The Eternal FedoraNicholas R. Jeelvy
In the distant and ancient era we now call the “mid-2000s,” there arose a phenomenon we now call New Atheism. New Atheism was militant; its adherents not only rejected religion, but actively sought to expurgate it from society, usually by haranguing the religious online. The idea was for humanity to reject all irrationality, delusion, and superstition and bring about an era of enlightenment and progress through reason and evidence.
If that sounds suspiciously like a caricature of the Enlightenment-era philosophies, it’s because it is – eighteenth-century anti-religious sentiment repeating itself online as farce, spearheaded by bloviating buffoons amazed at their own imagined intellects. The defining image of this movement slowly emerged: an obese man with patchy facial hair and extensive acne, wearing a fedora hat and admiring his purported great awareness of how the world really is. Indeed, “fedora-wearing atheist,” later shortened to “fedora,” became one of the enduring Internet archetypes.
Defeating New Atheism’s arguments and tenets was one of the fledgling Alt Right’s earliest victories The deleterious effects of religious faith’s decline in the West are plain for all to see: broken families, lost confidence, lost community and friendship, an increasing turn toward hedonic pleasure-seeking, and a loss of public morality are all contributing to white countries’ demographic and political crises. Gone are the days of “be fruitful and multiply.” Instead, secularized whites, whether atheist or nominally belonging to the various Christian churches, are having fewer children and pursuing other aims: sometimes the elusive euphoria experienced by being enlightened by one’s own intellect, at other times fame and fortune. For the most part, people have no idea what to do with their lives, because with the end of faith there’s nobody left to tell them what to do. It may seem incredibly counterintuitive, but this is a peculiar characteristic of the white human animal: left without the instruction and motivation that was historically provided by religion, it’ll just sit there doing nothing, especially if it is highly intelligent. Our great brains, our great intellects drown out the instinctual drives possessed by lower animals. Without a heaven to look forward to, and without an interpretational and operational framework with which to identify and pursue that heaven in this life, we are worse than useless.
One of the best arguments against the New Atheist position ironically came from Stefan Molyneux, himself an atheist. His reasoning was that while religion is indeed false and irrational, it nevertheless served a purpose in society, and as such, deconstructing it without providing an alternative was reckless of atheists, including those Enlightenment philosophers who believed that religion is a fetter upon man’s great capacity to create and invent. Molyneux then went on to try and develop his own alternative to religion: a moral-philosophical system of Universally Preferable Behavior. It was unsurprisingly unsuccessful in its stated goal of developing secular ethics. Then again, the libertarian Weltanschauung has never really had much patience with ethical systems. The zeroth ethical rule of rational self-interest is “don’t get caught.” Breaking a rule without getting caught gives the actor a free option, an extra turn, a crucial edge in the games men play with and against each other.
Parallel to the New Atheist movement — and in part overlapping with it due to shared attitudes regarding the nature of knowledge, rationality, and life — was the early, late 2000s iteration of Neoreaction. People whose exposure to Neoreaction is recent only dates from 2020 might be surprised to learn that the movement was at least initially a very weird offshoot of transhumanist and ultra-rationalist schools of thought, specifically arising in the LessWrong forum, which attempts to use probability mathematics as a means of making the most rational decision possible. And indeed, even a cursory glance at the old Neoreactionary authors’ archived writings tells us that these guys were at least the New Atheists’ fellow travelers, fighting the same demons of superstition and irrationality.
The difference is, of course, that the Neoreactionaries recognized early on that progressivism, or what we now call woke, is also a form of religion, and in fact the irrationality and superstitions emanating from this religion are a far greater danger than whatever superstitions Christianity conjures up. It wasn’t until the notorious Elevatorgate scandal that woke even appeared on the New Atheists’ radar as a threat.
For the blissfully unaware, Elevatorgate refers to an incident where Rebecca Watson, a New Atheist blogging under the sobriquet of “SkepChick” (get it?), was offered a cup of coffee in an elevator by a man while both were attending a New Atheist/Skeptic conference. The man’s offer made her uncomfortable and she blogged about it, prompting PZ Myers to raise the alarm about men awkwardly approaching women in elevators. This in turn provoked a dismissive response from the Jesus of atheists himself, Richard Dawkins, who mocked SkepChick by comparing her predicament to the plight of genitally-mutilated Muslim women. The incident caused a rift between woke/progressive and non-progressive atheists, which later ballooned into the skeptic-SJW conflict of the mid-2010s. Indeed, we could say that the anti-SJW era of the Internet began with Elevatorgate, and the onus of atheists’ online activism shifted from arguing with Christians to “triggering SJWs,” as the kids like to say. The New Atheists, having now become anti-SJW warriors, took the Neoreactionary insight that SJW/woke is like a religion, applied their old anti-Christian weapons to them, and were met with resounding success.
Their initial successes gave way to ever-mounting failure, however, as all of that SJW-owning did not make a lick of difference in terms of concrete political gains, or even halting the march of progress in movies and media. To top it all off, the New Atheists, now recently rebranded as Skeptics, found themselves in the Alt Right’s crosshairs. Even in its diminished state after Charlottesville, the Alt Right still had enough fight left in it to humiliate the Skeptics in the Internet Bloodsports era, whose political views could uncharitably but accurately be described as warmed-over ‘90s liberalism. Rational, pragmatic, and sensible skepticism was trounced by the ideological fanaticism of the woke Left and then humiliated by the nationalist Right’s iron commitment. Having mistakenly attributed their earlier, easy victories over self-doubting Christians to the actual strength of their arguments, the old New Atheists found themselves square in the middle of the ideological age with nothing to guide and motivate their actions.
Old habits and prejudices die very hard. Secularists will easily accept the insight that religion is necessary, even though it is irrational, because its social, organizational, and personal benefits are plain to see. They will also easily accept the insight that ideologies are religions– irrational, faith-based interpretational frameworks for men and organizations incorporating ritual, taboos, restrictions, holy texts, myth, an Axis Mundi, concepts of the sacred and the profane, saints, and sanctities. Despite this, seemingly smart people, while possessing, accepting, and seemingly understanding these two insights, will nevertheless still proclaim that ideology must be transcended and that a rational, pragmatic, non-ideological approach is necessary in politics. Perhaps they never threw out their fedoras.
It doesn’t matter how many times the immense power of religious or ideological faith is demonstrated: The skeptic will not countenance irrationality and superstition. Time and time again, he will don his fedora and seek out the dragons of superstition to slay and make the world from their bones, because every fight in a man’s life is the same primordial struggle against the demons he thought he had slew when he was 16, riddled with acne and worried about George W. Bush instituting an Evangelical theocracy in America. Back then it was the “faithheads” holding society back by denying the secular worldview which is self-evidently rational and derived from evidence and reason; nowadays it’s wokies and wignats getting in the way of Sensible Centrism,™ which is self-evidently rational and derived from evidence and reason.
At the heart of this delusion is the notion that the world can be understood simply from first principles, using nothing but the human reasoning and evidentiary apparatuses. In a delicious irony, this notion, which lies at the heart of the New Atheist, Skeptic, and now Sensible Centrist worldview, is deeply Thomistic, having been first proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas, although I suspect it’s been around since the time of Aristotle. I did not realize that this idea was the operating error of the skeptic-atheist-libertarian meme complex until a Thomist called me irrational for accepting the existence of God and the resurrection of Christ as a matter of faith. “That’s an appeal to authority.” I should have been convinced by one of the rational proofs for God instead. And here was I thinking that religion is a faith-based affair.
Orthodox theology, on the other hand, is less likely to throw words like “rational proofs of God” around. While I’m no expert, my friends who are avid readers of Orthodox theology tell me that the Eastern Church’s position is that finding rational or empirical proof of God is not possible. Indeed, reason itself is a boon from God, attained by right-believing Christians once they’ve accepted God’s grace and law. Only through faith can man become rational, being a rather sorry excuse for a creature in a state of unfaith — less than a beast, for a beast at least has instincts, whereas man is incomplete without faith. This accords with my own observations: Those without faith or any other type of interpretive framework do precisely nothing with their lives. Only by accepting an interpretive framework, be it religious or ideological, can man know what to do with his life, have a goal, have a plan to attain his goal, develop methodologies for implementing his plan, and seek out allies and friends towards the attainment of that goal via implementing the plan. In short, man needs faith — or ideology — to attain not only direction and directional movement, but also the means of giving meaning to information, of parsing the relevant from the irrelevant, and of differentiating between valid and invalid methodologies. In short, the ability to reason.
This is not to say that we do not find this same old disease in the East as well. As it happens, Orthodox Christianity is just as vulnerable to the passage of time and decrepitude of will as its Western counterparts. People in the East are nominally Orthodox, just as Westerners are nominally Catholic, Lutheran, or Evangelical, but in reality we practice different religions that more closely resemble ideologies than classic religious faith. Most of these have Western roots, even if their expressions remain Eastern in the East. You could even say that the East is currently the more rationalistic region. Indeed, while both sides of the white world have their fair share of worn-out, empty husk religions, it is the Western part that has an active, living, breathing major faith: wokery. The East is eminently more practical, pragmatic, and rational — in a word, more animalistic, which makes it weak and corrupt. It simultaneously fears, envies, and respects the fanatical — and therefore more human — West.
It is relatively easy to point out that an ideology is like a religion, or that it fulfils the same function as a religion. The concept of civic religion is born out of an acceptance that classical religions such as Christianity, Islam, or even paganism are no longer capable of providing a central organizational principle for society. We’ve therefore turned that task over to ideologies, which, due to the loaded nature of that term, we call civic religions. It is difficult to accept that such ideologies or civic religions are necessary, and that societies will always have them, and furthermore that societies and individuals which strongly and irrationally believe in their ideologies will defeat societies and individuals that are ruled by rational concerns. We associate irrationality with animals, but I’ve yet to witness an animal behave in an irrational manner. All animals are almost perfectly guided by what libertarians like to call rational self-interest, and this is what makes them so easily controllable. We call them lesser creatures because they lack our ability to behave unpredictably and irrationally, to do things against their short- or even long-term interests for the benefit of a higher ideal (which in practice still ends up benefiting our tribe, at least). Atop the hierarchy of being stands God, a being so irrational that His mind and He himself are beyond human knowing, at least in Orthodox theology. It appears to me that we have this idea of rationality backwards.
Of course, if we accept that rationality is the ability to reason, put together a plan, act on it, change it when it fails, and keep going in the face of failure, or more simply as the ability to go with intentionality from point A to point B, then man is indeed more rational than animals and God is more rational than man. But this sort of rationality requires a little bit of unreason in order to work — a fanaticism, a willingness to keep going even in the face of overwhelming odds, certainty in the face of massive (apparent) evidence to the contrary. A better word might be rightly-guided. I like the Arabic name Rashid, which means this, but an Anglo-Saxon version would be Æthelred: nobly advised, contrasting well with king Æthelred’s unfortunate sobriquet, Unræd.
If we conceive of faith as guidance, then the believing man is Æthelræd or Rashid: rightly guided and nobly advised, while the atheist is he who is left unguided and unadvised — Unræd. If we accept that ideologies are modern variations on religion, then the worst thing we can do, both as individuals and as a movement, is to willingly impose on ourselves a state of Unræd because we want to attain a temporary rhetorical edge over some low-level SJWs. Those who abandon ideology do not attain any enlightenment or wisdom, but merely lose their ability to impose their own agenda, instead becoming instruments of others who’ve retained an ideological agenda, merely reacting to an ideologically-motivated and -driven enemy. The old New Atheists will likely never hang up their fedoras, but the nationalist movement cannot afford to get bogged down in their ignorant and arrogant campaign against the irrational.
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Left without…instruction…it’ll just sit there doing nothing, especially if it is highly intelligent.
Thank you for that validation.
This is really excellent, and for me it deserves another thorough reading, or two. I’m intrigued by the story of Stefan Molyneux saying belief in God is a practical good, even though God does not exist and all theology is bunk. Wut?
One wonders at the naïvete of such remarks. You throw someone a life-raft while saying, it’s not really seaworthy, but HERE, if you’re stupid enough you might actually survive to landfall, however fortuitously.
Also put me in mind of Edward Dutton, of whom I recently became aware. His name pops up frequently here and on kindred sites. He often relates statistical evidence that devout religiosity is a positive good, for happy marriages, for reproduction, for mental stability in general. It sometimes sounds like a strangled rationalist argument that would never sell, for if you pretend to “believe” when really you don’t, does this not defeat your argument? Because you’re saying it’s all just a parlor trick, like hypnotism. Maybe that’s the Moly approach too, and if so it’s really shallow.
In Dutton’s case I suspect he is a fervent believer, but he doesn’t think he can easily get his ideas through, at least not in our globalist soviet regime.
They’re putting it out there as a statement of fact, that religious faith is good for people. This doesn’t mean they themselves believe. Pascal’s wager doesn’t work because man cannot force himself to believe, or rather, belief isn’t a voluntary act. For this reason, we must at least think about alternatives to religious faith which would provide similar benefits, seeing as how the horse of skepticism has already bolted on a civilizational scale.
Ed Dutton belonged to an evangelical student group while at Durham University. Although he wrote up his observations in a thesis or some such, I doubt anyone could endure such a three-year masquerade for purposes of anthropological fieldwork.
When one speaks of “alternatives to religious faith” one really means “alternative belief systems” which equates to “different religious faiths.” There is no definable class of “religions” beyond metaphysical and philosophical systems in general. Some people try to strive for a materialistic or solipsistic worldview, others stick with something traditional and transcendent. In the end it’s all one form of mysticism or another.
If religion in general is good because it leads people to have children, does that mean that the particular religion whose believers have the most children is true? I mean, why waste our time with various forms of Christianity if Orthodox Judaism, Islam or even Mormonism have higher rates of reproduction? Asking for a friend.
“If religion in general is good because it leads people to have children, does that mean that the particular religion whose believers have the most children is true?”
It suggests that religion is beneficial rather than that it is true.
“I mean, why waste our time with various forms of Christianity if Orthodox Judaism, Islam or even Mormonism have higher rates of reproduction? Asking for a friend.”
There is still the question, “beneficial for whom?”
Orthodox Judaism leads to Jews breeding more, not to non-Jews breeding more.
Islam typically leads to Whites getting blended out; Whites have not usually thrived under Islam. “Reproduction, but not of the same kind” is not what we are looking for.
Mormonism once led to better reproductive rates for some Whites, but it has changed, apparently permanently and for the worse, from the point of view of what is good for the Whites.
Choosing between Protestantism and the Catholic faith based on the success of White reproduction (and White state-formation) in new Protestant lands and the blending out of Whites in new Catholic lands would have been reasonable once, but the various versions of Christianity have changed too, apparently permanently and for the worse, from the point of view of what is good for the Whites.
Reproductive success is a reasonable test of the benefits of religion. It would have been reasonable for a White woman desiring children to avoid The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, more commonly known as the Shakers, simply because they forbade reproduction.
Actually existing religions are mostly failing the test of reproductive utility for Whites. (Fedora atheism fails even harder, though not as hard as the Shakers.) The problem is with the religions in their current forms and not with the test, which is reasonable and even necessary.
Ackshually, atheism is the most pro-reproductive view. The Chinese had to institute infanticide to keep their numbers down.
FRIDAY, JAN 13, 2023 – 05:00 PM
“In China, the highest percentage of people among the 56 countries and territories included in the Statista Global Consumer Survey is non-religious or atheist, the latter describing people rejecting the idea that there is a God.”
Jesuit to Chinese: What is your religion?
Chinese: What is “religion”?
Religiosity is highly correlated with greater fertility rates globally. It’s just that other things such as widespread poverty and agrarianism correlate with higher birth rates too, and China had more of each.
I am not quite sure that I understand your point. It might be different for Mormons in other countries, but I have lived in the so-called Mormon Corridor all my life with the exception of a stint in Georgia while in the Army. I am not seeing a lot of miscegenation, although there is a very slight amount. Idaho is like 95 percent White, although brown migrant farm labor seems to be settling in the farm belt permanently now and not “migrating” like they have for the last hundred years.
At one time Mormons were fascinated by Noble Savages and our family even had a Navajo boy stay with us for a year. I guess it was better than learning English in some boarding school, but the idea that boarding schools were like Death Camps, even when mandatory and run by the Latin Rite Church, is, I think, a bit overstated.
My pioneer ancestors got medals for fighting Injuns but these conflicts are also overstated in modern myths. “Natives” usually showed up dirty and threatening and asking for food and liquor, and then they left you alone (mostly). Mormons fed them but didn’t provide liquor ─ and somebody else must have provided them with the guns and horses.
Anyway, Mormons do use birth control and have modern ideas, and since their worldview and concept of salvation is very family-oriented, they have many children (within reason). Women need to get good educations and some work experience in case something happens to the man.
I can remember good LDS families with nine or so children when I was a kid, but today that is very unusual. Today it is rarely fewer than four, and sometimes five or six kids. My Mom and Dad are devout LDS and they had five children with two stillbirths. Mormonism also allows no-fault divorce ─ you don’t have to turn the children against the other spouse in order to end it. Both of my sets of grandparents were divorced and they did not do that to their exes. The splits definitely affected my parents negatively but probably could not have been avoided without more hard feelings. They have been married now for over sixty years.
The problem with Mormons (or LDS as they prefer) is that they are Christians who have a fundamental belief in equality before God and not just “blindfolded” equality before the Law.
The LDS also believe in global Christian missionary work, which I think is ultimately futile for the interests of the White race. It is a form of cultural imperialism, although who am I to say that White New Zealanders can be “Latter-Day” Christians but not Māoris? Mormonism is pretty strong in NZ and my roommate at BYU-Idaho was a New Zealander. His Dad was in fact the principal of the Church College of New Zealand, although the LDS Church rarely owns parochial schools and hospitals these days ─ which is now true of most Christian churches. For example, when my sister lived in Los Angeles at the time of the riots and the O.J. affair, she had to send her kid to a Lutheran primary school to avoid the public school Poz (and he tends to be a little shit-libby now ─ but you didn’t hear that last part from me).
I think it is fine (maybe essential) for White people to have freedom of their consciences, and I do support White people being Christians as long as they follow their own hard-earned principle of the Separation of Church and State.
When Junior Bush answered in his debate with former Vice President Albert Gore that his favorite “philosopher” was Jesus Christ, I cringed. It probably put him over the top in the razor thin and contested 2000 election. Junior then went on to parlay his support with Christians after 9/11 to a Neoconservative wet dream in Afghanistan and Iraq and two decades of pointless intervention.
I hoped that Junior Bush would get impeached for lying about Weapons of Mass-Destruction, but Congress prefers to impeach on silly things like Presidential affairs with skanky Jewish interns and “mean tweets.”
In 2020, all it took to secure a Democrat win for President was to leak that the Supreme Court had finally undone Roe vs. Wade which then sucked out all the oxygen. In the 2022 Arizona governor’s race, Democrat Katie Hobbs refused to debate Trump-endorsed Kari Lake, and literally said nothing other than that she supports abortion rights and that the 2020 election was not stolen. Hobbs then won by a nosebleed, and the Red State that was the first to start countersignalling immigration, well, it looks like it has gone irretrievably Purple if not Blue
The Supreme Court changed its mind on Roe because Republicans have done nothing but nominate Catholics for the SC, and Trump was unexpectedly elected in 2016 on the GOP ticket ─ while Democrat Chief Executives have all nominated nothing but non-Whites and Jews to the SCotUS. And after two years of President Bidet, the GOP sabotaged any chance of a Red Wave revanche just by taking an extreme Chtistian position on Abortion. Kari Lake even countersignalled abortion when the fetus was retarded. (Come to think of it, so did Sen. John “RINO” McCain’s 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin.)
Jews and their army of non-Whites are far more disciplined in politics than Christians will ever be. We need to be neutral on Faith and very vigilant on Race-based politics. If Christians can’t do that, then maybe we do need to rethink it as a slave morality.
Something like Judaism would keep whites in mixed race nations from miscegenating, but Jews have 50% higher mutational load than whites, and 90% mutations are very bad because most are new evolutionarily continually phased out of the human genome. If Dutton and Woodley are right that mutated people have bad ideas, then it seems Jews may outclass whites in this respect.
Some Christian Scientists ban all medical treatment, and this may keep down mutational load by allowing pathogens to eliminate the weak, but few if any people want to sacrifice their kids on that altar.
Amish and Pashtuns are fecund farmers but severely inbred, the former due to having a small founding population and the latter due to cousin marriage. As a result, they have more genetically induced diseases. Plus, nobody wants to live like them.
And of course, as you mention, some religious sects were celibate.
Not all religions are good or workable, but religiosity has something to do with having kids, and the relationship is worth investigating.
“Still, it seems religiosity has something to do with having kids.”
I agree with that. In principle I am all for religiosity for Whites, in large part because I think religiosity can be good for fertility. When religiosity gives meaning to life, and when it encourages women to accept the risks and struggles of motherhood, and when it encourages men to be good husbands and take up the burdens of fatherhood, good. I think there should be a weak, rebuttable presumption in favor of religiosity in general.
This presumption can be supported strongly by clear pro-Whiteness, or overturned by anti-Whiteness.
I see a lot of religion that is antiwhite, or that may have been pro-White in the past but isn’t any more, and that likely never will be pro-White again.
I like this article, and I don’t see much to argue with.
Kratoklastes over at Unz commenting on an entirely different article there seems a propos:
Is it a “Left/Right” thing though? This sort of ‘ardent belief’ – belief that persists despite evidence that the thing believed is likely false – can be observed across the political spectrum, and in virtually all areas of life where belief is the primary ‘driver’.
Some people continue to believe that there was a 1st-century revolutionary in Roman-occupied Palestine, who was the progeny of a Canaanite storm-god who god-raped a young woman (impregnating a woman without her consent is kinda sketchy, even if Yahweh didn’t actually bone her)… despite significant evidence that the bloke didn’t exist (and zero evidence that he existed).
Belief is the retarded red-headed cousin of knowledge, regardless of political stripe.
This has been known since early antiquity: it’s why the Sophists were derided by the other schools – their view was that persuasion through rhetoric was acceptable, whereas pretty much all other schools (the Stoics; Epicureans; Pythagoreans; Peripatetics) all understood that truth was far too important.
They all viewed belief (δοχα) as inferior to knowledge (ἐπιστήμη); belief could be the starting point for trying to understand a thing, but once the belief was ‘justified’ through evidence one could assert that it became knowledge.
Belief was – and is – for the proles.
The Livestock are actively encouraged to believe that if they believe a thing passionately, then that thing is true – that is, that the thing-believed becomes a fact.
St Gretchen of Aspberg, Patron Saint of the Cult of How Dare You!, is a classic example.
Ditto PIBs (“pronouns in bio“) and other forms of Reality-denier.
So are the Westboro Baptists; the (late) congregation of Jonestown; the congregation of Chabad (and Haredim generally); the Salafists… none of whom can serously be categorised as ‘Left-wing’.
Belief is very useful to those who want to live parasitically on We The Livestock – regardless of what colour tie they wear, or what silly hat or vestments, or which fictional Sky Maniac they pretend guides human destiny.
For that reason alone it is worthwhile to try to construct a worldview that minimises belief. It’s not for everyone: it’s actually quite hard. Nobody does it all the time, but it’s critical that it’s done for things that matter.
Try to catch yourself every time you’re tempted to write “I believe” (or even “I think“); it almost always means that you don’t KNOW.
“Knowledge” is merely belief with footnote apparatus.
For more on Fedora, tune in tomorrow at 1pm EST:
Soprano Sonya Yoncheva, one of today’s most riveting artists, sings the title role of the 19th-century Russian princess who falls in love with her fiancé’s murderer, Count Loris, sung by star tenor Piotr Beczała. Soprano Rosa Feola is the Countess Olga, Fedora’s confidante, and baritone Lucas Meachem is the diplomat De Siriex, with Met maestro Marco Armiliato conducting.
Elevatorgate triggered the schism between the neurotic element and facet two psychopathy element of New Atheism over whether it is creepy to offer coffee right on the spot or in a future date. A further rift among the facet two crowd may occur over whether it is acceptable to strap a table in front of one’s body upon which they might sip the coffee if the offer is accepted.
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