told a joke that I’m going to mangle. A monstrous alien invasion assails the earth, and people have to decide how to respond. The conservatives say, “What’s there to think about? We have to get together to defeat this thing.” Liberals respond: “Wait! They probably have good reasons to hate us. It must be something we’ve done. Until we work out what that is, we should prostrate ourselves before their grievances.” Finally the libertarians pipe up: “Do they believe in free markets?”
An obvious quibble arises with the libertarian punch-line: if only. Libertarians have predominantly demonstrated an enthusiasm for alien invasion that is totally detached from any market-oriented qualification. As their argument goes — the alien invasion is the free market. (We’ll need to return to this, indirectly.)
The appetite for identity seems to be hard-wired in the approximate manner of language, or religion. You have to have one (or several) but instinct doesn’t provide it ready made. That’s why identity corresponds to a hunger. It’s something people need, instinctively, with an intensity that is difficult to exaggerate. Symbolically-satiable needs are political rocket fuel.
Providing an expedient plug for the aching identity socket is as close to politics-in-a-nutshell as anything is going to get. At the core of every ideology is a determination of the model identity — sect, class, race, gender, sexual-orientation … — and mass implementation of this ‘consciousness’ is already consummate triumph. After psychological latching onto the relevant ‘thede’ takes place, nothing except tactics remains.
Reaction seeks to defend the dying thedes among its own people — which is already a suggestive repetition. Neoreaction goes meta, in a world in which the proscription of certain thedes almost wholly defines concerted enemy action. For one reasonable construction of the reactionary mainstream (*ahem*), this is already to have arrived at a natural stopping point. We want our thedes back. Despite the evident obstacles, or obstacle (the Cathedral) in its path, this approach plays into the grain of human nature, and thus tends — understandably — to scare those it wants to scare. If it begins to work, it will face a serious fight.
Outside in, whose mission is awkwardness, is determined to complicate things. Even the most resolute thedens will probably welcome the first appendix, which draws attention to the peculiar introduction of truly morbid punitive identifications. There’s no reason to think this is new — Nietzsche denounced Christianity for doing it — but it rises to unmistakable prominence during the decadence of modernity. Primary identifications, for select — targeted — groups, cease to be positive thedes, except insofar as these have become radically negativized. What ‘one’ is, primarily, if not shielded by credible victimage, is some postmodern variant of the sinner (racist, cisgendered, oppressor). Such is the hunger for identity, that even these toxic formations of imposed psychic auto-destruction are embraced, creating a species of cringing guilt-consumed sacrificial animals, penned within the contours of ‘our’ old thedes. Redemption is promised to those who most fully resign themselves to their own identitarian toxicity, who thus attain a perverse superiority over those insufficiently convinced of the need for salvation through self-abolition. “We really, really deserve to die” beats out a weak “We really deserve to die,” and anybody who still thinks that it’s OK to live is simply lost. (Only sinners are included in this arms-race, and the Cathedral tells us clearly who they are.)
An additional complication will be far less digestible, which is precisely why I would like to align it with the Outer Right. Perhaps escaping this structure of captivity cannot possibly take a reverse path, and a heading into dis-identifications, artificial identities, and identitarian short-circuits is ‘our’ real destiny. The identity-envy of the right — however deeply-rooted in an indisputable history of relentless Cathedralist aggression — cannot ever be anything but a weakness, given what we know about the political gradient of modern time. The fact it knows we want to be something, and what it is we want to be, is the alpha and omega of the Cathedral’s political competence. It knows what its enemies would be, if they could be what they want to be. It does not take a deep immersion in Sunzi to realize the strategic hopelessness of that situation.
I want the Cathedral to be obliterated by monsters, which it does not recognize, understand, or possess antibodies against. There is an idiosyncratic element to that, admittedly. I identify far more with the East India Company that the United Kingdom, with the hybrid Singlosphere than the British people, with clubs and cults than nations and creeds, with Yog Sothoth than my ancestral religion, and with Pythia than the Human Security System. I think true cosmopolitans — such as the adventurers of late 19th century Shanghai (both English and Chinese) — are superior to the populist rabble from which nationalism draws its recruits. That’s just me.
What isn’t just me, is what the Cathedral knows how to beat. That, I strongly suspect, at least in the large majority of cases, is you.