Giles Fraser writes:
These are good: Vladimir Putin. White identity politics. Star Wars. Austrian free market economics. Donald Trump. LOLs. Bitcoin. Darwinism. Silicon Valley. Science and technology. Transhumanism. Pepe the Frog.
These are bad: Islam. Feminism. Democracy. Black Lives Matter. The new Ghostbusters movie. Egalitarianism. Political correctness. God. Immigration. Hillary Clinton. Newspapers. Government. Academia. Liberalism.
Welcome to the complicated world of the so-called alternative (or alt) right. Think Mein Kampf meets The Big Bang Theory.
For years these socially dysfunctional millennials have sheltered behind their bedroom laptops, watching porn, sending abusive tweets (anonymously) and eating pizza in their underpants.
Mainstream politics – both left and right – has previously ignored this developing phenomenon.
But with Donald Trump they have found a champion who understands their anger. And they have become his digital vanguard.
Tonight in Nevada, Hilary Clinton will give a major speech linking Trump to the alt right. And with this speech the alt right will further enter the political mainstream.
One account of their rise to political significance cites the 2014 Gamergate controversy.
This vicious internet culture war took place between those who were pressing for a more inclusive video gaming culture (more women, less violence) and those who reacted against what they saw as a humourless leftwing threat to their enjoyment of guns and boobs.
These burgeoning alt right gamers have little in common with traditional Republican conservatives and their evangelical Christian values.
They don’t go to church. Indeed, many are aggressively atheistic.
Rather, they come together on blogs and online community forums like 4chan where they fulminate against social justice warriors – SJWs – who want to spoil their fun.
They hate the liberal apparatus of the state, including the mainstream press and Ivy League academia that they collectively dub as The Cathedral.
And they hate normies – normal people – and their repressive political philosophy, democracy.
Instead of democracy, they propose that the US should be run like a large company with a CEO at its head, preferably one from Silicon Valley.
Someone like PayPal founder Peter Thiel, whose views include: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
But Trump will do for now.
Oh, and only intelligent people should be in charge, and that means white people.
“Ever since Mill wrote his response to Carlyle on The Negro Question, writers of the English Protestant tradition have been defending the blatantly theological position that ‘all men are created equal’,” wrote the computer programmer and alt-right hero Curtis Yarvin under his pen name Mencius Moldbug.
He continued: “Note that exactly the same rhetorical strategy can prove the existence of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter.”
Traditional Republicans are now regularly dismissed by the revolting term cuckservatives – an insult first used by white supremacists of Christian conservatives who, they said, have allowed themselves to be cuckolded by racial minorities.
They darkly summon the idea of interracial sex – a theme that was also an obsessive preoccupation of the KKK.
And its meaning broadens out to refer to those who witness their country being taken away and don’t have the balls to do anything to stop it.
That’s why they want a US version of Putin. Because they don’t think he would allow that to happen.
Of course, racism has a long and inglorious history in US politics.
But it now has a very new iteration in the nerdy tech-savvy generation of the alt right. Racism 2.0.
They don’t speak of eugenics but rather of maintaining “human biodiversity”. And they have a thing about IQ tests showing that white people are cleverer than others.
I know, we’ve heard all this crap many times before. But there is something new here.
For in cross-pollinating with the anonymity and viciousness of the internet, with porn and video games replacing Christianity as the common language in which conservatives talk to each other, with openly anti-democratic impulses being justified as rationality, the virus of racism is capable of spreading as never before.
The age of the Christian right is over.
And something worse is set to take its place.