Fox News host Tucker Carlson added another entry to his roster of guests with ties to the far-right and racist ideologies Wednesday, interviewing Curtis Yarvin, known to some by his pen name “Mencius Moldbug,”’ on his Fox Nation show Tucker Carlson Today. Carlson asserted he didn’t “have the necessary IQ” to understand all of Yarvin’s work but lamented that Yarvin had been “hounded nonstop” by critics “for the crime of saying interesting things.”
Yarvin is a Silicon Valley programmer whose blog Unqualified Reservations cemented his place in far-right philosophical circles through his rejection of democratic forms of government as “ineffective and destructive” and his reactionary social politics. He’s one of the guiding minds behind neoreaction (or NRx), a far-right political movement that rejects democracy in favor of autocratic rule.
As an example of Yarvin’s pseudointellectual analysis of “the oligarchy,” he lauded the Gilded Age as an era of corruption in which “shit got done” during his interview with Carlson.
Yarvin’s writing is not out of place on a show hosted by the most prominent right-wing extremist in the country. And his philosophy, which by his own description is something like Machiavellianism, is also deeply intertwined with tenets of white nationalism and pseudoscientific racism. He has stated that although he does not describe himself a white nationalist, he is “not allergic to the stuff” and has felt “the urge to defend” the ideology and (in his view) the “thoughtful, well-written commentary” on websites such as VDARE.
In a 2009 blog post, Yarvin wrote that some people are simply better suited to enslavement, and that that difference is best explained by genetics:
Not all humans are born the same, of course, and the innate character and intelligence of some is more suited to mastery than slavery. For others, it is more suited to slavery. And others still are badly suited to either. These characteristics can be expected to group differently in human populations of different origins. Thus, Spaniards and Englishmen in the Americas in the 17th and earlier centuries, whose sense of political correctness was negligible, found that Africans tended to make good slaves and Indians did not. This broad pattern of observation is most parsimoniously explained by genetic differences.
A person makes a good slave if he is loyal, patient, and not exceptionally bright or stubborn. But even great intelligence is not necessarily a bar to a good experience in slavery, as the experience of many Greek slave philosophers, such as Epictetus, shows. A slave must carry the unique burden of personal dependency and obedience, which we are all used to expressing only toward impersonal government agencies.
Yarvin once asserted to far-right provocateur Milo Yiannapoulos that “it’s no secret that North America contains many distinct cultural/ethnic communities. This is not optimal, but with a competent king it’s not a huge problem either.”
Yarvin has also indicated he ascribes to the same pseudoscientific racism of fellow Tucker Carlson Today guest Charles Murray, and a worldview that proposes that most of history as we understand it is a lie. As described by The Baffler’s Corey Pain:
Yarvin’s Dark Enlightenment dogma also is steeped in pseudoscientific racism. Yarvin preaches that intelligence is determined in large part by the laws of “human biodiversity”—which hold, in his telling, that white people are congenitally smarter than black and brown people, and that Chinese people may be the smartest of all. It takes no great stretch of the imagination to see how a blood-and-soil white nationalist like Bannon and a racist bomb thrower like Donald “Good Genes” Trump would find a great deal of reassurance in this toxic philosophy.
Yarvin’s idea of enlightenment also means believing that history as we’ve come to know it is a lie. It means believing that the Soviet Union was the greater evil in the Second World War and that Nazi Germany acted in preemptive self-defense against the nefarious scheming of Stalin and FDR. It also means believing that ever since that war, upstanding American fascists have been unjustly persecuted by the state, and that the United States has been ruled by a conspiracy of wealthy establishment Communists and a “ruling underclass” of violent black mobs who are their eager pawns.
In order for that political philosophy to find real-world coherence, Yarvin has found himself defending terrorists not necessarily for committing mass, indiscriminate violence, but for committing mass, indiscriminate violence ineffectively and against the wrong target.
The same goes for right-wing terrorists such as Anders Behring Breivik, whom Yarvin denounced, but only in the most limited and depraved terms possible. Yarvin wrote that Breivik should be condemned because his 2011 massacre in Oslo was ineffective as terrorism, which Yarvin considers a legitimate military tactic. Nazi terror was legitimate because it worked, Yarvin wrote. Breivik’s killing spree, which targeted young Norwegian leftists, was illegitimate because it was insufficient to “free Norway from Eurocommunism.” After all, he only killed ninety-two people! “We can note the only thing he didn’t screw up. At least he shot communists, not Muslims. He gored the matador and not the cape,” Yarvin wrote on July 23, 2011, one day after the terror in Oslo
In the same post defending Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people at a summer camp, Yarvin compares Breivik to Nelson Mandela: “No one who condones Che, Stalin, Mao, or any other leftist murderer, has any right to ask anyone else to dissociate himself from a rightist who didn’t even make triple digits. ABB is a terrorist. Nelson Mandela is a terrorist. ... If you ask me to condemn Anders Breivik, but adore Nelson Mandela, perhaps you have a mother you’d like to fuck.”