The Brown Scare continues. Jim Donald tells us that Vox Day is correct to punch Nazis, because he is punching left. Brett Stevens informs us that “Neo-Nazism, white nationalism, National Socialism and White Supremacy have died” because they are embarrassing and outdated. More insultingly yet, a Twitter user going by @CorncobLeft compares the alt right to cargo cultists, in that they believe white people equal civilization.
People have been saying neo-reaction, or NRx for short, is dead. I don’t think this is true. The alt right is and always has been a collection of angry misfits; NRx was and is an intellectual movement critiquing the dysfunction of modern society and politics in the West.
NRx emphasized itself as purely intellectual and not involved in any kind of activism, in fact it advocated the “passivism” of Moldbug- be ready intellectually and wait.
The Trump phenomenon tempted NRx into seeing things as moving in their direction, and saw this as their opportunity to get involved. The alt right did also, and in the process the distinction between the two became blurred. Recent events are showing that the two remain distinct.
The relationship between intellectuals and the society they live in tends to be hostile. Consider the Greek philosophers, by which we mean the Athenians. Foremost among these were Plato, who left extensive writings, and his teacher Socrates, whom we know only through Plato’s work.
Athens was a democracy, and Plato and Socrates did not like this one bit. They wanted an oligarchy, and went to some lengths to establish it- leading to the execution of Socrates. They were of the hoplite class, foot soldiers who supplied their own equipment, and thus had to be fairly affluent to participate.
Did the elite philosophers make Athens great? Maybe, but they did not make it possible. The Athenian hoplites were outclassed by the Spartans, and possibly those of other city-states too. Athens was a rich and powerful state because one, it had the best navy in the region. The navy was paid for by the wealthy but staffed by common men. Two, Athens was not on the water, but had walls connecting Piraeus, its port suburb, to the main city so it could keep its navy going and maintain sea trade even if under siege. The Long Walls were built not by wealthy intellectuals but by common men also.
Neo-reaction makes the intellectual mistakes that the common people do not support civilization and cannot create it. I have talked about this here, here, and here. But if you are going to have a civilization you will need a mass of people who can keep it going.
La Griffe du Lion wrote about the “smart fraction”, the idea that the wealth of a country depends on the portion of the population with some base IQ. This IQ will not be particularly high by the standards of competitive admissions universities or accomplished, affluent professionals, but the more healthy white people you have, the more likely you are going to have this thing we call “civilization”.
“The mob” is a phrase that sometimes is thrown out. But a mob is just a group of people, men usually, who want something. If some charismatic, bright fellow can get up on a rock or a tree stump and tell them a way to get it, a mob becomes an army. Once the army controls some territory, they can put up some buildings and you have a city. They can then fight and defeat other cities, or encourage them to “patch over” as the outlaw motorcycle gangs do. If the enterprise is successful then over time it becomes quite respectable.
That’s Rome for you right there. The Romans were not noted for their culture or intellectual refinement, they were known for their military power. This power depended on having reliable foot soldiers, of which the neo-reactionaries have none.
The classic comeback is “You and what army?” Well, you and what army?