Is the Orthosphere part of a larger whole?

Certainly, the Orthosphere fits within the larger category of Right-wing blogs, and within the subcategory of “reactionary” (extreme, i.e. Enlightenment-rejecting, Right) blogs.  Even this subcategory has distinct clusters:  the Orthosphere, Integralists, Identitarians, and Neoreactionaries, to name just the most impressive.  Are these different ideological movements, or different focuses within a single movement?  To rephrase, here are the two possibilities.  1) The Orthosphere’s fundamental principles (our ultimate premises) are the same as its defining principles (the positions that distinguish us from other groups), in which case we are ultimately our own movement and those other groups are at best allies.  2) Our defining principles are applications to our particular area of interest of more fundamental principles shared by the larger community of reactionaries.  Which is it?

Orthosphere commenter Mark Citadel has an impressive blog of his own.  In this post, he addresses weaknesses in the reactionary blogosphere.

With a movement that has different areas of focus, you are bound to get drift. The different wheels of Spandrell’s Trike like to roll off on their own for extended periods and not participate in the congregation of a collective might. Social Matter, a product of the Hestia Society for Social Studies, is a more-than-worthy rallying point for the radical right...Through promotion, Social Matter should get pushed to the fore.

Mark’s suggestions bring urgency to my original question.  If we are a focus group, then it would indeed be useful to affiliate to a worthy representative of the parent group, and indeed to cede prominence to it.  Subordination and incorporation into a more impressive intellectual movement don’t bother me per se.  They are indeed an attractive course of action.  Alone our output is hardly likely to change the world.  It is also true that we are focused, and we have not spoken on every issue on which our rival, liberalism, has taken a stand.  If a larger community did share our principles, we could happily let them do our thinking for us on things like economics and global warming.  However, to subordinate ourselves to a larger movement that doesn’t have identical fundamental principles would be to repeat the error of fusionism, which betrayed and destroyed the mid-century American conservative movement.

When last I tried to distinguish the Orthosphere with respect to other clusters on the Right, I appealed to what I take to be our defining principles, especially

  1. moral community (the social authority of God; rejection of official neutrality)
  2. given meanings (an understanding of natural law and tradition)
  3. loyalty to the particular (legitimacy of local, national, cultural, and ethnic loyalties)

(See the linked post for an explanation of these points.)

That’s what we are.  It tells us what kind of basic unity we do or don’t have with other groups.

The first principle is our point of overlap with the Catholic Integralists, a group united around the Social Kingship of Christ.  It rejects liberalism’s core principle, affirming the need for an established Church without saying exactly which church that should be.  Naturally, there would be some disagreement about that among us, but no one is hiding his opinion, and we all agree that establishing even a rival Christian church would be far preferable to a secular establishment.  Thus Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Calvinists can be at home in the Orthosphere; I’m not sure about Baptists.  Classical liberals from all denominations will find themselves in foreign territory.

The second principle is, I think our most distinctive one.  One can see its style of thinking even in the early days of View from the Right, and I made it the focal point of Throne and Altar from the beginning.  Many defenses of “traditionalism” involve appeals to the complexity of society and the frailty of reason, or when the meaning traditional morality brings to its practitioners’ lives is acknowledged, this is regarded as a psychological trick, an illusion (albeit a socially necessary one), which can only work to the extent that it is misunderstood.  We must be vigilant in distinguishing ourselves from these lines of thought.  It’s not that pragmatic and functionalist analyses can’t yield valid insights; they often do.  The danger is that our position, being more subtle, can easily be misread by readers expecting the usual defenses of “traditional morality”.

This is the main reason we cannot subordinate ourselves to the neoreactionaries by granting flagship status to their publication Social Matter.  People are already inclined to assume we share their functionalist premises, and failing to make it clear that we are not neoreactionaries would make that danger worse.  One can still acknowledge Mark’s point that we could do a better job working together with our allies and pooling intellectual resources.  And, of course, why not draw attention to quality Social Matter articles when appropriate?

The third principle distinguishes us from many sincere religious conservatives, including, I’m afraid, the Integralists, who are dangerously uncritical toward Leftist ideas about “racism” and “segregation”.  Religious conservatives often imagine that this is a battle they can avoid, sparing themselves the white man’s cooties.  This is a mistake, because a basic moral principle is at stake.  If a preference for one group of people ipso facto constitutes hatred of or failure to “fully recognize the humanity” of others, then loyalty, patriotism, filial piety, and love itself would be condemned.  The Orthosphere is largely drawn from readers of Lawrence Auster’s View from the Right, and we’ve been open in our rejection of whiteness-bashing from the start.

I conclude that there is for the time being no other group with whom we can merge.  Certainly, there are other reactionaries from whom we can learn, but this must be done with care, because no one else’s commitments are quite the same.  Also, we must work to maintain an atmosphere of openness to the Right.  Sociologically, the biggest difference between us and an average social conservative website is that one can feel comfortable voicing a genuinely nonliberal position here.  People may disagree with you, but nobody will dismiss you as a Nazi.  If somebody tries, the group will side with you against him.  This openness to the Right is a social achievement that we share only with a few other extreme Right clusters.

When fellow reactionaries must be criticized, we should never do so in liberals’ terms.  “If you use their words, you will end up thinking their thoughts.”  We must not respect liberal taboos, and we must absolutely not enforce them against our commenters.  I’ve already angered some readers by refusing to censor criticism of the Jews, but I’m determined to quit the Orthosphere if we ever make it a policy to grant immunity from criticism to liberal victim groups.  One moves quickly from “X shall not be criticized” to “X shall not be offended” to “Y is offense to X and is therefore evil” where Y is any of our basic principles.  We don’t even want to start down that road.

61 thoughts on “Is the Orthosphere part of a larger whole?

  1. Pingback: Is the Orthosphere part of a larger whole? | Neoreactive

  2. I once used the word homonoia at a departmental meeting. It instantaneously offended ninety per cent of the department – and ninety-nine per cent after I explained to everyone what it meant. (It means something other than what a lot of people at the meeting thought it meant. And naturally there’s no homonoia in the humanities faculties.) So homonoia is a word in which I have a heavy investment.

    There is sufficient homonoia at The Orthosphere to sustain many minor disagreements for the foreseeable future. My proposal is that we simply not worry about minor disagreements. The convergence of thinking is powerful enough to sustain our discussion indefinitely and to inform practical action as that becomes necessary.

    What? We’re sustainable? Yep, we’re sustainable!

      • I’m surprised that TFB has so much freedom to commit wrongthink as someone who works in academia.

    • “I once used the word homonoia at a departmental meeting. It instantaneously offended ninety per cent of the department – and ninety-nine per cent after I explained to everyone what it meant. (It means something other than what a lot of people at the meeting thought it meant. ”

      My guess would have been a portmanteau of homosexual and paranoia to mean homosexual paranoia.

    • Let’s hope we are and remain sufficiently orthonoid in our homonoia.

      The Left, too, are tremendously homonoid – thus their infamous hive mind, that effortlessly coordinates their massive immune responses to foreign memes. But they are insane, wrongheaded.

      Everyone belongs to some cult, because everyone needs a set of first things in respect to which they can order their lives. To join oneself to a cult is to join your mind to it, and this junction – apprehended as arrival at a Great Solution to the problems of life, at a True and Good vision of reality, and as a homecoming – is accompanied by a huge rush of pleasant relief. People like being in groups, and they like feeling correct.

      Nothing wrong with that, when your cult has its head screwed on straight. But when your cult is metaphysically whacked, it sooner or later works its way to nihilism and suicide.

      • Like-mind. The like-minded are homonoid. The right-minded are orthonoid.

        Meanwhile the left are aristonoid, literally “best-minded.” The ancient Greek term for left-handedness is a euphemism, intended to spare the feelings of left handers who are in every culture subject to discrimination and suspicion, if only in virtue of the fact that all the material aspects of life are (quite rightly)(so to speak) set up for right-handed users. Euphemism is nowise new.

        The irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The Left are the aristae, a role they ostensibly abhor but really relish, and cherish, looking down on the right as knuckle-walking mouth breathers. They are now the petty oligarchs of our society, the treasonous clerks. And they occupy their exalted offices solely on account of the magnanimity of the right they so despise, who refrain from offending their moral and vital lessers, their wards and pets; who could remove them at a whim, humble them and put them in their proper secretarial places – just as feminism could be ended tomorrow, if men decided the jig was up. “Left” is from the German lyft, “weak.”

  3. Pingback: Is the Orthosphere part of a larger whole? | Reaction Times

  4. The first principle is our point of overlap with the Catholic Integralists, a group united around the Social Kingship of Christ. It rejects liberalism’s core principle, affirming the need for an established Church without saying exactly which church that should be.

    Wouldn’t Catholic Intergalists want the Catholic Church as the established Church? Catholic Intergarlists are not in favor of ceasorpapism so that would also be a major dividing line between us and the Anglicans and Easterners. Some of the more prominent Calvinist dominionists support Austrian School libertarianism and celebrate the American founding, so that puts them on the side of classical liberalism. In sum, there really isn’t a whole lot of agreement here.

    The third principle distinguishes us from many sincere religious conservatives, including, I’m afraid, the Integralists, who are dangerously uncritical toward Leftist ideas about “racism” and “segregation”.

    How so? I am reminded of the Carlist Brent Bozell who scandalized his brother in law Bill Buckley and the rest of the staff National Review by celebrating black riots of the 1960s as a revolt against capitalism and against mainstream liberal society.

    • “How so? I am reminded of the Carlist Brent Bozell who scandalized his brother in law Bill Buckley and the rest of the staff National Review by celebrating black riots of the 1960s as a revolt against capitalism and against mainstream liberal society.”

      Funnily enough, over at Chronicles, Bozell is lauded while Buckley is seen as a shill (because he was).

      “Wouldn’t Catholic Intergalists want the Catholic Church as the established Church? Catholic Intergarlists are not in favor of ceasorpapism so that would also be a major dividing line between us and the Anglicans and Easterners. Some of the more prominent Calvinist dominionists support Austrian School libertarianism and celebrate the American founding, so that puts them on the side of classical liberalism. In sum, there really isn’t a whole lot of agreement here.”

      I agree, beyond basic social conservatism there is not much agreement. I personally consider myself a romanticist and feel that Austrian School libertarianism is not the way. I am fond of distributism, Social Credit, Small-Is-Beautiful and Jeffersonianism but I think what is truly needed is a non-Marxist socialism.

      • What is non-marxist socialism? Didn’t the popes state that there can be no such thing as Christian socialism? Their condemnation of socialism seems to be much stronger than condemnation of capitalism.

        Bonald says we defeat socialism when we abolish private property in favor of family property if I understand him correctly. Yet the difference between private and family ownership of means of production seems to be much smaller in comparison with family ownership or even corporativism vs. collective ownership of means of production i.e. socialism.

      • From what I have seen recently, capitalism has been a bigger cause of social and moral decay than even Communistic socialism was under the likes of Stalin or Castro. Also, the various nationalist and fascist movements of the interwar era had socialist elements as did many of the interwar American dissidents.

        I will say, the popes you mention were of the last few that were respectable and credible, so I respect their opinion, but to hell with the infallibility of the Pope. Now the Papacy stays silent on the murder and rape of Christians in the Middle East while brow-beating Italians to take in and accept Muslim immigrants.

        For me, at this point in time, it is Nation first.

      • Capitalism is around for 200 years or so and for last 100 years it has been limited by various socialist policies, including nationalist and fascist which is precisely the time when social and moral decay accelerated the most. So it’s been quite slow in destroying society. Stalin needed a few years to destroy the countryside and so did communists in the Eastern Europe which, I believe, was one of the most important blows to traditional societies. In contrast, American countryside has not yet yielded to social decay or am I wrong?

        Anyway, socialism is the most blatant error of modern age and even leftists don’t see any value in it anymore. It is not necessary for nationalist movement so what’s the point of reviving it?

      • @ RT

        The social rot and decay were there for awhile and were mostly brought via the excesses of capitalism; socialism was just a backlash to this. The nationalist and fascist movements were a backlash against these excesses (Weimar Era comes to mind)

        “Anyway, socialism is the most blatant error of modern age and even leftists don’t see any value in it anymore. It is not necessary for nationalist movement so what’s the point of reviving it?”

        Socialism is not the most blatant error. Cultural Marxism is. Socialists were not respectful of the concept of private property but atleast they weren’t shoving queers, trannies, and pedophiles in your face like modern liberals do. In ultra-socialist Communist regimes like that of Stalin’s Russia or Fidel’s Cuba, those things would have gotten you executed or sent to the gulag. Cultural Marxists and their sexual degenerate pets were seen as wreckers and a destructive force and were rightfully removed.

        As for what leftists value, who cares? These aren’t insightful, intelligent, respectable leftists like George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, Mencken, Huey Long, or Gompers, these are degenerates. The traditional non-Marxist Old Leftist cared about his country and nation.

        With all of this being said, I am not really a socialist as much as a staunch anti-capitalist. I am one hundred percent in favor of a viable third-way position.

      • Yes, it’s true that almost all of the popular movements were reactions against the bourgeois order but they were hardly aimed against its ideological roots in the Enlightenment. The cure was apparently worse than the disease. It wasn’t a backlash it was an extension, preparation of the stage for further degeneration. Nationalists wanted more democracy and more of national ”self-determination“ and later more power to the state. Fascism was a reaction against the threat of communism and its failure helped to expand communism. Communists and socialists were against the rich class at first, today their descendants that you call cultural marxists are against white straight men as replacement of former bourgoisie. The patterns repeat.

        All of them wanted political resolution of what they saw as decadence or injustice and, therefore, more power to the state, hence they strove for some form of totalitarian regime because socialism is essentially totalitarian. Honestly, I would rather live in the bourgeois society of the 19th century than in fascist Italy or nacist Germany because I have an experience of living under the communist regime. I don’t believe there is a political solution to our problem because it’s not a political problem in the first place.

        The ”conservative“ features of totalitarian societies that you can be explained by educational and cultural background or simply by practicality of the leaders of revolution and/or the people. The stage was not yet prepared for breaking certain taboos because of the remains of bourgeois morality.

        Capitalism is pretty much a strawman. It is neither ideology nor movement. Understood as free markets and private ownership of means of production it basically was an economic program of classical liberalism while democracy was its political program. But the markets have never been entirely free and property never entirely private and yet they have always existed as necessary conditions of human cooperation. So capitalism has always been here but never in its pure, extremely individualistic form (I think methodological individualism is where Austrian school is wrong). Hence, the third way is already here.

        Therefore, one can hardly be a consistent anti-capitalist. Not everything was wrong and should be thrown away. Even if it would something may not be possible to throw away. Instead it’s a question of the costs of particular policies.

      • “Yes, it’s true that almost all of the popular movements were reactions against the bourgeois order but they were hardly aimed against its ideological roots in the Enlightenment.”

        These movements were aimed against the Enlightenment since they were based within the Romanticist movement which is the school of thought that I personally subscribe to.

        “The cure was apparently worse than the disease. It wasn’t a backlash it was an extension, preparation of the stage for further degeneration.”

        This premise seems ridiculous. Are you saying that the Third Reich and Fascist Italy and the various Falangist, Integralist, and Fascist states throughout Europe, Latin America and the Middle East would just start advocating for gay rights and feminism if they were left undefeated? The Syrian Ba’ath Party is the last remnant of the fascist school of thought in mainstream politics and believe me, Uncle Assad is no fan of the Poz.

        “Nationalists wanted more democracy and more of national ”self-determination“ and later more power to the state.”

        I do not see what is wrong with this with the exception of extreme statism.

        “Fascism was a reaction against the threat of communism and its failure helped to expand communism.”

        Yes, it was. It’s failure came about due to the Allies not due to any internal inconsistencies.

        “Communists and socialists were against the rich class at first, today their descendants that you call cultural marxists are against white straight men as replacement of former bourgoisie. The patterns repeat.”

        The Old Breed of Communism and Socialism (I consider them separate) had no respect for Cultural Marxists and I don’t see how they are a natural progression. I also see socialists and communists as being different. Communism is an internationalist and globalist version of socialism formulated via Marx and Engels. Cultural Marxism is a bastardization of economic Marxism by the Jews of the Frankfurt School who decided to reformulate the theory to attack culture, civilization and faith while attaching it to the Jewish model of exploitative ultra-capitalism.

      • Comments to each paragraph:

        1. I have a respect for Romanticist movement, esp. after reading prof. Bertonneau post on Coleridge. However, in Bohemia where I live this period means revival of national culture but also introduction of classical liberalism, growing nationalism and attacks against Church and monarchy. Romanticism in my country promoted modernity.

        2. Who knows what would happen if the Third Reich prevailed. Feminists existed even there. I consider Third Reich and fascist Italy distinct from Franco’s and Salazar’s regimes and basically leftist. The fact is they failed and before they failed they commited such crimes that it made decent people see massmurderer Stalin as a hero and vote for the Left.

        3. More power to the state usually means totalitarian tendencies. Self-determination tends to break the state — see the fate of Austria-Hungary.

        4. It discredited the Right. See above.

        5. Their strategy is similar and their end is the same: egalitarian society. I don’t know what is Jewish model of exploitative ultra-capitalism.

        I guess we disagree on this. I could imagine some sort of corporativist state or perhaps the localist vision of limited free market closely tied to countries or regions. I am in agreement with the idea that the ”class of merchants“ has disproportionate influence on politics and that we ”warrior class“ to run the countries. But socialism is a lost case for me.

      • Look RT, what you are doing is that you are theorizing way too much and looking back at past scenarios that don’t exactly apply to today’s models. States arise organically from the people based upon the obstacles and struggles they face. What struggles do we face today? I’ll list what I think are the issues:

        1. Internal decadence
        2. Mass immigration
        3. Hostile elites

        How are these to be overcome? In all honesty, 2 and 3 would be easily solved if 1 wasn’t an issue. Since it is, it may be that there will be no recovery or national revival.

        Socialism is not something I am advocating. Anything from distributism, Jeffersonianism, Third Position et al, is fine by me. Whatever works to serve the needs of the nation.

  5. @ Bonald

    “Even this subcategory has distinct clusters: the Orthosphere, Integralists, Identitarians, and Neoreactionaries, to name just the most impressive.”

    First off, what is an Orthospherean? My assumption was that the Orthosphere was a Chronicles-type paleoconservative site. Second off, are Catholic Integralists similar to Antonio Oliveira de Salazar’s National Integralism? Third, what is up with all of this “Identitarian” crap? Why can’t they just stick to calling it “Nationalism”? And last, I hate to say this, but the neoreactionaries, do not seem to be a serious group. The whole movement seems too LARPy and focused on some random point in time when everything when downhill (1789 for Protestant and Secular Nrx and 1517 for Catholic Nrx).

    “The third principle distinguishes us from many sincere religious conservatives, including, I’m afraid, the Integralists, who are dangerously uncritical toward Leftist ideas about “racism” and “segregation”.”

    What exactly is an Integralist?

    In general, states are formed from the people and different peoples in different environments will form different states and what these states look like is completely dependent on the challenges that the people face. The American people, since the very beginning have shown a tendency to support social conservative views alongside left-wing economics. So something along the lines of Charles Coughlin, Samuel Gompers, or Huey Long. Ultimately, a syncreticist party combining social polices much farther to the right than the Republican Party and economic policies much farther to the left than the Democratic Party would be a winning combination. Unfortunately, atomization due to a combination of national Americanization and mass immigration and Cultural Marxist social experiments have basically ruined any chance for any national consensus to arise let alone the traditional American one.

    What the way out from here would be, I have no clue.

  6. Well, I thank you for a very well-thought out response to my blog post!

    First, I want readers who might be unaware to know the context in which I wrote that post. It comes at a time when in particular the burgeoning NeoReactionary movement has suffered some setbacks including the disappearance of Catholic NeoReactionary thinker Bryce Laliberte, as well as an organized campaign by dissident rightist trolls on Twitter and other media outlets attacking NeoReaction (not helped by some NeoReactionaries themselves who responded poorly, one of whom has been officially now excommunicated from NeoReaction for subsequent poor form).

    I stated in the article that these risks were prevelant not just for NeoReaction, but for broader Reaction itself.

    Now, full disclosure, I am not a NeoReactionary. I labeled myself as such upon entering the Reactosphere and joining the discussion within the radical right, but I abandoned the label a few months ago because I was not comfortable with certain strains of thought within NeoReaction that I felt were too secular-minded or coming at things from a Modernist perspective without realizing it. NeoReaction obviously has had a troubled definition history.

    I did not mean to in any way imply that anyone, NeoReactionary or otherwise should ‘subordinate’ themselves to Social Matter. I was saying that it gets an influx of material from the diverse focus centers of the radical right, not just NeoReaction (John Glanton who is a weekly columnist is not even a NeoReactionary himself http://www.socialmatter.net/2014/09/04/im-neoreactionary/), and so when we are operating outside of the Reactosphere itself, I don’t think its a bad place to really be pushing almost as the Reactionary alternative to something like ‘Breitbart’ is for conservatives. I apologize if I sounded like some presumptious kingmaker, that certainly wasn’t my intention, and as I pointed out, I actually think this site is the go-to congregating point for religion-focused Reactionary study.

    I would hope that our principles are shared by other areas of Reactionary thought focus, but just that what we believe in isn’t their area of explicit interest or knowledge. This is not the case for all, but I think for a great many.

    • As a side note: I wanted to say that there are a great many bloggers who go under the title NeoReactionary who I think are wise and almost completely in tune with my own political beliefs, while others who also use the label, are not in any way in agreement with me. I think what the latest episode of infighting has shown is that this is actually the case, even for what might be considered the upper echelons of NeoReaction, who are trying to sift out people who use the label, but not as they would like it to be used.

      I liked your three points to describe Orthospheric Reactionaries:

      “moral community (the social authority of God; rejection of official neutrality)
      given meanings (an understanding of natural law and tradition)
      loyalty to the particular (legitimacy of local, national, cultural, and ethnic loyalties)”

      And even if we just look at that, we can name NeoReactionary thinkers who fall in line with these principles, and others who I’d say do not. And that’s okay. I don’t want a total echo chamber or anything, although I do think personally that these principles are necessary for true right wing politics.

      My promotion of Social Matter is as a place where insight can be given from all different ‘spokes of the trike’ shall we say, which greater than just the Dark Enlightenment, is actually a good description of Reactionary thought in general, in a digestible format for newcomers who might be curious about the radical right, ideas of De Maistre etc. I mean this in the softest, non-binding, non-structured way. No oaths of fealty or any such thing required, just that Social Matter can be a really great vehicle for discussions about topics like the evils of secularism, racial loyalty, present geopolitics, and right wing economics all together under one roof of vigorous and respectful debate.

      As for the broad question of whether Orthosphere Reactionaries are part of a larger whole, I’m tempted to say yes, but not in terms of being some sub-department of an organization, but rather a center of theologically-based political theorizing that is part of a broader movement of individuals who reject Modernity and its evils.

      Your policy on not protecting leftist ideas in the comment section is, in two words, spot on!

      • Apparently so. Michael Anissimov was first excommunicated by Nick B. Steves, and the Hestia Society for Social Studies (which took the movement in a putsch this week) has formalized that excommunication. Since this putsch has now been endorsed by key figures within Nrx, it seems that Anissimov has died the death of opposition consensus. Still, he does write some good stuff occasionally.

      • Nrx is full of degenerates and for some reason it’s popular with trannies and nerds and other misfits. I’m not too certain it’s the right movement. On top of that, it’s just a LARPy internet movement with no intentions of getting boots on the ground and actually doing real things in the physical world. No intentions with reaching out to regular people, just content with staying in their sperg-bubble. I mean, we basically live in Weimar America. If you can’t turn that fact into a real-life movement, then there is really nothing to say.

      • “NRx is full of nerds.”

        People say this as if it were a bad thing. Professor Bertonneau and I are both given to writing about science fiction. Plus I study neutron stars for a living and have a preference for linux. Probably any cognitive minority will have lots of nerds.

        “NRx is full of degenerates/popular with trannies.”

        That’s a much bigger problem, if true. I don’t know anything about these guys’ personal lives, though.

        I don’t have a problem with what these guys do. I just want to make it clear that its not quite what I think we should be doing.

        It seems that my post came at just the right time, now that the neoreactionaries have announced a central authority with unspecified prerogatives. Being an authoritarian, I have no problem with them doing that, but it does force the issue of who is in and who is out.

      • “People say this as if it were a bad thing. Professor Bertonneau and I are both given to writing about science fiction.”

        That doesn’t make a nerd. C.S. Lewis and Jules Verne wrote Sci-fi and I don’t think “nerd” when I think of them.

        “Plus I study neutron stars for a living and have a preference for linux. Probably any cognitive minority will have lots of nerds.”

        There is a difference between merely having intelligence and being a nerd. Nerdiness is characterized by social retardation, timidness, and physical cowardice. Are those good things? We need intelligent, charismatic and strong men to reach the masses.

        “That’s a much bigger problem, if true. I don’t know anything about these guys’ personal lives, though.”

        Nrx seems to be a neo-conization of the dissident right. I’ll leave it at that.

      • My problem was not with nerds, but the notion that they are some kind of subversive, dark, dork army (and they think they are somehow “winning”!) It makes their writing unbearable. I remember commenting on this phenomena a couple of years ago at Foseti (who mostly reviewed oldish books) when I first noticed how self-referential the post moldbug bloggers were. Compare them to Dennis Mangan, or C. Van Carter (Across Difficult Country), or Deogowulf (Joy of Curmudgeonry). The self-importance is as off-putting as the style.

  7. This is all so silly. Remember when you were going to read old books? Whatever happened to that? Do any of these people read anything besides each other’s blogs?

    This “movement” went from simple, kind-of-fun amateur historical revisionism to embarrassing self-important squawking when a bunch of humorless, yet snarky, kids decided they were part of some kind of dork army of the night (sorry, but that phrase jumped into my mind and its too true to rephrase for politeness). Once they started writing almost exclusively about themselves, you could see pride taking over, the supermen who had overcome history! Self-created illuminus!

    Here’s hoping the authors of this blog keep focusing on being interesting, relevant, and truthful rather than effective, important, and strategic.

    • Josh, you are spot on. The Nrx started out as a decent intellectual movement but became full of nerds, spergs and misfits who took the movement as an excuse to start LARPing. On top of that, there was no on-the-ground strategy. I mean, we are about to reach the Weimar Era of America if we haven’t already and progress could be made within the inevitable backlash.

      • “became” full of nerds? Have you ever seen a picture of the founder Mencius Moldbug (Curtis Yarvin)? He and his movement are nerdy to the core.

  8. Josh’s second paragraph has a point. I’m reminded of Sam Moskowitz’s The Immortal Storm, his history of early science fiction fandom convulsed by feuds between “Michelists” and non-Michelists, etc.; Hornig vs. Sykora, Wollheim and Wiggins vs. Moskowitz, etc.

    • Yes – Wolheim and Pohl were Communists (Pohl became a Unitarian and a Neo-Con in later life, following the usual trajectory); the nearest thing to a right wing of fandom in the days described by Moskowitz was whatever formed around Campbell and Heinlein and they were more libertarian than conservative or reactionary. I get the impression from Moskowitz’s account and others that the leftwing “fans” got a lot of enjoyment out of spoiling everyone’s good time just because they could do it.

  9. The phrase “larger whole” puts me in mind of what the Buddhist said to the hot-dog vendor: “Make me one with everything.”

  10. Talking about reading old books, it is possible that current readers of this blog do not realize that the term Orthosphere (and the concept of this blog) originated in a comment by Kristor published on my blog.

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/orthosphere-it-is-do-ortho-bloggers-and.html

    I have not participated in setting-up the Orthosphere blog, nor have I posted on it – partly because I post more than daily on my own blog, and partly because I insist on pre-moderating comments very harshly, and partly because I am temperamentally not-a-joiner, and partly because my situation as a theoretical (non-church-member/going) Mormon is a stretch-too-far for the Orthosphere blog as it has become (although not as I originally envisaged it). But I was generously given posting privileges as-if one of the core group from the beginning and these still remain, when I last looked.

    My impression is that – insofar as Neo-reactionaries are a distinct movement – they are not core Christian, a spin-off of libertarianism and social engineering; and hence of-the-Left – so there is no genuine possibility of strategic cooperation. I personally gained valuable insights from Mencius Moldbug – and I read his blog from very early on, albeit mainly of a negative type – for example he clarified how democracy is essentially bad, and gets worse. But MM was clearly a seeker – someone on the cusp of becoming a Christian. I have also gained valuable negative insights from anti-Christian and wrongly-motivated secular Right bloggers who I regard as (how can I put this…) actively and strategically opposed to Good in their primary orientation – such as James Donald. However, learning stuff from an enemy does not make that enemy a friend, much less an ally.

    The stark reality is that Christians don’t have many serious allies, and self-identified Christians (whose strict orthodoxy is made irrelevant by pride and hate-driven motivation) are extremely prone to attack one another, on the basis of incomplete or imperfect orthodoxy.

    So *in this-worldly* terms I think there is no significant Orthosphere movement at all – the movement is tiny and powerless. But that is not a counsel of despair because 1. much good can be and has been done at an individual level – and individual souls are eternal (in contrast with socio-political movements), and 2. much of what is good is done by invisible and supernatural and one-off routes.

    So Orthospherians (and other serious self-identified Christians, who are excluded from the Orthosphere definitions) can just get on with being as good Christians as we can; and have faith that whatever good we do, *will* (certainly) have an effect, sooner or later, somewhere or another (but we probably will not know about it in this mortal life).

  11. “… self-identified Christians (whose strict orthodoxy is made irrelevant by pride and hate-driven motivation) are extremely prone to attack one another on the basis of incomplete or imperfect orthodoxy.”

    Yeah, that can be, and is, a little discouraging at times, but it seems to be the nature of the beast, and we’re probably all better served if we’ll learn that it’s not necessarily “hate-driven” motivation per se, as much as it emanates from a deeply-held conviction and genuine belief that the other bears a great deal of responsibility for where it all … went wrong. I figure there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    I can say that my understanding of honest-to-god Catholicism was, as recently as only a few years ago, very misinformed and incomplete. Still is to one degree or the other, but the Orthosphere (among other places) has helped to dispel some of my earlier beliefs about the Church. I consider Traditional Catholics my strong allies – the type I want to be stuck in the foxhole with if I have to be stuck in the foxhole with anyone, and I’m pretty sure I ain’t got much choice in the matter, so there ya go. We might disagree on the actual physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, for example, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have each other’s backs when it gets down to the nut cuttin’ so to speak. Novus Ordos and mainstream Protestants of every denomination, not s’much. The latter are so misguided on so many essential and doctrinal points, one hardly knows where to begin.

    • ” Novus Ordos and mainstream Protestants of every denomination, not s’much. The latter are so misguided on so many essential and doctrinal points, one hardly knows where to begin.”

      Tell me about it. The amount of poz in the Catholic community is unbearable. I am a Catholic but I feel better around the likes of my agnostic friend who is starting to grasp the reality of cultural Marxism as opposed to the Catholics I know who are just like Evangelicals when it comes to spinelessness and being nice to their enemies (The Cultural Marxist Left, The Organized Homosexual Movement, Muslims, Jewry). Another thing that bothers me is how Republican they are and how they think that being Republican makes them arch-conservatives. I’ve quoted Clyde Wilson on the Stupid Party many times and I’ll do it once more: “For conservatism to survive in America the GOP must die”.

      As for orthodoxy, I don’t care too much about that for Christianity is a process and I probably hold a few heterodox views as do many cradle Catholics and Protestants. What bothers me is the blind acceptance of Cultural Marxism.

  12. Steve, here’s a hint: it doesn’t mean what you’d naturally expect it to mean. I had to look it up too, so don’t feel like the Lone Ranger! (These Professors, these days!: always … teaching! Ha, ha.) Google it. 🙂

  13. Svar, thanks!

    Yes, I want you in my foxhole! We have much in common, namely, for instance, friends and relatives and acquaintances who are Republicans, … and who think this makes them arch-conservatives. I have a self-described “ultra-conservative” cousin whom I’m (slowly) bringing along to the reality of his embrace of liberal principles. To be sure, I wouldn’t want him in the same foxhole with me at this moment; maybe in a couple more years. Maybe, but we’ll see.

    • We’ve probably faced similar situations. I’ll bet your Republican friends have thought you were a moonbat liberal for holding certain paleocon views like being Anti-Free Trade, Globalism, or War.

      To be honest, Christianity needs an intellectual revival. The Catholic community I go to is not a bastion of Old Church Intellectual Tradition but a gooey mess of cheap sentimentality. I’m sure it’s just as bad if not worse in the Evangelical churches.

      I’ve been finding that my non-believer friends have saner views on society and civilization. Hell, I see some glimpses of Oswald Spengler or Charles Murras in my agnostic friends. if only I could see glimpses of Chesterton or de Maistre in my Catholic ones.

  14. Bonald:

    I’ve already angered some readers by refusing to censor criticism of the Jews, …

    Part of the problem is that, just as we are all liberals now, we are all Jews now. All of the actual ethnic Jews in the world could disappear today without changing our social trajectory in the slightest — not because the Jews have not had an important impact historically, but precisely because they have.

    To harp on one of my own monomanias, exhibit A is usury. Self-proclaimed arch-conservatives – and many supposed ‘reactionaries’ – are the most vociferous defenders of usury.

    • “To harp on one of my own monomanias, exhibit A is usury. Self-proclaimed arch-conservatives – and many supposed ‘reactionaries’ – are the most vociferous defenders of usury.”

      Thanks for bringing this up. Too many “conservatives” are head over heels for the Republican Party, which is the party of usury.

      “Part of the problem is that, just as we are all liberals now, we are all Jews now. All of the actual ethnic Jews in the world could disappear today without changing our social trajectory in the slightest — not because the Jews have not had an important impact historically, but precisely because they have.”

      In all honesty, the part about the Jews that actively anger people is their behavior combined with “chutzpah” and their seemingly innate sexual and moral perversion. At the same time, I refuse to believe in the whole Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion nonsense, their behavior is not conspiratorial but genetic and cultural. Regardless, Jews wouldn’t have had such an impact if they were not allowed to and that is an important fact that the conspiracy theorists seem to overlook.

      • Svar:

        In all honesty, the part about the Jews that actively anger people is their behavior combined with “chutzpah” and their seemingly innate sexual and moral perversion.

        Those tend to go along with high IQ, all other things equal, and Jews have a higher average IQ than European whites. So the usual stuff applies (including e.g. apex fallacy etc). The statistical distribution of Jewish vs white intelligence has similar social effects to the statistical distribution of male vs female intelligence (though I’m really out of my depth here: I don’t know or much care if the standard deviation of Jewish IQ is greater than whites or the same, for example, because frankly that sort of question is a lot more interesting to egalitarians than it is to authoritarian racist sexist homophobic hierarchists like myself).

        Evil always has more material options for achieving proximate this-worldly goals than good (since moral evil implies the addition of morally evil options without subtracting away the morally good options). Take away the strictures of Christianity and the natural law, and we should expect the highest IQ ethni to (proximately) become both materially successful and perverse.

      • Said differently, in an amoral or secular society there is a natural tendency among lower IQ ethni to see themselves as oppressed by higher IQ ethni (the ones with ‘chutzpah’), and more generally for the less powerful to see themselves as oppressed by the more powerful. What we often call “Cultural Marxism” is a natural concomitant of any secularism at all (which is just one reason why secular ‘reaction’ is such a pathetic joke).

        So while I acknowledge the historical role of Judaism, I am also always a bit reluctant to sign on to a ‘battered feminist housewife’ view wherein we are supposed to see ourselves as Judaism’s abused and battered unhaaaaapy bitch.

      • Intelligence has nothing to do with the quality of Jewish behavior, it only adds to the danger of Jewry. Jews are basically high-functioning gypsies and without the higher IQ they would fulfill a similar niche. Other middleman minorities are just as predatory and exploitative like the Chinese (and Asian IQ is on a similar level) but the Chinese do not have the same weird sexual perversions. Plus these perversions are common amongst the less smart Jews as well not just the smart ones; my theory is that it is an effect of intense inbreeding which have left the Jews frail psychologically and physically.

        P.S. Jews back in the days of Christ and Pilate were generally stupid and had significantly lower IQs but 2000 years of backlashes have selected for the smarter criminal elements in the Jewish population. Also most of the Jews who were drawn to love and compassion converted to Christianity and melded into the surrounding European and Semitics races.

      • Svar:

        Intelligence has nothing to do with the quality of Jewish behavior …

        This manages to simultaneously overstate the case, attack a straw man, and miss the point.

        Jewish IQ certainly does have some nontrivial relation to Jewish behavior and, more importantly for the point I was actually making, secular success — to the extent such things can be validly generalized.

        The claim was not that average intelligence per se explains Jewish behavior though, nor was any ‘intelligence as theory of everything’ part of what I was suggesting. What I was suggesting is that greater average Jewish intelligence (and concomitant secular success in an amoral secular society) partially explains why some white critics appear to think of themselves as Judaism’s abused bitch, similar to how an angry feminist views herself as the abused bitch of men in general.

        Basically, some white folks seem to think of themselves as ‘niggers’ in relation to Jews, and of blacks as ‘niggers’ in relation to whites, all while railing against cultural marxism — without seeming to notice the irony.

        In still other words, some white folks seem to have as much difficulty thinking dispassionately about Jews (as distinct from, say, the Chinese) as some black folks have thinking dispassionately about Euromutt crackers like me. I don’t entirely lack empathy for their perspective in either case, but I do think they would be better off getting over it.

      • Oh I see what you mean. You are one hundred percent right, victimhood is for pansies and using the victim card is a Jewish and black tradition. No group with a sense of dignity should ever use that card. Once again, if you see my comment, I mention how the Protocol of the Elders conspiracy theorists are wrong and that Jewish behavior can be analyzed via biological and sociological means. Those Elders theorists are the ones that see themselves as “niggers” in comparison to the Jews which is absolutely ridiculous.

  15. I’m dubious about Bonald’s inclusion of “ethnic loyalty.” At the least, said “loyalty” will rank low in comparison with other, far more important “loyalties.”

    I have precious little “loyalty” to those who, like me, are of Swedish descent. I don’t know how I should be “loyal” to what, in the old country, is mostly a pack of atheist or “I’m a spiritual person” socialists.

    Conversely, I rejoice over the consecration of a Swedish Lutheran bishop at the hands of an orthodox Kenyan bishop. What a bunch of nincompoops are those Swedes shown to be who refused him consecration.

    http://blogs.lcms.org/2006/obare-decision-to-ordain-swedish-bishop-wasnt-easy

    Some years hence, Bonald may receive the Last Rites at the hand of (say) a Catholic priest of Jewish descent (as nearly all Catholic priests once were). It would be a shame if this occasion were complicated by needless “ethnic loyalties.” But perhaps I misunderstand his meaning.

    • “But perhaps I misunderstand his meaning.”

      I can’t speak for him. Here’s what it means for me. I want to live in a society that’s populated primarily by European-Americans. I want my children to marry whites and my grandchildren to look like my Anglo-German family, that is, I want a high degree of continuity of ancestral identity for my posterity. I want the preservation of my ethnic and cultural heritage that I think comes with these things.
      It doesn’t mean that I think Marxist German bishops are great or traditionalist African bishops suck, etc.

      • Many, perhaps most, people prefer to live in neighborhoods in which most of the residents look like them and behave in similar ways. That’s one thing. But some people talk almost as if they imagine there is a Platonic Form of The Jew, a Form of The African, etc.– such that these are the highest level of the “ideal”; these are what is Real. Surely Man is the Form of the human, if we are going to think in Platonic categories. Is it anyone’s contention that Northern Europeans are somehow more faithful copies or images of the Form of Man than are people of other ethnicities? I hope not.

      • Who talks like that? Do you mean Bonald when he talks about Jews?
        No I don’t think anything like that. My concerns are far less philosophical than that.

  16. I would of course not expect The Orthosphere to hitch its wagon to any other on the disaffected right. There is nothing, I think, to be gained by it. But I would note in passing, that while Neoreaction is explicitly non-particularist (even as it contends for virtually all traditional particularities), so too is the Orthosphere. It is merely Christian, which is to say, not devoted to particular Christian forms (or at least not sufficient mass of them to count).

    • That is a very good point, and one I would say that points to the great potential on the right for camaraderie between the various factions who reject Modernity. I have rarely ever hated a rightist even those in stark disagreement, but leftists accrue nothing from me but contempt.

  17. That said, I have heard post-libertarians refer to the entire Disaffected Right as “The Orthosphere”… “the right sphere”. So Orthosphere has definitely had a huge impact, far beyond mere appearances and clicks.

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  20. I’ve never seen the integralists attack particular loyalty, so I think we could be considered a specialization of integralism (we, meaning Catholic reactionaries). NRx, however, fundamentally disagrees with us on the ultimate purpose of reaction, so they are definitely distinct.

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