What’s The Neoreactionary Position On Tibet?

A smart friend whom I consider to be familiar with neoreaction recently asked, “What is the neoreactionary position on Tibet? Are you for or against Tibetan sovereignty?”

This baffled me, because neoreaction is just fundamentally not about that kind of thinking at all. We obviously need to clarify some things:

Neoreaction doesn’t care about Tibetan sovereignty, which is an internal political issue in someone else’s empire, on the other side of the world. There is no conceivable way in which taking a “position” on such an issue could affect it, nor could that issue affect us. We are not the CCP brass or the Dalai Lama or the Tibetan people, and Tibetan sovereignty is between them and no one else. Taking such a position would only be useful to signal how hip we are with some crowd or other – to build yet another nebulous coalition of fools role-playing as world leaders.

If neoreaction is for or against anything, it is against that entire paradigm of pseudopolitics. Neoreaction is not just another label for a grab-bag of “positions” on current “issues” that autonomous “citizens” sample and take if they are to their liking. If you want that, see conservatism, liberalism, democratic socialism, libertarianism, environmentalism, etc. That way of thinking only really makes sense within the current world of democratic “political freedom,” and then only just barely. That way of thinking has failed to do anything but legitimize decay for hundreds of years.

While we’re at it, we are not for or against Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency either, except insofar as he is likely to actually clean house and lead a restoration.

In other words, is Trump likely to cancel the constitution, declare martial law, declare himself emperor to be succeeded by his children, nationalize the banks and media, hang some of the worst criminal bankers, send the Israelis back to Israel, call the National Guard to roll tanks into Harvard Yard, place all communists and other anti-American elements under house arrest, retire all government employees, replace the USG with the Trump Organization, and begin actually rebuilding America and western civilization?

Short of that, he is simply another phenomenon within the arcane workings of the system, as worthy of support as the ebb and flow of the tides. Surely, the unprecedented nature of his campaign warrants excited interest as a historical case-study and promising fore-shock of a true restoration, but he is not the king, and we have a ways to go yet.

The general idea here is that to the neoreactionary, who thinks of himself not as a citizen, but rather as a subject, the internal politics of the system is simply not our business. But where does that leave us? If neoreaction refuses politics-as-usual, then what does it accept, and what’s the point? How does all that extremism about emperor Trump, martial law, and hanging bankers fit into this idea of ignoring politics?

The thing is, paying no attention to the decaying demobureaucratic superstructure does not stem from apathy or contentment or acceptance, but from total disillusionment, followed by total disgust for having anything to do with it. We have decided that the superstructure is fundamentally broken, and any interaction with it prior to full replacement, whether that be an attempt to fight or fix it, is strategically barren. The only way out is for the system to sink itself into oblivion, and be replaced by something new built outside its bounds. A total reboot.

But if the system collapsed today, if the elites decided they were done and wanted to surrender and let someone else deal with it all, we would not be any better off, because there is no one else ready to deal with it. It would just be further chaos and disorder. Exactly the thing we are worried about. Like it or not, there is no worthy alternative to surrender to. The system is all we get until someone builds something better. This is another reason that even if we could tear down the system immediately, we shouldn’t.

So, the only way forward, then, is to build. Become worthy, as we say, so that exasperated elites have an eject button – someone more competent to surrender to on good terms. Until someone does that, our only possible avenue, and duty, is to provide some light on the horizon by building the foundation of that worthiness.

In summary, neoreaction does not care about normal politics, and does not have political positions as such, because we proceed from a basis of total disillusionment with that entire pseudopolitical paradigm. Neoreaction is not a label for a particular set of political positions; it is a project to build the intellectual underpinnings of a new structure worthy enough for the current elites to surrender to. The only thing we are “against” is the entire superstructure and its involvement in the decline of western civilization. The only thing we are “for” is a total reboot and restoration, so that our descendants can inherit the stars, instead of the mud.

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29 Comments

  1. Brilliant summary of NRx’s objective, Michael! If voting were tolerable, I would cast my ballot in favor of this piece joining the “best of.” Among all the recent discussion about defining the “Alt-Right” and what Hestia-Brand NRx’s location in the sphere is, I find it crucial that we continue to chart our own course and not get swept in the fairly strict-identity politics and shit-posting that has accompanied the rise of the Alt-Right’s “God-Emperor” Mr. Trump. Great to see pieces like this reaffirming our project.

  2. Clear and very true. Funny how it in retrospect seems so silly to hold strong opinions about what should happen in an empire on the other side of the world which you maybe visited once in your lifetime.

  3. I concur with this piece, looking forward to future posts by this author.

  4. Exactly correct as far as the point you want to make.

    There’s extension into alternative points, though. First there’s value in using places like Tibet to test the theories. Neoreaction does have a theory about how sovereignty works, and its description of Tibet should be consistent with its description of other places.

    Second your friend may have been intending to ask about this theory of sovereignty. Or similarly, intending to have the conversation flow in that direction, If not your friend, then someone soon will.

    1. Michael Perilloux March 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      I agree of course that studying the happenings of the system is useful from an educational case-study perspective. But for testing theories that are not directly about the system, historical contemporaneousness is probably an active hinderance. Better to test out theories on older history where the political radioactivity has burned out over time. For example, who in America has a “position” on Tokugawa vs Meiji Japan? Not many. But it would be fruitful to study that restoration and come to understand what happened and which parts we would like to emulate or encourage. Probably easier to avoid political bias, too.

      I noticed, though, that it’s hard to find examples of good historical case studies that aren’t charged with contemporary political slant. Everything we know about history has been selected and promoted for its political valence. And all historical events are politically “hot” in a system that bases its legitimacy on grand theories of historical progress.

      So maybe we can’t avoid studying these issues, and we can’t avoid that any kind of judgement on historical matters will look like taking a “position”, but we can mostly confine ourselves to the obscure ones where possible so that we at least are reminded that we aren’t playing the same game as everyone else.

      1. I fully agree with this perspective.

        1. Also agreed. This is well said.

  5. ConantheContrarian March 11, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I have been reading Neoreaction websites for some time now. The best action to take is to be subversive to the Cathedral while building a foundation for the Restoration. I believe it is imperative that we do not delude ourselves about human nature, body/biological, mental/psychological, and spiritual . I must admit that I look at human nature through the lens of Christianity, i.e., Man is fallen and is flawed in every aspect of his nature, the world is harsh and extracting resources from it is difficult, and there are entities who play on these weaknesses. Man must rule and be ruled based on the understanding of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Frankly speaking, I have thought a lot about this worldview and its relation to government, and I do not see the way clearly.

  6. Yeah, well… kinda.

    I’m a Gen-X’er. I get the whole “Richard said withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy” thing. Really, I do. I get not being an “activist” in the normal sense of the word. But that can easily slip into a combination of cynicism and laziness, and there’s a genuine danger of neoreaction degenerating into a group of Daria Morgendorffers writing “too cool for you” 10,000 word obscurantist tracts on some 18th century German philosopher’s interpretation of the Vedas.

    There really are things that I believe in. I’m a rightist, I believe in rightist things. I want to ban abortion, protect gun ownership rights for free citizens, keep taxes low, and all those other “conservative” ideas that National Review talked me into back when I was a kid and it was still a good magazine. And to be real honest with you, I’m getting a little pissed off by how trendy it’s getting in certain “alt-right” circles to countersignal against all of that – as if believing in those things is for rubes and snake-handlers in flyover country, and we’re all just too intellectual for stuff like that.

    So pardon me, but I feel bad for the Tibetans, and I wish they were free of the communist assholes occupying their country. I don’t know any way for my country to help them short of starting a nuclear war over it, which I am unwilling to advocate, but that is my position on the matter all the same. Is that too “activist” of me?

    1. Michael Perilloux March 11, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Obviously we prefer a moral community, low taxes, and a public trusted to defend itself. Obviously we have sympathy with other folks struggling under the boot of their own communist overlords. Obviously we should have a sense of right and wrong, as is healthy. But where do we get the idea that such sentiments must be “expressed” as “political” “positions”? That is not healthy. That is just democracy injecting its false premises into our thinking to derail us before we even begin.

      Where the democratic system screws us is in convincing even wise men that the only alternative to its well-controlled and thoroughly defanged mechanisms is cynical intellectual masturbation, or terrorism. These alternatives are obviously inferior, so most steer away from them, but even if they don’t, cynics and terrorists are politically harmless.

      I am not proposing option B (cynical signalling) over option A (muh positions). I am proposing that we reject that entire catalogue of options for political “action” offered us by the system, and do something real. Approach the problem like an elite time-travelling commando squad from the Neoroman Empire, here to civilize this world for the glory of the transtemporal imperium:

      Would Neocaesar, tasked with bringing civilization to this world, choose to work within the mechanisms of action provided and promoted by the entrenched power structure? Please. Would he sit around and signal how transtemporal he is? Neocaesar cares not for the opinions of 21st century plebs. Would he execute terrorist raids against key infrastructure? Probably not; that just riles up the system, gets him crushed, and decreses the asset value of his prize.

      Neocaesar would set absolute victory as his goal, take clear account of the nature of the power structures and historical situation around him, formulate a concrete strategy that leads to victory, and start executing. If I may speculate, I propose that his strategy would look a lot like this:

      1. Become Worthy. That is, build a new power structure under Neoroman control that is obviously superior to the current kludge.

      2. Accept Power. That is, offer a better deal to the elites of the current system to support the Neoroman empire than they would get on their own, and watch them jump ship.

      3. Rule.

      This is the furthest possible thing from intellectual masturbation. It is orders of magnitude less LARPy than any political statement containing a “we” that doesn’t have a party line, membership cards, and supporters who would lay down their lives for the cause. And yet people get confused by democracy and think it’s the other way around.

      We are not Neocaesar, but we can build the strategic and organizational foundation of his ascent so that the next time someone like Trump comes along, he can grab our kit and make a go at a real restoration instead of just running his mouth and eventually getting stymied by being one man against a superhumanly dysfunctional bureaucratic behemoth.

      1. If we say that, for example, opposition to abortion is a moral precept instead of a political position, what have we really changed other than shifting the terms by which we call something? Look, I just want abortion banned. I don’t care how we do it or who does it. Like Aristotle, I believe the laws (and when the Greeks said “laws”, they understood that to mean both the formal statutes and the customs of the polis) themselves to be far more important than the mechanisms by which they are produced. If mass democracy could produce a society that had decent laws/customs, then I would support it. If Caesar can, then I will support him. If His Majesty the King can, then I will support him. If a military junta can, then I will support them. If Hoppe/Molyneux style anarchy can, then I will support that.

        Do I understand that the fact of the matter is that I will never get what I want from a mass democracy? Of course I do – that’s why I call myself AntiDem. I style myself a monarchist because an examination of history tells me that monarchy is the system that is by far most likely to get me what I want in terms of laws/customs. But other than that I have no special attachment to it, or to the Mandate of Heaven, or to any of these high-minded theories. To paraphrase Prime Minister Erdogan, I view them all as a bus I get off of when I reach my destination. I’ll support monarchy and the kings it gives me as long as they remain the best available means for producing and maintaining the laws/customs I want. If for some reason they end up causing more harm than good, I’ll drag every last one of them to a guillotine without batting an eye over it. People get way, WAY too attached to their forms of government. Whether it’s run as a family business (monarchy) or as a publicly-traded corporation (democracy), government is just another business that provides a service. I just want good service at a reasonable price (whereas now I get horrible service at an astronomical price). That’s all.

        Back to the point about “political positions” – I suppose I agree insofar as “politics” and “democracy” are synonyms (thus making it insensible when people claim to hate politics but love democracy), and I oppose democracy for the above-stated reasons. But again, other than understanding that we will never get what we want from democracy, I’m not sure what any of that changes.

        1. Not sure if I completely follow.

          A good shoemaker is entitled to a strong opinion on how shoes should be made. However, if a shoemaker has a strong opinion on how a surgeon should operate then the surgeon is entitled to kindly remind the shoemaker that he is opining outside his domain of expertise.

          Similarly, you are entitled to a strong opinion on political matters within your sphere of influence. Outside that sphere not so much.

          1. The idea that the administration of everything by credentialed experts was going to be the key to rational and efficient governance was a keystone of the beliefs of progressives from Vladimir Lenin to Col. House. How’d that work out?

          2. Antidem the site does not allow me to directly reply to your post (to prevent longwinded discussions?) but your question merits a response.

            I’m not propagating the supremacy of rational reasoning, about which you make a valid point. I am however pointing out that might makes right and that that is all.

            To put it in other words: if you are sincere about stopping abortions in Tibet, then you either a) become a Tibetan priest and convince the people that abortions are evil or b) you become a Tibetan ruler and banish abortions.

        2. You position is not “rightist”, it’s extremely liberal and “human rights” ideology used by the enemy (the US Empire) to meddle to the internal politics of countries that do not “share your values”.

  7. Great article and follow up comments. I hope we’ll be hearing more from you.

    1. Michael Perilloux March 12, 2016 at 4:51 am

      Likewise, brah. Your Order article was top notch.

  8. Alf;

    “I am however pointing out that might makes right and that that is all.”

    I don’t think you have quite considered the implications of what you are saying there. In short: either you are wrong or you are right. If you are wrong, then you ought to go off and study some more until you see the error of your ways. If you are right, then there is no point in responding to you, nor in making any other political, philosophical, religious, historical, or logical claims, about anything, ever, as none of it matters because the answer to the questions that philosophers from Socrates to Molyneux (and religious figures from Abraham to L. Ron Hubbard) have asked for millennia about “What is right?” all have a single, simple, obvious answer: Right is whatever the guy with the biggest gun says it is.

    1. Bleh, some sentence structure issues in that one. It’s 1AM – so sue me (or better yet, incorporate an edit feature for comments).

    2. There are some gray areas we can discuss, but generally: yes, agreed.

      https://bloodyshovel.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/power/

  9. Monarch of Idaho March 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    “There is no conceivable way in which taking a “position” on such an issue could affect it, nor could that issue affect us.”

    First of all this is not true: Tibet is not in a different galaxy, it’s on Earth, an interconnected planet where, as of today, occurrences on one continent do indeed change the state of affairs on the others, often significantly so. No region on this planet is hermetically sealed, isolated in a vacuum.

    Secondly, so what? Unless you’re just signalling to self-promote, you don’t publicly “take a position” because you expect the world to magically bend to your will – you do so because you harbor a conviction about a certain matter close to your heart, and wish to express it, to convince and to converse. This has been done since time immemorial, and has nothing to do with sovereignty or lack thereof.

    Anti-stupidity is not equal to intelligence. That democracy expects you to use your Voice to affect change (political activism), doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with Voice per se. Expressing solidarity with Tibet — or with persecuted co-religionists in a far away country — is Voice, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. NRx itself is a Voice, ironically.

    Realism about the actual nature of power is not synonymous with a mindset of “we can’t control X, therefore we’re cool with whatever happens to it”. That’s making an “is” out of an “ought”. Is NRx a meta-political interpretation of Zen or Stoicism? Come on. It’s okay to care about something that happens distantly, and to Voice one’s opinion about it, be one an aristocrat or just a downtrodden prole.

    A disappointing article, overall.

    1. Anthony DeMarco March 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      “you do so because you harbor a conviction about a certain matter close to your heart, and wish to express it, to convince and to converse”

      If you are a white American or European looking to save his civilization from the brink, but the people are Tibet are close enough to your heart to warrant, essentially, “raising awareness”, you are doing it extremely wrong. In the world of telescoping priorities, Tibet simply shouldn’t be in your field of view, excepting a general understanding that Communism is evil shit, and that you hope they’ll eventually be released from their Hell. Anything further than that is just a mild case of activism.

  10. How does one become worthy? And how is that demonstrated? If we expect worthy people to be able to rule, then they should have a way to demonstrate that they are capable of ruling. I don’t see that being done via blog posts. It would seem we need to have people who have actually ruled in some fashion over other people.

    Furthermore, throughout human history, we have not seen people simply given power. Generally, they have to take it, and often they are simply the last ones standing.

    The notion that a group of people are going to cogitate on proper ruling structures and come up with the whys and wherefores of the best ruling structure sounds modernist to me. Kind of like what the founding fathers did, with the Articles of Confederation, then the Federalist Papers and then the Constitution. It sounds unhistorical and unnatural.

    Historically, there are simply groups of people who follow a particular leader: an army following a general (Caeser), a tribe following a king (Theodoric), or a horde following a khan (Genghis Khan). They are natural outgrowths of natural groups of people and are there to take power when the opportunity arises. Only after that happens do they and their successors make up rules and theories to legitimize their power.

    1. Build a domain, rule it well. Rule it so well that you have a waiting list of people wanting to get in.

    2. Good question; you’re right that worthiness will not be shown with blog posts alone. Happily, the majority of NRx recommendations go in other directions, including the one you suggest, recruiting or becoming actual rulers.

      It may be helpful to reference this older article: http://www.socialmatter.net/2014/11/14/become-worthy to understand how NRx advises to achieve and demonstrate worthiness. There’s quite a bit more out there along those lines, too, much of it worth reading.

      Historically, the line between taking power and being given power is not clean. The two go together, especially when it comes to generals, kings, and khans. Caesar is an excellent example, both for how he was given and took power insofar as he was seen as a worthy general and for how that power was ended when he was feared to be an unworthy tyrant.

  11. A question arises in how long will alternative domains last, once the ruling structure, the Cathedral as you call it, gets wind of them? They will be crushed, as the last few decades have shown. At some point, our worthies will have to fight for the right to rule their domain. So for a period of time they will have to operate under the radar, build a coalition of people willing to follow them, and know when the right time and place is for taking a stand. Otherwise, they’re infiltrated, undermined, or outright crushed. It’s too difficult to operate under the radar, because as said domains become successful and grow, they become targets. I don’t mean to be shoot down the idea, because I am all for it. However, thought needs to go into how to deal with these issues.

    1. Nonsense. There are probably many successful strategies for distinct sovereignties to go on relatively unmolested. At least two come to mind: First is to not be in competition for Cathedral power, foreswear (convincingly) political involvement entirely. The second is to be a golden egg laying goose, tends to qualify you for special overlookment. Combining both these strategies would be pretty winning.

  12. I disagree. Anything not in submission to Cathedral power will be attacked, infiltrated or undermined. We’ve seen this in the church, where even new evangelical congregations are now fully cucked. We see it in the family. A man can’t be ruler of his own family. They’ve left homeschooling pretty much alone in the US, but it’s actually illegal in many European countries. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come after it eventually. Military brass that lack the proper obesience to the latest Cathedral dogma are drummed out. The list goes on and on.

    As far as golden egg laying gooses, they get stolen by upstart beanstalk climbers.

    1. Sounds to me like you suffer from some sort of extrapolation bias. Hint: you don’t hear much about the places that the Cathedral has lacked the will or the ability to undermine. Our enemy does not have infinite resources and has already stretched them mighty thin.

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