In a facetious comment at Aretae, I wished for a “shit neo-reactionaries say” list along the lines of the amusing libertarian one.

I was hung up on a label, but the more I think about it, the more I like neo-reactionary, for the reasons Lawrence Auster gives in a comment at Mangan’s:

“Neo-reactionary”–that’s clever. The neo-reactionary is not an old-fashioned, hardline, darkly pessimistic reactionary, like de Maistre, but a modern, enlightened, cool reactionary. To paraphrase Irving Kristol on the purpose of neoconservatism, one could say that the historical task and political purpose of neo-reaction would seem to be this: to convert American reactionaries, against their will, into a new kind of reactionary capable of living in a modern democracy.

There’s also a post from Arnold Kling, discussing Codevilla and referencing Moldbug in passing.

The only change I would make is to elide the hyphen.  Neoliberals and Neoconservatives don’t need them any more, and I thnk google’s search syntax treats a hyphen as a space.  Neoreactionary will bring back only neoreactionaries.

3 thoughts on “Neoreactionary”

  1. We can't agree on a label because we are enemies of our enemies, not real friends. We lack the cohesion of purpose that neoconservatives have. We don't exist. All we have in common is good understanding of how fucked up things are right now.

  2. A democracy where the majority of voters are bastard spawn, raised by Uncle Sam the big Pimp, who receive government benefits but pay no taxes, is not going to vote for a neoreactionary program.

  3. You don't get reaction by voting for it anyway; the nearest you can get is fascism.

    As you said, monarchism fell when the monarchs stopped believing in it. Democracy will fall when the people stop believing in it. That doesn't sound far-fetched.

    Sure, the people don't want a neoreactionary program. But when they reject what they have, they won't necessarily get what they want.

    The task of neoreactionaries is not to win an election, but to make the unthinkable thinkable.

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