I was visiting a friend the other day, drinking coffee and chatting about stuff and politics, when he suddenly turns to me and asks, “By the way, have you seen this?” And turning on the screen, he went to YouTube, “The Alt-Right Playbook: You Go High, We Go Low”.
I am not sure that “flabbergasted” is the right word. But certainly somewhere just between “intrigued” and “fascinated”. The way that Ian Danskins presents US politics is both profoundly unsettling and incredibly insightful. Viewed through his lens, several incidents and behaviours which had puzzled me earlier suddenly came into focus – and made sense. The weirdly ineffectual way in which the Democrats keep on getting owned again and again and again by the Republicans… turns out to have a very natural explanation.
The central theme of the twelve videos in “The Alt-Right Playbook” is Ian’s analysis of the Alt-Right movement, how it works and its impact upon society. That is an area I have not yet dealt with here on my blog, though it is certainly relevant to a greater understanding of democracy and politics. But as part of that analysis, he also touches upon topics which I have written about myself.
In “The Alt-Right Playbook: Always a Bigger Fish,” for instance, he details how a fundamental, liberal understanding of democracy leads to the inescapable conclusion of equality, universal access to education, and government-paid tuition. And… why this “inescapable” conclusion totally escapes the Right. He shows how and why Democracy and Capitalism are, at a fundamental level, at odds with each other. And how Capitalism naturally leads to a centralisation of wealth – and influence.
One of the central insights of Ian’s work is that the fundamental assumptions of the Left and the Right are different. And in “Endnote 3: The Origins of Conservatism” he shows how this difference goes all the way back to the French Revolution, the roots of Capitalism and the origins of Conservative politics.
And then, in “The Alt-Right Playbook: You Go High, We Go Low,” he tunes in on what all of this means for Democracy in the US, and why the Democrats are institutionally unable to stem the tide of Fascism.
And throughout all of this – even though Ian’s main preoccupation is American politics, there is one thing which you should keep in mind, loud and clear: there are no borders within the Internet. The influence of the Alt-Right and the whole Conservative mindset is not limited to the States…
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