Jul 21, 2022·edited Jul 21, 2022Liked by N.S. Lyons

I think this quote sums up both the promise and the difficulty of the present situation: "The only conceivable strategy for the new right is to bring into ideological coherence the need for a postliberal order."

The promise, as laid out in this excellent article, is that there is a massive opening for a new movement to emerge which is not beholden to the old orthodoxies and categorizations of the left and the right and which rejects the increasingly dystopian woke-technocratic neoliberalism the world is being subjected to. On the right, one can see faint glimmers of a growing rejection of neoliberal economics in the emergence of the "postliberals" and "national conservatives" in the US, for example. Moreover, the popular base of support for right-wing politics has never, in my view, derived its support for rightist parties from a love of big business or corporate domination which are the consequences of neoliberalism, but instead from a cultural conservatism, a defense of tradition, localism, and a rejection of interference from a distant Big Government in people's private lives and small businesses. That the base of right-wing support is largely indifferent to neoliberal economics allows for the possibility of a unraveling of the "fusionism" that married neoliberalism with the rest of the conservative movement and thus a receptivity for postliberalism amongst the popular supporters of the right.

On the left, one can see a significant bloc which is turning away from the excesses of a deracinating, homogenizing, socially destructive, technocratic, and toxically identitarian woke-left-liberalism (the same left-liberalism described in this article) in those segments of the "heterodox" left that have had such success on places like Substack (Kingsnorth being a prominent example). One can see a backlash to elite left-identity-progressivism amongst the popular base of left wing support, too, for example in San Francisco where a deep-blue voting populace has nonetheless rejected excessively woke DAs and school boards, or in NYC where a fairly conservative mayoral candidate handily beat a number of woke challengers.

So much for the promise of a possible postliberal movement. The difficulties such a movement would face are obvious. Putting to one side the ferocious opposition from the current liberal establishment that any viable "postliberal" movement would encounter (and indeed already has in the repression of the trucker protests and the yellow vests), there is a deeper, ideological and philosophical difficulty that has yet to be resolved by anyone I've read so far.

Beyond mere opposition to creeping wokism and technocracy, what would a "postliberal" movement actually *want*? What might a "postliberal order" *actually look like*? In the past, when Maurras was writing for example, there was a concrete alternative to the liberal order whose memory was still fresh, and which provided a lodestar for reactionaries to push for: monarchism and the attendant structures of the ancien regime. No such return to a monarchical past is palatable to any but the most extreme neo-reactionaries today. Some sort of roll-back of current liberalism and a return to the social order of a more tame liberalism is no solution either, and for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that such a move would be no more than a holding action before the inevitable return of the extreme liberalism we see today. As Patrick Deneen has so lucidly illustrated, the seeds of our current situation can be credibly understood to have been sown concurrently with the birth of liberalism in the Enlightenment; any "return" to a more palatable liberalism can thus do no more than delay the march of "progress".

I've found that when the "postliberals" are pressed, their policy prescriptions amount to little more than policy tweaks that don't even approach the root of the problem. The vague outlines of a coherent "postliberal" policy can be seen if you squint, but far too dimly to provide sufficient coherence for a political movement: localism and decentralization; a return to and appreciation of tradition and especially of some form communal religion; a rejection of neoliberal economics and the domination of global corporate interests and consumerism in favor of small business and self-sufficient smallholders; a love of place and a more rooted environmentalism; a rejection of the bio-political surveillance and security state which both pre-dates and has grown massively dangerous during COVID; rejection of identitarian-woke race and gender politics. I would support whole-heartedly any movement that could bring this all together in a coherent, concrete platform, but see nothing too promising on the horizon.

Thus, I agree with the author: the prime political question for dissidents today is how to bring "ideological coherence" to the idea of a "postliberal order". I think whoever or whatever movement can do so will reap rich political rewards (and hopefully bring some hope to our bleak political landscape). I just haven't yet been convinced that such a move is possible.

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It is an excellent essay.

I'm reminded of some polling released a few days ago ranking the priorities of the polled population versus the priorities of the media/journalists. The difference was glaring. The most important concerns for the people were economic issues and immigration. For the media it was social issues such as environment, abortion rights, racism.

The emergence of a new aristocracy, for that is what the neoliberal "centrist" elitists are, seizing the mantel of liberalism but governing in distinctly illiberal ways and even introducing a new hierarchy of privileges based on protected groups of people (which includes "experts" along with the various "oppressed" groups), is now too blatantly obvious. Just as what passed for the media in the ancien regime was used to protect the aristocracies by suppressing criticism of them, the modern media plays the same role.

All very interesting. The remaining question, however, is what is their goal? The ancien regime aristocracy justified their existence because they deeply believed in the natural inequality of men and aristocratic rule was necessary, a reflection that some people were superior and others inferior. But the modern neoliberal elite ostensibly believe all people are technically equal, so the heart of their regime has a corruption that the aristocrats did not. They are not honest, they speak the language of democratic equals and rights for everyone, but govern increasingly like oligarchies and brutally abuse the norms of a liberal democracy to preserve their power, mainly through the entrenchment of unelected bureaucrats and the sycophant media, using the latter two to preserve their rule regardless of whatever populist party may temporarily win an election. Take the case of Donald Trump, for all his many (and I do mean many) flaws, it's also undeniable that Democratic figures in alliance with entrenched bureaucrats invented the Russian collusion - very illegally - to try to destroy him.

How this new elite class plays out in the long run is anyone's guess.

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Rhyd Wildermuth warmly recommended my essay on his Substack, From the Forests of Arduinna.


In his review, he brilliantly covered a blind spot of my essay, and since I completely agree with his analysis, I'm copying it here as a post scriptum . Here's what Rhyd wrote:

The only thing missing in that essay is the really unstable nature of the social system and the really ridiculous relationship the French have with it. Everyone I knew (including my roommates) had a complex plan to stay on unemployment and housing benefits as long as possible, including some who would take very short term work contracts specifically because they knew they could get another year of being paid for not working. Everyone was gaming the system, except for the few bitter bastards who wanted a bit more from life and resented that everyone they knew was partying on a Tuesday night while they had to work early the next morning.

That thing conservatives warn us leftists that socialism will become is pretty much what’s happened in France, and it’s crumbling. Macron’s attempts to fix it at the behest of the banks are awful, but so too is what has become of the French left. What was especially notable about the Gilets Jaunes was that they were protests by people actually working, rather than the radical anti-work crowds. The same also with the protests against the passe sanitaire, the national COVID vaccine program. Other protests tend to be driven by those who are out of work and are trying to hold on to the social programs that make not working a perfectly viable option.

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Interesting piece. The “ultra-minority “ is a fascist disgrace. They must be removed and held accountable. They are a scourge

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Confession. As alluring as I find commentary like this - and instinctively compelling - there is always a moment when I come to explain it to others when it just feels like smoke. This is the nature of meta-anything and I’m desperate to fix onto some concrete policy frameworks that might, for example, describe ‘localism’ in practice.

While this may be an intellectual failing on my part, I doubt that anyone in my circles has the foggiest idea that there may be another way beyond what we have now. So how does it move beyond an intellectual conceit?

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Love this:

"the United States and what might be called its hubristic “Project for a New American Century 2.0.” Even more so than the original from the 2000s, this new imperialistic adventure sounds like a “Planetary Confederacy of Goodness,” shrouded in empty symbolism and virtue signaling."

Love this too:

"To be governed is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, drilled, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

There is hope brewing. I believe the West is going to defeat this monster. The only question is are we going to step on its neck, or allow it to fester and boil to the point it again threatens the free world?

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Extract from my November 2021 piece (The coming obsolescence of North American borders):

"The 2020-30’s might also bring into the mix a confrontation between a technocratic elite, highly mobile and educated workforce concentrated in cities that is open to a larger bureaucratic supra-national government vs a more disenfranchised citizenry living outside of metropolitan areas feeling alienated by a far away political power that does not bring any added value to its daily life."

For more: https://thenomadhistorian.substack.com/p/the-coming-obsolescence-of-north?r=pgobs&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Do you agree with Curtis Yarvin’s assertion that the Canadian trucker protests were a total strategic failure because they changed nothing and only provided the technocratic elite with valuable experience in how to crush future, similar protests?

With that in mind, how long before similar suppression tactics are rolled out in the Netherlands etc? Or do the physicals have something else up their sleeve?

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N.S., I much appreciate the intelligence I gather from your writings, Paul Kingsnorth’s (https://paulkingsnorth.substack.com), and now your guest, Renaud Beauchard – and there are no doubt others of like value.

I’ve been edified by your Reality Honks Back post, and even more by The World Order Reset (https://theupheaval.substack.com/p/the-world-order-reset?s=r), when you speak of “…two different possible configurations of geopolitical power, both pivoting around the Europe’s direction of alignment”, referring to the Trans-Atlantis coalition vs the Euro-Asian / trans-Eurasian landmass.

My interest in such discerning intelligence may be thought passé or obscure by some, but as a student of Biblical prophecy and the configuration of coalitions pertaining to the doing and undoing of geopolitical alliances at the end of the age, I find your insights of great value.

In the symbolic / spiritual language of the New Testament’s apocalyptic masterpiece, a world-system coalition called Babylon shall be dethroned from its headquarter nation’s supremacy – first with shattering calamities, and then, evidently nuclear, violence – and the coalition headed by the victorious aggressor will pursue (or continue pursuing) its agenda of world domination through the implementation of elite technocrats’ control of finances, food, water, and police-military force. This agenda? A dystopian dream of the master sorcerer.

Sorcery. A topic of immense value in our days – in a nutshell, the psychedelic agents (including grass) promoted by Babylon basically starting with the U.S.’s Woodstock generation, allowing alien spirits from their realm into the collective human consciousness, and utterly – after over 50 years of us steeping in this brew – befouling the zeitgeist.

As I’ve put it in my own writing,

“A spiritual discernment, alongside the geo-political, cultural, intellectual, economic, and military aspects of what is going on in the world is AS germane to comprehending our times as these other aspects, IF NOT MORE, for God and the devil are both in the mix.”

Living presently in Cyprus, caring for a small spiritual community, I benefit immensely from listening to voices in the arena of consciousness. And I appreciate your voice speaking out!

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President just now has a mild breakthrough of COVID.

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"the felicitous promises of the greatest illusion of all, the illusion of progress, are now gone, and have left behind a full-blown techno-totalitarian nightmare – one which the COVID years have now laid bare. We are at a junction where we have no other choice than to conceive of that other society, or let the “ultra-minority” continue its onslaught. This is at the same time exciting and frightening."


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That hit the nail on the head. Actually about a dozen nails.

The last few paragraphs are somewhat vague about what sort of transformation would be best, and most politically feasible.

My vote would be for something aligned with Robert Kegan's evolutionary "stage 5" ("fluid" mode), beyond postmodernism, beyond the left-vs-right narrative:




(the above is linked from: https://metarationality.com/essays )


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