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The Darkness Before the Right


A right-wing politics for the coming century is taking shape. And its not slowing down.

byParkMacDougaldSeptember28,2015

Its hard to talk seriously about something with a silly name, and
neoreaction is no exception. At first glance, it appears little
more than a fever swamp of feudal misogynists, racist
programmers, and fascist teenage dungeon master[s],
gathering on subreddits to await the collapse of Western
civilization. Neoreactionaka NRx or the Dark Enlightenment
combines all of the awful things you always suspected about
libertarianism with odds and ends from PUA culture, Victorian
Social Darwinism, and an only semi-ironic attachment to
absolutism. Insofar as neoreactionaries have a political project,

its to dissolve the United States into competing authoritarian


seasteads on the model of Singapore; theyre nebbish Nazis with
Bitcoin wallets, and theyre practically begging to be shoved in a
locker.

While not wrong, as far as it goes, the tendency of snark


tocollapse neoreaction into cyber-fascism or nerd
ressentimentmakes it tough to figure out whats actually going
on here. Its a little weirder than all that.

As the twenty-first century gets darker, politics are likely to


follow suit, and for all its apparent weirdness, neoreaction may
be an early warning system for what a future anti-democratic
right looks like. So what is neoreaction, then, exactly? For all the
talk of neo-feudalism and geeks for monarchy, its less a single
ideology than a loose constellation of far-right thought,
clustered around three pillars: religious traditionalism, white
nationalism, and techno-commercialism (the names are selfexplanatory). This means heavy spoonfuls of race realism,
misogyny, and nostalgia for past hierarchies, leavened with
transhumanism and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Unsurprisingly, they dont always get along; if you want to
preserve white racial purity, futurists trying to biohack us into a
separate species are not your long-term allies. Still, similarities
abound. All neoreactionaries reject progressivism, by which
they mean democracy, egalitarianism, and a belief in more or
less linear historical progressand even the non-white-

supremacists tend towards a hereditarian determinism that


bleeds easily into outright racism.

Most prior accounts of neoreaction have focused on Mencius


Moldbug (the blogonym of Curtis Yarvin), and with good
reason: Moldbug is the closest thing there is to a founder of
neoreaction. His book-length Open Letter to Open-minded
Progressives is the centerpiece of the NRx canon, and he
invented a number of the movements key terms and concepts.
Hes also a ponytailed programmer, whose bloggy disquisitions
invoke Thomas Carlyle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ludwig von Mises in
equal measure. You couldnt find a better metonym for
neoreactions strange blend of cultural influences, and the jokes
write themselves. But the focus on him has tended to obscure
the other, and in many ways more interesting, pole of
neoreaction: the British philosopher Nick Land.

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Land is the sort of strange, half-forgotten figure that might turn


up in an Adam Curtis documentary ten years from now. As an
academic philosopher at the University of Warwick from 1987 to
1998, he became something of an urban legend for his mix of
eldritch intellectualism and odd personal behavior. Simon
Reynolds put forward an idea of the mythos surrounding Land

in a 1999 story: That he was the center of outlandish and


possibly apocryphal stories, including speaking in numbers and
intimating demonic possession; that he presented one
conference paper as a multimedia happening, complete with
jungle soundtrack; and that he even claimed, in the delirious
preface to his book on Georges Bataille, to have returned from
the dead, a characteristic he reluctantly shared with the
Nazerene.

One of the recurrent features of accounts of Lands Warwick


years is an admiration for his reckless integrity; unorthodox,
and perhaps even slightly insane, Lands antics were not cynical
branding but a function of how seriously he took his radical
brand of philosophy. Though this alienated him from official
academia, former colleagues are effusive with praise for his
brilliance, and one, the writer and artist Kodwo Eshun, has
(according to Mark Fisher) ventured him as the most
important British philosopher of the last 20 years.

Philosophically, the nineties iteration of Land was one of the


most significant modern descendants of the sceptical and
nihilist tradition in Western philosophy. Like his heroes,
Nietzsche and Bataille, he was unremittingly hostile to the
liberal Enlightenment philosophy of Immanuel Kant, which he
saw as a failed attempt at replacing God with sacralized reason
following the collapse of religion as source of philosophical
certainty. Once set free from this religious cage, however,

thought proceeded to demolish reason as well as any other


claims to truth; for Land, Enlightenment notions of rationality,
free will, and selfhood were nave efforts to save human
consciousness (what he called the Human Security System)
from being overwhelmed by the senseless and inhuman chaos of
the universeLovecrafts shadow-haunted Outsidewhose
truth was accessible only through the communions of art, death,
ritual, and intoxication (of which Land enthusiastically
partook).

Lands greatest legacy was a philosophy now known as


Accelerationism, a heady cocktail of nihilism, cybernetic
Marxism, complexity theory, numerology, jungle music, and the
dystopian sci-fi of William Gibson and Blade Runner. Land
identified the critique that progressively dissolved all claims to
truth as the philosophical correlate of a capitalist economic
system locked in constant revolutionary expansion, moving
upwards and outwards on a trajectory of technological and
scientific intelligence-generation that would, at the limit, make
the leap from its human biological hosts into the great beyond.
For Land, as for Nietzsche, the death of God results ultimately
in the desire to be destroyed, with capitalism the agent of this
destruction. As Alex Williams writes in e-flux:

In this visioning of capital, even the human itself can


eventually be discarded as mere drag to an abstract

planetary intelligence rapidly constructing itself from


the bricolaged fragments of former civilizations. As
Land has it, through the acceleration of global
capitalism the human will be dissolved in a
technological apotheosis, effectively experiencing a
species-wide suicide as the ultimate stimulant head
rush.

If youre searching for a pop-culture comparison, Rust Cohle


meets Ray Kurzweil might be appropriate.

Lands work was neither systematic nor positioned for academic


success; it was stylish, aggressive, and polemical, and despite
some formally conventional early work, by the mid nineties,
Landian texts like Machinic Desire and Meltdown more
closely resembled philosophically dense sci-fi than anything
youre likely to find on Jstor. Though a recent generation of
philosophers such as Ray Brassier, Alex Williams, and Reza
Negarestani have begun drawing heavily on Lands work, this
was not philosophy for the conference room. In 1998, he
resigned from his position at Warwick to pursue more radical
work with a group of loyal grad students, before ditching
England altogether for Shanghai.

Land had always had an uneasy relationship with the left-wing


politics of the academy; though a Marxist of some sort, he was

an enthusiastic booster of capitalism, and tended to treat what


he saw as a hopelessly nostalgist Left with mockery and
derision. Not until his move to China, however, did Land

emerge openly as a major thinker of the far-right. The most


comprehensive account of this transformation is his twentyseven-thousand-plus word essay, the Dark Enlightenment,
where Land lays out, among other things, a long critique of
democracy. Its unfocused, but its also one of the most-read
pieces of neoreactionary writing on the web, and Land
convincingly frames neoreaction as a direct descendant of older
conservative, libertarian, and classical liberal thought. He also
provides eye-grabbing quotes, like the following, useful for
journalists attempting summary:

For the hardcore neo-reactionaries, democracy is not


merely doomed, it is doom itself. Fleeing it approaches
an ultimate imperative Predisposed, in any case, to
perceive the politically awakened masses as a howling
irrational mob, [neoreaction] conceives the dynamics
of democratization as fundamentally degenerative:
systematically consolidating and exacerbating private
vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach
the level of collective criminality and comprehensive
social corruption.

Lands case for democratic dysfunction is simply stated.


Democracy is structurally incapable of rational leadership due to
perverse incentive structures. It is trapped in short-termism by
the electoral cycle, hard decisions become political suicide, and
social catastrophe is acceptable as long as it can be blamed on
the other team. Moreover, inter-party competition to buy
votes leads to a ratchet effect of ever-greater state intervention
in the economyand even if this is periodically reversed, in the
long-run it only moves in one direction. In the U.S., racialized
poverty makes this dynamic even worse. Because smallgovernment solutions will always have a disparate impact on
minorities, they will be interpreted and stigmatized as racist.
Laissez-faire, in this view, is doomed to failure as soon as its up
for a vote. Rather than accept creeping democratic socialism
(which leads to zombie apocalypse), Land would prefer to
simply abolish democracy and appoint a national CEO. This
capitalist Leviathan would be, at a bare minimum, capable of
rational long-term planning and aligning individual incentive
structures with social well-being (CEO-as-Tiger-Mom).
Individuals would have no say in government, but would be
generally left alone, and free to leave. This right of exit is, for
Land, the only meaningful right, and its opposed to democratic
voice, where everyone gets a say, but is bound by the decisions
of the majoritythe fear being that the majority will decide to
self-immolate.

Anti-democratic sentiment is uncommon in the West, so Lands


conclusions appear as shocking, deliberate provocations, which
they partly are. But though his prescriptions for corporate
dictatorshipadopted from Moldbugare obviously radical,
the critique of democracy isnt. Land peppers his essay with
quotes from Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and resurgent
cultural hero Alexander Hamilton to drive home the point that
our Constitution is built on a similar fear of the people (a point
often made on the left), and his analysis owes much to
mainstream political scientists like Mancur Olson and Jim
Buchanan, who forwarded cynical accounts of how democratic
government largely exists to serve entrenched interest groups
and selfish bureaucrats. These men felt that (negative,
economic) freedom could only emerge through a particular
legal and political frameworkand not one to which the
population as a whole would necessarily accede. Neoreaction
simply takes this to its next logical step by scrapping the need
for electoral assent altogether. Pointing to Singapore, Hong
Kong, and Shanghai, it argues that economically and socially
effective government legitimizes itself, with no need for elections.
And this view isnt limited to the internet right. Harvards
Graham Allison has recently voiced similar opinions in The
Atlantic and HuffPo. The fact that this sentiment is out in the
open is less an aberration than a return to the norm.

This brand of authoritarian capitalism has a certain fascist


sheen, but in truth its closer to a rigidly formalized capitalist
technocracy. Theres no mass mobilization, totalitarian social
reorganization, or cult of violence here; governing will be done
by the governors, and popular sovereignty replaced by the
market Mandate of Heaven. There is a strange sort of
disillusioned cultural conservatism here as well, albeit one

absolutely stripped of moralism. In fact, whats genuinely creepy


about it is the near-sociopathic lack of emotional attachment;
its a sort of pure incentive-based functionalism, as if from the
perspective of a computer or alien. If a person doesnt produce
quantifiable value, they are, objectively, not valuable. Everything
else is sentimentality.

As an account of democracy, the Dark Enlightenment is, as


they say, problematic. Leaving aside the screaming ethical issues
(including a long portion of the essay devoted to tiptoeing
around the uglier aspects of NRx racism), there are some factual
concerns. For one, authoritarian governments dont seem to be
any more stable than democracies, and post-Citizens America,
complete with creepy worldwide drone-murder apparatus and
lawless chthonic deep state, is not exactly a democratic paradise.
And while you might argue that the left dominates Ivy League
humanities departments or the prestige media, that doesnt
equate to a vice grip on policy. Spending as a percentage of GDP
has steadily risen over the last hundred years and weve
loosened up about sex, but the trend lines for top marginal tax
rates, CEO pay, median income and union density all suggest
that any leftward ratchet is not nearly as simple as all that.

All that aside, Lands politics are not simply the lunatic ravings
of a reddit red piller; even if you hate them, they might be a
fairly realistic description of what would need to happen to
bring back laissez-faire capitalism. The most intriguing aspect of

Lands work, however, is not his political philosophy but the


dark futurism onto which it is grafted. Though his politics have
shifted considerably, and hes now more likely to cite Austrian
economists than French nihilists, Land never really abandoned
his vision of capitalisms end-game. If other neoreactionaries are
concerned with order or the preservation of the white race,
Land still sees capitalism as an inhuman machine sucking us
into a dystopian futureand his project is to prevent us from
dismantling it.

Capitalism, in this view, is less something we do than something


done to us. Contra business-class bromides about the market as
the site of creative expression, for Land, as for Marx, capitalism
is a fundamentally alien institution in which the means of
production socially impose themselves as an effective
imperative. This means simply that the competitive dynamics
of capitalism drive technical progress as an iron law. If one
capitalist doesnt want to build smarter, better machines, hell
be out-competed by one who does. If Apple doesnt make you an
asshole, Google will. If America doesnt breed genetically
modified super-babies, China will. The market doesnt run on
greed, or any intentionality at all. Its beautyor horroris its
impersonality. Either you adapt, or you die.

Accelerating technological growth, then, is written into


capitalisms DNA. Smart machines make us smarter allowing us
to make smarter machines, in a positive feedback loop that

quickly begins to approach infinity, better known in this context


as singularity. Of course, since by definition you cant reach
infinity, what this singularity actually represents is a breakdown
in the process of extrapolation; something happensa phase

shift, in cybernetic patoisthat changes the dynamics of the


entire system. This could be a system collapse, and in fact,
positive feedback loops often burn themselves out once they
consume all the inputs that made them possible in the first
place. Another option, however, is the emergence of something
totally new at a higher level of organization. An example might
be the shift from single-cell to multicellular organisms, or, more
to the point, biological to artificial intelligence.

Land thinks this shift to AI is where were headed. For someone


like Kurzweil, this intuition is suffused with a vaguely new-age
mysticism and the promise of eternal life. For Land, it basically
means species death. Land ridicules the idea that an AI vastly
more intelligent than us could be made to serve our goalsafter
all, its unlikely that we would be able to program it more
completely than evolution has programmed us with biological
drives, which we regularly defy. Attempts to stop AIs
emergence, moreover, will be futile. The imperatives of
competition, whether between firms or states, mean that
whatever is technologically feasible is likely to be deployed
sooner or later, regardless of political intentions or moral
concerns. These are less decisions that are made than things

which happen due to irresistible structural dynamics, beyond


good and evil. Land compares the campaign to halt the
emergence of AI to the Lateran Councils 1139 attempt to ban
the use of crossbows against Christians, but he could have well
cited the atomic bomb; the U.S. did it because we thought if we
didnt, the Germans would.

Of course, recognizing these trends, humans might reasonably


want to try to stop them. And according to Land, thats all
politics amounts to. The Cathedral, typically identified by
neoreactionaries as the media-academic mind-control
apparatus, is for him more like the sum total of all political
efforts to rein this machine in. He writes:

The Cathedral acquires its teleological definition from


its emergent function as the cancellation of
capitalism Progress in its overt, mature, ideological
incarnation is the anti-trend required to bring history
to a halt. Conceive what is needed to prevent
acceleration into techno-commercial Singularity, and
the Cathedral is what it will be.

The Landian meta-narrative goes like this: In the pre-modern


world, humanity was trapped by hard Malthusian limits
growth led to population increase, exhausting the food supply,
and collapsing backwards via plague or famine. Escape from

this trap became possible once capitalism generated a feedback


loop of technological and productive growth strong enough to
break free from both environmental limits and the pre-modern
religious and political structures that had kept the market from
swallowing society. This escape, however, produced crisis and
dislocation alongside material progressthe Dickensian horror
of nineteenth-century Manchester. Eventually, in the West at
least, society was able to re-embed the market in the form of
social-democratic, welfare capitalism, blunting the markets
edge by subordinating it to human needs. This is what Land
means by progress, and for him, its a world-historical
disaster.

Libertarians like F.A. Hayek have typically argued that this sort
of state intervention obliterates the price signals necessary for
economic decision-making, producing distortions and
malinvestment as an inevitable result. Land gives this a
cybernetic twistin his view, the politically motivated
management of economies negates the market feedback
necessary to sustain accelerative growth, dragging the system as
a whole back towards equilibrium, where we may once again
encounter those Malthusian limits. In this view, wherever
capitalism is taking us, the Cathedral is whats preventing us
from getting there.

In the long run, however, capitalism is hard to corral. For one,


social democracy doesnt seem to be a sustainable fix. The
golden age of the Western welfare state roughly 1945 to 1973
looks in retrospect to have been a freak accident of history. It
rested, as Thomas Piketty has argued, on a number of special
conditions unlikely to be repeated. Moreover, capital is elusive,
global, and decentralized, while political sovereignty remains
tied to bounded territorial units. Perhaps most deadly of all,
capitalism is fast, while democratic deliberation is slow. The
market generates new realities before weve even had time to
agree on what to do about the old, and this trend intensifies
exponentially (or hyperbolically) at higher levels of
technological development. As Land writes of a recent leap
forward in brain-machine interface technology:

The step from lunatic science fiction speculation to


established technoscientific procedure is increasingly
taken in advance of any engaged discussion, without
an interval for serious social reflection. Thats
acceleration as it concretely happens. Its not a new
topic for prolonged thought, its the fact that the time
for prolonged thoughtand its associated space for
collective ethico-political considerationis no longer
ever going to be available.

As with all futurism, its difficult to tell what relation any of this
has to reality. Prediction is hard. And even if wild sci-fi scenarios
are all the rage among experts, the burden of proof is on those
trumpeting the arrival of SkyNet.

Still, all signs point to us living on the cusp of some major


changes in humanity. Slavoj Zizek, the popular communist
philosopher, has identified a number of twenty-first-century
tensions he believes are insoluble within current democraticcapitalist frameworks, including ecological catastrophe and the
changes wrought by biogenetics and other sorts of technological
advance. Aside from minor quibbling over details, the
proposition that Western-style liberal democracy may be
pushed to its breaking point seems sound. If, as labor
economists argue, forty-seven percent of American employment
could soon be automated, Lands authoritarianism looks more
like a convincing account of what will be needed to preserve
capitalism rather than doe-eyed paeans to the sharing economy.

More generally, critics of capitalism have often argued that it is


an inhuman system, and that our task is to somehow subject it
to our collective political will. If we dont, it will destroy us all.
Land agrees that this is the issue at hand, but sides with
capitalism nonetheless. And if the Cathedral is the name for
attempts to throw the emergency brake on the capitalist
machine, Lands neoreaction is a sort of secular Satanism,
effectively suggesting that it would be better to just end it all

anyway. Or perhaps most frightening that we no longer even


have a choice. As the sci-fi author and artist Doug Coupland
recently put it in the FT:

The darkest thought of all may be this: no matter how


much politics is applied to the internet and its
attendant technologies, it may simply be far too late in
the game to change the future. The internet is going to
do to us whatever it is going to do, and the same end
state will be achieved regardless of human will.Gulp.

This is a startling conclusion, to be sure. Its also highly


speculative and may well be insane. But the present does offer
some glimpses of the proto-reactionary tendrils that could
coalesce into a Dark Enlightenment squid monster. For one,
related ideas are already seeping into the GOP: As Evan Osnos
recently detailed in the New Yorker, Trumps campaign is
wittingly or nota conduit for white nationalist politics to
enter the cultural mainstream, and openly NRx-affiliated
authors have begun appearing in grassroots-right media outlets
like the Daily Caller. Moreover, while the establishment right
has mostly accepted culture war defeats with grace, anger at this
surrender is obviously bubbling beneath the surface. In a
perhaps less threatening, but related phenomenon, Gamergate
and the recent Hugo Awards dramaas well as the assorted

PUA/red-pill subcultures all point to an increasingly vocal


contingent of mostly white, mostly educated, mostly men with
illiberal sympathies of their own.

The Valley is famous for its impatience with formal politics.


Rarely, however, is this as bluntly articulated as in Peter Thiels
2009 statementgleefully cited by Landthat he no longer
believe[s] that freedom and democracy are compatible. This is
an incredible statement from someone in his position, and
extremely telling. Even if Thiel is the only Valley titan brave or
stupid enough to venture that opinion in public, one can be sure
that many more privately agree. Anti-democracy, however,
doesnt need to be this explicit to be effective. Valley oligarchs
dont need to be convinced that democracy is the root of all evil,
they just need to think that our existing democratic institutions
are illegitimate or just not sufficiently optimized. Uber, in its
campaign against New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio, was
successfully able to argue that they were the true bearers of
popular will against a government beholden to special interests
and incapable of delivering service. Uber can give the people
what they want, faster and better than the state. If there needs
to be a vote, customers can do it with their wallets.

Nick Land, like Moldbug and many other neoreactionaries,


typically shuns the term fascist. Admittedly, they have some
good reasons to do so: despite NRx racism and authoritarianism,
its political economy is closer to Lee Kuan Yews Singapore than

Hitlers Reich. Yet theres a problem. Land is an elitist, more


loyal to IQ than ethnicity, and with a marked contempt for the
inarticulate proles of neoreactions white nationalist wing. But
Land himself notes that its precisely these proles that make
up most of the actual reactosphere, and that if reaction ever
became a popular movement, its few slender threads of
bourgeois (or perhaps dreamily aristocratic) civility wouldnt
hold back the beast for long. Its entirely possible that reaction
never does become a popular movementa new economic
boom, for one, would do a lot to soothe the disaffection on
which it feedsyet if it were to grow, the proposed alliance of
convenience between the tech elite and an intransigent white
identity politics begins to look a lot like the Nazi coalition of
German industrialists and a downwardly-mobile middle class.
That doesnt mean its fascism, a term both so broad and so
particular as to be all but meaningless these days, per se. But in
the twenty-first century, it may be that the Dark Enlightenment
is what we get instead.

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Park MacDougald is a writer living in Providence.

READ MORE BY PARK MACDOUGALD ON THE AWL

ACCELERATION ACCELERATIONISM BUT THERE ARE MANY ATTRACTIVE

ALTERNATIVES SUCH AS WAR BUT WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CONTENT

CONSPIRACIES IT'S GONNA BE QUITE A CENTURY NEOREACTIONARIES NICK LAND


THE FIRST GLOBAL CEO HAS PROBABLY ALREADY BEEN BORN THE NEOREACTION

THE SINGULARITY YOU MIGHT ALSO NOTICE A QUIET AGREEMENT AMONG THE TECH
ELITE THAT THERE IS NOTHING SPECIFIC TO BE DONE ABOUT THE COMING
CONFLUENCES EXCEPT WAIT

Todd McDonald (326,685)


I have no affinity for the folks about whom you are writing, but it is a shame you choose not
to have a discussion on the merits but instead rely heavily on ginning up anxiety about
politico-cultural boogie men. Your polemic is without value, and to be honest it was a waste
of the time I invested in reading it.

I dislike soviet communism, but I could be far more even handed and intellectually honest
in discussing it than this article was discussing the political right and its economic
philosophies.

Reply

largemarge (233,602)
so, you read this whole thing, links and all, and your take away is that the author
is making a clarion call for communism? huh.

Reply

Nathan Cook@facebook (326,692)


While, in point of fact, the author is a communist (though not a "soviet
communist"), Todd wasn't asserting what you claimed. (There is no
*overt* call for communism in the article.) He was making the point
that it is possible to engage a political view to which you are opposed
on a less polemical level.

Now in fact I disagree with this. I do not think it possible for a commie
to engage in disinterested discussion of, for example, the teleological
identification of capital with artificial intelligence, because
communists *have an overriding contrary interest*. But MacDougald
made a better go of it than most would have, so due credit to him.

Reply

Todd McDonald (326,685)

It is interesting the moderate comment I posted earlier doesn't appear here now. Is this
how the author of a brittle, flawed polemic copes with rational criticism?

Reply

Todd McDonald (326,685)


And now it's back again. What an interesting game!

Reply

riotnrrd (840)
You don't understand how webpages work.

Reply

@Basic_Chunnel (326,383)
At this point it seems the only people who actually believe AI is imminent are dick-tugging
forumites and the political philosophers (I've a degree in this - it's an oxymoron) who cater
to them. It's a fantasy in every scenario except those in which some functionalist theory of
mind prevails, such that anything that mimics the physical dynamics of a human brain is, in
fact, a human brain, and all human brains contain a mind, and all minds have will.

Reply

ragold (2,746)
Excellent. Most exhilarating thing I've read in a while.

Reply

Steverino53@twitter (326,690)
Nearly incomprehensible first paragraph. My takeaway- the next few decades will be
difficult for hippies

Reply

@MGTOW_Atheist (326,691)
Hi guys, I don't really agree with any of the stuff these neoreactionary people say, but I will
say this - I am a computer programmer who plays a lot of video games, hates women and
minorities, dreams of a world where opinionated white men like me make all the decisions

and have an *extremely* punchable face and I would like to distract everyone here with a lot
of semantic arguments and derail the conversation to something other than what this
article is talking about. Thanks!

Reply

@jayccc7 (326,710)
This has been eye-opening. I am of Chinese extraction, and every time I read about this
neoreaction, it sounds very close to the underlying current of East Asian pragmatism, even
up to the transhumanism.

Until now I've always thought it miraculous how a few white guys managed to arrive
independently at such a similar conclusion in just a decade. I did not know about one of its
founders' early experiences in China, which suddenly makes a lot more sense.

However, unlike pragmatism in the Far East, neoreaction has not gone through refinement,
and is still beholden to the basic constraints of Western thought. Progress, as defined by
Western Enlightenment values, is not progress. It is at best an improvement of societal
comfort, and at worst a form of societal regression. True progress is one of greater wealth
(and wealth disparity as a result), greater technology, leading to the expansion of human
occupied space, an increased harnessing of resources, and the eventual amelioration of the
species through artificial modification. Under the correct definition of progress, values
such as equality, tolerance, compassion, safety, comfort, happiness etc, are merely variables
to be optimally adjusted for serving the aforementioned goals, not infallible virtues to
strive towards. You only need enough compassion to keep society from cohesive, enough
happiness to prevent revolt, enough safety to maintain productivity. This concept is
important because both Western proponents and critics of neoreaction fall into the trap of
justifying/criticizing it based on the less important values.

The purpose of technocratic social hierarchy in pragmatic nationalism is to advance


humanity through competitive inequality and tangible, objective gains. Society are most
stable when males and dominant majority groups are privileged. Ethics is secondary.
Freedom is irrelevant. Peace is stagnation. Monarchy is the worst form of government,
except all the other forms we've tried. Even if such an authoritarian system were to cause
great suffering to myself or my family in exchange for overall progress, the idea should still
be pursued.

The Western world is mired in angst over fairly trivial social causes, as is common for
affluent societies. Dogmatic religious morality has been replaced with dogmatic humanist
morality under the guise of progress, also predictable. Both positions are backwards, and
hold undue sway over the rest of the world. Therefore, the downfall of egalitarianism and
democracy should not to be feared, but welcomed as a step towards the future.

Reply

@TJBreen (242,564)
This is a fascinating article, and very well done.

Reply

C_Z_Codreanu@twitter (326,724)
Well, i'll congratulate you for doing at least some homework, but you largely miss the boat.
The entire far right now is working in loose conjunction for a similar goal, the destruction
of the Western order, and the project of liberal enlightened democracy. It is not though,
monolithic.

Some see financial opportunities, others religious goals, and still more with ethnic aims.
What you should be aware of is that we are growing, and our theories are becoming more
involved, our critiques sharper, building off of past philosophers you didn't mention.

By any means necessary, we will restore state of affairs prior to the ancien regime. Call this
the end of the world, if you like. Most only see it as a new beginning.

Reply

C_Z_Codreanu@twitter (326,724)
*fall of the ancien regime.

Reply

mikehoncho8742@twitter (326,744)
a little turned off by the intro and conclusion, but real solid interesting read about Land &
co. Long time lefty follower of his blog; formidable opponent unlike the pitiful slime NRx
followers are

Reply

@J4CKH3CK (326,746)
very well written examination of neoreactionary thought and the diverse communities
which populate the forbidden shadow of 21st century 'politics'. truly, those attached to the
egalitarian, pseudo-socialist dreams of the 90's must pray that the 'racist police' they so

despise continue to do their jobs, and that the West continues to suck the blood out of
poorer countries, because to borrow from Guy Ritchie, Kaku's immortal liberal democracy
is on thin fucking ice, and we, the New Right, and they, the New Left, shall be under it when
it breaks.

Reply

David Friedman@facebook (327,043)


You might want to look at my _Future Imperfect_ (Cambridge University Press) for a
somewhat less dark view of the future that has a fair amount in common with Land's, in
particular the idea that, as I put it, this train is not equipped with brakes.

Reply

Nick_B_Steves@twitter (327,211)

a new economic boom, for one, would do a lot to soothe the disaffection on
which [neoreaction] feeds

I think that's right. Mind ordering one up for us?

Reply

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