What is the fundamental essence of neoreaction? I’m still not sure there has been a clear case presented, but I will offer my interpretation of it stripped to its barest of bones:
Neoeaction is the acknowledgement that you can only work with how the world was, is, and is going to be.
Liberal progressivism and all variants of leftism are in contrast, attempts to frustrate the natural formation of spontaneous order inherent in the world in an attempt to at best, tame it, or at worst, stop it; in the pursuit of humanist crypto-religious motives. Leftism is a means of thinking which wishes to impose abstract ideals of how the world ought to be, over how it was, is, and is going to be. Fundamentally this is chaos.
Reactionaryism constituting Monarchism, Feudalism etc are social organisations that existed along side pre-modern Capitalism(1). The rise of the bourgeoisie broke these systems by virtue of creating wealth among large sections of the population whom therefore became more important then the nobles and elites who operated in the pre-modern Capitalism catallaxy. Capitalism had no respect for monarchy and never will, so when it outgrew Monarchy, it discarded it.
Monarchism therefore was a realistic manner in which to operate within the catallaxy of pre-modern Capitalism but became redundant and unrealistic with the advent of fully emergent modern Capitalism (2). Hence reactionary thought to all intents and purposes stopped dead –they were unable to arrange a new order to live with Capitalism.
Reactionary thought failed to deal with Capitalism and its spontaneous order because it was abhorrent to them. They did not have the “going to be” part in their armory.
Those who remained reactionaries could only rage as Julius Evola did, and offer retreats into fantasy order contained in pagan religions, mysticism and cultism. However, this issue did not stop the leftists as they do not need to ground themselves in reality. They merely made a wish list of how they want the world to work, and then tried to force the issue -which causes chaos, wastage and anarchy – they don’t have to really understand anything to do this.
Hence the Humanists won by default –reactionaries could not start to answer how to deal with Capitalism. They could not answer how to deal with reality, and therefore could not begin to understand how to create new order.
Reactionaries did not understand how the world is, and is going to be – they could only understand how it was –they could only call for the clock to be turned back hence the confusion with neoreaction being associated with only going back. It is not.
To make things worse, It has become painfully obvious that Progress IS Capitalism (which is also as Land has pointed out- ultimately the genesis of artificial intelligence). Capitalism makes people wealthier, speeds technology, improves food productions, improve medicine- it is the hidden force that has been confused for mythical progresshiding in plain sight- the leftist rode the wave whilst simultaneously trying to stop it – all the time claiming credit for, and misusing, its fruits.
This means, a call to return to Monarchism as modeled on the enlightenment is actually not even reactionary anymore, let alone neoreactionary. It’s not even leftist as it is not attempting to apply abstract ideals. It is merely redundant as it is trying to reapply concrete ideas which ultimately were snapped like twigs by Capitalism (3).
One of the most exciting aspects of neoreaction, is the potential contained in the fact that people have become aware, acutely aware, that the leftism which won by default is a deforming, grotesque and unrealistic system. It’s an abortion on all possible levels and a complete divorce from reality. This has led to a revival of real thinking regarding how the world was, is, and is going to be outside of the fantasy Cathedral framework of how everyone wishes it to be.
Once you acknowledge that Capitalism is a spontaneous order which is something which cannot be halted, must be allowed to run free, and which is a force of nature every bit as much as genetics, then as a neoreactionary you must embrace this understanding and act in accordance with the world as it was, is and is going to be.
The reactionaries of the 19th and 20th century could only try to hold the line. They did not know where to go. We have now got an idea of what is happening, and where it is going. We are not lost in the woods like Evola.
Neo-reaction is, and must be fluid. It must be an attempt to exist with Capitalism’s spontaneous order and not to force a false direction which we want based on subjective utopia/ fantasy. Neoreactionaries must engage with, and accept, that which is and that which will be, and not just what was – and order ourselves in accordance with this as part of a civilized negotiation with the process, as opposed to the barbaric howl of anarchy that is leftism’s response to forces which make a mockery of their psychotic humanism.
It’s pure unadulterated glorious antihumanism to its core – an understanding that there are forces and things beyond the human, things which we do not understand, and may never do. It’s an embrace of the structural changes sweeping the world and the rejection of the farce that is the belief that human will and desire, or some arbitrary vision of utopia could, or should, be central to development.
1) I work on the basis that pre-modern Capitalism is simply the process of capital placement as a means to obtain yield.
2) I work on the basis that modern Capitalism is the process of capital placement as a means to obtain yield via the medium of a third party entity (listed exchange company) which resulted in the greater access of individuals to the capitalism process and thus escalated advancement via the process of connecting capital with ideas and enterprise which would not (and did not) occur in pre-modern capitalism. I am specifically referring to the development of corporations such as the Dutch East India Company.
3) I will accept that present extant monarchies offer potential contradictions to this which are interesting and worthy of much more discussion as to why they do.
*post updated with all reference to neoreactionaryism correct to neoreaction, as suggested by Nick Land. Neoreaction by virtue of being an attempt to link to reality first and foremost does not really fit as an -ism either.*