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The “Dark Enlightenment” is New Right Lite™

Image: Solar eclipse [1]1,365 words

The mainstream blogosphere is beginning to awaken to the sinister threat of the “Neo-Reactionary” movement. One recent blog post among several dedicated to exposing these Neo-Reactionary villains warns its readers about “The Dark Enlightenment: The Creepy Internet Movement You’d Better Take Seriously [2]“!

Wake up, liberals! A new bogeyman is threatening our hegemony . . . 

Blossoming on the Internet like a fetid rose, a mysterious new political movement has generated a serious and not un-terrifying critique of modern society. Its members are loud and growing in number, and they demand nothing less than the elimination of the democratic system. Mostly white, male and angry, they lie in wait for the imminent collapse of civilization.

In essence, this movement comprises a broad assortment of writers who are promoting our familiar New Right message, but usually stripped of explicit identitarianism and direct critiques of Jews and their central role in the machine they’re raging against. By limiting the scope of their work to avoid naming specific enemies or getting too specific about solutions, they’re capable of reaching a much large audience than otherwise possible, given the internalized taboos and external disincentives attached to either “racism” or “antisemitism.”

By keeping it abstract, academic, and defanged, it comes across as a rather attractive antiquarian posture, the kind of thing you could promote at dinner parties without any tableware being lobbed at you:

As the term suggests, the Dark Enlightenment is an ideological analysis of modern democracy that harshly rejects the vision of the 18th century European Enlightenment—a period punctuated by the development of empirical science, the rise of humanist values and the first outburst of revolutionary democratic reform.

2-7-jack-donovan-v2 [3]Apparently, I was hip to this whole “Dark Enlightenment” thing back in the ’90s, before we had a cool label and our own totally awesome trading cards [4]. I read Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and (yes, I’ll admit it) Ayn Rand in high school, eventually rejecting humanism and Classical Liberalism at the root. This was before Arktos, Counter-Currents, and the mature community of bloggers, so my education was primarily in sketchy and poorly translated PDF files scrounged from the seedier corners of the web.

I’m still one of these people, actually; I’m just further along. My early fascination with Steve Sailer’s blog posts on human bio-diversity has evolved into a concrete and explicit advocacy for my specific sort of biodiversity. After all, the only tangible difference between “race realism” and racial nationalism is a steward’s willingness to act on the information presented. That, and a willingness to commit our society’s penultimate heresy.

Commission of our society’s ultimate heresy, antisemitism, came a bit later, with my reading of Prof. Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique [5]. It offered an exposition of the pivotal Jewish role in promoting Modernity and subverting my people, which didn’t indulge in the wild-eyed conspiracy theories and vulgar vilifications which had repelled me from the subject for years.

I suspect a good share of proponents of this “Dark Enlightenment” are in that same place I was in, hesitant for a variety of reasons to violate those two taboos which make one completely New Right. These neo-Reactionaries aren’t completely New Right, because standing for tribe and tradition is more than an ideological posture. To be completely New Right, you have to take that additional perilous step, that of applying the abstractions to our contemporary reality. You’re not all the way there until you’re willing and able to define yourself and your opponents in terms of actual people and groups of people.

Limitations aside, the Dark Enlightenment is a very promising development. Even if they don’t go all the way, the work they do of deconstructing Modernity and its excuses is extremely valuable work. Putting identity and “the Jew thing” on the back burner is often necessary to reach people with our overarching worldview. And I know in my own case and the case of countless others I’ve spoken with that once you get the “Dark Enlightenment,” you’re more likely to become a Jew-wise racialist.

It’s been my experience that those who are pro-white or Jew-wise but otherwise on board with cannibal capitalism, the “civil rights” narrative, and egotistical individualism are generally useless. For decades, the White Nationalist movement has striven to slip the survival of our race into the Progressive body, but it absolutely always rejects the transplant. There is no “white” chair at the Rainbow Table, and there never will be. It will never be acceptable for White people to have their own equivalent of the NAACP or La Raza, because the White identity groups are the only ones whose solidarity would pose an existential threat to the Cathedral’s social engineering project.

White Identity cannot and will not flourish in the ecosystem of Modernity, because the essence of whiteness is so vividly associated with hierarchy, patriarchy, and aesthetic beauty. Even if we can ignore this and convince ourselves that we’re merely another interest group in the global patchwork of aggrieved and grasping interest groups, our enemies most certainly won’t. Even if we promise with all our hearts and truly mean it that we’ll never organize and mobilize the way we’ve done in the past, why would our enemies take that chance?

The author of the hit piece asks, “Is this fascism?”

Desire for genetically determined ruling classes, distrust of popular democratic reform, distaste for the aesthetic standards of mass culture, and nausea over the political correctness of modern life—the Dark Enlightenment does have all the markings of a true neo-fascist movement. It’s here that the dangers of the Dark Enlightenment are hard to dismiss.

Op has a point. Call it “neo-fascism” or some other more friendly word if you prefer, but some sort of political order which is radically different from this one is absolutely necessary to face the challenges in store for our people. Even in more mainstream circles, our failed nation-building projects of the past decade and the increasingly absurd state of our own democracy have discredited “democracy” for more people than our elites realize. While very few of them are willing or able to hop onto our wagon just yet, they’re increasingly uneasy on the “democracy,” “freedom,” and “globalism” wagon. While the author brushes off all the critiques of Modernity and ensures us that we’re living in the best regime ever, he does grudgingly admit that the challenges we’re facing may require radical revolutionary change after all.

It is becoming increasingly evident that major structural reform, maybe radical in nature, could be what America requires if it is to continue to flourish in the 21st century.

It’s not clear what he’s implying here, perhaps we can double down on even more egalitarianism and mob rule. He concludes with a pithy dismissal of neoreaction for having supposedly made an elementary error.

Still, something essential is always left out of the neoreactionary equation. Universal equality and classical democracy are not synonymous with an all-purpose, lowest-common-denominator leveling of mankind.

He couldn’t be more wrong. Equality and democracy invariably result in an all-purpose, lowest-common-denominator leveling of mankind. The ancients understood this, warning against the peasants leveraging their power to vote for more “bread and circuses.” To the limited extent that democracy and equality can and do work, it’s only within a cohesive and loyal community with a shared sense of purpose and destiny. Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone [6] nails this predictable process of alienation from and disintegration of communities down to an exact science.

It’s frustrating to watch all these “race realists” and HBD enthusiasts carefully avoiding the conclusion that perhaps white people have the same right to survival and sovereignty that’s taken for granted with every other group. It’s frustrating to hear neo-Reactionaries carry on about “oligarchs,” “global elites,” and “neocons” while studiously ignoring the overwhelmingly Jewish character of these “masters of the universe.” It goes without saying that Jews will stake out places in the Neo-Reactionary sphere, like the Counter-Jihad movement, to contain any potential threat. But bear in mind that the New Right Lite™’s lack of red meat will eventually prove frustrating for their audience, as well.

Perhaps then they will develop an appetite for what Counter-Currents is serving. I know that Greg Johnson is already sketching his trading card.