Tag Archives: Anarcho-Papist

Neoreaction and Subsidarity

One of the themes of neoreaction is that different groups of people will naturally evolve different forms of government and a government that is optimal for one group may fail when applied to another.

For example, anarcho-monarchism may be right for the anglosphere, but would likely fail outside of the natural institutions and culture that have evolved within the anglosphere.

As Bryce puts it:

The insight of neoreaction, contrasting this, is that the differences between groups do significantly determine the optimal form of governance. To different groups, different political doctrines. Insofar as different treatment of groups is institutionalized, it tends to be institutionalized in respect of the differences those groups. A different group of people calls for a difference in evaluation. This will not and in most cases should not be simplistic, but again, the most optimal forms of evaluation are not going to be able to be wielded by every society.

If national groups require differing forms of government would not regional, or local groups require the same. Two different counties, towns, or even neighbourhoods may have different optimal forms of government.

Because of this the principle of subsidiarity fits naturally within neoreaction:

One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.

Subsidiarity is often a basic and explicit principle of reaction, particularly Catholic reaction, but in neoreaction it tends to be implicitly accepted but not formally acknowledged. For example, Moldbug’s patchwork is inherently subsidiaritist in nature, but I do not remember coming across him explicitly promoting the principle. Searching google for neoreaction and subsidiarity, bring up mostly Nick Steves‘ comments and a bit of Bryce’s work, as would be expected.

The primary purpose of this post is to make more  encourage neoreactionaries to pay more explicit attention to, what I believe to be, an underlying principle of neoreaction, subsidiarity.

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From this, a reactionary basis for libertarianism or anarchism can be reached. Rather than basing libertarian thought around such things as non-existent human rights, libertarian thought can be derived from the subsidiarity principle.

The individual is the smallest and simplest human organization possible. If everything is to be governed by the smallest and simplest organization capable and an individual is capable of governing itself, it stands to reason that libertarianism is the optimal form of governance.

The problem with this formulation is that not all individuals are capable of governing themselves. Natural slaves, those constitutionally incapable of governing themselves, present a challenge to this form of organization.

Thus we come back to the original theme, different groups of people will have differing optimal forms of governance.

In a society with few, if any, natural slaves, anarcho-monarchism would be the optimal form of government. Most people could govern themselves, the presence of a king would ensure his citizenry refrained from trying to govern each other, and the few natural slaves could easily be cared for through private, charitable organizations.

Thus, for Englishmen, a self-reliant people used to freedom and self-organization with strong natural social institutions, anarcho-monarchism is the optimal form of governance.

For other peoples, with a higher proportion of natural slaves, other more restrictive forms of governance may be necessary.

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From this we can also discern a factor in why the size and power of government has increased while the non-English population has increased.

As non-English populations have been imported into English countries, the proportion of natural slaves have increased. More natural slaves necessitates more governance.

Thus, immigration from countries where the populations lack English virtues of self-reliance, spontaneous self-organization, and freedom will necessarily lead to more governance.

This is but one reason why immigration, particularly from incompatible cultures, should be severely restricted.

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We now come to the post that inspired this post, a Town without Big Corporations:

There is no question in my mind that this town has saved itself from eventual decline. Not only is it much less ugly and depressing than nearby towns with chain stores but one has the sense that the people who live there identify with it as a community and feel some loyalty and pride. I say that based on my experiences simply talking and listening to the people who live there. So even if it allowed chains, but restricted their garish signs, the town would be worse off.

Instead of a Pizza Hut, there are individually-owned pizza restaurants and a couple of young entrepreneurs take a traveling wood-burning oven to the farmer’s market. People raise goats, sheep and chickens and sell the meat. There are a number of cheese makers who seem to do reasonably well and who sell things immeasurably superior to corporate cheese.

According to free market radicals, this town is engaging in practices that are fundamentally wrong. It is engaging in explicit protectionism in favor of small businesses. Or free market radicals will say that it’s okay to do this kind of thing here and there on a small scale, but the underlying principle of restricting commerce is immoral and tyrannical.

First, Laura is simply incorrect, but incorrect in an understandable way that almost every person is incorrect today.

The free market and large corporations are not one and the same. In fact, corporations, particularly limited liability joint-stock corporations, are a government-manufactured and -enabled institution that distorts the free market. The corporate takeover of the Anglosphere is not a product of free markets, but rather another government intrusion into the private lives of English citizens.

While I can’t say with utmost certainty, but removing the government-created, limited liability, joint-stock corporations from the free market would most likely halt the corporate takeover of the Anglosphere. How many would be willing to become involved in a world-spanning enterprise and be held responsible for the entirity of what the organization does?

Neoreactionaries should oppose the corporate system, as they are another failing of modernism.

Aside from that though, as a free market reactionary, the free market is the most efficient method of wealth-production in almost all cases; this is historically unarguable.

But wealth-creation efficiency is not the end of society; different peoples may have differing goals for society.

In societies without the basic levels of common trust, neutral courts, and non-corrupt government found within the Anglosphere, the free market may not function at all and/or what may be called a “free market” may be nothing of the sort and may actively harm people.

In the Anglosphere, I would not oppose economic regulation by the king, but I would oppose any regulation by our current democratic, national governments. Almost all economic regulation in our national democracies is created for the good of the state-created corporations, and almost all work against the independent entrepreneur.

Not to mention national regulation thoroughly violates the principle of subsidiarity.

On the local level though, local communities should be free to regulate commerce as they wish. Our social institutions have been annihilated by modern progressivism; some local regulations over commerce should be fine until the English people reassert their historical freedoms under the king.

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The Bookshelf: 10 Laws and What is Neoreaction

Today, we’ll look at two tracts created by people from the masculine reactosphere, the 10 Laws of Finding Your Mission by LaidNYC and What is Reaction? by Bryce Laliberte. Both works are rather short, respectively 14 and 59 pages, so one post should cover an overview of both. We’ll start out with the 10 Laws because I read it first because it’s shorter (I’m pragmatic that way).

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The 10 laws of Finding Your Mission

The 10 Laws has the unbeatable price of free, but Laid is asking for donations to help his puppy. Dogs are awesome, so help him out.

The first thing I noticed was that there were actually 11 laws, because there were 2 Law #3’s. So, you actually get more for your moochery than advertised. Despite this minor mistake, there are relatively few typos or grammar errors; it’s well-edited for a free online book.

The book essentially reads like an extended series of blog posts combined into a single document. Each law takes about a page and is mainly independent from the rest. The writing is mostly straightforward and competent with the occasional bit of humour. It’s functional.

But that’s not why you care, you’re reading this for the laws, not the writing style. In that the book is good. He outlines why you should have a mission and gives you some hints on how to go about finding your mission. He is both optimistic and realistic at the same time, which is a nice combination to have.

The book gives an excellent amount of value for the price of free, At the very least, I suggest giving it give it a skim; the page headers make it very easy to do so.

Recommendation:

If you are trying to find your mission, I would recommend the 10 Laws; it won’t take much time and could be very useful. I would especially recommend it for younger men who may not even know they are looking for a mission. If you are still in high school or college, make sure to read this; it could save you a lot of stumbling and regret later in life. It’s good value for money; if you like it, send LaidNYC a donation.

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What is Reaction?

Bryce Laliberte at Anarcho-Papist came onto my radar in July after writing a lot of insightful posts in a short period. It took effort to keep up, but keeping up was worth it. He’s since slowed down, and in a period of blog downtime he wrote a tract with the academic-sounding title of “Ideology, Social-Historical Evolution, and the Phenomena of Civilization Or What is Neoreaction?” as overview to neoreaction. He asked me to review and I was looking forward to reading the essay since reading the teaser, so I agreed and here it is.

At first, I thought this would be an introduction to neoreaction, but it is not, it is more an overview and is probably not for the beginner to neoreaction. As well, this is written at a very high level; it is mostly high theory and is written in very academic language. Do not be fooled by the short length; this is not a simple read.

In the essay, Laliberte examines starts with some examination of what ideology is and what is required for an ideology to succeed. He outlines the difference between the occult motivations of and the vagaries/superstructure of an ideology. He posits the reactionary occult motivation as order (protestantism/liberalism’s being equality), while the various manifestations of neoreaction (capitalism, nationalism,futurism, monarchism, anarchism, etc.) are vagaries of this motivation.

He then examines the main concepts of reactionary philosophy: the ascendance of modern spiritual egalitarianism (the Puritan/Protestant hypothesis), hierarchy and stability, the social determinism of biology, the importance of time preference, patriarchialism, anti-modernism, futurism and the effects of technology on man, hedonism, race, capitalism, monarchism, nationalism,and tradition.

I’m not going to critique the analysis of the essay, as most of it is not particularly novel; if you’ve read a fair amount of neoreactionary blogging you’re probably familiar with most of the concepts. But his explanations of the concepts are good ones; as just one example, I’ve read about the benefits of patriarchy many times already, but I still very much liked his explication of the issue and his explicit linking of it to societal time preference.

There are some smaller quibbles I could make; for example, he seems to implicitly posit nazism as a virulent form of reaction, when I see it more as more of a demotist movement, but for the most part his analysis of neoreaction seems sound upon first reading.

My one problem with this essay is the academic-style writing. I’ve always hated the self-important bloviating and purposeful obfuscation of the academy and this essay seems to drop into it at times. I understand that complex topics may require complex terminology and writing and mostly Laliberte sticks within these reasonable bounds, but, especially closer to the beginning of the essay, it seems he is being unnecessarily complex and obfuscating in that particular way academics are. On the other hand, writing in the academic style might be necessary to push neoreactionary ideas into mainstream academia, so this might not necessarily be a bad thing. (When the restoration comes, I hope one of the things we do is destroy the idea in the liberal arts that writing should be complex for complexity’s sake).

I think this is a good encapsulation of neoreactionary ideology. If you are new to neoreaction, I’d suggest reading Moldbug first, this is not something that will convince you. On the other hand, if you are an outsider want an academic look at neoreaction, this is probably a better analysis than Moldbug’s work, which tends more towards argument for than analysis of.

If you are already a reactionary, this is worth the read. It’s priced affordably and solid value for money.

Recommendation

If you’re a neoreactionary or knowledgeable of neoreaction and looking to explore it more academically, I’d drop the $3 and get What is Neoreaction? If you’re new to neoreaction, read Moldbug first.

If you’re an academic outsider researching this new neoreactionary ideology, this essay would be an excellent place to start.

If you don’t care about neoreaction, this would quite obviously be a waste of time and if you hate academic-style writing, you may find the essay annoying to get into at first.