My employer lurches, slowly but surely, to a Left Singularity. The forces of “progress” are on the march; the latest low was when an associate of Kelly Ellis bragged to Googlers that upon hearing her story he told her “this is Rape Culture.” I said earlier that in a just world, using the term “microaggression” would lead to loss of employment. In a just world, use of the phrase “Rape Culture” would get you convicted of disturbing the peace; a reasonable punishment would be an afternoon in the stocks.
But we do not live in a just world.
Moldbug solved the crime; he moved his pawn to the Library and read books scanned by Google; then he opened the envelope: “See, it was the Progressives in academia using the media and the civil service”. But even Moldy had little to offer in the way of cures or prophylactics. His neo-cameralism relied on cryptographic weapons; as later reactionaries retorted, you don’t win by inventing magical limitations on weapons, you win by persuading soldiers to fight for you.
Also: if neocameralism is a panacea, what of cameralism? Prussia, the ideal cameralist state, should have been a bulwark against nationalism and demotism. It was not.
The Dark Enlightenment, myself included, loves nothing more than bon mots demonstrating the hypocricy, insanity, and self-induced stupidity of Universalism. (A quip I heard just the other day, from Sailer: “A culture that doesn’t believe in God but does insist that He created all persons equally is increasingly going to have to discourage snickering with the lash.”) But we might do well to consider how easily progressivism gets what it wants, how smoothly it moves from triumph to triumph.
How perfectly adapted it is.
We expect Western liberal democracy to collapse. It spends money that it does not have while mismanaging the source of its income. But after the collapse, what then? Progressive persons and the Universalist religion are not going to disappear just because the America of 2025 cannot service its debts.
It was fun to daydream about the fellow who embraced the term “Rape Culture” getting his comeuppance. I’d go to Sprouts. I’d buy a lot of tomatoes. In real life, that person faces no negative consequences. He’s free to push the Overton Window a little further left while staking a claim to holiness. “Rape culture” might even become part of the official human resources lexicon. If not, no worries. Heads he wins, tails he gets to flip the coin sometime in the future.
Meanwhile I’m free to have an anonymous blog accessed through a VPN.
I wrote a draft on this blog titled “An Open Letter to Larry Page.” It detailed the insiduous, virus-like spread of Universalism, the likely catastrophic consequences for Google, and what Page could do about it. It was filled with practical tips on how Page could stop Social Justice from dissolving Google’s vital tissues into goo, while maintaining a fig leaf of progressive respectability.
The post is still in the draft folder. Everything about my immodest proposal was fine except for … its correspondence with reality. It’s not that the company’s executives are insensate to the danger of runaway progressivism, even if “Left Singularity” is not in their lexicon. (Sergey was banging a girl who worked in his organization. He’s not stupid.)
But … progressivism is the moral and philosophical framework that surrounded Larry, Sergey, etc for their adult lives. They cannot detach themselves from that framework on the spur of the moment.
It’s likely that while Page and company make halfhearted efforts to keep Google on a path of sanity rather than witch-hunts and recriminations, they feel guilty about it. If only they could be good progressives!
So what is to be done? Say the Devolution happened and it’s 2026. Can we legislate that “Microaggression” and “Rape Culture” are verboten? That’s a non-starter. It would beseech progressives to use all their creativity and conspiratorial bent to reimplement the same ideas with different words.
Here is Jim’s solution to the problem:
The most successful recovery from a left singularity was the restoration, which created a counter theocracy, restoration Anglicanism, which lasted from 1660 to 1828. The Anglican religion theoretically endorsed the divine right of the King. Since, however, by long established precedent the King could not actually behave like an absolute monarch without losing his head, the practical effect of this was to discourage private citizens from political power, from intruding on the royal prerogative. So, the main function of the King’s supposedly absolute power was to prevent anyone from exercising it, and similarly, the main function of the official religion was to prevent competing religions from seeking and obtaining power.
Every Englishman who wanted to attend a prestigious university, or get elected to parliament, or get a prestigious government job, had to declare allegiance to the thirty nine articles, and the second book of homilies, just as today he has to write essays proving how progressive he is.
I agree that this worked well for England in the 18th century. Is it a successful template for our time and place? Restoration Anglicanism was based on Christianity (the default belief system of the time) and the national, independent church (the default Christian institution of northern Europe).
A 21st century counter theocracy would be based on … what exactly? Christianity? Our elite is hostile to Christianity. Do the masses even believe in it? Or is old-time religion one of the few remaining ways for proles to signal opposition to progressive theocracy?
Puritanism, the original super-Protestantism, operated within a framework of piety and devout belief. One could discard holiness competition, but keep holiness.
Universalism operates within a framework of nothing. The holiness competition is the religion.
Restoration Anglicanism was like genetically engineering a harmful bacteria to make it a benign organism.
But progressivism is not a bacteria. It’s a virus. There’s nothing left to genetically engineer. Change the genes, you just get a different virus.
If this sounds despondent, I do not intend it to be. Ten years ago there was no neo-reaction. There was no us. There were libertarians and disaffected liberals and conservatives convinced that this time, they would kick the football before Lucy could pull it away. We have achieved the most difficult task: being aware in the water in which we swim.
So there is hope. But: A lot of neoreactionaries say “what is left for NRX to do, I read everything by Moldbug, the commenters on popular blogs are idiots, we’re in a rut.”
There is much left to do.