Is neoreaction a photographic negative of Marxism?
June 1, 2014 § 30 Comments
I haven’t taken up a study of the thing that calls itself ‘neoreaction’, but I’ve inevitably developed some impressions from encounters here and there. For example I’ve recently gotten the impression that there is a strong strain of nominalist postmodernism in neoreaction; an impression that has only been reinforced by the manner in which self-styled neoreactionaries have defended their linguistic bluster and trumpeted the virtues of propaganda. And although the manosphere and neoreaction aren’t the same thing, they are both products of the great bowel movement of modernity; and I’ve noted the cultural marxist tendencies of the former before.
Sometimes there are advantages to being old, or at least middle aged. This all “rhymes” remarkably well with how I recall Marxists defending their views in electronic discussions several decades ago. A number of folks concluded that I was crazy to see connections between postmodernism in debating style and marxism in ideology, but I still don’t think it is an accident that most postmoderns tend to have wildly leftist views.
The thing that Marxism and classical liberalism have in common is liberalism. The Marxist critique is basically that the classical liberal property regime – lets call it “capitalism” – promises but fails to actually achieve freedom and equality in outcome. Capitalism on the Marxist view is a big lie, because it promises freedom and equal rights but delivers the same old feudalism and oppression under different labels. The capitalist property regime, therefore, must go.
So Marxism is basically classical liberalism minus capitalism.
Neoeaction is the acknowledgement that you can only work with how the world was, is, and is going to be.
Now that part is obviously question-begging chest-thumping, because nobody thinks that his world view is based on fantasy. Everyone takes himself to be a hard-nosed realist who really understands things as they really are, as opposed to all those other people who don’t. So what matters is what the blogger takes this to mean substantively. And it turns out that what the blogger takes this to mean substantively is that capitalism is written into the nature of things and cannot be critiqued:
Once you acknowledge that Capitalism is a spontaneous order which is something which cannot be halted, must be allowed to run free, and which is a force of nature every bit as much as genetics, then as a neoreactionary you must embrace this understanding and act in accordance with the world as it was, is and is going to be.
So on one view, neoreaction is basically classical liberalism minus the liberalism: a photographic negative of Marxism.
Austrian economics, defended by postmodern lies.