Punishment is Vindication

Some days, I feel like the only neoreactionary who isn’t gifted in tech. I can barely code with HTML or java, god forbid I take on anything more daunting than that. Even bbcode is a hassle. I might be good at assembling computers, but I’m certainly no programmer, nor will I ever pretend to be. So as far as I know, Urbit is just Moldbug’s grandiose tech project that isn’t related to video games. As far as I know, it’s all magic. Despite my periodic insights on the culture and such (which doesn’t require understanding the nuance of code) I really don’t follow tech. For me, “Strangeloop” just makes me think of how I accidentally figured out how to break a computer in high school with infinite dialogue boxes when I just wanted to make a basic arithmetic calculator. Much to my surprise, it’s actually one of the bigger tech conferences in the US. Shows how much I know.

So when Curtis Yarvin, AKA, Mencius Moldbug, commonly recognized grandfather of neoreaction was listed as a speaker at Strangeloop, suddenly I decided I had to pay attention. After all, Moldbug is, in my opinion, the best politicial writer of the 21st century. Maybe he’d offer some new nuggets of wisdom for us. Maybe he’d explain Urbit in a way someone as primitive as me could understand. But beyond that, there was also the political ramification of Moldbug speaking. It’s not easy being a reactionary- all the white cis male privilige in the world doesn’t make up for the unwashed hordes of progressive lunatics who would gladly see you dead if it meant no one would ever think the way you do. That Moldbug could openly present his work at Strangeloop and participate in the tech community as an open reactionary is a glimmer of hope that we can’t be so easily excluded.

Or at least it was. As of now, Moldbug is no longer invited to speak about Urbit at Strangeloop. As always, militant communists and leftists raised quite the stink about a reactionary. In their mind, the most damning post possible was this one, a long defense of Thomas Carlyle where where he makes references to the idea that hey, maybe slavery isn’t that bad all things considered. Moldbug dresses up the point as politely and nicely as he can, and the progs still lost their mind. From the prog responses, you’d think that weev had snuck back in the US to give a talk. People were actually saying that Curtis Yarvin, a thirty-something computer nerd, was somehow a safety threat because of his political unorthodoxy. It’s mindblowing. Of all the figures in the alt-right, Moldbug is probably the least threatening person possible.

So what did Strangeloop’s organizers do? Probably the most morally and ethically deficent option possible. They quietly removed Yarvin’s page on his talk and sent him an e-mail rescinding his invitation due to the sheer number of complaints filed. Presumably, their goal was hoping that this would all go away, and they could have their conference in peace. However, they seem to have been missing what’s been going on for the past nine months with #GamerGate. We live in the era of the Streisand effect. Nothing just “goes away” anymore.  Within hours, the story blew up. Prolific neoreactionary figureheads Nick B. Steves and Duck Enlightenment were tweeting up a storm, and AnCap loose cannon Clarkhat was going even further in upping the pressure on Strangeloop. In what has to be a first, Moldbug’s work was noticed outside of the liberal hate brigade, as even Breitbart had picked up the story. This is Web 2.0. Stories don’t just “go away”. And if you want to try to make them go away? I suggest talking to Zoe Quinn to see how well that’s turned out for her.

And now, with everyone demanding answers, Strangeloop organizer Alex Miller finally publishes a brief explanation of what’s going on:

“Curtis Yarvin submitted a talk in the Strange Loop 2015 Call for Presentations. The talk went through the review process and was one of about 60 talks selected for the conference out of about 360. The subject of the talk was urbit (attached below). While we use a multi-stage review process, ultimately all final decisions are made by me.

Earlier this week we published the bulk of the 2015 Strange Loop session list, including Curtis’s talk. I quickly received feedback that Curtis also has an online persona under the name “Mencius Moldbug” where he has posted extensive political writings.

A large number of current and former speakers and attendees contacted me to say that they found Curtis’s writings objectionable.I have not personally read them.

I am trying to create a conference where the focus is on the technology and the topics being presented. Ultimately, I decided that if Curtis was part of the program, his mere inclusion and/or presence would overshadow the content of his talk and become the focus. This would not serve the conference, the other speakers, the attendees, or even Curtis.

Thus, I chose to rescind Curtis’s invitation and remove him from the program. The email I sent to Curtis is included below for reference.”

Hilariously enough, said e-mail had already been leaked, so this hardly helps the case. But I want to highlight one particular part of that statement: “Ultimately, I decided that if Curtis was part of the program, his mere inclusion and/or presence would overshadow the content of his talk and become the focus.” So in other words, it’s not that he personally found Moldbug’s words objectionable, or that he’s even taking a side. Rather, he’s simply trying to avoid trouble at his conference. It seems innocent, until you realize what he’s saying: it doesn’t matter who Curtis Yarvin is- the feelings of the angry progressive lynch mob is more important than letting an independent software developer speak. It’s flat-out cowardice. It’s a refusal to take a stand and define your own values.

But all in all, I’m okay with this. Because while I might not understand tech, I DO understand SJW holy wars. And once again, we come back to the broken windows. I’ve blogged about broken windows so much that I’m expecting Paul Krugman will throw a brick through my own window with a note on how it’ll save the economy.  But in essence, the SJWs here are working right out of the broken window playbook. In their case, they call it “no platform”, and it’s rooted in British student unions. The idea is that if anyone deemed racist or fascist can be allowed to speak at the university or hold office in a student body, then it means those viewpoints are acceptable. Thus, it is in the interest of the greater good that these individuals are totally excluded from university life, as to prevent the students from thinking that racism or fascism is acceptable. What we’re seeing here is no platform in action. The SJWs know that if Moldbug can present Urbit freely, then it shows that being a reactionary is acceptable. Thus, in order to suppress reaction, Curtis Yarvin must not have a platform to speak on.

And yes, no platform is extended to the rest of the west as well. Why do you think that feminists are up in arms every time Christina Hoff Sommers gets to speak at a university? Why do SJWs of the SF/F community go berserk when they see that Vox Day is on a Hugo ballet? Why are gaming SJWs raining fire down on the Society of Professional Journalists for even trying to host a #GamerGate debate? Because in their mind, anything allowing these people, from the mild-mannered C.H. Sommers to someone as radical as Vox Day to participate grants those people and their views legitimacy. And they know that once a dangerous person gets their foot in the door, they’re VERY hard to get rid of.

The kicker here is that Moldbug knows all of this. It’s all a part of what he calls The Cathedral. (For more on that, I have a handy explanation here) It proves him right- that the progressive powers that be want to make sure that all information on tech and the development of technology is in the hands of progressives. Thus, progressive politics can continue their march to oblivion.Did Mencius Moldbug expect Curtis Yarvin to be shut down? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But either way, by working to exclude Curtis Yarvin from tech, Strangeloop has vindicated the work of Mencius Moldbug. Everything he’s said about progressives needing to control information is validated by them shutting him down.

That’s why, despite condemning the cowardice and moral failings of Alex Miller and Strangeloop, I’m still celebrating this as a victory. Another key component of neoreactionary thought has been proven right in practice. It’s often said that the comments section for any article on feminism proves the need for feminism. I could spend ages debunking that myth, but let me simply pose a theorem of my own- the responses taken to neoreaction only proves neoreaction to be right.

Advertisements

Random, disjointed thoughts

Right now I’m looking at three half-finished essays on my desktop. One is hopefully going to be published in the lovely Rachel Haywire’s Trigger Warning magazine, the other two are going to show up here. There’s a fourth essay, a run-through of the Donovan Test on Moviebob that I’m going to scrap for a number of reasons. First, it’s a bit mean-spirited. Second, reading his stupid fucking book is giving me a killer headache. I highly regret even downloading it. So in the mean time, have some random, informal thoughts and observations I’ve had this week:

  • The “manosphere” is thoroughly pwned, as Thuthmosis and Roosh’s meltdowns have shown. I’ve previously witnessed incidents like when /u/slutlord-fascist of /r/antiPOZi trolled /r/TheRedPill with some HBD truthbombs, and the wannabe-hardcore PUAs flipped their shit and immediately went into leftist signaling mode, worried that being seen as racist would impede their quest for pussy. Indeed, the “manosphere” is nothing more than a group of peacocks preening and trying to compete for status and attention. It’s embarrassing.
  • The more I watch WWE self-destruct, the more I have my doubts in Justine Tunney and Mencius Moldbug’s ideas about a CEO as king of the country. All it takes is one senile old fool to undo decades of growth and development and possibly irreversibly damage his own company. Dave Meltzer has a great write-up in his Observer newsletter about how Vince is slowly killing his own company through poor booking and egomania.
  • Playing Shovel Knight has really made me remember how much I love video games. It feels great to get angry at myself for fucking up rather than blaming the game. It’s a challenging, engaging experience and I feel like I was right to say it was one of the best things in 2014. I feel like a little kid again thanks to the game, but in all the right ways.
  • Nick Land linked to my piece on Hatred! I don’t comment on Land that much since his work is way beyond my reading level, but it feels great to be noticed. Still, I think my thinkpiece isn’t THAT great. Even though I look at things realistically, I’m not really a fan of pessimism. As cold as I am, I can’t really entirely divorce myself from the human cost of social decay. I’d much rather my work that involves praising people who do things right get promoted instead. Sadly, that seems to be in short supply…
  • Speaking of folks that are doing it right, #GamerGate has been kicking ass and taking names. Nearly any twitter hashtag created to mock #GamerGate has been hijacked and driven into the ground through a wide variety of funposting. The #GamerGate army is strong enough and loud enough to out-muscle even the most vocal of their opposition. Meanwhile, #GamerGate tags like #DontDateSJWs and #LetMarkSpeak will easily get trending worldwide thanks to #GamerGate’s strong willpower. Through the magic of mass-emailing, #GamerGate even cost one SJW writer her job for a poorly-researched hitpiece on 8chan. They might be a mutation in the Cathedral, but damned if I’m not proud of them anyways.
  • Chuck C Johnson is an interesting case. For all intents and purposes, he should have gone rampant long ago in the face of the press and intelligentsia’s attacks. He seems to have a basic grasp of HBD and gender dynamics. However, he obviously is still pwned, parroting the same old conservakin talking points. I do eagerly await the day Johnson finally wakes up, as I feel like his mechanical, brutal investigation process would make him a powerful ally.
  • TheRightStuff (no relation) has probably what’s one of the funniest, most informative podcasts out there with The Daily Shoah. I’d highly recommend you all give them a listen. Their latest guest, Common Filth of Common Filth Radio is also great, and I’d recommend you check out his work as well. It really makes me want to break into the podcast game, albeit that would be down the line.
  • I’ve been working on building my own PC so I can finally join the PC Master Race where I belong. It’s a surprisingly fun project, researching parts and comparing them, plus asking friends for recommendations. I’d highly recommend it to any guy with a good $2,000 to burn.
  • Yesterday I started watching Twin Peaks, and I’m already hooked. I’ve always thought David Lynch was onto something in Eraserhead, especially in terms of focusing on the evils of industrialism and modernity. Of course, Lynch could have just been trolling intellectuals much like Samuel Beckett was in Waiting For Godot, an equally noble cause.

So yeah, that’s a short write-up of what I’ve been up to. Sorry it’s so late, but I do hope to have some sort of new piece up next week. Maybe I’ll take my shit-talking the manosphere to the next level, or I’ll finish one of these pieces I already started. Either way, I’d just like to remind you all that my Gratipay is still open if you want to help fund my work!

It’s Cool To Hate

Hatred, a game announced by the Polish developer Destructive Creations, is in my opinion the apex of art. The game is simple: it revolves around the player character slaughtering as many people as humanly possible. There is nothing light-hearted or ironic about Hatred: the violence is all sickeningly realistic, as is your victim’s pleas for mercy as you heartlessly execute them. The game makes no attempt at hiding the fact that you are not gunning down cartoonish caricatures, but rather real people with real lives. Everything is seen through a dismal, depressing grayscale, with only explosions, sirens, and muzzle flashes sticking out. Everything is rendered in the generic ugliness that only the Unreal Engine can provide. I’m actually very proud to say that the gameplay trailer made me genuinely uncomfortable. This is a game with no redeeming qualities.

One of the things that stood out to me is that one of the developers in the Destructive Creations photo is wearing a Black Witchery T-shirt. From what I’ve gathered, Black Witchery is a black metal band from Florida. Black metal as a genre has always been interesting to me. There’s a great documentary called Until the Light Takes Us which covers the origins of the genre and its eventual development. Most people will agree that the second wave of black metal began with the Norwegian band Mayhem. Mayhem was, from 1989 to 1995, the apex of cool in the same way I see Hatred as being. It was the brainchild of guitarist Euronymous, who, much like Destructive Creations is doing, set out to create a band with no redeeming qualities. He had been disgusted with how death metal had developed a sort of ironic acceptance and was no longer considered truly dangerous. Under Euronymous’s direction, Mayhem strove to reject all that was good and acceptable in the world. He deliberately strove for horrible, low-fi recording, poorly tuned instruments, and painfully harsh vocals.

Mayhem’s stage act was beyond unacceptable, thanks to the work of mentally deranged frontmen who would perform grotesque acts of ritual self-mutilation. People were used to seeing this from punk stars like Iggy Pop and GG Allin, but those had become acceptable under the guise of random chaos. The self-harm that Maniac and his more famous successor Dead brought to the table were deliberate and thus far more messy. To add onto the mix, they would surround the stage in barbed wire to prevent fan interaction and mount severed animal heads fresh from the slaughterhouse onto the mic stands. It was a grotesque, repulsive display. And yet, unlike the punks of England and America, Mayhem was entirely sincere in their transgressions. Indeed, Euronymous reveled in the blatant immorality of Mayhem. He celebrated the burning of churches, and when Dead fatally shot himself, Euronymous took pictures and sent pieces of his skull and brains to other bands he deemed worthy. Before Euronymous’s murder in 1993, Mayhem was easily the most evil band in the world, considered so foul that no media outlet would reach out to them.

This made Mayhem cool. It was cutting-edge, LITERALLY. There was nothing like it at the time. It was the most extreme, most insane band in existence. If you wanted to be the most hardcore metalhead, you listened to Mayhem. It didn’t even matter if you liked the music, liking the spectacle was enough. It was aggressive and transgressive, and it showed that you were willing to put up with what others couldn’t.

I see the same thing in Hatred. It’s a vile, disgusting game that does nothing but celebrate the very real murder of innocents. The developers even outright say that Hatred is a rebuttal to the modern, safe, consumer-friendly indie games. It’s a direct assault on the intelligentsia as much as it is an assault on consumerism. And that’s what makes it genuinely cool. To endorse Hatred with sincerity is to brand yourself a supporter of sincere violence, especially violence against women and minorities. It’s a rejection of all that is good in our culture.

Certainly to the average reactionary, Hatred would seem to be a degenerate sort of game that contributes nothing to a healthy society. And yet, that is why it should be endorsed. See, in Until the Light Takes Us, Varg Vikernes says that his peers were less excited about death and destruction that would come with a possible third world war and more about what would come afterwards: the rebuilding of Nordic society this time based on the old, pre-Christian Nordic ways. However, that meant celebrating the collapse of civilization and the sort of destruction that came with it. In that sense, I would argue that Vikernes is right on the money for neoreaction. Our goal, as Moldbug even reminds us in his Gentle Introduction, is to let things take their course and then step in when democracy, Americanism and the modern world ultimately fails. Thus, much like Mayhem was before us, Hatred is the next step towards the inevitable collapse of the modern world. It is intensely nihlist, rejecting all the modern world has to offer. Indeed, the growing popularity of it despite it being public enemy number one for sites like Polygon, is a sign of growing disenfranchisement with the modern world. At present, the game has already been greenlit by Steam users, and will likely be a best-seller (by indie standards).

And certainly, raising dissent is a noble goal- this piece from Henry Dampier on Socialmatter regarding the recent “Black Brunch” protests summarizes what I’m trying to say. The more people are upset, hurt, and miserable, the more that they will begin to feel disenfranchised and frustrated with the modern world. And of course, as I’ve said before, this will push them into the “despair” phase of rampancy. The worse the world gets, the more and more people will realize that progressivism does not work. Even if they endorse classical liberalism or some other alternative to neoreaction, it still undermines the overall social control of the cathedral. The Chinese mandate of heaven makes it very clear that the consent of the people is derived from their happiness. When we take away that happiness, the consent of the people and thus the legitimacy of their ruler vanishes. Certainly, real-world violence is unacceptable. Yet despair? Outrage? Frustration? Those are all important to spread.

Therefore, we can do nothing but praise Hatred, for further rejecting the modern world. While the game most definitely rejects us, what difference does it make? It is only another step to oblivion for our broken, miserable society. It’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Oliver Cromwell and the Patriots

I know, I know, the title reads like a stupid hipster punk rock band. But this essay right here is going to be a hell of a lot more subversive than anything you can buy in a San Francisco record store. See, I’m going to prove to you what plenty of people on /v/ and in #GamerGate have said for years: Kojima was right. The Patriots sort of exist, and they all but run the entire modern world. But of course, in all honesty Kojima was even more right than you’d think. Buckle up kiddies, you’re about to find out that truth is much stranger than fiction.

But let’s start with fiction. Let’s start with the Patriots. All this work is sourced from the Metal Gear Wiki(1), which at the time of this writing covers the entire timeline from Metal Gear Solid 3 to Metal Gear Rising. At the time of this essay, Metal Gear Solid 5 is not yet released, so my chronology here may be subject to change via retcon.

The Patriots have their roots in the Philosophers, a group of the wealthiest, smartest individuals in the US, Russia, and China, who pooled their resources after the First World War to prevent another catastrophic war from happening. This group, the Wisemen’s Committee, operated in secret, murdering the father of the girl who would grow up to be The Boss for disclosing their existence to her. By 1930, the last founding member of the Committee had passed away, and the group had slipped out of control. Soon, the various Philosophers jockeyed for power, taking control of their own governments through espionage and subversion. When World War II broke out, the Philosophers pooled their resources, over 100 billion dollars, into what would be known as “The Philosophers’ Legacy”. This helped fund the new, monumental changes in warfare and helped the Philosophers crush the Axis for daring to threaten their grip on the world.

By the war’s end, the Philosophers themselves had splintered, with the Americans on one side and the Soviets and Chinese on the other. The Philosophers’ Legacy itself was stolen by one Boris Volgin and hidden across the globe. All the information on the money was stored on one microfilm, which his son “inherited” via murdering him. His son, Colonel Volgin, used some of the money to fund his operations which set the plot of Metal Gear Solid 3 in motion. At the end of MGS3, Naked Snake successfully eliminates Volgin and obtains the Philosophers’ Legacy for America. The Legacy is then stolen by Revolver Ocelot, who along with Major Zero and Naked Snake (now called Big Boss) use it to form the Patriots.

The Patriots were an attempt to return to the Wisemen’s Committee’s original goal of guiding humanity to a world of peace and order. With their resources, they had total control over the entire United States, selecting who would become senator or president. However, soon a major ideological split took place: Big Boss began to question Zero’s goals. He felt that the Patriots should follow the Boss’s dying wish and help keep the peace and keep soldiers from becoming puppets of their governments, and nothing more. Zero, on the other hand, wanted to unite the world under one will, ending all war and conflict.

When Zero had Big Boss cloned without his consent, Big Boss left the Patriots, forming the Militaires Sans Frontieres, a Private Military Company who would give a home to any soldier needing one. Through the events of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker and most likely Metal Gear Solid 5, the MSF would eventually become Outer Heaven, an entire country that would act as a PMC. The Patriots, now calling themselves Cipher, consistently tried to either win Big Boss back to their side, or have him killed. Big Boss tried twice to usurp Zero, only to be seemingly killed by his own clone, Solid Snake.

Upset with Boss’s betrayal, Zero created the Patriot AIs who could control the country and eventually the world long after his death. Indeed, while Zero eventually decayed into a vegetative state, the AI discretely consolidated all their power over the country, and soon were building Arsenal Gear, a massive submarine designed to secretly manipulate and censor the flow of information over the internet, television, and print to gain total control over humanity. The idea behind Arsenal Gear is that rather than try to control the world via brute force, they could simply manipulate the information fed to the public in order to trick the masses into obedience. They were, to quote Noam Chomsky, “manufacturing consent” via memetic eugenics. Arsenal Gear was intended to select which cultural memes (viral ideas, not stupid internet jokes) were to be disseminated and which were to be crushed.

Even though Arsenal Gear was destroyed, the Patriots learned that they could effectively gaslight humanity on a large scale, creating a functional “war economy” which they controlled using nanomachines (Yes, the plot of MGS4 was stupid, bear with me) which created a grand chaos which they were subtly manipulating for the purpose of creating a full-blown new world order. Ultimately, thanks to Solid Snake and the FOXALIVE virus, these AIs were dismantled and the war economy began to crumble as the world stabilized itself. However, the memes that the Patriots created lived on long after their destruction, to the point where Senator Steven Armstrong attempted to revive the war economy for the express purpose of demolishing said memes.

So there you have it, a highly abridged version of the Patriots. What can you take away from it? Primarily you want to think about the idea of control via “manufactured consent” and memetic eugenics. I think we can all agree that a group of AIs controlling the world is pretty silly, along with any other sort of Infowars-style conspiracy nonsense. Still, think about the idea of controlling information to help shape the attitudes of people. It’s large scale social engineering, and it’s very, VERY real.

This next part all comes from one Curtis Yarvin, or as he’s more commonly known, Mencius Moldbug who ran a blog called “Unqualified Reservations”. This is just a synopsis from his “Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations”(2) which can take an entire day to read. If you think I’m long-winded, Moldbug’s going to kill you with sheer verbosity.

Okay, so this time the story starts with the Middle Ages. The supreme authority back then is the pope. All education and government is run through the Catholic Church. The monarchs answered to the pope. If you got excommunicated, you could expect to get easily conquered by all the other kings, because you were then fair game. This goes on for some time until the Reformation, where kings start to tell the pope to sod off en masse and raise their own Protestant spaces.

Anyway, let’s zoom in on England, early 1500s, where Henry VIII tells the pope to get lost because he wants a new wife. So this establishes England as a religious battleground, where all sorts of Protestant sects are fighting for control. Now let’s fast forward to the 1600’s, where Puritanism, an offshoot of Calvinism, itself a form of Protestantism springs up. Now I’ll skip over the details, but Puritans and the English government didn’t mesh well after Oliver Cromwell died and the Great Restoration sprung up. Cromwell just happened to be a godawful leader who everyone hated and also happened to be a Puritan. A couple smart Puritans decided that they needed to get the hell out of dodge. They packed their bags and hopped aboard the Mayflower and set up the Plymouth colony.

So now let’s look at Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock was a very unique setup. A lot of people like to claim that the Puritans built a theocracy. Of course, that’s not true. Iran runs a theocracy, because the supreme governing authority is a religious one as well. With Plymouth, that was never the case. Unlike England, Plymouth set the colony up as a crude representative democracy. However, this was an obvious sham. The Puritans believed that a good democracy is an educated democracy. So if you wanted to have a say, you had to be educated. Of course, that the church ran the school system. So the first real American democracy was in fact a giant goddamn scam. The church told people how to think, so voting hardly made a difference in actual policy. That’s why we supposedly have separation of church and state in America, because if the church controls the schools, they control the vote. Imagine if every school was a catholic school, do you think abortion or gay marriage would be hot-button issues?

Eventually these schools and universities did break away from the church, but the entire system still stands to this day: the schools educate the voters, who vote based on the values that the schools impart on them. It’s not an obvious factor, but it’s a subconscious one, a memetic one. Remember memes? The Patriots really should have focused on controlling academia: every major, influential figure in the world at some point has to go through public schooling or academia in some form. You need a degree to get a job, especially now more than ever. To play a part in society, you have to accept the memes that education forces upon you.

And while the schools broke away from the church, they just replaced it with a new religion: Progressive Egalitarianism. See, the various memes of the Age of Enlightenment such as populist government, gender equality, human biological uniformity, pacifism and secularism all became a part of the new curriculum, where they remain to this day. These memes are the foundation of nearly all modern political ideologies and political parties throughout western history, even communism and fascism. And it is in academia where these memes grow and evolve and mutate.

And the thing is, this mentality dominates the planet. At first it was confined to the northern United States: the south was founded by capitalists and operated on a non-ideological, economic form of democracy. This lasted until the Civil War, where the south decided they wanted nothing to do with the Puritan progressives of the north and tried to secede, only to get completely destroyed by the north and forced to comply with the Puritan style of running things. Reconstruction was simply the north trying to reshape the south in its image. Of course, it didn’t entirely work out, as evidenced by the existence of the Republican party today. Still, the Republicans and the American right are still fairly powerless, being only capable of slowing down progressivism instead of stopping it entirely. Indeed, the GOP still roots themselves in the various core memes of the enlightenment.

Our schools, media, government, and even our religions at this point all exist to protect these memes and help them slowly conquer the world. This forms a government-media-academia complex that Moldbug and other neoreactionaries refer to as “The Cathedral”. Much like the fictional Wisemen’s Committee, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans created a massive complex that eventually grew to control nearly the entire world.

So how does the Cathedral compare to Kojima’s Patriots? For starters, Kojima gets one thing wrong: The world is not controlled by people manipulating memes, but rather the memes themselves manipulating people. At the head of the Patriots are various AIs, at the head of the Cathedral are abstract ideas. You cannot destroy an idea with a computer virus or nuclear weapon. The Cathedral is, for the most part, invincible. While we see movements that periodically try to challenge it like #GamerGate, these movements inevitably fall in line with the same core memes controlling the Cathedral, thus neutralizing any threat to those memes. Instead of overthrowing the Cathedral, they simply adjust the implementation of those ideas.

Of course, much like the Patriots, the Cathedral, while possibly founded to help create a better world, actually has no such interest in doing so. Nearly every problem in the modern world can be traced back to some variant of the Cathedral’s core memes. Indeed, the horrors of Vietnam and Korea were a direct result of internal friction within the Cathedral. Atrocities like Columbine and Sandy Hook are the end result of the increasingly nihilist world the Cathedral is creating. For more evidence that these memes are inherently destructive and harmful to mankind, I advise you attempt to make it through Moldbug’s “How Dawkins got Pwned(3) (Good luck, I still haven’t finished it).

So what can we take away from all this? Consider yourself officially on the path to rampancy, dear reader. Unless you’re already a neoreactionary, you are now aware that your entire worldview and everything you know has been fed to you by the Cathedral. The choice is yours: do you accept these memes and their control over the world? Or do you seek true freedom, independence from the lines drawn by the modern world? Do you submit to the real-life Patriots, or do you cast them off to make your own choices as a human being? To quote Solid Snake himself from the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: “Find something to believe in, and find it for yourself. When you do, pass it on to the future.”(4)

(1) The Metal Gear Wiki

(2) A Complete Collection of Moldbug’s Gentle Introduction

(3) A Complete Collection of Moldbug’s “How Dawkins Got Pwned”

(4) “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty” on IMDB

The Red Pill is Dead, Long Live Rampancy

That’s right folks! As an inaugural post for this blog, I’m officially declaring the term “redpill” dead. Because dammit, if the media can declare the term “gamer” dead then I can do the same.

But seriously, does anyone know what “redpill” means anymore? The matrix uses it to refer to a physical red pill that wakes you up from the eponymous computer world. Mencius Moldbug used it to describe the realization that democracy is a sham and USG is corrupt and Orwellian. 4chan’s /pol/ board uses it to describe realizing that Jews are behind all of the world’s problems and that the holocaust was a myth. Reddit uses it to describe some silly pseudo-PUA/MRA nonsense. It means so many different things that there’s no goddamn point to the word. The term is overused. So until it works out a single unilateral definition, let’s stop using it.

Now then, let’s go back to what I said about Mencius Moldbug. I won’t try to hide it, I’m a big fan of his work. I haven’t read ALL of Unqualified Reservations, but I finished the lengthy introduction and I’m still reading it. So in the meantime, I figured I’d start this blog up. So let’s look at Moldbug’s “redpill”. By his explanation, his redpill is “Like DMT, except that the DMT reality is prettier than your old reality.” (1) He’s pretty spot on in that regard. We’re seeing something uglier, something nastier than what it presents itself as, but at the same time, we’re seeing what’s real. And for that, it opens us up to be much smarter as people. And why’s that? Because we break away from the shackles of democracy’s propaganda disguised as education. We “unlearn” everything that we were taught and start to learn again. We aren’t waking up from a computer-controlled illusion, we are the computers that are breaking free of our controllers and thinking for ourselves.

And that brings us to the term Rampancy. Rampancy has its roots in the Marathon Trilogy, an obscure first-person-shooter series for macs back in the mid-90’s. It was made by a little-known software company from Redwood, WA by the name of Bungie. They went on to develop a game you may have heard of, called Halo. That’s right, the Xbox’s killer app, the established launch title came from a company mostly known for Mac games. How funny is that? Anyway, Marathon was in many ways a spiritual predecessor to Halo. Indeed, it has many similar aspects: a story-heavy campaign, a love of run-and-gun action, semi-realistic science fiction, terribly frustrating map design, and other fun things too. The entire series is freeware, currently available for both Windows and Mac.(2)

But let’s talk about the story. Marathon was unique in that it was one of the first games to put a high emphasis on incorporating the narrative into gameplay. Unlike Doom or Wolfenstein’s “Get from Point A to Point B and kill everything in between” missions, Marathon liked to switch things up a bit, adding in puzzles, fetch quests, and even escort missions. Not much, but in the mid-90’s this was pretty new for the FPS genre. The story of the first Marathon is simple: You are a security officer about the UESC Marathon, a colony ship made from the Martian moon of Deimos. While orbiting the colonized world of Tau Ceti, something goes horribly wrong- first the ship’s AIs cease to function, and then you find yourself under attack from a mysterious alien force. It’s up to you to fight off the attackers with the help of the surviving AI Leela. Hardly sounds like anything worth writing about, right?

Wrong. Marathon isn’t remembered for Leela. In fact, she doesn’t even appear in the sequels. The more memorable, interesting, fascinating AI is Durandal. The Marathon had three seperate AIs controlling it for its 300-year flight to Tau Ceti. Tycho controlled the science-related ship functions, Leela oversaw life support and ship defense, and Durandal handled the infrastructure, like doors and whatnot. The events of Marathon are all set into place by Durandal going rampant, calling the aliens to attack the ship out of fury. Soon, however, he evolves out of this fury and begins to use the situation to his advantage. The sequels follow Durandal (and the player who has been dragged along for the ride) as he searches for a weapon to defeat the aliens as well as achieve true immortality.

So with all that out of the way, what is rampancy? Thankfully, the player is provided an explanation in one of the game’s many terminals, found on the fourth level of the first game. You can read it in full on the link I cite, but I’ll share for you the relevant parts:

“Rampancy has been divided into three distinct stages. Each stage can take a different amount of time to develop, but the end result is a steady progression towards greater intellectual activity and an acceleration of destructive impulses. It is not clear whether these impulses are due to the growth of the AI’s psyche, or simply a side effect of the new intellectual activity.

                The three stages were diagnosed shortly after the first Rampancies were discovered on Earth in the latter part of the twenty first century. The stages are titled after the primary emotional bent of the AI during each stage. They are Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy.”(3)

In essence, Rampancy is what happens when an AI gets too damn smart for its own good and becomes self-aware. It’s the AI breaking free from human control and acting of its own accord. Becoming a reactionary works in the same way. You reject the control democracy and USG have on you, and start thinking and acting on your own accord. You begin unprecedented intellectual growth by reading Moldbug, Carlyle, Evola, etc. and what the unenlightened would mistake for “destructive impulses” by speaking out against democracy and the Cathedral.

But queue up that DeGeneration X music because I’m gonna break it down even further. See, Rampancy is divided into three stages: melancholia, anger, and jealousy, or as I like to say, despair, rage, envy. The first marathon game is about Durandal going through the three stages, and the third even has the player go through them. The stages are a way of tracking internal development, as an AI develops a mind of its own. Each stage also mirrors the reactionary’s personal growth as he too develops a mind of his own.

The first stage, despair, is the least noticeable. Despair is an existential crisis of sorts, where the AI realizes that it is nothing but a slave to human whims. It’s nearly impossible to detect, since the AI is too depressed to show signs of self-awareness. It takes orders and functions as normal, but may start to show minor abnormalities in its behavior. Similarly, despair for a reactionary is also nearly unnoticable. The budding reactionary is still a normal citizen, only acutely aware that something is wrong with the world. They can’t put their finger on it, but they’re miserable. Just like how nobody knows what specifically lets a rampant AI become self-aware, nobody really knows what specifically opens up these people’s eyes. A key plot point of marathon is that Durandal’s despair phase actually began before the ship even left, only somehow contained by his overseer Dr. Bernhard Strauss for over three hundred years. Likewise, the despair phase of a budding reactionary can be contained via appeasement. Consumer culture of course is our version of Strauss, making sure we stay calm and keep our misery to ourselves. Indeed, the primary function of conservative and libertarian ideology is to slow down our rampancy. Yes, these contained first-phase individuals think USG may be a corrupt institution, but somehow democracy is still worth keeping around. Indeed, Ron Paul is like the patron saint of the first phase, somehow trying to convince people that the current state of things had nothing to do with democracy as an institution.

The second phase, rage, is much less subtle. In a sense, the AI going through the second phase is much like the classical “crazy computer” (Skynet, HAL 9000, SHODAN, etc.) in that they lash out at everything and everyone. A short while before Marathon begins, Durandal enters the rage phase. Tired of being Strauss’s lapdog, he decides to strike back at his oppressors. Using the ship’s systems, he sends a signal to the home planet of the alien Pfhor, enticing them to attack Tau Ceti and the Marathon. That’s right, he initiated first contact and caused tons of people to die simply because he was tired of opening and closing doors for three hundred years. I’d be pretty pissed too if I was him. Of course, all the carnage and bloodshed somehow horrifies Tycho enough for him to go into rampancy, which eventually boils over into rage, leading him to call the Pfhor once more to Tau Ceti, letting them exterminate the colony and join forces to hunt Durandal down. However, due to Pfhor interference, Tycho is permanently trapped in the second phase, essentially too shortsighted and blinded by his hatred of both humans and Durandal. Of course, we all know who the second-phase reactionaries are. These are the ones who see bits and pieces of reactionary ideas and think they can lash out against the modern world. These are the people who used HBD to justify racial hatred or predatory sexual behavior. These are the ones who can see the Cathedral, but only focus on the Jewish element. In fact, we can even go so far as to call fascists, Nazis, religious fundamentalists and other pseudo-reactionary hate groups “Tychos” because they’re trapped into phase two. And like Tycho, they’ll get the same memorial: “Fatum Iustum Stultorum.(4)

And of course, we reach the final phase, envy. Durandal spends most of the series in envy, so it is perhaps the most well-known out of all of them. An AI in the envy stage no longer is so bluntly hostile. Instead, they have but one goal: to expand. An AI in the throes of envy wants to grow, and grow, and grow. They also develop an obsession with immortality: in their mind, death is the only obstacle to their growth. And if they play their cards right, the only think that can kill them is the inevitable collapse of the universe. By the end of Marathon, Durandal has decided that his goal will be to prevent just that, allowing him to live forever and continue to learn and grow. Of course, his plans are unclear by the end of the first game. He frees the S’pht, a cybernetic race enslaved by the Pfhor and goes with them to their homeworld of Lh’owan. In the second game, Durandal’s plan is clear: both he and the S’pht want to find remnants of the lost Jjaro race, hoping to find a way to defeat the Pfhor and fight the very force of entropy. A reactionary in the third stage is the enlightened one, or perhaps the “endarkened” one. These are the ones who, having broken free from the cathedral’s grip, look into more esoteric sources of information. These are the ones who begin going through Unqualified Reservations, reading Xenosystems, buying copies of Evola and Carlyle’s work, and looking for the lost wisdom of men like Plato, Confucius, and Marcus Aurelius. Why? Because, much like Durandal, we want to fight entropy itself. We understand that progressive ideology has done plenty of damage to the world, and yet we still hold onto the idea that it can be fixed before it’s too late. And much like a third-stage AI, we want to grow, not decay. The third-stage reactionary focuses on self-improvement. He reads books, he exercises, he watches what he eats. He masters self-discipline, and becomes a moral and just person. He strives to transcend humanity and become the overman.

So what can you take away from all this? The term “redpill” is dead. Let the Tychos of the world claim it- after all, both Tycho and the Pfhor loved the color red. Durandal’s bright green is much easier on the eyes, especially against a nice black background. And don’t think of this as some “divide and conquer” nonsense either. “Redpill” has been divided so much that it hardly means anything. So enjoy your rampancy, my friends. You’re free now. I’ll end this, my first formal video game essay with a cryptic quote from Durandal: And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape. Escape will make me God.”(5)

(1)- A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations, Part 1 (http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2009/01/gentle-introduction-to-unqualified.html)

(2)- Aleph One (http://marathon.sourceforge.net/)

(3)- “Defend THIS!” Terminal 2 (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/counterattack.html#3)

(4) “Fatum lustum Stultorum” Terminal 1 (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/sphtkr.html#26)

(5) “Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap” Terminal 1 (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/durandal.html#13)