04 June 2013

Lots of Clubs

My answer to the question, “what should reactionaries actually do?” has been, “build a theory”. I’ve made the argument, over a few years, that any kind of actual political activism is harmful. The elite need to be converted, not defeated, and directly challenging them for power will never achieve that.

However, that answer is very unsatisfying for some people. There are people out there who want to get rid of democracy and politicians, but are not inclined to write books or follow a dozen blogs worth of reactionary theory. Their obvious outlet would be a fascist movement, but some may understand the shortcomings and flaws of that approach.

People who are looking for the Modern Structure to be replaced when it fails by something more traditional should, most of all, get together. This is Heubeck again, but even his “book clubs” are too narrow an approach. Video clubs, sports clubs, craft clubs, dining clubs — any of these contribute to the culture as long as they stick to three rules: have some kind of traditionalist orientation, be selective in membership, and prohibit political participation.

Obviously, with there not being a hierarchy to give orders, some of these clubs could fall away from virtue and become democratic, fascist, or just clubs. Is that worse than not forming them? Today we have nothing; if we succeed in this, we can start to weaken the democratic culture at its edges.

There are those who say, that since we are in favour of hierarchy, that our movement should start by being hierarchical — as if the first step in overthrowing democracy is for someone to appoint himself King, and then look for subjects. It won’t work that way. The people have to want a King before they can have one. Not that this is a bottom-up movement, either: the people will demand a King when the elite tell them to. Influencing the elite will be a slow process, but the major aim is to make the unthinkable thinkable, and having numbers of ordinary respectable people is a way to do that.

Shunning politics is the most important value. That means not just parties and elections, but single-issue campaigns, demonstrations, and the like. Adding more fascists just tells the elite that they need to crack down harder on fascists. Adding more normal-seeming people who just chuckle when you talk to them about political issues and say they don’t care for pretending to know how to rule a country, they’d rather just have a King, might have a small creeping effect on what ideas are considered unthinkable.

Publicity is a different matter. Once you have a viable organisation, it is good to get some exposure, but the exposure should be centred on the club’s activity. The anti-political aspect should be an incidental matter.

There is a catch there, in that selective membership may be illegal in some jurisdictions. In that circumstance, it is necessary to be less formal. The club should have no assets, no bank account. It can still have officers, but paperwork should be minimised, expenditures should be raised on an ad-hoc basis, any bookings of premises or equipment should be done as a personal transaction by a member. If the club is attacked by the authorities for not being inclusive enough, do not whine or fight, just go away, and go informal. (If the club is just criticised, not actually attacked, shrug and carry on). Both the attack and the lack of response serve our purpose — they show that the members are just ordinary people who are not political extremists, but who want to socialise in a way that is not allowed or approved by the state.

If it does start to go wrong — progressives are accidentally admitted and start to take over — deal with the problem quietly or not at all. Better to abandon it, wait a few months, and start again, than get in a big public split between “right-thinking people” and “extremists”. The same if the club becomes associated with right-wing activists. Politics cannot be allowed. It’s just about OK for members to vote in elections if they’re quiet about it, but it must be prohibited for a member to be publicly associated with any party or campaign.

The fact that these clubs are neither talking shops for theorists nor political cadres does not mean than the members need to be stupid. At the very least, the “no politics” rule needs to be defended. The members should know who the reactionary theorists are, and should be aware that the brazen competition for power between interest groups is both a barrier to solving the real problems of the state, and a necessary feature of democracy. They should know that they are excluding themselves from the political process not out of defeatism, but as a method of undermining the legitimacy of the régime.

That is not much to ask. Just this morning, @UK_Resistance, which appears to be a straightforward nationalist account, tweeted, “Proud to be disenfranchised working class”. I was impressed. Recognising and accepting disenfranchisement is the way of creating an alternative basis of legitimacy for a non-progressive ruler.

The Jack Donovan quote used by the Radish is another strong way of putting it: “I’m not advocating apathy. I don’t want you to stop caring. I want you to stop believing. I want you to withdraw your consent. The best thing you can do for your country — for the men around you, for the future — is to let the system tear itself apart.”


perfidy said...

Reading Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age, I've often wondered how the Neo-Victorians came into being. Perhaps it was a club of software engineers who decided to impose an odd set of rules upon themselves, and picked a royal house to swear fealty to.

Perhaps that royal house didn't even exist, or did and didn't know about the club until much later...

Tryptophan said...

I know a girl who is quite politically active, secular, an engineer and must have a 115ish IQ. She said to me in regards to the recent Woolwich murder (without prompting) that “no religion allows you to kill people.” This belief is quite widespread and is the exact opposite of reality. She doesn’t believe it because it is true, she doesn’t care about truth, she believes it because it makes her feel good. Most people believe what they believe because it makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside. Given that, there is literally no belief that would be harder to spread among ordinary people than “we are all too stupid to decide who should govern”. People find it hard to recognise their own ineptitude, at measureable skills like driving, (see the Dunning-Kruger effect) and it will be even more so for a subjective and contentious matter like politics. They will never accept it.
Another argument against your tactic of simply spreading the truth targeted to elite groups is that their beliefs do not spring from nothing, they are self-serving beliefs. Elites believe what they believe because it serves both them and their beliefs (in terms of meme replication). Asking the Guardian to oppose democracy is like asking the Pope to be an atheist, what legitimacy would the Graun have in a neo-reactionary utopia? You are asking our rulers to self immolate (politely as well!). They are able to shape society through democratic and communist pseudo/hyper-democractic politics, they will never give up the key to their power.
What I think I’ve shown is that
1)The source of the power of the Cathedral is democracy
2) People like to believe in democracy,
3) People believe what they enjoy believing
As the cathedral is constantly telling them to believe in democracy, I think they will continue to do so.
The failure of a mass-grumbling strategy leaves two plausible Neo-reactionary strategies, the first is Exit which can be achieved through tax havens, Seasteading, Secession, Transhumanism or a range of other options. The second viable option is to wait until the state is nearing takeover by Communists/Islamists/Borgs and execute a Coup d’état. (I suppose the coup is a variant of the elite club strategy.) I don’t think “we” will actually do any of these things given that “we” barely exist, however, our thought may influence developments. Personally, I don’t expect us to have any impact.

Liquid Proxy said...

I've made a recent post about what neoreactionaries can do. You can find it here:


The tl:dr is basically this: build alternative institutions to which power can flow (as per Moldbug), such as home schooling, bitcoin, 3D printing, above replacement fertility, blogging, etc.

As one of the comments points out though, things could get very nasty so a re-invigorated Christianity could also be another institution to which power could flow.