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The Dark Enlightenment and Neoreactionary Primer… One of the signs of conservative torpor is its descent into silliness:  Fox News culture warring, the unconventional conservatism of comic books, status-jockeying pundits in favor of gay marriage and low taxes, the hipster conservatism of Rod Dreher, paranoid delusions about Obama, etc.  In a world where conservativism is defined entirely by distractions and larping, conservatism doesn't really exist.  This is that world.


Conservatism's silliness suits the media just fine.  It's commerce now, run by very large corporations, and the last thing they want to do is make people concerned and anxious right before the ads.  You may have noticed the mood--the "will this make my tummy hurt?" mood.


So instead of serious treatment of the economy, geopolitics, demographic change, and other things that might make you feel insecure and that definitely won't lead to change they can cash in on, we get the Decade of the Shark.  Did someone famous just express an opinion about gay people?  Turn on Diane Sawyer's World News and Funniest Home Videos to find out!


Thus the trickle of reports you may have seen about "neoreactionaries" or "The Dark Enlightenment".  Take this one from The Telegraph:


Meet The Dark Enlightenment: sophisticated neo-fascism that's spreading fast on the net


Since 2012 a sophisticated but bizarre online neo-fascist movement has been growing fast. It’s called "The Dark Enlightenment". Its modus operandi is well suited to a digital society. Supporters are dotted all over the world, connected via a handful of blogs and chat rooms. Its adherents are clever, angry white men patiently awaiting the collapse of civilisation, and a return to some kind of futuristic, ethno-centric feudalism.


Bizarre, neo-fascist, futuristic weirdos--when you don't have time to talk about the troubling breakdown in social structures, you will tend to find time to talk about this kind of crap.


Neoreactionaries are young nerdy fellows who go up into the attic and larp about in grandpa's clothes.  They read Carlyle and Evola and Nietzsche and talk about antiegalitarianism and transhumanism and "human biodiversity" (racism).  As with grandpa's clothes, it's all a poor fit for them because they haven't done the hard work of understanding the context of their own complaints.  Rather, they consume outdated philosophy along with their own cudlike blogs and tweets until what they are eating is indistinguishable from what they are excreting.  This is basically how all Internet cultures operate, but moreso for neoreactionaries because when you start name-dropping guys like Evola the crowd really thins out (justifiably).


Why are they into all this esoterica?  The modern world scares and disturbs them, they don't understand it at all, and they have what you could call a lot of "indoor time".  Their neoreactionaryism is a soothing defensive posture, functioning much as a hugbox does for autists--they shut out the difficult chaos of argument and bickering of politics and shut themselves in with the firm authority of misfit philosophers who write in a clear, elegant manner.


I've already told you more of substance about them than you'll get from the media, which treats them as a new exotic flavor of Internet sperg.  For the media, it's just something to read about while you're waiting for everyone to get back from lunch.  Neoreactionaries think this is their breakout moment, but it's really just the moment when everyone agrees what to label this strange group of nerds.  It's all for that moment of recognition when you can say, "Ah!  You read Ayn Rand."


So what difference does it make?  Look around the circus:  this is what happens when conservatism is so debilitated and fraudulent.  That is what is important here--not the clowns.


More, so much more, at My Posting CareerMonday, January 20, 2014 - 4:46 PM  

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