A number of people whose blogs I read, or whom I follow on Twitter, identify as “reactionary” or “neo-reactionary.” The most prominent example is Free Northerner, who is featured in The School of the Prophets on the right sidebar, and who runs a site called “Reaction Times” in addition the site I link to. Often, these reactionaries have excellent ideas–there is a reason Free Northerner is in The School of the Prophets, after all–so why am I so publicly proclaiming myself to not be one?
Firstly, because I am a Christian, and there isn’t enough of me to be anything else at a philosophical level.
I oppose cultural narratives not out of desire to be contrary, or the unwise assumption that the former days were better than these, but rather because they contradict the Word of God. I am happy to lend my full support to the cultural narrative anytime it is congruent with scripture. Thus, I reject the label of reactionary. A reactionary is defined by what he is in reaction against. Hence, reactionaries are as inextricably linked to the cultural narrative as are its blind followers. I refuse to be defined by the cultural narrative–rather, my philosophy is defined by Christ.
Trying to adhere to more than one philosophy will only set me up to waver between two opinions. I have already chosen whom I will serve, and as His slave I cannot also be a part-time slave to some other philosophy.
Secondly, many (though not all) reactionaries seem to have set technology in the place of God. Those who have read Subversive know that I generally take a very dim view of technology and the dependence it engenders. However, my critique of technology goes deeper than that, and is tied to my faith. I think that often the entire point of using technology is to try to make of no effect God’s edict. I have found by trying to live by the sweat of my brow that the less I use technology to make my life easier, the simpler, more rewarding, and more enjoyable my life is. I feel intimately connected to what I do, to the fruits of my hands. God’s way is always best.
Thirdly, I disagree with the stance of certain reactionaries that monarchy is the desirable form of governance. While I believe that the democratic quest for equality and egalitarianism is the root cause of evil, I believe that a monarchy is no more desirable. As a Christian, what I see as a desirable social order is not a monarchy but rather a theocratic patriarchy where the head of each family answers to no one but God. In fact, we are told that to demand a king when we have none is to reject God. And while I may agree with reactionaries that democracy is a fundamentally bankrupt social order, I still am required to be subject to the ruling powers for the Lord’s sake, because there is no authority except that which God has established. I may only disobey the ruling authority, and disregard his commands, when that authority conflicts with the command of the Almighty God.
And so I am not a reactionary, and never will be. I am a Christian. I know nothing else.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. —Colossians 2:8 (KJV)