Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Against Dialectics

Konkvistador (@SamoBurja): “I am in favor of persuading certain kinds of high IQ people. I am against doing dialectics with Progressives.”

We are not looking for agreement. We’re working to raise the level of explicit disagreement to a pitch we can split over.

Dialectics is the alternative to Dynamic Geography. Debating escape is not to escape.

December 1, 2013admin 32 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Slogans

Double Predestination

Cladistic inheritance necessitates that I begin talking about the Calvinist doctrine of Providence here (soon), despite my total cognitive depravity on the topic. I’ve been reading the Institutes of the Christian Religion, and around it, but inevitably as if from Mars (and as a Confucian). It has to be the case that many of the visitors here are vastly more intellectually fluent on the subject, so any anticipatory comments will be hungrily seized upon.

The fatality, as far as it is initially evident:

(1) Neoreaction, cladistically located, is a Cryptocalvinist splinter.

(2) The doctrines that placed Calvinism in H. L. Mencken’s “cabinet of horrors” (“next to cannibalism”), have never been philosophically dissolved, whether by theological or secular argument.

(3) The moralistic dismissal of Modernity and, through association, of Protestantism, evidences an almost incomprehensibly crude conception of Providence — as if the way things have turned out was not a fatality, and in theological terms a message (or punishment), but rather an accident, or man-made contingency. The rigorous theology of Modernity cannot reduce to mere denunciation.

(4) Calvinism is an instrument with which to explore Catholicism, especially in respect to its implicit philosophy of history (and recourse to teleological reasoning). The ‘Neo-‘ in Neoreaction appears to be a Calvinist mark. There are any number of influential secular explanations for the way history has tortured the Church — such that even the religious seem typically to default to them. Where does one find a radically providential account (excavating the theological meaning of Modernity)?

(5) Is not the very word ‘Cathedral’ in its Neoreactionary usage a complex providential sign? (Which suggests that it has far more to tell than anything either Neoreactionary writers or mere accident put into it.)

(6) The cluster of disputes around ‘predestination’ (or the action of eternity upon history) is the Occidental key to the problem of time.

I’m sure there’s much more …

[This helps to set the tone.]


November 30, 2013admin 74 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane , Philosophy , Templexity
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Neoreaction, as it tends to extremity on its Dark Enlightenment vector, frustrates all familiar demands for activism. Even if explicit anti-politics remains a minority posture, the long-dominant demotic calculus of political possibility is consistently subverted — coring out the demographic constituencies from which ‘mobilization’ might be expected. There is no remotely coherent reactionary class, race, or creed — it painstakingly explains — from which a tide-reversing mass politics could be constructed. In this respect, even the mildest versions of neoreactionary analysis are profoundly politically disillusioning.

When demotist ideologies have entered into superficially comparable crises, they have forked into ‘realist’ compromisers and ‘terrorist’ ultras. The latter option, which substitutes a violent intensification of political will for the erosion of the extensive (popular) factor, is an especially reliable indicator of demotism entering an idealist state, in which its essential ideological features are exposed with peculiar clarity. Terrorists are the vehicles of political ideas which have been stranded by a receding tide of social identity, and are thus freed to perfect themselves in abstraction from mass practicality. Once a revolutionary movement becomes demographically implausible, terrorists are born.

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November 3, 2013admin 64 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Horror , Neoreaction

European Vedism

Whilst dazzlingly ignorant about Julius Evola, I can at least partially understand the attraction his work generates for the ultra-traditionalist wing of the Outer Right. Thomas F. Bertonneau, whose essays are always worth digesting carefully, produces a typically masterful overview here.

Evola represents a significant thread of early 20th century reactionary thinking, rooted in the discoveries of historical linguistics, and the intellectual formation of an ‘Indo-European’ people corresponding to its deep cultural cladistics. The core phenomenon that supports the mystical-reactionary interpretation of history is the unambiguous process of crudification that afflicts the Indo-European languages, evident through the line of grammatical degeneration from Sanskrit, through Attic Greek, to Latin, and then into the vulgar — even structurally collapsed — tongues of the modern European vernacular. Reactionary, hierarchical, and racially-inflected ideas comparable to Evola’s are easily identified in the writings of Martin Heidegger, among many others. Historical linguistics appears to apprehend a large-scale ethnic totality undergoing prolonged cultural deterioration at the fundamental (grammatical) level. Once this is noted, progressivism appears as pure irony — and as a comic confirmation of decline.

Outside in, comparatively comfortable with chewed-up techno-commercial jargons and stripped-down communication protocols, is only minimally attentive to this particular ‘problem of tradition’ (which it registers from a position of detachment). Insofar as ‘tradition’ is invoked, however, it seems to be a highly significant reference — and its tendency to relapse the problem back to a Sanskritic (Vedic) origin is surely worthy of disciplined commentary. Kali Yuga makes a lot of sense.

November 2, 2013admin 19 Comments »
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Identity Hunger

Handle has an excellent post up on this, referencing Nydwracu, who has made a momentous project out of it. It’s huge, and old, and quite impossible to summarize persuasively. It’s also impossible to avoid, especially for the Outer Right.

Steve Sailer told a joke that I’m going to mangle. A monstrous alien invasion assails the earth, and people have to decide how to respond. The conservatives say, “What’s there to think about? We have to get together to defeat this thing.” Liberals respond: “Wait! They probably have good reasons to hate us. It must be something we’ve done. Until we work out what that is, we should prostrate ourselves before their grievances.” Finally the libertarians pipe up: “Do they believe in free markets?”

An obvious quibble arises with the libertarian punch-line: if only.  Libertarians have predominantly demonstrated an enthusiasm for alien invasion that is totally detached from any market-oriented qualification. As their argument goes — the alien invasion is the free market.  (We’ll need to return to this, indirectly.)

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September 25, 2013admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Axial Age

Karl Jaspers’ Axial Age compressed for additional impact:

Laozi (Lao Tse, 6th-4th century BC)
Kongzi (Confucius, 551–479 BC)
Li Kui (455-395 BC)
Mozi (470–c.391 BC)
Yang Zhu (440–360 BC)
Mahavira (599–527 BC)
Gautama Buddha (c.563-483 BC)
Upanishads (from 6th century BC)
Thales (of Miletus, c.624–546 BC)
Anaximenes (of Miletus, 585-528 BC)
Pythagoras (of Samos, c.570–495 BC)
Heraclitus (of Ephesus c.535–475 BC)
Aeschylus (c.525-455 BC)
Anaxagoras (c.510–428 BC)
Parmenides (of Elea, early 5th century BC)
Socrates (c.469–399 BC)
Thucydides (c.460–395 BC)
Democritus (c.460–370 BC)

I realize that everyone knows this … but what the …?

September 23, 2013admin 33 Comments »

Mou Zongsan

Jason Clower has edited an indispensable volume of Mou Zongsan’s writings (Late Works of Mou Zongsan: Selected Essays in Chinese Philosophy, forthcoming). In the first words of his introduction, he says: “If twentieth-century China produced a philosopher of the first rank, it was Mou Zongsan.” This judgment strikes me as near-irresistible. A taste (from two of the first three essays):

From Objective Understanding and the Remaking of Chinese Culture

…to adapt to the times you have to understand the times. For that you need right knowledge of the present age (xiandai 現代) … Compared to political and social activities, the influence of scholarly culture is an influence on a virtual level (xuceng 虛層), but “the virtual governs the solid” (xu yi kong shi 虛以控實) and its influence is wide and far-reaching, which is why I call it a “decisive influence.” We should not take it lightly and think that it is not an urgent matter. 


… to have objective understanding. The first step is to understand ourselves; the second step is to understand the West. Then we can look for the way out for Chinese culture, and we hope that our young friends will take on this responsibility. In its simple essentials, this responsibility is to revive the ancient meaning of Greek philosophy. Its original meaning was what Kant defined as a “doctrine of practical wisdom” (shijian de zhihuixue 實踐的智慧學). And what is wisdom? Only “yearning after the highest good” is wisdom. As most people know, philosophy is the “love of wisdom,” and the “love” in question is the kind of love that is “heartfelt yearning for that highest good in human life and constantly wanting to put it into practice.” That is why Kant called “philosophy” in its ancient Greek sense a “doctrine of practical wisdom.” The term is very apt. But this ancient meaning of philosophy has already been lost in the West. Nowadays all that is left is linguistic analysis under the conditions of advanced civilization, with logic having been reduced to applied computing. This does not actually count as philosophy, only the degeneration of philosophy into a technology. To enter into the depths of philosophy, it has to be that “love of wisdom,” the “yearning after the highest good.” But though the West has forgotten it, this sense of philosophy has been preserved in the Chinese tradition, as what the Chinese ancients called “teachings” (jiao 教). Buddhism exemplifies the meaning of “teachings” most clearly, but Confucianism has it too, as the “teaching” referred to in the Doctrine of the Mean when it says, “The understanding that arises from authenticity is called our nature, and the authenticity that arises from understanding is called teaching,” and when it says, “What heaven decrees is called our nature; following our nature is called the Way; cultivating the Way is called teaching.”  The meaning of “teaching” here is not institutional education as currently practiced, which takes knowledge as its standard. Rather, it is “philosophy,” the “yearning after the highest good” of a doctrine of practical wisdom.

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September 17, 2013admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Neoreaction
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Pacific Rim

Well-engineered, formidable, yet also lumbering constructions are directed into battle against horrific monsters, with the fate of the world at stake. Guillermo del Toro’s movie Pacific Rim is one of these entities, and the ethno-political review by ‘white advocacy’ writer Gregory Hood is another.

Within this cascade of monstrous signs, a convulsive re-ordering of the world from out of the Pacific is a constant reference. With the shocking scale of a tsunami, and the insidiousness of an obscure intelligence, it inundates the Old Order, starting from the ocean’s coastal ramparts. “When alien life entered the earth it was from deep within the Pacific Ocean. … the Breach.” City after city falls prey to the Kaiju. “This was not going to stop.”

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September 15, 2013admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , World
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The Ethno-cladistic thesis, sketchily reconstructed here from Mencius Moldbug’s neoreactionary usage, proposes that relations between cultural systems are captured by cladograms to a highly significant level of adequacy. The limits to this thesis are set by lateral complications — interchanges and modifications that do not conform to a pattern of branching descent — and these are by no means negligible. Nevertheless, actual cultural formations are dominated by cladistic order. As a consequence, cultural theories that assume taxonomic regularity as a norm are capable of reaching potentially realistic approximations, and furthermore offer the only prospect for the rigorous organization of ethnographic phenomena.

The most direct and central defense of the ethno-cladistic thesis bypasses the comparatively high-level religious systems that provide the material for Moldbug’s arguments, and turn instead to the ethnographic root phenomenon: language. Languages simply are cultures in their fundamentals, so that any approach applicable to them will have demonstrated its general suitability for cultural analysis.

I’d try to spin this out melodramatically, but I don’t think there’s really any point:

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September 6, 2013admin 57 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

TV Switch

Sean Thomas at The Telegraph:

From The Sopranos and The West Wing (the first great TV series of the new era) the Americans went on to make The Wire, Breaking Bad, House, Dexter, Grays, Walking Dead, Battlestar, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, etc etc etc; then the revolution spread to Scandinavia, with the Killing (a stupendously brilliant murder drama), Borgen, The Bridge; now the French are in on the act, with Spiral and The Returned, which you may be watching right now. […] It is, as I say, a cultural revolution: with precedents. In the way that TV drama is taking over from movies, as the most important arena of audiovisual art, it reminds me of the way the novel replaced the poem, as the primary literary form in the mid 19th century.

In broad outline, this thesis strikes me as irresistible. (I’d add Deadwood.)

July 25, 2013admin 26 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized