“I want it to be the Current Year forever.”
There have been so many happenings in 2016 my memory is starting to fragment.
Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan take out Gawker.
Sanders reveals a rift deep in the Democratic Party.
Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” speech. Clinton’s speech mentioning and breathing life into the alt-right.
The Red/Blue divide intensifies more than ever in some ways and drops more than ever in others—mostly because the only way for Trump to subsume whites under his banner was to transcend party lines. Which he did. Because as a genuine leader, he was able to earn trust in a way that no Beltway politician could fathom. Trust was the salient factor—and an under-discussed one.
The alt-right unleashes demonic deities of chaos and destruction. Whether the alt-right can handle this powerful magic remains to be seen.
The Chicago Cubs actually win the world series.
#BlackLivesMatter becomes a mainstream political force.
Constant terror attacks. Belgium. France in June. The shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando, Florida. France in July. This time with a high-capacity assault…truck. Germany in July: a knife attack by an Afghan refugee linked to the Islamic State. A Syrian refugee blows himself up in Germany in July at a music festival. Priest Jacques Hamel executed in France. The Ohio State University attack in November. The Christmas market incident in Berlin just recently in December.
Trump, in god-like fashion, seizes the election through sheer mental focus and a legendary campaign that obliterates the Bush and Clinton political dynasties and taps into the true psychic current of America, despite alienating and losing more people than perhaps was necessary. Heroic figures are also tragic figures. It’s a package deal; you get the whole basket of attributes, or nothing at all.
After mocking Romney’s proclamation in 2012 that Russia was the United States’ chief geopolitical threat, progressives have without much pause or reflection sounded the war drums and screamed for blood, since it seems as though Russia saw fit to come down against Blue Empire, even if its level of involvement in influencing the election is up for debate. Russia is now the central animating figure of the U.S. foreign policy hive in the Beltway, a target of a large amount of frenetic, hysterical energy. Interestingly, the far-right and far-left papers have downplayed the Russia connection—the far-left mostly because Russia seems too convenient an excuse for the DNC to blame the election loss on.
The NPI conference. Hailgate. Spencer’s remarkable recovery.
Twitter becomes politically self-aware and starts purging the network of alt-right accounts.
Bill Kristol steps down from the Weekly Standard. The absolutely shattered credibility of neoconservatism, which may have a chance at resurgence and influence in the Trump administration through pro-Israel advice. Maybe.
Political pundits and experts utterly embarrassed.
The destruction of U.S. foreign policy credibility in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, and the rise of Russia as the chief actor in that arena. Assad’s retaking of Aleppo, with the help of Iran and Russia. The reset relationship between Russia and Turkey, not for a minute disturbed by the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara at the opening of the art gallery.
The death of numerous boomer legends like George Michael and Carrie Fisher. And also Fidel Castro.
Now to abruptly transition to a more Social Matter-specific year review. By far, this has been our best year yet in terms of traffic (1.2 million views–more than double 2015), in terms of posts, both quality and quantity, and in terms of beginning to establish a strong, cohesive community around the site. Readers, that’s you.
We completely transformed the site’s look and feel.
We moved the Hestia Society-maintained blacklist onto the site here for easier access.
We published a Compendium of commonly used terms in neoreactionary thought, as well as the broader alt-right.
To help keep us pumping out some of the best political theory on the net, we started taking donations earlier this year via Patreon and Bitcoin. Your donations are much-appreciated. Please consider donating now, if you haven’t already. Running Social Matter takes a significant amount of sweat and blood.
I also want to take the time to highlight some particularly legendary figures involved in helping run Social Matter: Nick B. Steves and Ryan Landry. Steves’ consistent summaries every week of all the content you need to know about in the reactosphere are simply unparalleled. Landry displays a tremendous amount of breadth in the topics he covers, all of which are insightful. Sometimes it’s finance. Other times, it’s a dive into the intricacies of the Middle East from the perspective of Carlton S. Coon, an OSS officer and anthropologist from World War II. And elsewhere, it’s a first-person account of the magic and spirit of the phenomenon of The Trump Rally. Breathtaking. Read it here. And let’s not forget Weimerica Weekly. Landry invented the term Weimerica, and now you see it reverberating everywhere. It’s unstoppable. Also, remember that time that feminism started a war?
Thomas Barghest, PT Carlo, Mark Citadel, Mark Christensen, Mark Yuray, and Arthur Gordian also deserve special mention for producing solid theory. Go into the archives and read everything they’ve written here.
We’ve added a poetry and prose section run by E. Antony Gray on Saturdays, which features essays on poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound (brilliant) and grating, grinding takes on modernity by H.W. Delacroix. And let’s not forget Lawrence Glarus. Top-notch poetry.
While Ascending The Tower as a podcast doesn’t come out nearly as frequently as Weimerica Weekly, Anthony DeMarco has introduced the Solo Climb edition of ATT. And it’s already making waves.
As always, I’ve put up a list of some of the best content on Social Matter to grace the site this year. Note that there are at least a dozen other absolutely incredible pieces that couldn’t make the list, but if you have any extra time over the holidays, pay special attention to the Social Matter Twitter account, which republishes old pieces every day, or dust off the archives of the site and have a read through. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.
I mainly chose pieces for the top-15 list based on how well they reflected the zeitgeist of the year: wide-ranging pieces that weave together neoreactionary theory and strategy, in order to extract insights from intuition or current events. Every piece will knock your socks off. You can’t find this anywhere else.
Top 15 posts of 2016:
Naturally, we want to charge forward into 2017 and raise some hell. If you have any submissions, please have a look at the appropriate page and send us an email. If you have any suggestions on outreach, on content, on what you’d like to see in the future, leave a comment here. It’d be much appreciated. Regarding future content, we’ve got a new podcast focusing specifically on historical affairs that launches at the beginning of 2017. It’s going to be excellent. Stay tuned for an announcement on that front. Also, remember the Latter Day Podcasts? There will be another episode.
As just one goal, we’re going to take outreach quite seriously for 2017 year and will be funneling a good amount of resources into making this happen. We’ll see where that leads.
To our loyal and brilliant readers, this has been 2016.
Over and out for now,
Hadley Bishop and the Social Matter team.