Sunday, April 05, 2015

A Sovereign Mind

The true rightist is not a man who wants to go back to this or that institution for the sake of a return; he wants first to find out what is eternally true, eternally valid, and then either to restore or reinstall it, regardless of whether it seems obsolete, whether it is ancient, contemporary, or even without precedent, brand new, ‘ultramodern.’ Old truths can be rediscovered, entirely new ones found. The Man of the Right does not have a time-bound, but a sovereign mind. In case he is a Christian he is, in the words of the Apostle Peter, the steward of a Basileion Hierateuma, a Royal Priesthood.

 Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Neoreaction appears to be a Conservative phenomenon by virtue of association yet to think of it as Conservative is wrong. Neoreaction is neither Conservative or Liberal. It is neither regressive or progressive. It is not traditionalist nor is it modernist. It is not about being either Left or Right, it is about being right: Truth is its imperative.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


Kgaard said...

A great quote but are you sure it applies to neoreaction? Doesn't the term reactionary IMPLY a harkening BACK to some former array of variables? With science constantly changing our best estimate of the state of reality, doesn't the scientific view imply a sort of ever-changing notion of what is good? And how can that be consistent with neoreaction?

Not saying it can't ... but there are a lot of (for instance) Christians in neoreaction, and that's not consistent with a science-first view (though they don't necessarily have to be tremendously at odds, as Christianity stands up pretty well to intellectual scrutiny -- at least an existential interpretation of Christianity).

The Social Pathologist said...


Doesn't the term reactionary IMPLY a harkening BACK to some former array of variables?

Yes, things which have been ditched but which are true should be returned to, and things which are false should be abandoned.

doesn't the scientific view imply a sort of ever-changing notion of what is good?

To a certain degree, yes. If science shows something to be false, is it logical or morally right to uphold it? However, there is a huge world of difference between empirical observation and scientific explanation. Science can sometimes produce wrong explanations for empirical phenomenon. So I don't think NRx is something that elevates Science above all else. If I suspect there is any imperative in NRx it is the primacy of observation. A really hard arsed form of empiricism.

But, and this is a bit but..

Christian NRx (or at least myself) see's faith as a perceptual phenomenon albeit with low acuity. It's a sort of empiricism with a "weak seventh sense". An even though we see through a glass darkly, our faith cannot contradict observed physical phenomenon. Science, or Empiricism can therefore help develop the faith.

As St Thomas said somewhere, if faith contradicts observation, either our observation is wrong or our understanding of the faith is.

Kgaard said...

Okay that makes sense.

Here's how I would square Christianity and neoreaction: Christianity is basically Plato with Jesus added as salesman. It really was put through the intellectual ringer in the years like 300-500. The smartest guys worked it over or tried to tear it apart. It emerged in pretty solid form. So what you could say is that Christianity (again in its existential form -- not making any claims for the divinity of Jesus etc) has already been shown to be pretty good philosophically, albeit perhaps with some weak spots.

The Social Pathologist said...


Yep, good summary and the reason why we have reached the current position because of the "weak spots"

The thing is that no one, as yet, has worked out how to solve the weak spots, and even if they did, tradition would stop the weak spots from being fixed.

The Social Pathologist said...


Sorry, I may have given the wrong impression.

Christianity is basically Plato with Jesus added as salesman.

No, modern Christianity is in many ways a Platonic interpretation of Jesus. Jesus had his stuff together, it's his interpreters that have been the problem.

Greg said...

"tradition would stop the weak spots from being fixed."

What are the weak spots?

Will said...

What do you think of

The Social Pathologist said...


As I see it, the weak spots are as follows:

1)The lack of a theology of the body. This tends to affirm a practical platonic duality between the goodness of the spirit and the badness of the flesh.

2)A better theology of Caritas and how it operates through act. The Church needs to be more than a non-governmental welfare service but rather,should see itself as an actuator of good throughout all levels of civilisational activity.

3)An improved theology of work.

4)A less Priest mediated and more personal relationship with God.

5)A renewed understanding of human nature recognising that man's cognition cannot be divided simply between the rational and irrational, rather that there exists a layer of psuedorationality between them.

They would be the main issues that I can think of at the moment.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ Will,

It's good and I've been there before, though, the site doesn't seem to attract for some strange reason.

Still, it's worthwhile for the instruction on the types of cognitive errors that people tend to produce; my-side bias, anchoring, risk misassessment etc. What I find far more interesting is how cognitive error becomes established in cultures/institutions and ideology.

For example, platonic dualism is always a temptation for weaker minds since things which are abstract such as form or spirit are seen as categorically two different entities instead of being attributes of one category as is understood by Aristotelian hylomorphism. The cognitively weak easily grasp the spirit/flesh duality and its hard for them to accept that they are one.

Anonymous said...

Christianity has always been a religion of Yin, v. Islam that's been a religion of Yang. These days, when Western societies are pretty much gyneocratic, the secular sphere is the most Yin that it's ever beeen. Without the spirit of masculine society checking the fumes of femininity in the spiritual sphere, we are suffering from Yin toxemia that's destroying us daily before our eyes, to universal hosannas as to how we have "progressed."

The writer Takuan Seiyo, alone, has managed to harness this issue in some form; perhaps because he is a reationary conservative Christian Westerner trained in Zen Buddhism:

The Bee and the Lamb

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

(Part 4)





Will said...

One of the things I've noticed is that the site (in particular, the forum) are significantly left-leaning.

In fact, cognitive biases occasionally get a pass there when they are in favour of a Left(-leaning) viewpoint.

In their defense, some are aware of it.

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