(This was written – or rather “curated” – several months ago; I have made minor changes to it so that it still reflects the time in which it was created.)
“However, I’ve come to realise that the specific nature of the horror frequently isn’t the primary reason for the glee. It takes a certain level of callous disregard to respond to human suffering in such a manner, but the real target of derision is most often People Like Me. That is, socially liberal, middle-class do-gooders piously informing people that they should care about these various issues. In the words of Rage Against the Machine, the message being conveyed is clear: “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”
Here is the problem: the Modern Structure is complete. The ancien regime is no more. Therefore, it is simply impossible for the progressive movement to generate anything like the energy it generated in the ’60s. The whole Obama experience, in particular, is a major downer. But this apathy would be growing anyway. It is just increasingly obvious that the ’60s will never be repeated. The logs it burned are ash.
This isn’t something XS has done before, but it seems necessary to do it now. Here (from October last year) is an anticipation of where this blog finds itself right now. Perhaps NRx was from the beginning part of the Cathedral funeral process.
Some serious adjustment is called for. An enemy that can suffer a defeat this stupendous clearly isn’t a radically intimidating adversary. We can already see beyond it. The conflict has moved on.
My current (uncertain) take: The regime analyzed by classical NRx has descended into a deeply morbid state. Things will get worse for it, perhaps catastrophically, more quickly than we yet imagine, in a cascade of collapse. All the trends that count against it are still strengthening, in many case exponentially. It would be an analytical error to remain fixated upon its corpse.
Demotism is, of course, undefeated (perhaps even temporarily reinforced). The Cathedral, however, appears mortally wounded. This year was — quite plausibly — its 1989.
ADDED: To be a little clearer, it isn’t really 1989, it’s 1517. The quasi-universal authority of a church died (as a result of techonomic media innovation, among other factors).
“We await the start of the politics of the 21st century. We anticipate the American 21st century will be begin with the collapse of the American Left…..”
American democracy has elected Donald Trump as President.
Donald Trump defeated the Cathedral but has certainly not defeated the Modern Structure, or, indeed, the very idea of democracy – though progressives are starting to have some doubt even there.
(MS consists of 1: the “Polygon” aka the extended civil service; 2: The “Cathedral” the universities and the press; 3: The “Caste” structure; 4: The “Universalist” ideological structure.)
Bush, Clinton and Obama have been dispatched. Obama’s Presidency has been an unqualified disaster – for America and even for Democrats – by nearly every yardstick of measurement, most especially the power and perks of elected office.
The next four years, meanwhile, may be the most important for the early 21st century.
The progressive, Universalist, ideology is being progressively discredited; Trump has taken a mighty hammer to the front door of the Cathedral, stormed in and is now smashing up the altar:
The great locomotive of history is out of gas and we have to walk the remainder of the way wherever it is that the road leads. It’s demise marks the fall of a great civilizational cathedral.
The formal purpose of the Cathedral – as the informational system of the Modern Structure – is to guide the people in their democratic choices – what to think and value; its real purpose, however, is not to aid democracy, but to prevent it. That it failed, despite hundreds of millions of dollars, and all the best Brahmin minds, reveals that the hold the rulers have over the ruled is beginning to slip. Trump would not have been possible ten years ago, never-mind twenty. When the Cathedral falls, demotism rises. The Cathedral is falling, but the consequences of what we are witnessing and are about to witness, will be playing out for many years to come.
Neoreactionaries were in a unique position to not only have anticipated Trump’s victory, but to explain it.
What is that explanation?
No doubt, we can talk about the systematically flawed economy or the fact that crime is out of control or that the ruling elite is utterly corrupt; however, here is a very different analysis from Moldbug, written-all-the-way-back in 2011 where he addressed Lawerence Auster:
Is not this passage all that needs to be said of your Dead Island? Which suffers (along with the rest of the world) one and only one disease, kinglessness–of which all other pathologies are no more than symptoms.
It is possible to be kingless without a Sham-King. But it takes more work. Our presidency serves more or less the same function–providing the necessary symbol of executive authority, to conceal the fact that the reality has disappeared (there is nothing genuinely executive about our “executive branch”). The Hanoverian dynasty is remarkable, though, in that its monarchs have been shams from beginning to end, with perhaps a minor exception in George III’s attempts at a king’s party.
What do you think Americans respond to in “The Donald” and Gov. Christie? To the obvious kinginess of these figures. Supreme personal authority, generally male, is a normal human function and one we recognize instinctively. The job of King does not exist, at least not in the public sector, but the Trumps and Christies come as close to it as possible and are clearly biologically suited for the position.
Thus the genuine enthusiasm for these figures, who alas, win or lose, will never enjoy a fraction of the old Plantagenet, Tudor or Stuart royal prerogative. A true King could still save England, I think, or any of her far-flung children…
Quite. There was even a meme of it:
Moldbug is one of the very few people to have actually understood what Trump’s election meant – and what it doesn’t. I picture his mind in two places at once: in the past, and generating potential futures; seeing the tributaries, streams and rivers of blood, lies, cant and chaos leading to this world-historical, tragic-comic farce of a moment. He could see the time-paradox of this election – the man who should not have been President – the cunning clown, the Cathedral’s Mule. Moldbug understands what Trump is up against, should he really undertake the things he formally says he will. Trump, however, is the Mule – wittingly, or not. Even a debacle – Trump undone, the great disappointment, a downer, a defeat, a democide – will have huge, unintended, ugly cascading ramifications – none of which favours the Modern Structure. His appointment of military and corporate men to the administration is a portent of things to come: the reversal, not only of “progress” but of the idea of “progress”.
Let us look at the “reaction”.
The Shaking of the Modern Structure:
Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. The extent of the bewilderment is significant. The pollsters were shocked. The media was surprised. The financial markets were stunned. Many in the Republican Party were astonished. And the Democratic Party was totally taken off guard. The thought that a man with Trump’s values and behavior could become president was, to many, unthinkable. I do not mean that they disagreed with him, or hoped that Trump would lose. They thought it inconceivable that a man like Trump could win.That is the reason Hillary Clinton lost. The Democratic Party that nominated her has moved far away from the party that Franklin D. Roosevelt crafted or that Lyndon B. Johnson had led. Their party had as its core the white working class. The liberalism of FDR and LBJ was built around this group, with other elements added and subtracted. Much has been said about this group having become less important. Perhaps so, but it is still the single largest ethnic and social group in the country.
This group, as I have argued before, is in trouble. The middle class, with a median take-home pay in California of about $4,300 a month, can buy a modest house and a car but certainly can’t afford to send their kids to college. Hence the massive student loans their children must take out. The lower-middle class has a take-home pay of about $2,600 a month. A generation ago the lower-middle class could buy a small house in a not-so-great neighborhood. Now they are hard pressed to rent an apartment. Liberals are concerned with inequality. People in the lower-middle class are simply concerned with making enough money to live a decent life. They are two very different things.
The election of Donald Trump represents one of a series of dramatic political uprisings that together signal a collapse of neoliberal hegemony. These uprisings include the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the rejection of the Renzi reforms in Italy, the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination in the United States, and rising support for the National Front in France, among others. Although they differ in ideology and goals, these electoral mutinies share a common target: all are rejections of corporate globalization, neoliberalism, and the political establishments that have promoted them. In every case, voters are saying “No!” to the lethal combination of austerity, free trade, predatory debt, and precarious, ill-paid work that characterize financialized capitalism today. Their votes are a response to the structural crisis of this form of capitalism, which first came into full view with the near meltdown of the global financial order in 2008.
Until recently, however, the chief response to the crisis was social protest—dramatic and lively, to be sure, but largely ephemeral. Political systems, by contrast, seemed relatively immune, still controlled by party functionaries and establishment elites, at least in powerful capitalist states like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Now, however, electoral shockwaves reverberate throughout the world, including in the citadels of global finance. Those who voted for Trump, like those who voted for Brexit and against the Italian reforms, have risen up against their political masters. Thumbing their noses at party establishments, they have repudiated the system that has eroded their living conditions for the last thirty years. The surprise is not that they have done so, but that it took them so long.
Nevertheless, Trump’s victory is not solely a revolt against global finance. What his voters rejected was not neoliberalism tout court, but progressive neoliberalism. This may sound to some like an oxymoron, but it is a real, if perverse, political alignment that holds the key to understanding the U.S. election results and perhaps some developments elsewhere too. In its U.S. form, progressive neoliberalism is an alliance of mainstream currents of new social movements (feminism, anti-racism, multiculturalism, and LGBTQ rights), on the one side, and high-end “symbolic” and service-based business sectors (Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood), on the other. In this alliance, progressive forces are effectively joined with the forces of cognitive capitalism, especially financialization. However unwittingly, the former lend their charisma to the latter. Ideals like diversity and empowerment, which could in principle serve different ends, now gloss policies that have devastated manufacturing and what were once middle-class lives.
Nancy Fraser is a communist, and she means, by “different ends”, communism. She is mistaken about the this unwitting alliance, however.
The majority of people now believe the economic and political system is failing them, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, released on Monday ahead of the Jan. 17-20 World Economic Forum (WEF).
“There’s a sense that the system is broken,” Richard Edelman, head of the communications marketing firm that commissioned the research, told Reuters.
“After one of the most surprising presidential elections in generations, the need to reexamine core strategic assumptions has become ever more pressing. Since the Cold War, the United States has pursued a grand strategy centered on maintaining America’s global primacy and extending the liberal international order. That grand strategy, in turn, rested upon a set of optimistic assumptions about the sustainability of American dominance and the direction in which the world is moving. Now, however, those assumptions are coming under greater strain than at any time in a quarter-century, thereby casting the future of American grand strategy into greater doubt.“
Assumption #5: The Unstoppable and Irreversible Advance of Democracy
When the Cold War ended, democracy was on the march. The number of electoral democracies rose from 39 to 120 between 1974 and 2000. That this trend is irreversible has been a guiding assumption of post-Cold War strategy. Washington assumed that the world will continue to democratize and that this progression would make the world more peaceful, prosperous, and stable.
Today, however, democracy’s future has become cloudier. In countries from Venezuela to Turkey, illiberal leaders have taken power through democratic means and then set about dismantling the checks and balances that constrained them. Illiberal great powers such as Russia and China have been pushing back against the spread of democracy in their own neighborhoods, opposing anti-authoritarian regime change overseas (in Syria, for instance), and touting the benefits of their own centralized models.
Even in the West, democracy’s prospects seem less certain. The rise of illiberal right-wing governments in Hungary and now Poland has created pockets of quasi-authoritarianism within NATO and the European Union, as the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath have raised questions about whether democratic systems can deliver the economic goods. As a result, the number of democracies in the world has roughly plateaued since around 2006, and as one expert notes, Freedom House statistics show “that in each of the eight consecutive years from 2006 through 2013 more countries declined in freedom than improved.” Democratic stagnation — even recession — is underway.
Jackson’s Beast versus Hobbist Leviathan:
During the presidential campaign, a number of observers, trying to understand the Trump phenomenon, suddenly discovered the work of Sam Francis, an author and newspaper columnist, from 25 years earlier. Francis wrote about what he called Middle American Radicals (MARs).
The MARs hold political correctness in precisely the same contempt that Hollywood, the media, and the political class hold them. They are not rigidly ideological, nor even ideological at all. While in general, they support private property and the US Constitution, they are not philosophically opposed to business regulation, they believe free trade has made them worse off, and they have no interest at all in cutting Social Security and Medicare. And they are anti-globalist.
At the time Francis wrote about them, his analysis seemed off: if these people existed in the numbers he suggested, how were people like Bob Dole getting the GOP nomination?
The 2016 election, at last, vindicated the Francis analysis. The MARs came out in droves, despite the most relentless attack on their candidate by the media and cultural elite anyone can remember.
The liberal international order has always depended on the idea of progress. Since 1945, Western policymakers have believed that open markets, democracy and individual human rights would gradually spread across the entire globe. Today, such hopes seem naïve.
In Asia, the rise of China threatens to challenge US military and economic hegemony. In the Middle East, the United States and its European allies have failed to guide the region toward a more liberal and peaceful future in the wake of the Arab Spring. And Russia’s geopolitical influence has reached heights unseen since the Cold War, as it attempts to roll back liberal advances around its periphery.
But the more important threats to the order are internal. For the past half-century, the European Union has seemed to represent the advance guard of a new liberalism in which nations pool sovereignty and cooperate ever more closely with one another. Today, as it reels from one crisis to the next, the EU has stopped expanding.
Other countries will probably not follow the United Kingdom out of the EU. But few European leaders appear willing to continue relinquishing sovereignty, whether to manage flows of refugees or to ensure the long-term viability of the single currency. Many European politicians are demanding more national sovereign control over their destinies rather than more integration.
Across the Atlantic, the US commitment to global leadership, which until now has sustained the liberal international order through good times and bad, looks weaker than at any point since the Second World War.
Last Days for the Last Man?
Two years ago, I argued in these pages that America was suffering from political decay. The country’s constitutional system of checks and balances, combined with partisan polarization and the rise of well-financed interest groups, had combined to yield what I labeled “vetocracy,” a situation in which it was easier to stop government from doing things than it was to use government to promote the common good. Recurrent budgetary crises, stagnating bureaucracy, and a lack of policy innovation were the hallmarks of a political system in disarray.
Of greatest concern is the third dimension of the problem, which is the crisis of democratic values and will in the established democracies of the West. This crisis has been gathering momentum since the financial collapse almost a decade ago and the subsequent problems of economic stagnation and dysfunctional governance. More recently it has taken the form of a backlash against globalization, the rise of populism and illiberal politics in Europe and the United States, and the emergence of what Ivan Krastev, in the current issue of the Journal of Democracy, calls “counterrevolutionary democracy,” which he links to “a world of vast inequalities and open borders, [where] migration becomes the new form of revolution.” Last week George Freeman, the head of the British Prime Minister’s Policy Board, said that the US election and the Brexit vote were linked by the failure of the globalized economy to serve the interests of average workers, adding that “a genuine crisis of legitimacy [is] sweeping through Western political economy.”
Since it is the democratic West that has built the security, political, and economic institutions that constitute the liberal world order and that have produced unprecedented peace and prosperity over the past seven decades, this crisis of legitimacy now threatens to shake the foundations of contemporary global civilization.
Crisis of Democracy:
What we find is deeply concerning. Citizens in a number of supposedly consolidated democracies in North America and Western Europe have not only grown more critical of their political leaders. Rather, they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives. The crisis of democratic legitimacy extends across a much wider set of indicators than previously appreciated.
A New Era:
Trump has been yelling “Drain the swamp!” on the campaign trail, and even some Democratic voters who would rather chew off their own legs than vote for him felt a private thrill when he said that. Almost everybody hates the Washington swamp, including lots of people who live there. Of all American institutions, Congress has the lowest approval rating, less than 10 percent, and the military has the highest at 73 percent. In the Middle East and Latin America, numbers like these would portend a military coup. But we don’t live in the Middle East or Latin America. We live here. So instead of a military coup, we got Donald Trump.
Fernandez and the Future that Never Happened:
The causes of the bleak future are easy to understand but difficult for the liberal project to accept. The West has spent its past and borrowed on its future to buy votes in the present. Now the millennials are stuck with the bill. Giant deficits, unfunded welfare systems, crushing student debts have come down on them just like anyone who spends more than he earns. It’s the betrayal that must hurt most. The were told it was OK. Socialism would square the circle on the volume. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman assured the public there would be no problem. After all, “the Great Depression wasn’t ended by the intellectual victory of Keynesian economics … what put a decisive end to the slump was World War II … this story is what led me to facetiously suggest that we fake a threat from space aliens, to provide a politically acceptable cover for stimulus.”
It worked until it didn’t. Youth unemployment turned out to be just deferred unemployment, the can big governments kicked down the road until the road ran out. We may be living through an enormously important period: the collapse of Gramscianism in the West. If Eastern socialism died with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the Western version may at last be crumbling before a monumental wall of kicked cans. The Gramscian termites ate through the institutions and found with their last triumphant bite that they had eaten it all.
Its demise will leave an historic hole in Western civilization. For good or ill the Left was the West’s familiar: the wheedling family bum, what we defined ourselves through and in opposition to. Without the Left neither the 20th century, the EU or the American progressive project is even comprehensible. It was the future that never happened, the madness over which mankind walked the narrow path of nuclear destruction yet which framed the debate. Now it is passing from the scene with all the drama of an empty ramen wrapper on the sidewalk.
The Dark Prophet:
The world of 2009 is the root-ball of one ancient gigantic, shaggy and rotting redwood: the Anglo-American tradition we call Universalism. In the redwood’s shade are the seedlings she has thrown among the blackened stumps at her feet. Some of them have prospered and some have not. Some have even evolved a little, but all began as redwood seeds.
In a typical Orwellian fabrication, we call the “nations” of the UN era independent countries. Most are American satellites at best, possessions at worst. Even those that have recreated something like sovereignty, Russia and China, are sterile and uninteresting upstarts, with no real relationship to the old-growth civilizations of the Romanovs or the Ch’ing. Europe also contains some genuine trees, though their independence is questionable and their individuality is nil. They are pallid clones of Massachusetts, planted in grim, mechanical rows. Latin America is a shambles – a festering sink of crime, tyranny and disorder. Africa makes it look healthy.
And everywhere, everywhere – except of course the Anglo-Saxon core – tyranny and rebellion, war and destruction, anarchy and murder, dragged their plow at least once across the land. And not always once. For many, they remain permanent conditions of normal life.
So the conclusion we’ve come to about democratic government as a whole is oddly similar to our conclusion about the financial system. The conclusion is that it’s fatally broken, and needs to be replaced by something completely different. Even in Carlyle’s day, repair did not seem like an option. How less it is today! And still the dungheaps grow, the bats flit in and out, the stacks of paper molder. And we notice, with a chill: the whole damned thing is a colossal firetrap.
Nick Land thinks it’s 1517 for the Cathedral.
Nancy Fraser talks about “Reactionary Populism.”
Moldbug sums the entire problem up, however, as one of “kinglessness.”
Obviously, given that this is the Dark Reformation, the claim that the Cathedral has met, or is about to meet, its moment of Dark Reform is gratifying: popular reactionary movement led by one of Carlyle’s “Commanders” a real “ruler” and not the “sham” leaders we are used to having.
Only, we are not even close.
Who will this figure be – this Commander? Where will he come from? What will he be like? Whoever they are and from wherever they will be- I am certain – they will possess what Weber called “charismatic authority”. Here is Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt Leddihn:
Among modern authors the theme of the “charismatic leader,” as distinguished from the strictly non-democratic ruler, has been dealt with by Max Weber. Yet he was far from being alone in delineating and characterizing this contemporary phenomenon in connection with democratic demands. Others have successfully analyzed these populistic dictators, Burckhardt’s terribles simplificateurs, the “handsome fellows with the talents of non-commissioned officers”—a truly remarkable prophecy (but not quite as accurate as it seems; Hitler was never a non-commissioned officer, only a Gefreiter—lance corporal or p.f.c).
It is a bit like Rock-Paper-Scissors. Traditional authority has been replaced by the Bureaucratic, which prevents – ordinarily – the emergence of the Charismatic. We have the Rock of Bureaucratic dictatorship which has now become the Traditional mode of leadership (if it can be called “leadership”), and only – necessarily but not sufficiently – Charismatic leadership can overcome it.
Charismatic political leaders are nearly always male and all of them are dark and dangerous.
Here is Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt Leddihn quoting Goethe (who twice met Napoleon):
Involuntarily one is reminded of Goethe’s description of the “daimonic man” in the course of history:
The demoniacal element has the most terrifying aspects if it is strongly represented in a human being. I have had during my life-time the occasion to observe several such men, partly from a distance, partly close to. These men are not always exceptional either in intellectual capacities or in talents, and rarely in kindness. Yet they emanate a frightening magnetic force and exert an incredible power over all creatures and even over the elements. Who can tell how far such influence will extend? All the united moral forces are powerless against them, and the more intelligent part of humanity tries in vain to unmask them as simpletons or frauds; the masses are attracted by them. Seldom or never can one find several men of that type as contemporaries, and nothing is able to overpower them except the Universe itself, against which they have picked their fight. And it may well have been from such observations and remarks that that terrible sentence found its origin: Nemo contra deum nisi deus ipse. (God Emperor indeed!)
If history is any guide, I foresee three possibilities.
The first type is what I will call the General. The second type I will call the Preacher and the third type is what I will call the Organizer.
There are two variations of the General type; the first is the Caesar and the Napoleon; the second is the Sulla and the Pinochet. Leddihn:
These nineteenth and early twentieth century vistas were not basically new. Aristotle knew only too well that the tyrants have to come—as stalwart defenders of the lower classes against wealthy, unpopular minorities (aristocrats, plutocrats, etc.). These tyrants have to be “regular fellows” (“ordinary, decent chaps”), and, as we have repeatedly emphasized, of the “leading” rather than the “ruling” type.
Let’s take the Pinochet type first.
This General will come to power only after something or a series of things have gone fundamentally wrong; perhaps, after a failed leftist revolution or popular revolt or to prevent a RED WOMAN from becoming President. He will be Christian, conservative, stoical and disciplined – but at times kindly and gregarious, if not too clever or quick. He will tirelessly overcome anarchy – at home and abroad – and he will be workmanlike with enemies; although, he will not reform enough. He will go only so far, but his natural caution, and desire for a peaceful, dignified, life will divert him from building a lasting legacy.
The Caesar or Napoleon type is different. Again, seizing power after a serious period of instability, in which this type will be the natural and indisputable Commander of the counter-chaos; he will lead with energy, intelligence, charisma and cunning. Great reforms will be enacted under his direct instruction and supervision; men-money-materials all will be rectified, regimented and regulated; nothing will escape his absolute remit, his roving, restless, relentlessly rational mind – war, diplomacy, law, economy, morality and religion. If the first kind of General is a lion, then this General is Fox and Lion: strong and sassy, courageous and cunning, urbane and rustic, a leader of men and a killer of women. Leddihn:
Finally, especially dangerous is the influence exercised by “the demoniac” as formulated by Goethe on Burckhardt’s “awful simplifiers” preaching what Henri Hauser called fausses idées claires. The result of that is only too often Irving Babbitt’s “efficient megalomaniac” who—in the words of Burke—wants to “improve the mystery of murder.”
His weakness will be his overwhelmingly brilliance – arrogance leading to hubris. Battle after battle, reform after reform, and triumph upon triumph will lead this General-Consul-King and Emperor up, up and up, until lesser mortals – dogs – whose constant, persistent nips, bring this lion down. Then, chaos and anarchy will rein once more.
The second type is the Preacher.
The Luther, the Khomeini, the Baghdadi, the Hitler.
He will be Christian – but a dark Christian, an old Christian. An “illiterate” “hillbilly” braggart to many, but a Prophet to the rest. Leddihn:
Not only Hitler but perhaps even Antonio Conselheiro, the half mad “counsellor” of the ecstatic backwoods revolutionaries in Brazil, were not simply personifications of the masses and hence “born leaders.”
He will come, as if from nowhere, dazzling like a ray of dark gold. He will fire up the masses with furious energy and his followers will march with berserk rage. He will reform – utterly and unapologetically – but without the cool reason of the second General or the prudent sternness of the first. He will be unsmiling, gazing out, with unconcealed disgust upon the world; he will shun women; a solitary sage whose inner visions will be painted with blood and steel upon the landscape – an artist of government. His enemies will be filled with awe and anger as his machine of war, commanded by himself alone, will darken their skies and bloody their lands.
His weakness is that he will break, but he will never bend – never. This Preacher will only emerge if the land and people suffer disaster after disaster after disaster. Only from the howl of pain, humiliation, resentment and the all-consuming human need for hope – will this Preacher emerge.
The Organizer is the Cromwell, the Carnot, and the Lenin type. Taciturn and ferocious; spartan and systematic – not the builder of the machine, but its organizer, its taskmaster, and after years and years spinning various webs, a single moment will provide the chance to strike – and strike he will, with iron and grim, humourless, determination. Not personally likeable, but supremely logical and overawing in set-piece public encounters. With cold, frightful rage friend and foe alike will be beaten into submission: physical, intellectual or moral. This man’s weakness is paranoia and inhumanity.
We stand brooding over the blood and folly of our ancestors, upon the cusp of total unreality – we have seen all this before, we shall probably see it all again and again and again.
The one quality these men will all possess is will.
The one quality these men will not be in possession of is forbearance from the will of GNON.
The question is, if these types are the reformers – who will reform, restrain and retire them?
Who will contain the uncontainable?
Bertrand De Jouvenel:
Now it suffices, as we have just seen and as the whole of history teaches us, for only one of the great powers of the future to produce a leader who will convert into sinews of war the powers taken for social advancement, and then all the others must follow suit. For the more complete the hold which the state gets on the resources of a nation, the higher, the more sudden, the more irresistible will be the wave in which an armed community can break on a pacific one.”
Nick Land is correct with his perceptive distinction when he claims that the Cathedral has been beaten, but Demotism has not.
Moldbug’s “reactionary enlightenment” critique can be summarised in three parts:
1: “democracy” is a sham, a lie, a fiction.
2: The reality is the Cathedral – “managed” or “coherent democracy” – rule by scholar and bureaucrat.
3: The goal of neoreaction is not, as so many people would pursue upon learning the reality in 2, to return to democracy with real elections and real leaders.
The goal is not leaders, but rulers. I will finish with a long, though edited, presentation from Leddihn on the nature of European Monarchy:
Monarchy is by its nature dissociated from party rule. Only in the “constitutional” (i.e., parliamentary) monarchy are royalist parties imaginable; yet in a sound, organic monarchy all parties accept the common monarchic denominator, and the opposition is thus “His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition.”…..Democracy is by nature party rule. The President (or Prime Minister) is a “party man.” He lacks originally—and often permanently—general backing.
The monarch is the political and social head of the nation. The President of the United States, on the other hand, is decidedly not a “social” leader, even though his wife figures—unofficially—as the “first lady.” The monarch can, unlike a republican leader, rule not only through the mechanism of the laws but also though his prestige—an “endogene” force.
Even a monarch of mediocre talents and natural gifts has the advantage of having received an education for his profession. A democratic leader can only have the hasty technical training of those with a “late vocation,” and in most cases he is nothing but a dilettante (see below, point) Yet this harmonizes well with the general tenor of democracy, whose raison d’etre is not truth, efficacy, reason, study, and reflection, but volition pure and simple.
The education which the ideal monarch can enjoy is not only intellectual, but also moral and spiritual. The democratic leader coming into power is always “unprepared.” It is the sudden or quick rise (especially if it is from obscurity) to fame and authority which turns the mind and upsets the balance of the careerist in a democracy.
Kingship was not only an office with religious implications (the coronation of a Catholic ruler is a sacramental), but the whole traditional Christian monarchy was deeply imbued with a religious spirit…..The respect for the human person and the rights of the subjects were strongly emphasized in the “education of a ruler....”
The ruling families—all intermarried and forming a single breed—had biologically a better qualification for their profession than the average man. It seems to be a proven fact that there is a noticeable difference in the I.Q.’s of different social classes, and heredity rather than environment here plays the determining rôle.
Monarchy in the Christian world is an international institution. As long as it was a living force the wars between political units were of a relative and restricted nature—Kabinettskriege, as the Germans say. Between 1100 and 1866 A.D. no Christian kingdom was eliminated permanently from the map.
Monarchs, unlike democratic leaders, are ethnically “mixed.” They are usually of foreign origin. Their relatives are foreigners. Narrow limits are set to their (ethnic) nationalism—if they ever develop it. (See Notes 498 and 499.) Democracy and nationalism, on the other hand, are closely related and interdependent.
The monarchic principle is thus, as St. Thomas characterized it in his De regimine principum, a uniting, not a dividing principle.—Every election, on the other hand, is a solemn manifestation of division.
Neither is a sound monarchy oligarchical, as democracy is by necessity, and aristocracy by nature.
Due to its inherent patriarchalism, monarchy fits organically into the ecclesiastic and familistic pattern of a Christian…
Since monarchy is “rule from above” and thus does not have to exercise a horizontal pressure, it is by its nature more liberal than democracy. Just because monarchs cannot constantly refer to mandates received from the people, their radius of action is psychologically more limited than that of democratic leaders. In a democracy, however, there is an inherent growth towards the regulation of belief, word and deed.
Since, in a monarchy, the societal enforcement of the “common framework of reference” in the ideological sphere is not necessary, the controlling forces of society can be relaxed.
The security and perpetuity of tenure enjoyed by monarchs makes them less exposed to “graft,” bribery or theft.
Neither is there any need for flattering large parts of the population. Flattering the majority is the basic technique and art of governing political parties, as well as plebiscitarian tyrannies.
The monarch, on the other hand, is potentially the protector of minorities—especially the small, powerless and uninfluential minorities—just because he is “everybody’s monarch.” The very concept of a “minority” is non-monarchial and democratic. The constant counting and comparing of numbers characterizes all egalitarian-parliamentary régimes. The protective rôle of kingship is clearly seen in the oath of the Holy Roman Emperor. In democratic republics, on the other hand, we have always seen tiny, unpopular minorities being sacrificed to the whim of the majorities, who in times of stress blissfully disregard constitutional injunctions.
The monarch is a responsible person. The fact that a monarch is responsible “to God alone,” rather than to an assembly or a popular majority, is rather shocking to an agnostic mind; but while God cannot be fooled, the masses can.
While it is perhaps true that “one cannot fool all the people all the time,” it seems that one can fool millions for centuries. History abounds in such examples, especially the history of religions. In spite of the republican-democratic emphasis on “responsible government,” subject to the sanction of not getting re-elected (and of being impeached in only the grossest cases of corruption), the demo-republican government nevertheless derives its authority from anonymous, secretly voting masses on a purely numerical basis. It is even impossible to trace the empowering individual; and thus we get what French authors call the “cult of irresponsibility.” The electees, rejecting all responsibility, can easily blame the electors for their “mandates.” Thus we get today the immoral idea of making whole nations responsible for the deeds and misdeeds of their rulers, regardless of whether these had majority support or not. This collective judgment of moral acts is one of the great maladies of the democratic age.
The monarch is not only a public property which, in a sense, can be claimed by every subject, but he is also classless.
The monarch will be restrained in his actions by the thought of the integrity of his patrimony, which he intends to leave unimpaired to his son or any other heir.
A monarch and, even more so, a dynasty can plan policies on a grand scale—for the remote as well as for the immediate future”
The rise of great statesmen has been fostered more by monarchic than by democratic government. The historical record on this matter is not open to doubt. Even parliamentary monarchy showed a “diminished return” of political geniuses. It can be stated without danger of refutation that the parliaments of the Western world have not yielded since 1890 a single truly outstanding, constructive statesman—not even a genuinely successful Machiavellian.”
Monarchy is a safeguard against foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the country. Through the agency of the internationally organized ideological parties, or through parliamentary groups representing ethnic minorities whose bulk lives in adjoining countries, a unique opportunity is offered to foreign states to intervene efficiently in the inner affairs of a democratic nation.
Last, but not least, the inner antithesis between a plebiscitarian party-dictatorship and a monarchy must be mentioned. …. totalitarian states were, and probably always will be, republican in character……..To these considerations the historical observation must be added that the rise of our Christian civilization took place under the aegis of monarchy which, quite rightly, has been characterized as embodying “le moindre mal, la possibilité du bien—the least evil [and] the possibility of good.” The anti-monarchic currents in the last hundred and sixty years had a more or less anti-Catholic if not, as in many cases, an anti-Christian, character. Under the emphatically parliamentary monarchies and the democratic republics, Christianity declined or suffered minor persecutions. “The Catholic Church, in particular,” says Monsignor Ronald Knox, “has had much to suffer from the democracies. In the totalitarian, illiberal, plebiscitarian republics, these systematic molestations changed into sanguinary persecutions and efforts for a final extermination……..We are convinced that there is a psychological bridge between these facts. They cannot be merely accidental. Neither is it sheer coincidence that in the latest war the Church has received abuse from all sides, and has suffered most grievously and unjustly in a struggle which was, in a sense, the fratricidal strife between the three heirs of the French Revolution: democratic nationalism, national socialism and socialist internationalism—all of them claiming “to be the sole and only embodiment of true democracy.”
Excerpt From: Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. “Liberty or Equality.”
That is Royalism. Leddihn is a Catholic, European, Royalist.
What, however, is Neo-Royalism? What is Moldbug?