Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Atlantic: Two big essays on the alt-right, including a bio of Andrew Anglin

The December 2017 “Atlantic” (a literary magazine that I recall being mentioned in junior English in high school back in 1960) has two big essays on the alt-right and white supremacist movements that surfaced in Charlottesville.

Luke O’Brien offers “The Making of an American Nazi”, a booklet-length biography of Andrew Anglin. , publisher of the Daily Stormer , p. 54 in print.

For a 30-year old (roughly) Anglin looks particularly unattractive in the photos with the shaved head. But his own evolution reads in the article like a journey into mental illness and nihilism. He started out in the most liberal, hippie culture in Ohio, according to the article, and seems to have dead-ended inside before he adopted what seem in the article like arbitrarily convenient beliefs, easily rationalized.  There seems to have been a sudden disgust with the weak.

O’Brien offers a video about how the anonymity of the Internet facilitates extremism.  He talks about radical groups “growing in the shadows”.

Then Angela Nagle offers “The Lost Boys: Brotherhood of Losers” where the print version (p. 68) seems to mock Donald Trump’s idea of meritocracy.

She talks about how the alt-right is actually splintered along the lines of commitment to extremism (not “united” as Charlottesville tried to claim), but takes some exception to the criticism many of us have of exaggerated minority-defined “safe spaces” on campuses. 

She writes, “Together, right and left created a world in which a young person could invent his own identity and curate his own personal brand online, but also had dimmed hopes for what used to be considered the most basic elements of a decent life – marriage, a job, a house, a community. (Liberalism claimed that a village could raise a child, but never got around to building the village.) Amen, Hillary. 

The hardcopy made good reading on the plane to Florida last Friday. 
Update: Dec. 4

Anglin is defending a lawsuit in Montana from someone he trolled, and his defense is bizarre, Post story

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