You know the story: a big event happens and the press interviews someone. He gives a clear statement, only to find that in the final article, one line has been taken out of context in order to prove the thesis of the person writing the article.
Luckily, sometimes we catch them in the act.
Recently WIRED‘s Emma Grey Ellis [email her] reached out to an Amerika operative with questions about a free speech Antifa channel run on internet effete basement NEET echo chamber Reddit. She used a single quotation in an article about Antifa:
Meanwhile, the Meme War has metastasized to Reddit at large: “/r/antifa was never an antifascist subreddit,” IamSeth says. “It is a honeypot run by members of the Ku Klux Klan.” (I wasn’t able to confirm the Klan connection, but when I reached out to the /r/antifa mods, an individual who goes by diversity_is_racism denied the honeypot claim, but said he or she thinks Richard Spencer is “a good guy.”)
In the spirit of transparency, which means telling the whole story and is the opposite of cherry-picking, we present to you the whole interview here, with messages from Emma Grey Ellis in bold and messages from us in regular text:
Why not moderate a subreddit with a name that aligns with your own views? Doesn’t calling it /r/antifa make the page a bit of a honeytrap?
Why not moderate a subreddit with a name that aligns with your own views?
I do, /r/new_right
I also moderate a number of others that are dedicated to free speech.
Doesn’t calling it /r/antifa make the page a bit of a honeytrap?
Whoof, the begging-the-question fallacy in real life. The answer: no. I do not intend to use this sub to advance an agenda.
People want to fight it out. Antifa is a hot topic, and I have some sympathies with them. I would like people to fight it out in a place where all opinions can be heard, instead of create another Leftist echo chamber here on Reddit.
Do you identify as Antifa?
I don’t, I actually was relatively unfamiliar with the movement until quite recently.
I can understand wanting to avoid echo chambers. Do you consider the new right and antifa to be fundamentally adversarial?
As in, is it the new right’s task to push back against antifa, and vice versa?
Not really, if we go by sheer differences of opinion. The New Right is not geared toward a modern state at all, so has no use for fascism. It is however opposed to Leftism, especially of the extreme form usually adopted by antifa members even if it is not strictly part of antifa. In theory, you could be a Republican antifa; in reality, that never happens because all of the antifa movement appears to be intersectional anarchist and Communist. The New Right has elements of anarchism and socialism in it, so there is some overlap, but generally we are traditionalist/reactionaries who want a society of a non-modern type.
For that reason, I would say we are not directly opposed… but we would need to live in different nations. As far as the New Right pushing back against antifa, we tend to view them as just another variety of Leftist, not far removed from Democrats (for example) except in methods. Antifa are sort of like Leftist skinheads — they share a lot with the SHARP movement, for example — who enjoy violence, destruction and shattering lives of their perceived enemies. As Andrew Breitbart among others pointed out, however, mainstream Democrats enjoy doing that too, but prefer subtler methods than street violence. So the situation is more nuanced and interesting than “these two groups are enemies.”
Understood. How do you react to this group rallying around the Richard Spencer punch moment? Spencer doesn’t seem to really stand for fascism, per se, but rather a pro-male, pro-white, pro-straight, pro-American/Western European agenda.
From my time moderating /r/antifa, I have realized that antifa supporters do not have a problem with violence, and they have no problem supporting violent anarchists and Communists. Although these movements are particularly prone to certain types of violence — bomb-throwing anarchists, gulags, dawn executions in Lubyanka prison and the like come to mind — I do not think we can backward-infer ideology from the presence of violence itself, as Tim McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, Anders Breivik and Dylann Roof remind us. But, it does not surprise me that antifa cheered the sucker punch of Richard Spencer, mainly because he is a real threat to their ideology just by existing.
I also learned that those on the Left have no idea what fascism is. Fascism is a specific political concept; Leftists use the term to mean authoritarian, totalitarian or just any strong authority that limits individual self-expression, even if just by context (e.g. you cannot spray paint on this specific wall). Spencer strikes me as classic Alt Right, and as one of the inventors of the term — alongside Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki — he would know. Here’s a good introduction to the Alt Right:
In my view, the Alt Right is trying to break away from (1) Republicans and (2) the 1488 white nationalist types. Both groups have failed and the Alt Right wants something new. I have just learned that Reddit’s altright sub, /r/altright, has been banned by Reddit — wow, interesting. Anyway, it seems to me that the Alt Right is a satire/cynical cultural movement against Leftism in general, and it embraces nationalism and the salvation of Western Civilization among other things. In my view, it is re-living the tension of Weimar Germany, and is about to figure out that National Socialism is a big screwup because it is still a modern-style government, and will converge on the same problems we have now even if it vociferously protests them and delays them for a short while. The better movement was volkisch conservatism, but that might be too much of a conceptual leap for people today. The point I want to make here is that there is tension both ways; the Alt Right is resisting both Republican cucks and Hitlarping spergs from the White Nationalist movement. Neo-Nazism is a simplified, mainstreamed version of National Socialism, so it takes the problems of National Socialism, which we might refer to as ideological accelerationism or a tendency toward highly symbolic acts like the Holocaust, and adds to them the problems of modern bureaucratic society… while losing the coherence of actual nationalism, which is basically the idea that a nation is defined by its founding ethnic group, and you cannot have the “proposition nation” that America’s Republicans want. But similarly, you cannot have the race-nation that white nationalists want; a Nationalist understands “Germany for Germans, Israel for Jews, Nigeria for Nigerians” but does not grok “America for whites.” The Alt Right hates the concept of equality, which is sort of an exploded narcissism/individualism, and detests other Republican notions like theocracy, democracy, bipartisanship and the like. It also finds the White Nationalists to be a kind of ideology in themselves, which is why it has resisted them, despite some White Nationalists like the Right Stuff or the Daily Stormer trying to make inroads. So if you look at things in the big picture, Spencer is a good guy who is advancing an actual Right-wing cause — back toward pre French Revolutionary types of society — while casting aside the really psychotic stuff that White Nationalists would do. He has said he does not mind Jews, homosexuals and mixed-race people, and he frequently tells people other races that they should be nationalist for their own people. This is the kind of level-headed voice on the Right that benefits everyone. Ironically, if the antifa strike him down they will get something worse which will also be more popular because it will tap into suppressed rage. In this way, Spencer stands against what people mean when they say “fascism,” which is strong power wielded for ideological purposes with the intention of hurting or eliminating biological impurities within our society.
Antifa, however, is like the Alt Right in one really important way: the movement is ill-defined. They don’t like fascists, great, but what does fascism mean? Very few of them can define it clearly. They are fans of Leftist ideology exclusively, on a scale from anarchism through Communism, and often support the same methods they decry when Right-wing groups use them. But I think there is something there, something to be expressed, which is probably more like libertarian or classical liberal than Communist, and tensions within the movement are keeping this from being expressed. As society inevitably balkanizes, I think antifa will come into their own and express their beliefs in a clarified state at about the same time the Alt Right does the same for its beliefs. We live in interesting times…
Thanks for this, I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate on your viewpoints this way.
Tell me, is there a way that I could identify you other than your username here? First name, initials, a general location?
Four screen shots pasted together:
The lügenpresse represents the inverted thinking created by socializing among humans: instead of looking for a theory that fits the evidence, we look for evidence that fits the theory, since our goal is merely to convince other people that we are right.
If the Alt Right has a legacy outside the Right, it is that it applied Human Biodiversity (HBD) and Tom Wolfe/William S. Burroughs styled principles of the viral nature of language to reveal that (almost) all human actions are signaling, or using tokens like words to create convincing mental images in order to con others into handing over real-world goods: sex, wealth, power and status.
When lügenpresse reporters are conducting interviews, for example, they are looking for only one thing: some data that they can excerpt to make it look like it supports their conclusion.
Witness the actual “a good guy” quote:
So if you look at things in the big picture, Spencer is a good guy who is advancing an actual Right-wing cause — back toward pre French Revolutionary types of society — while casting aside the really psychotic stuff that White Nationalists would do. He has said he does not mind Jews, homosexuals and mixed-race people, and he frequently tells people other races that they should be nationalist for their own people. This is the kind of level-headed voice on the Right that benefits everyone.
The original meaning is this: he is one of the good guys on the Right, as opposed to the psychotic ones.
Instead, this became taken out of context as a means of attacking us.
Lügenpresse, this is why no one trusts you.