He’s spoken of in whispers—a myth, a legend, a ghost, the avenging dark angel of Hyperborea. Hundreds have fallen by his hand. The forces of law and the might of the armies are powerless. The leaders of nations tremble at the thought of his vengeance.
The mutually hostile tribes rage and struggle in the ruins of the Hollow Empire, fighting their petty wars, indulging their petty betrayals. The schemers maneuver for leadership of a movement that barely exists, their hatred for the eternal enemy surpassed only by their enmity for each other.
Yet there is one name before which every knee will bend. The man who is everywhere and nowhere. The man who could be sitting behind you even now. The One Man Auschwitz, the immortal leader of the glorious cause, Ben Garrison himself!
Of course, Ben Garrison is not some mythical Aryan terrorist leader. He’s an innocuous libertarian artist who draws cartoons lampooning the Federal Reserve, big government, and other targets that sound ominous but are safe and harmless. He also produces non-political art to support himself.
Yet if it’s true that every movement not founded explicitly on the Right will become leftist with time, it’s also true that every website that’s not heavily moderated will eventually become far right. Which brings us to the strange tale of /pol, Ben Garrison, 4chan, and the beginning of the total culture.
4chan is, or was, the most important anonymous discussion board on the Internet. But what was most important about it was how it drove online culture and eventually, culture itself. If you dug through the chaos and filth (and there was a lot of that), you found authentic brilliance that eventually became part of our cultural shorthand. At a time when culture is so obviously a product of access, money, and power, this was no small thing. And when it comes to politics, this is nothing short of revolutionary.
Therefore, it’s incredible that the site survived more or less unchanged through various scandals, including bullying people to suicide, child pornography, and more or less explicit criminal conspiracies of various sorts, only to be radically changed by Gamergate, Ben Garrison, and the SJW attack on the board known as /pol.
4chan was a gathering point for the movement that became known as “Gamergate,” especially the boards /v and /pol. The former is dedicated to gaming, the latter is “politically incorrect” and became a gathering place for the online Right.
Last fall, threads mentioning Gamergate suddenly started being deleted. Various conspiracies arose (compete with impressive documentation) that alleged the site’s founder, “Moot” (Christopher Poole), was dating an SJW, had been cucked by an SJW, was imposing SJWs as mods, or all of the above.
At the same time, the longstanding joke on /pol of modifying Ben Garrison’s cartoons to make them anti-Semitic (or making them more revolutionary and truthful, depending on your politics) faced some blowback when the real Ben Garrison (or a vile lying ZOG troll, again depending on your politics) started throwing around words like “defamation” and “libel.”
And finally, the media in general took up the cause of either eliminating comments or making it mandatory for commentators to use their real name if they were “trolling,” i.e. posting non-liberal things.
A few weeks ago, “Moot” more or less consciously sought to destroy /pol by filling the board with cuckold porn and various annoyances that made it all but impossible to post. Though /pol eventually returned to normal (more or less), many posters who had not already done so abandoned “halfchan” for 8chan, run by Fredrick Brennan, the heroic “Hot Wheels.” Not long after that, Moot himself announced he was leaving 4chan, and the online Right can’t decide whether this is a crushing defeat or a stunning victory.
Even as I write these words, I recognize that nothing we say online is really going to change anything. That’s especially true for an online anonymous message board. Ideas have consequences–when there’s money and institutions are put behind them. Until then, we’re just screaming into the ether while the Gawkers of the world carefully dictate the dominant culture.
At some point, we have to build real institutions, in the real world, under our real names. Yet we are in a catch-22 because it is not worth doing that until people will take these ideas seriously. That can’t happen when anyone with money, access, and power is instantly destroyed if they brush up against Identitarianism.
Even anonymity may not even be possible for much longer. The long term trend is not just the end of online “safe spaces” for free speech in anonymous forums or male spaces in gaming, but the end of all speech and culture that is not under some kind of supervision.
The hypocrisy of #JeSuisCharlie in the Europe of “hate speech” laws and bans on political parties is obvious enough. But media is more important than government. The state is a tool, not an actor in its own right.
And what is truly horrifying about those we call SJWs and the volunteer commissars is that they really do believe in what they are doing. The fact that some of this belief is mixed with fear about the consequences of dissent doesn’t change the intensity of belief. Fear of damnation is a staple of most faiths.
What we are moving toward is a world where all experience is mediated, not just through technology, but through politics. It will be all but impossible to disconnect, discuss unapproved ideas, or retreat from an ever more shrill, intrusive, and controlled media. With extraordinary effort, you may be able to “opt out” or unplug entirely, but without credentials, finances, or influence, you will live at the sufferance of the existing System.
Our “culture,” if we can even call it that, is ostensibly ironic, vulgar, and sophisticated, but is actually earnest, Puritan, and simplistic. If Mencken called the Puritanism of the past “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy,” today’s Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is saying something they are not supposed to. Those people holding up passive aggressive handwritten signs on Twitter really mean it. The proclamations that an all-female Ghostbusters is the “greatest thing ever” are sincere. And every investigative reporter dreams of the day he can destroy some petty racist in Flyover Country and get his dream gig quashing scandals for the politicians in the nation’s capital.
This is going to get worse, far worse, before it gets better. Even now, they report small children to the government for being “racist.” Even now, they pathologize and medicate what a prior generation would have simply called normal behavior.
What happens when a machine can detect “racism,” or anything else for that matter? What happens when anonymity becomes a dream? What do we do when the most all-encompassing system of control that has ever existed is imposed on us–and most people (including libertarians) will gleefully adopt it because it offers them an unlimited amount of mediated experiences, pleasures, and varieties of consumption?
And don’t think Identitarians or racialists will be immune. Where would the self-appointed watchdogs be without people posturing online with their guns and flags every other Facebook post? If we could lose ourselves entirely in a word of fantasy, many of us would. Some of us already do. All of us do occasionally. Why else are you reading this?
If there’s one metaphor that unites the “alt Right,” if we can use that term, it’s that of the “redpill.” It’s supposed to refer to the idea from The Matrix of waking up from the fake world, in this case the world of egalitarian rhetoric and social justice sloganeering, to the real world of status competition, naked inequality, and the realities of power. But it won’t be a metaphor for much longer. The struggle for Identity will be just that in the most brute and literal sense–the fight to retain control over our own consciousness.
Before an ethnostate, before a “metapolitics,” before that mythical Organization that will somehow lead us to victory, there has to be the safe space. There has to be the infrastructure that allows us to simply exist as ourselves, if only for a few moments.
/pol was never even that, but its rise and fall is instructive because it shows that Identity is the crucible of the entire culture. The view from the commanding heights of the culture is that if Identity is abolished, everything is permitted. And so the daydream of some mythical avenger slaughtering our enemies isn’t just a joke. It’s a sign of frustration that we no longer have control over those things any other generation would have taken for granted. It’s the laughter to forestall despair, the shriek into the online nothingness, the gallows humor of an entire civilization.