Reflection on Moldbug’s “Open Letter”

I’ve been blogging for only four months.  In that time, I’ve published 73 posts which document years of observations.  While I am by no means prolific, I am certainly churning through years of intellectual backlog, committing my worldview to the written word.

I suspect real-life family, friends, and acquaintances would describe my thoughts as unusual and unorthodox, yet still well thought-out and interesting, which is certainly why they encouraged me to write.

So you can perhaps begin to imagine how utterly surprised I was when I read Mencius Moldbug’s “An Open Letter to Progressives” only to watch him list nearly every single significant crimethought I’ve ever had:

…and several others.

It was a weird experience.  It wasn’t any sort of Revelation; I had been thinking about many of these ideas already, and had already written several down.  Rather, it was a sort of Socratic experience, wherein what I already knew was simply organized through discussion into something more meaningful and useful.

I mentioned to Bryce Laliberte of AnarcoPapist that Moldbug presented no new facts.  By his reaction I assume I came across as a bit arrogant, and this is the forum to correct that and break out exactly what I meant.

A significant number of Moldbug’s point in “An Open Letter to Progressives” are already known and accepted as facts by the average American:

  • The media has a liberal bias
  • The university faculty has a liberal bias
  • The Stuff White People Like phenomenon has been observed since before he wrote this letter
  • Democrats are known for government expansion
  • Government expands and cements itself into society in ways which can never be undone
  • This is achieved through what amount to kickbacks for minorities
  • Republicans promise a small government but never achieve it
  • America has not “won” a war since World War 2.
  • America has arguably not “tried” to win decisively in recent wars
  • “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…” General Curtis LeMay, on the subject of firebombing cities
  • There is an entire body of knowledge which is known to all yet also suppressed by all; Political Correctness.  True Believers are a minority, but they wield disproportionate amounts of power
  • The American government has grown over time
  • The Constitution is considered a “living document”
  • A significant number of society-shaping decisions in our past have come not from the executive or legislature, but the judiciary

And the list continues.  I suspect the average college graduate at least knows these ideas exist, even if they don’t believe 100% of them.  What Moldbug does is tie a massive amount of “inconvenient kernels of observed political reality” up neatly into a sensible bow that the reader can understand.  This is just like a Socratic dialogue in which the interlocutor simply answers questions from their own knowledge until some new knowledge is obtained.  In Neoreaction in a Nutshell, while first trying to get a handle on all this, I wrote:

2) “Conservatives pass tests by memorizing stolen answers and call this process learning.  Neorectionaries may cheat too, but they read the questions and learn something while marking “C” in question 3.”

If all the above observations are an “answer key” to life, “An Open Letter” served as a peak at the test itself, to see what the answers all mean.

The personal reflection from this is that I have been granted a massive frame of reference thanks to the publishing of the Neoreactionary Canon.  On a personal level, my tendencies towards completionism are satisfied knowing that I can read, find, index, link, and refer to written versions of my own thoughts that have been already written down.  Further, this gives me a lot of freedom to define my own goals more narrowly, so I can write in more detail, and perhaps produce more works that are worth keeping around the community.

It is highly significant that my own introduction to the canon began with the choice between the candlelight dinner and being dragged to death behind a truck.  I have spent years wondering at questions of exactly this nature when faced with confrontations between “official” reality and observable reality.  My series on post-modernism was an attempt  to answer, in a general way, a broad swath of questions which all amounted to, “why did we all choose the truck?”  I had to back up several steps from the various trucks we chose to actually grasp what had happened to us.  In this regard, I suppose I am a diagnostician at heart; driven to understand symptoms and modes of failure more than I am interested (and, indeed, able) to offer recommended solutions.

So I predict I will spend much of my writing time in the near future continuing to analyze the various lethal truck draggings, while keeping the big picture in mind and using it as a reference.  Although the canon is huge, and contains many brilliant thinkers, I believe there are a few connections yet to be made in this Universal Theory of Everything, and I intend to explore them and offer my findings up to the community as I do.

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2 thoughts on “Reflection on Moldbug’s “Open Letter”

  1. Pingback: Isolation is Part of the Deal | iParallax

  2. Pingback: The Gentrification of the American Left | pundit from another planet

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