Book Notes: Catching Up with Moldbug

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

Whenever the topic of Moldbug came up in online discussion, I would confess to friends that I was never able to make it through an entire post. Too long-winded, too arch, too many references that admittedly went right over my head. With all the election year foofaraw in the air, though, I was inspired to give him another shot and I’m glad I did. Moldbug is still too long-winded and arch, but I also found these books to be fascinating, compelling, bracing, and head-clearing. And there are tons of Google Books and Wikipedia links to run down his obscure references.

The ebooks — A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations and An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives — compile Moldbug’s blogposts presenting his quirky take on the past 400+ years of Anglo-American history, politics, and economics. You don’t have to accept his conclusion that what the world needs is a return of the Stuart monarchy or Frederick the Great to appreciate his critiques of democracy, Whig progressivism, and the Cathedral axis. If nothing, his work a helpful corrective to the state propaganda we imbibe in college and through the MSM. Paleo Retiree is fond of arguing that the neoreactionary movement is the closest thing we have to a counterculture, so those looking for an alternate take on contempo society would do well to start here.


  • Paleo Retiree gave Moldbug his first major platform here.
  • Those who don’t want to dish out $3 per book can read the books free here and here.
  • Lots more neoreactionary readings can be found here.

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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9 Responses to Book Notes: Catching Up with Moldbug

  1. Thursday says:

    The biggest problem with Mencius is that he thinks our problems can be solved by rearranging the machinery of government. Sorry, the problem is that the whole culture is sick, and bloody left wingers are everywhere, in every office and every organization.


    • Thursday says:

      You’re right though that he at least provokes thought and gives people permission to think outside the box of current political prejudices.


    • JV says:

      Do you really believe that people espousing one side of the political spectrum shoulder the blame for all of our problems?


      • IMO there isn’t much difference between progressives and conservatives. Moldbug convincingly places them on the same Whig spectrum.

        But his argument is much deeper than “Democrats ruined the United States.” He’s attacking the notion of democracy itself.


      • JV says:

        Oh I know, I remember him from the 2Blowhards days. He’s a little overly-logical, like any good computer scientist. Really well-read, though. But I don’t pay much mind to people looking to replace democracy. Typical overly-confident, aspergic college sophomore types. Have a couple kids and get back to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nick says:

    I never thought the neoreactionary movement had any substance to it beyond the amount of words Moldbug typed. His version of anarcho-capitalism/monarchy (swiped from Hans-Herman Hoppe) to me is just as dangerous as a state-socialist dictatorship. Does Mencius really think than him and his kind are powerful enough to not also become serfs?

    There’s a good article in a past issue of Harper’s about these Silicon Valley types.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iggy says:

    If johnny-come-lately Moldbug interests you, you may care to investigate the “real deals” when it comes to reactionaries: Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (whose works should be available in your local library) and Nicolás Gómez Dávila (whose works are available online).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fenster says:

    Remember Franklin’s response to the woman who asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention came up with: a republic, if you can keep it.

    OK, Mencius says no more democracy and bring back the crown. Could work. A monarchy–if you can keep it.

    I understand Mencius as more of a symptom than a cure. Liberal democracy as we know it is, Fukuyama notwithstanding, unlikely to be the end of history. It could well be that authoritarian capitalism a la Singapore will prove more functional in the long run and that if Darwin is any guide that’s (roughly!) where we are headed. In that sense Mencius may be on to something–though I don’t buy the trappings and can barely get through the verbiage.

    On the other hand maybe Kotkin is right that Singapore itself is having a midlife crisis and that it’s authoritarian utopia yearns for a little more libery . . . or disorder.


  5. Pingback: The UR Syllabus of Shitlordery | Uncouth Reflections

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