Thursday, August 24, 2017

Charlottesville, LARPers, and the Blame Game

Long term, what does Charlottesville mean for the nation? That's a big question and it's worth considering. I find myself doing so in my back yard as I watch the grass grow, high as balls on cold medication (I'm really sick right now). It's captured my attention in a way that nothing has since the Trump campaign.

The number one effect is that a fracture now exists between the Alt-Light and Nazi-LARP wings of the Alt-Right. Mild partisan bickering aside, the two groups were mostly willing to work together through the Trump campaign and indeed, up until now.

But for all the lumping together of the two groups (or three or four, or however many subgroups your taxonomy includes) done by the media, there was always a tension between them. It's difficult to put into words properly since there are so many splinter groups and individual opinions on each ideology, but there is an essential difference between a person who willingly calls themselves a Nazi and a person who does not.

"Saruman did nothing wrong guiz! Helm's Deep never happened!"
That's really the wedge of the issue, I think: are you willing to call yourself a Nazi? A Confederate? A Carthaginian? Any other of history's big losers? Regardless of whether you believe they were right at the time, or history would have been better if they won, or if their opponents were even worse, there's something inherently off about those trying to raise up these very, very dead causes while offering nothing new.

Part of the appeal of the broader Alt-Right brand was the bleeding edginess - the memes, the Rare Pepes, the devil-may-care attitude. As much as some might criticize them for being keyboard warriors, they got shit done, and that catapulted them above the trad-cons and neo-cons.

But for all of the losing that trad-cons and neo-cons do, at least they represent extant worldviews with some semblance of political power. The LARPers are 50% losers and 50% government informants. Their chances of overthrowing the Federal government or making an impact on the broader cultural landscape fall somewhere between The Nation of Yahweh and The Elf Queen's Daughters.

They are trying to get a movement up and running by shackling it to the corpses of America's enemies. They are determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat.

Nazi LARPers, gearing up for a run
But as fun as LARPer bashing is, what does this mean long term? There are basically two reads here. If AntiFa, BLM, and other Left-leaning violent mobs cool their heels, we see the Alt-Light gain ascendancy over the Alt-White as normies get turned off of the Nazi brand and anything even vaguely related.

The downside here is that Alt-Light is easier to infiltrate and turn into the next Tea Party. It's the Alt-White faction (as distinct from the Nazi LARPers) that makes it more of a personal risk to embrace the Alt-Right label. Even if you're not Alt-White, knowing that you're sharing space with them puts you on an edge with your normie friend, relatives, and coworkers.

If AntiFa etc. get even more violent, I think we see further radicalization of the normies. The Left is able to mobilize larger mobs with SorosBux, college kids, and motherfuckers who just want to burn shit down. The game here is in provoking the other side into making a bigger mess so that the normies hate them more.

Remember, at the end of the day, the normies hate whoever they see as responsible for disrupting their lives. Normal people want to go to work and enjoy themselves, not obsess over historical trivia or delve into the facts of the latest civil disturbance. They want a clear Good vs. Evil narrative (A New Hope), not a complex mess of nebulous motives and political trivia (The Phantom Menace).

If you give people Nazis - like, actual people calling themselves Nazis and throwing Nazi salutes to Nazi flags, not a little old church ladies who aren't sure about the public praise of sodomy - then they will assume that those people are Nazis and that Nazis are bad. And people fucking love it when there's a clear bad guy that they can hate.

I know it's not fair. The other guys can call themselves Communists or Dog Fuckers or whatever else and no one gives a shit. You can either whine about it to people who do not give a single iota of a fuck, or push the Commies into committing atrocities and ruining their brand just as deeply as the Nazis.

1 comment:

  1. That's not even getting into the possibilities of false flags or hoaxes.