Every single time Social Matter publishes something it gives away two things 1) they don’t know what they are talking about 2) they are basically just anti-Moldbug. It is an intellectual disaster.
There is a major difference between taking specific, relevant insights and concepts from a thinker with a drastically different web of beliefs than yourself and the tradition you operate in, and thinking that you can take thinker X, Y and Z and just throw them together.
Schmitt for example, had many superb insights, especially with regard to the nature of constitutional governance and the theory of the partisan, but these insights can only be taken with caveats and whilst acknowledging that you are replacing some of the underlying mechanisms. On the issue of the state of exception, this can be taken wholesale, as here he just busts a logical fallacy in Republican governance and the fantasy of rule of law, as for the theory of the partisan this again can be taken largely wholesale as it is again logical. Two actors can act in accordance without direct communication rendering the success of one more likely despite their weakness vis a vis a third party. Other theories of his cannot, and his theory of neutralization and depoliticization cannot because it is simply counter to De Jouvenel, and counter to Moldbug. Frankly, Social Matter and Hestia need to get their act together or just drop Moldbug, anything in between is grossly stupid and cause for confusion.
For a start, Schmitt was despite it all, a liberal, or a progressive, or whatever other name you want to supply it. Since the end of monarchy and the institution of democracy and republicanism, everyone has been. The difference between liberalism/ progressivism, communism and nazism/ fascism is not much on a great scale, but neoreactionaries don’t get this at all. Maybe I should make up a name for it so the “muh classical liberalism” gang don’t cry.
Scmitt’s concept has no real determination of the driving force behind what he is describing other than some sense of intellectual desire in society to find common ground. De Jouvenel tells us this is bunk, and I have been posting Cavanaugh’s exploration of The Reformation specifically which supports De Jouvenel. This conception of The Reformation undermines Schmitt’s idea if one were to look at it closely, or not even closely, it seems obvious to me. The conflicts were not over theological concepts, but pure power plays. The ideological and religious trappings followed from this, they did not precede it. What Schmitt is doing is just recounting verbatim liberal history in which incessant conflict resulted in political organisations of the liberal variety. Being a Hobbesian, this is not at all surprising. Cavanaugh on the other hand points out that historians (as opposed to liberal theorists, of which we can classify Schmitt) offer a broader view of the events of the 30 years war which makes the liberal conception seem deranged. This is again specifically in line with Moldbug and De Jouvenel.
Cavanaugh’s book should be read, but to save the reader from me just block quoting half of the book, I will merely point out that Cavanaugh provides a great amount of detail. He supplies vast amounts of primary references regarding Catholics and Protestants not only working in alliance, but also at times fighting under each other. I will however supply one quote from p143 to really nail this:
“As Richard Dunn points out, “Charles V’s soldiers sacked Rome, not Wittenburg””
Moving on, we then have the holiness spirals thing, or rather “how society forms from the ground up neoreaction.” This is just liberal theory.
After this we have leftism. Now, Moldbug was fairly clear on the De Jouvenel derived conception of leftism, and this absolutely cannot be messed with or substituted. Grant is off in his own world where it is hard to figure out just what leftism is. In relation to Moldbug, leftism is simply the high and the low taken together. I will not bother to criticize Grant’s conception of leftism. I will just request Social Matter explain why they entertain every single conception except for Moldbug and De Jouvenel’s. The onus is on them.
I won’t hold my breath though.