Reality Check

Foseti, commenting at his own place, asks rhetorically:

Don’t you think that writing to save the world is – in itself – fundamentally progressive in nature (not to say wildly presumptuous)?

Even those tempted to answer in the negative need to think this through patiently, because the pretensions this question punctures are typically distinguished by their thoughtlessness. Modern politics became psychotic when agitated scribblers convinced themselves that they had the tools, the right, and even the duty to re-order the world in accordance with their pamphlets. This is a Left tradition that few have yet derided enough.

To carve out cognitive independence is one thing, to deform it into practical idealism is quite another. Indeed, dripping our dark poisons into the milk of idealism might easily be the most practical difference we can make. Soaring words and rallying cries have already done far too much. It makes sense to take a step back, into skepticism, humor, undistorted proportion, and the hypothetical mode, before advancing further down our tracks … wherever they lead.

May 29, 2013admin 25 Comments »
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25 Responses to this entry

  • Arred Wade Says:

    Nick, I’ve started a subreddit to aid in the ongoing discussion and dissemination of new writing. Obviously you will be featured regularly, so here is the link: http://www.reddit.com/r/neoreactionary/

    -AW

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks for the heads up, I’ll keep an eye on it.

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    This can only end in tears.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    What happened to your place? I thought the doors were going to have been thrown open by now?

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    Yeah, apparently what I do here is overpromise and underdeliver. The exact opposite of my IRL job.

    Actually, I’m getting married in a few weeks, to a beautiful, reaction-friendly bride, and while nearly all of our ducks are in a row, small things keep coming up, and, to be honest, I’m mentally exhausted, and have no creative energy when I have downtime. I have finally decided to remain a commenter/tweeter only until after the happy proceedings. I am still working on posts while it stays private, but this way I can work at my own pace.

    Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 5:48 am Reply | Quote
  • Going Meta on Meta | The Reactivity Place Says:

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    Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 4:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    Teleos, the Chaotic Evil three-headed chromatic dragon rears its ugly 20 Hit Die heads again in that thread. Much gazing into the navel of the nascent “movement” and, seeing that it is shallow and slightly linty, concludes that it goes nowhere. It almost finds definition in two places, but the squabble amongst the Sages is as daunting and unapproachable as it is meatspace.

    I would ask them why a doctor saves a life. What’s the point?

    We’re freeing minds, folks! The truth does that!

    Why free minds? Because for some individuals, living as a mental prisoner would be a waste of their once-only-ever life.

    A doctor doesn’t ask himself what the point is, or if the patient will go on to change society or die the next day – he’s already answered that question by going to med school: man is an end in himself, not just a means. These sages and sophomores, some of whom have produced enviable bodies of work, stand like surgeons in the OR, scalpel in-hand, suddenly having a brain-fart about why they’re there.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Which two places?

    So who should be in the Brain Trust™?

    Who, if nominated, will agree to serve?

    Who are the stakeholders with veto power?

    What constraints must be respected absolutely?

    Will the rest of us support them?

    We are engineering a government, currently in exile. It will be turned off for the foreseeable future. But when we turn it on—when it turns itself on—it had better work.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Samson J, Vladimir and Handle (okay, that’s three there) all seem to head in the direction of “Hey, you need more than, like, 20 guys to take over the world, man.”

    Your questions are excellent, and probably can only be answers credibly by some level of philanthropy or crowdfunding. I think that is starting to dawn on everyone.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    No one is doubting the value of cognitive independence (“freeing minds”). The skepticism is directed at the — inherently leftist — assumption that intelligence finds redemption in political action.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    There is that, too. Or, more clearly, the point of contention is whether the goal of cognitive independence is worthy enough to warrant even the existing effort.

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Perhaps it’s the term “political action” that is inherently leftist.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 7:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    In the spirit of stepping back rather than chaos creation, and with the understanding that a lot is going to happen without us (the nature of being reactionary), I’ll share some more thoughts from Genomicon – he’s also been struggling with the rate of production:

    I think we’re creating a massive hallucinogenic trip. I think that’s what The Rapture of The Nerds (if it ever happens) will resemble. The Garden of Earthly Delights – with a giant AI (like google) hooked into a global network of bio-tech capable fabrication devices… just making shit up. What happens when The Free Spaghetti machine starts making Spaghetti Monsters. Stuxnet meets spam meets fabricators. More than a single imagination can draw a circle around. The dissolution of the boundary between inner and outer space… and meantime, the forces of “control” are losing their minds, going down to the beach, trying to seize the seashells.

    If linear time is a useful navigational aid, but essentially an observational fallacy… and what we actually have/are is some great big “thing” with a big-bang at one end… and something else at the other… just floating in some higher-dimensional space… then what is “the other”? Hard to say – but something we do know about it, is that information-density and complexity are accelerating exponentially… possibly factorially… and we’re starting to get into an era where our controlling institutions are going insane.

    And it’s only 1913.

    Patience then. The latest post is worth a look as well.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That looks amazing … some processing-time required.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yeah, his politics needs work, but at the same time you don’t want to derail anything…

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 9:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ Surviving Babel
    Sorry if that sounded like pressurization — enjoy.

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    No need to apologize, as it was I who made the promises, empty as they turned out to be.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Where’s Nick B. when you need him? What you don’t want to do is “overpromise and underdeliver” toward your bride (but no pressure). I’m sure he’ll have words with you about your lack of “creative energy” too. It’s the essence of neoreaction after all.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Actually overpromise (a little) and underdeliver (a little) is not a bad strategy to keep in one’s back pocket with a bride. You won’t need it for a while… but you WILL need it.

    But you are excused from normal neoreactionary duties for two weeks, after which I shall expect you to be on the scene all the earlier the following Monday.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    And geez… congratulations, Surviving. You are embarking on the greatest of all quests!

    Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply | Quote
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  • Scharlach Says:

    It’s important that this whole thing stay inherently social as opposed to political. Much better for the Left to take notice of us. Richwine and Derbyshire affairs were powerful precisely because both men were doing what they had always done and saying what they had always been saying . . . And then someone noticed. The alternate strategy would have been—what?—Derbyshire going door-to-door, showing people a draft of The Talk, and trying to get signatures?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 31st, 2013 at 9:17 pm Reply | Quote
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