Flavors of Reaction

Once it is accepted that the right can never agree about anything, the opportunity arises to luxuriate in the delights of diversity. Libertarianism already rivaled Trotskyism as a source of almost incomprehensibly compact dissensus, but the New Reaction looks set to take internecine micro-factionalism into previously unimagined territories. We might as well enjoy it.

From crypto-fascists, theonomists, and romantic royalists, to jaded classical liberals and hard-core constitutionalists, the reaction contains an entire ideological cosmos within itself. Hostility to coercive egalitarianism and a sense that Western civilization is going to hell will probably suffice to get you into the club. Agreeing on anything much beyond that? Forget it.

There’s one dimension of reactionary diversity that strikes Outside in as particularly consequential (insofar as anything out here in the frozen wastes has consequences): the articulation of reaction and politics. Specifically: is the reaction an alternative politics, or a lucid (= cynically realistic) anti-politics? Is democracy bad politics, or simply politics, elaborated towards the limit of its inherently poisonous  potential?

Outside in sides emphatically with the anti-political ‘camp’. Our cause is depoliticization (or catallaxy, negatively apprehended). The tradition of spontaneous order is our heritage.  The New Reaction warns that the tide is against us. Intelligence will be required, in abundance, if we are to swim the other way, and we agree with the theonomists at least in this: if it is drawn from non-human sources, so much the better. Markets, machines, and monsters might inspire us. Rulers of any kind? Not so much.



February 19, 2013admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Uncategorized


17 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    Congrats for the new blog. Add a touch of brown and it might resemble a certain bar in Shanghai.

    I agree on the anti-politics. But I wonder how feasible it is? I am routinely outstanded by how everyone is obsessed with politics, dumb or smart.
    Then again there is some differences. Koreans are famously politicised, prone to protests and riots. Japanese, not so much. But there’s a huge movement now of antinuclear activism, fueled by incredibly stupid assumptions.

    You also see in reaction a certain substrate of middle class male activism.

    I think politics as a discipline should give way to being a mere branch of group psychology.
    As of now its a particularly obscure branch of macroeconomics.


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 3:32 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    The characterization of politics as “a particularly obscure branch of macroeconomics” certainly captures something important, but that’s probably because macroeconomics is simply politicized economics — hence its essential ghastliness and structural dishonesty.

    Do ‘political’ reactionaries really think they will ever see a politics that doesn’t in fact disgust them? That’s a genuine question. My sense of it is that there are certain recurrent examples — Singapore being the outstanding one — that figure as acceptable compromises, but that such cases give no less comfort to libertarians (e.g. Hong Kong). The idea that statist variants of reaction are intrinsically more realistic than anarcho-capitalism / libertarianism — once they proceed beyond giving libertarians a(n entirely justifiable) hard time — strikes me as yet unproven. The reaction serves to shake up models of free society, but when it comes to a positive vision of a workable regime we’re still in unconstrained science fiction.

    Any or all of (Non-royalist) Neocameralism, (Patri Friedman-style) dynamic geography / experimental government, or (Hoppean) Private Law Society would be a superb outcome IMHO, but I know a gripping SF yarn when I see one (or many) …


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 4:29 am Reply | Quote
  • Erich Says:

    Hey Nick

    When you say “The tradition of spontaneous order is our heritage” I wanted to ask you, because I am not yet familiar with much of your work (I just got Fanged Noumena a while ago), if the idea of a social organization without politics can only be possible for you within a capitalist or libertarian frame? (I ask this because of the link). Does communism or another possible “mode of production”, or anything propposed by the left, could be sided with Outside in?


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 2:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ Erich
    Communism without total coercion is a concept that doesn’t compute for me, but I’d be interested in hosting a discussion on the subject.
    As for the ‘left’ more generally, it’s easy to slip into a merely linguistic morass. SEK3 (Samuel Edward Konkin III) follows Rothbard, with even greater vehemence, in insisting that libertarianism is essentially leftist (based on the original distribution with the pre-revolutionary French National Assembly). That anticipates the positioning of Bastiat as an ‘ultra-leftist’ — not a situation readily harmonized with present political conceptions. Moldbug actually rehearses this from the other side (check out his Why I am Not a Libertarian — you can google it faster than I can serve up a link).
    Is the ‘left’ as understood today imaginable in abstraction from a political program to suppress ‘capitalist acts between consenting adults’ (Nozick’s sweet turn of phrase)? I’m seriously skeptical …


    Steven Hickman Reply:

    True… even Rothbard admitted amiability toward Chomsky back in the sixties, even though Chomsky distanced himself as far as possible from Rothbard. The only difference obviously is ‘capitalism’ itself; not the big C capitalism, but the day to day managerial to public and private life. What’s even stranger than people like Moldbug – who still aligns with the typical moralism and religious fundamentalism (even if atheistic) – is the mad dogs of the new right both European and American: http://www.counter-currents.com

    Benjamin Noys put together and interesting ensemble on Communist trends:


    Glad to see you’ve built a new blog site…


    admin Reply:

    Thanks. The freaky fascists at Counter Currents are probably too high-brow to be very dangerous, unlike — for instance — this guy.


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erich Says:

    Thanks for your quick answer.

    It is interesting the thesis that communism cannot take place without absolute coercion. I was wondering what are your main reasons to justify that. Because I think that it could be necessary based on two facts: (1) kinship is not that easy to break, so it is necessary to force collectivization of society (Fukuyama’s thesis based on biologists and social anthropologists) and (2) antagonism and dissent are inevitable so you need always to guarantee social order. I could add to that leftists never think that a group of people might not give a shit about emancipation. So coercion is necessary in order to make the understand what is historically neccesary.

    As for thinking libertarianism with the left, it is ok to take into account an historical origin. But nowadays things are very different. I know that the definitions of “right” and “left” can be a pain, but I was associating the left with social redistribution, with social and economic rights.

    Finally, I maintain too that skepticism of a left that defend a different order that of global capitalism. My question here is if it is possible to think that as the same as Fukuyama’s thesis on “The End of History”. Maybe not a strong interpretation (too metaphysical) but a pragmatic one (you commit to the thesis unless you defend concrete reforms to organize production in a different way).

    Anyway, what I wanted to asked you here, in relation to communism, is your opinion on the Marxists intellectuals that are devotedly studied in critical theory programs (for example, Badiou, Žižek, Rancière, Hardt, Negri). How relevant do you think their approaches to capitalism are or their radical “solutions” in the name of communism and emancipation?


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 8:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    Your first paragraph outlines some communist rationalizations (or explanations for the necessity) of total coercion in a collectivist social order, if I’m understanding you correctly, so we can perhaps agree that the collectivist left is basically, and even by definition, ‘the ideology of total coercion’ with some wiggle room for how it justifies that ‘to the people’. Given the (Mises) calculation problem in the socialist commonwealth,and the spontaneous emergence of micro-capitalism even inside concentration and labor camps, the reality is always going to be considerably more intrusively brutal than even the steeliest utopians envisage. And it will still fail.

    On your second paragraph, I entirely agree: to consider libertarianism a left-wing phenomenon seems sophistical (equivalent to the usage of ‘capitalism’ to mean anything other than the market order) — it’s typically the symptom of a confused political strategy. Moldbug makes the best case for doing so, which is a critical (negative) one, but to conclude that hyper-capitalism is leftist still seems a little odd.

    Fukuyama is a neo-con, using that expression neutrally rather than abusively, with an extreme evangelical confidence in liberal democracy as an optimum socio-political solution. The reasons to doubt that he is correct in this are too manifold to detail here (Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Hoppe, Moldbug and others do the work).

    As for the thinkers you link at the end, the more ‘relevant’ their approaches are, the more thoroughly screwed we’re going to be. Sadly, I expect they’re going to be plenty relevant.


    Information Theology Reply:

    Spandrell said ▬ „politics as a discipline should give way to being a mere branch of group psychology.”

    This, as you probably know, is already the case with political schemers & orchestrators. I´ll deign to mention Edward Bernays, but the science/art is as old as, and coterminous with, political management. The concept “cliché” is utterly plebeio-modernist in the worst sense, you might as well say that general electronics theory is a cliché as saying that ‘bread and circuses’ are.

    As for ‘non-romantic royalism’ — I would call that regality. E.g. studia regia. To remove bourgeoisie fluff, go roots. Modern view towards the past tends to be somewhat autistic, as if what we have documented isn´t merely a fragment of what they knew and what took place. Btw. a google of ‘studia regia’ informed us that someone made a short-film called «Exit» in 1985, which was nominated for an Oscar or something.

    Speaking of para-fascist dogs, did admin ever look into the economics of the Third Reich? Typically Neo-Nazis, even the upper tiers, have almost no Economics study, and a bridge that shows clearly from a NRx perspective how Nazi, Communist & Capitalist economics work or not, might unbrainwash hundreds. Denazification is a century-transcending process, and one more possible than decommization.

    Hyper-capitalism as leftist makes sense if compared to tzarist autarchy. In that Capitalism meets the demands of the people, while Autarchy/Tzarism — or tyranny anyway — meets only the demands of the stale, sterile & static upper class. Thus capitalism distributes, and is even more a producer & distributor of social justice.

    Kojéve already something similar.


    Information Technotheology Reply:

    Excuse me, that would better be phrased as ‘one might as well say that’.


    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 10:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • vimothy Says:

    Completely OT, but the new layout reminds me of my favourite color-theme in Emacs (Comidia)!


    Posted on February 22nd, 2013 at 12:14 am Reply | Quote
  • AnomalyUK Says:

    Oh – I didn’t realise I was supposed to be the “romantic royalist”. The romance of royalty is a useful asset, and I am unromantically in favour of maintaining it, but I’m not romantic about it myself http://anomalyuk.blogspot.com/2010/11/royal-engagement.html


    admin Reply:

    It was meant in the “wrong but romantic” sense, i.e. as near-tautological — but I’ll open up some ‘non-romantic royalist’ head-space if pressed.


    Posted on February 26th, 2013 at 9:17 pm Reply | Quote
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