Given this blog recently enjoyed great success with a whole book centred on right-wing shenanigans in 2015, I perhaps shouldn’t complain about the latest culture war gambit. I say “latest” but I can’t think of a better way of putting it than “let’s do 2014/15 again”. A lot of this is coming from the Twitter chaos and Elon Musk bringing back names like Sargon of Akkad to the platform, long after their relevance has passed. Yet, aside from that we also have Milo Yiannopoulos attempting a comeback on Kanye West’s coattails. Earlier in the year, unrelated to Musk’s Twitter or West’s electoral shenanigans we had multiple profiles of neoreactionary Curtis Yarvin aka Mencius Moldbug.
I suspect part of this is the increasing irrelevance of MAGA/Trumpism in the online right. Electorally, it is far from dead but it has long since stopped being edgy or cool. The right also has a dearth of ideas regardless. What became in 2015 the alt-right wasn’t a great idea and neither was the confused rationalisation of the neoreactionaries. However, they were what were on offer as something akin to an intellectual framework for the right beside neo-conservativism or the increasingly untenable libertarianism. During the Trump years, Qanons omniconspiracy became increasingly baroque to the point that the movement became dominated by people coming from wellness/new-age ideas.
Now it is 2022, Biden is in office and enjoying a surprising degree of electoral success. For internet right it is like the Obama years all over again, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the right is turning back to what they think worked last time.
I saw an email circulating the other day from a boomer-aged relative that unironically included the term “get woke, go broke”. Technically I knew that had to have been more recent than 2015 but it had that same vibe to it. When I checked on when it originated I read this:
“On April 17th, 2018, the Milo Yiannopoulos-run news site Dangerous published an article about sci-fi author John Ringo, which quoted Ringo using the phrase “get woke, go broke” in the context of organizations that cave “to SJW pressure.””https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/get-woke-go-broke
Oh but of course. I think I did know that but I’d mercifully forgotten it. It arose during that phase when lots of cons were adopting codes of conduct and several ex-Puppies were finding themselves disinvited as guest speakers. The article was written by Jon Del Arroz. Which, in case you had forgotten, he might not have got paid for writing because Dangerous, you guessed it, went broke that same year. https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/grift-all-the-way-down/