Unqualified Reservations is a strange blog: its goal is to cure your brain. We’ve all seen The Matrix. We know about red pills. Many claim to sell them. You can go, for example, to any bookstore, and ask the guy behind the counter for some Noam Chomsky. What you’ll get is blue pills soaked in Red #3.
Since we provide the genuine article, UR is pretty much the anti-Chomsky. (As a broad generalization, UR’s stance in any controversy will be the opposite of Chomsky’s.) Take one of our red pills—heck, split one in half—and you’ll be in a completely different world.
This site is designed as a permanent home for Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug. It includes links to ebooks prepared from the original Unqualified Reservations source material, as well as a complete chronological archive. Although Moldbug himself has retired from UR, this site and the various ebooks have been prepared with his permission, and he receives all royalties from sales.
Mencius Moldbug is widely credited with founding neoreaction (NRx), a political philosophy and intellectual movement dedicated to providing secure, responsible, and effective government. A central thesis of neoreaction is that accomplishing this goal requires a critical re-evaluation of “democracy” from the perspective of political engineering and informed by a study of the great political thinkers of the past. As Moldbug puts it in A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations :
The essence of any 21st-century reaction is the unity of these two forces: the modern engineering mentality, and the great historical legacy of antique, classical and Victorian pre-democratic thought. The adept, to achieve reactionary enlightenment, observes that both yield the same result. What can it be, but the truth for which all good men seek? Armed with this sure and fearless faith, the Reaction conquers all.
Although there are some who slander neoreaction, the reader is invited to evaluate UR for himself and make up his own mind. Be careful not to take everything Moldbug writes literally, though—as Moldbug himself notes when discussing arch-reactionary Daniel Defoe, author of The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters and Robinson Crusoe :
Defoe was a tricky fellow after my own heart. He too expects you to add your own salt.
Failing to add such salt when reading UR is guaranteed to cause confusion.
While it is certainly possible to read Unqualified Reservations from start to finish (or to peruse the excellent if slightly outdated topical archive), the Moldbug ebooks represent the most systematic and accessible introduction to neoreactionary thought. The ebooks, which are available for purchase at Amazon.com, are carefully assembled compilations of individual UR posts, and are a more convenient format for reading long posts (or long series of posts) than the UR website. In terms of content, the ebooks have been lightly edited and extensively annotated, with a large number of added and corrected links.
For reference, here is a complete list of the current Moldbug ebooks, listed roughly in recommended reading order:
An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives is the first systematic introduction Moldbug produced, but some readers may prefer the closely related volume A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations, which develops the Matrix-style Red Pill analogy that has become a hallmark of the dissident Right generally and NRx specifically. (The “Welcome to UR” section above is adapted from A Gentle Introduction.)
If you’re in a hurry, you can start with “Technology, communism and the Brown Scare,” which is the shortest self-contained introduction to Moldbug’s political thought. “Technology, communism and the Brown Scare” is available for free online or for 99¢ at Amazon.
Note: Although the comments from the original UR blog have been removed from the current site, there are plans to restore them (edited for quality) at a later date.
This open letter challenges everything you thought you knew about politics and history. We all like to think our minds are open—but is yours open enough to proceed?
This provocative volume contains a concentrated dose of Unqualified Reservations, the ultimate political Red Pill. Are you ready to escape the Matrix? Let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes…
Discover how scientist Richard Dawkins got pwned by Universalism, the world’s most powerful parasitic memeplex. The worst part: you could be infected, too.
Challenge your political preconceptions with Mencius Moldbug’s controversial introduction to the ultimate reactionary, Victorian writer and historian Thomas Carlyle.
Enter Patchwork, Mencius Moldbug’s inspiring vision of a political system for the 21st century. Patchwork’s innovative design, which relies on sovereign joint-stock republics with cryptographic governance, brings the promise of clean streets, negligible crime, invincible robot armies, and world peace.
Technology is but the latest in a long line of industries to fall victim to the Brown Scare—America’s ginormous, never-ending, profoundly insane witch-hunt for fascists under the bed. Why does the Brown Scare grow even as its enemies shrink? Hint: America is a communist country.
Many parts of all, and all parts of some, American cities that were thriving in 1950, have now fallen into chaos and ruin. Meanwhile, Palo Alto is full of beautiful young people adoring the perfectly antialiased individual subpixels of their new Retina iPads. Which of these phenomena is more relevant? Which is the narrative, which the distraction? And what would Sam Altman think?