A bleg: are there any grownups in neoreaction?

June 23, 2014 § 150 Comments

I posted the following in the thread below:

NRx is the community that had great backslapping fun by lying to Mark Shea – about themselves no less, and a lie that only worked because of their insignificance and obscurity – and congratulating themselves with great revelry on how clever and witty they were to get him to believe the lie.

I haven’t done due diligence on le affaire Shea, but I haven’t seen a single post anywhere from anyone associated with NRx suggesting the tiniest bit of an inkling that that was actually juvenile behaviour and something of which to be ashamed.

A quick Google search did not turn up any adults in NRx who were ashamed of juvenile lying behavior or thought that it reflected poorly on their community.   Are any readers aware of something I didn’t find?

§ 150 Responses to A bleg: are there any grownups in neoreaction?

  • CJ says:

    I’m not aware of any, and I’d be surprised if any turn up. Mark’s gullibility reinforced their beliefs about denizens of the Cathedral (not smart enough, feminized/overly emotional, obsessed with destroying NRX at all costs.) so there’s no way they give up the scalp they collected.

    I do think Mark displayed an alarming level of credulity, but that’s no reason to celebrate the “accomplishment.”

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose my overall point is that the message “No grownups allowed” comes through loud and clear.

  • zhai2nan2 says:

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/12/the-dark-enlightenment-is-new-right-lite/

    Matt Parrott has argued that the whole “Dark Enlightenment” is just a bunch of outsiders who have put a new name on what the “New Right” was writing for decades.
    Quote:

    In essence, this movement comprises a broad assortment of writers who are promoting our familiar New Right message, but usually stripped of explicit identitarianism and direct critiques of Jews and their central role in the machine they’re raging against. By limiting the scope of their work to avoid naming specific enemies or getting too specific about solutions, they’re capable of reaching a much large audience than otherwise possible, given the internalized taboos and external disincentives attached to either “racism” or “antisemitism.”

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    By limiting the scope of their work to avoid naming specific enemies or getting too specific about solutions

    In other words, by playing the B.S. postmodern word game.

    Neoreactionaries will tell you that postmodernism is B.S., but what many don’t even realize themselves is that they’ve decided they’re going to win the game (which is rigged from the start, and impossible to win) instead of walking away from it.

  • They aren’t capable of reaching a very large audience. But even granting that, right-liberals reach a massive audience. And all it’s gotten them is loss of their living standards if they’re average folks and reduced access to power if they are high-status folks.

  • MarcusD says:

    They aren’t capable of reaching a very large audience

    Why is that? (or why do you think that?)

  • I’ll admit I chuckled over l’affaire Shea a few months ago. Yes, NRx lied to him but the lie was so over the top ludicrous that my BS senses were tingling before I was even half way through the account he posted. Mark ran with it and used the false story of Neoreactionary gatherings to hyperventilate about how they’re a nascent Fourth Reich. I was amused because Shea is normally so quick to accuse others of being discernment free loonies.

    To answer your bleg, no, I’m not aware of any self-identified NRx denizens who thought poorly of the trolling.

  • Zippy says:

    I don’t think that secular NRx is a fourth reich right now, but the third reich was birthed in a very similar fashion: secular liberalism abandoning the myth of universal equality.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Interesting link to Counter-Currents, and how the Neo-Reaction is “New Right Lite”. That place is…um…many things… They think the trading cards are simply marvelous (wink wink, nudge nudge).

  • Neoreaction isn’t a very sellable philosophy. It’s too weird to break out on its own, cannot be shoehorned into some catchy soundbites (radish’s attempts were comically, epically awful) and offers nothing to high status, genuinely powerful/influential people.

  • Zippy says:

    Beefy Levinson:
    So here is a follow up question.

    If not a single NRx realized how juvenile the incident made them look as a community, what does that say about the expertise the community claims in things like “status signaling”?

  • josh says:

    I only know Mark Shea from his despicable behavior toward E. Michael Jones. Can’t say that I care all that much that somebody yanked his chain. But, sure, it’s not something a serious person would do, I suppose.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Oh Zippy, I’m normally in agreement with you, but I think you’re being too dramatic here. I think it was supposed to be a lighthearted internet joke. You know, for fun. I don’t know for sure, of course, but I don’t *think* they meant it to be a grand deception. You know, “Kids these days” and all that, but they ‘fessed up afterward, though I don’t think they apologized to Mr. Shea. Then again, who apologizes on the internet? Practically no one, including many Christians I know who’ve behaved quite abominably. So.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I only know Mark Shea from his despicable behavior toward E. Michael Jones. Can’t say that I care all that much that somebody yanked his chain.

    josh: “If someone behaves like a jackass, that morally justifies behaving like a jackass towards that someone.”

    I think it was supposed to be a lighthearted internet joke.

    If that’s true (I haven’t done the due diligence to know for sure, though my cursory impression is that it’s not) then – while it’s not as serious a matter – that still doesn’t excuse it.

    A ‘joke’ can be sinful if you fail to make it clear that you’re joking – it can easily fall under lying and/or slander.

    Also – as for apologies – since when is “no one else is behaving morally” an excuse for not behaving morally?

  • the point of that exercise was to get Mark Shea to write what everyone knows he really wanted to write. If people aren’t going to take the time to study, they deserve to be ridiculed.

  • Zippy says:

    Peppermint:
    It doesn’t matter what the point was of telling lies to snooker Shea into believing that NRx is more significant than it actually is in fact, and it doesn’t matter whether people think the target of the lies deserved it or whatever.

    What communities do is a reflection of their character, and I find it at least mildly interesting that it apparently didn’t so much as occur to a single person in all the NRx community to think that a juvenile lying stunt designed to function as a public detraction against someone (whomever that someone might be) might reflect poorly on the NRx community.

  • sunshinemary says:

    since when is “no one else is behaving morally” an excuse for not behaving morally?

    Sure, I agree with you. They ought to say sorry and explain what Peppermint just mentioned, that they were trying to point out the fact that Mr. Shea wanted to believe this (I mean really, did you read it? It was too absurd for anyone to believe; I’m in awe that anyone fell for it, that’s how over the top it was. Phenotype checks, anyone?), which means he already had convicted them in his mind without knowing much about them. Perhaps this was their point? Just a thought.

  • Zippy says:

    Part of what makes it an interesting case is that Shea, with all his flaws, is frequently first in line to criticize lying and misbehavior on the part of those on “his side”. For example as a staunch pro-lifer he has nonetheless criticized pro-lifers who lie to entrap others.

    But it really wouldn’t matter if the target had been Al Sharpton; and I find the “can’t take a joke neener neener” defense unconvincing.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Basically, it doesn’t matter whether or not Shea ‘had it coming’. You can’t justify sinful behavior. That’s what ‘sinful’ means.

    Unless our dear neoreactionaries made it clear from the get-go that what they were saying wasn’t actually true, they were lying.

    It doesn’t matter how believable the lies were.

    It doesn’t matter what Shea’s predispositions were.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not Shea ‘deserved it’.

    They were still engaging in intrinsically sinful behavior.

  • sunshinemary says:

    I don’t know who wrote the original letter, but it’s on Occam’s Razor blog (I won’t post the link because I’m pretty sure Zippy wouldn’t be pleased if I did). Might it be that they didn’t think anyone could possibly believe it, that it was so over-the-top that they didn’t think of it as lying but rather hyperbole?

    Well, I sound like I’m playing white knight for them, so I’ll stop, but I know that when I originally read it, I didn’t even think of it as a lie because I couldn’t believe that whoever wrote it intended for anyone to actually believe that it was true. That’s why I don’t take it seriously now (I would take it seriously if I thought they had written it with the intention to be believed, but really…“The Dark Enlightenment allegedly has millions of dollars of money to play with. They have a couple big donors. One is rumored to be a major tech tycoon in Silicon Valley. They actually had a private 3-day meeting on an island which was furnished with a French chef, etc. Different forms of formal attire were required for each day (tuxedos, 3-piece suits, etc), and some weird costumes were required too (capes, hoods, etc)” Could anyone have written that and thought it would be believed?).

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If they wanted to criticize a viewpoint, they could easily have done so by, say, writing articles criticizing that viewpoint.

    Conducting a sting operation to get someone to assert the viewpoint they wished to criticize was both immoral and unnecessary.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Might it be that they didn’t think anyone could possibly believe it, that it was so over-the-top that they didn’t think of it as lying but rather hyperbole?

    If that’s true, then the fault came when they realized they were being taken seriously and did not correct Shea.

  • sunshinemary says:

    If that’s true, then the fault came when they realized they were being taken seriously and did not correct Shea.

    Well, I can’t argue with you there. And no one likes to be punked a la Borat, so it certainly wasn’t a nice thing to do, I’ll grant you that.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    While I find it highly improbable, it is technically possible that they didn’t realize Shea was taking them seriously.

    If they genuinely believed that Shea was not under the impression that what they were saying was true, then it’s possible that they had no culpability for the material sin which took place.

    However, that doesn’t excuse the lack of apology now that the truth is clear.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    Billionaire Peter Thiel is known to have DE sympathies. I’m modestly wealthy myself and know some very wealthy people, so that sort of thing – “millions of dollars” and “a couple of big donors” – probably doesn’t strike me as quite as implausible as it does the average suburbanite.

    If anything it strikes me as a rather achievable ambition. The clothing thing reminds me of some parties I attended in the nineties.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    The clothing thing reminds me of some parties I attended in the nineties.

    Was that you in the Eddie cosplay?

  • Zippy says:

    JSG:
    No, but it is a known fact that I am an Iron Maiden fan.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Without going into any outfits or costumes I may have allegedly worn in the 1990s, let me just say that I still think they may not have thought anyone would believe the letter. Evidence:

    1. Thiel is a libertarian, no? So he wouldn’t have been funding neoreactionary parties on a private island.

    2. Most of the DE guys are one of the following: poor-ish students who crowd fund their trips to the Big City to have a drink with other NRXN people OR tech/business guys are who probably doing okay but not rich OR writers who are doing okay but not rich. They aren’t spending three days on an island wearing tuxedos and eating foie gras.

    3. And finally…come on, naked phenotype inspections!?

    Or does that also remind you of a party you attended in the 90s? 🙂

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    Or does that also remind you of a party you attended in the 90s? 🙂

    I can neither confirm nor deny the allegation.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Well, anyway, I’m going to bed, but before I do, let’s enjoy a bit of soothing bedtime music, specially chosen in light of this recent fascinating fact that we have learned about Zippy this evening.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Boo, video failure. Let’s try again:

  • sunshinemary says:

    There we go! Ah, brings back sweaty memories of seventh grade, doesn’t it?

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @JSG

    Unless our dear neoreactionaries made it clear from the get-go that what they were saying wasn’t actually true, they were lying.

    I didn’t read the joke/article in question, or Shea’s responses, but if the “trap” actually contained things like what SM quoted:

    “The Dark Enlightenment allegedly has millions of dollars of money to play with. They have a couple big donors. One is rumored to be a major tech tycoon in Silicon Valley. They actually had a private 3-day meeting on an island which was furnished with a French chef, etc. Different forms of formal attire were required for each day (tuxedos, 3-piece suits, etc), and some weird costumes were required too (capes, hoods, etc)”

    C’mon. That’s a joke. Now jokes involving ludicrous deception are lying and sin?

    I can see criticizing the aftermath if there was no charity extended after (and not a little pride) the joke was pulled. Zippy might not think it’s ludicrous as a wealthy middle-aged adult, but I think he cannot assume that of the DE folks who wrote that joke as the thrust of his criticism is that the pranksters are immature punks. I think the latter has traction. Lying? Nah.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    @ CC:

    I believe I already made the 2 possible caveats clear:

    1. If they intended hyperbole (perhaps as a joke) then the fault came when they realized they were being taken seriously and did not correct the misconception.

    If I told you – as a joke – some ridiculous story about how I survived jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, and you believed it to be true, it would be sinful on my part to not correct the misconception.

    In this scenario, our neoreactionary friends are not guilty of lying right from the get-go, but become guilty of lying when they fail to clarify that they’re joking.

    2. If they didn’t realize they were being taken seriously (which I find highly unlikely) then they committed the material sin of lying, but were not culpable for it.

    A joke can easily become (at least materially) sinful if you don’t make sure the listener knows you’re joking.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    Zippy might not think it’s ludicrous as a wealthy middle-aged adult, but I think he cannot assume that of the DE folks who wrote that joke as the thrust of his criticism is that the pranksters are immature punks. I think the latter has traction. Lying? Nah.

    What the incident seems to show to me is a universal lack of maturity in the NRx community, yes. It appears that not a soul was grown up enough to be embarrassed by it on the community’s behalf.

    But yes, separately, there is not a little provinciality in seeing millions of dollars, a few large donors, and funny costumes as necessarily and obviously a joke. One of the things that struck me on 9-11 was that the only resources I personally lacked to do the same thing myself was the will to do it and twenty young men willing to die.

  • josh says:

    josh: “If someone behaves like a jackass, that morally justifies behaving like a jackass towards that someone.”

    I didn’t say that, though it does seem like I implied it. The whole thing seems so trivial and silly. Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry tells Elaine that the original title to War and Peace was “War! What is it Good For?” and that that is where they got the title for the song?

  • josh says:

    While we are at it, as a Catholic are we supposed to apologize for Mark Shea? Granted, I feel a little embarrassed by his behavior, and I think he reflects poorly on us as a community, but I have never said so publicly.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I didn’t say that, though it does seem like I implied it.

    Fair enough. I suppose the sentiment could easily have been limited to “I don’t care that these people are behaving sinfully because they’re victimizing a jackass”. There was nothing explicit about their behavior not being sinful.

    I apologize for reading into it too much.

    While we are at it, as a Catholic are we supposed to apologize for Mark Shea?

    Well, Catholicism is a much bigger group than neoreaction. If we spent our time hunting down every Catholic who’d ever behaved like a jackass and publicly apologizing for them, we’d never get anything else done.

    Denouncing and apologizing for the despicable behavior of a fellow Catholic is only necessary when the subject is already at hand – anything more would be impractical.

    For example, if someone was attacking Catholicism by citing Shea’s interactions with E. Michael Jones, then yes. In that situation I’d say we’re most definitely supposed to apologize for Shea.*

    *disclaimer: I’m only vaguely familiar with Shea’s interactions with Jones, so in this example I’m operating under the assumption that his behavior was – in fact – despicable. I haven’t done the due diligence to know for sure.

  • jf12 says:

    Wet blanket here, not fuel. An easy rejoinder from a neoreactionary would be No True NRX would do etc.

  • Zippy says:

    I am not aware of any shortage of Catholics who disagree with Mark Shea.

  • sunshinemary says:

    But yes, separately, there is not a little provinciality in seeing millions of dollars, a few large donors, and funny costumes as necessarily and obviously a joke.

    Taken in the context of the whole letter, one would have to be rather moronic to believe that this was a genuine event and not a joke. Or, if not moronic, then so predisposed to believe awful things about a particular group that one would be willing to suspend rational disbelief.

    One of the things that struck me on 9-11 was that the only resources I personally lacked to do the same thing myself was the will to do it and twenty young men willing to die.

    That’s like me saying I was watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show (which I wasn’t) and the only resources I personally lacked to be a VS model is looks and youth. Um, yeah…that’s the whole point. You don’t have the will or young men to die and almost certainly never will. DE doesn’t have a hunky secret millionaire boyfriend and almost certainly never will.

    A question: do you believe that Nrxn poses some kind of genuine threat? You’ve used two fairly loaded examples – Nazi Germany and 9-11 – over the past two threads, but I can’t tell if you’re just being hyperbolic or if you really think DE is in some way dangerous.

    I don’t know, but I think Alte put it best on a thread at Bonald’s: the neoreactionaries simply aren’t the nerds we’re looking for. That’s all.

  • Andrew E. says:

    There was a commenter going by the name ‘Vladimir’ who was active on various neo-reaction sites about a year ago when there seemed to be marked growth in the movement, if one can call it that, after a few cladistic analyses of the political Right were making there way around the interwebz. He posted some fascinating comments but was also very skeptical of ‘neo-reaction.’ I think he nailed it here on Foseti’s site last year, I haven’t seen much of him since:

    Foseti,

    In this context, let me try to restate some of my points in a way that will be hopefully easier to understand.

    My benchmark of success is very modest: it’s simply to have a few places where we can have intelligent discussions unencumbered by the all-pervasive ideological conformity, places where we can get interesting insight and a confirmation that we didn’t go crazy when we started doubting the official authorities on various subjects. And even those who have greater ambitions should consider that this is the first necessary step before we can even reach some basic agreement on what else might be possible and desirable.

    Now, as you point out, the only way you can make your ideas influential is if you make them a mark of status and prestige among the elite. (They will then flow to the rest of society like water flows downhill.) This is an extremely unlikely possibility for us — “us” in the sense of people sharing some of this well-founded skepticism against the key ideas and institutions of modernity — and expectations of such victory would be unreasonable. However, there is a much more likely possibility, which is a sort of perverted mirror-image of such victory, and which will have the opposite effect of destroying the loose intellectual community that has grown around your blog and similar ones.

    What I have in mind is that if our shared views become recognizable under some moniker and identity as an internet meme — which is currently happening with the “(neo)reactionary” meme — they will probably become a mark of prestige and “cool” among a certain number of people, whose numbers won’t be large but will still be much larger than the number of people who actually have something interesting to say to us. Their presence in these forums will drag down their quality and eventually destroy them. Just think what will happen when instead of a dozen or two commenters, all of whom have interesting things to say (and are sensible enough to speak only when they do), you have five times as many of those who are attracted because they want to be R3actionary 1337, or who see your blog as just another place to vent the same old worn out loser rightist ideas. (Arguably, we’re already seeing the beginning of this process. Your comment section is much more active than a year or two ago, but the average qualty of comments has certainly declined, and one can for the first time see downright tiresome commenters on a regular basis.)

    I don’t know if this process can even be avoided or reversed. Maybe it’s inevitable however you turn it. But my main point is that by accepting and encouraging the growth of this “Reactionary Cool” internet meme, you are strengthening and catalyzing these forces of decay. (Not to mention that its expressions that overlap with nerd culture, like those magic hero cards, are in my opinion apt to attract a particularly undesirable audience.)

    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/the-progressive-reaction/

    And this:

    I don’t have any constructive proposals here. I’m just pointing out that the alleged success in spreading these memes is not a success at all if it has the form of propaganda, i.e. if they are being adopted in degenerate and dumbed-down forms by wider circles of people whose level of knowledge and understanding (let alone capacity for valuable contribution) is depressingly low. The “Cathedral” meme is already gone so far down this path that I can hardly bring myself to use this word any more.

    As Moldbug pointed out correctly in one of his old articles, if there is any hope for building high-quality independent intellectual institutions, one of the crucial conditions, for a multitude of obvious reasons, is not to permit wider circulation of their ideas in vulgar and debased versions. Seeing that the recent expansion of the reactionary blogosphere has unleashed these malign forces of decay in a poweful form, I can’t offer anything but these jeremiads in response. This doesn’t have much point any more, since I’ve already said what had to be said and I’m mostly repeating myself, but sometimes I just can’t resist responding to people who misdiagnose this decay as a triumph.

    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/randoms-118/

  • sunshinemary says:

    (Oops, typo. It should read “the only resources I personally lacked to be a VS model *are* looks and youth.”)

  • sunshinemary says:

    @ AndrewE
    Wow, Vladimir certainly called Trannygate a year before it happened, didn’t he? But he strangely seems to believe that Moldbug invented reactionary politics, as opposed to neoreaction.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    A question: do you believe that Nrxn poses some kind of genuine threat?

    In Oklahoma City, a couple of rednecks with a pile of manure represented a genuine threat. As far as I can tell the assumption of harmless jokey-joke about total strangers over the Internet is just that: an unfounded assumption. It isn’t as if there is a shortage of examples of crazy, dangerous people.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @JSG

    Well, Catholicism is a much bigger group than neoreaction. If we spent our time hunting down every Catholic who’d ever behaved like a jackass and publicly apologizing for them, we’d never get anything else done.

    Denouncing and apologizing for the despicable behavior of a fellow Catholic is only necessary when the subject is already at hand – anything more would be impractical.

    Pragmatism is not the answer.

    I think the better argument is that there have been Catholics responding to Shea on a variety of topics and for a long time. So then where were the NRx folks?

    @Zippy

    Now I’m reading these comments in a totally new light: You mastermind dastardly plots. You’re a wealthy and secluded identity. You have rich and powerful friends. You have strange and festive tastes…

    You’re the Julius Caesar of NRx! Admit it! This is you crossing the Lexicon to overthrow that puerile republic of dweebs!

    [Hah! -Z]

  • Zippy says:

    Andrew E:
    Those are some good quotes. I have been puzzled by the naive expectation some appear to have that they can start a “movement” and have it grow in some direction that they choose for it to grow. There is a fundamentally manipulative, technocratic mindset at work. I guess I’d suggest that in the unlikely event that this group or one like it actually does succeed in gestating something big, they won’t much care for thing to which they give birth.

  • Andrew E. says:

    sunshinemary,

    Vladimir was aware of Moldbug’s serious flaws as well. See here for instance:

    Foseti,

    I think you’re much too eager to defend every single Moldbug’s idea, even when they’re obvious nonsense. This is by no means to disparage Moldbug’s overall insight and contributions, of course. However, it would be unbelievable if any author and thinker of such breadth didn’t have at least some heavy blunders and biases — and also if he, as a man of the modern world, didn’t have at least some elements of progressivism unwittingly incorporated into his philosophy.

    In Moldbug’s case, the biggest piece of progressivism he has unwittingly swallowed is his concept of sovereignty. In this regard, he’s basically an extreme (to the point of caricature) Jacobin. His attempts to form a “reactionary” theory of sovereignty on this inane basis have led him to an endless succession of contradictory and nonsensical proclamations. There’s simply no way to salvage any of this incoherent mess.

    Another point where he has clearly been heavily biased is his Puritan-only theory of the origins of modern progressivism. While the Puritan element has definitely been among the strongest influences in its formation — as is obvious from a comparison of the modern-day Anglospheric leftism with the continental varieties — it’s silly to pretend that there hasn’t been a lot of influence from other independent sources as well. (What exactly they are is of course a very complex question.) Moreover, his attempts to defend the “ultracalvinist” theory by finding actual links between Calvinist theology and modern progressivism are just embarassingly bad.

    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/the-cathedral-goes-viral/

  • sunshinemary says:

    In Oklahoma City, a couple of rednecks with a pile of manure represented a genuine threat. As far as I can tell the assumption of harmless jokey-joke about total strangers over the Internet is just that: an unfounded assumption. It isn’t as if there is a shortage of examples of crazy, dangerous people.

    Of course, but this could be true of anyone, so why single out one particular group of people without some specific reason? They’ve made no violent threats that I’ve ever seen (but I don’t read all the DE blogs, just a few). Honestly, the Twitter faction talks about political theory and then trades around cute pictures of kittens and bunnies (and I’m not even kidding). I mean, I don’t particularly blame the manosphere for Eliot Rodger, and nrxn doesn’t even have an Eliot Rodger, so I don’t see how a couple of crazies in Oklahoma is really relevant, given that there are crazy individuals across the political spectrum. The most radical thing I’ve seen anyone in nrxn suggest actually doing is building an intentional community in Idaho.

    One thing I do agree with is that Christians really should think very, very carefully before they ally themselves with movements and ideologies. I personally don’t ally myself with anything that isn’t founded on Christ; I’ve learned by experience that doing so is to jump down a useless (or even destructive) rabbit hole.

    I guess I’d suggest that in the unlikely event that this group or one like it actually does succeed in gestating something big, they won’t much care for thing to which they give birth.

    Could be. I’m sure communism looked good on paper to the intellectuals who first decided to embrace it.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    so why single out one particular group of people without some specific reason?

    Well, first of all, why blog about anything?

    I blog about whatever crosses my field of view and that I find interesting for one reason or another. A bunch of this stuff came into my view from other sites linking to me; others from comments where I read, e.g. the Orthosphere and related blogs.

    Second, recent discussions have provided a context for talking about basic modern errors I’ve taken an interest in for a long time, e.g. nominalism, positivism, postmodernism, etc.

    Third, NRx – again – is following just the script I blogged about in 2007, and have been talking about for much longer than that. Here for example is Lawrence Auster declaring victory, with Moldbug in agreement with Auster. (“Matt” is me). Here are bits of the earlier discussion.

    If I am right, it may be important for folks to realize that you can’t really have a secular Reaction. It won’t turn out like you’d like it to turn out.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    I don’t see how a couple of crazies in Oklahoma is really relevant…

    Also, this depends on what you are referring to by “relevant”, since we are talking about multiple things at once.

    I don’t usually blog about things without doing at least some due diligence, and I try to put in place explicit warnings when I haven’t done due diligence. I also don’t normally blog about things that people send me in email. My ‘editorial policy’ of what I spend my time on is idiosyncratic — heck, I don’t claim to understand it myself.

    But setting aside how I would personally react to receiving a letter from a reader claiming to be an insider-apostate describing some dangerous lunatics that I know nothing about, it doesn’t strike me as especially credulous to not know offhand whether it is a joke or real. The world is full of crazies.

  • jf12 says:

    It does seem to me to be more juvenile to target an easy mark (stepped right into that one!). I’ve mentioned before my mother was a convert away from Catholicism. Not to give myself away (hoping the archives are lost and gone forever) but when I was laid up in 2000 and, among other things, enjoying frittering away time at Steve Ray’s place (hey, Sig!) for understanding reasons why people might become Catholic voluntarily, Mark didn’t make my understanding any easier. Is a nice way to put it.

  • Peter Blood says:

    A secular Reaction is probably going to follow the path Eugene Rose laid out in “Nihilism: the root of the revolution of the modern age.” Liberalism–>Realism–>Vitalism–>Destruction. I think Neo-Reaction is a bunch of Liberals in the Realism stage. They have been “mugged by reality”, and at the moment they’re exulting in a hard realism, much as Neo-conservatives were liberals who had been “mugged by reality”. But they were never really conservatives, and Paul Gottfried has said much about them and their takeover of the conservative movement.

  • Zippy says:

    Again without defending everything Mark Shea said in the Great Pantsing (wherein he lets go with such abject credulity as “Much of the stuff written above describes a sect that brings out belly laughs” and “I’m skeptical that this particular report describes anything beyond a local manifestation of one particular little group that takes itself seriously”), he did make one quite interesting point:

    Some will, with some legitimacy, point out that the kindest word you can use to describe the antics and ideas my reader describes is “whackadoodle.” True. So, for that matter, were the antics and ideas of the sundry racist sects, movements, crack-brained secret societies and kooks who constituted the ridiculous esoterica that fascinated Himmler.

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:

    I think Neo-Reaction is a bunch of Liberals in the Realism stage. They have been “mugged by reality”, and at the moment they’re exulting in a hard realism, much as Neo-conservatives were liberals who had been “mugged by reality”. But they were never really conservatives, and Paul Gottfried has said much about them and their takeover of the conservative movement.

    Agreed. It looks like something that aspires to be ‘neoconservatism redux’.

  • Zippy says:

    And that also answers Sunshine’s question “why argue against them in particular?”: if NRx aspires to do the same corrupting of orthospherian reaction that neoconservatism did to conservatism, it should be stopped. It should be stopped if only for the sake of the souls involved, let alone for practical reasons.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Nick B Steves: William Bennett, neo-Con
    Bryce LaLiberte: George Weigel
    Moldbug: Irving Kristol

    C’mon, Nick, I know you’re reading. Do you really want to be a William Bennett? Do you really want to be a neo-con-like schlub tool for your masters? Having books of virtue (which don’t include the virtue of Honesty) ghost-written/edited for you?

  • Ed says:

    Answering your bleg: Vladimir is for certain a grownup (you’ll have to hunt down his comments as he does not have a blog), Handle is also good (although he is much more liberal than Vladimir), I think Free Northerner has a future but is not yet ready(he is very candid and humble which makes me think he’ll mature quickly).

    Two examples of Vladimir on Moldbug and Nrx:

    “Also, on a more fundamental level, one of the worst legacies of Moldbug’s half-baked theories of sovereignty is this widespread tendency to use “reactionary” as a synonym for absolutist centralized government. Admittedly, there are some historical examples of states with a genuine traditional and organic absolutist regime, in which consequently the right-left divide was between traditionalist absolutists versus liberal anti-absolutists. (Russia comes to mind.) However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, absolutist theory and practice was always about political gangsterism at worst, and at best radical revolution from above (whether by Henry VIII, Joseph II, or the modern Cathedral-run liberal state)….”

    “Rather, the reasons should be obvious from my previous writings. First, the plummeting quality of the reactionary blogosphere means ever fewer occasions when I’m intrigued to enter a discussion. Second, even when I am, I’m instantly demotivated by the prospect of whatever I write being drowned in a mass of boring low-quality comments. Third, if I still feel motivated despite that, I’m decisively repulsed by the prospect of being associated in any way with the whole ideological movement-building scene and its self-important posturing, internet drama, and ever more juvenile and lowbrow level of discourse.”

  • Zippy says:

    Ed:
    Thanks. We were discussing Vladimer’s commentary upthread.

    But did any of those folks weigh in on the Mark Shea affair, with an understanding that the stunt makes NRx look juvenile?

  • sunshinemary says:

    And that also answer’s Sunshine’s question “why argue against them in particular?”: if NRx aspires to do the same corrupting of orthospherian reaction that neoconservatism did to conservatism, it should be stopped. It should be stopped if only for the sake of the souls involved, let alone for practical reasons.

    OK, that makes plenty of sense to me. I don’t know whether or not NRx does aspire to this, but it is certainly valid to criticize it as being at odds with orthospherian reaction.

    I think Neo-Reaction is a bunch of Liberals in the Realism stage. They have been “mugged by reality”, and at the moment they’re exulting in a hard realism, much as Neo-conservatives were liberals who had been “mugged by reality”.

    You know, for some neoreactionaries, that very well may be an appropriate description, though I’m not sure it describes someone like Free Northerner (a Christian neoreactionary). Of course, many of us were libertarians/liberals, too. I certainly was – first a left liberal and then a right liberal. Repenting of one’s liberalism simply must include repenting of atheism, agnosticism, churchianity, and false religions, I think; otherwise one just ends up being a liberal who has been mugged by reality.

  • Zippy says:

    There have always been neocons here and there that I’ve found to be sympathetic characters. But the world would be a better place if someone had strangled neoconservatism in its crib.

  • Ed says:

    Zippy,

    I don’t think he (Vladimir) did say anything about the affair, it is my impression he chose to distance himself from the discussion threads a while ago, perhaps even before the case but I’m not certain and can’t really say if he is active on any neoreactionary forum/node etc.

  • Dalrock says:

    What the incident seems to show to me is a universal lack of maturity in the NRx community, yes. It appears that not a soul was grown up enough to be embarrassed by it on the community’s behalf.

    As I understand it, someone on the internet decided to troll Mark Shea with an absurd story about NRx. After reading the email, Mark Shea wrote a post slandering the NRx. As a result, you are saying the NRx who owes Mark Shea an apology. Correct me if I have any of this wrong.

    You are condemning NRx for not feeding the troll by condemning him, and for not apologizing to Shea for him having slandered them. The other part of this is I think you are using the word “community” rather loosely here. I admit I don’t exactly know what NRx is or who is in it, but at least at one point someone created a graphic of the NRx “universe” which contained my blog*. With this in mind, when I found out that Shea had been trolled about NRx I didn’t feel the need to bang out a denunciation for either slandering me with outrageous claims (we only dress for dinner, not for each meal, and it was a peninsula, not an island), or for making my “community” look bad by trolling Shea on my behalf. I realize this isn’t really about me, but this is sort of my point. Who exactly are you asserting should have issued Shea an apology, aside from the troll in question? Moreover, has Mark Shea apologized for slandering the NRx?

    *I’ve also been notified by a commenter that my 300 sandwiches blog post offended the NRx and therefore I’ve been kicked out. I don’t know if the commenter was speaking in an official NRx capacity or not, but it might explain why I never received my official membership card.  More likely, he is just some guy blowing smoke on the internet, just like the one who trolled Shea.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Just one of the things you got wrong -since you asked – was the notion that the OP suggests that someone owes Shea an apology. There are a number of other things too, but I’ll have to leave that as an exercise.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Dalrock: you never got a super cool looking RPG card? You deserved one.

    I would have made you “the Torquemada of American Christendom, smoking out crypto-Jezebels -Demases.”

  • Dalrock says:

    Thanks Zippy. But I still don’t understand what you are looking for, or whom you are looking to provide it. I wrote “slander” above, but after double checking libel would be the right legal term, and after further consideration I think gossip is more accurate than both.

    So again here is what I understand transpired. Someone emailed Shea with what they presented as a juicy bit of gossip about some group of people Shea knows nothing about. Shea published the gossip and was thereby made to look foolish. Have I gotten this right?

    What do the folks Shea was gossiping about owe Shea, or anyone else, regarding this matter? And, who exactly should be responsible for delivering what is owed?

    Moreover, isn’t there a bit of gossip going on right here, right now, about how those nasty NRx people must be really juvenile, because I heard that…

    If someone knows that some specific blogger or group of identifiable bloggers has done something wrong, can we not name who did something wrong, what it is that they did wrong, and what evidence there is of said wrongdoing?

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:

    So again here is what I understand transpired. Someone emailed Shea with what they presented as a juicy bit of gossip about some group of people Shea knows nothing about. Shea published the gossip and was thereby made to look foolish. Have I gotten this right?

    So far, that is close enough.

    What happened next was a litany of DE/NRx articles (on sites claiming the affiliation in their mastheads, etc) high-fiving and celebrating how Mark Shea got ‘punked’ by the DE, and wasn’t that awesome — like a group of Palestinians celebrating 9-11. They may not have explictly ‘outed’ the rascal who sent the note or even know who he is, but he can certainly feel the love.

    It didn’t seem to so much as occur to anyone amidst all the high-fiving that just maybe all the celebration of this kind of juvenile behavior doesn’t reflect well on the community. Instead it makes them look at best like South Park Conservatives, adding further support to the impression that (pace Peter Blood a few comments ago) NRx is basically a neoconservative approach to ‘reaction’.

    Some of these folks are the same jackasses who were hitting me (and a bunch of other blogs) with trackback spam until I publicly gave them grief for it.

    In the OP I asked for one comment from one, any, of the self-identified DE/NRx bloggers in any of the threads indicating the slightest self-awareness of how the incident (including all the high-fiving and heaping of praise on the guy who pulled the prank) made them look.

    There have been a bunch of comments in this thread, but not one actual specimen has come forth.

    FWIW my blog is in at least one NRx feed, though haven’t been given a place on the NRx map nor did I get a fancy RPG card (mine would probably be ‘turd in the punchbowl’, I suppose); and hopefully my recent posts have inoculated me from that possibility. But you were right when you said that the post isn’t about you: it is about the community of bloggers who label themselves NRx, have created a ‘canon’ of sorts, mutually link to each other as NRx, etc.

  • Dalrock says:

    Thanks Zippy. I don’t know the masthead blogs you are talking about or what they wrote so I won’t comment further. The only blog I saw on the affair was a post by vox day. I do admit I see some humor in Shea’s attempt to dish the dirt on folks he knows nothing about blowing up on him. That letter was so over the top I can’t imagine taking it seriously, let alone writing an excited post about it.

  • The neoreaction themselves have boasted of their secret mailing lists and such. So why wouldn’t an exaggerated version of that be taken as possibly real? (I did comment on Shea’s post that he shouldn’t have even responded, because giving oxygen to trolling is always going to cover the oxygen-giver in mud, which totally happened to him).

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    I don’t regularly read Vox Day, but IIRC he has made some criticisms of the DE himself and at least in my naive mind map is an outsider. Though they might want to claim him, I suppose.

    TUW:
    It is always a bit risky to take people more seriously than they take themselves.

  • Yes, that is true, and part of the perils of the internets.

  • sunshinemary says:

    That letter was so over the top I can’t imagine taking it seriously, let alone writing an excited post about it.

    That’s what I said! Zippy thinks I’m Ellie Mae Clampett for saying so, but I just can’t believe anyone took that letter seriously.

    The neoreaction themselves have boasted of their secret mailing lists and such

    So? Is there something nefarious about a group of likeminded bloggers having a private email list? Doesn’t TC have a private forum? I don’t see the need for paranoid suspicion about that.

    Dalrock: you never got a super cool looking RPG card? You deserved one.

    The chart and the cards keep coming up, so maybe I can shed a little light on those, with my (admittedly incomplete) knowledge.

    First, the chart: Dalrock, you weren’t removed from that chart but rather added to it; in the first version, Scharlach (of Habitable Worlds) hadn’t included some blogs which he later added, one of which I believe was yours, so Mr. Perrick was in error to assume you’d been removed. In fact, the blog he linked to is More Right (Michael Anissimov) and your blog is one of the few in Michael’s blogroll. So I think they still ♥ u. Anyway, Scharlach always said that chart wasn’t meant to be complete, which is obvious from the fact that there is one rather glaring omission from the feminine reaction category. *Ahem.* Moving on.

    The cards – right after Scharlach posted the chart, everyone got all very excited because it was the first time anyone had explicitly linked together all those separate spheres (neoreaction, red pill bloggers, the manosphere, femininity, etc) and created a map of the DE. Everyone was abuzz about it (even Heartiste wrote about it), and Karl at RadishMag made the cards as a bit of light-hearted humor (there seems to be a serious lack of lighthearted humor around here). Karl writes right in the post that the cards are meant to be “gentle parody” (his words).

    http://radishmag.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/heroes-of-the-dark-enlightenment/

    It is very clear that Karl meant this in fun, but a lot of sour-old-cow types keep harping on it as if it were his Magnum Opus and A Very Serious Thing. Those who have the cards usually display them as a reminder that, though the subject may be serious, one shouldn’t take internet characters overly seriously. And they are just sort of cute and funny. It is okay to laugh once in a while.

    FWIW my blog is in at least one NRx feed, though haven’t been given a place on the NRx map nor did I get a fancy RPG card

    Shall I bring it up at the next island retreat during our phenotype inspections the next time I speak with Karl? Anyway, I’m not on the chart either (I mean really, Darling Doll is on there, but I’m not? Like, seriously? My ego alone needs it very own chart, I think. *joking*) 🙂

    In the OP I asked for one comment from one, any, of the self-identified DE/NRx bloggers in any of the threads indicating the slightest self-awareness of how the incident (including all the high-fiving and heaping of praise on the guy who pulled the prank) made them look.

    Though I agree it wasn’t very nice, even people like Vox seemed to think it was funny (http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/02/thats-no-statue-thats-mark-shea.html), so apparently it made them look just fine to a lot of grown up people. Personally, though, I don’t engage in punking, pranking, doxxing, or any such nonsense and in retrospect I can agree that the prank was unkind and a bit immature.

  • Everybody keeps bringing up the trading cards. I don’t think of myself as NRx (though I’m sympathetic to some of their views) but I wish I had me one of those. Maybe Bob Hoskins’ Mr. Smee for the picture.

  • Elspeth says:

    Glad to see that you’re doing well, Sunshine.

    I don’t know a lot about NRx, but with a few notable exceptions that I’ve read, it appears to view Christianity as of possible utilitarian use, but not a a core tenet. And sometimes possibly antithetical to its aims.

    Or perhaps I misunderstood.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    I just can’t believe anyone took that letter seriously.

    It easily passes the “yeah, there are people in the world that wackadoodle” test. This is the same world that produced Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Hitler, and Osama bin Laden. You guys are prejudiced by familiarity.

    …to a lot of grown up people.

    That sort of begs the question, doesn’t it?

  • Gavrila says:

    So? Is there something nefarious about a group of likeminded bloggers having a private email list?

    A group of likeminded bloggers whose main (theoretical) interest is in overthrowing the status quo and assuming power, yes.

    The British historian A.J.P. Taylor wrote of how an Austro-Hungarian minister, warned by a colleague that a war with Russia in 1914 might mean revolution, demanded to know who would lead this revolution: “Herr Trotsky of the Café Centrale?” (The Café Centrale was in Vienna.)

    Not every vain fantasist on the internet is going to become a danger to others but some might.

    George Orwell wrote that “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”

    This is even truer when applied to neo-reactionaries since – as King Richard pointed out – they would find it personally very stifling to live in the kind of state they envision themselves establishing.

  • Mike T says:

    And sometimes possibly antithetical to its aims.

    I’ve noticed the same thing as well, but I think people like Shea have contributed to that. For example, Shea is hardly alone among “conservative Christians” who are hard to the liberal left on race matters viz a viz HBD. The perception that Christianity is intrinsically hostile to honest discussions about race, gender and things like that is not unfounded. It’s wrong, but you wouldn’t know that if you’re an outsider whose primary exposure is seeing even well-read Christians making stridently mainstream, vicious attacks on anyone who dares to question the status quo.

    That Shea got so thoroughly trolled by such an obvious troll should actually scare the Hell out of him as a matter of discernment and wisdom. If that’s all it takes to make him look so foolish in front of so many readers, it may be time to put down the pen and go into contemplation on the subject for a while.

  • Mike T says:

    This reminds me of a point that Ita Scripta Est made about how “gun violence” is somehow the “safe, legal and rare” of the right. Well, a lot of Christians don’t want to discuss the hard fact that gun violence in most Western nations, including the US, isn’t a White or Asian thing. It’s a black and Hispanic thing. It’s foolish and unjust to treat it as anything other than that. There’s no reason to limit access to guns to whites and Asians because of gun problems in the hood, but a lot of Christians don’t want to face the fact that for whatever reason, some group in Western society simply cannot handle the traditional western liberties as well as others.

  • Zippy says:

    In some ways this discussion mirrors what inevitably happens in (e.g.) discussions of sexual politics: the endless insistence on ‘balance’. If someone posts about what is wrong with modern women, someone else has to jump in with lots of talk about what is wrong with modern men in order to ‘balance’ the discussion.

    If I talk about how foolish and immature the incident made NRx look, commenters simply must chime in with how foolish it made Shea look, as if that subject wasn’t already beaten to death elsewhere.

    But the point I am making here is a point that isn’t being made elsewhere. Which is why I am making it.

  • Mike T says:

    I don’t regularly read Vox Day, but IIRC he has made some criticisms of the DE himself and at least in my naive mind map is an outsider. Though they might want to claim him, I suppose.

    IIRC, the simple summary of what he said is “the idea that there is a Dark Enlightenment ‘movement’ is bull#$%^.” At best, he seems to regard it as a variety of topics that liberals lump together because they need a bogeyman to scare up the faithful.

  • Zippy says:

    Gavrila:
    I’m left pondering if the Trotskyites ever ‘punked’ the Stalinists in the early days, when it was all just conversation over a latte.

  • sunshinemary says:

    @ Elspeth
    Correct, very few people that I have encountered in the NRx blogosphere are Christians. Some do espouse the idea of “identitarian” Christianity (i.e Russian orthodox, Greek orthodox, etc). Some, as you say, view Christianity as utilitarian. Most are atheists, a few are Catholics, and a sizable minority believe Christianity is part of the root of all the West’s problems. One person told me I ought to change my religion from Christian to pagan. So, there is no end of things we Christians whose politics might be described as orthospherian reaction could criticize neoreaction for. I’ve certainly never said otherwise.

    It easily passes the “yeah, there are people in the world that wackadoodle” test. This is the same world that produced Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Hitler, and Osama bin Laden. You guys are prejudiced by familiarity.

    That’s possible, that I’m prejudiced to believe good things about a lot of neoreactionaries because I’ve had conversations with them on Twitter and on blogs and generally found them to be pleasant, friendly, witty, and intelligent. Still, I don’t think it’s prejudiced me to the point where I can’t recognize that neoreaction doesn’t seem to be compatible with true Christian belief, and I don’t think I wouldn’t recognize actual danger. I’ve never heard the slightest hint of talk about using violence; frankly they don’t talk about actually doing anything. Most cults and dangerous groups are actually doing things, or planning to do them, and furthermore, have beliefs that they all share and are passionate about which necessitate action, and (most importantly) have men who will obey authority.

    You can be immature, unChristian, and even just plain wrong without being violent and dangerous. We have far more to fear from the continuation of the current political regime than we have from anything neoreaction has dished up.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    I think you may have misunderstood my ‘prejudiced’ remark. I said that you are prejudiced by familiarity.

    People who knew the plotting serial killer frequently say how he was such a nice pleasant boy, a good quiet neighbor, etc.

    Most cults and dangerous groups are actually doing things, …

    And do they not emerge from earlier stages that involve discussion and thought?

    Shea himself said he doubted the letter represented anyone other than a few local nutbars. His cardinal failure, the source of why the whole thing was supposed to be oh so embarrassing, beyond publishing the email at all, was apparently failing to outright accuse the writer of lying.

    Look, I’ve created organizations from scratch, where something that existed only in my head – and there was a time when even that was not the case – became an organization employing lots of people doing all sorts of things touching literally millions of lives in at least a small way. So maybe that gives me a different view from people who just take all the things around them for granted.

    Everything starts from something small. Communism started with conversations over lattes.

  • sunshinemary says:

    If I talk about how foolish and immature the incident made NRx look, commenters simply must chime in with how foolish it made Shea look, as if that subject wasn’t already beaten to death elsewhere.

    But the point I am making here is a point that isn’t being made elsewhere. Which is why I am making it.

    OK, that’s true. I will concede your point on this. Shea may have behaved foolishly, yet the prank does reflect poorly on neoreaction and makes it look rather immature and perhaps unkind as well. I can concede that. And I’ll even apologize now to Mr. Shea, because I have to admit I laughed when I first read about the prank because it was funny, but upon reflection I think it was rather mean-spirited. And I will resist pointing out some of the mean-spirited, lying, unChristian nastiness intended to harm other people that Christians, some of whom are commenting on this very thread, have engaged in online.

    I concede that neoreaction looks immature and does not seem to be compatible with Christianity. I do not concede that they are or appear likely to become a violent, dangerous cult, however.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    I do not concede that they are or appear likely to become a violent, dangerous cult, however.

    Subtlety here.

    I am actually not suggesting that they look likely to become a violent, dangerous cult.

    I am suggesting that it isn’t unreasonable for someone lacking familiarity, unlike you, to get the impression that they look like they might possibly become a violent, dangerous cult.

    Here is Mark Shea, during the Great Pantsing:

    The thing about nascent movements like this is that it’s hard to know when to pay attention and when to ignore them.

  • Peter Blood says:

    And I will resist pointing out some of the mean-spirited, lying, unChristian nastiness intended to harm other people that Christians, some of whom are commenting on this very thread, have engaged in online.

    On this very thread! Zippy, I am shocked to find that kind of thing going on here.

  • sunshinemary says:

    I am suggesting that it isn’t unreasonable for someone lacking familiarity, unlike you, to get the impression that they look like they might possibly become a violent, dangerous cult.

    OK, lacking familiarity, I concede that someone might initially wonder if this group could be violent and dangerous. Twenty cute ferret videos later, they would probably change their mind about that, but I understand your point now.

    I am shocked to find that kind of thing going on here.

    Nothing untoward is going on here, nor did I say that anything was.

    Everything starts from something small.

    Zippy, they can’t even agree about whether or not they ought to lend legitimacy to (by publicly socializing and speaking well of) an anarchist transsexual who makes comments like this:

    Justin Tunney can say he isn’t a neoreactionary ’til the cows come home, but the media has begun to treat him like a spokesperson of sorts for NRx.

    I don’t think neoreactionaries care about doing anything or appealing to a wider audience. If they did, they would recognize how much trannygate hurt their image with other people on the far right. One such person noted on twitter that it made them look weak.

    Anarcho-transsexual rulers? Hell, we can have that kind of thing now. No need to join a fringe political movement for that.

  • Zippy: I was going to offer some kind of defense of the punking but then I realized that I am an obnoxious 20 something, which rather proves your point.

    I think the neoreactionaries often do a good job of recognizing problems, within the limitations of what I suppose they would call their “memeplex.” For example, this piece by Laliberte on the problems of modernity is quite excellent, and I imagine that you would probably mostly agree with it:
    http://www.socialmatter.net/2014/05/05/life-begins-at-conception/

    However, they certainly do have problems as you and others have exhaustively documented.

  • sunshinemary says:

    I do wish some of the actual neoreactionaries would participate in this conversation. They would do a better job mounting a defense of themselves than I am doing. 🙂

  • Patrick says:

    I don’t really know or care what the neoreaction is, but I commented on Shea’s first article, a mild and polite comment, but he deleted it and banned me for it. Which he’s known for. He’ll write something to stick a pin in someone and then delete and ban responses in the comments. He was deleting and banning like crazy after he got punked until it got overwhelming, and then just let it go. So you really can’t argue with him. All you can do is ignore him or throw rocks. Or I suppose respond with your own blog if you have one. But I thought it was funny to see him get pantsed because he always acts pugnacious but then just deletes and bans, deletes and bans.

  • Gavrila says:

    Zippy,

    I’m left pondering if the Trotskyites ever ‘punked’ the Stalinists in the early days, when it was all just conversation over a latte.

    Hmm I don’t know about that but many of the Situationist dalliances in Parisian cafés which later helped birth the soixante-huitard (’68) movement consisted of light-hearted idealist dreaming, invented games and spontaneous fun. DeGaulle regarded these people as a joke initially. Yet many 68’ers are in power now – some in influential positions.

    I get that the neo-reactionaries are basically pleasant, witty hobbyists but the nature of politics itself – the implied power-seeking – invites careful scrutiny of all comers. Liberal or left-wing states will be especially weary of secular anti-communists.

    Anarcho-transsexual rulers?

    Or to modify Sam Francis, anarcho-t(y)ranny.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    I think you’re letting your glee for battle let this combox get away from you. I sympathize.

    It easily passes the “yeah, there are people in the world that wackadoodle” test. This is the same world that produced Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Hitler, and Osama bin Laden. You guys are prejudiced by familiarity.

    You know, Zippy, “It is always a bit risky to take people more seriously than they take themselves.” This is especially true of those people who, on one hand, are very concerned about being attractive to girls; yet on the other spend their free time making collectible card game versions of their egos, and dumping copious amounts of drivel to arrive at conclusions less accurate than they would have gleaned from a summer of outdoor labor. Less muscle and money too. Chicks like muscle and money.

    As you’ve sussed: the NRx crowd are juvenile. Mark Shea has a grievous fault; which he struggles with, and good for him for struggling.

    But in the instance under discussion, Shea’s fault and NRx punking combined forces to make him looks stupid. Shea has since been relieved of his stupidity. He “grew up”, in a sense.

    The question (which is just a paraphrase of your original and good question): Where are the NRx grown ups? And are they impervious to maturity?

  • sunshinemary says:

    This is especially true of those people who, on one hand, are very concerned about being attractive to girls; yet on the other spend their free time making collectible card game versions of their egos, and dumping copious amounts of drivel to arrive at conclusions less accurate than they would have gleaned from a summer of outdoor labor.

    Though I’m in agreement about money and muscles, I’m honestly going to defend Karl here because you are misrepresenting him (I have strongly defended Zippy at Anarcho-Papist when Deti, Novaseeker, and Bryce were speaking very uncharitably about him, and I’ve gone into the Maw of the Beast itself to defend Dalrock against what I believe were false accusations, so defending fellow bloggers who are being wronged is something I do on occasion, though rarely does anyone do the same for me).

    Karl doesn’t concern himself in the online realm with attraction issues, nor does he write drivel. His blog is incredibly well-sourced; one might disagree with conclusions he draws from the sources (I do, sometimes, particularly because he isn’t a Christian), but there is no one who writes better sourced essays. The cards were in his own words “gentle parody”; people like them because they add a bit of levity. They aren’t his version of people’s egos but rather their online personas’ contributions to blogosphere.

    Also: has it occurred to anyone here that perhaps neoreactionaries seem a bit immature to us because they are young and we are old? Of course they like trading cards; they’re from a different generation than we are. Of course they are pranksters; when you were young, weren’t you a prankster sometimes? Correct me if I’m wrong, Zippy, but didn’t you want to sing a Led Zeppelin song at your 8th grade graduation? 🙂 Well, it’s okay to point out their immaturity – that’s how we learn to grow up, I guess. But I don’t think it utterly discredits their every thought, either.

  • An interesting comment from Shea:

    “Okay, you refuse to listen honestly or reply honestly, so I will henceforth respond to you only for the sake of those third party bystanders watching the conversation who will listen. You have just been reduced to a Thing: a means to the end of talking to them.”

    Is there a problem with that as long as you have sincerely tried to reach the person first?

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    The trading cards are if anything a kind of mild self-mockery, and speaking for myself I don’t have a problem with them. They project a certain likable nerdiness, but where is the crime in that? I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them except once above in this thread.

    malcolmthecynic:
    I’m skeptical that responding to someone who isn’t listening for the benefit of bystanders intrinsically treats that interlocutor as a thing. After all, the interlocutor can at any time choose to actually engage or whatever. But that it could push us in that direction if we are not careful is not an unreasonable point.

  • Svar says:

    “if NRx aspires to do the same corrupting of orthospherian reaction that neoconservatism did to conservatism”

    This is what I don’t get. Why do we need anything else considering that we have paleoconservatism? And what exactly is the difference between orthospherians and paleocons? Are these real political movements or forums for individuals to exchange ideas?

    While some say that paleoconservatism is a failed strategy, I don’t see the l337 pretensions of NRx to be a better strategy than paleoconservatism. I think that paleoconservatism needs to go in a differen would be a sort of fusionism of orthospherian and paleoconservative ideals with old-style populist practicalities. If a party were to arise that had the economic views that were in favor of the working class and the middle class as opposed to the rich with the social views of those same groups, we could steal a large portion of the Democratic voter base who refuse to vote Republican(not that I blame them, as Clyde Wilson notes, for conservatism to survive, the GOP must die). There are a few conservative concepts that embrace this like Disraeli’s One Nation Conservatism and Spengler’s German Socialism(which he defined in opposition to Russian socialism and in it’s coherence with traditional German conservatism). Of course there are the many left-wing populist(but socially conservative) parties like the Old Democrats or Old Labour.

    I also don’t think the neo-con vs paleocon comparison is a good one, because the NRx are definitely not the followers of bastardized Trotskyism as Trifkovic would say. It would be more in line with the struggle between German national socialists and German monarchists.

  • Svar says:

    What exactly IS NRx? And how is any different than the alt-right sphere that was so popular back in 2010?

    While alt-right was just another name for New Right it seems that everyone is treating the NRx as if it’s distinct from that movement and i don’t understand why.

  • Svar says:

    “I’m left pondering if the Trotskyites ever ‘punked’ the Stalinists in the early days, ”

    Nobody punks the Man of Steel without getting ice axe to face.

  • Svar says:

    @ Mike T

    “For example, Shea is hardly alone among “conservative Christians” who are hard to the liberal left on race matters viz a viz HBD.”

    In all honesty, it is not just conservative Christians or ultra-super-duper liberals who are against HBD or other such material reductionism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_Japan

    “Opposition to the eugenics movement persisted amongst several right-wing factions, including members of the Diet of Japan and obstetricians, who perceived eugenics as suggesting that the Japanese people were only animals, not inhabitants of the “country of the kami” (神国 shinkoku?) as believed by the Japanese national Shinto tradition.[5] Yoshiichi Sōwa (曽和義弌?), author of “Japan’s Shinto Revolution”,[6] wrote in 1940, “When we look up into the past, the people of our country are descended from the kami. Are they claiming we must sterilize these people?”[7] Similar resistance to these theories occurred within conservative and traditional Christian communities in the United States.[citation needed]”

    You don’t need to agree with HBD to know that crime and gun violence are high not due to guns but because of blacks and other violent groups. Also, to simplify politics to just Left and Right is absurd. Many Old Rightists were for eugenics and many were against it. Same thing with Old Leftists.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    They project a certain likable nerdiness, but where is the crime in that?

    It’s a crime against Game. (crude language alert) It should be obvious that my point isn’t uphold Game, but that there’s some cognitive dissonance at work here because the reason they’re led astray by Game is because they are nerds, and girls don’t want to have sex with nerds, yet they cling to their anchors and call it “ironic fun”. They’re trying to have their cake and not be oinkers, too.

    Collectible card games are incredibly nerdy. If you click that link, the card on top, “Shadowmage Infiltrator”? That’s the very hedge fund manager article disses; his likeness on the card. How do I know these things? Dark secrets, my friends. Very dark secrets.

    Point being: It’s another piece of evidence they are (in some respects) willfully feral, and therefore stunted…immature.

    @SM

    Also: has it occurred to anyone here that perhaps neoreactionaries seem a bit immature to us because they are young and we are old?

    Speak for yourself, granny. 😉

    No, it hasn’t. Because twenties and thirties is not young enough to still be a child. They, like all of us, have been dealt a crappy hand (cards!), but we should still play like men. Contrary to popular belief: There are fun adult things, too. You don’t know it, but when you dismiss CCGs, video games, RPGs, etc. as merely fun–you don’t know what you’re dismissing. They are the opiates of the nerd masses.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Alt-Right is a home for explicitly pro-white pro-West people. One argument there that never ends is often pre-Christian paganism vs. Christianity. You can find white nationalists in there, too. Pro-eugenics.

    Neo-Reaction has a different tone. It doesn’t seem pro-white, but there’s a lot of anti-black in there (Radish was the same guy who did Unamusement Park, a chronicle of black misbehavior). It’s more theoretical, they talk a lot about governing structures and methods, and economics (typical libertarian fixations).

    Both are haunted by the memory of Christ.

  • jf12 says:

    re: games. The number and magnitude Games People Play
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Games_People_Play_(book)
    is utterly dwarfed by, inundated by, obliterated by, the games nerds play. Hence, nerds aren’t people.

  • Svar says:

    “Alt-Right is a home for explicitly pro-white pro-West people”

    I thought that was White Nationalism. I thought they were separate because even though the old Alternative Right was edited by Richard Spencer and Kurtagic, they had a wide-encompassing set of writers who were anything(besides neo-con and liberal) from Christian conservatives to deep ecologists to HBDers to WNS.

    Also, what is Trannygate?

  • Peter Blood says:

    Alt-right is more highbrow than White Nationalism. No costume Nazis. Nietzsche, Evola, Wagner. it’s a bigger tent–it’s the White Nationalists who always start the arguments that Southern European whites aren’t really whites. Alt-Rightists aren’t so fastidious, and talk about more stuff than just race. For WNs is race all day, every day.

    Trannygate is some argument started by Michael Anissimov, a Neo-Reactor, who said you can’t just have anyone in your movement, like these kinds of…people.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    “Trannygate” is an internal conflict in NRx over whether public association with a particular transsexual is harmful to NRx. I don’t claim to understand the incident (though some of the comments by “Peppermint” were hysterical), but I believe the religious guys came down on the side of publicly associating. I expect that that is because the religious guys are operating under the same sort of fusionist delusion that gripped religious neoconservatives.

  • Peter Blood says:

    For example, Lawrence Auster could be Alt-right on the right day, but he could never be WN, since he was Jewish.

  • Svar says:

    ” I expect that that is because the religious guys are operating under the same sort of fusionist delusion that gripped religious neoconservatives.”

    I thought the whole point of these alternative vaguely conservative movements were to be in opposition to the neoconservatives but without joining the paleocons.

    This movement seems to be pointless. It is not providing any real threat to neo-conservatism, it is definitely not a real threat to liberalism, it supports the same sort of neo-liberal and free-trade economics that values profits over community, family, and nation, and it’s willing to associate with a group that most liberals are still not willing to embrace.

    Personally, I do not think they are valid threat and I don’t think these guys are comparable to Hitler or Osama bin Laden because the latter two actually appealed to a devastated populace to gain their power and influence.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    The point to the comparison to neoconservatism is that in both cases we have an essentially secular-but-mugged-by-reality movement, with a few religious types who think that joining forces with the dominant secularists is some sort of last great hope for traditional values. They know that internally opposing the anti-Christian secularism is a non-starter, but they want to influence the ‘movement’ from within. Peter Blood made a comparison of Moldbug, Steves, and Laliberte to Irving Kristol, William Bennett, and George Weigel above that I thought was apt.

  • Elspeth says:

    Because twenties and thirties is not young enough to still be a child.

    True. Weren’t every one of us (me, Cane, SSM) married and starting families by our early 20’s? It’s certainly young, but not childhood by any stretch.

    Interesting the distinctions being offered between alternative right and NRx. I thought they were basically the same thing.

  • Svar says:

    No, I meant what is their point for having another new movement when they are more willing to put up with trannies than liberal are. I understand the NRx-neocon comparison.

    There is another question that is confusing me. How are orthospherians distinct from paleocons?

  • Zippy says:

    Ah, OK, sorry Svar.

    I don’t have a rigorous taxonomy in my own mind, but as a possible specific difference between Alt-Right and NRx I’d propose that the former tends toward positivism combined with cultural critique, while the latter tends toward postmodernism and ‘formal’/memetic critique. Both are basically secular, though there are religious hangabouts. We might even think of NRx as the postmodern love child of Alt-Right and the Manosphere.

    Paleoconservatism maybe rests on a kind of ‘old Republic’ myth and has its libertarian wing, while the Orthosphere is somewhat more medievalist and sacramentally oriented. There are the Porcher/Crunchy types in there somewhere too. As smallish fringe groups there tends to be some crossover here and there of course.

    But there are big question marks in all those distinctions; I’m just tossing them out there and they are probably worth what you paid for them. And I’m probably not the best person to act as taxonomist for the political Right anyway; it isn’t like I read (or did read) all of these different folks in depth any more than you probably have.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    On this:

    … because the latter two actually appealed to a devastated populace to gain their power and influence.

    I think the idea may be that the collapse (or decline) is coming or arriving, so it is a matter of being properly prepared and staged for it. The devastated populace is on its way, just around the corner.

    Personally I doubt it. I agree with Bonald that liberalism can keep going for a lot, lot longer than most of these folks think. Centuries longer. And furthermore, although a terrible and sudden collapse is indeed possible I think preparing for one is impossible and ridiculously silly. Someone will win the lottery, but it isn’t going to be because he had such a great system for picking the numbers. It is in the hands of Providence, not our hands.

    So the only kind of preparation it makes sense to make is the same spiritual preparation we all ought to make anyway, because the music stops for all of us after a few decades on this earth.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    So the only kind of preparation it makes sense to make is the same spiritual preparation we all ought to make anyway, because the music stops for all of us after a few decades on this earth.

    Amen.

  • Svar says:

    “Paleoconservatism maybe rests on a kind of ‘old Republic’ myth and has its libertarian wing, while the Orthosphere is somewhat more medievalist and sacramentally oriented. There are the Porcher/Crunchy types in there somewhere too. As smallish fringe groups there tends to be some crossover here and there of course.”

    Ah. I see. I guess I couldn’t discern the difference because the two main sites I read would be the Orthosphere and Chronicles both of which bleed into each other. There are so many authors in each and they both have some who promote the Old Republic and some whom promote Monarchy.

    So the Porcher/Crunchy types would be the ones influenced by Richard Weaver and the Southern Agrarians and the conservationists. The paleo-libertarians would be the Justin Raimondo and Lew Rockwell types influenced by Edmund Burke and Thomas Jefferson. The Orthospherians are more oriented towards monarchy and Catholicism and are influenced by the likes of Joseph de Maistre.

    I suppose I saw the Orthospherians to be a different sort of paleoconservative.

    “it isn’t like I read (or did read) all of these different folks in depth any more than you probably have.”

    Well, I’m only 21 so I am betting that you probably have.

  • Svar says:

    “I think the idea may be that the collapse (or decline) is coming or arriving, so it is a matter of being properly prepared and staged for it. The devastated populace is on its way, just around the corner.”

    Back when Spengler, Guenon, and Evola were around they both believed that the decline had occurred long before they were born. While I disagree with the NRx’s contention that the collapse is coming soon, I disagree with you that there is no decline. The decline has been occurring at a slow pace for decades.

    I doubt that there will be a devastated populace ever in America. America is content to slowly commit suicide, giving into the same decadence that is killing her. As long as we have Football and McDonald’s we could care less about what we have become.

    “Personally I doubt it. I agree with Bonald that liberalism can keep going for a lot, lot longer than most of these folks think. Centuries longer. And furthermore, although a terrible and sudden collapse is indeed possible I think preparing for one is impossible and ridiculously silly. Someone will win the lottery, but it isn’t going to be because he had such a great system for picking the numbers. It is in the hands of Providence, not our hands.”

    True.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    I disagree with you that there is no decline. The decline has been occurring at a slow pace for decades.

    If I could get you to ‘centuries’ we’d be in agreement, hah! It is Tolkien’s ‘one long defeat’.

  • Svar says:

    “If I could get you to ‘centuries’ we’d be in agreement, hah! It is Tolkien’s ‘one long defeat’.”

    Well, looks like we’re in agreement. I meant to write centuries but for some reason wrote decades.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Svar & Zippy,

    Regarding the history of the American Right, how familiar are you with the work of the traditionalist Brent Bozell*? I think both of you would enjoy his ideas, he was one of the few to attack the fusionists as a Catholic traditionalist at National Review.

    * Not to be confused with his neocon son, who runs the “Media Research Center.”

  • Svar says:

    @ Ita Scripta Est

    I actually have never heard of him. I read up on him a bit and I am quite surprised that he was associated with Bill Buckley. I am sure you’ve heard of Thomas J. Fleming, the Catholic head of Chronicles. TJF says that Buckley was not consistent in his beliefs and a terrible man to work for and I just read that Buckley criticized Bozell, back in 66′, for not supporting the impending legalization of abortion. “For forcing his beliefs on others” when back then the vast majority did not support abortion.

    This is why I despise 99% of libertarians. Who cares about the nation as long as the immoral, decadent rich keep getting richer at the expense of the nation. Abortion? A-okay. Sodomarriage? A-okay. Massive immigration that rapidly changes the national character into mere chaos? A-okay. Depravity that destroys the soul of the nation? A-okay. Laws that protect the nation and the land upon which it sits from capitalist exploitation? Un-‘Murican!!

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Svar,

    Bozell married Buckley’s sister needless to say she was also very devout unlike her brother.

    Interestingly most libertarians hate Buckely too though for very different reasons. When one looks at the dispute between libertarians and fusionists/neocons, the debate is really over relatively minor details as both sides are thoroughly liberal in first principles. In some ways I have to say that the fusionists were less toxic than the libertarians. Frank Meyer and Buckley understood that the only way to defeat communism was through force of arms and this could only be achieved by an aggressive welfare/warfare state. I think that aptly demarcates the line between libertarians and fusionists- one side was slightly less utopian than the other.

    Anyway I thought it germane with what Zippy was talking about i.e. any organization (National Review) that is not explicitly Catholic, becomes liberal. National Review was lost when Bozell left in the mid 60s.

  • Gavrila says:

    Svar,

    [Neoreaction] is definitely not a real threat to liberalism, it supports the same sort of neo-liberal and free-trade economics that values profits over community, family, and nation

    Paleocons like Pat Buchanan are conscious of the long US tradition of protectionism (‘the American System’) yet NRs never really go back before Froude and Carlyle, who were vehemently in favour of free-trade.

    Since it is less a movement than a kind of dabbling in counter-revolutionary politics in general, my guess is that some NRs will come to reject economic liberalism – as Bryce LaLiberte seems to have already done.

    If one is going to critique modernity, why not ‘react’ to the economic changes that began after the execution of Laud in 1645? Thus placing Christian concerns about the transcendent place of the community, family and nation – and social obligations – above the desire for money-making at all costs.

    We might even think of NRx as the postmodern love child of Alt-Right and the Manosphere.

    With anarcho-capitalism getting landed with the child support?

  • Svar says:

    “Paleocons like Pat Buchanan are conscious of the long US tradition of protectionism (‘the American System’) ”

    Of course, I am a fan of Pat Buchanan and the other paleoconservatives. Though I agree with protectionism, I just don’t think it is enough. I am leaning towards Chesterton’s Distributism, Disraeli’s One Nation Conservatism, and Spengler’s German Socialism.

    “If one is going to critique modernity, why not ‘react’ to the economic changes that began after the execution of Laud in 1645? ”

    I am not aware of such changes. What would they be?

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Buchanan always struck me as something of a Hamiltonian-capitalist. At least he recognizes that the economy should serve social values and not the other way around.

    @Gavrila

    How on earth Anarcho-capitalism came to be seen as not only “rightist” but “reactionary” is a great mystery. Honestly thought I have more fellowship with Occupy Wallstreeters than I would with someone like Adam Kokesh. That’s another tragedy of US history-how libertarianism was able to co-opt American populism (which was always in a sense economically “leftist” opposed the gold standard and opposed capitalism more than it did “big government”).

  • Svar says:

    “Buchanan always struck me as something of a Hamiltonian-capitalist.”

    He is quite fond of Alexander Hamilton. I am too as well.

    Not all capitalists are bad. Henry Ford one of the greatest examples of capitalism gone right and of the One Nation Conservative mindset.

  • Mike T says:

    Svar,

    You don’t need to agree with HBD to know that crime and gun violence are high not due to guns but because of blacks and other violent groups. Also, to simplify politics to just Left and Right is absurd. Many Old Rightists were for eugenics and many were against it. Same thing with Old Leftists.

    Your comment seems to imply that eugenics is an intrinsic part of HBD. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that it is. The real issue here is that many want to shout down any consideration of why blacks are so disproportionately represented in violent statistics, unless that consideration is to proclaim that most young black men involved in crime are suffering from daddy issues (they are, but so are many poor whites in Appalachia and as I quoted in a previous thread, Appalachia actually has a lower crime rate than most of America).

    Admittedly, I am often drawn to evaluate ideas that society reacts so strongly rejects. My instinct is that rational people don’t react so emotionally to something that is not obviously evil irrespective of history unless it is something they wish might not be true.

  • CJ says:

    Your comment seems to imply that eugenics is an intrinsic part of HBD. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that it is. . . My instinct is that rational people don’t react so emotionally to something that is not obviously evil irrespective of history unless it is something they wish might not be true.

    It’s the “irrespective of history” part of this that’s problematic to me. “Let reason be silent when gainsaid by experience” and all that. Even if eugenics isn’t a logically necessary part of HBD, there are enough examples of it not ending well to justify some level of concern.

    Yes, group differences are real. But where the rubber meets the road is how that recognition affects policy. Going back to your observation on gun violence, should all blacks and Hispanics be banned from gun ownership? Surely you can see the likely negative consequences of that because they’re the same consequences that are brought up in any disarmament discussion. The criminals won’t obey the law and law abiding blacks and Hispanics might as well hang a “target rich environment” sign on their front doors. Should blacks and Hispanics have to prove that they are gainfully employed, no criminal record, come from two-parent home, etc. to own weapons? If so, why not everybody? I mean, whites and Asians do commit some gun crimes. Let’s get as many of them as we can. Stereotypes can be useful when more particular information is impractical (i.e. which neighborhood to jog through), but there’s no need to rely on general information when making a decision about an individual when particular information is readily available.

  • @CJ: If HBD ever became widely accepted, it would render much of our public education policies nonsensical, i.e. the Gap will never close because it can’t be closed. If we’re ateleological reductionists this could be a problem. Liberals might come to think that the only thing standing between us and Libertopia is some “inferior” blacks and Hispanics. In the end, we’re not judged by our IQs and how far we went in our education, but on whether we were good and loved God.

    Of course liberals won’t allow such things to be spoken in the public sphere, so until then we just have to muddle forward under the transparent myth of Zero Group Differences. NRx, alt-Right, and all the others are publicly saying that ZGD is false, which it is, but their unwillingness to take our eternal destinies into consideration is what leads them to possibly scary solutions instead.

  • CJ says:

    @Beefy: I pretty much agree with in your post. I’m not in favor of noble lies since they’re still, y’know, lies. At the same time, a piece of the truth about humanity (HBD) without the whole thing (image+likeness) is also dangerous.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Beefy

    If HBD ever became widely accepted, it would render much of our public education policies nonsensical, i.e. the Gap will never close because it can’t be closed.

    I think that “i.e.” should be an “e.g.”, and certainly Gap should be Gaps. The factors, influences, extents, and whatnot of HBD are not known. The Gaps are fluid things. While we can almost certainly say that there will never be an equality of traits because of HBD, for the same reason we cannot say the Gap will never close because we don’t know (at least not yet) what we’re really and fully talking about when we talk about Gaps and their causes. I suspect we’ll never know in a quantifiable way even if we can reliably measure the Gaps.

  • Mike T says:

    It’s the “irrespective of history” part of this that’s problematic to me. “Let reason be silent when gainsaid by experience” and all that. Even if eugenics isn’t a logically necessary part of HBD, there are enough examples of it not ending well to justify some level of concern.

    Concern yes, shrieking hysterics and attempts to shame people (or rather destroy careers if they persist, in the case of scientists) into not even ascertaining the truth, no.

    Going back to your observation on gun violence, should all blacks and Hispanics be banned from gun ownership?

    Absolutely not. The HBD issue I raised was in contrast to a point made by Ita Scripta Est that gun violence is somehow the right’s dirty little analogue to abortion. Allegedly pro-2nd amendment partisans want gun violence to be safe, legal and rare. In actuality, gun ownership is morally neutral, most gun owners are law-abiding and most gun violence is committed by particular demographics not representative of the general public. The issue is that if said demographics are removed from the stats, suddenly American broadly looks much closer to most of Europe or Asia.

  • @CJ: If HBD ever became widely accepted, it would render much of our public education policies nonsensical, i.e. the Gap will never close because it can’t be closed.

    Dingdingdingdingding, we have a winner.

  • Svar says:

    Well, for the issue of crime in general, the first step be to NOT accept anymore black immigrants at all, anymore Muslim immigrants, anymore Gypsy immigrants, and to severely limit Latin American immigrants. As for the first one, for all the reasons mentioned above, the black population is unassimilatible(just look at Detroit. It might as well be Port-au-Prince or Johannesburg) and adding to that population is unbelievably idiotic. As for the second two, what would gypsies or Muslims add to America? Nothing unless you’re fond of terrorism or even more crime. And for the last one…. Hispanics are a hard group to categorize and while I do not think they are nearly as bad as the other groups, I still don’t think it’s a great idea to have them flood into the country. I live in Texas so it’s not as noticeable as it is in the North or the South, but even then we don’t need to become Mexico.

    I’ll just quote Teddy Roosevelt: “It is unwise to depart from the old American tradition and discriminate for or against any man who desires to come here and become a citizen, save on the ground of that man’s fitness for citizenship… We can not afford to consider whether he is Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile; whether he is Englishman or Irishman, Frenchman or German, Japanese, Italian, or Scandinavian or Magyar. What we should desire to find out is the individual quality of the individual man…”

    That being said, I still think HBD is a crock of shit. Gestalt is a better way at looking at anything.

    As for the Gap, I could care less which group of people are smarter or richer or whatever. The IQ obsession is a sperg obsession. I care about which groups of people can and do live in a civilized manner. Which groups of people can fit in well with the Western civilizational ethos.

  • Mike T says:

    My issue with HBD is similar to my view on Game. It may be faulty and even wrong on many things, but it is being attacked and suppressed because it contains enough anti-liberal truth to scare the liberal faithful. That which is true in it is what scares the liberals and others who share similar views on that issue. It isn’t fear of a false and evil doctrine, but rather that it may reveal holes in their worldview with necessary consequences for other ideals they hold.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T
    The thing you and many others may be missing is what I talked about in my old W4 “noble lies” post.

    It is true that much of HBD is politically incorrect truth. But resistance to HBD doesn’t come solely from the fact that its content is illiberal hatefacts.

    Resistance to HBD also comes from a true self-understanding of liberals about themselves. If you take liberalism, and then force it to acknowledge HBD (that is, make it renounce the ‘noble lie’ of zero group differences), what you get is nazi.

    And that really is what you get. Liberalism forced to explicitly acknowledge the übermensch/untermensch is basically naziism.

    So yes, ZGD is false. But it really is (and has been proven to be) very dangerous to take a society of secular liberals and – rather than have them repent of their false modernity in its entirety – just add a dash of HBD.

  • […] group of bloggers who self-identify as neoreactionary expressed the slightest awareness that the Mark Shea affair might not reflect well on neoreaction.  In addition, he recruits none other than C S Lewis to argue that the term ‘adult’ is […]

  • Van Phauc says:

    NrX is not a movement, it’s just some bloggers and twitter people who only agree on a couple of things at this point, HBD and skepticism of democracy. There might be one or two other issues they agree on, but generally they’re all over the place.

    As such, the OP is pretty bad.

    Some unknown person trolled Mark Shea. He took the bait, hook line and sinker. He wrote up a crazy post and banned everyone who tried to correct him, after deleting their comments and not reading them. I posted a comment bluntly correcting him and it was deleted, as were many, many others comments that served to correct him.

    So people just laughed at him. What else can you do?

    NrX is nothing. It’s just some young people blogging. Catholicism is a real organization. And Mark Shea reflects very, very badly on it. Do you guys have any internal mechanisms for disciplining him? If so, you might want to use them.

    As a bunch of not-really-connected blogs, there is really nothing NrX can do to stop some guy from trolling some other guy. And if that guy bans and deletes all comments contradicting his crazy made up narrative, well, that’s his own fault.

  • Zippy says:

    Van Phauc:
    So when a group of bloggers talks endlessly among themselves about what NRx is, craft ‘reactionary oath’ and a ‘canon’, etc etc etc, NRx is a thing. But if anyone on the outside actually has something critical to say about the project, NRx is not a thing.

    Got it.

  • Van Phauc says:

    A group of bloggers who talk to each other is just a group of bloggers who talk to each other. There is no structure. They can’t even kick occupy Wallstreet trannies out of neoreaction.People tried and it was a failure.

    What can they do about a troll other than post in the comments saying “hey this is a troll”, then get banned,have their posts deleted and laugh at the foolishness?

    On the other hand, Catholicism is a real organization with hierarchy and authority and tradition and stuff. Your organization could do something about Mark Shea, but it chooses not to.

    So, Mark Shea reflects badly on Catholicism because he is tolerated by Catholicism. People laughing at Mark Shea is just the appropriate, spontaneous reaction to his absurd behavior. It literally can’t be helped, in the sense that a) he refused help by banning those who bluntly told him it was a troll and b) laughing at such a ridiculous person is involuntary.

  • Zippy says:

    Yes I’ve noticed a real shortage of Catholics critical of Mark Shea.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    A group of bloggers who talk to each other is just a group of bloggers who talk to each other.

    A philosophy with a Canon is a lot more than just a group of bloggers.

  • Van Phauc says:

    That was a proposal for a canon, rather than a canon that was accepted and ratified by the non-existent neo-reactionary leadership.

    Would all neo-reactionaries endorse that canon? Nobody knows.

    A non-trivial portion of prominent neo-reactionaries have that guy on ignore.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    @ Van Phauc:

    So I guess now we’re tossing in a dash of nominalism for good measure.

    Something is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks about what it is.

    We still have communists around nowadays, proclaiming “My communism isn’t Stalin’s communism. My communism isn’t the communism that killed millions. My communism isn’t corrupt.”

    However, just because some people attempt to get off the train early that doesn’t change where the tracks lead.

    Just because there’s some internal dispute on the neoreactionary train, that doesn’t change what it is or where it’s going.

    IOW, neoreaction the philosophy is a real thing with a real essence.

  • Van Phauc says:

    But we have very little idea what that philosophy or its essence is right now.

    Is it Anarcho-capitalism? Is it neo-cameralism? (country gets divided up into shares, like in a corporation) Is singularitarianism? Is it monarchism? Is it a bunch of guys scratching their heads going “hmm, I see a lot of problems, but I’m not sure what the solution is”.

    Because all those positions (and many more) have been held by people affiliated with the core neo-reaction blogs. They contradict each other. It’s not a matter of no true Scotsman, it’s a matter of neo-reaction not being a real unified movement yet (possibly it never will be, because it probably only has about 20 people seriously contributing.)

    You need to actually identify what it is you’re attacking. Lots of neo-reactionary “philosophy” is bad, but it includes many different and contradictory positions, so it is bad for different reasons and in different ways.

    Unless you want to go with a boring umbrella non-critique like “it’s not explicitly Christian”.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    But we have very little idea what that philosophy or its essence is right now.

    In the words of Zippy, here are some concrete, objective, essential things that can be known about neoreaction:

    Things I’ve learned about neoreaction recently include:

    1) Neoreaction has meetups, online magazines, canons, proposed oaths (even if only as a discussion piece), acknowledged leading thinkers, and members/affiliates self-defined as such. So it is a thing. It is a thing unless it is being criticized or the possibility is raised that something done in its name doesn’t reflect well on it: then it is not a thing.

    2) Despite all the navel gazing, neoreactionaries exhibit a tremendous lack of introspection. For example many seem to have the bizarre notion that their nascent movement is better equipped to resist the relentless leftward march of history than a two thousand year old notoriously reactionary institution.

    3) Neoreaction is (as Peter Blood helpfully explained) explicitly not-explicitly-Christian. As Bruce Charlton put it, any solution is welcome as long as Christianity isn’t it. It is not considered acceptable for NRx to be a Christian movement or to develop into a Christian movement.

    4) Neoreaction is nominalist and postmodern. The incantation ‘cladistic’ (and other incantations) justifies ignoring what is essential to various things and using words however you want to use them. The name of Christ actually does come into play here, specifically in claims that the progressive atheism of Richard Dawkins is a sect of Christianity or whatever. NRx is so committed to its postmodern nominalism that Christian neoreactionaries literally blaspheme the name of Christ, while at the same time insisting that NRx must remain explicitly not-explicitly-Christian.

    Lacking a reductionist theory of all things neoreactionary doesn’t mean we can’t know things about neoreaction.

    Unless you want to go with a boring umbrella non-critique like “it’s not explicitly Christian”.

    Neutrality isn’t neutral.

    A philosophy that explicitly adopts a position of neutrality on a moral question, doesn’t.

    It’s not even that neoreaction isn’t explicitly Christian. It’s that it is explicitly neutral.

  • Van Phauc says:

    Mostly agree, as long as you keep it to proposed oaths, proposed canons (IE: blog posts with 5 comments) and remember that an online magazine is just a group blog.

    From a Christian perspective, it may be enough to define NrX as neutral on Christianity and thus anti-Christian. Thus, you can say, NrX is a thing, as in “a thing I don’t like”.

    But from a secular non-NrX perspective it remains hard to define, even if we grant all those points you made, because it still remains unclear which of the many contradictory NrX positions, if any, will ever translate into anything of significance actually happening. So from a secular non-NrX perspective, NrX is not a thing, instead the individual contradictory components need to be analyzed separately, IE: one would need to analyze anarcho-capitalist NrX separately from monarchist NrX.

    And that’s probably enough words from me on that.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Fair enough. Different philosophies are different philosophies after all. Just keep in mind that people can’t choose the consequences of their ideas.

    Karl Marx had good intentions. He genuinely believed communism would lead to utopia. That didn’t it stop it from being one of the bloodiest political philosophies in history.

    I’d argue that these various branches of neoreaction are all on the same tree. They share the same core tenants, but disagree on what logically proceeds from them.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Just in case I wasn’t clear, I mean I’d argue that they’re not actually different philosophies.

    They’re different in the way that the communism in Stalin’s head was different from the communism in Marx’s head.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    It’s in the context of arguing against Sola Scriptura, but here’s a good post about what I mean.

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