Someone on the Mensa forum asked me to explain why I am a reactionary. Below was my response.
At XXX's request, I will attempt to explain why I am a reactionary. As a reactionary, I consider myself a traditionalist. I want to return to the traditions of the past. Of course the past had many contradictory traditions, so I particularly want to return to those traditions that existed in rising cultures. Here are some example:
- Women dress modestly.
- Honesty in men is taken seriously.
- Men can use violence to defend their property, including their wives.
- Women are expected to be virgins at marriage.
- Prostitution is widely available.
- Women don't vote.
- Selfishness and greed aren't admired.
I am sure I could come up with many more, but those are just a few. I don't want to argue about any of these in particular here, rather I would like to explain the general reason for maintaining traditions.
One can think of traditions as the genes (memes) of a culture, the culture itself being a product of the sum of its traditions. Cultures certainly cross-fertilize when they come into contact with each other and traditions can be exchanged. So one can almost take an evolutionary view to cultures where traditions act like genes with the culture being the host, and traditions evolve based on how suitable they make the host culture. The time scale for the expression of the effects of changes in tradition is longer than for changes in genes. For a new tradition to fully express its effect on a culture probably takes around three generations. This means that for cultural evolution to work, traditions must change slowly.
Liberalism is essentially anti-traditionalism. It is the biological equivalent of exposing DNA to high powered radiation. It causes such a high mutation rate in traditions that the culture is simply doomed. Some liberals may argue that this isn't fair because mutations are random while liberal changes are based on reason. But I am very skeptical about the reasoning power of most people, so I consider liberal changes to be essentially random, or more accurately, to move in the direction of satisfying basic human instincts at the expense of society. I have given a lot of thought to the changes supported by liberals and they generally follow this pattern. The reasoning behind old traditions requires much deeper thought than the superficial arguments used for liberal ideas, and so cannot be understood by most people.
Religion is very important because it acts as the carrier of traditional memes. Since average people cannot possibly understand the reasons for traditions, it is best for average people to follow traditions because God told them to do so. Religions do change slowly, slowly enough for the mutation rate to contribute to cultural evolution rather than destroy it.
So far I have explained my view from an intellectual perspective, but in reality we do not choose our social beliefs based on intellectual arguments. We choose our beliefs based on our experiences and emotions. My personal conversion to reactionary thought started with my reflecting on why all of my smartest friends had been destroyed by modern culture. Of my three smartest friends, one went crazy, one killed himself, and one is serving a life prison sentence. This was enough to cause to me question the validity of the mainstream (liberal) views that everyone believes. In my search, I started reading old books. I tried to avoid reading books less than 100 years old. The process of reading old books gradually changed my perspective. I realized that I had been suffering from a kind of tunnel vision that I will call now-ism. Most people believe that only the current times are reasonable and the past is archaic. And by most people, I don't just mean most people now, I mean most people in history. Ask your average guy in the early Roman Empire, and he would tell you that his modern times have reasonable beliefs, that the past is archaic, and that the future will just consist of the endless developments of the Roman Empire. The idea that the Roman Empire could fail entirely and be replaced by something based on some insignificant sect (Christianity) would just blow his mind. This is exactly how most of you who are reading this post think about our culture.
Now-ism isn't about historical ignorance. You can read endless books about history and still suffer from it. Now-ism is the result of only looking at things from the modern perspective. Since we have no time machines, the only cure is to read old books. You may have read some classics and found them boring (many are boring). The solution is to not restrict yourself to classics. There are lots of great old books that aren't considered classics. Read whichever old books you enjoy most, but read them. You may find yourself cured of now-ism and become a reactionary like me.
Wow. reactionary. What a misnomer! I guess the reaction is sticking one's head in the sand and wishing everything away? My responses to your listed suggestions:
- Women dress modestly. (By whose definition? Clearly social norms concerning modesty vary across cultures and climates, and that stands to reason. If women should dress modestly, what about the men? Sexual repression leads to sexual perversion and it's a waste of the resources of state to even meddle in such matters of personal choice. Trivialities and fear-based repressionism.)
- Honesty in men is taken seriously. (It already is taken seriously. No one gets elected by proclaiming they are a liar. The problem is agreement on what exactly is the truth, and since there never will be any agreement on that, there remains nothing for it but investigation of facts. No getting around it. Honesty already is respected, and yet we have liars anyways. So we continue to examine each individual case for honesty - the sociology of deviance performing it's function. Truth is very important to me personally - some would say sometimes too much - so I don't say this lightly, but I ask myself what is the alternative? How can you police whether someone is honest with oneself, for example? Or what about the case of brutal, destructive honesty? What level of secrecy should be permitted for national defense? No, truth is an ideal, and dishonesty is the unfortunate shadow of that ideal. This type of morality cannot be easily measured or enforced and is therefore an unreliable and ambiguous benchmark, to say the least.)
- Men can use violence to defend their property, including their wives. (Okay, can I kill a guy for trying to steal my bank's car? How about a guy who's trying to steal my comb? It's another impractical set to enforce on a large scale, therfore unsustainable. It's hard enough to determine if a person is acting in defense of their life, much less their iPod. People already are free to defend the LIFE of their wife with violence. I sure hope you're not suggesting a) wives are property, or b) killing to retain your wife's affections is either a) morally conscienable or b) practical, because once again that gets pretty hazy. The only excuse for violence is self-defense, and while it might be morally right to clout a thief, it's not legal, nor could it practically be.)
- Women are expected to be virgins at marriage. (What about men? And who checks up on this? The virginity cops?)
- Prostitution is widely available. (From all these virginal women I suppose?)
- Women don't vote. (And who's gonna put THAT genie back in the bottle? Do my slaves count as citizens when determing representation? How any rational person can think women shouldn't have the right to vote is beyond me. I hope I never get that damn smart.)
- Selfishness and greed aren't admired. (Or you mean they're secretly admired? Who controls that? The admiration cops? How on earth do you intend to teach people not to want more than their fellows? Here again, I'm no fan of selfishness or greed, but I understand they are innate qualities of all life. I think what's more beneficial is to count on them and use them to postively reinforce an upward trajectory for society and individuals alike. What we have now is a negatively-reinforced, artifical construct called society in which nonconformity equals death. What is needed is a positively-reinforced structure that rewards amibition while ensuring survival for all. In other words, my wife's fake boobs pay taxes for some bum not to lie dying in street, thus benefiting all. Selfishness and greed may not be admirable, but they're reliable as hell. It's neither selfish nor greedy to want to rule a kingdom of vagrants and lepers, it's just dumb. People's greed is too shortsighted, that's all. What benefits society also benefits the individual. Bill Gates didn't scratch his fortune out of the desert wastes of Ethiopia. He made his fortune supported by the socialistic infrastructure of our country. The denial of this fact is what is lacking. What is lacking is people's ambition to aquire the stars.)
On the whole, I see your emphasis on traditionalism as tellingly sexist, anachronistic, and terribly static. You juxtapose traditionalism and what you call now-ism, but from my view it's a false dichotomy. You seem to have left the future out completely and failed to realize the universe is a dynamic albeit threatening place. It's quaint, but completely unrealistic to think we're going to revert back to Little House on the Prairie en masse. Never mind the questionable virtues of those times (or these) it simply ain't happening and is therefore educational to reflect upon, not aspire to.
It's funny, really, because I expend a great deal of my own rhetoric striving to keep people thinking freely and daring to imagine new paradigms. I think we'd benefit from abandoning 'isms' entirely. The one thing I like about this co-alpha thing is the elimination of the alphas and omegas, though I much suspect that cause would be better served by losing the Greek alphabet entirely.
Hi quantum0d0. There are a few things I need to clarify. First, I have no desire to impose my views on anyone. The CoAlpha idea is for a group of men who share some values to try to help each other live by those values. If you disagree with my reactionary values, then you can just live happily in mainstream society. CoAlpha is no threat to anyone. I should add that this is quite unlike modern liberalism which is one of the oppressive ideologies in history because modern liberals feel compelled to shove their values down the throats of everyone in the world.
I honestly don't follow your first paragraph. Why is "reactionary" a misnomer? Where do you get the idea about sticking one's head in the sand? I would say it's rather the opposite. By looking around me and seeing what a horrible culture I live in, and then by studying history and seeing that there are better alternatives, I realize that I wish to live in some alternative to modern liberal culture.
If I tap you on the shoulder, that clearly isn't assault. If I punch you on the shoulder, that is assault. Where is the line? To try to actually define the line would be an exercise in legalistic absurdity. Instead, we have this thing called "common sense". Common sense may not be perfectly consistent and may be affected by local values, but in general it works quite well. So to many of the issues you raise, my answer is just to apply the common sense of community (CoAlpha) members.
Regarding honesty, I have seen a great decrease in honesty in America in my lifetime. I have also traveled a lot and seen that honesty varies a lot by culture. Honesty and trust are absolutely key to a successful culture. The American economy is currently in the process of being bankrupted by our corrupt financial system, and this is a direct result of cultural decay.
Regarding using violence to protect one's wife from seduction, I suggest you read the case of the Murder of Eratosthenes from Ancient Athens. The Athenians understood the issues well.
Only women need be virgins at marriage, not men. This is obvious to anyone with common sense and would only be questioned by a fully indoctrinated modern liberal.
Prostitution would be available from those women who choose this route instead of being a wife. I agree that sexual repression is bad thing, and prostitution solves this.
You ask how any rational person can think women shouldn't have the right to vote. Well most rational people in most of history believed this. So your insistence that women should vote is a perfect example of now-ism.
Actually, your last 2 paragraphs are even better illustrations of now-ism. You express the belief that past values can never return. History moves in cycles and the past always repeats itself in different forms. I think it is your view that is static, statically tied to modern thought. I hope you find the time to read old books to broaden your perspective.
Hi, fschmidt. For what it's worth, the differences of opinion I express are very honest. I appreciate the opportunity to raise debate, as well as your thorough, honest response.
We disagree on a number of very fundamental points. As I read your response, I found myself repeatedly questioning whether you simply see things in very black and white terms or are cleverly omitting large sections of the model that would undermine your own argument. It's evident you're of high intelligence, so I'm very curious as to the nature of what seem glaring fallacies in your views. I'm a Mensan myself and have tested several times in the 'over 200' range. This creates a conundrum when finding extreme ideological differences between the cognitive elite. It puzzles me at what passes for higher intelligence in the human race, and I'm embarassed to remember I'm of the species. We tend to think we sit atop the intellectual pyramid, but we're so far apart it must actually be a ziggurat.
For instance, you say you don't want to shove your beliefs down anyone's throat, but it's evident you wish to spread your ideas to like-minded people and unite them. If this website is just for comeradery and mutual support, okay, but 'modern liberalism' doesn't even have a centralized membership or specific agenda and yet you're busting 'modern liberals'' balls, whoever they are. By contrast, Co-Alphism seems downright evangelical with all this specificity of the way things should be. While I find it easy to believe you must advertise far and wide to find like-minded people, the backlash is you're advertising far and wide, with quite a specific message and agenda. If you really didn't want to spread your beliefs to anyone, you'd remain a Lone-Alpha, or maybe naturally accrete some other Co-Alphas by happenstance in the course of daily life, sans manifesto. The idea you want others to accept your belief is subtext to 'co' being in the group's name.
As to common sense, as you point out repeatedly, it isn't common at all. It's inconsistent, varies from culture to culture, and remains damned hard to find anywhere in spite of it's puported virtues. Logic tells me common sense is an ideal. It's to be strived towards and is not a foundation on which to rely. I would contend that we must have laws in a populated world and those should be founded on as objective a logic as we can sort out from all our various individual versions of common sense. I would call this revolutionary concept Democracy, but that's just a working title. When trying to determine exactly what the common sense of the Co-Alpha community is, please allow me to suggest you take a vote.
I very much agree honesty has decayed in American culture, and that it's a huge problem, but I don't think we hold the patent or copyright on dishonesty any stretch. It's not a uniquely American problem, and if I recall, corruption was at the root of the downfall of many of those past cultures that didn't endure. I can't criticize honesty, I can only doubt anyone who claims they are arbiter of truth. And, though corruption and scandal do seem rampant these days, they are likewise short-lived. We scrutinize things much closer and faster and when a discrepancy with the truth arises, it's much harder to cover up. Maybe we don't need to go the whole route of the Romans just yet.
I'm embarassed to admit I've not read 'The Murder of Eratosthenes.' Did that occur historically before or after the dude turned the gorgon to stone with her own reflection? Yes, the Athenians had it all figured out.
Attributing the idea that all women should be virgins at marriage to common sense dodges the question. Not well, though. I think maybe this is a case of how we don't have this common sense in common. Could you please explain? It seems a fairly important point. Surely there must be some reason? Or did human rights, birth control, and medical science eliminate the reasons?
Your statement about prostitution has some big blindspots from where I sit. Are Prostitute or Wife the only job titles women will have under Co-Alpha rule? How about Collectable Virgin? Masturbatory Oracle? What about Full-On Lesbian? Because I'll be honest, I see that one as pretty possible when men start taking back women's rights for things.
I bet your view about homosexuality is interesting. Which way does Co-Alpha swing on that one? Initially I thought Co-Alpha was a description of a gay male marriage, but after hearing some of your other tenets common sense fails me and I'm afraid I must again ask for sake of clarity.
Women's right to vote. So, because women didn't traditionally have the right to vote in lots (not all) ancient cultures, they shouldn't have it now? Hmmm. I wonder if maybe some of those cultures might have lasted if they had enough common sense to realize women can actually think, and even in the most patriarchal society they were nonetheless still half of the human picture . . . I'm afraid I'll need something better than 'it was good enough for Alexander the Great Gay' on this one, too.
Lastly, in response to my assertions that there's no going back to primitive times, that the genie of techonology is out of the bottle, that the universe has always been an ever-changing and dynamic place anyways to which we have and must continue to adapt, you tell me that history repeats itself . . . but differently. I will agree we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history if you take away the 'but differently' part. Without that, yeah, it repeats itself and we're probably screwed.
Of course, there are no guarantees we're no screwed anyways. But if I'm gonna get screwed again and again, at least it can be from slightly different angles, which it is, so at least we have that to look forward to. In the future, not the past, not now. No matter how much you might think everything is about yesterday vs. today, tomorrow will inevitably come. Tomorrow is only a day away, and though I appreciate your nostalgia (having read TONS of very old books in my time, too) I hold out hope that the movies tomorrow will be way better than Aristotle could have come up with, and medicine will be a lot more helpful than anything Agrippa had to offer. I also have a reasonable hope our social structure will continue to evolve until there's no need for Alphas, Co-Alphas, Betas, Epsilons, Gammas or any rememberance of ancient Greece or their alphabet whatsoever in the whole paradigm.
Ironically, I would encourage you to broaden your own horizon, as well. Spoiler - It's in the direction of tomorrow, not yesterday. You're looking the wrong direction.
This post was updated on .
It is a pleasure to have someone disagree with me in a civil manner. And since it appears that we are in the same IQ range, I will be less reluctant to fully explain myself. By the way, did you come here from American Mensa or Mensa International?
Do you really believe that there is one correct ideology? I don't. There are many possible ways of interpreting experience and the way which one chooses is largely determined by one's emotional makeup. As a common example, one cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. Almost any contradiction of facts can be resolved if one is willing to add unlimited complexity to one's explanation.
I am a relativist in the tradition of Protagoras. I will explain using math. Suppose you have a finite set of points in 2D space (where no points share a common X). How many functions can go through those points? Infinite of course. So how do we choose a function? We pick the simplest one. But what is simplest depends on what is already in our mind. For N points, we can always find an Nth degree polynomial for those points. But suppose we pick a large number N randomly selected points on a SIN wave. Then a N degree polynomial would work, but we would naturally prefer to pick the SIN function. If we didn't know the SIN function, then we would probably pick the polynomial. All this is like life. We have a finite amount of experiences in our life and we use these experiences to construct explanations which are like functions. And which explanations we pick depends on our personal preference. One other analogy is Plato's cave which the shadows are like the points and ideal form is like the function. In Plato's view, the ideal form / function is more real than the shadow / data points. This is an absolutist viewpoint that has dominated Western thought since Plato. But I disagree with Plato. For me, the shadow is real and the ideal form is a personal human construct which can vary between people.
I suspect most Christians aren't mathematicians and most mathematicians aren't Christians. Mathematics appeals to those who like conceptual elegance. Christianity appeals to those who want certain emotional needs satisfied. This doesn't make one right and the other wrong. My personal preference is for mathematics and I am an atheist. But you can see from history that during those times when the emotional needs that Christianity fulfills were more in demand, this is when Christianity rose. Christianity began by appealing to poor and oppressed people offering them a better life in heaven. Even today you see that Christianity is more widespread in American than in Europe because American culture does a very poor job satisfying people's emotional needs.
What I have talked about so far are basic truths, but the truth about social issues is even more relative. In social areas, one can argue about and prove correlations. But one cannot prove in any meaningful way causality. This is because one cannot conduct controlled experiments. So while I look forward to using logic to convince you of certain correlations, I cannot convince you to change your basic social viewpoint without tapping into your emotions.
When I say "shove beliefs down people's throats", I mean by force. Liberals want to outlaw non-liberal lifestyles. Yes I want to spread my CoAlpha beliefs, but not by force. I see nothing wrong with evangelism, but I see a lot wrong with imposing beliefs by force.
Something being common doesn't mean it is universally consistent. It is common that people have a sense of taste, but what foods they find tasty varies. As a relativist, I see truth and morality in the same way. So my ideal is small democratic communities where the laws of the community reflect the common sense of the members of that community. If you look at the CoAlpha Code, you will see that it is democratic.
I don't share your view here. The obvious example is the recent financial crisis. In the past, such a crisis would have led to reforms. But the latest crisis generated no meaningful reform. This is an example of cultural decay. This kind of decay will eventually bankrupt our culture. Rome suffered from similar things. Bankruptcy won't cause our society to collapse. Instead, we will move in random political directions, likely away from democracy, and we will decline gradually with ups and downs as Rome did.
Sarcasm noted, but I still suggest you read this case. Athens had its myths as we do (in Christianity). By 400 BC they were already somewhat in moral decline. If this case had arisen in 500 BC, the guy who killed his wife's lover would have been congratulated and there would have been no court case. Much the same applies to early America where a man who killed his wife's lover would have been considered to be acting in self defense. Liberalism fundamentally supports adultery (meaning sex with another man's wife).
My answer was flippant because there is so much to say about this topic and I was lazy. The fundamental difference between men and women is that men have an unlimited reproductive potential while women's reproductive potential is very limited. When a man has sex, he is giving away nothing of value. But when a woman has sex, she is potentially giving away a large aspect of her life if she gets pregnant. Today we have birth control to eliminate the practical side of this, but this doesn't change the feelings in us that were produced by evolution before birth control. This is why men still greatly value virginity in women, as can be seen in the cases where women auction off their virginity. But women place no value in the virginity of a man because there is no evolutionary basis for this feeling.
A woman who has sex before marriage is being selfish at the expense of her future husband. A normal husband (who places his emotions and common sense over feminist propaganda) would prefer that his wife be a virgin. Women also seem to be changed by premarital sex and are less able to bond with their husband as explained in Why Sluts Make Bad Wives.
The anthropologist Unwin, in his book "Sex and Culture", studied the isolated tribes of his time to determine what best correlated with level of development. He found one fact that perfectly correlated with level of development. This was female premarital chastity. In all the most developed cultures, women were required to be virgins at marriage. Then he looked at history and he found that in all rising cultures, women were required to be virgins at marriage. And in all cultures where this requirement was lost, the culture went into terminal decline.
I don't believe that people should be forced into roles, but there are certain roles that are natural for women, the first being wife and the second being prostitute. Women are welcome to occupy other roles, but without the support of the government, I believe that an insignificant number of women would do so.
I have nothing against homosexuality. Before I gave up voting, I voted for gay marriage. But I don't see homosexuality as having anything to do with CoAlpha.
The reason that women shouldn't vote has nothing to do with intelligence. The problem is that men's instincts are designed for tribe formation and women's instincts aren't. So even if men are dumb, they will generally maintain some kind of a coherent culture. Men also have a sense of fairness which is also related to this. Women have no such instincts and no sense of fairness. When women are given the vote, they will always support 2 things; a strong central government to support them, and the right to cheat on their husbands. These are women's primary political concerns. There are immoral men who will support women in this since such men benefit sexually from freeing women from their husbands. When women are given the vote, an alliance of women and immoral men will destroy the society.
Technology has been lost numerous times in history. There was a fairly advanced civilization centered in Crete but spread throughout Greece. This civilization collapsed and the people actually lost the technology of reading and writing. I don't see why this can't happen again. Our high technology world is very fragile. I can easily see it collapsing and large amounts of technology simply being lost in the chaos.
What you have expressed here is simply emotional support for modern culture. So I will respond with emotional criticism. In case you haven't seen the movie Idiocracy, here is the intro:
If you think this is far off, here is a popular modern video:
This video reflects modern culture. We are not far from idiocracy.
One of my main motivations for the CoAlpha Brotherhood was to try to create a cultural refuge for intelligent people. In mainstream society, intelligent people are headed for extinction. I explain why in Male Mating Strategies. Do you want your kind to be extinct? If not, you must take action and remove your children and your genes from mainstream culture where they are doomed.
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