Authored by Miki Pannell
"I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists," asked Hedley, the mythical mayor from Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles film. The premise was to assemble a hotchpotch army of freaks and criminals to run the newly elected black sheriff out of town.
Never was there a finer metaphor for such turbulent times. Take a look at the photos of the heavily-armed white supremacists descending on Charlottesville last year. Anifa and anti-fascist militants are no better either. They were straight out of Blazing Saddles. But the most freakish of them all are not the supporters: the knuckle-dragging rednecks, college campus jocks and Twitter trolls, squealing with delight as their alt-right heroes garner ever-greater exposure and fame. No. The real reprobates are their leaders and heroes themselves. Donald Trump even looks like an extra.
The heroes of the right are a raggle-taggle army of misfits, pandering to the great unwashed mass of Trump supporters. It’s a sight to behold. Unfortunately they are not fictitious film characters. Public debate now often includes closet Nazis masquerading as serious political commentators, pseudo-journalists who twenty years ago would have been selling fascist fanzines for 50p at National Front meetings, and all other manner of freaks, fakes and frauds.
Milo Yiannopoulos, alt-right’s rock star, is a total phony, albeit a fairly entertaining one. Milo, a white gay conservative catholic married to a black man, prides himself on being uncategorizable…. Wrong. He fits in perfectly with the other alt-right mishmash. They could have lined up alongside the KKK, the Mexican banditos and the bikers the join Hedley Lammar’s lynchmob. So could have shitkicker Trump himself (‘Daddy’ according to Milo), ass-kicker Ben Shapiro, nitwit Katie Hopkins, rustler Alex Jones, bandit transsexual Chelsea Manning and buggerer and bushwhacker…. (You can fill in the gaps.)
There has, however, certainly been some healthy debate. It’s starting to look like 1968 all over again. We have had stand-offs between ever more polarized left and right factions on college campuses, squabbles on social media forums and even the mainstream debate has started to show signs of….well…intelligence. Serious points are being raised regarding political correctness, the social justice movement, feminism, race, immigration, Islam, etc. But just how valid are the points being raised? Do they stand up to any serious scrutiny? Or should the militants just head back to their trailers and doughnut shops?
Milo gained notoriety as a feminist-basher in entertaining discussions on British TV. A deft debater (and quite possibly the last person you’d want to get into an argument with on public TV), Milo is actually British himself – which is ironic as he’s become the American police’s most staunch supporter.
The anti-feminist pitch of pundits such as Milo or Christina Hoff Sommers, goes something along these lines: inequality of sexes is totally over-played; over the last ten years the gender gap has diminished significantly; some female salaries have actually out-performed those of male counterparts, particularly among millennials. The anti-feminists now re-position white males as the victims of academic bias and labour market prejudice, etc. You get the idea.
How true is all of this? It’s probably fairly accurate if you cherry-pick geographically. In Milo’s predominantly white native Kent, England or out in California, for example, it could well be true. Feminism has in many ways degenerated into a cynical vindictive, bickering, man-hating movement. In fact it could be debated that the entire movement never went much further than white middle class women’s debates on campus. It’s certainly no coincidence that the alt-right loves to keep the discussion safely within the confines of largely white universities too. In fact, alt-right / feminist wrangles frequently tackle issues such as whether women have a higher chance of being sexually abused on campus or not. Perfectly legitimate themes for argument, but this completely papers over the real issues.
Equality, like poverty is a massive global issue. As the world’s population approaches eight billion, a quarter of the planet are considered to be the ‘absolute poor’. Of those two billion, 80% are women. The real issue is, therefore, not whether women’s pay is on a par with men’s, but rather that most women have no access whatsoever to employment or, in fact, rights of any kind. The only way alt-rights arguments stand up to scrutiny is if we pretend Latin America, Africa and most of Asia don’t exist. Or that they count for nothing. The alt-right is the ultimate form of narrow-minded provincialism.
Let’s put this into perspective a little. Where does the information to make these right-wing value judgements come from? According to the US state department only 113 million U.S. passports are in circulation. Only 36% of Americans are able to set foot abroad. (76% in the U.K). In other words, most people rely on either the media, internet or academic sources as a way of understanding the outside world. As we pointed out in our recent article https://www.thepennypost.net/2018/03/17/economic-publishers-don-t-need-an-invisible-hand-they-need-a-good-hard-invisible-boot-up-their-neoliberal-backsides/ academic publishers have been largely usurped by the right and the entire market for academic materials is controlled by massive neo-liberal holding companies. What once was a market with varied consumer choice is now a giant corporate stitch-up distributing what is effectively neoliberal right-wing dogma.
Still, there’s always the media offering enthralling, unbiased perspective, right? I surely don’t need to point out that the last time that we saw anything resembling media plurality was back in the early 1970s, although many would even debate that.
Where does the right wing criticism of political correctness actually come from? Many observers have correctly pointed out that political correctness is killing culture. Certainly it does it no favours. But Milo gets it completely wrong when blaming the left for its onset. Political correctness thrived as right-wing media and conservative politics became increasingly dominant. It gained traction as leftist politics veered sharply to the right. Political correctness was a device to discredit the left, not an invention by it. The British press and their ‘Loony Left’ campaign in the 1980s exemplified this. We were supposed to believe that there really was some (usually female) socialist proposing that the name of ‘black bags’ (as in black refuse sacks) be changed, as it might cause offence to elderly coloured ladies. Or that someone had seriously considered that the title of the nursery rhyme be changed to ‘Bah Bah White Sheep’. Come on! No coincidence that so many of today’s right-wing apologists were actually employed back then by the very media sources that promulgated such myths in the first place.
The alt-right may have some colourful, charismatic media-savvy celebs livening up what used to be tedious debates. But their ‘facts not feelings’ philosophy is built on fallacies. But ultimately many people’s gripe is not with the right’s new stars: it’s with the raging hoard of closet commie-bashers, gun-right hillbillies and Neanderthal campus jocks that have come out of the woodwork to support them….
"We want hustlers, neo-liberals, banditos, bankers, racists, lowlifes, lobbyists, military industrial complexers, Michigan Militia, hackers, homophobes, scammers, sell-outs, scum, state apologists, Paul Krugman, jerks, jocks, tabloid journalists, Timothy Geithner, the KKK, KGB, NSA, NRA, MI5, Daily Mail, too-big-to-jail, London whale, thinktanks and WASPs,"