In the Daniel Greenfield essay we linked to in our previous post, Mr. Greenfield wrote:
Like the ordinary men chipping away at the Berlin Wall, they tore down an unnatural thing that had towered over them. And as they watched it fall, they marveled at how weak and fragile it had always been. And how much stronger they were than they had ever known.
At his blog Outside In, Nick Land makes a similar point:
Perhaps NRx was from the beginning part of the Cathedral funeral process.
Some serious adjustment is called for. An enemy that can suffer a defeat this stupendous clearly isn’t a radically intimidating adversary. We can already see beyond it. The conflict has moved on.
My current (uncertain) take: The regime analyzed by classical NRx has descended into a deeply morbid state. Things will get worse for it, perhaps catastrophically, more quickly than we yet imagine, in a cascade of collapse. All the trends that count against it are still strengthening, in many case exponentially. It would be an analytical error to remain fixated upon its corpse.
Demotism is, of course, undefeated (perhaps even temporarily reinforced). The Cathedral, however, appears mortally wounded. This year was — quite plausibly — its 1989.
ADDED: To be a little clearer, it isn’t really 1989, it’s 1517. The quasi-universal authority of a church died (as a result of techonomic media innovation, among other factors).
Read also an earlier Outside In post, linked to from the post above, that says:
Extreme corrosive pessimism is an NRx specialty. Since optimism bias is a status quo-supported human cognitive frailty, it’s a good thing to have. If rigidified, however, it can result in missing things.
One systematic distortion stems from hubris, taking the form of a confusion in causality. “We don’t like X, and want bad things to happen to it” can actually be a distorted expression of a more basic process: X is dying, and therefore we have started to dislike it…
This blog strongly suspects that the Cathedral has become an object of animosity as a consequence of its morbidity. After all, it’s a mind-control apparatus. If it’s no longer universally accepted, and in certain problematic patches actively loathed, dysfunction is clearly indicated. Contestation of its story is not supposed to be part of the story…
Every critical component of the Cathedral — media, academic, and bureaucratic — is exceptionally vulnerable to Internet-driven disintermediation…
A step down from hubris might begin with an acknowledgment that NRx is — primarily — a symptom. Whatever imagined heroism is sacrificed thereby, it is more than compensated by an opportunity for deepened realism.
“NRx is — primarily — a symptom”. Indeed it is. But so is all reaction, no?