No major news dominated the cycle this week… unless you’re counting Bill Nye (which you shouldn’t). So let’s head right to the videotape…
Shylock Holmes runs down an rabbit hole in pursuit of the arc of the moral universe in The Puritan Hypothesis Personified. Personified, i.e., in the person of (the extremely not Jewish) Theodore Parker, who lived a life so true to stereotype one could be forgiven for thinking the stereotype was based wholly upon his life.
First off, where would you guess that Theodore Parker was born? Where else, but Massachusetts! Lexington, MA, to be precise.
And for some reason, it wasn’t a big surprise to find out that the rest of his life story fits almost eerily into place.
He was an ardent abolitionist, living from 1810 to 1860.
If I told those facts alone, what might you guess about his education and profession?
Three guesses and the first two don’t count… RTWT! This was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Vincent Hannah considers The Wall—the real wall, not the symbolic one—will be A Key Test for Trump. He also has a Brief Response to Reactionary Future over Monarchy and Oligarchy. “Brief”…! LOL!!
Grey Enlightenment has a Classification of groups [that explains] the meme propagation process. And he has a nice video of Jordan Peterson—Controversial Facts about IQ: analysis.
Well wishes go out to Alf, who’s not been posting lately due to an Injury. Well… he must have gotten better, because he had a new post up in short order: The Theatre of the Mind. I’d offer my usual quibbles around the edges, but his main thrust was really good and quite correct.
Ricky [Raw] said that you may unlearn the behaviours of your false self and discover your true self. Shakespeare however said that all the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players acting their part. I’m with Shakespeare: there is no false or true self; just the self. Sometimes the self is dysfunctional, sometimes it is functional, but the self always merely is.
The Last Psychiatrist was a blogger from the same era who really understood this point. He covered the same subject, narcissism in the modern era, but in contrast to Ricky he offered no solution, just a never-ending mindfuck. This is the world, this is our narcissism, you had better accept it. We all are main characters in our movie, we care only about ourselves. This is why TLP’s pseudonym was Alone and perhaps why despite his amazing penmanship he always read like he was on the brink of a cynical breakdown.
Cynicism is the tax realism pays to duty. Also some realist thoughts on Men—Men of the MPC Variety at least. Several of whom I happen to know IRL. Totally true. Also lulzworthy.
Mark Citadel pens an hilariously named, but very deep: Schuon, Luther, and the Eternal Calvinist. With Frithjof Schuon as a guide, Citadel parses the distinctions in Protestant heresy–from comparatively mild Luther’s, through Calvin’s and Zwingli’s which are unaccountable except as a sort of primordial atheism. There’s no way I can excerpt this piece with any justice, but it is (as usual coming from Citadel) excellent and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Over at Neo-Ciceronian Times, Titus Q. Cincinnatus has a superb gem: The “New Man” and the Renovation of Aristocracy. As always, it’s suitable for normie conservatives, whilst simultaneously packing a Menciian punch. He begins with a defense of hierarchy:
One the most basic things that anyone who hopes to have a rational view of human civilisation must understand is that hierarchy is the natural state of affairs within human society. In practice, there is no human society which has not had some form of social hierarchy, however “primitive.” Even though many ancient societies were not organised into the rigid and distinct castes into which many traditional Indo-European groups were, either in tripartite (priest-warrior-commoner) or quadripartite (brahman-kshatriya-vaishya-sudra) form, virtually every society which humanity has ever produced within the past 6-10,000 years has had some form of hierarchy. Even systems (such as communism) which seek in theory to destroy hierarchy end up in practice simply reinstituting a new system of hierarchy to replace the old.
Since hierarchy is inevitable, may as well get the best at the top. And not just any old “best”…
[T]here really are bona fide ways in which the qualities of spirit and blood which inhere within a worthy individual may be recognised, thus allowing them to be brought into the aristocratic class and who may then serve to reinvigourate what may be a decaying body within a nation and civilisation. For a man to be recognised as one who deserves to be a novus homo and to qualify as a recognised member of that aristocratic “race of the blood,” he must demonstrate the possession of qualities pertaining to a natural aristocrat who seeks to perfect his already exemplary qualities of spirit, soul, and body.
The normal way is through martial prowess. But Cincinnatus focus on yet another—not at all a new path—”superlative service to the sovereign. So long as it doesn’t turn out to be mere “advice”, which oh-by-the-way happens to line the servant’s pocket with shekels.
For neoreactionaries, a guiding principle is “become worthy, accept power, rule.” As such, and if they are really serious about this principle, then in practice for most this will involve following the path of the novus homo. If we ever do see the replacement of the current morass of democracy, socialism, liberalism, plutocracy, and monergocapitalism with a return to the older aristocratic ways, this will be the time when that guiding principle can be put into practice. A new order will require a new aristocratic class of genuinely superior men to fill the vacuum left by the old.
Fantastic work from Titus Cincinnatus who earns an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀ for his work here.
Alrenous reviews the Basilisk Incident: Dumb or Smart? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.
Dividuals awakens from an extended winter’s nap with a response to (idiot lefty tool) Paul Engelhard and the lunatic fringe, with some big borrows from the late Larry Auster… who did not in fact believe “Jesus rode around on dinosaurs.” (Nor does anyone, AFAIK.)
Spandrell considers Ivanka’s Conundrum.
Antidem finds an object lesson in The Christmas Bullet. Dr. William Wallace Whitney Christmas, that is.
By way of Isegoria… a rather remarkable case of separated identical twins; this was cool and a bit scary: Watch DARPA’s 24-Prop Prototype Plane Transform In Flight; and nice to see someone finally noticing: School has become an abnormal setting for children.
Finally, This Week in Cambria Will Not Yield… There Are None So Blind. A merciless (and well-deserved) artillery bombardment upon abstract reason:
As with my tonsils, so it was with the faith of the European people. Before removing the faith of the European people, it was necessary to give them a moral anesthetic so that the pain of the operation would not make them resist and cling tenaciously to their faith. Without the moral anesthetic, the liberals would have found themselves in the same position vis-à-vis the people as Socrates. He upheld the ‘dialectic’ against the gods of Greece, and as a result he was ordered to drink that Hemlock cocktail.
I was brought up to believe that Socrates was the good guy and the Greeks who sentenced him to death were the bad guys, but Socrates was guilty as charged. He was undermining the people’s faith in their gods, by placing abstract reason above the gods. He was, as Richard Weaver points out in his book Visions of Order, “attacking an ultimate source of cohesion in the interest of a doctrine which can issue only in nullity.”
This Week in Jim Donald
An abbreviated Week in Jim this week as he has, I am advised, some major things going on IRL. First meditations On fighting in the streets.
The left does not win by fighting in the streets. Believing that is left wing propaganda and Whig history.
The left faction of the permanent government uses this myth to seize power from the traditional and legitimate government. They put rioters in the streets, forbid the army and the police from dealing with them, and then cry out, while the Czar is away at the front…
He thinks the real war is aways off. But not that far aways…
War is about seven years off, give or take a few years. A skirmish is a reconnaissance in force. You provoke the enemy into revealing his capabilities and intentions, while trying to conceal your own capabilities and intentions.
Surely, you jest, Jim! Nope…
The proportion of the population that are deemed fascists has been steadily and rapidly growing, and has now reached about half, with the overwhelming majority of whites being “fascists”. The view that whites should somehow not be around any more is mainstream and high status, arguably the highest status view within the left, though not yet the official view of the left in power, not yet a required belief of the regnant left.
The view that this should be accomplished by violent and deadly means is not yet high status—it is a supposedly crazy fringe view—or at least saying it out loud is a supposedly crazy fringe view, though snarkily implying it is just fine.
He likes how the right is faring thus far in testing skirmishes, but sees the battle to get rid of the Permanent Government as the real one.
Jim also has a detailed view of The Trump Aesthetic. He sees it as more Regency and less Puritan.
In deprecating the Puritan virtue of simplicity and modesty, it is mildly reactionary, and opens the door for more severe deprecation of the Puritan virtues in future.
While brutalist architecture announces its modesty with trumpets and cymbals, there is nothing humble or modest about brutalism. These unadorned boxes, because they lack small details, are larger than human scale, thus have a message, and that message is “I am mighty, I am vast, You are tiny. You are insignificant. You shall submit and I will crush you.”
Trump’s towers are not a total break with brutalism. They still rely heavily on giant undecorated colorless boxes of glass and steel, but the giant undecorated boxes are substantially smaller, and there is decoration, the minimum necessary decoration, to connect the human scale to the giant undecorated box scale, and this colorful and ostentatious decoration is a towel snapped in the face of the Puritan Aesthetic. Trump is a status challenge to Puritanism, as Beau Brummel was a status challenge to monarchy. That is part of the reason that they are going crazy.
This Week in Social Matter
Ryan Landry’s SWPL Culture Is A Moat To Enforce Segregation In Urban Areas might be interpreted as a “SWPLs are the real raycists”. That wouldn’t be wrong exactly… because everybody’s racist. It’s just funnier when SWPLs do it.
As progressive ideology and the laws encoded by progressives prevent exclusion, the SWPLs use other markers as a filtration system. Focusing on historical items like architecture, instruments, fashion, or particular eras creates groups or meetings that are essentially self-segregating. One does not need to see university history department pictures to know how that segregates groups.
The focus and care SWPLs put into their crafts, hobbies, and pursuits also rewards and bestows status on commitment. It is harder to be a casual dabbler, and if one is, one must be aware of this specific SWPL hobby. The obscurity of a pursuit plays into this, as one must be reading the trends of this group already. The seemingly never-ending quest for more exotic food acts as a gate and protective moat. The more obscure the subject, the fewer the non-white attendees. Even those who attend are most likely going to pass an educated, progressive-washed process and not be the generic non-white city dweller.
A lot more honest to admit it: Bespoke solid wood furniture is a symbol of white supremacy. Landry nabs an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for his analysis here.
Newcomer Jack Fraser pens a beautiful and personal meditation: Transcending The Fear Of Fatherhood. A bit far afield from our usual SM fare, but a worthwhile reader for fathers, present and future. And an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Landry is back on Tuesday with Weimerica Weekly: Episode 67—Hunt For Beige Bernie.
Iulian Bretonescu returns to pages of SM with a masterful essay on psycho-social theory: The Right Religion. He begins by noting that The Reaction® is not, nor does it have an Official Religion. Which sets it at a decided disadvantage vis-à-vis Progressivism, which does. Where there is a religion, there is coordination. Progressivism doesn’t succeed despite being a religion, but very much because of it.
[P]rogressivism encourages people to give up short-term worldly success in favor of higher forms of virtue by becoming childless, genderqueer activists. Progressivism creates a socially validating myth about progress and the future which enables people to orient their lives and feel like they are participating in something larger than themselves. Progressivism describes a higher, moral law which supersedes human-authored statutes, providing the stance to critique the corrupt elements of the current world order. Progressivism gives us a vision of the world as it could be, a Paradise to which we can ascend.
This observation is core to the critique of religion which is offered by atheist reactionaries. The connection of progressivism to Christianity is especially well-known to those pagans who take this cladistic relationship as a reason to discredit Christianity. Even those who are Christians of some kind or another have to recognize that it is not sufficient to have “a religion, any religion”. It matters that we have the right religion. Moldbug treats revealing the religious nature of progressivism as synonymous with discrediting it, but since we’ve decided to take religion a little more seriously, this swift dismissal will no longer suffice. It behooves us to notice the ways in which the religious nature of progressivism actually works to its favor, before we turn to considering how the reactionary is to use this knowledge.
Liberalism—which ironically is known in America as “mainstream conservatism”—consistently plays Jeff to Progressivism’s Mutt.
This species of liberal is horrified by the apocalyptic and utopian vision of the progressive, but he thinks that the solution to this problem is simply to double down on liberalism. These are the sorts of conservatives who recoil in horror from the notion of a state church or any kind of illiberal policy for combating progressives, the conservatives who consider Vladimir Putin the greatest threat to liberty today. They apply the pesticide which eliminates the natural competitors of progressivism, and then they watch aghast as their fields are filled with progressive weeds.
So reactionaries appear to have an intractable problem…
[T]his is where the reactionary movement finds itself: impressed by religious power but unable to agree upon an actual religion and at war with a crypto-religious system that gains enormous power from offering religious zeal without traditional religious forms. There does not seem to be a solution to this problem. Even if you could get all reactionaries to agree to a particular religious tradition, we would only be making the progressives’ job easier, as they would then appeal to the existing liberal tradition and declare the reactionary religion illegitimate as a basis for state power.
But Iulian has a modest proposal. An inspiring one. But you’ll hafta RTWT! Bretonescu takes home the ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀ for his outstanding efforts here.
This Week in Myth of the 20th Century it’s: Episode 16: Propaganda, Myth And Mystery. More than you probably know (but had best better know) about Edward Bernays, the founder of “Public Relations”.
This Week in 28 Sherman
Over on the home blog, Landry makes a pitch for A Nationalist News Network—not that you’d call it that exactly. He thinks it would put FOX News out of business… for which we’d have to dust off the world’s smallest violin. All it would take is the right billionaire.
Speaking of desperately seeking a Beige Bernie, he describes more of the quandary in which the Dems find themselves the Not Ready For Primetime Progressives. Well, who needs to win elections when they own the universities, the media, US corporations, and the court system? Time will tell.
This Week in WW1 pics: Ruined Churches—which have an eerie beauty.
Finally for Friday: Law & Order: FOX News Edition—Landry has the lowlights.
This Week in Kakistocracy
Where perverse incentives exist, there must be… The Incentive Perverts. The US State Department, aka. “America”, is one of them:
For those few not yet advised, the disencumbering of our exquisitely sensitive moral conscience doesn’t occur without certain mutual understandings. Primarily among these is the understanding that you will grant due consideration to American guidance in such matters as trade, finance, military facilities, human migration, and evolving leftist social fashion. That is to say, with a bit of awkward candor, you will become a vassal state. But it’s really up to you. We’d prefer to ask, but can be prodded to tell.
Which leaves approximately one decent option for a state to get out from under the imperial, but oh so moral, boot: nukes.
Porter chronicles the strange court-mandated rules inversion of Federal Incentives For Local Compliance in What the Hell Was That? It turns out that the Federal Gov’t may only bribe localities into doing what the former wants iff that desire comports with Federal Court Values™.
Next up: a case for declaring Antifa a domestic terror organization: Loyalty, well held to fools, does make our faith mere folly.
[A]ll of us can speculate with high accuracy as to the federal response if masked right-wing militias were attacking Obama supporters in the streets during his administration. Those groups would have been thoroughly infiltrated, arrested in bulk, and the prisons flush with new flesh. So why does antifa still possess a parade veto in Portland? If they want to lunge into the procession, let bayonets await.
Finally This Week in Kakistocracy… The Form is in the Breadth. Democracy, he avers, could be improved greatly by… saying excluding non-positive tax-payers. Absolutely true, but impossible, because… democracy. The people excluded are those most convinced of democracy’s magical effects.
This Week in Evolutionist X
Evolutionist X uncovers a Musical Mystery. Why are musicians—even ugly, awkward ones—so relatively successful with the ladies?
Next, she collates a nice Q & A on IQ. Replete with lots of graphs and analysis. A veritable one-stop shop for the curious (with links for the more than just curious) and a valuable ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
And another patented Cathedral Roundup: #21: Syria… or rather Harvard’s illumined view of the situation. With not a little attention to Greg Cochran’s 2013 view of it. Which has aged quite well. Mrs. X was confused by the glowing mainstream reviews of Trump’s decision to bomb Syria.
[T]hen I remembered that democracy is America’s religion. Just as Muslims think non-Muslims should all convert to Islam, so Americans tend to think that non-democracies should all become democracies. Unfortunately, multi-culturalism seems to be one of democracies failure modes, as different ethnic groups start trying to vote themselves a larger share of the national pie.
Assad is a dictator, and in our simple heuristics, “dictator=bad.” The rebels are (or at least originally were) fighting for democracy, and “democracy=good.” Therefore people think Assad is a bad person (after all, if he were a good person, why would anyone rebel against him?) and needs to go. They’re not really thinking two steps down the line to, “If we take out Assad, the resulting power vacuum could allow someone even worse to come to power, like ISIS.”
All the NY Times or Harvard ever needed to know about foreign policy it learned from a 1940s Superman comic book.
This Week in Quas Lacrimas
Quincy Latham breaks the fourth (and 16th I suppose) wall with Metablogging V: Metametablogging. For those keeping score: Blogging about blogging about blogging. Or, in other words, “The News”.
Next up Restoration: A Modest Proposal, presented in part in Socratic dialogue. The extent to which this plan is already underway remains classified. This was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
This Week at Thermidor Mag
The Termidor week kicks off with P. T. Carlo and Mark Citadel on the Podcast: Episode 14: The Battle of France.
Jake Bowyer has a thoughtful look at H.G. Wells And The Limits Of Elitism.
Speaking of Bill Nye, Gio Pennacchietti has a go at explaining the phenomenon in a broader cultural context: Science As Mythos In The Age Of Digitality. It is superb. A taste…
As [Nye] and his science popularizing ilk have shown, questioning any attribute of what Science™ has magnanimously bequeathed to us is for evil, bigoted Neanderthals. Science is framed by these media darlings as the great destroyer of obsolete values and the end point in the search for meaning, since what meaning can be garnered apart from the material? We need look no further than the comments made by Nye’s buddy Neil Tyson, with his now infamous rant on how philosophy “messes your head up” and does not ask the “deep questions.” The hubris of such assertions is astounding but fully consistent with the disenchanted world we live in. A world inhabited by the directionless being led by the spiritually blind, where nostalgia is a weapon of control used to coarsen western youths into the chaotic postmodern ideologies of the day, and the media’s famed court jesters hypnotically dance about selling a groundless pantomime of metaphysical truths.
Pennacchietti earns an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for his penetrating analysis.
Regular contributor Samuel Stevens has a bone to pick with the right: Nostalgia Delenda Est.
P. T. Carlo’s big piece this week is on Political Violence And The Superfluous Man, with a big nod to Ted Kaczynski. Carlo focuses on the near-impossibility to find deep meaning in a neoliberal narrative which consists principally of making up your own narrative. This too was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Rounding out This Week… Nathan Duffy sees some hope in Apatheia: The Answer To Apathy.
This Week Around The Orthosphere
J. M. Smith takes note of “Student” protestors’ thus far successful no-platforming of Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College: When the Data is Errata. Taking exception to a few of their mostly incoherent complaint provides an opportunity for a lesson in the real history of white supremacism, of which the protestors seem to know little. The assertion of which provides only more proof of J. M. Smith’s (and my own) structural privileges… I guess.
Smith also keeps abreast of what librarians have been up to, now that they don’t much librarianing left to do: The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . . And… the only thing very noteworthy about this is the fact that it might not be satire.
Also there, Kristor expounds upon Cur Deus Homo & Other Roman Problems: Some Quiddities. If the Church is who She says She is, all problems are Roman problems.
And Kristor continues his recapitulation of neoreactionary principles (in language that Christian traditionalists generally can accept): Owned Government Would Tend to Lawfulness & Social Peace. We approve. Late in the week, Kristor has another of his Philosophical Skeleton Keys: Nunc, which deals elegantly with the problem of essence and continuity.
Matt Briggs is keeping a vigil watch over the increasingly embarrassing Science Guy: The Democratization of Science Is A Bad Thing: Or, Why Bill Nye Perving Science Was Inevitable. I said it would be a full-time job, didn’t I?
Briggs breaks out the Bill Nye Monkey Trap to opine on Home School College (which I suspect in most cases is simple autodidacticism).
The meager point made here […], to amplify the much greater point made by Fr Schall in the video above, is that, except in rare instances, we can no longer count on colleges and universities to guide students toward the Truth. Esolen: “Whorehouses and mental wards would be much cheaper. They might well be healthier, too.”
And he recounts the story of Francis Galton and the supposed (and conditional) “wisdom of crowds” in Vox Populi vs. Experts.
Down in The Stream, Briggs takes note of Leftists Ramping Up the Violence: How Long Until They Kill Somebody? Not long, he thinks. And there’s more on that topic here: Raw Emotion, Not Science, on Display at People’s Climate March.
Bonald has a technical but nevertheless interesting note: More on the meaning of conservatism.
Chris Gale has some psychiatric news of note: Three papers, three pictures. As well, on the difficulty of using detention for self-harm to reduce the incidence of suicide. And some comments on the politicization of training future medical personnel: Dust and ash follows convergence.
Richard Cocks is over at Sydney Trads with (as usual) a deusy: Consciousness: What is it, and Where is it Found? Not in your brain, that’s for sure. Professor Cocks looks at the ways in which the scientific understanding of human consciousness has progressed… or rather hasn’t, and proposal a model for understanding the phenomenon that fits with actual data. It’s huge and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀ winner.
Also there, a recap of the growing persecution of Christians in secular (once Christian) lands: Equal & Opposite—Pharyngula and the Future of Christianity in the West.
A decade after Putnam’s seminal work on diversity, Mark Richardson looks at a new study that confirms the dreary, un-vibrant result.
This Week in Arts & Letters
Over at Imaginative Conservative… the poetry of Malcome Guite “Hatley St. George”, replete with audio from the author (and a beautiful photo of the chapel). Guite also has A Sonnet for St. Mark’s Day. And a delicious bit of William Shakespeare “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds…”
Also there: A very fine essay on The Death of Grammar & The End of Education. Which reminds me… if you haven’t read the Underground Grammarian, you probably should. In his own very entertaining way, Richard Mitchell spied The Cathedral in the 1980s. And a generous helping of Richard Weaver on What Can the Southern Tradition Teach Us?
This too: Wilfred McClay goes In Search of the American Myth and offers up some more and less dreadful candidates.
Richard Carroll reminds of us of That Other, Better Hobbit Movie.
Over at City Journal, Heather Mac Donald explains How Trump Can Help the Cops. Also the pretty humorous local story of Dwight (Doc) Gooden’s receipt of cheap grace from Mayor Bill Cheap Grace de Blasio: Sorry You Were Too Stoned for the Parade. Way to go, de Blasio, really righting a wrong there! Because, as everyone knows, back in 1986 if you were a superstar Mets pitcher who happened to be black, you just got paid room & board, had to sit on the back of the charter jet, and everyone called you “boy”. (Or maybe de Blasio is unpopular with Mets fans.)
Regina Press announces some fresh ripped-from-the-headlines fiction: The Devil Hates Latin.
This Week… Elsewhere
Cool video by way of Heartiste concerning Native European Beauty, with points as unutterably racist and they are undeniable. Also an anecdotal vignette that is unlikely not to be overwhelming representative of left-liberals view of the “working class”. And… counting the ways of Female Privilege And NonWhite Privilege.
PA is not a big fan of Happiness… as a value at least:
Nobody chooses his birth year and today neoliberalism aims to destroy everything we build, everything we value. So under the present deal, there are things that need to be done and snares to be avoided. Happiness is not the real thing, it is the sunlight that warms your skin when you strike the balance of performing your duty and enjoying your freedom. Other than that, there is silence, trees, and the open sky.
Roman Dmowski wonders… Trump’s Presidency: A Failed Revolution?
Elfnonationalist scores a strong, yet brief, point against the Critics of ethnocentrism.
VDH is over at American Greatness explaining How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump. He sees parallels between 1968-72 and 2016-20. Let us hope so. And let us hope that Trump is sufficiently more ruthless than Nixon in that analogue.
Fred Reed pens a not exactly accurate but respectful defense of Christianity.
Hank Delacroix has a (hopeful) tear-jerker: One Day, Dad Adjusted.
Nigel Carlsbad has a big review of Aristocratic liberalism: a brief tour of an extinct tradition. More comprehensive than brief actually. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Lue-Yee recommends some nuance on ethnostates: Look at the Chinese Empire. So long as it is clear which ethny is “on top”, multi-ethnic is not generally a problem in an otherwise healthy empire. Or for that matter city-state.
That it’s for now, folks. Keep on reactin! Til next week: NBS… Over and out!!