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0.3: Are you going to treat Reaction and Progressivism as real things? One of the problems in exercises like this is how much to take political labels seriously.
[Edit 3/2014: I no longer endorse all the statements in this document.
I think many of the conclusions are still correct, but especially section 1 is weaker than it should be, and many reactionaries complain I am pigeonholing all of them as agreeing with Michael Anissimov, which they do not; this complaint seems reasonable.
If the Reactionaries can muster some data saying that something has been getting better up until 2005 but declining from 2005 to the present, that doesn’t cut it.
If something else was worsening from 1950 to 1980 but has been improving since then, that doesn’t cut it either.
Michael is also quite smart, very prolific, and best of all for my purposes unusually willing to state Reactionary theories plainly and explicitly in so many words and detail the evidence that he thinks supports them.
Other points from the previous post are real Reactionary beliefs and make it in here as well. Even more confusingly, sometimes the same people seem to switch among the three without giving any indication they are aware that they are doing so.
I will not require complete concordance between all Western countries, but if the Anglosphere countries, France, Germany, and Japan seem split about fifty-fifty between growth and decay in a certain indicator, blaming Progressivism isn’t going to cut it.Reactionaries point out this is not the case, and actually see present society in a state of severe decline, pointing to historically high levels of crime, suicide, government and household debt, increasing time preference, and low levels of civic participation and self-reported happiness as a few examples of a current cultural and historical crisis.Reactionaries usually avoid getting this specific, and with good reason.Now that Michael has revealed the domains in which he is critiquing modern society, we can start to double-check them to see whether Progressivism has indeed sent everything to Hell in a handbasket. To support the Reactionary thesis, I will want to see long-term and unmistakeable negative trends in these indicators.Nearly all Reactionaries agree that the advance of Progressivism has been a long-term affair, going on since the French Revolution if not before.Part 2 of this FAQ mostly draws from Michael’s feudal perspective and Part 4 is entirely based on Moldbug’s corporation-based ideas.