Is Prophetic Catastrophism Pollyannish?

Identifying as a Prophetic Catastrophist, I have to define this term, which to my knowledge applies to a sizable segment of the Reactosphere. Prophetic Catastrophism is the theory that we can be certain of Modernity’s violent implosion as an ideological and geopolitical force, even if we cannot be precise in the timing of such a prediction.

This is but one of a few schools of thought out there, which I would group under the heading ‘Ascendancy Theories‘, that is, how does the Reactionary (and subsequently Traditional) archetype become the dominant form of politics in the world once more?

These are the different theories that I have come across:

1: Necessary Assimilation Theory: The theory that society will advance to such a point technologically that past liberal theories of government will be unworkable, and so to prevent chaos, the Modern elite will embrace Reaction out of necessity.

2: Infiltration Theory: The theory that Reaction must be brought to power by the infiltration of key institutions of influence via stealth by those with radical right views, who will move society rightward by virtue of the power they hold in shaping the popular narrative and the culture, a sort of Gramsci-ism of the right.

3: Populist Theory: The theory that changing demographics and cultural decline will cause a worldwide shift to the political right, and either the violent ‘proletariat style’ revolution against sitting liberal governments, or else the rise of truly Reactionary political parties to power.

4: Prophetic Catastrophist Theory

So, why do I hold to the fourth theory?

In his article, Structural Entropy and Measuring Decline, Bryce Laliberte asserts the following:

To this is the neoreactionary postulate that society is a continuous shift to the left because all systems tend towards entropy. Once something begins falling apart, it’s even easier for it to continue falling apart until all actual order has been undone.”

This concept is born out in the utter failure of conservatism as an ideology, since we continually observe that conservatism merely shadows liberalism, defending its machinations of yesteryear. The progressive marches boldly onwards, dragging his conservative detractors behind him on an ever-shortening leash.
But the observation of a trend towards entropy is absolutely critical. Just as the universe, if not interfered with by outside forces, tends towards its own destruction in an eventual heat death, so too does culture. Once the crack is made in the order of the world (the Enlightenment), the integrity of the structure deteriorates towards its eventual dissolution.

entropy
don’t fuck with it
you’ll lose every time

But we don’t need vague scientific comparisons to make this point. Going to the Vedic Tradition, certainly the most clear in the prophecy of our age (to our knowledge at least), we find the following in relation to the closing of the Dark Age (Kali Yuga), otherwise known as Modernity.

“Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brāhmaṇa of Śambhala village, the great soul Viṣṇuyaśā. Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings.
After all the impostor kings have been killed, the residents of the cities and towns will feel the breezes carrying the most sacred fragrance of the sandalwood paste and other decorations of Lord Vāsudeva, and their minds will thereby become transcendentally pure. When Lord Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears in their hearts in His transcendental form of goodness, the remaining citizens will abundantly repopulate the earth”


As such, this is a messianic prediction laced with the marks of great legendary story-telling, but it is not the horse or the fragrance of sandalwood paste that matter, it is the overarching narrative. By the will of God, man’s age of maximum decadence comes to an end with the slaying of the elites, those who have “dared dress as kings”. The notion of abundantly repopulating the earth is very critical for it seems to indicate not only elites will pass on, but large swaths of the global population will be devoted to some calamity. Those that remain are transcendentally pure (or as Evola would say, Traditional in their folkways).

it is unclear whether the Kalki Avatara
is a metaphor for plague, famine, technological breakdown,
 war, other natural disasters, or the Final Judgment

I have no doubt that Christians reading this will be muttering that this predicts the Second Coming and the final judgement of mankind, however there is a very clear and logical refutation of this line of thinking.

If these are the same Last Days spoken  of in Holy Scripture, then no action we take (in the political or scholarly realm) will alter or shape events to come. All human institutions will cease to exist, and we enter the theocracy of the Son dependent on our own individual salvation.

Of course I would welcome such a development! However, because of what I outline above, it is logical to assume the second option, and that is that we are beginning a new Cycle of the Ages, with the return of Christ still some way off in the future. If this is the case, then actions we take can influence what world our progeny may inherit after the death of the Kali Yuga, for we lay the groundwork of the next civilizations, those of a “transcendentally pure” nature.

Even if one could calculate that the chances of the first option were 99% and the second only 1%, it would still be wise to assume the second, simply by virtue of the fact that the outcomes of the first are immune to our own creations, they represent the total destruction of earthly humanity, rather than a ‘reset’.

In his article, “The Happening” Won’t Fix Your Problems, Henry Dampier makes the case that sitting around waiting for a current order to collapse will not necessarily yield a system any better on the other side. He correctly asserts that collapses cause massive problems that are difficult to plan for, especially if the scale and nature of the collapse are unpredictable, or their predictability time window is very short. He also correctly points out that parts of earth have been harsh for as long as we have been here and no amount of regime change caused substantial improvement.

While I agree that there is no excuse for sitting around and waiting for the Golden Age to just drop into your lap, I do think we can cordon off the end of Modernity as a ‘special event’, distinct from the fall of Rome and other such cataclysms. Its almost global nature alone puts it in a higher tier.

However, Dampier doesn’t actually argue that this event will not happen. He sees entropy increasing to a point, as do all Reactionaries. What I think he actually does is answer the question I raised in the title of this piece. Are we looking to the future with rose-colored glasses when we predict the death of Modernity?

No, I think not, for if we accept what Dampier tells us in the article, that life beyond Modernity will likely be harsh and unforgiving at least in the short term, with many problems intensifying during the breakdown of the Kali Yuga, then we are not painting the picture of an easy transition. In fact, every other theory of Reactionary ascendancy above is more pollyannish than Prophetic Catastrophism. The three other alternatives imply comparatively little suffering and struggle when compared to the prophecy of our imminent desolation at the hands of fate and perhaps other contributing forces.

The road ahead will not be easy. It may be full of bomb craters, radiation, scant electricity, constant conflict, banditry, and a return to barter economics. This is not a utopian vision, but rather a vision of clawing back order in a dystopic plane, the dreams of men who carry the torch of our forebears and the Traditions they built their functional society around, it is the undying light of men among the ruins.
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5 thoughts on “Is Prophetic Catastrophism Pollyannish?

  1. So then, do you advocate waiting for the collapse or Accelerationism – actively working towards it? A propos Dampier's comment I ask a question “Is Russian Federation better than USSR?”, and the answer is obviously “Yes!”, the collapse of the USSR was obviously a good thing (similarly, the dissolution of Federal Government, and independence to the fifty states would be a good for the USA). That doesn't mean that current Russia is some reactionary utopia, because the current system in Russia is not even close to a reactionary system, it's but a remnant of a Communist system (in the same way, independent fifty states would not be reactionary, but a remnant of a Democratic system). My point then is that every leftist structure needs to collapse before recovery will truly be possible, even the remnants of those structures, so that means even Russian Federation, even fifty independent states… “But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16-17
    Of course, we can always imagine a scenario where the society resulting from collapse could be much worse than what we already have, but if collapse is going to happen anyway, why stall it then?

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  2. I was asked a similar question by a commenter over at Bruce Charlton's blog, and I remain skeptical about Accelerationism as a tactic.

    1) Even acting as a whole unit, Reactionaries do not represent a large enough demographic yet to inflict any meaningful change in Western electoral systems. Elections rely on the masses so a small political sect such as ours strategically aiding the radical left into power will be largely nugatory.

    2) Obviously there are moral considerations here. As a Christian who fears God greatly, I could not in any good conscience vote for a pro-abortion party or politician, and on from abortion there are a great many other blatant, almost satanic evils advocated by certain parties and so putting my name in with them, even if only a strategic and cynical move on my part, would not sit well with me.

    As I have written, I dismiss the other ascendancy theories because they neither fit with prophecy nor do they seem plausible given the Cthuluvian nature of the enemy, who is monstrously powerful and guarded against thought-criminals such as ourselves. It is the case that liberalism must be utterly DESTROYED as an ideology before the vedic Golden Age can return and the World of Tradition reach its rightful apex once more.

    Now, while I don't support accelerationism at the level of democratic operations and especially not at the cultural level, in the area of foreign diplomacy, I can see merit in the idea. While questions about the size of Reactionary potential influence in the West remain, nothing is lost by careful co-operation with powers destabilizing the liberal order, especially Russia which I see as a safe zone for our ideas and activities. I stress that we should not become pawns of the Kremlin but rather wary and somewhat like-minded travelers, sojourners if you will, Despite not being national socialists themselves, the Russians have sought common ties with national socialists in various European countries, so I see no reason why they would refuse aid and comfort to radical Reactionary associations as well, as our aims are far more ideologically akin to Russian philosophical thought than parties like Golden Dawn and Jobbik are.

    We should certainly be doing nothing to stall the collapse of western powers. That seems obvious to me. I don't want the tiger bandaged and cozy by my fire place, I want its head mounted on my wall.

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  3. 1) Of course, you're right there.

    2) But even the officially “right”-wing parties are left-wing, and aren't going to fight any progressive policies, including abortion. We've seen that with Republicans in USA and Conservatives in UK, the only thing “right”-wing parties are good for is for giving people false hope. Republicans botched abortion-regulating bill, and also voted in Obama's amnesty. I don't know what Russia is planing, but it could be hopeful. It could also be disappointing. We'll see.

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  4. I, personally, do not believe the Modernist order will collapse in one major catastrophe. I expect it will be like the fall of the Roman Empire: a decades, maybe centuries long process with several crises along the way hurrying it along. By the time Romulus Augustulus was deposed, the western empire was already a walking corpse. I believe the dissolution of the United States will be like an amicable divorce. By the time one region decides to formally break away, the rest of the nation will lack the will or the resources to compel it to stay. Europe will undoubtedly be different as the Muslim population is a great deal more militant than the squabbling tribes of the U.S.

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  5. What you have to remember is that as a gradual decline unfolds, enemies will take advantage of it. So as Rome was decaying, the Germanic barbarians took full advantage of this weakness and sacked the cities. As the West weakens in its defensive capabilities, its enemies both foreign and domestic will have greater holes to exploit for wreaking havoc on its internal systems and support structures. It is in the success of such efforts that it will be determined who controls what in the Age to come. Carving up Modernity's corpse as it were.

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