Posts Tagged ‘Hermeticism’

Open Secret

NRx has been accused, by its friends more than its enemies, of talking about itself too much. Here XS is, doing that again, not only stuck in ‘meta’ but determinedly pushing ever deeper in. There are some easily communicable reasons for that — an attachment to methodical nonlinearity perhaps foremost among them — and then there are cryptic drivers or attachments, unsuited to immediate publicization. These latter are many (even Legion). It is the firm assertion of this blog that Neoreaction is intrinsically arcane.

We do not talk very much about Leo Strauss. Once again, there are some obvious reasons for this, but also others.

Steve Sailer’s recent Takimag article on Strauss makes for a convenient introduction, because — despite its light touch — it moves a number of issues into place. The constellation of voices is complex from the start. There is the (now notorious) ‘Neo-Conservatism’ of Strauss and his disciples, or manipulators, and the other conservatism of Sailer, each working to manage, openly and in secret, its own peculiar mix of public statement and discretion. Out beyond them — because even the shadowiest figures have further shadows — are more alien, scarcely perceptible shapes.

Sailer’s article is typically smart, but also deliberately crude. It glosses the Straussian idea of esoteric writing as “talking out of both sides of your mouth” — as if hermetic traditionalism were reducible to a lucid political strategy, or simple conspiracy — to ‘Illuminism’, politically conceived. In the wake of its Neo-Con trauma, conservatism has little patience for “secret decoder rings”. Yet, despite his aversion to the recent workings of inner-circle ‘conservative’ sophisticates, Sailer does not let his distaste lure him into stupidity:

We haven’t heard much about Straussianism lately due to the unfortunate series of events in Iraq that befell the best-laid plans of the sages. But that doesn’t mean that Strauss was necessarily wrong about the ancients. And that has interesting implications for how we should read current works.

As the approaching 20th anniversary of the publication of The Bell Curve reminds us, the best minds of our age have reasons for being less than wholly frank.

Continue Reading

September 27, 2014admin 1,281 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane
TAGGED WITH : , , , , , ,