Charlie Stross dives down the rabbit-hold of fringe politics to find New Reactionaries and other, stranger sects:
This we come full-circle. The Trotskyites of old have donned the Armani suits of libertarian and neoliberal think-tank mavens. And the libertarians have begun to search for a purer pre-modern framework with which to defend themselves against the searing vision of the radiant future. Welcome to the century of the Trotskyite monarchists, the revolutionary reactionaries, and the fringe politics of the paradoxical! I hope you brought popcorn: it’s going to be nothing if not entertaining.
I’m not totally convinced by Stross’ suggestion that new reactionary Mencius Moldbug is a great writer despite his unpleasant belief system. What I’ve seen suggest he’s more of a pompous windbag who’s deeply in love with the sound of his own voice. The way he takes saloon-bar bigotry and sprinkles it with classical references to make it look profound reminds me far too much of the late Enoch Powell.
As for the former trots turned libertoids, the way some leftists go so far to the left they go off the edge and reappear on the right is a well-known phenomenom; witness how many neocons on both sides of the Atlantic were former Trotskyites, or the way Tony Blair’s home secretary John Reid turned from a Stalinist to a right-wing thug.
It’s often said that politics is circular or horseshoe-shaped in the way the hard left and hard right frequently have more in common with each other than with pragmatic moderates. I’ve even semi-seriously suggested than AD&D alignments explain politics more effectively that “left” and “right”.
But perhaps the real divide is between pragmatists and utopians? This explains why, when a utopian ideology is found wanting, many of those who abandon it don’t become pragmatic moderates, but find another utopianism to cling to.