The Neo-reactionary bloggers of the 'Dark Enlightenment' (e.g. those who regard 'Mencius Moldbug' as a guide and mentor) have been noticed by the mainstream mass media, and subjected to some hostile (albeit contradictory) rhetorical attacks.
In particular, they are being called Neo-fascists.
Is this correct? In a nutshell, my answer (below) is that yes it is correct, yes the N-Rs of the DE are Neo-fascist; but not for the reasons that the mainstream journalists give.
The mainstream Leftists regard fascism (whether Old- or Neo-) as bad because it is anti-Left; but as a Christian I oppose fascism (and hence oppose Neo-reactionaries of the Dark Enlightenment) because fascism is essentially non-Christian, and in practice strongly tends to be anti-Christian.
I have written fairly extensively against the Dark Enlightenment/ Neo-Reaction from my perspective as a Christian who is fundamentally opposed to any secular anti-Christian ideology; and one who regards repentance as the absolutely-necessary first step towards any good political change.
(And yes, this makes me a pessimist.)
If you want to read the stuff, I suggest you word-search this blog.
Anyway, the present situation was one which I anticipated a few years ago.
The intellectual quality of the articles on the Neo-Reactionaries is, of course, poor: they are careless, ignorant and dishonest.
This is not exceptional, since that is the nature of the modern mass media.
But, when the Dark Enlightenment gets called Neo-fascist by these mainstream journalists this is interesting; because the name is strictly correct - albeit right for the wrong reasons.
(On those rare occasions that the Left is correct, it is almost always right for a wrong reason!)
The mainstream journalists have called the Dark Enlightenment/ Neo-Reactionaries fascist because of their attitude to race, their 'race-realism'.
But this emphasis betrays that the journalists are engaging in gang warfare rather than analysis. Because fascism-as-such has in essence nothing necessarily to do with race. (Mussoloni - the first successful self-described fascist - was not racist when he took power.)
Actual fascism is historically a very recent ideology and has been very rare. Fascism is essentially a post-communist phenomenon - in practice only becoming powerful after the Russian Revolution of 1917 (although of course its roots can be traced further back).
On the other hand, Neo-fascism is indeed focused on race; but only because it is a reaction against the modern, mainstream, politically correct Left (the Left that rules the developed world - noting that 'the Left' includes all the mainstream 'conservative' or 'republican' parties): and of course PC is race-obsessed.
Thus any opposition to dominant modern Leftism will necessarily oppose politically correct anti-racism - not because this is a central focus to the the opposition, but because race is a central focus for the mainstream modern Left.
(In fact, on the whole racism was much more of a communist and Old Left thing than it was a fascist thing. Communist societies engage in all sorts of racism - albeit inconsistently; since communists are too unprincipled to be consistent when that is inexpedient - e.g. the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939. In various phases, Soviet Russia tried to exterminate Christians and eliminate Christianity; and (mostly) killed, or long-term imprisoned, many thousands of bishops, monks and priests, plus some tens of millions of faithful believers (Yep, they did - it was a larger scale although less 'efficient' operation than the Nazi Holocaust.). They were also intermittently anti-semitic. And it was the Trades Union-dominated Old Left which preserved race-based policies and practices in the USA in the post Civil War era and up to the 1960s. It is only since the domination of the New Left - ruled by the upper class intellectuals with their 'personal' (not economic) issues such as feminism and sexual license - that anti-racism has been co-opted as a Leftist cause, and bigotry has become regarded as the worst of all possible sins.)
(By analogy, religious opposition to dominant modern Leftism will necessarily oppose the sexual revolution - not because traditional sexuality is a central focus to (or 'obsession' of) traditional religion; but because the sexual revolution is the major and most effective weapon used by the Left to weaken, subvert, colonize and invert traditional religion. Naturally, therefore, sexuality will become a major battleground.)
Neo-Reactionaries/ the Dark Enlightment are indeed fascist - because they are:
1. A secular Right wing movement
2. Intellectually in-reaction-against the Left
...hence they are 'fascist' - because that is what fascism is: it is secular anti-communism - a non-religious reaction-against communism.
Plus, Neo-Reactionary/ Dark Enlightenment bloggers are
3. Reacting against the New Left - i.e. the politically correct, post-nineteen-sixties Left - hence they are indeed 'Neo'.
So the label of Neo-fascist is accurate, albeit being applied for the wrong reasons.
Where the Left are objectively wrong is in lumping all their enemies into the fascist category - by putting the real fascists who are secular together with the religious Right.
(I know they do this, because when I was a Leftist it is exactly what I did too!).
The Religious Right is essentially utterly different from fascism, because it is religious! The Religious Right wants to put religion at the centre of national life (note: this is not synonymous with a system of 'theocracy' - theocracy is only one way of trying to make religion the focus of life).
This does not seem like an important difference to the Left; because the Left are secular and don't believe in religion, think religion is nonsense, and therefore don't take religion seriously.
(For example the Left always explain-away religious martyrdom as being due to either social/ economic factors or mental illness - they cannot believe that religion is a real, powerful motivation - indeed the most powerful motivation - because they themselves do not share it. This is another thing I know from personal experience; when I was an atheist, I simply could not believe that religion was a real cause of anything significant - but I always looked to some other explanation for human behaviour, such as class differences, nationalism, economic self-interest, organized crime... I saw religions as merely a mixture of wishful thinking fantasy and rationalized hatred; hence not the kind of thing which could motivate extreme commitment.)
A few years ago I predicted that the Left would call any secular Right movement fascist, and that in doing so they would be broadly correct.
I also predicted that so long as the secular Right denied the fascist label they would be powerless, but if they ever felt strong enough to accept the fascist label openly and explicitly and were able to survive the backlash... then that would be the time to worry about them.
Therefore, when mainstream Leftist journalists call the Dark Enlightenment Neo-fascist, they are testing it; testing whether the movement is likely to be dangerous.
If Neo-Reactionaries fight the fascist label - then that is fine: they are revealed as lacking clarity and self-awareness, as craving acceptance, as having insignificant commitment, motivation and power.
To reject the fascist label demonstrates to the ruling Leftist elites that Neo-Reactionaries can easily be controlled by some mixture of mockery and demonization, and subversion by recognition, and buying-out (and this latter may be a motivation for some of the leading N-Rs of the DE - they are covertly hoping to sell-out and be co-opted by the mainstream!).
But if, when tested, the fascist label was accepted; then the response would be serious suppression by the usual Leftist means. This would be hard/ impossible for the Dark Enlightenment to survive - but if the Neo-Reactionaries did become explicitly fascist AND also survived the consequent suppression; then it would be a case of Be Afraid: Be Very Afraid for the Leftist elites.
I predicted this current situation when I wrote my book Thought Prison: the fundamental nature of political correctness
I have emphasized the relevant passages in bold.
Could a party of ‘common sense’ replace political correctness?
With the profound weakness of mainstream Christianity in the West (due to subversion by Leftism and subordination to PC), and with the weakness of old-style nationalism (led by the lower levels of the upper class – teachers, minor civil servants and journalists - who are now the most zealous of the politically correct), and with the unlikeliness of a new nationalism of the tradesman/ NCO class – then the most likely opposition to political correctness (especially in the USA) currently comes from populist, reactionary, secular groups based on common sense.
From a Christian perspective, such groupings are seriously sub-optimal - at best a temporary expedient. Nonetheless, supposing that common sense secularism was actually to become powerful - what then? Could it, would it provide a better alternative future than PC? What would that future be?
This can be predicted by considering the probable characteristics of such a grouping - and weighing-up the pros and cons.
Since so much of Western society is now corrupted by Liberalism and implicated in PC, such a group would have to come from outside this - and in rejecting the psychotic delusionality of PC it would need to offer a common sense alternative which would be obvious to plain, middling, productive people outwith the intelligentsia and their underclass of state-dependents.
And since a common sense party would be reactive against PC, we can infer its main features.
Here is a non-exhaustive list (in no particular order) of characteristics of a possible Common Sense (CS) party contrasted with the politically correct (PC) party.
CS v PC:
1. Natural and spontaneous versus Human designed
2. Reality is real and fixed versus Reality is relative and plastic
3. Coercive force versus Propaganda
4. Face to face versus Mass media
5. Concrete versus Abstract
6. Immediate versus Utopian
7. Instinctive versus Educated
8. Native versus Immigrant
9. Popular culture versus High art
10. Practical versus Theoretical
11. Invention versus Science
12. White versus Non-white
13. Heredity versus Culture
14. Apprenticeship versus Formal education
15. Men versus Women
16. Recognition versus Certification
17. Selfish versus Altruistic
18. Personal authority versus Bureaucratic procedure
19. Heterosexual versus Homosexual
20. Heart versus Head
21. Gut versus Intellect
22. National versus International
23. Tribal versus Outcast
24. Family versus Universalist
25. Real versus Ideal
26. Morality versus Law
27. Natural law versus Moral inversion
28. Courage versus Tolerance
29. Loyalty versus Subversion
30. Useful versus Useless
31. Duty versus Self-development
32. Productive versus Ideologically-sound
33. Money-grubbing versus Parasitic
34. Responsibilities versus Rights
35. Charity versus Needs
36. Hierarchy versus Egalitarianism
This list suggests that secular modern politics boils down either to political correctness or what could be (and almost certainly would be) termed a kind of ‘fascism’.
In other words fascism is approximately what you get when political correctness is opposed with common sense.
Of course, the Left has been calling the Right fascist since the mid-1960s: I am suggesting that in doing this the Left are broadly correct.However, there are two important qualifications 1. that the fascist label properly applies only to the secular Right – not the religious Right; and 2. fascism is not synonymous with the Nazis - who were substantially a socialist and Leftist party, as the name of National Socialism implies.
Maybe at some point the secular Right will eventually stop fighting the ‘fascist’ label and become openly and explicitly fascist - but distancing themselves from the National Socialist type of (semi) fascism?
The religious Right is not fascist: fascism is secular hence modern; and the religious Right is pre-modern and much more ancient than fascism. Indeed the religious Right was pretty much all there was in pre-modern times: conflict being between different varieties of religious Right.
The huge difference between religious Right and secular Right is that the religious Right seeks to rule society primarily by religious principles, by religious goals. By contrast the common sense secular Right (fascism) is justified on the basis of this-worldly common sense goals: such as the aim to make its supporters happier and richer; to provide a glorious national or ethnic purpose; to forge a new community of the heart.