Neoreaction can only affect society if it gets elites to support its ideas, intellectually, financially and eventually physically. Right now, Western elites, the Princeton-Harvard-Yale-DC-Oxford-Davos-Brussels axis, are about 99.44% pure Cathedral Prog, (with a Ted Cruz thrown in for color). The tip of the NRx spear realizes that its real mission, at this point, is to recruit elites as supporters (or at least, sympathizers. Opus calls them “collaborators”). The Neoreaction doesn’t seek political power within the current liberal democratic nation-state systems of the West, nor is it a mass movement, nor is it interested in “members” who aren’t very intelligent.
Like Opus Dei, NRx has a certain exclusivity that keeps it lean and focused, and at the same time seems to make even intelligent opposition lose objectivity.
If neoreaction really could influence elites, it would be vastly more effective.
Neoreaction is an entryist movement; I believe its major purpose is to oppose and neutralize the New Right. (Many people have written about this entryism, but perhaps the most readable is at this link:
the Dark Enlightenment is an ideological analysis of modern democracy that harshly rejects the vision of the 18th century European Enlightenment—a period punctuated by the development of empirical science, the rise of humanist values and the first outburst of revolutionary democratic reform.
Apparently, I was hip to this whole “Dark Enlightenment” thing back in the ’90s, before we had a cool label and our own totally awesome trading cards. I read Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and (yes, I’ll admit it) Ayn Rand in high school, eventually rejecting humanism and Classical Liberalism at the root. This was before Arktos, Counter-Currents, and the mature community of bloggers, so my education was primarily in sketchy and poorly translated PDF files scrounged from the seedier corners of the web.
I’m still one of these people, actually; I’m just further along. My early fascination with Steve Sailer’s blog posts on human bio-diversity has evolved into a concrete and explicit advocacy for my specific sort of biodiversity. After all, the only tangible difference between “race realism” and racial nationalism is a steward’s willingness to act on the information presented. That, and a willingness to commit our society’s penultimate heresy.
Commission of our society’s ultimate heresy, antisemitism, came a bit later, with my reading of Prof. Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique. It offered an exposition of the pivotal Jewish role in promoting Modernity and subverting my people, which didn’t indulge in the wild-eyed conspiracy theories and vulgar vilifications which had repelled me from the subject for years.
I suspect a good share of proponents of this “Dark Enlightenment” are in that same place I was in, hesitant for a variety of reasons to violate those two taboos which make one completely New Right. These neo-Reactionaries aren’t completely New Right, because standing for tribe and tradition is more than an ideological posture. To be completely New Right, you have to take that additional perilous step, that of applying the abstractions to our contemporary reality. You’re not all the way there until you’re willing and able to define yourself and your opponents in terms of actual people and groups of people.
Limitations aside, the Dark Enlightenment is a very promising development. Even if they don’t go all the way, the work they do of deconstructing Modernity and its excuses is extremely valuable work.
Whether you love or hate the New Right, you don’t have to be right-wing to criticize the glittering generalities of the Enlightenment, including democracy, humanism, and classical liberalism.
(I suspect I might have a considerable amount of classical liberalism in my philosophy, if I could pull my brain out of ADHD mode and actually articulate a philosophy.)
I have been impressed by Michael Hudson‘s comment that democracy is supported by banksters, because democratic governments are very vulnerable to bribery by banks. I don’t think Hudson is the New Right – he’s just a scholar who criticizes democracy and banks – mostly banks.
I draw two conclusions:
1 – Mencius Moldbug is a rip-off artist trying to dress up derivative cliches as original thoughts;
2 – There are a lot of people who have been harshly criticizing the glittering generalities of the Enlightenment for decades, and not all of them are on the right.