I actually felt embarrassed for the neoreactionaries reading that post at newinternationaloutlook.com. Some of the better-known neoreactionaries have identified their movement with “neo-cameralism” by which they mean reconceiving government along the model of a business corporation as you describe. That is, the problem with liberalism in their view is that it hasn’t taken the desacralization of sovereignty far enough, a position that hardly makes an old-school reactionary like me want to sign up for their movement.
As for Moldbug himself, I’ve read a lot of his verbiage. All your complaints about his writing style are true (and deliberately so, since he and his followers see themselves as passing on esoteric knowledge which they would not want to debase with excessive clarity), but I often enjoy it nonetheless. I am perplexed that such a large group of bloggers regard him as their main inspiration and theoretical guide. I just don’t see it as being profound or revolutionary on that level.
Part of it, I suppose, is a difference in what I think the major questions are. The Orthosphere focuses on ethics and political philosophy. Neo-reaction does this only incidentally. Its main focus is sociology: identifying elites and how they gain and maintain power. Hence, I once said that Moldbug reminds me of Pareto.
From time to time, the neoreactionaries start arguing about the essence of their movement, and I watch from the sidelines. I am a taxonomer of the Right, remember, so I have an academic interest in these things. They’re in the middle of another bout of introspection now, by the way. They very much like to talk about themselves. These discussions never come to a satisfactory conclusion, because they have nothing to compare themselves to except Leftism and libertarianism. They don’t realize that other schools of the Right have theoretical cores worth engaging, so they have no way of saying how they differ from us. When they try, it’s just to boast that they have an intellectual system while we unsophisticated normal reactionaries presumably don’t (not that they’ll ever bother to check).
That is, the problem with liberalism in their view is that it hasn’t taken the desacralization of sovereignty far enough, a position that hardly makes an old-school reactionary like me want to sign up for their movement.
That tracks the mirror-of-Marxism idea too, when you think about it. The problem isn’t modernity, it is that we just haven’t tried the best things about modernity quite hard enough yet.
As for Moldbug himself … but I often enjoy it nonetheless.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s got some really funny zingers. I’ve just never actually made it through an entire post. And building an ‘intellectual movement’ around him seems like building an ‘intellectual movement’ around a comedian. The image I can’t escape comes from the ridiculous movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, where a future society is based entirely around the lyrics and music of a rock band started by a couple of stoners.
Unlike great rock star comedians like Brian Regan or John Pinette or Jerry Seinfeld, Moldbug just doesn’t know when to take a bow and exit. He just goes on, and on, and on, and ZZZZZZzzzzzz.
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