His initial post dealt almost exclusively with the reaction’s critique of modern society. His first counter-argument quickly changes the subject (a wise move) and focuses on his view of what reactionary society would look like in the 21st Century: “In other words, this argument [i.e. the one in favor of reaction] only works because the Reactionaries are comparing our gritty reality to their beautiful thought experiment.”
This approach – given his first post – is super lame, but not necessarily fatal. Alas, he ends up by saying reactionaries will fail for the same reasons communists failed, which is nonsense.
(As an aside, my least favorite anti-reaction fallacy is the idea that history begins in 1970. Did Lord Cromer exist only in my mind? Wikipedia says otherwise).
Communists believe that one precise form of government was the best, and only, type of government for all societies, in all areas of the world, at all times, and across all other dimensions (population size, education, etc.). Reactionaries believe almost precisely the opposite.
Do you know what a reactionary Switzerland looks like? It looks like Switzerland. You can actually visit it right now. It’ll be a nice trip – the reaction has nice airports. Do you know what a reactionary Sweden looks like, it looks like Sweden with less immigration (more (central) Stockholm than Malmo). As they say, if it ain’t broke . . .
Let’s take his closing statement and examine it through the lens of my favorite example of reactionary government:
Reaction will never end up with that kind of power, but if it does, I see them in the same position as the Communists. Reaction is contra-zeitgeist. Societies, left to their own devices, become more Progressive; a Reactionary state is going to have to constantly expend energy pumping against entropy to prevent that from happening. That energy is going to take the form of internal oppression and incur automatic enmity with the rest of the world. As long as that happens, they won’t be a secure dictatorship. They’ll be a communist dictatorship promising security just as soon as those evil evil progressives are taken care of, one day in the Golden Future.
What sort of pressure did Rhodesia need to “expend energy pumping against”? All they really needed was an absence of pressure from Britain and the US (pressure largely exerted through South Africa). Indeed, if a true sampling of Rhodesian public opinion was possible, it’s likely that pressure would have favored the reactionary government (as it should have in hindsight). Thus, we see that Mr Alexander’s suggestion that “internal oppression” would be required is precisely incorrect. The key part of the sentence is the remainder, the incurring enmity from the rest of the world, part. Indeed, the British and the rest were happy to starve poor Rhodesians to set them “free.”
Is the reaction impossible, perhaps. But hopefully, this example makes clear that it’s impossible not because of the bloodlust of the reactionaries, but because of the bloodlust of our opponents.