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The Ten Theses of the Dissident Right
I recently wrote a piece on paleoconservatism which, owing to a communication mix-up, I didn’t need to write after all. It is just as well because the article was not really coming together, but it had some interesting sections which I will post here.
The online dissident right (hereafter “the DR”) is a loose collective whose activities have mostly been confined to making videos and streams on YouTube and longer-form blog articles, especially on the platform Substack. Since most content generation has taken place in these alternative forms, as opposed to more traditional forms such as newspaper articles or academic journals, its positions can be difficult to pin down since they are not codified in a single place. While there are many perspectives in this collective, there is broad consensus on the following ten theses:
Progressivism is not simply wrong-headed, but evil.
There can be no compromising with evil.
What is called “Progress” in most cases is entropy and a sign of moral decline.
The current elites in the West, who are totally committed to progressivism, are beyond redemption and must be replaced or else the entire system must collapse.
There is no meaningful difference between the establishment parties – Democrat and Republican, Labour and Conservative – these represent two wings of a “uniparty” who differ only in the speed at which they wish to accelerate progressivism.
Liberalism is an entropic force with few if any redeeming features.
Democracy is an entropic force with no redeeming features whatsoever.
No progressive successes in history — for example the Civil Rights Act 1964, or the institution of gay marriage — are permanent and all “liberal priors” are ripe to be questioned and ultimately destroyed.
There are no meaningful distinctions among the government, the civil service, the legal apparatus, corporations, NGOs, the media, academia, or captured churches – these represent eight tentacles of the same monstrous progressive octopus whose only role is to be torn apart and destroyed.
Libertarianism has almost nothing to offer the current predicament and is a discredited political philosophy since it fundamentally misrecognises the problem.
We might call these the ten theses of the DR. While solutions and particulars may vary, virtually no one in the DR would disagree with any of these points.
The DR’s ranks have been filled from four chief sources: first, populists (Trump supporters, Brexiteers, or their equivalents from other countries) who have been disillusioned by the lack of headway made after apparent victories in 2016 and who have been shocked by the speed and temerity by which the empire has struck back; second, followers of the Alt Right 1.0, which collapsed after the events of ill-feted Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, and whose sometimes narrow focus on race and IQ has been largely superseded by power analyses and a concern for the need of a renewed spiritualism (this is not to say that the DR does not recognise the harms done by mass immigration, demographic change or the realities of race); third, disgruntled former liberals who have been shaken into awareness by any number of real-world events in 2020 such as the BLM riots, the question marks over the election of the decrepit Joe Biden to the White House, and the excesses of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic; and, fourth, former libertarians who have come to realise the realities of power. The DR’s key intellectual forerunners have been paleoconservatism, Neoreaction, the Nouvelle Droite, and some of the more intellectual white nationalists – although it has been typically marked by returning to and re-evaluating classic sources such as the counter-enlightenment thinkers (e.g., Joseph de Maistre, Giambattista Vico), nineteenth-century reactionaries (e.g., Thomas Carlyle), the Italian elite theorists (Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, Robert Michels), German conservative revolutionaries (e.g., Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt), perennial traditionalists (e.g., Julius Evola, René Guénon), and Catholic literary revivalists (e.g. Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton).