Barbarians Within the Gates

Neoreaction is a young movement. Moreover, it’s a movement that emerged in a rather unprecedented way. Few if any political movements in history have begun with theoretical work by a loose connection of bloggers.

Early in the history of the movement, it was small and attracted only people of genuine conviction (or at least open curiosity) and exceptionally high intelligence. As the movement grows, however, we will attract, and have already begun to attract, all manner of people we either dont want around or dont want representing us. There are entryists. There are idiots. There are boors and there are trolls.

Until now we haven’t had to deal with this. We’ve been very accepting of anyone who wants to join in on neoreaction, and this has worked out all right. However, recent events have shown that this is no longer the case. We have people on the outside asking us polite questions and we ought to be answering them, trying to raise awareness and bring people in. Some of us, however, see trolls under every bridge and respond in distinctly non-constructive ways.

These people need to be kept under control if neoreaction is to get anywhere. The image we present is important, and recruiting new people is important. If we are overly suspicious and hostile to the curious outsider we will only become an insular club with little development of thought and zero action.

All of this is to say that those of us who are intelligent, serious, and well-established need a way to regulate the neoreactionary masses, and perhaps even each other. We need a self-regulating hierarchy.

The idea of a neoreactionary wiki has been floated several times before, but as far as I know it has never actually been established. I think it should be, and could be with minimal cost and work. The wiki would include contributions from all the major neoreactionary thinkers (and probably many of the minor ones) and therefore would acquire a greater authority than any individual’s blog.

From there, we could set up a directory of sorts for the neoreaction: a list of people recognised by the community as leaders and representatives of the best in our movement. Those people would then have the discretion to expand the list, something they should do very sparingly. We could also keep the list of banned wiki editors public.

The creation of this neoreactionary wiki would thus set up four tiers in the neoreaction:

1. Directory members. These are the authorities on the subject, the people outsiders should read first and the people whose opinions should be given the most weight.

2. Wiki editors. These are people who make contributions of various levels of significance to neoreactionary thought, and who are known and (at least tentatively) accepted.

3. Banned editors. These people have, for whatever reason, earned the disapproval of the community or the leaders. Obviously we dont have the power to finally silence them but they do not represent us.

4. The wild cards: people who dont have an account at the wiki and never have. Over time, as the wiki grows in prominence (if it’s a success), these people should probably be purged, unless they’re indubitably writers of the first order. It wont be that hard to set up an account and having the wiki will be a huge boon to the movement as a whole. That said, we cant expect everyone to be on board right away, and in the beginning this category will be large.

This wiki would give us a way to deal with the barbarians within the gates who threaten to destroy Rome from the inside. Of course, it would only work if it gained the approval of most of the current influential neoreactionaries. I hope it will and I’m prepared to have the idea critiqued and refined. I am of course willing to be heavily involved in the creation of the wiki but I dont think I have the clout to establish it all on my own.

I welcome comments, especially from the bigger NRx thinkers, and I remain

your obedient servant,

Arthur Richard Harrison

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5 comments on “Barbarians Within the Gates

  1. Ash says:

    Bryce’s recent Canon would probably be a good way to start section one.

    A problem with the greater “dark enlightenment” as a whole is the massive amount of trolls which exist. Now there’s good times with trolling, such as Shea’s letter. But the problem when the trolls in your movement are the most visible element is that the movement will then attract people of similar mind. My university recently did a small study where they found people who regularly engage in trolling exhibit sadistic and sociopathic tendencies. That’s the opposite of what a Rightist movement worth its salt would expect from its members. The House With No Child blog is looking at the issue of people with these tendencies subverting movements and institutions. I think Neoreaction can agree that that has to be guarded against.

    Insofar as the wiki idea would let us present a professional introduction to interested parties and build an intellectual network consisting of honourable characters, I’m all for it. Personally, I could do articles on the European New Right and Traditionalist School, both of which have influenced Neoreactionary thinkers to various extents.

    • I think you’re right. It would also allow us to centralise, for example, our arguments for monarchy, which are important but often not blogged about because the nature of blogs is to be ‘timely’ and directed at a continuing audience, an audience that, in our case, is usually already monarchist or at least familiar with the arguments for monarchy. I also think the information on the wiki could be a starting point that might eventually develop into a book to be traditionally published. Even a small presence outside the Internet would lend us credibility IMO.

  2. Neon Shadows says:

    1. Is not the wiki project essentially demotist, and thus in fundamental opposition to neoreactionary thought?

    2. I think NRx as a “brand” is undesirable. I understand the need for brevity on twitter (but even there would not NR be better?) but in other media I think it should be written out in full. The “x” is edgy and youthful (in the sense of 35 year old men wearing t shirts) and, I believe, most attractive to nerds and assorted losers.

    3. What other (non-religious) ideologies have such a formally defined membership and body of doctrine? Does this begin to clash with neoreactionary critiques of “The Cathedral”?

    4. I think the ban list could potentially be very long. I identify as reactionary more than neoreactionary because my arguments are theological and religious moreso than empirical, but nonetheless I firmly consider myself as part of the same team. Yet even I am banned by several of the most prominent neoreactionaries on twitter. I can see an official neoreactionary being counterproductive, as being banned by such a wiki could totally put people off the philosophy, whereas being banned by individual blogs can be attributed to the authors, not the movements.

    • 1. No. Wiki technology is just that: technology. Wikipedia is essentially demotist but we do not have to follow Wikipedia’s model of government. I think our wiki should be editable only by registered users and should have a clearly-defined hierarchy of active moderators.

      2. ‘NRx’ caught on because NR generally refers to the conservative magazine National Review. I’m not terribly sensitive to the connotations of the ‘x’ myself so I’ll see what others have to say on that point and then form an opinion.

      3. I’m not sure. Would you consider, for example, the formally-defined hierarchy and platform of the Democratic Party to serve this function for mainstream American liberalism? Regardless, those movements are larger and have access to media of communication where the cost of entry is higher. People on TV tend to be a bit more serious than people on Twitter. We dont have access to that yet and so I think we need to consciously create an outlet that speaks for the neoreactionary community to some extent. Right now no one really has the auctoritas to do that.

      4. This is a good point. I can only say that I believe I merit inclusion in the directory and I am not ban-happy at all. Directory members would have to be carefully chosen and I dont think bans should be made by a simple majority vote or over petty disagreements. Honestly, I think the primary purpose of the blacklist should be to discredit people like James Alexander after his recent scandal with ‘Ashley’.

      • C. Y. Chen says:

        My instinct is to keep registration limited but allow submissions that editors can approve/reject/edit. A formal institution might be considered a bit too much, but I think it’s the best way to keep out those who have no business trying to contribute to (or take away from) neoreaction.

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