Visualizing Neoreaction by Scharlach
I ran into the Dark Enlightenment a while back, and spent some time poking around among the various sites. Its proponents are also known as “Neoreactionaries”, which is an appealing term in itself. Among their characteristics are a distaste for modern politics and culture, skepticism about democracy, and an affinity for venerable and organically-formed traditions.
The culture they oppose is often labeled “The Cathedral”. It is the behemoth of progressive modernity that compels compliance through both incentives and punishments. On occasion I’ve called the same monster “The Empire”, in sardonic reference to the old Jefferson Airplane song “Greasy Man”:
Don’t change before the empire falls
You’ll laugh so hard you’ll crack the walls
In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief Bromden called it “The Combine”.
But whatever name it goes by, it is the trans-national engine of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism. It is lavishly funded, relentlessly promoted, and enforced by coercion when necessary. It is pushed by Western governments, the media, the Academy, major corporations, the central banks, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the United Nations, and numerous deep-pocketed private foundations. Its primary purpose — sometimes stated clearly but more often covert — is to usher in a New World Order of “global governance”. When that glorious Utopia arrives, only the government and billions of atomized individuals will remain. All other mediating institutions will have been vacuumed up by the omnipotent State.
Meaningful dissent against the Cathedral is not permitted, not even among ostensible “conservatives”. Just ask John Derbyshire. Or Jason Richwine.
The greatest punishments are reserved for any deviation from orthodoxy on race and ethnicity. National Review dutifully excommunicates any race-heretics from its cramped crypt in the cellar of the Cathedral. But other topics are also frowned upon, such as skepticism about global warming. Or home-schooling. Or the gold standard — dissidents on fiat money are laughed out of the nave and down the front steps.
If mockery fails as a deterrent, then more stringent persuasions are brought to bear, running from denial of funding through loss of employment to lawsuits and prosecution. The Cathedral will not be gainsaid.
The Dark Enlightenment fails to heed such strictures, and takes exception to the doctrines of the Cathedral. It had remained in relative obscurity, but recently came to the attention of at least two commentators in Britain. On January 20th, Jamie Bartlett, in his blog at The Telegraph, told his audience to be alarmed: “Meet The Dark Enlightenment: sophisticated neo-fascism that’s spreading fast on the net”. He considered it a possibly dangerous “niche movement” that needs to be watched.
Two days later, Tim Stanley, also blogging for The Telegraph, reassured his readers that “The ‘neo-fascist’ Dark Enlightenment is more sad than scary”.
Sober-minded citizens who wish to remain the shelter of the Cathedral’s portico may well wonder which reaction to these cranks and misfits is more appropriate. Should we be alarmed? Should we pity them? Or should we subject them to ridicule and scorn?
To help readers make up their minds, our British correspondent JP has compiled a selection of excerpts from the writings of prominent Neoreactionaries. He includes this brief introduction:
Why I like the Neoreactionaries
Leave aside the occasional long-windedness, the sometimes plain silly or even outlandishly alarming, the Neoreactionaries appear marked by a curiosity and openness to humanity and its doings that does not stop at barriers erected arbitrarily for whatever reasons.
In short, Neoreactionaries appear to like humans and humanity. This is refreshing, encouraging, and ultimately liberating after experiencing the intense dislike for hominids so often displayed by those who have fixed ideas what and what should not be. I recommend that you linger in the Neoreactionary biotope, soak up its atmosphere, emerge refreshed for battles and wars to come.
Below is JP’s anthology of selected Neoreactionary writings.
Barbarism — Nick Land — The Dark Enlightenment: The Complete Series, part 4a
In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to cities of the western Pacific Rim], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike. Visitors are warned to stay away, whilst locals do their best to transform their homes into fortresses, avoid venturing onto the streets after dark, and — especially if young and male — turn to criminal gangs for protection, which further degrades the security of everybody else. Predators control public space, parks are death traps, aggressive menace is celebrated as ‘attitude’, property acquisition is for mugs (or muggers), educational aspiration is ridiculed, and non-criminal business activity is despised as a violation of cultural norms. Every significant mechanism of socio-cultural pressure, from interpreted heritage and peer influences to political rhetoric and economic incentives, is aligned to the deepening of complacent depravity and the ruthless extirpation of every impulse to self-improvement. Quite clearly, these are places where civilization has fundamentally collapsed, and a society that includes them has to some substantial extent failed.
The Cathedral — Michael Anissimov — Neoreactionary Glossary, 19 September 2013
The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labour laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.
Clans — hbd*chick blog, 5 April 2013
There is a vast amount of literature that considers the importance of the family as an institution. Little attention, however, has been given to the impact of the family structure and its dynamics on institutions. This limits our ability to understand distinct institutional developments — and hence growth — in the past and present. This paper supports this argument by highlighting the importance of the European family structure in one of the most fundamental institutional changes in history and reflects on its growth-related implications.
“Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations,” Avner Greif, American Economic Review, May 2006, pgs. 308-09
Note: hbd = Human Biodiversity
Complementarity — Michael Anissimov — Neoreactionary Glossary, 19 September 2013
The view that “men and women complement one another as separate parts that together make up a composite whole.” Also called complementarism. Related to the empirical view that men and women have different psychologies and are thus suited to different, complementary roles in society. Both men and women are seen as responsible for contributing “civilizing influence” to society as a whole, beginning with the atomic unit of society, the family. Among Reactionaries, most strains of feminism are seen as exacerbating male-female conflict and mortgaging long-term social vigour for the fleeting rewards of frivolity, hypergamy, and juvenilism. By the same token, misogyny, adultery, domestic abuse, fatherly irresponsibility, and the incessant whining of “men’s rights activists” are frowned upon as encouraging the same conflicts. Reactionaries acknowledge that securing the future depends on raising children in a stable and nurturing environment with a father and mother, and that the selfish desires of parents are secondary to this central goal. Without children, a culture simply self-terminates. Idolizing childlessness is a form of cultural suicide.
Cult — Mencius Moldbug — Unqualified Reservations, 11 October 2007