Slate Star Codex Responds to “Empirical Claims of Neoreaction”

Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex has responded to my recent post, “Empirical Claims of Neoreaction”:

3. The reason there was no stock market collapse during the reign of Czar Nicholas wasn’t his far-sighted economic policies, it was that Imperial Russia had no stock market to speak of. Monarchist states throughout history have generally been preindustrial states with few of the features of modern economies. That exempts them from a lot of the modern business cycle – although of course they still have to deal with famines and the sort of swings more primitive economies have to deal with. In terms of overall stability, monarchist states seem to do a bit worse.

4. If you’re just saying that our culture has certain ideas which are popular and certain ideas which aren’t popular, fair enough. But some of the things you put in there seem strange. Most people both in and out of government *disagree* with the idea that America should be a global policeman – polls show this statement constantly getting under 50%, and Congress passes on most chances to police the world (Syria being only the most recent example). Likewise, the idea that “all men are equal” is something Reactionaries constantly misinterpret, even though the intended interpretation is political science 101 – not that everyone is equally intelligent, beautiful, et cetera, but that everyone should be equal before the law – there shouldn’t be a law saying we can punish poor people for attacking rich people but cannot punish rich people for attacking poor people.

5. You are correct that having “sacred values” shuts down debate and is bad. But this is not a uniquely or even primarily progressive problem. As Moldbug’s latest post pointed out, throughout history rights have been thought of as a primarily aristocratic institution. For example, lese majesty – the idea that the king is exempt from criticism. Or blasphemy laws – the idea that the national religion should be a sacred institution immune to anyone’s objections. The only difference between traditionalist and progressive societies in that traditionalists generally use these rights to protect/shut down debate on traditionalist policies, and progressives use them to protect/shut down debate on progressive policies.

6. Sort of. But for example, I have no doubt that if the Republicans rather than Democrats had won the last two presidential elections (or even a few more seats in the Senate), we would not have Obamacare. That suggests that who wins elections has quite a bit of importance. Indeed, that principle is necessary for Reaction to make any sense. If democratic governments were controlled by powers behind the throne, and monarchist governments were controlled by powers behind the throne, there would be no difference between them and any criticism of “demotism” or “mob rule” would fall flat.

2 thoughts on “Slate Star Codex Responds to “Empirical Claims of Neoreaction”

  1. Pingback: Anissimov Responds to Scott Alexander on “Empirical Claims” | More Right

  2. Pingback: The Pro-Monarchy Movement: The Rise of the Geek Neoreactionaries | pundit from another planet

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