I propose a short ritual for when reactionaries meet each other. You go to a church, or some nice old building. Emphasis on old, more than nice. You get there, and the master says the following string, which the apprentice is to repeat.
There is no God but Gnon. Kek is his avatar. And Jordan Peterson is a pretty good prophet.
Once that is done, the master shows a red pill to the apprentice, hands it to him. And the apprentice swallows it. No. He bites it. Munchs it. He chews it. It’s hard. It’s bitter. It’s really hard to chew really. But at the very end it leaves an awesome aftertaste. Then Dark Enlightenment occurs.
Listen to this short clip (starts at 1:04:50), up to the end.
The Dark Enlightenment is based in evolution. This admits no discussion. Criticism of modernity on non-evolutionary grounds is just plain old reaction. Religious traditionalism. That’s a thing. It’s not my thing, but it’s out there, even here on my comments, most often by a kinda annoying Jew. All in all it’s a good thing that it’s out there, annoying as it is. But there’s a reason why reaction is a thing and neoreaction is another thing. Arnold Kling called Moldbug “neoreactionary” because he saw he wasn’t just some plain old Crown Church and Country guy. Moldbug mentioned (not very heavily) HBD and that’s about evolution. But there’s more about evolutionary critiques of modernity than mentioning the biological heritage of humanity.
There’s many ways that evolutionary theory shows the errors of progressivism. Let me mention 4 of them.
The basic one is that evolution shaped our brains as much as any other part of our bodies; our brains determine much of our behavior, and so much of observable behavior is inherited. See the above. Serotonin modulates animal behavior in lobsters, as much as in humans. You can’t change that.
A corollary of these is that different populations evolved in geographically separate areas, adapting over tens of thousands of years to their different environments, producing basically different types of brains. And bodies, of course, but brains too. Evolution does not stop at the neck. So different human populations, and that includes what in popular speech is called races, have different types of brains. Different types of behavior. Different sorts of talents and dispositions. Steve Sailer called that HBD.
And of course a very important characteristic of life in earth, certainly of animal life, is that reproduction is sexual. There are two sexes who must copulate in order to reproduce. We call those male and female. The definition of male and female relies on the different size of the gametes. Males have small gametes: in animals we call it sperm. Sperm cells are tiny. Females have big gametes. In animals we call them eggs. Eggs are pretty big. That alone, the difference between the small reproductive cells of males and the big reproductive cells of females, already creates huge incentives for different behavior between males and females. Sperm is small, cheap to produce, easy to spread. Egg production is metabolically costly. It’s basic economics. Sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive. Reproduction being extremely important; basically the whole point of DNA as a molecule, the very point of life; well having your reproduction mediated by cheap or expensive stuff is probably going to drive your evolution in different ways. To the extent that is possible (after all male and female DNA is mixed in every embryo), males and females are going to reproduce better if they evolve behavioral strategies that optimize how they use their gametes. And so males and females of all species behave differently. They must. Else evolution makes no sense.
This enough is very powerful. It goes against every single dogma of progressivism. Behavior has a strong genetic input. That implies races behave differently. Also that sexes behave differently. Which already by itself demolishes the very basis of progressivism. Of the Enlightenment really. Human brains aren’t an blank slate. They are shaped by evolution, in different ways. Ways that matter. And ways that you cannot change.
But brains aren’t the only thing that evolution shapes. And this is the fourth and most profound implication of evolutionary theory. Evolution is not only about life. Evolution is about existence. Well at it’s core evolution is about conflict; evolution proves what happens when different things are in conflict and what strategies they take to win. And existence implies a conflict. Existence is in conflict with non-existence. Things that exist are here for a reason. Basically because they out-competed other things, which hence don’t exist. Things exist because they work. Things that don’t work cease, sooner or later, to exist. If you track how things came to exist, how they out-competed other things which used to exist, or things that might have existed; well you are doing evolutionary theory. This is of course more abstract than the very physical evolution of DNA molecules in living beings. But it is the same process all the same.
It is so abstract that can even be mapped to transcendental religion, which is why the term Gnon was coined. Gnon standing for Nature or Nature’s God. Nature being that which exists. And so that which evolved. Once you understand this point you must think that everything exists for a reason. Everything exists because it works, certainly it worked until the present day. Now you may not like it that some things exist. You might want to destroy them. But before you do so you should stop and think about the evolutionary process that made them exist in the first place. Because remember, that things is there because it worked. And if the evolutionary process that put it there on there first place remains in place, then that thing will come back. Gnon will bring it back, no matter how much you hate it. No matter how utterly you destroy it, Gnon will bring it back. And you can’t do anything about it.
That doesn’t mean you must like everything. Or that everything always stays the same. Nature changes. I mean, Gnon changes. Evolution is a process; that implies change. Life changes. Animals change all the time. Humans also change things, and sometimes the change sticks. Human sacrifice used to be a thing. The Carthaginians sacrificed their own children. Their first bon sons. That was a thing. It happened for a reason. It evolved. It worked for them. Then the Romans conquered them and destroyed that thing; and it didn’t come back. It stopped working. That’s evolution too. That is Gnon’s will.
The Romans destroyed other things too. They destroyed the patriarchal family. They’d rather have fun and be merry. They stopped having children. Roman hedonism was a thing. Then the Germans conquered them. Roman hedonism stopped being a thing. Rome itself stopped being a thing. Gnon brought back the patriarchal family. That one works. You can mess with it. You can destroy it for a while. Even a long while. But it will come back. Gnon will always bring it back.
So the point here is to tell what will come back and what will not. What works always and what doesn’t necessarily do so. In theological terms, we must find out Gnon’s will. I guess I’d translate it into Chinese as the Dao. Figuring out Gnon’s will is not easy. Surely some Carthaginians might have protested about having to throw their first bon baby sons to die on the feet of Moloch. But the Carthaginian elite strongly believed doing so was Gnon’s will. Turns out it wasn’t. And they paid dearly for it.
And of course many Romans protested about the changes to paternal authority and general sexual morality in late Republican and Imperial Rome. But people thought that wasn’t important, that Gnon’s will was changing. Turns out it wasn’t. And they paid dearly for it.
So you gotta be careful about every thing. And society is a thing. Culture is a thing. Every social ritual is a thing. You must understand Gnon’s will if you want to survive. If you want to continue to be a thing yourself in the future. This means you need to understand why every thing exists. How it got there. How it evolved. You must understand it’s history, in other words.
So in the above examples: the Carthaginians sacrificed their baby boys because many centuries back home people back in the old country in the Levant were doing their sacrifices. They had some problem, perhaps some weather problem, or some war with a neighboring tribe. Sacrificing bulls and goats as usual wasn’t quite doing it; so some crazy guy. Most likely a woman actually, she threw a baby boy to the idol’s altar. Then something good happened. It worked. Maybe the tribesmen saw the woman killing her baby to the tribal god, felt her strong commitment towards the tribe, which gave them courage, took them to battle, and made them win. Or maybe it was just some coincidence and it rained the next day. At any rate, the thing stuck, and ever since it became a mainstream signal of commitment to the tribe. An extremely costly, and hence strong, signal. Now signaling is also a thing. It exists for a reason. A very good reason. Signaling is important. You can’t run a large human group without commitment. And you need costly signals to confirm commitment. But signals also tend to spiral for spurious reasons. Greedy people trying to gain status for themselves. Gnon doesn’t like that. He doesn’t care too much about it, hence peacocks. But every now and then he comes down to stop the spiral and restore order.
So child sacrifice died because it stopped working; it wasn’t necessary to produce its evolutionary function of giving costly signals of commitment. Gnon came up with an alternative. The Roman error was more egregious. The Romans didn’t get signaling wrong. They got something very fundamental wrong. They got family wrong. And there is no alternative for family. You can get everything exactly right and still perish because you got family wrong. The Roman Empire was a very great, long-lasting empire. It did everything right. They had the best military machine the world had ever seen. They had a very well managed urban culture that tribes all over the West eagerly adopted. They had a great bureaucratic and logistic machine. But they got family wrong. And Gnon made them pay dearly. Family exists for a reason. A permanently valid reason. Well perhaps not permanent, nobody knows the future. But certainly valid today, and likely to be valid for the foreseeable future.
The patriarchal family works. It evolved for a reason. It probably evolved separately a lot of times. There’s this book called “The Inevitability of Patriarchy” which makes the point at length. Basically for a country to prosper you need men to defend it. And why would men defend the country? What’s there in it for them? Well they get paid. Pretty well actually, soldiery was good job in Rome. But what do they want the money for? To raise a family. To have a wife and children. Emphasis on have. Have implies possession. Possession implies some degree of freedom of use. You have a wife so you can use her. So that she’s nice to you and does things that you want. And of course the same goes for children. Children are the whole point. Children are everything. Gnon manifest his will through children. That’s what evolution is.
But for some odd reason Gnon did not make men desire a wife and children in the abstract. The behavioral urges of men are somewhat indirect. Men need sex, the way they need food. A man without food for a sufficient lenght of time will stop whatever he’s doing and go crazy until he finds something to eat. A man without sex will stop whatever he’s doin and go crazy until he finds a suitable woman. If the woman is nice to him he’ll stick around. That is the way Gnon made it. In the old days that fairly reliably resulted in surviving children. Gnon saw it and saw it was good; and so that is what men do. A man with an obedient wife and well behaved children is a happy man. A man that will fight to defend it.
Well take that from a man and he will not defend his country. Why would he? Not to say that often it isn’t man that takes it from himself. Many a man would rather not stick by his wife nor care about his children; seeking random women instead. That man, if successful, might be quite happy. Happier than a married man indeed. But he won’t fight for his country. He has no reason to. Which is why that man, the sneaky fucker man, is considered evil in most societies. This is a man who has no skin in the game. An unloyal man. Gnon had it so that healthy societies did not allow that kind of behavior. That’s why we got fornication laws. Regulation of sexual behavior. Monogamy was one way to solve it, but not the only one. But as Gnon had it having sex with a woman who was not your legal wife or a prostitute was a punishable crime.
The Romans messed with all of that. They allowed women to not be obedient to their husbands. This destroyed the incentive for many men to stick to their wives. This destroyed their incentive to defend their country. Soon enough no Roman was willing to do so. What happens when the men of a country are not willing to defend it? Somebody attacks you; and they win. The inevitability of patriarchy. That is evolution. Gnon’s will.
Let me recap. I have been writing about Epistemology of late. An important theme of this blog from the beginning was why leftists believe what they do. All that obvious crap. Are they stupid? Well they obviously aren’t stupid. Look at Harvard. Those guys aren’t stupid. But leftist they are. They believe obviously false things. Well why?
There’s two parts to the answer to that. First is that you don’t know what people believe. You know what they say they believe. That’s different. You can’t possibly know what’s going on inside somebody’s head.
Second is that most likely there’s nothing going on inside that head. You can’t possibly have definite knowledge on anything. And there’s no reason why human brains will have evolve to capture objective truth. Brains are designed by Gnon so that you could be here. That means have you survive and reproduce. That’s all they have to do. It’s no easy task, of course, which is why are brains are so big and complex. But caring about objective truth makes no sense, either in philosophical or evolutionary terms. What’s important is to be evolutionary fit. In human terms that means to have social status. So people who want social status will say whatever it is necessary, no matter how false. And they will believe whatever is expedient. That’s all that believe really means anyway; you may define it is “to have whatever mental content necessary in order to produce some particular behavior”. So most people today believe that homosexuals are born that way while transexualism is a free choice. It’s logically nonsensical, of course. But the point is to say that when asked, and to be able to interact with the designated victim-privilege groups as necessary.
Rationalism equates language with thought; Chomsky famously said that language’s primary function is as a vehicle of thought, not communication. That’s completely wrong, of course, most of the computation your brain does to keep you alive doesn’t use language at all. To the extent that a minority of people tend to have extensive internal monologues, that’s just conversation practice. Talking to yourself; generally in order to be ready to talk with others.
Now of course language is a huge part of how we interact socially; and much of our knowledge is social. We learn from others how to behave, how to speak. To the extent that knowledge is mediated through language; well language is a social medium. There is no meaning to language but the correlation between the use of certain words and the behavior of the people who use them. You can learn that the sun comes from the same direction every day just by looking yourself. But you will only learn the meaning of the word “democracy” by hearing somebody talk about it. I made that point also here.
Now of course humans are social creatures, we learn most of our behavior from others, which includes the entirety of our language. But what determines what society does? One way of thinking about this is that Power does. Politics does. Societies have power hierarchies. People on top can change the behavior of others, either through violence or persuasion. This seems pretty obvious. Indeed it was at the core of Chinese classical political thought. Confucius talked about how a courteous and well behaved lord could “teach” their people to behave morally. Lord Shang talked how the state could make laws that killed or tortured those who didn’t behave morally. Both work, to a point. Eventually they were integrated into Imperial Confucianism, the ruling ideology for 2,000 years.
Europe was under the spell of rationalism mediated by Christianity so we didn’t really get this until the Communists came by. Or I guess Hegel stumbled upon this. Experts on German idealism can contribute in the comments. But Communists soon enough realized that people do and say what they’re told; and they loved the idea. They’d grab all the levels of power and change people to do what they wanted. They’d change everything, even language. George Orwell made that point very vividly when O’Brien forces Winston Smith to say that 2+2 equals 5. There is no module in your brain which contains numbers when you’re born. Some forager tribes hardly have any numbers at all. The way we count, our number system is a social construct. If the state applies enough force, they could possibly change that.
But of course the problem with Communism, as well as Chinese legalism is that they forgot about Gnon. Knowledge is socially constructed alright. Power can alter society alright. But power is inside society. The powerful are also people. The state is not an uncaused agent with freedom of action. Nobody has freedom. Everything is evolved. Everything is subject to the will of Gnon. Knowledge is socially constructed alright. But the precise way in that humans acquire their knowledge from society is an evolved mechanism. And it’s fixed. You can’t change that mechanism. That is Gnon’s mechanism. If you want to play with it you have to understand it first. You can’t just tell people that 2+2=5. Partly because that sort of stuff is taught to small children and once taught it’s extremely hard to alter.
You can’t tell people to look at a guy with a beard and call him “ze”, because the basic constructions of language are learned as a small child and they’re as much a hard habit as the way you walk or jump. You can force people to drop on their knees and say what you want them to say; but you can’t change habits enforced by decades of repetition. And repetition is the point; the point of pronouns is that they’re very frequent, and gendered pronouns have almost equal frequency, which is why they still exist. Evolution can be seen in the natural world but it is most obvious and easy to see in language. The grammatical patterns which do not work over time disappear. You won’t get people to remember a pronoun they only use while in university and when meeting 1% of the student body.
So yes, everything is socially constructed. But social constructions are evolved. And evolution follows the rails that Gnon set up. It follows our innate brain structures. Which are themselves the product of evolution, if biological, on another timescale. The social constructions which work remain in place; those that do not work disappear. And often they take the people with them. You can play with language; but it will not stick. You can play with signaling; but you may end up killing your own babies. You can play with family; but you can kill a whole people if you get that wrong.
The only way to see which social constructions follow the Will of Gnon is to look at history. To look at what existed, where it existed, and for how long. What Moldbug called “slow history”. Only there you can find the Old Truths (H/T AlfaNL). Which is why Gnon’s church has no priests. Only historians and biologists. And motivational speakers on tour.