Kantbot is a smart guy with a bad attitude, but he wrote a good post today. I can tolerate a fair amount of sass and bad behavior from a person when they’re contributing, but that doesn’t mean that I endorse some of the snarky, Gawkerish behavior which he’s become known for.
Here’s an excerpt which I’ll respond to:
Retention of talent in Neoreaction is a serious problem. There has been a great deal of controversy recently over people like Hurlock and Bryce leaving. Beyond people directly leaving however there is also the (perhaps more serious) problem of Neoreactionary exhaustion. Many bloggers and contributors to Neoreaction stop producing content and material the longer they engage with culture. This is a serious downfall of Neoreactionary culture. Neoreaction must produce, and must reward production, both in terms of volume and quality of content created. If bloggers feel as if their writing isn’t having the sort impact or recognition that they would like, they become disincentivized to produce.
People enter into Neoreaction because they want to be recognized, because they want to have their writings and ideas disseminated and because they want to advance their own personal careers and brands. In my experience though Neoreaction is deeply opposed to allowing people to do this.
Culture is important, from a functional perspective, and right now, the state of Neoreactionary culture is quite dire. If anything this is problem the single most important issue the community should be working on right now and as I consider the issue more I’ll try to share my thoughts and analysis whenever possible in hopes of solving this problem.
This made me think of the children’s fable of the hen who prepares a bunch of food, asking all the other animals for help. All the other animals refuse except for a couple. Eventually, they’re all hungry, but only the hen and her helpers put in the effort to make anything. Only the hen and the few animals who helped get to eat, later on.
The moral of the story is if “any would not work, neither should he eat.”
This ought to be in the thoughts of people who prefer to lounge in the peanut gallery, yukking it up, while other people are working.
Anyway, most people who get into writing about politics and social issues tend not to realize how low the demand is for this sort of writing. The problems that most people have tend to have nothing at all to do with political theory. Most of the demand for political theory instruction is quite well-absorbed by the university system. It’s easy to get any student to shell out hundreds of dollars for ponderous textbooks which he’s not likely to even read, not to mention thousands of dollars per credit-hour in tuition.
It’s much more difficult to create demand for independent works of theory and opinion from scratch.
Just as an illustration of this point, the biggest seller by units (not revenue) on this site so far has been Mangan’s fat loss book. Losing weight is a real problem people have. Lack of a better political theory is not a burning problem that most people have. Jelly-bellies are a bigger problem for most people than a better critique of the zeitgeist.
That doesn’t mean that it’s not important. It’s just that it’s a bit tougher to make it immediately economically viable.
Someone like Athol Kay has become good at solving problems for people. Others who are more focused on abstract thought are not particularly solving many problems. Neoreaction tends towards abstraction and higher level thought, which means that it’s an expensive pursuit with low immediate returns and limited appeal.
Whenever I get around to publishing my first book, it will probably return less in revenue than a short project would, while absorbing far, far more hours in labor. Which is entirely alright, because my ambitions for this aren’t primarily financial, and I’m willing to invest the effort because I hope that it will generate far greater non-monetary results. Part of my motivation is that this site is good practice, in that it gives me a space where I can try things out on my own dime doing something that I already enjoy doing.
That doesn’t change the fact that I could earn more per hour doing almost anything, including dancing around waving a sign on a street corner for a hot dog shop or panhandling, much less my day job.
People who jump into this sort of thing expecting to be able to replace a primary income immediately, even for a basic job like being a truck driver, are mistaken. The stereotype about philosophizing being a road to pauper-hood is a stereotype because it’s mostly true. It also takes a lot of sustained effort, perhaps an insane amount, and most people are not dedicated and aggressive enough to keep that alive for the years that it requires.
The biggest difficulty in working on the cultural fringes is the crab bucket mentality, which is common on the fringes of neoreaction, but is really a sort of basic human behavior that requires a lot of moral instruction to counteract, having its roots in the sin of envy.
No one owes you recognition or attention or fame or anything for your effort. Most people in the peanut gallery have absolutely no idea how logistically complicated it is to keep large numbers of people coordinated and focused on achieving a task. It requires money, trust, leadership, and a shared sense of purpose. Logistics aren’t an afterthought — they’re close to the only thing that really matters, much to the consternation of all the dreamers of the world who think that the naked idea will carry the day by itself.
So it is good to see some positive discussion of cultural logistics in a way that isn’t whining about why pure magical good intentions, in which everyone holds hands and giggles about how intellectually pristine and uncontaminated by personal interest they are, aren’t getting anything done.
The other thing is that most writers have a lot more trouble handling success than handling failure. Yes, people will go after you personally when you become more prominent. Friends will stab you in the back. Your opponents will raise lynch mobs against you. Critics will piss on your face. Who cares? That’s just part of the job description, and the real reason why it’s competitively difficult. But that’s at least better than obscurity.
For what it’s worth, I think that ‘we,’ to the extent that there even is a ‘we,’ are better at that than most. In particular, I would caution people against seeking love from an audience. Always better to be respected, even better to be feared, still better to be both respected and feared. Love is for private relations. To tie your sense of satisfaction to the love you believe you receive from the crowd is to tie your heart to a cement block that can be kicked off a pier into a deep pool at any second, because the crowd is even more fickle about you and your work than they are about their favored brand of toothpaste.
I would stress that I wasn’t speaking financially when I talked about incentive. It’s a common misconception that people have, in economics, to hear the word incentive and instantly think of dollars. But as I pointed out in my post organizations can fulfill other needs that people have to encourage participation beyond the financial, and institutions like churches are really good at that.
I guess I look at it a bit differently than you do, to me what needs to be accounted for is *why* Neoreaction has this prominent peanut gallery as you call you it. Here’s an organization or movement where a lot of talented people end up in the peanut gallery. I don’t think that’s coincidental, and I don’t think the solution is to simply admonish them or tell them to make better use of themselves.
It’s essentially waste. There’s a cultural problem in NRx that I think creates and exasperates the peanut gallery problem, it stems from a deficiency within NRx. The problem is endemic to NRx.
Eh? I expect most talent to be wasted, because putting it to work is a huge pain in the ass. This isn’t particularly special to NRx — with libertarians, it’s even worse.
It’s the same, even, with all creative endeavors. A lot of people want to be a creative. Most people who want to be never step up on the stage. Most of the people who do step up on the stage wash out. Of those who don’t wash out, most of those become mediocre. A small portion of those who persist and are talented enough actually succeed, if they’re lucky.
That’s the brutal nature of tournament markets. That’s not entirely a wasteful process — not for the consumers. For the producers, it’s a sacrifice, and most of them do waste themselves. Politics is also a tournament market.
Easier to stay on the sidelines and say woulda-coulda-shoulda than to step up. And probably better that way, too, for them.
This is why my usual approach is to criticize in private, praise or ignore in public. Most people are going to wash out anyway, so why spend much of my own effort trying to drown those who are already drowning? I’ve been around long enough to see the cycle of people getting chewed up that it doesn’t bother me all that much anymore. Nor do I blame people who tap out, because it’ll probably be better for their lives that way.
I wrote about this already in December 2014: http://www.henrydampier.com/2014/12/why-people-drop-out-of-the-edgysphere/
And that’s more or less what’s happened with a few people here and there, as you wrote about just now. This is a predictable cycle if it’s not your first rodeo of this kind.
The typical path for a film school graduate is, for example, if they’re dedicated, forum poaster -> film-critic-blogger -> waiter. And not even a good waiter at a nice restaurant. A tiny portion of those will ever make anything of themselves, so much as directing a Windex commercial.
In the case of a political affiliation like neoreaction, the enormous numbers of rivals on the opposing side are of a far greater concern to me than the various people I disagree with on my own side. And I disagree with almost all of them on something or another.
There are soft targets that I don’t bother hitting, because the overall cultural task is much more important to make progress on.
B.W. Rabbit says
This is exactly how I read your criticism. The interesting and somewhat telling thing though is that Henry was the one who wrote a response to it. That’s significant because of all neoreactionaries, Henry is the one who actually does incentivise people to write more and contribute to the discussion. He offers to help promote people’s articles and review their books etc. Even notice how he didn’t take the typical “ignore kantbot” route and even took the time to advance and engage with this piece.
I agree with you completely that this issue is a large problem.
Kate Minter says
Whatever you are doing, it should be done because you want to do it and not because of what you hope to gain from it. In mystical parlance, this is called “relinquishing the fruits of your actions.” Creation itself is the goal; what becomes of that creation does not matter. No earnest effort is ever wasted.
That’s usually the case, that intrinsic motivation is a more sustainable fuel than the extrinsic kind.
“This ought to be in the thoughts of people who prefer to lounge in the peanut gallery, yukking it up, while other people are working.”
What the hell kind of comment is this?
It sounds like you are saying that people who just read and/or make passing comments occasionally shouldn’t benefit from the ideas being worked out. I am restraining myself from expressing my opinion of such an idea, and of the sort of person who would espouse it.
If that is not what you meant, please clarify.
As for the rest of it, the whole point of working out ideas like these is that one should be able to understand how to apply them to one’s own life, even if only partially and on an individual basis, so as to benefit and improve one’s own life and mental state to the extent possible, and to work towards implementing them incrementally more and more and forming a new social framework that way. This would include applying them towards the purpose of making money, or at least assisting in obtaining a comfortable living. Of course you can’t just drop everything and make bank by writing about how the Cathedral is programming everybody. The point though is that the truth is always more useful than falsehood, and to the extent neoreaction contains truths, it should be possible to take advantage of the disconnect between the commonly-accepted falsehoods and the unpopular truth.
The ephemeral nature of the various blogs and writers is particular to the nature of the internet in general, not just this political edge case. Until school hiring committees and NYT book reviewers start getting infiltrated, that will continue.
No, I think you’ve misinterpreted my intended meaning.
This was in reference to people who hang around, criticizing and mocking, with little to add beyond that beyond relentless negativity. It wasn’t directed at normal readers and commenters.
I wrote on Cane’s blog that NRx’s problem is that it doesn’t have a positive thing to rally around, but is rather stuck pointing out the (sizeable, beam-in-eye, important) flaws in extant institutions. I think NRx is spot-on regarding the futility of normal politics, and I maintain that the idea of starting a religion for its binding tendencies is (obviously) heresy to the believing, and idiocy otherwise.
But I may have been a bit too pessimistic there. There’s still location, and personal relationships. Is Phalanx worth doubling down on, or perhaps (very) small reactionCon?
The laborer is worthy of his hire. Something must be done for Joe ReactionReader. Perhaps he doesn’t do anything useful at present, but has he had the opportunity?
An experienced conservative organizer sent me an e-mail recently in which he basically told me that waiting for people to self-organize tends not to work. So we may have to get a bit more aggressive in helping the rest of you get organized..
There’s a successful pilot program in one region, but we just have to get a bit more forward about putting them together in others. So, I hear your frustration; we’ll try to get it together on a faster timetable.
I wasn’t trying to voice frustration so much; I’m moonbase material, remember?
The funny thing about something far on the fringe and small is that you get a much higher percentage of people who are in actuality special snowflakes. So no, I’m not going anywhere, and I suspect a surprising number is similar that way.
While I have the opportunity, a thought that occurred to me: One way to deal with entryists is to train them.
Look, NRx must at some point tackle the problem of citizen education. I don’t mean government-funded schooling, and neither do I mean tutorials on how to vote. I mean the real thing: increasing human capital by creating (or at least not squashing) more Cincinattuses (Cincinatti?). Atheist, neocameralist Moldbug himself alluded to this obliquely. There are ways to get good citizens besides just incentives; this is fortunate, because one of the definitions of a good citizen is that they are not enslaved to incentives.
Knowing that we can only run anything worth running on the backs of exceptional people, and that exceptional people are hard to find, we should a)court existing ones (I’ll get you my pretty), and b)more importantly, and more worth our effort, make some. The project is a bit like Friendly AI: It’s very hard to make true AI, and it’s very hard to make it friendly, but you really do need both. We need smart, capable, trustworthy people. What hit pieces exist have cast NRx as a bunch of nerds wanting to be king; what it should have said was a group that understands that that particular position has non-trivial job requirements, and trying to make as many fit for it as possible (as it turns out, the best subjects make good kings, and vice versa).
This is a lot to ask of people. The scope of the task demands a lifetime commitment, because there is always room for improvement. You can’t get that effort with incentives.
How can you get it? You can tie it to personal relationships, which is why I’m big (or should be bigger, anyway) on meatspace interaction, and you can make autonomous agents of them by giving them opportunities to put in some work. Work on what, you ask? No shortage there (I still don’t have a card, for instance), but the most important project is helping other reactionaries. This is the opportunity for men to exercise real power over small jurisdictions; the persistence of relationships lets them see their efforts bear fruit over time.
I talk big, but I’ve been rather quiet these last few months. But I can see it in my head, and that’s enough for me, for now. Better, though, for others to have it in front of them, so they don’t have to imagine.
I do this one on one a fair amount. If people want an investment-ready plan for some project or another, I can draft up material to have ready. So far we have had a number of tire-kickers and “I’ll come back when I’ve made my nut” (which is what I’m personally on right now), but I figure it might help if I just have something ready for someone with $10-$100k+ to seed. I’ve blabbed about it in a disorganized way in e-mails and phone calls, but not much in the way of a ready to go plan. That’s also a bit of my personal tendency, which is to shoot from the hip or spend a lot of time thinking about something before I get organized with it.
The meatspace stuff has actually been going very well, so I’ve heard, even though it attracts the most public scorn by far.
I wrote on Cane’s blog that NRx’s problem is that it doesn’t have a positive thing to rally around
The truth is pretty important I reckon. That’s what it is all about.
The truth is important and certainly worth rallying around—but are we certain we have it? A lot of the questions we deal with are “ought” questions, and different vertices of the trichotomy will differ on them.
But this same truth-seeking intellectual diversity can lead to fracture if we’re not careful. In a “thrive” environment this would be no big deal, but remember that most of us posit a Long Decline.
My problem is that 1)we really do need to hang together, and 2)there is no particular reason to hang together.
One solution I’ve played around with is the idea of no or one very small NRx org that just writes and encourages people to go start bowling clubs, attend their church, volunteer at PTA, etc. This is good, but I don’t think humans can do it. It doesn’t reward contribution, like kantbot mentions. A bunch of nerds engaged in their local communities isn’t a bad thing, to be sure, but the only reason they have to do it is “the Truth,” which does not motivate in the day-to-day.
So I’ve come around somewhat to defining NRx as “us guys that write on the Internet,” maybe with something like Aaronson’s eigenmorality if you want to get all technical about it. This loses some ideological purity (but some of that, as I mentioned above, is an illusion), but has the advantage of tapping into trivalent instincts, and providing an excuse to go drinking together.
Tribalist, not trivalent. Phone, sorry.
The truth is important and certainly worth rallying around—but are we certain we have it?
The important thing is that it matters and that there exists a willingness to subordinate our personal preferences, prejudices, etc. to it. I think that this is a very important point. Scientific discovery, developments in thought and religious insight allow a greater apprehension of it, so that our knowledge of it is constantly enlarging. I don’t think that we have the “fullness” of it any one time, and therefore the idea of being possession of its totality is wrong. Truth, at any one time, consists of an operating model which I feel we have a duty to follow until any errors become apparent, at which point we have a duty to ditch these points. ( Hence, my beef with Traditionalists.)
“Ought” questions can, to a surprising degree, be inferred from good empirical observations. But here religious questions come into play and I think we need to give some room for differing opinions, given the mechanism by which we know these truths. However, it’s quite easy to ditch a religious insight which flat out contradicts empirical observation, so the points of disagreement should not be too large.
So I’ve come around somewhat to defining NRx as “us guys that write on the Internet,”
I think you are both right and wrong.
From my point of view, Conservatism is in seriously deep shit because it has essentially been brain dead in the 20th Century. The occasional bright spark who saw through the mess was isolated and not heard and never made it into the Conservative consciousness. Furthermore, some of the good ideas have had flaws and need to be developed further. The current arguments in Neoreaction are attempts to thrash these ideas out and “writing on the internet” serves this purpose. There’s a lot of thinking left to do and a lot more “writing” needs to be done.
This loses some ideological purity (but some of that, as I mentioned above, is an illusion), but has the advantage of tapping into trivalent instincts, and providing an excuse to go drinking together.
Socialisation is the prerequisite of social and political action. I think its great that people want to meet. I think what motivates a lot of people is the experience of life and their isolation as “men amongst the ruins” and I sometimes feel that the growth of NRx has occurred principally because of this. Brotherhood is a powerful motivant and the reward is a sense of belonging. The other thing is, when you’re someone like me, with kids, is what type of world are you leaving them? Powerful enough motivation.
This loses some ideological purity
If it ain’t true then its all bullshit. I am not aiming for beer drinking companions, I can do that without NRx. I wanna move the world.
Toddy Cat says
“I feel we have a duty to follow until any errors become apparent, at which point we have a duty to ditch these points. ( Hence, my beef with Traditionalists.)”
I don’t think that most intelligent traditionalists would disagree with you, at least in principle. There is, however, a question of what constitutes an “error”, and whether we have anything better to replace the putative error with. All human institutions are going to be flawed in some way, since they are run by flawed human beings. Institutions such as monogamous marriage, capitalism, and the nation-state are chock full of flaws, but new institutions designed to replace these flawed entities have not been notably successful.
But of course, traditions have to adjust to changing circumstances, as you point out. No one ever said that this was easy…
You are, of course, correct. My comment is in some ways very anti-reactionary because it highlights some points where things break down because we’re human. The Reaction is Good; we are not good enough for the Reaction.
I had your whole first paragraph in clipboard and was going to paste it saying, “Yes, this is good, I agree with all this,” but this is shorter, so.
In practice, the way to reconcile a commitment to the truth with differing methods on how to arrive at it is to limit our areas of cooperation to matters we agree on, and table if possible matters we do not. And the big thing reactionaries seem to agree on is, as you said, a commitment to the truth. Opinions on what to do about that truth differ greatly, but the one thing that everyone hates is Official Fiction. A lot of things follow from that—recognition of democracy as the enemy of truth (democracy, like everything, rewards power, and in the particular case of democracy, thought control is the lever of power).
“If it ain’t true then its all bullshit.”
“I am not aiming for beer drinking companions, I can do that without NRx.”
I guess my question is, can [man] do NRx without that?
“I guess my question is, can [man] do NRx without that?”
No, I don’t think it can, and the ones who have joined together for lifting, shooting, drinking, and talking together have profited more than those who haven’t.
Man can’t live from thought alone.
Also, I’m not proposing “going out drinking” as a good in itself. I don’t even drink, for that matter. But I’m talking about group recreation in the context of cooperative work. Construction guys getting a beer after work. The corporate holiday party after the whole sales team landed the big client.
What work does NRx have? To an extent, just existing day-to-day with “rebellion locked up in [your] skull” is a minor battle, and so early meetups, etc., will get a freebie out of that. Our weakness is our strength, etc. But this leads to diehard isolated ideologues, which makes for great history but terrible efficacy. NRx has to be communicable, if not virulent. The three problems to be solved are: 1) not everyone is as crazy as us (put less perjoratively, the ambient social pressure to change one’s attitudes is immense, and resisting that is a strain), and 2)even if they were, how could we trust them? How would we know they weren’t just Here For The (no-longer) Edgy? and 3) there must be an opportunity to contribute (and be rewarded for such), and there are limited spots open for read-by-all-sensible-beings blogger.
I think that given a certain critical mass, a project of “helping other reactionaries” solves all three problems. 1) it provides something to do that is effective (if we’re not building a substitute society, then what are we doing?), requires some amount of sacrifice and as such is meritorious and will attract appropriate kudos, but also doesn’t require so high a level of sacrifice that it will throw newbies for a loop. Finally, the cooperation creates some level of asabiyyah.
What do I mean when I say “helping other reactionaries?”
1.Some of this might be working in small groups on innocuous “activist” things, appropriate to the desires and personality of the local cell. This would probably be stuff like the Edmonton “Don’t be that Girl” poster campaign the MRA’s did, although probably without taking responsibility. Other things might be more Reaction-specific in flavor, like volunteering at a park (building civilization).
2. But those are, honestly, stopgaps. Much better would be: helping a Reactionary move. Setting up babysitting co-ops between families. Education in basic finance. Basically the things you do for your neighbor in a high-trust society.
Ideally you want a balance of the two.
This doesn’t move the world, granted, but it sure stabilizes your local part of it. And when the Terror comes, the odds are higher that it will come somewhere else, or that your piece of turf holds up better than the surrounding.
I don’t think that most intelligent traditionalists would disagree with you, at least in principle.
They never disagree with the principle but disagree with it in practice. Talk is cheap. Try getting them to ditch something.
All human institutions are flawed in someway but we have a duty to rectify these flaws when they become apparent. Not uphold them by some appeal to tradition because, if you think about it, tradition then becomes a force of evil by upholding it.
One way to help the average reactionary reader would be to set up a matchmaking service. Family formation is important!
It’s a good idea that I know someone has tried to get started (not NRx), but it doesn’t seem like much has come up. It wouldn’t be that hard to build v1, but would be hard to run and to get to success.
Look at groups that have successfully resisted modernism: the Amish, the ultra Orthodox Jews and perhaps some devout Christian homeschooler types. One thing at least the Amish and Orthodox Jews have done is cluster geographically. This was and is a problem with other groups that don’t want to participate or have their families influenced by the dominant culture. Devout Christians and homeschoolers are a disparate group ideologically. They have a hard time completely disassociating from the larger culture. There is not enough support to help hold things together.
Perhaps clustering geographically might be a answer. Find several places in the country that are inexpensive to live in, and are fairly conservative. Move there and develop a community. Support each other, and by this, I mean mostly socially. In such a place it would be less likely to lose your job due to political incorrectness, it would be easier to find a spouse for yourself or children, and if things really go to hell, you’d be with a community that would help each other out.
I’m not trying to be too idealistic here, I know the realities. But I think we underestimate the value of actually being around people who think like us. It’s stressful having to bite your tongue all day. It’s hard for young men to try finding a wife when even the conservative Christians have been infected with the feminism worm. It’s hard raising children when even Disney is the enemy.
Just some idle thoughts.
This would be pretty easy with $2-20 million+ to dedicate to such a project, or just a lot of dedicated people. Right now we don’t have either. And even if we had the money, I’m not sure we have the coordination. We have a lot of interested people and some idle talk/speculation about these kinds of things. Which is good. I don’t think it’s particularly idealistic.
What would be a bit tough is the lack of shared religion — I think actually being in the same parish, same sect, is totally critical to that sort of community design. That’s at least my thought at present.
Why would it take millions of dollars for people to decide to move to a certain geographical location? It would take a willingness to risk on the part of those who move, and perhaps some initial economic hit, but I don’t see why it would take a lot of money.
Also, people can try to find and meet other like minded people in their local area. Perhaps they’ll find a nucleus of like minded people. Then it’s a matter of getting together, or maybe moving a little closer together to facilitate that.
To buy out the people who already live there or create a new development. I also said that the alternative was a lot of highly motivated people.
I do agree that starting small has had the best returns so far, particularly for the men in Vancouver.
Mark Citadel says
The NeoReactionary project is suffering from growing pains and unfortunately has not prepared for them, this in addition to larger problems that were unforeseeable.
1. Original thinkers dropping out of the Reactosphere is not so much a problem, but replacing them is a very slow process, and is largely disorganized. People tend to keep links to other blogs that have been completely scrubbed, and not go looking for new blogs to add to their links. I will keep AnarchoPapist’s link on my blogroll for about a month in case he comes back suddenly, but there’s no reason to keep links to defunct blogs up for longer than that. And if you find the list of links thinning out, go and look for newer material
2. There is a drop in new people writing certainly. This isn’t so much of an issue if the viewers are at least participating in discussion. Every article I read that interests me, I try to comment on. This not only encourages the writer to write more, but goes to show they are not crying in the wilderness. Take Social Matter for example, where comment traffic has a ceiling of about 30. Once this number gets to around 50, then you can say we have a healthy flow of engaged viewership. We know there are people who read articles, have good ideas in regards to them, but just can’t be bothered to commit that to text.
3. Very little regard for the whole ‘No Enemies On The Right’ idea, which especially in addition to #NRX going live on Twitter, has caused a large amount of cat-fighting and bitchiness that at times makes otherwise respectable people look like high school girls. Naturally, this has been exacerbated by trolls and those who use #NRX as a cover for general douchebaggery. (See #HRX and whatever the hell this ‘MPC’ thing is) I’m not convinced the low-content environment of Twitter is really suitable for any Reactionary push, at least not at this stage.
4. Even regular face-to-face meeting is difficult because people who hold Reactionary ideas are often spread over pretty vast geographical distances, and what happened with Bryce will certainly discourage people from Anissimov’s line of thinking on anonymity. Getting together and descending on one town (an idea I first heard about from Rushdoony’s Christian Reconstructionism) is a fine idea, but the movement is just not big enough for that yet. The focus must be on growing the pool of people who are Reactionary(rejecting party politics being the first step). I would also avoid the Anissimov ‘compound’ idea that has massive Waco potential.
Finally, the advice to someone who is lurking and not really sure if they want to jump in, is to start by commenting on popular articles and honing your knowledge about the Traditional critique of Modernity. Once you are ready, start blogging on it. Once you think your work is of a high enough quality, submit it to Social Matter. This way, you’ll have credibility of having built up your resume and not strutted in like you owned the place (which is evident among some individuals who post very little actual content anywhere yet think everyone else is a super-cuck or loser). Be humble, but be radical.
With particular regard to Bryce and his total deletion from the internet, that’s a big loss of a lot of intellectual work as well as his book, which I never got around to reading unfortunately. I think the final intellectual stage of Reactionary evolution is to publish a written work. Get more material out there. The larger the Reactosphere, the more likely people are to wander into it, and out of those that do, you are more than likely to get many who nod and say “hold on, i agree with that!”
“With particular regard to Bryce and his total deletion from the internet, that’s a big loss of a lot of intellectual work ”
But I was kind of flattered that one of the very last things he did on the internet was trash some idea I proposed over on Land’s blog. It was kind of an honor, in a weird way.
The focus must be on growing the pool of people who are Reactionary(rejecting party politics being the first step).
I want a certain critical mass. Personally, I think things are proceeding fine and I don’t want to shoot the growth process in the head. The model at the moment, in my opinion, is working well. If people want to meet up, that’s good but one of the things that I worry about is that NRx becomes some form of subculture, like Goths or Punks, with membership being primarily a social signal. It thus become another club that subsists within the existing social structures instead of challenging it.
People make sacrifices all the time to live in areas with people like them. Those who aspire to the upper middle class will shell out huge sums of money to buy a house in a tony suburb just so their kids can go to a good school district. Also, they want to be around people who value the same things they do.
Immigrants do this all the time. They move to neighborhoods with other immigrants from their land. Again, they want to be around people like them, who think like them and who worship like them and also so their kids can meet and eventually marry others who are their same ethnic group.
I am an alien in my own land. I suspect many of you feel the same way. So why haven’t people like us segregated? The homeschooling movement was in large part an attempt by many parents to separate their kids from the larger culture. I homeschooled my six kids. But we didn’t group together in neighborhoods. The result are mixed. Finding mates is as much a problem for many homeschooling families as it is for others.
When Mr. and Mrs. Yuppie decided to have a kid, they knew it was time to sell their loft in the city and buy a house in the burbs. They looked for school districts first and they paid what it took to get a house in the best school district. This often involved great financial sacrifice. But they thought it was worth it. They wanted to be around people who had the same upper middle class values that they did. The effects of this are documented in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.
I think that things are coming apart. Political correctness and the general insanity of the left are getting even more vicious. Before, conservatives and Christians didn’t think they really needed to separate physically from the dominant culture. Now, it’s different, I can feel it. First off, people who think like you and me aren’t welcome. Social support such as having friends and neighbors who think like you is important. Like minded people need to hang together.
I do agree, and I don’t like having to smile and conceal my real opinions and beliefs from most of the locals around me. That’s one of the reasons why I moved out of a blue state a while ago. I could sense that this was coming and didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the border.
Figuring this out is worth doing. I’ll continue to think about it and try to come up with some practical responses to the problem. It’s been in the back of my head for a couple years and the occasional object of daydreams.
It’s an idea that has only recently occurred to me. It won’t be easy. The poor quality of leadership of all conservative type causes has brought about a deep distrust among us of leadership types.
And there is the problem of religious, and political differences among us. There really isn’t a neoreaction “culture”. Even so, we will probably have to hang with and make common cause with ‘conservakins,’ trads, and other assorted conservative types. They are more numerous.
We are going to have to look for similarities rather than blow small differences up into schisms. Everybody has a theory of what should be done and how things should end up. They are just theories, and not worth the infighting. Reality trumps theory every day.
What they say about an idea like a seed, how you plant it.
I think there is a profound motivating humility in that premise, as reason for taking the philosophical path in writing to begin with. But that is the idealist in me talking to you.
I think having the skill of focus has a lot to do with doing it well too.
Came across your blog a couple days ago Mr. Dampier, have to say it is refreshing. And I admire your style, if for no other reason, and brother there are a lot more than one, for the almost sublime provincial sense of conveying your insights and observations.
It is really nice, and lends a certain credibility to your contentions rather rare.