Rise of the New American Right Leaking Into Mainstream; What is Neoreaction?

The right is still far off the radar of the mainstream, but parts of it are starting to get attention.

Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries
Many of us yearn for a return to one golden age or another. But there’s a community of bloggers taking the idea to an extreme: they want to turn the dial way back to the days before the French Revolution.

Neoreactionaries believe that while technology and capitalism have advanced humanity over the past couple centuries, democracy has actually done more harm than good. They propose a return to old-fashioned gender roles, social order and monarchy.
This movement is perfectly aligned with social mood. It marks a massive political shift aligned with major changes in technology and relative global power.
Perhaps the one thing uniting all neoreactionaries is a critique of modernity that centers on opposition to democracy in all its forms. Many are former libertarians who decided that freedom and democracy were incompatible.

“Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the ‘People,’ such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems,” Anissimov writes. “On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one.”

Yarvin proposes that countries should be small — city states, really — and that all they should compete for citizens. “If residents don’t like their government, they can and should move,” he writes. “The design is all ‘exit,’ no ‘voice.’”

That will probably sound familiar if you heard Balaji Srinivasan’s Y Combinator speech. Although several news stories described the talk as a call for Silicon Valley to secede from the union, Srinivasan told Tim Carmody that his speech has been misinterpreted. “I’m not a libertarian, don’t believe in secession, am a registered Democrat, etcetera etcetera,” he wrote. “This is really a talk that is more about emigration and exit.”

I don’t know Srinivasan, but it sounds like he’d find neoreactionary views repulsive. And exit is a concept that appeals to both the right and left. But there are others in the Valley pushing ideas much closer to the neoreaction. Patri Friedman, who co-founded the Seasteading Institute with Peter Thiel, specifically mentioned Yarvin’s blog in a reading list at the end of an essay for Cato Unbound, and Yarvin was scheduled to speak at the Seasteading Institute’s conference in 2009 before his appearance was canceled. Thiel, meanwhile, voiced a related opinion in his own article for Cato Unbound: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
This is not a new idea. One can read Liberty or Equality for free. The main argument is that democracy tends towards equality and away from liberty, in fact actively curtailing liberty in order to make people more equal. Communism is the most democratic form of government in this line of thinking, the total expression of the majority, of public will, through the government.
So what exactly is the Cathedral stopping neoreactionaries from talking about? Well, the merits of monarchy for starters. But mostly, as far as I can tell, they want to be able to say stuff like “Asians, Jews and whites are smarter than blacks and Hispanics because genetics” without being called racist. Or at least be able to express such views without the negative consequences of being labeled racist.

Speaking of which, neoreactionaries are obsessed with a concept called “human biodiversity” (HBD) — what used to be called “scientific racism.” Specifically, they believe that IQ is one of — if not the — most important personal traits, and that it’s predominately genetic. Neoreactionaries would replace, or supplement, the “divine right” of kings and the aristocracy with the “genetic right” of elites.

To call these claims “controversial” would be putting it lightly, but they underpin much of anti-egalitarian and pro-traditionalist claims neoreactionaries make. Delving into the scientific debate over race, genetics and IQ is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ve included some links on the topic in the reading list.
This criticism of neoreaction sums up the divide perfectly. The egalitarians seen the neoreactioaries as racist, the neoreactionaries see the egalitarians as ignorant of science and destined to destroy society in their pursuit of equality.

The movement has no central core, and the article correctly notes that there's cross pollination between game blogs that help men meet, date and have successful relationships with women (by throwing out all the feminist ideas); scientists who study taboo subjects such as the biological basis for human traits such as intelligence; technology entrepreneurs and workers who are thinking of and building libertarian systems (Bitcoin being a recent and popular creation); the old paleoconservative right and libertarian right, where Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul both find little love from establishment Republicans; and through the medium of the Internet, where it is now possibly to read books by the losers of history (the critics of democracy). The latter point is important because even if one doesn't agree with neoreaction, it is digging up lot of ideas left for dead that are not even debated anymore. This makes the movement very well read and its opposite mostly unread, relying on power instead. Neoreaction is an elite movement, and it was only yesterday that I linked to Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays.

As Outside In put it:
When theonomists scrutinize ethno-nationalists and techno-commercialists they see evil heathens.

When ethno-nationalists scrutinize theonomists and techno-commercialists they see deluded race-traitors.

When techno-commercialists scrutinize theonomists and ethno-nationalists they see retarded crypto-communists.

(The details of these diagnoses exceed the present discussion.)

When developed beyond its ultra-Burkean trunk, therefore, the prospects for neoreactionary consensus – for a neoreactionary thing – depend upon disintegration. If we’re compelled to share a post-Cathedral state, we’ll kill each other.
There is no consensus between neoreaction, only a consensus that the current system is doomed to collapse.

Neoreactionaries may not win in the future, but they are crystallizing the criticisms of the current system into a serious political argument. The future will be fought over these ideas.

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