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The Alt-Right Implosion: An extremely handy reading list

Being a Nazi is hard

By David Futrelle

Facing an energized antifascist movement and internal enmities, the Alt-Right is imploding, with its leaders giving up or fighting one another, while followers grow ever more disillusioned by the day.

But the Alt-Right is far from over, and continues its encroachment into the mainstream media; Tucker Carlson’s nightly show on Fox News has been getting ever more explicitly white supremacist. So we can’t let up yet.

Here’s a collection of recent articles to help make sense of the mess, including a selection of my own posts dealing with some of the juicy details of the collapse. Feel free to suggest more articles in the comments.

Less Than a Year After Charlottesville, the Alt-Right Is Self-Destructing (Daily Beast)

The Fascist Right Is Bloodied and Soiled (Splinter)

With their leadership knocked out, young white supremacists face a directionless future (ThinkProgress)

Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen (Daily Beast)

Is Antifa Counterproductive? White Nationalist Richard Spencer Would Beg to Differ. (The Intercept)

In wake of Richard Spencer’s Michigan rally, the racist rights divisions over optics come to a head (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Neo-Nazi Group Implodes Over Love Triangle Turned Trailer Brawl (Daily Beast)

The Alt-Right Is Collapsing, but Powerful Conservatives Are Mainstreaming Its Ideas (Salon/Alternet)

Is the Alt-Right Dying? White Supremacist Leaders Report Infighting and Defection (Newsweek)

Why Is the Alt-Right Falling Apart? (Newsweek)

The alt-right is in decline. Has antifascist activism worked? (The Guardian)

The Hate Report: The alt-right is a mess (Reveal)

How Antifa Broke The Alt-Right (The Banter)

‘This is all we’ve got’: Young white supremacists are down to their last fundraising platform (ThinkProgress)

ALT FIGHT: Jason Jorjani Fancied Himself an Intellectual Leader of a White Supremacist Movement — Then It Came Crashing Down (The Intercept)

And here are a few of my posts on the subject:

Alt-Right erupts after crying Nazi Christopher Cantwell admits he’s a federal informant

MEME WAR: MGTOWs vs Nazis in The Battle of the (White) Babies!

Alt-Nazi leader Matthew Heimbach honors Folk and Family by banging mother-in-law, assaulting wife (allegedly)

For ongoing coverage of the alt-right and antifa/anarchist/lefty activism, check out It’s Going Down and Unicorn Riot.

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Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

whatevermynameis:

That “Sieg Fail” meme is the best thing I’ve seen in a while.

It’s like Nazi Tetris!

An on
An on
2 years ago

Honestly, this is nothing to celebrate. While all these psychotic fringe movements are collapsing under the weight of their own incompetence and belligerence, mainstream conservatives are not only still out there, they’re more nakedly bigoted than any time since the end of Jim Crow.

The extremists who helped bring Trump to power are miserable because they’ve built their entire identities around being extremists, railing against “normal” society and politics. Now that some of their racist proclivities are becoming more normalized they have no choice for protecting their own self-image but to double down, shrieking that anything less than 3rd Reich-style genocide of all non-whites constitutes a betrayal by Trump of his constituents, heedless of all sociopolitical realities (let’s not forget that the holocaust itself was a tremendous waste of resources that wound up being one of the major factors in the original Nazis losing the war).

The alt-right is a casualty of its own success.

We can laugh at their pain and their madness but the fact remains that the more functional sociopaths they elected are stronger than ever. Men like Richard Spencer are like the wings of a slaver ant queen, sloughed off when the creature has established itself and is ready to spread more death, bondage and misery.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

Honestly, this is nothing to celebrate. While all these [redacted] fringe movements are collapsing under the weight of their own incompetence and belligerence, mainstream conservatives are not only still out there, they’re more nakedly bigoted than any time since the end of Jim Crow.

I think this is absolutely true. You hit the nail on the head even more directly later on:

The alt-right is a casualty of its own success.

Absolutely right.

The tragedy of any underground movement is that if it does well, it eventually ceases to be underground. While having your ideas go mainstream is great, it also means that your movement stops being a “cool kids treehouse” and starts being just another part of the capitalist world.

Environmentalism is being used by agribusiness to sell premium cosmetics; feminism is being used by Hollywood to market movies; LGBTQA is being used by candy companies to promote sugared confections. Why are the Nazis surprised that a billionaire property investor has decided to use their slogans to sell his wares?

That said:

their madness

You should probably read the comments policy. On this site we do not use “crazy”, “mad”, “psychotic” and other terms related to mental illness as slurs. A lot of people find this difficult at first, but if you stick with it it’ll get easier.

(It’s not as if there aren’t enough other slurs for such people.)

An on
An on
2 years ago

Eh, I’m a little skeptical of people who make too much fuss about “ableism” in regard to mental illness. In my experience they’re usually people who have no interest in seeking real treatment and improving themselves and just use it to gain sympathy. Sympathy is for sick children and those mourning dead loved ones. Anybody else craving it is usually some kind of sociopath/malignant narcissist.

As to capitalist society coopting everything, I think at this point the only viable approach is the Sentinalese way. Respond to outsiders with nothing but hostility long enough and eventually they’ll decide it’s not worth the effort and forget about you. Which, I’ll grant you, isn’t too different from the alt-right, the difference is that the Sentinalese just want to be left the Hell alone.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

Eh, I’m a little skeptical of people who make too much fuss about “ableism” in regard to mental illness. In my experience they’re usually people who have no interest in seeking real treatment and improving themselves and just use it to gain sympathy. Sympathy is for sick children and those mourning dead loved ones. Anybody else craving it is usually some kind of sociopath/malignant narcissist.

Hmmm.

Tell me, since you seem to be an opinionated person, have you come across the Paradox of Tolerance? What’s your opinion? Do you agree with Popper?

I’m going somewhere with this, and I want to ensure that you follow every step of the way.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ an on

In my experience they’re usually people who have no interest in seeking real treatment and improving themselves and just use it to gain sympathy.

I’m afraid I’m very much going to have to disagree with you here.

Now, by way of background, before stumbling on this site I was prone to the common narrative of using words like crazy casually; especially in relation to politicians and their ilk. That’s not withstanding that I do have a bit of familiarity with mental health issues as they pertain to the law.

But over my time here I’ve met some very nice people, and they’ve explained to me just how hurtful such casual use is. Interestingly, notwithstanding your assertion that such people are just after sympathy, I’ve found that they’re actually very unlikely to even mention their own concerns when people do use such terms, whether that’s because of fear of stigmatisation or just the general socialisation not to make a fuss.

So I can completely understand when people find this site a bit of an oasis.

And as for having no interest in seeking treatment, well I’m sure there’s plenty of people here who can tell you of their years’ long struggles to get help or afford medication.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@An on

Piss off.

Feministguy
Feministguy
2 years ago

I personally think its important not to give up on people even when they give up on themselves. Having strong people around you really helps, but thats just my opinion.

An on
An on
2 years ago

I’ve read a bit of Open Society and it’s enemies. I suppose maybe I am intolerant, but I have my reasons. The truth is I’m painfully aware of the concept of Dunbar’s Number and so I’m drawn to assuming the worst about anybody exhibiting behaviors I’ve seen in exploitative or otherwise dangerous people… or just anybody in general really, so that I can conserve my cognitive energy and avoid overextendibg my personal “monkeysphere”. We can only genuinely care about 150 people at a time, if that. If you’re not careful you wind up becoming one of those people who doesn’t speak up when a friend turns out to be a rapist because he’s more “real” to you than his victims.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

My goodness, you are making a splash, @An on

I shall be brief and numerate!

1) Doesn’t matter whether you think ableist language is actually just fine or not, in the same way that it doesn’t matter whether you’re cool with swearing in front of small children or not. Site’s got rules against using ableist language. Ignore them at your peril.

2a) Doesn’t matter if you think “eh, people who care about ableist language are just virtue signaling hypocrites” or not. There are many people here – some who are even talking to you! – who have said they find WHTM a place of relief and welcome because of the ableist language policy.

2b) There are very, very few places on the web or in the world that care to distinguish between mental illness and bad character. People with some sort of mental condition get painted with the same brush as murderers and bigots on-the-regular. If you’re a moral person, you should be horrified about that, and should want to change.

3) It’s a little difficult at first – ableist language is extremely common and a go-to insult, and these fuckweasels we talk about on this site are begging for insult. This policy feels restrictive at first. We’ve all been there. But you should embrace it! If for no other reason, your faculties of wit and insult will blossom like a spiky, angry rose. Get creative with your insults instead. It’s fun and good for you.

In short, my duck, we don’t give a damn whether you like the rule or not, we care about the people who carry the weight of those words way more than we care about your desire to use them. Embrace it and improve yourself or the door’s to your right.

toodle boodle!

EDIT: (mental note to self: return to this thread to eviscerate aforementioned misunderstanding of Dunbar’s Number and the application of empathy. Remember to bring paring knife this time)

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

We can only genuinely care about 150 people at a time, if that. If you’re not careful you wind up becoming one of those people who doesn’t speak up when a friend turns out to be a rapist because he’s more “real” to you than his victims.

… How exactly does that last sentence follow the others in your post? Are you proposing that you are so intolerant to not have anyone in your “monkeysphere”, and therefore everyone is equally “unreal” and you can be unbiased?

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

@An on:
So, here’s the thing. This website is owned by David Futrelle. He pays for it. He kindly allows others to comment here if they obey the rules he lays down. One of those rules is that commenters here do not use mental health as a slur. These are not my rules, although I happen to agree with them. These are David’s rules. If you do not obey them, your presence here is unwelcome. One way or another, you will stop posting such things here.

If you disagree, you are very welcome to pay for your own webhosting elsewhere and post whatever you like there.

You may feel, as Shadowplay does, that based on your behaviour you do not belong here. That’s a valid feeling. You may alternatively believe that it is possible for you to become the sort of person who does belong here, and that’s also a valid feeling. But our tolerance is not unlimited.

@Scildfreja:

EDIT: (mental note to self: return to this thread to eviscerate aforementioned misunderstanding of Dunbar’s Number and the application of empathy. Remember to bring paring knife this time)

Ooooh ooooh I wanna see this!

I know you’re more tolerant towards Yudkowskianism than I am, but this is one of the things about it that’s always annoyed me, and seeing a real researcher speak about it would be a delight.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

How did An on get from point A to point B where point A is “please don’t equate being an asshole with being crazy” and point B is “that will lead to rape apologia”?

Just…huh?

That’s not even a slippery slope argument. That’s like arguing you’ll slide down the slope and into a valley in a whole other mountain range in a different country. I just really don’t see the connection. Or the evidence. Rape apologia is about the last thing you’d ever find among regulars here.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

you’ll slide down the slope and into a valley in a whole other mountain range in a different country.

In Europe there’s like a universal ‘112’ emergency services number that works in every country. That was initially introduced because skiers and climbers would fall down the Alps and not know which country they’d landed in.

(Amazing as that sounds, and in view of the date, I should confirm that is 100% true)

An on
An on
2 years ago

I suppose I’ll take my leave then. If I’m not right for the culture of this site im not right for it. I don’t really believe in people being that changeable. I think it’s always best to judge people by their first instincts rather than flimsy constructs based mainly around public shame.

Honestly, I think this will be the last time I get involved in political discussion at all. I thought people might be interested to hear a different perspective but I guess it’s a little too different. I feel like I have a naturally right-leaning brain but since my father was an important figure in the union at his work I grew up in a pretty leftist environment. It’s not a recipe for a healthy worldview I suppose.

Makroth
Makroth
2 years ago

Hardly a loss.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
2 years ago

I think it’s always best to judge people by their first instincts rather than flimsy constructs based mainly around public shame.

I know it’s Easter, but that doesn’t make nailing yourself to the cross any less eyeroll-worthy.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

Thank you for taking your leave politely, An on.

In case you’re still reading, the following is sincerely intended as advice given with the best wishes, from one argumentative internet white guy to another, and not as a parting shot. It requires no response.

I thought people might be interested to hear a different perspective but I guess it’s a little too different.

The thing is that your perspective is neither “different” nor “too different.” It has been heard many, many times before by almost everyone here. It has been heard often enough that we have standard terms for its component parts, and we have standard in-jokes for its callout lines. You thought you were fresh, but found that we treated you as stale. I understand that this may be a difficult thing to hear, and I empathise with that.

If you have a position which has not been taken before, which is genuinely original and thought-provoking, and which draws upon your life experience in ways which provide a formerly-unheard perspective, then that would be worth hearing.

If you do not have such a perspective, then it’s often worth lurking and reading the blogs of those who do.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@An on

Gonna say one thing:

I don’t really believe in people being that changeable.

You are wrong. Life is change.

Choose life. Or not. Your call.

Seemed appropriate to the day.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

Eh, I’m a little skeptical of people who make too much fuss about “ableism” in regard to mental illness.

Braces self

In my experience they’re usually people who have no interest in seeking real treatment and improving themselves and just use it to gain sympathy. Sympathy is for sick children and those mourning dead loved ones. Anybody else craving it is usually some kind of sociopath/malignant narcissist.

Jesus, An on, not everything is about you. People who are suffering don’t typically want your sympathy. Including sick children and people in mourning. I remember when I was in 4th grade there was a girl with leukemia. She hated getting sympathy. She just wanted to feel normal and to be treated like everyone else. Same with when I was mourning the death of my fiance. I wanted people to stop getting that damn look on their faces that said they felt sorry for me. I wanted their help sometimes, to be able to talk to them, but they wouldn’t give me that (I was being too negative, you see, working through my problems like that), they just gave me fucking sympathy. I had to help them feel better about my loss. Fuck your sympathy.

Likewise, mentally ill people, Deaf people, and disabled people don’t want sympathy. They want accessibility. They want people to stop talking down to them and othering them. They want equity in pay and accommodations. They want to be treated like full people with agency.