Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Is the Dark Enlightenment?

As of today The Dark Enlightenment, it seems to me, is going to war with itself in a struggle to confirm a solid ideological identity, by deciding, for example, whether or not PUAs are allowed in, whether Mencius Moldbug is less important than Evola, if Patri Friedman should be allowed to consider himself part of the Dark Enlightenment, and how much it would like to embrace the value of personal or economic liberty. (It distances itself further and further away from liberty everyday). Divorce is always a shame, but sometimes inevitable. I discovered Moldbug's blog just last October, spent a month or two obsessing over finishing it, and then found various writers for Neoreaction shortly afterward. The Dark Enlightenment was born of the mysterious evil genius Moldbug and political philosopher Nick Land. If you like Nietzsche, you'll love Moldbug, who effectively authored an updated version of "The Geneology of Morals" in his Unqualified Reservations blog by explicating the puritanical, Christian fundamentalist roots of modern-day Progressivism, the West's mainstream, dominant (secular) religion.

While I respect and admire the movement of the Alternative Right and Neoreaction as philosophical and revolutionary movements outside mainstream political thought, I don't find much use in them if they decide to abandon personal liberty as a value. I have lost innumerable hours of sleep staying up late, writing responses to several of the blogs of Neoreaction, such as Aimless Gromar and Radix Journal, that attack personal liberty and libertarianism. Neither Moldbug nor Land disavowed personal liberty, and it's unfortunate for Neoreaction that the traditionalist current within the movement wishes to dispose of any classical liberal alliances. For some reason, Neoreaction recently feels the need to confirm its harshest critics' accusation: that it's nothing but a trendy internet club for authoritarian right-wingers.

Ironically, if there is a philosophical godfather to The Dark Enlightenment Movement (DEM), it's an anarcho-capitalist fella named Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Hoppe wrote an excellent little book a decade ago called,"Democracy: The God That Failed" (DTGTF) that strongly influenced Moldbug. (Some of his other influences include Rothbard, Mises and Caryle). In this heretical masterpiece of contemporary political literature, "DTGTF" lays out Hoppe's case against democracy on historical, economic and legal grounds, showing how poorly democracy worked out in the 20th century and why it is, has been and never will be, compatible with a firm establishment of property rights and thus economic and personal liberty. In fact, says Hoppe, monarchy, despite all the evil things we've heard about it our entire lives, has a much stronger case-record for its compatibility with human freedom. Democracy? Not so much. (A simple google search on the rate of taxation on American citizens today versus American colonists living under the rule of the British crown will demonstrate a quick test confirming Hoppe's hypothesis: we were freer, and thus suffered far fewer taxes, under King George.)

Therefore, as the DEM tears off its own two wings--libertarianism and neocameralism--that gave it the power in the fist place to soar through our modern dark clouds, I expect it to die a sad, gruesome, cannibalistic death. There are some, such as Land and the Anarcho-Papist, who still argue in defense of liberty. Libertarians, as Land noticed, are looking for an exit. More and more of us understand that this corrupt, broken system called "Western Democracy" is a failure, and we have no wish to conserve it, reform it or revitalize it. We want to see it burn, lighting the last match to do so if we must, while escaping from the inevitable ruins. However, I think libertarians would flee from totalitarian traditionalism as quickly as they would from Progressivism. Most of the Neoreaction movement, I'm sad to say, wants little to do with Western individualism or liberty, equating such values with equality and democracy. In my opinion, such abandonment of liberty makes Neoreaction only slightly more appealing than, say, Progressivism. Thus, in time, The Dark Enlightenment might (generally speaking) divide itself into Dark Libertarians (such as myself) and Radical Traditionalists (such as Aimless Gromar). Let's hope the DEM can retain some respect for freedom. If it wishes to restore monarchy, the rule of law and private property rights, it will be forced to respect liberty by the laws of nature, whether it wishes to do so or not.

And if you're curious about what the Dark Enlightenment is, and you don't have a couple months of spare time to read Moldbug (for which everyone deserving should make the time, in any case), then check out this opening video "The Dark Enlightenment for Dummies," by Ramzpaul. And enjoy!

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