[EDIT 13 April 2016: I responded to ongoing libels here.]
[EDIT 20 September 2015:
[Edit 10 April 2015: It has come to my attention that this post has received more attention than previously according to Bryce Laliberte’s revelation in a long-ago post that he’s experienced “same-sex-attraction.” Regrettably, it was not my intent to “out” Bryce with a quote from his own blog. I presumed the rest of you had completed your reading before class. You know, Moldbug and the guy who wrote the book on Neoreaction seem like required reading to me…
With that said, perhaps a few reminders are appropriate at this point.
- I’m not particularly tolerant of homoerotic advocacy. At the same time, at least one client is a “confirmed bachelor,” and he (so far) pays me very well and does his work well and he’s not “married,” so I’ve got no reason to be an ass to anybody in particular. Most gay assholes are assholes for reasons entirely unrelated to homosexuality. Since most people are assholes, myself included, this makes the observation of gay assholes fairly irrelevant. None of this changes my opinion that gay marriage is a farce, homoerotic couplings are degenerate, or that particlar erotic acts entail significant personal and public health risks. It’s just that if “same-sex-attraction” is the only speck in a man’s eye, he’s doing quite well.
- I’m not a Christian, mostly because I got exhausted being the only one. If you’re Christian, please respond with the countersign. If you missed the sign, well, I can’t help you, can I?
- Since I’m not Christian, arguments based upon Biblical authority or Church tradition won’t convince me. This also explains my general distaste for some of Bryce’s work. His mind is good: (some of) his premises stink.
- If you take nothing else from these ramblings of mine, please, please, please, read the link I obtained from Bryce’s now-unavailable blog post. The loss of that link from Bryce’s work is really depressing. Fortunately, I managed to preserve that, at least.
I’ll be out in the woods again this weekend, and then too busy with business to bother much here, so please forgive me if I fail to respond to further queries until considerable time passes. I approve all first-time comments, so you won’t even have that until I check notifications. Again, please accept my apologies.]
So, I wandered back to Twitter after a week reading Tacitus’ Annals and Histories in a tent, mostly detached from telecom connections, and discovered an ongoing escalation within neoreaction against so-called entryists. There are blog posts I could address, but I’ll focus on just one to keep things simple.
[So far as I can discern, AnarchoPapist, aka Bryce Laliberte, invented this particular witch-hunt. More on that, perhaps, later.]
The Right Vidya, writes a description of so-called entryists into neoreaction. His thesis points are as follows.
- Entryists do not seek to learn from neoreaction. On the contrary, they seek to advance personal goals.
- Entryists seek quantity of followers (demos) over quality of work (aristos).
- Entryists signal status to outsiders by repeating established thought rather than creating original work.
- Entryists “cling” to “right-wing” concepts and attempt to link these to neoreaction – purportedly erroneously. Such non-neoreactionary ideas include PUA concepts, such as thoise promulgated by Heartiste.
- Entryists attempt to popularize neoreaction when neoreaction is instead a covert collection of passivist thinkers loosely organized.
- Entryists do not comprehend social status and do not defer to men with greater social status, described for neoreaction as “established NRx writers.”
Vidya then closes with a few choice character attacks,
…an entryist is a parasite: …most are just stupid, …the best interest of neoreaction [is] that entryists are marginalized, ignored, and derided. The truly malignant element will be driven out, while the neophytes with genuine potential will …be corrected in their faulty thinking. Neoreaction is not for everyone…
Consistent with my other work, I’ll disassemble this thesis point-by-point.
Reaction is (summarized to paiful brevity) the argument that modern norms are mistaken and that a return to an established past social norm is warranted by the results of modern norms. Reaction was conceived within France during its social (and political) upheavals at the close of the eighteenth centuries. Neoreaction is a descendant of that movement that advocates, like its forebears, for a return to past social norms, including monarchy. [If ya’ll aren’t following me on these few sentences, or observe some keen error, please edify me. In the meantime, let’s proceed.]
So, in order for neoreaction to claim a just right to defend itself against so-called entryists, it must have a greater claim to aristos than any opposing aristos., else neoreaction is demos by comparison. That, friends, is my thesis.
The first accusation is that so-called entryists do not seek edification: “They are filled with narcissism and unwarranted self-importance.” Or, to quote the founder of western Christianity, Saul of Tarsus,
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
[I wonder, Christian, if it grates upon your sense of decency that I, an atheist, quote your Bible, or if the true source of your discomfort is that my belief in its wisdom exceeds your belief in its mythology?]
Most of us who come to neoreaction with interest come from long traditions. My own heritage (not to boast, but to edify) is that of an agrarian South and agrarian immigrant (post Civil War) north, united in me only two generations from subsistence and cash-crop farming. At least one man from each generation of my family has been conscripted into this (USA) nation’s wars, served , and been honorably discharged; I have the USAA membership to prove it. [Upon the instruction of my father and the foolish disregard of said command by my brother, my family will no longer serve as fodder for this tyranny’s meatgriders.] Personally, I am college trained in engineering, with a heavy dose of liberal arts (applied history, sociology, and writing) and management, licensed in multiple states, own my business, negotiate my own contracts, and write my own paychecks. I am once married, still married, with a daughter at a private university, tuition paid without resort to government loans or any other funding except that granted according to merit, and a son besides. I have diligently read much output from the neoreaction movement, from Moldbug through to Bryce, and everything in between. Where I felt it warranted, I have commented upon the fallacies ya’ll proffered as faithful truth, and (less often) encouraged you where I felt your efforts diligent and fruitful.
My question to neoreaction, generally, is this: you wish us to learn from you, who are young in years and young in philosophy; when do you propose to learn from we who are old in years and old in philosophy? I tell you this, with all candor and hope for ya’ll’s good future: you are filled with narcissism and unwarranted self-importance.
Regarding your second charge, that so-called entryists seek quantity over quality: here’s an image of my readership.
Gentlemen, I’m not doing this for the hits. My “best ever” comes from a mention in Heartiste’s Twitter feed, advocating patriarchy. Another high-performing post regards the British ruckus over so-called “page 3 girls.” If I wanted somebody to care, or wrote for the feels, I’d have quit years ago, when I was still writing on livejournal around 2001, or USENET back in the early 90’s. Further, I don’t think I’m alone in this regard. Most of the gentlemen you consider so-called entryists have been writing for decades, often in obscurity to rival Christopher Hitchens, and often with similarly devastating political reversals. What’s more, many of us aren’t IT professionals; using USENET or any early social media platform wasn’t normal for our generation. What do you think we’re doing here: hookups?
As for signalling, what, in all the writing I’m doing here, makes you think I’m signalling neoreaction? My advocacy for patriarchy? That comes from being a patriarch trained in management. My acceptance of human biodiversity? That comes from mental aptitude that makes conversations with common men an exercise is dog-training. My recognition of the potential and dangers of technological change? That’s a function of my professional responsibilities. My autistic writing? Gentlemen, I’m on the spectrum.
Again, I’m not alone. Ya’ll are out there in your ivory towers, creating metaphysical philosophy as if no man may ever be permitted to apply empirical inquiry to your hypotheses. Only much of what you declare, we already know, and we know your wisdom too well. Let’s examine some bits from my favorite, Mr. Laliberte, circa April 2010, about one month before I commenced my soon-expiring office lease.
Those who know me personally know that I struggle with SSA; same-sex attraction. I am, effectively, bisexual-in-preference, heterosexual-in-practice…
I bring this up to verify that this account of a young man struggling with SSA–who doesn’t want SSA–is accurate, …
I suggest reading the whole thing.
…It is because these are the people (i.e. the GSA; Gay Straight Alliance) who declare themselves to desire helping homosexuals. This is not really what they mean, in ideology or practice; what they mean is, anybody with a homosexual desire should express it immediately and as often as they can and be very belligerent about it…
…It is quite apparent that they do not want to help as a person wants to be helped, but to help them be practicing proponents of their own ideology. …for “in support of men fucking each other up the ass.” [I admit this language is explicit, …]
This is not even to mention the “phobia fallacy,” …per their own terms, a “homophobic homosexual.” No, it doesn’t make sense.
…thus they declare me either to not really have SSA at all, that I’m lying, or that I’m “having difficulty accepting who I am,” as if who I am can be determined by forces outside myself. This latter denial is interesting, in that it is most often these same liberals who strongly advocate an individualism which includes self-determination of identity.
[There, you didn’t know I was reading then, did you, Bryce? Let’s just say I had some time to kill after my time in Scotland.]
Now, at the moment I first read that, I was merely 39 years old. My undergraduate matriculation dates to 1989. My introduction to collegiate insanity was a (sparsely attended) seminar detailing gender stereotypes (against women) in mass media. Fortunately, I was so young I hadn’t yet lost control of my reflexive laughter. Still, all those things Bryce and others observed in 2010 were well and truly established by my arrival at Northwestern University, including BGALA (Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Alliance or Association, I can’t recall which). Back then, the thing to do was shut down Sheridan Road to protest apartheid. Meanwhile, I’m attending a lecture by Warren Farrell along with the introductory session of my girlfriend’s Catholic confirmation class, while trying to comprehend structural dynamics as written by Paz (which is still somewhat opaque id you rely on that text).
So, yeah, I empathize. So do a lot of other men. We’ve felt your new-found pain for two solid decades. When you see me, and others, signalling, consider, dear neoreactionary, that we may be sympathizing, not signalling.
Sometimes phrasing is unfortunate, and other times it’s just bloody revealing. “Cling to other right-wing positions” sounds awfully similar to
It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. – Barak Obama
And when I read that kind of language, used so carelessly and so proximate in time to a similar utterance, I wonder, “What, exactly, is the propagandist attempting to accomplish by this characterization?” But we all know the image attempted, so let’s not dwell on the banjo music from Deliverance, and instead discuss again the meaning of REACTIONARY. We’re talking about a person so committed to a reversal of (French) revolutionary thought that he’s willing to throw out every conceivable improvement obtained by said revolution and return to a social system not merely preceding the revolution, but some hundreds of years beforehand – in contrast to CONSERVATIVE, who merely wants to conserve some of the forms and processes from the old milieu, together with the innovations.
Pray tell us, neoreactionary, who better represents reaction, those who “cling to right-wing positions,” like “guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment,” or the reasonable people who want to mix and match the old and the new?
Somewhere along the way, neoreaction became gnostic. I can’t really pinpont when this happened, exactly. If you’ve got some idea, I really wish you’d share it with me, ya know, in the comments.
A buddy – uh, close acquaintance? – once described to me the Freemasons (my great-grandfather was a member; I don’t qualify) as a “society with secrets, not a secret society.” If ever there was a wise model for a subversive group seeking to mold public discourse and public policy, a “society with secrets, not a secret society,” would be the means to accomplish it. Regrettably, neoreaction, and Phalanx, seem destined to choose the path of “secret society.” Much the pity for this incarnation of civilization. Who, I wonder, will be our Tacitus? Not, I suspect, a neoreactionary, for such men will not pursue positions of authority that may subject them to the fate of Seneca, or the revelaed debauchery of Nero (no, no that debauched Nero). The fundamental flaw with keeping neoreaction small and purportedly academic is that is eventually suffers the fate of the shakers: extinction by celibacy. But what do I know? I’m with team patriarchy: membership is predicated upon fecundity. It seems to me that the preservation of a meme, just like the preservation of a gene, requires its reproduction. So far as I know, the manufacturing of a gene, such as neoreaction, is very difficult. Heck, the current batch of neoreactionaries is so astonished by their accomplishment that they seem unable to contain their excitement except by concealing the flame of enlightenment beneath ever-occluding layers of occultism. Meanwhile, their potential allies, having glimpsed the flame, attempt to spread a forest fire, only to be told that the flame is not meant for men, but for gods alone. I caution you, neoreactionary, that bone may be hidden in fat, and meat beneath organs.
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Who wrote the Epic of Gilgamesh? Gilgamesh? What about an exhaustive biography of Benjamin Franklin? Ben? No, he wrote a rather thin tome, barely reaching some of the most important moments of his life.
Gentlemen of neoreaction, Curtis Yarvin’s greatest contribution to human thought may not be, at his end, Unqualified Reservations. It may be urbit. The men who correspond with you may not be writing extensively regarding things called neoreaction, or even writing at all. They may, like Peter Drucker, write about management of a business, and you will do well to pay close attention. More likely, they do real work, making sure the lights stay lit in your house. So, when such men send you a note telling you you’re full of shit, perhaps you ought heed. Claiming privilege when the peasant tells you your clothes are missing is bad form, especially if you think he’s a peasant, and he isn’t.
I’ll be other than pessimistic when assessing your final words, Vidya, and ass-u-me that you don’t mean me when you write, “most are stupid,” and instead include me among “the neophytes with genuine potential …[to] be corrected in their faulty thinking.” How, non-presumptuous of you to believe my thinking faulty and so clearly worthy of correction. After all, you and Yarvin have been at this, what, maybe ten years? I’m wearing a sweatshirt 15 years older than that.
Be serious. You are in no position to dictate terms for correspondence. Grow your movement. Grow your morals. Grow your maturity. Take your licks like every other poor slob who built from nothing.