I was reminded today that Christmas is coming, and that this should not be taken lightly. With the possible exception of Easter, there is no better time of the year to do good, and to request miracles. There is a victory in Christmas that drowns out the world and yet is itself quiet and still.
Now for something completely different:Batman.
Maybe I am just a huge nerd, because I loved Donovan Greene’s post on Batman, Noblesse Oblige, and the Perennial Nature of the Aristocracy.* If you have never read it, read(and watch) it! And while you’re at it, read Whatever Happened To Noblesse Oblige? (also: Millenial Woes’ treatment).
The obligation to build runs strongly through every part of Reaction—from the importance of order over chaos, to the futility of activist-style protest, to the preference to improve the citizenry instead of importing another one.
And build what? Humans mostly. The press likes to paint neoreaction as power-hungry—and perhaps it is, being composed of humans. But in principle, it is understood that the act of ruling consists chiefly of responsibility, rather than authority—and further, which comes first.
All these Internet words aren’t just theory, you know. The neoreactionary project, at its best, consists of: taking responsibility for a portion of society, and working for its betterment, all without acting beyond our purview. “Give me power, and I’ll fix things,” says the activist. “I am fixing things, as far as I am able,” says the reactionary. “Long live the King.”
Great, so you’ve decided to take some portion of responsibility for society: what can you do for them?
In my case, I have chosen my local ward(similar to a parish). It is composed of about 200-300 single Mormons about 18-30. I have no special authority or standing in this group.
What should I do?
My first thought was: I have knowledge. I have access to a set of ideas that could bind the group more tightly, create asabiyyah, and make gender relations smoother.
In what’s probably not much of a spoiler, attempting to redpill people en masse on about four different axes is no small matter.
Next I thought: a lot of these people are obese, which is hurting their dating prospects. I could set up a workout group. But then I realized that what they most need is to eat better, which requires a more integrated approach than I could possibly take.
Finally I realized: sociohistorical principles and fitness encouragement are both good things, but they are terrible substitutes for a human being. What they needed was not a program I dreamed up, but me.
What does your dog value about you? The money you pay to the vet? The precise engineering of the $30 dog food you feed him?
Rubbish. He likes you—specifically, your spending time with him, paying attention to him, treating him as a friend.
Don’t get me wrong: take your dog to the vet. If you think it’s better for him, feed him expensive dog food. But you also have to communicate with him in ways he’ll understand.
So: I am going against my introverted, elitist, standoffish nature, and trying to:
- talk to more people than I otherwise would,
- attend more social events than I otherwise would
- remember names I would otherwise forget
- talk a second, and third, and fourth time to people I otherwise wouldn’t
It feels kind of stupid writing this, to be honest. No, I am not restoring masculinity. No, I am not alerting anyone to the dangers of progressivism. And pretty much anyone could do this: it doesn’t require my intelligence, my professional skills, money, strength…
But really, this should be encouraging to all of us. If we are striving to be good kings before the fact, and doing so means taking responsibility for and doing good to groups of people, then it is a relief that no special trick, talent, or social position is necessary to begin.
*Now that you’ve read the whole post: How is Batman failing Gotham?