Well, there it is. Neoreaction is a “thing” now. That girl from high school who couldn’t use a computer but nonetheless reads Techcrunch has now (as Moldbug would likely phrase it) had her cranium penetrated by the first instrument for the removal of the democratic parasite from her brain. As any normal person would phrase it, she’s heard the term “neoreaction.” Even “Cathedral,” although she certainly doesn’t understand what it means.
I feel like kind of an impostor writing this. I am not a “neoreactionary blogger.” I’m just a guy who reads the writing of people who are smarter than me, and generally agrees with them.
But one of the nice things about accepting hierarchy is that I don’t really have to be. My feelings are very similar to this post at Banner of Cosmos: I’m not a sage, I know it, and my job is to learn, not to expound.
But smart people being isolated iconoclasts (being smarter than the average bear means you live in a different world than the average bear—and it has no average bears in it), they can see much more than they can accomplish. Hence the eternal usefulness of graduate students.
So, here are some things that a humble grad student can take care of.
Are we finally cool now?
No. You are not cool, and you are especially not cool if you’re looking for an Internet political movement to validate you. This is the Dark Enlightenment, remember? It’s not shiny or cool or even new. That is the point—it will be unpopular with the mob, because it doesn’t worship it.
What do I tell people when they ask me about it?
Who says they’re asking about it? And why are they asking you? Did you break the first two rules?
Neoreaction is not a religion. There is no call to evangelize. In fact, it sees evangelism—especially for a political philosophy—as something to be suspicious of. It takes a relatively fatalistic view—what will be, will be, and doesn’t need to be helped along.
That’s the interesting thing. Moldbug is a very smart man, and an engaging writer. But neoreaction (a.k.a. “the long-awaited backlash against democracy”) was inevitable even without him. It might have taken a few more years, or perhaps a few decades. But it isn’t something he made up in his head, it’s something he saw.
All this may hurt the ego, but it is tremendously relaxing in some ways. It’ll happen, or it won’t, and you can’t do much to speed it up or slow it down. You can surf the wave, but you can’t control the ocean.
This, by the way, is a principle of Game: be on the winning side. How do you win? By winning. Reddit has given the best romantic advice ever:
1. Be attractive
2. Don’t be unattractive.
How do you win the political war? By seeing tomorrow’s history today, and switching sides to the winning one.
And this acts, counterintuitively, as the best PR strategy ever. Because it’s not a strategy. The winning side will make its own publicity. How do you get people to read Moldbug? The answer is: Are you crazy? He gets half a million views a week while barely updating his blog. They’ll read him, don’t worry.
And now for a brief intermission.
You know what’s scary? Grey goo. The idea is that if some nanotech experiment goes horribly awry, a bunch of tiny machines will eat the entire world and convert into more of them.
You know what else is scary? Biological warfare. There are some scary diseases out there, and you don’t even need a big sample to start an epidemic. The stuff reproduces itself.
You know what people care a lot about? Sex. We are incredibly pro-reproduction, if you think about it rationally, which, of course, no one does.
What I am driving at: There is amazing power in self-reproduction. Despite the lone-sane-man and you-can’t-stop-or-start it mentalities of neoreactionaries, you can do some things. You can create things that reproduce themselves. For one, you can lead a nice, quiet family life and raise a passel of children. Or, you might have an idea that spreads.
Be good. Think. Get to know your neighbors, your fellow congregants, your child’s teachers. Have a life.