Posts Tagged ‘Reaction’

Alexander on Reaction

Foseti was persuasive enough to motivate a second look at Scott Alexander’s continuing engagement with reaction (even after the dismally unimpressive first installment).

It is indeed “awesome,” and merits a serious response (later this week?).

For an immediate response, simple translation has to suffice, stripping away the slanted “survive/thrive” language, and getting right to the point. Reactionaries think leftists are spoiled*: decadent, self-indulgent, hedonistic fantasists, debauching an inheritance they are incapable of adding to.

Degeneracy is degeneracy**, whether it’s affordable or not. To the reactionary right it looks horrible, even in the absence of zombie apocalypse (but we’re getting one anyway).

* How can a theory of left/right differentiation demonstrate such insensitive disregard for ‘the wretched of the earth’? It is that ‘problem’ — readily admitted by Alexander — that makes his explanation truly awesome. The Left has nothing to do with what the downtrodden ‘think’, and everyone — once pressed — is relieved to admit that. Now everything makes sense. We’re discussing a thought-pattern (Leftism) exclusively native to affluent degenerates, with the social sub-strata occasionally latching on, opportunistically, and uncomprehendingly.

** Yes, the word ‘degeneracy’ is historically spicy — if we were being responsible about it, it would make us nervous. Slicing diagonally through biology, culture, economics — even technology — it’s what reactionaries think socio-political ‘progress’ really is. In that respect, it’s indispensable.
So what is degeneration? — in any conversation entirely internal to reaction, that would be the central topic of discussion. (The Outside in definition: degeneracy is whatever makes you more stupid.)

ADDED: Scott Alexander paraphrased: The Right doesn’t think we can afford to degenerate, whilst the Left thinks we can.
Scott Alexander nudged: The Right decries degeneration, even when it seems (in the short term) affordable. The Left advocates degeneration (in the medium term) even when, in the short term, we obviously can’t afford it.

ADDED: ‘Survive vs thrive’ or Crunchy vs Soggy (via Glenn Reynolds)?

ADDED: Goad on fire viz affluent degenerates (via SDL in the comments).

March 17, 2013admin 2 Comments »
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Quit

Foseti writes:

There’s a lot of hand-wringing in these parts of the interwebz about what reactionaries should do.

I have no idea. I certainly have no grand plans to change the world. I like knowing what’s going on around me and I like open discussions – i.e. ones that are not choked to death by political correctness.

However, if I were to suggest a plan, I’d say tell the truth.

His (slightly) more detailed suggestions are also commendable. The Cathedral provokes reaction by mandating fantasy over reality, and there is no doubt much that could be done about that.

There is a sub-question about all this, however, which is scarcely less insistent: What do ‘we’ really want?

More cybernetics, argues the determinedly non-reactionary Aretae. Of course, Outside in agrees. Social and technical feedback machinery is reality’s (only?) friend, but what does the Cathedral care about any of that? It’s winning a war of religion. Compulsory anti-realism is the reigning spirit of the age.

The only way to get more tight-feedback under current conditions is by splitting, in every sense. That is the overwhelming practical imperative: Flee, break up, withdraw, and evade. Pursue every path of autonomization, fissional federalism, political disintegration, secession, exodus, and concealment. Route around the Cathedral’s educational, media, and financial apparatus in each and every way possible. Prep, go Galt, go crypto-digital, expatriate, retreat into the hills, go underground, seastead, build black markets, whatever works, but get the hell out.

Truth-telling already presupposes an escape from the empire of neo-puritan dreams. ‘We’ need to throw open the exit gates, wherever we find them, so the wreck can go under without us. Reaction begins with the proposition that nothing can or should be done to save it. Quit bailing. It’s done. The sooner it sinks the better, so that something else can begin.

More than anything we can say, practical exit is the crucial signal. The only pressure that matters comes from that. To find ways out, is to let the Outside in.

February 28, 2013admin 34 Comments »
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Reaction, Repetition, and Time

Whether considered within the registers of physics, physiology, or politics, ‘reaction’ is a time-structured notion. It follows an action or stimulus, which it reaches back through, in order to annul or counteract  a disequilibrium or disturbance. Whilst subsequent to an action, it operates in alignment with what came before: the track, or legacy, that defines the path of reversal, or the target of restoration. It therefore envelops the present, to contest it from all sides. The Outside of the dominant moment is its space.

Reaction forges, or excavates, an occult pact between the future and the past, setting both against the present, in concert, and thus differentiating itself from progressivism (which unites the present and future against the past), and  conservatism (which unites past and present against the future). Its bond with time as outsideness carries it ever further beyond the moment and its decay, into a twin horizon of anterior and posterior remoteness. It is a Shadow Out of Time.

There is a far more immediately practical reason for reaction to involve itself in the exploration of time, however: to take steps to avoid what it could scarcely otherwise avoid becoming — a sterile orgy of disgruntlement. Finding nothing in the present except deteriorated hints of other things, reaction soon slides into what it most detests: an impotent micro-culture of vocal, repetitive protest. This isn’t right, this isn’t right, this isn’t right quickly becomes white noise, or worse (intelligible whining). Even when it escapes the ceaseless, mechanical reiteration of a critical diagnosis (whose tedium is commensurate to the narrowed times it damns), its schemes of restoration fall prey to a more extended repetition,  which calls only — and uselessly — for what has been to be once more.

If the New Reaction is not to bore itself into a coma, it has to learn to run innovation and tradition together as Siamese twins, and for that it needs to think time, into distant conclusions, in its ‘own’ way. That can be done, seriously. Of course, a demonstration is called for …

[Note: ‘physics’ deleted from the first line to pre-emptively evade a righteous spanking from enraged Newtonians insisting upon the strict simultaneity of actions and reactions within classical mechanics]

February 19, 2013admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Templexity
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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
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