Thursday, August 29, 2019

What the Hell is This?: The New Alt-Right Manifesto

The alt-right blowback against political correctness continues in its very odd fashion.

Ben Schreckinger reports for Politico:
The most important political book of the past year just might be a grammatically challenged manifesto in favor of nude sunbathing written under the pen name Bronze Age Pervert.

Where Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” inspired generations of libertarians to enter politics, and Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” did the same for idealistic liberals, a cohort of young, right-wing men are today gravitating toward “Bronze Age Mindset.” The self-published book urges them to join the armed forces in preparation for the onset of military rule.

Since its publication in June 2018, the book has gained a following online, and its author, known to his fans as BAP for short, has come to the attention of notable figures on the Trumpist right. Earlier this month, the book was the subject of a 5,000-word review by Michael Anton, a conservative intellectual who served as a spokesman for Donald Trump’s National Security Council. Anton concludes by warning, “In the spiritual war for the hearts and minds of the disaffected youth on the right, conservatism is losing. BAP-ism is winning.”

Anton is just one of the Trump world figures who has taken notice. "It’s still a cult book,” said another former Trump White House official. “If you’re a young person, intelligent, adjacent in some way to the right, it’s very likely you would have heard of it.”...

The 200-page book mixes Nietzschean philosophy with critiques of contemporary Western society, denigrating homosexuality, Judiasm, Islam, feminism and much else along the way. “Inside every noble Greek was an unquenchable lust for power,” is one fairly typical statement. “Modern world not bad just because modern,” is another, displaying the author’s habit of lapsing into broken English by dropping articles. The book claims that the leaders of the European Union have “tiny moleman eyes.” Many of its passages are profane and unprintable....

In his book, Bronze Age Pervert describes Western societies as ruled by “bug men” and “lords of lies,” urging readers to pursue a life of “sun and steel” — that is, tanning and weightlifting.

Across 77 chapters of cryptic musing, the book describes social justice as “disgusting parasitism,” opines that women who succeed in traditionally male domains are “spiritual lesbians,” and complains that the U.S. intelligence services employ too many Mormons.
From the Michael Anton review:
In structure and tone, BAM appears at first glance to be a simplified pastiche of Friedrich Nietzsche written by an ESL-middle-school-message-board troll. Words are often misspelled or dropped, verbs misconjugated, punctuation rules ignored. For example, a prototypical BAP sentence reads “Wat means?”—which presumably means: “What does this mean?” Yet the author weaves in clear English amidst the doggerel, showing that he knows how to write. And standard English increasingly takes over as the book proceeds...

Self-published in June 2018, BAM quickly cracked the top 150 on Amazon—not, mind you, in some category within Amazon but on the site as a whole. This for a book with no publisher and no publicist, whose author is not even known...

The book at times reads so outlandishly that one wonders if any of it could possibly be meant seriously or if the author is just a kook. But on reflection I came to believe that some of the ridiculousness is intended to help the unscientific and unphilosophic grasp concepts beyond their conceptual framework. Some is meant to shock and discomfit, as if BAP were in the reader’s ear shouting “I insist you must question everything!” (I note here that whenever BAP begins a sentence with the first-person pronoun and ends with an exclamation point, he is being serious. One example: “I don’t do irony!”)

And a great deal of BAP’s silly outrageousness seems to be there to provide air cover for the outrageous things he means in deadly earnest. If so, he might be following Niccolò Machiavelli, who once wrote “that it is a very wise thing to simulate craziness at the right time.” The internet pidgin likely serves a similar purpose. It simultaneously attracts the young—who by nature enjoy slang for its exclusionary effect on the duffers (which is why, to remain effective, slang must be constantly reinvented)—while putting off said duffers, who will assume that such drivel cannot be serious and thus is not worth their attention, much less their worry.

Could it be that BAM’s frivolous surface hides a serious core? Or, to put it in BAPian terms: Wat means?...

The book is shot through with references to poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, and their theories. His range of knowledge is vast—or at least appears so. I often found myself willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on scientific concepts I don't understand because so often when he writes about something I do understand, he gets it right. And when he doesn’t, I can’t be sure he’s not just trolling...

Reading BAM is certainly, on one level, to undergo a “process of brutalization.” Indeed, it will be all too easy for interns to comb through the book, find offensive statements (they are legion), and pass them up the chain for their bosses to hold out for two-minute-hates. The only reason this hasn’t happened yet is because the commissars haven’t taken any notice. If and when BAP’s identity should ever be revealed, the denunciation storm will follow instantly.

The strongest and easiest objections to make to Bronze Age Mindset are that it is “racist,” “anti-Semitic,” “anti-democratic,” “misogynistic,” and “homophobic.” And indeed, BAP delights in generalizing. The fact that he generalizes in neutral or positive ways at least as much as in negative ones won’t matter. In the current year, saying good things about good groups is good; saying bad things about bad groups is good; saying anything else about anyone else is bad...

One cannot find in BAM any principled reason—or any reason at all—to reject or object to tyranny.  Or to slavery, serfdom, perpetual peasantry, might-makes-right, warlordism, gangsterism, bullying, or other forms of what the religious and philosophic traditions call “injustice.” The only injustice BAP seems concerned with is the suppression of the higher by the lower. But the lower—or, let’s be more charitable than BAP and say “the common man”—will always be around...

We may phrase the central question raised by Bronze Age Mindset as this: must equality always and everywhere be the enemy of excellence, or vice versa? BAP’s answer is an emphatic “Yes!”...

Which brings us back to the kids. The reason this book is important is because it speaks directly to a youthful dissatisfaction (especially among white males) with equality as propagandized and imposed in our day: a hectoring, vindictive, resentful, levelling, hypocritical equality that punishes excellence and publicly denies all difference while at the same time elevating and enriching a decadent, incompetent, and corrupt elite.

BAP would say—indeed does say—that this is where the logic of equality inherently and inevitably leads.
My take continues to be that it is good to see blowback against political correctness. To signal to the youth that opposition to the social justice warriors exists is a good thing. At the same time, the alt-right opposition appears to be of a form that is difficult to endorse in any full-throated manner.

Which is to say: Who will sit before a laptop and develop the modern-day Randian-type heroes that will fight the social justice warriors with a powerful mind minus the buffoonery? This is what we need.



  1. I'll have to get a copy of this and take a look.

    I'm certainly tired of 'duh-versity' is our strength and having to put up with more transweirdo freaks who are less a single digit of the population but the left wants us to bend over backward over just because of their mental illness.

    Other than White European civilization, all other cultures mostly suck and have not contributed much to the modern world.

    1. Sounds right up your alley: low-brow, populist, broad brush-strokes, appeals to emotion not reason, short sentences...

    2. The descriptions you used remind me of characteristics of libertarians and illegal immigrants.

    3. When you can't argue with facts, do ad hominem, LOL.

      The simple truth is, there's only one civilization. All other cultures are successful and prosperous only as far as the amount of Western Christian cultural norms and technology they adopted.

    4. "Sounds right up your alley: low-brow, populist, broad brush-strokes, appeals to emotion not reason, short sentences..."

      Yeah, those populist, how dare they ask for a government that defends their citizens and limits the hordes of outsiders who can not or will not conform to some Western norms.

      I've been thumbing through my PDF of Mein Kempf as well. Some days I wonder if Uncle Adolf was not right on some issues.

  2. Full throat-ed endorsement went the way of Dodo. Constructive politics is long extinct.