Reaction Points (#9)

Foseti is back, doing something of great importance. This titanic contribution to Moldbug digestion from Peter Taylor comes immediately to mind (it wins the ultimate Outside in accolade of a place in the ‘Resources’ list, under ‘Meta-Moldbug’).

Walter Russell Mead’s list of 2013 losers consists entirely of democratic countries and movements, with the exception of ‘The Syrians’ (#9). ‘Democracy’ as such, and in general, is given a category of its own, and takes fifth place.

People have been seeing something of an informal Neoreactionary ‘zeitgeist’ in this piece on Frank Luntz.

Neoreaction receives some more mainstream media attention. Is this going to be a 2014 up-curve? Lewis’ piece quotes Jordan Bloom: “For the last 500 years or so, history has mostly been a matter of polities consolidating. Fewer, bigger countries and empires. We’re on the cusp of things starting to move in the opposite direction, to the point that it’s reasonable to predict that secession will be the most important political idea of the 21st century.”

Criticism from the traditionalist right. (Useful boundary-setting, I think.)

Evolution … and Islam. … and American conservatives.

Greer’s 2014 prognosis: “My prediction for 2014, in turn, is that we’ll see more of the same: another year, that is, of uneven but continued downward movement along the same arc of decline and fall, while official statistics here in the United States will be doctored even more extravagantly than before to manufacture a paper image of prosperity. The number of Americans trying to survive without a job will continue to increase, the effective standard of living for most of the population will continue to decline, and what used to count as the framework of ordinary life in this country will go on unraveling a thread at a time. … Both the grandiose breakthroughs that never happen and the equally gaudy catastrophes that never happen will thus continue to fill their current role as excuses not to think about, much less do anything about, what’s actually happening around us right now—the long ragged decline and fall of industrial civilization that I’ve called the Long Descent. Given the popularity of both these evasive moves, we can safely assume that one more thing won’t happen in 2014: any meaningful collective response to the rising spiral of crises that’s shredding our societies and our future.”

Remembering Ambrose Bierce.

My instincts tell me there has to be a 2014 Neoreactionary cage fight about this stuff, but Michael Anissimov (on Twitter) predicts not.

The deluge of darkness out of the Reactosphere is too voluminous to manage here. (Click through my blogroll to catch the torrent, which is especially inundating right now here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I’ll engage what I can piece-by-piece, in separate posts.)

January 7, 2014admin 28 Comments »
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28 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    At Foseti’s Steve Sailer just came out to defend the Jew theory of Progressivism, against the Puritan theory. This can be interesting.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 8:07 am Reply | Quote
  • Karl F. Boetel Says:

    We need better critics.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Be careful what you ask for. They might be arriving soon.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Our only honest criticisms are among ourselves. Any attack from the outside will necessarily be a dishonest witchhunt.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Nope. Only if from the Left. I think PleasureMan has actually written some decent critiques:

    1. here and 2. here and 3. here and 4. here

    Karmakaiser Reply:

    Yes, I believe the communist had a similar logic.

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Because I don’t want this to be lost in the Twitter…

    http://pastebin.com/LRXLxzua

    This is from my friend @karmakaiser. I’m trying to persuade him to blog.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    His point 2) indicates that your friend is missing a crucial part of DE/NR: the long term-trend of the Anglosphere, so low in frequency that it has yet to repeat.

    He references “liberal vs. libertarianism”, but that’s just the Strauss-Howe generation cycle riding on top of a longer trend — his sample rate is too low, so like most “conservatives” he thinks that’s the cycle, and when it repeats (with some Regeneracy Event that makes us “all pull together”) then the battle is won! But in reality, that’s just the Architect rebooting the Matrix.

    Most DE Sages are aware of this frequency and band-stop the 80-year cycle from their writings.

    [Reply]

    Karmakaiser Reply:

    The neocameralist nation is in policy libertarian and this is a moldbuggian blindspot.

    moldbug cares about violence and increase in profit because what is good for the polity is good for the state. the entire point of neocamerialism is to make anarcho-capitalism’s policy platform work. Libertarian drift, is for moldbug, a *feature* not a bug. The whole point of authority for moldbug is people live lives that maximizing long term purchasing power and a decrease in political violence, a overriding concern for purchasing power over violence is a *libertarian* not a monarchist concern. Filmer is concerned about the state as oriented to God, which is not a concern moldbug shares since he is an atheist.

    Also going from Enlightened Absolutism to Divine Right was leftward drift.

    Karmakaiser Reply:

    “Neocameralism is the idea that a sovereign state or primary corporation is not organizationally distinct from a secondary or private corporation. Thus we can achieve good management, and thus ***libertarian government***, by converting sovcorps to the same management design that works well in today’s private sector – the joint-stock corporation.”

    Juuuuuust sayin’ that Smith, Ricardo, and Malthus were considered liberal in their day for their advocacy of markets as a means of distributing resources and information. Moldbug gives us no reason to assume he is against the libertarian goal, which is emphatically not the goal of Filmer or Fitzhugh, but it is the view of Carlyle, well not quite but to some extent. His negative description of democracy matches Moldbug’s.

    Oh yes Carlyle. Now how does moldbug describe Carlyle?

    “Thomas Carlyle is not just an atheist. He is a Christian atheist.

    Thomas Carlyle is not just a Christian atheist. He is a Protestant atheist. And he is not just a Protestant atheist. He is a Calvinist atheist. And he is not just a Calvinist atheist. He is an Anglo-Calvin atheist. In other words, he can also be described as a Puritan atheist, a Dissenter atheist, a Nonconformist atheist, an Evangelical atheist, etc, etc.”

    Oh wait I had the wrong person.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Don’t you mean that going from Divine Right to Enlightened Absolutism was leftward drift?

    Anyhow, historically Divine Right itself looks like leftward drift, or at least a product of it. Earlier you had customary and legal limits on kingship that Divine Right displaced as part of a centralizing rationalization of the ideology of monarchy.

    Karmakaiser Reply:

    @Lasser Bull,

    That is kind of my point. If Divine Right and Enlightened Absolutism are innovations and leftward drift then we’re left with the traditional rights and duties (optionally these rights and tuties are grounded ultimately in natural law) that the king must fullfill based on custom and if the king doesn’t fullfill them the lords have the right to check the king as they did with Magna Carta and

    Wait.

    No that must be an error message.

    If the above is true, that gives lord a right to revolution if the king won’t be checked by the lords through parliment since the lords through parliment have power of the purse. But then that makes the Glorious Revoltion a conservative revolution and not the beginning of leftward drift.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I’m agnostic on the Glorious Revolution, since many of the arguments come down the cases, but otherwise I don’t really disagree with you.

    Karl F. Boetel Reply:

    “I cannot imagine the current American society passing affirmative action, you could do that in the great society and we have its legacy but it would not be voted for today.”

    It wasn’t voted for then, either.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 12:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Igitur Says:

    (From the Atlantic piece)

    > Frank Luntz is having some kind of crisis. I just can’t quite get my head around it.

    I love this tone. Some sickness the author hasn’t yet seen. Palpable; the subject can’t eat. But what is it?

    > It was what Luntz heard from the American people that scared him. They were contentious and argumentative. They didn’t listen to each other as they once had. They weren’t interested in hearing other points of view.

    This riffs off Lewis’ piece where he contrasts present over-consolidation with the divergent character of the Dark Enlightenment. “When do I sing?”, said Gilles Deleuze. “In two occasions: when I’m leaving home, because I’m happy that I get to do my work, and when I’m returning home, because I’m getting to my things”. Deterritorialization, reterritorialization. Luntz is claustrophobic. He needs to get out. He needs to catch a ligne de fuite.

    > But it was Obama he principally blamed. The people in his focus groups, he perceived, had absorbed the president’s message of class divisions, haves and have-nots, of redistribution. It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back.

    Yeah. Actual political theorists have known how to engineer coalition-forming for a while. It’s one of a few structural, formal defects of democracy. I remember there being some antipathy to Public Choice in NR essays, but I don’t remember the reason; it does explain Luntz’s bafflement.

    > Obama had ruined the electorate, set them at each other’s throats, and there was no way to turn back. Why not? I ask. Isn’t finding the right words to persuade people what you do? “I’m not good enough,” Luntz says. “And I hate that. I have come to the extent of my capabilities.

    And here we see dialectical idealism falling flat on its face. The absolute contradiction is America; but clearly its history is not the fleshing out of this contradiction to Outer and Inner theses and antitheses. (This is partly because of the critical distinction between conservatism, which is ultimately a moving average component, and reaction, which pulls back; but it’s also a cautionary tale about postulating “meta-stable” loops. Luntz sure felt that donkey-elephant was a meta-stable loop).

    > “My parents were married for 47 years. I’m never in the same place more than 47 minutes,” he says. When I point out he’s chosen that lifestyle, he says, “You sound like my relatives.”

    I have a special admiration for the nomadic. But it’s intaeresting (or a little disappointing, maybe) that you can lead a nomadic lifestyle for decades and not stumble on a nomadic thought of your own. Or maybe that’s just where he’s getting at now…

    > Luntz’s work has always been predicated on a sort of populism—the idea that politicians must figure out what voters want to hear, and speak to them in language that comports with it. […] But what if the Real People are wrong? That is the possibility Luntz now grapples with. What if the things people want to hear from their leaders are ideas that would lead the country down a dangerous road?

    Welcome to the heresy, sir.

    Not that the reporter gets it, of course.

    > Luntz’s political ideas, as far as I can tell, amount to a sort of Perotian rich man’s centrism, the type of thing you might hear from a Morning Joe panel or a CEOs’ retreat.

    Question is, what is Luntz doing now? Becoming a regular commenter at Outside in, for all the good this blog does, may underutilize his influence.

    > Luntz is not sure what to do with his newfound awareness. He’s still best known for his political resume, but politics hasn’t been his principal business for some time: He still advises his friends here and there, but he no longer has any ongoing political contracts. (Corporations and television networks, not politicians, are his main sources of income.) […] Luntz would also like to break into Hollywood as a consultant, but he can’t get his calls returned. He can’t figure it out. He thinks it must be a partisan thing. […] If he could, Luntz would like to have a consulting role on The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama. “I know I’m not supposed to like it, but I love it,” he says.

    Frank Luntz is feverish. He’s ill. Does Hollywood see the pockmarks already, from where the tentacles would come out soon? Will they? And if so, is anyone from his past life following him?

    [Reply]

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

    Greer is right in his criticisms of inaction.

    As to his prognosis [which is a lament] who can say. This is an undiscovered country.

    Continue on course, stiff upper lip, especially when the seas and ice get choppy.

    If a bunch of freaks can do so in Antartica, so can we.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 12:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • john lerner Says:

    I’m listening to a podcast on the English Civil War around the 1640s. It’s very supportive of the Puritan hypothesis. The coalition against the King gave air to various flavors of left-wing radicals – Parliamentary supremacists, democrats, Christian communists, you name it. Some Puritan sects (the diggers) even went so far as to rail against private property, claiming that a country where wealth was shared by all would be unstoppable, because its people would be more willing to fight for it.

    It’s hard not to see ground zero for leftism in the Protestant revolution. The other candidate is the French Enlightenment, but that came later. Does anybody know where Rousseau et al. got their ideas from?

    [Reply]

    Mobile Igitur Reply:

    Descartes?

    From where I see it, the German, French and British Enlightenments are very different intellectual projects. Leibniz is unthinkable in France.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Probably so, but even if they’re on different trains on different tracks, some might say they’re all still headed to Finland station.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 4:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • anonymous Says:

    This was on Drudge under the headline “california to split six ways?”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/6/investor-gives-life-to-effort-to-split-california-/

    I think pushing secession, generally, is a big winner for NR.

    “Why do you want to be in the same country as those backward racists?”
    “Well, um, err, uh”
    “Yeah… thought so.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “I think pushing secession, generally, is a big winner for NR.” — Absolutely. It has the advantage of going meta — whatever you want to do, other than perpetuate the dominion of the status quo, secession is the most plausible route to take.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Doesn’t matter the issue. The answer is secession.
    “Why are we fighting about this? People who don’t agree should seperate”

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 at 11:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Well there’s another huge wedge issue …the Second Amendment. It is difficult to overestimate the impact. The last attempt – that failed rather significantly in fact backfired in an arms race – was after Newtown. Second Amendment types are rather instant and indeed instantly rabid reactionaries.

    Q? How do you get a Liberal semi-SWPL to go Right?
    A: Background checks in Colorado.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_24791975/colorado-sees-record-number-gun-background-checks-2013

    Really there is no more reasoning with us on this issue. The answer is a menacing MOLON LABE.

    NO can’t get any clearer.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    As to secession – Western MD wants to secede as well. From Baltimore, whatever they say. I’m glad, I was about to write the entire State off as lost to humanity. If you ever want to see the Cathedral’s ever growing circle of pure evil Elysium visit the haunts around DC.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Really there is no more reasoning with us on this issue. The answer is a menacing MOLON LABE.

    Disagree. I think this is mostly talk. It’s easy to say MOLON LABE when USG isn’t actually kicking down doors and trying to take them.

    People will bitch and moan, but little by little, USG is going to restrict, and eventually outlaw, private guns (for regular people). And at some point, they WILL come and take the guns that remain in the hands of regular people. And that will be it, and that will be all. When it comes to confiscation I predict less than 5 people in the entire country “go out shooting”.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    314 plus million guns in private hands are going to be taken with no fuss? 114 million rifles?

    Despite the fact that the slightest move that way sets off escalations in the internal arms race?

    By arms race I mean: guns and ammunition on back order for months or over a year for the higher end weapons such as Bushmaster?

    Police chiefs and sheriffs nullifying the laws publicly and privately?

    Public and repeated threats of revolution? The very powder panics a powder keg waiting, indeed hopefully waiting for the spark?

    Not just the NRA but the very munitions companies themselves becoming very openly and belligerently political?

    That’s not a fuss waiting to happen?

    Then why did they back down?

    Well perhaps we’ll see. I would look again.

    [Reply]

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    The guns will never be used.

    Current trends will continue and your transsexual mestizo grandchildren will inherit your guns, decide it’s not worth taking the time and expense to register them and turn them in for a $50 Walmart gift card.

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    There will be resistance from local and state governments as well as armed citizens (there is already resistance from state governments and local sheriffs). Keep in mind the continuing advancement in downloadable 3d printed parts. It won’t just be guns being printed.

    Also take into account… $17 trillion in National debt as of now and $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Can’t put down resistance if the national police and the army isn’t being paid in reliable currency.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 1:56 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 8th, 2014 at 5:20 am Reply | Quote

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