Artwork by Vsevolod Ivanov.
We talked about foreign policy, especially as it pertains to Russia, modern European and American history, the rise of Western universalism, neocons, and the Ukrainian Conflict in the context of neoreactionary geopolitical theory. Despite the length of time it took to get this podcast organized, the discussion in it has lost none of its relevancy.
Below are the links to the podcasts – due to their length, Surviving Babel split them in two – together with a copy of their “table of contents” and show-related hyperlinks.
4:44 – Introducing Anatoly Karlin
7:17 – Putin and his perception in the West
16:26 – Gradual erosion of Russian respect for the US
22:10 – Russia Today vs. Western media outlets
28:05 – Brief thoughts on Alexandr Dugin
32:05 – Mid-19th c. burgeoning Cathedral foreign policy
Related show links:
Opening Music (excerpt): “Thirst For Truth” by Sons of Northern Mist
Closing Music (excerpt): “You is Light” by KORDYUKOV
Anatoly Karlin’s Blog
Discussion of 19th c. Russian liberal-conservatism
More on Russian attitudes towards the US
Gregory Hood on Dugin
Russian involvement in US Civil War
1:03 – Woodrow Wilson, progenitor of the Cathedral
5:46 – Family structure and its influence on political ideology
11:30 – The failure of the League of Nations
15:13 – The post-WWII East-West polarization
19:58 – Competing visions of the nature of Ukraine
29:32 – Euromaidan and the Russian reaction
38:41 – Forecasting the near future of Ukraine
44:04 – Out of Left Field — Impact of the EAEU
Related show links:
Opening Music – “Opening Game” by aktarum
Closing Music – “The Gardener” by Mister_Even_Steven
Anatoly Karlin’s blog
Anatoly discusses Apollo’s Ascent
Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations (warning: Cathedral source)
Covenant of the League of Nations
hbdchick’s posts on Emmanuel Todd’s family formation theory
Eurasian Economic Union (officially EAEU in English)
If you are interested in sponsoring Ascending the Tower, e-mail me at Surviving Babel at gmail dot com. Sponsorships start at $10 an episode, and all proceeds will either go back into the podcast or provide some compensation for your most grateful host. You can purchase a mention or short message, or you can choose to sponsor the Out of Left Field question or even an entire episode.
A Gentle Introduction to NRx
Kickstarted by the Jewish Silicon Valley-based programmer Mencius Moldbug in the late 2000s, neoreaction – or NRx, as it is commonly abbreviated – is a radically new look at our social and political systems through the prism of Human Biodiversity, the theory of private government, and the writings of dead white male reactionaries such as Thomas Carlyle and Julius Evola. This set of theories and ways of thinking has been termed the “Dark Enlightenment” by the British philosopher Nick Land. Since the days of Moldbug, NRx has branched off into three distinct directions: The (original) elitist, philo-Semitic, technophilic, and cognitively elitist wing, basically disillusioned libertarians who realized that the average person is a 100 IQ idiot who shouldn’t be trusted with democracy; the more populistic, Semitic-neutral traditionalists, ethnonationalists, thede-preservers, and old-school Christian conservatives who will never have any truck with gay marriage (I believe my interlocutors in this podcast largely belong to this category); and the wave of nationalists, Internet trolls, anti-Semites, and overt Nazis who have been making their way into the movement in more recent months. The entrance of the latter has been especially traumatic, producing a lot of drama and hysterics. Many of the Nazis wanted to overthrow NRx outright – some of them call it JRx, you can guess what that stands for – and sweep up the fragments into White Nationalism. But they haven’t met with success, since by and large the NRx OG’s – the techno-commercialists and the traditionalists – have resisted the assaults of the stormfags. And despite the recent political jitters, a lot of quality work continues to be written under the NRx umbrella.
This is a barebones summary. I will probably write more about neoreaction in the future, but for now, readers who want to find out more about this movement are directed to the following articles.
- The Neoreactionary Glossary for key terms.
- Mapping the Dark Enlightenment – Who is Who?
- Very big, turgid, but important essays: A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations (Moldbug), The Dark Enlightenment (Nick Land).
- Michael Anissimov is a controversial figure in NRx, but various personalistic conflicts aside, in my opinion his writing is second to none in terms of explaining NRx in concise, easily understandable language. Some of his better articles: Capturing Gnon; Neocameralism is Autism. My favorite though is Reconciling Transhumanism and Neoreaction. Anissimov makes a brave if somewhat strained argument that NRx is the best defense against existential risks.
- His book A Critique of Democracy is available for $5 on Amazon. A handy summary that will at the very least save you from having to read much longer works by the likes of Ricardo Duchesne and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. That said, I recommend reading the articles first, since the book is mostly written for people who are already into NRx.
- Infographic of the Cathedral.
- MSM critical article: Greeks for Monarchy (TechCrunch).
- Best philosophical criticism: Reactionary Philosophy in an Enormous, Planet-Sized Nutshell (Scott Alexander)
- Successful trolljob.
Personally, I agree with maybe 60% of the NRx platform – heck, check my blog name – but I should stress that I do not identify as NRx. Not out of any misplaced concern for respectability and employability; that ship has long sailed. Just that some of their ideas I disagree with, and quite cardinally so – for instance, the viability and desirability of private government. I don’t really adhere to any ideology but I do generally sympathize with Left positions economically. Like virtually any other ideology, they prefer narratives over facts. Their narrative (I think) happens to be closer to reality than the mainstream SWPL Liberal or Cuckservative narratives, but it contains predictable blindspots like rejection of climate science and statistically questionable claims denying the longterm decline in violence. Plus, they have a solid stance against entryism. That is their right and I will respect it.
PS. Administrative note –
As you may have noticed, my blog has been reduced from three slots to one slot on the front page. This is temporary, and was done by my own request. Basically, for various personal-related reasons, I will be very busy until about mid-August. Hence, my blogging will likely be very infrequent during this period. I will get much more free time come late August and September, when I will return to my regular blogging schedule and the old front page arrangement.