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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.
Fossetti gave a good summary of unqualified reservations, Moldbug’s blog, if you are looking for (relative) brevity. In addition, new in 2020 Moldbug has returned with arguably his best and most condensed description with the essay “Descriptive constitution of the modern regime.“
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:
- Why do Atheists Believe in Religion? 04/25/2007
- Terminology and an Open Floor 04/29/2007
- Two Kinds of Repeaters 5/5/2007
- The Castes of the United States 5/6/2007
- Idealism is Not Great 05/14/2007
- Our Planet is Infested by Pseudo-Atheists 5/16/2007
- Understanding Racial Idealism 05/20/2007
- Five Ways to Classify Belief Systems 05/28/2007
- A Short History of Ultracalvinism 06/12/2007 (American Malvern)
- Why Conservatives Never Quite Catch the Boat 06/21/2007
- Some Objections to Ultracalvism 06/22/2007
- The Ultracalvinist Hypothesis: In Perspective 06/24/2007
- Crypto-Calvinism, Slightly Tweaked 06/26/2007
- The Rawlsian God: Cryptocalvinism in Action 06/28/2007
- The Mystery of Pacifism 07/01/2007
- Universalism: Post-war Progressivism as a Christian Sect 07/17/2007
- Universalism and Original Sin 07/31/2007
A PDF copy of the above posts.
Moldbug later went on to develop the idea of the cathedral in book length detail:
- “How Dawkins got pwned” (Part 1, Part 2, Part 2 Addendum, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Dawkins extra, Part 6, Part 7)
- “A gentle introduction to Unqualified Reservations” (PDF)also talks at length about the cathedral; though not exclusively. See also “A gentle introduction to ‘A gentle introduction'”
- An open letter to open-minded progressives
In fairness, I must point out that Dawkins disagrees that he was or could be pwned.
Descriptions from others in the Neoreactosphere:
- Comprehensive Introduction to Cathedralism (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)
- The Cathedral and the Hivemind
- The Internal Structure of the Cathedral
- The Inner Workings of the Cathedral
- The Cathedral goes viral
- The Neoreactionary Inquisition
- Ayn Rand Understood the Cathedral
- The Missing Links
- The Modern Structure
- The Original Progressives were Christian Heretics
- The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America
- A Faith by Any Other Name
- On the (Protestant) Ancestry of Leftism
- Idolators at the Freedom shrine
From outside the Dark Enlightenment
- Are we in a 500 year religious revolution?
- 95 theses of diversity and inclusion at google (See also) (original memo)
- Liberal Christianity
- Progressive Christianity
- The Liberal Dark Ages
- The Brainwashing of America
- White Messiah Complex
- A Secular Age
- The Sacred Project of American Sociology
- An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America
- The War Against Nature in the Social Sciences
- What is a social justice warrior
- The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas
- Did Christianity Create Liberalism?
- The Christian Roots of republicanism (Small R)
- North Eastern Descendents of Puritans moved to Kansas and made it the center of the Cathedral, for a time. (Side note; William Quantrill, who the character Rooster Cogburn in the movie true grit served under (fictionally) was important in these events)
Signs of the Cathedral
- A Neoreactionary Analysis and Review of “12 Angry Men”
- Toasting James Watson is a heresy
- Race hustlers
- Wikipedia in action on race
- Rigging academic articles to be more progressive
- Politically correct university
- What you can’t say
- Post-partisan social psychology
- Liberal Professors admit they’d discriminate against conservatives in hiring and advancement
- The New Contras: Understanding The Left’s Grip On Media
- Social bias with the academic and research establishment
- Science has to present a united front, right?
- Inaccurate research findings
- The Laws of the Cathedral: Obey or Perish
- Crazy Talk
- Achievement gap politics
- The nuts and bolts of Cathedral indoctrination
- “Feminist” Biology See also Lysenkoism
- Harvard adds “privilage checking” to orientation
- Should research on race and iq be banned?
- Rejection of diversity training
- Bullied and badgered, pressured and purged
- Media bias basics
- JournoList and JournoList 2.0
- A teacher’s union speaks power to truth
- Language games
- Why the cathedral treats Byzantium as a footnote
- Wikipedia on Race (From personal experience I know this is true of gender related articles as well)
- Wikipedia in Action on Race
- The Women’s Christian Temperance Union
- The French Revolution Butchered
- The intimidation Game
- Corporate and government logos “coincidence”
- College professor teaches class that most terrorists are white men
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.Find other great dissident right content with the two Atavisionary RSS feeds: Atavisions and Prolific Atavisions. In addition, download the free ebook Smart and Sexy to learn what, how and why there are biologically based cognitive differences between the sexes
4 Replies to “The Cathedral Compilation”
Here’s two interesting links for your “The Cathedral Compilation”:
Thanks for the links.
You don’t seem to mention Open Letter at all? He definitely talks about the cathedral and how it rules the world there.
It has been quite a while since I put this together, but IIRC the main focus was to compile a list of early posts which led up to the idea before the books were created as whole projects. At the time, this was all on the original blogspot page which was a bit of a pain to navigate. I think I just didn’t much feel like finding links to each of those individual posts since there was already enough links here to work with.
However, since he moved everything over to his new page navigation is far easier and linking to the first chapter of open minded progressives is sufficient. And, that has now been added in the relevant section with links to the books. Thank you for reminding me about that.
Also, if you put “fake@email” as your email you are going to get caught in the spam filter. I don’t really care to get your email, but try to pick a fake one that at least looks legit so it won’t get caught in the filter.