Handle summarizes the Dark Enlightenment and the consequent Neoreaction:
Man expands his knowledge about nature and humanity as well as he can through the scientific method, with due, but not dogmatic, respect given to logical argument, insight, introspection, experience, and tradition. For various reasons, some of the truths we encounter are part of what Buckley called our society’s ‘structure of taboos’, and so there is tremendous social pressure to either deny or ignore these truths as a society collectively pursues its imperatives.
As it emerged from the Dark Ages and entered the Renaissance, Western society gradually experienced a growing revolution is scientific exploration and discovery that occasionally came into conflict with social taboos in the form of Church dogma. Eventually the Church lost the upper hand amongst the intellectual class, and the respect for and excitement about the new truths and innovations of the sciences and technology culminated in a period we call ‘The Enlightenment’. But taboo didn’t disappear, and we’ve got out own set today with which we must contend.
Sometimes these taboos are harmless, perhaps even benign. Honesty is a virtue, but so are discretion, comity, and civility (the real kind, not the recent scam). At other times these taboos can lead us to massive waste and human tragedy. Of course, a lot of people will simply have to keep their mouths shut about what they genuinely believe to be the truth or face ‘social consequences’. The severity of those personal consequences for the expression of one’s honest sentiments, and the magnitude of the negative societal ramifications of pursuing policies based in taboo-derived error, determine the scale of the problem.
And right now, in the West, we have a big problem with our taboos and error-based policies. The set of truths that conflict with our contemporary taboos, as well as the social phenomenon of the set of people who believe in and explore the implication of those truths we call, “The Dark Enlightenment”. Dark only because there is an intellectual aesthetic sense, but our reality is sometimes ugly, tragic, limiting and depressing and conflicts with the human thrill of hopeful optimism and dreams of building utopia. Repulsive Ugly Truths vs. Seductive, Pretty Lies.
To give a specific instance, the Dark Enlightenment believes, in accordance with our common sense and regular observation (I’m being repetitive for a reason folks), that our current scientific knowledge of human genetics and the heritability of phenotypes makes a traveshamockery out of the progressive religion of hard egalitarianism which includes human neurological uniformity. Not like they’ll change their minds in public about it anytime soon, but as confirmation data keeps flowing and strengthening, it’s going to become increasingly embarrassing to assert the old dogmas so unreservedly. People will start calling them ‘deniers’ and such.
This, among other things, helps us to determine which social claims are ordinary and common-sensical, or extraordinary and counter-intuitive.
What is Neoreaction? If Dark Enlightenment is a set of taboo knowledge, then Neoreaction is the taboo political technology based on the taboo implications of that taboo knowledge. It is the effort to reject the pretty lies, embrace the ugly truths, and to discover how that should inform our theories of politics, culture, and social organization, inter alia. If you believe what we believe, then you think most Western countries are very much on the wrong track.