Note from the Editors: This essay is the closing part of a three-part series arguing how the Right can reclaim culture from the left. Part I can be found here, and part II here. If you’re not familiar with our publication, we suggest this IM—1776’s reading list on the theme of “Art & Literature on the Right” either before or after diving in. More articles exploring the theme will be released over the next few months.
Art & Literature for Dissidents, Part III: What should You Write?
Unless you just go straight to the ‘classic literature’ section and pick some old book, if you want to find good literature, rolling up to your favorite bookstore isn’t enough anymore. Today, you, me, and everyone else who still enjoys good writing and cares about things like good prose or truth in writing must scour the internet in order to find something worthy of our time.
Sure, it wasn’t always this way. There was a sort of cultural turn that made things this way, maybe during the Obama era, maybe prior to it. I’m not going to use this opportunity to analyze what exactly went wrong culturally though, but to once again propose how we can start fixing this problem.
While in part II of this series I’ve made the case that theatre is crucial for a right-wing cultural renewal, I’m going to reconnect to literature in the closing article of this Art & Literature for Dissidents series.
Fiction and creative writing are crucial in order to reclaim culture from the left, and we should be paying more attention to those at forefront of this online scene.
We have a lot of dissident writers already.
If publishing weren’t so dysfunctional, writers like Zero HP Lovecraft, Delicious Tacos, Bronze Age Pervert, Sam Finlay, and Alex Perez would be famous all over America. They all know how to communicate with readers who don’t care about literary theory, or book launch parties in Brooklyn, or any of this Occupational Class nonsense — even though all obviously know the Occupational Class from the inside. But refusing to play the game today means you can forget about finding a decent literary agent, let alone getting a book deal, etc.
Therefore, as much as most people on the Right don’t want to hear this, to surmount this obstacle, dissident writers must get over the fact that you can’t just write whatever you want anymore. It’s just not possible today. Writing to glorify yourself or get something off your chest is not what you are supposed to do either. You need to build an audience and get people to listen to you, so you can eventually convince them of something important. But all of that takes time.
So how do we do it?
One of the first things you notice when you try to compare our side, i.e. the dissident side, to the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ / classical liberal types, is that our side is funny. Like it or not, what we’re good at is satire, ridicule, comedy, and farce. Unlike the left, we can actually make people laugh. That’s what the Right literary scene should aim to cultivate primarily over the next few years.
Our best strategy at first must involve finding targets that liberals hate as much as we hate, and then mercilessly ripping them apart from a right-wing perspective. We don’t want to demoralize anybody who’s an ally, obviously. Being too political or focusing on hot buttons issues like race, abortion, immigration and #MeToo also is a losing strategy. But fun, political satire or just general humor aimed at targets they also hate or dislike is a lot safer, and can furthermore shield us against censorship.
Take this chapter from BAP’s book Bronze Age Mindset:
“Imagine a Mitt Romney, but different… A Romney who actually was capable of acting like his looks, and was worthy of his looks. Imagine a younger Romney who rouses the nation to a new war, against India, through power of charisma and speech alone. Then he leave on ship to head the armies conquering India. But then come rumors that Mitt ran a Black Mass Satanist dinner in New York. Also, people awaken one day and find that someone defaced the Holocaust Museum and the Lincoln Memorial… rumors spread that it is Mitt Romney in preparation to overthrow the government. So he is recalled from his command to stand trial. Instead of returning, Mitt runs to Russia where he becomes a major advisor to Putin. Soon though, he finally has to leave in a great hurry when it is discovered he’s been banging Putin’s wife in secret. He runs to China where, again, he miraculously becomes a major political force and advisor, adopting Chinese customs and language with ease. After some time he leaves China and ends up living Afghanistan with the tribesmen as one of them, in one of their mud fortresses where he is finally found by American special forces and he goes out fighting, charging them repeatedly with machine gun in his glorious black-and-gold armor and Dune-look headset. Exactly such, and more was the life of the ancient Alcibiades from Athens. How inconceivable!”
This is a great example of how to make fun of a ‘conservative’ political figure from the Right.
Another example of a great figure to make fun of is Jordan Peterson. The left still hates and fears him. Sure, we all appreciate what he did four or five years ago, but then he got stale pretty quickly, turned into an embarrassing grifter, and even had all those problems with drugs and his psycho daughter. Even if you still like Peterson, you have to admit he’s an easy target and deserves to be made fun of. He’s also iconic, and easy to imitate, so it won’t be hard to find an audience for this.
In general, the safest political target for our side is the classical liberal Right. David Cameron and Tony Blair are so unpopular that there’s no point in taking them down now. Still, there are plenty other right-wing classical liberals in recent history worth picking on. As targets, they’re also ideal because they’re likely pro-‘free speech’, at least on paper, so they’d even look like hypocrites if they try to fight back. Their anti-‘censorship’ position, in other words, unlike with the left, who doesn’t even hide their hypocrisy anymore, can be weaponized against them.
Sexual hypocrisy, for instance, always makes for good comedy. In the Bush-era Republican Party, Dennis Hastert and Larry Craig are only the most famous socially-conservative sex offenders (Hastert is the convicted pedophile and Craig is the one who goes cruising in public bathrooms). These days you can’t make fun of gays unless they’re closeted and publicly right-wing. Then it’s OK to laugh. But hypocritical Republicans is probably an overdone topic by now. A better idea is to aim at the Catholic Church, with a completely fact-based attack on the Vatican.
For the past thirty or forty years, liberals have been hammering the Catholics because of the sex scandals. Nobody ever admits that 80% of the victims of predator priests are boys between ages twelve and seventeen. If you said that you’d be ‘homophobic’. There’s also a huge problem with trainee priests getting molested by their bishops. The gay mafia in the Vatican right now is worse than Harvey Weinstein. But nobody wants to attack Pope Francis because he’s a liberal, despite that the fact that he got exposed three years ago for protecting a vicious molester named Cardinal McCarrick. McCarrick’s going to die in jail now. You may feel sorry for his victims, but you have to admit that the whole story is comedy gold from start to finish.
In fact, the whole Vatican right now is a comedy goldmine. Some of us dissidents are hardcore Christians. If you’re one of them, here’s your chance to blast liberal Christians, and trick all the liberals into defending you, in case anybody from the local bishop’s office tries to shut you down. Right now there are people on the hard left who are working hard to normalize pedophilia, but for now, this crime can still be used for criticism-proof attacks against the enemy.
One of our major jobs as dissidents is to demoralize the fake conservatives who have taken over the whole right-wing scene internationally ever since World War II. They’re finally losing their grip because of the populist movement, but they aren’t going away fast enough. Right now they’re still powerful enough to be able to punish anybody on the Right who attacks them directly, so the strategy here should be to shit on their heroes until it’s no longer respectable to worship any of them in public.
The biggest political target for takedown is of course William F. Buckley Jr., the gatekeeper of the postwar conservative movement in America. No one likes him except Boomers and think-tank conservatives who want to become themselves the next William F. Buckley, and often talk in fake mid-Atlantic accents to prove they can. There’s an incredible amount of damaging material on him, especially from the 1960s, and he is also easy to imitate because of his put-on voice and mannerisms. Buckley’s an even easier target than Ronald Reagan. I often wonder why more writers on our side haven’t already attacked him yet.
Historical writing can be a lot of work but often worth it. Nobody on our side, for instance, has tried to correct the record on Oscar Wilde. He wasn’t thrown in the slammer for “the love that dare not speak its name,” he was punished for “acts of gross indecency” with eleven- and twelve-year-old boys who got free silver cigarette cases in exchange for letting themselves get statutorily raped. The truth here could start a serious shitstorm if a British dissident found a way to stage a play about this in London or Edinburgh and knew how to present and back up the truth. Folk like Stephen Fry wouldn’t know how to react.
Another good target might be Hemingway. In the Spanish Civil War, the author got tricked into supporting the Communists, then wrote a war novel to help cover up the fact that he mainly sat around in a hotel room getting drunk and bullshitting about how tough he was. On the Ken Burns documentary, John McCain talked about the Spanish Civil War book like it was a masterpiece, so you know there’s something wrong with it. If you attack Hemingway for his Spanish Civil War nonsense, you will trigger a lot of Republican fake conservatives, which will make liberals happy.
Liberals hate Hemingway because of his manliness. If you attack him from the Right, they will think you’re on their side because they have different reasons to despise him. But you’re not going to spread the lie that his drunk wife was somehow a greater writer than he was the way they do, you’re just going to show that he was a dupe. Again, just stick to the truth. There’s a lot of evidence.
I’m not gonna go on any longer. You get the idea.
It’s really hard to make people start seeing objective truth, so we don’t want to get trapped in endless philosophical discussions about metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, etc. Most audiences aren’t necessarily ready for positive stories about heroic virtue either. The reality is that people are just too anxious about ‘fascism’, and ‘fascism’ for liberals of course means, anything that potentially threatens my safety-obsessed matriarchal bureaucratic tyranny. So you’re not going to reclaim literature by directly attacking the Regime, not without lacking an audience for your writing.
It requires a big sacrifice for people to accept that the system they put their trust in for so long is completely broken and corrupt. So most people don’t want to read about it. But everyone likes to have good laugh.
Laughter is uncontrollable. No amount of self-denial can resist a good joke. While political writing and analysis are also of vital importance, especially online, trolling and making fun of your enemy, is the safest, most effective way to open the doors which are currently shut for most dissident talent on the Right. There are other ways, but this element in writing is crucial if we want to have a shot of winning and actually gaining cultural ground over the next decade. The Right should take advantage of this opportunity whilst it still can.
The battle of the twenty-first century is over people’s dreams. That is the ultimate source of power. Our enemies aren’t going to politely make a space for us, so we have to try to muscle in and take over. We’re not dissidents or ‘thought criminals’ because we want to be. But if we can’t tell basic truths without being punished for it, it doesn’t matter in the long run if we’re right about the important things. What we have to do is prepare the ground so we can start communicating the truth again, and let it find its way to the market, both online and off. That is the only we can reclaim culture from those who took it from us and turned it into today’s talentless pool of depressing waste and worthless fashions.
Are you in?