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Book Review: Fussell on Class (astralcodexten.substack.com)
136 points by DaoIsTheWay 40 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 75 comments

"[Fussel] believes America has one of the most hypertrophied class systems in the world, that its formal equality has left a niche that an informal class system expanded to fill - and expanded, and expanded, until it surpassed the more-legible systems of Europe and became its own sort of homegrown monstrosity."

So did De TocqueVille, who observed that absence of set class boundaries, Americans continually aimed to use whatever vague symbols they could find to assert their position, given this uncertainty.

Btw, Fussell's Class is a fabulous book, well worth the read.

I encountered this book at work in the early 1990s, where a remote and rarely-used conference room had a shelf full of paperback copies of it. I guessed that it had been used as a text in some sort of management seminar, as a practical guide for people who expected to be moving up in the world. I assume they either didn't perceive its satiric/critical tone, or didn't care and thought it to be informative enough regardless.

Anyway, I pilfered a copy and read it, mostly because I was already familiar with Fussel from his classic work _The Great War And Modern Memory_, about the damaging long-term psycho-social effects of WWI. I don't think the underlying anger and disdain of _Class_ can be readily perceived unless you've read that book.

I had also just read Douglas Coupland's _Generation X_, and Fussel's "X Class" seemed like an eerie prophetic vision of the 90's hipster.

I read the book perhaps 35 years ago. What struck me then was that perhaps a fair bit of what I took for intelligence in others (and what others took as intelligence in me) was a gift for mimicry of whoever it was set the standards.

The reviewer is correct to point out the weakness of the Class X bit; but then most of even the direst eschatologies leave someone to be saved. Why not the people that Fussell liked, worked with, wrote letters of recommendations for?

Suppose we posthumously remove it?

In the context of Fussell, I suppose the comments on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26351053 read that "having office hours for your open-source project because you have the leisure time" is upper-middle, whereas "having office hours for your open-source project because you have a growth mindset" is lower-middle...

Agreed. And of course the upper class wouldn't have anything to do with an open-source project at all, as that would imply they have something to prove, which they don't.

This is a timely comment as I struggle with understanding why I don't want to hustle, why I can't just relax in spite of having a tremendously interesting and well-paying job.

I've had an ongoing internal conflict because I am doing projects for the sheer fun of it with no predetermined outcome, but I feel like I should be #growthhackering instead. I hustled for years, and now I don't need to. I should just let myself be a dilettante. Thank you.

I read this book on assignment in a college interpersonal communications class as part of an engineering undergrad curriculum in the late 90s. It really blew my mind as someone who came from a solidly working class background from a tiny, rural town and was for the first time immersed in a world of people whose parents went to college or were academics or were my age but already had money. The fact that class wasn’t just about money but also about privilege, expectations, ability & willingness to take chances, but also anxiety and fear and insecurities really resonated with me. I started to see the world in a different way and to a large extent was able to empathize (both for non-self-interest as well as for my own practical code-switching reasons which I was able to subtly incorporate into my interactions). Today, there is a bit of friction at times between my family and I because of how I view art or food or many other aspects of daily living (as well as what things I consider _part_ of daily living). I’ve never felt that it’s because I was trying to put on any airs or be anything other than myself, but I sense a distinct class conflict in a variety of areas of my life and I think a college education at a diverse school, and in no small part this book, are a lot of the reason. Perhaps the biggest impact was to think earlier in my life about what I actually wanted out of life, instead of assuming that college was a way to “level up” my income, and to not fall into a trap of thinking that money == class ascendancy == problems going away.

i had that eye-opening experience in college around class and privilege, but i came away thinking it shallow and boring. i guess that puts me in fussell's class x, whatever that is.

i didn't read the book or read scott's article (because his writing tends to be affliatively biased, ironically similar to the middle class signaling fussell critiques). but based on some quick reviews/summaries found via search, the simplest critique of fussell is that he's trying to will his class system into being, attracting acolytes through its writing so as to coalesce sociopolitical power for himself. in short, it's self-serving and that makes it unlikely to be enlighteningly representative. people are constantly trying to segregate and one-up each other (around things like taste, a primary marker of class for fussell), and a static class system like his is just not flexible or fluid enough to represent a highly chaotic and idiosyncratic dynamic.

we have entirely too much of this kind of bullshit to wade through already, obscuring and dispersing the entirely-too-few real pearls of wisdom. sure, it can provide fodder for further, genuine consideration, but that seems to be largely eclipsed for most by identitarian cheering/booing.

I've been meaning to reread it for a long time — I'm curious how it will appeal to me now and what weaknesses I will find. I will also admit to, at that age when I first read it, not being a very good critical thinker.

sorry if my previous post came off as a critique of your reading in any way. it sounds like the book does have some interesting observations, it's just that the overall framework presented doesn't seem to be useful for really understanding the world beyond a surface level. but that's sometimes just enough to provoke thought (and experience-seeking) that leads further and deeper than the book might strive to reach, especially during our formative college years.

I read "Class" back in the 80s when it was released, still have my dusty copy of it on the shelf, and this is a great take on it.

> this was another one of the sections where I had trouble figuring out where Fussell was and wasn't joking

Judging from how many apparently-jokey parts where I was in a position to judge their accuracy were entirely accurate, I'm inclined to believe he's rarely joking in the book. What he writes may be funny, even intentionally so, but I think only a very little of it, if any, is misleading or substantially exaggerated.

Fussell’s primary objective with this book is neither to inform or entertain, but to tease the readers about their class and attendant insecurities. Teasing well of course requires more accuracy than simple satire because the readers have to recognize enough of themselves to feel targeted.

The teasing was also true of Mmm-mmiss Mmitford's "Noblesse Oblige: An Enquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy": excessive worry about U vs. non-U is decidedly non-U... (compare Orwell's [middle class] notion of "Crimestop")

Fussell's book was a huge eye-opener for me. The mythological assumption in my family was that we were middle-class: small business operators in a poor, rural state. As such, we had very little visibility into higher classes and their practices and ways of life, outside of television programs.

It became clear, reading Fussell, that no matter what we thought about ourselves, our tastes, clothing and habits fit squarely into his high prole category, and everything suddenly seemed to make more sense, including the very belief that we thought we were middle class.

(Anyone hungry for more Fussell should read his classic: "The Great War and Modern Memory", about WWI and its place in 20th century Western society and literature. His book of essays "The Boy Scout Handbook and other Observations" is also great. It includes one about his personal experiences as a Princeton grad who went into WWII as an enlisted man.)

I had a great discussion about Class with author Sandra Tsing Loh:


Sandra wrote what is imo the definitive book review of Class.

Do you mean this piece in The Atlantic?


It's a much better review than Scott Alexander's, although that's an unfairly low bar given he doesn't appear to have caught on the book is supposed to be funny, a "cocktail-party-ready argument" as Sandra Tsing Loh puts it.

He's treating it as "ha ha only serious": http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/ha-ha-only-serious.html .

Haven't read it myself but he sounds right. Jokes like that aren't funny if they don't have a lot of truth in them.

The parts I read that I could directly relate to from my own upbringing (a mix of Middle and mid-to-upper Prole, between the two sides of my family, with my own strong coating of Middle and accidentally-adopted Upper-Middle thinly painted on top) were very accurate and insightful, even when funny. I'm inclined to believe very little of it is manufactured or even exaggerated for entertainment value, despite the wit of the book and the way it sometimes reads as jokey, even when I know for a fact it's relating plain truth.

[EDIT] That is, I wouldn't take it as a straightforward academic effort or something like that, but I wouldn't dismiss it because it happens to be entertaining. Not one thing I had first-hand knowledge of in it make me go "oh come on, that's not quite right". I'd guess if it contains such, it's a very small portion of the book.

I think this it the type of book that can only be written in a "ha ha only serious" way because anything else will make the reader too defensive to take it seriously.

Two other examples of this genre I know of are the original Peter Principle book, and the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity [1]. Both of them wrap some hard truths in this format because it's the only way to get them past a lot of people's filters...

[1]: http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidit...

I'm not sure that's the case, it's certainly not clear from the flabalanche of writing he has loosed. If he got the joke, it's not mentioned in the review.

thanks for that article. her critique was as funny as it was biting, but maybe that's more a critique of my own class consciousness =)

having been to this dog park, i can't help giggling at this description:

> "This is not the brand-new Ramones T-shirt sported so conspicuously by needy soul-patched 50-ish alternadads at the Silver Lake dog park."

to be fair, (nearly) everyone at the dog park is nice and friendly.

and on ego fragility as it relates to urbanization:

> "In the relatively affluent post–Cold War era, the search for self-expression has evolved into a desire to not have that self-expression challenged, which in turn necessitates living among people who think and feel just as you do. It’s why so many bohemians flee gritty Los Angeles for verdant Portland, where left-leaning citizens pride themselves on their uniform, monotonously progressive culture—the Zipcars, the organic gardens, the funky graphic-novel stores, and the thriving alternative-music scene. (In the meantime, I’ve also noticed that Portland is much whiter than Los Angeles, disconcertingly white.)"

and quoting gyourko:

> "The city’s new product was lifestyle."

exclusive lifestyle is in exceedingly high demand, so the pressure is to limit immigration and inflate prices in desirable cities.

and finally,

> "All I had to offer was babysitting. Inquired the Wellesley girl: “Can you send me a job description?” I wrote back: “BABYSITTING! $12 an hour!” She took it."

wonderfully terse. strunk and white would be proud.

> he doesn't appear to have caught on the book is supposed to be funny

Miss Tsing Loh has a small advantage here by not having been in diapers in the period that probably offers context for Fussel's musings.

I think she has the advantage of having a sense of humor, more than anything else. You're making it sound like 1983 is some deep antiquity with an alien culture and long-dead language.

I'm not sure how to explain further what I meant with my previous statement, so apologies if what follows is not satisfactory.

I was trying to convey that people that live through an event oftentimes have the benefit of localized context, over others that only read about it. In this specific example: Miss Tsing Loh had the benefit of knowing the classes described by Fussel as contemporaries - in University, in the shops, at the beach. She might have noticed subtle cues in their behaviour that make obvious to her that the book is only meant as humour, where Scott can only assume it is, which to my reading, he does plenty.

Yeah, that doesn't really make any sense to me, it's like saying it's impossible to avoid taking Swift's A Modest Proposal at face value because you haven't lived in 18th century Britain. That's plainly not the case and if you wrote a long analysis on whether the proposal works out nutritionally, people would reasonably conclude you're a bit of a dunderhead.

Scott Alexander didn't write a long dunderheaded review of Class because he was too young in the 80s.

I see that your uncharitable and nuance lacking interpretation extends to my comments too. Cheers. :)

Which of Fussell's classes do you reckon are most often found commenting on HN threads? What gives them away?

Roll 1d6. Phrase your response in the manner of the class indicated by the result of the dice roll, as follows: 1: upper ; 2: upper--middle ; 3: middle , 4; high prole; 5: mid-prole ; 6 low-prole.

I'd say the vast majority is upper-middle. People who have plenty of money but who had to earn it.

Given the call for a die roll, I think the intent was an exercise in attempting to describe a culture in terms of the rolled class, not actually selecting the one(s) best for HN. Either just for fun, or as an attempt to claim that the whole thing is just tea-leaf-reading and you can claim anything is "high" or "low".

(HN is mostly Prole-and-proud and, especially, Middle-who-erroneously-think-they're-Upper-Middle-because-they-can-afford-expensive-hiking-clothes, with some actual Upper-Middle but not that many—most of the Upper Middles in tech are in more people-person roles, if not ownership or management, than pure technical ones, even if they have some kind of tech background, or sometimes are in the more academic wing of tech)

(Okay, but you seem to think we're supposed to _declare_ the die roll :-)

> HN is mostly Prole-and-proud

Sounds about right. HN is mostly educated in engineering with a smattering of business, both eminently sensible subjects which are too practical to be middle class. There are some pure science/math folks among us, which can be counted as middle class, but they are few and far between.

Agree--mostly prole. I myself would like to think I was born low prole and have moved to high. From the review I believe in many aspects I have middle taste, but I just don't think I've actually made it yet.

> They are the most likely to be snobbish and overuse big words, the most obsessed with enforcing norms of virtuous behavior, and the least interested in privacy...

Nevermind, not middleclass -- definitely interested in privacy.

Was Frank Zappa class X? That would certainly make sense of the guy.

As a mostly prole, do you really want your grandchildren to have old money?

By high I mean moved to high-prole. : )

You think America is bad, try living in the UK :-)

It's funny to see Scott laugh at the hierarchy of flowers in a garden, but things like that are common in the UK. I mean, they can be ignored to a greater or lesser degree but they do exist.

Pampas grass in your front garden is definitely out now that it's widely known that it means the residents swing. Even if you do swing, saying so in such an obvious manner is very crass, and only the middle-classes swing. Other classes that perform the same activities are doing something else.

Either I live in a much more adventurous neighborhood than I had ever supposed, or this code applies only in some other part of the country. I've certainly never heard of it. (And No, we don't have pampas grass in the front garden.)

Well then I guess you're not part of the scene; as applied to you, the secret code still works.

Visiting the UK office of a US tech company is funny. There’s at least three hierarchies in play:

1) The company one (employee, manager, director, etc.)

2) The UK class system

3) The techie machismo ladder (who is the biggest ninja, 10x, Superman programmer)

They interact in surprising ways. You never know who is going to defer to whom.

Not from the UK, but I grew up watching the British sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances". Reading this reminded me a lot of the main character on the show who was constantly doing things like that to try to signal her class. I always wondered how true that was in the UK.

The saddest part of the book is his "Class X" concept. Didn't really work out like he hoped. Just became another flavor of upper-middle or middle (which you regard at is probably depends on how much you dislike them, I'd suppose--for context, I'd take this mutated, absorbed-into-the-system "class" to include SV-dominated tech culture, or at least what it thinks it is and/or is trying to present as)

Book's a ton of fun. Recognizing the elements of one's own class roots, reflected in Fussell's mirror, if you will, is entertaining. Fascinating tool for analyzing (sorry to bring him up, but, it's really interesting) Trump & family's, uh, fashion and decorating preferences.

[EDIT] And on actually reading TFA, Scott notices and covers all of this, because of course he does. There's a reason I like his stuff.

Well, did it really not work out as he hoped, or was it exactly what it was supposed to be while he was writing? I don't think we can have a situation where one thing is noticeably better than the alternative and it doesn't get copied and performed. There's just another version of Fussell's X out there right now. I'm not sure what it is.

I came across that book at a used book store while I was in college (back in the mid-90s). I thought it was hilarious. I couldn't put it down.

After reading that review, I noticed how desperately the Uppers are enslaved to proving that they have nothing to prove.

> I would kill for somebody as keen-eyed and trustworthy as Fussell writing about the 2021 class system. I don't want to speculate about particulars here, because I feel like I'm at a lot of risk of bias. But I think it would involve a lot more politics and education, and a lot fewer rhododendra.

I might have some insight into this one because in the early 00's (pre-blogs), while working in tech, I invested in my social life by writing newspaper columns on men's fashion and style, and have since made it a point to be as helpful as I could to new immigrants to the country to help decode some of the nuances of the culture so they didn't feel like they had to take shit from anyone.

The question I spent a lot of time on in my early 20's was whether mere taste could be sufficient or necessary for class mobility, and whether it could matter by creating real opportunity. The answer is complicated. Jenny Holzer's truism, "money creates taste" is even only partially true.

That book from 1983 is part of a storied genre with a long history of selling manuals to hopeful people, and they're really variations on etiquette manuals and Cinderella, Pygmalion.

First, there is a smarter way to look at it. One of my favourite maxims is from management and political theorist Jeffery Pfeffer who stated, "They forgive you when you win." It's in one of his most popular books, which if you are keeping track, was on one of his Stanford courses, and was on a Davos reading list from the FT. Fancy, surely, but if you start with the insider/outsider worldview, nothing will cure you of feeling like an outsider. One of the most famous gold medalist olympic show jumpers said he only ever beats his last round and the course, not his competitors. That's how you succeed. I'm crassly name dropping these ostensibly fancy things because the other thing someone interested in this stuff needs to understand is that there is no there there. There is no peak experience of luxury that will make you become something, but experiencing it can change you if you understand it, especially with very young people. I think the most valuable experience a child can have is, even for a brief period, to experience real freedom and power, because that high water mark (peak) experience will form a key co-ordinate in their identity, and this can change their life course to a significant degree by just knowing what it feels like and wanting to feel that way again. (just as people often use low water mark experiences to define themselves by their peak negative experiences. btw, if you did this without knowing it, you aren't what happened to you, you are free.)

So, what is that royal jelly, or that magical quality that very rich people seem to have, where clothes just seem to fit, skin seems healthy, and always seeming to say and do the right thing? What is that power? First, it's your perception. Second, it is an effect of other things. English has this almost sinister conflation of effect and affect, which pollutes the downstream culture and keeps people spinning wheels. Third, those things are when you prevail in your endeavours and do that often enough that it becomes a habit, and you just relate the world differently, and that is the effect you sense. Faking it until you make it presumes there is something to make. There isn't. Start with something real and humble and just grow.

Anyway, it would be really long personal exposition on what "class" looks like in 2021, but I'd say yes, it's still a thing, and no, it's not what we think it is, and warn that reasoning about it at all is a trap that subconsciously self-identifies you with a sense of inferiority that is not real, and finally, it's the effect of things you can choose.

Scott, if you are reading this, thank you for writing. You help a lot of people.

Class in the UK is almost entirely down to birth. The upper classes are taught - explicitly, in public schools - to assume entitlement and to assume that they will get away with whatever it is they're trying to do.

An interesting corollary is that close up they're neither intelligent, not competent, nor talented. They're simply entitled, well-connected, and often ruthless. It's almost impossibly hard for an outsider to decode the signals required to join them without having been through the sausage machine.

Being relentlessly self-interested and covertly ruthless will certainly help - they respect that - but it won't be enough to get true insider status. That needs 'breeding' - family connections. No amount of success will buy that, although outsiders are occasionally allowed to marry into it.

The US seems much the same. Access to the Big Money is a little easier, but access to the aristocracy is still very difficult. You can be successful and super-rich - usually from a rather privileged start - but the families who matter will still consider you an exotic specimen and not One of Them.

In both countries the extent to which the families who really matter manage to keep themselves out of the news is impressive, as is the extent to which the news is bread-and-circuses which keeps all of the lower classes distracted and off-balance.

This forms another class ceiling that outsiders can't break through, because they won't be able to find it - unless someone on the inside points them in the right direction.

> That book from 1983 is part of a storied genre with a long history of selling manuals to hopeful people, and they're really variations on etiquette manuals and Cinderella, Pygmalion.

This is really insightful. I first read it maybe 15 years ago, and it makes sense of my reaction to it.

What the author calls Upper Class I would call "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" or WASP. It doesn't really seem like they are exactly above other classes of people in the US today, however. Not politically, financially, or culturally, they are not entirely on top.

Well, as the review would say, they simply are, and they don't care where you place them, as that would imply they have something to prove.

It does make Upper Class the wrong word for them however.

> What the author calls Upper Class I would call "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" or WASP

I haven't read the book, just this review of it. But the review says:

> The upper class is old money. The people you think of as rich and famous - tech billionaires, celebrities, whatever - aren't upper class. However privileged they started off, they still had to put in at least a smidgeon of work to get their money, which disqualifies them. Real uppers inherit.

By that definition, the vast majority of "WASP" people are not "Upper Class". The "Upper Class" in the US would be heavily "WASP", but I would expect it is gradually becoming somewhat more diverse.

There are plenty of old-money Catholics (e.g. Kennedys), old-money non-U.K. protestants, old-money Jews, etc. I suppose the WASP old-money stereotype was accurate because it was the biggest chunk once upon a time, but not for a very very long time.

The Plaza Athenee hotel in the city center of Paris has had lovely bright red geraniums in every window and balcony for as long as I can remember.

X people constitute something like a classless class. They occupy the one social place in the USA where the ethic of buying and selling is not all-powerful. Impelled by insolence, intelligence, irony, and spirit, X people have escaped out the back doors of those theaters of class which enclose others...in some ways they resemble E.M. Forster's "aristocracy of the plucky", whose members are "sensitive for others as well as themselves...considerate without being fussy."

A fairly traditional name for this class is “Intelligensia”.

Most of the people who'd comprise a traditional "intelligentsia", Fussell'd probably put in (by class, but interestingly, not so much by income) the upper-middle (artists, professors, literary figures, editors of "classy" magazines).

Graeber builds on this in Bullshit Jobs by taking a stab at why this is, which is in part because most of these jobs pay like crap and take a ton of time to get into, but are nonetheless desirable, so they're preferentially held by people who have enough family support to earn little or nothing for years and years and still not have to worry much (plus family contacts are a big deal in some of them). Graeber's analysis of the class-dynamics of desirable, seen-as-basically-contributing-to-humanity jobs is one of the more interesting parts of that book, IMO (the military is the equivalent for people who can't afford a PhD plus five years of unpaid internships in a high COL city, travel, etc.)

I think that attitude is itself nowadays quite popular and arguably commercialised. Probably has been since generation X.

Things have moved on from “let’s go to the shopping centre and get loads of designer stuff” but Instagram is still selling.

Yeah the "authentic" selling markets like Etsy lasted about 2 seconds before immediately being hijacked by huge commercial operations. I'm not sure Instagram was ever not super commercialized.

But platforms try to sell this as a kind of counter-Amazon revolution.. despite being the same thing. It's a weird marketing headspace.

except, as the reviewer points out, for the rise of the Bobos.

My sense from the review is that this book might miss another dimension of class in America having to do with the different settler populations. He's written another book review on Albion's Seed, which illuminates this aspect: https://slatestarcodex.com/2016/04/27/book-review-albions-se...

In short, class means something different in parts of the country. With inevitable mixing as people move to different states and especially cities, I've witnessed quite complex dynamics.

The Preppy Handbook and maybe Class (I can't recall for sure) cover North versus South prep (upper-middle class) differences and if you're at least aware of Albion's Seed it's hard not to see it as Puritans/Quakers versus Cavaliers.

Would love to see the 40 year update...

Shelling out our industrial/manufacturing economy for a "services economy" + big government/welfare economy has ended the middle class; meanwhile the political class (and media) have consolidated into a front group for an increasingly hidden ruling class/aristocracy, who like the companies behind shell companies are pretty hard to identify and lampoon.

This of course would be an intriguing book to read should someone dare to write it.

An aside, but I constantly hear that The U.S.'s industrial/manufacturing sector has been gutted, but I also constantly hear that we're manufacturing more than ever before. What's going on? Is it an absolute number vs. a proportion of GDP issue? Or is it employment vs. production output (output being higher per employee now because of automation)?

It was (at least when I looked at this circa 2012, it might have changed since then) largely an artifact of Boeing and Intel: both produced fantastically expensive physical items from factories that were highly sought at by the rest of the world and had amazing profit margins. But were just two companies (vulnerable to management mistakes) and both didn't employ that many people to actually make their stuff. E.g. in 1953 steel alone in the US employed 650,000 people, and now Intel and Boeing combined employ 250,000 people worldwide, the vast majority of whom are engineers/back office types, not actually working on the factory floor.

More production per worker - due to automation and other efficiency improvements.

So the deal is basically that we're producing more goods than ever, even as % of GDP, but the proportion of our labor force that's involved in that production has cratered. Got it, thanks!

>due to automation and other efficiency improvements.

Which is due to OSHA, HR and other overhead increases.

Which is due to...(I dunno but probably some sort of economic surplus)


His true intentions to...what? He's obviously not hiding his true intentions, he's writing a book review. And you are engaging in a childish ad hominem attack.

What relevance could some things that you have no proof he either said in the first place (yes, me and everyone else here can fabricate screenshots with ease) or still believes have to this particular book review?

Even if he does hold a belief that you label "horrifyingly racist", why would you assume that his "true intentions" pervade everything else he writes? That's not charitable at minimum, but more to the point it's conspiracy theory whack job level implausible. Do you seriously believe he's secretly trying to advance his pro-Jew anti-Black agenda with this...book review?

I promise you his words don't just sound smart, they are smart. He isn't a pseudo-intellectual, he's just a regular old intellectual. The fact that he might hold, or once held, some ideas that you or others place on the "wrongthink" list is irrelevant to the correctness of other arguments he makes.

I am quite sure that vast amounts of public scrutiny would uncover wrongthink in your past too, held09218.

You all must be his biggest fans with the amount of energy you go into repeating these claims everywhere his work appears.

Can you explain why the emails make him horrifyingly racist? It didn't come off that way to me.

The original poster is clearly annoyed by Scott's interest in neoreaction, perhaps even more than by his supposed racism. Never mind that one of the most popular schools of thought in present-day Chinese politics, viz. the "New Confucians", might be quite properly described as Neoreaction With Chinese Characteristics - and that this alone means that understanding it is hugely important; many people will still regard any interest in these ideas as anathema.

But pseudo is the only type. Reading Fussel books gives me this idea.

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