Neoreactionary Trichotomy

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The Neoreactionary Trichotomy is a mapping of neo-reactionary political thought. It is explored in this video.

The three groups within a Triquetra: Technology Capitalism, Tradition Patriarchy, Ethno Nationalism
Trichotomy 2.png

The three groups are:

  • Individualists/Libertarians: Asserts that hierarchy is the desirable natural order of things and the simple result of differences in competence. Insofar as hierarchy is caused by luck, it is better to allow it than correct it by force. Like tribalism, it is Darwinist, but against coercion as a justified act. Believes in sovereign control of individuals over property. Puts human freedom over goal of the state. Laissez-faire, which makes it hard to rally people. Anti-moralist; nihilistically accepts the aggregate individual actions.
  • Tribalists/Absolutists: Agrees that hierarchy is the natural order of things. Believes the strong should forcefully (even coercively) assert themselves. Like moralism, agrees that exploitation and self interest is the natural order of things, but does not put any energy into fighting these things. Advocates for ethnic and group competition. Believes that people can be controlled for greater purposes. Populist; in opposition to elites. Nationalists: advocates for the state to assert the interests of the interest group. Sometimes scapegoats other groups to exploit to moralist instincts for equity.
  • Moralists/Dogmatists: Includes religion. Controls sexuality, language, and dissent. Propagated through information dissemination institutions. Humanist, egalitarian, and evangelist. Collectivist and against competition. Advocates for uses of the state as a means to asset its goals, as more important than individual property or sovereignty.


According to some reactionaries, the trichotomy goes beyond explaining only reactionary thought, and also maps political philosophies generally. According to this theory, the progressive mindset has replaced Christianity is the dominant dogma in the west.

Therefore, the trichotomy could be taken to mean that there is more political diversity on the left than on the right. However, in other ways it is reductionist to cast the left-vs-right dichotomy onto the trichotomy. For example, tribalism is not a purely right-wing phenomenon; there are also black nationalists, Islamic fundamentalists, etc.

Connections to other Ideas

Part of the Einstellung Effect, progressives might conflate individualists with tribalists. On the other hand, some tribalists might put on a front as individualists in order to be more respected. This might explain why progressives are suspicious about conservatives to the point of accusing them of lying about their motivations.

There is also deception on the other side of the political spectrum. Progressives might try to brand themselves as individualists when they talk of personal freedom. In American politics, both sides emphasize the ways that they stand for freedom.

In truth, however, choosing individualism over tribalism runs into problems of game theory. A cynical interpretation is that individualism is a luxury adopted by groups that have gained enough political power that they don't need to worry about the game theory.