Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The rise of the neoclassical reactionaries: The cultural right in the post-Christian age

Interesting. Will this be a real opposition project or just another neocon-coopted, incel-infested jerk-off project? Probably the latter. I actually like Thiel’s seasteading ideas. If he stuck to that I wouldn’t have much of a problem with him.

By Kit Wilson, The Spectator

A strange new ideology has been growing over the last few years, you might have noticed — amid the day-to-day chaos — the slow, proto-planet-like formation. Currently, it has no name, nor an obvious leader. Its many thousands of proponents do not even seem, yet, to consider each other fellow-travellers. But to the onlooker, they’re clearly marching the same steps to the same tune. We might call it neoclassical reactionism.

The central refrain is a familiar one: the modern world is ugly, decadent, sick. But rather than seeking refuge in religion or racial politics, neoclassical reactionaries hark back to Ancient Greece and Rome — in particular, to supposedly lost values like vitality, beauty and strength. They’re obsessed with bodybuilding and Latin. They’re also obsessed, less predictably, with cryptocurrency, considering it a long-awaited way to bypass the sclerosis of centralised economies. The whole thing is sort of Nietzsche meets Bitcoin.

Up to now, the movement has been confined largely to anonymous social media accounts (albeit some with hundreds of thousands of followers). But there are early signs of a spillover into the real world. Last month, a group called Praxis announced its ambition to create the world’s first ‘city-cryptostate’, an entirely new city, constructed ‘somewhere on the Mediterranean’, founded on the shared value of ‘vitality’ — ‘the defining value of the coming epoch’.

The group’s introductory statement reads like neoclassical reactionary bingo. Our civilisation, they write, ‘is unwell’ — we ‘eat food that kills us, we’ve lost sight of beauty, and we neglect our spiritual lives’. Modern humans now ‘live within’ their screens.

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