Thursday, May 11, 2017

the alt-right and the politics of humour

Humour can be a very effective political weapon. It is by its nature a weapon that is more useful to dissidents than to those who defend the status quo. For this reason political humour has for most of modern history been most effectively wielded by the Left.

Humour was used to devastating effect by the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s. They were able to use it to promote the idea of themselves as funny, clever, irreverent and cool and even more importantly to portray their enemies as humourless, stuffy and terminally uncool.

Humour may not have won the culture war for the cultural left but it did play its part.

Today the political landscape is very different. The Left is in complete control of the culture (although in fact leftists are merely useful idiots for the globalist capitalists and bureaucratic managerial types who really run things).

Those who were the glamorous rebels in the 60s and 70s are now the establishment. And being the establishment has crippled leftist humour. Just try sitting through ”progressive” comedy. It’s an ordeal. Being terrified of offending dozens of protected victim groups leaves no real scope for being funny.

In today’s world humour has become a weapon that can be most easily and most effectively wielded by the dissidents of the right. The alt-right in particular has discovered just how potent a weapon humour can be. Their humour might be vulgar and cruel and irreverent but those are exactly the qualities that made the leftist humour of half a century ago so devastating. 

The alt-right obsession with Pepe the Frog and similar memes might be somewhat childish  but the constant trolling of liberals (especially the undeniably amusing efforts of /pol/ to troll liberals with fake white supremacist memes) is having the effect of making liberal ideologist seem ridiculous. And one should never underestimate the potency of ridicule. The alt-right’s use of humour does seem to be having some effect in making liberalism seem ugly, oppressive and unattractive. It has to some extent wrong-footed the liberal establishment and that’s a positive thing.

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