A Neoreactionary critique of Hierarchy?

Recently, I talked about the notion of superiority and what constitute a superior individual. There is something easily observable about superior individuals: they tend to dominate those who do not possess the same capacities as they (this is true whether we are talking about levels of dominance or other abilities related to the achieving of some end). These power dynamics end up coalescing into hierarchies.

There are individuals who are utterly opposed to the existence of hierarchy, labeling all hierarchies as oppression. This is of course incorrect. Hierarchies are not oppression, but a justified allocation of talents and capabilities. In fact, stable hierarchies offer room for growth and development that could not be found elsewhere.

That said, unstable hierarchies are less able to achieve their goals and do a poor job of meeting the needs that stable hierarchies do. Realizing this (perhaps unconsciously), opponents of hierarchy will do their best to cripple or undermine effective hierarchies ,and then point to these failures as proof of the evils of hierarchy. This is, of course, manipulative, intellectually dishonest, and possibly morally reprehensible. Hierarchies should be made more efficient and effective, not more egalitarian.

The above represents a basic Neoreactionary defense of hierarchy. It certainly has some merit. All all hierarchies defensible in this manner, though? It doesn’t strike me as beyond the realm of possibility that some hierarchies exist which should not exist, and that these hierarchies cannot be necessarily justified with arguments in this vein (I leave open the possibility they can be defended on other grounds, though).

The above argument also relies on a perfect allotment of individuals into the positions most suited for them. It fails to take into account all the ways that this is not necessarily true. For one example, there might exist individuals who are skilled at climbing hierarchies in ways that are not commensurate with their relevant talents.

Additionally, hierarchies do not always emerge organically, even if there is a common goal involved. If the goal is shaky, misunderstood, or ambiguous, a hierarchy won’t necessarily coalesce the way this model supposes.

Consider Neoreaction, or perhaps the broader Reaction as a whole. I’ve always found it amusing that for all our talk of the merits of hierarchy, we aren’t so much an organized hierarchy as a loose network of individuals functioning as nodes in a network, with certain nodes being more central to the overall structure than others.

Does this all invalidate Neoreactionary defenses of hierarchy? Of course not, though it might weaken it at some points. I consider the Neoreactionary position on hierarchies to be akin to the Libertarian position on free markets: they rarely (if ever) need to be managed. Definitely true an overwhelming majority of the time, but there are some gray zones where the debate gets tricky…

So what am I proposing here? Not too much. The nuances of hierarchy are complex. The assumption that beneficial hierarchies will always form is mostly correct, but thee devil is in the details, and there are a few devilish details that must be investigated. Further interest into the development of hierarchies is in the best interest of Neoreaction, and this area ought to be investigated further in the future.

ESSE QUAM VIDERI

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