You Know It When You See It
Or perhaps more pertinently, feel it.
I’ve described myself as a neoreactionary without fully appreciating what neoreaction precisely is. But as I continue to read about Reaction (see The Shipwrecked Mind) it makes more and more sense. And it becomes obvious that this where my own mind is at.
Of course we have Nick Land as a figurehead, with his always interesting posts, to help point the way. There are plenty of great introductions out there. But the movement is clearly gaining mainstream prominence, with Tyler Cowen commenting on it recently. The world is getting progressively weirder, and the Cathedral have begun to notice in the year of our Lord, 2016.
For me personally the following summations have really struck home that, yes, I am a neoreactionary:
But while reactionary thought is prone to real wickedness, it also contains real insights. (As, for the record, does Slavoj Zizek — I think.) Reactionary assumptions about human nature — the intractability of tribe and culture, the fragility of order, the evils that come in with capital-P Progress, the inevitable return of hierarchy, the ease of intellectual and aesthetic decline, the poverty of modern substitutes for family and patria and religion — are not always vindicated. But sometimes? Yes, sometimes. Often? Maybe even often.
Why are we reactionaries? Because modernity sucks. In what way? Well, let’s count the ways:
1. Women are unpleasant, men are unmanly
2. Foreigners everywhere
5. Aesthetic taste has collapsed
But if Reactionary thought is tied to the past, that we’ve all made a great mistake, how does that connect with futurism? Simply because it must. You cannot ignore scientific and technological progress, and you must bend it to what is traditionally human. We are all no more than interacting parts, ones and zeroes. Everything is reducible to this, but we can build on what we have to begin with.
Of the various branches that neoreaction contains, I am not of the religious persuasion, only partially of nationalistic thinking and uncomfortable with embracing the capitalist argument.
Essentially, we need revised versions of democracy and capitalism, not the degenerate forms they’ve undertaken in the name of plutocracy.
It seems to me, and many of us, that the plutocrats aren’t fighting to expand human wealth. They are fighting to become an endogamic caste lording over the mongrel masses.
In this sense Left-inclined people actually align with neoreactionary thought. You can be anti-globalist for other reasons than being ‘racist’ and ‘anti-immigrant’. Globalism is pushed by the elites — with the facade of tolerance — in order to gain ever more wealth and power. We all want to live.
If anything, neoreaction is the habit of being wary. And you can’t fault that.