What is to be done?
The theoretical groundwork for the Dark Enlightenment is in place enough to allow the formation of a general consensus, and a community around that consensus: a community that has in recent times turned most of its energy toward organization and self-reflection, toward answering the question, “Now that we exist, what is our future? What is to be done?”
Maybe I read too many primary sources from the ’40s and ’50s, but as I read these threads it gets difficult – at times – to distinguish the “reactionary” from the communist. A fair number of us seem to believe that we need to win, and to do so all we need to do is get the proles to rise up and overthrow the bourgeoisie.
When Moldbug wrote about the reboot, step one was getting the elites on our side. Anything else is destructive of order, and better left to some branch of progressivism. A surprising number of “reactionaries” seem to have missed this basic point.
So: what is to be done?
Means must be tailored toward ends. To answer the question, what is to be done?, another question must first be answered: what are the desirable ends?
I count six possible ends.
- Registerial reboot. Moldbug’s goal. Government is a sham, a sham that only the elites can do away with. Win over the elites and get them to replace the sham-government with a formalized government run on the triune principle of truth, order, and justice.
- Registerial dissolution. The goal of nationalists and separatists. Vaisya culture is threatened by Brahmin dominance, and Vaisyas themselves are threatened by Brahmin-promoted degeneracy. Cultural self-defense is only possible through national self-determination. The South must rise again, a new Confederacy must be born, if its people are to survive as such—or perhaps to survive at all.
- Registerial revolution. The goal of the dextro-Maoists. Dictatorship of the proles, not the Brahmins.
- Registerial reform. The goal of Ron Paulites and myself a year or two ago. Eat the thing that ate the state. Out-Mafia the Mafia.
- Cultural revolution. The goal of some white nationalists, usually alongside registerial dissolution. Find the right reference points and create a new nation, a new national consciousness, toward and/or concomitant with the new state to be formed.
- Cultural reform. Hinted at by Steve Sailer, Charles Murray, and myself. Degeneracy reigns among the proles and the children of the elite. The cultural fabric has rotted away, and the ruling principle is that of sex, drugs, and loud music. Virtue is sorely lacking; optimize for it.
The first goal is to figure out which of these ends is desirable.
Registerial reboot is untenable. We have no crypto-guns, and the doctrine of universal absolutism is either an untenable abstraction, an artifact of the clean and theoretical thought-patterns of the libertarian mindset that permeates Moldbug’s libertarianism-accelerated-past-itself, or a curious redefinition of the term ‘government’. Perhaps it is, as James Donald suggests, a myth, in an unwittingly(?) Sorelian sense: a belief to be judged not by its truth or its accuracy, but its products in the real world; or perhaps it is an abstraction to be asymptotically approached by innovation in technologies of control. But I can’t take it seriously. Fnargl, the personification of the neocameral apparatus of governance, is omniscient and omnipotent; he can set up a true panopticon and panastynomicon, the combination of which is required for a truly absolute rule. But USG is not Fnargl. Perhaps future technological innovations will let sovcorps become as gods. But—future!
Registerial revolution is opposed by orthodox reaction, and rightly so. Disorder cannot be fought with disorder; revolution is only appropriate when absolutely necessary. No new historical era, no new organizing principle that would require a clearing of the slate presents itself: USG is not yet so hopelessly suboptimal that even the chaos caused by total absence of Schelling points would be preferable.
Registerial dissolution is not a tenable goal in the near future. The most powerful mafia in the world simply cannot be out-mafiaed.
This leaves registerial reform, cultural revolution, and cultural reform. Each of these is opposed by the Cathedral. But is the Cathedral really the only power? Is the populism, the “genuine, grass-roots cis-democracy” that Moldbug rightly derides, really the only option?
Here is where the libertarian mindset of reaction fails. Libertarianism, like all strands of liberalism, has only a tenuous grasp on the relation between economics and power. Noam Chomsky thinks democracy got eaten by Smaug, who flew in one day breathing lobbyists and Goldman Sachs executives. How do you defeat Smaug? You get a bunch of dwarves together to shove pickets up its ass. The dwarves got together with their pickets, led by the great Thorin Santelli, and got—Marco fucking Rubio. An Outer Party man to the core. Progressivism will win unless we, too, become progressive. Think of the Hispanic votes! Good lord. What a joke. Cis-democracy will either lose or be co-opted. What gains will the evangelical movement, the greatest push for cis-democracy the Fourth Republic has ever seen, have to show for itself in thirty years? Maybe neoliberalism—but was neoliberalism ever cis-democratic? Can you imagine Charles Koch waving cardboard outside the Capitol?
When Foseti says the elites must be captured, he’s right. But which elites? The error of the libertarian mindset lies in the assumption that informal power can overpower formal power. Remind me again: where did Obamacare come from? Harvard? What does Cornel West think? And will his students trade in their Bob Dylan records for Von Thronstahl mp3s and weekly church service?
Which elites? Cornel West or Peter Thiel? I’ll get to the Thiels of the world later, but if Charles Koch, with his net worth of $34 billion, were converted to reaction tomorrow, what would happen? $34 billion is a lot of power.
The problem, of course, is that Marx was right. Materialism explains Charles Koch. Neoliberalism is in the economic interest of him and his class. Is it in Thiel’s?
The economy of knowledge and technology introduces a crack into Marx’s materialist system. Peter Thiel has no interest in cheap chalupas or their providers. The captains of industry need Morlocks to do their work, just as the captains of the Cathedral need Morlocks to do theirs: in the former case as workers, in the latter as weapons. The unholy marriage of neoliberalism and progressivism produces a thoroughly liberalized left, a left that directly attacks the last points of resistance against the ever-more-reigning world order while claiming to serve the ends of justice or socialism. National identity is to be dissolved, virtue and self-discipline are to be destroyed, leaving only self-chosen strings of adjectives to serve as identities, shipped-in armies of immigrants to serve as ever cheaper labor, and atomized individuals to serve as consumers of their chosen identities. A bourgeois pseudo-communism of fat acceptance and Che T-shirts. But the information economy needs no Morlocks. Harvard and George Mason are allied against MIT—and what are the interests and predispositions of the emerging class the latter represents?
The elites that must be won over are the technological elites: the elites whose interests align with those of reaction. Onward with the future! Biotech entrepreneurs, lucky developers, and so on have little to no interest in the expansion of the Morlock horde. Paypal wasn’t made in a Chinese factory. Furthermore, formal power can create informal power, as can be seen from the economic drift that reaction has so far overlooked. What has the Heritage Foundation done?
Here we see how these three goals may be achieved: through the accumulation of formal power, both as an end in itself and as a means toward informal power. The cultural ends can directly address the masses; but this requires the construction of an effective apparatus to do so, which requires formal power. And if the elites are to be won over, how can this happen?