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Progressivism as a surrogate community

Handle wrote up a great post on how progressivism psychologically serves the human desire for society and community.

I won’t get into summarising it, but I wrote a somewhat lengthy comment that I think merits some further expansion.

Coincidentally, I was thinking about something very similar earlier today.  Those individuals who are the most atomised, rootless, and without intimate [face-to-face] social networks are also the most easy to Cathedralise.

Rightists used to think that leftism was all about an overbearing, banal, and uniform solidarity in the masses, but we didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that the prerequisite was the destruction of fraternal, familial, and ethno-religious bonds.  And what better place for that than the great ‘propositional nation’ of America?

You’re young, and you’ve got the whole world out there.  Away from home, and on an unfamiliar campus around people in a similar position, where you have no connection to anything.  Without existing friendships, it’ll be hard to develop any sense of security that you can really speak your mind and do as you wish.

Break a progressive taboo?  No one will stand up for you.  The fear of ostracisation and blacklisting would crush an ordinary person.  You can atone for your crimes by grovelling before your masters in the Cathedral, begging them for a chance for redemption.  But, it’s easier to submit and pay tribute without having the Mongols sack your city first, isn’t it?

Look at what happened to Pax Dickinson.  What would an ordinary denizen have done?  He would have prostrated himself before the pantheon of progressive deities–feminism, multiculturalism, et al.–repeatedly offering apologies and chanting the prog mantra.

What is especially awful about that affair with Dickinson is the fact that the odious Anil Dash openly wanted to blacklist the former.  It’s not enough to shamelessly campaign for his expulsion from his company.  No, all things associated with him must be tainted and buried alive.  The message is clear to all.

Now, consider the fact that these trends of atomisation are growing worse, and at alarming rates.  We haven’t hit rock-bottom yet.  More and more children are growing up in broken homes, and have little to no connection with any religious institutions, which are being co-opted and mercifully killed off by the Cathedral anyway.

The Leftist Singularity isn’t even close.

Now, that’s a sobering thought.  Progressivism is a murderer who adopts the orphans of his victims and brainwashes them to do his bidding.  Call it Stockholm Syndrome, or whatever, it’s all the same.

We neoreactionaries have our work cut out for us.  It’s not just an uphill battle, it’s up a hill that also happens to lie where two tectonic plates meet.  That’s not to say that it’s wholly hopeless, though.  Enough people will reject and defy progressivism, with enough support.  You are absolutely correct when you say that community is essential.  Let’s continue building one.

Let’s focus on my metaphor that “Progressivism is a murderer who adopts the orphans of his victims and raises them to do his bidding.”  Now, Handle points out that ancient states sometimes did this as an easy way of subjugating conquered populations.

It was a common tactic in the brutal ancient world for conquering forces to slay the men and enslave the women and children.  Sending them to reeducation camps and giving a decent career path in the Grand Inquisitor’s Grand Bureaucracy is a much more subtle and effective system of control.

Progressivism competes with traditional loyalties–in the old days, we had our various religious, ethno-cultural, and fraternal associations, whether at church, town, or job.  There was always a group that someone could relate with.

It’s different now.  Religion has become completely irrelevant today.  72% of Millennials identify as the vapid and meaningless label “spiritual but not religious”.  Most are actively hostile to the idea of organised religion.  There are a myriad of reasons for this, but important factors include America’s Protestant way of looking at religion and the extensive degree to which remaining churches have become co-opted by the Cathedral (cf. “churchianity”).

And, of course, as America is a “propositional nation”, the general trends of ethnocentrism don’t really apply for whites.  Apart from some regional cultural festivals that might attract slight curiosity, American whites overwhelmingly have no connection to the Old World.  The few sporadic ties shown are more akin to Plastic Paddies than anything authentic.  (In any case, American whites almost always consider themselves Americans first, rather than Germans, English, etc.)  Even with subconscious identies as whites, American whites have been so bombarbed by propaganda that to dare show any of that is to invite smears of white supremacism, racism, bigotry, et al. ad nauseam.

Plenty has been said on how PC speech and behavioural codes have taken place in workplaces, so I won’t rehash that.  Your master isn’t your manager, it’s human resources.  Suffice to say that any place where you spend one-third of your weekday, but still must hide your heretical un-PC self behind a façade, will certainly contribute to a sense of social isolation.

The idea of America as an egalitarian, propositional nation is inherently progressive.  As all these traditional communal ties have been obliterated as a result of just how ingrained progressivism is in the social fabric of America, there’s initially a vacuum–and nature abhors a vacuum.  This is precisely the void that progressivism itself fills.

From birth to death, a person is surrounded by the influences of the Cathedral.  A seemingly innocuous children’s show is far from it.  Children are in [mostly public] schools for at least 12 or 13 years, and college for generally 4 or more.  (If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably not necessary to expound on the awfulness of public schools and the universities.)  These all either openly preach progressive ideology, or at least integrate it into its messages, whether through mockery of tradition or through pushing absurd sanctimonious messages.  (For example, what the hell is this?)

What I find particularly abhorrent about this is that the periods where a person’s identity is most pliable and uncertain is where progressivism most strongly targets them.  It offers them a universal place of belonging, approval, and likemindedness, albeit with certain caveats.  These young adults are transplanted to a land isolated from everyone they knew beforehand, all alone.

Who’s going to compete for their loyalties?  Their home churches?  Certainly not.  Progressivism has slain their caretakers and nurturers in the night, and tells them that they were abandoned.  Join us, says the Cathedral.  We’ll provide for you, should you become one of us.

It’s a bit of a truism that people prefer feeling good to knowing the truth.  Therefore, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that the atomised and rootless young adults of modernity flock to the gates of the Cathedral, like moths drawn to a flame.

Or, considering how progressivism shapes, subsumes, and uses these individuals, like grey goo.

Now, in what ways can the neoreaction fight this trend?  There are tactics that might help, such as attacking the sanctity of going to college, attacking popular culture, or providing alternative sources of information.  And then there are, in my opinion, unrealistic goals, such as halting the growth of bastardy, change via political processes, or revival of ethno-religious identities.

Long-term, maybe the neoreaction can work itself into the social fabric of the West.  That takes time, and it’s certainly no cakewalk.  Without having achieved that first, perhaps the most lucrative source of short-term strength could be a generation of lost wanderers looking for shelter.

There will inevitably be visceral responses–after all, progressivism has become the core identity of many in Generation Y.  (For example, anyone who labels themself an “activist” or “advocate” for something.)  Expect overwhelming hostility from anyone whose identity is being attacked.  So, stand firm and chip away at those foundations!  Erode the base enough, and the decrepit structure collapses in on itself.

Expose progressivism as a murderer, and bring its dirty deeds and lies to light.  Show its hostages that progressivism killed its parents.  Offer your hand, and say, “your progenitors may have been killed off by the very master you now serve, but there’s a chance of honouring their memories and reforging their ways.”

I won’t entertain the thought that there’s some day of reckoning when all of them get over their Stockholm syndrome and reject the deceptive comfort of the Cathedral together, as that’s silly.  But for every individual persuaded to discard the pretty lies, the effort and result means everything to them.

Sociolinguistics and the neoreaction, part one

Spandrell notes that one of the roles language fills is to distinguish between ingroups and outgroups. (If you don’t know what an ingroup is, it’s basically a social group that an individual psychologically belong to.) This is easily demonstrated by observing how cliques interact. In your various circles of friends, you’ll probably notice that certain in-jokes and slang propagate amongst members but are rarely used around outsiders, unless the latter integrate into the group context. Not only that, but different pronunciations, syntactical features, and prosodies can spread within these ingroups. (If you’re an omega with no friends, just take my word for it.)

This function of language as a marker of ingrouping has become readily apparent numerous times throughout history, as there have been [and still are] many sociopolitical conflicts over language standards and distinctions between “languages” and “dialects”, for example. As Antonio de Nebrija noted, language is the instrument of empire. That is, the propagation of a language in effect projects soft power of those who control it. And, those who control it must have a high enough sociopolitical prestige to influence others’ dialects, whether through example (e.g. mass media, literature, etc.) or prescriptive authority. The latter method is particularly interesting here, as Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first prescriptive grammar of a modern language.

We don’t know exactly when prescriptive language standards first started appearing, but they often cropped up in ancient societies with strong hierarchies and knowledge of writing, such as Ancient Egypt (according to Wikipedia, at least), Imperial-era China, and the Roman Empire. These standards couldn’t stop linguistic change, but it’s important to note that despite differences in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciations between the educated classes and the illiterate commoners, the languages were considered to be the same. I suspect that the strongly tradition of political unity in China both led to and owed to this consideration.

This may shed light on why the various Chinese “dialects”, which have little mutual intelligibility, are not always considered to be separate languages. Though the varieties of Chinese form several dialect continuums, similarly to those of Vulgar Latin, the former varieties generally do not have their own language standards, unlike the very few prescribed styles. Romance languages, however, have had longer histories of prescribed standard dialects: French, Spanish, for example. During these times, lower-prestige regiolects still didn’t disappear. In fact, many of them often had their own separate traditions of literature, such as Occitan and Aragonese, though these precipitously declined in usage after the French Revolution and modern nationalism reared their heads and set about imposing one uniform language in every nation-state. Broadly speaking, these movements were about expansion of ingroups to include peoples who previously (or still) did not see each other as members of their ingroups. With the expansion of “French”, “German”, “Slavic”, etc. ingroups, so did the emphases on unified languages.

Of course, the distinctions between languages and dialects are far from discrete, and debates over which classifications some varieties of languages/dialects ought to be placed under still rage today. The old aphorism about a language being a dialect with an army and navy backing it speaks volumes about this. Dialects are largely mutually intelligible to varying degrees, but so are certain language groups. North Germanic languages, for example, have levels of this in verbal contexts, although it is asymmetrical. However, their literary standards are very similar and are far more comprehensible between languages. Interestingly, varieties of dialects can often differ more within borders than across them. Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish are still considered to be separate languages, however, due to their long histories of political independence. Their similarities, though, certainly had much to do with collectivist romantic nationalist movements there.

The concept of language secessionism is a sticky issue. Is black vernacular American English a separate language from Standard American English, or is it merely a pronounced dialect? What about Brummie, which is far less intelligible to my ears? The thing to remember is that speakers of the former are far more distinct from their neighbours racially, culturally, and socially, whereas speakers of the latter are far more similar to their own neighbours. As English does not have a de jure authority governing the rules of the language in any country, many different varieties of it will inevitably propagate, though their prestige will vary from high (e.g. Received Pronunciation, General American) to low (e.g. Cockney, Ebonics).

In contrast, Serbo-Croatian is often considered one language with four differing standards, which is due to ethnopolitical splits between speakers. The four main groups are Montenegrins, Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians. Separatist nationalists of differing stripes will often claim that these are separate languages, which demonstrates just how strongly outgrouping and language separatism are connected. Then again, these varieties are conversely considered merely differing dialects by panslavists and, ironically, by nationalists, who emphasise their own as the oldest and most high-prestige sort. The Balkans are notorious for being rife with ethnic and sectarian conflict, and it appears that fierce arguments over language are both symptoms and causes.

This is only an introduction, as I’ll explore some more examples in the future, as well as implications for the neoreaction. The lesson, however, is clear: linguistic union is strongly tied to ingroup identity, whether within small social groups or entire ethnicities. In literate societies, this is often accomplished with the usage of language standards, which of course by nature govern written language and thus influence spoken language. As Scharlach noted, standards stabilise language over time and across generations. This helps strengthen the sense of continuity between past and present culture, which is severely lacking in our contemporary West. As reactionaries, do we not treasure the true and tried traditions of generations past?

Look closely at who the biggest opponents of linguistic standards are—those who see no problem with the fracturing of traditional ingroups, and/or those who see every variety of a language as equally valid. I submit that those who decry language standards are proponents of social atomisation and radical egalitarianism.

It’s getting late, I’m sick of writing, and I’m not going to bother spending time revising this dumb post. Have at it, everyone.


yo whaddup its f-close frank.

Okay, no, it’s not, but here we are. I’ve decided to start up this weblog (I hate the word “blog”) as a place to store writings on my thoughts regarding the [neo]reaction and various relevant subjects. I have strong interests in economics, history, culture, human biodiversity, linguistics, religion (especially Christianity).

I likely won’t focus this weblog on any of these subjects exclusively, but I expect to write more on topics that haven’t already been extensively covered in the neoreactionary “blogosphere” (another terrible word). After all, I’m a relative neophyte, and I don’t want to retread too much on ground that already has been covered by those who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I.

More importantly, though, I want this to be somewhat collaborative. I want your feedback and comments, as I intend for forthcoming posts to serve as starting points for discussions.

Fellow [neo]reactionaries, check in here and let me know if there are any topics in particular that warrant special interest. I look forward to contributing to the “Dark Enlightenment”.

(On a side note, I will be playing around with the layouts every now and then. Suggestions for widgets would be greatly appreciated.)