Thursday, January 4, 2018

The problem with reactionaries

Problem 1: the study of political problems is fiendishly complex.

Problem 2: people react to complexity by throwing up their hands and demanding simple solutions, (communism, monarchy, fascism).

Problem 3: simple solutions don't work. Only fiendishly complex solutions work.

Problem 4:  no one is willing to take the time to understand a complex solution with many weird interlocking parts. They object to any one solution on the grounds that it needs support from other solutions to work.

Problem 5: the only way to design a comprehensive solution with many interlocking parts is one solution at a time.

So people reject the only method of problem solving that works.


  1. I don't think so. The key point is that the Elites will always rule, however they are selected..If the Elites' interests are aligned with the rest of the population, in other words "skin in the game", that rule will be tolerable and stable. e.g. manorial feudalism. Otherwise it will be hell on earth...

  2. When you try to explain complex solutions to people, you'll lose the attention of all normies and even many intellectuals. You need to sell them a simple idea first that they can rally around. Once you've done that, you can start working on something more complicated.

    1. For example: democracy. What is democracy? Power to the people! Of course, even the most naïve democratists know there's a lot more to building a viable political system than that, but they also know your ideology needs to be reducible to slogans in order to gain mass support.

      For reactionaries, advocacy of "monarchy" might actually mean a corporate like structure with an "aristocratic" board of directors and "monarch" CEO. Add in an explicit state ideology to help contain signalling spirals and what do you call it? Throne and altar!

      The biggest problem reactionaries really face is that any political meme other than "PEOPLE POWER!!!" isn't going to go far in contemporary western society.

    2. But the success of the Republican party is evidence alternatives to majoritarianism//populism can be successful, too

    3. @grey enlightenment Since when is the Republican party not majoritarian/populist? Trump's victory was founded entirely on his populist rhetoric. Precisely his problem, besides his total lack of governing experience, is that he still has too much faith in the American system to really change it.

    4. Neoconservatism, which since the 80's has had a grip on the right, is premised on anti-populism. Trump's win is a departure from this.