The reactionary vs the formalist

People need to stop posting good stuff, or I’m going to miss my flight.

Aretae says that those of us who consider ourselves reactionaries should discard the label and adopt the formalist label instead:

The Amish, the Orthodox Jews, and many Christian Fundamentalists are reactionary. Anyone who denies this is misusing the term…and will only confuse folks they talk with. Formalist is a lovely label that is unused outside the Formalist community, and I recommend heartily that the Reactionary Formalists choose that label rather than reactionary in the interests of clear communication. . . .

The big difference, I think, between we radicals and the reactionaries, is that while we all believe that the current system is broken…the reactionaries think that prior systems give us a guide for what would work, while we radicals think that prior systems give us a guide for what would NOT work.

I see the formalist as someone who believes that society would be better off it stopped lying to itself. Our society would be better off, for example, if it told the truth about what affirmative action really is.

The reactionary – somewhat separately, perhaps – believes that good things have been lost as we have been forced down the road of "progress."

I think these positions may be held independently from one another.


2 Responses to The reactionary vs the formalist

  1. True. And yet there is overlap, because reactionaryism properly understood means rejecting the lies of the radical, as does formalism.

  2. […] Foseti, Mangan, Aretae and probably others are discussing this now, so I think it’s a good idea to share my opinion that’s based on what I’ve learned from my few attempts to come out of the reactionary closet. […]

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