Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Progress, Lightbulbs and Neoreactionaries

How many neoreactionaries does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

TakisMichel (is that French?) has a snarky response for us. Cool story, bro.

The thrust of the snipe is that neoreaction is backward, rejecting progress, such as the lightbulb. How stupid of us! Surely, we deserve to be mocked with the very archetype of technological progress, the lightbulb, which is now the ubiquitous icon of the new idea. Of course, his error has been identified in countless other arguments: conflation of political progress with technological progress. Been there, done that.

This led me to a better question: How does one determine what progress is true and good and what is political/ideological falsehood? The best test is: a test. We simply take the progress for a test drive and see if it runs, breaks down or explodes.

Thalidomide babies
If we approach the prospect wisely, then we will understand that as with any new invention, progress can be dangerous. So, we need brave explorers who are willing to risk life and limb to explore the possibilities of progress. We need those who are willing to sail a ship into the unknown. We also need to understand the dangers inherent in the process.

I'm sure TakisMichel would advocate that government agencies such as the FDA oversee the progress of new foods such as Aspartame or drugs such as Thalidomide.  Does dear TakisMichel suggest that we throw caution to the winds and run headlong into the Utopia promised us by the manufacturers of Thalidomide? Or should we take a more conservative approach? Might it not be best to test our progress on a few? Wouldn't it be wise for us to forbid mass distribution until the progress has proven itself?

Yet we see cheerleaders for progress such as TakisMichel mocking Neoreaction for advocating a conservative approach. His head is too filled with dreams of progress to understand that a species such as ours needs a method to transmit information across generations to warn of past dangers which destroyed populations. It needs a method which does not necessarily scientifically understand the workings of those dangers, but can transmit a safeguard against them. It needs an intergenerational risk management heuristic: a method which is opaque yet functional.

We have these intergenerational risk management heuristics: religion and tradition, aka conservatism. When group A dives headlong into progress and group B remains relatively static, sometimes group A receives a competitive advantage and advances beyond group B. Sometimes this happens successively, so group B picks up the pace of progress. Then comes the Black Swan. Death. Destruction. Deformity. How does your progress look now, TM?

After the Black Swan, we can see the wisdom of group B's conservatism. The result is that the faithful, those slow to change, survive. We can then see that respect for the past, for tradition, for religion, provides a competitive advantage that is only realized after the Black Swan.

What then is the appropriate attitude towards progress? I say allow it - for a few. Allow the dreamers to dream and the explorers to roam. Allow experimentation. Allow progress, but take it for a test drive first. What we cannot do is allow progress to spread unchecked throughout a population, society or civilization. We must acknowledge the dangers inherent in progress. We must be aware that progress may invite a forgotten Black Swan. And we should be extremely cautious of progress which is forbidden by religion or tradition, as it is very likely to invite the Black Swan.

Destroy the Old World cultural revolution poster
The flip side of allowing progress for a few, is that we should warn against progress for the many, and we should forbid progress to be forced on the many. We should fight to maintain continuity, to preserve our traditions and our religion. But this is exactly the problem with totalitarian liberals: in their hubris they will allow nothing to be conserved. They will allow no pockets of religion, tradition and conservatism to remain without being attacked. They foolishly destroy the pockets of resistance, destroying those who will function as the seeds of a future repopulation after the Black Swan. They force progress.

Chinese man endures
Struggle Session
prior to execution
Here is the rub TakisMichel: no-one forced everyone to switch from lamps to lightbulbs. No-one forced all expecting mothers to ingest Thalidomide. Progress is best when it is adopted slowly, after centuries or millennia of contained experimentation. If liberals would just go live their own progress without forcing it on the rest of us, then the danger could be contained. Unfortunately, liberalism now rules the West, as it did the East, with an iron fist. Cultural Revolution, Struggle Sessions, and Purges abound.

TakisMichel probably isn't even aware that modern Western progress is crushing the fertility of those who adopt it. He probably has no idea that modernity is a death cult, celebrating sodomy, infanticide and masturbation - with predictable results: no children, no future. His group, which is rushing headlong into progress is dying, but the anti-progressive Muslim population doubled in the last two decades and is set to double again in the next two decades. How are they doing it? Through rejection of Western progress.

I doubt he has any clue that cities like Singapore have turned into IQ shredders, that these technologically advanced, economic dynamos are actually eating the genes which produce the high IQ men that are needed to build technology. Ah, progress.

So, please feel free to wallow in your self-congratulatory mockery of all conservatism, religion and tradition, TakisMichel. You deserve it: Progressives have won. Progressives are in complete political control. Progressives like you can pretend that you are in Heaven as you serve as a walking dildos: having sex without ever fulfilling your biological reproductive function. The Progressive Utopia is a graveyard. Thankfully, there are some of us who will reject the death cult. Obviously whatever genes drive the Progressive's suicidal trajectory deserve to die just as their ideals and values will die when they do (having not reproduced and not supported a tradition), while those who are most religious, traditional and conservative will reproduce to create the lives that will shape the future. It's a delicious irony: Darwin always wins. Enjoy it while you can.


  1. I thought the joke was funny because he nailed both the verbosity and diversity of the answers. If it was mockery, it seems to me to have been of a rather benign sort.

    1. That is, however, not to take anything away from an excellent defense of neoreactionary skepticism of the notion of progress. This is an authentically conservative mindset.

    2. Yes, I thought it was funny and rather benign, too. I know nothing about the guy, maybe he's a good sort. Using his name was more of a literary technique than any sort of personal vendetta. Just seemed a good jumping off point. No hard feelings, TakiMichel.