I can’t figure out just how serious the neoreactionaries are getting.
Are they Bob Ross, or are they Ron Paul, or are they (as illustrated) a little bit of both?
I try to keep up with Social Matter, at least with Ryan Landry:
But honestly, I don’t have enough brainpower to keep up with current events, much less to keep up with blogs. I don’t have enough brainpower to make an intelligent comment about every neoreactionary blog update. I do actually think I have enough brainpower to set up some kind of giant RSS feed. Trying to drink from that firehose is a daunting prospect.
Three or four agregators stand out:
1. HL’s blogroll, which is easy to keep up with every day:
2. Social Matter’s summaries, of which a recent one is here:
3. Free Northerner’s “Lightning Round” summaries:
4. The “neo reactionary map”:
But I definitely can’t tell the self-parody from the serious LARPing at this point. The guy running xenosystems (probably Land, I don’t recall) seems to present his whole identity as tongue-in-cheek performance art. His plausible deniability has taken over his art. I don’t think he actually has a sense of humor – I think he pretends to have a sense of humor so that he can make lots of provocative statements and strongly imply that most of them are jokes, thus he will never give a straight answer. I think he’s a lost cause. I’ve known a lot of criminal personalities who tried similar approaches. Most of them were not smart enough to succeed with that particular scam.
By contrast, I think Jim Donald is serious and as honest as he can be without getting arrested. However, I think he is also a lost cause, because he’s too illogical to search through his own claims and find the points where (to all appearances) he contradicts himself. Major example: Is he actually a believer in the divinity of Christ? He appears to be a cynical atheist most of the time, but some of the time, he seems to be convinced that he is an ideal believer in the divinity of Christ.
Most of the time, I write off the big guns of neoreaction as lost causes. Guys like Spandrell seem to be much more rational and much more competent, but they also seem to be too busy with real life to dedicate themselves to neoreactionary “passivism” and blog-activism.
So I get very confused when I find the following:
there is at least one guy who wants the Hestia bunch to be the new Vatican – he wrote:
I pledge internet fealty to Hestia Society whose members I believe are closest to following the will of God. May Trump be king, may Hestia establish an American vatican, may Jim be grand inquisitor …
I think the guy is using exaggerated terms to state a typical opinion. If by pledging “Internet fealty” he just means that he’s going to drive up Hestia’s blog traffic, that’s a rational goal, but it’s trivial. If by “vatican” he just means “opinion-molding club,” then he’s not crazy.
Then I saw the following:
First of all, what is our aim? We want to replace the current power structure of the United States with something much more secure, effective, and responsible that can bring about a golden age of civilization. …
Organize with others of our mind to build unity and group effectiveness. The left can get away with organizational chaos, but the right needs absolute organizational unity and effectiveness to succeed. The correct image is a laser made out of men. Therefore, find your local brothers, bind yourselves together, and subordinate yourselves to the group, figure out who is your leader and follow him, get good at organizing yourselves and executing projects, subordinate your local group to the larger project and pledge fealty to Hestia’s leadership. Real organization is difficult, especially for the democracy-addled modern mind, but we should strive for perfect organization.
The guy who wrote that, Michael Perilloux, is not talking about “Internet fealty,” he’s talking about serious political organization; neoreactionaries appear to be completely incapable of that sort of effort. I don’t think he’s joking: I think he has an unrealistic idea of what neoreactionaries can organize. Maybe he’s flat-out crazy.
The neoreactionaries seem to be debating Moldbug’s obfuscated “passivism” with Perilloux’s activism, and they apprently can reconcile the two in theory, but there is no sign that they can put their theory into practice:
When I think of people using the Internet to make a genuine difference, I think of sites like Wikileaks, which is getting very popular with its recent coverage of USA affairs. It now has an Alexa rank of 3,854.
While the neoreactionaries debate, Hotwheels has gone into retirement and 8ch.net still has an Alexa rank of 10,993. I have trouble believing that they are making any money from their ads, and they don’t produce or subsidize any professional content. Sure, people make original content and post it to 8ch, but they do it for free.
By contrast, Ron Unz has an Alexa rank of 38,560 for unz.com, plus Ron Unz has enough money to pay for serious content from serious thinkers, and also for self-parody from Fred Reed.
More than anything else, the big guns of neoreaction remind me of Heartiste, on a smaller scale. Heartiste made a big splash for few years, and his blog is still active. But he’s an entertaining talker. I see no reason to believe that he will ever be anything but an entertaining talker. He’s got a 56,000 Alexa rank, and Heartiste isn’t even trying, he just posts stream-of-consciousness. By contrast, Theodore Beale works hard on his VoxDay site, rallying his rabid puppy minions to get an Alexa rank of 87,105. Xenosystems seems to put forth very little effort to get an Alexa rank of 487,036. James Donald has fervent believers and followers, but he has an Alexa rank of 506,230. (Maybe I shouldn’t throw stones: this site has a rank of 5,803,640.)
I don’t think the neoreactionaries are going to make “territorialism” work. I think 8ch.net has had working “territorialism” for a while. History will remember Wikileaks as conquering the territory of public opinion. Only time will tell whether history will remember 8ch.net as occupying more territory than the Hestia Society.