Thursday, 30 January 2014

Definitions of Neocamaralism, Neo-Reactionary, Game, Dark Enlightenment


1. Neocameralism: Dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.  [TS Eliot].

2. Neo-Reactionary: Someone who wants to restore and freeze human society at the situation of some particularly-located and transitional decade from Western history - but minus the religion which created and sustained that society.

3. Game: The world view of a man who theoretically wants nothing more than that all women are subordinate to all men in all situations; but does not want this enough actually to join the billion-plus people who already live by that law.

4. Dark Enlightenment: An ideology that regards life as a pick-and-mix sweetshop; where you get to keep your favourite pleasures of modernity, but leave behind its lethal intrinsic problems.



Ingemar said...


I have issues with all your definitions, but that does not bother me since I am not married to the Dark Enlightenment "movement."

Just hope you are prepared for the flooded combox and the wave of denunciations.

On a more positive note, I feel that your writing more than fills the void left by the passing of Lawrence Auster.

Bruce Charlton said...

@I - "flooded combox " No - this blog is ruthlessly censored.

"denunciations" - Eek!

I don't really see myself as being similar to LA - not least because he was a professional blogger while I fit it around job and family. But we are both moody and irritable types, so there is that!

Nicholas Fulford said...

You can drop Game in the round filing cabinet, (as I have seen what happens in countries where this is enforced.)

Neo-Reactionary is based on a romanticized memory that exists in the minds of those imagining their idealised decade.

Dark Enlightenment - give me a main of this, and a side of Neocameralism, and can I finish the whole thing off with a dash of Aldous Huxley's "Island" society - (before it was corrupted.)

Maximo Macaroni said...

"Game" does not emphasize or assume the "subordination" of women. It liberates men to treat women the way they want to be treated. Otherwise, it would not work. Game techniques, like "the Force", can be misused.

I never saw the point of using the term "Dark Enlightenment". I consider the usual positive view of the Enlightenment (Rousseau, Voltaire, Hume, Kant, etc.) to be hopelessly evil and wrong. I call the 1700s avulsion the true "Endarkenment".

Bruce Charlton said...

@MM - The point of these definitions is that they represent my belief in what actually lies behind these notions; not the self-definitions.

SMERSH said...

"2. Neo-Reactionary: Someone who wants to restore and freeze human society at the situation of some particularly-located and transitional decade from Western history - but minus the religion which created and sustained that society."

Yes, this is a problem. Can an atheist monarch be expected to behave in the same way that a devoutly religious monarch of the past behaved? Probably not.

But of course, this problem applies to regular reactionaries too. The phrase "minus the religion which created and sustained that society" is key. What religion created the society of the 14th century? Christianity. But what kind of Christianity was it? 14th century Christianity.

14th century Western Christianity and modern Western Christianity are both forms of Christianity, but they're very different forms of Christianity. 14th century Western Christianity does not even exist anymore, not even on the internet.

Modern Western Christianity is arguably more Christian than 14th century Western Christianity because 14th century Western Christianity included certain non-Christian elements that have since been stripped away.

But Modern Western Christianity (even remnant modern Western Christianity) is undoubtedly far more leftist than 14th century Western Christianity. This makes the position of the regular reactionary highly problematic as well.

Joseph de Maistre was arguably one of the most right wing, reactionary people who ever lived. He believed that the Pope should be given ultimate authority over temporal matters. In his day, this was a radically reactionary and counter-revolutionary position. But nowadays, the pope, like almost all religious leaders, has endorsed the revolution. If the Pope had the ultimate authority over temporal matters he'd use that authority to promote some kind of squishy, multicultural leftism. So would Billy Graham, if you take him at his word.

Even with a Christian foundation, it seems to be impossible to return to a particularly-located and transitional decade from Western history.

All you can do is try to understand what made that particularly-located and traditional decade from Western history work the way it did and see if there are any lessons that can be learned from it. This could apply to religion as well as politics.

It's probably an effort that is going to be in vain, but hey, gotta try something to stop from getting dragged leftward year after year, like the Christians writing for "The American Conservative".

Thursday said...

Actually, I believe the Dark Enlightenment refers to using Enlightenment means, such as empirical science, to reach conclusions at odds with the Enlightenment. So, HBD, anti-feminism etc.

That may be objectionable in a host of ways, but it isn't quite what you have said. You yourself have been known to follow this procedure yourself.

BTW I thought you had given up on satire.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Gyan comment - "Excellent. Dostoevsky grasped the spirit of the 19C liberal innovations
by the name "building up the Crystal Palace" in the Notes from Underground."

[Gyan, your actual comment was about 90 percent space - you must have hit the return key twenty times!]

Bruce Charlton said...

@SMER - Valid points.

The kind of dilemma you describe is why I feel that any kind of politically-driven program is an error: any program which calls itself reactionary ends up (or starts out) criticising Christianity from a secular perspective.

This happens an awful lot at the moment. Non Christian Rightists reject Christianity because they cannot find a church which is both Western and agrees with their political programme - for example they cannot find a sufficiently anti-immigration Christian church.

My attitude to this stuff, is that ANY real religion would rule out such insanity as 'open borders' mass immigration in practice; simply because religion is the only cure for the endemic insanity of modernity.

And because the insanity of modernity is caused by forgetting about God; we cannot cure it without God.

So, we simply have to bring back God as our essential priority - I mean Real Christianity of *any* type, and all the problems of PC will go.

But religion must come first. We cannot have the benefits of religion (such as sanity) without religion.

Don said...

I am not fond of 'Game' or 'Dark Enlightenment'. While I understand they are trying to respond to real problems and often correctly identify the problem, I believe they do not see the root of the problem nor the proper solution.

Part of this is because as 'Neo-Reactionaries' most are libertarians and reject the only true solution to the problems. Christianity.

I on the other hand want to see us treat people not as they 'deserve' or want to but as Christ has commanded us to. Sometimes, people need to be told 'no' for their own good.

I guess I am simply a 'reactionary' and believe that we should be as Philippians 4:8 commands
"For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things."

Game and its associated behaviors is an affront to this. Using 'the weaker vessel's' weakness to satisfy your lust or dominate them (rather than lead your wife with kindness) is simply wrong.


Jonathan C said...

Three of your definitions sound pretty good to me, but I think your Game definition is a strawman.

At its best, Game begins with the observation that woman is genuinely happier, more at peace, and better behaved when she is being led by her man, and when he sets strong boundaries for her. By no means does this require the degree of subordination imposed by Christianity's main competitor.

If you had said that most Game proponents suffer from the same problem you ascribe to the dark enlightenment--the wish to pick and choose the pleasures of seduction without its problems--I would agree.

However, there's a growing field of Christian Game blogs, which I think have real potential for good. They point out that the Churchian model (the women leading the men from the bottom, every problem is 100% the man's fault, divorce and sexlessness are taken as implicit proof of a man's insufficient holiness and inability to be Christ-like) is toxic and counterproductive, and they propose alternatives (e.g. the man actually leads, no matter how much his church censures him for doing so).

Bruce Charlton said...

@JC - No not a straw man - the underlying reality.

'Game' at its simplest is training people to be con-men - manipulators of others, self-salesmen. This is very obviously evil, so nothing more needs to be said about it.

'Game' as elaborated and justified by people such as yourself and other intellectual bloggers - as a quasi-political ideology and philosophy of life - is just as I describe above.

It is a philosophy of female submission and subordination advocated by men too weak-willed, self-gratifyingly hedonistic, and lacking in self control and discipline actually to follow through their principles to their logical societal conclusion.

This 'Game philosophy' is simply despicable: a self-justifying-excuse for purposive sin and the advocacy of sin in others.

Less obviously a sin than simple, secret con-trickery, but much more deeply sinful.

Anonymous said...

Thursday merely exposes the historical ignorance of the Dark Enlightenment if they really believe they've uncovered conclusions at odds with the original Enlightenment thinkers.