A Post-mortem on Neoreaction

Posted by Spandrell on

First of all, welcome to the new blog. Or should I say the new website. A lot more than a blog going on now, we have a discussion forum now (the Board), a live Chat room, a Twitter-like Feed, a book, a wiki, a merch store, and even a TV station, with a cozy live chat inside. And of course the good old blog, back after a year hiatus. Everything is running on Urbit.

I apologize for the long delay, and for the domain change. Long story short, I fucked up, and was too busy to fix it properly. Given the work required to fix the old blog I figured I'd rather make a new site, and realize some ideas that I've long had. People ask often what happened to the old blogosphere, why did it die. The short answer to that is that it got boring, there were more compelling things to do online, so people flocked to Twitter, Youtube, Discord, etc. Especially Twitter. I'm guilty of that myself, of course. I'll take this chance to thank Elon Musk for banning me last year so I could put some time into making this website, which I hope will provide some of the utility that the old blogs weren't giving. And that also Twitter and other big web2 platforms aren't providing. People complain of late that Twitter isn't as fun and lively as, say, 2016. “Everything interesting has been said” , I heard just yesterday.

And it's true. A lot of that is just churn; doing the same thing year after year just gets boring. I don't agree that everything interesting has been said, I myself have a lot of bangers to give. But the old format does seem spent. It's time for something new. So welcome to Bloody Shovel 4. Hopefully it's new enough to stay exciting for a while. And if not I'll be happy to make some changes; easier to do here for me in my private abode than it is for a big, bloated, indebted web2 corporation full of feds and besieged by fed lawyers 24/7.

For those curious on the technical details, do check out the About page (you'll see a link at the top navbar or the menu button on mobile). The content in Bloody Shovel 4 is going to be mostly gated in different ways. Some content will be free, but read-only; to comment on a blogpost and access most functionality you will need to login. I don't want to deal with your user data or passwords or any of that shit so you will need to use an Urbit instance to do that. Yes, I know, Urbit is weird, but it's substantially easier to use these days, and I'm happy to help if you have trouble doing so. Once you get used to having a permanent identity and you enjoy life without passwords and captchas I'm confident you will enjoy it. You can thank me later.

So back to topic, what happened to Neoreaction? Well as I was saying the blogosphere as a whole more or less died, so of course Neoreaction, as a small, if influential subset of it, suffered the same fate. A big part of it is again, just churn, being outcompeted by faster (and dumber) internet products, and generational turnover. The bulk of Neoreaction was early Millennials, what the Chinese call after-80s. These people are now solidly in middle age, and shit happens in middle age. Presumably, and in my experience (I've met a lot of people in person during the years) a lot of us got married, had kids, work got busy, so there's just less time and energy for arguing at length with strangers on the internet. It's always easy to find time for shitposting on Twitter. Not so much for writing lengthy essays on history or political theory for the benefit of a few hundred internet strangers.

It also coincided that as most lost the physical energy to write much, the urge also went away. Neoreaction was never an advocacy movement, either a libertarian-like push to lobby governments for incremental deregulation or an attempt to take over the institutions in any way. Some factions did try to get into active politics, and I'm told a select few did get close to positions of power today. But for the most part it was just an analysis movement with a general undertone of, if I may put it that way, doomerism. Again not a criticism, I'm certainly guilty of this myself. The best example of this is of course Moldbug, now adored public intellectual and NYC underground celebrity Curtis Yarvin, who famously said there's nothing to be done except to Become Worthy and just wait to shit get so bad the elite itself comes to us surrendering the reins of power. A related approach, and most popular, has been the push to develop a “counter elite” , including active outreach to sympathetic elite normies, in order to create a new “shadow ruling class” to take over after The Collapse.

... what collapse though? Where Is My Collapse? Where is this Big Crisis where all our governments and financial systems go to shit so badly that everybody, and in particular the normies among our friends and family realizes how wrong they were, how right we were, and lets us run things at last? Damn, that would be nice, wouldn't it. But no, we can't have nice things. We've all been here arguing at length about how everything sucks for more than 15 years. 15 years is a long time, man. It boggles the mind that things not only keep sucking, they keep sucking increasingly more and more, and people just take it. If you would have told us in 2010 that Britain would look like this , that an obviously senile 80+ year old would be POTUS and be running again , that Japan would be filling up with Kurds and subcons, and that the Chinese countryside would be filling with half-black kids because the only women breeding there are nigger brides, well I would've said that sounds about right. But damn, shit really is bad.

But it's not bad in that tensing the rope way. It's not bad like Russia in 1917 or France in 1789 was bad. There's no tension in the air. It's all just fake, gay, dumb and brown. Enoch Powell famously predicted rivers of blood if Britain kept bringing Third Worlders into the country. And that was his call for action! God forbid me from dissing Sir Enoch, one of the last Great Englishmen to ever live. But in hindsight that was laughably cringe, bluepill take. “We must stop bringing immigrants here, or there'll be rivers of blood". Really? That was the worst case scenario? No, what actually happened is even worse. There are no rivers of blood; white people just took it, let themselves be disposessed, and Britain decayed into a Third World country. As a friend put it, Enoch foresaw rivers of blood but all you got was rivers of mud. Which are worse. Rivers of blood aren't nice but after the fighting ends you get a more or less nice, clean country to rebuild. Ukraine is in terrible shape now of course, but after the war ends the winner will make it nicer than Birmingham. If Sir Enoch saw Birmingham today he would assume a race war had already happened in Britain, it's just that the natives lost. But no, there's been no race war, and the likelihood of it happening later is if anything decreasing.

As I wrote back in my Conflict post, neoreaction was an uneasy alliance of ethno-nationalists, theocrats and techno-accelerationists. Those 3 factions are as alive as ever. They are pretty old and stable political schelling points. Not exactly Lindy, it's not fixed in human nature, but it sure is a stable equilibrium in an industrial society. You have some people clinging to the old religious agrarian order: the theocrats. You have another group who took power from them by building a new coalition based on the larger scale of organization enabled by industrialism: the Nationalists. And you have a smaller, edgy minority getting ready for the next shift change, exasperated at the compromises made by the current nationalist ruling ideology: the techno-comms or whatever I called them back then. Today they go by e/acc.

Trads and accs are alive and well, very much thriving on Twitter. Nationalists less so. As a former fascist sympathizer I can see why. The allure of fascism in 2024 is much, much diminished. For a few reasons. A big one was COVID. See, the point of fascism is that Collective Action is necessary to have nice things. We need a strong government committed to the good of the people. Yarvin showed his preference early when he started his new Substack by quoting Cicero's phrase “Salus populi suprema lex” . The health of the people is the most important law. Cicero wasn't a fascist, of course, nor is Yarvin really; a big point of fascism is to define narrowly the populus as an ethnic group with demonstrable ties of blood. That makes the government's ties to the people stronger, increasing their commitment to do Good Collective Action. Which is important. Very important. Collective Action can be good, sure. A lot of good things can come of intelligently done Collective Action. Fascist Italy made the trains run on time. Nazi Germany fixed the terrible Weimar economy. East Asian countries are all effectively fascist states, if with less ideological bagagge (yellows just aren't like that), and they are all nice, clean, safe places with healthy economies. Fascism is not a panacea but it works, when you let it. Strong governmen can be pretty neat.

So why is strong government less appealing these days? Well, COVID happened. And our governments were pretty damn strong in dealing with it. They made strong laws and enforced them. And what did they do with their power? Absolutely retarded shit. They destroyed the world economy and made 95% of people completely miserable for 18 months. Up to 3 long years in some places. Again, as an Orient enjoyer I was very sympathetic of strong, effective government. My life has been pretty cozy thanks to it for the past decades. But after seeing boomers, hypocondriacs and neurotic menopausal women take the reins and use it against healthy people, I'm fucking done with strong effective government. Fuck that shit, I'm out. I don't want to see strong government ever again. I was very lucky that I was out of China in November 2019. It was a fluke really. I moved to the Golden Triangle after that and the law of the jungle was much, much nicer during the Doctors Plague of 2020-2022. But I spent a few months in Europe during the time and man, that was brutal. Not just seeing how retarded governments were; the level of compliance by the people was so disheartening. Imagine being a sincere fascist and seeing your people behave like that. These are my people? My Volk? Am I supposed to sacrifice life and limb for the salus of this populus ? Fuck that. Let them cook, they deserve everything that's coming to them.

And what's coming to them? Infinite Bomalis, of course. I'll use Bomali henceforward as shorthand for the sum of brown and black people that are emigrating by the millions to Europe and North America. That's the second reason why Internet Fascism is fizzling out. It's one thing to argue for fascism when the Volk is real. To the extent all volks are real, of course, all nation-states were artificially constructed in some way, but pre-existing blood ties were there, and after ~200 years stuck in the same polity most nations today are actually quite distinct and uniform. Or they were until 20 years ago. There surely is a threshold of ethnic diversity after which a nation stops being real. I would argue that threshold has already been reached, certainly in most of Western Europe. Native births (as in 100% native stock) are below 60% in Britain, France and Germany. There's some encouraging signs in the birthrate of immigrants falling quite rapidly as they adopt the worst traits of modernity. But still; Brazilification of the West is not theoretical anymore. It's already happened.

Now is Brazil hell? No, it's an ok country. Some places are positively nice. But do you want fascism in Brazil? Do you want a Strong Government in a country with Brazil's demographics? Hell no. You want the lightest, most retarded and ineffective government possible so the inevitable Bioleninist regime that raises to power in a country with an (on average) retarded population can do the least damage possible. I'm not blackpilling in that Western Europe is going to literally become Pakistan forever, although the risk does exist. But you have to be very autistic to be a fascist in the coming world where whites are barely a plurality. It's just a bad deal. Much smarter to be a libertarian or accelerationist. Or a trad; find (or build) a strong, closed-off religious group where you can isolate your family from the wider Bomali world.

What if you're not into that (I'm not into that). And you're also not exactly keen in Skynet taking over life on earth and all of us becoming synthetic computing devices. Well then it's a tough one. Very hard to find a political place to be. You can do fine in life, of course. I've been saying for years now to young people approaching me on the internet asking what to do. I always tell them to forget about politics and just focus on making a shitton of money and having babies. Elon-maxxing, but without the redditor cringe. Just do what he does. Maybe chill a bit on the ketamine.

Given all these trends, again I think it's natural that ethno-nationalism declines as a viable political platform. Note it's not exactly dead, though. Neoreaction is dead, because neoreaction was home for the smartest, the tail of the ethno-nationalist Bell Curve. And it's always the smart people who see the trends and change accordingly. But the rest of the Bell Curve is, naturally, slower to react; if they react at all. So you get stuff like Trumpism, and the general dumbing down of right-wing discourse. If you're on Twitter at all you might have seen that guy, Richard Banania, who was a firebrand Richard Spencer-type anon fascist in his young years; then got a million bucks from Marc Andreessen and proceded to facefag and become a garden variety neocon pushing open borders and infinite support for Israel Our Greatest Ally. He's still solid on the Woman Question and the Nigger Question, and kudos for that, but 80% of his content is just dunking on Trumpism and the wider internet right wing grifting which has surged in recent years.

Now, I feel nothing but disgust on his blatant engagement farming and I hope he burns in hell for promoting Infinite Bomalis in a country he's a guest at. There's obviously something contemptible about natives of a country promoting the ethnic dissolution of their homeland, high treason of the worst kind. But to do that as a non-native is, in my mind, even worse. As a long-term expat it really rubs me the wrong way. The least you can do as a guest in someone's country is respect your hosts.

Letting that aside though, his focus on how dumb the right wing discourse has become is interesting. You can tell how exasperated he is, having tried to get himself a place as a fascist intellectual, and now seeing it all become a bizarre cult of personality of Donald Trump, and the rest being a weird hodgepodge of trad hangups (e.g. the anti-abortion cult) and masculinity grift. Thousands of Twatter/Instagram inflooencers talking steroids and saying it's because they eat raw meat, raw eggs, and of course two dozen of their personal brand of supplements. Blame the game, not the player, of course, but it's all just very sad, and the direct consequence of the vacuum that the death of fascism has brought to right-wing political discourse. There's a vicious circle in that smart people see where the wind is blowing, they move out, the rest becomes dumber, repelling the remaining smart people, which makes the average even dumber, and so on.

I've seen a lot of this first hand, with my extended family falling into a few of these bizarre internet rw grifts over the past years. Thankfully it's much less bad in Europe, at least for now. And it's still preferrable to having left wing family, but still. it's quite sad. But it shows there's a vacuum there. Grifts are ephemeral, they're just pathogens preying on a diseased body. But they won't kill it, and once the body is healthy again they'll naturally fizzle away.

Is there a way to make the body healthy again? I do think so. I think there's still place for a successor right wing ideology which is neither Christian fundamentalism or robot worship. And it will happen; but it won't happen on Twitter. Maybe it can happen on Urbit, or right here in this site. I have some ideas myself, and I invite you to join me and build this together.

Welcome again to Bloody Shovel 4. Now let's build.

Switch to Board View


Leave a reply
  • “There's a vicious circle in that smart people see where the wind is blowing, they move out, the rest becomes dumber, repelling the remaining smart people, which makes the average even dumber, and so on.”

    I've been arguing for years that it was the relaxation of racism that has made black communities so completely broken.

    From 2015:

    "America in 2015 is a very different place [from the mid-20th century], and has been since the victories of the civil-rights movement of the 1960’s. Nowadays any black person who “makes it” is immediately up and out.

    Since the 1960s a mechanism has been at work that continuously “boils off” all of the best genes from black communities, leaving behind an increasingly concentrated and dysfunctional underclass. Of course this is not all of the story — as noted above, for half a century it has been the government’s policy to subsidize dysfunction, and when the government subsidizes anything, it always creates more of it — but this is an important part of it, and one that is almost completely unmentioned in public discourse. It is further evidence that no great social transformation — no matter how just and well-intended — is without unintended consequences."

  • Incredibly whitepilled. The future belongs to those who build it.

    • Glad to see you back in action.

      • I'm seriously impressed with what you've built on your urbit, and I'm happy to see you sharing ideas in blog form again.