Lewis on NR

Matt K. Lewis, in The Week, shows that a critical appraisal of Neoreaction really doesn’t require hysteria. (The second half of the article is especially impressive.) If the custodians of Cathedral orthodoxy don’t find a way to punish him for his sobriety, this piece could set a new standard for public discussion of the anti-democratic right.

… these movements tacitly accept that conservatism as a political force is utterly incapable of slowing the leftward march of liberalism. By definition, conservatives, who want to conserve the good things about the past, are always playing defense. When you consider that many of my conservative views aren’t terribly different from John F. Kennedy’s views in 1960, this becomes self-evident.

Can this degree of honesty be allowable?

ADDED: At The American Conservative, two (instantly forgettable) response pieces, by Noah Millman, and Rod Dreher.

ADDED: Jonah Goldberg isn’t shrieking either: “Lewis goes on to talk about the neoreactionaries, an interesting intellectual subculture from what I can tell, but calling them extremely marginal to the mainstream right probably still gives them too much credit.” These kind of responses are making it ever more obvious how unhinged the libertarian commentary has been (with Cato-types being the most despicable).

January 6, 2014admin 31 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction


31 Responses to this entry

  • VXXC Says:

    Not an enemy. Weapons Hold.


    spandrell Reply:



    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Amosandgromar Says:

    Goodness, a non-hysterical article. That’s _progress_. Heh. He leaves it very open-ended, but it’s clear to me that ‘no news is good news’ here, where I take no news to be ‘no hysteria’.


    Rob Banks Reply:

    Well, maybe progress, maybe not. Nobody gets hysterical over what they consider irrelevant. At least when they’re screaming you know you’ve hit a sore spot. Personally, I think the more screaming, the better.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 5:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:


    The way to get good men of character on our side is to tell the truth. Your war metaphor is particularly inapt to describe the way passivism works.


    VXXC Reply:

    Except I already rejected passivism.

    And to call it metaphor is overextending the literal.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 5:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dan Says:

    Who is allowed to discuss what is not the issue now. Events have already overtaken us.

    Obama and leftists don’t even try to pretend to adhere to rule of law anymore. Immigration, Obamacare and spying are among the most public absurdities. Quantitative easing to infinity without hope of budgetary balance absent easing must also be in the mix, as must military action without Congress.

    To me, the ultimate question, if the government will not adhere to rule of law, is what should we do now? The time is surely fast approaching when high percentages of the population simply refuse to file their taxes, or otherwise adhere to the law.

    The biggest risk the administration is taking in not following the law is not political damage, or the risk of being overturned by a judge. The biggest risk is that broad respect for the law generally is lost.

    The overwhelming majority of people are law-abiding to the point that they never, ever collide with law enforcement or resist authority. If this ceased to be the case, the resources do not exist to deal with it.

    Amid the administration’s lawlessness, the American middle class has been incredibly well behaved and lawful, not because they are forced to but out of a civic decency and desire to do the right thing that is totally lacking in the leadership. It is almost like a household where the head of the household becomes a disengaged drug addict while the kids dutifully go to school and do their homework as they always have, out of habit.

    How long can that last?


    Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Reply:

    middle class anarchy



    Robert Reply:

    I read Lira’s post when it first came out (I believe linked from Instapundit) and there has been almost zero additional movement toward “middle class anarchy” in the 3+ years since.

    The problem many intellectuals have in understanding the proles is that they think ideas matter to the average schmoe. Ideas do not matter, reports on NSA metadata mining, deficit spending and the “rule of law” do not matter.

    As someone brilliant (I wish I could remember who) wrote, there was no French Revolution until day laborers got paid six sous a day–and the price of a loaf of bread was eight sous.

    In the “democracies,” people will mostly be good boys and girls as long as there is food in the stores, gas for the car, steady electricity and 24-hour internet and infotainment. Oh, and the welfare debit cards work. Once the majority of these things are not there, it will take minutes, not days, for people to turn to alternate forms of order.

    NRs need to remember that theirs is mostly an intellectual movement, and will remain so until “objective material conditions” permit the forming of a real political structure, most likely a city-state in an “America 3.0.”


    Robert Reply:

    I see that Anissimov has some points in common.

    VXXC Reply:

    Learn to sip Chai and wait. And Watch. And await your opportunities.

    This is not the same as passive. Passive is a bug on a windshield.

    Continue on course, steady as she goes. Especially when it gets choppy.

    Which will happen, and would happen if none of us to include Yarvin and Carlyle were ever born.

    As we were born and we know the cause of the storms it is our duty to offer a course to clearer skies.

    Since most here no longer wished to be ruled by the nihilistic, evil and insane and wish to either rule or be ruled by the sane, then it’s duty to be calm and carry on as we already know where we are going.

    Which we do more than most.

    Not even the Progressives…er…Pilgrims wrote the Mayflower Charter before Land was nearly in sight.


    Ex-pat in Oz Reply:


    We’re well past the time when mere politics offered a path forward. Politics has to rest on a philosophical foundation than smarter NR types than me are constructing in places like this.

    We are Lenin, biding our time in Geneva, honing our thinking. Resist the Menshevick impulse to “do something” and let the Left continue to burn itself out. There’s not much left to conserve at this point…..


    anonymous Reply:

    how long can this last?

    a. ever hear “markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent” ?

    b. most “middle class” people can’t decide not to file taxes because their taxes are automatically debited. and even when the general goodness of the White American people breaks down, they -won’t- decide to stop paying taxes as long as they are scared of the government. and the government knows this, and will work very hard to keep White American people scared of the government.

    c. ideas matter to a whole lot more White American people than one might expect, just not always the same ideas


    VXXC Reply:

    Point C – thank you. For instance the Constitution and democracy matter. Perhaps the new would be overlords could begin by explaining [briefly] that both were stolen during the New Deal, the Deal being Administrative Government. Which passed after one generation of the wise, just, and benevolent to the insane, evil and malevolently predatious.

    When one convinces them of this – and their waking up – I would get out of the way.

    Nor would I propose a King.


    Igitur Reply:

    > Quantitative easing to infinity without hope of budgetary balance absent easing

    Run on the dollar. That’s when and how underdetermined (too many degrees of freedom) fiscal and monetary policies end.

    I can’t give you a date. I can tell you not to grow too attached to any liquid funds you might have.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 5:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:

    Why is it hard to argue for freedom of speech? Because it’s a bad idea.

    Why is it hard to argue that democracy is suppression of minorities by definition? Because liberals have defined “minority” to mean someone who differs in a way that they can not change from the social construct of normality, which is reasonable; and “freedom” to mean the ability to live a more-or-less normal life, which is also reasonable. And democracy is understood by everyone to have a structural impulse to buy minorities as vote banks. Thus, democracy is about freedom for minorities.

    Thus when we demand freedom of speech, we demand a political right, while at the same time demanding that no one have political rights.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 6:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Robert Says:

    I find it interesting that the recent “mainstream” article writers seem to think that focusing on Monarchy is the best hook. While I become more NR by the day, I’m no monarchist, and in going through the top 20 or so NR blogs, I don’t know if even 50% are explicitly monarchists. Perhaps someone here with longer institutional knowledge can comment or point to a post.


    Thales Reply:

    Because “Monarchy!?!” generates clicks in ways that nuanced ledes do not.


    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    There are some who push an identification of neoreaction with monarchy more than others *Anissimov*. It also seems his blog is more widely read by outsiders than most other NR blogs.


    spandrell Reply:

    Pretty much due to Anissimov being the poster boy because his face is on Google Images and he has friends at the Berkeley swinger AI cult.


    peppermint Reply:

    because monarchy is the most sterile idea we have. If they opened with the Dark Enlightenment, that humans are really mutant chimps, and the sexes and races really are different, and dysgenics really is happening, they wouldn’t even be able to say it out loud. They most they could say is “scientific racism? am I in 1814? social darwinism? wow, just wow.”

    In fact, progressives already reject democracy.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 7:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Reading that, it’s pretty clear that the point was to tar the Right as monarchists and to treat neo-reaction as relatively respectable instead of a bunch of fringe loonies so as to make it easier to connect them with the rest of the Right.

    Anyhow, I would have thought our host would have been more torked at being lumped in with David Brooks, but maybe he has a thicker skin than I do.


    admin Reply:

    “… being lumped in with David Brooks” — that happened?


    KarmaKaiser Reply:

    You do know Matt Lewis *is* a conservative right? Granted he’s not darkwing duck right wing but he’s to the right of the GOP.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Look at where he’s published.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Giacomo Says:

    objective material conditions

    You would know all about that.

    Nobody gets hysterical over what they consider irrelevant.

    You are irrelevant in this sense:


    I acknowledge your ability to murder serious critics of progressivism. So, I shan’t put my or anyone else’s life in danger by doing so. The exception is if elite progressives were to decide they prefer censorship to lynch mobs and total abolition of dissent.

    I don’t know what else you expect; I like to think you can’t murder someone just because he doesn’t believe, in his own mind, your crap.


    VXXC Reply:

    A Trial was coming if we were never born.

    We just may happen to have a weapon, or be the weapon.

    Reality finds its’ own gravity. For instance in terms of Finance we’ve been falling for years, we just haven’t hit yet.


    Posted on January 6th, 2014 at 9:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    ADDED: At The American Conservative, two (instantly forgettable) response pieces, by Noah Millman, and Rod Dreher.

    Le sigh…more defense of “democracy”, when what we really face is cryptarchy, is bureaucracy and therefore these throw-aways merely constitute some kind of reverse-straw-men argument.

    “…the civilized man can only murmur: barbarus hic ego sum . . . what he really needs is a better grade of critics.”



    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 6:24 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    We could move the capitol to Nebraska.

    This CongressCritter thinks it’s a good idea.


    As hysterically funny as this would be I don’t actually propose to move a mass of metasizing cancer into healthy organs.

    But it’s still funny.


    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 12:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Neener Says:

    Dude gets some things wrong. Putin practices Judo, not Karate. He even wrote a book on Judo, and did a demonstration and randori at the Kodokan (the home of Judo, with some of the most badass Judokas on the planet outside Europe), so it isn’t just symbolic. You can get to black belt in certain styles of Karate without knowing to how to break another human being physically and mentally (styles like Kyokushinkai not included). The same can’t be said for getting to dan level in Judo, as the training acts like a sieve for tough people who can be thrown over and over again (much like Boxing gyms being a sieve for tough people that can take a punch over and over). Anyone who has trained with a legit judoka knows that they gripfight like wolverines, and could smash your skull into the cement at will. Saying that he trains Karate, and then saying it is symbolic, is pretty ridiculous. Also, this is Putin’s favorite throw (Harai Goshi) in action in an empty hand environment: http://youtu.be/rRNHFuNL0mc?t=4m26s


    henrymarsau Reply:

    Well yeah, karate was outlawed under communism, so the young Putin had no chance to practice an illegal discipline while serving as a KGB officer. Judo, however, was legal, widely practiced and modified into various russian fighting styles (such as sambo).


    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 12:22 pm Reply | Quote

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