Premises of Neoreaction

Patri Friedman is both extremely smart and, for this blog among others in the ‘sphere, highly influential. So when he promises us “a more politically correct dark enligh[t]enment” (“adding anti-racism and anti-sexism to my controversial new pro-monogamy stance”), that’s a thing. It accentuates concerns about ‘entryism’ and ideological entropy, leading to some thoughtful responses such as this (from Avenging Red Hand).

Michael Anissimov anticipated this in a post at More Right on the ‘Premises of Reactionary Thought’, which begins: “To make progress in any area of intellectual endeavor requires discourse among those who agree with basic premises and the exclusion of those who do not.” (The commentary by Cathedral Whatever is also well worth a look.) Anissimov’s original five premises, subsequently updated to six (with a new #1 added) are:

1. People are not equal. They never will be. We reject equality in all its forms.
2. Right is right and left is wrong.
3. Hierarchy is basically a good idea. 
4. Traditional sex roles are basically a good idea.
5. Libertarianism is retarded.
6. Democracy is irredeemably flawed and we need to do away with it.

These neoreactionary ‘articles’ deserve a response in detail, but at this point I will simply advance at alternative list, in the expectation that yet other versions will be forthcoming in the near future, providing a reference for discussion. My objective (in keeping with the advice from ARH) is economy, honed through abstraction, in the interest of sustaining productive diversity. Minimally, we affirm:

1. Democracy is unable to control government. With this proposition, the effective possibility of a mainstream right is denied. Insofar as any political movement retains its allegiance to the democratic mechanism, it conspires in the ratchet of government expansion, and thus essentially dedicates itself to leftist ends. The gateway from Libertarianism to Neoreaction opens with this understanding. As a corollary, any politics untroubled by expansionist statism has no reason to divert itself into the neoreactionary path.

2. The egalitarianism essential to democratic ideology is incompatible with liberty. This proposition is partially derivative from #1, but extends further. When elaborated historically, and cladistically, it aligns with the Crypto-Calvinist theory of Western (and then Global) political evolution. The critique it announces intersects significantly with the rigorous findings of HBD. The conclusions drawn are primarily negative, which is to say they support a principled rejection of positive egalitarian policy. Emergent hierarchy is at least tolerated. More assertive, ‘neofeudal’ models of ideal social hierarchy are properly controversial within Neoreaction.

3. Neoreactionary socio-political solutions are ultimately Exit-based. In every case, exit is to be defended against voice. No society or social institution which permits free exit is open to any further politically efficient criticism, except that which systematic exit selection itself applies. Given the absence of tyranny (i.e. free exit), all forms of protest and rebellion are to be considered leftist perversions, without entitlement to social protection of any kind. Government, of whatever traditional or experimental form, is legitimated from the outside — through exit pressure — rather than internally, through responsiveness to popular agitation. The conversion of political voice into exit-orientation (for instance, revolution into secessionism), is the principal characteristic of neoreactionary strategy.

From the perspective of this blog, no premises beyond these — however widely endorsed within Neoreaction — are truly basic, or defining. Resolution of elaborate disputes is ultimately referred to dynamic geography, rather than dialectic. It is the Outside, working through fragmentation, that rules, and no other authority has standing.

[If anyone asks “How did this post suddenly jump from ‘the Dark Enlightenment’ to ‘Neoreaction’?” my response is “Good point!” (but one for another occasion).]

ADDED: Jim on entryism (and how to stop it).

ADDED: Libertarian HIV.

ADDED: The first of these two Aimless Gromar posts on Libertarianism and Neoreaction should have been linked yesterday — it was a significant prompt for this. (Both are recommended.)

February 3, 2014admin 134 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Neoreaction

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134 Responses to this entry

  • Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Says:

    “5. Libertarianism is retarded.”

    I think it would be more accurate to say “Libertarianism is autistic”. Jonathan Haidt pointed out that many Enlightenment thinkers seemed to border on the autistic spectrum and this could explain some of their W.E.I.R.D. thinking.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Athrelon Says:

    As reaction gains more press coverage, for better or worse, it will need a catechism, if not an Inquisition. Eternal September and community decay are the obvious, predictable threats. More dangerous is the sort of entryism that Avenging Red Hand posits, driven by memetic adaptation rather than mere entropy.

    Most dangerous – much scarier than having semi-mainstream media attack reaction directly, would be the emergence of a figure who can deploy the buzzwords of reaction but doesn’t understand the underlying logic, yet is verbally talented and optimizes for popularity, eventually outcompeting the native reactosphere and adopting the mantle of reaction. Vladimir, unsurprisingly, saw the danger of this dynamic early on on Less Wrong (http://lesswrong.com/lw/e5r/lesswrong_could_grow_a_lot_but_were_doing_it_wrong/78yg).

    Reaction is massively intellectually inferior to mainstream ideologies in terms of units of independent cognition it can throw at a problem. The only thing it has going for it is some elitism, somewhat stronger tethering to reality, and relatively sane argumentative norms. These are precious and precarious things – the default mode of human groups is to revert to monkey politics, at which point reaction will rapidly and inevitably undergo the three failure modes above.

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    Athrelon Reply:

    I’ve wondered offhandedly if the Tumblr social justice crowd feels the same way about Upworthy as I do about the hypothetical high-V reactionary outcompeting the native ecology.

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    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    I have a problem with #2, not that I disagree with it as formulated, but that I don’t think that “liberty” is a suitable criterion for testing political systems. The problem is that “liberty” is simultaneously too strong and too weak a criterion: It’s too strong in that any act of government (including the implicit government of social consensus) constrains liberty in some way, meaning that liberty can be used as an argument against literally anything. As a consequence, any decision about government involves a choice to suppress some liberties in favor of others, which means that we first have to have a theory which tells us which liberties are more important and which can be discarded. And once we have that, then why are we bothering with the criterion of liberty in the first place?

    I mean, consider that both anti-racism and feminism are attempts to protect certain liberties (the economic and social liberties of blacks and women, respectively) which in practice require massive, ongoing violations of everyone else’s liberties. No system which priorities simple “liberty” can avoid such a fate.

    Overall, I prefer Anissimov’s list.

    [Reply]

    tryptophan Reply:

    He’s using liberty to mean only negative liberties; strictly defining liberty in negative terms eliminates a lot of the apparent* contradictions from libertarian thought.

    *apparent based on inner cathedral definitions of liberty

    [Reply]

    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    I also don’t think that the distinction between negative and positive liberty is strong enough to resist encroachments of an anti-reactionary type. Any statement of negative liberty can, with a simple linguistic transformation, be turned into a statement of positive liberty and vice-versa. Consider also that the distinction has already been effaced in public discourse, and is next-to-impossible to defend except to hardcore libertarians who already believe in it. If we really want to weigh so much on this distinction, then we need to do some really deep psycholinguistic black magic in order to create a new word for “negative liberty” and ensure that it isn’t warped to mean anything else.

    [Reply]

    Contemplationist Reply:

    As a reactionary, accepting Charles II scaffold definition of ‘liberty’ should suffice.
    Problems?

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    admin Reply:

    Yes (or in our more recent tradition, Peter Thiel’s).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    For the Anglosphere societies of the global capital mainline, ‘Liberty’ is fate. No other banner will rally anything of importance. ‘Order’ might work for non-Anglo Europeans, but it won’t for us. This is an inheritance too fundamental to be eluded, and trying to wriggle away from it quite reasonably draws accusations of fantasy politics.

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    Kevin C. Reply:

    “For the Anglosphere societies of the global capital mainline, ‘Liberty’ is fate. No other banner will rally anything of importance.”

    This is not, strictly speaking, a counter to Mai La Dreapta’s criticism, in that it’s possible that both are true. That “[n]o system which priorities simple “liberty” can avoid such a fate”, and that the mainstream Anglosphere can have no greater priority. The conclusion, then, in this scenario, would be that “Anglosphere societies of the global capital mainline” are utterly doomed, and simply cannot be saved.

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    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    And with the possible exception of Australia, the Anglo societies sure do look a lot more hopeless than the continental European societies.In America this can be traced back to the “liberty” idea pretty easily, not sure what’s wrong with Britain.

    Drfitforge Reply:

    And yet… Order trumps liberty, except perhaps the liberty to seek a different order.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    THANK YOU

    Democracy can’t protect Liberty from the government.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    An excellent formulation, and one that recapitulates Peter Thiel’s classic remark (“I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible”) — a crucial catalyst for the emergence of the Dark Enlightenment, as has been widely noted.

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nyk Says:

    I first find out about Moldbug and Neoreaction from Patri Friedman’s blog, way back when Moldbug was writing more often on the subject. At least I’ve got to admire the fact that he is willing to rationally engage with such ideas, although I never really understood why he stuck with his brand of libertarianism in light of such knowledge and some overt, well-argued criticism from Moldbug wrt Seasteading. I’m guessing partly because it is a family legacy (grandfather), partly because of some kind of weird Jew factor, i.e. instinct to remain in the good graces of the Cathedral as the grandson of the Nobel-winning economist. I presume that for this very reason, he was basically a jerk to Moldbug in the Romer affair. A Neoreactionary can only be one who chooses his own over the people of the Cathedral.

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    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • Matt Sigl Says:

    What do you really mean by “free exit?” Has any government ever allowed such a thing? Hasn’t the challenge of justifying the state from Hobbes onward been the articulation of the state’s a priori legitimacy even though (and despite the fact that) “exit” has never been a real option for a state’s citizens except in the most attenuated of circumstances? (Of course, I’ll grant you, such “state of nature” thought games may have been the problem from the beginning. This is the Dark Enlightenment after all.)

    Maybe I’m just not understanding your concept of “exit” here. If NR is committed to truly voluntary citizenship, it leaves the question of how the system would facilitate just exit mechanisms. Indeed, I doubt such mechanisms are practically viable. I can all too easily imagine a state with a facade of “exit,” but in name only. Meanwhile this facade could “justify” the most oppressive suppression of social dissent and encourage brutal forms of social control. But, even from the point of view of the state’s interests itself, unless the “exit option” is strongly maintained and encouraged the state will have no mechanism for self-regulating feedback on its efficacy as a social system. Eventually an NR state without loose exits will collapse as they could rot internally, but it wouldn’t be pretty watching it go down, nor would it necessarily happen fast.

    Democracy’s best pitch, for better or worse, is that reality will always provide the voters in a democracy with proper negative feedback until the voters learn to elect the right people. If the equivalent of this feedback in NR is the possibility of “exit” then there will be serious pressure on the rulers of a struggling NR state to complicate the “exit” process when things start to go sour, for whatever reason, and citizens start to leave en masse. Plus, given that we’re are talking about an autocratic neo-monarchy or SOMETHING (NR can’t quite decide exactly what office fills the top hierarchal role, though that there is one is not a question), a leader eager to keep a grip on power and authority will do so by tightening control over the one thing which truly threatens his grip on control, the exit mechanism. Things could go very bad, very fast. It’s a danger NR really has to think about. The spectre of “tyranny” hangs over NR and should not be easily dismissed.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I agree with our host that a system of regulation through exit is superior to a system of regulation through voice. But everything you say here is spot on.

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    Carl Reply:

    The negative feedback from reality is currently filtered by the Cathedral. The media is too busy pushing progressive ideology to be bothered with reality. Unfortunately for them it is not possible to change reality to conform to our wishes through sheer force of will. Just ask Hitler.

    An alternate political scheme, of as yet undetermined form, would at least have the possibility for Voice in addition to Exit. By having a clear power structure with both authority and responsibility contained in the same individual office or at least organization, there would be someone to petition for grievances. With the current diffusion of power it is all too easy for Voice to be lost in the smoke and mirrors.

    I agree that it is difficult to structure government in such a way that Exit is protected. If government is too weak to stop emigration, then it is unlikely to survive. Ideally there would be no incentive to tighten control, but that sounds like magical thinking without a concrete plan. We need to do better than wishes and rainbows and cryptographic weapons locks.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Whilst agreeing that the specter of tyranny is a very real one, and needs to be taken (much more) seriously, I’m not quite seeing the problem here. Other than under conditions of chattel slavery, or under Marxian regimes, isn’t free exit a fairly basic social norm? In the Anglosphere today, is there any significant exit obstacle? (I certainly noticed no problems exiting the Anglosphere entirely, and don’t see why any would arise upon moving on from Shanghai to — say — Phnom Penh.) China is very far from being a liberal society, but there are no real exit obstacles there either (foreign entry restrictions don’t count (for reasons that might require a focused discussion down the line)).

    Exit is a default settting, and it doesn’t need to be worked at — although it should be exploited far more vigorously. Dismantling voice systems is the problem.

    (If it’s a matter of reading ‘exit’ as ‘secession’, that’s to go hyperbolic far too quickly, although I admit asking for it. Exit is, first of all, shopping.)

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “isn’t free exit a fairly basic social norm? …Exit is a default settting, and it doesn’t need to be worked at”

    Only for rootless Moderns and mongrel Americans. For those who have lived the ways of their forefathers on the lands of their forefathers since time immemorial, “exit” is exile, being cut adrift amongst strangers and their barbarous ways, a sort of spiritual death possibly worse than physical death. That you don’t find exile to foreign lands horrifying only proves how deeply Modernity’s hooks have torn into you.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Most probably true, but so what? Inheritance is what it is. We’re starting from reality, and not a moral ideal of organic identity, no?

    Kevin C. Reply:

    @admin

    “Most probably true, but so what? Inheritance is what it is.”

    You are familiar with path dependence, lock-in, “you can’t get there from here”? And you can’t cure one form of Enlightenment Modernity with more of another form of Enlightenment Modernity. As with your “‘Liberty’ is fate” position, your position that Exile is the best we can do is, then, an acknowledgement that the Leftist infection is incurable, that you can take the Anglospherite out of the Cathedral, but you can’t take the Cathedral out of the Anglospherite. It is to conclude that the memetic cancer is already terminal, and that we are a doomed people.

    Nathan C Reply:

    Prior to the collapse of feudalism the negative connotations of exile seem to attach mostly to elites. Exile of residents legally bound to the land, i.e. of villeins, was inconceivable; exile of the merchant class was a fact of life and a good deal better than death and corruption of blood, also a fact of life.

    vimothy Reply:

    Most probably true, but so what? Inheritance is what it is. We’re starting from reality, and not a moral ideal of organic identity, no?

    I thought we were standing athwart history yelling, “stop”, not jumping on its back and yelling, “giddy up”.

    Who you are is not something that can be freely chosen, like a brand of cigarettes or a new tie. It isn’t like shopping, and shouldn’t be treated as such.

    Markets in everything . . .

    vimothy Reply:

    Ack — HTML fail.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Modern states allow exit because they aren’t threatened by it, i.e., because it isn’t significant enough to imperil their project. Some states even *encourage* exit because it allows them keep being fucked up by siphoning off the dissidents and the damaged. Look at Mexico, for instance.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Or California.

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 9:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:

    He wants to make monogamy not sexist? Does that mean that it makes women happier than the alternative, which is we affirm, or does it mean that it treats men and women exactly the same, which could possibly be true if you squint at it?

    He wants it to not be racist? Then, ‘not racist’ means that everyone is expected to act like Europeans? We affirm that cultural imperialism, and the political imperialism to enforce cultural imperialism, would make negroes happier.

    He wants to call Christian morality by some other name and make it sound like a new idea? Zippy might care, but I don’t. Bottom line, anything that is good is good.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 10:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Igitur Says:

    Democracy is unable to control government.

    This is excellent. Government as something that happens regardless of anything else; democracy as the decision-generating process that doesn’t just fail this or that normative requirement, but is unable to control the manifold pressures upon government.

    Egalitarianism is […] incompatible with liberty

    I don’t think lady liberty needs to be implicated. People are not equal; egalitarianism is the politics of denying reality. By this token, I also reject Anissimov’s “We reject equality”; this is bullshit. Making positive claims is bullshit, reality affirms itself, bitterly.

    Neo-reactionary solutions […] are Exit-based

    Yeah well man, this is your Dark Enlightenment; I hope you let me tag along and scream obscenities at your merry band’s general direction up until this exit.

    I don’t have any solutions. I do know that all quidditas melts into haecceitas; that there isn’t really a way to choose a path and burrow out through it. Whether I’m right nor wrong, reality will affirm itself.

    [Reply]

    Igitur Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_cbTcaoErI

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It just wouldn’t be the same without the stag head.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 10:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    “Has any government ever allowed such a thing?”

    Czechslovakia comes immediately to mind. Now respectively Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    Then there’s the nearly entirely peaceful breakup of the USSR.

    There’s the ongoing slow motion disengagement of Scotland from England, prognosis unknown.

    War of All Against All: The best evidence of early human group political organization remain with us today: Tribes. As opposed to the musings of the Enlightenment Philosophers. No, they were Tribes. Not perfect at all. But war of all against all they are not.

    We wish not to live this way Mr. Sigl. It’s that simple, and that terrible.
    =======================================

    However Admin is being very clever. Democracy did fail to control government for the last 80 years.* In it’s current form the uncontrolled government with sham democracy is openly hostile to Liberty, and indeed to the majority of it’s population. This is fact. Moreover it owes more money than it can ever possibly pay. (Well, not without some sort of Shock Therapy . )

    Admin is clever. The contest is framed as between Liberty and our current “Democratic” government. This is correct, for 100 years they co-existed and not at all uneasily. But that was 80 years ago. Power now is fearful and envious of Liberty. The co-existence has quite broken down into open struggle. We really need to part ways.

    Admin is Clever. No trouble will be given to a State allowing it’s subjects Free Exit. The moral onus is on the State if it Acts against those fleeing it, or perchance seeking to keep their own pieces with a different arrangement. Revolution is channeled into secession or peaceful Exit. I see the wisdom, it is one thing to attack one state, another to attack many even if they are smaller. This also recognizes and compliments our current internal geopolitical realities. Bravo. * I’m the resident populist.

    Now please note from History that until Ft. Sumter was fired on many in general especially in the South expected a peaceful dissolution.

    However the positions of Nick Land here are unobjectionable from reasonable and peaceful people. Any aggression in response places the moral fault on the aggressor and kicks over a hornet’s nest from ocean to ocean. A hornets nest already quite buzzing with the ideas discussed here.

    May I suggest Tribunes [self-selected] put the case to the People, so that they can consider the options.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 11:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Drfitforge Says:

    I’d cut Anissimov’s list differently. I contend that his points 3 and 4 flow as direct, non contributory consequences of his point 1. Also, the statement of point 2 is meaningless without context; while being a strong statement within that context, it is simplistic red team / blue team without. Also, retardation is not the flaw of libertarianism.

    Rephrasing then:

    1. Order is sovereign; no gift can be forced.
    2. People are not equal. They never will be. We reject equality in all its forms.
    3. Libertarianism is impotent.
    4. Democracy is irredeemably flawed and we need to do away with it.

    [Reply]

    Carl Reply:

    I do not think you can say that order is sovereign. Maybe you could say that order should be sovereign. Order should be the organizing principle of society. Order uber alles. Without order there is no civilization. I’m not sure what you mean by “no gift can be forced.” Order can be forced.

    As to your third point, Libertarianism should be impotent. It may be unnecessarily antagonistic to say that it is retarded, but it is autistic, as Puzzle Pirate states above. It does not and cannot work in the real world, no matter how theoretically perfect. We need to avoid rigid ideologies that either require humans to be perfect, or seek to perfect humans.

    [Reply]

    Drfitforge Reply:

    Alternatively put – Order trumps freedom.

    Order can be forced, but the act of freely giving cannot. This is the core conceit of leftism – that things can be made other than what they are by force, or coercion. It applies across the board, but to illustrate in one instance,the leftist contention that welfare and charity are the same; where charity is ‘insufficient’ or not proffered, welfare can and should take up the slack.

    ‘Should’ is an insufficient term. These are not aspirational statements, but statements of reality as perceived. Autistic works to a certain extent as it indicates something that is partly brilliant and yet also missing something central. My objection to it is that ‘Autistic’ doesn’t express the notion that libertarianism is not up to the task set before it, which is the basic claim.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Whenever it has come to an ultimate (military) test, the society able to muster the greatest catallactic momentum has won. That’s why the Anglosphere runs the globe right now. So is it really true that “Order trumps freedom”?

    Driftforge Reply:

    I would have thought the modern military was a near ultimate expression of order, even in a society based on freedom.

    The question as to whether the Anglosphere would be in the position it is now without the transition to democracy…

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    They way I’d put this is that “liberty,” rightly understood, is a superior form of order that allows more direct and frequent inputs from reality.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    How does the Wehrmacht fit into this? Especially in its Nazi incarnation, military historians consider it to be the best fighting force in modern times. Allied troops usually had to have at least a 40% superiority in numbers to be able to fight evenly. The difference is usually felt to be that the german troops were more democratic–officers were on a first name basis with men–but particularly that the german troops were given and expected to exercise much more initiative at the small group and unit level. But their society was a totalitarian dictatorship.

    The allies won ultimately because of an overwhelming material advantage, where its hard to argue that the catallactic properties of the Anglosphere economies didn’t play a decisive role.

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 2:02 am Reply | Quote
  • Drfitforge Says:

    As to Nick’s contentions:
    Democracy is unable to control government.
    I wonder if this isn’t better put in the positive “Government can control democracy.”

    2. The egalitarianism essential to democratic ideology is incompatible with diversity.
    Liberty is the wrong card to pull here.

    3. Neoreactionary socio-political solutions are ultimately Exit-based.

    Both the capacity as a person to choose to exit (with relatively low barriers) and the capacity for the sovereign to force exit are critical.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 2:18 am Reply | Quote
  • Different T Says:

    I wonder if this isn’t better put in the positive “Government can control democracy.”

    You can look directly to one of the progressives’ priests, BF Skinner, for a more accurate model.

    “The relation between the controller and the controlled is reciprocal.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Your version works theoretically, but it strikes me as rather more opaque (to anybody who isn’t already deeply engaged with the problem).

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    It’s not my version. As stated it is the perspective of the Cathedral you claim to be “deeply engaged with.” At any given instance, it is more accurate than either your statement “Democracy is unable to control government.” or Drfitforge’s “Government can control democracy.”

    When an instance is looked from the particular perspective of either the demos or the government, does it appear incoherent. Yup. That’s the point.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 2:40 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Patri Friedman is both extremely smart

    Libertarianism is retarded

    Does not compute. Basic logic and a bit of reading tells me he is retarded. Liking Moldbug isn’t a guarantee of having brains. The guy is still pushing for seasteading? Seriously? If his swingers club didn’t actually build one when they were swingers, now that he’s refusing to share his wife with Eliezer et al. it’s not going to happen.

    And yet we should cherish Patri Friedman as the living example of regression to the mean. His grandfather would not be amused. His father probably isn’t either but he does have that look of not really giving a shit.

    I understand Exit is dear to you in a personal way, but I don’t see how neoreaction is based on Exit or how Exit really means anything at all. Latvia is suffering massive Exit of all its population and is getting empty at a very fast pace. Has it’s governance changed? Not really. Was it that bad to being with? Not really.

    At the end of the day the basic things we agree on neoreaction are HBD and the patriarchy. If he wants to make it antiracist and antisexist well that’s like making the Pope kiss the Koran. Oh wait.

    The 6 point list is good, but point 2 needs rephrasing. The Left inevitably leads to Pol Pot, or something like it. The Leftist singularity is the single most important insight of neoreaction in my view.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I don’t find “libertarianism is retarded” to be an especially helpful formulation of the neoreactionary position.

    There seems to me to be plenty of examples of effective exit pressure on the course of social evolution (hasn’t the Chinese turn around been based on that?). In fact, I’d go further and ask: Has ‘reform’ of a non-degenerative kind ever taken place otherwise? Any state that can take its whole population down with it can carry on, while those that bleed-out their most competent people can’t. It’s a process that takes years or decades, but not centuries.

    Advocacy for HBD and Patriarchy is in many cases a category mistake (and thus pointless, relativistic soap-boxing). Advocate for the selection mechanism, and let reality sort it out. If you want direct promotion of specific positive policy, that’s social conservatism, not Neoreaction.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Given that a big plurality of neoreaction bloggers are ex-libertarians ( I include myself), the realization that libertarianism is retarded is pretty much the foundational truth of the movement.

    Gaige Kaifang had nothing to do with people leaving the country. Chinese had been leaving China for centuries and nothing was reformed. And people on the Mao era couldn’t leave! Gaige Kaifang had to do with Deng Xiaoping, Ye Jianying and others seeing how the country would collapse and the Soviets might grab some land on the process. And they didn’t really start the process themselves: they just saw some Anhui peasants dissolving the people’s communes and decided it was worth seenig what happened.
    The fact that they relied on overseas Chinese for investment, if anything, means that Exit isn’t as important as having strong ethnic loyalty.

    Historically most reforms were done because of war or the threat of it. Not because people left the country. Mostly because people tend not to leave a country. Tribalism is strong.

    Given the overzealous rationalist hamsters of the upper echelons of the progressive IQ distribution (LW), we can’t just advocate a selection mechanism and let reality sort it out. Chances are it won’t sort it out, it would take too long, or people would take the wrong lessons anyway. Moldbug called himself a Jacobite. Neoreaction is also about learning from history and seeing what worked, noticing why, and advocating to restoring it. That’s the “reaction” in neoreaction.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You think Gaige Kaifang would have happened in the absence of a Chinese diaspora? I certainly don’t. The first wave was built in Mainland SEZs by outside ethnic Chinese capital, and the model provided by the little dragons was even more important.

    Anything locked up in itself simply decays. That’s elementary thermodynamics. I don’t think ethnonationalist types (or other domestically-focused traditionalists) often really get it.

    spandrell Reply:

    What does that have to do with anything? Exit didn’t cause Gaige Kaifang. It would have happened all the same. Didn’t Doi Moi happen too? What you’re saying is that Gaige Kaifang was a success thanks to investment by overseas Chinese, especially in Shenzhen. I could as easily frame it as saying that strong ethnonationalism was what made Gaige Kaifang succeed. Your brand of Exit wouldn’t do much good to the homeland. Would you invest in the UK if they asked for your money? Would you feel it’s your ethnic duty to uplift your countrymen?

    If i’m not mistaken the Exit theory is that countries force themselves to reform to avoid people voting with their feet and leaving, sapping the country of human capital. That’s not what happened in China, at all. And I don’t see how that happened anywhere besides the Spring-Autumn era China really.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    (a) Vietnam has a huge diaspora, so how does that example change things?
    (b) Your version of Exit theory is far too narrow*. A more typical exit-based process is flight from failure, domestic disaster, re-importation of expertise from diaspora to sort out the mess. As far as I can see, that’s exactly what happened in China, India, and Vietnam.

    * Since screwy leftist policies squander human capital, the immediate threat from talent flight isn’t as great as it should be. If the technicians and entrepreneurs stayed, they’d probably just be digging ditches anyway. The important thing is that by fleeing they salvage themselves from leftist ruin, building capital that is available for re-investment in the home-country once sanity returns. The opportunity to tap this resource is what incentivizes the regime to switch course in a pragmatic direction.

    spandrell Reply:

    Vietnam a huge diaspora? You mean the Chinese and others who fled the communists? How much capital do they have? It’s not like they could accumulate that much in the few years between the fall of Saigon and Doi Moi.

    You’ve got a quite elegant theory with you, but if you have any evidence that it was the access to overseas chinese capital that motivated Deng and his team to reform the economy, I’d like to see it. I reckon that proximity to Hong Kong was a factor in opening up Shenzhen, and I remember they opened up Shantou too to get the Teochews to invest. The latter didn’t quite work out though.

    And anyway in none of these cases was Exit an actual feature of the previous system. Actually most of the Chinese who migrated during the imperial days were quite happy to return to China, but they were forced to stay abroad because Chinese laws expressly forbid leaving the country.

    Your model seems to be that a good polity should allow exit for the people, based on the historical examples of people who weren’t allowed to leave but left anyway!

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    How many of the boat people were ethnic Han? It’s an interesting question, but I very much doubt whether the majority were. (Maybe somebody has some facts?)

    As to your final paragraph — yes, exactly. And the problem is? I’m far less concerned with “a good polity” than with the dynamic system that compels it to operate in a way consistent with liberty. The exit mechanism I trust, while the state is — at best — merely tolerable.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    It’s not exit that is the rod of discipline of states, its competition. The Chinese experience is much more about the trauma of the 19th C., being overrun by foreigners, and the feeling after Mao that China was still too backwards to compete.

    [Reply]

    Karl F. Boetel Reply:

    beep boop non-aggresion i are a liberty

    Still, we shouldn’t be too hard on P. Friedman. Not until we see what he comes up with for PC-NR.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 4:18 am Reply | Quote
  • Kevin C. Says:

    There is a sort of paleoreactionary argument against #3 that comes to my mind. Much as some have criticized the techno-commercial branch by arguing that capitalism is a Modern phenomenon, and thus a part of the problem needing overturned, there is a similar case against Exit:

    Human beings, at least healthy ones, are not isolated, atomized individuals, but part of an organic culture that shapes them in fundamental, and irreversable, ways. Consider all the statements of the form “you can take the X(individual) out of the Y(group), but you can’t take the Y out of the X.” To ‘exit’ these, to cut these ties and be cast adrift amongst strange peoples and their foreign ways, was once called “exile.”

    Exile was considered a terrible fate, a most condign punishment; for some, worse than death, as the example of Socrates illustrates. That so many of us no longer see exile as so intolerable only serves to illustrate how much Modernity has spiritually/psychologically damaged us, and how much we have internalized Enlightenment myths of “assimilation” (which, to the extent it occurs at all, is a process acting not on individuals, but on generations, and affecting the parent culture as well as the new arrivals).

    It is one of the great lies of demotism that one can change (through voting) the government under which one lives. But “Exit” also tells that same modern lie, that you can choose your government (through moving). Remember, it’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Exit, properly Exile, is just as Modern as voice. We cannot choose the culture to which we are born, and we do not get to choose the government that rules that culture. If you are born in the West, and the Cathedral rules the west, then for better or worse the Cathedral is your government. Those who rule do so with the Mandate of Heaven.

    The Five Bonds/Five Relationships come with reciprocal obligations. However, the performance of these duties is obligatory independent of reciprocation. For example, even after the death of one’s parents (and thus the end of their ability to uphold their parental duties of loving responsibility), one is still obligated to filial piety toward them. Thus, the duties of the ruled to the ruler, of obediance, are obligations independent of whether the ruler upholds their responsibilities to the rules. So long as your rulers do in fact rule you, you must, as an inescabable moral obligation, obey them, no matter how corrupt or even hostile those rulers are. Only once the Mandate of Heaven has clearly passed to a new ruler, who clearly rules, will one’s duties of Loyalty pass as well.

    I’m not saying that I fully believe the above argument; my instincts tell me that it’s wrong, but I’m not sure what the neo-reactionary counter-argument would be. (Further, my objections to the possibility of Exit remain, independent of the above.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The role of the Anglosphere is to run guns to the Mandate of Heaven.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    The role of the Anglosphere is to run guns to the Cathedral?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’d propose the imperative “Fang-up Fate!” as a T-shirt slogan, but it might be too obscure …

    survivingbabel Reply:

    @Kevin

    If you are born in the West, and the Cathedral rules the west, then for better or worse the Cathedral is your government. Those who rule do so with the Mandate of Heaven.

    Except we don’t have rule. The “rulers” have titular power, but real power is divvied a hundred different ways in the permanent bureaucracy, the education system, popular media, the financial sector, etc. etc. etc. In a properly functioning government, the ruler is called a King (or perhaps Oligarch or Consul when sharing power), the Lords are recognized and so called, the Knights and the Guard have unquestioned authority, and the Commoners understand their place (and will be made to understand, as necessary.) We have been suckled on chaos (anarcho-tyranny.) The power to deny you, say, a driver’s license renewal, is essentially fractal and unknowable. Mystery is fine for one’s religious traditions, but never for day-to-day government operations.

    So long as your rulers do in fact rule you, you must, as an inescabable moral obligation, obey them, no matter how corrupt or even hostile those rulers are. Only once the Mandate of Heaven has clearly passed to a new ruler, who clearly rules, will one’s duties of Loyalty pass as well.

    Iif we were writing in 1894, or 1922, or maybe even 1963, you could argue that USG still held the Mandate of Heaven, but not today. Misrule dominates, and a Moldbuggian formalist reorganization would not be enough to save USG now. The most important purposes of neoreaction are to provide a proper accounting of the last 400 years of Western civilzation, to demonstrate where our philosophers and kings erred, and to probe for whatever remnants of functional government may remain (i.e. to perform a S&R for the Mandate.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 4:52 am Reply | Quote
  • Blogospheroid Says:

    I think that there are 2 principles which even though are not central to neo-reaction or the dark enlightenment, (Full disclosure, I got both of them from LW) can be considered relatively rightist.

    1. Separation of “Values” from “decision making on the tactics that lead to fulfilment of the values”

    Take for example futarchy, Robin Hanson’s idea. There, people get to vote on the utility function, GDP+ and the futures markets decide about whether a particular policy raises the utility function or lowers it.

    But this separation between values and tactics need not be done by futures markets alone. The principle itself is a valuable one.
    Lets say that a country had an election where people literally voted for the values they want their society to have (Values)
    and a well paid permanent bureaucracy is the formal executive which tries to implement policies which improve the utility function. (Tactics to achieve the same)

    An african country with say, a swedish executive running it, voting on values would show better outcomes than an african country voting for political parties, with an african bureaucracy running it.

    2. Average utilitarianism

    Most rightists today would be some species of average utilitarian. We don’t want the poor to continuously reproduce, for their own good and for the benefit of the world at large. Leftists sound like total utilitarians, but their policies always seem to reduce utility.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s ironical that Less Wrong gets almost everything wrong. Utilitarianism, in particular, has no place in neoreactionary thinking — it’s crystallized cultural degeneration.

    [Reply]

    DB Reply:

    This is philosophically solvable with choices of utility functions which sanely project into the future. But few self-described “utilitarians” seem to understand that, to predict the future effectively, a deep understanding of the past is often critical.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    I’m sorry to dumb this down to philosophical kindergarten level, but I don’t understand a lot of what is said about “utilitarianism”. I have read Mill’s _Utilitarianism_, but no Bentham. (Is that why I’m confused?) I have little to no background in philosophy. My background is engineering, and I tend to look at these things in terms of optimization theory. In an optimization problem, we have (1) an objective function, (2) a constraint function, and (3) a method (imprecisely called an “algorithm”). I read Blogospheroid’s point 1 as “Don’t confuse an objective function with an algorithm. My reaction is, “Damn straight! If I’m ever teaching a class on optimization theory, I am so going to flunk any student who does this!” But in politics, people do this all the time.

    I read most criticism of utilitarianism, including yours and James A. Donald’s, as just such confusion. In H. L. Mencken’s words, “If you are against trying a can of old Dr. Quack’s Cancer Salve, then you are in favor of letting Uncle Julius die.” (Occasionally I see references to rule-utilitarianism vs. act-utilitarianism, which discussion looks to me like the beginnings of making sense.) I have my own problems with Mill, but they are nothing like what you seem to have with him. What am I missing?

    I also agree with Blogospheroid’s remark, “Leftists sound like total utilitarians, but their policies always seem to reduce utility.” Is the problem that their algorithms are working, but their objective function is poorly chosen, or that their algorithms are FUBAR? As I see it, their algorithms are definitely not working.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Utilitarianism isn’t reducible to optimization theory, is it? If it were, I’d have no problem with it at all. It’s felicific calculus, the principle that the reduction of suffering is the final arbiter of (moral) value. Moldbug is surely right to fuse it with consumerist economics, as denigrated by Carlyle (“pig philosophy”). As noted many times before here, I don’t think intelligence optimization falls into the pattern you lay out, distinguishing a ‘function’ from its executive ‘algorithm’ or — in general — values from methods. It is further still from the idea of utility optimization, as traditionally constructed in the West, but this topic no doubt needs much more elaborate development.

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 9:45 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    The Relationship between American Govenment and Democracy is Consultative.

    Democracy has not been decisive – making the decisions – about American Governance for 80 years.

    Until very recently these consultations – elections – were taken very seriously and Democracy’s opinion was given great weight, it was deeply respected. Or at least solemnly nodded to publicly.

    Until bankruptcy hit in 2008 that is when desperation tore off all masks. Now for 5 years we have had a Parliament that will rubber stamp anything and everything until 2010, since 2010 it has simply been ignored. That is the actual Government – the Administrative Bureaucracy and its associated hives of universities and think tanks – forced by bankruptcy to tear off the mask at last. The seething contempt – a product of self loathing – for the American People was then reflected in the media. As well as the deep racial animus – anti-White – that pervades the establishment. For it’s not just guilty self-loathing that we made them steal the entire world several times over it’s FEAR .

    The State is the Left and the Left is the State of course is patently true and a Law of Human Nature.
    Clearly the Majority of America has no place other than Tax Farming in this State. And both sides now know it.

    The wise and prudent course would be to allow Exit for those not welcome except as Tax Farm animals. We shall see if Wisdom and Prudence…or Fear…guide the State’s Councils or not.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    This is an analysis from a populist.

    This statement is very related (though in opposition) to your basic premise:

    “This is the core conceit of leftism – that things can be made other than what they are by force, or coercion.”

    And is also very related to: “So how do you see yourself?”

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 12:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    addendum – the Majority of Americans are fit only for Tax Farming Livestock.

    That is their view of us and it’s been obvious BTW since the 90s.

    We had a charming and clever Farmer named Bill.
    We had a dumb but lucky until the end Farmer named George.
    Now we have a no-show who’s neither Lucky nor Clever. His name changes depending on who he’s trying to con artist at the moment, for he is a Transnational Traveling Salesman.

    Farmer Barry is so dumb he’s actually told us how they see us.

    So how do you see yourself?

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    “So how do you see yourself?”

    You may consider not asking questions of people you don’t want the answer to.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    That’s a question they are supposed to ask themselves. “How do you see yourself?”

    They answer that to themselves.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 1:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @VXXC

    Let us understand the State’s view of Americans not only as Tax Farming Livestock – which is not how they put it – but from the terms they do use: Revenue.

    Here is our Relationship to the State: Revenue or Client.

    Revenue is positive net cash flow from the Taxpayer to the State.

    Client is negative net cash flow from the State to the Client.

    Who is more important to the State?

    The Client. For the Client justifies the States Budget and hence existence and profits.

    This is a permutation on basic banking principles: banks consider debts owed them as assets.
    Banks consider deposits in their accounts as Liabilities. They are paying interest and administrative upkeep for these deposits, and the deposits are not being loaned out as debt, hence generating revenue back to the bank. Debt payers are assets they generate income to the Bank. Depositors generate costs out of the Bank.

    It is basic to banking that debts are paying assets and deposits a liability.

    A productive net taxpayer is not a dependent client of the State and hence a liability. He does not justify the governments budget.

    A dependent net tax receiver is dependent client of the State and an asset – for it is their client rolls or the amount of people they send government checks to that justify the departments budget. The key relationship of the citizen in Patron/Client relationships is to be a Client.

    This means Voters are a unnecessary distraction and potentially disruptive risk to the State.

    Hence the Government must control the Votes of Democracy and basically does. However if pressed or menaced by Democracy at elections it simply ignores it as it has been with our current Congress for 3 years. Behold the Power of Sacred Democracy!! Nothing if anything of substance – like Governments Budget – is at stake.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    If the Cathedral wasn’t full of fanatical Pajama Boys, it wouldn’t allow parasites and predators to prey on the Tax Farming Livestock. And it wouldn’t punish the Tax Farming Livestock if the Livestock defends itself from those said predators and parasites.

    Alas, today’s Cathedral is full of Pajama Boys and other court eunuchs. Well, at least when the decline comes to its conclusion, they’ll suffer the fate of all other court favorites when other empires fell.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 1:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • Different T Says:

    The claim that “socio-political solutions are ultimately exit-based” seems to take for granted the libertarians NAP or something very similar, some sort of lasting peace.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    I don’t think it takes anything for granted, it puts the onus of aggression on the Prog State.

    It can be noted that the USSR did of course relatively peaceably allow peoples to go their own way. There was however a very powerful outside influence of USG on this process and the Russians were literally freezing and starving.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That would be true if exit was grounded in something more basic, but there’s nothing more fundamental than the distributed selection / sorting machine (‘Patchwork’ or ‘Dynamic Geography’). A moral principle is no sort of foundation at all. And finally … perpetual war is an ontological necessity, momentarily camouflaged at best.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Remember actual peace is a war you are winning. Without actual shooting at the present time.

    [Reply]

    DoctorRabelais Reply:

    Thank you VXXC. No matter what kind of society is envisioned … you need enough muscle to survive the threat of other people.

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 1:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • mailadreapta Says:

    I strongly affirm all of Kevin C’s reservations regarding Exit above. Exit, like war, always exists as a last resort, but to conceive of it as a primary strategy is to assume too much about fluidity of loyalty and identity. Exit is exile. You might go into exile to save your life, but not much short of that.

    Additionally (and I’m surprised that no one else has said this yet), one country’s emigration is always another country’s immigration. You can Exit, but can you Enter? To hold up unrestricted emigration as an ideal implicitly requires unrestricted immigration as well, which is not an idea which will sit well with most reactionaries.

    If we make secession, rather than emigration, our primary model of Exit, then most of these difficulties disappear.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Exit is first of all shopping. It’s important to get that locked in immediately, in order to make sense of its usage in political science. Commercial relations are exit-based, political ones are not. Secession is Omega Exit, not the entry point of the concept.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    May I suggest that Exit is another way of saying “Home” for those who look to Exit having No Voice. For the present.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    The ideal form of exit would occur where there is a frontier that allows for settlement, which would allow entire subcultures and groups to secede.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, space (now you’re going to get VXXC excited).

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Yes, space.

    It’s also the venue where your exit scheme would be most likely to work. The evolutionary attractor would be small, self-sufficient mobile settlements that are technologically capable of recreating themselves

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    Yes, space (now you’re going to get VXXC excited).

    The imperative to replicate and spread to new habitats predates politics and eukaryota.

    Kevin C. Reply:

    Yes, but there is no more frontier.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    Yes, but there is no more frontier.

    Spoken like a true SubSaharan African. Speaking of which, I don’t think there be many SubSaharan Africans in off world settlements.

    spandrell Reply:

    +1

    Methinks our host needs to make a better case for Exit, one that is not too abstract.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Exit and abstraction are closely connected concepts (and practicalities).
    But, OK.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    Spandrell’s right; most folks here seem to be busted Libertarians or Conservatives.

    So the question is ‘Why busted?” which has varying answers for different people.

    But mostly, it is because these idea-communities, whatever steps away they may have made in the past, simply cannot maintain a lasting separation of themselves from the fundamental premises of progressivism – universalism, political (even biological) egalitarianism, democracy, PC, and all their obnoxious assertions of objective moral imperatives.

    It seems that you must either deliberately shoot in the opposite direction of that black hole, or you become a satellite, going wherever it is going, and gradually getting sucked in closer and closer.

    The funny thing about gravity is that you don’t feel anything when you’re in free-fall, and of course, gravity always works on both objects in opposite directions. So sometimes the satellites flatter themselves and think their tiny pulls on the black hole affect its direction, oblivious to their massive deviations from their original paths.

    That potentially influential engagement with the dominant respectable power structure is the great temptation, but, whoops, you’re dealing with the beast that built and owns the influence industry and will influence you back. When you look into the abyss of the event horizon, you see apparently nothing, but it also looks back at you. And laughs maniacally!

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 3:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    The only fundamental principle of neoreaction I see is:

    The left is ratcheting towards disaster.

    Broken down, the consituent principles are that the left has no internal brakes, that the left keeps winning (which is the same as saying that none of the existing methods for stopping the left works), that unbraked leftism is/will be catastrophic. Also implicit in the idea of neo-reaction is the hope that some kind of solution is possible.

    Most of the neo-reactionary premises I have my doubts about. Neocameralism is obviously silly, monarchy isn’t the worst thing possible but isn’t an obvious cure-all either and how do you get there from here, exit sounds attractive under particular circumstances but has lots of failure modes and circumstances where its not applicagble and how do you get there from here too, I believe that some egalitarianism and universalism are beneficial, and I believe the same thing about democracy either understood as governing mechanisms that include voting or as a general sense of ‘we’re all in this together.’ But given all that, I am still a fellow traveler or maybe even an outright reactionary because I buy the ratchet and the left singularity, and I buy that conventional conservative politics has been shown to consistently fail.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “The left is ratcheting towards disaster.

    Broken down, the consituent principles are that the left has no internal brakes, that the left keeps winning (which is the same as saying that none of the existing methods for stopping the left works), that unbraked leftism is/will be catastrophic.”

    As they say: this.

    “Also implicit in the idea of neo-reaction is the hope that some kind of solution is possible.”

    So what do we call those like me who lack that hope? Who see the leftist ratchet as unstoppable except by civilization-ending, or even world-ending, catastrophe?

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    So what do we call those like me who lack that hope? Who see the leftist ratchet as unstoppable except by civilization-ending, or even world-ending, catastrophe?

    Despair is a mortal sin, and as we sin, so do we suffer.

    Of course, if you have no hope, why aren’t you poolside with Heartiste?

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “why aren’t you poolside with Heartiste?”

    Don’t have the money, can’t drink for medical reasons (medication interaction), and am a natural celebate.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Someone who is going to eat either a wafer or a bullet.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Think of it as willing to accept reality. Historical reality via moldbugs old books, the reality about sex differences, about race, about genetics, about how biology determines human behavior.

    That leads to seeing that the left is lying and leading us to a crash, and nobody out there knows or dares speak about it. That the common realization we all have.

    As for what should be done, hah. There’s a vague social conservatism majority which is conspicuously not shared here. But that’s besides the point.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    Every government eventually collapses. It looks like humans aren’t very good at creating immortal states.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 4:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    I’d caution against making exit a fetish or defining feature of the Neoreaction. First, It scales poorly. Individuals may have a power of exit, but what of families? Families may have a power of exit, but what of clans or tribes? Clans or tribes may have it, but what of entire ethno-nations? And who’s gonna be the police officer guarantying passage?… and who’s gonna guarantee a destination?… and at some measurable point of strength and solidarity why would a group exit, if they could remain and expel those who don’t belong.

    Stability is strongly to be preferred over exit. And I don’t see how can use the latter to ever get the former.

    Second, exit is not part of our adapted (civilizational) psychology. We are well adapted to alieve (in Samo’s lingo) in our place, that our place is ours. Not much good comes from not having (at least a sense of) one’s place. Inscribing exit on the sacred constitution is therefore dangerously abstract. At least as abstract as inscribing, liberte, egalite, fraternite…

    Thirdly, the postulated Anglo preference for liberty over security is grossly overblown. Of course it exists, and Anglo walking shoes are perhaps the most singular aspect of Anglo culture. But without some acceptable level of security, lived liberty is impossible and/or outrageously expensive. Anglo love of liberty is simply an artifact of the generalized better behavior of Anglos–a mostly genetic feature that is already compromised. Plop Anglos down among badly behaved peoples, and liberty-love will prove pretty elastic.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Moldbug’s importance to political philosophy stems from his question: Not “What do we want?” (stability, tradition, whatever), but “What is the mechanism capable of producing effective government?” (the exit-based pressure of the Outside). That’s why it’s so mistaken to accuse his primordial NRx of any kind of utopianism, and why any list of desirable social outcomes is strictly secondary to the principal theoretical problem. ‘Stability’ is just a wish, but the Patchwork is a machine — it explains things. It’s not a matter of how much Anglos like liberty, the explanatory issue is how liberty works (what it produces).

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Our host is convinced of the necessity and centrality of physical, jurisdictional exit, and he would like to see that become a key tenet of the DEC consensus. Alas, the other members of the community insist on stubbornly dragging their feet.

    Personally, I think people are trapped more psychologically and ideologically than geographically. People already vote with their feet plenty, but the places they go tend to obey the same tired ideas. They are just trying to find safer and wealthier Species within the same Genus of regimes.

    If there is anything to ‘exit’, it is more properly ‘exit the matrix’ (with all its evocative red pill imagery) than ‘leave your homeland and people’. You don’t exit anything by moving to a better neighborhood that is still within the matrix.

    To think genuinely outside the box – to different Classes and Phyla, they first need to realize they are stuck in a box, like Moldbug’s ‘warm egg’. Exit is no use if there’s no place to exit to which doesn’t also taste strongly of yolk.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Agreed (and also with your previous excellent comment). Dynamic geography has to be realized far more fully for exit to operate efficiently, with the relation between the two (Exit-based processes and Patchwork) being evidently reciprocal, non-linear, or cybernetic. Diversity is produced by sorting, and it’s diversity that gives exit somewhere to go.

    The priority I’m insisting upon is that the determination to sort ourselves out precedes any realistic plan for the kind of societies we want to see.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    The thing is Exit doesn’t scale well. Secession causes wars and kills millions. The Patchwork ends when the Sui emperor conquers the small cells. Governments aren’t in the business of allowing meaningful exit.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    EXIT is a HOME for those who have no voice and finally admit it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 5:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • survivingbabel Says:

    No Fault Divorce (and the results it has wroth) is a significant counter-argument to unrestrained Exit as a means of maintaining stability.

    The more I think on it, the more I fear that Exit is still essentially a Prog concept, the ultimate escape from oppression (i.e. hierarchy, order, civilization.) Given the choice between a functional state with a peasant class, and a classless hellhole Mad Max wasteland, it won’t take much PR to empty the peasantry into Hell.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    So where does stability come from?

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    Assuming that stability is an achievable lasting goal, as opposed to an ephemeral state which cannot be achieved except through wyrd, I would say that stability is the proper intersection of responsibility, authority, and cost/benefit in those who lead (in any given hierarchy.) Stability, like justice, flows from the King.

    Followers, of course, can foment instability regardless, but that way lies madness. Rebelliousness can reject an extent power structure, but can never, even build a better one, it can only consume and destroy. Rebellion sews the seeds of its own destruction.

    A properly stable power structure ought to be able to, all things being equal, quell a rebellion. An improperly stable power structure will only generate them.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Stability, like justice, flows from the King.” — But we don’t have a King. So (if that’s what you want) what is the mechanism that might plausibly produce one?

    survivingbabel Reply:

    First, let me elucidate King to ultimate temporal authority of a group, not necessarily the Earthly Head of the Great Chain of Being.

    As to mechanisms, well… the mechanism you choose will yield far different results while still fulfilling the requirements I outlined above (responsibility, authority, and cost/benefit in alignment). In fact, just continuing our current course (beggaring the realm through lose fiscal policy spent on patronage and graft and wasted resources) should yield us a populist King in the vain of Julius Caesar, along with a whole lot of bloodshed and chaos in the hinterlands.

    At this point, if we are outlining premises, advocating for a specific mechanism is wildly premature. However, we can start analyzing history for mechanisms which have had success (Restoration England as Jim’s favorite example.)

    SGW Reply:

    Isn’t it mostly a matter of maintaining a capable oligarchy within a private form of government? Most of the NR political thinking is based on Burnham’s “The Machiavellians” and Moldbug’s attempt to reconcile it with Hoppe’s ideas in “Democracy – the god that failed” through his theory of neocameralism.

    Burnham argues that power always ends up concentrated in the hands of a ‘few’ people due to the nature of bureaucracies and that consequently changes/instability within a society primarily come from changes in the composition of the oligarchy. Hoppe basically argues that private forms of government are better than public ones because in the case of the former the owner benefits from the appreciation of the value of the territory under control of the state and not just from the income.

    Based on these basic premises the main issue of designing a stable and functional society would be finding a way to align the interests of the oligarchy with the interests of a monarch or CEO. Giving important people or institutions shares in Government Inc is one way of resolving it, Monarchies and aristocratic republics did it by compensating the nobility, who tended to comprise a large share of the oligarchy, with privileges.

    [Reply]

    laofmoonster Reply:

    I’m not fond of how NRx uses stability as an antonym of chaos. From a thermodynamic standpoint, an isolated system cannot maintain low entropy. Maintaining low entropy of a system requires external work and energy. The only way to cheat the second law of thermodynamics is to consume external energy. Order is the exception, not the rule. If you want stability on a cosmological scale, heat death is pretty constant. but of course that’s not what NRx is after.

    Exit looks to me as the act of differentiation of a system with its environment so that it can consume from it. This isn’t stability as much as it is Darwinian self-preservation.

    I admittedly haven’t taken physics since high school, so feel free to correct me. I thought of this after reading https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/ . It’s not as new as the article claims, I found similar ideas in a cybernetics book from the 1950s.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    No Fault Divorce isn’t “unrestrained exit” if you’re the average man. A man gets punished severely at the financial level and is even made into an indentured servant at the ex wife’s emotional whim. The end result of this Marriage 2.0 is the growing marriage strike among men, a source of disorder. There’s a reason that governments had patriarchal marriage (where the Father was Pater Familias). Women’s Lib brings disorder by creating a growing population of single men who have no reason to be loyal to the norms of the ruling class (Cathedral), and have no reason to work extra hours to support a family they don’t own and no reason to work extra to contribute extra tax revenue.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    I was referring to governments for the past thousands of years when referring to patriarchal marriage (marriage 1.0).

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 5:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Hey I’m all for governments splitting up and having a competitive market for governance. But as it is, small countries have the tendency to get invaded by the Sui Dynasty, to be annexed by USA, or have their sovereignty swallowed by the EU.

    The Patchwork doesn’t explain things because the patchwork doesn’t exist and there’s no reasonable roadmap to get it existing.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    That’s when having a large stash of nukes come in handy, blow for blow, they’re cheaper than a large standing army.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Partial Patchwork dynamics already operate — from my perspective, you’re already living them. (Or do you think a settlement path from Europe to Japan via Shanghai is a testament to the gravitational attraction of organic community?)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Well to the extent that people have legs and transportation systems the Patchwork always existed and will always exist. It’s a constant, like air. How is that a useful concept at all?

    And obviously my ability and willingness to live in different countries is an order of magnitude above the average. If people like me are the engine of progress I’m afraid we aren’t going very far.

    [Reply]

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    We’re on the wrong side of peak patchwork though. And we have been for somewhere between a few hundred and a couple thousand years.

    Almost every innovation has tended to decrease the patchwork-y-ness of the world from agriculture to horseback riding to the creation of empires to the invention of Christianity and other universalist religions to the invention of the mass media, the steamship, etc.

    The exceptions would be religious heresies, nationalism and nuclear weapons. And nationalism started out as a way to reduce create bigger blobs, it just outlived its usefulness.

    If we really want a patchwork, we might need replace most of the world’s population with clannish mountain peoples like Albanians or Pashtuns or Papuans.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice idea, but it might be quixotic.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    1. Sell Exit for ye have no Voice.
    2. Watch what happens next.
    3. Improvement, that is Profit.

    Posted on February 4th, 2014 at 6:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round -2014/02/05 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] The first entryist attack. Related: The necessity of neoreactionary doctrine. Related: A warning on the risk. Related: Avoiding libertarian HIV. Related: Premises of neoreaction. […]

    Posted on February 5th, 2014 at 6:05 am Reply | Quote
  • Nathan C Says:

    Free exit and no voice amounts to transferring the cost of dissent from the regime to the dissident. One might ask what the cost of free exit is to anyone, but of course by ‘free’ is meant ‘without let or hindrance’, not ‘without expense’. At the very least someone Exiting can expect to pay a good deal in broken social relations. Then there’s the issue of rights in immovable property: most proposed neoreactionary systems of government cannot tolerate significant possession of land or improvements by foreign residents.

    The by-blow of the mandated property transfers is a reduced pressure on the government from exit. One can speculate that the proper thing for a neoreactionary regime to do is to financially compensate voluntary exiles.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 6th, 2014 at 4:19 am Reply | Quote
  • Hearst Says:

    I would add another premise which should be the number 1 policy goal of the so called “Dark Enlightenment.” This is the right to freedom of association. The premise being that freedom of association should be a basic human right. All humans should have the right to have spaces and institutions with the people that they most feel related to. As it stands right now, the only group on earth who don’t have this right are Whites (read: people of European descent). Ask any congressman in America or MP in the UK if Jews should be able to have spaces and institutions to pursue their own destines, and they will quickly reply “OF COURSE!” Then ask these same “leaders” if Whites should be allowed this right and they will quickly reply “THAT’S RACIST.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’d assumed that unconditional freedom of association came automatically with the Exit package, but you’re probably right that it requires a separate explicit rider. A more fully worked out post on Exit and Entry(ism) might be needed to organize all these questions coherently. It’s absolutely extraordinary that free association isn’t considered a basic principle of liberty in supposedly ‘free societies’.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 7th, 2014 at 3:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Hearst Says:

    The “right is right” idea needs to be examined as well. The right is more right relating to social issues, respect for traditional values, and opposition to degenerate social memes. But is the right right when it comes to economics? Was it better when there was no minimum wage, no environmental regulations, no worker rights? Or what about the current American right’s stance on foreign policy that advocates constant war for globalist, Israeli, and corporate interests? Perhaps foreign policy is neutral in this regard, as it was the left that used to be the war party in America.

    I say we take the traditional values of the right and merge them with the economic policies of the left.We purge the left of the radical, anti-White, feminist, cultural Marxist wing, and purge the right of the military-industrial-Zionist complex. We push for total freedom of association. We oppose the globalist elites and their plan for New World Order.

    But our number one policy platform must be freedom of association. Doing so will make us the true champions of choice, freedom, and diversity.

    [Reply]

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    The right is right, but the economic right is not right, it’s left. Specifically, classical liberal,

    “In both individual and collective life the economic factor is today the most important, real, and decisive one. … An economic era is by definition fundamentally anarchic and anti-hierarchical; it represents a subversion of the normal order. … This subversive character is present in both Marxism and in its apparent antagonist, modern capitalism. The worst absurdity is for those who today claim to represent a political ‘Right’ to remain in the dark, overcast circle drawn by the demonic power of the economy—a circle inhabited by both Marxism and capitalism, along with a whole series of intermediate stages. Those today who line up against the forces of the Left should insist on this. Nothing is more evident than that modern capitalism is just as subversive as Marxism. The materialistic vision of life which is the basis of both systems is identical.

    Between the True Right and the economic Right there is not only no identity, there is on the contrary a precise antithesis.”

    – Evola.

    Ultra-capitalism doesn’t care about conserving anything.

    The neo-reactionary position is very odd in the area. It breaks from conservatism in strongly rejecting classical liberal politics, but then it insists upon classical liberal economic policy for some reason.

    That said, copy pasting the left’s economic policy is obviously insufficient.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Looking for “an economic policy” is hopeless. The objective is disintegration, and then policy diversity. I’ll want to live in the most laissez-faire capitalist enclave that is at any time possible, but I’ve given up on the delusion other people could be persuaded it’s ‘the right thing’ to do. Select your preferred degree of collectivism, but don’t kid yourself that it has universal justification.

    (I think fate likes laissez-faire social systems, and makes them hyper-competitive, but it’s pointless seeking to win people over to fate. Better people choose what they want, and then die or get re-processed if they screw up. Fate doesn’t need anyone’s vote.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Was it better when there was no minimum wage, no environmental regulations, no worker rights?” — I’d say, of course, yes. That’s exactly when it was better.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    @Clumsy

    Wayne just because we’re breaking up doesn’t mean we can’t have Social Justice.

    No actually Wendy that’s exactly what it means.

    [Reply]

    Hearst Reply:

    Perhaps you didn’t understand what I was saying. It was better in the days before a minimum wage, environmental regulations, or worker rights because those were the days before political correctness, cultural Marxism, and degenerate social practices.

    Certainly you’re not saying that it was better BECAUSE there was no minimum wage, environmental regulation, and no worker rights?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The fact there was “no minimum wage, environmental regulation, and no worker rights”, was an incandescent indicator that it was better. The government was by our standards extremely small, it stuck to its knitting (keeping the peace), and the idea of using politics to sort out ‘social problems’ had scarcely developed.

    Posted on February 8th, 2014 at 3:05 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter King Says:

    Pardon my manners, but an alternative view available at http://antimoderncondition.our.dmu.ac.uk

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 8th, 2014 at 9:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Hearst Says:

    @

    Like you, I believe that “Hierarchy is basically a good idea” but also in the concept of “noblesse oblige.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Noblesse oblige is looking after your own servants. Busybody paternalism is getting involved in other people’s labor contracts.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    How incredibly ironic.

    [Reply]

    Hearst Reply:

    In my examination of the so called “Dark Enlightenment” I have noticed a certain disdain for the masses. There also seems to be an attraction to monarchy (which I can appreciate). So putting these together I would speculate that the ideal DE system would be a futuristic version of Norman rule in England. I can see drones leaving their castles to drop munitions on the hoi polloi when they tamper with the micro chips that they were made to attach themselves to.

    I personally prefer a system closer to the Anglo-Saxon rule of England or the Rurikid rule of Russia where the monarch acts as check on the power of the monied aristocracy and as champion for the people Since the well-being of the people means little to you DE folks let me remind that when conditions become intolerable for the masses is when an opening occurs for the worst parasitical elements to enter (French Revolution, Bolshevik revolution).

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 9th, 2014 at 2:22 am Reply | Quote
  • Spending all your time figuring out what kind of “-ism” you and your friends believe in so that you can call each other “whatever-ists” is no way to improve the world. | Contravex: A blog by Pete Dushenski Says:

    […] Let’s give Nick give a shot at defending the good name of the neoreaction/nrx. From Premises of Neoreaction: […]

    Posted on January 17th, 2015 at 8:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Premissas da Neorreação – Outlandish Says:

    […] Original. […]

    Posted on August 16th, 2016 at 8:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dark Reformation Part 13: Meta Reaction. | "The Horror! The Horror!" Says:

    […] Relevant link http://www.xenosystems.net/premises-of-neoreaction/ […]

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