This is well-done, insightful, and even comparatively civil.
Moldbug, by laying an immense foundation, was complex enough to be interpreted in very distinct manners. NRx concentrates on his economic writings and proposed solutions: stockholder sovereigns, Patchwork, block-chain protocols, exit, financial incentives, Austrianism, [Bitcoin], ‘the reset’. Alternatively, HRx concentrates on his reading suggestions and historical/international writings: Carly[l]e worship, high-Toryism/Jacobitism, classical international law, Absolute monarchy, generalist historiography, imperialism apologia, political theory, and the general aesthetic. It’s fair enough to say that neither side is willing to embrace the whole package; unless Mencius comes back and picks a side we’re going to keep on squabbling over who are his true followers. Regardless, we all agree on MM’s critiques of Democracy, bureaucracy, progressive morality, and the dominant institutions. […] I believe this dichotomy is fundamentally spiritual. NRx is a materialist ideology, post-Ancap in essence, it’s no surprise then that many Neoreactionaries started out as Marxists or Libertarians. Conversely, HRx places the metaphysical at the root of all civic affairs. With raw power politics also superseding catallaxy.
It’s not quibble proof, from the XS PoV, but it’s far closer to a cold, realistic assessment than anything we’ve seen yet. (It’s impossible for me to avoid observing, in passing, that the descent into spittle-flecked vulgarity seems to be a distinguishing characteristic of these ‘higher souls’. Is it too much to ask for just a little loftiness of tone from our political metaphysicians? Quite apart from anything else, it would actually work better.)
There are many other points of interest in the Froude Society piece. Worth noting in particular:
They reject the hero, they reject the sublime, and thus any exoteric link to the Holy on High. Moreover, they do not even pretend to have any solutions for non anglo-civilizations, we speak truths that ring true for all peoples by historical precedent, that good governance and order is always Good.
It wouldn’t surprise me, in the least, if the author of Unqualified Reservations would tilt more to the HRx camp today (although, rather weirdly, the Urbit innovator seems to have pushed even further into ‘protocol’ territory). There is certainly no assertion on our (Tech-Comm) side, that he would subscribe to the usage of his work that we find important. Nor do we, to any serious extent, care whether he would do so. Neocameral-Patchwork formalism, the theorization of fungible primary (sovereign) property, and Exit-oriented geopolitical disintegration is the commitment we have here — and without Moldbug none of that would have reached its present state of articulation. The Jacobitism, monarchist theater, objective Anglophobia, ahistorical contempt for emergent trustless governance systems, hyperbolic anti-modernism, and romantic humanism we can do without.
(The original #HRx post here might be relevant.)