Scrap note (#13)

Yes, the Baffler piece was comically bad. The title tells you everything you need to know about
the level it’s pitched at. Apparently NRx is based in San Francisco and Shanghai because it hates Asian people, but if it just read some Rawls (and “role-played the part of the peasant”)
it could sort itself out. Nydrwracu has the most appropriate response. Mike Anissimov takes the trouble to do a decent review. Klint Finley’s brief remarks about it are far better than the piece itself. Crude stereotypes triumph again: “The Baffler Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 390049, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA.”

The sociological construction of neoreaction was incompetent, but interestingly so. Entirely techno-commercialist in orientation, with an emphasis upon Silicon Valley, it was extended to include Justine Tunney, Balaji Srinivasan, Patri Friedman, and Peter Thiel. The picture is paints daubs of an American tech elite peeling off into neoreaction isn’t very convincing, but it’s certainly extraordinarily attractive.

***

It’s probably worth being explicit about the fact that for the techno-commercial strain of NRx, the model of action is what advanced tech companies do. The cry for ‘action’ is always going up in our dark little community, with the implication that the only alternative to some kind of putsch preparation is tweeting about metaphysics. Actually, the alternative to politicking is making stuff, or — secondarily — running ideological interference on behalf of those who are able to make stuff.

The practical problems of polycentric governance are rapidly becoming inextricable from emerging technology — blockchain cryptosystems most prominently. The idea that the cutting edge of effective action is going to be found outside the sphere of technological innovation is already clearly untenable. Any kind of ‘social action’ that doesn’t contribute quite directly to the creation of autonomizing machinery needs to be firmly discouraged, since it’s almost certainly inhibitory in effect. (“Quite directly” means within two or three intelligible steps, at most.)

The principal (positive) role of non-technological intellectuals is to keep intellectuals out of power. The principal (positive) role of mobs is to engage in as little action as possible. If you’re not Satoshi Nakamoto, the simple reality of the situation is that — in the great scheme of things — you don’t matter very much, nor should you. (And the less like Satoshi Nakamoto you are, the less you matter.)

***

This new blog is working hard to raise the level of discussion. The fact that it’s still so hard to tell where it’s heading is a strong point in its favor.

***

Oddness.

***

Evola is beginning to scare people. Perhaps someone who knows their way around this material could help to clear up one source of confusion: Isn’t Evola’s historical fatalism the exact opposite of a ‘call to action’? How, then, has the Evolan strain of NRx become so tightly associated with activist exhortation?

ADDED: More criticism from communists. (NRx as Silicon Valley’s “cadre of aspiring thought-Führers … working on new theories of racist Social Darwinism, bolstered by the fashion for Malthusianism among the superrich”.) It would be helpful if they could get their class war going, since it would speed the rush to the exits, but I somehow doubt they’re capable of it.

ADDED: Corey “I don’t like comments” Pein posts some responses to his piece (o.s.).

ADDED: The best ‘critique’ yet.

May 21, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Technology

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27 Responses to this entry

  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    As you’re not a Christian you may not understand. Evola was at least for a time and the Trad wing of this dealie all shares a similar world-time conception.

    The Christian version is very clear about this, but various forms of this paradox exist in all of the truly ‘Traditional’ religions.

    1. On the one hand, the world-historical time may end at any moment, making all progress and plans possibly moot.
    2. On the other hand, the world historical time may go on much much longer than we can conceive, and we will be responsible if we make it worse.

    From Evola’s perspective, the different cycles of the world (Kali Yuga being the last) do not either dictate all that may happen, nor do they necessarily come about regardless of people’s actions.

    So he has the following paradox:

    1. This cycle must happen, there is nothing that can be done about that. It is a period of ruin and ‘progress’ that is ultimately ephemeral.
    2. The next phase of the cycle doesn’t have a fixed date, nor does it abruptly occur. Therefore, what preparation can be done may hasten or be timely to the beginning of the next cycle.

    Fatalism is important because it puts work in perspective. All you do may be for naught, at least for now. But it may not have been able to be otherwise; and this especially is important for these:

    “It’s probably worth being explicit about the fact that for the techno-commercial strain of NRx, the model of action is what advanced tech companies do. The cry for ‘action’ is always going up in our dark little community, with the implication that the only alternative to some kind of putsch preparation is tweeting about metaphysics. Actually, the alternative to politicking is making stuff, or — secondarily — running ideological interference on behalf of those who are able to make stuff. ”

    None of you are Satori Nakimoto, not even Satori Nakimoto. Remember this.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I always deeply appreciate your contributions on this topic (and others), but I think you rhetorically re-package jagged problems as settled doctrines.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    That’s an important part of rhetoric, Mr. admin 😉

    What is the jagged problem of which you speak?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 5:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • R7 Rocket Says:

    I suspect that the technological trends will greatly favor mono ethnic and mono cultural states over those that are multicultural. Mono ethnic and mono cultural solidarity is a much better glue than the expensive Legions (with diminishing returns due to techno super armed individuals) needed to keep a multicultural state together. This is even more true when the elites are hostile to those nations within the multicultural state that, the elites depend upon for tax revenue.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 5:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    If you’re not Satoshi Nakamoto, the simple reality of the situation is that — in the great scheme of things — you don’t matter very much, nor should you. (And the less like Satoshi Nakamoto you are, the less you matter.)

    You say the sweetest things 😉

    P.S. You forgot funding (making; interference; patronage). I’ve lost count how many ‘next Satoshis’ the T-shirt factory is bankrolling now…

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    The challenge facing Neoreactionaries is that our analysis of the various problems ailing civilization is very solid, while our solutions seem half baked at best.

    The tools that will enable practical Neoreactionary solutions have not been invented yet – but they will be soon.

    Bitcoin demonstrated that the hoary concept of money and banking could be digitally intermediated. New technologies are doing to make it possible to do the same thing to governance, administration, the legal system, and bureaucracy.

    Once those tools have been developed, the leviathan progressive system of governance will begin to seem incredibly dated, while the proposals developed by Neoreactionary thinkers will become much more plausible and appealing.

    [Reply]

    Ex-pat in Oz Reply:

    THIS

    The managerial state will give way to the self serve state. Data transparency will obviate elite credentials… and already is (see HBD).

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 6:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alfred Says:

    Notice how Bein’s response to his own piece only included confirmations to his bias. The only negative reactions he mentioned were ones from people that had nothing to do with us (he conflates all techies with NRx) and the bobbing heads he quoted seemed to believe Tunney is one of the prime thinkers of NRx and that the idea of Google as Government is our only idea.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alfred Says:

    No wonder Bein doesn’t like comments.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 6:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scrap note (#13) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 8:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aaron Says:

    I just read the Jacobin essay. Progressives are powerless to attack the very wealthy. The very most they could accomplish would be to trigger capital flight and, as you say, it’s doubtful that they will ever work themselves up to that level. They are totally ineffective with regard to their primary mission. Progressives have their very own Day Of The Rope fantasies safely tucked away in an eternally unrealized dream future. They bide their time doing what progressivism is actually good at, consolidating their power: stomping out badthinking peasants, indoctrinating the population, shifting the demographics of country, making big business kowtow to social, but not economic, progressivism. It’s all very impressive looking but what will they actually have once this machine is fully tuned? You look at Occupy and its progressive stack and you realize that these people will never accomplish their primary goals, mostly what they will do in its place will be to vent their frustrations on more accessible targets of rank and file white guys. Forever. As they say, shit flows downhill. This is the tragedy of progressivism, it’s so absurdly powerful yet at the same time impotent.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    Cthulhu ftagn

    [Reply]

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    This is the tragedy of progressivism, it’s so absurdly powerful yet at the same time impotent.

    That’s no accident and it’s no different for progressive economic policies than for their social policies.

    Are their economic aims any more coherent or limited than their social aims? No – they’re just more quickly destructive so had to be abandoned if progressivism was going to survive at all.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 8:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • Zerg Says:

    “The idea that the cutting edge of effective action is going to be found outside the sphere of technological innovation is already clearly untenable” –But (1) the Metrocard machines steal my money and there are no clerks in the booths to let me through; (2) the helpdesks keep changing passwords and it’s really hard to submit grades online; (3) there are more and more words such as “Facebook” and “Reddit” that I don’t understand, and I don’t know how to do anything except ride my kick-scooter to the park anymore.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Wtf is a kick-scooter? If it’s newer than scissors I can’t use it on the Sabbath (as I’m not to use scissors). Same goes for parks.

    [Reply]

    Zerg Reply:

    I think that’s what scooters that you push along with your foot are called, but I’m not sure. I don’t know whether scooters like this are older than scissors but the Ancient Egyptians could have had them (did they have scissors?) because they had chariots. Anti-horseriding rules might apply on Shabbat, I think, via their application to bikes, unless you think of these scooters as being more like strollers, which are okay to push around inside of an eruv. Parks are grassy places inside of cities; don’t worry, it’s fine to go to them on Shabbat. Sometimes there are trees in them; these are large vegetables, even bigger than people!

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 9:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • SGW Says:

    Evola was asked a nearly identical question in an interview, so I think that it is better to let the man speak for himself.

    Question: In respect of your latest works, especially ‘Cavalcare La Tigre’, some people have spoken of a ‘neo-Evolianism’ which would seem to encourage a nihilism, a retreatism, and the renunciation of any positive action in the present world, and this has created some perplexity among some of those who have followed your writings until now. Could you clarify your position on this question?

    Answer: I do not deny that the book in question could not but draw the necessary conclusions from the negative balance of forces which is becoming more and more evident these days. Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that the book addresses a very particular human type and that it essentially deals with the problem of the inner life, of the ethic to follow as individuals in a time of dissolution.

    Some people have spoken of the book as a ‘manual for the right-wing anarchist’, and to a certain extent, this is accurate. My assertion that today there is no political system, no formation, and no party whatsoever worth devoting oneself to, and that everything existing must be denied, has disconcerted many. However, this denial and non-commitment do not derive from a lack of principles, but from the possession of principles, which are precise, solid and not subject to compromise. Nor is this the only respect in which I differ from the nihilism or the anarchism of the ‘angry young men’, the more or less defeated generation, the beats, hipsters, and such people, whose ‘no’ is not based on anything positive. In the life of today it can be appropriate, for many, to withdraw in order to settle in a more interior line of trenches, so that that which we cannot do anything about cannot do anything against us. However, the whole book does not encourage people to let themselves go, but precisely the contrary : a strict discipline of life brought to the highest point is what is outlined in it.

    On this inner, spiritual plane of the individual, what is required is the opposite of non-involvement. And I would like to draw people’s attention to the possibility that, before thinking of outer actions, often dictated by momentary enthusiasms, one should think of the formation of oneself, the action on oneself, against everything which is formless, shifty or bourgeois. In the book I have evoked, it is true, the formula of apoliteia. The word I took from the Stoics. Now, it must be recalled that this precept of detachment from a political world which, at the time of the Stoics, was already beginning to dissolve irresistibly, had a double significance for the Stoics : the fidelity to an ideal State, beyond the contingent one of men and time, and, precisely, a strict individual ethic. This is how Stoicism in Rome came, in the end, to reinvigorate what was still left of the traditional Patriciate.

    http://thompkins_cariou.tripod.com/id20.html

    [Reply]

    E.Antony Gray (RiverC) Reply:

    This is precisely in line with what admin is suggesting, though it has rhetorically re-aligned ‘inaction’ in the liberal sense as ‘action’ in a traditional sense. The notion of what constitutes ‘social action’ or ‘effectiveness’ needs to be rejiggered or it will outlive its usefulness in this context as a description.

    Another way to look at this is to consider that the threefold knot pulls outward in each direction – the force which both makes it conflict and stay knotted – the techcomm loop has little consideration for the Quality of Man, as it perhaps assumes, wrongly, against its own understanding of hbd that it will always possess a significant enough segment of good enough men to manage the development of capital and to ensure the automatons do not fail irreparably.

    Though man is above machine and God above man, the kenotic principle states that each places himself ‘below’ the other to act as failsafe, and as failsafe he is guarantor and always possesses a hard reset switch in case things go completely wrong.

    It is worth noting that each part of this uneasy synthesis has blind spots that are covered by the other two, but its characteristic members are uneasy if not unwilling to even admit this. Am I the only one to notice this?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Am I the only one to notice this?” — I don’t think so, but it recapitulates the problem intriguingly. Contributing to the dynamic tension of the Trike requires that participants don’t attempt to stand above trichotomous fragmentation. If you’re basking in transcendent unity, you’re not adding torque.

    [Reply]

    E.Antony Gray (RiverC) Reply:

    oh don’t worry, I’m pullin’

    are you pullin’

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 9:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • argus Says:

    Bein’s blog made me think of that old joke about the drunk looking for his lost car keys under a streetlamp because the light was better there than where he actually lost them. I felt sort of sorry for him after reading his inept attempt at a hit piece; I felt even sorrier after looking at his About page. That’s a Cathedral-fried brain over hard.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Our critics are degenerating.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 10:31 pm Reply | Quote
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  • Scharlach Says:

    Re: the Jacobin article

    What a quick and easy shift from attacking the super rich to attacking cops and “your run-of-the-mill racist citizen.” Hell, there wasn’t even a full transition sentence. Just some white space.

    The super rich are full of disdain? Maybe. But the far Left, whether they are rich or not, disdains at least 50% of the citizenry, and it shows, which is why there is no Left populism in the Anglosphere today.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 at 6:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Doctor Gno Says:

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    Posted on May 24th, 2014 at 11:57 am Reply | Quote
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