Emotion, Neoreaction, and the Hearts of Men

Neoreaction has been a bit like the communal bong lately…everyone wants to take a hit.  In the past few days we’ve had three different hit pieces directed at us (here, here, and here), the most prominent of them being published in The Telegraph.

You’ll notice a common thread among all of these arguments: There’s a fair amount of snark, inaccurate representation of Neoreactionary beliefs, and a weird focus on ideas of race that borders on the obsessive.  You’ll also notice that a nuanced and reasoned analysis of Neoreactionary ideas is shockingly absent from each of these articles.

You don’t have to be a Neoreactionary to notice this.  Even the intended audience for these pieces has noticed that the arguments put forth in these write-ups are a bit lacking. Take a look at the comment section for The Telegraph, or take note of just how many deleted comments are on that article at Patheos.  Most people aren’t stupid.  They realize Neoreaction isn’t getting a fair shake.

This has had an effect I find quite amusing.  Those who have been previously on the fence are starting to pick a side to come down on…our side.  Meet NeoVictorian, the newest reactionary writer to take up a keyboard, and someone who credits Bartlett’s less-than-stellar piece in The Telegraph with inspiring this action.  Talk about “Antifragile“…

You know why these hit pieces sway the weak-minded and repel the reasonably intelligent?  They’re all buzzwords and emotional appeals.  No powerful logos to speak of, which makes these pieces impotent in the face of any focused, intellectual analysis.  They just don’t have the strength to withstand a heavy barrage of cognitive firepower.

Logos needs to be your foundation if you’re going to wage ideological war, because logical arguments are the only argument that can weather the scrutiny of intense analysis.  This is why Neoreaction continues to make progress in the face of what is becoming a maelstrom of opposition on almost all sides.  To put it bluntly, our logos is bigger.

Once you’ve got logos down, then (and only then) you add pathos and ethos.  To do otherwise puts the cart before the horse.  If you care about truth, you prioritize rigid logical analysis, not petty emotions and warnings against thoughtcrime.

That said, pathos is certainly effective in persuading people to do or believe certain things.  Yet, the combination of pathos and logos trumps it every time.  The co-ordination of the two is stronger than either of the parts.

This is why I call for Reaction to further establish its myths and narratives.  We’ve got the logos, and if we add the pathos, we make our appeal that much stronger.

Ethos is icing on the cake in this situation.  In our time when character is almost an afterthought (in some parts of the West more than others) appeals to honor are pretty much outmoded.  The only true appeals we see to ethos nowadays are admonishments against being a racist, sexist, or whatever -ist term is the popular epithet du jour against those not sufficiently progressive.  Still, even now ethos has some swaying power, and in combination with the other two facets of persuasion it completes the great triumvirate of rhetoric.

When all three elements are put together, and presented in proper fashion, the majority of people cannot help but be convinced of your ideas.  This is the end result that all those individuals publishing attacks on Neoreaction are trying to achieve, of course.  The problem is, they’re missing key elements of this brew, and thus demonstrating their amateur status in the art of persuasion.  Clearly they need to browse The Patrician’s Library and take a peek at Aristotle’s Rhetoric (great read, by the way)What are those men ever going to do if they find themselves in debate with someone who really knows how to sway the hearts of men?

This is a weakness of many anti-Neoreactionaries, and what do we do when we see weakness in those who are vehemently opposed to us and are trying to appearing threatening?  We exploit those weaknesses for our own benefit, of course.  We have to do so if we want to survive the modernist assault, and we better get the practice in before the attacks on Neoreaction start to have teeth.



8 thoughts on “Emotion, Neoreaction, and the Hearts of Men

  1. neovictorian23 01/22/2014 / 2:17 AM

    Thank you for the link. It was stimulating to take the plunge.

  2. Holmgang 01/22/2014 / 5:13 AM

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep spreading the alternative to the message of the Cathedral. Their opposition to an evident truth is our strongest ally. You’re developing an ideology for men of action and resolve.

  3. Agro 01/22/2014 / 11:57 AM

    Awesome post

  4. Handle 01/22/2014 / 12:25 PM

    I turn my back for a few days too travel for work and look what happens.

  5. Alaric 01/22/2014 / 7:20 PM

    Why use their language, “neoreaction” to describe yourself. Who cares what they say anyway, you don’t need their SmartBadge. And why describe yourself as reacting…try to Act instead of react, let your opponent react.

  6. infowarrior1 01/23/2014 / 3:53 AM

    There is this comment at the neo-victorian website:

    Matthew L. on January 22, 2014 at 12:47 am said:

    As someone who, like you, has read the material of neoreactionaries as a form of entertainment, while being sympathetic to some of their views while also being vocally opposed to much of what is being pushed by what NRs call the “cathedral”, I’m becoming increasingly turned off by the movement.

    I don’t know about you, but it sadly seems to have become awfully self aggrandizing to me, which is ironically one of the aspects I’ve hated about progressivism. NRs have done well in their attempts at slaying the “sacred cows” of progressivism but it seems they have now given birth to their own sacred cows. This in turn is poised to unleash a race to the top (or race to the bottom) to see who can prove themselves to be more neoreactionary than the next person. In short, I fear some egotistical quest for ideological purity is blinding in this community, and making them appear petty and absurd to outsiders.

    In the big picture, I don’t see this movement having long term prospects, and may actually serve to strengthen “the cathedral” rather than chip away at it by repulsing those who would otherwise be inclined to oppose much of what progressives are peddling. Just my two schillings worth and I mean it respectfully, I look forward to what else you’ll be posting.

    • Legionnaire 01/23/2014 / 7:57 AM

      Agreed, it is an insightful comment, and while I don’t agree with Matthew L. that this is the way things are, myself and several others all agree that these possibilities are legitimate concerns that Neoreactionaries must actively work to avoid.

      If this is the caliber of comment we can come to expect at Neovictorian, than we should be very thankful indeed.

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