The Darkness Before the Right

Anti-democratic sentiment is uncommon in the West, so [Nick] Land’s conclusions appear as shocking, deliberate provocations, which they partly are. But though his prescriptions for ‘corporate dictatorship’—adopted from [Mencius] Moldbug—are obviously radical, the critique of democracy isn’t. Land peppers his essay with quotes from Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and resurgent cultural hero Alexander Hamilton to drive home the point that our Constitution is built on a similar fear of the people (a point often made on the left), and his analysis owes much to mainstream political scientists like Mancur Olson and Jim Buchanan, who forwarded cynical accounts of how ‘democratic’ government largely exists to serve entrenched interest groups and selfish bureaucrats. These men felt that (negative, economic) freedom could only emerge ‘through a particular legal and political framework—and not one to which the population as a whole would necessarily accede.’ Neoreaction simply takes this to its next logical step by scrapping the need for electoral assent altogether. Pointing to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, it argues that economically and socially effective government legitimizes itself, with no need for elections. And this view isn’t limited to the internet right. Harvard’s Graham Allison has recently voiced similar opinions in The Atlantic and HuffPo. The fact that this sentiment is out in the open is less an aberration than a return to the norm.
— Park MacDougald