Reactionary position on revolution in the Middle East

AMcGuinn and Why I am Not are discussing the reaction. I’d like to add my two cents.

Here’s Why I am Not:

The reactionary position exemplified by Mencius Moldbug is to support Ordnung über alles, and support the incumbent regimes as they represent order.

This is a mis-characterization of Moldbug’s position. The reactionary position – if I may be forgiven for speaking for reactionaries – is twofold: 1) that we should return to old school international law and 2) we should not blindly cheer violent revolution.

1) means that foreign governments would not intervene in each others affairs. As Moldbug says, the US will recognize the de facto government of other countries. The goal is not to support order but to get the US out of the revolution-exporting business, as Moldbug says, if he were in charge:

The United States no longer practices democratic imperialism. We have returned to our historic foreign policy of continental neutrality. We do not believe that political power is a "human right." We are not the "leader of the free world" – free nations need no "leader." We do not export revolution, we do not operate satellite states or amuse ourselves with puppets, and we deeply regret having played this game in the past.

2) means that instead of acting like the typical pundit, we will not cheer the fact that lots of civilians are about to be killed. When there is order, people aren’t being indiscriminately murdered for their religious beliefs. When there is revolution, people die. The reactionary does not cheer revolution despite the fact that "nobody in the west understands what the opposition stands for" and "the opposition is recruiting child soldiers which are simply reported as ‘recruits’ by the Economist."

At the end of his post, Why I am Not says he has no time for "ugly ideas" (alas, the truth is often ugly) like militarism. Nevertheless, everyone but the reactionary seems to support American intervention in the affairs of other nations in order to produce "democracy." If this be not militarism, what is?


6 Responses to Reactionary position on revolution in the Middle East

  1. Handle says:

    Feel free to speak for Reactionaries. It took me a while to embrace the term, but when I did I discovered I’m not immune from experiencing the puerile thrill of “rebelliousness” by co-opting derogatory pejoratives.

    Maybe you should write a fuller response post “Why I am a Reactionary.” I’d guess it’s going to go along the lines of “Because I’m Sane and I love Truth and Western Civilization and I hate Violent Chaos.”

  2. Jeff Singer says:

    If you talk to a neocon (like me!) you will find that we believe in all that crazy democratic imperialism not because we love the wogs (although as a Catholic, I do) but because paradoxically, we love America and believe that our country’s interests are best served by being the leader of the free world (Moldbug is wrong — everyone needs a leader!)

  3. aretae says:

    There’s an awful lot of folks on the anti-war side (the moral left, as opposed to the political left, coupled with a majority of the libertarians, and all the left-libertarians) who are likely even more anti-imperialist than the formalists.

  4. Mark Tully says:


    I suppose it depends on the reactionary, but you are correct to point out that most dislike intervention in internal affairs. My school of thought would take issue with a return to “old school international law” without a clear understanding of which old school. I, and a few (mostly dead) authors aren’t fond of the Westphalian system. But… It beats what we have now.


    Not sure about that. The “moral left” is very much involved in the expansion of NGO’s. Further, as I argue here and here, the libertarian authors are downright frightening in their imperialist ambitions. Mises at one point justifies a war to keep the price of bananas at the market rate. This isn’t militarism, it’s lunacy.

  5. […] March 23, 2011 by I am not… in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment AMcGuinn and Foseti respond to my post about […]

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