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TowardLiberty
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The Dark Enlightenment
Oct 7th, 2017 at 8:01pm
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You might have heard of this new political theory. It's proponents make up the vanguard of the alt-right.

So what is the deal with neo-reactionism, with the so-called "dark enlightenment?"

It's really rather simple.

This is a theory which suggests that the enlightenment principles of equality, fraternity and liberty have thrown civilization off course. They are seen as dangerous ideas which undermine social cohesion.

The story picks up in the dark ages, during what is known as the ancien regime. This was a world of nobility, status and rigid hierarchy. A world of "blood and soil." Landed families were wealthy and most others were poor serfs. They were born serfs and they would die serfs.

As it concerns the church, the hierarchy was clear. The grand architect was at the top, below him the Pope and the Church elite and so on and so forth with the masses at the bottom.

Luther's reformation made Christians equal before the lord and ushered in a wave of movements, such as the anabaptists, which took a radical approach to individual liberty.

The genie was out of the bottle. Equality before the law and individual liberty were ascendant ideas.

Along this time commerce was beginning to upend the old financial order. Capitalism was creating a new class of elite and these were merchants and entrepreneurs. This "new" money was looked down upon by the landed aristocracy. They resented these commoners for reaching beyond their "station." They didn't have noble blood, after all.

One of the most striking things about the enlightenment is the shift in the social stigma associated with being a merchant.

In the past, merchants were looked down upon as being greedy profiters who did not labor for their profit. Their income was seen as a scam or a hustle rather than an honest living. This slowly began to change during the enlightenment era.

A great liberalizing of society was taking place. The enlightenment era was the age of liberalism. And it was the closing of the ancien regime- the society of status.

In it's place was a new social framework, one based on equality before the law, individual liberty and universal rights. Women's rights movements were a part of this. As well as movements for doing away with slavery.

This was a time of progress in the true sense of the word.

It gave us the modern world, with it's 7+ billion people living longer and better than ever before in human history. We are nearing a time where poverty in the extreme sense will no longer exist. Technological progress is occurring so rapidly it's hard to fathom. In terms of statistics, the world is a safer place than it ever has been. We have so much to be thankful for and so much to be optimistic about.

Yet there are people out there who would turn the clock back on the core values and ideas that made this whole thing possible- the liberal order.

They oppose the idea of equal liberty and civil rights for all people. If you dig deeper, you will find something about a future of covenant communities of like minded people who ban and exclude certain races or cultures. Hans Hoppe is a big player in this space. The physical removal jokes and helicopter memes reference his (and other right libertarians) support for Pinochet. Reading his books, one wonders how much of this is a joke.

Don't take my word for it, here is one of the proponents of dark enlightenment in his own words.



If you are curious about this check out the following names: Nick Land and Curtis Yarvin. They are considered the progenitors of these ideas.

There is far more to this than what I have pointed out here. I have not digested even a fraction of the material to see all the angles. But I do know these ideas have roots in Baron Evola's work.

My goal is merely to shine a light on all of this and make you aware that it's a thing. It exists. And it should be opposed intelligently and seriously. I do believe this is the most dangerous ideology bubbling below the surface. If it makes it to the zeitgeist, we're screwed folks.
  

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." J M Keynes

"In the first place, the dichotomy between "theoretical" and "practical" is a false one. In economics, all arguments are theoretical. And, since economics discusses the real world, these theoretical arguments are by their nature "practical" ones as well." M Rothbard
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Limey
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #1 - Oct 7th, 2017 at 8:28pm
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Frank1....


Frank?


Fraaaaank!!!!
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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TowardLiberty
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #2 - Oct 7th, 2017 at 8:31pm
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Limey wrote on Oct 7th, 2017 at 8:28pm:
Frank1....


Frank?


Fraaaaank!!!!

Indeed.

I think Frank might have some insight into this.
  

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." J M Keynes

"In the first place, the dichotomy between "theoretical" and "practical" is a false one. In economics, all arguments are theoretical. And, since economics discusses the real world, these theoretical arguments are by their nature "practical" ones as well." M Rothbard
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Limey
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #3 - Oct 7th, 2017 at 9:16pm
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Luckily for us in England,  such disquieting rumbling is off stage.


Maybe not so luckily,  that's because we're in the early stages of a political and economic disaster.

Possibly some frothing -mouthed loons will, in a year or two,  make political capital from the disaster.


Possibly some of these might be the creeps you refer to.
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #4 - Oct 7th, 2017 at 10:07pm
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Limey wrote on Oct 7th, 2017 at 9:16pm:
Luckily for us in England,  such disquieting rumbling is off stage.


Maybe not so luckily,  that's because we're in the early stages of a political and economic disaster.

Possibly some frothing -mouthed loons will, in a year or two,  make political capital from the disaster.


Possibly some of these might be the creeps you refer to.

Do you see that being driven by Brexit? Or is there something else going on there?

And yes, I do believe that one of the main creeps is English, Mr. Land. I know this is big stuff on the continent. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/world/europe/europe-neo-fascist-revival-slova...

Hard to say how prominent it is here in the states. I do feel like it is a fringe view. They do dominate social media, with sock puppets I presume.

That said Bannon is a prominent figure in the Trump Admin, and he seems to have largely bought into this right wing collectivist ideology.

  

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." J M Keynes

"In the first place, the dichotomy between "theoretical" and "practical" is a false one. In economics, all arguments are theoretical. And, since economics discusses the real world, these theoretical arguments are by their nature "practical" ones as well." M Rothbard
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #5 - Oct 8th, 2017 at 6:51am
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TowardLiberty wrote on Oct 7th, 2017 at 10:07pm:
Do you see that being driven by Brexit? Or is there something else going on there?

And yes, I do believe that one of the main creeps is English, Mr. Land. I know this is big stuff on the continent. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/world/europe/europe-neo-fascist-revival-slova...

Hard to say how prominent it is here in the states. I do feel like it is a fringe view. They do dominate social media, with sock puppets I presume.

That said Bannon is a prominent figure in the Trump Admin, and he seems to have largely bought into this right wing collectivist ideology.



In Britain,  the Fascist movement never really got a hold.

Possibly George Orwell nailed it, noting that if a group of uniformed men were to goose-step down a street,  people would laugh at them.

Plus, in both US and UK,  we were not complicated by defeat and collaboration.

The vile Slovak turd referenced in your link had a following,  briefly empowered -those sentiments doubtless still exist, and perhaps a yearning for a half imaginary past stimulates these tragic Nazi clowns?

Yes they are worrying but I am confident that an overt takeover won't happen.

Smuggling in of frankly Fascist themes-immigrants bad, foreigners bad, our blood and soil- is happening now though.

Yes, to answer your question,  Brexit is and will be a disaster.

Not just economic,  and that will be bad enough,  but in numerous political ways.


Nothing good at all will come of it.

I had hoped that, at least, the EU would reflect upon the reasons,  and move towards more democratic accountability.  But no.

They see clearly that the Brexit rhetoric about sovereignty was bullshit,  and the vote was naked nationalism by tiny minded fools.


So that chance is gone.
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #6 - Oct 8th, 2017 at 3:21pm
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Limey wrote on Oct 8th, 2017 at 6:51am:
The vile Slovak turd referenced in your link had a following,  briefly empowered -those sentiments doubtless still exist, and perhaps a yearning for a half imaginary past stimulates these tragic Nazi clowns?


Yes, I believe it is rooted in romanticizing the past. That's why economic dislocation is so dangerous. It fuels this desire to look at the past through rose colored glasses and try to recapture what was lost.

When in reality we are living in the best time in human history, or atleast one of them.

Quote:
Yes they are worrying but I am confident that an overt takeover won't happen.

Smuggling in of frankly Fascist themes-immigrants bad, foreigners bad, our blood and soil- is happening now though.

That's my fear too. Not an overt take over but a slow transition in the realm of ideas that will bear poisonous fruit sometime down the road.

Quote:
Yes, to answer your question,  Brexit is and will be a disaster.

Not just economic,  and that will be bad enough,  but in numerous political ways. Nothing good at all will come of it.


What political changes do you see coming from it? Genuinely curious.

Quote:
I had hoped that, at least, the EU would reflect upon the reasons,  and move towards more democratic accountability.  But no.

They see clearly that the Brexit rhetoric about sovereignty was bullshit,  and the vote was naked nationalism by tiny minded fools.


So that chance is gone.


That's an interesting dichotomy. Not that I disagree, mind you, but what do you think separates the sovereignty concerns from those of base nationalism? It seems to me they are intrinsically linked.
« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2017 at 4:21pm by TowardLiberty »  

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." J M Keynes

"In the first place, the dichotomy between "theoretical" and "practical" is a false one. In economics, all arguments are theoretical. And, since economics discusses the real world, these theoretical arguments are by their nature "practical" ones as well." M Rothbard
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #7 - Oct 8th, 2017 at 6:14pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Oct 8th, 2017 at 3:21pm:
.......
That's an interesting dichotomy. Not that I disagree, mind you, but what do you think separates the sovereignty concerns from those of base nationalism? It seems to me they are intrinsically linked.


To answer this first.

Sorry everyone else,  this is entirely about non-US politics, but I honestly think it has,  potentially,  very wide interest and implications.

The difference is nuanced, a bit.

Firstly,  nationalism is the same here as everywhere.  A vague historical knowledge of past glory (in our case,  of course,  that is pretty firmly rooted in reality) which links with equally vague ideas about past nationhood and unwelcome changes to it. Alongside a mix of frankly xenophobic or racist feelings and a desire for 'purity', you get nationalism.

To namecheck Orwell again, his essay on the topic... http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat
... is still relevant. I suspect that you have read it TL,  the rest of you, I wish you would.

That's base nationalism.

The sovereignty concerns,  in the Brexit context, are wide but boil down to worries that Parliament is not sovereign over legislation active in Britain.

Now, given the 800 years of struggle to get there, that's certainly a biggie, and isn't related philosophically to Nationalist fears.

Nationalist: I don't want some bloody Frog telling me what to do.

Sovereignty worrier: it's important that the British parliament is supreme.

That's the simple difference.  It's complicated by the way some Brexiteers push the argument,  by saying (dogwhistle politics warning):

Sovereignty worrier: it's important that the British parliament is supreme. Because we don't want some bloody Frog telling us what to do.

The nuanced difference is that sovereignty, or rather authority,  can, under our constitution (yes we do have one, and it's better than yours  Angry) be vested anywhere by Parliament.

This is difficult,  and at the heart of the second difference between nationalist and sovereignty worries.

Our parliament can do anything it likes, except bind its successors. So, in entering the EC/EU, no possibility of irrevocability was or could be there. Thus, any delegation of authority to the EU is delivered by our sovereign parliament,  and is not-can't be- a loss of sovereignty. Those who are so exercised by the EU'S rule making, sadly,  often miss this point.

EU rules are certainly not all welcome everywhere in Europe,  but they are simply common standards in a common project.  The project is,  at base, in this order,  to make the people of Europe more secure,  more prosperous and more free. To those who misunderstand the nature of our relationship with the EU,  the project feels like a remorseless takeover.

To the nationalist tendency,  it feels like we won the war but the bloody Germans are bossing us.

It's tragic.
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #8 - Oct 8th, 2017 at 6:23pm
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Quote:
Wpolitical changes do you see coming from it? Genuinely curious



Lots.

First,  a weakening of the EU and a strengthening of nationalist movements everywhere.

Second, related,  Eastern Europe and the Balance facing enhanced difficulties with Russia and with internal nationalist /Russian ethnicities.

Third, a diminution of Britain's standing and presence.

Fourth, a disastrous period of bad politics here in the UK. This is a self inflicted wound, entirely at the door of our Conservative party who have, for purely internal reasons, gone down this utterly foolish Road.

For short term party gain they have made calamitous errors of judgement,  on a par with those which lost George III America.
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Dark Enlightenment
Reply #9 - Oct 9th, 2017 at 10:12am
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Limey wrote on Oct 7th, 2017 at 8:28pm:
Frank1....


Frank?


Fraaaaank!!!!


What?

I have been aware of the Dark Enlightenment for several years, almost since its beginning.

Mencius Moldbug, a blogger, is regarded by many as its founder.

Moldbug, first off, is an atheist.  His hierarchical vision of society is thus justified on social Darwinist grounds. 

So, not really a traditionalist, which is why the movement is called neo-reaction.

The lack of religious values at the heart of the dark enlightenment is a giant gaping chasm, filled with the evils of social Darwinism and scientism. 

This is not conservatism.

As to TL, his vision of Protestantism as leading to democracy is only partly true.  Luther was no democrat, and when the peasants rebelled in the wake of his teachings he urged the nobility to suppress them. 


  


To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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