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Talk:Neoreactionary movement

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Alt-Right vs Neoreactionary[edit]

Is it just me, or are the alt-right and neoreactionaries two different (albeit overlapping) concepts? I'm not an expert on these things but stuff like The Red Pill or R/The_Donald don't really seem to be the type to invoke feudalism and traditional Catholicism while Menicus Moldbug and his ilk don't really seem like the "4chan: the political movement" atmosphere of the alt-right. MidnightBlue766 (talk) 06:46, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Different but closely related. Need to cover the wider Dark Enlightenment (the assorted right-wing shitheads in that chart) in general - David Gerard (talk) 14:18, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised to find out they're literally mostly the same people. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:41, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, they seem to share the ideological closeness that, say, fascists and nazis share (add or take). Meaning: they're certainly not that different from each other, but they are different enough. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:15, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
The alt-right just seem to be younger, less-educated neoreacts. Neoreacts are more willing to take their far-right conservatism to its logical conclusions and consider real-world implementation. The alt-right seem to be more content with just being anti-altruism dickholes content in wallowing in their misanthropy and antagonizing others for "teh lulz". Their primary driving force is maintaining the white, patriarchal status-quo, but without so much of the economic theorizing. Alt-righters who never grow out of it will probably progress into neo-reacts. That being said, i think the Nazi:Fascist analogy is appropriate too. Petey Plane (talk) 15:46, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
I've split off alt-right as a separate article - David Gerard (talk) 21:44, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

The Frankfurt School & The Neoreactionary Movement[edit]

The text I edited out seemed oddly reasoned. It for one, simply stated "right-wing" politics in its dotage. That is to say right wing politics are in a dying state which is what dotage implies. Plus, the description of such dotage being seen in all of right wing politics, is a fairly general statement. It puts a lot of weight on members of right wing ideology who may not fall to the irrationality of the Neoreactionary movement and/or may reflect a sort of "energy" that refutes the "dotage". I do think the point of Neoreactionaries reflecting charlatanry was true and consistent with the rest of the article, so I merely edited "right wing" to be "extreme right wing", as well as the phrasing of the description that followed the colon.

The even larger edit was that of tying the Neoreactionary movement to the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School was in itself an academic movement formulated at prestigious academic places. It is an ideological movement that set a lot of standards in social sciences and the humanities. Some of the writers are up there in the most cited social science authors in history. The Neoreactionary movement, on the other hand exists mainly on web pages and out of the mouths of incredible commentators/websites. Well it is true both ideologies are fairly deep into their sides of the political spectrum, and both tend to show verbose, they have little else in common. The acclaim and credibility of the Frankfurt School sets it up to be respectable movement in history, agree with it or not. Plus, the Frankfurt School did not represent the banner of a political movement. It was a school of thought formed by academic intellectuals who aimed for criticism of society, which did not exist to push a certain political policy, so the comment about it being to outlandish to vote for is odd, as it did not represent something nor did it push for something to vote for. It seems whoever edited this piece originally, had some gripe with right wing politics in general, as well as the Frankfurt School, as the tying together of the two movements is done by shoehorning and an "apples to oranges" reasoning. If you have any comments to make about my edit (positive, negative, or neutral), please feel free to engage in discussion with me and others below. I'll be sure to check the comments (by tomorrow at least).


PagesUponPages (talk) 02:42, 21 June 2016

Please sign your username using four tildes like this, ~~~~, on a talk page. Thank you! Nerd (talk) 02:29, 21 June 2016 (UTC)


While I really can't follow the arguments made above, the basic edit is correct: there's no legitimate connection between Neoreaction and Frankfurt. The original prose was perhaps too high-minded for its own good. As for "dotage," well, at least in the US, it could certainly be argued that the conservative coalition that has led the American right for the last 50 years or so is falling apart. Jagulard (talk) 03:14, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

I think the Frankfurt School and the neoreactionary movement resemble each other in interesting particulars. Obscurantist prose is the most obvious. This obscurantism struck me as a confession of an inner weakness. At least as practised in the USA, the sorts of academic politics informed by the Frankfurt School do indeed seem like they represent leftism in its dotage. There is a flight from the center, a desire to assume ever more 'radical' poses, all expressed in 'critical theory' because this sort of extremism has more or less abandoned any attempt to do actual politics -- persuading people to adopt a political agenda, or anything else that would actually make a difference in people's lives. It's the performance of paper-radical leftism for the benefit of a tiny audience. My impression on reading especially Moldbug struck me as if I were looking at a similar phenomenon. I may have been wrong about that. In any case, I think that at minimum the comparison to Adorno and Horkheimer should stay. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:24, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
But is obscurantist prose enough to compare one of the 20th century's most important philosophical schools to a contemporary movement that exists solely in obscure internet websites and forums, with little academic credibility? It does not seem reasonable to think Frankfurt represents left wing politics dying out. Just look at many millennials. Many of them are center-left at least. There is a resurgence in left wing politics today, like we have not seen in quite a while. Plus, for your comment on the Fossil record summary that at least some citation to Adorno and Horkheimer, what exactly do you mean by that. Nevertheless, thanks for the response, hope you respond below and ocntinue this discussion. - PagesUponPages (talk) 13:55, 21 June 2016 (UTC)PagesUponPages
I'm seeing a point to PagesUponPages' concerns, though - the comparison is tenuous. Also, even if there is a comparison, the Frankfurt School clearly succeeded and Moldbug is utterly inept. I've seen neoreactionaries try to write in postmodernism (when they were responding to Phil Sandifer) and end up writing like Moldbug, it's ... amazing. The comparison does the neoreactionaries way, way too much credit - David Gerard (talk) 08:40, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Glad you see my point. Especially the person referred to, Moldbug, is a good example as to why comparing Neoreactionaries to the Frankfurt School is a bit odd. It seems like a stretch to compare a movement with thinkers like him, to a movement (agree with it or not) that produced incredibly important philosophical works in the 20th century. And it is true, I agree, with even those who agreed with the initial edit, that maybe Frankfurt was a bit flowery in their language. And, maybe Jagulard is right, and the American right is falling apart. But the initial text still seems out of place and in need of editing. Plus, Smerdis of Tlon's comment assumes an interesting point, that anything out of center is a part of some flight to be radical and posture, thereby anything non-center is bound to be tied up in flaws. Which is, to me, horseshoe theory misapplied, an apples to oranges comparison. PagesUponPages (talk) 13:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)PagesUponPages
I can definitely see Smerdis' point, too: both Frankfurt and Neoreaction are prone to very bad writing, either from deliberate obscurantism, poor writing skills, or having nothing substantial to write about. But, of course, the similarity does not necessarily demonstrate a connection. On the other point, I must disagree: Frankfurt does not suggest a collapse of the political left. The academic left, or the decline of the humanities in general? Sure, that's a definite possibility. Jagulard (talk) 14:36, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
If we define the problem as the 'alt-right' rather than neoreaction narrowly defined, they appear to have captured one of the major US political parties, which seems a remarkable achievement. Leftism in the USA has been mostly an irrelevant force until the past year or so. It is rooted in the college towns, and is too easily distracted by purely symbolic controversies. This is because it is improperly focused on 'whose voices are getting heard' rather than who has bread to eat. It has thrown the labor movement under the bus, and perceives manual workers as retrograde troglodytes, to focus on the concerns of well-educated bien-pensants. And ultimately, the influence of the Frankfurt School bears much blame for this weakness. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:59, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
You are correct that the alt-right has captured one of the major political parties in the United States, but I must disagree on Leftism. Your comments are essentially criticizing the turn in focus that the Left had seen around the 1940s, where the Old Left, focused on labor concerns, was left in the dust for the more identity focused New Left. And while some problems have certainly come out of this movement, I do not think the left is a completely disorderly movement because of this. It seems that this idea that Frankfurt lead to the Left's downfall is flawed, as it plays into the idea of Cultural Marxism, which is to any sane person pure conspiracy. And, it seems that the image of the Left today, being a movement that only cares about identity politics rather than practical application, is within itself flawed. Much of the Left does work towards rational and practical approaches to problems, very much so improving the lives of the economically downtrodden. The image of the Left only caring about identity politics is a poor caricature conceived by many right-wingers to downplay the movement. Plus, identity politics are typically not bad. The idea that identity politics is a waste of time is flawed, as understanding the character of individuals in society can help us (society) work to make society as a whole a better place for persons with characters that are prone to bigotry. Analyzing identity certainly is not some ivory tower, college campus mode of thinking, rooted in posturing or slacktivism. Identity analysis can reap great benefit. PagesUponPages (talk) 17:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)PagesUponPages
The comparison is horseshoe theory in action: "I don't like these disparate things so I'll call them the same". I think the comparison should be removed - David Gerard (talk) 18:13, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. I want to revert the changes. I corrected the page initially, removing the comparisons. But Smerdis of Tlon undid what I did. I do still want the comparison removed, but fear undoing his undoing will only bring about an edit conflict, so I will wait for him to respond. PagesUponPages (talk) 18:31, 21 June 2016 (UTC)PagesUponPages
I also think it should go, unless we can find a stronger connection (this is also a good example of why the horseshoe is such a poor theory). Jagulard (talk) 18:47, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not wedded to the text, although I think the comparison is valid. I remember reading a piece which basically said that neoreaction chose its positions mostly for the shock value of their sheer awfulness, although I seem to have misplaced the link. I do think that the comparison to Adorno and Horkheimer should stay, but don't care much about the rest. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 19:30, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I still want to make a change, yet did not want to offend you as you redid my original one. Can I still make that change, as you have claimed not to be "wedded to the text"? If not, what do you recommend? PagesUponPages (talk) 21:26, 21 June 2016 (UTC)PagesUponPages
Good job. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:15, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I can live with the current wording - David Gerard (talk) 08:28, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Work the article needs[edit]

This just got linked from New York Magazine as the explanation of "neoreactionary". I checked our article over and none of it's wrong, but it could do with a polish and brush-up.

Stuff that occurs to me (which I may or may not get around to):

  • digest that huge list of external links into actual references!
  • date of "The Dark Enlightenment" by Nick Land (late 2012? early 2013?)
  • split out an Alt-right article, which isn't quite the same thing as neoreaction
  • a section on the broader Dark Enlightenment (maybe a separate article, maybe not - the DE is broader than NRx, but e.g. Nick Land still treats them as synonymous)
  • rewrite the present-day Yarvin section a bit

- David Gerard (talk) 08:27, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

SoDa fountain[edit]

For one example of the two camps going at it, see this article from the Discovery News website where they criticize the alt-right for drinking from the SoDa fountain.

Can we find any better links than a Dembski haunt? Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 07:24, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Who linked to Evolution News?[edit]

The site is a creationist site disguised as a trustworthy scientific source.

I removed this: "For one example of the two camps going at it, see this article from the Discovery News website where they criticize the alt-right for drinking from the SoDa fountain."

They did not link to Discovery news, they linked to a different source which has a similar name. It is not said in the sentence that the linked site is creationist propaganda. This is Discovery News's twitter and their website.ClickerClock (talk) 07:25, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

I've made the link a bit clearer. (This is one of the things that would be hived off to an alt-right article.) - David Gerard (talk) 00:10, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Inherent contradiction[edit]

Surely you can be either 'neo' or 'reactionary' but not both? Anna Livia (talk) 21:07, 18 August 2017 (UTC)