In my last post, I made comment that neoreaction and neoreactionaries are mushroom philosophy adherents. That is, they work on a concept of anthropology which has been passed down by protestant dissenters arguing against absolutism. They are pwned hard.
Now, when it comes to enemies, they are less of a problem than “friends” because they are clearly identifiable. In this instance the dangerous “friends” are those carrying this mushroom theory infection. This is demonstrated well in this comment added to the social matter article:
1) Harmony vs. Conflict
Capitalism is above all else dependent on conflict. Yes, individualist societies co-operate well, but this is ultimately born out of a milieu of conflict, where it’s co-operate-or-die. What’s conscipcuously absent from Tucker’s analysis of conflict is how higher and better forms develop out of it. It’s as though conflict is anathema to “progress” (whatever that is). This is strange, because of course the conflict that capitalism bases itself on is precisely what underlies its unmatched creative energy. But this all smacks of social darwinism, something icky and old. And old things (i.e. “what the ancients universally believed”) are bad. The last thing Tucker wants is to be called a (gasp!) eugenicist. He’s fine with dysgenia, AKA “progress,” AKA the procession of humanity through the ages in absence of conflict.
2) Designed vs. Spontaneous Order
He does, however, have a point here. Broken clock, and all that. The far right seems to recognize a neat dichotomy between order and chaos, but of course in our chaotic world, things aren’t so neat and tidy. Order can and often does arise out of chaos, and better and higher orders at that. Indeed, overdevelopment can itself be a prelude to decay, as the simple and eternal truth of “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” attests. Spontaneous order is, after all, the whole mechanism by which conflict produces higher forms in the first place; it’s the act of natural selection generalized. Chaos out of order out of chaos out of… time is cyclical: this is the view of every traditional society in history, and we as reactionaries are nothing if not wedded to tradition. The far right needs to come to grips with this, and fails to do so at its very existential peril. But the notion of spontaneous order is not a new idea; the Daoist concept of ziran prefigures that of the libertarian, and does so in a far more profound way. This is the link between libertarianism (essentially, capitalism) and the far right (essentially, traditionalism). Or at least, it ought to be. [sic]
I do not mean to single out this commentator specifically for error, but this is a very articulate example of the errors which are ingrained in neoreaction, and which it is necessary to distance ourselves from.
Starting with “Capitalism is above all else dependent on conflict.” this is correct, but this is what is so wrong about capitalism, even Peter Thiel has noted this, and it is worth noting that he has done so from a Girardian anthropology:
“Americans mythologize competition and credit it with saving us from socialist bread lines. Actually, capitalism and competition are opposites. Capitalism is premised on the accumulation of capital, but under perfect competition, all profits get competed away.”
Conflict and competition as unalloyed goods, or the engine of creativity, is devoid of sense. To fully extrapolate why is the project which is occurring on this blog, with the rejection of the overall concept of competition in society in the form of institutions. In some instances, maybe competition is worthwhile, in others it is not, in governance structures it is clearly universally the case that it is not, as demonstrated by De Jouvenel. But to get at the root cause of why this whole conception of society as one big conflict is so wrong requires the elaboration of the underlying errors of anthropology it carries, and the impact on the ethical structure of society it occasions. It must be noted that capitalism is built atop an ethical and moral structure and is not impartial reality – despite what its adherents claim. This is pure error.
Society is also not “co-operate or die” because we didn’t come from a biblical state of nature, and did not enter in society as part of a rational choice. There is no evidence for this. None at all. It is 16th century mysticism. As for claiming social Darwinism as old, that is flat out wrong.
As for the issue of spontaneous order, my issue with that is covered in my complaints about Tucker, and it demonstrates again that neoreaction is a lot closer to Tucker than admitted. Get Tucker talking about Gnon and advocating immigration selection (a complete unprincipled exception) and he would fit right in, or maybe neoreaction will just slide back into Tucker’s arms as the unprincipled exceptions get blasted away.