On March 22cnd I was forwarded an interview request from Josh Harkinson (email him: firstname.lastname@example.org ) by Tor Westman, editor at the publisher who released my book Smart and Sexy. Josh Harkinson covers neoreaction and the alt-right for leftist e-toilet paper site Mother Jones. His most recent article was about an interview with based stickman and the rise of independent alt-right media. Being as fair as possible, I can say that most other writers from the left indulge the temptation to use baseless ad hominems much more often than Josh. Josh still likes to use the occasional exasperated “hurr, durr, ur a naaaziiii!” line though. “Not the worst;” its almost a compliment!
Normally I have a policy against interviews with more mainstream media outlets since they always like to selectively quote out of context and otherwise misrepresent their political opponents. However, since this was a request coming through my publisher and I wouldn’t mind free publicity for my book, I decided to alter that policy. I let him know that when his article was published using any of my interview I would be publishing the whole thing in full on my website. This way if anything was taken out of context or misconstrued, the full record would be available. It has been several months since my reply and no article has actually materialized. I am not sure why. Maybe I wasn’t quite inflammatory enough to be usefully quotable. Maybe I didn’t provide any useful dirt on Nick Land or Richard Spencer in my responses to the question regarding them. Maybe he was worried that my answers and linked articles might be too convincing and shouldn’t be made more widely known. Maybe I included too many links so that the email went to the spam folder and was never even seen. Maybe he just got sidetracked. Whatever the reason, I don’t like to spend a lot of effort writing a big piece and then never have the product see the light of day. Therefore I have decided to publish the interview even if Josh has decided not to do anything with it. Below is the email exchange with respect to this interview. Note that I pasted a lot of links directly into the original email, which I don’t normally do for blog posts. I have preserved the original (bad) formatting of these links that was in the email. I did add some additional links for this version which are included in the normal fashion. All links in the original email were set out separately and remain that way.
I was forwarded your request from Tor at Arktos for an interview relating to Neoreaction. Since this is coming through Arktos, I assume some of the questions will be about the book I wrote?
I am willing to answer a few questions in writing over email if you like. If and when an article is published, I would independently make the full transcript of the interview questions and answers available on my website. Hopefully that will avoid any out of context quotes which seems to be an often re-occurring problem in more mainstream media outlets.
If you can agree to those conditions, I can provide answers to a few questions.
Thanks for getting back to me. My story is specifically about the anti-democracy strand of neoreaction and the alt-right. It is ok with me if you want to publish our full correspondence. Here are my questions:
- When and how did you get interested in neoreaction?
- Briefly, which neoreactionary thinker best captures your ideas? How are you similar and different from Moldbug in your views?
- How important is the anti-democracy element to you? Do you consider that a definitive element of neoreaction?
- What is your ideal form of government?
- How old are you, what kind of work do you do in your day job, and in what city do you live?
- It seems to me that neoreaction is not growing and may even be disintegrating as an ideological movement. What is your take on this? If you agree, then when do you think this is happening?
- Is there an anti-democracy movement, and if so, how does it now manifest itself? Do you see it being carried out through the “alt-right”?
- How big a deal is the split between the Nick Land school of neoreation vs the Richard Spencer/Dugin camp
- I haven’t read your book but gather that is has to do with differences between the sexes. Do you agree with Peter Thiel’s comment: “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.”? How would women be incorporated, or not, into your ideal form of government?
I’d appreciate it if you could get back to me on this by around 1 pm eastern tomorrow, if possible.
Some of this information I have already covered thoroughly in my interview with Brett Stevens. Feel free to quote from that as it is already publicly available.
Here are some additional interviews/links I have collaborated with from author writers.
This following article is a pretty good and comprehensive summary of my book and what it describes:
When and how did you get interested in neoreaction?
1) This is thoroughly answered in the first link provided. You can use the information provided there.
Briefly, which neoreactionary thinker best captures your ideas? How are you similar and different from Moldbug in your views?
2) Well, I am generally considered a “thinker” in neoreaction, and I have written plenty of articles and a book. So, I represent my views pretty directly already. I match up pretty closely with Moldbug especially with respect to decentralization of governments or national entities (Patchwork). These much smaller states could be run more or less like a business which can succeed or fail based on the merits of the king/ceo. I tend to focus a lot more on HBD than moldbug since that is my background, but I don’t think that is actually a difference in opinion, but merely a varied focus.
Some in Neoreaction who in the past were referred to as the “techno-commercialist” branch predict that the eventual “king” or whatever will end up being some sort of computer Artificial intelligence which would obviously be super-humanly intelligent and able to optimally organize anything and everything all at once. It is sometimes referred to as the singularity or technological singularity. This idea is popular in silicon valley, and I know NIck Land is fond of this idea, but I personally don’t like the idea of handing sovereignty over to a machine. I just can’t shake the idea that it would turn into Hal from 2001. Or come to the inescapably logical conclusion that all human life is basically a wasteful drain on planetary resources. There are plenty of these what you might call “AI prophets” out there, some in neoreaction but most not, predicting that if we make this artificial god-king, more or less, and then give it the reigns to society it would make everything better. Maybe, but this particular type of king is not the one I would sign up for.
How important is the anti-democracy element to you? Do you consider that a definitive element of neoreaction? Is there an anti-democracy movement, and if so, how does it now manifest itself? Do you see it being carried out through the “alt-right”?
3) and 7) If there is one thing that separates neoreaction from the alt right, it is that most of the later still has a naïve faith in the mass man’s ability to make informed decisions through the institution of democracy. Seeing democracy as the failed/failing system it is is critical to being a Neoreactionary. I would say it is also very useful to understand why it is failing in terms of human biological diversity. There is variation in ability and psychology both within groups and between groups. White nationalists think, naively, that if you created ethno-states you could basically just keep everything else the same. They are right that an ethno-state would be a large improvement for whites because of the immediate relief from the greater tendency of minorities to act criminally and/or violently, the decrease in taxes that would result from the large decrease in demand for welfare and other wealth transfers, and the end of anti-white job discrimination commonly referred to as “affirmative action.” That term is quite Orwellian. However, just being white does not make an individual suitable for democratic voting, so the theoretical white ethno-state (or any ethno-state) will still run into problems with excessive taxation and wealth transfers that are unaffordable because most people always like to vote themselves a free lunch. Of course, nothing is ever free.
As a side note, I will say most of us have been amused by the rise of Trump and how many leftist tears have been shed as a result. People are very salty out there. And the masses of the alt-right have been exquisitely amusing in their cultural manipulation through trolling, memeing, and general mayhem they cause to the fragile-minded snowflakes on the left. Attached is a meme I saw recently which made me chuckle. [inserted into post below instead of attached] Some meltdowns have happened to relatively famous people, too. Like that melt-down by Kurt Eichenwald because of a gif sent to him by none other than @Jew_goldstein, or 4 chan literally causing Shia lebeouf to lose his mind. Seriously, 2017 is on track to be much better than 2016 in terms of great lulz.
[EDIT: After this interview, Eichenwald embarrassed himself some more]
What is your ideal form of government?
4) A lot of us are ex-libertarians who have come to realize that libertarianism as formulated is impractical in that there is no clear path from the centralized and overbearingly controlling leftist hellhole that is the modern west to individual sovereignty, self-determination, and freedom of association which would be characteristic of ancapistan. So the idea is how can we approach this limit of absolute free-will and self sovereignty even if you can’t immediately jump to the end? Well, one way is by having smaller states each governing fewer people. Whatever influence over governance each individual has thus has more weight because it is diluted amongst fewer people. Even in a democracy this can be understood fairly easily, 1/300,000,000 is a lot less influence than 1/10,000 for example. However, influence can take other forms than voting in elections. In neoreaction, were prefer the use of exit (a type of freedom of association) to be the mechanism of individual influence. When you have a patchwork of small governments all doing things differently, some inevitably do things better than others. Talented individuals can then choose where to live and will tend to leave poorly run places and go to well run places. In a sense this is a type of voting mechanism that relies on (much more honest) actions rather than (commonly dishonest) words or professed beliefs. Actions speak louder than words, and people should vote with their feet not a ballot. Well-run states are thus rewarded with talent, and then prosperity, while poorly run states either learn from their better organized peers or sustain continued decline or stagnation.
Because human biological diversity is real, and psychological and intellectual traits vary substantially between the races it also makes sense to separate out political bodies along racial lines. Natural dispositions and preferences are going to be more similar within your group and so it is easier to reach a harmonious consensus on government function when there is substantial racial homogeneity within a government’s geographical territory. Racial homogeneity creates and results in substantial psychological and sociological homogeneity because such things have a strong genetic influence. Birds of a feather. It also has the advantage of giving every racial group access to their own self determination and self sovereignty. Having white ethno-states implies there will also be hispanic, black, asian, etc ethno-states where those groups have the freedom to determine their own governance and destiny.
The only problem with this is that different ethnicities tend to have different levels of success at running their political bodies. In general, western European groups tend to run safer and more economically productive states than most other groups. The same is true of northeast Asians. These well run areas are thus a desirable place to be and this creates an incentive for individuals of other races, who are living in poorly run political units maintained by their co-ethnics, to move to white or north-east Asian countries. If this happens at a substantial rate, like in the west today, then the original population which created the desirable conditions in the first place is displaced and the same types of poorly run institutions the immigrants were fleeing from in their home country are created in the newly conquered territory. The dispositions of the new arrivals are written in the genes, so they bring the problems of their homeland with them. Given a substantial population they will create the same problematic institutions they originally sought to escape (such as jihadi terrorism in Europe). Immigration is thus not a solution to the immigrant’s problems because their presence, in large enough numbers, destroys the advantages they were seeking to have by moving. Advantages that are fully dependent on the original ethnic stock. Therefore, immigration policies of a state should factor ethnic differences with a preference towards maintaining substantial racial homogeneity. Groups that have historically had a difficult time in self governance should be expected to figure it out on their own in their own countries and without any outside interference at all. In other words, no more sanctimonious white liberals being allowed to do volunteer trips to where-ever to tell the locals how they should do things.
For a relatively sound and effective example, I suggest you refer to Singapore’s immigration policy which is designed to maintain the relative ethnic percentages at an unchanging level. [insert not in original interview: That Singapore needs immigration at all is a separate problem with a different solution.]
How old are you, what kind of work do you do in your day job, and in what city do you live?
5) I am an 86 year old midget in Nome, Alaska. I dress up as a clown and perform a one man band show 4 times a week at a local bar.
It seems to me that neoreaction is not growing and may even be disintegrating as an ideological movement. What is your take on this? If you agree, then when do you think this is happening?
6) I am not sure why you say that. Wishful thinking perhaps? There are more writers working in the reactosphere than ever before and it seems to be continually increasing. You can look back through social matter’s weekly re-cap “this week in reaction” and see the steady increase in content produced each week over the years. Also, try to keep in mind that the occasional disagreement, which is normal in any group, does not constitute a “breakdown of the movement.”
Neoreaction was never a movement, anyway. It was and is a series of writers and philosophers attempting to understand reality as it truly exists, without concern for liberal PC pieties, and then perform thought experiments on how this realist understanding can be used to craft more pragmatic and effective government and/or culture. Politics is downstream of culture, and our intention has been to start shifting people’s minds, mostly through evidence based persuasive writing, that various parts of the “consensus” narrative is false and should be rejected. This includes things like feminism and minority victimhood culture. My book, Smart and Sexy, was and is meant to be a decisive nail in the coffin of feminism. The alt-right is more properly considered a movement and as far as I can tell neoreactionary and related writings have been very influential in helping more and more people break free of the false narrative and embrace taking their own side and standing up for their own interests. Positive cultural change is happening, despite massive temper tantrums on the left, and some important portion of that change is a result of the work of neoreactionary writers helping others grok reality better.
As far as people like Milo, Paul Joseph Watson, Mike Cernovich, etc they never were part of the alt-right anyway. [if the drama amongst these individuals is the supposed break down you were referring to] Anyone who has been doing this stuff since before it blew up in 2016 could tell you that. However, I fully admit that each one has produced content that I have found interesting and probably should be considered consistent with the alt-right perspective. That said, I consider these guys to be taking advantage of the rise of the alt-right to build their own brands and to sell their own products. Books, or youtube videos or whatever. It is very transparent actually, and seems a lot like personality cults. In the case of Milo, I expect more and more gays to follow his lead because Muslims like to throw gays off of buildings so it is not, nor has it ever been, in the interest of gays to support Muslim immigration. Most people in the alt-right aren’t fond of that particular perversion, but at the same time we aren’t particularly inclined to kill gays either. From Milo’s perspective, I suppose we are the lessor of two evils.
More on this recent drama:
How big a deal is the split between the Nick Land school of neoreation vs the Richard Spencer/Dugin camp?
8) I suggest you ask Nick or Richard about their personal relationship or interactions. Richard is not a hitlarper despite the mainstream media trying to label him as such. Most of the problems you have with vitriol, when not coming from insane SJWs, comes from the insane hitlarper crowd and they can be pretty obnoxious. Nick obviously doesn’t like those guys.
We have a truism on the right, at any given time the population of white nationalists in the US is made up of about 50-80% FBI informants. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar shilling operations didn’t occur online as well. The goal being to make anyone who remotely considers supporting white interests seem associated with complete psychopaths. Certainly there is documented proof of various kinds of astro-turfing and shilling happening online.
More generally, Neoreaction has long been considered to have a semi-three way split. Theonomist (religious, mainly christian), Techno-commercialist (free trade/ai prophets/maybe transhumanist/technological singularity), and ethno-nationalist (dispassionate HBD focused crowd is thrown in here. Interestingly, Indian hindu-nationalists have taken some interest in neoreaction as well). There has always been some amount of tension between these three camps. Land is clearly a techno-commercialist while Richard is an ethno-nationalist so it would make sense that some tension and disagreement might arise. I am not in any way worried that this tension will or can result in some sort of existential crises for either the alt-right or neoreaction. A lot of ink has been spilled on this topic already so I suggest you just go through the following links. Clearly this has been around for some time, and has yet to result in any substantial problems. Perhaps once the left is dead and buried we can spend more time working this out amongst ourselves, but for now there are bigger fish to fry.
I haven’t read your book but gather that is has to do with differences between the sexes. Do you agree with Peter Thiel’s comment: “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.”? How would women be incorporated, or not, into your ideal form of government? [Links in this question were inserted by me, not Josh. I just thought they were relevant to the question]
9) Peter Thiel is absolutely correct and I would assume he is citing some work done by John Lott, which I also cite during a portion of my book, Smart and sexy.
Women have a much stronger preference for security and safety than men, and vote that way. They like social safety nets and related things because of an instinctual fear that they may end up as single mothers and in poverty. There is also a component of “cat-lady syndrome” to this where women more often suffer from excessive altruistic desire without having access to enough wisdom to do so in a sustainable or pragmatic manner. They also tend to pay a lot less in taxes, so they don’t have to worry about that particular harm as much. The result is that this creates an unaffordable social entitlement structure and it creates very bad incentives for family dissolution. Every western country currently has massive amounts of debt thanks to excessively generous social welfare benefits. The only partial exceptions to this occurs when there is a substantial cache of natural resources which can be used to supplement insufficient taxes. The entitlement bubbles get more extreme and more ready to pop every year.
Women’s suffrage was certainly a massive mistake. I wouldn’t say, however, that women’s suffrage is the root of the problem. Suffrage of any form is the root of the problem. Women’s suffrage merely served as an accelerative catalyst. Men can and will also vote themselves free stuff if given the opportunity, but a greater proportion of that population has more to lose from increased taxation so the overall rate of entitlement related government degeneration is significantly slower. Yet Cthulhu still swims left. Let’s not also forget that it was men who voted and decided to grant women’s suffrage in the first place. And universal male suffrage was a result of granting only propertied men suffrage. Once the franchise is given on a partial basis it is basically inevitable that it will be gradually and continually expanded to include less and less suited populations until the strain is so high and unsupportable there is a collapse and/or balkanization. Typically this is goaded forth by cynical politicians who (usually rightly) believe they will be more secure in their power thanks to the newly introduced voting population being much more in favor of them. Even today, a major motivation for unlimited immigration is the cynical understanding by current democrats that their political positions are more secure when they elect a new electorate. This is actually a recipe for disaster, however, because at some point legacy Americans are going to, and currently are coming to the realization that they have no interest in being told what and how to do things by alien ethnic groups. Hence the waning support for universal suffrage democracy. Open civil war is not at all unlikely if the current trends continue. The desire for self determination has been both strong and consistent throughout history.
In my book, smart and sexy, I have literally hundreds of citations from scientific papers going over the biologically based differences in intelligence and psychology between men and women. In short, intelligence is substantially an X chromosome linked trait and many intelligence boosting (and lowering) genes are recessive. The result, which is easily viewable in IQ test data, is that males are substantially more variable than females. On one end, this means you have many more mentally handicapped males. On the other, you have many more very intelligent males. Since intelligence is necessary for competence in essentially every occupation that exists, including in government, you are going to have far more males competent and suited to the highest level positions than females.
You could say that probabilistically speaking, there are going to be some number of suitable women and on that basis argue that even if we can accept that there will always be a smaller absolute number of women, we should still leave the doors open for the exceptions that come about. There are a couple of problems with this. First, a population requires a certain minimum birth rate to stay stable. It has been estimated that this rate is approximately 2.1 children per woman. Encouraging women to prioritize anything above motherhood is thus detrimental to the society as a whole and should not be generally tolerated. Allowing exceptions means allowing the existence of poor role-models for the average girl. Careerism in women also seems to be harmful to the women themselves. Despite all the “advances” made by feminism in the last 100 years or so, women are more unhappy than they have ever been and a huge number are now on anti-depressants and other psychiatric medications. A large number of women are completely ignorant of the biological foundations of their fertility and its rapid decline after the age of 30. Many women who wanted to be mothers thus now find themselves unable to have children because they wasted their time pursuing unfulfilling careers instead of arranging for their families during the optimum window. It is quite sad actually to see some of these lonely, old, cat-lady spinsters. A realistic understanding and teaching could have prevented the vast majority of these cases. Instead we have a growing class of middle aged or older women who have an iredeemable life regret and thus are rendered completely miserable.
Then lastly for this interview, workforce and employment statistics strongly indicate that even very intellectually talented women have a strong tendency to leave the workforce early or only work part-time. In general, women don’t actually want to work the same long hours that men do and this can be very detrimental for important jobs that society needs to be filled. For example, part (obviously not the only part) of the problem with our medical system being so expensive is a relative shortage of doctors. Well, this doctor shortage is largely a result of pushing women into medicine combined with their much greater rate of leaving the workforce.
For the last question, I have citations and more specific details for all of this throughout the book, which you can get from kindle fairly cheaply