“Cthulhu may swim slowly, but he always swims left” – MM
Where I explain the meanings and mechanisms of the metaphor.
“Cthulhu may swim slowly, but he always swims left” – MM
Where I explain the meanings and mechanisms of the metaphor.
The AltRight term received a lot of attention recently thanks to a US presidential candidate targeting it in a speech. This has given a lot of air to the movement, further accelerating its capture of the right. As the New Right captures hearts and minds, the AltRight will drop the Alt and simply become the Right.
NRx has received some recognition in the past few years, as part of the Dark Enlightenment. But its effects have been far outstripped by the AltRight. And that’s OK, because of the division of labor of cognition. They play separate, but related, roles.
Humans exist in classes which are formed on a biological basis, and which are most easily divided by IQ, though this is nothing more than a convenient marker. At the bottom of this post I have provided Curt’s original post and my slightly modified version of it. This is a table of the various classes of the New Right. I think it would be valuable to further complete this mapping of the members of the various classes because we need each class to repackage and present the same message in terms that their class can interpret. We also need to create hierarchical linkages in order to move the messages downstream effectively and spread them throughout the Right.
According to Curt’s table, NRx is middle class. Some might take offense and argue that it is upper-middle class. Sure, the leaders of NRx are likely upper-middle class, but the average NRxer is solidly middle class. Software engineering is a middle class profession. People who run teams of middle class professionals are upper-middle class (CTOs, CIOs, CEOs, Directors, etc). The middle class is not a salary range: it is an ability range. The middle class are those who have the ability to engage in the system of production. This is why the middle class seeks liberty: because given freedom to choose their means of production, they will choose and perform, because they can. As an aside, this is why working classes are less interested in liberty, because they simply can’t capitalize on it within the system of production to nearly the level of the middle class. And the lower and under classes have zero interest in liberty, because they are completely unable to capitalize within the system of production; they desire security, not liberty (and that’s what self-interested politicians trade them in return for votes).
We can argue about the parameters of classes, and we should. We should define them. We need to understand their roles and to define the behaviors that makes one a ‘good’ member of any class, because these behaviors and actors do exist in every class. We just need to incentivize them properly, which is why we must define and understand them.
The middle class has certain behaviors which make them middle class. They follow norms of propriety. I was right when I wrote that NRx is Right Brahmin Signalling. From the SJW encyclopedia: “Brahmin is a varna (caste) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations”. NRx is a group of teachers and priests, solidly middle class and exhibiting middle class mores and norms, such as the prohibition on ridicule, mockery, libel and slander.
The working classes do not share the middle class values and prohibitions on ridicule, mockery, libel and slander. I have seen very clearly the revulsion of NRx to the coarse meming of the AltRight. The NRx aspersions about ‘populism’ of the AltRight. This is simply the middle class reaction to working class norms.
The thing is: the middle class needs the working class. They will do the jobs that the middle class just won’t do. Say, for example, openly attack with vitriolic hostility the enemies of Western Civilization using Pepe and Le Happy Merchant memes. Or say, engage in ‘high energy’ physical activities which raise the cost of the status quo on the controlling elite. Once the cost of the status quo is high enough, then that controlling elite will accede to the demands of the Right. Who will formulate these demands? Ultimately, the aristocratic class will, with large input from the scholarly classes. Who will implement these demands at the local levels? Obviously, the people who organize all production, the middle class, under the direction of the upper middle class, with the ‘real’ work being done by the working classes at the direction of the middle class.
We have a problem with moral license. Typically, our Churches have granted us moral license to defend the West, but the modern Churches are corrupt and useless. Our current set of priests will never grant us moral license to defend ourselves. Waiting for them is suicide. Alternatively, our politicians could grant us moral license to defend ourselves, but they are corrupt and useless and waiting on them is suicide.
The working class (and the lower classes) are the first to feel the affects of diversity. They are not nearly as insulated from it as the middle and upper classes. For this reason, they were the first to grant themselves moral license. This is the AltRight: the working class which has declared war on the Left and on those who pretend to be our leaders (the cucks) who refuse to grant us moral license to self-defense.
Their weapon is (currently) mockery, ridicule, libel and slander. This weapon is off the table for the middle class for normative reasons, thus it was unavailable to NRx, which instead uses Continental and Cosmopolitan philosophy, using myth and critique, respectively. Priests use myth and teachers use critique.
We are in the process of granting full moral license to ourselves for the purpose of defending our civilization. NRx will become an integral part in granting this moral license, or it will fade into irrelevancy. They will use narrative, myth and critique to justify our Holy War for the survival of our people, or they will become nothing.
I’m currently working on ideas for reforming Christianity. NRx is full of the religious, but they have neglected this topic, possibly because they do not understand that this is an essential step, and that only we on the right will undertake it. Does that sound ambitious enough for you?
There are many excellent religious scholars among NRx. Their job is to re-invigorate the Germanic Initiatic Oath within Christianity: Don’t lie, Don’t steal, and protect the commons (every man a sheriff, reciprocal insurance). They must also understand clearly the Morality of Transcendence: man is directing his own evolution, ‘transcending out of savagery to become closer to God and to live in God’s will’ (I am speaking in your voice here, NRx). They should create the narrative, using the Bible, that our new era of truthful scientific language is demanded by God (don’t lie)(Testimonialism), and our prohibition of parasitism (don’t steal)(no welfare state) is God’s law, and that we must become closer to God by promoting the best of our species, and limiting the worst (transcendence/domestication).
If NRx has a place in this movement, it is to reform the Church and grant ourselves moral license to defend Western Civilization, by any means necessary. The AltRight and the working class are preparing to march.
(These folk know exactly what they’re doing by the way. They have adopted leftist ridicule and are actively manufacturing desensitization as a means of combating the falsehoods and pseudoscience of political correctness)
My impression is that some people think that The Cathedral is some sort of a conspiracy, that it’s an evil plot to take over our minds and control mankind. I don’t think that’s what it is. I think it’s a social technology.
It exists because it provides competitive advantage to its adherents, and like any tool, it can be used or misused. Because it’s a system, it can also be gamed.
The Cathedral is a self-organizing ideological alliance of the elite (abstract thinkers). This alliance is made up of academia, media, government and business (corporate interests). It is an engine of abstract, universalist consensus building and distribution.
Humans are social animals and we organize together into groups for competitive advantage. Larger groups out-compete smaller groups (generally).Humans (and other primates) generally organize along genetic lines. This poses a problem: As the group size grows, genetic distance increases… so how do we scale the group and maintain group cohesion at the same time?
In highly intelligent primates (humans), you can use a memeplex. A memeplex is a set of ideas, abstractions. This set of ideas should create a universal identity. Christianity is such a universalist memeplex. Christians refer to themselves (ourselves) as ‘Brothers in Christ‘. There is neither Greek, nor Jew. The dogma of Christianity enforces the idea that the members should ignore racial and ethnic differences, and remain united in their religious ideals. The Communist ideology maintains similar ideals of ignoring racial and ethnic differences. Communism maintains that all differences are merely socially constructed and must be deconstructed. Global capitalism takes a similar non-racial, non-ethnic view of the people within the nation-states. They view them merely as customers within markets, or as human resource widgets within the system of production. This is the meaning behind terms such as the ‘Proposition Nation‘. A Proposition Nation is a group of people who are united in their acceptance in a set of ideals or a creed, ignoring racial or ethnic differences.
Throughout the West, the dogma is equalitarian. All men are created equal. The dogma is Love, and that which goes against the dogma is Hate. To deny the dogma is a heresy. Those who benefit from the group cohesion created by the memeplex will defend it, simply because it is in their intuited genetic self-interest.
Heresies are disruptions of the ideological consensus. Because the consensus creates group cohesion, which confers competitive advantage, the system will attempt to reject the disruption. This is the point where we see the Hegelian dialectic, as a compromise or integration is attempted. At root, there is a cost-benefit analysis. If the cost of the disruption outweighs the benefit, it will be rejected. But if the benefit outweighs the cost, it will be integrated into the system.
An example of this is when Galileo disrupted the Ptolemaic view of the solar system with the heliocentric model. HBD, race realism and evolutionary psychology are similarly disruptive ideas. The system has been attempting to reject them to maintain group cohesion, but the benefits to building functional systems outweigh the costs. Thus we see the current scientific assault against the equalitarian consensus.
Any memeplex of ideological consensus must be maintained and distributed. Humans learn through repeated exposure to stimulus. The process of distribution of the memeplex through endless repetition is known as indoctrination. We call this endless repetition of the dogma the echo chamber. We can call this by other names: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), mind control, propaganda, etc. In call cases, it’s the process of creating in the minds of the adherents a Reality by Chanting.
Again, this is a social technology. It’s simply a tool that humans have created for the maintenance of our groups. Once the adherents are sufficiently indoctrinated, the reality of the universe is created in their minds. At this point, they have difficulty processing information which is counter to the dogma. The new information creates a painful cognitive dissonance. The modern secular cults label this information: Hate. While in religious memeplexes, these are labeled heresies or blasphemies. In the Alt-Right, we call this Taking the Red Pill. The process of overcoming our own programming is difficult. For many, this awakening is a very painful experience.
In my opinion, abstract collectivism is a competitive strategy. It allows for group cohesion in large and disparate groups, which then allows the larger group to out-compete smaller, less-organized groups. It’s most effective in populations with a high ability for abstraction. The smarter the population, the more open they are to memeplexes.
I believe that this social technology is most beneficial in groups with single ends, meaning that they have a single reproductive strategy. When groups with competitive reproductive strategies are allowed into the system, then they may seek to game the system for their own reproductive advantage. I believe that this is what has happened in the West. We now the the anti-White bias of the Left as non-White polities attempt to gain competitive advantage within the system through the notion of White Guilt or Racism. Racism is an accusation of bad faith, of failing to adhere to the dogma of equalitarianism. Because the notion of racism is simply being used by certain groups to game the system for competitive advantage, to the white population the cost of it exceeds the benefit of group cohesion.
The Cathedral is a self-organizing ideological alliance of the cognitive elite. It is a social technology, which exists because it produces group cohesion in large populations and this group cohesion confers competitive advantage. Religions and ideologies are group organizing memeplexes. The tenets of the organizing memeplex may be referred to as the dogma. Ideas which conflict with the memeplex may be called heresies. The memeplex is distributed and embedded through repetition. Smart populations respond very well to indoctrination. The cohesion gained through this social technology can be very beneficial to groups with compatible reproductive strategies. This organizing technology can also be gamed, if groups with competing reproductive strategies are allowed to insert their memes into the echo chamber. The charge of racism is such a gaming of this system, and the cost of bearing the charge exceeds the benefit gained through group cohesion, thus we see a growing rejection of the notion.
The three Estates of the Realm are part of our deep heritage, and are an expression of gene-culture co-evolution specific to the Western genome. The Spandrellian trichotomy is a natural echo of the Three Estate model. The Political Triangle is likewise an echo of the Three Estate model. The Three Estates are emergent phenomenon, expressions of complex genetic interactions, which can play a role in analyzing when and how social systems lose equilibrium and trigger intense selection events. Good government is a system of rules designed to maintain an equilibrium between the genetic demands expressed through the Three Estates.
Let’s start with Spandrell’s Trichotomy, as visualized by Nick B. Steves. This identifies three groups: Theonomists, Techno-Commercialists, and Ethnicists/Nationalists. Apparently these three groups were identified from a poll, and it was determined that the voices in neoreaction could be roughly divided in this manner. This can be viewed as a snapshot of thought in NRx at the time.
Steve’s offered this note on Spandrell’s Trichotomy:
We must remember that Spandrell did not seek to define neoreaction so much as simply point out who the current crop of reactionaries were… potential allies in overthrowing the progressive machine. (After which they would, of course, immediately turn on each other for dessert.) It has of course come to represent something far more fundamental to neoreaction and also remains a constant source of confusion. A source of confusion because people see it as representing branches of partisan pull. But such pull, while always a temptation, is always away from the core of neoreaction (which subsists in the embrace of all three) and into the respective old-school partisan reactionary wankery.
So, the Trike is no more than the current crop of reactionaries? Yet, it has come to represent something more fundamental? What then is that fundament? It remains a source of confusion?
I’ll bet it does. Yes, this triangle is fundamental. I believe that the confusion may arise in thinking that this triangle is not fundamental, in the notion that it somehow applies only to neoreaction. The rational thought has been the application of the triangle to neoreaction, but there is an intuition of a deeper meaning. Would the triangle be more fundamental if we could find it at the center of political discussion a millennium ago? I believe it would.
First, lets look at the three sections with quick word associations. Obviously, these are my associations, not any sort of reactionary consensus. I find these sets of words to be connected, though loosely and on an intuitive level.
The Soul (neither animal nor robotic): godly, heavenly, holy, moral, intuitive, divine.
The Church. Pope or Bishop. Representatives of the poor, the sick, the widowed and the orphaned. Champions of those who cannot compete, asking mercy and shelter from Darwin’s laws. Cultivar’s of memeplexes, masters of mind-control: evocative of moral intuition, embedded through repetition (song/cant). Short and long term planning. Judicial branch. Focused on the Abyss. Tendency to unlimited cooperation.
The Brain (not animal): intelligent, cunning, inventive, individualist, Machiavellian, robotic.
Competitors engaged in all-against-all competition, war, masters of war. Officers of War. The King or CEO. Absolute Darwinism. Masters of technology (War<=>Commerce<=>Computers). Organizers of production. Long term. Executive branch. Focused on the call beyond the Abyss – the sense of space. Tendency to unlimited competition.
The Heart (not robotic): workers, producers, earthly, natural, pragmatic, family, kinship, loyalty, collectivist, animal.
Limited Darwinism. The General, Union Leader or Dictator. Medium term. Legislative branch. Focused on the path over the Abyss. Limited competition and cooperation through blood-ties.
First we had the Venn diagram provided by NBS. Then Jim re-imagined it as a (beautifully rendered and shaded, 3-D) Celtic knot, the Trefoil. Then RiverC re-imagined it as the Trike.One thing that is important about NBS’s, Jim’s and RiverC’s renderings is that they can all be simplified into a single triangle. Keep that in mind, it will be helpful when we get to the Modern Politics section.
In neoreaction we talk about hierarchies because it appears that the most effective organization of humans is the hierarchy. The best visualization we have for the hierarchical human arrangement is the pyramid, remembering that a pyramid is a three dimensional object. I use three sided pyramids, with a three sided bottom — in order to keep with our theme of threes. My visualization is of three merged pyramids sitting flat on a plane. Each section will have its hierarchy and leaders: the Pope or Bishop (theonomists), The King or CEO (techno-commercialists), and the General, Union Leader or Dictator (ethno-nationalist). Here is my rather poor attempt at such a visualization.
This is a part that is rather weird to me. I have searched and searched, but I can find no connection in writings of neoreactionaries between the Trichotomy and the Estates of the Realm, the Clergy, the Nobility, and the Commoners. The connection is so plain, so obvious, so direct. Is it possible that no-one in neoreaction has seen the simple parallel? What does that mean that no-one has, considering all the attention that it has received? I feel like it means something, but I cannot name it.
I now see clearly the genius of the Europeans of the Middle Ages. In 1909, Johan Huizinga wrote in The Waning of the Middle Ages that “Medieval political speculation is imbued to the marrow with the idea of a structure of society based upon distinct orders.” Well, that sounds reactionary as hell to me. Wiki writes, “[Huizinga] here reinterpreted the Late Middle Ages as a period of pessimism and decadence rather than rebirth.” So the dawning of the Enlightenment was the beginning of decadence, not rebirth. That sounds awfully reactionary to me, too.
As an aside, I think that we need to rename both ‘the Enlightenment’ and ‘the Renaissance’. Those terms do not serve us at all, as the ‘rebirth’ was the birth of decadence and the ‘light’ was merely ideological/metaphysical propaganda. Also, never suffer another man to refer to the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages. This is a shibboleth. If he says Dark Ages, he is either ignorant or an enemy.
Another quick side note on nobility and chivalry. In Chapter 3, The Hierarchic Conception of Society, Huizinga writes,
Nevertheless an assiduous reader of the chronicles and literature of the fifteenth century will hardly resist the impression that nobility and chivalry occupy a much more considerable place than our general conception of the epoch would imply. The reason of this disproportion lies in the fact, that long after nobility and feudalism had ceased to be really essential factors in the state and in society, they continued to impress the mind as dominant forms of life.
Do you notice a preoccupation with nobility and chivalry among the neoreactionaries? I do. I have noticed it especially when taking the side of the PUAs in discussions. I believe that neoreactionaries tend to disdain the PUAs for their lack of nobility and chivalry.
In retrospect this seems obvious. Here in the West, we have conceived of this division for at least a thousand years: the Three Estates of the Realm. Let us remember the reactionary consensus view of deep heritage. Let us also give special note to gene-culture co-evolution theory, which I assert is the engine of deep heritage. NBS quotes in Proposition Δ1—The Naturalness of Deep Heritage:
As a key component of all human cultures, Deep Heritage develops naturally as a way of collectively solving complex social problems in a roughly locally optimal way; it therefore a phenomenon unlikely to be explained primarily by imposed ideology, or as a cynical way of manipulating outcomes so that one party is unfairly favored at the expense of another.
I put forth the proposition that the Three Estates is part of our Western deep heritage, driven by the particular peculiarities of European gene-culture coevolution. This leads to the understanding that this is not a universal social organization, rather it is a roughly local (to Europe) means developed to collectively solve complex social problems. I further contend that the components of neoreaction as organized in Spandrell’s trichotomy align with the Three Estates, not because that particular crop of neoreactionaries was aligned in that way, but because all of Western society is aligned in that way, including neoreaction. If neoreaction is concerned with the social problems of Western society, then it should at a minimum be aware of the Three Estate model.
If the Three Estate model is part of our deep heritage, then that means it is still relevant today, unless we have somehow radically evolved in the past millennium. I personally find a genetic shift of that magnitude possible but unlikely. Some might want to make the case that I am somehow calling for a ‘restoration’ of the Three Estate model, essentially LARPing. I am asserting that Three Estate model is an essential model of Western civilization, one that our ancestors wrestled with in the Middle Ages, and that we still must wrestle with today.
This is why Spandrell’s trichotomy maps so easily onto the Three Estate model:
Clergy: Theonomists. Do I really have to explain this one? I think not.
Nobility: Techno-commercialists. The Nobles of the middle ages directed production and commerce, just like CEOs and Presidents direct production and commerce today. The Nobles had to keep up with the latest advances in the most important technology of the time: warfare. In the middle ages it was the stirrup, today it is bitcoin. You are aware of the Great Stirrup controversy aren’t you?
Commoners: Ethno-Nationlists. No offense, dear EthNats. The commoners of the Middle Ages were a population which included the middle class and upper middle class, which brimmed with many talented and intelligent individuals, just as they do today, the cream of which undoubtedly forms the neoreactionary Ethno-Nationalist camp.
I know some are going to claim that Ethnonationalism is not a class (or group of classes), which is correct. They will also claim that being involved in technology or commerce does not make you a noble, which is correct. This is exactly why I am using the concept of the Three Estates, because it is older and therefore should merit thoughtful consideration. I am making the argument that the Three Estate model is valid, the fact that Spandrell’s trichotomy maps to it at all is a point in the favor of that argument. This mapping should make better sense in the next section.
Side Note: In my piece, Is Neoreaction Right-Brahmin Signalling?, I make the argument that the difference between a reactionary and a neoreactionary is caste. The consensus is that this is correct. I now think it is a bit deeper than that. Neoreaction is comprised of the three groups (Spandrell’s), with members from each group, meaning that Neoreaction is comprised of members of the Three Estates. However, I believe that the target of influence by neoreaction is the First Estate, the Clergy (the Brahmin, the Cultivars of the Memeplex). So, the signalling is primarily to the First Estate, while Neoreaction itself is a cross-section of all three estates, and somewhat a cross-section of the ranks of the estates, going up and down the pyramidal hierarchies from higher to lower ranks of each estate (a little, heavily weighted at the top).
It is also important to note that each of the three estates should not be simplified in the mind to a caste or a class. This why my visualization is of three merged pyramids. Each estate is organized into a pyramidal hierarchical structure. For example, at the Apex of the first estate is the Pope, in the middle of that pyramid we could place the clergy, and at the base we could place the people, with a special place reserved for those that the Clergy protects from Darwinian competition: the poor, sick, weak, elderly, widowed, orphaned, etc.
We can also look at the Three Estates through the lens of time preference. Time preference is a technical term used by economists, which I find to be named backward from the way in which I think. Low time preference means long term planning,and high time preference means short term planning (or no planning). If I rank the Estates by the time preference of their constituents, from short term planning to long term planning, then I produce the estates in this order: Clergy, Commoner, Nobility.
The reason for existence of the Three Estates in the West could be a simple as a difference in time preference, or it might be better to say that it is as simple as difference in reproductive strategy. I believe that reproductive strategy drives the expression of time preference. In the r/K selection theory dichotomy, a K-selection strategy is expressed as low time preference behavior, and an r-selection strategy is expressed as high time preference behavior.
Though the Clergy speaks quite often of forever in heaven, it wants changes in behavior today. It wants food for the needy now. It is true that the Roman Catholic Church is also the longest standing institution in the West, so no lack of planning there. However, those special groups that the Church seeks to protect from the Darwinian struggle: the poor, sick, weak, elderly, widowed, orphaned, etc., they are all focused on right now. Notice that the Church provides a contradiction, a paradox: it appears to hold the longest planning outlook and also the shortest. I think this is important. Perhaps it is that the Church must switch between the two reproductive strategies, at times encouraging more reproduction (r-selection strategy) and at other times encouraging better reproduction (K-selection strategy). Perhaps the Church functions as a regulator in this regard.
The Commoners exhibit a medium term outlook, with a range of short to long term constituents. If a commoner’s outlook is too short term, then he risks falling into one of the Church’s protected classes. If a commoner exhibits a very long term outlook, saving and investing, then he can rise in rank, possibly even marrying into a noble house. In our modern era, most of the commoners exhibit a medium outlook, capable of saving for a rainy day, or saving enough for an investment such as a house or farm or retirement. They range in rank from blue collar workers to highly technical professions such as rocket scientist or electrical engineer. Reproductive strategy will vary from r-type (low class) to K-type (high class), highly influenced by the memeplex cultivated by the Church.
The Nobility exhibit the longest term outlook. They seek to build multi-generational wealth and power. They seek to build estates, kingdoms and empires. In the modern era, they run financial empires, or entire countries, or are captains of industry. The modern nobility is comprised of talented commoners who rise to the equivalent of peerage like Elon Musk, of Tesla motors and SpaceX, or be born into multi-generational wealth and title like Evelyn de Rothschild, their common focus is relentlessly on the future. Reproductive strategy is K-type.
We see the Three Estates model echoed in the modern American political system. The three branches of the Federal government: Judicial, Executive, and Legislative, which maps to Clergy, Nobility, and Commoners. The Judicial branch is the most overtly holy, parading in their black robes, consulting their ancient texts, intoning solemnly to convey the weight of their holy power as they decide what is moral and right for the Nobles and Commoners. The Executive branch is the most obviously entrenched with the true American nobility: the capitalists (techno-commercialists), who buy influence within the true bureaucratic power structure with sinecures and revolving doors to lucrative positions and board memberships. The Legislative branch is where the Commoners are allowed to pretend that they have influence on the system, though they are easily overruled by either the Executive or Judicial branches whenever necessary.
We also see an echo in the Legislative branch: President, Senate and House, mapping to Clergy, Nobility and Commoners. The President can suggest and uses the ‘bully pulpit’ to exert his moral authority over the legislative process. The Senate are most aligned with the interests of the Nobility and most long term in outlook. The House is definitely the House of Commons and most aligned with those of short term outlook, the Commoners. This alignment is not as neat as the branches, but there are parallels.
The point is that we see the echo of the Three Estates in our modern day political systems. Of course we see it in Spandrell’s trichotomy. What else would we find? I told you to keep in mind that the visualizations of the Spandrellian trichotomy created by Nick B. Steves, Jim and RiverC could all be viewed as a single triangle. Here is that single triangle.
Which brings me to coldness and this final triangle, the triangle of unknown origin, the Political Triangle that keeps popping up:
This triangle is supposed to represent modern Western society, defined by political view, divided into Left and Right. To the Left is the lie of Utopia, the leftist singularity, a black hole of navel gazing from which no logical thought can escape — here lies anti-materialism, nihilism, and destruction of ego (Eastern mysticism). No truth which contradicts the Utopia is allowed, no Darwinism can be said to exist, not science and not race. All systems which march left eventually converge into a single point — the leftist singularity. To the Right is reality, which must be grounded in materialism, which is measurable. Here lies science. The right opens wide, diverges into two main types of material reality: the reality of the individual and the reality of the group. If the driving force of materialism is the individual, if it is ‘I’, then the ‘We’ is forgotten, the drive expresses itself as ever increasing interest in material goods, material science. If the driving force of the materialism is the group, if it is ‘We’, then the ‘I’ is forgotten, the drive expresses itself as ever increasing interest in the well-being of the group. Natural selection seems to favor a mix of approaches between the individual and the group survival strategy, but punishes harshly those that travel too far to the Left.
To the Right is life, but the struggle is harsh and Man wishes to flee from it. To the Left is death disguised as Utopia, a beautiful siren song calling Man to crash upon the rocks of insanity.
I contend that there is a deep heritage of the Three Estates in Western social organization. If this map is a map of Western society, then would it not follow that it will map the the Three Estates? I believe it does.
The point labeled ‘communism‘ maps to the Clergy (controlled by the church of Progress), denoted by unlimited cooperation. This is why neoreaction labels those currently in power, pushing Utopian Progressive lies, the Cathedral. Neoreaction recognizes hyper-Calvinism as a driving force within the Cathedral, coupled with a rejection of Darwinism, for that is what Utopia is: the promise of freedom from the struggle for survival, freedom from competition, freedom from Darwin. This Cathedral circumvented the Church, out-competing them in their control of the memeplex, through accretion of media control.
The rejection of Darwinism is a dynamic gone haywire: the drive within the Church to protect certain groups from Darwinian competition. Previously, the Church limited the protected groups to the poor, sick, weak, elderly, widowed, orphaned, etc. Obviously, we are wired with empathy for such groups. With the advent of Cultural Marxism, the church of Progress sacralized (see Haidt) an additional set of groups: the female, the black, they gay, the transgendered, and now every brand of special snowflake known to man. Now the groups are not merely protected, they are promoted, creating dysgenic breeding patterns that threaten to swamp the society if continued. The Good News of the freedom from competition is being spread in progressively widening circles.
The farther a society moves into this corner, the more deceptions are needed to maintain power, because the system moves further and further away from the reality of competition and Darwinism. In order to explain why the Utopia never arrives, the leaders invent a Satan who is preventing it, usually through Black Magic. Conveniently, the Satan will be whoever has resources to be expropriated (to keep the scam going just a little longer). In this way, a game of musical chairs is played, with the number of chairs decreasing as resources decrease, until eventually the music stops.
This maps to the ‘Theonomists‘ of the Spandrellian trichotomy. And , No, I am not saying that Theonomists are commies. I am saying that the job that should be performed by the Theonomists has been usurped by commies. Somewhere along the line, something went very wrong. I have the feeling that it has something to do with calories getting cheaper, but that will be another post.
The point labeled ‘individualism‘ maps to the Nobility, denoted by unlimited competition or unlimited Darwinism. The Nobles have always been willing to stand out from others and to pursue their own self-interest. For Nobles to pursue their self-interest, they must guide the workers, the commoners, and organize production and organize defense of that production. This is the ‘commercialist‘ side of techno-commercialism. The Nobles have also had to control certain types of technology, lest another competitor wrest power from them. In the Middle Ages, this technology primarily centered around war, but progressively centered on control of agriculture and commerce. In the modern era, this technology to control has expanded to finance and computers, in addition to nukes and fighter jets. Corporations and governments now conduct warfare on the internet and in currency markets. Multinationals care very little for blood ties with those whose countries they inhabit, and it seems that Western governments are acquiring this same view.
In the past, under Monarchy, the Nobles were forced to organize production of the masses, requiring identification with the masses, so we see monarchy closer to the Absolutism point. Modern international corporations, with their ability to shift wealth between countries are much closer to the individualist node, as they are not as tied to any body politic. Modern international corporations can manage populations of any race. Tribal solidarity is non-existent, but the creative destruction of the market is strong.
I think in the diagram above that Kingdom and Tribe (in white) should be switched, and that Nationalism and Monarchism (in blue) should be switched.
Here individualist Darwinian competition is at its strongest, breaking even tribal bonds. The farther a society moves in this direction, the more science and decouple from humanity, from its bonds of kinship. In this direction lies the trans-humanist singularity.
This maps to the ‘Techno-Commercialists‘ in the Spandrellian trichotomy. This should be a straightforward mapping to comprehend.
The point labeled ‘absolutism’ maps to the Commoners, denoted by limited competition and limited Darwinism. Here all Darwinian competition must be limited to competition between the in-group (the collective) and the out-group, cannibalistic competition is barred. This is blood, kinship and loyalty above all. This is populism and group-think. What happens when you take the ethos of the commoner and have the people push a leader to power? You get Hitler of Mussolini. In this node we see the collectivist drive (“We own each other”). We see National Socialism, which is collectivism around race. The farther the group moves to this corner, the harder it is for their leaders to keep up with the shifting demands of technology, and the need to be on the cutting edge of technology. Tribal solidarity is strong, but the creative destruction of the market is weak.
This maps to the ‘Ethno-Nationalists‘ in the Spandrellian trichotomy.
The estates matter because they formed based on real human drives, vectors of competition between gene frequencies within a population: individualist vs collectivist, low time preference vs high time preference, loyal vs disloyal, Utopian vs Darwin, etc. When you take a number of two dimensional traits that humans display, and combine them into a population, we get emergent behavior which can be conceptualized as the Three Estates. When we look at governments, what we see is group negotiation. This means that governments are the framework within which these separate reproductive strategies (time preferences) and drives can be negotiated. In order for a Western society to function successfully, it must have a method for doing the math, for calculating the necessary policies to satisfy the drives of the three estates. This is why there are houses of government, to represent the divergent interests of divergent populations of gene frequencies.
We have examples of what the Three Estates look like within healthy Western societies. It is possible to view history through the prism of the Estates, watching the interplay between the Estates. It appears that there must be a center of gravity, an equilibrium, maintained between the Three Estates; if the center of gravity tilts too far to one corner or another, then the system falls out of balance and we see an ‘intense selection event‘. Let me quote Bryce Laliberte from Neoreaction is Always to Your Right:
Why right? Because society should be arranged so as to produce the best. Leftism, which allies the rulers with the least against the middle, leads to the endless reproduction of the least in society while penalizing the reproduction of the best and subsumes the middle into the least. If this occurs during a period of unparalleled cultural acceleration, then an intense selection event triggered by Gnon shall occur. Gene-culture co-evolution entails that genes cannot get too far past culture, and culture cannot get too far past genes, without being snapped back to equilibrium.
I think that the Three Estates are part of our deep heritage, and are an expression of our gene-culture co-evolution — and are an expression specific to the Westerner genome. I think that the Three Estates are emergent phenomenon, expressions of complex genetic interactions, which can play a role in analyzing when and how social systems lose equilibrium and trigger intense selection events. I think that government, and good government in particular, is a system of rules designed to maintain an equilibrium between the genetic demands expressed through the Three Estates.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not terribly concerned with ‘fixing‘ America.
A comment from a concern troll insinuates that neoreactionaries are really trying to ‘fix‘ America. Maybe some guys are, but I am not. You see, I’m a Southerner, and an Unreconstructed Southerner at that. I grew up with my father telling me about the atrocities of the North against my forefathers. The Southern states were fools to ever join the Union, just as the EU member states were fools to join the European Union. The member states of the EU were better off being independent, just as the member states of the American Union will be better off being independent. To be ruled under a single despot is intolerable to the Men of the West. No, I’m not terribly concerned with ‘fixing‘ America.
America and the EU are sick. They are diseased and their bodies are rotting, no longer able to fight off infection, unable to prevent colonization by foreign bodies. Their deaths are inevitable and will even be a relief. Perhaps this will occur in time for the constituent states to save themselves. If not, then the peoples of the West will re-organize into some other configuration and life will continue. The struggle will continue.
Did you know that Rome never ‘fell‘? Just like America will never ‘fall‘. When I imagine America ‘falling‘, I see the image of the Statue of Liberty bestriding the Atlantic, tall and proud and clear-eyed, holding aloft the torch of knowledge, gowns white and rippling, the hope of Europe. Then she trips and falls into the deep ocean, to be swallowed up like Atlantis, her torch held above the water until the last tragic moment when its light is extinguished forever. From greatness to extinction in an instant, that is ‘falling‘. No, that’s not what is happening or has happened. This once-proud daughter of Europe, once so full of hope and potential, is now an old porn star, tattooed, used up and diseased. She lies in her hospital bed, as the AIDS that infected her allows diseases to eat away at her flesh, colonies of bacteria that she once could have easily repelled, until common pneumonia overtakes her. She had so many opportunities to take the narrow path, but the party was fun, and the sex and the drugs and the rock’n’roll too enticing. A long, slow, painful, protracted fading is not a falling.
No, I’m not terribly concerned with ‘fixing‘ America. You think neoreaction is going to fix that? Good luck. Seems like a job for a Necromancer, not a Neoreactionary. You might as well be trying to ‘fix‘ the Roman Empire.
Rome never ‘fell‘, it sublimated. Well, actually its spirit sublimated. What animated Rome, is what animates Western civilization is the Soul of the West. Spengler called it the Faustian spirit of the West, a spirit of expansion driven by a sense of space, an abyss, which causes a yearning of the Western soul towards distance and infinity. Bryce referred to it as striving rightward. I call it the Cult of Gnon. The spirit that drives neoreaction is the Soul of the West, and is the same spirit that was the animating force of the Roman empire. Rome did not experience a great crash, falling instantly from its prime into extinction. No, it rotted slowly, an old man warm in his bed, waiting for pneumonia to overtake him. As Rome died, Roman culture spread throughout the West, its forms and its spirit took hold in little corners, fought for existence and flourished once again — reincarnated. Each of Rome’s last breaths washed over the West. Western culture was essentially Roman culture, kept and curated by the Roman Catholic Church. There were a few men, colonies imbued with the Spirit, who took the best of what Rome had achieved and kept the light of the West burning. They created the University system and birthed new sciences.
America was one such flourishing — for a time. I believe that time is ending. I believe the time is coming when she will breath her last breath and will expire — ex + spiritus — and release her spirit. There were many wonderful things about America, and the American project was not a waste of time. It was merely a step along a path, a stage in an evolution, one incarnation in a series of incarnations. Brave European adventurers, propelled by the Spirit of the West, boarded wooden ships — the height of technology at the time, not unlike our space ships of today — and crossed a dangerous abyss, the Atlantic ocean, to colonize a New World. A body politic was born, produced its fruits, and has now outlived its usefulness. Its death will mark a new beginning. A reincarnation will follow.
Today, new colonies animated by the Soul of the West are forming. They are small and inconsequential, for now. Imbued with the Faustian spirit, European men sense the abyss, and sense the call of outsideness, and yearn to strive rightward, and upward. Those men yearn to transcend this World. Somewhere, there are Western men who know that the abyss calls for us to cross it, to take a dangerous voyage on a tightrope. That is what I’m concerned about. I am not concerned with LARPing about some ‘Restoration‘.
On a note completely unrelated to the indomitable Western spirit being called to cross the Abyss, have you been keeping up with SpaceX? I hear they need a few good men, some men with the right stuff. Also unrelated, space exploration was once undertaken by the American government, but somehow the spirit of space exploration has left the governing body but has found itself reborn in a few small corners of private life. Mars is calling.
Some other guys can go ‘fix‘ America. I will take my sons outside and point my finger to Mars in the night sky and say, “I wonder what it would be like to live there?” I will cultivate the Spirit of the West, keep its light alive, and foretell its next reincarnation. America is doomed, but the West lives on.
I have recently been making the argument that neoreaction is a school, not a movement and not an ideology. I did not see far enough.
Bryce Laliberte’s eyes were keener —neoreaction is a culture, a culture of striving rightward:
First, neoreaction is not a movement. It cannot be identified with any individual person or group. It is a culture, with its own bywords and norms which are intended to exclude anyone who might shrink from the task of striving rightward. Individuals, groups, and organizations may persist within neoreaction, but neoreaction is always an idea beyond capture of any person, doctrine, or magisterium.
This is much better, much clearer, and more powerful. Neoreaction is not owned or managed as a school would be, because it is a culture and a culture is the creation of a society. He sees what eluded me: that while the interactions of the neoreactionaries may take the form of detailed debates among peers, academic in nature, this is merely the expression of the culture. There may be a school of neoreaction but the physical manifestation is not the thought or the soul or the animating force, merely its expression. When the finger points to the sky, the fool looks at the finger. Neoreaction as a school is the finger, but the finger points to neoreaction as a culture.
Then Bryce takes us a step further. A culture exists outside of the group, and this culture exists outside of us and has its own destiny, quite separate from ours. We cannot bend it to our will, we must bend to it. One is called into its service, for a purpose not yet foretold:
Third, neoreaction is always to your right. It does not exist for any right-oriented group’s purpose. Rather, those on the right exist for it. Neoreaction is not even for so-called neoreactionaries. You are allowed to enter its salons and discuss ideas with other like-minded and intellectually virtuous individuals, but this not for your own purposes but the purpose of neoreaction. Neoreaction is memetically sovereign; it picks and chooses what it likes from you, and not you from it.
The next step is unthinkable, logical to the point of madness.
Bryce leads us to a precipice, to an abyss and bids us stare into it.
As we peer into the infinite expanse, the mind flails and shudders:
Fourth, neoreaction cannot ally itself with anyone, but you can ally yourself with neoreaction. It cannot be subordinated, but as it is the manifestation of an organic, rightward telos, whatever would subordinate it misunderstands neoreaction and thus fails. You simply cannot get to the right of neoreaction, because neoreaction already occupies the extreme limit of rightward thought. Or at least that is the intent, and if it has not yet gone as far as it can, it will find its way there.
A culture. Striving rightward. Always to our right. At the extreme limit. Expanding across infinity, an unknown destination. It is outsideness. Nick Land called it ‘Draconian Teleology‘.
To our left is our animal nature: barbarism and savagery. To our right is transcendence. To our right lies the path to transcend our animal nature, to become more than an animal, to become something better. Man is stage of development, a path to something more than an animal. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to transcendence. On either side of the road lies annihilation, oblivion, extinction. The path is narrow, stretching like a rope over an abyss. Our destiny awaits on the other side. The call comes from outside, calling forth our best. Nothing but our best will suffice. Each generation of Man is a step along the path, or a step onto the steep and slippery slope into the abyss, into annihilation, into extinction. The odds are against us.
Great men have seen this rightward voyage, this narrow path, and the black oblivion that waits to swallow all Mankind should we fail in the endeavor. Should we fail in becoming capable of making the dangerous journey. Should we fail in our striving rightward. Thus spoke Zarathustra:
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Overman — a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth may become the Overman’s.
I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the Overman may hereafter live. Thus he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who labors and invents, that he may build the house for the Overman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserves no share of spirit for himself, but wants to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus he walks as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who makes his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.
I love him who desires not too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one’s destiny to cling to.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who wants no thanks and does not give back: for he always gives, and desires not to keep for himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor, and who then asks: “Am I a cheat?” — for he wants to perish.
I love him who scatters golden words in advance of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who justifies the future ones, and redeems the past ones: for he is willing to perish through the present ones.
I love him who chastens his God, because he loves his God: for he must perish through the wrath of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may perish through a small matter: thus he goes willingly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causes his down-going.
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that lowers over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and perish as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is the Overman!
What is the culture of neoreaction? It is obvious now, we have named it before. It is the Cult of Gnon.
“Gnon is the Vast Abrupt, and the crossing. Gnon is the Great Propeller.“
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.