"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot."
Back to form, Curtis. Truly worthy of inclusion with some of the UR giants.
"something Ben Shapiro would come up with, if you bought him a lifetime subscription to acid and appointed him to the Supreme Court."
Definitely laughed out loud reading that.
Something tells me a lot of trads are going to be upset by the Bolshevik identification thought experiment. :)
This is vintage stuff, insightful and enjoyable. However, I don't like the Menshevik nomenclature. First of all, I don't think it's really true that the Mensheviks wanted to reform the Tsarist regime. Secondly, and most importantly, the Tsarist regime, unlike the American regime, very much was open to opposition-initiated reform. Indeed, it was, reformed out of existence. The Bolsheviks did not overthrow the Tsar, nor could they have, they overthrow those who did, including, well, the Mensehviks.
If we're looking for historical parallels for the Pinkerites, we have 400 years of examples to choose from. Every time Cthullu takes a sharp shift Left, some moderate people get thrown out and usually end up taking over from the weirdos who are running the Right. My favourite are the Adullamites. The real question is who are the 'Bolsheviks', those on the Right who both know that they can't plead with the system and know how to overthrow it? Well, I suppose the Nazis are the obvious choice, but we don't like Nazis. So I have a a better idea. If you were a sensible person in 1557 you knew the Protectorate was messed up, but you also knew that the idea of a full restoration was out of the question. Obviously, if the king came back at all it would be a constichooshunal monarch with the presbyterians (small P!) back in the driving seat, as they were before everything got out of hand in 1649. And, yet, sensible people were wrong. Restoration was the only way to get rid of the Protectorate and, what's more, Restoration was totally awesome.
On the off-chance people are still dropping down into these comments, I'd like to recommend an article of Yarvin's published at American Mind last October: <a link="https://americanmind.org/features/conservatism-in-the-bronze-age/the-deep-state-vs-the-deep-right/">The Deep State vs. The Deep Right</a>.
Read or re-read it. It's worth it. Read or re-read it if you're depressed you're losing---if you feel, despite your best efforts at critiquing Progressivism, that this left-wing riptide yet draws our civilization out to sea.
Read or re-read it to truly appreciate the task you have before you. For now, you believe you need only defeat and destroy your enemy's ideology---that if you can highlight the flaws in their logic and expose those deep cracks in their worldview, some fundamental law of cosmic truth will send earthquakes up their way. This is wishful thinking. Civilizations have persisted along fault lines for millennia. There's no reason to think our current regime, despite all its mendacity, will not last for at least one as well.
So what to do? It's hard to say, because what you (and I) have to do is much harder than what we'd like to do. What we'd like to do, e.g. win intellectual arguments, we're pretty much already doing. And will History give a shit? Not that I can tell.
"Any idiot can kick down a barn; it takes a carpenter to build one." Feel free to keep banging away at our modern structure. If nothing else, it's good exercise. Ultimately though, we must build a cooler building. We must do <i>art</i>:
<blockquote>In a healthy regime, military resistance is insane and political resistance is useless. And anyone who thinks early 21st-century Washington is an unstable or dying regime should pray on their knees to never experience such a thing for real.
Yet there is a third dimension of revolution: <i>art</i>. Art is the domain of the <i>deep right</i>—or <i>art–right</i>. You may not have noticed this kraken. It has noticed you.
Alas, populists have been here before us, and soiled the place. “Politics is downstream from culture.” If <i>culture</i> involves wooing the <i>masses</i> with ham-handed propaganda—the ’30s “proletarian novel” of the Daily Worker, repeated as farce—we must quietly excuse ourselves.
Art, if it’s art at all, aims at supreme aesthetic <i>excellence</i>. It does not even deign to notice its audience. If the whole world is inferior to art, art doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Art is not competing with anything but itself, the past, and the future. If it is not <i>sub specie aeternitatis</i>, it is not art.</blockquote>
This is our daunting challenge.
At the beginning, you define a reactionary as someone who rejects *ad tempem*. I would proffer an alternative, one that is contained within yours - but is more specific and more relevant to those who would actually don the term. And, if I may indulge myself, more romantic.
I believe a "Reactionary" is best understood at first as a comparison to the Conservative. It was your old writings that made this plain to me. In the battle between the left and right, the Conservative is forever giving ground. What he believes today is what his father fought against yesterday. The swathe of political thought is forever moving to the left.
The Reactionary sees well what is happening. Conservatism has no principles, no core of reason, it is merely a hollow shell that exists only in relativity. It doesn't stand for anything - it is *vague*. And this vagueness causes conservatism's drift. What was tolerable yesterday is accepted today is expected tomorrow.
The Reactionary is he who understands that the solution to this is to be precise. The only way for an ideology to be immune to dilution by its enemies is to have clear, precisely defined principles from which it is derived. The principle cannot be misunderstood, so its adherents do not drift.
Why should a Conservative be against immigration? Or for democracy? Why does he support Trump, and reject Biden? Why shouldn't he support "cancel culture"? Why does he support the police? Does he really know? (note, I would never wish to subject a garden-variety conservative to such uncomfortable interrogation. The common person's salvation lies in their utter separation from politics).
A Reactionary knows what he stands for, and why. That is why he presents a threat to the universalist hegemony that the Conservative simply does not. So my definition is this:
*A Reactionary is someone who derives their world view from specific moral principles*
(A better wording is surely possible, but I hope my argument is still understood).
Such a principle could be "violence is bad", which seemed to be the core motivation of your formalist writings.
Note that this circle also contains some variety of revelationists, such as traditional catholics, which to me is sensible.
This is better than anything else I've read this year. Well done.
Ha! Brilliant. Please, everyone, click the hyperlinks to Utley's 'The High Cost of Vengeance' & Lenin's '"Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder."
Curtis, would you put the IDW in the Menshevik category? What is your opinion, in general, on the IDW? Do you think it may be a proto-Antiversity?
I'm reading this in parallel with the UR book. Currently, on Chapter 4: Plan Moldbug.
The radical thought that's coming to my mind is, could the Middle Eastern kingdoms, such as Saudi Arabia with their MBS, actually be in the best position to offer an alternative to the modern Left?
I kind of doubt it, but I'm still wondering. Where can the alternative come from?
Did "truth and reconciliation" work?
Regarding "inter arma silent leges", there was a supreme court case in 1868 "Texas v White", where the legality of secession was in question. Of course the court ruled against secession, whose case had not made it to court before the war, but what if the supreme court had, after the state of Texas' thoughtful arguments, ruled that secession was legal? What would they even do? Is "post arma silent leges" true as well?
Any student of statesmanship who refuses to to learn at Lenin’s feet is a maroon.
"But suppose we restrict the punitive capacity of expropriation, by exempting personal wealth under some generous cap—say, $10M. Only the rich may be affected; and after paying the tax, they are still rich. This is not your grandfather’s expropriation. It does not humiliate aged billionaires by making them work as Walmart greeters. Again, any revolution will be cozy if it treats its worst enemies with the utmost honor and respect, while systematically separating them from any hope of their former fame or power."
Not sure if this was intended as an oversimplified example - or a serious suggestion - but this seems very optimistic. Most billionaires, I would venture to guess, do not have actual 'billions of dollars' (even virtual) sitting in various bank accounts. These numbers are even less 'real' that the digits we see in our web browsers when we go to our bank's website. They can be more accurately described as (probably inflated) approximate valuations of a very large portfolio of assets.
This begins to complicate things quite a bit. If the tax must be paid in dollars - what happens if they are not liquid enough to pay them? Do they have to sell all their assets to cover the shortfall? To whom do they sell them? What are the assets going to actually be worth in the market, in a world where the new regime is dominant? What will dollars, or the new regime's dollars, be worth? What if they assets are held in a foreign nation?
Does Jeff Bezos have to sell his shares of Amazon...or will he simply have to hand over controlling interest to the new regime to avoid jail time?
Suffice it to say, when examined closer, this proposal seems to look more and more like...expropriation (or dare I say it - seizure of the means of production?).
But we already know how to fail.
> sovereign accountable monarchy
Darwin? Competition keeps things in check? Private police, private courts, private prisons, private armies?