Curtis Yarvin

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Curtis Guy Yarvin
Mencius Moldbug.jpg
Yarvin's speaker biography photo from the 2012 BIL Conference
Born 1973 (age 43–44)[1]
Residence San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Mencius Moldbug
Alma mater
Website Unqualified Reservations

Curtis Guy Yarvin (born 1973), also known by his pen name Mencius Moldbug, is an American computer scientist, political theorist, and neoreactionary thinker.[1] His writings have played a foundational role in the formation of the neoreactionary movement.[5] He is the creator of the Urbit computing platform,[6][7] through his startup company Tlon (backed by Peter Thiel[8]), and the author of the blog Unqualified Reservations.

He originally called his political philosophy of insisting on the alignment of property rights with political power formalism,[9][10] from the concept of legal formalism. The label "neo-reactionary" was applied to Yarvin's philosophy by Arnold Kling in 2010[11] and adopted by Yarvin's followers;[9] Yarvin accepts the label but self-labels as "restorationist".[12]

Yarvin's work on neoreaction inspired English philosopher Nick Land to brand the wider neoreaction-sympathetic movement the Dark Enlightenment.[9] Neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment form part of the philosophical underpinnings of the alt-right.[1][13]

Public attention

Yavin came to public attention in February, 2017 when Politico magazine reported that Steve Bannon, who served as White House Chief Strategist under U.S. President Donald Trump, read Yarvin's blog and that Yarvin "has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary..."[14] The story was picked up by other magazines and newspapers, including the Atlantic, the Independent, and Mother Jones.[15][16][17]


Yarvin's opinions have been described as racist, with his writings interpreted as supportive of slavery, including the belief that whites have higher IQs than blacks for genetic reasons. Yarvin himself maintains that he is not a racist because, while he doubts that "all races are equally smart," the notion "that people who score higher on IQ tests are in some sense superior human beings" is "creepy". He also disputes that he agrees with the institution of slavery[6][18] but has argued that some races are more suited to slavery than others.[19]

In 2015, his invitation to speak about Urbit at the Strange Loop programming conference was rescinded following complaints made by other attendees.[20][18] In 2016, his invitation to the LambdaConf functional programming conference resulted in the withdrawal of five speakers, two subconferences and several sponsors.[6][21]

Personal life

Yarvin's father is Jewish.[22] He has called himself a Jacobite.[23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kirchick, James (16 May 2016). "Trump's Terrifying Online Brigades". Commentary Magazine. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  2. Stanley; et al. (1 September 1988). "SMPY College Freshmen". Precollege Newsletter. Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth at Johns Hopkins University (10): 2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yarvin, Curtis; Bukowski, Richard; Anderson, Thomas (June 1993). "Anonymous RPC: Low-Latency Protection in a 64-Bit Address Space" (PDF). Proceedings of the USENIX Summer 1993 Technical Conference. USENIX: 175–186. 
  4. Johnson, Eliana (7 February 2017). "What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read". Politico. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  5. Dyga, Edwin (14 October 2014). "The Future of Australian Conservatism". Quadrant. 58 (10): 46–58. ISSN 0033-5002. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Townsend, Tess (31 March 2016). "Why It Matters That An Obscure Programming Conference Is Hosting 'Mencius Moldbug'". 
  7. van Wirdum, Aaron (11 July 2016). "Urbit: The Bold Pitch to Re-Decentralize the Internet, on Top of the Internet". Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  8. MacDougald, Park (14 June 2016). "Why Peter Thiel Wants to Topple Gawker and Elect Donald Trump". New York Magazine: SelectAll. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Finley, Klint (22 November 2013). "Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries". TechCrunch. 
  10. Mencius Moldbug (23 April 2007). "A formalist manifesto". Unqualified Reservations. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  11. Kling, Arnold (18 July 2010). [ "The Neo-Reactionaries"] Check |url= value (help). EconLog. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  12. Mencius Moldbug (28 November 2013). "Mr. Jones is rather concerned". Unqualified Reservations. Retrieved 11 April 2016. If I had to choose one word and stick with it, I'd pick "restorationist." If I have to concede one pejorative which fair writers can fairly apply, I'll go with "reactionary." I'll even answer to any compound of the latter - "neoreactionary," "postreactionary," "ultrareactionary," etc. 
  13. Gray, Rosie (28 December 2015). "How 2015 Fueled The Rise Of The Freewheeling, White Nationalist Alt Right Movement". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  14. Johnson, Eliana and Eli Stokols (February, 2017) "What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read." Politico. (Retrieved April 17, 2017.)
  15. Gray, Rosie (February 10, 2017) "Behind the Internet's Anti-Democracy Movement." The Atlantic. (Retrieved April 17, 2017.)
  16. Revesz, Rachael (February 27, 2017) "Steve Bannon ‘connects network of white nationalists’ at the White House." The Independent. (Retrieved April 17, 2017.)
  17. Levy, Pema (March 26, 2017) "Stephen Bannon Is a Fan of a French Philosopher...Who Was an Anti-Semite and a Nazi Supporter." Mother Jones. (Retrieved April 17, 2017.)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Byars, Mitchell (6 April 2016). "Speaker Curtis Yarvin's racial views bring controversy to Boulder conference". Daily Camera: Boulder News. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  19. Gray, Rosie (February 10, 2017). "Behind the Internet's Anti-Democracy Movement". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  20. Auerbach, David (10 June 2015). "The Curious Case of Mencius Moldbug". Slate. 
  21. Townsend, Tess (5 April 2016). "Citing 'Open Society,' Racist Programmer's Allies Raise $20K on Indiegogo". 
  22. "Why I am not an anti-Semite". June 23, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  23. Nicholas James Pell (January 29, 2014). "Overreacting to Neoreaction". Retrieved September 19, 2016. 

External links