Porn and video games are replacing Christianity as the common language of American conservatives
These are good: Vladimir Putin. White identity politics. Star Wars. Austrian free market economics. Donald Trump. LOLs. Bitcoin. Darwinism. Silicon Valley. Science and technology. Transhumanism. Pepe the Frog.
These are bad: Islam. Feminism. Democracy. Black Lives Matter. The new Ghostbusters movie. Egalitarianism. Political correctness. God. Immigration. Hillary Clinton. Newspapers. Government. Academia. Liberalism.
Welcome to the complicated world of the so-called alternative (or alt) right. Think Mein Kampf meets The Big Bang Theory. For years these socially dysfunctional millennials have sheltered behind their bedroom laptops, watching porn, sending abusive tweets (anonymously) and eating pizza in their underpants. Mainstream politics – both left and right – has previously ignored this developing phenomenon. But with Donald Trump they have found a champion who understands their anger. And they have become his digital vanguard. Tonight in Nevada, Hilary Clinton will give a major speech linking Trump to the alt right. And with this speech the alt right will further enter the political mainstream.
One account of their rise to political significance cites the 2014 Gamergate controversy. This vicious internet culture war took place between those who were pressing for a more inclusive video gaming culture (more women, less violence) and those who reacted against what they saw as a humourless leftwing threat to their enjoyment of guns and boobs. These burgeoning alt right gamers have little in common with traditional Republican conservatives and their evangelical Christian values. They don’t go to church. Indeed, many are aggressively atheistic.
Rather, they come together on blogs and online community forums like 4chan where they fulminate against social justice warriors – SJWs – who want to spoil their fun. They hate the liberal apparatus of the state, including the mainstream press and Ivy League academia that they collectively dub as The Cathedral. And they hate normies – normal people – and their repressive political philosophy, democracy. Instead of democracy, they propose that the US should be run like a large company with a CEO at its head, preferably one from Silicon Valley. Someone like PayPal founder Peter Thiel, whose views include : “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” But Trump will do for now. Oh, and only intelligent people should be in charge, and that means white people.
“Ever since Mill wrote his response to Carlyle on The Negro Question, writers of the English Protestant tradition have been defending the blatantly theological position that ‘all men are created equal’,” wrote the computer programmer and alt-right hero Curtis Yarvin under his pen name Mencius Moldbug. He continued: “Note that exactly the same rhetorical strategy can prove the existence of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter.”
Traditional Republicans are now regularly dismissed by the revolting term cuckservatives – an insult first used by white supremacists of Christian conservatives who, they said, have allowed themselves to be cuckolded by racial minorities. They darkly summon the idea of interracial sex – a theme that was also an obsessive preoccupation of the KKK. And its meaning broadens out to refer to those who witness their country being taken away and don’t have the balls to do anything to stop it. That’s why they want a US version of Putin. Because they don’t think he would allow that to happen.
Of course, racism has a long and inglorious history in US politics. But it now has a very new iteration in the nerdy tech-savvy generation of the alt right. Racism 2.0. They don’t speak of eugenics but rather of maintaining “human biodiversity”. And they have a thing about IQ tests showing that white people are cleverer than others.
I know, we’ve heard all this crap many times before. But there is something new here. For in cross-pollinating with the anonymity and viciousness of the internet, with porn and video games replacing Christianity as the common language in which conservatives talk to each other, with openly anti-democratic impulses being justified as rationality, the virus of racism is capable of spreading as never before. The age of the Christian right is over. And something worse is set to take its place.
1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness. 2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt. 3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist. 4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. 5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit. 6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements. 7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man. 8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed. 9. We want to glorify war — the only hygiene of the world — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman. 10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice. 11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds. "These guys are legends, at least in their own minds. They are at the crossroads between the many roads of being enlightened by one's own intelligence. Was this just a single very ambitious soul spending a week spreading the good news of the tech singularity and how it'll make everyone fear him, or did "Mencius Moldbug", Nick Land, F. T. Marinetti and the rest of the shadow basement council all decide to get Steam accounts at the same time?
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Neo-reaction is a 21st century variant of fascism: a new ideology that values stability, order, efficiency and "good governance" above all, or claims to.For reasons that will be covered later, it will become clear that trying to lump Neo-reaction in with Fascism doesn't work.
Comprehensive list of the backbone of neo-reactionary values part 1, transhumanismI wouldn't say it's a backbone, but sure, that's ok.
part 2, form of governmentMostly correct. Eric Schmidt, Elon Musk or Peter Thiel are often given as an example of what a ruler should look like. Given the lack of any political organization beyond blogging, any proposal to actually make one of these a leader isn't serious. I cannot find any indication on the claim that Neo-reactionaries hope to become the aristocrats themselves.
part 3, the CathedralI would have listed this first. Doesn't go into enough detail to criticise anything here.
part 4, NationalismMisunderstands that Nationalism has to do with Nationality and not Continent of Birth. Misunderstands the conception of why Neoreaction considers (Insert group here) better. See Moldbug's comment on "IQism" here to see the lineage of Neoreaction's apparent preference for certain ethnicities. Like typical racists, Neoreactionaries believe that certain races are more intelligent than others. Unlike typical racists, Neoreactionaries do not believe that intelligence should determine how successful people are. Indeed, Moldbug even argues that our societies have simply replaced overt racism with a subtler racism via discrimination towards the less intelligent (which just so happens to correlate strongly with race according to moldbug). It is from this that Neoreaction's bizarre appearance of East Asian "nationalism" appears. Some Neoreactionaries, despite being of European descent, believe that East Asians are more intelligent.
Part 5, economicsThe authors lumping together of the disparate, unrelated Austrian and Chicago economics proves that they understand neither. Austrian and Chicago economics occasionally advocate the same policy (free trade). They disagree on far more. Most importantly, Austrian economists oppose Fiat Money while Chicago economists place extensive focus on governments issuing fiat currency and see it as perhaps the most valuable tool the government has available to it for management of the economy. They are not linked by methodology. Nor are they linked by History: Chicago Economics is a descendant of Keynesian economics.
Part 6, extreme misogynyVaries by specific author. To give one example, I see nothing from Moldbug that endorses rape. What little he says on the subject is actually via quotation criticizing liberalism as endorsing rape during wartime. Given this variation, I find it hard to place misogyny to the extent the author describes here as a backbone of Neoreaction. It may well be very strongly present, but "backbone" implies that Neoreaction would cease to be Neoreaction if you removed it.
Part 7, Warhammer 40,000A bunch of video-game related in-jokes do not a backbone of an ideology make.
Part 8, an obsession with CuckoldryTrump Supporters are not Neoreactionaries, but I'll get to that later.
the "academic pole, exemplified in LessWrongLessWrong is not an academic pole of Neoreaction so much as one of the rare places that will occasionally vaguely tolerate their presence, and hence were the first to critique their ideas. Surveys conducted internally by the community in 2014 put the presence of Neoreactionaries at a mere 1.9%.
and the blogs of the main theorists of the movementCorrect, though I wouldn't call it a movement due to the total lack of political campaigning or advocacy.
And the alt-right poleTime to win me some downvotes.
neo-reactionary ideas are quite common in Silicon ValleyWithout data here it's hard to say what the author means by quite common.
Transhumanism I define to be a collection of movements aimed at improving and enhancing humanity through technological means. Almost immediately, we see a precursor, and one which influenced the previous reactionary ideology of 20th century fascism: eugenics.This is the most damnable lie in the entire piece.
But let us not tar all transhumanism with eugenics, though it must carry it's historical burdenIt's not Transhumanists that need to carry it's burden. They weren't responsible for it's crimes. Those would be actual fascists and Fabians.
though the more homophobic and transphobic element are looking for biological bases for gay-ness and trans-ness to include them here.I'm sure those scientists researching the mechanisms behind Transgenderism and Homosexuality will be pleased to hear these crass, derogatory comments from the author.
GamergateThe proportion of Neoreactionaries in Gamergate is minuscule as to be non-existent. Indeed, there's not even enough Neoreactionaries to make up a significant part of Gamergate even if they were all involved in Gamergate.
Raymond piggybacked off of Stallman's concept of free software to create a version more appealing for corporations: open source.Unsupported motive assumption.
for here can be seen the origin of the neo-reactionary term "Cathedral" - it is in the title of Raymond's essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", though the meaning was somewhat different, referring in Raymond's essay to a centralized model of software development."Somewhat Different" is the understatement of a lifetime. Those meanings aren't related at all. It looks like the Author here just searched for someone using the term "Cathedral" in the 90s and chucked in the first mention of it as the source of the term.
The Bell CurveControversial? Yes. Flawed? Of course. But to blanket it as a "psuedo-scientific work" is to overstate the criticism here. It's heavily disputed, and to simply paint over that dispute with a "It's wrong" is inaccurate, especially without citation
Evolutionary PsychologyAgain, the author slanders a field of research they seem to not know anything about. The author should at least cite something here instead of taking "It's wrong" as a given.
The Economist is Libertarian
I can speak to this firsthand, as I know many people who do thisCare to cite any? No. Ok.
Dark age of comic books is a source of neo-reactionThis is so stupid as to be barely worth my effort.
The God Emperor of MankindIs a meme from a kitschy British Tabletop Wargame community. The Imperium of Man is very consistently shown as an inept, poorly managed chaotic mess of a government that can't even figure out what planets it still owns, hardly a model Neoreactionary system.
Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and Half-LifeAnyone still taking this work seriously at this point should reconsider their presence on this subreddit. This is "Heavy Metal is actually Satanic" Tier moral panic.
South Park Republican is a precursor to Alt Right.Guess we are going to have to go further back historically than google trends. This should do. Came to prominence by 1992. South Park began in 1997.
Orion's Arm is NRx-er's Future VisionsHere the author completely mixes up Rationalists (Eliezer Yudkowsky onwards) and Neoreaction (which makes up a mere 2% of people present in the Rationalist community).
Irrelevant comparison of Pinochet and Patriot Act based on them sharing a date on a calenderIs totally irrelevant.
Bad Philosophy on Positivism, Karl Popper etcYou'd be better visiting /badphilosophy on this one
New Atheists were invented to justify IslamophobiaAnyone with even a cursory understanding of the background of New Atheism would know that their primary target has long been Evangelical Protestantism.
The science wars of the late 90s and Alan Sokal.Someone's bitter at catastrophically losing the science wars.
Bitcoin and Austrian EconomicsTrue hardcore Austrian Economists would be unfavourable towards bitcoin as it's still a fiat currency. However, I understand (as, hopefully, so does the author) why certain people who gravitate at the fringes of Austrian Economics but don't study it in-depth might like Bitcoin.
Author drops what they're doing to insult Libertarians as not respectableIf this is indeed the quality of work by those who backed the anti-Sokal side of the Science Wars, then no wonder they lost catastrophically.
Author drops what they're doing to insult Ludwig von Misessigh... get on with the fucking point.
Chicago School is tied too closely with the crisis.The dominant Economic school in 2007, and today, is "New Keynesian". Again, demonstrating that the Author here doesn't actually know what they are talking about regarding economics and is just using "Austrian" and "Chicago" as snarl words for "Bad thing".
Author drops what they're doing to shoehorn in the Koch Brothers somewhereGet on with the fucking point.
Sudden jump to Curtis Yarvin mid-paragraph on LessWrongNeedless to say, this betrays how weak the link between these subjects is.
though he [Mencius Moldbug] did not call himself, initially, "neo-reactionary": he preferred to call himself a "Formalist" or a "Neocameralist" (after his hero, Frederick the Great).Correct, but this isn't exactly worthy of congratulations.
Later in the speech, Srinivasan went through the whole gamut of neo-reactionary ideas: Bitcoin, corporate city-states, 3d-printed firearms, anti-democratic transhumanism.All of these ideas predate Neo-Reaction. Nor are these ideas limited to Neo-reaction. I These fucking mysterious magical time travelling fascists.
Neo-reaction grew immensely outside of it's Bay Area base in the wake of the financial crisisWe have no data on the number of supporters of Neo-reaction. However, we do have some data on how much people were searching for it online. The conclusion is...
Right-wing media blamed teachers and immigrants [for the financial crisis]No. It did not blame teachers for the financial crisis.
Liberal Claptrap NonsenseAgain betraying the distinctly unprofessional, unacademic nature of this work.
Lets wave around our hate boner for the IMFGreat, but can you get on with the fucking point again?
Origins of 4chanThe author probably should have mentioned that 4chan was effectively a split from SomethingAwful, something which I feel is essential for any description of 4chan's early history.
surrounding racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia was the centrepiece of the culture.Go tell that they're homophobic. They will have a laugh.
and so the userbase quickly became limited to young white cis straight menGo tell that they're cis straight men. They will have a laugh.
Stormfront took over 4chan.This is indeed vaguely correct, but it underestimates just how underhanded this takeover was. It was not a natural migration. Stormfront had long made deliberate effort to infiltrate various communities (including 4chan) with it's ideas. The most obvious calling card for a Stormfront attempt to infiltrate something is the phrase "Anti-Racist is code for Anti-White".
Harassment tactics originated on USENETActually, these Harassment tactics originated on SomethingAwful, which is how 4chan ended up inheriting them.
women, people of colour, and LGBT people always had played games.Indeed, this shouldn't even need to be stated. A good example of a prominent early LGBT developer would be Danielle Bunten Berry.
Gamergaters are annoyed at games not about war or technologyNo. This is not the kind of game that Gamergaters got annoyed about. If they did get annoyed about any specific kind of game, it was Advocacy Games and the genre known as "Interactive Narrative Experiences" or something to that effect, or more colloquially called "Walking simulators".
Called for serious critique and then called against serious critiqueCritique of Critique is legitimate Critique.
Precedents of GamergateThey missed out Doritosgate.
Fish disappeared from the internet.The disappearance of Phil Fish is a bit more complicated than "Gamergate did it" and it mostly happened in 2013 after telling someone to kill themselves. Them mysterious magical time travelling fascist gamergaters!
LGBT people in gamergate don't exist and are all sockpuppets.You're currently reading a text written by a bisexual individual who is vaguely, slightly pro-gamergate. This author is alleging that I don't exist. Talk about bisexual erasure.
Soon, the neo-reactionaries noticed, and affiliated themselves with GamerGate:...Here we get a list of individuals that the Author believes are Neoreactionaries.
They began to pressure advertisers and Wikipedia, among others, and attempted to hijack the Hugo Awards through the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaignSad puppies doesn't come from Gamergate. This can be demonstrated simply by looking at the date of formation of the Sad Puppies voting campaign. It was formed in January 2013, while Gamergate begun in 2014. Those evil mysterious magical time travelling fascist goobergaters!
When his [moldbug's] past was brought up by concerned people of colourWhich incidentally gave Neoreaction the largest dose of adrenaline it has ever received and, unfortunately, staved off it's passage into obscurity and total irrelevance (instead of just being almost totally irrelevant).
"sometimes I think Mencius Moldbug is the greatest living political thinker".Strangely, not too far out there. His ideas may be absolutely abominable, but who else in the 21st century can claim to have almost single-handedly founded a new political ideology: Not many. "Great" should be taken as "Influential", not "Good".
The alt right converted Tay into a Nazi.Given the Black-box nature of Tay's programming and learning systems, it's not actually possible to verify any of this.
Schizoanalyst (or a Psychoanalyst)Given the author's prior criticism of Psuedoscience, it seems comical to bring up Psychoanalysis here.
In order to contain the alt-right, we must stop this.The first step to stopping the alt-right is good criticism of the alt-right. Same with Neo-reaction. Unfortunately, this isn't it.
Fascism can't be defeated by debateFascism was significantly removed from post-War Germany not because all the Nazis were dead, but because of the process of Denazification, which indeed used debate techniques such as emphisizing the moral responsibility that low-level Nazi supporters (such as your average voter) had for the crime. Stuff like this (warning corpses). Fascism wasn't defeated by rounding up everyone who ever supported Hitler and gunning them down (or beating the shit out of them). Indeed, to stoop to the level of political para-militarism to defeat fascism is to accept fascism itself, for political intimidation and "cleansing" of the opposition through para-militarism is essentially Fascism's defining feature.
Lets doxx all the Neoreactionaries.There's that "Fight paramilitarism with paramilitarism" tactic I just mentioned. Oh dear. How predictable.
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