Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cleaning Out the Closet. II

 
Politically, the most interesting thing that has happened to the Right has been the growth of its dissident faction, the Dissident Right(DR), a faction disgusted with what passes as the mainstream or institutional Right.  This dissident faction can be thought of as the overriding name for all the separate Right groups that are opposed to the current conservative status quo.  It's  not a unified force rather it's a collection of disparate groups that can be broadly categorised on how they approach the problems of politics and philosophy. As mentioned in my previous post the Dissident Right can be broadly divided into the "feeling Right" which is typified by the Alt-Right and the "thinking" Right which, I feel, is typified by Neoreaction.

Neoreaction, by its very nature, is an intellectual exercise  and therefore is always going to be a minority position. As Stanovich and cognitive science have previously demonstrated, the majority of men are "feels"  rather than "thought" driven. The Alt-Right, as mentioned in the previous post, is primarily a "feels" driven phenomenon and as the dissident right grows in numbers it is to be expected that the feels component will assume a greater significance. This is a problem.

Unfortunately, "feels driven solutions" are typical mob solutions, which tend to be violent,self-destructive and self-corrosive. Fascism (in all its variants) was a "feels" driven response to the problems of the early 20th Century and we all know how that ended up. The problem with the entryist invasion of the dissident right is that they are going to exert an influence on it simply by virtue of their mass, the task at hand is how to stop the mob from going stupid. This I feel is the role for NRx.

What distinguishes NRx from the Alt-Right is concern for the facts. The Alt-Right has no need for facts, it wants to embrace the myths, to be on the side of the God's  and, in that way, resembles some of the worst aspects of the Left (who were on the side of the Angels in Vietnam, for instance.) For Neoreaction, empirical observations matter and NRx forms its opinions and insights from the due consideration of the them.The critique of universal democracy, for instance, is not grounded in a "preference" or bias for for other systems of government, or the myth of aristocracy, rather it comes from a considered understanding, based upon the empirical observations of the "average voter". If Neoreaction had a motto, it would be Solzhenitsyn's, "Live not by lies".

What unites all of NRx, in my opinion, is a concern for the Truth. We may quibble on points of the truth but real problem is in what  divides NRx, and that is the scope of the truth.  I don't think many in NRx fully appreciate that contemporary NRx has a very deep metaphysical problem, which is best explained by the fact that NRx can itself be divided into two groups: Positivist (+) NRx and Non-Positivist (-)NRx. 

Positivist NRx is most typified by the Moldbuggian strain of NRx.  This issue at stake here is the understanding of Truth and Reality. In +NRx what is considered a valid truth is defined within the positivist metaphysic, a metaphysic which is shared by both the Left and +NRx . +NRx is therefore, simply, an intellectually honest, and better form, of Positivism

It needs to be understood that the Left is, in many ways, cognitively like the Alt-Right. It's largest contingent, the mainstream Left, is a culture which subordinates fact to myth,i.e the myth of radical equality, with "the feels" being the overriding imperative. However, there are a very few serious thinkers amongst the more intelligent Left, and the prevailing metaphysical system in which they operate is Positivistic.  The serious Left have always had an ambivalent attitude towards the truth, being willing to subordinate it for a greater cause, but where truth is admitted it is always done within the framework of Positivism. Therefore what distinguishes the a left positivist from a NRx positivist is the willingness to be believe in dishonest propositions.

Therefore we can define Leftism as;

(dishonest) Positivism in error = Leftism

However, and this is the kicker, error does not always have to be deliberate, sometimes its unintentional. Thinking is hard, reasoning is flawed, frequently biased and honest mistakes are made. The logic however is inescapable;

(honest) Positivism in error  = ? (hint, look above.)

See the problem?

What separates the two is malice not epistemology.

If you think about it a bit you get a bit of shudder when you realise that Moldbug is an unwitting plant.

Now, there's error and there's error. Errors in the physical sciences are unlikely to affect societal stability, errors in the our understanding of how humans interact are liable to be civilisation destroying.  Things like sexual morality may have a more profound effect on societal stability than, say, how you arrange the political governance of a country. The point being, that you have to have the capacity and intellect to see the toxicity, if you're an +NRx who can't see it, your societal prescriptions will mirror the Left, in either of its Marxist or Fascist variants when it comes to such matters.

Good quality +NRx thinkers will make few mistakes and therefore have a better grasp on reality but the "honest", poorer thinkers are the epistemological equivalents of Leftists. No matter how good any +NRx thinker is, he is still stuck within the confines of Positivism and when +NRx goes "bad" it goes Left. +NRx is unable to escape Modernism/Leftism because their underlying metaphysics are its foundations.  They are stuck in the Left Matrix and there is no way out.

The great divide between the past and modern world lay in our understanding of reality, Positivism was a reduction in recognition of the scope of it. The pre-moderns, and most of the world bar the West,  holds the view that there is more to reality than can actually be "accessed" by our biological senses. Religion was the principal access path to these other verities and hence the importance of it in non-Positivist societies. Non-Positivist NRx, (-NRx) takes religion into account by explicitly rejecting the implicit limitations of Positivism and views religious insight as akin to empirical data.  As mentioned in a long previous post, Faith is a sensory modality.

Relgious faith, particularly the religious faith of the West serves therefore as another dimension of information in the analytic of -NRx. -NRx doesn't reject  the empiricism of Positivism, rather it sees its data set as incomplete. -NRx needs to be thought of not as anti-positivist, rather it is supra-Positivist. Science still matters, but so does the "faith" data. In -NRx there is NO conflict between faith data and empirical data, rather, reason aims to find a reconciliation with both since the truth is a singularity, incapable of contradiction.

It needs to be understood that Positivism's unrelenting march throughout the late 19th and early 20th Century came about because it was the first to consistently apply the principle of the primacy of empirical data over theory, despite its simultaneous reduction of the scope of it. It insisted on reason being "calibrated" to real world findings. Tradition and custom were unable to achieve this calibration and thus were pushed aside as Positivism "delivered the goods" in the form of technological progress. The tragedy of the 20th Century has come about because traditionalism was unable to deal with Positivistic success.

-NRx takes the principal of the primacy of empirical data over theory and incorporates it into a wider data set.  -NRx is a sort of fusion between traditional concepts of the scope of empirical data with the positivist insistence on the primacy of data. It's a fusion product. This, however, puts -NRx explicitly against traditionalism, insofar as traditionalists elevate custom above the truth. This, itself is not a bad thing, given traditionalism's utter failure to combat the Left. New approaches need to be tried.

I personally don't think any political program on its own is going to work. What is needed is a spiritual renewal of the West but the traditional spiritual "institutions" have proved themselves unable to face the challenge of modernism. It is my hope that -NRx will act upon these institutions to instill a "bottom up" renewal of Western society, instead of a "top down" Franco like solution which has failed in the long run. Politics matters as well, but the primary task now is to reform the religious institutions of the West, still  I feel -NRx has a role in stopping the "feels" right from drifting and becoming too crazy.

The pathogen that is eating away at the institutions of the West is not a lack of scientific knowledge but moral decay.  Intelligent but corrupt officials destroy the efficiency of government, Hi IQ cads and whores destroy the institution of the family, Journalists lie, Doctors murder, Judges administer social justice instead of law, and everyone lies. That's why any revival of the West will primarily consist of a moral revival and not a technological solution. The excluded data set must be incorporated else there is no way out.

24 comments:

mdavid said...

SP, It is my hope that -NRx will act upon these institutions to instill a "bottom up" renewal of Western society, instead of a "top down" Franco like solution which has failed in the long run.

I think this is extremely unlikely (and crazy arrogant, Franco-style). NRx-style thinking as a solution is merely another "top-down" fantasy. Philosophy and keyboard warriors are not how things change on the ground. They change within the family. One brick (child) and building (family) at a time. After a few generations, you have a whole new city.

A Californian or Chicago resident who went to bed in 1950, safe in his understanding of Christianity, culture, and power, and only woke up in 2000 simply wouldn't believe his eyes. Nobody around him would look or act like him. Hell, if philosophy was king Athens, not Rome or Paris or London or New York would still rule the world. Athens, like Rome before it, will soon be overrun by savages. Who cares what they thought?

Politics matters as well, but the primary task now is to reform the religious institutions of the West

Sigh. Those institutions will be rebuilt by the proles. By individual families. Or they won't (more likely). There will be no "reform" from the top that matters unless there is somebody in the trenches to follow said reforms. It will be individual families who rebuild. Brick by brick.

Intelligent but corrupt officials destroy the efficiency of government, Hi IQ cads and whores destroy the institution of the family, Journalists lie, Doctors murder, Judges administer social justice instead of law, and everyone lies.

Yep. It's how it's always been. Each person, each family, will just say no, create their own institutions, band together, and start a new culture. They won't read blogs. Marriage and family practice will change within the family. Or it won't. And then some religious authority will get in front of that crowd and say "Look at me!". Right now, this very day, those families are being created. We are a long way from having something some future St. Patrick can get in front of and claim for his own.

'Reality' Doug said...

This post encapsulates to the bare minimum one man's cognitive dissonance, and its quarantined NR+ and itself vested in NR- all have the same underlying metaphysics of feels primacy. The tacit feels of this post is a supernatural universality of morality, of faith, of social cooperation as a righteous goal if not a righteous fact. 'We' get the government 'we' deserve. Nothing is better than democracy (just a form, policy is more important, but absolute power corrupts absolutely, eustress builds character), but membership standards are required because any group function happens at the lowest common denominator. What if there is no cultural lowest common denominator? You are unwilling to walk away from debt slave institutions, from the sheeple masses, etc. You are inclusive like a bleeding-heart liberal. Liberals are not really more caring. It is rhetoric to set up the kill. Some social strategies (parasitic) fit an environment of decline: intragroup fighting synced to pecking order. Other social strategies (productive) fit an environment of incline: intragroup cooperation synced to productive contribution. However, the ugly truth not to be seen is that intragroup cooperation by producers requires intergroup fighting. The culturally inferior must be handled if they are in the way, either permanently or by enslavement. Production must exceed consumption: law of conservation. The natural net consumer is not only useless but a dangerous useful idiot of dangerous freelance parasite. Any metaphysics is simply interpretation from data to knowledge/theory/hypothesis/working idea. The objectively best choice results in the most consistency from working idea to data generally. It is predictive better than the rest. Your emotional imperative, disguised as a moral imperative of supertruth, is a pretty lie. You don't really want to win. You don't really want to achieve your social potential because you would have to destroy the social potential of inferiors. You must believe in education, in reformation, the same old leftist bullshit. What people actually do is about power not morality or anything else. You don't allow for people to act in their best interest because you assume some universal divine. The +/- of your NX is right or wrong depending on context. Your two-part granularity is not sophisticated enough to fine tune progressively for improved consistency of working ideas with Truth. Any functional civilization requires pruning within. You are afraid to make such a call in a free market of violence. Without a free market of violence, of sovereignty, there is no free market of ideas. Yet you will continue to diligently hope against hope to co-opt the free market of feels, to bring the masses back to Gawd. And yet, I love the picture at the top of the post, and you put it there. It mocks, does it not? Men where pajamas and claim tribute by divine sanction. Others believe. We without standards is the sand upon which you build your excellent philosophy. No one is stopping you from being excellent with yourself at your level, except you clinging to your emotional attachment to others. Until you field test modern seduction (i.e Game or red pill) empirically and alone, you will likely never face your emotional imperatives. You are not working on your inner game because you can hide your cognitive dissonance in theory. And a marvelous intellectual structure it is! You couldn't get any closer to the correct leap of faith without taking it if you tried. Because you already are with everything you've got.

ElectricAngel said...

bit of shudder when you realise that Moldbug is an unwitting plant.

Moldbug is a delight to read, and the items I have found within him citing historical argument against the Progressives have been eye-opening. He uses the methods of the Left to undermine the left, but he undermines himself at the same time, as you point out. As pointed out once at Dalrock's you only feel the current in the stream when you are anchored to the Rock.

I wonder if you have read Pitirim Sorokin's The Crisis of Our Age, written in 1941 from lectures given in the 1930s at Harvard? He identifies three types of societies, ideate, idealistic, and sensate, the former largely religious, the latter entirely concerned with what can be detected by the senses, and definitely materialistic. The interesting thing is how he writes of the crisis in, for example, the publicly traded corporation and the agency problem, as if he were looking at those sociopaths at the top of the corporations paying themselves 700 times the average salary of the workers, as happens in "capitalist" America today, where the owners of capital get a much smaller share of the profits than the predatory managerial class.

I will write these ideas fromSorokin up over at Patriactionary over the next few weeks, good Doctor. Sorokin's ends his book predicting the exhaustive collapse of the current sensate age. That is what we live through now.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Great post. I try to push the idea that we need that rallying cry to transcend the way we decide to be a society today.

The Social Pathologist said...

@mdavid.


A Californian or Chicago resident who went to bed in 1950, safe in his understanding of Christianity, culture, and power, and only woke up in 2000 simply wouldn't believe his eyes.


The rot had started well before-hand, that's why it all collapsed so suddenly following Vatican II. Pre-V2 Catholicism was a shell of a house whose foundations had rotted, all it need was a gust of wind and the edifice collapsed. Blondel, De Lubac and others saw the problems but were piloried at the time by the institutional Catholics, they ended up being vindicated.

In this day and age, I think the keyboard warriors matter since the communities are being established in cyberspace. There is a new evangalisation going on, and it's medium is the internet. Witness the growth of the Dissident Right. It could never have happened years ago. Likewise, I think that it may also have a role in the revitalisation of the Faith.

@Reality Doug

The tacit feels of this post is a supernatural universality of morality, of faith, of social cooperation as a righteous goal if not a righteous fact.

Huh?

What people actually do is about power not morality or anything else

Are you a closet Marxist? We've dissed Structuralism here before.

@EA, thanks for dropping by.

I wonder if you have read Pitirim Sorokin's The Crisis of Our Age,

To my shame, I'm pretty weak on the Orthodox critics of Modernity. Though your description of the book sounds like something I'd be interested in. I'd appreciate if you could write these ideas up as time for reading is scare.Executive summaries are really appreciated! The "Sensate Age"= The "Age of the feels".


@SOBL

Thanks.

The Social Pathologist said...

@EA,

I had a brief look at Sorokin. Looks interesting. I thought he was some kind of Russian Mystic but I was wrong.

Interesting.

mdavid said...

SP, Blondel, De Lubac and others saw the problems but were piloried at the time by the institutional Catholics, they ended up being vindicated.

Here's Wiki on De Lubac: ...one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. His writings and doctrinal research played a key role in the shaping of the Second Vatican Council.

Lubac's ideas had wide acceptance by the "institutional Church" for at least a generation. Your logical options: a) Lubac's ideas were awesome but they had no meaningful effect (this is the liberal approach, blame others, or we just didn't try them hard enough!) or b) they had an effect but the ideas have been proven terrible (this is the conservative claim).

Look, here is a Cardinal of the Church, with a teaching position, and broad support and influence, and the general culture to back him. He even had a big say in the last Council. We've had 50 years of data to see the results. If leadership really matters, and Lebac's ideas were correct, the RCC should be sitting in tall cotton today.

Conservatives have been completely out of power in every single institution for a full generation. Yet for some reason they still keep getting blamed (rather than guys like Lubac) for our mess. Whatever.

My position? I don't blame anyone but the average guy in the pew. But I do know the lowly traditional parents of a well-raised dozen children (hell, even a half-dozen, poorly raised) have a larger effect on both culture and Church than Lubac (or alt-right/left blogs).

ElectricAngel said...

I can send you the PDFs I am planning to work from, SP. the indictment he draws up against sensate (that is, reality as detected only by the senses) culture is in the vein of Solzhenitsyn. Just been laid back with needed posting.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ EA,

Do you have a twitter account? I can send you the email. The below listed one isn't any good.

ElectricAngel said...

No Twitter. No Facebook. You can leave a comment over at Patriactionary on one of my posts. (Or, perhaps, you've left a comment previously and I can send to that. Let me look.) Perhaps on the post that combines the words Gedankenexperiment and Hamster.

ElectricAngel said...

Sent something to an old address that ended with .com.au, SP.

Dystopia Max said...

Ripping off Zippy is foolish. Rip off someone better.

"No matter how good any +NRx thinker is, he is still stuck within the confines of Positivism and when +NRx goes "bad" it goes Left. +NRx is unable to escape Modernism/Leftism because their underlying metaphysics are its foundations. They are stuck in the Left Matrix and there is no way out."

'No matter how good any mainstream Christian thinker is, he is still stuck within the confines of 'anti-racism,' and when Christianity goes bad it goes Left. Christianity is unable to escape Leftism/Democracy because its most cherished emotional traditions are its foundations. It is stuck in Cthulu's Matrix and there is no way out.'

Except, perhaps, repentance. Had the Church, Catholic or Protestant, advanced a positive description of the human races, their natural divisions, their places in history, and other such things as could be seen with the eyes and felt in the soul of the common man, they perhaps would not have had to deal with the Mormons, the Universalists, the Abolitionists, the Creationists, the Liberation Theologians, the pre-Millinealists, and all other such attempts, mainstream and marginal, to either express a rearguard opposition to the idea or take the unspoken conclusion-all are equal and that's that-and immanentize it.

Such is the fate of a Church that has institutionalized contempt for the direct experiences of the everyday members of Christ's Body.

Alf said...

Yes yes yes, agreed in many ways. To say NRx converted me from an atheist to a believer is an oversimplification, but in essence that IS the final step. I think there are many ways to explain this -NRx / +NRx divide.

From the top of my head:
Theology > Philosophy
Religious brahmin > atheistic brahmin
Jesus > Nietzsche (though one might argue Nietzsche was a religious prophet in his own way)

Mark Citadel said...

I don't think the 'feels' section of the Right is doing things by God (indeed its opinions on theological matters are very mixed) but instead by INSTINCT. This is why there is I think that appeal to tribalism, barbarism, "remove kebab now!" and other such things. It's like a horse at the start of the race, butting against the gates to be the first out. They have legitimate grievances, the same as ours, and they want justice beyond all other things.

However, this barbaric instinct must be tempered and harnessed by the vanguards of civilization. The intellectual tracts of the Reactosphere must channel this anger into a constructive ideological framework. Yes, we want to remove kebab, but not sack Constantinople in the process. That would be a disaster. Occidental civilization is an achievement of our ancestors, and it was protected by instinct, but fashioned by intellect. This should be the model going forward.

Jack said...

"The pathogen that is eating away at the institutions of the West is not a lack of scientific knowledge but moral decay. Intelligent but corrupt officials destroy the efficiency of government, Hi IQ cads and whores destroy the institution of the family, Journalists lie, Doctors murder, Judges administer social justice instead of law, and everyone lies. That's why any revival of the West will primarily consist of a moral revival and not a technological solution. The excluded data set must be incorporated else there is no way out."

The crux of the biscuit right there, Slums. Thank you for sharing. Appreciate you, brother.

Mysterious figure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Should't dishonest postivism in error = the postivist/serious left, not just the left in general?

The Social Pathologist said...

@EA Can you paste the .pdf link in the comments section. The .com.au account is inaccessible.

@Mark

Yes, we want to remove kebab, but not sack Constantinople in the process.

Correct. A lot of the Alt-Right could be described as instinct thrashing about for justification. Facts tend to stymie instinct and hence the appeal to myth. The problem is that as the instinct "burns out" we're back in the same position as before. Finally, instinct is frequently contemptuous of mercy, judgement, and prudence. So it just ends up being stupid and vicious.

@ Jack Thanks.

@Anon.

Should't dishonest postivism in error = the postivist/serious left, not just the left in general?

No. Honest positivism drives a man towards +NRx, All of the left involves a degree of lying and malice. When you deliberately close your eyes to the truth you commit evil.

ElectricAngel said...

@SP,

A PDF of chapter 9 is here. Chapter 8, on America, is here. I need to upload other chapters. Start with 9.

ElectricAngel said...

Oops. Chapter 8 is here.

Greg said...

What do you make of the Alt Left, which has recently appeared (e.g. https://archive.is/o0RlP)?

The Social Pathologist said...

@greg

Alt now seems to mean Identitarian or Nationalist. And by Left I presume Socialist.

Combining the two terms you get......er.......um........National Socialists! Yikes!

@ EA

Thanks, I'll have a look at the links.

mdavid said...

SP, had a brief look at Sorokin. Looks interesting. I thought he was some kind of Russian Mystic but I was wrong.

I've read Sorokin with great anticipation some years ago, and that's exactly how I found him, a Russian Mystic who was fairly confused. I would enjoy having someone show me where I'm wrong. So let me know when you have a verdict.

'Reality' Doug said...

This is SocPath's comment on my comment:

The tacit feels of this post is a supernatural universality of morality, of faith, of social cooperation as a righteous goal if not a righteous fact.

Huh?

[So you are confused about my point that you don't want to answer.]

What people actually do is about power not morality or anything else

Are you a closet Marxist? We've dissed Structuralism here before.

[But not confused enough to suppose I am a closet (shameful) Marxist and a Structuralist (and the science is settled that those Structuralists have laughable arguments.]

Structuralism seems to mean looking at the big picture past your tidy and safe little bubble of cognitive dissonance. I look to the evidence for my theories and thus I am an empiricist. Any sane person presuming to think in terms of philosophy must think in terms of causality and there is no causality without empiricism. You can believe whatever you want your unclear scripture tells you filtered through your emotional imperatives.

If, as Alf says, 'Theology > Philosophy', then why at all use philosophy, i.e. logic objectively chosen for consistency and self-consistency? Why admix an inferior ingredient? Why mess with The Word?

Comments here are weak, as I am now clarify. Be good little boys and do what you are told. You are afraid to let go of group-think salvation and validation. That which controls the group owns you. What rationale you come up with to feel good about emotional attachment to the dull masses is your business.

If you want to logically refute my arguments, or at least present your logical edifice (which you already did and I critiqued, SocPath), that is one thing. To libel me with ad hominem attacks is another. I am better on either field. Pathetic.