Posted May 30th at I do not like it and here are some reasons why this is the case. Jenkins says that he has learned from and that his analysis is now deeply informed by the criticism of Critical Studies-scholars, who stress aspects of exploitation and free labour on web 2.
I no longer endorse all the statements in this document. I think many of the conclusions are still correct, but especially section 1 is weaker than it should be, and many reactionaries complain I am pigeonholing all of them as agreeing with Michael Anissimov, which they do not; this complaint seems reasonable.
This document needs extensive revision to stay fair and correct, but such revision is currently lower priority than other major projects.
Until then, I apologize for any inaccuracies or misrepresentations. What is this FAQ? It is meant to rebut some common beliefs held by the political movement called Reaction or Neoreaction. What are the common beliefs of the political movement called Reaction or Neoreaction? Neoreaction is a political ideology supporting a return to traditional ideas of government and society, especially traditional monarchy and an ethno-nationalist state.
It sees itself opposed to modern ideas like democracy, human rights, multiculturalism, and secularism.
Will this FAQ be a rebuttal the arguments in that summary? Some but not all. I worry I may have done too good a job of steelmanning Reactionary positions in that post, emphasizing what I thought were strong arguments, sometimes even correct arguments, but not really the arguments Reactionaries believed or considered most important.
Some of them seem really dumb to me and I excluded them from the previous piece, but they make it in here. Other points from the previous post are real Reactionary beliefs and make it in here as well.
Do all Reactionaries believe the same things? Even more confusingly, sometimes the same people seem to switch among the three without giving any indication they are aware that they are doing so. In particular the difference between feudal monarchies and divine-right-of-kings monarchies seems to be sort of lost on many of them.
Mencius is probably the most famous Reactionary, one of the founders of the movement, and an exceptionally far-thinking and knowledgeable writer. Michael is also quite smart, very prolific, and best of all for my purposes unusually willing to state Reactionary theories plainly and explicitly in so many words and detail the evidence that he thinks supports them.
Mencius usually supports a state-as-corporation model and Michael seems to be more to the feudal monarchy side, with both occasionally paying lip service to divine-right-of-kings absolutism as well.
Are you going to treat Reaction and Progressivism as real things? One of the problems in exercises like this is how much to take political labels seriously. Both combine many very diverse ideas, and sometimes exactly who falls on what side will be exactly the point at issue.
Although debating the meaning of category words is almost never productive, I feel like in that case I have more than enough excuse. Is everything getting worse? It is a staple of Reactionary thought that everything is getting gradually worse.
As traditional ideas cede to their Progressive replacements, the fabric of society tears apart on measurable ways. The present system has every incentive to portray itself as superior to all past systems. Reactionaries point out this is not the case, and actually see present society in a state of severe decline, pointing to historically high levels of crime, suicide, government and household debt, increasing time preference, and low levels of civic participation and self-reported happiness as a few examples of a current cultural and historical crisis.
Reactionaries usually avoid getting this specific, and with good reason. Now that Michael has revealed the domains in which he is critiquing modern society, we can start to double-check them to see whether Progressivism has indeed sent everything to Hell in a handbasket. But I must set some strict standards here.
To support the Reactionary thesis, I will want to see long-term and unmistakeable negative trends in these indicators.
Nearly all Reactionaries agree that the advance of Progressivism has been a long-term affair, going on since the French Revolution if not before.
I will not require a completely monotonic downward trend, but neither will I accept a blip of one or two years in a generally positive trend as proving all modern civilization is bankrupt. Likewise, if something has been getting worse in Britain but not the United States, or vice versa, that will not suffice either.
Progressivism is supposed to be a worldwide movement, stronger than the vagaries of local politics.
Is suicide becoming more common? What evidence have the Reactionaries cite for their side? Michael cites a New York Times article pointing out that suicide rates rose from to Apparently my new job is reminding Reactionaries that they cannot blindly trust New York Times articles to give them the whole truth.
Suicide rates did rise from to As we mentioned above, since Reactionaries believe that Progressivism has been advancing simultaneously in many different countries it is worthwhile to check whether other nations show the same trends as the United States.The starting-point of modern industry is, as we have shown, the revolution in the instruments of labour, and this revolution attains its most highly developed form in .
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