A while ago I was thinking on what it might mean to be a neoreactionary political activist, by which I mean one who actively seeks to influence others to a similar set of viewpoints but who probably weren’t naturally pre-disposed to said beliefs in the first place.
This led me to consider everyone’s favorite allegory for revolutionary new ideas: The Matrix. In this allegory, the Agents of the system actively seek to prevent people from noticing the system. Those who do are killed in-system, leading their real bodies to die as well. Those who escape are dumped from the system, also to die. New “converts” must be rescued:
and then they must be extensively rehabilitated:
Similarly, I have found that among those I try to persuade, it is a relatively intense one-on-one conversation. The discussion falls apart with a second or third person because the new frame of understanding to be constructed requires a lot of ideological ground to be covered very quickly and a lot of questions, side-bars, or resistance on the part of one listener leads to the whole frame collapsing.
And none of those problems begin to touch the difficulties of discussions with people whom your reputation is not established and is no defense against the inevitable accusations of “isms:” racism, classism, sexism. An article I can’t find now discusses how those accusations’ falseness will be apparent to someone who understand neoreactive political theory, so that isn’t a concern. What is a concern is how readily those accusations, no matter how skillfully parried, will lead to immediate ostracizing of the speaker by the very community he is trying to persuade. In short, I have thought of spreading these ideas as a relatively socially dangerous endeavor if done carelessly. The near perpetual outrage and death threats leveled against Return of Kings by seemingly normal people should make this clear.
However, over at Amos & Gromar and Anarchopapist, a different paradigm is shaping up. They recognize the danger and futility of attempting to persuade via theory. Under this paradigm, progressive post-modernism has spread through memes – readily identifiable, socially acceptable, concise statements of belief. It is their identifiable nature that make them ubiquitous and facilitates unanimous opinions. It is their social acceptability that allows them to be broadcast openly, in any and every environment, with minimal context. And it is their conciseness and lack of context that allows them to advocate an ideology that is flawed to its core in its advocacy of contradictory principles depending on which principle helps which protected class in which situation. A&G and AP have concluded that the only way to fight what is essentially the intellectual equivalent of a virus is to engineer counter-viruses, and have committed a lot of ink doing so:
- “Making Neoreaction Simple”
- “Meme-ing Neoreaction”
- “The New Right vs Neoreaction”
- “Potential Approximations of Neoreaction”
This is a nice counter, or perhaps a supplement, to attempts at clearly articulating comprehensive frameworks and worldviews in the name of making friends and influencing people. As always, I wish I had my time machine to see how this all turns out.