Before two days ago I had never heard of Curtis Yarvin, nor of his prior pseudonym. I have never read anything he has written. I thought that I kept up with the current flow of political ideas, undoubtedly I have run across people influenced by Yarvin (more on that below), but never him.
H/T to @realmajordan, a couple of hours on chat, dissecting Yarvin's words we were able to find them literally everywhere on 'influencer' Twitter.
It is odd then, to me at least, that I have written things that sound much like his criticism of modernity and postmodernity. A piece on Locke and one on the absurdity of western political philosophy after Kant are two examples. According to Wikipedia, Yarvin moved from paleolibertariansim and against democracy after reading Hoppe. I walked a similar path, I came out of the ‘90s as a paleoconservative and then found Hoppe and his arguments comported with my observations. However, our view essentially ends with a common criticism of what the system has become. I disagree with his solutions. (spoiler alert he has not written all of it yet, you have to read between the lines to see it, he provides numerous breadcrumbs.)
Yarvin is a gifted writer. He uses literary references to drive home points that he does not write directly. People can come away from his writing with separate meanings. There is a school of thought and a method for that, Leo Strauss taught it, Yarvin is a master. But he is more than a gifted writer, he is a genius. If the Dunning-Kruger effect is real, he is sufficiently more intelligent than me that I can spot it. He is much smarter than most of his followers and detractors too I learned over the last couple of days, many of them do not recognize it. Yarvin is not a conservative, not in the least. He is part nihilist, wholly a rightist for lack of another term, but not a conservative. He seeks to replace and build, not preserve.
Many leftists know who Yarvin is, or at least a caricature they have created and reference often in a pantheon of boogeymen that scare them. If you are such a person and have stumbled here believing you will find meat to tweet hear this. Yarvin is a natural and expected counterreaction to the absurdity, idiocy and ultimately the authoritarianism you support. I cannot help you understand that statement if you do not already, but have a go at this.
Most normal folks on the right, and apparently even people that believe they have their finger on the pulse of ideas probably do not know of him. But he is there, particularly when you look. Some of your favorite young social media influencers (Claremont Lincoln fellows) parrot his words, sometimes subtly, at other times directly. Major conservative publications echo his words, even Chronicles.
He is no more and no less a boogeyman than intellectuals on the left who argue that looting is reparations or that Marxism, if we try it just one more time, will really work out and would never result in millions of people dying like all those other times. If idiots on the left that support that outcome, it is intellectually impossible to deny that Marxism is authoritarianism, and are afraid of a counter-reaction they ought to look hard in the mirror to understand why neo-reactionism has become palatable.
Why have I written this? Am I afraid that because I have written things for years that sound like his criticisms without ever encountering him that I might be labeled a follower? No. I say and write many things that someone somewhere will not like. I am not hard to find, these are just words and ideas. Am I telling people on the right not to listen to one of the only guys offering a real solution (even if it is one I do not like?) No. I would not have told the Carlists to reject Franco in 1936, considering the Communists would otherwise kill them and they had no other options.
I suppose my point is that we really screwed things up, and some people are intent on completing the job. Absurd notions of justice without truth and equality where it does not exist in the free market, those ideas have consequences. Those ideologies are dangerous and authoritarian and they were bound to create a reaction. My grief is not just with the left, the right did its part too. Holding power so often but never conserving much of anything or ever working to enhance permanent things. There is plenty of blame to go around.
We are in the midst of a great paradigm shift. Everything is going to change whether we want it or not. The days of moderate-liberals and prissy-cons (like The American Conservative and David French) are over. The tide has shifted and poles are forming, and each extreme cries louder each day for action.