Pushing past Liberalism

At the very start, neoreaction claimed to be influenced by Moldbug. Then in rapidly increasing acceleration it dropped absolutely everything that Moldbug raised, and took up positions diametrically opposed to such things as Carlyle, De Jouvenel, Filmer etc while claiming influence. I am a little bemused that this has happened as a result of my complaints about this process, and would heavily reject taking on any label at all. It seems once a label is created it becomes an entity that becomes open to corruption and usage as a manipulative tool. Just look at the myriad concepts that have worn conservatism as a suit like a cannibal serial killer.

There has been a little bit of pushback on my claims, but it doesn’t take too long to find new examples confirming my position. The latest is this post, and this post taking aim at activism.

Now, activism is pretty squalid, and very infuriating. These people are the public front of the Cathedral fucking up what is left of functioning society, but the problem that is being missed here is that a great deal of these activists would in the correct circumstances be noble. What is also being missed due to the unconscious, and sometimes conscious importation of liberal anthropology is that altruism exists. The slide into perceiving the motivations of the elite as having a purely selfish motive means you miss the fact that the capitalist ubermensch and the political and social elite act in ways which cannot be explained by self interest in the liberal utilitarian sense. How do you comprehend Lionel Curtis, Colonal House and Milner with this self interest conception? 99.99999% of people do not even know they existed, and they did not take up office, or took up office with little fanfare. Was this just power lust? it doesn’t seem the case to me. Moldbug makes a very  relevant argument when lamenting the suicide of Aaron Swartz:

Y’all can blame who you like for Aaron’s suicide.  I blame Noam Chomsky, whose supercharged blue pills have devastated kilotons of innocent young brains as a regrettable side effect of winning Professor Chomsky enormous fame and wealth.  The typical teenage victim knows, with every bone in his naturally rebellious body, that he’s grown up in Plato’s cave.  Our Professor, renowned the world over but especially in Venezuela, agrees!  And helpfully guides his innocent charge to an oddly well-lit shaft in the back of the cave which leads down to… an even deeper cave.  Coach Sandusky had nothin’ on him.

How does this work?  Aaron, born one of humanity’s natural nobles, grows up in a century cleansed by military force of its own cultural heritage, in which all surviving noble ideals are leftist ideals.  No one ever had a chance to tell him that his only honorable option was to live in the past.  And in any case, that option was probably too antisocial even for Aaron Swartz.  He must be noble, he cannot retreat to mere selfish bourgeois money-grubbing and family-rearing.  So he must be an activist.

So he takes the blue pill.  He starts with a blue joint or two and gradually works his way up to the blue heroin.  He believes in his century’s narrative as it is – except more so.  Why not more so?  For even without marinating his brain in Chomsky, what bright young person can miss all the trouble our polity has in living up to its own comm – I mean, “progressive” – ideals?

Was Swartz working on dopamine hits and power lust in a drive for self interest? Was the legalize Ohio campaigner really working from self interest and power lust? There is a serious problem here. I think like Swartz, this legalize Ohio activist is a guy who has been handed a steaming pile of shit as a noble goal by society and he has tried to take up the role he feels compelled to do. In another life not under the Cathedral and Liberal bullshit he might have actually done something noble. Weed legalization? is that really a noble thing? or how about Bailey Lamon. Here is another brain marinated in Chomsky. We only have so long on Earth, and we rely on our “betters” to pass down to us wisdom, nobility and the correct path to take, if this is substituted for a river of sewage, that how much time do we have to realize this and avoid it? how many possibilities do we have to realize this? All she knows, and all she has clearly been taught is the standard bullshit about the right side of history.

This slipping in of mechanistic models in place of mere logical deduction of the consequence of incentives in society is a process I reject. The Cartesian concept of individual reasoning machines and the attendant Enlightenment bullshit is a hallucinogen which once it spikes your political theory and anthropology leaves you seeing something, but it sure as shit isn’t reality. There is a reason why the anglo- liberal tradition following on from Descartes concentrated so hard on philosophical expositions on the source of emotions, and why the claim that reasoning cannot be anything but a slave of passions was so welcome by this tradition. The race was always on to turn everything into a deterministic conception, subject to being a mere manifestation of an underlying biochemical base, something noted by MacIntyre as mentioned in my previous post. This systemic denial of the role of rational thought as being able to alter emotions is also noted obliquely in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy‘s entry on the 17th and 18th century burst of interest in the passions:

This naturalistic approach was particularly marked in eighteenth-century associationist psychology, often hand in hand with ‘Newtonian’ ambitions to produce a “science of man” ”

This entire school of thought and tradition needs removing, but instead is being affirmed as ultimately correct by neoreaction, making it basically liberal. Moldbug himself appears to have fallen into this trap in earlier posts on Unqualifed Reservations, but had gotten out of the quagmire somehow. It is possible to cross the border line between emotions and action being rooted in biology, and at the same time being correctable and alterable by practical reason, Aristotle made the damn point thousands of years ago, and it seems to have seeped back through in Mises’s concept of Praxeology in a very incomplete manner. The link between this:

Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals. This concept of action contrasts to purely reflexive, or knee-jerk, behavior, which is not directed toward goals.

and Aristotle’s conception of Phronesis seem clear to me. Which interestingly it seems Bryce clicked onto some time back here, as well as this author here.

Rothbards comments on Mises praxeology are very interesting on this topic. (PDF download)