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.

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Reaction viewed from the Left

This is what Reaction, Neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment look like when viewed from the Left. Loki is the Arch-Reactionary (evil to the core, sadistic and cruel), the old Jew is the ideological center of the Left (brave and selfless, standing for the freedom of the underclasses) and Captain America is the Red Terror (handsome, brave and ready to violently defend the righteous cause of the Left). This is pretty much the 20th century in under 2 minutes, except in this Fairy Tale the Cheka doesn’t rape, torture and murder Reactionaries for fun (See Republican Marriage). The Left always sees Nazis under the bed… this commie propaganda is what passes for entertainment in modern America. This is simply a morality play for Leftists: Kings are Evil. The End.


A Republican Marriage:

How the Reds really treat their enemies:

Rules for Reactionaries and Soccer Nazis

Mark Yuray posted this image from his Rules from Reactionaries

From Vice’s Violent German Soccer Nazis Have United Against Radical Muslims

A strange thing is happening within the Bundesliga, the German soccer league that has some of the highest average stadium attendance in the world: Far-right hooligans affiliated to various clubs are putting their differences aside to unite against Islamic fundamentalists.

Now, of course, this article is written by a Marxist, and commies see fascists and Nazi’s under the bed and in their waking nightmares. Because of this mental defect of Marxists, I don’t put much stock in this supposed mass movement of Soccer Nazis. I have the feeling that what we are seeing is a nationalist movement, and some Neo-Nazis are joining in the fun. I watched the Tea Party movement in the US tarred with the Nazi brush in the media, while all I saw were middle-aged and middle-class White Americans trying to use Leftist tactics to ‘take back their country’. So, I always tend to scoff when a wild-eyed foamy-mouthed commie points a trembling finger at a new batch of Nazis peering out of the closet when the lights go out. Pretty sure this is just good ole nationalism at work.

Of course, Neoreactionaries have noted that protests and mob actions are Leftist (again, Rules for Reactionaries):

Nick Land lists “theory, protest and seizing power” as three “distinct functions” of a possible organization. He rightly dismisses mere protest as a “pathological symptom.” I will take a step further and similarly dismiss “seizing power.” To “seize” power from someone almost certainly implies a kind of Alinksyite coup, and is not rightist at all. A parasite “seizes” power. The function of a practical reactionary group must be the generation of power, not the seizing of it. Such a rightist group must function as a factory for social capital — to foster order among members, intra- and inter-personally.

I can agree that the soccer protesters are using Leftist tactics, just as the Tea Party attempted to use them with their Restoring Honor rallies and Tax Day protests. Of course, I haven’t heard of any body counts or looting from soccer protests or Tea Party protests, so they do appear to have some semblance of order, in contrast to the Ferguson protests. They appear to be the work of Rightists who simply don’t know how to think any other way than as a Leftist. That’s perfectly understandable considering the psychological dominance of the Left.

I wanted to look at Yuray’s list of Reactionary Organizing and compare German soccer groups, the Tea Party and #GamerGaters.

“Natural, organic, hierarchical, anti-fragile”

The soccer protests do appear to be natural and organic, though they do not appear to be hierarchical. I’m sure there are some leaders somewhere, but they appear to be organized in cells. This is similar to the organic appearance of the Tea Party in the US: a group of distributed cells, acting autonomously. This autonomous cell organization is definitely anti-fragile. So, 3 out of 4.

As to hierarchy, how could a right-wing group possibly build a hierarchical organization of any size without being found-out and infiltrated by the Left? With the current surveillance of all communication, and communication is key to organizing large groups, how could there be any operational security? Wouldn’t the appearance of any organized large scale hierarchy create opportunities to take the node via the head? I think that anti-fragility demands micro-hierarchies. Read The Way of Men. They way of men is the way of the gang. Small, tight-knit groups of brothers. How is #GamerGate winning? With autonomous cells acting in concert, and a socially self-selected meritocracy emerging. They have definitely proven to be natural, organic and anti-fragile.

“Personal Example” and “Strong Personal Relationships”

Tea Party groups are organized locally, around leaders who self-select and direct the others. They work very hard and take significant personal exposure to flak. This is how the gangs are formed, by local leaders, face to face. I’m not in Germany, but my spidey sense tells me that similar forces are at work. Again, it’s hard not to think like a Leftist when that is all you know, so the problem here is not interpersonal organization, it is lack of direction. I think the personal example and work of the InternetAristocrat was a key driving factor behind the success of GamerGate. The GamerGaters have virtualized relationships, though. Can we call these ‘personal’? Perhaps. The Aristocrat provided call to action and the direction the Gamers needed.

“Shared Group History”
In German, the soccer groups have their national heritage, and I believe that nationalism is the driving force there. Exactly the same with the Tea Party. The soccer protesters also have their team identities, they identify with proxy-warriors (soccer players) and are organized into tribes (teams). Jonathan Haidt believes that our human need for tribe is the driving force behind team fanaticism. I also believe that sports are proxies for actual violent warfare, which is an innate need of men. Does GamerGaters organizing into war parties in MMORPGs, MMOFPS’s, playing the same games, talking about the same games constitute a ‘shared group history’?

“Cultural Memes”
I can’t speak to the cultural memes in the German soccer groups. The Tea Party has attempted to organize around memes of the mythos of Founding Fathers, and around Americanism. Check. What are the cultural memes of the GamerGaters?

“Honor and Loyalty”
German soccer team loyalty is obvious. Loyalty to America and the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Many (most?) Tea Party members say the Pledge of Allegiance at every gathering, but Republicans do not. Tea Party members honor soldiers and dedication to ‘America’ (nationalism). Do GamerGaters exhibit this same honor and loyalty? Is it generated from online gameplay? Can proxy masculine activities such as virtualized warfare actually generate honor and loyalty similar to real world interactions?

“Incentives (economic and otherwise)”
There are a number of factors which motivate German soccer fans, Tea Party members and GamerGaters. They must exist, or why would they get off the couch? Can’t the same be said for Social Justice Warriors? I’m not sure what to make of this.

I’m making the case that both German soccer groups and the Tea Party groups are Reactionary forces who are directionless due to Leftist indoctrination. They are using the tactics of the past wars in the setting of modern warfare and are doomed to fail. You cannot win the current war by fighting the last war. The groups have some features that are adaptive, such as organization as distributed autonomous cells.

It appears that the Less Wrongians see GamerGate as imbued with the spirit of Neoreaction, because direct control is obviously a joke. I think they are correct that the GamerGate war is reactionary in nature. But why? I’ll get to that below.

I find it interesting to see real world reactionary forces emerging, such as Phalanx and the Hestia Society with the goal of organizing in meat space. At this time, I believe that only micro-hierarchies, gangs of men no larger than a platoon (13 men) will be viable and able to sniff out entryists. But where is the action happening? GamerGate.

Have you read Jim’s Gamergate and corruption entry? This is an amazing quote from Gawker’s How We Got Rolled by the Dishonest Fascists of Gamergate:

Intel is run by craven idiots. It employs pusillanimous morons. It lacks integrity. It folded to misogynists and bigots who objected to a woman who had done nothing more than write a piece claiming a place in the world of video games. And even when confronted with its own thoughtlessness and irresponsibility, it could not properly right its wrongs.

Read the Gawker piece:

Transparent and documented though it was, the obsessive campaign worked. Mercedes-Benz—listed on the site as a former partner, and therefore a target—briefly paused its ads on a network that serves ads to Gawker. I’ve been told that we’ve lost thousands of dollars already, and could potentially lose thousands more, if not millions.

I believe that the battlefield open to us is virtual and it is economic. All the real world power structures are held by the Left. On the Internet, new structures (8Chan) are forming and captured nodes (Gawker, Kotaku, 4Chan etc.) can simply be abandoned. GamerGaters attacked the corporate sponsorship of the Left, and it worked. Soccer groups and Tea Party members attempted to build support through the media and government (both held by the Left) and have had far less success.

Yuray wrote:

Left is chaos is entropy is uniformity is democracy is violence is war is death. Right is order is rule is absolutism is civilization is differentiation is flourishing is peace is life.

I would add something: Left is Feminine and Right is Masculine. Video games are a male dominated space, not a neutered ‘safe’ space for females. Soccer hooliganism is male. Sports fanaticism in general is male dominated. Hunting is male, as are shooting sports in general. Reactionary forces are to be found in male spaces. If you’re wanting to be Reactionary, go bond with other men. Create spaces that are not female friendly. Create gangs. Form teams. Battle for dominance. Focus on activities which are violent or proxies for violence. Have fun. Then look for Leftist attacks against your group. Lead your platoon to take the fight to the corporations that support your enemies. This is the virtual equivalent of cutting off their supply lines. It doesn’t matter if the men in your platoon have ever heard of Reaction. Ideological submission is not necessary, what is necessary is that it is male and results in pain for the Left.

What were the GamerGaters fighting for? The right to have fun as men. This is what makes GamerGate reactionary. Have fun with other men. Be men. Agitate with your fellow men that the bitches are always trying to butt in and take away our fun. It’s hard to convince other men that the Left is an existential threat that needs to be attacked, but convincing them that Leftists are a bunch of busy-body spinster social justice warriors out to ruin a good time? That’s an easy sell, and the results are the same: organized men acting together to fight the Left. Not politicking. Not picketing. Not protesting. Not giving interviews. Cutting off the money, squeezing their lifeblood out, going for the throat. Men sharing a common bond and fighting to defend it.

I don’t expect a Reactionary hierarchy to emerge any time soon. If you’re waiting for that, then you might be trying to fight the last war. I expect to see distributed autonomous cells of bonded men working to attack the supply lines of the Left. Building out this system, learning from the InternetAristocrat (moral outrage, documentation, direction) and the GamerGate tactics, is where I see fertile ground for Reactionary forces.

Leftism vs Liberalism

I’ve been trying to tease apart Leftism and Liberalism, and I think I’ve found a formulation that is a pretty good predictor of Leftist positions: the Leftist drive is to destroy all hierarchy, which is the natural shape of human organization. Leftism is rebellion against Gnon.

This is in contrast to the Rightist or Reactionary position as illustrated in Nick B. Steves’ Reactionary Consensus, item 1:

Hierarchy

Reactionaries affirm that hierarchy is not only natural, but almost purely beneficial to group success. Hierarchy is not merely not evil, but an enabling trait of civilization. Since hierarchy is adaptively advantageous, it is easy to see why reactionaries believe it to be part of the law of nature or nature’s god or both. Public policies that ignore hierarchy as fundamental to human nature, or worse attempt to subvert it by artificial means of social leveling are foolish at best and likely to be catastrophic for human flourishing.

Liberals are those who advocate for Liberty. Capitalism is primarily a liberal system, because a fundamental aspect of it is the ‘spontaneous order’ of the market: for spontaneous order (self-order) to occur, then that presupposes that external order is not being forced upon it. Freedom of speech is a liberal value, as are freedom of association and gun ownership. Because America has always been a liberal project, Leftists have used the tactic of exploiting Liberal values that advance Leftist ideology.

Leftists want to attack, dismantle and destroy established orders; to ‘free’ the masses from hierarchical order imposed on them from the upper classes; to flatten hierarchies. To them, order and hierarchy is oppression, and it is… when viewed from the perspective of the Left. Civilization is the systematic suppression of animal drives, barring behaviors which have negative effects on group fitness. Capitalism is the suppression of involuntary transfers of property (parasitism/theft). Even in a liberal order, such as a Capitalist society, hierarchy does emerge because humans are fundamentally un-equal and will self-sort into hierarchies. In a liberal order, given a choice, most people will fall into that order willingly, understanding that the hierarchies that are formed are to their benefit. Leftists want to destroy these orders and impose anti-Liberal (totalitarian) economic and social policies.

To be fair, neither the Left or the Right holds ‘civil liberties’ in very high regard, though the Rightist drive to succeed and prosper makes the Right tend align with Liberal ideologies such as Capitalism, which appears to function better with open communications or free speech and meritocracy. Although a productive Capitalist implementation does not require a completely Liberal order. Capitalism succeeded demonstrably under Kings, see ‘The British Empire’. The Left doesn’t care about real world outcomes and will destroy the goose that lays the golden egg happily as a sacrifice to Moloch.

I see the Left as rebellion against Gnon, and the Right as submission to Gnon. This is the basic Left/Right spectrum on the X-axis. Then Liberty/Authority is mapped as a spectrum onto the Y-axis. It can be very difficult to discern if a particular position held within the Left-Liberal quadrant of the map is driven there by a Leftist or Liberal vector. I think it is important to do so, because Liberal drives, which allow enough freedom for spontaneous orders to emerge are important in creating flexible, adaptable and dominant social orders. Gnon demands fruitfulness. But Leftist drives, which lead to death and infertility, must at a minimum be ostracized.

One can think of the Leftist project as the destruction of hierarchy (forcible implementation of a flat order) and the Liberal project as the formation of self-ordering hierarchies. It can be difficult to tease apart a Leftist from a Liberal position, because Leftists cheat and pretend to be Liberals when it suits them. Here are a couple of key quotes lifted from the brilliant RadishMag’s Free Speech issue which display that Leftists are not Liberals, that they do not hold Liberal values such as free speech in any high regard, but merely pretend to do so in order to gain power:

Roger Nash Baldwin, director and co-founder of the ACLU (1934):

“I believe in non-violent methods of struggle as most effective in the long run for building up successful working class power. Where they cannot be followed or where they are not even permitted by the ruling class, obviously only violent tactics remain. I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which workers’ rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental.

When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies, at home and abroad. I dislike it in principle as dangerous to its own objects. But the Soviet Union has already created liberties far greater than exist elsewhere in the world. […] While I have some reservations about party policy in relation to internal democracy, and some criticisms of the unnecessary persecution of political opponents, the fundamentals of liberty are firmly fixed in the USSR. And they are fixed on the only ground on which liberty really matters — economic. No class to exploit the workers and peasants; wide sharing of control in the economic organizations; and the wealth produced is common property.”

Another quote about the suppression of free speech from Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School, in 1965:

The whole post-fascist period is one of clear and present danger. Consequently, true pacification requires the withdrawal of tolerance before the deed, at the stage of communication in word, print, and picture. Such extreme suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified only if the whole of society is in extreme danger. I maintain that our society is in such an emergency situation, and that it has become the normal state of affairs. Different opinions and ‘philosophies’ can no longer compete peacefully for adherence and persuasion on rational grounds: the ‘marketplace of ideas’ is organized and delimited by those who determine the national and the individual interest. In this society, for which the ideologists have proclaimed the ‘end of ideology,’ the false consciousness has become the general consciousness — from the government down to its last objects. The small and powerless minorities which struggle against the false consciousness and its beneficiaries must be helped: their continued existence is more important than the preservation of abused rights and liberties which grant constitutional powers to those who oppress these minorities. It should be evident by now that the exercise of civil rights by those who don’t have them presupposes the withdrawal of civil rights from those who prevent their exercise, and that liberation of the Damned of the Earth presupposes suppression not only of their old but also of their new masters.”

For example, we now regularly see Leftists calling to limit free speech on the internet. That is an anti-Liberal position. Currently, the Left is in charge in America and in the Democratic party, and the goal is to limit ‘hate speech’ (any speech which offends Leftist sensibilities) so that is a Leftist drive; to further the Leftist ideology at the expense of Liberty. A Liberal will argue for free speech against Leftist impositions.

Here is another Left vs Liberal example using the case of persons who are ‘transgender’.

The Liberal view is that the trannie should be allowed to be openly trans and to talk about being trans and to form alliances with other pro-trans people. This is allowing the basic Liberties or free speech and association to trannies. A Liberal will allow pro-trans and anti-trans schools of thought to both exist. A Liberal will trust that in the ‘open marketplace of ideas’ that the best ideas will win.

A Leftist will claim that the very order imposed by nature, the ‘gender binary’ is an oppression and will demand that gender be removed from all public places and that children should be taught that they can choose their gender and forced to watch pro-transgender propaganda in school. They will fight anyone who takes the anti-trans position, the position that accepts the natural (or God-given) order of ‘gender binary’.

The Liberal and Leftists positions can look very similar, but you can tell the Leftist position because it is the totalitarian one: only the pro-trans position is allowable, which is why currently all other positions are ‘hate’ or ‘hate speech’. When not openly totalitarian, it will be the position in opposition to a natural (gender) or spontaneous (meritocracy) order.

An interesting conundrum is the prevalence of Leftist support for Islam and Muslims, when Islam is obviously an anti-Liberal and anti-Leftist religion. I think that the Baldwin quote above is instructive, especially the line “The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental.” The dominant order of the world is Western civilization, which is White and Christian in origin. Muslims are demonstrably a lower class: an empirical evaluation of their civilization in comparison to Western civilization yields this result. Leftists make this same evaluation, though they would deny it until their dying breath, and come to the conclusion that Muslims are allies in the class struggle to overthrow the dominant White and Christian order. This is also the reason for the alliance between Africans and the Left.

It is similarly interesting to look at the attacks on prominent Atheists Bill Mahr, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, all of whom are devout Liberals, and who have taken reasonable and rational positions against the Islam due to its anti-Liberal nature and in logical parallel to their attacks on Christianity. The Left is hounding all three. You see, attacks on Christianity are not bigoted or racist because the dominant order is Christian. The Left loves when these Atheists attack Christians, but the moment Atheists begin to attack comrades in the class struggle (Muslims), then the Left returns fire. Obviously, none of the three Atheists really understands this, because they don’t grok the difference between Leftism and Liberalism. Their bewilderment is amusing as they sit dumbfounded trying to figure out why they are under attack for being rational and consistent.

Liberals want Liberty. Leftists want to destroy natural orders. Teasing their positions apart can be tricky, but is best exposed by evaluating their positions which are both Leftist and anti-Liberal. To the Left, Atheism is a tool in the class struggle and nothing more. Just as Free Speech is a tool in the class struggle and nothing more. The Left will use anti-Liberal means to squash free speech from Atheists or anyone else who goes outside the class struggle, the central struggle, which is the destruction of hierarchies and spontaneous or natural orders. The Left is rebellion against Gnon.