Do Neoreactionaries really like Hierarchy?

Imagine, for a moment, a world in which behavioral traits are non-responsive to environmental stimulus. In other words, personality is 100% determined by genetic factors. No environmental impact has any effect on behavior.

Individuals with traits that would put them at a disadvantage in society would be forced to find ways to sublimate these characteristics, or else be punished by society. Individuals with a tendency towards aggression, for example, would be better off joining the military or taking up martial arts, satisfying their urges in a way that wouldn’t drive them to commit crimes or engage in violent acts. People with disadvantageous traits would be forced to channel them into permissible avenues, as environmental mitigation would be merely a pipe-dream.

In our world, of course, character traits are only partly heritable. Environmental impact is still strong. However, most traits do retain a certain degree of heritability.

Tolerance is a probably one of them. Fundamentally, tolerance is just a sensitivity to in-group/out-group distinctions, and it ought to be intuitive that ones level of tolerance is partly dictated by biology.

I could take this opportunity to defend individuals like Fred Phelps, but I’ll pass. I’d like to consider the implications of the short and simple thought experiment I laid out above.

We don’t live in a world in which all behavior is 100% biologically determined, but we do live in a world in which is it most certainly declassé to express certain traits. Intolerance is one of them.

So what are the intolerant people to do? One thing to do is get together and from their own thede. Another is to channel their impulses (consciously or otherwise) into socially acceptable outlets. Another is to do both!

What might these outlets look like? Imagine a group that allows one to engage in intolerance, while simultaneously preaching the virtues of tolerance, and assuring that everyone in the group is the most tolerant person ever (imagine the alcoholic who assures everyone that he doesn’t have a problem, just on the level of a social group). Now imagine that this group has a clear punching bag on which to focus all of their intolerance (that they deny to themselves, of course), complete with rationalizations for why this target deserves it.

My analogy here is hardly veiled. I am indeed proposing that liberals are highly intolerant, and are just in denial about that fact. This is not my full point though. I wish to use it to highlight a greater point: that liberals do not truly know themselves, and they use certain rationalizations and psychological defense mechanism to avoid having to learn about themselves.

Do these rationalizations cross over into how liberals understand the world around them? I would be extraordinarily surprised if they didn’t. I would say it is not that liberals ignore human nature so much as they are ignorant of it, which is why they either write-off, downplay, or straight-up don’t understand the importance of factors like in-group/out-group distinctions and time-preference in determining human behavior.

Now, what do we fear most in life? A common answer is “the unknown”. We fear what we do not understand. Those who do not understand reality are bound to fear it. Following this framework, it is no stretch to assume that one of the biggest fears all liberals have is the fear of reality itself.

It is my personal hypothesis that the ultimate fear of most liberal is their fear of reality, and an unconscious fear of not being able to live up to it. I also think that you can explain most liberal behavior (possibly all, though I won’t go so far as to make that claim) by tracing their actions back to this fear.

But it’s easy enough to make snide remarks about the phobia of the mygs. I’m going to do what I do so frequently and turn the lenses back on Neoreaction (or perhaps more accurately for this case, the Neoreactionaries who comprise Neoreaction).

Is there an underlying motive driving Neoreactionary behavior that we aren’t aware of? I’ve been trying to tease this out recently. It’s been difficulty, as I can’t quite get the outside view that makes these things easier to assess.

Consider this though: We lavish much praise on the merits of hierarchy. We applaud it as being a near-unmitigated good. Yet are we hierarchical? Not at all. Neoreaction is not a hierarchy, it is a loose web of similar individuals acting as nodes in a network, with some nodes being more central than others.

Are we anti-hierarchical? I don’t think this quite is it. I think the truth is a little more subtle. Yet, to a certain degree, (in our personal preferences) I think we are. We just rationalize this by claiming that it just the current hierarchy we oppose, that we feel the US government and the broader Cathedral does not deserve its place on top of the power hierarchy of the West. What we refuse to admit to ourselves is that very few of us want anyone above us on the hierarchy giving us orders.

How many of us really want to be told what to do? The amount of concessions and rationalizations we would need to make for ourselves to tolerate that indicate that we fundamentally don’t want that.

We want effective government because an effective government wouldn’t cause problems for us. We want government out of our lives, but because we see the utility of hierarchy, we need to rationalize our opposition. We want to be able to trust the government to do its own thing so that it can leave us to do ours.

This doesn’t make Neoreactionary wrong, not at all. It just means that the underlying impetus is independent, high-IQ types who are sick of what we perceive as a sick, dying, and possibly illegitimate system chipping away at the fabric society we live in. We are sick of what we feel is encroachment upon our potential. We are sick of those we view as incompetent having any say in what we do. It says nothing about the quality of our analyses, but merely provides a deeper insight into where we’re coming from.

I’d be fairly surprised if there were too many of my compatriots who haven’t already realized this on their own. Yet I still feel it is important to push this out into the open. All flows from the self. When the self is known, and the self is mastered, then the self can change the world.

If Neoreaction can avoid being limited by the psychological quirks of the Neoreactionaries, than it can transcend itself.  Then, and only then, can its true virulence in the realm of memetic infiltration be supremely manifested.



13 thoughts on “Do Neoreactionaries really like Hierarchy?

  1. nickbsteves 03/29/2014 / 2:13 PM

    It’s not a formal hierarchy yet, but there is a fair amount of emergent order manifest: generals, majors, lieutenants, and foot soldiers. It’s far from perfect and everyone remains a special little snowflake, but peer (hah!) pressure tends to keep wraps on that most of the time.

  2. VXXC 03/29/2014 / 2:37 PM

    “can its true virulence in the realm of memetic infiltration be supremely manifested”

    I Like You.

  3. Chad 03/29/2014 / 3:01 PM

    I find it more interesting to ponder what others do offline that match or run counter to what they say they believe on blogs. Maybe that’s because, while I love hierarchy, I was never attracted to become part of the neoreaction hierarchy. Instead I sought out a new career and faith which supports those values. Ive embraced those two areas and love them; having very different places in the hierarchy of each.

    Does a love of and belief in hierarchy for neoreactionaries extend so far that they’d be on the bottom of one?

    If not, it works greatly against their cause to deny the reality that such a place may be exactly the one they earn, and rail against such a thought

  4. nickbsteves 03/29/2014 / 3:21 PM

    What Chad says. That’s what I’ve been preaching. Forever. We must first fix ourselves. Some will be called to go further. Which may entail front lines propaganda work, recruitment, logistics, high theory, whatever.

  5. seriouslypleasedropit 03/29/2014 / 4:47 PM

    “Does a love of and belief in hierarchy for neoreactionaries extend so far that they’d be on the bottom of one?”

    Bing bing bing! One million points for Chad.

    Which is why I’m trying to be a foot-soldier. And why I think NRx Catholics are awesome.

  6. intuitivereason 03/29/2014 / 5:19 PM

    I don’t know that I’d say I have a love for hierarchy. I most certainly have a desire to be led, and led well; to part of a group of people who are coherent and committed to a way of being, not just part of a group that comes together to create something.

    The seductive power of neoreaction for me was that it articulated concepts that I had already begun formulating, and filled in a couple of gaps. So now the query remains how to bring such a thing about; here in Tasmania, in a remote corner, of a remote state, in a remote country there may well be an opportunity over the next couple years. We’ll see.

  7. Bryce Laliberte 03/29/2014 / 9:06 PM

    Hierarchies form in response to supra-Dunbar communities. It is only in the past few months that the neoreactionary community has exceeded that number, and the formation of an hierarchy is ongoing. There are certain personalities that need not be named which don’t fit in well, but they are rapidly purging themselves and the whole is moving along without a break. That outsiders can be told very quickly by most everyone in the community who they should talk to for the inside scoop indicates that there is a dynamic order present. I think many neoreactionaries do like hierarchy, because even if they’re not on top they have a purpose in having tasks delegated to them so that the “generals,” as it were, are freed to spend more time researching and developing neoreaction.

    • intuitivereason 03/29/2014 / 10:36 PM

      The simplest hierarchy — that of the leader — forms not in relation to the scale of the group but in relation to the observed capacity of the members in that group.

      Two levels of leadership form once the group exceeds the size in which an involved discussion can take place.

      The internet, in the manner in which it impersonalises each of us, drastically slows down the development of a hierarchy, while accelerating connectivity.

      What is happening now is still exploration of a knowledge-space. We are seeing some recognise the value that may be found in systematic, coherent exploration, rather than intuitive, individual consideration.

      Leadership, hierarchy — these will form naturally once there is a project, a materialisation of this thought.

  8. House Perspicacity 03/29/2014 / 10:14 PM

    I definitely agree that, as it is, Neoreaction is anti-hierarchical, but as others have noted it is moving in that direction. See the formation of The Hestia Society For Social Studies. Definitely a step in that direction.

    Our anti-hierarchical nature is incidental, the result of the specific means we use to communicate: The internet. As you’ve noted, nodes in a network don’t lend themselves to centralization although there is a rough center to be had.

    I for one, don’t like being told what to do or how to do it. I don’t trust others to know how I should live my life, for reasons beyond counting and experiences beyond measure. Me and another NRx friend have commented to each other, “Neoreaction could make a remarkable society, but there would be no place in it for me as I am.” Me or the rest of us intellectual rebels that comprise the movement.

    Of course, my priority is the Good, and Neoreaction is an incidental step on that path. One which, despite the difficulties it faces, may yet produce a sweet and nutritious fruit.

    Only time will tell.

    • House Perspicacity 03/29/2014 / 10:16 PM

      By “That Direction” in the first sentence I referred to Centralization and hierarchy.

  9. soapjackal 03/31/2014 / 6:28 PM

    “Neoreaction can avoid being limited by the psychological quirks of the Neoreactionaries, than it can transcend itself”

    While infighting and trying to tie ones biases onto the factical nature of NRx search can be problematic to forming a fraternity I don’t think that this is the route to transcendence.

    Having strong individuals who are unique outside of any NRx label (in that they don’t over identify and Attempt to take possession of the NRx) and who provide separate perspectives WHO happen to form fraternal organizations that take thier individual contributions and build onto a NRx narrative seems to be the better path (logically and historically)

    Good article man.

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