as Alasdair MacIntyre has observed, all parties in American politics are devoted to Progression. It’s simply a matter of whether you are a “conservative” progressive, a progressive progressive, or a radical progressive.
Or, it appears, a reactionary progressive.
There a lot of talk of winning and what to do next around these parts lately (I believe it started here). Some of this talk makes clear that there’s a contingency within the self-identified reactionary community that is definitely reactionary progressive.
Maybe I read too many primary sources from the ’40s and ’50s, but as I read these threads it gets difficult – at times – to distinguish the “reactionary” from the communist. A fair number of us seem to believe that we need to win, and to do so all we need to do is get the proles to rise up and overthrow the bourgeoisie.
When Moldbug wrote about the reboot, step one was getting the elites on our side. Anything else is destructive of order, and better left to some branch of progressivism. A surprising number of “reactionaries” seem to have missed this basic point. (The elites shouldn’t actually be all that hard to convert, since they generally act like reactionaries in their personal lives).
(Incidentally, if you’re really trying to figure out how to reorient USG, you should probably pay more attention to the Communists. After all, they were last ones who did it successfully. They had certain advantages that we don’t have, but still, they did it).
I consider myself the (perhaps wannabe) intellectual heir of a line of thought that has been around forever, that generally loses, and that’s always proved right (alas, no one pays attention). In other words, if you’re here for the short-term winning, you’re in the wrong place.
At a minimum, it would be nice to be clear that the goal is the restoration of functional government and the preservation of order, not the toppling of what’s left of it. If you’re here for the revolution, you’re not a reactionary.
It’s awesome when you’re struggling with a thought and then somebody puts it better than you could:
Modern politics became psychotic when agitated scribblers convinced themselves that they had the tools, the right, and even the duty to re-order the world in accordance with their pamphlets. This is a Left tradition that few have yet derided enough.
Count me among those unfinished with the deriding.
Here as well:
What exactly is the difference between a Moldbug and a Carlyle, a Land and an Evola, a Sailer and a Mencken, and Auster and a Davila? Innumerable differences to be sure, both of belief, style and quality.
And yet. Are they not fulfilling similar roles? Are they not serving as our teachers? Were the canonical authors not Sages themselves in their own time? Should the Sages of the Neoreaction all perish, their thought would live on in their writing, and continue to inspire, just as the Sages of times past continue to do so.
That may have to be good enough. It’s not small feat.
Anomaly UK adds some optimism:
Take one example: at some point in our lifetime, it will become obvious to everyone that the great Global Warming scare was false. When that happens, the debates that happened, the books that were written, will still be around in memories and on bookshelves. This is a new thing — by the time that the failures of, say, female suffrage or decolonisation had become obvious, the accurate predictions made in advance had become obscure and mostly forgotten. After twenty years, the argument over AGW is still current, and in twenty years time, the scientific establishment will be completely discredited by it.
Alas, I’m not so sure. It’s still fashionable to oppose colonialism. AGW can always be right around the corner . . . just wait 20 more years.
All this is not to say that I think we have no chance of success. There does indeed seem to be something in the air around these parts. I certainly think we’re on to something.
The hardest problem we’ll have to overcome is our tendency to be progressive – after all, we were all raised that way, we know nothing else. These recent discussions nicely illustrate just how difficult this will be.