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.