This Week In Reaction (2016/03/13)

By late week it was clear that MoveOn’s successful No Platforming of Donald Trump in Chicago was this week’s top story. (Followed by the computer winning at Go.) But Cthulu was back in the news too, and no, I’m not just talking about his Cthulu 2016 Campaign. And by Friday, I was not about to reformat the first 1000 words of this poast…

Anomalyuk reconsiders the maxim “Cthulu always swims left” on his way to A Prediction. He adds this entirely justifiable nuance to the Menciian catchphrase:

[N]obody in the system has the aim of destroying society. That is an incidental byproduct of the competition for power. When a particular leftist trend gets to the stage where the destruction of the governing institutions becomes imminent, some conservative will actually be allowed to stop it. After all, the individuals in the permanent establishment are choosing the holy policy in order to retain their power; if it comes to a choice between accepting a less holy policy or seeing the institution in which their power resides fall apart, there is less to lose by compromising on purity.

Well, it was always more rule of thumb than iron law. Indeed, the Cathedral itself is a sort of order. Just a really lousy one. So what’s the prediction?

Therefore I think [current liberal] immigration policies will be changed, drastically, and soon. The obvious chain of events would be a Trump election victory in the US leading to border enforcement, a clampdown on illegal immigrants and a reduction in legal immigration. According to my theory, that is what the Trump candidacy is all about; that means we would not expect to see meaningful changes in other areas of policy.

The interesting part of the prediction is that, things have gotten so bad, it will happen with or without a Trump win. I’m not at all confident that immigration restriction will happen in the US even with a Trump win. But things may be far worse in Europe and the UK. We may need them to lead from behind.

Prompted by Anomlyuk’s article, which classifies Thatcher Era market reforms as “rightist”, RF seeks to clarify a point on the right-left is order-chaos spectrum:

Liberalism is more left wing than communism. Especially in relation to economics.

This is an important discussion. So we might as well have it here. Now I have been more scrupulous than most in holding to a 2-D political plane spanned by the y of egalitarian (“left”) vs. hierarchical (“right”) and the x of liberal (“freedom loving”) vs. conservative (“tradition loving”). Clearly, they are not orthogonal axes. If I had to guess I’d say that the axes are separated by less than 30° of angle. But the angle is certainly not 0°. How do we know this? Because perfect freedom leads to highly unequal outcomes, and perfect equality leads to highly unfree outcomes. But the twin related fetishes of equality and freedom are disordered. Disordered because fetishes.


RF would have us believe: liberal equals left equals disorder; that free (i.e., liberal) markets for wheat represent a disorder of the same species of that found in free markets for sexual behavior. And while it is certainly disordered to suggest that a sovereign shall not set the price of wheat (because how are you gonna enforce that “shall not” except by violence?), it is also quite disordered for the sovereign to actually set the price for wheat. Doing so is highly likely to cause needless suffering, a “crime” (of sorts) against his own people that will ultimately weaken them, and if they grow weak enough provide insufficient support to the sovereign’s defense of his own office. How much disorder is engendered by wheat-price freedom? How much by penis freedom? These are left as an exercise for the student.

This is the problem when we try to collapse multiple axes onto one. There are an infinity of ways to be disordered, and only one way to be ordered: governed according to telos. An x-y Cartesian plane may not be the best way to conceive of the points of political theory. Perhaps r and θ make more sense. Let radius r be the absolute value of disorder and θ represent the direction of it (equality, victim mongering, penis freedom, wheat-price freedom, trinity denial, Will & Grace, etc.). Measuring this r for any given trend or policy will prove difficult, and will often be contingent upon circumstances. But I’m not nearly as certain as RF seems to be that privatizing the coal industry produces a greater absolute value of disorder than nationalizing it.

Late in “the week”, Lawrence Glarus has an absolutely magisterial response to the question with The Cephalization of Man. The challenge:

One of the recurring themes of the Reaction is the emphasis of judgement over systemization. This is not the pure repudiation of systemization but the reification of judgement over any systems or systems which would seek to limit it. Systems are tools to be used by capable people and not the other way around.

Beginning with a brief history of Trade, Glarus shows how the systems for deploying capital (wealth) efficiently arose in the West long before any ideology came along to valorize “economic individualism”. Following Chicago economist Frank Knight, he brings in the zoological concept of “cephalization” to analogize the process of deploying wealth skillfully in the presence of significant uncertainty. Skill (planning, judgement, executive function generally) gets concentrated in a “nerve cluster”.

The final quality of cephalization is the formation of the brain (including a centralized nervous system). In the simplest sense, this is the formation of hierarchy.

Reactionary Future wants human judgement to be privileged over systems. He’ll find it in Knights’s theory of organization:

The key insight, besides summary, that Langlois and Cosgel extract from [him] is that judgement is not contractible. That is to say, it can’t be sold, transferred, traded, serviced or borrowed. It is only by being the “head” having direct control and ownership (buy-in) that a visionary can impart their own methodology upon the body. Judgement isn’t plug in play but an integral part of the corporation. If one cannot be a judge of men then one cannot possibly hire one (thereby handing over conditional control) because you would have no aptitude to judge their ability. If one is to offer advice one cannot force the receptor of advice to act. It is only by having a stake in the process and the power to make changes that allow judgements to translate into action directly.

Reactionary Future wants sovereign judgement privileged over that of corporate heads. Not sure anyone is really disagreeing. But to treat “cephalized” wealth as a system for disorder misses the mark. By a long way. Just try decephalization on for size:

U. of Chicago economist, Frank K. Knight

U. of Chicago economist, Frank K. Knight

Without a centralized “head” the Cathedral operates much more like a sea-star. Its parts are variant but operate under the same religious framework. Each arm understands implicitly the basic rules and though they may differ in concert they move in the same pattern forms. Given there is no true sovereign the Cathedral seems to be a purely reactive and indeed determinist institution. There is no forethought, no judgement, or long term goals, merely the mechanistic unfolding of fallen instinct. The Cathedral isn’t blind per say, it has the opposite problem: a million eyes everywhere. A million eyes are great for an Orwellian state, but not so great for planning or focussing on solving a problem. Is it really surprising that a decentralized conspiracy is logically inconsistent? The Cathedral may run roughly on the same hardware but it does not think, cannot think. When one arm gets the scent of something yummy the whole system must lurch blindly along. The teleology of the Cathedral is a blind tentacled beast slowly lurching toward the smell of chaos while slowly digesting every once of yummy order and turning it into another arm.

Glarus goes on to talk about the importance of free men within the well-ordered state. I’ve quoted more than enough. So I’ll stop there. This is I think a very capable response to RF’s provocative (and ultimately wrong) assertion that economic liberalism is more disordered than communism. On the way it is a seminal contribution to neoreactionary theory and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀. RTWT.

Let’s see… what else?

Nick Land has a magisterial piece on Order and Value. We talk about Order a lot around here. Land admonishes put your political theory (and money) where your mouth is in this ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.

A piece of rhetoric which merely celebrates order, as something nice to have, is worth nothing in itself. “We want order” is the “give us free stuff” slogan of intellectually degenerated reaction. When examined closely, it is indistinguishable from political pan-handling.

The New Social Science, if indeed it is to be actual science, has basically one big question in his view:

Entropy dissipation is a problem. It might quite reasonably be considered the problem. Any serious social theory is respected insofar as it elicits the question: So how is entropy dissipated?

Crocodile farm

As per usual, Land’s combox is where most of the action is. And on this question, uncorks many talented interogators. Also at Land’s a brief Comment Odd*ty that looked for a moment like an ingenious hack, but turned out to be just an ordinary bug. And… pay no attention to wailing and gnashing of teeth outside, the study of General Intelligence seems to be on rock-solid footings. And guarded by a wide, crocodile-filled moat.

Well, just as soon as I said “there’s only one way to be ordered”, Neocolonial comes along to directly contradict me: Rightward Ho!. He avers “Right is ordered. More right is more ordered. But there are an infinite number of ways in which order can be shaped.” It’s hard to disagree with this. Perhaps I’ve gotten the sense of radius on my rθ axis backwards. This part was funny (and true):

At this time, [the maxim “No enemies to the right”] may — at the judgement of each — also mean extending grace to Dyscivic Orders that prey solely upon the Order of the Cathedral itself, while recognising that Orders of this nature will and must perish with the Cathedral.

Who says Aussies are deficient in the Gift of Euphemism?

Mark Citadel comes on to re-remphasize Guénon’s Crisis of the Modern World (1927). Citadel excerpts a lot of choice bits from René Guénon, and I’ll excerpt a choice bit from Citadel:

Another rather astounding feature of the book is the deference given Catholicism, and by extension Christianity itself, though he has stern words for Protestantism, essentially affirming a Moldbuggian theory on the Reformation. In fact, he goes so far as to say that Protestantism’s willingness to disbelieve the authority of the priests would later give rise to disbelief in the Bible itself. Far from the critical tone of Evola, or the scathing rants of Spengler however, Guénon states unequivocally that the restoration of fundamental Tradition to the West would only come in the form of a revitalized Christianity.

Weighing at only around 120 pages, it’s a fast paced read and according to Citadel, “cuts right to the point”.

Esoteric Trad has a treatise on The Maxim of the Family. He’s not willing to be in any big tent that doesn’t take the centrality of family life seriously. Neither am I.

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli

Spandrell digs up some pretty based Quotes from Benjamin Disraeli. Also this drew a lot of attention: Baby socialism. I suppose I should say something, but (strangely) I don’t have much to say. I’m inclined to agree with Yuray, i.e., that the problem is cultural and until you fix (as in slice the balls off) feminism and restore patriarchy, it’s gonna be tough to gain much ground. That said, I do think that cleverly designed state incentives can help at the margins.

Count ∅-Face and Watson conduct Episode 3 of Caligula’s Council—3 edgy 5 amazon edition. A discussion of Man in a High Castle, original recipe and extra crispy.

Reactionary Future characterizes Trump-mania as a Failure of vision. Harsh, but fair. Everyone deserves a bit of popcorn now and then. He has an extensive mash-up of Milton, Carlyle, and Moldbug in Liberty versus License. More on that subject here, in which RF praises and riffs off of Mark Christensen’s award winning essay last week.

Filed under Broken Clocks, RF finds something to agree with Žižek about: Ayn Rand.

Alrenous says, “Coercion is always negative-sum” in Anarcho-Pessimism. I’m not sure about that, but even if it, it may still be the best value for the buck. Also 42 (or so) steps to Train Yourself Out of Confirmation Bias. I lied, it’s not that many. It’s just funny when I accuse Alrenous of having a 42-step plan, because I could totally imagine that. It has approximately two steps. And they’re not that hard, but you have to want to do it. That part is hard.

Nick Land catches Spengler arguing Neocons aren’t Zionists. I suppose not. They’re worse.

Butch Leghorn runs up against an epistemological wall with Language and Genetic Self-Interest. The existence and persistence of post-hoc justifications for self-interest is probably an underexplored area of psychological research. But it doesn’t mean all human conceptual frameworks can well be explained that way.

Free Northerner, lifts off Yuray’s latest (below), and finds another leftist Trapped in the Holiness Spiral, and who knows it. And who can’t stop competing in it. Social Progress is, as they say, a jealous god.

Jim recites bit of poetry and adds some commentary Trump and assabiyah. The Ethnic cleansing in Ferguson, or just about anywhere is only a grep on the real estate listings away.

Filed under It Isn’t Really Anarcho-Tyranny When Ya Mean To Do It: The Cathedral triumphantly announces victory in the streets. Jim points out the ludicrousness of paying people $10 or $15 an hour to try to no-platform Trump. The same reason it’s illegal in NJ to pay people for blood donations:

When you try to control political outcomes using the threat of crazy black guys, crazy black guys are only a problem is no one is allowed to fight back.

Jim likes how Trump is weathering this storm, and how it may just end up turning out in his favor:

Despite the frequent and triumphant announcements of disorder at Trump events, what the voters see is someone able and willing to maintain order, who has the support of the men he needs to maintain order

And CWNY speaks Of Home, of Faith, of Europe.

This Week in Social Matter

Official This Week in Reaction Kicker-Offer Ryan Landry boots it out of the end-zone with The Other Side Of Your Human Interest Story. The story centers on pregnant mother of 3 (likely already 4) Montena Middleton. The community organizer flexing its muscles is Columbus OH ABC-6, who wants you to know: ABC-6 is On Your Side!!” The suffering is, of course, real, even if mild by historical or global standards. What goes unsaid is that most of it is entirely self-inflicted.

Pregnant mother Montena Middleton, photographed by Columbus ABC-6 On Your Side crew Feb 2016.

Pregnant mother Montena Middleton, photographed by Columbus ABC-6 On Your Side crew Feb 2016.

Did [Montena] take the first opportunity for relief to correct her missteps or build a base? No. Do not get angry at her, though. Her poor decision-making is annoying and a burden on society, but the greater evil is the system of programs that continually catch her before she falls on the bed of coals. When those programs do not work, or when social workers seethe with anger at their clients, the media is always there with a camera and a reporter just waiting to air Ms. Middleton’s grievances and hardships.

Also unsaid, Montena is reasonably articulate and not an obvious crack whore—which ideally should bode well for her. But she is victim of something more insidious than her own bad decisions: Being rewarded for them. ABC-6 On Your Side isn’t so much asking for your wallet here, as slowly by drips making it unthinkable that you could ever oppose the redistribution of your wealth to those unfortunate enough to have their pathologies rewarded. What are you racist?!!

New name P. T. Carlo comes on Monday with The Pathology Of The Conservative Mind. It is absolutely fantastic and an absolute Must Read. He documents in tremendous detail why “no other ideology is as hazardous to reactionary ends than conservatism”. But conservatives are natural allies of reactionaries, right?

The danger lies not in the inevitable confrontation with the North American Liberal enterprise; rather, like the aforementioned examples, the true danger lies in a hasty ideological marriage of convenience with modern Conservatism. Sun Tzu entreated his readers to “Know Yourself” and “Know Your Enemy,” but Tzu forgot a third and equally important commandment: “Know Thy Friend.”

As Hitler would have been better off without Mussolini, so too The Reaction® is better off without its senescent Senior Partner. Conservatism, Inc., is chock full of people who know how to PR, how to candidate, how to poll, and how to win elections. But not one in a million who knows how to win on the actual issues that concern conservatives. This isn’t a lack of strategy, but an entrenchment of an anti-strategy, one that plays directly into the hands of our left-liberal enemies. Yes enemies. Carlo explains:

Re-enactment of colonialish scene at Colonial Williamsburg

Re-enactment of colonialish scene at Colonial Williamsburg

What explains this contrast of intentions and seemingly inexplicable impotency? The liberal’s blows are vicious and thrown with intention, The conservative’s are cautious and defensive. The liberal fights to win; the conservative not to lose. The fault lies not in the political strategy and tactics, but in the very psychology and metaphysics of the conservative mind itself.

The conservative approaches tradition like a museum curator approaches a dusty box of artifacts. The goal is, first and foremost, preservation. Tradition is treated as a kind of static object, one whose properties are permanently fixed. This sterile understanding of tradition gives birth to what we can call a preservationist mentality. The preservationist task is merely to observe and maintain the object for the benefit of posterity, like a precious family heirloom. The sword of tradition will be kept polished and cataloged by the conservative, but it will never be swung. What we find here is a peculiar kind of Aristotelian fastidiousness, which obsesses over the “thing become.” In the haste to document and categorize its various attributes, it is blinded to the deeper reality of the thing’s constant “becoming.”

It is here that we find and isolate the true pathology of the conservative mind, a mind containing an imagination unable to participate in the very tradition it wishes to preserve.

Just one more time, so you’ll remember it for the test: “a mind containing an imagination unable to participate in the very tradition it wishes to preserve.” Slowclap.gif. Please read this winner of the ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀.

Mark Yuray is starting to look mighty handsome in the regular tuesday chair. (A chair formerly occupied, I might add, by the august Henry Dampier.) This week he brings an analysis of the Activism Industrial Complex entitled Apply Now: Terrorists, Rapists, And Jihadists Wanted. What could possibly signal holiness better than activism? Why, retiring from activism with an exposé about Just. How! Hard!! It is! of course.

You may think the writer is a little crazy for giving up everything for a left-wing ballot [pot] initiative. He’s not. He’s known his whole life, consciously or unconsciously, that the way to gaining power is holiness, specifically progressive, activist holiness. Power is worth infinitely more than mere money, mere family, mere time. The writer isn’t crazy; he is very sane–interpreted in a particular sense. What is crazy are the incentives that have been set up for gaining power. With sane powerless people and insane incentives, the incentives will win, and the sane and intelligent will take the insanity of the incentives to a whole new level for the sake of satisfying them.

Once you understand the psychology, Angela Merkel throwing her whole country under the multikult bus makes perfect sense. Those gold stars are very valuable in Sunday School class.

They might even get their face on the cover of TIME magazine. Sane solutions have been declared anti-democratic, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, hateful, anti-constitutional and evil a priori, so progressive solutions are the only ones allowed, even if they never work. In fact, the less they work the better – if they ever solved a problem, hundreds if not thousands of people would be out of an easy and high-status job.

How can the better of the argument compete against that?

Wednesday brings Landry’s latest Weimerica Weekly—sportzball, sportzball media, and the future of sportzball edition.

On Thursday, Michael Perilloux outlines with a surprising level of authority What’s The Neoreactionary Position On Tibet? Surprising because we’ve never heard of Perilloux before. But something tells me we’ll be hearing from him again. The statement is a pitch perfect recapitulation of Menciian Formalism:

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Manipulator of Procedural Outcomes

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Manipulator of Procedural Outcomes

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 one must care about poor Tibet, then try at least not to care too much. And preferably in private, lest one’s caring be misinterpreted as moral signaling. Perilloux earns an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.

Rounding out the week in a rare Saturday drop, Anthony and I are joined by Ryan Landry, E. Antony Gray, and DeMarco’s “normie” friend Jean Luc Deaux in another alienating episode of Descending the Tower.

This Week in 28 Sherman

Over at his primary address, Ryan Landry begins the week with a review of the documentary: Cartel Land. It is a record of the on-going unraveling of civil order in Mexico, which draws suprisingly little attention in the US Media, focused, as it is, more telescopically on the Middle East and Migrugee Crisis in Europe. For a documentary, it sounds positively post-apocalyptic.

From a technical or cinematic standpoint, the documentary is a fun ride that feels like an intense episode of COPS at times. Interviews are spaced out well to keep the pacing so you’re not always on edge watching the action. There are shoot-outs, there are interrogations and there are men cooking meth right on camera. The reveal at the end of the drug cookers from the beginning of the movie is a great summation of the entire madness in Mexico. AT no point in time do you think, “this is a great group of people we should be importing into America”.

Grerp makes appearance over at 28 Sherman with Sex, Lies, and a Bottle of Jack. Kesha Sebert apparently lost her court case to get out from her Sony recording contract. Who knew? But that’s not really what’s on Grerp’s mind. Instead:

Mascara Artist, Ke$ha

Mascara Artist, Ke$ha

It does depress me that this is what a martyr looks like these days. Young girls are Kesha’s audience. She knows that. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj – all of these women are currently fairly young and reasonably hot because they’re fairly young and nearly always dressed like hookers. They are always going on about strong and powerful young women but never seem to conceptualize fully the fleeting nature of power based on female sexual attractiveness. Also the fact that performing like a free-spirited wild child on command before the cameras isn’t true creative freedom seems to escape everyone.

This week in WW1: Henry Ford’s Peace Ship. The 1915 mission didn’t work out too well. Ford was a consistent opponent of war IIRC in WW1 and 2. A “sin” for which which he ultimately paid by endowing the Ford Foundation.

Landry seals off the week with some swipes at #NeverTrump. If only the feverish fears of Trump’s vociferous, holiness signaling opponents were true…

This Week in Kakistocracy

Over at the influential International Center for Kakistocracy Studies, Porter ponders the idea of a judiciary with Neither Force Nor Will. Mainstream conservatives, he thinks, match that description much more precisely.

On the European front, it pays to Never Be the Last Idiot. Or the country holding all the refugees, when the next nation in the gravy train decides to shore up its borders.

And Porter offers some analysis of the Trump No Platforming by paid agents of the Limousine Left with A Bad Dude:

If Alex punched Rob in the face every time he spoke, what conclusion should rational observers draw? Obviously that Rob’s conscious actions consistently result in violence, and he is therefore culpable for the harm that results to either party: QE fucking D.

Moar please…

It’s not any particular policies Trump protestors are enraged about, but who supports him. He could blandly parrot every plank from the Clinton website, and it wouldn’t temper a single low-IQ lunge. Trump is visibly supported by visibly angry whites; and that is what sends his detractors bounding like Burmese opium pellets. It is visceral tribal antipathy. And it isn’t swayed by appeals to etiquette.

It’s good while it lasts. I think it won’t last. I hope I’m wrong.

This Week in Evolutionist X
Cynthia Ann Parker and daughter Prairie Flower soon after her recapture at the Pease River in Texas

Cynthia Ann Parker and daughter Prairie Flower soon after her recapture at the Pease River in Texas

Evolutionist X picks up where she left off last week with parts four (Noble/Kin Fosterage and Ancient Rome) and five (The curious case of the trans-racial Indians) of her Adoption series. The American Indians, it turns out, had an extensive practice of “adoption”. More like abduction, but potayto-potahto right. A lot of research here, and fascinating vignettes, and entertaining commentary.

Next, a wall images instead of text: Where they burn portraits, they will burn people

Evolutionist X celebrates her 330th post with an open thread plus free links not extra charge post.

Anthropology Friday brings excerpts from Tylor’s Primitive Culture (1871), only moments before the social sciences became a self-conscious thing and thereby pozzed by Marx and Freud. Delightfully anachronistic, full of genuine curiousity and love for the subject.

This Week Around The Orthosphere

Sunshine Thiry paints 1000 words in three pictures: USDA propaganda then and now.

Briggs swims in The Stream with Scientists Say ‘The Creator’ Designed The Human Hand, Biologists Go Ape. Well, it could have been just a figure of speech.

Well, it looks like it has come to the attention of the American Statistical Association that some people are substituting “P-values for scientific reasoning” and is finally doing something about it: Issuing… A Statement. A good start, but perennial Scientific Reasoning Wet Blanket and Epistemological Party-Pooper Matt Briggs takes a fisking to it anyhow. Also, filed under Not the Onion: Feminist Glaciology because really every time is the perfect time to rail about “oppressive frameworks”.

Mark Richardson produces a fine extended meditation on On the woman question 2 – the truth of the body. Just a taste:

[T]here is something of a paradox in all this. Women were made to embody the softer virtues, but the softness makes it difficult for women to become virtuous. Men can embody the harder virtues with will and force of character. But if a woman is softly natured, she won’t have these same qualities at her disposal to direct herself toward the feminine virtues.

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and false friends closer yet. Chris Gale identifies Machine Tory Traitors. Also The bigotry of proxy outcomes:

The bigotry of successful people is stronger than that of uneducated ones, because their life stories tell them they know best.

Bonald makes a foray into the “Some Links” genre with Some links. It is, by now, a comparatively ancient observation that First Things is far more interesting reading when Republicans are out of power. Also, he finds a model for SJW motivation in the Die Hard plot narrative.

Bonald also gleans a lot of wisdom from The strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera.

Anthony Esolen comes on Imaginative Conservative to ask How Would Our Ancestors View the 21st Century? He thinks our hypothetical time-traveler, perhaps from even as near as age of the automobile, might be quite dismayed:

Teenage couple in 1940s about to go "necking".

Teenage couple in 1940s about to go “necking”.

There is a country road that straggles its way over a mountain nearby. Lovers go there and pull over at a lookout, where they listen to music and engage in what’s called “necking.” It never goes beyond that because most of them are pretty good kids and understand that bearing children is for marriage and so is the child-making thing. That understanding allows them to be there in the first place. Innocence—even such compromised and sometimes failing innocence as we possess in a healthy culture—makes for freedom. You will have to tell the audience that there is no necking anymore. You will tell them that, as a rule, it is either sex or nothing. For the worst or the weakest among us, then, there is danger and heartbreak and, eventually, the protective callus of nihilism—even the shedding of blood. For the purest among us, and the most responsible, there is loneliness.

Also there, they have up part of Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orbán’s recent State of the Nation speech. Quite inspiring for a political leader to be able (for now) to say such things. And this one touches close to the heart of The NRx: A Conservative Response to the Problems in Social Psychology.

Sydney Trads have a big big essay on Plan White – Redux. No, not that “Plan White”. This one:

With Poland now the heavier anchor of the Visegrad Group’s anti-Islamization, anti-barbarization, anti-cultural dispossession, “refugees”-refusing European resistance camp, a new multi-front war has been launched upon it, led, again, by Germany. As this time around, per Karl Marx’s clever observation, history has returned as farce, the European Union is the senior partner in the German Axis, with Francois Hollande’s France closing up the rear.

This Week… Elsewhere

Real Gary strains credulity with Monarchists For Trump. It isn’t clear that there is a path from informal power, which is what we currently have and would continue to have even if Trump started making increasingly less mild bureaucratic suggestions, to formal power, which is what a monarchy is. But it’s a fun thing to imagine.

Giovanni Dannato is disgusted by online news articles that lack comment sections.

I often see the comments attract people far smarter and more experienced than the author. The very word “journalism” sounds like something limited to an age before the internet got big. That’s because the author of an article is no longer an authority talking down to the masses. They’re now just an OP that starts a discussion thread. It’s a good public service to start a thoughtful thread that attracts smart commenters, but it’s no longer a pulpit to form others’ opinions for them.


I think that’s about right. In fact, the word “pulpit” is especially apposite. A pulpit is exactly what a mainstream journalist has. And chances are, he really not very good at sermons, and doesn’t like being reminded of it by 500 commenters, 200 of which are smarter and more learned than he (or she, as the case likely may be). And of those 200, a shockingly high number of articulate commentators who fundamentally disagree the Official Narrative™ and expose it as incoherent and corrupt. And I think that is most of the reason comboxes are becoming less common in mainstream journalism. Combox-ectomy preserves the appearance that the Media Industrial Complex is in control of what polite people are allowed to think. Also from Dannato: On Reviving Authoritarianism—a full-throated defense of it, and why it’s increasingly inevitable.

Excellent advice from Donal Graeme Don’t make excuses… Seriously. Just don’t..

Anti-Puritan puts this quite well: Obsessive Compulsive Equality Disorder.

Everything rational must be contorted to fit into the perimeters of the equality box. This is backwards. Equality is a compulsive mass-delusions, and a sickness that willfully ignores a threatening universe. It is the insane who should be justifying themselves to us, and not us torturing clean straight logic to make it fit irrational contours.

No SJW can be rationally argued out of a position which he was never argued into in the first place. Our war, as it were, is in the affective domain.

Greg Cochran considers Economics old and new and how IQ keeps playing an increasingly important role in national prosperity. Also from Cochran some musings about the “replication crisis” in social psychology. “Replication crisis” is a rather humorous euphemism for crackpot science.

Cheshire Ocelot reads Klemens von Metternich’s Memoirs and reports.

Giovanni Dannato notes Celebrities are Folk Heroes Risen Above Their Proper Place and considers appropriate ways of casting them down under a restored regime.

Brett Stevens was really good here: What the Western world can learn from the Moriori. A trip down cross-cultural history lane and a moral of the story all wrapped up together.

[T]he whole world looks at us with thinly concealed envy. It would be cruel to allow them to replace us.

French "B-Movie Babe", Yvonne Furneaux

French “B-Movie Babe”, Yvonne Furneaux

He also has some astute social and historical commentary with What really killed Flint, Michigan? Lead in the water would seem to be among the least of their worries. I think Our Elites Know Nothing mostly because they are paid to know nothing.

Alf characterizes Obama a meme-producing robot produced by Harvard’s smartest Puritan scientists. And that’s being generous. To be fair, most two term US Presidents overstay their welcome by 12 to 24 months, but Obama’s mediocrity is astounding.

Al Fin notes that gun ownership, a pro-gun philosophy, and target practice aren’t nearly enough preparation for most violent conflicts.

Over at The Mitrailleuse, James E. Miller notices a trend of Self-segregation of groups during the Third World invasion. How much more self-segregation of minority groups will it take for the Third World to be induced to stay home? I fear it will always be “just a little bit more”. Meanwhile Europeans will doubtless foot the bill.

Real Gary reproduces some Kipling in Et Dona Ferentes.

Anti-Puritan has to ask, Is Donald Trump a Hillary Plant? Part of the narrative makes sense. Especially this part:

Trump smells like the right because that is how far left we have moved. The benefit of Trump is that Trumps very existence challenges speech control. The Left has always had power over the thoughts of the American people. Walter Cronkite used to tell Americans what to think, give them a pat on the head and put them to bed.

My main problem with this theory is that I simply don’t think Hillary, or anyone working for her, is really that capable. Watching her get out-politicked by neophyte and midwitted Obama 8 years ago, was enough to convince me. And now she’s having a hard time dispensing with Sanders. This part was a very interesting observation doe:

Neoreaction understands that democracy is a left wing vector. Guess what?! A completely uncensorable internet is a right-wing vector. It appears that human judgment is naturally conservative.

Thrasymachus returns with comments on The Trumpening. He is about as optimistic about a Trump presidency as I am, which is to say not very. The interesting thing is the campaign and the kinds of people who have attached themselves to Trump’s train:

Lower-class whites are surrendering hopes of social acceptance and respectability by supporting Trump. People know they can’t say the truth, but they know it is possible for someone to say the truth.

And that’s a bigger glimmer of hope than ordinary American’s have had for quite some time.

Welp, that’s all folks! Sorry this is about a day late. We’ll try to get a jump up on the mountain (of sticky notes) next week. Keep on reactin’! Til next week, NBS… Over and out!!

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  1. I’d like to take this occasion to put in a plug for the YouTube talk that Social Matter’s very own Ryan Landry and I did with MillennialWoes this week on the subject of Weimerica and the future. I think you’ll all enjoy it. You can find it here:

    [Ed. I knew about that and listened, but since it wasn’t tied to any particular blogpost, I missed getting that in here. -NBS]

  2. Wow, there’s a lot to sort out here, but I’m going to try and articulate my sense that Reactionary Future is correct.

    Firstly and most broadly, I agree with James Kalb’s point that it is precisely the “slow death march” of liberalism which makes it so insidious. I think RF nails it that communism is a reaction within and against liberalism from a limited, materialist point of view, appealing to those displaced from more traditional social structures by liberalism and lacking belief in God because of liberalism.

    If I’m understanding the disagreement here correctly, it’s the idea that markets will be tolerated by a Reactionary sovereign because markets encourage economic corporate bodies to encephalize at the appropriate size, and therefore display a degree of order.

    That’s true, but I see RF making the more important point that only a unitary sovereign can articulate and enforce a hierarchy of moral goods, and will therefore choose when and where to allow markets when purely catallactic considerations suffice. It all comes down to sovereignty.

    Privatizing in the context of a liberal regime appears to increase order by encephalizing production at an appropriate level with a competent business leader, but at the service of a transnational market and only in terms of money. It encephalizes to serve ends beyond the sovereign, and therefore the sovereignty that a leftwing government had but was using poorly is now diffused irrevocably. Coal mines or whatever in Great Britain are now purely determined by the global market and regulations (that secretion of the bureaucratic starfish, that anti-order of illiberty) Plus, we see that even these reactionary figures in miniature, CEOs, become proxies for implementing liberal social ideas. So I think any apparent gains in order are ultimately outdone by the long death march of liberalism. Order including here social structures, families, etc., everything a sovereign would encourage as natural. Just as a sovereign would encourage markets as fitting when appropriate. The unitary sovereign has the incentive to act like a gardener, encouraging and correcting what is natural and fitting. That seems to me RF’s point. Sovereignty first, everything else will follow. Liberalism is the most anti-sovereign ideology.

    Communism was horrifyingly demotic at times, but those were the aspects of it that appealed to its enablers in the West. The anti-market power structures that crystallized were rejected by the West which can now continue to leverage markets to advance Cthulhu’s march. I would summarize my understanding of RF’s position by saying that communist countries are at least sovereign, and can therefore be saved by a true king quicker than a liberal country.

    1. Basically, yes to this comment on all points. Lawrence Glarus seems to have gotten these points as well, which makes his rebuttal not really rebuttal – I agree with everything Lawrence wrote. As for Steve’s criticism of the order-chaos spectrum, this is pure rejecton of Moldbug at source, and failure to make this clear and providing justification of it in relation to the theory raised by Moldbug is bad form. What sort of institution (Hestia) just jetisons the influence with a shrug of the shoulders and acceptance of other concepts that don‘t even fit?

      1. Purdy sure I didn’t “criticise the order-chaos spectrum”; but your idiosyncratic attempt place liberal markets, in themselves, on the chaos side relative to price setting and state ownership of the means of production. The organic state is bound to possess autonomous systems. If humans had to consciously regulate their breathing… well they wouldn’t be good for much else now would they? But to hear you tell it, you’d consider the final elimination of autonomous systems of any kind to be a Great Victory for Order.

        Interestingly, you haven’t touched patriarchy. How on earth can a Future Reactionary Ruler stand for a “Rule by Fathers” in any measurable domain? It’s liberalism qua chaos pure and simple, I tell you.

        You continue to do good work in general, but your Moldbuggier than Thou poses, when occasionally struck, are implausible. And annoying.

    2. I see RF making the more important point that only a unitary sovereign can articulate and enforce a hierarchy of moral goods, and will therefore choose when and where to allow markets when purely catallactic considerations suffice. It all comes down to sovereignty.

      A point that is absolutely agreed by everyone in NRx, and could be stated in entirely non-hysterical terms. (Like you have here, and not in a way that praises the destruction of autonomic social systems because illiberal.)

      1. No they don’t, and your failure to understand this is not productive. As for your constant claims of “Moldbuggier than Thou poses” I find no merit to it, I can only conclude you don’t really understand what Moldbug was writing, and have continually and casually just glossed over it with a form of American paleo-conservatism. That you can posit the question:
        “Interestingly, you haven’t touched patriarchy. How on earth can a Future Reactionary Ruler stand for a “Rule by Fathers” in any measurable domain?” demonstrates it. No one has rights that a sovereign does not grant. This goes for those inalienable property rights that become higher than the state in liberal capitalism, and any other claim to defense against the sovereign such as patriarchy or binding constitutions. There can be no limits placed on the sovereign but that which the sovereign is limited on by circumstances and necessity. That is the only route to a functional government. A government with no threat will by nature delegate in the form of authority to those under it as it is functional to do so, as demonstrated throughout human history. So yes, I would “consider the final elimination of autonomous systems of any kind to be a Great Victory for Order” if by autonomous systems we mean centers of power claiming autonomy from the state (Liberal capital property rights, “free markets” etc.) hence my disdain for NRx and its embracing of anarcho-capitalism, free markets, weaponised exit, geographic fragmentation and “market” sorting of migration etc. The path has gone Libertarianism -> Carlyean reaction (Moldbug) involving an understanding of power per Jouvenel, a clear machievellian analysis of the behavior of the elite and society, and the need for a state as the only vehicle for liberty —> neoreaction (Landian anarcho-cap) in which the “state” is a kind of “thing” which is autonomous and built on block chain and acts as a safe zone in which unimpeded individual sovereignty is weaponised, with guaranteed exit ensuring leftism is controlled via capital exit. (built on fairy dust and wishes, and a complete inversion of all of Moldbug with no exception so far.)

  3. Thanks for the linkage, Nick. Gutenberg has articulated some sound thinking above, and in a way more articulate than I might have managed. A little like with Zippy, I think this endless schisming is unwarranted.

    Just to touch on what Chris said above:

    “I would “consider the final elimination of autonomous systems of any kind to be a Great Victory for Order” if by autonomous systems we mean centers of power claiming autonomy from the state (Liberal capital property rights, “free markets” etc.)”

    We need to be careful in defining terms here. By ‘state’, what do we mean? In the kind of societies that Reactionary theory posits, we are speaking here of sovereigns. The power of the ‘state’ is represent in its unitary leader.
    Of course we recognize that such a sovereign should have the power of force lest he be impotent. His power must not be simply in name, but in fact as well. However, what would differentiate a good ruler from a bad ruler would be in his exercise of this power.

    Similarly, a father has the patriarchal authority over his children and his wife, but whether he uses that authority to abuse and torture or instead to guide with a firm hand as an effective patriarch, this is up to his will and determines his quality as a father.

    As I understand the general idea, and Nick can correct me on this if I’m wrong, the sovereign should grant spheres of authority where it is organic and beneficial to do so (i.e – the sensible freedom of trade and barter at markets which is necessary for healthy civilization). Just going back to the patriarchy example, one ought to see the stream of authority granted as such:

    God grants the monarch his sphere of authority over the imperium/nation/city state/what have you…

    The monarch grants the male heads of house their spheres of authority over their families…

    The male heads of house grant their wives and children their spheres of authority over themselves…

    In practical terms, these authorities must be granted by the preceding authority (they have the power in real terms), but that isn’t to say they are arbitrarily existent like ‘rights’ are. Theonomy, Heteronomy, Patronomy, and Autonomy are instead very real in that deviation in their balance and proper application will lead to suboptimal outcomes and possible disaster. At any stage in this downstream process, the authority may be scaled back or increased depending on the situation, but always keeping what is best (the organic state) in mind. It seems to me that the organic state sees the monarch granting a freedom of commerce to craftsmen in a given society, but of course within limits (it would be reasonable to give the religious body prosecutorial power over pornography distribution for example).

    I think there may be some ‘talking past each other’ at play here. There is a difference between power and authority. In real terms, of course the Moldbuggian analysis is correct about the power of the sovereign, but throughout history, ubiquitously, we see under all healthy authoritarian regimes a respect for the spheres of authority beyond the sovereign’s domain.

    1. I and all of NRx accept that view. RF keeps saying we don’t, because of arcane failures to dot i’s and cross t’s just how he’d like. That seems to be the only thing in dispute.

      1. NRx has nothing to do with Moldbug. It’s all Liberalism and Land.

        1. Too much hyperbole here.

        2. Offered this time without even hand-waving.

          I’m certain that assertion would be surprising news to Moldbug.

          Be that as it may, this is a non-hysterical rejoinder that makes perfect sense.

  4. I wouldn’t say that Cathedral is order. Its insidiousness is exactly in its anarcho-tyranny (hence, for example ban on freedom of association). It’s tyrannical, but uses its power to stamp out and prevent instances of [spontaneous] order. To quote Simone de Beauvoir quote “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

    As for Ayn Rand, talk about beating a dead horse, no one save for Objectivists even likes Ayn Rand, not even Libertarians (Rothbard considered them a crazy cult). But, considering the fact that her mere existence triggers the progs so much, I suppose she can’t be ALL bad.

    1. Jim has had nice things to say about Rand.

  5. The Dissenting Sociologist March 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Nick B. Steves:

    “There are an infinity of ways to be disordered, and only one way to be ordered: governed according to telos.”

    Les mots juste! The real problem isn’t order as against pure chaos, but the right ordering of men and things to their proper ends, in accordance with their nature. Without that qualification,mere order, considered as a brute sociological fact, is meaningless at best and downright vicious at worst. Huxley’s Brave New World is almost perfectly “ordered” as a matter of sociological fact, but profoundly disordered at right, since it permanently alienates Man from his proper ends as though some sort of man-made temporal Hell.

    Likewise, in actual history, the Puritan pedigree, in both its theistic and atheistic incarnations, stands out in the annals of human history for its prodigious production of “order” in the form of punctilious, lock-step, and almost autonomic obedience to its infinity of rules and regulations. But it has attained to this level of “order”through the most diabolical means: grotesque inflation and hypertrophy of the State apparatuses of control; elevation of legal obedience to the highest human good in radical opposition to every other moral virtue; dehumanizing techniques of indoctrination, propaganda, and surveillance; and above all, the deprecation of fatherhood and the progressive feminization of men. We have, in all this, actually sunk to the point where a bunch of barbarians and Mahometan shepherds, unruly to the point of the feral, can plausibly lecture us about our depravity.

    Mark Citadel:

    “Just going back to the patriarchy example, one ought to see the stream of authority granted as such: God grants the monarch his sphere of authority over the imperium/nation/city state/what have you…The monarch grants the male heads of house their spheres of authority over their families…The male heads of house grant their wives and children their spheres of authority over themselves”

    This sounds a lot like monarchical absolutism- considered as the primordial historical expression of the modernist, materialist/secularist doctrine of the peerless and limitless supremacy of the temporal, territorial State in all human matters. Surely you don’t mean to argue that the family legitimately exists at the mere sufferance of the Sovereign? (The Cathedral, too, continues to permit the family to exist as a public-policy expedient). Surely the family has as much Divine sanction behind it as kingship does; and surely the Sovereign is bound to recognize and respect (as opposed to merely tolerate at discretion) its proper sphere of authority, which is alloidial and not the pure creature of Sovereign will, because it is inscribed in the nature of things by the Divine author of things?

    1. Making an order against Nature (and theby Nature’s God) is to do violence to telos. It may temporarily minimize disorder in a region, but only at risk of getting flooded by it at some point in the future.

      No King may ban the rule of families by fathers any more than he can ban gravity. But just because this is true, doesn’t mean you can (or should) set up a piece of paper, or a competing entity, to “make sure” he doesn’t try.

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