A reader passes on a couple of pieces about the Dark Enlightenment Racialists

A reader passes on a couple of pieces about the Dark Enlightenment Racialists June 3, 2014

Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream Of A Silicon Reich

…and a little follow up by the same guy:

Give Dictatorship A Chance?

She writes:

I think your past concerned postings about this lunatic group are vindicated even though most readers (myself included) dismiss them as educated lunatics. However, they do seem to have some influence on billionaires in Silicon Valley, like Peter Thiel. I wonder how one should call out this disgusting philosophy without giving them what they want: more press and publicity.

Echoing your concerns about whether we should take the DE crowd seriously, Klint Finley wrote:

“I was familiar with Peter Thiel’s donations to both Ron and Rand Paul, as well as his aversion to democracy. Once I noticed that Patri Friedman had cited Moldbug and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, I started to worry.

Ultimately, though I think the link between Moldbug’s ideas and Tea Party politicians like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, via Thiel, is still a bit tenuous. And this isn’t turning out to be a mass movement. As I recall, Justine Tunney’s whitehouse.gov petition attracted only two signatures. Tom Perkins is pushing somewhat Moldbuggian ideas, but I doubt anyone is going to take him seriously.

But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that reaction is just a curio. I see it more like a canary in the coal mine….So while I don’t think many will ultimately go “full Moldbug,” we’re already seeing a growing number of tech industry types who are adopting this caveman cult mentality, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.”

I think the canary image is about right. The influence of these people is still small and boutique.  But it says something about where post-Christian “scientific racialist conservatism” is headed that such creeps have more and more a place at the table.  And if they get tech money behind them, who knows what mischief they might work.  It’s useful be aware of them, since they seem to have some attraction for the young, bright, clever, and evil in the College Republican set.  But I also think we shouldn’t spend too much energy on them.  The conservative anti-charism of discernment being what it is, we should not discount the possibility that the Thing That Used to be Conservative will with unerring folly gravitate toward lionizing this dangerous filth.  But we should also hope in the grace of God and, as you note, not give these guys a jot more publicity than is necessary.

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  • kirthigdon

    This seems to be throwing in a lot of people together with nothing more in common than their distaste for democracy. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, for example is a somewhat anarchist leaning monarchist, not in any way a racialist advocate and still less an advocate of a techie dictatorship. He’s pretty comparable to Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn as well as to many Catholic monarchists of the past two centuries. And whatever faults the DE people may have, a techie dictatorship is something most of them vehemently oppose. I’m an anti-democratic reactionary myself and enjoy belonging to the undemocratic and reactionary Catholic Church, which keeps producing high quality leaders whom I can admire and follow even though I had no voice whatsoever in their selection.

    Kirt Higdon

    • Guest

      The DE types may (arguably) oppose a techie dictatorship, but techie billionaire dictator-wanna-be’s rely on any useful idiot they can find to spread a pro-dictatorship philosophy to the more gullible types.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Do they really have a spot at the table? Or are they just good at making a lot of noise? I honestly don’t know, because I tend to ignore people like this.

    • Alexander S Anderson

      I think they want the whole table or nothing, because they would have no idea what to do with just a spot.

  • I was familiar with Peter Thiel’s donations to both Ron and Rand Paul, as well as his aversion to democracy.

    Can someone explain to me the logic between the first and second clauses of that sentence? When I think of people friendly to dictatorial ideas, the Pauls are not the first names to pop into my head.

    • HornOrSilk

      I think the reason is the support of the ultra-rich which comes out of the Pauls almost anarchial economic system, the kind which will allow those with wealth to slowly become the dictators they want to be.

  • Chase

    I don’t agree with the writers that somehow opposition to or even serious criticism of democracy, universal suffrage, and egalitarianism is automatically equal to racialist preference for dictatorship, as if these things were sacred.

    Granted, I believe that in the current climate of the world, these things need to be supported, because moving away from the would mean *dis*enfranchizing certain people, but at the same time if I lived a hundred or so years ago, I’d have probably been a monarchist. It’s not like the movements towards democracy have been an unmitigated good, and in many cases have actually resulted in disaster.

    • HornOrSilk

      The problem isn’t criticism of Democracy, but the ideology behind the criticism, and the ideology they are promoting. There is much in common in the Dark Enlightenment mentality with the Falange and what developed out of it. Lots of Catholic “monarchist” types follow the “dark path,” ignoring Catholic Social Doctrine and include a lot of militant nationalism, racism, and the like. You can find a lot of this also in South American SSPX types (having talked to someone who once went to their seminary before leaving the SSPX, you can see it is a not-so-hidden ideology which comes out of this “resistance to anything modern” — they assume all that is modern is bad, reject it all, and so add a lot of evil to their ideas).

  • Fr. Denis Lemieux

    Wasn’t Moldbug one of the captains of the Uruk-Hai?

  • I wonder how one should call out this disgusting philosophy without giving them what they want: more press and publicity.

    Well, one can begin by emphasizing the areas of the Gospel that particularly overcome its errors, without necessarily noting which errors you are targeting. The benefits are multiple: first, if/when someone does encounter these errors explicitly, they’ll have a good foundation for recognizing them as wrong and evil; and second, the positive preaching of the Gospel will encourage people in all sorts of good directions that we can’t begin to anticipate.

    In this case, emphasize the Gospel insistence on the radical equality of every person, and our common responsibility for the common good. Pope Francis is giving an exuberance of examples of how this can be done. Likewise, saints throughout history provide other examples, ranging from St. Martin of Tours to Bl. Theresa of Calcutta.

  • Mike the Geek

    So who are these guys? I’ve never heard of them outside of your blog, and I’ve been associated w/ academia and College Republicans for 45 years.

  • kirthigdon

    Good question! I’ve never met anyone in real life who calls himself Dark Enlightenment and there are very few even on the internet. To make this seem like a terrible menace, the trick employed is to name all sorts of other people from the Falange (Spanish or Lebanese, does it matter?) to unnamed Catholic monarchists to the Pauls to South American SSPXers, etc. and claim they all have a common ideology. This is based on the fact that they hold some ideas in common which is true of everybody in the world. It’s the Kevin Bacon method of guilt by association. Remember Six Degrees of Separation?

    Kirt Higdon