Building a Neoreationary “Tribe”

The NRx is gradually coalescing, making more personal contacts “IRL”, in public and private forums. The NRx, is, to an extent, becoming coherent.

Something that will be useful moving forward is not necessarily The Official Neoreactionary Position® on political or social questions so much as an increasing sense of tribal feeling. In the future I’ll cover how ritual and initiation could fit in with this good. For today, let us touch on the tribal history of the NRx.

(As inspired by this post from Mountain Guerilla):

You see, one of the characteristics that defines a tribe, both anthropologically and practically, is a shared history, whether real or mythic. This history may be ancestral. Generally, all members of a kin-group tribe will be able to trace their ancestry back to a common individual, but often—thanks to the phenomena of intermarriage and adoption in tribal societies, those ancestral bonds are as likely to be mythic as they are to be connected by DNA. In sodalities, like guilds and war-band type tribes of course, it’s almost a given that the shared ancestry of the tribe—the nucleus that makes them a tribe, their “mutual exclusivity,” is going to be more mythic than real.

That’s okay. Why is that okay? I mean, isn’t that a lie?

Let’s back up, for just a moment, and look again at what defines a tribe. A tribe is a social unit that possesses something that defines the group’s boundaries, but also that separates it from the rest of humanity. It’s the “us vs. them” that Jack Donovan discusses in his writing. I refer to it as “mutual exclusivity.” It’s that je ne sais quoi that defines the boundaries of “our” group from others. It doesn’t need to be real, as long as it’s real to the group.

That mutual exclusivity, typically, can be defined as the shared history, ancestry, values, traditions, and customs, of the people of the tribe. Some may be shared with other tribes, but the specifics of how OUR tribe recognizes or exercises them is different enough that it separates us from them. In pre-Christianization Europe, for one example, pretty much all tribes that are now recognized as having belonged to the Germanic linguistic group—the Cherusci, the Allemani, the Marcomanni, the Franks, Angles, Saxons, and Jutes; the Vandals and Gepids, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, and Lombards, were “Germanic.” Their languages were all connected. Their cultures shared similarities, but their cultures were not identical. They were separate tribes, even as they shared common cultural characteristics.

Today however, we’re going to discuss one particular characteristic of tribalism and neo-tribalism, the immense value of the shared mythic ancestry of a tribe.

In what can be defined as an “intentional tribe,” such as a guild or war-band type association historically, or in our post-modern context, the intentional grouping of like-minded families for mutual assistance, where shared ancestry is not—and almost cannot—be certain, the mythic ancestry, and the lessons that can be gained from claiming a shared mythic ancestry cannot be overemphasized.

An example of this can be seen in the military, with the adoption of unit lineages. The United States Army says the following about the lineage of the Ranger Regiment: “The U.S. Army Ranger history predates the Revolutionary War.” Now, BY DEFINITION, nothing of the United States can predate the Revolution. So, by citing Majors Church and Rogers, fighting for the British, in the French and Indian War—especially considering Major Rogers’ later loyalties—as ancestral figures for the U.S. Army’s Rangers, is the very definition of a mythic ancestry for the unit. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that the exploits of Rogers’ Rangers, for one, have long served as a catalyst for awesome achievements by members of the unit.

The Mythic Ancestry of the Neoreaction

Let’s consider what “mythic ancestry” we might consciously choose. Our first thought is naturally Unqualified Reservations (UR) and Mencius Moldbug.

It is certainly a lovely coincidence that “UR” pronounced as a word sounds like the birthplace of Abraham, which would surely be a suitable beginning of our mythic ancestry, but we’ll consider that line “taken.” Neoreaction is not exactly a of new Judeo-Christian-Muslim cult, after all.

If I recall correctly, my own exposure to Moldbug began when I ran across this reference by Arnold Kling back in ought-nine – just about six years ago to the day. I also recall immediately blowing a couple or four work hours delving in to the UR archives. I admit I’ve never really been the same, since.

Moldbug and his oeuvre itself is, however, too recent and too passivist to make a functional mythic ancestry. He only began UR, as such, on April 23, 2007. His heroes and mentors are mostly gentlemen of the 19th and prior centuries, which is promising, but generally writers and thinkers rather than men of action. The collected works of Carlyle, for instance, are extremely important and influential in our community, but building a mythos upon writings just doesn’t work for me. Moldbug seems to have a healthy respect for the Cavaliers, and they were men of action, of glorious battle and brave deeds…but they lost.

28 June, 1098

I believe that we ought to consider the beginning of the beginning of the NRx as…28 June, 1098.

The Battle of Antioch.

SiegeofAntioch

A diverse group of the men of the West, starving, depleted, surrounded by Muslims; in other words, London a few years from now:

On Monday, 28 June, the crusaders emerged from the city gate, with Raymond of Aguilers carrying the Holy Lance before them. Kerbogha hesitated against his generals’ pleadings, hoping to attack them all at once rather than one division at a time, but he underestimated their size. He pretended to retreat to draw the crusaders to rougher terrain, while his archers continuously pelted the advancing crusaders with arrows. A detachment was dispatched to the crusader left wing, which was not protected by the river, but Bohemond quickly formed a seventh division and beat them back. The Turks were inflicting many casualties, including Adhemar’s standard-bearer, and Kerbogha set fire to the grass between his position and the crusaders, but this did not deter them: they had visions of three saints riding along with them: St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Maurice. The battle was brief and disastrous for the Turks. Duqaq deserted Kerbogha and this desertion reduced the great numerical advantage the Muslim army had over its Christian opponents. Soon the defeated Muslim troops were in panicked retreat.

I see the basis, the beginning, of a tribal myth here. The First Crusaders were the Neoreactionaries of their time. They just didn’t know it! I find this no more of a stretch than the U.S. Army claiming soldiers of The Crown as their own.

Following up on events after AD 1098, as above, I’m game to claim the Cavaliers as part of our Glorious Adopted History. Before and after that, fully open to suggestions!

Bruce Charlton Gets It (Followup to “Magicians of the Outer Right”)

All too oftern I indulge my childish sense of delight in obscurity, enigma and riddles, and thus welcome approaches from others that illuminate from a different angle, so to speak. Bruce Charlton is one such; highly intelligent, learned and straightforward.

After my recent wanderings amongst the Magicians of the Outer Right (and Part II) I was delighted to discover a post that ploughs some of the same ground, differently. Continue reading

Why I Don’t Feel Bad About Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A reply to this post by James E. Miller at the Mitrailleuse. I don’t usually recycle a comment as a post, but I thought that this explained in a nice, pointed way, my thinking and my approach to a lot of issues beyond the one at hand:

James,

I must respectfully, but profoundly, disagree that “we should still feel bad” about the atomic bombings. This is logically equivalent to “we should still feel bad about slavery” and child labor and witch burning and, and…

“We” didn’t do it. I don’t agree with the line of thinking that “the country’s history is my history. I own its triumphs and defeats.” Human history is also my history, and I could feel truly awful about every cruelty, every horrific killing and injustice ever perpetrated, Stalin and his torturers, Hitler and his extermination camps, Mayan’s cutting the beating hearts from children…

But, I don’t.

To get specific to Japan and WW II, the atomic bombs were functionally equivalent to the massive firebombing of Tokyo and other major Japanese (and German, for that matter) cities. Tens of thousands dead, “the melting the faces off of small children, the complete erasing of the future of hapless civilians,” and so on. One can plausibly argue that fallout was an additional horror, but in a strictly moral calculus the massive bombing and warfare inflicted on civilians by the Allies must be regarded as a whole, and weighed against the war, as a whole.

Nuclear weapons have in the years since 1945 acquired a particular mystique and legend as a kind of special tool of the devil, through media repetition and scary stories. They are indeed, terrible and their use again should avoided at almost all costs. But that’s all post facto to August 1945. I’ve read the biographies of most of the U.S. leadership at that time, those of the main scientist participants in the development of the bomb, Gen. Groves book, and much other WW II historical material; and for you in 2015 to blithely speak of “amoral monsters in our nation’s capital” is easy, but really, a gross oversimplification.

The finest resource I’ve found to understand the issues is Alex Wellerstein’s Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog at http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/. I’ve read most of it, and it’s a great and even-handed look by an historian at all the complexities, technical and moral, of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb.

Atomic_cloud_over_Nagasaki_from_Koyagi-jima_jpeg

“Magicians of the Outer Right, Part Zwei” Now at The Mitrailleuse

img_circeMy latest at The Mitrailleuse.

Sample:

In the last 20 years or so, with the rise of the Web, this conception has been hyper-reinforced. I post my “Neoreactionary” arguments and evidence about how fundamental “right-wing” changes to society would result in peace, prosperity, less crime, happier children, more intelligence, less obesity and, in the long run, the breeding of unicorns that defecate gumdrops. Some SJW grrrl just out of Wellsley (or more likely, struggling to complete her Womyn’s Studies B.A. at a state university) posts that I’m a POS racist sexist LGBTIQ-phobe whose ideas would lead to death camps for everyone except white cismales. She argues that fundamental “left-wing” changes to society would result in equality, peace, equality, less crime, equal children and animals, equality of intelligence, social justice, racial justice, economic justice, sexual justice and, in the long run, Gaia defecating non-GMO unsalted manna that would feed the world and allow her to pay off her student loans.

Both her and I suffer from a serious blind spot, at least if we believe our posts will somehow change the world through the force of the ideas. Our posts will only change the world if a person dedicated to implementing our ideas, whether ourself or another, obtains power.

So hie thee hence!