Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

Freedoom (Prelude-1b)

Even in the absence of its energetic Catholic constituency, it could be tempting to identify NRx as an anti-Calvinist ideology, given the centrality of the occulted Calvinist inheritance to Moldbug’s critique of modernity. As Foseti remarks (in what remains a high-water mark of Neoreactionary exegesis):

Believe it or not, even though Moldbug’s definition of the Left is basically the first thing he wrote about, there is a fair amount of debate about this topic in “reactionary” circles. This debate is sometimes referred to as The Puritan Question. (In addition to Puritan, Moldbug also uses the terms: Progressive idealism, ultra-Calvinism, crypto-Christian, Unitarian universalists, etc.)

It is no part of this blog’s brief to facilitate the more somnolent — and at times simply derisive — positionings which Moldbug’s diagnosis can appear to open. While our Catholic friends may consider themselves to be securely located outside the syndrome under consideration, this attitude corresponds, structurally, or systematically, to a minority position (irrespective of the numbers involved). As a dissident schismatic sect, the NRx main-current is cladistically enveloped by the object of its critique. ‘Calvinism’ — in its historical and theoretical extension — is a problematic horizon, within which NRx is embedded, before it can conceivably be construed as a despised object for dismissal.

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October 29, 2014admin 31 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Beyond the Face

The Social Matter critique of the ‘Social Justice Industrial Complex’ (whose first stage has already been linked here), isolates the “tendency in human nature to over-attribute agency” as a prominent well-spring of error. In other words, people like to put a face on things — even the clouds — to such an extent that the very notion of a ‘person’ is always already fabricated. Etymologically (and not only etymologically) a ‘person’ is a mask.

As archaic hominids were selectively adapted to increasingly complicated social relations, they were facialized. The human eye acquired its white sclera, to accentuate expressivity, making the direction of attention directly communicative. With the arrival of language, gesture and expression was augmented by articulate messages. ‘Face management’ became a demanding sink for cognitive functionality, in its aspects of performance and interpretation. A new, instinctive, ‘theory of mind’ had begun to believe in persons, and — almost certainly simultaneously — to identify itself as one. This was a new kind of skin, or sensitive surface. From psychological sociality, a model of the self as a social being, self-scrutinized as an object of attention by others of its kind — which is to say, an ego — was born.

The ‘inner person’ corresponds to nothing real. The person, or socially-performed self, is essentially superficial. It is irreducibly theatrical. It exists only as the mode of insertion into a multi-player game.

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October 9, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Freedoom (Prelude-1)

The most provocative way to begin this would be to say: The reception of metaphysical inquiries into freedom and fate is often similar to that of HBD. These questions are unwanted. They unsettle too much. The rejoinders they elicit are typically designed to end a distressing agitation, rather than to tap opportunities for exploration. Not that this should be in any way surprising. Such problems tend to tilt the most basic foundations of theological, cultural, and psychological existence into an unfathomable abyss. If we cannot be sure where they will lead — and how could we be? — they wager the world without remainder. Give up everything and perhaps something may come of it.

When construed as a consideration of causality, relating a conception of ‘free will’ to naturalistic models of physical determination, the battle lines seem to divide religious tradition from modern science. Yet the deeper tension is rooted within the Western religious tradition itself, setting the indispensable ideas of eternity and agency in a relation of tacit reciprocal subversion. The intellectual abomination of Calvinism — which cannot be thought without ruin — is identical with this cultural torment erupting into prominence. It is also the dark motor of Western (and thus global) modernity: the core paradox that makes a horror story of history.

If the future is (already) real, which eternity implies, then finite or ‘intra-temporal’ agency can only be an illusion. If agency is real, as any appeal to metaphysical liberty and responsibility demands, eternity is abolished by the absolute indeterminacy of future time. Eternity and agency cannot be reconciled outside the cradle of a soothing obscurity. This, at least, is the indication to be drawn from the Western history of theological convulsion and unfolding philosophical crisis. Augustine, Calvin, Spinoza are among the most obvious shock waves of a soul-shattering involvement in eternity, fusing tradition and catastrophe as doom.

“Do you think you were predestined to become a philosopher?” Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft was asked:

Yes, of course. Predestination is in the Bible. A good author gives his characters freedom, so we’re free precisely because we were predestined to be free. There’s no contradiction between predestination and free will.

Outside in still has a few questions to pursue …

June 9, 2014admin 75 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy
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An Abstract Path to Freedom

At this thread (and in other places), commenter VXXC cites Durant’s Dark Counsel: “For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically.” He then remarks: “That’s fine with me, I’ll go with Freedom.” Outside in concurs without reservation.

Take this dark counsel as the thesis that a practically-significant ideological dimension can be constructed, within which freedom and egalitarianism are related as strictly reciprocal variables. Taking this dimension for orientation, two abstract models of demographic redistribution can be examined, in order to identify what it is that neoreactionaries want.

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July 16, 2013admin 35 Comments »
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