One alternative view of the future

I happened to come across something six months old, which has possibly enormous importance to the culture wars:


[Tweet from Brianna Wu @Spacekatgal 4 Apr 2015. “Gamergate has no place in fandom. Not in videogames, not in comics, and not in sci-fi. This is our culture, not yours. Get the hell out.]

The immediate trigger for this seems to be the Sad Puppies affair at the Hugo awards, where the people who actually buy science fiction tried to push back against the politically-based selections of the voting and committee-sitting class, by organising.

I saw it, of course, because the “conservative” side of the conflict—which I am sympathetic to and whose representatives I am likely to read, despite attempting to hold myself “above” the whole thing—cited it as evidence that they are really the open and tolerant side, while the “liberal” side are the authoritarian and intolerant ones.

The problem is, of course, that to a neoreactionary that is a very off-putting argument. Put this baldly, it is utterly self-defeating.

Whatever my historical sympathies, the side that says “This is our culture, not yours. Get the hell out” deserves to win, and the side that does not and cannot say that deserves to lose. It is pretty much that simple.

The opposition are of course correct that the basis of the SJWs’ claim to ownership of fandom culture—which presumably rests ultimately on their moral superiority as evidenced by their greater commitment to tolerance—is self-contradictory and risible. However, one of the key findings of neoreactionary historiography is that successful and effective rulers have claimed ownership of cultures based on all sorts of unlikely premises: strange women lying in ponds distributing swords, and so forth. What is important is not why they consider themselves superior, it is that they consider themselves superior.

The pessimist tendency of neoreaction has generally taken the liberals at their word that they believe in equality, tolerance, and the rest. What if it is more correct to take the mainstream right at their word that they are the real anti-racists, the real pro-tolerance-and-diversity side? That would mean that the mainstream right is not simply an ineffective opposition to the forces of civilisational decay, it is actually the whole problem; the real enemy. The ascendant liberals, who adopted the slogans of equality and diversity because the previous establishment gave them respect, might abandon them entirely once the whole “they’re the real racists” crowd has dissolved away.

This is opposite to the normal neoreactionary narrative, which has it that conservatism is genuinely, if incoherently and incompetently, opposed to leftism, and that the “real anti-racist” tendency is an example of weak “cuckservative” power-seekers aping the devices of their opponents. But the search for a “true conservative” establishment that openly opposed equality as a principle has forced us further and further back in history. Who remembers that, in his blogging phase, “forever Orange” Moldbug himself had to change sides on the Glorious Revolution?

If conservatism were to go away would the “unprincipled exceptions” continue to be eroded, until society collapses? Or would the cis-feminine softness of the holier-than-thou left metamorphose into a trans-liberal Brianna-Wu-like “Our culture, you fuck off” strongman culture that rejected the Dead-White-Male liberalism of the Founding Fathers and the Kit-Cat Club in favour of a bit of healthy intolerance and cultural uniformity?

I put the odds at less than 50%. Jim’s left-singularity model is still the dominant theory of where liberalism is heading. But this alternative theory is worth throwing out there.