Every Planet We Reach is Dead #3

‘So let’s be clear: you have no memory of what happened?’

Rigel stands across from the rescued man – now known as Walcot thanks to the onboard data files – who sits on a stripped down bed. The medbay glows with cleanliness. Walcot’s eyes focus on the floor, his hands mashing together. He doesn’t answer. Rigel’s teeth grind.

It’s been hours since they rescued this extra body from the hulk, which is still attached precariously. The engineers are going back and forth, checking the systems and data. It’s all proceeding as it should.

‘Let me explain this to you, again. We – and I mean humanity – lost contact with you, the Indomitable, not long after your first arrival in the system. It’s been… a long time. This is meant to be a one way trip, though…’ He stops himself, his mouth still moving but the words cut off. Realigning, he continues, ‘I would appreciate if you told me what you can remember.’

Walcot looks up, straight into Rigel’s eyes.

‘Nothing. Absolutely nothing, except who I am, and even that’s vague… barest memories of before I even signed up. I…’ He chokes. Emotions or getting used to speaking again, one or the other.

Rigel grunts. He was a kid when this corpse went quiet. The last outpost. Snuffed out after such a long wait, literally centuries and generations went by waiting for them to reach the Vega system. Joan’s in the Bulb getting all data on every other rescue mission, which all should, theoretically, be arriving in their designated systems about the same time.

The door slides open with a hiss. Lin walks in, her eyes tracing charts as the patient’s results roll past her retinas.

‘He appears healthy, though over-exposed to the cryosleep, obviously. No long term effects. But the memory loss… It can happen, quite often. Especially in the case of trauma.’

Rigel nods, fingers squeezing his lips.

‘Trauma… Bring up his ship records.’

Lin’s eyes twitch.

‘Ari Walcot. Brought along to… document the settlement of the Vega system. You’re a journalist?’

Walcot smiles. ‘If you say so.’

‘Great, so now not only do I have an extra corpse on my hands, but he’s useless too.’ Rigel throws his hands up in the air, kicks a bed.

A voice in his ear.

Captain. You’re needed in the Bulb. Now.

What is it Joan?’ Lin snaps a look at Rigel. Joan’s talking directly to him.

I think I know what happened here.

***

Vega, the star, bulges at its equator. Parallel to the equator the light is a duller blue-white than at the poles. Junko’s ‘eyes’ are all focused on this point. An object has appeared in Vega’s orbit.

Joan stares down the barrel of an optic station. She flips between spectra, observing the object in each. It appears to her as a small black smudge. A freckle against the mighty sun.

‘It’s a ship?’

‘It’s something technological. It’s far too small for a planet, and the orbit is wrong anyway.’ Joan pulls away from the optics and looks straight at Rigel.

‘So you’re saying, potentially, that the Indomitable ran into… aliens, maybe, and we’ve come 25 light years to meet the same fate?’

‘Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t get any energy readings from it. It appears dormant.’

‘Probes, now. Keep quiet, no radio, reduce our radiation, and don’t tell any -’

Captain. I assume you’ve spotted the anomaly.

The Major. Her voice crackles through the all-purpose frequency, the robotic shifts of her mechanised voice box magnified through the vox.

‘Major. Indeed we have. We’re coming up with a plan of action now. It appears quiet for now.’

‘I’m already putting together a drone team for reconnaissance. I suggest you work through the data banks of the Indomitable more efficiently.’

With a click the Major was gone. Rigel’s jaw clenched.

‘At least we’ve got a clue as to why she’s here. Pilot, I want you to keep working on data from the Indomitable and to keep scanning the system for clues. Get those probes out quickly. I’m going back to talk to our guest.’

***

One, two, three. Probes shoot from Junko, pacifist torpedoes hunting for knowledge. They cross the gap between sentient ship and anomaly quickly, dodging debris yet keeping formation. They begin to relay imagery back to Junko, who feeds it on to the crew.

As they already know, it is massive. A large sphere, a small moon even. Its skin is layered with crevices and mountains. Spires shoot up, ugly spikes into space. Valleys and bunkers. The drones split up.

They shoot across the horizons, scanners slowly bringing the anomaly into a 3D rendition in Junko’s database. In the background Vega burns, flames lapping at edges of the system, the haziness of which diffuses the light to a romantic glow. But there is no light from the anomaly. It orbits in silence.

***

Rigel stares at the stump where Walcot’s left leg should be.

‘Your injury. No recollection of what happened?’

‘No, sir.’

‘Did your team board the anomaly?’

‘I don’t know, sir.’

‘Right. What I think we are going to have to do is jolt your memory. Lin, you can hook him up to memory retrieval right?’

Lin nods, eyes averted.

‘It induces a dream state, and then we look for memories,’ Lin says to Walcot. ‘We can read the feedback your brain provides. In the lucid state we can sort out dreams from reality.’

‘I… I don’t think I particularly want to dream.’

‘You don’t really have a choice, I’m afraid.’ Rigel stares down the man with that comment, daring him to challenge. Walcot just looks at his leg.

His mouth moves, barely a whisper.

‘What did you say?’ says Rigel.

‘I said, “What happened to the rest of them?”’

A pause.

‘All of them.’

‘We’re getting feedback from the other missions. It appears there are no survivors, and so the secondary teams are all in the process of picking up where the first teams left off. As for your team specifically, we have no idea. From what we are gathering in each of the other systems, the bodies are mostly accounted for, suicides in the majority. The only exception is Vega. No bodies. One soul back from the dead. And one alien structure. We’ve already relayed this back to Earth. Can you imagine, this is the first sign of alien intelligence we’ve yet to discover? You’ve slept for centuries and managed to keep it quiet.’

Walcot twitches, a full-body jerk. Rigel takes a step back, Lin goes to help the man. He manages to right himself, hands gripping the bed hard. Visible sweat rivulets sweep across his skin.

‘It can’t be good if we never told you about it.’

‘That’s what I’m afraid of.’

The Ascendancy of the Troll Generation

This is a tale of the trolls and the triggered. The ghostly hint of a troll pervades everything we see and hear. Is it real, is it fake? No wonder trigger warnings and safe spaces are commonplace. They are preemptive strikes against the nature of trolling. People can avoid anything that might trigger them and anyone that might be a troll: Insta-blocks on social media, websites close down comments or require Facebook linking, and echo-chamber algorithms. But trolling has gone mainstream.

For one, Donald Trump may be the first troll President. I personally think it is far more likely that he really did want to become President, despite the rumour that he did it on a lark and suddenly found himself there. That’s a happy fabrication for people who still need to laugh at Trump. After-the-fact truth telling. He didn’t become President to troll; he became President by trolling. You can’t tell me these aren’t trolls, attempts for the lulz:

The sign of a true troll is when people take you on face value and work themselves into a froth over it. It’s a form of cognitive dissonance, where a new reality strikes against what a person holds in their head. Naturally, this can cause people to react, either with anger, confusion or some other fever. Trump has done this his whole life, and went into overdrive for the election.

But it isn’t just Trump. Trolling is a well-acknowledged activity online, and its tendrils seek out ever more mainstream targets. Of course given the state of modern media, they take it hook, line and sinker.

Taking the Cult of Kek seriously is some serious troll bait.

Back in 2009 4chan trolled the Time’s Person of the Year poll.

Here’s a guy ranting and trolling a bunch of anti-Trumpers:

As Whitney Phillips says in her book This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture: “Trolls believe that nothing should be taken seriously, and therefore regard public displays of sentimentality, political conviction, and/or ideological rigidity as a call to trolling arms. In this way, lulz functions as a pushback against any and all forms of attachment.”

Trump is anti-establishment, and those that revel in his trolling are also mostly against political correctness and the hand-wringing we see in society at large. In order to break apart the political hegemony and the ideological underpinnings of modern liberalism one must troll, and troll hard. Everyone takes themselves far too seriously and so the time has come to teach them lessons, mostly with humour at their expense.

While Whitney is a typical SJW, her book does offer some insights, namely the nature of trolling and how in fact trolling is a reflection of real life behaviour. She posits that trolling activities have always been a part of life (though of course she means in terms of people always being bigoted) and so the line between online and real life blurs. Trolling involves masking our identity, but at the same time removes the masks that we wear in day to day life. This is a confusing game-within-a-game. Are we true to ourselves when we are at work, amongst friends or talking to family? Or are we only ‘real’ when we put on the mask and are able to be rid of societal norms?

This is a very real feeling for many internet natives. Anonymity allows us to break from conformity and to truly converse on an intellectual level. Perhaps, then, this is why the liberal echo chamber is so intellectually backwards: everyone knows each other, has their life’s resume under their Twitter profile, and so conformity is the only option. As Howard Rheingold says in The Virtual Community: “In some ways, the medium will, by its nature, be forever biased toward certain kinds of obfuscation. It will also be a place that people often end up revealing themselves far more intimately than they would be inclined to do without the intermediation of screens and pseudonyms.” Anonymity is good for the discourse of ideas.
Those who studied the early web, like Rheingold and Sherry Turkle, would visit obscure online realms such as MUDS and Usenet groups. From these experiences they drew psychological responses from people on the web. Trolls have been prevalent since the birth of the internet, and now we are witnessing their influence on the world.

https://twitter.com/ChateauEmissary/status/799705698246402048

If you do study these antiquated online historians, there is some you will learn, a lot you will familiar with, and plenty that is laughably wrong. For example, this paper by Licklider and Taylor: ‘Life will be happier for the on-line individual because the people with whom one interacts most strongly will be selected more by commonality of interests and goals than by accidents of proximity.’ True in some regards, but far too idealistic. The reality is that this ‘commonality of interests and goals’ has led to  ideological warfare and hyper-atomization, a side effect of which is the complete breakdown of the media and political landscapes. Some us, however, do enjoy this chaos.

A Personal Story

I am personally fascinated by online communities, and this is partly from my own web-upbringing. The first forum I ever frequented was the myg0t forums, a cesspit of flame wars and gore images. This was trial by fire in the home of the trolls. The entire modus operandi of myg0t was to troll, whether that was team killing Counter-strike players, IRC spam, or fooling idiots into baking cakes. This was the place where I flamed other members, posted ‘rage’ videos and collages (either recording angry people in-game or posting a multitude of screenshots of their rage), and watched the founder of myg0t snort OxyContin on webcam. They trolled Christian forums and gave away false hacks. From that moment I have trolled.

You can’t find myg0t anymore. The website is permanently down, but you can still reach out to former members on reddit. The thing is, myg0t is only one of the troll groups from the early days. The troll mentality was strong at 4chan and elsewhere, though many communities have been completely subverted by SJWs, Something Awful being a prominent one. When a community begins to change and its older members feel like the spirit is being extinguished, there are two options. The first, like in America, is to shutdown dangerous change with a firm hand. The second, which happens online, is simply to create a splinter group. The path of least resistance.

There were two big gaming forums in Australia, both tied to magazines: PC Powerplay and Hyper. Both saw totalitarian administration that shut down dialogue and both underwent many changes, including attempts to artificially boost the community. Both forums splintered.

PCPP split into one forum that was little better in terms of the ‘clean’ image, only allowing slightly more free speech. This free speech meant that a core of members were able to voice their discontent before splintering again. A very similar process occurred at Hyper. That said, both these Stage 2 forums are very different from one another. The former is a postmodern island that has locked out all newcomers. You cannot even browse the forums as a Guest. They will die off from heat-death, a lack of invigorating energy. The latter forum is far more open, without any rules. It has high energy and a large output of ideas and discourse. Between the two there is a lot of psychology at work, and a lot to learn when it comes to how communities form.

What’s the point of this story? To show how real life can be reflected online, how the digital trajectories are still shaped by very real people even though they hide behind a veneer of anonymity. Trolling has been a big part of this story. One of the main reasons for these splinter forums is that people felt triggered by uncouth behaviour and wanted to feel safe. All this did was create a vacuum and a lack of energy, which inevitably leads to decay from within. Human beings need conflict in order to function.

On a bigger scale this is a call for nationalism. The USA was heading towards atomization, and now, through the art of the troll, it is potentially going to be unified. Trump can’t just create a splinter country (sorry Calexit hopefuls). Nationalism pits country against country, and this is the competition we need in order to accelerate. The homogenisation that comes with globalisation is the heat-death humanity will suffer. Until we discover an alien civilization to compete against, we need sovereign nations to compete against each other. This is what we have to learn from the trolls.

So don’t conform, tell the truth. Sometimes trolling is indistinguishable from truth-telling. Other times it is just another way of getting people to come to the truth. Don’t let society’s fear of feeding the trolls stop the truth from coming out. There is far more at stake than hurt feelings and the need to fit in.

 

 

Every Planet We Reach is Dead #2

The airlock of Junko is bright, fluorescent light painting everyone in unnatural shades. Joan watches as Lin Pei steps onto her suit printer before the others and freeze stiff. The woman’s lungs are still pumping back to life, her joints ache, the cold slowly seeping out. And now she’s getting wrapped up again.

The printer coil surrounds her, starting from her boots. Warm synthetic material covers her from bottom to top. She doesn’t flinch. It’s like body paint, a vitality giving inner layer for their spacesuits. She is finished first and steps back to receive the exosuit. Junko is soft in her touch, clamping, slotting and clipping the suit around Lin’s limbs and torso. It’s over in thirty seconds. Lin reaches into the collar and retrieves the earpiece.

‘And you’re live, Lin.’

Joan’s voice reach Lin, then the others as they each suit up, reading all the vitals the nanotech of the inner layer is feeding her, checking them off like a good pilot. Cams, audio, heartbeats – they’re all available to her instantaneously, thrown up by Junk.

We ready to do this?

Rigel turns to prep the boarding team: Lina and the twins, Hotham and Jay.

Alright crew, we have arrived. It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve gone over our training procedures. We’re entering an atmosphere-less hulk so we take it easy until we can boot her.

Joan’s mind wanders. She flicks cameras to the Major, who has retreated to her station. Joan brings the screen closer. More machine than person, the Major is connected to her personal hub at the other end of the ship, lost in her own objectives. Behind her the massive 3D printer is constructing something. Joan has already tried to dig into the Major’s past and reasons for being here, but it’s virtual block after digital deadzone. She’s untouchable.

The next camera goes to Unaipon, the scholar, also busy doing whatever it is he does. He seems to flit from one stations to the next, never happy with whatever he is working on for longer than a few minutes. Or he’s working on each simultaneously.
It feels like yesterday since she saw these people last. Of course in reality it has been about 250 years. Joan grips her holds, white knuckles. The abyss of the time period baulks her at the best of times. A voice yells in her ear.

Joan.

She switches back to the airlock.

‘Yes captain?’

I need you awake, pilot, I know you’re good but you’re not do-it-in-your-sleep good.

Someone laughs.

‘Even if I were out cold, I’d still do a better job than you, sir.’

She sees him look directly at the cam and give a smile.

Right, are we ready to do this? Hotham, Jay, take point. I’ll follow and Lin, you’re last. Joan, hit it when you’re ready.

The boarding party gets into formation, sleek suits ready for their first run, bulky equipment in strength-enhanced arms. Joan hits the release.

***

Lin watches her compatriots disappear into the yawning dark ahead of her, the separation of life and death. She steps in behind them automatically, not wanting to but it’s why she’s here. To go where almost no one has been before. Or at least to discover why those that did go before went quiet.

Her headlamps come on automatically as she crosses into the lifeless hulk. The light captures her crewmates before she turns to look around. The space seems like the evil twin of Junko, a leviathan with the life crushed out of it. They all cross into what had been the living area.

The whole ship is similar, but smaller. The tech is older, less sophisticated. They can only dock because all ships have been made retroactive. Quite the foresight, Lin thinks. Then she thinks what inventions and foresights have been made in the intervening years. She veers slightly, head going light. She shakes it off quickly, forcing a release of hormones to focus. Rigel’s voice suddenly comes over the comms, crisp.

Looks like everything is mostly intact. Joan, are you receiving vid? Good. Anything loose will have gone to suck, but I don’t think the control panels are damaged. Hotham, can you get her started?

Lin takes it all on board and keeps wandering through the ship. It’s like being under water, like being in training all those years ago. Seawood-esque wires wave at her as she moves slowly through, her grav boots operating in time with her movements.

OK Jay, close down the hatch. Joan, we’ve done a sweep and there doesn’t appear to be any hull breaches. We’re closing the doors and going to boot her.

Lin snaps out of her dreaming. Looks around. She’s in the cryo-chamber.

***

In a pit of snakes, squirming and wriggling, Walcot drags himself up. The snakes fall away, their bodies leaving his in relief. Not tied back by gravity, he shoots towards the sky. A horrific face appears, all teeth and pale skin, and Walcot feels a sudden terror in his stomach he hasn’t felt in a very long time. The thing opens its mouth and…

Gas jets into his face. He tries to scream but a tube is shoved down his throat. He gags, hands floundering to get a grip on the tube. He pulls it out, vomiting up whatever liquid lingered is his esophagus. The gas is still jetting into his face. He tries to push past it but is met by glass. Something wells up inside him.

Walcot screams. He screams and it feels like he is forcing his insides out his mouth. He feels his mind leave him, leaving only a screaming husk. But only for a moment.

The glass disappears as if magically dispersed. Something lets his feet go. Walcot falls face first, still screaming. But he doesn’t hit anything. Instead he just floats out. He stops, shocked. Then he tries to breath again.

A rancid and metallic taste assaults him, but no air.

ohfucktheresnoatmosphereFUCK

He squeezes his eyes shut, convulses, and wishes he was back in the pit of snakes.

***

Lin stares at the man writhing in front of her. He’s suspended in midair, his body wriggling in a ball. Her fingers twitch at her side. She almost takes a step back. Instead she rushes at the man as fast as her grav boots allow, oxygenator in hand. She screams into her vox.

GET IN HERE, TO ME!

Lin’s body takes over from her mind, like she’s left herself. Reaching for the man, she tries to pull his limbs apart so she can wrestle the oxygenator on to his face. The power might be back on but the air is going to take a little while, if there even is air left. Lights flicker like a nightmare. Forcing her suited arm between the man’s limbs, Lin finally manages to get the rebreather over his mouth. She switches her vox to external, hoping there’s enough reclaimed atmosphere by now to carry her voice.

‘BREATHE.’

Part 3

Now Is the Time

I need to get a lot off my chest. I might be Australian, but the US election affects us, and Australian interest has been high. The thing is though, I work in a white female dominated industry, one that is also historically ‘progressive’ in its views. My family is progressive; my friends are progressive. No one I know even understands what alt-right or Neoreaction means. Heck, they still think conservatives and progressives are fundamentally different. So the day of the US election 2016 felt a literal surreal.

I’ve had money on Trump winning since Brexit. Once he won the primary and the Brexit vote came in, my confidence in a Trump victory went up to about 80%. That’s good enough for a bet. Everything I saw since then gave more and more support to this theory. And now that it actually fucking happened, that proves my stance retrospectively. It proves the liberal establishment is so far its own arse, it can see daylight again, and mistakes it for salvation. It proves that politcal correctness is despised, especially poignant given the furor around Jordan Peterson. It proves we prefer a real person over a fake politician (sorry, oxymoron, just politician). It also proves that the time is ripe for a true reactionary movement.

Of course, how this would come about is difficult to determine. Do we actually try and push for the removal of democracy, replacing it with a cryptomonarchy, possibly King Trump given the line of succession is clear? Do we just try and make small changes from within now that the Republicans hold all the power? This will probably involve a big push with the Sailer Strategy. What about in Australia, where do we go now? Who will be our King? There’s a lot to discuss.

I’m not completely positive. Yes, it looks like Russian and Asian tensions may have been eased already, at least from the early congratulations their leaders have expressed. But overall I think it is much more likely that Trump will just be an average President and not much will get done. Of course, anything positive he does do will make him an excellent President, in the same way that the hope around Obama’s election resulted in…well, the Obama Presidency. The more likely event is that some bad stuff happens, and Trump gets the blame. He might only be a one-termer (but let’s not forget that he hasn’t been stumped yet). Now the American Republicans actually have a mandate, they better fucking do something with it. I do think there is a high chance the conservatives will squander it, unless Trump (very possible) acts like a King and just gets shit done. His 100 day plan is clear and succinct, perhaps a little ambitious. But he needs strong help. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk must be brought in. Scott Adams wouldn’t hurt to have around either.

But enough about what should or could happen, I want to talk about the progressive response.

What a Time to Be Alive

I started the day in Australia waking up to the usual tirade of establishment media basically handing Clinton the presidency. It was a done deal. Over before it had begun. I have to admit, I felt a weight in my stomach.

Months ago I had actually made a $150 bet with a woman in my office that Trump would win. The day started with everyone laughing at me, asking if I was worried. I stayed silent, shrugged. ‘We’ll see,’ I said.

Then the counting started.

We had a business lunch with two American clients (female). There was about 5 staff members including me (the rest all female). The Americans were busily checking updates (they come from New York/Maine) and receiving text messages from their friends and family (one of the women received a text from her son: ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?’). Of course conversation turned to politics. And it was not pleasant.

First, as the only white male at the table, the amount of times the ongoing result was blamed on ‘white males’ was quite shocking. Imagine blaming crime on black people with a black person at the dinner table. My God. Maybe they just gave me a pass because I’m young, so surely I’m progressive. And that was another theme, the fact that we were now, at that very moment, regressing (hate to break it to you but…). ‘All this progress we have made will disappear.’ What fucking progress? More racial division under Obama? A flimsily lowered unemployment rate? Growing inequality? What FUCKING progress? All these comments flying across the table, and all I could do was nod as a very strange feeling of euphoria grew in my stomach as the result cemented itself in the history books.

The second unpleasant topic was dichotomically, of course, women. I mean that these women around me all but admitted that the only reason to vote for Hillary was because she had a vagina. And rather than admit to their own bias, they used this ‘fact’ to put the blame on misogyny. To my face patriarchy and ingrained misogyny were given as the only reasons people (sorry, white males, not people) voted for Trump. When people talk about projecting, this is what they mean. Here you have liberal white females who appear to only be voting for Hillary because she would be the first female President (and they’ve seen her face before) putting all the ‘blame’ of Trump’s victory on misogyny. Sweet mother of God, I could not believe I was witnessing this.

And the day after the victory the tirade continues. Most shocking of all, as I Left for work this morning, I passed a school child, a white male aged around 10 or so. I heard the words ‘uneducated white male’. In that moment I knew that this level of depraved thinking is deeply embedded in the education system. People have been shamed into hating themselves. Progressiveness runs deep.

Now, remember that woman at work I made a bet with? So I walk into the weekly sales meeting, grinning as I walk up to her. No jovial remarks like yesterday. No gentle prodding. She was enraged. She called me an ‘evil man’. See, apparently she managed to conflate my bet with support (I wouldn’t say I support Trump because of his policies, but preference is support). Apparently I’d said some remarks while making the bet as we had been a little tipsy. She said, verbatim, ‘You called her “A something something something woman.”‘ Now, I don’t recall saying anything in particular (and clearly she couldn’t bring specifics to her argument either) but criticizing Hillary is clearly blasphemy. She threatened – literally threatened – to expose my blasphemy to the room. I was shaken, shocked at her vitriol. Thankfully I managed to deny it and was backed up by some other women who were present. Wearing a mask can be hard.

And that’s just it, the responses have been superb. Students rioting, crying on social media, celebrities flipping out. I walked into the office and everyone was discussing it, saying how they just couldn’t believe it and no one had seen it coming. I raised my hand and demurred. ‘Some people did.’ I have never seen such mass delusion and willful ignorance combined with, somehow, a sense of smugness.

Another Brick in the Road

Neoreaction is a journey for me. I am getting there. Slowly my eyes are opening. The absolute, complete disdain these people have against Trump supporters can not be classified as anything other than insane, or perhaps delusional. Delusions of grandeur. Delusions of self-righteousness. It was all there for me to see. It was there for the world to see as the pollsters and media shills suddenly had all their projections reversed when faced with reality. I am currently reading all of Moldbug, and this is exactly what he talks about. It is absolutely mesmerising to read something from 2008 while the ‘projections’ roll-out before my very eyes. It is, quite simply, like witnessing a miracle. And that’s not even considering the will of Kek.

What needs to happen now is a serious movement. In the UK, the US and Australia (and where all free thinking people reside). Embrace the swell and ride the wave to the shore of glory. If you live in Sydney and are reactionary in thought, I would love to meet and discuss where we can go from here.

I’m sure there will be much more dissection of the results to come. All I can say to any progressives reading this: too late, mother fuckers.

Team Rocket

Or Team Reaction?

JESSIE
Prepare for trouble!

JAMES
Make it double!

JESSIE
To protect the world from devastation!

JAMES
To unite all peoples within our nation!

JESSIE
To denounce the evils of truth and love!

JAMES
To extend our reach to the stars above!

JESSIE
Jessie!

JAMES
James!

JESSIE
Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!

JAMES
Surrender now, or prepare to fight!

My kind of villains.

You Know It When You See It

Or perhaps more pertinently, feel it.

I’ve described myself as a neoreactionary without fully appreciating what neoreaction precisely is. But as I continue to read about Reaction (see The Shipwrecked Mind) it makes more and more sense. And it becomes obvious that this where my own mind is at.

Of course we have Nick Land as a figurehead, with his always interesting posts, to help point the way. There are plenty of great introductions out there. But the movement is clearly gaining mainstream prominence, with Tyler Cowen commenting on it recently. The world is getting progressively weirder, and the Cathedral have begun to notice in the year of our Lord, 2016.

For me personally the following summations have really struck home that, yes, I am a neoreactionary:
Ross Douthat:

But while reactionary thought is prone to real wickedness, it also contains real insights. (As, for the record, does Slavoj Zizek — I think.) Reactionary assumptions about human nature — the intractability of tribe and culture, the fragility of order, the evils that come in with capital-P Progress, the inevitable return of hierarchy, the ease of intellectual and aesthetic decline, the poverty of modern substitutes for family and patria and religion — are not always vindicated. But sometimes? Yes, sometimes. Often? Maybe even often.

Bloody Shovel:

Why are we reactionaries? Because modernity sucks. In what way? Well, let’s count the ways:

1. Women are unpleasant, men are unmanly

2. Foreigners everywhere

3. Dysgenics

4. Corruption

5. Aesthetic taste has collapsed

But if Reactionary thought is tied to the past, that we’ve all made a great mistake, how does that connect with futurism? Simply because it must. You cannot ignore scientific and technological progress, and you must bend it to what is traditionally human. We are all no more than interacting parts, ones and zeroes. Everything is reducible to this, but we can build on what we have to begin with.

Of the various branches that neoreaction contains, I am not of the religious persuasion, only partially of nationalistic thinking and uncomfortable with embracing the capitalist argument.

Essentially, we need revised versions of democracy and capitalism, not the degenerate forms they’ve undertaken in the name of plutocracy.

It seems to me, and many of us, that the plutocrats aren’t fighting to expand human wealth. They are fighting to become an endogamic caste lording over the mongrel masses.

In this sense Left-inclined people actually align with neoreactionary thought. You can be anti-globalist for other reasons than being ‘racist’ and ‘anti-immigrant’. Globalism is pushed by the elites – with the facade of tolerance – in order to gain ever more wealth and power. We all want to live.

If anything, neoreaction is the habit of being wary. And you can’t fault that.

Why Go Vegan?

It’s been joyous to finally find some in the rational community who take veganism seriously. Yes, Scott from SSC has talked about it in the past and makes the case for ‘meat-eating vegetarians’ but I find his arguments ridiculously weak, not helped by the fact that he clearly never really tried very hard.

I tried being a vegetarian for several years and it was horrible and I ended up subsisting almost entirely on bread and Quorn and I don’t want to go back there.

 

One reason I’m not a vegetarian is that I really really hate vegetables.

A pretty tepid point of view, but not as ambivalent as people who just don’t care about animal suffering and death. It seems that rationalists a) have pet charities and causes and b) think that giving money is more important than actions. There is really no argument against being vegan AND giving to charity. Well, OK, there is if you are allergic to nuts and beans or something, but then you’re technically just a waste of resources anyway so let’s just be rid of you altogether.

So it’s not that the argument against veganism is very strong, it’s that people’s preferences are more important than those of animals. This ranges from the above preference of other altruistic pursuits and a lack of convenience, to animal ethicists who advocate for better conditions, but still eat meat because they’ve made it acceptable in their heads. Yes I am talking about this very special person. As I’ve said before, people from all sides of politics want to revert to a ‘simpler time’. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world set for veganism, a technological future that can support humanity’s needs without killing animals directly for food. To deny this is the height of both hubris and naivety.

That is why I think veganism ties in very well with the current political movements of the right, as well as that of accelerationism. Progressives often make lip-service to vegetarianism – which is a weak middle-ground anyway – and base their choice on emotion. The strongest argument for veganism is not emotion and hand-wringing; the strongest argument is that because we can do a good deed, we must. We must move forward, we must embrace our future, because only by doing that can we possibly better ourselves. Carnism (the opposite of veganism) is also an invisible system, one based on consumerism and perpetuated by governments and corporations the world over. Veganism is also tied to secularism, as religion places man above animals, and indeed ‘holocaust’ originally referred to mass animal sacrifice. This has been a religious practice from the start, and like our animal ethicist above, if you place ceremony and regulation on top of something inherently wrong, it makes a-OK. Cognitive dissonance is alive and well. No joke, I have seen Tweets by farmers where they take a photo of an animal about to be slaughtered and literally give thanks for their life, as if this is somehow meant to absolve their sins.

Veganism is simply a no-brainer, but that does not mean I don’t question it. I am still reading a number of texts and thoughts that try to breakdown where a logical human should stand, and a lot of that involves how we view subjective suffering.

EDIT: I said veganism is secular, but it seems it’s also in the Bible. Genesis 1:29 ‘Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’ Guess mankind really did screw up.