Missing him already

Mencius Moldbug did the conceptual spadework needed to ignite NRx as an Internet discussion, but it was Barack Obama who put the world to the torch under the banshee cry “Neoreaction!” OK, that wasn’t his exact word, but the basic point isn’t seriously controversial. By slapping an explicit Cathedral clownface onto a faculty-lounge leftist superpower policy suite, destined to pan-dimensional failure, he utterly bankrupted mainstream global progressivism. The smug incompetence was insufferable, and — crucially — so complacent that it let the academic-media inner workings show. Even the saddest tools could see the thing now, and while many still supported it ardently, it kind of disgusted them. There was clearly no point at all trying to compromise with these people. “Those neoreactionary types don’t, maybe we should be listening to them?” (Plenty of toxicity comes out of that, but there’s no need to rake over it again right now — it’s something I talk about all the time.)

Victor Davis Hanson is an irredeemable Neocon, but he understands this stuff. His portrait of Obama is almost excruciatingly persuasive. Core point: “Insidiously and inadvertently, Barack Obama is alienating the people and moving the country to the right. If he keeps it up, by 2017 it will be a reactionary nation.”

Here’s the dark heart of the piece (quoted at a length that risks IP violation):

The tiny number of prescient pundits who warned what the Obama years would entail were not the supposedly sober and judicious establishment voices, who in fact seemed to be caught up in the hope-and-change euphoria and missed entirely Obama’s petulance and pique: the Evan Thomases (“he’s sort of god”), or the David Brookses (“and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant, and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” “It is easy to sketch out a scenario in which [Obama] could be a great president.”), or the Chris Matthewses (“the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”), or the Michael Beschlosses (“Uh. I would say it’s probably — he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.”), or the Chris Buckleys (“He has exhibited throughout a ‘first-class temperament,’ pace Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s famous comment about FDR. As for his intellect, well, he’s a Harvard man”), or the Kathleen Parkers (“… with solemn prayers that Obama will govern as the centrist, pragmatic leader he is capable of being”), or the Peggy Noonans (“He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief.”).

In truth, it was the loud, sometimes shrill, and caricatured voices of talk radio, the so-called crazy Republican House members, and the grassroots loudmouths of what would become the Tea Party who had Obama’s number. They warned early on that Barack Obama’s record was that of a petulant extremist, that his writing presaged that he would borrow and spend like no other president, that his past associations gave warning that he would use his community-organizing skills cynically to divide Americans along racial lines, that nothing in his past had ever suggested anything other than radicalism and an ease with divisive speech, that his votes as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator suggested that he had an instinctual dislike of the entrepreneur and the self-made businessman, and that his past rhetoric advised that he would ignore settled law and instead would rule by fiat — that he would render immigration law null and void, that he would diminish the profile of America abroad, and that he would do all this because he was an ideologue, with no history of bipartisanship but a lot of animus toward his critics, and one who saw no ethical or practical reason to appreciate the more than 60 years of America’s postwar global leadership and the world that it had built. Again, the despised right-wingers were right and the more moderate establishment quite wrong.

Those who supported Obama are never going to be taken seriously about anything, ever again. They’re done. (That’s what Trump demonstrates.)

But there’s more:

A lot of ambitious and dangerous powers are watching Obama assume a fetal position, and may well as a consequence act foolishly and recklessly this next year. Not only Russia, China, and North Korea, but also Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, ISIS, and assorted rogue states may take chances in the next 14 months that they would otherwise never have entertained (given that America is innately strong and they are mostly in comparison far weaker) — on the premise that such adventurism offers tangible advantages without likely negative consequences and that the chance for such opportunities will not present itself again for decades to come. […] At home, Obama feels liberated now that he is free from further elections. He thinks he has a legitimate right to be a bit vindictive and vent his own frustrations and pique, heretofore repressed over the last seven years because of the exigencies of Democratic electioneering. Obama can now vent and strike back at his opponents, caricaturing them from abroad, questioning their patriotism, slandering them for sport, and trying to figure out which emblematic executive orders and extra-legal bureaucratic directives will most infuriate them and repay them for their supposed culpability for his failed vero possumus presidency. […] The more contrarian he becomes, and the more he opposes the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, all the more Obama envisions himself speaking truth to power and becoming iconic of something rather than the reality that he is becoming proof of nothing. […] Hold on. We haven’t seen anything yet.

One more year of Obama’s — hopefully intensified — NRx activism, then things get a whole lot more difficult. Four years of remotely competent, and even vaguely rightish US executive government, and NRx as a memetic contagion will be close to extinction. That might not be a bad thing, but it’s worth noting.

December 9, 2015admin 42 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn

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42 Responses to this entry

  • Missing him already | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Missing him already […]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 4:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Neo Soliar Says:

    If only republicans were elected for the next 20 years we would not have anything looking like a NRx society. Moldbug made this pretty clear.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The way the machine works, the right cleans up after the left, replenishing social reserves for the next leftward push. That’s the default process. Anybody getting excited about electoral retaliation for leftist misgovernment would be advised to bear that in mind.

    [Reply]

    Neo Soliar Reply:

    Nick you post on lainchan?

    https://lainchan.org/cyb/res/20908.html

    If so great!

    [Reply]

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    As long as there’s a Left which you know is likely then NRx by whatever name will have a job.

    [Reply]

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    “The way the machine works, the right cleans up after the left, replenishing social reserves for the next leftward push. ”

    There’s no money so cheer up.

    Besides I doubt we escape a Trial. War.

    So cheer up.

    [Reply]

    freihals Reply:

    Well, it sounds as if admin thinks the deep state(aka the high priests of the Cathedral) might actually let anybody even resembling one of the four horsemen close to Columbia’s swamp. Not a chance.
    We are assured the next will be a company man. The best outcome: HRC. She’ll make Obama look competent and statesman-like. She’ll be white gasoline on an already growing bonfire. This is the exciting part. The elites are so overconfident they cannot see the grass fire is moving with tornadic speed.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    … unless Trump isn’t actually the Eskhaton after all?
    Structurally (and strategically), I’m with you on the HRC prediction — but I’m just not seeing how the pop-mechanics for it get put together.

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    There’s never likely to be anything other than some space city on perhaps one of the richer asteroids like an NRx society in any case.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 4:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    It’s like ratings for talk radio and MSNBC. When the opposition is in power, the ratings go up. Obama is in and MSNBC is near bankrupt. Many people who will give you a look because you are anit-Obama, will be long gone when you are anti-Trump. The real core NRx will remain.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    On the other hand, if Trump wins, half of the country will stop pretending to believe in democracy on their own. Then the only thing left to do is make them cut out the cool noble savage act. Maybe Deray and his vest (it makes him feel safe) can convince the urban market to get in touch with its feelings…?

    But let’s be serious — we all know that the tentacular ovipositor of the Cathedral will deposit Hillary Clinton into the White House like a monster egg into a Japanese schoolgirl.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Officially, Rome never stopped being a Republic.
    Historians say it became an Empire after Julius.
    It probably really stopped being a Republic quite a ways before that.

    We’re in a not-Republic now, but we don’t have an Emperor yet.

    Thing is, Trump may well have dramatically hastened America’s doom simply by entering the race. If he wins, as you say. But he can’t lose either, because they’ll have to openly cheat to make him lose. Either the entire left or the entire right is going to permanently check out. And the ‘right’ in this case includes large numbers of blacks and hispanics.

    If he wins, he’ll either roll over the bureaucracy, destroying the unwritten constitution, or the bureaucracy will have to openly oppose him, and they might as well rip up the written constitution on the steps of Lincoln’s memorial.

    ‘Course there’s the ever-present possibility that Reality takes a third option, but I’m guessing that too would be chaos.

    [Reply]

    pyrrhus Reply:

    Good point, the Roman Republic may have ended as early as the dictator Sulla…

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 6:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Jefferson Says:

    #Hillary2016?

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    This. Hillary is 100% the NRx #AAA candidate and moreover tipped to be the winner by most betting sites.

    http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/us-politics?ev_oc_grp_ids=791149

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 6:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Irving Says:

    I’ve always thought that the Cathedral is much stronger, much more stable and has the ability to last much longer than most NRx writers seem to want to recognize. I don’t think there’s going to be a collapse, I think that the Cathedral will last for some time yet. Nevertheless, much depends on how it deals with the current crisis in which it is currently in. I think it’ll get out of it relatively unscathed, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    It’s in the interest of a contagion to keep its host alive until it has replicated and disseminated itself as widely as it possibly can. Obama & Co are playing Pandemic II with progressivism. The question is, who’s playing Madagascar?

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 8:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • Missing him already | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 8:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Yvjrolu Says:

    “NRx? Aren’t they the guys who run those white student union pages on facebook?”

    [Reply]

    4candles Reply:

    That would be our black youth league (I think he’s called Steve).

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 9:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Soren Says:

    But didn’t Moldbug beat a rather ignominious retreat after Anderson’s “steel-man” critique? I could see obvious flaws in it, but it was a far cry from “you talk like a fag” as MM characterized it before gathering his marbles and going home. I still think there’s a lot to his analysis but it’s hard to respect the man.

    [Reply]

    4candles Reply:

    We’re all about the man here.

    [Reply]

    Zimriel Reply:

    The only time I saw Moldbug actually get beat in an online fight was at the hands of Lawrence Auster (זצ״ל). Link on my name.

    [Reply]

    4candles Reply:

    I met him once, physically like. He was skinny and stuff, but possessed a genuine presence. We walked through the woods together and he offered to hold my hand. It was dark, so it wasn’t in a gay way or anything like that. His palm was sort of like the opposite of Keats’s – not marked for death and all that. After that we found a baby on a plinth in the middle of a pagan graveyard. A harpy was hovering above. I sort of blanked out at that point (the scene was kind of out there after all!), but from what MM told me the baby was Isaac… and he (MM) was the angel that led Abraham away from the child toward the Ram (by dint of the eye). I was sceptical at first, naturally, but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced MM is the Second Coming and NRx is his vehicle. Why is this so hard for MSM to understand??!!

    [Reply]

    Jefferson Reply:

    If that’s MM losing a debate, then he has never won one. It seems that most smart people cannot grok MM’s structural argument, likely due to it being so far outside post-enlightenment frameworks. Watching LA (who was considerably smarter than I) work through the argument up to a point, then argue about nonexistent strawmen is sort of depressing. On the other hand it makes me feel better about not being able to explain these issues in a way my father can grasp, in spite of his having a higher IQ than I.

    [Reply]

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    This assertion by LA doesn’t hold up at all:

    “So, as I said in a previous comment, you don’t need to keep up your argument that America stopped being America in 1933 or 1867 or 1776 or whenever, an argument that most people will find bizarre, and at the very least not understand or agree with. However, many, perhaps most, conservatives will understand that Obamacare means the end of the government formed by the constitution.”

    For the precise reason that MM was trying to point out. Obamacare is just another small barely noticeable step. LA saw it as a giant change and thought that everyone would see it that way as well.

    No one in 2015 sees Obamacare as the end of the American republic. Everyone pretty much sees it as MM did – as just another incremental tinkering.

    [Reply]

    John Morris Reply:

    Dunno about that. Perhaps he just decided he had said about everything he had to say and decided it was time to do something. I do not pretend to understand what he is doing but it is certainly something.

    [Reply]

    Michael Soren Reply:

    Anderson’s critique was thoughtful–probably the most so we’re likely to see from anyone not an acolyte–but based on some fatally weak premises. Such as, that racial discrimination is still a significant barrier for Blacks because of identical resume experiments. Every employer knows, as testing bears out, that identical credentials mask grossly unequal qualifications. It would’ve been nice for Moldbug to make that point where everyone would have been looking for it. And others, such as the historical analysis of the stability of monarchies that was left to writers far less adept than MM. To an outside observer, it kinda looks like he got his tail whupped and ran whimpering home.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Who’s this ‘Anderson’ guy?

    Michael Soren Reply:

    Whoops, Alexander! (Brain fart!)

    Alrenous Reply:

    Alexander has no agency. His instincts demand he obey the Party, but the Party confuses him. “Am I obeying right, yet? Uhh…guys?” is his plaintive whisper.

    People downstream of him have even less agency. Moldbug’s dismissal was completely correct. All the action is upstream, where the people who do their own thinking hang out.

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 11:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • 4candles Says:

    P.S. I’m here all night (I have trippy lemon balm wine).

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 10th, 2015 at 12:08 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    NRx extinct as memetic contagion “That might not be a bad thing, but it’s worth noting.”

    That’s actually noble of you Dr. Land. Sacrifice for the common good and all that.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 10th, 2015 at 1:19 am Reply | Quote
  • Dale Rooster Says:

    @vxxc2014 Lol. Fuck. Dr. Land, not Mr. Land. (My apologies.) Also, Jack Donovan spelled this out a while back:

    http://www.radixjournal.com/journal/2014/2/21/why-we-need-hillary

    Sunnis vs. Shiite. Left vs. Right. From an outsider’s perspective, there hardly seems to be a difference between the two.

    In other words, “Hillary is 100% the top NRx #AAA candidate,” as GB says. The goal should be to convince Progs of their own bullshit (not as if they don’t believe in it already). Their weakness is their faith. ProgFaithStrength is directly proportionate to their weakness and the disillusionment and alienation of Non(Prog)-Believers. You can train nature only insofar as you can tame it…not much (given time). Progs think they’re the gods of nature. And that’s a wonderful thing…Praise Jesus.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 10th, 2015 at 4:16 am Reply | Quote
  • a.morphous Says:

    Citing the [vulgar abuse] of Victor Petronius Maximus Hanson just lost this blog most of whatever edge credibility it had. If I wanted to be bored to death I can read the original.

    And if you’re going to lower yourself to mundane electoral politics, you have to contend with the facts, which is that Obama is reasonably popular — much more popular than his predecessor, although a lot less popular than Bill Clinton was towards the end of his presidency. It’s only in the fetid imaginations of wingnut [vulgar abuse] that Obama is some kind of synecdoche for failure or oppression or whatever [vulgar abuse] you use to get a rage-on.

    Obama approval ratings: http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

    Historical approval ratings: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116677/presidential-approval-ratings-gallup-historical-statistics-trends.aspx

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You seem to have confused this blog with a place that gives a [vulgar abuse] what people think.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    [You’ve been warned before, and I’m taking the meat-axe to this and all other such puerile comments. Learn some civility. – admin]

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    You can’t suppress the truth forever, Dr Land.

    [Reply]

    The Alien Reply:

    What then is truth?

    A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms — in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

    We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors – in moral terms, the obligation to lie according to fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all…

    – ‘On truth and lie in an extra-moral sense,’ – Nietzsche

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    @Alien

    I’ve always liked that essay.

    Posted on December 10th, 2015 at 5:35 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/12/13) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Nick Land discovers Lynch Law—a version of dread populism he might be able to warm up to in due time. Also, with some heavy borrowing from a lucid Victor Davis Hanson, Land’s missing Obama already. […]

    Posted on December 15th, 2015 at 3:42 am Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2015/12/16 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] Obama’s NRx activism. […]

    Posted on December 17th, 2015 at 6:20 am Reply | Quote

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