Triangle: Human Drives


In Significant Triangles, I compared the Spandrellian trichotomy in neoreaction, the Estates of the Realm in Medieval society, and the political triangle in modern society. I made the case that these three divisions are emergent behavior, loose groupings that are the result of interactions of myriad genetic drives. This work is an attempt to analyze these general genetic drives, to determine the vectors, resulting in the triangle labeled Human Drives. These drives are the result of reproductive strategies and are particular to the genetic makeup of a specific population: Westerners.

It is possible to view the Significant Triangles as the results of these drives. This is an attempt to make the emergent behavior known as the Estates of the Realm more legible to Neoreaction. It is possible to view events in history and shifts in equilibrium within the Triangle. If equilibrium shifts too far in any one direction, then this can trigger intense selection events which will modify the gene pool to restore equilibrium.


Human Drives
Human Drives

Points of the triangle: Individualism (taken from the political triangle), Collective (modification of Three Estates ‘Commoners’), and Universal (my addition). I believe these points map to the Three Estates as, respectively: Nobility, Commoners, Clergy. These points map to Spandrell’s trichotomy as, respectively: Techno-Commercialist, Ethno-Nationalist, Theonomist. See the Table of Associations, below.

Sides of the triangle: Materialism (blue), Cooperation (red), and Abstraction (green).

Zones of organizational types: Capitalism, National Socialism, Communism.

The Human Drives, Opposites and Corollaries

The sides and points of the triangle are human drives, the circles contain examples of negotiated forms of interaction between the drives. The drives themselves are genetic, they are reproductive strategies. On each of the sides, the drive is strong, as you follow the line from the side to the opposite point, you reach the opposing survival strategy. Each of the drives on the side has corollaries, where the drive merges into the other two drives to create points.


Drive: Cooperation (red)

Opposite Point: Competition.
Corollary Points: Universal, Collective.

Humans have developed the strategy of cooperating for survival. This cooperative strategy takes on two forms, genetically related collectivism, or genetically unrelated (universalized) cooperation (communism). In the Cooperation zone (red), cooperation is not a voluntary strategy, it is enforced. Outside of the Cooperation zone, we would have the notion of ‘liberty‘, as exception from enforced cooperation. As you move from the edge toward the Individual point, enforcement decreases in degree. The danger of equilibrium shifting too far into the cooperation zone is that the enforcement of cooperation results in totalitarianism or authoritarianism, depending on which side of the triangle the weight shifts. Shifts into the Abstract-Cooperation zone have resulted Totalitarian ideological enforcement, such as that under Stalin and Mao. Shifts into the Material-Cooperation zone, result in despotic rule or nationalist racial fervor.

Opposite Point: Competition

As we follow the line out of the Cooperation zone (red), the drives of materialism and abstraction narrow the vector into Individualism, which is a strategy opposed to cooperation — competition. At the opposing point (individual), we see pure competition. Individualism is a corollary of liberty, meaning freedom from enforced cooperative norms, which is the area outside of the Cooperation zone.

Corollary Point: Collective = Cooperation + Material

Keep in mind the reality that humans exist both as individuals and as members of a group, simultaneously.  Concrete (real, material) group membership is based on genetic relatedness. The members of the collective are genetically related cooperators: clans, thedes, tribes, nations. The in-group is kinship, everyone else is out-group. Keep in mind, at the bottom edge cooperation is enforced: At the far right, nearest to Material (blue), think honor killing or stoning. As you move left and right along this edge, enforcement changes in kind. Near the material side, the enforcement is of physical violations of the drive to protect the in-group. The enforcement is not driven by a need for totalitarian ideological submission. When you have genetic relatedness, the need for mind-control (memeplex curation) decreases dramatically.

In this zone we see adaptive evolution characterized by eugenic breeding, or in-breeding. Eastern Europeans are drawn more strongly into this zone than Western European. The divider between the Individual and Collective Material points is the Hajnal line. Conversely, Western Europeans drift more easily into the Individual zone, due to being more out-bred.

Farthest points from genetic collective are genetically unrelated cooperators (communists) and genetically unrelated competitors (capitalists).

Corollary Point: Universal = Cooperation + Abstract

Cooperation is based on group membership. On the Abstract side of Cooperation, group membership is non-kinship based. Non-kinship group membership must then be based in something more abstract: an idea. These are synthetic in-groups built on some abstraction or set of ideas. The idea could be religion, or it could be a flag, or it could be ideological. Examples:  Religion — progressivism, universal christian brotherhood. Flag — Africans born in Africa under French rule are French. Ideology— Universal Marxist brotherhood. Keep in mind, at the bottom edge cooperation is enforced: At the far left, nearest to Abstract (green), think excommunication, gossip, or shaming. As you move left and right along this edge, enforcement changes in kind. Near the Abstract the enforcement is primarily of the intellectual and ideological. As you approach the intersection of cooperation and Abstract, you find increasing totalitarianism, as the means of control is via the brain, so thoughts must be rigorously enforced: think struggle session and re-education., or SJW witch-hunting and diversity classes, political correctness. This is the region where moral intuition is active.

In this region is where ideas such as Hope and God exist. (Whether or not God exists is entirely beside the point, because God does not exist inside the mind of Man, only the idea of God exists inside the mind of Man). These ideas are very powerful. If not tempered by material reality, then the group can drift too far into the dream-world. Hope can change to irrational exuberance, where the touchstone of reality is discarded in order to reach Utopia. This irrationality and synthetic in-group membership can result in dysgenic breeding. If dysgenic breeding accumulates, then an intense selection event can occur, shifting weight back into the Material-Cooperation zone.

Mind control, propaganda, memetic curation: whatever you want to call it, it is an applied science, the science of cooperation through control of the human mind.


Drive: Materialism (blue)

Opposite Point: Universal
Corollary Points: Collective, Individual

This drive is the need to deal with reality. Reality is synonymous with the material world, it’s opposite point is ‘unreality’ or ‘Utopianism’, the complete rejection of the material world. Keep in mind the reality that humans exist both as individuals and as members of a group, simultaneously. This means that the material reality of both humans as individuals and groups are valid. As you move left and right along the Material side, the weight of focus shifts between individual and group drives, between individual survival and group survival. In the Materialism zone, the focus is relentlessly on the physical, on what is real and measurable, weighted by individual or group. As you move out of the Material zone (blue), you move into what is abstract, rational or intuitive.

Shifts too far toward the material side can result in excessive practical kinship focus which reduce technological advancement, or in excessive material individualism which destroys kinship bonds and destabilizes a society.

Opposite Point: Universal

Anything that is universalized is an abstraction. Reality is always local. This is counter-intuitive for humans to grasp. For example, a kilometer is a distance that can be measured on Earth but is not terribly useful to measure distances at a galactic scale. This is because, in space, objects of great mass, such as black holes, actually warp space-time. Because the fabric of space-time is warped through gravitational lenses, the concept of distance itself becomes a problem. In our rational minds, we think that we can measure galactic distances just like we measure distances between cities here on Earth, but it simply isn’t so. So, a kilometer is a measure of distance here on Earth, which can be universalized in abstraction (rationally) only in our minds, because in reality it is non-functional.

Universalism is a rational construct, and is therefore abstract. Only in the abstract could the phrase “all men are created equal” be found to be true, but when subjected to measurement in the physical world, this notion is easily resolved to false. However, when attempting to arrange cooperation between unrelated individuals, these abstractions can be quite powerful, as we see now in the doomed Western experiment in multiculturalism.

Universal abstraction is more easily weighted as energy gets cheaper. As energy gets cheaper, then the population is separated further from the Darwinian struggle. The realities of the material world are easier to ignore when death is far away, and the Utopian mirage appears to solidify as the society marches away from Darwin and towards Utopia. In other words, as technology increases and material concerns are alleviated, then the equilibrium moves more to the Universal point of Abstract-Cooperation, drawn my Man’s innate desire to flee the Darwinian struggle. This is the current situation in the West.

Corollary Point: Collective = Material + Cooperation (see above)

Corollary Point: Individual = Material + Abstract (see below)


Drive: Abstraction

Opposite Point: Collective
Corollary Points: Individual, Universal

Abstraction is the realm of the human mind, of intellect and rationality. The memeplex lives here. The Abstraction zone is a world of thought, creativity and imagination. This is where dreams become possible and inspiration grows. This is where hope lives; hope that that the Darwinian struggle can be avoided, or hope of heavenly reward for Earthly deeds. Along this side of the triangle, at one end is the rational mind concerned with reality, at the other end is the intuitive mind, and moral intuition, and the concerns of the soul.

Corollary Point: Individual = Abstract + Material

This is where a single, rational, human mind roams. This point on the triangle is furthest from the enforcement of norms along the Cooperation edge. I this zone an individual may think the unthinkable: transhumanist singularity, or aborted fetuses for stem cell research, or auto-catalytic evolution and face tentacles. This region in general is where science and invention occur, with pure science (knowledge for knowledge’s sake) being nearer the Abstraction zone and invention (knowledge for practical human application, or applied science) being nearer the Cooperation zone. In this zone, associations with others are not genetic in nature, but rational, meaning where material benefit can be found regardless of genetic distance.

Note that this scientific zone can only be occupied by those with a certain level of intellectual capacity. This zone can be entered into through success in the Collective zone, as long as there is the collective cooperation contains a focus on eugenic breeding. Humans in the collective can then evolve adaptively and acquire the capacity to enter into the Abstract-Material zone of scientific discovery. Once a certain threshold is crossed then self-catalyzed (self-directed) evolution is possible, see John H. Campbell, generative evolution, and Homo autocatalyticus.

If too much weight shits into the Universal point and dysgenic breeding occurs at too high a rate, then it is possible to fall out of the Abstract-Material zone, after which weight will shift back into the Material-Cooperation zone where eugenic breeding is again possible.

Too much of a shift into Abstract-Materialism can also result in loss of human group bonding qualities such as kinship or empathy, resulting in Libertarian ‘brutalism’, Aspergers or fedora wearing.

Corollary Point: Universal = Abstraction + Cooperation (see above)

Table of Associations

Human Drives Individual Collective Universal
Spandrell’s Techno-Commercialist Ethno-Nationalist Theonomist
Three Estates of the Realm Nobility Commoners Clergy
Parts of Body Metaphor Brain Heart Soul
Human Association Type Synthetic/Rational Genetic/Kinship Synthetic/Intuitive
Modern Government Capitalist National Socialist Communist
Leader King or CEO General or Dictator Pope or President
Power Science Kinship Propaganda/Mind Control
Cooperation Limited to Rational Limited to Kinship Unlimited
Darwinian Competition Unlimited Limited to out-group Disallowed
Evolution Generative
Homo autocatalyticus
see Campbell
Eugenic breeding
Dysgenic breeding
Genetic drift
Singularity Transhumanist (rational) Tribal (genetic) Leftist (ideological)
Time Focus
Future (investment) Past (tradition) Present
Zarathustra Focus Call of Space The Tightrope (Man) The Abyss



12 thoughts on “Triangle: Human Drives

  1. This is fantastic work… Still digesting.

    Early point: So when you tear down the wall between clergy and laity, as happened in protestant theology, you set everyone on a course toward abstraction and universalism. Everyone a priest. That’s why we have the fetish for education, for everyone must be able to read (at first their Bible), everyone must be able to engage in theological/philosophical disputation, for he is his own priest and must be equipped to contend for “the faith”.

    Well, once you set every commoner on the path toward priesthood, the wall that separates commons from nobility cannot long stand. The commoners are now far holier than the nobles. How dare the nobles reap benefits that they did not earn? Thus there is no status had by aristocracy. The only status that one may gain in society

    The failure mode of course is that most commoners are not actually capable of becoming theologians (philosophers, informed voters). Power over this estate goes to those best equipped rhetorically to stir them toward devotion and action, a field in which “social stability” is overwhelmingly disadvantaged. Just keeping things the same is boring and unispiring. Even if the vast majority want things to be the same and boring, the ONLY path to elite-dom is now to work for upending the current order, whatever it happens to be. Elites therefore will always be selected from among the population that favors to most upending.

    Lesson: A three-pole status spectrum is generally stable. A two-pole status spectrum cannot long live before devolving into a unipolar one, which either ends in some sort of universalist singularity or when universalism is no longer selected for, which is a euphemism that probably covers a moderate amount of bloodshed. Though I would speculate the amound of blood shed to disestablish universalist status-seeking is far less generally than that which occurs if the universalist singularity is NOT stopped.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, NBS.

      Using the Triangle, I would visualize the ‘every man a priest’ phenomenon as a pull away from the Cooperation side, towards the Liberty pole at Individualism. I would also see it as a move away from the Material side and towards the Abstraction side. I agree that the problem is that only a certain portion of the population can move to the Abstraction-Material zone, which is the rational/scientific zone (limited by IQ), though the majority can be moved to the Abstract-Cooperation (Intuition) zone through the manipulation of their moral intuition.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a mistake to identify the Nobility with Capitalism and Techno-commercialism. Historically there was a chasm separating the nobles from the merchant class, indeed members of the latter were the driving force against the Ancien Regime leading up to the French Revolution, as they belonged to the Third Estate. The modern capitalist class of businesspeople is basically a mutation of the merchant class; I’d say it’s a major analytical error to identify it with the aristocracy. Of course the problem is that it is difficult for modern man to have a point of reference as any meaningful nobility has long since degenerated, in the UK for example it’s essentially been absorbed into the modern business class’s frame aside from some superficial titles, in the US a historic aristocracy never existed in the first place. Even by the time of Louis XVI the nobility was already decadent and a shadow of its former self. Evola’s political writings are a good source for understanding the difference in essence between the two.

    Something to bear in mind is that among the modern merchant class, which in today’s world assumes the position of ruling class, there is a tendency towards status signalling by putting on affectations of aristocracy (signalling “old-money”), but in a superficial manner, as conspicuous consumption which can be either material or ideological. This further confuses the problem of separating the two classes in today’s world. The problem arises that Nrx in its techno-commercialist aspect could fall into the trap of appealing solely as ideological conspicuous consumption to wealthy kids looking to signal “aristocrat”, but lacking the necessary deeper qualities.

    This objection aside, I really like the schema and article, a very nice tool you’ve made there.


    • I think you are making the argument that the nobles are not merchants. And I agree, in the past the merchants would have been Commoners, not Nobles. However, there is now a difference between a merchants and the financial elite, or techno-elite. For example, the men who run the Federal Reserve, or Goldman-Sachs are financial elites, they are as far removed from common merchants as street vendors were from Kings. When I’m talking about techno-commercialists and the Nobles, I am not talking about your common business men flying first class, I’m talking about guys like Elon Musk building spaceships to Mars. I understand your argument, but I think you are misconstruing me. When you see the drive of men like Elon Musk, and the height of their aspirations, it is hard to make the argument that there is none of the old aristocracy left.

      Did you read Significant Triangles? I expound on it more there.

      Thanks for reading and thank you for the compliment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely right.

      There were stratospherically rich bourgeoisie back in the day. Some of them were finance ministers to kings and organized the economies of nations. They weren’t all just “merchants.” Today’s financial elite keep score in money, are concerned with organizing and directing the economy, are motivated by gain, make virtues out of efficiency and innovation, and have their status because of their wealth. Ergo–merchants/commoners. It isn’t really open to discussion.

      The analytic error seems to be that the nobility and the aristocrats were traditionally the elite, whereas today the super-rich are the elite. But once you see the estates as natural genetic and functional nodes, you realize that the status assigned to each node is secondary. As the economy has grown and grown and become ever more complex, and has war has been suppressed and has itself become more technical and logistic, the merchant class has simply become more important, that is all.

      Modern day representatives of the warrior spirit are the volunteer combat soldiers (part of the reason why they have trouble adjusting to civilian life–it means switching from the noble class to the merchant class), generals, athletes at the high school and college and pro levels, thrill-seekers (like surfers and rock-climbers who work some piddly job so they can support their hobby), and maybe to some extent cops and the kind of smart blue collar dudes who say that they could never stand to work in an office.

      Musk is interesting. On the one hand, if you separate out what he has actually done from his rhetoric, he has been very commercially innovative with SpaceX and made quite a bit of cash and is poised to make quite a bit more. Nothing terribly aristocratic about that. On the other hand, if he really did set off into the wilderness, so to speak, then you could make an argument that he was being noble. But that wouldn’t make today’s merchants ‘nobles.’ Historically, merchants who had made good tried to move either into the priest class or the noble class, partly because they had more status but also partly because they appealed to human motives that economic work didn’t always fulfill. So Musk would just be an example of that. Or you could see it as an act of piety, the modern-day equivalent of a rich guy founding a monastery.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting and fascinating piece of work. It helped me to understand the trichotomy and Western three estates better, since I am coming from a society which had two different estates (the ruling elite; and the ruled masses).

    But, I did not understand this: How this “system” protects itself against the unification? Which means the unification of the first and second estates (and the richest ones of third estate) and forming of a new ruling elite, just like in the Eastern societies?


  4. Another row for Hindu gods could also be created in the table of associations. Brahma the creator signifying the artistic impulses of the Theonomists, Vishnu the preserver corresponding to Ethno-Nationalist protections of the group, and Shiva the destroyer representing the creative destruction of the Techno-Commercialist markets.


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