January 29, 2014

Mencius Moldbug aka Curtis Yarvin

Mencius Moldbug aka Curtis Yarvin

Ah, yes. The race thing. If race is a Dark Enlightenment obsession, someone forgot to tell them. While there’s some overlap with human biodiversity (which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like and is thus a horrifying heresy to those of the universalist faith), it’s more a cousin of neoreaction; like the manosphere, it’s hardly a wholly owned subsidiary. On the matter of race, neoreaction’s biggest crime is its refusal to parrot the “White people…ewwwwwww!” meme that dominates much of progressive discourse; instead it offers a critique of the Cultural Marxist “critical race theory” that is an essential leftist article of faith. 

Moldbug’s questions go beyond mere conservatism, even in its “paleo” form. He’s critical of the American Revolution, seeing the Boston Tea Party in much the same light as Occupiers. A Jacobite, not a Jacobin, he draws a straight line from the Puritans of Plymouth County to the social-justice warriors of Mother Jones. To him, “conservatives” are not allies, but yesterday’s progressives today. 

While verbose, Moldbug is a prolific, thoughtful, and entertaining writer, a man who can challenge nearly every assumption you have about modernity without making you feel like you’re chasing bloodsucking reptilian creatures or hunting for UN troops along the Canadian border. Most who have written on neoreaction have given it the expected summary dismissal: “These guys don’t even believe in democracy!“€

However, those who dismiss the Dark Enlightenment do so at their own peril. It’s home to some of the most intellectually rigorous and energetically principled folks to come down the right-wing pike in recent memory. It sneers at both “€œconservatism”€ and “€œlibertarianism”€; the former has failed to conserve anything for over 80 years, while the latter has largely declared that personal rights are important only when they don”€™t conflict with progressive cultural sensibilities. 

It’s refreshing to see a wave of young people interested more in asking tough questions and teasing out hard answers than in throwing up political gang signs. The Dark Enlightenment has no skin in any established political movement. It is precisely the lack of fealty that allows it to ask questions that other ideologues consider verboten. It offers answers for those seeking real solutions, not religious platitudes masquerading as politics.


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