Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

The Money is in Religion

Haven’t posted in a while, but everything’s ok. Just been busy. Worry not, my dear readers, this blog isn’t going anywhere. I might be lazy but I’m quite resilient. And I like my blog very much, so you can expect this blog to last for as long as I have fingers to type. If I go offline I’m either dead or in some hidden CIA prison for thought criminals. I expect to have good company if either of that happens.

Speaking of crimethinkers, Anatoly Karlin had a good review of the alt-internet at his blog. The conclusion is quite clear: the old far-right is quite healthy. The alt-right, defined as Kek-worship and assorted Spencerites is very small. And NrX* is just tiny. Like really tiny.

*I’ll just stop fighting the, in my opinion, lame branding and just surrender to the fact that everybody categorizes me as NrX so I might as well own it.

I’ve said it before, and others have said it before and better than I have. But that’s how it is: there is no great media revolution. Most people still get their news from TV. To the extent people get their news from the Internet, they like their mainstream stuff first, and to the extent they like edgy stuff, they like the edgy stuff that has always been around. Stormfront is still big, fellas. Or it was until a few months ago. Think about that.

This shouldn’t be something to worry about, and it should surprise anyone. For one thing, the population is getting old. Old people don’t like to change, they have their old ideas, and they’re hanging on to them. The paleo-right was a thing, a very fine thing, and these good ol’ rednecks aren’t going to jump into Richard Spencer’s wagon. Trump didn’t change anybody’s mind. He just said what his voters had been thinking for decades.

I have a blog, so I should be sad about this. I’m supposed to want to change peoples minds through my awesome writing. And to some extent I’ve achieved that; but the amount of people who are open to persuasion by strangers over the internet is, well, tiny. As tiny as the total audience of NrX. This is fine, many of these people are the smart people who might end up having some influence in the world. Neoreaction has been cited in the press, not always negatively, way more often than its numbers would warrant.

But if we look at the facts, and if I’m coherent with my writing, well the fact is most people just aren’t open to persuasion. Because there’s no reason they should be. Ideas aren’t about logic. Ideas are badges of group membership. They are Schelling points. Ideas aren’t things we hold in our “minds”; ideas are things we say. To others. For a reason. A social reason. A Dunbar reason. If saying the same things that NrX says isn’t going to make you more friends, well you aren’t going to say it. If saying what the Alt-right says isn’t going to make you more friends, well you aren’t going to say it. Ask Pax Dickinson about that.

So if the purpose of ideas is to, broadly defined, “make more (or better) friends”, it should be obvious that old ideas have an advantage there over new ideas. The easiest way to make friends with someone is to adopt his ideas. New ideas by definition have no adopters, so it’s hard to make friends with them. Of course just adopting someone else’s ideas out of the blue is also not a very smart move. It’s quite boring, and they must suspect you wanting something out of them. The way to make friends is not to make something out of people, but to offer people to make something out of you.

So the good move here is to adopt people’s ideas, but give them a little bit of spin. By doing so, you signal yourself as something which is potentially useful; but you also give people something to fall back on. If your spin ends up not working for them; they can always fall back to their old ideas, with nobody noticing. No embarrassment, no loss of status. Nothing happened here.

Let me be more concrete here. I’m actually thinking of somebody very concrete. Who? Jordan Peterson. He has mastered the “old ideas with a bit of spin” trick. I’ve been writing of Jordan Peterson’s ideas for quite some time. Back then what I did was to take them at face value; but what I want to do here is to make a functional analysis. Or as Steve Sailer says of modern journalists, to make marketing criticism. I’ve been mildly critical of Jordan Peterson’s ideas before: there’s some logical errors and unclear philosophy in his speeches. But say what you will, he is a Genius marketer. With a capital G. The guy is good. How good? His Patreon is making 67k a month. That’s how good he is. He’s making more money than the whole alt-right and paleo-right put together. And then some.

Why is he so popular? This article gives you a hint:

Bread Pilled: Jordan Peterson turning young, Western men into Christians Again

Jordan Peterson is making a fortune (in internet politics terms) because… he’s preaching. He’s preaching the Christian gospel. And that’s a very good business, especially in North America, which has a long tradition of innovative preachers. Now I’m not dissing Dr. Peterson. He’s an insanely talented preacher. He’s the best preacher I’ve heard in my whole life, and he’s better than any of the preachers I’ve read about from the past. He is really good. He preaches Christianity with bits of HBD, of the manosphere, of evolutionary psychology and pragmatic philosophy. All great stuff. But this red-pill spin is not what is making him money. There’s plenty of people preaching the red-pill, and they’re not making a dime. It’s Christianity what’s making him the money.

And why would that be? Why would preaching be so profitable? Because Christians are a thing. There’s hundreds of millions of Christians out there. Many of them aren’t happy, they suffer from the diseases of modernity we all internet dissenters write about. The war on men. Diseases of modernity which affect organized Christianity itself. Many, I’d guess most of us here also come from Christian families; but we dropped out. However not everybody is willing to take that step, for many reasons. It’s not so easy to accept that everything your family, your schools, your friends has been telling you about is a lie. Some people may have functional Christian social circles which they can’t abandon. These people will never give money to Heartiste, even if they secretly agree with them. These people, these millions upon millions of unhappy Christians need something that gives them the red-pill but lets them keep being good Christians. Jordan Peterson sells exactly that. And he’s brilliant at it.

They money, thus, is not in good ideas per se. The money is in religion. Good religion, and bad religion, they all make good money. Why? Because religions are, sticky, heavy social matter. Religions are designed to encompass one’s social circle so that one can never leave. That keeps people civilized when the religion is good, and that makes society sick when the religion is bad, as in modern progressivism. But at any rate, the way to reach the bulk of the population is not just to sell good ideas, it’s to sell a fallback. There’s a hilarious amount of ways of saying this in Chinese, who understand the point very well. “To help them keep face”. “To give them a step so that they can come down”. “To find a slope to get down from the donkey”. Nobody wants to lose status.

Any change is welcome, as long as it doesn’t make people lose status. No change is welcome, no matter how good, if people feel the process involves them losing status, even a little, even just a tiny little slight embarrassment in the short term. These of course means there’s a limit to what one can sell; you can only deviate so much from the status quo if you want people to buy in. But the power of compound interest is vast, if the will is there to keep on pushing.

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64 responses to “The Money is in Religion

  1. Pingback: The Money is in Religion | @the_arv

  2. Inquiring Mind October 23, 2017 at 03:31

    Change minds?

    I told you the story about how your explanation of what NGOs are doing to Burma influenced what a visiting scholar from China to a U.S. public university wrote about the Chinese government’s stand on private charitable organizations within their borders? And the connection was through the U.S. sponsor of said visiting scholar handing her husband a manuscript saying, “Here, you read this and tell me what you think.”

    You must have some ancient proverb to describe this process — you have more influence than you can imagine.

  3. Alrenous October 23, 2017 at 04:06

    Unfortunately there is no stepladder between the status quo and survival. http://www.isegoria.net/2011/09/the-fossils-of-past-power-grabs/

    The alternatives are war or the Exit drive. War means America dies. Suppressing Exit means America dies.

  4. Pingback: The Money is in Religion | Reaction Times

  5. aussiesta October 23, 2017 at 10:38

    You should write about your view on transhumanist religions/flights of fancy, and whether they could get any traction, as an alternative to the existing menu of choices. Personally, I’m particularly intrigued about the possibilities of Russian-style cosmism.

    • spandrell October 23, 2017 at 15:35

      I guess they count very much as New Religions; but they’ve never got much track, and I don’t see them getting any in the foreseeable future. As for why, they just sound too bookish probably.

      • Rummah Kasai October 23, 2017 at 17:55

        And very hard to find information. I tried to get an book of essays in English by Fyodorov. One edition was printed in the early 90’s, but fetches absurd prices if you can locate a copy.

    • Mitchell Porter October 23, 2017 at 20:33

      People can’t even be persuaded to seek serious longevity for those already alive, so what prospect for a movement that wants to reconstitute the dead from atoms? The Matrix shows you what “transhumanist religion” really looks like.

      • aussiesta October 24, 2017 at 07:01

        Exactly. In the movie, agent Smith explains Neo that The Matrix was built by humans as an entertainment, a virtual world where they could lead their fake lives, a giant Grand Theft Auto online, but they found it excruciatingly boring so that they turned it into a machine of oppression: precisely so they would have something to fight, something to strive for (liberation from The Matrix). This is a perfect explanation of the triad nature of religion: not just a pseudoscientific, primitive explanation of the universe; not just a framework for social organization; but also as a system to build up human energy and capital and dedicate it to any specific goals: a reason to live, which is what the West lacks. Even if religion is fake or fails in the end, even if mass resurrection is impossible, we’ll be able to say we tried, that humans didn’t just spend millions of years in the universe jerking off to online porn.

  6. Giovanni Dannato October 23, 2017 at 11:42

    Like you, I have arrived at the conclusion people believe whatever gets them fed, paid, and laid for obvious reasons of natural selection. The superman is someone who has some additional considerations like objective truth for its own sake that are costly and risky behaviors.

    I’ve also been thinking about where trolling fits in this equation. A random normie posts about “Drumpf” or “white supremacists” expecting to get a cheap dopamine hit when some of their friends, coworkers, and some strangers give them approval.
    The troll then, takes a steaming dump over that sweet, easy, low-effort reward by ridiculing them and pointing out how stupid their argument (that they don’t really care about) is. The goal of trolling or even limited debate is not changing minds, but changing behaviors by imposing costs or at least reducing the feel-good rewards.
    People like social lubricants that maximize positive feedback while minimizing friction in the form of challenge and opprobrium.

  7. ricksean October 23, 2017 at 13:03

    Christianity sells because it’s a good product. Going to church weekly improves your life satisfaction by the same order of magnitude as going from bottom to top income quartile, it increases life expectancy by 8 years, more kids, more friends, more income, less divorces, a civilisation, deus vult, etc., etc. There’s very few things that can give you such enormous benefits. But one of these is science and rational thinking. And it’s hard to make the two compatible; believing in prayers, miracles and holy spirits has scientifically measurable benefits but is otherwise completely irrational.

    What Jordan Peterson did was to find a reasonable argument to make the irrationality of christianity rational, and therefore allowing one to believe in both christianity and science, and hopefully reap the benefits of both.

    • Orthodox October 23, 2017 at 14:17

      Except for Catholics and every other sect like them who believe Reason and Faith are the two wings of an eagle. People think they’re reinventing something and hearing something new, when if they were properly educated, they’d know this was all figured out centuries ago. To some extent, it’s good to have a rebellious phase, even for society. People said screw Faith, we have Reason now! And then Reason starts leading to all the same conclusions as Faith (good social science is turning into the God’s fact checker). And then Reason also starts showing it’s full of liars and corruption and is fallible. And then people will reject that for total commitment to Faith for awhile…

      • ricksean October 23, 2017 at 15:31

        I was raised Catholic, studied at a Catholic university, and the message on science always had been “Christianity is compatible with science, don’t think too much about it”. It wasn’t really convincing. Jordan Peterson’s arguments are IMHO quite novel (and probably heretical !).

    • Howard J. Harrison October 25, 2017 at 23:30

      Believing in prayers, miracles and holy spirits [is] completely irrational.

      Be more precise. Do you discredit Aristotle’s unmoved mover? In your view, does crediting Aristotle’s unmoved mover render the creditor irrational?

      Challenge: solve the mind-body problem.

      Aquinas did. I don’t think that you can. There is no shame in this, but it does illuminate your oversight.

      Spandrell, incidentally, says that the mind-body problem is fake news, but in this he is wrong.

      “Prayers, miracles and holy spirits”—which you would lack a motive to bother to describe clearly—are secondary. First speak of telos and eidos, of purpose and form. Explain why these did not exist—and, stronger, explain why those who disagree were irrational. Explain mind and body. Answer Bertrand Russell’s question thereto.

      You are not obliged to accept such homework assignments from me, of course. However, until you do, you will continue to be merely mistaken in this matter. Ontology is probably not what you think it is. Prayers and miracles may follow.

      • spandrell October 25, 2017 at 23:40

        Wittgenstein would call the distinction “nonsense”. Postmoderns would call it a “social construct”. Abstraction can be useful but we should agree abstract things don’t “exist”.

        • Garr October 26, 2017 at 11:58

          Aquinas did: “The soul is the form of the body [whatever the fuck that means] except for the intellectual part of the soul, which is beamed down out of the divine intellect (and this included both the active and receptive subparts of the intellectual part).” Yup, that explains it. I always like guys that have faith in Aquinas, believing that he solved all of these problems, because they have double-faith — in Aquinas and in Catholic Christianity — which is impressive (and both of these objects of faith build cathedrals, verbal and physical).

          • spandrell October 26, 2017 at 12:29

            Form being of course French for “shape”. I’m guessing the Latin says “anima forma corpi”, which means the soul is the shape of the body, which makes no sense whatsoever. But hey, catholics ate it for centuries and that’s all that matters.

            • Howard J. Harrison October 27, 2017 at 23:31

              Come. You are too well read not to know what a Platonic form is. Indeed, as I recall, you have more or less correctly summarized the Platonic concept of the eidos, in your own words, in this very blog. My Greek is next to non-existent, but I know the difference between eidos and morphos about as well as you do.

              You have concluded that it’s all nonsense, of course. I get that.

          • spandrell October 26, 2017 at 12:58

            Corporis. Damn Latin is annoying.

        • John Q Public November 2, 2017 at 21:15

          Ah, they will call you a nominalist!

      • ricksean October 26, 2017 at 18:12

        By rationality I mean the popular scientific epistemology; meaning having a logically self consistent set of beliefs which are based on observable and reproducible material experiments, and discarding the superfluous. This is not a very precise nor the only way to define rational thought, but I think it is a very popular conception and the one roughly taught in academia.

        By that definition, the unmovable mover may be logically self consistent, but is not materially observable, and thus superfluous. The mind body problem is simply deemed unsolved. Miracles and prayers are not reproducible and thus nonsense. If miracles are nonsense, then Jesus is not God. And if Jesus is not god you can put christianity in the bin. That’s IMHO roughly the thought process that leads to atheism for many westerners. We’re basically all Saint Thomas without a Christ there to show his wounds.

        But there’s a hole in that argument, which Jordan Peterson is brilliantly exposing. First, the fact that christianity as a whole is extremely beneficiary for believers is a reproducible material observation. The fact that this extremely large effect exists and that we cannot reproduce it nor understand it with our competing ‘rational system’, means that there is a gaping hole in it. There is ‘Dark Matter’ in modern rational thinking, something crucial, obviously there yet unexplained; Gnon. Can Gnon be understood by science ? The answer is you don’t have the time to do it. Christianity may not be rational in the modern science, but it works. It is not true because of divine revelation, but because it survives, and in the end that is all that matters.

        • Howard J. Harrison October 27, 2017 at 23:19

          Ricksean: your answer is clear, concise, interesting, pertinent, informative and aptly framed. Obviously, I dissent from the popular scientific epistemology, but you advance that epistemology briefly and well.

  8. Rhetocrates October 23, 2017 at 14:34

    “Trump didn’t change anybody’s mind. He just said what his voters had been thinking for decades.”

    I think this is a point worth emphasizing. I grew up in an Amerikaaner household and would definitely have called myself Conservative for the first twenty-odd years of my life. We always voted Republican, and quite often went out and beat feet around neighborhoods to make sure our candidate won. I have many memories of ringing doorbells as a cute little blond boy to convince people to vote for Bob Dole/George W/Jeb (we were in Florida; he was running for governor)/etc.

    At the same time, this was less because of some deep philosophical agreement with the Republican establishment and more because we’d been suckered by the rhetoric – “We’re the party of America” – “Elect us because we believe in good old American Capitalism and apple pie” – “We’re the party of the little people” – “Those democrats are nasty and you don’t want them in office, so you have to vote for us” – but nobody in my family ever liked much of what Republicans ever actually did. RINO was one of the tamer insults for the Republican establishment around our household, and it essentially meant, “These people aren’t real Republicans, they don’t follow what we really want – they don’t follow the rhetoric.”

    If by some horrible miracle my father became Supreme Dictator of the United States tomorrow, half the Blacks would be in Liberia and the other half on trees by next Tuesday (with maybe ten or twelve relentlessly functional Black families kept around as Magic Negroes); all umpty-million illegals would be on small boats in the Caribbean that the Coast Guard sank as soon as they reached international waters, affirmative action would cease to exist effective immediately, Harvard and Yale would be razed and the ground salted, California and DC would be nuked, and any remaining Democratic voters would be joining the aforementioned Blacks on their trees.

    Then we’d pull out of NATO, nuke North Korea and leave the Middle East to clean up its own damn mess (while giving full support to Israel to completely take over and govern the region as a whole). We’d get all our troops home from Europe, and probably send them off immediately to a war to get China to stop rattling its sabres. We’d either resuscitate the old African colonies (taking over British dominions ourselves) or, more likely, cut off all foreign aid and contact and just let the whole continent rot.

    And my father’s a moderate in his social circles. He has a good job as a software engineer and isn’t struggling to make ends meet because of the new progressive economy. My parents voted for Trump, because he’s the first politician in a King’s Age to openly say and then defend on the campaign trail even the barest hint of what they want. Privately, they think he’s still WAY too far to the left; ‘Clinton with some teeth in him.’

    The point of all this long-winded spiel is, the base of legacy Americans is well and truly dissatisfied. Very, very angry – angrier than any polls will ever show. If you want power to create a new regime, all you have to do is figure out how to tap that, and be savvy and avaricious enough to turn it into something more than a social club.

    And the easiest way to do that is probably to take over a large group of evangelical seminaries. Imagine if preachers suddenly became, not a brake on this anger in favor of the powers that be, but widespread agitators for regime change.

    • Howard J. Harrison October 25, 2017 at 23:48

      The point of all this long-winded spiel …

      Great spiel. I so want to believe it all. Amerikaaners of the world unite!

  9. Toddy Cat October 23, 2017 at 15:09

    If your take on Jordan Peterson is correct, the announced death of Christianity may be very, very premature.

  10. Karl October 23, 2017 at 15:21

    You’ve often said that we Need a New Religion. Your present post suggests that it might be easier to reform an old religion than to create a new one. I think we can hope for another Martin Luther; but not for another Jesus

  11. Mandos October 23, 2017 at 16:50

    “Any change is welcome, as long as it doesn’t make people lose status. No change is welcome, no matter how good, if people feel the process involves them losing status, even a little, even just a tiny little slight embarrassment in the short term.”

    This is why a hard confrontation with the Left is pretty much unavoidable. The common set of ideas we believe in, from NRx arcane scholars to garden variety conservatives, all spell massive loss of status for progressives if they are politically implemented.
    The current default mode to gain status is to push an idea further to the left. Conservatives have been constantly losing ground by banking on the existence of a limit to that pattern, assuming that the Left would marginalize itself by constantly moving toward its fringe. It never happened, mostly because the Left controls the megaphone, and it is very good at making it high status. So people can’t give up on the megaphone without being at risk of losing status, even if the megaphone is spouting obvious insanity all day long.

    Sales matter. I have no miracle recipe to make sane social ideas high status, but that is what needs to happen if we ever are to win the large swaths of public opinion required to implement them at the political level. Compound interest is a key concept here, there is a reason why the long march through the institutions was called that way. Leftist ideas have been gently sold one after the other until modern society was almost entirely shaped by them. That slow build-up was possible because it was growing sheltered by the fundamentals of a resilient and prosperous civilization. Survival imperatives we are now facing may not leave us with such a luxury to enjoy. The Left needs to start losing status fast, and what enables it to entertain its status system needs to be relentlessly targeted and undermined.

    • JohnB October 23, 2017 at 18:51

      > Sales matter

      There is a time-honoured and effective way of overcoming a reluctance to “buy”: violence. And if it doesn’t work, it’s because you’re not using enough of it.

    • Herodian October 23, 2017 at 22:07

      Leftist fractionalism (BLM interrupting gay parades, etc) will do well to cut into their status as well as the optics of left-wing people increasingly looking like shit. Obesity, garish tattoos, facial piercings, etc.

    • spandrell October 23, 2017 at 23:02

      Plenty of people on the Left wouldn’t lose status if they lost power. Most white males, at least. There’s a reason why the left is busy changing the demographics.

  12. Mitchell Porter October 23, 2017 at 20:21

    Jordan Peterson himself isn’t a Christian and he doesn’t preach that Christianity is literally true. He is a Jungian and he preaches that Christianity is symbolically true, that it is an allegory of various psychological and existential truths.

    Despite the clickbait headline of the article you link, I see no movement of Peterson fans becoming Christian believers, just one guy who quotes another guy. Peterson’s fans may be learning some *respect* for Christianity, but they are not adopting the metaphysics of Christianity about God and the afterlife.

    I wouldn’t even rate Christianity that highly among his topics of choice. He is known for resisting PC, diagnosing western civilization as in trouble, and defending masculinity as beneficial and essential. The Jungian stuff doesn’t lead to Christ, it leads to Jung, and only Peterson obsessives are going to go that deep anyway.

    • spandrell October 23, 2017 at 21:41

      What I’m saying is that it’s the Christians (more or less faithful) who are funding the guy.

      • seriouslypleasedropit October 23, 2017 at 22:50

        I have to side with MP here—what you said was: “He’s preaching the Christian gospel.” I mean, it’s your blog, and I’m not going to stop reading, but as someone who doesn’t follow JP, I was misled by this.

        Anyway. Still a good post.

        • aussiesta October 24, 2017 at 06:53

          Peterson preaches Christianity in a manner similar to Slavoj Zizek (who is a Red): not as absolute, literal truth, but as a transcendent, social truth. Peterson would probably agree with Zizek that Christianity is the first Atheist religion: God dies in the Cross so that He is forever with us. I don’t really see Peterson going to Church every Sunday or worrying about Purgatory much.

          • spandrell October 24, 2017 at 21:07

            Zizek and Peterson couldn’t be more different though. Zizek is this lively funny guy who must be a joy to have a beer with. Peterson though has this heavy prone-to-depression preacher vibe to him, and he’s admitted to some mental issues running in the family himself.

      • mitchellporter October 24, 2017 at 00:23

        I don’t think that’s right either. If that were true, you would find Christian forums hotly debating his take on Christianity – does he have the right approach to salvation, or other doctrinal points. Instead, you’ll find them saying, who is this guy, what exactly does he mean, is he even one of us or not.

        I would guess that his monthly Patreon income is coming from a fanbase of a few thousand millennial men, who “donate $5 or $10 per month”.

        By the way, if you want to see the political discussions of American heartland Christians who voted for Trump, you should look at FreeRepublic.com. That is a political site, not a religious site, but you will see that they are quite earnest about their religion.

    • Alrenous October 24, 2017 at 07:42

      Peterson is a Christian and he preaches that the Bible isn’t literally true. Which is also what St. Augustine preached.

      • Wency October 24, 2017 at 13:12

        This is also what my theology teacher at Catholic high school taught. And it was implied by the study Bible that they gave us as freshmen.

        For example, both St. Augustine and the modern Church hold the Book of Revelation doesn’t describe an actual series of future events with 57-headed monsters that have 112 legs and so on. This is where they differ from Christian Fundamentalists. They’d also hold that both of the accounts of creation in Genesis are probably allegorical, and in any case they contradict one another directly so can’t both be literally true. Fundamentalists would argue that both accounts are somehow simultaneously true, despite contradicting one another directly.

        My understanding is that Catholic doctrine is that the Bible is inerrant — free from error — but it may be the case that large portions of it are allegory, etc. etc.

        I never understood how this reconciled with things like the Gospels contradicting one another, since the Gospels are clearly meant to be historical record and not allegory. And the Gospels are in agreement on the big points. But the Church refuses to embrace the weaker statement that the Bible is free from error only regarding matters of faith (infallibility).

        Not knowing much about Peterson (like others, I can’t sit and watch a guy ramble on for an hour — I need it in text), my guess is he would take a weaker position on the Bible’s truth value than the Church does.

        And I agree that the people who fund his Patreon are going to be men in their 20s/30s. They might be Christian, but the most active Christians I see are women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, who are definitely not funding this guy.

  13. Garr October 24, 2017 at 11:56

    Has the guy written anything? I hate watching videos. You watch a video, you’re being dominated by the guy you watch. He controls your time. And someone can look impressive on the screen — then you read the transcript and it’s just boring old bullshit.

  14. circumlocutorian October 24, 2017 at 18:07

    [quote]The alt-right, defined as Kek-worship and assorted Spencerites is very small. And NrX* is just tiny. Like really tiny.[/quote]

    I think that’s a drastic undercounting of the alt-right tendency; I’d class the new nationalist trend in Eastern Europe as more alt-right than old far right, for instance. As for NRX, it’s an inherently elitist movement, gauging its support and influence is consequently hard. Being mainly confined to mainly ‘mailing lists, secret forums, and (perhaps) infiltration of the institutions’, as Karlin puts it, seems pretty appropriate.

    Incidentally, Slate Star Codex just put this up:
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/23/kolmogorov-complicity-and-the-parable-of-lightning/

    That’s a pretty influental blog in certain circles, and it’s not hard to see what direction he is starting to lean in there. I strongly suspect that out of the roughly four new ideological tendencies of the early 21st century, Neoreaction is the one that will be most influental compared to the number of its adherents.

    • spandrell October 24, 2017 at 19:17

      Eastern Europe’s new-right isn’t doing Pepe memes. Nor is it antifeminist. Whatever it is it’s not the altright.

      Scott is also popular for his selling of some red-pill bits to progressive audiences.

      • circumlocutorian October 25, 2017 at 20:27

        Why would they be doing Pepe memes? They have actual nationalism, real national traditions to use, they don’t need to import memes from US teenagers. Re: antifeminism, they’re populist movements, so actively alienating half the voter base is probably not so smart. They’re generally a lot more more socially conservative than their opposition, though, but I think actual antifeminism is for practical purposes really more of a NRX thing.

        The interesting thing about SSC is the trend, he wasn’t saying stuff like this four years ago. I don’t think you’d be seeing posts like that without some NRX intellectual tendency getting their views out there. Sure, he’s still one guy, but if he feels comfortable saying stuff like that he’s probably not alone among his so-called ‘grey tribe’ in having some attraction to certain NRX ideas.

    • Garr October 24, 2017 at 23:56

      I can’t get past his use of “global warming” for some purpose or other that I can’t figure out half-way down the post. Automatically defiles anything he says. His acolytes tend to assume it’s “rational” to believe in global warming, so he’s probably using it in some way connected to this, so fuck him. Plus there’s something in there about “bad people” — that’s a phrase that his acolytes throw around too. Like if you have a certain opinion or attitude you’re a “bad person”. I often spend a lot of time reading comments over there because I can learn things, but they’re an unpleasant bunch of people except for a couple of them. I know I’d hate them if I were in the same physical space with them.

  15. Rummah Kasai October 24, 2017 at 20:48

    For all this talk of “new religions”, there don’t seem to be many. Or at least not ones that are stable. For some reason, even the pagan religions stress their links to the past. Wicca calls itself “the old religion” and Greek Hellenists insist they are the “indigenous religion” of their country.

    • spandrell October 24, 2017 at 21:05

      Christianity was a spin-off of Judaism; as was Islam. Buddhism was sort of a spin-off of Hinduism too.
      The few new religions that are somewhat popular are also spin-offs; see the Baha’i. Maybe Dune was right and the future is Zensunnism and Mahayana Christianity.

      • Rummah Kasai October 24, 2017 at 21:29

        I see the truth in it. But first we need to find a suitable quantity of spice.
        And, now that I think of it, Neo-Tantra has turned into an American version of Hinduism, so perhaps it’s a spin-off. Although I could hardly call it a religion. Like wise all those damn yoga clinics.
        Mormonism was also a spin-off of Christianity, although Mormons claim to be Christian. Much the same way Druze can claim to be Muslim.

  16. Barnie October 25, 2017 at 00:29

    I don’t remember Peterson ever saying anything that indicated that he held any belief in the supernatural. You might still stretch and call it a religion if you define religion as a schema for organizing information and experience. I often listen to his podcasts but when I left his lectures running on Youtube while working around the house my Christian kids were horrified at his treatment of Christianity as myth.

  17. reluctantreactionary October 25, 2017 at 19:23

    A few years ago I tried to introduce the concept of hypergamy to a Christian friend. He recoiled at the concept and proclaimed that the Bible showed God’s plan to be one man to one woman as in Genesis. (and little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice) Old school Christianity taught that humans had a sinful nature and that we would naturally do sinful stuff. For a man sin might mean cheating with multiple partners, while a woman might sin by leaving a loyal husband for a more exiting alpha male.

    The old Christianity was not only compatible with what heartiste teaches, it was more or less compatible with much of observable reality. Galileo was not burned at the stake, and science developed in a Christian Europe. Today’s Christian dogma based on leftist lies is not compatible with observable reality or science. If Jordan Peterson, or others like him, could steer Christianity back to the truth that would be Yuuuge. (but it is like steering an aircraft carrier with a trolling motor.)

  18. Stephen W October 26, 2017 at 15:07

    It always seems a bit odd to me when people say they are “not going anywhere” instead of “not going away” as the former phrase is also used for a lack of advancement.

  19. Oscar C. October 27, 2017 at 15:12

    Excellent piece, spandrell. I just love how you connect the dots.

    67k a month. Wew lad.

  20. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2017/10/29) - Social Matter

  21. John Q Public November 2, 2017 at 21:16

    Thanks, it is very useful to engage in some self-examination and have some conversations about what we are doing in NRx.

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