Neoreaction (NRx) has been described as a trichotomy between Scientifically Aware Ethno-Nationalism, Techno-Commercialism, and Throne-and-Altar Traditionalism. While it’s true that many self-identified NRxys identify with one or the other of these branches, and NRx certainly contains elements of each, I would argue that NRx is not simply a mix of these.
NRx is the analytic rightward synthesis of the Ethno-nationalist, Techno-commercialist, and Traditionalist insight. It takes elements of each, and synthesizes them into something that actually ends up being to the right of each. Further, “analytic” means that NRx takes the sacredness structures of those components seriously, but studies and justifies them from the outside, rather than buying into them from the inside.
Each component has some major “red-pill” insight that deviates strongly from the mainstream consensus, and throws them far to the right of the Overton window. Let’s have a look and see what NRx says about each.
Ethno-Nationalists (Ethnats) know that humans evolved, and that evolution applies above the neck, so that different people are different; by natural selection, populations of people are smarter or dimmer, more aggressive or more docile, more or less clannish, more or less altruistic, more or less conscientious, as well as a million dimensions of compatibility with cultural structures. The core insight is that approximately all behaviours are heritable, and different races and possibly even subspecies of humans are meaningful abstractions.
On top of this, Ethnats often add a level of sacredness and in-group feeling with their own people, and ascribe an almost metaphysical importance to race and culture, and thus a strong opposition to the integrative multiculturalism that would erase that identity (as opposed to separative multiculturalism, which they like).
Ethnats don’t have a strong theory on other aspects of politics, and thus often default to the mainstream socialist and liberal -leaning tendencies in those areas. They also can sometimes value Identity so highly that they will advocate extremely disruptive measures like mass-deportation. See for example the political program of the Northwestern Front.
So we have the insight and the sacredness of ethnats; HBD, and Identity, and their blind spots; Economics and Social Structure. Neoreaction incorporates the HBD insights, analyzes Identity as an important social technology with strong effects on the quality of a polity, but realizes that uniform racial membership (or whatever) is neither necessary nor sufficient for a working polity, and pulls its economic and social policy from elsewhere. Many neoreactionaries, myself included, do feel a strong ethnic and cultural identity, but in our capacity as neoreactionaries as such, we put that aside in favour of the outside analytic view.
Techno-Commercialists (Techcoms) know that wealth is created and administration best delivered by unhindered capitalism, competition, culling of inefficiencies, value-free rational-scientific engineering, free exit, and free association within a relatively simple and unintrusive system of law, probably administrated itself by a profitable sovereign corporation. This has a tendency to leave obsolete people out in the cold, create massive social inequalities, and divide people by race and gender, so the mainstream really doesn’t like the fully unhinged version.
Techcoms often go beyond the mere instrumental value of these things and feel that the creation of science and technology, intelligence growth, competition, and an eventual technological singularity are valuable in their own right, not just instrumentally for the creation of wealth.
Pure Techcom, and especially its little brother Anarcho-Capitalism, can tend to lack an analysis of the importance of human biology, social identity, sacred social structures, and social norms and rules. Thus ancaps often end up defaulting to equalism and liberalism, as can be seen with modern open-borders-and-orgies libertarianism, and techcoms desiring a slightly more sophisticated, but still arguably nasty, nihilistic cyberpunk free-exit neocameralism.
Neoreaction incorporates the Neocameralist/Capitalist insight, and some of us even place intrinsic value on intelligence, knowledge, and technology, but again, NRx as such is interested in the instrumental value of techcom, and patches the biocultural and social gaps with insights from elsewhere, so that core NRx goes beyond just techcom.
Lastly, the Traditionalist Reactionaries know that modern social structures like democracy and equalist liberalism are broken and soulless, and often ineffective at organizing a society when compared with their traditional alternatives like Patriarchy, Monarchy, and Christianity. Depending on your theology, traditional social technology is either literally the product of divine revelation, or the product of a long process of cultural refinement and evolution that should not be second guessed so quickly as we have done. (Those alternatives are identical, from my own perspective).
Traditionalism as such is often all about the sacredness of traditional social technology; the value of kneeling before your God and king, the glory of serving him, the spiritual importance of living out a virtuous life in a rooted, patriarchal, religious community. That said, some trads approach it in a much more rationalistic manner.
Unfortunately, traditional social technologies have been disrupted by the massive social effects of our recent material wealth, and have not yet had a chance to adapt to the realities of capitalism or the post-malthusian selection environment. Traditionalists are often naive about economics, and sometimes neglectful of the importance of biology and identity. Further, by taking their sacredness structures so seriously, trads have a hard time reevaluating and redesigning them as necessary.
Neoreaction takes traditional social structures apart to see how they work, and digs through the dustbin of history to find forgotten good ideas, often explicitly analyzing the importance of sacredness while choosing and designing based on historical and theoretical effectiveness rather than convincingness within the mythology. NRx thus comes to similar conclusions as trad reaction while working within a completely different framework. It then further alloys those conclusions with techno-commercialist and HBD insight. Many of us have our sacredness structures around social technology, but in our capacity as neoreactionaries, it’s about the analysis, not the mythos.
If you left it at that I think you’d be 40% of the way to understanding NRx. At its core, it’s a comprehensive analysis incorporating the major insights from different branches of reactionary thought, rather than a simple mix of them. Thus it doesn’t really make sense to ask what branch of NRx one identifies with. It’s like asking a physicist whether they think quantum mechanics or general relativity is more true. The point is that the truth is a synthesis of the component theories, not a disjunction. (This is not to say that such a question is uninteresting, just that it doesn’t quite cut reality at the joints.)
The reason I say that the result is rightward of each component, is that in a simplistic view, there are multiple right-wing insights that Progressivism has tried to ignore, each branch of reactionary thought having recovered one or two, and with NRx attempting to have all of them.
The other 60% is plenty of fun as well, but less explicitly mapped.