Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Moronicity on the March: Demagoguery and the Alt-Right

I have recently accidentally discovered that self proclaimed messiah of the alt-right, Milo Yiannopoulos. The alt-right that Yiannopoulos wants to be a high priest of is hardly novel. Many of its obsessions are the obsessions of contemporary right wing radio demagogues, and have been the obsessions of National Review Demagogues, John Birch Society demagogues, and anti-Communist demagogues before it. Nor are the hyper or uber exaggerations or the lack of intellectual sophistication of the alt-right and its self proclaimed demagogic high (pun intended) priest novel. Christian apologists and polemicists have been blasting Islam, for example, since the First Crusade. The problem with all of this fear laden Islamophobic demagoguery, Islamophobic because the new old right and the alt right cherry pick their evils, is that the problem is not Islam. The problem is monotheism. Monotheism, Jewish monotheism, Christian monotheism, and Islamic monotheism, all of which were born out of the narrow minded Mediterranean world, with its ethnocentrism, its theocratic tendencies, its homophobia, and its misogynies, has shown itself again and again to be hazardous to human health throughout Western history. Apparently demagogues like Yiannopoulos don't recognise this or can't recognise because it would throw a monkey wrench into his pied piper Machiavellian machinations. The solution to theocratic monotheism, by the way, a solution alt-right demagogues never seem to have recognised or refuse to recognise, is secularisation, again as Western history shows.

Something else that isn't novel about the alt right is its use of exaggeration and fear. Recently in Facebook post Yiannapoulos criticised a group of vegan feminists who, according to him, linked male misogny and the maltreatment of animals, two of the central symbols, apparently, in the demonology of the alt right as it was in the old new right. Just like other apologetic and polemical demagogues Yiannapoulos uses exaggeration and fear as a form of manipulation in order to gain power and financial resources (which he apparently doesn't use to pay employees). What alt right demagogues and all demagogues never give you is the facts but I will. According to Gallup in 2012 5% of Americans were vegetarian. This percentage has remained pretty much constant over the last ten years. 6% of Americans were vegetarians in 1999 and 2001. 5% of 18 to 29 year olds were vegetarian in 2012. 4% of 30 to 49s were vegetarian in 2012. Only 2% of Americans said they were vegans in 2012. Why don't apologetic and polemical demagogues give the people the facts, such as the number of vegans, vegetarians, and radical feminists who link veganism and feminism are small and have been so for some time? Because all demagogues know that nothing comes close to the use of exaggeration and fear when it comes to manipulating the masses. They are, after all, the pied pipers.

Another thing the alt right won't tell you is who they really are. The alt right may have come up with a nice little catchphrase to describe themselves and to distinguish themselves from the old right and the old new right. In the final analysis, however, the alt right is the same as the old right and the old new right. They are theocrats. They are authoritarians. They want people to behave and to speak like they think they should behave and speak. They are not libertarians with a live and let live ideology, in other words. And to top it all off they appear to be blissfully unaware of the irony here, namely that they, who are decrying political correctness constantly, are pushing their own version of political correctness. Ob la di ob la da.

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