The past couple of years (at least) have seen a surge in criticism towards the radical left and the left in general, with media channels, big and small, suddenly erupting out of the ground like mushrooms after it rains.
Much of it, in its initial phase, was justified – it was, as declared, a campaign against speech policing, thought crimes, false accusations of bigotry based on imagined microaggressions, exacerbated feminism, the safe space culture, the doxxing and swarming of ideological opponents and so forth.
However, with all the political division and impending elections in a few countries (the US, the Netherlands, France), this freedom-loving camp started shifting right, too much for comfort, from a neutral humanist and fairness-loving position. And fairly rapidly, it ended up in the far right camp, taking its large fandom with it, where it all continues to this day.
I apologise for the anecdotal nature of this post – however, I am sure that many, at least in my generation, have undergone this process through this sudden rise of the right. Since mainstream media has become highly distrusted, people have turned to alternative media channels and got burnt just as much.This alternative media tide seemed organic at the time, yet in hindsight, seems increasingly suspicious, given how it played out.
Some of us genuinely did not see it coming. This was meant to be about standing up to feminist fury, man-hatred, irrationality and SJW demands. But it turned out to be about the worst aspects of conservatism, promotion of Christianity, xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and race instead (yes, race, in the very worst way).
Choosing to only follow channels of a certain ideological persuasion can guarantee just that – being trapped in a bubble and poorly informed, potentially missing out on crucial data. What makes you think your favourite news commentators would be fair and impartial and wouldn’t outright deceive you, for their own purposes?
Some people saw this early on. The “fight for freedom and individualism” turned into the formation of another tribe, which allowed itself to coalesce with an ideology which is so extreme and unrelated to the issues initially stood for. An ideology most people would not associate themselves with, yet in droves, were incrementally dragged into. Day by day, “anger pill” after “anger pill”.
So below I will detail some of the commentators and channels which have led people down this path, week by week and month by month, while seeming rational and innocuous at first. To my knowledge, anyway, as there must be many more. However superfluous it might seem since they only operate on social media; they do have substantial influence, especially over young people (young voters, more like it). The numbers listed represent YouTube subscribers alone. The real figures must be much higher, since not everyone listening is an actual subscriber.
This is not an attempt to throw invisible spitballs at successful people, from the small standing of a nobody. It’s an attempt to paint the picture of gradual radicalisation, now that time is putting it in perspective.
Paul Joseph Watson, with a following of 1 114 637.
First appearing to be the sane and articulate side of Infowars, he became very popular by putting together scathing videos on feminists, nihilistic art, pop culture and so forth, which were excellently done. When the Trump campaign was set in motion, however, everything became pro-Trump propaganda, to the point of nausea. After the election this continued, with him supporting the Alex Jones mandated narrative and attacking everyone who disagreed with Trump’s measures or behaviour, down to fine details. Whereas his perspective on Islam seems accurate, coupled with the dehumanisation of refugees it reveals a clear xenophobic agenda. Not surprisingly, he activates in the newly tightened group on social media (with some of the individuals mentioned below), pretending not to be far right yet approving of everything the far right tries to push.
Rebel Media, with a following of 861 033.
This channel rose to popularity by claiming to defend freedom of speech, opposing the PC culture, censorship and the so-called Neo-Marxist agenda. They brought cases of political persecution to light, feminists overreacting, the gender pronoun issue etc. It was easy to agree with them on many of these carefully chosen matters. Fast forward to the height of the Trump campaign, and shortly after (and ever since), they’ve been busy spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric and defending the so-called “identitarian” movement (translation, white). They even took a trip to Israel promoting the expansionist policy and even claiming “it’s crusade o’clock in Jerusalem”; “let’s take Jerusalem back for Jesus”. One of their activists interrupted a play last year, about Julius Caesar (with some Trump elements included) by rushing onstage to cause a scandal, in the vein of SJWs protests. She was arrested and their founder, Ezra Levant, tried to rip donors off for her legal costs, by attempting to ask for more money after they’d been covered by donations. Two of her colleagues followed suit and interrupted the play on subsequent occasions (it makes you think whether mooching off Rebel fans was Levant’s intention). Another former reporter, Faith Goldy (specialising in xenophobic rhetoric), was at the Charlottesville incident, on the side of… you guessed it; the white supremacists. Rebel Media has lost many of its prolific propagandists, who were let go or left around the same time.
A few months ago, Rebel Media put out a video criticising white supremacy, presumably to distance themselves from it. The response was as amusing as it was predictable – down-votes in droves, and definitely not from leftie anti-racists. But from racists themselves – their own followers.
Lauren Southern, recently departed from Rebel Media to go independent, with a following of 391 0817 (which will increase due to her popularity there).
At first, Lauren Southern was seen as a courageous young woman who stood up against the far left, even being physically attacked at protests at times. And whilst she remains all that, presumably, she has congregated with the likes of Richard Spencer, a declared white supremacist, and has participated in anti-immigrant activism in Europe with a bunch of folks describing themselves as “identitarian”. Adding to that, she often pushes Christian traditionalism to the point of inducing vomit, and reminisces about the “good old days” which were long before her time, and were anything but good in terms of how minorities were treated. She seems preoccupied with how everyone should live, claiming to have found the answer to human happiness (Judaeo-Christian values).
Gavin McInnes, recently departed from Rebel Media onto the money-making machine of Infowars, with a following of 176 660 (which will increase, presumably).
To start with, as usual, he was a freedom of speech advocate, decrying the uber-feminised PC culture and resulting tense atmosphere. He was sharp, witty and humorous, and his rejection of censorship seemed appealing to many. However, his perspective had a clear streak of misogyny. Overtime, he obviously “campaigned” for Trump and subsequently went to Israel on the above-mentioned trip, lauding an eventual takeover of the entire Palestinian territory… “for Jesus”. He seems to glorify the “angry alpha male” the identitarian movement and so forth, which means that his entire rhetoric was actually meant to stir up anger and fuel this unhealthy drive, step by step.
Steven Crowder, with a following of 1 029 115.
The former abstinence campaigner, set on Christian values (hypocritical, impossible, artificial standards of behaviour), portrays himself as a comedian, often ridiculing the excesses of the left. He is very successful in that regard, sometimes infiltrating leftist circles and exposing their superficiality. His core message, while so many are enjoying his comedy, should not be overlooked. A conservative Christian message, blending in with other conservative-turned-far right voices.
The first time his commentary made me sick was when he made fun of deported undocumented immigrants to the US, some of whom were brought there as minors. “It’s not our problem they decided to have kids here…” That is so far removed from how life works, how relationships and having children works. And pardon my french, so un-Christian.
Tommy Robinson, with a following of 59 345.
There was a high degree of sympathy for him, which I did share for some time, based on the conditions of his imprisonment and what happened after, in terms of what he described (being targeted by authorities for opposing radical Islam). What he described, basically, was political persecution and anyone with a sense of fairness would feel compassion for him.
However, the guy truly is far right. He is participating in setting up outposts in other countries. In Ireland he was recorded encouraging his mates to use violence on intruders to their meetings, provided the cameras were off. There’s no doubt in my mind that his claim that “the EDL had been infiltrated by unsavoury violent characters” was a lie. Violence is what he supports, even against innocent people, such as dissenters at a far right meeting.
Dave Rubin,with a following of 555 842.
He used to be a part of TYT (The Young Turks). Back when he was a liberal. I’m not sure where he stands anymore, as he claims to be sort of in the middle, yet increasingly gives a platform to the right and far right, wherever that differentiation may stand nowadays. He does so pretending to give a platform to any opinion, yet increasingly siding with the right.
Stefan Molyneux, with a following of 697 501 (and a community of ex-cult members describing his real intentions in detail).
Well, what transpires out of Mr Molyneux’s endeavour is a modern day cult, with him positioned as a leader. It’s quite frightening actually, the influence he has managed to have over his young disciples. Mr Molyneux is quite intricate in terms of delivering a political message. By not vocally assuming a stance he is well understood to have assumed before his interviews and half-surreal talks, increasingly focused on the so-called white genocide, so-called race realism (with an emphasis of presumed IQ differences between races), giving a platform to the extreme right as often as he can.
This guy must think he is able to put a verbose mask over his racist, xenophobic and extremely mysoginistic message. Someone can well be lost in his well-acted, hours-long monologues, mimicking emotion and often outrage. However, he fails to share the emotion regarding the lives he has ruined or nearly ruined with his indoctrination. He is a strong proponent of cutting contact with family members by default (or should I say de-foo, as in disengaging from one’s family of origin), as well as anyone who does not share his anti-statist views).
His rhetoric is laden with cognitive dissonance, on the one hand rejecting the idea of a state and law enforcement, and on the other hand, using “law and order” as a justification for pushing hatred against minorities, going as far as praising Trump’s authoritarianism. It should be obvious that the two perspectives cannot coexist. The far right, which he’s been supporting for a good couple of years (at least), is far removed from libertarian ideas, as authoritarian and libertarian are diametrically opposed concepts.
He’s full of shit, to put it bluntly. He gives his followers a radical perspective to embrace, and some of them end up destroying their lives over it. And unfortunately, that pays off.
Dave Cullen (Computing Forever), with a following of 266 616.
He started out, as most on this trajectory, by criticising the far left, or cultural Marxism, through the exposure of people being victimised for not joining the ranks in their left-dominated environments. An honourable thing to do, in and of itself, of course. However, as his audience shifted to the right and far right, so has his content, a technique which I trust proved rather profitable.
To his credit, he has criticised far right groups such as Britain First. It wasn’t for their hateful ideas though, but on a tangent (in this case, Christianity). He does argue, as a non-believer, that “secularism lacks moral fibre”. This is a very strange position to take (and increasingly, I am seeing it in a variety of environments). He is very much “in that camp”, minus his reaction to the rhetoric of fake religious zealots such as Britain First.
Milo Yiannopoulos, with a following of 692 000.
Milo can be charismatic, at first, with his unapologetic criticism of “special snowflakes”, although he has gone too far on many occasions. His activism tends to be regarded as flamboyant trolling for the sake of it; some of the ideas he puts out there, however, are far from innocuous.
What sets him aside from other content creators, who might just be surfing the wave of the market, is his collaboration with Breitbart – a far right publication known to distort events in a manner likely to manipulate people and stir up anger towards minorities. And whilst you might think Milo might be kidding at times, seeking to superficially stir up debates in a bid to elevate his self-absorbed persona, those at Breitbart are certainly not kidding in their endeavour. They don’t just marginally support the far right; they are the far right.
Alex Jones, with a following of 2 190 754.
I left this guy for last, even though it appears he’s had the largest impact, because he is not surreptitious in the slightest; people find his channel when first figuring out “things are not as they seem” and usually don’t stay long, when realising he is inducing hysteria in order to peddle his bullshit products. Some, however, get addicted to fear porn and stay, to be told daily that the world is just days or hours away from imploding.
Whether Alex Jones believes a tenth of what he puts forth is a good question, given that his enterprise is geared towards selling worthless paraphernalia, in the vein of those who peddle post-apocalypse merch in churches.
His propaganda, however, is very dangerous, given his large platform. What he does is manipulate any major event (murders in particular) in order to suit his narrative of conspiring “enemies of the people” who “must be defeated” by a communal effort of his listeners (voting for whomever he tells them to, for his own purposes).
The reason behind listing the audience count, on YouTube alone, is merely to prove that these people do have considerable impact.
It should be evident to anyone that what started out as the rejection of groupthink and authoritarianism should not end with the formation of a “warrior tribe”, willing to compromise on crucial issues (getting into bed with white supremacists while claiming to disavow racism, for instance).
These people are contributing to the normalisation of the far right, whether they share those views all the way or not (and I have a feeling many of them don’t).
They have gone from criticising identity politics and the resulting division, to supporting “identitarianism”. Orwellian, what can I say.
Their followers must have a short attention span. They shouldn’t.