Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


I used to call myself a reactionary, but lately I'm developing a hate for the word. Let's say I'm evolving. I not longer think we should go back to the past. The modern world sucks alright, but the past sucked in his own way. Let me explain.

Let's talk about myths.

Conservatives have this myth.

In the old days people were reasonably well behaved, religious, serious, forthright, strong, men were manly women were ladies. Society enforced this behavior in many different ways, which we call tradition.

Then liberals came by and destroyed tradition, killed standards, and said people should be free and do what they wanted. The result is Juggalos, Juggalettes, Big Brother, American Idol, and basically civilization collapse.

So Conservatives cry, its all about those liberals! They destroyed those traditions that made people behave. We should just go back and enforce them, so the common people will go back to be god-fearing, hard-working honest fellas.

All of this is quite true. Yet let's look at the historical angle.

Those liberals that deconstructed and destroyed the old traditions were, on average, quite smart people. And they did that because they were bored by those traditions. They didn't want go to to mass to listen to some old fool preach some moralizing BS. They didn't want to be chaste and refuse to explore the pleasures of the body. And they didn't want to self-censor, to pay respect to some bunch of old geezers who were only worried, it seemed, on keeping their power and position. They wanted freedom! Because they felt, they knew, that they could do great things with it. Tradition be damned.

That's also very true. The fact remains that the deconstruction of European tradition since the late 18th century has coincided with history's greatest advances on science, art, and knowledge in general. Well maybe not the visual arts, but literature for certain. Old reactionaries must come to terms with this fact. P.J.O. Rourke used to say that Utopia was the 18th century with air conditioning and modern medicine. The fact remains that they didn't have that. We had to destroy that world to develop air conditioning and modern medicine.

So we see that both conservatives and liberals are quite right in their positions. So there must be something fishy.

And that is one huge wrong assumption. Human Neurological Uniformity. The fact that humans are all the same, i.e. the same inputs will produce the same outputs.

Let's say there's two kinds of people, dumb and smart. Let's call it proles and elites, using modern blog terms. Well all those behavior-constraining traditions that the Conservatives champion were necessary to make the proles behave. Proof is that since we made away with them, the proles have stopped behaving, and they are pretty much a savage bunch, who only care about sports, beer and kinky sex. The problem is that elites don't want to be subject to the same rules as the proles. They want freedom to use their natural talents (and show off their status), and tradition won't let them. So you get Galileo bullied by the Roman curia. Watch that Galileo had a mistress he never married. He just couldn't be bothered with common mores. He was special. As was Abelard, that horny bastard centuries before him. Intellectual and moral innovation go together.

The Elites wanted freedom to search for new things, and slowly, first in the Renaissance, then Enlightenment, then Revolution, they got it. And they unleashed the biggest intellectual advances ever known to mankind. Of course some people will say that's all thanks to the Church, that we would have got there anyway, that we advanced in spite of liberalism, instead of because of it. Well that's pointless drivel. That the intellectual tradition that modern science was based of was, in the end, Catholic scholasticism, that is true. That the Orientals and Muslims have their own scholasticism is also true. It never developed, and a still piously Catholic Europe would probably also never done much.

Byzantium was cool too, alas its dead, and its descendants pretty decadent. Modern Japan is still a traditional society where smart people are drilled to death to learn some pointless traditional knowledge about tea varieties they must know. They end up being workbots without a personality. We all know the type. They are still a Rightist society. Their proles behave, which tends to amaze White people who visit. But their smart people are oppressed and lifeless.

So we see that Conservatives and Liberals, Right and Left, are both right, they just aren't talking about the same people.

So we just need double standards, non? Well we had those, sort of, until 1968. The problem with double standards is that there's always the danger of the Gracchi raising from their graves and raise a prole army on promises of equal rights. And we all know where that leads.

So there's only one way out. Eugenics.

Either we make everyone elite, or equal rights makes proles of everyone.


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  • You may want to consider wither the scientific revolution caused the technological advances or if war and commerce that caused the advances. My reading of history it was the lack of total war along with almost constant fighting and followed by insane competition in the realm of commerce that developed most of the tech we enjoy today.

    This was coupled with a eugenics program that didn't allow people to get married without having enough money to buy a house. It's an excellent method of sexual selection. The church also ended cousin marriage.

  • Well war and commerce provided the economic incentive that, say China, never had. But you need also religious permission, so to speak. Intellectual incentives are also important. The whole world has known constant fighting, but only north Europe developed the scientific method. Which is pure blasphemy, yet they got away with it. We had openly non-christian elites since the 18th century. That is inconceivable in most cases in history.

    Ditto for eugenics. With this economy we may very well go back there. Who knows though, there's always charity to boost the prole numbers.

      • I wouldn't say you're wrong so much as I would say that you're presenting the tip of an iceberg.

        The problem of America - and the West - is that Christianity was assassinated by Cultural Marxism.

        It's not simply a question of smart people - it's a question of smart, sociopathic Cultural Marxists.

      • Well I'm no philo-semite but that's a very simplistic way of putting it. The elites were non Christian way before that. The common people were though. What happened after WW2 is that the Cultural Marxists pointed out at the double standard between the elites and the commoners, and called to the masses to break it. And so the masses aped was what previously an elite privilege: godless hedonism.

        But in the 1920s the English and French aristocrats were already as far from Christianity as any SWPL today. Read some books about it, there's plenty.

  • Reaction isn't about going back to the past; antimodernism doesn't require premodernism. I'm not sure if the word has any meaningful definition different from that of 'rightism', but if I had to give it a definition, it'd be the negation of progressivism: the refusal to derive the value of a thing from the time of its creation. (Note that this means reaction and primitivism are mutually exclusive.)

    I could also pull out some Alain de Benoist and define reaction as either a willingness to engage with the past, to draw on it as another perspective as opposed to discarding it as an earlier, less valuable stage in human evolution or the negation of the linear model of history.

    • Well we're playing with language here then. Reactionary is what the French called those monarchists who wanted to go back to the Ancienne Regime. I guess modern usage comes from Mencken, and I don't think he would have liked the 19th century.

      I'm not engaging liberals and their progress view of history in this post. I'm engaging my fellow antiprogressives to say that we have more in common with Voltaire than with, say, Louis de Bonald.

    • I prefer to think of "Reaction" as less of a particular vision for the better society (or at least "less-evil government"), and more as a perspective of critical analysis of the current Orthodoxy. We don't have to have a unifying vision or ideal or "answer", but only a common recognition origins, errors, and failures of the current dominant ideology.

      Perhaps a "definition" is that we are the ones who are opposed to the contemporary "Modernist Left-Progessive" manifestation of a long history Hegemonic Universalist Coercive Utopianisms, and instead favor of a stably coexisting multiplicity of tailored particularisms.

      This is what I call "Multizionism" and Moldbug calls "Metanationalism" and I've read "Hyperfederalism" elsewhere, but root concept is the same. We are the ones who reject the propriety of "the one answer for all, everywhere, forever, equally" (alternatively "quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus", "Catholic" does mean "Universal" after all).

      We don't have to have our own rival "thesis", but merely present Antithesis Red Pills to the deluded Blue Pills characteristic of the present structure. The user may reject the Blue and accept the Red, or produce his own novel, individualized synthesis - but taking on Blue with both barrels blazing is the basic point of Reaction.

      • Well there's something to say for coherent thesis when something as moronic and half-assed as Islam has been kicking ass for 1400 years. I agree that we dissenters won't be agreeing on a coherent policy plan anytime soon, but I shall at least strive to find a coherent philosophy to supersede liberalism.

      • I think we're very much on the same page actually. However, constructing a consensus Nosology of the causes, symptoms, and pathologies of the current Blue Orthodoxy is easier than defining health or obtaining agreement on remedies. What is "health", after all, besides "the absence of disease"? What differentiates valid reasoning from invalid reasoning (or science, or mathematics, etc.) except the absence of illogical steps? Does one even require coherence beyond that?

        As a practical intellectual strategy for something in the pre-infantile stage, I think it's more important to begin by focusing on the failures and flaws of what currently exists. Modernist Progressive Liberalism will fall in exactly the same way various popular Religions have in the past. An atmosphere of open questioning, dissatisfaction, and rejection creates a moment of opportunity to replace the dominant ideology. The replacements should arrive at the proper and precise time, less they be preemptively neutralized. Until then, heighten the contradictions, as they say. Simply accurately describing the nature of our present reality is all the Agitprop we need.

        At any rate, my point was mostly about a social-organizationally useful way to define "Reactionary" in its currently evolving state in this corner of the blogosphere. You have to find the core, multiple-intersection point of the crazy ideological Venn Diagram of the positions of the "friendly blogging community of Liberalism Rejectionists" (somebody out there *please* draw this, I beg of thee).

        That core, in my judgment, consists not just of complaints (which can be made against any society or imperfect human creation) but of a full analytical critique of the Blue Orthodoxy - that is, a perspective and attitude that claims the very fundamental premises of human nature essential to Left-Liberalism are irredeemably flawed. Most Reactionaries would also agree that plenty of anti-Liberal (and thus all-but-silenced) historical writers were more correct about humanity, and instead of ignoring them we should seriously consider their work as a guide to wisdom in our own thinking.

      • I was thinking on doing a post about the distinct but intersecting positions of all liberalism dissenters, and have it half done. Didn't think about the graph though. Good idea.

        I have been arguing all my adult life, but I don't think you can attack religion with reason. I tried and it just doesn't work. You can argue that feminism is nuts, how it makes women infertile and unhappy. But you will only get outraged cries that you're against equality and freedom for women, that you're a proto rapist. Same as when you criticize homosexuality you are called a closeted fag. Of course we should keep our agitprop, and it is relatively successful at the margins, where we all come from. I'm more for a Foundation kind of strategy, let us keep civilization alive and wait for the collapse. My personal focus is how we got here, and how can we avoid the same mistakes in the future.

      • Well, you've got one additional long-term blog follower, and I'm eager to see where it goes. Which part of the globe do you currently call home? I'm in the DC area for another month or so, and then Northeast Asia for a few years.

  • The post is about the 1960s. Seen that way, it is largely right. What happened in the 1960s is that the elite decided that they no longer wanted the (minor) inconveniences imposed on them by the norms and enforcement mechanisms which existed to prevent the proles immiserating themselves. They assigned their children the job of "making it so."

    Traditional sexual mores protect Joe and Jane Sixpack, but pretending to comply with them is annoying to the great and the good. The police dealing out rough justice protects the working class from the predators amongst them but can be inconvenient for hippies: hippies who have other methods to escape the genuinely unwashed. Etc.

    The New Left / SWPLism / PC is, in effect, a war on the stupid by the smart. "Taking away this support of civilization will fuck up your life, your family's life, the life of everyone you know? Well, you see, I find that prop slightly annoying, so, well, fuck you, yours, and everyone you know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

    The mainline Protestant denominations by this time were empty shells, consisting of some guy bleating out platitudes before the main event: coffee, donuts, and networking. Post Vatican II, the Catholic Church tried its best to become just one more of these sad zombies. So, your points about religion are similarly apt, for that time and those religions.

    "Reactionaries" who want to go back to the 1950s or to Victorian England are daft. It's like wanting to go back to the soaring feeling you get after jumping off a skyscraper or the high feeling you have at the peak of your bender. The crash may not be the part of the experience you like, but it is part of the experience.

    I agree that simply going back is not possible, though. Social roles designed for a society in which 99% of the workforce is farm labor are not going to be functional for a society in which 1% of the workforce is farm labor . . . It seems a bit of a strawman.

    That the Orientals and Muslims have their own scholasticism is also true.

    What are you talking about here? Confucius and Mencius? The "Golden Age of Islamic Science?" If you think these are equivalent (even very roughly) to the European intellectual project which culminated in Scholasticism, then Simon is right about the need to read more books. Approximately everything people have done was done either in the strange, short burst of golden age Pagan Greece or in the long, fertile history of Christian Europe. This long advance is closing as Europe is becoming non-Christian.

    Western elites did not become openly non-Christian until the 19th C at the earliest and, I think, more accurately not until the 20th C. America's founders, for example, were not openly non-Christian. Revolutionary France had openly non-Christian elites, but it didn't really last all that long (and it sucked). Napoleon, for example, sometimes pretended to be Catholic. Hell, President Obama is not openly non-Christian.

    The problem for your larger story, though, is that the current slowdown in intellectual life seems to have started in the 1960s also. The elites, freed from their social constraints, have not done great things. Rather, they have not done much of anything, except devising every more intricate ways to con morons out of their money, of course. If you believe the conventional story that scientific advance begets technological advance (I don't), then we are surely headed for a doozy of a technological slowdown real soon now. Oh, and kinky sex is an elite thing and always has been.

    • My first reaction on kinky sex was the same, but on reflection, I have to agree with Bloody Shovel. If you poke around a site like, you do not get the impression of high intelligence. Maybe, a paucity of morons, but that might just be the filtering of business enterprise. On the other hand, some people I know who have joined the new international elite are definitely not-kinky. I guess kink is more a function of risk aversion. So you are going to see more kink in the banksta branch of our new elites, and less kink in the academic-bureaucratic branch of them.

    • Some of those social norms made it harder for elites to get rich from value transferance vs value creation. They wanted to get rid of those too, seeing as value transferance is way way easier then value creation.

  • Double standards = crypto-conflict

    If you are elite and you obey standards made for proles you lose. If you are prole and you allow elites to destroy standards that protect you and your kind, you lose.

    PC culture is war by prog-elites and their degenerate pets against proles and non-prog elites.

    No need to worry about eugenics, Gnon has that covered.

  • You know, the whole line of thought reminds me of a parable of Chesterton, but I cannot find it online. Basically, the liberal decries that the poor live in unhealthy, lice ridden, terrible huts and goes on to design them modern healthy Le Corbusierian housing. Which is soulless and like a prison and destroys their social life and the poor now long for their old shitty huts, and then the conservative goes on to romanticize the living shit out of the old shitty huts, saying it was the proper natural way for men to live, largely because the Le Corbusierian stuff comes from his taxes.

    And then everybody takes one of these two sides, nostalgy vs. "progress".

    Chesterton's idea was that maybe we should just progress in different directions.

    So the conservative refuses to help the poor, the liberal helps them the wrong way, and maybe there should be a third way, help them the right way, like build stuff like their old huts were, just larger and healthy. Basically he says just give the peasant land to work and he will build a better hut for himself from his own earnings. Or at any rate listen to him and ask him what kind of house he wants and build him that.

    And then HBD gives it yet another spin. Chesterton's solution only works for high IQ peasants, without that listening to them or setting them free is useless, it will be like Levin's peasants in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

    So Chesterton is telling us both conservatives and liberals are elites who care little about the poor, the conservative doesn't want to spend money on the poor so he says their old lifestyle knee deep in mud and shit is just perf, the one good traditional natural way, and the liberal wants the conservatives money spent on his intellectual ideas so he builds whatever he likes building intellectually as a show-off, not what would the poor tenants would actually like. So Chesterton tells us to drop both and just set the peasant free or at least listen to him.

    Then HBD basically tells us: cool, but give us some smart peasants or that won't work either.

    Absent that, the conservative way is better. The old trad lifestyle knee deep in mud and shit at least allowed the peasant to customize his hovel with dried mud and shit bricks. Even the dumbest can a sense of satisfaction and control over their lives like that. They can also get nasty diseases from all that mud and shit but what can you do, decide what you want to optimize for.

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