© 2017 Thermidor Magazine.

Designed by Jonathan.

Doug Smythe

Re-imagining sociological theory from the Right.

Progressivism on Steroids: The "Conservative" Anti-Humanism of Jonah Goldberg

Way back when, as a student interested in the analysis of modern mentalities of government, I picked up the following, simple set of methodological procedures for going about the analysis of discourse, considered as the empirically observable point of access to mental phenomena that can't be studied directly. Assemble, as data for the analysis, a corpus of pertinent verbal statements (which can assume the form of texts, interview data, institutional rules and regulations, etc. as relevant to the

The Will to Power and Contemporary Politics: A Martian Perspective

Imagine, if you will, a Martian sociologist who, having spent some months on Earth discreetly observing politics and society in contemporary North America, reported on his findings at an academic conference back home. The proceedings might go as follows: "The humans have a bifurcated social structure that divides them into two major groups. The first group, the majority of the population, appears to do most of the productive work in their economy. With respect to the second, much smaller group,

Moving Towards A Post-Liberal Theory of Right

Post-Liberal thought at the present state of its art is a heterogeneous mess, a jumble of scattered critiques, arguments, analyses, and insights that seem to lack inner coherence; a crowd of particulars that await being gathered in a formal synthesis under a set of explicit and general abstract principles and thus given rigorous systematic unity comparable to that of a body of law (juridical or scientific; law is law). In some ways this is perfectly fitting for a movement that, after all, is con

Political Organizing And The Right: Towards A New Leninism

The comparative state of political organization on the political Left and Right today is really something to behold. Considered as a sociological variable, organization is statistically distributed between Left and Right on a binary, all or nothing basis; it is, for all practical purposes, a digital variable whose values are 1 and 0 respectively. The Left is absolutely organized from top to bottom and every point in between, from the lowliest dumpster-dwelling street trash at the very bottom, or


Change is a fetish in modern society. The point of philosophy, argued Marx, isn't to understand the world, but to change it; and today the same is held to be true of every field of human endeavour. Something called "evolution" is supposed to be the fundamental ontological truth of all being, and change an moral end in itself, in fact, a categorical imperative. Change isn't merely permitted, but required. It is not, as Liberal rhetoric would have it, the fruit of the unleashing, under the rule of

Social Organization Beyond Liberalism and Populism

"Diversity" is the most ubiquitous word in the entire ritual vocabulary of what passes for public religion today; at best eye-rollingly tiresome in its endless repetition in mission statements, public address and writing, and formal rules, regulations and policies, at worst utterly odious in the political uses to which it is so often put. Nonetheless, it covers a defining feature of any conceivable society and a central existential problem that any society must solve. No society exists, or can p

Making a Travesty of the State

Last week in Canada, Bill C-16 received Royal assent. The bill amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against "gender identity or expression"; and, more controversially, amends the infamous hate-speech provisions of the Criminal Code to criminalize speech critical of "gender identity or expression". Make no mistake: the following is no hand-wringing lament over the erosion of "muh free speech". I leave it to Libertarian deontologists to uncover, in the abstract formal

Degeneracy in the Age of Enlightenment and Beyond: The Trailblazing Neoreactionary Sociology of John Brown

The new Reaction, they say, entails a “full reboot of the social sciences.” A new body of knowledge, in the course of drawing epistemic lines of demarcation around itself, does not simply wipe the slate clean of all past traditions and knowledges; rather, in the process of demarcation, it defines for itself what Michel Foucault called a “field of memory” in the form of a scholarly canon that identifies important pioneers and precursors in past authors marginalized or ignored in the field of memo