What is Neoreaction, the Dark Enlightenment and the Alt-Right?


Neoreaction is the intellectual movement started by the writings of Mencius Moldbug and English philosopher, Nick Land. The movement rejects progressive, liberal reform and egalitarianism. A key assumption is that the western establishment of public education and democratic government is fundamentally leftist. In addition, the establishment currently serves the roles of church and state by fulfilling its functions as the current government and by indoctrinating new believers into Progressivism through education.

Google accurately conveys the derogatory connotation of “reactionary”. The term is meant to deride traditionalists as backwards rednecks. Neoreaction is the cutting-edge of a conservative Renaissance, whereby the liberal establishment is denied its legitimacy on its own intellectual terms.

The Dark Enlightenment is the broader expansion of Neoreaction into the humanities and sciences. The term is meant to be a combination of the words “Dark Ages” and “The Enlightenment”. The Medieval Dark Ages are the point in European history when civilization was being rebuilt after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment was an 18th century European intellectual movement that formed the basis for leftism and liberalism. The Dark Enlightenment is an intentional appeal to the superiority of the Medieval worldview over the Enlightenment’s experimental philosophies.

The Alt-Right is the practical manifestation of Neoreaction in the political realm. Explicitly driven by nationalism, it is an unapologetic surge of conservative traditionalism that has come to reject the faux-conservatism of classical liberal philosophies.

In a more fundamental sense, all three movements are a shift in the nature versus nurture debate that has recently come to appreciate the powerful contributions of nature. All educators are biased to believe that education can override genetic nature in many or all situations. The reality is that both contribute to a person’s identity, but the West has consistently overestimated nurture and underestimated nature since the Enlightenment.

Academics are biased to believe that inborn nature is far more malleable than it actually is, because education is their bread-and-butter. Those who live outside of the ivory tower possess a better perspective on the interaction between the two, and the movement against their hegemony has grown into a political force of real traditionalism backed by science, reason and religion.

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