As expected, my “Belly of the Beast” post kicked off a fair amount of discussion. Some thought it was prudent, others misguided, others a suboptimal approach. It occurred to me that perhaps it would be best if at this point in time I clarified a few things, elaborated on what I’m trying to achieve (there’s an entire second half to my strategy I neglected to mention), and address a couple of common criticisms.
First however, I recommend you read both “Advice for the Student Reactionary” and “The Strong Horse“. The first covers how to comport oneself as a young reactionary on a college campus. For those in such a situation, it really is invaluable. The tips on how to slowly broach the topic of liberalism and how to begin to hammer away its precepts are spot-on. I’ve applied some several of them myself with pleasing results (remember, even if you choose to go incognito as I do, you still have to be working to convince people that The Right is right, otherwise you’re no use at all). The latter discusses how the best approach to take is to simply be confident, proud, and unabashed of your ideological positions, to stand strong and unwavering and watch as those who disagree do…nothing actually,
The thing is, I don’t actually disagree with the position that those proud, open reactionaries will do more for the cause than those of us scuttling away behind keyboards and closed doors. I just think there still remains something to be gained by more subversive means, even if only for a time. Many individuals on campus are actually willing to listen to reactionary sentiments, and especially so if it comes from someone they perceive to be a liberal. I suppose it’s more disarming, and thus drops their mental defenses a bit. Not sure what the psychological mechanisms going on there happen to be, but I can say that it works.
Remember, the liberal guise is just a way to make it easier to talk around and greet yourself liked and sense who in your various social circles might have reactionary or pre-reactionary sentiments. It really does give one more room to feel people out, but it does one more thing. See, if one is in class having a discussion on some issue, and one of the “liberals” in the class drops a completely reactionary statement, or asks a question framed to cut through all of the accumulated pretenses and assumptions, then all of a sudden that gives ever other liberal permission to think it. It’s a bit of a tricky balancing act, but as long as you frame things in liberal terms and pretend to subscribe to progressive narratives, most people really won’t ever be the wiser.
Another reason to spend a lot of time around liberals if you have the stomach for it? You really get a sense of how they think. The same way that the best method to learn about a country is to go live there for a time, blending among the hordes gives you a keen sense of what left-leaning individuals value, prioritize, and hope for. You learn how they argue, and from there it’s enough to figure out how to out-debate them. On a more nefarious level, you pick up the common insecurities, fears, and weaknesses that appear among progressive types. An unscrupulous individual can do terrible things with that kind of knowledge…
Some say that eventually you will be outed as not being a true leftist. This might be true, especially if one is a it more aggressive when it comes to chipping away at leftist idiocy. However, the thing about liberals is that they really do want everyone else to be just like them, and are willing to cloud their view of reality and accept you if you say the secret words and express concern for the right things, to the point that you can say blatantly reactionary things and then brush it over with a few words about the importance of diversity or equality or whatever. It’s not until you start getting to the really left-wing crowds that they start eating each other like sharks in the womb at the first sign of insufficient leftism. Avoid those types (you’ll never get them to see reason anyway) and you really needn’t worry about having the facade be torn off.
I have little doubt in my ability to keep up the charade indefinitely, but I don’t think it would be in the interest of my principles to do that forever. Sure, I can say the right things and “support” the right movements, maybe even get a job in government or academia and suckle on that teat for my entire life, but I aspire to a nobler cause than just lining my pockets and fitting in with the degenerate masses. At some point in time, I believe it will be best to fight under my real name, without the mask I currently wear.
The timing is not yet right though. America has not yet reached the point where it is really ready for an organized public reaction. When that day comes, I will be a face in that crowd. Whether that happens on my own terms or if I’m outed by the liberal hordes prematurely though, I don’t plan on doing it alone. I don’t just want to come out swinging, I want to do it with a full-on Evola-style mannerbund at my back, ready and willing to fight publicly against the liberal narrative of our time, with boots on the ground and the pretense of anonymity behind us.
I do hope no one actually thought that I ws recommending upholding this pretense forever, After all, what is one to do if you finally do bring someone into the reactionary fold? Leave them be? Nonsense. You aren’t just convincing people of the truth and then turning them loose. With the method I propose, you have to be actively working to form a reactionary group to call your own.
The endgame I envision for myself is not scurrying around the halls of the Cathedral forever, challenging someone’s assumptions here and pointing out an absurdity in progressive thought there. It is to bring enough people together in secret to eventually have the numbers for a home-grown squad of reactionaries, cognizant of both the wider efforts of movements under the reactionary umbrella, as well as things that can be done in our current location.
I really do agree with those that think being the strong horse and doing it publicly is the most effective strategy that can be put forth right now. I suppose what it really boils down to though, is whether one prefers to do it alone, or to recruit people to battle valiantly with him.
This route requires someone with keen social awareness, high linguistic savvy, and a natural affinity towards self-modeling. It does strike me as a possibility that for someone with those capabilities, it would perhaps be more beneficial for reaction as a whole if they were to come out openly for things like hierarchy, ethno-nationalism, the importance of tradition…etc. For now however, the possibilities of men on the inside intrigue me too much, and so I shall refrain from passing judgement.
The other common criticism I’ve received is that this sort of tacit approach is dishonorable, underhanded, or otherwise improprietous for a true Reactionary. While part of me wants to write this off as the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, I do think this is a fair point. A world based on reactionary principles would be a world that returns to principles of honor. Men would be noble again. I do seek a world like that, but I don’t see how it can come about if we solely pursue honorable means. Much as I would love to walk in the light when this is all over, I don’t foresee that path for myself. I want a world of honor, but I know that I can never be an honorable man myself. A world based on reactionary ideas would be a noble world. It would be a better world. Just not for me.
In a dishonorable world, you need dishonorable means to bring about an honorable one. There needs to be a small group of people willing to do the dirty work to make reaction as a whole possible. Once the struggle is over, that group is either disowned or its activities covered up. It’s messy, it’s dirty, and just the thought of it should make most people cringe.
Orwell once said that good men sleep safe in their beds at night because rough men stand ready on their behalf. I would just like to add to that this: honorable men exist only if dishonorable men are quickly disposed of. In a world such as ours in which dishonesty is so prevalent, you need dishonorable men willing to do dishonorable things to pave the way for a resurgence of honor. Much as it would be a better world if we could settle our disputes with honor (dueling definitely needs to be brought back), honor is a handicap if everyone else is willing to fight dishonorably.
So my path becomes clear. I will walk in darkness and use any means necessary while doing so to further the cause of reaction. When I come into the light, it would seem best to eschew such methods, for the sake of avoiding tarnishing the reputation of reactionary movements while they are still growing and picking up steam. Some things need to stay in the dark.
Reality is messy and unpleasant. At times, our tactics are going to have to be as well. Without doubt, are odds are better in the light. That does not mean though, that we should be scared of the dark.