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.
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.
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!