Speaking of the acme of Western Civilization, Bruce Charlton continues to present convincing evidence that we are indeed getting stupider. Nick Land agrees ominously.
The first issue of Dark Matter Journal is up. And duly linked over on the bloggy roll. I see it as the higher IQ and longer attention span version of Theden. These two, taken together with the idiosyncratic yet magisterial Radish form the three-scoop sundae of reactionary public interfacing deliciousness.
In the lifetime of many still living, Western Civilization achieved its acme and began its alarming and poorly controlled descent into chaos and anarchy.
Some generous person has collected two films documenting (and propagandizing) the Bell Labs Holmdel Complex—a symbol, one of many no doubt, of the greatness of man’s fiercely contended mastery over all he surveyed. The 2 million ft2 building is abandoned today.
I never worked Holmdel but interviewed and visited that building a few times. Its sheer size was awful in the genuine “awe inducing” sense of the term. The building I now work in (“Murray Hill”) shows up in the early parts of the first video. Millions of dollars are being spent here to tear down unused portions of this historic and once consequential building.
As Mr. Moldbug reminds us:
The past is a foreign country, someone once said. If the past is a foreign country, someone else said, a reactionary is a patriot of that country. Almost an exile from it.
And unlike the presentist, who sees the past as a tiny, backward and contemptible province of his vast eternal present, the reactionary knows the opposite. The present is a province of the past.
If you have a half an hour, you might enjoy taking a peek into a country that seems familiar yet strangely just out of our reach today.
[Ack. I pushed the publish button too soon. Now there's no hiding it. so here it is...]
As a Card-Carrying Reactionary, I swear that I shall…
[Ed. This was supposed to be published in January, but it has a pretty picture in it, so I thought it would be worthwhile to publish anyway.]
Jim is absolutely superb in an expansive theory of power, demotism, and lies. My take on it is that when reactionaries complain of “demotism”, what we’re really complaining about—what really unites the category of “demotic” states—is not so much the “power” the people have, which in all cases is small, but the lengths those in power will go to to preserve the lies about the nature of their government.
The North Korean regime is based on lies, since it claims its right to rule comes from the will of the people. Therefore, the North Korean regime needs an elaborate apparatus of thought control.
Hic decor hec forma manet, hec lex omnibus unam.
The Social Pathologist suggests A Neoreactionary Theology of the Body:
Once you can get people thinking that spirit/mind good, flesh bad, then all sorts of interesting things become possible. Biology becomes disassociated from person-hood and its seen as something that can be overcome. It’s very easy to see the analogy between some desert ascetic trying to break away from the desires of flesh to become a more fully “authentic” Christian and some homosexual male wanting to become a woman but who is “trapped by their flesh”. Both men are trying to escape the realities of their biology.
Gnosticism, in its various forms, will be inadvertently enabled by Christianity as long as it keeps regarding the flesh as an inferior to the spirit. In my opinion, any push back against the modern understanding of the person will only come about when the Church starts reasserting not only the goodness of the flesh but of the obligation of the spirit to conform to it insofar as it is compatible with Caritas. Biology matters.
The tension between Body and Soul is as endemic (and necessary) to Christianity as that between Judaism and Paganism. They might even be tied to some of the same tent pegs.
Reactionary twitterers Outis Nusquam and Talking Blues went for a walk in the woods last Thursday and this is what they said:
I was going to put this into the “This Week in Reaction” post, but it just got too big. There’s too much there there. The history of Public Relations, i.e., as a formal discipline, arising nearly ex nihilo out of the psychoanalytic school of Sigmund Freud in the 1910s and 1920s, and the dramatic improvements it made to propaganda of all sorts, may not come as a surprise to many of my readers. But the extent to which PR techniques were consciously and deliberately crafted to control the great mass of men (and especially women) for political purposes was sure news to me.
Isegoria, who for over a decade (what were YOU doing for The Reaction® in 2003, hmmm?) has been doing the yeoman’s work of highlighting and commentating upon items of interest to the wider reactionary community, put up a post Tuesday Torches of Freedom. He did so with his now familiar utter absence of fanfare, prolixity, and self-promotion. He embeds the first episode (“Happiness Machines”) of Adam Curtis‘ BBC Four Documentary The Century of the Self. Like most BBC documentaries, this one is excellent. It is a well researched, well written, and well produced story of how the “science” of psycho-analysis was used to develop techniques to control and ultimately exploit the unconscious desires for not altogether wholesome ends.
Matt Briggs on the Technological Singularity in The Closing of the Scientific Mind, pulling in some great stuff from Arch-Aristotlean-Thomist Ed Feser. Machines are not and cannot be intelligent. To believe that they can be is to make a pre-rational metaphysical commitment about the nature of mind, i.e., that mind iss (is an only is) an epiphenomenon of brain, and that brain iss a meat machine. I suspect a sort of wave-particle duality in the study of human consciousness: If you look for meat machine, you will find it. And if you look for consciousness (mind, will, emotion), you will find that. But you will never find the meat machine being conscious. Just as the act of measuring creates inherent uncertainty in a particle’s position and momentum, I suspect that the act of experimental reduction will obscure the boundaries between electrical signals and thought.
This was left in response to Noah Millman’s blurry gaze into the Neoreactionary community at
NRO TAC [Doh!]. The comment was held up in moderation and I post it here just in case it gets eaten by the bots….
Foseti has not, as was once widely assumed, left his post in DC for a life of Wine, Women, and Sunshine in Tahiti. No he’s proven himself more invaluabler than ever by putting together a guided tour of Moldbug, the first installment of which is here. Ya know how Foseti’s always at his best when doing Book Reviews? Well consider this series a Canon Review.
Yes, April 13, 2014 is Palm Sunday for us Catholics, but plans are being finalized for a Neoreactionary #Luvup on that day near the 95-corridor between Baltimore and DC. Ya know how they say, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” Well this is a case of, “I went to Neoreactionary Meetup and a wedding broke out.”
A Neoreactionary lurker, who happens to be good friends with Handle (total coincidence I’m sure), is tying the knot that day. Faced with twin lemons of a low turn-out for his “side” of the aisle, and a growing desire to meet and chat with folks from the burgeoning Reactosphere, Handle is helping this friend make some lemonade.
Sure, it sounds a little strange, but I am assured that bride & groom & families are totally on board with this. And hey, there’ll be drinks! Plan to dress (at least somewhat) appropriately, and bring a gift. Knowing a dance step or two couldn’t hurt.
Level 5 Reactionary Meetup Protocols will be in effect. Only those known and identified to me (or Handle) by PM, DM, or email, will be told when, where, and under what name to report. Do not (repeat DO NOT) plan to “just show up”.
Catholics, please plan to go to mass on the Saturday vigil.
Jim is simply at his absolute best in Leftism as Cancer. That one is for the Reactionary Canon. See also reasons for the leftward drift.
Neoreaction is in the news again. This time, Matt K. Lewis has an article up at The Week Why are US Conservatives so Obsessed with Monarchies?. In spite of the abysmally misleading title, the article is actually a pretty fair if brief introduction to some neoreactionary concepts, and blissfully avoids any hyper-ventilation over the perceived evils of Human Biodiversity.
Rod Dreher notices Lewis’ article and then promptly get neoreaction mashed up with paleo-Catholics and Pope Francis and his not entirely rightist economic views. Dreher is usually better than this. I await a fair and dynamite article from on the neoreaction proper (and not on what it ain’t), once he gets his feet back under him.
I’ve been reading local boy Matt Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, Professional Bayesian, and Inveterate Climate Realist for several years now. I consider his deep and witty analysis of the psychology of climate activism as exemplified here to be unmatched. The critique will be familiar to students of the Cathedral’s ways:
- Proponents of Hypothesis X attract funding by promoting it;
- Attracting funding means gaining power;
- Gaining power is attractive to seekers of power, whether they understand Hypothesis X or (more commonly) not;
Use accumulated power and/or funding to marginalize, stigmatize, and pathologize dissent from Hypthothesis X;
- Use some proceeds of power and/or funding to construct and promote non-parsimonious explanations about the origins of Hypthothesis X “Denial”;
- Lather, rinse, repeat
Bryce delivers part 2 of his comprehensive, but condensed by Moldbuggian standards, introduction to Cathedralism. For those keeping score: We’re up to about 2900 words.
Ever wonder what’s going on over at the Cato Institute? It’s alive and well, playing the Libertarianism’s Generals against Progressivism’s Globetrotters. More Right: “Cato Progressives Displeased with Reaction” and Theden: “The Thing That Ate Libertarianism” give us the coverage. Once thought to be no vice, Extremism in Defense of Liberty turned out to be a bit (erm…) “retrograde”.
Look for another dose later in the week. I needed to clear this out to focus on being a fly on the wall over at Foseti’s, and also putting up an important social announcement.
Slovenian More Right contributor, Samo Burja, aka. “Konkvistador“, donned the stick of a Zen master to train would-be neoreactionaries in the occult paths of anti-progressivism.
The result, a set of reactionary kōans, were some of the funniest (and truest) tweets I had ever seen. I threatened that I would blog it and he didn’t object. So without further delay, I present you, Dear Reader, of the startling strength of distilled and unalloyed reactionary thought…
Fine piece from “Emil Deils” at Theden: Why the Right Keeps Losing and What to do About it. Now who the heck is Emil Deils? (And, by the way, keep reading and supporting Theden. It’s The Reaction®’s best kept secret.)
Malcolm Pollack reports how female under-representation in programming has become a national crisis. The only females whom I considered peers in programming have been both few and Continue reading
A year ago this blog did not exist. I’m not sure exactly when I adopted the moniker “Nick B. Steves” (aka. Nicholas Bernard Stevenson) as an occasional commentator at the Orthosphere, Foseti’s, Jim’s, and elsewhere. It was hastily and poorly chosen. But by the time in May I decided to host my own blather here, it was the name that stuck. Along the way, I’ve met a large number of reactionaries in person, and come into contact with hundreds more via the web and social media. 2013 is the year, thanks to Bryce and the Tech Crunch article, in which Neoreaction became a thing. Not all reactionaries are happy about that. More are puzzled. I’m not sure myself what, if anything, Neoreaction means, vis-a-vis plain ol’ Reaction. But attracting more cars to this very small train is important work.
The highlight of the year for me intellectually was Spandrell’s Conflict post in which he identified ethno-nationalists, religious traditionalists, and techno-futurists as forming three legs of a Reactionary Trichotomy. This really resonated in my brain. It identified a pattern that I hadn’t noticed before. So what was it that unites the branches? Is there a core of consensus that diverse, potentially mutually antipathetic, groups could endorse? I think so. I continue to hope so. To these three legs, we’ve been able to add more articulate regions of the manosphere and advocates paleo-living.
Modernity sucks more than it should. Almost everyone believes that. But why? To look at the question honestly—to clear our minds of cant, aka. pretty lies—is, in a real sense to become neoreactionary.
I would like to encourage young people to keep their faith (or to get (or be gotten by) one), love their own particularity (or to find (or be found by) one), and commit themselves to the slow, patient, and generational work it will take to see the final glorious death of Progressivism. “I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people [or various peoples], will get to the promised land!”
Happy New Year!
Well. I’m on Daily Caller Opinion Editor and mutual Twitter-follower J. Arthur Bloom’s reading list, along with a few more of my regular reads. I see Bloom as a fellow traveler with significant alt-right and paleo-right sympathies. His coolness to Richard Spencer and White Nationalism in this piece earned him some not entirely undeserved suspicion in reactionary circles, many of whom operate on a strict principle: “Pas d’ennemis a droit, pas d’amis a gauche.” Still, in my many interactions with Bloom, he seems to both understand and sympathize with various reactionary principles and critiques. He is also responsible for publishing Laliberte’s and Morganston’s DC pieces. He’s in a useful position for us and our cause; and I believe he is more than a useful idiot.
Regarding Arthur Bloom, Mike Anissimov tweets: Continue reading
Reaction is a loose and uneasy amalgamation of diverse particularities. We share a common enemy, not a common bathtub. Let us all agree there are no enemies to our right. And let us be hospitable, tolerant, and reserving of judgement to all those who are moving in a rightward direction. The time for out-grouping will no doubt come, but that time is not yet.
Forty-three years ago, it was possible for an avowed and active leftist to articulate a patriarchal view in sexual relationships.
Full disclosure, I once sang this song (with guitar tuned to Drop D in hand) at a friend’s wedding. I don’t regret it.
I know I should post something. You know how Yogi Berra said nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded. Well I have a hard time blogging anymore because there’s too much to talk about.