A Year In Review
A little over a year ago I started Thermidor Magazine, with a vague plan and a few friends and no idea whether or not we'd be able to get past the first month without everything crashing and burning. Yet somehow, in spite of many missteps (most of them mine) Thermidor has managed to vastly exceed my, and anyone else's, expectations. Since we started we've published hundreds of pieces on a vast array of topics by some of the best and most interesting writers on the Right. Content that you, quite literally, will find nowhere else.
Any success we've had or will have in the future, is due, almost entirely to our authors. Who write for free, because they love to do it and not because they are paid to do so by the ostensibly "conservative" partisans of a particular near eastern ethnostate. I'd particularly like to thank Nathan Duffy, my co-editor, without whom this entire enterprise wouldn't have been possible. He's been a consistent pitch hitter for me on both the editing and content sides of things and also happens to be a great all-around dude in real life as well. As well as all the other long-suffering writers who have contributed to our success especially Jake Bowyer, Doug Symthe, Walter Devereux, and Thermidor's very own, indomitable boy genius, N.T. Carlsbad, among others. I'd also be remiss if I didn't thank the guys at Social Matter, particularly Hadley Bishop, Ryan Landry and Nick B. Steves who decided to support our endeavor even though they didn't have to. Also, I can't forget the luminous and mercurial Kantbot, who was good enough to lend some his star power to us and contribute two especially fantastic pieces and for offering more general moral support. And last but certainly not least, a big thank you to all of our readers who have kept coming back and sharing our content.
Doing all of this has been, all in all, a complete blast and helped to make the past year incredibly enjoyable for me.
The Road Ahead
But where does this leave us? And more importantly, where are we going? This is a question not just for Thermidor but, much more importantly, for the entire illiberal Right as a whole. We have already meticulously critiqued essentially every aspect of Liberalism, to the point where there is very little left to deconstruct.
The problem for us is that these critiques are of little value without a legitimate vision for real-world implementation of Right Wing principles. Neoliberals, at least the ones who matter, are well aware of this. They long ago ceased to give legitimate philosophical or theological defenses for their works that were anything more than the most obvious of sophistries. But this doesn't bother them in the least as the terms of the debate have now entirely shifted. The Modern Neoliberal assertion is no longer whether or not the end of history prophesied by the spiritual heirs (or rather, the spawn) of Kojeve is desirable (which for the cynical Hegalian is a completely meaningless point of contention) but that it is inevitable. The arrival of the absolute at Jena is, for the neoliberal Hegelian, simply a fact which they are merely the witnesses too. The product of an unstoppable dialectical process which rolls on, with or without the consent of men. A genuine "brute fact" which simply is. Thus the modern neoliberal Hegelian, rather than attempting to prophesize the coming of a new age, simply dispassionately observes and describes what, for him, is an undeniable and pitiless reality.
Thus, no amount of argumentation or critique, however necessary, will be sufficient for us in the struggle we are now engaged in. The only hope any of us have is to somehow find a way to disrupt this terrible dialectic in the "real world", thus countering the "Brute Facts" asserted by the Neoliberal Hegelians with ones of our own. To manifest its failure as an objective reality and not merely as a rhetorical or philosophical one. Conservative or Reactionary programmes will, again, not be sufficient for us here, as in many cases they frequently actually end up enhancing the neoliberal dialectic itself, acting merely as the antithesis to the thesis of the progressives, thus resulting in a new synthesis which still moves the ball further towards the realization of the Kojevian vision of spiritual extinction of the human race. A state of complete and eternal universal slavery, comprised of a collection of 8 billion carbon copies of Matt Yglesias, and thus, a very literal hell on earth.
The task for us cannot be aspiring to the role of conservative "speed bumps" to progress, which, at best, delay the inevitable, but must rather be to attempt to completely change the direction of history itself, as outlandish as this may sound to those who have beaten themselves into submission with the self-fulfilling prophecy of defeatism. The only way to do this is to directly wrestle control of history out of their hands and completely redirect it towards an entirely new destiny and goal. This new destiny cannot be some neo-romantic caricature inspired by cheap aesthetics, whether they be from 19th-century landscape paintings which appeal to the agrarian fantasies of impotent Trad-Dads or the Norman Rockwell fever dream of recreating a 1950's paradise of banal consumerism. All of these dangerous delusions must be purged from the mind space of the Right if it is to have any chance of contributing to the main project of our time: creating a entirely new mode of being itself which accepts the material reality of modernity without ingesting the poison of its philosophical, political and spiritual presuppositions. A good material determinist may, of course, scoff at the notion that this is even possible. But even if their reductionist counsel of despair is ultimately a correct appraisal of our situation (it isn't) the only solution that could then be logically offered would be collective suicide. Whether this takes place by a bullet to the brain or by simply walking into the mall and surrendering to the banal anti-culture of American Consumerism remains a distinction without a difference.
The only way forward is through. This means taking action in the real world, starting in our own personal lives and then extending to and ultimately culminating in deliberate and coordinated political action. The danger posed by the rhetoric and practice of self-improvement gurus, regardless of whether they be Mike Cernovichs or Jordan B. Petersons of the world, is that they result in little more than quietism if left to their own devices. Merely teaching their charges how to better acclimate themselves to the conditions of Late Liberal civilization, is, in and of itself, not a particularly meaningful act. Getting in shape, learning how to talk to girls, or reading more old books are all useful and worthwhile goals but they can only ever be ancillary and must be subordinated to a greater, active political project and organization. Self-improvement for its own sake is little more than a kind of therapy (spiritual masturbation), it is only within the context of an illiberal political project that it can ever be anything more than this.
Power, in all of its various forms, is never passively bestowed, it must actively be taken by force, pryed out of the undead, decaying hands of those who currently possess it. No person or historical force can do this for us; absent deliberate and meaningful political activity and planning, nothing will change. The Neoliberal dialectic will continue to unfold itself and set fire to the little that is good left in our world while the Trad dads (who, absent an awakening, warrant only our undying contempt) sip bourbon in the backyard with their church friends.
The action we need to be taking, at the present moment, should be a combination of ceaseless real-world networking and personal advancement. Do what it takes to meet like-minded people in your area and then build something with them. Stop complaining and take the initiative, if something doesn't exist that you think should then build it yourself because no one else is going to.
Join your local Republican party, advance your position and push the conversation rightward. If you're a Christian make sure you're involved in your local church and do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't succumb to the poison of progressive theology. If you're an atheist find some decrepit old Elks club and turn that place into a chateau of chic nihilism for you and your new right-wing friends. Be creative.
Get a law degree, take the foreign service exam, break into journalism, if you're an academic try and become the next Adrian Vermeule. Make a long-term plan for yourself. In short: make yourself useful.
If you have to move to do it, and you can, then move. Take a fucking risk for once in your life. Do what is necessary. Don't get caught in the tar pit of apathy or meaningless careerism, have goals that transcend the material (crazy I know).
It's time to stop complaining and start doing, there is no way back and no place you can hide that won't ultimately just turn into a tomb for you and your posterity. The price we will all pay for mere survival will be our lives.