I feel like outlining some preliminary motivations before I start writing serious posts at some point in time, I’m not entirely certain when myself.
I should start with Moldbug, who like many of you was the thinker who introduced me to reactionary thought. His task of taking Buchanan and Tullock’s “politics without romance” to its conclusion via formalism (the absence of metaphysics) was an interesting exercise insofar as it led to him resuscitating Filmerian absolutism, monarchical patriarchalism and similar ideas. Neocameralism was an exercise in envisioning propertarian government, a modern touch on a lost time when vassalage, personal unions and dynastic succession conflicts were the binding mechanisms of the political order. Joint-stock corporate governance streamlining these grittier methods away.
Other contributions were his documenting of the Unitarian and Transcendentalist ancestry of progressivism (indeed, half of the signatories of the Humanist Manifesto I in 1933 were Unitarians) in a concise way, his insights into U.S. foreign policy (his longest post, the “World War II primary sourcebook” is an excellent collection), the muckrakers and their zealous spirit of republican vigilance, the anti-democratic arguments of Lecky, Sumner Maine, Mallock, etc. and his inversion of the democratic peace theory into the “permanent civil service peace theory”. All of which were well-stated.
Some interpret a more rightward shift of his by the latter half of his corpus. Certainly, he adopts a writing style more characteristic of a Victorian sage in its bombastic nature and proceeds to revel in it. But other than the rhetorical romanticism, his views do not seem to have changed significantly.
Moldbug’s work being heterogeneous, there were several paths it could split off to. But by and large, neoreaction never really appeared to gain an interest in counterrevolution, High Toryism or similar areas. Social Matter shuffles through plenty of eclectic ideas with no apparent direction. Darwinian-Nietzschean metaphysics, the “Wrath of Gnon,” sociobiology and ethnonationalism seem to rule the day. For all the pretension to draw boundaries between NRx and alt-right, they appear to have converged more than diverge. Techno-commercialism seems dead outside of Land.
Paleoconservatism was an attempt to bring High Toryism to America. Unsurprisingly, trying to inject it to an audience of descendants of Whiggish commonwealthmen in the vein of Sidney, Harrington and Trenchard who entertained conspiracies of Romish papists under the bed, proved to be abortive. Sam Francis then reoriented paleoconservatism into a populist revolt of Middle Americans against rootless cosmopolitan elites. Not that I dislike Francis, not at all – but it is a different direction, one that has since passed on to the alt-right.
The Orthosphere and other “theonomists” are probably the closest to counterrevolution, but being interested in a spiritual revival of Christendom they are more focused on the sacerdotium side of things and less on the imperium – understandably so.
Of course, all of these old disputes about investiture, the temporal versus the spiritual and which is prime, the Avignon papacy episode, the conciliarist controversies and so forth would ultimately be swept by with Luther’s doctrine of two kingdoms. The old question of balancing the temporal and the spiritual now became an injunction for the temporal to bring the spiritual on Earth in practice, if not in intention — the church itself being made insignificant before scripture. Absolutism only gets you so far. It doesn’t illuminate the manorial and feudal orders as such. The “Golden Liberty” and aristocratic egalitarianism of the Polish szlachta, the high autonomy of the Croatian sabor which entered into a personal union with the Crown of St. Stephen in 1102, and many other episodes like this do not fit the absolutist, Bodinian conception of sovereignty.
In addition, the details behind the revolutionary waves of 1820, 1830, 1848 which destroyed the old order are quite damning to the goals and justifications of many of our “far-right” causes today.
I will be writing in detail on these subjects and on some questions of political economy, especially the reactionary infatuation with corporatism that needs to be modified in order to be doable.
Ultimately, the purpose of this blog is to bring back counterrevolutionary, feudal and aristocratic thought to the forefront and use it to critique the modern right along with modernity in general. Secondary sources, extrapolations and philosophical conjecturing will have to be employed at times, but there is sizable material to work with overall. The suggestion to “read old books” has been taken to heart, and it’s something that doesn’t seem to be done very often in NRx circles anymore.