I saw something the other day that I must admit I’d never expected to see. A friend of mine had put some photos up from his trip to the gun range. I looked through several pictures of this person firing what appeared to be a FAL (I couldn’t quite get a good look at the rifle) complete with the caption “No Mercy”.
Why was this so shocking? Well, this individual happens to be one of the most politically liberal people I’ve ever met. Yet, despite his extreme egalitarian sentiments, he recognizes that violence is not only a fact of life, it is indeed the most basic principle of life.
To give some further context, he’s not from the US. He’s from a foreign county with some history over the past century of paramilitary groups fighting against the government. As a patriot and a nationalist, he considers it his duty to be proficient with arms in case he ever needs to fight against those who would (in his mind) do his country harm.
Seeing these photos made me think of the great English writer George Orwell. Orwell was a rather left-leaning individual himself, yet still had no qualms going off on his own to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Indeed, Orwell had no timidity in regard to guns and warfare in general, famously stating: “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
Many liberals nowadays would be aghast, to say the least. The democrats are the party calling for more gun control, after all. Yet, those on the left have historically tended to like their guns. Guns were, after all, one of the key inventions that brought about the decline of feudalism, paving the way for English common law to develop into what we now know as liberal democracy. The American Revolution was, for its time, and exceedingly liberal concept. Left-leaning thought spent much of its history waging war against powerful opponents. I certainly am opposed to liberalism, but I will admit that for a period of time, liberals had to be bad-ass simply by virtue of having to defend themselves against vested interests.
Somewhere along the line though, liberals stopped being tough and battle-ready. Instead, leftism became mired deeper and deeper in the “victim ideologies”; the slave moralities of feminism, anti-racism, and the like eating away at a movement that (it must be said) at least had some element of masculinity at its core. Where progressives 100 years ago had as their symbol Theodore Roosevelt, who once gave a 90-minute speech after being shot in the chest, wound dripping blood the whole time, progressives nowadays have Pajama Boy and Tumblr feminists. Somewhere, something went horribly wrong…
Rather than taking a look at the specifics of what went wrong though (that is perhaps a matter for another time), it makes one consider a more philosophical question: Do ideologies take on the character of their adherents, or is it the character of its adherents that define the character of an ideology?
Perhaps I equivocate. It’s fairly obvious that this question cuts both way, and is possibly a chicken-and-egg style inquiry. Still, allow me to propose one model that might explain how this happens.
Suppose that a movement is born. The details don’t particularly matter. What does matter is that this movement will always have the stamp of those first individuals, both the ones who created it, and the early adopters. If these individuals have a certain characteristic (say, conscientiousness), this movement will always have some element of conscientiousness to it (barring drastic change, which can admittedly happen over time).
Additionally, those who become a part of this movement, if they invest in it to a certain degree, will become more conscientious in themselves. This will make the movement appeal to more conscientious people, and a significant proportion of the adopters will tend toward conscientiousness. A feedback loop is set up, and inertia becomes self-propelling (up to a point, the progression eventually stabilizes). Furthermore, if this movement becomes popular, it will gain a reputation as being full of conscientious individuals, and, by extension, be considered a conscientious movement.
Any difference in membership though, will change the fundamental nature of the movement, just as a large enough infusion of immigrants will change the character of a nation. In the case of liberalism, the infusing of the ideology with the ideologies of victim-hood made the movement weak and pathetic, coddling the degenerate, embracing servility, and opposed to anything that might possibly be K-selected or aristocratic. Strength, power, and success became not ideals to be achieved, but “oppressive”. This is why modern liberals are considered such pussies.
What kind of feed-back loop are reactionaries setting up for ourselves? We all know what it is at the moment, a whole lot of blogging and talking online, but little in the way of taking real-world action. You’re not going to find me opposed to intellectualizing over a keyboard, but it’s easy enough to see that this isn’t the feedback loop we want to be setting up for ourselves if we want to see society become even a tiny bit more reactionary.
The beauty of Reaction being relatively new and unknown though, is that there’s still time to alter the feedback loop. Make no mistake, it’s great that we’re intelligent and intellectual enough to be discussing the topics we’re discussing. It’s beautiful that we have the cognitive firepower to erase our modernist brainwashing and deconstruct many of the liberal tropes that have taken hold in the popular consciousness. Yet, beyond writing essays and articles for each others’ sakes, there is little real-world action that we actually undertake.
It suits our interests far more to be also spreading and applying our ideas so that we might shape society into something more to our liking. This not only will help us bring about a less liberal society, but also affects the feedback loop dictating how our movement is to be perceived. One day, we are going to have to deal with Reaction being public knowledge, and we will have a reputation to manage. How can we go about making sure that the general consensus on us Reactionaries is most favorable?
We not only need to be building ourselves into stern, hard men of action and capability, but also need to be setting up an ideological feedback loop to further that effect. This is both a matter of affecting our public perception (people love the strong horse), as well as genuinely being prepared for the future of the West. We need to be men of fire and steel, capable of exerting our wills on the world and dealing with whatever the world has in store for us. We need to become the process of shaping ourselves into Legionnaires.
In this day and age, liberals are pussies and conservatives can’t get anything done. People need a group they can turn to, whom they can trust and rely upon for whatever is needed. If the reputation we can cement in peoples mind is that Reactionaries are strong, intelligent, capable, and downright aristocratic individuals who are the people everyone wants at their side in a crisis, we do ourselves a big favor. All we have to do is make ourselves people who can live up to that image.
2014 looks like a good year to get on that.
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