Anarcho-capitalism and the alt-right

I noticed I was getting a few hits from the /r/anarcho_capitalism sub-reddit and stumbled on an interesting post by /u/chewingofthecud trying to compare and contrast An-caps to the alt-right. Overall it was a pretty interesting discussion. You can read it all here.

This is otherwise hard to explain because according to contemporary (read: wrong) ideas about the political spectrum being neatly divisible into left and right, the two are pretty much first cousins, if not siblings. This isn’t just a Freudian narcissism of small differences thing. When you understand that ancaps are uber-universalist (that’s why almost all of them are deontologists), but the alt-right are what you might call “particularists” (the opposite), things start making a lot more sense. Ancaps generally want one unswerving rule or standard (something like the NAP) to prevail in all times and places, and alt-righters see “different standards for different people” as being not only OK, but actually closer to the way the world really works (there’s also an rejection of the “natural fallacy” implicit in a lot of the alt-right, but that’s another discussion).

I have never been an an-cap myself, but it is my understanding that more than a few have gone through that route before adopting a more neoreactionary or alt-right style mindset. As such, there tends to be a lot of arguments on that sub between alt-righters and more traditional an-caps. Personally, I avoid commenting there as I consider it the territory of others. Other people aren’t so conscientious so you get lively debates fairly often which then inspire posts like the above.

In any event, I tend to agree with OP that a big issue with libertarianism and an-cap-ism is that it fails to address or acknowledge that (universalist) equality is a myth. This makes it very difficult for them, or anyone else, to deal realistically with people as they actually exist. And they exist very unequally.

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The Cathedral Compilation

One of Mencius Moldbug’s most important insights and contributions to the Dark Enlightenment was the idea that modern secular progressivism is actually the evolutionary descendant of puritan/Calvinist Christianity. The Cathedral is a Christian sect that very cleverly adopted the camouflage of secularism so as to more easily infect (memefect?) non-Christians and non-religious institutions in addition to actual believers. Only later did it deign to reject all pretenses of overt Christian theology. The biggest advantage of the camouflage was that it could get around that pesky separation of church and state in order to gain control of the coercive power of government and yet still not worry about anyone objecting to the new crypto-theocracy. Some very intricate rhetorical techniques have been developed, such as the motte and bailey, to support the effectiveness of this camouflage. In hindsight, the inclusion of the separation of church and state may have made such an evolution of religious feeling inevitable.

Keep in mind that all of this discussion isn’t meant to imply a grand conspiracy with central authority or control. Quite the contrary. In so far as as people are Crypto-calvinists today, it is a matter of mass action. Each individual, with the some helpful nudging in the form of mass education, individually decides to assent to Universalist mysticism. A knowledge of the origins of this mysticism is not required to adopt it so most people are blissfully ignorant of where all these strange ideas came from. (Most) humans are religious animals, and they are going to believe in something transcendent no matter the circumstance. If explicit belief in the supernatural becomes untrendy or marginalized, then spiritual feeling will assume a covert form. Alternatively, a new spirituality with the potential for trendiness will simply be made up.

Crypto-Calvinism didn’t just appear overnight, it has been slowly evolving in the United States and particularly in the northeast ever since the constitution was written and religion was banned from government. In the same way natural selection can create complex emergent forms in nature without conscious guidance or goal, so too can the same process create complex and intricate memeplexes in culture without the requirement of central planning or a pre-imagined endpoint. (The current version of this article on la wik appears to have been gutted, so I used an archive)

Anytime someone stumbles upon neoreaction for the first time, inevitably one of the first things he wonders about is this concept of the Cathedral. Rather than repeat what has already been explored beyond the short summary above, I decided to create a compilation of articles which explore the cathedral and modern progressivism as a nontheistic Christian sect. Any newcomers can then have fairly straightforward access to most of the writings done on this topic in one convenient place. Without such a compilation it would be very difficult to find all the relevant essays.

Mencius Moldbug:

Fossetti gave a good summary of unqualified reservations, Moldbug’s blog, if you are looking for (relative) brevity.

Moldbug mentions the Cathedral in many of his posts, but I tried to only pick the ones that seem to focus mostly on cladistics. Here are the Moldbug posts which originally started outlining the idea:

A PDF copy of the above posts.

Moldbug later went on to develop the idea of the cathedral in book length detail:

In fairness, I must point out that Dawkins disagrees that he was or could be pwned.

Descriptions from others in the Neoreactosphere:

From outside the Dark Enlightenment

Signs of the Cathedral

This is certainly an incomplete list of Cathedral related posts and articles. Should you find any other articles that you think should be included in this list, please leave a comment with a link.

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