The rise of the right, including the far right, has been a puzzling and frightening phenomenon – puzzling because for years, certain aspects of society’s sewers seemed to have been left behind in most western countries, such as mass scale racism. Apparently, it takes fairly little to drag them out again into the light of day.
It also showed how social media can be used against people’s better judgement, through the dissemination of fake news designed to make the masses believe in doomsday scenarios should they fail to elect “strong people” to “stand up for western civilisation”.
The following posts were written as this mess was unfolding, becoming clearer by the day – that this massive wave was not organic, or made up of extremists from the very beginning – instead, it was a well-planed takeover of popular sentiment.
I think many of us did not expect, month after month, to watch commentators apparently preoccupied with human rights and the abuses of the far left actually defend ethno-nationalist rallies or laugh callously at the plight of undocumented immigrants in the US.
One certainly wouldn’t expect those who were speaking against identity politics to swiftly start promoting “identitarianism”, forming cliques and unquestioningly supporting political leaders.
My conclusion is – and I don’t think it will ever change – that when apparently independent thinkers begin to form a movement it’s time to GTF away from them, because the result is always the same – a suppression of original thoughts and principles in solidarity with the newly-formed clique, coalescing at times with unsavoury elements for a “common goal”.
The Anti-SJW Movement, Degenerating Into Alt-Right Rhetoric
The last two years have seen an explosion of justified rebutting of third wave feminism and identity politics, after seeing them embraced by young people in particular as a result of far left influences on their education.
What started as grassroots defiance against language policing and exaggerated victimisation gradually morphed into vacuous entertainment, to later develop a rather dangerous side-effect: desensitisation to the threat posed by right wing divisiveness, by focusing solely on the division caused by the left. Naturally, desensitisation slowly turned into acceptance and then sheer enthusiasm, as right-wing ideas saw the perfect momentum during the US presidential elections and have continued to reel in more enthusiasts for “change” ever since.
The preoccupation to be anti-left has taken such proportions that the anti-SJW movement has become a self-contradicting one, equating its initial fight for freedom of speech with a return to conservatism, which is equally fixated in its rigours as cultural Marxism and attracts the same amount of blind, fanatical devotion.
Suddenly, these former defenders of free speech saw an opportunity for leftists to be vilified beyond redemption and rejoiced, perhaps as some sort of vindication. Suddenly, those who had argued so compellingly for diversity of opinion became fixated on shutting up the left altogether, towards a “bright future” of conservative conformity.
Which proves once again that virtue and pacifism are apparels of the underdog, to be shed when said underdog reaches a position of power or at least has the illusion of being able to socially annihilate its opposition.
That is why solidarity with a group or movement should be questioned by the sympathetic individual every step of the way, lest it might degenerate into something completely different from what was initially intended.
Needless to say, many social justice warriors are easy targets. Whereas it makes sense to call out (with trumpets blaring) the abhorrent practice of destroying people’s livelihoods for perceived thought crimes, it also makes sense not to use disoriented teens as hate targets in anti-SJW videos.
In that sense I think it is a stretch for grown people to berate (down to nullification) 15 or 16-year-olds who post content on the internet without realising they are not mature enough to understand what they are propagating. For many of them this will undoubtedly be a phase in self-discovery and it seems unfair to conflate them with the genuinely dangerous individuals brainwashing them. The ugly side of this movement consists of running these kids through the mincer just to produce more of the same conveyor belt “look at these cretins”, self-indulgent type of entertainment.
While blowing social media duels out of proportion, people’s attention is being diverted from the reality of what a shift towards the right will really bring, much of which is cause for great concern.
In conclusion, this might have started out with the right intentions yet has become another mental trap, keeping many from seeing the broader picture and shifting the focus from important issues onto inconsequential minutiae.
Viva La Resistencia
Hi there, It’s nice to find like-minded allies here in the blogosphere. We are Viva La Resistencia (est. July, 2017) a group dedicated to community leadership through public intellectualism. Please consider checking out our main blog as well as holding future correspondences. Thanks for your contributions. We’ve signed on to receive future updates.
As for your post, we have said exactly this (from top to bottom) collectively as well as individually. The SJW movement, as far as we see it, is the new danger to our democracy such that we forecast a repeat of a Trump-like presidency and cabinet arising in the future if we’re not careful. That is, the Alt-Left label is something we extrapolate to forge into a formidable voting bloc, away from its current state as a mere analogy to the alt-right, which will (as trends suggest) hold its political ideological basis in collective solidarity interconnected with dogmatic groupthink that itself will be (as it is now) impervious to epistemological principals like infallibility. All things equal, we are simply seeking allies to help combat this possibility.
FEBRUARY 8, 2018
Thank you for commenting.
FEBRUARY 9, 2018
Can you please post a link to the blog? The search results are somewhat unclear.Thanks in advance.
FEBRUARY 9, 2018
Viva La Resistencia
According to our analytics, it seems you figured it out already. But, we’ll link you anyway. Thanks! https://viva-laresistencia.blogspot.com
FEBRUARY 14, 2018
Thank you for the link.
FEBRUARY 16, 2018
I don’t think it’s right to say ‘much like disappointed women end up on forums about narcissists and psychopaths’. As someone who found these forums very helpful, there are a) both women and men on there and b) lots of us have come from positions of genuine physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Not ‘disappointment’. Many of us have had therapists specifically point out the diagnostic traits to us before we even had any idea what a N/P was, and many of us actually refused to believe it at first. So please, reconsider that sentence might come across as pretty patronising and insensitive.
APRIL 7, 2018
I apologise for the way that came across.
It wasn’t meant to insult those who are genuinely involved with narcissists or psychopaths.
However, in this day and age, there are plenty who issue a rushed judgement based on how vague the criteria are for identifying the above-mentioned. The guidelines themselves, on PF, were written as retaliation after one admin’s relationship broke down. No expertise or anything like that. People do make mistakes in vulnerable states and some regret it later.
APRIL 7, 2018
I do remember writing that somewhere but it’s not in this post. I’ll edit to make the point clearer when I find it.
APRIL 7, 2018
When It’s Time To Jump Off A Political Bandwagon
There is a classic question intended to halt someone from taking a likely wrong path. The shorter version is “if you knew there was just a tiny bit of dog excrement in your food, would you still eat it?”
This can apply perfectly to embracing an ideology, political doctrine, religion or getting behind anything enjoying massive popular support.
It’s rather difficult, when the stakes are purported to be very high internationally, not to be mentally drawn, to some extent, into a political struggle from overseas (unless you isolate yourself from any type of media). And realistically, many people who see themselves as apolitical (independent thinkers) have seen the pros of the US administration change in terms of loosening the grip of the far left, potentially with international ripples.
The left’s arguments and demonstrations have often been inept; incoherent; it was difficult to take them seriously when becoming hysterical about “pussy remarks” and parading as giant vulvae (with their mouths as the urethrae I suppose).
As enthusiasm rose, the right-leaning alternative media started producing more and more pro-Trump material, which after the election has become 99,99% uncritical on very popular channels. By now it basically sounds like political propaganda, although most likely it is produced in earnest, as part of an ideological fight against the radical left.
Is uncritical enthusiasm ever a good omen? Probably not.
Among Hollywood’s snobbery, frequent violence from the left and theatrical demonstrations against “sexism”, one issue was overlooked by supportive channels: the reality of what is in store for that country’s roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants, many of whom have been there for years and have built their lives and families there. Whilst routing for an end to the PC culture, it was easy for any outsider to believe deportation would be focused on violent criminals, such as murderers, rapists or drug dealers – reality proves very different.
The cold fact is that a “deportation force” will be organised to hunt all these people down; I needn’t say what that is reminiscent of, to avoid sounding like a leftist. They will target everyone, in their homes, in the street, at their workplace. They will show up at the door, handcuff people in front of their kids, drive them away and all contact will be cut, just like that. No consideration to that person’s present eligibility to stay will be given.
And spokespersons for said administration refer to this as a fair and humane method, even though the reality of it is brutal and often makes no sense in terms of what the state would gain.
Someone can even prove to have built a business, employed others, supported a large family for years , paid taxes and still be thrown out with nothing but the clothes on their back and no right to any of their possessions, or even a chance to see their family before being flown back to a country they had left decades before, prone to homelessness and despair. That is worse treatment than serial killers get. And when the breadwinner of the family is thrown out, with no consideration for those left behind, that family likely ends up on welfare. What sense does this even make? Who benefits from this?
These people are part of their society, of their communities. And they will just disappear, one by one, overnight. Seriously, what does this sound like?
Nobody seems immune to the snare of a promised political change and as time goes by, polarisation becomes more evident, even if the starting point was a neutral one. This change has generated a massive wave of hope, as a middle-finger shown to the leftist establishment. Yet it will come with needless destruction of lives, on a mass scale.
And while this is happening, the right-leaning alternative media will most likely look the other way and sneer at SJW meltdowns over inconsequential matters. And will most likely keep arguing that the Trump administration is the way to the future, an example to follow.
Eerily enough, mass deportation has seldom been discussed during the campaign and is seldom discussed now. The focus for many alternative channels with a large following seems to be defending Trump’s image at all cost, down to minutiae such as what is tweeted about him. Strengthening the border is often described as blocking new immigration, not throwing out all those who already live there and have for years, decades even. That wouldn’t be too palatable for the average reader or listener, who can instead easily be led to think, through this communal omission, that nothing unreasonable is involved.
If there’s nothing concrete anyone outside the US can do about it, perhaps no longer applauding it would be a good option. Perhaps being honest about it would be a start.
There is some lucidity fortunately and I can only hope it spreads.
White Americans who are struggling financially don’t care about immigration and deportation of any type, or environmental concerns. They have been afforded all of the respect and dignity of wraiths for decades and now its payback time. Sad but true. The U.S. disproportionately rewards the successful and punishes everybody else. The abused and forgotten are in a pre-revolutionary mood right now and after driving through some of the ‘sacrifice zones’, a few years back. it became more understandable to me.
It is also very much like pre-war Germany. The Germans were so beaten down, they became less than human towards other races and were out for scapegoats.
This is just the beginning. People have to prepare for what is coming, if not practically, then just mentally.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
Sadly, the political class is very skilled at using and dividing people who are struggling, turning them against each other. I wonder how long it will be until some start turning their neighbours in.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
Read Steve Bannon\’s comments about destroying the current system. That\’s how bad it could get. I remember reading something once about rage having an almost etheric component that carries the angry along in a wave they cannot control. They participate in it and summon it, in a synergistic way — if that makes any sense.
There is no turning back. The gates of Hell have been opened and fascism is taking over. This isn\’t sloganeering. It is actually happening. Europe will also succumb, I feel.
FEBRUARY 27, 2017
I see this in the European coverage of the “migrant crisis” as well. It’s all one sided. The left sweeps all issues under the carpet, refusing to deal with them, whilst the right just demonises an entire mass of people indiscriminately. It’s as if the left were working for the right in this hyping up of matters. It’s like they’re giving them material against all logic. Of course the issues are very serious; I’m just afraid that the day will come when people will start blindly attacking each other in the street and there will be many innocent victims as there are in any such conflict. Then there is a real chance of far-right governments getting to power all over Europe, all using this as a pretext and the same type of rhetoric. They wouldn’t have managed so easily under normal circumstances. That’s why it looks engineered in so many ways.
FEBRUARY 27, 2017
Enough Pandering To Actual White Supremacists
In every clash of ideologies there is a large palette of nuances of grey, usually overlooked by both sides when posturing on their key issues. Hence the idea of analysing all possible aspects in a neutral manner.
However, there is at least one exception – when the clash involves any ideology based on racial supremacy, which seeks to reduce humanity to no more than packs of mammals fighting over territory, a phase humanity is said to have transcended a long time ago (but apparently hasn’t completely).
There is no redeeming aspect or nuance in being a race supremacist. It is the absolute lowest denominator in any society. The drive towards tribalism can be understood in certain contexts, but not this one.
After the events in Charlottesville, US, when, at a white nationalist rally where violence erupted between marchers and protesters, a woman was actually killed by a disturbed right wing extremist who purposefully ran into people with his car, the reactions were, paradoxically, mixed.
As praised as the first amendment in the US constitution is, giving the right to free speech to anyone on any matter, one must rationally admit that a march based on racial supremacy is, in and of itself, incitement to violence.
Analyse and dissect it all you want – that it what is boils down to. And when such elements freely congregate and propagandise, nothing good comes of it. Because it simply can’t. It is the most base, irrational, anger-fueled drive a person can have, and should not be alimented by any means. It borders on (and sometimes even is) murderous rage, blended with the sickest type of utilitarianism.
There is no silver lining. As much as “free speech advocates” (whose devotion is questionable when joining ranks with the right) like to throw stones at the radical left, which overall has damaged its image through acts of violence of its own, this is not debatable. No one is blowing this out of proportion. These are actual racists. Not someone making an inadvertently offensive comment or a potentially offensive joke, to be picked on for no reason. Actual torch-wielding racists, looking for concrete results and political backing.
And still, commentators claiming to be moderate wrack their brains to defend Trump’s half-hearted condemnation “of both sides”. Because they support Trump. Normally, outside of these circumstances of belonging to a clique and having to defend it at all cost, I think those same people would be very quick to disavow any such gathering.
In the Trump-supporting-yet-supposedly-not-alt-right alternative media, especially online, things carry on as usual, with issues such as the demands of irrational feminists and “regressive leftists” being treated as a priority, when it is clear that at least in the US the radical right has become a major problem, emboldened by the establishment’s tacit approval.
The idea that Trump’s election would cause such consequences was treated as ridiculous last year, with believable rhetoric – and yet it’s all happening. It seems the “ridiculous” “hysterical” left actually had a point, at least in certain directions.