Authority

A Twitter discussion with Vic Mandrake and the recent seizure of neoreaction by the Hestia Society have prompted me to write a bit on authority.

Legitimate authority, as the name suggests, requires both authority and legitimacy. Authority is the ability to carry out your will, particularly through the use of others, while legitimacy is the general acceptance that your should be able to enact your authority. Authority without legitimacy is tyranny and will only hold as long as the threat of violence holds, which admittedly can be a long time.

Legitimate authority flows naturally from healthy hierarchical structures. The ur-example of legitimate authority is fatherhood which flows naturally from healthy family structures and collapses in unhealthy structures. Other forms of natural legitimate authority are generally forms of fatherhood: monarchs are the political fathers of their nations, elders are simply fathers who have unofficially adopted a tribe, while ecclesiastical authorities are spiritual fathers of their flocks. Some domain-specific authorities arise naturally from ability or knowledge and adopt many aspects of fatherhood to their specific domain: warband leaders, gangs, teachers, mentors, etc. These natural authorities flow from basic human social and hierarchical instincts and are the building blocks of civilization.

Healthy authority is generally these forms of natural authority.

There are also unnatural forms of legitimate authority. Modern democracy is the greatest example of this. It is an unnatural system derived from numerous artificial and unnatural social constructs, yet is accepted as legitimate by most of the citizens within the democracies. Democracies also tend to be unhealthy precisely because it is unnatural.

Unnatural authority is not necessarily bad, per se, but because it is unnatural, it has higher bar to clear when it comes to legitimacy and it is more likely to be dysfunctional. Legitimacy flows from God and from the people; it is not the will of the people, but the people ruled by an authority must recognize the legitimacy of an authority. Natural authority by default confers legitimacy: children do not question the right of the father to rule them until these child naturally grows to an age to rule themselves, and even then, children still accept their father’s advice and guidance. The biggest threat to natural authority is the abuse or neglect by the authority. In cases where a natural authority is abusing or neglecting his duties, legitimacy breaks down and the ruled will rebel to be replaced by either anarchy or a new legitimate authority.

Unnatural authority does not automatically confer legitimacy. Legitimacy comes through either earned merit or persuasion. Intellectual leaders and recognized experts generally gain their legitimacy as authorities in their domains through the demonstration of knowledge and skill related to their specific domains. Business leaders and the rich earn their authority through performance in the free market. Democratic leaders gain their legitimacy through persuasion, using the methods propaganda and bribery, hence the omnipresent state and state instruments in any democracy constantly trumping the virtues of democracy and providing bread and circuses. The main problem with unnatural authority is that it is much easier to persuade than it is to earn. A bribe or a piece of propaganda is easier than decades of labour excelling at an area of expertise. So, unnatural authorities will tend to drift towards manipulation over merit to obtain legitimacy.

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We can apply this to our own online community. The Hestia Society has slowly, over the last year or so, been consolidating neoreaction under their banner through Social Matter, Reaction Times, Ascending the Tower, and a few other projects. They have recently officially seized formal authority over neoreaction.  HS has 4 fellows in charge: Henry Dampier, Hadley Bennet, Anton Silensky, and Warg Franklin. The first two are names most reactionaries will know from their work at their own blogs and Social Matter. The latter two are new names.

These four’s authority over neoreaction is unnatural authority: they hold no natural ties of blood, spirit, or war with those under the neoreactionary label. In fact, their real names aren’t even known to most who would fall under the neoreactionary banner. So, to be legitimate they will have to have neoreactionaries recognize their authority either through merit or persuasion. Neoreaction strongly selects for contrarians so persuasion will be unlikely to be effective, so merit it must be.

I have personally met a couple of them and they seemed solid individuals, although, they are younger and will have to grow into personal leadership. As for contributions, Dampier in particular has had very strong and consistent output; as well, the behind the scenes work of the Hestia Society has been a powerful, if low-visibility, influence on neoreaction. My impression is that Hadley has personally met and developed ties to many, if not most, neoreactionaries, which speaks well of him as a social glue.

Of the other contenders for leadership, both NBS and Land have already accepted their leadership, Anissimov has wasted his legitimacy through doxxing and trolling, Jim and Karl have never seemed very interested in doing much more than writing, and Moldbug and Foseti have long since withdrawn from active participation. Hestia Society look like the right men for the job.

I have personally tied one of my projects, Reaction Times, to the Hestia Society and am willing to provisionally bestow what legitimacy I can to their leadership. Given that NBS and Land have already accepted their leadership, this looks like a done deal. Unless Moldbug, Jim, or Duck comes out with a strong objection, it seems that the Hestia Society will be successful in their coup and will have legitimate authority over neoreaction. The one minor potential pitfall for them I’ve seen is the comments section at Land’s place, particularly Spandrell’s “lol”. Other have voiced their concern more directly in those comments, but Spandrell, while not very active anymore, has been around a long time and is well-respected. While “lol” is rather vague, him not accepting HS’ authority could be a large blow to their legitimacy.

Their first actions upon their assumption of power was to create a Hall of Fame, which is a solid list (even if it doesn’t include me) and to exile Anissimov, Moe, and Kantbot. The first true test of their legitimacy, is if these exiles are accepted by the neoreactionary masses. Given that most neoreactionaries are already done with the latter two and that Mike has been burning through his legitimacy as fast as he can, that seems to be a fairly safe bet.

22 comments

  1. Well, the Hestians are wrong.

    Civiliziation is a gift from God. One God can remove if a society falls too much. The Mayans were civilized, as were the Phonecians — but murderous bastards, who systematically killed people in the worship of their false Gods, and they were supplanted.

    As can we be. At present, the wolf is at the door, and the traitors within consider they have won, and the treasures of the West are being removed from us. But this is not so.

    As long as there is one last homely house, one place where the old books exist and are read, one place where God is worshipped in spirit and in truth, they have not won. As long as zeks have the inside of their mind intact, they have not won.

    And in the incredible stupidity of the last two years, with a lame duck president and a decadent elite I suggest the following: the elite will lose, soon and rapidly, and not to Islam. Nor to any one group.

    But to a sense of disgust. It is not rebellion they need to fear as much as mockery. To becoming as irrelevant as the councils of the Episcopalian Church USA: what the SJW take over they destroy. For people vote, as Lenin once said, with their feet: the wasteland of lies that the SJW leave is a place that humans cannot live in.

    And that is why they fear any alternative, and try to take it over. Any competition is lethal to those who have deliberately made themselves fragile as they try to gain authority among this perverse elite.

    If without vision, the people perish, without resiliency movements die. The Hestians will not make NRx work: the SJW will.

  2. Yes, the Hestians are wrong if only for the simple fact that they’ve picked too many as leaders, especially too many (read: any) Vatican-Roman Churchmen with that denomination’s strict bend towards Anti-Whitism…I fully expect the result to be, in several months’ time, to be a loss of social capital from the Vatican-phile contingent, N.B.S. especially. Though I may be wrong, it is what my gut tells me and here’s the reason that I’ve only just put my finger on:

    The Hestians don’t have the ability to lead because they don’t have the vision to do it. In fact, they came off as radically atomised during the Trannygate episode, “Don’t tell others with whom they can and cannot associate with” & “#NRx isn’t a political movement, it is political theory and science”. Saying this as they circled the wagons around their Vatican-Roman Golden Boy (who was himself eventually lost).

    By presenting himself as an outward face to easily identifiable Leftist opponents, Mr. Michael Anissimov consistently maintains a high profile which is, sometimes, a leadership characteristic. So, good for him. If Hestians want recognition, then they must challenge and point the way forward for their followers, but somehow that seems outside of their ability…

    For the record, I’d say that someone unapoligetically denigrating another man’s manhood probably deserves to have public information made more public…Or worse. As the well known expression goes, “Those, there, are fighting words”.

    After addressing those points within F.N.’s blogpost, I’ll say that I’m very pleased to see this Theonomy-oriented blog touching on the Topic of Authority. Authority appears as the locus of the Trichotomy, so very important. While Ethno-Nationalists determine Authority by instinct, and Techno-Commercialists by a due process of competitive rivalry until hierarchy, Theonomy stands out very well by drawing upon traditions and scripturally-based theories that are time-tested and transcendent. I would recommend listening, a preferred medium of my own, to the MP3s on Authority from the eminent and godly Christian Reconstructionist the Rev. Rushdoony – Pocket College: Doctrine of Authority http://www.pocketcollege.com/index.htm#18 He is popular with Kinists, and his lectures articulate the flow of authority in proper society with good scriptual references.

    Returning back to this blogpost and NRx’s current kerfuffle, it’s “Jim”‘s tack that does seem the best, should I ever become focused on blogging myself. He knows that a message like the one he promotes on his blog will act as a beacon for those looking for one so as to chart their own ways forward. So, no need to participate with action against low-level outsiders. But, for those using the Twitter technology and claiming the title of leadership for whatever reason, a different sort of strategy would, naturally, be used to accomplish goals…

    Best regards,

    A.J.P.

  3. Yea no one tied to the RCC will turn the tide, they are the tide. Catholic Ireland gave the vote to women before WASP america, progressive political victories in the usa required the Catholic vote; central and South America, full of Catholics, biting hard and early for various leftist agendas.

    Thanks for the link to the good Reverend

  4. The Hestians have adopted Duck as their media liaison: http://www.hestiasociety.org/site/contact/

    I am not aware that Duck has objected, or else Duck’s twitter would be full of “lol” at their presumption. Look at how Duck handled Anissimov. So, no; Duck will not be objecting.

    Getting back to spandrell: Keep in mind that his whole byline is “nobody will save us”. He has never claimed to be part of any movement to make the world a better place, right or left. So his opinion is as predictable as it is irrelevant.

  5. This kind of thing was bound to happen eventually, but Hestia Society posts are at best average or below average. If they are leading NRx, NRx is lame indeed.

  6. The most valuable part of neoreaction is the resistance to act alongside the ridiculous social posturing. It captures those that want to do the social dance, while inculating right thinking among active young men before they leave in disgust.

    The Shadowed Knight

  7. As they say with conservatism, it’s not an ideology but a temperament. Neocameralism, for instance, is an ideology—as of yet, the same cannot be said of neoreaction. Some may attempt to turn neoreaction, as some do with conservatism, into a coherent and organized ideology with clear and defined objectives, but I doubt it will succeed. How much does anyone want to bet that there won’t be any such clear organization in ten years (assuming it’s still the term to use)?

  8. Neoreaction as a movement has little need for any governing authority at this stage. Little, but not none. The requirement for the moment is to avoid limiting the range and closing off areas of possible future growth. What that amounts to right now is telling Anissimov to fuck off. This Hestia has done, and, insofar as there is any need for leadership of neoreaction, they have therefore met that need.

    One does not become a leader by leading; one becomes a leader by being followed.

  9. Called it. Link on my name.

    Spandrell is not going to join this movement. He cannot join this movement. He is Denethor, alighting his own body on fire.

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