After criticizing the existence of /r/DarkEnlightenment, I convinced myself to start a blog. I still haven’t settled on what topics to focus on. Consider this post a first order approximation. I would be pressed to call myself a neoreactionary in terms of values, although my interest certainly overlap with it. Knowledge tends to converge; values less so. If you accept HBD, especially so because I’m not White.
Neoreaction, being a particularly Anglophone phenomenon, is subject to the exceptional characteristics of that group. I would go as far as to call Moldbug’s original project an English ideological civil war, attempting to rehabilitate one strand of Anglo-Saxon identity against another, while taking Anglo-Saxon-ness for granted. Its grievances against progressivism is a family affair. This is why he (rightly) singles out the White post-Protestant Brahmins, rather than the non-White Helots or Dalits. Rivalry is generated through the narcissism of small differences. It is also why his critique of America’s role in WWII do not come with an exoneration of Nazi Germany.
Progressivism is a form of Americanism, and Americanism originates from WASPs*, who take the trend of Western European Whiteness (as described by HBDChick) to its furthest extent. Confronting this reality creates an uncomfortable mental tension, which in other reactionary spheres is often dissipated by Blaming the Jew. (The extent of Jewish participation in the Cathedral has been well covered, so I will not rehash it.) White Nationalism denies its own heritage. As Nick Land notes:
(2) White Nationalism finds itself stymied at every turn by universalism,
pathological altruism, ethno-masochism — all that yucky white stuff. If only you could do White Nationalism without white people, it would sweep the planet. (Try not to understand this, I know you don’t want to.)
(3) All White people need is an identitarian religion. Is that not approximately the same as saying: a counter-factual history?
To formulate this irony on a more general level, linear history means that the present state of being is formed through a vector in time. The vector is more foundational than a point on the vector. Any identity formation that attempts to reverse or stop the vector that brought the subject into being is prima facie special pleading. The burden of proof is on the white tribalist, the primitivist, etc. to show that they are not merely providing an unprincipled exception against the arrow of time. I am basically offering a “reverse slippery slope” argument here.
The response of primitivists
like accountt1234 is to reject the vector altogether, no exception needed (his participation in social media is acknowledged as a personal flaw) (EDIT: don’t wanna put words in his mouth). Neoreaction’s response has generally been to distinguish between technological progress and social “progress”. I am not so confident this can be done. Moldbug provides a weak antisingularity hypothesis
and a strong antisingularity hypothesis, the latter of which deserves more attention:
Let’s call this the “weak Antisingularity hypothesis” – the idea that technical progress and social progress are uncorrelated, and may even run in opposite directions.
The weak Antisingularity hypothesis doesn’t mean the Singularity won’t happen. What it means is that technical progress has overcome the declining trends in Western society. Perhaps in the absence of the Industrial Revolution, the experience of late Antiquity would have been revisited, and Uzbek horsemen would be cantering across the ruins of Paris. But we do have the steam engines, the SUVs and HDTVs, and we will have the Singularity. Exponential technical acceleration has broken the savage cycle of history.
Unfortunately, there’s also a “strong Antisingularity hypothesis.” The strong Antisingularity hypothesis suggests that the coincidence of technical progress and social decay is not, in fact, a coincidence. It’s actually a case of cause and effect.
It’s very easy for technical progress to cause social decay. Evolution designed humans to compete in a variety of brutally selective environments. When robots – or Helots – do all the work, why bother? We can just sit on the couch, play XBox 360, smoke green bud and masturbate frantically. Idiocracy beckons.
If technical progress actually causes social and political decay, Mike Judge is an optimist. What happens when the Singularity really approaches, but it’s not quite here yet? When the curve of technology is almost vertical, but not yet infinite? “Damn, yo.”
What the strong Antisingularity hypothesis suggests is that we haven’t escaped the cyclical pattern at all. We are just in an unprecedentedly steep upcycle. The Uzbeks may yet water their horses in the Seine – if there are any Uzbeks left. Or horses, for that matter.
My current solution, not entirely thought out, is some sort of inhumanism which acknowledges that the scale of singularity outstrips humanity, and does not attempt to smuggle in our present human values to the possibilities of the future. Fleshing this idea out will probably involve reading Land’s pre-Neoreactionary work, and related work. Starting right now with Reza Negarestani’s The Labor of the Inhuman:
Inhumanism is the extended practical elaboration of humanism; it is born out of a diligent commitment to the project of enlightened humanism. As a universal wave that erases the self-portrait of man drawn in sand, inhumanism is a vector of revision. It relentlessly revises what it means to be human by removing its supposed evident characteristics and preserving certain invariances. At the same time, inhumanism registers itself as a demand for construction, to define what it means to be human by treating human as a constructible hypothesis, a space of navigation and intervention.
* I realize I am leaving out Catholics in this formulation of the conflict. While there are many Catholics in and around Neoreaction, their participation seems to me more like convergent evolution than shared origin.