Thomas Wictor

The danger of reactionaryism

The danger of reactionaryism

Merriam-Webster defines reactionaryism as follows.

Attitudes or opinions tending to favor established ideas, conditions, or institutions (The region’s entrenched reactionaryism made it one of the major battlegrounds for the civil rights movement in the 1960s.)

Synonyms: conservativeness, die-hardism, reactionaryism, traditionalism, ultraconservatism
Related Words: neoconservatism, Toryism; bigotry, illiberalism; conventionalism, conventionality, fogyism (or fogeyism)
Near Antonyms: neoliberalism; extremism, radicalism; nonconformism, nonconformity, unconventionalism, unorthodoxy
Antonyms: broad-mindedness, liberalism, liberalness, open-mindedness, progressivism

That’s how the term is used now, but another definition of reactionaryism is “favoring a reaction to,” which dates from the French Revolution. Reactionaries were people who opposed the Revolution. They reacted to it.

For the purposes of this post, I use the term “reactionaryism” to describe the knee-jerk reaction to something. The people I identify as reactionaries are those who take all their cues from others. They wait until others make a move, and then they react to it. Reactionaries as I define them are incapable of critical thinking, true volition, and independence. They’re always part of a group.

I think that’s one reason Mike Albee and Lura Dold thought they could get away with scamming me of $40,000. They’re reactionaries in the sense that they tailored their decisions to a completely inaccurate view of who I am, based on their misinterpretations of the things I’ve written, said, and done.

The best example of mindless reactionaryism is evangelical atheism. Evangelical atheists are the most obnoxiously condescending people I’ve met. What really burns their bums is when you point out that atheism is as much an act of faith as theism, since neither the existence nor the non-existence of God is provable.

I recently read an article in the BBC titled “Lions and Donkeys: 10 Big Myths About World War One Debunked.” It’s by the historian Dan Snow, a man I greatly respected. I liked the article so much that I looked for contact information so I could send Snow a note of praise. One of the first pieces I found about him was “Dan Snow on Atheism and Cheeking Jeremy Paxman.”

It turns out that Dan Snow is an “atheist activist.” He attends an atheist church called the Sunday Assembly, where they have sermons and sing hymns.

Well, they won’t admit that they listen to sermons, and they claim there’s a huge difference between singing Bob Dylan tunes and “Defte Lai.”

But anyone with a brain can see that the Sunday Assembly is a church, plain and simple. This is pure reactionaryism.

“You guys get together in a building on Sunday? Okay, we will too! You give speeches on how to live your life? We will too! You sing? We will too!”

My brother Pat often performs at Unitarian Churches. He tells me that tons of atheists attend the services. That was a new one on me.

I have no problem with what anyone does with their lives, as long as they aren’t harming others who don’t deserve it. But after decades of enduring sneers of “Oh, the bearded old man in the sky,” and “Your invisible friend,” and “I can get the same result if I pray to my toaster,” I find it more than a little disgusting that atheists are now forming churches, demanding military chaplains, and insisting that they have equal representation at ceremonies.

Organized, evangelical atheism is a religion. A reactionary religion. It’s nothing but an inversion of religions that worship deities. Organized, evangelical atheists care about only one thing: opposing religions that worship deities. In all frankness I’ve never heard a single evangelical atheist give me a decent argument for the non-existence of God.

Evangelical atheists have faith that there is no God, but their main purpose is to stick it to the religious. Scratch an evangelical atheist, and you’ll find a bigot.

I’m not religious. Not in the slightest. I’m a theist, meaning I believe in God, but it’s only a belief. My ideal method of communing with God would be if they built massive Cologne-style cathedrals which they kept dim inside, and they let us just go in and sit quietly for as long as we wanted. No clerics, no rules, no music, no threats, no promises. Just silence.

When I tell reactionaries that I’m a theist, they have a Pavlovian response. They look at The Fate Block and my encounter with a powerful young man, and they think I’m not only religious but belong to some kind of simpering, giggling, mincing sect that would compel me to eagerly martyr myself as a way of proving my moral superiority.

Today I remembered something I confided in Mike Albee. I was never going to reveal it, but in order to stop Albee, you need to understand just how destructively predatory he is.

At around the midpoint of her suicide, Mom told us that she offered up her suffering to us as atonement. This is a very old-school Catholic idea. It’s called self-mortification. People whip and starve themselves. They wear hair shirts. It serves two purposes: showing spiritual discipline and enduring discomfort as penitence. It’s a form of sacrifice.

I’m a lapsed Catholic. Since I no longer attend Mass, it’s not my place to comment on what Catholics choose to do. However, my mother believed that her suffering would atone for her failures as a parent. She simply refused to understand that her suicide would cause us far more pain than if she’d lived. For six months we had to watch as she lost weight, vomited, soiled herself, and finally became a weeping, hysterical wraith, a skeleton with tendrils of wispy hair.

It made everything worse. Her “atonement” saddled her children with nightmarish memories and trauma that have yet to diminish. Mom saw herself as Saint Sebastian.


How does physical suffering atone for misdeeds? Atonement is saying—in plain English—”I’m sorry for what I did.” Turning yourself into Saint Sebastian is very melodramatic, but it doesn’t actually mean anything.

I told Mike Albee about how Mom was going to kill herself to atone for her flaws as a parent, and he misinterpreted my point. I violently opposed her taking this route. In his reactionary way, he thought that since I’m a theist, since I’d drawn the Fate Block, since I believe in reincarnation, since I’d met a mysterious presence who told me to not worry, and since I was once a Catholic, I’d be a pushover. I’d be Saint Sebastian myself.

Mike’s an idiot. He filtered out everything that didn’t fit into his reactionary view of me. For example, he forgot that I told him I’d bought a .357 magnum revolver after Mom and Dad were the victims of a home invasion.


Not only that, I load it with special ammunition that expands on impact, creating wounds the size of grapefruit.


How many milksop New Agers buy guns and expanding ammunition—bullets meant to kill—in order to protect their parents? My parents and I had deeply troubled relationships. Is that what made Mike Albee think he could defraud me with no consequences? The fact that I protected and forgave people who were so problematic? It made him regard me as a watery eyed weakling?

Mike, did you miss the part about the .357 magnum and expanding ammunition? It didn’t matter that those two home-invading traveler or gypsy bitches were targeting people with whom I had troubled relationships. The home invasion is the crux of the matter. We non-reactionaries are capable of wildly complex thoughts and emotions. I was willing to lay down my life for people who were incredibly flawed. Why? Because they were defenseless.

I can illustrate my view of reincarnation and believe in Saint Michael the Archangel while not being religious. Shockingly, I can be interested in and respectful of religions without sharing the beliefs. Reactionaries confuse studying something with supporting it. I get called a “warmonger” by imbeciles who know nothing about war. They’re terrified that if they inform themselves, it’ll make them evil.

My mind is multifaceted. All my energy isn’t spent on eating, drinking, and defrauding. I’m not a glutton living totally in the present, the way you are, Mike and Lura. You knew that I bought that gun to blow enormous holes in people who assaulted my parents or my brother. Why would you think you could steal $40,000 from me, and I’d just cry and curl into the fetal position?

The danger of reactionaryism is that the simplemindedness will eventually boomerang on the reactionary. If that means he steps on his own johnson and takes a beautiful pratfall, fine by me.

But look at the damage they do to those of us who can think for ourselves.