in the dark about the dark enlightenment

so, there were a couple of hit pieces on the dark enlightenment — and human biodiversity — in the telegraph this week:

“Meet The Dark Enlightenment: sophisticated neo-fascism that’s spreading fast on the net”

“It started, suitably enough, with two blogs. Mencius Moldbug, a prolific blogger and computer whizz from San Francisco, and Nick Land, an eccentric British philosopher (previously co-founder of Warwick University’s Cybernetic Culture Research Unit) who in 2012 wrote the eponymous ‘The Dark Enlightenment’, as a series of posts on his site. You can find them all here.

“The philosophy, difficult to pin down exactly, is a loose collection of neo-reactionary ideas, meaning a rejection of most modern thinking: democracy, liberty, and equality. Particular contempt is reserved for democracy, which Land believes ‘systematically consolidate[s] and exacerbate[es] private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption.’

The neo-fascist bit lies in the view that races aren’t equal (they obsess over IQ testing and pseudoscience that they claim proves racial differences, like the Ku Klux Klan) and that women are primarily suited for domestic servitude. They call this ‘Human biodiversity’ – a neat little euphemism….

no, they don’t — or that’s not what human biodiversity means, anyway — but never let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?

“This links directly to their desire to be rid of democracy: because if people aren’t equal, why live in a society in which everyone is treated equally? Some races are naturally better to rule than others, hence their support for various forms of aristocracy and monarchy (and not in the symbolic sense but the very real divine-right-of-kings-sense).

this particular blog post (the piece appears in the telegraph’s blog section) was written by jamie bartlett who is at the u.k. think-tank demos. (demos was founded by a guy who had been editor of “Marxism Today,” the “theoretical magazine of the Communist Part of Great Britain,” so i’m sure there are no biases at demos, right??)

on twitter, and on the telegraph, bartlett describes himself as “Director of Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos”. which is true. but on the demos website, he’s also — firstly — described as being the “Head of the Violence and Extremism Programme” and that his “primary research interests are: terrorism, extremism and social media analysis…”, so, you know — he’s obviously got a hard-on for The Bad Guys. (i don’t know at all whether he does or not, but i hope he’s keeping an eye on left-wing extremists, too!)

the other article (blog post) was by tim stanley:

“The ‘neo-fascist’ Dark Enlightenment is more sad than scary”

“Jamie reports that there is a ‘neo-fascist’ element to this because they ‘obsess over IQ testing and pseudoscience that they claim proves racial differences’. Presumably, this is because they are anti-egalitarian and would argue that nature makes us unequal, which is one more reason why democracy is a sham. The weak and idiotic ally together to form a majority and rip off the intelligent minority. Now, can anyone remember who John Galt is…?

“That these ‘neo-reactionaries’ admire monarchies is what makes they seem way-out and new….

“However, there is a distinctly unlibertarian note of crazy about the neo-reactionary interest in IQ. Aside from the bad science and the irony of being anti-statist yet sympathetic to the idea that you can measure intelligence and use it to justify social policy – it does also set off ‘white rights’ alarms bells….

“*There is no line to be walked between reason and racism.* Racism and biological determinism are unscientific and immoral, and they have no place in a sane philosophy.”

yeah, i know — even more confused than bartlett’s blog post. but, then, stanley is under the impression that lactose intolerance is a preference and not something biological:

tim stanley tweet

dr. stanley is an historian, which is great! i’m all for knowing and understanding as much as possible about history. but i think he really does need to put down the history books for a few weeks and read up on biology. might actually help him understand human history a bit more!

so, the dark enlightenment = neoreaction = monarchism = human “bad science” diversity = neo-fascism.


lemme see if i can help to clear this all up for these fellows.

last time i checked, which admittedly was over half a year ago, the dark enlightenment was a broad, umbrella term for several current schools of thought, one of them being neo-reaction, a subset of those being monarchists. what everyone in the dark enlightenment shares in common is an understanding and acceptance of human biodiversity, i.e. the diversity found among and between human populations that has a biological basis. (i pretty much stole that lovely, succint definition from caitlin s. i’ll be writing more on what, exactly, human biodiversity is in the coming weeks — apparently the world needs that — so stay tuned those of you who don’t know already!)

sharlach drew up a really great map of the dark enlightenment for the nsa all of us last april (there might be a more updated map — i dunno — i haven’t been following the discussion that closely – click on map for LARGER view):


see? there’s more to the dark enlightenment than monarchist neo-reactionaries. not that there’s anything wrong with monarchist neo-reactionaries! god luv ’em. i just happen not to be one of them. (unless, of course, i get to be queen — and get to wear outfits like queen elizabeth’s. the first one, i mean.)

the term “the dark enlightenment” is clearly a reference to the enlightenment, and i’ve always thought the meaning would be fairly obvious: the conclusions of the eighteenth century enlightenment thinkers were pretty much based upon ideas like “man is a rational creature” and “all men are created equal.” the problem is, today’s science is showing over and over again that neither of those two premises is correct — far from it (unfortunately)! humans are not rational and we don’t all have the same abilities. these revelations (from science) are disappointing, ergo the use of “dark” as our descriptor.

additionally, the enlightenment didn’t spawn just one political or social ideology, it gave rise to many. same with the dark enlightenment. you and i might agree on the facts of human biodiversity, but we might have different ideas as to how to apply that knowledge: some go for redistributing wealth more from the capable to the not-so-capable, some might suggest ways to improve education, others might just want to enhace their pick-up-artistry skillz. so, not everyone connected to the dark enlightenment are “neo-fascists” — although my guess is that the use of the word by bartlett and stanley was just meant as an insult.

when nick land first coined the term, many folks in these quarters of the internet objected for various reasons. i liked the term right away — still do! but, then, like this other chick, i’ve always been rather drawn to the dark side. (shut-up, roissy! (~_^) )

update: see also mr. mangan’s Criticism of neoreaction

previously: dark enlightenment roadmap

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