- File Size: 668 KB
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Unqualified Reservations (July 10, 2015)
- Publication Date: July 10, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B011DPHUDU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
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An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives Kindle Edition
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This is not to say that there’s nothing here for progressives; surely there is a great deal. What the progressive will find here is above all something unexpected, a crack in the edifice of their tightly constructed worldview, a piece of the puzzle that stubbornly refuses to fit anywhere, a glitch in the Matrix. I’m not referring merely to those progressive anomalies which the author examines in the first two chapters, but also to something perhaps yet more worrying: Moldbug himself. Here we have not just someone with a countervailing narrative, but someone whose knowledge of history, economics, politics, and technology dwarfs the progressive’s own, and who employs this knowledge in dismantling the progressive narrative and constructing one in its place which advances the cause of... are you ready? Hereditary monarchy.
This is also not to say that the Open Letter is not rhetorically effective. Distressingly to the progressive, the author makes reviving the house of Stuart seem downright attractive, if not the obvious course of action. Despite charges of prolixity against neoreactionaries like Moldbug, he is a gifted writer with a winning style at once clear and erudite, though given modern reading comprehension levels, what we have here is only arguably the former and almost off the charts as regards the latter. Like any good rhetorician he begins by flattering his audience and taking on board all their assumptions, and at first simply plants seeds of doubt. He recognizes the enormity of his task, and is content to merely clear the way. By the seventh chapter he is preaching to the choir—that aforementioned cadre of rightist mutineers—but by this time the damage is done; the progressive who has got this far is partially de-converted, or a glutton for punishment. Perhaps both.
I’m not sure how many progressives will make it that far, much less to the end. Progressives, generally lacking a fine Nietzschean epistemic grounding, will find the notion that modern ideas can be false and yet enjoy an adaptive advantage rather uncongenial, as they will the notion that perhaps what would best serve the needs of humanity is the conversion of the state into a joint-stock corporation. If this is an open letter to progressives, then the Declaration of Independence was an open letter to George III. What we have here is a CHALLENGE to progressives, and the challenge is first to pull their head out of their own lower intestine, next, to grasp an alternative narrative, and finally to repudiate it if they can.
I don’t think they can. While the author is far better at destroying than at building (his positive political ideas at times seem undercooked, and sometimes so outlandish as to suggest insincerity), the hammer he wields is a mighty one. The twilight of these idols may not be upon us quite yet, but for anyone with ears to hear, Moldbug’s sounding of them makes clear their utter hollowness.