Dark Enlightenment
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"For the hardcore neo-reactionaries, democracy is not merely doomed, it is doom itself. Fleeing it approaches an ultimate imperative."
- The Dark Enlightenment, by Nick Land[2].

Basic Information

The Dark Enlightenment is a largely Internet-based movement which claims that Democracy and other developments of the 18th century Enlightenment such as Empirical Science and Humanism were wrong. In particular, it holds that:

  • Democracy triggers a "race to the bottom" and its system is "fundamentally degenerative".
  • Liberal Progressivism is a "state religion", which the system - called "The Cathedral" - perpetuates as "unquestionable".
  • Human Biodiversity, or "HDB", determines who should be in charge - social hierachies are naturally based on who has the superior DNA, instead of being social constructs. Support for this is sought in studies "proving" racial IQ differences1.
  • Thus, modern desire for "equality" is seen as a triumph of ideology over science2.

Its main bloggers call themselves "The Dark Lords of the Sith". "Neo-Reactionaries" is also a commonly used name.


See Also

Bread and Circuses Dilemma - addresses some of the arguments against democracy prevalent in the Dark Enlightenment.

Game and Story Use

  • In any setting with modern communication systems, a PC publicly espousing views contrary to this group could be subject to an extended campaign of harassment by its followers.
  • Equally, a PC publicly espousing views commensurate with this group could be subject to an extended campaign of harassment by its opponents, who will generally have the support of all sorts of state instruments in their harrassment.
  • This would be a good basis for someone who wants a setting twenty minutes into the future with a radically different meme complex in the developed world - the Dark Enlightenment could be used to generate and equivalent of the Victorian Reaction for the 21st century.
  • If elective eugenics (for example in the form of "designer babies") becomes legalised - or even widespread genetic profiling - then the HBD agenda takes a massive leap forwards and becomes less about ideology than about realpolitik.
    • Transhumanism even more so - if we are not all equal, it becomes harder and harder to support a social consensus that pretends that we are.
    • Even increased meritocracy is liable to drive sorting by genetics, meaning that despite the "dark" tag, this is in some ways the continuation rather than the antithesis of enlightenment ideas.
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