Friday, January 30, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

The University of Neoreaction

This blog has moved. 

I cordially invite you to read this post at its new home at

I delivered a little Hat Tip to Pete Dushenski the other day, after spending a few days delving into his blog, and related sites. To my surprise, Pete actually took the time to do a little homework and replied with his critique of Neoreaction:

Spending all your time figuring out what kind of “-ism” you and your friends believe in so that you can call each other “whatever-ists” is no way to improve the world.

Yes, Pete, I have taken quite a shine to your writings and I appreciate the critique. I found the link to the site in Land's Quote note (#144), linking to Pete's article 'The Revolution Was Fiat, The Reaction Is Bitcoin' and which Land dubbed as 'glorious'.[sic]

I actually agree with Pete's analysis:
All in all, Nick’s blog, and the others like it that I came across, spend a lot of time and energy defining, redefining, debating, and trying to encapsulate their ideologies into a variety of “isms” so that the authors can then call their little cohort a “whatever-ists.” The neoreaction movement, such as it is, appears to be little more than some young men looking, somewhat aimlessly, for a shepherd to give them a sense of identity.
I agree with this, because I have  come to regard the Reactosphere as an Illiberal University System. Neoreactionaries do 'spend a lot of time and energy defining, redefining, debating, and trying to encapsulate their ideologies into a variety of “isms”'. That's what academics do, isn't it?

The entirety of the West is engulfed in Leftism, or perhaps 'Revolutionism' is more consonant with Pete's parlance, being as he defends a dichotomy between the Revolutionaries and the Reactionaries.

I originally began to clarify a few points in Pete's piece, but what it really came down to was semantics. Pete is a reactionary, and we are reactionaries. Sure, he takes exception to certain things that he found in Land's work, but those exceptions are merely semantic, the underlying reactionary consensus is there. I don't want to spend a lot of time dissecting these semantic non-differences.

Pete reads a couple of comments on Bitcoin and overly-quickly labels 'neoreactionists' as anti-Bitcoin. I have no reason to think that anyone in the quoted comment thread speaks with any authority on the topic of Bitcoin. Then Pete reads some of Land's work, encounters semantic differences from those used in his sphere and spins out from there. Guilt by association. I can tell that Pete is personally, deeply, invested in Bitcoin. A few 'neoreactoinists' said he had an ugly baby. I get it.

Not many neoreactionaries know shit about Bitcoin. Are there some guys that just talk out of their asses like they know something? Yeah, that happens. What what did Land say about Bitcoin? He called Pete's piece glorious. [sic]

Neoreaction has the writings of Moldbug, which essentially transformed the reactionary memeplex into a form that Blue-state Progressives/Brahmins could imbibe. It has Land and a number of very bright fellows tracking a subterranean change, a counter-current, an undertow of reactionary fervor. NRx is valuable because it spreads the reactionary memeplex. It allows those with the aptitude to delve into reactionary thought. That is worth something.

Neoreaction is not direct action, it is not a movement, nor does it need to be. It's a school. The Reactosphere is a place to explore and express forbidden thoughts, to challenge the order of the revolutionaries intellectually. It is a place to de-program the Egalitarian memeplex that is programmed into every Westerner from birth. You attend the University of Neoreaction to get your Illiberal Arts Degree. It is a self-hosting, self-perpetuating, reactionary school.

Where else can you get that? Who else is doing a better job of maintaining a lively forum of reactionary debate? Who else is discussing the history and philosophy of reaction? Who else is offering the reactionary take on current events? I'm sure Popescu et al have some lively debates on #bitcoin-assets, but that's a pretty closed system. I'm sure Alexander Dugin and Vladimir Putin have some great conversations too, but last I checked neither one of them hosted blogs with open comment threads for discussion and debate. I would surely love to sit around and hash it out with Curtis Yarvin and Peter Thiel, maybe Patri Friedman would saunter in, too. But, I never seem to get an invite to beers out with those boys.

Is NRx 'an undergraduate-level circlejerk'? Maybe. But one day you graduate.

By the way, Pete, great blog. I'm really into it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NRx: Against Platonic Rationalism

This blog has moved. 

I cordially invite you to read this post at its new home at


I have been studying Curt Doolittle and his formulation of Propertarianism. Doolittle refers to the Misesian formulation (what we now call Libertarianism) as pseudoscientific, and refers to the 20th century as A Century of Mysticism. It is important for Neoreactionaries to understand why.

Nick Land recently asserted that Neoreaction is Neocameralism. Then Bryce Laliberte, who wrote a book entitled What is Neoreaction, noticed that his book does not even contain the word Neocameralism. That is a problem.

Laliberte writes:
However, I suspect that’s not where he’s coming from, and really does intend to specify, in some manner, that neoreaction begins and ends with neocameralism; the rest is but window dressing, essential theory to the end of developing this particular political philosophy.

And that’s why I find it so jarring, this identification. Given the particularism of neoreaction, at least as it has been articulated by everyone including Land up to this point, there’s no feasible way to make the identification of neoreaction with a single political philosophy, no matter how coherent it is of itself, without intending the scuttling of all the background ideological separation from modernism. But then, Land did tell me once he takes a difference over my use of modernism, so perhaps an elucidation that front may help. If Land is right here, that would require a serious recalibration of my efforts to articulate a coherent ideological worldview.
I believe that Land has the same intuition as CD. The difference between Land's assertion and Laliberte's view is functional. To say that Neoreaction is Neocameralism is to say that the project of Neoreaction is to build functional government. Laliberte is attempting to build a logically consistent political philosophy.

In my piece on Operational Property, I attempt to make what I perceive as CD's case against Libertarianism (a political philosophy). The case is basically the Operationalist case against Platonic Rationalism. CD refers to the 20th century as a century of mysticism, because Marxism, Freudianism and Libertarianism are pseudosciences. They are pseudosciences because they rely on unproven, untestable self-evident axioms. This is the problem with all political philosophy. It is rationalist in nature:
In epistemology, rationalism is the view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge"[1] or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".[2] More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive".[3]
When building a political philosophy, one reasons from axioms. Within this framework, something is true if it is logically consistent, when it is rational, when it can be shown to follow a line of reason. The problem occurs when the fundamental axioms themselves are divorced from reality. This is the operationalist criticism: if someone cannot provide an existence proof, then no-one really has any idea if that person is talking about something that is real, or something that is purely imaginary.

The Dark Enlightenment itself is founded in reality, in observable truth. Real science is founded on observable phenomenon (proven through repeatable experiments), while rationalist truth, though logically consistent, is pseudoscientific because it is divorced from observation and measurement. In the pseudosciences, there is no existence proof that we are talking about something real. In Platonic Rationalism, truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive.

Political philosophies are logically consistent walled gardens, in which the walls are formed by self-evident axioms. Basically, they are tautological. I use the image of a garden, though often I see political philosophies as prisons of words. As long as one is content to play within the walled garden, everything will be logically consistent and make sense. The problem is that Gnon demands proof. If the political philosophy does not yield real world benefits, then it will land in the ash-heap of history.

I believe that the Dark Enlightenment is the realization that we are currently governed by pseudosciences, which were created out of the Enlightenment exuberance for the human ability to reason (rationalize). What the children of the Enlightenment did not understand was the limits of human cognition and the laundry list of cognitive biases that humans have. As such, we cannot simply think our way forward, deducing from first principles… we have to actually measure and experiment. We have to measure our mental models against the real world. Today, the pseudosciences assume that they are correct because they are logically consistent, but when the real-world outcomes to not match their imaginary models, it is because of some witchcraft (some evil crimethinker), rather than the fact that the imaginary model is not founded on observable truth.

Which leads us back to Neocameralism. The idea here is functional government, scientific government. Perhaps Neocameralism is nothing more than one conception of how a functional government might function. In order for a system to be functional, we must understand the operation of its constituent components. This is what science is for, to discover how the universe functions and to manipulate it to our own ends. The important question about the universe is How does it operate? Functional systems must be based on human observation and operations.

Is the project of Neoreaction to build functional government? To build something that, you know, actually works? Or is the project of Neoreaction to build a logically consistent political philosophy? I believe that Land is asserting the former. Gnon demands results. I believe that many in Neoreaction think it is the latter, which is why so many pragmatists quickly get exasperated with NRx. Are we engaged in real science here, or not? I don't think that we need to build another pseudoscience. Break down the prison of words. Neoreaction should be concerned with the real world.

I think that Doolittle is on the right track. If we want to actually create something functional, then we must base ourselves in observable truth, in Operationalism. I am currently attempting to understand and relay Doolittles work over at the Propertarian forum. To get a sense of the fundamental paradigm shift the Operationalist view offers Neoreaction, read Operational Property. I don't know where this will lead. I am learning. Come learn with me. Let's build something that works.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

On Property and Propertarianism

Hurlock recently posted on Property. I have made a few comments concerning Propertarianism on this blog, but it needs much more study, particularly in Neoreactionary circles. To put it simply, if you are talking about Property but are not versed in Propertarianism, then you are missing the latest and greatest in the theory of Property.

Let me give you an example from Hurlock's post (emphasis mine):
It is important to realize that all property is private. That is, a specific unit of a good, or more generally a single specific object can only be de facto owned or controlled by a single person. For example, you can’t actually have two agents owning the same orange as a whole singular object together. The two agents might own different parts of the object but they can’t both have sovereign control over the same singular unit simultaneously. Obviously a conflict would arise. And in the end only one of them would end up a de factoowner of the singular object. Sovereignty is conserved.
 Now, look at the Propertarian glossary, and go to 'Property', here is a subsection:
    Types of property based upon observations of what people actually consider to be their property:
      Personal property: “Things an individual has a Monopoly Of Control over the use of.”
      a) Physical Body
      b) Actions and Time
      c) Memories, Concepts and Identities: tools that enable us to plan and act. In the consumer economy this includes brands.
      d) Several Property: Those things external to our bodies that we claim a monopoly of control over.
      Cooperative Property: “relationships with others and tools of relationships upon which we reciprocally depend.”
      a) Mates (access to sex/reproduction)
      b) Children (genetics)
      c) Familial Relations (security)
      d) Non-Familial Relations (utility)
      e) Consanguineous property (tribal and family ties)
      g) Racial property (racial ties)
      g) Organizational ties (work)
      h) Knowledge ties (skills, crafts)
      i) Status and Class (reputation)
      a) Recorded And Quantified Shareholder Property (physical shares in a tradable asset)
      b) ARTIFICIAL PROPERTY: (property created by fiat agreement) Intellectual Property.
      c) FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY : Formal (Procedural) Institutions: Our institutions: Religion (including the secular religion), Government, Laws.
      d) INFORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY: Informal (Normative) Institutions: Our norms: manners, ethics, morals, myths, and rituals that consist of our social portfolio and which make our social order possible.
      “Those properties in which we have invested our forgone opportunities, our efforts, or our material assets, in order to aggregate capital from multiple individuals for mutual gain.”
From this small section, we see that 'Personal Property' is only one-third of the types of property defined, with the other two being property that is not private. Contrary to the opening assertion, all property is not private. In fact, much property is interpersonal or shared, and it is the shared property that is the most difficult to manage under our current pseudoscientific definitions of and ideas around property. It is immediately obvious that 'children' are 'objects' which are in fact owned by two people, the mother and the father. Thinking of singular ownership only allows us to simplify how we consider property - it lets us off the hook with regard to the really tough problems. This is why Libertarians come to the wrong conclusions about so many things which reactionaries intuit correctly. What Reactionaries need is a scientific, economic language that we can use to express ownership of property such as consanguineous property, racial property, status and class, among others.

Let's look at a normative commons as an example, which in Propertarian thought is defined as 'informal institutional property'. Currently, there is a normative commons which is maligned through the pejorative 'White privilege'.  Critics claim that this privilege is unearned, and thus is unfair. It is not unfair and it is not unearned because 'White privilege' is simply the recognition that Whites have created a normative commons, this commons is a shared property, and it is bought and paid for by bearing opportunity costs. To clarify: every time White privilege is extended to me, I have the opportunity to abuse it. Every time I go into a store, and the store owner allows me the privilege of walking about the store to peruse the wares without an armed guard following me, I then have the opportunity to steal. I could quietly sneak something into my pocket and exit without paying. When I do not steal, I have in effect paid something, because I am bearing an opportunity cost and forgoing the 'free' item. Why do I pay this cost? Because it creates a normative commons of trust, by not stealing I am maintaining that commons for myself and others like me to enjoy.

On the other hand, if you and those like you (your co-ethnics) take the White privilege that is extended to you and abuse it, then you destroy the commons. For example, if you live in a 'diverse' big city then you are familiar with convenience stores with bullet-proof teller windows where no-one is allowed to enter. The common area, the shopping area, has been physically expunged from the store. If you live in a White-topia such as rural New Hampshire, then you are familiar with homey little stores where you can walk in and peruse freely and engage in some pleasant conversation with a perfectly agreeable White person.

For one group of ethnics to demand 'White privilege' and then be unwilling to bear the opportunity costs necessary to create that normative commons, is for that group to demand something that is unearned. That group has demonstrated unwillingness to pay for their privileges. They demand that others take a risk for their benefit, a risk which has been shown to not be worth the cost of taking.

White privilege is a normative commons that has been payed for by paying opportunity cost. It is 'owned' by the group of people who pay for it. It is 'informal institutional property'.

Property is a slippery and essential thing for us to understand, because it is not merely 'private property'. The Libertarian views of property tend to reduce and simplify it and are unable to grasp it in its full complexity and therefore produce logical, rational, economic arguments for intangible property such as normative commons.

I hope that this one small example on the topic of 'informal institutional property' will encourage more Neoreactionaries to study the work that Curt Doolittle is doing over at You will find it instructive. At least I certainly have, otherwise I never would be able to articulate 'White privilege' in economic terms.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Aristocratic Egalitarianism

This post is a response to Alrenous's post, Steel Anarchism. It contains a few minor edits to the original. I thought it was a valuable discussion leading to Aristocratic Egalitarianism, which is something on which I plan to do more work.


We get into trouble with semantics here. Calling this vision 'anarchy' or 'ancap' may not be clear. I think that your 'steel anarchy' could be called 'Right anarchy'. When I look at anarchism in practice, I see Spanish syndicalism or Eastern communisms, which is nothing like 'steel anarchism' because those practical implementations are Leftist. Leftism has as its goal the destruction of hierarchy. I expand on this here:

When I look at syndicalism or communism, I see an innate property/axiom: the destruction-of-hierarchy. Calling this Left Anarchy is redundant in my view, because Leftism is the destruction of hierarchy. Leftism or Anarchism will do and are interchangeable. In theory, it means no leaders.

When I look at AnCap or 'Right Anarchy', I see that the destruction-of-hierarchy element is removed. In this version of Anarchy, natural hierarchies are allowed to form. This is what makes it Rightist: the acceptance of hierarchy. Why 'anarchy' at all then? The idea is an egalitarianism among the leaders, with each group tending to allow the others to co-exist, not allowing a totalizing, centralized leader to emerge. It contains the the idea of no-hierarchy, but at a different level, a higher level. Small scale hierarchy = good, large scale hierarchy = bad. Basically, totalitarianism = bad. This Western idea is expounded upon by Ricardo Duchesne in his work The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, and he dubs it 'Aristocratic Egalitarianism'. It is a uniquely Western European formulation.

You and I then both game out 'Steel Anarchy'/'Right Anarchy' in the same way: natural hierarchies form. Basically, when Western men are allowed to self-organize (free association/exit) into 'natural' (learned over millennia) units, they end up looking like city-states with a central leader (mayor/baron/king). When I looked at what is known as 'anarchic Ireland', I see this same arrangement, where a 'king' means that you are 'king' from this field to the river. We probably relate more to the term 'sheriff'. I see limited hierarchies, forming a loose confederation of competing (and sometimes cooperating) hierarchies. Of course, we are talking about a homogeneous population here — of Western Europeans.

The semantic problem is that 'Left anarchists' assume destruction-of-hierarchy at all levels, but 'Right anarchists' assume hierarchy at one level, but limited in scope. For this reason, I don't really like the term 'anarchy' or 'Right anarchy' or 'steel anarchy', it simply invites confusion on the issue of hierarchy. What we really mean when we talk about 'Right anarchy', is free association/exit and the ability to form hierarchies (small groups organized under a singular leader), not the complete destruction of the 'arch' form of organization, but barring totalizing hierarchy.

I think the idea is much better formulated and explained by Duchesne and named as 'Aristocratic Egalitarianism'. Let the Leftists keep 'anarchy'. :-)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Multiculturalism is Balkanization

Multiculturalism is Balkanization
Balkanization, or Balkanisation, is a geopolitical term, originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with one another.

When you place distinct population groups in competition for resources, then one group will eventually win. Think about multiculturalism for a second, what is it changing from? It is changing from homogeneous states to mixed-ethnicity states, from mono-cultures to multi-cultures.

Humans have naturally migrated all around the world except when blocked by topographic features. We have lots of historical examples of distinct populations coming into contact. Homogeneous states rarely occur from lack of contact. How is it that these homogeneous states (all one ethnicity) come to exist in the first place? Think about that question for a second before you keep reading.

Homogeneous states exist because throughout time, one ethnic group always either subsumes, ejects or kills the other groups. This is humanity. Like it or not. To say that we should not behave that way is to be Utopian,  and is to ignore the reality of human interaction. To think that one could educate populations to coexist peacefully is Utopian. To believe that competitions amongst the human animal can be arrested, that the Hobbesian war of all-against-all can be negotiated, that the evolution of the species can be halted, is disastrously ignorant of the true nature of the human life.

Currently, Myanmar is trying to deal with its Muslim minority through deportation and second-class citizenship. This is actually the nice way to handle it.

If you want to see the not nice way to handle it, just search Genocide.

If you are a proponent of multiculturalism and a cheerleader for diversity, you might want to think about the future of America. Maybe here in America, there will be a nice resolution. We can always hope, can't we?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brin and Gray

I just re-read David Brin's NeoReactionaries drop all pretense: end democracy and bring back lords.

If I may summarize his argument, it is that those who oppose the Enlightenment want to create a New World Order of Monarchies to rub their hands maniacally and guffaw maliciously as they stamp their Nazi jack-boots on the faces of the oppressed. Did I get close enough there? Well, hysterical, might be a more succinct label.

He praises the Enlightenment, dubbing it the Enlightenment Miracle. He denies that Democracy and Communism are kissing cousins. Of course he references anti-NRx posts, with precious few references to actual NRx thought. Why should he bother to actually intellectually disprove the assertions of the Dark Enlightenment, when you can simply slander and ad hominem it? He employs the typical racism and sexism slanders, though does not stoop to fascism. The article is a commonplace attempt to evoke an emotional response while posing as intellectual commentary. I won't bother re-hashing any arguments against the Enlightenment, just read the Neoreactionaries themselves for definitive debunking of it.

I think that Brin should read False Dawn by John Gray.

The book cover itself is interesting, the initiated will recognize the seal on the back of the one dollar bill, with the banner reading Novus Ordo Seclorum, translated as New Order of the Ages. Some see this as New World Order symbolism. The image is often used as an Illuminati reference by the conspiracy-minded. I personally see the pyramid simply as the graphic representation of human order: hierarchy. The eye is known as the Eye of Providence, which is they eye of God. I don't find the image particularly frightening or sinister, but I think it currently represents an idea, and it is fitting that this idea is symbolized on the US dollar bill: the idea of global capitalism.

This is the false dawn, where a Western capitalism is universalized around the globe, and a new Utopian age of peace and prosperity rises over the horizon to bath us in the clear bright light of the Enlightenment. Anyone at all familiar with Neoreactionary thought, as David Brin clearly is not, will understand that Univeralism is one of the key pillars of Enlightenment thought, along-side Egalitarianism and Individualism. I express individualism as [1], and egalitarianism as [1=1], and universalism as [1=1=1=1…∞].

Only a believer in the Enlightenment could conceive of a New World Order of Western global capitalism enrapturing the entire world. Reactionaries cannot. We understand that Market functions must be built around the needs and worldview of the populations they serve. Markets must take the shape of their containers — the civilizations in which they are cultivated.

Perhaps the best way for you to get a feel for the book is a few quotes from a hatchet-job book review by the Libertarian Cato institute which dubs it "a relatively sophisticated version of reactionary globalphobia." The article also appeared in the Libertarian masturbation journal of choice, Reason Magazine:
Now he rejects not just free trade, not just liberalism, but the whole “Enlightenment project”—or at least his caricature thereof. (In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel identifies Gray as a leading voice of what she calls “reactionary stasis.”)

Hmm, a reactionary denial of the Enlightenment project?

Indeed, at the bottom of Gray’s hostility to the world economy is its supposed Enlightenment pedigree. “A single global market,” he writes, “is the Enlightenment’s project of a universal civilization in what is likely to be its final form.” In an invidious and oft-repeated comparison, he portrays global capitalism and the now-defunct ideal of collectivism as two sides of the same rationalist coin: “Even though a global free market cannot be reconciled with any kind of planned economy, what these Utopias have in common is more fundamental than their differences. In their cult of reason and efficiency, their ignorance of history and their contempt for the ways of life they consign to poverty or extinction, they embody the same rationalist hubris and cultural imperialism that have marked the central traditions of Enlightenment thinking throughout its history.”
Let's be clear about this: A single global market is the Enlightenment's project of a universal civilization in what is likely to be its final form. I don't expect in-depth knowledge or logical consistency from David Brin on these matters, though I would appreciate it.

Fukuyama made the Enlightenment argument for liberal democracy and global capitalism in 1992 in The End of History and the Last Man. He subsequently came to a more moderate position in 1995 in Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity where he came to realize that culture and economics are co-evolved, or as I stated above: Markets must take the shape of their containers — the civilizations in which they are cultivated. He still labors to make the Enlightenment functional, as many conservatives do. He will have a tough time of it until he realizes the majority of his assumptions are pseudo-scientific Enlightenment nonsense.

Read John Gray if you would rather have a dose of reality.

Because, in reality, who is it that has the plans for global domination? It is the deluded followers of the Enlightenment. John Gray says nothing other than what is patently obvious: that dream is dead. It was still-born because it cannot possibly function — Universalism is a false god of the Enlightenment. When David Brin is looking for the evil jack-booted thugs with plans for global domination, he needs to look in the mirror: it is Enlightenment Utopians like him that have that plan, not us. Read Gray's words again, it is those like Brin who "embody the  same rationalist hubris and cultural imperialism". We reactionaries understand that we must build walls around our civilizations and keep the pagan barbarians at bay. Running a civilization is a full-time job. We understand how hard it is to keep our own little civilization alive, and are busy working on that project. We will leave the plans for global domination to Utopian Universalists like Brin and his allies.