The University of Neoreaction

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.