Neoreaction is neo because it is new. There has always been a reactionary movement, descendants of De Maistre fiercely opposed to leftism, or modernity in general, but they were based on a defense of the past. In a way, old reactionaries behave in a sort of territorial way. If the past is a foreign country, reactionaries are patriots of that country. The further the culture changes, the more your country becomes a foreign one, and you naturally want to fight the invasion. So old reaction was (is) a sort of tribalism that cut across space-time.
Neoreaction is distinct because it has modern science behind it. It has HBD, which tells us that people are physically and irrevocably different, ergo societies must also be different. It naturally follows that any society that bases itself in denying reality will collapse. But of course neoreaction also feeds on cognitive science, which tells us that peoples brains are wired with dozens of cognitive biases with cloud our thinking. Perhaps the most famous one is confirmation bias, which says that people tend to find more likely to happen the things they want to happen.
Confirmation bias is so pervasive that you can find most people do it every single day, and those on the Dark Enlightenment Community (H/T to Handle) are no stranger to it. In politics, confirmation bias mostly presents itself as prophesies of doom blamed on your enemy. Doom that must surely happen during your lifetime; it’s no fun if you aren’t there to tell everyone ‘I told ya so’.
There’s an interesting discussion at our dear friends at Outside In precisely on the topic of collapse. Mr. Land has a very low opinion on the Cathedral’s ability to sustain itself, and he is partial to theories of financial collapse. Now theories of financial collapse have little to do with the DEC itself, who mostly envisage a dysgenic/moral shock a la Fall of Rome. But the Internet is home to a much bigger tribe called the Austrians, and they have been preaching on evil bankstas and the Dark Lord Bernanke for 5 years already. As Land, Handle and Vladimir discuss, for 5 years we have been hearing of hyperinflation, widespread bank runs, currency collapse, debt defaults, and societal collapse. Doom, I tell you. But for 5 years nothing has happened. Well, there’s a huge youth unemployment crisis all over the world (20% in South Korea!), but that’s about it. So what’s going on?
The short answer is that nobody knows. Macroeconomics is *the* science precisely because it’s not a science. Nobody really knows what money is and how it behaves, so all you can do is develop an arcane theology about what you thing sorta makes sense. People who agree in their monetary theology, or have to suck up to their superiors to get tenure or hold their jobs will form academic tribes, and then go on for decades engaging in tribal warfare, which is the ultimate human pastime. The discussions on fiscal and monetary policy in the last 40 years are most lively and vigorous theological battles since 14th century Oxford. It is precisely when you don’t know, and there’s no real way to know, that cognitive bias kicks in. Humans have a hard time understanding agnosticism. Truth and beauty are fine things, but sometimes there is no truth to be found, in the same way sometimes there’s nothing pretty to look at. But you never accept that, so you make up a truth by browsing your old assumptions, and you start to find that the fat girl with glasses is quite cute when you look closely. It helps that she’s the only female in the office.
But of course the fact that we can’t know doesn’t mean that some theories aren’t better than others. Some things just don’t make sense. Say, Islam. Or that Diversity is our Strength. It just doesn’t work like that. Ever increasing diversity combined income redistribution is not sustainable. Afghanistan’s fertility rate is not sustainable. It will crash. It has to collapse. Right? There are different scenarios out there in how the Cathedral is going to evolve in the next decades. I’ll use the framework of my Trichotomy to see what different opinions are:
1.- Moral collapse. The state collapses as heathen hedonists fail to breed and be productive.
2.- Ethnic war. As the economy deteriorates from leeching from foreigners, whites awaken from their false consciousness and stand together to fight the NAMs in their midst.
3.-Financial collapse. Bernanke gets off his mask and reveals that he’s actually Mugabe in disguise. Of course Collapse #3 is the most attractive. It is shared with libertarians (which outnumber us 1000 to 1), the blame would fall completely in the Cathedral’s incompetence, and you can hedge your risk by buying gold or Bitcoin.
Of course there’s another scenario, which is that collapse doesn’t happen. Esteemed commenter Vladimir, who has this habit of going into people’s blog and, quite intelligently, dispute everything they say (he’s the only real neoreactionary dissenter, how hardcore is that), has been feeding our thoughts with his thoughts on how the Cathedral works. His take is that the Cathedral has uncontested religious hegemony, and as long as it has it, the fabric of the state, and the serfs we call society, cannot collapse. It might deteriorate, it might become a supremely dysfunctional thing, but it won’t go anywhere as long as there’s no alternative that people find superior. So what we are looking at isn’t the Fall of Rome, but the USSR under Brezhnev. Stable madness.
‘Financial alchemy’, as he calls it, will more or less solve the financial mess, the EU won’t disintegrate, and people worldwide will continue to put up with diversity, feminism, homos, transexuals and any manner of disaster. This is until there is an ideology (or let’s just call it a religion) that captures more hearts and minds than progressivism. While you have to admit that all the prophecies of doom are starting to sound like prophesies of the Second Coming, which seems to be taking a while, I’m not at at all sold in the idea that the Cathedral might be a permanent institution. People used to say that the USSR was here to stay, and could last 1000 years, and yet look at what happened.
Letting aside questions of arcane macroeconomic alchemy, there is one big theoretical argument against the Brezhnev in Washington scenario. Jim Donalds leftist singularity. The very nature of progressivism is not stable, and the way that leftism assigns status always tends to accelerating madness, whose end result is invariably mass murder and societal collapse. The usual examples are the USSR in the 1930s, China’s Cultural Revolution, and Pol Pot’s self-genocide. But even if somehow USG is going to manage that the leftist singularity doesn’t kill us all, surely modern progressivism is even less sustainable than the USSR was. The USSR had a shitty economy, but it wasn’t getting any worse than it was, and people are much more tolerant of economic stasis than they are of downward mobility. Not to say that the USSR was not importing tens of millions of low IQ migrants from around the world while accommodating their native cultures. In fact the USSR was a might force of Russification, spreading Russia’s language and general nastiness to far away and unrelated nations such as Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan, who to this day still use Russian as the language of higher discourse.
I don’t know if I’ll see Harvard declare bankruptcy, the US dollar collapsing and my gold and bitcoins growing 10000% in value making me the smartest smartass among my peers. Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that the Cathedral is stable. The Cathedral is subsidizing dysgenics all over the globe, and the shit seems to be slowly approaching the fan, with hardly anyone trying to push it back.
Egypt birthrate increasing just as the economy collapses and 75% of grain is imported.
Youth unemployment skyrocketing worldwide
Blacks killing British soldiers in the middle of the street.
NAMs rioting in Sweden of all places.
Nothing of this is going away unless the Cathedral gets its act together and starts cracking down on NAM behavior. Brezhnev didn’t have to deal with this shit. Of course Brezhnev had a stellar law enforcement apparatus and had no qualms about using it. The Soviets weren’t about anarcho-tyranny, they focused on the second half. If the Cathedral is to survive even at Soviet levels of dysfunction, it has to start letting go of the anarchy thing and double down on good old tyranny. Parts of the establishment are surely working on that, as seen by the huge surveillance apparatus that is being built in every country, and the incarceration rampage in the US. There’s just so much you can do with that though, given that prisons are bursting with prisoners all over the West, and leftist judges are starting to order prisoners to be sent home. The Cathedral is not yet ready for widespread GULAGs.
It struck me that what’s likely to happen is not a Brezhnevian stagnatopia, but something that came up during my first chat with Nick Land and I had forgotten since. He approvingly talked of the cognitive elite gathering in select global metropolis, tightly policed and self-quarantined à la NYC from the surrounding hinterland which will be semi-abandoned to NAM barbarism. I had envisioned the abandoned wastelands as starving into medieval densities, but that was over the top. The Cathedral is not about giving up land, and the wives and daughters of the elites need poor people to care about to justify their NPO jobs. Think of the Reservation in Brave New World, but instead of being a zoo-like small parcel of land surrounded by Civilization, think of it the other way around, as a mass of pettty barbarism surrounding small techno-commercial enclaves. Some sort of economy will still go on in the hinterland, but besides physical resources extracted by big corporations, the rest of the populace will be mostly let to their devices.
Perhaps the model is Russia, where esteemed commenter Candide III tell us:
Very bad, especially in Russia proper (Moscow is separate from Russia). Alcoholism and drug use are rampant, no jobs, everything is neglected, prison terms and inmate-derived behavior confer status, everybody listens to music glorifying prison experiences. Imagine black inner cities spread over the Russian hinterland.
As he told me once, Moscow is rich, clean, nice, classy and well policed, but drive 100 km away and the roads are collapsing from lack of maintenance, and most of the country is like that. Everyone with half a brain is either in Moscow or St. Petersburg, or out of the country altogether. The rest is the realm of vodka, meth and hilarious car accidents.
So I think it’s clear that we’re seeing a gradual, generalized decline, subject to black swan shocks such as 100 million Egyptians or Nigerians suddenly deciding to all move to Sicily to avoid starvation. All while the elite keeps isolating themselves in their urban bubbles, air shipping to each other the next fad in conspicuous consumption.