Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Quote note (#124)

Spandrell (here) reproduced in response to overwhelming demand:

I find interesting that when one sees Erasmus or Servetus, it’s clear that the growth of classical knowledge and the advancement of science had created a situation in which large parts of the intelligentsia in Europe had realized that Christianity was bogus.

They probably thought that rationality would prevail and that the Church would lose its power to science or something. But what happened is that screaming demagogues came out of nowhere in droves and soon dominated the ideological vacuum that incipient science had created. And what they sold was not rationality or heliocentrism, but something 10 times wackier and more violent than the Roman Church had ever been.

Fast forward to the late 18th century, and the further advances of science and history produce a new cohort of intellectuals convinced that Christianity, this time in 2 flavors is bogus. They probably thought that rationality would prevail …

but something 10 times wackier and more violent than the Puritans had ever been appeared, and won. We call it progressivism.

Fast forward to the early 21st century, and a small group of aspiring intellectuals are starting to notice that Progressivism is bogus. They probably thought …

October 29, 2014admin 14 Comments »
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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 »
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Radish does Irreligion

The Moldbuggian sublime — a crushing immensity that releases intelligence into awe-stricken ecstasy — has settled in at Radish quite decisively. The latest installment, which embeds the phenomenon of ‘New Atheism’ within the deep historical tide of revolutionary rationalist irreligion, is a masterpiece of the genre (and in its own right). After several thousand words of relentless contextualization, it is impossible to read the confused stammerings of contemporary ‘reason’ without hearing the clattering leftist ruin-ratchet beneath. “[Skeptic magazine editor-in-chief and executive director of the Skeptics Society Michael] Shermer is surprised, like Lavoisier and Condorcet before him, to find his own head upon the chopping block of Moral Progress, but no lessons are learned (2013) …”

By the time Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are led, dazed and indignant, to the scaffold of revolutionary disbelief, the entire process has an almost hypnotic inevitability. Wasn’t the cause supposed to be intellectual liberty? If, after reading this piece, such derangement doesn’t elicit morbid amusement, you’re probably going to need to read it again.

ADDED: Has Richard Dawkins lost the Mandate of Heaven?

September 23, 2014admin 18 Comments »
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Circles of Concern

A brief, perfectly balanced post at Mangan’s pulls together HBD and political history into the suggestion that nationalism is just a phase we’ve been going through.

… the paradox of nationalism is that the same forces that led to its development are leading to its denou[e]ment. But what is to be done about that I don’t know.

Some quality comments there too. You’re all welcome back here after checking it out, with any relevant responses and arguments.

Nationalism is the one modern progressive ideology that gets off the hook far too easily in NRx circles. (And “what is to be done?” is Lenin’s question, adopted from this guy. It shouldn’t be proscribed, but it should definitely be subjected to disciplined suspicion.)

September 10, 2014admin 13 Comments »
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UNESCO Man

Via Cussans (dark channels), comes this crucial document on the intersection of racial anthropology and international institutional politics. The abstract:

From 1945 and the following 20 years UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – was at the heart of a dispute in international scientific circles over the correct definition of the concept of race. This was essentially a dispute about whether the natural sciences or the social sciences should take precedence in determining the origins of human difference, of social division and of the attribution of value. The article provides an overview of the work on race carried out by UNESCO, examines the measures it took to combat racism, pays special attention to their political and social impact in various member states, and demonstrates how UNESCO played a major part in imposing a new view of man: UNESCO Man.

August 25, 2014admin 8 Comments »
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Counter-Dysgenics

Heartiste (finally) discovers Weiss.

Of Heartiste’s six proposed policy responses, #2 (introduce counter-dysgenic incentives) is the only one this blog endorse without reservation. High-IQ immigration, assortative mating, and open markets all make a positive contribution to general social competitiveness, although due theoretical deference to IQ-Shredder problems is required. His point #6 is valuable if it is inverted, to make socio-political fragmentation a primary objective, rather than a consequence, or subordinate instrumental goal. Point #5 (“Eliminate all female-friendly public policies”) is unobjectionable because all ‘X-friendly’ public policies are objectionable, and its specific emphasis is material for consideration within a disintegrated oecumenon, where polities could experiment with all kinds of things. Talented people will tend to flee a heavy-handed authoritarian state, even if it’s social policies have impressive traditional validation. Consequently, as a response to local dysgenics, the outcome of any attempt to socially engineer a restored patriarchy from the top-down is likely to be counter-productive.

Social Darwinism, seriously understood, is the theoretical default that every attempt to neutralize spontaneous selection processes (entropy dissipation) will be subverted by predictable perverse effects. It’s no more possible to suppress Social Darwinism than it is to annul the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and social philosophies which teach that this can be achieved are the strict equivalent of plans for perpetual motion machines. That’s what Weiss is explaining, as Outside in understands it. Subsumption into an effective competitive environment is the only possible response that could work to reverse dysgenic trends, and this will eventually occur, whether human politics cooperates or not. Patchwork is the gentlest way this could be realized, since it enables a multitude of societies to decide on their own levels of entropy-accumulation tolerance. (That is not, of course, to suggest that a Patchworked-world is gentle in any sense we have grown accustomed to.)

August 2, 2014admin 32 Comments »
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Pictured Power

Couldn’t resist sharing this:

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July 23, 2014admin 19 Comments »
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Greer

Anyone who isn’t yet reading The Archdruid Report really ought to be. John Michael Greer is quite simply one of the most brilliant writers in existence, and even when he’s wrong, he’s importantly wrong. His perspective is coherent, learned, and uncaged by the assumptions of progressivism. Above all, his understanding of what it means to find history informative is unsurpassed. (Over at the Other Place, there’s an unfinished Greer series that badly requires attention, with the first three installments here, here, and here.)

When escalated to the extreme, the progressive conclusion is that history can teach us nothing. Innovation is by its very nature unprecedented, and insofar as it manifests improvement, it humbles its precursors. The past is the rude domicile of ignorant barbarity. Insofar as the present still bears its traces, as shameful stigmata, they are mere remains that still have to be overcome. At the limit, the concept of Singularity — a horizon at which all anticipatory knowledge is annulled — seals the progressive intuition.

In its abstract theoretical core, at least, Greer’s Druidic counter-history is radically reactionary (far more unambiguously so than NRx). Its model of time is entirely cyclical, such that past and future are perfectly neutral between ascent and decline. Every attempt to install a gradient of improvement in the dimension of historical time is broken upon the great wheels, which balance every rise with a fall, dissolving innovation in precedent. Novelty is hubristic illusion (an exaggerated correction, in the opinion of this blog).

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July 10, 2014admin 37 Comments »
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Deep Ruin

ruin000

@MattOlver linked this gallery of classy Detroit devastation images in Time. Visions of modernity in ruins have an intrinsic reactionary inclination, irrespective of any superficial attributions of causation. They directly subvert assumptions of relentless progress, suggest cyclic perturbations in the current of history, and evoke the tragic adjustments of fate. Ruins deride hubristic pretensions. They mark an ineluctable compliance with the Old Law of Gnon.

The Left, in its thoughtful moments, at least partially understands this. Things thought buried return, while highways of confident advance are lost in dissolution. The radical imagination is broken.

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July 4, 2014admin 20 Comments »
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Gyres

This excitable but nevertheless broadly convincing application of the Strauss & Howe generational theory of historical cycles to recent news headlines is a reminder of the inevitability of story-telling. (Outside in has touched upon this particular tale before.)

The Cathedral is above all a meta-story, a secular-revolutionary usurpation of the traditional Western ‘Grand Narrative‘ (inherited from eschatological monotheism), and its survival is inseparable from the preservation of narrative credibility. As it frays, alternative stories obtain a niche. The Strauss & Howe account of rhythmic historical pattern is highly competitive in such an environment. Events subtracting from the plausibility of progressive expectations are exactly those that strengthen omens of an impending cyclic ‘winter’. Winter is coming, as popularized by Game of Thrones, might have been designed as a promotional tool for The Fourth Turning.

eye_of_the_storm

Anarchopapist begins his most recent musings on ‘The Neoreactionary Project’ by asking “What is a meme?” It is a better starting point, in this context, than the question: How correct are Strauss & Howe? Memetics subsumes questions of factual application (as aspects of adaptive fitness), but it reaches beyond them. The successful meme is characterized by aesthetic features irreducible to representational adequacy, from elegance of construction to dramatic form. Even more importantly, it is able to operate as a causal factor itself, and thus to produce the very effects it accommodates itself to. A society enthralled by its passage through the winter gate of a fourth turning would in very large measure be staging the same theatrical production its ‘beliefs’ had anticipated.

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June 18, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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