From Dionysus Powell: This was a fascinating read, and there’s something I’d like to chime in to add, in response to Philosophical Fight Club: Alt-Right Recruitment (and How to Fight it)
So what does this have to do with alt right philosophy? To answer that, consider that alt right philosophy, what with its emphasis on strength, masculinity, and dominance offer white males (or at least the low status gamer/incel types) the same thing that gangsterism offers poor black men in the inner city or that joining ISIS offers young MENA men in Europe: a chance to be hardcore. In fact, I think that the current philosophical development of the alt right is just he first baby step in that direction- they aren’t actually doing anything hardcore yet, so it isn’t actually satisfying their appetite for risk/adventure, but instead just validating it.
And when I say that this appetite has been suppressed for generations, I really think that it’s true. Think of the movie referenced in the title of your post, for example: “the first rule of fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club.” If you want to satisfy your taste for violence and adventure, even intellectually, you’d better hide it. Anti violence and “safety first” are among the premier virtues of the West right now, and those who seek to satisfy their natural appetite for risk are often stigmatized. High status men (like sports celebrities or astronauts) are often exempt, but for low status men (aka most men), any attempt to get your violence/adventure-rocks off gets you labeled a dangerous deviant.
And at some point, a bunch of dudes decided maybe it’s okay to be a dangerous deviant, and we wound up with the alt right.
The alt-right, unlike the far-left, does not resort to violence and suppression of speech. The alt-right is civil; gangsters and ISIS are not. The alt-right rose to prominence, not due to a yearning for violence and danger, but because the ‘mainstream right’ had failed miserably by promoting open borders and other anti-right causes, and also because moderate conservatives were ‘punching right’ by taking the side of SJW-bullies for fear of ‘losing respectability’, until finally the disaffected right created their ‘own’ movement to address the obvious deficiencies of mainstream conservatism, but in a way that appealed to younger people through meme and social network-based propagation, not traditional activism.
Many people, myself included, have an innate appetite for risk taking, adventure, and violence. It’s much like libido- no matter my ideological preference for having that appetite, it’s there, and it’s going to come to the surface.
Kinda disagree here. Society is not suppressing risk taking. No one is stopping anyone from gambling all their money in Vegas, rock climbing, or any other other risky endeavor. The problem is the false victimization mentality, mostly by women, against men who are wrongly accused of things they didn’t do, such as feminists equating ‘cat calling’ with ‘assault’, and so on. It’s men being taught ‘not to rape’, the rise of ‘micro aggressions’, or how school administrators and teachers disproportionately punish boys.
Many men of our generation have never actually done anything more hardcore than sit on the couch and play call of duty. They’re soft bellied degenerates, and they know it. And they can’t stand it any longer, but they don’t know what to do with their risk-libido.
I don’t understand…how can men be both lazy and desire risk. No one is stopping men from engaging in risk, but I think the riskiest thing a man can do nowadays is accidentally misgender someone. It’s not so much that men are being punished for taking risks, but rather punished for things are accidental and unintentional…it’s like navigating minefield–yet without being aware one is even in a minefield. Who knows what the next inane, arbitrary social convention will be, that some hapless male loses his job over.
As an aside, Dionysus Powell begins his article praising Rachel Ann McKinney, calling her article a ‘fascinating read’:
This was a fascinating read, and there’s something I’d like to chime in to add: it’s not an accident that this sort of masculinist, right wing philosophy is gaining ground.
It’s not a stretch to say Rachel Ann McKinney is a far-leftist:
So I’m going to go out on a limb with a hypothesis. The fascists are recruiting in our name, using the tools of our trade, and some academics seem more than happy to play along. If this is true, it is past time for professional philosophers to do some self-reflection and develop a praxis for dealing with this ideology in our classrooms and on our campuses. Importantly, whatever praxis we develop must aim at inoculating curious but nonaligned students against the new fascism without (further) alienating conservative students into radicalized backlash.
‘Fascist’ as an insult is so overused as to be meaningless anyway, or at least it has been redefined to mean ‘anyone who doesn’t subscribe to far-left liberalism,’ which means Richard Dawkins’ views on Islam makes him a fascist to some on the left.
But as discussed in earlier posts regarding shared narratives and intellectualism culture, you keep seeing the far-left and the far-right intermingling. Not once have I ever seen a National Review writer (or any mainstream, low-information Conservative pundit) praise something written by a leftist as a ‘fascinating read’. Never. Likewise, never seen the same from the low-information left either. It’s not a new observation but still interesting. Low information groups, in general, tend to be dismissive, if not outright hostile, to outside views.