The Dark Enlightenment
by Nick Land
Published in 2008
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
Nick Land makes the case for right wing exitism - that conservatives and reactionaries should seek to exit the current political systems rather than futilely fight for a voice.
“The state isn’t going anywhere, because, to those who run it, its worth far too much.”
Land cites everyone from Richard Dawkins to Ludwig von Mises. Land has, for a long time, captured my imagination.
Land criticizes traditional enlightenment values. He argues that Christian and post-Christian universal egalitarianism is the worst amongst these values. Land also criticizes the virtue of tolerance as hypocritical as tolerance requires the intolerance of tolerance. Because of universalism and tolerance’s impossibility, these virtues in fact serve as social policing functions, with the state fundamentally determining wrong from right.
Land is very critical of the various factions of the right: the libertarians, the religious right, the neonazis, the ethane nationalists, the paleo conservatives, and the mainstream republicans. No ideological subgroup is sparred from the chopping block.
Nick Land also has a unique insight on race relations. He suggests that the reason why whites are becoming more staunchly republican is because as dominant groups become minorities, tribalism and in-group preference increases. He also argues that tribalism is exemplified by stereotypes about racial differences in behavior. His history of the word “cracker” is particularly interesting.
I recommend the Dark Enlightenment to anyone who is knowledgable enough to know who Nick Land is before picking up this review - otherwise I would instead suggest something else.
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