This criticism of neoreaction seems to have been getting some play, so I’ll address it.
Unfortunately, the most well-known face of reaction on social media in 2015 is Neoreaction. Neoreaction has failed to obtain any wealthy patrons or even well-known proponents.
First, he is unaware of what is occurring behind the scenes, understandable that he is not behind the scenes. While I’m not privy to the specifics (need to know and all that), I’m privy enough to know that things are happening in this direction.
Neoreaction’s self-proclaimed leaders have in the past been prone to public meltdowns and fits of hubris; in response to that tendency NRx has now retreated into a hermetically sealed inner circle which brooks no discussion with those who are critical.
A self-proclaimed leader who has been blacklisted. As for the latter half, I’m adding some discussion right here.
Second, for an article criticizing NRx’s failure, to announce that it is the most well-known face of reaction in but a couple years of work seems to be counterproductive, c’est non?
As dedicated perennialist reactionaries, we at Spiritual Sun have spent a great deal of time critiquing Neoreaction through our twitter accounts.
Do I need to point out the irony of bragging about Twitter critiques while criticizing NRx for it’s lack of accomplishment?
Much to the delight and contempt of some we are not going to provide citations of past examples of each of these errors. Those who are objective will see the truth of our critique; those who are true believers will perceive it as hostility. If, in the future, we see examples of the below-listed errors we may cite them in an addendum. If sympathetic fellow reactionaries who can see that Neoreaction is actually anti-reactionary wish to post examples in the comments we may add them to the addendum as well.
“We present no proof because we don’t need proof, but if you have proof, we desperately need it.”
it is amazing what a man can accomplish what he expects no credit.
Holiness competitions are unseemly.
From here I’ll address each section on its own.
The criticism here is two-fold:
1) Because tech culture is not right-wing… and the ‘argument’ leaves it at that. It is not actually an argument, merely semantic association.
2) The second argument is that creating governance architecture is not the same as being a leader within said architecture, a point so blindingly obvious that anybody you’d actually need to point it out to is not someone who should be discussing politics. Of course, NRx is aware of such an obvious point.
But this seems to be a common “criticism”, so I’ll address it: nobody in NRx thinks they’re going to be the leader come the restoration. We don’t think we’ll be made lords by the new king, or aristocratic shareholders by the SovCorp. We’re just trying to point out the flaws of our current system and work out a livable, human system and possible ways to implement it.
Nobody seems to notice that hypercapitalism is arguably already the lay of the land and coexists just fine with Progressivism, often even feeding it.
Define capitalism. Nothing in our modern society of 50% tax rates and massive welfare states would resemble anything a neoreactionary would recognize as capitalism.
Survival as Telos
An embrace of Social Darwinism creates the exact environment in which people are trying to seize the reins of power, which is antithetical to the aim of a harmonious, organic civilization. Social Darwinism is also scientifically illiterate. Natural selection does not result in an ecosystem in which one or a few species totally dominate the others, but rather in a complex hierarchy (the so-called food chain) in which millions of species fill specific survival niches.
I’m not going to bother refuting something that refutes itself within 3 sentences. The argument is literally: social darwinism is wrong because it destroys natural hierarchy, it is also wrong because darwinism creates natural hierarchy. Social darwinism is darwinism on society. What the latter does for organisms, the former does for humans.
Culture of Critique
NRx has very much fallen into this mode of operation: a bunch of people in an out-group who have banded together based on their hatred of the in-group. A common mode is giant gossip sessions where people reward each other for critiquing the in-group, but when it comes to coming up with anything constructive they have very little to say. When you strip it down and start looking at their positive suggestions it becomes as vague and utopian and anything they criticize. Notions like SovoCorp, exit strategies, and AI resemble speculative fiction more than workable political philosophy.
Remember the first paragraph of this little attack: “What would a small measure of success look like for contemporary reaction? Certainly political power is out of the question for now. The formation of some kind of model community in a rural location may be possible eventually, but for now a critical mass of committed people seems to be lacking. The same goes for the formation of local organizations to fill in the gaps in services left by a failing government. This seems to be the time to work out solid ideas and gather human material – to convince those who are disillusioned or disgusted with progressivism and globalism that there is a set of principles to guide them and a community of which to be a part.”
The assertions of the piece are simultaneously:
NRx has had three years of thinking and they haven’t solved society’s problems.
They do nothing nothing but critique and propose no solutions. (From the people who brag about their Twitter critiques)
We don’t like their half-dozen proposed solutions because they’re not workable right now.
There are no immediately workable solutions.
NRx is to be condemned because they have not found immediately workable solutions.
Those assertions are obviously self-refuting.
NRx is so disjointed that you have people on one end who can make themselves seem respectable enough to become guides to the people in power as we move into the next phase; on the other end you have people who want to burn it all down and go back to a semi-tribal society.
NRx is both disjointed and “has now retreated into a hermetically sealed inner circle which brooks no discussion with those who are critical.” You can’t have it both ways. Either NRx is in ideological lockstep or it is not. Do we brook no disagreement or are we all a bunch of renegade crazies who agree on nothing?
NRx has a constituency: disaffected brahmins and intelligent vaisyas. At this point we don’t need numbers, the Frankfurt School never did, we need influence. Numbers follow influence.
Also, neoreaction does not despise nationalism. Almost everyone in it is a nationalist of some sort and degree (except maybe Land). We despise stupid nationalism and ineffective nationalism, but the emphasis is on the adjectives not the noun.
Finally, neoreaction does not look down on proles. I’m of prole stock myself and have never taken even the tiniest amount of shit for it. NRx is pro-vaisya and always has been. (We do disdain lumpenprols though, but lumpenprols are worthy of disdain).
Consider Nick Land, AntiDem, Nick Steves – they’re not willing to step into obscurity for the cause of the counterrevolution.
“These anonymous people using obvious pseudonyms and working on an arcane political ideology in their free time are unwilling to step into obscurity.”
As for the rest, we have a developing hierarchy (just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist), or as much a one as geographically distant collection of internet-connected strangers can have.
Also, as I stated above, nobody in NRx expects to be king. Why does everybody keep projecting this on us?
As well, there’s more holiness signalling here, which remains unseemly.
This is a whole lot of words saying nothing more than ‘they don’t argue in the specific way I want them to argue’ and ‘they’re egotistical’, with no proof given of either assertion.
Who are “the Elites”?
The power elites can be roughly grouped into five main types; financial, industrial, governmental (bureaucratic), military, and the educational-media complex (the Cathedral). NRx analysis has focussed almost exclusively on the last category,
(Definitional note: The Cathedral also include the bureaucracy. I will also note, I’ve made a strong attack on both usury and inflation).
Why would we not focus on the Cathedral. it is the educational-media complex and the bureaucracy that gives industry and finance their marching orders: the Cathedral is what is propping up and directing the evils of the other two. Why go for the leaves, when you can attack the root?
In the mind of a Neoreactionary, progressivism is unsustainable a therefore it must fail. We as reactionaries hope it will fail as well, but don’t necessarily see this outcome as inevitable.
That is true. It is also tautological. If something is unsustainable, it eventually fails, that’s what unsustainable means.
This is cyclical history. Growth, decline, replacement. NRx strongly holds to cyclical history. Cyclical history is necessarily determinative.
This section criticizes neoreaction for holding to the inevitability of the historical cycle calling it an apocalyptic mentality, then argues that we need to be active and create the end of history, calling it cyclical history.
Lack of Metaphysical Foundation
Remember, when twice previously NRx was criticized for being ideologically closed, and was also criticized for being disjointed. We come back around to being disjointed again. Here he also attacks NRx for doing the popular thing, when just a while back he was attacking NRx for not being populist (ie. not having a constituency).
But as to his critique. It’s true that members of NRx do not share the same metaphysical foundation, we have rationalists, Catholics, darwinists, nationalists, protestants, and atheists. But how is this a criticism? Do all reactionaries have to be Traditionalist Catholics practicing the Tridentine Rites? Is harharkh?
Also, it does not logically flow that because we don’t have the same pre-suppositions, our individual philosophies can’t convergently develop analogous critiques and goals.
As the Hestia Society slogan goes, “The only morality is civilization.” NRx’s morality is civilization.
Different peoples are different, and should be able to pursue their own people’s ends. Why should a Chinaman, a Spaniard, an Englishman, and an African have the same civilization? What kind of civilization could, all at once, suit the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim, and the Hindu?
It’s insane to try to force the same purpose on such disparate groups.
Even as a Christian who believes in one God, one faith, one baptism, absolute morality, and a universal Church, I wouldn’t dream of forcing the same accidents of Christianity on a Japanese Christian and a French Christian.
To equate organic, particular civilization with consumer culture is absurd.